Some Questions About the Delhi Encounter

By Shabnam Hashmi, Satya Sivaraman, Manisha Sethi, Tanweer Fazal, Arshad Alam, Pallavi Deka

First published on Countercurrents.

A team comprising activists, academicians and journalists visited the site of the police operation against alleged terrorists staying in an apartment in Jamia Nagar in the afternoon of 20.09.2008 (Saturday). Two alleged terrorists Atif and Sajid, along with Mohan Chand Sharma, an inspector of the Delhi Police’s Special Cell died in the operation while a third alleged terrorist was arrested.

On the basis of our interactions with the local residents, eye witnesses and the reports which have appeared in the media, we would like to pose the following questions:

1) It has been widely reported (and not refuted by the Police) that in early August this year Atif, who is described by the Delhi Police as the mastermind behind the recent terrorist bombings in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi, underwent a police verification exercise along with his four roommates in order to rent the apartment they were staying in Jamia Nagar. All the five youth living in the apartment submitted to the Delhi police their personal details, including permanent address, driving license details, address of the house they previously stayed in, all of which were found to be accurate.

Is it conceivable that the alleged kingpin behind the terrorist Indian Mujahideen outfit would have wanted to undergo a police verification- for whatever purpose- just a week after the Ahmedabad blasts and a month before the bombings in Delhi?

2) The four-storeyed house L-18 in Jamia Nagar, where the alleged terrorists were staying, has only one access point, through the stair case, which is covered by an iron grill. It is impossible to leave the house except from the staircase. By all reports, the staircase was taken over by the Special Cell and/ or other agencies during the counter-terror operation. The house, indeed the entire block, was cordoned off at the time of the operation.

How then was it then possible, as claimed by the police, for two alleged terrorists to escape the premises during the police operation?

3) The media has quoted ‘police sources’ as having informed them that the Special Cell was fully aware about the presence of dreaded terrorists, involved in the bombings in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi, staying in the apartment that was raided.

Why was the late Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma, a veteran of dozens of encounter operations, the only officer in the operation not wearing a bullet proof vest? Was this due to over-confidence or is there something else to his mysterious death during the operation? Will the forensic report of the bullets that killed Inspector Sharma be made public?

4) There are reports that towards the end of the counter-terror operation, some policemen climbed on the roof of L-18 and fired several rounds in the air. Other policemen were seen breaking windows and even throwing flower pots to the ground from flats adjacent or opposite to L-18

Why was the police firing in the air and why did it indulge in destruction of property around L-18 after the encounter?

5) The police officials claim that an AK-47 and pistols were recovered from L-18.

What was the weapon that killed Inspector Sharma? Was the AK-47 used at all and by whom? Going by some reports that have appeared (see ‘Times of India’, 20.09.08), the AK-47s have been used by the police only. Is it not strange that alleged terrorists did not use a more deadly and sophisticated weapon like the AK-47, which they purportedly possessed, preferring to use pistols?

We feel that there are far too many loose ends in the current story of the police encounter at L-18 in Jamia Nagar. We demand that a fair, impartial and independent probe into the incident be initiated at the earliest to answer the above questions as also any other ones that arise from the contradictions of the case.

Signed/- Shabnam Hashmi, Satya Sivaraman, Manisha Sethi, Tanweer Fazal, Arshad Alam, Pallavi Deka

46 thoughts on “Some Questions About the Delhi Encounter”

  1. I have three more questions to add

    :From all reports and accounts it appears that the media was tipped off well in advance of this operation. So much so that cables were laid on the ground to ensure clear transmission. How is it that the “dreaded terrorists” holed up in this flat did not get tipped off by this operation in the vicinity and flee then, and indeed waited to leave till after the operation had begun? It seems very strange that they would wait in this flat, while the media gathered, the police arrived, and then run from a house in which there is only one stair which had been taken over by the police.

