Solving a Problem of State Tyranny: Director General Siddhanta Das: Have Forest Service Officers been threatening ordinary citizens, seizing their property, then threatening them with arrest if they complain?  If so, how many cases of wrongful seizure and wrongful imprisonment have WCCB caused among India’s villagers and forest dwellers since 1994? There is immediate need for an Ombudsman to independently review all cases in each of your Five Zones!  

22 June 2019

Shri Siddhanta Das, IFS, Director General Forest, Special Secretary Ministry of Environment, Forest, Climate Change MOEFCC,  Jor Bagh Road, New Delhi.

A. MOEFCC Vigilance Inquiry re WCCB ER RDD DRR Agni Mitra: Need for immediate appointment of Ombudsman in each of your Five Zones to review all WCCB cases of wrongful seizure/arrest.

B.  Illegal Seizure (“Quasi Dacoity”) of our lawful family property by MOEFCC Agents Since 2 May 2019; Harassment, Abuse, Intimidation, Coercion of a law abiding citizen: myself

Respected Shri Siddhanta Das,

A.

I received on 15 June 2019 a letter signed by Shri Vazir Singh Vari Singh, MOEFCC Under Secretary Vigilance stating a Vigilance Inquiry is initiated by your Ministry in regard to WCCB RDD DRR Agni Mitra and I am named as the “Complainant”.

If by “Vigilance Complaint” is meant eg bribery I have made no such complaint.  I have not said or implied WCCB RDD DRR asked to be bribed by me in any manner whatsoever.   If that is the charge you make of this Forest Officer it is something that has not been complained about by me and he gets a completely clean chit from me also.

What I have complained about is illegal mala fide behaviour including dissimulation and mendacity by WCCB RDD DRR Mitra both directly and through MOEFCC agent Arnab Basu.  

Shri Mitra apparently has 0 law degree, not even an LLB, yet he and others in his position in the Forest Service have been given vast prosecutorial powers, and command of Central Armed Police! Abuse of power and breach of Constitutionally guaranteed rights of India’s citizens is inevitable!  I have stated publicly on 8 May 2019

“When a stellar Forest Officer misuses the law tyrannically against Subroto Roy, Economist, who had Narendra Modi in his Deendayal Upadhyay audience in Washington in October 1984, and who six years later sparked with Rajiv Gandhi the 1991 reform, I dread to think what India’s villagers and forest dwellers may have been facing in similar situations.”

Mr Sanjay Hegde, Supreme Court Advocate, has said “tyranny is defined by a bad law arbitrarily applied”.

Is that the situation in part with Wildlife Protection Act in recent decades?

Has a modus operandi of Forest Service Officers been to threaten ordinary citizens with the Act, seize their property, then threaten them further with arrest if they complain, no matter how wrongful and misguided the official application of the Act?   

If so, how many cases of wrongful seizure and wrongful imprisonment have WCCB caused since 1994 in your Five Zones?  

I am old enough and experienced enough internationally not to have been intimidated by the vile illegal tactics I faced, and on 17 May I came to receive anticipatory bail from the Hon’ble High Court (which infuriated your Officer even further). 

But how many villagers and forest dwellers have suffered this kind of tyranny at hands of your MOEFCC WCCB Officers in recent years across all India?

From a public policy point of view, an Ombudsman should be immediately appointed by your Ministry for each of your Five  Zones to independently review every such case of wrongful seizure and wrongful arrest and imprisonment of innocent citizens due to your MOEFCC WCCB Officers’ blatantly misusing the law.

B.

In our case, I must request you, Sir, to exercise your authority as the highest executive officer of the Indian Forest Service, and direct the immediate safe return of all our lawful family property taken by WCCB ER RDD DRR since 2 May, and make an offer of compensation for damages suffered accordingly.

Here are the exact facts:

  1. My older sister Sucheta Roy (1947:1990) wed one Henri Lobert, a Belgian diplomat, in 1977 in Belgium, with consent of parents late MK Roy (1915:2012) late Purnima Roy (1925:2016). The couple were posted as Belgian diplomats in Africa and about 1978/79 they gifted my parents 5 items of African ivory, species Loxodonta.  In addition, Sucheta had some eight items of “jewelry” (no jewels). MK Roy had a walking stick with African ivory in it. All these items of African ivory owned by our family were entirely lawful when purchased, transported or gifted in the late 1970s and held by us ever since.

  2. In addition, MK Roy’s mother, my grandmother Nirmala Debi (1902:1976) had been married as a child bride in 1911 and brought into our home a few Indian ivory toys, including one or two small bullock carts (gorur gari). In addition, MK Roy acquired two Sea Shells in Bombay about 1952.

  3. Sucheta Roy died in Kolkata of breast cancer age 42 in January 1990. No African ivory has been owned by us except that which she had brought in her lifetime and gifted to her parents. No African or any other ivory or any other “animal products” has ever been sold by us. 

  4. (The legal ban of African ivory imports into India came into effect in Oct 1991 viz Article 39(c) of Wildlife Protection Act.)

  5. All these items came into my possession through inheritance at passing of my mother in 2016. On 17 May 2019, order of Division Bench of His Lordship Justice Joymalya Bagchi, His Lordship Justice Manojit Mandal, records in CRRM 4556 of 2019 u/s 438: “ Petitioner submits that the seized articles had come into his possession upon the death of his mother, Purnima Roy. Possession of the said articles does not violate the provisions of the Wildlife Act.”

  1. On 13.3.2019 a newspaper article appeared in Millennium Post or Statesman identifying a Government entity “Wildlife Crime Control Bureau” who intercepted some poached ivory in transit. This was the first tangible data that reached anyone in our family over thirty or forty years of a Government agency that may know how we could have our lawful African ivory items certified duly if needed.  I assumed this entity would have a legal cell of trained government lawyers who may advise accordingly, and sent on the same day 13.03.2019 this email to WCCB ER RDD DRR Agni Mitra:

Respected Sir,

This will inform you our family has possessed legal African ivory for forty years given to us by a family member, Ambassador Henri Lobert of the Belgian diplomatic service about 1978 or 1979.  Amb Lobert was the husband of my late sister Sucheta who died in 1990 at age 42 from breast cancer. The couple had no children.  The last known address of Amb Lobert was 33 Avenue Livingstone, Brussells.  He will be retired now at age 75+.  A photo of him, second from right in the front row, from about 1978/79 with President Kaunda of Zambia (third from right front row) is enclosed.  The ivory was gifted at that time by Amb Lobert to his mother in law, my late mother Smt Purnima Roy (1925:2016), wife of my late father Ambassador MK Roy Indian Foreign Service  (1915:2012) and is now owned by me as a gift from my mother before her passing two years ago.  The main item is a large tusk, a photo of which is enclosed.  It is an ornamental piece for hanging on a wall.  In addition there are three small ivory sculptures also from Africa in a glass cupboard, also from Amb Lobert in the late 1970s.  My late parents did not know anything about the need for registration of legal ivory items, and were not in any position to follow up.  I will be grateful to you if you or your staff could kindly inform me how this may be done by myself.  Thanking you”.

