Posts Tagged ‘‘Indian Mujahideen’’

Muslims in Gujarat are worried about continuing harassment by the police in the aftermath of serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat.

October 14, 2008

October 14, 2008

 

 

Muslims in Gujarat are worried about continuing harassment by the police in the aftermath of serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat.

 

 

 

Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

lakhani63@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Close on the heels of the recent bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, the state’s infamous police swung into action to detain Muslims and targeted their premises to look for more bombs and materials which were used in the mindless acts of violence.

 

Muslims in Gujarat never tire of airing their resentment about the routine checking but the way investigating agencies are behaving the moment they see a person with a beard and a skull cap. This really hurts Muslims. Today some special operation was made in Ahmedabad. Vehicles were checked and harsh questioning was visible at all cross roads in Muslim areas. Juhapura, the largest Muslim ghetto was the prime target.

 

Apart from it, many of Muslims who were victims of the mass blood-letting, fled from their homes six years ago but they are staying in some or the other safe place now. Even as they recall the massacre of February 2002, Muslims living in Naroda Patiya here have not panicked in the aftermath of the serial bombings in the city recently.

 

“How long do we keep running? How and where can we flee? Now we are living here on the mercy of Allah. If we are destined to die here, we would die,” said Naseema Banu, a resident of Hussain Nagar in Naroda Patiya on the outskirts of the city. Naseema, in her early forties, works in an elastic manufacturing company while her aged mother Jameela Banu has worked for a Hindu family for past four decades. “I came to this place from Lucknow with my parents when I was two months old and today my grandchildren are two years and four years old. This is my place where and why should I go anywhere from here?” Naseema questioned with anguish.

 

They as well as their neighbours look less scared and are not planning to shift away from their Muslim-dominated lower middle class locality after the bombings – which its alleged perpetrators Indian Mujahideen said in an email were in revenge for the 2002 violence. It was not so six years ago. A day after a coach of the Sabarmati Express was set on fire on Feb 27, 2002, a mob had attacked the locality, resulting in the worst massacre of the communal violence across Gujarat which went on for weeks. Many women were gang-raped and at least 83 people were killed in the area, forcing many to run away from their homes without a moment’s delay.

 

Nazirbhai, 50, a scrap merchant of the same area, said: “However, this time the role of SRP (Special Reserve Police) was different. Last time they were helpful to the killers while this time they were guarding Kalupur, Shahpur, Dariyapur. But this does not save the residents from prolonged questioning and harassment by the authorities which were cordoned off with heavy police bandobast.. In some streets, the police of Naroda and Naroda Patiya where heinous riots took place after Godhra ware also under scanner.

 

 

According to reliable sources, about two hundred people, most of them Muslims, were taken into custody including two maulanas—one from Danilimda and one from Mangrol. Meanwhile, malls in Ahmedabad have been asked to beef up their security after the city was rocked by a series of coordinated bomb explosions. Shopping malls and market places still wear a deserted look, and their owners are taking no chances. Shopkeepers in Ahmedabad and Gujarat complain that they have lost business to the tune of millions over the past few days.

 

Gujarat government and the police believe that there was substantial local support for the blasts that took place in the city and planting of several bombs in Surat. “Though the conspiracy has a pan-national angle, it could not have been possible without the local support,” a government official said. The investigating agencies are after the locals who helped in carrying out such a massive operations. They have also launched combing operations to nab them, the officials said.

 

Surat Police Commissioner R M S Brar also believes that the planting of so many bombs in odd locations in the city was not possible without local help. “The terrorist operations on such a massive scale are not possible without local support. The planting of bombs, the selection of places, transportation of explosive materials was not possible without locals,” Brar explained. Both Ahmedabad and Surat police have launched massive combing operations for the last few days in various parts of the two cities to nab the locals involved in abetting terrorist acts.

