New Delhi: The possibilities of the involvement of a terror outfit in the gruesome killing of National Investigation Agency (NIA) officer Mohammad Tanzil Ahmed are fading with each passing day since he was gunned down in the Bijnor district of Uttar Pradesh on Saturday. And that is a serious cause for concern.
Two assailants pumped nearly 24 bullets into Ahmed with ruthless efficacy, highlighting the professional manner in which they carried out their entire operation, reminiscent of the Sicilian Mafiosi. They used 9mm pistols, a weapon bore restricted in India, which gives another indication of the sophisticated arsenal acquired by the underworld in UP. Ahmed’s wife got injured while his children were left unscathed.
The killers came with the sole objective of eliminating Ahmed and not the others. In western UP, there have been many reports of hired assassins having acquired the training of precision killers. Apparently, Ahmed’s involvement with the investigation of cases linked to terrorism gave rise to the speculation that his killing could have been the handiwork of Pakistan’s ISI. In the given circumstances, such a hypothesis does not find any credence.
All this is troubling news for those living in Akhilesh Yadav’s Uttar Pradesh. In fact, a strike by a terrorist organisation would have easily given a fig leaf to the government to conceal its hideous collusion with criminals in the country’s most populous state. And there is every reason to blame it on the doorsteps of Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam Singh Yadav.
Take the example of the gruesome killing of Deputy Superintendent of Police Zia Ul Haque in Kunda block of Pratapgarh district two years ago. The Deputy SP was chased and gunned down by those close to Raghuraj Pratap Singh aka Raja Bhaiyya, who is a minister in the UP cabinet. The case is at best being hushed up even by the CBI, which is entrusted to investigate it. Meanwhile, Raja Bhaiyya is back in the cabinet.
Mulayam Singh Yadav has always been known for patronising criminals. In his long political career, Yadav had always shown a peculiar penchant to create 'Robin Hoods' out of criminals across the state. He created and unleashed people like DP Yadav, Mukhtar Ansari and Atique Ahmed, whose formidable crime-records stood them in good stead in the state’s politics.
In 2012, when Akhilesh Yadav was elected as the Chief Minister, he was not seen as a chip off the old block. Far from it, he came across as a scion of a political family who would stay away from criminalisation of the polity.
Initially, Akhilesh Yadav gave such indications when he resisted attempts to induct DP Yadav into the Samajwadi Party (SP)on the eve of elections. But, once elected as Chief Minister, he proved to be far worse than his father in tackling crime in the state. In nearly four years of his regime, he has come across as a dabbler while dealing with statecraft.
There are enough reasons to cite why the law and order situation deteriorates every time the Samajwadi Party (SP) comes to power. The institution of the police, which is entrusted with the task of enforcing order, is gradually turned into a tool to realise political objectives.
Instead of controlling crime, the prime task of a large section of officials in the state administration is to play second fiddle to their political masters. This is an ideal situation for criminals to thrive and UP has become a safe haven for the underworld, one where the police is literally on the run.
It would be wrong to assume that the UP police, which produces one of the finest officers in the country, is to be blamed for the malaise. For instance, the incumbent Director General of Police, Javeed Ahmed, is highly acclaimed.
But it would require superhuman qualities, even for a honest and efficient DGP, to turn around and resurrect the instruments of policing that are perverted beyond recognition.
Tanzil Ahmed’s killing would not have caused so much concern if a terrorist organisation had claimed responsibility for the killing. That the underworld in UP has acquired sophistication and courage to gun down an NIA official and get away with it is more sinister than any terrorist act. These are all signs of UP falling into a crevice of crime, which is far more ominous than terrorism.