'My father sent me to the Lashkar'

26/11 Mumbai Attacked, one of the first books on last winter's murderous acts of terror, explains the reality behind the attacks. It reiterates the chilling reality that India is under grave threat and the clock is ticking before the next big attack.

In the first of a five-part series, we bring to you an exclusive excerpt written by journalist Ashish Khetan detailing the initial interrogation of an injured Ajmal Kasab, the only surviving terrorist, in the early hours of November 28, 2008, even as the siege continued at the Taj Mahal and Oberoi-Trident hotels and Nariman House.

Additional Commissioner Tanaji Ghadge is fifty-one and more than half his age has gone into policing. A smile always lingers on his cherubic face but tonight it is sombre, almost mournful. Dyed black hair parted neatly down the side and hands held across the chest, he is staring into the camera, waiting for the cue. Above his right shoulder, the word 'Police' is painted on the wall in Marathi, in bold black letters. He is seated at a police desk outside the emergency ward of the Nair Hospital, a corner assigned to the police for fulfilling legal formalities and paperwork for cases involving accidents, shootout injuries, anything that falls under medico-legal cases. The time is 1 am, the date November 27, 2008.

On cue, Ghadge begins: 'I am the additional commissioner of Girgaum division. There were incidents of indiscriminate firing at the Taj Mahal hotel, the Oberoi hotel and the VT station last night which appear to be a well-coordinated terror attack. In an encounter with the police at Girgaum Chowpatty one terrorist has been killed while another has suffered injuries and has been brought to the hospital. It is important to interrogate him and therefore I am proceeding to question him.'

Next frame. A youth, seemingly in his early twenties, lies prone on a green plastic, the sheet being a protection from bloodstains for the white sheet that covers a mattress. A fine brown blanket has been pulled close to the chest of the young man who lies naked underneath. His thick mop of hair, greasy and dishevelled, is pressed against the bed's headrest. Wheatish in complexion, the youth is well built -- round arms, pumped-up biceps, and thick neck. His clean-shaven oval face bears a high forehead. There is a fresh injury on the chin smeared with an ointment, and a sledge-shaped bandage covers the right side of his neck. Apart from both the arms, which are bandaged from wrist to biceps, the torso bears no injury. He shows no signs of physical pain, only his forehead is creased and eyes are tightly shut, the stiffness of his face making clear that he is not asleep.

'Maine bahut galat kiya (I have committed a big mistake),' move the parched lips, catching a glimpse of the policeman walking into the room before shutting his eyes again. No question was posed, but Ghadge's walking in inspired the unsolicited admission. 'On whose instance?' 'Chacha ke kehne pe. (At the behest of Uncle.)' Eyes still closed; the voice betraying an effort to exhibit pain and earn empathy, more beseeching than replying. 'Who is this uncle?' Ghadge is staring down with bewilderment, still standing by the right side of the bed, near the young man's shoulder.

'The one from Lashkar.'

'Lashkar what? Which village he is from?'

'I don't know about his village. But he has an office... he keeps visiting the office,' the voice relaxes for a second.

'Who sent you here?'

'My father said we were very poor... our condition would improve... we will have food to eat... clothes to wear,' an emotional explanation, an excuse embedded in the reply.

'Was he your real father?' an incredulous Ghadge enquires.

'Real father... real father,' the man seemed determined to condemn his father.

'What's your name?' asked Ghadge, a fountain pen ready to scribble on a writing pad.


'What's your age?'


'Where is your gaon (village)?'

'Faridkot in tehsil Depalpur (administrative division), district Okara.'

'Who all are there in your family?'

'Mother... sisters.'

'Mother's name,' asks Ghadge, hardly looking at him, concentrating hard on the writing pad.

'Noor Illahi.'

'Her age?'

'Wahi koi chaalis ke aas paas. (Must be around forty years.)'

'What's your father's name?' Ghadge continues.

'Amir,' eyes still closed, head at ninety degrees to the pillow, body, hands and legs stiff like dead.

'What's his father's name?'

'Shahban.' His eyelids open for a split of a second before closing again.

'What's the surname?'

'Kya? (What?)'

'What's the surname? Khandaan ka naam kya hai?' Ghadge makes his question simpler.


'Are you a butcher?'

'No. We are not in this business� just the name has stuck.'

'So, Amir Shahban Kasab, that's your father's name.'


'What's his age?'

'Somewhere around 45 years,' head jerks a trifle, before stiffening again.

'What does your father do?'

'He sells dahi-wade. Sometimes in the village... sometimes he goes to Lahore city ... It's difficult to run the family,' Kasab now opens his eyelids, catching a glimpse of his interrogator from the corner of his eyes.

(Rediff News)

कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.

The Mumbai police control room becomes a war zone

26/11 Mumbai Attacked, one of the first books on last winter's murderous acts of terror, explains the reality behind the attacks. It reiterates the chilling reality that India is under grave threat and the clock is ticking before the next big attack.
In the concluding part of a five-part series, we bring to you an exclusive excerpt written by journalist Ashish Khetan on how the Mumbai police broke Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving terrorist in the attacks, immediately after his arrest and got vital information.