 

Ahmedabad crime branch had carried out massive operations and detained several persons. The Surat crime branch had also carried out massive combing operations after the blasts, which luckily were defused before they were set off. “In the combing operations we had questioned 280 people and detained some others.

 

Muslims in Ahmedabad are worried about continuing harassment by the police in the aftermath of serial bomb blasts. Let us take the case of Juhapura, the largest Muslim locality in Ahmedabad.

 

Fear hung over large parts of Ahmedabad as the city’s minority community huddled indoors after news of the serial blasts spread. For them, it was a flashback to the post-Godhra communal riots of 2002.

 

In Juhapura, Shah Alam and Naroda, silence and deserted roads replaced the usual bustle. People in the Naroda Gam area where one of the worst massacres of 2002 had taken place left the village last night, while residents of Shah Alam kept a night-long vigil. Some panicky survivors of the 2002 carnage even called up NGO activists seeking their advice on what to do.

 

 

“Though people were calm, there was palpable tension visible in them,” said community leader Sharif Khan Pathan, one of the prominent organisers of the Shah Alam relief camp after the 2002 massacre.

 

In Juhapura on the south-eastern periphery, which got its first bank branch only three months back, people kept asking “what will happen now?” said Dr Shakeel Ahmed of the Islamic Relief Committee. “Thankfully, nothing happened this time as nobody made any provocative speeches.” On the Juhapura-Sarkhej belt, where one of the 17 blasts took place, fear is omnipresent and few want to talk what happened on Saturday evening.

 

“Whoever has done these unholy and inhuman acts should never ever be forgiven. The severest of the punishments should be meted out to the guilty,” said maulana M.A. Sheikh, a senior teacher at the Jamiah Darul Qur’an Madrasa, which is a couple of yards from the blast site. Recently, the madrassa had organised a workshop on “Steps to be taken to build bridges between the Hindus and the Muslims”. “We had even gone to the Swaminarayan temple where we got a very warm welcome and a very good response. Now see what has happened,” said Sheikh.

 

Fatima Bibi, a woman in her thirties and residing in the Dhal area near to the blast site, is worried about losing her daily wages. “I go to the city area to make rakhis with a Hindu organization. But today I had to take a day off as my husband and children felt scared.” Economic considerations have ensnared the locals who depend on the Hindus for some piecemeal work; they are alienated socially but are linked to the other community economically.

 

Ghaffar Siraj, another resident of the area, said: “If it is the handiwork of the so-called Indian Mujahideen, then I think the blast in Sarkhej-Juhapura must have been planned to show to the outside world that even Muslims of the targetted areas have not been excluded.”

 

Fearing danger to Abdul Halim’s life, his wife Noor Saba on Friday moved the Gujarat High Court expressing concerns about safety of the cleric, who was arrested by the city crime branch immediately after the serial blasts from his home in Danilimda. Abdul Halim has been arrested in connection with a 2002 case for conspiring to incite 33 Muslim youths to take to arms and of sending them to terror training camps near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. However, while seeking his remand, the crime branch claimed that his interrogation was needed in order to get leads in the recent blasts. This only means that they want to extract confessions by force to please their masters.

 

In her petition filed by advocate Hashim Qureshi, Noor Saba has sought direction from the court to the crime branch to follow guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. The apex court has given general directions to police that a person cannot be put to torture in custody. Noor Saba has also requested the court to permit her to meet her husband. She has narrated in her petition how a police team raided her house and picked Abdul Halim without giving any reason.

 

 

Have you seen Huggies, Aslam Khan asked me. You mean the diapers, I asked him, not knowing what he was driving at. “Now think of those unexploded bombs in Surat recall their pictures. Didn’t they look like diapers? Everyone here feels so,” Aslam Khan said, summing up a popular viewpoint, of incredulity, among the Muslim community of Surat towards the many bombs found in the diamond city.

