In continuation of one of our earlier posts , the Congress Party, facing the heat (and deservedly so !) in the ‘Ishrat Jahan Encounter’ case now seems to be getting in an awkward position in ‘The Malegaon Case’ too. The case is still playing out in the courts. But the twists and turns in the case so far have raised many eyebrows. If the former seems to be an instance of facts having been played around with to give it a spin which suited certain political interests, the latter seems no less.
In the ‘Ishrat Jehan case’, testimonies of prime accused, Headley, during the trial of 26/11 attacks case, revelations of MHA officials under the previous government, RTI application papers relevant to the case revealing that former HM Chidambaram went to the extent of altering affidavits to erase references of Ishrat having terrorist links (and which Chidambaram says was to “correct anomalies”. 🙂 ) seem to have opened a can of worms. All of this point in the direction that the Congress basically wanted to give itself ammunition to target its main political opposition i.e. Modi. The merits of the case (intelligence inputs that the people shot down in the encounter including Ishrat had terrorist antecedents) took a complete back seat and the focus was shifted on proving whether the encounter is fake or not? (Basically suggesting that the encounter was stage managed). The “fake encounter case” falls apart once it is proved that the people gunned down are terrorists.
But the question is, Why take on so much trouble? Simply put, it helped them to build the narrative of an evil state government under Modi plotting the murder an innocent Muslim “college student” under cold blood. This is as potent as an automatic Kalashnikov in the aftermath of the 2002 Godhra train burning and the succeeding riots and in an era of breathless and reckless TV news channel reporting.
The Malegaon case is playing out in courts presently. This one is the 2008 case and not the 2006 one. Last update on it was that of the investigative agency, the NIA dropping charges against one of the main accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and withdrawing charges under the stringent MCOCA against the other Col. Purohit. Whatever be the outcome of this case, this was an instance whereby the Congress was spinning the narrative of ‘Saffron / Hindu terror’. When other clear instances of radical Islamic terrorism acts were downplayed under the pretext of ‘Terrorism has no religion’ argument, the Congress started playing up on it.
Chidambaram went to the extent of warning against ‘Saffron Terror’ in 2010. Sushil Kumar Shinde accused the BJP / RSS of inciting ‘Saffron Terror’ in 2013 at a Congress party conclave. This was in the run to the General elections of 2014. Congress Partys Digvijay Singh had earlier remarked about ‘Hindu Terror’. Clearly, the term ‘Saffron Terror’ was coined to counter balance the growing menace of radical Islamic terrorism acts with an eye on its primarily minority vote bank.
For like the proverbial boomerang you will reap just what you sow, its payback time.