Investigative Agencies Must Drop Double Standards
Swami Aseemanand, a key accused in five terror attack cases, has revealed in his interview with Caravan magazine that these terrorist acts were sanctioned by the RSS and its chief Mohan Bhagwat. He states that Bhagwat gave his blessings for the terror attacks, but warned him not to “link it to the Sangh.” He makes it clear that he is being represented by a battery of lawyers provided by the RSS.
The response by investigative agencies and the Government to this revelation underlines the double standards inherent in handling terror investigations. It is routine for investigative agencies to declare people to be ‘masterminds’ in many terror cases – although in most such cases, the charges prove false. In the process, innocent people spend time in jail and face custodial torture. In this case, when a key accused names a conspirator in a recorded interview, why do the investigative agencies not make an arrest and interrogate the alleged conspirator?
The NIA has said it cannot take Aseemanand’s interview into cognisance unless Aseemanand chooses to record a statement with a magistrate. Why can’t the NIA encourage Aseemanand to record his statement before a magistrate?
In the Ishrat Jehan case as well, the CBI has charge-sheeted an IB officer but avoided pursing the case against Amit Shah, the former Home Minister of Gujarat, in spite of the evidence of that the killings happened with the latter’s full knowledge and approval.
In the past too, many indications of the Sangh’s involvement in terrorist attacks have not been probed by the investigative agencies.
How can the linkages of the Sangh with terrorism, and the involvement of top BJP leaders with politically motivated fake encounters, ever be unravelled when key functionaries of the investigative agencies have a pronounced bias towards the BJP and the Sangh? There is already evidence of Army officers with affiliations to the Hindutva Brigade, like Lt Col Purohit. Recently, serving Mumbai Police Commissioner Satya Pal Singh has joined BJP at Modi’s Meerut rally. Not long ago, former Home Secretary R.K. Singh (right hand man to the Home Minister of the country) joined the BJP on 13 December immediately after his retirement.
When men with such deep political and ideological links with BJP and the Sangh occupy senior positions in the police and investigative agencies, how can we possibly expect an impartial investigation of the Sangh’s terror links?