Most important point of the commentary

One important point in the commentary on the irresponsible behaviour of the Indian police that the renowned journalist of English media Sagarika Ghose has published in the Hindustan Times (13 March) on the question of terror incidents is also the lack of transparency in police actions. She writes: “The police must be transparent on why the Muslim youths were caught and must openly state on what basis the youths were implicated. It is only when the cult of secrecy on flawed investigations is broken, that we can make sure that other innocents are not caught and those who are continuing to bomb with impunity are brought to justice. The rise of Islamic radicalism, and its possible links with terror are concerns, but investigations need to be transparent and not end up as fishing expeditions where a person's faith or political beliefs determine his guilt in a criminal case.”

This demand is old
The lady commentator’s view that the police should clearly express the causes of its action is the point that Muslim leaders and human rights groups have been putting forward in one way or the other. This has been reiterated in this column as well. But the police and the supporters of its action reject it saying that this is not possible and that the police cannot be made to follow it. – On the demand that before raiding a house or detaining the accused the police should at least take the dignitaries of the vicinity in confidence, the police reject the demand saying this would alert the accused and prove cause of their escape. There is indeed worth in this anxiety of the police; the news may reach the accused. But it is not necessary that the accused are real culprits; even the innocent persons can escape, thinking of the police excesses and ill-known methods. But the police can do this work at least soon after the detention. The family members and neighbours of the accused should be called in the police station and briefed with solid evidence about the charges levelled against the accused person or persons.

The reason of laying stress
And Sagarika has laid stress on this very point. And the reason of her laying stress is that the police raid a house and detain whomsoever they like; then they do not say where and how the accused are, not to say of mentioning of the causes of the detention. It has also been observed that the police pick up a person in the dead of night and many days later claim that they have arrested him at some railway station or bus stand. Then they also claim to have seized from him “solid documental proof”; and these “proofs” are the ones they prepare during the period from the day of picking up and the day of claiming his arrest. – But it is not that easy for the police to accept Sagarika’s demand of transparency. For, this mentality and this strategy are not only of the police and other government agencies; there might be state policy behind it. If the police had not been bad-intentioned and they indeed had the proofs, they must have revealed them at the very first instance as this is their need as well. It is necessary that a delegation comprising Muslim leaders, human rights activists, justice-loving members of the civil society and analysts like Sagarika Ghose talks to the Home Ministry in this regard.

22/03/13 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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