RDX? Catch a Kashmiri...

A cricketer from Kashmir was arrested at the T20 Tournament in Bangalore. Why?

The drama started early in the morning when the private agency tasked with security at the stadium reported that a detector was beeping, indicating explosives within 300 metres. Alerted, the Karnataka anti-terrorism squad moved in at 6.30 am and narrowed their search to the rooms in the Karnataka State Cricket Association Club House on the eastern side of the stadium. The J&K under-22 team had checked in on Friday night for a match in the C K Nayudu tournament from October 21.

The cops were led by sniffer dogs to room 105, occupied by Pervez Rasool and Mehrajuddin. The detectors went off in the room and the cops zeroed in on Rasool’s kit bag, which they suspected had traces of explosives. Immediately Rasool was taken in for questioning. Mehrajuddin was asked to accompany him.

Some questions:

  • Do the security agencies run a check of the grounds everyday? These matches are to begin on the 21st.
  • What else was within the 300 metre radius?
  • What does ‘suspected the kit of containing traces of RDX’ mean?
  • Later, it is reported, the stadium was sanitised. Why was the stadium sanitised if the RDX traces were only in the kit?

This was deemed a terror scare, and these things are not unlikely anywhere. But here is what happened later:

M R Pujar, additional commissioner in charge of law & order and security in Bangalore, said: “A young man was taken for questioning by police but he has subsequently been released without charge. Police and security experts have checked the stadium twice, as well as the suspicious bag, but nothing of concern has been found.’’

So, is one to assume that traces of RDX are not of any concern anymore? Why was the player released? What is the idea behind sending the kit to the forensic lab if you have let him off and the cops say there is no evidence? Isn’t there a possibility that someone will tamper with that kit now that they have been proved wrong and all their terror dreams have come to naught?

What? It is rare to see a J&K team, and it is important that they are playing.

We have had instances of match fixing and other dubious deals in the past even as betting for high stakes continues. That seems to have become legitimate. You need some terror threat at any given time to make things interesting. And what better than a Kashmiri.


  1. A few years ago the Canadian customs at Vancouver intercepted an ismali carrying in US cash in a bag over few hundrerd thousand dollars , which is illegal. The Aga Khan Foundation asked for return of the money as it was collection at their Jamatkhana in Seattle. It was Ok until there was evidence of some drug markings on the cash bills and rather than explain the existence of this, The Aga Khan Foundation decided not to proceed further. The point is if there is any traces of explosives what is one to do except to be extra vigilant in doing so there is every possiblity that innocent people will be drawn it. But knowing the innovative way, terrorist try to sneak one can not be too careful.

  2. This goes on all the time,they don't want kashmiris to be part of every one else.Security agency must be questioned

  3. fv
    All kashmiris wish to have their freedom of choice. Isn't it their basic human right to get one?

  4. Yes I agree. The security Agencies can contaminate with or even plant incriminating substance.

  5. A similar bias against kashmiris has actually been a big setback to J & K Police's counter terrorism efforts. In this case the "culprits" were Kolkata police who screwed up ***big-time*** with their zealot like behavior.

    Here are the Indian Express and BBC News links on the story.

    Indian Express:

    BBC News:


  6. Why so many anons here? Please, please give yourself nicks at least.

    1. If that Ismaili guy was caught with dollars, which is illegal, the authorities should have arrested him for that. Now, they found drug markings and you say "rather than explain the existence of this, The Aga Khan Foundation decided not to proceed further". What? The US Dept left it for the Foundation to decide? It is the business of security agencies to find evidence and act upon it.

    2. I do believe that security agencies, since the police did not find clues, would feel they were proved wrong and it the material could be tampered with by anyone.


    Yes...and I think the branding is not going to stop.


    Thanks for the links. And it is important to realise that such zealousness is not going to end terrorism, which is why we have infiltration, not to speak about our ingrown groups.

    It is also our bureaucratic mentality. We want everything in 'writing'! I wish corrupt deals were written out too...

