Pakistan fails to fulfil 25 of 27 action points given by terror finance watchdog FATF

Pakistan has failed to fulfil 25 out of the 27 action points that were given by the international terror financing watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to keep a check on the funding of terrorist groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) as well as frontal groups like Jamat-ud-Dawah (JuD) and Falah-e-Insaniat Foundation (FIF).

Pakistan continues to be in the FATF Grey list which means that lenders like the IMF, the World Bank and the EU may continue downgrading Pakistan causing more financial woes for the already poorly performing economy. In the wake of the ongoing economic crisis, the Pakistan military had recently voluntarily trimmed down its defence budget.

Pakistan has previously shown the arrest of LeT, JeM, JuD and FiF cadres in a bid to fool the FATF. However, they were not arrested under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 but under its Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) Act. Which meant that the detainees could only remain a maximum of 60 days in custody.

JeM founder Masood Azhar and LeT founder Hafiz Saeed have for the most part been arrested only for breach of peace and never prosecuted under anti-terror laws.

The mere arrest of terrorists does not satisfy the requirements of FATF. They ask for a freeze of funds, denial of access to weapons and travel embargo. They also want nations to impose penalties that are proportionate and dissuasive. Arrest under the MPO does not meet these requirements and hence it does not satisfy the FATF.

Several hundred properties have been seized by the Pakistan government and are now being funded by provincial governments. Punjab provincial government has allocated USD 2 million per annum for their upkeep. Similarly, other provinces have allocated USD 5 million.

The FATF has now asked Pakistan to explain whether they had launched the investigation into the USD seven million allocated to maintain schools, madrasas, clinics and ambulances which are originally owned by several terror groups.

Last month India had said that it would ask FATF to put Pakistan on a blacklist of countries that fail to meet international standards in stopping financial crime. In March, the already Grey listed Pakistan had asked FATF to remove India as its Asia-Pacific co-chair for well-known “animosity between two countries” and “unbiased review process”.

Pakistan shares inputs of a possible terror attack in Kashmir with India

Imran Khan, Courtesy: brecorder.com

Displaying an unexpected and unusual behaviour, Pakistan has shared inputs about a possible terror attack in Kashmir with India. In what appears as an attempt to improve its image after facing isolation on international post the Pulwama terror attack, Pakistan has given the information regarding a possible IED attack on a highway in South Kashmir to the National Security Advisor (NSA).

The country has informed that terrorist groups, especially Lashkar-eToiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, want to avenge the death of some wanted terrorists, which includes the killing of Zakir Musa who was the commander of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, the Indian affiliate of Al Qaeda, by the Indian security forces during anti-terror operations in Kashmir.

The inputs which have also been shared with the United States, warns that the terrorists might use an IED mounted vehicle in Awantipora town of Pulwama district. Security has been tightened and the State has been put on high alert in the wake of the warning. Surveillance and patrolling have been increases in the region.

It is being said that Pakistan shared the inputs regarding the possible terror attack with India to avoid blame in future and save its face before the international community.

Recently, a CRPF patrol team was attacked by terrorists on the KP road in Anantnag. The attack happened near the general bus stand at KP Chowk where terrorists opened fire at the security forces and hurled grenades. Three CRPF personnel were martyred and several others were injured in the attack. The responsibility for the terrorist attack was taken by Al-Umar Mujahideen (AUM) which is a frontal organisation of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).

Obligated by the agreement with Modi, Swiss authorities to share details of 50 Indians nationals holding accounts in Swiss banks

As a part of the massive clampdown on black money initiated by PM Narendra Modi during his first term, the Swiss authorities are in the process of sharing details of at least 50 Indian nationals having accounts in Switzerland-based banks.

Officials involved in the process of mutual administrative assistance between the two countries informed that these individuals largely include businessmen associated with companies, including the dummy ones, in sectors ranging from real estate, financial services, technology and telecom to paints, home decoration, textiles, engineering goods, gems, and jewellery.

In its endeavour to shed the long-standing perception of it being a safe haven for black money, the Swiss authorities had last month, shot notices to 11 Indians holding Swiss bank accounts. It notified that they have been given one last chance to appeal against sharing of their details with India. According to the federal gazette notifications issued by the Swiss government, 50 individuals had been sent such notices till date.

In these notices, the individuals or their authorised representatives have been asked to file their appeals, if any, within 30 days. They have to submit necessary documentary proof to support their case against providing ‘administrative assistance’ to India, which broadly means sharing of their banking and other financial details.

However, some of these notices have been sent after the preliminary appeals by the concerned clients of Swiss banks have already been rejected due to inadequate supporting facts and documents, leaving a limited chance of their further pleas getting heard, officials said.

While details of more than 100 Indians nationals have been shared in the past one year by the Swiss government with the Indian authorities, there is a high chance that a large majority of the cases currently under scrutiny would result in the administrative assistance being provided in the coming months, the officials furthered.

After assuming office in 2014, the Modi government had taken various steps to curb black money. As a part of this initiative, Switzerland had in 2017, ratified automatic exchange of financial account information with India which would facilitate immediate sharing of details about suspected black money. Adopting the Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) – a global convention on tax matters – the Swiss Federal Council had said that the implementation was planned for 2018 and the first set of data would be exchanged in 2019.

Earlier, the Swiss banks were widely known as an alleged safe haven for black money. Since Modi came to power, money parked by Indians in Swiss banks started reducing drastically.

According to data published by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in 2017, the total funds held by Indians with Swiss banks in 2016 stood at a record low of 676 million CHF (Swiss francs), which was about Rs 4,500 crore.

In 2015, the total funds held by Indians with Swiss banks stood at CHF 1,206.71 million. In the year 2014, the total funds held by Indians with Swiss banks stood at CHF 1,814 million. 2017 was the third straight year of substantial decline of funds held by Indians with Swiss banks.

The funds held by Indians with Swiss banks stood at a record high of CHF 6.5 billion (Rs 23,000 crore) at 2006-end. In about a decade it went down to almost one-tenth.

Indian army conducts ‘Operation Sunshine-2’ with Myanmar army, camps of northeast militants targeted

India, Myanmar joint military operation
Representative Image

In a coordinated operation named “Operation Sunshine-2”, the Indian army along with Myanmar troops conducted a 3-week long operation targeting several militant groups operating in the border regions of Manipur, Nagaland and Assam.

The operation conducted between May 16 and June 8 targeted several militant outfits including the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation (KLO), the NSCN (Khaplang), the United Liberation Front of Assam (I) and the National Democratic Front of Boroland (NDFB).

Reportedly, around 70-80 militants belonging to these groups were nabbed and several of their camps destroyed during the operation. A third phase of the operation may also be launched depending upon on the actionable intelligence and ground situation.

Militant camps on the Myanmar side were cleared by four brigades of Myanmar Army. The fleeing militants were apprehended by Indian security forces. The Indian side had blocks of two battalions of the Indian Army — along with Special Forces, Assam Rifles and infantry Ghataks.

The two armies were careful not cross over the borders and at the same time were well coordinated, by placing liaison officers with the headquarters of the other each other’s army.

The Myanmar Army decided to stay in these areas to prevent the militants from regrouping. As their infrastructure is stretched heavily during the monsoons, the Indian Army would be providing logical support to these troops.

Myanmar shares a 1,640-km border with India and the thick forests in Myanmar near the border has been used to build camps by various terrorist organisations operating in northeast India. India has been pushing for better coordination between the two countries to handle the militants.

In June 2015, the Indian Army had carried out an operation against NSCN(K) militants in areas near the Indo-Myanmar border, days after militants killed 18 army men in Manipur.

This operation was a follow up of “Operation Sunshine-1” which took place in February where the Indian Army successfully destroyed Arakanese rebel camps that were working towards sabotaging the Kaladan Multimodal transit transport project.

Western Railways drops proposal of providing massage services to passengers in train

Indian Railways rejects massage on train proposal
Representational Image. Courtesy: Livemint.com

Western Railway has decided to withdraw the proposal of providing head, neck and foot massages to the passengers of trains originating from Indore.

In a press release, the Western Railway said, “As soon as this proposal came to the notice of higher authorities of Western Railway, it has been decided to withdraw this proposal of starting massage services in trains.”

There were other suggestions and representations made for improving passenger amenities which the Western Railway will now consider instead of the massage proposal.

Western Railway Senior PRO Jitendra Kumar Jayant informed that the proposal of providing head & foot massage services on 29 trains, that had been put forward by Ratlam Division. has been rejected by the Railway administration, respecting the views of the people’s representatives who had criticised it.

He added “They had criticised this proposal that it would create inconvenience for people, especially women. Berths have limited space so how would the services be even provided on a moving train? So Railway admin has rejected the proposal”, said the senior PRO of Western Railways.

The Ratlam division of Western Railway zone had on June 8, 2019, officially announced that they would soon be offering massage services for its passenger on board 39 running trains departing from Indore.

The trains included in the proposal were Malwa Express, Indore-Lingampalli Humsafar Express, Avantika Express, Indore-Veraval Mahamana Express, Shipra Express, Narmada Express, Ahilya Nagari Express, Panchvally Express, Indore-Pune Express.

Rajesh Bajpai, director, media and communication, railway board said, “This is the first time in the history of railways that we will provide massaging service for passenger comfort on running trains. It will not only increase revenue but also add passengers. Railways to earn an additional revenue of Rs 20 lakh annually and an estimated increase of Rs 90 lakh per year through the additional sale of tickets from about 20,000 passengers who will be the service providers”.

The Indian Railways had asked it’s zones and divisions to come out with new and innovative ideas to generate non-fare revenue, the message service would be the first idea want to be implemented after the suggestion of the Western Railway.

West Bengal: Agitating doctors ready to hold talks with CM Mamata Banerjee after deciding the venue

The gridlock between the agitating doctors in West Bengal and the state government reached its sixth day today. Yesterday, after the striking junior doctors rejected a proposal from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for talks at the state secretariat Nabanna, today a beacon of hope appeared, as the agitating doctors asserted that they were open to talks with the government, the venue for which would be decided later in the day by a governing body of medical practitioners.

Earlier, the agitators had insisted that West Bengal CM should visit the city’s NRS Medical College and Hospital, the epicentre of the agitation, to resolve the issue.

However, after an internal meeting late on Saturday, the doctors have stated that they were ready to hold a dialogue in any form, but the venue of the meeting would be decided later.

“We will be deciding on our next step during a governing body meeting today. We are open to any dialogue as always. The venue for the meeting will be decided soon,” a spokesperson of a joint forum of junior doctors told the media persons here.

Initially, the West Bengal doctors crisis began as a small protest by a group of junior doctors at the state-run SSKM Hospital after doctors and interns at the NRS Hospital were brutally attacked by a mob on the premises of the hospital after a patient named Mohammed Sayeed reportedly died of natural causes. As the protest began attacks against doctors further escalated and mobs attacked students and interns at the Burdwan Medical College and Hospital as well. Due to the state government’s apathy towards the assaulted doctors, the protest gradually took a nationwide dimension with doctors from all across the country pouring in with their support and raising voices of dissent against the West Bengal government.

The CM aggravated the situation by threatening the doctors and by asserting that the doctors protesting are ‘outsiders’. Following which there were mass resignations from doctors across the state. Reports indicate that as many as 500 doctors have resigned from their posts so far. Indian Medical Association (IMA) has announced a pan-India strike from 17th June to 18th June.

Moreover, after the situation somehow seeming to slip out of hands, Mamata during a press conference on Saturday issued a fresh appeal to the doctors to get back to work.

Interestingly, while the doctors are insisting that Mamata Banerjee visits the NRS hospital personally to meet the protesting doctors, Banerjee on her part has not done that, she instead has been merely issuing appeals.

Earlier, a delegation of 5 doctors led by Sukumar Mukjherjee met Mamata Banerjee at Nabanna and offered to resolve the stand-off between the state and the striking doctors. It was owing to this that the CM’s secretariat had sent an invite to the striking junior doctors to meet at Nabanna which the doctors had subsequently rejected.

It was reported that the Bengal Governor had called the Chief Minister to discuss the ongoing crisis but got no response from her in return.

Meanwhile, the Calcutta High court had also questioned Mamata’s government on the doctors strike and strongly directed the state to meditate and find a solution to the crisis at the earliest.

