Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Conviction by Deportation

Conviction By Deportation

On 5th December a Nepalese student, Nitu Singh, was deported by the Maharashtra Police to Kathmandu on grounds that she was allegedly involved in anti-national activities. Reports state that this deportation was carried out at the behest of her influential politician husband – a domestic feud being couched as national security issue. The Pune police has stuck to the stand that as part of their “secret-operation” they found that she was involved in “anti-national” activities and hence handed over to her parents. DCP, Pune also made a statement that Nitu’s activities were constantly under watch. Home Ministry has taken a completely contradictory stand – Mr. Chidambaram said that there is no case against her as far as the central government is concerned. The Home Ministry sources also indicated that the Pune Police has exceeded its brief in deporting Nitu Singh without highlighting her alleged links with Maoists to the Home Ministry, Intelligence Bureau (IB) or Research and Analysis Wing (Raw).

The facts thus far are – a) Pune Police clandestinely deports a Nepalese Film student with complete disregard to procedure on grounds of threat to national security; b) There are allegations that her influential politician husband is behind the deportation; c) Nitu Singh’s father had written several letters to Pune Police seeking their help in deporting her and in a subsequent letter to Ms. Brinda Karat, he “admits that he was misled by his son-in-law and he would like Nitu Singh to finish her studies”; d) Neither the Home Ministry, IB or Raw is informed about her “anti-national activities”.

The Pune Police operation is so secretive that they did not even inform the most important offices (RAW, IB and Home Ministry) dealing with threat to national security. Further, why did the police not arrest Nitu Singh for further investigation? If the state police is to be believed, then Nitu Singh would definitely have some accomplice or an organizational back-up in her “anti-national” activities”.

The Pune Police actions smack of impunity and illegality. It is a sign of a banana republic. But India is not a banana republic. PILSARC feels that strong action should be taken against the officers who ordered and carried out this operation. The Centre must also take this issue seriously and ensure that such clandestine, illegal acts do not recur. It reflects poorly on the whole nation and casts serious doubts on the institutions in India, which are meant to promote and protect democracy, but are acting against it.

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