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Friday, June 18, 2010

Ajmer blast investigation in media: 2007 and 2010


Investigation by the Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad has brought to light new, and supposedly real, faces behind the deadly attacks in the Ajmer shrine in 2007. And the CBI says that the Ajmer and Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts are linked, done by the same forces.

So what about all the news stories published in the media about the so-called Islamic terrorists like the HuJI behind those bomb blasts? What about all the articles published by the media based on the revelations of ‘intelligence officers’ and ‘official sources’?

Three people were killed and 17 others injured when a bomb exploded in the Ajmer Dargah Sharif on October 11, 2007. As always, the police, government and media began to hunt for the involvement of the so-called ‘Islamic terrorists’ with Pakistani and Bangladeshi connections. That the blast took place in a Muslim shrine, killing and injuring Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan was not a matter at all. The Harkat-ul Jehad e Islami based in Karachi became the prime suspect immediately.

On October 13, Praveen Swami wrote in ‘The Hindu’ on why the Islamic terrorist groups’ should attack a Muslim shrine. Certain media doubted the HuJI while some speculated that the HuJI had organized the blast in association with other terrorist groups. Shahid Bilal was the man reported to be the key operative behind the attack. The Rajasthan police also suspected Syed Salim, a victim of the blast and former resident of Hyderabad, to be a part of the HuJI network and claimed that he must have triggered the bomb, but the Andhra police rejected the theory stating Salim had no record of any terror link. The report by Shishir Gupta in the Indian Express on October 15 added – ‘Official sources said that nothing concrete has emerged so far in the probe and any link of the HUJI or its operative Shahid Bilal to this case is still to be established.

The police picked up many clergymen and madrasa teachers during the investigation. One person named Bashir was arrested by the UP police. He is reported to have given clues about Moulvi Abdul Hafiz Shamim who also ran a madrasa besides being the moulvi in a local masjid. Moulvi was reportedly tortured in police custody for 18 days and then set free for lack of evidence. Khushbur Rahman, a teacher in a Rajasthani madrasa, was arrested on October 25 from his home in Jharkhand and released on November 6 on want of evidence. Moulvi Imran Ali was picked up as per the clues given by Khushbur Rahman.

The reports of 2007 stated clearly that the Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts were linked, though not in the way it is said now. The way the two blasts were organized looked similar. In both cases one bomb was left unexploded. Investigators feel the Mecca Masjid attack and the Ajmer blast were carried out by the same group — HuJI Bangladesh — due to similarities in the modus operandi. Both used a mobile phone trigger and unexploded devices were found after both strikes’.

‘The police have stumbled upon evidence indicating that the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) used in Mecca Masjid and Ajmer blasts were fabricated in Hyderabad .. ... Bangladeshi HuJI activist Abu Hamja prepared eight IEDs in Hyderabad in May first week and the explosive material was smuggled into the city from Bangladesh by an alleged LeT operative Shaik Abdul Nayeem of Maharashtra, sources said on Friday. While two IEDs were used in Mecca Masjid, four were sent to Ajmer. One bomb at the mosque failed to detonate.’.

And more importantly, SIM cards of mobile phones were used to trigger the bomb in both cases; the seller of the SIM cards was traced to Jharkhand. A report of the IANS said -"The central intelligence team was in Jamtara and they interrogated Sahid, the owner of Sargam Telecom. Sahid had sold the SIM card used in the Ajmer blast to someone called Babulal Yadav without asking for valid documents," a police official told IANS 

The report also states that the name and address given by the man who bought the SIM card were false. The fake name on the ID card was traced to Babulal Yadav of Jharkhand while the photo was that of Tarak Nath Pramanik, a yoga instructor in Noida. The report continues about the police interrogation of Sahid and the alleged connections that the Pakistan’s ISI has in Jharkhand. A report carried by the Indian Express states that the government contacted Pakistan on the matter: ‘India is learnt to have referred to Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islami (HuJI) and its commander Shahid Bilal, who is alleged to have masterminded nearly all the recent terror strikes in the country’

The then Home minister Shivraj Patil also made the following statement after visiting the blast site at Ajmer “I am fully aware of the progress of the investigations and how far it has reached. The investigation is going as far as our borders,”.

From O. Najiya's outstanding report in Two Circles. More Here.

2 comments:

Thahir Makery said...

Kudos to O Najiya. The analysis was excellent. She has taken great efforts to point out the serious lapses of the media.

What we witness nowadays is that everything doled out by the intelligence agencies is faithfully being carried out by the media. They don't cross check. They don't analyse. The need of the hour is to expose this lacuna.

In this scenario, the analysis by O Najiya deserves all praise. Alhumdulillah!

Shah View said...

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This site is to enable more and more people to benefit from the blessings of Khawaja Baba and realise the power of All mighty Allah and his disciple, Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty of Ajmer.
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