The services, however, continue to remain affected in the emergency wards, outdoor facilities and pathological units of many state-run hospitals and private medical facilities in the state, leaving several patients in the lurch.

India v Pakistan: The game in numbers

Who will create the new records? ©Getty Images

Ashes may be the oldest rivalry in cricket, but the biggest rivalry in cricket is between India and Pakistan. A population of more than 1.5 billion people watching it every time these two teams play against each other.

In the World Cup, India has dominated Pakistan, but in overall games, Pakistan is way ahead of India. Both the teams have overall played 131 matches in which Pakistan has won 73 of those matches, a winning percentage of 57.48 %.

TeamSpanMatWonLostTiedNR%
India1978-201813154730442.51
Pakistan1978-201813173540457.48

Pakistan has dominated India in cricket in the 80s and 90s. Out of 85 matches, Pakistan won a whopping 52 times while India could win only 29. But the fortunes have been in India’s favour since 2003. In 46 clashes, India won 25 while Pakistan won just 21.

India’s first ever score of 300 runs in an ODI achieved in 1996 at Sharjah against their arch-rivals Pakistan. Since then India has smashed 14 times a score of 300 or more in ODI against Pakistan. India’s highest total was 356 for 9 when Dhoni cracked his maiden ODI hundred in 2005 at Visakhapatnam. Pakistan, on the other hand, has scored 17 times a score of 300 or more against India. Their highest total 344 for 8 came in a losing cause as Pakistan fall short of India’s score of 349 for 7 by five-run in Karachi. 2004. In World Cup history, India scored 300 for 7 in the previous edition, which is the only score of 300 in World Cup clashes between these two teams.

Both teams have been bundled out for less than 100 runs once only. India’s lowest is 79 against Pakistan (Sialkot 1978) while Pakistan’s smallest is 87 at Sharjah in 1985 when India was defending only a score of 125.

Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar completely swaps all the batting records in between these two teams. He has scored most runs (2526), most hundreds (5), most fifties (16) and boundaries (323 = 294 fours and 29 sixes). Saeed Anwar (194) has the highest ODI score while Kohli (183) is second on that list.

TOP 10 Run Scorer in India v Pakistan ODI

Player Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave SR 100504s 6s
Tendulkar69674252614140.0987.4951629429
Inzamam67649240312343.6978.5541220835
SaeedAnwar50482200219443.5290.584821634
R Dravid58553189910736.5167.172141571
ShoaibMalik41414178214348.1688.4841117420
Azharuddin64597165710131.8667.682910812
S Ganguly53503165214135.1471.822916117
SaleemMalik52516153410234.0877281076
Ijaz Ahmed535181533139*35.6579.32612326
ShahidAfridi67644152410925.40109.092415851

Tendulkar dominated the World Cup stats as well. He has scored 313 runs against Pakistan, the most by any player in World Cup history. From Pakistan’s side, Saeed Anwar (185) has scored most runs against India.

Pakistan is known for its bowling, especially its pace attacks. In the bowling list, Wasim Akram has taken most wickets (60) with an economy of 3.73 runs per over, which is the best among both the teams. Aaqib Javed’s 7 for 37 is the best bowling figure in an ODI between India and Pakistan. He also has three five-fer against India and a hat-trick (in the same game where he took 7 for 37, Sharjah 1991).

TOP 10 Wicket-takers in India v Pakistan ODI

Player Mat Inns Overs Mdns Runs Wkts BBI Ave Econ SR five-fer
WasimAkram4847404.139150960.004/3525.153.7340.40
SaqlainMushtaq3634307.214139057.005/4524.384.5232.31
A Kumble3433304.418131054.004/1224.254.2933.80
Aaqib Javed393629927133154.007/3724.644.4533.23
J Srinath3636328.29165754.004/4930.685.0436.40
BKV Prasad2929266.313124343.0052728.94.6637.11
Kapil Dev3232264.121111342.003/1726.54.2137.70
Shoaib Akhtar2828238.520109841.004/3626.784.5934.90
Shahid Afridi6760455.15230038.004/2060.525.0571.80
Waqar Younis26251961290637.005/3124.484.6231.71

Venkatesh Prasad has taken eight wickets in World Cup games, while Wahab has 6 in his name and he has a chance to surpass Venkatesh Prasad’s record.

In wicket-keeping, Moin Khan has record 71 dismissals, followed by MS Dhoni who has 44. In World Cups, Dhoni has four dismissals against Pakistan while Kamran Akmal has 3.

Mohammad Azharuddin (44) holds the record for maximum catches in India-Pakistan clashes, followed by Shahid Afridi (30). In world cups, Anil Kumble has taken five catches in 3 games.

Tendulkar and Sidhu added 231 runs for the 2nd wicket in 1996, the highest run partnership for any wicket between these two teams. There are eight double hundred runs partnerships in ODIs, while none in the World Cup. India has three 100 runs partnership in World Cup against Pakistan, while Pakistan has yet to achieve the milestone.

Times of India whitewashes Aligarh murder, downplays brutality, blames social media for ‘communal spin’

Gurugram incident turning out to be not what was claimed on MSM and social media
Representational image

The brutal murder of two-and-a-half-year-old Tina Sharma (name changed) in Aligarh has shaken the collective conscience of the nation. However, over a week after the murder, mainstream media continues to whitewash the crime and downplay the brutalities the perpetrators carried out on the child.

In a report titled ‘How crime is getting a communal spin’, the Times of India today claimed that the ‘police investigation has confirmed neither rape not (sic) torture’. This statement is inaccurate on multiple levels. Police statement has claimed that the rape cannot be confirmed. That means, the child may or may not have been raped. The case is currently being probed under the Protection of Children against Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act. That means, rape cannot be conclusively ruled out yet. Moreover, the post-mortem report has been sent further to doctors. Only a swab analysis could reveal whether she was raped or not. Hence, this statement is false.

Moving on to the second part where Times of India claims that the police investigation has confirmed the child was not tortured is also an utter lie. The post mortem report has revealed that her right arm was amputated.

Post-mortem report on Aligarh case (image: journalist @anjanaomkashyap on Twitter)

OpIndia showed the post-mortem report to a couple of doctors and they said that the baby died due to injuries caused to her. “The injuries were severe enough to lead to shock and eventually death. Shock is confirmed by the collapse of vessels (antemortem sign). Major blood loss happened before death,” a doctor confirmed that there were brutalities on the child.

“The most important of all is that her abdominal organs are missing, including uterus and genital organs. She might have been subjected to extreme torture and this can also be the cause of excessive blood loss and collapse of the blood vessels. Other injuries include fracture of leg below knee and amputation of humerus (arm). These injuries point towards brutality. Vaginal swabs have been taken for examination but due to decomposition they are less likely to be useful. It should be made clear that negative results on swab does not rule out sexual act.”

According to the Times of India, amputated arm, fractured leg, excessive blood loss leading to collapse of blood vessels, missing abdominal organs including the uterus and genital organs, is not ‘brutal’ enough.

The Times of India report then says that the report was given a communal angle by those who demanded justice for the child, like those in the Kathua case and says how the perpetrator should not be judged on the basis of religion. Very conveniently forgetting that in Kathua case, it was the same so-called liberals who brought the communal angle by focusing on where the child was raped (Devisthan, or temple) instead of focusing on the crime itself (rape and murder).

The report then states the dubious propaganda outfit, ‘Hate Crime Watch’, a multi-organisation effort headed by FactChecker.in of IndiaSpend, in collaboration with Aman Biradari and NewsClick.in. Readers should also remember that the founding trustee of Indiaspend, factchecker.in’s parent organization, is now the Data Analytics head of Congress party and has reportedly fled after charging Congress Rs 24 crore for his flawed data analysis in recently concluded general elections.

It is pertinent to mention that the creators of the propaganda themselves admit that they do not aspire to be an exhaustive record of all hate crimes in the country. Such an admission allows them the opportunity to cherry-pick data to peddle their narrative.

They ignore cases where Hindus are victims, they label crimes where Muslims are victims as ‘hate crime’ even though there is nothing to suggest that the crime is motivated by religion and they attempt to create a narrative that portrays Hindus as aggressors and Muslims as victims.

To give readers an idea about the manner in which factchecker.in manipulates data, when Vidharam Katheria, a Dalit, was murdered by a group of Muslims over a family dispute, IndiaSpend did not consider a hate crime claiming that there was no evidence to suggest that the crime was motivated by religious hatred. But when one Azhar Khan was murdered for fishing near a Temple, it was treated as a religious hate crime although there was nothing to suggest that the crime was motivated by religion. This is merely a single instance. There have been several occasions where factchecker.in has indulged in such malpractice. You could read more about data manipulation by ‘Hate Crime Watch’ here, here, here and here.

We have also comprehensively exposed the manner in which factchecker.in concocts an agenda in an earlier report. The HCW is a concerted effort to manufacture what can only be described as sophisticated Fake News.

Moreover, there have been multiple reports on Aligarh case where they have given clean chit to the perpetrators claiming that the child was not raped. We have shown how self-proclaimed fact-checkers had based an entire fact-check on police statement which were later found contradictory to the post-mortem report. Despite that, the ‘fact-checkers’ stuck to their report and claimed that the child was not brutalised (something which even this TOI report claims). Since AltNews’ attempts to whitewash the crimes and downplay the brutality has failed, elements in mainstream media has taken it upon themselves to push the narrative.

Times of India’s reliance on dubious data and blatantly lying in its reportage on Aligarh murder case in this report displays shoddy and biased journalism.

In the biggest crackdown on terror funding, NIA registers cases against top separatist leaders, Hawala operators and stone pelters

In a major breakthrough, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered a case against 13 accused including 7 top separatists, 2 hawala conduits and some stone pelters in the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case of 2017. The separatist leaders who have been charge-sheeted include the co-founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafiz Saeed, and Hizbul Chief, Syed Salahuddin.

Earlier in 2017, the NIA had arrested Syed Shahid Yusuf, son of Hizbul Mujahideen head Syed Salahuddin, who was questioned in 2011 terror funding.

One of the main hawala conduits, Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali, who used to receive and generate funds from Pakistan, through various shell companies, has also been charge-sheeted. Recently, the Enforcement Directorate(ED) was in the process of attaching 25 properties worth crores, which are part of “proceeds of crime” invested by Watali.

During the investigations, searches were conducted in various locations across Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana as well. Evidence was recovered which pointed towards the pattern of raising, collecting, transfer and use of funds for terrorists and separatist activities.

The matter pertains to a 2017 case filed against terrorists belonging to Jammat ud Dawah, Duktaran-e-Millat, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and other separatist leaders in the State of J&K.

The investigation has revealed that the separatists have developed an organized network of stone-pelters and cadres who are incited to attack Indian sovereignty on Kashmiri soil. The investigation has also revealed that the separatists were receiving funds from Pakistani agencies through hawala conduits and that money was routed through fake and bogus companies floated abroad and remitted to Hurriyat leaders in Jammu and Kashmir.

The NIA conducted searches at over 60 locations and hundreds of damning documents and electronic devices were seized during the process. In addition, there are 300 witnesses in the case. The evidence collected has revealed that the persons accused were orchestrating violence against the Indian Army and stone-pelting and promoting and inciting other subversive activities against the Indian State. The investigation has also established an intimate link between separatists in Kashmir and their Pakistani handlers.

The 1279-page chargesheet was filed before the Court in New Delhi and permission has been sought to continue the probe.

The raids conducted by NIA in various locations across Jammu and Kashmir, Haryana and Delhi reflected the ‘No Tolerance’ policy adopted by the NDA government against anti-India activities. The screws have been tightening around the separatists and terrorists in Kashmir and they have been feeling the heat under the Narendra Modi government. The case was first registered by the NIA in May 2017 and the first arrests were made later in July.

The NIA had in April 2019 got the infamous JKLF chief Yasin Malik in custody for 12 days in the terror funding case. As per NIA sources, Yasin Malik had then admitted that he was instrumental in bringing together the disparate factions of Hurriyat conference and formed the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), which spearheaded the violent agitations in 2016 in Kashmir Valley, by issuing “Protest Calendars” leading to economic shut down for over four months.

