Five bombs exploded in quick succession in crowded markets and streets in the heart of Delhi, India on 13th September 2008, killing at least 23 people and injuring scores more. As is common the government and media started pointing fingers towards the Muslim community citing proof of a dubious email received claiming responsibility.
It is most likely that these bombings as well as those undertaken in recent times in Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Surat and Bangalore were orchestrated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the aim of strengthening their position looking ahead towards the upcoming general election due by May 2009.
There are various evidences that point to this:
1. The reaction of the leaders of the BJP towards the bombings. Instead of taking a conciliatory tone as is normal in a time of crisis, the leaders of the BJP clearly used the event as a pretext to attack the ruling Congress party. The notorious Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi said, “Ten days ago, when I met the prime minister, the home minister (Shivraj Patil) and the National Security Advisor (M.K. Narayanan) in New Delhi, I had specifically informed them that the terrorists being interrogated by the Gujarat police had indicated Delhi was going to be their next target.” Lal Krishna Advani, the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate said, “The refrain of the UPA government had been to blame the Intelligence Bureau (IB) all along for various blasts. This time, the government can’t even tell that the Delhi blasts took place due to intelligence failure. Our Gujarat chief minister had already forewarned them”.
This directly contradicts the statements reported in the press of the Gujarat police, “We had no inkling of any plot for the Delhi blasts in the near future from the interrogation of SIMI activists so far. We knew they were desperate and they would be doing it at some other place,” said Ashish Bhatia, joint commissioner of police (Crime Branch) of Ahmedabad, reported by Indo-Asian News Service (IANS). Assistant Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) R.V. Ansari said: “No clues. Absolutely no clues came of the Delhi angle during interrogation of the SIMI activists by Ahmedabad crime branch.”
Furthermore on Monday 15th September the BJP demanded that Shivraj Patil be sacked as the home minister for failing to control terrorist attacks in the country. “Under the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government, the home ministry is conducting itself in a criminally negligent manner,” BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters.
It is well known that the BJP and its mother organisation Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) orchestrates violence in order to increase their chances in elections, it is established that they were behind the massacres in Gujarat in the past. The recent violence in Karnataka, a BJP ruled state where Hindu mobs have destroyed Churches and have attacked Christians on the pretext that they are converting Hindu’s. Former Director General of Police F T R Colaso said as quoted by NDTV website on September 16th, "We suspect that this could be the BJP agenda to target the minorities, particularly the Christians because we are a very soft target, unlike others who may retaliate against them we know. We feel because of this we are being picked upon by these extremist Sangh Parivar elements under the patronage of the BJP as a whole."
The Press Trust of India on September 15th reported that Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda said, "Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has lived upto his promise that he would implement a 'Gujarat Model' in the state".
It is likely that such communal violence will continue and more bombings may also take place before the general election.
2. Besides dubious emails signed by an unknown group ‘Indian Mujahideen’ there is no evidence that any Muslim group is behind the bombings. Despite the repeated blame by the BJP upon the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) there is no real evidence to implicate them. In fact on August 5th 2008 Justice Geeta Mittal of the Delhi High Court had lifted the ban on SIMI on the grounds that the evidence against the outfit was too weak to justify the extension of ban under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for allegedly indulging in terrorist and anti-national activities. Although the ban has been extended until the case is heard in the Supreme Court, the fact that the Delhi High Court found no sufficient evidence to continue the ban demonstrates that the claims of the BJP and others are false.
Whilst it is true that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is more pro-American than the Congress Prime Ministers of the past, it is clear that America backs the BJP. The Congress Party openly stated its disdain for the relationship between the BJP and USA. In its election manifesto under ‘Security, Defence and Foreign policy, The Congress Agenda’ it states:
“Of equal concern has been the BJP/NDA Government’s policies towards the USA. They have been charcterised by a lack of transparency. Till this day, the country has never been taken into confidence about the outcome of several rounds of discussions which Shri Jaswant Singh as Minister of External Affairs had with Mr. Strobe Talbott, Deputy Secretary of State of the USA. Sadly, a great country like India has been reduced to having a subordinate relationship with the USA where the USA takes India for granted. This is the result of the BJP/NDA Government’s willingness to adjust the US priorities and policies without giving due attention to India’s own vital foreign policy and national security interests. The declaration of Pakistan as a non-NATO ally by the USA recently exposed the BJP’s claim of a “paradigm shift” in Indo-US relations. This declaration caught the Government of India by surprise. The subsequent protests by the Government of India have been very weak and have lacked credibility and conviction. The BJP/NDA Government has failed to take the country into confidence about the national security implications of the new tie-up between Pakistan and the USA. It has also failed to dispel the widely-held fears that India has accepted the mediator role for the USA in Indo-Pakistan relations.”
This should not give anyone the impression that Congress is independent of the foreign powers or that its policies are better. The recent brutal murder of many innocent Muslims during the Amarnath land dispute uprising as well as the continued oppression in the state of Kashmir under this Congress government is evidence enough of this.