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.

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CBI waits for Atala song

Yaniv Benaim alias Atala. Photo courtesy: topnews.in
Yaniv Benaim alias Atala is probably one of the most known faces in Goa. After much effort, this man who controls the drug mafia in Goa was finally brought down and today is being interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

This man of Isreali origin was brought down to Goa last week and his interrogation is on at the moment. The end result of this interrogation is sure going to be a blockbuster since the information this man has on him is likely to shake up the political circles in Goa, which has very often been accused of sheltering the drug mafia.

Sources in the investigating team say that the interrogation does not stick to specific cases alone for which he has been booked. The interrogation will cover a lot of aspects and more importantly there is a great need to bust the drug mafia in Goa, an official said.

After the arrest of Atala the drug scene in Goa has not changed much, police officials say. Atala was very well connected and this gave him the guts to carry out operations in the open. However that has changed as of now and the business is more discreet although there is absolutely no evidence to show that the racket has come down.

CBI sources say that at the moment he has not revealed much as of now. He is a tough nut to crack and keep information very close to his heart. The last time around when he was arrested he had given out information regarding the nexus between the drug mafia and also the police/politicians. However he was granted bail, but he managed to jump bail. He went to Peru from there where he was once again arrested.

Police sources say that the interrogation at that time was incomplete. While he was being interrogated the last time, his girlfriend Lucky had posted a video of him speaking about his connections in Goa.

It was around this time that the connection between him and Roy Naik, son of Goa Home Minister, Ravi Naik had come out in the open.

The CBI says that this is one of the major angles which they have been questioning him on and so far the clues are trickling in slowly. The CBI have even investigated the other three Roys who are possible accomplices of Atala. This was based on the statement made by Ravi Naik himself while defending his son. He had said on the floor of the assembly that there are three other Roys who are into this racket and the one everyone is speaking about is not his son. However after a lot of investigation the police have found no other Roy and hence the son of the Home Minister continues to be the prime suspect in this case at least.

Atala, the Goa police say is a very big catch. He is the big link between the Russian, Nigerian and Israeli mafia which controls the drug trade in Goa. The cases against him are never ending and in one he has at least 40 different cases booked against him. In addition to this he has the final say in the drug trade which is controlled at Kalagund, Bagha, Anjuna, Kolwa and the Arpora coastal areas. He has been into this racket for the past 20 years.

Atala according to investigators controls a trade which is estimated to be around Rs 5000 crores. He is connected not only in Goa, but in several other countries too. He has to reveal more for the police to get a clue as to how the drugs exactly are being smuggled into Goa. The drugs come in from the Af-Pak areas and most of it is transported through sea. However what the CBI needs to crack is that how do these drugs continue to come in through the sea so easily despite the security along the coasts being stepped up after the 26/11 attack.

The CBI says it is keeping all doors open and the interrogation is going to take a long time. The CBI would look to get the names of the police officers and also the polticians involved with this man which helped him carry out his trade so brazenly in the open. We would also be looking at an inter state and country nexus involved in this trade the CBI said.

Not enough if promises made at Iftar party

The Muslim Community in Hyderabad is up in arms against Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy and they have accused him of following an appeasement policy instead of translating his words into actions.
Lateef Mohammad Khan, general secretary of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee says that it has been a big relief for all the Muslims that the real truth in the Mecca Masjid case finally came out. All through the Muslims were being targeted for an attack on their own place of worship. A lot of innocent youth were picked up and now released. The problem is that they still find it hard to get jobs because their character has taken a beating.
Khan says that it is essential that the government provides these youth with character certificates so that they can lead their life normally.
The problem began when Reddy attended an iftar party and told the Muslims present there he has a lot of concern for the community. He also said at the party that he would take action against those police officials who have harassed the Muslims apart from providing character certificates to the youth who were falsely implicated in the Mecca Masjid case.
What the Muslims argue is that these statements are false and despite them sending him a request through fax to this effect he really has not done anything.
The government on the other hand is protecting the accused police officials who harassed the Muslims. Senior advocates have been appointed to defend these officials in the court.
The community today demands that the CM tenders an unconditional apology and also pass a resolution to this effect in the Andhra Pradesh assembly.
Further it is also demanded that Andhra Pradesh State Minority Commission report on Illegal detention, and torture of Muslim youth prepared by Advocate Ravi Chander be tabled before in Assembly.
The government is defending the accused police officers by appointing the top most lawyers against the compensation suit of Muslim youth filed in the City Civil Court, and it is showing the policemen responsible for torture as “unknown”. The congress government should present all these police officers in the court.
Muslim youth have been acquitted by the court but the cases are still open and in these cases hundreds of youth are still shown as absconding. Government should immediately close these cases.
Muslim women were put behind bars and slapped cases on them. Five lakh rupees of surety were given to bring back those women from the jail. The government should apologize to the Muslim women and withdraw the cases and return the surety amount. The nexus between the Hyderabad and Gujarat police should be exposed. Action should be taken against the policemen involved in the Sohrabuddin murder case.

