Guest Post by WARISHA FARASAT
Amit Shah seems to be on a roll this election season. First, he escaped any punishment after delivering one of the most disturbing hate speeches made during the 2014 election campaign. After the Muzaffarnagar riots, attempts were made by political parties to capitalize on the suffering of the locals, and provoke certain communities to vote for them. And when Amit Shah was censured by the Election Commission for indulging in objectionable speeches during the election campaign in Uttar Pradesh, BJP Primeminsterial candidate Narendra Modi came to the defence of his most loyal lieutenant. Clearly, Amit Shah’s statement was made with the intention of polarizing the voters in a politically surcharged environment in Uttar Pradesh and amounted to hate speech. However, the Election Commission soon did a u-turn, diluted its own stand, withdrew the ban against Shah and allowed him to go ahead with his campaign. The withdrawal of ban against Amit Shah ignoring the drastic implications of his hate speech during the campaign was alarming.
And now, the CBI has not named Shah as an accused in the Ishrat Jehan fake encounter case stating that there is no ‘prosecutable evidence’ available against him. But Shah and his supporters should not think that this so-called ‘clean chit’ absolves him of all criminal responsibility for indulging in fake encounters in Gujarat. If we believe the CBI in the Ishrat Jehan case when they claim that there is no prosecutable evidence against Shah, consequently, we also need to trust their investigations in atleast two other fake encounters, namely the Sohrabuddin Shiekh and the Tulsiram Prajapati cases where the CBI have named Shah as an accused. Shah is presently being tried in these cases and is able to campaign during these elections only because he is out on bail.