Saturday, 27 December 2014

Representation to the Prime Minister



R. B. SREEKUMAR, IPS (Retd.)

Former DGP, Gujarat. “Sreelekshmideepam”

Plot No. 193, Sector-8,

Gandhinagar-382 007

Gujarat.

rbsreekumar71@yahoo.com

www.harmonynotes.in

Tel. (R) 079-23247876

(M) 09428016117

Letter No. 12-A/2014/PMO/BG

Dated the 18th December, 2014.

To,

Shri Narendra Modi,

Hon’ble Prime Minister of India,

Room No. 148-B, South Block,

New Delhi-110 001.



Sub :- Request to uphold the pre-eminence and sanctity of the Constitution of India and conserve identity of Bhagvad Gita.



Respected Prime Minister Sir,

Recently media reported about plans of Union Government to proclaim the holy scripture of Hindu Community, Bhagvad Gita (BG), as National Book of India. This ill-conceived move propelled by pseudo-fundamentalist enthusiasts of majority community, is adverse to our motherland’s syncretistic symbiotic heritage and un-amendable foundational ideals of the Indian Constitution, “Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual” and secularism. This super imposition of official status to BG would also erode its distinct religious, conceptual and philosophical identity.

2. Grounds against bestowing to Bhagvad Gita, the State authorized eminence of National Book are numerous. They are :-
Blasphemy

(a) BG occupies the third position in the scriptural trinity (Prasthanatrayam) of Hindus – the first and second being the Upanishads and Brahmasutra respectively. Primarily, by bestowing political and legal status of National Book to BG, the government functionaries from political and administrative executive are violating their oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India, the basic law of the land. As in the case of National Bird, National Animal, National Flag, National Anthem and so on, any alleged criticism against contents of BG (once it is made the National Book) could invite penal action and such an eventuality would amount to invoking the concept of blasphemy in India. My apprehension is that such a trend would relegate Indian Nation to the condemnable depth of theocratic Nations like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, in the long run.

Dilution of religious freedom :

(b) Indian citizens following single founder-centric religions like Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam would experience emotional deprivation of degrading their scriptures. This would be damaging to the right to freedom of religions, guaranteed in Article 25 to 28 of the Constitution.

Danger of Caste admixture :

(c) The message of BG was interpreted differently by many and utilized for contradictory purposes – for violent freedom struggle and non-violent movement against the British by Mahatma Gandhi. Though this scripture contains many lofty exhortations and guidance for crisis management, stress relief, value-addition to an individual to whole society and humanity, freedom from material, physical, emotional and intellectual bondage and so on, there are slokas justifying the discriminative caste order – the primary causative factor for Indian degeneration and degradation from 4th Century of the Christian Era (CE) and non-performance in the fields of acquisition and production of new knowledge, discoveries, inventions, military strategy, science and technology, in comparison to other Countries. Let us not forget that Indians were defeated by all foreign invaders from the time of Alexander the Great of 3rd Century Before Christian Era (BCE) to modern times. Caste-based social order has been sanctified in BG, which treats “Caste admixture” (Varnasankarah – see sloka 41 of chapter-1) as an abominable danger.

Perpetuation of inequality :

(d) BG forbids any vertical and horizontal mobility in society – an imperative ingredient of any vibrant and pulsating society. Sloka 35 of chapter-3 counsels “One’s own dharma (Caste related duties), though imperfect, is better than the dharma of another better discharged. Better death in one’s own dharma; the dharma of another is full of fear”. Thus, Gita wants a person born as Sudra (the word literally means an individual kept away from knowledge – Shrutat Dooraha Shudraha – by etymologist Yaskan – should live as a servant of the upper castes and he has no right and opportunity to go up in the caste ladder by skill acquisition or through in-born and trained talent. Though sloka 13 of chapter-4 claims “The four-fold caste was created by Me (God) by the different distribution of Guna and Karma”, this dictum was never practiced from the days of Mahabharata. The illustrative case is of Maharathi and great archer Karna, who had been denied the status of Kshatriya as he was nurtured by a low caste Soota, since his mother Queen Kunti did not reveal Karna’s real identity. Even Lord Krishna did not do anything to counter, correct and remedy this anomaly. Consequently, there was no merit based recruitment in government services, defence forces and higher bureaucracy, till the advent of British rule. Independent India has to remedy this malady through system of reservation in services, but still disproportionately higher number of caste-Hindus is visible at elite levels of government service, socio-economic, cultural, educational, political and religious fields in India. In short, the above noted slokas in Gita are repugnant to Articles 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 51A of our Constitution.

Graded inequality :

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar clamouring for creation of a casteless society (Book ’Annihilation of Caste’) demolished the scriptural and religious foundations of birth based caste (Jayatae Iti Jati) as hierarchically ‘graded inequality’ of Hindu caste system. Sanctification of higher castes through Purushasukta of Rigveda was deemed by Ambedkar as a clever trap and organicist logic by making social groups holier than the individual, since they were born out of the single divine being (Purusha). The role of BG to create an ambience in Hindu society for ensuring enjoyment of all good things in life for upper caste in general and priestocracy in particular, by depriving legitimate opportunities to Shudras and those outside caste order, through scriptural stipulation, is condemnable.

