Bangalore sees another terror plot. Well, what’s new in that! Hold on. The big news is that the terror camps both inside the country and across the border were jolted with tremors because of the roaring reaction of our great home minister Shri Shivraj Patil who said, and I quote – “….Such incidents will not deter the government from pursuing its policy of dealing with anti-national elements in a resolute manner.”

Bravo Patil. Keep issuing such statements; we dont need any other anti-terror mechanism. Your statements are enough to terrorise the terrorists themselves!

Afzal Guru – “Please don’t compare me with Sarabjit. The issues are separate. My sympathies are with him, but my fight is for the Kashmir conflict. Now, I am not even seeking any clemency and have no objection to the government deciding my fate.” [link]

Afzal Guru has also said something that MF Hussain also said sometime back. Paraphrasing : The UPA govt. biggest problem is its indecision, only the NDA can come and hang me and in case of Hussain that only NDA can bring me back to the country.

Afzal Guru is pending hanging for attacking the parliament, all courts from the lowest to the Supreme have sentenced him to death. The BJP is asking for an early implementation of the courts order so that justice is done to the brave soldiers who died fighting to protect the parliament.

The congress is in a different mood altogether, they have probably taken to Arundhati Roy’s advice “What is the hurry to hang him?”. Hope Ms. Roy got her answer from the horses mouth. The BJP does have a point in demanding action, more prolonged the issue, more communal a turn it takes. Earlier it would and should have been a simple hanging of a terrorist. The congress has managed to invent more angles to the issue in trying to protect him. Many muslim organisations have come out against terror, no muslim organisation as such opposes his hanging. What is the hold up?

Alright, if we want to move towards a no-hanging sort of a culture, then make the case for that, but do not please give it a communal angle and try to justify the innocence of Mr. Guru like human rights activists. The left would be more than happy to save some face as being a part of the govt. and help you formulate this. But why the delay?

Congress justifies. “There is no authenticity of Afzal’s statement, whether the interview was done with permission, and whether he actually said it or not. Rajnath Singh should know that is a constitutional process and hence it will take time,” Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said.

Jayanthi Natarajan is trying to rub the delay off on the process, which does not exist. There are no procedures pending. No papers have moved on the issue, all trials are over and its plain action which is pending which the congress will not take. And as the matter gathers dust, it will seem as if those who ask for the court order to be obeyed are communal rascals.

The problem with congress is that they end up giving a communal angle to each issue.

A couple of days ago, Bangladesh(!) passed an anti-terror law giving immense powers to the police to tackle terrorism. The BJP has repeated its demands for the anti-terror law and the congress has slipped into silence. Deja Vu!

Some of my own friends were asking me why I was supporting the laws which were against Muslims. I was too surprised at their ignorance to laugh at that time, so I came back and wrote this post.

First, the anti-terror laws are considered a western method of handling terror attacks. This is not only untrue, it is irrelevant. The western countries, North American, South American and European are not in the terror belt. Their anti-terror laws are against an eventuality. India and other sub continent are in the very active belt of terrorism, the terror laws here are against certainty of having to use them. The potently dangerous mixture of Islam with Illiteracy and poverty is found here giving room for straying into terrorism. India has its own set of special problems with a number of separatist groups, Nepal and China funded naxals and maoists, and other groups in the past like the Khalistan rebels and LTTE rebels. While Bangladesh also faces the brunt of terrorism, India faces it more severely and much more. India is also one of the worst affected apart from Iraq. Pakistan, Indonesia, Japan, Australia, China have all their anti-terror laws in place.

Why special laws, what about existing laws? Identified conviction rate in the country is 40%, while the conviction rate for murder is as low as 6.5%. So there is as much as 93% chance that you may get away with murder if you committed it. Apart from that, it provides the police with the possibility of producing evidence that may be inform of a confession or intercepted from radio sources etc. which are not normally permitted. The law names prevention of terrorism act, is actually preventive in nature. The law gives power to police to be able to prevent acts of terror. Currently a very modified form of the law is in place called the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act. This law is a very mild version of the POTA, and is quite incapable of dealing with terror severely.

