errorism is rather a new phenomenon and it has engulfed many parts of the world. In India, it is fully entrenched. Terrorists have always been ruthless and cruel with their victims. Beheadings by Taliban and acts committed by recently killed Zarqawi of Al Qaeda in Iraq ( He was killed by precise bombing by American forces) are the testimony for the cruelties and sadistic killings with Islamic terrorists. Infact killing by beheading was a most popular method for all Muslim rulers who ruled India for nearly five centuries. There are scores of examples in bye gone Indian history to prove the point. Invader Baber ruler of Kabul from Afghanistan in 1527 attacked India taking advantage of the local feuds between Lodi rulers in Delhi and other chieftains and waged wars with Ibrahim Lodi, the ruler of Delhi and local princes. He established Mughal dynasty that ruled India effectively up to 1707 and the later emperors who were ineffective, lecherous and pleasure seeking lasted up to 1857. The last nominal Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II Zafar was arrested and tried for his complicity and leading the Indian Sepoy (soldiers) rebellion and Mutiny in 1857 and deported to Rangoon in Burma by East India Company where he died in detention. This struggle is very fondly termed as the first war of Independence by the Indian historians and some Indian Hindu organizations and the government while the Englishmen dubbed it as a mere mutiny.
Baber constructed tower of heads from the heads cut off in battle field and he sat on the tower on a throne after the victory at battle of Kanwa near Agra with Rana Sangram Singh, the valiant ruler of Mewar in Rajasthan. He assumed the title Ghazi (Protector of faith) (1). Banda Singh Bahadur and nearly 700 of his Sikh followers were beheaded by Mughals after their capture during the reign of Mughal emperor Faukh Siyar in 18 th century. Banda singh Bahadur ( Laxman dev) led Sikh resistance after Guru Gobind Singh. Even Saddam Hussein is believed to have beheaded his Minister Ibrahim, one of his advisors in 1991 war and sent the head as a gift to his wife. Ibrahim advised him on request to step down and call for a truce during the eight year war with Iran (2). Saddam’s fascination for summary killings of his aides is well known. Aurangzeb got his brother Dara killed and his head was cut off. Zahandar Shah the later Mughal emperor was also beheaded. Bul fazal the minister of Akbar was got killed by Prince Saleem ( Later jehangir ) and his head was sent to Saleem by Bir singh the assassin.We have also recently learnt about beheading of a woman by his husband infront of his children in American continent. Honor beheadings in Muslim countries is most common. Thus cruelty of Islamic terrorists stands proved undoubtedly.
Terrorism is an act of perverted inhuman sadists who aim at creating fear, terror, dejection and demoralization among innocent population. Their intention is to create disorder, religious hatred, sectarian conflicts, frustration and turmoil in the society that could result in loss of confidence in the prevailing governing system. They mostly aim at attacking innocents and unarmed persons or groups who easily fall victims to their attacks. Terrorists may have political aims at times and work in co operation with standing army and intelligence agencies of a country that is at conflicts with another country (3). Pakistan is the best example on this account that is abetting all terrorist operations in India apart from revitalizing Taliban in its lawless Waziristan and supporting resurgence of Taliban inspired terrorist actions in Afghanistan against Hamid Karzai Government (4) (5). Another example is Iran that has created Hezbollah in Lebanon and shouts at the pitch of voice that it would destroy Israel with its nuclear weapons that it has not acquired yet (6). Now a day’s terrorism and Guerilla actions have become synonymous with each other. Guerilla actions were mostly hit and run attacks of militia in various countries (including present Taliban) that had some political aims such as liberation from an oppressed foreign rule, to throw out occupational armies or waging an underground war against existing regime based on ideological conflicts or other factors. They had some definite aims for their actions. Movements such as those of Red Army in China during liberation struggle, Cuban movement under Castro and Cheguara, actions of Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eeelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka and Maoist actions in Nepal and Indian States are some of the good examples. Although terrorist outfits worldwide are claiming some political ambitions, their actions are to create disorder and confusion and wearing out of governing forces and breaking its will in the country against which the terrorist actions are being conducted. In principle, Guerilla actions and Terrorism are distinct in character, aims and conduct. In military tactical terminology, ambush of an army Patrol in a jungle, sudden attack on a small military unit caught unawares, lightning attack in cover of darkness on an army convoy are some of the examples of guerilla actions. Placing bombs in crowded places, In railway compartments, hospitals, schools, market yards, blowing off the passenger buses by placing bombs, explosion of car bombs, blowing off soldiers barracks by explosives, hijacking aero planes and crashing them, blowing off aero planes in mid air, exploding oil installations, disrupting railway traffic by blowing off bridges and causing casualties, suicide bombings are the typical terrorist actions that have evolved in modern perverted times.
