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Is media punishing Varun Gandhi for imaginary crime?
Much before legal eagles argue a case in a courtroom, media tries and condemns people. Is Varun Gandhi its latest victim? Is he being punished for imaginary crime? We study three FIRs in one police station in Pilibhit against him and investigate.
VARUN GANDHI, the BJP’s candidate from Pilibhit Lok Sabha constituency has been in the eye of storm for quite sometime. If sources close to the young MP-aspirant are to be believed, he is more sinned against than sinning.

In an exclusive talk with Merinews, a highly placed source, on conditions of anonymity, informed that the disputed CD, which shows Varun allegedly mouthing venom against the minority community, has 18 patches, which is clearly indicative of someone tampering and ‘doctoring’ the CD.

This scribe was also provided with copies of three FIRs against Varun. Strangely, all three FIRs were registered in police station Bar Khera, district Pilibhit, between August 1, 2008 and March 17, 2009. A deeper study and perusal of these three FIRs reveal mysterious similarities. But, we will get to these later.

Let’s sample these FIRs, beginning with the most recent one, on March 17, 2009. The case crime No is 255 of 2009. The FIR was lodged for an incident on March 8, 2009, nine days later.

Strangely, this FIR was not lodged by any media person, member of any political party or any individual of the minority community. Instead, the said FIR was lodged on the basis of a verbal complaint of the sub inspector (SI) of the same police station to his senior, the station house officer (SHO). This FIR also does not name the source that shot and recorded the disputed CD. No media channel or individual was named in the FIR.

A sentence on the third page of the March 17 FIR is important, as the crux of the entire FIR hinges on the sentence, “En tathyo ki pushti janch ke madhya LIU dwara prashit report tatha sambandhit CD dekhne se aaj huyi hai” (These charges were established during the investigation on the basis of LIU report and the concerned CD, today). The million dollar question is how did the ‘janch’ (investigation) begin before March 17 FIR was lodged? Also, can any FIR be lodged as an afterthought, after viewing the evidence (CD) nine days later? Can such a serious charge, which raised so much storm, be lodged merely on the basis of a junior official’s (SI) verbal complaint to his senior (SHO)?

The sections mentioned in this FIR are 155-A, 188 IPC and Section 125 of the Representation of People’s Act 1952 (it should be 1951, not 1952, as mentioned in the FIR).

“Prima facie, the said FIR is flawed. Further, according to the FIR, Varun addressed a meeting at about 2pm, on March 8, while the FIR was lodged at 12.05pm, on March 17, 2009,” confirmed Sikandar Bharat Kochar, counsel of Varun, in Allahabad High Court, in reply to a question.

It’s strange that no one, who attended the March 8 meeting complained. Was there not even a single member of the minority community in the market, where he addressed the public meeting, Kochar asked.

He added that Varun is an educated young man. He did his B Sc Economics from the London School of Economics and his M Sc Sociology, from the School of Oriental and African Studies, Harvard University. It seems to be a case, where he is being set-up and framed, possibly due to political motivation.

Interestingly, two earlier FIRs, dated August 1, 2008 (crime case No 712 of 2008) and December 16, 2008 (crime case No 1222 of 2008), were also lodged in police station Bar Khera district Pilibhit.

The August 1 FIR was lodged by Bharatveer Gangwar, who alleged that Varun Gandhi and others had beaten him up. He had stated, “Mujhe kafi chot ayi hai” (I suffered lots of injuries). But a medical doctor, on examining him, mentioned that there were no external injuries. An X-ray was also taken, which too did not show any evidence of internal injuries, informed sources close to Varun. The sections mentioned in the FIR are Sections 452, 323, 504, 506 and 352 IPC.

In the December 16, 2008, FIR, the complainant was Bechey Lal Maurya. It mentions that Varun Gandhi and 20 others tore off flags of one BM Singh (a distant kin on Maneka Gandhi and a small time leader of the farmers, from the Congress party) and threatened him. The sections mentioned in the December 16 FIR are 147, 148, 323, 504, 506 and 427 IPC.

A common pattern in the two 2008 FIRs were that Varun Gandhi and his accomplices were named for alleged crime. Though the police submitted the charge-sheets in these two cases, only Varun Gandhi has been framed, while all his accomplices in the alleged crime find no mention. The lacuna is startling!

Is there a practice of year-long or two-year long campaigning in any parliamentary constituency? Why were party flags displayed and put up as far back as August and December 2008? And how come Varun Gandhi was allegedly threatening and mugging up people, even before he was declared the BJP’s candidate from Pilibhit?

Meanwhile, attempts to contact Varun failed, as he was out of Delhi, said sources close to the young MP-aspirant.

The question is why is Varun being framed in false cases? The motive is to malign his image and project before the people that he is a hot-headed, ill-tempered person. And that he is criminal and communal. If sources close to Varun are to be believed, there is much more than meets the eye.

Varun Gandhi’s case would be argued in the Allahabad High Court on Monday (March 23). Irrespective of the verdict of the honourable court, more drama will unfold in the political arena.
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