In the previous column this author explained how the entire Ishrat Jehan Episode was planned by previous Congress Government. to eliminate a rising political opponent, Mr. Narendra Modi, either physically, politically or judicially.
Lead by Sonia and Rahul Gandhi and represented by Ex-PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, Ex Home Ministers P. Chidambaram and Sushil Kumar Shinde, all of them together misused and abused the constitutional offices under oath and compromised the national security of this country and protecting the enemies who has been killing our citizens in the terror attacks and bleeding India.
A series of low-intensity terror attacks targeting Muslims were conducted to create a "Saffron Terror" background, and 26/11 was the culmination. Hindu extremist organizations have been accused of involvement in terrorist attacks like 2006 Malegaon blasts, Mecca Masjid bombing (Hyderabad), Samjhauta Express bombings and the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast. In this post, we will focus on each such terror allegations, especially the Samjhauta Express Blast case (since it's been in focus for a long time) .
Malegaon Blasts: 8th September 2006
A series of bomb blasts that took place in Malegaon, a town in the Nashik district of the Indian State of Maharashtra. Most of the blast victims were Muslim pilgrims.
In the September 2006 incident, police investigations have determined that the explosives contained in these bombings were "a cocktail of RDX, Ammonium Nitrate and fuel oil, the same mixture used in July 2006 Mumbai train bombings, a terrorist incident for which several Islamist groups are suspects. Since the investigation was still under way, Nasik Superintendent of Police, Rajvardhan declined to give details, saying: "We can't say anything till we get reports from all the agencies", but soon released the sketches of two suspects. Here is the Report.
On 30 October, Times of India reported that first arrest was made in Malegaon blast case. This is the arrest of Noor-Ul-Hooda, an activist of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). On 13th October, the DGP of Mumbai, Mr. Pasricha said that they were very close to cracking the case and claimed to have identified the perpetrators. On 6 November, the Times of India reported from Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) that the prime conspirator Shabbir Batterywala is an operative of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and the co-conspirator is Raees Ahmad of SIMI.
On September 12, 2006, Indian Prime Minister said following, "It will be inappropriate for us to rule out anything or rule in anything. I think there should be a fair investigation which inspires confidence and brings out the truth and nothing but the truth without any pre-conceived notion. That has to be the objective".
Alas! The Maharashtra ATS had prima facie ruled out the involvement of Hindu Nationalist groups.
Samjhauta Express Blasts: 18th February 2007
The twin blasts shook two coaches of the Samjhauta Express around midnight on 18 February 2007. Sixty-eight people were killed in the ensuing fire and dozens were injured.
It has been allegedly linked to Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu fundamentalist group. In November 2008, it was reported that the Maharashtra ATS suspected the attacks were linked to Prasad Shrikant Purohit, an Indian army officer and a member of Abhinav Bharat.
Purohit himself claimed that he had "infiltrated" the Abhinav Bharat. During an army's Court of Inquiry, 59 witnesses stated to the court along with Officers who testified that Purohit was doing his job of gathering intelligence inputs by infiltrating extremist organizations. Col. Purohit was given a clean chit by the Army's Court of Inquiry. It is interesting that, except the Indian investigators, all others pointed
Now comes the interesting part. Except the Indian investigators, all others pointed fingers at the LeT to be responsible.
“Qasmani Arif, chief coordinator of the relations of LeT with other organizations, has worked with LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks including, the bombing of February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat (India).” This is what resolution [No 1267] of the Committee on Sanctions of the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] dated 29.6.2009 declares. Adding that Qasmani was funded by Dawood Ibrahim and he did fund-raising for LeT and Al-Qaida, the UNSC said: “In exchange for their support, Al-Qaida provided support staff for the bombing in February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat.” This resolution is available on UN site.
Six months after the UN and the US announced sanctions against LeT and Qasmani, the Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Mallik himself admitted that Pakistani terrorists were involved in the Samjhauta blast, but with a rider that “some Pakistan-based Islamists had been hired by Lt Col Purohit to carry out the Samjhauta Express attack.”
Not just UN or US Treasury or just the admission of Pakistan’s interior minister, in fact, independent investigation in the US revealed more. Some ten months later, Sebastian Rotella, a US journalist, wrote in his investigative report titled, “U.S. agencies were forewarned about suspect in 2008 Mumbai bombings” that Faiza Outalha, the third of wife of David Coleman Headley had confessed [in 2008, that was made public in 2010] that Headley was involved in Samjhauta blast.
