April 05, 2020
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Bull's Eye

If there is one comfort for the beleaguered public, it's our state-of-the-art police. Its efficiency leaves one breathless. Within hours of Haren Pandya's ...

Bull's Eye
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If there is one comfort for the beleaguered public, it's our state-of-the-art police. Its efficiency leaves one breathless. Within hours of Haren Pandya's murder, our intelligence agencies had revealed the truth to the deputy PM.

Thereupon Advani solemnly informed the nation that Pandya's murder was linked to the killing of Hizbul commander Abdul Majid Dar and to the mass massacre of Kashmiri Pandits in faraway Nadimarg. It seems terrorists and underworld dons were behind the killings. Dawood Ibrahim, of course, was the mastermind.

A day later, the police detained two suspects in Mumbai. They answered the description of Pandya's murderers given by eyewitnesses in distant Ahmedabad. The eyewitnesses let Pandya's body lie unattended for almost an hour before the police were informed. Never mind. Better late than never.

The case has not been solved yet, of course. The detainees are mere suspects. Doubtless it will be solved when the police kill the actual murderers trying to escape. Doubtless one of the murderers will be carrying his isi identification papers, his diary containing Pandya's phone number, and a detailed note of the murder plan.

However, the satisfactory disposal of this case will not address the main problem: how to rid our politics of increasing criminalisation. Fortunately, to the delight of our intellectuals, media pundits and chattering classes, the Supreme Court has found a solution. It has ordered all electoral candidates to inform the public of crimes registered against them and of their financial assets.

This has pleased the very legislators targeted by the court order—MPs and mlas with a long list of crimes registered against them but with no convictions. One of them said: "This makes things easier. Once voters know that the state is after us for alleged crimes but can't convict us, they will have greater confidence in our power to protect them. Our votes will increase!"

"Won't voters shun you for being accused of crimes?"

He looked surprised. "You think voters didn't know that Hari Shankar Tiwari and others had so many cases registered against them but could never be convicted?" He gave me a pitying look. "You intellectuals," he said with a laugh, and walked away.

I do not care if you are wrong,
As long as you are really strong—
Just save me from the predicament
Of having to deal with government!

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