“The key to wisdom is this; constant and frequent questioning, for by doubting we are led to question and by questioning we arrive at the truth.” This is what Peter Abelard, a 11th century French philosopher and theologian who is also described as ‘the keenest thinker and boldest theologian of the 12th Century’ said about ‘questioning’. Nowadays, when Questioning itself has been labeled as an Immoral act, one can understand the need and importance of this ‘art’ which is only way to find truth. What we have seen in this recent encounter of Bhopal, in which 8 under trials were killed isn’t something new. Anything new in the encounter is that the social media remained abuzz with the videos which came to limelight showing the way all those under trial prisoners were killed in broad day light.Be it New Delhi, UP, Gujarat, Kashmir, North-East, Punjab, Maharashtra, Andhra, Telengana, or Bhopal, the Film title may be different but the script remains same with the same set of actors.killings being carried out by various State police and other forces like the Army and the paramilitary forces, which are raised time and again by various civil liberties and justice seeking groups of country. After seeing the videos and while listening to the conversations between police officials involved in this so called encounter, it leaves no doubt that killing under trial Muslim prisoners in the name of “encounter” has become the policy of the government. Their trial was near to completion and they had chances of acquittal from the court, but the state did not want them to be acquitted so they chose them, made plans, scripted and staged drama, killed and then named it as encounter. On this whole episode of planned killing, the government of the day both at center and in state is busy in sermonizing citizens about how immoral is questioning the police and security forces.
There are already many important questions being asked on this alleged Jailbreak & Fake Encounter some of which are:
Is it possible for the prisoners to scale over 30 feet high wall of the most secure jail in MP?As the jail is equipped with the 7 tier Security System of International Standards.8 people killed were in Two blocks - A& B, too far from each other. If one group killed a constable and escaped what about the other group? How were the weapons accessible to them? Biased statements on whether or not they had weapons? "Weapons" like Spoons and Plates according to home minister and police were used to kill a policeman. Is it possible that a policeman was attacked inside a jail and no one else tried to stop them? Blanket used to climb the wall does not reach the top of the hi-wall. And there is no place on the wall where the blanket can be hooked. All of them were wearing neat & colorful dresses - Jeans T-Shirt, Coat, watch, shoes etc. which are not allowed in central jails(however, such things are only allowed to wear while shifting to other jails or while going to court).How did they get new clothes, watches and bands? If they had connections to get weapons, why couldn’t they get a vehicle to escape? Why no policeman was injured in the retaliation of encounter? Why were the CCTVs not functioning? Why were all of them KILLED when they had no lethal weapons? Why not even one of them has been taken alive so that co-conspirators if any could be unmasked with evidence? How come all of them moved together rather than dispersing and couldn’t go considerably further in eight hours? Also, The encounter took place at a time and place where there were no witnesses apart from police personnel. According to the lawyer of the accused, the case against his clients was very weak and there was every likelihood that they would be acquitted soon. Why would anyone escape from prison knowing well about his acquittal? Why was the statement issued from Kiran Rijuji - State Minister for Home affairs, ordering not to question the Administration and police about the whole event?
It is a matter of fact that killing of people in the name of “encounter” has become a policy of the government; instead of bringing them to justice the state is itself deciding who and when has to be killed sparing no space for the judiciary to provide justice. But, the much bigger concern is, When the under trials are killed by the state and police on the name of encounter, the last “Ray of Hope- judiciary” is always deaf and dumb on the impunity by the state and police. It makes the state and police neither accountable nor even questions as to how can the police kill the under trial prisoners who are in the judicial custody. The judiciary never takes any such killing as suo motu case and never runs any trial against the killers. Recently Chief Justice of India had cried and rightly so on the large amount of cases pending & vacancies in the courts. But it is a matter of sad affairs that not even a single word has come from his mouth on the killing of human beings in the name of encounter.
Nowadays, when the attention of whole India has been diverted by demonetization, let us not stop, let us ask questions and let us strive for Justice.
As Albert Einstein has rightly said ‘Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.’