The Supreme Court (SC) has pulled up RSS Chief Mr. Mohan Bhagwat for suggesting that the former Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) chief Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 attack in Mumbai, was being pressured to implicate the RSS in the Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blast cases.
Mr. Bhagwat has claimed that Karkare had informed him five days before his death at the hands of Pakistani terrorists that there was pressure being exerted on him to implicate RSS activists in the terror cases. This was revealed to the Apex Court by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) which is investigating these terror cases. The SC described Mr. Bhagwat’s statement 'unnecessary'.
It is good that NIA as well as the Supreme Court are alert to all statements being made on these terror cases. But one is truly surprised that NIA, the government, the opposition and the rest of the media have refused to take note of what has been repeatedly and persistently pointed out in these columns. Surely the pursuit of justice and truth should have taken note of what had been pointed out?
It was repeatedly written in these columns that “the 1267 committee of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which mandated sanctions on the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban, froze assets, banned travel and imposed an arms embargo on Arif Qasmani, a Karachi businessman who it described as the ‘chief coordinator’ for Lashkar’s links with outside groups… In its press release the 1267 committee stated: ‘Qasmani has worked with LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks, to include the July 2006 train bombing in Mumbai, India, and the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, India…Arif Qasmani has also provided financial and other support to Al Qaeda…Al Qaeda provided Qasmani with operatives to support… the February 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing in Panipat, India’…The names of the four Lashkar operatives who carried out the Samjhauta attack were provided by the UNSC report. The four named were Arif Qasmani, Fazeel-A-Tul Shaykh Abu Mohammed Ameen al-Peshawari, Mohammed Yahya Mujahid and Nasir Javaid.”
The UN assertion does not square with the findings of the NIA based upon the purported confession of Hindutva activist Swami Aseemanand that he had planted the Samjhauta Express bombs. The contradiction posed in these columns was: “If Aseemanand is correct, the UN was wrong. If the UN was correct, Aseemanand is wrong.”
India has always accused the Pakistani activist Hafiz Saeed of being its most wanted terrorist. The UN had declared Jama'at-ud-Da'wah a terrorist organization in December 2008 and Hafiz Saeed its leader as a terrorist. The Jama’at is considered to be a front organization and the mentor of the Lashkar. But if the Lashkar itself is not a terrorist and is being unfairly blamed for terrorist acts that were in fact perpetrated by RSS sympathizers should not the Indian authorities stop accusing Hafiz Saeed and inform Pakistan that it no longer wants his arrest or curb on his activities?
Since the NIA, the government, the opposition and the media have all ignored this glaring unexplained incompatibility of assertions by the UN and NIA, might one hope that the SC will take notice? Since the honourable court is seized with finding the truth, surely the remarks of the United Nations are as worthy of notice as are statements by the RSS Chief?