by Amaresh Misra
While the Delhi Police is patting itself on the back for the deportation and subsequent arrest of Abu Jundal, one of the alleged 26/11 mastermind, whose voice apparently was instructing the terrorists on the fateful day of the attack on Mumbai, sections within the Maharashtra Police, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and other security agencies do not think Abu Jundal is a prize catch.
"Abu Jundal's arrest is a sham. He has nothing to do with 26/11. He is either an informer of the Mumbai Crime Branch or the Maharashtra ATS or any other agency connected with the Maharashtra Police. He helped the police in the Aurangabad arms haul of 2006. The Delhi Police are settling scores with the Maharashtra Policethat's all", an IB source revealed on the condition of anonymity.
Another source in the Maharashtra Police said that "there are so many underworld figures living in Saudi Arabia. But they are never deported. To me, it seems that Abu Jundal's story is a frame-up. It is designed to enforce an Indian link in the 26/11 attacks".
This indeed is a serious allegation. Pakistan is already talking of an Indian link in 26/11. This goes against the Indian casebuttressed by revelations made by David Headleythat the 26/11 conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan, by Pakistaniswith or without the knowledge of ISI, Mossad and CIAwith sections within the Pakistani establishment keeping the Government of Pakistan probably in the dark.
It is incredible that some major figures of the Indian establishment are gleefully rejoicing at Abu Jundal's deportation. In fact, the incident might end up helping Pakistan to establish an Indian hand in 26/11 and thus, wash their hands off the entire affair.
Let us expand this argument further: the Indian government is trying hard to get to the truth in the murky 26/11 saga. Till now, on the basis of revelations made by David Headley and Ajmal Kasab, it was assumed that during the 26/11 attack, Pakistani handlers were talking to terrorists fighting Indian Police and commandoes in Mumbai. Kasab had allegedly taken the name of one Abu Humza, whose voice was supposedly heard on the transmissions during the 26/11 attacksAbu Hamza's identity was till now not clear; most security analysts had painted him either as a Pakistani national or an ISI mole gone rogue.
Now suddenly, out of nowhere Abu Jundal, a native of Beed and an Indian nationalwhose real name is Zabiuddin Ansari and who has an established, positive connection with the Maharashtra Policeemerges as the one whose voice samples are supposed to match those of Abu Hamza! So at least for now, officially as per the Delhi Police Special Cell, Abu Jundal is Abu Humza!
To understand the counter view that Abu Jundal's arrest has nothing to do with 26/11and that it is related to the intense turf war currently being waged between various Indian security agenciesone has to bring in two more personalitiesNaquee Ahmed and Qateel Siddiquiinto the equation.
On January 2012, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Naquee Ahmed, a resident of Bihar, in connection with the July, 2011 blasts in Mumbai. The Delhi Police Special Cell protested officially claiming that Naquee was their mantheir sourcewho was helping them nab Yasin Bhatkal, an alleged IM operative, wanted in several terror related cases, including the 2011 Mumbai blasts. The Home Secretary went on record to say that though Naquee could have been a Delhi Police Special Cell informer, it is more likely that he is also a terrorist who got caught by the Maharashtra ATS.
What is going on? A Delhi Police Special Cell informer is arrested as a terrorist! The home secretary does not rule out the possibility of him being a police informer! Going strictly as per the statements of the home secretary himself, Indian Police forces are actually harbouring terrorists as informersif that indeed is true, why wasn't any action taken against the handlers of Naquee in the Delhi Police Special Cell? Home ministry officials cannot have their cake and eat it tooit is unethical to say that Naquee was a police informer and a terrorist.
Now, during the David Headley saga, US authorities too claimed that Headley might have been "their man" who then went rogue and helped Lashkar-e-Toiba in executing 26/11 attacks!
As mentioned above, Abu Jundal too is being seen as a Police informer who turned rogue!
Are we ordinary Indians fools? Can't we see through the game being played here by Indian security agencies, US authorities, ISI, Mossad and God knows who all?
