At the centre of the controversy over the circumstances that led to the death of 55-year-old Khurshid Anwar are NGOs and activists with leanings left and right.
Speaking to Newsline,activist Madhu Kishwar,who was first approached by the complainant,said, I was approached by the victims friend,who I knew well,on September 18. He told me that his friend had been assaulted and needed help. I agreed,and five members of the NGO,including the victim,met me at my office the next day. I told them I would be video-recording the disclosure,as is my habit. The recording was one-and-a-half hours long,a copy of which I handed over to the victim on September 20.
I did not give a copy of the CD to anyone. It was the NGO which gave a copy of the CD to the NCW, she said.
Kishwar claimed that she had no knowledge of what transpired between September 23 and December 17,when the FIR was lodged.
Asked why she had not immediately alerted police,Kishwar said,I can be with the victim,and behind the victim. I can never be ahead of the victim. The victim approached me seeking legal help since she claimed to not know anyone in the city. Accordingly,I contacted a lawyer I knew and gave the victim the lawyers address and phone number. Following this,I refrained from furthering the matter. Ultimately,it was the victims call.
Kishwar claimed that after her,Kavita Krishnan,Secretary of All India Progressive Womens Association,had been approached and she had written to the ISD asking them to investigate the matter.
However,when contacted,Kavita Krishnan denied having contacted the ISD of her own accord or having written to them.
I never contacted the ISD. I was apprised of the matter approximately over two months ago,by some of the complainants friends. After this,I tried contacting the complainant,but was unsuccessful. Later,an ISD member contacted me and I told them that the matter needed to be taken up seriously.
Krishnan said she did not want to approach the police herself,since she hadnt contacted the victim or vice-versa.