Amitabh Kumar Das is a 1994 batch IPS Officer. When he was a police observer in 2012 elections in Gujarat he had to face the same issue after he had reported about Modi goons terrorising Christian tribals and Malegaon Blast accused Aseemanand was spewing venom against them. Read what he says...
I have never met Muhammad Mohsin. I first heard his name when he was placed under suspension by the Election Commission of India. His fault? Mohsin dared to search Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s helicopter in Sambalpur, Odisha. Mohsin, a 1996 IAS officer of the Karnataka cadre, was in Sambalpur as the Election Commission’ s General Observer.
For the uninitiated, the ECI appoints 3 kinds of observers to ensure free and fair polls. IAS officers function as General Observers, IPS officers as Police Observers and IRS officers as Expenditure Observers. To ensure their impartiality, they are not local officers. Thus a Karnataka cadre officer was in Odisha as the General Observer.
I myself have done duties in several states as the ECI Police Observer. Now, Muhammad Mohsin took his duties quite seriously. He tried to search Narendra Modi ‘s chopper. He must have received inputs about black money being carried in Modi’s “udan-khatola“. But the self-styled chowkidar was not amused. The PMO complained against Mohsin to the Election Commission. The ECI, ever ready to please its political masters, dug up an obscure rule about SPG protectees and put the fearless Observer under suspension.
Now many questions arise. Firstly, prior to the attempted search of Modi’s helicopter, pictures of a large black trunk being put in Modi’s chopper went viral on the social media. The Congress demanded an inquiry into the mysterious trunk but the Election Commission was unmoved. Mohsin must have seen those pictures. And he was duty-bound to search the PM’s chopper.
Secondly, even if he committed some mistakes on technical grounds, suspension is too big a punishment. When I was an IPS trainee at the National Police Academy in Hyderabad, probationers regularly received memos for minor mistakes. The memos gently told us “to be careful in future”. And the matter ended. Nobody was thrown out of the Police Academy. As a Hindi saying goes :you don’t hang a person for stealing a cucumber! Punishment should be in proportion to the crime committed.
The Election Commission should have realised that Mohsin had done his duty in good faith. He could have been told to “be careful in future”. But Election Commissioners acted like true Modi Bhakts. They pounced upon Mohsin like tigers. I can feel Mohsin ‘s pain because I have shared his fate.
In November 2012, I was the Election Commission Police Observer in the Daang district of Gujarat. Modi was the Gujarat Chief Minister. I saw with my own eyes how Christian tribals were terrorised by Narendra Modi’s goons. Churches were set on fire and Swami Aseemanand spewed venom. I sent a detailed report on Modi’s misdeeds to the Election Commission. Next day, I got a phone call from the Deputy Election Commissioner Vinod Zutshi. He was very angry with me. He asked me how the Indian Express had got wind of my report. And next day, the Election Commission recalled me from Daang! I realised that like the CBI, the ECI was also a “caged parrot”.
In India, 99% of IAS/IPS officers are bootlickers. They wag their tails like dogs in the presence of their political masters. As TN Sheshan famously said, the steel frame of civil services has become a bamboo frame. Some officers are honourable exceptions. Sanjeev Bhatt, Mohammad Mohsin and yours truly!
Mohsin comes from a very humble background. His abba Ghulam Mohammad was a motor mechanic. Mohsin became an IAS through sheer hard work with no backing. And now he has dared to bring Narendra Modi to book. He is like my younger brother. He will be released from suspension and one day he himself will become the Chief Election Commissioner of India. And he has shown the country how an officer should work. I call him Hero Hindustani!
(Amitabh Kumar Das is a 1994 batch IPS officer.)