#India – Every Move She Makes. They’ll Be Watching Her #moralpolicing #Vaw


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Rising hemlines lead to rising TRPs. Aradhna Wal examines a commercial news industry committed to sleaze, to lechery and to shaming young women

There’s something rotten in the states of  and . And it seems the Kannada and Telugu news channels have identified the problem — girls gone wild, fuelled by alcohol. On 14 May, Karnataka’s leading regional news channel, TV9 Kannada, ran a programme, Olage Serideru Gundu (literally, ‘once alcohol is inside’), a fine assortment of video nasties from across the country, showing the great evils of girls drinking — the ruckus on the street, clothes askew, clashes with cops.

For some years now, the disapproving cultural policing of a class of girls — ones who can afford to go out to drink — has become a staple on regional news in both states. There is massive viewership, particularly of sleazy ‘true crime’ reports, and so editors and programming heads encourage reporters to follow women and young couples, to stake out pubs, nightclubs and make-out spots. A cursory search on YouTube reveals the many news reports with such eye-catching titles as ‘Drunk women causing hulchul’, ‘Drunk women causing hungama’, or ‘How to ban rave parties to save the youth’.

“We show boys too, but a girl being daring on screen instantly catches the viewers’ attention,” says Shreeti Chakraborty, senior producer with a leading Kannada channel. One clip was of an altercation between four female students of NALSAR University of Law and reporters from the Telugu news channel ABN Andhra Jyothy, outside Rain pub in Hyderabad’s Banjara Hills on the night of 11 April. Shruthi, Megha, Prachi and Adwitiya angrily confronted a drunk man filming them on his phone. The confrontation attracted a mob and reporters from ABN. Apparently, the drunk man was a reporter who had telephoned his colleagues. The footage was picked up by other news channels. Several of them branded the girls immoral, drunk and half-naked and even questioned the pub’s licence.

Watching the ABN footage is instructive. The camera pans up and down the women’s bodies. It is exploitative; consent is not an option, probably not even worth a thought. The viewer is implicated by the camera’s roving eye, a fellow voyeur leering at barefoot girls in short dresses. The cameraman follows the girls to their taxi, thrusting his camera through the door, his taunts provoking the girls to shout insults. Their expressions of fury at being cornered were circulated on primetime news as the faces of unacceptable modernity, of aggressive young women out at night, women who must be checked.

One irate senior journalist with a leading Telugu news channel described the girls as “public nuisance”, and launched into a tirade about “minors” getting drunk, abusing reporters and partying late into the night. He blames this “anti-social behaviour” on both NALSAR and the students themselves: “They even shot a promotional video for the ‘daaru party’ on campus. Look at the things they say in that.”

Confronted by this (self ) righteous indignation, the students launched an online campaign on change.org to prove that they had been harassed by the media. They compiled evidence to show that they were neither minors, nor drinking after legal hours (11 pm), and the leaked video that the news channels broadcast was not a promo for the party. Raj Singh, the owner of Rain, has stated that the ages of everyone at the party were checked and the girls left around 11 pm, not past midnight as the reporters alleged.

“The police raided us at 11.45 pm after the incident was over,” says Singh. “At 12.45 am the reporters barged into my club, beat up my security guard and placed bottles on the bars to suggest that the pub was still open.” His decision to stand up for the girls has meant that his pub “has been raided almost nightly by every department imaginable looking for some illegal activity”.

In response, Andhra Pradesh’s Electronic Media Association of Journalists put up a counter petition on change.org, asking for the girls who “assaulted reporters” to be condemned. It garnered over 5,000 signatures. But during routine checks, change.orgtraced the bulk of these signatures to one IP address, proving that most were fake. After they removed those signatures, only 132 were left.

The girls’ determination to stand up for themselves sets them apart in a state where reporters looking to manufacture lurid stories appear to operate without any kind of sanction. “We had to fight back,” says Shruthi Chandrasekaran, one of the girls involved in that now infamous April incident. “What’s happening is just wrong and too many people seem resigned to it. We don’t even know what motivates the media’s malice towards us.”

Andhra Pradesh has some 16 regional news channels. Sevanti Ninan, editor of The Hoot, an online media watchdog, has written about how corporate ownership sets the terms and how the need to be profitable means a redrawing of the lines between public and private. In a market exploding with money and fierce competition, no channel can afford for viewers to switch off. Thus, there’s little distinction between what channels define as eyeball-grabbing reportage and salacious entertainment. News seems to essentially mean reality TV served with an indigestible side dish of hypocritical, moralistic commentary.

GS Rammohan, associate editor with ABN Andhra Jyothy, accepts that TV news has gone insane, driven by ratings and profit. According to the , what sells is sex and crime. “People enjoy watching other people’s private lives on TV,” he says. As long, apparently, as the “other people” are comely young women. The same senior journalist who denounced the NALSAR students stated matter-of-factly that channels look to show beautiful women onscreen as de facto policy. Local media in Hyderabad and Bengaluru, Rammohan says, are similar in this regard. Though Karnataka has six regional news channels as opposed to 16, its crime news coverage is famous for stings, both successful and attempted, on bars in Bengaluru, Mangalore and Manipal. Many of these stings are the work of reporters employed by Suvarna News 24×7 and TV9 Kannada, the two most popular regional news channels in Karnataka. Both blame the other for lowering the tone of the public conversation with leering, tabloid journalism.

Raoof Kadavanad, a crime reporter with a leading English daily in Hyderabad, watches the tactics of TV reporters with some bemusement. He describes how crime reporters seek out couples in public spaces and film them with hidden cameras. The footage is then screened to bolster the argument that the behaviour of young women in the city is deplorable. After the NALSAR incident, TV5 aired a segment about Hyderabad’s nightlife that deplored what was “happening to our sisters and daughters”

In July 2012, Tonic, another pub in Banjara Hills, was raided for having a party long after legal hours. The media filmed the raid, focussing largely on the women in that familiar, creepy style. Depressingly, this behaviour is typical. In January 2012, Suvarna broadcast a ‘sting’ on illegal bars in Bengaluru. The ‘illegality’ of said establishments was, of course, of less concern than filming the girls on their cameras. In 2011, a medical student was photographed at a party in Le Rock Cafe in Bengaluru. Her picture was published in a Kannada newspaper belonging to the Telugu channel Sakshi TV as an example of the malign influence of western culture on the present generation.

The combination of sanctimoniousness and aggression is visible. Girls are hunched over, hiding their faces, surrounded by baying men. The footage is edited insidiously, with strategic blurring implying nudity when a girl is wearing a dress deemed insufficiently modest. Shame is thrust on the girls. “It was terrifying,” remembers Shruthi, “to be chased by this man with a camera, who won’t even let you shut the car door.” Her fear has been felt before by innumerable women running away from cameras, desperately covering their faces with dupattas, scarves or their own hands.

Another popular tactic used by reporters is to wait around with traffic police conducting its weekly drunk-driving tests at various checkpoints around Hyderabad. Every Friday and Saturday night, a small group of reporters armed with lights and cameras film these checks, waiting for women who might be stopped. “Channels use that footage in different packages to say different things for months. People enjoy it,” says ABN Andhra Jyothy’s Rammohan.

In Bengaluru, Ajit Hanamakkanavar, the Crime Bureau Chief of Suvarna, acknowledges that “news has crossed over the line to  and reality TV”. “In the TV business, the remote control is your biggest enemy. No one watches serious, investigative stories,” he adds. The channel has a “legal team at the ready” to deal with accusations of slander and defamation. The reporters are often tipped off about the bar raids by the police. “A commissioner will not be my source,” says Hanamakkanavar, “but a constable will be.” A senior police officer confirmed that the constabulary and reporters often share information.

Both Rammohan and Hanamakkanavar put the blame squarely on upper management. The top brass have cynically turned moral policing into a lucrative business. Many of the reporters, who often come with their own cultural baggage, actually believe they are making a valuable difference, providing a much-needed check to out-of-control youth. It is not enough for them to observe society; they feel the need to become enforcers of a particular, usually imaginary, cultural code. Sampath Kumar, a crime reporter for ABN, earnestly tries to explain how “these people” can be kept in check “through fear of the media and by being made to understand that their behaviour is wrong”. He claims the reporters have the public on their side and that tip-offs come just as often from their audience as from the police.

