Thursday, January 18, 2018
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Was the stampede manoeuvred by militants ?

Following the twin blasts in Hyderabad killing several innocent people, the city if Allahabad has been placed on High Alert and the Mela area has been declared a High Security Zone. That is indeed a step in the right direction. But after what has happened in Hyderabad, many might be tempted to wonder whether or not the stampede that occurred at the Railway station on Mauni Amavasya day was also planned and executed by terrorists. You will say that the idea  is fantastic. But just ponder for a while. Weeks before the Maha Kumbh started, an alert call had come from Delhi in which it was mentioned that the terrorists may try all sorts of tricks to create trouble. And stampede could be one of them.

But in the Mela area that was not possible. One reason for this was  that the security forces were fully alert and keeping a hawk’s eye on the movement of traffic. But if what the terrorists wanted was to harm the pilgrims through manipulating a stampede, which better place could there be other than the Railway station?

I am tempted to recall the statements and the contradictions that have been coming continuously regarding the stampede having been caused by the order of the change in platform in respect of a train that was due for arrival and to catch which people were rushing upwards on an over-bridge. The TV news channels flashed the faces of some grieved passengers who revealed that it was when  an announcement was quoted to say that the platform had been changed that the backflow of traffic on the over-bridge started, resulting in the catastrophe.

Interestingly enough, the Railway authorities denied having issued any such order. What is more the Railway Minister too, during his visit to Allahabad, said quite forcefully that no such order of shifting passengers from one platform to the other was given. At that juncture, the credibility of the  administration had dipped so badly that most people thought that the Railways were lying and the public was correct. But on second thoughts, especially after the Hyderabad blasts, if we just think for a while of the possibility that both sides are speaking the truth, then who is it who issued the order of the change in platform?

It means that some third person was there. Who was that third person? Was he a terrorist  or their sympathiser or the sleeping module who gave that fake order? The planning conspirators must have known that once people swing backwards there is bound to be some trouble. A traveller tells me that even in normal times when one has to suddenly turn back, he or she almost slips. But this time the rush was huge and the staircase was muddy and slippery. If a group of terrorists was behind this stampede, then didn’t the militants succeed without firing a shot or blasting explosives?

Pak’s ‘Sleeping Modules’  might have assumed Hindu names

The intelligence agencies have repeatedly been saying that the militants are operating on the basis of information supplied to them by their sleeping modules whom they have planted in different cities, including Allahabad. My question is: What have we done to track down these sleeping modules who could be hatching fresh conspiracies to harm the nation? Our major mistake lies in the belief that these modules belong to the minority community. Maybe they do; maybe they don’t. But even if they are original Pakistani, can’t they come and settle down here by assuming Hindu names?  The authorities presume that a Hindu cannot be a terrorist. But that is a different subject. Let us presume that a sleeping module lands in Allahabad assuming a Hindu name. He might then have  established a cyber cafe. No one suspects him. He might have placed Lord Hanuman’s picture on a small pedestal or adorned his showroom with an idol of Lord Shiva. He might be applying a saffron tilak on his forehead too, bowing daily before the idols before starting the work and ensuring that when he is doing so he is watched by one and all. He might even be loudly reciting the Hanuman Chalisa. But what if he is a Lashkar man disguised as a Hindu? Have the intelligence people ever tried to find out the antecedents of all Hindu cyber-cafe owners  in the city? These cafes could be utilized as centres of contact. It is through these cyber-cafes that the terrorists in town or their sleeping modules could be transmitting messages to their bosses or collaborators in different cities of India and Pakistan. Have we ever thought of such a possibility?
This is not all. There are some who believe that Pakistan has opened a training camp where militants are trained to   become Sikh priests  and learn Hindu  scriptures, Sanskrit shlokas and verses from Guru Granth Saheb  by heart, sing Guruvani and Bhajans so that they may easily pass off as Indians in a Gurudwara or a temple . Who knows some of them as sadhus might have infiltrated into the Mela ground too?

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