The man who exposed the Reddy brothers

Photo courtesy: The Hindu
Tapal Ganesh is a well known name in the mining circles in Bellary. He is one of the first men to have taken on the mighty Reddy brothers single handedly and life has not been easy for him since then.

Last year Tapal Ganesh was assaulted by unidentified men in Bellary when he was waiting to meet a team set up by the Supreme Court of India to probe illegal mining.

Today Ganesh is a happy man with one of the biggest mining lords of India, G Janardhan Reddy being arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Sounding elated, he said his arrest is only a proof that justice is still alive. I would not say that all illegal activities would stop after this arrest, but it is an eye opener that no one is above the law.

I decided to expose these people in the year 2006 when I realized that they were into large scale illegal mining. I care about my state and I realized that the resources were being eaten away by the greedy mining lords. I decided to take them on then and since then life has not been the same. Every day and to be honest even till today I have been getting threats from the mining barons. What does one do? The battle cannot stop right.

I cannot forget that day when some goons came and attacked us. We were waiting to meet some members of a committee set up by the Supreme Court and you can imagine their audacity that they came and assaulted us at that time itself. You can well imagine how dangerous the situation is then.

It is not as though such incidents have stopped. We continue to get threats and we need to watch every movement of ours. It is gets irritating to be under police protection all the time, but what do we do, that has become a way of life for us now.

I am not a political opponent to the Reddys. All I had said is that there is a scientific way to carry out mining. The manner in which they were eroding into nature had become dangerous and all I did was expose that. They did not like it because if you mine the scientific way then the required money does not come easy. Hence on every ocassion they tried to stop me. It is not only me, my family too gets threats from these people and for us today it has become a way of life. But we wont give up. Let them scare us and let them assault us as much as they want.

Today we have full faith in the law and this arrest has only shown that justice is still alive. The Supreme Court has played such a vital part and I salute it for the same. Justice did come a bit late, but it did finally. Today Bellary is a better place compared to what it was some months back. The officials are good and there is some sanity over here. The people of Bellary have suffered enough and I think it is time they lead a better life now.

These arrests may not control illegal mining fully. It sure would be a deterrent. However a lot would depend on the state government which has to implement the report of the Lokayukta immediately. That would go on to show that the government is serious about curbing this menace and saving our lands from these greedy mining lords.

How the OMC operated in Kar-AP

The noose has finally come around the neck of Janardhan Reddy who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation today. The entire issue today is the Obulapuram Mining Company, the lease for which was granted to the Reddy brothers of Bellary by the Andhra Pradesh government under the leadership of Dr Y S Rajasekara Reddy.

The allegation is that despite the lease being granted in Andhra Pradesh Janardhan Reddy had used this licence to carry out illegal mining in Bellary which is in Karnataka.

The Obulapuram Mining Company story:

Obulapuram Mining Company Private Limited (OMC), Ennoble House, Raghavachari Road, Bellary. Directors- G. Janardhana Reddy, G. Lakshmi Aruna, G. Karunakara Reddy, D. Parameshwara Reddy,B. Sree Ramulu.

The allegation as per reports is that the OMC a very big exporter of irone ore with a mining lease from Andhra Pradesh have exported iron ore of Karnataka origin. However when records are verified there is no record to show that permits were issued to OMC from the Director of Mines & Geology, Karnataka.

Further the allegation is that the total exports of iron ore of Karnataka origin by OMC during 2006-07 to 2010-11 is 71,61,455 MT, which includes 21,44,789 MT from Chennai Port. The total exports of iron ore of AP origin by OMC from Chennai between 2006-07 and 2010 (till Dec) 2,17,660 MT only.