Contradictions in BG :

(e) There are many inexplicable contradictions and confusing concepts in BG. In Sloka 34 of chapter-2, Lord Krishna warned Arjuna about adverse consequences of not fighting the war thus “people will ever recount your infamy. To the honoured, infamy is surely worse than death”. But in Sloka 47 of same chapter, emphasis was on doing duty without any expectation – Nishkama Karma. “Seek to perform your duty; but lay not claim to its fruits. Be you not the producer of the fruits of Karma; neither shall you lean towards inaction”. The instruction of, “surrendering all actions to Me (God), with your thoughts resting on Self, freed from hope and selfishness and cured of mental fever, engage in battle”, (chapter-3-30) was nullified in the direction of Sloka 33 of chapter-11. “You therefore arise and obtain fame. Conquer the enemies and enjoy the unrivalled Kingdom. By Me have they been verily slain already. You be merely an outward cause, Oh Savyasachin”. Further, BG had not been successful in reconciling the relative merit of different ways to God realization, viz.; paths of knowledge (Gnana), action (Karma), devotion (Bhakti), but recognition and submission to caste-based social order, Varnasramadharma, has ever remained an inalterable postulate. This factor would explain monopolization priesthood in temples by the Brahmin community, even in government managed temples of Tirupati, Shabarimala, Somnath and Jagannathpuri, in violation of Constitutional provisions in Articles 14, 15 & 16.

Gender prejudice :

(f) BG had reflected retrogressive anti-women socio-religious conventions glorified in the Smruties, particularly of Manu, Vyasa, Parasara and Vashishtha. Manusmruti denigrated women, in chapter-IX – Sloka 2 & 3, to slavish depth, as part of imperative divine order – Varna Linga Dharma. Even a mythological character – Parashurama, who killed his own mother, Renuka/Konkana, on the orders of his father, Muni Jamadagmi, is worshiped as a deity in many temples. Hypothesis of Gita in Sloka-32 of chapter-IX is obvious “for those who take refuge in Me, Oh Partha, though they be of inferior birth – women, Vaishyas and Shudras, even they attain Supreme Goal”. Gender based prejudice is quite pronounced in this Sloka. Even those women who are born in Brahmin and Kshatriya castes are also treated as low-born.

No role in religious rites :

This bias is reflected in observance of 16 socio-religious and cultural rites (shodasa samskar) of Hindus. Marginalization and degradation of women in most of these 16 observances, prescribed by Smrutis and Dharmshastras, is repulsively heinous. Girl child is not even entitled to Upanayan (investiture of sacred thread), Vedarambba (initiation to study) and Samavartan (convocation ceremonies), while Namakaran (naming) is conventionally avoided in many places for girls. Strangely, the father or senior male member do all auspicious rituals in most of the 16 Samskaras, particularly Namakaran, Annaprashana (giving first cereal food), - though biology makes mother to be the food provider (Annadata) from the time of conception of the child – Vedarambba, Samavartan and so on. In Antyesti (funeral), son, nephew or male kith and kin of the deceased are alone permitted to do rituals.



No priesthood :

This sloka, however, does not confer any authority or rights to women to be appointed as even assistants to priests in Devi temples – Shaktipeethams – due to economics and commerce. Tokenist and insincere exhibitionism of gender equality by depicting Goddesses as symbolic custodians of knowledge (Saraswati), wealth (Lakshmi) and power (Amba/Parvati) is not practiced in real life, where women are kept away, as far as possible from knowledge, wealth and power. In most religious bodies, Mathas and Ashrams, no suitable female cadre is raised or nurtured for assuming positions of leadership and authority. Though Lord Buddha permitted women in the Buddhist Sanghams, that tradition was neglected by male monks later.

Commodification of women :

Commodification of women is conspicuous in dowry structure, despite its legal ban and culpability. In India, any material including carcass of animals and cow-dung can fetch money but families of even highly qualified, employed and well-educated girls have “to bribe” a prospective bride-groom’s family to take away the girl after marriage!!!. This BG sloka must have prompted Goswami Tulsidas in his “Ramcharitmanas (Story of Rama)”, to write “Dhol, Gawar, Shudra, Pashu, Nari, Sakal Tadan ke Adhikari – Drum, rustic, low-born and women are liable to be beaten, (Sundarakanda). Naturally, hundreds of offenders including women are prosecuted for perpetration of domestic violence on women.

Unscientific contentions :

(g) Significantly, as in the case of Bible – Old Testament, there are a few holy assertions contrary to established scientific truths in BG. The Moon is not producing any light, but this satellite of earth is equated with the Sun in sloka-8 of chapter-7. Sacrificial offers to Gods (Yagna) has been shown as a milch cow (Kamadhenu) of desires (chapter-3, 10-11). But there are no instances of Yagna bringing rains, blocking droughts and predicting or preventing natural calamities. But modern science has devised method of creating rains through cloud seeding. Similar is ill-founded claim of Moon as nourisher of herbs (chapter-15-13).

BG – not the creation of God :

Like all scriptures of semetic religions, concepts in Gita about origin of Universe, Plants, Animals and Humans are conditioned by level of knowledge of the writer and it would be unfair to expect from Gita the latest findings of modern science. But this fact should establish that BG is not creation of an omniscient God Almighty though as a belief, anybody is free to hold such a contention.

Against scientific temper :

Once Gita is made the National Book, many would accept ideals and theories about material world described in this book, as scientific truths and such a tendency is against Article 51A, sub clause H of the Constitution- It shall be the duty of every citizen of India, inter-alia, “To develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of enquiry and reform”.





