Focus

Hyderabad: Composite Culture Targeted Again

By Mustafa Khan

Muslim-scattered section of the old city, Konark theatre, Venkatadri theatre, time 7 pm, Thursday 21 February 2013, two bombs exploded killing 18 people and injuring more than 50. A third bomb remained unexploded at a footbridge. All this happened within a hundred meters from each other.

It is eerie realization but true that the city had it coming, what with the frequent visits of Praveen Togadia to the city and his threats to turn Hyderabad into Ayodhya, Akbaruddin Oweisi openly and defiantly challenging the Hindu right to a face-to-face confrontation for 15 minutes sans police. In this faceoff, everyone would hold his breath in expectation as to who throws the gauntlet and who takes it up first.

Zee News reported that it was the Indian Mujahideen behind the blasts. This is the preprogrammed auto-reply. Doubts will be raised later and the case would prolong.

This is beginning at square one unless an early breakthrough changes the set scene. Beginning in default of the real. It did not take long to come. Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi asked his state ATS and state Intelligence Bureau (the collusion between Modi and Rajedra Kumar of IB is a known fact in many cases including the intelligence input from the Central Government on Ishrat Jehan as “terrorist”) to contact their counterpart in Hyderabad. In all the fake encounters of Gujarat, Hyderabad police colluded with the Gujarat police with impunity, be it the murder of Haren Pandiya, Sohrabuddeen, or even the Ahmadabad blasts. Police officer Narendra Amin not only was involved in killing Sohrabuddin/Tulsiram Prajapati but he had also killed with his service gun a Maulana’s son when the Muslims of Hyderabad protested against the arrest of innocent people including the Maulana. Till today the Andhra Pradesh police has not bothered to make forensic examination of the service gun of Narendra Amin, let alone question him in this case.

However, the police in Gujarat is on high alert and asked to keep tight vigil and watch the crowds, perhaps a hint that the planters of bomb in Hyderabad may have fled there as they might have revenge for 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat as motivation.

The central government had two days before the Hyderabad blasts sent an advisory asking all states to tighten security in sensitive places as Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and Hizbul Mujahideen may launch attacks to avenge the hanging of Ajmal Kasab and Afzal Guru. This is also reaction in default of the real. Even newspapers carry several reports of the same nature. The Delhi police claims ipso facto that the IM-accused Syed Maqbool and Imran (arrested in October 2012) had recced the sites at Abids Road, Dilsukh Nagar, in July 2012. That they had done it for Riyaz Bhatkal, as usual in all the recent attacks including the 13 July, 2012 attack in Mumbai and the Pune low-intensity blasts (Asian Age, 22 February 2013).

There is more disturbing news of how the Gujarat police in association with the Andhra/Maharashtra police forces is doing its official work. To save Yashpal Chadda from arrest in Sohrabuddin case, Nitin Shainai and Rajesh Ranjan had given three crore rupees to Amitabh Thakur, a cop.

This was paid ultimately to the CBI chief Kanda Swamy. Thus the under-table business in vibrant Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh went on. What is even more ominous, Rs one crore was transferred to a central government officer (Asia Express, Feb 22, 2013). Of course, Thakur and Kanda Swamy denied the charges. But interestingly, a Home Guard officer had told Kanda Swamy at Nasik that Vijay Neelkanth Pophale (RSS activist) had kept two of the bombers of 8 September, 2006, in Tulsi Lodge at Satana Naka, Malegaon.  No heed was given to this information. The lead was lost.

Even in Malegaon, a rich man called Mahesh Patodiya had paid Rs one crore 65 lakh for the blasts to a police officer. But the lead was not taken up for consideration. The police had called Patodiya and twenty Hindus for questioning but let them off. Even if this was part of grapevine, there was need to investigate it seriously because the police had taken the Home Guard to Nasik specifically at the instance of Kanda Swamy, an IG level officer of CBI. Instead, the Malegaon terror attacks of 2006 and 2008 were subsumed under “jehadi terrorism” and innocent people were wrongfully accused and thrown behind bars. In the case of the latter attack, after a suspenseful lull, Hemant Karkare did what no one had done before.

The game of hunting for Muslims is again on. If Riyaz Bhatkal and Imran are indigenous terrorists, then seeking their higher-ups in Afghanistan and Pakistan is a preposterous proposition. That is where the investigation agencies go astray. Their home-work is incomplete and inadequate.

So the Indian foreign secretary on a tour in the US was less than ingenuous like the erstwhile National Security Advison MK Narayanan when the latter derailed the Samjhauta Express attack investigation in the larger context of fighting terrorism in the aftermath of the attack on the Indian embassy in Afghanistan. Ranjan Mathai for the same reason perplexes others rather than clarifying anything when he says while touring the US: “Terrorism is and will remain a pre-eminent security challenge for both our countries. Our convergence on the source and the nature of the threat in our region has never been greater. It is, therefore, a challenge that provides us an opportunity for enhanced cooperation in combating terror and protecting our people from it. This is even more of an imperative today, as we move into a period of significant uncertainty in the next few years.” He finds the “source and the nature of the threat” in Afghanistan, and of course, Pakistan. And now you have it.

The third attack in Hyderabad coincided with the Indian Parliament going into the budget session and the home minister apologizing for his remark that BJP and RSS have been training youths in their camps on waging terror attacks.

The big question now is who mounted this attack in Hyderabad? Another big question is the source of the RDX. In Pakistan, RDX is easily available in the market while in India it is used by the army. So the terror attacks of 2006 have the provenance of RDX in the explosive substance seized by the ATS in the so-called arms haul case of Aurangabad. Zabiuddin Ansari or “Abu Jundal” is involved, the police claims. But the man who reportedly gave him the Tata Indica in Aurangabad denied in the MCOCA court before the judge, SV Modak, that he ever rented out the car to Zabiuddin. This also came out on the day of Hyderabad blast. Who will now clear all this murk?

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that BJP and RSS are training youths to explode bombs but now he says that he regretted it while Congress leaders reassert that Shinde’s accusation was based on facts!

Whatever ultimately turns out to be the case — whether it was the United Jihad Council or the face-off between Togadia and Akbaruddin — it gave an opportunity to deepen the gulf between India and Pakistan.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2013 on page no. 1

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