Archive for the ‘Indian’ Category

How India fumbled response to Mumbai attack

December 4, 2008

It took 10 minutes for word of the Nov. 26 , Mumbai terror assaults to reach the top of the government of Maharashtra state, but nearly 10 hours for India‘s best commando team to reach the scene.

That delay may help to explain why it took three days for India’s security forces to overpower 10 assailants who police say killed at least 188 people and wounded more than 280.

By Padma Rao Sundarji, McClatchy Newspapers

Indecision by politicians and the delay in launching the commando force, however, don’t fully account for the extent of the slaughter, which now threatens to escalate into conflict between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan , where the attacks are thought to have been planned.

“This was not the fault of any one organ of the security apparatus, but a systemic failure,” said Arun Bhagat , a former chief of India’s Intelligence Bureau , India’s main domestic intelligence agency.

Indian officials ignored advance intelligence warnings. Police officers ran away from the scenes of carnage because they lacked weapons, and their bulletproof vests were said to be defective. The Indian coast guard doesn’t have night vision equipment, much less the more advanced human detection gear used by China , Japan and other countries.

India’s security agencies are now rushing to point the finger at each other.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/mcclatchy/20081204/wl_mcclatchy/3115227

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Indian Media In Total Disbelief At Pakistan’s Denials On Mumbai

December 4, 2008

Newspapers and other media in India are expressing the opinion heard from the “man on the street,” that Pakistan is to blame completely and entirely for the recent terrorism within India, including the Mumbai bloodshed last week.

This picture released by the Press Information Department shows ... 
This picture released by the Press Information Department shows Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari (R) talking with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice during a meeting in Islamabad. The White House on Thursday called on Pakistan to “act with resolve, urgency” in cooperating with India on the probe into attacks in Mumbai that stoked tension between the nuclear rivals.(AFP/PID)

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From the Times of India

….The government feels the attack this time was meticulously planned, with the help of top intelligence inputs and professional support. It thinks that it’s unlikely the Indian fishing trawler Kuber was hijacked. A well-planned attack mission like this would not depend on the off-chance of hijacking a boat for its success. Rather, the Indian crew of the boat were probably mixed up in smuggling and got sucked into this deadly game. And paid with their lives.

The government knows the attack originated from Pakistan. In fact, the Pakistan government doesn’t deny this. Even now when Asif Ali Zardari is telling Larry King that the attackers are “stateless people”, he isn’t saying they are not Pakistanis. Earlier, foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, who was in India when the attack took place, told the media he was willing to send the ISI chief for a joint probe, signaling that he believed the attackers were Pakistanis.

When Manmohan Singh called up Zardari and Pakistan PM Gilani, both said the ISI director general Shuja Pasha would be sent to India to help out with the investigations. But by evening, the picture had changed. An ISI spokesman sounded very iffy about Pasha’s visit. “Let the government tell us and we’ll see,” he said.

In short, the ISI was telling the civilian government to get off. Meanwhile, the Pakistan army sounded a warning about an Indian military build-up along the border. Newspapers close to the army, like Pakistan Observer and Frontier Post, and TV channel Geo, played up this alleged build-up. Suddenly, the popular mood was turning — from a sense of outrage at the Mumbai killings to alarm about a possible Indian attack.

Pakistani students of Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba burn an Indian flag ... 
Pakistani students of Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba burn an Indian flag during a protest in Multan. Pakistan has promised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that it will take “strong action” against anyone on its territory found to have been involved in the Mumbai attacks.(AFP/Mohammad Malik)

Why did the Pakistan army do this? First, to deflect attention from the Mumbai attack into which the ISI was being dragged (ISI and the army are very close after Pakistan army chief Kayani hand-picked Lt Gen Pasha as the ISI boss). Second, it was signaling to the world that the civilian government didn’t matter; what mattered was the army.

Read the rest:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Battling_jihadis_
India_has_few_options/articleshow/3794488.cms

Mumbai Terrorists: The Facts We Know

December 3, 2008

In Mumbai, it is now apparent that the terrorists that struck the hotels and other sites, killed nearly 200, tortured Jewish prisoners before putting them to death, and threw around hand grenades indiscriminately, were not your grandparents terrorists.

Because the Indian police captured one terrorist alive and a wealth of material and forensic evidence, we know several facts about the Mumbai terrorists:

–The surviving terrorist has told authorities he and the others were trained in Pakistan by the Islamist militant group, Lashkar-e-Taiba.