Further the allegation is that fake permits were used to transport ore illegally out of Karnataka in the name of a lease which had emerged from Andhra Pradesh. The Lokayukta who submitted his report on this issue recently also goes into the issue while stating the following. Investigations conducted have revealed that forged and fake permits purportedly issued by the Mines and Geology department of Andhra Pradesh were used for illegal transport of theft iron ore from Hospet, Sandur Bellary and other taluks. Use of such permits was the main reasons for illegal iron ore transport in the BHS region and also from the surrounding districts. There is indication of an unholy nexus of fake and forged permits obtained and used for illegal transport of iron ore mainly illegally extracted from the various places like forest land, Revenue land and also from regular leases i.e., excess quantity than permitted in Karnataka. Rs. 1,11,13,394/- have been paid for procuring such permits. A person by name Sajjan of Hospet was used as agent for this purpose. The other persons involved are Yeriswamy, Mahesh, Ramu, Waheed and others. The forged permits were used for transporting iron ore to various destinations like Belekeri, Karwar, Goa, Krishnapatnam, Chennai, Mangalore and steel units inside and outside the State.

Further the CBI is also dealing with the under invoicing during the export of ore. The total under invoicing in US $ and INR comes to $52,341,292.00 corresponding to Rs.215,12,50,387.00.

The foreign exchange involved in this case, has not come to Union of India and indicates that this amount might have been parked in some Banks in Tax Heaven countries and the amount is estimated to be Rs.215,12,50,357.00 which should have been profit of the Government from OMC.

The modus operandi to carry out such an operation is also interestng

There is a well established forest check post at interstate border near Bellary (Hagari check post). This check post was withdrawn by the then Deputy Conservator of Forests, S.Muthaiya in 2008. From the records seized from Belekeri port, large numbers of forged permits were found purportedly issued from Andhra Pradesh. With this act of withdrawal of established check post, it is quite clear that Andhra Pradesh origin Xerox copy of bulk permits and forged trip sheets were in use at a large extent to illegal transport of iron ore from the illegal stockyards, permitted stockyards, Forest and Revenue areas and also from regular leases.

One of the main reasons for explosive illegal iron ore mining during 2009-2010 was posting of favored officials at strategic posts of Police, Mines, Forest, Revenue and other departments. Because of this, a fearless atmosphere prevailed in the Bellary district. Law of the land was seemed to have been suspended and oral whip was used to keep silent. Consequently administration has allowed to loot the natural resources, in this case the iron ore, which continued without any opposition. Huge bribes were paid. Mafia type operations were the routine practices of the day.

It is to be noted that during late 2009, State Government tried to post some upright and officers with known integrity in Revenue, Forest and other departments. Unfortunately, for reasons known to the Government, they were transferred in a fortnight and the same old officers were reposted. This act of withdrawal has further fuelled the corruption to raise its head and it has became a monster, uncontrolled as reflected in the seized documents.

A well equipped intelligence networking was deployed by the “Bosses” involved in illegal operations where their people were placed at strategic places all along the major routes to Krishnapatnam, Belekeri, Karwar and others ports. The trusted personnel’s were deployed/posted with motorbikes, mobile phones and money. Rooms were taken on rent on routes to stay and watch. A parallel administration was in position and operation. Regular payments were made to such deployed personnel’s as seen in the seized records. The Government machinery/ administration was totally paralyzed.

Records of Income Tax Department, show that several entries of payment of penalties against the illegal transport of theft iron ore (in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and others) have been recorded during the period on various dates. The payment of penalty is a proof of illegal transportation and theft of iron ore. It also proves that concerned people are taking the responsibility for transportation illegal iron ore by collecting “risk amount” by Sri K Mahesh and his associates. With the records and field observations it is found for the last 5 months, that the risk amount had been collected at the rate of Rs. 75 to Rs. 200 per MT based on the risk involved, distance, State and the relationship with the party. In the five months period Rs. 40,92,88,860/- of risk amount was collected and by dividing this amount to an average of Rs.125 per Metric Tonnes it comes out 3274310.88 MT illegally transported in this period.

