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Logic of encounters - The Daily

Editorial ()
October 3, 1998

Title: Logic of encounters
Author: Editorial
Publication: The Daily
Date: October 3, 1998

The Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray's pronouncement that
police encounters to eliminate criminals should continue has to
be viewed in light of the fact that somehow the rule of law has
not made too much of an impression on the underworld or its
minions. Naturally the common man looks to people like Thackeray
to provide much needed leadership and confidence to a beleaguered
police force that has been under attack from all corners for
along, long time. Here it must also be mentioned that the manner
in which various human rights organisations come out strongly in
defence of the rights of criminals to a fair trial contrasts
quite miserably with their utter silence on attacks on policemen
and other security personnel by the same criminals. This will
have to be rectified before the people of this country begin to
regard the so-called, civil liberties movements as something'
other than 'rackets' run by people with interests that have
nothing whatsoever to do with the common good.

This is not to say that civil liberties organisations have not
done anything good. Of course they have. But somehow they have
always been found in the corner of the very people whom the
public regards as being against the common good. For instance
civil liberties organisations have written, spoken and campaigned
against the alleged violation of human rights by security forces
in a place like Jammu & Kashmir. But these same organisations
have never, ever spoken for the rights of the jawans who have
murdered in cold blood by the very terrorists that they have been
trying to defend. As a former home minister had said "If any
rights are being violated they are the rights of the Indian
soldiers and policemen by the terrorists".

Indeed this is a question that must be addressed in absolute
terms before these organizations are marginalised completely,
After all even now most of them are popularly perceived as being
funded from certain nefarious organisations abroad. Their views,
their perceptions and indeed their priorities have always
reflected the priorities of their 'western masters'. This is why
whereas terrorists of the Harkat-ul-Ansar could find champions
among the same civil liberties organisations. none was willing to
come forward and condemn the terrorists for the massacres in Doda
or Chamba.

The same situation applies here in the state. Whereas any number
of petitions have been filed in matters related to alleged
illegal detention and fake encounters none of these organisations
have come forward to condemn the underworld in the brutal
killings of people as far apart as Sunit Khatau and Manish Shah.
The point is if the police is muzzled and disabled in its battle
against criminals, it will finally be the criminals that will
begin to rule here. The same thing has already happened in Bihar.
And in so many other places. Can we allow something like this to
happen in Maharashtra as well?

Agreed no one wants unbridled powers for the police. But a
muzzled, disabled and handcuffed police is of no use to anyone
except the criminals.

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