A political encounter

The political and legal implications of the so-called letter bomb from IPS officer DG Vanzara seem to have put Modi’s political and media detractors in an overdrive. For the time being, let’s leave it to the courts to bring this issue to a judicial closure, and to the people of India to bring it to a political closure in 2014. But the way this case has been played out by Congress and its allies, conniving activists, hand-in-glove media and servile investigating agencies, it certainly begs more than a cursory analysis.

 

Encounters in India – a historical perspective

Media accounts would let you believe that the Gujarat has been the only state in an otherwise peaceful country to implement the cold-blooded policy of killing “innocents” through encounters. But the fact is that many states in the past have adopted a policy of either tacitly supporting such killings, or deliberately turning a blind eye to the events. According to Praveen Swami, one of India’s leading defense experts, since mid-1960s, police forces in MP and UP gunned down dacoits in response to rampant massacres and lootings. As per telegraph report, more than 500 were killed, and scores surrendered. In Maharashtra, during Julio Rubiero’s tenure as police commissioner, more than 500 gangsters were shot dead with alleged links to crime syndicate and terrorism. The encounter policy was not only not questioned at that time but also warmly welcomed as a necessary step in breaking the back of underworld.” Under Siddharth Shankar Ray’s tenure as West Bengal Chief Minister, there are nasty killings of over a hundred young Naxalites killed by Congress and CPM together, and dead bodies were tarred and thrown into Ganga. There are horrible tales of extra constitutional killings during the days of Sikh insurgency in Punjab. In a first and only instance in India’s history, Indira Gandhi had even ordered an air strike against a civilian population in Aizwal, Assam (March, 1966)!

The intent here is not to make a case for either police or victims, but to clear the air that numerous more brutal encounters have happened in the past than the ones media is currently obsessed with. Just the way we were made to believe that riots in India happened only in 2002 by conveniently pushing all the previous episodes under the carpet.

 

Isolating Gujarat and Modi

More than 30 police officers of Gujarat police have been arrested in connection with Ishrat-Sohrabudding-Tulsiram fake encounter cases in 2004-05. The disproportionately high coverage given to few cases in Gujarat would convince the viewers that Gujarat is the only state where such incidents took place. Mere fact-checking from reliable data would expose the unnecessary hype behind these cases.  According to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), more than 440 encounter cases were reported across India in 2002-07. And how many of them were reported in Gujarat? Just five, I repeat, just five. Till today, nothing much has changed. UP and Rajasthan topped the civilian killing list in 2011, the last year for which union government data is available. Just few months back, 13 police officers in Maharashtra were convicted in fake encounter cases. How much airtime was devoted to the story?

Have a look at the table below, and look where Gujarat stands.

 

State wise record of encounter cases for 2002-07:

State No of encounters
Uttar Pradesh 231
Rajasthan 33
Maharashtra 31
Delhi 26
Andhra Pradesh 22
Uttaranchal 19
Assam 12
Madhya Pradesh 10
Karnataka 10
Tamil Nadu 9
West Bengal 8
Bihar 6
Haryana 6
Gujarat 5

Source: NHRC

So you had all the bleeding hearts – Arnab Goswami, Rajdeep Sardesai, Rahul Kanwal, Barkha Dutt, Nidhi Razdan shouting at the top of their voices how could the police execute encounters with impunity without the knowledge of their political bosses in Gujarat? Have you ever heard them sparing even 5 minutes to question how could 231 encounters happen in UP without the involvement of any higher-ups or a minister? Or why so many encounters happened in Congress ruled states? And then they get upset why people in social media accuse them of being Congi spokies. The entire human rights industry was rejoicing when encounter cases were shifted out of Gujarat, but did they demand a similar treatment for 435 other cases to be shifted out of their respective states to ensure a fair probe?

Take the Sohrabuddin case itself. It has been portrayed that Gujarat police were the only culprits. How many active news followers even know that officers from Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh were also involved and charged with the killing. AP at that time was governed by Sonia’s blue eyed boy YSR Reddy. In hours after hours spent on regurgitating the issue, which news anchor even mentioned about the involvement of other states? Did they ever subject the Congress Chief Ministers and police personnel to the same level of scrutiny?

 Victims, really?

