Home South Asia India Samjhauta Express Bombing Anniversary: The need to examine Hindutva policies

Samjhauta Express Bombing Anniversary: The need to examine Hindutva policies

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News Analysis |

The 12th anniversary of the Samjhauta Express bombing came and went amid the important state visit of the Saudi visit. Like the preceding years, the largest attack on Pakistani citizens overseas did not garner the attention it deserved. ON the midnight of February 18-19, 2007, India-Pakistan Samjhota Express train was bombed in which 68 Pakistani nationals were killed. A Hindu extremist leader Swami Aseemanand, a leader of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh has confessed that he was involved in several bombing incidents. He also claimed to have been a part of the incident.

In fact, the ideology of Hindutva (Hindu nationalism) prevails in every field at the cost of other minority groups. It is even supported by Indian defense forces secretly. This could be judged from the incident, when on April 6, 2008, in the house of Bajrang Dal fundamentalists in Nanded, a bomb went off. The investigation proved that these militants were found in the bomb-making and attack on a mosque in Parbhani in 2003.

A book titled Hindutva: Rising Extremism in India, documenting the speeches and papers on the same topic presented by the speakers in a similar international seminar held last was also launched and presented to Dr. Mazari during the session.

Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Maharashtra arrested a serving Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit along with other army officials, indicating that they were helping in training the Hindu terrorists, providing them with the military-grade explosive RDX, used in the Malegaon bombings and terrorist attacks in other Indian cities.

ATS further disclosed that Lt Col Purohit confessed that in 2007, he was involved in the bombing of Samjhota express, which burnt alive 70 Pakistanis. India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) was convinced that Sadhu Swami Aseemanand, a Hindu right-wing leader was directly involved in the Samjhota Express blast. Sources in NIA further pointed out that besides Lt. Col. Purohit, other Indian army officials were also behind that train-bombing.

In this regard, a court in Panchkula, Haryana has recorded Aseemanand’s statement which confirmed NIA inquiry. Aseemanand’s statement in the Samjhota Express blast case was recorded under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code before a magistrate. His earlier admission was recorded in the Mecca Masjid case, which was being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Read more: Samjhauta Express: The Friendship Express connecting divided people

Sadhu Aseemanand stuck to his confession that Hindutva radicals were behind the bomb attack on the Samjhota Express. Aseemanand, Aka Naba and Kumar Sarkar, named absconding Hindutva militants—Ramji Kaisangra and Sandeep Dange as the key plotters in that terror attack.

Pakistan has always been faced with the threat of Hindutva from India but policy circles have not given due attention to the menace. Largely in Pakistan, Hindutva has been reduced to a propaganda tool rather than an active security threat. However, with the advent of the PTI government, things are starting to change.

The extremist ideology of Hindutva has found new face and feet under BJP’s leadership, revealing the state’s true face while unraveling its claim of secularism in the process. In India, the lower caste Hindus and minorities like Sikhs, Muslims, Christians and were being discriminated and treated as inferior citizens of the state.

The speaker was also critical of UN’s role over Kashmir’s issue, maintaining that while UN resolutions for East Timor were identical to the ones on Kashmir, the later was being neglected in execution merely for being a Muslim minority.

The thoughts were shared by Dr. Shireen Mazari, Federal Minister for Human Rights while addressing the international seminar ‘Hindutva Policies and the State of Minorities in India’. The full-day program, organized by Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad, was addressed alongside Dr. Mazari by Pakistani Dallit leader Senator Engr. Gianchand, Dr. Akis Kalaitzidis (USA), Dr. Nitasha Kaul (UK), Murtaza Shibli (from Indian Occupied Kashmir), Dr. Mujeeb Afzal, Amb (r) Jalil Abbas Jillani, Amb (r) Zamir Akram, Dr. Waqar Masood, and Dr. Asma Khwaja.

The plight of Muslims of Indian held Kashmir, according to Dr. Mazari, was particularly a major concern for Pakistan where the Kashmiri struggle of independence was being repressed by all means giving it a color of religious extremism issue, whereas, in reality, it was about the struggle for their right of self-determination. Even as per the UN resolutions, the federal minister said, Jammu & Kashmir was an occupied state, and from the ongoing suppression to the attempts of changing the region’s demographics, everything that was being done in Kashmir should be seen as a war crime.

Read more: Samjhauta Express buried under Judicial Indifference

The speaker was also critical of UN’s role over Kashmir’s issue, maintaining that while UN resolutions for East Timor were identical to the ones on Kashmir, the later was being neglected in execution merely for being a Muslim minority.

Executive President of IPS Khalid Rahman, in his opening note, presented the context of the seminar maintaining that the need of studying the rising phenomenon of Hindutva had increased manifold under the present Indian regime as the support and state machinery being provided to extremist forces by the government was a matter of concern for the whole region.

Read more: Hindutva Terror: Indian blast case suggests bleak scenario for Pakistan

A book titled Hindutva: Rising Extremism in India, documenting the speeches and papers on the same topic presented by the speakers in a similar international seminar held last was also launched and presented to Dr. Mazari during the session.


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