Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rahul’s Gandhigiri For Dalits

Rahul Gandhi was quick to launch a padyatra for farmers whom he feels have been exploited by the UP government (state elections in 2012). But why did he not show this enthusiasm when it came to the victims of Forbesganj firing in Bihar. He remained silent when Muslims’ patience was put to test when police desecrated the Holy Qur’an in Moradabad in UP. Can he be called a national leader when he is behaving like a district level politician?

At a tea stall in a remote village of India politics were being discussed. Bholu Ram summed up what many intellectuals fail to understand. The discussion was about rajneeti of Bharat and being discussed was the bachelor Rahul Baba and his ‘kisan padyatra’ in Uttar Pradesh.
“If he (Rahul) stays at a Dalit’s house, he will get him sympathy of the Dalits (which for now is totally for Mayawati, the CM of UP). Tell me what a visit to a Muslims house will get him?” Bholu Ram tapped his left thigh with his right hand indicatingly.
Rahul Gandhi visited the farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul (some of whom lost their dear ones to the bullets of UP police and others lost their lands to what is called public interest; Yamuna Expressway), sat on dharna for them and even started a padyatra for their cause. I wonder why he did not attend the Muslim family that lost its son in the brutal police firing in Moradabad. Why he ignored the Muslim community the sentiments of which were hurt by the UP police when it desecrated the Holy Qur’an. And why he paid just a political visit to the victims of brutal police firing in Forbesganj?
Defying Hindu tradition of upper caste members considering the lower caste people as untouchable the Brahmin Rahul Gandhi has earned name and fame for his apparent good conduct with the Dalits of Uttar Pradesh (It should be seen in the background that the state is going to witness a general assembly elections in 2012 and the position of Congress is abysmal in the state as the Dalit leader Mayawati enjoys dominance). There have been times when Rahul spent a night with a Dalit family and took food with them. Most recently the media found in him the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi reinstated when Mr. Rahul devoted some o time to the farmers in UP who fell victim to the land acquisition for Yamuna Expressway.
The Muslim community, however, could not get due attention from Rahul, the prospective Prime Minister of India, though in every aspect of life it is being neglected by the government. Rather, sometimes Mr. Rahul has been found playing jokes with the community’s sentiments. What else should we call it that instead of extending help to Muslims to get back their Babri Masjid, Rahul asks them to forget it and concentrate on the issues that he says are more important than this. Of course, infrastructure, education and technology are more important. But giving into the demands of the terrorists who saw the seeds of communalism in India by demolishing Babri Masjid is akin to giving a free license to them for going on rampage at their will.
Because of the Muslims’ consistent attachment with the Congress for its claimed secularism, the Congress takes them as a permanent vote bank that does not require any appeasement through practical measures for their welfare. It is well aware that once the fear of communal elements becoming the ruler either in the centre or the states is inspired in Muslims they automatically turn to the Congress that claims practicing secularism. So whether it is the case of Moradabad police misconduct with Muslims or the brutal murder of the minorities in Forbesganj (Bihar) firing by police, nowhere Rahul Gandhi of Bhatta-Parsaul is seen.
One Syed A. Ali commented about Forbesganj firing, “Where is Rahul Gandhi now? In Bhatta-Parsaul, UP, he went there on motor cycle even when police had blocked the entry point of the village. Now this brutality of Bihar Police and Nitish government has left Bhatta-Parsaul incident behind but no Congress leader is there, because there is no use for congress leaders as no elections are due in near future there. It’s SHAME for the country.” It should be noted that it took Mr. Rahul one month to visit the Forbesganj firing victims. Until then he was busy with the farmers of Bhatta-Parsaul.
Like the electronic and print media that gets no interest in cases related to Muslims Mr. Gandhi too does not think them attention worthy. During the UPA-1 Muslims witnessed that Congress did something for them. Whether it is the formation of the Sachar Committee to find out the social, economic and educational status of Muslims and come up with suggestions and solutions to include them in the mainstream or the promise of the Andhra Pradesh CM from Congress late YSR Reddy to give 4% reservations for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh. But in the UPA-11 when Rahul Gandhi emerged as an influential figure in the party cadre no mention worthy steps for the Muslims have been taken by the UPA.
It is difficult to produce any justification for his silence over the Moradabad desecration of the Holy Qur’an except that to speak about it won’t bring any political benefit to him or the Congress. So why to face the blame of minority appeasement?
In Moradabad, the dirty mentality of the police was seen when it disgraced the Holy Qur’an. The police that failed to search an accused of teasing a girl vented its anger on a Muslim girl and the Qur’an she was reciting. In the subsequent agitation against the police misconduct one person had to lose his life. This shameful act of the police playing with religious sentiments of the minorities drew sharp condemnation from every quarter. Muslims expect that Mr. Rahul sat on dharna or started a padyatra demanding that the culprit policemen are brought to book and that no further incidents of such a nature takes place.
The incident in Moradabad is reminiscent of 80s communal riots when the Congress was in Centre and also Chief Minister was from the Congress. The victims of Meerut, Moradabad and Hashimpura anti-Muslim massacre could get nothing but lip service. The governments changed in the state and also in the centre but the culprit police and the communal elements did not get their due.
“The steps of Rahul Gandhi in UP have brought back live the memories of communal victimization of Muslims during his father’s days when Congress Chief Minister V.P. Singh’s PAC ordered shoot out of Muslims on Buta Singh’s orders. Meerut and Maliana I cannot erase them from my memory even after more than two decades of the barbaric tragedy. Why Rahul Gandhi chose to keep Silent on atrocities on Muslims of Moradabad is puzzling,” writes Ahmed Sohail Siddiqui who runs a news portal.
Going back to the question of Jumman, a practical reply is needed as to why Rahul did not attend the Muslim victims in Moradabad and why he paid just a formal visit to Forbesganj. Jumman is not alone in his thought. Rather the majority of the Muslim community thinks on this line even since independence. Long has been but the community could not come out of the ambit of thinking to take some practical steps that ensures it no longer is ignored by the political parties and their voices are heard and concerns taken care.

