The following is a statement issued by a group of concerned citizens on Thursday
We, a group of concerned citizens from different walks of life, have come to know that the Kerala police has chargesheeted Soofiya Madani for her alleged involvement in the 2005 Kalamassery bus burning case. We do not want to take a position for or against Soofiya Madanai and we believe that the rule of the law and the constitution of India should prevail.
However, during the past few years we have seen a number of activists, students, scholars and other citizens from the Muslim community being imprisoned and persecuted in the name of combating terrorism. After long years in prison, many of them have been acquitted, free of all charges, by the higher courts. In the meantime most of them have been subjected to all kinds of violations of their fundamental rights. The media has also played a huge role in subverting the judicial process by sensationalizing these cases and publishing baseless stories without any proper investigation.
Soofiya Madani started appearing in news media in the context of the 10 year long imprisonment of her husband Abdul Nasser Madani without a trial. During this period, Soofiya was active in the affairs of the political outfit Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that her husband had founded. Abdul Nassar Madani was finally acquitted after this long incarceration without even as much as a whimper of apology, forget compensation. Following his acquittal, both Abdul Nasser and Soofiya Madani have been active in the electoral politics of Kerala, contesting the last Parliamentary elections along with the ruling Left Democratic Front. One of the cases against Soofiya Madani is that she was allegedly involved in conspiring the burning of a Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation bus at Kalamassery, Kochi in September 2005 - and an anticipatory bail plea on this case is pending before the Kerala High Court today.
However the media in Kerala has been extra-judicially trying Soofiya Madani -- often using highly questionable anti-Muslim representations -- equating a case of arson where her involvement has not been legally established yet -- to fundamentalist terrorism. This media campaign also needs to be seen in the context of a prevalent anti-Muslim rhetoric in the Malayalam language media in general.
In that context we fear that her basic constitutional rights might be violated in the coming days. We want to raise our collective voices against such an event and we strongly call on all concerned authorities to prevent any such violation from happening without prejudice to the Rule of Law and any investigations that should be carried out against her.
1. John Dayal, Member National Integration Council
2. K. Satchidanandan, Poet
3. M Rasheed, Freedom fighter & Journalist
4. Ajit Sahi, Journalist
5. A. K. Ramakrishnan, Professor, JNU (to be confirmed)
6. Sreerekha, Asst. Professor, Jamia Milia Islamia
7. Sreejitha P.V, , Kamala Nehru College, Delhi University
7. Jenny Rowena, Asst. Professor, Miranda House, DU
8. Hany Babu, Associate Professor, Dept. of English, Delhi University
9 Joe Athially, Delhi Solidarity Group
10, Shahina K K, Development Professional, Delhi
11. Rajeev Ramachandran, Journalist, Delhi
12. Maymon Madathingal, Software Engineer, Delhi
13. Sudeep K. S, Software Engineer, Delhi
14, Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Human Rights Activist, Mumbai
15. Anil Tharayath Varghese, Development Professional, Delhi
16. Bobby Kunhu, Human Rights Activist
17.K K Kochu,Dalit Scholar
18.G .P Ramachandran,Film Critic
19.K K Baburaj,Dalit Activists
20.M B Manoj,poet
21.Rekha raj,Development Profeesional,Cochin
22.Sunny m Kapikadu,Dalit Activist
23.J Raghu,Writer and scholar