Forms of terrorism – I

What does one make of instances like these. Even as the bomb blasts were to take place, earlier in the day thousands of people went through state supported terrorism. Who were the local politicians, cops and other officials who in the first place allowed the slums to come up over the years?

Arent the pictures below more sad than ones from the attack?

Publication:Times of India Mumbai; Date:Nov 27, 2008; Section:Times City; Page Number:3

Razing drive ends in violence

636 homes on Mumbai varsity land flattened in matter of hours

Anahita Mukherji I TNN

Mumbai: Men, women and children were brutally thrashed by lathi-wielding cops at the Valmiki Nagar slums in Bandra-Kurla Complex during a drive on Wednesday to evict encroachers from the Mumbai University land. The BMC and suburban collector’s office conducted the drive following a Bombay high court order to raze the illegal slums.

In the space of a few hours, 636 homes—spread over an area of 7,200 sq-mt—were razed to the ground, deputy municipal commissioner Milind Shambharkar said.

The slumdwellers began with a Gandhian-style protest against the authorities as women and children sat on the road outside their homes in a bid to block the cavalcade of over 100 cops, 80 labourers and JCBs.

In order to scatter the crowd, an excavator drove straight at the slumdwellers sitting on the road, forcing them to flee. The pick-up arm of the excavator began rotating around the area, causing panic. Lobbing teargas shells, the cops then lathicharged the slumdwellers. Residents of the slum then began pelting stones at the cops.

However, BKC police official Ralphie Pariera denied all charges of brutality and said cops had resorted to a mild lathicharge. TOI, however, witnessed several children being flogged. A woman was seen sobbing on the road after the demolition as she could not find her son.

The collector’s office claimed slumdwellers were given adequate notice before the demolitions, residents said they were unaware of the situation till a day before that. Advocate Gayatri Singh intervened on behalf of the slumdwellers in the high court on Tuesday and her intervention was heard in court on Wednesday. But the judge who passed the original order was not present in court on Wednesday and so the judges who heard the matter postponed the hearing to Thursday. The slums, however, were razed on Wednesday.

The issue of encroachment cropped up after a PIL filed in 2001 by advocate M P Vashi, who wanted the Fort campus of Mumbai University shifted to Kalina to make way for the expansion of the high court. The high court in 2006 ordered the demolition of the encroached area before December 31, 2007, but when the deadline was not met, Vashi filed for contempt of court in 2008.

Most of the slumdwellers have documents to prove they were residents here well before 1995. Though slums constructed before 1995 cannot be demolished without the slumdwellers being rehabilitated, BMC officials say the court felt that this clause did not apply to university land.

Congress North West District secretary M G Kaiser was present at the demolition site and tried to intervene on behalf of the slumdwellers along with other Congress party workers.

‘Policemen chased boy, beat him up’A TOI reporter, along with a colleague from another publication, spotted a boy in pain after the police lathi-charge, hobbling along the the road. He was on the the street opposite the slums that were being demolished. When the boy was approached, he began recounting how he was beaten up by the cops. On seeing the boy recounting his woes, the cops chased him away. The boy was then again thrashed up by the policemen. TNN

WEDNESDAY DRAMA : (From top clockwise) Residents pelted stones at policemen after they were caned and forced to move out of Valmiki Nagar slums in BKC

Thoughts on 26 Nov Mumbai attacks

I am somewhere a firm believer of terrorist attacks being diversionary tactics by vested interests.

  1. And in this case what I find most strange is that the ATS Chief Hemant Karkare himself should be shot dead. Should it not be the case that the Chief’s do the strategising and are shielded from the first line of fire? Is there a connection between his probes into the Malegaon blasts and his death? Was the primary motive of the attacks killing him? Maybe he knew or had inferred some unpleasant stuff from the probe? All the hostage drama and lobbing of grenades at various places could just be the fluff over the main fruit?

  2. If such would be the case who would have coordinated it all? Who stood to gain or loose from the way the Malegaon blasts probe was heading.

