Indian communists condemn Mumbai terror attack

By Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

November 27, 2008 -- The terror strike last night on Mumbai's most prominent landmark locations including luxury hotels and the biggest and busiest railway station in the city has already claimed more than 100 lives. Those killed in the terror strikes include as many as 16 policemen including ATS Chief Hemant Karkare who was heading the probe into Malegaon blasts and several foreign citizens. The CPI (ML) strongly condemns the attacks and offers deep condolences to the families of all those killed. We hope the hostages are rescued without any further loss.

The Mumbai attacks have exposed huge chinks in the armour of the intelligence and security agencies of the government. Unlike the bomb blasts experienced in places like Jaipur, Delhi and Guwahati, the Mumbai attacks have been targeted against the city's most prominent luxury hotels like the Taj Mumbai and Oberoi Trident, quite similar to the attack on Islamabad's Marriott hotel two months ago. The failure of the government to provide security even in such select high-security high-profile locations points to a serious crisis of internal security. The entire lapse needs to be probed most thoroughly, and the central government must immediately set up a high level judicial inquiry headed by a sitting Supreme Court judge.

At this hour of grave insecurity and grief, it is particularly important to maintain the unity and determination of the people and rebuff every attempt to create division and spread terror and panic among the people. The spirit of people's unity and democracy must prevail over the designs of terror and the failure of government machinery.

Socialist Centre of India condemns attack

By Asit Bhattacharyya, Central Committee, Socialist Unity Centre of India

November 27, 2008 -- SUCI condemns dastardly act of indiscriminate firing and explosions in Mumbai and indicts government for abject failure in protecting life and property of people.

Shri Nihar Mukherjee, General Secretary, SUCI, in the course of a statement issued today vehemently condemned the diabolic act of near-simultaneous indiscriminate grenade and bullet attack at seven landmark spots including hospitals and busy thoroughfares of Mumbai on 26 November 2008 in which the death toll reported so far has crossed 100 and the number of injured has touched 400.

Whosoever has indulged in such a brutal strike resulting in death of innocent unarmed people for whatsoever a cause must bear in mind that it is bound to have dire consequences and boomerang effect, reminded Shri Mukherjee. Continuing further, Shri Mukherjee urged upon all concerned to realise that even ventilation of a just cause is circumscribed by adoption of right and appropriate course of action which precludes mindless violence and killing of common people.

He, therefore, called upon all concerned to shun inappropriate, unjust and self-defeating means to achieve their ends. Strongly indicting the central and state governments, Shri Mukherjee added that this wanton killing of people in the very heartland of the commercial capital of the country which has already been victim of at least twenty five such dastardly violence shows how criminally callous and irresponsible they are towards protecting the life and property of the common citizens despite boasting of having a well-knit intelligence system and most sophisticated armed cops and military.

Strongly criticising the governments, Shri Mukherjee stated that while they had no clue of such a large-scale operation being perpetrated by a highly organised group of people, they have now suddenly found that hundreds of suspect elements had sneaked into the country by sea. This, he said, is nothing but a lame excuse to shield its inaction and abject failure in discharging its minimal obligation to the people who are dying like cats and dogs in such serial blasts and cowardly acts.

Shri Mukherjee demanded of the government to immediately take necessary measures to stop such incidents of mindless killing and violence, use its intelligence and police-military to identify, nab and produce before the people those responsible for this heinous crime and restore confidence of the people now in a state of total helplessness and insecurity.

Expressing heart-felt condolence and deep sympathy for those having lost their lives and sustained grievous injuries, he demanded adequate compensation to all the victims as well as free proper medical assistance to the injured.

Socialist Unity Centre of India , 48 Lenin Sarani, Kolkata 700013

Phone: 22491828, 22653234 Fax: 22645114

Submitted by Terry Townsend on Fri, 11/28/2008 - 08:48



November 27, 2008 -- Counterpunch -- The terrorist assault on Mumbai's five-star hotels was well planned, but did not require a great deal of logistic intelligence: all the targets were soft. The aim was to create mayhem by shining the spotlight on India and its problems and in that the terrorists were successful. The identity of the black-hooded group remains a mystery.

The Deccan Mujahedeen, which claimed the outrage in an e-mail press release, is certainly a new name probably chosen for this single act. But speculation is rife. A senior Indian naval officer has claimed that the attackers (who arrived in a ship, the M V Alpha) were linked to Somali pirates, implying that this was a revenge attack for the Indian Navy's successful if bloody action against pirates in the Arabian Gulf that led to heavy casualties some weeks ago.

The Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, has insisted that the terrorists were based outside the country. The Indian media has echoed this line of argument with Pakistan (via the Lashkar-e-Taiba) and al-Qaeda listed as the usual suspects.

But this is a meditated edifice of official India's political imagination. Its function is to deny that the terrorists could be a homegrown variety, a product of the radicalisation of young Indian Muslims who have finally given up on the indigenous political system. To accept this view would imply that the country's political physicians need to heal themselves.

Al Qaeda, as the CIA recently made clear, is a group on the decline. It has never come close to repeating anything vaguely resembling the hits of 9/11.

Its principal leader Osama bin Laden may well be dead (he certainly did not make his trademark video intervention in this year's Presidential election in the United States) and his deputy has fallen back on threats and bravado.

What of Pakistan? The country's military is heavily involved in actions on its Northwest frontier where the spillage from the Afghan war has destabilised the region. The politicians currently in power are making repeated overtures to India. The Lashkar-e-Taiba, not usually shy of claiming its hits, has strongly denied any involvement with the Mumbai attacks.

Why should it be such a surprise if the perpetrators are themselves Indian Muslims? Its hardly a secret that there has been much anger within the poorest sections of the Muslim community against the systematic discrimination and acts of violence carried out against them of which the 2002 anti-Muslim pogrom in shining Gujarat was only the most blatant and the most investigated episode, supported by the Chief Minister of the State and the local state apparatuses.

Add to this the continuing sore of Kashmir which has for decades been treated as a colony by Indian troops with random arrests, torture and rape of Kashmiris an everyday occurrence. Conditions have been much worse than in Tibet, but have aroused little sympathy in the West where the defense of human rights is heavily instrumentalised.

Indian intelligence outfits are well aware of all this and they should not encourage the fantasies of their political leaders. Its best to come out and accept that there are severe problems inside the country. A billion Indians: 80 percent Hindus and 14 percent Muslims. A very large minority that cannot be ethnically cleansed without provoking a wider conflict.

None of this justifies terrorism, but it should, at the very least, force India's rulers to direct their gaze on their own country and the conditions that prevail. Economic disparities are profound. The absurd notion that the trickle-down effects of global capitalism would solve most problems can now be seen for what it always was: a fig leaf to conceal new modes of exploitation.

Tariq Ali's latest book, The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power is published by Scribner.