New Delhi: A group of senior journalists and
social activists on Saturday demanded immediate and unconditional
release of a scribe arrested in connection with the bombing of
an Israeli diplomat`s vehicle here and said no Indian should
be allowed to be questioned by Israeli agencies.
Condemning the arrest of 50-year-old Syed Mohammed Ahmed
Kazmi, they said it is an attack on free speech and writing.
The arrest is an attack on free speech and writing, and
the Special Cell of Delhi Police should be "disbanded as it is
working against people", said senior journalist Seema Mustafa.
"He should be granted unconditional and immediate bail
and the Congress government should step in....," she told a
press conference here.
Government was maintaining that Iran was not involved in
the blast but at what point of time did the Indian authorities
decide that Iran is involved, she asked.
Questioning the effectiveness of the Special Cell,
journalist Sukumar Muralidharan asked if it was global kind of
agenda being served with the arrest of Kazmi.
Besides granting immediate bail to Kazmi, top authorities
of Delhi Police should assure that he will not be ill treated,
Another senior journalist Saeed Naqvi said he has taken
up the matter in his personal capacity with senior Congress
leader Ahmed Patel, Samajwadi Party leader Azam Khan and Press
Council Chairman Justice Markandey Katju.
Kazmi`s son Shauzab said Congress and other political
parties should support his father so that he can be freed as
soon as possible.
He also claimed that his father was "innocent" and being
mentally tortured in custody.
"My father looked very tense when I last met him the day
before yesterday. However, there was no sign of physical
torture," he said, adding that for the last two days no family
members were allowed to meet Kazmi.
Meanwhile, a statement signed by writer-activist
Arundhati Roy, Historian KN Panikkar, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt,
actress Nandita Das and Sharmila Tagore said "We fear that Mr
Kazmi may be made a scapegoat to please an international
lobby. It is no secret that Israel held Iran culpable within
minutes of the attack..."
Kazmi was arrested on March 7 from his Jor Bagh residence
by Delhi police in connection with the bombing of an Israeli
Claiming that the February 13 bombing in the heart of the
Capital was a case of "international terrorism", Delhi Police
accused Kazmi of helping the bomber conduct reconnaissance of
the Israeli embassy.