“Since eighties, several Hindu leaders and activists … have lost their lives in terror acts perpetrated by Jihadis. The state government cannot afford to be in a denial mode any more. The central intelligence agencies have been repeatedly feeding the state government with several inputs, which are not taken seriously by the state. … Fortunately, the change of guard at the center and a very efficient NSA in place is expected to improve the intelligence gathering, planning and execution of anti-terror activities to a great extent. But … Tamil Nadu has been alternatively ruled by DMK and AIADMK, which have been compromising the state’s security by pandering to the Islamic fundamentalist organizations. This has allowed the rise of Jihad in alarming proportions.” – B.R. Haran
On Wednesday the 13th of August, six people by name Syed Abdul Rehman Umari, Saddam Hussein, Abdul Nowshad, Rehmatullah Ali, Abdul Rasheed and Mohammed Azharuddin were arrested by Coimbatore city police in front of a Mosque in the posh RS Puram area, for plotting to kill Arjun Sampath, President of Hindu Makkal Katchi (Hindu People Party) and Mookambikai Mani, a fire brand speaker of Hindu Munnani (Hindu Front). These extremists were arrested based on the tip off given by other extremists arrested earlier for the cold-blooded murder of Hindu Munnani’s Chennai South President Suresh Kumar on 18th June.
Four extremists by name Muhajir, Raja Mohammed, Shah king and Jabbar were arrested on Tuesday the 12th from a place called Mannurpet near Chennai. Just seven days earlier, on 7th August, the Chennai city police apprehended Abdul Hakeem of Vaniyambadi in Vellore District and Abu Tahir of Padi in Chennai at Chennai Metro Bus Terminal for their involvement in the murder of Suresh Kumar. A day before, on 6th August, a special team from Chennai city police, in a joint operation with Bangalore City police picked up Mohammed Shamemm alias Abdul Shameem, Syed Ali Nawaz belonging to Kanyakumari. The next day they arrested Mohammed Shamiullah and Sadiq Basha of Bangalore for harbouring the accused from Kanyakumari. In an earlier operation, a fortnight ago, the city police arrested Kaja Mohideen of Cuddalore, who was supposedly the mastermind behind the murderous assault on Suresh Kumar. In total, 14 people have been arrested for and all of them belong to the banned outfit Al Umma. The interrogation of the arrested extremists has now revealed that the entire plot to kill Suresh Kumar was planned in Vaniyambadi, a predominantly Muslim area in Vellore district.
The Coimbatore arrests have also happened based on the tip off given by some of these arrested, particularly Kaja Mohideen. Out of the six arrested in Coimbatore, Abdul Rehman was found to be a former SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) member and the rest belong to PFI (Popular Front of India). Al though these extremists owe their allegiance to different organizations, they reportedly formed a new group in the name of ‘Wahabi-e-Islam’ exclusively for this jihadi operation of killing leaders and activists of Hindu organizations. In fact, forming new outfits is a strategy of Islamic extremists to keep jihad alive and kicking, as most of them belong to banned outfits like SIMI, Al Ummah and Jihad Committee.
As the name Wahabi-e-Islam indicates, Wahabism has come a long way in Tamil Nadu, particularly in the last twenty years. The very fact that the various Jihadi materials available in Tamil along with Urdu and Hindi is an evidence to show the growing support for worldwide jihad in Tamil Nadu. Youth from Tamil Nadu were the first to join jihad in Syria. Two college students from Chennai have reportedly traveled to Syria some three months back. Recently, 37-year-old Haja Fakrudeen, hailing from Cuddalore and an employee of a super market firm in Singapore, had left for Syria along with his wife and three children. He spoke to his father Usman Ali over phone to confirm that he was fighting jihad for ISIS. It is reported that he was trained by one Mohammed Maraicar who had settled in his native place Cuddalore after a long stint in Singapore. Fakrudeen had left for Syria in January itself and the two college students from Chennai were reportedly brainwashed and trained by him.
Very recently three men (Abdul Rehman and Rilwan from Ramanathapuram and an Imam from Tiruppur by name Faizur Rehman) were arrested for ordering and promoting ISIS T-Shirts. A photograph of around 25 young men sporting the ISIS T-Shirts standing in front of the Big Mosque in Thondi in Ramanathapuram district, circulated widely in the internet, resulted in their arrest. However, they were later released on bail, as the prosecution failed to present a strong case against them. Abdul Rehman, a frequent traveler to Indoneisa, Malaysia and Singapore, had reportedly maintained a Facebook page in the name of Sangai Ridhuvan, wherein he had posted first the picture of 25 youth wearing ISIS T-Shirts, which went viral thereafter.
