The mysterious killing of Ishrat Jahan
SIR, In the manner of the Narendra Modi government and the Bharatiya Janata Party, the former Intelligence Bureau chief, Ajit Dhoval, claims there is impeccable evidence that Ishrat Jahan was a terrorist. However, while filing its first chargesheet in the court of the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate HS Khutwad, the CBI did not comment on whether Ishrat had any terror links. The CBI Director, Ranjit Sinha, has said, “We are not probing whether or not the four persons killed were terrorists. The High Court mandate to the CBI is to only find out whether the encounter was fake or not.” The question survives as to how in a joint operation, the Gujarat Police and the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (SIB), which works under the Centre, had killed her and others in an allegedly fake encounter? No less shocking is that Ishrat and the three others who were abducted were kept in police custody and brought together in one car and then killed in cold blood. Who authorised the police to take the law into its hands and then exterminate them? The CBI&’s FIR does not name Modi and Amit Shah. Both the BJP and Narendra Modi are under a cloud over the Ishrat case. He harbours ambitions of becoming the Prime Minister despite the pogrom of 2002.
Yours, etc., Bidyut K Chatterjee,
Faridabad, 5 July.
SIR, The Food Security Bill is disoriented. It puts the cart before the horse. The Bill will lead to runaway inflation; the investments of the salaried class will lose their security-value, as had happened in Australia. The legislation is an extended application of the same foolishness, incoherence, and greed that led to the 2G spectrum and coalblock allocation scams. On the whole, the Bill is a deceptive document.
Yours, etc., Mukulesh Mitra,
New Delhi, 4 July.
MODI IN UTTARAKHAND
SIR, This is with reference to the editorial, ‘Bragging rights’ (28 June), and Kajal Chatterjee’s letter (3 July). Both have criticised the Gujarat Chief Minister for his ‘parochial’ attitude in the face of the calamity at Uttarakhand. It bears recall that the Gujarat government had offered to come to the rescue of the flood victims in Bihar only a few years ago. Unfortunately, political considerations came into play and the offer was turned down by the Bihar government, headed by a JD(U) chief minister. Mr Modi visited Uttarakhand as a Chief Minister of another state. His priority was to rescue the people. What prevented the other Chief Ministers from visiting a region affected by a catastrophe? Not the least the Chief Minister of West Bengal who has floated the idea of a federal front. Were ministers Madan Mitra and Rachpal Singh given the mandate to look after the victims of other states. Charity begins at home. Amethi, once a nondescript rural belt of UP, is now a prosperous region after having elected two Prime Ministers ~ Indira Gandhi and son, Rajiv. Successive Railway ministers have favoured their home states. And the list includes Mamata Banerjee. Therefore, ‘parochialism’ is not an unknown phenomenon in India.
Yours, etc., Sandipan Khan,
Rishra, 4 July.
SIR, ~ The Statesman has been redesigned without changing the masthead style. The masthead makes a profound statement ~ “People&’s Parliament, Always In Session”. The paper looks more modern, smarter, more colourful and attractive. Notable also is a change in the presentation of news. Stories are being analysed carefully and summed-up with appropriate sub-headings. The reader has access both to news and views. The “Thumbnails” column on almost every page gives a rundown of the more important political, cultural, financial and sports events. Another innovation is that the special article on the Editorial page carries the photograph of the writer. Congratulations, the refashioned Statesman!
Yours, etc., Pankaj Kumar Mandal,
Kolkata, 3 July.