    : A report in the Indian Express quotes Joint Commisioner of police Karnal Singh as saying that, “Inspector Sharma had the input but not the specifically of the right address – there was some confusion about the house in which the militants were holed up.” Which means that the media was called and arrived in Jamia Nagar while the police wandered about looking for the right house? And again the “terrorists” waited while this was going on, 10 OB vans in the vicinity did not tip them off?

    : The Indian Express also carries an article which quotes an unnamed police source describing the incident as “a suprise attack by the militants.” To thwart such surprise attacks the police have been asked to carry their weapons with them at all times. How is an incident planned by the police, to which the media has been invited beforehand, a “surprise attack”?

  2. Answer to your questions:
    Ans (1)- The alleged police verification was a sham. Zia ur Rahman was the care taker of the flat, and he had forged the signature of the owner, and the Police office seal was also fake. No verification was done. Police checked the records at the police verification and no record was found for this particular lease. DCP HGS Dhaliwal stated this in his press conference on behalf of the Delhi Police

    Ans (2) – Its difficult to escape, but not impossible for a trained terrorist to escape from a 4 storey building. One can climb down a pipe, use a rope, there can be several options. If nobody escaped, then, why do you think the Police would like to say that? It actually reflects the inefficiency of the police that they escaped. The Police could have hiddne this fact, and then you would have said, that eye-witness saw 2 guys escaping which the Police did not talk about. You you are trying to say that the encounter was fake and hence you are trying to find holes in the Police story. You are only undermining the efforts of the law enforcement and security agencies to only serve your purpose of getting more local support. You are doing this in the name of minorities, thereby fuelling the anger of the locals, who had tacit support of this activity. If not support, they certainly have sympathy for these terrorist boys who were living in their neighbourhood. So called secular media, and the human rights activists like you do not talk about the family of Inspector Sharma, who who was shot by these terrorists.

    Ans (3)
    Did you also see in the media that Inspector Sharma’s son is suffering from Dengue fever, and he had not gone home since last 3 days? Did you not understand from that his priority was to nab those terrorists, and he did that at the cost of his own life? Did you understand that had he waited, or arranged for a bulletproof vest, he would have saved his life, but this entire exercise would have become too late, all would have possibly escaped?
    Sharma was a veteran, he was involved in similar operations in Kashmir also. But, there one would expect terrorists, and would take precautions. He would have known that these people had some kind of involvement in the Delhi blasts, but he certainly did not know that they were armed and dangerous. He was also confident because of his experience, and thus made a mistake. Instead of appreciating his sincerity, and his service, you are questioning why he died?
    What kind of a silly question is this? How many mistakes have you made in your life? Was any of the mistake even close to causing a potential death? Sharma must have made 100s of right decisions and thats why he was known and was decorated, this was his one mistake for which he paid by giving his life. Since when did you guys become policing and combing operations experts? Forensic reports reports and post mortem reports can’t be made public, and there are reasons for that. Are you suggesting that Sharma killed himself? or someone else shot him? What are you getting at?

    Ans(4)
    These were probably to cause panic amongts those terrorists who espaped to make a mistake and come out. This was also possibly out of frustration that their team was shot at, and they couldn’t nab two suspects.

    Ans(5)
    AK-47 is not a concealable weapon. When Sharma would have entered in the aptt, they would have found only the pistol handy. And AK-47 was probably hidden inside which was not within reach before sharma fired at them. Thats why they only used the pistol. Are you suggesting that the Police framed them? that they planted AK-47s inside their flat?
    Why would they do that? Isn’t getting fired at and one policeman dying enough for you guys to understand and accept that there were terrorists?

    I would urge you to not make a human rights issue, because this is not. Police get a tip, they go their thinking they’ll pick them up for questioning, they get shot at, they fire back, they kill 2, their two guys get shot at, one of them dies. Whats wrong here? Some people said, police should have shot at their legs? how many of you have held a gun or ever fired a shot? especially when someone else is shooting at you? If you don’t kill him, you get shot and get killed. Would you think of aiming at the legs, or shoot to kill before he kills you?

