The BKI-Let association comes to the fore again

The seizure of the car laden with explosives at Ambala last evening has had Intelligence agencies and the police department on its toes. While it has been by and large ascertained that the car was headed towards New Delhi in order to carry out a major explosion at Diwali time another intercept that has been slowly trickling in is that the operation may have been a joint venture of the Babbar Khalsa International and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba.

So the big question is whether this is a plan that has been foiled or is it a pre cursor of something more to come. There has been some very specific intelligence intercepts about the coming together of both these outfits. In fact a large number of militants of the BKI have been under the roofs of Pakistani militants for over a decade now. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the BKI has been seeking the help of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the ISI to regroup its modules so that it could carry out attacks on Indian soil.

After the major crack down on the BKI and the rest of the groups in Punjab most of the leaders fled to Pakistan. They have been training and also setting up their outfit under the care of the ISI. The ISI in fact has intentionally decided to very sparingly use these persons from Punjab. The interest of these militants has always been Punjab alone and once ready they would look to wage a war in that state all over again. However the ISI would use their cadres to strike at the epicentres such as the capital-New Delhi.

Going back to the Ambala operation the preliminary investigations would suggest that the explosives were held out for the BKI by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba militants in the Valley. The same was confirmed by Arun Kampani, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell.

However according to reports of the Intelligence Bureau both the Lashkar and the BKI would work in tandem in India. This operation gives the indication of the same. A couple of months ago there were related incidents in Punjab as well where explosives stocked by the Lashkar militants in the Valley were handed over to the BKI who were planning on using the same.

It would be interesting to go back to the interrogation of two BKI cadres Daljith Singh and Purushotham Singh who were arrested at Mohali a year ago. Their interrogation report makes it clear what plan their outfit had in store for India. During their interrogation they do give out details about how the two outfits have been working in tandem with each other. In fact they have even said the revival of militancy in Punjab is very much part of the much hyped up Karachi Project. The Karachi project basically is the coming together of various outfits affiliated with India who would in turn carry out a series of attacks across the country.

The interrogation of the two men had also suggested that their leader Paramjith Singh is currently in Pakistan and he is the one who has been controlling operations.

Until last year the BKI and its affiliates had not focused much on terror operations per se. They were more interested in setting up their modules and also pumping in infiltrators to strengthen their base. Although the epi centre of this problem lies in Pakistan, the BKI has made constant efforts to regroup in India and be less reliant on the Pakistan soil. Although the ISI claimed that the ideologies of both the Lashkar and the BKI matched a great deal the latter always used the Pakistan soil as a matter of convenience. They do realise that they need the help of a very strong force in order to re start operations in India. At the moment the training activities for these militants is all taking place in the Pakistani areas of Lakhpat, Chakwal, Gujranwala, Mianwali, Kot ,Peshawar, Attock, Shahidan Da Banga and Gulbarg.

 The BKI has had many a failed attempt in the past two years. There was a plot at Mohali that was foiled, several infiltration attempts were scuttled, the attack on the CWG too was a damp squib and today’s incident as per the on going investigations is also a failed attempt. However they can claim success in only one incident which occurred four years back at a theatre in Ludhiana. That was probably the first sign of the return of this militancy and it had become clear during the probe that it was carried out with the blessings of Pakistan based militants.

Intelligence agencies however warn that the alert is high around the Valley, Punjab and the areas around New Delhi. The BKI has been making various attempts and we would not completely rule out a slight possibility of a BKI trace in the recent Delhi High Court blast. The seizure has to be looked at in two ways. It could either be intentional as an attention diverter or it could be a genuine case which has been foiled, the IB points out. However what the police state is that going by the manner in which the BKI has operated, it is very evident that they would not go in for a small operation and their operations have always been on a very large scale.

Although India is aware of this problem the real issue lies with Pakistan as it has under their umbrella the likes of-

Wadhawan Singh Babbar: Chief of BKI, Ranjith Singh Neeta: Chief of Khalistan Zindabad Force, Paramjeet Singh Panjawar: Chief of Khalistan Commando force,. Lakhbhir Singh Rode: Chief of ISYF and Gajinder Singh: The leader of Dal Khalsa. All these men have their permanent addresses at Lahore since the past one decade.

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Mining report- Lok asked to clarify

The Karnatka Cabinet has raised certain questions regarding the Lokayukta report on illegal mining. The state cabinet which is supposed to file an action take report before the Lokayukta has raised certain doubts regarding the report on illegal mining.
The Cabinet has sought to know some of the sections deployed by the Lokayukta while preparing the report. It would now await the clarifications from the Lokayukta before deciding to act on the report or not.
The report on illegal mining submitted in the month of July had created a stir and eventually led to the resignation of B S Yeddyurappa as the Chief Minister of Karnataka. It had also deprived the Reddy brothers of a Cabinet berth.

This is not my Ram Sene

The Shri Ram Sene which had been in the news following the pub attacks in Mangalore is once again back in the news. This time it is for the assault on Prashanth Bhushan and also some supporters of Anna Hazare.

However the supremo of the Ram Sene, Pramod Muthalik remains unfazed as he said he is the biggest supporter of Anna Hazare and he would never do or get something of this sort done.

I know there is another group based in the North which also goes by the same name. I strongly suspect that it is that organisation which is carrying out these attacks. I am aware that all the fingers are pointing towards my organisation but let me be honest we have absolutely no presence in Delhi. Our activities are nill over there and hence there is no chance that any of my boys could have carried out this attack.

Moreover we are strong supporters of the Anna Hazare movement. During the fast that he undertook I was one of his strongest supporters. Our organisation took place in every possible programme at that time and hence the question of us carrying out this attack does not arise at all.

According to me the party most affected by Anna Hazare is the Congress since they have decided to take this party head on. It is more likely that they could stage manage such an attack because they are the one’s who have everything to gain if the Anna movement is silenced.

I have decided not to react to the fact that the name of my organisation is being dragged into it. I am not filing any case of defamation, but yes I would hope that a thorough inquiry is conducted the name of my organisation is not taken up without any  reason.

The Iqbal Mirchi case

The arrest of Iqbal Mirchi has give Indian agencies plenty to smile about. The man who is said to be Dawood Ibrahims right man hand handling the drug syndicate spent the last decade in theEssextown controlling the business before he was finally arrested.

CBI sources who confirmed the arrest say that there has been a red corner alert against the man since the year 1994. The alert numbered A-529/11-1994 was issued a year after theBombayserial blasts after which he went missing. The Interpol alert issued through the Central Bureau of Investigation specifically speaks about his role in storing and manufacturing of narcotics.

Born on April 25 1950 he goes by the aliases Memon Iqbal Mohammad, Iqbal Mirchi and also Iqbal Merchant. Fluent with Arabic, Hindi and English, Mirchi got this surname since his family was into the red chilli business.

Although there is more being spoken about his role in the drug business compared to the 1993 serial blasts, he still would be the vital link to crack the D code according to the CBI. The drug syndicate which was under the control of Mirchi did not remain just that, but also became a full fledged route to acts of terror. The Intelligence Bureau says that the drug racket controlled by the D Gang is very directly linked to every act of terror. In fact it was the plan by the ISI to interlink both these networks and the story goes that this is exactly how they managed to get Dawood Ibrahim into their fold in the first place. ThePakistanand theAfghanistanroutes are very crucial to any drug trade and the these routes were very much under the control of the ISI. They were well aware that the D gang was using these routes extensively and the ISI struck a deal with this gang that they would make the job easier only if Dawood agreed to pump a large share of his drug income into terror activities.

Now that Iqbal Mirchi has been arrested,Indiawould seek his extradition since it is a known fact that he is important toIndiawhen compared to any other country. Although he operated inLondon, he was the point man for the international drug trade being run by the D Gang. This would mean that his links spread across not only toIndia, but toThailand,Nepaland alsoNigeria, all of which have been proven to be key Dawood hubs.

Mirchi was once arrested by the Scotland Yard police in the year 1995 on charges of drug peddling and also the 1993 blasts.Indiahad a very surprising response at that point in time and despite their request for extradition being turned down, they never went in appeal and even paid Mirchi costs. However in the Indian records he is still an offender and all the cases pertaining to drugs and terrorism remain intact against him. Sources say that the scenario today is very different when compared to 1995 and today there is much more material against him when compared to 16 years back.

TodayIndianot only has its own case, but also has the support of theUnited States of Americawhich has termed him as an offender dealing in the drug racket. Hence this time around the CBI hopes that the extradition process would be much simpler and they are confident of getting his custody.

If at all Mirchi is extradited then the Indian agencies could consider it to be a major breakthrough. His role in the drug racket would be of interest to bothIndiaand theUS, but the more important thing is that both these countries have ample information that this racket is directly connected to everything related to terrorism. The drug routes between Pakistan Afghanistan,Nepal,IndiaandThailandhave been used for terror activities. Not only are these routes used to smuggle arms and ammunition, but are also used to pump in the fake currency which has become terror’s primary funder. Moreover the money that has been raised through the drug racket also directly funds terror activities.

Although Indian agencies were aware of Mirchi’s whereabouts all through no serious attempt was ever made to extradite him. He was inDubaifor very long after the 1993 serial blasts and at that time he was declared as a proclaimed offender. However he sensed that he could be extradited and hence moved to theUnited Kingdom. He has managed to handle the drug trade with ease in the international circuit and according to the Indian agencies he continues to be the most senior man in the D drug syndicate. It would be interesting to see howIndiawould move about his extradition. IB sources say that they have a stronger case against him and the extradition this time around will not be so much of a problem. There would be much reliance on the order of theUSgovernment too against Mirchi whichIndiahopes will makes the extradition an easier process. He needs to be looked as an international offender and his interrogation would help in cracking several cases relating to terror inIndiaand also the rest of the world.

Delhi blasts probe- what on earth is happening here

The probe into the Delhi blasts appears to be the most confusing one till date. Is it the Indian Mujahideen, the Hizbul Mujahideen or the Harkat-ul-Jihadi which has undertaken this blast? The most recent arrest of Dr Wasim and his interrogation go on to show that he has some links to the Hizbul Mujahideen, a terrorist organisation which is very active in the Jammu and Kashmir area.

While the confusion remains regarding the organisation that has carried out this blast, there is one thing that has been zeroed in and that is the operation which was carried out from Kashmir was controlled from Bangladesh. Most of the terrorist strikes on Indian soil are usually remote controlled from Pakistan. However in the case of the Delhi blast, it is clear that certain elements in Bangladesh had controlled this operation.

This is precisely what has made this probe extremely confusing. Going by the various intercepts and dossiers on all these outfits, it becomes clear that the HuJI has a bigger presence in Bangladesh when compared to the Hizbul Mujahideen. If one tends to stick to the basics then it is a clear cut HuJI operation controlled out of Bangladesh. Intelligence Bureau officials however do not rule out the possibility of various elements from different outfits coming together to carry out these blasts. Although a probe team will seek the help of Bangladesh for more details on this case, more angles internally would be looked into.

NIA sources say they are piecing together the details and would require more time to crack down on the case. There has been a mail from the Indian Mujahideen and also the HuJI after the blasts. At the moment it does not appear as though any dedicated organisation carried out the attack, but what we see is the coming together of several youth to carry out this strike. There has been a deliberate ploy to mislead the investigators and hence there have been so many mails. Moreover each of the youth during their questioning has given out different names of the outfits which has made this probe even tougher. The mail was sent out by the HuJi first and then the IM claimed responsibility. Further it came to light that the man who planted the bomb belonged to the HM.

