Investigation Needed into Whether or Not the 6th September Violence was Government Induced

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Political climate of Orissa is agog with speculations over investigations into the 6th September violence that Bhubaneswar witnessed in the context of a Congress congregation. In our view, investigation is needed into whether or not the violence was state induced. Let us elaborate.

The Congress had given a ‘Vidhansabha Gherau’ call and its members, supporters and members of the general public whom the call was not inappropriate had joined the ‘Gherau’ program.

It was a political action by the main Opposition in the State against misrule by the Government.

It was very natural for the Government to try to defeat the Congress purpose.

The heavy presence of police with mob controlling preparedness is indicative of how the Government was looking at the congregation, even before its commencement.

To the people in power, against whose misrule the ‘gherau’ call was given, the responders to the call were not political people, but a mob.

So, it must have been a must for the people in power to project the congregation as a mob.

And for this specific purpose, they must have pressed their trusted men to mingle with the Congress supporters to act as agent provocateurs in the congregation in order to justify use of State-terror against the protesters to shatter the congregation. This is indicated by the brickbats that eventually occurred.

The police, with x-raying eyes kept open, was so very overwhelmingly present on every road, on every lane and sub-lane to the place of the congregation that without help of the police or unless the police had deliberately closed its eyes to ruling party hoodlums entering into the area well equipped with bricks and stones to create the disorder, these arsenals could never have reached the spot. With every photo journalist focussed on the place of the congregation, miscreants entering into the area with throwable objects must certainly have escaped the lenses.

On the other hand, these shenanigans were not catchable by camera. Therefore, the TV cameras missed it and therefore it was not presented in live telecast of this incident. The viewers of TV watched the brickbats, but failed to see who allowed the arsenals enter into the area; because that remained beyond the cameras’ catching capacity.

TV telecasters’ inability to capture the shenanigans does not absolve the government of the crime of misusing police to unleash State-terror on political protesters against its misrule.

But cameras have caught the visible pictures of police action and of protesters’ reaction thereto. We have just kept a few of those pictures on records as a contribution to living history. Nothing personal. No bias.

Our report has shown how the editor of Sambad Soumya Ranjan Patnaik was brutally assaulted by the police when there was no threat to public peace from him and in a place where he was not caught involved with any offense. Was there any reason to beat him in the residential area of a ruling party MLA, if police was not used to cause the chaos?

Police personnel in plain clothes were also seen chasing the protesters, which makes the government side playing the mischief more visible.

Not only ORISSA MATTERS, but also all the newspapers of the State have presented photos of how protesters have been beaten up by the police and like us, they also have shown pictures of how the beaten up people have retorted. Come the Assembly session, the M.G.Road gets choked with barricades made with bamboos in both the sides. The protesters beaten mercilessly by the police, at the end of all the limits of tolerance, seem to have used the same barricades to pull out bamboos to use in self defense.

We very strongly hold, had the Government not viewed the congregation as a mob from the beginning, and had it not deployed so huge packs of police with mob-controlling equipments, and had the agent provocateurs not been helped to play tricks on the congregation, and had the police not closed its eyes to entry of agent provocateurs into the congregation area with arsenals for brickbats, and had the government, instead of barricading the area, allowed the Congress to proceed peacefully with the Gherau, the Congress program could have just been symbolic and M.G. Road would never have seen the acts of violence on September 6.

So, who indulged in violence is not the issue. The issues for investigation should be: why the Government did not allow the Congress to conduct the peaceful “Vidhansabha Gherau” when permission was sought for the same under the police act and by grant of permission, the legitimacy of the Opposition stance was accepted; and why the Police did not stop the arsenals entering into the area of the congress congregation by the agent provocateurs?

Hence, investigation needed into whether or not the 6th September Violence was Government induced.

0 comments » Write a comment

  1. Don’t you think Mr Editor the trouble was not with the Congress having a gherao of the state assembly? Even the trouble did not start with the so-called arousing speech of the leaders of the party at the state level. Trouble started with Jagdish Tytler asking the crowd to break the barricade and forcefully enter the premises of the assembly. This has been recorded by the innumerable visuals taken at the spot. Investigation should, no doubt, be taken up. But how does the Congress explain the conduct of Tytler ? The normaly indisciplined crowd went in for breaking the barricade and in this process attacked the police and the lady constable was mercilessly beated up in full public view and the nation could not accept it. Sudhansu Mohan Mishra, Bhubaneswar

    • Dear Bhubaneswar (Sudhansu) Babu ,
      Thanks for the time given to the article and thanks for the feed back.

      I think, “trouble was not with the Congress”. Its program was a political program, the legitimacy of which was recognized with the permission granted under the Police Act. So, Congress was right in calling for the Gherau.

      It was wrong on part of the Government to have taken the congregation as a mob, which I have shown in the article.

      Even if Tytler was provocative in his speech, that was also political in nature, in tune with the purpose of the congregation and the police knew it and co-operated with him by providing him with necessary security when he moved back from the podium.

      A responsible Government should not have stymied the proposed Gherau by putting up barbed wire barricades on the road; and, as dwelt on in the article, by allowing agent provocateurs to take over the venue.

      If a lady constable was hurt, so also many civilian women in the congregation.

      It was clearly a failure of the Government in providing the Opposition party with the necessary environment to conduct its program peacefully. Democracy entails that the Government must be respectful for the Opposition. But here, from the beginning, the Opposition congregation was treated as a mob and the Police was kept ready with mob-controlling preparedness.

      I do not agree with your observation that the crowd was “normally indisciplined”. Political people holding a political rally must not be taken as “normally indisciplined”. For survival/revival of democracy, such rallies deserve encouragement to keep a misruling Government under check.

      A misruling Government would not appreciate such rallies and therefore, perhaps, what happened on 6th September, has happened.

      As a journalist, I do not belong to any political party. But as a citizen, I am opposed to any restriction on political activities.

      Imagine, the Government should not have put the barricades, that too, barbed wire barricades. Imagine, the Government should not have treated the Congress congregation as a mob. Imagine that agent provocateurs would not have their free day to pelt bricks and stones at whosoever could be instigated. Imagine, the Government had allowed the Gherau to take place. I am sure, the Congress program should have ended as peacefully as they had proposed. Therefore, whether or not the Government had engineered the violence needs be immediately probed into.
      Thanks again for the trouble taken in letting me know of your views.
      Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

  2. Pingback: Governor Orders the Government to Assist Lokpal in Probing into Atrociousness of Police in Opposition Rally « Orissa Matters

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.