  3. Well said, Manoj. People like Shabnam Hashmi with their highly biased and negative views ruin the entire credibility of the genuine secularists, who are against all kinds of terrorism, whether Hindu of Muslim. I am yet to hear Shabnam Hashmi condemn terrorism. She always sympathizes with the “misguided” youths who perpetrate such acts out of sheer despair and sense of alienation. There are millions of Indians who are alienated from the mainstream, which includes Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Dalits, Women, Farmers, and other poor and marginalized sections of the society. If they start planting bombs and killing innocent civilians, what will happen to the country? What the Muslims need to do is to introspect and ask themselves whether the reasons for their backwardness lies within or whether they should go on blaming everybody else and continue to churn out “misguided” youths?

  4. Dear John,

    I do not think anyone here supports terrorism and the taking of lives for any reason whatsoever. However to point to the fact that increasing numbers of young men feel alienated and targeted by an increasingly intolerant state system is not, in my view, supporting or justifying terrorism. I agree that millions of Indians are alienated from the mainstream and no I would not advocate that they blow up civilians. However I would simultaneously not shirk from pointing out the increasingly anti-poor and intolerant nature of the political and economic mainstream.

    I don’t see why you see these as mutually exclusive positions.

    regards
    Aarti

  5. @ Manoj S:

    Your answers are confusing, or obnoxiously hysterical at their best.

    According to Indian constitution, everyone (and that includes these university kids killed without a proper trial who could be, or could be not ‘terrorists’) has to tried before a court of law, and they are ‘innocent until they are proven guilty.’ Was this approach followed in the ‘operation’?

    (1) If the police verification of these students was sham, can your DCP HGS Dhaliwal say how is it so? Or is that it was said so to smoothen out the discrepancies in the story, citing sympathetic police inefficiency?

    (2) So you know that the ones who escaped were ‘trained terrorists’ who could put Spiderman to shame by escaping from a 4 storey building with a single exit point and with a police cordon and media OVs all around? Did they escape after the police entered the apartment, for according to your logic, the ‘terrorists’ were caught unawares without the chance to fire from the AK? If so, ‘terrorist training’ must have taught them to be selectively invisible.

    (3) The death of Inspector Sharma is a mystery and so is the death of these students. You are not sympathetic to the possibility that innocent students have been killed because the police desperately needed to show something of their competency to nab ‘terrorists’. You are not sympathetic for Mrs. Razia Ameen of Sanjarpur, who’s mother to Atif, and still not getting custody of her son’s body. Trying to attract selective sympathy, and that for a cop who has made his living by killing other people without bringing them to law, really stinks.

    One need not be a policing expert or a Rambo-cop to ask common-sense questions.

    And believe me, it takes real guts for people like Aarti to bring up this issues, especially when the media is blind to anything than the police version and everyone who asks a question is a ‘terrorist sympathiser’. As for the police, you could have been a terror suspect too, if you didn’t have that Hindu name.

    (4) Every bullet in the police force carries a number and has to be accounted for. A cop can lose his job for a missing bullet, i.e. according to the law. So it’s stupid to say the bullets were fired out of ‘panic’ or ‘frustration’, after the ‘operation’ has been carried out.

    (5) I haven’t handled a gun, so I’m not qualified to speak on it. According to the same logic, I haven’t handled a nuclear reactor personally, so I can’t say for or against it. But even a kid knows that a AK can kill a lot of people at one go, so for strange reasons the weapon recovered was not put to use by the slain students. Why? You’ve yourself outlined the possibilities.

    If the death of a cop is enough “to understand and accept that there were terrorists”, why can’t the death of two students of a reputed institution killed mysteriously, doesn’t make you at least accept the possibility that they could have been not?

    If you aren’t a stinking cop who has watched a lot of frenzied Nana Patekar super-cop movies and thinks ‘encounter killings’ are the only solution to ‘terrorism’, how do you know that these kids were ‘terrorists’ in the first place? The onus lies with people like you who’re calling them ‘terrorists’, not the other way round. And you’ve to prove that in court, before indulging in hysterics.