 

  1. Instead a Stasi-like tyranny started against me since that date! As Mr Sanjay Hegde has said “tyranny is defined by a bad law arbitrarily applied”.  Wildlife Protection Act 1972 Articles 39(c), 50, 53, 57 are each in my favour, yet have been wantonly misapplied by WCCB RDD DRR Agni Mitra and his staff member Arnab Basu.

(a)      Mr Mitra in a phone conversation after my email declared I was a “confessed criminal” and “law would take its own course” in respect of our family’s “illegal ivory”.

(b)     I was put under secret surveillance; my neighbours at PQR Apartments (where I am in conflict with the Management over financial irregularity/corruption issues in Alipur Court) were solicited for negative comments behind my back; my phone email whatsapp were tapped, I believe, by Nizam Palace.

(c)      I offered WCCB in March 2019 to visit by appointment stating I was deeply involved in a civil matter in High Court under strict deadlines from His Lordship Justice Sambuddha Chakrabarti and His Lordship Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay.  WCCB did not respond.  On 1 May WCCB phoned asking for an appointment.  It was agreed they would visit on 8 May at 4 pm, allowing me to meet deadlines with the above mentioned Division Bench. WCCB broke that agreement immediately and raided me on 2 May 2019, causing me to fail to meet my High Court deadline and have to move Hon’ble Court for Extension.

(d)     I had myself declared our five main items of lawfully held African ivory and offered to allow WCCB to bring their own lock and key and hold these items in a trunk I would provide at my home.  No they had to seize these, and force me to sign a Seizure List under coercion or they would arrest me immediately.

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Please check the videograph how gleeful MOEFCC raiding party became when weighing our lawful African ivory and declaring it to be “Government property” – as if they would be receiving a share of proceeds! That is why I say “QuasiDacoity”  — by Government agents!

 (e)     WCCB raiding party of some ten persons had three Central Armed Police not in uniform.  These persons videographed my home and proceedings in breach of my personal security.  A second raid occurred on 30 May 2019 of four persons including the same three CAP.  I allowed open access to our Godrej safe which contained family jewelry.  I pleaded not to videograph inside the Godrej safe opened by me for inspection. 

But Arnab Basu explicitly instructed Central Armed Policeman Tamid Khan to videograph all items including jewelry inside the Godrej safe that had nothing to do with any ivory! Why? My security and privacy have been badly breached by these unknown agents of your MOEFCC! Dacoity by their friends next?

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(f)     During this second raid on 30 May 2019, Arnab Basu desecrated by deliberately touching for inspection  ashes of my late parents in my almirah though I said that is what they were.

(g)      Wildlife Crime Control Bureau guidelines 2013 states:

“wildlife offenders can be divided into (a) poachers or hunters who kill or capture wild animals or collect wild plants (b) persons buying hunted/captured animals or collected plants for own consumption or trade”.

Wildlife Protection Act 1972 states  “PREVENTION AND DETECTION OF OFFENCES” “50…. Power of entry, search, arrest and detention.—(1) …  Director… if he has reasonable grounds for believing that any person has committed an offence against this Act,— … conduct search or inquiry or enter upon and search any premises…  seize any animal article…”

(h) Wildlife Protection Act states at Article 53: “Punishment for wrongful seizure. – If any person, exercising powers under this Act, vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes the property of any other person on the pretence of seizing it for the reasons mentioned in sec. 50, he shall, on conviction, be punishable…”

(i)      WCCB RDD DRR Agni Mitra and Wildlife Inspector Arnab Basu were fully aware, and admitted they knew, I was not a “poacher/hunter/trader”. They had no reasonable grounds for their home invasions.

(j)       I responded to Summons as per directions of Hon’ble High Court Division Bench, reported for interrogation on 24 May 2019 at Nizam Palace.  There WCCB RDD DRR Agni Mitra denounced the fact I received anticipatory bail under Sec 438, threatened to arrest me anyway, and declared there would be a second “thorough” search of my premises, especially “Documents Search” – because WCCB MOEFCC believed my late parents had gotten our ivory certified without my knowledge and a second search could yield these documents which I did not know about! During the second search on 30 May 2019, Arnab Basu explicitly ordered CAP Constable Sudip Ghosh to go through all our home “dolil” ownership documents to find such ivory certification! Obviously these did not exist or I would not have sent my original email of 13.3.2019!  

Why such lies and dissimulation?  Satyameva Jayathe is our National Motto!  Why is Indian Forest Service indulging in mendacity?

(k)     I found six possibly African ivory “jewelry” items of my late sister and a fur coat in an almirah; I offered on 24 May 2019 to bring them for inspection myself to Nizam Palace on 29 May 2019.  I did so.  The coat was returned as “some foreign species not covered by the Wildlife Act”.  That is exactly the situation with African ivory Loxodonta before October 1991 I said.  Arnab Basu after consulting WCCB RDD DRR Agni Mitra stated “We will let the Magistrate decide what is African ivory and what is Indian ivory”. Shri Mitra and Shri Basu are apparently zoologists not trained in law yet knowing something to be African ivory they plan not to tell the Magistrate!  That is suppressio veri/suggestion falsi!  Lying again!

(l)       I surrendered on 29 May 2019 my grandmother’s 2 Indian ivory toys (gorur gari); these were broken and were made into 12 pieces and I was asked: “Where did you procure these ivory items and where were you going to sell them?” The mala fide is obvious.!

D7v9tyKUcAA6Bi-

(m)    Finally at about 1830 29 May 2019 in office of WCCB RDD DRR Agni Mitra with Arnab Basu present I was abused and shouted at and sought to be intimidated by Mr Mitra forcing me to make signatures I did not agree to.  The man was livid and nearly out of control.  The thought occurred to me he was a firearms officer, and if there was a firearm in his desk-drawer he could point it at me and shoot me dead there in his white hot fit of rage. I did not see any firearm.  Mr Mitra vowed he would unleash all Central Government forces at Nizam Palace against me, mentioning especially ED and BSF!  He also himself mentioned my “neighbours” at PQR Apartments “hating me”, but did not ask me why, namely the Alipur Court 144 case I had brought against two of the Management!