In Karnataka, there is also a penchant for blaming the outsider, or the ‘foreign hand’ — students and professionals, who flock to cities from other states and countries, and bring money, decadence and loose morals. The pressure to make the money to lead extravagant lifestyles also results in crime, say reporters. Rajesh Rao, the Mangalore crime reporter for TV9 Kannada, says that he’s “seen what goes on in these pubs, what drugs are exchanged. These petticoat parties where girls wear short clothes”. Suresh Kumar Shetty, the Mangalore crime reporter for Suvarna, worries about the effects the “lavish lifestyle” of rich students from outside the state have on locals.

Like Rao, Shetty admits that his channel has attempted to smuggle cameras into popular bars. He once asked two friends of his, who were not reporters, to enter a bar as a couple and film the goings-on. To validate the rightness of the cause, he refers to the tragic suicide of Sneha, an 18-year-old Mangalore girl, in February this year. A drug addict, she reportedly killed herself because she couldn’t afford the next fix. Her parents spoke about a girl who used to top her class at school until she started going to parties in hotels and pubs and was introduced to drugs.

This story fits conveniently into Rao and Shetty’s argument that local youths are tempted into vices they cannot afford and that the media must protect them. Naveen Soorinje, the Mangalore reporter for Kasthuri TV, disagrees. With vehemence. He made national headlines last year after the 23 July 2012 homestay incident in which activists from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike attacked boys and girls at a birthday party. Soorinje’s coverage shed light on what had happened, yet he was named as an accused in the case by the police. Released on bail in March this year, all charges against Soorinje were dropped by the Karnataka government on 14 June. Having consistently reported on cultural policing, he points out when right wing groups such as the Sri Ram Sene go on one of their periodic moral policing jaunts in Mangalore, the media, tipped off by these groups, is close behind. It’s a cosy relationship. The media gets political backing for its own occasional hand-waving about decadent modern culture and the right wing groups get the soapbox and spotlight they so desire. “When the right wing groups are not around,” says Soorinje, “TV channels film young people in pubs and ask ‘what is the Hindu sangathan doing now?’ When TV9 does something, Suvarna tries to catch up by doing something more sensational.”

This role of social responsibility is championed by TV9 Telugu’s executive editor Dinesh Akkula and Input Editor Arvind Yadav. According to them, the story of Telugu media is one of transformation — from a cutthroat business to responsible journalism that is the hallmark of the likes of TV9. “Maturity is coming in slowly,” says Akkula, “we stick to the guidelines recommended by the News Broadcasters Association (NBA). We don’t target specific people or groups, but we show what’s in the public interest.”

In TV9 Telugu’s infamous Planet Romeo sting (February 2011), a reporter posed as a gay man on the site Planet Romeo and befriended other members, eliciting intimate details while recording his conversations. The ‘report’ was broadcast with lots of hand-wringing about how Hyderabad was falling prey to the fashionable gay culture. The conversations were played on TV, revealing identities, personal sexual preferences and histories. Prominent gay rights lawyer Aditya Bandopadhyay filed a complaint and the NBA fined the channel 1 lakh, a piffling sum for a network of TV9’s size.

That appalling piece of reporting shows that it’s not just middle and upper-middle class girls in the firing line, but all manner of easy targets. The Telugu news channel NTV 24×7 once filmed transgenders at an LGBT awareness event held by the NGO Suraksha and then aired that footage in a completely different context, when a man was murdered at a popular cruising spot. TV9 Kannada did a major expose in 2009 on the “Devdasi tradition” among sex workers of Kudligi in Bellary district. The story’s fallout, as documented in a fact-finding report by Vimochana, a women’s organisation, and Nava Jeevana Mahila Okkuta, a Dalit Women’s Collective, was that these sex workers, previously accepted by a wider community, were now ostracised. They had lost their only source of livelihood, couldn’t send their children to school and were shunned by the neighbours. The TV9 journalist, Prakash Noolvi, went on to win the Ramnath Goenka Excellence in Journalism Award in January 2012. “The reporter didn’t hide the faces of these women,” says Akkai Padmashali, the media coordinator of Sangama, an LGBT organisation. “They cheated these women by posing as clients. One had even been visiting them for sex.” She angrily recounts the many times reporters secretly film sex workers to extort money from them.

Activists and intellectuals point to how a large section of society gives legitimacy to the media and other self-appointed moral police. People will be outraged by a girl being beaten up, but will also say that she should not have been out drinking in the first place. Conservatives who might be of completely different backgrounds find common ground when setting limits on women’s behaviour. Shaming is a cultural reality. Madhavi Lata, a scriptwriter and former reporter for NTV, is honest about the fact that truth is often warped to fit viewers’ preconceptions. But even she asks why “these girls give people the chance to say something about them. They could go out for a drink in more decent clothes”.

Hyderabad-based activist Tejaswini Madabhushi recalls media reaction to the 5 January ‘Midnight March’ in the city, an attempt to take back the night from sexual predators and the moral police. “Vernacular news reporters,” says Madabhushi, “kept asking us why we wanted to go out in the night and provoke men like them.”

Pop culture too reflects this attitude. Audiences cheer when Telugu heroes verbally and physically abuse heroines. It’s part of a nationwide acceptance of . Sandhya, a leading gender rights activist in Hyderabad, says people “want to see women as sex objects. Studios call us for panel discussions and pit us against someone from the right wing. We tell them to leave the girls alone and start telling the boys how to behave.” R Akhileshwari, a senior print journalist, points out that it’s “always the woman’s body” that is the locus of censure or dispute. “Why do these channels not look at the liquor shops on the road, where men buy drinks, enjoying a session right there by the roadside?”

Perhaps legal challenges will force TV channels to modify their intrusive behaviour. “It is a violation of privacy,” says Bengaluru-based lawyer Akmal Rizvi. “It can be interpreted as stalking, which comes under Section 354D of the IPC.” One of Hyderabad’s eminent lawyers says, on the condition of anonymity, that some reporters “blackmail people for money by threatening to show their faces on TV”. The NALSAR students cited the reporters’ violations of the NBA’s regulations concerning stings and media ethics. The reporters argue that roads are public areas.

“Moral policing on TV goes back to the ’90s when crime shows started,” says Deepu, a Bengaluru- based documentary filmmaker with Pedestrian Pictures. He reiterates the point that journalists are part of the social fabric that consumes these shows. But the very morality these channels pretend to is hypocritical. “Why would you want to see that picture of the skimpily dressed girl if you are so moral?” asks Nisha Susan, freelance journalist and writer, who began the ‘Pink Chaddi’ campaign in 2009 in response to Sri Ram Sene goons beating up women in a Mangalore pub. Thousands of people around the country responded to her call to send the thugs the aforementioned items of women’s underwear. She adds that each generation must push the boundaries for acceptable female behaviour and be prepared for the inevitable friction.

As of now, vernacular media is working hard to play to its audience’s prejudices. An audience that tunes in repeatedly to be scandalised. Perhaps one day, these channels will be overtaken by their viewers as they’re forced to adapt to changing times. One day, the audience will note the rage on a young girl’s face as she is backed into a corner by a reporter wielding a camera. And then they’ll no longer listen to the reporter’s claims that it is the young girl whose behaviour is immoral.

aradhna@tehelka.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 10 Issue 27, Dated 6 July 2013)

 

#India – Property rights bill for slum dwellers sought


HYDERABAD, June 13, 2013

Staff Reporter, The Hindu 

Urban housing activists under the banner of the Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights (CHATRI) sought immediate enactment of property rights for slum dwellers as envisaged in the Rajiv Awas Yojana guidelines.

At a press conference on Wednesday, activists from Human Rights Forum and Montfort Social Institute’s Housing Rights Network among others, sought immediate tabling of the draft bill for the AP Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Act, 2011. The bill had been pending for the past two Assembly sessions, they said, and demanded that the authorities bring the legislation in the current session. The activists also wanted re-assessment of slums in the State, as many areas notified earlier no longer qualified as slums.

“Priority will be given to the already developed slums once funds begin to arrive from the Centre. We demand that priority in terms of energy and funds be given from bottom upwards,” said Director of the Montfort Social Institute, Varghese Thekanath.

Showing Keshav Nagar chosen for RAY pilot project as an example of official preferences, he said the colony did not qualify as a slum, as all the houses were built under Indira Awas Yojana, and each beneficiary already had pattas for 60 yards.

“The colony was built in 14 acres of prime land. Now all the houses will be demolished, for construction of G-plus-three houses within four acres. The remaining 10 acres will be at government’s disposal for allotment to commercial complexes,” Mr. Thekanath said.

‘Emulate T.N. model’

He also asked the State government to emulate the Tamil Nadu model and reduce beneficiary contribution to 10 per cent of the total cost, which again could be taken as contribution of direct labour, than cash.

