April 3, 2012
The petition published below demands that the CBI file a charge-sheet against former MP Shahabuddin for his role in the assassination of former JNUSU President Chandrashekhar.
Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)
Subject: Action Against Shahabuddin, Main Political Conspirator Behind Murder of Former JNUSU President Chandrashekhar
In a press release dated 23.3.2012, the CBI communicated that a court in Patna convicted three of the accused – Dhruv Kumar Jaiswal; Sheikh Munna and Illiyas Warsi – in the murder of former JNUSU President Chandrashekhar Prasad and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The press release tells us that the CBI filed a charge-sheet against these accused on 30.5.1998, “after thorough investigation”. We, the undersigned, who include friends of Chandrashekhar and others concerned about criminalisation of politics and attacks on democratic activists, are deeply disappointed with the verdict and expect the CBI to answer some of our questions.
In the course of its “thorough investigation” what did the CBI establish as a motive for the murder ? Why did these men kill Chandrashekhar ? Is it not a fact that several witnesses testified that these killers were well-known hit-men (“shooters”) working for former MP Shahabuddin ? Is it not a fact that these witnesses testified that the killing was no ordinary murder but a political assassination ? Chandrashekhar and Shyam Narain Yadav were killed when addressing a street corner meeting campaigning for a Bihar Bandh called by CPI(ML) “does that not indicate that they were killed at the behest of the ruling party, in order to silence and terrorise those who dared to challenge the corruption and anti-people policies of the Bihar Government at the time ? Had it been an ordinary murder, why would the CBI be called upon to investigate it in the first place ? The CBI enquiry was ordered as a concession to the demand raised by the powerful student movement that followed the murder precisely because the CBI was expected to nail the powerful political conspirators behind this assassination.
Instead, the CBI seems to have deliberately avoided recognizing Chandrashekhar’s killing as a political assassination. The CBI charge-sheeted the hit-men in 1998. But today, 15 years after the murder, why has the CBI failed to charge-sheet the man named in the FIR as the main conspirator – a criminal politician, who was RJD MP at the time of the murder, Mohd. Shahabuddin ? What compulsions or pressures have forced the CBI to remain silent for 15 years on Shahabuddin’s role in the murder ? We are forced to conclude that this silence points to a political motive on part of the CBI, to protect the criminal politician who is known to have been a right-hand man of the RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav.
Chandrashekhar’s murder generated outrage because a criminal mafia politician, backed by the clout of the then Governments at Bihar and the Centre, ruthlessly eliminated a young activist who chose to work in rural India, to organise the struggles of the poorest of the poor. Now, 15 years after the murder, we reject any notion of closure or justice done until and unless Shahabuddin, the main political conspirator behind the assassination, is charge-sheeted, convicted, and given the sternest punishment.
We demand that the CBI, without further delay, file a charge-sheet against Shahabuddin for his role in the political conspiracy to assassinate Chandrashekhar, and pursue the case to ensure that Shahabuddin is punished for the murder.
Readers may send endorsements to Kavita Krishnan at firstname.lastname@example.org.