Why treat Headly with such deference?

Published: February 12, 2016 - 15:17 Updated: February 12, 2016 - 15:40

Are we going to reward those who killed Ishrat Jehan?
Faraz Ahmad Delhi

What has Dawood Gilani, nee David Coleman Headley, disclosed to the much touted Mumbai court through that highly over rated public prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam which was not known so far? 

How are the so called disclosures of Gilani/Headley more revealing than the briefcase full of video and audio cassettes and other documents showing ISI involvement in the 1993 Mumbai blasts provided by Yakub Memon more revealing? 

Gilani/Headley did five recces of Mumbai to identify the targets to be hit by the Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists, who finally launched their offensive via the sea on Mumbai on November 26, 2008. Gilani, ostensibly an operative of the US’ FBI consciously and deliberately, knowing full well the consequences of his action, chose to participate in the “holy war” of the Pakistani terrorists because he felt hatred against India like any other Jihadi, say Maulana Masood Azhar. But having completed his mission he went and hid under the skirt of Uncle Sam to seek US protection through a plea bargain. He is now safely ensconced supposedly in some US prison of which we in India know nothing. 

Did he deserve to be pardoned and made an approver ostensibly to secure some valuable information not available to the Indian authorities yet? But he has not revealed anything new! All this, including his attempt to acquit the Gujarat government under its then chief minister Narendra Modi of killing an unarmed defenceless young girl Ishrat Jehan, by labeling her an ISI agent, has appeared any number of times in the media, quoting this same Headley. So why is all this being given top billing today? More than Yakub, much more than him it is Dawood Gilani who deserves nothing but a death sentence for waging war against India. But here we are treating him like a State guest. 

Initially there was no clarity why Headley, whose whereabouts the US administration is still not willing to share with the Modi government, is being given this place of honour not granted to any other Muslim terrorist, by the Indian state. And that congenital liar Ujjwal Nikam, who admitted on his own volition that he lied about Ajmal Kasab asking for Biryani in Arthur Road jail, just to influence the course of his trial, is speaking to that heinous criminal with such deference and restrain never before seen in his interrogation of any other terrorist. 

But it is now crystal clear that the whole conspiracy to secure pardon for Dawood Gilani and then make him speak from some undisclosed destination in the US of A, was hatched to put an ISI seal on the IB assertion that Ishrat Jehan was an ISI agent. But why was this so important since in any case we know for sure no one would be punished for that fake encounter on June 4, 2004 in Ahmedabad. For all the fairness and just conduct of our courts, no relevant evidence will be put before the judges. That, after all is in the hands of the state, whose reins are in the hands of Narendrabhai Damodardas Modi and his National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval. Every officer implicated in the fake encounter case is now out and reinstated in his office. So why whip a dead horse? 

There appears to be only one reason. That there was an IB officer by the name of Rajendra Kumar, (a confidant of Doval), then posted in Ahmedabad and at whose instance the whole operation to kill Ishrat Jehan and her employer Pranesh Pillai, himself an intelligence informer,  was conducted. According to the CBI, Kumar had interrogated Ishrat Jehan before faking that encounter. Now is the time to reward all loyalists and give them prime posting or else honour them with Padma Bhushan or Padma Shri. The Modi administration has to gainfully utilize Rajendra Kumar and all such officers’ services in the coming days and that’s where Headley’s certificate of good conduct to all those, starting with Rajendra Kumar, who conducted all those fake encounters in Gujarat then, will come in handy. 

Yakub Memon, even though he came to India of his own sweet will and willingly disclosed everything to the Indian investigators, did not play the game. So he had to be hanged. But Dawood Gilani may next be in line for a national honour along with Rajendra Kumar, D G Vanzara, N K Amin and other respected officers of the Gujarat government.

Are we going to reward those who killed Ishrat Jehan?
Faraz Ahmad Delhi

Read more stories by Why treat Headly with such deference?