Lahore siege ends

30 03 2009

Lahore: Heavily armed terrorists gunned down at least 22 policemen, including eight officers, and injured 90 others as they stormed into police training centre near Lahore on Monday, barely a month after the brazen attack on Sri Lankan cricketers in this city.

The nine-hour hostage drama at the police training academy at Manawan near Lahore ended on Monday afternoon with police officials claiming to have killed or arrested all the attackers.

All the arrested terrorists have been taken to an unknown location.

Lobbing grenades and opening indiscriminate fire, the terrorists, said to number between 10 and 16, struck the academy as trainees prepared for the morning drill, killing guards at the gate and later holed up inside with hostages.

Authorities clamped curfew and called in Army and paramilitary rangers, who along with police, laid siege to the sprawling complex where an estimated 800 unarmed policemen were present.

Pakistan’s Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that four terrorists were shot dead in the gunbattle.

But some reports also claimed that one terrorist managed to escape from the academy.

TV channels showed Pakistani commandos involved in the gunbattle with the terrorists celebrating on the rooftop of the academy building and firing in the air from their assault rifles.

Earlier, two attackers were reportedly shot dead while one suspected terrorist involved in the attack was arrested.

The death toll in the deadly strike stood at 20 while the number of injured was about 150.

Helicopters and armoured carriers were deployed by the security forces to monitor the situation inside, which authorities described as a hostage crisis.

Interior Ministry chief Rehman Malik said the suspicion in the attack was on Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e Mohammad as intermittent firing and sounds of explosions continued to emanate from the centre.

While Malik said the attack bore resemblance to the Mumbai terror strikes, former Foreign Minister Gohar Ayub said it “is similar to the one on the Sri Lankan team”.

“It is the same type of people and same style of operation,” he said.

Prior to the attack, which started between 7-8 am, a series of at least five blasts were heard at the training centre at Manawan, located near the Wagah land border.

The explosions were followed by an exchange of fire between the attackers and policemen that continued for over two hours.

Most of the casualties occurred near the gate of the centre when the terrorists lobbed several grenades as they launched their attack and then fired indiscriminately.

Deputy Inspector General (Investigation) Mushtaq Sukhera told PTI that 850 recruits were present in the centre at the time of the attack.

Policemen and Pakistan Rangers, including snipers, had taken up positions on rooftops of buildings adjacent to the centre, Sukhera said.

Lahore Police Commissioner Azam Suleman said 34 people have been admitted to the hospital.

“I cannot say anything about the number of dead and do not want to speculate anything. It is an emergency situation right now,” he said.

An emergency was declared in all hospitals in Lahore and a red alert was sounded in the city.

Eyewitnesses, who escaped the carnage, said that militants clad in police uniforms and carrying backpacks, had entered the training centre and took up positions in several buildings and exchanged fire with the security forces.

M Latif, a recruit who escaped from the centre with a dozen colleagues, told PTI the policemen were busy training when the terrorists stormed the centre and threw grenades and opened fire.

A visibly shaken Latif said many recruits, all of whom who were unarmed, were still inside the centre.

Another recruit named Jehangir, who was injured, said he had seen about eight terrorists enter the centre and spray bullets at policemen. “A number of my colleagues fell as they were hit by bullets. Then blasts occurred. Everyone was running for their lives and I was hit by a bullet in my left arm,” he said.

Hundreds of policemen, including members of an elite anti-terrorism squad, surrounded the centre and cordoned off the nearby area. Police also fired teargas at the attackers as helicopters were used for aerial surveillance.

Dramatic footage aired by TV channels showed bodies of several policemen strewn across the ground. Dozens of policemen scaled a wall to escape from within the centre.

Police used armoured vehicles to bring the dead and injured out of the centre after rescue workers were unable to approach them because of the firing.

Lahore has witnessed several terrorist attacks since last year, including an assault on Sri Lankan cricket team on March 3 that left eight persons dead and over 20 injured. Suicide bombers also struck at the Federal Investigation Agency office and a naval college in Lahore last year.

