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An informal conversation with Dr. Shamim Meghani-Modi

By Nadira Khan

[Shamim Meghani-Modi, working as an activist in MP, and also as an Assistant Professor at TISS, Mumbai, holds an M. Phil. degree in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, degree in law from Barkatullah Univ, Bhopal, B.A. from Jesus & Mary College, New Delhi, and M.A. from Lady Shriram College, New Delhi. She is a political activist. She, along with her husband, Anurag Modi, after having been involved in organizing the oustees of Bargi Dam on Narmada for two years, moved to Betul district in 1994. With the help of local tribal persons, they formed a people’s organization called Shramik Adivasi Sanghathan (SAS). The SAS have been working in Betul, Harda and Khandawa districts of M. P. and Samajwadi Jan Parishad is their political front.

On 23rd July 2009, Shamim was brutally attacked by her building watchman in her rented flat in Vasai, an outer suburb of Mumbai, allegedly instigated by the mining mafia. She sustained fatal injuries all over her body – her neck was slit enough to see the windpipe and a little deeper wound would have cost her life. Her skull was full of injuries, finger was split. In all, she sustained 118 stitches. It was her courage and presence of mind and timely medical aid arranged by her parents that saved her. The Maharashtra Police has been trying to make it look like a simple case of robbery. Her statements were doctored and the name of prime suspect the Revenue Minster of MP, Kamal Patel and his business associates were dropped. A correct version of FIR was never lodged, though the police slapped Section 307 of IPC due to the intervention of Mumbai HC. But its order to Mumbai CB, CID to investigate the case within three months has been in vain and it has done nothing in last one year. The CB, CID revealed that the police have even destroyed the major forensic evidences and have failed to book the watchman for an act of criminal conspiracy. She filed a fresh Writ Petition at Mumbai High Court demanding CBI investigation in the matter.]

[Nadira Khan is a doctoral student in the Department of Social Science, Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai. Currently she is working on her doctoral dissertation, titled “Imagining ‘Muslim’ Identity: A Study of Hindi Cinema and its Audience”. She completed her M. Phil. on “Electronic Media and Public Issues: A Study of Mediation” in Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai in 2010. Nadira received her M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from Visva-Bharati University, Santiniketan in the year of 2007. Email: nadira.khatun@gmail.com]

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