Ajmer Sharif—time for accountability

It’s about who is accountable

Terrorist strikes on religious targets in India has become tiresomely common. A bomb blast at Ajmer Sharif, at the dargah of the Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisty claimed two lives.

Union Home Ministry sources in Delhi said it was a terror strike in which militants had used a low-intensity improvised explosive device.

They said the terror outfits, including Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba, were against sufi Islam and they could be prime suspects behind the blast which came barely ten days ahead of the meeting of Indo-Pakistan anti-terror mechanism here on October 22. [IE]

It’s good to know that Union Home Ministry officials are clued in to Islamic theological differences that cause the Lashkar-e-Toiba to be against Sufism. But speculating on prime suspects and the timing just won’t do. It’s equally possible that the timing and target of this attack is part of the same series that included the Diwali-Id blasts in New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Malegaon, Hyderabad over the last two years.

The public discourse, at such times, tends to get into whether this attack could have been prevented. That’s beside the point. The question that needs to be asked is why, why, why, why, why, why has Shivraj Patil’s home ministry been unable to indict a single culprit in relation to these attacks.

Update: Praveen Swami explains why Islamic fundamentalists are against Sufism.

And laxity on terrorism appears to be one opportunity cost of the entitlement economy:

However, Gulabchand Kataria, (Rajasthan) State Home Minister who also visited the spot, said the state government had prior information about the possibility of such a blast but it was pre-occupied with the Gujjar agitation in the state. “The IB had informed the state government but the state government was busy with the Gujjar agitation,” Kataria said. [IE]

4 thoughts on “Ajmer Sharif—time for accountability”

  1. Nitin,
    If you look back at the famous cases involving terrorism very few have come to trial. The 1993 bomb blast case is an exeption. In that case, the culprits were identified and arrested within a year. Why then, did the judiciary take 12 more years to pronounce them guilty.

    And it is still not the end of the process. Appeals can be made in the High court and the Supreme court. That would take many more years.

    A speedy justice system would go a long way in improving the efficiency and operation of the police force.

  2. The media — television, newspapers, ALL of them — are conspicuously avoiding the word “terrorist”. “Terror attack” but not a terrorist attack. “Terror” strikes, but terrorists don’t. Policy is: name the objective not the perpetrators themselves.

    Indian journalism is full of trite and cliched verbiage (eg: “Team India”, not “Indian team”, “India Inc”, not “business”) but in the “terror” instance I think the root cause is not mediocrity but just plain cowardice.

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