Many long-time readers of The Hindu have accused the daily of tilting towards the Communist Party of India (Marxist) since N. Ram became the Editor-in-Chief. A report appearing in today’s edition shows the party has the ability to plant a story in this venerable newspaper.
The report, headlined “Krishna Iyer for debate on Central, State police process”, is based on an interview with former Supreme Court judge V.R. Krishna Iyer. The report has no dateline. Nor does it have a creditline. The absence of attribution suggests that the report was not received from any correspondent of the paper or from any news agency to which it subscribes.
The report identifies the interviewer as P. Rajeev, a leftist journalist.
P. Rajeev is a young CPI (M) leader and Resident Editor of the Malayalam daily, Deshabhimani, which is an official organ of the party.
Rajeev’s report of the interview appeared in Deshabhimani only today. Evidently it was made available to The Hindu before its publication in Deshabhimani.
The interview report quoted Krishna Iyer as saying, “I feel that the time has come for a national debate on the creation, operation and control of the Central and State police process. I express this view because I find so much of hot controversy over the Lavlin issue where Sri. Pinarayi Vijayan’s name is being made the subject of political imputations.” (Italics added)
Rajeev interviewed Krishna Iyer after the party launched a campaign accusing the Central Bureau of Investigation of implicating Pinarayi Vijayan, who is a member of the CPI (M) Politburo and Secretary of its State Committee, in the SNC Lavalin case as reprisal for withdrawal of the party’s support to the United Progressive Alliance.
Deshabhimani featured it as the lead story.
According to Malayalam news channels, Krishna Iyer said in a statement today that his remarks were capable of misinterpretation to suit the needs of some political leaders.
While reiterating his stand that investigations must be truthful, he said he believed an offender, howsoever high, must not escape punishment and an innocent person must not be penalized.
For more on the Lavalin case, please see my commentary "Lavalin developing into CPI-M's Bofors", distributed by Indo Asian News Service.
POSTSCRIPT: Justice Krishna Iyer's revised statement, referred to above, appears in The Hindu's edition dated January 26 under the heading "Investigating agencies must enjoy immunity and independence, says Krishna Iyer". It carries a Kochi dateline and is credited to the paper's Special Correspondent.