Sriramulu will not run away

Photo courtesy: The Hindu
He is the blue eyed boy of the Reddy brothers from Bellary. The Reddys always relied on him in times or crisis and on more than one ocassion to create one also. B Sriramulu who the Reddys treat as their own brother has sprung a surprise on everyone by quitting the Karnataka Legislative Assembly to which he was elected on a BJP ticket.
Sriramulu’s immediate plans are unknown and the rumour mill is afloat that he will float his own party or may even go with the Janata Dal(S) and contest the next elections. For the time being, Sriramulu has kept his plans close to his heart and says that he will always remain with the BJP. In this interview with rediff.com, the former minister in the former Chief Minister, B S Yeddyurappa’s cabinet says that he has no intention of destabilizing the government and adds that he is extremely hurt by the allegations made against him in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.

Why this sudden decision to quit the Karnataka Legislative Assembly?
It is not a sudden decision. I have been very hurt ever since my name figured in the report of the Lokayukta on illegal mining.

Is that the only reason or is there a bigger game plan to all this?
Yes, I have been saying since the very beginning that my name in the report has hurt me no end. In fact once the report was out I had even gone on to state that the report must be accepted. I have nothing against it since the state government has done a lot to stop illegal mining. However my name in it hurts since the allegations are not correct.

If the allegations are baseless then why should you quit?
There is none above the law and in due course of time, the true story will unfurl. I have decided to quit since I am hurt.

The talk is that you are more hurt that your name was omitted in the new Cabinet.
That is not correct. We have worked very hard to build the party and will not go against the wishes of the party. I have accepted the decision of the party.

If that is the case then why this rebellious attitude?
Where is the rebellion? I have not quit the BJP. I have only resigned to my post of MLA. My credibility had been questioned and when that is the case, I could not have continued as an MLA. I have never indulged in illegal mining and hence it was very unfair that my name was in the report.

How much time do you give this BJP government in Karnataka?
It will complete its full term and there is no threat to the government.

If it is not a threat then why do you speak about the support of MLAs that you have? Do we read something into that?
There is no harm in saying that I have MLAs supporting me. These are my well wishers and I have taken this decision by taking them into confidence. I have also consulted my supporters in this regard.

Is this a game played out by the Reddys and you are only an actor in this story yet again?
That is rubbish.

But they are the ones who have been pitching for your inclusion in the Cabinet.
That may be the case, but they have not stage managed anything. More importantly, this is not an act. I will say for the 100th time the only reason for me to come out of the assembly is because of the allegations against me in the Lokayukta report which has dented my image.

So is an image building exercise?
It is not that. But I will go to the people because I believe in the verdict of the peoples’s court. I will tour the state and meet the people in the days to come and the let the people decide what I am.

Is this a way of taking the heat off yourself in the wake of the Lokayukta report being implemented or accepted.
Sriramulu never runs away. I will stand and face what ever it is. I am not scared since I have done no wrong.

There is talk that you will play this out and if your demands are not met you will form a new party.
I have utmost respect for the party and will do nothing against it. I have no intention of destablising the government either and it will complete its term. I am just embarking on a state wide tour to seek justice from the people. I have no intention of forming a new party.

There is also talk that you may contest from the JD(S) shortly.
That is once again rubbish.

What is your real strength? I mean the number of MLAs you have on your side.
I do not need to quote any number. But yes I do have a lot of them supporting my decision. I have not paraded them since this is not about proving my strength. I could have brought them to the press conference in the morning, but I did not find the need to do so.

Is this an individual decision or are there more people behind this?
It is an individual decision. I have made that very clear. This is my battle and for the last time, I will be with the BJP.

Do you think the Bellary strength was better under B S Yeddyurappa. His resignation has changed the equation for all of you.
I would not want to comment on that. The truth will prevail and it is just a matter of time before it does.

Do you think your image with your voters has taken a beating after the allegations in the Lokayukta report on illegal mining.
No it is intact and my voters know that I have not indulged in any sort of illegal mining. You will see in the days to come what the people think of me and how all these allegations against me are baseless.

