The special NIA court on Monday acquitted all five accused in the Mecca Masjid case. One of the primary reasons that the court cited while acquitting the accused was wanted of evidence. Like the cases reported in Ajmer, Malegaon and Samjautha Express this was another one which took a u-turn where investigations were concerned. On May 18, 2007, a blast ripped across the Mecca Masjid which resulted in the death of 9 persons and injured 58 others.
Swami Aseemanand has been granted bail in the Mecca Masjid blast case. As a result of this order, he can walk free. The bail order comes a week after he was acquitted of all charges in the Ajmer blasts case.
He is likely to be released on Thursday.
The blast at Hyderabad today point towards the existence of a local module which is very much active in the city. The modus operandi points towards a similar operation that was used during the Lumbini Park and Gokul Chats attacks. Continue reading “HuJI link suspected”
The remark by Home Minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde on terrorism and training camps run by the RSS has created a furore across the nation. It has even given the likes of Hafiz Saeed, top man of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba some ammunition to bash India.
The question is what prompted Shinde to issue such a statement linking the RSS to terrorism by some Hindu fundamentalists and if the investigators have been able to ascertain the direct role of the RSS in the various attacks that rocked the nation in the past couple of years.
An unwanted controversy has arisen out of the hate speech made by MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi in Andhra Pradesh. A majority of the people have condemned this speech which is filled with hate and aimed at inciting communal tensions.
Muslims feel that there was a provocation to make such a speech, but also add that it was clearly a hate and rash speech which ought not to have been uttered by a responsible person. Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat and Latheed Mohammad Khan, General Secretary, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Hyderabad discuss in this interview with rediff.com the actions of Owaisi.
The National Investigation Agency which arrested Rajendra Chowdhary one of the accused in the Samjautha train blasts case will take him to Hyderabad to probe his role in Mecca Masjid blasts case.
An officer in the NIA told rediff.com that he will be taken to Hyderabad and for this purpose a prisoner’s transit warrant is being readied. We will need to interrogate him for a couple of days in connection with the Samjautha case and then will take him to Hyderabad for the Mecca Masjid case. His role in the Ajmer blast too will be studied, but top on the priority for us now are the Samjautha and Mecca Masjid case, the NIA official also pointed out. Continue reading “NIA to probe Chowdhary in Mecca Masjid case”
The Mecca Masjid blast and the subsequent police firing is considered to be one of the biggest turning points in the city of Hyderabad. After much deliberation and almost after 5 years, the government of Andhra Pradesh ordered the release of Rs. 70,00,000/- (Rupees Seventy lakhs only) towards expenditure to be incurred in connection with Confidence Building Measures and Compensation for 20 cases affected in Mecca Masjid Bomb Blasts in 2007.
This is something that the Muslim community in Hyderabad has been seeking, but going by the Government order they now say that there is still some confusion and there are many more recommendations that need to be implemented.
Lateef Mohammad Khan who has led this campaign for the Muslim youth who were wrongly detained after the Mecca Masjid blasts says that the government after a very long time first submitted a half hearted apology to the youth who were falsely implicated.
The state government has stated in its GO that Rs.70 lakh towards expenditure to be incurred in connection with confidence building measures and compensation for 20 cases affected in Makkah Masjid Blast in 2007. It is also written in the G.O. that the above expenditure is to be incurred from “Administration of Mecca Masjid and Shahi Masjid Public Garden”. Here we want to make it clear that the G.O. is itself confusing, unclear, unfair because in Mecca Masjid bomb blast the people who died in the blast were Muslims, who died in the subsequent police firing were Muslims and the youth who were illegally detained and tortured were Muslims. And now the money that would be paid for compensation to the victims of police torture is from the Mecca Masjid funds. All we want to ask is why are the funds not sanctioned from the Chief Minister’s fund?
Moreover why is there no mention of any action that needs to be taken against those guilty police officers who are responsible for the torture of the innocent Muslim youth.
The Muslims argue that the recommendations made by the National Commission for Minorities in this case have not been implemented by the Andhra Pradesh government.
The NCM report-
Failure of the police to observe the due process of law while investigating the three bomb blasts in Hyderabad in 2007. Examples of this alleged dereliction of duty include the following:
Disregarding established procedures, the police fired indiscriminately into the crowd fleeing the Mecca Masjid after the blasts which resulted in the death of at least six persons
The suspects were not allowed to inform relatives of their arrest
The suspects were bundled into cars without number-plates, blind- folded and illegally detained in farm houses and private lodges for several days where they were subjected to physical and mental torture. They were stripped naked, severely beaten, administered electric shocks on various parts of their body, including the genitals, and deprived of food and water. The police used abusive language about their women folk and their faith and forced them to hail Hindu deities.No lawyer was present during interrogation of the suspects. Detainees were not produced before a magistrate for remand within 24 hours of their detention. Instead, the time of arrest was shown as later than it actually took place merely to comply with the requirement of remand within 24 hours of arrest.
The suspects were produced before a magistrate after court hours at his residence. The magistrates never asked them if they had been tortured despite tell-tale marks of recent injuries
Some of the suspects had to undergo narco tests whose results have little evidentiary value but which resulted in physical and psychological damage to them. Incidentally, the AP High Court has banned narco tests.
Recommendation: In view of the seriousness of the allegations against the police, and the less-than satisfactory responses given by them, the NCM team urges the union government to direct the CBI to enquire into all the three incidents of bomb blasts in the city in 2007. As of now, only the Mecca Masjid blast case is being investigated by the CBI.
