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Maharashtra Violence: A Case Of Intelligence Failure?

The recent communal flare up witnessed in Amravati, Malegaon and Aurangabad in Maharashtra over data cooked up online of desecration of a religious place of prayer, should not have occurred, says Maharashtra’s former additional Chief Secretary (Home) Chitkala Zutshi. A senior retired bureaucrat says when actionable intelligence was available it was fairly simple to pre-empt the violence witnessed on November 12-13 this year. Ideally, the State’s cyber intelligence hi-tech department should have sounded the red alert after virulent posts were shared just days before the violence occurred. So, was this a deliberate instance of sitting pretty on hard intelligence? “Nothing new,” says a home department official. Way back in 2004 the Maharashtra’s CM received an intelligence report on the proposed agitation against the Nanar power project in Navi Mumbai. He was advised to speak to the opposition leader so as to tame it down. Did he speak? Nobody knows. But poor Navi Mumbaikars suffered collateral losses after rioters indulged in arson gutting several cars. Ditto the Bhima Koregaon violence erupted on the 200th anniversary year during Devendra Fadnavis’ tenure. Currently under the watch of Maha Vikas Aghadi government it has happened once again. Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, has demanded “imposition of a ban on Raza Academy” for its role in recent violence; the institute was earlier accused of leading Mumbai’s Azad Maidan riots on August 11, 2012.