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the ghastly Pulwama attack, the NIA had tightened its noose on Kashmiri separatists. It also took the custody of Masarat Alam Bhat, the alleged kingpin of stone pelting and Chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir Muslim League, along with Shabir Shah and Asiya Andrabi.

Asiya Andrabi heads the women’s secessionist group Dukhtaren-e-Millat had then revealed that she had been collecting funds and donations from foreign sources and Duktaran-e-Milat had been organising protests by Muslim women in the valley.

Moreover, during the custodial interrogation, Shabir Shah, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, was also confronted with evidence relating to the transfer of money by Pakistan based agents and representatives of APHC factions to parties affiliated to Hurriyat in Jammu & Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Masarat Alam Bhat, the so-called poster boy of stone pelters and violent agitations in Kashmir valley, had revealed that Pakistan based agents route the funds through hawala operators which were transferred to the separatist leaders including Syed Shah Gilani Chairman APHC (G).

Masarat Alam also revealed that there are rifts in the Hurriyat conference regarding collection and use of funds.

The NIA investigation attempts to identify other key players in the nexus of the terror funding, stone-pelting at the forces and vandalization of government institutes.

Following the Pulwama attack in February, the government had withdrawn security cover of 18 separatists including Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Naseem Geelani and 155 politicians and ‘activists’, calling it a ‘wastage of resources’.

AAP MP Sanjay Singh exposes ignorance about symbolic protest, questions why protesting doctors have injury at the same place

After claiming that the income of Delhi Metro will increase due to free metro travel scheme for proposed by the AAP government in Delhi, party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh displayed his ignorance while reacting to a photograph of doctors demanding action against the goons who had attacked doctors in a Hospital in Kolkata.

Reacting to a photograph with new agency ANI logo on it, Sanjay Singh wondered whether it is really an ANI photo or is it Photoshopped, since all the doctors in the photo seem to have injuries on the same place. All the doctors in the photo have bandages wrapped around their heads, with a red patch on the forehead.

It seems that the AAP leader is not following the news about the doctors’ strike in Bengal which has received support from doctors in the entire country with symbolic protests. And as a mark of protest against the attack on doctors at NRS hospital in West Bengal, doctors are wrapping red-stained bandages on their heads, and some were also seen wearing helmets. The image that Sanjay Singh reacted to is from AIIMS, where the doctors did the same. This is similar to the use of black bands used in protests, and everyone in the country knows that, except the AAP MP.

A doctor helps a colleague in applying red stain on bandage

Later Sanjay Singh tweeted that one journalist friend has informed him that doctors in AIIMS are protesting with fake bandages, and added that this is not right. He said that doctors should stay away from such protests because from such images a narrative can be created that doctors in the entire country are being beaten.

Mr Singh clearly does not understand the meaning of the use of symbols in protests, and he thinks that people will mistake the symbolic bandages as the result of real attacks on the doctors.

India and Pakistan clash is not just a game, but a culture war between two hostile countries, bigger than even the Finals

Image Source: twitter

Across the world, it is often debated as which sporting event is considered to be the greatest rivalry in its history. Is it the El-Clasico or the historical rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool in English football? Or was it the contests between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe or Nadal vs Federer in Tennis?. Alain Prost vs Ayrton Senna in the Formula 1 or is it the Ashes between the oldest rivals in cricket- Australia and England.

None. It is India and Pakistan facing each other in a World Cup match. It is not just a sporting event but a sense of cultural war between two hostile countries which is indirectly manifested in the form of a cricket match. Both India and Pakistan have managed to keep these sporting events as a ‘Quasi-war’ despite the stakeholders claiming the rivalry as just a sporting event.

The battle between the two teams is so intense such that more than a billion people are stuck to their TVs with two economies stuck in a state of pause as the minds and hearts of the fellow countrymen stay glued on the scoreboard. It is not just typical sporting rivalries where two teams play out against each other. While one team loses after an intense game and all of them go home as the match ends and everybody ends up being happy ever after.

No, it is not the case with India-Pakistan rivalry. The clash between two countries on a cricket ground is beyond any sporting events. It is not just 22 players sweating out in the field. It is the hope of more than a billion people as players on the field will be representing a whole country while carrying the burden of almost every individual belonging to their respective homeland.

It is some sort of a cultural war which is being fought in a different way – maybe with a bat and ball. But, the favouring results give a sense of satisfaction and glory similar to a victory what it could have been on a battlefield. Most of Indians share a similar sentiment even if the victory is a small one, be it on a different arena all together which has no connect to geopolitics wars.

India and Pakistan fighting each other in ICC Cricket World is arguably modern era’s greatest sporting event, not because of the sheer amount of viewership it garners but also because of sharing an honour of a ‘war sport’. In fact, in modern day cricket, India-Pakistan clash in the world cup is considered to be so as it devalues the importance of the all-important ‘Finals’ match. In fact, the players, fans and fellow countrymen believe that defeating their neighbouring team is itself a larger goal than winning the world cup itself. Winning a world cup without defeating Pakistan would be tantamount to a defeat for India.

Today, it has been synonymous with one of the eternal truths that India has never lost to Pakistan in the world cup. Almost everyone who follows cricket in India knows this fact. India has defeated Pakistan six times previously in the world cup clashes while Pakistan is still yet to taste victory against India in world cup history.

Here is the summary of the clashes between India and its hostile neighbour Pakistan.

  • March 4, 1992, Sydney: The India and Pakistan clashed for the first time in the World Cup in 1992 in Australia. On March 4, 1992, India defeated Pakistan by 43 runs at Sydney Cricket Ground, registering its first victory over arch-rival Pakistan in world cup event.
  • March 9, 1996, Bangalore, Quarter-Final: The second victory came on March 9, 1996, Bangalore, in a quarter-final match, where India had won by 39 runs. Navjot Singh Sidhu had anchored the Indian batting and top-scored with 93 and Ajay Jadeja’s cameo of 45 of 25 balls by decimating Waqar Younis was the game-changer for India. Amir Sohail dismissal to Venkatesh Prasad has been one of the most celebrated events in India’s cricketing history.
  • June 8, 1999, Manchester: India’s third victory against Pakistan in World Cup came in 1999 world cup at Manchester, Jun 8 1999, the same venue in which India will be taking on Pakistan two decades later. India had won by 47 runs.
  • March 1, 2003, Centurion: Despite Saeed Anwar’s hundred in the first innings, Pakistan lost the match to India by 6 wickets thanks to a partnership between  Dravid and Yuvraj Singh. The 2003 world cup match is also an important clash as Pakistan had fielded its deadliest trio of legend Wasim Akram, Waqar Younus and Rawalpindi express Shoaib Akthar. The uppercut by Sachin Tendulkar to Shoaib Akhtar over the third man for a six still reverberates in minds of every Indian who had witnessed that.
  • March 30, 2011, Mohali, Semi-Final: Considered to be one of the closest and crucial victories for Indian side during its road to 2011 World cup victory, Pakistan was very close to defeating India during one phase of the game before displaying their usual instincts.  India won by 29 runs to reach its third world cup final.
  • February 15, 2015, Adelaide: With Virat Kohli scoring a century – 107 and considerable performance from Shikhar Dhawa and Suresh Raina’s had helped India posted 300 on board, making it the highest total for India in World Cup clashes against Pakistan. Pakistan fizzled out for just 224, making it as one of the easiest victories against Pakistan in World cup.

Despite the claims of peaceniks, that India and Pakistan clash on the field is just one of those everyday sporting events that occur across the world, the common folks in the country see it as a victory beyond a mere sporting exercise and are proud of the fact that India has the ability to show Pakistan its deserving place not only in war field but also in global non-military, cultural or sports events. For a common Indian, the fight against Pakistan is a war no matter in what form it is manifested.

Ajaz, a civil police officer, hacked to death his colleague Soumya Pushpakaran with a sword, set her on fire

Women cop killed
Soumya Pushpakaran (Image Source: India Ahead News)

On Saturday afternoon woman police officer, Soumya Pushpakaran, died after being hacked with a sword and set ablaze by a fellow police officer, Ajaz, in Alappuzha district of Kerala.

Soumya is a Civil Police Officer (CPO) who worked at the Vallikunnam police station, aged approximately 35 years old was a mother of three children and her husband is working in the Middle East.

Reportedly, the victim after completing her duty with student police cadet members in a nearby school was returning home from the police station on a scooter at about 4 pm. Ajaz, who was waiting in a rented car near her house, on seeing her approach her house, proceeded to ram into her vehicle. The victim was knocked down and tried to run. However, Ajaz got up with a machete in his hand after which he chased her to a neighbouring house.

He hacked the victim, took out the petrol that he had brought along with him and set her on fire. Ajaz has suffered 40% burns after the victim had tried to resist him. He was admitted to ICU in Alappuzha Medical College Hospital.

As per reports, the 33-year-old N.A. Ajaz was posted with the Aluva traffic police. He had taken a 15-day duty leave, a week ago. Despite having joined the police station a year ago, his colleagues have said that Ajaz didn’t have a close relationship with any of them. Several reports also suggest that this was a love affair that had gone wrong. However, the police have said that the motive of the murder is still not clear.

Soumya was selected to train at the Kerala Police Academy, Thrissur on June 16, 2014. A friend of Soumya had revealed that the two had met during the last few months of training after which they became friends. Ajaz came as havildar for imparting training and had trained her team for 2-3 months.

An officer had also revealed that after Soumya’s husband went abroad, Ajaz tried to force Soumya to stay with him. She refused and kept her distance from him.

As India takes on Pakistan in Cricket World Cup, here is a trip down memory lane

Javed Miandad mocking Kiran More (1992 Cricket World Cup)

The latest episode of India-Pakistan Cricketing rivalry is here, weather permitting, and Pakistan will be looking to register their first ever win over India in the game’s premier tournament. After losing their matches to West Indies and Australia, and a washout against Sri Lanka, Pakistan need a win to rekindle their hopes in the tournament. India on the other hand, is sitting comfortably in the table despite the washout against New Zealand, and a win here will almost guarantee their spot in the semi-finals.

While the World Cup matches between the 2 sides have been mostly one-sided, they have produced some really memorable events that stick long into the memory.

  1. Miandad mocking More 

    The very first World Cup encounter between the 2 sides was in Australia during the 1992 World Cup. Batting first, India had posted 216/7 thanks to a half century from Sachin Tendulkar and useful contributions from Ajay Jadeja and Kapil Dev. In response, Pakistan lost their first 2 wickets early but then Aamir Sohail and Javed Miandad combined for a long albeit slow partnership. The tension was mounting during that partnership and with the score at 85/2, we got to see one of the most comical moments on a cricketing field. Miandad was unhappy with Indian wicketkeeper Kiran More’s frequent and very exuberant appealing, even going to complain to umpires about it, but to no avail. Then at the end of a Sachin Tendulkar over, Miandad gave us one of the most iconic images from the 92 World Cup with him jumping up and down to mimic More, with his bat held above his head. More wasn’t too impressed about the whole thing and Miandad was eventually dismissed for a painstaking 40 with India winning comfortably by 43 runs in the end.

  2. Ajay Jadeja’s assault on Waqar Younis 

    The second World Cup encounter between the two teams, in the Quarter Final of the 1996 World Cup was played in front of a packed stadium in Bengaluru. India rode on a 93 from opening batsman Navjot Sidhu to reach 200/4 by the 42nd over. A good platform was set but it needed a big finish to take the total beyond Pakistan, it arrived and how! India scored 48 runs in last 3 overs, and 2 of them were bowled by one of the deadliest fast bowlers in the world, Waqar Younis. It was started by Anil Kumble, who took 2 boundaries off Waqar, and then Jadeja took over for one of the most memorable cameos in Indian cricket history. Sixes over wide Long On and Long Off, slapping the ball past covers and point, it was short, it was beautiful, and it was match-changing. He was eventually dismissed by Waqar in the final over but by that time, Ajay Jadeja had cemented his place in Indian cricket folklore.

  3. Aamir Sohail bowled Venkatesh Prasad

    Indians were sitting pretty after the Ajay Jadeja assault in Bengaluru but then the Pakistani opening pair of Aamir Sohail and Saeed Anwar started at a cracking pace. The runs were flowing from both ends and even after Saeed Anwar’s dismissal by Srinath, Pakistan looked in control of the chase with Sohail firing on all cylinders. In the 15th over, with Prasad back for his second spell, Sohail continued to toy with his bowling, advancing down the track and smashing Prasad to the cover boundary for yet another four. He followed it up with a lot of chatter, telling Prasad where he will hit him for a boundary, and he set himself up very nicely for the next ball. Prasad bowled it lot fuller than the previous ball, Sohail swung, the ball took out the off stump and Prasad shut Sohail up in the best possible way.

  4. Sachin-Sehwag in 2003 

    First time in a World Cup, Pakistan was batting first against India and they did very well. Riding on the last international century from India’s long-term nemesis Saeed Anwar, Pakistan posted 273/7. With a bowling attack boasting of Wasim, Waqar, Shoaib Akhtar, they would have fancied their chances. However, Pakistani hopes were extinguished in the first 5 overs itself with a sensational start from the 2 Indian openers. Backfoot punches, square cuts, drives, and an upper cut for 6 later, Indian openers had put on 50 runs from the first 5 overs. The required rate was already below 5 and Pakistani team was shell shocked. Waqar Younis did pick up 2 wickets in the 6th over to try and mount a fight back, but the start gave enough cushion to the Indian batsmen to just bat sensibly and finish the chase well within their 50 overs.

  5. Sehwag vs Umar Gul in 2011 

    The most high-profile World Cup encounter between the two sides, the Semi-Final of 2011 World Cup. India won the toss and elected to bat first. After a sedate start in the first 2 overs, Sehwag burst into life in the 3rd, Umar Gul’s second. First ball, on leg stump, sent to the mid-wicket boundary, 2nd ball, again on leg stump, again sent to the mid-wicket boundary, a little squarer this time. 3rd ball, miraculously a dot ball but the 4th one, again down the leg side and Sehwag helping it to the square leg boundary. 5th ball, Gul over compensated and gave a short wide one to Sehwag to cut it to the point boundary, another four. Next ball, Gul oversteps and Sehwag creams it through the covers for 5 boundaries off 5 legitimate balls. The innings was suddenly off to a flier, Pakistan’s premier fast bowler was hammered. Sehwag collected 2 more boundaries off Umar Gul’s next over before being dismissed for 38.

Chhattisgarh: Pakistan Army gun recovered from Maoists, strengthens suspicion of their links with Pakistani terrorists

Chhattisgarh Police recovered Heckler and Koch G3 Rifle used by Nato and Pakistan Army. Image Credit: TV9 Telugu

The Chhattisgarh police recovered a Heckler & Koch G3 Rifle used by NATO and Pakistan army after an encounter with Maoists in Murner village of Kanker in North Bastar on Friday.

Since these kinds of rifles are not used by Indian forces or security personnel but are used by the Pakistani Army the recovery of one has raised the suspicion that the Maoists could be having links with Pakistani terrorists in Kashmir, supported and funded by the Pakistani government.

In an encounter which broke out at the Tadoki Police Station limit in Murner forest range on June 14, arms and ammunition like two SLRs, one 303 rifle and the sophisticated G3 rifle were recovered.

According to DG, Naxal Operation DM Awasthi, the total number of Maoists involved in the operations is said to have been 11 and two dead bodies have already been recovered.

“We have recorded G3 rifle used by the Pakistan army and this is second such recovery in the region”, said Awasthi while talking to media persons.

Earlier in 2018, the police had recovered a similar German made rifle and the US made, sub-machine gun after an encounter with Maoists in Sukma. Foreign-made telescopic sights have also been recovered from the Naxals in the past.

Earlier we had reported how the National Investigative Agency (NIA) along with the funding of Kashmiri separatists had started focusing on the possible funding received by Naxals. As a result of a particular case dated back to August 2017, the NIA had tightened its investigation on an inter-state module involving Jharkhand and Telangana while also actively probing the Maoist trail in Telangana.

Moreover, the Pune Police while investigating the Elgaar Parishad case had also informed a special court in Pune that the activists arrested in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case were in touch with Central Committee members of the banned CPI-Maoist, and they had discussed routing funds for Maoist activities through hawala transactions.

This recovery has now led to further emphasis on the suspicion that the Maoists have not only been working in a close nexus with Kashmiri separatists and the urban Naxals but also with Pakistani forces or terror groups.

Rahul Gandhi got conned by his own men: Report says ‘Big Data’ head Praveen Chakravarty billed Congress 24 crores and is now absconding

NDTV's takes journalism to new heights by asking Rahul Gandhi how did he like his samosa
Rahul Gandhi, the Dynast of Congress party

The disastrous performance of the Congress party in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections has opened up a debate within the party to seek accountability for its debacle. Almost a month after elections, the Congress party still seems clueless as to what led to their embarrassing election defeat under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi.

However, a Sunday Guardian report has made some startling revelations which show how Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s own team perhaps set him up for the humiliating defeat. The report states that Gandhi scion, Rahul Gandhi decided to resign from the post of president, as he was misled by his own team and was made to believe that the party will be securing somewhere between 164 and 184 seats in the elections.

Rahul Gandhi, based on these superficial reports, seems to contacted his UPA allies M.K. Stalin, Akhilesh Yadav, Omar Abdullah, Sharad Pawar and Tejashwi Yadav amongst others, and offered to accommodate some of them in the next Cabinet. He had even reportedly obtained two letters from a senior legal luminary to enable him to stake claim to form the next government. The Congress party had even planned a victory procession to celebrate the exit of the BJP and had instructed a select few Delhi leaders to mobilise a crowd of nearly 10,000 people outside the AICC office on 24, Akbar Road.

With Rahul Gandhi receiving such dubious assessment from his aides over their prospects in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress president seems to have faced severe embarrassment resulting in a huge loss of face, which perhaps led Rahul to quit from the post, states report.

Interestingly, Praveen Chakravarty, the data guy and one of the most trusted aides, who looked after the election office and data-analysis, besides running the Shakti app, has now run away after the poll debacle. Reportedly, he has been incommunicado as even senior Congress leaders have failed to contact him. Incidentally, he seems to have conned the Congress party by presenting a bill of Rs 24 crores for his services and has not even provided the Congress with the hard disc of the data he had collected.

Chakravarty was the founding trustee of the dubious database with faulty ‘fact-checker’ had also stated that the BJP victory in 2014 was a ‘black swan’ which could not be repeated. His analysis and data were found to be inconsistent with the reality as the BJP not only repeated it but even managed to outdo itself in terms of voter share. The ‘black swan’ managed to get almost 50% vote share, way above the 31% it got in 2014.

Further, senior leaders in the party are suspecting that Chakravarty, who played a role similar to the one played by Prashant Kishor for Narendra Modi in the 2014 Parliamentary elections, could have been a BJP mole in the Congress office. In fact, four of the eight persons working in the Congress president’s office have resigned. In addition to Chakravarty, it is believed that Divya Spandana, another close aide of Rahul Gandhi has also charged the party nearly Rs 8 crore. She has also deleted her Twitter and Instagram accounts.

The report suggests that certain events during the elections have proved that either Rahul Gandhi was of an over-trusting nature or was too gullible in getting deceived by smooth-talking individuals. It was not just limited to Rahul Gandhi, even both Sonia Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also in a false sense of hope as they were convinced that Congress was returning to power.

According to the report, Chakravarty had met Rahul on 21 May, on the day of Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, and had presented him a list of 184 potential winners of the Congress, along with their respective constituencies and projected margins. Praveen had assured Rahul Gandhi of securing 184 seats, even if turned out to be slightly inadequate, he had promised that Congress would not be less than 164.

Taking this dubious data with all the gravity, the office of Rahul Gandhi had asked Praveen Chakravarty to make a list of nearly “100 first-time MPs”, who he did not know since they had worked at the state level. Rahul Gandhi had further instructed for a separate list of likely losers, which reportedly had Mallikarjun Kharge, Pawan Bansal, Harish Rawat, Ajay Maken etc., whom he wanted to be part of the next government.

On May 22, a day before the counting, the Gandhi sister-brother duo got to work based on Praveen Chakravarty’s documentation. Reportedly, the duo began contacting potential allies and key leaders of their own party. Rahul Gandhi had reportedly called M.K. Stalin and promised him inducting him in the future Cabinet as Home Minister. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar was also contacted to be part of the next government including Akhilesh Yadav, who was also hoping to win not less than 40 seats. RJD chief Tejashwi Yadav’s assessment was that the Congress could touch the five- to six-mark in Bihar, while his party would be obtaining nearly 20-plus. Omar Abdullah was confident that the National Conference could win three, while Congress may go through in Udhampur, from where Dr Karan Singh’s son, Vikramaditya was contesting.

Priyanka Gandhi had even talked to Congress Chief Ministers and had asked them to send the list of potential ministers from their respective states. Two close advisers to Rahul, including a former Union Minister and his personal secretary K. Raju went to the residence of a well-known senior attorney in South Delhi to get two drafts prepared for the President of India. The first draft was specific to the Congress staking claim directly and the second one was formulated to support any of the UPA allies. The two letters were delivered at the Congress president’s office.

The Congress party was so certain and assured of their victory that they had planned a press conference on the day of counting, following which a victory march was to take place outside the Congress headquarters.

Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were not only misled by their data analysts and aides but also by their own party senior members. Prior to elections, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had stated that the Congress could possibly win between 14 and 16 out of 25 from his state. The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Kamal Nath had presented his figure to around 11 to 15 out of 29.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, was the only one to present realistic numbers as he had stated that Congress could win only three or four seats. AICC treasurer, Ahmed Patel, was asked for his estimation regarding Gujarat. He had conveyed to Rahul that the Congress was unlikely to win any seat from there, a matter which displeased the Congress president.

The Sunday Guardian report suggests that the entire structure of the proposed government formation was built on inaccurate evaluation, which was later found to be exactly contrary to reality. Interestingly, Rahul was so sure of victory in both the constituencies he was contesting from—Amethi and Wayanad, that he had asked Priyanka to contest from Amethi, once he vacated the seat.

However, Priyanka’s decision withdrew herself from a possible fight from Varanasi against Prime Minister Modi had upset Rahul’s overall poll plans for Uttar Pradesh. Incidentally, Priyanka Gandhi and her husband, Robert Vadra had communicated to Rahul that they did not begin her political career with a loss. When Rahul insisted, she asked him to contest from the seat instead.

Bengal doctors crisis: A state which has pulled out of Ayushman Bharat, the poor are the worst affected of Mamata’s apathy

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee

West Bengal is currently reeling through an unprecedented medical crisis as all state-run medical colleges and hospitals have shut down following the mob attack on junior doctors of NRS Medical College in central Kolkata. On-duty junior doctors were brutally assaulted and hospital properties damaged in presence of police by a stone-pelting armed mob of around 200 criminals following the death of an 84-year old patient, Md. Sayeed on Monday night.

One of them, Dr Paribaha Mukhopadhyay sustained a depressed fracture of his skull and had to be immediately operated upon. His condition is stable now but will have to live the rest of his life with certain cognitive disabilities.

The brutality of the attack shocked the entire medical fraternity. His colleagues sat down in protest against the attack. The demands of medical students and junior doctors were very legitimate. All they wanted were strict police action against the perpetrators of the mob attack and enhancing of security bandobast in all the medical colleges and hospitals to prevent similar attacks in future.

As a responsible students’ organisation, ABVP supported the demands for strict action against the attacking mob and book them under provisions of Indian Penal Code. Soon, medical students and junior doctors of all medical colleges joined in the protests seeking for justice for Paribaha. As the news spread further, medical students and junior doctors of almost all medical colleges and dental colleges of India expressed their solidarity with the students’ movement at NRS Medical College.

It was largely expected that the Chief Minister would visit Dr Paribaha and the agitating students of NRS Medical College with the assurance of action, but on Thursday afternoon, she stormed into SSKM Medical College located in her own constituency where she was greeted with slogans of “We Want Justice” by the agitating doctors. Facing the hostile situation, she termed the protesting doctors as ‘outsiders’, gave a communal colour to the agitation and issued a 4-hour ultimatum to the protesting junior doctors to resume work or get evicted from their hostels. Yesterday, Banerjee was to visit the injured doctor, but she cancelled her meeting.

This added fuel to the fire and the situation deteriorated rapidly. Medical students started leaving their hostels in fear of police action. The senior doctors who had till then abstained from any ceasing any work joined the agitation and over 550 medical faculties including the Principal and Medical Superintendent of NRS Medical College resigned from their service.

Seeing the impending healthcare crisis, we reached out to the Honourable Governor of West Bengal Shri Keshari Nath Tripathi seeking his intervention to resolve the worsening situation and prevent state healthcare services from crumbling down. The Honourable Governor tried to reach out to the Honourable Chief Minister over the phone but his calls were not answered by the CM.

Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr Harsh Vardhan also wrote a letter to Smt Mamata Banerjee to address the issue sympathetically keeping in mind the greater public interest. However, that letter was also not heeded.

Meanwhile, immediately after the inflammatory statements from the Chief Minister, hooligans backed by her party started threatening the medical students and junior doctors in multiple locations of West Bengal. A kerosene bomb was reportedly hurled inside Linton Hostel of the Calcutta National Medical College in Park Circus. Fire engines had to come and douse the flames to prevent further damage to lives and property. Stone pelters targeted medical students of Burdwan Medical College and injured four of them, with one of them sustaining permanent injury to the eyes.

Things took a turn for the worse in Behrampur town where Trinamool MP Abu Taher started issuing life threats to the protesting doctors to either withdraw from the protests or face severe consequences from a mob of over 250 people waiting outside Murshidabad Medical College. On receiving multiple distress calls from the students we immediately informed the Office of the Honourable Governor to prevent any untoward incident.

The most affected are the poor patients who are eagerly awaiting treatment be it their scheduled surgery or chemotherapy or other life-saving procedures. The economic condition of most people of our state is not strong enough to be able to afford their treatments in private hospitals. Ayushman Bharat- the flagship health insurance scheme of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is also not applicable in the state of West Bengal because CM Mamata Banerjee chose to pull out of the scheme. Government hospitals are the only hope for the poor and can not be paralysed indefinitely. Even today, despite the suffering, people of the state have been sympathetic to the legitimate demands of the protesting doctors and patiently waiting for a positive solution instead of further flare ups and provocations from the administration.

It is high time the Chief Minister, who is also in charge of Health and Home ministries, takes demonstrable action against the actual miscreants and reassures the citizens of her sincerity in maintaining law and order in the state. Further escalation of the crisis will be detrimental to the interests of the patient community at large.

Note: Dr Indranil Khan is a practising clinical oncologist and presently the state vice-president of ABVP PaschimBanga

Hyderabad: Azam, a self-styled godman, arrested for raping a 19-year-old girl in a Dargah on the pretext of chasing away evils

representational image

In yet another horrific incident, a self-styled Muslim godman named Azam has been caught after allegedly raping a girl repeatedly on the pretext of chasing away evils from her house in Borabanda area of Hyderabad, reports ANI.

According to police reports, the rape accused Azam came in touch with the 19-year-old girl belonging to the same area and began to frequently visit her house. Later he suggested to her parents that their house was under the shroud of evil forces that needed to be chased away.

Azam further suggested that family should visit a Dargah in Bidar district of Karnataka to in order to get away with the evils, the police said. Azam accompanied the family to the dargah, an Islamic religious place, where he lured the victim and raped her.

“After their return from the trip, Azam again visited the house of the victim and asked her parents to stay outside while he recited some hymn to scare off the evils. On finding the girl alone, the accused once again raped her,” Panjagutta Additional Commissioner of Police Thirupatanna said.

A case under section 376 (punishment of rape) of the Indian Penal Code was registered at SR Nagar Police Station. The girl has been sent to Bharosa centre for medical assistance and counselling and the victim was sent to judicial remand, the police said.

In September last year, a case was registered against one Asif Khan “Ashu Maharaj”, who made a fortune cheating people, under section 376 and relevant sections of the POCSO after raping a minor girl.

Mainstream media has often used misleading images for crimes committed by Muslim clerics. In July last year, the Times of India turned one godman ‘Asif Noori’ who forced his male devotees into ‘unnatural sex’ into a Hindu saint when they used image of a Sadhu as representational image. Later, the Times of India even apologised for using a wrong representational image.

Unforgettable and controversial moments of India-Pak World Cup Cricket matches

India takes on Pakistan in Cricket World Cup (image: patrika)

Sports is a battle of skills for players and the battle of supremacy for fans, but when it comes to big sports rivalries such as Real Madrid-Barcelona, Manchester United- Liverpool, or India-Pakistan, it’s doesn’t remain battle of supremacy for fans, it’s a war without guns and they want their team to win at any cost.

Don’t get fooled when players/commentators say you that India – Pakistan is just another cricket match for them because it’s not. The build-up to an Indo-Pak cricket game generates enough heat between fans that it also spills on the ground. Such is the pressure of the match that the ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar once told that he had sleepless nights before India-Pak match in 2003 World Cup.

India-Pak match has all the makings of a classic. The much awaited clash in previous encounters had witnessed many unforgettable and controversial moments for cricket fans.

One of the funniest world cup Cricketing moment was when Javed Miandad imitated Kiran More during 1992 World Cup encounter. When Javed Miandad was batting, More consistently chirped while the bowler was bowling and incessantly appealed after the ball. Javed Miandad stopped the bowler in his stride and then had a first verbal confrontation with More and then he complained to the umpire but More didn’t stop. In the next ball, Javed Miandad tried to hit the ball but couldn’t find the gap. Animated More chirped again and then Miandad lost his control. Miandad who ran back to the crease and started to jump to imitate More leaving everyone in splits. India had the last laugh in that match as India easily won the match by 43 runs.

Who can forget the drama between Aamer Sohail and Venkatesh Prasad during the quarterfinals of World Cup ’96? Those were days when Pakistan used to have the upper hand on India. Chasing 287, Pakistan smashed 84 runs in 10 over which sent Indian crowd in a state of shock. After a smashing half-century, Aamer Sohail smashed Venkatesh Prasad towards the extra cover boundary and pointed towards it with the raised bat as if to command Prasad to go and fetch that ball. The very next ball Prasad smashed the wickets of Sohail and gave an animated send off using choicest of abuse asking him to go home. Look at the video to relive that moment.

The lesser know magic moment of India-Pak 1996 encounter was the innings of Ajay Jadeja. That inning from Jadeja made him an overnight star in India. Jadeja scored 45 runs in just 25 balls, hitting Pakistani bowlers all over the park. Jadeja had a strike rate of 180 which was considered brilliant those days. Waqar Younis was considered King of death overs, Jadeja took him to cleaners and with the help of Kumble took India from 236/6 at the start of 47th over to 287/8 in 50 overs which turned out to be a match-winning total.

Another famous moment in Indo-Pak cricket is “Baap Baap Hota hai” moment.

A precursor to the “Baap Baap Hota hai moment” was the famous encounter between Sachin and Sohaib in the 2003 World Cup. Both were at the peak of their career and contest between them could have potentially decided the tie. Sachin Tendulkar was in no mood to give even an inch to Sohaib Akhtar. When Sohaib banged one ball short, Sachin shuffled slightly and used his fast hands to slash the ball towards backward point for that iconic six. That six turned the tide in favour of India. That over cost 18 runs to Pakistan and till date, it remains Sohaib Akhtar’s most expensive spell in ODI cricket.

India won the World Cup after 28 years in 2011 but the match that generated the most interest was the 2011 World Cup Semifinal. It was a highly charged match. The Prime Ministers of two countries along with top political leaders and celebrities were in attendance to witness the drama that unfolded that day. Dropping Sachin once was considered greatest cricketing sin at that point of time but in that match, Sachin was dropped 4 times. Yes, you read it correctly, four times. It caused huge controversy. Allegations of match-fixing were hurled. A British journalist Ed Hawkins in his book also claimed that the match was fixed. It created huge uproar in Pakistan. Ex-PCB chief Ijaj Bhatt also demanded an inquiry in the matter. No India-Pak world cup cricket match was mired by this much controversy. In the end, ICC refuted the claims that it was investigating Indo-Pak 2011 WC Semifinal match and the matter was put to rest but the doubt over that match still remains and knowing that many Pakistan players were in bed with bookies, you can never be sure that the match was not fixed.

India has been the daddy of Pakistan in previous six ODI World Cup encounters, so it’s not surprising that ICC chose ‘Father’s Day’ for this much awaited World Cup clash between India and Pakistan. Let’s see if rain god can save Pakistan this Sunday or the humiliation of 7-0 awaits them.

No single game is more important than the other, Kohli tells the fans

On the eve of India-Pakistan clash, Virat Kohli looked pretty relaxed and asked the fans to enjoy the match.

“We understand any game you can play for the country can be emotional, adrenaline filled. So for us, no single game is more important than the other,” Kohli said this pre-match press conference.

India is eyeing a third win in four matches at the World Cup, having beaten South Africa and Australia before seeing Thursday’s encounter with New Zealand at Trent Bridge washed out.

“The mindset of the player is always going to be different to the mindset of the fans – you can’t mix the two and expect the fans to think professionally and focus on each ball,’ Kohli further added.

A reporter asked Kohli if the in-form Mohammad Amir (who took wickets of Rohit, Dhawan, and Kohli in Champions Trophy final held in 2017) is a threat to them on Sunday.

In the response, Kohli said, “We are only focussing on playing the kind of cricket we are known for, not singling out any player from the opposition.”

The biggest rivalry in cricket will take place on Sunday at The Old Trafford, these two teams have played against each other at the same venue in World Cup 1999 fixture.

World Cup preview – India v Pakistan: Let the party begin

India won by 89 runs in their WC match against Pakistan
Via Twitter

India will take on Pakistan in the World Cup for the seventh time on Sunday. Sadly, it looks like the match will be washed out because of rain.

A contest between India and Pakistan is considered to be the ‘Mother of all Battles.’ It is a contest of India’s batting against Pakistan’s bowling, and this has been the case ever since these two teams have started playing against each other. It will be interesting to see how Pakistan cope with India under such pressure.

Since the previous match washed out against New Zealand, India would be keen to take two points here. They have been in great form and would not like to miss an opportunity to showcase their dominance just because of rain. At this moment, India is pretty strong in both batting and bowling and one of the best side when it comes to fielding. Pakistan is a no match when it comes to batting and fielding against India.

The overcast condition may force India to play Vijay Shankar as the fourth seamer. KL  Rahul will open in Dhawan’s place with Rohit Sharma, followed by Kohli and Vijay. The first four needs to bat for at least 35 overs so that Dhoni, Jadhav, and Pandya who play at number 5, 6 and 7 can go after the bowling straightaway. This batting line up looks very strong, but with Pakistan bowling at them in the overcast condition, you never know what holds in the future.

Pakistan, on the other hand, struggling and would require to put their best effort to win this match. In 1992 they were in the same position after four games. They Lost 2, won 1 and one match was washed out. Despite such performance, they went on to win the World Cup. Can they repeat the history in 2019?

Surprisingly, Pakistani batsmen are playing exceptionally well in the last 2 months, and scoring runs heavily in this tournament. Except for the first match, they have been batting brilliantly and also their bowling has been seriously good.

It is no secret that Pakistan’s strength is in their bowling, and they should always bat first because they are very good at defending even the low totals. It has been often seen that the Pakistani batsmen crumbled under pressure, especially when they are chasing. So they should win the toss and bat first even if the condition is overcast because if India survives for the first few overs without losing a wicket, then they are going to milk their bowling because India has the strongest batting line-up in this World Cup.

Players to watch out for

Jasprit Bumrah, the best bowler of the present generation, must be waiting for this contest to happen. In 2017 Champions Trophy Final he crashed the wickets of Fakhar Zaman, but the umpires checked for the no-ball, and it was found that Bumrah had overstepped and it was called a No ball. Fakhar Zaman went on to score the hundred for his team and helped Pakistan to win the contest. Can Bumrah change his fortunes this time?

Shoaib Malik has always performed well against India in ODI. He has not done anything worth mentioning in the World Cup so far. However, he would be eager to perform for the team at a stage where a win will give them the confidence to win the World Cup. He can bowl off-spin and also provide stability to the middle order.

