D-Gang, Kashmiri- India Needs To Watch Out

The United States of America named two very important terrorists yesterday while stating that these two persons are probably the biggest threat to the world. The US has asked Pakistan to keep specific tabs on Dawood Ibrahim and Ilyas Kashmiri and say that these two persons pose the biggest threat in spreading terrorism across the globe.

Indian Intelligence agencies believe that these two persons without a doubt a huge threats, but the threat perception to India is more when compared to the rest of the world. In the days to come, the ISI would position these two men in such a way that they would contribute the worst in the field of terror.

IB sources tell rediff.com that Dawood has become inseperable for the ISI. Earlier this man was associated largely with only the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, but as of today, he happens to be the main financier for all terror groups. Sources point out that Dawood at first was reluctant to switch over from being a don to a full fledged terrorist. However Dawood was given no other option and was specifically told that if needed to further his drug business, he would have to use his network to smuggle in arms. Dawood used the Dubai-Pakistan route to smuggle drugs and gold since it was the safest passage. He had no option but to agree to the ISI command in order to further his business.

Over the years, Dawood has built an empire in almost every corner of the world. The ISI has used this network to its advantage and all arms and ammunition that is needed for terror activities are smuggled in or out by the D-Gang.

In the past few years, the same syndicate was used by the ISI to even smuggle in Fake Indian Currency and utilize the funds for terror operations. While during the first few years, the D-Gang was largely involved only in smuggling of weapons, over the past few years, it has been actively contributing to terror funds. While off late the funds generated by the D-Gang is being utilized by the Al-Qaeda too, the worrying fact for India is that the Lashkar is the main gainer for the funds generated by this gang. The IB says that the ISI will primarily focus mainly on India and hence there is a need to check the funds that is being generated by the D-Gang.

The D-gang’s network is strongest in Africa, India and also in the Gulf. His operatives in these countries not only help raise funds, but also smuggle arms apart from help slip in and out terror operatives.

Ilyas Kashmiri: The US has also decided to put this man on a hot pursuit. They believe that this man was behind the bombings that targeted the CIA office. However this man poses an even larger threat to India when compared to the US. The ISI let this man slip out of their hands when after he defied them and decided to fight US troops in Waristan. However there is nothing much that the ISI would do to him since he is slowly shifting focus to India operations and this suits the ISI perfectly. However according to US stratgegic think-tank, Stratfor, there is every chance of some terror groups in Pakistan trying to launch a Mumbai type attack on India so as to escalate tensions between the two countries.

The Indian IB says that Kashmiri would play a very crucial role in such an operation since he was clear that he was not happy with the manner in which India was interfering in Afghanistan. He has taken a back seat from fighting the war against the US and is now positioning his men against India. The Al-Qaeda trust this man and his capabilities and believes that he can train Fidayeens to launch deadly strikes.

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Telangana:The Waiting Game Continues

Home Minister P Chidambaram has assured Telangana Rastriya Samiti chief K Chandrashekhar Rao that all steps will be taken to create a separate state, but sought some time to act on the issue.

During the meeting, the violent agitations going on in Andhra Pradesh in support of the Telangana movement were discussed, and the home minister told Rao that a new state cannot be carved out in the backdrop of such violence.

Rao retorted that the violent protests in Andhra and Rayalseema were caused mainly by some leaders and the people of those regions were not opposed to the creation of Telangana.

TRS leaders believe that the meeting with the home minister was in the right direction. “In our view, the process (for the creation of Telangana) has already commenced and the home minister has assured our leader that our demands will be taken into consideration,” said a party leader.

The TRS will now urge the Centre to set a time-frame to resolve the issue. Chidambaram has suggested setting up a committee, headed by a senior bureaucrat, to consider the various view points on the creation of Telangana.

But according to the TRS, setting up such a committee is an unnecessary exercise, and the state should be formed based on the collective demand of the people of Telangana.

Hyderabad should never lose its cosmopolitan nature


A crucial meeting of the Home Minister along with leaders of Andhra Pradesh is slated for today on the Telangana issue. The meeting gains significance in the wake of the vast division that there is in Andhra Pradesh over this issue. However from what can be heard and witnessed it does not appear as though both parties are going to buckle down and will stick to their respective demands.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee will have a crucial role to play from now onwards. It will have to ensure several things- one is to keep the entire tribe united and also ensure come what may, their supporters don’t resort to violence and get branded as mischief mongers in the state.

The Chairman of the Joint Action Committee, Prof. Kodanda Ram is very clear about their stand and says that there is no compromise formula that is available at this point of time. In this interview with rediff.com, he also puts to rest the fears of the people of Andhra and Rayalseema who think they will lose their homes once Telangana is formed.

What was the purpose behind setting up the Telangana Joint Action Committee?
The people of Telangana have been demanding united activity all along. The formation of the Joint Action Committee has only ensured that their dreams have come true and leaders of various political parties have come under one umbrella. People wanted a show of unity and the JAC was set up in order to show that to the people.

Despite the setting up of the Joint Action Committee there does not seem to be any reselution to the problem. Various political parties continue to oppose the demand for a separate state. Could you comment on this please?

The Joint Action Committee does not mean a merger. Each political party has its own identity and will continue to have that. What we at the JAC want to ensure is that all political parties come under one roof or umbrella and resolve the entire issue without getting into any kind of conflict. It is a long process, but we are hopeful it would happen.

What does the JAC plan to do in future?
The Joint Action Committee has a three pronged strategy. First and foremost we have no intention of working at cross purposes. Secondly we want to create an awareness and have a common minimum understanding on basic issues. Finally the JAC also wants to ensure that there is a common minimum programme of action on this issue

What is the opinion of the JAC on the various political parties which are opposing the formation of Telangana?
Only the Telangana Rastriya Samithi and the Bharatiya Janata Party have a clear stand on this issue and that is they are in favour of the formation of Telangana. The Praja Rajyam Party is divided into two on this issue. The main problem that we face is from the Telegu Desam Party and the Congress. These parties are heavily divided and this is what is causing the delay.

There is an important meeting with the Home Minister today. How do you think the equation of the issue would change after this meeting?
The meeting is a make or break one. One thing I can say for sure is that the division within the TDP, Congress and PRP will become sharper after this meeting. These parties have two options before them. Either they will have to convince their leaders to tow the line or they will need to break away permanently. The days to come will eventually result in the polarization of all political forces.

Is there a slight possibility of a compromise on this issue?
I am afraid there is no question of a compromise. This movement has come way too far and there is no question of going back. However what could be done is that all leaders sit across the table and have a peaceful discussion on this issue and form the state.

Hyderabad is the bone of contention here. What is your view about the same?
Hyderabad will always be with Telangana and the rest of the citizens will enjoy equal status.

There is an issue pertaining to the investors who appear to be scared of investing in Hyderabad if Telangana is formed. What are your thoughts about this?
Telangana will require a lot of investors and industries. There is absolutely no need for the investor to be scared. In no way is the fight of the people of Telangana with the investor. The reason why the investor has his apprehensions is because there are some vested interests who are coming in the way and floating a propaganda. The people of Telangana will always support the investor as long as they don’t come in the way of political demands. We will ensure that the investor will remain in Hyderabad and will take all steps necessary to safeguard their interests.

Will the Mulki rule of the Nizam return once Telangana is formed? ( The Mulki rule mandates that any outsider will have to live 14 years in the state to be eligible for equal rights)
Not possible at all. The Constitution has incorporated all these people and things cannot be contrary to the Indian constitution. At this point of time there is no tension among the people of Andhra and Rayalseema. The tension is being created by some of the leaders. We are in no way opposed to the outsiders. However in federalism we need to ensure that the development of the local people. I would like to point out here that Hyderabad is a cosmopolitan city and under no circumstances can it lose this status. Whatever change may occur, Hyderabad can and should not never lose its cosmopolitan nature since it needs that to sustain itself. If at any point there is an attempt to change that nature, then it will prove disastrous for Hyderabad and there will be terrible tension. All people living in Telangana will and have to be protected at any cost. This is what we will strive for and ensure it happens.

A Muslim could become chief minister of Telagana

Contrary to belief, the Muslim community has come out in support of the movement for the formation of a separate Telangana state. Muslims in the Telangana region feel that all these years they have been treated as outsiders in their own place and believe that once the state is formed, a lot of their problems will be solved.

The community claim that as they are the main sufferers in a united state, the time has come to speak up and be heard collectively. Leading the movement in Hyderabad is Lateef Mohammad Khan, chief of the Muslim Forum For Telangana, who says that they are fed up of being branded as ISI agents and rowdy-sheeters.

In an interview to rediff.com’s Vicky Nanjappa, Khan speaks extensively about the role Muslims want to play and how their lives would change once Telangana is formed.

We thought Muslims were opposed to the formation of Telangana. What happened? Why has that stand changed?
We have not changed our stand. Our stand was always for a separate Telangana. It was just a propaganda being floated by late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy that the Muslims were opposing Telangana’s formation.

The Majlis-e Ittihad al-Muslimin, which largely represents the Muslims, especially in Hyderabad, does not seem to have taken a stand on the issue. What are your thoughts about the same?

The MIM says they are in favour of the formation of a separate state. However, the Muslims in Hyderabad, at least, have some doubts about them. We have been told by reliable sources that we should not trust the MIM, as they are sitting on the lap of the Congress party which is against the formation of a separate state.

However, the MIM cannot continue this way for long since the movement has gone into the hands of the people and eventually they will have to come around and support our cause.

There is a lot being spoken about the Nizam’s rule. Some say that post-Telangana, the state would prosper as it did under the Nizam. What is the take of Muslims on this issue?

We agree that the Nizam’s rule was feudal in nature. But, the Nizam protected the welfare of the people. He had imposed the ‘Mulki’ rule, under which in matters of education and employment preference would be given to the people of Telangana.

There was another interesting rule, which was in force under the Nizam. People who migrated to and spent 14 years in Hyderabad were given equal rights. After the 1948 police action, Andhra people started migrating to Hyderabad.

The people of Andhra were recruited in military and civil sectors and we, the people of Telangana, were told that we do not know English and Telugu. Some 28,000 Andhraites came here during 1968 and during 1986, 59,000 Andhra and Rayalseema region people illegally occupied jobs.

During the Nizam rule, ‘Mulki’ rules were formed to protect the local people. All the agreements were violated the day after the formation of a United Andhra.

At present, some 3,85,000 Andhra and Rayalseema people are occupying jobs in Telangana region. All these jobs are of Telangana, in which our share is included. Coastal Andhra people overlook the historical Charminar, saying that it will not provide any food, and hi-tech city would provide employment to lakhs of people and benefit of crores of rupees would be gained. We are nowhere today.

We question them to point out a single Muslim in the hi-tech city. Hence, we feel that the ‘Mulki’ rule of the Nizam will be in place once Telangana is formed.

Is that not asking for too much? This is India, after all.

Why didn’t anyone think in the past that we too are Indians? We have been deprived of our legitimate rights and I think that some focus exclusively needs to be given to us so that we are able to rise and prove ourselves.

You say the Nizam’s rule was feudal. How would you compare the rule of the Nizam to the present-day Congress rule?

The Nizam had undertaken a lot of developmental works for the people of Telangana. Whatever he did was for the good of the people. However, the Congress has made the people think that we are lazy and speak a funny language. That is all we have gained. To cut a long story short, the Hindus in Telangana are called jokers and the Muslims terrorists.

How would the lives of Muslims change once Telangana is formed?

Once Telangana is formed, the Muslims will have a big part to play. We form 20 per cent of the population of Telangana. We will get more political representation and a Muslim could become a chief minister or at least a deputy chief minister. Till date, there has not been a single Muslim chief minister in Andhra Pradesh.

What about the real estate mafia? How has that changed the equation in today’s fight for a separate state?

When ‘Hyderabad’ was a State, we were rich in wealth. The State had a lot of lakes and agriculture fields. Leafy vegetables were produced in the fields around Hyderabad. The leaders from Rayalseema and Andhra destroyed several acres of lands belonging to the wakf board.

They also destroyed the lakes and ponds and used it to develop real estate. The people of Coastal Andhra became billionaires and Hyderabadi Muslims were forced to come on the roads.

Telangana lost greatly in the past 50 years. Water was never supplied properly for irrigation and all our resources were always diverted. We are living under the worst conditions.

Muslims have been committing suicide unable to pay loans and innocent girls are being married off to Arab Sheikhs for meagre sums. If at all change has to occur in our lives, we should have an equal share in employment and education and representation in politics — for which a separate Telangana state is the only solution.

The time has come to break our silence and as Hazrat Ali (son-in-law of Prophet Mohammed) had said, “There is no meaning for silence when there is a need to speak for justice.”

Taliban enters India

The Intelligence Bureau, based on intercepts that were picked up from across the border, has sounded off an alert stating that trained militants have slipped into Bihar and Kolkata.
Sources told rediff.com that letters pertaining to the same have been sent to the security agencies concerned and they have been directed to remain on high alert. Based on a tip-off, security has been heightened in these places and especially at vital installations.
The IB says that Taliban fighters have been constantly working on plans to strike at India. Taliban militants were sent to Ilyas Kashmiri of the Al-Qaeda’s 313 brigade for training. Kashmiri, too, had claimed that he was training several fidayeens for a strike in India. He had also reportedly claimed that the strike would be deadlier than the Mumbai attack.

The Joint You Smoke Contributes To Terror

Each time anybody smokes marijuana, he or she contributes towards funding terror organisations.

Intelligence Bureau officials told rediff.com that following the crackdown by security agencies on fake currency racket, terror groups have now taken to marijuana cultivation and exportation to finance their activities.

In 2009 alone, security agencies have seized 1.28 lakh kg of marijuana across the country.