The Confession
The crime branch of the Mumbai police -- a specialised department in neutralising and investigating organised crime as well as intricate cases that are beyond the competence of local police stations -- has a staff of 150 experienced detectives. The entire bureau is headed by a joint commissioner of police. Since June 2007 the joint commissioner of the crime branch was Rakesh Maria.
A tall and broad-shouldered man, every strand of greying hair in place, Maria was known to be a workaholic. But on November 26 he left for the day at 8.50 pm, two hours before his usual time. Maria wanted to spend some time with his twenty-one-year-old son who was leaving that night for Ahmednagar to participate in an inter-university championship.
At 9.40 pm Maria's son left home. Ten minutes later, as he was getting ready to retire to bed, he received a call from the police control room: armed gunmen had opened indiscriminate fire at the CST station killing dozens of commuters. By the time he got into his car, reports of firing at Leopold Caf'e, at the Taj Mahal hotel and at the Trident-Oberoi hotels had also poured in.
As he asked his driver to head towards Mumbai police headquarters, the commissioner of police, Hasan Gafoor called and instructed Maria to take charge of the police control room. At 10.22 pm Maria reached the control room. By the time he walked in there, the command centre of Mumbai police had turned into a war zone.
Dozens of telephone lines and wireless communication channels were buzzing like bees. Beads of sweat were falling off the foreheads of police personnel fielding calls from the public, coordinating among the 45,000 city police personnel and communicating with eighty-six police stations and senior officers spread across Mumbai. A few gunmen had simultaneously attacked different sites throughout the city.
Dozens had already died while hundreds of injured needed immediate medical aid. It seemed the city was at war. A giant screen was showing the important city landmarks and locations of over 3,000 police vans patrolling in different areas. Maria started mobilising the police personnel, dispatching police vans to the troubled spots. Around 10.35 pm, reports came that a bomb had gone off in a speeding taxi on the Western Express Highway, close to the Santacruz airport.
So powerful was the explosion that the head of the taxi driver got severed from the torso and after shooting thirty feet up in the air, got stuck in the branches of a tree. Five minutes later at 10.40 pm another call came that a second bomb had exploded, again in a taxi, this time in Wadi Bunder, approximately 25 km from the location of the first blast.
Memories of the 1993 serial blasts were refreshed in Maria's mind. How many more bombs were waiting to go off? Two suspicious looking bags outside the Taj and one bag outside the Trident hotel had already been sighted. Maria instructed all police stations to comb their areas. Bomb disposal squads were dispatched to different sites.
Then reports of police casualties started trickling in. At around 11.25 pm Maria got the call that Additional Commissioner Sadanand Date, who had followed the terrorists into Cama Hospital, was injured, while a constable accompanying him had been killed. Between 10.29 pm and 12.11 am Maria diverted over 200 police personnel towards Cama Hospital.
During that time (Hemant) Karkare, (Ashok) Kamte, (Vijay) Salaskar and others had headed towards the hospital. Not far from there, at the CST station, were three SRPF striking forces, one RCP (Riot Control Police) striking force of around twenty personnel, eight mobile vans, one QRT and one SOS team. In addition, four DCPs and four senior police inspectors were also in the area. But unfortunately, the reinforcements never moved inside the lane where Karkare and the others were waiting.
At 12.25 am, Maria received a wireless message from Arun Jadhav, Salaskar's bodyguard. He said terrorists had hijacked the police vehicle in which he and Karkare and the others were travelling, that they had 'injured' everybody and finally abandoned the vehicle outside Vidhan Bhavan with him inside it.
Jadhav told Maria that the terrorists had then hijacked a black Honda City. Yet somehow, in that three-minute communication, Jadhav stricken with panic failed to tell Maria that the terrorists had killed Karkare and the others. It was only after Additional Commissioner Parambir Singh reached Vidhan Bhavan that Maria was informed about the outcome of the episode.
A little later a senior police inspector of DB Marg police station informed the control room that they had killed one and caught another terrorist alive.
Throughout the night Maria coordinated with the MARCOS, then the NSG, placing dozens of calls to the Maharashtra chief secretary, the Western Navy Command, the Union home ministry, and the Army headquarters in Delhi, besides numerous other offices and bureaucrats.
At around 1.30 am Maria was told to interrogate Ajmal Kasab who was at the Nair Hospital. After Ghadge's interrogation was over, Maria had already been updated by the DB Marg police about the revelations made by Kasab.
Maria sent one of his trusted detection officers Prashant Marde to Nair Hospital with the brief to just clarify four points: 1) How had they come; 2) How many of them had entered the city; 3) What weapons did they have with them; and 4) What task had each terrorist been assigned? At around 4.30 am, as Maria was busy arranging transport to pick up the NSG commandos from the airport, Marde called and briefed him on the four crucial points.
Based on the details provided by DB Marg police and Marde, Maria briefed the NSG in his office at around 5.30-6 am.
(Rediff News)

कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.

