Sunday, 5 December 2010

Case against ‘Tehelka’ journalist Shahina: Journalists ask Kerala CM to take immediate measures

By Staff Correspondent,

Thiruvananthapuram: Veteran journalists in Kerala submitted a petition before the state Chief Minister asking him to intervene immediately in the case of noted journalist KK Shahina. In another development, the ‘Madhyama Swathanthrya Samrakshana Samiti’ will organize a protest conference against the anti-democratic act of the Karnataka police in Ernakulam tomorrow.

Shahina, Kerala correspondent of ‘Tehelka’ magazine, was reportedly booked in a case by the Karnataka police for talking to some witnesses in the 2008 Bengaluru blast case. The petition asks the CM to consider the matter as a problem of journalists all over the country and the civil society, and to urge his Karnataka counterpart to act in the issue.

Shahina had reportedly met two people who had, according to the Karnataka police, witnessed Abdunnasir Maudany at the Lakkeri Estate in Kodaku in Karnataka (where Maudany is supposed to have conspired with prime suspect Thadiyantavide Naseer for the blasts). Shahina’s report published in the magazine (Tehelka Magazine, Vol 7, Issue 48, Dated December 04, 2010 -

filename=Ne041210Why_is_this.asp) refutes the police claim that Maudany had been to Kodaku as baseless. The report says that the witnesses KK Yoganand and Rafeeq had not seen Maudany in Kodaku.

Shahina tells in her report that she was threatened and efforts were made by the Karnataka police to stop her reporting. Later she was booked under IPC 506 for threatening witnesses. The petition reportedly says that the act of the Karnataka police is a violation of the freedom of press. The act also deals with a matter considering the caste, religion, place and colour of the individual involved. Shahina, a Muslim, investigating the case related to another Muslim is being seen as wrong in this matter.

BRP Bhasker, S Jayachandran Nair, NRS Babu, Sasikumar, Paul Zachariah, MP Achuthan MP, N Madhavankutty, Sebastian Paul, SR Shakthidharan, Neelan, NP Rajendran, KP Mohanan, VM Ibrahim, NP Chandrashekharan, Venkitesh Ramakrishnan, NP Chekkutty, MG Radhakrishnan, N Padmanabhan, C Gouridasan Nair, Manoharan Morayi, KC Rajagopal and MM Subair signed the memorandum.

The protest conference organized by the ‘Madhyama Swathanthrya Samrakshana Samiti’ will be held at the C Achutha Menon Hall in Ernakulam at 3 pm tomorrow. Shahina, Adv Thampan Joseph, veteran journalists Appukkuttan Vallikkunnu, C Gouridasan Nair, Sunny M Kapikkad (Nava Janadhipathya Prasthanam), Rajeesh Rahman (Kerala Union of Working Journalists), Rekh aRaj, Vidhu Vincent etc will be present at the programme.

Shahina explains in her report that she had been to Kodaku with two translators. After meeting Yoganand, one of the witnesses, policemen threatened her to stop the reporting. She had to take a different path to meet the other witness Rafeeq, evading the police. The police then booked Shahina under IPC 506 for threatening the witnesses. The next day some Kannada newspapers reportedly carried stories on the ‘suspicious visit by a group of Muslims’ to Kodaku. A few Malayalam newspapers also carried the story of the police case, but without giving Shahina’s version even though she is a noted journalist in the state, having worked earlier with the leading channel ‘Asianet’.

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