The investigators have questioned several cadres of the Hizbul Mujahideen. They have even questioned a youth by the name Azhar Ali who belongs to the same outfit. However from Ali the NIA did not get much information and only realised that he is a recruiter for the HM who picks up youth for the Kashmir battle. They also questioned a youth by the name Abid but have not got much details from him barring the fact that he had something to do with the mail that was sent out in the name of the HuJI after the blasts.

At the moment it appears as though there is a dead end to the probe. There would be very heavy reliance on the information that the agency would get from Bangladesh. There is a request that has been sent seeking more details about the operations of both the HM and the HuJI over there.

During the interrogation of Dr Wasim there is really nothing much the probe agencies have been able to pick up. His father has been crying foul and even went on to say that his son had met the NIA only to coopearate with the investigation. He never expected that he would be made an accused in the case. Moreover the questioning of Dr Wasim and Abid Hussain also in the NIA custody has more details regarding the creation of the email than the actual blast that took place.

However it appears that the NIA is taking a long shot with the help of Dr Wasim to get to his brother Junaid Malik who has traces of the HM association. According to the investigators it was Junaid who was present in Delhi and may be the one who planted the bomb. There are three men that the NIA is looking out for at the moment and they feel that they would be able to provide more leads into the case. Junaid Malik appears to be a key person in this probe since the NIA feels that he is the one who planted the bomb at Delhi. They are also looking for Amir Kamaal who was with Junaid on the day the blast took place. Jahangir Saroori is also another person on the NIA radar.

Interestingly all these men are from the Hizbul Mujahideen and according to investigators each one had a very vital role to play in this attack. The probe so far shows that Amir had carried the explosives to Delhi while Junaid planted the same. As far as Jahangir is concerned he is the one who procured the explosives according to the investigations. Amir is said to be an area commander of the HM while the other two are commanders for the HM.

While this part of the probe is being looked into by the NIA, the Intelligence Bureau is closely looking into the movement of HM operatives. The HM has all these years restricted its fight to Kashmir and has not really looked at carrying out attacks in other Indian cities like the Lashkar-e-Tayiba or the Indian Mujahideen. There is a fixed pattern in the manner in which these outfits carry out terror strikes and hence we feel that it must be an operation that was carried out with the coming together of a couple of youth. This is exactly why there is no proper intercept on this incident because if it were to be a full fledged HM operation then there would have been proper traces leading up to the outfit. However we are looking into it, the IB also pointed out.

Is the Iphone 4s worth it?

Gaddar on Telangana

Photo courtesy: anigalla.net

Will there be a decision on Telangana or not by tomorrow is the million dollar question? There is a glimmer of hope among the people of Telangana, but they also add that in case there is some via media kind of solution then they would only intensify the protest and they would settle for nothing less than a separate Telangana state.

Leading the movement for a very long time is a revolutionary by the name Gummadi Vittal Rao popularly known as Gaddar. In 1969, Gaddar joined the struggle for separate Telangana state and also  formed a burrakatha  a folk art troupe named after Mahatma Gandhi to spread awareness about the Telangana issue.

Gaddar says that it has been a long struggle and it is time that the issue is resolved and the delaying tactics on part of the government only goes on to show that it is really not serious about the issue. In this interview with rediff.com he asks, “ who are these people Ghulam Nabi Azad and the rest and who are they to discuss this problem when there was a clear announcement on this issue by the Home Minister.”

Do you have any hope that the Union Government will take a decision on Telangana?

Before you can ask me that question, I would like to ask what is the meaning of this ongoing consultation process. It is a decision that has to be made openly in Parliament. The delay tactics show that the government is not serious about its decision. If there were to be a decision it should have been taken by now.

It is not a small issue and there has to be some consultation, don’t you think sir?

Yes it is not a small issue. Why does this government forget that its own Home Minister, P Chidambaram had issued a statement favouring the formation of a Telangana state. Now what is the point in discussing the issue again when the government was clear about its stand a year back Let them discuss this in Parliament instead They need to place the issue the Parliament and discuss it.

