Divine Intervention – 3 [part II]

The story so far:

Nungambakkam, part of Chennai’s central region witnessed the brutal murder of a young techie – Swathi – in June 2016.

As her killer Ram Kumar too died under mysterious circumstances, the reasons for her killing remain a diabolic mystery.

The short story below is an endeavour to investigate the possibilities that could have led to the killing of Swathi.

Part one of this longish short story was published earlier.

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It can be accessed here.

Young Veerabahu was set to arrive in the Nungambakkam railway station platform some 10 minutes later.

I surveyed the scene.

The evening crowd was milling around close to the point where the foot over-bridge touched the ground.

A sizeable number of the passengers were students from the nearby Loyola College – believed to be the best in India – where freedom of thought was/is as important as breathing. Some of them had participated in an ongoing survey to discern the mood of the people – as fresh elections to the assembly were round the corner. Political instability post December 5 2016 – the day Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa was declared dead – had led to it.

I listened to the chatter.

A few months ago, reports alleged that the Tamil Nadu Government was functioning as per the diktat of Sasikala Natarajan, currently ensconced in Parapana Agrahara Central Prison in Bangalore’s outskirts as a convict. Politicians love to say that always law is allowed to take its course. India’s Supreme Court is of a clear mind in such a situation. “Corruption is not only a punishable offence but also undermines human rights, indirectly violating them, and systematic corruption, is a human rights’ violation in itself, as it leads to systematic economic crimes,” it said. Sasikala was punished for offences under sections 13[1][e] and 13[2] of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 read with 120B [conspiracy] and 109 [abetment] of the Indian Penal Code. Rather strangely, none from any political party in Tamil Nadu had approached the courts to sack the regime that took orders from a convicted prisoner then and there on the principle of breakdown of the constitution. Any person in custody would be disqualified from holding any government job. A convict’s fate was even clearer. By publicly admitting that a female jail bird was flinging yolk from her steel nest in another state, a senior member of the cabinet had violated tenets of the constitution,” a girl with a sharp nose and bold voice said.

“There was worse. By itself, the ‘election’ of Sasikala as the general secretary of the ‘ruling’ All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam is ultra vires of its own constitution. The so-called election was patently illegal if one goes by the constitution of that party. AIADMK by-laws available in the Election Commission’s website state that the party general secretary can only be declared elected by the political unit’s representatives from all the states – including those from Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh plus the Andaman and Nicobar Islands during a specially convened General Council to ‘elect’ a ‘proper’ candidate who ought to have been an uninterrupted member for 5 years. Such an event never happened. It was this so-called election that caused Sasikala’s ‘empowerment’ to be ‘elected’ as the leader of the AIADMK legislature party. So, that was an illegal act in itself. It was the cause for the then CM O Panneerselvam to resign and make way for Sasikala – which also is legally non est. To ram all these unsavoury events down the throats of the people of Tamil Nadu, the Sasikala group had cocooned a majority of the MLAs in a beach resort, allegedly wined, dined and ‘entertained otherwise’ with dancing women. Reports said that all of them were recipients of several million rupees in cash, gold and a lot more. This captive legislators’ crowd had ensured that Chief Minister E Palanisamy survived the trust vote on the floors of the assembly vide violent harangue in February 2017. Since Sasikala’s original sin – in itself was unpardonable – the shameful aftermath could not have the luxury of hiding behind a legal fig leaf of having passed muster in the assembly. Every so called political event after the December 5 2016 demise of Jayalalithaa could be termed illegal,” a Kurta clad young man chimed in.

“The inner contradictions were too much to bear. Now, the AIADMK has ceased to exist as a party. The ‘twin-leaf’ symbol and the name AIADMK were frozen initially on account of the RK Nagar by elections. After the various groups of the AIADMK ended up shaming themselves through the results, the party has little chances of reviving itself. On the flip side, the DMK’s existence is on the basis of hate AIADMK slogan – that keeps its voters interested. Sooner or later the DMK would suffer the same chagrin as the AIADMK. The reasons are simple. There are one too many claimants for the ill-gotten wealth of the party’s leadership mainstays – comprising the members of its leader Karunanidhi’s family. Surveys conducted in the length and breadth of Tamil Nadu revealed that the people want a change … a change for the better from the self-centred politicians for whom only grabbing cash was the only vocational and ‘vacational’ theme. And that would inevitably end in the decimation of regionalism that began in southern India through the separatist Dravidar Kazhagam [DK] and its so-called political offshoot – the DMK,” a somewhat senior student added.

I smiled. The young ladies and gentlemen were on the right track.

At that moment an express train whizzed past on track three moving at 85 km ph northward.

The duty station master or his assistant was supposed to stand on platform 2 holding a green flag or light – to be spotted and acknowledged by the motorman driving the train.

After the passage of the train, the SM ought to inform master signal control that the clickety-clack sounds of the wheels on the tracks were normal and betrayed no derailment danger to the train. The acknowledgement by the motorman or driver was the proverbial feel-good-factor to help the safety of several thousand passengers’ lives in the clasps of his/her hands.

Instead of doing his duty, the person manning the railway platform’s office cubicle was chatting with someone on his mobile phone.

Seated in that console was a person whose demeanour depicted that he was someone in authority. He was flanked by 2 constables from the Railway Protection Force.

“I am conducting surprise checks for ticketless travellers. Obviously some will pay a fine or a bribe to escape. All of us can expect some ‘cash relief’ for the month end,” the ticket examiner in civvies said.

Interrupting his chat on the mobile, the person in charge of the station in white uniform quipped: “Don’t forget my share!”

The RPF men looked a bit nonplussed.

“In these busy hours, the state railway police personnel conduct their own raids … and collect sizeable booty. None of us get any share from that. Worse, they do not cooperate in nabbing those trying to run away,” one constable complained.

“Well, we are not parting with any part of our collection on that count…so one minus one is zero. Accounts are squared. All of us need to supplement our incomes thus in these difficult times. Our salaries are inadequate to maintain our families. We need the cooperation of the local cops when something like that Swathi murder blows. In the melee for audience eyeballs, television channels ignored the simple fact that on that fateful morning of June last year, none of us was performing our duties. And then, none noticed when the RPF and Railway Police beat ran round the mulberry bush on the non-existent issue of jurisdiction… simply to buy time,” the TE announced with a grim finality.

These were signs of systems’ societal decay.

The duty station master coming out every 10 minutes or so while fast trains went past was also meant to keep a wary eye on the passengers in the station and report any suspicious activity. He didn’t care a tuppence about it. Instead of according protection to passengers by incessantly patrolling the platforms as per their job mandates, RPF and state railway police personnel were actively harvesting funds for month-end pecuniary problems. Senior officials were actively collaborating.

I shook my head in disapproval.

Spotting Veerabahu alighting from the foot over bridge, I moved northward.

The slim, slender looking teenager was on the mobile phone – talking to his sister.

“Where have you reached?”

“Crossing Saidapet station,” the girl’s voice said. The kid had switched the hands free button on the instrument.

“I have homework to do. And then I have to prepare for the first semester tests,” Veerabahu protested.

“Is the rowdy waiting outside the station?”

“I actually wasn’t looking. But, what can I do if he turns violent? We need to ask pa to move home… to somewhere close to where I work,” the lass grumbled.

“What about pa’s job at the EB? What about my school? My whole life will be spoiled!”

“Would it be alright then if someone spoils and soils your sister? What kind of a brother are you?”

Veerabahu looked uneasy.

“You better come fast. I am waiting!” He cut the connection and rolled his eyes skywards in sheer exasperation.

“Why is God not around when we need him? Rowdies, crowded cities, rising prices, police apathy, scolding school teachers, difficult syllabus…”

As is the wont of youngsters, Veerabahu grumbled.

Aren’t you Damarla Veerabahu, little Swati’s younger brother?”

My question startled the boy.

“How do you know me?”

Every Friday, your sister Swathi is in the forefront of the palanquin bearers – carrying the idol of Shukaravaara Amman in the Aghastheeswarar temple nearby. I remember you because you once wanted to help your sister…but the priests forbade you from touching the palanquin, as it violates the temple rules. I see you offering prayers in that temple regularly.”

The boy looked closely at me and espied an old man with a kind face, dressed in a white Indian shirt and trousers. The salt and pepper facial and pate hair disarmed him.

“What is your name?”

Most persons in this vicinity refer to me as Agathi!”

“A very strange name, I would say,” the boy said thoughtfully.

It is the shortened form of a very famous sage – Agasthya. Some persons translate the name from Sanskrit as ‘mountain thrower’. The Tamil meaning denotes a person who has realised his inner self. In Tamil, Agam stands for a home. ‘Thiyan’ refers to a householder … who ensures the well-being of the home’s inhabitants. In a nutshell, if one goes by the Tamil meaning, every male is an Agathi … or Agathiyan. The sage Agasthya was a diminutive man. By the Sanskrit definition he could throw a mountain. It only implies that determination can cause any person to complete any superhuman feat. There is an entire city block in Kanyakumari district – called Agastheeswaram. Some 400 km off Kochi – in the Arabian Sea – there is an island called Agatti – the virtual capital of Lakshadweep archipelago. Finally, the temple you visit every Friday with your sister – is a shrine for Agastheeswarar. Hence, it is not such a strange name.”

The boy giggled.

“So what do you want from me?”

The boy pertly asked the question abruptly.

“Oh, I have no needs to be fulfilled by anyone. I only grant favours, more often than not, without anyone asking for it … completely free of charge. You and your sister have a problem in the form of a young unruly male tormentor. He follows your sister somewhat threateningly. Probably, you are here to accompany young Swathi home… because she feels safer with you around. But, you are not at all comfortable with the idea of facing the rowdy. Suppose… I give you a little formula to defeat this rowdy and thus prove that you indeed are really Veerabahu … the brave-heart with strong protecting arms. That is without any risk and no sweat. Will you be interested?”

The boy was puzzled. His confusion showed on his countenance.

“I am no Jackie Chan … and cannot hope to fight and win a grown up man who pumps iron in gyms.”

“Jackie Chan does those choreographed fights only in the films. There is a scene in a movie featuring a one minute shot where Jackie is shown as getting killed by Lee in Enter the Dragon. Bruce was his idol and Chan tells anyone willing to listen to him that he loved losing to his idol and did a lot of play acting to retain the sympathetic attention of the then more famous man. More seriously, the movie Enter the Dragon has a scene featuring Bruce Lee – teaching a little boy how to win a fight with a grown up man – without actually fighting. You could actually do it. It is very simple. I could help you win,” I informed the child.

“But, why would you do that?”

