4. Increased radicalisation of Muslim youth
i. Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui (26), a Crime Reporter from Mid-Day; Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chhotu (25) , an MCA student; Abdullah alias Abdul Hakim Jamadar (25), a junior engineer at Airborne Early Warning and Control System, a DRDO division. Ejaz Mohammed Mirza (25), Mohammed Yusuf Nalbandh (28), a salesman; and Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti (28), a BCA graduate and salesman; were arrested by Bangalore police for their alleged links with global terror outfits. Not only are they suspected of having links with LeT and HuJi they also had plans to murder MLAs and journalists of the region. What shocked everyone was the sophisticated backgrounds each of these suspects were from, which was uncommon a few years ago.
Arrests did not stop with that. Five men were arrested in Hubli with regards to the same case – Ubedullah Imran, Mohammed Sadiq Lakshkar, Wahid Hussain, Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur and Mehboob alias Baba . A 12th arrest was made in Hyderabad – Obedulla-ur-Rehman (21), who is reported to be a final year B. Com student.
Daily Bhaskar reported as follows
“Karnataka police found many editions of al-Qaida’s online magazine – Inspire – stored as downloaded files on laptops and pen-drives of six of the accused, who were caught in Bangalore and Hubli last week for allegedly planning to attack defence and nuclear installations and assassinate politicians, journalists and businessmen. Source said –“The suspects have confessed that they found the contents quite inspiring and wanted to do something big.”
ii. Police have arrested Tipu Shaikh (19), Ijaz Shaikh (23), Rafiq Shaikh (21) and Matin Pathan (19), Nadim Ansari (18), Imamuddin Kanwade (20), Wasim Shaikh (22), Muzaffar Jamadar (19) and Muzammil Shaikh (18) in Pune for assaulting a software professional from Manipur and a student from Nagaland. Policemen reported that all these men, who were illiterate, were provoked by “unknown” people to spread panic through such targeted attack.
4 Muslim youth were arrested in Nanded by the Maharashtra ATS. They are Mohammed Sadiq Mohammed Farooque, 27, Mohammed Muzzamil Abdul Gani, 29, Mohammed Ilyas Mohammed Akbar, 28, and Mohammad Irfan Mohammad Gaus, 25. 
It is said that these 4 Muslim youth wanted to “target right-wing Hindutva leaders to incite communal tension and clashes, as bomb blasts in different parts of the country had failed to spark communal conflicts
” according to the police. 
Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh (22) and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh (23) Haroon Naik (32) are among the 4 high profile arrests made this year
by Maharashtra ATS in connection with the 13th
July triple blasts at Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and
Opera House in Mumbai causing the death of 27 people and 130 injured. Haroon Naik, originally from Beed district (incidentally Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari alias
Abu Jundal 
is also from Beed), who has a diploma in digital technology from ITI Ulhasnagar
, had been arrested in August 2011 itself. The other person is a Delhi based jewellery shop owner Kanwar Chand Pathreja, 42 who is an alleged hawala operator. There offenses were neatly summarised by Times of India
as follows –
“Naquee Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Shaikh, 22: Police allege that Indian Mujahideen leader Yasin Bhatkal sent explosives for the 13/7 blasts from Delhi to Mumbai, where Naquee received them. Naquee is also accused of stealing two scooters used in the bombings. ATS alleged that Naquee helped the suspected Pakistani bombers conduct recces of the targets prior to the blasts and helped them get a rented room in Habib Apartments in Byculla
Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaque Shaikh, 23: He was arrested in a SIM card forgery case in which Naquee was also booked. Akhtar is alleged to have ferried explosives from Delhi to Mumbai and stolen two scooters. He allegedly helped Naquee transfer two stolen motorbikes in train from Mumbai to Bihar
Kawalnayan Vazirchand Pathreja, 46: An alleged hawala operator, Pathreja handed over Rs 10 lakh that he received from Naik to Yasin Bhatkal.
Haroon Rashid Abdul Hameed Naik, 33: Naik was first arrested in a fake currency case in July 2011. A charge sheet filed by the ATS in that case says that Naik travelled for arms training to Pakistan and to Afghanistan, where he met Osama bin Laden. The training was arranged and funded by IM leader Riyaz Bhatkal. Naik allegedly arranged for funds for the 13/7 attacks be sent from UAE to India”
2 suspected terrorists were caught and one killed in an encounter by the Maharashtra ATS.
All were suspects in the July 2008 Ahmadabad Blasts during which
“21 bomb blasts within a span of 70 minutes killed 56 people and injured 200
”. The alleged Indian Mujahideen members are Mohammed Abrar Babu Khan (32), Khaleel Qureshi (20) and Mohammed Shakeer (32). The group were under radar for carrying out bank robberies in Madhya Pradesh for funding SIMI. The 3 men had undergone training in centres in Kerala. 
It is interesting to note their ingenuity in avoiding police surveillance. “ The tech-savvy module avoided the use of mobile phones and used computers ingeniously to dodge police surveillance”
, says the Times of India report.
In 2010, Abdul Latif Rashid alias Guddu (29) and Imtiaz alias Rehan (23) were arrested for planning to set fire to the Oil and Natural Gas Cooperation Office at Bandra. They had been offered help by an ONGC employee. They also had Thakkar Mall in Borivali mall as well as the Mangaldas Market in south Mumbai as targets for attack. They were reported to the police by another Muslim youth who was being recruited for terror activities along with Rashid and Rehan. 
A young terror recruit approached the Maharashtra ATS as he had developed cold feet before practicing what he was taught at the terror camps in Pakistan – “in making explosives, reconnaissance and brainwashing others to expand the terror network” 
The man with a Master degree in Commerce now works in a respectable company drawing a handsome salary after having undergone effective counselling.
viii. A 30 – something Thamim Ansari, a small-scale vegetable exporter and an ex – SFI member, has been arrested by ‘Q’ Branch from Thanjavur district for allegedly taking videos of Madras Regimental Centre at Wellington in the Nilgiris district at the behest of ISI. He has been operating with the help of terrorists based in the northern region of Sri Lanka.
Such incidents where young Muslim men of ages between 20 and 30 are getting arrested are increasing. Of course, as has been told by Supreme Court, innocent Muslims must not be arrested just because they are Muslims. But just because they are Muslims, one cannot claim of being the target of police inefficiency. When Naquee Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Shaikh was arrested in connection with the 13/7 blasts,
hue and cry was made by media that the poor thing was being framed and that he was just another informer of Delhi Police. The Hindu reported in a way which almost sent out the message that poor Muslims are used as bait and then they are trapped by the police themselves. Lalu Prasad Yadav slammed
Nitish Kumar for not doing anything to save the Bihari youth. The results of investigation is known to everyone when ATS Chief told in a press conference that Naqee Ahmed has approved of abetting the terrorist group with “full knowledge” of what is happening. Same is the case with Thamim Ansari. The Hindu almost gave his biography
portraying him as an ideal SFI leader while Times of India reported how an independent “fact finding committee” took strong exception to the wordings in the FIR that said, “Thamim Ansari was involved in espionage activities due to religious animosity and personal gain. He was involved in a conspiracy to enact North Indian style disruptive activities in South India too.
But it has come to light that not only was he being handled by Amir Zubair Siddiqui,
a diplomat in the Pakistan High Commission to Sri Lanka, he was also conducting reconnaissance in a David Headly-esque manner. And we all know what happened after Headley headed out for his fun trip in Mumbai.
Innocents should not be persecuted. I salute the notion and personally appreciate the efforts for the same cause. But this should not blind ones notion of what is right and wrong. If one is fighting for the innocence of wronged people, in the same manner he or she should be ready to accept the guilt of the guilty. One should be rational in the concept of what is objective and what absurd passion for protection of minorities is. There are criminals in both majority and minority communities. But one wonders if a thief caught in an act for a robbery will be backed by the media houses just because he happened to be from a minority community. Remember how the former Union Minority Affairs Minister Cabinet member and the cement scam tainted Abdul Rahman Antulay raised some disgusting theories about Hemant Karkare’s murder? Remember how the television and print media wagged their tails leaking saliva from their mouth chased these bizarre claims? On reading the ridiculous level the media goes into shielding and defending the hard core communal elements from the Muslim community one asks himself, “does that mean Muslims or Christians or Sikhs cannot be criminals at all?” So who are the wrong doers? Who is anti society? Who is causing problems?
