Open Letter to Mayank Austen Soofi PDF Print E-mail

KK Kak

This refers to your article "Our man in Batla House" (Livemint, July 03, 2016 -, part of a series (according to the print edition) of “intimate takes on city neighbourhoods”. While the “intimate” take is interesting enough, it is not clear why, when you admit “one doesn’t know what or whom to believe”, you still choose (perhaps not so-blindly?) to insinuate the pro-jihadi version of the Batla House encounter put forward by that locality's residents.

You start by the calling the neighbourhood “much maligned”. Surely, if a neighbourhood supports convicted terrorists, it deserves to be maligned?

Then you refer to the killing of two” alleged terrorists”. Alleged? Terrorists are “alleged” only till the court gives its verdict - after that, they are either innocent or terrorists. Surely you know that the court gave its verdict in 2013, declaring the encounter to be genuine. In other words, there were no “alleged terrorists”, only terrorists. And if you can't believe the court, then whom will you believe? The neighbours and buddies of the terrorists? Incidentally, the Delhi Police, the National Human Rights Commission, two bitterly-opposed governments (UPA and NDA), as well as the court, have all said the same thing - and you still don't know whom to believe!

Finally, you call the encounter “infamous”. It would be infamous if it was fake. It was not fake so it was not infamous. Necessary and brave perhaps, but not infamous.

People in France don't call the Charlie Hebdo killers "alleged terrorists". Americans don't call the

Boston bombing convicts "alleged terrorists". Bangladeshis are not calling the recent jihadi attack in Dhaka "alleged terrorism". So why are you calling the Batla House convicts "alleged terrorists"?

Why are you so disrespectful of the court’s decision? Why are you a jihad apologist? Do you not believe in the court convictions of Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon either?