New Delhi: Eminent law expert and Director of South Asia Human Rights Documentation, Mr. Ravi Nair has strongly criticized the Central Government for its callous approach over the case of missing Bihar engineer Fasih Mahmood.
Fasih was reportedly detained by Saudi police from his home in Al Jubail on 13th May 2012 in the presence of his wife on the request of Indian Government but his whereabouts is still unknown. The Central Government has told Supreme Court – only after his wife Nikhat Parween approached the apex court -- that the man is not in the custody of Indian agencies and he may be in Saudi Arabia.
Mr. Nair said India has not shown as much seriousness as the case demanded. He asked as to what steps India has taken in this regard. “In the case of Fasih Mahmood who is supposed to be held in Saudi Arabia as the Indian Government indicated to the Supreme Court, if you say he is not in your custody and you feel he is still in Saudi custody, then what steps have you taken for his recovery,” asked Mr. Nair.
“You should have taken a demarche meaning a diplomatic note of protest to the Saudi government. But you have not done it so far. If the demarche had not worked, then you should have recalled immediately your ambassador for consultation as a mark of protest. Again, you have not done it,” said Mr. Nair while addressing pressmen at Press Club of India on 13th June. The press conference was called by All India Milli Council over the illegal detention, arrest, disappearance of Muslim boys in the name of terrorism.
“Fasih Mahmood is a citizen of India. He holds Indian Passport. It is the duty of the Republic of India to protect him,” Mr. Nair further said.
He also expressed concern over the murder of Mohammad Qateel Siddiqui in Pune jail on 8th June 2012 and the cold attitude of the state and central government and statutory bodies on this issue.
“Qateel’s death in judicial custody is of great concern. It is of concern because there is an attempt to make an abnormal normal. The kind of response that one should have seen from Maharashtra government, Central Government meaning Union Home Ministry and statutory bodies like National Human Rights Commission, Maharashtra Human Rights Commission and National Minorities Commission, has not come. It seems that all of them have gone to sleep. Or there is some kind of conspiracy in the silence,” said Mr. Nair.
This is not first case of custodial death. We have seen a large number of others in J&K, in North East and in Punjab. In recent time, in June 2006 there was the death of Mohammad Shakeel. The police first said he died by hanging, but only after judicial magistrate ordered post mortem, it was revealed he was poisoned, said Mr. Nair.
The fact is the State is creating an atmosphere of lawlessness through UAPA which allows police to hold people in custody even without charge sheet for 90 days or even 180 days, he said.
Over no compensation to the family of Qateel, he said: “We should follow the Australian example when the country paid three-quarters of one million dollar to Dr Haneef for illegal custody of 24 days. We want not dollars, just three-quarters of Indian Rupee.”
On accountability of intelligence agencies, he said: “Today there is a climate of fear and suspicion against minorities particularly Muslims. The biggest culprit is intelligence agencies. You cannot find a democratic country where intelligence agencies have no accountability. Indian Parliament has no oversight on them. There is no control of CAG either. CAG can audit everything even Defence and security agencies then why not intelligence agencies. What is so secret and sacrosanct about Intelligence Bureau?”
“I believe it is not a question of Muslims or minority rights. Today it is young Muslim boys, tomorrow it will be others. If we do not stand up today, we will not remain a republic, we will be a banana republic,” concluded Mr. Nair
India should have recalled envoy from Saudi Arabia as protest: Ravi Nair | TwoCircles.net