In terrorist actions, there is no definite target to be achieved except to create panic, fear and frustration. At times a prominent leader could be killed in a terrorist planned attack using a suicide bomber (Like assassination of Rajeev Gandhi, former Prime minister of India by militants of Lankan Tigers of Tamil Eeelam), sniper or with a time bomb. Terrorism is invariably is not well defined to one place or area that makes it difficult to be countered with complete success. This could happen any where, any time and any moment. Therefore this is very difficult to be tackled (7). Last century has witnessed many terrorist actions in various parts of the world. The most important region for these activities has been the Middle East Palestine region. Yaser Arafat who masterminded and led the struggle for creating a sovereign Palestine State (This is not yet a reality) can be considered as the architect and father of modern terrorism in the world. However Yasser Arafat enjoyed grand rapport with India and shared common platforms with Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India. Arafat formed Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and conducted continuous terrorist actions against Israeli targets (8). The terrorist actions conducted by PLO were considered as the genuine war for attaining sovereign Palestine State by the third world countries. Thus the word terrorism is used as per one’s convenience in today’s world. Hamas in Palestine area that is now at the fore front is also involved in many terrorist actions. The Lebanon based new outfit Hezbollah although claiming to be a pious Muslim organization with noble aims of fighting American hegemony is a terrorist outfit created by Iran. It is claimed by some third world writers that speeches of Nasrullah, chief of Hezbollah since the recent Israeli conflict did not speak of Jihad. He is projected by determined pro Arab writers and their sympathizers as the Messiah for people of Lebanon and as a man of word and it is propagated that people of Lebanon have great trust in him(9). Such writers overtaken in their over enthusiasm of projecting the Arab cause in the world forget that he is a head of terrorist outfit. Al Qaeda which has been accorded super terrorist star image in the terrorist world has taken over the mantle as liberators for Muslim world and saviors of Middle East from Westernization. It has taken away the initiative from the sane Muslim governments. Such cynical critics are glorifying terrorism as the noble duty of Hezbollah and other criminal outfits and the acts of terrorism are perceived as the true nationalist actions and liberation movements and justified acts by suppressed nations. These critics are taken over by the fad that Islam was wronged by West and therefore they need tobe set right. Nasrullah is almost being projected as the noblest, humane, polished and innocent, but determined leader for liberating Muslims from American domination and attempted and ill perceived westernization of Middle East. Such persons view every thing that West does as something grossly undesirable and sinful.
