Whoever said you can’t judge a book by its cover, that guy deserves an award for original thought.
Take Raja Bhaiya (dear brother, Raja). The epithet ‘Bhaiya’ is a very endearing kind of address, normally reserved for male elders you love and respect deeply. Raja Bhaiya lives in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India.
Outwardly, Raja Bhaiya, 44, gives one the impression of a studious young college graduate, a harmless guy in white kurta salwar and a non-descript grey waistcoat, who probably lectures in some obscure government college, having obtained an LLB degree from Lucknow University. Take a look at the image below. That’s him with his hands together in the traditional Indian gesture of greeting, the namaste:-
The appearance however is deceptive. It hides a monster, a piece of work who has scores of charges filed against him. Some of them are murder, attempted murder, terrorism, dacoity (that’s what they call armed robbery in India), abduction and rape.
Our Raja Bhaiya has all those charges and more under his belt. The latest (as far as we know, the latest) is the cold blooded killing of a senior police officer in the virtually lawless state of Uttar Pradesh, in India. Not that the killing of a law man is something that is considered eye-battable in the land which Mahatma Gandhi today would probably hesitate to be called the father of.
Raja Bhaiya has a signature mode of getting rid of folk who cross him. Behind his palatial mansion lies a vast Florida-Everglades type marshland that is spread over hundreds of acres. He has converted into a sort of nature reserve. No, he isn’t eco-sensitive, probably hasn’t even heard of the term.
Raja Bhaiya uses the marsh for a single purpose – to breed gharials, an especially nasty breed of crocodile, reptiles that can make a human body disappear real quick. In 2003, police recovered a human skull that turned out to be the remains of Santosh Mishra of nearby Narsingarh village, who had accidentally bumped his scooter one sweltering afternoon, against Raja Bhaiya’s expensive BMW SUV. Loiterers reported seeing Mishra being bundled into the vehicle and driven off, never to be heard from again.
Benti Kothi – Raja Bhaiya’s fortress-like mansion, in Pratapgarh, Uttar Pradesh
Raja Bhaiya’s real name is Raghuraj Pratap Singh, a.k.a. ‘Toofan’ Singh of Kunda, a municipality in Uttar Pradesh, of which he is the undisputed strongman and the law. ‘Toofan’ in Hindi means tempest. Google him. He’s a most interesting specimen. Son of an erstwhile Maharaja, Raja Bhaiya thinks of himself as a Maharaja and lives a feudal life in a massive fortress-like estate. The land that he is said to virtually rule over is not too far from the spot where a Swiss tourist and her partner were attacked last month and the lady gang raped. Though unconnected, the perpetrators were of the same ilk as our dear Raja Bhaiya’s minions.
Oh, I forgot to mention it, Raja Bhaiya is also a member of the state legislative assembly in the state of Uttar Pradesh, having won his seat unchallenged, since 1993, when he was just 24. He was underage then and should have been disqualified. But then, in Uttar Pradesh, anything can be made to happen and records were redrawn to show him as being 26. An Independent MLA who supports the awesomely corrupt and thuggish Samajwadi Party ruled government in the state, cuddly Raja Bhaiya was even appointed Minister of Prisons, last year. If you’d like to take a break to go puke, I’ll wait. Sorry, I should have warned you to read about Raja Bhaiya only on an empty stomach.
Raja Bhaiya was arrested and sent to jail in 2002 by the Mayavati government on a slew of charges of kidnapping, intimidation and terrorism and then, when the next government, that of Mulayam Singh Yadav, came to power in 2003, all charges against Raja Bhaiya were dropped, with remarkable alacrity, within 25 minutes of Mulayam taking office. The police officer who had led the initial raid on his house was killed in a road accident. Uttar Pradesh is not the sort of place where loose ends remain loose for long.
The latest triple killings in March this year, that of another cop, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Zia-ul-Haq, along with the head of a village and another village council official, were almost certainly orchestrated by this low-life, as per reports of investigations conducted. They say it was over some land dispute.
History tells us that India’s premier investigating agency, CBI, launches investigations only after a crime is reported in the media and the media chooses to pursue it (sometimes with the instigation of opposition politicians). It then comes up in the question hour in the assembly or the parliament and the shit hits the ceiling.
India is not alone in this system of law enforcement. It happens in Canada too, with our RCMP, the pompously named Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Canadian version of the Indian CBI. Oh yeah, the very same RCMP that you used to read about in your school text books in Kolkata or Trivandrum, men in those sharp red uniforms and black knee-high riding boots. That outfit, the RCMP, is now reduced to a bunch of keystone cops, a thoroughly inept, trigger-happy, racist, bumbling law enforcement agency that is now the last place one wants to go to in Canada, to lodge a criminal complaint.
Be that as it may, the CBI ‘questioned’ a relative of dearest Raja Bhaiya to ‘gather evidence’ in the brutal triple murder. Note the inverted commas. That’s because the CBI’s so-called questioning is in fact a sort of pantomime, conducted in a government guest house over scotch and kachumbar masala. This pantomime will go on till the dust settles and then, life will go on as before, until another cop is killed.
There’s one thing Indian politicians are certainly good at- patronizingly prattling on about non-violence to visiting dignitaries and the rest of the world, while criminals, in the guise of law makers, cavort with the Satan.