Demolition of Babri Masjid – violative of BG :

(f) Paradoxically, the demolition of the 16th Century Prayer Hall of Muslims – Babri Masjid – in 1992, by a mob of misguided brigands, was in total violation of a few of the lofty ideals emphasized in BG for followers of Hindu religion, directing all to recognize and accept various forms of worship and pursuits of God. Illustrative slokas are, (i) “To whatever way men identify with Me, in the same way do I carry out their desires; men pursue my path, Oh Partha in all ways”. (chap. 4-11), (ii) “He, who sees Me everywhere and sees all in Me, he never becomes lost to Me, nor do I become lost to him” (chapter-6-30), (iii) “Whatever form any devotee with faith wishes to worship, I make that faith of his steady” (chapter-7-21). Those who celebrate and support the demolition of Babri Masjid,whose existence was not objected by great Hindu saints, who lived in India from date of its construction in 1520s, have no justifiable moral authority or right to ask for elevating BG to the level of the National Book of India.

BG – no motivator of social reforms :

(g) BG and its interpreters like Ramanuja, Madhava, Adi Shankaracharya and Saint Gnaneshwar did not and could not motivate anybody for launching any movement of renaissance or enlightenment in India. No important pioneer of Bhakti movement of 16th Century like Guru Nanak did quote from BG. In ‘Guru Granth Saheb’ – the holy book of Sikhism – utterances of 36 saints, poets and bards including Kabir, Farid, Namdev, Ravidas, Jaydev, Surdas and so on, were included but none from BG.

No inspiration to progressive movements :

(h) The pioneers of modern Indian renaissance like Raja Ram Mohan Roy, the morning star of the movement, whose efforts resulted in removal of many social vices particularly abolition of widow burning (Sati) by Governor General of East India Company, Lord William Bendick in 1830s, also did not utilize BG for creating social awareness among people. Even Mahatma Gandhi, who adored BG as his mother, which would help him to tide over difficulties, had not recommended for making BG, the National Book of India, though Mahatma Gandhi had translated BG and re-christened it as ‘Yoga of detachment’ – Anasakti Yoga. None of the progressive writers like Premchand (Hindi), Mulk Raj Anand (English), Kumaran Ashan (Malayalam) etc. and social reformers like Narayana Guru (Kerala) also did not hold BG in high esteem. Dr. D. D. Kosambi wrote that BG had 700 fratricidal slokas.

BG against violation of law :

(i) Union Government would be violating instruction of Lord Krishna in sloka-24 of chapter-16, which directs all thus “Therefore, let the law/scriptures be your authority in deciding what ought to be done and what ought not to be done. Having known what is said in the ordinance of the scriptures/law, you should act here”. The letter, spirit and ethos of the basic law of the nation, the Constitution, is against giving any official rank to any religious scriptures. Such an act would be detrimental and hurtful to both the European perspective of secularism (Total separation of religion and the State) and Indian secular view of equal respect to all religions – Sarva Dharma Samabhava.

Freedom of choice in BG :

(j) One of the uniquely magnanimous and progressive aspects of BG is the total freedom given to readers and followers by Lord Krishna to accept or reject whatever he had explained in this holy book. Sloka-63 of chapter-18 is unambiguous “Thus has wisdom more profound than all profundities been declared to you by Me. Reflect upon it fully and act as you choose”. Such a freedom of choice is not given to followers of any of the Semitic religions. In this context, one can be apprehensive that, the elevated position of Gita as National Book could be misused by interested parties by selectively quoting slokas out of context, even by-passing the tone and thrust of above sloka.



Demands for status to other scriptures :

(k) Making BG as National Book could open a Pandora’s box of demands for granting some distinctive rank to other scriptures in Muslim majority State of Jammu & Kashmir for the Holy Quran, for Bible in Nagaland and Mizoram by Christian sections and for Guru Granth Saheb by Sikhs in the State of Punjab.

Religion – a personal matter :

(l) Liberty to choose any religion or part or full text of any scripture should be left to individuals. The government should not meddle in this matter. There are many Hindus who may not accept BG but still claim to be practicing Hindus.

The Constitution of India has the pith and substance of all religions:

(m) The conceptual base of our Constitution had absorbed and internalized the quintessential kernel of 11 major religions of the world – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confusianism, Shintoism, Zorastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam, reflected thus “Speak truth and act righteously, do not do anything to others which you do not want to be done to you” – Satyam Vada, Dharmam Chara; Atmana Pratikoolani Paresham na Samacharat. The Preamble, the Fundamental Rights, and the Directive Principles of State Policy of our Constitution, reaffirm the above philosophy. So, the ideal stand of the Union government in this matter should be to treat the Constitution of India as the National Book of Indian State, formally or informally.

BG – an energizer :

3. I would like to proudly submit that some exhortations in BG energisingly empowered me to boldly overcome obstacles created by unscrupulous seniors from political and administrative executive, in enforcing the rule of law, in my 36 years of police service. Two such slokas are (1) “Yield not, Oh Partha, to feebleness. It does not befit you. Cast off this petty faint-heartedness. Wake up, Oh vanquisher of foes!” (chapter-2, sloka-3), (2) “Treating alike pain and pleasure, gain and loss, victory and defeat, engage yourself in the battle. Thus, you will incur no sin” (chapter-2, sloka-38). For me, “the battle” mentioned here was my dharma of performing charter of duties as per law.