    During their swearing-in, each cop is taught that he’s to nab a suspect even if the suspect is trying to kill him, and bring him before the law. A cop is not allowed to shoot anywhere on the body, only on the leg, if the person resisting arrest gets violent. Even in a life-and-death situation, or when you call in the cameras, and proceed to nab suspects who would be firing at you. Or there’s no need to have courtrooms (or lock-ups) in the first place, since every cop would have killed the suspect after being ‘fired at’.

    So it’s clear that the cops were acting illegally. If the intention was to arrest, and not to kill, there would have been three arrested and wounded suspects, not two dead ones inside that apartment and a mysteriously living-dead ‘hero’. And even then, the ‘hero’ of an ‘encounter specialist’ who has killed a lot of people before, would have made a better ‘hero’!!

    Oh no, this isn’t a human rights issue. Human rights are possible only if you recognize other people as humans. And nothing about ‘pseudo-secularism’ unless dumb minds like you considers every Muslim a potential terrorist and gobbles down the police-versions, buckets and nails and holes and all.

  6. Reading the response from ‘John Joseph’, I would like to know what is his address, provided it’s his real name. Faking is common practice for both the Islamic extremists and Hindu obscurantists.
    I think the report by Shabnam Hasmi, Manisha Sethi etc is substantial and thought-provoking. About the north Indian police, we need to take lessons from UP’s PAC, infamous for helping Saffron hoodlums in inciting communal riots.
    My full name is Siddhartha Ghosh Dastidar, 17/1B, Gangaprasad Mukherjee Road, Kolkata 700 025

  7. I would like to salute indian police who got such a great brain.they are so sharp in cathing “terrorists”.on the other hand “terrorists” seems really dumb they always take shelter in jamia nagar.I myself residence of jamia ngr ,saw that buliding very well, those escapist must be super man or cards for next blast?

  8. Dear All,

    Just to clarify, since I should not take credit where none is due, the report posted by me has actually been written by Shabnam Hashmi and others and was first posted on countercurrents. I thought it should get some circulation so it has been re-posted here with the link. My questions about the same incident have been appended as the first comment to this post.

    And just a quick response Siddharth, I think its a little unfair to demand transparency from John. A medium like the net allows for all sorts of masquerades and I see no problem with that at all. On a forum like this we engage with whosoever someone wishes themselves to be. After all guile is the first defense against the monocle of power :)

    best
    A

  9. Dear Aarti,

    I do not for a minute imply that you are supporting terrorism. All I am trying to say is that rationalizing terrorism in the name of alienation would only further encourage terrorists We should be unequivocal in condemning all forms of terrorism, whosoever it comes from. I don’t argue that our Police is a paragon of virtues, as any Police force in the world, they are very often ruthless, inhuman, and blatant violators of human rights. Having said that, we should also remember that they are doing a very difficult job. If people are killed in blasts, police are blamed for not preventing terrorism. If they catch the culprits, they are blamed for harassing innocents. If they do not catch the culprits, they are blamed for being inefficient. While we should make the Police accountable for respecting human rights, at the same time we should strengthen their hands for protecting us from terrorists, instead of demoralizing them by irresponsibly castigating them for anything and everything. If some people are sure that the people whom the police killed/arrested in Jamianagar are innocents, they should surely be knowing who are the real culprits. Why don’t they come out with the facts?

  10. U guys will neva stop asking questions n living in decline mode,even if u guys c a guy throwing a grenade u l say he thought it was a cricket ball and he is innocent.GROW UP PEOPLE IF U CANT HELP POLICE SAVE INDIA FRM TERRORISTS ATLEAST DNT CREATE PROBLEMS FOR EM.i knw even if police shows u guys, thousands of proofs showin those guys wer terrorits,bt stil u wud continue askin stupid questions,u guys think delhi police killed 1 of der best officers in a fake encounter.how low wud u guys get? 1 Day u wil say kargil was also fake and all those terrorists wer poor innocent muslims.i dnt hate muslims bt i hate ppl who refuse 2 reject dat a muslim cn do anythng bad.i juz hope u wil get some brains in da near future,though i doubt dat.bye n keep crying.