GJR breaking

17:27:11
The court has remanded Janardhan Reddy to custody. While rejecting his bail plea, the CBI court has remanded him in 14 days custody.
More in a bit.
13:38:39

Janardhan Reddy and the CBI team have now reached the CBI premises in Hyderabad. He has been taken into the CBI office where certain formalities will have to be carried out. They will kept at the CBI premises before being produced before the court later today. CBI DGP, Lakshmi Narayan informed that the Janardhan Reddy and Srinivas Reddy have been treated as accused for various offenses under the IPC and the Forest Act. We will investigate the matter and put out a detailed report, he said. We will seek their custody before the court. Let us see what the court has to say, he also added.

13:14:21
Looks like the CBI is going for the kill. After taking into custody, Janardhan Reddy followig a spate of raids, they are now raiding the official residence of B Sriramulu who is a close aide of the Reddy brothers.

The CBI is now conducting a raid at the official residence of Sriramulu whose name figures in the illegal mining report of the Lokayukta. Sriramulu had quit the Karnataka assembly on Sunday stating that he was hurt that his name figured in the illegal mining report. Sriramulu at the moment is in Mysore and is about to embark on his state wide tour seeking justice from the people.
12:44:39
Janardhan Reddy has reached Hyderabad. He was brought to Hyderabad by a CBI team which arrested him this morning.
He will be priduced before the CBI court. Earlier the CBI planned on producing him at 11.30 but there were delays due to the travel from Bellary. however the CBI has decided on producing him today itself and will seek his remand for questioning.

11:40:39
The raids being conducted on Janardhan Reddy are yeilding results. The CBI has now seized Rs 3.5 crore in cash and also 30 Kgs of gold. The CBI has also found 3s 1.5 crore cash in the residence of Srinivas Reddy, the OMC MD who was also arrested today.

10:20:50
The CBI raids continue in Bangalore and Bellary against the Reddy brothers. The nuch hyped chopper in which Janardhan Reddy used to travel has been confiscated by the CBI. In addition to this they have also secured several records relating to the Obalapuram Mining Company.
Raids were conducted in the apartment belonging to the Reddys in Bangalore. The CBI is now trying to access one of the rooms but have not found the keys as yet. They have sought the help of the local police now to open this door.
The Reddys meanwhile have decided to make a political issue out of this. Although Jagan Mohan Reddy has stayed away from this contrevrsy, the reddys brought his name into the picture. They now say that this is a witch hunt by the Congress. First they target Jagan and now us. We have done nothing wrong and this is nothing but political vendetta, they also added.

10:08:09

B Janardhan Reddy who was arrested this morning by the CBI is expected to be produced before the CBI court in Hyderabad at 11.30 am. The CBI will seek his remand for further questioning.
Reddy is being brought by road to Hyderabad and is expected to reach in an hour.
The CBI team of ten which conducted the raid at his residence will question him and his associates in connection with the illegal mining case. The allegation is that he had carried out illegal mining in Bellary under the name of Obalapuram Mining Company. The lease for the OMC situated in Andhra Pradesh was granted by the AP government under the Chief Ministership of Dr Y S Rajasekara Reddy. However after Rosaiah took over following the death of YSR he ordered a probe into the issue on the ground that the terms of lease were being violated.
Several questions are being asked regarding the impact this issue would now have on Jagan Mohan Reddy who is said to be close to the Reddys. However in the Jagan camp there is no activity and they maintain that they have no interest or stake in the OMC.

08:16:30
It was trouble for B Janardhan Reddy, the mining baron from Bellary. A ten member CBI team after conducting a raid at his residence has taken him into custody and will be flying him to Hyderabad for further questioning.
Raids were conducted late last night and early this morning in connection with illegal mining case.
An aide Srinivas Reddy too has been arrested by the CBI team. The case pertains mining activities in Andhra Pradesh. An inquiry was ordered by then CM K Rosaiah based on which a CBI probe was conducted.
CBI sources were not available for comment. They would take the Reddys to their office in Hyderabad and would question him in regard to this case. The legal team of the Reddy brothers have not reacted to the news as yet and say that they would pursue legal action accordingly.

More on GJR

B Janardhan Reddy who was arrested this morning by the CBI is expected to be produced before the CBI court in Hyderabad at 11.30 am. The CBI will seek his remand for further questioning.
Reddy is being brought by road to Hyderabad and is expected to reach in an hour.
The CBI team of ten which conducted the raid at his residence will question him and his associates in connection with the illegal mining case. The allegation is that he had carried out illegal mining in Bellary under the name of Obalapuram Mining Company. The lease for the OMC situated in Andhra Pradesh was granted by the AP government under the Chief Ministership of Dr Y S Rajasekara Reddy. However after Rosaiah took over following the death of YSR he ordered a probe into the issue on the ground that the terms of lease were being violated.
Several questions are being asked regarding the impact this issue would now have on Jagan Mohan Reddy who is said to be close to the Reddys. However in the Jagan camp there is no activity and they maintain that they have no interest or stake in the OMC.
The CBI raids continue in Bangalore and Bellary against the Reddy brothers. The nuch hyped chopper in which Janardhan Reddy used to travel has been confiscated by the CBI. In addition to this they have also secured several records relating to the Obalapuram Mining Company.
Raids were conducted in the apartment belonging to the Reddys in Bangalore. The CBI is now trying to access one of the rooms but have not found the keys as yet. They have sought the help of the local police now to open this door.
The Reddys meanwhile have decided to make a political issue out of this. Although Jagan Mohan Reddy has stayed away from this contrevrsy, the reddys brought his name into the picture. They now say that this is a witch hunt by the Congress. First they target Jagan and now us. We have done nothing wrong and this is nothing but political vendetta, they also added.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Reddy in custody

It was trouble for B Janardhan Reddy, the mining baron from Bellary. A ten member CBI team after conducting a raid at his residence has taken him into custody and will be flying him to Hyderabad for further questioning.
Raids were conducted late last night and early this morning in connection with illegal mining case.
An aide Srinivas Reddy too has been arrested by the CBI team. The case pertains mining activities in Andhra Pradesh. An inquiry was ordered by then CM K Rosaiah based on which a CBI probe was conducted.
CBI sources were not available for comment. They would take the Reddys to their office in Hyderabad and would question him in regard to this case. The legal team of the Reddy brothers have not reacted to the news as yet and say that they would pursue legal action accordingly.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Another appeal and no Headley again