  3. While the news is that all the terrorists are Pakistani’s it could very well be the case of these guys being mercenaries? These need not be proper terrorist outfits or state sponsored (Pakistan in this case). Is it difficult to get mercenaries to do something of this sort? Most certainly not.

  4. What about the regular vigil that should be maintained by police and the intelligence. Anybody who knows Colaba well can talk about the extensive illegal activities that go on absolutely normally. Drugs, prostitution, foreigners who over stay their visas. Go towards the Radio Bhuvan backend, near the Appollo Bunder and you get a distinct feeling that things are willingly not in control of the police. Getting in a boat there with guns and grenades and mercenaries shouldn’t be that difficult.

  5. What about the illegal slums which have been coming up all over the Backbay Depot on top of mangroves. The Collectors office after repeated representations cant do a thing about it. The Revenue Minister Narayan Rane’s name keeps coming in the land scam behind World Trade Center. A breakdown in governance in one area is bound to have an impact on other areas. All the well heeled and the powerful in the area who hob nob with the CMs of the world turn a silent ear to all the regular wrong that goes on. Like Rudi Guilliani would have said about controlling crime in NY – when visible small acts of law-breaking go unnoticed then it emboldens people for bigger acts.

  6. The less said about the armed forces occupying land at the tip the better. Most of the armed forces give me the picture of having a merry time at a prime, very beautiful part of the city. The United Services Club seems to be besieged with groupism and allegations of corruption about its running.

  7. If one were to go into the details of the illegal and clearly uncalled for activities in the area starting from Musuem till Lands End, and the brazen manner in which they flourish  then one would realise that the 26Nov08 is not so surprising.

  8. This is also what happens when the police and intellegence has to be more involved with VIP movements, security to politicans and saving the city from the MNS’s of the world.

Oswald Cobblepot and our Bomb Blasts

Oswald Cobblepot, the name assumed by Penguin while becoming Mayor of Gotham City
Oswald Cobblepot, the name assumed by Penguin while becoming Mayor of Gotham City

Can fiction give a better explanation than our news channels and extensive analyses to the blasts and terrorism that happens all so frequently? In July 08 either star movies or HBO ran Batman Returns a number of times over. A Batman fan always, it was a treat. It was also very interesting to revisit Oswald Cobblepot and the deep similarities with a lot of politicians and disgruntled elements that may be there in the Indian context.

July was also the time when the UPA Government went ahead and signed the nuclear agreement with the US and the Left and the BJP made an ass of themselves with their undue obstinacy and lack of any credible position on the nuclear issue.

July also saw the Jaipur blasts and L K Advani’s resurgent demand for bringing back POTA. The sequence of events was as such:

  1. L K Advani taking a strong position on the Nuclear Agreement.
  2. Manmohan Singh showing his decisive side and scoring a big victory over L K Advani.
  3. L K Advani being left red faced along with the Left on the nuclear option.
  4. The Jaipur Blasts happening.
  5. L K Advani going hammer and tongs over getting PoTA back.
  6. The nuclear dialogue gets out of the TV Channels and the discussion is all over on terrorism and POTA.

It was exactly around the same time that Batman Returns was being played on the TV and I coudnt help getting startled with the uncanny resemblance to what was happening in the movie and what I was seeing around. Could fiction be true than what the News Channels show?

Every body who takes interest in the bomb blasts and has a simplistic view of Islamic terrorists alone being responsible for the blasts needs to watch the movie. Its a fantastic instance of using the power of story telling and fictional characters to drive home the point about deep seated human emotions and states of being. Any of our politicians could be Oswald Cobblepot. He anyways bears a striking resemblance to L K Advani whom I have always held responsible for the 1993 Bombay blasts. One cannot at times empathise with the life that Cobblepot has gone through, his lack of sensation over any damage his actions cause, his need for revenge against people. the need to belong, be appreciated.

Most of the real terrorists in my opinion roam the country scotfree and we know them all and even give Z class security to many of them. Understanding Cobblepot is the key to understand these terrorists.