When other evidence or witnesses are not available and we have just a theory to go by, confession becomes the biggest evidence. This assertion, by a senior police officer played by Tabu in the Hindi adaptation of MalayalamcrimethrillerDrishyam, capturestheessenceof policeprobes in cases of close-knit conspiracies, especially related to terrorism.
But this “biggest evidence” has become the bane of major terrorism investigations – the most recent example being the Malegaon 2006 case, where a court has thrown out the “proof ” that nine Muslim men had confessed to their crime before a senior police officer, an admissible evidencebeforecourtunderMCOCAlaw.
The court instead relied on the subsequent NIA probe, which revealed the said confessions were recorded underduress.NIAhadgonebackand spoken to these men, not going by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) chargesheet that the accused had confessed to the terror crime under MCOCA. NIA instead blamed a right-wing module for the blast and arrested four men – this finding and the court’s rejection of the Muslim terrorist angle now puts to test BJP anditsgovernment’sclaimthatrightwing terror is just a UPA creation. The Muslim men spent over five years in jail. The cop who led the infamous ATS probe in Malegaon 2006 blasts, KP Raghuvanshi, was on television just few days ago “standing by” his probe against the Muslim men. He should be criminally proceeded against for fabricating evidence against these innocent persons. The then Congress governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra need to answer questions on the travesty too.
NIA, however, has the same headache. Its case against right-wing
terror in blasts in Samjhauta train, A j me r, Me c c a Mas j i d a n d Malegaon 2006 also rests on the confessions made by two accused - Swami Aseemanand and Bharath Rateshwar - albeit before a magistrate under Section 164 of the CrPC, again an admissible evidence. Both men have subsequently rescinded on their confessions. The most glaring is the Samjhauta case where NIA claims to have arrested three of the four men it says planted bombs on the train but it has no documentary evidence to prove that the men travelled from Indore to Delhi to plant these bombs on the train or that they ever stayed in a dormitory at the Old Delhi Railway Station where they allegedly activated the bombs.
NIAinitschargesheetsaysthemen travelled on fake names from Indore toDelhionatrainandthedormitory did not keep records of occupants beyond few days. NIA got the case after almost three years of the incident, which did not help matters either. Further, NIA admits it has no clue how the explosives were arranged for and how the highly sophisticated bombs were prepared. To quote the NIA chargesheet, this was known only to one Sunil Joshi, who was murdered soon after the Samjhautablastsandwhohadmade