A New Low in Indian Politics: Full Text of Rana Ayyub’s DNA Article

On 9th July, DNA published a hard hitting opinion piece on Amit Shah by Rana Ayyub, formerly of Tehelka.  It was titled ‘a new low in Indian politics.’ Today (July 11) it was pulled down, citing orders from the top. It is a blatant instance of media capitulation to Modi and his cohorts. After the corporate media has decided to crawl when asked to bend, it is up to the social media to spread the truth. IndiaResists reproduces Ayyub’s piece here. We appeal to all to share it widely.

Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases, accepting his excuse that he was engaged in political work in New Delhi. Shah, 49, the first serving Home minister of a state to have gone behind bars in a criminal case of murder and conspiracy had a legitimate reason to skip court hearings. He was presiding and taking part in day-long meetings in Delhi with senior RSS leaders and BJP functionaries who were all set to seal his fate as the next BJP President.

There is a significant back story to his exemption which did find its way as a small snippet in the media but needs to be brought to light as Shah, the man who waved the magic wand for BJP in Uttar Pradesh, the PM’s confidante and the number two in the government now takes over the reins of the party. Amit Shah had twice in the past sought exemption from personal appearance citing political work, but the then CBI judge JT Utpat had found his excuse inadequate for the court to grant him relief. On June 20, while hearing the application, Utpat allowed the same but made a scathing remark “Everytime you are giving this exemption application without assigning any reason,” he told Shahs counsel. In less than a week, Utpat was transferred to a Pune court before he could preside over Shahs discharge application. Shah managed his way out with a tried and tested formula of transferring judges, practiced brazenly in his home state of Gujarat through his tenure as Home Minister.

Who is Amit Shah?
Who is Amit Shah?

As a journalist covering Gujarat extensively since 2005, as someone who exposed Shah’s role in the fake encounters in the state and who can claim to have knowledge of his political trajectory, I would not mince my words in suggesting that by appointing Amit Shah as the president of the party, the BJP has hugely disrespected the law of the land and signalled an all time low for the criminal justice system of India. For the cases against Shah are for crimes so gruesome that the cloak of political astuteness will be too short to cover it.

In its chargesheet filed in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case, the CBI which had been investigating the case under the watchful eye of the Supreme Court of India had not just named Shah as one of the key accused and conspirators but also named him as the head of an extortion racket which involved underworld thugs, politicians and businessmen. In its submission before the apex court bench of Justice P Sathasivam and Justice BS Chauhan, the CBI stated that the minister was in cahoots with senior cops from Gujarat including the likes of DG Vanzara and Abhay Chudasama who had been sentenced for cold-blooded murder – concluding that Shah was a hardcore criminal. Shah was also chargesheeted in the murder of Kauser Bi, the wife of Sohrabuddin who according to the official papers was raped, sedated, killed and her body burnt and thrown in a river.

One could have well debated the merits of the CBI chargesheet and read political motives but for the fact that the Supreme court itself gave CBI the sanction to arrest Shah at the same time, coming down harshly on the Gujarat state police investigation led by the then top cop Geeta Johri for going slow and misleading the courts. If the SIT verdict on Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat encounters is to be held as the final word, by virtue of it being monitored by the apex court, it is baffling then that Narendra Modi who promised clean and transparent governance to this country and setting up fast track courts to look into cases of criminal charges against politicians has turned a blind eye to Shah’s criminal past.

Shah has been Modi’s confidante since his days as a pracharak in Gujarat and Maharashtra. With Shah’s induction on the national scene first as the General Secretary of the BJP and now as the BJP President, Modi has risked his own political image for the sake of his ally and friend who has put to shame the best political pundits and strategists from North India with his shrewd manoeuvring. In the coming days, the party will have to prove its popularity not just in the by-elections of Uttar Pradesh but also in the forthcoming Assembly Elections in three states, the most significant being the battle for Maharashtra. Party insiders have stressed on Maharashtra being a prestige battle for Modi whose party swept the Lok Sabha elections a couple of months ago. Going by the minutes of the internal meetings held between Modi, Shah and senior heads in the BJP and the RSS, the Prime Minister has silenced his detractors in the party who were against Shah’s elevation citing his ability to churn out big numbers.

