Analysis

Sarabjit vs. Qateel Siddiqui

It was educating that even activists of Aam Aadmi Party, which claims to be different and fighting to regain the usurped rights of the people, too were protesting against these Kashmiri victims of our democracy, side by side the fascist Hindutwadis.
Indian media, especially the 24x7 news channels, have shed enough crocodile tears for Sarabjit Singh to fill Delhi's dry Hauz Khas or Hauz Shamsi. We too are sorry for Sarabjit and forcefully condemn his killers, ordinary prisoners in Lahore jail or henchmen of the Pakistani government and ISI. They were callous and coward to the core.

But what about the determined yet similarly coward executioners of Sanaullah in Jammu's Kot Lakhpat jail who killed a person who had no relationship with the murder of Sarabjit? Is this how the Supreme Court-sanctioned "Collective Conscience" functions?

But the story does not end here. We have already hanged Afzal Guru without giving him a fair trial. We have already killed Qateel Siddiqui in Pune's high security Yerwada jail. We have already killed Shakeel, who was lodged alongwith Mohammad Amir (now free) in Dasna jail. He was found hanging in his cell in 2010. We have already killed in Tihar jail one of the criminals who attack Nirbhaya.

We have attacked, broken bones and skulls of dozens of terror accused lodged in two jails, Ahmedabad's Sabarmati and Mumbai's Arther Road. No one shed a single tear for them. Not only that, the government in all these cases is busy to shield and protect the criminals from lower courts to the apex court.

Broadening the issue slightly — is it not a fact that we have killed thousands of young people all over the country in fake encounters? Have we not murdered tens of thousands in police custody? Have we not ruined the lives of tens of thousands by implicating them in fake terror cases? Have we not caused the disappearance of over eight thousand young men in Kashmir - their children, wives and mothers are still seeking a reply. They came to Delhi this month in search of a reply from the powers that be but they were not allowed even to exercise their democratic right of peaceful demonstration at Jantar mantar, the place designated by our greatest-democracy-on-earth to demonstrate and stage sit-ins. We prevented them even from holding a civilised press conference at the Delhi press club which is built with public funds for precisely this purpose. Instead, we got them tossed into buses and packed them back to where they came from, in a manner most befitting Hitler and Stalin and not the Socialist and Democratic India promised us by the stalwarts of our freedom struggle. It was educating that even activists of Aam Aadmi Party, which claims to be different and fighting to regain the usurped rights of the people, too were  protesting against these Kashmiri victims of our democracy, side by side the fascist Hindutwadis.

Our government is robbing us our rights and liberties one after another under the guise of protecting us. UAPA has been so strengthened and fortified that even these lines are enough to send its writer to prison under the new and modified POTA, the same that UPA had promised in 2004 to abolish if voted to power.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2013 on page no. 1

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