It's time to go chasing red herrings again. A blast at Varanasi - and we are faced with a scenario that is boringly routine. What is the nature of the beast? asks Rajiv Singh
It's time to go chasing red herrings again. A blast at Varanasi - an email acknowledging authorship - acknowledgement from the Mumbai police that the email was despatched from Navi Mumbai–and we are faced with a scenario that is boringly routine. Déjà vu!
There is no surprise on the choice of location, for the holy city of Varanasi has experienced a few before. No surprise about the email either, for that is the modus operandi for an outfit that likes to describe itself as the Indian Mujahideen (IM). These kids, being Indian, tend to be better educated than their Pakistani counterparts, who, by and large, are lumpen elements recruited from madrassas. And as for the choice of Navi Mumbai as location for the despatch of the email, well, once again no surprises, for the IM has scouted this township well enough and has tapped Wi-Fi links here before.
There is one surprise though, and a big one at that. The explosive device was not packed with shrapnel nor did it cause any burn injuries. This ensured minimum casualties and, so far, just a single fatality. Was this sloppy workmanship or were the perpetrators aware that a high casualty rate would have occasioned an international backlash that was best avoided? So did they design a blast that advertises their presence, and yet remains low-key enough to escape international media attention? Sort of saying – let's keep this local, you know, just between you and me.
Expectedly, the media today is full of coverage speculating if it is the work of the 'Azamgarhi module' and if Dr so-and-so is involved, etc.
Though its calling cards are numerous – Lashkar-e-Toiba, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Sipah-e-Sahaba, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Hizbul Mujahedin, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, Brigade 313, Harkat-ul-Ansar - the fact remains that the nature of the beast does not change. These are different brand names that adhere to a common objective – a pathological desire of the military - religious establishment in Pakistan to hurt India - and hurt it badly.
Before we touch upon the timing of the blast let's compare the profile of two individual terrorists, one of Indian origin and the other Pakistani.