Terror needs a different remedy
Government should be liberal in granting the arms licenses to the citizens, security agencies and others for self-protection. The present policy of first saying ?No? should be discarded in favour of arming honest and upright citizens, or organisations, on demand.
Here are certain terrorists groups in the country, who feel edgy and perturbed, when somebody tries to speak against them. The position has been compounded by the outdated laws, which expect a witness, to be present at every terrorist attack or scene of a crime and then be willing to depose about the same, without any regard to his personal safety. RSS has been in the forefront for protecting the integrity and unity of the country. It is opposed to all forces, including the terrorists, whose aim is, to destabilise the country. It became the target, of the terrorists in June, 2006, when the gun-trotting terrorists were gunned down, by alert Nagpur Police.
The terrorists had planned their strategy of access to RSS HQ meticulously. They came in a white Ambassador car, complete with a beacon atop, and dressed as police sub-inspectors. They tried to sneak into the Sangh headquarters in the Mahal locality of Nagpur. Their dastardly intentions, can be gauged from the fact, that from the slain criminals, three AK-56 assault rifles, a dozen hand grenades, ammunition and RDX were recovered. Though the top RSS functionaries, including respected Sarsanghchalak K.S. Sudarshan and Sahsarsangha-chalak Mohan Bhagwat, were away when the terrorists struck, there was a real danger, to thousands plus members of the RSS, from all over the country who were in Nagpur to attend a training programme. But for the terrorists being killed, Sangh Shiksha Varg, and many senior functionaries would have been in the line of fire. The police fortunately, frustrated the aims of terrorists.
As is usual, in a common refrain, all leaders cutting across party lines, issued statements condemning the attack and appealed for calm and caution against attempts to create communal tension. Such statements do not make any difference to the terrorists. With the Nagpur assault, along with continuous attacks on tourists in J&K, and Amarnath Yatris, the situation is getting, from bad to worse in the country. Even during the peace talks and PM?s visit to Srinagar in May, 2006, security arrangements could not stop attacks on the civilians, right in the heart of the town, which has been the scene of repeated attacks. It is immaterial, as to which group is suspected, by whatever name you call them. Terrorism has reached Maharashtra in a big way, as the Bombay Bomb Blasts, blasts in Virar, Kandivli, Santacruz in a local train, as well as in Ghatkopar Mumbai Central station, Vile Parle market, and the arrest of terrorist in Aurangabad would show.
Terrorism invariably involves violence or the threat of violence. The targets are generally blameless innocents. The action is always directed to achieve some political, religious, or social goal. Now, the easiest target is pilgrimage tourists or visitors to hilly areas of salubrious climates, or significant places like RSS HQ, or in Gujarat Akshardham temple, or in Varanasi, Hanuman Temple
Terrorist mass-scale violence is possible as the prohibited bores weapons, (not to the common man), are freely available to them. Even illegal weapons are domestically manufactured and are used by the criminals cum terrorists. In most of the incidents, it is the common man who suffers, either directly or indirectly. Attacks on paramilitary establishments are quite common in our country. Action against the terrorists has to be three pronged, that is to say, by the Government, the public and media. As the legal and military power is with the Government, primarily, action has to be taken by the Government. It can be in form of tightening the laws, wherein all legal loopholes should be plugged, so that terrorists escape the punishment. Government should be clear in its mind, that there would be no concessions to terrorists and there would not be any deals.
The Government should be liberal in granting the arms licenses to the citizens, security agencies and others for self-protection. The present policy of first saying ?No? should be discarded in favour of arming honest and upright citizens, or organisations, on demand. Incidentally, it is the innocent and unarmed citizens, who become the target of the terrorists. The crime committed with the help of licensed weapons is not even 0.5% per cent in the country. The risk is worth taking, for encouraging citizens to use arms against the terrorists. Under the law, there is right of private of defence, which permits citizens, to use force to guard their own body as well as that of others. This provision needs, to be repeatedly brought, to the notice of the citizens, that killing of any terrorists, who is out to take their life, would not invite any adverse legal action against them.
The terrorists invest in a second hand or a stolen vehicle. A car dealer is also a citizen. The dealers should satisfy themselves about the bonafides of both parties, particularly if the buyer is from outside.
The past experience has shown that sometimes, terrorists rent out a house by paying handsome rent in advance. Even as per the orders of the police, apart from their duty as a citizen, the landlords should not let out their premises without satisfying themselves, about the antecedents of the tenants. All the above mentioned steps on the part of the citizens may not solve the problem of terrorism but it will make it difficult for them to easily carry out nefarious designs. Media on its part, should boldly avoid any publicity to the terrorists, as Margret Thatcher once said that publicity is the oxygen of terrorism
(The writer is former Director, CBI, and can be contacted at 123-124, Nav Sansad Vihar, CGHS, Sector 22, Dwarka, New Delhi 110075, Email; firstname.lastname@example.org)