The militant’s strategic objective is not directed only against Americans, Englishmen and Israelis, but also against Indians (Brown sahibs). Indians interestingly still walk in the discarded shoes of the Englishmen although the stiff lipped Englishmen left Indians to their fate long ago to suffer eternally at the hands of corrupt politicians. Infact Sir Winston Churchill declared long ago that poor India would be left in the hands of bunch of oppertunists and corrupt leaders who would ensure that even a glss of water and piece of bread would be taxed ( In fact he used much more stronger words). Infact leading terrorist leader Zarqawi who was killed by US forces in Iraq planned sinister terrorist acts against Jordon, a Muslim nation and unleashed beheading against Shiites. Thus, terrorists need not attack only non believers. They are out to kill any one that does not suit them. Thus Terrorists are enemies to all including believers and non believers to put in the language of Muslims. Their strategy has global reach and application as events in New York, London, Madrid, Bali and Mumbai have shown. Although USA and allied forces have launched the massive war against Terrorism, while some were dillydallying and sulking, the terrorism has not been rooted out. Probably this would take some more time before it is rooted out. The cynics and professional paid critics, arm chair strategists, Pseudo columnists, Retired Generals who have not seen a single opration or fired a bullet against enemy and retired police officers who spent all their service in air conditioned offices are generally happy and derive pleasure that coalition forces are yet unable to wipe off the terrorists seeing only negative aspects (10). These critics feel that terrorism is a desired and unavoidable evil to check American imperialism and Western hegemony on weaker nations and Arab world as perceived by them. USA accompanied by very few nations is fighting it’s battle with terrorists in Afghanistan and in Iraq that are the centers of terrorism. The terrorists have made good and strong base in US mainland too and it has been reported that they have many sympathizers and great amounts of funds are siphoned off to these terrorist outfits for conducting nefarious activities. America has a great task ahead of them to free the world of these thugs who are killing innocents in the name of Jihad and religion (11). The terrorists also have made strong base in Canada, UK, Philippines, Malaysia, Somalia, Libya, Jordon, Yemen, Bosnia, Albania, Algeria, Mauritania, Azerbaijan, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Lebanon, Syria, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sudan Chechnya, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Thus the terrorists are dominant wherever Muslim population flourishes. This also gives a flip to argument that Islam is propagating violence. It is a fact that all Muslims are not terrorists although the terrorists involved in the actions are fundamentalist Muslims who have deviated from the true path of Islam. Many insist that true path of Islam is violence and they quote many verses in their support.
In India, Islamic terrorism has taken very strong roots and there are innumerable outfits that are conducting terrorist operations. Jaish E Mohammed (JEM), Lashkar- E- Toiba (LET), Deendar Anjuman, Dargah- E- shahdat, Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), Harkat ul Mujahideen, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Pasban I Ahelehdis are some of the important fundamentalist and terrorist Islamic organizations apart from many splinter groups and other fundamentalist organizations that spread religious hatred. Most of these are abetted by Pakistan and Bangladesh which act as lances in both sides of India (12). The State of Jammu and Kashmir has been facing the problem of terrorism since almost two decades and Indian security forces are battling them without great success. It has become a pain in the neck for India. The terrorists have attacked religious places, railway stations, public places as Shopping centers, Crowded streets, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, Military residential areas, small military and police units including the Parliament House of India that was successfully spoiled by the security forces. However some policemen died in the operation. These attacks were not confined to only the State of Jammu and Kashmir, but also were widely spread in India. Major attacks took place in Delhi, Jammu, Srinagar, Gujarat, Benares, and Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Coimbatore in South India. Thus, terrorist operations are wide spread in India and there is a concentrated effort going-on from these outfits to destabilize India and engineer communal riots and chaos. The terrorist operations that are being conducted outside Jammu and Kashmir are fundamentally to create hatred between Hindus and Muslims. Although both communities have not fallen a prey to such intentions, there is a growing mistrust in India between the communities and in certain States; the situation is tense, if not explosive. Pakistan has been desperately trying to destabilize India. It is abetting present terrorism. In past, it abetted Khalistan Sikh terrorist actions and provided shelters to them apart from training and supplying arms. It’s terrorists intruded into Kargil sector of Jammu and Kashmir State and this resulted in severe armed conflict with India even calling for Indian Air force actions on the intruders. The terrorists were allowed to withdraw into Pakistan instead of annihilating them in Kargil. This is viewed as a weak kneed policy of the State in dealing with terrorists. There was no firm resolve to deal with terrorists and exterminate them. There is a general belief in India that centuries of Buddhist influence and Gandhian philosophy in the country has sapped the nation of energy, vigor and fighting spirit.
