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Kitnay Mastermind Thay?

September 26, 2008
When a picture is worth a thousand words. From The Indian Express, 25 September 2008, "Delhi Newsline"

When a picture is worth a thousand words. The Indian Express, 25 Sept 2008, Delhi

While most of the Indian media has politely started using such words as ‘allegedly’ and ‘police officials claim’ in their reportage of the post-blasts arrests, some “sections,” as they say, have actually started doing journalism by pointing out the holes in the police theories.

“For justice to be done, the facts need to add up,” says this NDTV report which counts the contradictions between what the Ahemadabad and Delhi police have to say. Their contradictions begin right at the beginning: Is “Indian Mujahideen” SIMI or someone else?

But the best reporting is being done by Mail Today, which unfortunately has a very heavy, difficult-to-navigate registration-mandatory epaper for a website. But nevertheless, we have some to offer. They report on the manner with which the Delhi police is exploring the Manipal ‘angle’ of the Delhi blasts: by communal profiling of students who study there!

So if what happened in Jamia Nagar was an ‘encounter,’ why were the slain ‘terrorists’ shot in the head, clearly indicating the intent to kill? Aren’t you supposed to shoot in the legs? That is the sort of reporting that gets the other side of the story, rather than just asking, again and again. Even the Karnataka police have “rubbished” the Udupi ‘angle’. So which exotic city is going to be chosen? It is the packaging that matters, not the product. Perhaps taking a cue from the media’s need to neatly package and thereby sensationalise, the police have learnt the art. If the arrested “terrorists” have Arabic scarves on them, who will doubt that they indeed are terrorists? Case solved!

And amidst such sensationalism, the simplest of questions remain unasked. So how many times will the “Indian Mujahideen” “mastermind” be arrested? In their email after the Delhi blasts, the “Indian Mujahideen” wrote:

Now is the time that the public and media should question this disgraced unprofessional rascal that if he boasts of arresting masterminds and key terrorists “all over India” then which “mastermind” executed today’s attack? Which “terror module” slapped your ugly face today? [Source]

So this time again we are being told, by the police and an uncritical media, that the mastermind is in, and with every one claiming to have caught or killed the “Indian Mujahideen” kingpin, I only hope the hate machine called the “Indian Mujahideen” doesn’t respond with another attack, another email, another excuse for avenging the arrests and encounters of (allegedly!) innocent Muslim Indians. If only the media stops being the mouthpiece of the state…

I’ll be updating this post with more links, please feel free to leave in the comments section links to news reports that investigate the investigations.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Aditya Nigam permalink*
    September 26, 2008 8:46 AM

    Even as you wrote these lines, Shivam, the IM has announced that it will target LK Advani and his Shillong rally now, if people don’t stay away from it. Let us see. Can’t say from the report (See Times of India, front page today) whether this is real or fake but the Police (Delhi? Shillong?) claim that “it is not a hoax”! With the mastermind in the custody of their Delhi counterparts!!

  2. September 26, 2008 11:20 AM

    Conspiracy theories have always been abound. From USA govt being behind 9/11, to now the Jamia Nagar instance.

    Which side one believes, often depends on which lenses one is looking from. Yet, everyone has a lens.

    The inspector was shot intentionally or in friendly fire or slain intentionally to gain credibility – is even more difficult to believe, for most of the population.

    Imam Bukhari attends the funeral of the terrorists is probably dividing and alienating the community even more. This is a real shame. Now one could go a step further and say that these youths were just ordinary kids, and nothing to do with terrorism, which is what he is saying. Then insteading of fueling fires, he should try and do a fact-finding mission, and put himself at the risk of being wronged.

    I saw an interview of Maxell Pereira – one of the most credible Police Officers around. He mentioned that he had himself done a bit of investigating on the use of the Arabic scarves, and concluded that it was not an intentional gesture by the Delhi Police. I trust the genuineness of his intent and character – instead of creating conspiracy theories, and lambasting the Delhi Police, with a one-sided opinion.

    So earlier it was the BJP, now the Congress is also coloured in the same cloth. Wonder if there will be any secular parties (and yes I consider BJP fairly secular, as opposed to the fashionable branding of them as “saffron brigade”) left who will ever win the Muslim heart.

    Ofcourse I speak from my coloured lenses. Yet this is the truth of my worldview. And any other worldview would probably be the truth as well.

    The only way out is trust and love, and dialogue, which accepts that we all have lenses (including all our biggest Prophets and Avtaars), and try and keep religious theology aside, and give humanity, spirituality, and mysticism higher preference.

  3. Aditya Nigam permalink*
    September 26, 2008 12:08 PM

    Mr Dewan,
    I fully concur with the last part of your comment but that is precisely why it is impossible to ‘trust’ Delhi Police’s (DP) version. I am not sure how many close encounters you have had with both, the police as well as the bureaucracy in general. It is a simple rule of all hierarchical bureaucratic organizations that the top person/s (in this case Maxwell Periera), when they step in to make a public statement on something that has damaged the organization’s image, they do so as damage control. Not to get public trust by accepting a mistake. They are trained, unlike you and me, to say lies in the interests of the organization, of the investigation, of the nation…..
    Thus, the question is: If it was not, according to Pereira, an ‘intentional gesture’, what was it? Why did DP buy these scarves in bulk? Why did they not buy any ordinary and much cheaper cloth that would not be marked by a community’s imprint?
    My close encounters with DP – and quite a few, I must say – have taught me one thing. They are worthless, incompetent nincompoops, but nincompoops with immense power over ordinary folk. When they fail to find a thief or any small time criminal (which is most of the time), they simply frame ordinary people. More importantly, often their failure to arrest the real culprits is because these culprits act under their protection and pass on part of the proceeds to them. Unbelievable? But true.
    Trust and love must not lead us to become gullible.

  4. Jaideep Das permalink
    September 26, 2008 12:26 PM

    Why after every terrorist act Muslim community comes out showing there protest against such acts. Has anyone ever heard of a Hindu terrorist group, no you wouldn’t find any. Not just in India these Muslim terrorist groups are major threat to each and every country of the world.
    Muslims are blaming govt. for victimizing the community, but I feel this congress govt. is victimizing Hindus just to appease Muslims . In Gujarat when RSS,VHP, BJP workers were killing Muslims news papers read ‘Hindus killing Muslims ‘ but when Muslims were killing the Hindus by burning the train in Gujarat they were labeled as ‘terrorists’, why weren’t they called ‘Muslim’ group.
    Why should Muslims have a separate law for them, aren’t they part of India.
    Why treat them special.

  5. September 26, 2008 12:59 PM

    Mr. Nigam,

    They are worthless, incompetent nincompoops, but nincompoops with immense power over ordinary folk. When they fail to find a thief or any small time criminal (which is most of the time), they simply frame ordinary people

    This is plain rhetoric. I’ve seen the police from close quarters (I’ve served briefly as a “Special Police Officer” – civilian-police interface) and what hell they have to go through day and night.

    The roots of this mess is deeper, and using popular rhetorical statements to lambast the Delhi Police as nincompoos does not server anyone.

    So as per your advise, I should believe that the Americans bombed their own Twin Towers, and that Iraqis are fighting pitched battles on the streets of Baghdad as opposed to the general sense of calm that is shown in BBC, and that the bombs in Delhi were planted by the BJP (just as the train pre-Godhra was burnt by them), and Osama was created by the USA by their funding (yes he was funded; but so was Ahmad Shah Masud – in my eyes one of the heroes of Afgansitan – and who was not a terrorist).

    I stand on the other side of these conspiracy theories my friend. Yes, there are doubts – then it is better to clarify them through investigation and dialogue. It is of no value to condemn people of credibility, and measure them all, including Mr. Maxell Pereira, with one yardstick, which also, you may be brave enough to acknowledge, could be an inaccurate measurement.

    As I mentioned, people have different world views, and their world views in their opinions are correct and the truth. The important thing is not to take sides, but to try and bridge the gap through dialogue, and making generalist statements serves no purpose.

    I end my case, and will not respond any further.

  6. Aditya Nigam permalink*
    September 26, 2008 1:04 PM

    Thank you Rahul Dewan. I wish you had told me earlier that you had served as a Special Police Officer!

  7. Manash Bhattacharjee permalink
    September 26, 2008 1:19 PM

    Mr. Jaipdeep Das, I think I have a good and perhaps only answer to your very important question.

    I think the Indian Government gives special treatment to the Muslims in India because it wants educated Hindu Bengalis like you to become religious bigots and insult your own cultural heritage of great writers and social reformers who stood for a secular, tolerant India and Hinduism. I think the Indian Government is trying to conspire against the Bengalis and make them like the Hindus in Gujarat. You have to be very careful Mr. Jaideep. The Government wants to turn the minds of intelligent Bengalis like you into a well where the water would have all dried up with hate-generated heat and you’ll be only left with frog-shit.

