‘In future, we will see more Indian faces of terror’

1 11 2008

October 29, 2008

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Source: REDIFF

With the arrest of a Sadhvi and her alleged accomplices for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon blast, the term Hindu terrorism has got new meaning.

Maloy Krishna Dhar, a former joint director of the Indian Intelligence Bureau, has studied terrorism in-depth for many years. He has written several books on Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence and Bangladesh sponsored terrorism. Dhar took time off to speak with rediff.com‘s Vicky Nanjappa about the new trends in terrorism and also about the spate of incidents that have rocked this country in the past couple of years.

What are your views on the eye for an eye attitude of some Hindu outfits?

Newton’s third law (for every action there will be an equal and opposite reaction) has started taking effect. We need to find out the extent to which the Hindu mind is being influenced especially when everyone is flashing what the minorities have had to say. Yes I would say that the mentality is growing and it sure is scary. I think it is time to look beyond the Bharatiya Janata Party and other saffron outfits and think of Hindus as a whole, and see up to what extent they are being influenced.

Sir do you endorse these views?

Definitely not. I have always been saying that people should have faith in the system and try and rectify problems in a democratic manner. I am trying to moderate the system. It is very important to have the Muslims with us. We need to moderate their views too.

What are your views on the Malegaon incident in which a Sadhvi was arrested?

No one is saying anything clearly. What is happening is that the Muslims allege that they are being maligned. Now parties which depend on the Muslim vote are finding it difficult to secure those votes. Another fact is that the BJP and its allies seem to be on a better footing to face the forthcoming elections. Hence it seems as though this is an attempt to reflect terror on the BJP. Let the noise regarding this case settle down and then the truth will come out.

There are allegations that former IB and military officials trained some Hindu activists to carry out blasts. What do you have to say about this?

This is blatant falsehood and bunkum. The IB has no expertise in bomb making. Some military personnel may have knowledge regarding this. But tell me is it necessary for someone to train when all the information is so easily available on the internet. These are just allegations which have not been proven.

You have written and spoken about the presence of ISI cells in India. Despite both the IB and the police claiming to be making inroads how is it that such cells continue to function and carry out blasts at will.

The ISI cells and its modules cannot be fully unearthed. There are several reasons for this. Whenever the IB or the police go for action, a hue and cry is raised by human rights groups and the so-called secularists. Political parties are weak and they end up falling back on the support of the minorities. Electoral considerations are another reason for not being able to unearth all the cells. In our country the police are under the ruling party and unless a free hand is given there is very little chance of making headway completely. Although the IB is an old and efficient organisation, their strength in terms of man power is not sufficient. We also need is an IB which will not go by the orders of the political parties.

What about the participation of the people while gathering intelligence?

Yes that is very important. Collaboration between the people and security agencies is required and this should include the Muslim community too. The Muslim community needs to know that being inspired by Pakistan is bad for them.

What are your views on the latest instances of terrorism and the birth of the Indian Mujahideen [Images]?

It is a new name that’s it. The Students Islamic Movement of India could not possibly function under its own name once it was banned and hence it became the Indian Mujahideen. Basically the IM has the people from the same resource pool.

What do you have to say about the new age terrorist who is educated and tech savvy?

As I said before, the IM has the people from the same resource pool of SIMI [Images]. SIMI always had a pool of educated people.

Do you think that the Mumbai and Gujarat police have cracked the entire IM module?

They are making headway for sure. But getting leads is one thing and connecting it is another. Once the leads are connected, one could say that they have succeeded completely. As of now what I see is just newspaper investigation and PR work by the police to show that they are doing some work.

There is a hue and cry about the Jamia Nagar encounter, but the Delhi [Images] police maintain that this incident helped them crack the case. What are your views on the same?

Whenever such an act takes place there is bound to be a hue and cry. I would say that the operation is genuine but would also like to add that it should have been done in a better way. Encounter is a science and should be undertaken in such a manner that none can raise a finger.

We see that Jihad is becoming more home-bred. Why do you think this has happened?

It is not exactly correct to say this. It is only now that we are getting to see a more Indian face to this. It just shows that both Pakistan and Bangladesh have succeeded in creating modules in India. In the coming years we will get to see more Indian faces. The need of the hour is to eliminate these modules.

Terror has travelled south. Karnataka and Kerala [Images] have become hotbeds for recruitment and training. Did the IB see this coming?

I have shouted and screamed about this in the past. I had given a talk at the Indian Institute of Science two years back where I mentioned that several areas in both Karnataka and Kerala had several modules. But at that time no one believed me. However now everyone seems to be waking up to the problem.

Lastly please rate the states which have coped best with terror.

Well, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, and Gujarat have dealt best with the problem. Kerala has just woken up, Tamil Nadu is yet to wake up, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh [Images] are waking up.

