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Friday, June 2, 2023

Court convicts 49 Indian Mujahideen terrorists for 2008 Ahmedabad bomb blasts

On February 8, 2022, a special court hearing the infamous Ahmedabad bomb blasts case that involved Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists convicted 49 of the original accused. 28 were acquitted of whom 16 were given the benefit of the doubt, while 12 were pronounced innocent due to lack of evidence. 

On July 26, 2008, 21 bomb blasts rocked the commercial and industrial hub of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The terrorist attack killed 56 people and left more than 200 severely injured at various spots across the city. Terrorist organization IM largely consisted of former members of the banned terror outfit SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), which later also spawned the Popular Front of India (PFI).  

The special court has postponed the argument on the quantum of punishment for the convicts till next week. Even after 15 years, six convicts jointly moved an application seeking ‘time’ to highlight their “personal circumstances, mental health-related aspects, and other mitigating circumstances”. Judge Ambalal R Patel granted them time and allowed the lawyers defending the accused to meet the convicts in jail and collect the details mentioned above. 

The Ahmedabad Terrorists

All the terrorists called themselves the “Indian Mujahideen.” Most of them including the ones now ‘pardoned’ have several other terrorism-related cases and are lodged in high-security jails across the country. Fearing further terror attacks, the Ahmedabad case trial was mostly conducted online in coordination with jail authorities at Sabarmati Central Jail in Ahmedabad, Mumbai Taloja jail, and other prisons in Gaya, Bhopal, and Bengaluru.  

On that fateful late Saturday evening, the citizens of Ahmedabad were returning home. At 6.41 pm multiple news agencies received a 14-page e-mail from the Indian Mujahideen under the heading: “Await 5 minutes for the revenge of Gujarat”. “In the name of Allah the Indian Mujahideen strike again! Do whatever you can, within 5 minutes from now, feel the terror of Death!” It added that they would “demolish the faith (Hinduism)” of the “infidels of India”. The Godhra massacre, the radical Islamist link, and Islamist hatred for Hindu Dharma became pretty evident. 

Economic Jihad

Other revelations in the email made it pretty clear that these attacks were a dangerous mix of ideology and an economic jihadi agenda. The email threatened many actors in Bollywood to stop acting (or pay up and be part of the Islamist agenda). The slew of anti-Hindu and anti-national movies had already begun and these threats fortified the industry as is evident from the movies that we watch even today. 

Terrorists were ready to sacrifice the lives of innocent citizens in far-off Ahmedabad for their extortion and blackmailing bids in the commercial capital of Bharat. They tried to intimidate business tycoon Mukesh Ambani who was building the Antilia in Mumbai. The terrorist email said, “Think twice before usurping and building a citadel on land in Mumbai that belongs to the Waqf board.”

Antilia is Mukesh’s 27 stories private residence that would ultimately cost him Rs 7,500 crores. Incidentally, Maharashtra Waqf Board has claimed the land is theirs and was ‘illegally sold”. Waqf was able to procure a stay on the land deal mentioning technicalities but the stay order was later vacated after the supreme court intervened. Wanting a piece of the action, the Congress government at the center tried hard to transfer the ‘case’ to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Such attempts at extortion are still being played out even today in Mumbai by the same Congress and its cronies.  

Attacking the commercial capital of Gujarat, Ahmedabad, was a clear attempt at waging economic jihad against the country.

A Series Of Blasts All Over Bharat

The Ahmedabad attacks came a day after seven blasts killed two people and injured 20 in the southern technology hub of Bengaluru on July 25, 2008. Amongst the confirmed dead in Bengaluru was a woman waiting at a bus shelter while her husband and another person were seriously injured. 

Indian Mujahideen was unknown before May but came into the limelight when it claimed that it was behind a series of bombings. In Jaipur, 9 synchronized bomb blasts took place on May 13, 2008, within a span of 15-20 minutes at different locations in Jaipur that took the lives of 63 innocents and left 216 injured.

In Ahmedabad, the terrorists had more elaborate plans. Lunch boxes that students use were filled with ammonium nitrate-based bombs and packed with metal splinters/ ball bearings. They were strapped to stolen bicycles and placed strategically in busy parts of the city. These Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were triggered using timer devices and bomb blasts rocked the city, causing damage. 

It started at 6:45 PM and explosions were heard from various parts of the city at regular intervals. There were 21 blasts in all which took place at 14 different locations in the city in the next 70 to 80 minutes. Unexploded IEDs were later recovered from Surat. This was just the warm-up of what was to come.

Ambulances raced against time to save the injured and as news trickled out, people gathered at the Trauma Center attached to the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. They were there to help the injured ones, to care for their relatives who were injured in the attack, or to donate blood. The terrorists who were waiting for this bombed the Trauma Center with IED-laden cars. It was the first time that hospitals were targeted by terrorists in Bharat.

The hospital bombings took 37 lives and most of those killed had rushed to donate blood to the injured victims. The impact of the blast was so severe that everyone in the hospital went deaf for a while. Distraught witnesses described bloodshed and pieces of dead bodies strewn all around them.   

