Special Reports

The politics of terrorism

Woebegone widow of Hemant Karkare is at a loss to understand how could an upright, honest man of integrity like her husband be “martyred” and then politicking be played over him in assembly halls, in parliament, on public platforms and even in the offices of those who were policing the state differently from her husand. Kavita, like many others in the country, knew that Hemant was doing what was expected of an honest and sincere officer and that he was aware of the risks involved in the discharge of his duty. How could she know that those who played on the chessboard just moved a pawn, a person made use of by others for their own advantage! But then things began to dawn upon her.

 The politics of terror is the way an organized group uses its clout to effect change in the course of events by violent means or by subterfuge. As we near the first anniversary of 26/11 it is easy to recall that it followed on the heels of Malegaon bomb blast of September 29 __ a matter of 47 days between the two. Both are events of terrorism scarring the face of India. One of the most remarkable and least bothered factor is the ganging up of Hindutva groups to exert pressure for reversing the ongoing investigation that Hemant Karkare was busy in. Hellbent on this are groups and their leaders like LK Advani and Bal Thackeray and Narendra Modi as well as those handpicked by them for august offices administering the country to scuttle the ATS juggernaut of unearthing the real culprits in the conspiracy behind the blast in Malegaon. It threatened to expose them out in their entirety, of course including Praveen Togadia.

 The ATS under Hemant Karkare had found that Hindutva terrorists were behind the Malegaon blast. That was a startling disvocery. Formally, this was nothing less than seismic jolt in the fault line of our very conception of terror. By the time it happened we were inured to the jihadi terrorism as if it was the whole and sole ubiquitous phenomenon plaguing nations of the world.

Karkare discovered the truth of terror but not invented it. The Hindu right would have us believe that he did the latter. There were obvious clues which no one could have afforded to ignore. When he visited Bhiku chowk, the site of September 29 blast, the local people told him and home minister RR Patil that the Muslims were not involved in the attack and they demanded impartial inquiry. He must have been struck by unanimous chant of innocent people being arrested and the guilty going scot-free. The badly mangled motor cycle of Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur was the most visible proof of it. Then came the startling phone records of the Sadhvi and Ramji Kalsangrah. Phones and vehicles are as much a gift of science as are bullet proof jackets both defective and good ones. If David Coleman Headley and other handlers abroad and in Mumbai itself or just across the borders could pull the strings, the local pliant players were not far behind in picking up which jackets they wanted on the occasion.

Headley’s role is ominous on account of his being a self professed Jew and a commission agent. Did anyone outsource terrorism to him living in the US? Or did he graft one kind of terrorism on another to exact maximum profit from it? The extreme orthodox Jewish centre of Chabbad house has acquired the dubious distinction that the cook Qazi Zakir Hussein there had bought a huge amount of chicken and wine as if there was going to be a big party for many people for many days while the inmates were so few. There was also celebration there when the news of the death of Karkare was announced on the television. The puzzling inordinate delay in which the police reached places under attack like the Chabbad house and the efforts of the security guard from the Israeli consulate and his manhandling by the people are shrouded in mystery.

For a simple minded woman albeit well educated and a professor at that it was too much to have lost her husband and also comprehend at once the politics of terror. But she got certain things firm in the mind right from the beginning. One, that someone directed her husband to the scene of action though he was not officially obliged to directly and personally fight the awesomely armed terrorists. Second, someone spoke to him on phone at the last moment and what was the message or content of it? The authorities have not taken any care to tell the widow what her mind had questioned her. And now come more disturbing disclosures that her husband waited 40 minutes for a back up that did not come and then he was left wounded for more than 40 minutes and nobody attended him in that condition and he a top police officer! Any cop worth his name would not have left a fellow police man at such crucial time because the bond between the officer and his men still exists unless ordered otherwise.

History is replete with the fact that the Jews have made countries fight among themselves so that they get maximum advantage from their sale of arms. Moreover, the Israeli connection thanks to Lt Col Prasad Purohit’s liaison effort is veritable truth. It is no surprise that the Jews have done it again. This connection goes back to a much earlier time. Handbills pasted by Jewish groups at public places blaming the Arabs for the hardship Indians were going through had appeared in Pune in the wake of the oil embargo of 1973. The Jews were at it again.  

Kavita’s exclamation at what the country is coming to was not simple exasperation at corruption. It assumes larger significance when looked against the backdrop of how India opened diplomatic relationship with Israel and then soon came the demolition of the historic mosque at Ayodhya. It is not for nothing that such things happen. Wherever Headley went there struck terror. Security officials from India have made beeline to Israel to study the Israeli strategy in fighting terrorism and the intifada of the Palestinians and the acquiring and occupying of more and more of the Palestinian land in the occupied territories. In fact a high ranking Israeli military official had given his official view of how to deal with the land acquisition in Kashmir valley which one of the terrorists at Chabbad house had warned India not to follow. This is no simple matter as superintendant of police in Malegaon Mr Rajwardhan and other police officers visiting Abrar Ahmed, an accused turned approver, had promised him land anywhere in India but outside Kashmir valley if he toed the police version on terrorism in the case of September 8, 2006 attack. This smacks of the grouse of Abhinav Bharat and other extremist groups of the Hindu right on the dispute of land in Jammu and Kashmir. The allotment of land for Amarnath pilgrims and the revocation of it and the bloody scenes that followed are in the background of what was happening in Maharashtra in the name of the so-called terrorism. There is something of Sudhakar Pandey in this as well as of Purohit who was posted in the valley and from where he sourced the RDX for use in Malegaon and on Samjhauta express.

