OffStumped For All Things Right of Center, Bringing a Right of Centre Reality Check to Indian Politics, News Media Reporting and Opinion now in Hindi अब आप के लिये हिंदी मे.

Day 4 after Hyderabad blasts, fireworks in Parliament. BJP Leader LK Advani charges the Congress with communalizing the fight against terrorism, says Minority Appeasement resulting in Appeasement of Terrorism, once again calls for POTA to be reinstated. In response Parliamentary Affair P.R. Dasmunshi changes the subject rakes up Advani’s Jinnah remarks and Ram Mandir issue. Meanwhile the Hyderabad Police have released a sketch of a 25 year old man who was seen around the incidents with a black bag. Media outrage continues with Indian Express and Praveen Swami in The Hindu keeping up the investigative work and the Times of India with its newfound love for Internet based Opinion Building for the first endorses Offstumped’s Characterization of the attack in Hyderabad as an Attack on India and an Act of Treason and hence calling for a commensuarate response. It remains to be seen how far the mainstream media’s activisim on this issue will be sustained.

Yesterday Offstumped highlighted the MHA’s year end review and its internal presentations where it acknowledged “Pak ISI Backed” terrorism in India. Today Offstumped sheds further light on from multiple sources within the Government.

On 22nd April 2004, the ADC to the Governor of Andhra Pradesh compiled a comprehensive paper on Terrorism with a specific focus on Pakistan and ISI activities in Hyderabad. The ADC’s paper is not academic but highly factual with specific names and dates of individuals recruited by the ISI over the years.

The movements of all the ISI trained people, communal offenders, ex-convicts have to be watched carefully and the Police Force has to be sensitised and motivated. The Madrasas (Muslim religious schools) should be prevented from being used as recruiting centres for militants.

 Now note that by April 22nd the Manmohan Singh UPA Government was firmly in the saddle in New Delhi and the Y.S. Rajashekhar Reddy Government in Andhra Pradesh. Also note that as early as 2004 there were warning signals at the highest levels of the State Government with enough evidence in the public domain.

 If that was not proof of enough this paper should blow your mind. This is a status report on the Investigation of Pakistan ISI Related Cases compiled by SP, Intelligence Hyderabad put together in 2004 while POTA was still in force. This report is a must read for every Indian. Its salient features are

– A table listing all ISI Modules unearthed in Andhra Pradesh between 1992 and 2003

– A detailed explanation of how POTA cases should be investigated and handled

– A detailed explanation of how POTA can be used to conduct surveillance and intercept communication

– It also goes into great detail about the AP Organized Crime Control Act which the YSR Government now wants to revive rather belatedly

What is however even more interesting is the description of how some ISI modules got away from the law on account of lapses in prosecuting some of those cases.

More recently on 21st April 2007 in a meeting of Director Generals of Police and Chief Secretaries areport was presented on activities of Pakistan’s ISII in  Punjab.

A month earlier the MHA also published its status paper on Internal Security dated 31st March 2007 where it had this to say

Terrorist Infrastructure in POK and Pakistan yet to be dismantled

Recruitment of Indian youth by LeT and HUJAI-BD linked to LeT & JeM for training in Pak/PoK and their re-launch into India for sabotage and subversive activities.

In the face of this overwhelming body of evidence in the public domain the Government at the highest levels continues to persist with a Ostrich like attitude with its head in the sand on dealing with terrorism.

While it makes noises every now and then there is very little to show by way of action. For example according to the MEA’s annual report on August 24-27 2006 during the 7th Home Secretary level talks in Dhaka

India reiterated its concerns on the activities of Indian Insurgent Groups (IIGs) operating from Bangladesh’s territory. India expressed its deep concern with regard to growing anti-India activities of the ISI from Bangladesh soil and, in this context, pointed out that incidents of terrorism in India have revealed clear links with Bangladesh individuals/outfits like Harkat-ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI).

So what did the Government do to follow up on this. If as early as 2006 clear evidence existed why was no action taken till August 2007.

Why did 44 Indians have to die in Hyderabad for us to revisit the HUJI question ?

Today Home Minister Shivraj Patil whom the JD-U called a “showpiece”, rather aptly, provided no explanation but made some outrageous remarks instead. The Home Minister first rejected the demand to reinstate POTA by calling it a “draconian” law and that it would create “more terrorists”. One can expect uninformed Members of Parliament to make exaggerated claims but one would expect The Home Minister at the very least to quote facts to susbtantiate his remarks.

What facts does the home minister have to substantiate his claim that an anti-terrorism law like POTA created more terrorists ?

None, instead the Home Minister’s response in Parliament went to great lengths to clarify what his Government wont do. It wont reinstate POTA, it will “do nothing to create a Federal Agency”.

So we know what he wont do but do we know what he will do ?

Not a single  new idea from the Home Minister on how his Government intends to pre-empt terror and eliminate it.

Offstumped Bottomline: The Manmohan Singh Government’s delinquency on acting against Terrorism and its state of utter denial on the need for urgent Counter-Terrorism measures is symptomatic of a larger malaise.

The all pervasive environment of tolerance on the part of the Indian Public and the Indian Media despite such overwhelming evidence in the public domain is unforgiveable.

We the people have failed the victims of Mass Terror in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Varnasi, Delhi, Malegaon and the Samjhauta Express by not raising the political costs for the Government of the Day for its inaction and lack of accountability.


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