Trigger-happy policemen, euphemistically called “encounter specialists,” always say they acted on the orders of their “bosses” when the law eventually catches up with them (“Fallen God,” Sept. 5). IPS officer D.G. Vanzara claims that he and his officers were only following the Gujarat government’s “conscious policy” of encounters. Surely, he must have known that he was extinguishing innocent lives for the sake of his “god”?
Had the law not caught up with him and had he been rewarded suitably by his “god,” would he have offered to resign as he is doing now?
Ambitious officers want promotions, honours, and post-retirement benefits. To achieve this, they are ready to execute any order from their political masters, many of whom have criminal cases pending against them.
The only way to nail the real culprits of the 2002 Gujarat riots and what followed is trial by the International Court of Justice.
While a policy of “zero tolerance for terrorism” is welcome, no one can justify fake encounters in the name of security. As a senior police officer, it was Mr. Vanzara’s duty to implement the government’s policy according to the law. He should have respected the Constitution, not his political masters.
He appears to have carried out instructions due to lack of courage or selfish interests.
The revelations by the suspended IPS officer have exposed the nexus between politicians and police officers in Gujarat. Dastardly acts of violence by the state stand in stark contrast to the inspiring ideals which radiate from the land of Mahatma Gandhi. I take solace in the fact that truth has triumphed. The battered inner voice of the officer has finally spoken.
A genuine encounter happens; it is not staged. If orders are obtained before an encounter or if senior police officers are vested with the power to decide on encounters as a matter of policy, there is sufficient basis for civil society to suspect extra-judicial killings.
Unfortunately in India, the meaning of “encounter” has undergone a change. The news of an “encounter” is no longer a sensation. In fact, there are public demands for the “encounter” of rapists and other perpetrators of heinous crimes against women and children.
V. S. Prakasa Rao,
Blaming Mr. Modi for the post-2002 encounter killings is unfair. Extra-judicial killings take place in almost all the States. There are trained “encounter specialists” everywhere.
If such killings are acceptable in the interest of national security elsewhere, why single out Gujarat?