Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Bombs Away

Its been like no other week.. News of bombs exploding and being defused have taken over the headlines, drowning everything else to the background. Starting with blasts in Bangalore on Friday, news is pouring in from Ahmadabad and Surat now. Unlike any of the previous blasts, this time around things have not been the same. There is something amiss and is really worth pondering over.

Carnage has NOT been the intent here.
Lets start with the Bangalore blasts. The bombs were clearly not packed to kill and were set off during the early afternoon. In their wake, the 7 blasts left just 2 dead but sent the city into a state of panic. Nerves are yet to settle. This is evident from the fact that even 5 days later today, schools, business units and malls are ready to shut down at the drop of a hat; just to be safe. The 'terrorists' chose to not kill. Had they wanted, the toll could have been in the hundreds much like the recent May 13 Jaipur blast or the Hyderabad and Delhi blasts preceding that. Despicable as they are, these jehadists could have placed the explosives at crowded areas and set them off in close succession (as was the case of 7/11 Mumbai blasts) during peak hours. But they just did not. Why?(As soon as I heard the news on Friday when in office, it occurred to me that the blasts could be just decoys to get people panicky and out onto streets, when a real set of blasts would blow the unsuspecting commuters to smithereens at major traffic junctions! How glad I was that it didn't happen).

Explanation for this exception was given as - SIMI wanted to prove that they are crippled and are still fully potent and can 'hit on will', even after the arrest of their heads (Nagori et al) this May. But that does not answer the question as to why they chose to not kill. Brash as it may sound, they could have made a bolder statement by claiming numerous lives and drawing world attention.

The toll was definitely higher in case of Ahmadabad, but Surat? 18 live bombs recovered and not a single one went off!? Its hard to digest. These mischievous outfits are known for their meticulous planning and they could definitely not have bungled up this badly. A pointer to this is the fact that no attempt was made to conceal the bombs. Instead they were left hanging from a tree (like the one behind Matavadi police outpost in the Varacha area), hoisted atop a billboard or left at other conspicuous places. The reason for the massive failure has been attributed to faulty wiring of ICs (this is the first time ICs have been used). Again, it seems highly unlikely to me. An explosive recovered from Ahmadabad had a legend 'No. 23' suggesting that it was manufactured in batches from an organised establishment as against a basement or garage.

One plausible explanation to all these anomalies is that I
slamist jihadis are making themselves a part of the election discourse in India.[See this]. Its more sinister and deep rooted than it appears. And the fact that these gruesome activities are targeted at BJP run states is definitely not a co-incidence. I'd not want to thrash our crime branch and intelligence left and right on their failure. When major mishaps are averted, they don't garner much media attention or retentivity in the volatile public memory. But when it comes to incidents like these that could not be stopped, we refuse to forgive them. I'm not saying that you give them a clean chit. All I'm trying to say is that mistakes do happen and they too have their share of problems[See this].

So what is it that they these malcontent radicals trying to prove? That 'they are capable of hitting anytime, anywhere'? All Muslim organizations have 'condemned the dastardly serial blasts'... [Thanks guys.. We could not have asked for more] Pardon my sarcasm, but if they really were concerned, with the sort of network and organizational complexity they have within their community, I feel a sincere cooperation with the authorities would have let us nip these malevolent units years earlier and not let them grow into the juggernaut they are today. I'd just like to say, "Its still not late you guys, wake up and do the needful!!"