Issues

The circus of terrorism

There is no tension in Malegaon as the 9 accused are granted bail in the September 8, 2006 bomb blast case and the 7 detainees have returned home. Dr Salman Farsi is the uncle of Noorulhodha and was framed as a conspirator when he attended the marriage of his nephew. Since when have wedding guests chosen hatching conspiracies in such heinous crimes as conspiring to explode bomb on their own wedding day, of all days?

Farsi and Mohammad Ali had complained to the Mumbai police against a video parlour posing a threat to their family life and social culture. That was enough in the eyes of the Anti Terrorist Squad to club them together as potential terrorists. Noorulhodha had been already arrested five times and honorably acquitted in all the cases. He had to report every week at the local police station and was under close surveillance and yet he was framed in the sixth case. The crime of the sixth case has not been resolved and he is now released on bail. As against him, Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur and Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit and others were arrested for the first time ever for the September 29, 2008 bomb blast.

 Neither the Sadhvi nor the Lt Col of the army were brutally assaulted and beaten as was Noorul hodha. She was allowed to malinger in JJ Hospital while Abrar was coaxed and insidiously and sedulously tempted and occasionally threatened to toe the ATS line in their version of the crimes. He had slipped on the bath room floor and was hospitalized.

 Zahid led prayers in Phoolsangvi in Yawatmal five hundred miles from ground zero. Yet the ATS continued to blame him as the person who had planted the bomb. Atif, witness number 369, was a servant of Shabbir Masiullah. He was made to bear false witness against others. The identification parade in the jail was a charade because he was made to memorize the face and dress of Mohammad Ali and Asif Khan from the photos supplied to him. This was the result of three weeks of brutal torture in the prison cell. He was set free as reward for having done a dirty job for the authorities. A week after his release he was overwhelmed with remorse and submitted an affidavit to the Allahabad court. He has the postal record but the court has refused to confirm and says there is no record. What proof the present writer or anyone can give when there is nothing more than what you hear by word of mouth?

 And yet against thus being deprived access to facts and records there are those like B Raman. He was not only a senior Research and Analysis Wing (a forbidden agency for Muslims aspiring to be employed) but enjoys a post-retirement post of continuing the same work in superannuation. In the quagmire of his prolific writing on terror and attendance at international conferences on the subject there is no chance of him being myopic. Even so his serialized news and slide show on rediff.com is a comic relief. When the ruler of a northwestern princely state hung the Kohinoor diamond from his sex insignia the people went gaga over this show, gratis and sans tax. Rudyard Kipling thanked god for having created this source of entertainment. One has also to offer thanks for this comic relief.

 Raman wrote on November 17 what is a series of stalls at the amusement park and to sample a few for your benefit: First, the release on bail is communalizing and politicizing that would vitiate the relationship between the Hindus and Muslims paving the way for more acts of terror in the future. Writing from Malegaon I saw no communal tension on the day the bombs went off in the graveyard mosque and the Mushawarat chowk. On the contrary, Hindus as well as Muslims were frightened by the visitation of bombing on the town. The Hindus also rushed to donate blood. As to the next bomb blast of 2008 it appears the same Hindutva group was behind it with the addition for the first time that a serving army officer was also central in the attack. Second, there will be paralysis of the investigation agencies of the state and central government.

 The truth tells another story. The local police were quite active and questioned 20 Hindus and called in for questioning a leading yarn merchant in connection with the blast. Then they abandoned this line for a new angle they acquired for hunting the Students Islamic Movement of India.  Years later a tribunal judge asked the government to give/provide at least one concrete evidence against SIMI to justify continuing the ban. She recommended the ban to be lifted. When the ATS took over the game plan was continued with greater vigour thanks to its chief KP Raghuvanshi even after DGP Dr Prischa asserting that it was the work of Bajrang Dal.

 Third, only 26/11 was a successful investigation and conviction. Kudos for it. But it also raises a host of other issues concerning the death of Hemant Karkare and the situation at the Chabbad House of the Jews. The framing of Fahim Ansari and his acquittal eclipses much of the shine and then clouds darken with the assassination of Shahid Azmi who was instrumental in his release and the farce of the map he purportedly supplied to Kasab. Only the map came out untouched but no one else. Is it a tribute to the present ATS chief who was then in charge of crimes branch?