 

#India – Sites scouted for biggest nuclear fuel fabrication plant #WTFnews


HYDERABAD, May 14, 2013

Y. Mallikarjun, The Hindu

N. Sai Baba— Photo: By Special Arrangement

N. Sai Baba— Photo: By Special Arrangement

Sites in Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan are on the radar for setting up a third nuclear fuel fabrication facility to meet requirements of nuclear power reactors, even as the Ministry of Environment and Forests’ approval for the second unit at Kota, Rajasthan is awaited.

The site selection committee of the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) visited Anantapur in Andhra Pradesh and few other places in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to find a suitable site for what will be the biggest nuclear fuel fabrication facility, with an envisaged production of 1,250 tonnes a year.

The Nuclear Fuel Complex (NFC) in Hyderabad, with an installed capacity of 4,780 MW, is currently meeting the fuel requirements of 20 nuclear reactors. Of them, 18 are Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) and two are Boiling Water Reactors.

NFC chief executive N. Sai Baba told The Hindu here on Monday that the NFC produced 812 tonnes of fabricated fuel — the highest ever — in 2012-13 and was aiming for an output of 900 tonnes this year. He said the Kota facility, with an investment of Rs. 1,600 crore, was envisaged to produce 500 tonnes per year and expected to be operational by 2017.

Four PHWR units of 700 MW each — the third and fourth units of Kakrapar (Gujarat) and seventh and eighth units of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station — are under construction and expected to go on stream in the next few years. By 2020, a total of 2,000 tonnes of fuel would be required by various reactors and the NFC was gearing up to meet the needs, Mr. Sai Baba said.

At present, 60 per cent of the raw material for nuclear fuel is being met indigenously and the rest imported mainly from Russia and Kazakhstan. The DAE is looking for more vendors from countries such as Uzbekistan and Namibia.

Mr. Sai Baba said the NFC had achieved a good recovery from the first consignment of uranium ore concentrate received from the Tummalapalle uranium mine and the processing plant located in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. Of the estimated 1.5 lakh tonnes of uranium reserves identified in the country, 72,000 tonnesare from Tummalapalle. Another one lakh tonnes were expected from this place as only 10 km area of the total 35 km had been explored so far.

Besides the four upcoming PHWRs, the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is building 10 more 700 MW reactors for commissioning between 2020 and 2022.


  • DAE team visits places in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
  • The proposed plant will have an envisaged production capacity of 1,250 tonnes a year

The DAE has already scouted for sites in Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh

 

Public clamouring for Aadhaar cards enrolled several months ago #UID


11 May 2013, 1618 hrs IST
Kerala News: P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told ‘Express’ on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated.
But it is learnt through officials in Akshaya state-level office, which oversees the generation of Aadhaar cards and other e-district activities, that there is a telling difference, in particular months, between the number of Aadhaar cards Akshaya State office and Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) say have been generated in the state, and the actual figures.
The public is approaching Akshaya centres to know the status of their Aadhaar card for which they enrolled several months ago, with the need for Aadhaar cards increasing day by day, so as to avail direct subsidy scheme through Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.
For instance, in the month of October 2012, a PDF file in the UIDAI site says 5,12,977 cards were generated that through the Akshaya Centres in the state, but the state Akshaya office says that the Bangalore Data Centre (BDC) of the UIDAI, has sent them the figure of 3,02,596 for the total number of cards generated in the state; the difference being 2,10,381.
“Only the UIDAI knows about this difference . We have written to BDC officials about the discrepancy. But, ultimately the figures will be tallied in the coming months. We are receiving money for the generated cards as per the UIDAI data. From this amount, money is allotted to the concerned Akshaya entrepreneurs, as per the BDC figures,†said a higher official who in the accounts section of Akshaya. He also said that the ‘surplus’ money allotted by the UIDAI is being kept under the state Akshaya Office.
No Variation
Akshaya entrepreneurs, who have been managing Aadhaar enrolment with other agencies such as the Keltron, have made allegations of financial misappropriation. “There cannot be such variation in the figures. Both the BDC and UIDAI are doing the same work and the BDC, which provides technical support to the UIDAI, cannot give a separate figure. Each of our operators has a separate login id and the number of cards they generate can be clearly found in the UIDAI server. Generated figures are shown less to prevent the entrepreneurs from getting their due payment.
What Akshaya does with the ‘surplus’ UIDAI payment, need to be observed closely,†said a state-level functionary of Akshaya Entrepreneurs Association. Going by just the October data, Akshaya has kept apart as much as Rs 73,63,335 because of the discrepancy in figures. And the total ‘surplus’ money, from September to December 2012, which could be easily calculated by visiting the UIDAI and Akshaya websites, is Rs 89,25,140, entrepreneurs noted.
P H Kurian, IT principal secretary to the state government had told Express on Thursday that out of the 3.25 crore Aadhaar cards needed in the state, 2.42 crore have been generated. He said that it would not be possible to make cards available to all before July this year.
The Indian government has approved Rs 3,436.16 crore for Phase IV of the UID (Aadhaar card) scheme. This fund includes Rs 1,600 crore to cover the cost of enrolling an additional 40 crore residents, Rs 490 crore updation services, Rs 1,049 crore for printing and dispatch of Aadhaar letters and Rs 247.16 crore towards additional cost for construction of buildings for headquarters, data centers and non-data centers of UIDAI. According to the government report, Phase IV is to commence immediately. The time period to be covered by the funds released is not clear.
The government informed that around 31 crore UID numbers have been issued since September 29, 2010 and it hopes to release another 40 crore numbers by the end of March 2014.
Aadhaar Project Funding
On November 2009, the Standing Finance Committee (SFC) had approved Rs 147.31 crore to be issued during the Phase I of the scheme to meet expenditure in the first 12 months. In Phase II, Rs 3,023.01 crores was approved by the CC-UIDAI on July 22, 2010 to issue 10 crore UID numbers through multiple registrars, other project components and recurring establishment costs up to March 2014. On January 27, 2012, Rs 5791.74 crores was approved by CC-UIDAI for Phase III to issue UID numbers to 20 crore residents through multiple registrars up to March 2012, technology and other support infrastructure costs for creation, storage and maintenance of data and services for leveraging the usage of Aadhaar for the entire estimated resident population up to March 2017.
Aadhaar rollouts till now
It is worth noting that Aadhaar numbers have already been made mandatory including several departments such as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the revenue department. Plans are also being made to integrate issue of ration cards and passports also to individual Aadhaar numbers. In December 2012, five Indian banks had launched an instant prepaid card service called the Saral money service allowing users to open a bank account using their Aadhaar card for know your customer (KYC) validation. UIDAI has further partnered with 15 more banks to use Aadhaar as KYC validation.
In November 2012, Indian Government had announced plans to roll out an Aadhaar based Direct Cash Transfer initiative from January 1, 2013. Following this, all government departments who were transferring cash to individual beneficiaries, will transition to this electronic transfer system based on Aadhaar Payment Platform. This includes all subsidy transfers like education loans, scholarships, MNREGA payments, old age pension, PDS subsidies, LPG subsidies, Indira Awaas Yojna subsidies and fertilizer subsidies.
In October 2012, the government had launched Aadhaar enabled service delivery platform for citizens to access services of various government schemes such as wage payments, payment of social security benefits such as old-age payments, among others. In the same month, Vodafone had also launched a pilot project in Hyderabad using Aadhaar to verify and activate new prepaid and post paid connections.
However, the goofs up in the Aadhaar project also continue. In April 2013, we had reported that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has apparently issued around 3,858 Aadhaar letters with photos of trees, animals or buildings in place of the photos of individuals. In April 2012, UIDAI had apparently issued an Aadhaar card to a fictitious Mr Kothimeer (coriander) with a photo of a mobile phone. In May 2012, the Indian Postal Department had apparently sent back around 50,000 Aadhaar cards issued in Hyderabad, back to the UIDAI due non-existing addresses on the envelopes.

 

Andhra Pradesh -Biometric information of 14 lakh #Aadhaar applicants goes missing #UID


 | May 1, 2013 | Postnoon

Beware!-Vital-info-missing-3

Biometric information from over 14 lakh people has gone missing. This could lead to vital data falling into criminal hands.

What can be a greater loss to a city than the loss of identities of its citizens? While the Aadhaar card, projected as a “smart mix of politics and economics,” promises to deliver the “one ultimate identity” to all the citizens of India, its progress report in Andhra Pradesh has no reassuring remarks.

Forget ultimate identity, there seems to be no guarantee of our identities anymore.

On April 8, the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) publicly agreed that several lakh Aadhaar enrolments and data were lost. What is described as a “technical error” is in reality the loss of biometrics and personal information of 14 lakh Aadhaar card-seeking citizens of Andhra Pradesh.

Over two lakh citizens in Hyderabad have not found their Aadhaar enrolments online. Fearing public backlash, the UIDAI authorities were able to retrieve over seven lakh enrolments through data retrieval, but have been unable to retrieve the other half. Postnoon investigates.

Current Enrolment Status

Even as the deadline for Aadhaar-c link gets closer, there seems to be little or no co-ordination among any of the three major players — the AP civil supplies and district collectorate, private enrolment agencies and the UIDAI — in the Aadhaar game.

“The selling point of this project was the promise of transparency and accountability. Except for the UIDAI’s website, our State government’s civil supplies or district

collectorates do not seem to have found the need to be accountable,” says Raoji Brahmanand, RTI activist and Aadhaar applicant.

The official explanation for the data loss is that private enrolment agencies had employed agents who developed differences over their remuneration and left the project mid way. Some claim that laptops and equipment containing data also went missing.

“But since high encryptions guard the enrolment data and biometrics, it cannot be decrypted. We are trying to retrieve the data currently,” says an official from UIDAI.

According to data gathered by Postnoon from UIDAI and district collectorate authorities, the current population of the City stands at roughly 82 lakh. Out of this, only 53,28,183 have enrolled for Aadhaar and a little over 30 lakh UID numbers have been generated.

Ask why this slow pace of enrolments and loss of data, S Vijaypal, deputy district collector of Hyderabad collectorate says, “No idea. We are only forwarding whatever enrolment data we receive to the State government and UIDAI.”

The morale among officials handling the Aadhaar project is low and it is evident why.

Here are the current statistics of the Aadhaar project in Hyderabad:

Beware!-Vital-info-missing-2

Beware!-Vital-info-missing-1Beware!-Vital-info-missing

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LIFE and death of Ghulam Yazdani


In this opaque netherland of terrorism-counter terrorism, it is not just loyalties that change sides, but entire sides overturn and mirror each other in grotesque ways. The good guys battling the evil ones is a fantasy manufactured by think-tanks and the ‘experts’ industry 

Manisha Sethi Delhi 

There are two ways to recreate the short life of Ghulam Yazdani, or Naveed, as he was called at home. The first relies on Intelligence Bureau (IB) dossiers, interrogation reports and news reports in the media based on the first two. In this narrative, Yazdani appears as an engineering student who turned to a life of terrorism and met his ‘well-deserved’ end at the hands of the police in 2006. A native of Nalgonda, Yazdani was said to have been among the 14 men from Andhra Pradesh (AP) who were recruited to be trained by the Lashkar in Pakistan after the Gujarat killings in 2002. The alleged mastermind of Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar Saibaba temple blast in 2002, the Haren Pandya murder in Ahmedabad in 2003, the suicide attack on the STF headquarters in Hyderabad in 2005, and the bombing of the Delhi-Patna Shramjeevi Express at Jaunpur in 2005, Yazdani quickly rose to head the Lashkar’s South India operations and was among the most wanted men on the AP police list. He had also allegedly hatched a plan to blow up a Ganesh temple near Secunderabad railway station.(1)

And then, there is a more complex plot.

Leave, for the moment, these secret documents and look at the court records. In late 1999, Manik Prabhu Medical Stores, Hyderabad, owned by an RSS worker, witnessed a shootout, leaving the owner’s brother, Devender, dead. An FIR was lodged in the Saidabad police station.(2) The New Year brought the Task Force to Yazdani’s house. He was taken away but not produced before a magistrate. Precisely a month after Yazdani had disappeared, he was formally arrested by the Saidabad police.

The investigation was transferred to the CID in the month of May. The new agency booked a completely different set of accused; among them was Syed Maqbool, recently in the limelight for apparently revealing that Dilsukhnagar was on the hit-list of terrorists.

In the period when Yazdani was in the custody of the Task Force, two more cases were slapped against him. In the first, which was also transferred to the CID, Yazdani was charged with conspiracy and waging war against the nation; in the second, lodged just a day before he was produced in court, the police showed recovery of detonators and pistols, and booked him under the Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act.(3)

Released on bail, Yazdani was ultimately discharged from the Devender murder case and acquitted in the other two cases.

It is not clear how Yazdani came to be called the architect of the Pandya murder, but in circles whose denizens go by the label of ‘security experts’, this has become an article of faith. Yazdani, in fact, is not named an accused in the Pandya murder case.

 We do not know what he did in those intervening years. How he lived, where he lived. We will never know perhaps 

In the years closely following the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, the cult of the Hinduhridaysamrat was being crafted. The numerous conspiracies directed against Narendra Modi were crucial in fashioning the principal Hindutva icon and cementing the loyalties of his followers.

This was the period when the police and investigating agencies in Gujarat claimed to have foiled a series of potential assassination attempts on Modi by liquidating ‘terrorists’.(4) Most of them are turning out to be fake encounters, with several of Modi’s top cops currently in jail, or under scrutiny. Registration of POTA cases also surged: all those booked under POTA were Muslims accused of either plotting to kill BJP leaders or conspiring to terrorize Hindus of Gujarat.(5)

The most gargantuan of these was the Gujarat ISI Conspiracy Case, more popularly known as the ‘DCB 6’ case, registered in April 2003, a month after Pandya was killed. It had a mammoth list of over 80 accused — a list which kept swelling well after the chargesheets had been filed, and POTA had been repealed.(6)

Yazdani was at home when the news of ‘Hyderabad boys’ being herded to Gujarat in the DCB 6 case started appearing. Similar conspiracy cases were filed in Andhra against all those implicated in the DCB 6 case. Two cases in Nalgonda district were registered against Yazdani where he was declared ‘absconding accused’.(7) One evening, Yazdani did not return home. About 15 days later, his father, old Ghulam Mustafa, received a call from him. Yazdani said he had fled to escape being ensnared in another case again. He refused to divulge his location for fear that he would be arrested.

“I never saw my brother after that,” Ghulam Rabbani tells me over the phone. “We only saw his dead body.”

We do not know what he did in those intervening years. How he lived, where he lived. We will never know perhaps.

Intelligence reports say he rose to prominence in the Lashkar ranks, planning, for example, the suicide attack on the Special Task Force (STF) headquarters in Hyderabad. Did he?

A man with backpack walked into the deserted STF headquarters — Dussehra eve had kept most STF personnel away from office — and blew himself up. His severed head and torso were recovered from outside the office. How he was identified as Mohtasin Bilal, a Bangladeshi national, carrying out the HUJI-B’s first such operation,(8) is itself interesting.From the charred debris of this human bomb, investigators recovered a suicide note(9), and a rubber slipper with a tell-all price tag that read ‘Taka 100’.(10) These clues, salvaged extraordinarily from the burnt body, disclosed to the investigators his identity!

“Two and half month’s later, on December 27, 2005,” we learn that “three HuJI-B militants involved in the Hyderabad attack were arrested by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police.”(11)Less than two weeks later, Deputy National Security Adviser (NSA) Vijay Nambiar and National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) Additional Secretary SD Pradhan met US Deputy Chief of Mission in Delhi Robert Blake to “pledge to seek the NSA’s approval for greater intelligence sharing on terrorism threats within India”. The discussion fixated on terror threats in the South.

It is not clear how Yazdani was branded the architect of Haren Pandya’s murder, but in circles of ‘security experts’, this has become an article of faith. Yazdani, in fact, is not named an accused in the Pandya murder case

Blake, in his confidential cable dispatch that day, wrote: “Pradhan also noted that the terrorists themselves are different and more adaptable. For example, ‘Arshad,’ who was arrested on December 18 in connection with the October 12 suicide attack on the Hyderabad Police Special Task Force office, ‘was a police informer who benefited from a police security escort’.”(12)

Interrogation reports made their way into expert commentary and created ‘mounting evidence’ of Yazdani’s guilt:

“Previously in August 2005, police had arrested Mohammad Ibrahim, a resident of Hyderabad, who revealed details of his travels in Bangladesh in 2004, his meetings with Ghulam Yazdani, the person involved in the Pandya murder in Gujarat on March 23, 2003, and his encounters with several HuJI terrorists from India and Pakistan. Four months before his arrest, in April 2005, Ibrahim had been sent to Karachi on a Bangladeshi passport, from where he was taken to an ISI camp in Balochistan.”(13)

Ibrahim had been arrested on charges of conspiracy and sedition.(14) In November 2005, Yazdani’s brother, then a first-year student of MCA at Osmania University PG College at Saidabad, was arrested in the case and charged with financially supporting Ibrahim in his terrorist activities.

