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Tamang report lacks credibility

Tamang report lacks credibility

Author: BK Verma
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: September 14, 2009
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/202283/Tamang-report-lacks-credibility.html

The editorial "A contested inquiry" (September 9) has raised valid doubts about the credibility of Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang's flawed conclusions in his report which claims that Gujarat Police officers faked the 2004 encounter killings of Ishrat Jahan and three others to win promotions and the 'appreciation' of Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In giving his opinion with jet speed he has established a dubious record which does not do credit to the judiciary.

It is appalling that the magistrate did not follow the due process of conducting a magisterial inquiry - rigorous examination of witnesses, meticulous examination of evidence on record by checking and cross-checking, affording reasonable opportunity to the accused to defend themselves. In this case he should have been extra cautious, for there were very strong circumstances for the police to have acted promptly on the intelligence inputs about the conspiracy and the antecedents of the terror suspects.

Moreover, he did not have the patience to go through the affidavit of the Union Home Ministry submitted in the High Court saying that all the four persons killed were linked to the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba. This was done even while being aware of the fact that the SIT set up by the High Court was yet to give its report.

This reminds one of the Banerji Committee which was set up by RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav even as the Nanavati Commission was already probing the Godhra train burning incident. There too the committee showed haste in giving its 'findings' to pre-empt the Nanavati Commission's report. It was a different matter that the Banerji Committee report was received by the public with the scepticism it deserved, and Mr Modi gained enormous support from Gujarat's voters. The Tamang report will undoubtedly meet the same fate.

All that this report has achieved is that it has given a lot of cud to chew on to Modi baiters, assorted 'secularist' mob comprising media, certain NGOs which have made a business out of raising muck, and political parties opposed to the BJP.

If the Congress persists too much in pillorying Mr Modi on this issue, it will only embarrass itself since the encounter took place when it was in power at the Centre and the affidavit in the High Court was also submitted by the Union Home Ministry under the UPA Government. It's good that the Gujarat Government has promptly announced its decision to challenge the magistrate's report in a higher court.

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