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The Lost Battle

19 02 2009

Source: Outlookindia

Why was the arrest and release on bail of The Statesman editor and publisher largely ignored by media? The governments may have electoral compulsions, but has the media totally given up the battle for free speech?
…… Rajinder Puri

Early February, The Statesman in Kolkata reproduced an article titled “Why should I respect these oppressive religions?” by Johann Hari reproduced from London’s The Independent. The article described how the hypersensitivity of religious fundamentalists was gradually curtailing free speech and rational discourse to make a mockery of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 60 years ago. In the article there were sceptical allusions to matters of faith ignoring scientific evidence that prevailed in many religions – Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism. Some Muslims in Kolkata objected to certain references to Islam in that article. They agitated outside the newspaper office for several days. The newspaper wrote that it had reproduced the article in good faith. It apologized for inadvertently hurting feelings. But the government smelling political advantage on the eve of a general election prosecuted the newspaper for spreading disaffection in violation of law. The editor and the publisher were arrested and later released on bail.

Let’s recall that only last year, Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen, who had made Kolkata her home, was forced to flee the state. It is not one’s intention here to justify the article. Possibly the criticism contained in it could have been worded differently — but that is a separate debate. Here, one would like to question the government for its over reaction and prompt arrest of the editor and publisher. By no stretch of imagination was the newspaper article as offensive as, to cite a recent example, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s remarks about Lord Ram made in the context of the Ram Setu agitation. Among other contemptuous allusions to Lord Ram that he made the CM described him as a drunkard. Predictably there were protests and rioting. One person was killed during the protest in Karnataka. Yet, no legal action was taken against the CM.

Then there was the violence unleashed by Maharashtra’s Raj Thackeray against North Indians working in Mumbai. Thackeray objected to people he described as outsiders speaking or putting up signboards in languages other than Marathi. He objected to so-called outsiders seeking employment in Mumbai. He made contemptuous remarks against people from Bihar and provoked a counter agitation in that state. Yet Raj Thackeray walks free. Was he not spreading disaffection among people apart from committing and instigating other crimes such as intimidation and violence against them? You may argue that at least in Thackeray’s case, as in the Statesman case, some police and legal action was undertaken. You may argue that the police in the three states may have different yardsticks. But the basic point is not only one of free speech but of the different yardsticks applied to political leaders and ordinary citizens. The Statesman offered regrets for the article even if arguably that was not warranted. Raj Thackeray remained defiant to the end.

Innumerable cases can be summoned of politicians brazenly violating laws and remaining unpunished. Innumerable cases can be summoned of ordinary citizens being harassed though innocent, or being punished for perceived minor technical offences. The system of justice in India is pure garbage. The tragedy is that even media remains a mute witness to the rape of justice.





Speak out and say Yes to Unity: Tarun Vijay

2 10 2008

Source TOI

Do we get bad leaders inspite of having good people ? If our people are great, why do we have leaders who fail? Where are the people if the leaders are not doing what we think they should be doing?

A people so intensely under attack by the terrorists can’t claim to be brave by sitting silently and petitioning state clerks. Those who fear get what they fear.

While China, having superbly completed the Olympics, sent a man for a space walk and Sarah Palin “delighted” our PM in the US with a handshake, India seems to be descending dangerously into communal polarisation, reinforced and powered by a secular lobby. In the process, the morale of the police and other security forces is being affected for they are facing the brunt from terrorists as well as the secularists in the government and the media who are running them down, doubting their intentions and integrity.

Suddenly yardsticks for our judgment have changed. Opinions, morphed as judgments, are passed not on merit or weighing its consequences for the society, but by the yardstick of the colour events wear. The Nanavati Commission’s report is to be discarded even before its pages are browsed because the Narendra Modi government instituted it and it shows Hindus as victims. The Bannerjee report is to be trusted because the secular Lalu Yadav instituted it and shows Hindus as aggressors. Strange logic.

Who speaks for the Indian?

Inspector M.C.Sharma’s funeral is not to be attended because he shot at Muslims. When the men in khaki arrested the Kanchi Shankaracharya, not a single secular channel or newspaper cast any doubt on the police reports and statements. But when the men in khaki arrested a few from Jamia Milia, doubts were raised immediately and investigative journalism flowered.

Anything written about patriotism, even a good word about Inspector Sharma, is sought to be embarrassed under a general head – Hindu media. I read this term being used first time in the aftermath of the Jamia controversy. Anything that Muslims show as a sign of solidarity with the rest of the India and condemnation of terrorism is either blacked out or shown apologetically.

Last week, 21st September to be exact, a few hundred young professional Muslim youth from Okhla and Jamia Nagar organized a silent procession at India Gate in New Delhi. They were condemning terrorism, asking for the harshest punishment for terrorists who use Islam for their crimes, and they wanted to be recognized as patriots. I didn’t see the coverage it deserved. Why?

Who is speaking for the Indians who were killed in the Delhi blasts? Why did they have to be turned lifeless in a sudden stroke?

Suddenly a blast occurs and their life is changed. You are going to see a movie, and next moment found dead. Someone bringing his daughter home from school – suddenly both are dead in a blast. Gone to market for shopping – minutes later a phone call at home says ‘Please come to claim the dead body’. Terrorism has changed our lives, our behaviour, our language and relations. Yet we feel hesitant to speak out.

What happens to those who were dependent on the terror-struck victim nobody knows. They are not news. Can’t we speak about Simran – whose father and grandfather were killed in the previous blast – and about Santosh, the sweet little kid who got killed in Mehrauli blast on Saturday?

“Son, what’s your religion?” – should that be our first query and decide what is said next?

Hard law is bad, because it was “used” against a particular community. Police is bad because it’s arresting and targeting a particular community.

Terror is secular, khaki is suspect

While the nation and her security forces – that includes the police too, stand firm to combat terrorism, the state power and the seculars are providing focused support to terrorists and enhancing their morale through statements and casting doubt on the motives of the anti-terror action. India’s secular cabinet ministers demanded lifting of a ban on a terrorist organization, proposed Indian citizenship to millions of illegal Bangladeshi infiltrators, refused to say a word of encouragement to the security forces fighting terrorists but publicly assured help to the accused whom police, a part of the government, arrested for blasting Delhi and killing citizens.

All these secular statements had just one consideration – religion of the groups they want to support or oppose. The seculars have become the worst kind of communal hate spreaders, with their extreme one-sided postures and acidic language. In a way these rabble-rousing seculars have become a security threat affecting the societal fabric and the morale of the policemen and soldiers.

They ordered a communal head count in the army, ignored and downgraded celebrations of Bharat Vijay Diwas, 16th December, and Kargil Vijay Diwas, stopped observing the Pokharan test anniversary in Delhi and failed to show due respect to Field Marshall Manekshaw. All this can’t just be exceptions; they show a trend, an attitude.

These are the same elements who represent the governance and by virtue of being cabinet ministers, which ironically includes having taken an oath that obliges them to be loyal to the Constitution, succeed in facilitating comforts for the killers and create an atmosphere in which sympathies for the terrorists are generated and police become suspect with doubtful integrity. Words like – “they have a soft heart”, “they are our children and hence it’s our duty to provide them help”, “nothing can be said till they are proven guilty”, etc – are bandied about to warn the police and reassure those whom police caught at risk to their lives.

It’s good and admirable to stick to a universal assumption that everyone is innocent till proven guilty. But during wartime words spoken publicly have to be weighed against their possible impact on the elements that shoulder the responsibility to safeguard the nation. If you start being celestially virtuous by sympathizing with the pains and difficulties of those who have waged a war on the state, it’s bound to paralyze the enthusiasm of patriotic soldiers and civil resistance.

They know their side

In the secular dispensation, to be objective, liberal and broadminded and have sympathies on humanitarian grounds are reserved only for terror groups. Is it a secret that these seculars leave no stone unturned to create an atmosphere where procedural mechanism to punish the guilty is influenced and driven to believe that the arrested criminal is not the culprit, but the victim of an incompetent state apparatus.

Remember how a vigorous campaign to release a lecturer of the same Jamia Milia Islamia was launched in spite of Delhi police submitting a truckload of evidence about his involvement in the attack on Parliament? And the famous case of Abdul Mahdani, declared as the “main accused” in the Coimbatore bomb blast case, which left 58 dead? Karunanidhi went to see him in jail, provided all the facilities, including a regular masseur, and finally when on purely “technical” points he was released, Kerala’s Left Front cabinet ministers came out and accorded him a public felicitation?

The charges against Mahdani were as follows:

“Accused No. 14 Mahdani is one of the key conspirators in the Coimbatore bomb blasts case.”

“Accused of collecting and transferring explosives to the town, ripped by a series of bomb blasts on February 14, 1998.”

“Charged under Sections 302 IPC (Murder); 307 IPC (Attempt to Murder); 153-A IPC (Creating hatred among communities); Section 5 of the Explosives Act and Section 25 of the Arms Act.”

