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How Rahul Gandhi got the IB alert on Muzaffarnagar WRONG

Last updated on: October 25, 2013 17:49 IST

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi claimed in a rally in Indore on Thursday that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence was trying to recruit disgruntled riot-affected youngsters from Muzaffarnagar. 

According to a source, the Intelligence Bureau has been keeping a close watch on the situation in Muzaffarnagar, and till date there has been no attempt made by the ISI to lure riot-affected Muslims. The information that has been put out in this regard, as part of the IB's standard operating procedure, clearly states that 'in case the riot victims are not rehabilitated, there is a chance of some elements trying to lure them into their fold'.

There is no mention of an ISI presence in Muzaffarnagar so far.

According to an intelligence source, usually, the ISI shows up in riot-hit areas in India and tries to take advantage of the situation. But there is no such instance yet in Muzaffarnagar.

So on what basis did Rahul make that statement? The information regarding Muzaffarnagar started off by a handout warning that the riot victims have to be rehabilitated failing which some persons could take advantage of the same. However, by the time this information reached the Congress leader, it had been changed.  

Some sources even blame an officer who could have changed the information to make it politically more effective. There is also a probe on to find out if that officer is attempting to contest the next elections, because of which he could have given out such a politically charged statement.

Rahul’s statement, however, has been trashed by the Muslim community, including several clerics from Uttar Pradesh, saying that if he has information why is he not doing anything about it. 

Referring to the withdrawal of the controversial ordinance on convicted lawmakers following Rahul's intervention, Maulana Yasoob Abbas, a cleric, said that if Rahul could get a Union Cabinet decision reversed in a press conference, then why has he not done anything about this.

“Politicians have always played with the sentiments of the minorities and this is just an attempt to divert from real issues such as poverty and price rise,” he added. 

Sources told that Muzaffarnagar has been on a constant watch, and since they were aware that some elements could try and capitalise on the situation there, extreme caution has been taken to ensure that nothing untoward takes place.

India has had a bad experience in the past with Pakistan-based elements recruiting riot-affected persons for terror activities. But intelligence agencies have managed to curb such occurrence to a large extent.

“We have found in the recent past that only people not connected with the riots, but feel strongly about it nevertheless, are the ones who have fallen into the ISI's trap,” said an official.

Vicky Nanjappa