SM Mushrif, the author of "Who Killed Karkare?" and former police chief of Maharashtra state, has raised some very serious questions about the role of the Indian intelligence in the increasing violence committed by Hindutva outfits against India's minorities, and how India's Intelligence Bureau diverts attention from it by falsely accusing Indian Muslims and Pakistan's ISI, as was done in Malegaon and Samjutha Express blasts.
While the human rights abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib by the Bush administration have been exposed, documented and condemned by the world, similar abuses of Muslims in India's "war on terror" have gone largely unnoticed. There appears to be a conspiracy of silence by the world media when it comes to the brutality against Indian Muslims practiced by officials and the right-wing Hindu extremists in world's largest secular democracy. The western media, in particular, have completely bought what Fareed Zakaria, the Indian-born Muslim editor of Newsweek International, describes as a "peaceful, stable, and prosperous" India. Even the officially-endorsed anti-Muslim violence and resulting deaths of thousands of Muslims in Gujarat have not been able to shake the faith of the Indophile western journalists. Let's see if former Maharashtra police chief Mushrif's book "Who Killed Karkare?" changes any minds:
Review by M Zeyaul Haque,
A new book curiously titled "Who Killed Karkare?"(published by Pharos Media) says a nationwide network of Hindutva terror that has its tentacles spread up to Nepal and Israel is out to destroy the India most Indians have known for ages and to remould it into some kind of Afghanistan under the Taliban.
The writer, a former IG Police of Maharashtra, SM Mushrif, has reconstructed a fearsome picture out of former Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare’s chargesheet against alleged Hindutva terrorists like Lt. Col. Purohit, Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur and others.
The chargesheet pointed towards a mind-boggling nationwide conspiracy with international support to destabilize the constitutional order and the secular democratic Indian state that upholds it, to be replaced by a Hindutva state run according to a new Constitution. For that the conspirators were prepared for a massive bloodbath, using bomb attacks on religious places to trigger an anti-Muslim holocaust.
Mushrif, who has over three decades of diligent policing behind him and whose feats include exposing the Telgi scam, has made an elaborate case out of nearly a dozen blasts over a large area of the country conducted by Hindutva terror groups of different stripes. His case: a section of India’s intelligence services, a miniscule group in the armed forces and a section of different state police forces have been compromised and infiltrated by these elements, a development that bodes ill for the future of the country.
In Hemant Karkare’s net (of investigations, of course) many big and small fishes of VHP, RSS, Bajrang Dal and Sanatan Sanstha (which has been found to be involved in Diwali-eve blasts in Goa last week) had been trapped. Serving and retired army officers, academics, serving and retired officials of India’s premier intelligence service were ensnared in Karkare’s fishing net. The menacing power of the latter groups, inspired by sustained anti-Muslim hate campaigns of the last six decades, gave the plot a sinister and highly destructive character.
Among the plans unearthed by Karkare was a blueprint for the assassination of 70 prominent Indians who could by a hindrance to the project of Hindutva. Interestingly, most of the persons marked for elimination would, naturally, be Hindus because it is they who primarily run the dispensation. The conspirators were also unhappy with organizations whose Hindutva they suspected to be less virulent than desired.
Mushrif, who very well knows the power of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to make or mar lives and careers, says he is prepared to face the consequences of hostility of this power hub. He musters “evidence” to show that the IB has regularly been interfering with regular police investigations to let Hindutva terrorists slip out of the net and replace them with random Muslim youth. To fudge the issues further obliging police officers in the states would not mind exterminating a few Muslim youth to be branded posthumously as “terrorists”.
There are quite a few number of such cases where such extra-judicial killing of Muslim youth has turned out to be false police encounters. All this is done to cover tracks of Hindutva terror. Mushrif says a “Brahminist” network that has its origins in Maharashtra, and is closely knit across political parties, government services, including IB, and other vital sectors of life is behind the terror that seeks to destroy the secular, democratic state. He hastens to clarify that very few Brahminists are Brahmins. Many are from other high Hindu castes, some from middle and lower castes.
Most Brahmins are fair-minded and would not like to associate themselves with hate ideologies. Hemant Karkare, too, was a Brahmin, Mushrif says. So is Mushrif’s son-in-law.
It is pertinent to note that “Brahminism” and “Brahminical order” first appeared in Dalit protest vocabulary in the Dalit uprising movement in Maharashtra towards the turn of the 20th century. Mushrif, who appropriates part of this vocabulary for the present discourse, says that Maharashtra still remains the centre of this ideology that, among other things, has the dubious distinction of killing the Father of the Nation.
The power establishment that really runs the affairs of this country (Mushrif says it is not Sonia Gandhi, Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi) does not want to expose the Hindutva terrorists. One example is the blasts in Samjhauta Express, which the IB said was carried out by Pakistan’s ISI. Mushrif quotes a report in The Times of India that said, “the Centre had blamed the ISI on the basis of the IB’s findings.” However, during a narco-analysis test under Karkare, Lt. Col. Purohit had admitted having supplied the RDX used in the blast. The IB, which draws its power from its proximity to the Prime Minister (its director briefs the PM every morning for half an hour), did not want Karkare’s investigation that blew the cover off the IB’s shenanigans, to continue.
Once Karkare was removed from the scene, the IB moved in to fill his position with KP Raghuvanshi, a pliant police officer with extremely low credibility among Muslims for his record of letting off known Hindutva terrorists and implicating innocent Muslim youth even in bomb attack cases on mosques.
There are quite a few interesting vignettes here, like Raghuvanshi and Col. Purohit’s association with Abhinav Bharat in Maharashtra, whose hand was evident in a series of blasts across the country. It has old connections with men like Veer Damodar Savarkar (whose relative Himani Savarkar leads the Abhinav Bharat movement), Dr Munje, who led the Hindu Mahasabha, and other Hindutva luminaries. It is at the Bhonsala Military Academy run by these groups that Purohit trained police officers, including Raghuvanshi. Mushrif asks a pertinent question: Will Raghuvanshi pursue the investigation against Purohit, his guru? A plausible answer is, perhaps no. Already charges have been dropped by a special court under MCOCA against 11 accused, including Purohit, on the grounds of insufficient evidence produced in the court by the prosecution.
This was just the beginning of the undoing of Karkare’s painstaking investigation. Mushrif says slowly the system is working to undo all of Karkare’s work and let off the terrorists who over the years destroyed scores of lives and wreaked irreparable economic damage. The ATS team under Karkare had pointed out VHP leader Praveen Togadia’s role in the blasts. The ATS under Raghuvanshi dropped the investigation against him saying (please hold your laughter) they do not know who Togadia is!
A number of investigations have been thus sabotaged by the powers that be and the tracks of the Hinduta terrorists duly covered. The 319-page book is crammed with such information.
But what about who killed Karkare? Mushrif says two teams were at work on 26/11 – one which did the maximum damage, and was from outside. The smaller team took advantage of the confusion of the moment and acted only on the relatively small CST-CAMA-Rangbhavan stretch that killed Karkare. It was a desi unit that wanted Karkare and his men out of the way.
(Courtesy: The Milli Gazette)
Unfortunately, the Indian government has miserably failed, and continues to fail to investigate the allegations that are very very serious. The author, by raising these issues, adds his heavy weight by virtue of his inside knowledge and the position he held, to the extremely serious allegations.
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India's Guantanamos and Abu-Ghraibs
Gujarat Muslims Ignored by Politicians
The 21st Century Challenges For Resurgent India
Hindu Rashtra ideology was driving force for Malegaon conspirators
The Rise and Rise of Mangalore's Taliban
Who Killed Karkare?
Samjhota Express Blast
Muslims Falsely Accused in Malegaon Blast
Hindu Nationalists Gang Up on Musharraf at Stanford
Can India "Do a Lebanon" in Pakistan?
Violence Against Indian Christians
Priest Survivor: Hindu Radicals are Terrorists
Gujarat Pogrom of 2002
The real reason why Pakistan has a rotten reputation of being "epicenter of world terrorism" and India being "peaceful country" is that pakistanis took their battle to west. Right from 9/11, every major terrorists act or an averted terrorists act has pakistan connection. The chief of 9/11, Khalid Sheikh Mohd was arrested in Pak. Bali 2002 bombers were trained in pakistan. London 2005 bombers had Pakistan connection.
In the last 2 months alone, 3 cases have ended up in conviction in USA. All three had Pakistan connection. In canada also a recent conviction showed a major plot which was averted was hatched by second generation Pakistanis.
Indians can happily kill each other (be it regular caste based killing or occasional muslim killings like 2002), no one pays any attention or even cares as long as it not directed towards whites. How much USA or West cared for Bengalis in 1971 when our army wiped out 3 million East Pakistanis. But be it one Daniel Pearl, and we have a hollywood movie on that.
India does not need any one to discredit Pakistan. We have done a spectacular job ourselves. Do you know that in the 9/11 commission report, the word "pakistan" is mentioned more than Iran and Iraq combined. With this, how hard is for Indian govt to convince that Pakistan is the root cause of all trouble.
I thought you are more sensible than Riaz. Are you saying that, but for Pakistanis taking their hatred to west (which you yourself admitted), everything else is fine in Pakistan. I mean expunging Ahmediyas from Islam (I can show you TV programs in Pakistan TV where mullas openly dictate that Ahmediyas must be killed en-masse because they are murtads) is OK by you.
As an Indian I have no problems admitting the hate in my country. But the biggest difference is that, in Pakistan law perpetuates the hatred. Declaring of Ahmediyas as non muslims, Blasphemy act which gives carte blanch to anyone to kill non mulims (and even muslims) in the name of insult to islam/Mohd is a classic example of state sponsored hatred. Luckily in India, there is no such law. That is why the west still believes India is a peaceful country. Of course india can easily demolish that if we start behaving like Pakistanis and start blowing up
In facebook there is even a channel called "Oust Narendra Modi" and you can see that majority of those who are part of that channel are Hindus. I would happily see links of channel among Pakistanis like
"Acknowledge 1971 genocide"
"Ahmediyas deserve sympathy"
"The concept of Jihad has to be
The trouble with Pakistanis is that they expect rest of the world to be uninformed. In this day and age it is no longer possible to fool anyone under the garb of "context", "cultural thing". Even the most avg american now understands the theology behind the hatred shown my muslims and or pakistanis.
dcrunchr: "The real reason why Pakistan has a rotten reputation of being "epicenter of world terrorism" and India being "peaceful country" is that pakistanis took their battle to west....."
There is some truth in what you say. But the Pakistani connection is at best tenuous in majority of the cases.
Vast majority of actual perpetrators of terror have been Muslims who used Pakistan for transit to and from Afghanistan where al Qaeda was based.
The Brits who carried out London bombings were all born and raised in Britain whose parents were peaceful first-generation British Pakistanis.
The Taliban, who were supported by Pakistani establishment before 911, were not involved in any acts of terror in the West, and their victims have since been mostly Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Even now, the most committed and vicious Jihadi fighters and trainers in FATA are foreigners from Central Asian and Arab nations who gathered there to fight Americans, and Pakistanis who they see as collaborators.
So, in reality, Pakistanis have themselves become the biggest victims of terror since 911.
"The Brits who carried out London bombings were all born and raised in Britain whose parents were peaceful first-generation British Pakistanis."
Perhaps you don't know that I lived in UK for long. Please do not tell half-truths. Pakistan was involved neck in deep in London '05 bombings. All the bombers spent months in Pakistan prior to bombings. Has Pakistan become some sort of global hub for terrorism training. You don't think that has any significance, eh?
The janaaza of Tanveer Ahmed, one of the dead terrorists of London bombings was attended by few thousandands in his pind in Punjab. Since when a terrorist is given this respect.
