Category Archives: Crises

Duplicity kills Sarabjit Singh

Duplicity of Pak officials and religious bigots of Pakistan were responsible for killing of Sarabjit of India.

Sarabjit Singh, who has died from his injuries after being attacked in a Pakistani prison, was convicted of spying and sentenced to death in 1991.  According to Pakistan, his real name was Manjit Singh and was involved in the 1990 bomb attacks in Lahore and Faisalabad in which 14 people died. But his family have always insisted on his innocence. They say he was a farmer who strayed into Pakistan by mistake while drunk and that he is the victim of mistaken identity.

Born in 1964, native of Bhikhiwind in Tarn Taran district near the border with Pakistan, Sarabjit dropped out of school and worked on farms to support his family. He was playing kabaddi was also a very good wrestler who had no match in the region. Singh was farming a field close to the Pakistan border on the day he crossed over to Pakistan. After work, Sarabjit crossed over to Pakistan, possibly in an inebriated state. His trial was unfair and he confessed under torture. His lawyers at the time also failed to appear for the hearing. It is believed that he was caught up in the political manoeuvrings of Delhi and Islamabad. He was prosecuted and convicted in English – when he speaks only Punjabi and Urdu – and there are other serious questions over the fairness of his trial, including allegations that he was tortured in custody and forced to confess.
Sarabjit Singh’s family in India was given little access to him when he was alive – his sister Dalbir Kaur was allowed by the Lahore High Court to meet him in jail in June 2011 and that was only the second time he was allowed a visit. The meeting duration was about 90 minutes during which he enquired about his wife, two daughters, neighbors and relatives. The two exchanges presents. While Ms. Kaur tied Rakhi, Sarbjit wept and as a return gift, he gave her a bangle which he had made in jail.

After the hanging of Afzal Guru in India, militants in Pakistan posed a threat to the life of Sarabjit. Duplicity of law enforcing agencies and religious institutions was on cards. He was attacked with bricks by inmates in Lahore’s jail. Careful observers of attitude of Islamic intolerants are not surprised by the attack. Sarabjit Singh fell into a coma after Friday’s (26th April 2013) attack in Lahore’s Jinnah hospital and died on Thursday morning. After the killing of Sarabjit, his lawyer Awais Sheikh was being followed and harassed. A CID official had tried to kidnap Awais a day before the death of Sarabjit Singh. His family has been receiving threatening phone calls and letters from individuals who claim to be Taliban.

Meanwhile a Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah Haq, suffered critical head injuries after he was attacked by a fellow inmate at the high-security Kot Bhalwal jail in Jammu, in Jammu and Kashmir. He has been admitted to intensive care at a Jammu hospital and doctors say he is in a coma. Sanaullah detonated bombs at electric towers and government buildings in Jammu and Kashmir in 1990. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment by a Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA) and Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court in 2008. Haq has been in prison for the past 17 years. The attack happened on Friday morning after an argument between Haq and Vinod Kumar, a former soldier. The attack could be a logical reaction to the killing of Sarabjit if not a planned retaliat on by India. It is reported that Sanaullah cited Sarabjit during a quarrel with Vinod Kumar which enraged him to initiate the attack.

Who is behind Exodus?

North Eastern people residing in other parts of India (Bangalore, Pune, Kerala, Goa, Chennai, Kanpur and Hyderabad included) rush back to their native places in Assam and other places. They are panicked, according to official accounts, by rumors spread by few miscreants. Government, Police and politicians are seen reassuring safety to the people who are afraid. Investigations are initiated. Security agencies are alert and media is supportive of innocent people.

People from NE waiting at a railway station to rush to their native placeThere are some questions which are not asked or not answered. Who are the individuals, organizations behind the rumors? Is there any religious angle to the whole episode? How can North Eastern origin people were driven out simultaneously from so many cities across India? Who coordinated the spread of rumors? Why some people are agitated against north eastern people across the country?

Anees Pasha, 26, who runs a mobile shop called New Fonotech in Koramangala VII Block, his brother, Thaseem Nawaz, 32, and an associate Shahid Salman Khan, 22 were arrested by Bangalore police for spreading the rumors causing fear among North eastern state people in the third week of August. The youths caught have shown doctored clippings of violence in Assam and told a group of northeast youths that they would face a similar fate if they continued to stay in Bangalore beyond August 20. The violence videos were doctored in Pakistan. Similarly, there must be similar groups of people in Goa, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Pune and other places. So, at first sight, it appears that there are atleast 100 people across India have worked on this project in a clandestine manner. There are atleast a dozen incidents of threat and harassment including physical abuse and stabbings have been reported from Karnataka. Atleast another 100-200 criminals must be behind these incidents with religious hatred. Note that, in Mumbai, there were riots by Muslim crowd protesting against violence in Assam on 11th Aug 2012. Madinat-ul-Ilm (House of Knowledge), a Sunni organization, had secured police permission for the protest. Several Muslim organizations Raza Academy, Sunni Jamiatul Ulema, Sunni Tablighi Jamaat and Sunni Tanzeem-e-Imam participated actively in mobilizing crowds. One of the speaker at the protest venue was former assistant commissioner of police Shamsher Khan Pathan. The Madinat-ul-Ilm is run by founder Maulana Ahmad Raza, a Kurla-based preacher who originally hails from Purnia district in Bihar, and Rizwan Khan, a scrap dealer from Ghatkopar. Raza came to Mumbai in 1998 from Bihar, studied at a madrassa in Kural before he went to England and worked as an imam at a mosque in south London.

A section of Muslims resorted to violence in Kanpur, Lucknow and Allahabad after Friday prayers on 17th Aug 2012. The Jamiat Ulema had organised the protests. In Lucknow, at least 15 people were injured, including five photojournalists, while more than nine vehicles were damaged. In Kanpur, hooligans attacked a cycle market and ransacked several shops. In Allahabad, more than 24 shops were looted and nearly 200 vehicles were damaged. Even though the state intelligence agencies had sent out alerts about the outbreak of violence after Friday prayers, the district authorities in these cities failed to react to the simmering tensions in the community.

In Summary, there are hundreds of people working in synchronism leading to the confusion of exodus arising from fear created by riots and rumors. The state and the administration has not succeeded in stopping these criminals – due to inefficiency or due to reluctance. The criminals are not identified in public – either as a protection mechanism or because of fear of escalation of the problem.

The problem continues as long the miscreants remain anonymous.

HuJI – an introduction

Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI or HJI) meaning “Islamic Struggle Movement”, is an Islamic fundamentalist organization most active in South Asian countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and India since the early 1990s.

HuJI or HJI was formed in 1984 by Fazalur Rehman Khalil and Qari Saifullah Akhtar, as the first Pakistan-based jihadist, during the Soviet-Afghan War.Khalil later broke away to form his own group Harkat-ul-Ansar (HuA), which later emerged as the most feared militant organization in Kashmir. This group would later re-form as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM), when HuA was banned by the United States in 1997. HuJI first limited its operations in Afghanistan to defeating the Communists, but after the Soviets retreated, the organization exported jihad to the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir under the patronage of ISI and the Pakistani establishment. HuJI’s footprint was extended to Bangladesh when the Bangladesh unit was established in 1992, with direct assistance from Osama bin Laden.

HuJI espoused a Pan-Islamic ideology, and has goals of bringing the entire world under Shariat law. It is established in violent means to liberate Kashmir and make it a part of Pakistan. HuJI is also involved in destruction of two Hindu temples in Varanasi. HuJI and HuM were both strongly backed by the Taliban, and therefore the group professed Taliban-style fundamentalist Islam. The group lured the teenagers from Madrasas as recruits and they proceeded to military training in the camps located in Afghanistan and Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Several governments have proscribed HuJI as a terrorist organization. In October 2005, Bangladesh banned the militant group. On August 6, 2010 the United States and the United Nations designated Harakat-ul Jihad al-Islami as a foreign terror group and blacklisted its commander Ilyas Kashmiri. Ilyas Kashmiri, was reportedly killed in a U.S. Predator drone strike in South Waziristan on June 4 2011 He was linked to the February 13 2010 bombing of a German bakery in the Indian city of Pune.

Major strikes on India by HuJI include attack near the American Centre in Kolkatta (2002), Delhi-Patna Shramjeevi Express bombing (2005), Suicide bombing of the AP counter terrorism special task force (2005), Varanasi bombing (2006), Hyderabad bombings (2007), Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Agartala, Assam bombings(2008), Delhi serial blasts (2008) and Delhi bombing (2011).

July 13th attack on Mumbai – Cycle of terror continues

The Terror Act
Three near-simultaneous explosions rocked Mumbai at rush-hour on Wednesday, 13th July 2011, killing at least 17 people and injuring 141 in another terrorist strike in the city. One blast hit the crowded neighborhood of Dadar in central Mumbai. The others were at the Zaveri Bazaar, which is a famed jewelry market, and the busy business district of Opera House, both in southern Mumbai and several miles (kilometers) apart. All three blasts happened from 6:50pm. to 7pm., when all the neighborhoods would have been packed with office workers and commuters. The blasts were not remotely triggered. And that ammonium nitrate was used along with reasonably sophisticated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Militant organisations hostile to India, especially Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Indian Mujahideen (IM), are being treated as possible suspects.

Why on 13th?
July 13 was 24th birthday of Ajmal Kasab, the terrorist who is facing death sentence for his terrorist attack on Mumbai. July 13 is also celebrated as the Martyrs day by those who support separating Kashmir from India, for paying homage to 22 Kashmiris who were killed in 1931 while fighting Dogra rulers in their attempt to establish Islamic rule in Kashmir.

Political Response
While Indian home minister claimed that there is no intelligence failure, South Mumbai MP Milind Deora feels that gaps in intelligence need to be filled. Home ministers initial statement is filled with justification of his position and excuses for not able to avoid another attack. He highlighted the absence of terror in Mumbai for for three years in the recent past. BJP, the main opposition party attacked the government for failing to prevent the attack and for diverting its attention to suppress its political opponents. There are muted responses from other political parties and organizations.

Suspected Organizations
While LeT is Pakistan based anti India terror organization, the Indian Mujahideen, is an underground Jihadi organization with deep rooted network in many Indian cities. The IM, a shadow outfit of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) works in close cooperation with LeT, which is directly controlled by the Pakistani spy agency, the ISI . A dossier of 31 mostwanted IM absconders, complete with their names, aliases, photographs and permanent addresses, was circulated among the states concerned. Ten of them are from Karnataka, eight from UP, six from Kerala, three from Maharashtra and two each from Gujarat and Jharkhand. Even though the IM cadres have been lying low for sometime, their terror modules are intact and waiting to execute more attacks.

Jihadi organizations are aimed at separating Kashmir from India in the short term. In the long term, they have goals of extending Sharia, the Islamic Law, to the whole of India. They adopt terrorism to support Kashmiri separatists, Islamic interests in other parts of the country. They achieve the goal of highlighting their cause to the whole world at regular intervals. Terror actions are tactical victories in the long war against the enemies in their effort of Islamization. For this purpose, they collaborate with government agencies, other terrorist organizations, overground organizations.

Reasons for continued attacks in India
Unlike US after Sept 11, India is failing to protect its citizens from the terrorism. This question is raised by increasingly more number of people. The answer is not difficult to find. Indian society – government included – is refusing to change its approach towards security. There is no calibration in the attitude, processes and thinking.

Also Read Preventing future terrorist attacks

Shiite holy site bombed in Iraq

At least 45 people have been killed in twin suicide bomb attacks targeting Shia Muslim pilgrims near the Iraqi city of Karbala. More than 170 people were injured in the blasts, with the death toll likely to rise. The first attack struck Karbala’s northern outskirts, while the second blast occurred about 15km south of the city.

Two cars parked outside the checkpoints to the city exploded at the same time. The blasts occurred on two routes being used by pilgrims travelling to the city to take part in the Shia festival of Arbaeen, which marks 40 days since the anniversary of the death of the 7th century Imam Hussein.

Earlier on Thursday, a roadside bomb was detonated among a crowd of Shia pilgrims at the Al-Rasheed vegetable market in southern Baghdad, killing one person and wounding nine, while another such blast in a central Iraqi town killed one and injured three.

In another incident, a suicide bomber blew up an explosives-packed car outside a police office in Baquba, central Iraq. Police say three people were killed including a traffic policeman.

The bomber detonated his payload at around 10:00 am local time (0700 GMT) on Thursday, just a few blocks away from the site of a large suicide car bomb attack against another security agency on Wednesday.

Although violence in Iraq has dropped sharply since its high point three years ago, the country is still plagued by small-scale attacks that have kept the nation on edge and raised doubts about the capabilities of its security forces

The annual pilgrimage, banned under Saddam Hussein, is expected to draw as many as 10 million people this year to the city of Karbala over 10 days. Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr has offered help to security agencies in protecting Shia holy places free of cost. But, US and Iraqi agencies are not willing to take the help as Mahdi’s Army of Sadr as it acts independently and sometimes conflicts with US and Iraqi forces. Many think that Al Qaeda and former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party were behind the attacks on the pilgrimage.

Sources:        NYTimes       Carbombing in Karbala

Vellore CMC seeks review of Binayak case

About 360 doctors, staff and students of Christian Medical College (CMC) Vellore have signed a memorandum demanding a review of the legal process that led to the arrest of Binayak Sen, noted physician, human rights activist and an alumnus of their college.

The memorandum also called for granting bail to Dr. Sen at the earliest and conduct of a fair and speedy trial in the higher court. The signatories appealed to the judiciary, the executive and the legislature of Chhattisgarh and the Centre to intervene effectively.

Four killed in Meghalaya ethnic clash, army called in

The army was called out in Meghalaya’s violence-hit East Garo Hills district after four people were killed Wednesday in an ethnic clash between Garo and Rabha tribals.

‘Three Rabha youths died and eight – were injured after they were attacked by Garos at Golkugre area,’ Sylvester Nongtynger, police chief of Meghalaya’s East Garo Hills district, told IANS.

The victims were travelling in a bus from Tura, the district headquarters of West Garo Hills in western Meghalaya, towards Assam, police said.

In another incident, ‘a tribal Garo was killed in police firing at Rongjuli in Assam’s Goalpara district bordering the violence-hit area after a mob tried to attack police’, Goalpara police chief Luish Aind said.

In retaliation, the Rabhas went on a rampage torching several houses belonging to the Garo dominated areas in Torikas, Berubaris, Darakonas, Nebaris and Rongketchis.

‘The army will be assisting the Meghalaya police from tomorrow – morning in maintaining law and order in the violence-hit areas,’ East Garo Hills district Deputy Commissioner Pravin Bakshi said.

Six shot dead in Bengal by suspected CPM cadres

Six people, including a woman, were killed and over 20 injured in firing by suspected armed CPM cadres in Lalgarh in West Midnapore district today even as the administration attributed it to a political clash.

The villagers, who had gathered to protest the demand by armed Marxist cadres that they volunteer for night patrols and arms training, were fired at from a house at Netai village in Belatikri gram panchayat in Lalgarh police station area.

“There is a woman among the six dead. The injured have been rushed to hospital where the condition of five is serious,” a senior police officer said.

Villagers alleged that armed CPM cadres, living in the house of a CPM activist Ranjit Dandapat for the past four months and for whom they were forced to cook and wash clothes, fired on them from inside.

Home Secretary Gyan Dutta Goutama said the incident was the result of a political clash between the Trinamool Congress and the CPI-M.

What happened at Lalgarh is not good: Buddhadeb

West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Saturday condemned the killing of seven villagers in Lalgarh area and said that all political parties should restrain themselves from violence.

“We want peace in the state. What happened yesterday (Friday) at West Midnapore is not good. Many people died. Each and every political parties should restrain themselves from violence,” Bhattacharjee said while addressing a programme here.

At least seven people were shot dead and 17 wounded allegedly by Marxist-backed assailants near this Maoist hub in West Bengal Friday, prompting Union home minister P Chidambaram to summon the chief minister to New Delhi.

Maoist rebels killed in Orissa

At least five Maoist militants were killed in combat by government forces in India’s eastern state of Orissa on Sunday, a news report said.

Police teams raided a rebel hideout in a forested area of the Jajpur district some 100 kilometres north-east of state capital Bhubaneshwar Saturday night, the IANS news agency reported.

Senior police official Sanjeev Marik said five rebels including three women were killed, the report said.

A cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the hideout.