9 is not 11 [4 of 5]

Key BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal activists speak openly of how Narendra Modi blessed the anti-Muslim pogrom.
·
 

A SHADOWY HISTORY OF SUSPICIOUS TERROR ATTACKS


by Arundhati Roy


Though one chapter of horror in Mumbai has ended, another might have just begun. Day after day, a powerful, vociferous section of the Indian elite, goaded by marauding TV anchors who make Fox News look almost radical and left-wing, have taken to mindlessly attacking politicians, all politicians, glorifying the police and the army, and virtually asking for a police state. It isn’t surprising that those who have grown plump on the pickings of democracy (such as it is) should now be calling for a police state. The era of ‘pickings’ is long gone. We’re now in the era of Grabbing by Force, and democracy has a terrible habit of getting in the way.Dangerous, stupid television flash cards like the Police are Good, Politicians are Bad/ Chief Executives are Good, Chief Ministers are Bad/ Army is Good, Government is Bad/ India is Good, Pakistan is Bad are being bandied about by TV channels that have already whipped their viewers into a state of almost uncontrollable hysteria.

Tragically, this regression into intellectual infancy comes at a time when people in India were beginning to see that the business of terrorism is a hall of mirrors in which victims and perpetrators sometimes exchange roles. It’s an understanding that the people of Kashmir, given their dreadful experiences of the last 20 years, have honed to an exquisite art. On the mainland we’re still learning. (If Kashmir won’t willingly integrate into India, it’s beginning to look as though India will integrate/disintegrate into Kashmir.)

It was after the 2001 Parliament attack that the first serious questions began to be raised. A campaign by a group of lawyers and activists exposed how innocent people had been framed by the police and the press, how evidence was fabricated, how witnesses lied, how due process had been criminally violated at every stage of the investigation. Eventually the courts acquitted two out of the four accused, including S.A.R. Geelani, the man whom the police claimed was the mastermind of the operation. A third, Shaukat Guru, was acquitted of all the charges brought against him but was then convicted for a fresh, comparatively minor offence. The Supreme Court upheld the death sentence of another of the accused, Mohammad Afzal. In its judgement, the court acknowledged that there was no proof that Mohammad Afzal belonged to any terrorist group, but went on to say, quite shockingly, “The collective conscience of the society will only be satisfied if capital punishment is awarded to the offender. ” Even today we don’t really know who the terrorists that attacked Indian Parliament were and who they worked for.

More recently, on September 19 this year, we had the controversial ‘encounter’ at Batla House in Jamia Nagar, Delhi, where the Special Cell of the Delhi police gunned down two Muslim students in their rented flat under seriously questionable circumstances, claiming that they were responsible for serial bombings in Delhi, Jaipur and Ahmedabad in 2008.
THE ‘BRAVEHEARTS’ OF THE INDIAN LAW ENFORCING AGENCIES

An Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mohan Chand Sharma, who played a key role in the Parliament attack investigation, lost his life as well. He was one of India’s many ‘encounter specialists’, known and rewarded for having summarily executed several ‘terrorists’. There was an outcry against the Special Cell from a spectrum of people, ranging from eyewitnesses in the local community to senior Congress Party leaders, students, journalists, lawyers, academics and activists, all of whom demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident. In response, the BJP and L.K. Advani lauded Mohan Chand Sharma as a ‘Braveheart’ and launched a concerted campaign in which they targeted those who had dared to question the integrity of the police, saying it was ‘suicidal’ and calling them ‘anti-national’. Of course, there has been no inquiry.
THE POLICE JUSTICE!

(Left) Hemant Karkare, The ATS Chief who was killed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Karkare digged out the possible role of Sangh Privar behind the Malegaon tragedy.

Only days after the Batla House event, another story about ‘terrorists’ surfaced in the news. In a report submitted to the court, the CBI said that a team from Delhi’s Special Cell (the same team that led the Batla House encounter, including Mohan Chand Sharma) had abducted two innocent men, Irshad Ali and Moarif Qamar, in December 2005, planted 2 kg of RDX and two pistols on them, and then arrested them as ‘terrorists’ who belonged to Al Badr (which operates out of Kashmir). Ali and Qamar, who have spent years in jail, are only two examples out of hundreds of Muslims who have been similarly jailed, tortured and even killed on false charges.