  11. This is the magic of our “intellegence”
    not even fit to write scripts for bollywood masala flicks.. poor veggie minds!!

  12. What kind of logic is it to claim that because Sharma died in the encounter, this proves that the men in the Jamia flat were terrorists? If we start accepting Police claims as gospel truth, then there can be no accountability for the crimes that the police engages in including custody deaths. Also, Aarti’s question as to why the media knew all about the attack, or at least enough to have their cameras ready, when Police claims that its a ‘surprise attack’ has not been answered.

    one cannot categorically claim that these men were terrorists or that they were not. But basic intelligence requires that the Police version not be swallowed hook line and sinker.

    Lets not kid ourselves that the Police diligently tries to catch the right people for the crimes committed. The Police is more likely to show diligence when ‘Muslim terrorists’ have to be caught, than when they have to extend protection to beleagured communities. Delhi blasts took place less than a month ago. A whole gaggle of ‘masterminds’ have been unearthed, with the Karnataka, Mumbai and Delhi Police squabbling amongst themselves as to who has caught the ‘real’ masterminds.

    The systematic state sponsored carnage of Muslims in Gujarat took place in 2002. six years later, conviction rate is a mere 0.8%. Police doing its duty????

  13. Mr. Fake Name Orko, you can’t turn wrong into right by writing in bold, or by shouting or by using abusive language. talk facts, talk figures, or else, it becomes really obvious who is the dumb one here.
    It shows how shallow your thinking is when you start using such a language. You can fake your name but can’t fake your intellect. It is obvious that you watch a lot of movies, and it appears the the spider man movie is prominent of all, which is a reflection on your age and IQ.
    You and these so called pseudo secularists are obviously not realizing what they should do to improve the situation. It is not much known what they have done so far to bring the Muslim population to the mainstream. Or, they never attempted to do so, because if that happens, then their own identity is going to be diminished. What else would they talk about and defend?

  14. Mr. Siddhartha Ghosh – whats in a name? What would happen if his real name is Ramchandra, or John Joseph, or Muhammad Ali? This is internet sir. Even if you mention your address in Kolkata, how would one staying in New York even verify if you are real or fake. And, even if one does, what difference would it make?
    Someone said, I can’t write “terrorists” until proven so, well, what if this happens in Kashmir? What would you call a person who was planting a bomb and dies by police action? A saint?
    Question is, whether the encouter was fake or not? Whether the terrorists who died were really terrorists or not? Whether the Police acted in a responsible manner or not?
    This article was not about the saffron hoodlums, but since you bring the point, I am not sure what the purpose of that was? Are you comparing the their acts to those of these terrorists? When did the saffron brigade plant a bomb and killed people? When did they conspired against the nation with the help of ISI?
    Pls just dont’ say something to be different or sound intellectual. We as a nation are called a soft nation because of such school of thought. If all of us decide to be intolerant to terror, be strong and equivocal, we’ll get over this menace and progress further.

  15. At one side we have a decorated police officer who put himself in the line of fire, against terrorists, facing bullets. Who’s only son was suffering from denque, who had not gone home since last 3 days, who was also awarded President’s medal. And, on the other side, we have these terrorist boys who shot at a cop, injuring one and killing one.
    Who would you believe? Pls do not bring history of police into this, coz, there is enough history of terrorism in this country to prove who to trust and who not to.

  16. These guys seem to be very sure that all those who are caught by the police (is they are Muslims, that is) are innocent. If they are so sure, they must be certainly knowing who are the guilty. Why don’t they do a great service to the community by disclosing the information?

  17. Or is it that there were never any blasts at all, and all these are government propaganda to malign a particular community?

  18. @ Manoj S:

    Dear, dear!

    There are three major forms of Attacking a Person with words:
    (1) ad hominem (abusive): instead of attacking an assertion, your argument attacks the person who made the assertion.

    (2) ad hominem (circumstantial): instead of attacking an assertion you point to the relationship between the person making the assertion and the person’s circumstances.

