The near-total blackout of the news regarding arrest of one of the most fanatic and religio-maniac killers, Sudhakar Rao, by the national media is intriguing.
Media persons, security agencies, intelligence-wallahs were all aware of the shadowy Hindutva-inspired sharpshooter known for target killings and 'eliminating' Muslims, local-level particular leaders and those who were into inter-religious marriages.
Sudhakar apparently turned radical after his sister eloped with a Muslim youth. He killed his 'brother-in-law' and later committed a series of murders including that of Congress leader RR Khan. Incidentally in this case the police framed one, Gulfam, though Rao has now confessed the crime.
It is all too known that Malwa region [around Indore] in Madhya Pradesh has been the hotbed of both Hindu militants as well as Muslim extremists. It was here that bomb blasts in Modassa, Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid Hyderabad and Ajmer dargah and several other case of bombings. In Malwa, the entire SIMI leadership arrested.
Sudhakar Rao whom police call Sudhakar Rao Maratha was close to ex-RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, the hardliner and breakway group leader who was involved in series of terrorist acts and was later found murdered. The National Investigative Agency (NIA) is investigating the case after MP ATS 'duly' closed it.
In Madhya Pradesh, Anti-Terrorist Squad has yet to catch any right-wing militant though one of the first such cases of terrorism, the failed attempts to bomb Ijtima gathering was planned here way back in the year 2002-2003.
In this case also, it was UP ATS arrested him and handed it over to Special Task Force (STF) and as a result MP police had to accept him. The 'prized catch' didn't enthuse police officials and unlike even petty criminals on whose arrest press conferences are held, in this case a strange hush fell over the officials.
In the past, even arrest of a person with a Muslim ex-member of SIMI with no crimes registered against him, the headlines like 'Dreaded terrorist caught' have been splashed.
On this occasion, national media also looked askance. The fact that all these years when Sudhakar Rao was absconding, a senior BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh was in constant touch with him. The cell phone records prove it. But again, there will be no action or probe regarding the leader's links with the man.
Crime should be treated with the same contempt whether it is linked to a fanatic Muslim group or a fundamentalist Hindu group and irrespetive of whether it originates in Azamgarh or Indore. However, ignoring hardliners of one group is a disservice to the nation, as creates wrong image among the viewers who don't get to see the entire picture and it leads to biased perception.
Is it a deliberate attempt or it happens unknowingly? Either ways it's wrong and media must be fair. Why else there is such a hue and cry when Rahul Gandhi equates RSS with SIMI. The former has been accused of Gandhi' assassination apart from its cadre's role in communal riots as also open involvement of its sister organisations including VHP and Bajrang Dal in rioting in several states.
See past links about Indore's terror connection on this blog here.
[On the top left, is the news published in local Hindi newspaper about Sudhakar murdering five Muslim leaders by shooting them dead. The other photograph on the right is about the crimes committed by him. Apart from these cases, he was wanted in nine other major criminal cases in Madhya Pradesh. He was also wanted in Rajasthan and had a reward on his arrest announced in both states.]