 

(n)     At age 64, I was not offered a glass of water or a toilet break in a four hour interrogation on 29 May 2019.  When I was finally released about 7 pm, lifts were off and lights of Nizam Palace were half-out; I descended six floors by stairs fully expecting to be assaulted by unknown persons on the way in view of Mr Mitra’s livid abuse minutes earlier. I took off my spectacles and put them in my pocket in case I was attacked.

(o)      Next day during the second home invasion and purported Document Search, my housekeeper was interviewed. Arnab Basu had demanded the day earlier that she be kept long after her hours; I said no; you can come 0930 to 1330 and talk to her. They complied.  She has been with us seven years.  The main question was: had she seen any visitors or couriers indicating I was trading ivory?  She stated, No not at all. 

Kindly Sir, Mr Director General, end this MOEFCC WCCB tyranny and return our lawful property safely and immediately with an offer of compensation as a normal civilised government would.  And kindly consider appointing as I suggest Ombudsmen in each of your Five Zones to review all such cases where villagers, forest dwellers or other citizens of India have been wrongfully abused by Indian Forest Service Officers as I have experienced myself.

Your MOEFCC colleagues Shri Manmohan Singh Negi, Smt Anuradha Singh, Shri Ritesh Kumar Singh have known about the situation from me in writing since 11 May 2019.

Yours faithfully

Subroto Roy

 

 

15 June 2019  Quash the False Charges by WCCB, MOEFCC, Mr Sur!

Madhu Sudhan Sur Esq, Add Public Prosecutor, West Bengal

Vipul Kundalia Esq, for
WCCB DDR ER Agni Mitra, Wildlife Inspector Arnab Basu

Shri Manmohan Singh Negi, IFS, Additional Director Wildlife

Smt Anuradha Singh, IAS, MOEFCC

Shri Ritesh Kumar Singh, IAS, MOEFCC

Hon’ble Minister, MOEFCC

Shri Ranjan Halder, OC, Ballygunge Police Station

Learned Commissioner, Anuj Sharma, IPS, Kolkata Police


A) Illegal Seizure (Quasi “Dacoity”) of our lawful family property by MOEFCC Agents Since 2 May 2019

B) Harassment, Abuse, Intimidation of a law abiding citizen: myself

15 June 2019

Dear Additional Public Prosecutor Madhu Sudhan Sur,

Hon’ble Division Bench His Lordship Dipankar Datta and His Lordship Saugata Bhattacharyya appeared naturally surprised when on 11 June 2019  you declared in Court “We have no role in this matter”.  Please be advised of the facts of the case as follows and reconsider if you have a role or not according to law.  I believe the facts are such your role is to immediately quash the false case that has been created against me by WCCB, MOEFCC.

Our lawful African ivory held since 1970s

  1. My older sister Sucheta Roy (1947:1990) wed one Henri Lobert, a Belgian diplomat, in 1977 in Belgium, with consent of parents late MK Roy (1915:2012) late Purnima Roy (1925:2016). The couple were posted as Belgian diplomats in Africa and about 1978/79 they gifted my parents 5 items of African ivory, species Loxodonta.  In addition, Sucheta had some eight items of “jewelry” (no jewels). MK Roy had a walking stick with African ivory in it. All these items of African ivory owned by our family were entirely lawful when purchased, transported or gifted in the late 1970s and held by us ever since.

  1. In addition, MK Roy’s mother, my grandmother Nirmala Debi (1902:1976) had been married as a child bride in 1911 and brought into our home a few Indian ivory toys, including one or two small bullock carts (gorur gari). In addition, MK Roy acquired two Sea Shells in Bombay about 1952.

  1. Sucheta Roy died in Kolkata of breast cancer age 42 in January 1990. No African ivory has been owned by us except that which she had brought in her lifetime and gifted to her parents. No African or any other ivory or any other “animal products” has ever been sold by us.

  1. (The legal ban of African ivory imports into India came into effect in Oct 1991 viz Article 39(c) of Wildlife Protection Act.)

  1. All these items came into my possession through inheritance at passing of my mother in 2016. On 17 May 2019, order of Division Bench of His Lordship Joymalya Bagchi, His Lordship Manojit Mandal, records in CRRM 4556 of 2019 u/s 438:

 “ Petitioner submits that the seized articles had come into his possession upon the death of his mother, Purnima Roy. Possession of the said articles does not violate the provisions of the Wildlife Act.”

 

Illegal/Malafide Behaviour of WCCB, MOEFCC

  1. On 13.3.2019 a newspaper article appeared in Millennium Post or Statesman identifying a Government entity “Wildlife Crime Control Bureau” who intercepted some poached ivory in transit. This was the first tangible data that reached anyone in our family over thirty or forty years of a Government agency that may know how we could have our lawful African ivory items certified duly if needed.  I assumed this entity would have a legal cell of trained government lawyers who may  advise accordingly, and sent on the same day 13.03.2019 this email to WCCB RDD Agni Mitra Indian Forest Service:

Respected Sir,

This will inform you our family has possessed legal African ivory for forty years given to us by a family member, Ambassador Henri Lobert of the Belgian diplomatic service about 1978 or 1979.  Amb Lobert was the husband of my late sister Sucheta who died in 1990 at age 42 from breast cancer. The couple had no children.  The last known address of Amb Lobert was 33 Avenue Livingstone, Brussells.  He will be retired now at age 75+.  A photo of him, second from right in the front row, from about 1978/79 with President Kaunda of Zambia (third from right front row) is enclosed.  The ivory was gifted at that time by Amb Lobert to his mother in law, my late mother Smt Purnima Roy (1925:2016), wife of my late father Ambassador MK Roy Indian Foreign Service  (1915:2012) and is now owned by me as a gift from my mother before her passing two years ago.  The main item is a large tusk, a photo of which is enclosed.  It is an ornamental piece for hanging on a wall.  In addition there are three small ivory sculptures also from Africa in a glass cupboard, also from Amb Lobert in the late 1970s.  My late parents did not know anything about the need for registration of legal ivory items, and were not in any position to follow up.  I will be grateful to you if you or your staff could kindly inform me how this may be done by myself.  Thanking you”.

