India is a Soft Terror Target

INDIA HAS once again been attacked. In the less than 24 hours, terrorists have struck again. Unfortunately, it is not new to our nation. In the last four years, we have experienced over a dozen attacks in the various parts of the country, which includes, Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Malegaon, Mumbai, Lucknow, Varanasi, Delhi and Hyderabad. The ease with which these terror attacks are being carried out, raises a question: Whether terror-strikes have become as common as theft?

Terrorism in India has taken the form of an iceberg and till date we haven’t been able to unearth more than the tip of this iceberg. As the Center for Defense Information, America says, “India has been the victim of more terrorist attacks, both domestic and international, on its territory than any other country.”

The more disturbing thing is the soft approach of our government. We have a government that is bent on giving a ’safe haven’ to the terrorists. The government has completely failed to face and anticipate that these ’regular’ terror attacks are results a lack of coordination between the intelligence, and the central and state government. The government just uses the agenda of religion as a weapon and tolerance as a breeding ground for terror activities. We, as responsible citizens must question this attitude of government. India has been a top target for militants, and yet the central and the state government doesn’t wake up for some serious action regarding counter attack. It is behaving timidly and relentlessly with such an abysmal, shameless and stoic attitude.

Before naming anyone, government needs to set its responsibilities right. If there is lack of coordination among the state and the central agencies then the government needs to address that first. Every time terror attacks take place, the state agencies blame the Centre and in turn, the Centre washes its hands saying that the state government was warned beforehand but no heed was paid to the warning.

I don’t understand what the ministers are doing at the central level? They need to be more accountable. There is more to their job than just condemning the blasts and waiting for the investigation report. And one must not play politics when it comes to the issue of national security.

Have you ever heard of any breakthrough in these terror investigations? I haven’t heard any (apart from the Parliament attack, but we haven’t been able to hang the guilty yet) instance, where we have been able to nail the mastermind behind the attack. The investigations are going on at all places mentioned before and might continue to go on and on with no results.

We don’t have the spine to take action against these terrorists because of the politics involved. Senior intelligence officials like Ajay Sinha, Raman, TV Rajeswar have pointed out that over 1.5 crores Bangladeshis are overstaying in India. What have we done till date to look into this serious matter? What is even more surprising is that our home minister is not bothered about how these Bangladeshis could come in from the eastern part of the country and settle in various parts. Rather, he is more bothered about the human rights of infiltrators.

What a pity that we don’t have any specific laws dedicated to counter-terrorism. Every major country has such laws but we go the other way round. The government dismissed the Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) that was specially designed to tackle terrorism. United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is also sitting on the Apex court’s decision to remove the Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunals (IMDT) Act.

The government have been ineffectual in destroying the sleeping cells and local support for the terrorists. All because it say, “Let us not target any particular community”. Who is asking them to target an entire community? The Muslim community is not a party to terror and only a few people are responsible for it, then why does the government believe that any attempt to nab the terrorists would lead to opposition from the community?

The people who justify these acts should also be surceased. In India, we have list of such people, who try bizzare logic in defence of terrorists in cases such as the Babri Mosque case, Gujarat Riots or poverty. Fouad Ajami, arguably one of the most politically influential Arab-American intellectuals of this generation says, “There is another issue that has been brought to the fore by commentaries on the UK bombings: The role of apologists, fellow travellers and grievance peddlers, who exhort us to ’understand basic issues’ and attend to ’root causes’, instead of focussing on the challenge of terrorism.

Serial Blasts Rock Ahmedabad

At least�29 people were killed and over 100�were injured as 16 serial bomb blasts rocked Ahmedabad on Saturday evening. Cycles were probably used to plant the bombs while some were placed on buses, G K Parmar, joint commissioner of Ahmedbad police, told rediff.com.�

Parmar said that�the police are on the lookout for more live bombs. The explosions occurred at Maninagar, Isanpur, Narol circle, Bapunagar, Hatkeshwar and Sarangpur bridge, Sarkej and Odhav and created a wave of panic.

Crowded areas including market places were hit in the synchronised ‘low-intensity’ explosions in a space of 60 to 70 minutes after the first blast hit Maninagar at 6.45 pm. The bombs placed in tiffin boxes were strapped on to bicycles. Some of the blast sites were in sensitive areas in the old city but the situation was peaceful as the night wore on.

There were three blasts in Maninagar–the constituency of Chief Minister Narendra Modi–and two in Sarkhej targeting a state transport CNG bus and near the old Sangam theatre.

“As per the latest information, 29 persons were killed,” Modi told reporters late on Saturday night.

Significantly, two blasts occurred in the premises of Civil and LG hospitals where several victims of the explosions in other areas were being rushed exacerbating the already tense situation. A nationwide alert has been sounded.

A shocked Modi said the Ahmedabad blasts was a ‘war against India’ and a handiwork of terror groups. Declaring there should be one voice against terrorism, Modi also said there is a ‘mastermind group and a mastermind country’ behind the blasts. The people behind the attack will be ‘hounded out’, said Modi, who also spoke to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“The blasts were of low intensity and similar to those which hit Bangalore,” Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters in Kanpur.

A common feature seen at the blast sites was use of blue ballbearings in the explosions.

The civic authorities have stopped plying of all the city transport buses.

Gujarat has been put on high alert following the blast. Security has been beefed up across the state, particularly in Gandhinagar, and special police teams were deployed at vulnerable places, said Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah.

He said the government would take all measures to maintain law and order.�

Sources said that minutes before the blasts, the Intelligence Bureau received a mail from the Indian Mujahideen, which stated, “Stop us if you can.”

A couple of bombs were reported to have been placed in tiffin boxes in a modus operandi similar to the explosions outside a Lucknow court last year.

A high level meeting of state director general of police and home secretaries will be convened shortly, said Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta.

The Ahmedabad serial blasts come a day after two people were killed in�nine serial blasts that shook Bengaluru.

Bapunagar, Isranpur and Raipur, where the blasts have taken place, are considered to be� communally sensitive areas.

President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and appealed for calm.

�Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has convened a high-level meeting to review the security situation in the country.

“I do not wish to say anything other than this that a meeting will be held tomorrow at 11 am to review the security situation in the country,” Patil told reporters.

He added, “Anti-national elements have been trying to create panic among the people of our country. Today’s blasts in Ahmedabad seem to be part of the same strategy.”

Source: Rediff