“Because… I love helping people. It is that simple. Come closer, I will teach you the trick. You can try it out tomorrow itself! And don’t worry. If something goes wrong, I will be around… to help you.”

The boy came closer.

“Is this absolutely free? No hidden tricks or charges?”

“None at all, my young friend, you can be sure.”

I then began telling him a simple trick. I took leave as the EMU steamed into the terminal.

I knew that the girl Swathi would frown at Veerabahu talking to strangers. But, that was par for the course.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o0oO

Indian Police Service [IPS] officer Nar Bahadur Thapa was posted to the Narcotics Control Bureau’s Chennai Unit in its northwest outskirts as southern India’s regional head. It was a ‘punishment’ posting. A set of corrupt men who controlled the vigilance and anti-corruption wings of the Central Bureau of Investigation had wanted Thapa out of the way.

Of Nepalese extraction, Thapa had the tenacity of bloodhounds that never let go a sniffed criminal at wrong end of an invisible but ‘smellable’ trail.

That evening, his table had 2 bulky files of criminals – linked to drug trade from across the Palk Straits – in Sri Lanka’s war-torn north and northeast, whose tentacles snaked into the innards of India’s various cities, and also into the innards of around 50 national capitals spread all over the globe.

The profits were enormous.

At its little known, obscure procurement points, prices of drugs like heroin, crack, cocaine, and marijuana was as low as Rs.50 per base unit. But, when sold in the retail ‘open air markets’, their prices ballooned 50,000 times. The methods of the underworld were becoming more sophisticated than those of the cops – and this was a worldwide malady. The resultant ill gotten wealth was round-tripped and pumped into legal economies – to push real estate prices skyward. India was no exception.

Real estate was the safest venue to park black funds – as very few could every actually measure the profit margins.

Thapa had done the hard work.

An acre of land with a legal floor space index [FSI] of 3.5 in the outskirts of Chennai or for that matter any city in India ranged between Rs. 2 and 4 crores. Each acre has 43,500 square feet on the ground level as its ‘carpet’ area. When multiplied by 3.5 – the allowed amount of FSI – the price of undivided share of the proposed built up area ranged between Rs. 133 to Rs.263 per square foot. Costs of building huge blocks of flats ranged around Rs.1000 per square foot. In a nutshell, builders spent around Rs.5 lakhs for a 500 sq ft flat and sold it for Rs.25 lakhs. Burdened by other factors of the global meltdown, big time mainstream media outlets winked at this racket. There was a method to this madness. Builders’ networks splurged money on full page colour advertisements – often occupying the first three pages of newspapers besides sponsoring hours and hours of television time.

The operators of this huge sinister machine also bankrolled political parties. In some states, political parties’ sections actually owned and ran the racket. The sinister game drew sustenance by cannibalising its own assets. Some of the real estate defaulters’ flats were used as dens to peddle drugs and then discarded whenever some “untoward” event happened. Often such “events” were “rave” parties catering to the spoilt rich brats and also to draw more potential victims into the concentric vortex of drug addiction and peddling. The victim owner of such a den – soon declared as an erstwhile owner – would be flung to the wolves as a drug trafficker. The whole racket suited only wrongdoers and rendered them richer after every deal – botched or otherwise..

A ‘foolproof’ system had been hammered into place to run this evil empire. It was done vide the creation of a network of agents employed by private and foreign banks that had begun lending money in India at usurious interest rates since the turn of the millennium.

The grey market of ‘collection agents’ was a good source of information to identify future victims to be fleeced and/or raped and/or prostituted.

‘Minor’ funding began with credit cards and ‘personal loans’. The dues amounted to a few thousands of rupees. Usurious interest rates ensured indebtedness. Before long, a vast section of the middle-class was in the thrall of these sophisticated moneylenders. Those who deferred paying on time were catchment areas of potential victims. Rowdies from the dregs of society worked as ‘collection agents’ and provided vital info. Those amongst these gangs that were smarter than the rest slowly levitated towards the drug distribution. Thus began a database of persons who be preyed upon to buy ‘dream homes’ engineered to default to turn such residences into nightmares – only to be repossessed and sold to other similar victims.

The operation was a large scale one.

While in the CBI, Thapa had been assigned the task of identifying the shady methods of foreign banks, their lending patterns and recovery methodology. At the start of his probe, he had stumbled on to the world of pricey auditing firms which violated every known law in every nation possible and yet retained the veneer of respectability. One such firm is Pricewaterhouse Coopers [PwC].

A minor cog of this giant machine, Sengodan had committed the cardinal sin of ‘leaning on’ Pachaiappan – nicknamed ‘patch-boy’ amongst a small group of friends for recovering credit card dues. Pachaiappan was the son of Duraisingham, a head constable who worked for CBI. The young man had apparently used the rectangular piece of plastic during a new year’s party in a 3-star hotel. The bill had come to Rs.26K. Patch-boy’s pals promised to pool in the money to square the loan off. But, the sharing of the financial load actually never took place.

Without knowing the antecedents of his victim’s father, Sengodan began sending threatening messages to Pachaiappan. Usually, credit card and finance companies avoid 3 categories of individuals viz. Journalists, lawyers and police officials. The avoidance is explained away with a two-word term: “negative profile”. Secretly the movers and shakers in this rat race admit that discovery of the workings of their racket is their big fear. The bigger fear is journalists, lawyers and cops using the instrument of blackmail to clean the wrongdoers out, aver the men and women at tertiary levels of this game. The bitter truth is stranger. Those who never deserve a single rupee manage to net billions of rupees and are allowed to not only default but also helped to escape the laws of India under everyone’s noses. 

Before long, seeing his son listless most of the day, the cop accessed the SMS from his son’s mobile.

Duraisingham sought the advice of his superior officer.

Holding the rank of Inspector General, Thapa merited a landlubber bosun. Duraisingham performed that task admirably in Chennai.

So, when the hapless minion approached his boss for saving his son, the IG – then looking after various high profile cases from Delhi for the CBI’s southern operations, Thapa realised the potential and pulled the young man’s chestnuts out of the fire and began watching the gang of ‘recovery agents.’ That endeavour had landed the strange fish – Sengodan.

By keeping tabs on Sengodan, Thapa had traced most of the racketeers and identified their modus operandi. That was when he suspected something else – the presence of a vigilante group of IT professionals functioning beyond their work-station borders to identify ill-gotten funds parked abroad. As he had begun taking an interest in the activities of several young men and women, one of them – a Brahmin girl aged 24 – Swathi – had been brutally killed in mid 2016.

When others above him found out Thapa’s focus, they got him transferred – virtually on punishment. But, being pushed to the wall, Thapa had decided to fight. And that fight had led to his unearthing the huge racket whose minor loose end was Sengodan. The big time players were builders and architects working from flashy offices.

Thapa looked at the clock in his office.

It was close to 7 p.m.

Pressing his buzzer, he summoned Duraisingham – who had levitated to the NCB along with his boss.

“We may have a major job to do, tomorrow, to end rackets of youngsters’ tormentors – like the man who had harassed your son,” Thapa said.

“Sure sir,” the orderly said.

“I have been tracking the mobile of this person called Sengodan. He lives in Choolaimedu area but does his trade in OMR. It seems he is also stalking a girl Swathi – like someone else had chased her namesake last year. What makes the whole thing interesting is the qualification of this girl and her core competence area. She is a code breaking ethical hacker. I suspect that last year’s dead Swathi was one as well.”

“Did the other girl – the dead Swathi do the same thing and was she killed on that count sir?”

Duraisingham asked the question at the spur of the moment in total innocence.

“I have a strong suspicion that she was,” Thapa enigmatically said.

-to be continued

Divine Intervention – 3

Official apathy, corrupted systems of governance, criminal politicians, cussed cops and the odd judicial slip have harmed human psyche.

Could God be of help?

Trying to generate hope, I have so far penned 2 pieces of fiction – to restore faith in divinity amongst humans.

The links:

Divine Intervention 1

Divine Intervention 2

In both the tales, God Almighty plays a subtle role and restores sanity and parity.

I have begun writing the third.

Here is the first instalment.

August 22 2017

Nungambakkam rail terminal seemed huge and imposing to the demure, dusky 22-year-old, Telugu speaking girl D Swathi at 5-55 a.m. that Tuesday.

Her namesake had been murdered in cold blood in that very railway station in June 2016. The perpetrator, stalker-killer – one Ram Kumar – had dropped dead in a prison under mysterious circumstances a few weeks later. Chennai’s corrupt cops had complicated the murder probe. Some among them had succeeded in getting sections in the media to cast aspersions on the character of the victim posthumously. Later, Kumar’s suspicious ‘suicide’ was hurriedly buried in the shallowest of graves.

She had other reasons to be afraid.

Fear in a male form, with rippling muscles, clad in a crocodile brand black “T” shirt and black trousers with a leery expression to boot had stalked her all the way from home located some 600 metres away.

Chennai is India’s 4th largest metropolis located on the right flank of the Asian subcontinent’s limp phallus shaped peninsula’s upper half. On a map, Sri Lanka, the island nation, seems like a drop of semen dripping from a flaccid male organ.

Swati had joined the very organisation where her namesake had worked before – Tata Consultancy Services [TCS] a few weeks back.

The firm’s offices were located in a distant suburb named Maraimalai Nagar – some 50 km due south of where she stood.

Juxtaposed to rail terminals, the names Swathi and TCS have an eerie ring. Way back in 2014, another girl by the same name had died when a bomb planted under her seat went off in a stationary train in Chennai Central Railway Station.

Hailing from a lower middleclass family, D Swathi stayed with her parents and younger brother in Choolaimedu, a nondescript district located within a km of Nungambakkam railhead.

The place is a beehive of criminals. Many of them are drug peddlers, eunuch sex workers and pimps. Most of them are stool pigeons. Policemen wink at this flotsam and jetsam of the underworld – under the guise of running a network of informers to solve more serious crimes. The shameful ruse rarely works.

Defenceless girls trudging to and from work and/or educational institutions are regularly kidnapped and handed over to rich, sexual perverts. Videos of the resultant sadistic acts are used to blackmail and force some of the survivor victims into prostitution. Less attractive girls were/are first raped, then slaughtered and flung by the wayside far away from the crime scene – where – more often than not – the bodies are not identified.

Such abominable crimes have become commonplace in almost every 3rd world city. India’s Chennai is no exception.

Small-timers operating in Choolaimedu were “service providers” for larger underworld outfits centred some 7 km northward surrounding the city’s Puzhal Central Prison.

