So contract killing is legal in India?

But why aren’t these guys just summarily arrested without bail as a threat to public safety? You can’t put out public hits on people! Can you? Except in failed states, and in violent hidden enclaves (where ‘public’ is only semi-public). You can’t just get together in a cozy pally group and say ‘Kill this person and we’ll give you a lot of money’ and be reported in the newspapers as saying that and just go chuckling about your business – can you?

Muslim clerics in Kolkata issued a “death warrant” against controversial Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen on Friday, threatening her life if she did not leave the country where she lives in exile. The threat came after a meeting of dozens of clerics from prominent mosques in Kolkata – where the writer lives – who said she had invited their wrath through her “repeated criticism” of Islam in her books and speeches. While one prominent cleric said Nasreen had a month to leave, another said she had 15 days. Anyone who killed her would get a cash reward of 100,000 rupees ($2,400), they said. “Anyone who executes the warrant will also be given additional rewards,” said Nurur Rehman Barkati, a cleric of one of the biggest mosques in Kolkata.

So there they all are, with names, mosques, amounts offered all given. So why aren’t they all occupying a Kolkata jail cell? Why isn’t their ability to offer anyone a monetary reward for murdering a novelist severely compromised by their occupation of a room nine feet by six with bars on the window and door? Why don’t ‘clerical’ thugs who put out hits on people get instantly busted for incitement to murder?

Answers on a postcard.

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