To say that connection with Pakistan is tenuous is outright lie. Take the case of that taxi driver from Denver who was caught few weeks back. He was in Pakistan attending training. Same is true with almost all terrorism cases in USA/UK/Canada.
dcruncer4: "Perhaps you don't know that I lived in UK for long. Please do not tell half-truths. ...."
Is it not true that all of the bombers were born and raised in Britain? Does the UK not share any responsibility for their upbringing that produced these terrorists?
As to the cases in US, most of them basically allege the same thing..."terrorist training in Pakistan"....and most of the cases end up in dramatically reduced charges of "lying to the FBI" to get a conviction. Why is that? If the FBI's cases are so strong, why can't they get convictions on the most serious charges of terrorism?
Most of the FBI cases against Pakistanis have been the result of deliberate "entrapment", and described as "aspirational" rather than "operational" by the prosecutors themselves.
Here is a link to FBI entrapment dossier in "terror" cases that point to overzealous FBI agents and prosecutors:
Most of these cases are part of the fear campaign during Bush-Cheney era that has slowed but continued on Obama's watch.
"Is it not true that all of the bombers were born and raised in Britain? Does the UK not share any responsibility for their upbringing that produced these terrorists?"
And they were all Pakistani families. So carrying your argument further, shouldn't pakistani community also share responsibility. Next, shouldn't their parents face responsibility.
May be their neighbors too.
Where does it end?
UK is home to other immigrants too? Why don't they blow up everything for some perceived injustice. This is what that May's article about Pakistan also mentioned.
Here is a simple advice I am giving you, even though you are lot senior to me. Never defend anything indefensible, you have to really stoop low to do that. The concept of Jihad is 100% garbage and can never be defended. Those pakistanis of London were talking about getting martyred for the sake of allah and ensuring a great life in Jannat.
Try to live in a small country like UK. Those days were extremely shameful for Pakistani origin people like me. In fact it was considered a stigma to even mention that one is a pakistani.
As for FBI cases, Fort Dix case, the recent Canada case and others all carry years of sentence. The taxi driver of Denver is facing a long 7-10 yr sentence. They should consider themselves lucky that they won't get higher sentence since they were caught before they doing what they wanted.
You still did not get it. Why should Pakistanis be so angry at everyone in the world? Is it too much of islamic brainwashing?
Why don't we hear Indian muslims doing the same? And Indian Hindus !!!! The Glasgow airport attack was by a Indian Muslim, not a Hindu.
UK has lot of Kashmiri Pandits who came there as refugees and asylums. Not one I know has ever resorted to violence like muslims all the time.
I know your defence. How every group deals with injustice is different. Well I have a news. The path adopted by muslims will not get anything, not even a brownie point in the west.
A pakistani working in IT was told by a headhunter to drop the name Mohammad from this full name, in order to increase his chance of getting employed. That sums it up.
"I thought you are more sensible than Riaz."
Mr Riaz Haq owns this blog but still allows opposite views to be posted. Don't you think that is admirable. The few Indian blogs I have been to, kicked me out in no time even though I don't even blindly support Pak. In fact even here I criticize Pak more than praise. So cut your holier-than-you crap.
As for rest of your message, patronizing as it sounds, there is truth in it. Right from Zia days Pakistan has been pursuing a self destructive policy of encouraging hatred in the name of religion. The chicken have come home to roost now.
dcrunchr4: "And they were all Pakistani families. So carrying your argument further, shouldn't pakistani community also share responsibility. Next, shouldn't their parents face responsibility.
May be their neighbors too."
I used the word "share" deliberately to obviate the need for defending the role of Pakistani community which absolutely shares responsibility, particularly the mullahs, in radicalizing the Muslim youth in Britain, who are generally less educated and less employed than the general population.
But let's not try and tar all overseas Pakistanis by the same brush. There are significant differences between Pakistanis in the UK and US....hence the differences in their attitudes.
Nationwide, Pakistanis appear to be prospering, according to an article in the NY Times. The census calculated that mean household income in the United States in 2002 was $57,852 annually, while that for Asian households, which includes Pakistanis, was $70,047. By contrast, about one-fifth of young British-born Muslims are jobless, and many subsist on welfare.
A 2008 LA Times survey of Pakistani-Americans, conducted on the basis of 2000 Census, found that Californians of Pakistani descent numbered about 28,000, double the population of 1990. Community members say the figure now surpasses 40,000.
The data showed that 56 per cent had undergraduate or graduate degrees, the second-highest rate after Indian-Americans among 16 Asian subgroups examined. Nearly half were home-owners, with the median household income about $49,000, on par with the state-wide average. Two-thirds were immigrants, with a 46 per cent naturalization rate, and the majority were fluent English speakers.
As to the rise in prejudice against Pakistanis and Muslims, there have always been xenophobes and racist bigots who have targeted people of different ethnicities and religions in Europe and America. In Europe, the Jews were the "bad guys" often targeted, excluded and killed under various pretexts. In America, Germans, Russians, Japanese, Blacks and Communists have been victimized at different times in the history. More recently, the hate groups are targeting Mexicans and Muslims in America.
The reasons vary, but the story of hate groups is essentially same same and it keeps repeating itself.
The fear of terror has given them a license recently to target Muslims under the guise of security.
Here is an interesting report from New American Media:
The reports of Karkare's murder are riddled with inconsistencies. It is not surprising that many residents of Bombay are asking questions about the exact circumstances of the death of Hemant Karkare and his colleagues. The earliest reports, presumably relayed from the police via the media, said that Karkare had been killed at the Taj, and Salaskar and Kamte at Metro. If this was not true, why were we told this? And why was the story later changed? Was it because it conflicted with eye-witness accounts? In the early hours of the 27th, under the heading 'ATS Chief Hemant Karkare Killed: His Last Pics', IBNlive showed footage first of Karkare putting on a helmet and bullet-proof vest, then cut to a shootout at Metro, where an unconscious man who looks like Karkare and wearing the same light blue shirt and dark trousers (but without any blood on his shirt or the terrible wounds we saw on his face at his funeral) is being pulled into a car by two youths in saffron shirts. The commentary says that Karkare 'could well have fallen prey to just indiscriminate, random firing by the cops', and also reports that there were two vehicles, a Toyota Qualis and Honda City, from which the occupants were firing indiscriminately.
Later we were given two accounts of the killings where the venue is shifted to a deserted lane without cameras or eye-witnesses. The first account is by the lone terrorist captured alive, claiming to be A.A.Kasab from Faridkot in Pakistan and a member of the terrorist group Lashkar-e-Taiba. According to him, just two gunmen, he and Ismail (also from Pakistan), first attacked VT station, where they sprayed bullets indiscriminately. (Around 58 people were killed there, over one-third of them Muslims, and many more might have been killed if the announcer, Mr Zende, had not risked his life to direct passengers to safety.) They then went to Cama, a government hospital for women and children used mainly by the poor. Initially, according to the police, Kasab claimed he and Ismail had killed Karkare, Salaskar and Kamte. Later, in his confession, he claimed that while coming out of the hospital, he and Ismail saw a police vehicle passing and hid behind a bush; then another vehicle passed them and stopped some distance away. A police officer got out and started firing at them, hitting Kasab on the hand so that he dropped his AK47, but Ismail opened fire on the officers in the car until they stopped firing. There were three bodies in the vehicle, which Ismail removed, and then drove off in it with Kasab.
The other account is by police constable Arun Jadhav. According to him, Karkare, Salaskar, Kamte, a driver and four police constables including himself were driving down the alley from VT to the back entrance of Cama (barely a ten-minute drive) in their Toyota Qualis to check on injured police officer Sadanand Date when two gunmen emerged from behind trees by the left side of the road and sprayed the vehicle with bullets, killing all its passengers except Jadhav. They then dragged out the three officers, hijacked the vehicle, drove to Metro junction and then Mantralaya in South Bombay, abandoned it when a tyre burst, and grabbed another car. According to police accounts, they then drove to Girgaum, where Kasab was injured and arrested and his companion killed.
Here is more from New American Media:
These accounts raise more questions than they answer. Kasab claimed that a band of ten terrorists landed and split up into twos, going to various destinations, he and his companion going to VT. He said they wanted to blow up the Taj, as in the attack on the Marriott in Islamabad; yet we are told that only 8kg of RDX were found at the Taj, and even that was not used; contrast this with 600kg of RDX and TNT used to blow up the Marriott: could they really have expected to blow up the Taj? How did the invaders from the sea get one bomb to go off in Dockyard Road and another in Vile Parle, 25 kilometres away? He said that the terrorists planned to use their hostages as a means of escape, yet there was no attempt at any such negotiations; at other times, he also said they had been instructed to fight to the death. He says he is a laborer from Faridkot near Multan and only studied up to Class IV, but it is reported that he speaks fluent English. Several people have pointed out that the pictures of him in VT show him wearing a saffron wrist-band, a Hindu custom, and police later revealed that he could not recite a single verse from the Koran, which any child growing up in a Muslim family would have been able to do. Indeed, a thoughtful article on the soc.culture.jewish group argued that none of the terrorists were Muslims, given their appearance and behavior (especially their reported consumption of alcohol and drugs), pointing out that they did not need to disguise themselves, since Muslims who look like Muslims are plentiful in Bombay, and would not attract undue attention.
so who is behind all the killings in Pakistan. Did you notice a quantum jump in the number of bomb blasts recently. Today Peshawar.
Oh I forgot, islam is a religion of peace and a tiny minority is giving it a bad name.
Do you believe that these terrorists are able to achieve what they want without any support network.
Anon: "so who is behind all the killings in Pakistan. Did you notice a quantum jump in the number of bomb blasts recently."
You are welcome to emulate what is happening in Pakistan.
Oh wait! It's already happening, according to Farzana Khan.
Farzana Khan, the author, can be reached at email@example.com
“This dual linkage of young Indian officers with both military and Hindu fascist organisations has caused a cancer to the military establishment in India. It has brought elements into the Indian military who have their own goals which do not conform well with military discipline. An army with irrepressible elements is as dangerous to any country as its real enemy’s army can be or even more.“
“Lt Col Chitale, the dictator of 'Maharashtra Military Foundation while speaking to the media said "Ours is a truly secular suicide squad. Every Indian is welcome to join my suicide squad.” The training session for the suicide squad, which includes the use of lathis and swords, takes place near Vasat Village at Ambernath, an industrial town, which is over 50 kilometres away from Mumbai from where according to Lt Col Chitale a batch of 30 students has passed out in the last 15 days.”
“Mr. Singh said “ The First batch of training of Sri Lankan Tamil militants was done by India in 1983 under the orders of then Prime Minister (Late) Mrs. Indira Gandhi. The camp was located at Chakrata, Tamil Nadu.””
“Out of embarrassment Indian Army Chief General Kapoor said, “Steps are being taken to prevent involvement of its officers in terror attacks”.”
“The Immediate goals of 26/11 are clearer than ever before…
1. Eliminate Hament Karkare along with his team to put breaks on ongoing investigations which were illuminating all links between Indian military, RAW and Hindutva organizations.
2. Divert attention towards ISI so that next time no one in India could ask about those investigations done by Karkare and his team before they got assassinated.
3. Advocate Hindutva message that Muslims are root cause of panic in India so these must be either converted to Hinduism or must be eliminated from Indian soil.
4. Create a media wave to divert attention from incidents like Malegeon and Samjhuta Express blast and hence diverting attention from investigations of these incidents as well.”
“God forbid, that if these Hindu fundamentalist take over the Indian nuclear weapons then the region will face the biggest threat ever.”
As Mushrif suggests, the results are becoming obvious with the acquittal of Purobit and the gang.
