New Delhi, Dec 28: In July 2012, the chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Hafiz Saeed shared a stage in Karachi with a man called Maulana Abdus Quddus Burmi, where a resolution was passed to 'recruit and seek revenge for the atrocities against the Rohingya Muslims'.
The meeting assumes heightened significance in the present context considering the increased activity that has been noticed at Mae Sot in Myanmar. Quddus is the point man chosen by the Lashkar top brass and the Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence to head this assault team which intends to wreck havoc in India and Bangladesh under the banner of Harkat-ul-Jihad of Arakans also known as HuJA.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that there has been a lot of chatter that has been picked up from the camps set up at Mae Sot. We have been picking up a lot of intercepts since the past couple of months. The indication is that the ISI has been training several members of the HuJA to launch attacks on India and Bangladesh.
HuJA is born
The LeT decided to take up the cause of the Rohingya Muslims, who claim victimisation by the Budddhists in Myanmar, back in 2011. In 2012, it organised the Difa-e-Mussalman Arakan Conference in Karachi. At the conference the Lashkar ideologues exhorted their cadre to avenge the deaths of the Rohinyga Muslims.
The Karachi conference saw Quddus, a relative unknown at the time, seated next to Saeed. Quddus was introduced as the chief of the HuJA. At the time, Quddus had claimed that his sole agenda was to avenge the killings of the Rohinyga Muslims.
Following the conference, the HuJA remained relatively quiet for several years. It remained a rudderless outfit until the LeT decided to breathe life into it. The HuJA have been trained for nearly three years, at the expense of the LeT and the ISI, at the Lashkar's Murdike camp in Pakistan. Now a main base has been set up in Mae Sot from where the HuJA is expected to launch attacks.
Kill two birds with one stone
The ISI, while helping the Rohingya Muslims further their cause, has another agenda up their sleeve; to strike at India. From Mae Sot, the ISI can direct the HuJA to strike at India. The ISI has often looked for launch pads in Bangladesh but that has not been entirely successful since the current dispensation has been amenable to India.
The modus operandi is similar to the one which was found in the case of the Khalistan militants. The ISI has been training the Khalistan militants and plans on launching them to strike at India. A similar plan has been set up for the HuJA cadre as well. The HuJA is being told that India has not done enough to back the cause of the Rohinyga Muslims and hence a message ought to be sent out in the harshest possible way.
It may be recalled that the LeT had sponsored an attack at Bodh Gaya on July 7, 2013. Five blasts were carried out by the Students Islamic Movement of India and investigations showed that the attacks were a message to Buddhists. The National Investigation Agency, which probed the case, says that the attack which was hailed by the LeT was meant to avenge the deaths of Rohingya Muslims.