End the Presumption of Innocence: Indian Police

Over the weekend, a wave of bombs targeting civilians was unleashed in the Indian capital of Delhi. With the death toll rising (so far approximately 30), a group called the “Indian Mujahadeen” has been widely reported by the media as having claimed responsibility. This was not the first time the Indian people has seen such attacks.Delhi_Bomb_thumb.jpg In fact, this was the third such wave this year alone.

While families are mourning the loss of their loved ones, I can only express grief for their loss. I have read about individual acts of heroics:

Last night was spent running from one department to the other looking for my son who had gone to Gaffar Market with his friends when the blast took place. He was injured and was helped by a young Sikh who brought him to the hospital on his scooter and later called us to inform that my son was injured. I did not even get a chance to thank the good Samaritan properly, said Mohammed Ahmed. He said he was happy that his son was alive. [link]

However, soon afterwards, I have read some of the scariest reports of all. With people still in grief, fascists within the Indian state have not hesitated to hope for a sort of declaration of martial law over the entire country.

Parroting the words of fascists worldwide, they argue:

Former Delhi Police commissioner R.S. Gupta said: ‘The country is facing an extraordinary terror threat and it requires extraordinary measures to counter it.’

[Prakash Singh, who once headed Uttar Pradesh police and then the Border Security Force] advocated a stringent anti-terror law, tougher than the POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) that was enacted by the then Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government in 2001 but repealed by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in end of 2005.

‘Today we need an anti-terror law more stringent than the POTA, with the provision that any terrorist even with a prima facie role in terrorism is kept behind bars without any trial,’ said Singh.

Gupta said: ‘To know how to handle the prevalent terror situation in the country, ask those policemen who fought Sikh militancy in Punjab and wiped it out.'[Emphasis added] [link]

While we have discussed the atrocities committed by the Indian state against the Sikhs numerous times, groups such as Ensaaf and others have been community inspirations in their search for justice.

Laws such as TADA and POTA are used against citizens, labor groups, and and oppositional parties. While I would hardly term India as a state that is governed by the rule of law, such laws makeit even easier and open the floodgate for further abuses. The example used by Gupta is a key illustration of that exact point.

In remembrance of those that suffered the worst forms of state terrorism, I highlight to our readers this brilliant spoken-word presentation by Rubin Paul Singh, performed at Lahir 2008, and sponsored by Ensaaf.

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7 Responses to “End the Presumption of Innocence: Indian Police”

  1. Reema says:

    Another statement that gives cause for concern is the junior home minister's call for revenge instead of justice:

    "I can just say that these blasts have been planned by the enemies of the country, and they will be taught a lesson," Sriprakash Jaiswal, the junior home minister, told reporters at one of the blast sites Saturday. [link]

    Maybe he's just giving in to the BJP's communalist pressure.

    Terrorist attacks have loomed large over the political scene, as national elections approach. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has criticized the coalition government led by the Congress Party for its inability to prevent bombings like those of Saturday.

    But fueling communal politics is definitely not the solution and should give all minority communities in India serious cause for concern.

  2. Reema says:

    Another statement that gives cause for concern is the junior home minister’s call for revenge instead of justice:

    “I can just say that these blasts have been planned by the enemies of the country, and they will be taught a lesson,” Sriprakash Jaiswal, the junior home minister, told reporters at one of the blast sites Saturday. [link]

    Maybe he’s just giving in to the BJP’s communalist pressure.

    Terrorist attacks have loomed large over the political scene, as national elections approach. The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has criticized the coalition government led by the Congress Party for its inability to prevent bombings like those of Saturday.

    But fueling communal politics is definitely not the solution and should give all minority communities in India serious cause for concern.

  3. sikhpath says:

    Here we go again. This time the Muslims are the target. Nothing in India will ever change until the corruption of power is dismantled. Innocent people will continue to die, because they are stereotypically heaped in with the rest. I pray that the atrocities of the government will be less violent than those of the attacks.

  4. sikhpath says:

    Here we go again. This time the Muslims are the target. Nothing in India will ever change until the corruption of power is dismantled. Innocent people will continue to die, because they are stereotypically heaped in with the rest. I pray that the atrocities of the government will be less violent than those of the attacks.

  5. Reema says:

    update: after a firefight in Jamia Nagar (south Delhi), two suspects and one policemen are dead.

    rights? trial? due process? I guess not.

  6. Reema says:

    update: after a firefight in Jamia Nagar (south Delhi), two suspects and one policemen are dead.

    rights? trial? due process? I guess not.

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