1. FESTIVALS: Shivaji Jayanti: Shivaji was born in the fort of Shivneri on Phalgun Vadi Tritiya in Shaka Samvat 1551 corresponding to 19th February 1630, which is celebrated as Shivjayanti in Maharshtar and all over Bharat. . He was a great Hindu leader and as Swami Vivekananda described, “Shivaji is one of the greatest national saviours who emancipated our society and our Dharma when they were faced with the threat of total destruction. He was a peerless hero, a pious and God fearing king and verily a manifestation of all the virtues of a born leader of men described in our ancient scriptures.”
2. Nation is in cusp of another generational change: PRANAB MUKHERJEE: Triggering a fresh debate in the context of the brutal gangrape in Delhi and youth protests that followed, Rashtrapati Pranab Mukherjee in his first address to the nation on the eve of the 64th Republic Day on January 25 raised a question whether the country’s legislature reflects emerging Bharat or does it need radical reforms. Asking whether corruption has overtaken morality in life, he said elected representatives must win back people’s confidence and the anxiety and the restlessness of the youth has to be channelised towards change with speed, dignity and order.
Mr. Mukherjee emphasised on the importance of Education calling it the ladder that can help those at the bottom to rise to the pinnacles of professional and social status.
3. Perfect blend of might & cultural diversity: Bharat’s rich cultural heritage and military prowess were on display on January 26 when the national Capital led the nation in celebrating the 64th Republic Day. Thousands braved the morning winter chill to cheer the contingents of armed forces marching down the majestic Rajpath from Raisina Hills to India Gate. Colourful tableaux from different States added to the glamour and appeal of the occasion.
The highlight of the 90-minute long parade was the nuclear-capable 5,000 km Agni-V ballistic missile developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, flight-tested last year. A fly-past by the air force provided the grand finale. As the Sun came out dispelling the slight haze that had enveloped the Capital in the morning, visitors got a clear view of the stupendous fly-past.
The impressive march-past was watched by Chief Guest Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and other dignitaries.
4. SV150 CELEBRATION AT PALACE OF WESTMINSTER IN LONDON: Metropolitan Police Hindu Association (MPHA) and Hindu Academy, Lords, M.P.s, Senior Police Officers and staff from Metropolitan Police Service and prominent Hindu community/group representatives came together on 24 January 2013 to celebrate Swami Vivekanand’s 150th Birth Anniversary in the Jubilee Room and the International Parliamentary Union Room at the Houses of Parliament.
Keith Vaz formally welcomed all dignitaries and guests and read out a message from Ed Milliband, leader of the Labour Party.
MPS Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey stated that he had read about Swami Vivekananda and was impressed that his messages continue to be valuable 150 years later. Jay Lakhani, Director of Hindu Academy and first Hindu tutor at Eton College, the keynote speaker who has delivered classes in Hinduism for thousands of youth nationally, spoke about touring universities nationally with Swami Vivekananda presentations and found that the scientific basis of these teachings struck a chord with the youth. Commander Neil Basu of the MPS delivered Swamiji’s 1893 speech at Chicago in a majestic manner.
This celebration saw overwhelming enthusiasm with an entirely full Jubilee room, many standing and many listening intently outside as there was little space remaining in the room.
5. Ban RSS, BJP if we are terrorists: Rajnath dares Shinde: In a scathing attack on Sushilkumar Shinde over his "Hindu terror" remarks, BJP president Rajnath Singh has said the Home Minister had hurt Bharat’s image by his comments and dared him to ban the RSS and BJP and arrest all their leaders if there was any evidence against these organisations.
Questioning the silence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi over the remarks, the BJP chief made it clear that his party will continue its "oust-Shinde" campaign even in the Budget Session of Parliament expected to begin in the third week of next month.
6. 4.5 million take dip in Sangam on Paush Purnima: Over 4.5 million people, including one million Kalpwasis took a dip in the Sangam on the second ritual bathing day Paush Purnima, January 28. The attraction for the bathing was the first ‘snan’ (bathing) of one million Kalpwasis, who start their one-month-long stay in the ‘magh’ month in the mela from today. Kalpwasis are said to be staying around 1,000 bighas land and would be taking holy dip three times a day.