Many in the Gujarat BJP believe that Modi has been under tremendous pressure by Shah to return the favours he has allegedly bestowed on his mentor in the last two decades of their association. It’s a well known fact that during Modi’s rebellion against former Gujarat Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel and in his fight with the ex-Home Minister of Gujarat Haren Pandya, it was Shah who stood firmly by Modi’s side galvanizing the cadres and leaders in favour of his boss.

As the second in command in the Modi dispensation, the youngest minister in his cabinet who held charge of twelve ministries including the powerful Minister of State for Home, Shah single-handedly thwarted all trouble that came in the way of Modi with his office getting the infamous tag of the “dirty tricks department of the CM”. It was under his tenure as Home Minister that the Gujarat police went on a spree of fake encounters in the state – holding regular press conferences for the media with the bodies of the alleged assassins on display. The officers would claim that the Gujarat CM was under threat from jihadists who were out to assassinate the man who brought back Hindu asmita in Gujarat.

While the chief minister managed to leave unscathed during the investigations of most of the encounters which were later pronounced as fake, Shah found himself listed as the prime accused in three encounters, his role in the other two being probed by the CBI with investigations in the case still on.

Another major dent in Shah’s image came with his alleged involvement in the Snoopgate scandal, in which he is heard instructing one of his key lieutenants – IPS officer GL Singhal who was then incharge of the ATS, to carry on surveillance on a young woman. The tapes which were released late last year created a furore after it became obvious that Shah as the Home Minister of the state was using state machinery to snoop on innocent civilians, monitoring their moves. In this particular case, a young woman whose movements, including aspects of her personal life were being reported to the CM on a daily basis.

With such serious criminal charges against him, has Modi denigrated the position of the party president by handing over Shah the reins of the party. Would it now be safe to assume that Prime Minister Narendra Modi acted against the interests of the judiciary by rejecting the nomination of Gopal Subramaniam as a Supreme court judge as he was also the amicus curiae in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case. Ever since the Prime Minister assumed office, ex-CBI directors including Ashwini Kumar and AP Singh who were at the helm of affairs in the CBI during the investigation of the encounters, find themselves being at the receiving end of Shah’s wrath. While Kumar has stepped down as governor of Nagaland, AP Singh is reportedly under pressure to step down as member of the UPSC after the Income Tax department served notices to him and his family members in an investigation into alleged tax evasion by meat exporter Moin Qureshi.

These could all well be coincidences if one were to take a larger liberal view of the developments including the transfer of 89-year-old ailing governor of Gujarat Kamla Beniwal, who under her tenure locked horns with Modi and Shah over the appointment of Lokayukta in the state. But even if one were to dismiss these actions against officials, lawyers, judges who played significant roles in the criminal justice process involving Amit Shah as conjectures, will it not be pertinent to suggest that by appointing Shah as the BJP President, Modi has acted in contradiction to his promise of a free and fair government, which will have no space for vindictiveness. Hasn’t Modi and the BJP under the guidance of the RSS just made the first attack on the principle of clean governance on the basis of which the party came to power? Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to answer this one.

Rana Ayyub is a journalist and a writer. She tweets at @RanaAyyub

  • This is the desired direction of ruling class, towed by Congress, BJP and allies. If one glances the world politics, India is part of it and there is nothing different here.
    The longest economic recession since 2008 is continuing without any concession as in the past since 200 years and is threatening to be permanent in nature!
    Continuation of old politics that is give some crumbs to suffering people in name of free or reduced basic amenities, viz, medical facilities, rice, etc is reducing the scope of “plunder” by the big corporates and this is not acceptable to their political agents, the state, which is meant to serve their interests.
    Hence new forms of exploitation must be brought in. End of all ‘aid’ to mass in name of reducing budget deficiencies, dilution of labour law to ‘free’ corporates to fringe labours’ basic human rights, curtail freedom of judiciary and media to stop them meddling in ‘business’ etc!
    We are heading for fascism!