Various merchandises are available with messages ‘worldwide Jihad’ (Mujahideen around the world) and ‘Muslim Brotherhood’, etc. The Wahabism has slowly and steadily spread in the state and now it has come to a stage that, youth have developed a liking to spread the messages of terrorist organizations like ISIS and even enrolling themselves to join worldwide jihad. Meanwhile, an ISIS video clipping with Tamil subtitles garnering support from among the Tamil Muslims for establishing the Islamic Caliphate, was removed from You Tube, reportedly on the complaint made by central agencies. The video titled ‘Al Isabah Media Present Tamil Subtitled Video of Ghuraba the Chosen Few of Different Land’, carrying subtitles in Tamil, was a 11 minute homage to Abu Muslim, a Canada-born man, who had reportedly joined the ‘global war’ to protect Islam and ending with his death.
On the 1st of May this year, Chennai woke up to hear the twin bomb blasts in Bangalore-Guwahati Express standing on Chennai Central Railway Station, in which, one young lady died and 14 other got injured. Just two days before the blast, on 29 April, a Sri Lankan National by name Mohammed Zakir Hussain was arrested by central agencies and state police on a joint operation. He was arrested based on the information given by Malaysian police, who had earlier arrested another Sri Lankan national by name Mohammed Hussain Mohammed Sulaiman. Mohammed Sulaiman had told the Malaysian police that he had been tasked to ferry two terrorists from Maldives to a South Indian coast to carry out terror strike at US Consulate in Chennai and Israeli Consulate in Bangalore. He had also given information about Zakir Hussain. Malaysian police had stumbled upon him, as Sulaiman was talking to ISI officers about plans to carry out terror strikes on the two consulates, when the Special Unit of Malaysian police was probing money laundering and human trafficking cases. Later, India secured an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Sulaiman after NIA took over the investigation.
While interrogating, Zakir Hussain revealed that he was working for Pakistan’s ISI and that he had been on an assignment of recruiting local youth for terrorist activities such as circulating fake currency and striking at possible targets in southern India. Based on his information, the Q Branch arrested two of his recruits from Mannadi area in Chennai. Zakir Hussain further confessed that, he was getting orders from Amir Zubair Siddique, Cousellor (Visa) at the Pakistan High Commission in Colombo to gather vital information on installations such as US Consulate in Chennai and Israel Consulate in Bangalore, and that, he had sent photographs and maps accordingly. He had also named another Pakistani official by name Boss alias Shah involved in this clandestine operation. Zakir Hussain had been frequently in touch with the two officials and had visited Chennai half a dozen times within a span of one year in the guise of textile and pharma merchant. His track record also reveals that he had spent three years in Singapore prison for spying and had also been detained in Bangkok once.
The Pakistan High Commission official Amir Zubair Siddique is reported to be a secretly working for ISI. His shady works came into the limelight earlier also when another extremist by name Thamim Ansari of Adiramapattinam in Thanjavur was arrested in September 2012, when he attempted to leave for Trichy to catch a flight to Colombo. When he was apprehended, he had DVDs and CDs materials containing photographs and video of vital installations like Nagapattinam Port, Madras Regimental Centre, Wellington, Ooty and visuals of Army Para Gliding training and Army Signal Corps, in his possession. He had also named Pakistan High Commission as his employers.
In between Ansari’s case and Zakir Hussain’s case, there was a serious alert from Indian central agencies on Sri Lanka being a center of ISI activities. Exactly a year ago in August 2013, Central Intelligence Agencies had alerted Maharashtra Police that eight militants undergoing training in Pakistan based camps might attack targets in South India from Sri Lanka through sea route, entering via Tamil Nadu coast or Kerala coast. The agencies informed that the eight terrorists were likely to operate from Jaffna and their target could be Madurai or Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu. It was also informed that the Sri Lankan agencies have arrested three suspected Pak Nationals on 2 February 2013, who confessed to have visited Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram on Sri Lankan Passports.
Now with the advent of BJP government, NIA has urged Kuala Lumpur to share the evidence against Mohamed Hussain Mohamed Sulaiman, under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), signed by the two countries in 2012. The BJP government is also in regular touch with Sri Lanka putting lot of pressure on it with regards to Colombo based ISI activities. This has forced Pakistan to quietly withdraw its High Commission official Amir Zubair Siddique from Sri Lanka.
