Hindutva terror Lies and deception
The violent world of bloodthirsty terrorists and their equally bloodthirsty, covert pursuers can always be built on a body of lies and deception. For couple of years now, we find with unerring regularity that earlier police investigations showing the hand of Islamic militants in the blasts in Malegaon, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Ajmer Sharif Dargah and the Samjhauta Express are proving to be a monumental lie. The earlier 'probe' had buttressed the dominant narrative about Islamic radicals subverting a secular India till the palimpsest of evidence was revisited. As layers of falsehood were slowly peeled off, it became apparent that in the name of investigation, doctored evidence was created and innocents were tortured, brutalised and made to languish in jails.
The credit for this path-breaking investigation goes to former head of Maharashtra's anti-terror squad, Hemant Karkare, who was killed in the Mumbai terror attack. He managed to cut through the haze of deceit, lies and orchestrated hype to prove that the perpetrators of the Malegaon blast were not Muslim, but fanatic Hindu radicals who want India to become a muscular Hindu rashtra. Karkare and his team found a vast network of militant Hindu organisations that had disturbingly infiltrated the army and were working on a plan for a violent, terrorist putsch. Karkare's findings had met with a howl of protests from the BJP leadership and the RSS. The arrest of a Hindu sadhvi, Pragya Thakur, for her involvement had made the BJP leadership dub it as an attack on Hindu faith. The Malegaon investigation was a watershed event, but after Karkare's mysterious killing on the fateful night of November 26, 2008, the investigation into the case meandered into nothingness. Karkare's successor, KP Raghuvanshi's past association with one of the co-accused in the Malegaon case did not help the cause.
However, recently, Rajasthan police found the needle of suspicion in the Ajmer blast pointing towards Hindutva outfits again. Since then, the pieces in the jigsaw puzzle are falling in place. The last few blasts, including the one in Samjhauta Express, are all falling in a pattern. It is to the credit of the Union home ministry and the Intelligence Bureau that they are disowning much of the earlier conclusions to emerge with outcomes that are diametrically opposite to what was peddled earlier. Many of those who were arrested due to the earlier investigations continue to languish in jails even when the trajectory of probe has shifted. This is transparent injustice.
When the BJP was in power, the police showed great alacrity in putting young Muslims behind bars and blaming it all on Islamic terror outfits. Evidence was planted, dubious witnesses presented, and, through selective media leaks, innocents were shown as masterminds. Afzal Guru, who is on death row for allegedly helping the attackers of Indian Parliament in 2001, has claimed that he has been 'fixed' by his intelligence handlers.
It would be a travesty of justice if indeed he is a little pawn in this dirty power play and is hanged to satisfy the blood lust of fanatics who believe that is the only way to exact revenge. Fighting terror is a tricky business when so many different agendas are warping the truth. To ensure that the Indian State does not feed a grievance by twisting facts and hanging an innocent, it would not be wrong to reopen cases where there is even an iota of doubt, including the Batla House encounter case - widely perceived to be a fake encounter, the view ratified by a senior Congress leader.