The blast near the BJP office in Malleshwaram in Bangalore on Wednesday that left 16 people, including eight policemen, injured is a grim reminder of the fact that merchants of terror are roaming undeterred in India and showing the time and place of their strike almost at will. Despite the low intensity of the blast and contained damage, preliminary investigation by central and state security agencies has established that it was a terrorist operation. The Centre has pressed the National Investigation Agency charged with probing acts of terror on the job, and investigations to identity and nab the perpetrators are on in full swing.
Ironically, even before the investigations could start, politicians have started politicising the blast. The moment the blast occurred, Union minister of state for home affairs R P N Singh went on TV channels raising doubts about it. Contradicting the central and state agencies, he hinted that it could have been caused due to a CNG run car. As if on cue, Congress spokesman Shakeel Ahmad tweeted that if it was really a terror attack, it was timed to help the BJP politically. Retaliating, the BJP described the Congress innuendo insensitive.
It is unfortunate that rival political outfits appear keener to extract political mileage out of the tragedy ahead of Karnataka Assembly elections rather than joining hands in confronting a challenge to national security. In a mature democracy, responsible parties are expected to put national interest above partisan politics. Instead of using the blasts as an opportunity to gather votes, both the Congress and the BJP will do well do approach the threat of nationalism free from considerations of vote bank politics. They must stop looking at acts of terrorism through the colour of caste, creed or faith but treat it as a common threat to India’s sovereignty and unity. They must realise that the ultimate victims of such acts of terrorism are innocent citizens who lose their life and limb.