On a mission to demonize Modi, all these cronies have overlooked serious security threats and

Sohrabuddin

First pic is the one you see on every news channel/newspaper each time Sohrabuddin’s case is debated. He is Sohrabuddin, a very innocent man and his wife, enjoying a peaceful holiday like any middle class couple. So cute, isn’t it? Why the hell did the vicious and ruthless Gujarat police eliminate someone like him? But what they don’t tell you is that he was a crony of Sharif Khan (Gujarat operator of Dawood Ibrahim), and a trusted arms carrier of the ISI. What was recovered from his farmhouse –  24 AK-47s, 22 grenades, 52550 ro

unds of AK-47 ammunition, 81 magazines, more than enough ammunition to ensure a repeat of Bombay-1992. Do people even know that he had already served a 5-year jail term under terror law? There were 21 crime cases registered against him – two under anti-terror law and nine under Arms and Explosives act. The cases were registered not just in Gujarat, but in MP, Maharashtra and Rajasthan all under Congress rule. also put national security at jeopardy by evolving stupid defense for the criminals. In their relentless pursuit of the case, they have turned Sohrabuddin and Ishrat Jahan into poster boys of secularism and muslim victimhood.

The second pic is more familiar. They tell you Ishrat Jahan, a 19-year old girl from Mumbai was gunned down by Gujarat police. When she was killed, all the pseudo-activists and secularists took out a huge procession for her cremation equating her to a martyr – an innocent girl butchered by heartless security forces. One party’s leader also went there with a cheque of one lakh rupees as a token of consolation! And then the Lahore based ‘Ghazwa Times’, the mouthpiece

ishrat

of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Toiba owned her up, describing her as an LeT activist and took pride in her sacrifice. Still these traitors did not give up, and continued calling her just an innocent victim in communal Gujarat. They showcased how hard she worked by giving tuitions and selling perfumes to support her family. Later on, David Headley, prime accused in 26/11 attacks confessed to NIA that the 19-year old girl from Mumbra in Mumbai, was a suicide bomber recruited by LeT after 2002. His statement tallies with claim of Gujarat cops that Ishrat and her accomplices to Gujarat were on Lashkar’s mission to attack the Indian hinterland.

Technically, it is incorrect to even call it Ishrat Jahan encounter, because she was not the only one killed. She and Javed were killed along with two Pakistani nationals – Amjad Ali and Jishan Johar Abdul Gani – both alleged LeT terrorists as per inputs from the Intelligence Bureau. But the story of an innocent girl being brutally killed by rogue police elements creates a more sensational story and wave of public sympathy. Nobody cared to ask what Modi could possibly achieve by assassinating a college girl. Or what was the so-called innocent girl doing with alleged terrorists at 3’o clock at night. Giving tuitions, let’s assume.

 

Due process of law

When faced with all these damning facts, the natural reply offered to us is that in a democratic civilized society, nobody should take law in their own hands. It is the duty of the courts to prosecute the guilty, and indiscriminate killing by police is still a murder. Fair enough. Extra judicial killings are a natural consequence of weak law and painfully slow judicial process. So lets see what have these very concerned people have done to make law enforcement more swift and effective.

After 9/11 attacks, every country in the world felt the need for a tougher law to tackle terrorism and organized crime. Apart from the US, countries in Europe and East-Asia too, who had never witnessed a terror strike, and which already had better judicial system in place, also recognized the new threat and amended their laws. NDA government also passed the anti-terror ordinance POTA to deal with terror more effectively. After the UPA government took over in 2004, the first day first decision was to abolish POTA, only in the name of minority appeasement! And they still shamelessly count it as their achievement. Gujarat assembly passed the law – Gujarat Control of Organized Crime Act (GUJCOCA) way back in April 2003. After 10 long years, the bill is still being stonewalled by

the politically appointed governor, even though similar law exists in other

How have these chameleons reacted to the ‘due process of law’ retort when it suited them politically? So many investigations and repeated intelligence inputs have conclusively proved that SIMI and Indian Mujahideen (IM) were two organizations actively involved in “preparing youth for jihad” and providing logistical support to terror attacks on Mumbai local trains, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Pune.The due process of law would be to ban these organizations and put all its operatives in severe judicial custody. In an effort in minority outreach, two secular politicians Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad Yadav, not only gave them unequivocal support, opposed the ban, gave them a clean chit but also offered legal and financial help to the terrorists. The unwholesome spectacle of two important political leaders backing a dreaded was quickly glossed over by our pliant media.states – Maharashtra (MCOC) and Karnataka (KCOC).What an irony that if there is a terrorist attack in Maharashtra, the state has legal mechanism to deal with it, but if an exactly similar attack happens a few kilometers inside the Gujarat border, the same law cannot be applied.

