India Uncut

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Saturday, May 28, 2005

More on Karat and Bhattarai

So did Prakash Karat meet Baburam Bhattarai or not? As I'd mentioned in my earlier post, the Times of India said that he did, and that Karat himself had confirmed the meeting. Karat denied it. Well, it turns out that Michael Higgins's surmise in the update to that post is probably on the mark. The Times of India has now hit back:
[I]t was Karat himself who had confirmed the meeting to TOI. A careful reading of his statement would also indicate that he is only denying the role of intelligence agencies in arranging the meeting, not the event itself.

This was exactly in line with the stand that Bhattarai took. According to agency reports from Kathmandu, the Maoist leader has denied that Indian agencies organised the meeting but didn't deny the meeting itself. While they seem to be acting in concert, sources affirmed that the agencies, indeed, brokered the meeting.


Their disclaimers now are easy to understand. There is an Interpol red corner notice against Bhattarai and he is expected to be arrested and turned in by Indian security agencies. If despite that, he is moving around here, and that too boldly enough to meet the boss of a top government ally, it is reasonable to believe that the agencies were winking at it all, if not colluding with Bhattarai.
Remarkable stuff. I got the link to this ToI piece via Sandeep, and Nitin Pai has an analysis here.

Now, here's what I find revealing: both Karat and Bhattarai did not deny the meeting itself; but they wanted people to believe that they did. Now, if they really didn't meet, then the ToI's riposte should lead to an umambiguous denial of the meeting from at least Karat, leaving no scope for confusion. If that is not forthcoming, then it will be safe to surmise that the meeting did take place. And it will also mean that Karat did not have the honesty and integrity to accept that he met Bhattarai, and to say, "So what? I can meet whoever I want." Courage of conviction, anyone?
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