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Post 26/11 empty anti-terror rhetoric

November 26, 2011

Today is the third anniversary of the dastardly 26/11 Mumbai attacks where around 180 people were killed and more than 350 injured, some maimed for life. I have been watching the routine of remembering those who died including Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who was a part of the NSG team sent to liquidate the terrorists and who was brutally tortured by the terrorists before being killed.  India is making much of the carnage that was 26/11 and to think of it, we should.

Remembering the dead is a noble thing, especially who died an unnatural death at the hands of terrorists. This was definitely avoidable. The question is what have we done since to bring to book those who were behind the 26/11 attacks? The Home Minister says that we have sent some 9 dossiers to Pakistan to enable them to act against men like Hafiz Saeed, Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and others. They raise their hands in utter desperation that Pakistan is doing nothing. Pakistan responds by saying at one end of the spectrum that the proof’ against those behind 26/11 sent by India is inadequate to pass muster in a Pakistani court of law, to, well, things are proceeding and that the courts take their own time. India still does not know who is Major Iqbal and Sajid Mir1 who were handling the terrorists and whose voices were recorded by Indian intelligence agencies during the 26/11 carnage.

Sandeep Unnikrishnan

Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan who died fighting terrorists in Taj Mahal Hotel

There are too many loose ends that just do not add up. There were ten terrorists we are told who landed in Mumbai and started killing people at random at four targets – the Taj Mahal Hotel, The Oberoi Trident, Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus and the Chabad House. The team that entered Taj Mahal hotel first killed at random at Café Leopold.

The uncanny and glaring truth is that nowhere did the terrorists run out of ammunition. There was some talk between the handlers and the terrorists at Trident that they were running short of ammunition but neither at the Taj Hotel nor Chabad House did the terrorists ever say that they were short of ammunition. The ten terrorists came to Mumbai with a rucksack each and that could not have been enough to keep on firing incessantly at the security forces for close to 72 hours. There were some people who either were already at the Taj before the team arrived or in the case of Chabad House were being supplied ammunition from somewhere in the congested  neighborhood.

Indian government and the security setup have postured that there was no support from anyone for the terrorists. Pakistan has said, though in muted voice that India should also look within and first weed out the terror infrastructure within. They could well be right. In fact, if they are saying so my guess is they know all about it and are spot on. Our secular Left dominated government postures that there are no terrorists in India and that Indian Muslims are secular. While the later is true that by and large Indian Muslims are secular but if there are some black sheep we must pluck them out and not hesitate in acting against them.

The utterly incomprehensible or a deliberate prevarication when the NSG commandos could not reach Mumbai from Delhi for 48 hours as the plane had gone to Chandigarh for refueling still rankles. There was another glaring fact that few people have noticed – NSG at that time was headed by one Mr J.K. Dutt who was an intelligence man and not someone from the army as is the norm2. Mr. J.K. Dutt is also the man who is alleged to have helped the Purulia arms dropper Kim Davy escape after their plane landed at Mumbai. Was the delay in getting the NSG to Mumbai a deliberate or was it just a coincidence?  But then whatever happened, J.K. Dutt was only a cog in the wheel, he could not have done things on his own. There must have been people over and above him directing what and how to do and how to go about things.

Then there is the ProPublica investigation that details the role of David Coleman Hadley. If one were to go by these reports the CIA and the FBI did have an idea about some kind of an attack about to happen in Mumbai. They had warned the Indian security establishment but there were no specifics. They also did not issue a travel advisory to their citizens before the 26/11 attacks which they normally do. The red flags were there all around but either they were ignored completely, or not taken seriously. The third is the most disturbing conclusion, that there were people in the Indian establishment and even in some western establishments who knew what was about to happen but chose to look away.

The case of one Sabahuddin, Faheem Ansari and others3 that came up where it was mentioned that they were complicit in 26/11 attacks. The courts in India found so such evidence and they were let off. Pakistan cried bloody murder and India’s propensity to point fingers at Pakistan while doing precious little on their own front. Maybe there was some truth in their allegations. I understand that  Sabahuddin and Faheem Ansari have not been given a clean chit by the Supreme Court but then they are also not behind bars.

Meanwhile the one lone terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab is tucked away in the Arthur Road Jail in an air conditioned egg shaped cell enjoying Indian hospitality while precious tax payer’s money is spent on his up keep. More than Rs 16 crores has been spent on his security and maintenance since 26/11 when some brave hearts most notably Constable Ombale who gave up his life but held on to the terrorist who was then captured by the people there.  The capture of Ajmal Amir Kasab was a fluke and the bravery of one man and perhaps had things gone according to the plans even he would have been liquidated. The terrorists were not meant to be captured. Kasab is a thorn in the flesh of Indian establishment and an irritant that they could well have done without.

There will be another 26/11 anniversary in a year’s time and again we will meet to remember the dead and the dastardly attack.  We will talk about our resolve to fight terror and then go back to life. These are empty words. This is empty rhetoric – more an insult to those who died in Mumbai on 26/11/2008 than a genuine tear for the departed and their families. Clean the mess within to force Pakistan to act. If India were serious we are fully capable of stopping all terror emanating from Pakistan and we do not need the US and the West’s help for this. There has to be a sense of honesty of purpose and a resolve unshaken by anything around.  We have a long way to go.

1. Mumbai: The Plot Unfolds, Lashkar Strikes and Investigators Scramble: ProPublica

2. Purulia Arms Drop, Intelligence Agencies and the Mumbai Attack

3. SC hears plea against Faheem, Sabahuddin acquittal

2 Comments leave one →
  1. kersasp permalink
    April 28, 2012 5:19 am

    Dear Ms Aria, Perhaps it is yet unlawful to define a human according to Indian law by race, caste, creed, religion or gender. Having said that let me portray my views on the high emotion driven fanciful trial of Ajmal Kasab. India yet does not have a clear definition of the term terrorism yet in an attempt to lackey the west has declared a “WAR” on terror (the issues with the definition being quite evident in the Pakistani questions raised during any bilateral negotiations with India). Assuming that India has a thorough understanding of term terror and is at war with it then as with every war a prisoner of war is governed by the set rules of the Geneva Convention which clearly state that every prisoner of war is to confined and returned to his country after the end of the war to executed only if an escape attempt is made. If Ajmal Kasab’s actions on that ill fated day are against the Indian laws defending the sovereignty of the country then how else is a terrorist expected to behave, bury the killed? A trial in which the obvious verdict has arrived before the trial is different than the conditions of Guantanamo Bay. Perhaps it may not be the case if they were to conduct their business for the retribution of the mass slaughter of 2500 innocent unarmed civilians buried in mass graves in the state of Indian occupied Kashmir for which an inquiry is in progress. The Shree Krishna commission inquiry into the 1000 Muslim deaths at state sponsored ammunition left very little doubt of its effectiveness, as the serial killers of that period continue to prosper with comforts provided by the tax payers funds. In an attempt to further lackey the west the Indian authorities have over publicized the Kasab trial to purport the imagination among its own citizens and those of the west that India is an over-democratic state as in the west by neglecting its loss of virtue in the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir and to divert its over confidence when Kasab drove the nail home. AS its said patriotism is a virtue of the vicious….Plato.

    • sharma24 permalink*
      April 28, 2012 10:09 am

      I would suggest you read ‘Ajmal Amir Kasab- the story of Pakistan’ on this blog. And my name is Ullas Sharma and not Ms Aria!

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