Myth of ‘Hindu Terror’ exposed
The acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and three others brought to trial for the killing of 68 people on board the Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express near Panipat in February 2007 is bound to be seen as victory of justice. The arrest of Sadhvi Pragya, Lt Col Purohit and Swami Aseemanand elicited much joy and satisfaction amongst a section of the polity, professional activists and many in the media. Here, it is apt to mention that P Chidambaram, during his tenure as Home Minister, raised the issue of ‘Hindu Terror’ in August 2010. The then Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh and the then Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde took over the mantle soon after. Shinde made an outrageous and baseless statement on January 20, 2013, at Jaipur Chintan Shivir of Congress alleging that the training camps run by the RSS and the BJP were promoting Hindu terrorism. His statements were celebrated by the terrorist organisations, based in Pakistan. With an eye on the minority votes, it seems, the Congress followed a conscious strategy to link Hindutva to terrorism. Interestingly, after the creation of National Investigation Agency (NIA), all such cases were clubbed together by the UPA government, which helped in coining a malicious terminology of ‘Hindu Terror’.
Having said this, it is worthwhile to mention that the ‘secular brigade’ says that the change of regime at the Centre in 2014 may have weakened the NIA’s case. But there is also another possibility. The UPA, in its over-enthusiasm to establish ‘Hindu Terror’, was trying its utmost to build a false narrative. This could also be a reason for the case to fall flat. Armed with power and intent on using the ghastly incident to push a political agenda to Samjhauta Express bomb blast, top officials gave an ugly twist to the incident just because the government of the day was bent on proving that the incident was a conspiracy of the so-called ‘Hindu militants’. However, a retired officer involved in the investigating into the case laid bare how officials at that time not only twisted the entire case to give it a saffron touch but also let the main accused–a Pakistani national, arrested soon after the incident–go scot-free to just fulfil their agenda. But the funny part is, while the country that is haven to terrorists always deny any involvement in terror acts, a section of us Indians are always bending over backwards to establish ‘Hindu Terror’. Do they really hate themselves so much? Or, as always, is it about Modi? As much as there could be suspicions that witnesses turned hostile subsequent to change of the government, equally strong suspicions were there that these cases were foisted to create and sustain a narrative of ‘Hindu Terror’. As the ‘secular brigade’ browbeats its chest over the involvement of the government in weakening the case, can we ever come to know on what grounds the leads of US agencies on LeT, as the perpetrators of the blasts, weren’t pursued? It may be noted that in all three cases–Malegaon blast, Ajmer Sharif blast and Samjhauta blast–initial probe pointed towards involvement of Pakistan-based terrorist outfits. This is also mentioned in the confessional statement of David Hadley. They were even made public. But, after some time the probe agencies changed track and named and focused on Aseemanand and other Hindu religious leaders. There is a suspicion that lingers on that the LeT terror group was involved in the Samjhauta Express blast case. And some members of this group were first caught and then released during the UPA rule. Attention was suddenly turned to the right wing Hindu groups, led by Swami Asseemanand, with the special interest of P. Chidambaram with the term ‘Hindu Terror’. Something seemed wrong in this sudden change of culprits by the police force. Perhaps that was why they were acquitted after they turned hostile to the statements that were forced out of them at first.
By Deepak Kumar Rath