Q: There have been two recent
incidents of alleged terrorism (in the state): in April (2006) when youth
manufacturing bombs at Nanded died as a bomb exploded unexpectedly and the
attempt on the RSS headquarters at Nagpur in May. How do you view these
A: Unfortunately, one (Nanded incident) is a terrorist
act by Hindus and the other (Nagpur incident) by Muslims trained in
Q: The administration is perceived
to be tight-lipped about the Nanded incident while speaking repeatedly of
Nagpur, Malegaon and Aurangabad (the arms haul). Is there any policy
decision behind this selective treatment?
A: Both incidents are being handled with the same
vigour. Both are serious. In the Nanded case the very fact that the
investigation has been handed over to us, the ATS, shows how the
administration and government are viewing it. Investigations are on. Two
persons making the bombs died on the spot... The house was the residence
of the local Bajrang Dal and VHP activist.
This is the same group of terrorists responsible for the
bomb blasts at the Parbhani mosque in (November) 2003, an incident in
which 25 persons were injured. Until now we do not know for sure if they
are linked to the other masjid bomb blasts at Purna and Jalna (August
2004, in which 18 persons were injured). Now we are awaiting the go-ahead
from the doctor to interrogate them to get further leads. We have applied
the provisions of the Unlawful Practices Act. It is clear that these bombs
were not being manufactured for a puja. They were being
manufactured for unlawful ends to wreak violence through terror. There is
no question of going slow on the investigation.
Q: Is there a specially worked out
drill that is followed by the police for such ‘terrorist operations’? Some
serious questions about the Nagpur incident were raised by a citizens’
fact-finding committee. One general criticism is that the ‘terrorists’ are
often killed and diaries with a long list of convenient details found?
A: I accept that there is this general criticism that
terrorists captured in such operations are killed, diaries found, etc. I
can only state that for such operations the police are trained so that if
there is firing, they must shoot to kill.
May I ask you a question? Why are no questions raised by
fact-finding teams about the arms hauls in Malegaon and Aurangabad and the
identity of the accused who have been arrested? The haul is there for all
to see. The accused are alive, not dead. No parents or relatives have
cried foul saying that they are victims of a ‘false arrest’. Do you have
any idea of the amount of ammunition hauled? Huge caches of AK-47s – no
one can say that they had been falsely placed there by us! RDX in
quantities several times’ larger than what was found and used in the
multiple bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993.
Nanded is a serious development and has frightening
repercussions if we find, through investigations, that this was not an
isolated incident but also part of an organised pattern. But the incident
that was foiled in Nagpur and the arms hauls in Malegaon and Aurangabad –
which we see as distinct and separate transactions – cannot simply be
underplayed or overlooked either.