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SACW | Aug 31 - Sep 10, 2006 | Balochistan ; Malegaon

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire | August 31 - September 10, 2006 | Dispatch No. 2284 [1] Pakistan: Operation by the army and or paramilitary forces in Baluchistan
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 9, 2006
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      South Asia Citizens Wire | August 31 - September 10, 2006 | Dispatch No. 2284


      [1] Pakistan: Operation by the army and or paramilitary forces in Baluchistan
      Declaration Passed by Joint Action Committee
      [2] Pakistan: Balochistan after Bugti (Sherry Rehman)
      [3] Pakistan: Ahmed Bashir: the mullah's nemesis (Khalid Hasan)
      [4] 183 Indian delegates for peace convention (Amir Mir)
      [5] India: Malegaon Blasts - Footprints of Nanded ? (Subhash Gatade)
      + Malegaon: the road to perdition
      [6] India: No peace without justice (Teesta Setalvad)
      [8] Publication announcement: No Borders Journeys of an Indian Journalist
      [9] Upcoming Events:
      "Living in a State of Terror the Gujarat
      genocide, four years later" (Montreal, 12
      September)


      ___


      [1]

      www.sacw.net - August 31, 2006
      http://www.sacw.net/peace/JACDeclarationBaluchistan.html

      The death of Nawab Akbar Bugti and continuing
      operation by the army and or paramilitary forces
      in Baluchistan

      DECLARATION PASSED BY JOINT ACTION COMMITTEE (JAC)

      Karachi, 30th August 2006

      A meeting of the concerned citizens and members
      of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) was held
      yesterday, the 29th August, 2006 to consider the
      most disastrous and alarming conditions in
      Baluchistan. The meeting was held in HRCP Office
      and was presided over by its Secretary General
      Mr. Iqbal Haider, the following Declaration was
      passed and is being released to the press.

      We note with grave concern:

      · The continuing operation by
      the army and or paramilitary forces in
      Baluchistan, particularly after the shocking
      tragic event of August 26, 2006 resulting in the
      death of Nawab Akbar Bugti and his companions has
      pushed the political situation of the country
      towards 1971 warlike conditions of alienation and
      civil strife. The military operation in 1971 had
      resulted in dismemberment of the country and
      consequences of the present operation in
      Baluchistan, we apprehend may be equally
      disastrous, if it is not withdrawn forthwith.

      · The use of disproportionate
      and indiscriminate force, reportedly deployment
      of air strikes and highly sophisticated
      unconventional weapons by the Law Enforcement
      Agencies in Baluchistan against its own
      compatriots.

      We strongly condemn:

      · The targeted killing of
      Nawab Akbar Bugti and his companions in the
      military operations in Balochistan.

      · The ongoing military operation in Balochistan.

      · The grave violation of human
      rights in Balochistan and of Baloch people and
      their relations and colleagues and supporters in
      Sindh or elsewhere in Pakistan in particular the
      abduction and disappearance of the Baloch and
      Sindhi nationalist, their victimization, torture,
      illegal detentions, arrests and harassment.




      We urgently demand:

      · The hand-over of the remains
      of Nawab Akbar Bugti and his companions and other
      persons who lost their lives in the military
      operation of 26 August to their rightful heirs.

      · The respect of long-standing
      traditions of our people regarding the last rites
      of individuals regardless of previous enmity.

      · The conduct of
      investigations by an Independent Commission
      comprising impartial respected citizens from the
      civil society, into the causes as well as the
      facts and circumstances of the death of Nawab
      Akbar Bugti and his companions.

      · Immediate access to the
      areas of the military operations in particular
      the spot of murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti and his
      companions to independent civilians including
      members of human rights organizations, lawyers,
      journalists, teachers, professors and engineers
      etc.

      We also demand:

      · The immediate cessation of
      the ongoing military operations in Balochistan.

      · The immediate ending of
      police operations, harassment, victimization,
      arrests and detentions of the Baloch communities
      and their supporters in other provinces.

      · The release of all arrested,
      detained and "disappeared" citizens, forthwith
      unconditionally.

      · Maximum autonomy in letter &
      spirit must be guaranteed for all the federating
      units, forthwith.

      We call for:

      · The resolution of all
      outstanding issues, causes and disputes
      concerning Balochistan and its resources through
      political negotiations and transparent dialogues
      peacefully.

      · All the recommendations of
      the Parliamentary Committee headed by Ch. Shujaat
      Hussain must me made public and implemented
      forthwith in letter & spirit.