Swathi’s killer Ram Kumar was cited as dead after biting into a live electric wire in a highly restricted and remote zone within Puzhal prison – which was off bounds for an under-trial prisoner. Kumar’s regular cell was almost a km away from where his body was reportedly found – an electrical control room. Cops trotted out a cock and bull story that Swathi’s killer had bitten into an electric cable and had died of a fatal shock.

Swathi’s initial ‘D’ stood for Damarla. It denotes origins in the neighbourhood state of Andhra Pradesh. On that very day – August 22 – in 1639, one of her forefathers – a small-time vassal of the Vijayanagar Empire – Damarla Chennappa Nayakudu – had ‘granted’ the land between 2 rivers – the first being Cooum and the second named ‘Egmore’ to the ‘Honourable’ East India Company to build a ‘factory’ and a warehouse. [1] The former has morphed into a huge gutter. The latter river isn’t even visible. The ‘factory’ served as the first seat of power of colonial British.

Fort St George is the seat of power in Tamil Nadu today. From 1744 onwards, that stockade served as the take-off stage of the career of colonial Britain’s worst specimen Robert Clive.[2]

When known as Madras, Chennai could boast of a uniformed fraternity that cared for citizens. Police commissioners like Parangusam Naidu in 1919 and Sripall [1980-1984] the citizenry enjoyed a sense of safety. The political rulers – like the late Chief Minister MGR were of better stock. Finally there were others like Mohandas – the legendary policeman of Tamil Nadu.

The situation had worsened since the turn of the century.

It had reached its nadir after the Swathi murder. Since then, the mismanagement of law and order southern India’s show piece is at its worst. In early 2017, cops had allowed half a million persons to gather at Chennai’s seafront called the Marina Beach – demanding the holding of the annual bull-taming festival that had been banned by the Supreme Court. The do had culminated in mindless violence. The cops blamed it on the sudden entry of ‘unruly, non-state, opposition sponsored so-called unknown violent elements. The vital question as to how such a huge crowd had gathered on a thoroughfare marked in the south by the state police headquarters and Tamil Nadu’s seat of power – Fort St George in the north remains unanswered. 

Swathi briefly ducked into a nationalised bank’s air-conditioned teller machine console, inserted her Andhra Bank debit card, punched her 4 digit personal index number [PIN], clicked the ‘savings account’ and ‘withdrawal’ slots respectively and typed 5-0-0. Unexpectedly, 5 crisp, hundred rupee notes came out of the dispenser.

A warning note in the balance slip informed her that she was below the Rs.1000 minimum limit in bank accounts.

“Mine is a Jan-Dhan account – and hence the minimum balance routine shouldn’t count,” she muttered under her breath.

The tall promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi didn’t matter to the shrewish females that manned Andhra Bank’s branch where her savings account was lodged.

“Those are our rules. If you think we are violating them, you can take your account and go elsewhere. The banks need to make a profit and pay its staff. You freebooter paupers keep draining our precious resources,” the school marm-like manageress had announced when Swati had tried to protest the other day. During that exercise, a diabetic subordinate of the man-eating tigress like manageress was ticked off for being a bit late in a highhanded and rude manner. His obvious chagrin caused the man to initially wince and then lurch unsteadily before he returned to his seat.

The likes of scofflaw Vijay Mallya who owed close to Rs.100 billion to high street banks in India were enjoying life abroad while the nationalised financial institutions’ decision makers that had illegally funded his shenanigans with people’s money played silly parlour games by pretending to auction the ill gotten wealth of the fugitive profligate. If the poor as much as whimpered a protest, the persons behind the counters shamelessly cited non-existent rules and barked threats – sending those whose money actually generated their salaries – scurrying for cover. Like elsewhere in the globe, the dice were loaded against the poor in India and its southern metropolis.

Swathi had needed the change. She entered a small shrine for the elephant headed Hindu God, Ganesh sitting virtually next to the ATM.

“Save me from the clutches of this cruel world, O Lord! Every day, this stalker chases me right till the station and I do not want to die like my namesake. I am afraid to go to the police because he may be part of a gang that regularly pays the cops. I am scared of losing my job. My family needs the money badly. The management will wash its hands off if something untoward happens. I get the heebie-jeebies about getting raped. Please save me, sir!”

Wiping tears from her eyes, Swathi hurriedly shoved a single Rs.100 currency note into the offerings’ box, joined her palms in prayer and ducked out of the shrine’s low threshold. As she ran up the stairs of the foot over-bridge towards the platform– the rowdy – leaning on a lamp post at ground level – whistled.

“The rhythmic movement of your behind stirs my loins and challenges my manhood! Why don’t you take an off and see a movie with me today?”

The rowdy’s cat call irked her. Pretending not to hear him, Swathi bounded up the stairs.

Meanwhile, another, similar devotee placed two plantains on the offerings’ box hurriedly and left. A hungry cow craned its neck and succeeded in grabbing the fruits. Swathi’s improperly inserted hundred rupee note slipped out and fell by the wayside.

I picked it up – knowing that it would come in good use a few minutes later.

Some 1 km to the north of the railhead is a small vegetarian eatery Subha Niwas that serves mouth watering fare at very competitive prices.

An obviously hungry beggar stood beyond the cash counter asking for a free cup of tea. The cashier was shooing him away.

“It is okay. Please give him the drink. I will pay,” I said as I entered.

“Hello! You are here after a long time,” the waiter said as he placed the cup of strong coffee on the table. A small stainless steel vessel containing sugar was placed helpfully next to the beverage. “You seem fitter than before,” the waiter added.

As the beggar finished his cup of tea and tried to enter the establishment to thank me, the cashier waved him away angrily.

A moment later, the rowdy who had stalked Damarla Swathi wandered in and devoured four idlis [spongy rice-cakes] in a jiffy.

The rowdy was obviously very, very, hungry.

Someone looking like his cousin parked his ‘Enfield Bullet’ outside and ambled in.

“You ready with the cash, Sengodan? The boss doesn’t like to wait. And the rendezvous is a long way off – close to Sriperumbudur – on the Bangalore highway,” the newcomer said.

“Yes…I have the Rs.1.5 lakhs in 2000-rupee-notes. I hope the brown sugar is of better quality this time. Last time’s supply had some silly, illegal additive. Clients got a better ‘kick’ but one of them dropped dead. Luckily none in the vicinity of the OMR [Old Mahabalipuram Road] – the IT corridor – where most of the stuff was sold – made the connection. A murder rap is the last thing I want,” Swathi’s stalker said.

“The boss has it all covered. He has huge influence in the police department – both at the state and at the centre. He invests the money earned from these shenanigans into real estate – building on lands acquired cheaply and at what are known as ‘competitive rates’. The money is very, very well hidden. Some 3 years ago, there was a building collapse in the suburbs that killed 61 chaps – all poor labourers from northern India. That makes it 61 murders and not even a single murder case was registered and/or pursued. The semi-high rise with 11 floors in question collapsed like a house of cards and yet none of those who had bought them seriously pursued the case. Whatever settlement had to be done, was perhaps done out of court. Don’t worry about murder and/or any raps. The boss will take care of them all. Talking of the drug OD victim, I heard that the boy died on the road. Someone cleaned out his purse, credit cards, wrist watch, gold chain, i-fone mobile and a lot more. That someone happened to be one of your flunkeys. So, cut the sanctimonious, self-righteous shit and let us get going.”

The duo settled the bill and left.

“You haven’t touched your coffee, sir,” the waiter announced standing next to the chair where I was seated.

“I suddenly don’t feel like having any. There is a bitter feeling on the tongue and in the intellect,” I said, settled the bill for the other man’s tea and my coffee with the Rs.100 crisp note I had picked up and emerged from the eatery. The beggar rushed towards me. I left Rs.20 and change in his bowl. I retained the Rs.50 note, for I knew it would soon find a use.

“Use the money for eating and not drinking,” I told the man and walked away.

O0o0o0o0o0o0o0oO

As she left her office around 6 p.m., Swathi called Veerabahu – her younger brother – a class 9 student.

“Come to the railway station in exactly one hour. That fellow was chasing me today morning also,” Swathi announced.

“I can do very little to that body-builder if something bad happens,” Swathi’s male sibling commented.

“Let us all hope that it never comes to that. There is a saying in Telugu – a male even if he is of the size of a palm – is protection enough.”

“Okay, I will come,” the boy grudgingly said.

It had been a hectic day at office.

Retired Director General of Police Durgaiyadimai Dheeran Thiruvachagam had addressed a select gathering of systems analysts in TCS. Swathi had been part of the audience. The man’s initials constituted the acronym DDT, an insecticide currently banned in many nations. [3]

“In more ways than one, my initials – DDT have serious similarities with the properties of the insecticide DDT. There are many who call me a ruthless, uncompromising demon who ends criminals’ lives with ruthless and cruel suddenness. I had served in the army and was known as a killing machine. More often than not, I shot the enemy-wallahs dead and never bothered asking questions. But, once I returned to civvy-street as a cop, I changed a few of my tactics. In one of the districts bordering Chennai – where I had been posted as a DIG, a retired colonel and his wife were robbed and killed by masked robbers. The killers had decamped with cash and jewels worth about Rs.60 lakhs. They were parents of one of my pals killed in action Kargil. The doctor who examined the bodies told me that they had died less than an hour ago. These gangs usually have about 10 or 11 chaps. We stopped all vehicles and the odd train leaving the area. In some 45 minutes, my juniors had nabbed the baddies. I asked my men to herd the villains into a nearby forest area sans any locals. The booty was found on them. Someone in the force who knew these types guessed that they all were hardened criminals who could be made to talk. But, recovery of stolen properties from past heists could well nigh be impossible as smart lawyers could delay matters in court. The chaps would eventually get bail, vanish and sooner or later…would commit the same crimes again, he said. I knew that the assessment was correct to the last punctuation mark. I asked the criminals to be lined up and took a hard look at them. Picking up a 303 rifle, I calmly shot all the knee caps of all the chaps and also their elbows – rendering them invalids for life. By then, the criminals were begging for mercy and said they would part with all their booty hidden somewhere in Andhra Pradesh – between the railway terminals of Bitragunta and Kaavali. The criminals were then forced to lie down on their stomachs. One of my boys ran the wheels of a police jeep on their injured limbs. We ensured that the chaps lived and dropped them off outside their village and came away leaving a note in Telugu behind – “Any and all those who wish to sample our welcoming party in Chennai are welcome. This wonderful treatment awaits you!” The number of masked robber gangs’ activities in TN has been vastly reduced. The villains, probably, are still alive but will never squeal to bleeding heart human rights’ defenders. They know my type never takes a chance. None of those gangsters can ever be sure as to what I would end up doing. In their warped mind they may imagine that I would lead a vigilante team of commandos and kill them all. Some of my batch mates actually did something like that in Maharashtra a few years ago. Nevertheless, there are cases of such gangs operating in AP. I admit that the methods I just described are not legal at all. Obviously, they are very, very cruel and inhuman. These days, such robbers have learnt a few more dirty tricks. The operators with different modus operandi come from other states too. Criminals’ heist planning quotient – has improved and larger heists have happened and are eluding the inevitable end. But, instances of masked robbers – hitting families in secluded homes in the edges of Chennai city have drastically come down. Is it only due to what I did? Perhaps not, I would carefully add. But, my tactics, sure as hell, must have contributed to the number of such instances coming down. I am like the DDT – illegal in many ways, but, have my useful sides as well,” DDT had said as his opening gambit. The listeners had giggled.

