Israeli Lobby To Twist American Congress In Armenia’s Direction

Jewish lobby could take the side of the Armenians: Milliyet

According to Ermenihaber, Turkish Milliyet referred to the US State Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Yerevan visit. Analyst Sami Kohen makes a remark that the rapprochement with Armenia is “in the fridge” in the Turkish foreign policy with “very hot” issues all around it.

By the time the Turkish media is all flooded by photos and materials on Clinton’s visit to the Armenian genocide memorial and museum, Kohen reminds that Armenian-Turkish protocols were signed last year, due to which diplomatic relations could be established, the border could be opened, dialogue mechanisms over historical issues could be worked out. However, as Milliyet writes, Ankara gave in to Baku countereffects and put forth Nagorno-Karabakh as a precondition, thus, making a path for freezing the protocols.

“At first sight, it seems it could not harm Turkey any way. Of course, currently it can’t. But, to be frank, Washington is already sending bad signals. The US Congress will again discuss the Armenian Genocide Resolution. The hazard that came up last time, could be even more serious this time,” the Tukish analyst writes, mentioning two reasons for the alert.

1. Angry with Turkey, the Jewish lobby could take the side of the Armenians.

2. The US is getting ready for the Congress elections in November.

The columnist doesn’t think Clinton’s words on hailing Armenia’s efforts to call the protocols to life and that the “ball” is in Turkey’s field and it’s Turkey’s turn to act, came accidentally in Yerevan. Sami Kohen says Clinton addressed a second “message” to Turkey by visiting genocide memorial in Tsitsernakaberd. The source highlights that though the US Embassy in Armenia said the visit was private, the wreath had a writing on it: the US Secretary of State. According to Kohen, thus, the US diplomacy tried to please Armenia and the Armenians of America.

To sum up, Kohen notes that the light for Karabakh settlement is not visible in the horizon either, and as long as Ankara links rapprochement with Armenia to Karabakh issue, the Armenian-Turkish normalization will yet remain frozen for a long time.

The attempted general strike in India.

The attempted general strike in India.

I’ve not read in detail the issues around the Bandh in India, but put simply it goes something like this:

(1) The Congress led government says there has to be fuel price hikes, since the subsidy for fuel is insufficient to keep pace with rising demand. The government has ear marked about 3,000 crore ($638 million) to subsidize petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG. Whilst the actual demand for such products in India will reach 98,000 crore ($20 billion. HT Karan Thapar)

(2) The Opposition ranging from the far-left to the far right however state that this is all rubbish, and that price hikes are not necessary, and are only taking place due to the incompetence and mismanagement of the government.

Who’s right? Who is wrong? What policies should be implemented for long term amelioration of the problem?

My Masters in International Law at Warwick University 14 years ago focused on India, its corruption, human rights commission, environmental policies and its macro-economic policies around IMF implemented Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP–which in American street slang means looser), and since then I have taken a casual if somewhat superficial interest in India’s economic development.

One really ought to read Greg Pallast in relation to this issue, and his acute analysis of how the IMF/WB through their implementation of austerity policies defacto exploit and loot the wealth of Third World nations and facilitate the long term asset stripping and resourcing stealing of such unfortunate countries through the manipulation of a narrow corrupt elite placed into power by the USA and its various Democracy Programs, to serve the interests of the International Banking community.

You might say what has the “market” reality of the price of oil at $80 a barrel got to do with the IMF/WB. Quite a lot if you look at the whole Capitalist Western system which is rigged to exploit the masses and especially vulnerable Third Word nations in favor of the few, again in the West. Otherwise known as Neo-colonialism.

Neo-liberalism, Globalization, Monetarism and Deregulation all sounded so great when they are expounded enthusiastically from the early 1980′s, by the USA and their well funded fronts in academia and the global media as a globalist International Banker policy.

But the actual reality is that such policies haven’t worked for many countries. In the case of Russia and Argentina specifically when teams of neo-liberal advisers from American Think Tanks arrived to manage these two countries, the result were unmitigated disasters, from which Argentina and Russia are still barely recovering from.

Within America itself now there are many economic problems which are all compounded by rising unemployment, and a national debt which is greater than the national economy. China is in a position to decide America’s economic future……..and not the Federal Reserve.

In India there is this general talk of ‘development’ but the reality is that many Indians still live in abject poverty. 840 million Indians still live on 20 rupees a day, and one meal of rice a day. On the other hand India has 55 billionaires and is host to the second richest man on earth with a $100 billion personal fortune. He is contemplating and constructing a $2 billion Penthouse. The richest man on earth hails from Mexico, but let us not discuss the problems of that backyard American colony and its multiple challenges at all levels. I cannot honestly believe that you can morally call national development that which leaves behind and neglects the vast majority of ordinary Indians basic needs.

CHEAP FOOD.

MODEST HOUSING WITH BASIC FACILITIES.

FREE EDUCATION UP TO THE AGE OF 16.

FREE HEALTHCARE.

CHEAP FUEL/TRANSPORT.

The neo-colonial Anglicised elite of India who have looted and denied real across the board development of the masses in South Asia can hardly ask the masses NOW to be the first shock troops in line to make more sacrifices on themeager basics of food and fuel, whilst the Anglicised Indian elite lord it up in London, NY and heaven knows where else with their secret off shore accounts with looted Indian assets worth up to $1,500 billion.

There is absolutely no paradox that such neo-liberal International Banker policies should be implemented by a ‘leftie” party with secularism as its foundation. Congress as the ‘Liberation” Party went seriously downhill under Indira Gandhi when she became the first dynasty entitled leader of the Party. PM ManMohan Singh the neta was recruited as an agent of the International Bankers over 20 years ago, and with his nicey smile, and geriatric manners, he has been slowly implementing theirpolicies in India…….The International Bankers learnt their lesson in Russia and Argentina; you can’t implement such policies suddenly in such a complex country as India, otherwise you are courting disaster.