Mushrif says slowly the system is working to undo all of Karkare’s work and let off the terrorists who over the years destroyed scores of lives and wreaked irreparable economic damage. The ATS team under Karkare had pointed out VHP leader Praveen Togadia’s role in the blasts. The ATS under Raghuvanshi dropped the investigation against him saying (please hold your laughter) they do not know who Togadia is!
A number of investigations have been thus sabotaged by the powers that be and the tracks of the Hinduta terrorists duly covered. The 319-page book is crammed with such information.
But Riaz mian, the number of killings in Pakistan seem to be order of magnitude more than in India. These days almost daily.
No wonder it is called "the most dangerous place in the world".
The world does not see India and Pakistan same when it comes to security. The word hindu terrorists will evoke no feelings in the west. While islamic terrorism will immediately solicit opinion from all and sundry. Congrats. You earned that reputation. Keep it up.This is one area in which we Indians do not match Pakistanis.
Check that Australian cricket team, English cricket team visit India whereas they don't want to visit Pakistan. In fact English team was in india when Mumbai was attached by terrorists last Nov, and then they came back. When was the last time a visiting team to Pakistan showed the same courtesy. Do you know Australia last visited Pakistan in 1998.
Also FDI to India does not seem to stop or worried by 'hindu terrorists', where as no one wants to invest anything in Pakistan due to its image. Wanna comment on that.
PS: This book "who killed karkare" will sell no where close to any typical anti islam books by Robert Spencer.
Anon: "the number of killings in Pakistan seem to be order of magnitude more than in India."
Yes, it's true. But it didn't happen instantaneously, or in a few weeks or few months. It began with a few radicals, supported by elements within Pakistani military and intelligence, and then it turned into a Frankenstein, wanting to devour its creators.
Pakistan's experience, and the consequences it's facing today, should serve as a warning to the elements within the Indian intelligence and military who are being pampered, or at least being tolerated, in their support of the Hindutva radicals.
Time to act against the Hindutva radicals is now, not years from now when they will become much more powerful and menacing to India's secular democracy.
Here is a story by Rahimullah Yusufzai, a respected journalist who recently visited in India and wrote in the News as follows:
"I fear there will be a bloody revolution in India," a retired Indian military officer remarked to this writer and other guests during a recent visit to New Delhi. It was shocking to hear the comment from a soldier, in a country that supposedly had given a voice to its huge population and was believed to be all-inclusive.
It is obvious that India's much-praised democracy hasn't brought any real change in the lives of millions of Indians. That some of the poorest men and women are now up in arms in parts of India is evidence enough that democratically elected governments must do more to provide rights and justice to the rural poor and ensure even-handed development in different parts of the country.
The Naxalite violence in India has caused pain to most thinking Indians. For them it is a matter of anguish that a growing number of Indians are disillusioned with their country's democracy and see no hope of benefiting from India's steady economic progress. They have picked up the gun to fight for their rights.
The Maoist-linked violence is spreading and engulfing new places. The vast region affected by the insurgency include the states of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal and runs south through Orissa, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. It is usually called the "Red Corridor" because the leadership for the rebels is provided by communist cadres labelled as Maoists. The Communist Party of India (Marxists-Leninists), despite suffering splits, is still the standard-bearer of the rebels.
According to reports in the Indian media, more than 220 districts in 20 or so states are now affected by Maoist-linked violence. Indian intelligence agencies believe the movement has at its disposal 20,000 armed cadres and over 50,000 regular members. Apart from the rural poor, indigenous tribes such as the Girijans in Andhra Pradesh and Santhals in West Bengal have been flocking to the Naxalite movement. The movement has appeal for the dispossessed and the under-privileged. In the words of its present leader, Mupalla Laxman Rao, in hiding somewhere in eastern India and better known as Ganapathi, his party's influence has grown stronger and it was now the only genuine alternative before the people of India.
The Naxalite movement began as a peasants' uprising in May 1969 in the village of Naxalbari in West Bengal. It was initially led by 49-year-old Charu Mazumdar and its aim was to seize power through an agrarian revolution by overthrowing the feudal order. Mazumdar died in police custody 12 days after his arrest in Calcutta in 1972 and became a hero to Maoist cadres that have increased in number and strength over the years despite splits in the movement. The Naxalite insurgency has sprouted after every defeat and is now stronger than ever.
India's share of the world's poorest people has increased to 39 percent from 25 percent in 1980. In comparison, the Below Poverty Line population worldwide has decreased from 1,470 million to 970 million. There are reportedly 301 million Indians below the poverty line, just 19 million less than in 1983. The Human Development Report by the UN has been ranking India among the lowest 60 or 65 countries in the list of 193 nations that are part of the annual study. India's poor performance on this score was in spite of the around nine percent growth rate in its GDP. There are reports in the media about farmers committing suicide or selling their wives to pay mounting debts. Though the recorded figures of such cases aren't high in a big country such as India with 1.17 billion people, it still indicates the desperate state of certain communities.
Here's a NY Times report today about growing Maoist insurgency in India:
India’s Maoist rebels are now present in 20 states and have evolved into a potent and lethal insurgency. In the last four years, the Maoists have killed more than 900 Indian security officers, a figure almost as high as the more than 1,100 members of the coalition forces killed in Afghanistan during the same period.
If the Maoists were once dismissed as a ragtag band of outdated ideologues, Indian leaders are now preparing to deploy nearly 70,000 paramilitary officers for a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign to hunt down the guerrillas in some of the country’s most rugged, isolated terrain.
For India, the widening Maoist insurgency is a moment of reckoning for the country’s democracy and has ignited a sharp debate about where it has failed. In the past, India has tamed some secessionist movements by coaxing rebel groups into the country’s big-tent political process. The Maoists, however, do not want to secede or be absorbed. Their goal is to topple the system.
Once considered Robin Hood figures, the Maoists claim to represent the dispossessed of Indian society, particularly the indigenous tribal groups, who suffer some of the country’s highest rates of poverty, illiteracy and infant mortality. Many intellectuals and even some politicians once sympathized with their cause, but the growing Maoist violence has forced a wrenching reconsideration of whether they can still be tolerated.
“The root of this is dispossession and deprivation,” said Ramachandra Guha, a prominent historian based in Bangalore. “The Maoists are an ugly manifestation of this. This is a serious problem that is not going to disappear.”
Here's a BBC report on Karkare's wife demanding inquiry of her husband's murder:
The wife of a top police officer killed in the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai (Bombay) has demanded an inquiry into his death.
Kavita Karkare said she had still not been told exactly how her husband died, a year after the attacks.
Anti-terrorism chief Hemant Karkare was killed along with two senior police officers outside the Cama hospital.
At least 174 people, including 14 policemen, died when 10 gunmen attacked sites in the city on 26 November 2008.
One of the gunmen was caught alive and is currently on trial. Nine others were killed.
Body armour questions
Mrs Karkare told reporters: "So far no senior officer has told me what exactly happened that night."
She said she had discovered her husband's bulletproof jacket was missing after she filed a freedom of information request two months ago.
"I also came to know that the file which had the date of purchase is also missing."
Mrs Karkare is demanding answers following media reports which have questioned the quality of bulletproof jackets used by the police.
The wife of another officer killed alongside Mr Karkare has filed a similar "right to information (RTI)" request to see police records.
Vinita Kamte said she needed the information to reconstruct the sequence of events which led to the death of her husband, Ashok, and other police officers.
Mrs Kamte said she had received several records and was waiting for some more.
"I am studying the records of calls made to the police control room. It is unfortunate that we have to apply to RTI to get information and speak to the media about it."
Mrs Karkare said the policemen who died had been treated as martyrs. But she asked if candlelit marches and compensation were enough to forget what happened.
Many relatives of policemen who lost their lives were undergoing psychiatric treatment to cope with the trauma, she added.
Police commissioner D Sivanadhan told the BBC that an inquiry was being conducted and further details were awaited.
An independent inquiry has already criticised the Mumbai police for a lack of co-ordination in dealing with the attacks.
Here's an interesting commentary by Kapil Komireddi published in the Guardian earlier this year:
Indian Muslims in particular have rarely known a life uninterrupted by communal conflict or unimpaired by poverty and prejudice. Their grievances are legion, and the list of atrocities committed against them by the Indian state is long. In 2002 at least 1,000 Muslims were slaughtered by Hindu mobs in the western state of Gujarat in what was the second state-sponsored pogrom in India (Sikhs were the object of the first, in 1984).
For decades Indian intellectuals have claimed that religion, particularly Hinduism, is perfectly compatible with secularism. Indian secularism, they said repeatedly, is not a total rejection of religion by the state but rather an equal appreciation of every faith. Even though no faith is in principle privileged by the state, this approach made it possible for religion to find expression in the public sphere, and, since Hindus in India outnumber adherents of every other faith, Hinduism dominated it. Almost every government building in India has a prominently positioned picture of a Hindu deity. Hindu rituals accompany the inauguration of all public works, without exception.
The novelist Shashi Tharoor tried to burnish this certifiably sectarian phenomenon with a facile analogy: Indian Muslims, he wrote, accept Hindu rituals at state ceremonies in the same spirit as teetotallers accept champagne in western celebrations. This self-affirming explanation is characteristic of someone who belongs to the majority community. Muslims I interviewed took a different view, but understandably, they were unwilling to protest for the fear of being labelled as "angry Muslims" in a country famous for its tolerant Hindus.
The failure of secularism in India – or, more accurately, the failure of the Indian model of secularism – may be just one aspect of the gamut of failures, but it has the potential to bring down the country. Secularism in India rests entirely upon the goodwill of the Hindu majority. Can this kind of secularism really survive a Narendra Modi as prime minister? As Hindus are increasingly infected by the kind of hatred that Varun Gandhi's speech displayed, maybe it is time for Indian secularists to embrace a new, more radical kind of secularism that is not afraid to recognise and reject the principal source of this strife: religion itself.
Here's an ExpressIndia story of a Gujarati Muslim killed in Surat:
Mehboob Pathan (50) of Valak village on Surat’s outskirts wanted was a job in the city. Having a Muslim name, he felt, came in the way. So, to get himself a job in Surat’s diamond units, he passed himself off as Jayenti Bhatti, and managed to find work in two separate units in the Kapodara area.
Early this week, his “cover” was blown, after he was brutally killed over a monetary dispute. As the distraught family stepped forward to admit that Jayenti Bhatti was indeed Mehboob Pathan, they worried that having been cremated as a Hindu, the practising Muslim’s soul may not find peace.
In the ledgers of Surat’s diamond units, there are many leading a double life like Pathan. His son Mushtaq is registered as Mukesh and daughter Samina as Sharmila, and both are afraid of losing their jobs if the fact was known.
Diamond industry sources and workers say many Muslims assume Hindu names to find work in the city’s lucrative diamond business.
One of them, Allarakha Khan, admits to having passed himself off as a Hindu like many others from his village. “We would not get a job if we are known to be Muslims. We have been doing this for a long time, and we take great care not to reveal our real names or addresses at work,” he told The Indian Express.
Rohit Mehta, president of the Surat Diamond Association, however, denied knowledge of Muslims passing themselves off as Hindus for jobs. “We will inquire into this,” he said.
Pathan’s story came to be known after his body was found in a farm at Antroli last Monday, with the head smashed in. The police registered a case and kept the unclaimed body in the Palsana Primary Health Centre mortuary till Thursday. Then they arranged to give Pathan alias Bhatti a Hindu funeral, with all the rites.
His family, who had been looking for Pathan, had filed a missing complaint. Then, seeing news stories in local newspapers about an unclaimed body, Mehboob’s brother-in-law Iqbal Pathan decided to check. By that time, Pathan had been cremated, but the brother-in-law identified him from a photo of the body.