IB sources told rediff.com that the cultivation of Marijuana has increased, as terror groups as well as Naxalites have been using the money generated to fund terror operations.

While Nagaland topped the production of marijuana as always, there has been a rise in cultivation in Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Terror groups have entered areas infested with the Naxal menace to further their marijuana trade.

IB sources have revealed that members of the local modules of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India and also the Indian Mijahideen have established contacts with Naxals, who act as a cover.

While the cost of cultivation of marijuana is taken care of by the terror groups, Naxals protect the crop and receive a huge sum in return, which is known as protection money.

Sources in the Andhra Pradesh police department said they had noticed the rise in the cultivation of marijuana, and this has been largely restricted to Naxal belts.

Since the flow of funds from across the borders has gone down drastically following heightened security on the borders, terror groups have shifted to marijuana sale.

Earlier, terror groups relied heavily on smuggling drugs to Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, after Indian security agencies made that impossible, terror groups resorted to circulating fake currency in India to fund their attacks.

However, IM sources said, terror groups found it hard to pump in fake notes due to the various measures taken by Indian agencies and hence they have instructed all local modules to adopt marijuana cultivation to fend for themselves.

Terror groups have also roped in local goons to smuggle marijuana across the border.

The fake currency business alone provided the terror groups of almost Rs 1,000 crore annually, IB sources said.

Security agencies said the figure has dropped drastically and could be now between Rs 200 and Rs 300 crore — this would not be sufficient for terror groups, especially at a time when they are now trying to regroup with other modules.

The marijuana seizure in 2009 is enough proof that terror groups and Naxalites have been raising huge sums of money for their operations this way.

Interestingly, the marijuana seizures were made in remote areas of the states that have a huge Naxal presence.

Terror groups have intentionally chosen such areas since the police patrolling is lesser over here and they feel this would be a safe haven for them, said IB sources.

Marijuana cultivated in India is exported at high prices.

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Lashkar’s 2010 Plan

In the past few months several countries have been issuing travel advisories against travelling to India. The latest on the list of countries that have issued travel advisories are United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.

Such advisories are being issued in the wake of several reports by Intelligence Agencies against the rising threat in India from terrorist organizations. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau told rediff.com that the threat perception in India is still very high, but thanks to upgradation of the security system it would be very difficult for terror groups from across the border to carry out a terror strike in India.

In the year 2009, outfits such as the Lashkar have lying low intentionally since there has been a shake up to their infrastructure post Mumbai attacks. The IB says that the year 2010 will be an important year, since terror groups which have been bogged down for so long are desperate to strike.

The main threat that India would face from terrorist groups is a coordinated one by the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Al-Qaeda. While the Taliban and the Al-Qaeda have changed their strategy against India, the Lashkar militants would largely be involved in the logistic part which would be involved during the attack. IB sources say that the shift I policy towards India comes following the growing ties between India and the US. Moreover the Al-Qaeda and the Taliban feels that India is interfering too much in Afghanistan and only a strike would send across a clear message.

What they plan in 2010? IB sources say that the Taliban has already drawn up plans with the Al-Qaeda to strike Western centres located in Indian cities. The attacks would largely focus on hitting out at foreigners within India apart from causing a great deal of damage to the Indian economy. It has been said several times in the past that the Al-Qaeda’s commander, Ilyas Kashmiri who heads the 313 brigade is training Fidayeens for this task.

Apart from this the Lashkar is also planning a series of attacks on the Indian soil. Intelligence warnings would indicate that this time around the outfit would be looking to hit at targets which would destabilize the country to a large extent. Hydro projects and power grids are something that they are planning to hit.

The Lashkar will also be looking to revive militancy in Punjab in a bid to fulfill their long standing promise towards the Babbar Khalsa. Both these outfits are working together on Pakistan soil and efforts are being made to revive militancy in this region. The two outfits attempted to carry out a strike in Punjab during the previous general elections, but the plans were foiled by Indian security agencies. At present the Babbar Khalsa has already commenced its process to infiltrate terrorists into the Indian soil so that attacks could be carried out.

The arrest of David Headley too reveals a deadly plan by the Lashkar to carry out spectacular attacks on Indian soil. His arrest has made it evident that the Lashkar and the Al-Qaeda were planning big attacks in India and in this regard he along with Tawwahur Rana were asked to survey various targets in India.

Currently there are nearly 44 camps operating in Pakistan which are set up to exclusively to target India. IB sources say that off the 44 camps, 36 are active and are prepared to strike at any given time. The rest of the camps have been placed on stand by mode. The worrying part is that there are 2400 militants who are housed in these camps and are awaiting orders to strike on Indian soil