Tharoor’s Twitternama


Ironically, it was Twitter that did Shashi Tharoor in. Though the former minister of state external affairs has maintained a stoic silence on the micro-blogging site ever since his unceremonious exit, his followers are on the rampage.

Perhaps more than Thiruvananthapuram, his constituency where he won from by more than one lakh votes, the biggest support for the beleaguered minister still comes from Twitter. While many have started online campaigns, others chose to tweet, expressing solidarity with the former United Nations diplomat. In cricketing parlance, some give him benefit of the doubt in the whole murky affairs of the Indian Premier League.

Not that there are no brickbats for Tharoor. Many aver that being a minister who holds an important portfolio, he should not have tweeted the way he did. Politics, they say, is a far more important game.

We spoke to a cross-section of people active on twitter, to gauge their opinion vis-a-vis Tharoor. Some quotes have been taken from Twitter, while others were contacted over the phone.

Piyush: Tharoor’s past tweets did not contain any serious offence. His trackrecord as a minister seems good. He was a perfect junior minister who worked like a donkey and committed too many errors to get any promotion.

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Arun Vipra: He is Twitter’s first victim. This is a lesson for Tharoor. I strongly believe that he will make a comeback and emerge stronger.

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Ullas Nair, Tiruvalla, Kerala: I always felt that right from the beginning Tharoor was not fit for the post. He should have been sacked long back when he first created the controversy on Twitter. He was not fit to hold that post and should have been more sensible while tweeting. One should understand that he is not a common man and cannot speak the way he wants. Holding such an important post, he should have been more prudent.

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Leo Mavely, Ahmedabad: It is rather unfortunate to see a minister with 24 years of spotless UN track record had to quit on alleged corruption charges. However, I feel he should have offered himself to a judicial inquiry to come clean on allegations and stay away from office until then. In politics, perception of corruption is more dangerous than corruption itself. He definitely had a long way to go as a minister who easily connected with public. Twitter has played an important role in his short stint but it didn’t cave him in, rather an unconvincing way of handling this allegation did.

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Nikhil Narayanan, voter from Thiruvananthapuram, now in Bengaluru: Painful to see Tharoor’s exit. Dear MP, given a chance, I’ll vote for you again and again.

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Biju Narayanan, voter, Thiruvananthapuram: On the brighter side, we could do better with a full-time MP

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Channamallikarjun Basavanagouda: Being the external affairs minister, he should not have tweeted about the government issues in public. All politicians are nothing but businessmen after all.

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CR: I have two things to say. Tharoor on Twitter: This is the first time a minister or an MP who was directly connecting to the people, many would be bots, but he did create his own following. This should be appreciated. He was speaking to people directly. This could not be digested by many leaders who wanted exclusives from the minister. So, first he created enemies within the media. They were waiting for a chance to get back at him. Last, but not the least, would the Congress allow a minister who is growing more popular than the Prince himself. Answers are not forthcoming. And also remember, the Congress has a long elephantine memory. Remember his holy cows & cattle class comments.

On Tharoor & IPL: He should have resigned the day the news about Sunanda Pushkar [ Images ] came out. It seems like Tharoor wanted to gate-crash into a party — read IPL– where he was not invited and made powerful enemies.

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Sudhir Kumar, Hyderabad: In my opinion, there is one more important question that the media has not asked Tharoor. In his statement, Thaoor has accused Lalit Modi [ Images ] is trying to scuttle the bid for Kochi. If he knew Lalit Modi was scuttling the bid for Kochi, did he not complain to the IPL governing council? If not, why? If he claims to be passionate about cricket, why didn’t he raise this at the appropriate forums?

As commissioner of IPL, Lalit Modi is supposed to act neutral. The charge that ST has laid is no small one — he has accused the IPL commissioner of being biased, and doesn’t it become ST’s responsibility to bring it to the notice of IPL governing council? As someone who claims to have come into the system to be the change, wasn’t it imprudent of him not to take up this issue before? His first aim might be an IPL team to Kochi and not cleaning up IPL, but as a public official, can he really escape with such an argument?

