E-mail sent after terror attacks claimed courts were communal

In the minutes after a bomb concealed inside a milk tin went off during sunset prayers at the Shita Ghat in Varanasi on December 7, 2010, an email emblazoned with a yellow, blue and red Qur'an-and-Kalashnikov logo arrived at newsrooms nationwide.

“Let's feel the pain together,” it began. The bomb killed a two-year-old child; her mother was among 38 people injured.

National Investigation Agency detectives believe that e-mail could provide insights into the motives of the terrorists who bombed the Delhi High Court on Wednesday — likely members, investigators suspect, of the Lashkar-e-Taiba-linked Indian Mujahideen.

“The Supreme Court, the high courts, the lower courts and all the Commission[s],” it read, “have utterly failed to play an impartial role regarding Muslim issues. Narendra Modi, who presided over the 2002 massacres of Muslims in Gujarat is given a clean chit, whereas the victims still run from pillar to post for justice. Even the '92 Mumbai culprits roam freely and enjoy government security. All the anti-Muslim pre-planned riots, arson, rapes, loss of lives and property are still awaiting justice.”

It pointed, in particular, to the Allahabad High Court's decision, last year, to partition the land on which the Babri Masjid stood between rival Hindu and Muslim claimants — a decision it said had for “all practical purposes” turned the site of a mosque into a Hindu temple.

The e-mail said the attack was being carried out to remind Hindus that the “Indian Mujahideen, the sons of Mahmud Ghazni, Muhammad Ghori, Qutb-ud-Din Aibak, Firuz Shah Tughlaq and Aurangzeb [may Allah bestow His mercy upon them] have resolved that none of your mandirs [temples] will remain safe until and unless all our occupied Masjids throughout India are returned back to the Muslims.”

“O Muslims!,” it went on, “for the sake of Allah STOP [sic.] trusting the taghut [hypocritical] judiciary and the taghut Parliament and mend [your] ways to please Allah alone.”

Jihadis on the judiciary

The Indian Mujahideen, responsible for a string of urban terrorist attacks across India since 2005, sent out its first manifesto on November 23, 2007. The e-mail claimed responsibility for bombing court complexes in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad. Thirteen people were killed in the attacks, which the Indian Mujahideen said was carried out to punish local lawyers who had attacked suspects held for an abortive Jaish-e-Muhammad kidnap plot.

In the manifesto, the Indian Mujahideen said police officers indicted by the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission for their role in the large-scale 1992 anti-Muslim violence in Mumbai “were given promotions and felicitated by the Indian government for their graveyard [sic.] sin.”

But the bombers who then “killed [revenge] only 257 people are awarded with capital and life imprisonment punishment. Such type of partiality shows that if you want to be a successful person in India then you should be idol worshipper and kill Muslims.”

“Eye for an eye,” an Indian Mujahideen manifesto released after the September 2008 serial bombings in Delhi, also railed against a “miserably communalised judiciary which orders an FIR to be registered on those who raise their voice against the arrest of the innocent blast accused Abul Bashir against whom there is no evidence at all.” Abdul Bashir Islahi, a cleric linked to the Indian Mujahideen, has since been convicted for his alleged role in the 2007 bombing at Varanasi.

Little hard evidence has emerged to link the Indian Mujahideen with Wednesday's blast, or a string of recent attacks. However, intelligence sources told The Hindu that four alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives arrested earlier this year from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh had been asked to explore the possibility of targeting the Allahabad High Court to protest the Ayodhya judgment.

Investigators are exploring the possibility that Abdul Subhan Qureshi, a fugitive Indian Mujahideen commander thought to be based in Pakistan, organised the abortive bomb attack at the Delhi High Court in May, after the Ratlam cell failed to register progress in its mission.

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