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Sunday, July 12, 2020

Falling apart


RANJIT BHUSHAN | New Delhi, April 2, 2013 11:34
Tags : Sayyed Liaqat Ali Shah | Hizbul Mujahideen | Terrorism |

Is the Indian Union beginning to fall apart? Are these the first signs? If the Indian government’s assertion that it is fighting terror seriously is to be taken at face value, should it not first, begin to speak in a single voice – or a single file, if you please.
India’s version of terror being sponsored from across Pakistan falls flat on its face when incidents like the arrest of Sayyed Liaqat Ali Shah, a known Hizbul Mujahideen operative, are played up the way they are.
Shah was picked up by Delhi Police on Wednesday at the Indo-Nepal border and later explosives, including an AK-47 assault weapon, were found from a Jama Masjid hotel in the walled city. According to the police, the man was in the process of executing or spearheading a 26/11-like attack in Delhi on posh upmarket Delhi malls.
Within hours of the arrest, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had another version: Shah, they said, was coming back via Nepal to surrender in Kashmir. His father, based in Kupwara, told journalists that the family had filed an application before the government under a state government rehabilitation plan.
Who is right? Should the Delhi Police version be seen as incredible?Is the Kashmir Police right in saying what they are? Undoubtedly, countless arguments and counter-arguments can be forwarded, but at the end of the day, India does not have much of a case if its state police forces disagree so openly and blatantly.
Questions need to be raised about the efficacy of the Union Home Minister whose mandate it is to coordinate between different police forces in the country. Should he be giving out his own version of terror or tackling it? The least that can be expected is national coordination. Or has the Jammu and Kashmir state government already become so autonomous that they could not care less what New Delhi thinks?
With some rather bizarre statements being attributed to Chief Minister Omar Abdullah - including the reference to Afzal Guru as Afzal Sahib – the air has got a bit clouded. For those watching Kashmir, it is important to ensure that the hung main accused in the Parliament attack does not become the iconic figure that some leading Kashmiri lights are hoping he becomes.
With India’s positioning on Tamils and Sri Lanka, caught up as it was the tug of war being generated by Tamil Nadu politicians, the country is increasingly becoming captive to domestic compulsions and vote bank politics. In a sense, these contradictions are inbuilt: infractious coalition governments make decision-making doubly difficult because the central government has to be kept in place in the first place before it is in a position to play a meaningful interventionist role. By the looks of it, though, those are the kind of dispensations which are likely to rule India in the years to come. So, just how far are we willing to go?

(Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog are that of the author and does not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of The Sunday Indian)
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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017