The balding retired cop advised the IT professionals to strengthen the arms of the central government by getting time allotted by the management to hack codes of secretive offshore banks that helped villains stash ill-gotten money in numbered accounts.

“These bastards stole from this nation … or … every one of you. You should help retrieve this stash and deposit it into the coffers of the Government of India, from where the baddies cannot get it back. The money will help India that is Bharat into becoming Bharat that is India. Emperor Bharat had sowed the seeds of proper, operative democracy and selection process of rulers strictly on the basis of merit some 4,000 years ago. It is well nigh impossible to do something as dramatic as that at this point in time. But, with better funding, the government can attempt doing stuff that will help the larger interests of we the people of this nation,” the former officer had stated during his 2 hour long presentation. During the tea break, Swathi had buttonholed the former officer.

“I am not sure whether the management here will allow such hacking. But, some of my friends could do this outside the office in our spare time, sir,” Swathi had told the man.

“Better be careful child. Your namesake was killed … I suspect … because …she was attempting something of this sort. Her killer Ram Kumar was a fall guy who was easily and shamelessly eliminated by corrupt elements in the police force to which I belonged sometime ago. In my opinion, a chilling message was sent to warn such covert vigilante groups – not to crack such codes and retrieve stolen stashes. But, I would say, continue doing it till the baddies find it too difficult to rob the common citizens of India. God only knows how many Ram Kumars are lurking and with what purpose,” DDT had opined.

“But sir, as you say, if some bad people from the police department are involved, what about our safety? Forget the stashes abroad. I am being tormented by a local stalker and am scared to seek help from the nearby cop house,” Swathi said bitterly.

“I played the role of an avenger while donning the uniform. Now, I can’t pull off such shenanigans. Times have changed. The way things are regressing, one can only pray to God! Who knows, God may still help,” DDT had said finally.

As Swathi got into the train at Maraimalai Nagar, her younger brother – a slender teenager lad set out from home, to accord his sister a modicum of security as she walked home.

To be continued

[1]

The factory and the warehouse were housed in what came to be known as Fort St George – from where the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu is being ruled … or perhaps more correctly … misruled.

On 22 August 1639, the piece of land lying between the river Cooum almost at the point it enters the sea and another river known as the Egmore river was granted by a junior member of the Damarla clan to East India Company after obtaining a permission to cede to the white man had been obtained from then Vijayanagar monarch whose first name was Venkatadri.

On this piece of waste land was founded Fort St. George, a fortified settlement of British merchants, factory workers, and other colonial settlers. Upon this settlement the English expanded their colony to include a number of other European communities, new British settlements, and various native villages, one of which was named Madraspatnam. The British named the entire combined city Madras to mark the occasion.

Located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal, Chennai is one of the biggest cultural, economic and educational centres in South India. According to the 2011 Indian census, it is the sixth-largest city and fourth-most populous urban agglomeration in India. The city and its suburbs that includes most part of Kanchipuram district, constitute the Chennai Metropolitan Area, which is the 36th-largest urban area by population in the world. Chennai is among the most visited Indian cities by foreign tourists. It was ranked 43rd most visited city in the world for year 2015.

The Quality of Living Survey rated Chennai as the safest city in India.

Chennai attracts 45 percent of health tourists visiting India, and 30 to 40 percent of domestic health tourists.

As such, it is termed “India’s health capital”

Chennai has the third-largest expatriate population in India. It stood at over 100,000 in 2016 as per census reports.

Tourism guide publisher Lonely Planet named Chennai as one of the top ten cities in the world to visit in 2015.

The metropolis is ranked as a beta-level city in the Global Cities Index and was ranked the best city in India by India Today in the 2014 annual Indian city survey.

 In 2015 Chennai was named the “hottest” city (worth visiting and worth living in the long term) by the BBC, citing the mixture of both modern and traditional values.

 National Geographic ranked Chennai’s food as second best in the world; it was the only Indian city to feature in the list.[23] Chennai was also named the ninth-best cosmopolitan city in the world by Lonely Planet.

The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest city economies of India. Chennai is nicknamed “The Detroit of India”, with more than one-third of India’s automobile industry being based in the city. In January 2015, it was ranked third in terms of per capita GDP. Chennai has been selected as one of the 100 Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under PM Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

[2]

Sometime in June 1744, a rowdy element from England’s Shropshire called Robert Clive began life as a clerk and rose to become a general. Known to have terrorised those who studied in his home’s vicinity, Clive cemented the authority of what was also then known as ‘John Company’.

Clive ‘oversaw’ the dispensation of the ‘white man’s ‘justice’. The greed of short-sighted, egoist weak Muslim noblemen – Muhammad Ali and Chanda Sahib helped him. The insistence of blue-blooded Frenchman Governor General Joseph-François, Marquis Dupleix to fight according to rules aided the cunning former clerk with enormous chutzpah. Within the next half a decade, the authority of the French had decayed and that of the British flew full mast from Fort St George.

In the mid 1740’s, British Prime Minister William Pitt ‘the elder’ hailed Clive as a ‘heaven-born-general’ without any military training.

Clive returned to Great Britain at the age of 35 with a fortune of at least £300,000 filched from India plus an annual ‘quit-rentof £27,000.

Lord Macaulay praised Clive thus: “Clive gave peace, security, prosperity and such liberty as the case allowed to millions of Indians, who had for centuries been the prey of oppression. [Clive was better than] Napoleon [Bonaparte whose] career of conquest was inspired only by personal ambition. 

[3]

DDT or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane is a colourless insipid odourless crystalline insecticide whose early form was created in 1874. Its commercial use was perfected by Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Mueller in 1939. Some 9 plus years later, Mueller got the Nobel for medicine as the poisonous chemical was effective in destroying harmful arthropods which are insects of the arachnid and crustacean variety. These beings constitute roughly 80% of the world’s animal population. Opinion about letting them live peacefully is divided. Known to cause several diseases in two-legged and 4-legged creatures, a section of humanity wishes to exterminate them. A larger group opposes this idea because the poor voiceless things help in pollination and thus spread of vegetation – the world over.

In 1962, marine biologist Rachel Louise Carson – whose interests centred around saving the world through conservation of multiple species authored the book Silent Spring. The book revealed that DDT also caused cancer among humans and was a serious threat to wildlife, particularly birds. The ‘Bald Eagle’ [national bird of the US of A] and Peregrine Falcon were 2 birds that had almost been rendered extinct by hunters and also by DDT. A decade later, United States of America banned use of DDT by accepting the ruling made under the auspices of Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Thanks to the ban, the 2 birds in question can be seen flying freely in the American continent. Nevertheless, DDT is still used in some nations as it effectively kills mosquitoes that spread fatal epidemics like malaria.

Tamil Nadu turns politically turtle and purple!

Tamil Nadu is clearly in the middle of political crossroads buffeted by confusing cross-currents as the state edges closer to the by election to RK Nagar located north of southern metropolis Chennai. It had been represented by the late Jayalalithaa.

A familiar voice was reciting the famous poem by WH Davies.

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

It was the political fixer MG seated facing the entrance of the Press Club in New Delhi. As usual, he was nursing a drink. His animated recital of the verse seemingly addressing a man dressed in homespun white – obviously a political type intrigued me.

The cocktail in MG’s hand had a strange hue – indigo – or simply purple.

“We are obviously not as good as you are in English, Mr. MG. Further, you never say anything without a political significance. Kindly elaborate,” the man seated next to him said in a treacly voice.

“Life is so full of care. Its odd absence in a hospital – during the autumn weeks of the only celebrity political heavyweight of the south – now sadly no more – Jayalalithaa rankles even more. The political developments are taking place so fast that we neither have the time to stand nor to stare at the forthcoming by elections in Chennai’s little known, dust blown assembly constituency – RK Nagar. On April 12, the day votes will be cast in the polling booths, the death knells will begin tolling for Dravidian brand of politics. The AIADMK – the political outfit founded by the late MGR will be dead as a dodo from that day onwards. But, the pace of political events is so fast that one will hardly have the time to even notice by standing and staring at it,” Minimum Guarantee said.

“It is a preposterous thing to say,” I butted in and plonked my backside on a chair, positioned adjacent to the duo. “Jaya has left behind a vibrant political body and it is bound to give the opposition in Tamil Nadu – the heebie-jeebies on April 12,” I reacted.

“The problem with you stupid journalists is that you expect people to believe that you are giving equal coverage in a fair manner to all shysters in the political spectrum. Everyone knows the obvious thing called paid news that peddled under the camouflaged as objectivity.  The only remnants of Jayalalithaa’s life comprise an interred body in a grave at the Chennai seafront, a bawdy busybodies’ bawling business of the shady kind an already forgotten legacy and footnote as a posthumously convicted criminal. Her so-called successors are fighting like Kilkenny cats – all working towards the singular purpose of destroying the other competitors from the same stable. In turn it could help the MK Stalin-led opposition romp home despite the DMK fielding a political lightweight. One even wonders whether the TN regime itself will last that long as the whole house of cards can collapse with the lightest of breezes blowing from the general direction of the MGR-Jaya graves sitting next to each other virtually cheek by jowl. Some joker may meditate, mediate and then levitate to any chosen cozy corner to corner as much dough as possible. And then, it will simply be a matter for the coroner called the Chief Electoral Officer stationed in Chennai,” the fixer observed.

“My knowledge about the south is next to zilch, so kindly elaborate,” the Guru’s new admirer chimed in.

I rolled up my eyes in despair and looked around me in sheer frustration. North Indians very well know how the land lies yet want to hear more lies – to make up their silly minds.

Thanks to the sweltering heat in national capital region [NCR], the small air-conditioned smokers’ room was overcrowded. Four journalists were playing a game of carrom, two were engaged in a game of chess and six others were eyeing the small screen of the television set in a corner.