The family says Pathan was a pious Muslim and the change of name was just so that he and his children could find and keep a job. “We are too poor to do anything, but how could the police dispose of his body the Hindu way?” asks son Mushtaq. “A genital examination would have shown he was a Muslim.”
Sub-Inspector of Kadodara police V R Malhotra said they had kept the body in the mortuary hoping someone would turn up. “We disposed it of according to Hindu rites not knowing he was a Muslim. The family turned up too late and we are now helpless.”
Kapodara police inspector S J Tirmizi, who is probing the murder, confirmed that Pathan had passed himself off as Bhatti for work. Manoj Rokad, who is the manager of the Varachha unit in which Pathan’s daughter Samina works as a diamond polisher, has reportedly confessed to the murder.
According to the police, Rokad had become a family friend of the Pathans and knew their real identities. Two years ago, Pathan had reportedly loaned Rokad Rs 60,000 for an emergency, which he never returned. Pathan used to call Rokad repeatedly asking him to return the same, and the latter reportedly asked Pathan to meet him on December 20. They went to Antroli village, where Rokad allegedly killed Pathan with the help of two other diamond polishers, who have been identified as Chhanya Rathod and Sanjay.
While Rokad has been held, and has reportedly admitted that they beat Pathan to death, Rathod and Sanjay are on the run.
Here's a report about oversight of IB and RAW in India:
Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari Wednesday called for greater “oversight and accountability” in the operations of the country’s intelligence agencies, and suggested a standing committee of parliament on intelligence be set up, like other such committees, to meet the needs of good governance in a democratic society.
Delivering the Fourth R.N. Kao Memorial Lecture organised by the Resarch and Intelligence Wing (RAW) of the Cabinet Secretariat, Ansari said although ministerial responsibility to the legislature, and in turn to the electorate, was an essential element of democratic governance, exceptions to it pertained to the “intelligence and security structure of the state”. This had only executive and political oversight.
He said the present system, though accepted for so long, did not “meet the requirements of good governance in an open society” and concerns have been raised over the scope and extent of the political executive’s supervision as also the possibility of misuse of these services.
Here is an interesting Op Ed piece in the Hindu, hinting at the possibility of the involvement of India's "shadowy security establishment" behind the IPL bidding fiasco:
When the Angels who rule India say they favour dialogue and peace with Pakistan but then fear to tread, is it any surprise that fools would rush in to destroy that virtuous path? We will never know whether somebody from our shadowy security establishment whispered something dark and fanciful in the ears of the owners and managers of the Indian Premier League as they went in for the player auction last week and if so, for whom he was batting.
Certainly, the manner in which every Pakistani cricketer was boycotted despite the initial expression of interest by the teams smacks of considerations other than sports, business or common sense. Most of all, the decision betrays such a poor understanding of the geographies of market development, brand building and soft power that its net effect will be to undermine India’s interests in the widest possible sense.
My own view is that the boycott was not ordered or engineered by the Government of India or any of its agencies acting on instructions from the top. But that does not free our leadership from the vicarious responsibility of needlessly perpetuating a bilateral vacuum that has produced one of the most spectacular self-dismissals sub-continental cricket — and diplomacy — have ever seen.
In the face of a popular backlash across the border, the Ministry of External Affairs rightly noted that the government had nothing to do with the IPL selection. But instead of expressing regret over an outcome that it played no direct role in producing, the MEA statement threw a heap of salt on the wounded national pride of all Pakistanis. “Pakistan,” the Ministry smugly declared, “should introspect on the reasons which have put a strain on relations between India and Pakistan and adversely impacted on peace, stability and prosperity in the region.”
If anything, a little introspection on the Indian side may have been equally appropriate, since some senior Ministers — including P. Chidambaram — later went out of their way to say the exclusion of Pakistani cricketers was indeed unfortunate. Apart from reflecting badly on India, the insulting exclusion has allowed reactionary, extremist elements in Pakistan to seize the moral high ground. And it has pushed Pakistani public opinion and civil society further into the embrace of those who would like to perpetuate a climate of hostility with India and who have more than a soft spot for terrorism.
Here is a report with some shocking revelations in Malegaon bomb blast trial of Purohit and his cohorts:
In a shocking revelation, an army officer, one of the 452 witnesses in the September 29 Malegaon blast case, has revealed in his statement that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had a grand design to split India into smaller independent countries by 2015.
According the statement, the officer had attended one of the meetings held by the Malegaon blast accused on April 12, 2008 at the Ram temple in Bhopal. The officer from the Army Education Corps said that he was shocked by the proceedings.
He added that an ex-Raw personnel, who was present in the meeting, divulged these sinister plans of splitting the nation, based on a similar operation in the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics).
The witness added that the ex-Raw official also revealed that the CIA had managed to penetrate several departments in India. The officer cautioned the witness that the meeting was being observed by the Intelligence Bureau.
The officer met Lt Col Shrikant Purohit in an official dinner at the Officers' Mess of AEC training college and centre in the second week of December 2007 at Deolali. He told Purohit about a plan to take premature retirement to develop his village, and establish an old age home.
On January 26, 2008, Purohit asked him to come to Faridabad and meet a few people for his project. There he was introduced to Sameer Kulkarni and the other accused in the Malegaon blast case. Then on April 12, 2008, Purohit called him for a meeting at Ram Mandir. He met all the Malegaon accused and another 20 people, along with the ex-Raw officer and the IB source.
The former RAW officer spoke about the USSR and Purohit spoke about his plans to bring Abhinav Bharat to the fore. Purohit also spoke about Hindu fundamentals and his contacts in Israel and Thailand.
It seems that the Hindutva aligned Indian intelligence in Lucknow is stepping up its harassment of Indian Muslims. Here's a forwarded email from Dr. Mustafa Kamal, Chairman of All-India Muslim Forum and former deputy VC of Zanzibar University in Tanazania:
Keeping a proper surveillance and vigil over each of the persons is the prerogative of all the governments, and whithout it, the effective administration cannot be ensured. However, when only one group or community is targetted for this purpose, it definitely depicts some presuppositions and prejudices against it.
The same is exactly true about Indian Muslims. On 3rd this month after sunset two L.I.U.( Local Intelligence Unit) persons came to me, saying that they want to collect my personal details and political activities. When I asked them the reason, they simply said that they have instructions to gather information about all the prominent Muslims of the city who are involved in Muslim politics.Anyhow, they evaded the reply when I asked them ' Is it about non-Muslims also'?. From my residence they proceeded to Mr. Manzoor Ahmed, a Retired IPS officer and former Vice Chancellor of Agra University who stays a little distant away from me for the same purpose.
Here is an excerpt from a piece by Girish Shahane, Mumbai-based freelance journalist. He writes the blog Shoot First, Mumble Later:
...These sorts of errors bothered me far less than the constant highlighting of atrocities, often fictional ones, by Muslim rulers. The entry on Konark read, "The massive Sun Temple was constructed in mid-13th century, probably by Orissan king Narashimhadev I to celebrate his military victory over the Muslims. In use for maybe only three centuries, the first blow occurred in the late 16th century when marauding Mughals removed the copper over the cupola. This vandalism may have dislodged the loadstone leading to the partial collapse of the 40m-high sikhara." As a child, I'd heard the tale of a giant magnet holding the Sun Temple's girders in place. By the time I was in my late teens, I knew Indian temples were made of stone and used little metal. The idea of a lodestone atop the Sun Temple keeping the structure together, while making compasses on passing ships go haywire, was manifestly absurd. Not too absurd for Lonely Planet, though, which lays blame for this imaginary vandalism at the door of Mughals, whose only connection with Konark in the late 16th century was a laudatory passage about the structure composed by Abul Fazl in the Ain-i-Akbari.
Temples, even grand ones can collapse from natural causes, as evidenced by the recent fall of the 500 year old gopuram of the Srikalahasti temple.
In India, however, any damage to old Hindu religious structures is reflexively attributed to 'the Muslims'. That phrase itself is objectionable, in my view. Lonely Planet never clubs the British and Portuguese together as 'the Christians', so why place rulers from varied ethnic backgrounds and historical eras into a hold all category such as 'the Muslims'?
The Sun Temple isn't the only instance of Lonely Planet inventing acts of Muslim vandalism. The entry for Himachal's Brajeshwari Temple states, "Famous for its wealth, the temple was looted by a string of invaders, from Mahmud of Ghazni to Jehangir". Mahmud did, indeed, loot the Brajeshwari temple. But Jehangir was neither an invader, having been born and bred in India, nor a plunderer of holy sites. He loved that region of the country, and did much to improve it.
Mughals keep unjustly getting the wrong end of the stick throughout the book. The background to Amritsar and its Golden Temple reads, "The original site for the city was granted by the Mughal emperor Akbar, but another Mughal, Ahmad Shah Durani, sacked Amritsar in 1761 and destroyed the temple." Durrani was, of course, not a Mughal at all. But hey, these guys are all Muslims, right? Mughal, Turk, Afghan, big difference. That attitude is probably why Allaudin Khilji is wrongly labelled a Pathan: "Chittor's first defeat occurred in 1303 when Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Pathan king of Delhi, besieged the fort, apparently to capture the beautiful Padmini, wife of the rana's (king's) uncle, Bhim Singh." Actually, misidentifying a Turko-Afghan as a Pathan is a minor error. The big howler in the sentence is LP's propagation of the myth of Rani Padmini. Back in the early 14th century, Khilji was on a campaign in Rajputana, capturing one fort after another, and Chittor was on his list. He didn't need a special reason to besiege it. The great poet and mystic Amir Khusro, who chronicled Khilji's campaign, made no mention of any Padmini. The story was dreamt up much later to contrast the treachery and lasciviousness of the Muslim ruler against the bravery and chivalry of his Hindu Rajput antagonists. I feel like saying to the Rajputs, "Guys, Khilji won, you lost, get over it."
Here's a recent expose published by Tehelka.com on "tapes implicating ultra Hindutva outfits in terror blasts gathering dust" in India's law-enfocement agencies:
Tehelka has accessed 37 audio tapes, two videos and several witness statements that cast further light on the Malegaon blasts case of 2008..
The tapes show that the conspiracy was not just restricted to the 12 who were arrested. They throw up names of those who were sympathisers and funders, as suggested by Hemant Karkare in his last interview to Tehelka on 25 November 2008, a day before his death. The people mentioned are majors, brigadiers, police chiefs and politicians. But after the filing of the chargesheet, there has been silence...
Damningly, Tehelka also has a copy of an important department communication to a top ats official officials in the beginning of the year, with information on Ramji Kalsangra, a key accused. Kalsangra is wanted not just in the Malegaon blasts case but also for the Ajmer dargah, Mecca Masjid (Hyderabad), Malegaon mosque and Samjhauta Express blasts. Kalsangra was the one who planted the bombs and rode the bike used in the blasts. He was declared absconding. However, the department communication accessed by Tehelka speaks of specific information about Kalsangra’s whereabouts —
The tapes accessed by Tehelka also contain what amount to confessions of rioting. For instance, RP Singh, an endocrinologist at Apollo Hospital, tells Dayanand Pandey, “We burnt 25 Muslims at one go. Killing Muslims by day, practicing medicine at night: we have to do this. We have to spread terror. No more crying” (translated from Hindi).
Here's a Times of India report on more arrests linked to Hindutva terror:
NEW DELHI: The CBI on Friday claimed a major breakthrough in its probe against the Hindu terror web blamed for devastating attacks on Hyderabad's Mecca Masjid, the Sufi shrine at Ajmer and earlier at Malegaon, with the arrest of a senior Abhinav Bharat ideologue who was hiding in a Hardwar ashram under the guise of a Hindu seer.