No idea if RSS backed Anna Hazare

Spiritual Guru, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar has been a central point in the entire Anna Hazare issue. After a prolonged battle with the Government of India there is some solution to this problem.
Shri Ravishankar in this chat with rediff.com says that the Jan Lokpal Bill is only a first aid kit. It can instill some fear in people. To eradicate corruption completely, we need a spiritual awakening in the society. Patriotism, love and a sense of belongingness can help rid the society of corruption.
He further goes on to state that the he never once thought that the people of India had taken over the Parliament as was being alleged in this issue. By listening to people’s demands, the power of Parliament does not get overridden. Parliament is there to bring the voice of the people. Unfortunately, nothing in our Government works without pressure. What is shocking and unfortunate now with the party politics is that the politicians listen only to the party high command and do not represent the voice of the people. When the Jan Lok Pal bill was sent to the Chief Ministers of various states, instead of seeking opinion from their MLA’s and the elected representatives in the districts, the Chief Ministers referred back saying “Whatever the High Command says, we agree”. This is not democracy; it is dictatorship under the guise of democracy.
I will not say that the Jan Lok Pal bill is 100% perfect. It may have certain flaws which only the experts can see and rectify. There is scope for modification. Someone who can make it better is always welcome. It is not who makes the bill but what is in the bill that matters. What matters is whether it helps the common man. Anything in the Jan Lok Pal bill which does not fit into the parliamentary system or appears to violate the fundamental rights of the people, will have to be corrected. But the basic principles of the Jan Lok Pal bill will have to be adopted by the Government.
Nearly 40 scams have been exposed in the last 5 years; this has shocked the people of this country. Their anger needed a vent. In the last few months, I have travelled to 14 States across India and I could sense this issue when people would ask me in public. Because, the people have been suffering a great deal due to corruption, all of us together started this agitation last November. We were looking for a senior person to spearhead it. At the same time, Anna Hazare was leading such an agitation in a district in Maharashtra. We then invited him to New Delhi. His response to our request was, “I don’t know. Nobody knows me in Delhi. But everybody knows me in my district and I will get support there”. So, we gave The Art of Living course to people in 15 centers and created volunteers and through them began this movement. We started this agitation in Jantar Mantar with the participation of Art of Living volunteers and singers. However I must also add that the as far as I know it was always a peoples’ movement and the talk that the RSS was backing it is unknown to me.
Anna Hazare is a man of firm resolve and he has only echoed the frustration of the people. A sense of urgency was created after waiting for 42 years for the bill to come.

