Apology by Aziz Burney – victory of pursuing lawful path
Vinay Joshi,
Vivek
February 13, 2011.

After the terrorist attack on Mumbai on November 26, 2008, Urdu mass media and Muslim society in general started venomous propaganda against Hindutvawadi organizations and Indian Security Forces. The daily Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara is one such example. The daily had published anti- national writings after the 26/11 incident. Advocate Prashant Maggu and Vinay Joshi fought a legal battle against this. Aziz Burney, editor-in-chief of Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara apologized to the nation in his daily on January 29, 2011.

The article below (translated from the Marathi weekly provides information about the legal battle.

Kasab’s testimony during the inquiry in Mumbai terrorist attack on November 26, 2008 brought forward names like Hafiz Sayed, Pakistan and ISI. Within a month after the attack, the eminent Urdu daily Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara started publishing several articles linking Mossad, intelligence bureau from Israel, CIA, American Intelligence force and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Singh (RSS) to 26/11 attack.

Almost all Urdu dailies were publishing similar type of articles. But Rojnama Rashtria Sahara published a special edition in January 2009 entitled Shaheed-E -Vatan Hemant Karkare Ko Salam! (Salute to martyr Hemant Karkare!) The issue was published simultaneously in Urdu, Hindi and English. In this edition, charges were leveled against Indian army, Intelligence bureau, RSS, CIA and Mossad. These charges were similar to charges leveled by media in Pakistan regarding 26/11 incident.  It implied that the terrorist attack in Mumbai was carried out with the consent and cooperation from these four agencies.

Apart from these the main arguments in the charges made by Sahara were:

1)The security force in Nepal arrested Ajmal Kasab two years ago in Kathmandu and Indian intelligence bureau brought him to India after 26/11attack on Mumbai.
2) The higher authorities with criminal background from Mumbai police force killed Hemant Karkare with the help of Indian army.
3) CIA, Mossad, Narendra Modi and RSS are responsible for 26/11 attack.
4)Constables from Mumbai police force fired at CST railway station and some BJP volunteers who had already arrested Kasab brought him before CCTV camera.

After reading these allegations we wrote a letter to Mumbai police commissioner seeking clarification regarding these allegations and asking to file a crime suit against Sahara. In its reply Mumbai police commissioner refused to take action by stating that this issue is in the power of Delhi police.

Having left with no option, we filed a court suit against Aziz Burney, editor-in-chief of Sahara (Urdu) on August 9, 2009. The charges were involvement in anti-national activities, plotting against the country and waging a war against the country. Advocate Prashant Maggu appealed an action under articles 121, 108, 107, 117, 124 (A), 153 (A), 153 (B), 505 (2) and 506 of Indian constitution and MOCCA (Maharashtra organized Crime Control Act). The allegations leveled by Aziz Burney refuted the claims made on international level by Indian external affairs ministry, central home ministry and Mumbai police and defamed Indian security forces and intelligence forces, so it was necessary to take action against them.

An appeal was made to press council of India to cancel recognition of Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara. Press council is still investigating the matter. Later information was collected regarding Burney’s international visits along with the prime minister. The man who was involved in writing anti-national articles was provided with security service of Central Industrial Security Force. Notice was issued to take away the security. The central home ministry took a prompt action and removed the security of Burney.

When this case was filed, Burney was trying an entry in Rajya Sabha through president’s reserved quota. But there was a stay on his entry to Rajya Sabha because of this court suit. Engrossed with problems all around, on January 29, 20011, Aziz Burney apologized on the front page in his paper Rojnama Rashtriya Sahara. Advocate Prashant Maggu fought the case bravely and lodged complaints constantly against Burney’s anti-national writings. Though Aziz Burney has apologized to the country, the court battle against his anti-national activities will continue in future also.

The role of Urdu media in India regarding terrorism is extremely objectionable. Rakesh Sinha, Pro. India policy Foundation, Delhi has discussed in details the anti-national stance by Urdu media in his book ‘terrorism and Indian media”. It is clear that the main motive of people like Aziz Burney or Digvijay Singh is creating doubt in the minds of journalists, citizens, media, investigative agencies, armed forces and secondly to hide the pro terrorist activities by Pakistan. To control these activities, we should always follow lawful means and be prepared for the persistent legal battle.

The venomous propaganda by Rojnama Rashtria Sahara is not the only example. There are numerous newspapers, weeklies, monthlies and individuals all around involved in anti-national writings. We should be always alert and be aware of their activities and should nullify their activities by pursuing a lawful path.