He learnt later that he had been declared ‘absconder’ even as he was attending classes at his college.
In 2009, the First Additional Metropolitan Magistrate acquitted both Ibrahim and Yazdani’s brother of all charges
, as the prosecution could bring forth no evidence to substantiate the charges.(15) Meanwhile, however, Ghulam Rabbani’s arrest — added to the legend of the ‘dreaded absconder’ Yazdani.(16)

Yazdani’s father’s impassioned plea to his son to return home in January 2006, at the office of the then ACP, Rajiv Trivedi, was widely reported in the press. The following month, Ghulam Mustafa received a call from Trivedi. He enquired about Yazdani’s physical features and identification marks, and very specifically, if he spoke haltingly. When Mustafa confirmed this, he was advised to forget about Yazdani and focus on the other sons. Trivedi’s words, says the family, appeared ominous to them even then.

Yazdani’s brother learnt later that he had been declared ‘absconder’ even as he was attending classes at his college

On the evening of March 7, three bombs exploded in Varanasi. The next morning, news agencies flashed the encounter killing of Yazdani and another man at the hands of the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. Lashkar terrorists had been gunned down in the early hours of the morning in Bawana, the last outpost of Delhi.(17)

This is how a Delhi Police press release announcing gallantry awards for the architect of the encounter — and the hero of the current Liyaqat Ali Shah arrest(18) — described the encounter:

“Information was received that 2 Let militants namely Ghulam Yezdani and Kajol would be arriving at Alipur Narela Road, Holambi Kalan T Point on 8.3.06. Police team headed by ACP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav along with Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma reached Alipur Narela Road and took positions at the strategic points. When terrorists reached the spot, ACP Sanjeev Yadav and Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma disclosed the identity of the police team and asked the militants to surrender. Both the militants were later on identified as Ghulam Yazdani @ Naved … Ahsan Ullah Hasan @ Kabab Mohd @ Shahbaz Mohd @ SajidMehmood @ Shumon @ Jamil @ Ahmed @ Kajol r/o Chorangi Mor, Jheel chuli, Faridpur, Bangladesh. The militants did not pay to the heed and started firing at the approaching police party. ACP Sanjeev Yadav without caring for their life, faced hail of bullets fired by terrorist Ahsan Ullah Hasan @ Kajol and gave chase to him. The militant was constantly and indiscriminately firing towards him. Unfazed and undeterred Sh. Sanjeev Kumar Yadav in self defence and in order to apprehend the militants returned fire and shot dead Kajol. Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma on the other hand was facing indiscriminate firing from other militant Yezdani who had taken position behind a wall in the field. Inspector Sharma crawled on the road without caring for bodily injuries and took position so that the militant could not take the benefit of boundary wall.  During exchange of fire the militant was shot dead… …Recognizing the gallant act, ACP Sanjeev Kumar Yadav has been conferred President Police Medal for Gallantry while (Late) Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma has been awarded 1st Bar to President’s Police Medal for Gallantry.”(19)

This sparse prose is the template for almost all encounter killings in Delhi. Only the names of the victims change. 

The family says that the body bore marks of torture, there were deep holes as though he had been drilled into and the head was misshapen. In the absence of a post-mortem report, and the reluctance of the Delhi Police to hand over Yazdani’s body to the family, despite a High Court order directing them to do so, is there any reason to disbelieve them? (20)

Let’s return briefly to Syed Maqbool. A small news item, which has not rivalled the popularity of his interrogation report leaked by Delhi Police, quotes ‘sources’ to say that Maqbool had become a police informant after his acquittal in the Devender murder case, and that his arrest was a consequence of rivalry between the Delhi Police and the Maharashtra ATS.(21) Recall also Pradhan’s frank admission to the US Deputy Chief of Mission that the accused in the STF attack was a police informer.

The family says that the body bore marks of torture, there were deep holes as though he had been drilled into and the head was misshappen

Did persistent implication in terror cases push Yazdani to seek refuge with groups he was accused of being associated with? Did the police force him to turn informer for them? Was Yazdani used cynically by agencies and then disposed of when it suited them? Was he already in the custody of one agency or another when the telephone call was made to his father?

These are not answers likely to emerge from the dossiers of the IB, reproduced endlessly till they acquire the sanctity of truth.

In this opaque netherland of terrorism-counter terrorism, it is not just loyalties that change sides but entire sides overturn and mirror each other in grotesque ways. The good guys battling the evil ones is a fantasy manufactured by think-tanks and the ‘experts’ industry.

In the confidential dispatch that Blake, sent home, he quoted Nambiar’s assurance to him that the author of Behind Bangalore: The Origins of the Long Jihad(22), “obviously has been briefed, most likely by the Intelligence Bureau (IB)”.

 

References:

(1)For typical stories, see ‘Yazdani belonged to Nalagonda’ by S Ramu, March 9, 2006, The Hindu; ‘The story of LeT’s south India chief’ by SyedAminJafri in Hyderabad, March 16, 2006, Rediffnews, http://www.rediff.co.in/news/2006/mar/16let.htm and Praveen Swami (2008): The Well-Tempered Jihad: the Politics and Practice of post-2002 Islamist terrorism in India, Contemporary South Asia, 16:3, 303-322.

(2)Crime number 195/1999, Saidabad PS.

(3) Crime No. 1/2000, Saidabad PS and Crime No. 33/2000, Saidabad PS.

(4)For an exhaustive list, see Amnesty Document, India: A Pattern of Unlawful Killings by the Gujarat Police, Urgent Need for Effective Investigations, AI Index: ASA 20/011/2007 (Public).

(5) See ‘Production of Terrorists Act’ by MukulSinha for a full list of POTA cases in Gujarat. http://nsm.org.in/2008/09/29/pota-production-of-terrorist-act/

(6) ISI conspiracy case keeps draconian law alive in Gujarat, TNN, November 24, 2004.http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2004-1124/ahmedabad/27156186_1_conspiracy-case-pandya-murder-hn-jhalaTOI.

(7) One Town Police Station and NarkepalliPoilce Station. These were also cases of sedition, including sections 120 B, 121, 121 A, 124 A, 153 A, 153 B etc.

(8)Swami, ‘Well-Tempered Jihad’, p. 309.

(9) ‘Human Bomb in Andhra’, The Telegraph, Friday, October 14, 2005.http://www.telegraphindia.com/1051014/asp/nation/story_5352734.asp

(10) ‘Terror’s southern gateway’ By NeenaGopal, Gulf News, February 9, 2006. http://gulfnews.com/opinions/columnists/terror-s-southern-gateway-1.224519

(11) HUJI: Lengthening Shadow of Terror’ by Bibhu Prasad Routray, SAIR 31/7/06

Aug 1, 2006. http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/sair/Archives/5_3.htm

(12) ‘D/nsa Supports Intel Sharing On Terrorism; Says Terror In South Not New But Tactics And Targets Are’; Jan 9, 2006, Confidential Section 01 OF 06 New Delhi 000161. Accessed at: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/01/06NEWDELHI161.html

(13) ‘HUJI: Lengthening Shadow of Terror’ by Bibhu Prasad Routray, SAIR 31/7/06

Aug 1, 2006.

(14) Crime no. 234/ 2005, Gopalapuram PS, Secunderabad.

(15) Sessions Case no. 192 of 2006, Judgement pronounced by ShriSreeram Murthy, First Additional Metropolitan Magistrate, November 12, 2007.  See also, ‘Court lets off 3 in conspiracy case’, TNN, November 13, 2007,http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2007-11-13/hyderabad/27976059_1_conspiracy-case-delhi-police-office-bomb-blast-case. Rabbani’s experience in the interrogation room left him a
changed man.  Upon receiving bail, he quit his MCA and enrolled in a law college, and
is today a practising lawyer.
Personal conversation.

(16) See for example, ‘Yazdani belonged to Nalagonda’, The Hindu, op. cit. Also, “Nalgonda supplies ‘terrorists’ in hordes” by Koride Mahesh, TNN, March 10, 2006. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2006-03-10/hyderabad/27824815_1_nalgonda-isi-activities-terrorist-activities.