So many innocent and precious lives were lost during the 26/11 attacks. So many Indians have died in innumerable bomb blasts and terrorist activities. Whomsoever, is arrested, emerges as an informer of some agency or the other. So, even if we go by official versions, most blasts and terrorist actions are being undertaken by people known to security forces and various state police forces. So basically, our brothers, sisters and children are being butchered mercilessly by these modern bhasmasursdemons created by security agencies who then turn against their creatorsbut waitno, not against their creators but the ordinary people of India! At least, I have not heard till date of any near relative of a security official dying in a major terror incident!
But then there is the other angleit can also be said that these bhasmasursare only paper tigersthat, instead of going after the real perpetrators, Indian security agencies have made it a habit to implicate their own informers in terror related cases!
Some years back, a Delhi Court ordered a CBI enquiry into a case where the Delhi Police had claimed that it caught two terrorists. The CBI enquiry confirmed what the accused had been saying all alongthat they were not terrorists but informers for the Delhi Police!
In the December 2000 Red Fort attack case too, the man who was held guilty went on record stating that he was actually a Pakistani citizen working for RAW who was implicated, in the Red Fort case simply out of nowhere. The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) also took up this case.
The icing in the case of course concerns Qateel Siddiqui, the alleged IM operative belonging to the so called "Darbangha module". Officially Qateel was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell, made an accused in the Jama Masjid firing and other terror incidents. Then the Maharashtra ATS sought his custody. Subsequently, Qateel was murdered inside the Pune Yerwada Jail premises.
The manner, in which Qateel was bumped off, through Hindu underworld figures, carries the unmistakable stamp of some high ranking Mumbai Police officers, including Rakesh Maria, the current Maharashtra ATS chief. It is well known that as many as seven Muslim accused in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts were assassinated extra-judicially by members of the Chota Rajan gang. This gang supposedly split away from Dawood after the 1993 blasts on "patriotic grounds". Then it went on a killing spree.
Sources in Mumbai Police allege that Chota Rajan's killing spree had the blessings of officers like Rakesh Maria who is credited with cracking the 93' blasts case. Salim Khan Durrani, one of the accused in the 93' blastslater exonerated of the charges of conspiracy and harbouring by the TADA special courtis on record for having stated that in 1994, he too, like Qateel in 2012, was lodged in the anda (high security) cell of a Maharashtra prison (Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai). In 2012, the entry to Qateel's cell in Pune Yerwada jail was left unguarded and he was murdered by Mohol and Bhalerao, two heinous criminals. In 1994, the jail authorities `forgot' to lock the inner gate of Salim Khan's cell. Members of the dreaded Ashwin Naik gang tried attacking Salim Khan at night. He was saved literally by divine intervention as his screams attracted other inmates.
Rakesh Maria has been accused of horrifying human rights violations, including parading Muslim women naked, making men drink urine and eat human faeces' and forcing incest during interrogations.
All of this is documented in a book called `Voices' written by an anonymous victim of what Amnesty International termed then as fourth degree tortures (far more brutal than the horrible third degree torture, the usual norm in Indian jails!).
But why was Qateel killed? A possible answer might lie in the turf war between the IB and the Delhi Police Special Cell. Sometime in 2010, some IB officers were probing a fake currency international network (FCIN) network in West Bengal. They were looking for a person named Qateel Siddiqui, whom they thought was a key person in the network.
The IB took help of the West Bengal Police in this operation. They raided Qateel's house in Darbhanga in Bihar once, but he managed to escape. Later they kept watch on certain mobile numbers from the FCIN operators. Success followed as some persons associated with the FCIN were arrested in 2010. One of them happened to be Yasin Bhatkalthe most wanted IM operative. But as per the official version, as Yasin's pictures were not available then, the IM operative was jailed for a while in the fake currency case and later released.
The IB team chasing Qateel was not aware of this. In October 2011, the team managed to get leads about Qateel and found out that he was holed up in Delhi. Naturally, the IB team sought help from the Delhi Police Special Cell. This innocuous request made to the Delhi Police proved costly for the West Bengal police and the IB officers.
