Are We A Safe And Secure Nation?
Lord Buddha is believed to have received his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya temple. The placed is sacred not only to Hindus, in India and all over the world, but the followers of Buddhism, in China, Japan and many South East Asian Countries too. One of the most holy places associated with him, the Bodh Gaya temple was subjected to a terrorist attack on July 7, 2013.
The Intelligence Bureau had sent a warning alert to Bihar Government about a possible terror attack at Bodh Gaya temple. The alert was sounded following “confessions” by Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspects caught by the Delhi Police between August and October last year for involvement in the 2012 Pune blasts. They allegedly revealed that they planned to target Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and Bodh Gaya temple in Bihar. The suspects also claimed to have discussed Pune court and jail as targets.
Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officers had also said at the time that interrogation of the IM men had revealed Bodh Gaya and Dilsukhnagar as targets. However, nobody took the warning seriously, and in February 2013 blasts happened in Dilsukhnagar and in Bodh Gaya on July 7, 2013.
The biggest problem in our country is that instead of taking stock of the situation, whether we are adequately geared up law wise and equipment wise, we start and end only with the condemnation statement and the story mostly finishes there.
After September 11, 2001 attacks, USA passed the Patriot Act, which has played a key part and often the leading role in a number of successful operations to protect innocent Americans from the deadly plans of terrorists dedicated to destroying America and our way of life. About terrorism, our Supreme Court, in Kartar Singh v. State of Punjab  3 SCC 569, observed that the country has been in the firm grip of spiraling terrorist violence and is caught between deadly pangs of disruptive activities. Apart from many skirmishes in various parts of the country, there were countless serious and horrendous events engulfing many cities with blood-bath, firing, looting, mad killing even without sparing women and children and reducing those areas into a graveyard, with which brutal atrocities have rocked and shocked the whole nation. Deplorably, determined youths lured by hard-core criminals and underground extremists and attracted by the ideology of terrorism are indulging in committing serious crimes against humanity. They deserve no mercy.
The Patriot Act gives federal officials greater authority to track and intercept communications, both for law enforcement and foreign intelligence gathering purposes. In India, on the other hand, with the change of the Government, it diluted anti-terrorism law and abolished POTA and TADA.
Under the existing laws, the onus lies on the police to prove that so and so was a terrorist or a foreign national. In other words, we have tied our own hands and feet to combat terrorism. Does the Government expect Pakistani-based terrorists groups to come to India and give evidence against their operatives facing trial in India?
We have no Witness Protection Act and we expect the ill equipped and ill-trained police to handle terrorism? The former Union Home Ministers, Sh. Chidambram sympathised with the ordinary police constable saying he is the “most abused” part of the force and the “most reviled public servant.”
The Government very well knows what is the problem and how it can be resolved. Why does it not rectify the deficiencies pointed by its Home Minister, instead of passing the buck to the State Government? The trouble is that it gets scared that if it takes strong action, it will be a loser in the vote bank politics. There are plenty of busy bodies who will advise, that taking innovative and tough stand, will be violating human rights. How going hard on the terrorists can violate anybody’s human rights is a mystery to me. All terrorist incidents would not have happened but for local support. No time is right for anything, but doing the right thing is what makes the time to be right. Government should remember, what Gandhiji once said; “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”
(The writer is former CBI Director and can be contacted at [email protected])
Some major terror attacks
during the UPA regime
Pune, Feb 13, 2010: 17 people killed and over 60 injured when a bomb rips out the famous German bakery in the city
Mumbai, Nov 26, 2008: 166 people killed in coordinated serial explosions and indiscriminate firing across Mumbai, including the crowded CST railway station and two five-star hotels — Oberoi and Taj.
Assam, Oct 30, 2008: At least 77 killed and over 100 injured in 18 bombings across Assam.
Imphal, Oct 21, 2008: 17 killed in a powerful blast near Manipur Police Commando complex.
Malegaon, Maharashtra, Sep 29, 2008: Five people killed after a bomb kept in a motorbike goes off in a crowded market.
Modasa, Gujarat, Sep 29, 2008: One killed and several injured after a low-intensity bomb kept on a motorcycle goes off near a mosque.
New Delhi, Sep 27, 2008: Three people killed after a crude bomb is thrown in a busy market in Mehrauli
New Delhi, Sep 13, 2008: 26 people killed in six blasts across the city.
Ahmedabad, July 26, 2008: 57 people killed after 20 synchronised bombs go off within less than two hours
Bangalore, July 25, 2008: One person killed in a low-intensity bomb explosion.
Jaipur, May 13, 2008: 68 people killed in serial bombings.
January 2008: Terrorist attack on CRPF camp in Rampur kills eight.
October 2007: Two killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine in Rajasthan during Ramzan.
August 2007: 30 dead, 60 hurt in Hyderabad terror strike.
May 2007: A blast at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people.
February 19, 2007: Two bombs explode on board a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.
September 2006: 30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon.
July 2006: Seven bombs on Mumbai’s trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others.
March 2006: Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people.
October 2005: Three bombs placed in busy New Delhi markets a day before Diwali kill 62 people and injure hundreds. This is apart from the infamous Mumbai Blasts in 1993.