The Silent Coup
A History of India's Deep State



Josy Joseph writes about the stark reality of how the government in cahoots with security and enforcement agencies uses its power against its citizens. The increasing militancy and insurgencies over a period and the inability of the security forces to keep up pace with it made them devise new methods, which included fake encounters and arrests based on manufactured evidence. Journalist Josy Joseph with his brilliant investigative reporting tells the ugly truth of the security agencies in dealing with cases of internal security.

The sad and frustrating story of Wahid, who was randomly picked up by police many times in connection with various terror conspiracies makes you think how easy it is for the security agencies to frame someone. Whether or not it is proved in court is a secondary matter but fighting the case to prove that you are innocent is a punishment. 

“Illegal arrests, especially of those from the vulnerable sections of society, are rampant across the country, despite the courts having laid down strict norms on arrests. The brutality of the police and jail authorities and their misuse of power is manifest in data on people who die in custody. In 2019-20, on average, five persons died per day while in custody, according to MHA. From 1st April 2019 to 31st March 2020, a total of 1697 people died in custody: Many of these deaths would have been due to torture. However, very few cases get investigated properly, because the system closes ranks to save its own. Police departments create fake documentation, medical certificates are often fabricated, and even the cases that are investigated do not go far.”

We have heard so many times in the news about so many people being acquitted after spending years in jail as nothing was proved against them. You have many examples of blatant misuse of powers by security agencies all over the country. Especially in Kashmir, North-East and the Naxalite belt of India. 

Josy points out the lack of a robust and reliable intelligence network due to which the security agencies are not able to avert most of the terrorist and insurgent activities and there is always pressure on them to give results. And it ends up framing evidence and showing fake arrests and encounters. There are many examples of security agencies where rather than doing the investigation they round up innocent people and then frame them up with fake evidence, in the process often beating and torturing them to accept the crimes.

The general perception about the police and security agencies is that they are corrupt barring a few exceptions, however, this book shows how deep the rut is, and how sinister is the nexus between the government and the security agencies. Dr. Malini, a narco-analyst at the Forensic Science Laboratory is a glaring example of how bad things are. She had achieved celebrity status for her interrogation and reports which helped in solving many cases and it turns out most of them were doctored and manufactured. Right from Kashmir to Punjab to Naxalite areas to North East to Gujrat it is the same story.

These security agencies have become an arm of the government which they use to control and silence its citizens. And recently we have seen a rise in such cases where anyone and everyone who criticizes the government and asks questions, is taken to task by these agencies. Josy with his books brings out the dangers of direct control of security agencies by the government.

The Author

Josy Joseph is a writer-journalist based in New Delhi, and founder of Confluence Media, a platform-agnostic investigative journalism outfit. His first book, A Feast of Vultures: The Hidden Business of Democracy in India, won the 2017 Crossword Award for the best non-fiction book.

Our Verdict

A must-read to understand the shocking and scary reality of how India’s security agencies operate under the patronage of the government. 


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