 

“If terrorists wanted to explode the bombs they would have done what they did on July 26,” says Hanif Shaikh, a tourist operator in Surat. Asked who he thinks is behind the plot he takes recourse to a song from the Rajesh Khanna film Roti, “Yaha sab shanti hai, yeh public hai sab jaanti hai (It is calm and peaceful here and the public knows everything).” When told to elaborate, he said, “In our opinion, it was done by the opponents of (Gujarat Chief Minister) Narendra Modi . They want to make him unpopular. So far Modi has always been saying he has given security to the people of Gujarat, but these blasts have exposed him. And everyone knows who benefits if Modi is under attack.”

 

Five days after 24 live bombs were found in Surat, Muslims in the diamond city are in a state of shock. They feel their city is under attack by someone who wants to create communal disturbances. They fear that the combing operations by the police will lead to the arrest of innocent Muslims. Without naming anyone, Hanif says, “We all know there are leaders in Narendra Modi’s party who want him out. You see, parliamentary elections will be held next year and if the Bharatiya Janata Party wins in a big way in Gujarat, the credit will go to Modi.

 

He added, “He he is the most popular leader in the BJP after L K Advani His rivals don’t want him to become very powerful after the 2009 elections.” At this point Aslam intervenes, “That is why I asked you about Huggies. If any terrorist wanted to explode bombs he would have done it, not done a shoddy job like this.” Surat has not faced a disruption in its communal harmony since 1992, and there have been no major riots in the last 16 years. Even during the post-Godhra riots that killed around 1,000 people elsewhere in Gujarat, Surat was peaceful.

 

Asked if he suspected local Muslims of being involved in the incident, Aziz Merchant, a tailor from Bade Kha Ka Chakla area, said, “I don’t think so. Local Muslims know their city is the most peaceful city in Gujarat. Why would they want to disturb the peace? Moreover, what will they gain by such an act? Even if you consider they wanted to do it, why will they place a bomb on a tree? When I saw the images of those unexploded bombs, I felt they looked like cakes.” He agrees that this kind of job can only be done by a local Surti but he has his reservations about Muslims being involved. “The way these bombs were placed it is sure there is local involvement. The terrorists have targeted the diamond market in particular.”

 

Out of 24 bombs, 23 were kept in the city’s diamond hub. So there is definitely some big motive, but I don’t think Muslims can be involved,” added Merchant. His friend, Haroon Saudagar, intervenes to say, “Some people talk of revenge for the post-Godhra pogrom by the Muslims. Why will they target Surat, because there were no riots here since 1992?” The only possible involvement will be of Muslims affected in the 1992 riots. But I don’t think they will take revenge after 16 years,” he points out. Merchant adds, “After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, many Muslims were killed in the riots. And, I feel Muslims learnt from that incident that there is no point in fighting with each other as business suffers the most.”

 

Imran Patel, a college-going student, says, “This is just a ploy to defame the Muslim community in Gujarat. My friends and I are worried about our future. We were just returning to normalcy after the Gujarat riots of 2002 and now this has happened. We all don’t know who is behind it, but we just pray that innocent Muslims won’t be rounded up.”

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‘No tangible proof of Muslims’ involvement in terrorism’

September 29, 2008
‘No tangible proof of Muslims’ involvement in terrorism’

Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, head, Majlis-e-Mushawarat 
September 29, 2008
 
Upset at what they consider the deliberate implication of the Muslim community in terror attacks, varoius Muslim organisations last week formed an umbrella body — Coordination Committee for Indian Muslims — to raise their voice against the development. 

After a meeting at the Jamaat e Islami Hind in New Delhi [Images], held in the wake of the Jamia Nagar encounter in which two youth were shot dead and a police inspector was killed, they formed a five-member panel to counter the campaign against the community.
 
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, head of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, who is a member of this five-member committee, tells Special Correspondent Vicky Nanjappa that anger among the Muslim, especially among the youth, is building up over the continuing demonisation of the community.
 
All the organisations with you seem to completely disagree with the Delhi police on the Jamia Nagar encounter.
 
