Nimesh report: Punish guilty cops, Mr. CM

By Mohammad Shahid

Lucknow: At last the UP government awakened on 4 June to accept the Nimesh Commission report though not before the precious life of Khalid Mujahid was lost. The Chief Minister, Mr. Akhilesh Yadav while announcing the decision of the state cabinet said that the report along with the action taken report would be tabled before the Assembly in the coming monsoon session.

Shabnam Hashmi speaking at the Rihai Manch dharna in Lucknow on 8 June (see p. 4)

But Muslims are not much enthusiastic about the government decision. They feel the decision prompted more by political compulsions than the government’s good intention to impart justice. They are sceptical about the government intention and think that it will try to shield the cops responsible for the arrest of the innocent Tarique and Khalid as it has done in the case of Maliana and Hashimpura.

Their apprehension is not unfounded. The Nimesh Commission set up by Mayawati government to probe the truth behind the arrest of Tarique and Khalid by STF had submitted its report on 31 August last year when Akhilesh was already in saddle.

In the report the commission has not only busted the STF theory of arresting the two Muslim youths from the Barabanki railway station but has also recommended to identify the policemen involved in the case.

For the sake of justice, it was the duty of the government to initiate immediate steps to implement the commission’s recommendations because keeping an innocent person in jail even for a day is denial of justice. But the SP government, for reasons best known to it, sat on the report for full nine months despite its poll promise to release all Muslim youths falsely implicated on charges of terrorism. It was only after Khalid Mujahid, one of the youths implicated in the case, died in mysterious circumstances and Muslims started blaming the Samajwadi Party. Rihai Manch, joined by several other Muslim and secular organizations, staged an indefinite dharna and the family of Mujahid refused to accept the compensation cheque offered by the government that the Chief Minister got alarmed. Seeing the Muslims drifting away from the party some ulama loyal to Samajwadi Party, tried to broker peace with the agitators and the party’s Mumbai unit president Abu Asim Azmi visited Lucknow to pacify Muslims without any success.

With parliamentary elections round the corner, the UP government was left with no option but to accept the report to keep its Muslim vote bank intact.

The delay in accepting the report and taking action on it has complicated the matters. The Government application in April this year in the court of Barabanki to withdraw the cases against the two accused in the UP court blast cases was rejected by the court. Now the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court, comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Mahendra Dayal, has stayed the government move made for the withdrawal of the cases against accused facing trial in terror cases. The court, while passing an order on a public interest litigation (PIL) by five lawyers, including Ranjana Agnihotri (a counsel in the Babri Masjid title suit), has referred the matter to the Chief Justice for constituting a larger bench to decide the matter.

While delivering the judgement the court observed, "It seems to be purely a political decision…It is evident no permission was taken from the Centre as the accused were also booked for offences which were framed by Central enactments." The court has posted the matter for further hearing after six weeks.

The delay in accepting the report casts doubts over the government’s intentions on the issue as the Rihai Manch president Mohammad Shoaiib Advocate commented, "The government’s move at this juncture will benefit the Samajwadi Party and BJP."

Refusing to call of the dharna Mr. Shoaib said, "Accepting the report is not enough. Let them first identify the guilty policemen and take action against them as per the commission’s recommendations and accept our other demands. Only then we will consider withdrawing the dharna."
With the courts throwing spanner in the release of innocent youths and Muslims not satisfied with its half-hearted efforts, the government has no option but to act swiftly on the report and identify the cops guilty of implicating innocent youths at least in the UP courts blasts cases and take stringent action against them while at the same time contesting for the withdrawal of the cases against all innocent youths falsely implicated in terror cases. The guilty policemen irrespective of their position should be interrogated, preferably in their own  torture house at Gomtinagar to find out the real culprits on whose behest they acted to torture and frame the innocent youths. Unless this is done and the action taken report along with Nimesh Commission report is tabled before the Assembly in time, which the Chief Minister has promised while accepting the report, the intention of the government will remain in doubt.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2013 on page no. 1

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