ANCHOR / SPECIAL REPORT
In a classic case of ‘where there is will, there is way’, former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah was booked under Public Safety Act with the administration serving him notice at 1 AM and declaring his home at Gupkar Road in Srinagar as a jail for lodging him in a split second. This is how things move when the government means business. But when there is no will, things move differently. Six months ago, a designated authority under the Public Safety Act slapped the stringent law on a land-grabber of the Samba district. Believe it or not, he is yet to be traced and booked. Claiming to be pro-active, the police is still clueless about the accused, who is at large, mocking at the law enforcing agency.
MIRACLES OF JAMMU POLICE
On the condition of anonymity, insiders stated that the then honest Superintendent of Police and the SHO concerned neither yielded to political pressure nor accepted bribe. However, they were transferred to oblige the sympathisers of the PSA offender, who fled away after injuring some cops. How can a criminal go missing with a huge police network around unless there is connivance? In the Bari Brahmana case in District Samba, the accused is wanted under PSA, a law enacted by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in his capacity as Chief Minister in 1976. The law was brought essentially to tackle timber smuggling as those involved in the crime at that time used to easily get away with minimal detention. Land grabbing is far heinous crime than the timber smuggling and therefore the Samba accused had been booked under the PSA probably to avoid his trial for a specific period. Police as also the accused understand the severity and stringency of the law under which bail is not available. As per the amended PSA of 2012 the government can put an offender in detention without trial for six months, which could be extended, if necessary, up to two years. This is a fit case for probing the possibility of corruption angle since the accused remains vulnerable to detention without any prospect of bail. Now that the stringent law has come under focus after detention of high profile politician-that too of the stature of Farooq Abdullah-the question arises as to how petty criminals, like the Samba land grabber, afford freedom, especially in a terror infested State where the police is expected to remain alert and agile. Can an organisation be trusted for tackling terror or tracking terrorists, which cannot lay hands on a land-grabber? The people would certainly like to know the reasons behind the offender getting off the hook. Had the police any will to trace an offender wanted under PSA, there were various other means to have him locked up?
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