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Indian Woman Jumps From Train

January 6, 2013 Leave a comment

A young woman is in hospital in critical condition after throwing herself off a moving train in an attempt to escape molestation. It’s the latest in a number of incidents that have exposed the vulnerability of women in India.

The 25-year-old woman jumped from the carriage of a moving train after allegedly being molested by a soldier. The attack occurred on Thursday while the train was en route from Darjeeling to Delhi. The man groped her after she had visited the lavatory. After pushing him back, the woman jumped from the Brahmaputra Mail line train. The mother of two is being treated in hospital in the city of Patna.

“Her condition continues to be critical. A team of doctors is treating her. She has suffered injuries to her head and legs,” a police official told the IANS news agency.

 

A member of the Assam Rifles paramilitary force has been arrested and charged in connection with the incident.

It comes just weeks after a 23-year-old medical student was gang-raped on a bus in Dehli, while her male companion was severely beaten. She later died from her injuries in hospital.

The male companion has revealed more details of the tragic event. He recounted that in the immediate aftermath of the rape, no one responded to their cries for help.

Police and passersby left the mortally injured female student lying naked and bleeding for almost an hour.

“We kept shouting at the police, ‘please give us some clothes’ but they were busy deciding which police station our case should be registered at,” the Zee News network reported on Friday.

The allegations were denied by Joint Commissioner of Police (South West range) Vivek Gogia. Citing electronic logs and data from GPS tracking devices, Gogia said that police had received a report about two people lying on the road in a pool of blood at 10:21p.m.

Less than ten minutes later, two patrol vehicles arrived at the scene, with one leaving to carry the pair to a hospital at 10:39pm, the commissioner said. It took the van 16 minutes to reach the hospital.

The police official also said that no argument over jurisdiction occurred between the officers at the scene.

The rape case has resonated with the population as hundreds of thousands took to the streets to voice their anger over the attack and the lack of police response. The crowd demanded punishment for those responsible, as well as new laws to protect Indian women.

The rapists have been arrested. Five of the men detained have been indicted with gang rape and murder, and are likely to face execution. They will face a specially-established fast-track court on Monday. A sixth male is under 18 and will be judged in a juvenile court, despite the victim’s family’s plea for an adult trial, as he is believed to been the most brutal of the attackers. The victim’s father has also demanded new legislation on sex crimes to be named in honor of his daughter.

In an effort to provide more protection on transport routes and deter gangs operating on trains, India’s inspector general said the railway police have stepped up patrols. In 2012, police apprehended nearly 15 gangs and recovered 15 weapons from trains.

The problem of sexual violence against women appears to touch all levels of Indian society, as on Thursday the ruling Congress party in Assam state suspended a politician accused of rape. Police claim that Congress leader Bikram Singh Brahma was visiting the village of Santipur when he entered a local house and raped a woman at 2am. The villagers later attacked the politician and captured the footage on tape.

New Delhi has an infamous reputation as India’s rape capital, seemingly confirmed by a report in the Hindustan Times that documents more than 20 rape cases in the city since December 16th, the day of the rape and brutal murder of the 23-year-old medical student.

Source: RT

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Categories: Central Asia, India

China’s Positive Ratings dip 9% in India, Remain High in Pakistan

BEIJING: China’s positive ratings in India have dipped with a new opinion poll showing 34 per cent of Indians view it favourably compared to 43 per cent in an earlier survey, but 85 per cent of Pakistanis rated it as a friendly nation.

The survey, conducted by US-based Pew Research Centre to gauge the world wide perspectives about China, showed that 52 per cent Indians viewed China unfavourably while 34 per cent gave it a favourable rating.

The new polls showed a nine per cent dip in the favourable rating enjoyed by China in India as an earlier survey conducted by Chinese firm Horizan research consultancy group between 2000 and 2009 showed that 43 per cent Indians considered China as a partner and 23 per cent regarded it as hostile.

Results of the PEW survey published in the state-run China Daily here showed an interesting pattern with Beijing receiving its best ratings in Kenya where 86 per cent viewed it favourably compared to 10 per cent negatively.

According to the survey conducted in 22 nations from April 7 to May 8 this year, China understandably enjoyed high positive rating of 85 per cent in Pakistan. Only three per cent of Pakistanis interviewed gave unfavourable rating to China, projected as all-weather friend.

The rising Asian power, however, received mixed ratings across the world. Thirty six per cent viewed China unfavourably in United States against 49 per cent, 46 per cent regarded it positively in Britain against 35 per cent, 41 per cent against 59 in France.

China received good ratings in Russia too where 60 per cent viewed it favourably compared to 29 per cent negative perceptions.

Among the countries where China was viewed mostly negatively was Japan which has historic disputes with China. Sixty nine per cent Japanese viewed China unfavourably compared to 26 per cent otherwise.

In Germany, 61 per cent viewed China negatively compared to 30 per cent and 61 per cent view Beijing negatively compared to 20 per cent in Turkey.

Former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright, who co-chaired the Pew global attitudes project, noted at a Washington news conference on Thursday that China is regarded highly as a result of the country’s fast economic growth. “Their star is clearly rising,” she said.

In addition to China’s economic growth rate, Albright attributed the trend to the increased willingness of the Chinese side to “be a part of the solution to global issues”, which include the world economic crisis, Korean Peninsula denuclearisation and the Iran nuclear issue.

“A lot more people now know about China and have been to China,” she said, citing the Beijing Olympic Games and Shanghai Expo as examples of China’s improved “visibility” on the global stage, which promotes a better understanding of the country.

A Beijing-based international analyst Pang Zhongyin said the result of the poll is nothing new and Beijing still needs to step up efforts to strengthen communication with the world.

Being the “factory of the world”, China has contributed a lot to the world economy and its influence has kept growing, especially after the global financial crisis, Pang said.

“And such emerging economic power is unfortunately accompanied by misgivings from other countries and we need to convince the world that China is not what they imagine,” he said.

Pang emphasised the importance of public diplomacy, saying the Chinese government, from the top leader to the ordinary diplomat, has gradually taken the idea in mind.

He noted that Premier Wen Jiabao’s recent interactions with local people during his visit to the Republic of Korea and Japan is a good example of extending the message that China is not a threat.

Pakistan’s Nuke Arsenal Bigger, More Advanced Than India

After racing ahead of India in ballistic and cruise missiles Pakistan seems to be surging ahead on the nuclear front too according to the recent statistics of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

A series of recent estimates by international nuclear watchdogs and reputed think tanks hold that Pakistan has a total of 70 to 90 warheads compared to India’s 60 to 80.

Pakistan already posses far superior delivery systems than rival India which include F-16s, long-range ballistic and cruise missiles as well as an advanced second strike capability. With a range of between 2000 km to 3,500 km, Pakistan’s Ghauri and Shaheen (Hatf Series) nuclear-capable are capable delivering nuclear warheads to any part of India. The 4,500km Shaheen III will also be able to hit Tel Aviv once inducted.

In contrast, India has had a series of failed missile tests recently and the only nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India’s arsenal which can be said to be 100% operational as of now is the short-range Prithvi missile (150-300km). Though the 700-km Agni-I and 2,000-km-plus Agni-II ballistic missiles are being ‘inducted’ into the armed forces, the earliest when these missiles can be ‘fully-operational in the numbers required’ is by 2012.

India’s status as a nuclear power has also been described as a “myth” by the scientist who carried out its controversial hydrogen bomb tests in 1998.

He said the device had only “fizzled”. The claims by the test director K Santhanam have provoked an outcry in India which treasures its nuclear status as a symbol of its power in Asia where it has been locked in an arms race with both Pakistan and China.

SIPRI estimates there are a whopping 22,600 active, inactive and stored nuclear warheads around the globe, out of which Russia has more than 12,000 warheads, US has 9,600, France comes third with 300, followed by UK with 225 and Israel has an arsenal of 80 warheads. A. Moin

The Missile Gap and the Indian Myth of “Indigenous” Technology

Daily.Pk

A Times of India report last year claimed that ” Pakistan has surged well ahead of India in the missile arena”. It also lamented that “the only nuclear-capable ballistic missile in India’s arsenal which can be said to be 100% operational as of now is the short-range Prithvi missile”.

Along with raising the alarm, the Indian report offered the usual excuse for the alleged missile gap by boasting that “unlike Pakistan, our program is indigenous”.

Let’s explore the reality of the “indigenous” claim repeated ad infintum by Indian government and New Delhi’s defense establishment.

US-European Origins of Indian Missile Program

APJ Abul Kalam is credited with designing India’s first satellite launcher SLV3. Its design is virtually identical to the American Scout rocket used in the 1960s. According to the details published in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Abul Kalam spent four months in training in the United States in 1963-1964. He visited NASA’s Langley Research Center in Virginia, where the US Scout rocket was conceived, and the Wallops Island Flight Center on the Virginia coast, where the Scout was being flown. Soon after Abul Kalam’s visit, India requested and received detailed technical reports on the Scout’s design, which was unclassified.

US Scout and India’s SLV3 are both 23 meters long, use four similar solid-fuel stages and “open loop” guidance, and lift a 40-kilogram payload into low earth orbit. The SLV’s 30-foot first stage later became the first stage of the Agni.

The United States was followed by others. Between 1963 and 1975, more than 350 US, French, Soviet, and British sounding rockets were launched from India’s Thumba Range, which the United States helped design. Thumba’s first group of Indian engineers had learned rocket launching and range operation in the United States.

India’s other missile, the “Prithvi” (earth), which uses a liquid-propelled motor to carry a one-ton payload 150 miles, resembles the widely sold Soviet Scud-B. Indian sources say that the Agni’s second stage is a shortened version of the Prithvi, according to Gary Milhollin of the Wisconsin Project.

France also launched sounding rockets from India, and in the late 1960s allowed India to begin building “Centaure” sounding rockets under license from Sud Aviation.

The aid of the United States and France, however, was quickly surpassed by substantial West German help in the 1970s and 1980s. Germany assisted India in three key missile technologies: guidance, rocket testing, and the use of composite materials. All were supposed to be for the space program, but all were also used for military missiles.

The cryogenic stage used in a recent failed satellite launch by India was a copy of the Russian cryogenic rocket engine and the cryogenic technology transferred to India in the 1990s. According to Non-proliferation review of 1997, it has emerged that Russia continued transferring rocket engine technology to India in 1993 after its agreements with the United States to stop such transfer under MTCR. This reportedly resulted in the completion of 60 to 80 percent of the transfers to India.

North American Origins of India’s Nuclear Bomb

India’s nuclear program would not have advanced without a lot of help from the Canadians that resulted in Indian copies of Canadian reactors to produce plutonium for its nuclear bombs.

India conducted its first atomic bomb test in 1974. The Indians used the 40 MW Canadian Cirus reactor and US heavy water both imported under guarantees of peaceful use and used them openly to make plutonium for its 1974 nuclear blast.

In 1972, the Canadian-built 100 MWe Rajasthan-1 nuclear power reactor became operational, serving as a model for the later unsafeguarded reactors. Another Rajasthan unit started operating in 1980 and two units in 2000. In 1983, India’s 170 MW Madras-1, a copy of Canadian Rajhastan-1 reactor, became operational. A second Madras unit followed in 1985.

According to the Risk Report Volume 11 Number 6 (November-December 2005), the heavy water and other advanced materials and equipment for these plants were smuggled into India from a number of countries, including the USSR, China and Norway. Some of the firms, such as the West German firm Degussa, were caught and fined by the United States for re-exporting to India 95 kg of US-origin beryllium, usable as a neutron reflector in fission bombs.

