The elevation of Ahmed Patel, a senior Congress leader and a close aide of Nehru family as a member of Rajya Sabha had elicited national interest.
The reason is that BJP president Amit Shah failed to vanquish him despite deploying all tactics. The ‘IS links’ of Ahmed Patel is the newly found hope of the BJP not only for concealing the humiliation but also because of being gripped by the fear of defeat in the imminent assembly elections. If one suspects whether a secular nationalist like Patel would form links with the terrorist organization, the answer is clear.
Although he does not have direct links with the IS, Patel had appointed an alleged IS operative at the Sardar Patel Hospital and Heart Institute in Bharuch in which he had been associated as a trustee. There is no evidence for the alleged IS nexus of the two Muslim youth arrested by the Gujarat anti-terrorism squad (ATS) three days ago. They were arrested on mere suspicion by a squad. But the BJP has unleashed an intense anti-Patel campaign based on this information; Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi is right in the forefront of this campaign. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, BJP’s new-found ally, has also come out demanding an immediate investigation into the matter.
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani has criticized that Ahmed Patel had been a trustee of the hospital and that the Congress has debased as an organization that provides employment to terrorists. However, Jayesh N Patel has revealed that although Ahmed Patel had earlier been a trustee, he now has no links to the hospital and that the person arrested does not work in the hospital anymore. He has also made it clear that Patel had resigned in 2014 itself. Reacting to the issue, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said that the BJP was ‘staring at defeat’ which is why they are ‘rattled and making such baseless allegations against the Congress leaders’.
This incident points towards a heinous, devious and a dangerous trend that has been growing in our country lately. Arresting people at random by alleging Islamic terror links, leaking the details of the suspects to the media even before the start of an investigation by the concerned agency or before it reaches completion, the far-right media outlets celebrating the news without having proper information and the political opponents using it for shameful political interests - this process is noticeably on the increase. The method adopted by the investigative agencies to make headways in cases, to fabricate evidence and also to achieve other shrewd goals, is no different either. If one analyses the sensational Hadiya case which has triggered heated discussions in Kerala, such tactics are seen deployed there as well. Akhila alias Hadiya, 24-year old homeopathic doctor, converted to Islam and later married a Muslim man leading to a controversy.
The religious conversion and marriage, which is unacceptable to the woman’s parents are now under the consideration of the Supreme Court. The apex Court has directed Hadiya’s father to produce her before the court on November 27, at 3 pm noon. What happens on that day is yet to be seen. However, here again an allegation that the marriage took place for recruiting the woman to IS, has been added as an embellishment in the petition filed in court. The lawyers might have suggested so for adding spice and winning the case. As per the reports from Kerala, so far fifteen persons have left for Syria; five of them are said to have been killed. But these are not facts that have been released by our agencies through proper investigation. Such information comes from the messages that are claimed to be sent by the accused themselves; it could be true or false. There is no doubt that vigilance and an investigation with no loopholes are required. It should be remembered that it was none less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi who declared more than once that IS does not operate in India which is home to the world’s largest Muslim minority. Security Advisor Goyal had also confirmed the same.
However, certain isolated bunches of dummies end up in terrorist camps like that of the IS. What is important is that no Muslim organisation in Kerala does in any way support or justify the group. IS for itself in its own native land has been facing a heavy setback and is widely believed as facing its end. In the backdrop, any one would do well to pause to think on who will benefit by accusing Muslim youth of IS links on the basis of mere suspicion, then propagating it as truth and fervently making attempts to establish that the terror group is very active in the state as well as the country. At the same time, the need for eternal, hundred per cent vigilance of agencies concerned is also to be underscored.