The Other Side

Violence is a way of life for all brands of terror groups, jihadi or non-jihadi. It cannot be otherwise in a situation where the administration is being increasingly viewed as a state like any other : that is a corrupt ruling elite, opposed and supported by an equally corrupt opposition, a brutalised under-class and a security apparatus ruthless and top-heavy enough to hold it all together. Not that the Burdwan Blast that has Bangladeshi jihadi connection is a minor affair. Nor can it be downplayed as some people would like to do, by any ruling dispension. The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) is a terrorist organisation proscribed in Bangladesh. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), under the provisions of Section 6 (5) of the NIA Act (2008) had made a suo moto intervention in the Burdwan Blast case earlier being probed by the West Bengal State CID. Bombs and explosives were stacked by the terror fugitives in separate locations, either in the rented accommodations in Burdwan town, or in and around Shimulia Madrasa, where the JMB was allegedly operating a training camp. But there is every reason to believe that the Centre is utilising NIA to reap political dividend. Modi’s party—Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)—lacks majority in the upper house. They need support of Trinamul Congress—the ruling party of Bengal. Being caught on the wrong foot, particularly for the multicrore Saradha Scam, the Modis think offence is the best defence. So they are trying to force Trinamul to fall in line before it is too late.

It is quite natural for terror outfits that are banned in Bangladesh, to use adjoining Indian border states of Bengal and Assam as rear to carry out their terror campaign. They have been doing it for long as the Burdwan Blast related reports reveal. Strange it may seem that security managers have no knowledge of such crude and infantile terroristic activities. The explosives which were found from the building were available in the open market and they were not sophisticated RDX. Musclemen engaged by political parties frequently use such explosives to manufacture crude bombs. Whether the jihadi group that was behind Burdwan Blast used to sell their expertise and products to local parties—ruling and opposition as well is not known. It is unbelievable that local police and ruling politicians didn’t know what was happening in the premises where the ruling party had an office for some time. In truth a porous border which is poorly manned by corrupt border security forces is no answer to traditional smuggling and human trafficking. The authorities know how vigilance on both sides of the fence withers away through bribes—this is an open secret.

The hard reality is that it is easy for the security establishment to combat and crush Maoist insurgency because Maoists are today an isolated political force. But it is not that easy to fight ‘jihadi’ terror groups because they have sympathisers among the minority community people. Even when Mr Ajit Doval, the National Security Advisor, was investigating the spot of Burdwan Blast—Khagragarh—All-India Muslim Majlise-E-Mushawarat came down heavily on the centre as they described the entire probe business as politically motivated and blown out of proportions to target the minority community people. Majlise apart other organisations with communal overtones, are coming forward with almost similar arguments.

But it is not really the case in tackling Maoist violence. The Maoists can be killed in cold blood though some human rights groups sometimes raise hue and cry. Of late Maoists are steadily losing their cadres and leaders as well.

The Central Committee of CPI (Maoist) has 21 members. Over the years, the central committee decreased from 39 members to 19, before Anil Teltumde and Ramanna were elevated. Recently over Rs 21 crore has been announced on all central committee members, which makes the CPI (Maoist) the outfit with the maximum bounty. Various state governments have increased reward on CPI (Maoist) Chief Mupalla Laxman Rao, alias Ganpathi, who carries Rs 2.67 crore on his head, making him one of the most wanted in India. The NIA is further increasing the reward on the Maoist Chief. Ganpathi is operating out of Abujhmaad jungles in Chattisgarh’s Bastar region. Other politburo and central committee members are spread across Maoist influenced districts in Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand. If any of the central committee members surrenders, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs will be giving him the reward money, announced on his head. Ten years ago the Maoist Communist Centre in Bihar and the People‘s War Group of Andhra Pradesh merged to create the CPI (Maoist). Since then 2332 activists including members of the Politburo, Central Committee, State / Region / District / Sub-zone / Area / Village level committees have been killed. For the NIA and dozens of security agencies Maoists exist to be killed or dispersed.

Vol. 47, No. 18, Nov 9 - 15, 2014