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Archive for May, 2010

Maoists target civilian bus; Dantewada attack kills 44

Posted by :) on May 18, 2010

Raipur, May 17, PTI:
Bodies strewn around the mangled remains of a bus hit by a landmine in Dantewada district on Monday. AFP

In a brazen attack, Maoists on Monday blew up a bus killing at least 36 people, including 12 Special Police Officers (SPOs), in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, the district worst-affected by Left-wing extremism.

The passenger bus, which was on its way from Sukma to Dantewada, was blown up by the Maoists between Gadiras to Bhusaras near Chingavaram village, about 450 km from here, using Improvised Explosive Device (IED) with gelatin sticks.

The passenger bus was thrown up several feet by the impact of the explosion. The bus was completely mangled with its front portion squeezed into a steel ball. The bodies of SPOs with INSAS rifles, civilians with their belongings, slippers and clothes were scattered around the site. Several bodies that were brought out from the bus were mutilated.

Fourteen persons were injured in the explosion and have been rushed to hospital. Their condition is said to be serious.

The attack, which took place  around 4:45 pm, is being seen as yet another violation of Standard Operating Procedures, which prohibited policemen and SPOs from travelling in civilian vehicles.

Strongly condemning the attack, Union Home Secretary G K Pillai said the killing of innocent civilians showed “wanton disregard” for life by the Naxals. “This pattern of killing unarmed civilians has been the hallmark of Maoist violence over the years. In the last two days, we have seen that a village sarpanch and five others were killed,” Pillai said.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said the attack showed the desperation of the Naxals who were losing their support base. “We have been saying this… when the Naxals support base finishes, they resort to such methods,” he said.

Monday’s attack is the latest in the chain of such incidents over the last six weeks. On Sunday, six villagers, including a sarpanch, were killed near Teregaon in Rajnandgaon district and their bodies thrown outside the village.

On May 8, seven CRPF jawans were killed when Naxals blew up a bullet-proof vehicle in Bijapur district. The deadliest of the attacks was on April 6, in which 76 security personnel were killed in Mukrana forests of Dantewada. According to top police officials, use of IEDs by Naxals is similar to the way LTTE used it against the Lankan Army.

In Monday’s attack, the IED is understood to have been planted days before. The Naxals dug up tunnels on either side of the road to reach the concrete top from below to plant the IED, the officials said.

“In this way, they do not disturb the crust so to avoid any suspicion. The signs of dredging on sides of road can be easily wiped off. Also, in this way they can quickly fit an IED and carry out the blast in the most effective way,” they said.
The Maoists had made a similar use of IED last week, to blow up the vehicle carrying CRPF personnel.


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KASAB : “Mar Diya Jaye”

Posted by :) on May 11, 2010

Kasab gets what he gave: Death
Declines Last Chance To Speak
Source : Kartikeya | TNN
Mumbai: ‘‘You have been sentenced to death on five counts. You will be hanged by the neck till you are dead. Yeh hamara tareeka hai (This is our way),’’ judge M L Tahaliyani told Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, 17 months after he and his nine accomplices held Mumbai to a 60-hour siege and killed 166 innocent men, women and children. 
The mood in the courtroom was sombre. Kasab did not react. He kept his head down and was whisked away after the pronouncement of the sentence. Throughout the afternoon, the baby-faced killer sat absolutely still in the box while the judge gave detailed reasons why it was necessary to give

him the harshest possible penalty under the Indian law. ‘‘This man has lost the right to get any humanitarian relief,’’ the judge observed. 
Tahaliyani held that in view of the depravity of Kasab’s crimes, any chance of his reform or rehabilitation was ‘‘totally ruled out’’. Describing the 22-year-old Lashkar-trained terrorist as ‘‘a menace to society’’, He specifically alluded to the Kandahar case in 1999, when an Indian plane was hijacked to free dangerous terrorists who were imprisoned at the time. ‘‘Keeping him alive would be a constant danger to government and the state,’’ he said.

He also pointed out that ‘‘Kasab voluntarily went to LeT and offered his services as a mujahideen”. 
Throughout the day, Kasab sat quietly, face nestled in his palm. He spoke to a guard just once to ask for water. 
Before sentencing him, judge Tahaliyani gave him one last chance to speak. He explained to him that his crimes warranted death, and he could tell the court if there was anything on his mind. Kasab declined the privilege and slumped back on his bench slowly.

Times View 
This paper is philosophically opposed to the death sentence — but ever so rarely there comes a crime that is so cold-blooded and so heinous that it forces us to make an exception. The manner in which Kasab and his partner walked into one of the busiest railway stations in the world and gunned down defenceless men, women and children in plain sight left no room for even the shadow of a doubt about their guilt. Some would argue that the death sentence serves our basest instinct for revenge, that it is not the answer to crime. But terror is unlike any other crime. Besides, keeping Kasab alive runs the risk of another Kandahar, when a plane was hijacked to extract the release of three dreaded terrorists.
Mumbai Erupts In Delight
Even as Kasab wore a downcast look and didn’t utter a single word in court on Thursday, Mumbai rejoiced in the verdict against the ‘butcher of Faridkot’ who killed scores and scarred Mumbai’s psyche for ever. Mumbaikars were unanimous that Kasab had got the punishment he deserved, but felt that the verdict could have come in much earlier. “It is a fair decision and
makes me proud of our judiciary,’’ said Manoj Takhtani, an octroi worker. The families and friends of the victims echoed similar sentiments, but many also expressed apprehensions about the possible delay in his execution. END OF A VIOLENT ROAD
5 Counts On Which He Got Death Rap 
For seven people killed directly by bullets fired from Kasab’s AK-47 For 65 other deaths in which he was an accomplice of Abu Ismail For LeT conspiracy which led to 166 deaths For waging war against the Indian state For a ‘terrorist act’ under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 
5 Counts On Which He Got Life Term 
Attempt to murder Kidnapping of boat Kuber’s navigator Conspiracy to wage war against India Collecting arms, etc, with an intention to wage war against the government of India Under the Explosives Act 
When Will He Hang? 
Under Section 366 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the death sentence will be automatically sent up to the Bombay high court for confirmation. If it’s confirmed, Kasab could file a mercy petition before the President. There are 50 such petitions pending over the years. Experts say govt need not insist on chronological order and can fast-track a petition depending upon its urgency
Kasab is a menace to society. Keeping such a person alive is a constant danger to the government and state He has lost his right to any humanitarian relief