    (3) ad hominem (tu quoque): this form of attack on the person notes that a person does not practise what he preaches.

    And presto! You’ve convincingly demonstrated all three!

    However, do know that all three are logical fallacies that don’t answer the questions raised against the “encounters”.

    Please carry on with your hysterics. No point reasoning with types like you.

    And a word of advice.
    Close the TV and open your eyes!

  19. well said orko
    in fact one should open one’s conscience that has been blinded by the scriptural ritual chanting done by national television channels. These methodological chanting of terror mantras has effaced any human logic and categorically applied that to demonise a community. This mediated world seems to imbibe the values of hatred and violence enmeshed in the shastras which the media proponents proudly disseminate as ‘objective’, impartial’ news thorugh their infotainement business. as bourdieu said abt television; “… when you use up precious time to say banal things, to the extent that they cover up precious things, these banalities become in fact very important.” (from a famous essay “On Television and Journalism) ..and keeping in mind the de facto monopoly television enjoys over other forms of media/news expression and many depend on it for information, these banalities go as news and truth into the heads of a significant part of the population. and if these narrow-minded class/caste cladded national media people apply their propaganda model, the world of news become an activity of violence against the constructed OTHER. images of such violence seems to define Indian media these days.

  20. @ ranju radha

    You are right. The television media in India betrays the same stereotypes which are rampant in Hindi films.

  21. ranju radha, Indian media is considered to be one of the freest and vibrant in the world. It was the media’s exposure of the dark side of Modi’s pogrom in Gujarat that shook the nation’s conscience. Everybody, except the saffron brigade hailed the media at that time. The media has the duty to narrate stories without toeing any line. That is what they are doing. Who is demonising a community? Sadly, instead of having the conviction to speak up against those who misuse the community’s name to perpetrate terror acts, the media which reports them is blamed. This is strikingly similar to the saffron brigade’s tirade against the media during the post-Godhra days in Gujarat The very fact that the media is under fire from both the extremist fringes is evidence enough for their impartiality. There is no use shooting the messenger if one doesn’t like the message.

  22. @ Prabhakar

    The Indian media is in the hands of people belonging to an elite (and a largely upper caste) section of people. They mostly belong to a centrist, nationalist, pro-upper caste mindset. The only important issue it is therefore sensitive to is secularism, and this makes them anti-right wing (though with a change in the establishment, you never know!). But this also makes the media pro-Kargil, anti-reservation, anti-communist, anti-Pakistan and anti-Dalit. If your position is also the same, no wonder you find your mirror image in the media.

    And yes – when it comes to the news media – the distinction between the ‘message’ and the ‘messenger’ collapses – the messenger becomes the message and vice-versa.

  23. Dear Prabhakar,

    I think the fiction of the “independent Indian media” has been decisively shattered this time round. The media seems to have taken the concept of “embedded journalism” to a whole new level. Simply reprinting the handouts of the special cell and the Delhi Police as “news” is not journalism. It was only when an independent team consisting of PUDR activists, journalists and academics went to Jamia Nagar and made their report public that it even occurred to journalists that actually speaking to people in the neighbourhood who might have a different view of the events from the police, might be a good idea.

    Basic cannons of reporting seem to have been thrown to the winds. So we are confronted with contradictory news reports everyday. Obviously, when the facts don’t square up with what the special cell wants us to believe it puts the media in a bit of a tight spot what?

    So one day the press reports that the tenant forms were forged, and three days later it turns out that they were verified by the police. One day we are told there were lakhs of rupees in a bank account, three days later it turns out there were only 20,000 rupees. The way it seems to work is, first the Special Cell decides what the “news” is which the media dutifully prints. Then as actual facts begin to make their uncomfortable presence felt, it occurs to the press that perhaps actually checking out the facts might not be a bad idea.

    The only paper that seems to have done some reporting in the actual sense of the term is the mail today and Shivam has linked to some of those reports on kafila.

    I don’t think anyone is taking issue with the media for reporting the facts and doing their job. I think people are taking issue with the media precisely because they are not doing their job.

    best
    Aarti

  24. @ Prabhakar

    I think there is no need for me to repeat what Manas and Arti mentioned above. but would like u to be aware of the seminal studies on Indian media that dealt with this aspect. this is for your kind reference.
    CSDS study on the national media, Robin Jeffrey’s work on India’s Newspaper Revolution, K. Ramachandramurhty’s work on Rural reporting, Arvind Rajagopal’s Politcs after Television, S Anand’s Visible Dalit, Invisible Brahmin, Ravikumar’s work in Tamil Ezhuthaezhuthu etc etc etc. have brought fortht the ideological facet of our national/regional media.
    kudos to that shameful face!!

    best

  25. Dear Aarti/ranju radha,

    Your aversion to the media “this time around” precisely proves the point I was trying to make. Compulsion to toe a line clouds objectivity and free thought. It is nobody’s case that everything our media reports is gospel truth. Just because the numbers do not add up or there are contradictions in stories carried by the media, it is preposterous to suggest that they evidence a grand design. The long list of books/studies/papers on the media quoted by ranju radha doesn’t mean anything. There can be a longer list saying just the opposite. Well, I don’t think any amount of argument is going to help – if one believes that closing eyes makes it dark, God help them!

    Regards, Prabhakar

  26. @ Prabhakar

    since u have not gone through those seminal works and prefers to be blind and close eyes to the OTHER world, u may be getiing a feeling of relief. Let ur God save you!!
    and the last sentence of urs makes the point: “IF ONE BELIEVES THAT CLOSING EYES MAKES IT DARK..” that is why orko in one previous post requested to open your eyes.
    People in contemporary India are trying to open their eyes to the level best possible by disentangling themesleves from tradition. Please don’t throw your “hatred Hindu bombs” to make their life darker

    regards

  27. Manoj Sharma and John Joseph – your faith in the police must be the result of not reading the papers. Have you not read the testimony recently of scores of people in Kandhamals about how the police just watched while women were being gang-raped? About the police pushing those escaping from the mob back into the mob’s path? Haven’t we read scores and scores of such testimonies – not from one or two or three people – but from entire groups of the riot-affected all over India about what how the police force at best stands back and watches and at worst aids and abets assaults on religious minorities?

    Very strange – this image of the “upright” police force “doing their duty for the nation” – clearly, you’ve watched and internalized one too many Bollywood films (the Inspector Vijay ones, not the 80s films about corrupt cops).

  28. Manash Bhattacharjee – You forgot to add “anti-
    China”……

    ranju radha & tilaka – This is precisely the problem – one has to be either anti-Muslim and pro-Hindu or pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu. You necessarily have to be on one side. Taking the right side is not what matters. If you read my posts, you would understand that I am not a Hindu fundamentalist throwing “Hindu bombs”. Can’t you ever imagine it is possible for someone to take an objective view and boldly say what is wrong, regardless of whether the wrong-doer is Muslim or Hindu? I am ashamed of being a Hindu if the barbarians called Bajrang Dal are regarded as true representatives of Hinduism. Christians are a peace-loving community and the contributions they have made to the country (oh sorry, I am being patriotic – such a dirty sentiment, isn’t it?) are enormous. It is a pity that the State and Central Governments are doing nothing to stop these atrocities.

    Well, coming to the Police, no one says they are embodiments of virtue. I don’t think any Police anywhere in the world is. Just as they cannot be painted all white, it is unfair to portray them all black – a la our movies again!

  29. 1) we talk abt ‘objectivity’ as part of journalism. and never forget to add that it s subjectivity that decides one’s “objective” acts. though many of us belive in our innate “objective” abilities, ultimately it s our subjectivity that counts
    2)the credibility of police has gone now. People dont trust our police force. How can they rely on those who threatens that you may be arrested as a “terrorist” unless paid 1.5lakh? How can we trust the police who with the help of criminals loot the public? In AP, the police used to make blue films of woman naxalite cadres; raping them in front of cameras (as reported by humanright orgns.) Any one who have gone once to any indian police station will vouch for the criminality of our police force. Why should the taxpayers money be used to sustain such a “criminal” system under the guise of providing law and order? Dont we deserve a better police force?