What has been the stand of the ruling Congress as far as the due process of law goes? The Batla House encounter is not a distant memory. Somebody who respected the law would have waited for courts to decide if the encounter was genuine or fake. But Union Minister Salman Khurshid, deeply concerned over his fanatic votebank, publicly declared it as a fake encounter. In an election rally, he got emotional and said – “When I showed the pictures of Batla house encounter to Soniaji, she wept bitterly and asked me to go to the prime minister so that something could be done.” Now is this not a classic case of political meddling into a judicial enquiry? Quite naturally, Soniaji never clarified and no questions were asked. Only later the train got derailed when courts acknowledged that the encounter was genuine, and those killed were indeed terrorists and not innocent victims. The statement of the relieved police officers is indeed alarming and disturbing. They said – “If our brave officer Mohan Chand Sharma would not have been killed in the encounter, the government would have easily coaxed CBI into proving it fake, and more than 10-15 officers would have been serving a jail term only for doing their duty.” Their colleague’s dead body protected their lives and careers from being ruined at the hands of these selfish politicians and activists.

Even while Ajmal Kasab was chargesheeted for 26/11 attacks, the category 5 moron Digvijay Singh claimed that the attacks were an RSS conspiracy. This played right into the hands of Pakistan, who wanted to desperately prove that the attacks were an internal security concern of India. In any responsible country, likes of Digvijays and Khurshids would be made to step down for making such irresponsible statements, and charged under obstructing and influencing the judicial process.

Such lack of political will to take on the criminals, spineless response to an impending threat, evolution of a legal defense for terrorists hopelessly demoralizes the security force, and motivates them to settle issues on their own without involving the courts.

 

Only till 2014

For any objective political observer, the recent controversy would not come as a surprise. Those who have been crying their lungs out in media debates have no interest in securing justice for the victims (if there are any). Their only mission is to somehow pull down the man who is currently the biggest obstacle standing in the way of UPA3. It can be bluntly stated that full resources of the government, media, NGOs, investigating agencies are currently geared towards preventing Modi’s ascendance. Congress does not gain anything if the cases are settled and culprits punished. Its interest is in delaying and dragging the whole process of filing the full charge sheet, facilitating selective leaks and inserting a sense of victimhood amongst the Muslims.

Few weeks back, the media went hammer and tongs over some supposed police conversation claiming that ‘safed dadhi’ (white beard) and ‘kaali dadhi’ (black beard) knew about the encounters. This enabled the entire motley crew to speculate that there was clinching evidence against Modi and he would not escape this time. However, nothing of that sort happened and Modi’s name was not even mentioned in the charge sheet. If courts were to start convicting people based on such wafer-thin evidence, more than half of the current crop of parliamentarians would end up in jail.

Vanzara’s letter has come in handy for them to divert focus away from the terrible mismanagement of economy and burgeoning corruption scandals. The day the letter was made public, some other important developments had taken place too. Sonia Gandhi was summoned in the US court in connection with protecting the perpetrators of 1984 riots. Delhi high court ordered an FIR to be registered against CM Sheila Dikshit for misuse of public funds in her 2008 election campaign. Now, anybody with even slightest knowledge of law can tell you that a high court ordering an FIR against a sitting Chief Minister is a much serious issue than a resignation letter from jailed IPS officer. Then there was a massive thorium scam (worth mind boggling 60 lakh crore) that got just a passing reference. Even if the amount mentioned is just fractionally correct, it could well be the biggest scam in India’s history. But nobody pursued the story further. Vanzara’s letter was sufficient enough for everything else to be overlooked.

As the election season heats up, we will witness such insinuations, selective leaks, threat of charge sheets, fake outrage, and much more even more frequently. Let me again reiterate that they are not interested in justice; all they intend to do is shoot over the shoulder of victims to score political brownie points. Remember Sanjeev Bhatt? The man whose conscience suddenly woke up 10 years after the riots just before Gujarat elections, who was suddenly omnipresent on all national debates and hailed as ‘Singham’ who did not kowtow to the Gujarat government. Later, his wife got an election ticket from Congress, got soundly thrashed in elections, and somebody please tell us when was the last time we saw or heard about him. Rest assured, all these bleeding hearts will similarly vanish after 2014.

 

One can understand the gameplan of Congress and its allies in milking the case for obvious political benefits. But what do media anchors, activists, NGOs, and all gain through such a biased agenda? Well, they have been the biggest beneficiaries of Congress’s largesse through government grants, plum postings as heads of various committes, seat in Rajya Sabha, Padma awards, mega revenue deals through stupid ads like Bharat Nirman, and much more. They have a vested interest in the survival of UPA. More about their unholy nexus later……

 

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