Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Archive for November, 2010

Islamic terror town, Bhatkal in Karnataka, home of the Indian Mujahideen

Posted by jagoindia on November 20, 2010

A town called terror
Bhatkal, a port town on the Arabian Sea, is described as a hotbed of terrorism. It’s the home of the Indian Mujahideen — and Hindu radical groups too are taking root here, says V. Kumara Swamy

Once in a while, peace reigns over Bhatkal. That’s when the Karnataka town’s Hindus lead a procession on Ram Navami. In a tradition that goes back a hundred years, a group of Hindu elders visits the residence of a Muslim clergyman to seek his permission for a rath yatra to pass through a street and town dominated by Muslims.

On other days, suspicion stalks the town that’s being described in some circles as the home of the Indian Mujahideen — a fundamentalist group that’s started making its presence felt in the country. And that’s not all. Hindu radical groups are taking root in the town, which is getting more and more divided on communal lines.

“We wish the atmosphere of brotherhood — visible during Ram Navami — exists all through the year. But that’s just wishful thinking,” says C.B. Vedamurthy, deputy superintendent of police, Bhatkal.

Many believe it was the same rath yatra that sowed the seeds of discord in 1993. In the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya, riots broke out in and around Bhatkal, a port town on the Arabian Sea, 150km north of Mangalore. The riots lasted for almost a year, resulting in a huge loss of life and property. That, residents stress, was the beginning.

• Bhatkal residents who have been linked to terror include the Bhatkal brothers (from top) Iqbal and Riyaz Shabandari, Ahmed Sidi Bapa, Muhammad Hussain Farhan, Abdul Majid and Muhammad Gurfan
• Srirama Sene local convener Shabbanna Kollur says he looks forward to the day when Bhatkal will become a Hindu rashtra. Srirama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik (below) is a frequent visitor

“Occasional riots, hate speeches, political assassinations and minor skirmishes over the years have scarred the psyche of both the communities. This has helped extremists from both sides to take advantage of the situation,” says Surendra Shanbag, the head of Bhatkal Seva Samiti, a group working for communal amity.

On Thursday, as Ajmal Kasab, one of the terrorists who struck in Mumbai on November 26, 2008, was sentenced to death, the spotlight was once again on Bhatkal, which some fear has been spawning terrorists. Two suspected Indian terrorists are even being referred to as the “Bhatkal Brothers” for their association with the town.

But Riyaz and Iqbal Shabandari, accused of executing bomb blasts including the Pune German Bakery blast, never lived in Bhatkal. They grew up in Mumbai, but visited the town often because they had relatives there, their mother says.

“We gave them a good education and taught them to be good Muslims. We haven’t seen their faces for years now,” says mother Sayeeda, sitting in her two-storeyed house, while Riyaz’s small son pesters her to buy him candy. The two brothers’ wives and seven children live in the same dimly lit house, as two intelligence bureau officers staying in the neighbourhood keep an eye on them.

“I say, please hang them if they are guilty, but stop harassing us. Every time there is a blast anywhere, the police land at our doorstep,” she says.

Observers say that after the 2002 Gujarat riots, Riyaz started getting close to a few radical youths of Bhatkal following the Salafi way, a puritanical form of Islam. Most Muslims in Bhatkal follow the Shafi religious school, which is also orthodox. Not surprisingly, the only women you see in town are swathed in a burqa.

The Salafis, though in a minority, have now established their own mosque in Bhatkal. But Hanif Shabab, a prominent local doctor, stresses that when elders of the community confronted the Salafi followers, they were assured that the group was merely interested in following Islam. “Even if they are extreme in their thoughts, we are sure that they are incapable of carrying out any large scale activities,” he says.

Intelligence agencies, however, suspect that Bhatkal was the base for the Shabandari brothers and others involved in bomb blasts. Bhatkal, they say, is a hotbed of terrorism not only because the memory of the 1993 riots is still vivid. The town, some point out, is on the coast, which makes it easier for people to access the sea. The cultural divide between the Hindus and Muslims has also been strengthened by the fact that the Muslims speak their own language — a mix of Konkani and Marathi called Navayathi.

