Saturday, August 07, 2010

India: Curious and intriguing aspects of recent allegations against some Hindus of involvement in acts of terrorism against Muslims

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Some curious and intriguing aspects of the recent allegations of our investigating agencies against some Hindus of involvement in acts of terrorism against Muslims need to be highlighted.

2. The first relates to the incendiary explosion in the Samjauta Express. The second relates to the explosions in the Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad. The "Hindu" of July 31,2010, reported as follows: " The National Investigation Agency's probe into the Samjauta Express blasts will cover links with the explosions in Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif and the Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Home Minister P.Chidambaram said here on Friday ( July 30).... Asked about Hindutva organisations being suspects in the Samjauta and other three blasts, he declined to speculate."If we could do that, why would we hand it over to the NIA? Since the Haryana Police has not been able to crack the case, with their consent, the case has been handed over to the NIA."..... The CPI (M) has opposed separate investigations and called for a co-ordinated probe. It also alleged that three persons arrested for the Ajmer Sharif dargah blast (2007) were linked to the Abhinav Bharat organisation, which is said to be behind the Malegaon blast (2008). Their involvement is also suspected in the Mecca Masjid blast (2007) as the SIM card found in Ajmer belonged to the same batch used to trigger the Hyderabad blast."

3.In a press note issued on July 1, 2009, the US Department of Treasury gave the personal particulars of four persons--- a Pashtun born in Afghanistan, two Punjabis and a fourth person of unclear ethnicity originating from Karachi----associated with the Lashkare-Toiba (LET), who were designated by the Department under Executive Order 13224 “as providing direct support to Al Qaeda and the LET and as facilitating terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai.”

4. One Arif Qasmani of Karachi was specifically named by the Department as involed in the Mumbai suburban train blasts of July, 2006, and in the Samjautha Express blast of February, 2007. It said of him as follows: "Arif Qasmani is the chief coordinator for Lashkar-e Tayyiba's (LET) dealings with outside organizations and has provided significant support for LET terrorist operations. Qasmani has worked with LET to facilitate terrorist attacks, including the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjota Express bombing in Panipat, India. Qasmani conducted fundraising activities on behalf of LET in 2005 and utilized money that he received from Dawood Ibrahim, an Indian crime figure and terrorist supporter, to facilitate the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India. Since 2001, Arif Qasmani has also provided financial and other support and services to al Qaida, including facilitating the movement of al Qaida leaders and personnel in and out of Afghanistan, the return of foreign fighters to their respective countries, and the provision of supplies and weapons. In return for Qasmani's support, al Qaida provided Qasmani with operatives to support the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjota Express bombing in Panipat, India. In 2005, Qasmani provided Taliban leaders with a safe haven and a means to smuggle personnel, equipment, and weapons into Afghanistan." ( )

5.Allegations have been made in India that some Hindus, who were arrested for their suspected involvement in the Ajmer Sharif blast, are also suspected of involvement in the Mecca Masjid blast of Hyderabad. On August 6,2010, the US State Department made public notifications designating the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) of Pakistan as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and Ilyas Kashmiri belonging to it as an international terrorist. Similar action has been taken on US advice by the anti-terrorism sanctions committee of the UN Security Council the same day.

6. Reporting on these notifications, Mr.Peter Fowler, an American journalist, says as follows: "HUJI has carried out a number of terrorist attacks. In March 2006, HUJI was responsible for the suicide bombing of the U.S. Consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, which killed four people and injured 48 others. HUJI is also responsible for terrorist attacks in India including the May 2007 Hyderabad mosque attack, which killed 16 and injured 40, and the March 2007 Varanasi attack, which killed 25 and injured 100." ( )

7. Thus, according to American investigators the LET and Al Qaeda were responsible for the Samjauta Express blast and the HUJI for the Mecca Masjid blast.If the American investigators, who have better sources in Pakistan, are correct, how can our investigators claim that some arrested Hindus were responsible for these incidents? Justice and fairplay demand a thorough investigation into the two different versions that have emerged from Indian and American investigators. While the American investigators have blamed the LET, Al Qaeda and the HUJI, Indian investigators have blamed the Abhinav Bharat. Both cannot be correct. ( 7-8-2010)

The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies.