It looks like the Indian police have caught Nasir, the “terrorist mastermind” (think Magnus Magnusson crossed with Ernst Blofeld) behind last month’s Bombay bombings. Well, for “caught”, read “shot”. Convenient, but probably well-deserved. The police also seem on track to catch much of the rest of the group, Lashkar-e-Toiba – except the 19 people sheltering in Pakistan, of course. Hopefully that particular terror state is somewhere on Donald Rumsfeld’s secret list…
Meanwhile, what about the bombers’ claimed justification – last year’s anti-Muslim pogrom in neighbouring Gujarat, which killed around 1000 people? Its perpetrators have not received such swift justice, chiefly thanks to the complicity of the state’s Hindu nationalist chief minister Narendra Modi. Independent investigators into the riots have found that his government “not only justified the massacre but his entire government machinery was involved in it” (The Tribune). He’s even wanted as a war criminal in Belgium, albeit under the same slightly batty law that could have somewhat disrupted Tommy Franks’ visits to NATO HQ.
Mr Modi is unlikely to go the way of Nasir – although, he too probably won’t see trial (I guess we could try to lure him to Belgium – Hindu nationalist chocolate, anyone?). Still, it was nice to see the Indian Supreme Court ordering him to punish the ringleaders or quit his job. Whether that ruling will be enforced, given that Mr Modi’s BJP allies control parliament, is another question.
Imagine no idiots using religion to further their own murderous, power-grabbing desires. It’s quite hard, even if you try.