David Devadas (for Info only, not official)

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David Devadas

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    ...Only the rule of law can provide the space for free speech or dissent. Nor would the nation be able to thrive without the justice that the rule of law provides. It is therefore imperative that the public be able to trust the fair-mindedness of the police’s investigations and evidence-gathering, and feel confident that nobody can get away with challenging the majesty of the courts. In this light, the most distressing part of the whole affair is the blasé attitude of many observers to the revelation that the videos and pictures on the basis of which a media trial – and conviction – of students took place were fabricated. They are not appalled. They are not crying out for those who fudged putative evidence to be brought to book. No. ...

    ABP on Feb. 23, 2016, midnight

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    ...A superman-like figure, dressed in a police uniform, somersaults heroically into the frame. The super-cop chases and bashes the young men in the style of a Hindi, Telugu or Tamil film’s fight sequence. This ad film appears to have been presented by Delhi Police. The taxpayer has presumably paid for this presentation of ready-to-order justice of the Wild West kind. There is no reference to evidence, prosecution, legal procedure or sentencing. Nor, in the adrenaline rush of fist-pounding, is there a sense of proportionate response. At least in the arena of terrorism and counter-insurgency, it has been clearly proven that disproportionate response only causes more insurgency. The film demonstrates the extent to which the police, the government, the media and the public at large have taken this sort of on-the-spot vengeful police violence for granted, as appropriate, even praise-worthy. ...

    ABP on Feb. 17, 2016, midnight

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    ...The main route into town passed right by the bungalows of the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police. The gathered throng pushed hard against the main barricade half a kilometer from the Babri mosque, yelling slogans as the sun glinted off trishuls. The CRPF men on a raised platform opposite that barricade panicked as the barrier gave way just as a group of sadhus to their left began to shower them with stones. They opened fire. There was bedlam across the town until a flag march by the ITBP restored order around the mosque. Rumours spread like wildfire and news agencies wrongly reported that 16 kar sevaks had been killed. In fact, six died, including one injured person who died that night in hospital. Mulayam Singh Yadav was the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. ...

    ABP on Jan. 28, 2016, midnight

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    ...The style of this funds transfer to J&K – if not also the content, i.e., the amount – has left a bad taste in the mouth. The late chief minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed repeatedly asked from his hospital bed during the last days of his life whether the money had been transferred. This is a part of the amount – already much pared down from what the state had requested – which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised at a public meeting in Srinagar on 7 November. That was already more than a year late, for Kashmir was flooded in September 2014. Although a major part of the amount meant for families who had suffered losses has now been transferred, more is awaited. ...

    ABP on Jan. 18, 2016, midnight

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    ...For, this is not just support to a successor after the death of the incumbent chief minister. She is today a symbol of women’s leadership in a state that has been polarized by bigoted religious forces of various sorts. Despite the daunting ground situation in the state, it appears that some BJP legislators – relatively junior but hard-line ones – have tried to push a draft for a new power-sharing agreement between the BJP and the PDP, of which Mehbooba is the president and leader. These legislators are pushing their party to negotiate for sharing the chief minister’s post for half the period of the remaining five years of this legislature’s six year term. They apparently want a BJP chief minister for two-and-a-half years. This is an explosive issue, and could lead to destabilizing and polarizing the political situation in the state even further. It appears that, at least initially, the senior party leaders and mentors at the national level did not accept this new draft. ...

    ABP on Jan. 8, 2016, midnight

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    ...Not only has his death left a permanent vacuum in the lives of his family and other loved ones, it generated tremendous ill-will among the people of Jammu and Kashmir, by and large on communal lines. Even the normally restrained chief minister, Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, claimed in a recent video interview that the `inhuman’ killing had caused an upsurge of militancy among young Kashmiris. Undeterred, activists have obtained divergent orders regarding the state flag over the past week. A judge ordered that the state flag be given due respect at the same level as the national flag. ...

    ABP on Jan. 4, 2016, midnight

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    ...Now that the dust is settling on the recent raid on Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s office by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), it appears that Kejriwal has effectively trumped the move. In the public mind, it is Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who is generally perceived to be in the dock. At the most, the principal secretary to the chief minister is also seen vaguely as having been under investigation – but that does not entail political cost. What matters to Kejriwal politically is that nobody appears to have come away from the high drama of the CBI raid with the impression that the chief minister is in the dock. In fact, the way the matter is playing out, the raid could turn out disastrously for the establishment at the Centre in political terms. I would not be surprised if the Aam Aadmi Party fares extremely well in the Punjab assembly elections which are due soon. ...

    ABP on Dec. 23, 2015, midnight

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    ...Having killed a Colonel and severely injured a Lt-Colonel, among others, they have inflicted far more damage than they have suffered. The fighting continues well into the fourth week, even in a bitterly cold early winter. It is difficult to say how long the encounter will last. Apart from one militant who died of the cold, only one other militant was killed two weeks after the encounter began. The army deployed mortars, other heavy weapons and paratroopers. Reports say that parts of three battalions have been involved. Apparently, the scene on the heights is straight out of a high-octane 1990s Hollywood war film. ...

    ABP on Dec. 2, 2015, midnight