By A. Hameed Yousuf

Making Of A Bloody Decade

The continuation of the terror strikes in India shows its inability to tackle the menace effectively. Is it because the real perpetrators of the blasts are never caught and get encouragement to carry forward their anti-human agendas?
After making the first decade of the 21ST century a decade of bomb blasts, the terrorists seem to have started the process of making the second decade a copy of that.

The triple serial blasts that rocked the financial capital of India, Mumbai, on July 13 constitute the first major terror strike of the second decade. The blasts that took place during rush hours of the city at Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Kabutarkhana in Dadar (West) claimed as many as 18 lives and injured 131 innocent citizens.
Prior to the blasts taking place, there have been intelligence inputs appearing in the media that the Al-Qaida-linked terror group HuJI might target the foreign office of Pakistan, its high commission in India and top diplomats if Islamabad does not stop sharing information about it with New Delhi. There were no intelligence inputs that anti-India elements would target any of its cities though.
Whenever there is a terror strike security lapses and intelligence failures are blamed. And the governments both in the Centre and the state promise that no such incidents will take place in future. The Mumbai serial blasts tell a tale of what the ground realities are.
Our security agencies have miserably failed to stop terror strikes. Writes the famous columnist M J Akbar, “One retired police officer who has spent most of his career in intelligence, and retired at the head of his service, told me a simple truth: that the only reason we are not attacked more often is either luck, or that there was no threat.” Commenting on Rahul Gandhi’s take on the Mumbai blast he adds, “Rahul Gandhi repeated — in fact, read out from a piece of paper — the rather facile argument that this attack represented the “1 per cent” that had succeeded rather than the “99 pe cent” who had failed. This is the sort of excuse that cannot survive marginal scrutiny. Where is the evidence of attacks being thwarted? If the police had succeeded in preventing an attack, then they should have a suspect and a story of what had been planned by the suspect. There has been none from the Mumbai police.”
After the Mumbai attack the Union Home Minister Mr. Chidambaram claimed, “There has been no intelligence failure. There was no intelligence warning about 13/7. Intelligence is collected every day, every hour. The blasts are not a failure of intelligence agencies.”
That the terrorists managed to strike at three places at a time and that too in Mumbai without the intelligence sensing this sinister act in itself is a big failure. The citizens who were told post 26/11 that additional security measures have been taken to ensure their safety are questioning what those measures are.
Also the senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley who termed the Mumbai explosions as “an attack on India's security” wondered why the government has failed to stop recurrence of such strikes despite the financial capital being a regular target of terrorists.
“It has become a custom for the terrorists to attack the financial capital of India. The terrorists know that attacking Mumbai would send a strong message across the world,” he said.
Demanding strengthening of the security set up, Mr. Jaitely referred to the announcements made after the 26/11 and wanted to know from the government concrete steps taken so far.
Besides it being a reality that the terrorists take advantage of the security lapses one more reason that the terror strikes could not be contained is that the culprits behind the blasts are left to roam freely. And those who are supposed to be the executors have nothing to do with the blasts. This allows the mischief mongers to create mayhem in the society.
After the Mumbai July 13 blasts the media gave news from the “sources” that it was a handiwork of Muslim named outfits like IM or HuJI. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Prithviraj Chavan and the union home minister P. Chidambaram adopted a cautious approach when they stated that it was too early to link any outfit to the blasts.
The media in the past have the record of victimizing Muslim youth in several blasts that in the light of the evidences surfaced later proved to be the handiwork of the Hindutva terrorists. The media feed not only that have its impact on the probing agencies but also on the political leaders as was seen in the German Bakery blast in Pune.
The Maharashtra ATS that investigated the case in the beginning linked it to some outfits with Muslim name. Seeing the IM angle in the blasts the ATS led by Rakesh Maria even arrested one Sammad Bhatkal who was told as having relations with the alleged founders of the IM Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal. Then it was turn of Maulana Shabir to face the music. The probing agency termed him as the financer of the blast. But to the embarrassment of the ATS the people of his hometown said that if he had no home of his own, how he could finance the blasts. Then there was the mastermind of the blasts Himayat Baig with the arrest of whose the ATS claimed to have cracked the blast case and it even received tap from the government. The case at last is that Samad has been released on bail as the agency could not link him to the blasts and the whole case has been handed over to the NIA as it remains unsolved.
Ever since the politics of riots was replaced by the politics of bomb blasts the accused behind any blast was a youth who happened to be born in a Muslim family. This instead of becoming an assumption is a fact that could be read in the pages of the history of investigation of the blasts that took place during the last few years.
