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It's dead. Who will do the funeral, and when?

It's dead. Who will do the funeral, and when?

Author: S. Gurumurthy
Publication: The New Indian Express
Date: November 26, 2004

On counter investigation we found the case against the Sankaracharya  slippery. Now it turns out that the case is not just slippery, but actually  groundless from day one. Not just that, it involves a bit of fabrication too. Yes, fabrication to fix the Acharya. The police are now running for cover.  They may not give up yet, may fabricate more to put the case, which is virtually  dead, on life support system. But the case is irretrievably lost. This  dramatic turn came on Wednesday in Kancheepuram Magistrate's court. The two criminals,  on whom the police had exclusively 'relied' to name the Sankaracharya as an accused in the case, have actually turned to accuse the police as  fabricators of the case itself!

On November 24, Kathiravan and Rajni were brought to the Kancheepuram magistrate's court for extending their judicial remand. At that time  Kathiravan wished to make a statement. The prosecution protested, 'his confession  having been recorded in camera, he should not be allowed to speak'! The court overruled, asked Kathiravan to write his statement. As his hand had been rendered inoperative by the police bashing, the magistrate himself  recorded his statement.

In the next few minutes, speaking extempore, Kathiravan demolished the  police case against the Acharya, exposed them as fabricators of the case  against him. He told the court that he, along with his friends, was arrested on  November 3. Not, as the police lied, on November 9. [His lawyers had recorded this  fact on Nov 3 itself] That between November 4 and November 8, under police  torture he said what the police wanted him to say. That he was kept in a Marwari's  house in Uthandi, on the outskirts of Chennai for two days and beaten black  and blue. That he was shown to different persons as Kathiravan [so that they may  say they knew him, even though they did not know him]. That from Nov 4 to 8, he  was kept in 'Paramount Hotel' in Sriperumpudur in Room nos 108 and 109, and was  tortured to confess 'as the police wanted'. That he was made to sign on blank  sheets. That on Nov 9, he was made to stay in the office of the Additional Superintendent of Police, Kancheepuram, and in the night made to say,  'whatever the police wanted him to say' in front of a video camera and in the  presence of the Tehsildar. That he was remanded the next day, November 10. That  between Nov 15 and 17 he was pressurised to make judicial confession under sec 164  of the Penal Code 'as the police wanted'. That he was not allowed to meet his relatives, his brother too was arrested. That.... Kathiravan went on.

All this Kathiravan told a stunned court and the public totally  spontaneously. He corroborated his statements with events, places, and dates. He  demonstrated that the police were fixing the Acharya through him. He admitted that  his confessions to the police and to the Tehsildar, used to arrest the  Acharya, were obtained under duress. So the star witness against the Acharya in  the court is today the star witness against the police in public!

But the more dangerous is the testimony of Rajni alias Chinna who also  said that he was bashed up for days to tell lies against himself and the Acharya.  He lost his teeth in police bashing. He exhibited his injuries to the court.  What he said was also identical to what Kathiravan said. Yet both had never met  before. He may be the smoking gun against the police who know he is not involved  in the crime at all! He is a petty pickpocket, cannot even wield a blade,  according to insiders.

Rajni also claimed to have a copy of the telegram he had sent to the  Chief Justice of the Madras High Court complaining of the torture! Statements  of Kathiravan and Rajni are highly corroborated, also spontaneous. They  were all along in police custody. Even their relatives were not allowed to meet  them.

Kathiravan and Rajni cases are fit for the National Human Rights  Commission to act suo moto. If the NHRC does not, some one will have to move it. That  will expose the forces that have fabricated the case and fixed the Acharya.  Now after what Kathiravan and Rajni told the Magistrate at Kancheepuram, not  the Sankaracharya, but the police stand accused. But still it is  Sankaracharya who is in jail and those who are accused of fixing him by fabrication are  keeping him in jail. This bizarre situation is a product of a perverted  investigation and an equally perverted decision to arrest the Sankaracharya on the  basis of a perverted investigation. Yes the prosecution has all but collapsed. The  only question is who will do the funeral for it and when. It can happen  forthwith if the State realises it has been misled by police. Or years later though  courts. Emboldened by the dishonesty of the media the police may still attempt  more fabrication to fix the Acharya. But it will get into more trouble and  also get the government into more embarrassment. But who will admit that the case  is dead? Not the media which virtually turned the prosecutor, nor the State  whose police is the fixer. Then who, except the court?

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