They would also be sleeping on bare ground and would take meals once a day. Majority of Kalpwasis had their dip in the sangam in the early hours, who had come from different states like Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Delhi and Punjab and had arrived on the banks of Ganga for their month-long stay.
7. 4th National Conference of Sahakar Bharati: RSS Sarasanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat inaugurated 4th Annual National Conference of Sahakar Bharati in Bangalore, on January 18. More than 5000 delegates, including 800 Mahila delegates, from all over the country, from over 1000 co-operative institutions, attended the 2-day conference.
Shri Bhagwat said on the occasion, “Co-operation is not something to be taught to a man. We will not be able to work in Sahakar Bharati or for co-operative movement if we do not understand the purpose of the movement. The word and concept ‘co-operation’ emerged in the West; our word is ‘Sahayog’ and ‘Sahakar’. Our work should be to unite people. Everyone is a citizen of this nation. A Dalit, a Brahmin, and everyone else belongs to this one nation. This should be our inspiration and this should also drive the co-operative movement. Chief Minister of Karnataka Jagadish Shettar said that Gandhiji gave lot of importance to the co-operative movement. He said Sahakar Bharati is doing a great job to keep the movement running successfully and we all need to support it.
8. 'Viveka Ratham’ takes Swami Vivekananda’s message to villages: A mobile van named ‘Viveka Ratham’ designed to stock, display and sell spiritual books and magazines was flagged off by the Mayor of Chennai Corporation Saidai Duraiswamy during the 150th year celebrations of Swami Vivekananda at SKMNS PMC Vivekanananda Vidyalaya Junior College, Perambur. The van was the idea of Tamil Nationalist weekly ‘Vijayabharatham’ to spread Swami Vivekananda’s message upto the door steps of the remotest village in Tamilnadu. The Mayor in his inaugural address appreciated the students who remembered more than 20 quotable quotes of Swami Ji.
9. RSS follows Vivekananda’s Ideals: KC Kannan: RSS and its affiliated organizations are working tirelessly to propagate the ideals of Swami Vivekananada to make Bharat regain its historic glory of Vishwa Guru, said KC Kannan, RSS Sah Sar Karyavah at Itanagar recently. Addressing a huge gathering of Arunachal’s esteemed intelligentsia at Hotel Tosum Conference Hall, Kannan said, spreading the human philosophy of the great monk to embrace world without any distinction would be the greatest tribute to him on his 150th birth anniversary.
Chief Engineer, Govt of Arunachal Pradesh Anong Perme in his prsidential address said, the religious conflicts would end in the society if the meaning of religion or dharma – assimilation and not division – as defined by Swamiji is understood properly.
In his week-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Kannan addressed similar huge gatherings at Pasighat, Aalo and Seppa also.
10. RASHTRAPATIJI’s assurance TO RASHTRA Sevika Samiti: On 16th January 2013, a delegation of Rashtra Sevika Samiti led by Smt. Pramila Tai Medhe- former Pramukh Sanchalika, Smt. Asha Sharma, joint secretary, and other office bearers along with leader of opposition Smt. Sushma Swaraj met Rashtrapati Pranab Mukharjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan. Smt. Pramila Tai Medhe shared her experience of the safety of women being threatened due to interference by the influential and mighty persons. Rashtrapati ji ensured that his office would see to it that administration is allowed to work fearlessly. Rashatrapati ji also referred to certain proposed amendments in Evidence Act so that the victim of sexual assault is not re-victimised during cross examination. Rashatrapati ji appreciated the recommendations suggested by Rashtra Sevika Samiti particularly the idea of introducing moral education right at the primary level of education.
11. bharat test-fires underwater missile: Bharat, on January 27, successfully test-fired the underwater ballistic missile, K-15 (code-named B05), off the Visakhapatnam coast, marking an end to a series of developmental trials. In its twelfth flight trial, the 10-metre tall Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) lifted off from a pontoon, rose to an altitude of 20 km and reached a distance of about 700 km as it splashed down in the waters of the Bay of Bengal near the pre-designated target point. According to scientific advisor to the Defence Minister V.K. Saraswat, the missile was tested for its full range of 700 km and the mission met all its objectives.