Backing sardarji is the Italian mafia sinisterly operating in the background, in the guise of illiterate Sonia a former au pair, who is hoping her son the playboy Rahul becomes the next Raja of India. This is all a comical farce…..a Priyadarshanmovie. No wait its fucking real life.

WHAT IS OIL?

Oil is not a fossil fuel. The Russian scientist who originally theorised that oil was created by decomposing dinosaurs in the 18th century was wrong, when Russian scientists under Stalin 200 years later discovered that oil was a NATURAL occurring MINERAL produced by earth, and thus without limits, enough for everybody into infinity, and so long as the earths core does not freeze, like Mars.

In theory oil can be a free commodity, after governments have paid for refining, storage and transport costs, but it isn’t. The industry is dominated by a few Western companies based in the USA, France, UK/Holland. They as private Capitalist companies think only in terms of profit, and the commodity market for oil is dominated by financial cartels in NY, Rotterdam, London and Germany. This cartel artificially keeps the price of oil high at $80 a barrel, but at one time went as high as $150 a barrel. There is no justification for this. Such prices hurt the poor, and poor nations, and poor nations development.

India can protect itself from this Western fix and market rigging by:

By investing in nuclear power which uses local fuels.

Wind/solar/wave power.

Hydrogen power.

further exploitation of India’s vast coal reserves……without being hemmed in by Climate Change hogwash policies.

AND finally investing heavily in oil and gas exploration within India and off shore, as well as sources in the near far countries such as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran. The alternatives sources of power mentioned above will take time to be fully utilised, and thus oil and gas into eternity because of its nature will still be an essential source of energy for all nations.

India is rich. Its actual economy measured by PPP is around $3600–3800 billion; the fourth richest nation on earth, and which will become the third richest in just a few years. India has money and India has resources. The Indian government frequently spends billions on worthless foreign defense equipment…billions…billions…billions, when focus should be made on domestic production of defense equipment, even if its substandard.

This practice carries on by all parties because it makes certain politicians, netas, senior military officers and arms middlemen in India rich, and they deposit the money in off shore accounts (Indira Gandhi and her family have been implicated, as have others)…………..now imagine this elite putting the same amount of effort into securing India’s gas & oil needs, by investing the necessary funds and implementing the necessary policies to make India self sufficient in gas and oil.

BUT they won’t as International banker pawns. For them what is more important is to plug in India into the International Banker policies, and global economy.

What is 3,000 crore fuel subsidy by the government?…….0.05% of GDP ($638 million) of the official Indian economy of $1300 billion. According to Karan Thapar this subsidy bill will rise to 98,000 crore or $20 billion in this financial year which the Indian government allegedly can’t sustain.

Unfortunately this subsidy bill is seen as a COST, a burden on the state, rather than seeing it as another indicator of the India’s economic rise, and booming economy………….like the Ambani building his $2 billion penthouse; Shobha De bragging on about her latest foray into a luxury hotel in India and outside……..or India spending $10 billion or is it going to be eventually $20 billion on a 4th generation jet fighters whose technology will soon be out of date, from a foreign country.

Seeing fuel subsidy for the masses as a COST and burden which the government can’t pay for is a neo-liberal alien Western concept. $20 Billion or 98,000 crore estimated fuel subsidy bill this year is still 0.5% of the real Indian economy as measured by PPP of $3600–3800 billion.

The Indian Budget of $200 billion is woefully too small. Only 15% of the official GDP………..a neo-liberal paradise. The government thus must find serious strategies to increase the budget to GDP ratio from the current 15% to at least 25% of GDP, through an effective new tax regime. Then in such a prosperous confident India governments won’t feel mean spirited about spending a paltry 1% on fuel subsidy.

Subsidies are the only way, in the complete absence of a SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM to give a little help to the masses……Bakshish.

Thus I support annual subsidised national healthcare to the tune of 4-5% of GDP.

I support annual subsidised national education for all up to the age of 16, spending 6% of GDP on education.

I support annual subsidised national development and infrastructure investment to the tune of 10% of GDP.

I support annual subsidised agricultural policies to the tune of 3% of GDP.

I support annual subsidised fuel to the tune of 1% of GDP, at least.

These can only be achieved by governments who accept that in power and in government they have a moral duty to uplift the masses beyond paying lip service to their needs, whilst privately pursuing neo-liberal banana republic policies which slowly steals even the meager basics of the masses, such as food and fuel.

Is a Bandh an effective response to the International Bankers programs in India?

I think Bandh’s of a sort played a certain role in India’s eventual liberation.

Bandh’s are a non-violent and effective pure representation and affirmation of popular public opinion. Public opinion, beyond the misrepresentation presented by the “official’ media seems to be broadly supportive of the bandh against general price rises.

Thus bandh starkly brings home the message to the government about the publics discontent about certain key areas.

ON THE OTHER HAND……bandh should not be the default option for ALL protests against governments, and thus should be used sparingly.

One notes in failed state Bangladesh, managed by the UK and USA, hartal’s (bandh’s) were a common feature of everyday life. Unfortunately such action resulted in the loss of 30% of GDP by some estimates…….but my personal experience was that everybody loved them. Relatives of mine working for the government as civil servants didn’t have to go to work, even though they were being paid……a kind of impromtu “holiday’ where the “tash” were brought out and a general worthless adda carried on whilst the real economy suffered.

In India hartals or bandh’s for short spurts are perfectly legitimate, especially for the private non-government sector, BUT not to the point where it results in causing national Hari-Kiri, and significant losses in production in relation to GDP. Below 1% GDP losses is OK.

Ofcourse if such action is extremely effective who is to say the government in power, later in opposition aren’t tempted to use the very same tactic against the new government, and a vicious cycle sets in.