Apart from the foreign inspired Islamic terrorism, India is also battling home grown violence from the Armed Communist cadres called Maoists. Earlier, these cadres were called Naxalites bearing the name from village Naxalbari in West Bengal State where violent armed uprising took place against the land lords in 1967. Since then the violent armed Communist cadres have spread along entire eastern States and the Eastern coastal belt in India linking Tamilnadu to Nepal. These cadres can not be called terrorists although some of their actions are similar in nature occasionally. These actions are based on outdated Maoist Communist ideology of achieving power through barrel of a gun as propagated by China’s former Chairman Mao tse Tung. These Maoist cadres have already established effective areas of influence in the States such as Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, Orissa, Maharshtra, Andhra Pradesh and seriously influencing Tamilnadu and all these States are on the Eastern wing of India. India has a logway to go in elimination of these Communist armed cares from society and lack of any definite plan and concentrated inter State co- ordination are the reasons for the failure of the State Governments in tackling the problem. However in Andhra Pradesh, some success has been achieved in curtailing the problem under the stewardship of Director General of Police Swaranjit Sen of Indian Police Service. (13) (14) (15).
India has also been struggling to fight armed insurgencies spread across in North Eastern States such as Nagaland, Manipur, Sikkim, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. These States being very close to Bangladesh and China are easily influenced by foreign powers like China, Bangladesh, and Nepal, Bhutan and Burma and the north Eastern States are like Achilles ’ heel to India. No immediate solution is foreseen although India is struggling to tide over the situation with adhoc measures. Indian Army has been engaged in these areas ever since 1947 fighting guerilla war of insurgents. There are no major terrorist actions and the insurgents indulge in mostly guerilla attacks and occasional activities similar to terrorist operations.
On the American front, coalition forces have been hunting for the world’s most wanted terrorist Osama Bin Laden (believed to be still alive although many believe that he is already dead) and his coterie apart from the Taliban leaders. Taliban terrorists such as Mullah Dadullah (The former Taliban intelligence chief), Mullah Omar(Founder of the movement), Maulvi Obaidullah(Former Defense Minister), Jalaluddin Haqani( Former minister of tribal affairs) escaped from the US forces and are reportedly hiding in Pakistan. Al Qaeda’s deputy Ayman Al Zawahiri one of the most wanted criminal after Bin Laden and number two on the list of wanted of Federal Bueau of Investigation (FBI), USA is also reportedly hiding in Pakistan. All these offenders are hiding in Pakistan in the mountainous region of North West Frontier Areas that are known as lawless areas. Some of the captured Al Qaeda leaders and men have been kept in US prison and are facing trials. Al Qaeda conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui faces death penalty for complicity in 9/11 attack on WTC in New York (16). There have been incidents of ill treatment of prisoners in these prisons and wanton killings by a Marine (An isolated incident) (17).US has initiated actions against it’s soldiers wherever they were found guilty.
In Iraq, Saddam Hussein, the former President of Iraq who was arrested after war in Iraq has been tried for ordering the execution in 1982 of his enemies in the small town Dujail in Iraq which is the strong hold of anti Saddam Dawa Party. These men were Shiites. An attempt was made on the life of Saddam Hussein on July 8, 1982 in Dujail. Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by the trial court on November 05, 2006 for executing 148 of them. Saddam is also facing trial on his use of chemical weapons on Kurds at Halabja on March 16, 1980 killing 5000 of them. This operation was called Anfal in which gas attack on Kurds was a part of it. Human rights groups consider the Halabja attack on the Kurds was the worst genocide conducted on humanity by Saddam Hussein (18). Does he deserve to be pardoned for ordering genocide against humanity? The cynical critics of West and the propagators of Arab cause must ponder over and find answers. They should keep themselves in the shoes of sufferers at village Halabja and decide whether Saddam Hussein deserves to be given a lenient punishment or hanged. They will get the answer by themselves.
As usual, the Arab sympathizers and some self styled custodians of virtue, sympathy, nobility and fairness have been making hue and cry in the press that the trial was just a farce and it was not fair (19) (20). Saddam Hussein after the verdict claimed that the 148 persons of Dujail were tried and given death penalty for the murderous attack on him. He claimed that It was a legal punishment. Can it be called a legal punishment? It was only a massacre. Probably, he believed in justice in the medieval pattern when Muslim victorious leaders ordered general massacre of population. It happened when Nadir shah of Persia attacked Delhi in February 1739 during the rule of Mohammed Shah Rangila (Rangila meaning pleasure seeker). After the fall of Delhi, there was a rumor that Nadir Shah was killed and some of the Persian soldiers were slain. This infuriated the Persian King and he ordered massacre of Delhi’s population and it was carried out with glee by his troops till the Mughal emperor fell on the feet of Nadir Shah and begged him to stop the killings. By this time innumerable men, women and children were killed and their houses were looted and thousands were taken as slaves. Delhi looked like a ghost city. In the present modern times, such punishments by Saddam Hussein can not be justified as legal and fair. He deserves punishment for the massacre of 148 persons in Dujail that was just.
Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq for two decades with iron hand and he waged wars with Iran, Kurds of his own country and Kuwait. As a consequence, Iraq was attacked in 1991 and Kuwait was liberated. He was the ruthless dictator after only Hitler of Germany and Mussolini of Italy who tormented the world during the World War II. Hitler committed suicide to escape arrest when Berlin fell to allied troops and Mussolini was hanged by his own Italian country men. History repeats. All tyrants have to go most unceremoniously from this world. It happened to General Idi Amin (Famed as a Cannibal) of Uganda. He escaped arrest and lived in obscurity in a foreign country where he finally died unsung and unheard. Pakistani dictators Field Marshal Ayub Khan, General Yahya Khan, General Zia ul Haq too disappeared; former abdicated while the later was blown up in air crash. Some of their leaders after the surrender of Germany and Japan in World War II, were tried for war crimes and were executed by the Nuremberg International military courts. They were hanged as war criminals. Some of the convicts committed suicide before hanging. Dictators and authoritative rulers invariably at the end were put to death, jailed for life or assassinated. Very rarely they had happy and successful end. Indira Gandhi former Prime Minister of India who declared emergency in 1975 and unleashed a reign of terror in India along with her son Sanjay Gandhi are also typical examples. Indira Gandhi was shot dead in 1984 by her own Sikh body guards as a revenge for ordering Army operation on Sikhs’s most respected Golden Temple in Amritsar. Sanjay Gandhi by destiny crashed and met his end while piloting an aero plane.
India has been soft pedaling the terrorist problem and could not prevent Pakistan in abetting these activities from it’s land. At Kargil it missed golden chance of eliminating maximum number of these militants and they were allowed to withdraw into Pakistan. Does Pakistan reciprocate in a similar way if it gets a chance? Even a tiny nation like Bangladesh has been brow beating India and its Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) men clashed with Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers and kidnapped sixteen Indian security personnel and inhumanly butchered them. Many of them were shot through eyes, strangulated and tortured by pouring boiling water. India swallowed the episode with a smile and lacked strong will to deal firmly with Bangladesh (21). As a consequence, Bangladesh has also joined the club of Pakistan in abetting terrorism in India. The culprits of July 11, 2006 Mumbai train blasts were believed to have run away to Pakistan after engineering the blasts (22). It is also a fact that, many suspects arrested were Indian Muslims and it is required to establish the source of sophisticated time bombs that were used. Even if it is assumed that Pakistan has not directly engineered the blasts, the culprits could have obtained training and motivation across the borders. As suggested by noted writer Kushwant Singh, it would be best to jointly get rid off all the terrorist hideouts and training grounds in Pakistan, A real wishful thinking with Pakistan. (23). Indian leaders are content with issuing strongly worded warnings in vague and twisted language and the matter ends there. The other country that is the neighbor also understands and issues a similar statement in vague language. India goes back to slumber till something else happens. Pakistan’s involvement in abetting terrorism has been amply proved by it’s involvement in Jammu and Kashmir. Indian misgivings about Islamabad’s sincerity were only strengthened with exposure of the terrorist plot on August 10, 2006 by London Police where the criminals plotted to hijack and blow Trans- Atlantic fights to USA. Out of 24 culprits arrested most of them were of Pakistan origin. Although Pakistan is taking credit for tipping the London Police for the plot, Pakistan is always involved in terrorist operations in one way or other. It’s involvement in revitalizing Taliban is amply proved by Indian Intelligence agencies. But, USA is also demanding substantial and concrete proof of involvement of Pakistan in Mumbai train blasts. Sadly America is placing greatest faith in Pakistan while it is doing maximum damage to American interests (24).
