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Is IB (mis)using Rahul Gandhi to justify their communal witch hunts?
Friday October 25, 2013 8:16 PM, Aleem Faizee,

What can be more damaging than this for Muslims of India in general and the victims of Muzaffarnagar in particular? Rahul Gandhi, at an election rally in Indore on October 24, claimed that singed by the riots and killings in Muzaffarnagar, many Muslim youth were in touch with Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence).

Is this out of the immaturity which actually led to slip of tongue, Rahul? No, we are not saying you are immature. How can we, the Muslims, say such thing about you, one of the most powerful leaders of the ruling Congress? Your opponents use for you the titles such as Pappu, Guddu, Bablu, Chunnu, Chintu and the likes to highlight your immaturity.

Or, this is out of conviction and firm belief? Looking at more than sixty years of Congress policy towards Muslims, it should not surprise anyone. Every Muslim immediately after the independence was a "Pakistani Jasoos" in the eyes of your party's governments. And, now you are claiming them to be "ISI agents". Seems Congress party's perception about Muslim community's "disloyalty" and "disrespect" to their motherland has become profound with the time. No matter, how many times Muslim leaders along with victims of state terror had met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, your mother Sonia Gandhi and you to plead their innocence. Also leave aside, the acquittals of innocents and reprimanding of the investigating agencies on illegal arrests by courts. In the eyes of your government, Muslims were and will remain "unfaithful" to the motherland.

But wait. We still doubt you really meant what you said. For, there are reports of tears that have been shed on the plight of Muslims by Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. And, the most precious of them were the tears that your mom had shed after seeing the photographs of the Muslim accused killed in the Batla House encounter, as claimed by your own party leaders. What were they? A crocodile tear? God only knows.

And, you only know whether your reported statement is out of conviction or a slip of tongue due to immaturity. But, your tirade against the poor victims of the Muzaffarnagar riot victims, who are still living in fear and squalor of the relief camps, has reminded us of the statements similarly issued before and after various terror strikes in India and after every dubious police killing and encounter.

Immediately after the 2006 Malegaon blast the intelligence agencies had claimed that the horrific incident was instigated to avenge the killings and damages Muslims had suffered in the 2001 Malegaon riots. The Makkah Masjid blast a few months later was also purported to have been planned to avenge the sufferings and anguish of Muslims. Similarly, blasts in Ahmedabad and Mumbai were credited to the "terrorists" who wanted to take revenge of the Gujarat riots. Even Samjhauta Express blast was blamed on Muslims. Take also the examples of police killings and encounters. Intelligence agencies firmly "believed" that they were conducted for eliminating the "terrorists" who were up-in-arms to kill leaders like Narendra Modi and LK Advani.

Perhaps you have not noticed - or deliberately chose to hide the fact, that all these theories were not only wrong but were found to be deliberate attempts by the perpetrators of these acts to put the blame on Muslims. Read the investigation reports of the 2006 Nanded and Malegaon blasts and the modus operandi of the Hindutva terrorists will be revealed to you. You will meet the Hindutva terrorists sporting beards and skull caps. You will meet the Hindutva terrorists who in an attempt to establish a Hindu Rashtra, had held meetings with Israeli officials.

Read the investigation reports of Ishrat Jahan murder case. It will be revealed to you how - much against the popular claim of a terrorist plan to kill Modi and Advani, the officials of Gujarat police assassinated innocents – just to strengthen the image of Narendra Modi as 'Hindu Mascot' and 'Saviour of Hindus'. Even the conclusion by the intelligence agencies that the creation of Indian Mujahideen was to avenge the killings in Gujarat is countered by none other than Justice Katju.

If this fails to give you an idea of how the intelligence agencies are working in India, go through the court proceedings and some of the recent verdicts. You will meet Mohammad Aamir Khan of New Delhi who had to spend fourteen long years in jail after being arrested in a false case. You will meet the seven Muslim youth of Malegaon who languished in jail for more than five years for something they had nothing to do with. You will meet Javed Ahmed Tantray and Ashiq Ali Bhatt, and Liyaqat Ali Shah how they had been framed in false cases.

Even against this backdrop you did not think it fit to thoroughly verify the information provided by an intelligence officer and used it in a bizarre manner with slightest hesitation to rub salt on the wounds of the Muzaffarnagar riot victims. Let us assume for a second that the information the officer shared with you had credence. But was an election rally a right place to disclose the information which directly links with the security and integrity of the country? Didn't, for a moment, you think of what impact this "disclosure", if not true, will have on the victims who are still living in camps struggling for every big and small thing? You didn't.

But, remember, your statement has reinforced the stereotypes being promoted by the intelligence and security agencies to justify their communal witch hunts. By regurgitating the favourite fiction of the agencies that communal violence produced a generation of radicals, you have pushed the victims of communal violence in Muzaffarnagar into a circle of suspicion. And by sharing supposedly classified information in an election rally you have defamed and harmed the integrity of the entire Muslim community.

[The writer is a senior journalist and Chief Editor of]

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