Finally on this point if one has read Grag Pallasts incisive article aboutIMF riots:

“At this point, the IMF drags the gasping nation to Step Three: Market-Based Pricing, a fancy term for raising prices on food, water and cooking gas. This leads, predictably, to Step-Three-and-a-Half: what Stiglitz calls, “The IMF riot.”

The IMF riot is painfully predictable. When a nation is, “down and out, [the IMF] takes advantage and squeezes the last pound of blood out of them. They turn up the heat until, finally, the whole cauldron blows up,” as when the IMF eliminated food and fuel subsidies for the poor in Indonesia in 1998.(after the Asian financial crisis of 1997 instigated by Wall Street and George Soros) Indonesia exploded into riots, but there are other examples – the Bolivian riots over water prices last year and this February, the riots in Ecuador over the rise in cooking gas prices imposed by the World Bank. You’d almost get the impression that the riot is written into the plan.”

In India nobody is suggesting that the far right and left are working with the IMF in organising the bandh, or that food and fuel riots have actually occurred. The bandh was peaceful, well organised and had a limited start date and finish. However if the bandh becomes the main and only tool for the opposition to score points against Congress, then their actions can be termed as self defeating IMF instigated riots or the like, even if they are actually not because the end result will be the same.

Indian Anti-Submarine Warfare Specialist, Admiral SS Jamwal Killed By Shot To Head


Rear Admiral SS Jamwal

Police pursuing suicide line in Rear Admiral SS Jamwal’s death

PTI

Kochi: Police continued to investigate the possibility that Rear Admiral SS Jamwal may have committed suicide although the navy has maintained it is an accidental death.

Police sources said that the bullet that fatally hit Jamwal in a naval firing range here yesterday entered his head just above his right ear and exited just above the left ear, strengthening police suspicion it could be a suicide.

Police is investigating the case as unnatural death and said they were looking into two theories – suicide and accident.

51-year-old Jamwal, chief of staff of the southern naval command and the second ranked officer of the training centre,had a bullet entry wound one cm above his right ear and exit wound 3 cm above the left ear, the sources said.

The injuries would be at an ‘oblique’ angle if it was an accident and the chances of survival would be more, they said.A post-mortem was done on the body today.

Two ‘important eyewitness’ were questioned the police said.But they claimed they had not noticed how he handled the weapon.

“We will interrogate them further within 2 days to get a clear picture”, the sources said.

The navy has maintained that the rear admiral, second most important officer in the southern naval command, had died
in ‘accidental firing’ as a pistol he was inspecting accidentally went off at the INS Dronacharya, the navy’s training establishment yesterday.

Meanwhile,the funeral ofAdmiral SS Jamwalwould be held with military honours tomorrow at a corporation crematorium at nearby Thoppumpady.

The 10th day ceremony would be conducted in Jammu, Tawi, his hometown on July 16, and the 13th day ceremonies on July 19, the navy said in a press release.

The body of the officer was handed over to the family by police after the post mortem examination at the Alapuzha medical college hospital.

A DEFENCELESS SOHRABUDDIN IS KILLED

A DEFENCELESS SOHRABUDDIN IS KILLED

CRYING FOUL: Protestors of a leftwing women’s front demand action against the guilty. Gujarat MoS (Home) and Modi acolyte Amit Shah is high on the hit-list of those demanding accountability and action
Janak Patel

A few hours before the cops shifted Kausar Bi, they took Sohrabuddin away from Disha Farm and killed him, camouflaging it as a police encounter. On the morning of November 26, television channels started flashing the news: Supercop DIG Vanzara and Co. have foiled a major terror bid by killing Sohrabuddin, a dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist. In a press conference later, Vanzara said that Sohrabuddin was planning to eliminate Narendra Modi.

First the fiction — from the FIR filed by the ATS: “On 25.11.2005, at 11.00 hours in the night, ATS police inspector NH Dhabhi received secret information that Sohrabuddin has come to Ahmedabad from Surat and today (26.11.2005) morning on a motor cycle he is going to pass from Narol Circle to Juhapura Sarkhej of the city to meet some Nazir.” A joint team of the Ahmedabad ATS and the Udaipur Police was formed to carry out the ‘encounter’. The team, along with others, included Inspector Dhabhi and constable Santram Sharma, both of whom had gone to Hyderabad and were part of the team that picked up Sohrabuddin, his wife and their companion from the bus. The ATS FIR further states: “Today on 26.11.2005, at about 5:20 hours, one motorbike rider was found coming on Naroda road from far. On coming nearer in light of battery Shri Dabhi Saheb recognised that he is Sohrabuddin. Therefore I (Udaipur Police inspector Abdul Rehman) and Shyam Singh and my colleague ATS Himanshu Singh (both from Udaipur Police) who were close, stood out on the road and by telling ‘Police is, therefore stop’ and made a sign to stop.”

DIG Vanzara, accused of staging other fake encounters, perhaps emboldened by his success rate, never bothered to explain why they didn’t manage to apprehend Sohrabuddin when they had such pinpointed information. The FIR continues to say that on seeing the police party Sohrabuddin attempted to turn around but the motorbike slipped. “But jumping over Sohrabuddin stood out on one side…and by taking out revolver from his waist belt took an aim at asi Chaubey. But he moved to a side and at that time I (Inspector Rehman) by taking out my service revolver told him that ‘Come and get arrested under Udaipur police’… then instead of surrendering he started firing from…Under this situation, I fired two rounds from my service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh fired two rounds and police inspector Dhabhi fired three rounds from his service revolver.”