In The Washington Post issue dated 5.11.2010, in a column titled, “U.S. agencies were forewarned about suspect in 2008 Mumbai bombings” Sebastian Rotella wrote: "She said Headley had been given a special mission and that he had both U.S. and Pakistani passports," the senior anti-terror official said. "She said she felt she had been innocently used in an express train bombing" in India that had killed 68 people in 2007. "
Why did NIA not name Arif Qasmani as suspect/accused in the Samjhauta blast? Why it did not seek the extradition of Arif Qasmani from Pakistan? What effort did the NIA make to secure the evidence on the basis of which the UNSC had declared Arif Qasmani as the accused in the Samjhauta blast? What effort did it make to secure the evidence on the basis of which the US Treasury Department had declared Arif Qasmani as the perpetrator? Did the NIA write to the Ministry of External Affairs or the Interpol directly for assistance from the US and the UN in the above? Whether it asked the MEA to seek the co-operation of the group established between India and Pakistan for sharing of the information? None.
Even at the start of the Samjhauta investigation in 2007 itself, the probe evidence had clearly pointed to the role of SIMI and LeT. India Today [19.9.2008] in its report titled ‘Pak hand in Mumbai train blast’s, Samjhauta Express blasts", says Nagori gave a meticulous account of the involvement of LeT and Pakistan in the Samjhauta terror. The report was based on narco test testimonies of SIMI leaders. India Today reported that narcotic tests were carried out in Bangalore, in April 2007, three months after the Samjhauta blast.
It revealed that SIMI activists had executed the Samjhauta blast, with the help of the Pakistani nationals from across the border; while Nagori was not directly involved, two members of SIMI Ehtesham Siddiqui and Nasir were directly involved; SIMI members, including Nagori’s brother Kamaruddin, were involved in the Samjhauta blast.
While the NIA is focusing on the confessions made by Swami Aseemanand about the involvement of Hindu extremist groups in the Samjhauta blasts case, the revelations by SIMI claiming responsibility for the attack cannot be overlooked. The contradictory statements by the two radical groups have left the investigators going in circles, reported Vicky Nanjappa.
Why were these clinching pieces of evidence not pursued? How did the blame shift from Islamists to Hindus? Some elements in the Maharashtra police appears to have colluded in linking Malegaon 2008 blast to the Samjhauta blast.
When leads were thus pointing to Pakistan and SIMI as partners in Samjhauta blast, as an anti-climax, the Maharashtra ATS shockingly told the Special Court through the public prosecutor, that Col Purohit, allegedly involved in the Malegaon blast in which RDX was used, had supplied RDX for the Samjhauta blast though one ‘Bhagwan’. Within the next 48 hours [17.11.2009] India Today online refuted the ATS claim saying that Samjhauta investigators had told India Today that study of the blast carried out by the National Security Guard said that no RDX, but Potassium Chlorate and Sulfur had been used as explosives. The magazine also recalled that immediately after the blasts, then Home Minister Shivraj Patil told the media that not RDX, but, a ‘new type of explosive’ had been used to bomb the Samjhauta Express.
On that very day [17.11.2009] the ATS counsel retracted from the statement he had made earlier involving Col Purohit in the Samjhauta blast. But the damage was done in the 48 hours.
The Carvan mentioned Aseemanand claimed that the attacks on the Samjhauta Express, Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Dargah, and the blasts in Malegaon in 2006 and 2008, were cleared by the highest levels of the RSS. Swami Aseemanand emphatically denies to have had any close door meeting with senior leaders of the RSS in the year 2005 or afterward. Swami Aseemanand challenges the correspondent to prove the truth of the allegations or apologize forthwith.
Immediately Pakistan said that it would raise the issue of Col. Purohit’s involvement in Samjhauta in the Secretaries level meeting on November 25, 2008. Finally on January 20, 2009, Maharastra ATS officially denied that Col Purohit had supplied RDX for Samjhauta. This was how the Samjhauta focus – later the blame – shifted from LeT and SIMI to Col Purohit and via Purohit on to Saffron.
The Maharashtra ATS attempt to link Malegaon 2008 to Samjhauta which shifted the focus away from LeT on to Purohit needs to be probed, particularly given Dawood Ibrahim’s deep influence in Maharastra Police.
For more details on Samjhauta Blast revelations, I strongly recommend S Gurumurthy's Counter Investigation To NIA Investigation in Samjhauta Blast Case.
Mecca Masjid Bombing: 18th May 2007
The Mecca Masjid bombing occurred inside the Mecca Masjid, a mosque in Hyderabad. 14 people were reported dead in the immediate aftermath. The IED contained Cyclotol, a 60:40 mixture of RDX and TNT. These are important inputs as they are specially used by the Islamic Terror outfits.
Though the SIT of Hyderabad Police arrested ‘South India commander’ of the LeT, identified as Shaik Abdul Khaja alias Amjad, from Afzalgunj area of the city. Police said that the arrested was linked to Mohammed Abdul Shahid Bilal, a key suspect in the bombing.