Initially, according to sources, the Delhi Police Special Cell detained Qateel Siddiqui as a person wanted by West Bengal police. But after a brief interrogation Qateel became an IM operative with an association to Yasin Bhatkal! The Delhi Police arrested seven IM suspects from Darbhanga, keeping the West Bengal police in dark.
Not just that, local media in Delhi carried reports, apparently leaked by Delhi Police, on how West Bengal police let Yasin Bhatkal escape. This was a blow which was difficult to digest for the West Bengal police and the IB group associated with them. They now started looking for an opportunity to teach Delhi Police a lesson. The Mumbai operation of the Delhi Police (the Naquee Ahmed affair cited above) came in handy.
It is equally interesting to understand why the West Bengal police and a section of the IB, decided to pit Maharashtra ATS against the Delhi Police Special Cell. The Maharashtra ATS comprising of some former senior officers of the Mumbai crime branch do not see eye to eye with the Delhi Police Special Cell.
Seeds of distrust were sown far back, as Mumbai crime branch did not take Delhi Police in confidence while looking for fugitive IM leaders Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal when they were holed up in Delhi in 2008. When the Delhi Police came to know that a prized catch was holed up in their domain, they launched the notorious Batla house encounter in which some terrorists' were killed but the Bhatkal brothers were nowhere in the picture! Mumbai Police has since blamed the Delhi Police of highhandedness and spoiling their operation.
Of late, just before Abu Jundal's arrest, Delhi Police blamed the Maharashtra Police of circulating pictures of dreaded Pakistani terrorists who later turned out to be Lahore based traders!
Several lessons can be drawn from the Abu Jundal and related operations:
1. It is obvious that a strange anti-terrorism competitiveness (the race to catch an alleged terrorist) between various Police organs of different States, is violating all constitutional procedures and penal codes of Indian law. This race has reached absurd proportions.
2. The unhealthy competitiveness is producing a phenomenon where in a game of one-upmanship, the various security forces are arresting innocents, particularly Muslim boys, often their informants, and showcasing them as terrorists.
3. A lot of tax payer money is thus being wasted while ordinary Indian citizens are getting killed frequently. There is no accountability on part of the security agencies.
4. Indian security agencies cannot be trusted. The Police charge-sheet filed in Sadhvi Pragya/Raj Kumar Purohit 2008 Malegaon and Samjhauta Express blast case shows that Mossad and ISI have penetrated Indian security forces with the help of RSS type organizations .
5. The Maharashtra ATS arrested Naquee Ahmed, an informant of the Delhi Police. So has the Delhi Police done a tit for tat by arresting Zabuiddin Ansari, an informer of the Maharashtra Police, and presenting him as Abu Jundal, the terrorist?
6. An impartial, judicial enquiry should be set up to probe the Naquee Ahmed/Qateel Siddiqui/Abu Jundal cases.
7. The focus ought to shift back to the line taken by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), wherein the hand of Sangh Parivar related terrorists was found in major blasts and terror attacks that shook India. The NIA probe was leading to the involvement of Indresh, a high ranking RSS functionarywhy has this line of investigation not progressed? Is it because the current Home Minister is being blackmailed by the BJP-RSS (to shift the limelight away from Sangh Parivar terrorism back to innocent Muslim boys) in exchange for letting the Home Minister breathe easy in the 2G case and other allegations of corruption against his family members? If BJP-RSS are actually tolerating corruption where the Home Minister is involved, only to save their skins in terror cases, the Sangh Parivar hypocrisy needs to be exposed.
Finally, there can be no compromise on National Security. Hindu/Muslim/Sangh Parivar or any x, y, z entity, cannot be forgiven. Neither can one community (in this case the Muslims) be singled out for persecution. WEHINDUS, MUSLIMS, CHRISTIAN, PARSEES, JAINSAS A PEOPLEHAVE LOST OUR DEAR ONES IN BLASTS AND TERROR CASES. WE CANNOT TOLERATE THE BUFFONERY OF OUR MAJOR SECURITY FORCES. WE CANNOT BE HELD HOSTAGE TO TURF WARS AND SECRET DEALS BETWEEN THE HOME MINISTER AND THE BJP-RSS. WE DESERVE THE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH