Bombay blasts: Justice delivered

Nearly a quarter century after the serial Mumbai blasts that killed 257 people and grievously injured 713 others in 1993, justice has been delivered at last. A special TADA court has found Abu Salem and four of his accomplices guilty. The quantum of punishment will be announced on June 19. That was the first of the terror attacks that this country suffered. This was the handiwork of the Daud Ibrahim gang of which Abu Salem was a leading member. Those who survived the attack and are alive till today will have the satisfaction that justice may have been delayed but not denied. Daud himself, however, continues to evade the long arm of the law and his living in luxury in his Clifton den in Karachi and is being protected round the clock by the Pakistan army and the ISI. The whole world knows the truth but Pakistan tenaciously denied that Daud is its soil.
The Mumbai blasts were the first of a series of terror attacks by different ‘non-State’ actors that this country has suffered since then. Daud would have got his just deserts if he could be caught and put on trial. For the monstrous crime that they committed, no punishment, not even the death sentence would be adequate. The terrorist is a strange human who derives sadistic pleasure from killing the innocent with no specific objective in view except striking terror for terror’s sake. Daud is believed to be running his huge business empire in Mumbai from Karachi. Many politicians, policemen, film actors, sportsmen, journalists – all are said to be enjoying his patronage. It is a huge business empire that he remote controls from Pakistan.
Two of Daud’s former gang leaders, Chhota Shakeel and Chhota Rajan are still large though the two are reportedly at daggers drawn. The Mumbai police obviously failed to infiltrate their network by planting their agents. It is a ruthless machine that has its own style of functioning, own code of conduct and code of honour. Anyone who dares to stand against it is liquidated. Despite the sentencing of the five convicts, many will walk the labyrinth of their crime world. This is the biggest failure of the law-enforcing agencies. Even so, the conviction of these terrorists will send at least one message that ultimately nobody can escape the consequences of his crimes.
Dawood Ibrahim himself roams about freely – in style and pomp. The much talked about, much speculated Indian attack on his den in Karachi in the Osama bin Laden style remains a day dream. It would be a pity if his accomplices-in-crime are punished but he himself remains beyond the pale of law. India should have done its best to catch him alive and have him prosecuted and made to suffer the consequences of the enormity of his crimes.

Tuesday, 20 June, 2017