Unmasking Islamic Terror in Hyderabad
Nearly five months after Hyderabad was ripped apart by the twin blasts and many crude bombs found later, the city police had released a documentary entitled 'Meri Jaan Hyderabad' last week to sensitize people about public safety. This film is planned to be screened in crowded places around the city including that of bus stands, railway stations, malls etc and intend to lessen the gulf between the police and civilians. The film will enable people about the procedures to contact the nearest police personnel incase of coming across with any suspicious activity. However, the intriguing factor is that do our security forces, especially that of police capable enough to take firmness in decision and promptness in action considering its poor infrastructure. Earlier on January 2, a crude bomb kept inside a Tiffin box, was found near NTR Garden closer to Lumbini Park which was rocked by terror bombings in August last year.
Security alert for the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, were issued after two near simultaneous blasts in Hyderabad on August 25 that had killed 40 people and injured 70 others. The first blast had occurred in an open-air theatre in Lumbini Amusement Park, located near the State Secretariat, while the second bomb was detonated approximately 15 minutes later at the Gokul Chat Shop in Kothi in the old city. Casualties would have been much more, if police had defused 19 more bombs placed at several crowded locations in the city. It is said that had all the detected bombs exploded, the death toll would have exceeded the multiple bombings in Mumbai that had killed approximately 186 people. As the Hyderabad explosion coincided with the Hindu festival on August 26, analysts observe that the blast was intended to create communal tensions amongst Hindus and Muslims in the area.
Twin blasts occurred just three months after a bomb was detonated in a historic mosque, the Mecca Masjid, on May 18, killing 13 people and wounding several others. Authorities suspect that the twin blasts were carried out by a Bangladesh-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI), also allegedly involved in the Mecca Masjid blast. Prior to this, in October 12, 2005, a suicide bomber detonated a pressure-activated bomb carried in a backpack at an office of the Hyderabad police.
The city which is the residence of estimated 6.5 million people has a distinction of housing one of the biggest Muslim populations of any Indian city. Northern part of the city is close to Secunderabad town which has off late started merging with Hyderabad. Western part of the city houses India's mighty software empire, popularly known as 'Cyberabad'. There have been rising concern among the people over the threat of Islamic militants on the city's large information technology industry because of its broader economic significance. As the city has off late home to several foreign companies particularly in its IT zone, the terrorists' possible subversive activities in the Information Technology (IT) hub can not be ruled out.
Interestingly, in the whole terror incidents, media focus was primarily centered on the rising security concern amongst the city dwellers and over engrossment with the imaginary external perpetrators such as ISI, LeT ,Hizbul, Jaish or HUJI. But can we say with certainty that they are the real culprits? Is it not premature to jump into the conclusion without investigating the involvement of those who are within? Be it Hyderabad blasts or elsewhere in India in the recent past, enemies in most cases are local radical Islamic elements with an aim to create an Islamic Indian state and pan-Islamic fraternity in the world.
No doubt outfits like ISI, LeT or HUJI are providing logistical and training support, but the trigger has been pulled by the local elements in most cases. The city youth Ziayuddin Nasir who was recently nabbed from Davangere of Karnataka on vehicle theft charge is accused of his involvement in several blasts in Hyderabad. Investigators of the twin blasts case suspect that Nasir either had knowledge of the blasts or indirectly played some role in carrying them out. There have been reports that as a large number of Hyderabad Muslims work in several Islamic countries, radical Islamic organizations find it easier to indoctrinate them for subversive activities against India. After returning to the state, these people allegedly start mobilizing the locals in their neighborhood. Police authorities claim that most of the local terror suspects are indoctrinated expatriates and radical elements especially in Pakistan and Bangladesh perform the role of trainer and resource provider. If we realistically observe the nature of several explosions in Hyderabad, then we will find that the bombs that were used in the blasts were of local made and planted by traitors with 'in with the active support of elements from outside.
It is high time that the nationalist Muslims must openly come out against such miniscule local anti-national elements amongst the peace loving silent majority. Let not the secular fabric of our Nation is destroyed by few misguided men. It is pity that nobody thinks it a shame that such dastardly acts are repeatedly happening in the country. Instead of facilitating speedy inquiries and bringing the real culprits to book, those in power have been busy in neighbor-bashing. So in this atmosphere, it is imperative that the fact should be presented truthfully and the situation should be analyzed objectively and honestly. Media has to be investigative than inventive.
Bishal Das is a research scholar in the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University
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