But the local police and intelligence units brush aside the home ministry’s claims that beachfront houses on the Jali beach act as safe houses for terrorists. “We don’t know how the intelligence agencies came to such a conclusion,” says a Karnataka Police intelligence official.

Besides the brothers, Bhatkal residents who have been linked to terror include Ahmed Sidi Bapa, Muhammad Hussain Farhan, Abdul Majid, Muhammad Gurfan and Dr Mohammed Arif — names which routinely come up whenever there is a blast in the country.

The locals, however, stress that Bhatkal is being given a bad name for no reason at all. Arif, who has been accused of being an accomplice in the blasts and is believed to be on the run, practises medicine in Bhatkal’s Medina Colony. “This is how our intelligence agencies work. They are supposed to be searching for me when they know that I am very much here,” says Arif.

Even the local police say that the names of the so-called terrorists that intelligence agencies have unofficially disclosed to the media have no terrorist links. “These names appear out of nowhere. We don’t have any record on any one of these people except Riyaz,” says Vedamurthy.

S.J. Khalid, general secretary of the Tanzeem, a religious group, stresses that “many of the so called absconding people” work in the Gulf. “We have arranged telephonic conversations between them and the intelligence agencies and they know that these boys are innocent, but their names keep cropping up.”

The Navayath community now fears that the terror allegations could radicalise the youth. “We are finding it very difficult to convince our youth to stay calm despite the provocations from the Hindu Right,” says Khalid.

Indeed, some Hindu organisations have been quick to pounce on what they see as an opportunity. The Bajrang Dal, Hindu Jagarna Vedike and Karavali Hindu Samiti have been setting up offices in Bhatkal.

“We have been telling our police that Bhatkal is a mini Pakistan and there is enough RDX in the town to blow it up many times over,” alleges Krishna Naik, head of the BJP Bhatkal unit. The Hindu organisations also blame Muslims for the assassinations of BJP MLA U. Chittaranjan in 1996 and local BJP worker Thimappa Naik in 2004 in Bhatkal. Both the cases remain unsolved.

Bhatkal has also been the focus of Srirama Sene, known for its violent agitations in Karnataka. At a recent rally, its local convener Shabbanna Kollur said, “We look forward to the day when Bhatkal will become a Hindu rashtra.” Prominent fundamentalist Hindu leaders such as Shankar Naik, allegedly involved in attacks on churches, and Girish Shetty have made Bhatkal their base.

Intelligence agencies are also worried about moderate Hindus turning radical in deeply polarised Bhatkal. “I wouldn’t be surprised if some people make it to Abhinav Bharat,” says a senior police officer, referring to the organisation accused of carrying out bomb blasts in Malegaon and Ajmer. “We had earlier seized some explosives in the Karwar region that were bound for Goa. But investigations are still on,” he says.

J.D. Naik, the Congress MLA from the region, blames the BJP and Hindu organisations for vitiating the atmosphere. “These organisations have tried to spread a fear psychosis among Hindus and I must admit they have succeeded to a great extent,” he says.

The extent of polarisation can be gauged from the fact that there are hardly any Hindu homes in upmarket areas, which are full of gleaming bungalows where Muslims live. Unkempt buildings and thatched houses mark the Hindu areas.

Surrounded by rolling hills on three sides and the Arabian Sea on the other, Bhatkal is a town with well laid roads and sprawling bungalows. People have easy access to hospitals, ATMs and modern educational institutions. But unlike other towns, it’s the Muslim here who is prosperous, and not the Hindu.

“We are a trader community and we have at least one person working in the Gulf from every family. Not many Muslims in our country are as affluent as we are. There is certainly some jealousy against this. And this has been tapped by fringe organisations,” says D.H. Shabbar, vice-president, Anjuman Hami Muslimeen, which runs many educational institutions.

In a town of 45,000 people, the Bhatkal Urban Co-operative Bank alone has around 20,000 accounts. “About 25 per cent of these are non resident Indian bank accounts. Even individual investors have robust bank balances,” says Abdul Razaq, managing director of the bank.

But the divide between the communities is palpable. Even children are not spared. The Anjuman-run schools have no Hindu students, while there are few Muslims in Vidya Bharati and private schools. “That’s the tragedy of Bhatkal. I was educated at Anjuman and even some BJP leaders studied there,” says Congressman Naik.

Some locals have set up peace committees — but the efforts haven’t been successful. “Whenever we try to bridge the gap between the two communities, communal forces somehow succeed in keeping the pot of hatred boiling,” rues Qadir Meran Patel, president of the Islamic welfare society, which gives out interest-free loans to people of both the communities.

Not surprisingly, some old residents look forward to Ram Navami. At least that’s one day of peace.

Posted in Hindus, India, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Karnataka, State, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

Muslim organization PFI stockpiling arms in Kerala

Posted by jagoindia on November 18, 2010

Haul hints at arms stockpiling

Special Correspondent

Police conduct raids on PFI, SDPI offices in Kannur

Bomb haul:A plastic bag containing crude bombs recovered from a plot at Punnad, near Iritty, in Kannur on Tuesday.

KANNUR: In day-long raids in 20 places across the district on Tuesday, the police seized 26 country-made bombs from the offices and other centres of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political arm, the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI).

Tuesday’s raids were a continuation of the exercise carried out in different places, including Edakkad and Thalassery, on Monday. Ten powerful country-made bombs, 12 swords, two axes and two knives were seized in Monday’s raids. According to the police, the latest haul of weapons from the PFI/SDPI centres is an indication that the outfit has been stockpiling weapons for some time. The raids, conducted as part of a State-wide operation, continued till afternoon.

The outfits have been under the police scanner following the assault on a Malayalam professor of Newman College, Thodupuzha, last week. The police said that 17 bombs were unearthed from a plot near an office of the SDPI at Punnad, near Iritty. The crude bombs were found buried in the plot. Punnad, a sensitive area, had witnessed violent incidents a few years ago. Eight powerful ‘steel’ bombs and a crude bomb were recovered from another plot at Parad, near Panur, under the Kolavallur police station limits. The police unearthed six swords from Payyannur and five iron rods near a PFI office at Manna, near Taliparamba.

The raids were conducted in PFI/SDPI offices in the Kannur municipal limits, Pappinissery and Narath. The police searched PFI offices at Thana, Anayidukku and Kannur city, a residential area in the municipality under the Kannur city police station limits.

In another development, the Thalassery police registered a case against 50-odd PFI workers for staging a demonstration in the town on July 12 in protest against the raids.

In Palakkad

Staff Reporter writes from Palakkad: The Special Branch police raided the offices of the SDPI and houses of its leaders in different parts of the district on Tuesday. The police raided the party’s offices in Alanaloor, Pattambi, Puduppariyaram and Koduvayur. The police did not reveal the outcome of the raid.

Protest march

Staff Reporter writes from Malappuram: Police raided the offices of the PFI and the SDPI at several places in the district on Tuesday. The raids on Kunnummal, A.R. Nagar, Kizhissery and Kidangazhi offices of the PFI and SDPI in Malappuram police division took several hours. Dozens of compact discs and bundles of leaflets were seized from the SDPI office at Kunnummal, Malappuram. Under Perinthalmanna police division, raids were conducted at Tirurkad, Parammel, Pandikkad, Anjachavadi and Chandakunnu. Raids were also held at Tirur, Ponnani, Edappal and Changaramkulam. The SDPI took out a march at major towns in the district on Tuesday evening in protest against the raids. They alleged that they were being targeted by the police without reason.

In Kozhikode

Around 30 raids were carried out in different police stations limits of the city on Tuesday. Documents, pamphlets and CDs were seized from the State committee office (Unity House) of the PFI, located near Mavoor Road.

Posted in Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Kerala, Popular Front of India (PFI), State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Over 2,000 violent Muslim mob attack police outpost in Jharkhand during Chhath celebrations

Posted by jagoindia on November 14, 2010

Sunday , November 14 , 2010 |

Mob attacks police outpost

Hazaribagh, Nov. 13: A mob of over 2,000 attacked a police outpost here today, pelting stones and torching a DSP’s jeep, to protest against alleged inaction after Muslims complained about loudspeaker use during Chhath celebrations yesterday during the time of Friday prayers.

Five policemen of Pelawal police outpost were injured while 13 troublemakers have been arrested.

The mob gathered at the outpost around 10am after which DSP Naushad Alam and sub-divisional officer Binay Rai asked that 10 members of the group come in for talks.

