Policemen in Ahmedabad, new and old, have a lot to say, though not always on record, about Rajinder Kumar, IB station head in Gujarat between 2002 and 2005. All agree, however, on his proximity to chief minister Narendra Modi, something they say he never cared to hide. His record, says R.B. Sreekumar, the then Additional Director General of Police (Intelligence), needs to be probed with a fine toothcomb.
Kumar, claims Sreekumar, would frequently drop in at Gaikwad Haveli, in the office of encounter specialist and then DIG D.G. Vanzara, unusual for an IB officer of his rank. The IB during Kumar’s tenure, Sreekumar goes on to allege, helped Gujarat police go shopping for victims in Mumbai, Hyderabad and elsewhere, to be then eliminated in Gujarat.
“How is it that most of the alleged terrorists were killed in the early hours before dawn? Why did the encounters stop immediately after Vanzara was arrested? Did the Gujarat police stop receiving intelligence inputs thereafter or did the LeT and others stop sending terrorists to Gujarat?” These questions need answers, Sreekumar said over telephone from Kerala.
Further, the former ADGP (intelligence) claims, he did not receive any intelligence inputs from IB during his tenure. The central agency, he says, did not submit any actionable intelligence before the Godhra incident or the subsequent riots. How is it, he wonders, that there was not a single encounter during his tenure but barely after he was shunted out, the first encounter killing, of Samir Khan Pathan, unfolded.
Unusually for an IB officer again, Kumar had reportedly volunteered to be a witness against Sreekumar when the state government filed a chargesheet against him in Sep 2005.
Nor is Sreekumar the only police officer in the state to question Kumar’s conduct. Retired IPS officer Jaspal Singh too had written to the SIT investigating the 2002 riots to look into Kumar’s role.
Sreekumar also recalls how, within hours of the Godhra incident, Kumar insisted it was a terror attack by the ISI, and urged an investigation into the Pakistani hand. “But when I inquired about the basis of the conspiracy theory, he couldn’t provide a satisfactory explanation. I had refused to accept his advice,” says Sreekumar. Curiously, Kumar had also not sent him any report or input on the ISI conspiracy.
Not just policemen but even others like activist Teesta Setalvad and slain BJP minister Haren Pandya’s widow Jagruti believe Kumar’s role in Gujarat to be suspect. Why, asks Setalvad, did the IB fail to provide information and evidence of the ISI conspiracy to the Nanavati Shah Commission? Jagruti, who has been demanding a reinvestigation into her husband’s mysterious assassination on March 26, 2003, too wonders if it was just coincidence that her husband was the first to be killed in a long line of killings officially attributed to terrorists.
“How is it that in the decade since then, or in the period before that, no leader of the stature of Haren Pandya has been targeted?” she asks. Both the IB and the CBI, she alleges, colluded in 2003 to cover up the intelligence failure and the complicity of officials and politicians, which she believes led to her husband’s assassination. “Why is it that the chief minister, who now calls CBI names and is against it reinvestigating the case, accepted its shoddy investigation which led to all the 12 accused being let off for lack of evidence?” The CBI had, in fact, admitted on record that it had misplaced Pandya’s cellphone call records. In the absence of such vital evidence, how could they complete the investigation, she asks. The swirl of such questions continues to rise.
By R.K. Misra in Gandhinagar
Apropos the boxed piece A Proximity Too Close for Comfort, Rajendra Kumar’s colleagues in the IB have already started singing. In fact, IB officers in Maharashtra have already filed a few affidavits providing disturbing details of Kumar’s manipulations in another infamous false encounter—that of Sohrabuddin Sheikh—involving the same set of rogue police officers.
I expected any debate to focus on the following: 1) Even if it is followed widely across India, does extra-judicial killing have any place in civilised society? 2) Did the cops kill an innocent or did Ishrat have terror links (though it does not justify a staged encounter killing).
Dipto, New York
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
Modi so far sounded like a lowly crook.
Now, he appears to be a chilling murderer.
It is a shame that the national opposition has no better politician to lead, that too in a time when the ruling party is facing scam after scam.
Colleagues of Rajinder Kumar of IB have already started singing.In fact some affidavits have already been filed by IB officers of Maharashtra ,where they have provided disturbing details of the manipulations carried out by Rajinder Kumar in anothet false encounter - the Sohrabuddin staged encounter case involving the same rogue Gujarat Police officers .
We at Outlookindia.com welcome feedback and your comments, including scathing criticism
1. Scathing, passionate, even angry critiques are welcome, but please do not indulge in abuse and invective. Our Primary concern is to keep the debate civil. We urge our users to try and express their disagreements without being disagreeable. Personal attacks are not welcome. No ad hominem please.
2. Please do not post the same message again and again in the same or different threads
3. Please keep your responses confined to the subject matter of the article you are responding to. Please note that our comments section is not a general free-for-all but for feedback to articles/blogs posted on the site
4. Our endeavour is to keep these forums unmoderated and unexpurgated. But if any of the above three conditions are violated, we reserve the right to delete any comment that we deem objectionable and also to withdraw posting privileges from the abuser. Please also note that hate-speech is punishable by law and in extreme circumstances, we may be forced to take legal action by tracing the IP addresses of the poster.
5. If someone is being abusive or personal, or generally being a troll or a flame-baiter, please do not descend to their level. The best response to such posters is to ignore them and send us a message at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT
6. Please do not copy and paste copyrighted material. If you do think that an article elsewhere has relevance to the point you wish to make, please only quote what is considered fair-use and provide a link to the article under question.
7. There is no particular outlookindia.com line on any subject. The views expressed in our opinion section are those of the author concerned and not that of all of outlookindia.com or all its authors.
8. Please also note that you are solely responsible for the comments posted by you on the site. The comments could be deleted or edited entirely at our discretion if we find them objectionable. However, the mere fact of their existence on our site does not mean that we necessarily approve of their contents. In short, the onus of responsibility for the comments remains solely with the authors thereof. Outlookindia.com or any of its group publications, may, however, retains the right to publish any of these comments, with or without editing, in any medium whatsoever. It is therefore in your own interest to be careful before posting.
9.Outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for how any search engine -- such as Google, Bing etc -- caches or displays these comments. Please note that you are solely responsible for posting these comments and it is a privilege being granted to our registered users which can be withdrawn in case of abuse. To reiterate:
a. Comments once posted can only be deleted at the discretion of outlookindia.com
b. The comments reflect the views of the authors and not of outlookindia.com
c. outlookindia.com is not responsible in any manner whatsoever for the way search engines cache or display these comments
d. Please therefore take due caution before you post any comments as your words could potentially be used against you
10. We have an online thread for our comments policy:
You are welcome to post your suggestions here or in case you have a specific issue, to directly email us at Mail AT outlookindia DOT com with the subject header COMPLAINT