In the backdrop of information pouring out that the Government of India was never serious about the extradition of David Headley, it is also interesting to note that the special leave petition before the Supreme Court of India in the 26/11 case which incurred a loss of Rs 155 crore, 56 lakh, 77 thousand and 105 too does not make any mention of this name.The state of Maharashtra in its appeal againgst the acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabahuddin spell out various points but do not make a single mention about the role of David Headley in the case. The Headley-26/11 connection is almost an open and shut case and it is extremely clear today that he had a big part to play in this horrific attack.The battle in the Supreme Court is expected to be a keenly contested one although the state in its appeal do not add even a single additional point in their defence of making Fahim and Saba as accused in the attack.A reading of the appeal gives the impression that the state has stuck to the same points and their primary ground is that they are aggrieved by the impuged orders of both the trial court and the confirmation of the same by the Bombay High Court.Gopal Subramanyam who is representing the state in this case says that all points would not be disclosed at the moment and more would be revealed during the course of arguments before the Supreme Court of India.The special leave petition or the appeal before the Supreme Court continues to rely heavily on the maps that have been found on Fahim and Saba. It speaks about how the two had come from Lucknow and prepared maps to facilitate this attack. It further goes on to speak about how the preparations carried out by these two men had resulted in various incidents at CST, Cama, the Taj, Nariman House, Trident and a host of other places on that night. The state goes on to say that the actions of these men who were not part of the attack that night resulted in the loss of 166 lives and also caused damage to property both state and private worth Rs 155 crore, 56 lakh, 77 thousand and 105.The appeal relies very heavily on the statement by prosecution witness 160, Nooruddin Shaikh who says that it was in his presence that the maps were handed over by Fahim to Sabahuddin and also the map looks like the same map which was in the possession of slain terrorist, Abu Islamil. The appeal also adds that it is evident from the interrogation of Shaikh the role played by both Saba and Fahim and it was on the basis of his statements that the duo who were arrested in the CrPF Rampur case were brought down for interogation in connection with the 26/11 case.The appeal adds that the duo did not personally attack the targets on 26/11, but had provided maps so that the attack could be executed. It further goes on to state that Fahim had prepared the maps in his own handwriting and had gone to Nepal after that before handing over the maps to his masters who were from Pakistan.Further the appeal relies on the statement by the then Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan, Manpreet Vohra. The statements by Vohra at that time was that the passport with Fahim was fake. The statements also mentioned that the same was issued by the Pakistani authorities and it was a fake passport that Fahim had been carrying.Advocate for Sabhauddin, Ejaz Naqvi informed that the state has deliberately supressed facts regarding Headley. We will object to the appearence of Gopal Subramanyam in this case. It is clear that he had prepared the questionnaire for Headley when the latter was interviewed by the NIA. He is aware of the role played by Headley and yet decides not to mention him in this appeal. Moreover his appereance is fatal to the case of my client since we have filed a case against Headley too stating that he should be brought on record in this appeal. It has been proven and accepted by the courts in the US that he was the man who carried out the survey of the targets and yet they omit him from the appeal.Sources in the NIA however said that it is not fair to state that they were not serious about the extradition of Headley. The case against Headley and Rana will be a seperate one and that has been intentionally done. There were practical issues where Headley was concerned and his plea bargain made it clear that we could not extradite him. We cannot comment on why he has been left out of the state appeal, but would like to add that the case of the NIA will be a seperate one since we have conducted the probe seperately on Headley. The chargesheet will be filed soon as we await some documents and once that it made available, the chargesheet will be filed.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

13/7 and the money trail

As the police continue to look for vital leads into the 13/7 serial blasts, there appears to be few details regarding the money trail that is emerging at the moment. The police are questioning at least five persons in this regard and it appears that the money for the blasts was channelized from the Gulf for this operation.

The investigators have found some similarities between the Varanasi operation and this case at least where the money trail is concerned and nailing this link would help the investigation a great deal.

Four different persons who are involved in counterfeiting of Indian currency are currently under the scanner and their interrogation is likely to spring out some important leads, investigators also point out.

The first link that the police are looking for is whether the absconding members of the Indian Mujahideen and the Students Islamic Movement of India  have arranged for the money. In the Varanasi blasts, the police had found that money had been raised from the Gulf with the help of Asadullah Akthar, a member of the IM who is absoconding ever since the Batla House encounter. Over the past couple of years, investigators have found that the money coming into India for terror operations have all been from the Gulf and this is an indication the money route is well channelized. Money has been coming in from UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman through various channels. This could be the case in the 13/7 attack too, sources added.

Investigators however point out that for the 13/7 attacks the money involved was not huge and it was a very small operation compared to the various other operations. Sources say that the terrorists could have spent anything between Rs 20 to 25 thousand for this operation. When one looks at the operation, it becomes clear that not much money was spent for this attack.

The money trail in the recent spate of blasts starting at Bangalore has been quite different, the police say. These terrorists have found sympathizers in the Gulf who are ready to give them the money to carry out subversive activities. T Nasir, the prime accused in the Bangalore blasts had adopted this strategy and had raised money through one such sympathizer whose identity is not known till date. The money is either pumped into India through a hawala channel or is arranged to be picked up in India directly, the police say.