 

  1. Instead a Stasi-like tyranny started against me since that date! Mr Sanjay Hegde, Supreme Court Advocate, has said “tyranny is defined by a bad law arbitrarily applied”.  Wildlife Protection Act 1972 Articles 39(c), 50, 53, 57 are each in my favour, yet have been wantonly misapplied by WCCB DRR Agni Mitra and his staff member Arnab Basu.

  • Mr Mitra in a phone conversation after my email declared I was a “confessed criminal” and “law would take its own course” in respect of our family’s “illegal ivory”.

  • I was put under secret surveillance; my neighbours at PQR Apartments (where I am in conflict with the Management over financial irregularity/ corruption issues in Alipur Court) were solicited for negative comments behind my back; my phone email whatsapp were tapped, I believe, by Nizam Palace.

  • I offered WCCB in March 2019 to visit by appointment stating I was deeply involved in a civil matter in High Court under strict deadlines from His Lordship Justice Sambuddha Chakrabarti and His Lordship Abhijit Gangopadhyay. WCCB did not respond.  On 1 May WCCB phoned asking for an appointment.  It was agreed they would visit on 8 May at 4 pm, allowing me to meet  deadlines with the above mentioned Division Bench. WCCB broke that agreement immediately and raided me on 2 May 2019, causing me to fail to meet my High Court deadline and have to move Hon’ble Court for Extension.

  • I had myself declared our five main items of lawfully held African ivory and offered to allow WCCB to bring their own lock and key and hold these items in a trunk I would provide at my home. IMG-20190501-WA0003

  • No they had to seize these, and force me to sign a Seizure List under coercion or they would arrest me immediately. Please check the videograph how gleeful MOEFCC raiding party became when weighing our lawful African ivory and declaring it to be “Government property” – as if they would be receiving a share of proceeds! That is why I say “QuasiDacoity”  — by Government agents!

20190502_175544

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  • Ballygunge Thana was informed by me on 1 May 2019 but SI Rahman (also involved in the Apartment Management Irregularity issue) did not inform OC Halder and told me on the phone they had no role.

  • WCCB raiding party of some ten persons had three Central Armed Police not in uniform. These persons videographed my home and proceedings in breach of my personal security.  A second raid occurred on 30 May 2019 of four persons including the same three CAP.  I allowed open access to our Godrej safe which contained family jewelry.  I pleaded not to videograph inside the Godrej safe opened by me for inspection.  But Arnab Basu explicitly instructed Central Armed Policeman Tamim(?) to videograph all items including jewelry inside the Godrej safe that had nothing to do with any ivory! My security and privacy have been badly breached by these unknown agents of MOEFCC! 

  • During this second raid on 30 May 2019, Arnab Basu desecrated by deliberately touching for inspection ashes of my late parents in my almirah though I said that is what they were.

  • Wildlife Crime Control Bureau guidelines 2013 states:

“wildlife offenders can be divided into (a) poachers or hunters who kill or capture wild animals or collect wild plants (b) persons buying hunted/captured animals or collected plants for own consumption or trade”.

Wildlife Protection Act 1972 states  “PREVENTION AND DETECTION OF OFFENCES” “50…. Power of entry, search, arrest and detention.—(1) …  Director… if he has reasonable grounds for believing that any person has committed an offence against this Act,— … conduct search or inquiry or enter upon and search any premises…  seize any animal article…” Wildlife Protection Act states at Article 53: “Punishment for wrongful seizure. – If any person, exercising powers under this Act, vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes the property of any other person on the pretence of seizing it for the reasons mentioned in sec. 50, he shall, on conviction, be punishable…”

  • WCCB DRR Agni Mitra and Wildlife Inspector Arnab Basu were fully aware, and admitted they knew, I was not a “poacher/hunter/trader”. They had no reasonable grounds for their home invasions.

  • I responded to Summons as per directions of Hon’ble High Court Division Bench, reported for interrogation on 24 May 2019 at Nizam Palace. There WCCB DRR Agni Mitra denounced the fact I received anticipatory bail under Sec 438, threatened to arrest me anyway, and declared there would be a second “thorough” search of my premises, especially “Documents Search” – because WCCB MOEFCC believed my late parents had gotten our ivory certified without my knowledge and a second search could yield these documents which I did not know about! During the second search on 30 May 2019, Arnab Basu explicitly ordered CAP Constable Sudip Ghosh to go through all our home “dolil” ownership documents to find such ivory certification! Obviously these did not exist or I would not have sent my original email of 13.3.2019!

  • I found six possibly African ivory “jewelry” items of my late sister and a fur coat in an almirah; I offered on 24 May 2019 to bring them for inspection myself to Nizam Palace on 29 May 2019. I did so.  The coat was returned as “some foreign species not covered by the Wildlife Act”.  That is exactly the situation with African ivory Loxodonta before October 1991 I said.  Arnab Basu after consulting WCCB DRR Agni Mitra stated “We will let the Magistrate decide what is African ivory and what is Indian ivory”. Mr Mitra and Mr Basu are apparently zoologists not trained in law yet knowing something to be African ivory they plan not to tell the Magistrate!  That is suppressio veri/suggestion falsi!

  • IMG_20190529_135823 (2)

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  • I surrendered on 29 May 2019 my grandmother’s 2 Indian ivory toys (gorur gari); D7v9tyKUcAA6Bi-

  • these were broken and were made into 12 pieces and I was asked: “Where did you procure these ivory items and where were you going to sell them?”

  • Finally at about 1830 in office of WCCB DRR Agni Mitra with Arnab Basu present I was abused and shouted at and sought to be intimidated by Mr Mitra forcing me to make signatures I did not agree to. The man was livid and nearly out of control.  The thought occurred to me he was a firearms officer, and if there was a firearm in his desk-drawer he could point it at me and shoot me dead there in his white hot fit of rage. I did not see any firearm.  Mr Mitra vowed he would unleash all Central Government forces at Nizam Palace against me, mentioning especially ED and BSF!  He also himself mentioned my “neighbours” … “hating me”, but did not ask me why, namely the Alipur Court 144 case I had brought against two of the Management!

  • At age 64, I was not offered a glass of water or a toilet break in a four hour interrogation on 29 May 2019. When I was finally released about 7 pm, lifts were off and lights of Nizam Palace were half-out; I descended six floors by stairs fully expecting to be assaulted by unknown persons on the way in view of Mr Mitra’s livid abuse minutes earlier. I took off my spectacles and put them in my pocket in case I was attacked.