The success of ISI and ISIS in attracting Tamil Muslims is a clear indication of the growth of extremism in Tamil Nadu. The Kerala connection has helped the launching of fundamentalist outfits like Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India in the state in addition to the already existing fundamentalist outfits such as Tamil Nadu Tauheed Jamath and Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham. There are about 24 outfits said to be operating in the state and they come under one banner whenever situation warrants, as evidenced by their united protests against movies like Kamalhasan’s Vishwaroopam and Hollywood’s Innocence of Muslims.
The soft peddling by both the AIADMK and DMK governments and their vote bank politics and appeasement policies have helped the growth of Muslim extremism. Let us have a look at the chronology of terror activities since the formation of AIADMK government in 2011.
From 2011 to 2014
28 October 2011: A pipe bomb was planted enroute BJP leader L.K. Advani’s yatra between Thirumangalam and Srivilliputhur. The investigation has been very slow and tardy.
25 June 2012: State Intelligence and local police busted a training camp secretly held by Muslims in Ramanathapuram. 30 youth from Assam, Bihar, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were detained and later let free. The name of the organization and the reasons for youths coming from far off places and the secret nature of the camp were kept secret by the police for reasons known only to them.
4 July 2012: Pugalendi, BJP functionary was murdered in Nagappattinam.
Between 14 and 18 September 2012, Muslim outfits mobilized thousands of people including women and children, and hit the arterial roads (Mount road and Cathedral Road) close to American Consulate, in the guise of protesting against the English movie Innocence of Muslims. The crowd indulged in violence and American Consulate was attacked, vehicles were stoned and police too were not spared. The entire stretch of Mount road was used as a place for Namaz and the violent protests went on continuously for four days. First time in the history of this country the American Consulate remained closed for four days. The AIADMK government did not take any action against the hooligans, but instead, found a scapegoat in the Chennai Commissioner of Police and transferred him to another position.
23 October 2012: Dr. Aravind Reddy, Secretary BJP Medical Wing was murdered in Vellore. Though initial arrests were made citing enmity due to Real Estate businesses, it has come out now that he was murdered by Jihadis.
26 October 2012: BJP National Executive Committee member H. Raja was attacked in Illayangudi, a Muslim dominated area.
6 November 2012: R.S.S Tiruppur District Secretary Anandan was assaulted in Mettupalayam near Coimbatore.
Between 19 and 22 December 2012, Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath issued handbills in Triplicane area with irreverent comments on Saint Ramalinga Vallalar. Members of the Hindu organisations lodged a complaint with the Zambazar police and the police booked a case against the complainant under non-bailable sections, while the accused Muslim was booked under bailable section after a gang of Muslims besieged the police station. A police officer justified this action by saying that if a Muslim is arrested they would mob the station in hundreds!
January 2013: Vishwaroopam, a Tamil movie produced by actor Kamal Haasan faced the ire of Islamists. Though the movie talked only about Taliban and their terror acts, 23 Islamic outfits again hit the streets and protested against the release of the film. In an act of appeasement, the government imposed a temporary ban. The chief minister even conceded through a special press meet that she couldn’t provide security to all cinema theatres. As a token of appreciation, Islamists welcomed her statement by pelting stones and throwing petrol bombs at some theatres in the state. No arrest was made in this regard too and again police remained silent presumably under the orders of the government.
19 March 2013: A BJP functionary by name Murugan was murdered in Paramakudi.
15 April 2013: Hindu Munnani functionary Manjunath was grievously attacked in Coonoor. Five TMMK cadres were arrested.
17 April 2013: Hindu Munnani functionaries Hariharan, Venkatraj and Jayakumar were attacked by Muslims while pasting posters condemning the attack on Manjunath in Coonoor. 10 TMMK cadres were arrested.
21 April 2013: Senior BJP leader M.R. Gandhi was attacked in Nagercoil
15 May 2013: In another act of appeasement, the government announced that Memorials for Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan would be constructed in memory of their fight against British. While history clearly depicts them as “foreign invaders” like the British, it is rather astonishing that the Tamil Nadu government treats them as “freedom fighters”.