Minister of State for Home Amit Shah told the cops that Kausar Bi was not Sohrabuddin’s lawfully wedded wife and ‘as she was a Pakistani, she might have escaped to Pakistan’

Here are the facts, as narrated by Pandian’s personal assistant constable Ajaykumar Bhagwandas Parmar, whose statement was recorded by the enquiry team headed by ig Geetha Johri. He told the enquiry officer that at around 4am on November 26, he was instructed by Inspector Dhabhi to bring a Hero Honda motorcycle lying in the backyard of the ATS office to Narol Circle. On reaching Narol Circle, Parmar saw that DIG Vanzara, sp Pandian and Udaipur sp Dinesh MN were present there. He says that after a while a Maruti car pulled up and dy sp Parmar and Inspector Chaube emerged with Sohrabuddin. He further says that “at that time, a Rajasthan police sub-inspector took away the motorcycle brought by me, drove it for a short distance and jumped off and the motorcycle skidded along the road. At that time Sohrabuddin was pulled out of the Maruti car by inspector Chaube and was thrown onto the road. Then pi Abdul Rehman fired two rounds from his service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh two rounds and pi Dhabhi three rounds. After that, Sohrabuddin was lying in a pool of blood. Thereafter Vanzara instructed dy sp Parmar to take Sohrabuddin to the civil hospital.”

THE MURDER MOTIVE
The Action Taken Reports are mum on the motive behind the killings and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president BharATSinh Solanki is alleging that the state government has made crores by the killings. Highly-placed sources handling the case have told Tehelka that the arrested ATS officers received Rs 60 lakh from a marble trader from Rajasthan to liquidate Sohrabuddin. Sources said that the supari was given through a senior BJP general secretary related to the marble trader. Given the level of fear in the corridors of power — wherein senior police officers communicated with these reporters via notes scribbled on scraps of paper, fearing that their offices and phones were bugged — officials revealed that the government is not letting them bring the supari aspect on record. The level of fear can be gauged from the fact that several lower level policemen who were part of the fake killings, and who then gave their statements, have now gone into hiding.

HOW SOHRABUDDIN’S FRIEND WAS KILLED
After Sohrabuddin was killed on November 26 and his wife Kausar Bi went missing, Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubbabuddin Shaikh knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court. His letter was treated as a petition and forwarded to the Director General of Police of Gujarat for further inquiry. Gujarat DGP PC Pande wrote to Inspector General of Police, State CID (crime), Geetha Johri on June 7, 2006 and a case was registered as Enquiry No 66/06 with the state CID (crime).

By handing the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, OP Mathur, Shah apparently ensured more pliability in the probe from him and his subordinates

Once Johri’s team started establishing the shocking truth, the encounter cops headed by Vanzara sensed trouble. They realised that Sohrabuddin’s friend Tulsiram Prajapati was still alive to nail their lies. After Sohrabuddin’s encounter, Prajapati was shown arrested in Udaipur. Since then he had been loDGed in Central Jail in Udaipur. Aware that Prajapati was an important witness, another plot was hatched by the same three encounter specialists. On December 26, 2006 Prajapati was brought to Ahmedabad by the Udaipur police to attend a date in the court of 13th metropolitan magistrate in connection with an old offence registered at Navrangpura police station, Ahmedabad.

Here again, is some more fiction: After the court appearance, when the train in which Prajapati was being escorted back stopped at Himmatnagar railway station, the Udaipur police claim, that two men threw chilli powder in the eyes of cops escorting Prajapati and secured his release. The police claim that two days later, in the wee hours of December 28, when a team of Rajasthan and Gujarat police were patrolling in Ambaji town, Banasakantha district, they saw three individuals trying to stop a matador. But the matador did not stop. The three individuals then tried to stop the police van in which the patrol team was travelling.

At that point, one assistant sub-inspector recognised one of the three men as Prajapati who then fired at the police van, says the police FIR. The bullet hit the jeep and all three started running away, says the FIR. It then states that, on being chased, two men escaped whereas Prajapati stopped, turned back and fired at the police. The police retaliated and Prajapati was killed. The encounter took place at 5am on a winter morning. How the police could have identified Prajapati in pitch darkness is anybody’s guess.

The SP, Banasakantha district, has stated on record that the information regarding Prajapati’s escape was conveyed to him by Udaipur sp Dinesh MN — the same officer who was part of the team that killed Sohrabuddin. The other question that arises is why would Prajapati, after making an escape, roam around in Ambajai town of Banasakantha district. CoinCIDentally, Prajapati was killed in Banasakantha within two weeks of Vanzara taking over as DIG of Border range comprising Banasakntha district. As in Sohrabuddin’s killing, in Prajapati’s encounter too, police from Gujarat and Rajasthan were involved.

THE COVER-UP CONTINUES
Though the Supreme Court had asked the DGP Gujarat PC Pande to start an enquiry by its letter dated January 21, 2006, Pande took as many as six months before he asked IGP, CID (Crime) Geetha Johri to start the enquiry. The first letter that Pande addressed to Johri was dated June 7, 2006. Johri formed a team led by Inspector VL Solanki to enquire into the matter. Solanki submitted two interim enquiry reports to Johri dated September 1, 2006 and December 7, 2006 which made it clear that Sohrabuddin was not killed in an encounter as the ATS claimed but was first picked up along with his wife Kausar Bi from a bus and detained for several days.

Based on these reports Johri sent a report to DGP Pande dated December 7, 2006. However, Pande never submitted this report to the Supreme Court. Instead, it was Additional DGP, Human Rights, Chitranjan Singh who forwarded a copy of the Johri report to the Apex court. After this, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam wrote to the Assistant Solicitor General of the Gujarat High Court, Harin Raval, asking him to obtain copies of all the reports that the CID might have had submitted to DGP Pande.

Following this, Pande gave Raval a copy of Johri’s report which was then sent to Subramaniam. On December 18, 2006 when Johri and Solanki were all set to go to Hyderabad for further enquiry then Additional DG CID GC Raigar suspended the enquiry and took away all the papers from Johri on the pretext of scrutiny. As a result Johiri and Solanki’s trip to Hyderabad was cancelled. On December 28, Tulsiram Prajapati was killed in a so-called encounter.

