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13th December Parliament Attacks | Media Case Study
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13th December Parliament Attacks | Media Case Study

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13th December Parliament Attacks | Media Case Study 13th December Parliament Attacks | Media Case Study Presentation Transcript

  • "The only perfect crime that exists is not the one that remains unsolved, but the one which is solved with the wrong culprit."
  • 13.12.2001 The one that the Indian news media disowned
  • Sources • Online articles • YouTube Videos • Newspapers • Reader..
  • People associated with the campaign Praful Bidwai Former senior editor of Times of India, columnist, professor at JMI Nandita Haskar Supreme Court lawyer, professor at NLS Indira Jaisingh Padma Shri, Supreme Court lawyer, human rights activist Ashok Mitra Former RS member, Finance Minister of West Bengal A.G.Noorani Supreme Court Lawyer, celebrated columnist Arundhati Roy Booker Prize winner, social activist ..among others
  • What was it? “The 2001 Indian Parliament attack was a high-profile attack by Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists against the building housing the Parliament of India in New Delhi. The attack led to the death of a dozen people, including one civilian and to increased tensions between India and Pakistan and the 2001-2002 India-Pakistan standoff.” (A newspaper article description) [Video]
  • S.A.R.Geelani Freed by SC Afzal Guru Death Sentence Frozen
  • 13 Questions that the media should have asked
  • Question 1 • For months before the attack on the Parliament, both the government and the police had been saying that the Parliament could be attacked. • On 12th December 2001, Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee, at an informal meeting*, warned of an imminent attack on the Parliament. • Given that there were ‘improved security drills’ and extra vigilance, how did a car packed with explosives and men wielding automatic machine guns enter the Parliament?
  • Question 2 • The entire attack was recorded on CCTV cameras. Congress MP Kapil Sibal, supported by the then Deputy Speaker of Rajya Sabha, claimed there were confusions about the attack. • Congress MP Priyaranjan Das Munshi claimed there were 6 people he saw getting out of the car – but the police have till date maintained there were only 5 men at the scene. • Who was the 6th man? Where is he? Why were the CCTV recordings not produced as evidence for trial? Why were they never released for public viewing? • Why was the Parliament adjourned after these questions were raised?
  • Question 3 • A few days after the attack the government declared that it had “incontrovertible evidence” about the involvement of Pakistan. • It announced a massive – almost half a million – mobilisation of troops along the Indo-Pak border; bringing the subcontinent on the brink of a nuclear war. • Apart from Afzal Guru’s confession – dismissed by the Supreme Court later - what was the “incontrovertible evidence”?
  • Question 4 • The Special Cell says that Geelani lead them to him. But the message to Srinagar police to look for Afzal was flashed BEFORE Geelani was arrested. • So how did the Special Cell connect to Afzal?
  • Question 5 • The courts record that Afzal was a surrendered militant who was in regular contact with the security forces, in particular the STF of Jammu and Kashmir Police. • How do the security forces and the police explain his involvement in such a large scale operation when he was under their surveillance all the while?
  • Question 6 • Is it believable that organisations like the Lashkar-eToiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed would rely on the services of a person who had surrendered as a militant? • Would they hang the operation on the man who had been in and out of the STF torture chambers and was under constant police surveillance?
  • Question 7 • One of the major evidences produced was the testimony of Afzal’s brother, Aijaz. He was interrogated by the STF – known for its “methods” in the valley. • As a matter of fact, this evidence was produced after Afzal had served five years in jail. • Why were there no investigations or inquiries into the methods of the STF and the credibility of their evidences?
  • Question 8 • Even the Supreme Court, with all its leaps of faith, does not consider Afzal as the mastermind of the attack. • Yet L.K.Advani believes that there should be no delay in the hanging of Afzal. It would be “against the national interest”, he says* • Why the hurry?
  • Question 9 • The courts have – on record – observed that the police had forged documents, lied on oath, failed to follow any investigation procedure and violated the spirit and letter of the constitution. • Why then has there not been a single scripture against the officers of the Special Branch till date?
  • Question 10 • The accused were not allowed to explain the telephone calls made by them that were produced as evidence. The translation of the phone calls (mostly in Kashmiri language) were done not by a scholar or an expert but by a “vegetable vendor” from Srinagar – who was never produced in court. • Often, cross questioning of witnesses was denied, absent witnesses were excused thought their testimonies were preserved. • A High Court judge was very vocally abusive and biased against the pregnant wife of one the accused who was also produced in court. • Were the accused awarded fair trial in the lower courts?
  • Question 11 • POTA was an act that was repealed in 2004 as soon as the UPA came to power. It was a scandalous and controversial act that was alleged to have put many innocent souls – co incidently of similar religious/political beliefs – behind bars. • POTA – one of the main agendas of the BJP, an Act that was pending for long in the Parliament and faced strong opposition from many fronts was immediately passed after the attack. • Was this a co-incidence?
  • Question 12 • The media, the supposed torch-bearer of the society, took a negative stance against all the accused, claimed high end ‘facts’ which were later nullified by the Supreme Court and many High courts. • Were any of the news bites that were reported based on research? Were they narrating a script?
  • Question 13 • It has been almost 11 years to the incident. Families have been hurt. Loved ones have been lost. • In the past 10 years there have only been two phases of reports on the incident – supposedly the most daring attack on our democracy. • Accused have been freed. Attempts have been made on their lives and that of their lawyers. Petitions have been signed. Judgements have passed. • Where is the “news” media on all this?
  • Stance taken by the News Media • Not as many news channels around as today • Prominent channels Star News, Aaj Tak, Zee News etc. • Media trials and accusations • Report at the time of incident but not later • Print media also very blatant • Campaigns, slogans and opinions • Subdued reporting by dailies on later happenings • No coverage of extracourt affairs by any type of media
  • News that was ignored • Capture of the accused / Methodology of the trials in lower courts • S.A.R.Geelani freed and the grounds of judgements to free and freeze • Campaigns to include the families of the dead* • Attempts on life • Bias and political mud-sloshing • Book releases and articles
  • News Reported • Subdued News • News was “reported” • All the facts stated have live links to various news forums including the ToI • Biased and opinionated documentaries made by certain media houses that were “exclusively” granted permit • Most of these shows and documentaries have petitions against them and cannot be screened
  • Perfect Murder TheEnd
  • "The only perfect crime that exists is not the one that remains unsolved, but the one which is solved with the wrong culprit."