India probably has one of the best records when it comes to controlling sectarian violence between the Sunnis and the Shias.
The fact that India chose not to interfere in both the conflict in Iraq and Yemen is testimony of the fact that it does not want sectarian violence to spill over into India.
In fact this posturing by India has helped a great deal and one such example is the Yemen rescue operation. Now coming to the sectarian issue, a hilariously unwarranted statement was made by Khurshid Ahmed Saiyed, the chairman of the All India Congress committee's minority cell.
He went on to state that the Indian Mujahideen operatives are not terrorists but part of a sectarian group.
Saiyed needs to get his facts right
For starters Saiyed's statements aim at fanning sectarian violence in India. The Sunnis and Shias have not fought each other in India and his statements only aim at creating a rift between the Sunnis and Shias in India.
Moreover Saiyed has no idea about the birth of the Indian Mujahideen and why this outfit was even functional in India. Had he read through the various investigation reports right from Yasin Bhatkal to Waqas Ahmed, he would realize that their intent was never sectarian in nature.
For Saiyed's information, the Indian Mujahideen was set up by Pakistan in a bid to promote home grown terrorism. Prior to the birth of the Indian Mujahideen all major attacks in India were carried out by groups based in Pakistan.
These attacks were huge and each time the finger was being pointed at Pakistan not only by India but by the rest of the world too. This is when Pakistan decided that it was time to set up a full fledged home grown outfit based in India itself.
Home grown Jihad not sectarian
Saiyed must also understand that the concept of Home Grown Jihad practiced by the Indian Mujahideen was not sectarian in nature. Let us take a look at the targets of the Indian Mujahideen. They carried out blasts at Delhi targeting the common man. The 13/7 blasts at Mumbai was once again in a crowded area.
The Dilsukhnagar blasts in Hyderabad was near the Shiridi Sai Baba temple once again targeting a large crowd. The blasts at Ahmedabad was once again targeted a huge crowd and also the patients in a hospital.
If Saiyed were to read the mails that the Indian Mujahideen operatives had sent out following these blasts he would understand that they had targeted the police officials and the majority community. In each of these mails the IM quotes incidents such as Babri Masjid and Godhra.
They claimed to be the custodians of the Muslim community and not the Shia community and this clearly states that the intent was not sectarian violence.
Indian Mujahideen never had an agenda
Let us go back to the founding fathers of the Indian Mujahideen. Riyaz Bhatkal who has been called the founder of the IM was a petty thief in Bhatkal.
He thrived on the communal violence in Bhatkal and earned between Rs 100 and Rs 200 for the information that he passed on.
He never had any communal agenda and he equally passed information to both the Hindus and Muslims in Bhatkal.
It was his lure for money which made it so easy for the ISI to rope him in. He was assured a large amount of money to set up this outfit and carry out strikes.
However, greedy he was for money there is no denying the fact that he had exceptional organizational skills which is the main reason the ISI lapped him up.
His brother Iqbal Bhatkal who was a petty smugglers bringing in the Gulf walkman to Bhatkal too was picked up for the lure of money.
All the ISI wanted out of these men was violence in India with an intention of destablising the country. A blast ever now and then only creates panic and fear and this was what the Indian Mujahideen was paid to do.
The ideological stunt
For a group such as the Indian Mujahideen ideology was only a marketing gimmick. Ideology was nothing but a stunt. In no way could the IM operatives proclaim that they were doing this for money.
The ideology was roped in which they felt would help gullible youth join them.
This did work to a large extent as the IM kept quoting the atrocities against the Muslims. Nowhere do they mention the Sunni Shia problem.
Techies such as Mansoor Pheerbhouy who was earning Rs 20 lakh an annum fell trap to this ideology and chose to design the tech wing of the IM. Today in jail Mansoor has this to say, " I thought they would fight for the cause, but that was never the case."
Yasin was more worried about Riyaz's women than jihad
After Riyaz and Iqbal fled the country and took shelter in Karachi, the outfit fell under the hands of Yasin Bhatkal. He carried out several strikes and had become a name that caused fear.
However, all through his thinking was when he too could go up to Karachi and lead a protected/lavish lifestyle.
He waited and when he found that the ISI was not calling him he went berserk and got into a fight with the ISI. If Saiyed reads his confession he will realize how childish Yasin was and it would also indicate what the real intention of his actions were.
Yasin tells the police, "the ISI is just using us. We carried out strikes thinking they will reward us well. Why does Riyaz Bhatkal get to stay with such beautiful women in Karachi in a lavish bungalow when we are suffering in India planting bombs."
Did Sultan Armar have a sectarian mindset?
Sultan Armar who was recently killed in Syria was once a part of the Indian Mujahideen. He was declared as the emir of the Ansar-ul-Tawhid by none other than ISIS boss, Abu Bakr Al-Bhagdadi.
The Ansar was handed out the task to carry out online recruitments for the ISIS.
Armar who was once part of the IM decided to quit the outfit as he gradually understood that the only intent of the outfit was carrying out blasts every now and then to keep India on tenterhooks.
He felt that the IM was not interested in either communalizing India or even implementing the Sharia law. He also believed that there should be Sunni dominance in the world.
It was these thought processes that made Armar quit the IM and join the ISIS and later float the Ansar. The big question is now is how does all this make the IM a sectarian group?
For Saiyedi's information the IM was nothing but a mindless terror group which wanted money and the power to scare.