India v Pakistan in ODIs:

Overall: Matches 131, India Won 54, Pakistan Won 73, No Result 4

World Cup: Matches 6, India Won 6, Pakistan Won 0

Recent Form (most recent first): India NR W W L L, Pakistan L NR W L L

ICC Rankings: India (2), Pakistan (6)

Upcoming Records:

Virat Kohli needs 57 more runs to reach the 11,000 runs milestone, and he will be the 3rd Indian after Tendulkar and Ganguly to reach the milestone.

Shoaib Malik has taken 98 catches and needs two more to reach the 100 catches milestone.

Hardik Pandya needs six wickets to reach 50 wickets milestone in ODIs.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav.

Pakistan: Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt & wk), Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Wahab Riaz.

Babar Azam wants to emulate Virat Kohli’s match-winning abilities

The battle to watch out, only if the rain allows. ©Google

Pakistan batsman Babar Azam wants to emulate Virat Kohli’s match-winning abilities, as he gears up for the much-awaited contest against India at Old Trafford, Manchester on Sunday.

“I watch his batting and the way he bats in various conditions and tries to learn from them. His (Kohli’s) winning ratio is higher (for India), so I am trying to achieve that as well,” Babar told reporters on Friday.

Baba Azam has often been compared to Kohli, and some Pakistani experts have even called him better than Virat Kohli. Baba Azam has been the most consistent batsman from Pakistan in the recent past.

“No doubt, India has a good bowling attack, but we have played well against England who also have an excellent pace attack, so all of us are confident the Indian pace attack will be properly handled,” he said.

The last time Pakistan beat India was in Champions Trophy Final in 2017. That was their biggest ODI win against India (by 180 runs). That win has given them the confidence to beat India again on Sunday.

“The Champions Trophy win gave us confidence and will also help here as well because the team is mostly the same and that win is always an inspiration. That win can never go off our memories, and it’s a big inspiration. We are well prepared for this match because India and Pakistan matches are exciting and demanding, and the whole world watches it.”

The match could wash out as it is raining heavily at the moment in Manchester and a lot of rain is predicted for tomorrow as well. Pakistan has never won against India in a World Cup contest.

Mamata Banerjee ‘accepts demands’ but claims ‘outsiders causing the stir’, hits out at media when asked if she will visit NRS Hospital

Mamata Banerjee, Courtesy: manoramaonline.com

Amidst the doctors’ agitation in West Bengal that has now spread across the country, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee held a press conference today at 6 PM where she announced that she has accepted all the demands of the doctors. Reiterating her earlier statement, Banerjee said that the protests were being triggered by the outsiders. She accused the senior doctors of using the agitation to target the state government.

Clarifying on the government’s position Banerjee said that the government was not targeting the doctors and that she did not direct the police to arrest any doctor. She claimed that she believed in democracy and that is why did not take any action against the agitating doctors under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), unlike the BJP governments. “I believe in democracy and that is why I have not invoked ESMA”, she said.

She alleged that the protesting doctors misbehaved with government representatives but the government is sensitive to the demands of the doctors and has assured their safety. “Protesting doctors misbehaved with government representatives. But, my government is sensitive to the demands of the doctors”, claimed Banerjee.

The Chief Minister said that all the expenses of the junior doctor who was seriously injured in the attack at the NRS Medical College and Hospital and is being treated at a private hospital will be borne by the government.

She appealed to the protesting doctors to resume their duties for the people who have been waiting for treatment.

Putting the blame on doctors she said that she had sent her Ministers and Principal Secretary to meet the doctors’ delegation yesterday and today and despite waiting for 5 hours, the doctors did not turn up.

Hundreds of Doctors have resigned en masse so far as a part of the protests against the brutal attack on the doctors at the NRS Medical College. However, Banerjee said that mass resignation had no value in the eyes of the law.

When questioned about whether she would go to visit the NRS Medical College and Hospital where the attack had taken place, she responded aggressively and said that media would not decide where she should go. “Media won’t decide when I shall go. It’s my prerogative”, she responded.

Mamata Banerjee’s appeal to the protesting doctors to end the strike and resume work has been declined by the junior doctors who said that there was no honest effort on the part of the Chief Minister to break the deadlock and that what she said in the press conference was not true. They demanded the Chief Minister to go the NRS Medical College and Hospital to meet the doctors and take necessary steps to serve the ailing people.

Parody nation: Provincial govt of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa live streamed its press conference with cat filter on

Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government live streams session with cat filter on, Courtesy: indiatoday.in

An extremely funny incident that happened on the other side of the border yesterday, left people on social media in splits. Such incidents are not unusual for Pakistan as the country often keeps embarrassing itself and each time it pushes the bar higher.

The country made itself an object of ridicule when during the live streaming of the press conference of the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. While the press conference was being broadcast live on the Facebook page of the government, a cat filter on the video got accidentally turned on. Journalist Naila Inayat shared the images of the press conference on Twitter.

The press conference was being organised by Pakistani politician Shaukat Yousafzai who was talking about the decisions made in the provincial cabinet in Peshawar. The cat filter made the faces of the people look like cats which tickled people’s funny bone and they started cracking jokes on it.

Some gave the ‘cutest politician’ award to Shaukat Yousafzai after the cat filter was turned on.

Some mocked the Pakistani government for making such silly blunders and dreaming of acquiring Kashmir.

Recently the Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan had given had committed a goof up by violating the diplomatic protocol at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan on June 13. During the opening ceremony of the SCO Summit, the Pakistani Prime Minister remained seated while everyone stood to welcome the Heads of States into the hall.

Earlier, Imran Khan broke the diplomatic protocol during the 14the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC Summit) in Saudi Arabia, when he spoke to the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and walked off before the message could even be translated to the King.

I am a single parent, and I have superpowers

Single parent, challenges, pain and hopes
Image courtesy: Reflectionistheword.blog

Four years ago, as I stood on a street in Bengaluru waiting for my taxi, I kept thinking. I had a child in my left arm, sleeping peacefully on my shoulder and a suitcase in my right hand. Balancing the phone was difficult and with a diaper bag on the right shoulder and a backpack slung behind, I must have looked really weird, standing alone out there, holding a child who was, at that time, thankfully asleep.

As I stood waiting, I knew that from that moment onwards, my life has changed forever. From that moment onwards, I was in it alone. To be frank, I was a new mother and I was still in awe of the life-changing experience of becoming a mother, of experiencing one’s entire existence, the core of one’s being becoming separate from one’s body and being bundled up in the tiny human being that was living and growing inside me just months ago still made me feel powerfully dizzy and ecstatic at the same time. I knew I was going to be alone and it was going to be tough, really, really tough. But I was willing to take that chance because I knew of the risks of the alternative.

At 30 years of age, I was a single parent. I had no job, no plan and no assured future to look forward to. At that exact moment, I also discovered that I had superpowers.

In India, or maybe everywhere else too, single parents are taboo. Single mothers even more so, because, our society, however classy, and advanced it might pretend to have become, still hasn’t adjusted to the idea of a woman existing without being validated by a man. These taboos exist in all levels of society, irrespective of class, money and position. As I went on with my new life, I made amazing discoveries. A barely educated maid can be more generous than a sophisticated aunt. A street vendor can be kinder and more respectful than a white-collar techie relative.

There were people who just never knew when to shut up. “Bachche ke liye baap zaruri hota hai” was the most common phrase I heard. I had no problem dismissing that idea because I have seen illiterate widows raising kids who grow up to be smart and successful. “How will you live without a husband in your life”? Well, I had no answer then, but I have done well so far.

There are women who work in brick kilns, stone quarries, tying their children on their backs. There are women who lack education, support and resources but still manage to raise children. There are women who have raised children alone in medieval worlds and war-torn badlands. Women raise their children in the harshest of situations and I was in a much better position, so there will be a no self-pity, no victimhood.

I was fortunate compared to many others in similar situations because my parents respected my decision. Life started to fall in place gradually and because all my time and energy was being taken by diapers, chores, work, giggles, feeds and burps then, I had absolutely no scope to grieve or give in to despair. The wounds were there, throbbing, whirring inside, I was aware of them, but the superpowers I had gained held the fort and never let them overtake.

The real challenges for a single parent arrive when the child is sick or when the child encounters the world outside, schools, friends and gatherings. The superpowers have never let me become incapable, but there remains a fear that keeps nagging, “Are you doing enough?”. We may or may not know whether we are doing enough, but we single parents do our best, that is sure.

A post circulating on social media caught my attention recently. It claims to be of a school principal refusing admission to a single parent’s child.

I don’t know whether the post is true or not. I have no idea whether a school’s principal can be allowed to make such discrimination. Maybe it is one of the many power tussles and strange regulations schools usually put up and get away with. But I know that if it is a true incident, the woman behind the screen, who said with confidence that she is capable of supporting her child and meeting the financial requirements of the school, is another soul with superpowers.

The uncomfortable questions and social taboo never really goes away. In school, my hands always stop for a moment when I see “Father’s Name” written in bold letters in forms. Every school invitation or notification is addressed to the child’s father, not me. But that is ok. I have learned to accept the fact that my child’s father is our reality. I taught my child to say his father’s name when he is asked in school. It is not a taboo. It is the reality and we have to come to terms with it, together. I have decided to maintain complete honesty with my child regarding the absence of his father in his life and will be answering all his questions as they come eventually as he grows up.

There are moments of self-doubt and guilt. I have felt the full crushing weight of it sitting alone during long nights, checking the temperature, wiping with wet towels and praying, alone, when my child was sick. I have felt the heartbreaking void on my side when I had to hold a wailing, thrashing child down during vaccinations, alone. I have felt the sense of guilt when sometimes it just becomes too much and I feel angry at the tantrums, on the verge of snapping, thinking that maybe it would have been easier if there was another person to share the responsibilities.

There are moments when the wounds threaten to rip open the scars and rear their ugly head, there have been moments of sadness when I see children being pampered by a full set of parents, the father keeping watch as the mother queues up for ice cream. But in all this, I have also realised that children are much more powerful, much more resilient than us. There is no self-doubt in my child’s eyes when he comes running to me after school, hugging me tight and looking up to me with complete joy. There is no ‘partial’ happiness when we go shopping and queue up together for ice cream. There is nothing lacking or missing in the trust that makes my child search for me and hold my finger tight in his grasp when he is asleep. There is no void beside me when he recovers from the fever and starts jumping, running all around the house in his usual playfulness. We may not be a perfect team, but we are enough, enough for each other.

There will always be school principals who will dismiss a single parent as an unwanted nuisance. There will be moments, when relatives will offer weird glances and avoid inviting us for the photoshoots during weddings because u make an odd sight with the newlyweds, without a spouse to complete the picture. There will be comments and condescension, pointing out our ‘deficiencies’ in social terms. There will be social, emotional and financial constrictions, but we just have to deal with them as every single person does. Looking back, I often realise that it is not me who had supported my child, it is my child who has kept me strong and held me together. He is the Arc Reactor that makes me an Avenger.

There will be times when we feel left out and ignored, just because we are not with another person. But each time we realise that we are twice as strong, twice as a patient, twice as resilient, twice as caring because we don’t have the luxury of sharing the responsibilities, we will feel the superpowers that make us go on. We may not be perfect, but we single mothers and single fathers, who have found themselves alone with a child to raise, whether by choice or by circumstances, we are enough. We might err or falter, but we manage, one day at a time because we have superpowers.

Mamata didi, we upheld our Hippocratic oath during trying times, you failed the allegiance you swore to the Constitution

Image Courtesy: International Business Times

The Bengal Health Crisis has escalated to immense proportions. With Doctors across the state submitting their resignations, Mamata Banerjee has a severe crisis on her hands. However, instead of adopting a conciliatory approach, she chose to threaten the medical fraternity and in the process, derailed the ongoing discussions.

Under such circumstances, Dr Dev Desai, who is currently interning at AIIMS, Delhi, has penned an Open Letter to the West Bengal Chief Minister. The letter has been produced in full below:

Respected Madam,

I sincerely hope that this letter finds you in the ‘best of your health’, or at the least in a condition better than that of the medicos in the state of West Bengal. What we have witnessed over the past few days leaves me short of words to express the deep state of anguish, insecurity and frustration being experienced by members of the medical fraternity right from the junior-most interns to the senior most professors.