Proposal is against Rigveda :

4. Further, the move of the government would go against the spirit of one of the most ennobling shuktas of Rigveda ((I/89-1) “Let noble thoughts come to us from everywhere” (Aano Bhadrah ritava yantu viswathaha). In short, through the proposed act, the government is deleteriously undermining the historically evolved and time-tested ideals of modernism, creativity, democracy, diversity, secularism and scientific temper, scrupulously pursued by founders and makers of Indian Republic – Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Subhash Chandra Bose nd so on.

Disapproval by a leading writer :

5. In an article, captioned “Dangerous Dogma – an official ‘National Book’ cachet emasculate the Bhagvad Gita’s uniqueness”, the leading writer and journalist, Dilip Padagonkar in Times of India, dtd. December 13, 2014, concluded his article with the following words :

“So, the move to decree the Gita as a ‘National Book’ not only transgresses the letter and spirit of the Constitution but it also runs counter to what holds India together - a refusal of One Book, One Culture, One Language, One Leader. These have been the talismans of authoritarian and totalitarian regimes throughout history – and the legacy, as cruel irony would have it of East India Company”.

6. Giving an official status to a religious book by a secular State would also adversely affect the exclusive and distinctive identity of BG, enunciating a set of philosophical concepts and faith-oriented assertions and affirmations. So, the proposal is equally detrimental to both the Constitution of India and Bhagvad Gita.

7. In the light of the above, I humbly request for your kind intervention in this matter and move for rescinding the proposal to proclaim BG as the National Book of India.

With prayers to God almighty for success in all your innovative projects for our mother land.

Thanking you, Sir.

Yours faithfully,



( R. B. Sreekumar)


























Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Legal Notice to Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi and Times Now T.V. Channel

Dated: 29.04.2014

To,
1. Smt. Meenakshi Lekhi,
    National Spokes Person (BJP),
    11, Asoka Road,
    New Delhi-110001
2. Publisher,
    Times Now T.V. Channel,
    Times Centre, FC-6, 2nd Floor, 
    Film City, Noida Sector-16 A, 
    Noida – 201301

Legal Notice

Under the instruction and on behalf of Sh. R.B. Sreekumar S/o Late R. Bhaskaren Nair, R/o Plot No. 193, “Sreelekshmideepam” Sector – 8, Gandhinagar – 382008 Gujarat (hereinafter mentioned as “our client”) the following notice is served upon you for necessary action:
1.            That our client is a retired IPS officer belonging to Gujarat cadre. Our client retired as Director General of Police, Gujarat on 28th February 2007. He is a Post Graduate in four subjects, is a recipient of President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 1990 and President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1998. The authorities ensure before decoration that the person deserves and is free from adverse comments/noting in the service records. Our client is awarded eight times for his services to the society and is well respected in the society.
2.            That our client joined All India Services on 30-07-1971. Our client had served Central and State Government’s police/intelligence services distinguishably without any blemish.
3.            That addressee no. 1 is the spokesperson of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and addressee no. 2 is a publisher and owner of the television channel “Times Now”    
4.            That addressee no. 1 in order to defame our client had organized a press conference on 07.11.2013 and same was aired by addressee no. 2 without verification. Our client tried to defend himself in his televised discussion on 8.11.2013
5.            That addressee no. 1 in the said press conference on 7.11.2013 knowingly made a false statement that our client framed a false case against Mr. Nambi Narayanan of ISRO and had torpedoed the space programme of India. Addressee No.1 had also made disparaging comments against our client. The same was freely available on “you tube”. The addressee no. 1 reiterated the same in her press statement dated 12.11.2013. In the said press statement addressee no. 1 had called our client “a corrupt police officer” and also falsely mentioned that our client was charge sheeted by UPA government, contrary to facts. These were done to tarnish the reputation and image of our client.
6.            That addressee no.1 falsely stated that our client “fabricated an espionage case” whereas Kerala Police had registered the cases. Our client had nothing to do with the registration of these cases and their investigation. This was done purposely to destroy the reputation and image of our client.
7.            That the above false imputation by addressee no. 1 had seriously harmed the reputation and defamed our client. The same has caused severe mental agony and anguish to our client who retired as DGP of Gujarat as a decorated civil servant. The gist of the facts is as follows:
A.     In the year 1994 our client was posted at Trivandrum, Kerala as Dy. Director, Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau. At that time Kerala Police, Trivandrum registered two cases namely, FIR No225/1994 dated 20.10.1994 and FIR No.246/1994 dated 14.11.1994 u/s 14 of Foreigners Act’46 &3, 4 of Official Secrets Act’23 r/w34 of IPC.
B.     Under instructions and with the knowledge of Joint Director –Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Trivandrum, our client and other officials of Intelligence Bureau (IB)assisted in the interrogation of the accused persons arrested in the case by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to investigate the said case under the leadership of Shri. Sibi Mahews, DIG of Police, Kerala Police. Our client submitted the gist of interrogation to Jt. Director, SIB. This was done at the interest of national security and integrity.
C.     Subsequently the above cases were transferred to CBI for further investigation. CBI refused to accept the assistance of SIB or IB during their investigation. At the end of investigation CBI proposed departmental action against the officials of Kerala Police, officials of SIB including our client and officials of IB. However Kerala Government refused to initiate any departmental action against its officers who investigated the above cases.
D.     But the Union Government under the aegis of Sh. Atal Bihari Vajpayee of BJP issued a charge sheet dated 17.11.1999 seeking the explanation of 8 IB officials and our client. Our client submitted his explanation dated 28.08.2000.
E.      The Union Government did not take any further action.
F.      The Gujarat Government of BJP granted promotions to our client.
G.     In 2002 Gujarat riots happened. At that time our client was posted as Addl DGP (Intelligence) at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
H.     In 2004, when the Union Government of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power, the Union Government decided to pursue two charges out of the nine articles of charge mentioned in the charge sheet given to our client in 1999 by the NDA government. A regular oral enquiry was conducted. As charges were not proved in the enquiry, the Union Government accepted the Inquiry report and decided to drop further action against our client. The same was communicated to our client vide order dated 24.01.2005.
I.        Our client submitted a total of 9 affidavits to Justice Nanavati Commission constituted to enquire about Gujarat riots. Angered by the truth mentioned in the affidavits of our client filed subsequent to riots, the Gujarat Government of BJP started persecuting our client in many ways.  On 18th September 2002 our client was posted as Addl.DGP (Police Reforms) without any charter of duties. In February, 2005 our client was superseded in promotion to the rank of DGP without any valid reason. Our client challenged this supersession before Gujarat High Court who was pleased to quash the unfair supersession.
J.       Our client retired from the service on 28th February 2007. But the persecution by the Gujarat Government of BJP continued. Our client was denied pension benefit for approximately two years and continues to use our client against his wishes, as an instrument to fight against the UPA government at the Centre, by misrepresentation of facts.
8.            Our client was served with a charge sheet by the State Government in September 2005. Our client challenged the fallacy of the said charge sheet before the Central Administrative Tribunal, Ahmedabad, who struck down the said charges against him. The Government had appealed to the High Court of Gujarat  which is pending as appeal no.SCA-4150/2008. The next date of hearing the appeal is fixed for 13-06-2014.
9.            That the defamatory statements made by addressee no. 1 and telecast by addressee no. 2, knowing the same to be false, has not only harmed the reputation of our client before the society but has also caused irreparable loss to his image before his peers in the society and same has caused mental agony to our Client.
10.        That the false statements made by addressee no. and telecast by addressee no. 2 is slanderous and defamatory and with a view to bring down the reputation of our client in the eyes of the society.
11.        That the mental pain and agony caused to our client by your malicious actions cannot be quantified in terms of money and our client has decided to claim a token compensation of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh Only) as damages for the misdeeds committed by the addresses against our Client. All the addressees are jointly and severally liable to pay above mentioned damages to our Client.
By way of this Legal Notice we thereby call upon you all to telecast an unconditional apology for the defamatory and slanderous material used against our client, within 15 days from the date of receipt of this notice. You are also required to pay a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh Only) towards token damages for the mental pain and agony caused to our Client due to your actions and for lowering the reputation of our Client failing which we have definite instructions from our client to take necessary action against you and in that event you shall also be liable for all costs and consequences resulting there from. You are also liable to pay Rs. 11,000/- towards cost of this notice.