Every man who wages war against India forfeits his life to the Indian state 
Any chance of Kasab’s rehabilitation and reform is totally ruled out 
Common man will lose faith in courts if they give inadequate punishment 
—M L Tahaliyani


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Posted by :) on May 5, 2010

V IS FOR VINDICATED: Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam flashes a v-sign sign as he holds a report outside the court.

His conviction was based on CCTV footage showing him striding across the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) with an AK-47 and a backpack. The prosecution had called 653 witnesses to testify against the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operative born in an impoverished family in a village in Pakistan’s Punjab province.

Tahalyani ruled that Kasab was guilty of directly killing seven people and a total of 59 along with associate Abu Ismail, who was shot dead after running into a police picket at Girgaun Chowpatty early on November 27 – shortly after the terror assault began in Mumbai on the night of November 26.
Ansari, 35, and Ahmed, 24, were also in court. The two – Ahmed from Goregaon in Mumbai and Ahmed from Madhubani in Bihar — had been charged with conspiracy by preparing maps of the targeted locations and handing them to LeT operatives.
But the judge said the Pakistani handlers of the terrorists would not have gone for hand-drawn maps, which were more “confusing than helpful”. Ismail’s trousers were bloodstained when he was killed by the police but the maps in his pockets were clean.
“The prosecution’s evidence against these two accused is doubtful and hence the benefit of doubt must go to them,” said Tahalyani.
The court said Ansari and Ahmed have been “forthwith acquitted from the case and allowed to be set free if they are not wanted in any other case”. The two may not be released soon, as they are accused in at least two other terror cases.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said he would recommend to the Government to appeal against the order acquitting Faheem and Sabauddin in the High Court.
“I am very happy (about conviction of Kasab). But I regret the acquittal of two other accused Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed. The court has given them benefit of doubt. We will challenge their acquittal,” he said.
Both were “passive actors” in the conspiracy and “we had placed enough circumstantial evidence which the court should have considered,” Nikam said.
Kasab did not react when Tahalyani told him: “main tumko doshi paya hai kyun ke aapne desh ke khilaf jung kiya aur 166 logon ki jan li apne doston se milkar” (I hold you guilty of waging war against the nation and killing 166 people along with your accomplices).
The court held Kasab guilty for killing people at the CST and near Cama Hospital. He was also blamed for abetting murder at other scenes of the attack where his accomplices perpetrated mass killing.
It ruled that Kasab and Ismail shot and killed Hemant Karkare, chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad, Additional Commissioner of Police Ashok Kamte and Senior Police Inspector Vijay Salaskar outside Cama Hospital.
He was held guilty for the murders of Assistant Police Inspector Tukaram Ombale, who captured him, and Amarsinh Solanki, the navigator of Kuber fishing trawler used by the terrorists to reach Mumbai.
War against the Indian state
The court ruled that the Mumbai attackers were not ordinary criminals but had launched war against the Indian state–the conspiracy for which was hatched in Pakistan.
“It was not a simple act of murder. It was war. It was part of a larger conspiracy to wage war against the nation,” said Tahiliyani in a summary of his judgment. “This type of preparation is not made by ordinary criminals. This type of preparation is made by those waging war.”
The court held that 20 of the 35 wanted accused — including LeT founder Hafiz Saeed, operations chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, and Abu Hamza — were involved in the conspiracy to attack Mumbai.
It observed that terrorists’ handlers from Pakistan were directing them, asking them to “fight until death” and not allow themselves to be caught alive.
The court accepted the evidence of all the 30 witnesses who identified Kasab as the man who had opened fire at them.
Tahiliyani said photojournalists Sebastian D’souza and Sriram Vernekar, who clicked Kasab at CST, railway announcer Vishnu Zende and 11-year-old girl Devika Rotawan were the best witnesses available to the court.
Kasab was held guilty under provisions of Arms Act, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Explosives Act, Railway Act and other laws, but smaller charges like forgery were dropped.
All the ten terrorists who attacked Mumbai were found to be carrying fake identity cards, but the judge said it was not proved beyond reasonable doubt that Kasab had himself forged the document.
Kasab was charged on 86 counts, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including waging war against the nation. Besides, he faced charges under the Explosives Act, the Arms Act, the Passport Act, the Prevention of Damage to Public Properties Act, the Customs Act, the Explosive Substances Act, the Bombay Police Act, the Foreigners Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The 60-hour audacious attack that began on the night of November 26, 2008 and went on till the afternoon of Nov 29, 2009 was carried out by 10 Pakistani terrorists including Kasab.
They targeted sites like the CST, the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Hotel Oberoi-Trident, the Cama Hospital and the Chabad House, a Jewish prayer centre, and the popular hangout Leopold Café.
The trial of Kasab started on April 15, 2009 and was completed March 31 this year, after nearly seven months of hearings, excluding breaks and vacations.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS and Reuters.)

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