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BJP has betrayed India’s Fight Against Terrorism

The Following essay would attempt to present a larger picture of how the Bharatiya Janata Party has weakened India’s fight against terrorism. Facts and newsreports will testify that the BJP which indulges in chest thumping and brow beating when it comes to Nationalism and fighting the menace of terrorism has actually been soft on terror and created conditions which have resulted in cross border terrorism thriving in the country.

Jammu & Kashmir : How BJP appointee Jagmohan faltered[1]

In July, 1989, General K.V. Krishna Rao was appointed as the governor of Jammu and Kashmir. In October, that year the state had the largest number of tourists. In November 1989, the Lok Sabha elections took place. Kashmir was peaceful and not even an issue.

In December 1989, the V. P Singh Government supported by the BJP was sworn in. Mufti Mohammad Sayeed was the appointed as the Home Minister. The Kashmiri militants reacted to this by kidnapping his daughter, Rubaiya Sayeed. To secure Rubaiya Sayeed, [2] the V.P. Singh Government released a fistful of hardcore terrorists. The kidnappers' demanded the release of separatist movement kingpin, Abdul Hamid Sheikh: a Pakistan-based militant, Sher Khan; and three other extremists facing charges of anti-national activities, Noor Mohammad Kalwal, Altaf Ahemed and Javed Ahemed Jargar. All of them were released in Rajouri Kadal (near Srinagar’s Lal Chowk). Thousands of young men gathered at Rajouri Kadal to take them out in a triumphant procession, but they quickly disappeared to their hideouts.

Governor K.V. Krishna Rao tendered his resignation because of the total non-cooperation of the Central Government with the Farooq Abdulla’s State Government. Soon after, Chief Minister Abdullah followed suit.

The BJP, which held the key to the survival of the V.P Singh Government, then insisted on its nominee as Governor. Their nominee- Jagmohan was sent to Srinagar in January 1990. In February, 1990 Jagmohan unilaterally dissolved the J&K assembly without informing,let alone consulting the Central Government under the powers accorded to him by the J&K Constitution.

In March, the Valley had been emptied of almost all its Kashmiri Pandits. Jagmohan denied any hand in this, but without the knowledge of the Governor it would have been impossible for the Pandits to be evacuated en masse. Two months after that, the same Central Government which had sent him there, called him back. Militancy started. 25 years on, the Kashmiri Pandits are still refugees in their own country.

The administration was not like this 3 months ago. They were picking up terrorists. After all who picked up terrorists who were released in exchange of Home Minister’s daughter? They were picked up by the Kashmiri intelligence, Kashmiri Police. Jagmohan in an all-party meeting when asked replied that JKLF had to be brought in as the new political force there.

14 years after that, (in 2004) JLKF[3] admitted that they were the ones who kidnapped Rubaiya Sayeed. The turmoil, after December 1989, was the outcome of the ghastly misleading of the VP Singh Government – and the motivated malice of its ‘outside supporter’ the BJP.

BJP Government Caught Napping when Kargil happened

After testing a Nuclear Bomb, a month after assuming office- certainly prepared by the previous Narasimha Rao Government, Atal Behari Vajpayee shook hands with Nawaz Sharif and inaugurated the Lahore Bus. Vajpayee wanted to be a statesmen, and certainly for every Indian Prime Minister (barring few exceptions like Indira Gandhi) peace with Pakistan certainly means etching their name in history. 

The bus to Lahore went nowhere and Kargil happened. Vajpayee and the entire BJP Government and administration was caught snoozing when Pakistan attacked India with the help of Kashmiri militants.

Some contrarian views suggest that Atal Behari Vajpayee knew[4] about the Kargil infiltration long back, but he did nothing in time, and more than 500 lives of army men were lost.

The intelligence failure leading to Kargil is pardonable and is of lesser relevance here. The only reason that India lost so many precious soldiers, was because Vajpayee restrained the army from crossing the LoC (Line of Control).

The government bungled before the war broke out. India's military and intelligence establishments erred in assessing the indicators.

It came as a shock for the Kargil Review Committee (headed by defence analyst K Subrahmanyam) when a lady officer at Army Headquarters told it that General Ved Prakash Malik, then chief of army staff, got a report of intrusions by Pakistanis a day before he was to leave for Poland on an official visit. General Malik instructed his office not to forward the report until his return.