You have showered the protesting doctors with a broad range of adjectives, ranging from ‘outsiders’ to ‘agents of opposition parties’. Madam, have you cared to even understand, what are the doctors all over India and not just Bengal protesting for? Are they protesting demanding pay hikes? Are they protesting for curtailing their work-hours or to get more holidays? No madam! The simple demand of the agitating doctors is nothing beyond a dignified and secure work-place, where they can work freely, without fear of having to suffer fractured skulls or much worse. But it seems, blinded by your paranoia at the prospect of losing public support, as evidenced by the results of the Lok Sabha elections 2019, you continue to imagine enemies out of thin air- first it was youth chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and now it is the medico fraternity.

To give you some background madam, this fraternity comprises of students who are near the top of their classes during their school years, slog hard to clear the MBBS entrance exam, in which lakhs compete for a few thousand MBBS seats; slog harder to get through the grueling MBBS curriculum and then put in anything ranging from 12 to 36 hours at a stretch, forgetting food, water and sleep, working as interns or junior residents; in a work environment where there are innumerable patients and scarcity of the basic most infrastructure and equipment. Yet the doctors continue to strive day in and day out to give their best and make a difference in the lives of their patients.

Yet, in return, what have they been getting, of late in your state? An elderly gentleman named Mohammad Shahid passed away after being brought to the NRS Medical College, and a few hours later, a 200 strong mob barged into the hospital and started attacking the staff on duty. In the scuffle, Dr Paribaha Mukhopadhyaya, an intern was hit on his head and suffered a depressed skull fracture.

Leave alone express solidarity with the victim of mob violence or ensuring justice by booking the mob who attacked the doctors, all you have done is paint doctors in poor light on one hand, while goons with the obvious support of the ruling regime continue to terrorise and attack the protesting doctors on the other.

All limits were crossed when you alleged, that the doctors were being motivated by a rival political party not to provide services to members of a particular community. In fact, the mere allegation that doctors are capable of discriminating between patients based on their caste, creed or religion has hurt many in the fraternity as much, if not more, than the pain of the physical injuries suffered.

Moreover, you have not even bothered to pay a visit to the recuperating intern Dr Paribaho. We doctors, a numerically small and politically orphaned community, now feel more insecure than ever, of being made scapegoats at the altar of appeasement politics. Thus, the entire medical community is standing shoulder to shoulder with our brethren in West Bengal and demanding that you accept all the demands of the agitating doctors immediately and restore law, order and normalcy in the state.

To make our voice heard to the seemingly deaf CM, Health Minister and Home Minister of West Bengal, doctors across India had ceased non-emergency services yesterday, and all the blame for the inconvenience caused to the patients, who come from far and wide, lies fair and square at your doorstep; because it is your unyielding and stubborn attitude, which forced us to take this measure. I don’t know what will make you see the light and come to reason, if not only us poor doctors, even the Hon. Governor of West Bengal could not get through to you.

Didi, when you made a fellow medico and President of Indian Medical Association, Dr Santanu Sen, a Rajya Sabha MP from the AITC (All India Trinamool Congress), much of the medical fraternity had rejoiced, that it will have a fellow medico to raise its concerns in the Parliament. But sadly, both Dr Santanu and you, have failed the medico community. While we doctors have upheld the Hippocratic Oath in the most trying of circumstances, sadly, it is evident that you madam, have failed to adhere to the spirit of the allegiance you had sworn to the Constitution of  India- ‘I will do right to all manner of people in accordance with the Constitution and the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will.’

Hope you open your eyes to the plight of the doctors and common citizens of West Bengal madam. Get well soon.

Regards,

Dr Dev Desai,

A doctor concerned for the well-being of humanity, his own colleagues and himself

Village officer issues order to demolish and remove crosses planted by Church on encroached land near Sabarimala

Order to demolish and remove cross
Panchalimedu, (Image source: Mathrubhumi)

A village officer has ordered the demolition and removal of crosses planted by a Christian Church on the hills of Panchalimedu in Idukki district by Monday, reports Janam TV. The encroached lands are part of the ‘sacred forests’ associated with the Sabarimala temple, known as ‘Poonkavanam’ in Kerala.

It was earlier reported that the sacred forests of Panchalimedu have seen massive encroachment by the church allegedly with the support of the communist government of Kerala. The Church has allegedly resorted to its usual strategy to seize government and forestland by occupying it with support of the state.

Yesterday a Hindu activist, Pratheesh Vishwanath, took to social media to share a video of how the numerous crosses were placed on the hills of Panchalimedu. He accused the government of supporting the activities of the Church. The full video with audio can be watched here.

Panchalimedu, a sacred place for local Hindus named after Panchali/Draupadi, is believed to be a place inhabited by Pandavas during the 12 years of exile. An ancient Bhuvaneswari temple, under the Travancore Devaswom Board, is also situated nearby the encroached land.

On the day of Makar Sankranti devotees of Ayyappa set camp on the hill of Panchalimedu to witness the Makaravilakku (holy flame) that appears on the Ponnambalamedu hill near the Sabarimala temple.

Currently, as reported by Janmabhumi, one could find crosses planted for over kilometres on this very sacred land. The Church has already established boards and an arch in the forest area claiming it as a Christian pilgrimage centre.

The strategy of grabbing land by planting crosses is not new, Christian organizations have, in the past decades, attempted to grab Sabarimala lands in Nilakkal by claiming that they had unearthed a stone cross established by Jesus’ apostle Saint Thomas in 57 A.D. In 2017, a Christian evangelical group based out of Thrissur attempted to grab land in a similar manner in Munnar.

The elite apathy of self-consumed Indians and self-identified ‘South Asians’

Recently, I outpaced the return of Karl the Fog (yes, San Francisco names its fogs), and library closing time to walk several blocks quick-speed without my ankle strap even, just to reach the library and photograph the New York Times.

I saw an image of the web version of the story shared by friends earlier in the day, but I had to see the real thing, the newspaper, that word in ink, chaapoed like a death sentence on us, a Jewish star we had to wear before being marched off into extinction, into the eyes and minds of millions of innocent readers in little libraries in small-town America.

You see, I take these military assaults on the word “Hindu” very seriously, like someone is dropping a bomb on my own house and family.

Do you think I exaggerate?

Do you think I dramatize the situation because I am too “sensitive”? Or I cannot handle criticism of my “religion”? Or I am vain about my tribe’s “image”?

If you do you can’t read English or at least you haven’t written a word of what I’ve written all these years.

But if you are reading this, it is perhaps safe to assume you don’t judge me thus. You either agree with me, or you think perhaps while I may remotely have a point or two, I am still, well, “over-reacting.” Hindus don’t have problems, you will say. There’s really no such thing as Hindus you will say (except of course when they are labelled as such in crime news etc.).

My key question is this: if you saw a headline saying “Blacks are Dangerous, Violent People” would you be as indifferent to it as you presently are to the SYSTEMATIC, relentless, tidal wave of demonizing labels about Hindus in the Western press? No. I think not. You’d say it’s racist. Not because you fear that such a headline necessarily affects you, or maybe you do, a bit, but largely because it’s the right thing to do, and you have been taught it’s the right thing to do.

But why do you resist seeing that what is going on in the Western media is exactly the same thing? Do you not notice, that “Hindus are Dangerous, Violent People”/ “Hinduism is Evil” is overwhelmingly the only thing being said (btw, I have the data, and it’s true, the bias is real and extreme)? Or do you excuse each instance saying “but it’s true, those Hindus in Kashmir really did kill that girl”, or maybe even adding “because Hinduism is a patriarchal religion and The Daily Beast published an article consistent with research by the eminent Hinduism expert Wendy Doniger proving that Vishnu raped Tulsi.” (all these are facts btw).

I do not know why you, as an Indian, a PoC (Person of Color), a Hindu — the last one perhaps only by default-definition of history and postcoloniality if not personal choice or belief — fail to see that hate is hate. Especially hate that is aimed at people very much like you.

Actually, I think I have finally understood why this is so.

The answer occurred to me in the context of organized Hindu activism in the US. Why has it been only marginally effective? Is it the famous Indian infighting and such? No. I think, and this is what I have seen, the problem is that even some of the people who float around in great Hindoo gatherings and such fail to see, process, or act on the DANGER upon them. Maybe it’s changing now because the media is getting far more intense in its anti-Hindu hatred. But in the early 2000s, when I first started hearing about Hindu groups and initiatives here, I don’t recall anyone feeling scared – they were at best angry (the ones with some honour), but the rest, for them this organizing was actually yet another NRI social status “we have arrived” status-signaling thing. “The Jews have a lobby!” They would say. “We are rich and educated like them and so we must have a lobby too!” That was the vibe. And obviously, on this vital front of media and cultural warfare, I do consider that vibe a problem, a cause of failure.

Anyway, that’s just the problem within self-identified Hindus in America, even well-meaning ones who know/agree there is a bit of a problem at least.

But what of the wider community? The million or two Indians in the US, or the tens of millions or so that are to be found in the Phoenix malls and pubs on weekends in India who do not actively feel that there is such a problem, the elite Indians, SISAs (Self Identified South-Asians), non-non-Hindus?

At best, some of them go announcing health updates on the state of their “Josh,” and do stand up for Jana Gana Mana in the theatre, and I don’t knock them for that.

But what of the rest, the rest of the non-non-Hindu upper and middle classes of India and the US diaspora who DON”T like this stuff at all? Who abhors “nationalism” and “RW” and “Modi” and “Hindu” this or that? SISAs and their followers?

(Well I don’t like the label “RW” either but a different time for that…)

The truth is that none of this lot feels a thing when the name Hindu is napalmed, no, irradiated like Chernobyl actually, because it doesn’t affect them much.

Okay. Good for you. You are post-religious, post-national, cosmopolitan, liberal and equally opposed to RSS and ISIS and whatever else you kid yourself with.

That is unimportant. What is vitally important though is that you realize WHY it doesn’t bother you a bit that there’s a WAR. ON. “HINDU.”

You don’t realize it because you are the frigging upper class.

You are not in the basthi being swallowed by another basthi, violently.

You are not in the villages of Pakistan or Bangladesh.

You are not in parts of Bengal or Kerala.

You did not have to flee your home in Kashmir one Friday afternoon which started the same way most Friday afternoons do in India. Did they know even how it could change, on a dime, as they say?

Your physical and economic safety is okay, for now. Whether you are Hindu, or non-non-Hindu, or la-di-da, you are safe.

Of course, even if you are la-di-da rich in some US suburb or Indian IT posh colony, your well-being and image are not as rosy as you think. The war raging in media, schools and colleges upon your dignity and that of your progeny has eviscerated you and you don’t even see it.

Your posh English your clothes your secular credo least of all, none of it matters.

You are the buffoon Hindoo in the eyes of the world. Just watch one fellow called Pa Ranjith Tamil pictures with Rajnikanth. The movie Peta, where every scene with the villain shows him doing Hindu prayers, including Ganga arathi, and the good people are all either non-religious Hindus or pious Muslims.

It ends with Rajni-sir doing psycho laugh and dance that he tricked a Hindu youth into killing his own dad by telling him his daddy didn’t love him.

Then, Rajni-sir shoots the Hindu duffer too.

This is the story a whole bunch of whoever isn’t thinking of themselves as Hindus is thinking about you, dear “all-izz-well in my shopping mall and in the posh school my kids go to” la-di-da Hindus and non-non-Hindus!

It doesn’t matter at all if you want to be “religious” or “traditional” or what not.

But if you are not aware that you are being conned, big time, by the same forces pushing the planet to overheated extinction, you better beg Goddess Saraswati or Charles Darwin or Ayn Rand or whoever is your hero to give you some brains. And a heart.

Don’t be selfish, dear elite Hindus and non-non-Hindus. Think of the 90% “Hindus” who are not like you. Who are poor, ‘lower caste,’ women, children, farmers, co-dependent.

Stand for them.

It may not bother you, but learn to resist the anti-Hindu hate machine in media and education and the whole wide world –  at least for them.

If this is still too unclear, for one example, please read my essay on how media’s mocking of Hinduism is usually not about mocking superstition but about mocking thirst and hunger and the lives of the poor and simple people of our country.

Resist the media.

Resist genocide.

Resist ecocide.

And that other -cide which is what you are doing right now.