The ‘fixer’ is a spitting image of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s flunkey, Makhan Lal Fotedar.

The political lobbyist is known as MG which is an acronym of Maha Guru and/or Minimum Guarantee.

“The longer form of MG changes depending on the time, occasion, location and significance of each of my operations,” the man loves to tell those foolish enough to listen.

“One thing is always certain. MG does not stand for Mahatma Gandhi because I love my liquor and flaunt my cocktails,” is a constant line muttered occasionally during his con—corny-conversations.

Often, found citing own aphorisms terming and them as the Holy Minds’ Voices, he is also referred to with the sobriquet – HMV.

MG smiled indulgently at his new disciple and began speaking.

“Allow me to quote WH Davies verbatim here.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

Like cattle being herded to abattoirs, the stupid Tamils allow themselves to be bamboozled during elections by accepting cheap booze and cheaper wads of cash so that the state’s politicians can loot them in broad daylight. Else, why at all would Tamils have elected the Dravidian parties with a grim regularity since 1967 – in the full knowledge that the outfits have as much political policy as there is hair on the bald pate of veteran BJP politician LK Advani? Talking of nuts hidden in the grass, ask yourself the simple question – as to why would 122 MLAs even heed Sasikala Natarajan – currently in a Bangalore prison when she will soon be a political nonentity as her election as the General Secretary of the AIADMK is doomed to be set aside? The obvious answer: every political player suspects – Jayalalithaa’s alleged stashed wealth abroad – believed to be a little more than Rs.3 lakh crores being handled as per the whim and fancy of Sasikala. Reportedly, so far a sum said to be around Rs.1600 crores has already changed hands for the upkeep of legislators’ so-called rest cure in Golden Bay resort outside Chennai and its aftermath. The grapevine has it that the deposed CM O Panneerselvam had been promised 10% of that stash by Sasikala to propose her as the GS and CM candidate. Neither the money nor his eternal number 2 post in the cabinet materialised – and so he sat at Jaya’s grave first to meditate, took a walk and began to … er… ‘talk’. The 64 million dollar question is how Sasikala will actually transfer monies believed to be stashed in numbered accounts abroad to the legislators whose supports she needs to stay politically and also physically alive. The first major transfer of hard currency in electronic form from someplace to someplace will be known and then the entire booty will be lost forever, as the BJP types are not going let go of that kind of loot so easily. The female squirrel Sasikala has hidden her nuts and those look for them are going nuts, so far. But this Punch and Judy show will not be allowed to go on interminably. When the curtains fall, it will be the end in every sense of the term for all those whose political fortunes are tied on the side of Sasikala or are on the sides of those arrayed against her,” the fixer pointed out.

MG’s predictions are of the Nostradamus variety. They are puzzling and can be indicated as prophesies of any eventuality.

Thanks to his somewhat archaic language, he also is derisively called Long Playing Old Record [LPOR], cassette tape [CT] video-cassette-disc [VCD]. His actions have earned him other epithets. Some of them are political predicament predictor [PPP1], fixer-of the deadly instigation [FDI2], Doddering Lying Factotum [DLF3] and first-class rascally abomination [FCRA4].

“I understood so far, but what will happen to all that money,” the north Indian political greenhorn asked.

“You really need to understand the lines of Davies.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

Anything can happen to Sasikala before she sees broad daylight after her release some 4 years hence. She may be dreaming of a high-sky life in the starry heights, but the glances of entities like the Enforcement Directorate and the CBI cannot be termed as ‘beauties’ by any stretch of imagination. Jayalalithaa was a good dancer. The rumour is that her feet were amputated. Doctors at the Apollo hospice have denied it, but their stories – notice the plural – have more holes than Swiss cheese. When someone takes it upon himself or herself to watch the feet – as to whether they are missing or are not – the shit will hit the fan … even if the feet haven’t been amputated. The exhumed body will give the time of death under forensic examination. That exactly is the thing Apollo, Sasikala, a host of doctors, several central government entities and that British embalming specialist Dr Beale are trying to hide by repeatedly squealing contradictory tales. I would call that the dance of the death of dainty feet – in present tense or past,” VCD observed.

This was becoming too controversial.

I tried a different tack.

“Everyone knows that PM Modi placed his right hand to bless Sasikala during Jaya’s funeral. Obviously she has or had Modi’s blessings. In return for the lion’s share of Jaya’s stash abroad a section of the BJP could ensure in some way or another to remove Sasikala and OPS from the scheme of things and cobble a united AIADMK to be led by anyone with a little credibility left. One still hears that the actor Rajnikant is mulling over the situation. Thespian Kamal Haasan has begun making politically relevant statements,” I argued.

“Listen to what Davies finally said

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare. 

None can be sure as to when will Sasikala open her mouth. And none has the time to wait till she does. The DMK wants to return to power, but is handicapped by other considerations. Elections are due in Karnataka soon, but before that, those belonging to the party in TN would want a crack at wielding power because sentiments in Karnataka are dead against Tamils thanks to the Cauvery water dispute. At some stage, the AIADMK regime would fall due to its contradictions. Like the BJP did in Goa and Manipur, huge sections of the AIADMK legislators – perhaps – led by OPS himself – could walk into the BJP – hailing Modi and his recent electoral victories in UP and UK. Power is the dirtied river Ganges that camouflages all political sins. Take the state Congress unit chief in TN – Suppuramuthevar Thirunaavukkarasar. He was a mainstay in the AIADMK under MGR, touted as Jaya’s protector when her fight against her foes began, later became a Rajya Sabha member from MP to be made a central minister during the NDA regime and is now with the Congress, talking political turkey with the DMK. He is a miniaturised and personified version of TN’s political chameleons. It was the DMK which had carried front page exposes on the same Thirunaavukkarasar’s ill-gotten wealth in the 80’s several times. The DMK, AIADMK, PMK, MDMK and DMDK to name just 5 have all been party of NDA and UPA bandwagons directly and/or indirectly at some time or other. Politicians have no sense of shame. And I have no shame in helping the shameless,” FCRA quipped with a guffaw.

“But the Dravidian parties hate the BJP and could never trust them. More importantly, why would AIADMK politicians levitate to the BJP which has no base in TN?” I registered my somewhat feeble protest.

“You are clearly blind beyond the tip of your bulbous nose. For many like OPS, Vijaykant, Jaya’s niece Deepa and other flotsam and jetsam of Tamil Nadu – at this moment – the DMK doors are closed. To be relevant in politics every politician needs a saleable brand with some working capital. BJP – riding on the shoulders of Modi and wielding power at the centre is exactly that. Finding an excuse to be in any camp is as easy as falling off a log in politics,” PPP cackled in response.

“It would still not get the BJP its ground strength or the money from Sasikala,” I averred.

“Ha! Each Dravidian party constituency satrap will arrive with his band of followers and thus create the infrastructure for the BJP at the beginning. From then, everyone will play by the ear or as far as any of those politically blind bats can see. More seriously, when cornered inside her cell, Sasikala may never reveal the details of the stash. So be it. After all, Modi had promised to bring back the wealth stashed abroad and that promise has been conveniently forgotten for now – thanks to his success in unearthing black money through demonetisation. The stash would never be useful to her – even when she emerges from prison … for there is something called nemesis – which strikes when one least expects it to,” DLF spoke in a grim voice, colder than that of the devil.

I had had enough.

“Your drink has a strange colour,” I interpolated to obviously change the subject.

“It is called ‘Indigo’. It contains two types of liqueurs called Curaçao with a dash of Gin and a small dose of E133 dye or Brilliant Blue FCF that lends the purple colour. The due – used in various ‘edible’ applications like canned and/or bottled food, dried soup powders, ice cream, dairy products, mouthwash, soap, shampoos and toilet cleaning liquids. The name Indigo, its colour, its uses and the rarely heard abuses are the fulcrum of politics the world over. How many would know that one of the main sources of Britain’s wealth during colonial times was opium cultivated in India under the guise of indigo plantations? In the 18th century, Britain had a huge trade deficit with Qing dynasty China and so in 1773, the Company created a British monopoly on opium buying in Bengal, India by prohibiting the licensing of opium farmers and private cultivation. The monopoly system established in 1799 continued with minimal changes until 1947. As the opium trade was illegal in China, Company ships could not carry opium to China. So the opium produced in Bengal was sold in Calcutta on condition that it be sent to China. Despite the Chinese ban on opium imports, reaffirmed in 1799 by the Jiaqing Emperor, the drug was smuggled into China from Bengal by traffickers and agency houses such as Jardine, Matheson & Co and Dent & Co. in amounts averaging 900 tons a year. The proceeds of the drug-smugglers landing their cargoes at Lintin Island were paid into the Company’s factory at Canton and by 1825, most of the money needed to buy tea in China was raised by the illegal opium trade. The Company established a group of trading settlements centred on the Straits of Malacca called the Straits Settlements in 1826 to protect its trade route to China and to combat local piracy. The Settlements were also used as penal settlements for Indian civilian and military prisoners. Old man Gandhi realised this bitter truth. India’s real struggle for freedom under Gandhi began in Champaran – now in Bihar – where he fought the case of Indigo farmers. It was a dying commercial dye. None bothers to seriously report that the indigo crop also had a different use. The farmers and labourers were forced to grow indigo instead of food crops by the colonial British. indigo was bought from them at a very low price to export to China as opium.”

“What has that got to do with what I asked – the drink?”

“Patience is a virtue, boyo! This is the era of social media. It is comparable to what Lenin visualised as “socialism.” He famously said thus: Under socialism all will govern in turn and will soon become accustomed to no one governing. He then added a caveat to it: When there is state there can be no freedom, but when there is freedom there will be no state. In the 16th century tasty and juicy oranges were brought to the island of Curaçao by Spanish colonizers. The fruit, however, struggled to survive in the dry tropic climate and the fruits were stunted and bitter. A few years later, someone noticed that the skin of these oranges contained an aromatic ingredient to flavour oils and essences. The oily liqueur – Curacao was the next natural step. One can keep arguing as to which state administers the nation Curaçao – a self regime or the one in Suriname or the Netherlands. The same can be said of Tamil Nadu and several other states of India. Indigo is also one of the largest privately owned airlines in India said to be part owned by Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra. Indigo is a colour or dye, the base for opium that generates illegal cash, an apposition to political intoxication and reportedly an airline that takes passengers on punctual heights! All these attributes are linked in some way or other to colonial rule and its seeming Benami successor – the Indian National Congress – now a private limited company owned by Sonia Gandhi and family. And that, my dear fellow, is my cocktail – Indigo – politically relevant and potent – all in one smooth drink!”

