The statement made yesterday linking the formation of the Indian Mujahideen to the Gujarat riots has become a debating point. The National Investigation Agency chargesheet is what has been quoted for making this statement.
Almost every terrorist arrested on the Indian soil has either quoted the Babri Masjid incident or the Gujarat riots. However if one does read through the NIA chargesheet or the very first dossier on the Indian Mujahideen the picture is quite different. While the NIA chargesheet does not make a general statement on the IM-Gujarat riots link, the very first dossier on this outfit speaks about a very clear pattern that emerged in the year 1995.
The year was 1995 and 9 foreigners were abducted in Kashmir by the Harkat-ul-Ansar seeking the release of Maulana Masood Azhar. While the demand was made loud and clear not once did the HuA claim responsibility for the attack. They claimed responsibility under a new outfit called Al-Farhan. This was probed into and it was found that this was just an operational name. Immediately after this incident, the American agencies got in touch with India and sought details on Al-Farhan with a view of declaring them as a terror outfit. However India clarified that there was no such outfit and even if it were to be banned it made no difference and the real culprit was the Harkat-ul-Ansar.
The dossier prepared by the various Indian agencies go to state that this was for the first time that the ISI realised that working under a pseudo name worked wonders as it did not lead the international community up to the real outfit.
Following this was the Parliament attack in which everyone knew that it was Jaish-e-Mohammad operation, but the responsibility was not claimed. It had become a ploy which was working well for Pakistan. This was quite surprising since the Jaish which was a 10 month old outfit at the time of the Parliament attack did not wish to seek credit for the same.
The next outfit to follow this pattern was the most dreaded Lashkar-e-Tayiba. While it was open about its intentions in the Kashmir Valley, it always hid under various banners such as the Jammat-ud-Dawa. The Lashkar which is the most tool for the ISI had its biggest interest in India. From the Kashmir battle it was looking to enter into the rest of the country and create a terror base.
If one looks at the various attacks such as the train bombings, India Gate attack or even the 26/11 attack, the Lashkar has never claimed responsibility. While this was increasingly becoming hard to conceal, the ISI realised that it was time that a home grown outfit in India needed to be born. The other reason behind this was that the ISI could not risk sanctions.
The ISI first tapped the SIMI and when some radicals did decide to join the Lashkar, the Home Ministry got wind of the same and banned it. The ban meant that the SIMI was available for the ISI. Finally the ISI decided that some radicals in the SIMI and the Indian Lashkar modules would work together and carry out attacks in India. There were some attacks that were carried out and the name given to these operations were called the Islamic Security Force. However this was not a name that made much of an impact. Then came the Uttar Pradesh court bombings in the year 2007 following which for the first time the name of the Indian Mujahideen was announced.
According to the dossier the IM was assigned all the credit for the work and activities of the Lashkar. It did work out for the Lashkar as its name never cropped up during the various attacks and all these were blamed on the Indian Mujahideen despite the Lashkar being the heart and soul of all these operations.
Now coming to the question as to whether these organisations were formed due to the Gujarat riots or the Babri Masjid demolition. The statement to this effect made yesterday comes in the wake of several Muslim organisations in India stating that the IM is nothing but a fiction of the Intelligence Bureau. Former Chief of the Research and Analysis Wing, C D Sahay would point out, “ the Lashkar would have got away with the 26/11 attack had Kasab and Headley not being caught and questioned. Do you recollect that immediately after the attack it was the Deccan Mujahideen which claimed responsibility? This was was attempt to shift focus from the IM and the Lashkar since by then the Indian agencies knew fully well that these outfits were connected which meant that Pakistan would be blamed.”
Sahay also adds that these terrorist quote incidents as they need to justify what they are doing. Outfits are not formed due to incidents, but these are just excuses that are given to trigger a passion and recruit. I want to remind you of the Abu Hamza recruitment in London. There was no 9/11 or any other such incident that had taken place at that time. It was purely a recruitment that took place in the Mosque for the Afghan Jihad. This was purely a political battle and Islam was never at threat in Afghanistan. It indeed is very sad that these politicians today come out with such statements to further their electoral hopes and ambitions. Motivating factors are not incidents, but a political agenda. Pakistan does have a very strong political agenda against India and this is the reason terror outfits crop up, the former chief of RAW states.