• Aslam Abdullah

Did the RAW trap Tableeghi Jamat?

Intelligence agencies have always used the Tableeghi Jamat for espionage. This suspicion is not new and a figment of imagination. The Tableeghi Jamat members move from mosque to mosque and city and country to country. Such a forum best suits intelligence agencies to collect data on Muslims without being noticed. Who is going to question people who are known as people of God?

During the Cold War, the CIA, the MI5, DGES, RAW, ISI, A;l-Istikhbarat Aamma of Saudi Arabia or Egyptian intelligence, Al Amanul Watani, and others recruited many Tableeghi workers to spy on Muslim communities in different parts of the world. They also infiltrated their trusted agents to the organization, who would go on international preaching missions and use their stay in foreign countries to collect information on Muslims, their masajid, centers, Imams, and leaders. Upon return, they would write detailed reports and provide dossiers to their agencies. Not everyone in the Jamat was aware of the presence of such moles or intelligence agents. The possibility of leadership not knowing such an infiltration cannot be ruled out. Tableeghi Jamat does not keep a register of all who attend its gatherings. But someone in the organization must have known. The Indian intelligence knew this potential of Tableeghi Jamat. It used the forum to send its recruits all over India and the world to keep an eye on Muslims, especially those of Indian origin. RAW was aware of the contagious nature of the Coronavirus. The information coming from Malaysia and Indonesia, where the Tableeghi Jamat had held its large gatherings, proved its understanding of the virus as hundreds of the participants found infected. The RAW agents may have convinced the top brass of Tableeghi Jamat in India that the virus is selective as it would only hurt those who are deviant of the divine message. They might have interpreted the Quranic verses and the sayings of the Prophet to brainwash the leadership that God is punishing non-Muslims and would not let down Muslims by infecting them with such a dreadful disease. At the initial stages of the Coronavirus, many had called it a divine punishment against Chinese for their persecution of Ughur. Several leaders were of the same opinions. The RAW agents' reiteration may have strengthened their thinking, and they may have openly suggested to their members that they are chosen ones who are immune to the pandemics. The Tableeghi gathering brought thousands to Nizamuddin. Many of them came from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand already exposed to the virus. No one was tested for this disease as no testing kits were available. The government, on the advice of RAW, did not quarantine the travelers. They allowed groups of people from areas known as hot spots of the virus to travel freely. On March 28, a known intelligence operative visited the Tableeghi Jamat and held a very cordial meeting with the leaders. The RSS and BJP alerted its recruits in the media to turn the focus on Tableeghi Jamat as the primary source of Coronavirus carrier. The paid media men acted according to the script.

IT sounds a conspiracy. The intelligence agencies and power elites have the best tools to conspire against others to serve their political interests. RAW's relations with several Muslim organizations in the region are not hidden. The government initially maintained silence. Later it blamed the Muslims for creating unpleasant conditions and warned that Muslims would face severe consequences if they continue to hold large gatherings. The government now intends to control the Friday prayer gatherings and other religious events. The fiasco gave the BJP government a cover to hide its failure in handling the Coronavirus crisis. The attack on Muslims would no divert the attention of Hindu masses away from deteriorating economic conditions to the efforts to isolate Muslims and implement the scheme to declare a large number as foreign infiltrators.

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© Aslam Abdullah