Friday, November 5, 2010

Terrorists and their motive

This was one of my good exclusives in Times Now. This is an interrogation statement of two Indian Mujahiddin terrorists who reveal a lot on the Bangalore chinnaswamy stadium blasts. The link to my story with details of the interrogation is down below.

ATS: Who was behind the Bangalore stadium blasts?
Terrorist: Indian Mujahiddin. The ISI planned and executed the attack with the help of Indian Mujahiddin.

ATS: Where was the attack planned?
Terrorist: Karachi, at the training camp where most IM terrorists part of the module were present.

ATS: When was it planned?
Terrorist: Sometime in late 2009. We were present there for training.

ATS: Who was given the responsibility to carry out the attack?
Terrorist: Riaz Bhatkal. His brother Yasin Bhatkal was also present. The Bhatkal brothers had complete control of South India.

ATS: What explosives were planned to be used?
Terrorist: They were planning to use gelatin with detonators

ATS: Where were these explosives manufactured?
Terrorist: In Bhatkal village near Mangalore in Karnataka.

ATS: How big is the module for the Bangalore stadium blasts?
Terrorist: There were several local IM operatives who were working under Bhatkal brothers. None of them were there in Karachi, as Riaz Bhatkal was handling it directly.

ATS: Did you meet Riaz Bhatkal?
Terrorist: Yes. He spoke to us. We were part of the module. We were aware of it. We were sent to Dubai also where this was talked about.

ATS: What was the motive behind the attack?
Terrorist: We were constantly told that the removal of Pakistan cricket team from IPL was the reason for the attack?

ATS: What else did they tell you?
Terrorist: They told us that the blasts which have been taking place in Pakistan since 2009 was on the behest of India.

ATS: Did you believe that?
Terrorist: We were constantly brainwashed and told that India was behind the attacks. We had no reasons to not believe.

ATS: Who are the IM operatives in Karnataka?
Terrorist: Most of them are in Bhatkal only. Mousin Choudhary is also part of the module. But, Riaz Bhatkal was the key operator.

ATS: Where is Riaz Bhatkal now?
Terrorist: We were told that he is in Karachi.

ATS: Were you aware of the Pune German bakery blast also?
Terrorist: Yes. We were told about it. And we did know that it would happen immediately after the Bangalore blasts.

ATS: Who was behind that?
Terrorist: The same IM module led by Riaz Bhatkal and Mousin Choudhary.

ATS: Do you regret having been a terrorist?
Terrorist: We could never figure what is right or wrong. We were constantly told that we had to destabilize the Indian economy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hope was at our doorstep

It is often said…Your good deeds will pay off someday. At the most unexpected, unpredictable time, when you are lost in the chaotic life. That one deed, which might have caused an impact in a person’s life, will just take any form and take you by surprise. I am sure it happens to most of us, sometimes consciously, sometimes without realization.

I am definitely not intending to focus much on what I did. It is close to nothing. But, it was a moment of joy for someone who had lost hope in life.

She walked into office one morning and asked for me. The receptionist asked me if I knew her. I repeated the name several times under by breath. As I walked towards the reception, I realized something and my eyes just widened. I knew her. I could not help but feel enthralled. It is strange I thought.

She was sitting on one of the sofas in the lounge. Initially I could not find her. My eyes were looking for her, more like a feeling, to make sure that I had guessed right.

Finally I found her. Her small petite body which had aged gradually, had drooped. Her gray and black hair was cut short, like I had seen earlier. I walked upto her. The moment she saw me, it was like a lightening of feelings which splurged into the void she was living in.

She hugged me, kissed my cheeks several times. ‘It is so good to see you…so so good…’ she said. I reciprocated by politely accepting and greeting her sudden rush of feelings. I held her hand, ‘How are you doing?’. She did not reply. Instead, she looked down and held my hand tighter. She then slowly raised her head and said, ‘Do you know how much it helped me. I did not know how I would get home that day…I had not even paid the autorickshaw driver when I came to the police commissioners office. You saved me’.

She immediately dropped my hand which was safely cupped in hers all this while. She picked her handbag. I said, ‘Please madam, do not embarrass me. I was concerned. You are like my mother. It is ok’. She said, ‘No child, I would not do that. I just bought you some chocolates. You are a young girl and I am sure you like chocolates’.

The next second, a big bar of chocolate was in my hand. I did not know what to say. I sat her down. ‘How are you doing?’ ‘I am ok darling’ ‘Did the police address your problems?’ ‘not really. I think they have been bribed’. She then tried to tell me what the problem was. Words, hard to comprehend—House, brother-in-law, wall…and the rest just drifted away…as she gasped for breath…gulping away something which was choking her…trying hard to control…but not for long. Tears rolled down her wrinkled cheek. I said, ‘Please hold on. I will look up this case for you’. Her face lit up. ‘Why? How?’ The next few seconds just went by in me explaining how we could solve her problem.

Loyela Mascarenhas was a 60-year-old woman I met at the police commissioner’s office. She had approached me when I was running around on my routine. We had spoken for exactly three minutes. In those three minutes, I had to ensure she was ok to get home safe. In those three minutes, she managed to tell me that she will meet me again. She had asked my name and my place of work.

Close to one month after that, there she was, sitting beside me, with tearful eyes, but, this time, a lot better. There was a smile in those eyes. She said, ‘I got my hope back…’, and she walked away.
I smiled. There was a feeling within me. A feeling of satisfaction, happiness. My otherwise troubled mind, just seemed to open up. A feeling of freshness, when rain droplets fall on a withered leaf. Smile is all I could do since then…Hope had just knocked my door too.