Time Again to Talk Terror, Bury Everything Else!

One more deadly attack. Hyderabad revisited by terror. Once more the usual platitudes by our leaders.
  • “This is a dastardly attack, the guilty will not go unpunished,” Man Mohan Singh.
  • “Congress chief expressed sorrow on the blasts in Hyderabad which left at least 14 people dead and scores injured,” Sonia Gandhi.
  • “News of blasts in Hyderabad is saddening. My condolences to the families of those who lost their lives. Praying for peace & calm there,” Narendra Modi.
2+2=4, Isn’t it? But in criminal investigation one needs to have along side Deductive reasoning, Lateral thinking too, where 2+2=22. Of course, that should not mean giving license to prejudices or wild imaginations. Now sample these four news items:

These findings have been put together by journalists working for different national newspapers within a few hours of the blasts in Hyderabad to make it into the print editions of Friday. One possibility is that if they could do it so fast, then the combined might of security and intelligence agencies like, IB, RAW, should have done much better. Delhi police had the input that Pune blast accused had recced *Dilsukh Nagar*, no less, just 8 months ago. Home minister knew for over 48 hours bomb blasts would occur. Hafiz Saeed, who is considered by Indian establishment as the fountain head of all terrorism, had Hyderabad in his cross hairs. This would have told any honest, intelligent, hard working, intelligence agency to sit up and take notice that Hyderabad could be a possible target. Why wasn’t it done? Shouldn’t Sushil Kumar Shinde and the entire security apparatus in the country be held responsible for this lapse and tried for dereliction of duty? Secondly, if the “intelligence inputs” were so vague, why didn’t Shinde share it with the entire country? At least people everywhere would have been more alert and cautious. Oh!, but that would have caused unnecessary panic!! Is that so? Then why are government agencies fond of issuing “scary notices” whenever some festival or large gatherings are to take place: “Do not touch suspicious objects”, “Beware of Unattended objects, report to police immediately”, and so on. Also sharing such vague intelligence inputs wouldn’t surely have compromised the “working” of “intelligence agencies”.
But there is one more possibility. Since most of the print media is carrying more or less identical *theories* about Hyderabad blasts, could these stories be a plant? And if they are a plant, then who is responsible to feed them and with what purpose? These are very serious issues, which assume sinister proportions in the light of sorry state of our terror, and generally criminal investigations. While Home Minister Shinde is saying “nothing can be said until investigations are over”, there are already voices whispering between the lines of these news items condemning one outfit or the other.
While making these insinuations, the reports have attempted a “Balance” by not failing to mention: Forensic experts said they would look for any similarity with previous blasts, including the 2007 Mecca Masjid case in which right-wing outfits have been named. As if all this was not enough, one has to face this bewildering array of “preliminary estimates” of explosives used and signature of terrorists.
A charitable explanation is that these are “reporting errors” from “enthusiastic journalists” or in the “excitement” of things the personnel of various investigating agencies are simply *waxing eloquent*. Either way it doesn’t augur well for the course of investigations as has happened in the past again and again. Since today’s newspaper reports also tell us that Hyderabad has faced terror for over a decade, what have earlier investigations yielded?
  • November 21, 2002: Former Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) president Syed Salahuddin Salar was arrested in that case. He is lodged in Hyderabad jail at present. Police also arrested the main accused, Abdul Razak alias Masood, an alleged LeT operative. Razak, who was out on bail, committed suicide last October at his home in Mehdipatnam, accusing the police of harassing him. Two other alleged LeT members, Azam Gori and Syed Abdul Aziz, who were allegedly involved in placing the bombs, were shot dead in separate encounters by police in Karimnagar and Hyderabad outskirts respectively.
  • May 18, 2007: Nine people were killed in the Mecca Masjid blast on May 18, 2007. Though the Hyderabad Police arrested many Muslim youths in connection with the blast, it was later found to be the handiwork of the right wing terror network led by Swami Aseemanand. All were later acquitted by courts.
  • August 25, 2007: two blasts at the crowded Lumbini Park and Gokul Chaat, a famous eatery, killed 42 people. Police arrested many Muslim youths, but all were acquitted later.
What a terrific record? Acquittals in two cases, no conviction in the third, one suicide over harassment when on bail, and two “encounter” death. No results to show, though scores have people have died for no fault of theirs. On each of these occasions political establishment assured like it did now, Union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde addressed a press conference after visiting the blast and said that investigation has started and the government will not leave any stone unturned. That is just about correct, government has not left any stone unturned. Government is interested only in turning stones and not in nailing the perpetrators, forget those who conceive these diabolical plans but not even the executors and the foot soldiers. Don’t believe that the government is interested only in “turning stones” despite its “terrific track record” in earlier blast cases?, then see what an NIA official at the blast site had to say, ^^We will be questioning many persons including some Indian Mujahideen operatives, who have been arrested in the recent past^^. He forgot to add probably that even those who were held and released for want of evidence and who were acquitted in earlier cases.  They make a nice soft target, isn’t it? [More on Terror Investigation Track Record, see links at the end]