Why are you so opposed to the ongoing discussion?

As I pointed out to you what it the use of a discussion when the Home Minister had made a statement. I do not know who these people Azad or any XYZ is to discuss this issue. What is the legal validity of such a discussion at all? I believe in democracy and in such a set up the Home Minister who is a representative of the Union Government has given a statement and that should be abided by. Hence the consultations taking place today makes no sense to me at all.

How do you find the handling of the problem by the Government?

Is there a need to state it and I am sure you know the answer too? They have taken no decision till date. What has the government being doing? When the people come to the roads seeking a legitimate right they use the army on us. Is the army meant to suppress the people or is it meant to fight the enemy nations? Army according to me is not meant to suppress the people of the country. The Telangana movement is well within the framework of the Indian Constitution. The government continues to delay the decision and also makes an issue out of a non issue.

What do you mean by issue out of a non issue?

That Telangana should be formed is a known fact and there is no doubt about that. What is the harm in just granting the state since it is a legitimate demand. On one hand they speak about Hyderabad and then speak about a Rayal-Telangana. All these issues are uncessary. Hyderabad is a part of Telangana and there cannot be a mixture of Rayalseema and Telangana. What the government is resorting to is nothing but political and criminal tactics.

There is some talk about the naxalites taking advantage and entering into this movement. What is your say on this?

In this country there are many movements-Bodo, Naxalite etc. Do you mean all these movements have cropped up due to the Telangana movement? The Telangana movement is a very old one and the only dream of all the martyrs who laid down their lives for this movement was nothing but self rule. I have heard of many allegations that Muslim Terrorists and Naxalites are trying to enter into the movement. No doubt that the naxalites support the movement, but the very fact remains that the ideology of the naxal movement and the Telangana struggle does not match. The big difference is that we the people of Telangana do not want violence.

Is the solution only Telangana or can something else be worked out?

No the solution is just Telangana. They may provide five point programmes, economic packages, but all these will have leakages and that will never solve the problem. The people of Telangana will only rise and seek for self rule.

Where do you see the real problem?

All these years the people of Telangana very religiously cast their vote thinking that there will be a solution through the ballot. However that was never meant to be. The biggest problem is that the natural resources of Telangana have been looted and we the people never got anything. The biggest enemies are the World Bank, the Andhra capitalists and the enemy within( the politicians).

What is your reading of the Telangana Rastriya Samithi?

It is an election party and when one speaks about elections you immediately associate it with money, mafia and media. The TRS seems to have entered into an alliance with the Congress which is the same party which has been depriving the people of a separate Telangana. The people are aware of this and that is the reason why the TRS has not been able to improve its position in Telangana.

Speaking about the ongoing protest, what do you feel about the numerous students who have suffered academically because of this?

Why just Telangana, look at the country as a whole. 75 per cent of the people have no basic amneties and education. In the case of Telangana, it is the students who are making this sacrifice for self rule. They are doing this so that they have better opportunities for themselves. They will make up for it. But for the moment they feel it is their duty to be on the roads and fight for the cause.

What do you have to say about the violence that has been going on?

Why is the sufferer being held responsible for the violence? It is the government which has to take responsibility for the violence that is taking place. The Telangana movement is basically a non violent one and is reformative by nature. It is the state government which is creating this problem leading to the violence. We have not touched a single person from Andhra or Rayalseema during this protest. Why is the government deploying para military forces. All this leads to provocation.

If at all Telangana is formed how tolerant will you be towards the people of Seema-Andhra who reside in your region?

As a revolutionary, I love all the suffering class of the world. There is no harm for such people who live in Telangana. There are people who are born and brought up here and they will be treated with love and respect since they feel for the place. However there are  a few whom we call as capitalists who have no love for humanity, who use poor labour for their benefits, who treat the market as their God and in short whom we call as imperialists. Such people may have a tough time since they basically have no love for humanity, but have over the years exploited it.