  8. Jaideep Das permalink
    September 26, 2008 2:49 PM

    Mr. Manash Bhattacharjee its very easy to play god when you are not affected by the issue.
    You go blabber the ideological shit that Bengal lives on.
    You also doing the same thing by dividing the society by region or language like Bengali, Sikh, Bihari ….. I am a hindu first then a bengali.

    Till one’s family is safe no one cares, no one gives a damn about the country or community.

  9. Manash Bhattacharjee permalink
    September 26, 2008 6:18 PM

    But of course Mr. Jaideep Das, I addressed you appropriately as a “Hindu Bengali” – the prefix and suffix of your identity in proper places. But tell me frankly – between us – (forget the public space, they can learn) – do you really think there has been a poet or saint from Bihar for example, who is greater than Tagore and Vivekananda? Do you really think there has been anyone greater than them from anywhere else in India for that matter? Come on Mr. Jaipdeep, let us not beat around the bush. When it comes to being Bengalis, we know what we are proud of. And of course, there are surely a few less superior non-Bengali Hindus we respect and like as well. We aren’t so narrow minded and we do have an elevated culture of reading (unlike in other communities – hush!). But we also know the trick, isn’t it Jaideep – if we don’t belong to a larger Hindu community, who will take our superiority seriously? Not Muslims for sure. So I guess it makes perfect sense for you to say you are a Hindu first and a Bengali second. It’s like a fox trying to be magnanimous by saying it is an animal first and a fox second! (I always love drawing analogies from fables, so please don’t mind. I am an old lover of the Panchatantra. See, I do hold on to certain things from my Hindu roots. Do you know what I love most about the Panchatantra by the way? The wise Hindu men always get fooled there – just like the foxes. I guess we have a lot to learn from those stories.)

    You again raised an important issue this time. About how till one’s family is safe one doesn’t care about the country or history. But I don’t think any Hindu family can be safe from wise Hindu fathers always trying to make a fool of their children and wives. We have to be sure about internal safety too Mr. Jaideep (like the country is obsessed with ‘internal security’). We have to secure ourselves from the many prejudices of our elders and respectfully throw them into the dustbin. Maybe then we can begin to talk of real safety. Am sure if we begin that way, the community and the country will feel more secure by our presence – which will automatically make us feel safer. Be safe unto others if you want others to be safe unto you! Am sure you will agree there.

    Yours sincerely.

  10. Raghu Karnad permalink
    September 27, 2008 1:57 AM

    You’re right, Shivam. Mail Today’s reporting has been brilliantly tenacious — I noticed this tendency when they slapped six damning questions about the Surat bombs on their first page. I’m becoming a slightly unwilling admirer: there is excellent critical reporting today about the shoot-out and about Nanavati’s report. Makes me wonder whether the cheesecake-rich tabloid is the best medium for bringing critical and liberal reporting back, viably, to the mainstream press.

    Mr Das, you say you’ve never heard of a Hindu terrorist group, that you won’t find one. That’s right too; practically nobody has heard of one. But do a search for Nanded, Tenkasi and the Kanpur blasts. Keep in mind that when a clandestine movement is brought to light, it is the clumsiest, least sophisticated, worst-supervised fringes which are found out first: the more organized the operation, the less likely we are to ever know about it. Nevertheless it is my opinion — and I’ll back it up with money, if anyone’s betting — that within eight months you will have heard a lot more about Hindu terrorist groups.

  11. October 2, 2008 8:14 AM

    Would invite readers of this blog, and the author to read up some articles here:

    1. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/look-who-hijacked-jamia/367985/ : My Arif Mohammed Khan (of the Shah Bano case); It’s important to notice the sane voices of the Muslim people commenting on this article

    2. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/You-re-either-with-us-or-against-us/368483 : An article by this IPS officer who defines the cynical mindset of people, similar to the the author of this article, and a proclamation of muslims wanting to hear what this author asks, and branding this article as “progressive” media.

    Hope cynics and conspiracy theorists like Mr. Nigam on this list, and my muslim friends, would gain some insight from the two articles.

  12. ranju radha permalink
    October 2, 2008 11:19 AM

    Such “insight” seems to be the core of the “criminality” of our combing and law and order maintenance system. Poor Indians what all such inborn “insights” do we need to imbibe!!

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