In May 1998, India conducted two rounds of nuclear weapon tests. Last year, the media reports indicated that Kasturiranga Santhanam, the coordinator of India’s 1998 nuclear tests, went public with allegations that India’s Pokhran II test of a thermonuclear bomb in 1998 was actually a fizzle. The device, designed to generate 45 kilotons, yielded an explosion equivalent to only 15 to 20 kilotons of TNT.

Summary

There is plenty of evidence and documentation from sources such as the Wisconsin Project to show that the Indian missiles and bombs are no more indigenous than Pakistan’s. The fact is that neither India nor Pakistan was first to split the atom, or to develop modern rocket science. The Industrial Revolution didn’t exactly start in India or Pakistan or even in Asia; it began in Europe and the rest of the world learned from it, even copied it.

The differences between India and Pakistan in terms of the technology know-how and the knowledge base are often highly exaggerated to portray India as a “technology power house” and Pakistan as a backwater. Some of these analyses by Indian Brahman pundits and commentators have racial and religious overtones implying that somehow Brahmin or Hindu minds are superior to those of the people of other religions or castes in South Asia.

What is often ignored by such Indian analysts is the fact that neither of the two Indian pioneers, nuclear scientist Homi Bahbha and rocket scientist Abul Kalam, belong to the Hindu faith or the Brahmin caste. The false sense of Indian superiority is pushed by self-serving Indian and some Western analysts to justify their own biased conclusions.

These analysts have fed what George Perkovich described in his book “India’s Nuclear Bomb” on page 410 as “general Indian contempt for Pakistan’s technical capabilities” and may cause serious miscalculations by the Indian security establishment about Pakistan’s defense capabilities. Indian chauvinistic analyses have been put in perspective by another piece in Newsday (Friday, May 15, 1998; Page A5: “India Errs Nuclear Power Isn’t Real Power”), in which George Perkovich talked about the rise in India of a radicalized, ultra-nationalistic BJP for the “glory of the Hindu race and rashtra (nation)”. Perkovich added that “the Bharatiya Janata Party, has long felt that nuclear weapons offer a quicker ride to the top. Like atavistic nationalists elsewhere, they believe that pure explosive power will somehow earn respect and build pride.”

The extreme right-wing influence on South Asian analysts has the potential for serious miscalculations by either India or Pakistan in the nuclear and the missile arena, and it does not augur well for the future of the Indo-Pak region and the world at large.

R Haq

50,000 Kashmiris detained under draconian law

May 5, 2010 1 comment

In Indian occupied Kashmir, over fifty thousand civilians have been detained under the draconian law, Public Safety Act, during the last twenty one years of the uprising against Indian occupation.

This was revealed by the President of the Bar Association of the occupied territory, Mian Abdul Qayoom, while talking to Kashmir Media Service in Srinagar, today. The draconian law authorizes the occupation authorities to detain a person for a period up to two years without producing him before a court of law. Mian Abdul Qayoom said that presently 800 to 900 persons were behind the bars under the Public Safety Act and it was invoked against 250 Kashmiris only in the current year.

He said during a period of one year, the draconian law was slapped seven times on APHC leader, Shabbir Ahmed Shah, eight times on Mussarat Alam Butt and four times each on Muhammad Yousaf Mir, Ghulam Nabi Sumji, Hafizullah and Bilal Siddiqi.

Later, Mian Abdul Qayoom and the vice president of the Bar, Aijaz Beidar visited Bandipore to express solidarity with the families of illegally detained civilians.

Meanwhile, Sopore remained tense for the third day, today, over the killing of a youth. The locals told mediamen that the killing was the handiwork of Indian troops. All markets and educational institutions remained closed and transport was off the road. A bomb blast occurred, today, in the Hari Singh High Street area of Srinagar without causing any causality. An army trooper committed suicide by hanging himself on a ceiling fan at an army camp in Udhampur. This has brought the number of such deaths amongst the troops to 176 since January 2007.

In London, the Executive Director of Kashmir Centre, Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, in a statement, deplored the silence of the international community over the discovery of unnamed graves in the occupied territory.

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India’s insecure Nuclear program: Hidden in plain sight in Naxal rebel country

India’s insecure Nuclear program: Hidden in plain sight in Naxal rebel country

While the western media and the western governments keep shouting about vulnerability of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and keep expressing the fears that these are likely to fall in the hands of extremists like Taliban, they have kept their eyes wide shut regarding the state of affairs of the nuclear weapons and nuclear capable missiles of neighbouring India where the situation is highly alarming, reveal the findings of The Daily Mail’s investigations into the matter.

According to The Daily Mail’s investigations, the Indian government, in bid to keep it maximum possible away from the striking capabilities of Pakistan that lies across India’s northern borders, decades back decided to install all its nuclear and missile facilities in the Eastern zone of the country. However, with the passage of time, the eastern region of India emerged as the most disturbed, fragile and ungovernable region of the country with a variety of insurgency movements including that of Naxal rebels, emerging in that very part of the country.

According to a map, graphed by India’s own security agencies, the eastern region and some other parts of the country have been declared as “ The Red Corridor” of India due to being unstable,ungovernable and being highly fragile, security wise. According this “Red Corridor” map, there are some 51 districts that are very badly hit by the rebels while the total number of rebel struck districts remains around 164, ranging from Dehradhun to Kerala.

