Saturday, October 07, 2006

Police practices in India (via Kevin Drum)

Kevin Drum of the Washington Monthly (whom I still think of as Calpundit) recently picked up a very intriguing item about some interrogation and crime-fighting techniques apparently used by police in India. His eye was caught by a line in a report about two brothers suspected of involvement in the terrorist bombings in Mumbai (or Bombay) in July 2006:
The breakthrough came after investigators subjected two brothers, Faisal and Muzammil Sheikh, to narco-analysis or truth-serum tests.
This aspect of the story was apparently confirmed in an Associated Press report on September 30:
[Mumbai police Commissioner A.N. Roy] .... said that many of the suspects had been trained to resist interrogation and only the use of truth serum helped tie loose ends together.
Kevin Drum comments:
Truth serum? Indeed. Apparently it's common in India to interrogate suspects after injecting them with a solution of sodium pentathol. In fact, it turns out that just recently a videotape was aired on Indian TV showing the pharmaceutical interrogation of one Abdul Karim Telgi, a con man at the center of a sensational and long-running story about a fake stamp paper scam — whatever that is. You can read the story here, and you will be unsurprised to learn that authorities seem to have unilaterally decided that some of Telgi's confession was reliable and some of it wasn't. Good stuff, that truth serum.

But there's more: a day after the truth serum interrogation, Telgi was strapped up to....something....and made to take a "brain-mapping test." According to this story, "the brain-mapping test establishes Telgi's link to a number of top political and police official in Karnataka and Maharashtra."

I don't really have anywhere to go with this. But apparently that's how they do things in India. Now you know.
Is all this information reliable? Your guess is as good as mine. But as Kevin suggests, there are enough reports from different sources about this sort of thing that it begins to sound plausible. Interesting, if true.

--Jeff Weintraub
====================
Kevin Drum (Political Animal)
Washington Monthly

September 30, 2006
TRUTH SERUM....

Indian police are continuing to investigate the Mumbai bombings from last July. Here is a report from September 20:

Two of the suspects arrested for the serial blasts have admitted to links with the terrorist groups, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R.R. Patil said here today.

The breakthrough came after investigators subjected two brothers, Faisal and Muzammil Sheikh, to narco-analysis or truth-serum tests.

Here is an AP dispatch from today:

[Mumbai police Commissioner A.N. Roy] said the Pakistanis slipped into India, some going over their shared border, while others went through neighboring Nepal and Bangladesh. There they were met by Indians who brought them to Mumbai and housed them in rented apartments, he said.

....However, Roy said that many of the suspects had been trained to resist interrogation and only the use of truth serum helped tie loose ends together.

Truth serum? Indeed. Apparently it's common in India to interrogate suspects after injecting them with a solution of sodium pentathol. In fact, it turns out that just recently a videotape was aired on Indian TV showing the pharmaceutical interrogation of one Abdul Karim Telgi, a con man at the center of a sensational and long-running story about a fake stamp paper scam — whatever that is. You can read the story here, and you will be unsurprised to learn that authorities seem to have unilaterally decided that some of Telgi's confession was reliable and some of it wasn't. Good stuff, that truth serum.

But there's more: a day after the truth serum interrogation, Telgi was strapped up to....something....and made to take a "brain-mapping test." According to this story, "the brain-mapping test establishes Telgi's link to a number of top political and police official in Karnataka and Maharashtra."

I don't really have anywhere to go with this. But apparently that's how they do things in India. Now you know.

Kevin Drum 2:01 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (49)

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