by Tahir Mahmoud (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 42, No. 3, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1434)
While the Indian establishment has traditionally blamed Muslims for every terrorist attack, investigations show that Hindu fascists have been the ones responsible for such crimes. The rot has even seeped into the Indian armed forces.
It has become fashionable for politicians of all stripes to show they are tough on “terror” and will spare no effort to crush it. Without defining it — the flexibility is useful in order to be selective about whom to target — the perception of being “tough on terror” arouses jingoism thereby garnering support in elections. President Barack Obama escalated drone attacks and launched US Special Forces operations worldwide soon after he was sworn in as president in 2009 to “prove” he is not soft on terror. The Zionists have been doing this for decades against defenceless Palestinians. Now the Indians have also joined the pack. Over time, this becomes routine as politicians see its utility in terms of marshalling support even if innocent people pay the price in life, limbs and blood. The media, too, finds much to celebrate in all the blood and gore splashed across its front pages or on television screens. These sell copies and increase ratings but more importantly, bring in advertising revenue.
Indian politicians have historically played this card well, blaming Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for whatever goes wrong in India. If there is no rain, it is ISI mischief; if there are floods, the Pakistani agency must have had a hand in it.
Indian politicians have historically played this card well, blaming Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for whatever goes wrong in India. If there is no rain, it is ISI mischief; if there are floods, the Pakistani agency must have had a hand in it. And if there is a bomb explosion somewhere, why, of course it has to be the ISI and its agents in India. Muslims pay the price for Indian suspicions and Hindu jingoism. This is what happened following the bomb explosion in Hyderabad on February 21, 2013 that killed 16 people. Scores of people were arrested, many of them the same Muslim youth that were arrested after the Mecca Masjid blast in the city on May 18, 2007. After being tortured for months, they were all set free for complete lack of evidence. Will the same routine follow the February 21 blast?
It is interesting to note that even the soft-spoken Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has jumped on the anti-terror bandwagon. The ruling Congress Party headed by Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of Rajiv Gandhi also wants to project a macho image. So what do they do? They find the most vulnerable members in society to burnish their macho credentials. Muhammad Afzal Guru, a Kashmiri activist who was languishing in Delhi’s Tihar Jail since 2006, was hanged on February 9, 2013 for the same reason. He was accused of involvement in the attack on India’s parliament in December 2001 even though he was not present at the scene.
Several Indian commentators dubbed Guru’s execution a “judicial murder”; others said it had politically motivations aimed at garnering support for the ruling Congress Party in next year’s elections. The purpose, according to these commentators, was to prove that Congress was not soft on “terror” so that the hardline Hindu fascist party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) does not outflank it. As a Kashmiri, Guru was a soft target. The people of Kashmir are considered a legitimate target for whatever crimes the Indian state and its Muslim-hating Hindu troops — army, Border Security Force and the unruly mob that goes by the name of Central Reserve Police Force — perpetrate against them. At least 100,000 Kashmiris have been killed since 1989 and more than 10,000 women gang-raped in the same period.
Beyond Kashmir, however, there are other aspects that shed light on acts of terror in India and how Muslims are immediately blamed when the actual perpetrators are Hindu provocateurs. The weight of evidence has finally forced Indian politicians and bureaucrats to admit that many of the terrorist acts over the years were perpetrated by Hindu groups. On January 22, 2013, for instance, the Indian Home Secretary R.K. Singh said that at least 10 people with close links to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a well-known Hindu terrorist outfit, and its affiliate organizations were accused in various acts of terror across India.
“Yes, during investigations of Samjhauta Express [the February 19, 2007 attack on a train travelling to Pakistan], Mecca Masjid [May 18, 2007] and [Ajmer] Dargah Sharif blasts [October 2007], we have found names of at least 10 persons who have been associated with the RSS at some point or the other,” according to Singh’s statement in the Indian daily, The Hindu of January 22, 2013. He made the statement two days after his boss, Indian Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had said in Jaipur that investigative agencies had found the BJP and the RSS conducted training camps to spread terrorism. “We will have to think about it seriously and will have to remain alert,” he said.
In his statement to the media, Singh named a number of Hindus with close links to the RSS that are either in police custody or wanted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in connection with numerous terrorist acts. Even more pertinent was a person using the alias Swami Aseemanand (his real name is Jatin Chatterjee or Naba Kumar Sarkar, depending on the Indian agency or media source one uses). He is alleged to be the main conspirator in the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif Dargah blasts. Aseemanand was associated with Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad, a wing of the RSS in Dang, Gujarat, from the 1990s to 2007, according to Singh. He is considered an ideologue of Abhinav Bharat (New India), an organization that is believed to be behind the Malegaon blast in Maharashtra in September 2008. Aseemanand was arrested on November 19, 2010 while hiding in an ashram (a Hindu holy place) in Hardiwar.