Another point is the debate about whether Tharoor is a “misfit” in Indian politics. It is a shame that Indian politics has been stereotyped by the likes of Farooq Abdullah [ Images ] and entering into the murky world by “sophisticated” folks is being seen as unwanted. I always admire Tharoor for choosing to fight elections, instead of taking the Rajya Sabha route. However, IPL has clearly bought out a murky side of him. It is unfortunate that the bigger fish still survive in the government while he had to go — but that same argument cannot be used to spare him of this impropriety.

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Saju Ramachandran, Bahrain: I feel let down by Tharoor, just as when a promising Sachin innings ends in a soft dismissal

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Joseph John: He should get a new OSD who doesn’t shoot his mouth off. An OSD’s job is to attract attention to his boss, not to himself

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Nakul Shenoy, Bengaluru: Does any media house have the gall to take up Tharoor’s side? We lose a most qualified & articulate minister to sick dirty politics?

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Aravindan: Remember your Stephanian Slogan “Shashi Tharoor Jeetega Zaroor”. Time will heal and time will tell a telling tale. We need you.

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Kenney Jacob on Twitter: Dear Gujarathis, We poor Keralaites didnt know that IPL was your family business. We apologise for having intervened.

The Death Of My Baby


June 23 2004 is one date I will never forget. It is a struggle I will
never forget. The day my tryst with technology began. Nokia had announced the launch of it’s 6600.
Browsing through the features online one thought came to my mind- could it get any better. A video camera a beautiful camera sync options and to top it all a blue tooth. I had to have it. But then the irony was- when will it launch in India? Those were the days when I took home a salary of Rs 6k and this phone cost 21000. Cut down on smoking, eating out and pulled out whatever little I had saved. I somehow
managed the money. Well then that done I had to figure out how I would lay my hands on the phone. Thought and pondered and as luck would have it a friend of mine told me he would be leaving for London. I left for his home at 9 PM on June 10 2004. Literally begged him to get the phone for me. After much argument whether it was worth spending so much on a phone he finally agreed and took the money from me.
Well the next 2 weeks were the best. The wait was never ending but worth it. A day before he landed I mailed him saying that I would meet him at the airport itself and also told him not to keep the phone in the check in luggage. He landed in Banalore at 2 AM and guess what, I was there to receieve him. He was irritated at first when I asked him where is the phone instead of how he was. He handed me the phone and I left for home before thanking him.
I must have rode back home like a maniac as I didn’t want to lose even a minute. At home I ripped the packet open and all through I kept shouting at my wife asking her how she could sleep when something so beautiful was about to happen. She couldn’t care less. I fixed the battery and inserted my Airtel sim and then switched it on. The display was something that I had never seen before. The sound of nokia on polyphronic was like the sexiest nightingale. I will never forget that moment as a tear rolled down my eye. I called office that morning and sought leave. Nirad my chief asked if you are sick why are u sounding as though you have had a child. I told him that I did have a child and I am too giddy with happiness. He didn’t argue.
The whole day was like a ride at Disney for me. The beauty was the more I did with it the more there was remaining. The cult phone of the world had arrived. Today every phone is derived from the 6600. Four years later too when I used to open the phone I used to wonder- wow man it can’t get any better.
Well I took care of it like my baby and never let it out of my sight. Well you guys might be wondering why I am writing all this. As much as I hate to say it this is an obituary to my 6 year old baby who died two days back. Really don’t want to go into the details of how and when since a death is a death and my baby has gone forvever. Before concluding I would like to take a moment to tell it that there is so much I learnt and I enjoyed every moment that I spent with you.
Wherever you are please be happy and remember I miss you like crazy. You were and will always remain the best. RIP :(((

Netizen’s drive Support Tharoor campaign


Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor, who resigned on Sunday in the wake of his alleged links to the row pertaining to Indian Premier League’s Kochi franchise, has managed to generate a lot of online support for himself.
Tweets were buzzing all day, and as the day progressed, a set of people even opened a page called supporttharoor.org.

