'An Assault On Indian Democracy'

"Although we do not wish to pre-judge any specific complicity in the attack on Prof. Geelani at this stage, we strongly feel that the involvement of the Delhi Police itself, especially its Special Branch, in the crime can not be ruled out"


'An Assault On Indian Democracy'

An open letter to the home minister of India signed by prominent academicians, writers, artists, journalists and social activists.

Shri Shivraj Patil
Hon'ble Minister of Home Affairs
Government of India
New Delhi

9 February, 2005


We consider the murderous attack on Prof. Syed Abdul Geelani, a teacher of Arabic in Zakir Hussain College, Delhi University, on 8 February, 2005, an assault on Indian democracy itself. Prof. Geelani's life has always been in danger ever since he was falsely implicated in the Parliament attack case and was subsequently acquitted of all charges by the High Court in Delhi. It is a matter of shame that the law-enforcing system of the country failed to protect an outstanding voice of democracy in India.

Although we do not wish to pre-judge any specific complicity in the attack on Prof. Geelani at this stage, we strongly feel that the involvement of the Delhi Police itself, especially its Special Branch, in the crime can not be ruled out. It is clear by now that this Branch was in the grip of communal-fascist forces during the entire proceedings in the Parliament attack case. As with the other accused in the case, Prof. Geelani was falsely implicated on the basis of forged documents and concocted evidence. He was illegally arrested, brutally tortured and made to sign on blank sheets of paper by the officers of the branch. Attempts were made on his life inside the prison. Per the records submitted by his defence before the Supreme Court of India, he was constantly shadowed by the police throughout the country even after he was honourably acquitted by the High Court.

Despite the torture and danger to his family, Prof. Geelani never submitted to the dictats of the police and, unlike the other accused, refused to sign the forced "confessions" written by the police. After his acquittal, Prof. Geelani has been a prominent voice in defence of democracy and human rights. Following his own bitter experience, he has drawn attention of the country to the abject violation of the rights of prisoners, especially Kashmiri muslims, in the Tihar jail. No wonder his presence has been a thorn in the flesh of cynical power enjoyed by the Special Branch with the undisguised blessings of the erstwhile NDA government in the name of anti-terrorist operations.

With this background, the handling of the present case by the Crime Branch of the same Delhi Police will be a textbook case of conflict of interest. It will only add to the continuing travesty of justice and human rights in the Parliament attack case. Therefore, we appeal to you to:

1. Appoint an independent judicial commission to inquire into the attack on Prof. Geelani to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice

2. Take additional measures to ensure the security of the two other accused in the case, Mohammad Afzal and Shaukat Hussain Guru, currently lodged in the Tihar jail

Also, in continuation with our earlier appeal to the Hon'ble Prime Minister of India (enclosed), we appeal to you to

A. Bring out a white paper on the Parliament attack

B. Institute a high level judicial inquiry into the illegal practices of the Special Branch of the Delhi Police, induding allegations of corruption, violations of fair trial standards and allegations of false encounters

We hope that, with the ouster of the NDA government, the atmosphere of fear and prejudice that engulfed the country during the previous regime will give way to genuine concerns about democratic norms, justice and human rights. We are aware of the promise of the UPA government to "preserve, protect and promote social harmony and to enforce the law without fear or favour to deal with all obscurantist and fundamentalist elements who seek to disturb social amity and peace. " We are encouraged by your own statement in the Parliament that "the main tools of the UPA Government in dealing with terrorism would be dialogue, good governance, social justice, economic growth and the cooperation of the people."