      List of the participants in the meeting:

      1. Aahung
      2. Action Aid
      3. All Pakistan Trade Union Federation
      4. Amnesty International
      5. Aurat Foundation
      6. Caritas, Pakistan
      7. Communist Party of Pakistan
      8. Federal Urdu University, Karachi
      9. Fishermen Unity
      10. Forum for Democracy
      11. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP)
      12. Irtiqa
      13. Karachi Bar Association
      14. Karachi University, Karachi
      15. Labour Education Foundation
      16. Pakistan India People's Forum for Peace and Democracy
      17. Pakistan Institute for Labor Education and Research (PILER)
      18. Pakistan Muslim League, N (PMLN)
      19. Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian (PPPP)
      20. Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign
      21. Pakistan Trade Union Federation
      22. Pakistan Women Lawyers Association
      23. People's Labour Bureau
      24. Progressive Youth Front
      25. Roots for Equity
      26. Shirkat Gah
      27. Takhleeq Foundation
      28. Urban Resource Center
      29. War Against Rape (WAR)
      30. Women's Action Forum


      _____


      [2]

      Dawn
      September 9, 2006

      BALOCHISTAN AFTER BUGTI

      by Sherry Rehman

      HISTORY and nature have one thing in common. They
      rarely teach lessons without bloodshed and
      trauma. Although we have never officially
      embraced it as a potentially preventable wound,
      one of the lessons etched like a deep scar on our
      body politic is the partition of Pakistan.
      Perhaps because of, not despite, all the cosmetic
      surgery we have done on that amputation, that
      wound is throbbing again today.

      The dark shadow of 1971, when provincial
      disharmony turned into a virulent movement for
      secession, should have informed all decisions
      Islamabad took to assuage tensions in provinces
      that felt they had an unequal share in our
      multi-ethnic federation. Balochistan stood first
      in line since the 1950s as a province that was
      restive. But never through all the decades that
      led up to the recent past has it posed such a
      serious challenge as now to the stability of the
      federation that is seen by the Baloch as an
      oppressive state with a colonising army.

      Nawab Akbar Bugti's death in the largest military
      operation that Balochistan has ever witnessed was
      not unexpected by his close aides. Since March
      17, 2005, when his personal home and living
      quarters were bombed by the Frontier
      Constabulary, it had become clear that Bugti was
      a marked man. The conflict between him and
      Islamabad had escalated over the last two years,
      triggered off by the rape case of Dr Shazia
      Khalid, allegedly at the hands of a military man.

      The confrontation took a particularly ugly turn
      when General Musharraf's helicopter was fired
      upon from the ground in Bugti areas, after which
      the episode took on a personal colour between
      Pervez Musharraf and the Baloch sardar. He knew
      he was living on borrowed time, which is why he
      was ensconced in the cave complex in Kohlu.

      Yet no one had quite been prepared for this naked
      use of state force to bomb out a political leader
      who had lived out a long and chequered career
      both inside and outside public office. When I
      last saw Nawab Bugti, which was in 2005, he was
      talking the tough language that was his
      trademark, but he was definitely seeking
      institutional attention from Islamabad. Despite
      the fact that his entire homestead had been
      shelled all the way to his personal quarters,
      Bugti was looking for a dialogue. He was looking
      for the Baloch of Dera Bugti and Sui to be
      accorded the dignity of full citizenship.

      Despite the fact that he earned personal
      royalties from the state for the gas-rich land he
      leased to Pakistan Petroleum in Sui, his
      lifestyle was clearly frugal, and his dependents
      impoverished. The mud settlements in Sui, outside
      the compound of the PPL complex, did not have the
      benefit of Sui gas. They were scrabbling for
      jobs, for energy, for water and for basic
      amenities for their community.

      There is much to be said for the conventional
      wisdom that tribal sardars like Nawab Bugti
      thrive on the politics of a personal cult. Their
      hold on the illiterate but armed followers is
      mediaeval in its interpersonal hierarchism, and
      the impulse to buy guns instead of books for the
      Bugtis is encouraged by them today. This argument
      is all the more reason that Islamabad should have
      felt obligated to turn the fortunes of this
      province from tribalism to modern standards of
      citizenship.

      After his assassination, the most serious
      challenge to the status quo will rise from all
      three smaller provinces. The street-fires of
      Kohlu, Dera Bugti, will, if not put out
      politically, ignite Balochistan, Sindh and parts
      of the NWFP. Old governance equations and
      resource-sharing formulas will catapult to
      centre-stage or become catalysts for dangerously
      repressed anger.

      After his murder, which has swiftly morphed the
      late sardar to the status of a local saint, most
      of the Baloch, a group of 4.5 million, will now
      see Bugti's resort to militancy as the only
      answer to their troubles. The BLA, which
      attracted a fringe following of nationalists,
      will increasingly be seen as the mainstream armed
      wing of a legitimate political movement of an
      oppressed people. The arguments made for
      Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq will resonate in
      Pakistan's internal discourse, in which the
      Baloch narrative will assume apocalyptic,
      millenarian overtones. The state will emerge as
      the 'other', or the enemy, and will no longer be
      distinguishable from the military.

      Further military confrontation in Balochistan,
      apart from spurring long-festering ethnic unrest
      in Sindh, will incite various anti-Musharraf
      forces throughout Pakistan. General Musharraf's
      ability to commit adequate military resources to
      the fight against Al Qaeda and the Taliban will
      be further reduced, undermining efforts to
      stabilise Afghanistan. The strategic importance
      of Balochistan, which has grown since China
      started building a port for Pakistan at Gwadar,
      close to the Strait of Hormuz, with a projected
      27 berths, enough for a major Pakistani naval
      base that could be used by Beijing, will become
      its ticket to a new but disastrously
      overstretched Great Game.

      The IPI pipeline is the first thing that will be
      scuttled, along with Pakistan's regional
      security. On the eastern border, Indian
      ambivalence on Balochistan will straddle its
      usual range of postures. New Delhi may still talk
      of seeking a stable Pakistan that is open to an
      acceptable peace settlement on Kashmir, but many
      Indian voices from its nationalist mainstream
      will celebrate the prospect of an Islamabad
      trapped in the Balochistan quagmire. Privately,
      almost all Indian players in the security game
      will welcome the crisis in Balochistan as
      leverage on General Musharraf to turn down
      Pakistani support for Kashmiri Islamist
      extremists.

      The final, but most decisive domestic challenge
      to the existing elite consensus in Pakistan will
      come from a previously co-opted source. As the
      most populous province in the country, Punjab may
      no longer be able to sustain its unifying
      metaphor on inter-provincial politics under the
      sheer weight of its own contradictions and
      internal tensions.

      Without federal forces in power, like mainstream
      political parties that unite, Punjab itself could
      start seeing its old bond with the army as
      counter-productive and in deep existential review
      of its relationship with the rest of Pakistan.
      Minus a myopic colonising impulse gathering
      ballast among discontented locals and
      intellectuals in Punjab, the army would face a
      challenge from its very heartland and recruiting
      ground.

      Much of this unfortunately, has already been
      taking shape since the start of the military
      operation in the province. According to US
      intelligence sources, more than six Pakistani
      army brigades, plus paramilitary forces totalling
      some 25,000 men, have been battling Baloch
      Liberation Army guerillas in the Kohlu mountains
      and the surrounding areas.

      Earlier in the year, the Human Rights Commission
      was given only limited access to the Kohlu area,
      which is at the heart of the current insurgency,
      and its findings disclose not only a chilling
      list of disappearances, but also a catalogue of
      deaths, described as a result of 'indiscriminate
      bombing and strafing' by 20 Cobra helicopter
      gunships and four squadrons of fighter planes,
      including F-16 fighter jets, resulting in 215
      civilian dead and hundreds more wounded, many of
      them women and children.

      Until this point, most Baloch leaders have not
      embraced independence or secession as a real
      option. Despite their rhetoric, at least as a
      first step, they have been ready to settle for
      the provincial autonomy envisaged in the 1973
      Pakistani Constitution. They sought an end to the
      blatant economic discrimination by the centre,
      which is dominated by an elite, mostly still
      feudal, from Punjab. They are very conscious of
      the fact that most of Pakistan's natural
      resources are in Balochistan.

      Although the 1973 Constitution provides very
      specifically for provincial autonomy, as well as
      royalties and local rights even where well-heads
      are located, most of its stipulations are
      ignored. It is common knowledge that 36 per cent
      of the gas produced in Pakistan comes from the
      province, yet Balochistan consumes only a
      fraction of its production due to its harrowing
      poverty. For decades, non-inclusive central
      governments have denied Balochistan a fair share
      of development funds and paid only 12 per cent of
      the royalties due to the province for the gas
      produced there, while Sindh and Punjab pick up
      far more per thermal unit for the gas they
      produce. But under military regimes, Balochistan
      always slides further into backwardness.

      This brings us to the grievous blowback that this
      ill-advised and tragic military action will
      invariably have in more ways than one. It is
      obvious that if security was the primary
      objective of killing Bugti, then the regime has
      guaranteed an opposite if not equal reaction. Not
      only will this killing catalyse Baloch dissent
      into material action, it will unite a fragmented
      nationalist movement. The main difference between
      earlier phases of the Baloch struggle and the
      present one, as many strategic observers say, is
      that Islamabad will no longer be able to play off
      feuding tribes against each other.

      Any visitor to Kohlu or Dera Bugti will tell you
      that the other important difference is that the
      Baloch have a better-armed, more disciplined
      fighting guerrilla force. No one says where the
      sophisticated weaponry comes from, but the
      guerilla grapevine hints at the booming
      Baloch-Pushtun black market, spurred by active
      international activity at several points from
      East Gwadar to the Afghan-Russian transit
      corridor.

      This lethal nexus, if cemented, will seal the
      contract on the commercialisation of this
      conflict. Once the international defence industry
      lands its middlemen to protect the vital energy
      interests it wages wars for in other parts of the
      world, all bets will be off on which way the
      lines of the map will be redrawn. That is when
      Balochistan will truly go global, and Pakistan
      will spiral deeper into chaos.