The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that most of India’s top nuclear and missile facilities are located in the extremely Nexal terrorists struck districts of India, located deep down in the “Red Corridor”. According to The Daily Mail’s investigations, in the direction of Indian nuclear facilities, Uranium processing plant by the name of Uranium Corporation Of India Limited (UCIL) is located in adversely insurgency and terror struck region of Jharkhand where Nexal guerrillas are dominating and are on the rampage, Talcher Heavy Water Plant again in the same area, Institute of Physics(IOP) again in the same area while Atomic Minerals Directorate for Exploration and Research(AMD), Ceramatic Fuel Fabrication Facility(CFFF), Electronics Corporation of India Limited(ECIL), Mishra Dhalu Nigam Limited(MIDHANI), National Centre for Compositional Characterization of Materials(NCCCM), New Zirconium Sponge Plant(New ZSP), Nuclear Fuel Complex(NFC), Special Materials Plant, Uranium Fuel Assembly Plant and Zirconium Fabrication Plant, Seha Institute of Nuclear Physics and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre(VECC) are located in the most Nexal warriors hit areas of Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Similarly, Fast Breeder Test Reactor(FBTR), Fast Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant (FRFRP) General Services Organization(GSO), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research(IGCAR), Kalpakkam Atomic Reprocessing Plant(KARP), Kamini Research Reactor, Madres Atomic Power Station (MAPS), Prototype Fast Breeder Reactor(PFBR), Manuguru Heavy Water Plant, Institute of Mathematical Sciences(MSc), Southern Petrochemical Industries Corporation Limited(SPIC), Tuticorin Heavy Water Plant, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited(BHEL), HMT Machine Tools Limited(HMT-MTL), Indian Institutes of Sciences(IISc) and Super Computer Education and Research Centre(SERC) are located in the areas, Indian government has included in the most disturbed Red Corridor while Apsra Research Reactor, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre(BARC), Boron Enrichment Plant(BEP), Central Workshops, Plutonium Reprocessing Plant, Purnima 1,II & III Research Reactors, Uranium Conversion Plant, Uranium Enrichment Plant, CIRUS Research Reactor, Dhruva Research Reactor, Hazira heavy Water Plant, Larson and Toubro, Hazira Water Works, Advanced Fuel Fabrication Facility(AFFF), Tarapur Atomic Power Station(TAPS), Power Reactor Fuel Reprocessing Plant(PREFRE), Beryllium Matching Facility(BMF), Construction Service and Estate Management Group(CSEMG), Directorate of Purchase and Stores(DPS), Heavy Water Board, Tata Institute of Fundamental search(TIFR), Rshtrya Chemicals & Fertilizers (RCF), Thal-Vaishet Heavy Water Plant, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing(C-DAC), Kiroskar Brothers Limited and Walchandnagar Industries Limited(WIL) are located in State of Maharashtra, which, though, is not included in the Red Corridor map of India, yet the whole world knows that Maharashtra is the hub of Extremist Hindu Militant Groups where Hindutva Brotherhood, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini and Sangh Parivar like terrorist organizations are on the rampage for past many years, without any check from authorities and all these Hindu militant organizations are very well known for their extreme anti-Pakistan policies and are full capable of getting hold of any of the Indian nuclear facility that exists in their respective state and region.

The Daily Mail’s investigations further indicate that like the nuclear facilities, India’s maximum missile facilities are also situated in either the Red Corridor or in the areas, dominated by Hindu extremist and militant organizations. These Investigations reveal that out of India’s Missile facilities, Defence Electronics Applications Laboratories (DEAL), Metallurgical & Engineering Consultants Limited, Interim Test Range (ITR), Bharat Dynamics Limited(BDL), Defence Research and Development Laboratory(DRDL), Research Centre Imarat(RCI), Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory(DMRL), Defence Electronics Research Laboratory(DERL), Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited(MIDHANI), Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL), SKM Tools Private Limited, Pantex Gee Bee Fluid Power Limited, Sriharikota High Altitude Range(SHAR), Combat Vehicle Research & Development Establishment(CVRDE), The KCP Limited, Microwave Tube Research & Development Centre(MTRDC), Electronics and Radar Development Establishment(LRDE), Gas Turbine Research Establishment(GTRE), Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), Bharat Electronic Limited(BEL), Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited(HAL), all are situated in the highly disturbed Red Corridor while Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory(TBRL) and Semi Conductor Complex Limited (SCL) are located in Chandigarh where Six separatists are running the insurgency movement under the banners of Babbar Khalsa group and Storage Site for Pirthvi-1 Ballistic Missile is located in disputed territory of Jammu where Muslim separatists are engaging Indian Army and Air Force for the past many years.
The Daily Mail’s investigations further disclose that around 90% of the Red Corridor areas are just a No Go Zone for the Indian troops and Air Force. In these areas there is no writ of the Indian government nor there is any proper implementation of State laws of India. The nexal rebels are enjoying full control and keep striking at will. Just recently they killed over a dozen officials of Police and even shot down a chopper of Indian Air Force (IAF). It is also evident from the record of IAF that IAF has now started having commandos, airborne on all IAF chopper sorties in the Red Corridor to protect the choppers from a possible Nexal attack. Similarly the police officials have also advised the politicians and other VIPs to avoid flying over the Red Corridor in chopper and also not to travel in these areas without appropriate security arrangements. The Daily Mail’s investigations indicate that even a couple of days back, the Nexal rebels set ablaze three trucks and damaged a bridge in Jharkhand as they began their two-day Jharkhand-Bihar shutdown to protest against the Centre’s alleged effort to put down the CPI(Maoists) movement by force.

The Naxals also bombed railway tracks between Bokaro thermal-Jarandi station. About 12 armed Maoists set fire to three trucks at around !AM in Giridih’s Isri area and cut down trees to block traffic on the Dumri-Giridih road, Giridih Superintendent of police Ravi Kant Dhan told The Daily Mail.

They also partially damaged a road bridge, which connects Dumri to the Grand Trunk Road, using explosives, the police officer said, adding gunshots were also heard in the area. Maoists also pasted posters in Giridih’s Parasnath area despite verytight security arrangements.

To gauge the capabilities of Indian government to safeguard its nuclear and missile arsenal and research and development facilities as well as production infrastructure, The Daily Mail constituted a team of freelance reporters and photographers, based in different parts of India and embarked them on the investigative mission under the command of our Delhi Bureau Chief Christina Palmer. The team was given the test task of exploring the state of affairs at Jharkand which is considered to be hub of India’s nuclear energy programme. See what we discovered.

EAST Singhbhum district in Jharkhand, bordering West Bengal and Orissa, is the capital of India’s nuclear energy programme. It is rich in uranium that is mined by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) and converted later into nuclear fuel for the reactors. East Singhbhum is also rich in Naxalites who are active in the area and well aware of the mines that produce uranium. Little to no security separates the uranium ore or the processed yellowcake from the Naxalites, who are currently extending their control, with the local administration officials admitting that it is just a matter of time before they strike the mines.

According to Superintendent of police Navin Kumar Singh, “This district is on the list of Naxalite-affected areas. They are making full efforts to gain control over the Jadugoda region. They already have a very strong presence in the adjoining areas of Potka, Dumaria, Dalbhumgarh and Ghatshila.”

The raw uranium from the mines is processed by the UCIL in Jadugoda, a small town located at a distance of 30 km from district headquarters Jamshedpur. This entire region is India’s only source of natural uranium to feed the country’s heavy-water nuclear reactors. According to local officials, of India’s annual requirement of 300 tonnes of yellowcake, at present, UCIL in East Singhbhum produces 220 tonnes. Massive expansion is underway in the area to increase the production to the required 300 tonnes.

East Singhbhum has seven uranium mines and two processing mills that function under the UCIL. The UCIL campus serves as the headquarters for the mines, and itself has a processing unit and the oldest mines in the region. The Bhatin and Narwapahar mines are 2 km and 10 km respectively from Jadugoda. Turamdih, which has a mine as well as a processing mill, is 20 km from Jadugoda. The Mohuldih and Banduhurang mines are 5 km away from Turamdih. Bagjata is around 30 km from Jadugoda.

In the words of India’s widely circulated fortnightly magazine The Covert’s correspondent Appu Esthose Suresh “This correspondent travelled on the same route used to ferry uranium ore from the mines to the processing plants in Jadugoda and Turamdih. The absence of policemen along the entire route was striking. There was not a single police picket or post. In Jharia, on the way from Narwapahar to Jadugoda, a large warehouse that is used to store explosives had no guard worth the name. This so-called restricted area located on a small hilltop and surrounded by mountains and dense forests, is guarded by just four policemen in two bunkers. The sole watchtower at the warehouse did not have a single guard on duty. This scribe visited the sport several times on different days, but the watchtower remained vacant, always. This road is routinely used by the trucks that transport uranium ore mined at Narwapahar and Bhatin to the UCIL mill at Jadugoda, and is therefore a vital link to the mines”.

Appu further writes that On 1 August, 2009, Jadugoda was preparing itself for a strike called by the Naxalites. News came in of heavy gunfire and the torching of a few trucks near Jamshedpur. A policeman at the Jadugoda police station said, on condition of anonymity, “Naxalism was always a problem in the district. But they have never succeeded in gaining ground near this town. But things have changed: the panic that you see among the people is a case in point. We all know that if they want to put up a bloody show they can. They are cowards, they hit and run into the mountains, but blood spills nevertheless.”
IT TAKES a 30 km bone-rattling drive to reach Bagjata mine from Jadugoda. The narrow and dusty road running through a hill-locked valley is marked with potholes and numerous bends. Bagjata is less than 10 km from Dumaria by road, and surrounded by mountain ranges that are reportedly under Naxalite control. SP Navin Kumar Singh said, “Last year, we busted a Naxalite central office in Dumaria, Eight of them were killed and a large quantity of arms, including AK-47s, and ammunition were recovered.” Bagjata is under the jurisdiction of the Mosabani police station, and as Ramesh Kumar Singh, who is in charge of the police station, pointed out, “The forest areas surrounding Bagjata are the nerve centres of Naxalite activities. They oppose uranium mining. Recently, they confirmed their presence through posters pasted inside Bagjata mine and in the areas surrounding it.”

Mosabani police station is located nearly 10 km from the mine in Bagjata and functions from a derelict building. It has a total strength of 55 policemen. Ramesh Kumar Singh added, “The mountain range stretches into West Bengal and Orissa, and encompasses and other mines. We are aware of the movement, but constant surveillance is literally impossible considering the terrain.” While the UCIL and the district police admit that Bagjata mine faces a major security threat from the Naxalites, the journalists’ team could not find a single policeman in the area to prove that the threat has been taken seriously. This correspondent just walked into the mine complex from the forest and was not stopped even once by any policeman or anyone else.

Walking a few miles through the paddy fields near Bagjata took our team to the Dalboonkand block. The villagers there appeared terrified. One of the villagers, Mangal Murmu had been killed, allegedly by the rebels. Mangal was vocal about the rights of the labourers employed at Bagjata, and one day, he was found dead. The police insist that the Naxalites were responsible for his death. Ramesh Kumar Singh said, “His murder created further tensions between the UCIL management and the labour. The Naxalites must have factored this in.” The fear is palpable and we were chased away by the villagers when we tried to get a response from Murmu’s family and his neighbours about his murder.

The Daily Mail’s investigation team learnt that the radiation was a big problem in the area, yet it was unaddressed by the government. According to The Daily Mail’s findings,on Aug. 16, 2008, a new tailings pipeline burst near Jaduguda caused a uranium mill tailings spill that reached nearby homes.

The management of the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) agreed to rehabilitate the 26 families affected by the radioactive waste that spewed in Dungridih Jadugoda. The UCIL also proposed a modern village in its leasehold area, besides providing the villagers with other facilities but nothing such happened later on. These investigations further reveal that During flash floods in June 2008, radioactive uranium waste dumped into a tailing pond of Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL) in Jadugoda of Jamshedpur spilled over into nearby village ponds, wells and fields, and destroyed crops as well.

While UCIL authorities admitted that radioactive waste had spilled into villages, they maintained that it would not pose any health threats to villagers. “We are monitoring the situation. Our scientists are taking samples from villages,” P.V. Dubey, UCIL spokesperson told media in June 2008. “There will be no negative impact on human beings. The waste has been neutralised by the large amount of water,” he added.

