Hari Kumar from the New York Times has reported that Indian Police have nine people from a Hindu Terrorist cell into custody:
“For the first time in this Hindu-majority nation of 1.1 billion people, the police have announced the arrest of people who are accused of being part of a Hindu terrorist cell.”
“Police officials in western Maharashtra State said they had arrested the nine suspects and charged them with murder and conspiracy in connection with the bombing in September of a Muslim-majority area in Malegaon, a small city. Six people, all Muslims, died in the explosion, which was among a string of terrorist attacks in Indian cities in recent months.”
“Blame for several of these attacks has been placed on radical Islamist groups; one group, calling itself Indian Mujahedeen, claimed responsibility for several attacks. But the arrests of the Hindu suspects in the Malegaon bombing raised the possibility of another source of terrorism, involving a radical Hindu fringe.”
“‘This is a very dangerous trend,’ said Ajit Doval, former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau, who added that it could undercut efforts to bolster pluralism in India.”
“Those arrested by the police antiterrorism squad in Maharashtra over the past two weeks included a Hindu nun with links to the principal opposition party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and an army colonel, who is suspected of having provided ammunition and training to the bombers.”
“The Indian Army has long viewed itself as being free of ideological or political bias, so the arrest of an army officer was deeply troubling to the military. ‘I can tell you that we are taking it seriously,’ said the defense minister, A. K. Antony.”
“The arrests reinforced growing suspicions over the last few years of a potential threat from Hindu extremists. In August, two members of a right-wing Hindu group called the Bajrang Dal were killed while assembling bombs in the northern industrial city of Kanpur. In 2006, two people who were thought to belong to the same group died under similar circumstances in a bomb-making workshop in Nanded.”
“Officials in the Central Bureau of Investigation told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday that investigators had established a link between the Nanded group and the Malegaon bombing.”
Bal Thackeray, the leader of another Hindu hard-line group, the Shiv Sena, wrote in June in the group’s weekly magazine that Hindus should defend themselves from Islamist attacks by forming their own squads of suicide bombers.
“The threat of Islamic terror in India is rising,” Mr. Thackeray wrote, according to a translation from the Marathi language that was published in The Hindu, a national English-language daily. “It is time to counter the same with Hindu terror. Hindu suicide squads should be readied to ensure the existence of Hindu society and to protect the nation.”
You know what I think? I think, I think its time for moderates of every religious tradition to stand up and be heard. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, everyone. That with one voice we might shout, extremism is unacceptable, violent repression of the beliefs of others is unacceptable.
4 thoughts on “Hindu Terrorist Cell”
Can you see me standing, Matt? I’m right with you, brother!
In a related news item, Indian Muslim clerics have declare terrorism un-Islamic.
“A religious edict issued by 6,000 Indian Muslim clerics declaring terrorism to be anti-Islam is provoking debate in India”
Check out these comments on one Hindu forum:
“there is nothing wrong in hindu terrorism. it just pay back”
I have been looking into the Hindutva movement and some of it is looking very fascist. Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindutva linked organisation that openly advocates coercively “reconverting Hindus” who had previously converted to Christianity. Vishva Hindu Parishad means “World Hindu Council” in English. More worrying, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) or Indian People’s Party, which is a major party in India, also has links to Hindutva. BJP have labelled the outing of Hindu terrorism as “a conspiracy”.
The thread I am finding running through all of this is Hindutva. It seems that, for some, Hindutva has morphed into an ideological justification for Hindu terrorist action, and that, for many more, it a channel for hardline theocratic sentiments. Not unlike Wahadism amongst Muslims I gather. Hindutva seems a very serious threat to religious pluralism and peaceful coexistance.
More fundamentalist violence:
Hindu extremists attack Pentecostal church in Mumbai
A group of radical Hindus attacked a Pentecostal church in Bhayander (Mumbai), destroying furniture and equipment, beating its clergyman and worshipers and launching accusations that they are involved in converting people to Christianity. Last Friday around 12.30 pm a group of 20 from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu fundamentalist organisation, stormed the ‘Church of God’ in Bhayander, close to the Navghar police station.
According to eyewitness accounts, the hoodlums forced their way into the church shouting slogans like “Jai Hind; Jai Maharashtra; Jai Bajrang Bali”.
After claiming to be from the VHP they said they had information that conversions took place in that church. They then shouted vulgarities and insults and began beating those present. They manhandled the church’s pastor, Rev Felix Fernandes, shoving and pushing him around, stripped and beat him senseless, leaving him unconscious in the street.
Abraham Mathai, deputy chairman of the State Minorities Commission, said the church that was attacked opened 20 years ago.
“These attacks,” he told AsiaNews, “will continue as long as police do not really track the culprits. These Fascist groups are turning our secular democracy into a mobocracy.”
For Mgr Percival Fernandes, auxiliary bishop of Bombay and former secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, this uncalled for attack was a “terrorist” act.
“These actions have only one purpose, i.e. create and maintain fear and anxiety in the people and communities attacked,” he said. “Terrorism is rooted in ideas and is nurtured by hate propaganda. We who want peace must stop them by all means at our disposal. Let us hope that politicians will not use these violent means to get votes.”
This is the first time that a church is attacked in Mumbai since last August when a wave of violence hit Christians, first in the state of Orissa and then other Indian states (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisghar, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala).
Rev Lovson Kurien, 40, member of the Pentecostal Church, saw the latest attack. “The group of attackers fled when police arrived,” he said. “Eventually they took poor Reverend Felix to hospital. There were around 40,000 rupees (about US$ 10,000) worth in damages to the church.
Police arrested about 20 people in connection with the attack, including a woman, from the radical Hindu group Shiv Sena, and launched and an investigation into the affair.