Copy retained for further action.

Yours truly,


O. Tee. & Company
Advocates



Tuesday, 11 March 2014

2014-01-27 An appeal to direct Indian Army Authorities to submit report on operational duties performed by Army in Gujarat State during 2002

R.B. SREEKUMAR IPS (Retd)
Former DGP, Gujarat
“ Sreelekshmideepam”
Plot No 193, Sector-8,
Gandhinagar-382007
Gujarat
www. harmonynotes.in
Tel ® 079-23247876
(M) 09428016117
Letter No.21/2013-MOD-RIOTS

Dated 27/01/2014

Sub:            An appeal to direct CPMF Authorities and MHA to submit reports on operational duties performed by them in Gujarat State during 2002 communal riots to probe bodies.

 

 

Respected Sir,

 

                   I belonged to 1971 batch of Indian Police Service (IPS) of Gujarat State cadre. I retired from service on 28 February 2007 in the rank of Director General of Police(DGP). Since my retirement, I am residing in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and providing free legal aid to victims of 2002 communal violence and those affected by human rights violations, as a lawyer.


2)                            I was Additional DGP ( Intelligence ) – ADGP(Int), in charge of the State Intelligence Branch(SIB) of Gujarat state from 9 April 2002 to 18 September 2002. I had submitted nine affidavits(660 pages) to Justice Nanavati Commission (JNC) and the Apex Court constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Dr. RK Raghavan, former Director, CBI----four while in service and five after retirement. In these affidavits, I had presented substantial and solid evidence on the background, course and aftermath of 2002 communal violence in Gujarat. The data/evidence in my affidavits have comprehensively brought out,(1) the culpable role of the political and administrative bureaucracy and police, in Gujarat, in planning , organizing, mobilizing, facilitating , abetting and perpetration of anti-minority mass violence in 2002; (2) the subversion, manipulation and enfeeblement of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) of Gujarat State, to deny, delay and derail justice delivery to  riot victims and also about;(3) the extra judicial killings (fake encounters) of 17 people by Gujarat Police, from Oct.2002 to April- 2007.

3)                The State Govt and accused persons in riot cases could not prove any part of evidence presented by me as false. The riot victim survivors and NGOs like Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP) had extensively utilized materials in my affidavits in their litigations to prove the guilt of the Chief Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders and Govt. officials in the communal violence. Some of these cases are pending in the courts. Thanks to the close monitoring of  riot-related cases by many of us, 116 rioters, including a former Gujarat State Minister had been convicted by courts, with life imprisonment and it is an unprecedented achievement in the history of prosecution of offenders responsible for anti-muslim violence in India, since 1947.

