| Pakistan 'role in Mumbai attacks'|
Pakistan's intelligence agency was behind the train blasts in Mumbai in July that killed 186 people, Indian police have said.
The attacks were planned by the ISI and carried out by the Islamist militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba, based in Pakistan, Mumbai's police chief said.
AN Roy said the Students' Islamic Movement of India had also assisted.
Pakistan rejected the allegations and said India had given no evidence of Pakistani involvement in the attacks.
"We have solved the 11 July bombings case. The whole attack was planned by Pakistan's ISI and carried out by Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operatives in India," AN Roy, Mumbai's police chief, told a news conference.
Mr Roy said 15 people had been arrested, including 11 Pakistanis.
Tariq Azi, Pakistan's minister of state for information, told the Associated Press: "We reject this allegation, and demand that India should provide us any evidence, if they have it."
On 11 July 2006, seven co-ordinated blasts ripped through trains on Mumbai's busy commuter network.
Indian security officials suggested early on in their investigations that the bombings bore the hallmarks of Lashkar-e-Toiba. Pakistan has denied any involvement in the blasts.
India postponed talks after the bombs but says it is still committed to the peace process.
|QUOTE ("Raw Story")|
|Pakistan's ISI involved in Mumbai train blasts, say police|
Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa
Published: Saturday September 30, 2006
New Delhi- Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency planned the July 11 serial blasts in Mumbai and it was carried out by operatives of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) militant group and members of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), police said Saturday. New Delhi city police commissioner A N Roy said investigations into the serial bombings on trains that left 167 dead and more than 700 injured in Mumbai, India's commercial hub, had been completed.
"We have solved the July 11 bombings case. The whole attack was planned by Pakistan's ISI and carried out by the Lashkar-e-Toiba and their operatives in India," Roy said.
"It was a professional, precise and well-planned operation," he added.
Roy said plotting for the attack began in March and so far 15 people had been arrested.
The role of 12 people in the terror attack had been established, while that of three was not clear and they may be released after further investigations.
LET operatives based in Mumbai and other places in India were involved in planning the attack, Roy said.
Eleven Pakistani nationals took part in planting the bombs along with seven Indians on the trains, he said.
The Pakistani operatives were escorted to Mumbai by Indian accomplices in three separate groups. They entered India across the borders with Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan bordering India's Gujarat state.
One of the Pakistanis had brought with him 20 kilograms of RDX which was mixed with locally procured ammonium nitrate to make the bombs. The bombs were made in a Mumbai locality and packed in brand new 5-litre pressure cookers with quartz timers.
Each of the seven bombs were planted in first-class compartments of different trains by a group of two men, one Pakistani and one Indian.
The cookers were kept on the luggage racks with newspapers and umbrellas covering them.
The bombers boarded the different trains at Mumbai's Churchgate station. All the operatives except one man, a Pakistani, managed to get off the trains before the blasts took place.
"We have identified the dead man as Saleem, resident of Lahore," Roy said.
"We have arrested four Indian operatives. One Pakistani known as Mohammed Ali alias Abu Osama was killed in an encounter. The search for the rest of the three other Indians and the other Pakistanis is on," Roy said.
He said the Pakistani operatives may have gone back across the border.
Roy said the police had identified all persons involved in the plot, but would not reveal the names of those who were yet to be arrested.
He said all the Indian operatives, some of whom were members of "sleeper cells" of the LET in Indian cities and others of the SIMI had received training in LET camps in Pakistan.
"Some of them went twice or thrice for training," Roy said. Most were trained by a senior LET commander Azam Cheema in his camp in Bhawalpur district of Pakistan, he said.
"They received hard-core training including how to handle interrogation," Roy said. He cited this as a reason why it took the police more than two months to crack the case.
He said the three key Indians involved in the plot were Faizal Sheikh, an area commander of the LET, Ehtesan Siddique, a senior SIMI officeholder, and Kamaluddin Ansari. All three have been arrested.
Roy said Sheikh had received large consignments of funds through a Rizwan Devra, an ISI operative based in Saudi Arabia for organizing the attack.
Soon after the blasts, Indian agencies had pointed a finger at the LET and Pakistan's involvement. Islamabad had denied the charges and had asked for evidence and also said it was willing to cooperate in investigations.
Analysts said the Mumbai police's claims are certain to impact the joint anti-terror mechanism agreed on by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf during a recent meeting in Cuba.
© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa
Source: The Raw Story
|Last Update: Saturday, September 30, 2006. 10:37pm (AEST)|
Musharraf says Pakistan integral to fighting terrorism
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says the West would be "brought to its knees" if his country was not cooperating in the fight against terrorism.
General Musharraf has also urged Britain to emulate Pakistan in striking a deal with the tribal elders along the Afghan border to try to isolate the Taliban.
He has strongly defended Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) against accusations that elements within it have been collaborating with the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In a BBC interview, he has said the ISI has played a vital role for more than 20 years in destroying groups hostile to western powers and in thwarting plots to launch more attacks.
"You'll be brought down to your knees if Pakistan doesn't cooperate with you," he said.
"That is all that I would like to say.
"Pakistan is the main ally. If we were not to be with you, you won't manage anything.
"Let that be clear, and if ISI is not with you, you will fail."
General Musharraf has also denied that young British Muslims, such as the London suicide bombers, were radicalised on visits to Pakistan.
"Now we keep blaming Pakistan again and I take again strong exception to that," he said.
"That a man who's 30 years old or 25 years old comes to Pakistan for two months, everything has gone wrong in two months, the man is indoctrinated here, and then he goes there but the problem lies here.
- BBC via ABC News
|Sunday, October 1, 2006. 0:10am (AEST)|
Pakistan hits back at Indian police over bombings claim
The Mahim railway station in Mumbai was among the sites hit in the July 11 blasts.
The Mahim railway station in Mumbai was among the sites hit in the July 11 blasts. [File photo] (ABC)
Pakistan has rejected a claim by Indian police that the Pakistani intelligence agency was behind the July 11 Mumbai train bombings.
Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao has described the allegation as "totally baseless and fabricated".
The Foreign Ministry in Islamabad has called it irresponsible and has condemned the "repetition of baseless allegations".
Mumbai police commissioner AN Roy has told reporters in Mumbai that the attacks, which killed 186 people and injured more than 800, were planned by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) and a militant Kashmiri group.
"This whole business was planned by the ISI in Pakistan and the LeT [Lashkar-e-Toiba], and local operatives here helped them," he said.
LeT, a pro-Pakistan Islamist group, has been blamed for previous attacks in India.
Mr Sherpao says it is unfortunate the allegation was made after leaders of the two countries met in Havana in Cuba early this month and agreed to resume peace talks and also set up a joint mechanism to fight terrorism.
"Such unfounded allegations maligning Pakistan are not going to help the peace process," he said.
India abruptly halted a two-year-old peace process between the nuclear-armed neighbours soon after the Mumbai blast, which Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said at the time received support from elements across the border, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.
Pakistan's Foreign Ministry says it has offered to help India in the investigation into the Mumbai train blasts if India provides evidence and solid information of Pakistani involvement.
"We have received absolutely nothing in terms of evidence, information or leads," the ministry said in a statement.
"This statement, like those made immediately after the Mumbai bomb blasts, contains unsubstantiated allegations, which the Indian officials and media keep making for propaganda purposes."
The ministry says it is "quite possible that this is an attempt to divert attention from indigenous elements that may be responsible for terrorist acts in Mumbai and Malegaon in Maharashtra".
About 31 Muslims were killed in Malegaon town in western India in a series of blasts outside a mosque last month.
|We'll give proof to you: India to Pak|
Posted online: Sunday, October 01, 2006 at 1212 hours IST
Updated: Sunday, October 01, 2006 at 1709 hours IST
Terror New Delhi, October 1: India said it would give Pakistan evidence its investigators found to link Pakistan's ISI and an extremist group based there to deadly bomb blasts in Mumbai that killed 186 people in July.
The comments by the new Foreign Secretary, Shiv Shankar Menon, came a day after police in Mumbai, the country's financial hub, said they had solid proof that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had masterminded the carnage.
"We will judge them not by immediate reactions or verbal statements (but) by what they actually do about terrorism," Menon said.
"It seems to me logical that the mechanism has to deal with this kind of evidence," he added, referring to an agreement between the two countries to set up a joint agency to tackle terrorism.
Source: Express India
|Clueless about ISI's game|
Investigation throws up 'clinching evidence' of ISI's role in the Mumbai bombings of July 11. Or does it?
