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Shocking revelations by 'The Indian Express' in Ishrat Jahan case
Mumbra is situated at the foothills of Western Ghats near the Thane creek of Maharashtra. Like most of the underprivileged gloomy towns of India, Mumbra is no different with its dangerously teetered buildings, overcrowded lanes and muddy streets where the multitude struggle to survive 24/7.

Like the newly burgeoned localities at the Yamuna Flood plains after 1970's in Okhla Delhi, Mumbra is also one of the largest concentrations of dislocated Muslims - a perfect place to display the dirt bowl of orient East. The moment you get down the Mumbra Station, you are faced with the deafening human chaos, confusion and naked dance of poverty.

Pass under the over bridge outside the station and the stream of urchins, crooks and beggars, many of them drug addicts and drunk, in all shapes, sizes and attires with an attitude that is often both demanding and threatening are there to welcome you at every hour of clock.

Earlier it was an sparsely populated village with aborigines and later the Muslims from Konkan made it their dwelling place centuries go. The new comers stormed this sleepy coastal village of Thane in 1992 when Bombay City Muslims from riot-hit areas sought refuge and safety here. It was the cheapest affordable place on planet for them very near to Bombay to merely survive.

The Congress government that had hardly ever done any real help to Muslim minority except lip service and the vote bank politics, hardly came here to help them and the migrants poor masses were left to their own devices. Even today, there are poor public facilities, hardly any government control that allowed the development of hundreds of illegal and substandard apartment blocks which catastrophically fall regularly with devastating deadly consequences.

It is the unfortunate town - a home of alleged fake encounter victim and alleged terrorist Ishrat Jahan. She was killed along with three other men by the Gujarat Police. The Central Bureau of Investigation later described the killings as a "fake encounter".

For more than two years we have a Congress Mukt Central government that runs on the line of RSS ideology and leaving no stone unturned to humiliate, annihilate and destroy its political opponents. Each and every act of this regime smacks off the vendetta politics. It has already dragged most of the senior opposition leaders into courts on alleged flimsy charges.

In desperation to widen its powers, many of the great educational institutions have been turned into the beat areas of police boots. Student leaders are either committing suicide or arraigned on the basis of hitherto alleged doctored charges. The leader of Patidar agitation leader in Gujarat, Hardik Patel is in jail with no possibility of immediate bail.

Now what seems to be in the offing is the expected pounce on former home minister P. Chidambaram to drag him into court on the charge of having changed an affidavit the Union home ministry submitted to the Gujarat High Court on the Ishrat Jahan encounter in 2009.

According to Union Commerce Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, the purpose of the changed affidavit was to invite 'the enemy' to launch more terrorist attacks to assassinate Narendra Modi because they cannot fight him politically.

"They are happy to play with the enemy… they wanted to quietly watch a terror plot bloom in order to eliminate a political opponent." The statement was recently made in a televised broadcast.

Where it takes more than century old party that had snatched the Independence from the British Raj? It is a ruse to justify an out-reach-beyond-law to suppress the opposition. It would bolster the RSS/BJP to abandon democratic politics and resort to brute force for any occasion convenient to its political maneuvers. The statement of Sitharaman's is most dangerously inflammatory statement made by any politician in Indian history after independence.

Nation would deal with the audacity of this loud-mouth minister in the democratic process but what about the Ishrat's case? This scribe is neither an encounter specialist nor a defending lawyer. As a ordinary Indian citizen I make my decisions on what comes to eyes and my gut feelings.

On records, there were the three 'encounter killings' for which the CBI indicted Amit Shah - then Modi's home minister in Gujarat, in 2010. In its indictment of Shah, the CBI presented evidence of Amit Shah's involvement. It also submitted cell-phone records, and audio and video tapes that, seemingly, implicated Shah in the conspiracy to eliminate Tulsiram Prajapati. Shah was arrested, but immediately granted bail and remained the home minister of Gujarat. But a dozen officers and men were sent into judicial custody.

At present, as the new scenario is unfolding, according to 'The Indian Express', one Shri BK Prasad, the Union Home Ministry official who headed the probe into the "missing documents" in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case, not only told a witness the questions he would ask but also suggested to him what answers he should give - that he had not seen any of the documents.

This coaching of a witness by the man heading the investigation puts a question mark on the integrity of the probe announced in Lok Sabha by Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh on March 10.

The ostensible purpose of that probe was to identify the circumstances around the UPA government's second affidavit that dropped references to Ishrat's alleged Lashkar links and allowed for a CBI probe into her June 15, 2004 killing.

The story is unfolding, let us wait and watch. Khel abhi baqi hai.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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S N Sayeed
Leaders of five Opposition parties condemned what they called an attempt to get a clean chit for powerful people in the 2004 fake encounter case. CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said “the compromised inquiry by the Home Ministry, after the Home Minister’s assurance to Parliament, raises serious questions that some big names are being protected by the BJP government at the Centre” and alleged that “tutored witnesses, compromised inquiries, and non-existent ‘clean chits’ are the hallmark of this BJP government”. In a joint statement, Mohammad Salim (CPM), K C Tyagi (JD-U), D Raja (CPI), D P Tripathi (NCP) and Manoj Jha (RJD) said that “in the season of securing clean chits, one can mark a clear misuse of official machinery to ultimately clear the names of some powerful people in the Ishrat Jahan case”. “Ever since the assumption of power by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, an attempt has been afoot on the part of Sanghis to circumvent the constitutional machinery to ensure that justice is not delivered in certain cases. First, they did it in Gujarat and now they are replicating it at the national level,” the leaders alleged. Anand Sharma, senior Congress spokesperson, said the revelations in The Indian Express report are “serious”. “Ordering an inquiry and then fixing an inquiry… If people can be punished for match-fixing, then this is far more serious. This government is not only framing opponents but also fixing inquires, fudging documents and making important documents disappear, busy selectively leaking documents,” he alleged.Sharma said revelations that have come into public domain about the “cosmetic inquiry” that was being conducted by the Home Ministry on the orders of the Home Minister show that it was a farce. “It was a fixed exercise. This entire drama was enacted and the issue of two affidavits brought to the fore, which had nothing to do with the merits of the case, to deflect and divert attention from the issue that was before the Gujarat High Court and to derail the entire judicial process, to shield the culprits and to defame political opponents,” he alleged.
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