Saturday, July 24, 2010

We hate Omar Abdullah.....

We hate Omar Abdullah...and why should not we hate him. We have all the reasons in this world to hate him. If an innocent dies on road, he gets worried and does not want any further killing to take place and imposes curfew. Is it not a bad administration that the Chief Minister worries about the civilian deaths?? He is not supposed to and behave like others who showed no interest.

We hate Omar Abdullah.. and why should we not hate him. He walks out straight from the bedroom wearing a T-shirt and gets on the business. The GAP T shirt is the issue to discuss and what he discussed at the meeting was never discussed because how dare he talk business without dressing in traditional pathani dress and a dussa (Men shawl). And why does he have to worry?? He should have bothered about his dressing sense before discussing the Kashmir unrest.

Army deployment.. Hey friend's how many of us saw Army men actually deployed on the road assisting civil administration. But still how should be bothered about preventing further loss of life?? After all there are people who want these deaths to take place.

So what is Omar Abdullah being accused of.. What is his guilt?? What is the charge against him?? Hurriyat Conference chickened out or the Central government stepped back from the talks or quiet diplomacy?? What is the fault of Omar Abdullah?? May be, because he is the Chief Minister of the politically-complex state at a wrong time..
As one of the CEO of a company told me a month back in Mumbai. Please shift your Chief Minister to some other state and we will just shower investment because of his vision which is wonderful and development oriented. I wonder why Omar Abdullah thinks so much about the unemployment. Can you please answer Omar Abdullah why did you want to have the correct figure of unemployed youths in the state immediately upon your taking over as the Chief Minister?? After all your predecessor's also carried with the figure of 28,232 unemployed youths. What was the necessity of carrying out a census to know the exact number of unemployed youths and getting the actual number which was nearly six lakh.
And how dare you Mr Chief Minister to get a commandant of BSF arrested and a Colonel and two Majors of Army being charge sheeted for targeting innocents and killing them. You should have carried on with the healing touch of your predecessor Mufti Sayeed which remained confined to public consumption and slogan shouting. How dare you actually translate zero tolerance towards human rights violations into reality?? That's bad Mr Chief Minister.. after all there are over 100 shops of human rights and 50 other experts who write about police excesses. You have left them unemployed?? I mean how could you?????

So how many have you annoyed in last 18 months of your rule -- the para-military forces, the Army, people with vested interests, human rights experts and Kashmir experts.

And lastly how can you think about the poor people like shikarawala's and sumo drivers and make efforts to bring so many tourists -- ah lemme guess six lakh in first six months -- Don't you know Kashmir is an issue where poor people have right to live. You are at fault Mr Chief Minister...... Alas, this can happen too. We have to punish him for his pro-people deeds.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kashmir: Media absence ensures peace in valley

Media gagged in Kashmir!!! This was a question enough to puzzle me during my stay in the Kashmir valley. The valley has been without local newspapers for last three days and surprisingly things are returning fast back to normal.

So have the rules of the game changed. I had heard pen is mightier then the sword but here I was seeing silence of pen is mightier then what could not be achieved in the valley for past one week -- Peace at last. I tried to find reasons during my various meetings with officials, journalists, locals as to why the newspapers are not allowed to publish and surprisingly no one was bothered. The end user -- locals -- were happy that the newspapers did not come as otherwise it contained news about the separatist calendars for protest, warning people, threatening people and somewhere in the second or third page you could find some news in a two by two column about the activities of government.

Has the government been non functional? The answer seems to no as if it was that non functional, then I guess the state would not have surpassed the tourism figures of not only 1990s and 2000s but also of 1986-87 when Kashmir had no trouble. This government meant business and working quietly which was not acceptable to the vested interests of  this state. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, whose administrative capabilities are uncontested, would not have showered praises on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on his developmental work if he did not find so

So media, which is considered as a fourth pillar of the democracy, in Kashmir seems to be full of agenda barring a few exception especially local journalists representing some prominent Jammu daily newspapers. As I say that i do not believe in histories and therefore, I will stick to it. A case was registered against a private Television Channel for inciting mob in a district in South Kashmir. The TV news had broadcast that one person had died in firing and mob came out on streets hurling stones, an incident in which one DySP was injured. The TV channel decided to air an apology only after a case was registered against its correspondents and the channel itself. The government only wanted truth that no one had died.

Another "respected" journalist of a prominent daily had reported that Hazratbal Mosque had been sealed and no prayers were offered. God, the television -- especially the private one's -- are airing footage of prayers being held but this gentleman decided to turn his blind eye to that and faithfully report what was fed to him by his masters -- I guess PDP in this case.

