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Thursday, July 09, 2009

Extra-judicial kilings: Ranvir Singh's encounter in Uttarakhand

The recent 'encounter' of Ranvir Singh in Uttarakhand has once again raised the issue of police brutality and absolute lack of accountability among the force.

For a change, the Uttarakhand Chief Minister who has just taken charge and wants an image makeover for the state government, swiftly recommended CBI inquiry. Unlike in most cases, it seems justice might be done in this case.

Otherwise in most cases the inquiries are ordered after months and years so that whatever evidences exist against policemen should vanish by then.

The incident hit headlines just because Ranbir was considered 'someone like us'--an MBA. And when the police said he was a terrorist, the vocal urban middle-class and TV channels were suspicious. How can he be a terrorist?

A dreamy-eyed youth from Ghaziabad going to Dehradun for his first job posting. His family background may not be as 'upwardly mobile' as many anchors and reporters in the national media, still he hailed from neighbouring Ghaziabad and the encounter took place not too far from Delhi. Otherwise, innumberable such killings take place throughout the country without getting even a mention.

Rural citizens and poor who can't pull strings keep getting killed in encounters without any proper inquiries. Most magisterial inquiries are eyewash, as the magistrates who conduct them are friendly to the police and have to work along side them. The doctors who conduct post-mortem reports don't go against the state government (police).

In Ranvir's case, at least, questions were asked. This was because of his 'promising career'. Unfortunately neither questions are asked, nor there is any suspicion or outrage when poor Indian citizens are killed in cold blood by the police--either a slum-dweller in urban areas or tribals by dozens in Chhattisgarh.

The version of police is accepted. Besides, the distance from Delhi also determines the amount of media coverage, which often puts pressure on the administration to act. That's the reason that in Ranvir's case, despite the initial acceptance of police theory 'terrorist shot dead', things have finally moved.

The reaction of citizens and media has led to action and nearly a dozen policemen have been booked for murder. Of course, all political parties are unanimous on this occasion unlike in Batla House encounter where it was said that even an inquiry would affect the 'morale of police'.

Alas, in most other cases of custody killings and encounter deaths, the guilty policemen not just get away with murders but earn 'medals' for gallantry and distinguished services which entitle them to free railway journeys, promotions and other benefits.

The death of Kuldeep

Just a few months back a youth was killed in Haryana. The youth, Kuldeep, a 22-year-old lad, was killed in cold blood. After mounting pressure the police had retracted and claimed that the 'trigger was accidentally pushed'. I had then written a post on police's brutality 'What's wrong with Indian society: Innocent get bullet, vandals get respect'. If you have a few seconds do read this post.

A tale of two encounters: Dehradun and Batla House
Also, read two Jamia teachers--Manish Sethi and Adeel Mehdi, making a comparison of two encounters at Twocircles.net. The writers tell us the encounterables, those who can be executed in an encounters, and how the even the procedural magisterial inquiry was sabotaged in the case of Jamia Nagar incident. Link to the report.

4 comments:

Amitabh said...

Killing of these innocent men by police once again shows our up-bringing as a human being. It devastated the society we live. I was thinking what went wrong in our society that we have become a piece of shit. Is it our education system that is failed to deliver what we have expected or something else? I don’t know what we read is right or the way we have been taught is wrong. This is the right time to look within us to improve. Otherwise we would create a monster that will eat us.

Anonymous said...

well let me just say that this isnt a one off case and it has happened many a times in the past too and will happen in the future too. Corruption is deep seated in our society and has eaten it to such an extent that any attempt to revamp the whole system would cause the entire structure to collapse.

But what baffles me or rather pains me is that an educated person such as yourself is still hung onto the Batla house case by the skin of your teeth. Trust me i have no second thoughts on calling Pragya singh a terrorist and a blot on the Hindu culture. I am sure you too have no qualms doing the same. But why drag the issue of Musim persecution in this case?? Why is it that you want justice to be done and yet question it if its not meted out to one and all.

