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Saturday, March 25, 2023

Bail of RJD’s Shahabuddin Reflects Rot in Secular Politics, Judiciary & Media

The notorious leader Mohammad Shahabuddin of Lalu Prasad Yadav’s party RJD, has been given bail as per latest media reports. As per this news, Patna high court has granted Shahabuddin bail in the Rajiv Raushan murder case, where he was accused as conspirator. Shahabuddin was also an accused in the murders of Rajiv Raushan’s brothers Girish Raj and Satish Raj. The former MP has 40 cases lodged against him but has been granted bail in most.

A simple search on Mohammad Shahabuddin on google flashes links stating his criminal activities one after another. Most term him as ‘criminal turned politician’. He is believed to be close to Lalu Prasad Yadav. Being convicted in many criminal cases, he was debarred from contesting the 2009 General Elections.

In May 2007, Shahabuddin was found guilty in the case of “abducting with intent to murder”, and he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Shockingly, in the Hussain Ganj police station at Siwan, Bihar, he is listed as a history-sheeter type A (a hardened criminal with a history of crime). Type A indicates criminals who are beyond reform. He has cases of armed battles  with and killing police, of murdering opposition candidates, of seriously intimidating people who stand up against him etc.

Even after the infamous incident of shoot out with Police in March 2001 that saw more than a dozen people killed including cops, Lalu Prasad Yadav let him fight the election from prison in 2004 where he unleashed mass fear in his constituency and post his win, he eliminated opposition candidates for putting up a credible fight.

This man had been locked up since Nitish Kumar swung into power in 2005 in coalition with BJP, ending the brutal 15 year rule of Lalu and Rabri. In 2015 Nitish Kumar forged an alliance with his till then arch-enemy Lalu Prasad Yadav, just to keep the ‘communal’ BJP out – this ‘Mahagatbandhan’ alliance and its victory in the Assembly polls was wildly cheered by our secular-liberal intellectuals & English media. Hence this bail for Shahabuddin reflects the rot in our secular polity, law enforcement and judiciary. How else would such a hardened criminal get bail!

The question needs to be asked – has our entire system now reached a point where it is actively working against Hindus? Looking at various pending cases of bail of Hindu activists and leaders, it seems that there is discrimination even by elements in judiciary when it comes to granting bails to Hindu activists. And if it has to do with the corrupt political reach to the decision makers in judicial order, it simply states that most Hindu activists fighting for bail for several years in prison are actually ‘political orphans’.

Not only bail, the aggressive media trials of Hindu activists and organizations as compared to hardly any media scrutiny of hardened criminals like Shahabuddin and their backers like Lalu stand out as much more repeated, pointed and stark.

Even from the most rational point of view, such skewed behavior from judiciary and mainstream media is extremely evident. There are many cases to count. The most shocking case is that of Malegaon Blasts 2008, mainly of accused Sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit. Of the two, a simple research in Sadhvi Pragya’s case throws up this clear question – why has a breast cancer patient whose spine was severely injured while she was in police detention (suggesting gross violation of human rights) and who was recently discharged of all charges by NIA, been denied bail recently? Incidentally, she is also an accused in the Sunil Joshi murder case and most other accused are out on bail in that case while she is not.

Another case is of Sant Asharam Bapu who has been in prison since August 2013. He is an accused in a rape case filed by a minor girl – the point isn’t whether or not he is guilty of the crime as investigation is ongoing, the point is that his requests of bail on the ground of old age and various ailments have been denied.

In another case, a Hindu activist Kamlesh Tiwari from Hindu Mahasabha has been slapped with the draconian National Security Act and locked up since January this year, as he is alleged to have publicly made objectionable remarks about the prophet of Islam. While most accused of hate speech like Akbaruddin Owaisi get bail within a few days, his case is dragging on mysteriously. The prosecution, which in this case represents a SHO of UP police, has not been able to file a single valid proof of the alleged objectionable press release issued by Tiwari.

The media trials that have been faced by people like Pramod Muthalik of Shri Ram Sena and Sadhvi Prachi far outdo the ones faced by an Owaisi, Abu Azmi, Shahabuddin or Azam Khan in terms of both number and intensity of aggression. Political careers have been ruined like BS Yedyurappa on the merest allegation of taint, while the likes of Mulayam, Lalu, Sonia and YSR have gone scot-free for monumental corruption, anti-national acts and blatant criminalization of politics.

A Modi is demonized for 12 years based on a single riot despite all evidence to the contrary, while a thug like Lalu who harbors elements like Shahabuddin and looks the other way as Dalits are massacred is hailed as a secular, progressive messiah.

Mainstream media even fails to pull up heads of Christian organizations who have numerous times tried to meddle in policy making on highly sensitive issues like education and management of religious structures. Higher judiciary selectively meddles in Hindu traditions, sometimes even mocking those traditions, while refusing to interfere or taking a very considered stand in Muslim and Christian traditions.

This partisanship has become all the more evident with news of Mohammad Shahabuddin getting bail, and clearly reflects the bias and rot in our judiciary, secular politics, police and media.

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