What makes Ujjain a fertile breeding ground for both Hindu and Muslim extremists

Madhya Pradesh has emerged as an important centre for terrorist activities. In the middle of last month it was discovered that a group of 9 persons in the state was supplying secret information to Pakistan's, Intelligence agency (ISI). The most sensational revelation was that some members of this group had intimate connection with Sangh Parivar. This group was getting huge sums for the services rendered by them.


The investigation about the activities of these groups was yet to complete when the state received yet another shock. A blast took place on a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train injuring 10 persons. However it is yet to be confirmed that it was a handiwork of the Islamic State but it sends a message that the terrorist groups find Madhya Pradesh a convenient place from where they can continue their activities.

The blast in Bhopal-Ujjain Passenger train has emerged as a big challenge for the state police. It is being described as the first terror attack in the state and is being linked with the incident of SIMI under-trials escaping from Bhopal central jail and later getting killed in an ‘encounter’.

 According to sources in the police, the case is being probed from all angles, including the possibility of the involvement of SIMI in it. Home minister Bhupendra Singh Thakur, while talking to the media said Ujjain had been the hub of SIMI activities and the possibility of SIMI’s involvement in the blast could not be ruled out.

The police were apprehensive that after the encounter, SIMI might go for revenge. The intelligence wing of the police was getting inputs that SIMI might strike after SIMI activist Safdar Nagori and 11 others were convicted by an Indore court.

The ATS is trying to find out from where the explosives used in the IED were procured and also whether explosives were being stockpiled in the state for mounting a major attack. The police are questioning suspects. Some persons have already been arrested from Piparia in Hoshangabad district and raids are underway at other places in the state. The police have also activated their informer network.

Madhya Pradesh, known as an island of peace, is fast becoming the centre of activities of terrorist organisations. The investigative agencies are yet to find out the persons who helped the SIMI under trials escape from jail. Many persons have been arrested from different parts of the state for allegedly being part of an ISI spy ring. The blast has only confirmed that the terrorists are spreading their network in MP.

Further, two important developments have again confirmed the impression that Madhya Pradesh has been a favoured place for extremist activity. One such development relates to the conviction of Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi in the 2007 Ajmer blast case. Among the convicted person Sunil Joshi belonged to Madhya Pradesh. He was murdered in highly mysterious circumstances. It was claimed that the conspiracy of Ajmer blast case and also of Samjhauta Express was hatched in Madhya Pradesh.

On October 11, 2007, a powerful bomb went off on the congested premises of the Ajmer Dargah during iftar at around 6.14 pm, killing three people and injuring 15 others.

The case was initially investigated by the anti-terror squad of Rajasthan, which found that a group of people linked with a radical Hindu outfit allegedly carried out the blasts at Ajmer Dargah and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad on May 18, 2007.

The attacks were supposed to be in retaliation against the attacks on the Amarnath yatra in 2002, Akshardham Temple in Gujarat and Raghunath Temple in Jammu.

The Rajasthan ATS claimed that the explosives used and the modus operandi in the blasts in Ajmer and Hyderabad were similar. Police recovered an unattended bag at the site in Ajmer, which had an unexploded bomb and two SIM cards, which gave them vital clues.

"The court has found that Devendra Gupta, Bhavesh Patel and Sunil Joshi, conspired to carry out attacks at Ajmer Dargah. The court also found that it was Bhavesh Patel who planted the two bombs," public prosecutor Ashwini Kumar said.

Another important judgement related to Madhya Pradesh was announced in Indore sentencing 11 SIMI activists for life. Those convicted include Safdar Nagori and his brother Kamruddin Nagori. Both Nagori brothers hail from Ujjain, a holy town Madhya Pradesh

Special CBI judge BK Paloda convicted all 11 for sedition, collecting arms, ammunition and explosives with the intention to wage war against the nation and for being active members of a banned terrorist outfit. Nagori was the general secretary of SIMI when it was banned.

"The judgement was delivered to 10 of the 11 accused through video-conferencing, as they are lodged in Sabarmati Jail in Ahmedabad and are being tried there for the Ahmedabad bomb blasts," public prosecutor Vimal Mishra said. Only one of the accused – dental student from Karnataka, Munroz – was in the Indore court with his father and started weeping after hearing the verdict.

Those convicted include Safdar Nagori, his brother Kamruddin Nagori, SIMI's Karnataka unit chief Hafiz Hussain, Kerala-based SIMI leader Shivli, his brother Shaduli, Ujjain-based Amil Parvez, Karnataka doctor Ahmed Baig and Munroz, Kerala-based Ansar and Khandwa-based operative Kamran.

Safdar Nagori, a native of Ujjain, is a former general secretary of SIMI and is accused in many other terror cases. In July 2014, he was acquitted in a case of provoking communal tension in Madhya Pradesh.

The CBI court observed that the actions of the SIMI members proved they had no faith in the government of India and they were indulging in activities which are not only against the unity and sovereignty of India, but also harmful to all humankind. "Although the accused are citizens of India, but in this situation, their conviction and punishment is unfortunate and sad" Judge Paloda said in the order.

MP anti-terror squad had arrested all 11 of them and two other SIMI operatives – Khalid Akhtar and Shami – in March 2008 from a flat above Fafur Khan's bakery in Indore's Sanyogitaganj area. During interrogation, the accused admitted to running a training camp near Choral, some 40km from Indore, where explosives and SIMI literature were seized. Khalid and Shami were convicted separately in 2012. Khalid was gunned down after the Bhopal jailbreak on the day after Diwali last year.

Ujjain where train blast took place, which nurtured SIMI outfit Nagori also, hit the headlines when a Hindu fanatic RSS functionary Kundan Chandravat announced Rs. one crore bounty for beheading Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

It is worthwhile to find out why Ujjain and its surrounding areas provide fertile land both to the Hindu and Muslim extremists.



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