  • Next day during the second home invasion and purported Document Search, my housekeeper was interviewed. Arnab Basu had demanded the day earlier that she be kept long after her hours; I said no; you can come 0930 to 1330 and talk to her. They complied. She has been with us seven years.  The main question was: had she seen any visitors or couriers indicating I was trading ivory?  She stated, No not at all.  

  • The role of Ballygunge Police has been mixed. To his credit OC Halder allowed GD to be filed on 3 May 2019, allowing application under 438 to be filed.  To his discredit, SI Rahman said to me my facts were “bogus facts”, without comprehending them.     

Please be advised, Sir, that I fully expect Kolkata Police and  Office of Public Prosecutor to first and foremost protect the rights of a law-abiding citizen as myself against this MOEFCC tyranny unleashed by WCCB, Nizam Palace.  I have had to naturally want to keep everything in the public domain in the national interest.  Viz  https://independentindian.com/2019/05/04/how-to-get-harassed-and-even-arrested-jailed-by-indias-stasi-forest-officials-without-being-criminal-subroto-roy-vs-union-of-india-harsha-vardhan-agni-mitra-et-al/

Yours faithfully

Subroto Roy, PhD (Cantab.) BScEcon (London)

 

 

3 June 2019 Please return our lawful African Ivory Mr Negi!

Today’s paper has fine news that the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau of India’s Forest Service has apprehended three people transporting cruelly a baby lion and three rare langurs! 

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The Indian Forest Service’s protection of endangered wildlife and apprehension of hunters poachers traders is to be applauded. 

Now I trust they will see what a ghastly error they have made attacking our home exactly a month ago 2 May 2019, then again a second time on 30 May 2019 to forcibly take away our lawful African ivory of forty years…! 

including my father’s beautiful walking stick,

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my mother’s and sister’s jewelry…

 

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and these

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They had demanded my housekeeper remain long after hours for them to arrive.  I said no, you can come when she is here and interview her as you wish.  They complied.

They demanded to know from her if I was involved in selling jewelry.  No she said, she had not seen any visitors or couriers.

They have misunderstood and misused every single article of the Wildlife Protection Act against me!  Article 39 c, Article 50, Article 53, Article 57!

Eg Article 57 seems to put the burden of proof on an accused… but that is only at trial not during inquiry when there is a presumption of innocence…!

Did they have the decency to ask me what I intended to do with the female jewelry?  Of course they did not.

Had they done so, I would have said these would likely be earmarked in due course for my late sister’s three grand daughters from her first marriage.  End of story.

They returned my sister’s fur coat when I took to declare it on 29 May 2019…

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How come you are returning it? I asked…

“It is some foreign species not covered under the Wildlife Protection Act” they said…

Exactly!  African ivory imported into India before 1991 was the same!  All our African ivory items came from my sister and her husband Henri Lobert in the late 1970s… long before her death in 1990!  

I was harshly abused and threatened by a livid, almost out of control, Forest Service Officer (a firearms officer I’m sure, the thought went through my mind though fortunately no firearm was to be seen) 1830, date 29 May 2019…

“I will break you!”

“I will bring you down!”

“I will destroy you!”

I was made to hear…

and all the Central Government agencies at Nizam Palace would be unleashed upon me…

“Enforcement Directorate”, including the Border Security Force… whom I had praised in discussing Mr Trump’s border problems!

Please get this harassment to stop Mr Negi from your staff.  Please at once return our ivory and other items (2 sea shells from Bombay c 1952!) safely, and offer due compensation like a civilised government would.  Thank you.

Subroto Roy

2 June 2019

 

 

24 May 2019

Shri Agni Mitra, Indian Forest Service
cc:
Smt Natarajan
Dr Harsh Vardhan
Shri Ritesh Singh
Smt Anuradha Singh
Shri Manmohan Singh Negi

Agni Mitra WCCB RDD

Arnab Basu  Wildlife Inspector

Nizam Palace

Dear Mr Mitra and Mr Basu,

The Hon’ble Division Bench of His Lordship Justice Joymalya Bagchi and His Lordship Manojit Mandal has directed me to cooperate with you and make myself available for interrogation, and I have done so today for three hours; I have offered also to bring next week to your office a few female clothing items & jewelry from decades ago from our home which may or may not be genuine “animal products”.  

Their Lordships as you know have set further hearing on 10 June 2019 in the matter.  

In view of Their Lordships orders of 17.05.2019 and 23.05.2019, would it not be Contempt of Court on your part if

a) you arrest me as you threatened in your office in discussing the meaning of sec 438, only to be released by a lower court on bail?

b) you start to intimidate my domestic help Smt RJ whose phone number you insisted on taking from me (she has many household responsibilities with her family, and lives far away having to commute with great difficulty for her income)? 

 c) you insist on a second arbitrary “search and seizure” at my home as you have stated you want to do which, like the first, would lack “reasonable grounds” required under Article 50 of the Wildlife Protection Act and hence be wrongful and vexatious under Article 53?

Today I have given you the new data of my sister’s marriage in Belgium in 1977 to Henri Lobert, and her death certificate in Kolkata in 1990.  The items were gifted by her and her husband to her parents in the late 1970s, long before 1991.

As stated to you and the Hon’ble High Court, our African ivory items have always been lawfully owned since the late 1970s from when they came to my parents’ possession, and  I myself declared them to you freely the same day I came to know of the existence of a Government entity named Wildlife Crime Control Bureau. 

It is true my late parents failed to do any paperwork on them but that is largely because they never discovered from the Government what was to be done. 

There is no Wildlife or any other crime by us in this regard or any other. Article 39 c, Article 50, Article 53, Article 57 of the Wildlife Protection Act are all in my favour in the circumstances of this case.

Please reflect upon the above.

I repeat: please be good enough to return our lawful African ivory that has been wrongfully seized by you.  

Sincerely

 

Subroto Roy

PostScript:

What reason did you give to want to raid my home again? Document search! You actually said my parents (who were 81,71 when I returned to India permanently) may have gotten ivory certification papers I did not know about! So the Government could find them at my home!

https://twitter.com/subyroy/status/1131969029961216000

8 May 2019

Solving a Problem of State Tyranny: Open Letter to Forest Service Officer Agni Mitra (who seems to have filled himself with hatred towards me for no good reason)

Shri Agni Mitra, Indian Forest Service

cc: 

Smt Natarajan

Dr Harsh Vardhan

Shri Ritesh Singh

Smt Anuradha Singh

Shri Manmohan Singh Negi

Hello Mr Mitra,

Would you like to come for a cup of tea and an informal chat this Rabindra Jayanti, bringing any questions and also your colleague Forest Ranger MK Deb?  The invitation is my first response to your summons to attend an interrogation by you on 24 May at Nizam Palace.