May 2013: Seeman, president of a Tamil separatist outfit by name “Nam Thamizhar” brought Kashmir separatist leader Yasin Malik to Chennai for rendering a special address during a public meeting organized in Cuddalore in memory of LTTE’s defeat. He even approached the Chennai High Court and obtained permission for the event and until then the state government was not even aware of the visit of Yasin Malik. Waking up at the eleventh hour, the state government banned the public meeting. However, the event was held inside a marriage hall and Yasin Malik and Seeman addressed the gathering and they were allowed to escape. No case was registered against both of them despite their anti-national ranting. This is yet another case of government yielding to Islamic and Tamil separatists just for the sake of vote banks.
7 June 2013: Marriage Hall belonging to Suryaprakash of BJP was attacked by a Muslim gang using petrol bombs.
1 July 2013: State Secretary of Hindu Munnani Vellaiyappan was murdered in broad day light in Vellore.
6 July 2013: Muslims assembled in thousands and went on a rally without permission to the Secretariat violating the ban order, demanding enhancement of reservation from 3.5% to 7.5%., exemption for Muslims from Tamilnadu Marriage Registration Act 2009 and release of Muslim prisoners who served more than 10 years in jail. The city came to a standstill for a few hours and even though the police stalled their march and dispersed them, no legal action was taken against them.
19 July 2013: BJP state general secretary auditor Ramesh was murdered in Salem.
22 July 2013: Rahamathullaah from Dindukal belonging to SDPI was detained by the police for videographing the bandh in Nagapattinam. He was let off after three days.
23 July 2013: Two sympathisers namely Meenakshi Sundaram and Veeramanikandan, who participated in protest, organised to condemn auditor Ramesh’s murder in Ramana-thapuram, were attacked by Muslims
The two successive murders of Vellaiyappan and auditor Ramesh within a span of 18 days outraged the people of Tamil Nadu. Even the people’s anger couldn’t move the AIADMK government from its deep slumber. However, the massive turn out of not less than 2 lac people attending Narendra Modi’s Trichy congregation in September 2013, gave a huge jolt to Jayalalitha’s government, as the state intelligence informed her of the impending loss of Hindu votes. This made her to act and the police made the first arrest by apprehending Police Fakrudheen, who had come to Chennai on a mission of striking terror during the Thirumala Thiruppathi Thirukudai (Thiruppathi Umbrella Procession) festival which draws 6 lakh to 10 lakh people every year. The arrest of Police Fakrudheen led to another swift joint operation by the state police with Andhra police, leading to the capture of Bilal Malik and Banna Ismail in Pudhur on TN-Andhra border. Their interrogation revealed that they were the main culprits in almost all the murders and assaults. With the arrest of these three men, the government and the police became a sort of complacent leading to a slump in intelligence gathering.
The lack of intelligence and security efforts, despite the arrest of Zakir Hussain on 29 April, resulted in twin blasts inside a coach of Bangalore-Guwahati Express in Central Station on 1 May. Even after that, the government was in a denial mode. Terrorists struck again on 18 June brutally killing Hindu Front leader Suresh Kumar.
So, in a span of three years of AIADMK government, 6 Hindu leaders were murdered and a dozen others were assaulted apart from incidences of Islamic aggression on the streets.
Alternative Dravidian governments since 1967, committed to minority appeasement, have failed to realize that pandering to minorities breeds extremism and separatism and that “indoctrinated” elements are working against the nation. The fundamentalists have increased and jihadi “sleeper cells” have come up in several parts of the state.
There has been a surge in the growth of Jihadi elements in Tamil Nadu in the last two decades. When a countrywide ban was enforced on SIMI, the Tamil Nadu unit took the avatars of “Al Umma” and “Jihad Committee” and Al Umma made its first major strike at the RSS HQs in Chennai in November 1993, killing 11 swayamsevaks.
The Jihad Committee, which has been regularly indulging in communal riots in the state, got disintegrated when its leader Palani Baba was murdered. Thereafter the TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazagham) was launched in 1995. It was founded by Hyder Ali, a SIMI activist and former associate of Palani Baba in the Jihad Committee, who left Al Umma after a tiff with its president Basha.
When Al Umma was banned for the Coimbatore blasts in February 1998, it changed colour as “Manitha Neethi Pasarai” (MNP). Thus, neither the banning of SIMI and Al Umma, nor disintegration of the Jihad Committee, reduced Islamic fundamentalism in the state. In fact, it started growing in different avatars with the support of Dravidian parties, which go to any extent for the sake of vote banks.