Kenney Jacob, an online supporter, has been a very active campaigner and feels that Tharoor is ‘nothing but a victim.’ He spoke to rediff.co’s Vicky Nanjappa about the page, and how Tharoor is trending online today:

This is his account:

“The page was opened by an online community of people, who thought they should protect a really different kind of politician, Member of Parliament and minister in India. He is really a breath of fresh air for Indian politics.

The response for the campaign has been tremendous. The keyword ‘tharoor’ is trending on twitter. The supporttharoor.org website went down due to heavy traffic for some time. The administrator had to tweak the server to handle the pouring load. As of now, there are 2,900 pledges and it’s increasing at the rate of around 5 to 10 pledges per minute.

Tharoor has been a victim and his resignation was a forced one. There is no evidence to suggest that he did anything wrong. Even the finance ministry has given him a clean chit. I am sure he will be back in his post once the dust settles down. It was pure media nonsense that caused all this.

For the first time in the history of politics, we have a chance to know what a minister is doing. I think it should be made mandatory that ministers maintain twitter accounts and also a blog that publishes their day-to-day activities.

I see the IPL-Tharoor incident as a showdown between the Gujarat lobby and Tharoor. An IPL team brings crores of business opportunity to a state. Maybe some people were offended when a small state won the bid. It’s pure business and nothing else.

Yes, Tharoor enjoyed a lot of support online and there is a reason for that. Non-netizens get only whatever manipulated news that the corporate media publishes. A maid in my house thinks Tharoor is a womaniser and is going to get married for the third time. This is the kind of nonsense that some media publishes.

On the Internet, you get a lot of opinions and different versions of the same story. It’s not easy to fool a netizen. So people like Tharoor will get a lot of support from the netizens.

We want to extend our support to Dr Tharoor who has been victimised by some powerful vested interests. We want to protest against the unfair media bias in reporting. We don’t want to lose an effective minister for some lobbyists and media with vested interests.

On the April 24, we plan a grand welcome for him. We will welcome him to his home constituency Thiruvananthapuram, which elected him with a margin of 100,000 votes. We just want to let him know that we all are with him always.”

A statement released by the founders of the website said that Tharoor’s supporters came up with the idea of this website over a a cup of coffee. The people involved split the work among themselves and a social networking website helped them setup the website. The entire project was executed in almost 20 hours. In the last 24 hours the website has registered 4000 pledges.

IM maybe involved in Blore blasts


Even as the Bengaluru police maintain that the minor blasts in Chinnaswamy stadium on Saturday were an act of a mischief-monger, they are also not ruling out the possibility of a module of the Indian Mujahideen undertaking this operation.

So far, the investigation has drawn a blank and no person has been picked up as yet. Although a couple of usual suspects are being questioned, the police have not been able to come to any sort of concrete conclusion.

A source, however, claimed that they are looking into the IM angle behind this incident. There are way too many similarities between the earlier serial blasts and the one that occurred on Saturday.

The bombs which were planted outside the Chinnaswamy stadium bear the signature of the Indian Mujahideen. Ammonium Nitrate, a timer device, IEDs and shrapnel and the packaging — all these are very common when one looks at the blast that rocked the city two years back.

However, it is clear that no module from Bengaluru has undertaken this operation, since out of the 25 modules of the Indian Mujahideen countrywide, the most defunct ones are in Bengaluru.

Moreover, it is very rare that a module of a particular place is used to an operation in the same place.

Investigations so far have revealed that the bombs were assembled and placed by rookies. While they have managed to get the composition right, they have faltered with the timer device, which is a very crucial aspect to such an operation.