There are many question marks about this “encounter”. Three fact-finding reports to date have raised questions about the incident and the police narrative. All pointers indicate that it was a fake encounter. The police team did not go there to kill but to investigate and arrest. They bungled the operation; their officer was killed by his own men. As a result, in a fit of rage they killed two so-called “terrorists” and injured a third. To justify the killing, they invented this whole story making them “masterminds” and extending the conspiracy to their home district Azamgarh where dozens of youths have been picked up both from Azamgarh and Delhi on mere suspicion.
 
Outlandish stories are being churned out by the police and lapped up by a stenographic media like the claim that the slain youths had received crores of rupees in their accounts while bank managers in Azamgarh said on camera that these youths had paltry sums in their accounts; or the fantastic claim that these same youths had planted bombs in Varanasi, Jaipur [Images], Hyderabad, Ahmedabad [Images] etc. This logically means that since all the masterminds have been now killed or arrested, India from now on will not witness a single terrorist attack.
 
Why do you think that those youth in particular were targeted?
 
According to the Mumbai police, they had passed on some information about these youths to the Gujarat police and asked them to observe them. The Gujarat police, highly discredited as it is for its communal bias and criminal role in the riots, jumped the gun and informed the Delhi police that these people were planning to carry out explosions. These youths must be one of many under observation in the country. It was their bad luck that a police officer was killed while trying to arrest them and they paid the price for this.
 
Subsequently, the entire Muslim community is made to pay the price of this khaki crime which is not new to Delhi. We have already experienced fake encounters at Ansal Plaza and Connaught Place in the past.
 
If the encounter was fake then what do you have to say about the death of M C Sharma?
 
It is pretty clear that Sharma was killed by his own men at very close range from behind. It was the mistake of the police to rush 2500 policemen into the narrow lanes of Batla House. They were deployed on various floors and rooftops of the same building as well as on the adjoining buildings. Such a mishap was bound to happen in such a situation.
 
Invariably, after every terror attack, Muslim youth are being accused of involvement. What does the community have to say about this?
 
It is true the finger is pointed at Muslims after each act of terror, but without proof in every single case. The same security and intelligence agencies which did not know anything about an impending attack a minute before it took place, suddenly and within minutes know every detail of the persons, organisations, funders etc behind the incident. They want to cover up their abject failure, and as the Muslims are the weakest section at this moment, the blame is safely pinned on them.
 
There are umpteen terrorist organisations in various parts of our country working for a variety of secessionist and political aims. It is possible that there may be a few Muslims too who are taking to terrorism, but till today we do not have tangible proof of this. There is no proof that the Students Islamic Movement of India, despite its extremist views, ever had any armed wing or imparted any armed training to its members. All we have is tall claims by various people and agencies which were trashed by their own hand-picked judge of the tribunal formed by the Union home ministry. Moreover, close to 50 SIMI [Images] activists have been acquitted to date by courts across the country.
 
It is natural that anger is building up among our youth for two reasons: justice is not done in cases of blatant pogroms, riots and demolition of Babri mosque, while Muslim youths are routinely killed in encounters or arrested on baseless charges which are not proved in a court of law.
 
Do you suspect the role of right-wing Hindu outfits in some of the blasts that have occurred in the country?
 
We do not only suspect. Rather, we firmly believe that many acts of terrorism blamed on Muslims are in fact the handiwork of Hindutva terrorist outfits like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bajrang Dal, Shri Ram Sena, Hindu Munnani, Hindu Jagran Manch, Yuva [Images] Hindu Vahini, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Durga Vahini etc. Members of these outfits have been caught red-handed in many places like Nanded, Tenkasi, Thane and more recently at Kanpur but these terrorist acts/explosions are hushed up. So much so that the government has conceded that the Hindu outfits are not under its scanner.
 
How do you think the community should handle such a situation?
 
