By Shyam Khosla
Who is S.A.R. Geelani? The Zakir Hussain College lecturer is an Islamic fundamentalist who was sentenced to death by the Sessions Court with three others in the attack on Parliament. He was later acquitted by the Delhi High Court. The prosecution went to the Supreme Court against the High Court order where the case is pending. In view of the importance of the case and urgency to dispose it of, the apex court is hearing the case on a day-to-day basis. The manner in which he is all over the front pages of newspapers and is the top story in electronic media makes one wonder if Geelani is an accused in a heinous crime or a national hero?
The new turn in the story is that he was last week shot at allegedly outside the residence of his lawyer, Nandita Haksar. People will do well to remember what Geelani said to the media after his acquittal in the conspiracy case. He thundered that he would continue to fight for the azadi of Kashmir. Whatever his credentials, the attempt on the life of Geelani deserves to be condemned in the strongest terms and the guilty must be brought to book as soon as possible.
The Delhi High Court, while rejecting the prosecution evidence linking Geelani to the conspiracy behind the attack on Parliament, said that telephonic conversation between Geelani and Mohammed Afzal and Shaukat Guru was not enough evidence to hold the lecturer guilty. It had, however, confirmed the death sentence on the two other conspirators. The prosecution'scase is that it was Geelani who was arrested first and his interrogation provided tips to the police that led to the arrest of the two convicts?Shaukat Hussain Guru and Mohammed Afzal?and unravelled the conspiracy behind the attack on Parliament. The police provided to the apex court details of several calls made from Shaukat'smobile to Geelani, including the one immediately after the attack on Parliament. Geelani, according to the police, was the kingpin in the conspiracy and it has submitted convincing evidence to convict the lecturer. It is, therefore, unthinkable, that the police would have made an attempt to eliminate the accused.
The civil society would like to know whether it was an attempt to silence the man who may know too much about the elements behind the dastardly attack on Parliament. It was no ordinary crime. It was a conspiracy to severely wound India by eliminating the entire political class at the national level.
However, supporters of Geelani blame the police for the attempt on his life. The police hotly denies this and says the allegation levelled by Haksar on a television interview was a ?figment of her imagination?. She didn'tmention it in her statement to the police. It is obviously an after-thought. There must be a motive behind the crime. What will the police gain by eliminating an accused against whom it claims to have a very strong case? It would rather redeem its honour by persuading the apex court to set aside the High Court order and indict Geelani for his alleged role in the conspiracy.
While denying rumours and allegations levelled against it, the police holds that the prosecution didn'tstand to gain from the assassination attempt as the hearing in the apex court was in the final stages and prosecution lawyers were confident of a decision favourable to the prosecution. Any injury to Geelani at this juncture would only delay the prosecution'slegal victory. The police rightly opposes the demand that the investigation into the shooting case be transferred to CBI for the simple reason that it would only lead to delay in the Parliament attack case. There is an urgent need for an early disposal of the prosecution'sSLP in the Supreme Court.
The liberal rabble-rousers like Arundhati Roy?the notorious author who wrote imaginary stories about the post-Godhra riots as if she was an eye-witness to the ?raping? of Muslim women?and others of her ilk are out on the roads condemning the police for the attempt on the life of the lecturer. The police need to make a thorough enquiry into the ghastly incident to find out the hand and motive behind the attack. It is in its own interest to get to the truth without delay. The civil society would like to know whether it was an attempt to silence the man who may know too much about the elements behind the dastardly attack on Parliament. It was no ordinary crime. It was a conspiracy to severely wound India by eliminating the entire political class at the national level. Or was the attack on Geelani motivated by some personal reasons or by his old associates? Only a thorough enquiry can tell.
Unfortunately, public discourse has been so distorted by the pseudo-secularists that in the case of one of the most respected Hindu religious leader?Kanchi Shankara-charya?they talk of allowing the law to take its own course even though it is obvious that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has a malicious agenda against the Hindu icon. The same persons and sections of the media rise in support of an Islamist fundamentalist who openly declares that his mission is to disintegrate the country. Can the ?secular-liberal? brigade stoop so low? No one should be allowed to confuse the issue by giving a communal colour to a criminal act against a person who is charged with sedition.