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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Investigation and Media's role in Terrorism: Indore, Hindutva hardliners' haven!

The arrest of right-wing militants in connection with the blast in Ajmer Dargah isn't surprising and is just another in the series of arrests of members of organisations ranging from Abhinav Bharat to Sanatan Sanstha who have committed a series of bombings in India from Malegaon to Goa.

Headlines in prominent newspapers and leading English channels read like 'Abhinav Bharat man caught', 'Ajmer blast suspects linked to Hindu groups' or 'Ajmer blast: Hindu group responsible'.

There is no mention of 'terrorism' and suddenly words like suspects and 'organisation member' are back in journalistic lingo. Just a recent example because public memory is short:

Bettig mafia respsosible for blast in Bagalore stadium during IPL!

During the Indian Premier League (IPL), bombs exploded in the stadium in Bangalore. Soon after, journalists who crave for breakthroughs and first page bylines, were mouthing names of persons involved in the blasts. There were reports that security agencies don't deny the role of particular persons.

A few days passed and the everybody has forgotte it. Now it seems that it was local betting mafia that was involved in planting bombs in the stadium, and we no longer read any follow-ups or any sort of news. So did it make it less serious if underworld or betting mafia is involved?

The classic case was in Assam where major bomb strikes in which dozens died were ignored when ULFA was involved but once minor blasts occurred and a news agency suspected 'Islamists' angle', it was suddenly prime time news and got repeatedly termed as terrorist attacks.

Just a day ago the Bangladesh government has handed DR Nabla alias Ranjan Daimary, the chief of the militant NDFB, that was involved in serial bombings in Assam in 2008 that caused over a 100 deaths. But the arrest didn't make big news despite the fact that a terrorist mastermind was caught.

Ironically media perceptions force police and investigative agencies to hurry up in investigations and they throw up names to evade intrusive journos by saying that such group's involvement is not ruled out. The casualty is truth.

Apart from inefficiency and political reasons, often the cases are not cracked because of these reasons. It's a fact that had there been a BJP government in Maharashtra, Goa or Rajasthan, the activists of Sanatan Sanstha or Abhinav Bharat may never have been arrested.

Upright officers, political will needed

Though Himanshu Panse's role in blasts in Marathwada had alerted security agencies, the investigation was closed. Firstly, some officers were soft on the group while others apparently didn't want to get into controversy. It took an officer of the calibre of Hemant Karkare to unravel this network.

Even in cases of blasts where there was a clear stamp of right-wing radicals, Muslim youths were arrested and put for months in illegal detentions. In Hyderabad, those protesting police action were fired at and many were killed.

The fact is that whether it is Hindutva-inspired fanatic or the Islamist militant, they are equally dangerous for the country. Terrorism and crime should be seen purely as a threat to the nation and not from the prism of religion.

Sadly, this doesn't happen. When some youths from Azamgarh were arrested, the entire district was demonised. When youths from a particular Muslims-dominated town were arrested, the name of the town 'Bhatkal' was added to their names though it was not their surname.

The aim was to defame the town. It was part of a strategy. Shouldn't Indore be also termed haven of Hindutva-wadis in India. This peaceful town in Central India has been linked to almost all the major cases of bomb blasts.

Should towns be defamed: Is Indore Hindutva-wadi's Azamgarh?

Either its Malegaon blast, Mecca Masjid or Ajmer terror strike, the accused are being arrested from Indore. The planning was done here. Even investigation trail in Samjhauta Express case has reached Indore. And the most wanted man, Ramji Kalsangra, whose arrest can unravel the entire group, also hails from here.

It is not that MP police were not aware of Sunil Joshi's shadowy organisation that was based in Indore. It was also aware of Samir Kulkarni's Abhinav Bharat that was functioning from MP. But the state police didn't act then even though local Hindi papers printed tonnes of material.

Kulkarni's role in planting bombs at Bhopal's major Islamic gathering of tablighi jamaat that attracts 1 million Muslims was also known but police under BJP rule didn't act. It is only when CBI and central investigative agencies reached Indore that the activity began.

The unfortunate aspect is that everything in India either gets politicised or communalised. Read the entire series on Falsehoods about Terrorism on this Blog.


kundan said...

Suddenly the same ATS who were nabbing "innocent" muslim youth for blast related cases, seem to be doing a great job when they are arresting "hindu" youth!!

You have written umpteen times on how and why the media is trying to defame the muslim community, why would you want to trust the story of the police now?

If Indian Mujaheedeen accoridng to you is a imaginary organisation , so is Abhinav Bharat. Cos in both the cases all we have a heard is some selective leaks bythe investigative agencies.

When you condemn the media for portraying a community or town as terrorist's den (because muslims are involved), shouldn't you be doing the same now as well instead of saying oh wait, they called Azamgarh was aatankgarh, so lets call Indore as a terrorist's den as well. If calling Azamgarh as aatankgarh is wrong, if arresting muslim youth in related to blast cases is wrong, so is the arrest of hindu youth and the trial by media.

indscribe said...

Kundan Ji: That's the problem. Of taking sides.

Though the truth is that both Hindu and Muslim fundamentalism exist side by side and both feed each other.

The point is that if two persons are arrested for the same crime, both should either be called MEMBERS of particular organisation or SUSPECTS.

It should not be plain TERRROIST 'Aatanki pakda gayaa' for one community and MEMBER or SUSPECT 'sandigdh hiraasat mein'.

At least, there should be consistecy. I must add that Indore and the surrouding region has a problem of Muslim fudamentalism also ad Safdar Nagori was arrested from here. Either it's SIMI or Abhiav Bharat, they are all bunch of fanatics who ought to be treated similarly ad with the same contempt.

Anonymous said...

It is only right that the same yardstick be used to deal with terrorists of all kinds. Fairness is important.

Best wishes,

Anonymous said...

thanks you write fantastic stuff. I think your site gave this news first. have you seen this link in hindustan times?


Indore terror outfit behind three blasts

CBI probe has established the alleged involvement of an Indore-based terror module in executing the May 2007 Mecca mosque blast in Hyderabad, the October 2007 Ajmer Sufi shrine blast in Rajasthan two years ago, and the September 2008 Malegaon blast in Maharashtra.

The three blasts were executed by this module’s core team comprising its “brain”, former RSS volunteer in Mhow Sunil Joshi, who is now dead, “ bomb-maker” Ramji Kalsangra, “facilitator” Devendra Gupta, “planter” Sameer Dange and cleric Asimanand, said a senior investigator. He added, “Kalsangra made the bombs used in the Mecca, Ajmer blasts… and the Malegaon blast.”

First dry run

According to the investigator, Joshi and Kalsangra “first used” their characteristic bomb technology, used later in the Meeca, Ajmer blast, on December 23, 2003 in Bhopal. Kalsangra and Josh had planted this device at a spot near the venue of a Muslim congregation — Ijtema — at Ghansipura but it was defused by the police.

The bomb was made of explosives including RDX and TNT, packed in cylindrical metal pipes, connected with wires to a mobile phone set, whose alarm functioned as the trigger device on receiving a call.

The sim cards

The module began preparing for its attacks, allegedly to target Muslims, months before the Mecca blast.

Before they carried out the blast, Joshi and Kalsangra had visited Gupta’s home in Jamtada (West Bengal). Based on documents provided by Gupta, including a driving licence, they bought SIM cards that were used to activate mobile phone sets, said the investigator.

Investigators suspect Malegaon blast accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit gave technical inputs to Ramji to execute the blasts. Malegaon blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur had sold her bike to Joshi, which was used by Kalsangra in the Malegaon blast.

suds said...

Why did somebody like sadhvi pragnya and a patriotic army officer become terrorists. We should do a root cause analysis and address their "genuine grievances".

They may want to re establish the glorious Ram Rajya, implement Manu Nidhi(Dont ask if its relevant in today's world) , make learning the Veda compulsory and make sati legal.
After all most hindu woman would willingly commit sati to protect their modesty, its their fundamental right in a democracy. The govt should redress their grievances not interfere in religious issues.

Also Sadhvi pragnya has been in jail for more than a year now. What if she is proved to be innocent? the best years of her life will be wasted in prison. We should speed up the trail against these people as the Indian police is not exactly known for their honesty.

Where is Digvijay singh?

Replace hindu with muslim and you would know who is adopting double standards.

urdudaaN said...

Look at the beneficiaries of terrorism, and you will know who's doing it.

I think talking sense to these nonsense Manuvadis is of no use. They are happy so long as you are lambasting yourselves.

These shameless supporters of gruesome killers are so communally infested that only a western stick could keep them checked. No straight talk gets to their heads.