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Investigative Agencies and Media: The need of being responsible
After the exposure of the reality of Hindutva organisations, following the deadliest terror attack executed by Pakistani terrorists in Mumbai city on 26th of November 2008, there seemed to be a lull before the storm until the German Bakery Blast took place in Pune on 13th of February, 2010. As of now, several innocents have either been injured or have lost their lives in a number of bomb blasts that have occurred across the country. After the existence of Hindutva terrorism was confirmed, one can easily notice the change in the governmentís stand with regard to the investigation of every other bomb blast that occured. Although the police and the investigative agencies portray a very diplomatic stand after every bomb blast, they still tend to pull innocent Muslims in their nets. Consequently, with such an attitude, the other angles of the investigation are either wiped out or disappear, directing the probe in only one direction. Just minutes after any bomb blast that takes place in the country, the name of any Muslim organisation is pulled out and linked to the blast, following which a number of innocent Muslims are arrested and tortured. This has severely affected the psychology of Muslims across the world and it has forced every Muslim to live with fear and under extreme confusion, which has developed inferiority complex in them for the situations that are created. If they remain silent, they are accused of supporting the terrorists; but if they try to oppose or talk about the situation, they are described as show offs. At every point, they are also compelled to prove their patriotism for the country and their love for their motherland is always seen with suspicion. No matter how many fatwas against terrorism are issued or how many anti-terrorism conferences and seminars are held by Muslims, the accusations against them will never decrease. When Muslims shouted slogans stating that -All Muslims or not terrorists-, other extremist organisations accused -All Muslims are not terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims-. But then, even after the exposure of several Hindutva terrorists organisations, nobody has ever tried to change the statements, while they are even repeated on several occasions. Before 2005, SIMI was being held responsible for every terrorist attack that occurred in the country, while the organisation was banned 10 years ago, the arrest of its members is still on. In the year 2008, the judge of the special tribunal Geeta Mittal had ordered the removal of ban on the organization, while dismissing the governmentís claim in this regard. However, in the second day of the court order, the central government succeeded to get stay order from Supreme Court. There is not the slightest difference between the behavior of the Congress and BJP with regards to Muslims. While one has poison in its mouth, the other has poison in its tail. After banning SIMI, the National Investigative Agencies required a name of any local organisation to accuse them for every other Bomb blast, and consequently, the name of Indian Mujahedeen was fabricated. The only source of its existence are the emails, through which it accepts the responsibility of the bomb blasts that occur in the country. Indian Mujahideen were first brought into the picture after the Varanasi blast in 2005 and later the Indian Mujahideen became the symbol of Muslim terrorism. The investigative agencies also allege that Indian Mujahideen are a new form of SIMI. In fact, a section of the country is still doubtful with regard to the existence of Indian Mujahideen. Another remarkable point in this regard is that most cases related to destructive activities, lose their ground, after reaching the desk of the court and the accused are eventually released. The investigations of several bomb blasts occurred after Puneís German bakery have not yielded any positive results, and the actual accused still havenít been traced till date. This has raised questions on the credibility of the investigative agencies and the general public are now compelled to wonder if the terrorists have been a step ahead in performing their modus operandi and also in successfully staying beyond the reach of these officials. Reports have always suggested that the police and other officials have always been mild to the Hindutva terrorists, in contrast with their behaviour with the Muslims, irrespective of them being guilty or innocent. According to reports, many Hindutva terrorists are not booked under any stringent act; rather, weak cases were filed against them, which consequently left their chances of being released wide open. The police and investigative agencies repeatedly denied their existence for a very long time, until martyr Hemant Karkare exposed the conspiracies of Hindutva terrorists and brought them to the forefront. Initial reports in the blast that occurred in a house in Nanded stated that they were only crackers. Further, when bomb blasts occurred in various Masjids including Parbhani, Poorna, Jalana, Malegao (2006), Makkah Masjid and Ajmer shrine, they were described as being the result of internal differences in the Muslim community. Moreover, the Samjhauta Express blast was even linked to Lashkar e Toiba. Similar attitudes were even adopted when explosives were seized in large quantities in various places. Any connections with any Hindutva organization would directly and deliberately be diverted to Muslims. Three incidents can be presented as valid reasons for these assertions. On 12th of October, 5 kg RDX, detonators and timers were seized from a car parked outside the Ambala Contonment Railway Station. The investigative agencies associated this with the Babbar Khalsa and Lashkar e Toiba stating that the explosives were meant to carry out blasts in Delhi, on the eve of Diwali. Just few days later, 15 cartons of Ammonium Nitrate, Gelatine sticks and detonators were found in bulk quantities in the house belonging to Rajesh in Reva district in Madhya Pradesh. The police immediately side-tracked any terrorists link and claimed that these were meant for illegal mining in the state. Similarly, a motorbike was seized in connection with the Zaveri bazaar blast. Investigations had revealed that even this bike belonged to a person from Hindu community. However, the owner of the bike was called for a formal interrogation and was released immediately. By chance, if any Muslim was even slightly linked to any of these cases, everybody would very well know what would be the result. One cannot blame only the police and investigative agencies in this regard; even the Media has played a very vital role in maligning the image of the Muslim community. The media emerged as a petitioner and judge against Muslims. The foremost duty of the print and the electronic media is to present a very fair and unprejudiced report to the public, without being partial to any party involved. Journalism does not instill them with the right to defame any community on the basis of so called sources and secret agencies. The behaviour of the media has always been dubious and that of rivalry like the political parties. The reason behind such a behaviour is that many of the large media houses are under the influence of the saffron lobby, which have openly expressed animosity against the Muslims. While on the other hand, they have to increase their TRP by being the first to report any incident in the form of breaking news. Titling Muslims as terrorists in the name of National Security and with the help of false and fabricated reports are not the values of responsible journalism. The more regrettable fact is that media propaganda against Muslims is not limited to only terrorism; rather it tries to dig into the personal laws, beliefs, religious views and internal differences to completely distort their image in the society. Following the Delhi high court blast, two eminent persons raised questions about the credibility and functioning of the law enforcing agencies and the Indian media. While addressing the National Harmony Council on 10th of September, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh advised the agencies to investigate all the angles without being partial or prejudiced, so that the minorities of the country could feel safe. Further, on 10th of October, the former Supreme Court judge and new chairman of Press Council, Justice Markande Katju, while addressing the representatives of various newspapers and news channels, described the trend of accusing the Muslim community for every other blast in the country, without having any proof as wrong and detrimental. He appealed to the media to adopt administrative reforms and to be responsible in their way of functioning. However, all these advices seem to be a distant dream for any responsible citizen, as the situation will remain the same, where the investigative agencies and police will accuse and torture more and more innocent Muslims without being guilty of any crime; while the media will still try to increase their TRP by serving saffron parties and their attitude towards any blast news will not change, until their ethics and values are changed.
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