Urgent measures are also needed to address other major grievances of the Muslim community: better education facilities in Urdu schools, creation of job opportunities for Muslim youth, adequate representation for Muslims in government employment, and notably in the police force, compensation to families who lost their members in the blasts and an early settlement of the debate now raging in the community about the allegedly indiscriminate sale of Wafk properties. This last point is a cause of much alarm considering the allegations of grave irregularities which are tantamount to a multi-crore scandal.
The NCM team is of the view that the seriousness of the charges levelled against the authorities must not deflect attention from the gravity of the security situation in Andhra Pradesh. In a power-point presentation, the high-ranking police officials provided a detailed and comprehensive account of Jehadi activities in the state and their links abroad, notably in Pakistan and Bangladesh. While it is certainly not the intention of the team to dismiss the serious issues raised in this presentation out of hand, we are firmly of the view that, in their pursuit of the extremely important goal of bringing those involved in extremist and terrorist activities to book, the police must not jettison the due process of law. This would only result in driving Muslim youth into the arms of extremists and give a fillip to those engaged in actions detrimental to communal peace and harmony.
Ten years have gone since India witnessed one of its most embarrassing attacks- The attack on the Indian Parliament. After an attack of such a magnitude one would have expected a complete clean up of the system.
If we look at the chronology of the attacks that have taken place after the parliament attack, it paints quite a pathetic picture.
Sept. 24, 2002: Akshardham temple attack in Gujarat in which 31 people were killed.
March 13, 2003: Bomb blast on commuter train in Bombay in which 11 persons were killed.
Aug. 25, 2003: Twin car bombings in Mumbai left at least 52 people dead
July 5, 2005: An attack at the Ram Janmabhoomi complex.
Oct. 29, 2005: Three major blasts in Delhi in which 59 persons were killed.
March 7, 2006: Serial blasts at Varanasi in which 28 persons died.
July 11, 2006: 200 dead in serial blasts at Mumbai. Bombs were planted in trains and incident referred to as the train blasts.
Sept. 8, 2006: 37 dead in Malegaon blasts.
February 18 2007– Samjautha Blasts
May 18, 2007: Mecca Masjid blasts at Hyderabad in which 13 persons were killed.
Aug. 25, 2007: Twin blasts at Hyderabad in which 42 persons were killed.
October 11 2007- Blast at Ajmer
November 23 2007- Blasts at a court in Uttar Pradesh.
May 13, 2008: Serial blasts at Jaipur in which 63 persons were killed.
July 25, 2008: Bangalore serial blasts in which one person was killed.
July 26, 2008: Serial blasts at Ahmedabad in which 45 persons were killed.
Sept. 13, 2008: Serial blasts in New Delhi in which 21 persons were killed.
Sept. 27, 2008: Blast in a New Delhi flower market in which one person died.
November 26 2008- One of the worst incidents on Indian soil, the infamous 26/11 attack in which over 150 persons lost their lives.
February 13 2010- Blasts at Pune’s German Bakery in which 17 persons lost their lives.
September 19 2010– Firing and blast outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid.
December 7 2010– Blast at Varanasi leaves one toddler dead
July 13 2011– Blasts in Mumbai in which 27 persons lost their lives.
September 11 2011– Blast at Delhi High Court in which 11 persons were killed.
After the Parliament attack– The Parliament attack made India realize the threat of terrorism and also woke the nation up to the capability that Pakistan really had. India realized that terror groups from across the border were capable of hitting at the epi centre of the country. While India did manage to tackle the issue of terrorism to a great extent emerging from across the border, it however sttlipped up where the issue of home grown terror was concerned. Looking above at the chronology one gets to see this picture.
There was an emergence of two types of terrorism after the Parliament attack. The Home Grown jihad and also a counter attack in the form of terrorism by Hindu radicals. There was a great deal of dominance by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in particular post the Parliament attack. However what Pakistan began to realize is that if it continued to use its own forces then there was a great chance of things getting out hand and it snow balling into a full fledged war. They had issues galore in India such as the Babri Masjid demolition and also the Godhra incident to stir up the sentiments of some Muslims. The immediate target was the Students Islamic Movement of India. The ISI did manage to tap into the more radical elements in this organization and train them for terror operations. This eventually led to the ban of the entire group which only enhanced the resolve of some of the radical elements.
However the SIMI was unable to function for too long as the security agencies were on their trail. There was a gradual break away of the SIMI and it emerged into the deadly Indian Mujahideen. Although some members of this group were readying themselves for the big job since the year 2003 itself, their emergence was seen only in the year 2007 during the Uttar Pradesh court blasts. After these blasts a mail was sent out in the name of the IM. Although no one took them seriously at that time, they did manage to prove that they were the next big force to reckon with. Intelligence Bureau officials had even termed them as the SIMI party II.
While the IM went about its operations in the most brazen manner using both technology and ideology to the fullest, the country was witness to another form of terrorism. The spate of attacks on Indian soil by Muslim radicals both from India and Pakistan angered a couple of Hindu radicals. There were a series of blasts at Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and also on the Samjautha Express. The immediate blame after these blasts once again pointed towards Islamic organizations. However it was only in the later part of 2008 did another picture come out. The Maharashtra ATS then headed by the late Hemanth Karkare while investigating the matter found that it was a group led by Colonel Purohith, Sunil Joshi and Sadhvi Pragya Singh which executed these attacks. The later part of the investigation also went on to reveal that there were more persons such as Swami Aseemanand who were involved in these attacks.
Today India cannot say with much pride that it has dealt a deadly blow to terrorists. It has multiple problems on hand and terrorism from both factions are equally dangerous. However while speaking to a couple of Intelligence Bureau officials, they would still rate the threat from across the border as deadlier. While home grown terrorism would continue to cause a nuisance value to our country, the bigger attacks would always emerge out of Pakistan and the 26/11 attack is proof of the same, they point out.