The following is a statement released by the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association:
Stung by the SIT report which concluded that Ishrat was executed in cold blood, former Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai -- hard-pressed to defend his affidavit to the Supreme Court that Ishrat was a Lashkar operative -- has stooped to now slandering the girl’s personal life suggesting that her checking into different hotels with “another man” was definitely suspicious. Perhaps, Mr. Pillai wishes us to believe that all those young women who travel and work independently are ‘suspicious’ and could have terrorist links.
Pillai is no doubt aware that questions will be raised about his affidavit -- and also all those journalists who were churning out whatever that was emanating from his office -- and is now rushing to hide behind sexist insinuations.
Pillai knows well that with the killing of Ishrat and three others, the case is forever closed. No court is now going to try Ishrat for her alleged links with Laskhar. And that is precisely the convenience of encounter killings -- the allegations can never be proven or disproven. Lashkar-e-Toiba’s hailing of Ishrat does not count for much. Organizations have been known to make grand claims for purposes of propaganda, Norway being a case in point.
We condemn Pillai’s insensitive sexist slandering of a girl who cannot defend herself, and demand an immediate apology.
Jyoti Punwani (Independent Journalist)
Githa Hariharan (writer)
Saba Dewan (independent filmmaker)
Sabeena Gadihoke (Associate Professor, Jamai Millia Islamia)
Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD)
Prof. Janaki Rajan (Jamia Millia Islamia)
Prof. Anuradha Chenoy (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Kavita Srivastava (PUCL)
Seema Mustafa (senior journalist)
Tahira Hasan (Tehrike Niswan)
Kavita Krishnan (AIPWA)
Rita Manchanda (activist)
Khaadeej Arif (journalist)
Shikha Sen (independent filmmaker)
Mansi Sharma (activist)
Seema Duhan (activist)
Mona Das (Satyawati College, University of Delhi)
Vani Subramanian, Satnam Kaur and Vinita (Saheli)
Manisha Sethi, Farah Farooqi, Azra Razak, Sanghamitra Misra and Ambarien Al Qadar (JTSA)