A Nation Riding on Killer Bicycles

A Nation Riding on Killer Bicycles
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Commercial Interests
Make Merry with
Waqf Lands
Money talks, or rather shouts and when it is opposed to something
all strings are pulled to bulldoze the opposition into submission.

Ahmed Kamal Khusro
akkhusro@rediffmail.com

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Terror struck us yet again this time in the pink city Jaipur. Till Wednesday evening, the unofficial toll was 90 killed, and with over 200 injured. It was 7:30 pm, 13th May, prime time for shopping when daytime temperature was above 40 degrees. Markets were bustling but within minutes everything was shattered and it was chaos all-around India’s one of beautiful tourist places.

The first blast took place at 7.20pm on Tuesday in the crowded Johari Bazaar and within 15 minutes at least seven more blasts occurred in adjoining areas. The blasts were of medium intensity in the walled city whose residential areas are heavily populated with Muslims.

The bombs were mostly planted on bicycles like in Malegaon but rickshaws and cars were also used in Jaipur to cause maximum damage.

World capitals from Washington to Paris, London, Dhaka and Islamabad condemned the attacks.

Government officials and some corporate media house are usually quick to blame Muslim militants based in Pakistan or Dhaka for such attacks, which have plagued India in recent years.

Almost all social, political and religious leaders of the country offered sincere condolences to the victims of the dastardly act and some urged upon the state and central governments to take all possible measures for the proper compensation and rehabilitation of the survivors.

What is it going on here, one wonders! The fact of the matter is, it sounds, as if the whole Indian nation is riding on killer bicycles. From Malegaon in Maharashtra to the courts in UP and now Jaipur in Rajasthan, everywhere, the poor man’s vehicle- bicycles are affectively used as bombs.

These cowardly acts of terror have become a sore on the body politic of Indian democracy. The current global and local politics in the shape of religious polarization is intensifying the acts of terror, more so in India. The panic side of the story is that prevention of these acts has been politicized by the vested interests. Some claim that the present government is soft on terrorism and result is an increase in these terror acts. They forget that even during the NDA regime the frequency and intensity of these acts was similar. “These acts of terror have deeper political causes”, observe intellectuals including Ram Puniyani, secretary All India Secular Forum.

In the past investigating agencies seem to have overlooked the case of two Bajrang Dal activists getting killed in Nanded in April 2006 while preparing bombs. And arguably they also did not heed to the narco-analysis of one of the survivors of the Nanded episode who said that now ‘we Hindus should also do the acts of terror’.

A Mumbai daily newspaper Urdu Times reported (18 April 2008) about Malegaon police raid in a patho-laboratory which is situated in basement of a private hospital and recovered revolver, RDX and fake currency notes of one thousand rupee. Police have arrested 3 terrorists Nitish Ashire (20) Sahab Rao Sukhdev Dhevre (22) and Jitendar Kherna (25). The last one is the owner of Smith Pathology Laboratory which is situated at the basement of More Accident Hospital of Camp Area. One pistol, 5 live RDX, 3 used RDX, four fake notes of one thousand rupee, Laptop computer, Scanner, 5 thousand cash rupees and 2 mobiles were recovered during the raid, detailed the newspaper.

On 24th February 2008, bomb blasts occurred in the RSS office and the Bus Stand in Tenkasi, Tamil Nadu, one of India’s southern states. The media carried big stories about the blasts. The Sangh Parivar organised demonstrations in various parts of the state, demanding the arrest of Muslim ‘terrorists’, who according to them had committed the crime. However the Tamil Nadu police acted sensibly. A special team led by Mr. Kannappan, DIG, Tirunelveli range made a thorough investigation and arrested 3 persons S Ravi Pandian (42), a cable TV operator, S Kumar (28), an auto driver, both from Tenkasi, and V Narayana Sharma (26) of Sencottai, all Sangh Parivar activists. The last accused had assembled 14 pipe bombs in the office of Ravi Pandian, revealed in some media reports.

In the recent blasts the police have launched a massive hunt, as the first lead toward the culprits, for a woman who allegedly promised Rs.100,000 to a rickshaw puller to carry out the terror attacks.

“We are looking for a woman, identified as Meena, who tried to lure a rickshaw puller, Vijay, to carry out the attacks,” a police officer said on the condition of anonymity, according to a report in the press.

Vijay, a resident of Mumbai, said before Aaj Tak camera, “Stop the lady (Meena) or she would explode bombs at Katwali”. By that time a bomb was already exploded at Katwali area. Vijay was detained just hour after the Jaipur blasts who also told the police that Meena lives near one of the blast sites.

In the light of the above revelations the reinvestigation of all the blasts which took place in different parts of the country ought to be done without preoccupation. In most of the blasts cases, there is a feeling in certain areas that mechanically the investigating agencies put certain outfits as accused to ease their work and booked sometimes innocent persons instead of the real accused.

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