By Akshay Ranade:
The families of seven accused in the 2006 Malegaon blast had a reason to celebrate as these accused finally got bail and walked out of jail in Mumbai. The bail came as a consequence of lack of adequate evidences with National Investigation Agency(NIA). As the emotional scenes followed the release of seven accused after five long years, the political parties clawed over the opportunity to play the cards of politics.Â The ‘seculars’ prominently used their ‘trump card’ of minority discrimination by the state agencies. While the families cried foul play and claimed they were wrongly targeted, the possibility of genuine error is not been completely rejected by many. Yet the staring question which are once again being raised are somewhere being ignored. The questions regarding our approach towards terrorism and possible ways to deal with it have once again found space. It is to some of these questions we shall try to discuss here.
What’s the confusion?
The bail came as a consequence of lack of evidence with investigating agencies, claimed NIA. The decision not to challenge the bail order by NIA on the ground of Assemanand’s confessions is intelligible enough. Yet what troubles is fact that it took almost six years for ATS and CBI to realize what NIA did only in eight months? This raises some real serious questions on not only ATS but also on CBI. Another intriguing matter is regarding courts. If substantial evidences were not available with ATS or CBI, why was the bail denied for almost 6 years? Apparently there are two possibilities, it so appears. One the courts and the investigating agencies till the point were gravely mistaken to understand the case yet they dragged it to six years. That being the case, one would resolve with serious doubts regarding the investigating agencies in the country. Other one — which is being amplified by our secularists-, is that there indeed have been prejudiced opinions regarding these men considering they were Muslims and were ‘supposed’ to be SIMI sympathetic. However, there is one point worth mentioning. Despite of claiming having no evidences against the accused, the NIA is yet to recall its case against the accused ones. That still remains to be a concern for the accused as this is just a ‘bail’ and not a completely clean chit as such. So if we come to believe that the case was built on fragile facts and ‘not-so-good’ evidences, why haven’t NIA yet called of the case against them? Does this suggest that NIA still suspects the accused roles in the blast however they do not have enough evidences to nail the culprit. No one appears to have a clear idea as to what is happening. All the mix-up reactions and uncertain viewpoints have made matter intriguing. Yet we see various conclusions being drawn by our politicians.
Double Standard as always
Indeed, double standards have become a character of many of our ‘self-proclaimed’ secularists. And it gets fortified once again by the behaviour displayed by some of their kind. No sooner the bail was given than these politicians advanced to clinch over the opportunity. Statements after statements were given relating to the ‘discriminated’ behaviour towards the Muslims. Congress spokespersons from Maharashtra had made it a point to draw links of this ‘error’ against the accused ones with all sorts of right-wing extremism imaginable. However, it’s curious how each one of them including R R Patil, now Home Minister of Maharashtra had echoed vindicatory speeches in the assemblies over the fast track arrest of these accused. Now, when courts have approved the bail of these very accused lamenting to insufficient evidences, their tone has now suddenly changed. They went so far to demand the action to be taken against those who were involved in investigation. No apologies whatsoever by any of the concerned ministers. How it is that action against these officers is to be taken and not against those who are above it? The point is, the sudden change in approach towards this issue appears to be a subtle effort of the government to appease a particular section of society. And to do that a customary practice of bashing of so called ‘extremist right-wing’ groups which prominently includes RSS. When asked questions regarding the same thing, Congress and NCP spokesperson in Maharashtra resorted to their age-old weapon of staging up the contrived, created controversies regarding organizations such as RSS. The most hit point was Assemanand’s confessions in the same case regarding alleged involvement of right wing extremists. How conveniently do they ignore the fact that same confessions were made also by the accused that are now being given the bail. On the other hand, the contesting point regarding Assemanand is again that the point has been made in the court that the confessions were coerced out of him. But going by the standards of these very ministers, what Assemanand said is of less significance. More of such controversies were staged once again during alleged involvement of Indresh Kumar in Ajmer blast. Yet no proofs have been given against him. Except for the fact that his name appeared in the charge sheet once, nothing conclusive has been found against him ever. Yet no voice against this by our seculars. On the contrary, these baseless grounds are used as rationale to explain ‘saffron terror’, a buzz word these days among our concerned seculars. And the course has been same throughout. Of all things, if such kind of politics gets mingled with concern of national security, the alarm is not to be ignored.
National Security should be above politics
The war against terrorism would essentially require political will, above all. The veil of hypocrisy that shields the probable solutions is to be torn off.Â The basic precondition is to get rid of partisan beliefs and supremacies. And issues like this show us how lower the parties sink to achieve the political gains by exploiting issues regarding national securities. May it be ruling or opposition parties, it appears, everyone is interested in gaining mileage. Labelling religions with terrorism for the sake of appeasement is fatal for our secularism and that precisely has been the practice by our politicians. The divisive strategies erupt out of it further facilitates the environment for communal disturbances. To deal terrorism with authority, a combined unified effort is imperative. Let us not characterize terrorism as green or saffron. The effort should be to ensure that guilty gets his sentence whether he is Assemanand, Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya, Kasab, Afzal Guru or anyone else. It’s not saffron or green, it’s act on humanity. One thing everyone seems to agree on is that terrorism has crossed limits in this country and every single attack exposes the lacunas in our present system regarding matters of national security. Our policy makers chose to remain silent when society is clamouring for measures against the terror attack and that remains to be the concern. Instead of finding measures to that government appears to make pun over the issue. Should the problem persist and the politics reigns over national security, we are deemed to face terror with same intensity, or probably worse.
The writer is a student of B.Sc Economics SY at Symbiosis School of Economics, Pune.
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