There are two ways to look at the recent din over the arrest of two Indian Army personnel for allegedly being agents of Pakistan's external intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, known by its more popular acronym, ISI.
The first is to believe what Mr Pranab Mukherjee said about the agency's concerted attempts to infiltrate higher echelons of the Indian establishment, including the armed forces. As Defence Minister, he said he was planning to order a deeper inquiry to probe the extent of infiltration.
Before looking at the second possibility, it is imperative to analyse the Mumbai blast investigations, starting with the Mumbai Police making a claim that the ISI had planned the July bombings that killed 187 commuters. So 'clinching' was the evidence that the Mumbai Police chief held a Press conference promptly before emplaning for Delhi to share the evidence with National Security Adviser, MK Narayanan, Union Home Secretary VK Duggal and a host of other officers. These South Block pundits felt the evidence was so 'clinching' that it was imperative to share it with the US, and then the UK. Now they are willing to share it with whoever is interested. (It would be a good idea to price it. Amazon.com can market it quite well. It can be titled The Great Indian Evidence)
There is a rarely an instance of the Government displaying a wanton disregard for law and propriety as this one. No soon was the claim made and projected in high decibels all over the world, none other than Mr Narayanan chose to publicly doubt the "clinching" part of the evidence. Other stalwarts in the establishment made noises which neither disproved what the NSA said nor supported his statement. At the end of the day, with the Union Government looking utterly clueless and confused about the terrorist attack, people were left wondering about the efficacy of the state to deal with such menace.
This singular act of contradiction has a far more serious fallout which the media seems to have, not surprisingly, missed. The days following the Mumbai bombings, there were widespread protests, largely in the Muslim community, that the security agencies were targeting poor Muslims in Mumbai and nearby areas. The massive crackdown and arrests betrayed a complete lack of investigative capability of the Mumbai Police, which is again not surprising considering the proximity it enjoys with the criminal syndicates. These feelings were unabashedly reflected in the popular Urdu media and even in the English Muslim Press. There were articles expressing serious doubts about the Mumbai Police's investigations. The 'clinching evidence' episode has only confirmed such doubts and fears in the community.
It was important to make a rather longer reference to the 7/11 investigations to understand the second way to analyse the spy incident and the Government's response. The Defence Minister's sudden alarm over the ISI could well be for the benefit of the media; it could be part of a bigger psyops in the wake of the Havana declaration between India and Pakistan to work on a joint counter-terrorism mechanism. There could be a lot of meaning what the Prime Minister said: The Mumbai bombings would be the test of the joint mechanism.
Since the media is prone to frequent bouts of amnesia, it is worthwhile to mention that one of the primary responsibilities tasked to the ISI is to infiltrate the Indian establishment. Three divisions within the ISI deal with India - Joint Intelligence Bureau, which analyses political developments, Joint Intelligence Miscellaneous, which caters to sabotage and subversive activities in India (and other foreign countries), and Joint Intelligence North which oversees the proxy war in Kashmir.
A measure of the ISI's mission in India could be assessed from the number of arrests and counter-intelligence successes of the past five years. Between 2001 and 2005, as many as 99 ISI espionage modules and 159 terrorist modules were neutralised. At least 18 espionage modules were detected in 2005. As many as 199 ISI agents were arrested in this period. These official figures, drawn from the Home Ministry's Annual Report, clearly show that ISI has been (and naturally so) quite active in India.
As far as the security forces are concerned, the ISI infiltration has certainly not been as extensive as feared. There is, however, undeniable evidence to prove that ISI has been able to achieve occasional successes in planting their agents within the security forces. Mr Narayanan himself, a few months ago, had referred to ISI attempts to infiltrate the Indian Air Force. There have been quite a few other cases of ISI infiltration of the security establishment. Notable among them has been the arrest of a Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative, Haroon Rashid, who worked at Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd.
HAL makes frontline fighter aircraft for the Air Force. Several years ago, a Major in the Territorial Army was caught spying for the ISI, following the interrogation of a hawala operator arrested at the IGI airport. During the Kargil war, there were reports (publicly unconfirmed) of one or two sleeper agents relaying critical information about troop deployments and field artillery positions to the adversary.
