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OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.
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The media campaign just got louder with Sonia Gandhi for pulling up Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for action taken on the Sreekrishna Commission Report. Even NDTV got in on the action with its rival CNN-IBN taking the lead on the clamor for action by interviewing Teesta Setalvad and reporting on some of the recent editorials in the Sena mouthpiece Saamna with the apparent intention to “Shock and Awe” the secular minded.

An oft repeated claim by the media and the likes of Teesta is that

“Justice will ONLY be served by implementing the Sreekrishna Commission Report”.

Offstumped has performed a scientific analysis of the Report to determine what exactly “implementing” means here and how exactly will that “implementing” ensure justice will “ONLY” be served.

First some definitions. Unlike the media which has no responsibility to be consistent and logical, Offstumped will be crystal clear in distinguishing between

Findings – which are facts, evidence, matters of public record

Conclusions – which are the Commissions inferences based on the Findings

Recommendations – which are the Commissions Opinions on what to do based on the Conclusions drawn by it

The Commission in its final report distributed its content into two volumes.

Volume 1 – was meant to be Conclusions and Recommendations

Volume 2 – the more detailed of the two was meant to carry the findings.

The report states the above fairly explicitly

1.12 For the sake of brevity and easy readability the Commission has given its conclusions in this Volume and discussed the evidential nuances in the Second Volume of the Report.

Now even a layperson with basic knowledge of the English language can understand that when someone talks about “implementing” the report they are referring unambiguously to “recommendations” in the report for it is only “what is recommended” by the report that is actionable. There is nothing to “implement” in findings, nor is there anything actionable about conclusions. So any demand to “implement” the report must be logically speaking referring to the recommendations in the report and not to its findings and conclusions.

Now let us first take a critical look at what the Report recommends.

The report’s conclusions are summarized in Volume 1.

Section 1.25 talks about Immediate Causes ranging from Class Conflict, Economic Competition, Decline of Employment, Density of Population, Changing Political Discourse.

Chapter 3 talks about Conclusions around the question of Whether any individual or group of individuals, or any other organization, were responsible for such events and circumstances.

Chapter 4 draws Conclusions around the question of adequacy or otherwise of the precautionary and preventive measures, taken by the police preceding the aforesaid incidents; and,Whether the steps taken by the police in controlling the riots were adequate and proper and whether the police firing resulting in deaths was justified or not

It is not until Chapter 5 that we get to any semblance of a Recommendation.

The recommendations include amongst other things Improving the image of the policeman, Inspection, Registration of Crimes, Investigations, Professionalism, Corruption, Punishments, Freedom from Interference, Leadership, Trial of Cases, Collection and Dissemination of Intelligence, Training and Physical Fitness, P.R., Peace Committees, Improvements in Weaponry, Improvements in Communications, Maintenance of Records, Policing of Slums, Rapid Action of Squads, Conditions of Work, Housing, Reserves, Religious Processions, Use of loudspeakers, Curfew orders, Political interference in police work, Interaction with Army, CRPF, Police Stations, Decommunalizing the police force, Riot control scheme.

It is an exhaustive list of recommendations which if truly implemented will transform law enforcement dramatically.

Now is this what the media and the leftists activists are demanding when they say “implement the report” ?

The answers is NO.

So what exactly do they mean by “implement the report” ?

They probably mean the recommendations in section 1.30 Delinquency of Police personnel where the report cites 31 policemen for dereliction of duty and recommends

Government take strict action against the following persons

Fair enough if that was all the media wanted, and if action against them was the “ONLY” way justice was to be served.

But apparently not the media and activists want more.

But here is the problem, the Commission has not recommended anything more. Its recommendations end with section 1.30. The rest is about the expanded references to the 1993 Blasts and then comes the Epilogue which is replete with philosophical musings, hardly anything there that is actionable.

So what exactly is the media and these activists are clamoring for to be “IMPLEMENTED” ?

It is not the Conclusions, it is not the recommendations save action against the 31 police offers. It is what is contained in Volume 2, which are the findings.

All the clamor is for “implementing” evidence, that is about how logical things get in the world of perverse Left wing Activism.

Offstumped has analyzed the findings in Volume 2 to put things into perspective.

It talks about evidence from 26 Police Jurisdictions. The report chronicles evidence of events in each of the 26 jurisdictions by looking at Cases filed, evidence of key witnesses, evidence of policemen involved. In all about 95 named Hindu accused are mentioned while about 80 named muslim accused are mentioned. There are also numerous references to cases filed as “Case A” where the identity of the perpetrators is unknown. But here is what is important to note about the evidence.

In case after case, jurisdiction after jurisdiction, the Commission has found the police in dereliction of duty. If there is anything common across the Commissions findings across the 26 jurisdiction it is a commentary on how Law Enforcement failed the citizens either due to incompetence, bad planning, stress, political interference or due to communal affiliations. This explains the lengthy nature of the recommendations around how law enforcement must be improved and why action must be taken against 31 specific policemen.

Here is the other interesting aspect of the Findings in Volume 2, despite the liberal references to speeches and marches taken out by the Shiv Sena, the report names specific Shiv Sena leaders as accused in specific acts of violence in only 2 jurisdictions Ghatkopar and Jogeshwari where local Corporators were named by some victims as having indulged in violence. None of the high level Sena leaders are directly named as accused in any specific acts of violence. All the accusations are about speeches and marches.

Here is another little reported fact that the media ignores and never highlights in one jurisdiction Kurla, the local Shiv Sena MLA was actually instrumental in handing over riots accused to the police.

On the other hand there is this complete media blackout on the following aspects of the findings. Dongri which is the hub of underworld activities, Muslim Criminals instrumental in perpetrating violence have not been named. While in Kurla one of the 1993 Blasts Accused was also previously accused of Rioting showing the nexus between the two. This essentially blows away the core of the Leftist Activists arguments. In Mahim one former Congress corporator was accused of rioting, we never hear of that.

But here is the most damning piece of evidence that shows how one side escalated the violence to a level that indicates professional criminal involvement. In Nirmal Nagar a Crude Bomb factory by Muslims was unearthed and at least one explosion was reported.

Hardly evidence of a pogrom by any stretch of the definition of the word.

Offstumped Bottomline: The media and leftwing clamor on “Implementing the Report” is about as illogical as it can get and reflects a deep lack of scientific temper. The Commission’s recommendations must definitely implemented but they are about reforming law enforcement and acting on errant policemen. The demand to “implement” findings is meaningless drivel.

Yes cases that have not been dealt with correctly must be dealt with and justice delivered in a timely manner.

This is not the same as “implementing the report”, and hence “implementing the report” cannot be the ONLY way to ensure justice is delivered for the reports recommendations go only so far.

The rest of the clamor smacks of a one sided political witch hunt which will neither heal the wounds nor deliver justice for all.

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