Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MALEGAON: POLITICISATION & COMMUNALISATION OF INVESTIGATION

B.RAMAN


The politicisation and communalisation of the investigation process since 2006 in terrorism-related cases has led to a paralysis of the investigation machinery in the States and the Government of India.


2. The result: Barring the 26/11 terrorist strikes in Mumbai which were successfully investigated and prosecuted, our investigating agencies have not been able to detect any of the post-26/11 terrorist strikes in Pune, Mumbai, Benares and New Delhi and they have not been able to successfully prosecute any of the major terrorist incidents that had taken place before 26/11.


3. The beneficiaries---the terrorists involved in these strikes, who continue to be at large, possibly planning more strikes. We do not even know who were the people involved in the post-26/11 terrorist incidents and whether the suspects who were arrested and prosecuted for their alleged role in the pre-26/11 incidents were really the perpetrators.


4. Nothing illustrates the confusion that prevails in our investigation machinery more disturbingly than the confusion worse confounded in the case relating to the September 8, 2006 blasts in the textile town of Malegaon in Maharashtra which killed 31 people, many of them Muslims. Please see my initial analysis of these blasts written two days after the incident at http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers20%5Cpaper1945.html


5. The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police completed the investigation in record time and filed a charge sheet on December 20,2006, against nine Muslims, who were accused of having links with the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET).


6. Despite the filing of the charge sheet, the Maharashtra Government handed over the investigation to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following complaints regarding the investigation made by the ATS received from minority representatives and political parties.


7. The investigation has taken a different turn since then. It has been made out by the Central investigation agencies---initially by the CBI and later by the post-26/11 National Investigation Agency (NIA)--- that the Malegaon blasts of 2006 as well as some other terrorist strikes in Hyderabad, Malegaon (2008), Ajmer Sharif and on board the Samjotha Express were actually carried out by some Hindus who wanted to start a campaign of reprisal terrorism against Muslims for their role in jihadi terrorism.


8. The original charges of the ATS against the arrested Muslims and the subsequent charges of the CBI and the NIA against the arrested Hindus relied largely on uncorroborated confessions. There was no scientific investigation with painstaking collection of circumstantial and forensic evidence either by the State Police or by the central agencies.


9. As it always happens in such cases, those who confessed subsequently retracted . In the absence of substantial circumstantial and forensic evidence to back up the charges, the Malegaon case of 2006 has been hanging in mid-air. There has been no scientific forward movement in the investigation against either the arrested Muslims or Hindus. The result has been that neither the State Police nor the central investigation agencies have had the moral courage to admit that the investigations against the arrested Muslims by the State Police and against the arrested Hindus by the Central agencies have been very badly botched up and now there is no possibility of the truth being found out.


10. What we have against the Muslims arrested by the State Police and against the Hindus under investigation by the Central agencies is a series of allegations, insinuations and conjectures, but no legal evidence which will stand scrutiny in a court of law.


11. We have had the intriguing spectacle of the NIA not opposing bail applications from the nine Muslims originally arrested by the Maharashtra ATS, but at the same time refraining from ordering a closure of the investigation against them by submitting a Final Report in the case. The FR would have ended the investigation once and for all unless some fresh evidence was found, warranting a re-opening of the investigation. The Muslims released on bail would have been deemed innocent---neither accused nor suspects. By not opposing bail to them and at the same time, by not submitting a Final Report in the case, the NIA has kept them under the status of no longer accused, but still suspects. This doesn’t re-establish their honour in the eyes of the society.


12. In the case of the Hindus arrested in connection with some cases of reprisal terrorism, the facts and circumstances are exactly the same as in the case of the nine Muslims arrested in connection with the Malegaon 2006 blasts----that is, apart from the retracted confession of Swami Assemanand, there is hardly any circumstantial and forensic evidence against them. And yet they have been treated as suspects as well as accused. The mitigatory yardstick followed in the case of the Muslims has not been followed in the case of the Hindu suspects, one of whom is a religious lady. In the eyes of the Government of India, it is all right to be harsh with the Hindus, but not with the Muslims. Deplorable double standards adopted in the case of the two communities.


13. The result of the blatantly differential handling of Muslims and Hindus in the application of the same laws of criminal procedure would be to add to their anger against each other and against the Government. We will be playing into the hands of the jihadi terrorists and their Pakistani sponsors by aggravating the polarisation between the two communities and facilitating the Pakistani objective of creating a wedge between them.


14. The differential handling brings out clearly the political calculations of the Government in view of next year’s elections in Uttar Pradesh. Increasing the Muslim vote bank even at the risk of losing some Hindu votes has become the driving force of the investigation process. Seven of the Muslims will be out today and rejoin their families, but the Hindus will continue to languish in custody till the UP elections are over.


15. This is not the way to fight any terrorism---jihadi or Hindu reprisal. By politicising and communalising the investigation process, the Government will be further vitiating the relationship between the two communities and paving the way for more acts of terrorism in future. (16-11-11 )



( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail:seventyone2@gmail.com Twitter: @SORBONNE75 )

13 comments:

Admin said...

Tonight Barkha won't talk to u.

nri2008 said...