Police officials confirmed that the timers were all set for 8 pm on Saturday, but none of the bombs went off since there was a problem with the mechanism.

Had the bomb gone off at 8 pm, there would have been widespread panic, asthat would have been the time the spectators would have been leaving the stadium after the match was over.

The Bengaluru police were, however, caught off guard this time. Shankar Bidri, the city commissioner of police, said that anti-sabotage operations were carried out inside the stadium only.

He, however, clarified that anti-sabotage activities are not carried out outside the stadium area. Despite so many operations being carried out on Saturday, they completely missed a bomb which was placed near gate no 1 which was recovered and defused on Sunday morning.

It is highly unlikely that this bomb could have been placed on Sunday, since no person would have tried and entered the stadium area especially after so much police deployment was pressed in after Saturday’s incident.

Apart from this, the culprits also dumped all the waste material at the stadium area, which was recovered in three different packets on Sunday morning.

The police also say that the possibility of a mischief monger carrying out this operation is also not being ruled out completely, since the person would have been well aware that such an operation would automatically be blamed on the IM, since they had planned on targeting the Indian Premier League.

There were specific intercepts and warnings regarding the IPL being a target and Ilyas Kashmiri, the boss of the Al-Qaeda’s 313 Brigade too had mentioned the same and had also said that he would use the Kerala module of the IM to carry out such an operation.

The city crime branch which is probing the matter has started combing operations and are on the look out for the culprits. They would also question several persons, who are in custody of the Karnataka police, who were apprehended in connection with the Bengaluru serial blasts two years back.

Photograph courtesy: KPN Photos

B’lore blasts aimed to create chaos


A major tragedy was averted at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore on Saturday when two bombs, which were timed to explode at 8 pm, went off at 3 pm.

A third bomb, which was found later, was defused by the bomb squad of the Karnataka police.

The police also found another bomb near gate number 7 of the stadium, which was timed to explode at 4.30 pm.

Sources confirmed to rediff.com that all three bombs had been timed to explode at 8 pm, when thousands of spectators were leaving the stadium after the end of the match.

Two explosions had rocked Bangalore minutes before the Indian Premier League match between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Mumbai Indians at 4 pm on Saturday.

The two bombs, planted at gate number 12 and near the Anil Kumble circle close to the stadium, went off at 3 pm instead. Fourteen people, including three policemen and one security personnel, were injured in the blast. The security guard’s condition is reportedly serious.

Sources point out that if the bombs had exploded at 8 pm, they would have caused chaos and panic among the thousands of spectators, and might have led to a massive stampede.

Immediately after the news of the explosion broke out, the players were asked to return to the dressing room. The police then carried out a second round of anti-sabotage operation.

The Union home ministry has asked for a report about the twin blasts.

Investigations have revealed that improvised explosive devices and a timer device were used to trigger off the two low-intensity blasts. The investigative teams say that crude bombs were used in the blasts, and they were similar to the ones used to trigger the Bangalore serial blasts in July, 2008.

The forensics team has found that ammonium nitrate was used to assemble the crude bombs. The police are probing the possibility of the blasts being the handiwork of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, sources told rediff.com.

The police had initially assumed that the blasts had been planned to create panic, not destruction, by some mischief mongers. The presence of the IEDs and the timer in the bombs has given the case a whole new perspective, as these are specialised equipments and are not easily accessible to the common man, said sources in the police.

“Although it is too early to comment on who could have carried out the blasts, we are not ruling out the possibility of a larger group being involved in the incident,” said a police official.

The bomb was also packed with shrapnel, said sources.

A massive manhunt has been launched to nab the perpetrators of the blasts. Several investigative agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau, are trying to ascertain the motive behind the twin blasts.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that a couple of people have been detained for questioning in connection with the blast.

“We will provide tight security for forthcoming IPL games,” assured Karanataka Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh.

“We have also found nitrate glycerine in the bombs,” he said, adding that all the bombs have been defused and there was no cause to panic.