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Show proof against Lt Col in Malegaon case: Army

1 11 2008

Watch IBNLIVE Video

UNDER SCANNER: The Principal of Bhonsala Military School has also been detained by the ATS.

UNDER SCANNER: The Principal of Bhonsala Military School has also been detained by the ATS.

New Delhi: The Bhonsala Military School Commandant Colonel (Retd) SS Raikar has been detained for questioning in the Malegaon blast case by Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

ATS is also investigating the role of serving Indian Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit in the blast case but the Army wants evidence against before taking action against the officer.

Lt Col Purohit, of the Army Education Corps, has been allowed to be taken by the ATS by Army headquarters to Mumbai from Panchmarhi where he was posted.

The ATS is believed to have already questioned Purohit in the presence of a legal representative of the Army and a magistrate.

Lt Col Purohit was reportedly in touch with another Malegaon blasts accused, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay. Investigators claim they have decoded SMSes exchanged between the two.

The issue of serving and retired Armymen being involved in Malegaon blast was also discussed at the Army commanders conference in New Delhi.

The Army top brass is reportedly of the opinion that the alleged involvement of Lt Col Purohit in terror acts was an aberration but one that did warrant caution.

Police say the Malegaon blast accused sadhvi (female saint) Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay and Lt Col Purohit had met three others in the school premises on September 16 and discussed the plans to carry out the blast.





Show proof against Lt Col in Malegaon case: Army

1 11 2008

Watch IBNLIVE Video

The Principal of Bhonsala Military School has also been detained by the ATS.

UNDER SCANNER: The Principal of Bhonsala Military School has also been detained by the ATS.

New Delhi: The Bhonsala Military School Commandant Colonel (Retd) SS Raikar has been detained for questioning in the Malegaon blast case by Mumbai Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

ATS is also investigating the role of serving Indian Army officer Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit in the blast case but the Army wants evidence against before taking action against the officer.

Lt Col Purohit, of the Army Education Corps, has been allowed to be taken by the ATS by Army headquarters to Mumbai from Panchmarhi where he was posted.

The ATS is believed to have already questioned Purohit in the presence of a legal representative of the Army and a magistrate.

Lt Col Purohit was reportedly in touch with another Malegaon blasts accused, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay. Investigators claim they have decoded SMSes exchanged between the two.

The issue of serving and retired Armymen being involved in Malegaon blast was also discussed at the Army commanders conference in New Delhi.

The Army top brass is reportedly of the opinion that the alleged involvement of Lt Col Purohit in terror acts was an aberration but one that did warrant caution.

Police say the Malegaon blast accused sadhvi (female saint) Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay and Lt Col Purohit had met three others in the school premises on September 16 and discussed the plans to carry out the blast.





Pushing Hindus into a corner -Tarun Vijay

28 10 2008

October 27, 2008
One Diwali the highly revered monk of Hindus, Swami Jayendra Saraswati, was arrested while performing puja. The secular world celebrated it as a victory of law and constitutional propriety. When nothing was proved, all the chargesheets turned bunkum, the Supreme Court gave a verdict favouring the swami’s release on bail, but no one retracted the strong, often abusive words used for the Hindu monk. It was met with silence as if nothing important had happened.

One Krishna Janmashtami night, another ochre-robed reformist monk, Swami Lakshmanananda, was murdered along with an aged Hindu nun, Ma Bhaktimoyee, in his ashram. Secularists tried to direct and guide the entire investigation till the arrested murderers confessed that swami’s work among tribals made prosylitisation difficult and hence they took the violent way.

The media linked the violence post-Lakshmanananda’s murder to various Hindu organisations and completely ignored the brutal killing of the sanyasi and the lady monk.

This Diwali, Hindus were labelled as ‘terrorists’.

There is a university in Delhi [Images] which gets a large amount of Saudi grants, and which thought it appropriate to honour a Muslim painter whose nudes of Hindu gods and goddesses and Mother India were opposed by Hindus, with a Doctor of Philosophy degree, honoris causa. The same university’s vice chancellor, in a display of public affection for those students arrested for treason by a Congress government, declared that he will fund their ‘struggle’ as they are his ‘children’ and they would be considered innocent till proved guilty.

The secular world applauded his decision as bold and highly moral.

A Hindu sadhvi has been arrested for her alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts. But not a single Hindu organisation came out in her support saying she remains a member of the global Hindu fraternity and would be considered innocent till proved guilty and hence shall provide all the financial assistance to her.

I was thinking, suppose I start a ‘support Pragya fund’ how any Hindu saints and ashrams and mutts and leaders would come out in support? Doesn’t she deserve help and support till proved innocent?

