Sunday, May 16, 2010
The Missing Malegaon Dot
The recent arrests in Ajmer blasts of October 11, 2007 flies in the face of then Home Minister Shivraj Patil who had publicly blamed Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI) of Bangladesh without taking any laundry break! The standard statement of Home Minister is not issued in individual capacity but a reflection of official stand of the government. So who fed the words in the mouth of Home Minister? It is clear now that he was misled by a section of intelligentsia. This episode speaks volumes about the power of intelligence agencies: it has the potential to mislead any government.
The notorious right-wing trend of targeting Muslims began with Malegaon September 8, 2006 blasts. It was a pioneer project whose first experiment was performed in Malegaon’s Bada Qabristan. Emboldened by false arrests and biased investigation, these elements swore to repeat ‘Malegaon syndrome’. The syndrome first travelled South in the form of Mecca Masjid blast on May 18, 2007. Here again, they met with success. The syndrome raised its ugly head in North in the form of Ajmer blast on October 11, 2007. It returned to Malegaon once again on September 29, 2008 to complete a full circle. It was grit, determination and honesty of Hemant Karkare that exposed the face of right-wing terror. Malegaon 2006 blast occurred on Friday on the day of Shabe-Barat. Mecca Masjid blast took place on Friday again. Ajmer blast was triggered on Thursday; the day people throng Ajmer Sharif dargah. Malegaon 2008 blast went off in the holy month of Ramadan at Bhikku chowk where Muslims gather in large numbers after tarawih prayers. All this falls under one pattern. Therefore, it will not be incorrect to assume that Hyderabad and Ajmer blasts were exact replica of Malegaon.
Like Malegaon, dozens of innocent Muslims were rounded up and beaten in Hyderabad in order to weave a fictional narrative of terror. Senior journalist Seema Mustafa who interviewed all the accused has remarked that “In Hyderabad not a single policeman has been made to pay for the illegal detention and terrible torture of young Muslims detained for days and weeks for alleged involvement in terror attacks. All were finally released as no evidence substantiating the charges was found, but not before their lives were ruined with many of them still unable to pick up the pieces.”
Soon after the Ajmer blast, investigators had found a SIM card that led them to link dargah blast to Mecca Masjid blast but yet intelligence agencies blamed Muslims! A little investigation would have revealed the identity of the SIM card holder but investigators didn’t bother to investigate! It has now become clear that Devender Gupta procured the fake identity of Babulal Yadav from Ranchi which helped Chandrashekhar Barod to buy the SIM cards that were used to trigger both the blasts. Both used low intensity explosives, kept in tin boxes with iron pipes folded around them. Cellphones were used to trigger both explosions; using SIM cards bought with the same fake identity and Telugu newspapers were used in both cases to wrap the bombs.
All these years security agencies have been sniffing out the same old and ‘standard pattern’. The theorists of the old and standard pattern suggest that whatever happens in India (Prime Minister’s sneeze included!) is the ultimate outcome of the designs made on the other side of the border. And designs are implemented by the educated Muslim youths of the country. Isn’t it a unique case of remote-control governance? What more, deadly designs direct these youths to kill their co-religionists in mosques and dargahs!
So if our intelligence agencies are to be believed, believers are being killed by the believers. So is it safe to assume that the devotees at Akshardam temple were gunned down by their co-religionists? Or should we conclude that the 7/11 train blasts were the handiwork of Hindus? What would be the reaction of the Hindu mass, if we extend believers versus believers’ theory in the Varanasi temple blast?
The turn of events in Ajmer and Hyderabad blasts have shown a new path which intelligence agencies need to tread carefully. Time is ripe for India to come out of its conditioned mentality. Investigators must break their mental blocks. Indian law enforcement agencies suffer from the fatal disease of prejudice. India is once again going through the ‘siege within’ phase. Our National Security Advisor must ensure that a new and broad pattern of investigation continues instead of selective intimidation.
Surprisingly, Malegaon 2006 blasts have not figured anywhere in the ongoing Ajmer and Hyderabad investigation. The root of right-wing terror lies in Malegaon’s Bada Qabristan. There is an urgent need to connect the dots and form a triangle of Malegaon, Hyderabad and Ajmer. Perhaps, the mystery will unfold in MCOCA court later this month when Malegaon case stands up for argument.
CBI does not have any Hemant Karkare but there are judicial officers like Justice ML Tahiliyani who firmly believe in rule of law and fast-track justice.
Sunday Inquilab, May 16, 2010