Editorial : A credibility crisis: On Mecca Masjid verdict

The acquittal(दोषमुक्ति/रिहाई) of five suspects in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case is likely to reinforce(पुनः प्रचालित करना/पुनः प्रचालित करना) public cynicism(कुटिलता/शंकुवाद) in the country about the state of the criminal justice system. Regardless of whether the acquittal was owing to the innocence(बेगुनाही/भोलापन) of Swami Aseemanand and four others belonging to a Hindu right-wing group, or because the prosecuting(अभियुक्त करना/पीछा करना) agency lacked the resolve and freedom to obtain(प्राप्त करना/हासिल करना) their conviction, the outcome is undoubtedly a substantial denial of justice for a crime that killed nine people and injured many others. It
also shattered(नष्ट करना/टुकड़े टुकड़े करना) the lives of dozens of Muslims who were taken into custody by the Hyderabad police in the immediate aftermath of the blast in May 2007; their arbitrary(मनमाना) incarceration(क़ैद करना), alleged(कथित तौर पर) custodial(कारागार ) torture(यातना) and the protracted court hearings amounted to grave miscarriage of justice. It has a striking similarity to the Malegaon blasts in Maharashtra: a group of Muslims being portrayed(चित्रित किया) as the perpetrators(अपराधियों/मुजरिम) in the initial(प्रारंभिक) stages, but the involvement of a Hindu group being uncovered later. The police first named the Harkat-ul-Jihadi-e-Islami as the organisation(संगठन/संस्था) involved. The Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over the probe, chargesheeted 21 suspects, but they were acquitted in 2009 for want of evidence. It was only in 2010 that the CBI named some members of Abhinav Bharat, a few of whom were formerly RSS pracharaks, in a fresh charge sheet. The case changed hands again in 2011 and went to the National Investigation Agency.
The prosecution case appeared to have been significantly bolstered(बल मिला) by a confession by Aseemanand in 2010 in a magistrate’s court in Delhi, but his subsequent(आगामी) retraction(कब्जा/वापस लेना) cast a shadow over its voluntary nature. However, given the details in his statement on the planning and execution(क्रियान्वयन/फाँसीं) of some key terror attacks between 2006 and 2008, including bomb attacks in Malegaon, on the Samjhauta Express, at the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad and the Ajmer Dargah, there will be inevitable(अनिवार्य) questions about why the NIA failed to produce any significant evidence in the trial. Even after the judgment, one is at a loss to understand who was responsible for the blasts. If the initial knee-jerk response of the police was in keeping with the mood of the times, the record of the central agencies appears tainted(भ्रष्ट/बिगड़ा हुआ) by shoddy investigation and irresolute(डगमग/अस्थिर) prosecution. The NIA has faced charges of going soft on Hindutva groups after the regime change at the Centre in 2014, once even from a public prosecutor handling the Malegaon blast case. That 66 out of 226 witnesses turned hostile reflects poorly on the investigating agency and exposes the lack of legal safeguards to protect witnesses. The investigating agencies face a credibility crisis(विश्वसनीयता संकट), and how public faith in their impartiality(निष्पक्षता) can be restored is something the country ought to worry about now.


Important Vocabulary
1.Acquittal(दोषमुक्ति/रिहाई)
Synonyms: absolution, amnesty, clearance, deliverance, discharge
Antonyms: employmen, thiring, hold, retention, blame
2.Obtain(प्राप्त करना/हासिल करना)
Synonyms: access, achieve, attain, collect, earn
Antonyms: disperse, distribute, divide, fail, forfeit
3.Shattered(नष्ट करना/टुकड़े टुकड़े करना)
Synonyms: blast, burst, crack, crush, dash
Antonyms: aid, assist, build, combine, compliment
4.Torture(यातना)
Synonyms: misery, persecution, suffering, torment, ache
Antonyms: happiness, joy, comfort, contentment, health
5.Perpetrators(अपराधियों/मुजरिम)
Synonyms: assassin, criminal, executioner, perpetrator, soldier
6.Arbitrary(मनमाना)
Synonyms: capricious, discretionary, erratic, frivolous, inconsistent
Antonyms: consistent, definite, dependable, logical, reasonable
7.Bolstered(बल मिला)
Synonyms: aid, boost, buoy, buttress, cushion
Antonyms: block, decrease, discourage, halt, hinder
8.Execution(क्रियान्वयन/फाँसीं)
Synonyms: beheading, crucifixion, decapitation, electrocution, gassing
Antonyms: abandoning, disregard, failure, forgetting, ignorance
9.Tainted(भ्रष्ट/बिगड़ा हुआ)
Synonyms: contaminated, corrupted, dirty, infected, polluted
Antonyms: moral, nice, clean, fresh, pure
10.Impartiality(निष्पक्षता)
Synonyms: equality, fairness, neutrality, probity, justice
Antonyms: unfairness

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