The arrest of Swami Aseemanand (59), named by CBI as an accused in Mecca Masjid terror attacks, will help the agency join the dots between Ajmer, Mecca and Malegaon as investigators believe he scripted all three attacks.
The agency is also learnt to have confiscated several documents and has telephone phone tap transcripts that proved the role of Aseemanand and his fellow plotters from Abhinav Bharat.
The CBI termed the arrest as a major catch that could lead to two absconding accused in the case — Sunil Dangre and Ramchandra Kalsangra. There is a reward of Rs 10 lakh each for the two. Aseemanand, a botany graduate from Hoogly in West Bengal, has been variously known as Jatin Chatterjee and Naba Kumar Sarkar. CBI said that he was living under an assumed name and sleuths found a passport issued by RPO Kolkata, a ration card and an election card issued by Hardwar authorities from his possession.
CBI brought the fake seer to Delhi and produced him before Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Pandey at the Tis Hazari court which allowed the plea of CBI to take him to a court in Hyderabad within 48 hours. He will be produced there on Sunday. CBI sources said they had informed officials of the National Investigative Agency and Rajasthan ATS for a joint interrogation as there several contradictions were likely to appear during his examination. His name also finds mentions in the chargesheet filed by Rajasthan ATS in Ajmer blasts cases.
He has been on the run after the arrest of Malegaon terror attack suspect Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in 2008. The CBI and Maharashtra ATS had carried out searches in 2009-10 at various places in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat after receiving information about his presence.
Indian Congress leader Digvijay Singh has repeated his allegation that Hindutva outfits were behind Mumbai ATS Chief Karkare's murder on 26/11.
Here's a news report on it:
A senior Congress leader today suggested that the phone call between party general secretary Digvijay Singh and slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare must be "probed" for the sake of national security.
"It is necessary for national security to probe the telephone conversation between Digvijay Singh and Karkare even though latter was killed by Pakistani terrorists," former Congress MP Anil Shastri posted on his twitter account.
Singh has been claiming that Karkare had mentioned to him about facing pressure from BJP leaders and threat to life from right-wing groups for probing the role of Hindu terror groups in the Malegaon blast.
The BJP yesterday termed his comment as "irresponsible" and said terrorists behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks would "lap on the statement".
The Congress saw it as a personal conversation between Singh and Karkare and party leader Janardhan Dwivedi said the party had nothing to say on it.
Some time back, former minority affairs minister AR Antulay had propounded a conspiracy theory behind the killing of Karkare.
Here is a report by The Independent on the unfolding story of Hindutva terrorists framing Muslims:
India is being forced to confront disturbing evidence that increasingly suggests a secret Hindu terror network may have been responsible for a wave of deadly attacks previously blamed on radical Muslims.
Information contained in a confession given in court by a Hindu holy man, suggests that he and several others linked to a right-wing Hindu organisation, planned and carried out attacks on a train travelling to Pakistan, a Sufi shrine and a mosque as well as two assaults on Malegaon, a town in southern India with a large Muslim population.
He claimed the attacks were launched in response to the actions of Muslim militants. "I told everybody that we should answer bombs with bombs," 59-year-old Swami Aseemanand, whose real name is Naba Kumar Sarkar, told a magistrate during a closed hearing in Delhi. "I suggested that 80 per cent of the people of Malegaon were Muslims and we should explode the first bomb in Malegaon itself. I also said that during partition, the Nizam of Hyderabad had wanted to go with Pakistan so Hyderabad was also a fair target. Then I said that since Hindus also throng [a Sufi shrine in] Ajmer we should also explode a bomb in Ajmer which would deter the Hindus from going there. I also suggested the Aligarh Muslim University as a target."
Police in India have suspected for some time that Hindus may have been responsible for the attacks carried out between 2006 and 2008, and in November of that year several arrests were made, including that of a serving military officer. But the confession of Swami Aseemanand, obtained by an Indian news magazine, is perhaps the most damning evidence yet that Hindu extremists were responsible. It also suggests those involved were senior members of a religious group that is the parent organisation of India's main opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
"The evidence is not conclusive but people have to take notice of this," said Bahukutumbi Raman, a former national security adviser and now a leading regional security analyst. "This could aggravate tensions between India's [Hindu and Muslim] communities. It will create problems."
Live discussion on IBN TV with a Muslim young man who had been incarcerated and tortured by the Andhra Police for the crime committed by Swami Aseemanand and his gang. How this young man's life has been turned upside down after false accusations and tortures.
Forensic evidence against Hindutva terror in India is mounting, according to Tehelka.com:
Not unexpectedly, the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have alleged that Asimananda’s confession was made under coercion and thus rubbished the ongoing probe into Hindutva terror.
But the fact remains that Asimananda had made the confession in the closed chamber of a Delhi Metropolitan Magistrate with no one else being around and after spending two days in judicial custody contemplating possible repercussions. Again, what is being completely overlooked in this politically charged debate is a whole body of evidence — both material and circumstantial — which has been pieced together by different agencies over the past four years. Asimananda’s confession only confirms and adds to the existing pool of evidence.
Curiously, the 6.53 volt battery found in the unexploded IED at Mecca Masjid was exactly the same as the batteries used to power the IEDs planted on the Samjhauta Express. Besides, the metallic shells used to stuff explosives in the Mecca Masjid bombs were similar to the iron shells which were part of the IEDs planted on the Samjhauta Express.
Similar shells were recovered from the house of a Hindu radical in Nanded, Maharashtra, in April 2006 when an RSS member and a Bajrang Dal activist had died while assembling a bomb. During the investigation it had emerged that the Hindu extremists had exploded similar shell bombs outside a few mosques in Jalna and Parbhani in 2003 and 2004.
Also in December 2002, more than half-a-dozen live pipe or shell bombs were recovered from an ijtema, a large religious gathering of Muslims, held near the Bhopal railway station.
The design of the shells used in bombs in Nanded, Jalna, Parbhani, Bhopal, Samjhauta and Mecca Masjid was similar and thus hinted towards the involvement of one terror group behind all these cases.
Interestingly, between 2005 and 2008, in the terror strikes targeted at Hindu neighbourhoods and temples — like the 2005 Delhi Diwali blasts, 2006 Sankatmochan Mandir blasts and 2007 Hyderabad twin blasts — the design of bombs was strikingly different from these bombs which were aimed at Muslims.
As opaque and extrapolated intelligence inputs — Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) being behind the Samjhauta blasts and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) behind the Mecca Masjid attack — continued to pour in, the CBI investigation pursued the forensic trail.
THE MECCA Masjid IED consisted of two pairs of metallic shells with their ends sealed, save for a small hole at one end to stuff the explosives. In the case of Mecca Masjid the explosive used was a lethal mix of high-intensity RDX and Trinitrotoluene (TNT) — both these explosives are only available with the army and paramilitary forces. Electrical detonators connected a 6.53 volt battery to the explosives through the hole at an end of each pair of the cast iron shells. The battery in turn was connected to an electrical circuit which in turn was connected to a Nokia 6030 cell phone with a SIM card. An alarm for 1.22 pm was set on the phone. Thus the cell phone served both as a timer and also the power source to trigger the circuit that would then result in the explosion of the IED. Each IED was neatly placed in a black iron box which in turn was placed in a rexine bag.
The Maharashtra ATS under its then chief Hemant Karkare carried out an excellent forensic investigation and retrieved the chassis number of the motorcycle used in the Malegaon blast. The motorcycle belonged to self-styled Hindu leader Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. Her arrest led to a series of other arrests including serving Lt Col Purohit and a Hindu religious leader Dayanand Pandey.
After a slew of recent evidence of multiple acts of terror by the Sangh Parivar in India, the RSS is increasingly convinced that there is a move afoot to ban it, according to Bharat Bhushan.
RSS ideologue M G Vaidya wrote in a recent article: “ The present Congress, under the leadership of the new Mrs. Gandhi, needs a ban on the RSS — not to finish the RSS but to placate its Muslim vote bank.
Under these circumstances, a terrorist tag would be extremely damaging. Already graying, the marginalisation of the RSS would be accelerated. Funds from abroad will dry up, and domestic accounts of all associated organisations would be frozen. People would be wary of associating with it. Parents would advise their children to keep away from it. This is what the RSS is really worried about.
What is curious is that for preventing this predicament, its leaders do not blame their poisonous ideology which is essentially militaristic, demonises people of other religions and takes it upon itself to protect an exclusivist Indian nationalism. If the gray eminences of the RSS had any sense, they would distance themselves from the likes of Indresh Kumar. However, if the fire has already engulfed the outhouses and reached their door- step, they may find that there is no escape route left.
They will blame their favourite hate figures, the Nehru- Gandhi family for their predicament.
The RSS needs to dissolve itself. India needs no protection from self- styled militias. It has a state structure and judiciary capable of handling criminals and terrorists of various hues. It does not need religious vigilante groups to take revenge for jihadi terror or to save Hinduism, which has thrived for centuries without knobbly- kneed men in khaki shorts and black caps, bamboo staff in hand, taking part in an elaborate costume drama.
Here's a piece by Kapil Komireddi on Hindu terrorism published in the Guardian:
For far too long, the enduring response of the Indian establishment to Hindu nationalists has rarely surpassed mild scorn. Their organised violent eruptions across the country – slaughtering Muslims and Christians, destroying their places of worship, cutting open pregnant wombs – never seemed sufficient enough to the state to cast them as a meaningful threat to India's national security.
But the recently leaked confession of a repentant Hindu priest, Swami Aseemanand, confirms what India's security establishment should have uncovered: a series of blasts between 2006 and 2008 were carried out by Hindu outfits. The attacks targeted a predominantly Muslim town and places of Muslim worship elsewhere. Their victims were primarily Muslim. Yet the reflexive reaction of the police was to round up young Muslim men, torture them, extract confessions and declare the cases solved.
Pundits now conduct cautious enquiries on television. Does this revelation mean India is now under attack by "Hindu terrorism"? But to treat this as a new phenomenon is to overlook the bulky corpus of terrorist violence in India that has its roots in explicitly Hindu-political grievances. Why is the attack on a Jewish centre in Mumbai by Pakistani gunmen an example of "Islamic terrorism", but the slaughter of a thousand Muslims by sword-wielding Hindus in Gujarat in 2002 not proof of "Hindu terrorism", particularly when the purpose of the violence was to establish an Hindu state in India? How do we describe attacks on churches, the kidnappings of pastors, the burning to death of a missionary? What do we make of the war-cry pehle kasai, phir isai: first the butchers (Muslims), then the Christians? What has prompted this debate over "Hindu terrorism" is not Aseemanand's confession: it is the fact that, in carrying out their violence, his accomplices appropriated methods which, in popular imagination, have become associated exclusively with Islamic terrorism. Detonating bombs in crowded areas: isn't that what Muslims do?
It is when you look at the reactions to non-Hindu extremism that you absorb how strongly majoritarian assumptions inform the state and society's conduct in India. In 2002, the Indian government banned the radical Muslim group Simi (Students' Islamic Movement of India) citing the group's charter, which seeks to establish sharia rule in India, and the terror charges some of its members were facing. But the Hindu radical outfit RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or the National Volunteer Corps) remains open for business – even though it campaigns, very openly, for a Hindu state in India, and its members incite and perpetrate violence against Muslim and Christian minorities. Mahatma Gandhi's assassin was a member of the RSS, as are Aseemanand and his confreres. To get an idea of which of the two groups poses a more immediate threat to India, consider this: the government that banned Simi was headed by the BJP, the political wing of the RSS.
