Sunday, February 3, 2013

Trivializing Terror
Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

Predictably, RSS and BJP workers put up a spirited agitation on January 24 in protest of the Home Minister who has committed two major blunders. Firstly, he tried to link terrorism to a belief system and specifically commented on the growth of what he called as Hindu Terror. Secondly, he went overboard and highly irresponsibly politicized the discourse on terror by taking the names of the RSS and the BJP claiming that in the training camps of both these organisations terrorism is taught. This has added to the pleasure of those who are masterminding terror attacks from across the border. They have already gleefully grabbed these pearls of wisdom of our Home Minister. The minister was so very engaged in obtaining political brawny points that he absolutely had no time to even say hello to Justice J S Verma who presided over the govt. appointed committee to look into the issues concerning safety and security of women.
For the benefit of Home Minister Susheel Kumar Shinde it is necessary to bring to his notice as to how at several instances Congress workers have been caught red-handed while indulging in terrorist and anti-national activities by the law enforcing authorities from time to time. This should bring Mr. Shinde out of selective amnesia and may prevent further trivialization of the issue of terrorism.
Former Fisheries Minister of Gujarat and a prominent Congress leader Mohammad Surti and ten others were found guilty in 1993 Surat twin blast case by TADA court on October 4, 2008. While Mohammad Surti along with four other convicts including former Congress corporator Iqbal Vadiwala received 20-year prison sentence, another six received 10 year prison sentence. Total 21 persons were found guilty out of which five were not traceable.
According to police, a part of the arms cache smuggled into Mumbai for 1993 Mumbai blasts was diverted to Surat. Mohammad Surti had procured hand grenades from the late Ahmedabad don Abdul Latif for the bombings, the court had then observed.
Again, as reported by the The Indian Express on March 5, 2002 several Congress leaders feature in the list of accused in the Godhra train - bogey burning case. Prominent among them are Mehmud Hussain Kalota, convener of the Congress district minority cell and president of the Godhra municipality, Salim Abdul Ghaffar Sheikh, president of the Panchmahal Youth Congress and Farroukh Bhana, secretary of the district Congress committee.

Later, when 31 people were convicted for Godhra roasting, two Congressmen were given life imprisonment while one was given death penalty. The Times of India dated 9 August 2003 reported that at least 25 Congress leaders were accused of being involved in attacks on Muslims. 

Again it is the same Congress party that had allied with Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagham - a party involved in 1998 Coimbatore blasts. So much for 'links' with terrorists, Congress entered into an electoral agreement with this party in Tamil Nadu in the 2006 Assembly polls. 

An incident like the deadly Coimbatore blasts in which Shri L K Advani miraculously escaped but nearly 58 Hindus, mostly BJP workers were killed. The prime accused of this case is PDP leader Abdul Madani. In 2006, the then ruling and Opposition parties had joined hands to unanimously pass a resolution in the Kerala Assembly on March 16, calling for Madani’s release on “humanitarian grounds” from the Coimbatore prison. Later when Madani was arrested by the Karnataka police and kept in a Banglore prison for the 2008 Banglore serial blasts case, Congress and Muslim League along with the PDP undertook a campaign to force the Karnataka Government to provide medical help and other facilities to Abdul Nasser Madani.  

It is a well known fact that the Kerala-based PDP, of which Madani is chairman, and a group called Justice for Madani Forum formed after his arrest by Bangalore police in August, 2010, have been trying to garner support for moves to influence the Karnataka Government for quite some time and the UPA at the centre is refusing to prevent such highly objectionable precedents being set.

The record of the Congress party on the count of resolutely facing the challenge of terrorism has always been dubious. Nation has not forgotten as to how the ghost of Bhindranwale was nurtured by those who were at the helm of affairs at the Centre then. Again, it was Mrs. Gandhi the first who introduced the Illegal Migrants: Determination by Tribunals (IMDT) Act in early eighties with the sole objective of protecting illegal Bangladeshi migrants staying in Assam.

Again, can we forget as to how keen was the Congress to oppose the passage of POTA that it compelled the then NDA government call for a historic joint session of both the houses of the Parliament? And as if this is not enough, read what Madhu Agarwal, the irrepressible RTI activist from Delhi has to say through his personal dispatch of January 29, 2013: “It refers to media-reports about country’s top secret-agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) suddenly aborting its important ‘Operation Morocco’ mission relating to 26/11 militants’ attack on Mumbai aiming to reach out to Faiza Outalha, the estranged wife of Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headly, who acted as a ‘scout’ to identify various targets for the deadly strikes.”

Agarwal further observes: “At a time when India is expressing its anguish over Headly escaping death-penalty and his extradition to India, such media-reports now appearing about RAW aborting its important mission sometime in mid-2012 are indeed a cause of serious concern on working of RAW whose activities cannot be made public under ‘Right-To-Information Act’. However Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) should make a detailed study also because the media-reports doubt if PMO was aware of such aborting of RAW mission. PMO should in larger national interest issue clarification on such media-reports.”

Dear Mr. Shinde, it is easy to single out a particular organisation and apply a particular tag to some terrorist activities. It takes hardly any dexterity to play politics on these lines. But you must remember that people are least interested in this name-calling. They want results and your own irresponsible statements have seriously dented your credibility. What has come under cloud is the very authenticity of your government’s plan to fight with terror. This is downright demoralising for the police and disillusioning for the people of India in general. No wonder, terrorists beyond the boundaries were the happiest lot to read about your statement. Mr. Shinde, you are trivializing the threat of terror and it is we the people who will have to pay price for this.