On December 2, 2002, a blast in a stationary double-decker bus in Ghatkopar, northeast Mumbai, killed 3 persons and injured 28; the same day, another bomb was defused in Andheri, northwest Mumbai. On December 6, an explosion in Bombay Central injured 25. On January 28, 2003, a bomb exploded in the Vile Parle market, northwest Mumbai, injuring 30. On March 13, a blast at Mulund railway station, northeast Mumbai, killed 12 people and injured 70. Mumbai, once again, was under attack.
Twenty days after the first blast, the arrests began. Zaheer Sheikh, an electronics engineer, was arrested for providing accommodation to one saboteur. Dr Abdul Mateen, a PhD professor in forensic science and toxicology at the Grant Medical College, was picked up in Aurangabad. Imran Rehman Khan, deported from the UAE, disclosed that he had been summoned by a Lashkar-e-Tayiba front organisation in Saudi Arabia to plan a "revenge of Gujarat killings." Taufiq Ahmed of the banned Muslim Defence Force nabbed in Tirunelvelli for masterminding the 2002 Sai Baba Nagar blasts, was found to be involved in the Mulund blast. And so on and so forth...
The number of arrests seems to be around 15. The police have established that all the explosions were linked to the same conspirators, and, 3 earlier murder cases and a Kolkata abduction case were a fallout of the same conspiracy. Police have seized 4 AK-46 rifles, 3 pistols, 250 hand grenades, 160 live cartridges, etc, from Padgah village near Thane. Of the pistols recovered, one had been among those arms which had landed in Bombay during the 1993 blasts; one of the grenades was made in an ordnance factory (the police didn't say which, but I'm sure it's the Pakistani factory set up with Austrian assistance). Also recovered were 1 kg of potassium cyanide, several bottles of sulphuric acid, ammonium nitrate.
Thing is, the Mumbai police managed to zero in on the devotees of the "religion of peace" so quickly because some of them were already in their crosshairs since before the blasts: The fundamentalist-divisive-communalist force routinely kept watch on a certain banned organisation which has gallantly been defended by the "secular" well-wishers of India:
- September 5, 2000: A delegation of teachers and students of the Aligarh Muslim University, led by its proctor, protest against the arrest of SIMI member Abdul Mobin. Students go on a rampage damaging property, despite the police informing them that Mobin is wanted in connection with the serial bomb blasts all over UP.
- October 16: The Milli Gazette states: "[The UP police] have found a new target in the form of SIMI. Muslim youths, who have not adopted pop culture and live simply and offer five times namaaz, are being branded as SIMI activist and their activities and movements are being observed."
- October 29: The Imam of Tilewali Masjid (Lucknow) Maulana Fazlur criticises the arrests of SIMI activists. At the same meet, "noted Islamic scholar Dr Mohammed Anis said the US and its allies who wanted to have absolute control over the natural resources of poor countries had coined the term 'Islamic terrorism' to blame Muslims who were opposing the hegemony of the superpower."
- April 25, 2001: Jamaat-e-Islami and Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, then elected as a member of the Mecca-based World Muslim League, inaugurates the silver jubilee celebrations of SIMI in Delhi.
- September 27: Demonstrators protest the arrest of 3 local SIMI leaders in Lucknow. Violence erupts when police seal off SIMI offices after Delhi imposes a ban on the group.
- September 28: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board, led by Maulana Qazi MI Qasmi, calls a meeting to flay the government for the ban on SIMI. The meeting is attended by Maulana Mohd Sirajul Hasan of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Syed Shahabuddin. The Muslim Political Council of India accuses the government of adopting a biased attitude against Muslims, saying, "The ban on SIMI is unjust... and politically motivated." Sunni and Shia Ulema, including the much-revered Maulana Kalbe Jawwad and Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, tell the press that the ban on SIMI is illegal.
- September 28: Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh Yadav demands an immediate withdrawal of the ban since SIMI activists have been implicated on "flimsy charges" and are innocent of anti-national activities.
- September 28: The CPI(M-L) opposes the ban on SIMI since it is imposed on "flimsy grounds like Osama Ben [sic] Laden being their source of inspiration, or their belief in pan-Islamism."
- October 8: The Samajwadi Party in West Bengal threatens to call a bandh unless the crackdown on SIMI is halted. Vijay Upadhyay says the police must halt the "illegal detention" and "harassment" of SIMI activists. He reminds the CM that the CPI-M Politburo and other "secular" parties have opposed the move. The Association for Protection of Democratic Rights condemns the ban.
- March 26, 2002: Sonia Gandhi, during an extraordinary joint session convened for the introduction of the POTO bill, says that the anti-terrorism measure had been selectively used to ban an organisation that had nothing to do with terrorism in J&K. [This bit goes unreported by every 'national,' English-language newspaper of India.]
Here's my point: If an illness is not recognised as such, it cannot be diagnosed and treated. All these aforesaid Muslims instantly fell back on "Islam khatre mein hain" -- without considering the subversive actions of SIMI. That makes them rank Islamists -- those who want to, slowly but surely, see Dar-ul Islam in Hindustan. None are interested in the well-being of pluralistic India and its citizens.
The "secularists," on the other hand, use that Islamist perversity only to build up their electoral vote-banks. Each time I indicate an Islamist perversity, I'm told that I sow discord, hate Muslims, want to see them dead, etc, etc. Or, I'm asked why I don't indict errant Hindus as well. In all this, not a single "secularist" actually refutes my points or proves (and not just pronounces) my data to be fabricated. This is the hallmark of a people only pretending to be asleep.
Whether Islamist or "secularist"; whether politician, reporter or commoner, everybody knew that SIMI was involved in anti-national and anti-Hindu activities -- right up to the point when the government banned it:
- June 21, 2000; The Asian Age: The Students' Islamic Movement of India, a frontal organisation of the Jamaat-e-Islami, has started a campaign to prepare Muslim minorities for a full blown jihad against Hindus...