In the Mumbai blasts too, according to the reports, the ATS along with many others questioned two Muslim youth under detention Mohammed Mobin Khan (32) and his cousin Ayub Raja Shaikh (28). They are alleged IM operatives whom the ATS arrested from suburban Mankhurd as they had allegedly provided vehicles that were used in 2008 serial blasts in Gujarat in which 56 people were killed and over 200 were injured.
Nevertheless, the union home minister Mr. P Chidambaram stated that, “We are not ruling out any angle. We will probe (the involvement of) every terror group...The investigations into the attack will not start on pre-determined assumptions,” he said.
“The man designated to keep Indians safe from terrorists, Home Minister P Chidambaram, who is usually good with words, lost track and traction when he asserted after the Mumbai blasts that as far as suspects go, he was ruling no one out, and ruling no one in either. That probably explains why the Maharashtra police immediately picked up two members of the Indian Mujahideen and seven Naxalites from Mumbai, and 10 Maoists from Pune. They have clearly expanded their circle of the usual suspects,” writes Akbar.
He goes on adding, “The chief minister of Maharashtra Prithviraj Chavan can think of nothing more original than passing the buck. It was his Home Minister R R Patil’s fault, he said, before he did the next thing that politicians are brilliant at: the somersault. Acrobatics cannot explain why the entire police wireless network that evening was jammed, among other things.”
The agencies probing the Mumbai blasts cannot forget that there exists a vast network of the fanatics who have been misusing the name of religion for their nefarious purposes.
They never want that India shares a pleasant relation with the neighbouring Pakistan as the latter is a Muslim-dominated country. Whenever there is a go ahead in peace talks between the two traditionally rival nations, India and Pakistan, a bomb blast comes to halt the process. In this backdrop, the timing of the blasts, days before India starts the foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan, assumes significance. Being asked whether the blasts were an attempt to derail the talks with Pakistan later in July, Mr. Chidambaram said, “I do agree that the Indo-Pak talks will be held this month, in ten days from now. We are not ruling out any angle. We will probe every angle,” he said.
It would have come as an embarrassment to the terrorist that the foreign minister-level talks with Pakistan will take place as scheduled. “They are (on schedule). There is no change in the scheduled visits of (US) secretary (Hillary) Clinton or the foreign minister of Pakistan,” external affairs minister SM Krishna said.
The possibility of saffron terrorism involvement in the blasts cannot be ruled out the senior Congress leader has stated. This is especially when blasts are used for gaining political advantage. In Uttar Pradesh where assembly elections are nearing the right wing Hindutva outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad has already picked the issue and given it a anti-Muslim colour in a demonstration it recently held in Allahabad. The BJP needed this anti-Muslim oxygen badly to revive its sulking cadre in UP before the UP elections. It can be taken as an indicative that the blasts might have involvement of saffron terror groups who want to revive their hate ideology before the UP elections for better prospects in the elections.
Notable is that in the pre-Swami Aseemanand confession time, the probing agencies would try to solve the blast cases with a pre-determined assumption that it could be done only by Muslim terrorist. When Aseemanand’s conscious urged him to let the truth prevail before the world, it was known that the blasts in Malegaon, Samjhauta Express, Ajmer Dargah and Makkah Masjid were executed by the Hindu fanatics and that the Muslim youth locked behind bars in this connection were actually innocents.
Aseemanand’s confession did not reveal anything new. It only supported the reality the late Maharashtra ATS Chief Hemant Karkare had unraveled after an unbiased probe in the Malegaon blasts that were initially blamed on Muslim youth. Unfortunately for India Hemant Karkare who had hunted big fish of the filthy Hindutva network could not find enough time to destroy it as he was murdered just after big bosses of RSS were found involved in many blasts rocking India. Therefore to not take the confession of Aseemanand as an important clue to crack the network of terrorism on the pretence that his confession was due to duress is not wise. Regrettably after the news surfacing that the Swami’s confession was under duress no headway in the investigation of the blasts is known to public.
On March 11, 2010 the union Home Minister P Chidambaram indicated that seven terror related cases will be investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). These cases include Malegaon bomb blast that took place in the year 2006, Samjhauta Express blast in 2007, Makkah Masjid blast in 2007, Ajmer Sharif blast in 2007, Malegaon blast in 2008, Modasa blast in 2008 and Sunil Joshi murder in 2007. He also had hinted that there was one single network behind all these blasts.
Writes Majid Jahangir in his article titled “A Case Of Not Only Aseemanand, But Of A Larger Network” that Mr. Chidambaram had clearly indicated that it were the Hindutva terrorism behind all these seven incidents. But unfortunate is that so far none of the cases could be probed to its conclusion.
“With the arrest of Swami Aseemanand new names from Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and other states had appeared in connection with the Hindutva terrorism. It got media coverage too. But until now, many a suspects are beyond the reach of the probing agencies. It raises question over their clean image. This is a case of a Hindutva terror network larger than Aseemanand. Without this network being destroyed Hindutva terrorism cannot be ended.”
By Staff Writer