Aseemanand, however, was not acting alone. After discovering the media-generated hysteria against alleged Muslim terrorists blowing up their own masjids to be false, Indian investigators started to dig deeper. One principled investigator’s name in particular stood out: Hemant Karkare, chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS). His investigation led him to the Hindu terrorist outfits. The deeper he dug, the more evidence he unearthed of the Hindu terrorists and a larger conspiracy being hatched by some elements in the Indian army to stage a coup. He did not pre-judge people on their religion or what community they belonged to, as has been the wont of most police investigations in India. This is also the line frequently peddled by politicians because it helps them score points against arch-rival Pakistan as well as keep the already oppressed Muslim community in India under heel. Karkare was different; he was able to establish the presence of a radical Hindu outfit, Abhinav Bharat, for the blasts in Malegaon, and later on stitching it with a larger conspiracy of these extremists to use elements in the Indian army to organize a coup.
Just days before the Mumbai attacks of November 26, 2008, Karkare had told an Indian weekly: “We are not looking at seers or saints in relation to the Malegaon blasts. We are not looking at people from a particular community when we question them. We are just detaining people on the basis of evidence… There are a lot of people going around claiming to be saints,” in a veiled reference to Aseemanand (or Jatin Chatterjee/Naba Kumar Sarkar). Karkare was killed while the Mumbai Taj Hotel attack was underway but in circumstances that have raised serious questions about those behind his killing and that of his two police associates. He was not killed at or near the hotel but in a totally different location.
Karkare’s investigation had led him to Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit who had provided explosives used in the various bomb attacks. Interrogation of other extremists like Pragya Thakur and Dayanand Pande exposed a vast network of Hindu extremists hell bent on blaming Muslims but in fact directly responsible for all the terrorist attacks. It also revealed a nexus of Hindu extremists and Zionists pursuing the same agenda: to pin the blame on Muslims for every terrorist act. Karkare exposed this diabolical conspiracy; he had to be eliminated.
A day before Karkare was killed, media reports said he had sought permission from the defence ministry to follow up on some of the leads that he had collected during his investigation. He wanted to check the extent of infiltration of this subversive ideology in the Indian armed forces but his efforts were aborted with his death. He had also received death threats two days before he was killed.
The circumstances of his death have raised serious questions. The Delhi-based website Hardnews said on its portal in June 2010: “the former minority affairs minister, A R Antulay… had raised a storm [in parliament] by asking for an inquiry into the killings of the ATS chief [Karkare] and other officers. He had said: ‘There must have been some reason why Karkare went to Cama Hospital instead of Taj and Oberoi hotels [that were under attack]’.” Hardnews also reported that by asking why three officers were traveling in the same car, which is against the rules, Antulay had raised doubts about the official explanation of his death. The former minister was reported to have said that “someone” must have told Karkare and other officers with him to go to Cama Hospital, suggesting that the ATS chief fell victim to a “set-up” as he was probing cases that involved Hindu terrorists in the Malegaon bomb blast case, with strong and powerful linkages.
Hardnews then asked the question: “Whose bullets killed the Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare — and, also, ACP Ashok Kamte and Inspector Vijay Salaskar, if they were not that of [Ajmal] Kasab and Ismail [the gunmen that had stormed the Taj Hotel]?” Karkare’s autopsy report showed that he had died of bullet wounds fired from close range. This suggested a gunman/gunmen in their vehicle as they were on the way to Cama Hospital. Clearly this could not have been Kasab or Ismail who were in the hotel throughout the siege. There is speculation that Karkare and his team were lured into a trap on the orders of someone very high up in the chain of command, either in the police force or in the political establishment.
Two of the three widows, Karkare’s wife Kavita, and Kamte’s wife Vinita, have shown great determination in digging out the truth about the death of their husbands. They have used every means to get to the bottom of what happened that fateful night of November 26. When Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi came to visit Karkare’s widow Kavita with a reward of 10 million rupees, she rejected the offer. She even refused to see Modi. The Gujarat chief minister had attempted to derail Karkare’s investigations and discredit him, without much success it would seem. The Maharashtra ATS chief was exposing people involved in terrorist acts that had close links to Modi.
Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appointed the Gujarat chief minister as member of the parliamentary board on March 31, 2013, a key decision-making body in the Hindu fascist party. Modi is likely to lead the BJP in the 2014 parliamentary elections and if the party wins, he would become India’s next prime minister. He has been linked to the bloody anti-Muslim pogroms of 2002 in which an estimated 2,000 Muslims were killed, many of them burnt alive while the police force was prevented by Modi from intervening to stop the Hindu mobs that he had been unleashed. The February 28, 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in Gujarat erupted after Muslims were accused of setting fire to a train at Godhra. The train was carrying Hindu pilgrims. Subsequent investigation by an Indian judge found that the fire started when an oil cooker flipped in the carriage engulfing it in flames.
To see how craven some Muslim leaders in India are, consider this statement from Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Vice President of the BJP: “Narendra Modi is a versatile leader and we are happy that he has been chosen to play a key role in the upcoming elections.” This versatile leader was responsible for the murder of more than 2,000 Muslims including women and children in Gujarat, yet Naqvi is full of praise for him.