–The terrorists were well armed with modern, first-rate automatic weapons and hand grenades.

–They used every conceivable modern technology to assist them in their deadly task: cell phones, GPS, Blackberries, text messaging and other tools were found.

–They had prepared physically and mentally for a long siege.  The dead terrorists are “beefy” well muscled men who seem to have worked out physically for months recently. There is some evidence that the terrorists used steroids.

–The susviving terrorist has spoken about mental and Islamic readiness and the fact that none of the terrorists had any fear of death.

–The terrorist, though Islamic fanatics, used cocaine, LSD and other drugs to assist them to stay awake and “one the edge.” Syringes, paraphernalia, and steroids were found on some of the terrorists.

–At least one terrorist wore a shirt bearing the Versace logo; a kind of Muslim taboo.  The use of the logo indicates that these men are unafraid to embrace what some Muslims consider “decadent.” 

The wearing of the “decadent” logo might seem a small, seemingly unimportant fact. But it could be evidence, combined with the drug use and other evidence, that these terrorist are unencumbered by any religious, cultural,  moral or other restrictions.

A criminal psychologist schooled in terrorism told Peace and Freedom, “these are mad dogs off the leash.”

This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with ... 
This image taken from NDTV shows a man wearing a T-shirt with a “Versace” logo carrying an automatic weapon as he enters a train station in Mumbai, late November 26. The man, Ajmal Amir Kamal, 21, is being interrogated in a safe house in Mumbai, reports said.(AFP/NDTV/File)

India navy defends piracy sinking

November 26, 2008

The Indian navy has defended its action in sinking a ship near Somalia that maritime officials have confirmed was a hijacked Thai fishing boat.

The International Maritime Bureau said the Ekawat Nava 5 had been captured by pirates earlier in the day on 18 November and the crew was tied up.

An Indian Navy picture shows an alleged pirate vessel burning ... 
An Indian Navy picture shows an alleged pirate vessel burning after being hit during anti-piracy operations at sea in the Gulf of Aden on November 18. A maritime watchdog said Wednesday that the Indian navy had attacked and sunk a Thai fishing trawler after mistaking it for a Somali pirate “mother vessel” in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File)

BBC

One crewman was found alive after six days adrift but 14 are still missing.

The Indian navy says the INS Tabar fired upon a pirate ship threatening it

The Indian navy said the ship was a pirate vessel in “description and intent” and had opened fire first.

India is one of several countries currently patrolling the Gulf of Aden, one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, amid increasing attacks by Somali pirates.

Almost 40 ships have been seized this year, the biggest the Saudi oil tanker, Sirius Star, which is still being held off the Somali coast.

File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime ... 
File photo of the Indian naval warship INS Tabar. A maritime watchdog said Wednesday that the Indian navy had attacked and sunk a Thai fishing trawler after mistaking it for a Somali pirate “mother vessel” in the Gulf of Aden.(AFP/Indian Navy/Ho/File)

Read the rest:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7749486.stm

Piracy Spurs Threats to Shipping Costs

November 19, 2008

The seizure by pirates of a giant Saudi oil tanker far off the coast of Kenya could enlarge the “war risk” zone that already is lifting insurance costs for thousands of ships heading west of Africa, further raising the cost of piracy to world-wide shipping.

More vessels have begun avoiding the direct passage most often attacked by pirates and taking a much longer route around the southern tip of Africa. They’re hoping to pressure governments along the direct route, through the busy Gulf of Aden, to crack down more effectively on piracy or lose revenues from cargo-ship traffic.

By John W. Miller
The Wall Street Journal

But the unprecedented attack disclosed Monday on the MV Sirius Star, carrying $100 million worth of crude hundreds of miles from shore in the Indian Ocean, is undercutting that strategy. It could raise the cost of insurance and crews for ships that take the longer route, which already costs far more in fuel.

The boldness of the attack on the 1,080-foot Sirius Star may prompt insurers to require special “war risk” insurance costing tens of thousands of dollars a day to cover travel across a much greater area of water. It also could spur shippers to hire more onboard security for their vessels, which many have resisted because of costs and the fear of escalating armed conflicts with the pirates.

“This could be a game-changer,” says Peter Hinchliffe, maritime director of the London-based International Chamber of Shipping. “It’s no secret the whole industry is looking into this.”