      Akbar Khan Bugti's killing at the hands of the
      military has escalated an old struggle into a
      fight for many things in Pakistan. His death has
      become symbolic of all that troubles the
      province, and the way military planners handle
      dissent. After the way Bugti was hunted down and
      his body flown out in a locked coffin,
      Balochistan can never be the same place. And
      without a doubt, if Balochistan will not
      normalise from shock-impact, then Pakistan too
      will be a different country in more ways than one.

      There writer is a member of the National Assembly.

      _____


      [3]

      Kashmir Times
      September 10, 2006

      AHMED BASHIR: THE MULLAH'S NEMESIS
      by Khalid Hasan

      We will have to look long and hard and wait for
      maybe decades before a man like Ahmed Bashir
      comes walking this way again. He is the only
      intellectual who took the mullahdom of Pakistan
      head on. He was not afraid of exposing the
      hypocricy, ignorance, intolerance and
      bloody-mindedness of these men, who, like a swarm
      of locusts, have descended upon a country whose
      establishment they had opposed and whose creator
      they had denounced as The Great Infidel.
      Ahmed Bashir alone had the courage and the
      integrity to challenge them and to show how
      small-minded and hatre-filled these men in
      self-designed costume headgear and gowns were.
      The great iconoclast is now dead and there is no
      one big or brave or mad enough to step into his
      shoes. The mullahs are running rampant and
      pushing us closer by the hour towards the
      precipice.
      The best antidote to the bigotry and religiosity
      of the mullah is to revisit the classic rejoinder
      Ahmed Bashir issued after a host of "ulema" had
      issued a "religious" decree declaring him vajibul
      qatl, or deserving of death. One can only wonder
      why Ahmed Bashir wasn't gunned down by a zealot
      keen to get to heaven and its promised delights
      by dispatching an enemy of God to his
      well-deserved end. Ahmed Bashir did not die of an
      assassin's bullet but of a dread disease, the one
      John Wayne called the Big C.
      Ahmed Bashir's rejoinder that he wrote in Urdu
      and called Phir raha hai sheher mein Mullah khula
      (On the loose walks the Mullah in the city) is a
      masterpiece and should be read by every citizen
      of Pakistan. It should be framed and hung on
      school walls. It should be printed in millions
      and distributed to every Pakistani who can read
      or who can be read to. Above all, it should be
      made part of the syllabi at the Pakistan Military
      Academy, Kakul.
      Ahmed Bashir earned the fatwa because in a
      collection of his old articles and pieces of
      reportage was included a hilarious account of his
      first meeting with Maulana Charagh Hasan Hasrat,
      to whom the young gadfly had gone looking for a
      job. He was hired. They went out for a long drink
      and ended the evening in Hira Mandi listening to
      Billo Bai sing the raag Des. The year was 1948.
      Ahmed Bashir wrote, 'I am a Muslim by the grace
      of God, though I am a sinner. I have never
      cheated anyone of what was his. I have never
      treated anyone with cruelty. I have never been
      guilty of enslaving myself to state authority. My
      reputation as a journalist and human being is a
      good one. The only charge levelled at me in my 48
      years of journalism is that of rebelling against
      the system. I have no property. What I earn
      through my work is not sufficient to pay my rent,
      which is why I live in a single room in my
      son-in-law's house. I have no regrets nor do I
      look at my past wistfully. There are no fears
      that I live with. The question is: what is it
      that has led the Maulvis of Lahore, who never
      tire of bragging about their political and
      religious acumen, to order my killing.'
      'In 1948,' Ahmed Bashir wrote, 'the Quaid-i-Azam
      was alive. The Objectives Resolution had yet to
      be imposed. The mullahs were fidgety, wondering
      how to live down the shame of having opposed
      Pakistan and how to take over the new country. No
      movement had so far arisen to turn Pakistan into
      a religious state, nor had the mullahs yet gained
      the confidence to treat Pakistan as their
      personal fiefdom. They had not yet declared
      themselves God's deputies on earth. The people of
      Pakistan still enjoyed civil liberties. Their
      lips were free. There were of course some who
      would drink on the sly. Classical music was alive
      in Hira Mandi. These simple diversions were not
      confused with revolt against God and his Prophet
      (PBUH), nor was anyone declared deserving of
      murder if he indulged in these weaknesses.
      Jogindar Nath Mandal was law minister and the
      leader of opposition was a Hindu. The Qadiani
      Zafraulla Khan was foreign minister. Pakistan was
      a Muslim-majority state where non-Muslims had
      equal rights. It was not a religious state. And
      that was what Quaid-i-Azam's Pakistan was like.'
      Ahmed Bashir continued, 'Nationalism or love of
      one's nation is anathema to the Maulvi; in his
      book it amounts to rebellion against God and the
      Prophet (PBUH). If truth be told, the Maulvi
      worships kingship, when it was considered
      legitimate to invade and plunder other countries;
      when the victors were called the Shadow of God on
      Earth and when the vanquished were put to sword.
      Eight hundred years ago after the destruction of
      Baghdad, these Maulvis closed the doors of free
      inquiry in Islam and pushed the Muslims in the
      blind well of ignorance and past worship forever.
      The creative flow of Islam was turned into a
      cesspool over which the Maulvi has spread his
      girth like maloderant moss. No Maulvi has ever
      gone to the Quaid-i-Azam's grave to say a prayer,
      because no person of faith is supposed to visit
      the resting place of The Great Infidel, even if
      he created a Muslim state. Not a single
      fatwa-giver, nor any of those who pronounce death
      on poor Muslims, has ever gone to pay his
      respects to the man in whose debt he should feel
      himself to be. The Maulvi did not forgive Jinnah
      because he created a nation state. After his
      death, in conspiracy with civil and military
      bureaucracy and feudal lords, the Maulvi hatched
      a plot to gain control of Pakistan. But who are
      these Maulvis? Are they not the very men who
      assured Yazid through a fatwa that the murder of
      Hussain was a legitimate act? And are they not
      the same men who declared at the urging of
      Mamoon-ul-Rashid that the Quran could be modified
      and that it was mortal like other creations of
      God? Are they not the same men who had Imam Abu
      Hanifa lashed? And did they not declare Halakoo
      Khan the Just King after he had caused rivers of
      Muslim blood to flow through the streets of
      Baghdad? These are the men, remember, who kissed
      the hands of the British after the destruction of
      Delhi in 1857 and called on Muslims through a
      fatwa to obey the British because they were
      People of the Book."
      Only a few people spoke up for Ahmed Bashir after
      the fatwa, among them a woman who has brought
      honour to Pakistan: Asma Jahangir. No newspaper
      took his side and the courts failed to order
      action taken against those who had ordered the
      murder of a citizen of Pakistan because half a
      century ago, he had drunk a glass of beer with
      the great Maulana Charagh Hasan Hasrat and spent
      the evening listening to raag Des in the bazaar
      where the lights used to remain on all night. It
      is my view that although there must have been
      several grounds on which Ahmed Bashir must have
      been admitted to heaven, the evening spent in the
      delightful company of Hasrat in 1948 must have
      been on top of the list.
      *(Khalid Hasan is a senior Pakistani journalist-columnist based in Washington).
      -(Courtesy: The Friday Times)