It has been established that terrorists have been resorting to wanton violence in Middle East region, India, Afghanistan, some areas of Pakistan, SriLanka and other smaller countries world wide. However Islamic terrorism has become wide spread in the world. On the Middle East front, Saddam Hussein is facing death penalty imposed by the Iraqi trial court. However the third world is blaming USA for engineering the verdict and the verdict has been dubbed as that of a victor (18). Does he deserve pardon for doing all types of gravest crimes while in power? He is responsible for wanton killing of Kurds and executing 148 citizens from the town of Dujail because a citizen opened fire on his car. What about the charges for killing thousands of Kurds in chemical attacks? Should Saddam be spared inspite of all these inhuman cruelties against humanity? Why convicts were not spared at Nuremberg trials after World War II. Why Nathuram Godse was not spared for killing MK Gandhi? Samar Fatany Jeddah based Radio journalist writing in Indian Press claims that the retaliation attack by Israel on Lebanon is an act of Terrorism (25). Then, how one must describe actions of Hezbollah? Are they to be praised and worshipped? There is no doubt that world press is always divided. The sympathizers of Arab cause would always write anti American views. However truth would be always judged by the sane persons. If Saddam Hussein is pardoned or given a life sentence or sent to gallows it is the verdict of court in Iraq. Others have no role to play except to beat their chests cursing USA.
In this context, it is also essential to discuss the case of Mohammed Afzal Guru the conspirator who conspired with Pakistani Terrorists to engineer an attack on Indian Parliament on December 13, 2001 while it was in session at New Delhi. All the terrorists from Lashkar E Toiba based in Pakistan were shot dead in the encounter with security forces. Afzal helped them in getting them hide outs in Delhi, in procuring explosives, mobile phones, and old car of “Ambassador” make (Ambassador car is made by Hindustan Motors at Calcutta and is the licensed version of Morris Oxford of 1958 vintage of British make by Morris motors), an old motor cycle, sticker of Home Ministry and fake identity cards for the terrorists to enable them to enter premises of Parliament while in session. Afzal was once a Kashmiri militant since 1988-89 motivated by Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF). With other militants, he received training at Muzaffarabad in occupied Kashmir area held by Pakistan and returned to India. However he surrendered to BSF along with arms and ammunition in 1993-94. He was later released as surrendered militant. He however was again motivated by one active militant Tariq of outfit Jaish E Mohammed (JEM) to join Jihad and Afzal conspired to engineer attack on Indian Parliament while it was in session (26).
Although the attack was repulsed killing the terrorists, the incident sent shivers down the spines of every Indian politician and the world was shocked. But this was to happen due to the prolonged weak national policies in dealing with terrorists by Indian administration. Generally Muslims countries are of opinion that India is not strong in action and it can do only saber rattling. India is the land of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the father of nation who preached peace even under great provocation at the time of partition while countless Hindus were being slain by Muslims and women were abducted and raped. Train loads of corpses arrived from Pakistan day after day. Those were the darkest days in the history of India. It is a tragedy that the old man was shot dead at point blank range by his own learned countryman Nathuram Vinayak Godse within a short time after gaining independence on January 30, 1948. Nathuram Godse was tried and convicted and he was sentenced to death by hanging along with Narayan Apte , the co conspirator. Nathuram did not plead for mercy and pleaded his own case. Neither any one pleaded for mercy for him. Infact Nathuram requested that no one should plead mercy for him. The events that led to the murder of Gandhi and the truths of partition are still shrouded in mystery. Lot of skeletons are believed to be buried in shelves and lockers denying real truth to the Indians. Trial of Nathuram Godse and his statement in the court are still touchy subjects to the Indian leaders. The Gandhian ideology still haunts the Indian leaders and Parliament and they are unable to take strong actions against those who are committing crimes and doing great damage to the nation. In turn, the nation has been reduced to shambles and has been brought to today’s pass. It is not to condemn Gandhian philosophy, but anything done to extremities is bad and would be counter productive.
Tags :Criminal Law