State-sponsored anti-Muslim policies and killing of thousands of innocent Muslims during the Modi administration in Gujarat will always remain a horrific picture in the minds of millions of peace-loving Indians across the country. Muslim minority continues to be the victim of fake encounter killings and police torture. This was the consensus emerged during a programme organised to release of a documentary film Encountered on Saffron Agenda by the noted documentary filmmaker Shubradeep Chakravortry at the Constitution Club, New Delhi on December 8.
The film reveals how innocent Muslim youth – Samir Khan Pathan, Ishrat Jahan, Javed Sheikh, Sadiq Jamal Mehtar and Sohrabuddin Sheikh – were killed allegedly for attempting to assassinate Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. It makes it abundantly clear that they were in fact victims of fake encounters in the Saffron State.
The one and a half hour documentary shot in seven states of the country – Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Andhra Pardesh, Madhya Pardesh, Kerala and Delhi – claims that all the victims mentioned above were killed in fake encounters by the state police in a well planned manner.
The documentary also shows the Modi-run state government supported other encounters committed by the team of D.G. Vanzara, former DIG. It aims to focus on the continued injustice meted out to innocent persons and the violation of human rights in Gujarat.
The film has gathered the information and evidence through interviews with defence lawyers, family members of the victims, independent investigators and eye-witnesses including KTS Tulsi, former Counsel for the Gujarat government. It has collected some solid documents related to the fake encounter cases of four innocent youth.
The film is an attempt to expose the concocted stories of encounters of innocent civilians by the police machinery in the name of countering terrorism. It highlights the numerous struggles undertaken in defence of the victims. It also unveils the truth of the guilty parties behind the fake encounters.
The film, for example, presents the blood-curdling story of Sameer Khan Pathan, 22, a young victim of fake encounter who was brutally killed in Ahmedabad at the dead of night. Later, he was labelled as a well-trained terrorist by the state police authorities. The police claimed that he had travelled to Pakistan by Samjhauta Express on a particular date. However, the film concluded, on the particular day the train did not run. The police accused that he was here to assassinate Modi. I.M Munshi, counsel of Sameer, claimed that the victim was one of the soft targets of pre-planned fake encounter.
In response to questions from media-persons at the press conference, Shubradeep Chakravortry, known for his earlier documentary film Godhra Tak released during the last Bihar election, declared that his documentary is an effort to bring about the truth so that justice may be done to all the victims of fake encounters.
While making his point clear, he said the film is neither targeted against any particular person or group nor should it be taken as support to any particular point of view.
When asked why it was released at the time of Gujarat election, he made it clear that the film was finished just a couple of days back and he thought it fit to realise as soon as it was ready.