To know more about a person, one has to also know the place from where the person hails. Since, the place where one hails also helps, at times in a major way in shaping the thinking and personality of that person. Ishrat Jahan’s story would be incomplete without the mention of Mumbra a suburb of Thane and the place where Ishrat Jahan hails from.
To know about the entire Ishrat Jahan episode, one has to personally visit Mumbra, a town in the Thane District adjacent to Mumbai. A town, roughly with a population of close to a Million. 80% of them being Muslims. The immediate question one would ask is, why would a town so close to Mumbai and belonging to Thane which is mostly ruled by the Shiv Sena have such a high percentage of Muslims? The answer lies in the riots of 1992, where most Muslims based in Central Mumbai migrated and settled in Mumbra. Until 1991, the population of Mumbra was just around 41,000. Post 1992, the population just exploded by more than 2000% (20 times) to close to 1.00 Million. Within just 2 years. A typical ghetto. In fact, the largest Muslim ghetto in India. And, when one evaluates a ghetto, no need to search for more answers, since a ghetto in itself is the answer for all kinds of radicalization. Radicalization of thought, of deed, of life, of culture, of education, approach to law, society, etc. If ever there is any area in India which is a fertile breeding ground for anti-India activities it is Mumbra, a place and town from where Ishrat Jahan hailed.
The events on March 12th, 1993 are still fresh in my mind as a nightmare deeply entrenched in my psyche. I myself remember that fateful day when the bombs exploded freely in Mumbai for the 1st time in the History of Independent India, when most of the readers might not have been born or were still young. I was engaged in a stressful meeting at Humphrey’s & Glasgow (H&G) office at Worli, and just about half a kilometer away from the Worli Passport office explosion which dug a crater comparable to a meteor hit. The window A/Cs in the H&G Office building burst under the impact. All the glass windows overlooking the Worli-Bandra Road imploded. We all came rushing out to a sight straight out of hell. My Boss took a decision to exit Mumbai immediately. We had arrived from Pune, where I used to live since childhood, by road along with his driver. All roads were blocked by the Mumbai & Navi Mumbai Police. We took detours and exited Mumbai through Bhiwandi, during which, we had to pass through Mumbra. One look at a Mumbra street, you would be instantly transported to any street scene in perhaps Karachi or Lahore. While entire Mumbai was reeling, Mumbra was strangely alive and vibrating as any suburb. Completely oblivious to the happenings in Mumbai. Those were the days when still the only means of communication was the land telephones. Investigations on the aftermath of the blasts by the Mumbai SIT revealed a huge Mumbra connection. Out of the total of 7000Kgs of RDX imported for the purpose of creating mayhem in Mumbai, only 300 Kgs were used for all the blasts. A huge 1400kgs were recovered from an under construction building in Mumbra. Another 2800kgs were recovered from a creek near Thane, close to Mumbra. A huge 3000Kgs is missing till date. Enough to paralyze 10 cities. If 300kgs of RDX created mayhem in Mumbai, imagine what would and could 3000kgs do?
Long before the Ishrat Jahan connection to Mumbra, this pulsating suburb of Thane had already staked its claim to extreme notoriety in 1993 due to the Mumbai Bomb Blasts, when Ishrat Jahan must have been all of just 8 years old.
There should be no doubt left in anyone’s mind about the purpose of a certain person, in this case a female, who was just all of 19 years, accompanying a group of male friends far off in another state, and incidentally, who also hails from Mumbra. The question one might ask as an aftermath to my statement is, why? Arent Mumbra citizens allowed to travel and see the country? The answers lie in a spate of questions below:
- Being a Muslim from a lower Middle Class family and still just a 19 year old girl, what is Ishrat Jahan doing perhaps 600-700kms away with male friends? This is an answer I’m searching since 2004, and which I haven’t yet received. This is the answer which even Ishrat’s mother has not been able to satisfactorily give till date.
- Was Ishrat Jahan related to them?
- Was Ishrat Jahan married to any one of them?
- Or had Ishrat Jahan gone for site seeing? The maximum reach for site seeing for a 19 year old girl from either Mumbai or Pune, coming from a lower middle class back ground is just probably a trip to Lonavala or Khandala, a popular getaway located exactly between the 2 cities. But, definitely not a trip to a neighboring state, that too with unrelated men.
There is absolutely no doubt that the entire team was a LET team sent into Gujarat for a specific purpose. There is no doubt that, to create a sense of acceptability to their visits and trips they needed a female companion, so as not to raise any suspicion. And, there should be no doubt that Ishrat Jahan was roped into it by her boss Javed Sheikh (born Praneesh Pillai) for whom she was working. A 19 year old girl’s mind should not be alien to us. At this age, specially, from a humble lower middle class background, they do what they are told to do. Specially, they tend to be extremely loyal to a person of whom they are in awe of. Which was what it seems was the relationship between Ishrat Jahan and Javed Sheikh, her boss.
So far so good! As long as society exists, there will be people who would try to damage the ethos of a peaceful society. This is not the 1st or last LET or any such similar modules coming and going or executing their work with precision in India. Then why the hue and cry?
The hue and cry because, this was the 1st time a female terrorist was involved and she was all of 19 years. The Congress who were all at sea to find answers for a phoenix called Narendra Modi saw a fantastic opportunity to basically nail him. Either, physically, legally or politically. How? Please be careful about what you would read from here on.
- The IB (Intelligence Bureau) had planned a fantastic red herring operation by luring in a LET team. What was their purpose? Why invite the Devil’s messengers themselves?
- Post Godhra the IB wanted to know & judge about the activity of certain sections of the Muslim community in India especially in the Muslim ghettos, and also what level of support, whether political and financial would be given to any modules slipping into India for specific operations?
- This is the job of IB. In fact this is the job of any Intelligence agency in the world.
- Towards that purpose, through their double agents and moles, they had offered the LET the red herring of the then Gujarat CM & the then Gujarat Home Minister, and Shri LK Advani, who in any case was always top on any Module’s radar post Babri Masjid.
- Now here is where the story begins. Certain Muslim Gujarat Congress leaders got news of this planned operation through their own sources. There-by implying and confirming what IB had been suspicious all along. That, support to terror strikes and attacks in India cannot be possible without Political Support.
- These Muslim Congress Leaders fell into the trap laid by IB, since no one except the top few in IB knew that this was a Red Herring operation. They (The Gujarat Muslim Congress Leaders) gave all the logistical support to this Module. Here, I’m not implying whether the Congress Leaders at the centre were aware or not. But, as it seems now, they too got aware of this operation (definitely not through IB), and allowed the operation to continue.
- Their logic being simple. If Modi gets killed, we name it as a Terrorist Operation. If the terrorists get killed, we blame him for a fake encounter. Specially, since the Module has the presence of a 19 year old girl. We splash her innocent pictures 24×7 through our Media friends, there-by creating a sympathy wave for her amongst the passive Hindus. Both cases we get to nail him and his team. We get to nail him physically in a suicide mission, or legally as a fake encounter or politically by weaning away disgusted Hindu voters. Their 3 prong strategy was clear. If one fails, the other works. If the other fails the 3rd one works politically. Completely fail safe and fool proof plan.
- The IB, their work and mission accomplished as to achieving the knowledge on the support structure to the Module, and, not knowing the ideas of the Home Ministry (Home Minister to be specific) calmly passed on the information to the Gujarat Police in advance to tackle the Suicide Module.
- The Gujarat cops completely oblivious of the IB Mission, or about the Gujarat Political support to the Module, or, the Congress Central Government silent wait and watch scheme of the Mission, went about their job. This was, to intercept the Module as per the inputs from IB, and encounter them.
- Now, if anyone asks, why encounter them, instead of apprehending them?
- The answer lies in the fact that, this Module was a Suicide Module on a Suicide Mission. When a suicide mission is confronted, they don’t come out waving white flags. They in fact come out with guns blazing. The rest would be anyone’s guess.
There are 3 narratives which help shape a human mind. One is ‘the truth’, one is ‘a lie’ and the 3rd one being ‘the half truth’. Out of all the 3 types, it is the ‘half truth’ which is the most effective with the effect most long lasting.
The nation has been fed with these Half Truths on Ishrat Jahan since 2004. By the Congress led government, by the Media, by the NGOs, by the activists and by certain vested sections of the intelligentsia who were completely averse to the rise of the Hindu school of Political Thought.
As it now seems all the 3 strategies of the Congress failed and now the brutal truth staring them and their high profile Media/NGO/Intelligentsia friends on their faces.
The BJP on their part should not let this go by. They already created a blunder by allowing the Congress to slip on the Bofors case and other scams during the Vajpayee term. The biggest blunder which I think the Vajpayee government did was to bail out Rahul Gandhi when he was caught with a load of unaccounted cash with his then Columbian Girl friend at a New York Airport.
I think the situation warranties that the Ishrat Jahan Case files be re-opened and Shri Chidambaram be called in for questioning. Whose dubious role in changing the affidavits should be probed and questioned.
In all this my personal sympathies with Ishrat Jahan, who in her lower middle class poverty, allowed herself to be used and abused, both, while alive as well as after her death. Being a father of daughters, my heart goes out for her. But, not for her family and the society she lived in, who allowed her to be used by enemies of the state for the lure of monetary compensation.