Talks of alliance with Cong after Telangana

Photo courtesy: track2governance.co.in

If at all Telangana is formed then the TRS will be a major party to reckon with in this belt, but they currently are engaged in a battle of sorts about who gets the credit if Telangana is formed. K T Rama Rao, son of K Chandrasekara Rao is of the view that the Union Government cannot go back on its word and will eventually hand over Telangana. In this interview with rediff.com. K T Rama Rao speaks about the ongoing agitation and also goes on to say that there is absolutely no decision on any alliance with the Congress once Telangana is formed.

What is the message from New Delhi?

I feel that something should come out tomorrow. They cant really go back on their promise and if they do they will face the wrath of the people of Telangana. At the moment however there is no clear message from New Delhi. So we have no other option but to wait until tomorrow.

What sort of a message are you expecting?

I am of course expecting a very positive message. But let us wait and see. The agitation has peaked and the government has taken note of this.

All of us know that the real issue is Hyderabad. Too much at stake over there. What is your take on this?

What is the confusion really? We have clearly said that we are willing to share the capital for another five years. However we are not ready to call it a Union Territory. It is a part of Telangana and it is our decency that we are ready to share it for another five years and not permanently. As fellow Telegus we are ready to accommodate them also. I don’t think anyone should seek Hyderabad as a permanent common capital. It does not make sense to the people of Rayalseema or Andhra due to geography. Let them take these five years to build their own capital.

This protest for Telangana has been causing a lot of problems to the common man. Are you aware that it has affected the neighbouring states too?

Yes I am aware of that. More than me it should be the government which should take note of this. This proves that Telangana has got ample resources and we should be given a separate state so that we the people put good use to it. Look at the problem at Singareni. The coal produced there is vital to the four southern states. It was bound to affect these states and if the government is really concerned then it should take note of this soon.

 Do you think Telangana can survive as a separate state?

Yes of course. We have the resources and once the state is granted then we will put this to good use. All these years it was not exactly used, but exploited by others. There is a lot of water, human resources and other natural wealth and if put to right use it would be one among the top five states in India. However for all this to happen we need self rule.

A protest is fine, but what is the logic of violence?

There has been a strike on and it has entered into the 28th day today. It has been peaceful barring a few incidents of sporadic violence in some pockets. It is not the people of Telangana, but the government which is provoking the people. Unleashing para military forces and also the police department on a peaceful protest does no good. This has led to retaliation in some parts.

 If Telangana is formed then you are in a straight contest with the Congress for the credit.

We are not interested in any political credits. We just want the issue to be resolved. Let peace and democracy rule at the end of it.

Rumour has it that your father is cozying up to the Congress and would want a merger once the state is formed. Is that right?

There is no such talk as of now. Let the Congress first concede Telangana and then we can talk. We want the process to begin and we have not even given any deadline/ Let them make an announcement first.

Do you see hope in the consultation process?

I think the time for consultation is over and a time for an announcement has come.

T- what will be the outcome?

Another day of consultations on the Telangana issue and yet no decision. However the mood in the Telangana region is upbeat and each one thinks that the Congress has buckled and would give out a positive announcement soon.
Speaking to a cross section of activists and politicians from the Telangana region each had this to say-” we are getting some positive signals and this time I think the Government will tell us what we want to hear. However we do not also want to pin our hopes up too high since we remember how this same government back tracked last time after giving us an assurance.”
The consultation process with the big wigs in the UPA continued even today. Sources in New Delhi informed that various aspects had been discussed. They were firm of imposition of President’s rule untilast night, but felt that it may benefit the Telangana politicians a great deal.
However the government also is toying with the idea of issuing a statement stating that it was in favour of Telangana but would need some time as it would have to coax the remaing parties who are part of the United Progressive Alliance. The last of the options would be to announce the formation of the state and commence the process immediately.
The Telangana acvtivists however point out that they would agree only to the last option and any other option would be rejected. We need a proper committment and assurance. It is not enough if they say they are in favour of the state. A proper deadline is what we need failing which this protest would continue.
The government is aware of the gravity of the situation and has to ensure that the protests are called off immediately. The protests are not only affecting Andhra Pradesh but has caused problems in the neighbouring states as well. Ministers from Karnataka too have started complaining about the power shortage due to the agitation in Telangana.
The people of Telangana however want to stay positive this time. They say they will only worsen the agitation if the government sits on the fence. The rail rokho programme which was to commence today has also been put off in the anticipation that there would be some good news. However they would wait until the 11th and I’d nothing positive shapes up they would go ahead with this programme on the the 12th of October.
In Hyderabad all political circles are keenly watching the developments in Delhi. They say that not much information is trickling in, but they expect something by Monday evening or Tuesday.