This pattern changed in October 2008 when Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which was investigating the September 2008 Malegaon blasts, arrested a Hindu preacher, Sadhvi Pragya; a self-styled godman, Swami Dayanand Pande; and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, a serving officer of the Indian army. All the arrested belong to Hindu Nationalist organisations, including a Hindu supremacist group called Abhinav Bharat. The Shiv Sena, the BJP and the RSS condemned the Maharashtra ATS, and vilified its chief, Hemant Karkare, claiming he was part of a political conspiracy and declaring that “Hindus could not be terrorists”. L.K. Advani changed his mind about his policy on the police and made rabble-rousing speeches to huge gatherings, in which he denounced the ATS for daring to cast aspersions on holy men and women. 

(Left) Hands in Glove Nirendra Modi & Praveen Togadiya

THE MALEGAON BLASTS
On November 25, newspapers reported that the ATS was investigating the high-profile VHP chief Praveen Togadia’s possible role in the Malegaon blasts. The next day, in an extraordinary twist of fate, Hemant Karkare was killed in the Mumbai attacks. The chances are that the new chief, whoever he is, will find it hard to withstand the political pressure that is bound to be brought on him over the Malegaon investigation. 

While the Sangh parivar does not seem to have come to a final decision over whether or not it is anti-national and suicidal to question the police, Arnab Goswami, anchorperson of Times Now television channel, has stepped up to the plate.

He has taken to naming, demonising and openly heckling people who have dared to question the integrity of the police and armed forces. My name and the name of the well-known lawyer Prashant Bhushan have come up several times. At one point, while interviewing a former police officer, Arnab Goswami turned to the camera; “Arundhati Roy and Prashant Bhushan,” he said, “I hope you are watching this. We think you are disgusting.” For a TV anchor to do this in an atmosphere as charged and as frenzied as the one that prevails today amounts to incitement as well as threat, and would probably in different circumstances have cost a journalist his or her job.

So according to a man aspiring to be India’s next prime minister, and another who is the public face of a mainstream TV channel, citizens have no right to raise questions about the police. This in a country with a shadowy history of suspicious terror attacks, murky investigations, and fake ‘encounters’. This in a country that boasts of the highest number of custodial deaths in the world and yet refuses to ratify the International Covenant on Torture. A country where the ones who make it to torture chambers are the lucky ones because at least they’ve escaped being ‘encountered’ by our encounter specialists. A country where the line between the Underworld and the Encounter Specialists virtually does not exist.
Contd…
Source
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the ‘Wonders of Pakistan’. The contents of this article too are the sole responsibility of the author(s). WoP will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this post.
YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT
DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT
Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation oWoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://wondersofpakistan.wordpress.com/2009/03/11/9-is-not-11-the-global-dimensions/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] This cup of tea was served by: Wonders of Pakistan […]

  2. […] Page 2, 3, 4.5, Next […]

  3. […] (Left) Bajrang Dal flag with emblem of the Nazis It shouldn’t surprise us that Hafiz Saeed of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba is from Shimla (India) and L.K. Advani of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is from Sindh (Pakistan). In much the same way as it did after the 2001 Parliament attack, the 2002 burning of the Sabarmati Express and the 2006 bombing of the Samjhauta Express, the Government of India announced that it has ‘incontrovertible’ evidence that the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba backed by Pakistan’s ISI was behind the Mumbai strikes. The Lashkar has denied involvement, but remains the prime accused. According to the police and intelligence agencies, the Lashkar operates in India through an organisation called the ‘Indian Mujahideen’. Two Indian nationals—Sheikh Mukhtar Ahmed, a Special Police Officer working for the Jammu and Kashmir Police, and Tausif Rehman, a resident of Calcutta in West Bengal—have been arrested in connection with the Mumbai attacks. So already the neat accusation against Pakistan is getting a little messy. Continue reading.. .. Next Previous, 1, 2, 3, 4. 5 […]

  4. […] 1,  2, 3. 4, 5 […]

  5. […] Previous 1, 2, 3 , 4. 5 Source YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: