Special Correspondent

It was organised by Rajasthan Police Academy

JAIPUR: A workshop on “Islamic terrorism” organised by the Rajasthan Police Academy here this past week has come in for sharp criticism by civil rights groups which said it had sought to link a particular religion with violence and strengthened “preconceived notions” about involvement of Muslim youths in terrorist activities.

The three-day workshop was attended by 88 police officers, including Superintendents of Police, Additional SPs, Deputy SPs, inspectors, sub-inspectors and assistant sub-inspectors from various districts. Among others, Director-General of Police K. S. Bains addressed the participants.

The workshop dwelt on subjects such as international and national Islamic terrorism organisations, concept and genesis of Islamic fundamentalism, development and philosophy of Wahabism, concept of Jihad, bombs and anatomy of blasts and present Islamic terrorism scenario in India.

Senior experts from the Intelligence Bureau and police trainers from various States addressed the sessions.

The experts also threw light on the modus operandi of terrorists, the driving force behind their activities, their weapons and the technology used by them.

The People’s Union for Civil Liberties, taking strong exception to the tone and tenor of the workshop, said that it looked like the State’s endeavour to brand a religion as supporting terrorism and depicted a one-sided effort of the police force to understand the phenomenon of serial blasts that had hit several cities across the country. “Such an exercise sets a dangerous precedent,” said Kavita Srivastava, general secretary of the State unit of PUCL.

The Rajasthan Muslim Forum, expressing shock and dismay at police attempts to “find the roots of terrorism in Islam” through the workshop’s title, said it had misrepresented Islamic concepts and disparaged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s recent observation that the drive against terrorism should not appear as directed against any religious community

While DGP Bains addressing the workshop said the terrorists invariably drew inspiration from their religion, Additional DGP (Training) Navdeep Singh said the police should acquire capacity despite their limited resources to deactivate the chains of violence established by terrorist organisations.

Police Academy Director Bhupendra Singh said the significance of training as well as experience was highlighted at the workshop in the context of war against terror.