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Blast In Muslim Mosques in India by Muslims
<b>Blasts rock Malegaon; 30 killed, over 100 injured</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Thirty people were killed and 56 were injured in twin blasts in a mosque-cum-graveyard and a market immediately after Friday prayers in communally sensitive Malegaon town of Maharashtra on Friday.

As tension gripped the textile town following the blasts at around 1:45 pm at Bada Kabristan and Mushaira Market in the heart of the town,<b> authorities clamped curfew and deployed state paramilitary force in sensitive areas to maintain law and order.</b>

<b>The blasts took place when a large number of people gathered in the graveyard to offer prayers for their dead relatives on the occasion of 'Shab-e-barat', considered the holiest night under Islam.</b>

The injured have been rushed to the Wadia Hospital and other hospitals in the town while some of the grievously injured were moved to Nasik, about 100km from Malegaon, for treatment, sources said.

A near-stampede broke out immediately after the blasts as devotees, including children, rushed out of the narrow gate in panic with many of them trampling over the dead bodies and those seriously injured.

The whole area was splattered with blood and limbs. The devotees also helped the injured rush to nearby hospitals on every available mode of transport including push carts

Is this a Shia - Sunni war?
<b>BJP condemns Malegaon blasts</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The BJP on Friday condemned the blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra and blamed the attack on what it called the ruling UPA's soft policies towards terrorism.
"We condemn the attack and feel that it is high time the government took immediate review of the internal security. Such attacks are a result of the government's soft approach towards terrorism," senior BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said.
<b>Gujarat on high alert following Malegaon blasts</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"Gujarat is already on high-alert following the just concluded Ganesh Chaturthi festival and the coming Navarati festival," KC Kapoor, principal secretary (Home) said.

"Following the blasts in Malegaon, vigil has been stepped up at places of religious importance like Ambaji, Dwarka and Somnath," he said.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>How peace was maintained in Malegaon</b>
Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi | September 08, 2006 21:06 IST
The bombs that went off near a mosque on Friday afternoon shocked the local community in Malegaon.

More than 600 angry Muslims marched to the local police station to protest the blasts, sources said.

The situation threatened to spiral out of control when Muslim leaders in Delhi telephoned Malegaon to pacify local leaders.

Muslim clerics in Delhi asked the local leaders to disperse the crowd and maintain peace and communal harmony.

<span style='color:red'>Jamaat Ulema Hind chief Mahmood Madni and his associates based in Delhi and elsewhere are constantly in touch with community leaders in Malegaon urging them to maintain peace.

The Jamaat Ulema Hind has a huge institutional network in Malegaon. Congress leaders have activated the network to ensure that peace is maintained at all cost</span>.

Something fishy here???
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Noorani Masjid with a temple just behind it and a mixed population, all these areas were quite sensitive. You have to be on high alert. I viewed my assignment as a professional challenge.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Bombings in India </b>
September 08, 2006 11 00 GMT

Twenty-five people were killed and at least 100 wounded Sept. 8 when four bombs exploded in the Indian town of Malegaon, about 150 miles northeast of Mumbai in Maharashtra state. The attacks were likely staged by militant Hindu groups seeking retaliation for the July 11 Mumbai bombings.


Four bombs exploded Sept. 8 in the town of Malegaon, about 150 miles northeast of Mumbai in India's Maharashtra state, killing 25 people and injuring at least 100. Two bombs went off outside of Bajju Khana eatery, one exploded in the Musharia market and the fourth targeted a Muslim mosque, Maani Masjid. The blasts occurred after Friday prayers on local Islamic holiday Shab-e-barat. Malegaon is roughly 75 percent Muslim.

The attacks were likely staged by militant Hindu groups seeking retaliation for the July 11 Mumbai bombings. Similarly, Hindu militants attacked the 17th century Jamia Masjid mosque in New Delhi on April 14 following a series of bombings March 17 by militant Islamist group Lashkar-e-Qahar, a branch of the group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), in the holy Hindu city of Varanasi.

Communal tensions between Hindus and Muslims run dangerously high in the state of Maharashtra. The attack in Malegaon is sure to invite riots by Hindu groups and a major retaliatory strike by Islamist militant groups already operating in the state.

In recent weeks, Mumbai police have picked up a number of LeT cells that have revealed intentions to target religious sites. Two Pakistani militants involved in an Aug. 21 encounter with Mumbai law enforcement had five targets in mind, including the Bhabha Atomic Research Center and the Siddhivinayak Temple, Indian security officials said. The surviving militant revealed during interrogation that the city's Western Railway line, hit during the July 11 attacks, also was among the targets.

I told you. <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Not so fast. Stratfor has no need for finidng the truth. I find it quite fascile that they blame Hindus.

Malegoan has population of 8 lakhs with 60% Muslim. The people are descendents of Biharis and UP muslims migrants from 1857. So are probably Deoband/Barelvi types. Malegoan is a hot bed of activity. So how can Hindus wander in and set off blasts in retaliation for Varanasi? The Stratfor guy is smoking dope.

There are also political issues as the local MLA is a Congresswala who defeated a JD(S) guy. Could have local politics also.
Further it could be a intra Sunni attack like in TSP Karachi.
Check, congress is using who else Madani of Deoband. Why? Link is very clear. It is tussle between Madani and Bukhari and other groups.
I am checking how media will play this story and twist.
Already, "who knows of world" are busy with press release.
I think dupatta started this "hindus bombed jama masjid" and now it will be repeated a 1000 times until it becomes a 'fact'.

For the record


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Correction: In Shekhar Gupta's original submission of the story "A Cause for Comfort," (July 24) Gupta wrote, "They [terrorists] bombed Jama Masid, the stately 17th-century mosque in old Delhi..." Unfortunately, due to an editing error, the sentence was changed in the magazine's print edition to "Hindu fanatics bombed the Jama Masjid." NEWSWEEK regrets the error.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Black Friday in Malegaon </b>
TN Raghunatha | Mumbai
<b>38 dead, over 100 hurt; curfew clamped</b>
Terrorists struck once again in Maharashtra on Friday, killing at least 38 people and injuring over 100 others - several of them seriously - in three powerful explosions that rocked the crowded areas in front of a mosque and the adjoining "Bada Kabristan" at Mushaira Chowk in the powerloom town of Malegaon in Nashik district.

Less than two months after they claimed nearly 200 lives and left a trail of destruction by engineering serial blasts on Mumbai's suburban trains, merchants of death ripped apart the fragile and communally-sensitive town of Malegaon in north Maharashtra through three blasts on Friday afternoon - all within a brief span of six minutes. 

Not wanting to take chances, the authorities swiftly imposed curfew in the Muslim-dominated town, which has witnessed four major communal riots in the past - for an indefinite period. Apart from the existing police force, four companies of State Reserve Police (SRP) were rushed to Malegaon, within hours after the blasts.

Following the serial blasts at Malegaon, a red alert was sounded all over Maharashtra, with the State Government keeping 26 companies of Central paramilitary forces on standby - which had been sent to Maharashtra for maintenance of law and order during the just-concluded Ganesh festivities - as a precautionary measure.

Though initially there were conflicting versions as to the exact number of blasts, the authorities confirmed that there had been two blasts. However, eyewitnesses insisted that there had been three blasts and not two as had been stated officially. Some unconfirmed reports suggested later on Friday night that there had in all been four blasts.

The first of the powerful explosions took place at around 1.50 pm at the crowded Mushaira Chowk, soon after 3,000-odd devout Muslims offered prayers at the Noorani Masjid. Eyewitnesses said a powerful explosive had been planted on a bicycle parked at the chowk. Minutes later, two more blasts rocked an equally crowded area in front of the Bada Kabristan, located next to the masjid. All the blasts were believed to have been triggered by remote-control devices.

Sadly enough, Malegaon had been preparing itself for "Laylat-ul-baraat (shabb-e-baraat)-night of salvation," when the terrorists struck. (Laylat-ul Baraa'ah in Persian, as well as in Urdu, is called shabb-e-baraat. It is the night of seeking pardon and repenting to Almighty Allah, remembering past sins and sincerely making up one's mind that one will never commit sins in the future). In fact, scores of devout Muslims had taken out a procession, ahead of the all-night prayers scheduled to be held at the Noorani Masjid.

The death toll in Friday's serial blasts was mounting by the hour. By Friday night, the blast toll had gone up to 38, with the likelihood of the toll mounting further later in the night. Of the 100-odd people injured in the blasts, the condition of more than a score of them was said to be serious. The injured persons were undergoing treatment at Wadia, Faran, Ali Akbar and rural hospitals, all at Malegaon, and district civil hospital at the neighbouring Dhule town.

Engineered as they were at Malegaon, there lay a calculated strategy on the part of the militant outfits behind Friday's terror act, given the sensitive nature of the situation in the powerloom town. Located 310 km from Mumbai, Malegaon is one of the three communally-sensitive towns in Maharashtra; two others being Aurangabad and Bhiwandi. Malegaon, a town where nearly 75 per cent of the eight lakh people are Muslims, has had four communal riots in the past - in 1962, 1982, 1992 and 2001.

Significantly enough, <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Malegaon town has been a safe haven for functionaries of banned SIMI and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT). </span>So much so that early this year, there had been seizure of explosives and rounding up of suspected militants from this town. No wonder that the authorities realise that any letup in handling of the post-blasts situation would only result in a communal riot in the town and likely backlash in other sensitive areas in the State.

While the top officials, including Chief Secretary DK Shankaran and State Director General of Police PS Pasricha, monitored the situation in Malegaon on a minute-to-minute basis from Mumbai, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and his deputy RR Patil, who handles the State Home portfolio, rushed to the powerloom town on Friday evening. Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil is scheduled to visit the town on Saturday morning.

Deshmukh and Patil made separate appeals to the people of Malegaon and other sensitive parts of the State not to indulge in any such act that would trigger communal trouble in the wake of Friday's serial blasts.

Meanwhile, a 12-member ATS team from Mumbai left for Malegaon to help the local police in their investigations into the serial blasts there.

Based on the preliminary reports, experts here felt that the explosives used to <b>trigger serial blasts at Malegaon on Friday were akin to the crude device </b>that exploded on January 28, 2003 near the Vile Parle railway station in north-west Mumbai on the eve of arrival of then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Mumbai. The Vile Parle blast was one of those blasts that took place between December 2002-January 2003.

Explosive expert veteran Col (Retd) MP Chaudhury, who raised Anti-Hijack Squad (which is known as the National Security Guard) said that what he could guage from the TV-footage of the Malegaon blasts was that<b> the explosive used was a "cycle bomb". "It is a clearly local explosive triggered to create drive a wedge between two communities," Col Chaudhury said.</b>

Col Chaudhury, who has trained commandos for the Maharashtra Police and C-60, the Anti-Naxalite Wing, said <b>that material like sulphur, potassium chlorate and ammonium nitrate might have been used with local detonators.</b>

<b>Malegaon hit the headlines in May this year, when the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) seized huge a cache of arms and ammunition during an intensive drive against suspected LeT and SIMI activists operating in north Maharashtra and neighbouring Marathwada regions.</b>

During the raids conducted at Malegaon, Nashik, Aurangabad and Beed, the cache of arms and ammunition seized by ATS included 43 kgs of deadly RDX, 16 AK-47 assault rifles, which might have come from Afghanistan, 50 Chinese-made grenades and over 3,200 rounds. The cache of 43 kgs of RDX came as a surprise to the Mumbai Police, considering that the seized quantity of RDX was lesser than 40 kgs used to trigger the serial blasts in 1993, which left 257 people dead and 713 others injured.

<b>High noon</b>
Explosions at about 1.50 pm rock Bada Kabristan and Mushaira Market in textile town

Blasts rip through a large crowd gathered at the graveyard for shabb-e-baraat prayers

Several children wounded, many of them seriously, as stampede breaks out after the blasts

Angry residents pelt stones at policemen, preventing them from reaching the site as mob lays siege to Azadnagar police station

Most of the injured evacuated to Wadia Hospital and other nearby hospitals, critically injured moved to Nashik

3,000 Paramilitary forces rushed to Malegaon
<b>Malegaon Blasts - What are the implications ?</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Multiple blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra have killed 37 people. Nearly 200 people have been injured in the blasts. Most of those injured are children. The injured have been taken to different hospitals, including Farhan Hospital, Ali Akbar Hospital, the Rural Hospital of Malegaon and Medicare Hospital. Also, around 125 injured people have been admitted at Wadia Hospital. Reports also state that minors have been killed in the stampede after the blasts. There are conflicting reports on the number of blasts. Two of the bombs were planted on cycles, while the third was put in a bouquet outside the masjid. The local police have added that the first two blasts took place at Bada Kabristan, which was followed by one at Mushaberat Chowk.

The blasts have taken place after Friday prayers on the Muslim religious day of Shab-e-barat, a festival where the local Muslim community visits cemeteries to offer prayers for the dead. Malegaon with a 75% muslim population has a history of communal violence. Malegaon has also been in the news recently in the run up to the Terrorist attack on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Headquarters in Nagpur. On May 10, 2006, 30 kg of RDX was found in Ellora near Aurangabad. A few days later, a small quantity of RDX was recovered in Malegaon from a local doctor's residence and a small amount of RDX was also recovered from Nashik district.

Today's events in Malegaon raise many questions. First being the choice of a known communal hotspot in interior Maharashtra. The second being the location and timing of the blasts during Friday prayers and more specifically on a religious day when an unusually large number of people congregated in the mosques. The third being the general environment in the Nashik district in the months leading upto the blasts. The blasts come on a day when police in neighboring Andhra Pradesh seized around 600 rocket missiles in Mahbubnagar allegedly on their way to Naxalites. <b>Clearly the Manmohan Singh Government's hands off approach to internal security is not working.</b>

Coming back to Malegaon and its implications. The first and foremost is the message that needs to go across to all those in the media, the political spectrum and leaders within the Muslim Community that Terrorism does not distinguish between Hindu or Muslim. We are all united in the resolve to fight and win against terrorism. The second implication of the blasts in Malegaon is who did it ? Conspiracy theories are bound to be floated on whether it was a Pakistan sponsored Islamo Fascist attempt to destablizing India and polarizing religious relations or if it was a local extremist inspired act to settle old communal scores or if it was local politics exploiting the free flow of arms and explosives to advance some local vested interests. <b>In the left of center politico-correct internal security environment it is highly unlikely we will ever learn the true underpinnings of the 35 deaths in Malegaon. The communally charged history of Malegaon and the terrorist trails leading into it on the one hand and the 75% muslim population on the other will most likely fuel either conspiracy theory at the expense of the truth.</b>

<b>The politics of Malegaon provides an interesting insight into the town. Until the last assembly election Malegaon was not represented by any of the mainstream parties of Maharashtra be it the BJP or Congress or Shiv Sena (not much chance of that) or the NCP. It was represented by one NIHAL AHMED MOHAMED USMAN of the Janta Party and then subsequently Janata dal from 1978 to 1999. This is the same MLA who had lead a rally in protest of the Babri Masjid Demolition back in the 90s which triggered violent communal riots in the city. The last 2 elections saw the Congress nominee SHAIKH RASHID SHAIKH SHAFI defeating him by quite a convincing margin. While investigation agencies sought through the aftermath of the blasts in Malegaon, the local political angle must be scrutinized thoroughly to rule out any foul play. </b>
<b>Here goes anti-hindu's opinion</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Politics underpins this paralysis. Both the Congress and the NCP have run a successful campaign of poaching directed at middle level Shiv Sena leaders, and believe that action which might be considered `anti-Hindu' would give the religious Right a new lease of life. At the same time, the decaying Hindu far Right sees Islamist terrorism, and the widespread anxieties it has generated through India, as a means of stemming the secular tide.

Each mosque bombing is, in this vision, an act through which the frayed political legitimacy of groups such as the Bajrang Dal will be restored. Just how capable Hindu fundamentalist groups are of executing such a project is unclear, for already stretched police forces have paid little attention to the emerging threat. If a Hindu fundamentalist group did carry out the Malegaon attack, it would demonstrate a significant increase in their capabilities
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> link
<b>Malegaon seethes with anger a day after blasts</b>
Dhaval Kulkarni
Malegaon, September 9, 2006
"Why are you giving us bheekh (alms)?"
That was the angry question posed by chemist Shafique Ahmed Mohammad Salim (39) to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh as they tried to distribute cheques of Rs 50,000 to families of seven of the 37 dead in the bomb-hit town of Malegaon.

"If we had proper hospitals, so many would not have died. Arrest those who caused these blasts, and we will present you with Rs 10 lakh," said Shafique. <b>His dead son Sajid (18) scored 84 per cent in his higher secondary examination and was looking forward to joining a medical course at Jiujiang Medical University in China’s Jiangxi province on September 19.</b>

Sonia Gandhi, eye-witnesses said, embarrassed by the outburst, replied, "Shanti se boliye (Talk softly)."   <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo--> Patil and Deshmukh hastily stepped in, thanking citizens for avoiding a communal flare-up and promised "necessary aid".

But spurred by Shafique’s outburst, his brother Shakeel, who also lost his son Shahbad (17), joined in. "The government just levies taxes on us while we get nothing on return," said Shakeel. "Four decades ago, Malegaon was even more prosperous than Nashik. But today it is in a state of decay. Who is responsible for this?” Representatives of three other families, too, refused aid.

Shafique and the others told HT that they were protesting the “government’s apathy” that had transformed a town once known as the “Manchester of Maharashtra” into a “laawaris sheher (abandoned town)”, devoid of proper drains, roads and other civic infrastructure.

They may as well have been speaking on behalf of the 6 lakh people of Malegaon — at least 70 per cent Muslim — known more for a violent history of communal clashes than its struggling powerloom industry.

“All that we get are promises,” said powerloom worker Javed Sheikh.

"In the aftermath of the October 2001 riots, Deshmukh had promised us a government hospital, which is yet to see the light of day."

Contacted by Hindustan Times for his reactions to the rejection of the aid, Deshmukh hung up his cellphone.

In almost grimy lane, the complaints are the same: clogged or no drains, bad roads, frequent power outrages and widespread poverty. Sprinkle that with an administration that has no particular improvement plans and you have a town on the brink, said residents.

The two municipal hospitals have 50 beds between them - you will often find cattle tied outside the wards of one hospital - and aside from saline drips, there are no other medicines. There are no ambulances.

"The two municipal hospitals in the city are supposed to cater to 6 lakh people. After the blasts, people had had to rush the victims in handcarts," noted Waqil Ahmed, owner of a beef shop. "The civic hospitals instead of tending to the injured, referred then to private hospitals." He alleged: "Many died on the way."

The poverty in the town forces many youth to drop out of school and start working as powerloom workers. They live is shanty towns, and, as local police claim, serve as "cannon fodder" for hardline religious outfits.

The once-thriving powerloom industry faces upto eight hours of shortages. This pushes workers and owners into even greater distress.

Waqil reasoned, <b>"The fassad (disturbances) in Malegaon are born more out of economic reasons than religious ones."</b><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>No RDX trace in cycle-bombs: Police </b>
<!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo--> , the depths our politicians can sink to.... sigh!

<b>Sangh Parivar activists planted bombs at Malegaon:</b>


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Malegaon, Sept. 10 (PTI): Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abu Asim Azmi today said he <b>suspected that activists of Sangh Parivar outfits disguised as Muslims had planted bombs that went off here on Friday</b>.  <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

The consiracy theory unfolds... <!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"A local shopkeeper had overheard a non-Muslim warning many Hindus against moving towards the town on the day of the explosions, saying there could be a bomb blast," he said.

Azmi alleged "non-Muslim" labourers laying drainage pipes at Mushaira Chowk, another site of the blast, were asked to leave at 11 a.m., almost three hours before the blasts that claimed 31 lives and injured nearly 300.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Azmi also accused the Central Government of being responsible for the blasts by "unnecessarily raking up the Vande Mataram controversy and thus creating tension between different communities".
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Malegaon: Mob gheraos police station

PTI | September 10, 2006 | 21:42 IST

A mob in a Malegaon locality gheraoed Nasik district superintendent of police on Sunday, demanding immediate arrest of culprits behind Friday's multiple blasts.

According to Malegaon Control Room police, the 200-strong mob gheraoed District Superintendent of Police Rajvardhan at Pawarwadi locality, demanding immediate arrest of the main culprits behind the blasts, which claimed 31 lives and injured nearly 300.

The mob dispersed after the DSP assured that proper investigation was in place to nab the culprits.

Meanwhile, two offences were registered against unidentified persons for rioting at Azad Nagar Police Station where mob pelted stones and damaged two police vans soon after the blasts, police added.

This town Malegaon, spends Fridays as weekly holiday and not Sunday. (Was reported on rediff earlier, not able to locate now)
Malegaon, is little fundoo Islamic nation.

<b>Pakistani girl among dead in Malegaon</b>
<b>Hindu outfits not involved in Malegaon blasts: VHP</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"One cannot conclude that Hindu organisations are behind the blasts in Malegaon just because they occurred at a Muslim shrine. Such incidents keep occurring across the entire Middle East and Pakistan where the Hindu population is negligable," firebrand Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia told reporters here.

<b>Sangh Parivar activists planted bombs at Malegaon: Azmi </b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Malegaon, Sept. 10 (PTI): Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Abu Asim Azmi today said he suspected that activists of<b> Sangh Parivar outfits disguised as Muslims had planted bombs </b>that went off here on Friday.

"<b>A local shopkeeper had overheard a non-Muslim warning many Hindus against moving towards the town on the day of the explosions, saying there could be a bomb blast," </b>he said.
It means muslim did planted bomb.
Shopkeeper using same logic that jews planned 9/11.
B.Raman on Malegoan Blasts

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Paper no. 1945

By B.Raman- Camp New Delhi
<b>Thirty -five civilians, all of them Muslims and many of them children, are reported to have been killed and many others injured in two (some reports say three) blasts in Malegaon in Maharashtra on September 8,2006. The improvised explosive devices (IEDs)---reportedly of a primitive nature--- had been placed possibly in bicycles left parked  near places where the local Muslims usually congregate as they come out of the local mosque after the Friday prayers.</b>
2<b>. No claim of  responsibility has so far been made by any organisation.</b> The police do not as yet have any indicators regarding the likely identity of the perpetrators.
3. The Muslims---many of them migrant weavers from Uttar Pradesh-- constitute the majority of the population in Malegaon. One estimate says they constitute as high as 75 per cent of the local population. Over the years, there has been a steady economic degradation in the area giving rise to poverty, unemployment and feelings of marginalisation of the Muslims.
<b>4. Malegon is a wake-up call to the Indian political leadership as to what could happen on the national scale if the seething Hindu and Muslim anger against each other and against the administration continues to grow by feeding upon each other.
5.There is anger among large sections of the Hindus--particularly the youth-- over the perceived failure of the Government of India to act firmly against the continuing acts of jihadi terrorism and its State-sponsor, namely, Pakistan. </b>
<b>6.Including Malegaon, there have been  seven major acts of terrorism affecting Hindu-Muslim relations  since July last year in Indian territory outside Jammu and Kashmir. </b>Of these, two were directed against Hindu places of worship (Ayodhya in July,2005, and Varanasi in March,2006), one was in  a Muslim place of worship (Delhi, April,2006), one at Muslims outside their place of worship (Malegaon, September 8,2006), two were indiscriminate attacks against civilians belonging to all communities (Delhi, October,2005 and Mumbai,July 2006) and one was directed at scientists attending a conference at Bangalore (December,2005).
<b>7. Nearly 300 innocent civilians were killed in all these incidents--- the largest number of 184 killed being in the Mumbai blasts directed at suburban train commuters. </b>The second largest was in Delhi in October,2005, when over 60 shoppers and other passers-by  were killed. The third largest was in Malegaon.
<b>8. Investigations made so far indicate the likely involvement of  Pakistani jihadi organisations---mainly the Lashkar-e-Toiba and the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI)--- in the blasts at Ayodhya, Delhi (October,2005), Bangalore, Varanasi and Mumbai. </b>
<b>9.The identities of the organisations and perpetrators involved in the two explosions directed specifically at the Muslims in Delhi  in April,2006, and Malegaon are yet to be established.</b> While the blast inside the main mosque in Delhi could have been caused only by a Muslim, the blasts in Malegaon, which took place near the mosque after the prayers and not inside, do not necessarily permit such an inference.
10. Over the years, there have been many instances of jihadi terrorists targeting Muslims too not only in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in Pakistan and the Jammu and Kashmir State of India. There have been instances of blasts organised by jihadi terrorists  inside mosques during the prayers as well as outside mosques, on religious occasions as well as on other occasions. <b>One of the most sensational instances of Muslims deliberately killing Muslims was the decapitating explosion in Karachi in April last when the entire leadership of the Barelvi Sunni Tehrik was killed by suspected Deobandi elements. The terrorists planted the IEDs at a public meeting to observe the birthday of the Holy Prophet.When it comes to acts of terrorism, jihadi terrorists do not make a distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims, between civilians and the security forces. </b>
11. While one should not be surprised if the Malegon blasts also turn out to be the work of jihadi terrorists, one should not rule out at this stage the possibility of the involvement of non-Muslims, keeping in view the long history of tensions between the Muslims and the Hindus in Malegaon. <b>These tensions are attributable to the activities  of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in that area, the alleged sympathy for Osama bin Laden exhibited by some prominent members of the local Muslim community etc. </b>
12. In May last, a large quantity of explosives was reportedly recovered by the Police from suspected jihadi extremists in the area indicating possible preparations for fresh acts of jihadi terrorism.
13. The Malegaon blasts have come at a time when there is considerable anger among the Muslim and Hindu youth against the Government of India for different reasons. This anger is noticeable in different parts of the country, particularly since the Mumbai blasts of July 11,2006.
<b>14. While the Muslims have been angered by what they look upon as the targeting of their community by the police in different places where acts of terrorism have taken place since July last year, the Hindu youth have been angered by what they view as the softness of the political leadership in New Delhi over the continuing acts of jihadi terrorism in different parts of the country. </b>
<b>15. Since the present Government came to power more than two years ago, there has been no successful investigation of major acts of terrorism in different parts of the country outside J&K resulting in the identification, arrests and prosecution of the perpetrators by the police.</b> The critics of the Government feel that the unsatisfactory pace of the investigations is attributable to the fact that the police officers do not have the confidence that the political leadership would stand by them if the leaders of the Muslim community accuse the investigating officers of being anti-secular, communal or prejudiced against the Muslim community.
16. The reluctance of the Government in New Delhi to make it clear to the complaining leaders of the Muslim community that while there is no question of blaming or suspecting the community as a whole because of the acts of a few terrorists, the law has to take its own course against those indulging in terrorism has contributed to the anger in large sections of the Hindu community against the Government.
17. There has been a deplorable attempt by some leaders of the Muslim community to create a divide between the community and the Police by questioning the impartiality of the police and levelling other allegations against the investigating officers. Incidents like the blasts at Malegaon, if they turn out to be the handiwork of the jihadi terrorists, would serve the nefarious purpose of furthering the mental divide between the Hindus and the Muslims and between the muslims and the Police.
<b>18. Responsible leaders of the two communities should jointly counter this trend. It also needs to be underlined that any ill-advised actions by angry elements of the Hindu community to give vent to their anger over the continuing acts of terrorism, by indulging in reprisal attacks against innocent members of the Muslim community would be detrimental to our national interests and could contribute to an unbridgeable divide between the two communities.
19. The Government should act with equal firmness against whoever indulges in acts of terrorism/, irrespective of the community---Muslim or Hindu--to which he or she belongs. There cannot be one law for the Muslims and another for non-Muslims . </b>
(The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: itschen36@gmail.com )

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