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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 884

Reality Reminder

By M Rama Rao – Asian Tribune

New Delhi, 31 October, (Asiantribune.com): The festive mood in the capital was shattered on Saturday. Three blasts ripped through three bustling market places in just under three hours. These are definitely not accidents. Obviously there was much planning. But the question is by whom and for what purpose.

We will try to find an answer a little while later.

First a word about the uncommon bravery by Delhiites in Sarojinagar, Paharganj and Govindpuri, the three areas that bore the brunt of the terror, and in Chandni Chowk where a bomb was found and defused.

Zarif Ahmad, who runs a saloon in Sarojinagar, was going to break his roza at a nearby mosque when the blast shook the market. He just grabbed a handcart, lifted three women on to it and started pushing it to the hospital. Because, as he said later, every minute is precious in saving a life.

One auto rickshaw driver and his wife took eleven people from Paharganj to the Lady Hardinge Hospital. When the auto got full, his wife transformed some to a hand-pulled cart and pushed it for over a kilometre.

Slum dweller Sunil was among the first to reach the Govindpuri bus blast site along with his friends. They helped bandage the wounds of the driver and others by the time police arrived.

At Rammanohar Lohia hospital, doctors and other paramedics were moved by the spontaneous offers of blood donations. The donors were from all age groups and all strata of society. A middle aged woman, who drove a long distance to reach the RML, told a TV channel, ‘I came because I felt it my duty. I know there will be terrible demand for blood of all groups’.

There are many more like her who made India proud by standing up to be counted as the city experienced its worst ever terror strike in recent memory. In that sense, the terrorists have lost their game of creating a communal mayhem just before Diwali and Eid.

The terrorists have made their intent known by triggering the first blast to coincide with the Iftar prayers. What they did not reckon with is the fact that this land of Zahir Ahmads and Sunils has the will and courage to stand up like a rock and be not intimidated.

That is the reason why the Prime Minister’s assertion that the government is determined to defeat nefarious designs of terrorist elements doesn’t sound hollow and is, in fact, convincing and reassuring.

Only the Khalistani terrorists, Al Qaeda and International Islamic Front comprising Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad and others have the capability for organising Saturday type terror. Most of them are based in our western neighbourhood. This is a reality.

May be it is for this reason Singapore based security specialist Rohan Gunaratna points his finger at the Lashkars and their ilk. It is very likely that the Delhi strikes were conducted by a terrorist group opposed to the peace process between India and Pakistan, according to him.

Many Indian experts on terrorism, notably B Raman and Ajai Sahni share Gunaratna’s perception.

For valid reasons

Saturday was the scheduled day for a Delhi city court to sentence a LeT activist found guilty of shoot –out at the Red Fort five years ago.

Only a couple of days back, the police had nabbed a terrorist of Jaish-e-Mohammad, Maqbool Hussain, along with his Pakistani aid. He is the right hand man of JeM’s chief Maulana Masood Azhar, who had won his freedom in the infamous ‘Kandahar airport swap deal’ (carried out by then NDA government’s foreign minister Jaswant Singh) and disappeared into Pakistan.

Maqbool’s arrest throws up new light on the new threat. And it is that the fidayeen attack at the Ayodhya complex on May 5, 2005 was hatched in Bangladesh, where local reports say, Islamic militancy is on the rise.

Jamaat, a partner in the Khaleda Zia government, is described as the 'mother organisation' of 58 militant groups in the country. Almost 33 percent of Jamaat recruits are youth and 66 percent are drawn from schools, colleges and universities.

Jamaat has nine percent men in the civil service, 18 percent in education, 21 percent in health and 12 percent in the police force besides making significant inroads into the army, a report in Dhaka daily, The Daily Star, says.

Most religious instructors in the Bangladesh army are Jamaat followers, according to a paper on ‘The Rise of Militancy under Khaleda rule'. The army also keeps pro-Jamaat publications in its libraries, the document authored by a senior Awami League leader Abu Sayed, says.

Based on the ideologies of Abul Ala Moududi of Pakistan, Jamaat started on a low key in the fifties, it has since acquired a nationwide presence and a lakh plus members.’

Jamaat and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, in their efforts to establish Islamic rule are directly linked to the madrasas that are involved in militancy, according to Abu Sayeed.

He has identified Darul Ulum Madrasa at Lalkhan Bazar and Hathazari and Al Jamiyatul Islamia at Patia in Chittagong as the breeding grounds for militants, saying that they run around seven thousand Kawmi madrasas, and that their main activity is ‘to make plans for a militant movement, and arrange militant training’.

Around 50 militant organisations receive funds from Saudi Arabia, Libya, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Pakistan and some other Muslim countries. Pakistan’s ISI sleuths have ‘direct links' to the militants and supports them in almost all activities, according to Sayeed document.

Needless to say, these reports and Delhi’s Saturday blast are a grim reminder of the urgency for a greater measure of realism in policing the country and in pursuing foreign policy goals since even western agencies western media acknowledge that the terror camps and other jihad facilities set up by Islamabad in occupied Kashmir have remained untouched despite the tall promises made by Gen Musharraf to dismantle them.

- Asian Tribune -

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