  30. I agree with you. We do deserve a better police force. Can you name a country we can emulate?

  31. I can’t say about the police force, but anybody who wants to be a good Hindu should surely emulate not any country but a herbivore – what else but the revered cow!

    Am sure Prabhakar will agree. After all, his arguments here are setting that precedent.

  32. @ prabhakar
    why can’t Indians live without emulating any other countries? Is it because “THE WE” dont have self confidence?

  33. yea it is time to close this thread (learnings from the past) to rejuvenate discussions

  34. ranju radha, I didn’t say we SHOULD emulate other countries. I was only asking a question to those who feel everything is wretched about India. They sure would have some concept of an ideal nation. Someone in this forum accused Indians/Indian media of being anti-Pakistan. (what a heinous crime!!) I thought perhaps you people regard Pakistan as a good role model. Coming back to the media which is charged with being part of the grand design of the Hindutva forces, can someone explain why then is the media – both the visual and print, so strongly speaking out against the attack on Christians? “The Hindu” has been carrying a series of stories on the atrocities by the Sangh Parivar in Orissa.

  35. Dear ranju radha,
    It is unfortunate that Shivam’s one-liner came in after your comment – though I am sure he was referring to the latest turn in the debate and not to your comment. Surely we are allowed to feel bored at the Prabhakars of this world, no? These fellows know everything and all I can do is yawn….There is a style that often appears to be in conversation but is simply not interested in listening. When you are saying something this person is simply rehearsing the next lines of the script to spout. We just do feel bored sometimes:)

  36. prabhakar,

    the difference that we can see in the media coverage of murder/rape of christians in orissa and that of bomb blasts is simply this: in the former case there is no stereotyping of hindus; in tha latter there is blind stereortyping of muslims.
    just bz of gujarat, orissa and crores of such heinous crimes committed in the name of Hindus, still none stereotypes Hindus. glad but why the same scale not applied to muslims? that is the politics of hindu cultural nationalism.

    btn, i am also bored like shivam and aditya nigam..
    not interested in the RSS generated arguments, a trademark of safron-cladded thoughts in street as well as in the cyber world of majoritarian caste Hindus. I am no Practising HIndu. How could one be in this 21st century?
    thanks and let me go back to my history written not in sanskrit, but in pali.
    bye

  37. “obnoxiously hysterical,” “really stinks,” “If you aren’t a stinking cop,” “dumb minds like you,” “Islamic extremists,” “Hindu obscurantists,” “GROW UP PEOPLE IF U CANT HELP…,” “Mr. Fake Name Orko,” “shows how shallow your thinking is,” “who is the dumb one here,” “No point reasoning with types like you,” “Let ur God save you!!,” “Please don’t throw your “hatred Hindu bombs”.

    Those are only some of the words in the conversation above that amount to name-calling. This does not help foster healthy debate. We can all make our points – leftist or rightist or centrist or whatever – without resorting to personal attacks. Please have a look at Kafila’s Disclaimer page. All of us have an investment in keeping the debate civil.

  38. Dear authors,

    You should literally feel ashamed for posting this article. It is because of people like you that we are not able to tackle the terrorist-issue appropriately. Do you people need to get to “the other side” of everything? Do you realize that being a cog in the wheel means even more inaction and more terrorist attacks? O wait, I guess you at least consider the terrorist attacks to be genuine and not some plot hatched by the police themselves. Or do you? Sweet Jesus, how could you doubt M C Sharma and team, when we all know what happened to that great person. The answer to all your “questions” is: they had the balls to do all that. I was amazed at how you could attack the police force for using more powerful ammunition against the terrorists. Terrorist blasts that kill hundreds, dont raise an eyebrow; however the death of terrorists in an encounter provokes you. Wow! God help you!

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