Can that not be misused? Everything can be misused. The TADA was also supposedly misused, this matter was brought to court, some safe guards were then recommended. Those safeguards have been incorporated into the POTA. These include,

  • Investigation of an offense under the Act is to be done by an officer not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.
  • No court can take cognizance of an offense under the Act unless sanction of the State.
  • The Act provides safeguards against abuse of the provision relating to admissibility of confession made before a police officer. – Confessions made involuntarily fall under this category
  • Intimation of arrest of the accused will have to be provided to a family member immediately after arrest and this fact is to be recorded by the police officer.
  • Provision for prosecution of police officers for malafide actions under the Act (including rigorous imprisonment upto 2 years) and compensation to affected persons in such cases.

Additionally, Mr. Advani had announced the setting up of a central review committee to take complaints regarding the misuse of the law. The alleged misuse is from the BJP ruled states, however the complaints received were, 40 from TN, 39 from Maharashtra, 28 from Delhi, 26 from UP, 16 from J&K and 15 from Jharkhand. In all of these cases, the central review committee gave its verdict, sometimes in favour of the accused and sometimes in favour of the state. On the contrary, the Pakistani laws against terrorism are rather draconian in comparison. POTA is one of the only anti-terror laws that actually incorporates some safeguards in the interest of people.

Why is the congress opposed to it? The congress does not have a definite vote bank in the Hindus which it can identify with on a national scale (on a state scale, the congress has its own caste political equations). The congress only identifies a vote bank counter to that of the BJP. The BJP which emerged as a Hindu revivalist party may not identify with communal any more but the congress and media have not tired of painting that picture about them. The counter vote bank is that of the minorities. The congress feels that repealing the law will make the Muslims feel secure and the loyalties of the votes would be maintained. That is briefly why the congress is opposed to the law.

But don’t terror attacks happen anyway? Yes they do. POTA is not a magic wand. And its not like what BJP justifies that anti theft laws do not prevent theft from happening anyway. The case is not so trivial. What POTA does is that it gives us a chance to be able to prevent terrorist groups from forming, to break terror networks and to prevent attacks by acting proactively on intelligence. The workings of this are like Heisenberg’s uncertainity principle, if we want more prevention, then more draconian laws and less politics and if we want somewhat reasonable laws then the prevention will be within reasonable limits, which is what POTA enables us to.

The POTA is not an anti-Muslim law, it is in fact a very sensible law. And it should be implemented for all the right reasons.

After the gory blasts in Jaipur, I thought the top priority of the PM would be to deal with terror. Instead, the PM is very concerned about the bid to hamper relations with Pakistan.

Saying that terrorists could be seeking to disrupt the talks with Pakistan, Singh said: “There is no doubt that terrorist elements have many objectives to disturb the atmosphere of communal harmony in our country, create communal disturbances and to prevent normalisation of relations with Pakistan. We have to be mindful of these nefarious designs and we are adopting effective counter-strategies.”[link]

While the Chief Justice of India, opposition parties have expressed their opinion in favor of the UN Security council recommendation of a strong anti-terror law[link], the congress and PM are completely missing the point in favour of creating another anti-terror federal agency (as opposed to the state run police and army which are the ‘pro-terror agencies.’)

“There is a case in such demands. This matter has been discussed several times in the inter-state councils. We should explore all possibilities for recognising crimes like terrorism, white collar crimes and human trafficking as federal crimes and setting up a federal agency which is fully equipped to discharge the onerous function of dealing with it.”

Firstly, the PM has never called for or convened any inter-state councils and his claim is an exaggeration or a blatant lie. Mr. Modi has been calling for such a meeting for a long time now and so is Ms.Vasundhra Raje Scindhia. This initiative speaks nothing of the long silence over the numerous attacks over the years which have caused many innocent deaths. And the idea itself is quite ridiculous, solving cases or finding the criminals was never the problem till few years back, the state police investigation was very good at catching criminals. But today, due to persuasion of the Center to go soft on terror criminals, and because of the current law, which treats terrorists at par with normal muderers, is unable to deal with them due to absence of requisite laws, terror perpetrators are going scott free. For e.g. The UPA allies, the left parties have been shielding the Coimbatore Blasts accused, Maudhani and been providing him with special amenities in prison (refrigerator, colour TV, etc.), in order to appease his supporters.

