IAMC News Digest, 12th February 2021
They were accused of plotting to overthrow the Modi government. The evidence was planted, a new report
Key evidence against a group of Indian activists accused of plotting to overthrow the government was planted on a laptop seized by police, a new forensics report concludes, deepening doubts about a case viewed as a test of the rule of law under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. An attacker used malware to infiltrate a laptop belonging to one of the activists, Rona Wilson, before his arrest and deposited at least 10 incriminating letters on the computer, according to a report from Arsenal Consulting, a Massachusetts-based digital forensics firm that examined an electronic copy of the laptop at the request of Wilson’s lawyers. Many of the activists have been jailed for more than two years without trial under a stringent anti-terrorism law. Human rights groups and legal experts consider the case an attempt to suppress dissent in India, where government critics have faced intimidation, harassment and arrest during Modi’s tenure….
Gujarat Violence was “State-Sponsored”, “Police, Administration Hand In Glove With Anti-Social Elements”: Fact-Finding Report
Minority Coordination Committee (MCC)-Gujarat’s fact-finding report on the communal violence in two villages of the state’s Kutch district bordering Pakistan, has alleged that the violence was “state-sponsored”, with “the police and administration” being “hand in glove with the anti-social elements and part of a larger conspiracy” to create “fear among the Muslims and force them into ghettoization”. The report prepared by a four member team comprising MCC convener Mujahid Nafees, social activists Usman Ghani Sherasia, Ibrahim Turk and Mohammad Lakha says that despite all this, the violence did not take a serious turn due to “the restraint and understanding” shown by the local villagers. But the report observes that the incidents in two villages have “increased the disharmony between Hindus and Muslims”…. “Police was present but as a spectator only during the entire episode”, says the report….
Hollywood veteran actor Susan Sarandon has amplified her support to the ongoing farmers’ agitation and said despite attempts to silence the “most vulnerable”, Indian leaders should remember the world is watching them. The Thelma & Louise star became the latest international celebrity to back the protest, after a tweet by pop star Rihanna triggered a wave of support for the protesting farmers by a number of global personalities, activists and politicians. Sarandon took to Twitter late Saturday evening and shared a news report by Al Jazeera, headlined, “Free speech under threat as India clamps down on farmer protests.”…