No tears for Tanzil Ahmed. No protests. No debates about Intolerance.
Remember Akhlaque? Of course you do. Our Mainstream Media and opportunist politicians would not let you forget Akhlaque even if you wanted to. But try and put things in perspective. Akhlaque’s death was the result of petty communal rivalries in a small village. Even a year later, there are differing accounts on what led to Akhlaque’s murder. There is no doubt that the murder deserved condemnation, but did it necessarily have to result in the vilification of the entire Hindu community? Probably not. But the media and politicians milked this distressing incident ad-nauseum. Akhlaque’s murder gave India a new word- Intolerance. The Parliament was rocked by protests regarding the growing intolerance in the country. One session after another was washed out as the Opposition blamed the government and Modi in particular for the rising Intolerance in the country. An atmosphere of fear was built among minorities. Once again, vulnerable minorities were herded into a ‘Secular Ghetto’. They were made to realize that unless they supported the Opposition, their existence in the country would be threatened. A few months later, the Mainstream Media and our 2-bit politicians realized that they had milked this issue to their satisfaction and Akhlaque was dumped aside. No attempt was made to find out what led to Akhlaque’s murder. There were no efforts to ensuring that Akhlaque like incidents don’t happen again. Mainstream Media and Opposition covered Akhlaque only because he was a Muslim and by harping on the incident, they could strengthen their Minority Vote Bank.
Three days ago, another Muslim was shot dead. The murder happened in Bijnor, which has a strong Muslim presence in a Hindu majority town. His Muslim wife was also shot at and is now in a critical condition. His Muslim children, who were forced under the car seats, by a vigilant father witnessed the attack on their parents and lived to tell the tale. Reports now suggest that nearly 24 bullets were pumped into him, many of which cut through his body. By the looks of it, this is a perfect story for the Mainstream Media to latch on to. They can build a narrative around how India has become unsafe under Modi. How Muslims are being killed in Modi’s India etc. etc. Except that there has been muted coverage on this. The man who was killed in cold blood was Md. Tanzil Ahmed. The reason he cannot get as much Media attention as Akhlaque is that Tanzil Ahmed was an officer in the NIA. This combination doesn’t make great TRPs. And so, Tanzil Ahmed’s coverage has been minimal to say the least. There were no passionate calls for revenge, lesser still calls for a thorough inquiry. In a few days, as dust settles on Tanzil’s body, the case will be laid to rest.
There are two reasons why Tanzil’s murder is shocking. The first is the impunity with which the assailants murdered an office of the NIA.
Tanzil Ahmed had gone to Bijnor to attend a family wedding. His car was waylaid by his Assassins to be, who were tailing him on their bike. They shot Tanzil enough number of times to be sure that he did not survive and then they disappeared into the night.
It is evident that Tanzil Ahmed was a marked man. And yet no security was provided to the officer. His assailants struck at a time when he was most vulnerable, which brings us to the second reason. Tanzil Ahmed had played a key role in generating credible intelligence that led to successful operations against terrorists and other bad guys. Tanzil had been involved in almost all big cases ever since the inception of NIA in 2009. He was working in Terror Funding and the Fake currency cell since the last one year. Tanzil was involved in busting IM modules, including tracking Yasin Bhatkal. He played a key role in the arrest of IM operative, Danish Riyaz. Tanzil also played a role in busting the ISIS module in Delhi. He played a critical role in the arrests made in the Burdwan Blasts case of 2014. Recently, Tanzil had also travelled to Malda to pursue a fake currency racket. One person was arrested based on his information. He was also a part of the team that was probing the Pathankot Air Force Station attack.
Unlike the Owaisis and Azam Khans, Md. Tanzil Ahmed was an Indian at heart. His passion lay in serving the motherland. From his days at BSF to his tenure at NIA, Tanzil Ahmed served with the sole motto of repaying the debt of the Motherland. For our Mainstream media, the likes of Tanzil Ahmed don’t make good news. Our Media is happier covering works of Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Badruddin Ajmal and the likes. They are happier foisting orthodox and anachronistic leadership on to Muslim masses who yearn for peace and prosperity. They are more content showcasing Akbaruddin Owaisi as an ideal to be imitated rather than the likes of Tanzil Ahmed and Abdul Hamid.