(This article has been written by Vamsee Juluri, writer and USF Media Studies Professor)

Demographic impact of Christian Missionaries: India needs the equivalent of Russia’s Yarovaya law

In 2004, when BJP, under Prime Minister Vajpayee, lost election and Congress came back into power, an Indian Pastor narrated to a foreign interviewer the following details –

  • The previous government in India (BJP) was a “Hindu” government
  • They did nothing except building 68,000 Hindu temples in the last 5 years
  • The Congress party is in the government now and they love Christians
  • Now they have another window of 5 years to take Gospel of Christ to villages in India

Short 2 minutes video of this interaction can be watched here.

Fifteen years later today in 2019, Christian Missionaries are still aggressively targeting the economically deprived section of India’s population and rapidly converting them into Christianity with a mission to increase the number of “believers”.

Pastor Jonah’s website articulates “Mission 2019” that includes a ten minutes video on India. Pastor Mohan Lazarus proclaims in this one minute video that 25,000 Indians are converted every day. This one-minute video shows how 23,000 Indians have been converted by a single organization and this two minutes excerpt from a TV report on CBN News in the USA shows how 300,000 Indians have been converted over 10 years in Rajasthan alone.

Screen grab from the video of Indian Pastor

How do they do it?

“Direct Sales” methods which involve hard selling miracles of Jesus in public places (e.g. this 30 seconds video from Delhi DTC buses) requires a lot of hard work but is rarely effective.

Hence, a plethora of other methods, ranging from deception to creating fear are used by the missionaries to convert people.

Missionary organizations create deceptive stage shows where gullible people are made to believe that their miseries would end if they started believing in the “True God”. Many such events have been captured on video where –

  • some paid actors enact as if they are possessed by the devil but a pastor cures them immediately with a magical touch (3 minutes video)
  • a lady claims that her backbone is broken, both her kidneys have failed and she couldn’t even stand without support. A pastor heals her within 5 minutes with the magical touch and she starts running (5 min video)
  • one person claimed that his “one lag has become shorter than the other”. The pastor takes the name of Jesus and grows the leg so that they become equal (2 minutes video)
  • another lady claimed that she had lost her hair completely and became bald, but the pastor blessed her, and her hair suddenly grew back (1-minute video)

Invoking fear is the other most frequently used method. People are told that Hindu deities are monkeys and elephants – they are “fake Gods” and won’t protect them. The “True God” would take away their pain and misery if they converted to Christianity, as illustrated in this one minute video. 

Why do they do it?

Missionaries believe that God has commanded them to spread his name all over the world. They pursue it as their religious duty. Consequently, the obsession to spread the name of Jesus runs much deeper than most people realize.

In 2018, John Chau, a 26 years old missionary from the USA bribed some fishermen to take him to one of India’s Andaman islands. His target was the Sentinelese tribes that have evaded any contact with the modern world till today. They are a protected tribe and under Indian law, it is illegal to contact them. He was killed by bows and arrows when he approached them and even his body could not be recovered.

The excerpts from his diary later revealed that he wanted to “declare Jesus” to those people. He was fully aware that he broke Indian law by approaching those people. “The Milky Way was above and God Himself was shielding us from the Coast Guard and Navy patrols”, he wrote in his diary. The full story of John Chau becoming a missionary and his longtime fascination with Sentinelese tribe in India can be read on Newyork Times and CNN.

Similar aspects are shown in the case of Mother Teresa who is otherwise known for having dedicated her life to helping the poor in India. Christopher Hitchens wrote in an essay titled The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, that the Missionaries of Charity had a conversion agenda too.

According to Mr Hitchens, they were encouraged to secretly baptise the people on their deathbeds. Susan Shields, a former member of the order, told him that “Sisters were to ask each person in danger of death if they wanted a ‘ticket to heaven’. An affirmative reply was to mean consent to baptism. The sister was then to pretend that she was just cooling the patient’s head with a wet cloth, while in fact, she was baptising him, quietly uttering the necessary words”. Secrecy was important so that it would not come to be known that Mother Teresa’s sisters were baptising poor Hindus and Muslims. In another article published in 2003, Mr Hitchens described Mother Teresa as a “fanatic, a fundamentalist and a fraud”

Why India?

“Joshua Project”, an organization based in the United States maintains ethnological data to support Christian missions. It highlights the ethnic groups of the “unreached” world or the areas with the least followers of evangelical Christianity.

Their data shows 1.8 billion followers of Islam (red dots in the image below) scattered across multiple countries but 1 billion followers of Hinduism (blue dots) located in a single country – India.

Source: Joshua Project Website and Twitter

This makes India the most attractive target for most missionary organizations.

Global Hope India” mentions on their website that “India represents the most unreached country in the world. Over 1 billion people have never held a Bible”. “Mission India” mentions on their website that their mission is to transform communities in India by planting Churches. “Christ for India” mentions on their website that they started small in Kerala but now they have a presence in 24 states of India with 4550 Churches. “India Go” mentions on their website that they are “dedicated to planting Churches in each of India’s 28,000+ postal codes”

https://www.indiago.org/
Source: Website of “India Go”

Demographic Impact:

As per the published data from Center for the Study of Global Christianity, by the year 2000, there were 5400 missionary agencies around the world who send about 440,000 missionaries to foreign countries for evangelizing and proselytization

Lakhs of such missionaries pursuing India as their prime target for many decades has been sufficient to make significant demographic changes in parts of India specially the states in North East. Census data shows a rapid increase in followers of Christianity in the 10 years period from 2001 to 2011.

  • Meghalaya (70% increased to 75%)
  • Arunachal Pradesh (18% increased to 30%) – in 1971, it was less than 1%
  • Nagaland (80% increased to 90%) – in 1951, it was 52%
  • Manipur (34% increased to 41%) – in 1961, it was 19%
  • In the same period, the Hindu population in Nagaland has declined from 14% to 7%
  • In Manipur, Hindus being converted to Christianity has brought down Hindu and Christian population to equal proportion at 41% each. In 1961, it was 60% and 20% respectively
Source: Hindustan Times

What should India do:

Indic religions largely believe in liberal principles like “God is one supreme power; people over the world call it by different names”. Hence Indic religions like Hinduism do not go around asking people to follow their religion. However, Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam tend to believe that only their God is the “True God” and it is their religious duty to increase the number of followers.

This obsession is not limited to Christian missionaries only. In another article, this author had talked about Love Jihad. A sting operation by India Today had uncovered that organizations like PFI in Kerala are running an organized conversion factory with an objective to aggressively increase the followers of Islam in India.

Battling against such preying forces, Indic religions are sitting ducks with no legal framework or government support to prevent this menace.

In 2016, as part of what is popularly known as Yarovaya Law, Russia banned all missionary work (defined as spreading information about one’s faith to make non-members join) outside of any places of worship.

It would be appropriate if the Government of India recognized forced and deceptive religious conversions as a real social issue and brought laws banning proselytizing similar to the parts of Yarovaya law in Russia.

Government of India urgently needs to implement a pan-India legal framework that –

  • bans approaching anyone with an objective of religious conversions
  • bans any religious preaching in public places
  • allows religious preaching only inside clearly marked and designated places of worship
  • allows only willful seekers to approach the place of worship and learn about other faiths
  • makes it mandatory to register faith conversions to ensure that conversion is not under duress or deception

A law drafted around such principles could go a long way to curb the nuisance of forced or deceptive religious conversions while allowing the freedom to practice any religion by choice.

Video and stats highlight from England versus West Indies match

Joe Root got the Man of the Match award for his 2 wickets and a well made hundred. ©ICC

Fans around the world were expecting a thrilling contest between the two powerhouses of batting. However, the West Indies were disappointing again, and England completely dominated the match from the very first over.

After winning the toss in the overcast condition, England decided to bowl first.

West Indies lost opener Lewis in the 3rd over of the match. It was a jaffa of delivery from Chris Woakes. Chris Gayle didn’t look in great touch during his knock of 36; he even got a lifeline when was dropped on third man boundary. No West Indian batsman other than Pooran batted sensibly for his 63. Andre Russell was disappointing again as he was hitting everything then he needed to bat and support Pooran at the other end. Russell is still in IPL mode, and this is hampering West Indies chances big time.

West Indies bowled out for 212 runs and could not even play full quota of 50 overs. It seems like West Indies players know just one way of playing, i.e., T20 style. This kind of approach will help only in chasing if the target is not very significant.

The English pace attack bowled exceptionally well in conditions that were conducive for bowlers. Wood and Jofra picked three wickets each. The surprising element was Joe Root’ bowling, which took two crucial wickets of Holder and Hetmyer.

West Indies Innings (Fall of Wickets)

England had some problems early in their innings. As per the rules, the English opener Jason Roy could not bat before number 7 as he didn’t field due to injury in most of the West Indian innings.

England started well as their openers started hitting boundaries from the start of their innings. Bairstow’s new opening partner, Joe Root looked very confident, and it didn’t feel like he was opening for the first time. The pair added 95 runs before Bairstow holds out at 3rd man boundary. The wicket didn’t matter much as the score was too low to chase. Surprisingly England sent Chris Woakes at number three despite having Buttler and Stokes in the middle order. However, Woakes batted like a top order batsman and added a hundred runs partnership for the second wicket. Root scored his second hundred of this world cup and became only the second player after Kevin Pietersen to score two in the same world cup for England.

England Innings (The Run Chase)

STATS

  • Chris Gayle becomes the leading run-scorer in One-Day Internationals between two sides. Gayle has scored 1632 runs against England in 36 ODIs. The second highest scorer is Sir Viv Richards who has 1619 runs in 36 ODIs.
  • Mark Wood has now 50 wickets in One Day International.
  • Joe Root became only the second English batsman to score two hundred in the same World Cup. Kevin Pietersen was the first who scored two hundred in 2007 edition.
  • This was Joe Root’s third Cricket World Cup century – more than any other England batsman.

Businessman with ties to Tarun Tejpal arrested by Delhi Police for fraud while trying to flee the country

Ponty Chadha with his son Monty Chadha (India Today)

Manpreet Singh Chaddha alias Monty Chadha, son of deceased liquor baron Ponty Chaddha, was arrested by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police on Wednesday night from the Indira Gandhi International airport while he was leaving for Phuket.

Monty was booked by the EOW Delhi Police in January 2018 in a cheating case over allegations of duping the investors of over Rs 100 crore in a real estate project at NH24. In the FIR, it is alleged that Uppal Chadha Hi-Tech Developers Pvt Ltd did not deliver their promised hi-tech township in Ghaziabad. A case was registered under IPC sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) after a complaint was filed by K Ramesh, Kaveri Ramesh and others.

The complainants had claimed that the company launched a project in 2006 at NH-24, Ghaziabad, a year after the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA) formulated a policy for the development of a Hi-Tech City, thereby providing a platform to real estate developers to develop smart townships with modern facilities at the place. The 29 victims who have approached the Police thus far booked lots sometime during 2005-05 after approximately paying a sum of Rs. 4.5 crores.

Monty had not been arrested until he made an attempt to flee the country. A Look-Out Circular (LOC) was issued 10-15 days ago as a consequence of the case registered against him and immigration authorities informed the Delhi Police based on it. An LOC is issued to prevent an accused or a suspect from leaving the country.

As per the FIR lodged in the matter, agents of the company “approached the public with an early-bird booking discount offer on plots in the proposed project… situated in the villages of Kachera, Dujana and Mehrauli of Ghaziabad. The possession of the plot was to be given within eight months from the date of allotment, as per the accused company’s documents”.

Additional CP (EOW) Suvashis Choudhary said, “The complainants received letters in November 2009 from the alleged company stating therein that all necessary licenses and approvals were obtained and the first phase of 1500 acres has been approved by the government. The details about sectors and plots were being finalized with the government.”

“In 2011, they received a demand letter signed by Vice President of the alleged company but to their utter shock and surprise the name of the company, the township and the address of the company were changed and all payments were sought in a new entity namely Wave City NH-24,” he added.

Coincidentally, Monty has ties with Tarun Tejpal, the disgraced founder-editor of Tehelka, who is accused of rape. According to a report by Indian Express, Monty’s father Ponty had decided to invest in a private club for elite Indians proposed by Tejpal after the latter made a business presentation on the concept of an exclusive private club. After Ponty was murdered in 2012, his son Monty decided to honour all his father’s business commitments. The establishment is called ‘Prufrock’.

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