Main question that arises in any investigation is, What is the motive? Who benefits? Standard template of motives is either “Revenge” or “fomenting Communal Strife”. Present attack is attributed by the establishment to a “Call emanating from Pakistan” for avenging Afzal Guru’s hanging. Most in Kashmir and many in rest of India believe that Guru was wrongly convicted and unjustly hung. But is that merely a pretext to hide real motives? What other motives could there be? Terrorism has become an excellent diversionary tactic when Indian State faces, or for that matter any State in the world today after US government made it fashionable post 9/11, any real substantive issues that have potential to destabilise the established order like spiralling food inflation, anaemic economy, rampant unemployment, growing inequality, militant resistance to resource grab, dysfunctional institutions, and endemic corruption. State panics when people’s anger mounts over relentless heaping of these intolerable iniquities that draws them together to organize, educate and resist. A friend wrote that the two day nationwide strike organised by trade unions from across the ideological spectrum on 20 and 21 February, which saw the spectacle in Mumbai of parochial Shivsena supporting it whereas Hind Mazdoor Sabha kept out, was the proverbial last straw. The last straw, which among other issues, prompted the State to stage a “terror attack” to take the people’s collective eye of the “real ball” of the systemic crisis. When the State’s credibility is so low, who knows, he may well have found the target. Surely, much more is happening clandestinely than what meets the eye. Don’t trust official narratives ever without verification, but in periods of crisis, just don’t trust them.
One last question remains. Why Dilsukhnagar? That too three times in a decade. The official narrative puts it thus: ^^Dilsukhnagar, a Hindu-dominated locality with a history of communal tension, has been on the terrorists’ radar for long; at least since 1999 when a bomb was planted near a Hanuman temple. The device was detected in time by police… The terror group targeted Dilsukhnagar again in 2002, planting a bomb near the Saibaba temple killing two persons… The choice of Dilsukhnagar is no accident and fits in the pattern of IM attacks. The terror module has so chosen the day and timing of its attacks as to ensure that the majority community bore the brunt: something which dates to the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai and which is meant to exacerbate communal tension^^. This reference to “day” and “timing” as a hallmark of fingerprints of a “terror outfit” comes without any explanation. The blasts occurred some time between 18:55 to 19:05 hours by most reports. The timing of the Maghrib Namaz at Hyderabad is given as 18:20 Hours. The official narrative is clearly insinuating that Muslims will be still in the Mosques offering prayers and therefore out of harms way when blasts occur. Clearly a “clinching evidence” that an Islamic outfit is behind the terror attack. The arraignment is already over before even the investigations have commenced. There is another plausible explanation, which this report suggested, Dilsukhnagar, a ‘mini-Andhra’ and city’s commercial, educational hub: ^^Dilsukhnagar is often referred to as mini-Andhra. There are hundreds of computer, software and hardware institutes, and civil services coaching centres in the area. The Dilsukhnagar bus stop is one of the biggest and busiest in the city, connecting to all areas of Hyderabad, IT city and towns on the outskirts in Ranga Reddy and Medak districts. Some of the biggest shopping malls of Hyderabad are on the Dilsukhnagar main road, which is also known as NH 9 Mumbai highway. Famous educational institutions like Narayana IIT Academy, FIIT JEE and St Thomas High School are also located in Dilsukhnagar^^. This place is quite obviously for aspiring and upwardly mobile, it is also for the well heeled, and is a transport hub. It appears to be a kind of place where those who have benefited or want to benefit from the “outsourcing business* study, work, live, or at least pass through. This would be a constituency, which is most likely to follow the mirages of FDI, PPP, or LPG [liberalisation, privatisation, and globalisation] blindly. They are the likely enthusiastic supporters of the established order. Hitting them would fetch maximum partisan support in the “war on terror”. Add to that the Hyderabad advantage of  the most provocative and despicable hate speech made by Akbaruddin Owaisi, which affords a perfect camouflage to hide the real perpetrators, and an alternative narrative with a stronger claim on truth is out. 
 
Reports say that now Delhi, Mumbai and other major cities have been put on high alert. Of course, they will be on high alert like they had been after the blast before, and the one before that, and….. Time will pass and they will be again put on high alert when the “terror strikes” once again. My advise is to make clippings of all terror related news that will now flow through the unchecked faucet of the mainstream media, and read it when the next tragedy occurs. Barring the time, place, and poor people who will die, one will not miss a thing including the pious grief and anger of our political establishment if one were to read this file of clippings. The “real perpetrators” would never be caught, because there seems to be no desire to do that.
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  1. An angry hall of fall guys. And unfair arrests.
  2. A children’s magazine, newspaper, Urdu poetry – anything can land you in jail.
  3. 2 years, 5 cities, 6 cases – and ‘proof’ everywhere is the same magazine.
  4. Over a month, four ‘terror’ arrests in Indore for ‘shouting slogans’.
  5. The posters that landed retired SIMI secy in jail.
  6. When ISI became a ‘front for SIMI’.
  7. Lawyers attacked — on the streets, in police stations, inside courtrooms.
  8. How police case about ‘plot to attack Delhi’ fell in court.

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