ONCE again the helplessness and the compulsions of the Mumbaikar, is going to be construed as his resilience; once again the failure of the intelligence and the law enforcing agencies to prevent the acts of terror, is going to be camouflaged with various excuses and once again the unwillingness of the political establishment to sanitise the terrorist breeding grounds, is going to be covered up by flimsy arguments. The dastardly acts of serial bomb blasts at three places, Zhaveri bazaar, Opera house and Dadar Kabutarkhana in Mumbai – in which scores of innocent people have lost their lives and hundreds have been injured—on July 13, have raised the same questions which were raised in the aftermath of the previous acts of terror which this metropolitan city has witnessed from March 12, 1993 onwards.
It has been a well established fact that being the economic hub of India, Mumbai remains the prime target of the enemies – internal as well as external – of India and has faced terrorist acts of various hues incessantly; then why the kind of security which the United States of America put in place after the 9/11 attacks, could not be enforced in Mumbai and in the other cities which have become the victims of the terrorist violence? The determination of the US to thwart the acts of terror on its soil has been exemplary and must be emulated by our security establishment. Many a times, accusations of discriminatory acts like racial profiling have been hurled upon the US security men, but, they have been rejected with the disdain, they deserved.
In our case, we have been dithering on every count and our vote- hungry politicians, have even started demoralising the law-enforcing agencies also. The strategy to fight the menace of terrorism has to be multi-pronged and one aspect of the same is to apprehend the individuals – on suspicion – with shady connections and past record of unlawful activities. In this respect, our rulers have relegated our policemen to the status of mute spectators. Few years ago, a police party had gone to apprehend a few suspected terrorists in a village called Padga near Mumbai, but had to face the hostilities of the villagers on communal grounds and had to return without success, presumably on account of political pressure; only after the media broke the story, the police party went again and caught the culprits. Similarly, a couple of years back, two policemen were murdered in broad day light in Bhiwandi township near Mumbai, by a mob of minority community which was protesting the construction of a police station near their place of worship; in the said incident also, the political establishment did nothing to enhance the sagging morale of the police personnel.
Even on surveillance front, we are constantly being found wanting; the state of the art C.C.T.V equipment is available in abundance, yet, either it has not been installed at the vulnerable points or it has not been adequately maintained. The deployment of the dog squads routinely, which can sniff out the lethal substances like the ammonium nitrate or the R.D.X, can very much prove to be effective in the prevention of the bomb explosions, but, all these exercises are not done effectively and obviously the hapless citizen of this country has to pay the price for the negligence committed by the individuals on whose shoulders, he has put the responsibility of his security.
In his lack-lustre addressing of the press conference in the aftermath of the blasts, home minister P.C Chidambaram was completely unconvincing while giving the answers of the various queries of the reporters. On being asked that which terrorist group could have been behind the explosions, he said, nothing could be stated at that point of time. Whereas, all the fingers of suspicion are pointed on the rabid outfit known as Indian Mujahidin which has been in the forefront of numerous attacks of terrorism in various Indian cities. Every time an act of terror is unleashed on India, Pakistan’s direct or indirect involvement is discussed, however, in majority of such incidents, the role played by the local accomplices, is deliberately underplayed. During the attacks on Parliament house, Akshardham Mandir, Raghunath Mandir and 26/11 carnage in Mumbai, the perpetrators had crossed over from Pakistan and their antecedents were very well established during the investigations, but, in the ghastly acts of planting the bombs in the crowded areas, the terrorists of local origin are involved because they are the ones who know the logistics and after committing the crime melt away in the local populace without much difficulty.
Once upon a time the wars were fought at one particular place between the two armies, then came the time when they were fought at various places alongside the international borders but now the time has arrived when they are being fought in the form of the terrorist acts, in every lane and the by lanes of the nations. The state sponsoring of the terrorism by the countries like Pakistan is very much a truth and not only we have to learn to live with it, we have to develop a steely resolve to win in a convincing fashion also. For that to happen, we have to choose and elect those representatives, who have the supreme interest of the motherland in their hearts and the minds and do not follow the policy of appeasement to nurture the vote-banks.