13 Nov 2008

India Terror Arrests Shock Nation Ahead of Elections

Having suffered a dozen lethal terror attacks this year, Indians have almost stopped reacting to terror incidents with shock and horror. But recent news of the arrest of 10 people linked with two relatively small terror attacks earlier this year has created a national furor, and is likely to skew political parties' calculations ahead of next year's general elections.

The arrests by the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Maharashtra police have shocked India for two reasons. The nine accused are all Hindu right-wingers, confirming, for the first time, suspicions raised by political and security analysts that the Hindu extremist fringe has been organizing for terror attacks. Second, among the accused are a serving lieutenant colonel and a retired major of the army, an institution so far considered impervious to communal elements. (Click here to read about recent bomb blasts in North East India.)