      _____


      [4]

      Gulf News
      10 September 2006

      183 INDIAN DELEGATES FOR PEACE CONVENTION

      By Amir Mir, Correspondent


      Lahore: As many as 183 Indian delegates are
      expected to take part in the second 'Visa-Free,
      Nuclear-Free and Peaceful South Asia Convention'
      to be held from September 15 to 17 in Lahore.

      They include members of parliament,
      intellectuals, retired army officers, peace
      activists, media persons and students.

      The three-day convention is being organised by
      the Institute of Peace and Secular Studies (IPSS).

      The convention was scheduled for August 6-9 this
      year but was postponed because Pakistan's
      Interior Ministry did not issue clearance to
      these personalities due to the row that broke out
      after the Mumbai explosions.

      IPSS director and peace activist Saeeda Diep said
      the first such convention was held in New Delhi
      and Lucknow last year and it was decided the
      convention would be held every year from August 6
      to 9 on the days when Hiroshima and Nagasaki were
      bombed.

      "We will welcome the Indian delegation on
      September 15 at the Wagah border and the
      inaugural session of the convention will be held
      the same evening at Alhamra Hall II," Saeeda
      said. "On the second day, two dialogue sessions
      will be held. The title of the first session will
      be 'Denuclearisation' and that of the second will
      be 'Peace in South Asia and special emphasis will
      be on Pakistan and India'," she said and added
      that Pakistani youth had also prepared a play to
      mark the occasion.

      _____


      [5]

      sacw.net - September 10, 2006
      http://www.sacw.net/DC/CommunalismCollection/ArticlesArchive/gatade10sep06.html

      MALEGAON BLASTS - FOOTPRINTS OF NANDED ?

      by Subhash Gatade

      Everybody knows that Shab-e-Barat happens to be a
      day when Muslims visit graveyards of their loved
      ones, clean and decorate the graves and spend the
      night there, reading out special prayers for the
      occasion. But who from Malegaon and adjoining
      areas would have imagined that the day to
      remember the departed ones would turn out to be
      the last day of some of their own lives and would
      maim many among them for the rest of their lives.

      People in Malegaon are still in the mourning.
      They are still recovering from the two blasts,
      which occurred at two places in the city killing
      around 31 people and wounding more than 100 of
      them.
      Residents of the city shudder to think the way
      they could save themselves. The prayer was almost
      over, people were preparing to leave the grounds
      of the Bada Kabaristan and there was a bomb blast
      near the Vazu Khana’ where mostly children were
      sitting for their prayers. And within fraction of
      seconds there was a transfer scene. The
      tranquility, the silence witnessed during the
      prayers was all gone and one could hear shrieks
      of the wounded, one could see blood splattered on
      the ground, people running for cover desperately,
      children getting crushed under the stampede.

