Categorized | India, News, Politics

SIMI- The New Face Of Terror

A massive investigation launched in the wake of the Delhi serial blasts has brought startling facts about India’s home grown terrorists. The Police claim that the group busted in the operation conducted by the Delhi Police Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) was behind all the blasts that had rocked the country since 2007. The careful planning that went behind such synchronised attacks was revealed to the Police after questioning the terrorists who were caught after the manhunt.

It all started with the blasts in  Lumbani Park in Hyderabad, Aug 25, 2007, followed by the blasts nesr the law courts in Uttar Pradesh in November 2007. After that on the 6th of July six blasts rocked Bangalore. Just after a week, on the 26th of July, 2008, eleven blasts ripped through Ahmedabad killing and injuring hundreds of people. Two days later as many as twenty one bombs were diffused in Surat.

The last blasts were in New Delhi on 13th September, 2008, where four blasts occured and three bombs were diffused. All this plotting was done by the Indian Mujahideen. A day after the explosions in Delhi the Mumbai Police received an email from the Indian Mujahideen threatening them with dire consequences for harrassing the muslims in midnaight raids condicted in muslim dominated areas.

The mail threatened action against the ATS Mumbai, the Chief Minister of the state, Vilasrao Deshmukh, for supporting the ATS and  AK Jain, DIG (Deputy Inspector General) of Rajasthan. Jain has been instrumental in arresting several SIMI members in Rajasthan in connection with the May 13 serial blasts in Jaipur. Among those arrested are Safdar Nagori, SIMI chief, Mohammad Ali, SIMI treasurer, and several foot soldiers.

Ever since the investigations started after the Bangalore blasts some key suspects were arrested. But it was after the Ahmedabad case that the name of Atif Ameen surfaced for the first time. He was wanted by the Gujarat Police for questioning. After the explosions in Delhi the police launched a massive offensive and with inputs from various state security departments were able to nab Atif. In an an operation headed by Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma of the Delhi Police Special Cell. He was an encounter specialist with the neutralization of 35 terrorists in more than 125 such operations. Sharma was instrumental in nabbing the suspects of the Prliament attack. With seven gallantry awards under his belt and a President’s Award,          M C Sharma was the best the Delhi Police had. But unfortunately this would be his last mission. After a tip off about the whereabouts of six suspects in flat L 18, Batla House, Jamia Nagar, MC Sharma stormed the apartment in the morning of 19th September and killed two alleged terrorists, arrested one and two had fled the scene. After that four more suspects were caught by the police. Investigations revealed a startling truth.

Atif, aged 24, was the mastermind behind all the blasts. He had assembled twelve others and planned the bombings. Using his laptop, he masterminded the Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur blasts. Possibly in cahoots with Abdus Subhan Qureshi, aka Tauqir, who leads the terror units of SIMI. He was doing a PG Diploma in Human Resource Development from Jamia Milia Islamia University. Originally a resident of Azamgarh, he had planned the blasts in early September and was in Ahmedabad a day before the serial blasts in that city. Atif then returned to Delhi on  July 26, just before the Ahmedabad blasts, along with 12 other people and planted the Greater Kailash market bombs himself. He had led a  ten member team, which included a 10 year old boy, which assembled the bombs that went off in New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Hyderabad.

Mohammad Saif was caught at the site of encounter. Saif is in his early twenties and a student and son of a Samajwadi Party leader. He planted the bomb at Regal Cinema that did not explode. Mohammad Sajid was killed during the encounter. He was only 16. He had planted the bomb in Barakhmaba Road. Zeeshan had helped Sajid keep the bomb. He is an alumnus of IIPM, Delhi, and had earlier come on National television saying he was innocent. Mohammad Shakeel (24), final year MA Economics student at Jamia, is accused of placing bombs in Gaffar market in Karol Bagh. Zia-ur-Rehman (22), third year BA student in Jamia Milia university, is accused of placing bombs in Connaught Place and on a cycle in Ahmedabad. A techie, Saqib (23) is accused of being part of the recce for Karol Bagh blasts and networking activities. He was an MBA student of Sikkim Manipal University of Distance Learning. These three have been caught by the police. Shahzad and Alihas Malik, believed to have planted bomb in Central Park, Connaught Place, Mohammad Khalif, Arif and Salman are still absconding. Police also arrested Abdul Rehman, the caretaker of Batla House where the terrorists were residing on charges of cheating and forgery. Rehman, the father of the arrested Zia allegedly forged the signature of the owner of the house. The encounter had taken place in that house.

These men are not gullible rustics but educated, intelligent youngsters from Azamgarh, who have taken to terrorist activities. Atif Ameen was influenced by the al-Qaida and photographs of Osama-bin-Laden were recovered from his laptop. He had fake voter ID and driver’s licence and was inconstant touch with Tauqir, a SIMI operative who played a key role in Ahmedabad and Bangalore blasts. What is more shocking is the involvement of boys as young as 10 years in the operation. The police say that the Indian Mujahideen (IM) worked hand in glove with the SIMI, a banned Islamic group. It seems that SIMI provided all the material and logistic support to IM. But it was supposedly the Lashker-e-Taiba and HuJI that had brought the IM and SIMI together.

The mood in Azamgarh is sombre. Parents cannot believe that their wards, some as young as 16 years, can be called terrorists. They are scared that the boys are being framed but say that if found guilty then they should be hanged. All these men were regular students and really bright in their respective fields. Their arrests have left their friends and colleagues dumbfounded.

On a personal note, I feel really sorry for these boys. I definitely feel that the Muslims have been targeted in Godhra and previously during the Ayodhya riots and the riots in Mumbai. But then terrorism is not the way to solve the problem. If they want to make a difference then do it by remaining within the system and not going against it. The change has to be brought from within. If they have had so much courage so as to stand up and fight then why not do it the right way. I dont understand what really goes on in their minds when terrorists plan bombing public places. Not only Hindus but even Muslims get killed in them. Eventually it does no one good. At the risk of sound didactic, I believe that terrorism is not going to make life better for anyone. It relegates a man to live like a fugitive, in constant fear. As human beings we definitely deserve better than that.

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