No matter what permutation and combination of anguish, anger and advice one comes up with, there is one single issue that is confronting the nation and its protectors as they register yet another terrorist attack: going about things the wrong way. It is easy to say that stopping serial blasts, like those that claimed five lives and injured more than 70 in Agartala on Wednesday is next to impossible. But the question is: is there a proper, disciplined method by which our authorities are going about things so as to even try and minimise such attacks? We have been promptly told that the authorities ‘have not ruled out’ the involvement of the Bangladesh-based terrorist group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami (HuJI). The fact that Tripura, with its porous borders with an increasingly radicalised Bangladesh, has been considered as a hub for terror operations carried out across India may or may not make the HuJI the perpetrator. Tribal groups such as the All Tripura Tribal Front and the National Liberation Tribal Front have been usually at the forefront of localised violence in the region. What is puzzling is not so much that the authorities don’t yet know who was behind Wednesday’s blasts, but that they seem to first throw up names and then follow up.
What applies to Agartala, applies to Malegaon, Delhi, Jaipur, Hyderabad and Mumbai... The fact is that nobody seems to know who is behind the attacks. At the same time, various kinds of noises are being made about ‘making progress’, following up on ‘hot leads’ and even ‘breakthroughs’. Unfortunately, if we look at the kind of ‘progress’ or ‘breakthroughs’ the authorities have made after terror attacks, we end up walking into a hall of mirrors.
Do we have an investigative system in place that is wired to intelligence gathering? Going by what has been happening after each attack across the country, we don’t know. As people seeking answers, justice and protection, we must have a security system that knows how to do its job. Just saying that they are doing it, is no longer of any comfort to us.