Another blast

By K.N. Pandita

On Wednesday, Delhi met with anther terrorist bomb blast, this time again outside the Delhi High Court at Gate Number 5. Eleven persons have been killed and 76 wounded some grievously, in an RDX blast put in a suitcase. This is the 19th attack of the terrorists in Delhi during past 15 years. Home Minister said in the Parliament that Delhi had become a target of the terrorists. In May last, an explosion had occurred almost around the same place following which the Delhi police claimed it had obtained some clues about the culprits. But the government never disclosed who the culprits were, to which organization they belonged and whether they were prosecuted formally or not. However, the Congress spokesperson Digvijay Singh had quipped at that time his usual rhetoric that he did not rule out the hand of Hindu extremists behind the explosion. No Congress leader or the government contradicted him. But according to an email received by two TV Channels, the Harakatu’l-Jihad-e Islami has owned the responsibility of Wednesday’s blast.  

Many questions are asked about the explosion. After May explosion, the security authorities had said that more CCTVs would be installed at the High Court premises as it was a very sensitive place. But this remained on paper or on the lips of authorities. The security apparatus like hand screen etc. at the gate is reported to be dysfunctional. The entire security performance at the sensitive place is reported to be of lackadaisical nature without any semblance of seriousness in performing the duty assigned to security personnel. The day of explosion, meaning Wednesday was specifically chosen to make the blast because this is the day fixed by Delhi High Court for admission of PIL application and hence a large number of people would be exposed to the fatal explosion. This is precisely what happened.

The Wednesday explosion is a message to the government that consequences of hanging Afzal Guru can be much more disastrous than what it might imagine. Sending a message through exploding RDX is a classical method of terrorist to terrorize a democratic state. This is the result of half-hearted handling of terrorist cases in this country; this is the result of dragging on the justice in cases of acute criminality. We have now the Tamilnadu assembly asking for amnesty to the killers of Rajiv Gandhi and J&K Government almost asking same thing in the case of Afzal Guru. Trying to draw political mileage out of terrorism and criminality is what helps terror spread its tentacles deep in this country. We have never heard of the punishment given to any of the indicted persons in 19 cases of bomb blasts in Delhi during past 15 years even if the court verdict holds them responsible for terrorist act.

This is not the way how our country can counter terrorist attacks on civilians and soft targets. A vacillating government is no answer to determined terrorism. An elected government is answerable to the people and if the security of the people is left to intentional jeopardy, the government loses the right to govern. Ouster of the Home Minister or any other senior functionary in security chapters on account of this or that terrorist attack is a meaningless exercise. Government should not focus on persons but on institutions. The institution of vote bank is the greatest threat to the very survival of our democracy because it is the biggest hindrance to the government in dispensing quick justice.  For ensuring their vote banks, political parties can go to any length of compromising with any and all including elements patently inimical to the state. That is what has been reported in the matter of Naxalism and Maoism. The government has to make introspection because the cancer is spreading in ranks within. After every terrorist blast, the Home Minster and others concerned with security arrangements make bold speeches of upgrading security measures, inducting more sophisticated weaponry and communication system in police and things like that. No leader, much less the Prime Minster or the Home Minster speaks of reforming our political culture, breaking vote-bank jinx, universalizing secularism by suppressing reservation concept, sensitizing the nation to the dangers of compromising and national security. How can the state control terrorism when the ruling coalition loses no time in projecting the opposition as the bastion of communalism? This is a divisive strategy and the result is self evident, terrorist attacks, sabotage, disruption of law and order and destabilization of the state.

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