The South Asia Terrorism Portal, the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, the National Counter-terrorism Center the United States, and the United Nations reported that Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) was actually behind the attacks while excluding involvement by any Hindu group.
The South Asia Terrorism Portal cited Vikar Ahmed as the main suspect in the blast. Mohammed Abdul Shahid Bilal, former chief of HuJI’s Indian operations, was also regarded as a key suspect in the Mecca Masjid bombing, later he was shot by unknown gunmen in Karachi on 30 August 2007.
But the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and ATS questioned former members of the RSS On 19 November 2010, the CBI produced Swami Aseemanand before the court in connection with the Blast. It is important to note here that Aseemanand made a confession, which was "confidential", which he later retracted.
It is explicit from the NIA charge-sheet that Aseemanand’s retracted confession almost exclusively constitutes the backbone of the NIA case. The leak of Aseemananda’s alleged confession to the media (Tehelka), which is shocking and deliberate, was part of the design to politicize the case, conduct and conclude a media trial, and to create, at the global level, the notion of "Saffron (Hindu) Terror" for political purposes of the ruling party, Congress.
However, this confession was later found to be obtained under duress. In late 2011, Aseemanand wrote a petition to the President of India describing torture meted out to him during his confinement, prompting the High Courts to issue a notice to the NIA to investigate the allegations of torture.
Ajmer Dargah Attack: 11 October 2007
The Ajmer Dargah blast occurred outside the Dargah (shrine) of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan allegedly by the Hindutva organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its groups. On 22 October 2010, five accused, of which four allegedly belonging to the Hindu nationalist group RSS were arrested in connection with the blast.
The NIA court in Ajmer framed murder charges against seven persons, including key accused Aseemanand, in the Ajmer Dargah blast case. Devendra Gupta, Lokesh Sharma, Chandrashekhar Leve, Bharat Mohan Rateshwar, Jarshad Bhai and Mukesh Wasani have also been charged under sections 302 (murder) and 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC.
Senior Ex-RAW officer, RSN Singh said that several blasts of low intensity were planned and conducted by the politicians and then they used NIA, SIT to frame Hindu outfits.
CNN-IBN had reported that it was Home Minister, Sushilkumar Shinde, who forced Bhavesh Patel to implicate RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. In his letter, Patel also blamed several other UPA ministers, including Minister of State for Home RPN Singh, Coal Minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, for trying to frame Bhagwat.
Soon after the change of government at the Centre last year, it was decided that the hearings in the case would be fast-tracked and at least five hearings would be held every month. It is not at all surprising that one by one many key witnesses, in this case, are turning hostile. 15 of the total 83 witnesses examined in the case so far have turned hostile since June last year.
“Yet another one (Anand Raj Kataria) has turned hostile today. The case is getting weakened by the day,” said public prosecutor Ashwini Sharma, reported by the Indian Express.
Malegaon Blast: 29th September 2008
India witnessed a surge in terror attacks. A series of blasts in Jaipur killed 63. Since then, other major Indian cities including Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi were targeted.
On 29 September 2008, police in Ahmedabad, Gujarat foiled another terror attack when 17 bombs were found and defused. However, a low-intensity bomb exploded at a market packed with Muslims breaking their Ramzaan fast, killing one and wounding 15. Another bomb placed near a Temple in Faridabad was located and defused. Furthermore, the bombs were purportedly similar to those that exploded in Delhi two days before this attack.
The explosions in Malegaon and Modasa took place on the eve of Navratri, a major Hindu festival celebrated across India.
Police said that unsophisticated, crude bombs, identical to those that detonated in Delhi 3 days before, were used. The investigation was led by Mumbai ATS chief Hemant Karkare, who was later killed in the 2008 Mumbai Attacks.
PTI had reported that on 5th October 2008 police had arrested a Muslim man in connection to the bombings. further investigations were under way, with more arrests expected.
Surprisingly, there came a twist in the investigation. Only on the basis of the bike being used in the blast, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur was arrested along with Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu. The said bike once belonged to Sadhvi Pragya, which she sold in 1997 way before she took to a spiritual quest. The Saffron Terror angle was brought in.
On 25 October, two more ex-army personnel were also questioned and in two days the total arrest count mounted to seven when the ATS took in Sameer Kulkarni from Bhopal and Sangram Singh from Indore for questioning. According to the ATS, these arrests brought to light the workings of two groups, Rashtriya Jagaran Manch and Abhinav Bharat.
The ATS reported that they were part of an alleged "larger conspiracy", without elaborating what the conspiracy, or the basis for it, was. Allegations arose that the Sadhvi Pragya and others were framed for the blast. Then came the shocking charges made against the ATS by Sadhvi Pragya in an affidavit claiming that the investigating team has lost all moral authority, the manner in which unsubstantiated allegations have been made against army personnel and also detailing how she was physically and psychologically tortured and abused in obscene languages by her interrogators.
