IT seems that the intelligence agencies with their elaborate network of informers are working overtime to ensure that a 26/11 encore is not repeated anywhere in the country due to any laxity on their part.
Hence when it is claimed that a Pakistan-linked terror plot has been foiled by the arrest of two terror suspects who intended to strike at the ONGC headquarters and some other targets in Mumbai by the Maharashtra Police Anti-Terrorism Squad, and a third man, suspected to be a Srinagar-based Hizbul Mujahideen activist, arrested by the Gujarat ATS from around Ahmedadbad, one can hardly doubt their sincerity. But the shocking news report about a mock anti-terror drill that went haywire at the Surat airport in late February when an ATS inspector playing the role of an observer was shot twice in the abdomen from point-blank range by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, in contravention to all norms laid out during such exercises with regard to using live arms and ammunition, one suddenly has second thoughts about the seriousness of these work-outs aimed at gauging the response of the police at intricate moments.
Police officers shooting to fame with their ‘scalping escapades’ coming under the scanner for faking the encounters and being booked for their criminal trespasses have been hitting the headlines lately. A spate of arrests on charges that fail to stand the scrutiny of the courts have tilted the scales in favour of a more pragmatic view, a general opinion that of late the police has been acting in rather undue haste. A harried force at pressure to deliver, the intelligence officers have been effecting arrests and taking suspects into custody for the flimsiest of reasons.
Holding a police-outlaw nexus responsible for the increasing lawlessness in the society is a general perspective that grossly undermines the ability and sincerity of the men in uniform and would amount to questioning their integrity. Rouge elements in any department of authority are an inevitable consequence of the power equation enjoyed by the players, especially so in the branch entrusted with the enforcement of law. The organised crime-syndicates have been largely responsible for the criminalisation of the law enforcement agencies. With a resourceful network of money and muscle power, they have ushered in corruption at all the right places beneficial to them.
When the Israeli drug lord Drihan David arrested in Goa, in the course of his custodial interrogation, very contemptuously states that he could successfully run his narcotic trade in India for more than a decade evading detection due to a highly corrupt system prevalent, and with some officials of the customs, courts and police kowtowing to his diktats, he is being pretty candid—and rather sardonic too—about the general trend of affairs. Rumours of police officers conniving with the drug peddlers, dealing in narcotics and psychotropic substances seized in raids, and even from those deposited in Court, threaten to blow the lid of a very sinister plot.
At the same time, courageous officers in all earnestness deciding to tackle crime and arrest the perpetrators of these vile deeds deserve all kudos. For, not only are they pitted against the might of the ‘mafia’, they also have to content with the nefarious designs of the ‘rotten apples’ in their midst who thwart all attempts to bring the lawless to book. It needs to be understood that a society is more at risk with these sorts of elements bringing disrespect to the cause they serve.
The legislators and parliamentarians by virtue of being the elected representatives of the populace are representative of everything that defines clout and supremacy. The presumptuous habit of assuming that being in a position of power entitles one to all the perks that go with it is one mortifying factor that allows rampant corruption to set in. One is reminded here of the oft-repeated line, “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely!”
Having inculcated the ‘Godfather culture’ amongst their followers, and watching the graciousness with which favours are dispensed, one could well say that the ubiquitous rot in the system is an upshot of the undiluted duplicity of the politicians. They are accountable for the nexus, all the bonds that exist between the men in authority and the crooks. After all, forging alliances is a favourite pastime of the power-mongers whom we very amiably refer to as the political class. This will never change!
One needs to strongly sympathise with the guardians of the law who are so blatantly exploited by their political masters and are forced to bide their commands. We undoubtedly have one of the best crime detecting and busting organisations in the world today. Working on leads, they should be allowed to complete investigations and arrive at a fairly conclusive inference. Expecting overnight results and making undue demands would only result in bunglings in the primary stage which wouldn’t bode well for the security of the nation.
Rather than fortifying the country’s defences against terror strikes that calls for more purposefulness, we have enacted so many legislations that serve to harass the general public. Somehow it is quite demeaning to have the police department thrust into the forefront, blamed for every debacle and criticised for their ineffectiveness, when the government—and the people who constitute it—can do nothing about it but, as a writer says, organise Press conferences and hide behind a façade of words.