But given the hopeless fiasco in the Mumbai bombings case and the above facts, it may not be wrong to doubt the above theory of a psyops on Pakistan. In fact, with the security and intelligence establishment getting increasingly compromised, it would be more logical to believe that the Government has failed to check-mate the enemy even within our own territory.
|7/11 serial blasts continue to be teaser for Mumbai Police|
Mumbai, Jul 11 (PTI) Two years have gone by after seven near simultaneous blasts in the Mumbai trains left 187 people dead.
The case will remain as a grim reminder and a teaser to police and intelligence agencies as neither its perpetrators have been brought before law nor the conspiracy unravelled.
The Mumbai serial blasts was one of those unique cases where suspected Pakistan-based militant outfits used complete local network to execute the audacious attack.
On July 11, 2006, seven blasts were triggered within 11 minutes in trains running between the busy Khar and Borivali railway station.
Mumbai police's elite Anti Terrorist Squad is still struggling to solve the puzzle as to who had actually carried out the heinous crime.
They also have no clue as to how the militants, suspected to be members of Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba with local help from banned SIMI, manage to penetrate into the Mumbai transport system despite claims by the then Mumbai Police Commissioner A N Roy, now Director General of Police, that it had clinching evidence about involvement of Pakistan's ISI and the conspiracy.
The much-hyped voluminous charge sheet has already started gathering dust as the case has slipped into legal wrangling with one of the accused knocking doors of Supreme Court challenging the decision of Mumbai Police to invoke Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The Mumbai Police's elite ATS, with the help of central intelligence agencies, picked up 13 people from different parts of the country for conspiring the near simultaneous explosions but nothing concrete could be brought out.
The charges against the 13 accused had been framed by the court in August 2007 itself but the commencement of the trial has been delayed because the first accused -- Kamal Ansari -- refused to engage any lawyer to defend him and later argued that all the accused wanted their trial transferred to another court. PTI
|Lifeless survivors of 7/11|
Friday, July 11, 2008 20:23 IST
MUMBAI: Little Prachiti's grandfather takes her to a city hospital every weekend in the faint hope her childish prattling stirs some life in her father, Parag; for he survived the serial train blasts 2 years ago but has been in a coma ever since.
Her father Parag Sawant, 28, an assistant manager with a construction firm, had got married just seven months before and his wife Priti was carrying unborn Prachiti when seven deafening explosions in the suburban trains claimed 187 lives on July 11, 2006.
Parag had taken a Virar-bound train and was to alight at Mira Road station when a blast ripped through his first class compartment.
The tale of the Sawant family is similar to that of the Singhs. 23-year-old Amit Singh survived the blasts but like Parag, he too drifted into a coma.
Parag's father Jayprakash said, "Every weekend, I take Prachiti, who is now 21 months old, to visit her father lying lifeless on a hospital bed".
He said though children are not allowed into the trauma care centre of Hinduja hospital "I take her there as a special case".
Jayprakash only prays that the toddler's ramblings one day stirs his son out of the coma. Parag's wife is also hopeful he will pull through as five neurosurgeries had been performed on him.
He however needs specialised treatment that is available only in Japan.
Jayprakash said the Railways had been taking care of the entire treatment till now but the cost of the threrapy in Japan would have to be borne by the family.
Priti, who had discontinued her studies after marriage, has over the past two years done a computer course and is now working as a reservation clerk with Western Railways.
Amit Singh, a final year B Com student, was returning to his home in Virar from his college at Churchgate when the train he was travelling in was ripped by an explosion at Mira Road station.
"Amit left home at 6 in the morning on that day and called me in the afternoon saying he would try to be back soon. That was the last I heard from him," his father Dinesh Singh said.
When the family found Amit had not returned, a frantic search began for him at every hospital and railway station on the western rail line.
"After 72 hours of search, we located Amit at Jaslok hospital. He had passed into a coma and has not woken up ever since," Singh said.
He said it was a tragedy for the entire family as "Amit's life has been put on hold and so has ours
| Life on the move for train blast victims|
MUMBAI: Sunita Jaiswal has a smile on her face. Two years after her husband was killed in the serial train blasts here, she has managed to get her life together and is now working with the Railways. “This is all due to the help by Mumbaikars,” she says.
Ms. Jaiswal’s younger son has a hole in the heart and needs to undergo surgery. Last year, a well-wisher paid for his second operation. He will have to undergo another one when he is five years. Her elder son Aryan goes to school and she is worried about the children’s education. “My brothers, my husband’s former company all give me money, but I need to take my younger son to Delhi for treatment. All that’s expensive. I don’t earn very much.”
The July 11, 2006 blasts killed 187 people and left 894 injured. Nearly 500 of them have serious injuries and face a bleak future. However, many of them have fought back and tried to make something of their life.
With a spinal cord badly damaged and his left side virtually paralysed, Rajesh Jha, 22, ranked first in his M.Com (Part I) examination last year and now works in a bank. He has lost hearing in the left ear. “My medicines alone cost Rs. 5,000- 6,000 a month. My father pays for that now,” he said.
Twenty-year-old Chirag Chavan is poised to become a chartered accountant. His results are to be announced on July12. Mr. Chirag, who is paralysed neck down, said he had no hopes of appearing for the examinations. But, thanks to the effort of the Bharatiya Janata Party, he was given a wheelchair and arrangements were made for him to appear for the examination. Mr. Chirag was doing his articleship when he was injured in the blasts.
Preeti Sawant is overjoyed that her husband Parag, who is in a private hospital, is showing signs of improvement. Mr. Parag was in a coma due to his injures, but he has been improving for a while. Ms. Preeti, who gave birth to a baby girl three months after the blasts, said Mr. Parag was recognising people and would get better soon in a few months. She too has a job with the Railways.
Another victim Amit Singh continues to be in a coma.
The BJP on Friday held a meeting of victims and honoured 13 of them, who had come up in life despite the odds.
Rajaram Chavan has been given an artificial leg. Others like Allwyn D’ Cunha have changed jobs so that their injuries will not hamper their work. Mr. Allwyn, who underwent a series of operations in the right hand, now works in a petrol pump.
Metal detectors at the Churchgate station and closed circuit television serve as a reminder of the day which paralysed Mumbai. The blasts trial was stayed in February by the Supreme Court after three of the 13 accused challenged the application of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act to their case.
|Mumbai: 'I'll never forget 7/11 blasts'|
11 Jul 2008, 1733 hrs IST, Vasundhara Sanger,TIMESOFINDIA.COM
MUMBAI: On the evening of July 11, 2006, twenty-one year old BPO employee Dipesh Tank was sleeping after a night shift at work when he was awakened by the TV news broadcast of seven coordinated train blasts in Mumbai that left 187 dead and hundreds injured. When he saw the blood splattered bodies and trauma of the victims he couldn’t stay home. Dipesh set out to see how he could help the unfortunate sufferers.
This young man’s calling gave rise to a volunteer (yet unregistered) organisation of 600 young people, all BPO employees, willing to make a difference to the lives of needy, and it’s called Youth For People.
Two years on, the organsiation has decided to honour its volunteers at an event in Mumbai. What began in the aftermath of the 7/11 blasts did not stop even when the last of the injured went home from hospitals. Energised by their impromptu volunteer action, the youngsters ceaselessly worked for cancer patients, organised blood donation camps for hospitals and offered any kind of help that the society required.
Says Dipesh, the founder of the organisation, “Basically we want to tell the youth to be on the streets, stay alert and help whoever needs them. I still feel the goose bumps when I recall the gory sights of the 7/11 blasts. I am 23 today. I was even younger then. I had never seen mangled and burnt dead bodies before. But I don’t know how I had the strength to carry one isolated arm or a bloodied leg of someone blown away in the blast.”
He laments that it’s just been two years but the majority in the city seemed to have forgotten what happened to commuters travelling inside the fateful bogies of the trains targeted by terrorists.
Death and destruction caused by the terrorist strike could have hit anyone. On the second anniversary of the blasts, shoddy security, unpaid compensations and a bundle of hasty promises notwithstanding, life in Mumbai moves on.
However, remnants of the blasts were visible in the symbolic gestures. This morning, at 6:40 (IST) am, railways police officers paid their tribute to those who died in the blasts at the Mahim station. The memorial was built shortly after the blasts.
The scenario was different two years ago. A week after the blasts thousands of commuters paid homage by observing two minutes of silence in memory of the dead and injured at the Churchgate station (starting point of all the trains) at 6:27 (IST) pm, which was the exact time the first blast took place.
Back then, residents of the railway colony near the Matunga Road station, who rushed to rescue the passengers when disaster struck, had set up a make-shift structure in the memory of the departed souls, paid floral tributes and played patriotic songs from Hindi films in their honour. Renderings of Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon filled the air and reminded passers by to not to forget in a hurry hundreds of innocent lives sacrificed at the altar of terrorism.