(17) ‘Two LeT Ultras shot dead in Delhi Encounter’, March 8, 2006, PTI. Accessed at:http://news.outlookindia.com/items.aspx?artid=368758.

(18) “‘Delhi Cops’ ‘fidayeen’ Liaqat Shah is ex militant travelling with family”, Mir Ehsan, Vijaita Singh, March 26, 2013. http://m.indianexpress.com/news/delhi-cops-fidayeen-is-exmilitant-travel…

(19) Gallantry Awards to Delhi Police Personnel (Delhi Police Press Release; 25.01.2009) accessed at: delhipolice.nic.in/home/backup/25-01-2009.doc.

(20) ‘Encounter victim’s kin stage dharna, seek CBI probe’ by Omer Farooq, The Pioneer, 08/05/2007. Reproduced at:http://www.indiarightsonline.com/Sabrang/relipolcom16.nsf/5e7647d942f529c9e5256c3100376e2e/d9fa52a5d7ec4c03652572f00044105f?OpenDocument. Also personal conversation with family.

(21) See ‘Murder accused spilled the beans on Indian Mujahideenrecce’, TNN, 23
February 2013, http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-23/hyderabad/3725665….

(22) Praveen Swami, 9 January 2006,http://www.hindu.com/2006/01/09/stories/2006010904441000.htm

 

From the print issue of Hardnews :

APRIL 2013

 

Andhra Pradesh – Private hospitals may pull out of Aarogyasri #healthcare


As was anticipated and warned, the private healthcare industry is showing its true colours and indulging in supplier ‘hold-up’ and increasing the costs.

TNN | Apr 4, 2013,

HYDERABAD: Private hospitals in the city will pull the plug on the state’s flagship Aarogyasri scheme from May 3 after the government refused to accept a minimum 30% hike on the existing tariffs and said henceforth they would only admit patients who can be discharged before the deadline.

If private hospitals go ahead with their plans, thousands of poor people will be denied quality care in top private hospitals in Hyderabad and elsewhere in the state, and is likely to force the government to take action.

About 250 private hospitals in the state treat about 2 lakh patients annually under the Aarogyasri scheme for the 938 listed ailments and diseases.

“It is a sad decision but we are not in a position to carry the burden of the scheme anymore,” said Dr B Bhaskar Rao, president, ASHA.

“Since the scheme’s inception in 2007, costs have gone up steeply but the government is still reluctant to revise the tariffs. Initially, we were told that 28% of the population falls under BPL and will be covered under the scheme, but the fact is 82% of the population is eligible to avail this scheme,” he said.

“We have been requesting the government for a revision since last two years, but nothing has been done.”

In another development, the AP Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (APNA) and AP Specialty Hospitals Association (ASHA), served a notice to the CEO of Aarogyasri trust, demanding a minimum 65% hike in the tariffs, over and above the revised tariffs for healthinsurance scheme for state government employees and their dependants for twin sharing of rooms.They also demanded a 100% hike over and above the revised tariffs for single private rooms. The notice comes at a time when the state government is planning to launch the scheme for government employees on the lines of Aarogyasri from Ugadi.

 

Hyderabad Bomb Blast – Subsequent media trial and Police harassment


Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee. India

Amberpet, Hyderabad, A.P. India 500013

Contact Nos: 09391051586, 09347853843 Fax No: 040-27427860

Web: http://www.civillibertiesindia.org Email: clmci@hotmail.com

27.03.2013

FACT FINDING REPORT ON DILSUKHNAGAR BOMB BLAST & SUBSEQUENT MEDIA
TRIAL & POLICE HARASSMENT ON MUSLIM YOUTH

Introduction

Once again Hyderabad is shaken under the bomb blasts. This is not the
first blast in the history of Hyderabad. Before this many bomb blasts
have taken place at public places in Hyderabad. 18 May 2007 and 25
August 2007 bomb blasts are needed to be mentioned. It is also fact
that in the name of bomb blasts Muslims were continuously targeted.
Due to the struggle of Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, Muslim
youth were acquitted by the courts and the government also paid
compensation to them. Until now these Muslim youth were unable to
stabilize themselves and the twin blasts took place at Dilsukhnagar
area of Hyderabad. And this was more than terror for Muslims. Because,
as usual Media played its role by labeling and targeting Muslims and
the Muslim youth again became the target of the police. Everyone
expected that the situation in Hyderabad must be bad because the
Congress party and the condition of its government is worse and it is
known from the history that whenever the Congress governments
condition is worse and conflict between the fractions of the party
occurs the peaceful atmosphere of Hyderabad is disturbed by making it
worse, so that under it their political gains can be achieved.
Simultaneously it was also felt that to sabotage the Telangana
movement a big incident might take place and whatever may happen it
will happen in Hyderabad itself; but a common person did not think
that bomb blasts will take place once again and all of a sudden these
many people will be killed. In order to understand the disrupt of the
peaceful heart of Hyderabad Dil-Sukh (Dilsukhnagar), the facts such as
the political conditions of Andhra Pradesh, the clashes in Congress
party and Congress government, Telangana movement, Shinde’s statement
on Hindu terrorism, the politics of BJP on Shinde statement, then the
Parliament and Assembly sessions and the later facts should also be
taken into consideration. In brief, the timings of the Dilsukhnagar
bomb blasts of Hyderabad have an importance.

Keeping the above things in mind, the fact finding committee of Civil
Liberties Committee, on different dates and time visited Dilsukhnagar
bomb blast site, the nearby places and the various hospitals where the
victims were admitted and spoke to different people, officials,
victims to know the details of the bomb blasts.

The facts

The evening of 21st February was crowded at Dilsukhnagar. During this
time, people come out of their offices, students on the road increase
after the college and tutorials and coaching centers timings, families
come out on evenings for shopping purposes because this area is famous
for shopping malls. There are many business establishments in this
area such as shopping Malls, electric and electronic shops, hardware
shops, hotels, Tiffin centers, cinema halls, mobile shops, medical
shops, colleges, coaching centers and many other small and big shops.
Along with this there is a famous Saibaba Mandir, where blast had
taken place earlier in the year 2001. This area and business is
dominated by the Andhra region people.

As the evening was busy and jam packed suddenly twin blasts occurred
between 6.50 to 7.10 pm with a gap of three minutes between two blasts
at two places one in front of Konark theatre near Anand Tiffin centre
and another before Venkatadri theatre beside the bus stop. There is a
distance of about 100 meters between these two places. As per the
peoples version these two bombs were placed on cycles. According to
the eye witness, Mani Kumar, MCA student, L.B. Nagar, the blasts were
so powerful that people were blown into the air up to 10 feet high and
fell down. Most of them who died were professionals and students in
the age group of 19-30 years of age. Immediately after the blasts
people ran helter skelter, they were unable to understand as to what
happened suddenly and people ran to save their lives. As per the
information received, these bombs were made by using Improvised
Explosive Device (IED) in which highly explosive material was used but
these were not time bombs. The city was already under high alert due
to Telangana movement and present political situation of Andhra
Pradesh and immediately after the blasts, Red Alert was declared all
over the city. At the place of incidents itself 15 people died on the
spot and hundreds got injured. Police station is very near by to the
places of incidents. Police personnel are always present in that area,
so they were able to reach there immediately. The locals made calls
for the ambulance and the injured were shifted to hospitals. The
injured were shifted to various hospitals such as Yashoda, Omni, Care,
Asra and Osmania hospitals. Those who were severely injured were
shifted to Yashoda, whereas, the dead were shifted to Osmania
hospital. Locals also informed that lot of problems took place to
shift the injured to the hospitals, because the local police failed to
control the public who had gathered at the spot.

The dead persons were identified as Eijaz, Polytechnic student
Amberpet, Mohammed Rafeeq Hafiz Baba Nagar, Vijaykumar and Rajshekhar
of Mancherial, A. Ramulu Warasiguda, Amanullah Khan Chanchalguda,
Vijaykumar Adilabad, Sudhakar Rao Karimnagar, Ganga Triveni
Karimnagar, Sonia U Reddy Kandigal Gate, S. Anand Kurnool, B. Lakshmi
Saroor Nagar, M. Venkateshwar Malakpet, Chugaram Gaddiannaram, M.
Shiva Ramannapet, Rajaiah Himayat Nagar, Swapna Reddy Uppuguda, P.
Kulkarni Dilsukhnagar, K. Harish Engineering student Dilukhnagar,
Raju, Anand, Venkatesh, Srinivas Reddy, Ramulu Jamia Osmania,
Venkateshwar Rao Trupti and Shivani. All these dead bodies were
shifted to Osmania Hospital Mortuary, the bodies were in a pool of
blood and their clothes were torn the stretchers were not sufficient;
all the bodies were dumped at one place. People present at the
hospital were stunned by seeing the scene of dead bodies.

