'We suffer from a pathological incuriosity'
Writer Arundhati Roy closely followed the Parliament attack trial. A shoddy probe is just another tool of repression, she told MIHIR SRIVASTAVA
Has India become the pet target of terrorism?
The investigations into terror attacks are shoddy. Doesn't this actually exacerbate terrorism?
But speaking of cover-ups, look at how it all works in Gujarat, it's more than a coverup, it's criminal collusion. It's happening now, right now, while Tata and Reliance call Gujarat a dream destination for corporate capital, while the CII sucks up to Modi, while Sunita Williams accepts accolades and shares a stage with him. After the carnage in which thousands of ordinary Muslims were butchered and about 1,50,000 driven from their homes, the man who presided over it all, Narendra Modi, is still the chief minister. No one from the UPA government has so much as squeaked about it. Of the 287 cases filed under POTA, 286 are against Muslim and one is against a Sikh. Offences under POTA, as we know, are non-bailable, so they're all still in jail. The property of those accused in the Godhra massacre was attached. The property of those who were released on bail in the post- Godhra carnage was not. Different laws for Hindus and Muslims. In the case of several massacres, the lawyers that the Gujarat government appointed as public prosecutors had actually already appeared for the accused. Several of them belonged to the RSS or the VHP, organisations that proudly owned up to the killings. Survivors found that when they went to the police to file FIRs, the police would record their statements inaccurately, and refuse to record the names of the perpetrators. In several cases, when survivors had seen members of their families being burned alive, so their bodies could not be found, the police would refuse to register cases of murder. In massacres, in order to reduce the magnitude of the charges and elide the detailing of individual crimes, thepolice clubbed FIRs together to make it all very vague and subvert the process of the criminal justice system.
To talk specifics, in the investigations into the Parliament attack case, there were a lot of discrepancies, as the courts have pointed out, but no action or inquiry was initiated against the investigators.
So there is no accountability. The intelligence agencies know that whatever they do, they will get away with it?
With the judiciary overlooking shoddy investigations, doesn't it give intelligence and investigative agencies the wrong signal? That they can get away with a bad investigation?
Oct 13, 2007