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Tuesday, Oct 26, 2021
Outlook.com

'And His Life Should Become Extinct'

The Very Strange Story of the Attack on the Indian Parliament

'And His Life Should Become Extinct'
AP
'And His Life Should Become Extinct'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

We know this much: On December 13, 2001, the Indian Parliament was in its winter session. (The NDA government was under attack for yet another corruption scandal.) At 11.30 in the morning, five armed men in a white Ambassador car fitted out with an Improvised Explosive Device drove through the gates of Parliament House. When they were challenged, they jumped out of the car and opened fire. In the gun battle that followed, all the attackers were killed. Eight security personnel and a gardener were killed too. The dead terrorists, the police said, had enough explosives to blow up the Parliament building, and enough ammunition to take on a whole battalion of soldiers. Unlike most terrorists, these five left behind a thick trail of evidence—weapons, mobile phones, phone numbers, ID cards, photographs, packets of dry fruit, and even a love letter.

Not surprisingly, PM A.B. Vajpayee seized the opportunity to compare the assault to the September 11 attacks in the US that had happened only three months previously.

On December 14, 2001, the day after the attack on Parliament, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police claimed it had tracked down several people suspected to have been involved in the conspiracy. A day later, on December 15, it announced that it had "cracked the case": the attack, the police said, was a joint operation carried out by two Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Lashkar-e-Toiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Twelve people were named as being part of the conspiracy. Ghazi Baba of the Jaish (Usual Suspect I), Maulana Masood Azhar also of the Jaish (Usual Suspect II); Tariq Ahmed (a...

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