Bhalswa Beheading: What Looks Like Everyday Crime Might Actually Be Low-Scale Terror Attacks Against Hindus

Bhalswa Beheading: What Looks Like Everyday Crime Might Actually Be Low-Scale Terror Attacks Against Hindus

by Swati Goel Sharma - Wednesday, January 18, 2023 10:58 AM IST
Bhalswa Beheading: What Looks Like Everyday Crime Might Actually Be Low-Scale Terror Attacks Against HindusThe Delhi Police make a sensational revelation. (Representative image via Wikimedia)
  • The increasing number of fatal attacks on randomly chosen Hindus may indicate rising low-scale religious terrorism.

In a sensational revelation, the Delhi Police have said that a man in his early 20s who was found dead and mutilated last week, was killed by two men who executed the killing to “prove their capabilities” to terrorist groups abroad. 

Mohammed Naushad and Jagjit Singh Jassa alias Yuqub were arrested on 12 January by the special cell of Delhi Police.

In a press conference, Additional Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said that while Jagjit is suspected to have links with a Canada-based Khalistani terror outfit, Naushad is associated with Jihadist terror group Harkat ul-Ansar, based in Pakistan.

As per police, the two were asked to prove their capabilities by the terror groups. They picked up a stranger from the street, beheaded him, filmed the act, and sent a 37-second video to their handlers.

To dispose of the body, they cold-bloodedly chopped it into eight pieces, stuffed them in plastic bags and threw them in jungles.

After arresting and interrogating the two men, police recovered dismembered parts of the body from the wetlands in Bhalswa Dairy area of northwest Delhi on Saturday.

More details of the Delhi Police’s findings can be read in a Swarajya report here.

What is particularly noteworthy, and scary, in the gory incident is that the victim, who has not been identified so far by name, had a trishul tattoo on his arm, suggesting he was Hindu.

As per police, Naushad and Jagjit were planning to kill several Hindu leaders to prove their credentials.

The horrific incident shows that what we are accustomed to perceive as everyday violence on the streets might actually be low-scale terror attacks targeting specifically Hindus, perpetrated out of religious hate by jihadist and Khalistani operatives. 

For a long time, the public is used to associating ‘terror attacks’ with big explosions killing a lot of people, mostly at a prominent location.

India has had a long history of such attacks including the 1993 Bombay bombings; Ahmedabad bombings, Bangalore serial blasts and Mumbai attacks in 2008, and 2011 Mumbai bombings.

Now, targetted low-scale attacks are on the rise, and this is in keeping with the global terrorism trends of large-scale well-planned attacks giving way to “commando-like operations”.

Globally, the term ‘lone-wolf attack’ has become commonplace. Such attacks are perpetrated by individuals acting upon their radicalised beliefs. Radicalisation may happen through propaganda spread on social media or encrypted chat groups. 

In June 2022, a Hindu man named Kanhaiya Lal was attacked at his tailoring shop in Udaipur and beheaded by two Muslim men who also filmed the act.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) that probed the case said the conspiracy to murder Kanhaiya was hatched by 11 people linked to a terror module.

The NIA said that one of the two men who executed the killing, Riyaz Attari, was linked to Karachi-based radical Islamic organisation Dawat-e-Islami. He, along with co-accused Ghous Mohammed, were called to Pakistan by the organisation in 2014.

A week earlier, a Hindu man named Umesh Prahladrao Kolhe, from Maharashtra’s Amravati district was similarly murdered by two bike-borne men.

The NIA probed the case and concluded that the murder was carried out by “radicalised Tablighi Jamaat Islamists” with a motive of avenging dishonour of Islam’s founder.

There has also been a spate of murders of Hindu leaders in Punjab, including Shiv Sena (Taksali) leader Sudhir Suri, suspected to be handiwork of ISI-linked Khalistani groups.

While some of these cases were probed by the NIA, motive behind many of such killings remains unsolved for want of greater scrutiny. 

The targets of several such attacks seem to be randomly chosen Hindus.

It seems that ‘sar tan se juda’ calls by mobs is not an empty threat. It nurtures and strengthens a pre-existing terrorist mindset among radicalised Islamists.

Given the size of such mobs, our worst fears may be true and all of us may be at grave risk of murder from people with no criminal track record whatsoever.

The fact that such murderers often have no past criminal records mean that it is impossible to identify wolf among sheep.

We often see reports of unidentified bodies of murdered people being discovered on roadsides or in drains. Given the rising number of such cases, this may indicate rising low-scale religious terrorism.

As such attacks are easy to organise, for security agencies it is a huge challenge ahead.

Swati Goel Sharma is a senior editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @swati_gs.

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