12. ANANTHAMURTHY AMONG MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FINALISTS: U R Ananthamurthy is among 10 writers shortlisted for this year's Man Booker International Prize. The list of writers announced at the Jaipur Literature Festival on January 24, among others includes Pakistani novelist Intizar Husain. The winner will be announced in May. "Ananthamurthy is one of the most important representatives of the 'Navya' or 'New Movement' in the literature of Kannada language, which is spoken by over 50 million people in Bharat and abroad. “His work is known for its humanity and its courage in questioning cultural norms," said Turkish-American writer Elif Batuman, one of the five jury members for the prize.
13. DAUGHTER OF AN AUTO-RICKSHAW TOPS CA EXAM: Prema Jayakuymar, 24, the daughter of an auto rikshaw driver in Mumbai, secured the first rank in the examination conducted by the prestigious Institute of Chartered Accountants of Bharat in November 2012. “It's my lifetime achievement. For me the key to success is hardwork,” she said when asked about how she felt about having topped the examination, one of the toughest in the country.
Slightly built and modest, Prema, who earned Rs 6,000 a month during her articleship at Chartered Accountancy firm Kishore Seth & Company, credited her father Jayakumar Perumal and homemaker mother Lingammal for her success.
14. 3 scientists of DRDO earn padma awards: DRDO chief Vijay Kumar Saraswat, who is also the scientific adviser to the defence minister, and the BrahMos CEO and A Sivathanu Pillai have both been awarded the Padma Bhushan. DRDO chief controller R&D (missiles and strategic systems) Avinash Chander, in turn, has been honoured with the Padma Shri. All the three defence scientists have been engaged in the development of missile systems, both strategic and tactical, for long years.
Saraswat has in particular been closely associated with the development of the two-tier ballistic missile defence system, which while it has been tested several times is still at least two years away from operational deployment. Pillai has been the person behind the joint development with Russia of the 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, which is now operational with the Navy and the Army. Chander, in turn, is the mission director for the Agni series of ballistic missiles, which clocked a new benchmark in April last year when the country's most ambitious missile the over 5,000-km range Agni-V missile was tested for the first time.
15. man who saved Bengal: The Life and Times of Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee
Author: Tathagata Roy Publisher: Prabhat, Rs 900
The book holistically explores the life of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, says Saradindu Mukherji
Syama Prasad Mookerjee, one of our last Mohicans, has not received much scholarly attention primarily due to the stranglehold of the public sector ‘intellectuals’ committed to the Nehruvian pan-Islamic, Leftist worldview. Tathagata Roy’s biography, with a crisp introduction by LK Advani, is a comprehensive account of this patriot, spotless in both private as well as public life, and adds to the earlier works of Balraj Madhok and Dinesh Chandra Singha (in Bengali).
When Mookerjee (1901-53) died in mysterious circumstances in the jail of Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar, the Mother of Pondicherry reportedly said, “They have killed him.” The author writes on all these, including Jawaharlal Nehru’s role. The letter Mookerjee’s traumatised mother, Lady Jogmaya, wrote to the first Prime Minister is a must-read document to assess the character of the ‘liberal’ Nehru!
An outstanding student, who was called to the Bar (Loncoln’s Inn), and a lawyer in the Calcutta High Court, Mookerjee was the Vice-Chancellor of the Calcutta University between 1934 and 1938, proving his mettle as an educationist of high order. His academic ties with Acharya Prafulla Chandra Roy and Rabindranath Tagore, and how he helped Kazi Nazrul, are all there. When he invited Tagore to address the university convocation in Bengali, it was approved by Governor John Anderson, but was boycotted by Muslim students and Ministers who loathed their mother tongue as the language of the kafirs; they even opposed the use of ‘Shri’ and the lotus symbol on the university’s emblem for being idolatrous and anti-Muslim.
Entering active politics in 1939, Mookerjee became the president of the Hindu Mahasabha, and the Minister for Finance in the Fazlul Haque Ministry (1941). He, however, resigned from the ministry in 1942 in protest against the severe treatment meted out to those arrested following the Quit India movement, and the criminal negligence of the cyclone victims.
Mookerjee’s proximity to the Hindu Mahasabha is best explained by the fact that the Congress in the 1940s was repeatedly trying to engage in negotiations with Jinnah, despite being rebuffed.
