Terrorism

Mumbai blast: investigating agencies at loggerheads

Lack of co-ordination and conflict between investigating agencies probing the Mumbai blast compels one to think along different lines For instance, contradiction between NIA and ATS became known when ATS rejected some measures suggested by NIA. ATS was not in sync with the NIA during the process of investigation. As a result NIA left Mumbai, indicating it was pulling out of the investigating process following differences with ATS and Mumbai police. Verbal spat between investigating agencies was also reported by the media. 

One may wonder on what basis the two agencies differed with each other. Days after the Mumbai blast on 13 July different angles about to the blast were talked upon by various media on the possible links and the perpetrators behind it. Some suggested that it must be looked into along the lines of celebrating Kasab’s birthday which was on 13 July. The Police version was that it could have been done by Indian Mujaheedin in connivance with Lashkar. What was surprising this time was that no one perpetrator claimed to be the any and neither was email sent after the blast? We are aware of the way our investigative agencies work and conduct probes and this becomes evident from the arrests made after blasts like Mecca Masjid and Malegoan. Our investigating agencies arrested Muslim youths born out of Islamic terror phobia which later tuned out to be totally false as the role of right wing terror in these blasts was unearthed much later. What is worrisome that inspite of such error made by the investigative agencies they still think of terror on the lines of communalist approach and tendencies.

The contradiction between NIA and ATS on Mumbai blast can be said to be similar to that of Home Minister Shivraj Patil and police after Mecca Masjid and Hyderabad blast in May 2007. At that point of time too Shivraj Patil while emphasing on the CBI probe had said that it was premature to link Malegoan, Mumbai and Juma Masjid blast. He had also made a point that without any specific details it would be wrong to point fingers at anyone. Shivraj also had cautioned those involved in the blast probe, not to blame the foreign hand in a hurry. On the contrary, police claimed that Huji and terrorists involved in Samjhauta blast could have carried out the blasts. These blasts were carried out to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the state. It was said that the terrorist had used mobile phones to perpetrate the blast. This kind of practice was followed by Lashkar, Jaish and Harkatul-ul Islami in the past. But surprisingly, very soon it became known as to who were behind the blast putting a question mark on the way our investigating agencies probe blasts.

The question arises as to why inspite of IB’s failure in investigation in Malegoan, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blast the government and the media gives undue importance to the claims made by IB in the run up to the blast. An atmosphere of fear psychosis is created by inflating the role of Lashkar and Huji the way Americans did in the case of Osama and Al Qaeda. Here it becomes important to mention that the investigating agencies are trying to find links between Varansi and Juma Masjid blast. The number 13 that is the date on which the blast took place was also a point that has been debated. However on both occasions that is after blasts in Varansi and Juma masjid IM had claimed responsibility by sending email. Now under such circumstances the investigative agencies trying to link IM with the blast is a mere eyewash and could be seen as an attempt to confuse the people.

Rakesh Maria, ATS chief Mumbai’s recent statement and police version reveals that in the name of IM an effort is being made to target places where Naxals are dominant, which means to kill two birds with one stone. The manner in which the investigating agencies targetted Azamgarh in 2007-08 they are now trying to do the same in Jharkhand by establishing links between naxals, IM and Lashkar. (Rajeev Yadav, Gulab Sonkar PUCL Allahabad)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 September 2011 on page no. 11

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