Terror in India- Absolute state of chaos

A blast rocked Old Delhi days before the Common Wealth Games. Then there was a blast in Varanasi which was recently followed by the 13/7 attack in which almost 20 persons lost their lives. What is common in all these attacks? The fact that they continue to be unsolved mysteries.
These blasts may have been smaller attacks when compared to the other ones that India has faced in the past, but the scary picture that one gets is that terrorism which was an organised form of crime all these years in our country today is out of control which is making it impossible for security agencies to crack.
A security expert said that this is exactly what the Pakistan sponsored terrorist groups wanted and the war is being played out exactly the way they want it. A counter terrorism expert pointed out that the cases were solvable as long as these groups were organised. Take for instances the series of attacks launched by the Indian Mujahideen or the Students Islamic Movement of India. There was a plan, then there was a sleeper cell and then it translated into the module before the foot soldiers were out on the field carrying out the attacks. The Indian Mujahideen infact went a step ahead too in this battle and even used technology to carry out attacks.
However what we got to see in the three attacks as mentioned below is that complete lack of planning and also the use of conventional methods to carry out an attack.
Today Intelligence Bureau officials say that it is the fringe elements of SIMI which have carried out these attacks. Although we have not been able to come to a definitive conclusion on the outfit, we can say with confidence that some stray elements are carrying out these attacks.
There have been attempts to regroup outfits such as the IM and SIMI in some parts of the country. However the message from Pakistan is clear and that is these groups shall not regroup for now. The object is to carry out terror strikes and more importantly ensure that the Pakistan trail does not come into the picture. That is happening to perfection and this is something that these terror groups from across the border had always wanted.
When a spate of arrests were made and the Indian Mujahideen almost busted there were attempts that had been made to regroup this outfit. The likes of the Bhatkals and Amir Reza Khan did make attempts, but they decided to take a back seat for the time being after seeing how the Old Delhi blasts took place. There was a realisation that some fringe elements who had access to explosives in the country were carrying out these blasts and this was a trend that was not going to stop. What they also realised that some boys were capable of joining hands and carrying out an attack with no support from any module or even their aakas at Pakistan. Hence the big bosses in Pakistan allowed such attacks to continue and made no further attempt to regroup.
The IB says what is making this entire exercise of controlling such attacks even more tougher is that a group of four boys join hands and carry out an attack. Now these boys are either from the SIMI or the IM and the worst part is that none of the others from these outfits even know what these boys are up to.
What has been noticed is that these attacks are carried out for the sake of revenge. The arrest of Safdar Nagori, the Batla House Encounter and also some of false cases against members of the SIMI is what keeps these boys going. The attacks we would get to see in the future would be similar in nature. Any four boys from any part of the country could get together and without even discussing it with their outfit could carry out an attack. It is a state of chaos within these terror groups and the lack of a proper plan or procedure among them is making the life of police officers hell.
Following these attacks the Intelligence has even cross checked the communications to Pakistan and have found no trace of any such communication. This is a clear indication that none in Pakistan too are kept in the loop about such attacks. The interrogation of various other operatives connected with the SIMI or IM too have yielded no results since in reality those persons are unaware of any such plan.
While the situation got worse with the Delhi blasts, the real beginning of such type of an attack was the Bangalore blasts which was carried out by T Nasir. He was originally part of the SIMI and a self motivated operative. He managed to raise funds through a Gulf contact and with the help of a couple of labour carried out the Bangalore blasts. The irony is that no one in the SIMI or the IM even knew about this attack. This kind of an attack became an inspiration for the various other youths who decided that they ought to carry out attacks on their own. They realised that they could carry out an attack on their own by taking a decision on their own and without any handlers.
The IB says that it looks like a complete split in these groups and there is no unity among them. However there is nothing to feel happy about it since their lack of unity means that the attacks would not be coordinated and the job of the police only becomes tougher at the end of it. The lack of coordination and proper planning may ensure that these attacks are not very effective in nature, but the fact remains is that it is a grave threat to security and would continue to be an irritant.
To cut a long story short, the Indian agencies could blame themselves to a large extent. The lack of proper investigation which led to the arrests of innocent youth and men has created this fury among such groups. This is exactly what a group such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba wanted and today they appear to have succeeded in their goal to a large extent since when incidents of terror are not coordinated it amounts to a total state of chaos.

More evidence, more delays and the Headley case

The Home Ministry a couple of days back informed that the probe regarding David Headley has been completed. However there continues to be a slight delay where the filing of the chargesheet is concerned.

Sources informed that the case of David Headley is quite an easy one when compared to the Tawwahur Rana case. Headley’s case largely rests on the confession made by him and this has helped investigating agencies to build up a strong case. However today the NIA is waiting for some more documents from the United States of America and only once that reaches them will the chargesheet be filed.

A source in the NIA said that the emails and other transcripts used by Headley are with them. However the biggest problem in order to make it a water tight case would be the voice samples which unfortunately are in Pakistan. It is not so much of an issue to file the chargesheet against Headley since the case against him individually is a water tight one. The issue remains the others especially those in the Pakistan establishment who were connected with Headley and this is where the reliance on the other countries come into the picture.