So today after the government decided to crack its whip on "fictitious reporting", the journalists gathered and decided to lodge its protest against the high-handedness of government. I tried to inquire about the reason for protest from a very senior editor of prominent daily and was surprised to hear his answer that he was standing because others asked him to and he is not aware of the reason.

Its time to take a ride in a boat in Dal lake and the shikarawala surprised me more about his view on media saying "Saheb, yeh Kashmir ki gutter hai, bandh rahe to better hai {This (media) is the stinking drain of Kashmir, the more it remains close, the better it is for Kashmir}.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Omar: An honest politician

Its been a painful month for the people of Kashmir who all of sudden find themselves at the cross roads again as "vested elements" have snatched their livelihood yet again. Now who is responsible for this is a million dollar question for "intellectuals" who call themselves as "Kashmir experts" but for me, I would simply blame Pakistan, PDP, Syed Ali Shah Geelani as these three parties have merged together and are injecting venom in the veins of our Generation Next. For them killing of a few innocents is nothing as has been found from the taped conversations. 

Now the interesting aspect of the present turmoil is the growing presence of "I Protest" bandwagons on social websites like facebook. Makes me laugh and cry at the same time that how can a person, who can afford to sit on Internet and spread venom, be sympathetic to a poor Shikarawala of a taxi driver on the roads, whose business had come to standstill. On one hand these people carrying out activities on Internet while sitting on their cosy bedrooms and drawing rooms and on the other, a poor boatman is praying in his boat for things to get better so that he could earn for his children and save something for rainy days. No but these self-styled contractors of religion will never agree to this. They have to inject venom and so they will do.

And for Omar Abdullah, the young chief minister who came with dreams in his eyes of a better and developed Kashmir, it is a situation where he does not only have to battle some of his own party leaders but also the divided Congress camp and Pakistan-sponsored terrorism.

I suddenly found him in the middle of crisis where he is receiving flak from all sides for calling out Army. He has been accused of mismanagement of law and order situation in the state. But is he??? Now this is a million dollar question. A Chief Minister is bothered that his people should not die on roads -- Is this inefficiency? A Chief Minister requests political parties not to play divisive politics -- Is this inept handling? A Chief Minister is firm on his security personnel and asks them for restraint -- Is this an immature approach??? The poor man came with his dreams of bringing in Information Technology into the state, bringing in industries in the state, lift Kashmir to heights on global tourism map -- I guess that was enough to unnerve the people across the border and "vested interests" in the state. Why do processions take place??? Not because of inept handling or lack of governance, its because others are over working. Why cant people like an honest politician??? Is being honest and clean hearted a crime in politics these days??? I guess it is. Had Omar been like his predecessors, things would have been on a better side today. Had he not bothered about the killings of innocents, many more would have died. Crucify him if he is wrong...but Kashmiris privately admit that he is a wonderful CM who is being wronged for no fault of his. And when I asked them to speak it in open, they would chicken away as the "big brother" (read Pakistan and its stooges) is listening.

I jumped out of my seat during a discussion when I was told that Kashmir has never seen so much of violence before. Says who, was a impromptu question from my side because I remembered the figures of violence which I will share in the next paragraph. This was enough to silence the critics. Write against him if he does any wrong but why penalise him for no fault of his. At least this is what a journalist is supposed to do.

According to National Crime Records Bureau of the Union Home Ministry, in 2003, the year the People's Democratic Party-Congress alliance government took office, six people were killed in 47 incidents involving the use of force by police. Thirteen civilians were killed in 2004 when the then Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed completed his first year in office. Besides this, Police is recorded to have opened fire on 123 occasions.

In 2005, fatalities in police firing rose sharply to 50 and the State government withdrew BSF committed to counter-insurgency operations in Srinagar and replaced them with the CRPF in an effort to contain killings of civilians.

In 2006, the year Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad took office, there were no civilian fatalities caused by police. Even though Srinagar saw some violence that summer, in the course of protests against a prostitution racket in which politicians were implicated, there was little bloodshed. But in 2007, eight civilians were killed in 47 instances of police firing.

Civilian deaths rose sharply in 2008 — during the Amarnath agitation, and the State government reported 43 deaths and 317 injuries in 379 incidents involving use of force by police. 
Any comments now???? I guess none will come....

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Gen Pal: Should his head not hang in shame?????