As the Minister for Industry and Supply in Nehru’s Cabinet, he helped the process of industrialisation. Indignant and hurt by the systematic genocide of Hindus, and then censuring Nehru’s Pact with Liaqat Ali Khan for dealing a death blow to Hindus of East Pakistan, he resigned from the Cabinet. Subsequently, he set up the Bharatiya Jan Sangh and carried on his spirited campaign for the persecuted Hindus of East Pakistan, and, of course, the complete integration of Jammu & Kashmir with the rest of Bharat, and for this he had to pay the ultimate price.
Roy, an engineer-author and a BJP politician, has a holistic approach, unlike most of the ‘trained’ historians who obfuscate real. There are records concerning Mookerjee in the British archives, and hopefully some scholar would make use of them soon. -- The reviewer teaches history in the University of Delhi
16. CHINA HAS TO LEARN FROM BHARAT: DALAI LAMA—“China can learn much from Bharat,” exhorted Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on January 24 and called for “genuine friendship” between the neighbours, while addressing a jam-packed session on the opening day of the Jaipur Literature Festival. “Bharat’s greatness lies in the idea of Ahimsa. This country is a living example for the world to see how so many religions can exist together for centuries,” he added.
Praising Indian democratic ideals, the 77-year old spiritual leader said: “China is world’s most populous country and Bharat is one of the world’s most populous democratic country. China could learn much from Bharat,” he said while emphasising on the importance of Sino-India relations.
17. VHP AND BAJRANG DAL ACTIVISTS DEMONSTRATED AT JANTAR MANTAR on January 22 and burnt the effigy of the union Home minister against his statement terming Hindu Terror. A memorandum was also given to the president of Bharat to sack him for violating his constitutional duties.
18. ‘First Job Atal Gave Me Was To Conduct N-Test’, Kalam: Delivering the 7th R N Kao Memorial Lecture organized by the research and analysis wing of the Cabinet Secretariat on 24th January, former President A P J Abdul Kamal said that then PM PV Narasimha Rao had directed him to keep his team ready for nuclear test.
Noting that Rao’s act of ensuring continuity of the nuclear programme “reveals the maturity and professional excellence of a patriotic statesman who believed that the nation is bigger than the political system”, Kalam revealed that the first task he was assigned after Vajpayee started his second stint as PM in 1998 was to conduct the nuclear tests ,carried out in May 1998. Placing the focus of his lecture on cyber terrorism and counter measures, Kalam on 24th January suggested an empowered coordinationg agency be set up to receive information about all cyber attacks. Apart from calling for continuous upgrade of technical capabilities by the intelligence agencies, the former President insisted that hacking skills be imparted by scientists, computer software and hardware experts, on the line of China where virus writing is taught in its military schools. He also recommended creation of an intelligence cadre, like the Indian Intelligence Service, by recruiting specifically for intelligence agencies.
19. Now Ramayana in Polish language: Valmiki Ramayana, the great Bharatiya epic, is now available in Polish language, courtesy Janusz Krzyzowski, an Indologist in Poland who has translated the monumental work. Though few episodes of Ramayana were translated into Polish in 1816, these were mere translation of western writers. In the 20th century, some attempts were made to translate a few more chapters.
It seems Krzyzowski collected the material from dozens of books and presented in a coherent manner so that a reader could sustain his interest while going through different chapters.
"My main purpose was to translate this epic into many chapters in a story format so that laymen and particularly Polish children could enjoy the book as well as they should be aware of the great Indian mythological tradition.
"Ramayana and Mahabharata are two great epics which cannot (be) compared with other epics. Even Greek epics come out as pale shadows when we see the canvas of the Bharatiya epics. They are almost unique in the history of mankind," Krzyzowski told.
20. Ramayana in Arabic unveiled in Jaipur Lit Fest: An Arabic version of the Ramayana translated by noted Lebanese poet Wadi-al-Bustani was released at the Jaipur Literature Festival in Jaipur on January 26. The book, titled Ramayana, will promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of each other’s spiritual heritage, Syed Shahid Mahdi, vice president of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), said at its unveiling.
21. Cow power! Turning manure and food waste into electricity in England: Waste from the cows and food products are used to produce gas to power electric generators in a city in England, it has been revealed. Every day in rural Penobscot County, a large dairy farm harnesses clean-burning gas from cow manure and food waste, and it generates enough electricity to power 800 homes continuously. The process, commonly known as cow power, has the potential to earn the facility $800,000 a year. It also creates byproducts -- animal bedding and a less-odorous fertilizer -- that save the farm about 100,000 dollars a year.
