ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Unravelling Hindutva Terrorism

Communal prejudices have compromised our battle against terrorism.

When the bombs went off at Malegaon in September 2006, killing about 40 people and injuring many more who had gathered for the Friday afternoon prayer at a local mosque, the first arrests were of Muslim men who were supposed to belong to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The police claimed to have cracked the case. Less than a year later, in May 2007, when a similar bomb exploded in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid killing nine people, the police claimed that these were “sophisticated” bombs detonated via a cellphone located in Bangladesh and the main culprit was supposed to be a Muslim man affiliated to the Harkat-ul-Jehad al-Islami (HuJI). The police arrested some random young Muslims from the city and tortured them into confessing their “guilt”. Six months later, when another bomb went off on the eve of the last Friday of Ramazan, in the Ajmer shrine in Rajasthan, it was again blamed on “jehadi terrorists”.

It has taken the courageous, if simple, act by Hemant Karkare, the anti-terrorism squad chief of Maharashtra police, of following the available leads to show the linkages between the Malegaon bomb blasts and Hindutva-linked groups. Without this one single act, all these linkages would, perhaps, have remained hidden behind the lies and half-truths dished out by our security establishment. As is well known now, a group called Abhinav Bharat organised this attack. This group includes some religious figures as well as a serving officer of the Indian Army. There have been other clear instances of Hindutva groups involved in bomb making in Nanded, Kanpur, Bhopal and Goa. Most of these are linked to the Bajrang Dal, which is a front of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). There is now a clear linkage between the RSS and its fronts and personnel and a series of bomb blasts. This is apart from the evidence, much stronger, which links this redoubtable organisation, to scores of communal killings, the Gujarat riots of 2002 being the last of its “big” examples.

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