Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Police Story

"According to reports in a leading daily (August 26 and September 4), Hoshangabad police charged a couple with the murder of their twelve-year-old son. Their son was indeed missing, and a body was found near the railway track. The parents confessed to the crime, and spent over 45 days in jail.."

"Six months after his murder, young Gabbar turned up in town.."

"As for the parents who confessed to the murder of a son who was alive — “They broke three of my fingers with sticks,” said the father.."

"It further involved, in the face of incontrovertible evidence of the boy being alive, reiterations in court of the police version under oath, urging the court instead to prosecute Gabbar’s family for producing another person as Gabbar.."

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The above (and below) quotes are from an interesting story by Nivedita in today's Telegraph, where she asks this question that she finds nightmarish:

"what happens to police procedures and media reportage when nothing less than national security is at stake?"

She asks, "Would this blatant miscarriage of justice have been reported in the media if the parents had been arrested on a different sort of charge? If Gabbar himself had not turned up alive? What if Gabbar had been killed in an encounter?"

"Last month, a woman widely known in academic and activist circles in Delhi — Sunita of Daanish Books, a small alternative publisher — was detained by the police in Chandrapur, where she had set up a book exhibition.."

"..when concerned phone calls and faxes started pouring in, the police claimed that they had “clinching evidence” (a phrase they repeatedly used) that this Sunita was a Maoist activist from Jehanabad, where her Maoist husband had been killed some years ago in an encounter. During her interrogation, the official insisted that she admit she was from Jehanabad, despite her assertion that she is from Bhagalpur, and that she had never lost a husband to police bullets. A policeman told her confidently at one point, Hum saabit kar ke rahenge ki aap vohi Sunita hain, Jehanabad ki.."

"..during interrogation Sunita was asked, “Why do you sell books on Bhagat Singh? The British have left, haven’t they?

"Reports in local Hindi newspapers published the police version without any further comment or corroboration.."

[link to complete story]

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