From 1991 to 2001
There is a general feeling outside the state that Tamil Nadu is normally peaceful and that terror attacks are confined to the RSS HQs attack of 1993 and the Coimbatore blasts of 1998. The reality is that between 1993 and 1998 there have been several terror attacks and even after 1998, the attacks continued. When the RSS HQ in Chennai was attacked in the year 1993, in which 11 persons died, Jayalalitha’s AIADMK was in office for the first term (1991-96). That was the time when Islamic fundamentalism started to rise in Tamil Nadu. Let us look at some of the events happened during that period:
05-09-1991: Sivakumar, Hindu Munnani official, Coimbatore, murdered just near his residence.
98 August 1993: RSS HQs attacked in Chennai killing 11 persons and injuring 7 others.
18 March 1994: Elderly Muslim, Kottai Ameer, murdered by Jihadis (Al Umma leader Basha’s son Siddique Ali, Mohammed Muthu, Mohammed Sabi and Shahul Hameed), as he opposed their terrorist activities.
15-04-1995: Rajendran of BJP Coimbatore unit murdered.
04-07-1995: Wife of a Dalit-Hindu activist died in a blast in Nagore
31-12-1995: Karthikeyan, Hindu Munnani worker, murdered at Mettupalayam near Coimbatore.
The growth of Islamic fundamentalism was apparent during the DMK regime between 1996 and 2001, as evidenced by the following events:
1996: Coimbatore jailer Boopalan murdered by Jagubar Sadiq alias Sadiq alias ‘Tailor’ Raja alias ‘Valarntha’ Raja and his associate Jihadis.
18 May 1996: Blast in Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple; TMMK leader Naina Mohammed and Sait Saheb, Raja Hussain and Fakrudin (cadres) arrested.
31-01-1997: Auto driver Ragupathi, murdered at Selvapuram in Coimbatore.
03-02-1997: Retired Teacher Krishnaswamy, murdered at Marakadai in Coimbatore.
6 June 1997: Bomb attack on Doordarshan Kendra’s Thanjavur office.
01-09-1997: Mahendran, Arunachalam and Rajini Ramesh, murdered in different places in Coimbatore.
02-09-1997: Trikmara Ram, Murthi, Murugan and Kannan, murdered.
20-11-1997: Traffic constable Selvaraj murdered on the spot as he attempted to book Jihadis in a traffic violation case.
Scores of Hindus and Muslims died in riots following protests by police after Selvaraj murder.
On 6 December 1997 bombs exploded in Coimbatore-bound Cheran Express, Madurai-bound Pandiyan Express and Allepey Express.
On 9 December 1997, a cycle bomb exploded in Coimbatore suburb killing three women; Sultan Nazar and Abdul Quayum arrested.
On 10 January 1998, a bomb exploded on Anna Flyover in the heart of Chennai city.
As a culmination of events, on Feb. 14, 1998, 60 died and more than 200 injured in a serial bomb blast perpetrated by Islamic terrorist organization Al Umma.
With the advent of BJP led NDA government in May 1998 and since DMK was also a part of that government, terrorism subsided in the state. Terrorists went into hiding and lied low for a few years.
From 2001 to 2011
Though the law and order was comparatively better during AIADMK rule between 2001 and 2006, clandestine operations continued and sustained fundamentalism. Two incidents happened during this period.
On 28 March 2002, RSS pracharak Murugesan was murdered by Jihadis in front of his home in Kuniyamuthur near Kovai, and on 21 June 2005, R. Kalidas, state vice president, Hindu Makkal Katci, was murdered in Madurai by Jihadis.
After enjoying power and ministerial positions in the BJP led NDA government for 4 years, Karunanidhi made a calculated move of getting out of NDA and joined hands with the Congress for the 2004 parliamentary elections. PMK and MDMK also followed suit. AIADMK, which was in power in the state aligned with BJP and drew a blank in the elections. All the 39 seats, along with the sole Pondicherry (Union Territory) seat, went to Congress-DMK-PMK-MDMK alliance.
As the BJP lost the 2004 elections, the Jihadis increased their clandestine operations and they also got emboldened by the DMK led alliance’s victory in the 2006 Assembly Elections.
Half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were suddenly released from Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the DMK government taking charge. With the release of these fundamentalists from various prisons, Muslim pockets have begun to be Talibanised.