Unlike the sweet little students of the university’s vice chancellor, who were arrested from the area of the Batla House encounter, Pragya was in Surat [Images], giving a religious discourse when the Malegaon blasts occurred in September. Her bike had been sold years before. No one said the blasts were organised to make Hindu law applicable or turn the nation into a Hindu state. No one had quoted Hindu scriptures to justify what would be termed as a ghastly act, inhuman and un-Hindu.

Yet, there was a virtual celebration in the so-called secular camp, they were over-joyous as if they have reached the moon. Got it, they said, what we were saying for years! The usual suspects were on our TV screens, delightedly giving interviews and the media lapped up crispy descriptions like Hindu terror, Hindu bomb, Saffron terrorism. When they quote the Quran, seculars cry don’t label them Islamic terrorists, but Hindus being Hindus must be termed as Hindu terrorists to keep a ‘balance’. So those who insult the memory of a martyred police officer show their glee over having succeeded in bringing the term ‘Hindu terrorism’ in vogue. What greater shield could an Islamic terrorist have wished for!

They were itching for this day � and they have got it.

Last year too the 2006 Malegaon blasts were blamed on Hindus. Later the agencies proved they were done by SIMI [Images]. This year, Union ministers were demanding the ban on SIMI be lifted in spite of truckloads of evidence of the organisation’s involvement in deadly blasts and waging war against the State, the most heinous crime in any part of the world. And the investigations, gathering of proof and the hard, difficult investigation, were done by government agencies.

The same honourable members of the Union cabinet demanded banning Hindu organisations, in spite of having no evidence of their involvement in violent activities or working against the Indian State. Those who ignore the Supreme Court’s verdict on a terrorist who was accused waging war against the State, demand that Hindu organisations be banned for their patriotism. Once they drove out the tricolour folks from the Kashmir Valley, now they assassinate their morale in the rest of the country.

For the sake of Muslim vote-bank, SIMI had to be helped and Hindu organisations needed to be shown as being involved in anti-national activities. The balancing had to be achieved, like the U C Banerjee Commission. Much before the honourable commission could start work on Godhra, leaders were declaring during the Bihar election campaign — many of whom loved to be seen with an Osama look-alike — that the Godhra train inferno was a creation of Hindus so that they could get a chance to pounce on Muslims.

So much for their secular credentials!

This time, too, they had tremendous amount of pressure to nurse their vote-banks. Elections are right here, campaigning has begun, chances look very bleak seeing the public mood, and voters seem already restless with high prices, growing inflation and an insecure atmosphere. Hence a communal divide would help. If such considerations can be credited as having instigated the ‘creation’ of a Hindu or ‘Saffron’ terrorism, would it be a far-fetched conclusion?

The intelligent people who could create a Bhindranwale, or a Raj Thackeray [Images], to ‘defeat’ one or the other political opponent, could also be trusted to repeat the feat elsewhere.

So, this time, the police version is not to be distrusted or questioned. The first suspicion about police action is reserved for the Batla House fraternity. Hindu monks do not deserve it.

The term ‘Hindu terrorism’ looks so attractive to secularists. Proof, evidence, and final acquittal may take year. But the articles, front page edits, condemnations, further isolation, and cornering of the saffron side, would help someone. That’s enough for today.

That this way may turn more dangerous tomorrow is not understood by the perpetrators of the secular pogrom of words against the Hindu Right. Every nation has a soul and a colour. India’s soul is Hindu civilisation and the colour is saffron. Samuel Huntington described America as a Latin Christian nation, and it doesn’t make her any less to give other communities second-class citizenship.

It may be the first time in its four hundred years of democratic history that a Black might be sworn in as President, who would take oath on the Bible. Who would demand that it’s an unhealthy tradition, as non-Christians also built America? Traditions, colours and the inner core are always sacred and nations preserve them at all costs. If the same elements are humiliated and turned into icons of shame, nothing remains except a dead, meaningless smoke of rootless words.

India’s Hinduness is that essential element to define this nation. We can’t be explained through Saudis, Marx or Bethlehem. Or through Arabic or Latin or Persian. India is explained by the Ganga, Krishna, Ram and Gandhi. By Kumbh Mela, Sanskrit chanting, lighting of the lamp, Namaste, the Vedas, Guru Nanak’s teachings, Guru Gobind Singh’s valour, Buddha’s global message of peace and compassion and Mahavir’s ahimsa. India is deciphered by Dhammapad, the Gita, the Guru Granth Sahib and a divine love that saw the emergence of Radha and Meera. That fired the imaginations of doyens like Tagore and Vivekananda. Together they make a mutually supportive group of Indian streams of faith that welcomed and accommodated without murmur all other ways of worship brought here through various means.