At this stage, CID sources told Tehelka, Minister of State for Home Amit Shah directed GC Raigar to provide him with a list of all the witnesses who were mentioned in the interim reports. On January 30, 2006 Amit Shah called a meeting of DGP Pande, Addl DG GC Raigar and ig Johri at the circuit house, Gandhinagar. In the meeting Shah tried to impress upon the cops that Kausar Bi was not a lawfully married wife of Sohrabuddin and “as she was a Pakistani she might have escaped to Pakistan.” Later when Johri put up a note before Addl DG CID for registering an offence against Vanzara, Pandian, Dinesh MN and other officers, the latter while approving the note orally instructed Johri to not register the FIR without his instructions.

In the first week of February, Shah relieved GC Raigar of the charge of Addl DG CID and instead brought in Addl DG (Prisons) OP Mathur and gave him the additional charge of Addl DG CID. Mathur has already been served with a departmental chargesheet in a complaint of sexual harassment lodged against him. By handing over the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, Shah apparently ensured more pliability from Mathur and his subordinates in the ongoing probe. In the first week of March, as expected, Mathur took away the enquiry from Johri and handed it over to IGP, CID, Keshav Kumar.

On March 30, the investigation was handed over to DIG Rajnish Rai. Rai, unknown to even the DGP, made some swift moves and on March 24 arrested Vanzara, Pandian and Dinesh MN. Rattled by Rai’s alacrity, DGP Pande issued yet another directive and made OP Mathur, the Addl DG, the supervisory in-charge.

Clearly, the Gujarat government is still dragging its feet. Human lives truly come cheap in Modi Land.

A few hours before the cops shifted Kausar Bi, they took Sohrabuddin away from Disha Farm and killed him, camouflaging it as a police encounter. On the morning of November 26, television channels started flashing the news: Supercop DIG Vanzara and Co. have foiled a major terror bid by killing Sohrabuddin, a dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorist. In a press conference later, Vanzara said that Sohrabuddin was planning to eliminate Narendra Modi.

First the fiction — from the FIR filed by the ATS: “On 25.11.2005, at 11.00 hours in the night, ATS police inspector NH Dhabhi received secret information that Sohrabuddin has come to Ahmedabad from Surat and today (26.11.2005) morning on a motor cycle he is going to pass from Narol Circle to Juhapura Sarkhej of the city to meet some Nazir.” A joint team of the Ahmedabad ATS and the Udaipur Police was formed to carry out the ‘encounter’. The team, along with others, included Inspector Dhabhi and constable Santram Sharma, both of whom had gone to Hyderabad and were part of the team that picked up Sohrabuddin, his wife and their companion from the bus. The ATS FIR further states: “Today on 26.11.2005, at about 5:20 hours, one motorbike rider was found coming on Naroda road from far. On coming nearer in light of battery Shri Dabhi Saheb recognised that he is Sohrabuddin. Therefore I (Udaipur Police inspector Abdul Rehman) and Shyam Singh and my colleague ATS Himanshu Singh (both from Udaipur Police) who were close, stood out on the road and by telling ‘Police is, therefore stop’ and made a sign to stop.”

DIG Vanzara, accused of staging other fake encounters, perhaps emboldened by his success rate, never bothered to explain why they didn’t manage to apprehend Sohrabuddin when they had such pinpointed information. The FIR continues to say that on seeing the police party Sohrabuddin attempted to turn around but the motorbike slipped. “But jumping over Sohrabuddin stood out on one side…and by taking out revolver from his waist belt took an aim at asi Chaubey. But he moved to a side and at that time I (Inspector Rehman) by taking out my service revolver told him that ‘Come and get arrested under Udaipur police’… then instead of surrendering he started firing from…Under this situation, I fired two rounds from my service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh fired two rounds and police inspector Dhabhi fired three rounds from his service revolver.”

Minister of State for Home Amit Shah told the cops that Kausar Bi was not Sohrabuddin’s lawfully wedded wife and ‘as she was a Pakistani, she might have escaped to Pakistan’

Here are the facts, as narrated by Pandian’s personal assistant constable Ajaykumar Bhagwandas Parmar, whose statement was recorded by the enquiry team headed by ig Geetha Johri. He told the enquiry officer that at around 4am on November 26, he was instructed by Inspector Dhabhi to bring a Hero Honda motorcycle lying in the backyard of the ATS office to Narol Circle. On reaching Narol Circle, Parmar saw that DIG Vanzara, sp Pandian and Udaipur sp Dinesh MN were present there. He says that after a while a Maruti car pulled up and dy sp Parmar and Inspector Chaube emerged with Sohrabuddin. He further says that “at that time, a Rajasthan police sub-inspector took away the motorcycle brought by me, drove it for a short distance and jumped off and the motorcycle skidded along the road. At that time Sohrabuddin was pulled out of the Maruti car by inspector Chaube and was thrown onto the road. Then pi Abdul Rehman fired two rounds from his service pistol, asi Shyam Singh fired one round, asi Himanshu Singh two rounds and pi Dhabhi three rounds. After that, Sohrabuddin was lying in a pool of blood. Thereafter Vanzara instructed dy sp Parmar to take Sohrabuddin to the civil hospital.”

THE MURDER MOTIVE
The Action Taken Reports are mum on the motive behind the killings and Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee president BharATSinh Solanki is alleging that the state government has made crores by the killings. Highly-placed sources handling the case have told Tehelka that the arrested ATS officers received Rs 60 lakh from a marble trader from Rajasthan to liquidate Sohrabuddin. Sources said that the supari was given through a senior BJP general secretary related to the marble trader. Given the level of fear in the corridors of power — wherein senior police officers communicated with these reporters via notes scribbled on scraps of paper, fearing that their offices and phones were bugged — officials revealed that the government is not letting them bring the supari aspect on record. The level of fear can be gauged from the fact that several lower level policemen who were part of the fake killings, and who then gave their statements, have now gone into hiding.

HOW SOHRABUDDIN’S FRIEND WAS KILLED
After Sohrabuddin was killed on November 26 and his wife Kausar Bi went missing, Sohrabuddin’s brother Rubbabuddin Shaikh knocked on the doors of the Supreme Court. His letter was treated as a petition and forwarded to the Director General of Police of Gujarat for further inquiry. Gujarat DGP PC Pande wrote to Inspector General of Police, State CID (crime), Geetha Johri on June 7, 2006 and a case was registered as Enquiry No 66/06 with the state CID (crime).

By handing the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, OP Mathur, Shah apparently ensured more pliability in the probe from him and his subordinates

Once Johri’s team started establishing the shocking truth, the encounter cops headed by Vanzara sensed trouble. They realised that Sohrabuddin’s friend Tulsiram Prajapati was still alive to nail their lies. After Sohrabuddin’s encounter, Prajapati was shown arrested in Udaipur. Since then he had been loDGed in Central Jail in Udaipur. Aware that Prajapati was an important witness, another plot was hatched by the same three encounter specialists. On December 26, 2006 Prajapati was brought to Ahmedabad by the Udaipur police to attend a date in the court of 13th metropolitan magistrate in connection with an old offence registered at Navrangpura police station, Ahmedabad.

Here again, is some more fiction: After the court appearance, when the train in which Prajapati was being escorted back stopped at Himmatnagar railway station, the Udaipur police claim, that two men threw chilli powder in the eyes of cops escorting Prajapati and secured his release. The police claim that two days later, in the wee hours of December 28, when a team of Rajasthan and Gujarat police were patrolling in Ambaji town, Banasakantha district, they saw three individuals trying to stop a matador. But the matador did not stop. The three individuals then tried to stop the police van in which the patrol team was travelling.

At that point, one assistant sub-inspector recognised one of the three men as Prajapati who then fired at the police van, says the police FIR. The bullet hit the jeep and all three started running away, says the FIR. It then states that, on being chased, two men escaped whereas Prajapati stopped, turned back and fired at the police. The police retaliated and Prajapati was killed. The encounter took place at 5am on a winter morning. How the police could have identified Prajapati in pitch darkness is anybody’s guess.

The SP, Banasakantha district, has stated on record that the information regarding Prajapati’s escape was conveyed to him by Udaipur sp Dinesh MN — the same officer who was part of the team that killed Sohrabuddin. The other question that arises is why would Prajapati, after making an escape, roam around in Ambajai town of Banasakantha district. CoinCIDentally, Prajapati was killed in Banasakantha within two weeks of Vanzara taking over as DIG of Border range comprising Banasakntha district. As in Sohrabuddin’s killing, in Prajapati’s encounter too, police from Gujarat and Rajasthan were involved.

THE COVER-UP CONTINUES
Though the Supreme Court had asked the DGP Gujarat PC Pande to start an enquiry by its letter dated January 21, 2006, Pande took as many as six months before he asked IGP, CID (Crime) Geetha Johri to start the enquiry. The first letter that Pande addressed to Johri was dated June 7, 2006. Johri formed a team led by Inspector VL Solanki to enquire into the matter. Solanki submitted two interim enquiry reports to Johri dated September 1, 2006 and December 7, 2006 which made it clear that Sohrabuddin was not killed in an encounter as the ATS claimed but was first picked up along with his wife Kausar Bi from a bus and detained for several days.

Based on these reports Johri sent a report to DGP Pande dated December 7, 2006. However, Pande never submitted this report to the Supreme Court. Instead, it was Additional DGP, Human Rights, Chitranjan Singh who forwarded a copy of the Johri report to the Apex court. After this, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam wrote to the Assistant Solicitor General of the Gujarat High Court, Harin Raval, asking him to obtain copies of all the reports that the CID might have had submitted to DGP Pande.

Following this, Pande gave Raval a copy of Johri’s report which was then sent to Subramaniam. On December 18, 2006 when Johri and Solanki were all set to go to Hyderabad for further enquiry then Additional DG CID GC Raigar suspended the enquiry and took away all the papers from Johri on the pretext of scrutiny. As a result Johiri and Solanki’s trip to Hyderabad was cancelled. On December 28, Tulsiram Prajapati was killed in a so-called encounter.

At this stage, CID sources told Tehelka, Minister of State for Home Amit Shah directed GC Raigar to provide him with a list of all the witnesses who were mentioned in the interim reports. On January 30, 2006 Amit Shah called a meeting of DGP Pande, Addl DG GC Raigar and ig Johri at the circuit house, Gandhinagar. In the meeting Shah tried to impress upon the cops that Kausar Bi was not a lawfully married wife of Sohrabuddin and “as she was a Pakistani she might have escaped to Pakistan.” Later when Johri put up a note before Addl DG CID for registering an offence against Vanzara, Pandian, Dinesh MN and other officers, the latter while approving the note orally instructed Johri to not register the FIR without his instructions.

In the first week of February, Shah relieved GC Raigar of the charge of Addl DG CID and instead brought in Addl DG (Prisons) OP Mathur and gave him the additional charge of Addl DG CID. Mathur has already been served with a departmental chargesheet in a complaint of sexual harassment lodged against him. By handing over the charge of the CID to a tainted officer, Shah apparently ensured more pliability from Mathur and his subordinates in the ongoing probe. In the first week of March, as expected, Mathur took away the enquiry from Johri and handed it over to IGP, CID, Keshav Kumar.

On March 30, the investigation was handed over to DIG Rajnish Rai. Rai, unknown to even the DGP, made some swift moves and on March 24 arrested Vanzara, Pandian and Dinesh MN. Rattled by Rai’s alacrity, DGP Pande issued yet another directive and made OP Mathur, the Addl DG, the supervisory in-charge.

