Festive season is here in India and National security is on high alert, without fail. The Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested six suspects from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Delhi amid preparations of festivals around the country. According to the information given by Special Cell members in a press conference, all of them were about to target big cities and also that the terrorists were funded by underworld.
While briefing the press about the arrest, Special Cell Neeraj Thakur said, ‘The arrested men are identified as (47) Jaan Mohammed Sheikh, local of Maharashtra, (47) Moolchand alias saaju, local of Rae Bareli, (22) Osama alias Saami, local of Jamia Nagar, (28) Zeeshan Qamar, local of Prayagraj, (23) Mohammed Abu Bakar, local of Bahraich and (31) Mohammed Amir Javed, local of Lucknow. Two of the men, Zeeshan and Osama have taken terrorist training from Pakistan and were caught with foreign weapons and explosives, claimed by the team. They are under custody and are to be part of further investigation.
Lt Col Manoj K Channan (veteran) had quite a close encounter with the terrorists of neighboring country. He commented on the whole situation by recalling an old incident and said, ‘In the aftermath of the IRA attempt in 1984 to kill the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher by planting a bomb in the hotel she was using in Brighton, the IRA released a statement. It ended with the words “You have to be lucky all the time. We only have to be lucky once”. This stamen by IRA explains the pressure under which counter terror agencies work each day 24×7.’
On asking about his opinion on the possibilities of terror network involvement from Pakistan in this, he said, ‘The terrorists, need not necessarily infiltrate from across the international border or Line of Control with Pakistan. It is known that terror has also come through the large porous border with Nepal. There are a number of sleeper cells too.’
India has been a target of terrorist organizations before, and survived multiple terror attacks with numbers if deaths and causalities, mainly during festive season. People themselves start being cautious these days. Mrs. Nandini told Eat News, ‘Whenever any national holiday or festive season appears, we as a family make sure to avoid crowded areas. Although, this is quite impossible to do during these days as festivals play an important role in Indians’ lives. But we also have to follow the updates that are provided by Intelligence team for the citizen’s safety.’ Lt Col Manoj K Channan told Eat News, ‘A successful terror strikes makes news and gives a moral ascendancy to the terror organizations. The law enforcement and anti-terror organizations work 24×7, however during Republic Day, Independence Day and the festivals, the citizens congregate at market places and shopping malls which become possible target areas for the terror organizations. The citizens are warned through both print and electronic media.’
He further added, ‘I would like to add, to fight terror is the responsibility of each citizen, any suspicious activity should be reported to the nearest Police station/ numbers shared.’ Generally, such operations are not carried out by one team but it also requires information support from other departments. Lt Col Manoj described the process and said, ‘The Indian Army plays a dominant role in disturbed areas promulgated by the government of India; there the Police forms part of the joint teams. In addition, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act gives the Indian Army Police powers to arrest and apprehend suspects. In cities Military Intelligence units, works closely with the anti-terror agencies.’
If we look back, 26/11 terror attack in Mumbai and 2005 Delhi bombings stands straight as evidence against terrorist organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba that has direct connections with Pakistan. But still the country always denied its participation in any sort of terrorism activities directly or partially, very blatantly. On asking, whether the country has a support from others to conduct this business secretly, Lt Col quoted Eat News, ‘Pakistan may deny its role and believe that the world agrees with them; is building castles in the air. The role of Pakistan/ISI is known and the recent statements by the Biden administration indicate that Pakistan will be held accountable for its role in the support of terror/Jihadi activism in the region in particular and the world at large. The Pakistan establishment so far has got away by stating that these are ‘non-state actors’ on which they have no control.’
India-Pakistan relations have been on turmoil since the partition. Whether it be diplomatically or in terms of military (on border). ‘India’s relationship with Pakistan have been at its lowest ebb and are not likely to improve in the near future. The Indian government has put a pre-requisite that terror activity from Pakistan must stop before normalization can take place. Military relationship in India is governed by the Political directions and the recent ceasefire at the Line of Control at the request of Pakistan Army Director Military operations was agreed to as it was causing civilian causalities astride the Line of casualty. The approach t relationship with Pakistan is common, diplomatically and military’, said Lt Col Channan.
In closing, he shared his opinion on why every time the strings of terror join with networks of Pakistan, after any suspicious arrest in the country reading national security, ‘It’s a psyche of a Nation that cannot be changed since independence, the quest for Kashmir, dismemberment of East Pakistan and creation of Bangladesh humiliation of 90,000 Prisoner of war, Siachen Glacier, failed economy, supporting terror by allowing its soil to train and export terror to neighboring countries have been its hall mark. Lastly so long as the Pakistan Army has a country now a surrogate state of China, the desired change is unlikely.’
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