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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 46 New Delhi November 5, 2016

Fascism Unmasks Itself

Monday 7 November 2016

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK

The mysterious escape of eight undertrial SIMI activists from the high-security Bhopal Central Jail and their subsequent and no less mysterious ‘encounter-deaths’ have raised a number of questions to which no convincing answers have come from either the police or the government. Rather, serious doubts have surfaced due to the contradictory statements by different spokespersons of the government and the video footage telecast by a number of TV channels.

How could so many suspected terrorists flee from a high-security prison? How come none of the escapees was wearing the regulated jail dress but each was differently attired? How could they obtain arms within the jail?

The escapees reportedly killed a prison security guard. Did not the security guard offer any resistance or raise a hue and cry or even utter a groan when he was attacked? Usually, in case of a jailbreak, the escapees flee in different directions so that all of them cannot be caught together. In this case, all the eight moved in a body. Why? At least five of them are seen in a video film atop a hillock without any arms and waving at the police. Another video film shows a policeman shooting a person who is already lying on the ground, apparently dead. (In the most damning video-clip a policeman tells the Control Room that all the eight had been liquidated in the ‘fake encounter’; and he is complimented by his boss who speaks of more such exercises in future.) Post-mortem reports have confirmed that many of the dead had been shot at the back and that, too, not once but twice. How can a person killed in an ‘encounter-death’ get bullet injuries in the back? And why were the bullets fired above the waist?

The response of the BJP spokesmen is that those who are raising such questions are dishonouring the soldiers who have laid down their lives in the Pakistani firing at the LoC in J&K. That they are all ‘sympathisers’ of the terrorists. The next step will conceivably be to dub them as downright terrorists themselves!

Or else why should Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal be treated the way they were when they went to meet the relatives of a retired soldier who had committed suicide as the BJP Government did not introduce the OROP despite its commitment? Political leaders visiting men or women bereaved, for whatever reason, is natural. Even the BJP leaders do so regularly. Rahul, for one, was not only detained but taken from one police station to another, for no apparent reason.

These are danger signals for our democracy. They bring out a pronounced tendency to dispense with the democratic system and replace it by one which is not governed by the rule of law but the dictates of the Sole Leader of the ruling party—the Numero Uno. Yes, no beating about the bush: this is Fascism.

November 3 B.D.G.