Batla House Encounter: Govt still afraid of probeSep 20, 2011 | Sadiq Naqvi
It’s been three years after that eventful morning of September 19, 2008, when the top cops of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, gunned down two Muslim boys, point blank. A police inspector, known to be an encounter expert, was killed too. Interestingly, he was not wearing a bullet proof vest that day.
These young boys, living in a dinghy apartment in a Muslim ghetto, were said to be terror masterminds with a blueprint to bomb the major cities and that Delhi and Jaipur blasts were a part of a bigger conspiracy. And suddenly, a new organization called the Indian Mujahideen (IM) was projected as the new enemy of the Indian State.
It, like its many predecessors too had cross border connections. After the encounter, every other bomb that would go in the country was followed by an e-mail by IM taking all responsibility for the blasts.
This continued unabated until one day the establishment finally woke up to the reality of rightwing Hindutva outfits like Abhinav Bharat and Sanatan Sanstha which had spread their tentacles even in the armed forces of the country.
Quite evidently, this new realization unnerved many in the top echelons including the leadership of the main opposition party with photographs of their several leaders with the main actors of this militant outfit, making it to the front pages of several news papers. This made sure that now the minority community which has been living constantly under suspicion and day to day humiliation now become a little hopeful that their plea for a fair and independent probe might just strike a chord with the Congress government.
However, even after three years of the encounter, which wrecked havoc in the psyche of the minority community, alienated and demeaned them, literally pushing them to the wall, the wheels of justice are yet to move.
Even after clear contradictions brought into the popular debate by several rights activists, Jamia teachers, and a couple of publications, (while others bought the police version), the government is still reluctant for a judicial probe.
The photographs, the postmortem reports, contradictory answers by the NHRC, the Delhi Police and LG’s office to several questions about the incident, says it all. However, for the exploited and oppressed like the tribals in Central India, or the victims of violence in Kandhamal and Gujarat, this must not be a surprise.
However, what is surprising is the lack of action on the part of many political parties, social movements and civil rights organizations which claim to be the harbingers of minority rights. They certainly could have done much more than mere lip service.
This is why when an umbrella group of several organizations including NAPM, ANHAD et al, called for a protest on September 18, 2011, only a handful of people were seen!