Muthalik: The Trouble Maker Of The South

Before he catches the imagination of some troublemakers this creator of nuisance should be booked. The government must stop the advancing steps of Pramod Muthalik and his gang. He is recruiting a team of idle Hindu youth and indoctrinating them to his criminal agenda. As he tries to create a gang of trouble creators the government remains a mere spectator!

The man of many evils, Mr. Pramod Muthalik, the infamous right-wing rabble-rouser from Karnataka, who was kicked out of Bangalore (pink chaddi campaign), is upto mischief again.
He has been let loose by the state government to create division among peacefully living Hindus and Muslims. The inaction of the authorities gives him courage to put in practice what he preaches.
The bearer of an ideology that promotes terrorism has been cheating the common Hindus by christening his organization after Rama. Perhaps he does not know that Rama was a preacher of peace while his Ram Sene is always about hatred.
It is now an open secret that the Sene chief is a man of riots. Staging communal riots is his business.
People like Muthalik are directly helping foreign countries that like to see a country face internal security issues, which ensures the business of arms supply is profitable. The relation of Muthalik with Israel, the economy of which heavily depends on arms supply, is not hidden. The possibility of him being used by arms supplying countries cannot be ruled out. Riots do not bring any benefit to any community. Then why on earth does Muthalik and co. plan riots. Should not these people who plot riots be put behind bars or treated in the mental asylum.
Wasn’t it surprising when Muthalik was caught red handed taking money as payment to stage communal riots by using his dirty network spreading across many states? This was a first in the history of communal politics in India. Is it the religion zeal that drives these young boys or the easy loot of the helpless victims?
It is a shame of our times that the government jails anyone from the minority community merely on suspicion, is reluctant to punish this well known Goonda.
The Result? The confident Muthalik is preparing a new gang to create mayhem in society. According to the media reports, he has created an army of 100 youths to toe his line and has trained them in martial arts.
Some days back Muthalik’s Sri Rama Sene set up a week-long camp in Nandagaon village near Athani of Belgaum district in Karnataka. The purpose was to train these youth by four retired army personnel to fight fanatic elements in other community.
The youth at the camp were brainfed. They were shown video clips of earlier terror attacks, according to them, executed by Muslims. The gullible youth will forever distrust their fellow countrymen from now on.
Muthalik also approached the police to train these youth in handling firearms but the police did not oblige. The top brass of the police said they would never allow him to misuse the police machinery. The police refused to give arms training to Goondas that they should be sending to jail.
Since Pramod Muthalik & Co do not have permission to give the youth training in firearms, they want the youths to enroll for the civilian rifle training programme conducted by the police in Bangalore and other districts.
He says, “We do not have weapons. It becomes illegal if we train them in handling weapons. So, what is wrong in availing of something which is available to civilians? Why is a big issue being made out of it?”
Muthalik told a news daily, “We have told them to go to their respective districts and enroll for the civilian training programme, become experts in handling weapons and ammunition, then come back to us for taking on terrorists and protecting the motherland.”
Commenting on this the newspaper writes, “This is where the real worry begins for the police. If they give training to Muthalik’s men and they become Lt Col Purohits and Aseemanands, who are accused of carrying out blasts in Malegaon and Hyderabad, they will draw flak.”
When asked what they would do if Muthalik’s men come to them seeking weapons training, additional Director General of Bangalore police (law & order) R K Dutta said, “Under no circumstances will we allow them. If some organisation approaches us for this programme, we will screen their antecedents and reject permission if something is fishy. Our programme is for able-minded citizens of this country to protect themselves in self-defence.
“We cannot allow individuals or organisations to misuse police for their vested agendas. I will alert the SPs of all the district to remain alert about such people and not to give them any training.'”
Intelligence Bureau sleuths are watching Muthalik's camp. Information has been collected about the participants. It may be recalled that Muthalik had distributed trishuls to youth in the past to take on the nation’s ‘enemies’.
The sooner this menace is contained the better it would be.

