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But not a witch-hunt. We are free to surmise what happened, what went wrong. I have my own ideas. From all accounts, Rizwanur was a very fine young man and his death is a loss not just to his immediate family but to all of us who value decency, humanity and hard work. The media circus, however, is turning the matter into a jatra, a melodrama that depicts only one side and presumes that all those named in connection with the affair have complicity in his death.
But … I know personally two of the three IPS officers whose names have come into the discussion. One I have met several times – soft-spoken, polite, helpful and from all that I’ve seen, a decent person. The other has been a colleague and is a friend. I have trusted him with my life and would do so again. Not only is he a fair and decent man, he also respects the law he works for. On one occasion many years ago, he pulled me back when I lost my temper in a conflict situation. Not just because it might have sparked further conflict, but also because he believed – and he told me this – that as an officer, violence should be my last resort.
This man is not a murderer. I’ll stake anything on that.
Update: A friend in a GoI police organisation pointed out that –
· A hired killer is more likely to operate under cover of darkness than in broad daylight
· It is common practice for such killers to dispose of the body far from the site of murder (sometimes even in another state) rather than leave the body at the site
· People under stress may have sudden suicidal impulses
· There were several procedural irregularities on the part of the police, starting with the fact that the matter lay within the jurisdiction of the West Bengal Police and not the Calcutta Police Commissionerate
The Telegraph today asks why the focus has shifted to punishing the police officers instead of finding out how Rizwanur died. I agree. Justice is not served by branding scapegoats.
And I say again, my friend is not a murderer.