Media’s deafening silence on Amit Shah after his name figures in BK Bansal’s suicide note


For once Twitter and social media had got it right and mainstream media had got it completely wrong.

Even as the CBI shed its old epithet of being a “Caged Parrot” for a new, sinister one of being an “Uncaged Vulture” the deafening silence of the latter on the reference to Amit Shah (national president of the ruling party at the Centre- the BJP to which the CBI reports) whose name figured in the suicide note left behind by deceased senior bureaucrat B K Bansal, raised many troubling questions.

B K Bansal
Photo: Indian Express

The obvious question which a few like Rajdeep Sardesai did raise was the CBI’s conduct in this the case, after it emerged that the agency was reprimanded by a court weeks ago for not dealing with the situation in “a humanitarian manner”- an understatement considering the fact that the entire family- I repeat the entire family of the former DG in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs- son Yogesh , daughter Neha, wife Satyabala and Mr. Bansal himself committed suicide , fed up and defeated by the “great humiliation” caused to them by the CBI- India’s premier investigating agency!

The larger issue was that a majority of TV news channels (barring a few reputed portals like Janta Ka Reporter) did not even dare to report about the fact that arguably India’s second or third most powerful politician- Amit Shah had been named in the suicide note whose evidentiary value is of great relevance in criminal law. The reluctance of the fourth estate in a democracy like ours was quite revealing.

Suddenly the “nation did not want to know” why the name of a top BJP neta was being invoked in a mass-suicide note!  One only wonders-God forbid had Arvind Kejriwal, Lalu Prasad , Sonia or Rahul Gandhi been named in that note what would have been the demand of these 9pm kangaroo courts?  I can assure you that it would have been nothing less than their exit from public life. I wonder why the same standard wasn’t applied to Amit Shah because the context in which his name appears in the suicide note is quite disturbing. And the manner in which CBI has been paying obeisance to him post 2014 only makes the plot more sinister.

The suicide note mentions how a CBI Deputy Inspector General and two lady officers allegedly tortured Bansal’s wife. The note also mentions about a havaldar who allegedly abused his wife and daughter. Bansal says that DIG Sanjeev Gautam asked the lady officers accompanying him to torture “these women so much that they are almost dead”! Bansal goes on to state that the DIG told him “Your future generations will be scared of my name.”

His statement then reads that he DIG told Bansal that he was “Amit Shah’s man” and “no one could harm him”. There is no reason to doubt Bansal on this front- dying declarations are usually treated to be true unless proven otherwise and this particular aspect of Sanjeev Gautam being close to Amit Shah is mentioned and confirmed by other news sources as well.

Photo courtesy: hindustan times
Photo courtesy: hindustan times


In an investigative report by India Samvad dated 18th April 2016 , the news portal mentions how Gautam, a 1995 batch IRS officer, considered to be close to Amit Shah, was preferred against IPS officers and appointed as DIG in Delhi. The report which has not been contradicted until now said “Sanjeev due to his close relation with Amit Shah, talks directly to him and take his orders. He is even said to overlook CBI Director Anil Sinha orders many times.”

This is extremely troubling if true. Was Amit Shah the extra-constitutional benefactor of a CBI officer whose remit was to function within the realms of the law? Did this officer believe that he could use any means, function in a manner that goes beyond his legal remit merely because he had the blessings of a political heavyweight?  If true, is this not a “fake encounter” of sorts perpetrated by Amit Shah- against the very idea and concept of professional, disciplined functioning by officers of an investigating agency in accordance with the Rule of Law? Has Amit Shah’s extra-constitutional political patronage not turned the caged parrot into an un-caged vulture?

Some more legitimate questions get added to this now. Was it at the behest of Amit Shah or the BJP political leadership that the CBI over-enthusiastically and vengefully conducted raids in the office of Arvind Kejriwal- a sitting chief minister of Delhi?

The same CBI conducted raids on yet on another opposition CM-Virbhadra Singh, without regard for its own rules, on the day his daughter was getting married. And Modi’s “Cleanchit Bureau of Investigation” also did a U-turn by not only putting up a shabby opposition to Amit Shah’s discharge hearing in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh “fake” encounter case but also refusing to challenge the verdict of the special court in a higher court after claiming in the past that it had all the evidence to nail Amit Shah in the case!

Some like former journalist Ashutosh believe that Amit Shah is directly responsible and must be summoned to the cop house and be interrogated for his “role” in Bansal’s suicide.

I believe Amit Shah , PM Modi and the BJP have a vicarious liability -for allowing CBI to be completely emasculated of any shred of professionalism and integrity it had.
Isn’t it high time then that the BJP which spoke the loudest while it was in opposition about CBI being a “Congress Bureau of Investigation” to walk the talk and make CBI an autonomous and independent investigating agency, that is free from the clutches of the Central government and consequently free from any kind of political pressure or agenda? By doing so won’t officers operate more professionally and fairly than act in an illegal or subservient way under political considerations or with the knowledge that they have political backing from likes of Amit Shah? Isn’t it time to set the caged parrot free and tame the uncaged vulture?
(The author is Congress’ Maharashtra general secretary and views expressed here are his own)