Insider’s Job: The basic apprehension of Kavita Karkare is that what happened to her husband is what we call insider’s job much like insider trading. The deliberate hiding of the telephone conversation of the callers to her husband and the mysterious disappearance of the bullet proof jacket and the plethora of discrepancies in the postmortem report and the real wounds on his body not to speak of the staggered delay in complying with his call for back up and the designed dereliction of duty in leaving him bleeding for more than forty minutes at the scene of action. The abduction of the fisherwoman who saw the ten terrorists pass through the fisherman’s shanty on the sea beach. She was taken to the US and mysteriously brought back by the FBI.

Why the police cannot come out of it clean is the irrefutable truth that the insider is capable of having knowledge of what is happening on the ground, manipulating action and covering up what is undesirable and unwanted. The media people who told her that she would never know the full truth made a mistake. For they forgot that a surmise can tell you as much truth as hard evidence can which the police (or the two saffron clad men who picked up and put in a car a man without injury or blood on him resembling in dress that Karkare wore) could have attempted to destroy. And even Shakespeare’s wise man Polonious also tells that through indirection you can find the direction out.

Therefore some detour: on September 1, 2008 ATS officers Jaiswal, Sachin Kadam and Rajwardhan (then posted at Malegaon and now a deputy commissioner of police in Mumbai) had gone to meet Abrar in jail. They told him, “hum logon ka ek mission hai. Do dhai mahine men pura ho jayga. Phir beech kay kuch log jo tang ada rahen hain koi nahin rahey ga.” Then they specified the mission: “hum nay 2006 men jo tahkikat ker kay chargesheet banai thi use wo log badal dal rahe hain. Isi liyay unhain beech may se hatana jaroori hai.” In substance it would mean that there are two groups of officers. One which includes the above three as well as the boss of ATS Raghuvanshi had already prepared the charge sheet in the case of the September 2006 blast in Malegaon. But the others preeminently Karkare had begun making changes in the charge sheet. It was the mission of the first group to obviate the second.

There is no need to make it out anymore melodramatic than what it already is. But if you read the original it is gory tale of a clique. Moreover this is what Abrar has put in in his affidavit to Judge YB Shinde. The court is competent enough to disabuse us or Abrar of the macabre surrounding the same. Even so there is internal logic that cannot be denied. For example Rajwardhan had given more than twenty five lakh rupees to the father-in-law of Abrar to accept the police version and forget what he had told earlier of what he had overheard at the Medicare Hospital that the blast was the work of Hindu right and Dr Rajinder Amin, Dr Bipin Parekh and Someshwar Shanker and others were behind it. Abrar was kept in hotel Pritam at Dadar in Mumbai and taken out for shopping, then his junket to Indore, Ujjain and other places at the expense of the ATS. The costly mobiles given to him and his wife by Rajwardhan and his interaction on phone with that worthy cop are bizarre to say the least. At one time Abrar boasted that he had more than fifty lakh rupees and an Indica car to drive him around towns of Madhya Pradesh. This fabulous amount of wealth could only come from the Jews for the Israeli officials did promise Purohit monetary support. It mocks the country which cannot afford good quality helmets and bullet proof jackets for honest officers has such treasure trove available for a song to such who have sworn to defend the country like the serving lieutenant colonel, Purohit. This is what the country is coming to!

SIMI absolved: To his consternation Karkare found no evidence of involvement of SIMI or local Muslims in the blasts of 2006. Interestingly the CBI has just told the high court in Mumbai that they have no evidence against the acused prompting the judge to exlaim why shouldn’t they be then given bail! A day before he was assassinated he had told Indian Express reporters in confidence: “I don’t know why this case has become so political,” “The pressure is tremendous and I am wondering how to extricate it from all the politics.”

Was the pressure telling on the investigation, what with someone who could be the next prime minister of the country questioning the credibility of the ATS?

“Of course,” was the answer. “We are being very very careful. In fact, when we want to question a suspect and if he or she has any Hindutvawadi connections, we make sure once, twice, thrice, that we have enough reason and evidence to even question. Normally it is not like that. We are able to freely question anyone we suspect.”

This revelation is crystallized by the anguish the people who had gathered at the Taj Hotel with burning candles had felt as well as the well meaning people of the country. Could Kavita avoid feeling the angst? Or, we? This would be the richest tribute from our hearts for this wonderful son of India! May his soul rest in peace for the service he did to the country!

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 January 2010 on page no. 13

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