Who knows the asli truth about Kundra or Sood?
Despite all the great work our Mumbai police have done – and they are good at policing if left to do their jobs without political interference – there are plenty of stories of endemic corruption at the top. . This is nothing new. Mumbaikars have had to put up with blatant acts of corruption, forgery, rewards and more for decades. We have seen how our former top cop (Param Bir Singh) ‘disappeared’ into the air. Gone without a trace, so to speak. Who can believe such a false statement? He is still lapata, the authorities insist, although the rumor in the street confirms several sightings on the golf course of Chandigarh! But the public is confided in nonsense, which lacks basic common sense! If our cops are so stupid they can’t track down a coworker who went underground to escape arrest, then we’re in big trouble!
The bitter and terrible truth is very different. It took artist Chintan Upadhaya six long years to secure bail in a murder case that has yet to be resolved. Indrani Mukerjea is still cooling his heels in Byculla Women’s Prison, for the unsolved murder of his daughter Sheena Bora. Three Kapoor ladies from “Yes Bank” (mother and two daughters) were recently arrested and thrown into the same prison. There are a number of inmates awaiting trial in our prisons for offenses they may or may not have committed. Meanwhile, lawyers representing these wealthy grow richer as their incarcerated clients wait for indictments to be filed and time-consuming trials to begin.
Raj Kundra and his associates were released on bail a few days ago. Kundra has not been charged with any fatal crimes like murder, and his attorneys have successfully argued that it was a bail offense, to begin with. Meanwhile, the man’s reputation (as it is) was destroyed as media vultures became overdriven. Will the public ever know who or what was behind Kundra’s arrest? Some say it was a disgruntled senior policeman who blackmailed Kundra. The demands kept getting bigger and bigger, until Kundra could no longer meet them. Or refused. That was it! Vendetta followed quickly and he was cast to the Wolves. The cops in the know have looked away – the brotherhood of cops assures him. Cover the cops for the cops! This is how a corrupt system survives and thrives in perpetuity. Who is going to whine at a powerful colleague?
Sonu Sood’s case is different and seems politically motivated. Suddenly, the actor who was hailed as some sort of migrant worker messiah during the pandemic was accused of all kinds of serious financial forgery. Watch the timing of the charges! Arvind Kejriwal, the controversial Delhi chief minister, had just appointed Sood a goodwill ambassador amid much fanfare. This shocked political rivals, who struggled to dislodge Kejriwal and take control of the Indian capital. Whether Sood is guilty or not, comes next. He has vehemently declared his innocence and insists that he has not touched a single rupee from the donations which continue to flow into the fund he started to help the needy. He also said he had no political ambitions. Even assuming that he is misleading the public, and that all cases against him are genuine, one cannot rule out the games politicians are playing, with the full cooperation of investigative agencies. Informal conversations are sometimes enough to shed light on how easily corrupt officials can mend citizens who refuse to follow the line.
Blackmail, extortion, harassment, some of our cops can lead bullying master classes. The Neta are known for their bond with flexible police officers. How do we know that the men mentioned in this column weren’t accused of refusing to pay? Money laundering, tax evasion, cookbooks, it’s all in a day’s work! Sonu Sood has been hailed as the ultimate savior of the most disadvantaged part of our society. Today everything he stands for and has done is called into question and come under scrutiny. No problem with all of this, provided these raids are conducted in good faith to uncover Sood’s large-scale misdeeds. If he’s being targeted for being “Kejriwal’s guy” then we have a major problem with that. From benefactor to shady delinquent, go ahead and prove it.
These are just a few high profile cases that we refer to here. There are thousands of other strangers rotting behind bars for crimes they may not have committed. Unfortunately, we don’t have the mechanisms in place to protect the rights of people like them. Instead, we’ve got some fall guys taking up rap, with nothing happening for the people at the top!
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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