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Friday,24-September-2021

Crime

26/11 Mumbai terror attacks: The redline of Indo-Pak relations

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On the evening of November 26, 2008, India’s commercial metropolis Mumbai witnessed vicious, devastating and ruthless attacks by terrorists who played havoc for at least 66 hours. The incident not only became India’s 9/11 moment, but also the redline for any positive movement in the decades long rivalry between India and Pakistan.

The 66 hours between November 26 and November 29 saw one of India’s worst terror attacks as at least 10 terrorists ran rampage in Mumbai’s landmark areas, including the Oberoi Trident, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Leopard Cafe, Cama Hospital and the Taj Mahal Hotel.

The carnage left at least 166 innocent civilians dead and 300 others injured in the hands of the 10 terrorists. The incident undoubtedly became the redline between India and Pakistan as it brought the countries on the verge of an all-out-war.

Like the terror attack of 9/11 became the United State’s worst nightmare and resulted in a global offensive against terrorism, for India, the 26/11 attacks were no less.

India claimed that the terrorists belonged to the banned outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who were recruited, trained and transported from Pakistan and demanded immediate arrest and punishment of the facilitators, who helped them carry out the bloodshed.

Over a decade has passed since the tragic incident, but New Delhi still maintains that Pakistan has not done what was required of it in the case, even after dozens of dossiers with what New Delhi claims are irrefutable evidence of involvement of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JUD) and the LeT.

As the 26/11 anniversary brings back traumatising and haunting memories to the families of those who lost their lives during the terror strikes, it also casts back memories of events for many in India, who either lost their loved ones, or witnessed the carnage in front of them. Each memory filled with fear, trauma and sorrow.

Since then, India has repeatedly demand Pakistan to take decisive action against the operatives of LeT and JUD, refusing to give any concessions in this regard. New Delhi has maintained that if there can be any talks between India and Pakistan for any positive future discourse, Islamabad will have to first punish the culprits, the mastermind behind the 26/11 terror attacks, the chief of LeT and JUD Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and the other facilitators.

Late Sushma Swaraj, India’s former Minister of External Affairs (MEA), had stated that “offers for peace talks cannot be heard in the loud noise of terror”, as she responded to Islamabad’s offer for dialogue.

In Pakistan, the 26/11 terror attacks were widely mourned and condemned by the people at large with its government offering to investigate the Indian allegations and bringing the culprits to justice, if their involvement in the attack is proven in its courts through the process of its legal investigation framework.

The catastrophe was described as the 9/11 of India by the then Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving attacker who was executed in India after the court awarded him death penalty, was hailed by the LeT, which declared him a hero who would inspire more attacks.

“Ajmal Kasab will be remembered as a hero and will inspire more attacks,” read a statement issued by the LeT.

The other dreaded terror organisation with Pakistani origin, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also vowed to avenge the execution of Kasab by targeting Indians.

While the then sitting Pakistani government assured India of carrying out an all-out investigation into the involvement of groups and individuals on its soil, one Indian claim that fell on silent ears of Islamabad was that of the relationship of its powerful intelligence agencies and the military establishment with the terror groups.

India claimed that Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had harbored, funded, trained and facilitated the sea route access to the LeT terrorists, a claim Islamabad denied and hit back at India for accusing its state institutions for harboring terror elements on its soil. This claim by India has been consistently reiterated time and again.

Analysts say that the Mumbai terror attacks case is under trial in the Pakistani courts, where it has been maintained that the evidence provided by New Delhi in the form of dossiers is not enough to punish the accused.

However, Pakistan’s slow paced investigation and trial of the accused is linked with India’s allegations against its security institutions, something that no country would be ready to accept or agree to.

“If India would have come out asking Pakistan to investigate and punish the alleged culprits involved in the Mumbai attacks, Pakistan would have probably done that by now. But with direct accusations against the country’s security establishment for harboring the terror groups and individuals, there is no way that Pakistan would ever agree to it. No country would,” said Javed Siddique, senior strategic analyst.

While Pakistan has asked India to provide more material evidence to back its claims, the Mumbai terror attacks case continues to see through hearings and adjournments in the Pakistani courts in what seems to be a never-ending proceeding, which has put all hopes or opportunities of having the two sides sit across the table for a dialogue for peace on a complete halt, that too for an indefinite period of time.

Crime

Firing at Delhi Court, undertrial among 3 dead

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 Three people were killed, including an undertrial gangster in a firing incident inside the Rohini Court here on Friday in a major security breach.

According to sources, the incident took place at the Rohini NDPS Court No. 207. Delhi Police Special Cell-nabbed gangster Jitender Singh Mann, alias Gogi, was being presented in the court. Gogi was shot dead by his rivals. Sources confirmed that the attackers were from Tilu Tajpuria gang.

Gogi was arrested by the special cell in April. He was involved in the killing of Haryana-based singer 22-year-old Harshita Dahiya, who was gunned down by assailants in 2017 in Panipat. Gogi carried a cash reward of Rs 4 lakh in Delhi and Rs 2.5 lakh in Haryana.

Confirming the incident, a Delhi Police spokesperson said a police team took swift action and launched counter firing. Two of the assailants were in lawyers attire and attacked the undertrial Jitender Gogi. “Both assailants died along with Gogi,” the spokesperson said.

“They killed Gogi and the cops shot them dead,” sources said adding that the Judge was present in the court at the time of the incident. A woman lawyer was also injured during the firing.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana also confirmed that the attackers have been neutralized.

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Crime

Minor Girl Gangraped in Dombivli, 21 Accused Arrested

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In a shocking incident, a case has been registered against 29 people for allegedly raping a 14 years old girl in dombivali. Additional commissioner of police informed that 21 people have been arrested while other two detained accused are minors. Police are on the look out for remaining six.

The main accused is said to be a friend of the victim who had first raped the girl in January and made a video of the same. Later, The same video using other accused blackmail the girl and raped her on several occasions at different places including Dombivali, Rabale, Badlapur and Murbad.

On Wednesday night victim approached the police after which gang rape case was registered under Indian Penal Code Section 376(rape) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The officer said the police team was looking for the culprit and did not give any further details of the case.

In a shocking incident, a case has been registered against 29 people for allegedly raping a 14 years old girl in dombivali. Additional commissioner of police informed that 21 people have been arrested while the other two detained accused are minors. Police are on the lookout for the remaining six.

The main accused is said to be a friend of the victim who had first raped the girl in January and made a video of the same. Later, The same video using other accused blackmail the girl and raped her on several occasions at different places including Dombivali, Rabale, Badlapur and Murbad.

On Wednesday night victim approached the police after which gang rape case was registered under Indian Penal Code Section 376(rape) and provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. The officer said the police team was looking for the culprit and did not give any further details of the case.

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Crime

Uttar Pradesh ATS arrests Islamic scholar in conversion racket

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 The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui from Meerut on charges of religious conversation.

His name emerged during the investigation into the Umar Gautam case.

Umar Gautam was jailed in June after the Uttar Pradesh Police rounded him up for allegedly running a conversion racket.

The 64-year-old Islamic scholar was on the radar of security agencies due to suspicious activities. He was picked up as soon as he arrived in Meerut late Tuesday night. He is currently being interrogated by the police.

According to the ATS spokesman, Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui is a resident of Phulat in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar.

Uttar Pradesh Additional Director General (Law and Order), Prashant Kumar, said “Investigation shows that Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui’s trust received Rs 3 crore in foreign funding including Rs 1.5 crore from Bahrain. Six teams of ATS have been formed to investigate this case.”

Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam were arrested in June from Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area for trying to convert deaf students and poor people to Islam, with alleged funding from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

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