Every single persecuted community in the world found a respectable space here, while they were brutalised, uprooted, converted and ‘museum-ised’ in other countries. The legacy of tolerance and plurality is the legacy of the Hindus and all those faiths born and flowered here. It made Taj Mahal [Images] possible and Jesus adored by a non-Christian majority. You deny them this place of honour, make them shrink in a defensive shell, and you lose India.

For just a comeback to power? And how!

Ram Sethu [Images] becomes a target of destruction, Ram is denied, Ram’s history linked with the bridge is mocked at, Sita’s persona is caricaturized in public, the shrinking Hindu population and their conversion become victory signposts of the secularists, Hindus driven out of Kashmir are deleted from all lists of secular concern, Hindu temples are taken over by the atheist State and their revenue used on non-Hindu areas, while not a single non-Hindu place of worship is taken over or ‘managed’ on similar grounds by the governors! More than sixty thousand Hindus have been killed by terrorists in various actions during the last three decades, five lakh have been uprooted and turned refugees, but no one shares their grief or respects their courage, but terms them terrorist in a matter of 24 hours, that too relying on media hype and an election platform?

After centuries Hindus got freedom that should have meant a free space for them to flower their culture, language and traditions. After all, the invaders came to attack and loot them and raze their temples. Wasn’t it a matter of logical right that they should have been honoured for exemplary resistance and resilience and showing an extraordinary tolerance towards all those communities whose leaders had been in the forefront to deprive them of basic human rights? But instead, the victims were portrayed as aggressors and humiliated for their colour and faith. What has changed since Ghauris and Ghaznavis and the inquisitionist Portuguese left?

They killed us but never portrayed Hindus as terrorists. This secular dispensation is celebrating Diwali with that label gifted to Hindus. It will not remain unanswered. Hindus as a mainline faith never never never believed in any kind of cowardice that’s the hallmark of terrorism we see today. Killing innocents, shooting at fellow citizens and the dreaded midnight knocks just for the reason they wear a different faith.

If that was the case, the way Islamists quote from religious scriptures and declare their religious intentions while committing ghastly acts of violence, how much ever disapproved of by their co- religionists living and enjoying democratic freedoms, Hindus too would have shown the same streaks immediately after their women were gang-raped and kids murdered in Kashmir. There was no revenge in the rest of the country. Not a single Hindu soul would ever justify any act of terrorism ever (and please don’t refer to exceptions to corner Hindus, see the principal stream). Born reformists, they would revolt if anyone did that.

But I am afraid the secular hate-mongers are pushing Hindus into a difficult corner without a space to be heard. Not a single ‘mainline’ newspaper publishes their views, though any number of assaults on them are a matter of routine. This is creating a grave situation and it’s a warning signal that can be ignored only at the peril of the nation’s great legacy of plurality.

Tarun Vijay is a director of the Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation





Blasts: Sadhvi, 2 others charged with murder

28 10 2008

Source: Rediff

October 24, 2008 18:27 IST
Last Updated: October 24, 2008 19:30 IST
A young sadhvi suspected to have links with a Hindu right wing group and two other men were slapped with murder charges on Friday after they were arrested for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts in which the police said the deadly RDX was used.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur along with Shamlal Sahu and Shivnarayan Singh, all hailing from Madhya Pradesh [Images], were produced before a chief judicial magistrate K D Boche in Nashik in Maharashtra which remanded them to police custody till November 3.

Public prosecutor Ajay Miisar said the crime committed by the three was a “serious offence” and they were booked under charges of murder, attempt to murder and voluntarily causing grievous hurt under IPC Sections 302, 307 and 326 respectively.

The sadhvi, who is based in Indore but who regularly visited Surat [Images] to give lectures, was picked up from the diamond city by the Anti Terrorist Squad of the Mumbai police. Shamlal Sahu and Shivnarayan Singh were brought from Indore in MP for questioning to Mumbai. The arrests were made in the last one week.

Misar said the motorcycle used in the Malegaon blasts on September 29 in which five persons were killed belonged to the sadhvi. Besides having links with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s student wing the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad, she is suspected to be associated with the Indore-based radical Hindu Jagran Manch accused of involvement in the blasts in Malegaon as well as in Modasa in Gujarat in which one person was killed. The right-wing outfit has denied the charge.

Misar claimed that following the Malegaon blasts the sadhvi, who also is believed to be a member of Surat-based Vande Mataram Sanghatan, had several telephone conversations — all lasting “400 minutes” — with the other two.

Misar said forensic reports have shown that RDX was used in the Malegaon blasts.

The state had asked for 14 days custody, but the court gave only 11 days’ custoday, he added.

Pragya’s father Chanderpal Thakur said he does not believe his daughter was involved in the blasts.

“Her nature would not have allowed her to do something like this. It is a different thing that she may have known about it but I don’t believe that she was involved,” he said.