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All minorities are terrorists, is that the mindset?

An anti-terror mock drill by the Surat Police sparked a controversy after one of the person posing as a terrorist wore a skullcap suggesting that the terrorists belonged to a particular community. The incident came under criticism nationwide. Nowadays, too much hate is breeded against a particular community. Following intelligence reports that two high-profile events of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas and Vibrant Gujarat Investors Summit in state capital Gandhinagar could be on terror target, anti-terror mock drills are being carried out across Gujarat.

In the diamond hub of Surat, the drill to check preparedness of the force on Tuesday ran into controversy, when some persons posing as terrorists in the drill were shown wearing skullcaps. The drill was conducted in Dobari coastal region in Olpad town. A video which surfaces shows five policemen holding three dummy terrorists who are wearing skullcaps. The trio was also shown lying down, while policemen kept a watch on them. The video ends with the men posing as terrorists being bundled into a police jeep after being captured alive. The incident came under heavy criticism with the Congress mounting an attack on the state government, claiming it as an administrative failure.

There have been several bomb blasts in India, but we hardly witnessed any terrorist wearing a skullcap. Mumbai has been the most preferred target for most terrorist organisations, many are operating with a base in Pakistan. Over the past few years, there have been a series of attacks, including explosions in 11/7 local trains and the 26/11 attacks, when two of the prime hotels, a landmark train station, and a Jewish Chabad house, in South Mumbai, were attacked and sieged.

On 27 October 2013, seven crude bombs exploded in Bihar during an election rally. One was in the Patna Junction railway station, and another near a cinema hall. One person died and six were injured in these blasts. In July 2013, nine bombs exploded in a terror attack at the Bodh Gaya temple complex, a Buddhist shrine, where the Buddha himself is said to have gained enlightenment. In 2014, members of banned Indian Mujahideen and Students Islamic Movement of India were accused and arrested for the blasts. In the 1980s, an insurgent movement turned to violence, seeking a separate state called Khalistan, independent of India. They were led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale who was neutral on the establishment of a new state. In 1984, Operation Blue Star was conducted by the Indian government to confront the movement. It involved an assault on the Golden Temple complex, which Sant Bhindranwale had fortified in preparation of an army assault. Indira Gandhi, India’s then prime minister, ordered the military to storm the temple, who eventually had to use tanks. After a 74-hour firefight, the army successfully took control of the temple. In doing so, it damaged some portions of the Akal Takht, the Sikh Reference Library, and the Golden Temple itself. According to Indian government sources, 83 army personnel were killed and 249 were injured. Militant casualties were 493 killed and 86 injured. In 1985, Sikh terrorists bombed an Air India flight from Canada to India, killing all 329 people on board Air India Flight 182. It was the worst terrorist act in Canada’s history.

The ending of Sikh militancy and the desire for a Khalistan catalysed when the then-Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, handed all intelligence material concerning Punjab militancy to the Indian government, as a goodwill gesture. The Indian government used that intelligence to arrest those who were behind attacks in India.

The Delhi bombing took place on Wednesday, 7 September 2011 at 10:14 local time outside Gate No. 5 of the Delhi High Court, where a suspected briefcase bomb was planted. The blast killed 12 people and injured 76. These are the brutal attacks on India, I don’t recollect any attacker wearing a Skull cap. Country was attacked by many religions in the past. Look at Malegaon Blast, Mecca Masjid bombing (Hyderabad), Samjhauta Express bombings and the Ajmer Sharif Dargah blast. Abhinav Bharat, Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Swami Aseemanand, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Shiv Narayan Gopal, Singh Kalsanghra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu were named in different blasts. Let’s take it as if a drill showing people wearing saffron dresses. Unfortunately, the hallmark, the identity of BJP government, is fast becoming a government which is using symbolic gestures, images, comments to create division. Government is a failure because of intolerance. Really, it’s a failed administration and these types of tactics are sending wrong messages to the masses.

Let’s assume, if by mistake police had pulled the trigger, then it would be declared as (fake) terrorist encounter. The majority is so intolerant that they partitioned this country in to 3 pieces in 1947 and gave 2 pieces exclusively to minorities. A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence to intimidate a population or government for political, religious, or ideological goals. Terrorism in India, according to the Home Ministry, poses a significant threat to the people of India. Terrorism found in India includes ethno-nationalist terrorism, religious terrorism, left wing terrorism and narco terrorism. The regions with long term terrorist activities have been Jammu and Kashmir, east-central and south-central India (Naxalism) and the Seven Sister States. In August 2008, then National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had said that there are as many as 800 terrorist cells operating in the country.

Terrorists have no religion; even if they have, they are living under the umbrella of extremism. Common public should not ever be symbolised or terrified by administrative authorities.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 14 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazine Beyond The News (international). She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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