Cow power is more consistent than solar and wind energy, and it eliminates greenhouses gases that otherwise would enter the atmosphere. For the past 13 months, Exeter Agri-Energy has been combining cow manure and industrial food waste at this location, the Morning Sentinel reported. In its first year, the company generated 5,200 megawatt-hours for the grid, which earned the farm about 520,000 dollars from Bangor Hydro Electric. Now that the kinks have been worked out, the facility is on track to produce about 8,000 megawatt-hours a year. At 10 cents per kilowatt hour, that's 800,000 dollars. The project was installed in four months beginning in August 2011. It cost 5.5 million dollars and received 2.8 million dollars in grants from Efficiency Maine, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Treasury Department.
22. SV 150 INAGURATION AT NAIROBI: ‘Swami Vvivekananda 150th Birth Anniversary Celebration Committee (SV150 Committee)’ associated with Hindu Religious and Service Centre (HRSC) launched the yearlong programs related to Swamiji’s 150th birth anniversary on 12th January 2013 at 5pm at Oshwal centre, Nairobi with a cultural program where every Indian community in Kenya participated with heart & soul by performing cultural songs, traditional dances and drama amongst others witnessed by more than 800 people. Dr. Sadanand Sapre – joint coordinator HSS, Mr. K.S. Mathew, Head of Chancery as a representative of High Commissioner of India to Kenya, Swaran Verma, Chairman of Hindu Council of Kenya (HCK) and Chaganbhai, Chairman of HRSC were the dignitaries present. Dr. Sapre said, “Vivekananda captured the hearts of the people with his message of Vedanta and harmony of religions. Similar functions were organized across the globe with UK witnessing SV 150 inagurations at 8 places. Over 8000 participated at various places in USA in the inauguration programs of 150th anniversary celebrations organized by HSSUSA.
23. Muslim literacy, income higher in Guj: Governor: Gujarat Governor Kamla Beniwal on January 23 heaped praise on the Narendra Modi Government in a speech on the maiden session of the 13th Gujarat Legislative Assembly. She said that the literacy rate of Muslims in Gujarat is 73.5 per cent against the national rate of 59.1 per cent and that the minority community was better off financially than most of their brethren in other parts of the country. The per capita income of Muslims in rural Gujarat is Rs 668 while the national per capita of rural Muslims is Rs 553, she pointed out. Similarly, the Governor informed, the national per capita income of Muslims in urban area is Rs 804 while it is Rs 875 in Gujarat, dispelling the belief that the community is oppressed and neglected in the BJP-ruled State.
24. 7th BHIDE JI MEMORIAL LECTURE 2013 was organized by Vishwa Adhyayan Kendra Mumbai. Main speaker was vice President of Vivekananda Kendra Kum Nevidita Bhide. She said that “Wake up Bharat, enlighten the world” is not just a slogan but the essence of Swami Vivekanand’s message. Chief Guest was Vice- Chancellor of Mumbai University Dr. Rajan M. Welukar. People from all walks of life ranging from doctors, politicians, students, service, business etc. attended the function.
25. Ex-Isro chief to join satellite hall of fame: The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) is inducting Prof U R Rao, former Isro chairman and secretary, department of space, as a member of the prestigious 'Satellite Hall of Fame' in Washington on March 19. Rao was chairman of ISRO between 1984 and 1994 and was responsible for the establishment of satellite technology in Bharat since 1972. Since 1987, the SSPI Hall of Fame has been recognizing the contribution of visionaries who have transformed life on planet earth for the better through satellite technology. As a member of the Hall of Fame, Rao joins over 40 illustrious space scientists such as Sir Arthur C Clarke, Dr James Van Allen, Dr William Pritchard, Dr Harold Rosen, Dr Fredric d'Allest, Dr Takayashi Yoshida, Dr Peter Jackson and Dr Olof Lundbserg.
26. Kerala Grants Non-Residents Vote In Local Body Polls: The Kerala government has decided to allow the nearly two million Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) the right to vote in the local body elections.
