Closer to closure: On the Savad arrest and Professor T.J. Joseph case in Kerala

Terror networks can be dismantled only by disabling those at their top

The NIA took over the investigation in 2011. While it was able to get the conviction of 19 of the accused for various offences including those under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in the two-phase trial, the fact that the key accused remained at large prevented its closure. The agency announced a bounty of ₹10 lakh for information on Savad. His arrest has shifted the focus to the conspirators who masterminded the assault and the underlings who harboured him. Given that it was the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India that metamorphosed into the National Development Front and subsequently into the PFI, the key to averting its resurgence in another avatar lies in uprooting the entire network of its underground supporters. Prof. Joseph has, as his words suggest, overcome any ill-will or feeling of vengeance towards his assailants, but he rues that action against the foot soldiers of religious terror would not guarantee peace and harmony in society. For that to happen, their handlers should be brought to book. It is vital that the NIA stays the course and prosecutes the key accused. The terror network that plotted the heinous attack must be disabled entirely.