This article first appeared on OPINDIA
Dear “Intelligentsia” of India,
I am not a TV panelist. I am not a “human rights” activist. I am not a lawyer. I am not a political commentator. I am not a best-selling author. I am not the son or grandson of a famous man. I am an aam aadmi. More than an aam aadmi, I am an officer in the Indian Police force. And I am writing this letter to all of you, after seeing your robust defence of a terrorist.
Why I mention who I am is important because unlike all of you, I don’t sit in plush AC offices and write editorials seeking clemency for a murderer. Nor do I visit TV studios and shout myself hoarse. Instead I meet such killers every single day. But I don’t meet them for cocktail parties or at press conferences (like some of you do).
I meet them on the road, in the streets, with weapons in their arms and hate in their eyes. I have been in situations with them where they would not hesitate a single moment before pulling the trigger on me, but I have to consider all the ramifications like “human rights”, “due process” and “fake encounter” before I save my life and of the innocent people around me.
Given the above I believe I am in a far better position to comment on a mass murderer like Yakub Memon than any of you are.
To defend this criminal, multitudes of arguments have been put forth by what are now called “Adarsh Liberals” in our society. Luckily, almost no one has pleaded that he is innocent. The situation is such that Indians have to be grateful to our “Intelligentsia” for such small mercies.
But one common hypothesis put forward by many is that Yakub Memon surrendered to the Indian authorities, and then cooperated with the investigations. Plain lies. Late B Raman, one of India’s finest intelligence officers wrote this in his article:
He had come to Kathmandu secretly from Karachi to consult a relative and a lawyer on the advisability of some members of the Memon family, including himself, who felt uncomfortable with Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, returning to India and surrendering to the Mumbai police. The relative and the lawyer advised him against surrender due to a fear that justice might not be done to them. They advised Yakub to go back to Karachi.
Before he could board the flight to Karachi, he was picked up by the Nepal police on suspicion, identified and rapidly moved to India.
This was yesterday confirmed on some news channels when they interviewed the Nepali police officer. He re-iterated that there was no deal and Yakub was fleeing to Karachi. Then why are our “Intelligentsia” hell bent on stating otherwise?
Let me put it another way: I know there is a rat in my house, and I place a laddoo in a trap. The rat gets caught and then pleads for mercy saying that he had come to “surrender” because I had offered him a “laddoo” (deal). Do I let him live?
The second common argument is “but we are against death penalty. It is barbaric”. My simple question is: Did it take the death sentence of a terrorist to wake up the bleeding heart activists? Couldn’t you demand a change in law for so many years? Why are you crying for this beast?
For the record even I am not decided on this issue. Just because we are from the police force doesn’t mean we do not value human life. But in the case of a terrorist, what choice do we have? Do we preserve him hoping he will reform? Can terrorists who come with guns in their hands and an unshakable belief that what they are doing (killing innocent people) is right, be ever reformed?
Forget reformation, keeping such a dastardly mind alive is a big security risk too. Every time he is shifted from jails we have to be our toes to see if any attempt will be made by his gang members to either kill him, so that he is silenced or rescue him, so that he can continue his activities. And there is always the risk that one fine day his friends will hold some innocent civilians hostage and demand his release, so that we can put our lives at risk all over again to re-capture him.
You want to abolish death penalty? Go ahead, but not for terrorists.
Some of our “intelligentsia” have been crying that “due processes of law” have not been followed in this case. It is a shame that a case which is going for 2 decades, which has been debated at multiple levels of the judiciary, even at the highest level, is still subjected to scrutiny by mis-informed, half-read, cretins sitting in AC cabins and reading op-eds. If you did have a problem with the process, why did you not raise your voice in 2013 when he was sentenced to death? Why now when his death is imminent? Are these delaying tactics? Where do your loyalties lie dear “Intelligentsia”? I sincerely hope all these people are tried for contempt of court.
And finally there are some utter lowlifes who have given this entire thing a political, communal and even casteist colour. How can one party whichever it may be, be held responsible for a Supreme Court verdict, which has taken 2 decades and during which time multiple political parties have fought in courts against Yakub Memon? Do you have even an iota of conscience and rationality left in you when you make such absurdly illogical statements to defend a terrorist?
In the aftermath of the Gurdaspur attacks, it has been reported that now India may be a target of the ISIS. In such situations Indians must unite and fight such a huge demon. But given how our “Intelligentsia” are hell bent in sowing seeds of discord among us, I fear we will be easy targets for such groups. While we keep shouting Hindu-Muslim, Brahmin-Dalit, BJP-Congress, I fear these terrorists will rip my poor country apart.
– A “thulla”
(The author’s identity has been withheld on request of the author)