My letter is public because the issues are important, and because this is the Internet age and everyone can and should see what transpires.  Hence the current Minister, a previous Minister, and current senior Forest officials are also tagged by email, and the whole document is public for the world to see, at Twitter too.

IMG-20190501-WA0003

Regarding our family’s 5 items of old African ivory held since the late 1970s that you forcibly seized from my home on 2 May 2019, you have been threatening me with arrest and jail for weeks now, you called me on the phone a “confessed criminal” and declared how the “law will take its course” etc.

The fact actually is I am completely innocent!

You are apparently a stellar young officer who went to Narendrapur and Presidency, both of which I’ve visited, and indeed whose eminent alumni include Bibek Debroy, Mr Modi’s adviser, who started with me at Cambridge in 1976 under the same Professor Hahn, and who visited our then home in Behala about 1979/80 for luncheon once just about when these ivory items had come to us.  Your colleague Forest Ranger Deb spoke highly of you and did not like me disparaging you while the forcible search and seizure was taking place at my home. Hence my invitation to tea and a chat today.

For myself, my experience has been that you have been acting tyrannically and unconstitutionally, misunderstanding and misusing the law you keep quoting against me.  Definitely you have apparently 0 law degree, not even an LLB, but you and others in your position in the Forest Service have been given vast prosecutorial powers, and command of large Central Armed Police forces.

Abuse of power and breach of Constitutional rights of individual citizens is inevitable.

When a stellar Forest Officer misuses the law tyrannically against Subroto Roy, Economist, who had Narendra Modi in his Deendayal Upadhyay audience in Washington in October 1984, and who six years later sparked with Rajiv Gandhi the 1991 reform, I dread to think what India’s villagers and forest dwellers may have been facing in similar situations.

So we are in a War or Peace situation.  Finding a modus vivendi by diplomacy is always better than bruising each other fighting.  Hence my invitation to tea to you and Ranger Deb along with any questions both of you may have informally.

From my side, if you accept my invitation I will show you my specific legal case against you!

Namely, the warrantless search & seizure that you love so much to quote requires in its preface

**reasonable grounds for believing that any person has committed an offence against this Act**.

Now who are such offenders against this Act?  Your own “Wildlife Crime Control Bureau” document of 2013 itself states

“wildlife offenders can be divided into

(a) poachers or hunters who kill or capture wild animals or collect wild plants

(b) persons buying hunted/captured animals or collected plants for own consumption or trade”

I myself had declared my mother’s ivory to you! Neither of us ever a “poacher/hunter/buyer”!

You had no “reasonable grounds” for ordering your forcible warrantless search and seizure at our home.  

Neither my late mother nor I qualify as prima facie “wildlife offenders” by your own Government definition!

Since you have behaved lacking such “reasonable grounds” for warrantless search and seizure from our home, may I not pray to a Court that this is a case of wrongful seizure under Article 53?

“53. Punishment for wrongful seizure. – If any person, exercising powers under this Act, vexatiously and unnecessarily seizes the property of any other person on the pretence of seizing it for the reasons mentioned in sec. 50, he shall, on conviction, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to five hundred rupees, or with both.”

The date of my email 13 March 2019 was the first date I came to know, from a newspaper report, of existence of a Government entity named “Wildlife Crime Control Bureau”.  My email fully declared our African ivory as a gift from decades past, admitted our failure to register these for ignorance or legal obscurity over the years, sought information how to proceed towards this now.

I said:

“Respected Sir,

This will inform you our family has possessed legal African ivory for forty years given to us by a family member, Ambassador Henri Lobert of the Belgian diplomatic service about 1978 or 1979.  Amb Lobert was the husband of my late sister Sucheta who died in 1990 at age 42 from breast cancer. The couple had no children.  The last known address of Amb Lobert was 33 Avenue Livingstone, Brussells.  He will be retired now at age 75+.  A photo of him, second from right in the front row, from about 1978/79 with President Kaunda of Zambia (third from right front row) is enclosed.  The ivory was gifted at that time by Amb Lobert to his mother in law, my late mother Smt Purnima Roy (1925:2016), wife of my late father Ambassador MK Roy Indian Foreign Service  (1915:2012) and is now owned by me as a gift from my mother before her passing two years ago.  The main item is a large tusk, a photo of which is enclosed.  It is an ornamental piece for hanging on a wall.  In addition there are three small ivory sculptures also from Africa in a glass cupboard, also from Amb Lobert in the late 1970s.   

My late parents did not know anything about the need for registration of legal ivory items, and were not in any position to follow up.  I will be grateful to you if you or your staff could kindly inform me how this may be done by myself.  Thanking you”

This is the first information you ever received about our five items of old African ivory (four are mentioned because one had been forgotten inside a glass cupboard) that we have lawfully had in our home for forty years, which you wrongfully seized by brute force on 2 May 2019.

To be a criminal one has to have done something illegal and with criminal intent.  Neither my late mother nor I after her death did anything criminal with the African ivory she had been gifted by her Belgian diplomat son-in-law Henri Lobert some 40 years ago.

At some point or perhaps points in time, maybe 30 years ago — the Government of India does not know itself and is certainly unable to tell anyone now — people in India holding “animal products” were required to get Government certifications.

But the certification procedure was then, and remains today, totally obscure even to the Government, to lawyers, to law enforcement authorities, to everyone, except perhaps chosen “Dealers”, who knows?

Into that breach of Government-created obscurity stepped the natural abuse of power… So a class of normal law abiding citizens became criminals for holding “animal products” without due certification, except very few ordinary people knew what that due certification was or how it was to be gotten.

By the Government’s arbitrary law making — reversing the burden of proof so the holder of eg ivory has to prove he/she was not holding it criminally — people started to live in fear of blackmail or sudden “search and seizure” by officials…

I had not returned permanently to India, and advised my elderly parents to get our African ivory certified but they remained clueless how to do so and I was unable to find out as well.

It was only during the 2 May 2019 home invasion by the Government officials sent by you that I found out vaguely what the procedure might have been!