This morning a newspaper carried the picture of a mother, somewhere in the northern Mumbai suburb, wiping a name inscribed on its walls. She had named her bungalow Harshal 7/11 in memory of her son who died in the blast.
Clearly, the only folks reliving the terror two years after the blast are survivors and the families of those who perished in the blasts on a terrible Tuesday in 2006.
|Publication:Times of India Mumbai; Date:Jun 13, 2008; Section:Times City; Page Number:4 |
They call on patients by day and take calls at night
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Mumbai: An employee of a suburban BPO firm, 23-year-old Dipesh Tank, is an anonymous face in a row of workers, furiously attending to calls through the night. However, by day, it isn’t unusual to see Dipesh and his friends hanging around at city hospitals, patiently waiting to donate blood for unknown patients.
Far removed from the stereotype of BPO workers as a money-chasing, yuppie lot, this group of Mumbai youngsters has been silently moving around despite their hectic life-style, collecting blood for ailing patients.
What started out as a group of friends lending a helping hand after the July 11 serial train blasts is today an informal network of 350 youngsters who merely call themselves ‘Youth for People’. They now plan to get registered as an NGO as they are trying to raise funds for a mobile blood donation van.
“Satisfying,’’ is how Dipesh describes his drive to donate blood for another, as he relates touching experiences. Take the case of 16-yearold Atia Mohammed who was admitted to Tata Hospital with blood cancer. “We couldn’t save her life and she died 18 months ago, but I developed a special bond with the family,’’ says Dipesh, who also raised lakhs for her treatment. Hearteningly, their workplace has been fuelling their enthusiasm, even arranging for a car if an employee has to go to a far-flung hospital for blood donation. As vice-president of the BPO, Sunil Nair points out, “The youth force is our strength and if we can channelise their energies for such causes, a lot of good could come up.’’ Nair’s BPO is currently planning out arrangements for a blood donation drive to mark the second anniversary of the bomb blast on July 11.
Those who can’t donate still play angel by networking. Take Aarti Dalal (31), for example who works as a trainer in another BPO. “I am unable to donate blood because of my low haemoglobin count. But If I hear about a patient, I try and convince my colleagues and allay their safety fears. Many are willing to donate but are just scared,’’ she says.
On Saturday, the State Blood Transfusion Council will felicitate 50 organisations that have regularly conducted blood donation camps to ensure that the the state’s blood banks are well stocked. These 50 groups account for 25% of the state’s total supply
THE TOP FIVE CONTRIBUTORS FOR 2007 ARE: NSS 75,000 units Sant Nirankari Mission 13,500 Euro Foundation 10,500 Amravati Rakht Daan Samiti 9,700 Aniruddha Bapu’s followers 3,864
YOUTH POWER: Dipesh Tank (3rd from left) and his friends are employees of a suburban BPO firm
|7/11 lesson: police to form dedicated intelligence cadre|
Posted online: Friday , July 11, 2008 at 02:28:16
Updated: Friday , July 11, 2008 at 02:28:16
Mumbai, July 10 Special intelligence training school soon in Pune: DGP
Two years after a major intelligence failure was blamed for the 7/11 serial blasts on Mumbai’s local trains, the state police is set to form a dedicated intelligence cadre and open an exclusive school to train the force in intelligence gathering and analysis as part of a complete overhaul of its information system.
The school would come up in Pune in a couple of months and is part of measures announced after the gruesome terrorist attack to strengthen the state police’s intelligence machinery, Director-General of Police A N Roy told The Indian Express on the eve of the second anniversary of the blasts. Officials said the school was expected to be the second such in the country after the one in Andhra Pradesh.
The blasts, which killed 188 [other sources give 186 or 187] people and injured hundreds more, were viewed as a complete failure of intelligence agencies in the light of a large haul of arms and ammunition in Aurangabad shortly before and was believed to be linked to the attack. In the aftermath of 7/11, the government had announced that 50 percent of the cadre in the State Intelligence Department would be recruited as dedicated intelligence officers who would retire from the SID itself.