4)      The state Govt. had appointed a Judicial Commission, Justice Nanavati Commission(JNC)-to probe into multifarious aspects of 2002  anti-minority carnage in Gujarat, in March 2002. The copies of two Notifications by the state Legal Dept(1) Dated 6th March 2002 and (2) Dated 20 July 2004, delineating terms of  reference of probe by the JNC and  Notification by the JNC dated 5th August 2004 “inviting persons acquainted with the subject matter of the enquiry to provide information on matters in the terms of reference to the JNC” are appended as Annexure – A,B, and C, respectively.

5)                The riot victim survivors since 2010 had, repeatedly, complained to me about failure of the JNC and the SIT in getting evidence from Central Para Military Forces(CPMF), under the Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA), Govt. of  India, deployed in Gujarat during 2002 riots, for assisting Civil and Police authorities in maintenance of law and order. I had submitted representation/affidavit, to the JNC and the SIT in this matter. The copy of this affidavit is appended as Annexure-D, for your kind perusal.

6)                Reportedly, whenever and wherever CPMF are deployed, in aid to state authorities, under provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code(CRPC), the supervisory officers scrupulously comply with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and do maintain documents, prescribed registers and records about (1) instructions and guidance received from the state authorities, mainly from officers in the departments of Executive Magistracy and State Police, on public order duties; (2) the area-specific and incident-specific procedure adopted by CPMF officers in their operations;(3) impact of their action towards normalization of situation;(4) details of commendable work and deviant acts, if any , committed by Civil and Police authorities and CPMF functionaries and so on. Periodical mandatory reports about work done in cooperation and collaboration with the state authorities are sent to respective CPMF Head Quarters and MHA. These reports are quite relevant to the terms of reference to the JNC, as narrated in the enclosed Annexures-A, B, and  C and cases investigated by the SIT. It is really quite imperative for the probe bodies to get and assess this germane evidence for deciding on the quality and merit in the action taken by state Govt. functionaries, in their public order duties, in the perspective of the Rule of law.

7)      It is learnt that CPMF officers deployed in Gujarat during 2002 riots, had submitted comprehensive reports to their higher authorities and MHA about the operations done by them, the policy, strategy, tactics and ground level methodology adopted by  the state authorities, particularly,  police and executive magistracy, in the course of their duties for containing communal riots.

8)      Unfortunately, despite my specific representations to the JNC and the SIT, in my sixth affidavit dated 03 September 2010, (enclosed as annexure-D) for obtaining relevant evidence from CPMF authorities, relating to 2002 riots, both the JNC  and the SIT had neither procured documents and reports from CPMF Head Quarters and MHA, nor the depositions of the relevant officers and personnel, who assisted Gujarat Police in normalization of public order, were obtained, so far. The JNC is yet to submit its report on all terms of reference by the state Govt. Similarly, the final Judicial verdict on SIT investigation on riot cases and complaint against the Chief Minister Narendra Modi by Smt. Zakia Jafri and Smt. Teesta Setalvad, is still awaited.

9)      The Union Govt. as per stipulations in the Article 355 of the Constitution  of India, is duty-bound “ to protect every state against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the Govt. of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.” The thrust, tone and tenor of the Gujarat state Govt. Notifications (Annexure-A and B) and the Notification by the JNC ( Annexure –C) expected that all state and central Govt. functionaries should submit proper evidence, regarding riots, in the form of documents, records and self–generated affidavits. But this vital and imperative statutory duty is not yet done by MHA and the concerned officers, who performed law and order duties during 2002 Gujarat riots, after their deployment, on requisition by the state Govt.

10)    Moreover, in the individual capacity also CPMF officers are bound to provide relevant data and input to probe bodies like the JNC and the SIT, as per the Article 51A of the Constitution of India, which decreed thus “ It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions”. Further, the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 guarantees blanket protection to all who provides truthful evidence “relevant to subject matter of the inquiry” to the Commission, as per section-6 of this Act. Therefore CPMF authorities would be committing serious dereliction of duty by not providing evidence to probe bodies on their performance of duties relating to maintenance of public order, during 2002 protracted communal riots in Gujarat.


11) The riot victim survivors and human rights activists often lamented that the state Govt. officials were forced to submit affidavits to the JNC and evidence to the SIT, as dictated, prepared, and tutored by state Govt. and its advocates. There is an instance( in 2004) of a senior officer-ADGP serving as ADGP (Intelligence), being intimidated and pressurized by state Home department officers and a Govt. advocate, to depose in favour of the state Govt. before the JNC (audio tape is available). Significantly, except three Senior IPS officers, no state Govt. functionary has come out with any incriminating evidence about numerous acts of omission and commission by the political and administrative executive and police officers and their delinquent acts  had only facilitated anti-muslim genocide, enabling communal brigands to commit many gruesome crimes during communal disturbances, in 11 out of 30 police- administrative units in Gujarat.

12)    So,  devoid of evidence from MHA and CPMF authorities, who were deployed in Gujarat during riots, for assisting state Govt., the probe bodies, the Judiciary, the Media and the final and basic sovereigns of the Nation “ We the people”, would not know about the actual truth behind the occurrence of high voltage violence in one-third area of Gujarat state in 2002, enfeeblement of the CJS, sub-standard justice delivery to riot-affected and related matters.


