By Ram Puniyani, The Milli Gazette Online, 19 June 2006
On April 6th 2006, two Bajrang dal Activists were killed while making a bomb in the house of an RSS sympathizer. The event was not much taken note of by the national media. Maharashtra's Anti Terror Squad, after investigating the event confirmed that these activists were being trained in making bombs. On the site, a powerful IED, pipe bomb, and a diary with the tips for making bombs was found. All the functionaries of RSS affiliates went to offer condolences for the dead and most of them visited other activists who were in hospital. The BJP MP of the area asked the police not to 'harass' the 'innocent' members of Bajrang Dal. The bail was granted to the collaborators of the accused while the police prosecutor had no objections to bail being granted.
After this incident, police conducted many a raids in nearby places and haul of explosive material and other ammunition was found. It was claimed that this was seized from the 'usual suspects', the 'Islamic' terrorists.
On 1st June, in Nagpur, in an early morning encounter, the police claimed to have killed three dreaded terrorists of Fidayeen group, who as per the police version, were planning to attack the RSS head office. In this encounter, no eye witnesses were there, and police version was the only source of knowing the truth. The police commissioner claimed that the car had huge quantities of ammunition, but all the same, police could decimate all the three terrorists, without getting any serious injury. The next morning police hogged the lime light for its act. It was claimed that police had got a diary from the car giving the details of the terrorists; they were Islamic terrorists from Pakistan, and were cremated in the Islamic manner. As usual it was a screaming headline in most of the national media
So far in such incidents, the police version is accepted by the media and the nation in an uncritical way. Since all around the air of terror perpetrated by Islamic terrorists is heavy, one more such incident is received with some alarm, demonization of Muslims and Islam is taken one step higher, and the matter rests there. In this case two of the RSS trained politicians, Gujarat Chief Minister Modi and MP Chief Minister Chauhan, gave cash rewards to the police personnel who killed the terrorists, in other state. Not to be left behind, the ex Chief of Bajrang dal, another RSS prachark, announced a hefty cash reward to any civilian who kills the terrorists. Here all the legal niceties were kept aside and two CMs and one top BJP leader, as if reading from a prepared script, went on to maul the norms of Indian constitution and talked of things which cannot stand the scrutiny of law of the land..
Smelling a rat, some civic action groups formed a citizen's inquiry committee to know the truth of the incident . So far not many citizens groups have investigated such acts of terror. The team had retired Judge of Maharashtra high court as the Chair person and many prominent social activists as the members. The team did all in its means to piece together the available information from local media and people concerned and concluded that police version has too many holes to be trusted. The committee has demanded a probe by the competent authority from the center. Despite its frequent requests, the police officials refused to talk to them as if they have something to hide. On the contrary police cast aspersions on the motives and linkages of the team members. Police claims of the terrorists carrying 5.4 Kilos of RDX and a sealed box of hand grenades does not match with the meek surrender of the terrorists. Some of the local people whom the committee met said there was a firing in the air few days before in the same area where the incident took place. And this firing sounded like a repeat of the earlier one. Had this act been rehearsed already?
One realizes that investigating such incidents by civil groups is very difficult. Police and authorities don't cooperate; on the contrary they put up all the roadblocks. In the Ansal Plaza case also Kulpdeep Nayyar's petition to human rights commission, doubting the police version, went unanswered. Interestingly, all such attacks hog the headlines for days, and eyes are closed to the holes in the police version in the name of national security.
In the present case what is worrisome is the attitude of state and police in tackling the Nanded blasts, where there is a concrete involvement of RSS affiliates, seriously. It has been pushed to the background, without taking it to the logical conclusion of arresting the Bajrang Dal activists and other affiliates. Despite the Anti Terrorist Squad's conclusion that the activists who were involved belonged to Bajrang Dal, this organization continues to be a legal entity. Also the affiliate and sister organizations have not been touched.
Despite the alarming fact that they were being trained in bomb making, the state govt is sleeping over the issue.And finally, are these two incidents, Nanded blasts and Nagpur episode, linked in some way? The claim to unearth the arms and ammunition, the projection of terrorist activity in nearby areas, the probable stage managed attack on Nagpur Head Quarter of RSS, are these meant to hide, the Nanded blasts and involvement of RSS affiliates in the ghastly crime, under the carpet?
One wonders a nation conscious of its security, suffering so many attacks, off and on, is taking the Nanded blasts easy. The attitude of media is also worrisome. While the acts of "Islamic terrorist", though having lots of doubts in the story, are accepted as presented by police and highlighted, the event like the one of Nanded has been pushed under the carpet and forgotten. One hopes the central government wakes up to the crude reality of these happenings in Maharashtra. The home ministry is sleeping over matters of a serious concern. In such a situation who will tackle the issue of terrorism?
(Issues in Secular Politics – www.pluralindia.com)