Well, this was really a treat to my eyes and my blood started pumping with more vigour as I read the newspapers this morning talking about how the then Corps Commander of 15 Corps Lt Gen Krishan Pal had mislead the nation about Kargil intrusion. Very few believed when I and my other like-minded scribes and thinkers thought that if India has to win the Kargil war, it first needs to turn the mouth of Bofors gun towards this disgraced General who was not playing only with the sovereignty of the nation but with the youth of this country who had joined the Army. 
 The result was that while others were checked out of the war zone, I had to end up been beaten by some army jawans in Hotel Zozila's room number 306 (ostensibly as a case of mistaken identity). At last, justice prevailed and poor Batalik-based Brigade commander Devinder Singh got justice. He not only got his honour back but also forced the Army to rewrite the battle history (has anyone heard of this).
 Well dear readers, my point is not to bore you with the details of what you may have read in the newspapers but to underline a fact that Gen Pal was habitual in hiding things from the government. When the first patrol of Lt Saurabh Kalia went missing, he had hid the fact from his superiors and Government for long. At least till the heat of Kargil war swept his feet away and Pakistanis returned the body of brave Indian soldiers in a mutilated condition. And when We reported, Gen Pal put all his machinery at his disposal to deny the story with assistance from the Army headquarters.
 When the turn for gallantry medals came, Gen Pal ignored the supreme sacrifice of Lt Kalia and his men -- whose disappearance had given the first signals of intrusion -- and instead chose to stand the queue for medal and got it also (sycophancy pays).
 Another such incident was that of November 4, 1999 when heavily-armed terrorist of Lashker-e-Taiba entered into Army Cantonment and gunned down Major Pramod Purushottam (God I miss him even today with the same intensity). While I was reporting about the attack, what puzzled me when one of my senior was summoned by the office of the then Defence Minister George Fernandes. The issue was that Gen Pal had informed the Ministry and Army headquarters that the attack was not on cantonment but outside and media was unnecessarily playing it up.
 Major Purushottam not only showed exemplary courage and bravery in taking the entire heat of the attack but also showed presence of mind in ensuring safety of two journalists who had come to see him. Wish Purushottam had allowed the terrorists to sneak up to Gen Pal's office, at least the moron could have seen actual battle.
 Now wonder will the self-decorated General Pal, who must have achieved all his medals through a canard of lies (at least three examples are there), be ever tried for his lies. Will the nation set an example by punishing at least one of these red-collared Generals.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


What could be happening. Is it raining bullets? Are people running away? These thoughts were going in my mind at a height of 24,000 feet in a Jet Aiways plane while I was on way to Mumbai on the afternoon of November 27, 2008 (Thursday). Barely a week before this terror strike, I was in megalopolis in connection with the Malegaon blast investigation which had shown extremists belonging to a little known Hindu group having done this act. For me things were definitely not the same as I was missing Hemant Karkare and Ashok Kamte - two officers whom  I had met during my trip. Little did I know that I will be writing their obituary a week later. (May their soul rest in peace). 

            As the plane touched the runway, I switched on my phone only to see that there were some messages. Immediately upon arrival along with a colleague of mine, I met another fellow scribe and we were quick enough to exchange our notes. One person had been picked up by Mumbai police (God give solace to Tukaram Omble's soul) but no one was sure of the identity. After a calls by my fellow guy from the fraternity, we came across the name as Ajmal Amir Amin Mir alias "Kasai" which later turned out to b Ajmal Amir Kasab. After necessary formalities of stories over a period of following days, the picture was clear that Kasab was the modern face of terrorism whose face will haunt several families for years to come. He has been sentenced to Death and rightly so.
            But my issue is not Kasab, because from the word go of the trial was to end in the verdict -- to be hanged till dead, what intrigues me is the role of Mumbai's stake holders (read Shiv Sena and MNS). I believe their must be too many rat holes where these stake holders must have stashed themselves.  (Interested people may read (
            What I want to focus is on lies of Mumbai Police in the case for implicating Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed. Tough they are being tried in other cases in Uttar Pradesh, why were they implicated in this case? And for few actors, Kasab proved to be a platform to jump into limelight.

Rakesh Maria, the then Joint Commissioner of Crime and Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, emerged as self-styled heroes in this field. All riding on the piggy of hard work of extremely intelligent officials of Intelligence Bureau who spent days and nights tracking every movement. While they were toiling to get all the clinching evidence to nail Pakistan, Maria and his gang were busy conceiving a mischievous plan of hogging the limelight and were helped by then Commissioner of Police Hassan Gafoor, who had hid himself in a hall rather than being in a control room of police. The case went to crime branch and within no time, two people were picked from Uttar Pradesh jail -- Fahim Ansari and Sabbauddin Ahmed -- I jumped out of my bed because these arrests were made by February 2008 and I had, through my contacts, procured their interrogation report where they had said that they wanted to carry out reconnaissance of Mumbai but could not manage. What is their role in this attack, was a constant question that I was asking myself. Even the charge sheet filed by the Mumbai Crime Branch against these two was nothing but lies lies and lies. The only truth in the voluminous charge sheet was the intercepts made by IB officials and other details provided by the US investigators. A concerted campaign was launched by Maria and his gang by their so-called leaks to media. (The leaks were bigger than Bhopal gas tragedy with only difference that in Bhopal human lives were lost but here the brains of lakhs of Indians were washed).
            Maria would have carried through with his bunch of lies had not David Headley arrest been made by the FBI and subsequently his confession of carrying out all reconnaissance activities for Lashker-e-Taiba terror group. Maria did not know where to hide his face after Headley slapped on his investigation from thousands of miles in Chicago.

