ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Discrimination in the Conduct of Justice

Islamicist and Hindutva terrorists must be treated alike in the administration of justice.

Tragically, Hemant Karkare, then chief of Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorist Squad, who had uncovered the role of Hindutva terrorists in the Malegaon bomb blasts of 29 September 2008, was shot dead in the 26 November 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai. Predictably, he was duly honoured for his bravery at the following Republic Day (26 January 2009) celebrations with an Ashoka Chakra, but it looks like the terrorists of the Abhinav Bharat and Rashtriya Jagran Manch (RJM) are having the last laugh. Given the Indian state’s blatant discrimination in the administration of justice, it does not seem like Karkare’s painstaking investigation into the Malegaon blasts will be taken to its logical end.

Some of the investigative leads, those which had rattled the Hindutva political establishment, have already been dropped. It is almost as if a given script is being played out. Successive Congressled Maharashtra state governments have not shown any inclination to prosecute the guilty of the Sangh parivar for their role in the anti-Muslim pogrom of January 1993 in Mumbai. Nor have Congress-led governments at the centre taken any worthwhile measure to bring any of the principal perpetrators of the anti-Muslim pogrom of February-March 2002 in Gujarat to conviction, lest the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), when it comes to power, retaliates in insisting on establishing the Congress’ culpability in the anti-Sikh massacre of 1984. There seems to be a quid pro quo on burying each other’s communal crimes, and, in this context, it is unlikely now that the accused of the Abhinav Bharat and other Sangh parivar outfits will ever be convicted and sentenced for their terrorist offences in the manner of those of the Mumbai serial bomb blasts of March 1993.

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