  • Whatever. Congi looters have had more than their fill in terms of extra-legal, criminal activities, accumulating black money to the tune of lakhs of crores, subverting democracy, gerrymandering, using caste and religion to divide (BJP at least uses religion to bind many many castes and the majority at the cost of one faith), using and expanding reservations without limit. At this point, anything that the BJP or its tall leader does sounds reasonable as compared to the various crimes of the Congress. So we wait for the guillotine to fall and take of heads of many many Congress leaders.

  • velamur

    The left liberals cannot berate Modi any more as the people have chosen him as their PM. They needed a fall guy and Amit Shah fits the bill to the hilt. Lambast Amit Shah as much as possible so that some of it rubs on the PM. There are some people who have decided that Modi and his colleagues have engineered the killing of muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and they can never be forgiven for the assumed crime. They do not want to change their opinion irrespective of the election results et al. Hounding of Amit Shah has started with the same financial backing that Teesta Setalvad and Mukul Sinha received in Gujarat. BJP will have to learn to grin and bear it. The left can never be liberated.

  • DK Sharma

    Our judicial system, our Penal code is so weak and sluggish that it is almost impossible to hang any terrorist. There had been scores of Bomb explosions in public places killing thousands of people and loss to public property. For last thirty years we could not bring to justice any perpetrator apart from Afzal Guru That too was hanged sectertly without informing his family.
    This shows how weak kneed UPA Govt was.
    When innocents are killed by terrorists or hardened criminals, common man’s refrain is CHORAAHE PAR KHADA KAR KE GOLI MAAR DO. (shoot the criminal in public). If criminals like Sohrabuddin or Tulsi Prajapati are killed why there is so much humbug. When scores of innocents are killed daily no body cares but when a criminal is killed our Human Right activists cry hoarse from the roof top.
    It would be better if our limited resources are used to catch and book the criminals instead of hounding their killers. Criminals should eliminated by all means to save the lives of innocent human beings.

  • DK Sharma

    Have you ever raised your voice against this also. Should not India join hands with Israel to match China http://aajtak.intoday.in/story/pakistan-established-mobile-towers-in-border-areas-india-complains-1-771335.html

  • DK Sharma

    Does national interests worry you like Sharabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati http://www.jagran.com/news/national-hoisting-isis-flag-in-kashmir-11469095.html

  • P Singh

    Shameful to say the very least! Can they browbeat the country into submission? Lets not forget only 31% voted in favour while the rest are waiting & watching all this. Lets not take the electorate for granted. It was not a wave but revulsion of the many scams that made people vote for BJP. But they did not realize that Amit Shah was part of the package!

  • ameeta

    What are the rest of the people doing in the BJP party? No other worthies for the post of Party president other than a person under investigation by the Supreme Court – no less! Are they all crawling when not even asked to kneel???Tragic that power can already corrupt so drastically, just 2 months into position. WHY BLAME THE CONGRESS THEN?TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN!!!

  • nishi

    On 9th of July, an article by Rana Ayuub and its consequent censorship by DNA sent the whole twitter world in a tizzy. Now, though I don’t support any form of censorship of the written word, I do have issues with a vindictive venom spewing article based on lies and misrepresentation. Hence, I am going to attempt to refute the said article to the best of my abilities.
    Now, this of course will be a slightly long winded article as I quote her and refute so bear with me.

    “Late last week, a special CBI court adjourned the bail application of Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin and Tulsi Prajapati fake encounter cases, accepting his excuse that he was engaged in political work in New Delhi”.
    A man out on bail, wouldn’t apply for a bail application. So, at the very onset, it is hard for me to trust the credibility of the article.

    “Shah, 49, the first serving Home minister of a state to have gone behind bars in a criminal case of murder and conspiracy”

    I can’t refute this on facts. Yes, he was in jail for charges of murder, conspiracy and extortion among other charges in 2010. But let me clarify, he was charge sheeted based on preliminary investigation. The case is sub judice and the charges haven’t been proved yet so declaring him a criminal before the court does, is over enthusiastic journalism. Whatever happened to INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY?

