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Monday, October 19, 2009

Saffron Terror Trail: From Maharashtra to Goa, right-wing extremists leave imprints across India

The recent blast in Goa's Margao and the recovery of more explosive devices (IEDs) in Sancaole has once again brought spotlight on the fringe organisations that are involved in terror attacks in the country.

The name of Sanatan Sanstha that has come up in the course of investigations, has been linked to blasts man times in the past also.

This includes blast at a theatre in Thane and explosions in Vashi and Panvel.

Besides, the group is linked to another hardliner group--Abhinav Bharat that was responsible for the Malegaon blasts.

Any fundamentalist group belonging to any religion can have some sick and fanatic elements. However, the problem begins when there is reluctance among officials and the leadership in accepting that certain organisations can be involved in terrorism.

After the Goa blast, the headlines in channels and newspapers read like--'Extremist group involved', 'Sanatan activists quizzed' or 'Hindu group blamed'. Not once the word 'Terror' was used. Those arrested were termed 'activists' or 'suspects.

Besides, the use of word 'blame' in headlines is in sharp contrast to the otherwise 'judgmental reporting about terrorists caught, as per police version even when there is no blast'. It is also wrong to associate terror with religion. In fact, in all such cases, the word should be terrorist, rather than Hindu or Muslim.

Any group belonging to any religious community can have fanatic elements. Just like SIMI and the terror outfits with foreign support that have created terror in our country in the past, there are dozens of extremist organisations from Assam to Punjab and Manipur to Jharkhand. They could be Maoists or right-wing Hindu groups.

Hate can consume anybody. Early this year a right-wing activist was caught for injecting a Christian priest with poison-filled injection. We can only imagine that how strong must be his conviction or the motivation to fight the evangelists. And the 'man' who shot only those Muslims who married Hindu girls.

And there were Abhinav Bharat activists who were targeting Muslim cogregations and Churches. Not to mention, the procurement of RDX and the arrest of even an armyman [Colonel Purohit]. What is needed is that there should be tough action and similar nomenclature for all groups that are involved in disruptive activities.

This must include the political parties that attack citizens of other states in the name of regionalism and divide the society. Meanwhile, a few other revelations with regard to the Goa blast:

1. Preliminary investigations have revealed that the Sanstha's activists were involved in the recent communal riots in Miraj and Sangli just before the Maharashtra elections.

2. After Hemant Karkare's death, the investigation into the activities of the 'right-wing' terrorist groups came to a dead-end. Karkare had stumbled upon the network and the modules spread across Maharashtra and neighbouring states including MP and Karnataka. But a campaign to defame him was begun soon after he had begun the ATS' operation.

3. Blasts and attacks on mosques in Parbhani, Jalna, & Purna towns of Maharashtra, targeting towns like Malegaon, Modasa and attacks on Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti's shrine in Ajmer apart from Mecca Masjid and the Samjhauta Express had pointed to the direction of the right-wing terrorist organisations.

4. Malgonda Patil who died in the blast was expert in assembling bombs. The investigating team has reached Nagpur after they found that the gelatin sticks were brought from Maharashtra.

Samjhauta Express blast case solved: Planned in Indore!

Police teams of several states including Haryana and Rajasthan who were probing the attack on train, have finally zeroed in on the extremists in Indore. Local newspapers have revealed that the organisation members killed one of their own, RSS activist Sunil Joshi, so that the police couldn't reach them and bust the network.

Still, the bags used in carrying bombs in the train and other clues had taken police to Indore. A BJP leader's brother has been found involved in financing the bomb-making, reports an Indore based mass circulation evening newspaper. See the front page of the newspaper and the investigative report.