 Third, the accused released and the scores of absconding accused are “beneficiaries” according to Raman. This would make sense like this, that the Congress government in its largesse gifted them parole to go on doing what they are accused off and ensure such benefits for them. Interestingly, Shabbir was arrested in August 2006 and yet the conspirators in his workshop continued assembling bombs for weeks on end. According to Atif this went up to the day the bombs were detonated. This would make sense only if the doctors and others accused were bereft of even common sense. The second slide show of Rajan is even more amusing. One, only 31 were killed most of them Muslims. There were 37 killed. The beard of one of them had come off. The people became suspicious and thought that he was only the second Hindu killed with a false beard. The police claimed to have sent the body to Nasik and then next day had to eat their words and deny it. Second, whether the suspected and accused and prosecuted before 26/11 were the real perpetrators. This would make sense only in this way, that the suspected and arrested in 2006 were from SIMI and therefore they alone are responsible for all the previous terrorist acts. This would obliterate Hindutva terror in one go. We need to pat his back for this ingenuity-after all he has put in so many years in the service of RAW! Third, the ATS completed investigation in 2006 Malegaon case in record time. That the ATS and then in tandem CBI enjoyed benefits of office for full four years and more to finish their work. They deserve the Nobel Prize for procrastination. This record time of which Raman boasts is on account of putting blame on SIMI and LeT which of course police know better than RAW, to automatically blame after every bomb blast. What new have the ATS and CBI found? Ex nihilo nihili fit.

 Fourth, that the accused Muslims indulge in terrorism while the Hindus do it as reprisal. How back in history would Raman go to prove who started first? The third slide shows that Sheila Bhatt let Raman display was: One, that there is no possibility of truth being found out. Hemant Karkare used science to trace crime. Does it mean that others including Radha Vindo Raju or Kandaswamy lack scientific temper? The Samjhauta express case is nearly solved and this despite the hurdles of the killing of Sunil Joshi and the absconding of Sandeep Dange and Kalsangra.

 Second, that the ATS should have submitted a closure report “once for all.” If the Malegaon 2006 case had been closed “once for all” there would have been no need for circumstantial evidence, scientific investigation, forensic reports, etc. Just beating the framed accused mercilessly would have extracted all the confessions the police wanted and that would have saved their time to do more “lucrative” work. Third, In the case of the Hindu arrested in connection with some cases of reprisal terrorism the facts and circumstances are exactly the same as in the case of the nine Muslim accused.
 By what stretch of imagination does he say this? The Sadhvi whom he calls a religious lady has stolen valuable material proof from the house of Sunil Joshi and was connected to the murder. This kind of criminal behavior makes her stand with Moll Flanders. Most of the nine had no such record. Each of the accused whether Hindu or Muslim has his own satellite world to revolve around. Basically no proof was found against the accused in 2006 case whereas the accused in 2008 have left 34 video films, hundreds of phone calls, etc. Fourth, Raman’s skewed division of jihadi terror but Hindu reprisal is exercise in inanity. Terrorism is terrorism.

 The fourth slide show: One, in the eyes of the government of India it is all right to be harsh with the Hindus but not with the Muslims. The way Pragyasingh has been pampered by the cops is very self evident. An allopath-doctor is appointed to treat her in ayurvedic way. She is finicky so she is flown by plane. Purohit is given a laptop to compose appeals for his wife. The list goes on.

 Second, the UP election is round the corner so Muslim vote bank is dearer. Results of election prove that the Muslim have shown greater prudence in choosing those whom they like or think is good.

 Third, politicizing and communalizing terror produces more terror. Malegaon proved that the blasts in 2006 produced more terror. Raman should bother to illustrate how.  The people should ask him to come clean on what he has penned in this latest foray into polemics of terror. Karkare had outclassed him in his smiley farewell plain interview to Indian Express even without attending conferences and holding forth from time to time. The often flaunted appeasement of minority has become meaningless, except to the right wing groups.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 December 2011 on page no. 12

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