The severely injured were Sanna Reddy Karimnagar, Swati B.N.Reddy
Nagar, Suri Chaitanya puri, Md. Jaweed Zahirabad, Vignesh L.B. Nagar,
Monika Hyderabad, Md. Ajju Omer Hyderabad, Sunni Omer Hyderabad, Gopal
Reddy, B.N. Reddy Nagar, Narsimha Reddy, Sudha Hyderabad, Rupa
Dilsukhnagar, Abdul Wasey Mirza, Samad Omer, Shiva Kumar, Ram Murthy,
Rajitha, Ram Kumar, Parasuram, Panduranga Reddy, Srinivas Rao,
Mallikarjun, Azeemuddin Santoshnagar, P. Gangaram and his relatives
Gangulamma, Ravinder, Archana, Anil, Lakshmi were shifted to Yashoda
Hospital, Malakpet.

The conditions of the dead and severely injured

The feelings of the near relatives of the persons who died in the
blasts cannot be expressed in mere words. In brief, they did not ever
imagine that they would get such news about their near and dear ones
and would see their dead bodies. One youth Mohammed Rafeeq who died in
the bomb blast, was working in the leather shop. On the tragic day he
started from home in the morning and did not return in the evening.
His father got a call from his elder son asking them to reach Osmania
Hospital immediately. The family members got worried and went to the
hospital and found their son’s dead body in a pool of blood. The
father of the deceased Mr. Ameeruddin said, ‘my son’s untimely death
has ruined our lives’.

(Arthi of a lady)

Sapna a resident of Chatrinaka, Hyderabad was also one of them who got
killed in the blasts. She is the youngest among 4 children to her
parents. She had lost her father some 15 years back and they belong to
lower middle class family. After her fathers’ expiry her only brother
managed the house and married off two sisters. Unable to see the
difficulties faced by the brother in managing the house, she also
decided to help him financially and joined as a receptionist at
Islamia Engineering and Management Institute at Bandlaguda. She stayed
at the college hostel itself. While working she also joined in MBA
course at the same college thinking that if the qualifications are
improved she can get a good job. On the tragic day she called her
family and informed that she will be reaching home in about one hour
after completing her project work. One hour passed but she did not
reach home, but a call came from her college informing that Sapna has
died in the blasts. The family did not know that the wait for their
sister would be never ending. They went to the place of blast and to
all the hospitals but did not find their sister. Finally they reached
Osmania Hospital where her body was lying in Mortuary. Sapna’s mother
who already had lost her husband went under deep shock with the death
of her daughter and became a statue like person. Her brother said
that, ‘after completing her studies, we thought she will get a better
job and she will lead a happy life, but this tragedy took place…. we
were waiting for her after her call, but we never thought that this
waiting for her would turn into never ending wait for her’.

( procession of Janaza of persons who died in blast)

17 years Aijaz Ahmed, a polytechnic student of Sanjay Gandhi college
resident of Amberpet lost his life in these blasts. According to his
father, ‘these blasts have taken away my son a father only can
understand the tragedy of loosing a son’. He also said that, ‘to
perform the last rites of a young son is the most difficult part for a
father’. There were a number of his fellow non-Muslim students present
at his funeral. His teacher Mr. Muralidhar Gupta said that their
college has lost a bright student.

Ravi Kumar 25 years of age, native of Karimnagar district and an
aspirant to become police Sub-Inspector died at Yashoda Hospital after
battling for life for 13 days. Due to blast he received severe
multiple intestinal injuries and limb injuries. While in the hospital
his kidneys also failed. He and his friend Tirupati went to have
snacks, Tirupati died on the spot. Ravi’s brother, Amrutha Kumar said,
‘no financial help and no console can neither help us nor wipe our
tears. We will miss him all our life’.

Tragedy

The mindset of Media and police has become in such a manner, that
whenever any tragedy or incidence happens, they consider only Muslims
are responsible for such acts.

(A Muslim youth in wonder)

This mindset has reached to such an extent that if a Muslim is dead or
injured in the blast the media and police start their investigation
from that person itself. And they question him as to why he was
present at the blast scene. And if at all a person gets injured twice
in different blasts, then the media and police completely suspect him
as how can he be present at the blast site two times. They look at him
with suspect and never think of what is he going through mentally and
physically.

One of such case is of Abdul Wasif Mirza who is 25 years old and
severely injured in Dilsukhnagar bomb blast. Earlier when the Makkah
Masjid blast took place he was 19 years old and he was severely
injured in that blast too. That time it took 2 years for him to
recover completely due to severe injuries on leg and stomach because
of which he also had to drop his college studies. Till now some
pellets are still in his body from previous blast. On this ill fated
day he went to Dilsukhnagar for business purpose along with his cousin
who was selling clothes on foot path and incidentally he once again
came under the attack of bomb blast and he suffered with severe
injuries on his back and left lumbar. Then from the blast victim he
was turned into prime suspect by police and media only because he is a
Muslim. Within no time media and police started harassing him through
investigation and interrogated him on his hospital bed whereas the
doctors were saying that speaking to him is dangerous to his life.
Police started collecting the past and old record of Abdul Wasif Mirza
and also his record prior to 2007.

Mirza.

After surviving twice from the bomb blast what did he gain, he became
the prime suspect and target of police and media. He became the
starting point of investigation. This is called “Mind set-up” of
police and media. Instead of expressing solidarity with this youth and
his family who were under trauma they were forced to explain and
defend themselves. His father with the folding hands appealed to the
media to leave them alone, whatever the matter is the court will
decide and we leave the matter on the court. With this one example we
can say how prejudiced our “Civilized Media” is! The fate of a Muslim
is such that he is seen only in the terms of terrorist even if he gets
injured or dies. This is not the first time, we have witnessed the
same when the Muslims injured and died in the Lumbini Park and Gokul
Chat bomb blasts. This is the biggest tragedy for the Muslims even
when they get injured; some of them did not even go to the hospital
due to the fear of police harassment and media trial.

When the conditions were such in the Hyderabad, the central and state
government were issuing controversial statements. Central Home
Minister said that information had been passed to the Andhra Pradesh
government about any untoward incident might take place, but DGP said
that nothing particular was informed and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar
said that receiving such information is routine for the state
government.

Post Dilsukhnagar bomb blast conditions in Hyderabad

Due to the OB Vans of electronic media and persons from political
parties especially the BJP who gathered largely, there was delay in
shifting the victims and injured persons to the hospital. This way the
police personnel failed to protect the scene of incident/offence. BJP
workers gathered in large numbers and started giving anti-Muslim
slogans. Local businessmen said to the fact finding team that they
were unable to understand why anti-Muslim slogans were raised, as
there were bodies of Muslims also lying on the scene and were not
shifted. The scene of offence was also disturbed badly due to this
gathering. Till the investigating agencies reached at the scene,
according to the sources, almost most of the evidence was destroyed.
The investigating agencies were unable to carry their work due to
heavy presence of media personnel and the huge rush of politicians;
and they expressed anguish that due to the presence of the above they
were unable to carry their work and hence the vital clues and evidence
was damaged badly by the huge presence of mob. Later all the
investigating agencies reached at the spot including IB, SB, Counter
Intelligence, Task Force, NIA and even National Security Guard
officials, though NSG is not investigating agency but a special group
to fight against terrorists and it was sent to the spot where bomb
blast had taken place. It is a matter of deep thought as to why the
NSG was sent, is it to create high sensitivity at the national level?

( Hindutva “nationalist” raising slogans against Muslims )

Everything was alright and normal in Hyderabad before the blasts took
place. But immediately after the blasts, situation changed completely.
City came under red alert immediately. Concentration of police on
Masjids and Muslim populated areas increased as if they have
information that people belonging to these areas are behind the
blasts. Muslim youth once again became the target of the investigating
agencies.

(Even Muslim ladies are suspected)

Because of media’s anti Muslim attitude they were giving the Muslim
names as blast accused by giving the reference of police sources. A
fear complex developed in Muslim community because of the past
experiences of targeting innocents and also because the non-Muslim
communities were looking at Muslim community with suspicion due to
media propaganda against Muslims. Everywhere there were discussions
about Muslims including educational institutions, public

(OCTOPUS CHECKING A LONG BEARD MUSLIM AND HIS SON IS THINKING WHY ?)

places etc and as such gap increased between the communities and
enmity and hatred thus increased. Seeing this tense situation DGP
himself announced that the police department has not named any
organization. Then NIA also issued a press release that investigation
is going on and they have not named any organization or arrested any
person. But the common Muslim mentally suffered.

