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India: Why Do Almost All Terror Probes Reach Nowhere In India? The Clue Lies In Communal Divide

Thursday 14 September 2017, by siawi3

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/no-one-killed-pehlu-khan-probe-against-hindu-right-wing-men-named-by-dying-cattle-farmer-closed/story-SDghUwo8QQJRAArn2Gy2rK.html

Alwar lynching: Probe closed against Hindu right-wing men named by Pehlu Khan

The authorities are under pressure to protect cow vigilante suspects.
The police have cleared six men based on the statements by the staff of a cow shelter as well as mobile phone records, according to the investigation report.

Updated: Sep 14, 2017 14:03 IST

Deep Mukherjee

Jaipur, Hindustan Times

Photo: A rally to demand justice for Pehlu Khan who was allegedly lynched in Alwar in April.(File)

The Rajasthan Police have closed investigations into six people named by dairy farmer Pehlu Khan before his death in a mob attack in April, Hindustan Times has found, sparking allegations that the authorities are under pressure to protect cow vigilante suspects.

The police have cleared the six men – three of whom are linked to Hindu right-wing organisations – based on the statements by the staff of a cow shelter as well as mobile phone records, according to the investigation report that Hindustan Times has read.

The staff of the cow shelter, Rath Gaushala, has maintained that the six — Om Yadav (45), Hukum Chand Yadav (44), Sudhir Yadav (45), Jagmal Yadav (73), Naveen Sharma (48) and Rahul Saini (24) – were present on their premises, which was about four-km from the attack site. Rath Gaushala is patronised by Jagmal Yadav.

Read more
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We heard names of those six men, how could they not be guilty: Pehlu Khan’s son

“The statements of witnesses in the case including policemen and the employees of the Rath Gaushala indicate that none of the accused was present at the time of the attack. Call record details of the six people along with Base Transceiver Station (BTS) location of mobiles further support this,” reads the report.

“Based on the findings of the investigating officer, it is hereby recommended that the names of the six accused be removed from the case as they have been found not guilty,” the report said. The investigation named nine other accused – two of them minors.

Khan was transporting cows from a market in Jaipur to his home in Nuh, Haryana, when he was lynched by alleged cow vigilantes near Alwar on April1, one of a string of attacks on Dalits and Muslims by self-styled protectors of an animal considered holy by many Hindus. Khan had the necessary permit to transport the cows for his dairy business.

On September 1, the Crime Investigation Department-Crime Branch that was investigating Khan’s killing sent its findings to the Alwar police, asking them to remove the six people from the list of accused in the case. This prompted Alwar police to cancel a reward of Rs 5,000 each for information about the six accused.

“The reward on the six people has been cancelled because the CID-CB investigation has found that they had no involvement in the crime,” Alwar superintendent of police Rahul Prakash told Hindustan Times over telephone.

The development angered Khan’s family members, who said they heard the accused call out each other by their names during the attack.

“These six men started the attack and were present there. As we were being thrashed, I heard them call each other’s name. One was saying Hukum, drag the men down here and break the pickup truck,” Irshad, Khan’s son who was injured in the assault, told HT. He said he heard the names of Om, Hukum, Sudhir and Rahul during the lynching.

Read more
Alwar lynching: How the case to find Pehlu Khan’s murderers has progressed | Timeline
‘Pehlu Khan, a cattle smuggler’: BJP must stop this awful victimise-the-victim game
Rise of gau rakshaks: Don’t hide behind euphemisms, this is murder, writes Barkha Dutt
We heard names of those six men, how could they not be guilty: Pehlu Khan’s son

“The police are saying this under pressure… Our quest for justice doesn’t end here. We will continue to fight until those six men are proven guilty.”

Khan’s statement was recorded in front of a police officer – and not a judicial magistrate – but lawyers said even this could be considered a “dying declaration” and admissible in court.

“At the stage of investigation, dying declaration can’t be disbelieved by the police. It is a settled law that dying declaration is the best evidence and in the past, courts have convicted accused on the basis of dying declaration recorded by police,” Vinay Pal Yadav, an advocate at the Rajasthan high court, told Hindustan Times.

Based on Khan’s statement made in an intensive care unit of the Kailash Hospital in Behror around 11pm on April 1 — about four hours after he was attacked — an FIR was registered against the six named and 200 unidentified people. He died two days after the attack.

The case will continue against nine other people identified from the video of the attack that circulated on social media. Seven of them have been arrested and two are absconding.

Alwar police chief Rahul Prakash said a charge sheet will be filed in court after the arrest of the two absconding accused.