The Delhi dunderhead dressed in Khadi broke into Punjabi and exclaimed, “Sirji, tussi great ho!”

Not wishing to hear more flattery, I mumbled an excuse and escaped.

[1]

The commonly known expansion of PPP is Purchasing Power Parity.

Else, in the subcontinent, it stands for Public-Private-Partnership and Pakistan Peoples’ Party

[2]

Often FDI denotes Foreign Direct Investment.

[3]

The acronym DLF is a company incorporated in India in the year 1946 under the name and style Delhi, Land & Finance.

[4]

FCRA is the short form of a law in India meant to regulate funds received from abroad for non-commercial purposes – or Foreign Contribution Regulation Act 2010.

Mumbai cops actively protect Indian criminals

The safest haven for criminals in India that is Bharat – is the nation’s financial capital – Mumbai!

The following documented crimes and their perpetrators are living testimonies to this reprehensible phenomenon:

Pakistan-based 26/11 and 1993 terrorists’ financiers continue to operate in Mumbai with impunity.

Since 2013, the sinking of a naval submarine remains unsolved despite the then Defence Minister AK Antony saying in parliament that he suspected enemy action! India’s mainstream media [MSM] cares two hoots about this.

Rafique Malik Tejani, a pillar of Mumbai’s 5-star-cocktail circuit has been accused of being in cahoots with the likes of Dawood Ibrahim and others time and again. The 3-year-long cover-up was achieved through the July 2016 so-called suicide of a shady media hack blackmailer.

Tejani reportedly had a suspect role in the enemy action that sank Mumbai’s guard-ship submarine – Sindhurakshak in 2014. The matter was exposed for the nth time in 2016. No action was taken!

Instead of being hauled up before the law, Tejani and the company Metro House – headed by him – have allegedly usurped property owned by Mumbai Port Trust.[1]

The crimes are being committed with impunity – thanks to ‘cooperative operating methods’ of the ‘yellow-section’ of India’s Mainstream Media [MSM]. The controls are in Karachi, Islamabad and Beijing!

There is worse.

Mumbai cops shamelessly collaborate with gangsters. The system plays musical chairs with a few careers. [2]

The third most important case pertains to Zakir Naik – who is having a jolly time abroad. Mumbai cops keep pretending to attempt nabbing Naik.

It is one of the most vain cover-up attempts – with the help of former Mumbai cops occupying pivotal position in Saudi Arabia! [3]

These columns had clearly exposed how and why Zakir Naik may never return to India.

Finally, there is India’s most wanted terrorist fugitive Dawood Ibrahim.

Ibrahim is said to be linked to India’s Vigilance Commissioner for Banking Operations – TM Bhasin.

Bhasin is involved in a lot worse!

Among other things, Bhasin has been suspected of being in cahoots with international terrorist criminal Dawood Ibrahim to destroy India’s finance sector by mounting an attack on India’s international banking showpiece – the Bank of Baroda.

For further details on criminal banker Bhasin’s financial misdemeanours, download and read:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/business/india-business/CVC-seeks-action-against-Indian-bank-CMD-ex-ED/articleshow/22177194.cms

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=921

http://tsvhari.com/template_article.asp?id=909

[1]

Dawood’s Mumbai based accomplices are linked to an Rs.2, 60, 00,000 crores scandal tied to the Mumbai’s Port Trust. Top 5 newspapers of Mumbai carried a fallacious report about the building now called Metro House.

The plinth area of Metro House on whose ground floor a beer-joint Café Mondegar is located is 1457 square metres [a little over 14,500 square feet]. Upon this plot, 4 floors totally measuring some 57,000 square feet have been erected. The rough per-square-foot price in the area is Rs.1, 00,000. The calculable commercial value of the building on that basis is Rs.5.70 crores. But a mere 20 sq ft shop abutting the pavement has a value of Rs.3 crores. On that basis, the conservative commercial value is at least 1000 times more or simply, Rs.5.70 lakh crores! 

Metro House is situated within a 1 km radius of the offices of the Maharashtra state’s Director General of Police, the 26/11 Pak Terrorism victim Taj Mahal Hotel and Leopold Cafe, the biggest Jewish shrine of worship in Mumbai, besides the State Legislative Assembly and Secretariat.

Café Mondegar – a beer joint – frequented by the rich young crowd – was about to be evicted on April 19 2015, reports believed to have been planted by a media racketeer masquerading as a journalist Saumit Sinh, said.

The originally planted news item dated April 17 2015:

http://mumbaiwalla.com/cafe-mondegar-faces-eviction-after-bpt-terminates-building-lease/

The Times of India had to eat humble pie by publishing this report on April 21 2015 – because its sister publication Mumbai Mirror had published a report on April 18 2015 saying Mondegar would be evicted.

Operative excerpts from the ‘humble-pie’ report published in The Times of India on April 21 2015:

Eviction proceeding against the iconic Metro house in Colaba that houses Cafe Mondegar, did not begin on Monday [April 20 2015].

[The above paragraph implied the eviction was scheduled for April 20 2015.]

Metro House, a lease holder of the property, and other tenants had received a notice for termination of lease agreement by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) last November 2014 and respondents have reply within six months.

Indian Express dated April 18 2015 scored its own goal. Excerpts:

Cafe Mondegar, an iconic watering hole, now faces closure. The restaurant and pub is among the 23 tenants of the Metro House in Colaba which was issued a lease termination letter by Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) in November last year for violation of lease norms.

The occupants of the building, including Cafe Mondegar, were given time to vacate the property, and the deadline ends on Sunday, April 19.

The eviction notice, served on November 19, 2014, says that the lessee of the building, Metro House Pvt Ltd, has flouted every possible term of the lease, including multiple instances of illegal subletting and alterations, unauthorized constructions of mezzanine floors, lofts, installation of mobile towers, besides unpaid rent, service tax and interest. The MbPT has also slapped a compensation demand of Rs. 76,16,537 (including interest, service tax) which was supposed to be paid by the tenants within one month after they received the notice.

Ex-Mumbai Port Trust chairman Ravi Parmar said, “We have served a notice terminating the lease of Metro House. After the notice period expires on April 19, we will start eviction procedure.

Operative excerpts from a report in the Daily News and Analysis dated April 23 2015 – which formed the fig-leaf cover-up:

The Metro House Pvt Ltd, which houses the famous Cafe Mondegar, has been issued an eviction notice by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT). The last day for response is slated as May 19.

The Metro House Mystery

The building and the land on which it [Metro House] is constructed have belonged to the Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay since 1873.

In the Small Causes Court – a matter is actually pending in a contorted manner. In one of its rulings, the Small Causes Court says:

“Admittedly, the plaintiffs [viz. Cafe Mondegar and a small roadside shop Shankar Book Stall locked in a legal dispute concerning a shop within the Metro House building] are tenants of the premises, Unit No. 2, 5 and 6 owned by Metro House Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai.”

The Maharashtra Rent Control Act 1999 declares in its own text at Section 3 that its provisions do not apply to a premises owned by the government or by a local authority and the Board of Trustees of the Port of Bombay is one such local authority.

Mumbai Port Trust’s lawyer has claimed ownership of his principals on the plot of land leased to Metro House since 1995.

Relevant excerpts from the notice issued to Metro House:

 My clients … [owners of the building located on] a plot of land bearing RR No. 2100 [Old RR No. 1312] the Trustees of the Port of Bombay had granted lease by registered lease deed dated 4-4-1995 admeasuring 1457 sq. mtrs … for a period of 30 years commencing from 1.03.1991 and expiring on 28.02.2021. My clients Trustees Resolution No. 39 of 1991, the board accords [sic] its sanction for grant of fresh lease in renewal of expired lease of the above premises in your [Metro House’s] favour.”

The original lease was in the name of a Muslim Trust or Wakf that had ended on July 31 1986.

A copy of a sort of circular dated December 2 1986 on the letterhead of Khanbahadur Haji S. Meharbakhsh 1st Wakf-alal-Aulad about Aboobaker Mansion, 23-23B-25 Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Bombay 400 039 addressed to all tenants, signed by (i) Shaikh Abdul Aziz Meherbaksh; (ii) Shaikh Abdul Haq Meherbaksh; and (iii) Amjad Aziz Meherbaksh says:

We hereby intimate to you that by an irrevocable power of Attorney executed by us today appointed, constituted and nominated MALEK SULTAN ABDUL MALIK TEJANI and SHRI RAFIQUE ABDUL MALEK TEJANI as our attorneys to hold and manage overall affairs of our immovable property known as “ABOOBAKER” Mansion situated at 23-23B and 25 Shahid Bhagat Singh Road, Colaba Causeway, Bombay 400 039 with full powers and authority inclusive of recovering arrears and accruing rent/compensation and mesne profit from the Tenants/Occupiers of the property.

We have therefore to require you to pay the arrears and accruing future rent/compensation and mesne profit and all other charges to our said Attorneys and deal with them directly without any reference to us.

On 2nd December 1986, the Wakf and its Mutwallis had no claim of any sort on the building including any income derived from it.

In simple terms, Metro House was an illegal occupant claiming to be in possession of the building on the basis of a non-existent lease – which was renewed by the Mumbai Port Trust on 1-03-1991.

How can Mumbai Port Trust renew a NONEXISTENT lease?

The owners of Metro House are directly linked to the 1993 Mumbai bombings and the multi-thousand crore rupee Cobbler Scandal.

One of so-called subtenants of Metro House – Cafe Mondegar – reportedly was one of the sites of the 26/11 planning done by David Coleman Headley.  

The owners of Metro House destroyed the career of an honest income tax official and hounded him for 12 long years.

Rafique Malik [a.k.a. Rafik] with the family name Tejani has sinister political connections that touch the 1993 Mumbai bomb-blasts, city-based criminals linked to Dawood Ibrahim who are all in turn linked to powerful politicians – like Sharad Pawar. Excerpts from an article published on August 12 2014:

Link:

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/08/gadkari-spying-saga-unearths-sinister.html

[By blocking my Gmail account, Google has blocked this blog and hence helped the enemies of India.]

Excerpts from a Times of India report dated October 25 1996 P7 under the heading Shoe scam accused aided in the city’s1993 serial bomb blasts:

“During the arguments in the case, Public Prosecutor VT Tulpule contended that a confidential report from the Intelligence Bureau hinted that the accused persons [comprising Rafik Malik of Metro Shoes, Kishore Signapurkar of Milano Shoes, who owned shops in Karachi and Singapore] had used a portion of the money to fund the serial bomb blasts that rocked the metropolis on March 12 1993.

[Emphasis added].

Excerpts from Times of India [Bombay Times] report dated October 30 1996 under the heading:

IT officer who raided Dawood Shoes falsely implicated. “Exactly 12 years after [income tax department assistant director] Manoj Mishra first exposed tax evasions [by Dawood and Metro Shoes] Mumbai Police has now begun unearthing the skeletons of the multi-crore fraud … known as the Cobbler Scam.”

“Justice VH Bhairavia of the Mumbai High Court …[observed in his judgement thus]:It is clear that the complainant [Sadruddin Daya] who was designated for some time as the Sheriff of Greater Bombay … has gone to the extent of creating a false case against innocent officers such as the appellant [Mishra].”

“Mishra had been raided by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Daya had [claimed to have] handed over Rs. 2.5 lakh to the officer [Mishra].”

“Mishra had been suspended and convicted to rigorous imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of R.50,000 was imposed on him.” The verdict came in August 1995 [12 years after his conviction].

“Mishra’s lawyers argued that over Rs.2.5 crores were due from Daya.” Among the political links being investigated is that of former Maharashtra chief minister, Sharad Pawar.

Excerpts from an Outlook India report:

Link: http://m.outlookindia.com/story.aspx/?sid=4&aid=202844

Investigations have revealed Tejani to be a director of the Rs. 500-crore Dynamix Dairy Products Private Ltd in which Pawar is believed to have a stake through the holdings of family members.

For more download and read here:

Wikipedia suggests that Sharad Pawar has other questionable links:

In 2002–03, the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Sudhakarrao made a statement that the state leader of Indian National Congress party and erstwhile Chief Minister Sharad Pawar, had asked him to “go easy on Pappu Kalani”, a well-known criminal-turned-politician now.

Sudhakarrao also alleged that it was possible that Kalani and Hitendra Thakur, another criminal-turned-politician from Virar, had been given tickets to contest election for Maharashtra State Legislature at the behest of Sharad Pawar who also put in a word for Naik with the police when the latter was arrested for his role in post-Babri Masjid Demolition riots in Mumbai.

Sharad Pawar is also alleged to have close links with the underworld don Dawood Ibrahim through Ibrahim’s henchman Lakhan Singh based in the Middle East and close relationship with Shahid Balwa, also a suspect in the 2G spectrum scam. In turn, Balwa has links with currently disgraced BJP leader Eknath Ganpatrao Khadse. It was alleged that it was Balwa who had applied for environmental clearance for two of the projects linked to Pawar linked to the kingpin in the stamp paper scam, Abdul Karim Telgi cited a link from the magazine Outlook.

Link:

http://m.outlookindia.com/story.aspx/?sid=4&aid=202844

Café Mondegar is run by the Rusi Yezdegardi clan since the 1930’s.

A member of the Yezdegardi family sought to evict a Shankar Bookstall located on its periphery since 1952 by filing a case in the Court of Small Causes at Bombay vide a suit filed under the Maharashtra Rent Control Act 1999.

The plaint cited Metro House Private Limited as the owners of the building to whom the café pay pays to a monthly rent of Rs. 14,761.65 which includes Rs. 7,909.36 earmarked for ground rent levied by the Board of the Mumbai Port Trust.

The Trial Court chose to dismiss the suit. It, however, stated in its ruling, “Admittedly, both the plaintiffs are tenant of the premises i.e., Unit No. 2, 5 and 6 owned by Metro House Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai.”

On two floors of Abu Baker Mansion – lodging houses are being run. They are said to be linked to Nigerian drug and weapons’ smugglers reportedly operated between India and Thailand. A few of them are in a prison in Bangkok.

A series of 13 coordinated bomb explosions carried out at the behest of international terrorist fugitive Dawood Ibrahim shook Bombay [renamed Mumbai later] on 12 March 1993, the first of its kind resulting 257 fatalities and 717 injuries.

The bombs were planted by his henchmen Tiger and Yakub – whose second name is Memon – the sect to which Dawood himself belongs to.

On the basis of India’s Apex court ruling, the Maharashtra state government executed Yakub Memon, on 30 July 2015.

Harvard educated Metro House boss Tejani was arrested in the 1993 serial bomb-blast case as one of the persons who funded the blasts.

The prosecution opposed his bail.

In a simple move, Mumbai Port Trust obliged Tejani by creating a fake lease deed that became operational from 1991 to hide the 1993 stigma.

 [2]

Depending on the political equations in Maharashtra and the links of its underworld dons, top cops’ careers end up stinking or smell of roses.

Here are examples.

In May 2016, IPS officer Atulchandra Kulkarni assumed charge as the new chief of Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) – which – for all purposes is a posting of little consequence – these days.

Kulkarni replaced Vivek Phansalkar. The latter was transferred to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

In January, he had been promoted to the rank of additional director general (ADG) of police – and thus came to possess the same rank as Datta Padsalgikar, currently Commissioner of Police.

Said to have serious differences with current Commissioner of Police Padsalgikar, Kulkarni had set his eyes on the post of Special Police Commissioner. He said as much in SMS messages to his friends in the press.

It was at that point that the athletic Padsalgikar handed Kulkarni – what Mumbai media hacks call the “French letter” posting of ATS Chief.

Incidentally, Padsalgikar has a Master’s degree in French literature.

But CM Devendra Fadnavis shot such plans down.

[3]

The earlier CP – Ahmad Javed had taken over the post from another controversial cop Rakesh Maria.

Incidentally, Javed is India’s top diplomat in Saudi Arabia – where Islamic agent provocateur par excellence – Zakir Naik is ensconced.

The same Mumbai police officers are play acting – saying it is trying to nab Naik!

MH370 – The Never-Ending Mystery!

Malaysian jet MH 370 that “disappeared” some 3 years ago is said to have been sunk by the aircraft’s – captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah thus allegedly committing mass murder of 239 persons on board.

The aircraft – of the Boeing 777ER class is roughly the size of the playing area of a football ground.

One should take such reports with much more than the proverbial pinch of salt.

The somewhat left-leaning Guardian posed a difficult question:

Australia’s multi-million-dollar search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight ‘tested the limits of human endeavour’ – and failed. Where did it go wrong?

Reproduced below are excerpts from a report published in The Daily Mirror – a UK newspaper dated March 1 2017:

An air expert has claimed missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 was a mass murder by the pilot Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, three years after the plane disappeared.

The Boeing 777 disappeared on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board, sparking a two-and-a-half year search that focused on the Indian Ocean.

Authorities from Malaysia, Australia and China initially expected to finish searching a 120,000 sq km (46,000 sq mile) target area by the end of 2016 but bad weather delayed the probe by another two months back in January, and brought it to an end.

One of the plane’s wings was found in Reunion Island 3000 miles away from the search area, “in an extended position that only a pilot could’ve done”, meaning the plane was brought down intentionally.

Air expert Larry Vance confessed he believes the pilot is a culprit of mass murder.

He added: “There’s no other explanation for it. Did the pilot commit suicide or survive? We don’t know!”

The following paragraphs seek to explain that the latest tidings about MH370 could be another smokescreen to hide a huge sinister conspiracy.

For 3 years, this writer has been consistently saying that the ‘mystery’ may never be solved. [1]

Now, yet another theory has been propounded.

In these columns, pinpointed queries had been raised on the premise that obviously, China has second guessed the truth.

Question one:

Would China use its good offices to help Russia trigger World War III to hide its misadventures in Ukraine and Crimea – the chicken neck of the Middle-East gas supply to the West?

Parts of the answers have been provided by EU!

Many countries in central and southeast Europe are dependent on a single supplier for most or all of their natural gas.

To help these countries diversify their supplies, the Southern Gas Corridor aims to expand infrastructure that can bring gas to the EU from the Caspian Basin, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Eastern Mediterranean Basin.

Initially, approximately 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas will flow along this route when it opens in 2019-2020. Given the potential supplies from the Caspian Region, the Middle East and the East Mediterranean, however, the EU aims to increase this to 80 to 100 bcm of gas per year in the future.

EU actions for expanding the Southern Gas Corridor include:

Keeping the infrastructure projects needed for the Corridor on the EU’s list of Projects of Common Interest. These are projects which can benefit from streamlined permitting process, receive preferential regulatory treatment, and are eligible to apply for EU funding from the Connecting Europe Facility

Cooperating closely with gas suppliers in the region including Azerbaijan, Iraq and Turkmenistan

Cooperating closely with transit countries including Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey

Negotiating with Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on a Trans-Caspian pipeline to transport gas across the Caspian Sea.

Russians themselves have provided startling answers:

Facing sanctions from the West after the annexation of Crimea, Russia has reoriented its economy toward China. In making the pivot, it sought to break its diplomatic isolation, secure a market for its energy resources, and gain greater access to Chinese credit and technology. The results of the shift are mixed, but if trends continue, Moscow is likely to drift further into Beijing’s embrace. An asymmetrical interdependence is emerging, with global implications.

In trying to reorient its economy quickly, Moscow has eased informal barriers to Chinese investment.

Chinese financial institutions are reluctant to ignore Western sanctions, but Moscow and Beijing are developing parallel financial infrastructure that will be immune to sanctions.

Question two:

Would the Taliban assets in the Arab world contribute their might to trigger World War III?

The answer comes mainly from the Christian world:

The Third World War has begun, in spite of the fact that few people recognize it. The conflict isn’t between communist and free, as we long expected, but instead between Muslim and the rest of the world. Although militant Muslims in Iraq and Syria have stolen the headlines, it is not long before we see them around the world, making a play for power.

Question three:

Has Iran agreed to cooperate with the West over its nuke plans and is the thawing with Teheran in return for helping NATO hedge its Saudi-dominated bets in the Middle East?

Answers have been provided by The Atlantic:

In recent days, news of Saudi Arabia’s execution of the Shia leader Nimr al-Nimr, and the diplomatic clashes with Iran that followed, has often been accompanied by an explanation that, in simplified form, goes something like this: The schism between Sunni and Shia Islam is an ancient one, expressed today in part through the rivalry between Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran. Those two countries are intractable enemies—“fire and dynamite,” as one Saudi journalist memorably described them. Their proxy battles and jockeying for leadership of the Muslim world have ravaged the Middle East and, as has been vividly illustrated this week, could yet ravage it further.

Frederic Wehrey doesn’t buy that narrative. A scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who researches identity politics in the Persian Gulf, Wehrey believes the execution of Nimr, rather than being the latest salvo in the Saudi-Iran shadow war, was primarily motivated by domestic politics in Saudi Arabia. Specifically, the Saudi royal family wanted to appease powerful Sunni clerics angered by the kingdom’s cooperation with the United States in the fight against ISIS, a Sunni jihadist group.

