Tuesday, October 26, 2004

India: Was the attack on Parliament an "inside job"?


In a letter, Mohammad Afzal’s wife Tabassum asked India’s apex court to investigate the involvement of Indian agencies in the attack in November 2002, which led to Pakistan and India amassing hundreds of thousands of troops at the border. Afzal faces the death penalty for his role in the attack. The wife of the main accused in the Indian Parliament attack case has claimed that her husband brought the militants that stormed the Lok Sabha from Srinagar to New Delhi at the behest of Indian security agencies.
'Indian agents transported parliament attackers to Delhi’
Iftikhar Gilani

NEW DELHI: The wife of the main accused in the Indian Parliament attack case has claimed that her husband brought the militants that stormed the Lok Sabha from Srinagar to New Delhi at the behest of Indian security agencies.

In a letter, Mohammad Afzal’s wife Tabassum asked India’s apex court to investigate the involvement of Indian agencies in the attack in November 2002, which led to Pakistan and India amassing hundreds of thousands of troops at the border. Afzal faces the death penalty for his role in the attack.

However, his wife claimed that the Special Task Force (STF) of Jammu and Kashmir Police, which worked under the Unified Headquarters involving the army and other agencies, had asked her husband to bring the ringleader of the attack, Mohammad, to Delhi from Kashmir. “My husband had met Mohammad and another man, Tariq, at the STF camp. He did not know anything about the men and had no idea about their job,” Tabassum wrote.

She said the lower courts had ignored Afzal’s claims and refused to investigate them. She said that her husband was earlier associated with the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, but had surrendered and even persuaded two other militants to surrender.

However, despite surrendering, she said, the Indian security forces continuously harassed Afzal and pressurised him to spy on militants. This pressure, she alleged, came in the form of torture. Major Ram Mohan Roy of 22 Rashtriya Rifles tortured him and gave him electric shocks to his private parts, she said.

“He was routinely rounded up by the security forces. Once he was taken to the Humhama-based STF camp. In that camp, two officers, DSP Vinay Gupta and DSP Darinder Singh, demanded Rs 100,000 and I sold my little gold ornaments to set my husband free,” wrote Tabassum.

“In the camp, Afzal was kept in freezing water and petrol was put into his anus. Officer Shanti Singh hanged my husband upside down for hours naked and in the cold. They gave electric shocks to his penis and he had to have treatment for days. They were forcing him to work for them as an informer,” she wrote.

Tabassum said her husband and the family shifted to Delhi to escape the harassment, but the STF caught hold of him here too. “Back in Srinagar, the STF handed over to him two persons, Mohammad and Tariq, at the camp itself and directed him to arrange for their lodging and boarding in Delhi,” she wrote. “He has told all this to the courts but the courts have chosen to believe only half his statement, about bringing Mohammad to Delhi.”

Daily Times 26/10/2004