The role of police

Immediately Hyderabad and Cyberabad police started the investigation
of the blast with the prejudiced mind. They started abducting and
detaining Muslim youth in illegal manner. It is very surprising that
they were calling by phone and detaining those Muslim youth, who were
acquitted by the courts from the Makkah Masjid bomb blast case, got
the compensation as well as character certificate. Apart from these
youth many other youth were also detained for almost 100 hours. They
were humiliated and tortured; they were questioned by the police and
its agencies about Maqbool’s background and any relation with him.
They were also questioning whether can Maqbool carry those blasts, or
make others to carry those blasts, do these youth know anything about
it. The police also asked these youth, ‘do you have any anger on the
torture done and on the wrong implication in the false cases in the
past and with this reason can anyone do such blasts to take revenge of
that torture done by police on you’. On this the youth answered that,
‘your government had released Maqbool on the basis of good character
and then later arrested in the year 2012. We know only this much about
him and any further things you can ask Maqbool itself as he is in your
custody’. On asking who can carry these blasts, the youth answered,
‘earlier Assemanand and RSS outfits Abhinav Bharat and Hindu Vahini
had done the blasts, they might have done it again and also recently
Togadia also said that he will turn Hyderabad into another Ayodhya’.
On this police reacted angrily and shouted on these youth saying, ‘do
not take their names, they cannot do these blasts as they are
nationalists but not terrorists’.

(BECAUSE OF CAP ON HEAD CHECKING IS MUST )

Media role and high drama

After representations and building pressure in various ways, police
released these youth by binding over them. Maqbool was brought to
Hyderabad from Tihar Jail, New Delhi in the first week of March to NIA
Hyderabad office for investigation of blasts. The media and the police
presented him in dramatic manner by repeatedly broadcasting him on
electronic media by

releasing one to one minute news and also telecasted where ever the
NIA took him to different places in Hyderabad in connection of blast
investigation. The investigation should take place in the
investigation room, whereas the investigation was taking place in the
media rooms, 9pm programmes on Channels as well as on the roads. It
should be noted that there are strong anti- Muslim elements among
police and media who are propagating hatred in the public by
telecasting each minute information and the programme of NIA (this was
not public programme of NIA, it was secret programme but it was made
public by the media through live telecast). With this, one can
understand what kind of investigation was taking place in connection
of blasts and the outcome of the above things. After so much drama
taking place, NIA recently announced reward of ten lakhs for providing
the bomb blast culprit name. This means that till now all the media
houses and the police sources providing the information is completely
false propaganda as well as cheating and misguiding the public and
spreading hatred against Muslim community.

(INDIAN MEDIA )

Still, the investigation of blasts is not in right direction. This
time the feelings of Muslims are hurt to large extent due to the
biased reporting of media. Anyhow the image of police is bad, but this
time, media’s image has become worse than the police image. Now,
Muslims are thinking that always one name is brought forward i.e. IM
and now Muslims believe strongly that IM is nothing but INDIAN MEDIA
which is dividing the people by propagating hatred only for the sake
of their TRP ratings. This act is worst than terrorist act!

Just two examples

A youth who was already detained, tortured, jailed and later acquitted
by the Court and much later the government of Andhra Pradesh tendered
apology as well as issued character certificate, after the
Dilsukhnagar bomb blast was made target once again by the police.
According to his own words, ‘after acquittal till now, we were trying
to come back to normalcy, but the Dilsukhnagar blasts brought a big
disturbance in our lives once again. Immediately after the blasts
police came in private vehicles and asked me to come along with them
till the car, on the pretext that the higher official is in the car
and want to speak for few minutes, but as I went till car with them,
they made me forcefully sit in the vehicle and in this manner abducted
me from my home. As soon as the media came to know this, they started
giving scrolling on the various channels that the main culprit of the
blasts has been caught. In this way media labeled me as a terrorist
once again’.

Another Muslim girl student explained that, ‘after the Dilsukhnagar
bomb blasts while I was travelling in the bus I gave my bag to one of
the lady who was seated to hold my bag as the bus was full,
immediately that woman said, ‘you are TURKOLLU (Muslims) (this word in
Telugu language is used for Muslims with full hatred) and I will not
take the bag. This girl’s concern and question is after each blast why
Muslims are being suspected and discriminated? Why always Muslim
community is named as terrorist? She said that media is creating bad
image about Muslims and propagating hate among the communities. This
is a big blot on media.

Conclusion

During the process of fact finding this committee observed that a
particular mind set up is prevalent among various government agencies
and media therefore, to establish their hegemony they are targeting
Muslim community by showing them as global terrorists. Due to this
type of attitude, the Muslim community is passing through a
psychological trauma. At every step they are made to feel insecure and
second class citizens. After every blast police starts investigation
with a Muslim by keeping in mind that Muslims are terrorists. Because
of this innocents are becoming targets and real criminals are roaming
freely. There is lack of political will in the government to take
action against the real terrorists. The clear example is the recent
statement of Home Minister of India on ‘Hindu Terrorism’ and RSS and
BJP are running the terrorist training camps. However, from all the
sides, right, left and centre all the political forces started
criticizing Central Home Minister and mounted such a pressure that he
had to take back his statement. With this one can understand how
strong the Hindutva is which forced the central Home Minister to bow
down. Media also played irresponsible role by telecasting false
stories and projecting a community as terrorists. Hatred increased
because of media. This committee strongly feels that media has done
that act which even the terrorists were unable to!

If at all the government is serious about the blasts, investigations
and counter terrorism and f it wants to curb the real terrorists then
it first of all it should change its mind set-up, build and prove
strong political will and instead of prejudiced type of investigation
it should be based on facts and scientific manner. Policing should be
professional but not communal and media should be restricted to
deliver the news but not investigation and trial in the 9pm bulletin.

At last but not least one should observe in all this process as to who
lost and who gained! Media gained TRP ratings, police gained
unaccounted money in the name of security check-up, Muslims lost
confidence, the present Congress government safely protected itself
from real issues, Telangana movement diluted, BJP gained relief from
the tag of saffron terrorism, and actual terrorists are roaming
freely. It is a strange co-incidence that after a week of bomb blast a
Telugu movie named “Mahankali” on terrorism was released and became a
box-office hit!!!

 

Online #Aadhaar slot booking fails #UID- yeh to hona hi tha :-P


 

 

DC | Amar Tejaswi |

200 px

Hyderabad: The much-publicised online slot booking system for Aadhaar enrolments seems to be encountering serious problems.
Officials, who were publicising the ease of Aadhaar enrolment with the online slot booking system, are now saying that minute-to-minute list of slots available at all enrolment centres are impossible to maintain.
The Aadhaar enrolment slot booking website remained  unresponsive on Tuesday. Now, only enrolment centres inside the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation limits would offer online slot booking by phone or the Aadhaar website. Those outside the GHMC have been deleted from the system.
Also, the slot availability dates were going to April and June in centres in Hyderabad. It was the end of March for most centres in Ranga Reddy district.
With only three days to go for the extended deadline to link Aadhaar to LPG connections, people are still grappling with enrolment. Even  those enrolment centres  offering online slot booking doesn’t seem to be serving any purpose, as several people reported being turned back from the centres or made to wait there for a long time since there was already a long list of pending applications.
Ranga Reddy district collector A. Vani Prasad on Tuesday asked people not to panic and said that the deadline is not binding. Regarding the online slot booking system, she said,  “It is probably due to the previous day’s pendency. Initially, the system encountered problems, but it is fine now,” she said.
However, B. Narsimha Reddy, district supplies officer, Rangareddy, said, “It is not possible to make  minute-to-minute list of slots available online. All the rural centres have been deleted from online booking, retaining only those under the GHMC limits.”

 

 

 

Hyderabad Twin Blast: Police Arrest one suspect in Ranchi


PTI | Mar 04, 2013, 12:06PM IST

Ranchi:  A man has been arrested in connection with the February 21 Hyderabad blasts, according to the information provided by police.
“A man identified as Manzar Imam has been arrested,” Superintendent of Police Vipul Shukla told media.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had been searching him for the last two years in connection with the Ahmedabad blast incident too and had visited Ranchi’s Bariatu area twice looking for him earlier.
The twin blasts in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar had left 16 people dead.

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