Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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afzal guru

The Intelligence authorities have, time and again, been warning against   terrorist threat to the Kumbh Mela in view of  the concentration of crores of people including foreigners on the holy banks of the Sangam. These foreigners are not just from India but from different countries round the globe-- some who have come to breathe in the spiritual aroma while others who have come to catch  a glimpse of the biggest fair on earth.

Terrorists planning attacks will certainly regard these foreigners as tempting targets. A glimpse of  the largest conglomeration of pilgrims including foreigners coming here to take a dip in the holy Ganga, makes us feel proud. It seems the sheet of humanity present on the occasion of the Mauni Amavasya   symbolizes  international harmony by bringing people together as a 'global family'. Can the militants find a better place to target so many foreigners as well as the traditional bathers ? I need hardly mention that many of these foreigners are residing  in the tents that have come up in the thickly populated Mela township. They can be seen at the different akaharas, some residing as  kalpwasis too. In addition, says a report,  there is a large number of foreign nationals from different countries, staying as an extended family in the Mela area under the banner of 'Rainbow Love Camp'. Says a report: ‘ On the boundaries of the Mela area, a large number of nomad style pilgrims are staying happily on the minimal that is needed to survive.’ And they are from all over the world, from Germany, US, France, England, Russia, Japan, Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Israel, Italy, Mexico, etc ‘and are camping far from the hustle and bustle of the Mela to enjoy the tranquility of the vast catchment area of Ganga and surviving with bare minimum.’ I wonder if our local intelligence people have ever cared to realise that among such foreigners too there might be Headleys spying for Pakistan-based  terrorists and sending  them crucial information and receiving guidelines through the satellite phones that were supposed to have entered the Mela area long ago.
In view of Afzal Guru’s hanging—which has been criticised by men like Omar Abdulla—special security should be stepped up for the VHP camps. It may be mentioned that in view of the hanging of Afzal Guru, the BJP people would be needing especial security because it is mainly they who had been clamouring day in and day out for the execution of Afzal Guru. And Narendra Modi, whose anti-minority image has not changed despite his stress on computers and internet, should be provided with extra security if he arrives here during the Mela on February 12.  Wouldn’t it be better if his visit is called off?


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