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Muslim Extremist Groups In India

The idea of religious stratification was used by the British to rupture the national unity of the country way back before independence. Though they left in 1947 but the seeds they inseminated have bred horrible consequences leading to chaos and tension throughout the country. A saga of hatred and intimate transgressions led to the rise of some extremist groups out of which some of the most infamous groups are mentioned below

1. Jaish – e – MohammedJaish - e – Mohammed

Alias “Army of the Prophet” was formulated on January 31, 2000 by Maulana Masood Azhar. It is a relatively new organisation compared to the others. Maulana did this after he was released from prison, for hijacking an Indian airline flight IC 814. The group though sprang up in Pakistan is mostly active in Jammu and Kashmir and was assisted by Pakistan Inter-service Intelligence followed by Taliban, Osama Bin Laden and other Sunni organisations in its initial years. The main objective of this group is the liberation of Kashmir along with control over Babri Masjid in Ayodhya. The main assault inflicted by this group was the attack on December 13, 2001 on the Indian Parliament in New Delhi. Apart from this it is also known for initiating many suicide attacks in J&K where they storm themselves in high-security camps and base areas killing many innocent civilians and military personnel.

2. Lashkar – e – TaibaLashkar – e – Taiba

Signifying the “Army of the Pure”, this group came into existence in 1990 in the Kunar province of Afghanistan. Also known as “Jama’at-ud-Da’awa” this organisation is headed by Hafiz Mohammad Saeed. It is outlawed as a terrorist organisation by India, United States of America, United Kingdom, Russia, the European Union and much more under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Its main ideology apart from Jammu and Kashmir also includes restituting Islam in all the parts of the country and parts surrounding Pakistan. It carried out its attacks in many parts of the country including Gujarat, Kolkata, attack of March 7, 2006 killing 21 civilians and injuring 62 in Varanasi, Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on 28th September 2005 killing one person , on 29th October 2005 in New Delhi killing 62 people etc. The most familiar incident was Mumbai’s serial bombing on 7 September which led to 200 casualties. Lashkar –e- Taiba reportedly consists of two groups – “Jaan-e-Fidai” consisting of inspirited terrorists and “Ibn-e-Tayamiah” consisting of people with incurable diseases which are used for suicide bearing operations.

3. Harkat-ul-MujahideenHarkat-ul-Mujahideen

Formally known as Harkat-ul-Ansar which was proscribed by the US the latter renaming was done by Inter-Services Intelligence in Pakistan. This organisation is known for its involvement in cross-border terrorism and its ties with Osama Bin Laden’s terrorist group Al Qaeda. It was not brought under any criticism by the US government until suspected its involvement in 11 September attack on the US after which it was officially banned. The outfit originally formulated in 1985 under the Jihadi Movement to curb out Soviet forces out of Afghanistan. After achieving their goal, they focussed their attention to Jammu and Kashmir. The outfit is under speculation for abduction and killing of many people following the arrest of two of their leaders. These abductions were ascertained for their release which failed in many attempts leading to the death of the hostages. In another attempt, they hijacked an Indian Airline IC 814 from Kathmandu, Nepal and forced the authorities to fulfil their demands. In an attempt to protect the lives of the hostages, 3 of its militant leaders were released from custody. Though there have been accounts that their operational capabilities have been restricted by the formulation of another outfit called Jaish-e-Mohammad.

4. Dukhtaran-e-MillatDukhtaran-e-Millat

A 350 member outfit, this group is known for being comprised of women only. Its main ideology is accession of Kashmir to Pakistan but being a soft terrorist group it has not used any armed means so far. Headed by its leader Ayesha Andrabi who is a radical feminist and an extremist, this outfit anticipates in a social reform adhering to the Islamic philosophies. It conducted protests in 1990’s against women who were not dressed in proper Islamic style. It envisions to impose prohibitions on women who do not dress themselves properly according to Islamic dress code i.e. Burqa. It also emphasises on women leaving government jobs and not to wander around without wearing a veil. Accounts suggest various instances when it has tried to exercise its control like throwing acid on two women who were not wearing a veil, rejecting prime minister’s plea to cease-fire and calling upon foreign extremist outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba for their help. Not only this there have been reports that the organisation undertook 21 special women and trained them to infiltrate India to carry out terrorist activities. Also there were training camps organised to attack the Indian troops deployed on LoC.

5. Indian MujahideenIndian Mujahideen

This organisation was declared as a terrorist group by the government of India and was banned on 4th June 2010 following the same.Not only this, it was also banned by New Zealand in 2010 and United States in 2011. Some people have also suggested that this is a fake organisation created to maculate the image of theMuslim communities living in the country. But there has been substantial proof that this outfit was involved in various terrorist attacks. This extremist group claimed the responsibility of the Jaipur bombings of 2008 followed by the Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts the same year which caused over 50 casualties. There are 12 major members of the outfit some of which are mentioned here- Abdul Subhan Qureshi, Safdar Nagori, Sajid Mansuri , Mufti Abu Bashir, Usman Agar Battiwala etc. Many members of the organisation are known to be well educated. Other encounters of the group were the infamous Mumbai Blasts in 2011 which killed 26 people and injured 130 and the Bodhgaya bombings which were a series of 10 bombs which detonated causing 5 casualties including 2 that of Buddhist Monks.

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