- September 8; The Daily Excelsior: SIMI's new plans are meant to trigger bomb blasts in various parts of the country. The plans, according to international sources, also cover certain parts in the northeast, particularly Assam, where three Muslim militant outfits have already been reported to have established close contacts with SIMI... Kashmiri militants had already imparted training to a large number of SIMI activists in the use of grenades and IEDs.
- September 5; The Asian Age: SIMI has been found to have masterminded and executed the series of bomb blasts that rocked UP on the eve of Independence Day. Two SIMI activists, Mohd Maroof and Abdul Mobin, who were arrested on Sunday from Agra and Aligarh respectively, have confessed that they were involved in triggering off the blasts on the Sabarmati Express on August 14 that had killed over a dozen persons. The two also admitted their role in the blasts in Kanpur on August 14 and 15, and in Lucknow on August 15.
- September 24; rediff.com: Elaborating on the awareness spread by SIMI, [national president Shahid] Badr said his organisation wanted to establish a state ruled by followers of Allah and in this regard, SIMI activists have undertaken a task to impart a true Islamic way of life among people, particularly to Muslims.
- October 12; The Asian Age: "All allegations against Osama are concocted by the USA and there is a conspiracy to provoke Indians into taking a position against him." [SIMI secretary general Safdar] Nagauri's statement comes two days after a conference in Kanpur, in which SIMI leaders had praised bin Laden and had claimed that as long as he followed 'hadees', he would remain a role model for SIMI activists.
- March 29, 2001; The Asian Age: The controversial SIMI Wednesday said that the prevailing circumstances in India urgently needed "a character like Mahmud Ghaznavi to end the suppression of minorities and dalits."
- August 7; The Pioneer: Links between Hizbul Mujahideen militants and some activists of SIMI have been revealed following recent arrests in cases of terrorist violence... SIMI has some 20,000 dedicated members and hundreds of thousands of sympathisers.
- August 18; Newspaper Today: Among the startling revelations of the Hizbul Mujahideen militants arrested by the Delhi Police earlier this month was that large consignments of explosives have been changing hands from the courtyards of popular mosques like the Jama Masjid, ostensibly to provide an air of sanctimony to the 'jehadi' missions. Also, the Delhi-headquartered SIMI has been providing safehouses to militants and even helping them in subversive acts. The revelations are corroborated by interrogation reports of 23 SIMI activists rounded up from Hyderabad, Kanpur, Jalgaon and Nagpur soon after the arrests of the HM militants.
- September 13; The Times of India: Ask how peace would prevail if the [Ayodhya] site remained disputed, and [SIMI's Khalid Shaikh] says, "Peace will come only when Islam rules."
- September 28; rediff.com: A meeting held in Bahraich town of UP by SIMI a fortnight ago provided authorities the clinching evidence they were looking for to ban the outfit, say officials. "SIMI president Shahid Badr and former chief Mohammad Anees had openly tried to incite communal passion and even called upon the gathering to defy the Indian Constitution and Parliament," he said.
It was after knowing all this that the protests in support of SIMI -- on the streets and in Parliament -- took place...
On March 29 this year, a Mumbai crime branch team went to the majority-Muslim Padgah village near Thane to arrest Sakib Abdul Hamid Nachen, a SIMI activist involved in the Ghatkopar blast. When they were taking Nachen towards the jeep, a mob -- including women -- surrounded the jeep and prevented the police from taking him. This is what Raj means by "critical mass."
On May 3, two militant training camps were unearthed on hilltops near Mumbai; all the blasts-accused had visited the camps for giving training in use of firearms. The camps were being used for the past 2 years for training jihadis. Who trained in them? Another PhD professor like Dr Abdul Mateen? Another NDA lecturer like Anwar Ali...? Fact is, there are more Islamists in India than "secularists" will admit even to themselves. And, it is not "poverty" and "no opportunity" that makes them jihadis. As with their idol Osama, it is pure Khilafah -- the urge to impose Islamic supremacy in India -- that guides them. This must be accepted by the so-called M&Ms and the "secularists" before India can take steps towards communal harmony.
Depressed enough...? Antagonised enough...?
Now for the good news. And I mean, REALLY GOOD NEWS: A new organisation called the Muslim Youths of India is preaching to Muslims that it's time to break away and debunk the "anti-national" stereotype. Syed Khan, the 32-year-old convener of MY India, says, "What we are saying is that for long people have put religion over nation and it's time to change that... Community, whosever it is, should not come ahead of nation."
Khan says the organisation became a necessity after Mumbai police busted the 2 Mumbai jihad camps run by SIMI; word had spread that young Muslims attended the camps in large numbers. "What we are saying is that Muslims have for long been misled in the name of religion. These forces are destroying the very fabric of our community, which is lagging behind anyway." He plans to start the movement in Mumbai, taking it to other cities and then finally to the villages. The 250-odd members will intensively campaign to keep Muslims away from the "gun and religion trap."
"There are many who are asking me 'why are you conceding that Muslims have taken up the gun or are joining the SIMI -- it will only increase the atrocities against us.' But I tell them that this has to stop... I tell them that I offer namaaz five times a day. I love my religion but I will not let my country disintegrate... MY India will tackle the adversity because we are convinced this movement is for the good of everybody," Khan says.
Of course, the climb is going to VERY steep: Ahmed H Hussain, a businessman from Mumbai, declares, "It is ridiculous. This new breed of boys just want to reap some benefits for themselves. They have to take into account what we have gone through all these years and recently in Gujarat. What aggression are they talking about, who is the aggressor?"
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