“If justice goes astray, then people will stand about in helpless confusion”- Confucius
Author: Nazia Sayed and Sharmeen Hakim
No of pages: 227
Publisher: Penguin Books (Blue Salt)
About the book:
The book starts by unfurling the horror of the train blast of 7/11 in Mumbai. Mumbai local train the very lifeline of Mumbai becomes the site of the terror attacks with its effects on lives unprecedented and life long. Post this devastating attacks the Anti-Terrorism Squad starts its investigation and they have a first breakthrough with the arrest of Kamal Ansari. As the investigations proceed a series of blast again rocks Malegaon. Meanwhile, the ATS makes more arrest in the 7/11 case and finally in a press conference announce that the case is solved with the arrest of twelve people.
Ambiguity starts when the facts in the charge sheet are a little different from the facts pointed out during the press conference. The book then majorly deals with the proceedings of the accused in the court while at the same time it delves into the minds of these home- grown terrorists from the inception when this terror strike was planned. ATS claims that the group behind the terror strikes is LET. As the court proceedings continue a web of confusion surrounds it as the accused who had previously accepted the charges against them now claim that they were forced to do so. There are complaints of gruesome torture of the accused. Meanwhile, the Mumbai Crime Branch in its investigation brings a whole new dimension to this case which runs contrary to that of ATS.
The writing is very crisp and engaging. Though this belongs to the genre of non-fiction it still has a story-telling feel to it which makes this one a real page turner. The book is very well structured. The book is heavily inundated with facts, actual court proceedings conversations and judges verdict which make one feel as if we are witnessing the proceedings and investigation on our own.
Very often when any major attacks happen the majority of us are infuriated and follow the developments of the case religiously but as the case proceeds on for years in the court our interest wanes. As most of us get busy in the humdrum of daily life we take no interest in the case. I guess the same thing happened in my case in the 7/11 terror attacks. This book helped me understand the investigation better and really got me thinking.
This book was a revelation to me in the fact that we at times already pass a judgement in our mind that the accused is guilty just because of the religion, caste or creed of the accused. The book points out how at times they are many potholes or things amiss in investigations but none raise questions because at the end all one remembers is the final judgement.
This is one book that you should not miss.