OPINION

Fake Encounters - The Real Truth

September 28, 2008
Suresh Naig

While cruising on the modern highway from Bangalore to Chennai, the Speedometer of the BMW 7 series was oscillating between 120 and 150 kmph. I was sitting along with my MD in the back seat, the car was speeding along Vaniyambadi sector, and my thoughts were faster than the car.

During the 80s, Vaniyambadi and Ambur sector were infested with naxalites supported by PWG of Andhra, created havoc in that region. MGR was then the chief minister, enjoying unquestionable authority, over the affairs of Tamil Nadu. He had at his disposal some of the finest Police Officers and one of them was Waltair Devavaram.

The task of eradicating the naxalite menace was delegated to Devavaram; he was made accountable only for the results and not the means. Equipped with the support of the highest authority in Tamil Nadu, Devavaram went about is task meticulously.

During that time, I remember to have read many news items, on encounters in that region, which had small hillocks. So many persons had lost their lives in encounters and yet no human rights activist, no social conscious scribe, no sting operator questioned the veracity of the encounters. It was understandable for two reasons. MGR was a tall leader with unquestionable authority and he had carefully cultivated an image of a leader for poor, common man, working class and oppressed. Because of his carefully constructed image over decades, others could not steal it from him. Secondly it was not as lucrative as it is today for people to stand up and gain.

What Devavaram did was simple. He had broken the support base for the naxalites, by cutting the supply line. His operation had instilled fear among the locals to extend support to the naxalites- the placenta, from which the demonic embryo draws its nutrition. Had it not been for his deft handling of the menace, I doubt whether the highways would have become a reality now. The highways and other developments had contributed more growth for the local populace, than the empty promises of naxalites. Naxalites promise to eradicate an evil - social disparity and poverty, on which they survive.

My thoughts wandered to 90's, especially 1996. In Coimbatore there was a sensitive area, which continues to be one now. A loop road, connecting two arterial roads bounded on one side with a lake, thickly populated with narrow alleys, was feared for long as a sensitive area. When Jayalalitha was the chief minister she had created police check posts on both the entry points to this area and all vehicles were thoroughly checked. In 1996 assembly elections DMK led by Karunanidhi, played vote bank politics and harped on the check posts. He had promised to remove the check posts immediately on winning elections.

And the check posts were removed even as the results were trickling down, indicating a massive victory for DMK. This happened in the year 1996. On 14th February 1998, Coimbatore was crippled by serial bomb blasts and it had taken a decade for Coimbatore to recover.

Huge cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from the very area, the movement into which was monitored by Jayalalitha's government. In the name of communal amity and vote bank politics, Karunanidhi ensured free flow of materials into this area, destructive materials included. After the bomb blasts, which claimed many lives instantly and delayed the recovery of local economy for long, the organisation Al-Umma was banned. "Locking the stable after the horses have gone".

It has become fashionable for many to shout from roof top, any encounter as fake, casting doubts on the police force, notwithstanding the corpse of a cop, as we have seen recently in Delhi.

An encounter, whether fake or real is painful, however passing a judgement on it sitting comfortably is not that difficult. All one has to do is to see the names of the people who have been killed in an encounter and pass the judgement. IT IS FAKE. Don't bother about the reasons behind the judgement. There are so many channels, news papers and social activists to doctor one for the gullible.

A science graduate from Madurai University.(1975) A compulsive writer as there is no dearth of compulsion from the system, society or our beloved politicians. A tough minded optimist, who would enjoy the scenic beauty from suicide point. Maveric in words, thoughts and deeds. He lives in Bangalore
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#1
Sanjay
September 28, 2008
08:23 PM

I see, and Naxalites are just a peaceful bunch, are they? Sorry, but if they were really victims, they would be fleeing from violence rather than fighting the state toe-to-toe. Anybody who's fighting the state toe-to-toe is not living in fear or victimization, but is only interested in challenging the nation they live in. No man can declare himself a parallel authority above any accountability. Where is the Naxalite recognition of the Indian constitution? Where is the Naxalite attempt to contest any polls?