Governments and shippers have sparred over who should bear responsibility for fending off the pirates, who seized 26 ships in the region during the summer alone and have collected up to $30 million in ransom so far this year, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122701864743437147.html

Indian Navy Destroys Pirate ‘Mother Ship’ in Battle Near Somalia

November 19, 2008

NEW DELHI —  An Indian naval vessel sank a suspected pirate “mother ship” Wednesday in the Gulf of Aden and chased two attack boats into the night, officials said, yet more violence in the lawless seas where brigands are becoming bolder and more violent.

Separate bands of pirates also seized a Thai ship with 16 crew members and an Iranian cargo vessel with a crew of 25 in the Gulf of Aden, where Somalia-based pirates appear to be attacking ships at will, said Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Malaysia.

In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, ... 
In this Nov. 11, 2008 file photo made available by Indian Navy, Indian warship INS Tabar, right, escorts the MV Jag Arnav ship to safety after rescuing it from a hijack attempt by Somali pirates. The Indian navy says the INS Tabar dedicated to fighting pirates has successfully fought off an attempted pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden, sparking explosions and a fire on the suspected pirate ship late Tuesday, Nov. 18.(AP Photo/Indian Navy, HO, File)

“It’s getting out of control,” Choong said.

A multicoalition naval force has increased patrols in the region, and scored a rare success Tuesday when the Indian warship, operating off the coast of Oman, stopped a ship similar to a pirate vessel mentioned in numerous piracy bulletins. The Indian navy said the pirates fired on the INS Tabar after the officers asked it to stop to be searched.


INS Tabar transfers a man to another ship at sea.

“Pirates were seen roaming on the upper deck of this vessel with guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers,” said a statement from the Indian navy. Indian forces fired back, sparking fires and a series of onboard blasts — possibly due to exploding ammunition — and destroying the ship.

SomaliPirate
Above: Somali pirates

INS Tabar, a multipurpose frontline warship, seen in Mumbai ...

Above: Indian Navy warship Tabar  

Read the rest from the Associated Press:
With a VIDEO:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081119/ap_on_bi_
ge/piracy;_ylt=AixHX2_3so7pbJdZfSLkWqqs0NUE

Deadly blasts rock Indian state

October 30, 2008

At least 64 people have been killed in a series of bomb explosions in India’s north-eastern state of Assam, the police say.

By Subir Bhaumik
BBC News, Calcutta
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More than 160 others were injured in at least 18 blasts, the majority of them in the state capital, Guwahati.

The separatist United Liberation Front of Assam (Ulfa) denied any role in the blasts and blamed Indian “occupation forces” for engineering them.

Security forces have been fighting separatist rebels in Assam for decades.

The explosions in Guwahati and the towns of Kokrajhar, Barpeta Road and Bongaigaon occurred within an hour after 1100 local time (0530 GMT).

Read the rest and see the video:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7699105.stm

US to send nuclear mission to India

October 16, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States has said it would send a mission to India in December to explore business opportunities following a landmark pact to open up sales of civilian nuclear technology to the country.
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (left) shakes hands ... 
Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee (left) shakes hands with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice after signing the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement in Washington, DC on October 10. The United States has said it would send a mission to India in December to explore business opportunities following a landmark pact to open up sales of civilian nuclear technology to the country.(AFP/File/Kris Connor)
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US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee signed the agreement last week that lifted a three-decade ban on US-Indian civilian nuclear trade imposed after India’s first nuclear test in 1974.

“I’m pleased to announce that the Commerce Department has certified the US-India Business Council for a civil nuclear trade mission to India this coming December,” US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrrez said Wednesday.

Council President Ron Somers has projected 150 billion dollars worth of business between US and Indian companies over the next 30 years following the deal, which offers India access to US technology and cheap atomic energy in return for allowing UN inspections of some of its civilian nuclear facilities.

US-India bilateral trade in 2007 was nearly 42 billion dollars, up 55 percent from 2005, Gutierrez said at a council meeting Wednesday aimed at tapping business opportunities in India‘s “clean energy” market.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20081016/wl_asia_afp/usindiaenergynuclearpolitics
investment_081016024222

Tibetans Protest & China Awaits Olympic Torch

March 30, 2008

NEW DELHI (AFP) – Several dozen Tibetans in India on Sunday unveiled an “independence torch” in New Delhi that will be carried around the world in an anti-China protest ahead of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.
 
Tibetan activists carry an “Independence Torch” during a rally in New Delhi on March 30, 2008. Several dozen Tibetans in India on Sunday unveiled an “independence torch” in New Delhi that will be carried around the world in an anti-China protest ahead of the Summer Olympics in Beijing.(AFP/Manpreet Romana)

The torch was brought from the northern Indian town of Dharamshala — home to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader, and the government-in-exile.

