People associated with the campaign
Former senior editor of Times of India, columnist, professor at JMI
Supreme Court lawyer, professor at NLS
Padma Shri, Supreme Court lawyer, human rights activist
Former RS member, Finance Minister of West Bengal
Supreme Court Lawyer, celebrated columnist
Booker Prize winner, social activist
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
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)
Freed by SC
Death Sentence Frozen
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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?
• 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
• 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?
• 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
• 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?
• 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
• 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
• Even the Supreme Court, with all its leaps of faith,
does not consider Afzal as the mastermind of the
• 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?
• 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?
• 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
• A High Court judge was very vocally abusive and biased against
the pregnant wife of one the accused who was also produced in
• Were the accused awarded fair trial in the lower courts?
• 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?
• 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
• Were any of the news bites that were reported
based on research? Were they narrating a script?
• 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
• Prominent channels Star
News, Aaj Tak, Zee News
• Media trials and
• Report at the time of
incident but not later
• Print media also very
• Campaigns, slogans and
• Subdued reporting by
dailies on later
• No coverage of extracourt affairs by any type
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
• 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
• Most of these shows and documentaries have petitions
against them and cannot be screened