The Vajpayee Government’s naivety caused the loss of atleast 527 [5] Indian soldiers and 1363 soldiers were left wounded[6]. They were busy with “peace fever”. Across the board there was a craving for friendship with Pakistan. Military and intelligence personnel neglected all indicators about General Pervez Musharraf's duplicity.

Kargil also showed our military leaders in poor light. Even when they started getting reports of the intrusion, they underplayed it, at high cost. Defence Minister George Fernandes termed it, initially, a 'small intrusion.' Even a cursory look at the newspapers of April-May 1999 make the government's attempt to underplay the event evident.

Although we should salute the brave men who made supreme sacrifices and India won the war, but it further exposed the pusillanimity of the BJP Government

First came the Lahore Bus ride, then Kargil, then a ceasefire, then calls for a final war (aar-paar ki ladaai) with Pakistan and finally the much-trumpeted thaw in Indo-Pak relations. All through the BJP Government made attempts at peace and war, innocent Indian citizens continue to be slaughtered. India’s symbols of Democracy, the Red Fort and the Parliament, have not been spared while the Prime Minister oscillates between playing a dove and a hawk.

NDA made money out of Kargil Cess

The NDA Government taxed honest taxpayers in the name of National Security and collected Rs. 7,000 crores. Shamelessly, the amount of collected tax, instead of being used for National Security, has been treated as part of the "General Revenues" of Government. The Standing Committee on Defence, chaired by BJP leader Madan Lal Khurana, indicted the NDA Government for not using Surcharge on Income Tax or Kargil cess for National Security.

The following amounts meant for Defence capital expenditure remained unutilised for 3 successive years: -

Rs. 8964 crores in 2000-01

Rs. 7734 crores in 2001-02

Rs. 6499 crores in 2002-03

Un-utilisation of the Budgeted amount for three successive years has slowed the process ofmodernisation of Defence forces and weakened Defence preparedness. Has not non-utilization of the budgeted amount resulted in betrayal of our armed forces and our citizens?

Tehelka Scandal

The sensational Tehelka scam shocked the country. The then BJP President, Bangaru Laxman, was caught on tape accepting cash and asking for further payment in US dollars. Bangaru Laxman mentioned the names of Brajesh Mishra, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister and Ranjan Bhattacharya (PMs foster son-in-law) and said that they influence the dealings of various ministries like MEA, Defence and, Power.

The tape also captured the then Samata Party president Jaya Jaitley talking about money for facilitating a defence deal, at the Defence Ministers official residence. It clearly indicates that Jaya Jaitley has used George Fernandess influence as Defence Minister.

As a consequence of the Tehelka expose, George Fernandes was forced to resign from the post of Defence Minister. Although Congress was demanding a probe by the JPC, the government appointed an Inquiry Commission headed by Shri Venkatswamy - a sitting judge of the Supreme Court, on 16th March 2001 to look into the Tehelka issue. LK. Advani had even then predicted that Fernandes would be back in the government in five, six months.

The terms of reference of the Venkatswamy Commission includes term (D), which completely erodes "freedom of press". Under this term the Commission has been asked to probe the credentials of journalists who had conducted the investigations and made the charges. Such an amazing term has never figured in any Inquiry Commission set up under Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952. Furthermore the Inquiry Commission didnt cover Bangaru Laxmans as well as Jaya Jaitleys conduct in its terms of reference.

Fernandes was brazenly re-inducted as Defence Minister in October 2001. The PM defended Fernandess re-induction and said that there were no charges against him; that he was not an accused and that the Inquiry Commission had not sought any explanation from him.

The Kandahar Surrender

This so-called nationalist Government has given the worst example of kneeling before terrorists anywhere in the world. The then External Affairs Minister, Jaswant Singh, personally escorted the most dreaded terrorists in India to Kandahar. One of those released, Maulana Masood Azhar, gave a new impetus to terrorism in India. Since then Masood Azhar and terrorists like him have masterminded and carried out the attacks on Kashmir Legislative Assembly, the Parliament, the residential area of the Indian Army in Kaluchak and the pilgrims on their way to Amarnath and Vaishnodevi.

The biggest causality of the Kandahar surrender was the Mumbai 26/11 attack. Maulana Masood Azhar is said to be one of the master minds of the heinous crime

Detailed account of who goofed up in Amritsar

Some of the views of the BJP-NDA leaders regarding this Kandahar surrender are

‘Atal, Advani forced me to release Azhar’

Kandahar hijack: Jethmalani blames Brajesh Mishra

Probe Jaswant's claims: Anand, Khurana

Madan Lal Khurana courts arrest against Kandahar case

Bungling in the Purulia arms drop case[7]

The BJP Government in 2000, pardoned the Latvian crew and released them. Later in 2004 the Atal Behari Vajpayee led BJP Government released Peter Bleach one of the main accused in the conspiracy after pressure from UK Authorities

Bangladeshi Infiltration – 16 BSF men killed by Bangladeshi Forces- Defence Minister Jaswant Slept[8]

The Vajpayee Government did not learn any lessons from the Kargil War. This time it was the Eastern border with Bangladesh. Hostilities broke out in two enclaves - one bordering Meghalaya and the other Assam. Trouble began on April 15,2001 at a village called Pyrdiwah in Meghalaya. It is now clear that the BDR, in a surprising show of aggression, moved in to capture it. An entire battalion strength (1,000 men) of the BDR had walked in through the arecanut groves and encircled the 31 BSF personnel guarding the post.

The BSF held their ground and waited for reinforcements to be sent. It took a day for three additional companies (each company comprises 100 men) to reach the area.The BSF asked for a flag meeting - the usual practice to settle such adventurism which has happened several times along the border.

But the BDR stuck to its stand that Pyrdiwah was part of Bangladesh and asked the BSF for proof that the village was on Indian territory. When the BSF showed them papers, the BDR said they wanted to see original documents, not photocopies.

All along the BDR insisted that the BSF vacate the village and that they would not budge because they had orders from Dhaka. The next day, on April 17, BDR Director-General Fazlur Rahman gave details of the Pyrdiwah thrust and told the media proudly: "We have just completeda mission to restore our territory and sovereignty."

On hearing of the Pyrdiwah capture, BSF Director-General Gurbachan Jagat issued an alert and ordered intensive patrolling. "If they could suddenly get belligerent in Pyrdiwah, there was no way of ruling out similar incidents elsewhere," he said.

The BSF retaliated by splitting its patrolling party and 16 men under the leadership of Deputy Commandant B.R. Mondol was made an attempt to capture a post. They entered Boraibari bordering Assam which lied across a fence. Also, unlike Pyrdiwah, which was neither fenced nor had any pillars to clearly demarcate it, Boraibari is a large village with a population of at least 1,000. This was error number one, for unlike the Pyrdiwah post which is located on an adverse possession, the BDR post is on Bangladeshi land.

Discovered by civilians, Mondol and his men heard aloud voice over the megaphone at the local mosque appealing to all villagers to gather because they were under attack from the BSF.

Dragged by civilians and handed over to the BDR, Mondol's was among the 15 bodies that came back in wooden boxes, muti-lated and shot at point-blank range. There is even evidence that Mondol may have beenshot dead a day after he was captured.

Due to a grave intelligence failure and misadventure, the Vajpayee Government not only failed in securing the lives of the 16 BSF men who guarded our porous borders with Bangladesh but also endangered our relationship with Bangladesh which was more or less peaceful since 1971 War.

Attack on Red Fort

On 22 December 2000, the icon of India's magnificient history- The Red Fort was attacked by terrorists. This is a lesser known incident in media space. Red Fort is the iconic site where the Indian Prime Minister hoists the National flag on Independence Day annually. The attack was carried out by Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba. It killed two soldiers and one civilian

On April 28, 2014, The Supreme Court eventually stayed the execution of death sentence of Lashkar-e-Taiba ( LeT) terrorist Mohd Arif [9]

Parliament Attack

Adding to the series of intelligence failures of the Vajpayee Government was the attack on the nation’s top most legislature- the highly secured Parliament of India on 13 December 2001.The perpetrators were Lashkar-e-Taiba (Let) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists. The attack led to the deaths of six Delhi Police personnel, two Parliament Security Service personnel and a gardener. Although all the 6 terrorists were eliminated, but it widely exposed the weakness of Vajpayee Government when it came to securing the country’s most guarded landmark.

Operation Parakram- 1874 Soldiers Died, without going to War! [10]

Perhaps the biggest and the most lesser known failures of the Vajpayee Government was Operation Parakaram. Vajpayee Government in its zeal to counter Pakistan’s hand in the Parliament attack began mobilization of troops at the Indo-Pak border. This resulted in a 10 month standoff between the two countries.

The Kargil conflict led to the death of 527 Indian soldiers while heroically taking back heights occupied by Pakistanis in 1999. Shockingly, without going to war, 1874 Indian Soldiers died!

Usually extremely tight-lipped about casualty figures, the defence minister George Fernandes had to disclose them in the Rajya Sabha. "The number of Army personnel killed or wounded in Jammu and Kashmir and the western sector during the mobilisation, Operation Parakram, from December 19, 2001 to October 16, 2002, was 1,874," said Defence Minister George Fernandes on April 30, 2003

This, by any benchmark, is a truly staggering figure for a 10-month period, even if the counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir are taken into account.

In the initial phase of Operation Parakram itself, after the December 2001 Parliament attack, over 100 soldiers were killed and 250 injured during mine-laying operations. Vehicle accidents, artillery duels with Pakistan and other incidents led to many more casualties.

Relentless counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir are also, of course, exacting a heavy toll on the soldiers, with over 1,000 being killed in terrorist activity between 2000-2003

So the “Nationalist” BJP is not only responsible for killing 527 soldiers in Kargil, it is also responsible for killing 1874 more soldiers due of this humongous misadventure!

The cost of sustaining Operation Parakram was reported to be have been pegged by India’s National Security Advisory Board (NSAB) at Rs 7 crore a day. This works out to approximately Rs 2,100 crore over 10 months[11]

Akshardham Attack

The Akshardham Attack was a terror attack at the Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat on 24 September 2002 conducted by Murtuza Hafiz Yasin and Ashraf Ali Mohammed Farooq. They killed 33 people and wounded 80 others by using automatic weapons and hand grenades National Security Guards intervened and ended the siege by killing both attackers the same night. Six accused were later arrested by Gujarat Police.

In May 2014, a Supreme Court of India bench acquitted all the six prisoners of all charges and pulled up the Gujarat Police for shoddy investigation in the case, and then State Home Minister for “non-application of mind” [12]

Have nothing more to add.

The Rise of Sangh backed Terrorism

Hindutva is Hinduism’s internal enemy. It is difficult to list down comprehensively the militant activities of RSS and its sister organisations- the Bajrang Dal, VHP, Durga Vahini etc. simply because of the camouflage they adopt to indulge in terrorist activities. Also if RSS can disown Nathuram Godse, it can easily disown terrorist activities of Abhinav Bharat. Notwithstanding, all of this, the Rise of Hindutva Terror is the most important internal security threat this country is facing.

The stormtroopers of Hindutva, of course, want to look like Hindus. It is like terrorists wearing army uniforms while attacking an army camp. Now they are doing that. And BJP of course is condoning that like a silent spectator, often enabling their cause.

The National Investigation Agency, since the Modi Government has come to power is systematically weakening cases against Hindutva accused. This is not based on some newsreport, it is based on public admission by the Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian in the Malegaon blast case. Similarly, other cases like the Mecca Masjid bombing (Hyderabad), Samjhauta Express bombings and the Ajmer sharif dargah blast.

Even after the confessions of Swami Aseemananda in the Samjhauta Express blast case

He is now on bail[13], although not released because of his involvement in two other blast cases. On December 26, 2010, Aseemanand was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from Haridwar in Uttarakhand for his alleged role in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad in which 14 persons were killed. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had questioned Aseemanand about his role in the Samjhauta Express blasts on February 18, 2007. As many as 68 people were killed in the blasts in two coaches of the train in Panipat.

