Asghar Ali Engineer is a Mumbai based Peace activist. He is in the field for the past thirty years. He has been awarded Right livelihood award alongwith Swami Agniwesh in 2004 "...for promoting over many years in South Asia the values of religious and communal co-existence, tolerance and mutual understanding." He has been running centre for study of society and secularism (CSSS) which strives with the of spreadling the spirit of Secularism and communal harmony and social peace.
Now that the latest revelations of Malegaun blasts has hit the nation, Mr. Asghar Ali Engineer has expressed his thoughts in his own way. The following is the excerpts from his thought provoking article "And now Hindu Terrorists?":
I had investigated Malegaon blasts of 2006 and had met all political leaders across party lines and common people and intellectuals and no one was convinced that those arrested after the blasts in 2006 in which more than 50 persons were killed could have been carried out by those arrested by the police. It was important festival and Friday and the bombs went off just when the Friday prayers ended. No Muslim would go for blasting bombs at such a place on such an occasion.
The 2006 blasts should be reinvestigated and I am sure something else would be revealed. I have seen the charge sheets filed by ATS in 2006 Malegaon blasts. It totally depends on confessions obtained in police custody and is bound to fail in any court of law. The real culprits would certainly escape.
Yet the police was determined to blame it only on some ex-SIMI members and would listen to no arguments.
The Nanded blasts in which two Bajrang Dal activists were killed had taken place just before Malegaon blasts of 2006 and there was every possibility of involvement of some of those persons in Malegaon blasts. Similarly the Mecca Masjid blasts of Hyderabad should also be thoroughly reinvestigated as it also took place on Friday just at the end of Friday prayers when thousands of Muslims were coming out of the Mosque.
And all those arrested in Mecca Masjid blasts were also mostly innocent persons. I have heard them in a public hearing in Hyderabad and human rights activists and civil rights group worked hard to get them released on bail as there was nothing by way of credible evidence against them. The courts had to give them bail. The Hyderabad police could not, or did not want to lay its hands on real culprits.
The involvement of some army officers even of the rank of major should not be surprising as many RSS sympathizers are regularly employed and after retirement they become active in Hindutva organizations. The army usually claims to be quite secular, and probably it is, but it should be much more careful while recruiting soldiers and officers. No one with communal background should be recruited. This principle is not being rigorously observed at the time of recruitment. Many people who come out of RSS controlled schools and colleges are recruited in army.
I think it will be better if all terror blast cases be investigated by the police of credible conduct under the supervision of retired high court justices. This will reduce possibility of biased investigation though may not all together eliminate it. It is in the interests of the internal security of the country. It appears communal riots are fast being replaced by bomb blasts and some people suspect, it is new strategy of the communal forces. Major communal riots are becoming increasingly difficult to organize.
The civil society should also become vigilant against all terrorists of whatever religion or group. As communal riots were major danger in twentieth century, terrorist attacks are for 21st century.
To read the full article, click here.