LeT terrorist in BJP, outcome of J&K unit’s rush to bring all and sundry into party fold

Talib Hussain was caught with arms and ammunition

Arun Joshi

Following the revelations that a hardcore Lashkar-e-Tyibba commander Talib Hussain of the border district of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir was an activist of Bhartiya Janta Party and whose pictures are reported to be licked with the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and  UT president Ravinder Raina, concerns have surfaced within the party about the security of its leaders. But the real issue centers around the party’s own eagerness to have more and more members in J&K to make the party more people-oriented, this pursuit has made it to discard discretion. The lesson is, more the merrier,  can land the party to unwelcome embarrassment.

Talib Hussain was caught with arms and ammunition, along with his close associate  Faizal Ahmad Dar of the south Kashmir district of Pulwama, after the duo was captured by the local villagers of Tuskon in the high mountains of Mahore area of Reasi district in the heart of Jammu region on the intervening night of  Saturday and Sunday. The villagers who performed rare act of bravery handed over the LeT terrorists to police. The act was greatly appreciated by the police and   Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha and also announced cash awards for them.

This act of extraordinary bravery spoke of the resistance of sorts developing among the people against terrorism and terrorists, but at the same time, the revelations that Talib Hussain was associated with the BJP, and in charge of  IT cell of its minority Morcha, raises many questions: how could a notorious terrorist responsible for bomb blasts in Rajouri and Udhampur could have an access to the UT unit president Ravinder Raina and get photographed with as highly-secured person, the Home Minister of the country.

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These are some of the inconvenient details for the party to answer, it is trying to wash off its hands off the controversy, by claiming that “ there are no records ( with the party) showing that he was even the basic member of the party. This is unconvincing, as the letter by the Minority Morcha  Sheikh Bashir’s letter appointing Talib as IT cell incharge and his photographs with top leaders, including  Amit Shah, have gone viral on social media, leaving little scope to believe what is being stated after the party’s embarrassment.

Party’s spokesperson in Jammu, Abhinav Sharma, said that this was a matter of grave concern, hence the UT administration led by Lieutenant Governor should enhance security of the party leaders. His concerns rest on the frequency with which  Talib Hussain, the terrorist of dreaded terror group LeT responsible for macabre incidents of terror violence, including “fidayeen” attacks at the military camps, independently or in close coordination with another horror-stoking terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad, visited the party offices. This could not be the isolated case, there could be many like Talib who have the access to the party office and could get close to the party leaders, as close as  that they could get pictured in the same  photograph frame,

There are two factors responsible for this phenomenon -one, of course, is the overzealousness of the party to expand its base in Jammu and Kashmir, the state, now UT, where it is trying to establish its narrative of “ Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas”, and gets people to join the party. This is peddled as endorsement of the party’s policies with regard to Jammu and Kashmir, including endorsement of the abolition of Article 370 that snapped the special status of the erstwhile state. It is keener to have Muslims as its members to showcase its reach in the area where Kashmir-centric parties PDP  and National Conference blame Delhi for anti-Muslim policies. BJP, in its zeal to prove the NC and PDP wrong, has been enrolling the people as its members without ascertaining their antecedents. And whenever Muslims join the party, the leaders are over exhilarated.

Some join the party because they nurse the feeling that joining BJP exempts them from the scrutiny of the police and also saves them from being pin pointed in any of unsavory activities, from petty crime to association with terror groups.

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