Hindu bombs and Muslim bombs

KP Raghuvanshi
In May 2006
Communalism Combat had interviewed the then chief of Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), KP Raghuvanshi. The text of the full interview was published in CC in June 2006. Reproduced here are excerpts from the interview:

Q: There have been two recent incidents of alleged terrorism (in the state): in April (2006) when youth manufacturing bombs at Nanded died as a bomb exploded unexpectedly and the attempt on the RSS headquarters at Nagpur in May. How do you view these incidents?

A: Unfortunately, one (Nanded incident) is a terrorist act by Hindus and the other (Nagpur incident) by Muslims trained in Pakistan.

Q: The administration is perceived to be tight-lipped about the Nanded incident while speaking repeatedly of Nagpur, Malegaon and Aurangabad (the arms haul). Is there any policy decision behind this selective treatment?

A: Both incidents are being handled with the same vigour. Both are serious. In the Nanded case the very fact that the investigation has been handed over to us, the ATS, shows how the administration and government are viewing it. Investigations are on. Two persons making the bombs died on the spot… The house was the residence of the local Bajrang Dal and VHP activist.

This is the same group of terrorists responsible for the bomb blasts at the Parbhani mosque in (November) 2003, an incident in which 25 persons were injured. Until now we do not know for sure if they are linked to the other masjid bomb blasts at Purna and Jalna (August 2004, in which 18 persons were injured). Now we are awaiting the go-ahead from the doctor to interrogate them to get further leads. We have applied the provisions of the Unlawful Practices Act. It is clear that these bombs were not being manufactured for a puja. They were being manufactured for unlawful ends to wreak violence through terror. There is no question of going slow on the investigation.

Q: Is there a specially worked out drill that is followed by the police for such ‘terrorist operations’? Some serious questions about the Nagpur incident were raised by a citizens’ fact-finding committee. One general criticism is that the ‘terrorists’ are often killed and diaries with a long list of convenient details found?

A: I accept that there is this general criticism that terrorists captured in such operations are killed, diaries found, etc. I can only state that for such operations the police are trained so that if there is firing, they must shoot to kill.

May I ask you a question? Why are no questions raised by fact-finding teams about the arms hauls in Malegaon and Aurangabad and the identity of the accused who have been arrested? The haul is there for all to see. The accused are alive, not dead. No parents or relatives have cried foul saying that they are victims of a ‘false arrest’. Do you have any idea of the amount of ammunition hauled? Huge caches of AK-47s – no one can say that they had been falsely placed there by us! RDX in quantities several times’ larger than what was found and used in the multiple bomb blasts in Mumbai in 1993.

Nanded is a serious development and has frightening repercussions if we find, through investigations, that this was not an isolated incident but also part of an organised pattern. But the incident that was foiled in Nagpur and the arms hauls in Malegaon and Aurangabad – which we see as distinct and separate transactions – cannot simply be underplayed or overlooked either.

Archived from Communalism Combat, July-August 2008. Year 15, No.133, Maharashtra, Cover Story 2



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