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Outraged India set to expel migrants

Bruce Loudon, South Asia correspondent | May 19, 2008

Article from:  The Australian

TENS of thousands of Bangladeshi migrants were last night earmarked for expulsion from India following the terror bomb blasts in the tourist city of Jaipur, while startling new evidence emerged about the motives behind the jihadi attack.

Details of a five-page "manifesto for jihad" were attached to an email from a previously little-known organisation calling itself Indian Mujahideen - which claimed responsibility for the Jaipur blasts. Intelligence experts said the email provided unprecedented insight into the motives and objectives of jihadi terrorists who have caused almost 4000 deaths across India in the past four years.

A political firestorm has followed the Jaipur attacks, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh bowing yesterday to intense opposition criticism and agreeing that India needs a new federal agency and a tougher approach to deal with terrorism. This is despite the fact that the country's stern Prevention of Terrorism Act was dismantled when the new Government won power four years ago.

Last night, the country's Chief Justice, KG Balakrishnan, fuelled the mounting pressure by declaring that stringent new laws were required to fight terrorism, adding clout to the opposition's criticism that the Government is weak-kneed on the issue.

The document that has emerged since the Jaipur bombings chillingly spells out the intention of its authors to "demolish the faith" of the "infidels of India". It echoes the rhetoric used frequently by Osama bin Laden about India.

Significantly, given that the "Pink City" of Jaipur ranks with the Taj Mahal as a magnet for tourists from across the world, the document says that in addition to seeking to "demolish your faith in the dirty mud (Hinduism)", the bombings were carried out to "blow apart your tourism structure".

It warns that Western visitors to India "will be welcomed by our suicide attackers".

Indian intelligence officials believe the document is authentic. Attached to the document was a photograph with a clearly identifiable serial number, of one of the pushbikes primed with a bomb taken before last Tuesday's synchronised attacks in which more than 60 people were killed and almost 200 injured.

Brazenly, according to intelligence officials now working on the case, a group of 20 to 25 men went to bicycle shops in Jaipur, close to the target area, only hours before the attacks.

Shopkeepers have reported that they were speaking with distinct Bangladeshi accents. As a result, senior members of the Rajasthan Government announced last night that the estimated 50,000 Bangladeshi migrants living illegally in the state would be questioned and, if they could not provide acceptable explanations about what they were doing, deported.

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