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Friday, May 04, 2007

Don't make it a Hindu-Muslim issue: Gujarat, Vanzara and Sohrabuddin

We are an emotional nation and most of us are so prompt in taking sides! On websites and blogs, the jingoists are already defending Vanzara and of course there are others blaming the entire police force of Gujarat.

Vanzara is a rogue cop. Not courageous but an allegedly corrupt officer. And also there are police officers like Geeta Johari (and Rajneesh Rai) who must be saluted for their courage. Yes, Geeta was instrumental in arresting dreaded underworld don Latif as per law and not Vanzara, who had to hatch a conspracy to kill just a goon.

That's (Geeta) the sort of police officers we need, for whom law is sacrosanct. Geetha Jauhari had the guts to bring to books Latif and also the moral authority to catch the corrupt officers who bring a bad name to the Indian police and amass property worth hundreds of crores. And their supporters then cry that there is no way to teach these militants but 'encounters'!

It is people like us, emotional people, who are quick to take sides, who are responsible for sabotaging the system. Emotions aside, biases apart, we must ensure that law is upheld. Those who can't present a proper case in the court against a person with a dozen criminal cases registered against him, should resign if they can't prove the charges in court.

They fail to ensure that the case diary is propery written, charge sheet is presented and incriminating evidences produced in the case. They can do it but their energies are mostly spent in other things 'amassing wealth, 'implicating and framing persons' and 'getting into the good books of their political masters'.

All of us must ensure that India remains a civilised society, which is governed by law and where neither money nor muscle can sabotage the system. But this doesn't happen. Those who are supporting Vanzara and those of his ilk, ignore the threat to society by such policemen.

They don't realise that when such a cop will reach them, they will have nobody to defend. Forunately we still have a judiciary, which can take up such cases otherwise nobody, neither journalists nor politicians (opposition) had the gall to fight the Rogue Cop backed by the State government, who had grown so powerful that he could twist the system.(That is why our politicians love to hate Indian judiciary and remind the judges of their lakshman rekha).

Coming back to the Rogue Cops, I challenge the supporters of Vanzara in blogosphere, who are hailing him as a patriot of highest order, to try and just get an FIR register in any police station (even in the pettiest case if their cell phone is lost or their pocked picked) without paying money or using a source.

Believe me, most of the bloggers/comment writers lauding Vanzara would never have confronted the Indian police inside the police station. You may be a victim or just a complainant, nothing will change the attitude of police and the cop will most surely welcome you with a choicest expletive.

Leave a few select-police stations (like say Juhu in Mumbai where things could be apparently different) but the most basic thing, registration of FIR, which is your constitutional right, in case of any complaint, remains a dream. I have seen the most highly educated persons, going to police stations, happily returning with the feeling that their FIR was registered only to realise later that it was just a plain paper on which their application was taken, which has no legal status, and the momen the person departs, it is in dustbin.

So don't flex your jingoistic muscle for a cause, that harms the nation and its law. We keep fighting on Hindu-Muslim issues and the nonsensical emotive things and let the system be hijacked. And when it will come upon you, you are ready to pay a bribe to get your work done.

Law should be fair and equal to all the citizens. Who is this Sohrabudding Sheikh? The 'efficient Gujarat police' worked so hard to bring like-minded cops of four states in to kill him. Had it worked that hard without any ulterior motive, it could have really put a dozen most dreaded criminal elements in jail.

Once your religion is 'money', nothing matters. Vanzara's key informers were all Muslims. We have heard enough of Javed Hero but the other informers of Vanzara who took part in the operation were all Muslim. So it is not a Hindu-Muslim thing. It is just a criminal act. Men in uniform working like hardened criminals and having no repsect in thee law and constitution.

An example of how the police functions:

A friend of mine, who is an RSS sympathiser, was fed up of excessive extortion from the police when he started hisbusiness, though his own party was in the government. He tried to fight them but could do nothing as there was an entire chain. He was humiliated and became so wary of Khaki that he lost all confidence.

But a few years later when I met him, he told me 'It's so easy to 'control' the cops'. He told me that he had developed the habit of drinking with cops and would often give them (the constables, a few hundred rupee notes) and was now so much in control that they were ready to do anything for him. He narrated incidents when he used the cops for illegal detention of his opponents and every conceivable unlawful thing just with a few green currency notes. 'ab to police walon ka phone aata hai, bhai sahab bohat din se koi kaam nahin bataaya...', he said with a beaming face.

What a shame! There are hundreds of atrocities on common Indian citizens everyday who is insulted and made to suffer by the rogue cops. There are good cops amongst them also. But we are all responsible when it comes to this rot. We keep fighting amongst each other and inadvertently subvert the system.