THE range of politicians and actors who have queued up to support Sanjay Dutt, a convict, is amazing. Moving away from the routine ‘law will take its own course’ line, politicians of several parties have sought pardon for Sanjay Dutt. Congress leader Digvijay Singh went to the extent of calling him a mere boy of 36 when he committed the offence of hoarding deadly weapons that kill hundreds.
The highest court of the land is convinced that he had a role in the 1993 riots and has given him a sentence of five years. The investigative agencies have explained how though they got an early lead on his involvement, proceeded slow, cautious, to ensure complete delivery of justice. And this because he is the son of illustrious parents. The pedigree has no place in judiciary, and it must not have. Jaya Bachchan, Jaya Prada, Amar Singh, Mamta Banerjee, Digvijay Singh—all, have no business in interfering with the sentence and seeking pardon for Sanjay Dutt.
Taking cue, a terrorist’s mother has already sought pardon for her son in the same case. And why not? If Sanjay Dutt can be pardoned for his unforgivable role, then why not another? And how can the Governor of Maharashtra pardon a man convicted in a terror case by the Supreme Court.
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur has been languishing in jail for five years now. The only evidence—if it can be called that at all—against her is that she sold a bike fifteen years ago, and did not bother to change the papers. This bike was used for the blast. While Sanjay Dutt was roaming free all these years, making commercial hit movies, Sadhvi has been wasting away in jail, her body bruised from police abuse, her mind numbed from mental torture. A heart-wrenching report in Organiser (issue dated 17.02.2013) did not stir the conscience of either the Jayas, Mamatas or, the so-called women activists. Same is the case with Swami Aseemananda. He has declared in the court that he was being forced to issue confessional statements by the police to use against him. The plight of Col Purohit is equally condemnable. In none of the above cases, has a politician or even a good samaritan interfered seeking the most nominal demand in justice, that of fast and fair trial. After having been booked under MCOCA over five years ago, not even the chargesheet has been prepared, let alone the trial begin.
In another terrorist related case, again a major section of politicians have ganged together to protect one Liaquat Shah, who was arrested by the Delhi Police while he was entering the country in the Indo-Nepal border. The Jammu & Kashmir Police claimed that they were waiting for him in Srinagar as he was coming to surrender. The Delhi police’s position is that they have averted a terror strike in arresting him. The J & K Chief Minister Omar Abdullah made it a huge issue by raising it in the assembly. The jittery UPA government has ordered the NIA to probe the arrest. Here are the facts of the case: Liaquat is a terrorist belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen group. He has participated in several operations. He has been arrested. If he was coming to surrender and JK Police had information, they should have shared it with the Home Ministry and neighbouring police forces. Omar in an emotional speech asked if he was planning an attack, would he have come with the family. Well, the terrorists in Kashmir field women and children in the front and use teenagers for stone throwing. They till now have had no qualms in using women and children as cover. The question is, should the arrest of a terrorist spark off such volumes in his defence and against the police force?
Politics has fallen to such levels that the nations’s interest has become secondary to political correctness. Persons in public offices seem bartered into various camps. How else does one explain the support to Sanjay Dutt, who has proven links with the underworld and anti-nationals. How else can one analyse the protest over the arrest of Liaquat Shah. The question of surrender and pardon needs to be discussed. After a spree of killing and maiming should terrorists be allowed to settle down to a normal comfortable life at public expense while their victims are scarred for life. Where is the process of justice? Amnesty is a noble thought and has to be approached with a lot of responsibility, commitment to justice and to the nation. The reactions on Sanjay Dutt and Liaquat Shah betray none of these. Is it because the people who should be behind bars are today the rulers?