TISS professor seeks justice

The Hindu

Special Correspondent

MUMBAI: Shamim Modi, assistant professor with the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), who was attacked by a security guard in her apartment on July 23, has filed a writ petition in the Bombay High Court demanding a CBI inquiry into the assault.

Speaking to journalists here on Friday, she said: “We are demanding a CBI inquiry because the local police are trying to make an attempted murder case look like a robbery” under Section 397 of the IPC.

Ms. Modi, who is a political activist from Madhya Pradesh, recently moved to Vasai in Thane district to take up her job at the TISS.

Ms. Modi alleged that the police did not take down her statement properly and in fact deleted some of the specific charges she had levelled against a former Madhya Pradesh Minister and his son. As a political activist and part of the Shramik Adivasi Sanghatana at Beitul in Madhya Pradesh, she and her husband, Anurag, had organised workers in about 64 saw mills in Harda, and exposed illegal excavation in forest areas. Their work with the adivasis had antagonised politicians who have repeatedly threatened to kill her.

Ms. Modi was attacked by the security guard, Jung Bahadur. She suffered cuts and underwent 118 stitches. She is suffering from vertigo as a result of the severe blows on her head. “He wanted to ensure that I will bleed to death and he kept threatening to shoot me. He was clearly not interested in the money I was offering him,” Ms. Modi said.

Ms. Modi alleged that the police made her forcibly sign her statement without reading it to her and they even compelled the doctor to discharge her quickly. They changed her husband Anurag’s statement to show that she had called him up to say she had been robbed. Despite the Additional Chief Secretary (Home)’s intervention, the local police took three days to re-record her statement.

Ms. Modi said she was attacked for 15 minutes and there was blood and fingerprints everywhere. However, police said they could not find any fingerprintps and had not even traced the attacker who is of Nepali origin.

Meeting on August 28

Various organisations held protests on Friday in New Delhi and Mumbai to demand justice in her case. The students and faculty of TISS is behind Ms. Modi, says Jitendra Das, general secretary, TISS students’ union. A public meeting has been planned on the TISS campus on August 28 to condemn the assault.

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