The NIA says that Pakistan has agreed in principle to hand over the voice samples. The case to this effect is in court and a lot would depend on that. It is to be seen how much an influence the ISI would have on the judicial procedures, because the agency would try its best to avoid these voice samples getting out Pakistan since the entire focus would be on them. The US will however play a vital role in this exercise and it is to be seen whether they would lead this exercise to persuade Pakistan to hand over the voice samples to India. The NIA says that it is however not too hopeful that it would get the voice samples, but they would continue to make efforts.

The NIA has with it all the details regarding the trips made by Headley to India. The persons who he met with and those who he had sought help from. However the evidence has not been too forthcoming on any of the local contacts that Headley had been in touch with and the fact of the matter is that no one really knew what he was up to. There were many persons with whom Headley had interacted in India, but during the trial all these persons will be turned into witnesses who would in turn have to testify against Headley.

There is a confession by Headley in which he speaks about his India tour. The issue however is that the Indian law is a bit linient towards persons who have confessed to their crime. However this would not be sufficient for the NIA since they would want a harsh order against him. Although it would not be possible to sentence him since he has a plea bargain not to be shifted out of the US, they would still like to make a strong statement on this case since this is really their first Big case.

There are aspects of Headley’s confession which do not make the role of the Pakistani establishment very clear. In fact he has been edgy and chosen to avoid a lot of things. This is where the real role of the NIA began and they started to build up their own case with regard to Headley’s association with the Pakistani establishment. While bringing out this aspect during the trial in India, the court would realise that Headley’s confession reeks in malafide and the order against him would be strong.

In this regard India does find the need to wait for more evidence from the US and if possible from Pakistan. They have sent letters to Pakistan, but at the end of it would request the US to pressurise it to get them that bit of evidence regarding the voice samples which is very crucial to the case.

NIA sources say that unless and until there is clarity regarding this aspect they would not want to go ahead with the chargesheet. We want one final chargesheet and do not want to file one immediately and then go in for an additional one.

Another issue that the NIA has been discussing is that they would want the Rana and the Headley case to be part of the same chargesheet. Their cases are inter connected and their offenses committed in India are inter-linked and it is not as though both have been on separate assignments.

The NIA says where Rana is concerned the documents are expected to take a while longer. Moreover they have not managed to get access to him as yet and that would be possible only once his appeal is complete. Rana has only played the role of a second fiddle to Headley. Although we would prefer to file the chargesheet against the two of them together, we would still take a final call on that depending on how long the Rana case takes. If we get the remainder of the Headley documents early and find that the Rana case is taking too long then we may just go ahead with the chargesheet and the Rana aspect could be added in the additional chargesheet attached to the main one.

As of now the case that has been booked against Headley is the one pertaining to waging a war against the country. He has already pleaded guilty on 12 charges. However the case against Rana on conspiracy was dismissed and an appeal is on at the moment.

‘Government is making a fool out of everyone’

Even as the nation watches the developments unfolding in New Delhi over the Jan Lokpal Bill, Justice Santhosh Hegde one of the members of the drafting panel says that he has no hope that something constructive would come out of this entire exercise.

I am sitting here in Bangalore and watching the proceedings everyday, but I no for a fact that nothing really will come out of this entire excericse. I just feel very sorry that the Government is making a fool out of everyone. My heart goes out to Anna Hazare and I am very unhappy with the manner in which they have been treating him.

What none of them get is that the government has been doing this ever since the drafting panel was set up. I have seen this drama play out each time and today nothing different is happening. They are giving Anna Hazare false promises and hence I cannot trust this government one bit.

Rahul Gandhi may have made the right comments today, but what will be the end result, I really do not know. Sometimes I think these are mere statements. However I feel that he needs more maturity in politics because when he says things like such protests are dangerous, then I would not agree with the same. What does he mean when he says that such protests are dangerous to democracy.Let me remind them that it is the Congress party which had started such protests in the first place.