(With inputs from Ashok Bagriya in New Delhi)

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Source: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/why-do-almost-all-terror-probes-reach-nowhere-in-india-the-clue-lies-in-communal/301505

10 September 2017
Last Updated at 11:44 am

Why Do Almost All Terror Probes Reach Nowhere In India? The Clue Lies In Communal Divide

The failure is systemic, and for us to expect that it will work in particular instances a show of optimism rather than an assessment of the factual reality.

Aakar Patel

SITE OF CRIME Gauri Lankesh’s Bangalore house
PHOTOGRAPH BY KASHIF MASOOD

Indian cities have changed very much over the last 30 years and this has affected police work. I am not talking about how the cities have grown bigger or become more populous and unlivable for most people, which they have. What is being referred to is the way that they were originally designed and what they have become.

Though India is an ancient place, most cities in India are new. Our largest cities, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, were built by the British less than 300 years ago. Some other cities, like Hyderabad, Surat and Ahmedabad, go back another 200 years or so. Even ’old’ Delhi, meaning Shahjahanabad, was built but 400 years ago.

Only Kashi can claim to be older, and almost all of Kashi is actually new. The ghats are all relatively recent and of no structure can it legitimately be claimed that it has been around for over 500 years.

Compare this with Rome, where the Pantheon, a large building built around 2000 years ago, is still intact. In Rome, the population has always lived around monuments from ancient times and there is a continuity of life in that city, even though the modern additions of bicycles and motor cars and restaurants have come. Other than this life seems like it is unchanged over the centuries in any neighbourhood.

In India, it is of course totally different. It is the rare neighbourhood in our cities where there is not some new building coming up and many places become unrecognisable to the local who has just been away for a few years. I went back to Surat some time ago, a city I had spent most of my life, and I had to use GPS to find my own home.

So why do I say that the change has affected the way the police do their work? The traditional way in which crime has been tackled in India is through the neighbourhood police and its list of ’history sheeters’, whose photographs are pasted on police station notice boards. This is for new policemen to become acquainted with their area and their ’regulars’. However in Indian cities today, there is enormous churn as people change jobs, move cities, and shift from rented houses regularly. There is no permanence to the urban neighbourhood either in terms of the buildings or the people. However, the system of policing has remained the same. Some assistance has come through technology, such as CCTV cameras. However, even here, unlike in other countries, it is a hit-or-miss affair.

Thefts in middle-class houses are still solved by the police rounding up the servants and thrashing them till someone confesses. There is no proper investigation of any crime, including murder. Those who were first at the site of Gauri Lankesh’s murder scene noticed that the place was still open for people to casually walk in and out. No forensic evidence of value can remain in such places.

A parallel development that has affected police work has been the disappearance of the ’khabri’ or informer. The police informer can only be one who is on the periphery of crime, someone doing a little bit of illegal work, whom the police can bully or bribe into giving information. You and I cannot be khabris because we are not in contact with those who are criminals.

After the fall of the Babri Masjid and the riots in Mumbai and Surat, and then the retaliatory attacks in the form of bomb blasts, the police lost their khabris, most of whom were Muslims.

The communal divide has affected the old model of policing and almost no terror investigation is able to be concluded in India, as news reports show. Modern forensics based investigation is absent and the old model can no longer produce results.

In 1996, as a reporter in the sessions court of Mumbai, I was approached by Shyam Keswani, the lawyer representing Iqbal Mirchi, the alleged drug dealer who India was seeking to extradite from England. The CBI had sent a team of four people to argue the matter in the Bow Street Magistrate’s court.

Keswani gave me a copy of the charge sheet, which was about 200 pages. I read through it, and in the entire file there was only one mention of his client. This was on the last page where a line said, ’also wanted in the case, one Iqbal Memon alias Mirchi’. This was all the ’evidence’ that the government of India was submitting. Of course, Mirchi was not extradited and remains in England.

I should say that this is not the fault of the Indian policeman, who is very hardworking. But he is still operating in a system that was instituted by the British to manage neighbourhood ’law and order’ rather than solving crime through detection.

In Japan, conviction ratios are over 95%. Meaning if the police have caught someone in a crime, it is almost guaranteed that the court will find them guilty. There are critics of this system, which like India’s is also dependent on confessional statements, which is often produced through torture. But despite having the same flaws, India’s conviction ratios are well below 50%. The majority of Indians who commit crime, even serious crime, get away in India.

For this reason, I will not be surprised if the men who murdered Gauri Lankesh, and their paymasters, will never be brought to account. The failure is systemic, and for us to expect that it will work in particular instances a show of optimism rather than an assessment of the factual reality.