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November 23, 2008
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November 23, 2008

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Home > 2008 Issues > November 23, 2008


Fables from ATS

Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) has all the powers. Maharashtra is the only state armed with such ?draconian? right to excesses on citizens under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). It is safe because it is under the UPA. It is doing a job that the UPA wants it to do. It is above the law of the land, it need not take the normal legal procedures, it can even violate the fundamental rights, human dignity, religious rights and sensibilities because it is fighting terror, about which the entire nation is concerned; and no nationalist in the country wants any leniency.

The nationalists have always cried for a bullet for bullet in the fight against terrorism. We have been pleading for more stringent laws to fight terror, after the repeal of POTA, because ordinary legal process is time consuming and often the culprits go scot-free. Ordinary laws have proved unequal to the task terror outfits with world-wide network pose before the national security agencies. That is why the Gujarat government which was in the forefront and most successful in fighting terror wanted to enact the Gujarat Control of Organised Crime (GUJCOC) 2003. It is in the lines of MCOCA. But after keeping it pending for five years, the centre refused permission terming it draconian and as dangerous as POTA.

The UPA double-standard is so scandalously explicit, brazen and partisan that it makes no apology for being so. See how the ATS is feeding stories 24x7 everyday, on Malegaon blast probe as if that was the only terror attack that happened in the country or that is the only one under investigation. Crazy? Funny? Or deeply sinister and vicious?

And for the UPA, MCOCA is meant to get the country rid of the alleged ?Hindu terror network?, spread in the army, police, bureaucracy and Hindu organisations throughout the country. In the wake of the nationwide outrage over the dozens of serial bombings across the country in which an estimated 7000 persons lost life, double the number their limbs and billions worth of property, ever since the UPA came to power, the government has acted with cynical vengeance. Its colossal failure to stem the waves of Islamic terrorism is foremost on national political agenda. In the Jamia Nagar raid the police collected a wealth of evidence that could have led the investigation to the mastermind of terror attacks on India. But that was immediately met with orchestrated political resistance both from within and outside the UPA, with cries of Muslim alienation and resultant depletion in the carefully cultivated communal vote bank.

The UPA is systematically working on a sinister plot. It is proving itself a hydra-headed monster. At the fag end of the most disastrous regime yet in Indian history, it believes, it has evolved a chakravyuh, to confront its opponents. On the one hand it hopes to put the nationalist forces in the country on the defensive. On the other, it believes, these shenanigans will divert the attention of the public from its ineffectiveness or benevolent indulgence of jehadi elements in the country responsible for making life in India unsafe for ordinary citizens. It is calculating that the terrorists will be eternally grateful to UPA for floating the chimera of majority terrorism as a counter to the loath and repugnancy the Islamists have earned over the years. Further, it has helped assuage the Muslim sentiment in the aftermath of the Jamia Nagar encounter and Azamgarh expose on Islamic terror.

So with full UPA patronage the Maharashtra ATS has let loose a reign of terror on the Hindu society. Its actions are illegal. Its conduct violates all tenets of decent, adroit and result-oriented, pro-active investigation. It proves nothing and speaks volumes. Its fables cannot stand the scrutiny of even a Bollywood director. It is able to get away, because, MCOCA empowers the detention of a suspect for up to 180 days without filing charges. The ATS under the anti-terror law has the power to use confessions made to the police normally inadmissible, to be taken as admission of guilt. If incriminating weapons or documents were found in the possession of the accused, the burden shifts on the accused to prove innocence (normally, the prosecution has to establish the case before the accused has the burden to reject it) under this act. Equally, significantly, under this act, the definition of terrorism is vague and easy to misuse. The ATS is able to go about arresting any Hindu religious leader without producing in the court or charge-sheeting and offering selective leaks to partisan and obliging media because of these legal lacunae.

An act meant to curb crime, burst terror and offer safety to law-abiding citizens is being misused to arrest and keep in confinement, make wild and unsubstantiated allegations and defame respected, patriotic and transparent activities of honourable military officers and religious activists.

Let?s see how the ATS acted in the matter of Malegaon blast case in which six Muslims were killed. In all other blasts across the country almost 99 per cent of the victims were Hindus. So in the Malegaon blast, according to the ATS, the crime was committed by Hindu groups. Sadhvi Pragya was arrested as the main accused on October 11, but the criminal procedure of producing the arrested before the judiciary within 24 hours was violated by the police. The Sadhvi was not given the respect due to a woman or a religious leader, though she is only a suspect not a convict. Then again violating the law, without her consent, the Sadhvi was forced to undergo a lie detector test, polygraph, narco analysis and all kinds of intimidation. BJP national President Rajnath Singh rightly accused the UPA of harassing the Sadhvi, as no terrorist has been subjected to so many tests. Baba Ramdev has come out strongly in support of the Sadhvi and said the government is trying to defame Hindu leaders and is subjecting them to all sorts of inhuman atrocity which it never dared to commit on any other religious leaders. He cited the humiliation of His Holiness Shankaracharya of Kanchi Mutt and other religious leaders under the UPA regime in this context. For the first time Hindus are being linked to terrorism in their own country. The UPA through its vicious campaign is painting Indian patriots terrorists. Even Veer Savarkar and Shankaracharyas are being dragged into the net and their mission downgraded.

Contrast this with its response to Islamic terror. The Jamia Millia Vice Chancellor who led a procession against raids on a terrorist hide-out and who declared to fund the terror accused fight their cases from the university freely roams around. Two cabinet ministers who openly support terror outfit SIMI and who as a matter of habit attack Hindu organisations and communalise politics are not arrested. One of them always has an Osama bin Laden lookalike as his permanent campaign compatriot. A Muslim Leaguer is another member of the cabinet. A supporting party of the UPA openly espouses the SIMI cause and shelters suspected terrorists and Muslim thugs. The Prime Minister offers from the national exchequer reward and maintenance for the families of terrorists. In Andhra the Congress government is giving compensation to all Muslims arrested as terror suspects. These are the real harbingers of terror who should have invited action under MCOCA. But treason is rewarded and feted under UPA.

More shocking are the allegations against respected serving and retired army officials. The only charge the ATS has against army officials like Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit is their alleged association with Abhinav Bharat, an organisation linked with the hallowed memory of Veer Savarkar. The allegations are flimsy and stupid. When repeated narco tests proved futile to establish their involvement in the crime the insidious propaganda of the ATS is that these officers and religious leaders are trained to be evasive even under duress.

After the September 28 Malegaon blast the investigating agencies had revealed that it was a crude bomb and there was no RDX. But the charge against Lt. Col. Purohit is that he provided RDX for the bomb. And the links according to the ATS goes across the country from Nasik to Daang in Gujarat to Gorakhpur in UP to Jammu. It is a fantastic imagination to link such distant and independent individuals with a solitary and half-baked conspiracy theory. But remember, under MCOCA everything is possible. UPA has long been at odds with the Indian Army. The communal profiling, Pay Commission controversy and the left-handed treatment to heroes of Kargil, Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw?s funeral and interference in anti-terror operations in J&K are just a few examples. The UPA has done everything in its power to undermine the essence and sovereignty of India. It is equally uneasy and scornful of religious and cultural bodies and leaders spreading the message of India?s Hindu heritage, unity and strength.

It is perhaps wreaking its revenge on nationalist forces asking for a stringent law and action against jehadis and terrorists out to destroy India. See how the UPA strikes back.

R Balashankar

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