Monday, October 06, 2008

Don't Lie, Prick; We Are Already Bleeding

Amar Singh is full-time politician and part-time buffoon; hence people have little expectation from him. But his latest outburst against the police at Jamia Nagar has hit the bottom of vote-mongering. At a time when the locality is abuzz with doubts, both genuine and unfounded, he chose to use a lie to uphold the truism of politics: nail the vote. We already have one Parivar hell-bent on alienating Muslims by branding them as terrorists or terror-sympathisers, the capitalist Samajwadi has joined forces with them to do more harm than good.

He uses this dangerous tactic to distance his party from its new-found love: the Congress. For the record, Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was not transferred out of the Special Cell on the day of the encounter. He was one of the key members of the team assigned the job of busting the network behind Delhi blasts. There is no dispute about it. He ‘could’ have been shifted had he been alive. But he was still there in the special cell and actively pursuing people suspected of involvement in the September 13 blasts. That he is dead doesn’t answer all the questions about the encounter, neither does it prove that those who were present at L-18, Batla House, guilty. But saying Mohan Chand Sharma was transferred and that he went there looking for death is not only a lie, but a lie that could vitiate an already charged atmosphere.

This lie came from a man who first sympathised and eulogised the inspector and sent a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to his family. Hypocrisy is not the word here. Delhi Police records say that Inspector Sharma was never transferred out from Special Cell’s New Delhi range.

Amar Singh jumped the gun again by accusing other police officers of bumping Sharma off. Well many say so. And it might well be the truth but Amar Singh wasn’t gos-sipping tea at a roadside stall with his buddies. It was a public meeting ostensibly to calm the people who are genuinely offended by the sheer opacity of such encounters. The police and the administration must, and urgently so, make these encounters a little more transparent.

He has every right to demand a judicial inquiry into the encounter. At present, every encounter is followed by a magisterial enquiry and a report is duly sent to the National Human Right Commission. But a judicial inquiry is imperative here because the truth, now up in smoke, must come out.

In his new-found zeal to distance himself from his new-found ally Congress, Singh also accused Home Minister Shivraj Patil of directing the raid on Batla House from the police headquarters. This could be a compliment for the man now notorious for his incompetence in handling internal security. The truth is Shivraj Patil was at the police headquarters to inaugurate the refurbished Police Control Room. Accusing Patil of competence, however backhanded, may actually sound like a compliment.

He is free to send love letters to Patil, but politicians must stop aping the Narendra Modi style of politics. It is time to find the truth behind the encounter, not murder our sanity in this encounter of words. Amar Singh’s shameless attempt to firmly put Muslims in a corner may end up alienating more young minds, already cornered by the virulent campaigns against them by terrorists of the Sangh Parivar kind. What has been more shameless is the Congress’ reluctance in telling him to shut his trap.

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