Residents of nearby villages have stopped using water from their ponds and wells, fearing health problems. Villagers have also complained that the nuclear waste had destroyed a large amount of crops. “The waste that spilled from the tailing pond has destroyed our crops. If this continues, there might not be any crops in the coming years,” said Kannhu Murmu of Tilaitand village. Some experts also feel that the radioactive waste would also have a harmful impact on the soil for years. “The waste will get mixed with soil and in the long run would pose health-related problems to both human beings and animals,” said Nitish Priyadarshi, a local geologist.

The Daily Mail’s investigations further disclose that in a shocking revelation, a team of the Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) had come out with some bare truths regarding health hazards faced by miners working in the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) in the form of a detailed survey report. The survey was undertaken by the organisation affiliated to Germany-based International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) in association with Jharkhandi Organisation Against Radiation (JOAR).

“The study was conducted between May and August 2007,” said Shakeel Ur Rahman, the secretary of the national council of the association. Conducted in two different phases, while one survey concentrates on villages within the radius of 2.5 km from the mines, a similar one was undertaken in villages about 30 km from the mining areas. A total of 2,118 households in the first category, while another 1,956 households were studied in the second category.

According to the survey, more children – about 9.5 per cent of the newborns – are dying each year due to extreme physical deformity, primary sterility is becoming common with 9.6 per cent of women not being able to conceive even three years after marriage. Cancer deaths in nearby villages are about 2.87 per cent and 68.33 per cent people are dying before the age of 62.

The Daily Mail’s investigation team found that the UCIL’s lethargic approach and inability handle such a sensitive programme of handling Uranium can be judged that the UCIL’s pipelines, carrying Uraniumand that are always lying in open, have a history of leakages and bursts. According to these investigations ,on April 10, 2007, a new tailings pipeline burst near Jaduguda caused a uranium mill tailings spill. According to UCIL, the spill was caused from damage to the rubber lining of the tailings pipeline “by a wooden log left inside the pipe during replacement”, and comprised 1.5 tons of solids and 20 cubic metres of liquid; the spilled material was contained within the earthen bund constructed beside the channel and did not reach any water body or public domain. Similarly, earlier on December 25, 2006, the tailings pipeline carrying uranium mill tailings from the Jaduguda uranium mill to tailings dam No. 3 broke, spreading tailings into a tributary of river Subranarekha. UCIL then started cleaning up the tailings spill. The findings into the matter further indicate that on Feb. 17, 2007, two NGOs – Friends of South Asia (FOSA) and Association for India’s Development (AID) – submitted a petition to the UCIL and the Department of Atomic Energy demanding an investigation into the accident and seeking full remediation. The petition was signed by hundreds of individuals from around the world.

According to UCIL, the spill was caused from damage of the rubber lining and metal of the tailings pipeline “due to prolonged use”, and comprised 6-8 tons of solids and 60 cubic metres of liquid.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal further that in 2001 and 2002, Hiroaki Koide from the Research Reactor Institute at Kyoto University performed field trips to monitor environmental impacts of the Jadugoda uranium mine. He monitored external gamma dose rate, radionuclide concentrations in soil, and radon concentration in air. His results are compiled in a report available for download. The main conclusions are:

• The contamination from the uranium mine has spread in Jadugoda:
o The external gamma dose rate exceeds 1 mSv/y in the villages, and reaches 10 mSv/y around the tailing ponds.
o The soil surrounding the tailings ponds is contaminated by uranium. Particularly high contamination levels were found in the village of Dungridih that borders tailings pond No.1. In other villages, no serious contamination was found.
o Radon emanated from tailings ponds etc spreads contamination.
o Waste rock from the mine used for construction material spreads contamination.
• Other findings include:
o The No.1 tailings pond shows contamination by cesium. This fact shows that radioactivity was brought in from a source other than an uranium mine.
o Product uranium concentrate is dealt with carelessly and was found dispersed at Rakha Mine railway station.

The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal further that The River Subarnarekha literally translates into “streak of gold”. But the only streaks in this river are untreated sewage, industrial and mineral wastes and unbelievably, radioactive wastes, affecting human health.

Radioactive wastes in Indian rivers is an undocumented environmental tragedy in India
This once-pleasing river originates in the Chotanagpur plateau of Jharkhand in eastern India and finally enters the Bay of Bengal after a 452 km journey. Along the way, it courses a picturesque countryside, plunging 74 metres at Hundrugargh.

Though there are 15 water quality monitoring stations, the Subarnarrekha is a receptacle of wastewater (urban as well as industrial) from three major townships – Jamshedpur, Ranchi and Ghatsila. Organic pollution loads from the countryside pollute equally.

Uranium ore tailings from the Jaduguda mines operated by Uranium Corporation of India Ltd (UCIL), causes various degrees of radioactivity along a 100 km stretch. This has resulted in documented cases of deformities among human beings, but, the Indian scenario being what it is, precious little has been done for them.

“UCIL alleges that the deformities are not unusual to the Indian rural scenario,” says Manish Tewari, a journalist who had traveled to Jaduguda from Delhi. “It alleges that the uranium and deformity link is a creation of the media,” he says, unbelieving.

Curiously, no studies have been commissioned to check on the veracity of these reports and possible linkage with uranium. It’s all conveniently swept under the carpet. Reports would always remain confidential in any event, because uranium ore is strategic to national security. Anything related to nuclear science is treated as a holy cow that cannot be questioned.

Back on Safari to explore Uranium affairs in Jharkhand out team narrates, THE ROAD that connects Turamdih and Jadugoda is once again without any security presence. The processing mill at Turamdih was commissioned in 2006 to process the uranium ore obtained from the open cast mine of Banduhurang and the underground mines of Mohuldih and Turamdih.

