Members of the Tabligh movement are always an easy suspect after every terrorist activity. Its because of their strict adherence to the Sunnah of Prophet (Sallalahu alaihe wassalam) which is conspicuously reflected by their clothing. They move in groups, travel places and sojourn in the local mosques. According to their doctrine, leaving their homes and going to far off places is prerequisite to attain high levels of Imaan (belief in Allah). This particular group left Mumbai on the day of the blasts and thus this act of theirs was suspected as fleeing away from the crime scene. Even the choice of place, Tripura’s border with Bangladesh, further added kindled the fire of suspicion. Thus the police cannot be entirely blamed for it.
But this incident also highlights the fact that how easily a devout Muslim (which is reflected by his attire) is a blast suspect. The deep rooted feeling that anybody who strictly adheres to the basics has inherent belligerence in him, irrespective of the religion he follows, was also reflected in the arrests. Tablighi Jamaat is by far the largest Islamic movement in the world and is benign of the accusations labelled against it. It’s only propose is to revive the spirit of Islam. It’s a non-political organization and there are no evidences to prove its involvement in anti-social activities. A non-Muslim might feel hostile seeing their ardent stand on religion but the truth remains that they don’t speak ill of other religions. So next time you happen to see them, they are everywhere from railway stations to airports and from market place to mosques, don’t hesitate to talk to them and don’t treat them as aliens. Here is book by Yoginder Sikand Origins and Development of the Tablighi-Jama’at (1920-2000): A Cross-Country Comparative Study. Read the reviews here
Here are the news reports-
Blasts: The intriguing Tripura angle
A police team from Maharashtra’s Thane district is verifying the claims of 11 residents of Mumbra town, who were detained near Tripura’s border with Bangladesh, officials have said.
The 11, detained in the wake of seven blasts in Mumbai’s suburban trains that killed about 200, claimed they were sent to deliver religious discourses in Tripura’s minority-dominated areas.
Thane Commissioner of Police D Sivanandhan told PTI that a team was verifying the addresses provided by the men and that ‘things would become clear very soon’.
A team of the Anti-Terrorism Squad has also gone to Tripura to bring back to Mumbai the men who had reportedly left this city immediately after the blasts. One of the detained, Mohammed Sheikh, a 33-year-old Mumbra resident, has claimed to have worked with a software giant in the US before returning to India in 1999. Another man, Wajid (33), is an engineering diploma holder who worked with a reputed company in Mumbai, officials said.
“They belong to a town from where several persons have been booked for the 2002-03 blasts,” an official added.
“We are making no presumptions about their motive. But we want to interrogate them and rule out any possibility,” a senior ATS official said.
Meanwhile, eight more persons were detained at Udaipur in south Tripura.
They were staying in Chhanban Masjid at Udaipur. “We detained them on Saturday night after we got a tip-off,” Sub-Divisional Police Officer, Udaipur, Pinaki Samanta said.
Those arrested were brought to Radhakishorpur police station for interrogation.However, police did not find any evidence of any subversive activity from them, he said. They identified themselves as activists of Tablgh-e-Jamat, a religious organisation. Samanta said they entered Udaipur on June 22. Two of them have passports and had visited different countries.
Detained youths freed in Tripura
Eleven Muslim youths from Maharashtra who had been detained in Tripura on suspicion of being involved with militant outfits behind the Mumbai blasts have been freed, police said.
A police statement issued Wednesday night said that after completion of interrogation, it was found the youths had visited Tripura for preaching the tenets of Islam. The youths had been apprehended from a mosque in the border village of Sonarai in Dhalai district two days after the serial blasts in Mumbai and Srinagar on July 11.
Their detention evoked a strong response from the Tripura state Jamiat Ulema (ISJU) which said that the youths, all ISJU activists, who were conducting religious activities “were being harassed for no reason”.
ISJU president Mukti Tayebur Rahaman said the detained youths were “genuine” members of Tablig-e-Jamat which was confirmed by Nizamuddin mosque in Delhi and Mumbra Halka Jimedar in Thane and that they had no link with any Islamic militant outfit.
A delegation of the Ulema had also met Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and urged him to look into the “illegal” detention of the youths from Mumbra town in Thane district.