आचार संहिता उल्लंघन के कुछ बड़े मामले

- वरुण गांधी का भड़काऊ भाषण

- सैफई में मुलायम के समारोह में पैसा बंटना

- सोनिया गांधी का नरेंद्र मोदी को मौत का सौदागर बताना

- सोहराबुदीन की फर्जी मुठभेड़ को मोदी द्वारा सही ठहराया जाना

- उत्तर प्रदेश चुनाव से पहले आई भाजपा की भड़काऊ सीडी

- अर्जुन सिंह का आईआईटी और आईआईएम में आरक्षण बढ़ाने की बात कहना

- लखनऊ में लालजी टंडन द्वारा साड़ियां बांटना

- ओम प्रकाश चौटाला का 1000 नौकरियों का ऐलान करना

- प्रकाश सिंह बादल द्वारा सरकारी गाड़ियों का अपने चुनाव कार्य में इस्तेमाल करना

कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.


The US is suffering a “brain drain”

The late scholar Julian Simon once argued that “the ultimate resource is people—skilled, spirited and hopeful people who will exert their wills and imaginations for their own benefit, and inevitably they will benefit not only themselves but the rest of us as well”.

For decades, the US has been a magnet for these ultimate resources—men and women from around the world drawn to a country that let them realize their talents for their own benefit. It turned out for America’s benefit, too.
The US has been a magnet for the world’s talent for decades. That may be changing now.

Today that may be changing. Over the last several years, according to new research led by Duke University’s Vivek Wadhwa, “a substantial number of highly skilled immigrants have started returning to their home countries, including persons from low-income countries like China and India who have historically tended to stay in the United States.”

The public response in the West to their findings has been marked by anxiety. The US is suffering a “brain drain” it is said, one that is “undermining the nation’s future”. Working as I do in the US capital, I am not happy to see these talented men and women leave. It is to be hoped that the US can make itself as attractive as possible a place for entrepreneurs to come work and build businesses.

Wadhwa and his team surveyed at least 1,000 returnees to find out why they went home. And there is some good news implicit in the findings. Among the biggest reasons for this return migration trend is that the opportunities available to these returnees in their home countries are comparable with—or exceed—those available to them in the US.

According to Wadhwa and his team, the factors explaining a return include improved quality of life available at home; growing demand for their skills in their home countries; rapid professional growth opportunities at home; attractive compensation; and, perhaps most importantly, expanded capacities to start their own businesses. Wadhwa reports that the majority of returnees “believed that their best opportunities for entrepreneurship were at home”.

The US has long prided itself as the land of opportunity, and in many ways it still is. But now it seems the US must make room for other lands of opportunity as well—including India.

To get a sense of how historic the shift is under way, it is useful to remember just how important free migration has been to raising individual welfare. Harvard researcher Lant Pritchett has spent the last several years documenting the striking wage gains realized from labour mobility, when developing nation residents cross borders into developed nations. These massive wage gains explain a lot of the pressure to migrate from one country to another “because (wage rates) are not primarily explained by differences in the characteristics of people,” Pritchett writes in his book Let Their People Come. Instead, “wage rates are predominantly characteristics of places”.

This explains why millions of immigrants flood to the US, a country that offers the intangible institutional and cultural mix necessary to maximize a person’s entrepreneurial and commercial talents. Given the powerful welfare gains possible under this kind of residence arbitrage, the decision of so many talented Indians to return to the subcontinent is striking.

Make no mistake—India is still an extraordinarily poor country in many respects, with enormous challenges. Wadhwa reports that many returnees reported it was initially difficult to resettle back at home. The reasons? “Traffic and congestion, lack of infrastructure, excessive bureaucracy and pollution."

But these challenges must now be seen in a new context of a country growing so rapidly, generating so much opportunity and raising living standards so profoundly that it is attracting its talented sons and daughters back home.

To the extent that this state of affairs came about because of improving opportunities in India— as opposed to a paucity of opportunities in the US—this is good news. Even if it gives Americans like me pause. The growth miracle that has swept South Asia in recent years is one of the great humanitarian achievements in history, worthy of celebration, not fear. While I wish Indian engineers and scientists were increasingly planting roots in the US—and while I hope American policymakers take steps to make the US more attractive for newcomers—that so many Indians feel they can now realize their dreams in India is a giant achievement.
(Nick Schulz)
Nick Schulz is DeWitt Wallace Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a co-author of From Poverty to Prosperity: Intangible Assets, Hidden Liabilities and the Lasting Triumph Over Scarcity (forthcoming from Encounter Books).
कोई भी मूल्य एवं संस्कृति तब तक जीवित नहीं रह सकती जब तक वह आचरण में नहीं है.