Encountering the innocent

By Shafaque Alam for TwoCircles.net,

The Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT report that the controversial encounter with Ishrat Jehan and three others was ‘fake’ as they were killed prior to the incident, indicates to the larger ill in police machinery in the state. The fresh revelation also strengthens the report of SP Tamang, who, based on his inquiry on forensic and medical evidence, had come to similar conclusion. However, this is not the first case of extra judicial killing in the state. The killing of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kausar Bi had already indicated the malice in the state police and protection of guilty police personnel by the state government.

Support TwoCircles

The whole development before this revelation indicates that it was to project Mr. Modi the main target of terrorists. Hence the killing was termed fare for garnering sympathy and support from Hindus in the state. While the cops, involved in the encounter, would have wanted to add a feather in their caps by proving efficient professionals, managing to protect the chief minister.

Now the bad thing is that innocent people are victimized for no explicit reasons, but the worst is the government’s repeated denial of accepting the guilt and shielding the guilty. Repeated similar development makes public opinion to an ambiguous nexus between the cops and politicians, which is hollowing our democratic system.

However, it is not that only Gujarat is witnessing such inhuman act of violence. Such incidents are usual in border concerning areas like north-east and Jammu & Kashmir. Tehelka, August 08, 2009, carried an eye-opening investigative news story of a shootout that took place in the heart of Imphal, Manipur’s capital, barely 500 metres from the state assembly, showing the moments before, during and after the ‘encounter killing’ of a 27 year-old boy. (follow the link).

Fake encounters have larger implication besides pushing the hapless family to a hell-like situation. Such inhuman acts of extra judicial killing alienate people from mainstream to an extent they start supporting or at least sympathizing with wrongdoers. Repeated revelation about fake encounter raises doubts on the functioning of a democratic society, top level bureaucrats, police officials and national level bodies, besides maligning the face of the nation globally.

Now what has been done can’t be undone and nothing can compensate to the family. However, at least strict action should be taken against the guilty police personals involved in this fake feat and also to the black sheep who have been providing overshadowing hands to them for years as in a recent order the Supreme Court has also said that those responsible for fake encounters should be given the death sentence and hanged in what marks a significant toughening of stand against extra-judicial killings by trigger happy cops.

The SIT report is a relief to the aggrieved family in washing away the scars of not being the kin of a ‘slain terrorist’. But will it bring the ‘guilty cops behind bar’ and uncover the unholy nexus of larger implication which leads to such inhuman acts of violence. (The writer is post-graduate student of Media Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia)