Misdirected Hyderabad bomb blast investigations

By Adv. Irfan Engineer

First in Malegaon and now in Hyderabad, the blame for the recent bomb blasts is being laid on the doorstep of “Islamic terrorists” like Jaish-E-Mohammed. One ends up asking the question, what could be the aim of the “Islamic terrorists” in carrying out bomb blasts in mosques. Would terrorists supposedly inspired by Islam plant bombs in Mosques which is house of Allah? Do they deserve the label of “Islamic Terrorists” even if they bomb mosques, even if the persons involved in the reprehensible act are Muslims? For, media does not use the word “Hindu terrorists” for LTTE combatants and ULFA and naxalite cadres carrying out similar acts, just because their religion happens to be Hinduism.

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It is being suggested by the authorities that are looking into the bombings that the real purpose of “Islamic Terrorists” is to provoke communal riots. If after planting bombs in mosques in Malegaon and Hyderabad, the “Islamic Terrorists” could not provoke communal riots, they must be either naïve or running out of options to tread the same path again and again to see yet another failure in achieving their objective of communal riots. The “Islamic Terrorists” risk demoralizing their cadres by their consistent failure in creating riots. If provoking communal riots is the objective of “Islamic Terrorists” then they could do better by studying Reports of Enquiry Commissions appointed by various governments like, Raghubar Dayal Commission (Ranchi-Hatia, 1967), Jagmohan Reddy Commission (Ahmdabad 1969), Madan Commission (Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Madad, 1970), Krishna Rao Commission (Hyderabad, 1984), Ramanand Prasad Commission, (Bhagalpur, 1989) Srikrishna Commission (Mumbai 1992-93), and scores of other reports which have brought to the fore that those riots were not accidents but well planned and executed and it required days, if not months of continuous and sustained provocative and divisive speeches and publication of communal propaganda and collection of arms and ammunitions. Then a spark like throwing stone on a religious procession, hitting a cow, teasing a lady from other community or a secret marriage between a Muslim boy and a Hindu girl or some such triggering event can be used. Then rumour mongering like “the milk in the city is poisoned” or “drinking water has been poisoned” or “a huge mob of the “rival” community is approaching to attack” or that “women have been raped and murdered by the “rival” community”. These rumours enhance the threat perception of an ordinary citizen and mobilizes him / her and even leads them to attack “rivals”. With India having “experience” of scores of communal riots in which thousands have been killed, the “Islamic Terrorists” might be fools not to learn how to spark a communal riots or to try a different path which is proving futile.

Reality is that the politicians who blame the blasts in mosques on “Islamic Terrorists” sound less convincing. If use of RDX or improvised explosive devices are available to Jaish-e-Mohammed or organizations of their ilk, why should it not be available to anybody else having sufficient purchasing power? No weapon is monopoly of only one terrorist organization. The politicians even before visiting the site of the bomb blast have their statement of allegation on this or that organization ready. They may be advertently or inadvertently narrowing down options for the investigation agencies and may be allowing the real culprit to not only escape but also feel emboldened.

A fact finding team of reputed and credible organizations in Hyderabad visited the site of the blast two days after the blast and talked to scores of victims and their relatives in the hospitals. The team members included Bojja Tharakam (State President, Republican Party Of India), Lateef Mohd Khan G. Secreatery, Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Varvara Rao, Revolutionary Writer’s Association, D. Suresh Kumar Secretary, APCLC, and others. According to the team, the medical officer of Asra Hospital who treated the injured found some nails, door hinges, and briefcase handle from the bodies of the injured. This establishes that the bomb used in the blast was a crude one that does not require much expertise. The injuries received during the blast and the foreign objects recovered from the bodies of the injured do not establish any connection with either RDX or TNT. The naming of the two Islamic organizations as responsible for the blast without much evidence reveals the mind of the investigating agency either to mislead the public by identifying the probable accused and the organizations without sufficient evidence shows the attempt of the police to close all other areas of suspicion.

The fact finding team was of the opinion that the bomb blast at Mecca Masjid while the Friday prayers were going on were aimed at terrorizing Muslims. According to the Team, five, not eleven died in the bomb blast. In the police firing that followed one hour after the blast on the people who had come to find out about their loved ones, nine people died. Firing to kill people who have come to find out about their loved one is shocking brutality by police. More people died in the police firing than in the bomb blasts!! If the objective of the blast was to terrorize Muslims, that seems to have been achieved better by police firing!! The Team concludes that the firing was unprovoked and on people who were helping the victims. There was no warning or use of rubber bullets.

Why the Muslims needed to be terrorized? Was it to silence them over the co-operation extended by the Andhra Police to the Gujarat Police in apprehending Sohrabuddin who was later killed by Vanzara and his team claiming him to be Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist? Is calling Sohrabuddin a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist before killing him and laying the responsibility of the bomb blast on the same Jaish-e-Mohammed a mere coincidence? These questions will be answered in times to come. But for the truth to be unraveled, there needs to be a thorough and impartial CBI Inquiry which examines all possible theories and marshals thorough evidence to prove the guilt of the accused. For we must know the truth to be able to stop bomb blasts.