The Union home ministry has asked for a report about the twin blasts.

Investigations have revealed that improvised explosive devices and a timer device were used to trigger off the two low-intensity blasts. The investigative teams say that crude bombs were used in the blasts, and they were similar to the ones used to trigger the Bangalore serial blasts in July, 2008.

The forensics team has found that ammonium nitrate was used to assemble the crude bombs. The police are probing the possibility of the blasts being the handiwork of terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, sources told rediff.com.

The police had initially assumed that the blasts had been planned to create panic, not destruction, by some mischief mongers. The presence of the IEDs and the timer in the bombs has given the case a whole new perspective, as these are specialised equipments and are not easily accessible to the common man, said sources in the police.

“Although it is too early to comment on who could have carried out the blasts, we are not ruling out the possibility of a larger group being involved in the incident,” said a police official.

The bomb was also packed with shrapnel, said sources.

A massive manhunt has been launched to nab the perpetrators of the blasts. Several investigative agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau, are trying to ascertain the motive behind the twin blasts.

Unconfirmed reports have suggested that a couple of people have been detained for questioning in connection with the blast.

“We will provide tight security for forthcoming IPL games,” assured Karanataka Director General of Police Ajai Kumar Singh.

“We have also found nitrate glycerine in the bombs,” he said, adding that all the bombs have been defused and there was no cause to panic.

Photograph courtesy: KPN Photos

Twin blasts at B’lore IPL venue create panic


Two explosions rocked Bangalore minutes before the Indian Premier League match between the Royal Challengers angalore and the Mumbai Indians on Saturday. One explosion took place near the gate 12 of the Chinnaswamy stadium while the second blast occurred near the Anil Kumble circle close to the stadium.

At least 14 people, including four police personnel and a security personnel, were injured in what was earlier described as a generator blast.

Commissioner of Police, Bangalore city, Shankar Bidri told media persons that both the explosions were of low intensity and there was absolutely no cause for panic.

Immediately after the news of the explosion broke out, the players were asked to return to the dressing room. The police then carried out a second round of anti sabotage operation. Bidri, however, said that-anti sabotage operations were carried out within the stadium yesterday and such an operation is usually not carried out outside the stadium.

He said additional forces have been pressed into service and the forensics team is already at the spot conducting their job.

Even as investigations continue, sources told rediff.com the blasts were not aimed at causing any destruction, but it was solely aimed at creating panic.

Eye-witnesses claimed there was a loud sound and at first they thought it was a transformer explosion.

The state intelligence agencies say that there was a general alert that was issued a day prior to the match to both the Karnataka police and the Karnataka State Cricket Association. Home Ministry officials say that it is too early to comment on any of that and that they have sought a report of the incident following which they will be able to comment further.

Pak’s gimmick: Interpol’s help to get Kasab custody


Pakistan has made a last ditch attempt to get custody of Ajmal Kasab, the gunman from the Mumbai 26/11 attack whose fate will be decided on May 3. Pakistan has sought the help of the Interpol to get custody of both Kasab and Fahim Ansari who are standing trial in India in connection with the Mumbai case.

The question that is now being asked is if this move by Pakistan will have any effect on the sentencing of these two men which is slated for May 3? Experts say that India has got nothing to worry and this is nothing more than a gimmick in order to build up some pressure.

Joginder Singh, former chief of the Central Bureau of Investigation who was also the chief of the Interpol in India told rediff.com that Pakistan is trying to be holier than thou and this move by them is nothing but a gimmick. The Interpol is just a collection of bodies and is not bound by any legal framework. What the Interpol can do is issue a circular or a notice and circulate it. In the instant case, even if such a circular is issued and circulated it would have absolutely no bearing since Kasab or Ansari are not absconding and they are being held and tried legally in the Indian court. The court can go ahead with the sentencing and there is no need for us to respond to any such notice even if it is issued by the Interpol. The sentencing too can go on as scheduled since the Interpol has no legal bearing and the manner in which it works is through cooperation.