Minister in charge of the Diaspora Mr. K.C. Joseph said the cabinet decided to enact a new provision in the Kerala Panchayati Raj and Kerala Municipalities Act, which would enable the diaspora to vote in local body elections.
27. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Shri Rajanikant Mistry and Jayashriben Mistry – UK, Rajesh Shukla, Jagdish Sehwani - USA Pravaas: Shri Ravikumar sahsamyojak Vishwa Vibhag is on a tour to Singapore and Australia. Dr.Sadanand Sapre – sahsamyojak returned from his tour to Mauritius, South Africa and Kenya.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
His pre-eminent characteristic was kingliness.He was a born king and nobody ever came near him neither in India or America without paying homage to his majesty – Romain Rolland on Swami Vivekananda
JAI SHREE RAM
True lies of Sushil Kumar Shinde
“The RSS and the BJP were behind the Samjhauta Express, Mecca Masjid and Malegaon blasts,” declared Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on January 20, 2012, adding that the training camps run by the RSS and BJP were promoting ‘Hindu terrorism’. A day after Shinde’s declaration, Hafiz Saeed, leader of the LeT, the Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist outfit, called for a ban on the RSS. So Shinde is the witness for the LeT to accuse the RSS of terror. Now look at the evidence, first the blast onboard the Samjhauta Express from Pakistan in which 68 persons were killed.
LeT Culprit, say UN, US
“Qasmani Arif...chief coordinator of the relations of the [LeT] with other organisations...has worked with Lashkar-e-Tayyiba to facilitate terrorist attacks including...the bombing of February 2007 in the Samjhauta Express in Panipat.” This is what resolution [No 1267] of the Committee onSanctions of the United Nations Security Council [UNSC] dated 29.6.2009 declares. Adding that Qasmani was funded by Dawood Ibrahim and he did the fundraising for the LeT and the al-Qaida, the UNSC said, “In exchange for their support, al-Qaida provided support staff for the February 2007 bombing of the Samjhauta Express in Panipat.” This resolution is available on the UN site. Two days later, on July 1, 2009, the United States Treasury Department said in its press release: “Arif Qasmani has worked with the LeT to facilitate terrorist attacks, including...Samjota Express bombing.” The US named four Pakistanis, including Arif Qasmani as terrorists, under Executive Order No 13224. This press release is still on the US Treasury site. The United Nations Security Council and the US Treasury Department thus named the LeT, Qasmani and Dawood Ibrahim as accused in Samjhauta terror. This is just the beginning of the torrent of evidence pointing to the LeT and Pakistan.
Pakistan Minister’s Confession
Six months after the UN and US announced sanctions against the LeT and Qasmani, Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Mallik himself admitted that Pakistani terrorists were involved in the Samjhauta blast, but with a rider that “some Pakistan-based Islamists had been hired by Lt Col Purohit to carry out the Samjhauta Express attack.” [India Today Online 24.1.2010]
Headley Involved in Samjhauta -- US Probe
Not just the UN. Or the US Treasury. Or just the admission of Pakistan’s Interior Minister. Independent investigation in the US revealed more. Some 10 months later, Sebastian Rotella, a US journalist, wrote in his investigative report titled ‘U.S. agencies were forewarned about suspect in 2008 Mumbai bombings’, that Faiza Outalha, the third wife of David Coleman Headley had confessed [in 2008, which was made public in 2010] that Headley was involved in the Samjhauta blast. Rotella added that Faiza felt that “she had been innocently used” in the Samjhauta terror. [The Washington Post 5.11.2010] A while later, in a follow up investigation, Sebastian Rotella disclosed in April 2008 that Faiza returned to the embassy in Islamabad with the tip about the 2008 Mumbai blast when she again linked him to the Samjhauta blast.
Rotella commented that though Bharat and the US blamed the attack on Lashkar, the US authorities had not implicated Headley in that still-unsolved attack, however.[The Washington Post 14.11.2010] So, independent, neutral probe in the US also pointed to Pakistan and the LeT in Samjhauta blast.
Narco Test Pointed to SIMI Role
Even at the start of the Samjhauta investigation in 2007, the evidence clearly pointed to the role of the Students Islamic Movement of India [SIMI] and the LeT. India Today [19.9.2008] in its report titled ‘Pak hand in Mumbai train blasts, Samjhauta Express blasts, says Nagori’ gave meticulous account of the involvement of the LeT and Pakistan in the Samjhauta terror.
