Special Correspondent

‘The charade of blaming Muslims has led to widespread anger’

JAIPUR: Speakers at a seminar on “State, society and terrorism” here on Sunday called upon the police agencies probing into the May 13 serial blasts in Jaipur to shift their attention to the non-Muslim radical outfits following the recent arrest of two persons on charges of planting explosives in two auditoriums and a movie hall in the suburbs of Mumbai.

Social activists, academicians, lawyers and community leaders attending the seminar said the “charade” of summarily blaming Muslims for the terror attack and picking up innocent youths had led to widespread anger, resentment and despair and given rise to the suspicion that the investigating agencies were themselves protecting the real culprits. The Anti-Terrorism Squad of the Maharashtra police recently arrested Ramesh Gadkari and Mangesh Nikam – members of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Sanatan Sanstha – for allegedly planting bombs in the public halls at Vashi, Pavel and Thane over the past four months. The low-intensity blast at the Thane theatre on June 4 injured seven persons.

“Lies do not have long lives. The nation is waiting to see the real ugly face of serial bombers,” said Mohammed Hasan, president of the Initiative for Research and Affirmative Development Action (IRADA) Society, which organised the day-long seminar in collaboration with the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism, Mumbai.

Prof. Hasan said the pattern of accusing Muslim outfits for the blasts had directly led to the targeting of Bengali-speaking migrant communities in Jaipur and Ajmer and diluted the focus on the issues such as poverty, economic and distributive injustice, unemployment, displacement and discrimination. Noted Mumbai-based scholar Asghar Ali Engineer said the presumption of investigating agencies that the perpetrators of blasts wanted to trigger communal riots had proved wrong in the aftermath of explosions at places such as Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi, Makkah Masjid in Hyderabad and the Malegaon mosque in Maharashtra.

“Police turning a blind eye to glaring evidence and detaining wrong people for interrogation has led to complete failure in investigation. Not a single real culprit has been caught in any of the cases so far,” said Dr. Engineer. He regretted that the investigating agencies were believing in the stereotypes of Muslims created by communal outfits. The participants in the seminar decided to appoint a working group to render legal help to those picked up by the Special Investigation Team of Rajasthan police on the suspicion of their involvement in the blasts.