I have constantly urged Anna Hazare to call off his fast. I have said yesterday too that a protest can go on, but I am not in favour of a fast. I have often been asked whether I am in the Anna Hazare team. Sometimes I feel that I am not in that team. I however support the cause and may be I feel that I am not part of the team because I am sitting in Bangalore while all the action is being played out in New Delhi.

United politicians dangerous to Anna cause

The entire nation may be behind Anna Hazare and his movement for the introduction of his version of the Jan Lokpal Bill. However while speaking to one of the members of the drafting committee-Justice Santhosh Hegde, one gets a grim picture of whatever is happening.

All these days there was this confidence that the fight was against the government which everyone feels was too adamant regarding this issue. However today is a different issue altogether. All the political parties have come to the conclusion that both the bills will be withdrawn and a new committee will be formed.

The biggest problem today is that all the political parties have become united and this is disastrous to the cause. The real issue is that the points raised by us should have been agreed to, but with these parties standing united today, the hope is slowly fading away.

None of us today believe that anything good will come out of this. This government is adamant and is famous of taking U-turns. There is no rift within our team and we have been stressing on the same point since the past several months. The entire team is behind Anna Hazare and the government also knows that we are united. The battle is becoming a frustrating one and the government has done so many flip flops. We saw some hope when the government agreed to the two points raised by us. We thought that the issue was coming to a close, but then the U turn happened. I find the situation to be grim today since it is not only the government which is being adamant, but all political parties have joined hands. They are united now and this is dangerous to this movement.

They speak about forming a new committee. We all know what this new committee is going to do. It will water down the entire exercise.

The Prime Minister’s statements on the inclusion of the PM are in good taste, but I feel it has come too late in the day.He should have issued this statement in April itself. However the point is that are these statements serious or are people trying to take credit for something? During the various deliberations we have had we have never got a clear picture about anything. Each one is making their own statement and this is leading to confusion.

The health of Anna Hazare continues to be a concern for all of us. I personally feel that we should keep a fast out of this protest. We do not want any loss of life in this movement. We have been urging him to withdraw his fast and just continue with the protest. The police will take him to hospital and there is not much anyone can do about it since the law is very clear that no one has the right to kill himself. It can be a fast, but not a fast until death since it falls under the ambit of suicide which is an offence as per the Indian law. The scenes may turn ugly if he forced, but on a personal note, I too feel he should end his fast and just continue with his protest. I have not contacted any of my colleagues as yet, but will surely convey that the fast has to be withdrawn since no life should be lost. We can continue to make our demands through a protest since the country is behind us today.

Unmarked graves found in Kashmir

While the Kashmir problem continues to boil a startling discovery has been made- Investigations by the Kashmir State Human Rights Commission has now found that 2730 bodies have been dumped in unmarked graves in four different districts of Kashmir.

An inquiry by the police investigation team of the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has found 2,730 bodies dumped into unmarked graves in four of the state’s 14 districts. Thousands of Kashmiris have been forcibly disappeared during the last two decades of violence, their whereabouts unknown.

The Inquiry Report of Unmarked Graves in North Kashmir, submitted by the investigating police team to the commission states that the unidentified bodies had been buried in 38 sites in north Kashmir’s Baramulla, Bandipora, Handwara, and Kupwara districts. At least 574 have been identified as the bodies of local Kashmiris. The government had previously said that the graves held unidentified militants, most of them Pakistanis killed over the two decades of violence in Jammu and Kashmir whose bodies had been handed over to village authorities for burial. However, in response to commission inquiries, in March 2010 district police claimed that a total of 464 unidentified bodies had been buried in north Kashmir.

Meenakshi Ganguly the South Asia Director of the Human Rights Watch says that Kashmiris have been lamenting their lost loved ones, their pleas ignored or dismissed as the government and army claimed that they had gone to Pakistan to become militants. But these graves suggest the possibility of mass murder. The authorities should immediately investigate each and every death.

According to the Srinagar-based Association of Parents of Displaced Persons (APDP), at least 8,000 people have disappeared since the insurgency began. In February 2003, the government of Jammu and Kashmir, then led by the current opposition leader, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, told the state legislative assembly that 3,744 people were missing and that many of those reported missing since 1990 were actually in Pakistan, where they had signed up to be trained as militants.