Justice Santosh Hegde, former judge of the Supreme Court of India says that the Indian courts will not be deterred by such a notice as it will not apply at all. We are holding these men legitimately and they cannot be handed over if such a notice is circulated. Pakistan is just trying to apply some pressure on India and it is clear that they are doing nothing but stooping so low internationally. They are well aware that Kasab is in our custody and there is a legitimate trial that is going on. Pakistan does have the tendency of acting in this manner. I would have to say that this is just a counter measure on the part of Pakistan in response to the dossier sent by us in which we have sought for the extradition of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba heads. It is a very poor tactic being used internationally despite them being blamed for the attack. India should just not bother about this and go ahead and sentence the accused in the Mumbai attack.

Underworld shifts base to M’lore


A turf war has broken out between two underworld dons in Mangalore, Karnataka, and both are trying to fuel communal tension to strengthen their network and expand their business in the city, said the Mangalore police.

The murky operations of the underworld have shifted from Mumbai to Mangalore, say the police, as the financial capital has now become the hotbed of terror and the police have cracked down underworld gangs.

Though Mangalore was known as mini-Mumbai, communal rifts surfaced in the coastal city after the 1993 serial blasts in Mumbai. New battle-lines were drawn in the underworld between the so called ‘patriotic dons’ and ‘traitor dons’.

On April 9, 2009, lawyer Naushad Kashimji was murdered. Kashimji was representing Rashid Malabari, the man who had been sent to India by underworld don Chota Shakeel to kill Bharatiya Janata Party leader Varun Gandhi.

Ravi Poojary, another don, claimed responsibility for Kashimji’s death, declaring that the lawyer had been killed as he was defending an ‘anti-Hindu’ man. The police are yet to track down Kashimji’s killers.

Exactly a year after that incident, 12 men were detained on the charges of conspiring to kill a Hindu lawyer. Yusuf Nadar, an upcoming don, reportedly hired some henchmen to carry out the murder.

The underworld dons shifted to Mangalore as most gangs already had the basic infrastructure — to carry out a variety of illegal acts — in place in the city, which was already a smuggling haven.

The lucrative real estate market in Mangalore is another major attraction for the criminals.

“There is a lot of interest in the field of real estate in Mangalore. The prices have touched a new high. The booming real estate prices have attracted the underworld to Mangalore and automatically the cases of extortion too have gone up,” says senior advocate Vikram Hegde.

According to the police, a well-organised criminal network in Mangalore collects information on people who can be targeted for extortion. The number of such cases has been steadily rising, say the police, adding that in the last three months, 14 people have been arrested on charges of extortion.

Both the Ravi Poojari and Chota Shakeel gang are involved in extortion activities, say the police.

The police are also wary of Mangalore being used as a base to carry out terror activities, After the serial blasts in Delhi in September 2008, some of the terrorists responsible for the attack were traced to Mangalore.

The consignment used by the terrorists was smuggled from across the border and eventually landed in Mangalore, before being ferried to Manipal.

The dons operating in Mangalore have not taken their battle for supremacy to the streets, as they don’t want to antagonise the locals. Both the powerful dons are playing the communal card, and attaching a religious connotation to every murder, warn the police

While one faction seeks support from elements from areas like Bhatkal and Kasargod, others rely on political patronage to further their agenda. The trend of underworld dons actively fuelling communal tension to control their strongholds is dangerous, warn the police. In a communally sensitive town like Mangalore, both gangs are exploiting simmering communal feelings to carry out subversive activities, according to the police.

Underworld’s role in cricket under scrutiny


Underworld’s role in cricket will be a matter for scrutiny in the days to come. Though there is talk of the Dawood Ibrahim gang trying to invest in cricket, Indian Intelligence agencies told rediff.com that concrete proof has not emerged as yet, but they were looking into the matter seriously.

