‘Terrorism has no religion’ goes the famous saying but do we really believe in that line. I am asking this question because every time a terror attack happens the attention shifts towards one community – Muslims.
Four months ago 20 men were arrested across India for alleged links to Islamic State and four of them hailed from Mumbai or its adjoining areas. One of the four arrested was the alleged IS head in India. His name is Mudabbir Sheikh and he lived in Mumbra – a town on the outskirts of Mumbai.
Mumbra’s first brush with infamy came when a young girl named Ishrat Jahan was killed in a fake encounter for allegedly plotting to kill then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Mumbra, since then has remained in news thereafter as investigative agencies (NIA, ATS) have made many arrests there.
Even before Ishrat’s case there have been instances where investigative agencies have put Mumbra on the map of terrorism activities but as this trip proves – the claims have not held up under Court scrutiny.
Ghatkopar in 2002 witnessed a bomb blast in a public bus in which two people died and 49 were injured. The first stop that the Mumbai police made were to visit ghettos that housed a majority Muslim population. Mumbra again came into limelight and people like Yasin Kapadia, Dr. Mateen and many more were picked up from their homes or shops.
The pattern repeated itself after the 2006 train blasts when Mumbai Police picked Abdul Wahid Sheikh a School teacher from Mumbra and later the courts acquitted him from all the charges. Although the 12 others who were arrested with him were convicted and are still fighting the case.
In this part one of the Boom Documentary series we try and find out why Mumbra is a stopping point for investigative agencies whenever India is attacked and meet people like Yasin Kapadia who have been a victim of faulty investigations.