CBI Parrot Sings Modi Tune

The CBI was a caged parrot in UPA rule. And in Modi rule, the parrot is not only caged when it comes to cases in which those close to the ruling regime are implicated. The parrot is singing the tune copied from Prime Minister Modi himself, and branding Teesta Setalvad a ‘threat to national security’!

The CBI’s declaration that Teesta Setalvad is a threat to national security is a blatant display of the fact that country’s top investigative agency is being used as a tool to punish activists regarded as enemies of Modi, the BJP and the RSS.

Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand and their organization Sabrang Communications have consistently campaigned against communal violence since the 1990s. After the communal pogrom of Gujarat in 2002, they, as part of the Citizens for Justice and Peace, did remarkable work to challenge the impunity hitherto enjoyed by powerful political perpetrators of pogroms. They worked to identify and protect witnesses and wage painstaking legal battles – all in the face of relentless intimidation and harassment including a host of false cases. If there have been 120 convictions in the Gujarat 2002 pogrom cases, it is due in very large part to the efforts of Teesta and her comrades. This has naturally earned them the ire of Modi, the BJP and the Gujarat Government which did all they could to subvert justice.

What Modi found unforgiveable, however, is that Teesta worked with another courageous and indomitable woman – Zakia Jafri – to hold Modi directly accountable for his role in the 2002 violence. Zakia Jafri, wife of the former MP Ehsan Jafri who was brutalized and murdered by a mob in 2002, was helped by the CJP to file a criminal complaint implicating Modi and other politicians and police officers for their role in the 2002 pogrom.

The timing of the CBI raid on Teesta is significant. Zakia Jafri’s criminal revision petition (filed to challenge the rejection of her petition) is coming up for hearing on July 27th – and the CBI raid is the latest bout of intimidation, timed to disrupt and deter CJP’s work in pursuing that petition.

Systematic subversion of justice marks one year of Modi’s rule at the Centre – with agencies and institutions working to protect scamsters and killers close to the BJP, RSS and Modi, while hounding activists who pursue justice for these crimes.

The CBI that has declared Teesta to be a threat to national security, is the same that failed to challenge the court order dropping Amit Shah from the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. In the past year, cops and politicians who were jailed as undertrials or convicts in 2002 pogrom cases or Gujarat fake encounter cases, have secured bail. Public Prosecutor Rohini Salan has publicly testified to the efforts of the NSA to go soft on the terror blast cases in which Hindutva groups are implicated. In what can be called a ‘witness scam’, Jharkhand agriculture minister Randheer Singh, who had won on a JVM ticket, defected to the BJP and was made a Minister turned hostile in the Ajmer blast case!

In the Asaram rape case (in which the rape-accused godman is being publicly defended by prominent BJP leaders), there is evidence that witnesses are being bribed to turn hostile – and those that fail to do so are being killed or murderously attacked. In the Vyapam scam too, in which powerful BJP and RSS leaders of MP are implicated, witnesses, investigators and journalists are being murdered or dying mysteriously, and a whistle-blower has been given a ‘punishment’ transfer. Now, the Vyapam case has been handed over to the CBI. But can the CBI, which has already shown how it is a tamed pet of the Modi regime, be expected to expose and punish the likes of MP CM Shivraj Chouhan and former RSS chief KS Sudershan who are implicated in the Vyapam scam?

Under Narendra Modi, the CBI’s “caged parrot” character has taken on an unprecedentedly sinister dimension. It has been stacked with officers with a proven record of abetting and covering up crimes of the Modi regime in Gujarat. For instance, Y.C. Modi, who has been appointed Additional Director of the CBI, was among the officers pulled up by the Supreme Court for “ineptitude resulting in injustice” in the case of the murder of BJP leader Haren Pandya. Pandya was a rival of Narendra Modi’s and his family had alleged the latter’s role in his murder. YC Modi was also a member of the SIT team probing the Gujarat 2002 pogrom, that covered up the role of the Chief Minister. Arun Kumar Sharma, appointed CBI Joint Director, was the Gujarat intelligence officer who the Snoopgate tapes exposed as having participated in the illegal surveillance of a young woman at the behest of Narendra Modi. Weeks after the Modi Government came to power, the then Joint Director Javeed Ahmed was transferred to Uttar Pradesh. Reportedly this transfer was at the behest of BJP President Amit Shah, because Ahmed is a distant relation of Justice Aftab Alam who had ordered the Sohrabuddin fake encounter trial to be held outside Gujarat. Shah was among those implicated in the custodial murder of Sohrabuddin.

If Modi has nothing to hide regarding his role in the 2002 pogrom, why is he fearful enough to make ridiculous claims, via the CBI parrot, that Teesta is a threat to national security? Courageous activists can’t be silenced or deterred by intimidation and false cases. The Modi Government, by going after Teesta, is only confirming that it has reason to fear Teesta’s activism for justice in the Gujarat 2002 cases.

Liberation Archive