Muslim organisations of Rajasthan have taken strong exception to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi claiming that the police of his State had made important contributions in solving the May 2008 blasts case in Jaipur. They affirmed that the breakthrough claimed by the Gujarat police within 21 days of the July 2008 blasts in Ahmedabad was itself full of “discrepancies and loopholes”.
The Rajasthan Muslim Forum – an apex body of Muslim groups in the State – said in a statement on August 1 that Mr. Modi was trying to “mislead” the people by giving credence to investigations by Gujarat police, which had attributed the blasts to an alleged mastermind from Azamgarh, Mufti Abu Bashar. “Far from making any contribution in solving the Jaipur blasts, the arrest of 10 innocent people in connection with the Ahmedabad blasts gave a wrong direction to the probe in the Jaipur case. Police officers here shifted their attention to Azamgarh and began working on non-existent clues,” said the Forum’s convenor Qari Moinuddin.
The Muslim Forum said the real culprits of the Jaipur terror attack were still at large, with the Anti-Terrorism Squad of Rajasthan police having linked the case first with Mufti Abu Bashar and later with the controversial Batla House encounter in Delhi in September 2008. “Even after the startling revelations in the Ajmer dargah blast case following the arrest of Abhinav Bharat members, the police in Gujarat and Rajasthan are not willing to review their [previous] probe which was full of discrepancies and loopholes. The swift solution presented by Gujarat police and its justification by Mr. Modi require explanation,” stated the Forum. The Forum regretted that the Congress-led Government in Rajasthan had given an “open approval” to the investigations conducted during the previous BJP regime without questioning its merits, even though it was evident that the probe in Rajasthan and Gujarat had “served the BJP’s communal agenda”.
Forum member and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind State president Mohammed Salim said a question mark hangs over the Gujarat police for a series of alleged fake encounters and a “political angle” had been added to them with the recent arrest of Gujarat Minister of State for Home Amit Shah. “Besides, the Ahmedabad Crime Branch faces the allegations of illegally detaining prominent Muslims who offered relief and shelter to the victims of 2002 communal violence,” said Mr. Salim. Against this scenario, Mr. Modi’s claim about Gujarat police having helped out the police forces of other States was “unwarranted and preposterous”, he added. The Forum demanded that the Rajasthan ATS review the conclusions of the Jaipur blast probe in the light of new evidence emerging in the Ajmer dargah blast case and withdraw the charge sheet filed in the special court against those picked up from Azamgarh, Lucknow and Delhi.