“A great deal of importance has been placed on improving the intelligence machinery of the state. The move to introduce a 50 percent recruitment of dedicated intelligence officers to the state’s intelligence cadre is underway. The recruitment of head constables and assistant sub-inspectors is under the Commissioner of Intelligence, and this is currently on in full swing. These recruitments will be completed in a couple of months. The recruitments of assistant police inspectors and higher ranks will be conducted by the Maharashtra Public Service Commission, and will take longer,” said Roy.
Elaborating on the training that this ‘exclusive cadre’ would receive, the DGP said that a special school was being established in Pune to complement the existing Special Branch training school in Mumbai’s Dadar area.
“These dedicated intelligence officers will require special training, unlike the routine training in law and order and crime investigation. For this purpose, a special intelligence training school will soon open in Pune. The premises is ready and the school will open its doors to the new dedicated cadre as soon as the recruitments are done.
Detailed planning has gone into this process, and training modules along the lines of those given by the Intelligence Bureau will be imparted at the Pune training facility,” said Roy.
Asked about the progress of the 7/11 trial, Roy said, “The case has been chargesheeted and the trial had begun. However, after some of the accused filed an application, the trial has been stayed by the Supreme Court. However, the matter is to come up for hearing very soon.”
Thirteen people have been arrested and charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in connection with the blasts. But the Supreme Court stayed the trial in March as a bench agreed to examine the constitutional validity of a specific part of MCOCA that refers to “insurgency” after it was raised by Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman, one of the 13 accused.
|QUOTE (Tuesday 25th November 2008)|
|Mumbai train blasts accused detained in UK|
Mumbai, Nov 25 
(PTI) Rahil Sheikh, an accused in the July 2006 serial blasts in trains here, has been detained at London airport, police said here today.
Sheikh was held in London on the basis of a notice issued by the Interpol, Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gagoor told PTI adding "we have been asked to furnish evidence regarding his involvement in the July 11 blasts which we have already sent across." The evidence is expected to be presented before a court there after which a decision on his extradition can be taken, he said.
"We have received the information from the Interpol office in India which is in CBI, Delhi," Gafoor said.
However, the CBI and External Affairs Ministry were silent on the issue and refused to give any comments on Sheikh's detention.
The Interpol has issued a Red Corner notice against Rahil Abdul Rahman Sheikh, identified as the principal organiser of the July 11 serial bombings last year in Mumbai that left 185 dead and hundreds injured. PTI
|QUOTE (Thursday 27th November 2008)|
CBI denies arrest of Mumbai train blasts accused Rahil Sheikh
New Delhi (PTI): A day after Mumbai Police claimed detention of Rahil Sheikh, an accused of the 2006 serial blasts in the western metropolis, the CBI on Wednesday denied that any such incident had taken place in London or in any part of the United Kingdom.
A CBI spokesperson said Interpol India had received an information from Interpol London to this effect in which Scotland Yard had denied reports suggesting Sheikh's detention at the Heathrow Airport.
Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor Sheikh on Tuesday said Sheikh was held in London on the basis of a notice issued by the Interpol.
"We have been asked to furnish evidence regarding his involvement in the July 11 blasts, which we have already sent across," he had said.
The CBI spokesperson said acting on this information, the agency has approached its counterpart in London which responded promptly by denying any knowledge of the detention.
The Interpol has issued a Red Corner notice against Rahil Abdul Rahman Sheikh, identified as the principal organiser of the July 11, 2006 serial bombings in Mumbai that left 185 dead and hundreds injured.
Rahil, along with Zulfikar Fayyaz Qazi and Zabiuddin Ansari, is suspected to be a key conspirator behind the serial blasts in the metropolis and had set up escape plans weeks before the bombings.
Police named Rahil and others as key figures in Pakistan-based militant outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba's cells operating out of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Delhi.
A resident of Mumbai's Grant Road area, Rahil, handled communication between these cells and LeT's Pakistan-based commander for operations targeting India.
Another key figure is Azam Cheema the man who had authorised and overseen the serial bombings and also responsible for funneling Lashkar recruits, raised mainly from the ranks of the Students Islamic Movement of India, to training camps in Pakistan.
Gujarat police identified 30-year-old Rahil, along with Qazi, as the key conspirator of the attempted bombing of an Ahmedabad-Mumbai train on February 19, 2007.
In March last year, Rahil's name surfaced again after the Delhi Police shot dead top LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba] operative Mohammad Iqbal, a Pakistani national.