There is a high sense of both anger and insecurity in the community in all parts of India. Our message is always that we should not take the law in our hands and that we must use all the legal and constitutional channels to get justice, but I am afraid that this continued victimisation and denial of justice will push many of our youths to the path they are unjustly blamed of today. Perhaps this is the gameplan of the Hindutva organisations in the first place.
 
What about the ban on SIMI for terrorist activities?
 
The Muslim community believes that though these people were extremists, they were not terrorists and did not actually commit terrorist crimes, though it an unproven possibility that a few former members of SIMI may have indulged in acts of terrorism, but for this the whole organisation or the whole Muslim community cannot be blamed just as for crimes of the BJP and Congress, all members of the party cannot be blamed.
 
What you think about the government’s handling of the SIMI issue?
 
The Bharatiya Janata Party government which clamped the first ban on SIMI in September 2001 did so because it found SIMI to be the weakest point in the chain of a weak community. At the time SIMI was a marginalised group which had little sympathy or following in the community. Now it has sympathy in the community because it is perceived as a victim of State terrorism.
 
The United Progressive Alliance government had a good opportunity to get rid of this problem by accepting the Geeta Mittal tribunal’s verdict which threw out the home ministry case as it was based not on facts and evidence but on mere claims. But the government chose to appeal to the Supreme Court which acted fast to continue the ban. The same Supreme Court is sitting on three appeals by SIMI since 2002 against judgments by three earlier tribunals and did not find a few minutes to look into them.
 
With SIMI in the dock, which youth outfit do the Muslim youth look up to?
 
The Students Islamic Organisation is very strong. The Muslim youth can always join this organisation.
 
Will SIO too go the same road as SIMI?
 
What happened with SIMI will never happen with SIO. SIMI never had the supervision and guidance of elders. However, with SIO that is not the case and elders in the community are constantly monitoring and guiding it.
 
SIMI prior to being banned used to act on its own and somewhere things went haywire. SIMI never had the sympathy of the community prior to being banned, but now we do sympathise since we feel the outfit is being (falsely) implicated.
 
The nation’s focus has now shifted to the Indian Mujahideen [Images]. What are your views on this outfit?
 
No one knows what this Indian Mujahideen is. All we have is three emails sent to some media organisations. Curiously the first email was sent from the computer of an American evangelist based in Mumbai who was later allowed to flee the country. Under some bargain he was allowed to come back later perhaps to clear his name and that of the security agencies too that allowed him to flee. Before he fled he had claimed that the police were asking him a bribe in order to close his case. It is anybody’s guess why this American was never arrested and why no charges were levelled against him. Is there is an international dimension to what is happening in India?
 
You say several innocent youth are being targeted by the police in the name of terror. What role are you going to play in securing the release of these persons?
 
We are highlighting cases where we have reason to believe that injustice is being done. We issue statements, we write to the highest officials, we hold dharnas and conferences and we approach the courts. All these are within the laws and liberties granted to Indian citizens.
 
Lastly, your views on Saturday’s Mehrauli blast.
 
I condemn it and my heartfelt condolences to those victims and their families. But I would like to ask the following question. According the Delhi police following the Jamia Nagar incident, all the dreaded masterminds had either been killed or arrested. If this was the case no blast should have taken place. But the fact remains that such attacks continue to take place in the very capital. What happened to the claims by the Delhi police?
 
 http://in.rediff.com/news/2008/sep/29inter1.htm
 

Media Circus by Yousuf Saeed

September 20, 2008

From: Yousuf Saeed <saeed.yousuf@gmail.com>  

 

Reply-To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com

 

To: arkitectindia@yahoogroups.com

 

Date: Sep 19, 2008 9:38 PM

 

Subject: Re: [arkitectindia] Thoughts on Terror

 

Friends

 

I have titled this message the “media circus”, although I am actually referring to this morning’s so-called encounter killing of two young people referred to as “terrorists” in L-18 Batla House, Jamia Nagar, by the Delhi police. I call it media circus because that’s what I think it really is, like many more such incidents.

