Mecca Masjid judgment: People cannot rely on the Indian state for justice

On 16th April, 2018 an NIA court in Hyderabad acquitted all five persons accused in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case of 2007, including Swami Aseemanand and three former RSS activists. The court cited “lack of evidence” to justify this step.

On 16th April, 2018 an NIA court in Hyderabad acquitted all five persons accused in the Mecca Masjid bomb blast case of 2007, including Swami Aseemanand and three former RSS activists. The court cited “lack of evidence” to justify this step.

It may be recalled that within hours of the Mecca Masjid blast on 18th May, 2007, in which 9 people were reported killed and 50-60 injured, the Hyderabad police had arrested around 90 Muslim youth from different parts of the old city of Hyderabad, on grounds of mere suspicion. While the Hyderabad police began investigating the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation carried out a parallel investigation. The police filed a charge-sheet against 21 Muslim youth, but all of them were acquitted in January 2009 for “lack of evidence”.

In 2010 the CBI arrested Swami Aseemanand and 6 other members of a group called Abhinav Bharat, reportedly associated with the RSS, in connection with the Mecca Masjid blast. This was accompanied by much propaganda by the then UPA government and the media, about “saffron terror” (Bhagwa Atankwad). According to the media, the CBI arrest was based on a confessional statement by Swami Aseemanand, in which he was supposed to have confessed to organizing and carrying out acts of terror across the country, in revenge against “terror acts of Muslims”. Later, he retracted his confession, claiming that it was given under “pressure and torture”. It may be recalled that Swami Aseemanand was earlier accused of the Malegaon blast cases of 2006 and 2008, of the Ajmer Dargah blast case in 2007 and the 2007 Samjhauta Express train blast case, for which he still faces trial. In all the other cases he has been acquitted.

The entire process of arrests, trials and acquittals by the state agencies, stretching over the last 11 years, appears to have been based on totally flimsy grounds. It was executed at each step, in a way so as to enable the inciting of vicious communal hatred and suspicion, first arresting Muslim youth as “terrorists”, then later others in the name of “saffron terror”, and finally “not finding evidence” against any of them. The entire process appears to be a complete travesty of justice.

The fate of investigations by the agencies of the state in the case of numerous other such terrorist attacks in public places has been along very similar lines.

Families of the victims of the Mecca Masjid blast, all those who faced incarceration in these past years, as well as political and human rights activists following the course of the investigation, are raising the question as to whether the state had any serious intention at all, in bringing out the truth behind the blasts and punishing the guilty. Victims of terrorist attacks are increasingly losing faith in the intention of the state to deliver justice.

Why is it that the state and its investigative agencies, with the latest technology and plenty of manpower at their disposal, are incapable of finding out who the guilty really are and punishing them? Why do the real organisers and perpetrators of such heinous crimes against our people remain shrouded in mystery even after so many years?

To understand this, we need to see who benefits from organizing these terrorist attacks.

Innocent people lose their lives, their near and dear ones, their homes, livelihood and property. Each of these incidences is accompanied by poisonous communal propaganda systematically carried out by the media, against specific communities or sections of the people. Entire communities are branded as “anti-national” and “Pakistani agents”. People are made to fear and suspect their neighbours. The police terrorise the victims and arrest people without any basis, jail and torture them, often for several years. Hundreds have been killed in police custody. Afterwards, many of those jailed have been acquitted by the courts, but have lost the best years of their lives, their livelihood, physical and mental health, after long years of incarceration in the jails. In the name of “satisfying the public conscience”, people have been hanged without conclusive proof of their guilt. Clearly, no section of the working people benefits from these terrorist attacks.

However, this serves definite political aims of our rulers. It serves to break the unity of the people, in their struggle for the solution to their common problems. It serves to divert the attention of the people from the real source of their poverty and insecurity of livelihood, i.e. the rule of the minority of monopoly capitalist exploiters and the state that defends their rule. It diverts the attention of people from the failure of the state to ensure livelihood and security for all. The media carries out incessant vicious propaganda, blaming the working people of one community or other for the attacks, portraying people as communal and backward. The state is portrayed as the defender of communal harmony.

Clearly, it is the ruling monopoly capitalist class which benefits from these bomb blasts and terrorist killings. They assist the ruling class to consolidate its rule, divide the people and crush the popular resistance to its rule. State terrorism – organizing terrorist attacks against innocent people and then arresting, torturing and killing innocent people, eliminating people in fake encounters, organizing communal genocide, etc. – has been perfected as the preferred weapon of the ruling monopoly capitalist class, regardless of which political party is running the state.

State terrorism, including state-organised communal violence, is carried out, both through the official state agencies as well as through numerous groups created, sponsored, protected and financed by the state. These groups freely operate, carrying out communal and sectarian propaganda, inciting people against one another, organizing loot, rape and murder, with the police turning a blind eye and often actively assisting the murderous hordes.

People across society have to come together to demand complete and thorough investigations into these horrendous crimes. We must demand the right to be informed of the course of the investigations. We must demand that the guilty be convicted and punished.

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