Once the uranium ore is processed at the mill and converted to yellowcake, these it is sent to the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad, Yellowcake is 80% rich in uranium oxide and is used to make fuel road for nuclear reactors. The UCIL plant in Jadugoda and Turamdih send the packed yellowcakes to Hyderabad by trucks guarded by the Central Industrial Security Force. Sources confirmed that the trucks travel via NH 33 till the Jharkand-Orissa border and then use the NH 6 for a few kilometres before taking the NH 5 to Vijaywada, and from there to Hyderabad by NH 9. SP Navin Kumar Singh had earlier told Covert, “Ghatshila, Dalbhumgarh and Dumaria are the Naxalite hot belts in East Singhbhum.” And NH 33 goes through this same “hot belt”.

According to UCIL spokesperson P.B. Dubey, “They UCIL has been functioning here for more than 40 years and so far there has not been any incident. Moreover, we have security arrangements, the details of which cannot be disclosed.” When the question of the safety of UCIL trucks was put to SP Navin singh, he expressed similar views: “This has been going on for years. There is no report of any imminent threat from the Naxalites.”

In 2008 Bihar police arrested two persons carrying uranium ore reportedly worth Rs 23 crores. According to Shyam Kumar, the then superintendent of police in Bihar’s Saupal district, “The uranium was on its way to Nepal. The origin of the uranium is unknown.” Security experts, however, have little doubt that the uranium is from East Singhbhum, while it remains a fact that the area is the only source of uranium in India.

Ajit Doval, a former Director of India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) says “The Naxalites can easily turn their attention to illegal uranium trade for their funding. This is a real possibility.” He further added, “The end user of this uranium can be a threat to the country. Hence, it should not be treated merely as a case of theft. Rather, the Government must conduct a serious investigation and identify the buyers.” The case has not made any headway even after a year.

THE LOCAKADAISICAL attitude of the Indian Government is all the more evident from the lack of safety precautions at the sites. Just last year, 2008, the pipe that carries radioactive waste from the processing mill to the tailing pond at Jadugoda, burst near Dugridi village. Massang Soren, the village sarpanch, told the investigating journalists, “No UCIL official turned up until we started protesting. Our fields were flooded with uranium waste and we could see the danger we faced. The paddy field turned yellow and then red but no one came,” said a local adding, “For at least three months the entire village reported various kinds of health problems. Everyone in the village developed blisters on the soles of their feet and these could not be cured easily.” The villagers complained that the UCIL did not give them any assistance to clean the water and the fields polluted by the spillage.

At the Bagjata mine, tonnes of uranium ore lie in the open. Local activists allege that by using uncovered trucks to transport the ore, and by keeping the ore for days and weeks in the open the UCIL has exposed the entire region to radiation. Confirming their fears Dr S.P. Aggarwal, who heads the Radiological Safety Division at the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), says, “Uranium ore is naturally radioactive.” At the same time, officials at AERB refused to comment on the radiation level in East Singhbhum.

The Investigations indicate that in 2008, Andhra Pradesh had a near brush with radioactive poisoning. The trucks carrying the yellowcakes from Jadugoda met with an accident and overturned on the NH 5 near Narsannapeta in Andhra Pradesh. Luckily, there was no leakage of radioactive material. But UCIL officials dismissed that as a “one off incident” and continued to use the same mode of transportation.

UCIL spokesperson Dubey is on the record to confirm that there were plans to open a nuclear power plant near Jadugoda. He says, “The proposal is under serious consideration. But it is a lengthy process, so it can take a while.”

AJIT DOVAL spoke of the possibility of the Naxalites posing a grave security threat to the region because of “poor security and the Naxalites’ increasing influence”. A senior police official, on condition of anonymity, said “There is a lack of political will to fight the Naxalites. We all know that if this region goes to the Naxalites, the nation can be held to ransom.” He added: “If they just erect road blocks on the route which ferries the uranium ore they can stop the functioning of the UNIL complex in Jadugoda.” But SP Navin Kumar arrested, “This is an exaggerated view. As I said earlier, there is no such case so far.” He went on to add, “This sort of cynicism only boosts their confidence.” However, while he spoke, it was evident from his voice and body language that he didn’t mean at all what he was saying in his official capacity.

The statistics available from the district police headquarters reveal that in 2008 there were 35 incidents related to Naxalite violence; 15 landmines, 500 kg of explosives and 109 pieces of ammunition were seized. In 2003, at Peddagattu in Andhra Pradesh’s Nalgonda district, the Naxalites kidnapped 25 officials of Atomic Mineral Directorate for Exploration and Research before setting their equipment and machines on fire. Yet, the police superintendent and UCIL are hopeful that the Naxalites will not try to disrupt mining related activities, even though they publicly oppose all such activities.

Former Jharkhand Governor Ved Marwah says, “I think increasing investment is the right thing to do, especially in mining. If the Government steps back from initiating development projects in a particular region, it is only natural that the area will come under Naxalite influence.” When asked about the security threats that the Naxalites pose tot eh strategic nuclear programme in East Singhbhum he said, “If the Government is serious about fighting the Naxalites it can easily fight them:” He added, “When I was the Jharkhand Governor there were regions that had not been visited by the administration. I happened to be the first person going there. The police should be reorganised. With constant surveillance the problem can be tackled. Why should we refrain from starting development projects fearing Naxal attacks? That will give the wrong impression.”

Interestingly, the Union Home Minister Mr P Chidambaram continues to deny the existence of “liberated zones” and the “Naxalite corridor”. In one of the recently concluded sessions of Indian parliament, Minister of State for Home Affairs, Ajay Maken, in a written reply rubbished the claims of liberated zones and the Naxaline corridor as “baseless propaganda”. However, the officers in the field insist that “There are areas where we don’t dare to go.” As Ved Marwah pointed out, “To fight Naxalism we need a realistic plan.”