Besides my sister died of breast cancer in 1990 age 42 and my parents were in shock ever since and perhaps unwilling to think about the ivory she and her husband had brought them as gifts years earlier.

My mother died in 2016 the lawful owner of African ivory she had received as a gift in the late 1970s which she had admittedly failed to get certified by the Government of India when the Government had demanded it, because she and my father had remained clueless what was required of them — and the Government to this day cannot say what that was and when! 

The African ivory items came to my possession. On 13.3.2019 I chanced upon a news report which mentioned your “Wildlife Crime Control Bureau”, and felt that seemed the place to start, and I declared our ivory to you requesting information how to proceed further for certification…

Instead your Stasi-like tyranny took over at once!  And I have coined the hashtag  #IndiasStasi at Twitter!  You denounced me as a “criminal who had confessed”, advised I get a lawyer, and promised sudden warrantless search of my home!

That sudden warrantless search happened on 2 May 2019, with you sending some 8 or 10 people to my home including three Central Armed Police out of uniform…

My local police station had been informed by me but did not respond… My lawyers advised I be passive which I agreed was wise…

It was during the 3 or 4 hour home invasion by these officials that I asked them what the certification process was, and finally found that out for the first time in thirty years!

You confiscated our African ivory of forty years because we obviously did not have the papers we had not known over thirty years how to get!

I was made to sign a form (the “Seizure List”) under duress in my own home.

I agreed I would sign if I was allowed to write my comment “illegal seizure’”, and state “Wrongful, Vexatious, Unnecessary Seizure of Property violating Article 53 Wildlife Protection Act 1972”.

No, your officials said, there is no room for any comment on the form, only your signature. I refused.  You threatened “If you don’t sign the form, we will take ‘punitive action’… ie arrest and jail me immediately was the implication, and I was urged to sign especially by the “Central Armed Police” officials out of uniform. Classic Stasi techniques in my own home, thought I… !

Now after the sudden home invasion on 2 May 2019, I was warned by legal friends to expect to be arrested & jailed… Your letter summoning me to interrogation on 24 May at least indicates there is no sudden arbitrary arrest being threatened until then.

But someone tell me kindly at what point did my mother become a criminal for holding her ivory without new papers the Government demanded (no one knows when or how) and then myself? Arresting and jailing me for trying to declare gifted and inherited African ivory from the late 1970s at the first opportunity we knew how to?  Did my 13.3.2019 email make me a criminal confessing a crime, as you  #IndiasStasi have claimed? Of course not. Was my mother a criminal at the time she died or any time earlier for not getting her African ivory certified in some obscure way at some uncertain time or times in years past stated by the Government somewhere, when the Government today is completely unable to specify what or when the procedure was?  Hardly.

The Government’s law mentions “Dealers” and does not even seem to mention ordinary citizens owning “animal products” as my mother had done!

“Kindly keep our family property unlawfully seized by you yesterday safe and secure. Kindly be good enough to send me by email or courier a digital copy of the complete videograph records taken by two Central Armed Police personnel in your team yesterday during my home invasion.”

Oh yes two of your Central Armed Police officers breached my Fundamental Right to Privacy for about the whole time they were here by videographing inside my home for two or three hours.

Please come to tea.  I also do not know what the “Compounding” clauses of payment of a fine or penalty refer to, and you can clarify that.  I do not dispute that we have been (slightly) negligent in failing to get our lawful African ivory registered over the decades. More specifically perhaps, our family’s responsibility is 4%,  the Government of India’s responsibility is 96%!

The Wildlife law is bad in its tyrannical implementation by Forest Officers against innocent masses of India, it is prima facie ultra vires of the Constitution and Criminal Procedure.  It is up to you yourselves in the Government to correct it at once.

And yes, please return our old African ivory at once, and offer due compensation for the harassment caused.

Or if you prefer not to accept my invitation to tea, please recuse yourself from this investigation on grounds of your proven bias against me, and I will be happy to cooperate with your colleagues to establish there has been 0 “Wildlife Crime” or any other crime by us.

Thank you.

Subroto Roy 9 May 2019

 

3 May 2019

How to get harassed and even arrested & jailed by India’s Stasi “Forest Officials” without being criminal: Subroto Roy vs Union of India, Harsha Vardhan, Agni Mitra et al (DRAFT)

Subroto Roy, 3 May 2019

To be a criminal you have to have done something illegal and with criminal intent…
The Government of India cannot possibly prove even a prima facie case that either my late mother or I after her death did anything criminal with the African ivory she had been gifted by her Belgian diplomat son-in-law some 40 years ago.
At some point or perhaps points in time, maybe 30 years ago — the Government of India does not know itself and is certainly unable to tell anyone now — people in India holding “animal products” were required to get Government certifications.
But the certification procedure was then, and remains today, totally obscure even to the Government, to lawyers, to law enforcement authorities, to everyone, except perhaps chosen “Dealers”, who knows?
Into that breach of Government-created obscurity stepped the natural abuse of power…
So a class of normal law abiding citizens became criminals for holding “animal products” without due certification, except very few ordinary people knew what that due certification was or how it was to be gotten.
By the Government’s arbitrary law making — reversing the burden of proof so the holder of eg ivory had to prove he/she was not holding it criminally — people started to live in fear of blackmail or sudden “search and seizure” by officials…
I had not returned permanently to India, and advised my elderly parents to get our African ivory certified but they remained clueless how to do so and I was unable to find out as well. (Finally yesterday 2 May 2019 during the home invasion by Government officials I found out from the invading officials!).
Besides, my sister who had been a Belgian diplomat died of breast cancer in 1990 age 42 and my parents were in shock ever since and perhaps unwilling to think about the ivory she and her husband had brought them as gifts years earlier.
My mother died in 2016 the lawful owner of African ivory she had received as a gift in the late 1970s which she had admittedly failed to get certified by the Government of India when the Government had demanded it, because she and my father had remained clueless what was required of them — and the Government to this day cannot say what that was and when!
The African ivory items came to my possession…
On 13.3.2019 I chanced upon a Government of India email id and said Hey that seems the place to start, and I declared our ivory to them requesting information how to proceed further for certification…
Instead a Stasi-like tyranny took over at once!
The addressee of my email, a bright clearly ambitious Forest officer apparently bereft of knowledge of Constitutional law, denounced me as a “criminal who had confessed”, advised I get a lawyer, and promised sudden warrantless search of my home!
That sudden warrantless search happened yesterday 2 May 2019, with this Forest official sending some 8 or 10 people to my home including three Central Armed Police out of uniform…

My local police station had been informed by me but did not respond…

My lawyers advised I be passive which I agreed was wise…

It was during the 3 or 4 hour home invasion by these officials that I asked them what the certification process was, and finally found that out for the first time in thirty years!