13)    In view of the above facts, I humbly request you for your kind personal intervention, for making CPMF authorities to provide, to probe bodies, (the JNC and the SIT), relevant and valid evidence and information about the prolonged communal riots in Gujarat in 2002  and thereby energize and strengthen the foundations of the Rule of law and fundamental ideals of the Constitution of India. The responsible CPMF officers, may kindly be directed to depose before the JNC and the SIT about their role during riots in Gujarat.

14)              The Heads of CPMF and MHA may please be directed to submit copies of all reports and extracts of registers and records relating to Gujarat riots in their possession, especially, situation reports received from  field officers about operational duties performed by CPMF as part of  their functions towards assistance to state police officers, during 2002  internal security crisis connected to communal riots in Gujarat.

15)              I humbly request you to favour me with a reply on the follow up action by MHA on this representation by me.


Thanking you.

To,

Respected Shri Sushil Kumar Shindeji,                                       Yours Faithfully
Hon’ble Union Minister,                                         
Ministry of Home Affiars,
North Block,                                                       
New Delhi-110001             
                                                                                                    (R.B. Sreekumar)
                                 


Copy with compliments to,
Respected Dr. Shrimati Kamalaji,
Her Excellency, The Governor of Gujarat,
Raj Bhavan, Gandhinagar-382020
With prayers for kind attention and initiating necessary action.


2014-01-27 An appeal to direct Indian Army Authorities to submit report on operational duties performed by Army in Gujarat State during 2002

R.B. SREEKUMAR IPS (Retd)
Former DGP, Gujarat
“ Sreelekshmideepam”
Plot No 193, Sector-8,
Gandhinagar-382007
Gujarat
www. harmonynotes.in
Tel ® 079-23247876
(M) 09428016117
Letter No.21/2013-MOD-RIOTS

Dated 27/01/2014

Sub:            An appeal to direct Indian Army Authorities to submit report on operational duties performed by Army in Gujarat State during 2002 communal riots to probe bodies.

 

 

Respected Sir,

 

                   I belonged to 1971 batch of Indian Police Service (IPS) of Gujarat State cadre. I retired from service on 28 February 2007 in the rank of Director General of Police(DGP). Since my retirement, I am residing in Gandhinagar, Gujarat and providing free legal aid to victims of 2002 communal violence and those affected by human rights violations, as a lawyer.


2)                            I was Additional DGP ( Intelligence ) – ADGP(Int), in charge of the State Intelligence Branch(SIB) of Gujarat state from 9 April 2002 to 18 September 2002. I had submitted nine affidavits(660 pages) to Justice Nanavati Commission (JNC) and the Apex Court constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Dr. RK Raghavan, former Director, CBI----four while in service and five after retirement. In these affidavits, I had presented substantial and solid evidence on the background, course and aftermath of 2002 communal violence in Gujarat. The data/evidence in my affidavits have comprehensively brought out,(1) the culpable role of the political and administrative bureaucracy and police, in Gujarat, in planning , organizing, mobilizing, facilitating , abetting and perpetration of anti-minority mass violence in 2002; (2) the subversion, manipulation and enfeeblement of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) of Gujarat State, to deny, delay and derail justice delivery to  riot victims and also about;(3) the extra judicial killings (fake encounters) of 17 people by Gujarat Police, from Oct.2002 to April- 2007.

3)                The State Govt and accused persons in riot cases could not prove any part of evidence presented by me as false. The riot victim survivors and NGOs like Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP) had extensively utilized materials in my affidavits in their litigations to prove the guilt of the Chief Minister Narendra Modi, senior BJP and Sangh Parivar leaders and Govt. officials in the communal violence. Some of these cases are pending in the courts. Thanks to the close monitoring of  riot-related cases by many of us, 116 rioters, including a former Gujarat State Minister had been convicted by courts, with life imprisonment and it is an unprecedented achievement in the history of prosecution of offenders responsible for anti-muslim violence in India, since 1947.

4)      The state Govt. had appointed a Judicial Commission, Justice Nanavati Commission(JNC)-to probe into multifarious aspects of 2002  anti-minority carnage in Gujarat, in March 2002. The copies of two Notifications by the state Legal Dept(1) Dated 6th March 2002 and (2) Dated 20 July 2004, delineating terms of  reference of probe by the JNC and  Notification by the JNC dated 5th August 2004 “inviting persons acquainted with the subject matter of the enquiry to provide information on matters in the terms of reference to the JNC” are appended as Annexure – A,B, and C, respectively.

5)                The riot victim survivors since 2010 had, repeatedly, complained to me about failure of the JNC and the SIT in getting evidence from Armed Forces, under the Ministry of Defence, (MOD) Govt. of  India, deployed in Gujarat during 2002 riots, for assisting Civil and Police authorities in maintenance of law and order. I had submitted representation/affidavit, to the JNC and the SIT in this matter. The copy of this affidavit is appended as Annexure-D, for your kind perusal.

