When the police gun down a man and claim that he was a terrorist, the media accepts it without any hesitation.
It is the basic principle of journalism to treat a person as suspect (call him suspected militant) unless convicted by court, is forgotten. Terrorist was gunned down, claim headlines. But when a few years later the court hold the cops guilty of fake encounter, he is made a hero.
Yes, Sohrabuddin was not an innocent or 'doodh ka dhula'. He must have been somebody'. Else, why would so many officers of the elite services (IPS), politicians and businessmen ganged up to eliminate him at any cost. It is learnt that Rs 2 crore was offered by Rajasthan's marble merchants to kill him.
In this particular case, he was killed in cold blood and so was his wife. Ideally he should have been arrested and if there were charges against him, he should have been tried and the police should have brought evidences that could lead to his conviction and a long sentence.
Many Gujarat cops are rogue. Surely, we all know that many top officials were party to the state sponsored genocide after Godhra. The state government has functioned like a fascist state. And it was wrong on part of police to kill him.
But people are wondering that if he was such an innocent person, why so much pains were taken to kill him. Why was he on the hit list of police in so many states. And did he have a criminal record? If he had, why it is not being mentioned now.
The questions abound and electronic media seems that its viewers are fools and they will accept whatever is offered in terms of news. Even today all the channels reported that 'Terrorists were arrested', and not 'Suspected Terrorists arrested' or "police claim arresting terrorists".
Sohrabuddin may or may not be a terrorist. But he was surely a gangster. He had a long criminal record and had strong links in under world. The police was aware of his links and criminal activities. The way police of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and MP had undertaken this joint operation, it is clear that the police wanted to kill him.
Otherwise with such a preparation, he could have been properly arrested and tried. Only if some effort in collecting evidences was made. Not only Sohrabuddin but his wife, Kausar Bi, and companion Tulsi Ram were also killed.
The policemen tried to sabotage the system and hopefully they will pay for it. Even if you discount Sohrabuddin Sheikh, they have the blood of the innocent woman on their hands. This case is unique in the sense that the family had the means to go up to the Supreme Court apart from the courage of the witnesses (especially passengers and driver of the bus, from which Sohrabuddin and his wife were brought down midway and taken away by police.
If these cops get convicted, encounter killings would become rarer, at least in near future. But the nexus of politicians, traders and rogue cops resulted in this fake encounter. What about them and the numerous others who languish in jail just because their families don't have means and they are wrongly framed.
The rogue cops will pay, and the blood of Kausar Bi didn't go waste. It helps certain politicians in garneting sympathy that they are on hit list of terrorists. The state government's role should be probed. Just to please politicians cops often do it. The journalist of the local daily newspaper who put the pieces together also played an important role in exposing the IPS officers who planned the fake encounter.
Friday, April 27, 2007
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