In­dian MI in­volved in ter­ror­ism

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION - — The writer is a po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst based in Is­lam­abad. Af­shain Afzal Email: af­shainafzal@ya­

ON the or­ders of Supreme Court of In­dia, a spe­cial court was con­sti­tuted to ex­clu­sively hear the case of twelve per­sons in­clud­ing Lieu­tenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Puro­hit, Dyanand Pandey alias Swami Am­ri­tanand Dev, Rakesh Dhawade, Ma­jor Ramesh Upad­hyay (Retd) and Sad­hvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who are in ju­di­cial cus­tody since Oc­to­ber 2008. In the re­cent de­vel­op­ment, the Na­tional In­ves­ti­ga­tion Agency (NIA) filed fresh charge sheet against 10 ac­cused, let­ting off Pragya Singh and five oth­ers, due to lack of ev­i­dence. NIA also re­vealed that it had sub­mit­ted in its charge sheet that the pros­e­cu­tion against them was not main­tain­able.

Last year, the NIA also dropped charges un­der the Ma­ha­rash­tra Con­trol of Or­gan­ised Crime Act (MCOCA) against all the ac­cused, in­clud­ing Colonel Puro­hit. One won­ders the case does not ap­pear to be as straight as it ap­pears and has put a ques­tion mark on the cred­i­bil­ity of NIA and In­dian ju­di­ciary. In­ter­est­ingly, NIA has to­tally backed out from its ear­lier in­ves­ti­ga­tions that In­dian Mil­i­tary In­tel­li­gence and Army are in­volve­ment in ter­ror­ism. The new ver­sion claims Colonel Puro­hit was not in­volved in the Samjhauta blast case but in­ves­ti­ga­tion against him is un­der­way in con­nec­tion with the Malegaon blast case.

It hardly mat­ters weather the charge against Pragya Singh is cor­rect that she pro­vided a mo­tor­cy­cle that was used in an ex­plo­sion or her claim bears weight that she sold off mo­tor­cy­cle two years be­fore the at­tack. Many an­a­lysts are of the view that with change in po­lit­i­cal govt in In­dia ter­ror­ist were changed into he­roes overnight. The Congress gov­ern­ment is be­ing ac­cused for hav­ing hatched Hindu ter­ror plot whereas, the Congress in counter ac­cu­sa­tion blames Prime Min­is­ter’s of­fice of in­ter­fer­ing in 2008 Malegaon blast case to give clean chits to those linked with RSSBJP. What these an­a­lysts are missing is an open se­cret that the in­ves­ti­ga­tions car­ried out by In­dian Chief of Ma­ha­rash­tra’s Anti Ter­ror­ist Squad (ATS), He­mant Karkare (Ashoka Chakra) were cor­rect be­yond any doubt.

How­ever, one of the aims of Mum­bai at­tacks of Nov 26 was to elim­i­nate Karkare, who had pro­vided in­crim­i­nat­ing ev­i­dences against In­dia state ac­tors for their in­volve­ment in ter­ror­ism across In­dia and neigh­bour­ing Pak­istan. No doubt, the con­ver­sa­tions that took place be­tween the mem­bers of the ter­ror­ist net­work in­volved in Malegaon blasts clearly in­di­cated about a chem­i­cal pow­der which could kill a per­son in two to three days if ap­plied to his footwear. In be­tween the con­ver­sa­tion, there were highly pro­vok­able, abu­sive and deroga­tory re­marks about RSS Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Mo­han Bhag­wat. Presently, the tapes con­tain­ing con­ver­sa­tions are held by Ma­ha­ras­tra Po­lice. In­ter­est­ingly, Na­tion­al­ist Congress Party leader, Ji­ten­dra Awhad also dis­closed in the assem­bly that the Malegaon blast cul­prits had con­spired to kill RSS Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Bhag­wat in or­der to pass on the blame to In­ter Ser­vices In­tel­li­gence.

Af­ter the new changes in pre­vi­ous in­ves­ti­ga­tions and court pro­ceed­ings, Sad­hvi Pragya Singh Thakur would face trial un­der Un­law­ful Ac­tiv­i­ties (Pre­ven­tion) Act, Colonel Puro­hit and nine oth­ers will be tried for charges in­clud­ing mur­der and con­spir­acy un­der the pro­vi­sions of anti-ter­ror law UAPA, IPC, Arms Act and Ex­plo­sives Sub­stance Act. In a re­cent state­ment, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of NIA Sharad Ku­mar again tried a fail at­tempt to dis­pel the com­mon per­cep­tion that NIA changed its stance on the di­rec­tion from new BJP gov­ern­ment.

The role of In­dian Mil­i­tary In­tel­li­gence in vi­o­lence and ter­ror­ism has be­come an open se­cret and is also linked with cor­rup­tion. In­deed, there is In­dian state spon­sored ma­chin­ery in­volved. Nev­er­the­less, de­spite the fact that over one and a half dozen of­fi­cers be­long­ing to In­dian Army were in­volved in Malegaon, Nanded and Samjoutha Ex­press ter­ror­ism but we cannot brand whole of In­dian Army and in­tel­li­gence as ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions.

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