The other aspect that the UPA ‘solution’ fails to address is that all due-diligence is better done before the attacks happen. The current laws do not allow arrests, interrogation and imprisonment on basis of suspicion, beyond certain limits. This becomes a major impediment when dealing with terror networks. Whether we form a federal committee or not, this will first have to be addressed through a special act. Anti-terror laws are a must in avoiding and dealing with terror.

In spite of the fact that the existing police force and army are actually working towards similar goals, one at the state and another at national level, the UPA government is using its policy of creating more and more committees. After the moratorium on the disinvestment ministry, and the piling pressure of salaries and upcoming arrears, this new redundant initiative is going to be a new liability. The sufferers as usual would be the common men and women, the taxpayers. The punishments of electing a UPA government are really quite numerous.

Dear Soniaji,

For more than 10 years now, you have been at the helm of the Indian National Congress party, and you have traveled far and wide to meet the people. And congratulations on making good progress in learning Hindi.

My request to you and other party members is that you would stop making visits to terror struck places in such a conspicuous manner. Firstly, it is you and your party members, whose divisive policies have resulted in increase of such attacks rendering the value of life of us common people quite worthless. And to add to the flutter and the feigned concern, you are also hindering the people who actually volunteer to help.

You said in your speech that we need polity with principles. Its probably high time you lived up to that ideal. Please do not stop the volunteers from doing humanitarian service merely because they belong to RSS. The first PM from your own dynasty, Pt. Nehru also had appreciated the service done by RSS volunteers and had invited them to the republic day parade in full uniform.

For long your party has been working at undermining the work done by this group. For long you have been creating rumours about the RSS and creating enmity in the society. Please stop these divisive tactics and do something in the interest of the people of the nation, because the party policies based on untruth’s shall not pass the test of time.

Satyameva Jayate

Regards,

Ek aam aurat, Saakshi.

Prime minister Dr. Manmohan Singh [MMS] has had to spend sleepless nights for two Indian doctors who were involved in the London-Glasgow airport terror plot. Dr. MMS could not help after he saw on television, the mother of those doctors breaking down on some news channel. Fair enough!

But what about the terror acts happening in the country and the innocents being killed ruthlessly? Does he ever lose his sleep for those mothers and sisters? Let me not remind him of IISc attack, Mumbai blasts, Ajmer blasts, Hyderabad blasts and UP blasts.

  • Let me just ask our “extremely kind” PM, does he ever gone sleepless for these people – 90 killed and more than 150 injured in a city which is all known for its peace and calm. The Pink city of India turned red with innocents’ blood. Are you at least bothered to visit the place Dr. MMS? Doesnt seem so. [You are under Bhutan tour currently, but could have visited the city before that.]
  • Did you lose sleep over this Dr. MMS? How many jawans have to die before you wake up? How many wives have to become widows before your wife asks you to do something to combat terror? You were present in person when this wife of a heroic jawan broke down. You witnessed her helplessness – she cried inconsolably. Did you not lose your sleep, why Dr. MMS?

Its is high time you stop this cruel drama for minority votes. Terror is terror, whoever does it should be handled properly – be it a Hindu or a Muslim. Terror victims are innocents – again, be them from any religion. You cannot be numb to the victims of terror if they are from majority religion, dear Prime Minister. Rather than getting tougher with the terrorists, your government has consistently asked the probing agencies in Bangalore to go soft on the perpetrators, just because they are Muslims. All for the sake of their votes in the Karnataka elections. What a shame Dr. MMS! People never expected this from a man who is ‘honest’, ‘clean’ and a ‘good’ administrator.

Jaago (Man)Mohan pyaare!