      The only feeling of comfort in the otherwise
      gloomy scenario was that there was no repeat of
      2001- the year when the city of 7 lakhs where 75
      per cent population is Muslim, witnessed large
      scale rioting. This time despite provocation
      there was no communal flare-up.

      The 'Communally sensitive' town remained calm.
      Instead one could see new bonds of solidarity
      getting forged between the two communities who
      for various reasons have remained in an adversial
      relationship with each other. Scores of Hindus
      could be seen at the various hospitals standing
      in queue to donate blood and doing whatever
      little they could do to help the victims.

      Is it Bajrang or Lashkar?

      Looking at the nature of crime, where fanatics
      planted bombs in crowded areas in the city to see
      to it that people are killed in large numbers and
      communal flare-ups ensues, it is clear that
      meticulous planning went into it. Question
      naturally arises, who could have benefited from
      growing communal divide? A general answer could
      be a fanatic group who believes and propagates a
      religion-based ideology. It could be
      Lashkar-e-Toiba or any of those Jihadi terrorist
      organizations or one of those Hindu Militant
      groups, which have of late demonstrated similar
      prowess umpteen times.

      A newspaper clipping from a leading national daily rightly underlines
      MUMBAI: The police are probing whether the
      Bajrang Dal or a Lashkar group could have been
      involved in Friday's Malegaon blasts. The Bajrang
      Dal is known to have followed a similar pattern
      in blasts at Parbhani's Mohammadi Masjid and
      mosques at Pona and Jalna earlier this year. "We
      are probing this angle, though it is too early to
      hold any group responsible," DGP P S Pasricha
      said on Friday. (Times of India, 9 th Sep 2006,
      Updated at 12.3111 hrs IST)

      A section of the readers would definitely feel
      surprised over the inclusion of Bajrang Dal or
      for that matter any of the Parivar organizations
      on the list of possible suspects. Perhaps they
      are unaware of similar terrorist acts committed
      by these very organizations or their activists.
      One of the most recent one being the deaths of
      few activists of Bajrang Dal on 6 th April in
      Nanded, Maharashtra while making bombs. One could
      have a look at a news clipping of The Telegraph (
      10 th April 2006) how they got killed.
      Mumbai, April 9: Bajrang Dal activists were
      involved in last week's bomb blast in Maharashtra
      in which two people died, police have
      confirmed.The incident could prove to be an
      embarrassment for Lal Krishna Advani whose yatra,
      ironically called Bharat Suraksha, entered the
      state today since the Bajrang Dal is an associate
      of the Sangh parivar.

      "Bajrang Dal activists were actually making a
      bomb before one exploded in an activist's house,"
      said a senior police officer.. -- "We have seized
      another bomb from the same site on Saturday
      which has now been defused," said another police
      official.

      Interestingly in an interview to 'Communalism
      Combat' Mr. K.P. Raghuvanshi, head of the
      Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra had
      given details of the way in which the ATS was
      working on this particular case :

      In the Nanded case, the very fact that the
      investigation has been handed over to us, the
      ATS, shows how the administration and government
      are viewing it. Investigations are on. Two
      persons making the bombs died on the spot
      (Himanshu Panse, 27, and Naresh Rajkondwar, 26).
      The house was the residence of the local Bajrang
      Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activist.

      Of the two who survive, one is so seriously ill
      he cannot speak. He is not expected to survive.
      The other is the sole surviving accused. We have
      him and one witness. On both we have already done
      a brain-mapping and narco-analysis test. This is
      the same group of terrorists responsible for the
      bomb blasts at the Parbhani mosque in (April)
      2003, an incident in which 25 persons were
      injured. Until now we do not know for sure if
      they are linked to the other masjid bomb blasts
      at Purna and Jalna (August 2004, in which 18
      persons were injured). -- . . .We have applied
      the provisions of the Unlawful Practices Act. It
      is clear that these bombs were not being
      manufactured for a puja. They were being
      manufactured for unlawful ends to wreak violence
      through terror.

      Praveen Swami and Anupama Katakam, in their
      writeup in 'The Hindu' (Malegaon : the road to
      perdition, 9 th September 2006) rightly underline
      that "It is possible that no full account of the
      Malegaon bombings and their perpetrators will
      emerge for weeks or months. But the contours of
      the evidence available so far do not portend
      well."
      Ofcourse, at this stage it is humanly impossible
      to be anything like certain that a Hindu
      Fundamentalist group or a Islamist terrorist
      group carried out the bombing. At this juncture
      one need not revisit the way Islamist terrorist
      groups have engaged in large scale attacks
      against not only shrines and mosques in West
      Asia, Pakistan and even Jammu and Kashmir but
      also on cultural troupes or independent
      intellectuals who have refused to toe their
      anti-democratic dictats. One also need to bear in
      mind that it was only May-June this year that
      police had recovered RDX as well as assault
      rifles and grenades from a Lashkar-e-Toiba safe
      house in Malegaon itself.

