Bulletin, March 2005
Victim or Suspect: S.A.R. Geelani
-- By Y.P. Chhibbar
[ Also see, Attempt on Geelani’s life reprehensible - Press release by Dr. Y. P. Chhibar Click]
The attempt on the life of SAR Geelani, a teacher in a college of Delhi
University, is fast becoming a case that breaks new ground in the methods
of investigation. This is probably a case in which Delhi police is implementing
the RTI law on its own. From the very beginning two points have been prominent
in the investigation procedures. The police started the investigations
on a note of suspicion. Suspicion about the place of assault, about the
sequence of events as reported by Geelani’s lawyer, outside whose
house Geelani was reported to have been shot, suspicion about what he
was wearing, suspicion about whether his vein and arteries had blood flowing
in them as there were, allegedly, no blood stains after Geelani receiving
four bullets. In fact probably the police would have everyone believe
that it is all a cock and bull story (especially because till now no bullets
have came out of his body. Who knows if at all there are bullets!).
The Right to Information law comes into the picture because from the very
beginning the police have been announcing/leaking to the press what line
of investigation they are going to follow, what they have or have not
found in a particular direction, etc.
A complication that introduces an unplanned line of investigation is the
threats received by a play writer and producer of Kolkatta who has been
staging a play, 16 Millimeter, based on the Parliament attack of December
2001 since July 5, 2004. According to a report published in the Indian
Express of February 19 he received calls on his mobile on February 13
in a mixture of Punjabi and Urdu. The Chief Minister of West Bengal had
also talked to him about the play written by him and the real life drama
that took place outside Nandita Haksar’s residence.
In the midst of hearing of an appeal against his acquittal by the Delhi
High Court came this murderous attack on Geelani. The Supreme Court took
note of the incident and sought a report from Delhi police. The Delhi
police asked the State Government to constitute a Board of Doctors to
examine Geelani. The board is yet to submit a report. His discharge from
the hospital is also playing hide and seek. The stand of the hospital
and the opinions of the family of Geelani don’t match and Geelani
was not yet released at the time of writing this.
There is so much confusion with regard to all the incidents and facts
and the health status of victim that it would be correct to demand that
some agency other than the Delhi Police should take over the investigation.
May be the National Human Rights Commission can be brought into picture.
It is very necessary that the victim is freed from the web of suspicion
that has become knit around him.