Thursday, July 22, 2010

Central Bureau of Investigation

It is Central Bureau of Investigation in JK
Elsewhere, Congress Bureau of Investigation

Naseer A Ganai

This time charges are against Amit Shah, Gujrat Minister of State for Home and everyone is out to defend him and discredit the Central Bureau of Investigation. Last night in various TV channels the BJP, various analysts described the CBI as the Congress Bureau of Investigation which is out to malign political opponents. They rejected “media investigation” saying these are not investigation but selected leaks by the CBI which agency has been doing over the years on the behest of its political masters. The senior Supreme Court lawyers were indicting the CBI.
Case history
Media reports say on November 24, 2005, Rajasthan resident Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi and a third person, Prajapati Tulsi, were abducted allegedly by the police from a bus stand in Gujarat.
Two days later, Sohrabuddin was allegedly killed by a joint police team from Gujarat and Rajasthan. Kausar Bi was also allegedly killed later but her body was never found. Tulsi, the sole witness, too was killed in a fake encounter a year later.
In January 2010, the Supreme Court, on a plea by Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubabuddin, handed over the case to the CBI, saying the Gujarat Police were trying to shield those involved in the killing. Two associates of Shah, minister of state for home, have already admitted to the CBI that they were involved in bribing and threatening some witnesses at the minister’s behest. Besides, evidence gathered by the CBI points to Shah’s involvement– right from hatching the murder plan to pressuring police officials during the investigation, destroying evidence and threatening witnesses, reports said quoting the CBI official. The evidence includes records of phone calls made by Shah to police officers allegedly involved in Sohrabuddin’s killing before and during the fake encounter.
Shopian case
Now let us go back December 2009 and look at the debates and articles which appeared in different newspapers when CBI completed the investigation in Shopian case in Kashmir valley and presented the charge-sheet before the Court.

On May 30, 2009 morning two bodies were found on the banks of stream Rambiara in Shopian district of South Kashmir, some 66 kms from Srinagar. They were identified as Aasiya Jan, 17, and her sister-in-law, Neelofar.
The bodies of Neelofar Jan wife of Shakeel Ahmad Ahangar and Aasiya Jan daughter of Abdul Gani Ajangar, both residents of Bungam, were found near Rambiara nullah around 6 am at some distance from a CRPF camp on May 30. According to locals, Aasiya and her 3-month pregnant sister-in-law, Neelofar were missing since May 29 evening after they had gone into their orchard at Degam, Batpora across the nullah.
Locals and the family accused men in uniform of rape and murder of the two women. Kashmir believed and trusted them. It rose in unison to protest. The authorities clamped undeclared curfew across valley. Kashmiris defied it. For seven days whole valley observed strike. Shopian continued the strike for 47 days.
The Chief Minister Omar Abdullah described the incident as death by drowning and but ordered an inquiry by retired Judge of the High Court, Justice Muzaffer Jan.
Senior separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani set the tone this way: “Hurriyat rejects the government inquiry. Apparently it seems that troopers are involved in this heinous act. Asking a police officer to head the Special Investigation Team doesn’t make any sense. Doctors who conducted the post mortem had categorically said that Neelofar and her sister-in-law, Asiya, were gang raped before being murdered brutally.”
Justice Jan came out with a report in stipulated time. The report says, “All the officers of the department stood by the theory of death by drowning with full knowledge, and belief that no one in the recent, or past history of Shopian has died due to drowning in River Rambi Ara. The official statement of drowning does not convey the mindset of indifference, but depicts an active, intelligent and conscious effect to divert the attention of public from the actual and factual cause of death.”
“In the normal course of human conduct, any person intending to get rid of two dead bodies in a hurry, would attempt to deposit the dead bodies at the nearest available spot, the person would normally leave sufficient trails to trace the culprit. In the present case, the disposal of dead bodies in the centre of security ring, with mathematical precision and like surgical operation to ensure that no visible trails are left, cannot be said to be the handiwork of a private individual but would need the support of some agency,” the report reads.
“The Commission, being aware of its delicate duty to uphold the majesty of law, has also a duty to identify the person or persons, who may, under law, be responsible for the present ruthless crime. To identify the real culprit, extensive investigation, by a competent and dedicated team of professional investigators, with all modern facilities, is required,” the commission recommended.
The Government entrusted inquiry to the Central Bureau of Investigation which was opposed by the Kashmir Bar Association. Kashmir Bar Association withdrew the case from the Court saying CBI’s track record in Kashmir has been worst and it would act in “national interest.”
Finally in December CBI came out with the Shopian report and presented it before the High Court.
“We are of the considered opinion that the cause of death in Aasiya Jan’s case was due to asphyxia as a result of ante-mortem drowning. The lacerated wound present on forehand could be produced by blunt force striking head against the hard surface or object…There was nothing suggestive of penetration of penis or like object through the hymeaneal opening as the hymen was found intact,” the CBI said.

The CBI report said, “After the falsification of the various postmortem reports and fudging of evidence, a concerted effort was made by some advocates of Shopian Bar and some private persons to create further false evidence for implicating the police and security forces in a false case of rape and murder of the two accused.”
It absolved everyone except the witnesses, lawyers and doctors. Shakeel Ahmad, shocked husband of Neeofer set ablaze the CBI report outside the High Court before full media glare. Bar termed it as report shield the men in uniform. Shopian residents gave strike call, Geelani, Yasin, Mirwaiz supported the same.
But analysts in Delhi termed the reaction in Kashmir against the CBI report as bizarre. They said the CBI has exposed the “lies of separatists who are out to foment the trouble and defame the security forces.”
The analysts rejected allegations that the CBI has acted as per the guidelines of the Government of India.
In Shopian case the Congress, BJP, and the analysts were in unison in supporting the CBI report and in Amit Shah’s case, Mehash Jathmalani on Thursday evening said on CNN-IBN that Sohrabuddin was LeT militant prompting Congress spokesman to say, “I am shocked that you are supporting fake encounter on the presumption that the character of the person was not good.” Mehesh laughed at him.
The analysts baring few termed the selective leak to press by CBI as part of the Congress plot to defame the BJP and termed the CBI repeatedly as the Congress Bureau of Investigation. Chandan Mitra of the BJP and scores of other people attacked CBI left, right and Centre. The same analysts would swear by the CBI when it was investigating the Shopian case. The question is if it is Congress Bureau of Investigation outside Jammu and Kashmir why it is Central Bureau of Investigation in Jammu and Kashmir? If CBI’s investigation is not trustworthy outside Jammu and Kashmir why it is apostle of truth in Jammu and Kashmir? Any answers.
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