  • nishi

    The very fact that Terrorist Rana Ayyub is a planted media stooge of Congress & other sickular party to do anything to damage the other parties specifically BJP. Not a single article of Terrorist Ishrat Jahan after CBI removed Amith shah name & same Terrorist Rana Ayub was shouting from roof top that Amith shah was responsible, the more worrying fact is that in India thousand will do the signature campaign to save kasab, ishrat jahan but no body will even remember 26/11 victims

  • nishi

    “Amit Shah had twice in the past sought exemption from personal appearance citing political work, but the then CBI judge JT Utpat had found his excuse inadequate for the court to grant him relief. On June 20, while hearing the application, Utpat allowed the same but made a scathing remark “Everytime you are giving this exemption application without assigning any reason,” he told Shahs counsel”.
    Exemption from personal appearance, is an extremely routine affair. Wonder why Ms.Ayuub was so hell bent on making it sound like he was evading the law. Also, let’s give the judiciary a little credit here, if the judge had found the “excuse” so very inadequate, he wouldn’t grant the exemption no? Plus, at this point, i’m still wondering what application are we talking about here? The bail application of a man out on bail, or the exemption from personal appearance application?

    “In less than a week, Utpat was transferred to a Pune court before he could preside over Shahs discharge application. Shah managed his way out with a tried and tested formula of transferring judges, practiced brazenly in his home state of Gujarat through his tenure as Home Minister.”

    Ok then! This here might take a little explaining. Let me first go on a little definition expedition.
    Bail Application : “procure the release of a person from legal custody, by undertaking that he/she shall appear at the time and place designated and submit him/herself to the jurisdiction and judgment of the court.” and an application for the same is a BAIL APPLICATION

    Discharge Application: Section 239, Crpc when accused shall be discharged. – (1) If, upon considering the police report and the documents sent with it under Section 173 and making such examination, if any, of the accused as the Magistrate thinks necessary and after giving the prosecution and the accused an opportunity of being heard, the Magistrate considers the charge against the accused to be groundless, he shall discharge the accused, and record his reasons for so doing.

    As evident, the two concepts are extremely different. If I safely presume that a man out on bail wouldn’t apply for bail, I can also assume that it was a DISCHARGE APPLICATION hearing. This by default means, they were contesting that there isn’t the charges are groundless. I think Ms.Ayuub needs to do her research before writing. The “power of the pen” will be exponentially multiplied then.

    Now coming to Amit Shah with a Harry Potter wand transferring judges ad nauseum. (Brazenly I might add)
    The High Court has made it mandatory for judicial officers to be transferred every three years, usually to happen in the summer vacations.
    Also, according to several newspaper reports the Bombay High Court had “acceded to a request made by Utpat” for a transfer to Pune because of his daughter’s education.
    I find it a little suspect when Ms.Ayuub conveniently forgets to mention that in her eloquent article.
    Besides, let’s not get into how many judges are transferred annually in every state. I wouldn’t want to sermonise a brilliant journalist.

    “…If the SIT verdict on Narendra Modi’s role in the Gujarat encounters is to be held as the final word, by virtue of it being monitored by the apex court, it is baffling then that Narendra Modi who promised clean and transparent governance to this country and setting up fast track courts to look into cases of criminal charges against politicians has turned a blind eye to Shah’s criminal past.”

    Come on Ms.Ayuub! Your article is fast going from the bizarre to ridiculous!
    Again, Definition :
    SIT: SPECIAL INVESTIGATION TEAM. It is a civilian agency responsible for investigating circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in a corruption, misuse of power, death, serious injury, or allegations of sexual assault. However all full-time SIT investigators are former law enforcement personnel or have worked for law enforcement agencies.
    In which parallel universe do you consider that SIT has the power to deliver VERDICTS? You cant cloak your lack of research by simply adding a line that starts with “by virtue…”

  • nishi

    “With Shah’s induction on the national scene first as the General Secretary of the BJP and now as the BJP President, Modi has risked his own political image for the sake of his ally and friend who has put to shame the best political pundits and strategists from North India with his shrewd manoeuvring.”

