Dust Surrounding Mumbai Case - India

Dust Surrounding Mumbai Case

Posted by Aneela Shahzad on

Does it amaze the world that every time it is 26/11, the Pakistanis start chanting the Samjhotta Express babble? Well we have good reason to do so, observe:

  • Samjhotta Express Bombing (2007) was a terrorist attack on Indian soil 
  • It happened just one year before the Mumbai Attacks  
  • The 68 killed & 50 injured were Pakistani civilians  
  • Nov 2008 Indian official report suspicion on Col Parohit  
  • Col is member of Abhinav Bharat, a Hindu Nationalist party   
  • Abhinav Bharat is also known for its charity works  
  • 2010, India's NIA claims Swami Aseemanand of Saffron Terror Outfit behind bombing  
  • 2011, India High Court: NIA is biased/associated with United Progressive Alliance  
  • 2012 commentators start voicing the names of Lashkar e Toiba and Jaish e Muhammad  
  • 2009 US accuses/holds Arif Qasmani(LeT) as suspect for bombings  
  • 2012 NIA arrests Kamal Chouhan of RSS as prime suspect  
  • To date no one has been accused in court

The 26/11 dilemma, 2008, took the lives of over 150 innocent civilians and injured over 300. As one can gather from the facts provided above, the Indian police, investigation and judiciary are not the most dependable and flawless, as one goes through the details one finds insufficient reporting, confused interrogation, indecisive judiciary and a will of the higher authorities not to pursue the eventual truth.

The same is to be observed in the Mumbai case, where we see from the beginning a weak interrogation of the prime suspect, who is being interrogated by staff that cannot speak urdu but only Marathi. Then we see a series of self-conflicting confessional statements from Kassab being released by the police, who confess that they could not record anything from Kassab on video as he would warn them that he would not speak if the cameras were on (how crude for a state criminal’s interrogation). In the video confession he babbles out that his father was a ‘dahi wala’ in Lahore and that ‘he turned to violence in part because his impoverished family was promised almost $4000 US dollars if his attack succeeded.’ Both statements contradicting the official stance that he was a run away from home, having no contact with his family when he met the alleged LeT guys and that his parents had barely ever left the rural Faridkot area in their lives.

As the trial moved into its final proceedings the verdict given against Kassab was of a rather personal nature, it says “The court held Kasab, 23, individually responsible for seven murders and together with his accomplice Abu Ismail, responsible for 66 other killings on the night of November 26, 2008… He was also held guilty for abetting and conspiracy in the murders of the remaining 166 victims… Calling Kasab’s crime the “rarest of rare”, “brutal, grotesque and diabolical” murders… There is hardly any scope for a person like Kasab to be rehabilitated or reformed…” (Source: Times of India; Feb 22, 2011).

So, it turns out to be the case that the Indian authorities are satisfied in hanging one Kassab for 156 Indian civilians killed; was it not a matter of terrorism against the state of India, was is not necessary for the Indian government at the highest level to ensure that they get to the root of the case and find conclusive undeniable links uncovering the whole network of gangsters related to such abhorable crimes against humanity, be the roots in India or in Pakistan. But no, India was good with a dead Kassab and a dead case.

But unfortunately for India, closing the case does not put an end to basic human curiosity, people concerned about truth, in both India and Pakistan will keep on looking for the missing links and keep on inquiring upon lapses they find in their own governments, their own institutions and those of the others. One such link is Hemant Karkare, the chief of the Mumbai Anti-terrorist squad, shot down by Kassab and an accomplice, in an ally, in a face to face encounter with the terrorist. In India, are the chiefs supposed to fight hand battles in the streets? Do they not have the provision to wear bullet proof jackets? Hement’s assassination has been surrounded by a lot of suspicion in India, and there is good reason behind it.

Hement Karkare was a link that joined many dots, he had sought to unveil the culprits behind the Nanded bomb blasts (2006), the Malegaon bomb blasts (2007), the bomb blasts in local trains (2007) and the Samjhota Express incident. How was Karkare in such a position? As it happened Karkare had return after a seven years’ service in Austria in the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), learning new techniques of espionage before his last designation in Mumbai, thus acquiring skill beyond the ordinary Indian machinery. While investigating the Malegoan incident that had fell under his inquiry, he was able to track down several links that were proving to be connecting several terror outfits and their covert relations with Hindu extreme organizations. The suspects he arrested on account of the Malegoan case were released under pressure of the  Bharatiya Janta Party and Shiv Sena, and other Hindu organizations.  Time and again as Karkare found new evidences he would hint the press of exposing the sprawling network of Hindutva terrorists in the country which had saffron robed sadhus/sanyasin on the one hand army personnel on the other. He reached the nefarious acts of Col Parohit and his affiliation with Abinav Bharat and that he was the one who had provided the explosives used in the Shamjhota express incidence. If Kassab had incidentally killed Karkare, perhaps he had killed the possibility of his own identification, before his arrest, as he had killed this man who was parallel to an institution for India, and who should certainly not have been in the street, facing encounters. Many in India, including his wife have accused extremist parties of India for plotting against him.

Another thing that will always amaze us is how all terrorist that have acted in India, and swiftly accused as begotten by Pakistan, always have a link back in the US. As it happens the US government and the UNSC were swift to accuse and admit Arif Qasami for alleged involvement in the Samjhota bombings, but he is still only the main ‘suspect’ after five years of indecisive and inconclusive trial. The same with David Headley accused of several charges, pleading guilty in 2010, for plotting against the employees of a newspaper in Copenhagen. And still under trial after four years.  On May 31, 2011, Headley testified that the ISI leadership was not involved in planning the Mumbai attacks. Where are the evidence that led to their arrests and if they are not enough to convict them, why are they still held; more so does the US lack of having even a single Karkare who could find the links to them, so the terror could be nipped at the bud?

One wonders if the prime concern of all higher authorities is to aware the public of the reality of things or is it to keep them completely in the darkness of doubt and ignorance.