And if the culpability becomes undeniable then there are always new tricks off the cuff, the media houses can show. So when Thamim Ansari an ex- SFI is caught, on the same page where the report is published there is another story of Muslim victimhood in which a wrong guy was caught and jailed. It is cruel that he had to undergo such an unmitigated disaster in his personal life. But the timing of the report, the position of the news raises question. Just like how the media questions timing of each and every political move, fingers can be raised on the timing of printing and positioning of such reports also. It looks like a pathetic effort to show – “There are Muslim wrongdoers as given by our first report, but so what? There are Muslims who are wronged also. They are victims of the state excesses which in turn is part of RSS conspiracy. You don’t believe it? Read the following report to know how this patriotic nationalist Muslim was put into misery.” Not only are such articles indications of poor journalism in which articles are being published for the sake of it, it also raises questions as to whom they are fooling with such articles. Is there going to be a perceptible change towards Muslim community just because a news item is printed? I don’t see something of the nature happening among the common people till the claims of the leaders about Indian Muslims having a distinct identity from the rest of India, Muslims always being a subject of regression and the very violent protests being carried out by communal groups are put to an end. It does not matter if Mani Shankar Iyer screams sitting on roof top about how communal BJP is, it does not matter if Mulayam Singh is claiming to support UPA to keep the communal elements at bay, it really does not matter if each one of the secular leaders repeats Islam to be religion of peace in a way that puts every other religion to shame. Unless and until there is a noticeable change in the attitude of Indian Muslims, more importantly, those who claim to represent them, such articles are simply waste of ink and paper.
Such articles, such slogans, such futile show of being holier than thou are going to be scoffed at by majority of Indian citizens who are not going to tolerate nonsense. The sad fact is that because it is so often repeated that Islam is a religion of peace although actions are to the contrary, the phrase is now popularly used sarcastically. The fact that it is so often repeated only with Islam and not with other religion raises questions like “Is Islam the only religion of Peace?”, “If not why is it being repeated so often?” , “Is there something really wrong?” . Thus instead of being helpful the dim-witted duo of “secular” leaders and the media are being counter-productive.
One wouldn’t harp on about the media this much had it been uniform in its quest for human rights. So when 5 of the 9 accused are acquitted in Best Bakery case , 61 of the 83 accused are acquitted in Mehsana Massacre, 23 of 47 accused are acquitted in Ode village massacre, 29 of 61 accused are acquitted in Naroda Patiya massacre, it was difficult nay impossible to show a single article or an editorial or a television show about how these men were wronged. Not one human rights activist had the spine to speak up lest their secular credentials be questioned. Are these acquitted men not humans in the eyes of the media? Do they not have the right to live freely, to not be arrested wrongly? Do they have to convert to Islam so that their voices will also be heard? Do they need to hail Owasi as their leader so that media will talk about their misery? Do they need to declare Shahi Bukhari to be their religious head so that rights activist from Tehelka will write sob stories about them? Do they need names like Mohammed Adom Ali Sheikh or Naquee Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Shaikh so that social activists will step up and talk? Are they to be shunned forever, even though the courts have found them to be innocent, just because they are Hindus? Do you not attach any value to their lives, their time they wasted in jail on wrong charges? Are they not victims of vicious propaganda against Hindus by those who claim to be pro-Minority? Did not the need, to brand a few people Saffron terrorists to counter the concept of Green Terrorism result in the arrest of these innocents? Are we supposed to digest your argument that in the process of delivering justice such mistakes tend do happen and that it should be suffered for a greater good? Are not such actions opposite to what you claim to be your cornerstone of ethics? These questions are either ignored or received as part of a larger conspiracy to break the secular fabric of India.
When a person gets arrested or sentenced in charges for terrorism, the news reports often carry the photos of their hapless families. Really, one does feel sad for them. For no mistakes of their own they are subjected to such emotional torture. But same is the case for those criminals in Gujarat riots. Don’t they have a family? Do they not have a wife or children or a mother? Were they born with the sole purpose of killing Muslims in India? Yes media would like us to believe that. It is this bias, this complete apathy to the rights of people who are lesser humans in their eyes, this urge to protect the rights of certain criminals and shun others, which has raised questions on how sincere the media and the secular leaders are in the pursuit of welfare of every one, in the pursuit of secularism. After all secularism means to separate religion from everyday activities of life such as education, business, bank loans, crime, punishment, acquittal, human rights etc. But these secular leaders would have us believe that some are more equal than others, these secular media will declare the theory of “No Minority can do wrong” to be the ultimate truth.
Written on 2nd October 2012
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