The 13/7 investigations may not have provided any leads as of now and hence police are very seriously looking into the money trail in this case. They expect to find some clues while looking into this angle of the case, sources also point out. The ATS has formed a special team to probe various persons involved in the fake currency racket. The ATS believes that these are the persons who can give vital clues into the money trail which at the end would help nab the suspects.  They are looking to find out whether this money was raised through a channel in the Gulf or Bangladesh.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau however point out that more often than not they have tracked the money trail to the Gulf while the manpower has been provided by the Bangladesh module. However in the case of 13/7, the intelligence bureau says that the foot soldiers were most likely from India itself and the money could have been arranged through their contacts in the Gulf.

Counterfiet currency and a hawala channel will be the two most important angles to be looked into. This would also mean that the police are looking very seriously into the operation of the SIMI module in Kerala. The IB says that when it comes to channelizing money from the Gulf the safest route that these terrorists have found is through Kerala. There is a great amount of hawala remittance into this state and hence terrorists have found it easy to pick up the cash for their operations. However the police are also not ruling out the possibility of the money being raised internally and hence it is important for them to probe the fake currency operators who have always been a source of support for terror operations in India, the police also say.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

The General Murad mystery

13/7 blast site-pic by tricksmommy.com

If one were to ask what the status report of the 13/7 investigation is then the clear answer is that the police are groping in the dark. The fact that a broken SIMI and its fringe elements have carried out this attack is one of the clearest lead in this case. Although this lead is clear, it also proves to be a big headache since people operating in smaller groups are always difficult to track.
During the course of the investigation which has involved the NIA, ATS and also the IB, some very interesting intercepts have been picked up while the officials were probing the case. These intercepts would go on to show that nothing much has really changed since 26/11 and the Pakistan’s ISI and army continue to be actively involved in training the Lashkar-e-Tayiba cadres.
While the 26/11 probe pointed towards the likes of Major Iqbal and the rest, today the name that is doing the rounds is that of a General who is known as M Murad. The intercepts by the IB would go on to show that this general is training Lashkar cadres in Pakistan and this without a doubt is a worrying sign. Intelligence agencies say that there is nothing to be shocked since this is a routie practise, but it is only telling picture of how important these terrorist groups continue to be for the ISI and the Pakistan army.
IB sources say that earlier there was a bit of confusion regarding the General, but today they feel he is the same man who when he was a major and also a colonel used to train the Lashkar cadres. In addition to this they have also managed to get the name of a Major Maqsood who also is actively training these cadres.
The intercepts go on to show that the training was largely about intelligence gathering and the cadres who were being trained were newer recruits. It does not say too clearly about the operation being planned and the IB says that these routine training excercises do go on even when there is no specific plan in place.
There is of course a general advisory in the terror circles to stay quiet for the time being due to too much heat, but the fact is that the terror camps continue to be operational in almost all parts of Pakistan. The training camps are today divided into various camps. With the Lashkar nurturing its international plans there are dedicated camps for this purpose. Then of course there are those common camps for operations in Kashmir and the rest of India, sources also point out.
The name of Murad is bound to come up very often in the days to come since he has emerged as one of the key persons in the Lashkar camps. This also brings us to a question as to what happened to Major Iqbal and the rest. They have been kept off the radar and they will never ever be used for such an operation in the future, the IB points out. Pakistan will continue to deny their existence even if the voice samples would prove otherwise. With each operation, the ISI will spring up new names so that there is no trail whatsoever.
The name of Murad also springs up another interesting aspect to the 13/7 case. The police were a couple of days back looking for the involvement of the Pakistan’s ISI in this attack. It is an option that the police have kept open, the IB say. There is really nothing to show any positive link from Pakistan at the moment. However the options are being kept open and all angle are being probed according to the ATS.
The name of Murad has also sprung up another angle to the case and that is the money trail. The details on Murad go on to show that he has a close link with some of the operators in the Gulf and has in the past too facilitated the pumping in of funds for the activities of the Lashkar in Pakistan. Whether there is a hand of the big wigs in the Pakistan establishment is something that is not conclusive where the 13/7 attack is concerned. The IB says that this case like the Varanasi blasts is a tough one since it has not been a structured attack like the earlier ones and this leaves very little trail.