Indian newspaper The Hindu is publishing some wikileaks cable on India. Here are a few interesting ones:
1. The Hindu reveals that PM Singh isolated on wanting talks with Pakistan:
During the interaction, Mr. Narayanan, who had been described by the Embassy in a January 12, 2005 cable (25259: confidential) as a long-time Gandhi family loyalist “who is seen as part of the traditional ‘coterie' around Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi,” came through as a hardliner on Pakistan, never afraid to voice his differences with Prime Minister Singh.
In an August 11, 2009 cable (220281: confnoforn), sent a day after the meeting, Mr. Roemer noted that Mr. Narayanan, a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau who is now Governor of West Bengal, readily conceded that he had differences with Prime Minister Singh on Pakistan. The Prime Minister was a “great believer” in talks and negotiations with Islamabad, but Mr. Narayanan himself was “not a great believer in Pakistan.”
2. India was locked in a tussle with the United States over sharing information from the 2008 Mumbai attacks investigation with Pakistan, according to a chain of U.S. Embassy cables accessed by The Hindu through WikiLeaks.
During the India-Pakistan standoff in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation helped the two sides share information of each other's investigations.
But India, suspicious of Pakistan's intentions, tried as long as it could to fend off U.S. pressure on information-sharing — before relenting, but with some conditions.
Unhappy about those conditions, the U.S. then sought to work around them through a “broad” reading of the assent.
On January 3, 2009 Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice instructed the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi to deliver a demarche (cable 185593: secret) that the U.S. was making available to it material on the Mumbai attacks provided by the Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Rice asked Ambassador David Mulford to tell New Delhi that “this information originated from top Pakistani officials in very sensitive positions and is passed to you with their permission. It represents a genuine willingness on their part to share sensitive and significant information with India.”
A new Wikileak revelation by The Hindu quotes BJP leader Arun Jaitly calling Hindutva as an Opportunistic issue for the party:
CHENNAI: Is Hindu nationalism the raison d'être of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), or just another vote-catching device? In a private conversation with American diplomats in May 2005, senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley articulated the view that Hindu nationalism was an opportunistic issue for the party.
Mr. Jaitley, who is now the Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, met with Robert Blake, the Charge at the U.S. Embassy, on May 6, 2005, and provided him and the Political Counsel an insightful exposition on the politics of Hindutva. “Pressed on the question of Hindutva, Jaitley argued that Hindu nationalism ‘will always be a talking point' for the BJP. However, he characterized this as an opportunistic issue,” the Charge wrote in a cable dated May 10, 2005 ( 32279: confidential).
“In India's northeast, for instance, Hindutva plays well because of public anxiety about illegal migration of Muslims from Bangladesh. With the recent improvement of Indo-Pak relations, he added, Hindu nationalism is now less resonant in New Delhi, but that could change with another cross-border terrorist attack, for instance on the Indian Parliament,” Mr. Blake reported on the interaction with Mr. Jaitley.
On the basis of these remarks on Hindutva made by Mr. Jaitley, the diplomat concluded that his “credentials with the Sangh Parivar are weak, and he may not have what it takes to mobilize the BJP base.”
On the issue of revocation of the visa of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Jaitley complained that he could not understand how the United States could take such an action against the party that began the transformation of U.S.-India relations.
When Mr. Blake explained the “rationale and legal basis” for the U.S. decision, “Jaitley agreed with the Charge's point that Modi was a polarizing personality, but argued that it would have been better for the US to let the Chief Minister visit the US, where he would have attracted a few demonstrators and then nothing more would be said.”
The Modi issue aside, the BJP leader was upbeat on U.S.-India relations, “emphasizing that ties with the U.S. were no longer a point of controversy in Indian politics.” Citing his own situation as typical, “Jaitley noted that he has several nieces and sisters living in the U.S., and ‘five homes to visit between DC and New York.'”
In private, Mr. Jaitley appeared more willing to give credit to his political rivals where due. “Putting on his hat as a former Commerce Minister, Jaitley confessed that the BJP's opposition to a Value Added Tax (VAT) at the state level was based on a narrow political calculus, and predicted that the BJP states would adopt the VAT soon in order to protect their revenue streams. He gave the Congress government generally positive marks for its handling of economic policy issues, but focused on the contradictions inherent in the UPA coalition.”
In response to the “Charge's pitch for opening of the Indian services sector,” Mr. Jaitley, a Senior Advocate, agreed that legal services should be opened to foreign competition, “noting that the performance of the Indian bar has begun to improve, even though the quality of judges suffers from a ‘Gandhian' mindset that leads to unreasonably low salaries.” On the retail sector, Mr. Jaitley “argued that foreign competition should not seriously hurt the mom and pop stores that form a BJP constituency.”
In a concluding comment, the Charge wrote: “Although visibly pained by the Modi visa revocation, Jaitley was gracious and open throughout. He clearly values his personal and commercial connections to the US (several US corporates are legal clients). As the competition for BJP leadership heats up, Jaitley will enjoy the advantages of a telegenic personality and strong ties to the New Delhi establishment.”
Here's a Countercurrent.org Op Ed by Raveena Hansa regarding Mumbai 2008 investigation:
A great deal of new evidence concerning the 26 November 2008 terrorist attacks in Bombay has emerged over the past year. This includes the book Who Killed Karkare: The Real Face of Terrorism in India by S.M.Mushrif, a former police officer with a distinguished record, who uses news reports during and just after the attacks to question the official story; the book To the Last Bullet by Vinita Kamte (the widow of Ashok Kamte) and Vinita Deshmukh; revelations concerning Hemant Karkare's bullet-proof jacket and post-mortem report; the David Coleman Headley trial; and the trial of Ajmal Kasab, Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Shaikh. I do not include the Ram Pradhan Commission report on police responses to the attack, for reasons I will explain.
It has been established that Headley was an agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration, and his plea bargain leads us to conclude he was also a US intelligence agent: in other words, a spy. It is also known he was involved with the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and supplied information to them about targets attacked on 26/11.
This consistent pattern of framing Muslims even for attacks in which the overwhelming majority of victims were Muslims, as in the case of the Samjhauta Express train blasts in 2007, could not have been sustained without the participation of the IB and police. Investigations into the Nanded blasts in 2006 revealed that bombs made by the RSS and Bajrang Dal had earlier been set off at mosques in Parbhani (2003), Jalna (2004), and Purna (2004), and were about to be used in another terrorist attack in Aurangabad when they went off prematurely. But half-hearted prosecutions allowed members of the network to get away. Ironically, local protests at the way the case was being mishandled led to its being transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which further diluted the charges (Mushrif 153-67)! Initial investigations by the local police pointed to Hindutva groups as the perpetrators of the blasts at a Muslim festival in Malegaon in 2006 that killed over 30 and injured hundreds, yet again the police, the Maharashtra ATS (then headed by K.P.Raghuvanshi) who took over from the police, and the CBI who took over from the ATS charged Muslims against whom there was no evidence whatsoever (Khan 2010). It appeared that Hindutva terror groups could commit mass murder with impunity (Gatade 2008).
If extremists are allowed to infiltrate India's state institutions unchecked, its constitution and secular character would eventually be destroyed. Hemant Karkare and Shahid Azmi lost their lives while trying to save India from this dire fate. We must ensure that they did not die in vain.
Here's an excerpt from another Hindu editorial by Praveen Swami on terror in Oslo:
In 2008, Hindutva leader B.L. Sharma ‘Prem' held a secret meeting with key members of a terrorist group responsible for a nationwide bombing campaign targeting Muslims. “It has been a year since I sent some three lakh letters, distributed 20,000 maps of Akhand Bharat but these Brahmins and Banias have not done anything and neither will they [do anything],” he is recorded to have said in documents obtained by prosecutors. “It is not that physical power is the only way to make a difference,” he concluded, “but to awaken people mentally, I believe that you have to set fire to society.”
Last week, Anders Behring Breivik, armed with assault weapons and an improvised explosive device fabricated from the chemicals he used to fertilize the farm that had made him a millionaire in his mid-20s, set out to put Norway on fire.
Even though a spatial universe separated the blonde, blue-eyed Mr. Breivik from the saffron-clad neo-Sikh Mr. Sharma, their ideas rested on much the same intellectual firmament.
In much media reportage, Mr. Breivik has been characterised as a deranged loner: a Muslim-hating Christian fanatic whose ideas and actions placed him outside of society. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mr. Breivik's mode of praxis was, in fact, entirely consistent with the periodic acts of mass violence European fascists have carried out since World War II. More important, Mr. Breivik's ideas, like those of Mr. Sharma, were firmly rooted in mainstream right-wing discourse.
For India, there are several important lessons. Like's Europe's mainstream right-wing parties, the BJP has condemned the terrorism of the right — but not the thought system which drives it. Its refusal to engage in serious introspection, or even to unequivocally condemn Hindutva violence, has been nothing short of disgraceful. Liberal parties, including the Congress, have been equally evasive in their critique of both Hindutva and Islamist terrorism.
Besieged as India is by multiple fundamentalisms, in the throes of a social crisis that runs far deeper than in Europe, with institutions far weaker, it must reflect carefully on Mr. Brevik's story — or run real risks to its survival.
Here's an excerpt from Wall Street Journal blog "Norway Gunman Fascinated By Hindu Nationalism":
According to copies of the manifesto online, Mr. Breivik believed there were conspiracies to suppress evidence of a “Hindu genocide” in the mountainous Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. To support that contention, he included tracts verbatim from a Hindu conspiracy theory website in his manifesto, one of many Indian websites that he cited and quoted from.
Elsewhere he used material from the crowd-sourced Wikipedia entries for “Hindutva” (Hindu nationalism) and “Saffronization” to describe “the state of the Indian/Hindu resistance.”
At one point he criticizes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for being too sympathetic to Muslims. Elsewhere, he says more broadly, “The India elites, just like European elites, are aiding and abetting the Muslim conquest by way of appeasement.”
Mr. Breikvik devotes many pages to the development of uniforms, insignia and medals, and suggests India and China as possible destinations to which to outsource the manufacture of these items, as well as the manufacture of tombstones for those who fall in the war against multiculturalism.
The Hindu reported in an earlier piece that he had already sourced some insignia samples from India, ironically, from a Muslim weaver living in the city of Varanasi.
The gunman on the one hand suggests that Europe and the subcontinent should ally diplomatically and militarily over some sort of shared oppression by Islam, while on the other he suggests that “non-Muslim” Bangladeshis, Indians and Pakistanis would be good candidates for a serf class who would live in separate ghettos and work 12 hours a day to clean, garden, carry out construction and drive taxis for their European masters.
“This is not slavery as slavery is taking away peoples freedom,” he claimed.
A Christian Science Monitor report said that a former Hindu nationalist lawmaker, while condemning the shooting, didn’t condemn Mr. Breikvik’s ideas.
The Monitor quoted B.P. Singhal, a retired MP from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party as saying, “I was with the shooter in his objective, but not in his method.”
Indian MPs angry at possible ban on Bhagvad Gita in Russia, according to BBC:
Indian MPs have expressed outrage and forced an adjournment of parliament in protest at a court case in Russia that could see a Hindu holy book banned.
MPs demanded the government protect Hindu rights, shouting: "We will not tolerate an insult to Lord Krishna."
State prosecutors in Tomsk argue the Bhagvad Gita is an extremist religious text and want it put on a list that includes Hitler's Mein Kampf.
They say it sows social discord and want its distribution banned.
Russia recognises freedom of religion among its four main faiths, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism.
The Tomsk case concerns a Russian translation of the Bhagvad Gita.
The book is central to Hare Krishna and dozens of the movement's adherents protested outside the Russian consulate in Calcutta on Monday.