They confiscated our African ivory of forty years because we obviously did not have the papers we had not known over thirty years how to get!

I was made to sign a form (the “Seizure List”) under duress in my own home.

I agreed I would sign if I was allowed to write my comment “illegal seizure’”, and state “Wrongful, Vexatious, Unnecessary Seizure of Property violating Article 53 Wildlife Protection Act 1972”.

No, they said, there is no room for any comment on the form, only your signature.

I refused.  Then they threatened “If you don’t sign the form, we will take ‘punitive action’ and the man in charge indicated he would call “his boss” the Forest Officer who had started this tyranny in response to my 13.3.2019 email.  They would arrest and jail me immediately was the implication, and I was urged to sign especially by the “Central Armed Police” officials out of uniform.

Classic Stasi techniques in my own home, thought I… !

Now after the sudden home invasion by these Stasi-like people on 2 May 2019, I have been warned by legal friends to expect to be arrested & jailed…

But someone tell me kindly at what point did my mother become a criminal for holding her ivory without new papers the Government demanded (no one knows when or how) and then myself?

Arresting and jailing me for trying to declare gifted and inherited African ivory from the late 1970s at the first opportunity we knew how to?

Did my 13.3.2019 email make me a criminal confessing a crime, as the Stasi have claimed? Of course not.

Was my mother a criminal at the time she died or any time earlier for not getting her African ivory certified in some obscure way at some uncertain time or times in years past stated by the Government somewhere, when the Government today is completely unable to specify what or when the procedure was?

Hardly.

The Government’s law mentions “Dealers” and does not even seem to mention ordinary citizens owning “animal products” as my mother had done!

“Kindly keep our family property unlawfully seized by you yesterday safe and secure. Kindly be good enough to send me by email or courier a digital copy of the complete videograph records taken by two Central Armed Police personnel in your team yesterday during my home invasion.”

Oh yes the Stasi videographed using two of the Central Armed Police officers for about the whole time they were there. I have asked them for what they filmed and look forward to receiving them unedited.  Will I get it?  I doubt they will have the courage to send me what they filmed.

Finally I teased them a bit:

“Have you left any secret remote control wifi camera behind in my home? The Stasi techniques you employed would have done that after all. Do let me know by email if you have. Thanks.”

The idea occurred to me that given my passivity during the home invasion as advised by my lawyers, I could not possibly tell if they had planted a camera or a microphone somewhere without my knowledge. We have looked for it, so far, fortunately without success.

Now over to the Hon’ble Courts…!

One I got wrong: “Memo to UCLA Geographers: Commonsense suggests Mr Bin Laden is far away from the subcontinent”

One I got completely wrong… I have written about why too at Facebook in 2011:

‘A new study from the UCLA Geography Department reportedly claims that the location of the elusive Mr Osama Bin Laden may be able to be pinpointed, or at least suggests a theoretical methodology for doing so. I am afraid I think such an ambition is unlikely to succeed because it neglects Aristotle’s advice “for the trained mind not to seek more precision than the subject of his study is intrinsically capable of granting to him”. (The quote is from my 1982 Cambridge doctoral thesis, p. 200; the original at Nicomachean Ethics Book 1 Chapter 3 says  “it is the mark of an educated man to look for precision in each class of things just so far as the nature of the subject admits”.)

What I said once while chatting with a German Government official in Goa in October 2006 was this: if I had been Mr Bin Laden, I would have long ago moved to “a nice oasis in the Sahara Desert” or some similarly comfortable place in North Africa. In May 2007, I decided to publish that remark here as follows:

“Where I would have gone if  I was Osama Bin Laden:

Mr Osama Bin Laden has been highly sought after for several years, against his will, yet he has thus far succeeded in maintaining his privacy. In October 2006 in Goa, I was chatting with a German Government official about this, and told him that, incidentally, I thought that how Mr Bin Laden has successfully eluded the paparazzi is by the time-honoured method of creating a red herring. He would have said his goodbyes to Mullah Omar, as Osama did in the winter of 2001, and then proceeded westward…. through Somalia towards North Africa…. all the way to a nice oasis in the Sahara Desert.”

Commonsense suggests that Mr Bin Laden would not have remained where most people would have ended up looking for him.  Those who have been looking for him  all these years seem not to have heard the old one about the drunk who looks for his lost car-keys under the lamp-post because that is where the light is…

Subroto Roy, Kolkata’

Didn’t Dr Obama (the new American President’s late father) once publish an article in Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics? (Or did he?)

As an impecunious undergraduate working and paying my way through the London School of Economics in 1973-1976, I spent many long hours poring over academic journals in economics at what used to be the old British Library of Political and Economic Sciences.   If memory serves me rightly, I did come across at that time a new article published by a Barack Obama in, I think, Harvard’s Quarterly Journal of Economics, which used to be quite an eminent journal at the time.  (All academic economics journals  have since  that era tended to suffer from  dullness, corruption and unreadability of varying degrees, especially after the end of the Cold War.)

The Obama article may have been co-authored with one or more others but I feel quite sure I recall it because of the pleasure I received from the  novelty of the African name in a (stuffy) American journal.    Dr Obama’s affiliation may have been given as the University of Hawaii — where, ironically enough, I was to have much experience later, as has been told elsewhere here.

During President Obama’s electoral campaign, I had given this information to an American journalist with a request to follow it up as I am unable to do so myself, not having access to stacks of the QJE.

It would be interesting if my memory has served me rightly here after some 34-35 years, and a Barack Obama article was found in the QJE of the early 1970s.  A lot of negative things have been said about President Obama’s late father (amounting almost to defamation) and any good  he may have  accomplished may have become interred with his bones.  Of course if I am right, the new President would owe me one as he probably has not known of the existence of the article himself.

Subroto Roy, Kolkata

Postscript:  It is possible the QJE article by Dr Obama, if it exists, was dated in the mid or late 1960s; if I came across it around 1974 as I think I did, it would still have been considered “new”.   So any intrepid young person who follows up on this by looking through a stack of QJE’s on my behalf may kindly include the mid or late 1960s.  Of course Dr Obama went from Manoa to Harvard so the likelihood that he published his economics research in the latter’s house journal is also high.