In a September 2006 report, “Everyone Lives in Fear,” Human Rights Watch said: “The debate about the facts and the inconclusive nature of government and NGO claims make it clear why the government or a specially designated independent body should conduct a transparent investigation into each case of ‘disappearance’ reported since 1990.

The commission’s report, which was leaked to journalists over the weekend, is the first official confirmation that such deaths occurred. Pointing out that Kashmiri groups, including APDP and the International People’s Tribunal on Kashmir, have said there are similar unmarked graves in at least eight other districts, the report recommended a thorough investigation by an “impartial agency,” and at least $15,000 in compensation for each death. The Jammu and Kashmir state government and the central government in New Delhi have yet to respond to the findings.

When the new government of chief minister Omar Abdullah was elected in Jammu and Kashmir state in February 2009, Human Rights Watch wrote to him, saying: “Thousands of people remain victims of enforced disappearances in Jammu and Kashmir. The practices of ‘disappearances’ and extrajudicial executions violate basic human rights, including the right to life, the right to liberty and security of the person, the right to a fair and public trial, as well as the prohibition on torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment. Under international law, an enforced disappearance is a continuing crime until the ‘disappearance’ is resolved.”

The report recommended that the commission call for immediate DNA sampling and other forensic tests to try to identify the bodies by matching them with the next of kin of people who have disappeared. Seventeen of the bodies found in the four districts have already been reburied by relatives in family graveyards. The investigation found that 18 of the graves contained more than one body.

Human Rights Watch has previously called for creation of an independent, transparent commission working within a specified time frame to which relatives and others can provide information about cases of enforced disappearance. This commission should be empowered to summon members of the security forces who might have been responsible, even if they are no longer posted in Jammu and Kashmir or have retired from service.

A similar pattern of abuses and took place in the neighboring state of Punjab during counterinsurgency operations from 1984 to 1995, Human Rights Watch said. Indian security forces were implicated in thousands of killings and secret cremations to hide the evidence.

The National Human Rights Commission, which was specially empowered by the Supreme Court to address these cases, narrowed its efforts to merely establishing the identity of the people secretly cremated in three crematoria in just one district of Punjab. It rejected cases from other districts and ignored intentional violations of human rights by India’s security forces. For more than a decade, the commission has failed to investigate a single case independently, and it refuses to identify any officials responsible for the abuses.

None of the key architects of the counterinsurgency strategy in either Kashmir or Punjab who bear substantial responsibility for these atrocities have been brought to justice.

Jagan’s worries continue

In a major set back to Y S R Congress leader, Jagan Mohan Reddy, the Supreme Court of India rejected a petition filed by him challenging the CBI probe against him. The Bench of the Supreme Court observed that it could not intervene in this case at this point in time.

The Bench further stated that it cannot interfere in this matter at this point in time since it is too premature and moreover the probe and inquiry has already commenced and is on.

Based on several complaints a petition was filed before the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking a CBI probe into the assets owned by Jagan. The court while allowing the petition order a CBI probe into the assets and also the wealth amassed by Jagan. It was alleged that he had amassed wealth disproportionate to his known source of income.

Based on this order the CBI had conducted a series of raids on all property owned by Jagan in both Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Raids were also conducted on the properties owned by Jagan’s aides and family members apart from his investors as well.

Jagan while challenging the order of the High Court had also said in a press conference on August 15 that these raids were stage managed by the Congress. He had questioned why these raids had come about only once he left the Congress.

However today Jagan would have no option but to face the inquiry launched by the CBI. There is no official word from his office on the Supreme Court verdict, but one of the members in his camp said they would adopt a wait and watch policy.

The CBI raids have had quite an impact on the politics of Andhra Pradesh. 29 MLAs came out of the party in support of Jagan. Although it was claimed that these MLAs had quit since they were upset about the defamatory remarks by the Congress against YSR, in inner circles everyone knew that it was a retaliatory measure planned by Jagan.

However for Jagan the problems are only likely to increase in the days to come. The CBI raids and inquiries will continue, but the agency has decided to rope in the Enforcement Directorate too. The ED is expected to look into the role of two Mauritian firms which allegedly routed in illegal money into a power project. The CBI is planning on writing to the ED regarding this issue.