- By Shakeel Shaheen, Rising Kashmir
On the evening of 21st Feb the city of Hyderabad in India was hit by two deadly blasts. Around 16 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Hyderabad has seen such attacks earlier also when Mecca Masjid and Charminar were bombed leading to similar fatalities.Blasts have been hitting many cities intermittently in India. More often than not, they are blamed either on Pakistan’s spy agency ISI or on Jihadist elements.
When Mecca Masjid was bombed, almost all the victims were Muslims. Instead of following the right leads, Hyderabad police at the time picked up 100 Muslim boys and charged them, ironically for blasting a mosque. As it turned out later, Police had randomly implicated innocent Muslim boys. As such the ludicrous charges could not withstand judicial scrutiny, this after the boys had spent a couple of years behind bars. More importantly, the actual perpetrators went stock free.
A similar game was played in the Malegaon blasts which targeted Muslims returning from a graveyard. Again, innocent Muslims were arrested, tortured charge sheeted, and finally acquitted after wasting their precious years in dungeons. Every time there is a blast in India, police instead of following the leads or collecting proper forensic evidence sets about to frame innocent Muslims, even in cases where the targets and victims of attacks are Muslims. The important question is who carries out such attacks rocking India time and again? Let us try to find out.
In the past Indian officials blamed the ISI whenever such an atrocity took place but this time there is a bit of reluctance. Some analysts as well as politicians are still dragging the name of Pakistan into this. Many accept the possibility of local terrorist groups but ISI is still being accused of helping them. Let us consider this accusation. It is not in Pakistan‘s interest to try and create chaos in India .Simply because Pakistan is itself mired in a deep internal crisis and is being bled by a violent insurgency.
Also the Pakistan government seems to be convinced that good relations with their neighbor are in Pakistan’s best interests. They have been trying their best to increase cooperation in fields like trade and commerce, and people to people contact. Then there are those who believe that the government in Pakistan doesn’t control ISI or the army, but the fact is that even the Pakistan army seems to be on the same page with the government as far as relations with India are concerned. The army sees internal violence as the real threat to Pakistan that is at least what one can glean from the new strategic document of the army.
In any case Pakistan army and ISI has its hands too full with the internal violence to even contemplate such acts against India. There is another theory of bad elements inside ISI helping foment terror. But it is highly implausible because ISI itself has actively been helping the Americans against Al-Qaeda and Taliban without any strain from such illusory elements raring its head.
There is another possibility that of the outfits like LeT, JeM, and Indian groups like Indian Mujahideen. These groups were blamed by the police for such attacks a number of times in the past. The possibility of their involvement cannot be denied altogether but the speed and alacrity with which they are blamed for every such atrocity springs up many doubts and questions about this claim.
It is also true that by and large the Indian Muslims have been alienated. They have repeatedly been at the receiving end of communal bias and violence. Police have increasingly become biased against Muslims. Recently, in Jhule town of Maharashtra, we saw policemen firing to kill Muslims and even setting fire to Muslim homes. Muslims are at the bottom of the ladder in both politics and economics. Muslim youth have repeatedly been framed on flimsy charges. All of that has led to considerable alienation of the Muslim populace. And it is quite a possibility that some disgruntled youth have taken to wrong ways to vent their resentment. But one needs to keep in mind that hardly any Indian Muslims accused of terror attacks have been convicted by the courts in the recent past. Many of the accused have been proven innocents who were wrongfully framed. Neither are such incidents in any manner in the interests of the Muslim minority. They only serve to consolidate wrong stereotypes and malign the image of Muslims. Common Muslims face huge problems as a result. The question remains as to who really benefits out of this and the answer is obvious i.e. the hindutva brigade.
The Hindu right-wingers will certainly gain a lot of Hindu sympathy and votes as a result of such attacks. These attacks serve their interests. They use such attacks to malign the minority community. They help them to earn acceptance for their chauvinistic and anti-minority thought process. That is how they hope to get electoral benefits. It was only in the aftermath of the frenzy created by the Babri Masjid/ Ram Janam Bhoomi campaign that BJP became a major political party.
A number of cases involving the Saffronists in terror attacks have come to the fore due to the work of some honest unbiased officers. Even the Indian home minister has alluded to the possibility of their involvement in terrorism. But the Indian media has been deafeningly silent on the issue. When it came to the fore that the perpetrators of attacks on the Samjhota express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer etc. were Hindutva terrorists, media chose to remain silent. There were no big ticket talk shows hosted on the issue and if there were a few ones they were in fact questioning whether such a thing existed or not in first place.
In fact the silence of Indian media and the biases of its police speak volumes about the ideals of free speech, secularism and democracy. The fact remains that be it the attacks on Muslims or Hindus in India the most likely perpetrators are the Hindu right wing terrorists. They have a history of gory violence against minorities be it anti Sikh riots of 84 or anti Christian riots of Kandhimal in Orissa or the numerous anti Muslim pogroms. It is obvious they can stoop to any levels to achieve their aims and such attacks benefit only and only their cause in India.