By Praveen Swami If Akbaruddin Owaisi, who had been arrested and subsequently released on bail for making a hate speech in December 2012, is to be believed, there would have been no jihadi terrorism in India if the Babri Masjid had not been demolished or Muslims massacred or raped in Gujarat. Many Muslim organisations, including Owaisi's Majlis Ittehad-e-Muslimeen, allege that many Muslim youths are being routinely arrested and tortured even though they are later discharged for want of evidence, and this is a theory that the Indian liberal elite has been willing to buy. Earlier this month, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) decided not to charge charge three suspects in the Bangalore jihad case registered late last year: among them, defence scientist Aijaz Ahmad Mirza and journalist Mati-ur-Rahman Siddiqui. The fate of the three men has been widely read as part of a police-led persecution of Muslims. Indians liberals have tended to agree. The facts, however, suggest the need for a more nuanced reading of these instances of Muslims who are released for want of evidence. In fact, the liberal elite assumption that these are really instances of discriminatory police attitudes is imposing serious costs on India's ability to frame a serious response to jihadi terrorism. Let's test the assumptions against the facts in the Bangalore case. Focused on the release of Mirza and Siddiqui, media accounts have mostly skimmed over the fact that 12 of the 15 alleged Bangalore jihad conspirators held have actually been charged . The NIA's charge-sheet outlines perhaps the most ambitious jihadist project since 26/11, and the first Indian case involving online self-radicalisation. In 2011-2012, it alleges, Bangalore residents Abdul Hakeem Jamadar and Zafar Iqbal Sholapur visited Pakistan, drawn by online jihadist literature to join the jihad in Afghanistan. In Karachi, though, fugitive jihad organiser Farhatullah Ghauri persuaded them to fight against India. The two men, the NIA says, were then introduced to operatives of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate and the Lashkar, who trained them in intelligence, cyber-crime, handling and shooting of weapons. The NIA alleges that the Bangalore jihad cell plotted to assassinate a string of figures associated with the Hindu-right wing, as well as journalists and police officers. Its members, the NIA says, also planned to conduct armed robberies to fund its jihadist plans, and conduct espionage for Pakistan. No evidence was found to link Aijaz Mirza, Siddiqui and Yusuf Nalaband to this plot - but was it unreasonable to hold them on suspicion? The men shared the very room from where Shoaib Mirza is alleged to have used his laptop to stitch together the plot. Jamadar and Sholapur are alleged to have been tasked with conducting intelligence operations; Aijaz Mirza had access to sensitive information. Siddiqui visited jihadist websites. It is true this writer and every other journalist covering national security issues also does this regularly - but then, no terrorist plot is being planned from my room. Put together, these surely constitute questions for investigation.