Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: law and order

Terrorists delisted

India’s Home Ministry has delisted 142 terrorists from the list. The list had names of 169 Sikhs. Somebody filed a petition in the Delhi High Court and pleaded that the list should be reviewed as it has led to unnecessary harassment of those individuals at airports and embassies across the world as their passports were not renewed. The Delhi High Court ordered the Home Ministry to take a decision. The Home Ministry consulted Punjab government and security agencies and deleted 25 names in August 2010 and 117 names in April 2011.

On what basis the Home Ministry decide to delete the names? Why did it not appeal to the Supreme Court against Delhi High Court’s order? Were the people innocent? If so, why were their names in the list? In that case the country needs to know that answer and to who was responsible for the mistake. If not, why were they delisted? Why were no efforts made to extradite them? Why nobody from Home Ministry told the Delhi High Court that what the people face was not unnecessary harassment but just action?

The 142 persons will be free to come to India and preach secession. They can do so in Delhi. The government is incapable of taking action against secessionists as was evident in the case of Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Arundhati Roy. The police registered a case after somebody filed a complaint.

What will happen to India’s Most Wanted in Pakistan? Will someone file a petition in some High Court and the Home Ministry delist them? If Indian government is not serious about fight against terrorism it should say so publicly instead of paying lip service to fight against terrorism and sending lists to Pakistan.

Surrender is not maturity

After the government of Orissa surrendered to the demands of Maoists for release of a collector and an engineer BJD MP Jay Panda said the government acted with maturity. Maturity is a word overused and misused by journalists and politicians. Surrender is not maturity.

The state government abdicated its responsibility when it agreed to negotiate with criminals and accepted their demands. This makes mockery of the rule of law.

The risk of losing lives of hostages needs to be taken. If criminals kill hostages they are guilty of murder and they shall be caught dead or alive. If caught alive they shall be hanged after due process of law.
In 1972 Israel did not surrender to Black September when they abducted Israeli athletes in Munch. Israeli athletes died. Israel tracked down Black September members and killed them.

In 1972 Israel did not surrender when an aeroplane having Israeli passengers was hijacked and taken to Entebbe. It rescued hostages.

During the hearing of Binayak Sen’s bail application some EU observers had come to watch the proceedings. It is time for India to return the compliments. Indian observers should watch proceedings in some trials in EU countries. Trial of Julian Assange can be a good beginning.

No negotiations with criminals

India should have a policy of no negotiations with criminals whether they are terrorists, abductors, kidnappers, hijackers, pirates or Maoists. The policy should be followed by central and state governments. The policy should be irrespective of who the hostage is. The hostage may be a minister’s daughter, engineer, doctor, collector, truck driver or someone else. It does not matter whether there is one hostage or there are many hostages. When the policy of no negotiations is declared and followed there will be no pressure on any government.

Since December 1989 when Rubiya Sayeed was abducted and five terrorists were released there have been many cases when India has surrendered to criminals and released prisoners or paid ransom. In recent years Maoists have abducted many people and state governments have released prisoners. The abductions continue.

In December 1999 a hijacked plane was allowed to take off from Amritsar and go to Kandahar. Three terrorists were released who caused many deaths later on.

According to a police officer, DGP Dinakaran, 20 crore rupees were paid as ransom to Veerappan when Rajkumar was abducted. He had said chief minister paying ransom is misconduct and not official secret. There was demand to release prisoners and it would have been met had not one retired police officer whose son had died in an encounter with Veerappan gang had gone to court and stopped it. The Government of Karnataka argued in Supreme Court that if the prisoners were not released there would be a law and order problem. The bench headed by S. P. Bharucha did not allow release of prisoners. The government was told if you cannot control you quit.

Many times criminals dictate who should be mediators and these mediators are their associates.
Sometimes TV channels show members of families of hostages crying. Once Vinod Mehta of Outlook said to Vikram Chandra of NDTV showing tears is pornography.

One instance when India did not surrender to terrorists was during 26/11. Whether there was any negotiation for sometime is debatable but there was no surrender and the terrorists were shot dead.

India should undo its mistakes. Criminals beginning with Rubiya Sayeed abduction case who demanded release of prisoners or ransom should be prosecuted. Rubiya Sayeed should be questioned about her abduction. All prisoners released should be asked to surrender within seven days failing which they should be declared fugitives dead or alive. S. M. Krishna who was chief minister of Karnataka must make public how 20 crore rupees were collected.

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