NEWS CM DOVAL
TVM: A recent social media claim that Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had been tackled smartly and crudely by the present national security adviser Ajit Doval as Kannur SP in the early 1970s in the context of the communal riots there, has been punctured flat. The so-called bombast and the scenario itself are dismissed as FAKE.
Curiously, Doval seemed to have either been a party to the origin of this rumour or, in the minimum, he perhaps enjoyed it with a good laugh. He was quoted in a local media report in ways that seemed to show he was quietly sidestepping the matter — and not rejecting the blatantly false, motivated and mischievous social media blitz against the CM.
“I know Pinarayi Vijayan as Kerala CM, and he knows me as National Security Adviser,” was all what Doval would say in a response published in a Malayalam daily that, quite funnily, made a hero out of Doval.
It appears that the whole story about Vijayan Koran being “tackled” by Doval as then SP was concocted by desperate elements to tarnish the image of the CM. The CM has simply dismissed this, saying there was no truth in it.
As per the social media blitz against the CM, Doval as SP of Kannur did a great job to contain the communal riots there during that period. At that time, he had arrested Goonda Vijayan Koran, made him shit in the police station and then made him collect the shit in his dhoti that had fallen down. “Vijayan Koran fell on Doval’s feet and cried, begging for mercy on him (“Saare enne rakshikkane, kollallee….(Sir, save me, don’t kill me)”) was how Vijayan was quoted as saying to Doval who “held a gun” to Vijayan’s head.
What’s true, however, is that the name of Pinarayi Vijayan’s father (deceased) was Koran. But,Pinarayi Vijayan was never known as Vijayan Koran.
It turns out that when the communal riots erupted in 1971, Pinarayi Vijayan was already an MLA. He became MLA for the first time in 1970, and later in 1977, 1991, 1996 and last in 2016 to become the CM heading the present LDF government.
The communal riot broke out in Kannur district in December, 1971. In the riots, the RSS was accused of targeting Muslims. Pinarayi Vijayan as MLA and other CPIM leaders in the region extended protection to the Muslims — and this is well-documented.
For an SP to arrest and MLA and make him shit in the police station was unbelievable by any stretch of imagination in Kerala’s mileu. An exception was the Emergency period, when Pinarayi Vijayan too faced police brutality. At other times, such assault on an MLA by an SP does not happen in any state. If it happens, it would be big news; and more so, in a state like Kerala. Moreover, even before becoming MLA, the young leader was known as Pinarayi Vijayan — he as student leader and later as youth leader of the state CPIM outfits. Pinarayi Vijayan was a hugely popular as student and youth leader.
Ajit Doval, who became an IPS officer in 1968, had stints in several states including Kerala. He was later with the central intelligence, and retired as IB chief in 2005. Doval was a key IB functionary when Atal Behari Vajpayee was prime minister. He was known as a blue-eyed-boy of the Sangh Parivar. However, the way he negotiated with a gang of Pakistanis the case of hijacking of the Indian Airlines Flight 814 from the Tribhuvan airport in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1999 under the Vajpayee period, showed Doval in a poor light. Recently, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi too trashed Doval for his failure in the Kandhahar negotiations, something that proved to be India’s undoing.
The hijacking was done by relatives of the Pakistan-based pro-Kashmiri terrorist Masood Azhar. They managed to get release of a set of terrorists in police custody in Jammu and Kashmir then, including Azhar who had sneaked in via Bangladesh and got arrested in Kashmir and languished in jail there for some time.
The gang, including Azhar’s brother, reportedly took a huge ransom from the Indian government for safe release of the passengers held captive in Kandhahar. Masood Azhar and his family members received the money in Dubai — as per the agreement the three-member Indian negotiating team worked out — and used a part of this for financing his future terror activities.
In later years, Azhar acted as the fulcrum around whicih the pro-Kashmiri terror outfits operated out of Pakistan. The Pakistani military intelligence, the ISI, worked behind Azhar to bleed India for the past two decades.
As story went, a reason cited for the weak manner in which India responded to the hijacking and release of passengers was that relatives of some top government functionary at the PM’s Office then were among the passengers, and that the PMO was keen on ensuring their release at any cost. Doval alone should not be blamed.
Doval, a Garhwali whose father was a Major in the Indian Army, is among the efficient IB officials in central service, and is known as a task-master. He might have worked with India’s external intelligence service, RAW, too for a period. Yet, several questions are raised about his present positioning as National Security Adviser.
The blame for the government’s failure to get intelligence inputs about the massing up of military force by China in Ladakh in the run-up to the recent Chinese PLA offensive against India there is placed, at least in part, on Doval. A question that was raised in the context of the killing of 20 Chinese soldiers in Ladakh recently was, “What was Doval doing then?” How much role Doval has in relation to military intelligence, per se, is not clear, though.
The present frenzied campaign against Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on social media networks is seen as part of last-ditch attempts by the Opposition BJP and Congress to neutralize the good image the CM built up as commander in chief in the successful fight against Covid-19 in the state. The state is set for assembly polls some 10 months hence, and civic polls later this year. As of now, with a split in the Kerala Congress and the demise of veteran Christian belt leader KM Mani, the UDF is partly in disarray.
The BJP is simply struggling to make baby-steps in the state politics. A recent opinion poll by a TV channel to gauge the political mood in Kerala amply demonstrated the image that the CM maintained at a high level and the positive public mood in favour of his government and the LDF.
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