 

The incident happened in my neigbourhood, about 150 meters from my house. So I have the opportunity to see how things are turning up. I had gone out of the area for some work while the incident was taking place around 11 am, but found it impossible to reach back home 2 hours later, because the road for about 1 and a half kilometer (on both sides) was completely blocked, not by the police vehicles, but by the parked OB vans of the countless TV channels, some of which I never heard of before. Each of these vehicles had its generators on, and thick video cables jetting out of them for several meters to the other end where the cameraperson and the excited anchor were shouting how two terrorists have been killed in the fierce encounter. Most local people are surprised at the speed with which the TV crews arrived here and in such large number. Apparently, the Delhi Police had already told a section of the press they are going for a raid in Batla House, based on the suspect Abu Bashir’s tip-off ( I heard this from a anchor on Times NOW channel, although Police chief Dadwal is now denying there is any link with Abu Bashir), but they didn’t obviously say it was going to be an encounter. It’s strange that the local residents got to know about the incident only after the two people had been killed – many in fact learnt it from the Aaj-tak channel. They claim they heard only the police firing and no gunshots from inside the flat, which the police claim have injured two of their constables.

 

Most of you watching news TV in your homes may have already heard the cacophony of the TV anchors, each trying to be shriller than the other to prove that the local members of the Indian Mujahideen have been killed. They now seem to have memorized their lines on this issue well, since they have to repeat the same thing again and again. The graphics, animated logos, crawling tickers, and dramatic music/soundtrack to go with such coverage are always ready in the cans to be used at short notice. A cameraman running towards Batla House is nibbling at a burger while he holds on to a camera in his other hand.

 

I saw two members of a TV crew outside the Holy Family Hospital (where the injured policemen have been taken) fiercely fight about which camera angle would look best for a sound byte. Everything looks as if planned and part of the usual business. The cops are happily allowing the media to climb any wall to get the best shot while they beat the local rickshaw-pullers to leave the roads clean. The message has got across loud and clear: we told you – Batla House is a haven of terrorists.

 

But many things sound fishy. I’ve been hearing a lot of angry conversations in the neighborhood: people are asking that if the police had only planned a simple raid (which they did 2 days ago in Zakir Nagar and Abul Fazl Enclave too), why did they have to bring battalions of police and encounter specialists with AK-56 and other deadly looking guns (that I myself saw) in advance. And why is the media called in even before the residents are told. Of course the fact the this happens in the month of Ramzan, on a Friday, and near a large mosque where people were going to gather in large numbers later for prayers, sounds just too predictable and clichéd for anyone’s imagination. Some locals claim that the police had been visiting this place (and that particular house) since last few days, and the so-called terrorists and their weapons were probably “planted” last night for this encounter. This claim would obviously find no takers in the presently created euphoria (did you see any channel showing a sound byte to this affect?) I didn’t find a single local resident who is not fed up with this oft-repeated image of Jamia Nagar as harboring terrorists. But none of the channels I saw aired the public angst against their portrayal.

 

To be honest, one shouldn’t deny that the Batla House area has some criminal and anti-social elements, just as Darya Ganj or Shahadra or Govindpuri would have. But most local residents believe that for Jamia to become a haven of such criminal elements, the local police and land-mafia are equally responsible. Jamia area is one of the rare localities of Delhi where the rule of law doesn’t apply in most spheres. The land mafia openly indulges in illegal construction; no rules of traffic apply here, the condition of civic amenities is abysmal. Illegal shops, factories (many with child labour) and businesses operate here actively with police connivance. The local politicians (MLA, councilors) are actually part of the problem rather than the solution.

 

There is a full-scale illegal ISBT (bus stand) running in Batla House’s backyard to bring hundreds of migrants everyday from small towns of UP (you can see the police openly accepting bribe from its operators any day).