1. Nirmalangshu Mukherji Delhi University
2. Ali Javed Delhi University
3. Vijay Singh Delhi University
4. Gautam Navlakha Journalist
5. Rita Sinha Delhi University
6. Anshuman Singh Delhi University
7. Sachin N. Delhi University
8. Tara Prakash Delhi University
9. Kanika Kwatra Delhi University
10. Radhika Menon Forum for Democratic Initiative
11. Jitendra Kumar Journalist
12. Poonam Srivastava Jawaharlal Nehru University
13. Uma Gupta Delhi University
14. Rashid Ali Journalist
15. Shohini Ghosh Jamia Milia Islamia
16. Madhu Prasad Delhi University
17. M. F. Kumar Delhi University
18. Javed Naqvi Journalist
19. Partho Dutta Delhi University
20. Chetna Jadav Delhi University
21. Svati Joshi Delhi University
22. Kamal Chinoy Jawaharlal Nehru University
23. Manilah Imam Jawaharlal Nehru University
24. Muqbil Ahmar Jawaharlal Nehru University
25. Prabir Purkayastha Delhi Science Forum
26. Rakesh Ranjan Delhi University
27. Anjani Kumar AIPRF
28. Jeevan Vikalp
29. Harish Dhawan PUDR
30. Bhupinder DSU
31. Sanjay Kak Film Maker
32. Upendra Swami Jan Sanskriti Manch
33. Bhasha Singh Jan Sanskriti Manch
34. Berhard D'Mello PUDR
35. Bharati Jagannathan Delhi University
36. Satya Jawaharlal Nehru University
37. Jehnen Delhi University
38. Karika Delhi University
39. Santanu PUDR
40. Reena Teacher
41. Ratneswarnath Ekta Parishad
42. M. I. Mansingh Ahmedabad
43. Nabarun Majumdar Delhi
44. Anil Pershand Jawaharlal Nehru University
45. C.G. Manoj Journalist, PTI
46. Aziz Mehdi Jamia Milia Islamia
47. Shamin Ahmed Jamia Milia Islamia
48. Hasan Mohd. Jamia Milia Islamia
49. Joya John PSU
50. Maya John PSU
51. Shshank Jamia Milia Islamia
52. Iqbal Jamia Milia Islamia
53. Nandita Narain Delhi University
54. Swapnil Gupta Punjab University
55. Ehtasham Ali Jamia Milia Islamia
56. Pushpa Jamia Milia Islamia
57. Abdul Hafiz Jamia Milia Islamia
58. Mohammad Jamia Milia Islamia
59. Iman Jamia Milia Islamia
60. Kaleem Jamia Milia Islamia
61. Abdul Rahim Jamia Milia Islamia
62. Sushil Vikalp
63. Anil AIPRF
64. Rajesh AIPRF
65. Dharmendra AIPRF
66. Shahid Alam Jamia Milia Islamia
67. T.R. Sagar Delhi University
68. Mrityunjay Yadavendra Jamia Milia Islamia
69. Rashmi Paul Delhi University
70. Imran Khan Delhi University
71. Kr. Sanjay Singh Delhi University
72. Sandeep Jawaharlal Nehru University
73. Jitendra Kumar Jawaharlal Nehru University
74. Srikant Jamia Milia Islamia
75. Arundhati Gomes ASK
76. Md. Akbar Ali Delhi University
77. Chandan Kr. Jawaharlal Nehru University
78. Md. Javed Jamia Milia Islamia
79. Deepika Tandon Delhi University
80. Saikat Ghosh Delhi University
81. Rupleena Bose Delhi University
82. Najma Rehmani Delhi University
83. Ish Mishra Delhi University
84. Manizah Delhi University
85. Rahim Delhi University
86. Shanil Delhi University
87. Albeena Shakil Jawaharlal Nehru University
88. Subhanil Choudhury Jawaharlal Nehru University
89. H. M. Imran Jawaharlal Nehru University
90. Sima Kanungo Delhi University
91. S. B. Pandit AISA
92. Imteyaz Ahmed Delhi University
93. Ranjana Saxena Delhi University
94. Satyadeep PUDR
95. Rona Wilson SPDPR
96. Kundan Kr. Eastwinds
97. Anjana Kumari DSU
98. Javed Malik Delhi University
99. Neeraj Malik Delhi University
100. Anumendra Singh Lawyer

(and 49 others)
Go to the South Asia Citizens Web