Of Terror: How To Stop
By Mumtaz Alam Falahi
Two and half months after Jaipur bombings which left 60 people dead, Bangalore and Ahmedabad were ripped through by serial blasts on 25th and 26th July respectively – 25 explosions in total within 24 hours – and 50 people were dead and more than 150 wounded. Jaipur is unsolved till date and, with past investigations into terror attacks in mind, it can be said that Bangalore and Ahmedabad will remain unsolved, too. This is what has kept the cycle of terror moving.
As the real culprits are at large, they plan and execute terrorist attacks at their will – any time, any place. Rather than taking terrorist attacks objectively, after every bombing and terrorist attack, HuJI, SIMI and Harkatul Mujahideen are blamed by police and intelligence agencies, giving a clear message that Muslims are behind such attacks. What follows then is logical: Muslims are suspected, suspected Muslims are arrested, madrasas are raided, and some maulanas and Ulema are detained. However, within weeks or months most of them, one by one and without telling the media, are released simply because the police have no solid evidence against them. This is what happened after Jaipur serial blasts.
Even though some Hindutva extremists have been arrested in connection with terrorist blasts in Nanded, Parbhani, Tenkasi and Thane, this angle is not taken into account in investigation into terrorist attacks.
Result? Real culprits smile, sit and chalk out next attack. And the vicious circle goes on.
Why investigations have failed
There may be two basic reasons: technical and political.
The investigating agencies have shamelessly failed to nab real culprits behind terrorist attacks in the country in the last couple of years – recent one is Jaipur bombing. This leads one to think that our intelligence agencies and investigating agencies are not competent enough to deal with such cases. They do not have necessary skills and tools for proper investigation. This, however, can be partly true.
After all, it is these agencies which have solved 1993 Bombay serial blasts – most of the convicts have been awarded death sentence. Our agencies have also solved Parliament attack case. So high profile and sophisticated attacks have been solved but low-intensity blasts wherein bicycles were used – serial blasts in court premises in Uttar Pradesh and Jaipur blasts – have not been solved by them. They are still groping in the dark. In the Bangalore and Ahmedabad blasts also bicycles have been used.
This leads to the political reason of their failure. If they are competent enough to solve 1993 Bombay blasts – kudos to our agencies for that – then they have deliberately not followed up the leads in the recent blasts. For two reasons. They want to either hide the real culprits or blame Muslim organizations because this is what political bosses, media and public want to hear. One is forced to think that maybe our investigating agencies might have got some clues disclosure thereof was not in the interest of some people or parties. This assumption is not mere assumption. It holds some water.
After all, do you remember what happened to the man named Vijay, a rickshaw puller from Mumbai, who had said after Jaipur bombing that he was tried to be bribed by a woman called Meena in Jaipur? You may have forgotten because you were made to do so. The lead was buried silently.
The threat e-mail warning about the latest Ahmedabad blasts was sent from a flat in Navi Mumbai. The owner of the flat is one Abhishek and flat was rented to an American citizen who is working with a multinational firm in India. The investigation into the lead seems to have been frozen. Moreover, two cars loaded with explosives were found in Surat yesterday. Thirty six hours on, no information about the vehicles and its owner was disclosed.
Are terrorist attacks politically-motivated?
Many in the Muslim community – from ordinary youths to religious leaders – feel so. Without mincing a word they say these attacks are handiwork of rightist Hindu political party or at least they have been carried out to benefit them.
Manauwar Alam, a PG student of Jamia Millia Islamia, says that the attacks will help BJP polarize Hindu votes as the party was shocked at its defeat and also defection in its rank on the Indo-US nuclear deal.
Sheikh Naqueeb Ahmad, an HCL engineer, echoes Manauwar. He says as the party could not defeat Congress-led UPA on the N-deal issue in the Parliament and it had felt cracks in its rank, the blasts were carried out so that it could keep the flock together. It should be noted that most of the eight BJP MPs expelled by the party as they had crossed party line and voted in favour of UPA in the Lok Sabha on confidence motion, are from Gujarat and Karnataka.
All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan has called upon investigating agencies and the central and state home ministries to probe all possible suspects and all possible beneficiaries from such crimes.
Dr Khan said in a statement: “a certain political party which has usurped the common plank of fighting terrorism is a sure beneficiary of such incidents in view of the forthcoming elections.” He noted that these terrorist incidents are taking place in states ruled by this particular party and the chief minister of another state ruled by this party has already predicted that the next target of these crimes will be his state.
Talking to TwoCircles.net on phone, Mujtaba Farooque, secretary (political affairs) of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, said “riots have been replaced with terrorist attacks.” Those who were benefiting from riots are now benefiting from terrorist attacks.
Investigate the terror investigations
Whatever the reason, the intelligence and investigating agencies have failed shamelessly, and so if one demands that a special investigation into terror investigations themselves should be conducted, he is fairly justified.
That’s why Muslim organizations have always strongly condemned blasts and so strongly demanded fair, complete and result-oriented investigations into such cases.
IMMM President Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan have asked the central government to form a high powered neutral panel of retired judges, human rights activists, top lawyers and journalists to oversee the investigations into all terrorist acts.
Talking to TwoCircles.net JIH secretary Mujtaba Farooque has supported the demand, adding that such panel should be given statutory status so that its observations can be implemented.
Community’s role in combating terrorism
No doubt the role of security, intelligence and investigating agencies will always be crucial in combating terrorism but their being professional, objective and neutral is a pre-condition.
However, role of community is not less important. In fact their contribution is fundamental. Talk of combating terrorism should regularly feature in meetings among community members and between communities. The religious and civic leaders should hold regular meetings talking about evils of terrorism and communalism and other social evils. Besides, parents should spend some time with their children particularly discussing international and national affairs. Citizens should be aware of their surroundings. When in public places anything that seems out of place should be reported. Police-community relations and communication is also crucial. The police should work with citizen and devise programmes for mutual cooperation in a way that citizens do not feel threatened by the police and thus become their partner.
Though unfortunate but a fact that terrorism is something that we have to live with. However, we can minimize it. Minimizing it will require a multi-pronged approach and a partnership of people, community, organizations and government. It is the only way we can be successful through.