Dear Ramanji,

Very sad but true instead of uniting against enemy outside why is Giovernment iof Idnia dividing Indians on basis of religion?This points to lack of intellectual and moral leadership in present political and bureucratic leadership. Just look at the way tiny Singapore deals with communal elements and boastful Indian leadership which gives into Chiona and pakistamn at every step--------This is the height of incompetence,immaturity and sign of leadership crisis in India.

What do you think is the waty forward to correct the situation. Since you have made such an accurate, balanced and logical analysis please suggest solutions that can be done by retired, wise professionals and intellectuals like yourself to renedy the situation.

Warm Regards

Ram
Singapore

mbhagawat said...

Congress has communlaised whole investigation and prosecution.It is arresting 9 muslims under Malegaon blast case but later released them on bail but arrested 7 hindus under same case which is not fully proved in court but imposed mococa and kept them in jails.It has communalised whole issue and made hindus vulnerable and victimised.it would gave an impetus in the mins of hindus that they are being victimised for the vote bank politics and that would polarise them in whole which would end congress for ever.

Subhash Bakshi said...

Dear Raman ji

I wish we had officers like you in NIA and in other investigative agencies who have the skills to carry out analysis and moral courage to resist the pressures from the political masters and not to treat the cases on religious basis.
Subhash Bakshi

oldspite said...

Raman Ji,

You have placed the dots in an expert mannner, the only thing left to do is connect the dots.

Which when done leaves one with just one conclusion.............

guest said...

There is nothing like "Hindu terrorism","Saffron terror".Real thing is Indian govt is made of eunuch who are unable to do anything to pakistan for its terror activities in india so in order to pacify indian they have launched this term "hindu terror" with the help of its sold media and NGO's to keep hindus down.Coz the they hindus got united in india thses INC people will be firts to be thrown out in pakistan.

guest said...

Barkha will only talk to the musharraf who says directly to her in interview that pakistanis hold Dawood in high esteem and that shameless bitch smile on it.

Sandeep said...

Dear Raman ji,

Pls see book review by Sri. Noorani (http://www.frontline.in/fl2316/stories/20060825001007500.htm)

he mentions - "Note what the author discloses: "India's success in preventing U.S. spy satellites from seeing signs of the planned tests days to weeks in advance was matched by its success in preventing acquisition of other types of intelligence. India's Intelligence Bureau ran an aggressive counterintelligence program, and the CIA, despite a large station in New Delhi, was unable to recruit a single Indian with information about the Vajpayee government's nuclear plans. Instead, the deputy chief of the CIA station in New Delhi was expelled after a botched try at recruiting the chief of Indian counterintelligence operations. Former ambassador Frank Wisner recalled that `we didn't have... the humans who would have given us an insight into their intentions'." Ambassadors do not keep aloof from the CIA's work, evidently. Their denials are false."

Do you have any idea about this 'Chief of Indian counterintelligence operations' ?

Regards

AJ said...

If you look at who benefits, these acts of terror must be carried out by the Congress party. Note that the trail may seem to implicate the ISI, but as the Fai case shows, Congress has been known to work with the ISI.

EjazR said...

B Raman, are you joking sir? Investigating agencies are harsh with Hindu suspects and not with Muslims?

It the complete opposite! Muslims suspects are treated as convicted criminals even before they are charge sheeted. Bar councils in courts passed resolution to not allow any advocate to be a defense attorney for Muslim suspects. And when its a Hindu suspect, the police triple checks its investigation before making an arrest.
Unlike Muslim suspects were mere suspicion is enough. On top of that the police leaks false information on Muslim suspects which get disproved when they are taken to court.

The Bajrang Dal members have been caught directly making bombs and using fake beards and muslim skull caps to blame muslim for bomb blasts. Has any action been taken against them?

So the fact of the matter is that the Opposite of what you think is happening.

And I object with you characterisation and justification of terrorism as "reprisal terrorist attacks". These are plain terrorists acts. Otherwise, even Dawood Ibrahim can say that he was doing reprisal attacks for the 5000 Muslims killed in 92-93 riots of which according to the Krishna report even the police was involved and shiv sena supporters indulged in systematic attack on Muslims in Mumbai.

My request is, Lets not try to compare and justify one terrorism over the other by giving the name "reprisal terrorist attacks" if they are done by Hindus.

guest said...

The facts are:
- initial perpetrators were arrested by Maha state police regardless of ATS/VTS
- State govt for their own reasons decided to call in Central agencies under political pressure
- Central agencies deicide to fix the crime on others to gain political advantage
- The problem is with the State govt and the Central govt that wanted to gain political advantage and they did. So what is Ramanji complaining about! After all its being done by his favorties.

Also there is no Muslim terror or Saffron terror, only Congress terror.

As the situation demand Congress lets lose terror to gain votebanks. They will arrest/release as needed to please the votebank.

guest said...

@EjazR And kasab is amar singh with those red thread on his wrist was doing arat i at siddhi vinayak temple before shoting people at VT. an dawood ibrahim is david Abrahim the RAW agent sitting in karachi.

Krishna Kacker said...

All aspects of our life are today ruled by politics,politics and politic.It suits Congress to protect its minority votebank and therefore dismiss the earlier ATS report;it also suits the Congress to discredit the right wing Hindu parties and therefore the case was transferred to CBI,NIA etc.Nobody is interested in finding the truth or punishing the guilty.This is why everyone knows us s a Soft State and we cannot prevent the terrorist from striking at a place and time of his choice.Sad commentary on our state of the nation.