Edit/Op-Ed

Death, Fear, Politics… Where is Justice?

Dilnawaz Pasha, BeyondHeadlines

New Delhi. On morning of 19th September 2008, 7 member Team of Delhi Police lead by Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma knocked into house number L-18 of Batla House, Jamia Nagar and Killed Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid.

According to the police version of the story, Atif and Sajid were dead, Mohd. Saif and Zeeshan were arrested and one boy named Mohd Ariz escaped as the encounter ended. Injured inspector MC Sharma was admitted to nearby Holy Family hospital and was later declared dead at around 7pm the same day. After the encounter at least 19 young muslims were arrested for having links with the terrorist organization Indian Mujahideen.

In the alleged encounter three lives were lost, many were shattered and many more were baffled by controversies surrounding it. After three years  victims of Batla still await Justice.

In constitutionally secular socially communal India the alleged Batla House Encounter is now a political battlefield. On one side are secular politicians like Mulayam Singh and Digvijay Singh, who are using names of killed students Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid in current Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections to polarize muslim voters in their favor. And on the other side are saffron politicians of Bhartiya Janata Party who narrate story of Bravery of Mohan Chand Sharma to attract Hindu Voters to their Side.

These are first Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh since the Azamgarh of eastern UP was branded as Terrorist’s territory by the national media and investigation agencies in 2008.

Congress and Samajwadi Party are taking all their chances to use alleged Batla House Encounter and subsequent arrests of muslim youths as a tool to attract Muslim voters.

On 11th January 2012 when Rahul Gandhi, the undoubted scion of the Congress Party, faced protests in Shibli College of Azamgarh over alleged Batla House Encounter, Digvijay Singh was the first one to silence the calls for justice to batla victims by expressing that he too believe that the alleged encounter was fake. Digvijay said, from the very first day I am saying that the encounter was fake, I spoke to PM and then Home Minister but they denied enquiry into the incident.

Digvijay’s statement sparked another political controversy, on 12th January Mr. P. Chidambaram, home minister Govt. of India, responded and clarified that the encounter was genuine. Later in the evening BJP called Media Persons to Narrate story of bravado of Late MC Sharma and accused Congress of vote bank politics.

The two largest political parties of India used the issue for political gains; the home minister of India maintained that the encounter was genuine. But none of them dared to say that let us have a judicial enquiry into the incident to clear all doubts.

All the leaders have had their say, now some questions to respected political leaders.

First to Mr. Digvijay Singh, like yesterday you have always said that the encounter was fake, well will you please tell the people of India, and in particular muslims of India as they are your favorite voters, that what have you done to bring justice to those who were killed in the encounter. Is it not your responsibility to ask your government, who is in power at center, to order judicial enquiry into the incident. Or when your inner consciousness says that the encounter was fake why do not you leave congress on moral grounds as it is not ordering judicial enquiry into the incident.

Second question to BJP and its leaders. You narrate story of bravery of Mr. MC Sharma from all platforms. Well, will not you like to clear all doubts surrounding death of such a hero. Do not you remember that Mr. Sharma was a well decorated officer even before he was awarded Ashoka Chakra posthumously? Shall the soul of such a brave officer do not deserve all respect beyond any doubt? Ok, you keep calling Azamgarh boys terrorists, but atlest ask for judicial probe into death of Mr. Sharma. Let the truth come out and all doubts cleared.

And the final and most important question to Mr. P. Chidambaram, the Honorable Home Minister of India. Well Mr. Home Minister, why are you shying away from your duty to protect citizens of India from Any threat? Just think for a moment that if encounter turns out to be fake then it will not only mean that innocent Muslim boys were killed, it will also mean that the real terrorists are still at large and lives of people of India are at more graver risk. And when you are so sure about the encounter then why do not you call for judicial probe into it. Let the doubts cleared and let the people of India know the truth. Do not you remember that the boys you branded as terrorists and those whom your forces have killed are also citizens of India and they have constitutional right to justice. And the final one, why are you so afraid of the enquiry?

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