On 22 July 2006 five MNP (Manitha Neethi Pasarai) cadres were arrested in Coimbatore on charges of plotting serial bomb blasts similar to the 1998 blasts. The five were acquitted on 9 February 2008 on grounds of being arrested on false charges!
On 26 July 2006, Indian Express carried a report on MNP indulging in ‘conversion’ and conducting classes in the name of ‘Arivagam’ to brainwash new converts, especially scheduled castes, to train and recruit them to Jihadi squads. The MNP is reportedly active in places close to the Kerala border (Theni, Coimbatore, etc), so it can connect with Kerala-based NDF easily. Investigations of Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai blasts reveal that Kerala has been a permanent and safe haven and a training ground for Islamic terrorists who have been sent on Jihadi missions from Kerala to Kashmir.
In December 2006, TMMK attempted to construct a mosque close to Sri Kasi Viswanathar Temple in Thenkasi town of Thirunelveli district. Hindu Munnani activists led by Kumar Pandian thwarted the attempt.
As a fall out, on December 17, 2006, TMMK cadres murdered Kumar Pandian.
Just a month earlier, on 17 February 2007, The New Indian Express, Chennai, reported: “The Q branch of the state police is now concerned about the formation of a new Islamic outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), a coordinated effort between three organisations – Karnataka For Dignity (KFD), Karnataka; Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP), Tamil Nadu; and National Development Front (NDF), Kerala. The new organisation was launched on Friday (16th February 2007) in Bangalore, ‘to coordinate & strengthen grassroot level developmental activities throughout the country,’ followed by an ‘Empower India’ conference in the garden city. Though the organisation’s agenda has been well spelt out – democracy & social justice, the state police fear that the organisation had been set up to propagate hardliner ideology. A Q branch official had said, “What is worrying us is the fact that a majority of the leaders of this new front belonged to the now banned SIMI”. The decision to launch Popular Front of India (PFI) has been taken at a conference of KFD, MNP & NDF held on 22 November 2006 at Calicut. The leaders of PFI include K.M. Shareef, president of KFD, Gulam Muhammed, leader of MNP and Abdur Rahman Baqari of NDF and they have decided to confine their activities to South India’.
A close look at the choice of words in their nomenclatures tells us how cleverly they are getting into mainstream politics! Soft and gentle words like Dignity, National, Development, Manitham (Humanity), Neethi (Justice), Popular and Munnetram (Improvement or Progress), have replaced hardline words like Jihad and other Arabic or Urdu words. They claim to work for Democracy, Social Justice and Development!
On Republic Day in 2007, when the MNP took out a rally in Madurai, wall advertisements by the outfit carried the figure of the flag of the banned outfit JKLF.
With Talibanisation comes the oppression of women. A woman running a tea shop and another working in a local beedi factory were waylaid and murdered in broad daylight in Thirunelveli, for trivial reasons, in the name of religion. Indian Express (26 March 2007) reported, “The police spoke of Al Umma, the fundamentalist outfit which had become weak after the arrest of more than 100 of its members in the Coimbatore case, which under the DMK regime had been rejuvenated and was trying to enforce edicts on the Muslim community in the districts of south Tamil Nadu.”
On 1 August 2007, Justice Uthirapathy pronounced the verdict. Abdul Nassar Madhani was acquitted (for want of evidence), to the shock of blast victims, their families and all right thinking people. He was given a hero’s welcome in Thiruvananthapuram. Both the UDF and LDF vied for credit for his acquittal.
On 14 August 2007, three Hindu Munnani activists (all brothers of Kumar Pandian) murdered in Tenkasi by TMMK cadres; three TMMK cadres also lost their lives in the clash.
On 13 September 2007, Government of Tamil Nadu reserved seats for Muslims under BC quota, which is unconstitutional and it remains unchallenged.
On 24 January 2008, a special police team arrested Ravi Pandian (last brother of slain Hindu Munnani leader Kumar Pandian & three others), and two other Hindu youths, in connection with the RSS-office bomb blast in Tenkasi!
On 5 February 2008, Jawahirullah, president of TMMK posted an article welcoming the arrest of Hindu youth and praising TN police for the arrests on an Islamic website, www.twocircles.net.
On 7 March 2008, an exhibition that displayed portraits depicting the true history of Aurangazeb, created by French historian François Gautier was removed by police along with Tamilnadu Towheeth Jamath functionaries. Volunteers present in the stall including women were detained by the police. The Muslims on Thursday issued an ultimatum to the organisers to close down or they have to face the consequences after Friday Namaz, in which they succeeded. It is pertinent to note that the Prince of Arcot paid a visit to the venue and confronted the author of the exhibition Francois Gautier, who is French by origin.
