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Hit and run terror

Last week’s Hyderabad blast seems as senseless as 2011’s at Zaveri Bazaar, Mumbai. But it is time agencies were given a free hand to unmask those behind them, writes Sujata Anandan.

columns Updated: Feb 27, 2013 14:27 IST
Sujata Anandan

There are a group of madcap activists who would have it that the 26/11 Bombay attack was a RSS hit job and that the 9/11 attack before that was a Christian/Jewish/Hindu conspiracy perpetrated on Muslims by the American, Israeli and Indian States.

I have laughed in their faces but now I wonder if I should similarly dismiss those who raise doubts about the Indian Mujahideen (IM). I say this not because I believe these activists are suddenly right but because I recall the occasion when there was a blast at Zaveri Bazaar in Bombay, similarly blamed on the IM. One of the cops then investigating the case told me, “You know we have named the IM in these blasts. But that is merely because we are under pressure from the political authorities to crack the case. Please let me know if any agency anywhere in India has infiltrated or cracked the IM? Even in Maharashtra we arrested many boys in the name of the IM. The courts threw all those cases out. That’s going to happen again with Zaveri Bazaar and we will soon be back to square one.”

A little probing brought forth the information that while misguided youths did exist and hit and ran in the name of the IM, it was difficult to track down the brains because the organisation was not one in the genre of other terrorist outfits like the Jaish-e-Mohammad or the Lashkar-eTaiba et al. “There are ample numbers of misguided youths in the country and these are led by individuals, not institutions.”

What he then told me was a fantastic story about the operations of the IM which even today I am unable to credit with much good sense, except for the fact that I see no reason why such a top intelligence officer who had no greater desire for glory but was just an anguished cop should want to point my nose in the wrong direction.

“We believe there is indeed some larger organisation behind the IM but they have cleverly structured themselves on individual basis posing as community elders to misguide the youth and then they yank off their beards and disappear after each act of terror. No wonder then that none of us is able to get to them and no one knows who they really are.”

Perhaps that is why there is this fantastic aura around the IM: nobody knows quite where they come from, who runs it and why police routinely make false arrests and courts throw out cases involving Muslim boys in incidents that were said to be perpetrated by the IM but so far have proved to be actually acts of saffron terror.

So even as I wondered if I was being misled my friend seemed only concerned that he and his colleagues had to shoulder the blame for doing a bad job again and again knowing full well they could have done better had they only been allowed to

“We know we just pick up hit and run boys who went to their elders and leaders for genuine advice on what to do with their lives. They were pointed in the wrong direction and asked to seek vengeance when they had no reason. We need to get those vengeful brains.”

He told me in no uncertain terms that motivated brains have the same idea of India as Pakistan: India is no place for Muslims and they attempt to create unrest with senseless blasts as that at Zaver Bazaar in 2011. But no matter what there is very little disruption in communal harmony and minorities continue to belong to India as much as they ever did and these frustrated disruptive individuals continue to create senseless collateral damage.

So I wonder if the latest bomb blast in Hyderabad seems to be going the same way in some aspects of the case. For I see no reason for Muslim individuals to react against the hanging of Afzal Guru, a remorseless terrorist who did not regret his involvement in the attack on Parliament to the end, one which would have decisively finished India as a whole. Last week’s Hyderabad blast seems as senseless as 2011’s at Zaveri Bazaar in Bombay and I wish the agencies were given a free hand to rip off some pretty masks that hide ugly faces and that take innocent lives and scar innocent souls forever.