T protestors begin Cong, TDP embarassment

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Why did Aseemanand confess?

At Saleemnagar in Hyderabad, there is a sense of relief following the confession of Swami Aseemanand alias Jatin Chatterjee. The family of Abdul Kaleem who is now under arrest for allegedly providing a cell phone to his brother Khaja ( an alleged Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative) in jail says that they are proud of the fact that it their son who prompted this confession by the God Man in the first place.
Aseemanand who confessed to being in the know of the Mecca Masjid, Samjautha, Ajmer and Malegaon blasts also stated prior to his confession that it was a boy named Kaleem who became the reason for him to make this confession before the Magistrate. It was his good conduct and the manner in which he helped me which prompted me to make this statement and come out with the truth about these blasts.
The Kaleem story to this entire confession is an interesting one. Kaleem a resident of Saleemnagar in Hyderabad was one of the first persons to be picked up in connection with the Mecca Masjid blasts when the police had concluded that it was an operation of the Harkat-ul-Jihadi. Following the arrest they conducted a narco analysis test on Kaleem and later the police issued a statement that during that test he had confessed to being the master mind in the blasts. A law student from the Mahatma Gandhi Law college, Kaleem languished in jail for nearly two years before being released as none of the charges against him had been proven.
Just when he thought that his trauma had ended, his brother Khaja was arrested on the suspicion that he was an operative of the Lashkar and also that he was very close to Shahid Bilal. Bilal was a HuJI operative from Hyderabad who was later killed in Pakistan following the twin blasts that rocked Hyderabad. The twin blasts at Hyderabad at the Lumbini Park and the Gokul Chat was carried out by Bilal and company to avenge the bombing and subsequent police firing at the Mecca Masjid.
After Khaja was arrested, Kaleem went to meet him in jail. However he had another shock waiting for him. He was immediately arrested by the police. The offence made out against him was that he had provided a cell phone to his elder brother.
Kaleem was lodged in the Chanchalguda jail and it was during this time that he came in contact with Swami Aseemanand who the CBI had brought down in connection with the Mecca Masjid blasts.
At jail the two got talking and Aseemanand was impressed with the conduct of Kaleem. In fact Kaleem even helped out Aseemanand a great deal in jail and these actions moved the latter a great deal. Kaleem also told him how he had been tortured and falsely implicated in the Mecca Masjid blasts. Kaleem took great care of Aseemanand and even brought him water and food every time he needed it. This moved Aseemanand a great deal and he thought that it was time to come out with the truth and bare his heart out. Aseemanand goes on to mention this in his confession before the magistrate as well.
Lateef Mohammad Khan who has been fighting Kaleem’s case says that this was a good gesture by Aseemanand and the truth has finally come out. His family is touched too and they say that they hope that such atrocities against the Muslim youth in general would stop. They also go on to say that their children have been falsely framed and they should be released.

Congress will face social boycott

Prof. Kodandram- Pic by cinejosh.com
The Telangana issue is once again on the boil and this time again it is the students who are spearheading the protests at the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad. Incidents of violence have been on the rise ever since the Shri Krishna Committee report was made public by Home Minister, P Chidambaram at New Delhi on January 6th.

The road ahead for these protestors appears to be tough and the people of Telangana have pinned their hopes on the political Joint Action Committee for Telangana. Heading this JAC is Professor M Kodandaram and he has been issuing statements repeatedly that they will not settle for anything less but statehood status for Telangana. In this interview with rediff.com, Prof. Kodandram says that the road map has to be laid out, but looking at the atrocities on students being committed by the Andhra Pradesh government, we have decided to act fast and not wait until February to start our aggressive campaign for a separate state.

What are your thoughts on the Shri Krishna report on Telangana?

We have no thoughts and we have been cheated yet again. It is not as though we were expecting anything from the report and were sure that it would go against us. We had questioned the constitution of the committee especially when the union government had made it clear that the formation for the formation of a separate state had begun. There was no meaning in such a committee and we had boycotted it from day one itself.

How will the political JAC react to the violence being created by the students. There is also a media gag on covering such violence.

It is unfortunate that the students are provoked into acts of violence. All people of Telangana have believed in peaceful protests and that is what all of us had intended doing. However there appears to be a design to provoke the students. This is a democratic set up and people have every right to protest. Why should there be restrictions on such protests and why should there be a gag on the media to cover the protest. This has hindered free flow of information and this is not correct. No government can prevent the media from giving information from the public.

The police claim that they had fired rubber pellets to curb the mob. Don’t you think the police is doing its duty?

There is a youth called Ravi Kumar who sustained very serious injuries after police firing. If these were rubber pellets why was he seriously injured. Such police for is not accounted and this not legitimate in a democracy. Moreover we have information that some plan clothed police men started pelting stones to provoke the students and now they want to give a colour that it is the students who started this problem in the first place. I would also like to draw your attention towards the supreme court order which says para military forces should not be deployed around education campus’ and also that police can enter into a campus only with the prior approval of a three member committee. All these norms have been flouted.

What is the road map ahead now?

We had planned on starting an agitation from the month of February. However we do not want to wait any longer. We had planned on a complete pen down agitation where all offices, education institutions would be shut until a separate state is granted. However looking at the atrocities by the police, we think that we should not wait any longer. Our agitation originally slated for February will now commence this month itself. There is no point in waiting any more.

Could you describe for us the exact nature of what the agitation would be?

We will resort to blocking roads. All educational institutions will remain shut and all government officials of Telangana will not report to work. We have decided to adopt a non-cooperation policy and will continue to do so until our demand for a separate state is met. Enough is enough, the common man cannot be taken for granted and our children cannot be tortured any more.

Is there is a need to resort to violence?

Why do you think it is we who have resorted to violence. We are the people who have been deprived of our legitimate rights and the government cannot play around with our emotions any longer. It is like the situation we had during emergency where facts cannot come out in the open and there are gag orders. This is not democracy. The students wanted to have a peaceful demonstration. Instead the police fire on them and do not even provide proper medical facilities.

Will you try and talk to the union government on this issue?
No that question does not arise. The time for talks is over. The ball is in their court and they need to act.

The Congress MLAs and MPs have issued an ultimatum to the Union Government stating that if the bill for Telangana is not passed in the budget session, they would all quit. What are your thoughts on this?
Let us see what happens. It is not enough to sit in chambers and issue statements. They have a responsibility and they are from Telangana. If they want to move around freely and peacefully then they have to come to the streets and fight the battle. They will have to fight until the bill is passed. If they back track or do not join the agitation then trust me they will face a social boycott. I want to tell them to come to the streets and fight and not sit and issue statements alone since that will not help the movement.

The Aseemanand trail

Swami Aseemanand- Photo- Twocircles.net
The confessional statement of Swami Aseemanand has created a stir and for the investigating agencies looking it appears to be a phillip and they claim that this will help the investigation.

Swami Aseemanand who hails from the Hooghly district in West Bengal originally goes by the name Jatin Chatterjee and was also known as Swami Onkarnath in his circles according to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The CBI during their interrogation of Aseemanand found that he was always associated with Hindu outfits and his mindset changed as he felt that there were too many atrocities against Hindus being carried out by Pakistan based groups and it was necessary that there was retaliation.

What is important is that the CBI now links Aseemanand to the Malegaon, Ajmer, Mecca Masjid and Samjautha blasts case. A confession of is recorded by the Magistrate is what the CBI has pinned its hope on where the God man explains in detail the modus operandi behind these operations. While a confession statement is admissible as evidence, the job of the investigating agency does not end there and they will still have to prove before court that he has actually been involved in these cases. In addition to this there is also an argument on in various courts whether an accused can retract a confessional statement given before a Magistrate.

Swami Aseemanand in his confession goes on to say that it was the attack at the Akshardham temple which made him change his mind and this was precisely the time when a lot of people came together and decided that the time had come to retaliate.

During my various meetings with people I expressed my anger against attacks on temples and it was in the year 2003 that for the first time I came in contact with Sunil Joshi and Pragya Singh Thakur. We discussed many times about the manner in which Islamic Terrorists carried out attacks on temples and people. It was only in the year 2006 when the Sankatmoc-han temple was attacked did Joshi decide that the time had come to hit back.

Investigations so far have shown that Joshi was given Rs 25000 by Aseemanand to carry out an attack. In the month of June 2006, Sadhvi, Joshi and I met at a house in Valsad and chalked out the plan. During the meeting four others, Dange, Lokesh, Kalsanghra and Amit came along with Joshi. During the meeting we decided on the targets and I had told all of them that a bombing should be retaliated with another bombing. We then decided to target Malegaon which had a strong Muslim population. In addition to this we also decided that we would carry out attacks at Mecca Masjid since many people in Hyderabad subscribed to the views of Pakistan. Then we also planned on the Ajmer blasts as we felt that many Hindus visited this place and a bombing would prevent them from going there in future.

While I suggested these targets, it was Joshi who came up with the plan of carrying out a blast on the Samjautha express. His view was that many Pakistanis travel by that train and it would be the best way to take revenge against Pakistan and hence an attack should be carried out. There was a consensus at that meeting and we decided to go ahead with the plan.

Following this meeting three teams were formed to execute these attacks. One of the teams would arrange finances while the other two would execute the attack and also make arrangements for the explosives. In so far as the Samjautha blasts were concerned it was Dange who made these arragements.

Investigating agencies say that the role played by these persons in the Malegaon, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts is quite clear. However the details are not too forthcoming with the Samjautha case which is presently being investigated by the NIA.

It was God man Dayananand pandey who for the first time spilled the beans on this case and said that it was the same people who had carried out the Samjautha blasts. In addition to this the Maharashtra ATS too had claimed that Colonel Purohith had procured 60 kgs of RDX for these blasts, but until date no investigating agency has been able to prove this fact.

Aseemanand goes on to say in the month of February 2007 he met with Joshi at a temple in Balpur. At that meeting he told me that some important news would break out in the next couple of days. A few days later I read in the newspapers that the Samjautha blasts had taken place and later Joshi told me that it was his men who carried out the attack. Later on I gave Joshi some money for the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid blasts and this too was executed as was planned.

The CBI investigation of Aseemanad may have revealed a lot of facts, but it continues to remain unclear as to how Colonel Purohith was involved in this case. It is now up to the NIA to investigate this aspect and they would question both Aseemanand and Purohith in this regard.

Aseemanand told the CBI that he first came in contact with Purohith four years back. Purohith was part of Abhinav Bharath and during the various meetings with him they discussed on carrying out terror strikes.

The NIA now has its task cut out. Sources say that apart from investigating the Aseemanand angle to the Samjautha blasts, they would also look into a possible role that he could have played in the Goa blasts as well.

The battle for Telangana

The meeting of the Congress MLAs from Telangana decided that they were ready to give the Union Government time till February to form Telangana failing which they would all tender their resignations.
The meeting which lasted over an hour comprising over 60 leaders from the Congress has decided to keep the agitation on until a separate state was formed. The government must table the bill in Parliament by February, the leaders said.We are ready to go upto any extent to ensure that our demands are fulfilled, but the end solution would be nothing less than the formation of a separate state the leaders decided.
Meanwhile in order to curb the violence at the Osmania University campus, the Police Commissioner of Hyderabad has issued strict guidelines to all media houses. The commissioner has said that no images of provocation should be shown. The rest of the state has witnessed minor protests barring a major one in which the Congress office at Warrangal was attacked.
In addition to this the police commissioner has also directed the media to be sensitive to the job that the police is undertaking. The directive also states that media persons wishing to cover the events at the Osmania university should inform the jurisdictional police station before doing so.

HRC order:
The Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission has directed the police to move away from the Osmania University Campus as it felt that they were infringing upon the rights of the students who were carrying out a legitimate protest. In addition to this the commission has also summoned the Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh.
The commission passed the order based on a petition that there was too much police atrocity against the students at the Osmania university and police forces should be withdrawn. The students also said that they wanted to stage a peaceful protest, but the police were uncessarily provoking them so that the agitation turns violent. The commission apart from ordering the police to move away from the campus has also asked the DGP to explain his action against the students.
In response to the Human Rights Commission directive, the police said that they had to take stringent action since persons not concerned with the movement were entering into the venue and trying to cause disturbances.

TRS meets CM:
Meanwhile leaders of the Telangana Rastriya Samithi met with the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and briefed him about the situation at the campus. They demanded that police forces be withdrawn immediately and the students be allowed to stage a peaceful protest.

TDP protest:
The Telegu Desam Party made an effort to barge into the Raj Bhavan and demand an explanation from the Governor as to why he gave a negative report regarding Telangana. All the TDP MLAs from the Telengana region who have decided to put in their papers demanded that the Governor give an explanation to the people of Telangana as to why he had given a negative report to the Shri Krishna Committee.
All the leaders were arrested while trying to barge into the Raj Bhavan. However they were later released. The TDP leaders alleged that the Governor of Andhra Pradesh was consulted during the visit of the committee members and he had opposed the formation of Telangana. They further alleged that he had given a negative report and this was one of the main basis for the committee to come to a conclusion that Telangana state should not be formed.
Meanwhile the Congress leaders from Telangana who had said that they would tender their resignations are now thinking of going on an indefinite fast. The leaders after a meeting decided that they would go on a hunger strike and would call it off only when the state is formed.

Get ready for TRS alternate

A day after the Shri Krishna Committee was made public there appears to be a clear divide between the students and the politicians fighting for a separate Telangana movement. The Students Joint Action Committee has now decided to boycott the Telangana Rastriya Samithi as well as the political JAC on Telangana since it feels that these two wings have become a mouth piece for the ruling Congress in both the centre as well as Andhra Pradesh.
Dr Sangam Prithviraj who leads the students at the Osmania University in Hyderbad says that they were foolish to trust K Chandrashekhar Rao of the TRS and now all students in all the ten districts of Telangana will take the movement forward by themselves. In this interview with rediff.com, Dr Prithviraj says that the key thing as of now is to spread an awareness against the TRS since it is important that the people of the region know what exactly their whole game plan is. The movement can progress only if the likes of the TRS are kept away from the movement.

How has the overall reaction to the report on Telangana been so far?
It has been bad. From day one we have boycotted the committee and we will continue to do so. The report has no meaning for us.

There appears to be a clear divide between the political and students wing fighting for Telangana. Could you elaborate?
The students Joint Action Committee has been following the statements issued by the political JAC and also the chief of the TRS, K Chandrashekhar Rao. In no way does it indicate that they are in support of the movement. KCR cannot deny the fact that it is the students who have taken this movement forward. So why does he not support the students and why is he making statements opposite to what we have been making? If you listen or read his statements carefully it is very meek by nature and is all being done for the sake of public consumption.

Is a statement good enough for you to come to such a conclusion?
It all started when the committee was instituted in the first place. We had appealed to them not to go before it since we had questioned its very formation. What was the need for them to go before it? They had done so at the insistence of the Congress party. Moreover KCR now says that the report has nothing against Telangana in it. In fact he goes on to say that the report is in favour of Telangana. Until yesterday afternoon he was singing a different tune and now the tone has changed. We have no doubt that he has been speaking the language of the government.

The committee was formed for the specific purpose of understanding the problems of Telangana. Why should you oppose it outright?
If you recall there was a statement made by Chidambaram last year in which he said that the process for Telangana had begun. This was said in Parliament and we thought that the issue has been sorted out. When such is the case why go and form a committee? What was worse is that the TRS was in agreement of the same at that time and despite this they went ahead and appeared before the committee. This was the last straw for all of us and we stopped trusting the party after that.
If you look at it with an open mind there are certain positives in the report of the committee.
No we don’t want to look at a report of a committee which itself was formed to divert the issue. It was a conspiracy to form the committee. Moreover the committee has not done a thorough job. Out of the ten districts in Telangana it visited only 7. That is not a thorough job according to me. Trust me we are not criticizing for the sake of it and we have a good case on hand to throw the report out.

What about the TRS? Don’t you want to have talks with them?
No, the time for talks is over now. Tomorrow onwards we will start to chalk out a plan to take the movement forward. However the first thing we have on mind is to expose the TRS and how it is fooling the people. A general awareness campaign against the TRS will be launched in every nook and corner of Telangana and only once the people get to know the real face of the TRS will the movement go forward.

What about the political JAC?
That is controlled by the TRS and we have no trust in it. Every action taken by the JAC is against the movement. We are not saying this for the heck of it. We are ready to sit across and debate the matter. I dare the TRS to come before us and debate this issue. We will debate their response to each issue regarding Telangana.

You must be aware that there is a political party needed to carry forward your demands.
Yes I am aware of that. The next three months will see an alternate to the TRS. We students plan to do something to that effect. Before that we need to expose the TRS in public. In addition to this we also plan on launching a new channel which will speak about our cause. The channel owned by the TRS also blacked out the lathi charge against the students at the Osmania university yesterday. We have no faith in them any longer.

Nothing conclusive in Telangana report

Andhra Pradesh continues to be a hotbed of activity following the Shri Krishna Commission report on Telangana. As students and activists continue to protest against the report in every district of Hyderabad, a new road map is being laid out by all those involved in this agitation on how to take the movement forward.
Professor Kothapalli Jayashankar considered to be the idealogue of the movement since the year 1952 feels that this report of the commission is an evasive one. In this interview with rediff.com, Professor Jayashankar speaks about the report, the future of the movement while terming the Shri Krishna Commission formula as the most unacceptable one.

What are your thoughts on the report?
Do you see anything new in it? I don’t. Prima facie, it is just a submission of all the statements made by various people from across the region. There is nothing conclusive, it is evasive in nature and on the whole the formula laid down in it is the most unacceptable one. At the end of it when one reads the report as a whole it says that we should maintain status quo. That is not what the agitation is about and that is not what the people want.

The report appears to have given a lot of suggestions and the Home Ministry says that it should be read with an open mind and the possibilities discussed. Why are you shooting it down without discussion?
There are problems in the Telangana areas and no one can deny that. The report too speaks about it. Our fight has always been for a separate statehood and the earlier position of nearly 60 years back should be restored. So why should we be open to the other suggestions?

The Committee said that it has tried its best to satisfy all people and the government is the one which should consider it and act upon the report. Don’t you want to give them the benefit of the doubt?
No we do not want to give them the benefit of doubt. The committee has indiscriminately gone into several issues which were not required. They appear to have succumbed to the industrialists and the money bags and hence we question the very credibility of the commission as we as the report.

What about the government of India, in whose court the ball is?
No one is giving them a clean chit in this issue. The December statement of last year by P Chidambaram where in he said that the process to form the state has begun should be acted upon. Our understanding of that statement was that the process to form the state has begun and the government had conceded that the state should be formed. So why have they backtracked now. The fight will continue unabated until the government of India lives up to its promise.

You cannot possibly hurry up matters. There is also the rest of Andhra Pradesh which feels strongly that the state should remain united. Cant you give the government some more time?
How much more time. This struggle is on since the past 50 years almost. How many agreements, how many discussions more should we have on this. They have not even honoured the rulings of the courts which speak in favour of a separate state. Many promises have been made and all of them have been broken. We cant give the government any more time. Nearly six decades have passed and three generations have fought for a separate state and sadly we continue to do the same today.

How do you find the movement today? Is that passion still there or has it died down?
The movement to be honest is stronger than before. Today it has got a direction, it is more vibrant and the commitment of the people of Telangana towards this struggle is much stronger. The government of India and also the state government knows this and is aware of this. Why else did the union government make a commitment publically last year. This was an indication that they had agreed with the cause of the people.

Hyderabad actually is the big bone of contention here. The rest of Telangana is just incidental people say. Do you agree?
Hyderabad has been made the bone of contention here. There are some money bags and industrialists who fear that they may lose their wealth if Telangana is formed with Hyderabad as its capital. This is their illusion.

Are you acceptable to the formula that Hyderabad be made a common capital or a Union territory?
No we are not. Again let me explain that this is not a feasible option at all. Hyderabad used to be the capital of Telangana and it should remain that way. Moreover is the government thinking of this as an option just to please the industrialists. What about the common man of Rayalseema? Do you want to him to travel 400 kms to come to the capital. Why is the government not thinking about the common man? It is not feasible. A common capital will only benefit some money bags.

What about the industrialists from the rest of Andhra Pradesh who have business interests in Hyderabad? What will be their status if Telangana is formed.
They have nothing to worry. There are Gujaratis and people from across India who have set up their businesses here. We are not telling them to go. The same rule would apply to the other people of Andhra too. Why are they making such an issue of it?

So what is next on the agenda?
We do not accept the report. Moreover the commission also says that the government of India should act on this as the ball lies in their court. We will wait for the government to act and until then keep our protest alive.

Think of the common man and all that he has to undergo due to violence. What about that aspect?
Violence erupts not because the people of Telangana resort to it. It erupts because of the provocation by the government. There is an evil design to provoke the students so that this movement is dubbed as a bloody one. The police keep instigating our children here and that is what the root cause of the problem is.

How do you view the stands taken by the Congress and the Telegu Desam party on this issue?
The fact that these two parties cannot take a stand since there is plenty at stake for them. The TDP in particular has a harder path ahead. If they fail to act now on this issue then trust me they will be wiped out completely. Each one of their MLAs will lose deposit if they continue to dilly dally. Looking at the manner in which they are going about this it appears to me that they are committing suicide. Both the Congress and the TDP needs to make a decision quick. Do they want to give in to the demand of the people or succumb to the pressure of money bags. However I do not see them playing the fool on this issue and if not out of understanding at least out of compulsion they will have to give in to the people of Telangana.

What about the TRS?
TRS is very clear since day one and it continues to stand by the demand for a separate statehood.

‘TRS will act like a big brother in this protest’

K T Rama Rao. Photo courtesy: In.com
The Telangana Rastriya Samithi has rejected the Shri Krishna Commission report on Telangana and has now decided to launch a series of protests. The TRS which was part of the Joint Action Committee meeting has said that there is no solution acceptable to them other than the formation of Telangana.

Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, legislator of the Telangana Rastriya Samithi who is also the son of K Chandrashekhar Rao says that the government has played with the minds of the people of Telangana. In this interview with rediff.com, KTR as he is called in Hyderabad explains what his party thinks of the report and also their future course of action regarding this issue.

What are your first reactions to the report?

It was shocking to see the kind of recommendations that have been made. It is not the kind of report we expected and we reject it outright.

Is there any other option the TRS has in mind? The Union Government wanted a discussion with an open mind.

No there cannot be any option. I do not understand these recommendations and why they were made. The only option was to form Telangana and that has what our protest has always been about. The government can say what it wants, but we are firm that a state should be formed and demands of the people given in to.

Hyderabad seems to be the bone of contention here. Do you agree?

Hyderabad has always been part of Telangana and will continue to be. When a separate Telangana is carved out then Hyderabad should be part of Telangana as it was before Telangana was merged. The only solution on hand is the formation of Telangana state with ten districts and Hyderabad has to be its capital. At times we feel that there is pressure from some industrialists regarding the Hyderabad aspect.

You would not agree if Hyderabad is made a Union Territory?

No we would not be ok with that. As I pointed out it is part and parcel of Telangana and it should remain with it.

The Government thinks that the report has laid down options and it was the best possible thing that they could do. Every option other than the formation Telangana is not acceptable to the TRS and also the people of Telangana. The government and the commission should have respected the sentiments of the people and fulfilled its promise and made sure that the peoples’ demands were met.

You will have to think of the rest of Andhra Pradesh too, don’t you think? What about the problems faced by them?

The report states that there are portions which are backward and need attention. It also goes on to say that the people have been deprived of certain rights. Further it also recommends that the 1956 scenario could be brought back. It also gives an option to create a separate state. When looking at this, at some level it has accepted that there is a problem on hand. The recommendation then should have been straight forward in nature. That would have solved the entire problem.

You don’t think that the government has thought this through. Or don’t you think that you should give the government some more time since this is a sensitive issue?

I too was surprised that such a decision has come out despite all the thought process. The government had ten months time to mull over this issue and at the end of it this is what they have done. Ten months is a long time and if they were serious they would have given a better solution.

This cannot be an end game now. What is your next immediate demand?

The government must pass a bill in Parliament during its next session. The bill should deal with Telangana and should pave the way for the formation of a separate state. This is what we all will be pushing for. Let the government try and understand the problem. Let them weigh the pros and cons and then take a proper decision after passing a bill in parliament.

The common man is worried about the violence. What stand has your party taken on this?

We are not in favour of violence. We do not believe in all this. I understand that the students have called for a bundh and we hope nothing turns violent. The TRS will act like a big brother in this protest.

The battle for T has begun

Pic-Thaindian
Widespread protests have broken out in Hyderabad and the rest of Andhra Pradesh following the report of the Srikrishna Commission report being made public.
The protests at the Osmania University, which has been the nerve centre of the movement, have intensified and two buses have been burnt down despite heavy police presence. Protests were also witnessed at the Dharna Chowk locality in Hyderabad. Political activity too is hectic in the state.
The Joint Action Committee for Telangana has called for a two-day bandh, Friday and Saturday to protest the commission report. All shops, establishments, schools and colleges will remain shut these two days, the JAC has decided.
The JAC has also issued a directive to burn the Srikrishna Commission report in every district of Telangana. In addition to this they have also said that they would launch a non-cooperation movement in all parts of Telangana from February onwards.
As the JAC meeting headed by Professor Kodandaram was on, members of various committees started burning the effigies of Justice Srikrishna.
The JAC meeting, which just concluded, has decided that it would not cooperate with the government to even implement a portion of the report as they feel it was the biggest betrayal ever since the movement started.
In addition to this, the JAC has also decided to issue a day wise calendar in order to take this movement forward. The calendar would have the day-to-day programmes that are to be carried out in support of the movement and would be distributed both district and taluk wise, the JAC decided.
The members, while speaking at the meeting, decided to adopt a non-cooperation movement to further their fight.
They have decided that violence would not be the way to go forward, but it would be best to adopt the Mahatma Gandhi policy. We are not in favour of violence, Prof Kodanda Ram said at the meeting.
There would be strikes and movements in every part of Telangana until statehood is granted, he added.
Chandrashekhar Rao, the supreme of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, will meet JAC members and chalk out the future course of action.
Rejecting the report, TRS general secretary Subhash Reddy said the options outlined in the report cannot be implemented.
The only option is formation of a separate state and they are not prepared to look beyond that, he said. There is a lot of contradiction and a portion of the report, which suggests that a Greater Hyderabad should be formed is not something that the people have discussed or even asked for,” he said, adding, “I do not know how that has made it to the report. The TRS will study the report in the next two days and will take a final decision on how to carry the protest forward.
All parties and organizations, which have been fighting for a separate state, have rejected the report outright. They say they have been cheated and that this was not the solution.
Refusing to be drawn into the controversy, Srikrishna Commission member V Duggal, when contacted, said: “It (the report) is out in the public. It is up to the government to act on it. Our responsibility was to submit the report and we have done that.
The Students’ JAC has upped the ante against the report. Some students, headed by their leader Dr Prithviraj, are protesting against the report in front of Parliament.
Dr Prithviraj told rediff.com that the report has been rejected and they will boycott all its recommendations. There is only one option available and that is to form a separate state.
Congress legislators from Telangana too echoed similar feelings saying the Centre should carve out a separate state as per its statement on December 9, 2009.
We want Telangana state and nothing else. We hope the Centre will respect the wishes of the people of the region and grant statehood, Telangana Congress legislators, including R Damodar Reddy, Gandra Venkata Ramana Reddy, Rajaiah and Yadav Reddy said.
Academician and MLC Chukka Ramaiah too said nothing short of a separate Telangana state would do. Lok Satta Party spokesman Katari Srinivasa Rao said everyone should first study the Committee’s report in detail.
All political parties and people should ensure that peace prevails so that the Centre can take an appropriate decision.

The Headley confession Part 3

An officer of the National Investigating Agency says that David Headley knows a bit too much and his confessions during his 30 hour interrogation have revealed that. Be it the German Bakery blasts or the train bombings of 2006, he was in the know of all this.

Prior to the Barrack Obama visit India had lodged a protest with the US authorities that they had not given specific information regarding Headley. The Home Secretary, G K Pillai had in an interview with rediff.com pointed out that the US could have been more specific with its information on Headley and should have informed us at least about his visit after the 26/11 attack.

What Headley told the NIA?

The Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been witnessing changes and post 26/11 they were impressed with the manner in which the attack was carried out and even set up a naval wing for future operations. The naval wing was specifically created to carry out sea borne attacks against India and in future there will be more attacks from the sea. The naval wing which was created just after the attack of 26/11 is headed by a person by the name Yaqub. They have roped in the services of another person by the name Abdur Rehman who is from the Pakistan navy. He is an expert at diving and will train the cadres in this department. The Lashkar also has a frogman to take care of operations. In addition to this the Lashkar has also set up a women’s wing. The main role of this wing at the moment is to write songs which act as inspiration to the cadres.

When I was carrying out my job for the 26/11 attack, I was shown photographs of the ten attackers. These pictures were shown to me by my handler Sajid. One of the persons who was involved in the attack was also part of the team which attacked the rally in which Dr Manmohan Singh addressed in Srinagar in the year 2004. I was also shown the photographs of Ajmal Kasab and Abu Ismail who launched the attack which ended up killing the policemen on the streets that night. I was also introduced to a person by the name Muzzamil at the same time who I was told was the man who carried out both the Chhitisinghpura attack and also the attack at the Akshardham temple.

It was during my trip to India in the month of March 2008 that I carried out a reccee of the Chabad House. At first it was decided to give this place a skip, but later my ISI handlers told me that I should carry out a survey of this place and it would be attacked. I did accordingly and even shot videos of the Chabad House. I clicked pictures of the targets in the city with a camera which was gifted to me by my mother in law and the videos were shot from my mobile phone.

It was during this visit that I also made a trip to Pune where I conducted a detailed survey of the German Bakery. After this, I returned to Lahore after this attack and met with my handler Pasha. At that point of time, I even handed out sketches and videos of the targets that I had videographed. It was then that I said to Pasha at Lahore that it would be better for us to stage an attack on the National Defence College, which today is under their radar. I had told Pasha that if we stage an attack on the National Defence College, then we could kill more Indian soldiers than Pakistan managed to kill in all its wars with India.

In addition to the work that I have carried out for the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Al-Qaeda I have also carried out surveys exclusively for the ISI.

In the year 2003 when I started my training there was a lot of talk within the Lashkar regarding the ban that had been imposed on it. It was during a meeting with Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi that these discussions regarding the ban came up. My handler at that time, Sajid was also part of this meeting. They had initially decided to challenge the ban and opt for a legal recourse. However Sajid suggested to them that it would not be advisable since during a legal challenge a can of worms could open up and India will begin presenting solid proof against the Lashkar which would be bad for the outfit.

During the time of my training, I traveled extensively to many countries such as Maldives, France, Germany, UK and Sri Lanka. I used to travel under my real name Dawood Gilani. It was only when I came to India that I changed my name to David Headley as I had been instructed to do so.

The ISI backs every project carried out by the Lashkar and even the 2006 train bombings were backed by the ISI. It was during my meeting with Pasha that he confirmed that the ISI had backed the 2006 train bombings completely.

The Headley confession Part-1
The Headley confession Part-2