WASHINGTON DC, July 10, 2005 | ISSN: 1684-2057 | www.satribune.com

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BJP Chief visits the Temple on Friday. Below a Hindu Sadhoo outside

Rift in BJP as Clueless Indian Agencies Try to Identify Ayodhya Attackers

By Arun Rajnath

NEW DELHI, July 10: Intelligence agencies of Uttar Pradesh are blaming a Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT) militant for the recent Ayodhya attack who had already been killed three years back, as confusion grows about the deadly act and Opposition BJP faces an increasing rift among its top leadership on who to blame.

The fact is that Indian investigative agencies are still groping in dark and without any clues. Special agents of a sensitive agency were summoned in Delhi to discuss the matter and to take appropriate security measures. But all of them were unable to guess who masterminded the attack, despite the assertion of the UP Police that the LeT was behind it. The LeT has not taken claimed responsibility, yet.

After the meeting a top security official told the South Asia Tribune: “Though the UP Police and other security agencies are naming Lashkar-e-Tayyaba for the attacks, we do not have any concrete evidence. The whole matter seems to be suspicious.” The Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh was quoted as saying in Scotland that Pakistan was not behind the attack.

However, the BJP which is facing a makeover dilemma, has launched a nationwide agitation to capitalize on the attack. Some dubious sadhoos of the Hanuman Garhi (temple of Hanuman) and right wing leaders have once again got an opportunity to disrupt communal harmony. Others are trying to use the issue to remove LK Advani from the top. Advani has refused to blame Pakistan while many including Murli Manohar Joshi on Friday squarely held the ISI responsible for the incident.

The attack was daring as six heavily armed alleged militants barged into the premises of the makeshift temple erected on the site of demolished Babri mosque that falls within the high security zone on Tuesday. The security personnel killed five of them before they could strike at the sanctum sanctorum. One militant blew himself up, as he would have possibly been a human bomb.

Four personnel of the para-military force Central Reserve Police Force and two civilians, including a woman, were injured in the attack that took place around 8.15 am Tuesday morning.

It stunned everyone and a meeting of top special agents of a sensitive agency was summoned in Delhi to discuss the matter and to take appropriate security measures. It continued till the midnight of Tuesday. After the meeting a top security official told the South Asia Tribune, they have no concrete evidence. The whole matter seems to be suspicious.”

When asked about the meaning and reason of suspicion, the official frankly said: “We always discuss all the aspects of any particular incident. This is a part of our job. We had discussed the Akshar Dham temple attack. We had also discussed the Gujarat militant firing incident in which a woman from Bombay was killed. Our findings of these cases were different, but we submitted the report according to the directions of the Central government.”

When asked to elaborate on the latest incident of Ayodhya, the official said: “Firstly, there is Three-Column Security near the makeshift Ram temple and the idols are kept within the Red Corridor Security. Nobody can reach there so easily.”

“Secondly, there are about 20 battalions and a posse of the UP Police commandos stationed at the site. The whole area is barricaded and whosoever visits the temple, he has to go through a thorough checking.”

“Thirdly those militants had passed through two Columns of security, and with all those heavy arms, including rocket launchers that cannot be concealed. They were intercepted when they tried to barge into the premises of the makeshift temple, it means the Red Corridor Security.”

“Fourthly, they were fidayeen attackers. Fidayeen attackers cannot be eliminated so easily. They kill before being killed. But we suffered no loss of men and material despite fierce and indiscriminate firing. Some security personnel have only been wounded. Compare this with the fidayeen attack on the Parliament. Eight or nine people were killed by the terrorists.”

“Fifthly, our experience tells us that the terrorist groups of Kashmir have always taken responsibility of such incidents in the past. Hizbul has condemned the attack. Now there are two main outfits Lashkar and Jaish. They are silent.”

“Sixthly, a huge amount of currency was also seized from the site. The question is if these fidayeen attackers were going to commit suicide why they were in possession of money?”

When asked about the conclusion of the discussion, and could the incident be termed as a fake encounter, the official said: “How can I say that, but kahani mein pech hai (there is a twist in the story). It may be or may not be so. But I must say that governments often resort to such practices. This matter will also be hushed up like the incident of Gujarat where Police had killed militants last year.”

“Anyhow, this incident has given an opportunity to the BJP to makeover. Mulayam Singh has also got an opportunity to consolidate his Muslim votes, as he would be strengthened by the agitation of the BJP,” he added.

On the other hand, the intelligence agencies of Uttar Pradesh have lost their intelligence in this particular case. They are blaming one Manzoor Dar as the mastermind of the attack, and have branded him as the ‘UP Chief’ of the LeT.

Senior Superintendent of Police (Faizabad) Avinash Chandra has already put the blame on the LeT whereas the Center is still not sure about it. Chandra has also reportedly told an Ayodhya-based reporter of a Hindi daily that Manzoor Dar might be the mastermind behind the attack but investigation is going on.

In fact, the Manzoor Dar he was referring to was eliminated by the security forces on March 14, 2003 in Noida, a satellite town of Delhi. He was killed by the Special Task Force of Uttar Pradesh. At that time the UP Police presented him as ‘Area Commander’ of Jaish-e-Muhammed from Baramullah. He was killed in an ambush while he was traveling from Delhi.

If he was Manzoor Dar of Jaish-e-Muhammed, then who is this new Manzoor Dar? And where he has come from? When this correspondent tried to contact the SSP, Faizabad on telephone after his statement, he declined to come on the line.

Meanwhile, the situation of the communal harmony, especially in Faizabad and Ayodhya is on stake as some sadhoos of the Hanuman temple at Ayodhya have openly begun to condemn Muslims for the incident.

Baba Ramdas and Baba Raghodas, the sadhoos of the Hanuman temple have reportedly alerted their supporters in Ayodhya that could create problems of law and order in the town.

The two sadhoos are allegedly involved in murder, rape, kidnapping, extortion, etc. Sources say that several cases are pending against them in the Session and District Court of Faizabad, as well as the High Court, Lucknow Bench.

They are at present on bail. Since the Ram Temple Movement has begun, the two sadhoos have become supporters of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJP. Now the right wing leaders could take their help to disrupt communal harmony in Faizabad and Ayodhya and neighboring cities, such as Sultanpur, Gonda, Basti, etc.

BJP has already given a call for a total strike in the four States of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Orissa (where its coalition partner is in power) and of course Uttar Pradesh where Ayodhya is situated. Gujarat has been kept out of the strike due to the flood situation. Besides, all the right wing leaders are planning to visit the site that could worsen the law and order situation in the State and elsewhere. BJP chief LK Advani was there on Friday.

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