Guest post by AZIZ BURNEY, Editor, Rashtriya Sahara (Urdu), Delhi
It is a truth universally acknowledged that anything viewed from various angles presents various shapes. It is also a fact that your angle of view determines to a large extent the picture registered by your brain. An askew angle of view is bound to distort the picture. Reality defies comprehension without proper perspective. To date, we have not been able to understand what kind of picture the Delhi police is trying to draw in order to explain the incidents of September 19 as they happened.
There can be only three possibilities about the ‘encounter’: (1) it was planned and could not be properly executed; (2) it was a I recce’ that tamed into a premature clash due to someone’s misplaced enthusiasm (3) it was a hurriedly planned exercise under orders to “do something, anything, about the Delhi blasts to appease the angry opposition parties and save the honour and position of the minister held responsible. Since the police, or any other authority for that matter, shall never acknowledge the third possibility which can only emerge from a fair and thorough enquiry, we take up the first two possibilities to one of which the police will have to stick once and for all.
The very first version (and how self-congratulatory it was) given out by the police was that they had successfully “worked out” the case after ‘painstaking’ investigations. This would mean that the raid at L-18 was planned in advance after the police had finally determined the identities of “terrorists” and their respective roles in Delhi blasts. However, after serious questions were raised about the manner in which the two boys were brutally killed and one of their important and highly decorated officers lost his life (there is now a mystery shrouding the death of Inspector Sharma as well) the police did a turnaround and said that it was basically a recce (reconnaissance) undertaken to take stock of the situation and determine and confirm the identities of the suspects. The subject, in its present shape, requires a very detailed probe and analysis. But the pivotal point for our discussion today is the presence on the spot at the material time of a senior police officer, namely. Alok Kumar, Deputy Commissioner of Police posted in the Special Operations cell of Delhi Police. Now, a DCP is a Class-I officer of Govt. of India. In the official hierarchy, the position of a class-I officer is that of an official representative and spokesperson of the government. In certain postings all class-I officers, be they from administrative or police services, enjoy even judicial powers. A DCP, posted anywhere as a police officer, is considered to be the head of his branch or section. He is responsible in every way for all officers and men under his command and even routine matters and day to day working of his unit requires his sanction and approval. Seen in this light, the presence of DCP Alok Kumar outside L-18 on September 19, 2008 bespeaks a well-organized, well-orchestrated and well-supervised operation to achieve one of the three above-mentioned possibilities.
As a general rule, senior officers are not supposed to accompany the raiding parties unless the nature of operation is so sensitive as to necessitate their presence for various reasons ranging from answerability to public and/or government to ensuring the success of the operation for a political exigency due to immense public pressure which was the case at the time. In this scenario, DCP ALOK KUMAR IS PERSONALLY, OFFICIALLY AND TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE INCIDENTS OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2008 IN GENERAL AND FOR THE AVOIDABLE, UNFORTUNATE AND UNTIMELY DEATH OF INSPECTOR SHARMA IN PARTICULAR.
And DCP Alok Kumar has not been questioned by anyone, far less by the electronic media, a section of which has made such a song and dance about the ‘eyewitness’ account of head constable Balwant Rana who was admitted to a ‘trauma’ center of a reputed govt. hospital for a laceration on his right arm while the fatally wounded Inspector Sharma was taken to an ill equipped charitable hospital despite the fact that two state of the art specialty hospitals viz. Escorts and Apollo were respectively two and seven minutes away. We have collected some vitally important material regarding the background and the manner in which Inspector Sharma was injured and taken to hospital and it will be brought forth after a few more facts are verified. For now, we pose the following questions, which have to be answered considering the presence of Alok Kumar on the scene:
1. Alok Kumar was not only the senior-most officer on the spot but the official head of the unit as well; and yet SI Dharmendra communicated with Inspector Sharma. Why?
2. Since he was personally supervising the raid, why did he allow Inspector Sharma to confront the perceived terrorists without having a bulletproof vest on?
3. If it was a mere recce why was he standing in full public view with a drawn gun in hand?
4. Where was he when there was exchange of fire allegedly on the fourth floor?
5. Did he follow Inspector Sharma and head constable Balwant Rana into the building?
6. Why didn’t he help his injured inspector or accompany him to the hospital?
7. Why has he not come forward to give a firsthand account of the entire incident?
8. The police initially rejoiced and proclaimed that the raid had been successful and the case had been worked out, and yet the name of Alok Kumar was nowhere mentioned. Why? Was he on a different kind of mission?
Answers to these questions will go a long way in clearing the air of doubts and give credit where credit is due. It is not an insoluble mystery and viewed from a correct perspective things will fall into proper places and all the pieces of jigsaw will fit together to form a logical picture. But let the police decide this way or that. Was it a recce or a planned raid?
Contact: burneyazizburney at hotmail dot com