People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 20

May 16, 2010



Deal Firmly with Hindutva Terror


THE arrest of three persons for the Ajmer Sharief dargah blast of 2007 is further confirmation that extremist Hindutva groups are resorting to terrorist violence. The Rajasthan police arrested one person Devendra Gupta who reportedly belongs to the RSS from Ajmer and two others from Madhya Pradesh. Their links to the extremist Hindu outfit, Abhinav Bharat, which is responsible for the Malegaon blast in 2008, has also been established. More significantly, the investigation has yielded a lead to the Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad which took place in May 2007 in which nine persons were killed and 58 injured. The SIM card found at the site of the blast in Ajmer belongs to the same batch that was used to trigger the blast in Hyderabad.

The Hindu extremist groups had targeted, in all three cases, Muslims. In Ajmer and Hyderabad, they were religious places of worship and in Malegaon the blast occurred where Muslims gathered for prayers.

The lineage of these terrorist activities by Hindu extremist groups can be traced to an earlier period. In 2006, two Bajrang Dal activists were killed while making bombs in Nanded. These two men were responsible for the bombing of a mosque in Parbhani district. Earlier, activists of the Nanded cell had carried out attacks at Jalna and Purna in 2003. There was an attempt to explode a bomb at Bhopal in 2002.

In these cases, the police and the investigating agencies did not make serious efforts to probe further and establish the culprits and their links with the Hindutva organisations. Now with the “Abhinav Bharat”, the group of conspirators who organised the Malegaon blast and helped the other terrorist attacks and the exposure of the Sanathan Sanstha’s bomb making activities in Goa, it is no longer possible to deny that Hindutva terrorism is a reality. Both the Abhinav Bharat and the Sanathan Sanstha expound a militaristic Hindutva spewing hatred against the Muslims.

The intelligence and security establishments in India have been reluctant to recognise this reality. They are fixated on terrorism emanating from Muslim extremism and its external links. Otherwise, the investigation into the horrific Samjhauta Express blast would not have reached a dead end. The target was the train to Pakistan filled with Muslims. Yet, stories were planted of extremist groups from Pakistan being responsible for this gruesome attack.

The other aspect is the strong defence of those accused in the Malegaon blasts by the RSS-BJP combine. The RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad organised a campaign in defence of Pragya Thakur and her co-accused. Cries were raised about the persecution of “Hindu sants”. The then BJP President, Rajnath Singh, attended one of the VHP sponsored Sadhu Sammelans and joined the chorus. L K Advani wrote to the prime minister about the torture Pragya Thakur was subjected to in police custody.

Here it should be recalled that one of the suspects in the Abhinav Bharat case is Swami Asimanand, who operates in the Dangs district of Gujarat. He is lionised by the Sangh combine for his virulent anti-Christian campaign. Curiously, neither the Maharashtra nor the Rajasthan police have been able to arrest him so far.

Both the RSS and the BJP do not want to acknowledge the truth. Elements from within the Hindutva outfits have taken to the path of terrorist violence motivated by fanatical hatred.

The preconceived notions in the security agencies about “Muslim terrorism” was glaringly evident in the investigation into the Mecca Masjid blast. Scores of Muslim youth were rounded up, many of them beaten and tortured. After two other blasts occurred, 26 Muslim youth were chargesheeted for waging war against the State and released after seven months for lack of evidence. In the case of the Ajmer blast also, initially, the police announced that they had arrested a Muslim suspect. The latest revelation should bring about a correction in the approach of the police and security agencies.

The terrorist attacks in Malegaon, Hyderabad and Ajmer must be seen as the handiwork of a network of Hindutva extremist groups. They are a mirror image of their Muslim counterparts. What is required therefore is a coordinated investigation into all these attacks. It is inexplicable why the cases involving the Hindutva terrorist attacks have not been handed over for investigation by the newly set up National Investigation Agency. Except for the Goa blast case, the NIA is not handling the other cases. The union home ministry and the NIA showed alacrity in transferring the case of a burning of a bus in 1995 in Aluva, Kerala, by the activists of Madani’s party protesting against his detention. The Kerala police had investigated and found all the culprits involved in the incident and the case is now in the court. Yet, the NIA has taken over the case. But where it is established that the police have even gone down a false trail initially in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh, the NIA has not been brought into the scene.

The UPA government has shown lack of clarity and firmness in dealing with Hindutva terror. Hopefully, the latest revelations regarding the Ajmer and Hyderabad blasts will end this pusillanimous approach.