Terrorism

Aseemanand’s confession: a blessing in disguise for 32

 

Aseemanand’s jail custody, which led to his sensational confession on 18 December 2010 brought cheers into lives of 32 innocents who had been rounded up for the simple sin of having a Muslim name.

Strange are the ways of fate. Aseemanand, who had a lava of hatred against Muslims, claims that he was touched by the selfless service of a Muslim, Abdul Kaleem, in the Chanchalguda jail. What made him repent was the fact that Kaleem suffered torture for 18 months for Mecca Masjid blast that, in fact, was masterminded by Aseemanand himself. He decided to do a prayaschit (penance). He made the confession on 18 December 2010.

With his confession and admission that not Muslims but Hindus were behind various blasts, investigation agencies had a stunning shock. Till now they had been making claims of having solved the mysteries of all the blasts. Under torture, innocent Muslim boys were made to “confess” of their involvement in those blasts. Now all of them stand red faced – the agencies, the National advisor on security (now holidaying in Kolkata’s raj bhawan) and, of course, the omnipresent media which had flashed hours of stories of Muslim terror. The only one to refute is, of course, the RSS combine which not only pretended innocence but accused the government of complicity of fabricating stories to malign “patriots and social workers”.

“Swami’s confession has brought back into focus the entrenched prejudice against Muslims in the criminal justice system,” Ashish Khetan observes, adding “…. a dangerous prejudice had crept into psyche of a section of our investigating agencies. There was an instant assumption: behind every terror blast there must be a Muslim…. Swami Aseemanand’s confession has now proved that the arrests of 32 Muslim men for Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts were utterly misplaced. …. they were not behind the terror blasts. This is the disturbing story of what the security agencies did to them. And the shoddy work that passes for investigation.”

If Andhra Police had bungled in Mecca Masjid blast with 25 persons, Maharashtra police had been the forerunner in ignoring leads. Even the death of Bajrang Dal activist while making bombs did not dissuade them from arresting Muslims in Malegaon blasts. Nanded blast was followed by blasts in Jalna and Parbhani. In Goa again we had a similar tale. Yet our intelligence and security agencies refused to be reasonable and logical.

Yes, the lives, dreams, reputations of these Muslim youths have been shattered. They are physically and mentally a wreck. However, their sufferings would come to an end – Allah willing. Hadn’t Prophet Yusuf undergone the trauma of imprisonment inspite of his innocence? Yes, he did; but he had neither to face the humiliation nor torture.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 February 2011 on page no. 9

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