 

There is no question of sealing whatever the heck business you may run here and most places stink with heaps of garbage everywhere. There are no RWAs or citizen’s initiatives to discuss the problems. It is truly a manufactured ghetto of Delhi – why don’t all these problems happen in Lajpat Nagar or Kalkaji? I am positive that the authorities are aware that criminals (or what they call terrorists) exist here.

 

But they deliberately allow them to thrive here – never to be touched in the normal/peaceful times – keep them for the right time. It is as if Batla House is a laboratory or breeding ground where things are allowed to grow by providing all the required ingredients and safety.

 

The fruits are plucked only when they are ripe (or required). So today, they simply came to gather the fruit they had sown, and made a big exhibition of it by calling the media. The local people, frightened that the next encounter may happen in their house, simply squirm and hide in their personal ghettos.

 

In all this, a big responsibility lies with the media, and I am yet to come across bold and honest reporters who are ready to go beyond the obvious and investigate the truth – not simply repeat what is told to them by the authorities or their channel bosses.

 

Yousuf Saeed

September 19, 2008

 

————————————

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA – By Shabnam Hashmi & Ram Puniyani

September 16, 2008

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA

 

September 15, 2008

New Delhi

 

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh,

 

The blasts in Delhi (September 12, 2008) are another in the series of tragic blasts in which scores of people have been killed. We strongly condemn the blasts and demand a proper, unbiased investigation into the same. We demand that the guilty be punished. At the same time it seems that our investigating agencies are ignoring some thing very crucial in the matters of investigating the acts of terror.

 

The acts of terror have been occurring and Home Ministry is watching helplessly. While the current investigation is totally focused around SIMI, many an alleged culprits have been put behind the bars, despite which now some unknown entity Indian Mujahideen seems to have been projected as being responsible for the current ones. At the same time another stark truth is being deliberately sidelined and undermined. And that relates to the blasts done by Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagran Samiti. We fail to understand as to why the investigation authorities are turning a blind eye to some of the well established facts.

 

1. In a serious case of blasts in Nanded in April 2006 two Bajarang Dal workers died when making bombs. Similar incidents of bomb blasts were witnessed in many places around that time, Parabhani, Jalna and Aurangabad in Maharashtra. Most of these were in front of the mosques. The Nanded investigation ‘leads’ were not followed. On the contrary the investigation in that direction was not pursued at all. The attitude of police in this investigation has been totally lax. Social activists made the complaint about this to Human Rights commission. The commission summoned the Superintendent of police, Nanded, in its hearing held on 17thJune. The SP failed to turn up for hearing! There seems to be a deliberate cover up of this important finding of Maharashtra Anti terrorist Squad. ATS did investigate the links of the dead with Bajrang Dal, an RSS affiliate. At the same time the injured were visited in the hospital by the top brass of local BJP and associates. Local BJP MP told the police not to harass those related to the culprits in the wake of the Bajrang Dal involvement in the bomb making. In Nanded, ATS also found fake moustache and pajama kurta, the idea being that the culprits will dress like a Muslim while doing these black deeds.

 

2. A bomb blast took place at the RSS office at Tenkasi, in the Tirunelveli District of Tamil Nadu on January 24. After a thorough investigation, the Tamilnadu Police had arrested 7 persons belonging to Sangh Parivar outfits. They had confessed that they indulged in this terror act to instigate the local Hindu population against the Muslims.

 

On further investigation, the Tamilnadu Police arrested Siva Alias Sivanandam, who is the General Secretary of Hindu Munnani at Kadayanallur, a neighbouring town of Tenkasi. Formed in 1980, Hindu Munnani is a frontal organisation of Sangh Parivar operating in Tamilnadu.

 

Siva, who has earlier worked in quarries in the neighboring state of Kerala had supplied the ammonium nitrate and other raw materials for preparing the bombs.

 

3. The bombs which exploded in Gadkari Rangayatan on 4th June 2008 injured seven people. Again Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad succeeded in nabbing the culprits. The culprits were part of Hindu Janjagaran Samiti (HJS), an outfit of Sanatana Ashram in Panvel. These culprits were also involved in other blasts, in Vashi, Panvel and Ratnagiri. We have not heard anything about the further tracing of this very important lead.