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Telangana-Over to Delhi, but the wait continues…

There is no clear cut sign from New Delhi as yet regarding the Telangana crisis. During the series of meetings that were held in the capital today with leaders from Andhra Pradesh, issues ranging from the imposition of President’s rule, change in leadership and also some announcement regarding the formation of Telangana were discussed.
It appears that there has been a break down in the talks since the movement in Telangana has taken a different turn altogether. The Students Joint Action Committee for Telangana, chief, Dr Sangam Prithviraj says that the movement does not rest any longer in the hands of the politicians. K Chandrasekara Rao finds himself in a soup at the moment since he is no position to take any sort of a decision on this issue. Normally he was the man who negotiated between the people and the Congress, but today he does not have that power. The movement has gone into the hands of the people.
The government may discuss the various options and if President’s rule is imposed then the movement will only turn violent since the people will get more furstrated. A change of Chief Minister too is not going to help one bit since it would make no difference to any one of us. The protests will stop only if there is a concrete announcement regarding Telangana. Also what the people want is a proper deadline from the Government.
The Chief of the political JAC for Telangana, Prof K Kodandaram says that there is a need today to show more grit and determination. The government may come up with various options, but none of us will settle for anything less than the formation of the state of Telangana. The next couple of days will be very crucial for us and we need to continue with the protest unless there is some announcement. He also defended the agitation and said that the news regarding violence is all rubbish. There has been violence in some pockets and this is only due to the instigation of the government, he added. We need to wait and watch and although the recent rounds of meetings have given us no concrete committment we will continue with the fight. The Prime Minister had not given us any assurance, but felt that the process needs to be expedited.
There have been a series of meetings in New Delhi and the Governor has also submitted a report on the existing situation. The government is weighing its options very carefully at the moment and although those persons vouching for a united Andhra feel the need to impose President’s rule, the union government is carefully examining this option. However the other option to change the Chief Minister and install a man from Telangana is being more seriously considered despite activists saying they will settle for nothing short but a committement and a deadline on the issue.
Although there are the likes of Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajnarasimha and Geetha Reddy, a section in the Andhra Pradesh Congress is proposing the name of Jaipal Reddy. Although he is accepted by a majority of the Congress in Andhra Pradesh, this move could prove fatal since the people of Telangana have been very open in venting their ire against him. Many feel that he has not been honest to the cause and feel that better sense oughgt to prevail and he should not accept the post.
Sources in Delhi say that the top most priority of the Government is to stop the agitation. No amount of police, force of threats have brought the agitation down. Worse there is a massive rail rokho programme starting tomorrow onwards and the scale at which this has been planned only gives the indication that the losses already at Rs 14000 crore is bound to shoot up further. The Road Transport Coporation is already incurring a loss of Rs 8 crore a day, schools and colleges remain shut and it has become virtually impossible for people to get into the Telangana region since the agitation is turning violent in some places.
In the political circles of Andhra Pradesh, the situation is relatively quiet and the leaders in the state are awaiting an outcome from the Union Government. However the indication at the moment is that the government may take a bit more time since it will need to study two reports-(Governor’s and one submitted by Ghulam Nabi Azad) before taking any further decision.