The fact is that the Naxalites have contempt for any authority, and don't see themselves as Indians. They should be destroyed like the non-Indians they are.

#2
commonsense
September 28, 2008
09:57 PM

Suresh Naig:

""the Speedometer of the BMW 7 series was oscillating between 120 and 150 kmph.""

we are all very impressed. but the relationship of a bmw, regardless of the series, and the story is?

#3
suresh.naig
September 29, 2008
12:06 AM

sanjay,

I suggest you read the story again and nowhere I have glorified naxalites or their cause. I have only condemned the persons who shout foul about the encounters.

Commonsense,

Yes. I wanted to impress all of you with that BMW 7 series. Also I wanted to commend the modern highways, which was compatible for the new generation vehicles, which might not have been a possibility, with naxalites around.

2-in-1. Beaming, Suresh.Naig

#4
commonsense
September 29, 2008
08:34 AM

doubly impressed!

#5
Ravikiran
URL
September 30, 2008
05:42 AM

Have you made an attempt to find out the truth behind fake encounters? Unfortunately, you didn't. more than 5000 political activists were brutally murdered in the name of encounters in AP, Karnataka, Maharastra, chattisgarh,UP by police and paramilitary forces. Please study the subject in detail before writing about it.

1.Gulaam Rasool, - journalist in Udayam news daily and his friend Vijay prasad were killed by AP Police.
2.Purushootam - lawyer and human rights leader was brutally killed by cobra gangs sponsored by AP government and police.
3.Dr. Ramanatham - pediatrician and leader of AP Civil liberties Committee was killed by AP police.
4.Belli Lalitha - Telangana social activist and singer was killed by then home minister goons and police.

Several hundreds of cases of fake police encounters were documented by human rights and civil liberties cases. Unfortunately the criminal police officers were not punished.

#6
suresh.naig
September 30, 2008
06:25 AM

Ravikiran,

I have not heard any Human rights activists or the custodians of civil liberties raising their voice against atrocities commited by naxalites and terrorists.

For them you and me - the innocent citizens are not human beings but pigs. Only the Naxalites, forest Bandits like Veerappan and maoists are human beings. Whom are they trying to fool? Certainly not me.

#7
commonsense
September 30, 2008
10:50 AM

encounters invariably trigger off a lot of fake enounters when political vendettas are settled. everyone knows this, bmw 7 series or not. such strategies create more of the same problem they were meant to resolve.

#8
suresh.naig
September 30, 2008
11:34 AM

commonsense,

But it had resolved the naxalite menace in 80's. It was the encounters backed by political resolve, which attained the desired results. Can any one cite any positive contribution by naxalites, bandits, or terrorists to the society other than creating mutual animosity.

When we have decided to settle for the evil, let us settle for the least evil, the State run by our politicians.

#9
kerty
September 30, 2008
12:17 PM

It was police encounters backed by political resolve that defeated Khalistani terrorism. Because actual terrorists are just a tip of the iceberg, because they represents a movement that have roots in larger community - unless those links are snapped, the terrorism can not be contained. Fighting terrorism amounts not just going after actual culprits but really going after those soft links within the movement and create a chilling effect for them so that they see it wise to sever ties with terrorism. When terrorists realize that police could go after their relatives, family members and loved ones too - thats is when they realize the futility of violence. In the western countries, they hold entire political movements, entire regimes, entire countries accountable for terrorism - they are not confused about human rights or religious freedom or civil liberties or constitutional rights. That is what political resolve looks like when nation is resolved to fight terrorism. What we have in India is wooing and appeasement of terrorism, mainstreaming of their movement.

#10
suresh.naig
September 30, 2008
12:46 PM

Kerty,

You are right. Encounters snap the support base for the terrorists. Encounters are like surgery -controlled onslaught, without which the malady can't be cured.

You have mentioned about how terrorism is fought in the west and USA. In India we tolerate Universities and its vice chancellor, providing legal aid for a terror accused, from the Government grant, for which you and I pay.

Even God willing, I doubt whether our politicians are willing to fight terror, with grit.

#11
commonsense
September 30, 2008
02:25 PM

scary

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