Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns of Bangalore, a platform for human solidarity against injustice, inequality, oppression and discrimination, in a statement issued on Tuesday, condemned the attack on Shahina Nafeesa, journalist, at Somwarpet in Karnataka.
Shahina, who is based in Kerala, is facing two cases with trumped up charges registered by the Kodagu police following the appearance of her report in Tehelka exposing the falsity of the police claims in the Bangalore blast case in which Peoples Democratic Party leader Abdul Naser Mahdani is an accused.
The following in the text of the PSC statement:
On Friday the 9th of December, Shahina Nafeesa a senior journalist presently working with OPEN magazine, formerly with Tehelka, was attacked by communal hooligans owing allegiance to the Sangh Parivar. The incident occurred when Shahina was travelling back from Madikeri, where she was summoned by the local magistrate in connection with the Mahdani's case.
Shahina had reached Taluk office Somawarpet, Kodagu, in Karnataka on a Motor Bike with her friend. After the proceedings with the magistrate when she was about to ride back home, she was asked by the Police not to ride on a bike but organize a car, as she is under threat of an attack. Shahina argued with the police to the effect that it was the duty of the police to protect her and they will have to provide her security cover. The police on the spot refused any such facility. Shahina had to phone the CID in Bangalore, who is investigating the case, to persuade the police to give her protection.
While travelling in a police vehicle, a mob of 70 to 80 people attacked the vehicle with a clear intent of harming Shahina, and the mob stoned the Police vehicle and tried to stop it shouting intimidating slogans and waving black flags. Initially the local police was inactive and they refrained from their duty to provide adequate security for Shahina. Later, clearly after Shahina complained to the investigating officer, the DSP of COD Bangalore, the Kodagu police escorted her off the Tahsil office to a friend’s house in Kushal Nagar and from there she caught a bus to Mysore.
It is a despicable act that has to be condemned by one and all who believe in democratic values and the concept of freedom. When one looks at the details of this attack, there is no doubt that it was instigated by the police themselves. They had prior knowledge of the attack on Shahina Nafeesa.
The Karnataka Police, having failed to establish any tangible evidence to prove their charges against Shahina, are now resorting to diversionary tactics of inciting communal attacks to give the whole issue a communal colour and bring the Sangh Parivar into the issue.
We the Peoples' Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore, condemn this attack unequivocally. The attack on a journalist is an attack on the freedom of the press. We call upon all trade unions, democratic organizations, media organizations and secular people to take note of the growing attacks on the freedom of press and filing of false cases against journalists who are just doing their job.
People’ Solidarity Concerns can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org