Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blast Blast and Blast

Were Wednesday’s triple blasts that killed 17 and injured more than a 100 innocent people an outcome of the fierce gangland rivalry between the one-time friends and now bitter foes, Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Rajan?

Well, this may or may not be true, but some in intelligence circles believe that since investigators probing the ghastly July 13 explosions so far remain clueless about the identity of their perpetrators, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to include the above angle within the scope of their investigations.The proponents of the theory of gangland involvement in last Wednesday’s bombings say their suspicion is not entirely a figment of imagination.

There are some bases to at least remotely link the triple blasts to gangland warfare, claim the proponents, saying that the fact that the hub of Mumbai’s diamond trade was largely targeted in the July 13 attacks should be a reason enough to explore the angle.

The March 1993 blasts that ripped through parts of the metropolis were perpetrated in almost similar fashion and their main targets were the diamond trade and the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The hub of the diamond trade, comprising the Opera House area of South Mumbai and the neighboring Zaveri Bazar—both gem and jewelry centers of India—fall within the fiefdom of Chhota Rajan.

These centers and the trade therein are thoroughly dominated by Gujarati Hindus whose proximity to Narendra Modi-led government in Gujarat could be a reason enough for those purporting to serve Muslim interests to seek a vendetta for the so-called massacre of their brethren in Gujarat a decade ago.

Then, the explosions took place only a little after gem trade tycoons Mehul Choksi and Bharat Shah announced with much fanfare recently to mark August 12 as the International Diamond Day.

The proponents of this theory within the intelligence circles point to Dawood-Chhota rivalry being still quite alive and fierce by referring to senior crime scribe J Dey’s killing recently.

It is no secret that Dey was gunned down by Rajan’s henchmen since the latter suspected that the journalist was close to the rival Dawood gang.

Moreover, if cross-border terrorists were involved in Wednesday’s ghastly incidents, they would have been quick to claim responsibility since terrorists believe publicity is crucial to their sinister motives.

Even if the terrorists at home—the Indian Mujahideen—were involved in the blasts they, too, would be loud-mouthed and make quick claims—their cowardly operations in the past clearly suggest that.

And the big question being asked by the proponents of this gangland warfare theory is, why those in the diamond trade not raising their voice in protest despite being so articulate and influential? Are they on the defensive for some unfathomable reason or reasons?

Or, are they paying the dual price for seeking patronage from Chhota Rajan and being Gujarati Hindus?

Moreover, intelligence circles have no doubt in their minds that whoever are the perpetrators, they were more than familiar with the places they targeted and knew exactly when there would be gullible crowds to aim at.

If the perpetrators were outsiders, as is being believed by some, they would have visited the locations in the past, so past CCTV footages could be scanned.

And the fact that, say sources, oil fuel was used in the explosions to increase their intensity, lends added credence to the theory of locals’ involvement in the dastardly July 13 incidents.

Well, the riddle of the blasts can be solved in no time if the Mumbai Police lay their hands on two suspects—one is a resident of Juhu, the other from the Grant Road area.

The duo the cops have launched a manhunt for are Subhan alias Taukir, and Aslam. Police are looking for their email IDs. Are hackers at home with national interest at heart listening?

Top intelligence sleuths probing Wednesday’s explosions are, meanwhile, looking at all angles in their quest to zero in on the perpetrators of the ghastly bombings.

CCTV footages are being looked at but with little success since, according to sources, it was raining heavily at the time the explosions took place and people were moving near the scenes of the blasts with umbrellas shielding their heads or with top-to-toe raincoats masking their faces, which is making identification an uphill task.

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