In the backdrop of an increasingly contested terror narrative played out our investigating agencies’ latest mea culpa. Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, a reporter with Deccan Herald in Bangalore, was arrested surreptitiously on August 29, 2012, with four of his roommates, on the belief that they were out to kill Karnataka’s Hindutva leaders. He was freed on February 25 after the police failed to find anything incriminating. His release comes days after another series of blasts in Hyderabad, a city where many innocent Muslims were picked up after the Mecca Masjid blasts and held for several months before being absolved. Siddiqui is the third journalist to be arrested in recent memory on suspicion of criminal involvement. The others, Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi and Jigna Vora, are both out on bail. Debarshi Dasgupta spoke to Siddiqui, who was readying to leave for his home in Hubli a free man.
At your press conference after you were released, you used the phrase “fortunately or unfortunately, I was arrested”. What exactly has been fortunate about this whole episode?
I think it’s fortunate because the media has rectified its attitude and practice of describing me routinely as the mastermind of a terror plot. There are other Muslims, who were arrested on mere suspicion and continue to languish in jail today. They have not got justice. Fortunately, justice has been served in my case. I hope the others who were arrested along with me are also released without any charges and that the media will support them the way it has supported me after my release.
What has offended you the most about the media’s coverage of your arrest?
The baseless coverage that was simply attributed to anonymous police sources—in particular, one that claimed I was the mastermind. That it was me who was in the lead; who had identified the targets, brainwashed the other guys and ordered them into jehad. I am a media professional and can understand the compulsions of a newsroom, but in the pursuit of rating points we should not assassinate the character of a person and community.
What could have been done to make the reporting fairer?
The police had arrested some people. All the media had to do was to be objective. There were so many contradictions in the FIR, but nobody applied their brains to solve them. There was no attempt at being accurate. They presumed that all the given facts were correct and the story was entirely plausible. The police’s version isn’t the gospel truth.
Why do you think you were picked up?
Well, there certainly is an institutional bias against Muslims, Dalits and the poor. That was one of the factors. What exactly was the trigger? The police should explain.
You had suggested ‘Media coverage of terrorism suspects’ as a subject for your postgraduate diploma thesis—it’s something that was struck down by your professor as “risky”. Do you plan to revisit this?
Right now, I am not thinking about my career or future. I will get back to journalism for sure but I want to relax and spend some time with my family first. I want to enjoy my freedom.
"Is there a grand conspiracy among the country’s intelligence and police agencies to demonise the Muslim community and Islam as many allege? Or is it that when police of different States single out Muslims for different treatment, their conduct should be treated as unconnected random acts based on prejudice?" - Jyoti Punwani.
'How sad the Police forces World over are are arresting innocent Muslims labeling them as Jehadi Terrorist .Not only Western countries but even Islamic States are themselves also arresting only Muslimsand Muslims at random labeling them Terrorists examples are Pakistan,Bangladesh ,Saudi Arabia,Iraq,Afghanistan,Russia,China ,Iran,far Eastern countries etc .Buddhists are burning Muslims' shops in Burma and Sri Lanka etc.Even tinni Maldive is only arresting Muslims at random.
Even Congress who is winning with Vote Bank Politics in India all its States ruled by Congress are arresting Muslims .
All above Zoolms on Muslims are excused but 2002 Riots of Gujarat are different because Media and NGOs as keeping hot Gujarat is the highly rewarding Industry paying heavily Petro Dollars .
This is a very dangerous plot to soften up India before the onslaught of Islamic -Terror Jihadi tidal waves originating from Af-Pak Axis after 2014 hit India with declared and well publicised motive to Islamisize the Kaffir India . This is what Osma desired but died before his cherished wish was fullfiled .LeT-ISI-IM-Huji-Deendars and thousands of of Lashkar Groups are looking forward to withdrawal of USA from Af-PakLashkars when the Golden age will dawn on Kaffir India.
Remember Fai who was spreading ISI money among the Indian Think tanks and certain Media Groups .How many Fais more are will not be known .Fai was exposed by USA but GOI will never do so. Vote ka mamla hein ! Otherwise too our Govt is madly trying to locate the Terror Camps being Hindu right organisations like BJP .RSS etc .
We have a few on this site who Question the acquittal of so many blokes who were named as terrorists or abettors in the blasts.
Yes the Cops have no business going after innocents and destroying there lifes for good,this is no way these violators of human rights can be allowed to get away with murder.
Just because they are incompetent they cannot be absolved of the actions which amounts to violation of basic Human Rights of that poor bloke.
Now why is that they(cops) only get youth of a particular community to be accused,unless the Supreme Court passes strong indictments of those Cops for violating Human Rights of innocents ,things arnt going to change.
This is no way you investigate cases terror,shamefull and disgusting that people take sides in this,what is the difference between such arrests and the victims of terror.Nothing
This man is a Muslim. Why is he not just a person? Why is he interacting and why are others interacting to him, in a particular manner? It wouldn't have mattered, if any person had been killed, in a certain situation, and people wouldn't have got killed, as a result. This man, doesn't want property, isn't likely to steal, and the govt. is saying nothing, and yet is important, because this social reality that exists, as a result of a killing. This tells the people a certain idea to themselves. I don't want to interact, rather than be in a situation because of my interaction, which says that the situation is not to anyone's liking, sometimes, and we must like it. Why? because the situation was and will always be irrelevant.
>> You are a Pakistani pretending to be Indian. If you weren't you would be able to relate to the current realities of the police. They are just short handed and incompetent.
Tell it to Mr. Siddiqui! But if in order to make such a simple point you have to call me a Pakistani, you must be retarded. My last post in this thread. Bye!
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