Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

UPA shenanigans on terror

A shame for India
By R Balashankar

The disservice the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has done to India’s fight against terrorism is immense. It has proved itself a rogue agency, violating every tenet of civilised crime investigation, and a willing pawn in the hands of cynical politicians manoeuvring to wreak vendetta on ideological rivals for their short-sighted and petty vote bank punting.

One cannot believe that a high-profile investigating agency could descend to such low levels as framing respected, law-abiding citizens on false charges and indulging in barbarian third-degree methods like in some Gestapo or Stalinist torture chamber. Equally surprising is the silence of Human Rights activists, National Human Rights Commission and National Commission for Women in the face of the heart wrenching submissions of Sadhvi Pragya and Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit before the judiciary. Respected Cop KPS Gill, who fought terrorism in Punjab said in all his career he has not come across a case where a woman was kept in police custody for ten days. He said the ATS has violated the law in keeping the Sadhvi in police custody for so long. The Human Rights Commission should have taken cognizance of this violation, he added. It is surprising because these agencies in the past have played very activist role in Kandhamal in Orissa, Mangalore, in Karnataka, Daang and other places in Gujarat and in all earlier arrests of suspects involved in Islamic terror. Then they argued that terror has no religion and that it was a perversion of some misguided, disgruntled or disaffected youngsters. But they are all united in condemning “Hindu terrorism” .

The case here is of brutal violation of human rights. The torture of the young Sadhvi in police custody—we are carrying the full text of her affidavit—will remain the most outrageous and vulgar act of administrative excess on a simple, god-fearing, law-abiding, patriotic individual in recent memory. The Maharashtra administration under the Congress-NCP regime has put to shame even the hated, despised Mughals and the British, who mercilessly subjugated this land.

It is equally shameful for the Congress Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and NCP Home Minister RR Patil to defend the ATS atrocities as part of the investigation process. Is it the manner in which a modern, crime-bursting agency works? And after keeping the suspects under such cruel confinement the ATS has not a shred of evidence against the accused. But the ATS was over-actively planting canard against the suspects on a favourable, biased media only to contradict or deny itself the very next day.

The biggest evidence against the Sadhvi was that the bike used in the Malegaon blast was registered in Sadhvi’s name. It is a matter of common sense that if the Sadhvi was really involved in the conspiracy she would not have used her own bike for the planting of the bomb. No criminal in his right senses will do such a foolish thing. And the so-called conversation that somebody allegedly overheard! It is nothing but cock and bull. In spite of the barbaric torture and the illegal narco tests the ATS has nothing more to tell. But it is insinuating a lot.

More absurd is its conduct with the decorated Army officer, Lt. Col. Purohit. He has alleged that he was threatened by the police to kill him in an encounter. He has received 17 medals for his heroic and distinguished service. But the ATS allegation is that he is a cheat, a thief and a small-time criminal.

The ATS planted a story that he diverted army funds running into nearly a crore for financing his terror activities. A few days later the story was killed. Then they said he had personally carried 60 kgs of RDX for the Samjhauta Blast. Can any person carry so much weight unnoticed for thousands of miles while in service? Then came the fable that he trained 500 persons for terror. Where are those 500? The ATS has so far, on record, arrested only 10 persons connected with the blast.

The ATS then added another dozen minor and big blasts all over the country to the allegation against Lt. Col. Purohit. In the meanwhile The Pioneer, which did an excellent job exposing the ATS lie, reported the contradictions in the ATS claim. In the confessions the SIMI chief Safdar Nagori had admitted to the ATS plotting and carrying out the Samjhauta Blast. The report of the forensic lab after the blast had conclusively proved that Ammonium Nitrate was used for the blast and that there was no trace of RDX. When the ATS lie became common knowledge, it withdrew the allegation and said Purohit had no role in that blast and that RDX was not used. Then where has the huge cache of RDX, the ATS alleged, disappear? Clearly, the RDX allegation itself was a figment of its crooked imagination.

Now ATS is saying it was all in the media without its knowledge. Then, why did not it come out in the open and contradict?

ATS is a faceless body. It speaks only through leaks on obliging media. The face that comes out is that of the Congress. Now with every passing day it is becoming clear that the state-sponsored assault on religious leaders, Army personnel and patriotic activists is part of a sinister ploy. The conspirators are out to destroy the lives and reputations of respected individuals to embolden and entice the actual terrorists shore up communal vote bank for the ruling clique. That is why Manmohan Singh who was sleepless when a terror suspect was arrested in Australia, felt uneasy now when the leader of opposition questioned the barbarity of the ATS on the Sadhvi. UPA has a Prime Minister who is so partisan and myopic on national concerns.

Without even a scrap of sustainable evidence the ATS has vindictively imposed MCOCA on the 10 suspects. Short-circuiting the due process of the law by the dirty tricks department does not answer, but only confirms the serious doubts expressed nation-wide on the unwholesome motives of the perpetrators of this tyranny.
* * *

UPA is doing everything in its power to turn India into a banana republic. A decorated Army officer whose entire life in service for 14 years was spent fighting terror, and was conferred 17 medals is charged as terrorist and put under MCOCA.

A Sadhvi, whose patriotism cannot be doubted, is the other accused. The others arrested and put under MCOCA, after the Maharashtra ATS found it impossible to marshall evidences of their terrorist link are all now in their custody for 180 days. The ATS can keep them in custody for six months without filing a chargesheet.

If a narco confession is good enough to arrest and keep a person in custody, NCP leader Sharad Pawar and many others against whom Mohammed Telgi, the prime accused in the multi-billion stamp scam had made serious allegations, should have been booked. The ATS looks the other way when it is not politically convenient.

The ATS, till date has not solved the Mumbai serial train blast conspiracy in which 187 persons were killed and over 500 people injured on July 11, 2006. But it has planted the Malegaon blast in which six Muslims were killed on "Hindu terror". The investigators and the media behave as if that was the only incident of terror in India. And it is busy linking Mecca Masjid blast and all other minor incidents where few Muslims were the victims to “Hindu terror”.

The Congress has always resorted to such political stunt before election, whenever it found weak to face the electorate on the plank of performance. Remember St. Kitts conspiracy hatched against VP Singh in 1989 by Rajiv Gandhi? And the Hawala charges against opponents in 1995 by PV Narasimha Rao. The two conspiracies consigned the Congress to political oblivion for the next one decade. Who knows what price the Congress and NCP will pay for manufacturing the mischief of "Hindu terrorism" and tormenting numerous individuals of proven record of public service.

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