IM and the business of terror

“Indian Mujahidin” or IM, is again in the news. On 17 July, almost three years after its ban by the Union home ministry on 4 June 2010, the National Investigation Agency filed its first chargesheet under UAPA against five persons claimed to be part of the IM team. But, surprisingly, the chargesheet is silent about the alleged outfit’s “masterminds” like Iqbal Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar Haddi, Ariz Khan and Tahseen Akhtar. NIA said its probe against 12 absconding accused including the Bhatkals is continuing.

IM, alleged to be an offshoot of SIMI, has been hitherto accused of terrorism since the U.P. blasts of 2007, though it is know only through a few mysterious “emails”. It came to light when it sent its first “email” to media organisations. It sent another “email” shortly after the Jaipur blasts of 13 May 2008. Then it sent yet another “email” five minutes before the Ahmedabad blasts of 26 July 2008 which was claimed to be the handiwork of Yasin Bhatkal. This email was traced to the American Kenneth Haywood’s WiFi IP address in Navi Mumbai. This shadowy character was never charged or even interrogated and was allowed to leave the country. IM’s last “email” was sent on 13 September 2008 after the Delhi blasts which was traced to a wi-fi connection in Chembur. The “email” sent on 13 May 2008, after the Jaipur blasts, was traced to a Ghaziabad cyber café owned by a Hindu belonging to the Congress Party. No action was ever taken against this man since only Muslim can be terrorists according to the RSS logic shared by both BJP and Congress. It remains a mystery how the origins of these “emails” have not been traced using the powerful snooping and surveillance equipment worth thousands of crores which have been acquired by various agencies using the terror scare.

The first chargesheet has created much fuss because it said that the IM was created as a result of the anger felt by Muslim youths vis-á-vis Gujarat riots of 2002 which is stupefying as this alleged anger took six long years to burst out. Some Congress party leaders used this as a handle to attack Modi with and a war of sorts erupted in the cyberspace and on 24x7 news channels.

The Congress attack, in fact, did a great disservice to the Indian Muslims as it implied that the IM was a creation of Indian Muslims who forcefully dispute this claim and do not accept that the IM has anything to do with the Indian Muslim community. Indian Muslims believe that IM is a creation of some secret force like IB (or Pakistan’s ISI) and the creator is using it in the phoney war being waged against the Indian Muslims to marginalise them and keep them in a state of perpetual terror so that they would not demand their rightful share in the nation’s resources and opportunities. IM to this date remains an unknown entity. Even the NIA chargesheet is extremely vague and does not pinpoint dates, places and people related to the alleged outfit. Weeks before IM’s ban in 2010, Kolkata’s Telegraph had quoted a Union home ministry official as saying that they cannot ban IM because they do not know what it is. Recently Tariq Anwar, a Union minister, publicly asked in a signed article, “Where is the Indian Mujahidin’s headquarter?” (MG, 316, 16-31 March 2013, p.1).  

We reject all these vague claims and demand a high-power judicial commission to probe all blasts since the BJP-led NDA jumped on George Bush’s terror bandwagon. We have strong doubts that the terror scare is being used as a tool against the Muslim community by the Congress today just as it was used by the BJP yesterday.

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

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