The next stop for the protest flame is San Francisco, where the real Olympic torch is expected on April 9.

“This relay is to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. We also don’t want the Olympic torch to go to Tibet because it is not a part of China,” said Urgyen Chophel, president of the Tibetan Youth Congress.

China has come under increasing international pressure over its crackdown against protesters in the Tibetan capital Lhasa and Chinese provinces bordering the Himalayan region.

Tibetan activist groups have put the death toll from weeks of unrest at 135-140 Tibetans. China says rioters killed 18 civilians and two police officers.

Protesters disrupted the Olympic torch-lighting ceremony in Greece last Monday.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080330/wl_sthasia_
afp/chinaunresttibetrights
oly2008chntorch_080330125825

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China awaits Olympic torch amid Tibet tensions

By Dan Martin Sun

BEIJING, March 30, 2008 (AFP) – China on Sunday stepped up security on the eve of the arrival of the Olympic torch from Greece, where protesters angry over Beijing‘s crackdown in Tibet tried to disrupt the handover of the flame.

Authorities in Beijing clamped down on Tiananmen Square, where the torch will be officially welcomed to the country on Monday before a worldwide relay expected to be dogged by protests over the deadly unrest in Tibet.

Tensions continued to simmer in the Himalayan region, with activist groups reporting a fresh protest in Lhasa at the weekend, while in neighbouring Nepal, police baton-charged Tibetan protesters Sunday, detaining more than 100 people.

In Athens, Greek officials handed the Olympic flame to the head of the Beijing organising committee, Liu Qi, after police arrested a handful of protesters shouting “Free Tibet”.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080330/wl_
afp/chinaunresttibet
rightsoly2008chn_080330144337

China offers its own version of protests

March 23, 2008
By CARA ANNA, Associated Press Writer Sat Mar 22, 7:09 PM ET

CHENGDU, China – With restive Tibetan areas swarming with troops and closed to scrutiny from the outside world, China’s government turned up efforts Saturday to put its own version of the unrest before the international public.

Paramilitary police march in a street in Zhongdian, in a Tibetan ...
Paramilitary police march in a street in Zhongdian, in a Tibetan area known as Shangri-La, in China’s southwest Yunnan province Saturday March 22, 2008. Thousands of troops have moved into Tibetan areas of western China following last week’s anti-government riots in Tibet’s capital, Lhasa.(AP Photo/Greg Baker)

Information barely trickled out of the Tibetan capital Lhasa and other far-flung Tibetan communities, where foreign media were banned and thousands of troops dispatched to quell the most widespread demonstrations against Chinese rule in nearly five decades.

The Chinese government was attempting to fill the vacuum with its own message. It disseminated footage of Tibetan protesters attacking Chinese and accusations of biased reporting by Western media via TV, the Internet, e-mail and YouTube, which is blocked in China. The communist government’s leading newspaper called to “resolutely crush” the Tibetan demonstrations.

The media barrage underscored that the government campaign is moving into a new phase of damage control ahead of the much-anticipated Beijing Olympics in August.

While China’s rigorous policing of the Internet is far from foolproof, its official Internet is pervasive and there is no easy access to an alternative in the country. The difficulty of confirming what is going on inside Tibet may also be hindering a stronger world reaction.

“They’ve successfully managed the messages available to the average Chinese citizen, and this has fueled broad public support for a heavy-handed approach to controlling unrest,” said David Bandurski, a Hong Kong University expert on Chinese media. “There will be no nuances to Tibet coverage.”

CNN’s bureau in Beijing has been deluged in recent days by a barrage of harassing phone calls and faxes that accuse the organization of unfair coverage. An e-mail to United Nations-based reporters purportedly from China’s U.N. mission sent an Internet link to a 15-minute state television program showing Tibetans attacking Chinese in Lhasa.

A slideshow posted on YouTube accused CNN, Germany‘s Der Spiegel and other media of cropping pictures to show Chinese military while screening out Tibetan rioters or putting pictures of Indian and Nepalese police wrestling Tibetan protesters with captions about China’s crackdown.

Though of uncertain origin, the piece at least had official blessing, with excerpts appearing on the official English-language China Daily and on state TV.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080322/ap_on_re_
as/china_tibet;_ylt=Aij1
CjWC6LlLVn_765DN.bus0NUE