You know you just seem to relate everything to Islam if its concerned with a muslim name. You have a counter argument in place for every debatable issue. The best example that comes to mind is you questioning our anger over the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants with us not having any problem with nepalis coming over just because they are Hindus!!! Dear me do you know over the past 15 years or so 1.5 crore Bangladeshis have come to India (thats for you dear, the entire population of Nepal). The entire Demography of North East has changed. And these are not educated moderate muslims. These are poor radical muslims who now are in the majority every where. There nefarious plan is to annex the NE from India's control!!! and they will succeed because it isnt exactly India anymore its a geographical extension of Bangladesh. I have no issues with moderate muslims coming to work in India legally or illegally but these radical Bangaldeshis believe that raping Hindu Women will see that they be sent to heaven upon their demise!! And this dear friend is not the statement of some Hindu christian or Buddh, its a statement of a liberal educated Muslim of Bangladesh who understands the impact that the radicalization of the country will have on the country and of course us!!

So for God sake stop this. Amar singh was for the investigation in the Batla house encounter but what for?? Mere political gains.I know it you know it. This is not to say that whatever happened was justified or that they are the executionables. No not at all. Justice does not see religion. Trust me no one gives a dammn whether he is Ranbir or Aslam. People want justice but to pass a taunt that @lst and enquiry has been ordered is you saying ki bhai is baar bhi kuch nahi hona chhaiye kyunki tab to nahi hua tha. It was all going so well as you were highlighting the issue of proximity to Delhi and then you bring the religion into debate even though you would disagree and say that I am the one who is biased and dragged religion into debate and then unwillingly we will have a debate. Isnt this a nice way to initiate a debate??

Anonymous said...

well let me just say that this isnt a one off case and it has happened many a times in the past too and will happen in the future too. Corruption is deep seated in our society and has eaten it to such an extent that any attempt to revamp the whole system would cause the entire structure to collapse.

But what baffles me or rather pains me is that an educated person such as yourself is still hung onto the Batla house case by the skin of your teeth. Trust me i have no second thoughts on calling Pragya singh a terrorist and a blot on the Hindu culture. I am sure you too have no qualms doing the same. But why drag the issue of Musim persecution in this case?? Why is it that you want justice to be done and yet question it if its not meted out to one and all.

You know you just seem to relate everything to Islam if its concerned with a muslim name. You have a counter argument in place for every debatable issue. The best example that comes to mind is you questioning our anger over the issue of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants with us not having any problem with nepalis coming over just because they are Hindus!!! Dear me do you know over the past 15 years or so 1.5 crore Bangladeshis have come to India (thats for you dear, the entire population of Nepal). The entire Demography of North East has changed. And these are not educated moderate muslims. These are poor radical muslims who now are in the majority every where. There nefarious plan is to annex the NE from India's control!!! and they will succeed because it isnt exactly India anymore its a geographical extension of Bangladesh. I have no issues with moderate muslims coming to work in India legally or illegally but these radical Bangaldeshis believe that raping Hindu Women will see that they be sent to heaven upon their demise!! And this dear friend is not the statement of some Hindu christian or Buddh, its a statement of a liberal educated Muslim of Bangladesh who understands the impact that the radicalization of the country will have on the country and of course us!!

So for God sake stop this. Amar singh was for the investigation in the Batla house encounter but what for?? Mere political gains.I know it you know it. This is not to say that whatever happened was justified or that they are the executionables. No not at all. Justice does not see religion. Trust me no one gives a dammn whether he is Ranbir or Aslam. People want justice but to pass a taunt that @lst and enquiry has been ordered is you saying ki bhai is baar bhi kuch nahi hona chhaiye kyunki tab to nahi hua tha. It was all going so well as you were highlighting the issue of proximity to Delhi and then you bring the religion into debate even though you would disagree and say that I am the one who is biased and dragged religion into debate and then unwillingly we will have a debate. Isnt this a nice way to initiate a debate??

Rafi said...

I read Burney sahab's writing that if the person was not Ranvir but Tanvir, no TV channel will call it 'fake encounter'.