The funding for terror is drying up and the only two options available for the underworld funding terror is hawala and cricket.

Six months ago, the underworld and the ISI were largely reliant on three forms of trade to raise money for terror operations: arms trade, drug smuggling and fake currency. However with a global awareness on terror rising with each passing day, all countries, victims of terror, have curbed this menace to a large extent.

IB sources say the funds to the tune of Rs 3000 crore were generated every year through arms trade, drug smuggling and fake currency. Out of this the underworld contributed Rs 1800 crore towards funding terror operations.

However with the awareness being spread and the security being tightened, these businesses have taken a deep hit and the amount has come down to meagre Rs 1200 crore and both the underworld as well as the ISI is finding it hard to make two ends meet.

In the days to come, the underworld would participate more actively in hawala transactions to raise funds.

It is said that they would also indirectly try and participate in cricket operations since they realize that there is a lot of money in the sport.

Security agencies also say that the funds would have to be under tight scrutiny since the underworld is making constant efforts to enter this trade.

Earlier the underworld had played a major role in fixing games, but now it would be looking to invest money and double it since the game is a major money-spinner.

The IB says that the underworld would not invest in the game directly, but would be looking to invest the money through its stooges. The operation would look very legitimate in nature and would be very difficult to track.

GSLV failure, a setback to ISRO


The unsuccessful launch of the GSAT-4 satellite aboard the GSLV-D3 is a major setback for the indigenous space program of the Indian Space Research Organisation. The GSLV D3 was powered fro the first time by a home made cryogenic engine which made India the 6th nation after US, Russia, Japan, France and China to possess such a complex technology. ISRO officials said that the Rs 330 crore mission failed minutes after the rocket lifted off at 4.27 PM. Although they would go ahead with the same mission next year, it is still considered to be a set back since ISRO had planned on using the GSLV rocket for its second moon mission.

ISRO Chairman however pointed out that the moon mission would be on schedule and the failure of this mission would not have any impact on the moon mission. ISRO is still looking into the reasons for this failure and a report on the same is expected in the next three days, We are not sure if the main cryogenic engine did ignite as the vehicle started to tumble. When we tested the cryogenic engine on the ground it got ignited.

This mission was unique for ISRO since in the past five flights of the GSLV, cryogenic stages which were used were procured from Russia. Besides, in the past the cryogenic technology was denied to India following US sanctions on Russia not to transfer this complex technology to India. Prior to the launch ISRO had said that the GSLV-D3 flight is significant as the indigeniously developed Cryogenic Upper Stage (CUS) is flight tested in this mission. This is the first time GSLV is carrying the indigenious CUS as its third stage instead of the Russian supplied Cryogenic Stage (CS), which was carried during its earlier flights. In 2006 the (GSLV-F02), with INSAT-4C on board, launched from Sriharihota could not complete the mission.


Earlier GSLV launches

GSLV-D1 launched GSAT-1 on April 18, 2001 (Successful)

GSLV-D2 launched GSAT-2 on May 8, 2003 (Successful)

GSLV-F01 launched EDUSAT(GSAT-3) on September 20, 2004 (Successful)

GSLV-F02 launched INSAT-4C on July 10, 2006 (Unsuccessful)

GSLV-F04 launched INSAT-4CR on September 2, 2007 (Successful)

ISRO says that the set back is serious in nature. 18 years of labour has gone into this mission and Rs 330 crore had been spent on the same. The ISRO chairman said that it would bounce back within a year by launching a rocket powered by indigenously developed cryogenic engine. He also added that ISRO will be flying two more GSLV rockets fitted with Russian-made cryogenic engines to launch two GSAT series satellites. He further added that the primary issue is to be self reliant in rocket technology and today ISRO is able to realize a cryogenic engine for Rs 36 crore whereas if it is procured from outside, the cost would be Rs 90 crore.