The report was based on narco test testimonies of SIMI leaders. India Today said that the narcotic tests were carried out on general secretary of SIMI, Safdar Nagori; his brother Kamruddin Nagori and Amil Parvez in Bangalore in April 2007, three months after the Samjhauta blast; the results of the narco test of the SIMI leaders were available with the magazine; it revealed that SIMI activists had executed the Samjhauta blast, with the help of the Pakistani nationals from across the border; while Nagori was not directly involved, two members of SIMI, Ehtesham Siddiqui and Nasir, were directly involved; SIMI members, including Nagori’s brother Kamaruddin, were involved in the Samjhatua blast; for executing the Samjhauta blast, the Pakistanis had purchased the suitcase cover from Kataria Market in Indore and one of the members from SIMI had helped the Pakistanis to get the suitcase cover stitched. Investigation had established that in the Samjhauta blast, five bombs packed in suitcases and activated by timer switches were used.
Conspiracy by Maharashtra Police?
Why were these clinching pieces of evidence not pursued? How the blame shifted from the Islamists to the Hindus? Some elements in the Maharashtra Police appear to have colluded in linking the 2008 Malegaon blast to the Samjhauta blast. When leads were thus pointing to Pakistan and SIMI as partners in the Samjhauta blast in November 2008, as an anti-climax, the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad [ATS] shockingly told the Special Court through the public prosecutor that Col Purohit allegedly involved in the Malegaon blast in which RDX was used, had supplied RDX for the Samjhauta blast though one ‘Bhagwan’. [The Indian Express 15.11.2008] Within the next 48 hours, [17.11.2009] India Today online refuted the ATS claim saying that Samjhauta investigators had told India Today that a study of the blast by the National Security Guard(NSG) said that no RDX, but Potassium Chlorate and Sulphur, had been used as explosives.
The magazine also recalled that immediately after the blasts, then Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil told the media that not RDX, but, a ‘new type of explosive’ had been used to bomb the Samjhauta Express. On that very day [17.11.2009] the ATS counsel retracted the statement he had made earlier involving Col Purohit in the Samjhauta blast. [The Hindu dt19.11.2008]. But the damage was done in the 48 hours. Immediately, Pakistan said that it would raise the issue of Purohit’s involvement in Samjhauta at the Secretary-level meeting on November 25, 2008. Finally on January 20, 2009, the Maharashtra ATS officially denied that Col Purohit had supplied RDX for Samjhauta. This was how the Samjhauta focus -- later the blame -- shifted from the LeT and the SIMI to Purohit and via Purohit on to Saffron. The Maharashtra ATS’ attempt to link Malegaon 2008 to Samjhauta, which shifted the focus away from the LeT on to Purohit, needs to be probed particularly given Dawood Ibrahim’s deep influence on Maharashtra Police.
If Shinde is telling the truth, then the United Nations Security Council and the US Treasury Department are fabricating charges against Qasmani, Dawood and the LeT; Faiza Outallah and The Washington Post are telling lies to fix the LeT and Pakistan; the SIMI officials’ narco evidence is fabricated; and Rehman Mallik’s confession about Pakistani involvement is false. Can it be more ridiculous?
It is clearly the lies of Shinde, the vote bank politician versus all neutral evidence. If this was how the Samjhauta probe was perverted, in the Malegaon 2006 blast the Maharashtra ATS has filed a chargesheet where the SIMI cadre had confessed to their role in the blast. But the CBI is procuring confessions to exonerate them and implicate others, Hindus in the case. So Malegaon 2006, is becoming a case of confession vs confession!
In Malegaon 2008 blasts, Col Purohit and his associates have been charged and the evidence submitted in the Court shows that the accused in the Malegaon 2008 case were planning to assassinate RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar for taking money from the ISI! [Outlook 19.7.2010] How could the RSS which is the target of the conspirator itself be the conspirator? Does Shinde know what he is talking?
QED: Shinde now has a good companion in his mission against the RSS in Hafeez Saeed, boss of the global terror outfit LeT. Can a Home Minister tell more deadly lies against his own country’s interests, all for just a few million votes?
S Gurumurthy is a well-known commentator on political and economic issues. -- The New Indian Express, 24th January 2013.