In making of Terror through fabricated trials : Framed and Acquitted

Hisham Ul Wahab P.

Hisham Ul Wahab PA student in the Centre for West Asian Studies in JNU’s School of International Studies, Hisham can be contacted at hishamulwahab @ gmail.com

The news lines in the inner corners of print and visual media, which we have been reading in these days make a sense of fright in our minds. The suspected and accused Muslim youths come out of their long trial imprisonments under increased surveillance. These are not making big headlines while their entry to prison made contrary. Meanwhile, the brilliant conspirators and culprits of the same cases come out of jail with clean chits of judiciary and popular acceptance by getting full certificates for second Innings. How things are looked in our popular conscience is very problematic while analyzing the propaganda machinery of state-sponsored attacks on its own people. The very basic understanding of this collective conscience makes us annoyed with a deep-rooted narratives of state in making of terror in our country.

The recent developments of investigations in bomb blast or terrorism cases such as Malegaon, Godhra, Post-Babari blasts have been disclosing the true nature of terror trials in our investigative agencies. The way these probes “performed” in front of our open eyes remain no doubts on the real perpetrators of these heinous crimes. But many, whom we have witnessed their crimes through out those times, are absent in these final judgments, where many are still under trials without knowing for which crime they might be guilty in the eyes of law. The recent acquittal of nine Muslim Youth from Malegaon Blast case after 9 years of longterm under-trial makes clear this issue of concern. The three persons including brothers Nisaruddin Ahmad and Zaheeruddin Ahmad, hailing from Karnataka acquitted from Babari anniversary train blasts after 23 years of imprisonment, whose words point out to the harsh realities: “I have clocked 8,150 days of the prime of my life inside the jail. For me, life is over. What you are seeing is a living corpse.” Meanwhile major culprits in Malegaon Blasts including Sadhvi Pragya Takoor, Colonel Purohit and Swami Asimananda and Fake-encounter specialist D.G Wansara are seeking bail from the court, who are very confident about their acquittal soon. It is nothing specific in our lived experience, in which this exposes a cruel reality of existing system of governance. Here some are more equal than others in the terms of justice and power, where some are genuine heroes by default and some are dangerous villains in popular notions.

The making of a villain in our collective conscience is mostly taken by the investigative agencies and their media mouth pieces. Through out the history this villain character in our narrations entitled as Muslim, who is “the Other” in the arena of mainstream discourses, who must be controlled and dominated by the collective conscience. Whatever narrations about a Muslim must be spoken by “us”, because he must not speak his own. This discourse of dominance in India intrinsically connected with nationalism discourses. The way Muslim portrayed in our school text books apparently exposes the Otherness and difference of him in historical writings as invaders and warlords with least amount of “Indianness”. The fate of Muslims of India mostly depicted as “sympathizer of belligerent Pakistan” with labels of “Anti-national”, “Terrorist” and “Jihadi”. These are very common terms utilized by the media outlets in bold headlines to alert about a national security threat. These various factors contribute in large scale to create a Muslim villain, which could satisfy this vicious collective conscience.

While analyzing various instances of terror trials in our recent past, a significant approach of National Investigation Agency and other ilks can be seen as the primary accusation are oriented towards some Muslim names and Muslim organizations. The untrammelled access to draconian laws like UAPA, MCOCA, etc., mostly applied upon the marginalized people of the country. The mythical narrations of Indian Mujahideen – the easy prey of NIA- can be seen as a deliberate attempt to make every suspected persons in the shadows of terrorism. No one can declare any organizational system of this group yet, while much of the links directly move towards them. The everlasting terror links of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in each cases make a sense of alert in our minds, which can be transformed as suspicion on neighbor Muslims and their life styles. This larger picture of Islamophobia in entire global scenario lead to the local level communal violence in the name of terrorism. The inaccessibility of Muslim families to get rooms for rent in Metropolitan cities is not a particular phenomena in these days. Arabic name branded as an immediate identity of a Terrorist in our media outlets.

While most of the “Islamic Terrorist” headlines became popular in our minds and media, these same innocent Muslim youths got acquitted by the Judiciary never made big news. It can be easily ignored by our collective conscience with least important as Sympathetic towards “by default Terrorists”. At the same time the collaborators of these Hindutwa Terrorism in various places of country getting easy exit from the Courtrooms by the heinous support of state machinery. The people in power are keenly interested in these new developments of investigations, which are making them heroes in their own circles. The desperate sections of society largely depend upon the smooth working of Judiciary without any external interference of power politics. The declining trust on Judicial process in our country is not only a reality but an outcome of deliberate move by the influential players behind curtains.

Most heinous crime have been done by our Investigation agencies towards these innocent Muslim youths is their long years of imprisonments with vexatious trials and punishments. No one can compensate their grievances of longterm sufferings and losses. They have locked in dark Egg cells of most infamous prisons with brutal forms of questioning. They have been booked in various cases eventually by making them easy guinea pig to satisfy vicious collective conscience. These fabricated cases make their imprisonments longer with complex investigation processes. Most of these accused youth come from economically backward families, whose whole day-to-day lives depend upon their minimum daily wages. The immediate expenses for judicial processes are unbearable for these families, who are lacking legal awareness and accessibility of esteemed lawyers. Many are still behind bars in our country who are not even capable of depositing 2000 Rupees for their bail plea. But even after getting clean chit from courts for their innocence, they are facing a kind of social boycott from everywhere to live a better life.

These bitter experiences made not any impact on the existing power structure, which is busy with satisfying collective conscience by attributing crimes to Muslim youth, while allowing the real culprits scout free. Meanwhile these prolonged fabricated investigation processes resulted in futile, the agencies made sure about the convenience of people in power and their beloved culprits. The normal weakness of the masses to forget everything in the run of time exploited by these agencies, who book easy preys in their immediate access after every terrorist alerts. This selective amnesia must be challenged by collective memory of the oppressed by raising baffling questions over heinous collective conscience.