RSS leader Indresh Kumar came under under CBI scanner for his suspected role in saffron terror but he might have been seen as an apostate by the Abhinav Bharat crew with Lt Col Srikant Purohit, held for the Malegaon blast, seeing the Sangh man as an "ISI agent".

In his confession in the Mecca Masjid case, Swami Aseemanand, who claims to know a lot about a number of bomb blasts allegedly carried out by Hindu extremists in 2006-08, has said Purohit saw Indresh as a renegade who had crossed over to the other side.

The Ajmer Dargah blast occurred on 11 October 2007, outside the Dargah (shrine) of Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti in Ajmer, Rajasthan, allegedly by the Hindutva organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its groups. On 22 October 2010, five accused perpetrators, of which four said to belong to the RSS, were arrested in connection with the blast.[54] Swami Aseemanand, in his confession, implicated the then General Secretary Mohan Bhagwat for ordering the terrorist strike.

On 29 September 2008, three bombs exploded in the States of Gujarat and Maharashtra killing 8 persons and injuring 80. During the investigation in Maharashtra, a Hindu group was alleged to have been involved in the blasts. Three of the arrested persons were identified as Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur,Shiv Narayan Gopal Singh Kalsanghra and Shyam Bhawarlal Sahu. NIA, National Investigation Agency, has found no evidence against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and it has recommended the court to drop all charges against her, but she is still in jail in her involvement in other crimesThe Army officer Prasad Shrikant Purohit was also accused of being involved in the blast.

Members of Abhinav Bharat have been to have been involved in a plot to kill Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh President Mohan Bhagwat,allegedly with the help of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. Headlines Today released a recorded video tested by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory which indicated the uncovering of an alleged plot to assassinate the Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari. Tehelka also released alleged audio tape transcripts of main conspirators of Abhinav Bharat, which indicated involvement of Military intelligence officers with the Abhinav Bharat group, in their January 2011 edition.

The then Indian Home Secretary Raj Kumar Singh said that at least 10 people having close links with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliated organisations were named accused in various acts of terror across India.

Interestingly, Raj Kumar Singh who coined the word ‘Hindutva Terror’ is now a BJP member of Parliament.

Nanded Blasts :

NDA 2.0 – Modi continues Vajpayee agenda of being soft on terror

Modi Government has performed miserably on following counts:-

Compared to 96 in 2013-14, there have been more than 800 cease fire violations/incidents of unprovoked firings from Pakistan.

12 Jawans and 20 civilians have lost their lives. The Home Minister himself admitted to 3 violations over the past 24 hours today in Lok Sabha.

Gurdaspur Attack: In a blatant show of aggression, Heavily Armed Terrorists using Chinese made grenades from Pakistan walked into Gurdaspur unhindered and killed 10 civilians and 7 security personnel including an SP. How is it that they breach our borders? Was Shri Rajnath Singh sleeping?

There is no news of 39 missing Indians in Iraq abducted by ISIS terrorists. Many newspaper reports have said that they have been brutally murdered. Government neither confirms nor denies the fact.

The Home Minister has the gall to take a high ground on Terrorism? All that he did recently in the Parliament was typical and characteristic double speak that his party and his leader- the Prime Minister specializes in.

These examples conclusively point out that the BJP is soft on issues of National Security and has betrayed India’s fight against terrorism

(All the views expressed here are personal. Have taken the liberty to liberally quote from newsreports and books)

[1] Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist: Mani Shankar Aiyar


Unknown said…
Ashamed of these so called nationalist who are actually hypocrites. I wonder how these cowards thumping 56"chest.I am horrified how these people who are obsessed for history making does to nation.Dr. V. D. Patil (Paldhi)Jalgaon M. S.
RR said…
Sometimes I feel that Congress is stupid but when you see what BJP has done to this country you wonder how they can call themselves as Hindus ? Modi is trying to use his clean image to help these outfit rule India and the plan is to destroy our history and culture
akhlaque ahmad said…
बहुत ही उम्दा है भाजपाइयों काला चेहरा देशवासियों के सामने आना चाहिए
4thAugust1932 said…
If I were Ambedkar I'd have given Licensed Pistols to all Dalit through Indian Constitution for self-defense and to resist oppression;
Unknown said…
Well written...BJP failed india with its casual approach in handling foreign policy..

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