      The most important lesson, which should be
      remembered, is that the law and order machinery
      should be even handed in its approach in
      unearthing the truth. It should not repeat its
      earlier folly of stigmatizing the whole
      community, which it is alleged to have engaged in
      after the Bombay blasts. It should also not be
      seen going soft on Hindu militant formations for
      fear of providing political capital to Hindutva
      organizations.

      And as far as civil society is concerned it
      should bear in mind the advice rendered by
      Swaminathan S Anklesariya Aiyar, Consulting
      Editor of The Economic Times wherein he cautions
      the reader in assuming that 'terrorism is a
      Muslim monopoly': "In terms of membership and
      area controlled, secular terrorists are far ahead
      of Muslim terrorists. In sum, terrorism is
      certainly not a Muslim monopoly. There are or
      have been terrorist groups among Christians,
      Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and even Buddhists. Secular
      terrorists have been the biggest killers."
      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1794203.cms):


      o o o o

      MALEGAON: THE ROAD TO PERDITION

      Islamist violence has scarred much of India, but
      the Malegaon bombings were preceded by a series
      of Hindutva terrorist attacks on mosques

      http://www.hindu.com/2006/09/09/stories/2006090907431100.htm

      _____


      [6]

      Communalism Combat
      August 2006

      NO PEACE WITHOUT JUSTICE

      The bomb terror of March 12, 1993 must be
      recalled with the same horror as the mob terror
      on and after December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya

      by Teesta Setalvad

      The eager wait for the judgement in the 1993
      Bombay blasts case is easy to comprehend; it is a
      crucial form of redress for the 200 families who
      lost dear ones in the serial blasts - a message
      that the Indian system delivers justice to one
      and all for all crimes, especially mass crimes of
      unspeakable brutality.

      But as the media and thus the nation awaits the
      verdict in the bomb blasts case (now postponed to
      September 12), the bomb terror of March 12, 1993
      must be recalled with the same horror as the mob
      terror of December 6, 1992 in Ayodhya, resulting
      in the loss of hundreds of lives all over the
      country, must be rehauled in public memory.

      "The soul of India was seared on December 6,
      1992" (as an editorial in India Today put it).
      The soul of Bombay was forever scarred with the
      brute mob violence that held us to ransom from
      December 8 to January 20, 1993. Mobs stalked
      streets that were likened to Nazi Germany (by
      jurist NA Palkhiwala and Justice Bakhtawar Lentin
      of the Bombay High Court). The Bombay police
      connived with mobsters in mass arson, murder and
      even rape. Worse still, our political leaders
      watched as Bombay burned.

      Justice BN Srikrishna, who conducted an official
      probe into the violence, had this to say, "One
      common link between the riotsŠ and bomb blasts of
      12th March 1993 appears to be that the former
      appear to have been a causative factor for the
      latterŠ The serial bomb blasts were a reaction to
      the totality of events at Ayodhya and Bombay in
      December 1992 and January 1993."

      The Srikrishna Commission Report concluded that:
      "The resentment against the government and the
      police among a large body of Muslim youth was
      exploited by Pakistan-aided anti-national
      elements. They were brainwashed into taking
      revenge and a conspiracy was hatched and
      implemented at the instance of Dawood Ibrahim to
      train Muslims on how to explode bombs near vital
      installations and in Hindu areas to engineer a
      fresh round of riots. "There is no doubt that all
      the accused, except two or three, are Muslims and
      there is no doubt that the major role in the
      conspiracy, at the Indian as well as foreign end,
      was played by Muslims," says the report. The
      common link between the riots and the blasts was
      that of cause and effect. There were also three
      or four common accused named in both the riots
      and the blasts. The Commission concludes, "There
      is no material placed before it to indicate that
      the riots and the blasts were part of a common
      design."
      [. . .].
      http://www.sabrang.com/cc/archive/2006/july-aug06/cover2.html

      [also located at
      http://communalism.blogspot.com/2006/08/no-peace-without-justice.html ]

      _____


      [7]

      No Borders
      Journeys of an Indian Journalist
      Current Affairs
      2006 l Demy 8vo l x+248pp
      ISBN 81-89654-04-7 (Hb) l Rs. 425
      ISBN 81-89654-05-5 (Pb) l Rs. 250


      Images of West, as a source of all hope, a place
      of luxury, affluence and ease, persist in the
      popular Indian imagination. On the other hand,
      most countries of South principally appear in the
      western media as sites of violence, or places of
      expanding markets. Moreover, while the North
      assumes the right to comment on the South, the
      South is usually denied the same. This
      one-dimensional exchange and orientation
      reinforces a simplistic and damaging
      falsification of the relationship between North
      and South and between South and South.
      Challenging stereotyped coverage and images, No
      Borders is a journey of an Indian journalist
      through many countries of developed and
      developing world between 1990-2005.
      Part-reportage and part-research, based on
      extensive field work along with photographs, it
      explores radical changes, interventions and
      popular protests of the common people,
      communities, trade unions, farmers and women
      organisations, peoples' movements and civil
      society bodies in present-day USA, UK, Germany,
      South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Bolivia,
      Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri
      Lanka, Nepal and India. The book highlights the
      internationalisation of issues afflicting the
      majority of humanity across continents and an
      international solidarity and response in the
      making.
      Contents:
      Acknowledgements; Introduction;
      I. New Regimes, New Untouchables—UK: Destruction
      of Mining and Miners; South Africa: The ‘New
      Poor’ of KwaZulu-Natal; Germany: Many Other
      Walls; India: The Untouchable Present; Bolivia:
      Captured Crops;
      II. Guns, Bread, Butter and Oil: The Changing
      Face of Power—USA: War on Poor Nations; USA:
      Killing Me Softly—Toxic Water and Struggle for
      Environmental Justice; Nigeria: Shell's Mess;
      Indonesia: A Bitter Harvest; Namibia: How 'New'
      is the 'New Conservation'?; Malaysia: 'Disorder'
      in 'Order': Increasing Rape in Malaysia;
      III. The Struggle for Livelihoods—Brazil: Lands
      of Conflicts; Malaysia: An Outward Journey;
      Indonesia: Towards A People's Mining; South
      Africa: Land Reforms and Challenges;
      IV. Resources of Caste, Class, Community and
      State—UK: The Liverpool Dockers: The Making and
      Un-Making of a Struggle; UK: A Coalfield of their
      Own; South Africa: 'Our Homes'; Nepal: Freedom is
      not Free; Germany: Peace Must Also be Lived;
      India: A Dalit Organisation in the Making
      V. Biplane "Sri Lanka-India: Coastal Fisherfolk"
      Caught in a Conflict Wrap; South Asia: Images of
      Labour; Africa: To Govern Biodiversity
      Index
      Mukul Sharma is a journalist and a writer. He was
      the Special Correspondent in Navbharat Times, The
      Times of India Publications Group (1983-1998) and
      has received many national/international awards
      for journalism, the most recent being the Award
      for Excellence in Asian Print Media Writing by
      Asian Media Information & Communication Centre,
      Singapore and Singapore Press Holdings. He writes
      on labour, environment, development and media
      issues in English and Hindi and has published
      extensively, including the book Landscapes and
      Lives (OUP), Improving People's Lives (Sage),
      Unquiet Worlds: Dalit Voices and Visions (HBF)
      and Defining Dignity (WDF). He is closely
      associated with the World Social Forum and the
      World Dignity Forum.

      B-802, Taj Apartments, Gazipur, Delhi-110096
      Tel: 011-65785559, 22230812
      Email: daanishbooks@...

      _____


      [8] Upcoming Events


      "Living in a State of Terror
      the Gujarat genocide, four years later"

      Talk by DIONNE BUNSHA, award-winning journalist from India




      Tuesday 12 September, 6pm
      Leacock Building, Room 26, McGill University
      855 Sherbrooke Street West [entry from McTavish and Dr. Penfield]

      With all the buzz about terrorist attacks, state
      terrorism in India remains a silent, unpunished
      crime. Survivors of Gujarat's genocide in 2002,
      in which girls and women were especially
      targeted,are still living in fear, struggling for
      justice against a government that instigated the
      attacks. Journalist Dionne Bunsha's book,
      SCARRED: Experiments with Violence in Gujarat
      (Penguin India, 2006), is about the communal
      pogrom in Gujarat 2002, its aftermath and life in
      the Hindu extremist party's model state. Her talk
      will place Gujarat's massacre in the context of
      earlier communal flare-ups in India. Why is
      Gujarat considered the Hindutva Laboratory, the
      Hindu right-wing's model state? Why are the
      thousands scarred by Gujarat's massacres still
      living in a state of terror?

      Dionne Bunsha is a multiple award-winning journalist based in Mumbai,
      She is a journalist for one of India’s leading
      newsmagazines Frontline. Ms. Bunsha has received
      three journalism awards for her reportage on the
      Gujarat genocide Gujarat, India:
      -the Sanskriti Award for Excellence in Journalism 2003
      -the People's Union for Civil Liberties Human Rights Journalism Award 2003
      -the International Federation of Journalists
      Tolerance Prize for South Asia 2005.

      Organized by: McGill Centre for Research and
      Teaching on Women (MCRTW), South Asian Women’s
      Community Centre (SAWCC), and CERAS (Centre sur
      l’asie du sud)
      Supported by : Campus Life Fund
      Info: 514-485-9192


      _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/

      Buzz on the perils of fundamentalist politics, on
      matters of peace and democratisation in South
      Asia. SACW is an independent & non-profit
      citizens wire service run since 1998 by South
      Asia Citizens Web: www.sacw.net/
      SACW archive is available at: bridget.jatol.com/pipermail/sacw_insaf.net/

      DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in materials carried in the posts do not
      necessarily reflect the views of SACW compilers.
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