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9 Feb, 2014

Moment of truth for India – The Hindu

For the first time in the history of independent India, a high official of its intelligence services stands indicted for cold-blooded killing in the service of the Republic. Thursday’s Central Bureau of Investigation charge sheet against former Intelligence Bureau Special Director Rajinder Kumar and his subordinates for the alleged extra-judicial execution of Maharashtra residents Ishrat Jahan Raza and Javed Sheikh, as well as two alleged Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba operatives, marks an unprecedented challenge for India’s national security system. The CBI’s charge sheet has blown the lid off the comforting fiction that extra-judicial killings are aberrations, crimes carried out by brutish policemen and villainous provincial politicians. In this case, the Gujarat Police might have played executioner, but the charges against Mr. Kumar give reason to believe that the death warrants were signed, so to speak, in North Block. Loud and acrimonious political debate has broken out on whether the four victims were linked to terrorism or not, which really is an irrelevant issue. Instead, political leaders must introspect on the role of governments in encouraging murder as a tool of national security, and demonstrate the legislative will needed to set wrongs right.

Read the rest: Moment of truth for India – The Hindu.