Ujjwal Nikam, a lawyer, who represented the state pretended as if Maria's truth was the final verdict about Ansari and Ahmed. He, no less than a clown, stood in front of media and projected as if he had just turned the tables in favour of Indians. Nikkam Saheb, wake up...the court gave death to Kasab whom the entire world had watched spraying bullets at innocents. Nikkam could manage to make the media follow but not the Honourable Judge of the court who lambasted him for lies on Ansari and Ahmed. Even a rookie lawyer could have ensured death penalty for Kasab then what is the big deal about you. Any Answers.

Himanshu Roy: God I feel like laughing when he appeared in a white dress and denim before the media today and started narrating the proceedings inside the court. An officer, who is generally perceived as a page three hopper in Mumbai circles, was talking about Kasab and investigations and blah blah blah till he came to the HIS MASTERS VOICE. "The investigations done by Maria ji......." enough for me to switch off the television set. Rather shut the "stud Roy". 
             So friends this is Mumbai Police and Nikkam's role in the entire investigations....God bless this country and help us get rid of such rats. Amen

Sunday, May 2, 2010


      What we missed on these days: So many things, I guess...and over a period of time I have been seeing that Television news has been corrupting and narrowing the intellectual skills of the country. I am writing this blog after so many days because somewhere in this world at least one person will be happy to see me back on this sphere of writing. The issue today I have chosen is the "Breaking News" concept of Television Channels.
      The nation saw two major controversies breaking in these days -- corruption in Indian Premier League and Phone Tapping of telephones -- Stop and think for a moment, whether this was something new. While the Indians were seen debating and passing the buck or stopping the buck somewhere, 500 kilometres from Raipur in India's Chattisgarh state, nearly 120 jawans were sending SOS messages to their headquarters for ration, drinking water and mosquito repellent cream as they have been encircled by Naxals, who are only blocking essential supplies to them.
       No buck was stopped or braking the news was done for these hapless para-military personnel who are ready to shed every drop of their blood for their "Mother Land" ( I guess this word has lost relevance). Ah there is a noted socialite from Mumbai whom you can find on a prime television channel discussing everything -- Nuclear issues, rape, mowing down of people in BMW, IPL, Phone tapping as if there was an intellectual bankruptcy in the country.
      The other was about closing down of airport in Kashmir between June 20 to July 10 because of the Indian Air Force wanted to carryout the resurfacing of the runway. This decision meant that over a lakh population in Kashmir would have suffered. From hoteliers to an ordinary Shikara wala would have suffered. And silently away from the flashing TV channels was seen Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah walking from one ministry to another to ensure that the tourism season did not suffer. He succeeded and ensured that the plan was deferred till the tourism season was a little low. His reason was that both tourism and Amarnath Yatra would have suffered as not only tourists but pilgrims used the air travel. This news was never seen on any television set. After all the suffering of people does not bring them at TAM or TRP ratings. A big man or woman has to be involved.
      Phone tapping brought another scam of auction of 2G in which a prominent PR personality has accused of lobbying for a minister. Ironically, the PR personality phones have some intercepts with a prominent TV English News Anchor (any guesses) and a former Editor of a major English daily.  Wonder whether anything is ever going to happen. At least that TV news channel has given it a decent burial, I only wonder how soon the newspapers would also stop it.
      I will try and bring this blog to life...With love and now let me keep a watch on further breaking. One day I may end up breaking the TV itself. But I guess the cartoon below explains our TV channels the best...please do down load it.(courtesy

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hi everyone!!!!

Hello readers,
remember me...Ah! I guess you must have forgotten this blog of mine. All this while I have been travelling places and have gathered lot of "masala". During the forthcoming days, I will share my experiences with Army on China, Shopian case, Kashmir and besides some more links about "Mumbai Meri Jaan". Ah some of the commentators have said they want to know my eye glass number. So dear friend, I don't wear any. Criticism is welcome but a healthy one will be appreciated. So watch out for this space.
Kashmir Watcher