Sunday, June 14, 2009
An Open Letter to KP Raghuvanshi
Dear Mr. Raghuvanshi,
Congratulations for accepting the post of new ATS chief. You have once again proved that you are a brave heart and indeed an iron man of Maharashtra police. You have agreed to become ATS chief at a time when our senior police officers are wary of taking up any post associated with terror! How can senior police officers decline the post of ATS chief citing ‘personal reasons’? Perhaps they have been “terrorized” by the fall of an equally noble officer, Hemant Karkare. The reluctance of law-keepers is an irony in itself. In this irony lies your bravery.
The good news must have lightened up your fortnight holiday. Why should it not? Tough cops like you deserve a standing ovation. What more, now your post has been elevated to the rank of additional director-general. We are in a state of double-bliss!
You must be happy and proud that you have regained an old post. You were the first occupant of the ATS office. With Karkare’s death, you have once again got an opportunity to occupy ATS office. Life has completed a full circle.
We are very happy that you have been credited for “successfully” investigating July 2006 train blasts in Mumbai and the subsequent cemetery blasts in Malegaon. We congratulate you for “cracking up” these two cases but we will not hold a felicitation for you. We would like to felicitate you in Malegaon only when it is proved in a court of law that all the accused in Malegaon case are the real culprits. We, like you, have faith in India’s judicial system despite its flaws.
We are happy that it was you who had spoken firmly on Nanded blasts of April 2006 in which a youth manufacturing a bomb died inside the house of the local Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist. It was you who had conducted brain-mapping and narco-analysis test. It was you who had said openly that the same group of terrorists is responsible for the bomb blasts at the Parbhani mosque in April 2003 in which 25 persons were injured. It was you who had said that Nanded incident could have “frightening repercussions”. It was you who very frankly acknowledged that this was not an isolated incident but also part of an “organised pattern.” Unfortunately, the organised pattern was reflected on September 29, 2008 in the form of a bomb blast at Malegaon’s Bhiku Chowk. Your fears were true but alas each one of us could do nothing to stop it.
Hemant Karkare exposed the “organised pattern” in Malegaon. His greatness does not lay in the arrest of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur but his ability to turn his “enemies” into “well-wishers” even after his death. It was his determination that brought out the Muslim community from the cocooned shelf of fear-psychosis.
Your appointment may once again draw flak from a section of Muslims in Maharashtra. We are aware that many Muslims have questioned your integrity. You have been accused of being “communal” and “biased.” It’s the time for you to turn the tables. You have a golden opportunity to prove your secular credentials. You must have heard of the famous English proverb: opportunity knocks but does not linger. You can still win over Muslims by your substantive acts rather than reassurances. We don’t hold the view that all police officers are communal, but there is no denying the fact that a minuscule minority is dirtying the pond of intelligence. It is your job to identify such dirty fishes and throw them away!
Some Muslims may raise the issue that you had invited Colonel Purohit and Major General Ramesh Uphadyay, both accused in 2008 Malegaon blast, for a lecture on intelligence for the ATS in 2003. We give you the benefit of doubt that you may not have been aware of their true intentions. All will be forgotten if your team can successfully prove them guilty in a court of law.
It was you who had rightly asked a question: Why are no questions being raised by fact-finding teams about the arms hauls in Malegaon and Aurangabad and the identity of the accused who have been arrested? This indeed is a right question. We will be very happy if you can seal the arms haul case with judicial seal. We would like to believe that it was a big haul but there is one question we would like to ask: What is the origin of such a big haul? Did it come across the border? Or did it originate in India itself? There are many questions which every sane Indian need to ponder over.
We wish you all the best and hope that your second inning will be more interesting and remarkable than the first. Each one of us, including your team, need to take a pledge to fight terrorism together because a bomb does not discriminate between a Hindu and a Muslim.
Hemant Karkare has left footprints in the sand. We hope you would follow in his footprints before it gets washed away in the tidal wave.
An ordinary citizen of India
Sunday Inquilab, June 14, 2009