The court in Tomsk on Monday suspended its ruling until 28 December to seek the opinion of the Russian ombudsman and religious experts.
Bhartruhari Mahtab, leader of the Biju Janata Dal, brought up the issue in the Indian parliament on Monday.
He said: "I want to know from the government what it is doing. The religious rights of Hindus in Russia should be protected. The government should impress upon the Russian authorities through diplomatic channels."
The speaker of parliament rejected requests for speeches on the subject and was forced to adjourn amid protests.
I have also wondered about who REALLY killed Karkare. I have never believed that Brahminist propaganda about how pakistani-muslim freedom fighters from the law-abiding Lashkar-e-Toiba just happened to kill him during the Mumbai justice operations.
But I have also wondered about a few more killings, especially of personalities much more important and famous than that poor Karkare-fellow:
1) Who really killed Liaquat Ali Khan? Why?
2) Who really killed Shahnawaz Bhutto? How? Why?
3) Who really Killed Zia-ul-Haq? How? Why?
4) Who really killed Murtaza Bhutto? Why?
5) Who really killed Benazir Zardari? Why?
As you can see, the whole world is so deeply concerned about all these mysterious assasinations happening under the cloak of state intrigue that the UN has now established an international inquiry because no one believes that we can get anything done by ourselves--
Could you please blog about credible theories on the killings of these famous & important people?
Here's a BBC story of an Indian textbook saying meat-eaters "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes":
Meat-eaters "easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes", according to a controversial school textbook available in India.
New Healthway, a book on hygiene and health aimed at 11 and 12 year-olds, is printed by one of India's leading publishers.
Academics have urged the government to exercise greater control.
But the authorities say schools should monitor content as they are responsible for the choice of textbooks.
"This is poisonous for children," Janaki Rajan of the Faculty of Education at Jamia Millia University in Delhi told the BBC.
"The government has the power to take action, but they are washing their hands of it," she said.
It is not known which Indian schools have bought the book for their students, but correspondents say what is worrying is that such a book is available to students.
"The strongest argument that meat is not essential food is the fact that the Creator of this Universe did not include meat in the original diet for Adam and Eve. He gave them fruits, nuts and vegetables," reads a chapter entitled Do We Need Flesh Food?
The chapter details the "benefits" of a vegetarian diet and goes on to list "some of the characteristics" found among non-vegetarians.
"They easily cheat, tell lies, forget promises, they are dishonest and tell bad words, steal, fight and turn to violence and commit sex crimes," it says.
The chapter, full of factual inaccuracies, refers to Eskimos (Inuit) as "lazy, sluggish and short-lived", because they live on "a diet largely of meat".
It adds: "The Arabs who helped in constructing the Suez Canal lived on wheat and dates and were superior to the beef-fed Englishmen engaged in the same work."
The publishers, S Chand, did not respond to the BBC's requests for a comment.
It is really sad when someone like Mushrif does this, These people have left behind Gobels in spreading lies. There are sad incidents of Hindu people participating Terrorist activities but it is shameful to link all terrorist incidents to Hindus. India is secular country where Muslims can be superstars, President, Indian Team Caption, is it possible in any of Muslim Country ? Even some one like Mushrif can have his say, can any Hindu raised his head in any Muslim country ? Thankfully Mushrif not linking Hindus to 9/11, London bombing, Terrorism in Pakistan, Destruction of Buddha Statues in Afghanistan. According to Him Hindus Killing there own people to malign Islam, Funny isn't it, Kill Your own family to just malign somebody. why anybody will do that, Islam has already achieve that with there own deeds. Unfortunately he even don't trust anybody, Indian Government, Press all are liars when they arrest any Muslim, On the other hand same people are Trusted when they blame Hindus.
These People need to correct there own thinking first. Your Own people have malign Islam not anybody else. Stop making funny excuses and blaming others for your own deeds.
Here's an India Times report on allegations of Indian intelligence orchestrating attacks on Indian Parliament and Mumbai hotels:
NEW DELHI: In what is certain to escalate the already vicious fight between the CBI and the IB over the IshratJahan "fake encounter case", a former home ministry officer has alleged that a member of the CBI-SIT team had accused incumbent governments of "orchestrating" the terror attack on Parliament and the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai.
R V S Mani, who as home ministry under-secretary signed the affidavits submitted in court in the alleged encounter case, has said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the CBI-SIT probe team, told him that both the terror attacks were set up "with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic)".
Mani has said that Verma "...narrated that the 13.12. 2001(attack on Parliament) was followed by Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) and 26/11 2008 (terrorists' siege of Mumbai) was followed by amendment to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act)."
The official has alleged Verma levelled the damaging charge while debunking IB's inputs labelling the three killed with Ishrat in the June 2004 encounter as Lashkar terrorists.
Contacted by TOI, Verma refused to comment. "I don't know what the complaint is, made when and to whom. Nor am I interested in knowing. I cannot speak to the media on such matters. Ask the CBI," said the Gujarat cadre IPS officer who after being relieved from the SIT is working as principal of the Junagadh Police Training College.
Mani, currently posted as deputy land and development officer in the urban development ministry, has written to his seniors that he retorted to Verma's comments telling the IPS officer that he was articulating the views of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI.
According to him, the charge was levelled by Verma in Gandhinagar on June 22 while questioning Mani about the two home ministry affidavits in the alleged encounter case.
In his letter to the joint secretary in the urban development ministry, Mani has accused Verma of "coercing" him into signing a statement that is at odds with facts as he knew them. He said Verma wanted him to sign a statement saying that the home ministry's first affidavit in the Ishrat case was drafted by two IB officers. "Knowing fully well that this would tantamount to falsely indicting of (sic) my seniors at the extant time, I declined to sign any statement."
Giving the context in which Verma allegedly levelled the serious charge against the government, Mani said the IPS officer, while questioning him, had raised doubts about the genuineness of IB's counter-terror intelligence. He disputed the veracity of the input on the antecedents of the three killed in June 2004 on the outskirts of Ahmedabad with Ishrat in the alleged encounter which has since become a polarizing issue while fuelling Congress's fight with Gujarat CM Narendra Modi....
Here are excerpts of an article on Indian intelligence agencies and journalists anti-Muslim bias:
ON 19 NOVEMBER 1987, during the protracted final phase of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, Indian Airlines flight IC 452 from Kabul landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport. Shortly after its arrival, a security guard spotted ammunition cartridges rolling out over the tarmac from a damaged crate, one in a consignment of 22 that had arrived on the plane. Airport staff began an X-ray examination of every box. Apart from cartridges, the scan revealed at least one rocket launcher.
Police and customs officers took the shipment for a haul of terrorist contraband. While airport personnel argued over who should get credit for the seizure, a man in mufti appeared and identified himself as a Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) operative. Before the munitions could be properly inventoried, he confiscated the crates, claiming they were government property.
The journalist Dhiren Bhagat broke the story on 24 April 1988, in Bombay’s Indian Post and the London Observer. The damaged crate “was the sort of slip that journalism thrives on,” he later wrote. According to the freight bill, the consignment was telecom equipment bound for the Director General Communications in Sanchar Bhawan—a non-existent official. Looking for an explanation, Bhagat contacted the cabinet secretary, BG Deshmukh, to whom R&AW reported. Deshmukh said he could neither confirm nor deny R&AW’s involvement.
In his article, Bhagat speculated that the smuggled arms had been destined for Punjab, where the Khalistan insurgency was at its peak. In March 1988, there had been several rocket attacks on police and paramilitary units in the state—though nobody was hit—and such weaponry hadn’t been used anywhere else in the country following the November shipment. Although Bhagat didn’t say as much, it seemed plausible that government forces had staged the assaults as a pretext for stepping up military intervention in Punjab (and discrediting Pakistan). “Indian officials have expressed concern about the increased firepower of the Sikh militants, who in the last week have used shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles, similar to those used by guerrillas in the war in Afghanistan,” Sanjoy Hazarika wrote in the New York Times in early April. “Officials here say they have been unable to confirm reports that these weapons have been smuggled across the Afghan and Pakistani borders into Punjab.”
Indeed, many Indian journalists refer to intelligence officers, and even agency chiefs, not as sources but as friends, calling them by their first names or nicknames, and inviting them to Diwali celebrations and other family events. At its core, however, the relationship between reporters and agents is a crude barter economy. Most agency work, especially at the domestically focused Intelligence Bureau (IB), is on the political desk—tracking dissidents, businessmen and various politicians: the sort of people with whom journalists are relatively free to meet. “One officer told me very bluntly, ‘My job is not to give you stories but to take stories from you.
If there is a steady flow of information from you, once in a while I might consider giving you a story myself,’” a mid-ranking reporter with a leading daily told me. A senior Mumbai journalist described agency information gatherers as “hungry caterpillars”. “It doesn’t matter from which part of the country the information is from,” she said. “Intelligence is after all about connecting the dots. If I get some documents from Orissa, I would give them to the Nagpur police and get some story in return.”
“My understanding is what you bring to the table is important to build contacts, and then you build confidence by writing about issues,” Shishir Gupta, the deputy executive editor of the Hindustan Times, said about cultivating sources within the IB.
^^RH: "....raised some very serious questions about the role of the Indian intelligence in the increasing violence committed against India's minorities, and how India's Intelligence Bureau diverts attention from it by falsely accusing Indian Muslims and Pakistan's ISI...."
India's Intelligence Bureau Chief, Asif Ibrahim, fights back against Indian Government...
Well? What does Mushrif have to say about this tamasha? What are your views on this?
One of the prime suspects in last year's Mumbai terrorist attacks suddenly withdrew his confession today and claimed he had been framed by police.
Mohammad Ajmal Kasab is on trial in Mumbai accused of being the lone surviving gunman from the attacks, in which 166 people died over three days in November last year.
Prosecutors are adamant that Kasab is the young man seen clutching an automatic rifle and striding through the city's railway station in a picture that has become the iconic image of the attacks.
Kasab insisted today that this was not the case, smiling as he set out his new version of events. Far from arriving by sea with the other gunmen on the night the attacks began, he said, he had pitched up nearly three weeks earlier hoping to break into the Bollywood film industry and had been picked up by the police three days before the attacks for being Pakistani.
It was his misfortune, he claimed, to be the doppelgänger of one of the gunmen shot dead by police. Lacking a culprit to put on trial, they had taken him from his cell the day the attacks were launched, shot him to make it look as if he had been injured in the crossfire and then framed him, he said.
"I was not present in the Chhatrapati Shivaji terminus and I did not open firing inside the railway station. I have never seen an AK-47 in my life, or even a rubber dingy," he told the astonished courtroom.
It was a remarkable twist, even in a week in which David Headley, the man alleged to have masterminded the attacks, was accused by Indian intelligence sources of acting as a double agent for the CIA and al-Qaida.
It is not the first time Kasab has changed his story. The 21-year-old, who faces the death penalty if convicted, initially denied the charges. He surprised everyone – including his lawyer – by changing his plea to guilty in July and regaling the court with an account of how he had travelled to Mumbai by boat from Pakistan with his fellow gunmen to launch the attacks. He would rather be hanged in this world than face God's punishment in the next, he explained.
In a shocking disclosure a former officer of the Indian home ministry has alleged that Indian government had orchestrated the two high-profile terrorist attacks which New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militant groups.
According to India’s Times of India (TOI) newspaper, RVS Mani, who as home ministry under-secretary signed the affidavits submitted in court in the Ishrat Jahan ‘fake encounter case’, has said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the Central Bureau of Investigation-SIT probe team, told him that both the 2001 attack on Indian parliament and the 2008 Mumbai attacks were set up “with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic)”.
