At last, it seems the national security apparatus has woken up. A front page news story published in DNA e-paper reports that intelligence agencies suspect the hands of Hindu radical groups in bomb blasts.
The signals were there. First it came from Nanded. Then the samjohta express incident. Then the Tenkasi happened. Let us hope for the best.
The report submitted by Josy Joseph, New Delhi deals with these questions.
Excerpts from the report is given below.
For full report click DNA.
Is a fringe hindu fundamentalist group, or groups, behind at least some of the bomb blasts across the country?
the security establishment is once again seriously probing this angle in the wake of the arrest of several members of the sanatan sanstha and the hindu janajagruti samiti for crude bombs planted in mumbai in recent days.
an official closely involved with anti-terror investigations all over india says, "we are aware that some fringe hindu groups want to carry out blasts, but we still don't know their spread and expertise. as of now we believe they don't have the training to make sophisticated explosives."
the official, and at least two others, told dna that there are at least a few blasts in recent years in which hindu groups cannot be ruled out as suspects.
for the past several years, some dependable intelligence sources have had a nagging suspicion that such outfits were active underground. in april 2006, a blast in nanded gave evidence of their suspicions coming true. two hindu fanatics were killed and four injured in the blast, which happened when they were assembling bombs.
over the past two years, more evidence came in. the bombs that were going off at regular intervals all over india suddenly became locally assembled, no more was rdx - a key ingredient of the bombs - smuggled from pakistan.
"at least two of the blasts gave us further reason to believe that the hindu fringe elements are involved," says a senior intelligence hand, referring to the blasts in malegaon and delhi's jama masjid in 2006.
but with no concrete evidence emerging and nanded remaining an isolated case, the security establishment had been back to focusing its energies on islamist groups such as harkat-ul-jihad-islami and lashkar-e-taiba.
the cbi has yet not been able to make any credible breakthroughs in their probe into the blast in a malegaon mosque in september 2006. similarly, there are no publicly stated culprits behind the blasts in jama masjid. in both the cases, agencies suspected some fringe hindu group.
investigations into the nanded blast had given credible inputs to prove that in april 2006, hindu fanatics planted a bomb in a parbhani mosque in which at least 25 people were injured. the same people were involved in the nanded blasts.
in november 2007, as multiple bombs went off in the court premises of up most pointed fingers at the islamist groups. but a minority in the security establishment was not convinced, given the errors in the email warning sent out to media houses minutes before the blasts. someone well versed in islam had not drafted the mail, and it was more linked to the local politics of india than to the larger jehad goals, some point out.
with the maharashtra ats now establishing the bomb making capabilities of the fringe hindu groups, intelligence analysts are taking a second look at the possibility of their involvement in some blasts of the recent past.