6)                Reportedly, whenever and wherever Armed Forces are deployed, in aid to state authorities under sections 130, 131 and 132 of the Criminal Procedure Code(CRPC), the supervisory military officers scrupulously comply with the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and do maintain documents, prescribed registers and records about (1) instructions and guidance received from the state authorities, mainly from officers in the departments of Executive Magistracy and State Police, on public order duties; (2) the area-specific and incident-specific procedure adopted by Armed Forces in their operations;(3) impact of Army action towards normalization of situation;(4) details of commendable work and deviant acts, if any , committed by Civil and Police authorities and Armed Forces and so on. Periodical mandatory reports about work done in cooperation and collaboration with the state authorities are sent to Army  Head Quarters and MOD. These reports are quite relevant to the terms of reference to the JNC, as narrated in the enclosed Annexures-A, B, and  C and cases investigated by the SIT. It is really quite imperative for the probe bodies to get and assess this germane evidence for deciding on the quality and merit in the action taken by state Govt. functionaries, in their public order duties, in the perspective of the Rule of law.

7)      It is learnt that Major General  Zahiruddin Shah, now Vice- Chancellor of Aligarh Muslim University,(a relative of the famous actor Nassaruddin Shah), who was in charge of Army Units deployed in Gujarat during 2002 riots, had submitted comprehensive reports to his higher authorities and MOD about the operations done by Army, the policy, strategy, tactics and  ground level methodology adopted by  the state authorities, particularly,  police and executive magistracy, in the course of their duties for containing communal riots.

8)      Unfortunately, despite my specific representations to the JNC and the SIT, in my sixth affidavit dated 03 September 2010, (enclosed as annexure-D) for obtaining relevant evidence from Army authorities, relating to 2002 riots, both the JNC  and the SIT had neither procured documents and reports from Army Head Quarters and MOD, nor the depositions of the relevant officers and personnel, who assisted Gujarat Police in normalization of public order, were obtained, so far. The JNC is yet to submit its report on all terms of reference by the state Govt. Similarly, the final Judicial verdict on SIT investigation on riot cases and complaint against the Chief Minister Narendra Modi by Smt. Zakia Jafri and Smt. Teesta Setalvad, is still awaited.

9)      The Union Govt. as per stipulations in the Article 355 of the Constitution  of India, is duty-bound “ to protect every state against external aggression and internal disturbance and to ensure that the Govt. of every state is carried on in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.” The thrust, tone and tenor of the Gujarat state Govt. Notifications (Annexure-A and B) and the Notification by the JNC ( Annexure –C) expected that all state and central Govt. functionaries should submit proper evidence, regarding riots, in the form of documents, records and self–generated affidavits. But this vital and imperative statutory duty is not yet done by MOD and the concerned Army officers, who performed law and order duties during 2002 Gujarat riots, after their deployment, on requisition by the state Govt.

10)    Moreover, in the individual capacity also Army officers are bound to provide relevant data and input to probe bodies like the JNC and the SIT, as per the Article 51A of the Constitution of India, which decreed thus “ It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions”. Further, the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 guarantees blanket protection to all who provides truthful evidence “relevant to subject matter of the inquiry” to the Commission, as per section-6 of this Act. Therefore Army authorities would be committing serious dereliction of duty by not providing evidence to probe bodies on their performance of duties relating to maintenance of public order, during 2002 protracted communal riots in Gujarat.


11) The riot victim survivors and human rights activists often lamented that the state Govt. officials were forced to submit affidavits to the JNC and evidence to the SIT, as dictated, prepared, and tutored by state Govt. and its advocates. There is an instance( in 2004) of a senior officer-ADGP serving as ADGP (Intelligence), being intimidated and pressurized by state Home department officers and a Govt. advocate, to depose in favour of the state Govt. before the JNC (audio tape is available). Significantly, except three Senior IPS officers, no state Govt. functionary has come out with any incriminating evidence about numerous acts of omission and commission by the political and administrative executive and police officers and their delinquent acts  had only facilitated anti-muslim genocide, enabling communal brigands to commit many gruesome crimes during communal disturbances, in 11 out of 30 police- administrative units in Gujarat.

12)    So,  devoid of evidence from MOD and Army authorities, who were deployed in Gujarat during riots, for assisting state Govt., the probe bodies, the Judiciary, the Media and the final and basic sovereigns of the Nation “ We the people”, would not know about the actual truth behind the occurrence of high voltage violence in one-third area of Gujarat state in 2002, enfeeblement of the CJS, sub-standard justice delivery to riot-affected and related matters.


13)    In view of the above facts, I humbly request you for your kind personal intervention, for making Army authorities to provide, to probe bodies, (the JNC and the SIT), relevant and valid evidence and information about the prolonged communal riots in Gujarat in 2002  and thereby energize and strengthen the foundations of the Rule of law and fundamental ideals of the Constitution of India. The responsible Army officers, particularly, Major General Zahiruddin Shah, may kindly be directed to depose before the JNC and the SIT about their role during riots in Gujarat.

14)              The Army Head Quarters and MOD may please be directed to submit copies of all reports and extracts of registers and records relating to Gujarat riots in their possession, especially, situation reports received from  field officers about operational duties performed by Army as part of  its functions towards “aid to civil authorities”  during 2002  internal security crisis connected to communal riots in Gujarat.

15)              I humbly request you to favour me with a reply on the follow up action by MOD on this representation by me.


Thanking you.

To,

Respected Shri A.K. Antonyji,                                                        Yours Faithfully
Hon’ble Union Minister,                          
Ministry of Defence,                                           
104 South Block,                                                              New Delhi-110001                                                                                                                                                             (R.B. Sreekumar)
                                       


Copy with compliments to,
Respected Dr. Shrimati Kamalaji,
Her Excellency, The Governor of Gujarat,
Raj Bhavan, Gandhinagar-382020
With prayers for kind attention and initiating necessary action.