Operative excerpts from the Wikipedia dossier:

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370/MAS370) was a scheduled international passenger flight that disappeared on 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia, to Beijing Capital International Airport in China. The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines, last made voice contact with air traffic control at 01:19 MYT, 8 March (17:19 UTC, 7 March) when it was over the South China Sea, less than an hour after takeoff.

The aircraft disappeared from air traffic controllers’ radar screens at 01:22 MYT. Malaysian military radar continued to track the aircraft as it deviated westwards from its planned flight path and crossed the Malay Peninsula. It left the range of Malaysian military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km) north-west of Penang in north-western Malaysia. The aircraft was carrying 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 15 nations.

The multinational search effort for the aircraft is the largest and most expensive in aviation history.

The search began in the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea, where the aircraft’s signal was last detected on secondary surveillance radar, and was soon extended to the Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea. Analysis of satellite communications between the aircraft and Inmarsat‘s satellite communications network concluded that the flight continued until at least 08:19 and flew south into the southern Indian Ocean, although the precise location cannot be determined.

Australia took charge of the search on 17 March when the search moved to the southern Indian Ocean. On 24 March, the Malaysian government noted that the final location determined by the satellite communication is far from any possible landing sites, and concluded that “Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”

From October 2014 through January 2017, a comprehensive survey of 120,000 km2 (46,000 sq mi) of sea floor about 1,800 km (1,100 mi) south-west of Perth, Western Australia, yielded no evidence of the aircraft. Several pieces of marine debris found on the coast of Africa and on Indian Ocean islands off the coast of Africa, the first discovered on 29 July 2015 on Réunion, have been confirmed as pieces of Flight 370. However, the bulk of the aircraft has still not been located, prompting many theories about its disappearance.

Malaysia established the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to investigate the incident, working with foreign aviation authorities and experts. Neither the crew nor the aircraft’s communication systems relayed a distress signal, indications of bad weather, or technical problems before the aircraft vanished. Two passengers travelling on stolen passports were investigated, but eliminated as suspects. Malaysian police have identified the captain as the prime suspect if human intervention was the cause of the disappearance, after clearing all others on the flight of suspicious motives. Power was lost to the aircraft’s satellite data unit (SDU) at some point between 01:07 and 02:03; the SDU logged onto Inmarsat’s satellite communication network at 02:25—three minutes after the aircraft left the range of radar. Based on analysis of the satellite communications, the aircraft turned south after passing north of Sumatra and the flight continued for five hours with little deviation in its track, ending when its fuel was exhausted.

With the presumed loss of all on board, Flight 370 is the second deadliest incident involving a Boeing 777 and the second deadliest incident in Malaysia Airlines’ history second only to Flight 17.

Flight 370’s disappearance brought to public attention the limits of aircraft tracking and flight recorders, including several issues raised four years earlier—but never mandated—following the loss of Air France Flight 447.

In response to Flight 370’s disappearance, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) adopted new standards for aircraft position reporting over open ocean, extended recording time for cockpit voice recorders, and, from 2020, will require new aircraft designs to have a means to recover the flight recorders, or the information they contain, before the recorders sink below water.

[1]

Operative excerpts from TSV Hari’s writings dated April 12 2014:

I had predicted that the “missing” Malaysian Airlines’ System [MAS] owned Boeing 777 ER now globally notorious as MH370 will never be found. It is still missing.

I had received a report attributed to Pyare Shivpuri, a linguist formerly of the World Service of BBC.

His analysis quoted generously from a website that seeks to provide clarifications on the missing MH 370. Its link:

http://singaporeseen.stomp.com.sg/singaporeseen/this-urban-jungle/amazing-video-shows-what-its-like-to-brave-choppy-waves-in-mh370-search-operation

The language in the report found in the above link is full of several syntax errors. Pyare was cryptic in his reaction about his contribution and embellishment of the report .

“If you think the report – based on what had been published on the net and reportedly repaired by me is worth publishing in your site, do so by all means. But, please avoid seeking clarifications from me on this account. I have better things to do in life,” Pyare, a personal friend, said.

Pyare had authored a world famous book – The Russian Threat.

He had been imprisoned during the emergency, despite being related to Mrs. Indira Gandhi.

Pyare’s rendition:

The Americans are withdrawing from Afghanistan one of their command and control system (used for controlling the pilotless drones) was hijacked by Taliban fighters when the American transport convoy was moving down from one of the hill top bases.

The Taliban terrorists ambushed the convoy and killed 2 American Seal personnel seized the equipment/weapons, including the command and control system which weighed about 20 tons and packed into 6 crates. This happened in Feb 2014.

Like everyone else on earth, the Taliban wanted and continue to want money.

They tried selling the system to the Russians and/or the Chinese.

The Russians hate the Taliban because these Muslim Afghan fighters were the ones who humbled the mighty Red Army and chased it back into the borders of what had been the Soviet Union. That act had finally led to the collapse of that form of Government under Mikhail Gorbachev.

But, being very clever, the Russians cited their busy schedule in Ukraine and opted out of the drone deal.

Perhaps, that was the window dressing.

The Chinese and the Russians have nice little cooperative venture going.

China is a bit scared of the Western danger – since it has gone well beyond the threshold limit of withstanding the deferring of monies due to its state-owned manufacturing machine-like performing sweat-shops.

A single open defiance by one Western regime and China could arguably pull the plug of world finance to bankrupt more than 70% of the world.

But that would mean that China could never be able to get back its money for the exported easy credit, cheap, but high quality goods.

So, they needed to throw another scare.

A two-pronged game was played in response to what the West began doing sometime last year.

Western Europe is dependent on the cheap Russian gas to run its industries.

But, mad Vlad Putin began showing signs of belligerence and up popped the possibility of his closing the gas taps deep inside Russia. So, a deal was done with the Arabs … to get a natural gas pipeline laid all the way from the Middle-East, snaking through Syria to Western Europe to hedge the Western bets.

Putin realised the threat and began actively supporting the Syrian regime which wanted more than its proper pound of flesh.

So, Syria’s boss Assad suddenly became a global villain just as Saddam morphed into one in the early 90’s.

Russia did not blink one little bit began hailing the virtues of Assad, even vetoed action against Syria when something to the effect was proposed by the West in the UN.

Meanwhile, perhaps China found the offer from the Taliban very interesting as they could duplicate and master the technology to render all American drones ineffective on the one hand, usable by enemy hands on the other and rendered useless whenever and wherever applicable.

The Taliban then committed one stupid mistake.

Knowing that some of the parts of the rogue atomic weapons developed by AQ Khan had come from Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur became the place to exchange the goods for the cash.

Chinese had agreed to the deal, sent 8 of its top defence scientists to check the system and to effect the transfer.

There is of course one fully foxing question whose one bit remains unanswered.

Afghanistan shares a border with China – and hence it could have been sent across the common border.

That is the problem of the mindset of terrorists whose left hand would not trust its right hand.

Under the guise of monitoring Afghan elections, Western powers had the sewn up the Afghan-Sino border all through a chicken-neck area called the Wakhan Corridor. On the southern side is Pakistan occupied Kashmir and on the northern edge is Tajikistan. The final edge of Afghanistan’s common border with China involves a 17 km trek through treacherous terrain and carrying 6 heavy crates on mules is out.

Taliban did not know as to whom to trust in its bases in Tajikistan.

So its fighters decided to do the time tested relationship within the rogue elements of Inter–Services-Intelligence in Islamabad.

The AQ Khan times’ relationship came in handy.

The unanswered parts of the query:

  1. Why did someone not change the 6 crates into 30 crates and render it easier to transport?
  2. If the crates reached KL –what mode of transport was used to achieve that?
  3. If that was the done deal, why not fly directly to Beijing?

Sometime in early March 2014, 8 Chinese scientists reached Malaysia and waited as the six heavy crates made their way to Kuala Lumpur.

The checks were done under diplomatic protection in Kuala Lumpur by the Chinese weapons’ experts.

It was then China’s turn to make a stupid mistake.

Beijing calculated that its agents could transport the cargo unnoticed through civilian aircraft.

The direct flight from KL to Beijing was to take only 4 and half hours. Americans were not expected to hijack or harm a civilian aircraft which had nearly 150 normal Chinese citizens.

So MH370 became the perfect carrier.

As usual, Israel sussed this out.

Determined to recapture the stuff, agents the United States of America and from Tel Aviv [the two so-called Iranians with stolen passports, perhaps were part of this team] quietly got themselves booked into the flight.

Reports say that in all there were 5 agents in the employ of the Americans including the two from Mossad who masqueraded as Iranian agents to lead the world on a wild goose chase.

The American team had persons who were experts in dealing with Boeing aircraft.

When MH370 was about to leave the Malaysian air space and meant to report to Vietnamese air control, an American AWAC jammed its signal, disabled the pilot control system and switched over to remote control mode. That was when the plane suddenly lost altitude momentarily.

After 9/11 incident, all Boeing aircraft and Airbus aircraft have inbuilt systems that would allow a hostile takeover of controls by an AWAC. The ‘sudden’ problems in Boeing aircraft leading to several of them getting grounded – especially in the Far East besides the delay in the delivery of Airbus’s latest fleet to client airlines was the manifestation of this issue.

Armed with virtually undetectable gizmos to take-over the plane controls from the inside and beyond through the AWACs, the 5 agents overpowered the hapless Malaysian pilots, crew, switched off the transponder and other communication systems, changed course and flew in a southwest direction.

Malaysian, Thai and Indian military radars actually detected what their systems termed a ‘rogue’ aircraft, but kept quiet – presumably under US orders.

The plane flew over North Sumatra, Anambas, towards southern India’s military airspace, landed quietly in a specially built airstrip at the Maldives – there are reports of some villagers having seen the aircraft – refuelled and finally landed at the Diego Garcia atoll which is an American Air Base in the middle of Indian Ocean.

The cargo and the black box were removed.

None exactly knows as to what happened to the passengers.

There is of course the golden rule in spying parlance.

The dead tell no tales.

Surely, Google knows this adage only too well.

Google.com killed all my blogs. The lost ones include the following:

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/missing-malaysian-flight-mh-370-one.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/the-white-elephants-flight-and-wwiii.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/missing-malaysian-airlines-final.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/the-239-on-board-missing-malaysian.html

http://tsvhari.blogspot.in/2014/03/the-missing-malaysian-plane-mystery.html