Public prosecutor Balasundarm, arguing against Mahdani, had expressed “surprise” over the judgment to release him and said he did a good job in assimilating the voluminous evidence of documents 1785 documents marked as evidence, 1300 witnesses and over 15,000 pages of investigation records. If indeed the case had been presented as thoroughly as claimed, why did it fail?

If such incidents do not open the eyes of the people leading our public life, then what’s the course left for a law-abiding patriot?

In any other country facing such a serious serial terror assault, those who publicly empathize with the terrorists would have been tried along with the arrested accused of the blasts.

Speak out and say yes to unity.

It’s the emergent duty of the media and political powers to help stop the dangerous polarization taking place in our social circles and polity post-bomb blasts and public shows of secular sympathies for the accused killers.

While care should be taken that no educational institution gets a bad name because of the actions of a few, it’s also the duty of the faculty and the students to show solidarity with the terror-struck people. Muslim leaders have to come out openly re-enforcing a citizen’s solidarity against terror. If students fail in duty and character, the teachers will have to share the responsibility for their bad behaviour. It’s also wrong and false that a few wronged people have taken up guns. What wrongs and if it is indeed so, how many Kashmiri Hindus will have to take up guns?

Rather, the goodness of the religion needs to be publicized and there will be no dearth of other communities joining with such Muslims. So far it’s only the Hindus who are coming out openly defending the goodness of the Indian Muslims and their religion. Nobody generalizes the community as terrorists, unlike in Europe and America. This difference remains unrecognized though. Maulanas are silent, teachers do not speak out and the common men suffer in silence. Is that the way we are going to deal with this war? If people don’t forge solidarity and revolt and keep looking to politicians for all solutions, even god will think twice about helping them.





‘Delhi bombs brought from K’taka’

20 09 2008


Source: CNN IBN

New Delhi: The perpetrators of the serial bombings in the capital had brought the bombs from Karnataka before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, the Delhi Police said Saturday, adding that one live bomb was yet to be recovered.

“Mohammed Saif and Sajid went to Karnataka and bought 10 bombs to Delhi by train two or three days before the start of Ramzan. But one bomb was detected to be faulty at the last moment and, therefore, was not planted,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Karnail Singh said at a press conference here.

He added that bombs were brought here in ready condition and the terrorists here only set the timers.

However, Delhi Police are yet to recover the faulty bomb. “They have thrown the faulty bomb in a drain near Batla House (in Jamia Nagar here). Then there is a live bomb somewhere near the Regal cinema hall (in Connaught Place) but we haven’t recovered them so far,” said a senior police official.

Police recovered a soldering iron, pallets, a laptop and a mobile phone of Atif, a key Indian Mujahideen leader, from a house in Jamia Nagar after a shootout Friday in which two terrorists – Atif and Sajid – were killed and Saif was arrested.

“It was Atif who used to send e-mails to various people including media organizations (about the Indian Mujahideen taking responsibility for the blasts). He was the main co-coordinator of sharing information amongst various organizations,” Singh added.

A terrorist module of 13 people was responsible for recent terror attacks in India including the Uttar Pradesh court blasts of last year and the serial bombings in Jaipur, Ahmedabad and New Delhi this year, police said.

Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqir has been alleged to have masterminded the Sep 13 synchronized blasts in the capital that killed 24 people and left nearly 100 injured.





Nandigram and pseudo secularism: terrorism prospering

22 11 2007

FACT has been following closely the hypocrasy of Left lobbyists (yes they are) over the Gujarat violence and other issues related to the communal (so called) violences and flare ups. They have always called themselves the harbingers if not demi gods that would protect the Muslims and other minorities (God knows what that means.).

All said and done we the layman in us are compelled to think that Muslims when it comes to protesting are the best and violently best. Thats shows through out the world. Why and how in the world in a democratically empowered nation (I am not talking of our neighbours its just Hindustan as they call us) are people compelled to violence in a peaceful rally. Come on give us a break when u say the external elements have done all the wrong things and we werwe spectators. Mr Home minister you are a real one aren’t you ?

Look at what the blogging community feels about this.

