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Eastern Headache - Courting of Foreign Extremist Groups and Rising Terror Threats

By Pathikrit Payne

Eastern Headache: Rising Terror Threats
Two recent incidents need special attention. The first is the manner in which the Saradha scam is becoming a Pandora's Box with its tentacles now seemed to have had been spread far and wide and with nefarious designs. The second is the issue of Tarun Gogoi sending alarm bells ringing by his warning that Al Qaeda is trying to sneak in through Bangladesh.

The Saradha Scam and Jamaat-e-Islami Connection

For quite some time the Saradha Scam has been in hogging the limelight and in spite of the valiant efforts of the ruling TMC regime of Bengal, the Saradha smoke continues to give more proof of the fire that had not only devoured the money of several lakh poor investors of Bengal but is also having serious ramifications with respect to national security and India's relationship with its neighbors.

Last week, Bangladesh Foreign Minister during his visit to India raised the issue of the Saradha scam and the perpetrators of the scam having links with radical organization Jamaat e Islami of Bangladesh.

Reports state that the objective of the money to be sent to Jamaat was to get Jamaati help for TMC party during elections in Bengal in 2011 in lieu of which Jamaat would get the money for destabilizing the Sheikh Haseena Government of Bangladesh which is known to be pro India.

According to reports, the enmity between the extremist Jamaat e Islami group and Sheikh Haseena's Awami League is a known affair. Members of the ruling Bangladeshi coalition led by Awami league, have even gone to the extent of blaming Trinamul Congress for harboring Jamaat militants on the run from Bangladeshi Police.

Probably never before, a scam in India had such serious ramifications for national security as also for India's relationship with a neighboring country. Worse, as per Kolkata based Ananda Bazaar Patrika, which first brought out the news, the whole routing of money was monitored and managed by none other than a TMC henchman Ahmad Hassan Imran who has since then been rewarded with a Rajya Sabha seat by his party.

The Increasing Spate of Radicalization of Bengal

The Bangladesh Government is livid with the series of events and the manner in which Jamaat e Islami has been funded by TMC and has certainly put the India in the backfoot. However the issue of increasing influence of Jamaat-e-Islami in Bengal has been clearly evident over the last couple of years.

One could even witness rallies being held in Kolkata by various Islamic groups in favor of even those who have been convicted and sentenced by Bangladesh for their role of collaborating with the Pakistani Army and unleashing terror on the people of Bangladesh during 1971 War of Independence.

All this are not just portentous but a sad reflection of the level of degeneration that has happened in Indian politics. Given the grave threat that India faces from ISI funded terror groups many of which have had bases in Bangladesh also for long, the handholding of Bangladesh based Jamaat e Islami that TMC has allegedly done and the manner in which money has been channeled to them, if these allegations come out to be true, then henceforth merely blaming foreign terror or extremist groups would not be enough for India unless it can control its own political parties.

Was UPA Aware of it ?

One is also forced to question as to what Indian intelligence agencies were doing all this while and if they had indeed informed the Central Government about the alleged nexus between TMC and Bangladesh based Jamaat e Islami. Further, the next question that can be raised is to why UPA did not act on it and nipped it in the bud when these events were unfolding in 2011.

Meanwhile- The Al Qaeda Threat in Assam

Meanwhile, the warnings by Assam Chief Minister about possible Al Qaeda strike during Durga Puja period and that Al Qaeda is trying to sneak in through Assam, has sent the alarm bells ringing. Given that fact that Congress Chief Minister stated it, one at least would not be able to term it as a needless jingoism.

With Al Qaeda having already made it plans clear to create a separate branch for India, it is only a matter of time that those nefarious elements would try to do something devastating in India to prove their point.

Yet what is a significant change in strategy is that they are this time trying to enter from Bangladesh instead of Pakistan. Fact remains that the Indian border with Pakistan is heavily guarded while the one with Bangladesh is extremely porous and thus the possibility of that being used for sneaking in is easier for them.

In fact the porous border along with Bangladesh along with the massive demographic shift in Assam, the huge infiltration by Bangladeshis over there have over the years created the ideal condition for ISIS or Al Qaeda kind of organizations to create their base for future operations in India.

Is the MHA Still Sleeping?

With the internal security situation looking extremely grim given the increasing threats from both ISIS, AL Qaeda as well as LeT and Maoists, it is time that India take these issues of political parties allegedly courting foreign extremist groups or that of Al Qaeda trying to enter India or ISIS spreading its wings in India on a more serious basis. It seems quite sadly that India's internal security organizations led by Ministry of Home Affairs is yet to wake up from its slumber and have not yet learnt the lessons of the past well. That same laid back attitude would only encourage more incidents like 26/11.

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