Film takes on dark side of war against terror

Mohammad Musarrat Hussain,35,or Bobby was at work in a printing press when he was picked up by police on March 5,2002.

Written by Ritam Halder | Kolkata | Published: April 13, 2012 6:04:33 am

Mohammad Musarrat Hussain,35,or Bobby was at work in a printing press when he was picked up by police on March 5,2002. He was officially arrested on March 7,2002. He was charged as a conspirator in the firing and killing of policemen at the American Centre,Kolkata. He spent eight years in jail and remained on death row for five years. Finally,Calcutta High Court acquitted him on February 7,2010.

After the Storm,which was screened at Kolkata Press Club today,tells the tales of Bobby and some other former terror accused — Mukhtar Ahmed,Md Fassiuddin Ahmed,Umar Farooque,Moutasim Billah,Harith Ansari and Shaik Abdul Kaleem – who are among thousands of Muslim youth arrested,falsely accused and then acquitted by various courts across India.

Documentary filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty,the director of After the Storm,shows Bobby as an example of several Muslim youths facing the ugly side of law. Documentary filmmaker Shubhradeep Chakravorty,director of After the Storm,talks about seven such wrongly accused terror victims in his film.

“This is just a peek into the humane side of the so-called war on terror. I’ve managed to show just seven. Many Muslim men are picked up,illegally detained,tortured and jailed. Right now they are struggling to find a footing in society. The inherent bias of the police and the general administration is reflected. This should be exposed and stopped and we must be critical and analytical,” he said.

A self-proclaimed “journalist by training and documentary filmmaker by passion”,Chakravorty has done his post-graduation in Political Science and International Relations and has made four documentaries. His earlier works — Godhra Tak: The Terror Trail,Encountered on Saffron Agenda and Out of Court Settlement — have received critical acclaim.

Masihur Rehman,secretary of Association for Protection of Civil Rights,Kolkata chapter,which organised the screening,said,”The victimisation of Muslim youths in the name of terrorism shows the deep roots communal forces have taken in the country. Such false arrests should be taken as gross violation of human rights and need to be condemned.”

Bobby’s case is with the Supreme Court after being pursued by the Left Front government,after he was declared not guilty by the high court. Asked what he expects from the Mamata Banerjee government,Chakravorty said,”It’s too early to judge her. However,it would be a litmus test for her. If the state takes action in favour of this wrongly accused Muslim youth,who is torn between his family responsibilities and fees to fight for his life at the apex court,then we can surely see the effects of the promised change.”

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