By K.N. Pandita
Both official and non-official media in our country usually give media hype to any event of busting terrorist module. How much of what is said is true is difficult to ascertain. The reason is that terrorism has become an industry.
When a terrorist attack takes place, media doles out for days and weeks all details it can maneuver to put in print or in air. But contrary to expectation, it adopts silence about the conspirators and their conspiracy. After a while, the entire episode gets washed off the mind of people and the life runs as usual.
Seldom do we hear about the persons, their affiliates or organizations involved in the crime of blasting bombs and causing death to innocent civilians.
On 13 July, serial bombing took place at Bodh Gaya in the complex of the Mahabodhi Temple, wounding at least two monks, one a Burmese and the other a Tibetan. It is two weeks when the event happened. Nothing is disclosed either about the culprits or the narrative connected with the blasts.
The terrorists go on with their agenda targeting persons and object whatever suits them. Temples are targeted to stoke the flames of communal passion leading to disruption of law and order. When the actors publicly accept responsibility for the blasts and promise to go in for more of them, it makes the job of security authorities very much complicated.
Under the ongoing policy of the Indian state, security authorities have strict directions to seal their lips and reveal nothing. Officially, they justify their silence by characterizing it a sensitive security issue. In reality, the authorities need to cover up their state-sponsored pseudo-secularism.
At the site of the blasts in Mahabodhi temple in Gaya, the bombers left behind some scraps of paper, one of which read in Urdu bara but meaning the big idol. Fortunately neither the idol of Buddha nor the historic tree under which Buddha received enlightenment was damaged.
Months before it happened, central intelligence agencies had conveyed to Bihar government apprehension of a terrorist strike in Gaya. It was categorically told that the terrorists would like to seek the revenge of clashes between Burmese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar.
Delhi police had arrested Sayyid Maqbul, Asad Khan, Langre Irfan Mustafa, Imran Khan and Sayyid Firoz Aka Hamza in connection with September 2012 blasts. They revealed that Pakistan-based Indian Mujahideen operative Riyaz Bhatkal had recommended that they carry blasts at Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and Bodh Gay in Bihar. February 1 twin blasts in Dilsukhnagar had killed 17 people and wounded 117.
The group confessed having carried out reconnaissance of Chandani Chowk, Sadar Bazar, Mumbai metro, Andheri Railway Station, shops near Santa Cruz, Dadar bus stop, Chhatrapati Shiva ji terminus and Panvel. Some areas of Bandra and Jogeshwari were also visited. Bhatkal brothers recommended surveillance of these areas.
A meeting to attack Bodh Gaya was held in 2012 in Hyderabad in the house of one Obaidu’r-Rahman, a key accomplice in Dilsukhnagar twin blasts.
Alas despite this sensational intelligence communicated to Bihar Police Chief in good time did not move him to take preventive measures. Bodh Gaya blasts were not owing to intelligence failure, these were owing to negligence of security machinery.
Interrogation of David Headley, an accused of 26/11 Mumbai attack, yielded that Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-i-Taiyyaba had prepared a video of Mahabodhi Temple in 2010.
Delhi intelligence sleuths had clearly stated that in retaliation to alleged atrocities on Rohingya Muslims by the Buddhists of that country, Bodh Gaya could be a target of the terrorist outfits active in India and in Bihar.
On June 14, 2013, Lashkar-i-Taiyyaba chief Hafiz Saeed had twitted that ” Indian Government is working in cahoots with Burmese Government to wipe out Muslim population in Burma…… it is also an obligation on whole Muslim ummah to defend the rights and honour of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar”.
In September 2012, Ustad Farooq, the head of Al Qaeda Preaching and Media Department for Pakistan had warned that “killing of Muslims in Myanmar and Assam provide us impetus to hasten our advance towards Delhi….. I warn the Indian Government that after Kashmir and Gujarat we may add Assam to the long list of your evil deeds”.
Interestingly, US, Bangladesh and Singapore intelligence agencies are reported to have documented information on the connections and activities of Rohingya Muslim radicals receiving training in LeT camps in Pakistan in May 2012. Indian intelligence RAW has also noted links between Rohingya Muslims and ISI and the latter trying to establish foothold in Myanmar.
Arkan area of Myanmar is identified as the stronghold of Rohangiya-ISI nexus for conducting radical movement in Myanmar. To begin training of its youth in terrorist and subversive activities, Arkan radicals have formed a new group called Jamaatu’l-Arkan.
Knowledgeable sources state that several terrorist groups have come together for joint action and these are Rohingya, Jaishe Muhammad of Pakistan, Harakatu’l-Jihad-e Islami and Jamaatu’l-Mujahideen of Bangladesh.
RAW is reported to be aware that Rohingya radicals are receiving funds from Saudi Arabia, training from Pakistan and weapons from Thailand.
It is noteworthy that 13 out of 14 Indian Mujahideen activists arrested in recent past for alleged terrorist activities, belong to Darbbhanga district of Bihar.
Delhi Police and NIA both reported that after uprooting the Maharashtra and Azamgarh modules of the IM in 2008, and neutralizing of Darbhanga module with half a dozen arrests in 2011, IM Operations chief Ahmad Zara Siddibappa aka Yasin Bhatkal had been working on the Bihar module.
By any stretch of imagination, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The roots and network of Indian Mujahideen are fairly deep and wide. It is not possible to reach all of their links that fast as these are spread out outside the country as well.
Authorities have chosen to keep the terrorist narrative under wraps. We understand their frozen compulsion. Political gimmicks cannot demolish terrorist network spread out on such a wide scale. A spade has to be called by its proper name. Nationalist forces have to bring their act together and get galvanized into the task of strengthening national solidarity and integrity. A nation’s safety and progress lies in pursuing national and not vote bank politics.