    So, by your argument, if modi’s political image has been compromised since Amit Shah was inducted as the general secretary of BJP, pray tell, how did he win a sweeping majority in 2014 elections? Or are we not to consider that as a yardstick for his political image?
    As far as SHREWD MANOEUVRING goes. That’s politics honey. And if you don’t agree with his methods, by all means, write an article explaining his shrewd manoeuvres and critique. If you can’t, your statement is moot and baseless.

    “It was under his tenure as Home Minister that the Gujarat police went on a spree of fake encounters in the state – holding regular press conferences for the media with the bodies of the alleged assassins on display. The officers would claim that the Gujarat CM was under threat from jihadists who were out to assassinate the man who brought back Hindu asmita in Gujarat.”
    Sohrabuddin Sheikh was accused of possessing 40 AK-47 assault rifles that were recovered from his house in Jharania village of Ujjain district in 1995.At the time of his killing, he also had more than 60 pending cases against him, ranging from extorting protection money from marble factories in Gujarat and Rajasthan, to arms smuggling in Madhya Pradesh, to murder cases both in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Sheikh was a notorious underworld criminal with links to the Sharifkhan Pathan alias Chhota Dawood and Abdul Latif gangs, and with Rasool Parti and Brajesh Singh, both known to be close to India’s underworld kingpin Dawood Ibrahim.To escape the police, Sheikh fled with his family from Gujarat to the city of Hyderabad in the state of Telangana.
    (source : Wikipedia)
    Yes, the police do claim that the then CM was under threat from Jihadist forces. Are you telling me that 40 AK47 assault weapons were Christmas gifts from Sohrabbudin and Kauser bi for their children?
    Let me clarify, I don’t support so called “fake encounters” because I trust the legal system. But I would want to ask you a simple question. If u had to stand in front of the barrel of a gun, would you rather have the police holding it, or sohrabbudin? While you fight and weep for the human rights of terrorists, a small mention of the lives they were out to destroy would have been appreciated.

    “Minister of the state was using state machinery to snoop on innocent civilians, monitoring their moves. In this particular case, a young woman whose movements, including aspects of her personal life were being reported to the CM on a daily basis.”

    “I was satisfied with the safety measures taken by the Gujarat Government when my lives were under threat and when I am not complaining what happened in 2009 there is a sinister campaign to target my reputation and of my family,”
    Again, I respect the judiciary too much to comment here. But if YOU must, maybe you should mention ALL the details. Not the ones that perhaps suit your agenda best.

  • nishi

    “But even if one were to dismiss these actions against officials, lawyers, judges who played significant roles in the criminal justice process involving Amit Shah as conjectures, will it not be pertinent to suggest that by appointing Shah as the BJP President, Modi has acted in contradiction to his promise of a free and fair government, which will have no space for vindictiveness. Hasn’t Modi and the BJP under the guidance of the RSS just made the first attack on the principle of clean governance on the basis of which the party came to power?”

    I think I have already refuted Ms.Ayuubs point about transfers etc. I wouldn’t repeat myself like Ms.Ayuub unfortunately does.
    When you suggest Ms. Ayuub, that by appointing Shah, Modi has acted in contradiction to his promise of a free and fair GOVERNMENT, well, Shah is not a part of the GOVERNMENT. He will be once he is exonerated. But not just yet. So I have to wonder what you are going on and on about here.
    (I won’t write an essay on how the concept of “vindictiveness” makes absolutely zero sense in the given context also “Guidance of RSS”- Back to cocktail journalism are we?)

    “Prime Minister Narendra Modi needs to answer this one.”

    This has been a general contention from all commies and leftists. Sadly, that’s not about to happen any time soon, since your questions are ultimately as baseless as your article.

    Note: In my fervent rebuttal, I have tried to not comment on the merits of the ongoing cases. As a citizen, I think it necessary to let the judiciary do its job and not assume the role of the judge. I stand firmly against Media censorship, but I stand firmly against trial by media too. Also, I just wouldn’t give Ms. Ayuub the satisfaction that her article got the ball rolling for a ridiculous media trial.