 

4. On 24th August, in Kanpur two Bajrang Dal workers died while making bombs. Rajiv alias Piyush Mishra and Bhupinder Singh were killed while making crude bombs on Sunday afternoon.

 

On 25th August, Monday, police recovered some crude hand grenades, lead oxide, red lead, potassium nitrate, bomb pins, timers and batteries from the spot, inside a hostel in Kalyanpur area of Kanpur, about 80 km from Lucknow. No further investigation, why?

 

Every time there is a bomb blast immediately the agencies and the media declare that it is done by some Muslim organization without any proof. Hundreds of innocent young boys are picked up, what follows are illegal detentions, torture, arrests, harassment of families, forcing the families and victims to sign blank papers. For years these helpless victims are tortured in jails, denied legal aid, even lawyers who try and fight their cases are attacked openly in courts. Their images tarnished for life time. If they are lucky they get let off after years as neither the agencies or the police have any proof against them. The cacophony of stricter laws rises so that a police can extract a confession by third degree torture and present that as evidence.  Through this systematic vilification campaign the process of demonization of minorities continued unabated.

 

If we look at the timing of the terror attacks it is very clear that one and only one political outfit is gaining from it and that is Sangh. With their eyes on the central government their agenda of polarizing the voter is going ahead successfully.

 

On the other hand there are constant attacks on minorities on one pretext or another. Orissa thousands of Christians have been attacked, rendered homeless, their homes ransacked and looted and burnt down, churches attacked and even orphanages are not left alone.

 

Karnataka a similar picture is emerging. We have personally briefed very senior people in the government and the Congress party about the Karnataka situation and that it might explode but nothing was done and we have seen what has happened yesterday.

 

While we write to you now, the police are firing at Muslims in Yakutpura in Vadodara. Yesterday during the Ganpati procession a local dargah was broken down and shops of Muslims looted and ransacked. Already one boy has died and many are injured.

Last few days the only Muslim village Nandepeda in the Dangs, Gujarat has been attacked, ransacked. Villagers have been beaten up brutally including women and children. All men have fled to the jungles. The police not only took away all the goods but before going they poured kerosene into the eatable good so that they could not eat anything too. A proposed VHP rally today was stopped after spending 4 hours on the phone and pressuring various police departments. 

 

UPA had formed the National Integration Council under tremendous pressure. The first agenda papers which were prepared, if you remember, were highly communal and objectionable. A number of us had raised it during the meeting and the Home Minister had replied’ treat them as scrap’ in your presence. Probably the Home Minister realized that people like us were too uncomfortable to have in the NIC, who would raise these questions. The NIC was never convened again. It was supposed to meet every six months.

 

The country unfortunately has been given on a platter to the Sangh and the government looks helplessly in providing security to ordinary citizens whether they are victims of terror attacks or victims of the constant attacks by the Sangh Parivar’s various outfits.

 

We hope you will intervene and question why are such clear cases of involvement of RSS affiliates in terror attacks being ignored. It seems the investigating authorities deliberately want to cover up the role of RSS affiliates in these acts of terror. Can the real truth behind the dastardly acts come out without properly investigating these incidents, where the culprits’ involvement is very clear? We urge upon you to instruct the investigating authorities to pursue the investigation in an unbiased, honest and professional manner. The life of innocent citizens is at stake and such irresponsible cover will definitely prevent the real truth from coming out. For the sake of fairness, honesty and the values of our constitution, we need to pursue these cases in their logical direction.

 

Can we look forward to you, Mr. Prime Minister to make your Government to rise above partisan attitude and unravel the truth behind the blasts which are rocking the country in a painful way?

 

Sincerely

 

 

Shabnam Hashmi, Member, National Integration Council

Ram Puniyani, Social Activist, and writer