BJP leader Pradip Parmar, who is now the sitting MLA and a Gujarat minister, was seriously injured in the hospital blasts and recalled the incident recently. He saw bloodied people, some with burn injuries, and dismembered body parts lying scattered all over the medical facility after the incident. Injuries on one of his legs were so severe that doctors even thought of amputating it but luckily they were able to save the leg.  

The Investigations

Narendra Modi who was then the chief minister of Gujarat immediately reached his office. Though he looked saddened by the barbaric attacks, he was seemed determined to crush the Islamic terrorists. 350 untarnished police and intelligence officers headed by Abhay Chudasama IPS were immediately chosen. 

Abhay himself was a treasure trove who controlled a vast network of reliable informers and the team as a whole had thousands if not more of snitches. Arrests began soon as the first lead took Abhay to the cars used in the blasts through an informer in Bharuch. 

This is exactly the type of intelligence that modern-day SIMI cadre under the banner of the PFI has infiltrated even reaching inside police forces like the ones seen in Kerala. PFI-affiliated organizations like the ‘Pacha Velicham’ or Green Light have made sure that informant databases are weakened and most snitches now live in fear. Who will leak information about terrorists when he knows that someone from the inside is triple crossing?

Ex-SIMI terrorists like Safdar Nagori and Sarai Meer Mufti Abu Bashir were soon arrested from their hiding spots. The case was solved after Bashir was picked up by the Gujarat Police and Intelligence Bureau from Sarai Meer on August 16, 2008. The radical ideologue was so important for unraveling the scheme of things that Modi brought him from Lucknow, for questioning to Gujarat, by a specially chartered aircraft. 

It was found that the Ahmedabad IEDs were assembled by the Azamgarh module of Indian Mujahideen, while the Surat IEDs (which fortunately did not work) were the handiwork of the Bhatkal group led by Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal from Karnataka. The jihadis had sourced the ammonium nitrate explosives from Karnataka. 

The Ahmedabad blasts investigations blew the lid of the entire Azamgarh, Delhi, Mumbai, and Bhatkal modules of the Indian Mujahideen terrorist group which had the support of jihadist groups across the border. Batla House encounter (following which Sonia Gandhi cried profusely) in which the Azamgarh module was raided by the Delhi Police special team was a direct result of the  Ahmedabad blast investigations.

The choice of raw materials, timers, lunch boxes, attacks on hospitals, and the IEDs that were detonated in Jaipur, Bengaluru, and the Gujarat terrorist attacks bore the hallmark of organized Islamist terror groups. It became apparent that the funds for this ideological/economic jihad were emanating from unfriendly and not-so-friendly foreign nations. Investigators now know that both the Bangladesh-based militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) and the Pakistani ISI-linked Lashkar-e-Taiba were directly involved in these blasts. 

What was Bharat doing? 

For his response to the multiple blasts across the nation, the then Minister for Home Affairs Shivraj Patil came to be known as the Bharatiya version of Nero. While the original Nero fiddled, Patil was busy changing his attire even while cities all over Bharat literally burned. 

He was nowhere to be seen during the Ahmedabad blasts but Manmohan Singh, the then PM did make an appearance in the city only to offer a paltry 1 lakh rupees to the kin of those innocents who were killed. Modi promised the victims 5 lakhs each. This is incidentally the same Congress that is now challenging the central government to either pay the kin of covid victims Rs 10 lakhs each (they later toned it down to 4 lakhs) or vacate Delhi.  

His time came on November 30, 2008, following the Mumbai terror attacks where Ajmal Kasab and his gang of Pakistani radical Islamists held the city for ransom from 26 to 29 November. but his replacement came in the form of an eviler P Chidambaram who mumbled sheer nonsense when Mumbai was attacked again in 2011. 

The role of Congress

Ahmedabad investigations revealed clear leads about a plot to target Delhi. Modi shared the information with the PM, the home minister, and the national security adviser, cautioning them that the plot to target Delhi was in its final stages. His warning wasn’t heeded. After a lull of a month in 2008, both Delhi and Mumbai were bombed not once but astonishingly twice and so were Agartala, Imphal, and on multiple occasions, Assam. 

An American pentecostal Christian missionary named Ken Haywood who originally sent the email regarding the blasts to the media escaped from Bharat even though there was a lookout notice for him! Though Maharashtra’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) found that his background and job were “of a slightly dubious nature,” they neither charged him nor looked into his involvement. 

Such discrepancies prompted calls from Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj to widen investigations beyond Islamist groups to other individuals and organizations. Pakistani stooges in our local media and the Congress preferred to use it against the BJP and they tried to paint a rosy picture of radical Islamist terrorists using her statement as ‘evidence’ all the while pushing the ‘saffron terror’ narrative. 

Ever since May 2014, our intelligence agencies have done a terrific job in protecting our cities from such terror attacks. The desperate Congress ecosystem is now openly stoking separatism and anarchy. They have neither been faithful nor truthful to Bharat and as illiteracy eases and more and more people read about their evil deeds, the future of Lutyens’ Delhi looks bleak.  

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