The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - AMAN SHARMA

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

UPA Cre­ation?

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

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