Clearly, the Gujarat government is still dragging its feet. Human lives truly come cheap in Modi Land.

Close Encounters Of the Indian Kind

If you live in the national capital, you woke up yesterday to the spine-shuddering possibility that three terrorists were getting set to blow up the city’s popular Dilli Haat or at the very least, were using the food and crafts stalls as a rendezvous for raising hell. As news channels went into overdrive and police officials took their place behind the microphones, some of us were left fighting a familiar, niggling doubt. Had the police really got it right or would this case too unravel with time and scrutiny?

We are all acutely aware that we live in dangerous times and terrorists live right among us — down the road, across the street, on board our local train. Now, bomb blasts regularly rip through our illusion of comfort and well-being. We know we are not safe. So, the ominous sight of the RDX confiscated by the police should have made us count our blessings.

And yet, the cynics among us wondered about the pattern to these arrests and how miraculous it was that each time a terrorist was caught, he always had his passport or identity card on him. Not to forget, the hand-scrawled letter in Urdu faithfully ferried in his back pocket.

No one wants to trivialise the gigantic challenge of battling terrorism or undermine the sacrifice of our soldiers and policemen.

So why is there such a crisis of credibility? Why is it that we don’t automatically believe the men and women we count on to keep us safe?

The problem is that ‘encounters’ have become a military euphemism for murder.

The Delhi arrests have come in the same week that three top cops in Gujarat have been put behind bars for killing an innocent man.

Rewind to two years ago. Officers from the state’s special anti-terrorist squad went on national television to declare that they had killed an operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba in a fierce gun battle. They claimed that Sohrabuddin Sheikh was planning to assassinate the Chief Minister and had been shot dead while trying to escape the city on a motorbike. Journalists obliged by showcasing the story as it was being told to them. But only till the discrepancies started surfacing.

It now turns out that the cops pulled Sheikh off a bus along with his wife, Kausarbi, and a friend of theirs. The couple was locked away in a desolate farmhouse for three days. And then, in an entirely orchestrated drama, Sheikh was dragged to the heart of the city, killed and branded a would-be assassin. Exactly a year later, when investigators got their hands on the case, the sole witness, Tulsiram Prajapati, was also eliminated in an ‘encounter’ for trying to escape police custody.

Now red-faced detectives are digging up graves in the hometown of one of the arrested police officials, to see if Kausarbi’s remains can be hunted down. Government lawyers have informed the Supreme Court that she was probably murdered as well.

Is it any surprise then that police proclamations are now received with instinctive scepticism? From staged killings in Kashmir to manufactured shootouts in our cities (remember Ansal Plaza, 2002?), it’s like the fable about the boy who cried wolf too many times. When the real beast is at your door, you still think someone’s spun a yarn. The tragedy is that this way, security officials only end up discrediting themselves.

But why blame just them? It’s we, as a people, who have an astounding belief that encounters (fabricated or otherwise) are a legitimate way of eliminating the bad guys. We buy the logic that normal rules of law cannot possibly apply when it comes to terrorism and conflict. We endorse the unspoken secret that torture is an inevitable companion to interrogation. We fete our encounter specialists and make Bollywood thrillers based on their lives. And disproportionate punishment doesn’t really bother our conscience: a thief can be treated like a murderer, as long as it’s the rotten apples that are getting sifted out.

Take the now-dead witness in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh case. Tulsiram Prajapati was apparently a minor slumlord who found his way into a local gang and had been doing jail-time for a host of criminal charges. Many people would, therefore, argue that it’s no big loss that he was killed, even if it was in a fake encounter.

But to justify this is to subvert the entire judicial system that our democracy is so boastful of. Prajapati wrote several letters to prison authorities saying he feared for his life. Even his ageing mother has the wisdom to argue that while her son had indeed fallen into bad ways, imprisonment was the appropriate punishment. Instead, he may have been murdered just so the police could get rid of incriminating evidence. Criminal or not, he still deserved the due process of law.

Sadly, those of us who demand this immediately get slotted as fuzzy liberals who don’t understand the rigours of fighting crime and war. But, forget the ethics of it for a moment.

I would argue that encounters are strategically disastrous. Eventually they make the good guys look just as bad (in fact,  worse). They make enemies of friends and supporters and only prolong conflict. And they undermine not just the credibility, but also the authority of men in uniform. We have seen the political fallout of such killings in Kashmir. And we only have to look at what American soldiers are doing in Iraq to learn what not to do and what never to accept.

The day’s not far when India may have to confront its own Abu Ghraib. At least the United States was shamed into ordering a public hearing and a transparent inquiry into the abuse of Iraqi prisoners. In India we would just hide behind excuses, justifications and prolonged court trials.

But one of these days, here too, a whistleblower will swing out his mobile phone camera and bring us face to face with the visual horror of what happens, when law enforcers subvert the law they are meant to protect.

And then, finally, we will encounter our own lies.