This is one blog from Seriously sandeep

The Indian media sometimes acknowledges truth when it has no alternative. This Indian Express report of Muslims who were butchered in the Nandigram saga belongs to that category.
…dominance of Muslims in Opp, relief camps prompts
attack from Muslim voices
But thanks to excellent blogs
like this, we get closer to the truth. One reason that strikes me is bloggers like Offstumped blog because they are passionate about what they write unlike mainstream media, which is a curious creature of ideology, politics, fear, opportunism, and all of the above.

And look at what the media and pseudo secular press the blogger is mentioning to feels about the whole thing.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS reports

No issue, says CPM, but dominance of Muslims in Opp, relief camps prompts attack from Muslim voices
KOLKATA, NOVEMBER 19: •The first fallout of what has happened at Nandigram is that it weakens our case in Gujarat. The CPM, which always speaks of high ideals, is indulging in such shameful acts of violence. This is not an issue that concerns Muslims only. It’s a national issue: Kamal Faruqui, permanent member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board

THE OFFSTUMPED reports

The picture is now complete from gangrapes to letters of extortion, the CPI-Mafioso has it all figured. The only debate is whether the “hafta” so collected from the mostly Muslim farmers of Nandigram is being directly routed to the Central Politburo to fill Karat’s coffers or if Buddhadeb is being paid back those very same coins.

The City express reports
Jamiat attacks Muslim body, Buddha
Express News Service
Kolkata, March 2: The Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind (JH) has condemned the Jamiat Ulama Bangla’s (JB) ‘inclination’ towards the Left-Front and has alleged that the JB is acting as a mouthpiece for the Left-Front government.

Look at this piece from INDIAN MUSLIMS

From Prakash Karat to Buddhadeb all are giving reasons as to why the killings happened, what led to that killing, what were the events before that. But they are evading the point. The fact is that there have been innumerable people killed, some like Udit Raj putting it as high as 600! There are recorded cases that the bodies were swiftly removed before they could be counted. Along with that there have been numerous rape cases where a report in Indian Express about ‘Sabina Begum’ looks like a leaf out of Gujarat 2002.

IBNLIVE.COM reports

Nandigram and Muslim voter: CPM in a hot soup

Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and his party apparatchiks were alarmed. And the violent scenes of Kolkata on Wednesday with arsonists torching buses, pelting stones at passing vehicles and hooligans aiming brickbats at policemen were seriously alarming. The Muslim in West Bengal seemed to be announcing his grave disappointment with the Left. Idris Ali of the All India Minority Forum has long been associated with the Congress, running the party’s state minority cell. He has one of those perennial hangers-on in the Congress headquarters of Kolkata which had long lost its sheen and glamour after Mamata Banerjee walked out to become the principal Opposition force in West Bengal. It must have warmed Ali’s cockles to witness such a huge turnout for an otherwise muted protest call against issuance of visa to Taslima Nasreen. The controversial Bangladeshi author has made Kolkata her second home many years ago.

And look at what the Secular icons of peace from the Left have to say on Tasleema nasreen and ofcourse very often we can always say we were quoted out of context.

Under fire over Taslima talk, Bose eats his words

New Delhi: CPI-M’s state General Secretary and Left Front Chairman Biman Bose had to eat his words on Thursday after he came under fire from intellectuals for his statement that Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen should leave Kolkata if her stay disturbs peace.
Retracting his statement, Bose on Thursday said only the Union Government can cancel or extend her visa. “I should have mentioned this in clear language,” he said.
“I don’t want to speak elaborately on the role played by the Centre on Taslima Nasreen’s stay in West Bengal. But if her stay creates a problem for peace, she should leave the state,” Bose had said in a written statement issued on Wednesday evening.

This is the IBNLIVE.COM’s REPORT on Nandigram and the Mulim voter well well cant we say voters just voters why have we all the way being tagged come on media people you cant just go on dividing us like this.

Bengal’s minority report puts CPM in the red

New Delhi: CPI-M’s state General Secretary and Left Front Chairman Biman Bose had to eat his words on Thursday after he came under fire from intellectuals for his statement that Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen should leave Kolkata if her stay disturbs peace.
Retracting his statement, Bose on Thursday said only the Union Government can cancel or extend her visa. “I should have mentioned this in clear language,” he said.
“I don’t want to speak elaborately on the role played by the Centre on Taslima Nasreen’s stay in West Bengal. But if her stay creates a problem for peace, she should leave the state,” Bose had said in a written statement issued on Wednesday evening.