Media Trial: Statement on the Tragic Circumstances of Khurshid Anwar’s Suicide

We the undersigned are shocked at the manner in which a section of the social media relentlessly vilified Khurshid Anwar, social activist and writer with regard to an allegation of rape against him. A section of the electronic media also contributed to the vilification, causing him to commit suicide on Wednesday morning, the 18th of December, 2013.

social media trial

We are of the opinion that every allegation of rape, sexual violence and other serious crimes, needs to investigated and subjected to due process of law. We also appreciate the media’s right to report on such issues in public interest. However, this process by which guilt is ascribed prior to due process is harmful to the cause of justice and rule of law. In this case even before an offence was registered, the accused was presumed guilty, before he could be heard and face fair investigation.

Due and fair process of law is necessary not only for the aggrieved but also for the accused.

Sd/-
Apoorvanand,
Kavita Srivastava
Mahtab Alam
Dipa Sinha
Sachin Jain
Aditya Srivastava
Dr. Binayak Sen
Biraj Patnaik
Dheeraj
Swati Narayan
Madhuri Krishnamurty
Purwa Bhardwaj
Kumar Sundaram
Manisha Sethi
Mansi Sharma
Tanweer Fazal
Anusha Rizvi
Mahmood Farooqui
Poonam Girdhani
Fouzia Dastango
Himanshu Pandya
Amalendu Upadhyay
Amit Sengupta
Vandana Prasad
Rafiul Alom
Sidhdharth Kalhans
N Jayram
Ali Javed
Purshottam Agrawal
Om Thanvi
Anuradha Bhasin
Jamal Kidwai
Javed Ali Khan
Mona Das
Javed Naqi
Asad Zaidi
Ankit Agrawal
Samar Anarya
Bijo Francis
Abhinav Alok
Deepti Bharti
Haider Naqvi
Akbar Rizvi
Md. Muddassir Alam
Omair Anas
V B Rawat
Khadeeja Arif
Vivek Pathak
Toufiq Mirza
Rakesh Kr. Singh
Javed Anis
Arvind Das
Mozahid Alam
Nalini Taneja
Chandra Prakash Jha
Anil Tharayath Varghese
Premchand Gandhi
Suyogya Sharma
Ameeque Jamaiee
Salman Rizvi
Serohi Nandan
Mohan Shrotriya
Jyotasna Roy
Upadhyaya Pratibha
Shailendra Dhar
Zafar Ullah

Nand Lal

Rizvi Amir Abbas Syed

Faizi S Faizi

Shikha Sen

Hemant Joshi

Ajay K Mehra

Jagjit Singh

Su Dipti

Sujit Chowdhury

Paramjeet Singh

Raman Sinha

Syed Zubair Ahmed

Shandar Ghufran

Mamata Dash

Praveen Hrb

Farahat Durrani

Chaman Lal

Kamayani Bali Mahabal

Joe Athialy

Santosh Kumar

Rav Neet

Ajaz Pervez Khan

Shishir Kumar Yadav

Ashok Yadav

Girijesh Tiwari

Omar Rashid

Binoy Shanker Prasad

Pritam Singh

Ahmed Firoz

Ravi Nitesh

Kanhaiya Kumar

Shumaila Kausar

Prakash k Ray

Neeraj Verma

Nilambuj JNU

Lawrence Surendra

Mohammed Reyaz

Mukul Dube

Lenin Raghuvanshi

Kumar Krishnaswamy

Shamshad Elahee Shams

Suresh Nautiyal

Swati Arjun

Firoz Ahmed

Anish Ahluwalia

Harsh Kapoor

Miracle Queyoom

Pankaj Mishra

Banojit Hussain

Nasiruddin Khan Haider

Nadim Nikhat

Bhavana Mishra

Panini Anand

Sheeba Alam Fehmi

Hina Firdaus

Surinder Singh

Praveer Peter

Jawed Naqvi

Santishree Pandit

Susan Paul Vishvanathan
Vandana Kedia
Rp Shahi
Anand Pradhan
Raju Moza
Virendra Singh
Bhupen Singh
Battini Sreevivasa Rao
Sandy Singh
Sunil Kukshal
Shikha Singh
Usman Javed
Imran Ali
Harsh Dhobal
Manas Ranjan
Amnah Khalid
Tarun Kranti Bose
Ameesh Rai
Purnima Gupta
Satya Sagar
Anil Mishra
Maheruddin Khan
Reyazul Haque
Sitaram Singh
Rajeev Upadhayay
Vinod Bhardwaj
Dilip Khan
Siddharth Mohan
Khalid Mohan
Poorvi Bhargava
Anu Arunima
Brp Bhaskar
Manoj Kumariha
Snehlata Shukla
Farhat Rizvi
Ekta Rizvi
Mridu Kamal
Ajmal Khan

Ajay K Mehra

Tej Thakur

Shaheen Nazar

Prabhat Shunglu

Ved Kumar Sharma
Renu Gupta
Sushil Nand
Rajeeva Upadhyay
Ravinder Kaw
Faisal Anurag
Himansu Charan Sadang
Rafi Madar
Chandrashekhar Tibrewal
Savita Pande
Pradyot Lal
Chandra Prakash Jha
Varyam Singh
Rashmi Bhargava
Padma Natarajan
Nandita Sharma
Pritam Singh
Madhukumar Reddy
Bhupinder Brar
Sumitrra Kumar Jain
Nina Rao
Pramod Kumar
Rajendra Shilpi
Kumar Krishnaswamy
Seema Nayak Panda
Arjun Sheoran
Arshad Ajmal
Shahnawaz Malik
Seela Mahapatra
Arjumand Ara
Vineet Tiwari
Ajay Brahamatmaj
Noor Zaheer
Piyush Pant
Utpala Shukla ‘
Sandeep Dixit
Avinash Das
Sadre Alam
Avinash Anand
Ish Mishra
Sunita Chouhan
Sanjay Sahay
Arshad Alam
Viajayn
P K Basant
Sumant Bhattacharya
Zulaikha Jabeen
Sandhya Navodita and Many others.

Note: We sincerely apologise if your name is missing in this list despite your endorsement.

  • Sumit Chowdhury

    Many of the above signatories have not followed the same principles (that is, not assuming guilt before investigation) in the case of Justice A K Ganguly.

  • SHEEBA ASLAM FEHMI

    Several of the above signed were party to Khurshid Sahab’s public trial. How hypocrite of u buddies!

    Sheeba Aslam Fehmi

  • Guman Singh

    I endorse the statement but I was not happy with the roll played in social media by many people and public trial in media before any investigation. I told some of my friends last week in Delhi not to comment before any proper investigation. Sorry Khurshid you could have been courageously faced the situation.

  • Yenda

    To all those who endorsed the statement:

    first, what is a media trial? In this case, has media trial ever taken place? how many numbers of media coverage constitutes a media trial and like-wise to what extent the content of the media reporting determines what is media trial?

    second, in a number of cases excessive media reporting had taken place, for example in Tarun Tejpal’s case where were the issue of media trial?

    third, in Tarun’s case, why did he not commit suicide? Why did Anwar commit suicide? If at all he had never committed any rape or sexual abuse why he did not choose to fight through rule of law? Was Tejpal’s prestige lesser than that of Anwar so as to compel the latter to jump to death unbearable of some allegations?

  • Dr. Aftab Alam

    I support the statement.