The Daily Mail’s investigations also disclose that there are certain Nexal sympathisers in the ranks of Indian nuclear scientists who are secretly helping the nexal rebels to learn to utilize and transport Uranium. These investigations reveal that N Mahalingam an Indian nuclear scientist from Kaiga Nuclear Power Plant in Karnataka was one of those Nexal facilitators. Mahalingam went mysteriously missing in June this year. After a few days, his dead body was found from a lake and it was presumed that he had committed suicide. Indian Minister for Home Affairs P Chidumbaram, who recent showed his muscles to The Daily Mail regarding one of its investigative reports about Indian army, on the eve of the discovery of the dead body of Mahalingam, assured the public and the media that he will soon reveal the causes and reasons of the death of the nuclear scientist but as usual he has never come up with a single word over the issue since then. The Daily Mail’s investigations reveal that Mahalingam was actually picked up by Indian Intelligence Agency RAW for doubts about his links with Nexal rebels but was killed due to a severe third degree torture during the interrogation. Later RAW people threw his dead body in a pond and informed police through an unknown call. The bruises on the dead body Mahalingam proved that he was tortured to death.

Happening of such incidents and the absence of a plan and even security on the ground, a red question mark hangs over the future of India’s ambitious nuclear projects. At the same time it raises a big, big question mark that how could the United States government sign a civilian nuclear deal with a country, having such state of affairs in the direction capabilities to handle nuclear related matters.

This also gives a shut-up call to all those Western journalists and Western governments that keeping expressing fears that neighbouring Muslim State Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal was prone to fall in the hands of religious extremists. This state of affairs in the direction india’s naked nukes clearly proves that Indian Nuclear arsenal and the entire nuclear infrastructure is much, much more fragile and vulnerable to fall in the hands of militants and etreemists than that of Pakistan’s. By Makhdoom Babar in Islamabad & Christina Palmer in New Delhi. The Daily Mail (Post).

Categories: Article, Asia-Pacific, India, International Politics, International Relations, terrorism in India, Terrorrism, World Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Behind India’s Bust Of A Pakistan Spy

April 29, 2010 Leave a comment

Behind India’s Bust Of A Pakistan Spy

In this undated handout photo, Madhuri Gupta, 53, an Indian diplomat who worked as second secretary in the Indian high commission in Islamabad is seen

“At 53, she was bored, alone and attractive. Single, but definitely one step ahead to mingle.” That’s how the man who led the operation to bust Madhuri Gupta, the first Indian diplomat to be found spying for Pakistan, described her. For most of her two years in espionage, Gupta was a lone-wolf, conducting a classic spy operation from her base in Islamabad. Old-school “dead drops,” in which she passed off information without even meeting her Pakistani handlers, were her signature style. Yet it was a silly indiscretion — sending e-mails to her spy bosses from her office computer — that finally led to her arrest.

Gupta has not exactly been near the center of Indian decision-making, posted as a second secretary in the media section of India’s high commission in Pakistan’s capital, where her job had been to provide English and Hindi summaries of Pakistan’s Urdu-language newspapers. On April 22, the 53-year-old was summoned back to New Delhi ostensibly to help colleagues prepare for the ongoing South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) summit in Bhutan. After landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, she was whisked away by officials of the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau (IB), India’s internal intelligence agency, straight to an interrogation chamber in an undisclosed location. Twenty-four hours later, she was handed over to Delhi police, charged with treason and accessing confidential documents under India’s Official Secrets Act.

“Her spy game was up the moment a Joint Secretary — an IB officer — inside the Islamabad mission suspected her around October 2009 and reported back,” a high-level IB case officer in New Delhi told TIME. The IB launched a massive counter-intelligence operation, in which even its counterparts in the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW), the country’s external intelligence agency, were kept out of the loop.

Over the next six months, Gupta’s every step was monitored. She was found to be taking undue interest in informal discussions among the senior embassy officials regarding important policy matters, including India’s strategic plans in Afghanistan and resuming a dialogue with Pakistan. She was even fed with incorrect information to be passed on to her Pakistan handlers, suspected to be from the Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).

Pakistani authorities refused to comment on the case, but analysts in Islamabad saw her arrest as an attempt to scupper upcoming planned talks between India’s and Pakistan’s prime ministers. “The timing was supposed to send a signal that India is not ready to talk to Pakistan yet,” said Cyril Almeida, an editor and analyst at Pakistan’s
Dawn newspaper. “India has not moved beyond its post-Mumbai [the terror attack which Indian and Western authorities say originated in Pakistan] phase. It is not looking for talks with Pakistan any time soon.”

India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was scheduled to meet his Pakistani counterpart, Yousuf Raza Gilani, this week, although the purpose of such talks is contested. After breaking off all dialogue with Pakistan after the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Indian officials had suggested a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the SAARC summit to discuss a long-running water dispute, but Pakistan has made clear that it wants a formal, open-ended peace talks. As Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told the India’s CNN-IBN network on Tuesday, “We need to go beyond a handshake.”

Asked whether the two prime ministers would still hold talks in Bhutan this week, Pakistan’s Deputy Foreign Minister Malik Amad Khan told TIME, “Maybe, maybe not, but that’s totally independent of [the spying] allegations.”

Almeida notes that espionage efforts to “turn” the other country’s diplomats are par for the course between the long-time rivals, “But given [Gupta’s] relatively junior position it is unlikely that she would have had access to sensitive documents, unless there was a real breakdown internally.”

Indian government sources say Gupta had been spying for Pakistan since September 2008. “We have reasons to believe that she was not recruited inside Pakistan,” says a senior officer in R&AW. “Possibly she was picked up and nurtured either in Baghdad or Kuala Lumpur where she was posted earlier.” The agency also says this could have been a reason why she was keen for a Pakistan posting — usually a last choice among Indian diplomats and intelligence officials.

Vishnu Prakash, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, says that Gupta “is co-operating with the investigations and inquiries.” Sources told TIME that she has told interrogators that she spied for Pakistan to settle scores with senior Indian diplomats who mistreated her during her early career. She has also reportedly confessed that a prominent Pakistani journalist put her in touch with Pakistani intelligence officers.

TIME