Top BJP leaders, including L. K. Advani expressed their shock and disbelief and asked for a judicial inquiry. In response to the whole imbroglio, the then Agriculture Minister, and NCP Supremo Sharad Pawar described the BJP as "unpatriotic".
"The police have started investigating...If any political party takes objection, it is unfair and unpatriotic. Why should we interfere in the process of investigations?"
On 4 November, the case heated up with the arrest of serving Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit. The Indian Army took this matter very seriously, as this was a matter of shame for the men in uniform.
Col. Purohit's counsel alleged that Purohit, with a distinguished service record in the army, was being victimized for political reasons and that he could even be eliminated by the ATS because of the possession of intelligence data of a sensitive nature pertaining to SIMI and ISI operations, which could embarrass some top political quarters. The ATS had jumped to a conclusion in utter haste without ascertaining the intelligence they have collected about the Army officer who belonged to the Intelligence Wing.
A key witness Yashpal Bhadana, a member of Abhinav Bharat recorded his statement before a magistrate under Section 164 CrPC in connection with the Malegaon case, that he was `coerced' to give a statement framing people, including Swami Aseemanand, in the Samjhauta Express blast case. Bhadana's testimony was recorded at the instance of NIA and may change the course of investigation in a clutch of cases, particularly the 2008 Malegaon blasts where Col Purohit and Pragya Singh Thakur were arrested.
Till today, the National Investigative Agency (NIA), has found no evidence against Col. Purohit or Pragya Singh Thakur in the Malegaon Blast or the Sunil Joshi Murder case and it may recommend the court to drop all charges.
Why frame an Army Man? Who was Lt. Col Purohit?
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) says that it had issued series of alerts regarding the build-up of Burdwan module. However, what is interesting to point out that the first signs of a build-up was spotted in 2007 and it was Col. Purohit who had issued that alert and even prepared a report.
Colonel Purohit who has been accused of aiding subversive activities had, in fact, claimed several times that he had become a target and his job was to mingle with terrorists in order to prepare reports on them.
His reports stated that there was movement from Bangladesh, where in some radicals were crossing over into West Bengal and settling down. Col. Purohit’s report is a clear indication that the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) with the able support of the Jamaat-e-Islami had decided on making West Bengal a base in order to target the establishment in Bangladesh. It is also an indicator that the same modules were trying to set up a base for the SIMI in India as well.
Detailing the sinister design of JMB, he stated that its primary purpose was not only to create unrest in Bangladesh but in the long run, target the Indian establishment as well. He also speaks at length about the creation of an Islamic Necklace which would include the states of Assam, West Bengal, and Tripura. These areas have seen a great deal of infiltration over the past couple of the years and even the NIA which is now probing the case has found detailed links between the JMB and these states.
It seems, he knew too much.
If you observe in all the information above, who is convicted in all these Blasts? No one. I have no reasons to disqualify US intelligence inputs on all of these terror attacks as the US has ridiculed any involvement by Hindu organizations. Why was the US intelligence making a categorical statement accusing, not even suspecting LeT & SIMI's involvement in all the attacks and why is it that our intelligence framing up charges against "Saffron Terror"?
It is obvious that the manner in which NIA has investigated is intriguing, unusual, unprecedented, and explicitly points to insidious and hidden motives in the probe. Given the political propensities and compulsion of the ruling Congress party repeatedly made explicit by its functionaries including the Home Minister P Chidambaram and its General Secretary Digvijay Singh about the notion of Hindu terror, the unusual investigation of the NIA and its rejection and suppression of such vital evidence makes it a case of fixing the present accused.
According to released documents by WikiLeaks, Congress Party's general secretary Rahul Gandhi remarked to US Ambassador Timothy Roemer, at a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister of India at his residence in July 2009, that RSS was a "bigger threat" to India than the LeT.
This was a bigger conspiracy hatched by UPA Government and its senior ministers. Never in the history of India did anyone drive Communal wedge as deep and in such a conspiratorial manner, as Sonia Gandhi led Congress Party. From Anti-Godhra campaign to the invention of "Saffron Terror", to Fake Encounters with religious slurs, Congress had a cloaked dagger. The concept of 'Saffron Terror' is nothing but a political conspiracy against the Sangh and its senior leaders.
These investigations by the NIA needs to be discarded in its entirely and re-investigation of the case by an independent SIT must be carried out the under the supervision of the judiciary. Otherwise, besides that there would be a total miscarriage of justice both ways - not only by torturing the innocent but also by letting free the real offenders.