By Hamid Siddharthi

Terror Visits Again

The statement by the union Home Minister Mr. P Chidambaram that we are living in the “most troubled neighbourhood in the world” would have been more realistic if the phrase “and in a troubled country” were to be added.
In the backdrop of Chidambaram’s statement that followed the Mumbai serial blasts are the fragile conditions of law and order in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both the countries are victims of both internal and external terrorism that put the lives of the citizens there at stake. A person going out of home in the morning wonders if he/she is nearing death with every advancing step.
In India, though we are an established democracy with law and order, we are not living in a far better condition than Pakistanis and Afghans, when safety of lives and properties is considered. Just some days back, we were targeted in Mumbai. The tall claims of the politicians that every possible steps were taken to enhance security measures fell short. Not only the Mumbaikars but all Indians are concerned about security.
If our leaders state that one per cent blasts would take place (just recall the statement of our prospective PM Mr. Rahul Gandhi that only 99% blasts can be contained) then who can be sure that this one 1% will not target him/her?
The 13/7 Mumbai blasts caught the intelligence agencies unaware. Since there was no intelligence input about the blasts it should not be termed an intelligence failure, claims Mr. Chidambaram, the man assigned to protect us.
Such leaders will say they did not have intelligence inputs that Pramod Muthalik was going to stage riots, so they cannot be held responsible for failing to contain riots. Though it a is well-known fact to them that Muthalik has been training hundreds of youth whose aim would be to create terror among minority communities living in India through riots. Muthalik and his goons serve as a permanent threat to the safety of everyone who believes in a cosmopolitan India. Tragedy is that the government is ignoring them on its own peril. Communalism and communal riots are the biggest threat to the safety of Indians.
Besides terrorism and riots we have many more things to which our precious lives would be sacrificed. Police torture, either while dealing with protesting lots or when in custody, off and on results in Indians losing their lives. Nitish government’s police butchered as many as five citizens in Araria district of Bihar. The killers are yet to face any action. The death of Faiz Usmani whom the Mumbai police interrogated as a suspect in 13/7 blasts was killed, the family alleges because of police torture; a claim as usual denied by the police. The wife Zubeida Usmani told media that when Usmani left home he was completely healthy, so the death must have been due to police torture during investigation. We have a long list of custodial deaths; one that of Khwaja Yunus got media attention and is being probed.
“I want justice. Strict action should be taken and the guilty should be punished,” Zubeida has demanded.
Though India is comparatively far more secure than its neighbours Pakistan and Afghanistan, but the looming sword of a terror attack, a communal riots and police torture always threatens the lives of Indians. They can only sit back and watch as India is made another Pakistan. The way big politicians are safe and are not killed either in riots or terror strikes; the life of the common man too should get equal security cover. But too sum it up, “Does anybody really care?”

The new weapon in politics: Corruption

With the Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran resigning from the Union Cabinet following his involvement in the infamous 2G spectrum allocation scandal, the speculation that Congress has been turning this scandal into an opportunity to settle old rivalry with the DMK are getting stronger. Maran is the second DMK minister and the third Karunanidhi family member who had to face the axe due to this scam.
Former Telecom minister of DMK Andimuthu Raja is already behind bars in Tihar jail only to be followed by Kanimozhi, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (DMK) and daughter of Tamil Nadu ex-Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi.
Rumours are doing rounds that the Congress has been exploiting this case to take revenge for the killing of Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE.
Recently a top LTTE leader, Kumaran Pathmanathan, the former international arms procurer for the LTTE and the right hand man of its chief Prabhakaran, said “DMK’s ideology and its anti-Brahmin outlook were one of the main reasons that drove the group’s leader into assassinating the former Prime Minister of India Mr.Rajiv Gandhi.” This only strengthens the point of view which has some takers that there was a DMK hand in the assassination of Rajiv.
Some believe that the UPA-11 led by Sonia Gandhi is targeting Karunanidhi family in the name of curbing corruption. The CBI is unable to frame charges against business tycoons like Anil Ambani and Ratan Tata whose involvement in the 2G spectrum scam is substantiated by many evidences. They also try to know why the Karnataka Chief Minister Yeddyurappa is escaping the attention of the CBI despite him being immersed in such a well known scale of corruption .
Mr. Yeddyurappa is well known for his alleged involvement in corruption. He is also well known for putting up a defiant face when cornered with charges of corruption. He is facing a series of allegations in connection with the land-grabbing issues. He is accused of nepotism as he distributed sites to his daughters and sons-in-law ignoring the 52% poor population that is living in slums across Karnataka.
Stating that only 2% of slum-dwellers of Karnataka have got title deeds, the social activist Medha Patkar said, the CM's generosity towards his family is not only corruption, but also exploitation. “It is a new kind of corruption”.
The alleged land grab by Yeddyurappa apart from being an issue confined to one state is of national importance. The “financial interests of the Central Government” is involved in it. But the Centre is not ordering a CBI inquiry into the corruption. Yeddyurappa belongs to the opposition in the Centre the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Many believe that CBI’s clean chit to Ratan Tata and its decision not to file charge sheet against Anil Ambani is influenced by the Centre that is reluctant to take action against them. They are said to be providing corporate backing to the party.
One political analyst observed “Why are Ratan Tata and Sunil Bharti Mittal not being called for questioning? Tata Teleservices directly benefited with huge profits...Only those people are being summoned who are not supporters of Congress. In action against the guilty, Congress is fixing its opponents and helping supporters. Ratan Tata’s letter to Karunanidhi has appeared in media praising A. Raja because he released the licence to Tata Teleservices ahead of others despite the letter being submitted after the deadline.”
The CBI has given a clean chit to Tata Telecom and said that it did not benefit in any way from the massive telecom scam that saw companies getting licences at throwaway prices in 2008 for mobile networks.
“We’ve examined the issue in detail. There was no irregularity in the issuance of licences to Tata Telecom,” the CBI said.
However, the CBI is still studying the two other deals that the company entered into during 2008 and 2009 when the telecom scam was played out. Firstly, it was the Tatas who loaned Rs. 1,700 crore that allowed Unitech Wireless to acquire a telecom license from Mr Raja.
Unitech- primarily a real estate company till 2008 -has been listed as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the telecom scam and its promoter, Sanjay Chandra, is now in jail on charges of conspiracy and cheating. The loan from the Tatas has been read by some as a sign that Unitech served as a front for the Tata Group, which had already been granted a license to provide mobile services.
Secondly, the Tata Group owned a valuable property in Chennai that was transferred to Mr Karunanidhi's family at bizarrely low rates, according to the CBI. Investigators want to know if this was some sort of kickback for the DMK and Mr Raja in exchange for telecom licences.
Likewise, the CBI inquiry into the possible involvement of Anil Ambani, the Chairman of ADAG Group, in the 2G spectrum scam has also been doubted.
Questions have been raised on the way CBI is dealing with the Anil Ambani angle of the scam. In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) questioned as to why the probing agency did not chargesheet Ambani.
The NGO alleged that Ambani was making attempts to cover up his involvement by influencing his arrested employees. Ambani had paid a visit to the arrestee in Tihar jail and assured of legal assistance, a step some believe was to influence the employees so that they did not name him in the scandal.
Notably, three members of the group—Gautam Doshi; Group MD, Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, Hari Nair; Senior Vice-President of ADAG and Surendra Pipara; Senior Vice-President of the group and Reliance Telecom Ltd—are accused in the scam and are in Tihar Jail.
“The three persons chargesheeted are just the professional employees of the ADAG and are not the beneficiaries of this scam. The real beneficiary is Anil Ambani, who hold majority stake and is Chairman of the group companies.
“There is no possibility of an employee of the company having taken such an important decision of massive investments running into hundreds of crores of rupees,” the affidavit by CPIL said.
Notably, one of the three accused companies in the scandal is Swan Telecom/ Etisalat DB Telecom India Pvt. Ltd that is considered to be a front company of Reliance ADA Group. In Swan Company, along with the Shahid Balwa led DB Realty Group the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Telecom were equity holders.
The CBI had it that Swan was nothing but a front company of Reliance ADA Group, promoted by Anil Ambani, aimed to “circumvent” the policy which debarred the existing players to seek 2G licenses.
When Swan had applied for the Unified Access Service License in March 2007, the Shahid Balwa group was the majority stakeholder with 91.19 percent shareholding (Balwa controlled this equity through a holding company called Tiger Traders Pvt Ltd), while the Anil Ambani group had a minority holding of 9.81 percent.
The DoT policy allows an existing telecom company to have a maximum of 10 percent equity in another telecom company. So it is alleged that Balwa was acting as a front man for Anil Ambani as the latter could not have incorporated a new telecom company with a majority shareholding.
Reportedly in taking decisions about investments in Swan, the three ADA Group arrestees were crucial. But the question remains whether they could have decided without Anil knowing about it.
CPIL in its affidavit also has, “But Ambani has not been charge-sheeted. ADAG has reportedly claimed that these actions were done without the knowledge of Ambani. If this was true then he should have sacked the three charge sheeted employees.
The CPIL said, “he (Ambani) could have claimed to be a victim of their actions, since they used Rs 1000 crore of the company money to create Swan, because of which his company has been charge-sheeted, its reputation tarnished and its stock has drastically fell.”
“Instead, Ambani visits Tihar Jail to meet his three employees and assures them of all legal assistance. This was clearly an attempt to influence them so that they don’t talk of his involvement,” it claimed.
It is believed that Shahid Balwa, the group managing director of the Mumbai based Dynamix Balwas (DB) was instrumental in channelling the kickbacks allegedly received by the former telecom minister.
According to the media reports, there was a transaction of Rs 214 crore from M/s Cineyug Films Pvt Ltd to Kalaignar TV in 2009. The funds were arranged by Cineyug from DB Group companies, wherein family members of (Shahid) Balwa are directors or shareholders. The alleged payment to Kalaignar is seen as a possible quid pro quo.
Balwa has maintained his company wanted to invest in Kalaignar but the deal didn't take place and Kalaignar returned the money. Kalaignar TV claims the sum received from Cineyug was an “advance for transaction of shares”, and was returned with interest.
Vinod Goenka, Director, Swan Telecom (now Etisalat DB) and Shahid Usman Balwa, former Director of the company are behind bars in 2G scam.
The CBI has been accused of dancing to the tune of the government. Will it hold Anil Ambani and Ratan Tata guilty in 2G scam? Will the Centre act tough against the Karnataka CM Mr. Yeddyurappa or will it show action only against Karunanidhi family? Does it mean that if businessmen are corrupt they have to be on the right side.

Taliban Longing For 2014

The murder of Ahmed Wali Karzai, the younger half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is a big jolt to both the Afghan government and the United States. He was killed by his own security guard in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban.

This comes at a time when the NATO countries have started the gradual withdrawal of their troops—that will expectedly complete by the end of 2014—from the country. The forces had invaded Afghanistan only to root out Taliban but till now seem to have failed miserably in their aim.
The so-called elected government of Hamid Karzai and the foreign forces led by the U.S. could not prepare a force of Afghans that would control the country after they have left. The Afghans anxious for democracy will have to live under the threat of Taliban fundamentalists after 2014 because Taliban still enjoy dominance.
It appears that the Taliban who had gone into hiding after the 2001 invasion are getting strength by the passage of time.
It was just days after the murder of Ahmed Wali Karzai that Jan Mohammad Khan, former governor of southern Uruzgan province and a key ally of the Hamid Karzai, was killed in the attack.
“He (Khan) was very close to Karzai. He was as important as AWK (Ahmed Wali Karzai)," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The reason behind Taliban rising could be found in the local support they have. The counter-Taliban efforts of the West time and again went in vain as the persons it trusted to penetrate into the network of Taliban turned out to be agents of Taliban.
The murder of many high profile officers assisting the allied forces in trying to contain Taliban threat is indicative of how strong their network is.
It was customary that Taliban penetrated into the organizations of the foreign forces working in Afghanistan, but the murder of Wali Karzai has unveiled another aspect; that Taliban have infiltrated into Afghan government structure and that once the allied forces have left the country, they will rule.
Wali Karzai was a very high profile target. He was the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan and acted as a regent and enforcer for his brother across the volatile region. Wali was the eyes and ears of Hamid.
Commenting on his influence in the region wrote Emma Graham-Harrison in a Reuter write up, “Ultimately though they seem to have decided that his influence was so ubiquitous, and his hold over politicians, officials and tribal leaders so strong that they were better working with him than against him.”
Western ambivalence about him was summed up last year by British Major General Nick Carter, then the commanding officer for southern Afghanistan, at a news conference.
“It's also my sense that, in relation to Ahmad Wali Karzai, he would tell you -- and he's either a candidate for an Oscar or he's the most maligned man in Afghanistan -- that he is trying to help his country, that he's trying to help us and he's trying to help his people,” he said.
Besides Hamid Karzai, Wali was equally important for NATO and CIA. He was considered to have been in the CIA’s payroll for various services including the recruitment of the Kandahar Strike Force, an Afghan paramilitary force run by the CIA in the Kandahar region. It also stated that he was paid for allowing the CIA and U.S. Special Forces to rent the former residence of Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar.
Wali Karzai helped secure Kandahar for NATO interests by providing security and logistical aid to ISAF forces and its supply convoys.
What is more worrisome in this whole story is that Sardar Mohammad, the security guard of Wali Karzai who gunned him down, is said to have been a Taliban agent. The Taliban, who reportedly claimed responsibility for the killing, said Mohammad was their agent.
If it was so, then the infiltration of the Taliban into the Afghan government has reached to an alarming stage.
“Ahmed Wali Karzai, half brother of Afghan President of Hamid Karzai was entertaining his guests in his heavily secured Kandahar home on 12 July, long-time confidant Sardar Mohammad, an Afghan National Police (ANP) officer arrived with two weapons. While one was concealed, the other one was duly handed over to the guard, following a practice that allowed none to carry weapons inside the house.
Mohammad then took aside Ahmed Wali to an adjoining room to discuss a private matter and opened fire on him from his second pistol. Ahmed Wali was dead instantly, and so was Mohammad, after being fired upon by the alerted guards.
Soon thereafter Taliban claimed responsibility for the killing, saying that Mohammad was their agent. The Taliban have been quick to claim responsibility for many such high profile killings,” wrote Shanthie Mariet D’Souza, an Al-Arabia News Channel analyst and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore in Singapore.
Sardar Mohammad had worked for the Karzai family for at least seven years and was very close to it.
He also met American and British military officials, shared intelligence and had helped arrest scores of fighters. The relatives of Sardar Mohammad told The Washington Post that Mohammad, like Ahmed Wali, often worked closely with the US military to hunt insurgents, who consider Kandahar one of their strongholds.
Abdul Malik, a brother in-law of the killer, told the Washington Post: “If there was something Sardar could do that the Americans couldn't, they would ask him to do it.” “If American forces were suspicious of someone, they were asking Sardar to make the arrest.”
What urged him to turn against Karzai is still a mystery. Some say that Sardar was a Taliban agent who shot Karzai when Taliban instructed him to do so when any opportunity was available.
Mahmood Karzai, one of the president’s brothers, told reporters his family had learned Mohammad acted erratically in recent weeks, sleeping poorly, changing houses at night and acting suspiciously toward his men. He had also visited Quetta to meet insurgents in the past three months, he claimed.
“All of a sudden, he changed,” he said. “This is the work of the Taliban.”
It is a time of great worry for the alien forces in Afghanistan. They have to withdraw from there, prepare a force of Afghans in whose hands they could give the responsibility and ensure that the threat of Taliban is no more. The first work can be done but what about the last two? It won’t be an easy task. The work that could not be done in almost a decade, cannot be done within a short span of two three years.
Insurgency is on rise. It was in this year that the police chief in Kandahar was killed.
The death of Wali Karzai leaves a dangerous power vacuum in southern Kandahar province, birthplace of the Taliban and focus of recent efforts by a surge of U.S. troops to turn the tide against the insurgency.
In Kabul, senior officials warned that the psychological impact could be as significant as the actual impact, because the death of someone as powerful and well protected as Ahmad Wali Karzai implies no one can really be safe.
This is a troubled time for the United States and its NATO allies: it cannot afford more instability and more bloodshed just when countries like Canada and France are irreversibly drawing out of Afghanistan. Boots on the ground are increasingly spread thinner; and now a truly disruptive state of affairs looms on the horizon in Afghanistan.
Finally consider that just at the moment that NATO and its allies are trying to convince low and mid-level Taliban to switch allegiances to Kabul, the Taliban are likely to trumpet Ahmed Wali’s assassination as their doing, whatever the truth of that claim. They will point to this attack as their strongest signal yet that Kabul remains weak; that those who would support the Kabul government had best think twice. This propaganda victory, masked in claims of a moral victory, is sure to scare off Taliban leaders who until earlier today might have considered switching to Kabul in some hope that the Karzai clan headed by Hamid and Ahmed Wali might secure their futures.