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Bull's Eye

Hooray! POTO has become POTA! Now the government can fight terrorism. And worry not. Law minister Jaitley says POTO is not draconian like TADA. But ...

Bull's Eye
Hooray! POTO has become POTA! Now the government can fight terrorism. And worry not. Law minister Jaitley says POTO is not draconian like TADA.

But TADA couldn't combat terrorism. How will POTO? POTO didn't prevent the attack on Parliament. POTO couldn't stop Abu Salem escaping arrest despite Interpol having nabbed him. Our government couldn't furnish his identification papers! POTO wouldn't have prevented Abu Salem from obtaining a forged passport with police connivance. One can carry on.

Long before Bush became president, this columnist advocated a war against terror—but a genuine war, not the farce being enacted today. To really fight terrorism, we must unearth the money trail. Terrorism is financed by narcotics.

The narcotics trade relies on hawala. Hawala requires corruption. Corruption ensnares politicians. Entrapped politicians are blackmailed to protect terrorists. This uncomfortable truth isn't faced by the politicians, media or the bureaucrats.

After wasting four crucial years, the CBI last week filed a chargesheet against Reliance for violating the Official Secrets Act. Police raids had uncovered links of Dawood henchman Romesh Sharma with Reliance officials. During the investigation of that case, official secret papers faxed to Reliance headquarters were seized.

Earlier, home minister Advani had created a brouhaha over Sharma's links with Dawood and the ISI. He promised to present a White Paper on the ISI. After Sharma's political and business links surfaced, Advani described the Official Secrets Act as antiquated. He claimed the white paper would jeopardise national security. Sharma's file is still lying with the Delhi Police. It records his links with top politicians and media personalities, videotaped at Sharma's farmhouse.

BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj had loaned his MP's flat to Sharma for the latter's use. No action was taken against him. In the recent UP elections, Maharaj campaigned for the BJP.

BJP MP Braj Bhushan Sharan Singh acknowledged in court his personal links with Dawood Ibrahim. The BJP took no action against him. He led the largest contingent in the Babri demolition. During a conversation, this columnist confronted RSS boss Sudarshan with these facts. He mumbled that all kinds of things happen in politics. He sounded pathetic.

Last week, Advani conferred with the RSS bosses. With Ayodhya discredited, they are seeking a new issue to revive Hindutva. The answer's obvious. Hinduism's basic tenet is upholding Dharma. That means rule of law.

As POTO becomes POTA,
BJP stands 'mota',
NDA proves 'khota'
The citizen feels so 'chhota'!

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