Jihad kills more under UPA

via Pioneer News Service | New Delhi published on July 27, 2008

The Congress has often sought to deflect attention from the UPA’s track record in fighting terrorism by claiming that the situation was worse when NDA was in power. This misperception is strengthened by the high profile though foiled terror attack on Parliament House in 2001. 

A comparative analysis of Islamist terrorist strikes during the six years (1998-2004) when the BJP-led NDA was in power and LK Advani was Home Minister, and those during the four years and two months the Congress-led UPA has been in power, knocks the bottom out of Congress’s claim, most recently repeated by the Prime Minister in Parliament last Tuesday. 

At least 598 people have died and many more injured in jihadi attacks outside J&K since the UPA came to power in the summer of 2004. These attacks include serial bombings, like those in Ahmedabad on Saturday, and raids by suicide squads, like the bid to blow up the Ram mandir at Ayodhya. The toll in such attacks during the NDA years was 237. 

The loss of lives is much higher if separatist violence in J&K and in the North-East, and Maoist violence in other States are factored in. The overall tally for UPA years would be at least 5,272. Nearly a 1000 lives have been lost in Maoist violence, which has also resulted in the death of over 600 securitymen in the past four years. 

There were 12 major jihadi attacks when NDA was in power from early-1998 to mid-2004. Of these, three resulted in heavy casualties: The massacre at Chhamba on August 8, 1998 (35 killed); the fidayeen attack on Akshardham temple on September 24, 2002 (32 killed); and, the bombings in Mumbai near Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar on August 25, 2003 (52 killed). 

There have been many more jihadi attacks of greater severity between June 2004 and July 2008. The bombings in Delhi on October 29, 2005, resulted in 62 deaths; the blasts at Sankatmochan Mandir and Varanasi Railway Station on March 7, 2006, left 21 people dead; the commuter train bombings in Mumbai on July 11, 2006, claimed 209 lives; the Malegaon bombings of September 8, 2006, killed 40 people; the bombing of the Delhi-Atari special train killed 68 passengers; the bombings in Hyderabad on August 25, 2007, killed 44 people. The May 13, 2008 bombings in Jaipur killed 82 people. 

In the past 24 hours, more than 30 people have been killed in the Bangalore and Ahmedabad bombings. Clearly, NDA’s record shines in comparison to that of the UPA Government. But misperception shrouds the truth.

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