Barkha Dutt is Managing Editor, ndtv 24×7

Fake Encounters and the Indo-Pak Peace Process

Fake Encounters and the Indo-Pak Peace Process

Kashmir Watch, July 7

By Momin Iftikhar

In the killing fields of Kashmir no poetic justice could have been timelier. Just as Manmohan Singh was embarking upon his much awaited visit to Sri Nagar in the first week of June, to renew his offer of talks to the separatists, the entire IHK went on the boil over the exposure of a fake encounter by the Indian Army at Machil on 30 April. The rather rare exposure of a routine crime, where killers were caught red handed, served to convincingly expose the phenomenon of fake encounters in IHK, routinely conducted by the Indian Army on the LoC, with persistent claims of foiling infiltration bids from Pakistan. It also brought into sharp focus the harrowing state of human rights violations in the IHK, calling into question the Indian negotiating strategy that frames Kashmir Issue as an offshoot of terrorism sustained from across the border.
The episode started in a mundanely routine manner when an Army unit conducting counter insurgency operations claimed that it had shot and killed three Lashkar-e-Taiba ‘terrorists’ while infiltrating across the LoC from Azad Kashmir. Soon after, however, the relatives of the slain youth, belonging to Nadihal village in Baramula district, raised hue and cry that the shot ‘Pakistani terrorists’ were in fact their loved ones who, days before, had been lured away by soldiers of 4 Rajputana Rifles. On a tip off by the locals to the bereaving families the trail led to a grave yard near the Unit’s camp at Kalaroos, Kupwara district. Such incidents are wont to be hushed up but the large scale protests and the sensitiveness of timings, when India and Pakistan are picking up threads for resumption of the stalled Composite Dialogue, forced a response. Hours before Manmohan Singh landed in Sri Nagar, the Army announced that it had removed Colonel D K Pathania, commanding officer 4 Rajputana Rifles from command of the Unit and suspended Major Upinder who stood out as the central character in conduct of the fake encounter. Colonel Pathania, incidentally,  became the second commanding officer to be removed from command for conducting fake encounters; first being Colonel Gloria who was removed for killing three boys in Dudipora, Handwara in North Kashmir in Feb 2006.
Machil encounter amply underscores the institutionalized phenomenon of fake encounters by Indian Army in Kashmir that are used to falsely frame Pakistan and used by the Indian spin doctors to discredit the Kashmiri struggle for liberation from India as a terrorist movement. These are heartily accepted by the Indian Foreign Office as well which is working overtime to project Pakistan as a state sponsoring terrorism. Stage managed encounters come handy as they provide India with a handle to regulate the ebb and flow of political interaction with Pakistan. The attack on Indian Parliament on 13 December 2000 was a trend setter, where within days and without any tangible proof of Pakistan’s involvement, India launched a full mobilization of armed forces that went on for ten months, taking the subcontinent to the brink of a nuclear conflict. It is instructive though to note that almost five year later the Indian Supreme Court verdict, after having taken into account the entire gamut of evidence produced by the prosecution, precluded any Pakistani role in the attack.
The capitulation of Taleban before the US onslaught facilitated by Indian prot�g�es in Northern Alliance, in Nov 2001, provided India with an ample supply of clay pigeons that could be used as gun fodder in fake encounters in IHK. Northern Alliance warlords opened the gates of their jails where thousands of Taleban prisoners were readily available for pick and choose by the Indian intelligence teams. An unknown number were transported from Panjshiri Jails to Dushanbe from where IAF’s IL-76 planes brought them to India. How many were used to sustain the thesis of “cross border terrorism” will never really be known. However most of them are believed to lie in the soggy bottom of the mass graves that dot the IHK landscape close to the LoC in the proximity of the Indian Army’s camps � much like the nameless graves in the Karloos graveyard where remains of the latest victims of fake encounter were identified.
Mass graves in the IHK containing victims of fake encounters are an aspect that is clamoring for global attention. Not that there is any dearth of evidence. The International Peoples Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice has compiled 2700 unmarked graves with nearly 3000 bodies across 55 villages in Bandipora, Baramulla and Kupwara districts of Kashmir which belong to those killed in fake encounters or custodial killings. The report; BURIED EVIDENCE Unknown, Unmarked and Mass graves in Indian Administered Kashmir compiled and released in 2009 through the hard work of Angana Chatterji and Parvez Imroz provides precise information about the location of mass graves in IHK but the Indian Government has turned a Nelson’s Eye to the issue; refusing to launch any investigations.
Incidents of fake encounters are likely to rise in the coming days and the portents are not good. As the two countries prepare to engage in the Composite Dialogue Process, Indians have suddenly started reporting infiltration attempts across the LoC. In Apr-May 2010 alone Indian military reported killing over thirty militants in encounters while allegedly attempting to infiltrate to the Indian side. With fake encounters order of the day in IHK, how many of these were locals killed in fake encounters; remains an open-ended question. Given the scenario, Pakistan needs to actively pursue the demand made by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq to take up the issue of “fake encounters” with India on the negotiating table. Machil encounter could be a good starting point.

Former US congressman pleads guilty to terrorist conspiracy

Former US congressman pleads guilty to terrorist conspiracy

IANS

WASHINGTON: A former US Congressman has pleaded guilty in connection with a terrorist financing conspiracy that sent money to al-Qaida and the Taliban in Afghanistan, the US Justice Department said on Wednesday.

Mark Deli Siljander, who represented Michigan in the House of Representatives from 1981-87 and was a delegate to the UN under President Ronald Reagan, pleaded guilty to acting as an agent for an Islamic charity with ties to international terrorism, according to Beth Phillips, US Attorney for the western district of Missouri.

Siljander was the last of five co-defendants in the case that involved the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA) of Columbia, Missouri. IARA was shut down by the US government in 2004 for connections to terrorism.

The Justice Department had charged that IARA, whose headquarters were in Sudan, also funnelled money to Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the militant Afghan leader and former prime minister of Afghanistan who leads the country’s second-largest insurgent group.

Siljander, 59, was hired by the IARA to lobby for the group’s removal from a Senate list of charities suspected of having terrorist ties, justice officials said. He also failed to register as a foreign agent.

He told investigators he had received tens of thousands of dollars from IARA to write a book about bridging the gap between Islam and Christianity.

“Siljander repeatedly lied to FBI agents and prosecutors investigating serious crimes related to national security,” Phillips said.

Siljander was the last of the five collaborators to plead guilty. He faces 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.

The other defendants were Abdel Azim El-Siddig, a former IARA fundraiser; Mubarak Hamed, 53, a Sudan native and US citizen who raised $1-3 million a year for IARA and illegally transferred some funds to Iraq; Ali Mohamed Bagegni, 56, a Libyan native and US citizen; and Ahmad Mustafa, 57, an Iraqi citizen and legal permanent US resident alien.