L-e-T vows protection to Muslims from Hindu suicide squads
By Shahid Burney | Arab News
MUMBAI: Taking the threat perception to Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray and his family from the Lashkar-e-Toiba extremist group seriously, the Maharashtra government yesterday beefed up security of the Thackeray family.
The LeT has threatened Thackeray following the comments he made in the editorial of his party mouthpiece Saamana on Sunday in which he had called upon the Hindus to form Hindu suicide squads and to make better “Hindu bombs” to counter “Islamic terrorism.”
Responding to the utterances of Thackeray in the editorial, the LeT chief Qari Abdul Wahid Kashmiri was quoted as saying in the media that the Muslim community members would be protected from “Hindu fundamentalist terrorists” a reference to militant workers of Shiv Sena, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal.
“Whether it is Indian security forces or Hindu fundamentalists like Shiv Sena, VHP or Bajrang Dal, LeT will defeat their ill motives and prevent Muslim community members from these Hindu terrorists. We promise total protection to the Muslims from such elements,” Kashmiri said.
According to intelligence and police officials in Maharashtra that are following the LeT chief’s statement, the agencies concerned are probing into Lashkar’s threatening call to the Sena leader.
The LeT chief is also said to have urged the international community and human rights organizations to take note of Thackeray’s call. Reacting to LeT chief statement, Sanjay Raut, the executive editor of Saamana and Rajya Sabha member said “It is nothing new for the Shiv Sena. Thackeray has been getting such threats for years now.”
Taking strong exceptions to the editorial written by Thackeray in Saamana, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R.R. Patil had said the home department would examine the contents of the editorial and if any derogatory matter was found in the editorial, strong necessary action would be taken.
Thackeray’s remarks in the editorial immediately drew a nationwide condemnation even as the Maharashtra government assured to probe the matter. The Sena ally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), also rapped Thackeray for the remark with party leader M. Venkiah Naidu asking Thackeray to keep restraint.
Naidu said that people can’t take law into their own hands, as it is the duty of the government to counter terrorism. He also advised Thackeray to respect the law, stating that the BJP believes in democracy and the constitution and that there were democratic means and methods to address the problem of terrorism.
In the editorial Thackeray pooh-poohed the Hindu militants arrested for planting bombs in Navi Mumbai and Thane auditoriums and said “At a time when Islamic terrorism is increasing in India, there is a need to form Hindu suicide squads to save the country and Hindus.”
Meanwhile, the working president of Shiv Sena, Uddhav Thackeray, on Friday said that the party “soldiers” are more powerful than a bomb. “Shiv Sena does not need any bomb. If we grow all around, we will be more powerful than a bomb,” he said at a function to mark 42nd anniversary of the party in Mumbai.
Uddhav also challenged the Congress-led Democratic Front government in the state that has planned to take action against the provocative editorial in Saamana.
The Bharatiya Vidhyarti Sena (BVS), the student wing of the Sena, defiantly defended Thackeray and his editorial comments stating that they would not mind being called “terrorists” if bombing anti-nationals is terrorism.
Hundreds of posters put up by the BVS in the city stated “Yes, we are terrorists! If protecting the country is terrorism, if killing traitors is terrorism, if bombing those who criticize the nation, the motherland and the Hindu religion is terrorism, if fighting terrorism with might is terrorism, then we are proud to be terrorists.”
The BVS president, Abhijeet Phanse, said “We just want to echo Thackeray’s thoughts, and repeat that we are proud to call ourselves terrorists, according to the points we mentioned in the poster. We are not Gandhians, we are Shiv Sainiks. This is the language we speak.
Moreover, we are not going to be silent if terrorist attacks take place, we will retaliate. In face, we have used language that will be best understood by people who have such motives. We want them to know that we are very much capable of retaliating,” he said.
In another development, in what seems to be a major haul, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police on Friday evening seized a large quantity of gelatin sticks, circuits, detonators that go into the making of crude bombs allegedly stored by Hindu militants owing allegiance to right-wing extremist Hindu organizations from Raigad and Satara districts.
The seizure has been made days after the Mumbai police arrested four militants of the Hindu organizations Jan Jagruti and Sanatan Sansthan, for planting low-intensity bombs in two auditoriums in Navi Mumbai and Thane district a few days ago.
Searches were carried out at the outskirts of Pen town in Raigad district, which led to the recovery of 19 gelatin sticks, 20 detonators, 2 circuits with remote control, which were kept in a bag and buried in the ground near Varsai village. Apart two revolvers, two guns and some swords were also seized, said an ATS official.
Source: Arab News