In what is certain to escalate the already vicious fight between the CBI and the IB over the IshratJahan "fake encounter case", a former home ministry officer has alleged that a member of the CBI-SIT team had accused incumbent governments of "orchestrating" the terror attack on Parliament and the 26/11 carnage in Mumbai.
R V S Mani, who as home ministry under-secretary signed the affidavits submitted in court in the alleged encounter case, has said that Satish Verma, until recently a part of the CBI-SIT probe team, told him that both the terror attacks were set up "with the objective of strengthening the counter-terror legislation (sic)".
Mani has said that Verma "...narrated that the 13.12. 2001(attack on Parliament) was followed by Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) and 26/11 2008 (terrorists' siege of Mumbai) was followed by amendment to the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act)."
#Pakistan couple who lost 5 children in #Samjhauta Express blasts are DENIED visas to visit their graves in #India http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3003009/I-dream-children-night-Pakistani-couple-lost-five-sons-daughters-Samjhauta-Express-blasts-DENIED-visas-visit-graves.html …
Rana Shaukat Ali and his wife Rukhsana have no tears. But their grief is palpable as they speak about their five children who died in the Samjhauta Express train blasts of 2007.
After eight years they cannot visit their children’s graves in Delhi.
A Pakistani citizen, Ali has a soft spot for India because Panipat in Haryana contains the graves of all five of his sons and daughters.
Ali, 55, feels that the loss of his five children ironically brought him closer to India due to his frequent trips to the country.
“This year, we have got the visa but only for Noida. We reached here by bus on February 9. For over a month, we have been waiting for the Indian Government’s permission to let us visit the graves to offer prayers.
"I dream about my children every night. They are asking me when will I come to meet them. I want to go to their graves as soon as possible,” said Rukhsana, as tears rolled down her cheeks.
This year, the duo has got visas to visit India but are restricted to Noida because they provided the reference of their cousin, residing in Gautam Budh Nagar, at the time of filing the application.
“We want to travel to Panipat to visit our children’s graves for ‘Quran Khawani’ (prayers at the graves of loved ones on their death anniversary). We have been going to Panipat for ‘Quran Khawani’ since 2008.
"But since 2011, the Indian High Commission in Islamabad has not granted us permission for the visit,” said Ali who runs a general store back home.
“We had applied for visas to visit Panipat but the Indian Government only granted permission to stay in Noida where we have sponsors,” he said.
Ali had lost his 15-year-old daughter Ayesha in the blast along with his other children Bilal, 13, Meer Hamza, 11, Abdul Rehman, 6, and Aasma, 4.
The couple have been given a visa to stay in Noida till April 10 this year.
Rukhsana said: “We have applied for a fresh visa to visit Panipat. We humbly request the Indian Government to allow us to visit the graves of our children and offer prayers. We will be grateful to the authorities.”
The couple have a friend in India - Ashok Randhawa who is the convener of the South Asian Forum Against Terrorism. He works for the welfare of people affected by terrorism.
Randhawa said: “I have written to the Ministry of External Affairs to provide the couple with visas to visit Panipat. I have given a written guarantee to the authorities that they will not harm the country.”
Ali said: “I am still hopeful that the Indian authorities will grant me my request, else I will have to return without seeing my children’s graves.”
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3003009/I-dream-children-night-Pakistani-couple-lost-five-sons-daughters-Samjhauta-Express-blasts-DENIED-visas-visit-graves.html#ixzz3VY99hzRP
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#Indian woman dubbed ‘the face of #Hindu #terror’, killer of #Muslims, to walk free. #India
India’s national investigation agency on Friday dropped all terror-related charges against a female Hindu activist jailed in connection with a bomb explosion in a Muslim neighborhood in 2008.
The National Investigation Agency recommended that all charges be dropped against Pragya Singh — a self-styled Hindu holy woman — and three others because of lack of evidence.
The move overturns earlier police findings and closes a chapter in one of the most contentious terrorism cases in the past decade in India.
[Hindu arrest in anti-Muslim bomb sparks controversy]
Singh and three others were arrested for being behind a September 2008 motorcycle bomb explosion in the town of Malegaon in the western state of Maharashtra.
The blast, which occurred during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, killed six people and injured more than 100.
Singh’s arrest was controversial because it was the first time that Hindus had been named in a terror case in India. It fueled a sharp political debate and angered many Hindus who accused the previous Congress Party-led coalition government of tarnishing the image of their community.
“The National Investigation Agency has said that there is no evidence to prosecute the four accused, including Pragya Singh,” her lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar told reporters in Mumbai. “There had been grave injustice done to them all these years.”
[Hindu terrorism charges force India to reflect on prejudices against Muslims]
The agency also dropped the organized crime charge against one of the other prominent figures in the case, a Hindu army colonel, Srikant Purohit, who remains behind bars on charges he provided the explosives and training to the bombers.
Indian media at that time had called Singh and Purohit “the face of Hindu terror,” a phrase that many Hindus objected to.
“Those who called it ‘Hindu terror’ committed a great sin,” said Indresh Kumar, a member of India’s largest and most strident Hindu nationalist organization, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The group is closely affiliated with the political party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Randeep Singh Surjewala, the spokesman for the Congress Party, which was in power at the time of Singh’s arrest, said the overturning of the charges “has shocked the collective conscience of the nation” and accused the Modi government of “blatant disregard and misuse” of the investigation agency.
On Friday, senior Congress Party leader Digvijaya Singh said “it was a matter of shame” that Modi’s government was “trying to protect those who were clearly involved in terror related activities.”
False #terror charges against #Indian #Muslims cause for concern: #India's Gowda #Islamophobia http://toi.in/NZtgyZ20 via @timesofindia
Touching on an issue that has for long agonized Muslims in India, Union minister for law and justice DV Sadananda Gowda on Tuesday said he is concerned about false terror charges slapped on Muslim youths that are followed by acquittals due to lack of evidence across the country. More importantly, he said legal reforms are in the pipeline to address such cases.
Gowda, here for the 'Vikas Parv' celebrations to mark two years of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the centre, said, "Cases of arrest of Muslim youths on false terror charges are a matter of concern. We are thinking of bringing in changes. The law commission is working on a report in this matter to bring about reforms in criminal procedure, bail, prosecution lapses, etc. A Supreme Court judge is the chairperson of a panel preparing the report, and there are other legal experts who are helping in preparing this report, and it is being worked upon."
Gowda's remarks on the thorny subject have come barely a week after home minister Rajnath Singh told TOI that "the government has settled for a calibrated approach to terror investigations, advising police to adopt a more sophisticated approach, including de-radicalisation strategies, rather than necessarily prosecuting all suspects".
Singh had then gone on to point out how the Delhi Police had recently released seven of the 10 suspects held for their alleged involvement in a Jaish-e-Mohammed terror plot. "You would have seen only three of the lot were arrested. We are working in a balanced manner. Earlier, all would be sent (to jail)," he had then said.
Slapped with untenable terror charges, many Muslim men have lost the prime years of their lives as they languished in jail. After their release they have found it difficult to adjust to a world that has changed in the interim, graduating from buses to metros, banks to ATMs, landlines to smartphones.
Recently, Nisaruddin Ahmad was acquitted in the Babri anniversary blast case after he spent 23 years in a Jaipur jail. There have been others too. Mohd Amir Khan was acquitted in 17 out of the 19 terrors charges he was fending off, but only after being incarcerated for 14 years. He had been charged with setting off 20 low-intensity bombs over 10 months during 1996-1997 in Delhi, Rohtak, Panipat and Ghaziabad. He told TOI on Tuesday: "The government has policies to rehabilitate surrendered terrorists, but nothing for those who are falsely charged."
In the past, six Muslim men accused of being trained operatives of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam (HUJI) were acquitted of the terror charges for lack of evidence by a special court in Lucknow. Five Muslim youths who were arrested in 2006 by the Mumbai police from different parts of the city on charges of terrorism were also acquitted this year. Gulzar Ahmad Bani, an alleged Hizbul Mujahideen operative who had been in jail from 2001 in a blast case in Agra, was set free for want of evidence by a local court.
The problem runs deep. A film based on legal activist Shahid Azmi, who himself faced false charges and after his release fought to defend those accused wrongly in cases of terrorism, poignantly points that out. Mufti Abdul Qayyum, who had spent 11 years in jail and was later acquitted by the Supreme Court in the Akshardham attack case, wrote a book, 'Gyarah Saal Salakhon Ke Peeche', narrating the stories of trumped up terror charges.
Who really committed #MumbaiTerrorAttack 2008? #LeT? #Indian agencies? #Pakistan agencies? Will we ever know the truth? Is it a betrayal of #India? http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/06/08/the-betrayal-of-india-a-close-look-at-the-2008-mumbai-terror-attacks/
Incompetence is a fact of life, but there are times when the incompetence theory is strained to the breaking point and it is more rational to posit deliberate deception. In the case of the Mumbai investigation, Davidsson depicts its failures as going well beyond incompetence.
Neither the police, nor the judge charged with trying the sole surviving suspect, made public a timeline of events (188-189; 688-689). Even the most basic facts of when a given set of attacks began and when they ended were left vague.
Key witnesses were not called to testify. Witnesses who said they saw the terrorists commit violence, or spoke to them, or were in the same room with them, were ignored by the court (e.g., 279 ff.).
Contradictions and miracles were not sorted out. One victim was apparently resurrected from the dead when his testimony was essential to the blaming of Pakistan (229-230). A second victim died in two different places (692), while a third died in three places (466). No one in authority cared enough to solve these difficulties.
Eyewitnesses to the crime differed on the clothing and skin color of the terrorists, and on how many of them there were (328-331). No resolution was sought.
At least one eyewitness confessed she found it hard to distinguish “friends” from terrorists (316). No probe was stimulated by this odd confusion.
The number of terrorists who committed the deeds changed repeatedly, as did the number of terrorists who survived (29 ff.; 689).
Crime scenes were violated, with bodies hauled off before they could be examined (682-683).
Identity parades (“line-ups”) were rendered invalid by weeks of prior exposure of the witnesses to pictures of the suspect in newspapers (101; 582).
Claims that the terrorists were armed with AK-47s were common, yet forensic study of the attack at the Cama Hospital failed to turn up a single AK-47 bullet (156).
Of the “hundreds of witnesses processed by the court” in relation to the attacks at the CaféLeopold, Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Oberoi-Trident Hotel or Nariman House, “not a single one testified to having observed any of the eight accused kill anyone” (40).
Indian authorities declined to order autopsies on the dead at the targeted Jewish center in Nariman House. The dead, five out of six of whom were Israeli citizens (427), were instead whisked back to Israel by a Jewish organization based in Israel, allegedly for religious reasons (453). Religious sensitivity seems to have extended to a large safe at the crime scene, which the team also transported to Israel (454).
(3) Extreme secrecy and the withholding of basic information from the population, with the excuse of “national security”
The surviving alleged terrorist had no public trial (661).
No transcript of his secret trial has been released (670).
One lawyer who agreed to defend the accused was removed by the court and another was assassinated (670).
The public was told there was extensive CCTV footage of the attacks, despite the mysterious malfunctioning of the majority of CCTV cameras on the days in question (97-98; 109 ff.; 683 ff.); but only a very small percentage of the claimed footage was ever released and it suffers from serious defects–two conflicting time-stamps and signs of editing (111).
Members of an elite Indian commando unit that showed up with between 475 and 800 members to battle eight terrorists (534) were not allowed to testify in court (327; 428-429).
The “confession” of the suspect, on which the judge leaned heavily, was given in secret. No transcript of this confession has been released to the public and the suspect later renounced the confession, saying he had been under threat from police when he gave it (599 ff.; 681).....
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