A headche called KFD

The Karnataka Forum for Dignity- is this a disaster waiting to happen? A link with the Students Islamic Movement of India and then a probe whether this forum was connected to the ISI? These are lurking questions as the police spend day and night to probe the antecedents of this outfit and its members.

Officers on the job and sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that there is a lot of activity which can be noticed on part of this organisation. The ultimate goal of this organisation is to have a political status, but the worry is that they do not want it to be turn into another political wing with terror affiliations. We would want to curb all activities before it turns political, because once that happens then it becomes virtually impossible to handle them due to political links.

A couple of months back the probe against the members of this organisation was on in full swing. The Bangalore police and the IB were jointly probing this outfit, but today what one notices is that the probe has slowed down. This is mainly because they are unable to track down the prime suspect and the mastermind behind this outfit- Naved Ahmed. This man who heads the outfit has gone missing for the past couple of months. The strategy adopted by him was very clear and that was to commit crimes and fund the organisation.

According to the investigation, Ahmed is a habitual offender and specialises at robbery and kidnapping. The money that has been obtained by this is funded into the organisation, investigations have shown. The police say that Ahmed will be a prized catch in order to curb the growth of this organisation. In addition to this he has three more accomplices who are on the run and they are trying to nab these persons too.

The police say that they are doing everything it takes to nab him and even issued a red corner alert with the help of the Interpol in order to secure his arrest.

While this is one part of this organisation, the bigger concern is that the number of members is growing very fast thanks to the ideology that this organisation is spreading. The formation is very much on the lines of the Indian Mujahideen or the SIMI after the ban. While the IM and the SIMI targeted the educated youth, the KFD on the other hand has members from a very low rung of the society. The IB says that the youth are being lured into this outfit even today and it appears to be the same ideology that both SIMI and the IM have used. Community, religion and of course the atrocities that have been meted out are the primary tricks that are used to lure the youth in.

The police say that an outfit such as the KFD should not be viewed only as a Karnataka problem, but over the days it is growing to become a menace for Southern India. The police are studying the links the outfit has with some political groups in Kerala. They say that the links are being established as of now, but they do find a very close affiliation to the politics in Kerala. There are traces of this organisation in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu as well. In Karnataka the police have found this organisation to be strongest in Mangalore, Mysore and Bangalore. What the police are looking into is whether the members of this outfit have had links with ISI agents in the South since there are instances to show that there has been a money trail through hawala operators.

What the investigation has also shown is that the primary agenda of the outfit is to grow politically. The idea is to get into the political main stream and hence they are increasing their man power in this regard. Both the police and the IB says that the growth is worrying and in a bid to achieve their goals, some of the members are capable of relying on the support of any outfit. This is a major cause for concern looking at the reliance they have on Kerala, which is a hub for the ISI. We want to ensure that this outfit does not grow anymore and the rate at which they continue with their activity is causing a nightmare for the police.

The ideology adopted by this outfit shows very clearly that they are hitting on emotive points to further their cause. It may not be as polished as the SIMI or the IM, but a crime is a crime a police official said.

Today according to investigators, KFD shows traces of affiliations with some terror groups in India. It is a typical case of what happened with the SIMI and how the ISI used it to become a primary striking force in India. The same is happening to the KFD and before they make inroads politically, we need to shut it down. The task ahead is tough since the outfit is very organised at the moment. They have dedicated district and city offices with a president, organising secretary and treasurers. The police say it is one of the fastest growing outfits in South India with nearly 40000 members today.