While this was being negotiated and 10 chosen representatives were coming inside, the mob started pelting stones, forcing the senior officers to take shelter inside.

Sanjay Kumar, the DSP’s bodyguard, managed to escort the group inside. “But when I came out again, a huge boulder hit me on the chest. I fell down and lost consciousness,” Kumar said.

By then, policemen inside the outpost took position and began firing teargas shells. But, the mob had other ideas. As the police were using short-range shells, some of the agitators picked them up and lobbed them back at the outpost.

“We began suffocating inside and were, therefore, forced to come out,” said Arun Kumar Singh, one of the policemen firing the shells.

The police then started firing long range shells, which worked, and the mob began to recede. As many as 48 rounds were fired.

Alam’s driver, Binod Kumar, then tried to drive away using his boss’s jeep, but he was hit by a stone. The mob then beat him up and set fire to the jeep. But the SDO’s driver managed to speed away and save his vehicle.

Earlier, the mob had dragged out a policeman’s motorbike from the outpost and set it afire. Another bike belonging to a journalist, who was with officials inside the outpost, was also torched.

Deputy commissioner Ravindra Kumar Agarwal and SP Pankaj Kamboj ordered a search of nearby houses and identified and arrested 13 culprits.

A local politician, Razi Ahmed, who had to come intervene, was also detained, but was later released.

“This is the handiwork of anti-social elements who tried to take advantage of the ongoing panchayat poll process,” said Kamboj.

“The police have identified those behind the attack. We will deal with them strictly.”

Yesterday in Pasai, 6km from the district headquarters, Muslims objected to the use of loudspeakers by Chhath vratis while namaz was being offered at a nearby mosque.

Yesterday in Pasai, 6km from the district headquarters, Muslims objected to the use of loudspeakers by Chhath vratis while namaz was being offered at a nearby mosque.

Chhath devotees also objected to water from the mosque spilling onto the road that was being used by the vratis.

This led to an altercation followed by pelting of stones. As many as 17 people were injured. While some were sent to Hazaribagh district hospital, a few others were shifted to Ranchi.

Agarwal said the situation was now under control in the town where security forces had been stationed to keep vigil.

Posted in Festival, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Jharkhand, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Ship docked in Mumbai invites Hindus to convert to Islam

Posted by jagoindia on November 13, 2010

Posted in Hindus, India, Islam, Islamofascism, Pakistan | 1 Comment »

Islamic terrorist organisations have radicalised entire western coast of India, says ex-Pune top cop

Posted by jagoindia on November 10, 2010

Entire western coast is radicalised, says ex-Pune top cop

Shailendra Mohan, Hindustan Times

Mumbai, November 10, 2010

“The entire Western coast is radicalised and the preachers of radical ideology constantly keep moving from one place to another in different groups and guises,” says Satyapal Singh, who was Pune’s police commissioner when German Bakery was bombed on February 13, in the latest issue of Protector, Maharashtra police’s in house magazine.

Singh is now posted as additional director general of police (establishment). In the article, Tackling Terror-Some key Issues, Singh says: “Jihadi organisations working in different parts of the country may have different and deceptive (forms), having camouflages of educational, social or cultural tags.”

He says India should wake up to homegrown terror outfits and should not blindly blame the external elements for it. He adds that the banned Students Islamic Movement of India has clandestinely floated a new group called ‘The White Falcon’. “Their job is to recruit and indoctrinate children aged between five and 10 years for the jihadi movement,” Singh states.

He adds that a strategy is being applied to subvert young impressionable minds, as terrorists know that students and youngsters are highly energetic and, if convinced about the cause, they can even be moulded to conduct suicide attacks. He goes on to say the idea that terrorism is a reaction to demolition of Babri Masjid and 2002 Gujarat riots is a myth. He cites that many terror acts like the one on Parliament and in Jammu and Kashmir took place before the riots. He also cites the case of Jalees Ansari who carried out over 50 bombings in the country much before the Babri masjid was demolished.

Singh says young minds should be diverted from the path of hate by educationists, psychologists, and parents. “We should learn a lesson from the US, where no defence counsel came forward to defend the terrorists of the 9/11 terror attacks,” Singh says.

Singh was unavailable for comment as he was not in Mumbai.

Posted in India, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »