In a TV debate today, which had, among others, AAP leader Ashutosh and Late Gajendra Singh’s teenage daughter as panelists, Ashutosh broke down and started crying profusely. In his weeping that lasted for almost 5 minutes, he requested media and political parties not to politicize the issue and repeatedly apologized to Singh’s daughter, for not being able to save her father.
Through all this, Singh’s daughter though maintained her calm. Ashutosh also expressed deep anguish, while crying dramatically at questions being raised on Sisodia, Vishwas and AAP. All his tears and theatrics could be good for TRPs, but they aren’t answers to some crucial questions that AAP must answer:
1. From where did AAP get Gajendra’s “suicide note”?
Soon after Gajendra Singh’s body fell from the tree, a “suicide note” was found and was read out by Kumar Vishwas from the stage. Various reports in media have shown that Gajendra’s sister, aunt, brother and daughter, all have said that the handwriting is not of Gajendra. In response to these complaints, Delhi Police have decided to send the note for forensic study to ascertain the genuineness of the note and the truthfulness in the claims of the family. Also, on the last line, just below the name “Gajendra”, there is something written which has been cancelled. Was this an attempt by someone to write the name? Would Gajendra make a mistake in writing his own name?
While the investigations will reveal the credibility of the note, AAP must also simultaneously clarify how and when did they find this note, especially since so many questions are being raised on this. Silence on this issue only makes matters worse, because there are more questions relating to the content of this note.
2. How does Kumar Vishwas “read” out matter that doesn’t even exist on the “suicide note”?
In this video of Kumar Vishwas “reading” out this “suicide note”, we hear him saying
“Mere paas khane ke liye kuch nahi hai, usne apna mobile number bhi diya hai, isliye main khudkhushi kar raha hoon, aisa usne likha hai”
Now read the note. Nowhere does the note mention “khaane ke kiye kuch nahi” (there is nothing to eat). Nor does it mention his mobile number or any intention of suicide. The note only says that he (Gajendra) wants an answer as to how he could go home. Considering this, and the fact the veracity of the note is already in question, from where does Kumar Vishwas “read” out those things?
3. Why did Sanjay Singh walk away from a Press Conference when asked about Gajendra Singh’s alleged meeting with Manish Sisodia just hours before his death?
In a press conference yesterday, a reporter asked Sanjay Singh his reaction to Gajendra’s family’s claim that he had received a call from Manish Sisodia, after which he met him. Sanjay Singh was evasive at best. First he said that irrespective of party affiliations, a man had died and the party was with him. On this, a reporter again asked him the same question. This time Sanjay Singh said that let Delhi Police and other authorities investigate the matter. After that, reporters grilled him to get a pointed answer, at which point the Press Conference was called off as Sanjay Singh and others walked out of it.
If indeed no such call and meeting had happened, why was there no clear cut denial? Why “let them investigate”? And most importantly, why walk out of the Press Conference, especially when Sanjay Singh himself said during the Press Conference “Aapke ek bhi sawal ka jawab diye bagair nahi jaayenge” (we will not leave without answering your questions).
4. Why did multiple AAP leaders claim this was a conspiracy?
First we have Somnath Bharti’s now deleted tweet, wherein even as Gajendra Singh was being taken to the hospital, Bharti had declared it to be a “well thought conspiracy”. Why so defensive about a “farmer” committing “suicide” due to Central Government’s Land Acquisition Bill (as claimed by the party)?
This conspiracy charge was rekindled by Sanjay Singh himself, in the same press conference, when he said:
Kya Aam Aadmi Party ko barbaad karne ki, kya Aam Aadmi Party ko target karne ki ek sochi samjhi rann-neeti, Kendra sarkar ke ishaare pe Dilli Police kar rahi hai?
(is this a well thought of plan to target and ruin Aam Aadmi part? Is Delhi Police acting on central government’s orders?)
5. Why sudden U-Turn on conduct of Delhi Police?
From the moment this tragedy happened, all AAP leaders have been screaming from rooftops that Delhi Police did not do their job. They claimed the cops refused to climb the tree, they said Delhi Police is giving contradictory statements, they said Delhi Police was lying that AAP volunteers obstructed them. Sanjay Singh, in that same press conference even alleged that the Delhi Police could be part of the great conspiracy to defame AAP.
Cut to today morning when Arvind Kejriwal, in an interview to ANI News, said that nobody, including the police thought that anybody could commit suicide in such a manner. “If the cops had any idea that something like this is going to happen, I am sure 80-90% people would have saved him,” said Kejriwal. This raises the question, was AAP’s first allegation of Police being ineffective correct? Or is Kejriwal’s near-clean-chit to cops correct?
6. How did Alka Lamba declare Gajendra’s death even before the media?
In a now deleted tweet, AAP MLA Alka Lamba, at 2.20 pm declared the death of Gajendra Singh calling him a “shaheed”, and promising that his “sacrifice” will not be allowed to go waste.
This tweet came barely 10 minutes after Somnath Bharti’s deleted tweet, and a good 37 minutes before Times of India declared Gajendra’s death.
BREAKING | The farmer who hung himself at @AamAadmiParty‘s kisan rally at Jantar Mantar dies.
— Times of India (@timesofindia) April 22, 2015
Was Lamba overenthusiastic in making Gajendra’s death into a “sacrifice” in order to gain political mileage, or did she know something we don’t know? Either ways, the picture isn’t pretty for AAP.
7. Inappropriate gestures from Kumar Vishwas and Manish Sisodia
Compared to the earlier questions, this one might be innocuous, but still is a question. See these two videos where Kumar Vishwas and Manish Sisodia are seen making inappropriate gestures asking whether Gajendra had indeed died.
Are we to believe these are just unfortunate, insensitive gestures or is there something more to the same?
Arvind Kejriwal’s “sorry” and Ashutosh’s “tears” may fend off journalists, but will not be answers to the above questions.