I have thought long and hard about l’affaire Kazmi. Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, a pib-accredited Urdu journalist demonised as the Indian ‘facilitator’ of the February 13 bomb attack on an Israeli embassy car by three suspected Iranians, is rotting in Tihar Jail. His arrest under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act conveniently gives investigators 180 days to file charges instead of the standard 90—a provision Delhi Police is exploiting to the hilt, because the trumped-up case has no legs to stand on.
Contempt of court is a serious offence in India. But contempt for police is so well-justified in Indian conditions that I have no qualms declaring Kazmi sahab innocent. I disbelieve the Special Cell’s version that Iranians paid Kazmi to help mount a terrorist attack in the capital. I refuse to buy Delhi police commissioner B.K. Gupta’s assertion of Kazmi’s complicity at a press conference, or the brazen leaks to justify the detention of a man who is not on the wrong side of the law.