Between June and July 2008, central intelligence agencies alerted Tamil Nadu of a possible terrorist attack on Hindu religious installations. State intelligence busted a terrorist module operating out of Mannadi in Chennai with ‘specific plans’. These plans were near-operational when the police cracked down. LeT trained jihadis Toufeeque and Abu Dahir, who were also leaders of this module, managed to escape. Tamil Nadu police foiled an Independence Day 2008 terror bid by arresting Abdul Gaffur, employed in Chennai and acting under instructions from one Ali Abdullah lodged in central prison at Puzhal near Chennai.
Erode district police raided 30 private godowns selling gelatin sticks and detonators meant for stone quarrying and blasting wells. Police said the detonators used in the Bangalore blasts (2008) could have been sourced from these godowns. Police also raided godowns in Bhavani, Uthukuli, Sathyam-angalam and Gobichettypalayam.
In April 2008, Tamil daily Dinamani reported that MNP was giving “military training” to around 1000 cadres (50 from each district) to conduct “freedom parade”’ on 15 August 2008 (Independence Day), as a show of “patriotism”! The outfit recruited more than 25,000 cadres in four years and military training was being imparted to 300 cadres from each district. Though the outfit claimed to be focusing on ‘human rights’ and ‘social service’, the daily reported that the Q branch police was closely watching its activities.
The “freedom parade” was conducted in Kumbakonam in Tamil Nadu and Idukki in Kerala. The then BJP government in Karnataka allowed the ‘freedom parade’ in Mangalore in 2008, but refused permission in 2009 for Mysore, a communally sensitive town. Popular Front of India’s website said that this practice has been going on since 2004.
While on one side these organisations ‘claim’ to be ‘patriotic’ and celebrate Independence Day, on the other side they create unrest and try to incite communal violence in the name of Babri anniversary. When they attempted to conduct protest demonstrations on 6 December 2008 (16th anniversary) in major cities and towns, more than 7000 activists were detained by the police.
On 21 December 2008, RSS parcharak Baskar was attacked in Dindugal. His legs were amputated.
Immediately after Mumbai attack in 2008 and close on the heels of a massive two-day rally by the Taliban after they took over the Swat Valley of Pakistan, either by plan or by sheer coincidence, fundamentalists took out a huge rally in a similar fashion in Calicut, Kerala. Though ignored by mainstream print and electronic media, the Tamil daily, Dinamalar, reported on 19 February 2009, that the Popular Front of India (PFI) organised a massive “national political conference” in Calicut from 13-15 February 2009. The conference was attended by members of PFI from 16 states including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Goa and Delhi.
The conference culminated with a massive rally and public meeting attended by over two lakh people. Just before the conference, the TMMK floated another outfit by name “Manithaneya Makkal Katchi” (Humane People Party) giving it a political colour. MMK also participated in the conference.
Half a dozen cadres of Al Umma were suddenly released from Palayamkottai prison in May 2006, within days of the DMK government taking charge. With the release of these fundamentalists from various prisons, Muslim pockets have begun to be Talibanised.
Center-State coordination is the only solution
Since eighties, several Hindu leaders and activists apart from general public have lost their lives in terror acts perpetrated by Jihadis. The state government cannot afford to be in a denial mode any more. The central intelligence agencies have been repeatedly feeding the state government with several inputs, which are not taken seriously by the state. In the last 10 years, the UPA government at the center had diluted the fight against Jihad and focused more on concocting “Hindu terror”, which gave a lot of time leverage for Jihadi organizations across the country to regroup and revamp their activities. Fortunately, the change of guard at the centre and a very efficient NSA in place is expected to improve the intelligence gathering, planning and execution of anti-terror activities to a great extent. But unfortunately, Tamil Nadu has been alternatively ruled by DMK and AIADMK, which have been compromising the state’s security by pandering to the Islamic fundamentalist organizations. This has allowed the rise of Jihad in alarming proportions. Some of the fundamentalist organizations deserve to be banned altogether and some others have to be put in place. Unless the state government realizes and starts coordinated efforts with the center, the state would be in permanent peril, awaiting disaster and destruction, which are waiting to happen. – Uday India, 20 September 2014
» B.R. Haran is a senior journalist in Chennai
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