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Series of blasts in Ahmedabad, ten injured

At least 12 people were injured when a series of crude bomb blasts took place in Ahmedabad city buses May 29 morning. The simultaneous blasts occurred at 10.00 am in buses run by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, police said. 

Ahmedabad had seen worst anti-Muslim pogroms which erupted on February 28 in the wake of the Godhra train tragedy. Over 70,000 Muslims of this city are still living in temporary shelters in graveyards, schools and mosques with nowhere to go. Their homes and businesses have been looted and burnt down. Although a sense of normalcy now prevails, stray accidents of stabbing, burning alive, killing with stones still continue. The mobs still burn Muslim homes and businesses which somehow were spared during the early phases of violence. Even now night curfew remains in force in ten police station areas in the city. 

Recently violence has erupted again in Godhra where a number of Muslims died by police firing. One of them was allegedly killed by the police in cold blood after his arrest.

The blasts were seen as part of Muslim victims' attempts to revenge the unprecedented pogroms in which even the state machinery and police took part in addition to giving free reign and protection to the rioting mobs who were at times led by ministers, legislators and leaders of the ruling party, the Hindu extremist BJP which also rules at the centre. Central authorities, especially the hardliner Home Minister LK Advani, have been talking these days of an alleged "nexus" between Gujarat Muslims and criminals and the Pakistani military intelligence (ISI). But, it is a fact that the BJP government in Gujarat has finished off the Muslim mafia in a well-thought out plan. 

Later reports quoting police sources said that they suspect extremist Hindu groups behind the blasts with a view to keep the Gujarat pot boiling. This becomes meaningful in the light of the indications from the BJP at both state and national levels that it is contemplating to go to the polls any time. A polarised society is the fascist party’s best bet.
Although a criminal force like their Hindu counterparts who thrive on contract killing and extortion, Muslim dons used to help their community during riots. The current one-sided beating Muslims received during the riots is due to the absence of the Muslim mafia. Elsewhere, like Mumbai, the authorities have been encouraging 'Hindu' mafia and trying to eliminate the Muslim mafia. In the present topsy-turvy India even criminals are treated by different standards according to their religion. While Dawood Ibrahim, the well-known mafia don, is on India's list of 20 presented to Pakistan, his arch-rival Chota Rajan allegedly enjoys official sympathy. There were reports in the Indian media that Rajan was given diplomatic help in his exploits against his Muslim rivals. Bal Thakeray, leader of the Shiv Sena, a component of the ruling National Democratic Alliance, has publicly praised the "Hindu" dons. 

In a related development, a team of Indian lawyers is preparing to file cases against the chief architect of the pogroms, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and other BJP leaders in the International Court of Justice at The Hague, holding them responsible for communal atrocities against Muslims in the state, said Majeed Memon, a senior lawyer of the Supreme Court of India.

"Speaking at a meeting organised by the Council of Indian Muslims (UK) in London, Memon said that "police had actively participated in the anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat…There have been incidents in which police officers siphoned out petrol from their vehicles and gave it to the arsonists." 

"One shudders simply by imagining the heartlessness of the perpetrators who entered places of worship and assaulted women taking refuge there and then murdered or stopped the victims from filing their FIRs (police reports)," said Memon. 

Noting that not all Hindus were anti-Muslim, Memon said that "there are Hindus who have been helping Muslims by risking their own lives, many of whom are my close friends and are dearer to me than my own family members." 

In another development, some VHP and Bajrang Dal activists have been at last arrested for their role in the anti-Muslim violence. This has taken place for the first time since the riots in Gujarat broke three months ago. Some of these people enjoyed official protection and roamed around in official vehicles.

Babu Bajrangi, a prominent Bajrang Dal activist in Ahmedabad and four others with links to the VHP have been arrested and sent to ten days police remand.

The arrests have taken place in connection with the rioting in the Naroda-Patia suburb of Ahmedabad which witnessed some of the worst violence in which more than 80 people were burnt alive and over 700 houses burnt down. Among those burnt alive was a former member of Parliament and trade union leader, Ahsan Jafari. He spent hours on his phone trying to contact people in Ahmedabad and Delhi to provide him protection while the mobs encircled his house. Many residents of the locality had taken refuge there in the belief that the rioters will not touch the house of such an important personality. Eventually the rioters got hold of Jafary and burnt him alive together with others from the locality.

There have been complaints that the Naroda-Patia case was not being followed up by the police despite the filing of FIRs. The National Human Rights Commission had asked for the case to be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. This move, which may prove cosmetic, comes as a result of huge local and international pressure. The accused may be released on parole after a few days and the police case against them would be full of holes so that it won't stand a chance in a court of law. 

Already, under police pressure, almost all first information reports filed by the victims, do not pinpoint specific persons known to the victims, but talk of "mobs" who attacked them and burnt their relatives and houses. In this way no one will be punished since a court of law cannot punish a "mob".

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