A sub inspector from Kerala was recently picked up for allegedly forging a letter and leaking it to the press, the content of which read, “ the government had plans on hacking 200 plus emails mostly belonging to Muslims. After the news of the hacking appeared in the press there was an uproar in the Kerala assembly following which the cop, Biju Salim was arrested.
Now, whether the letter was really forged or was the arrest carried out thanks to the uproar in political circles is something that is being investigated. The police who are part of this investigation say that Salim had forged the letter and leaked it to the media knowing fully well that such a publication could well lead to a communal conflict in the state. Moreover they also accuse him being part of a larger conspiracy aimed at disrupting peace in the state. In other words what the police are trying to say is that he attempted to do something that normally any terror group would try and do and that is rake up communal sentiments in the state. One of the officers goes on to state that it is a subject matter of investigation and the various possibilities are being explored.
However there appears to be a lot of confusion regarding this case. Kerala in fact tops the list of the most watched state in the country. It is a well known fact that Kerala has become the epi centre of terrorist activities in the past couple of years. The very fact that a man like Ilyas Kashmiri chose to pick up youth from Kerala goes on to show how preferred this state is for terror activities. There are also issues such as hawala money amounting to nearly Rs 10000 crore which is being pumped into this state and according to the police a large part of it is being used for terror activities.
Surveillance is part of the job of any spy agency. Although unofficial one cannot deny the fact that it is taking place. In many cases it has been also found that governments have ordered such a probe and have often used such information to keep political rivals or coalition partners on tenterhooks. Kerala is no stranger to the evil of politics being mixed with crime. There are various small parties which have often found themselves being dragged into the terror nexus- the likes of Abdul Nasar Madani to name a few. Moreover during election time such activity is usually very high and anti social elements including small time terror organisations have been used to further political causes.
Now speaking about the case on hand there are various doubts that come to one’s mind. While there is a good possibility of the letter being forged, the events that led up to this incident tell a different picture and this is going by the manner in which the system reacted to this incident.
Biju Salim who was part of the high tech cell which was involved in surveillance and hence it is a good possibility he had information regarding secret documents and confidential orders of the government. He was part of the cell since October and had been posted there on deputation. In addition to this he was also doing his MBA after having completed his journalism and PGDCA course.
The fact of the matter remains that Biju Salim is an offender as he is not supposed to pass on such information or documents to the media. While he is part of a terror group or not is something that an investigation would tell, but the fact is that he can always be booked under the Official Secrets Act for passing on confidential information.
This case has taken many swings and it is interesting to note that his suspension from the force did not happen due to forging a document, but because he had leaked a letter which was sent by the Superintendent of Police to the Additional DGP. In the communication it was stated that an inquiry be conducted on 268 email ids of persons allegedly belonging to the Students Islamic Movement of India. However the counter attack to such a probe was that keeping a tab is illegal and especially when this list of 286 had many persons who did not even have a petty crime registered against them.
This case had many more twists and turns. When the news first came out the Chief Minister had said that the matter would be investigated and also advised the media from restraining from writing such communally sensitive articles. The probe too commenced with the angle being the leakage of the letter. Moreover a special team was constituted only to probe the leaking of the letter. This probe had in fact found that the letter had been leaked to the media, but later on it was stated that the letter was forged and given to the media with an intention of creating communal tension.
The police however say that there are many theories and they need to thoroughly probe the matter. However if the first round of probe showed that the letter had been leaked that means that there was actually a letter of this nature in place. So, why did it become a forged document later?
Email or phone tapping requires a go ahead from the Home Ministry and only then does the action become a permissible one according to an order of the Supreme Court of India. However when one has to fight a menace called terrorism, it is very important that tabs are maintained as one needs to act quick and cannot be entangled in red tape.