  7. the solution to kashmiri problem ,lies elsewhere...to mind it lies in education..free from any kind of biases including the ones preched by so called jehadis..
    secondly economic growth of the region in which common man works and gets paid.
    next part is detecting a conspiracy of security forces in everything...from a terrorist point of view...one of the strategy to be employed is to discredit security forces with an aim of breeding anger and a sense of injustice in the society...
    In the business of catching criminals or terrorists..who get to plan and execute without any forewarning to security forces....and who employ innocuous looking people for covering their tracks...who have registered NGOs to throw mud at security forces...
    all i can say is please use a little discretion before jumping to conclusions..:)

  8. FV
    It was the Canadian Customs and not US. When you cross the border it is the Customs on the arrival side who process you for entry.
    You are not allowed to carry , I think, more than $15,000 in cash- presumably to curb money laundering.

  9. mash :
    Can you please explain which part of the original blogpost or the comments actually hinted at Conspiracy of security forces ? It is Bias that is under discussion here. I believe Conspiracy and Bias are different things and I guess most of the dictionaries worldwide agree on that.


  10. Mash:

    After 20 years of insurgency we are still talking about education and employment being the solution to the Kashmir issue?

    I know much of what you have said here is not really a response to the post, but while conspiracies exist are we to deny that there are lapses and worse committed by security forces? If after all these years you have not just infiltrators but more homegrown groups, can we only blame conspiracy waalas (and waalis!) and NGOs flinging mud, and I am not ruling out how some NGOs do cause problems?

    What conclusions have I jumped to? I have asked questions. Now the queries may not be the most comfortable but they are not all that unbelievable that I should dust off discretion from the shelf and use it :)


    Money laundering is not terrorism. Whether in Canada or the US or anywhere else. I said those guys should have been arrested.

  11. of course..it was not a verbatim response to the blog..it was my point of view...
    blaming security forces comes easily to every one for various reasons.
    the fact that there was terrorism brewed in punjab and at that time sikhs really believed large number of planted stories and rumors...which suddenly disappeared and militancy disappeared....give it a thought.
    After 20 years we r still talking about education and employment because thats what is the need of the hour..it has all along been....

    The kind of money being pumped in to kashmir ...if distributed evenly amongst its people will amount to 10000 rs per month per person....now distributors are kashimiri politicians and bureaucrats.
    As far as point of security forces planting or destroying evidence is concerned....another old ploy...
    if u guys have followed the allegation of two women being raped and killed by j&k police....which later turned out to be absolutely baseless...
    its so easy to sit in cities and make up ur mind that security forces are against people...wud u be kind enough to suggest a modus operandi in which terrorists come to jails voluntarily and they keep depositing rdx with security agencies without blowing innocent people....
    pls donot take things personally...i wrote my point of view which i have gathered over years interacting with different people.. and just contributed to point to certain facts...
    Real truth is somewhere out there...and whatever we speak is colour of our perceptions...
    Another thing...nowhere i m saying that methods of security forces are above board or always justifiable.

  12. Mash:

    Are you saying that terrorism was buffered up in Punjab due to rumours? What happens to Bhindranwale and Sant Longowal and the aftermath? There could have been some planted stories but terrorism does not just appear and disappear based on that. Julio Ribeiro and KPS Gill have been taking credit for solving the issue for long…did they merely squash rumours?

    The need of the hour regarding education and employment applies to the whole country.

    I am assuming you have access to the amount of money being pumped into Kashmir. By whom? The Centre? Then what stops it from distributing the money? If politicians and bureaucrats are taking away a chunk, then how does that come in the way of solving the Kashmir problem?

    As for the Shopian case, it is still a mystery, and as you know there was a battle between the CBI, the local cops and the Kashmir Bar Assn. And the bodies were exhumed without permission.

    its so easy to sit in cities and make up ur mind that security forces are against people...wud u be kind enough to suggest a modus operandi in which terrorists come to jails voluntarily and they keep depositing rdx with security agencies without blowing innocent people....

    I am sitting in a city, but is there any way to verify that some people sitting in villages or even in Kashmir have views vastly different? I have not made up my mind about security forces. I understand some are rather nice, but when we talk about an issue it becomes a force we speak about. I am surprised at the latter part of your comment. May I flip it and ask: is there a way in which security forces find the terrorists and not blow up innocent people in fake encounters or trigger happy moments where civilians get killed?

    What I write is coloured by my perceptions just as yours are. You agree to that. So, I did not say you took it personally. Then why assume I did? There is truth out there, yes…and a few lies…

    The onus is on the establishment to know the difference.


    Hi. Hope you found some answers in this exchange. FYI, I may qualify as non-conspiratorially biased!

  13. Are you saying that terrorism was buffered up......
    No what i am saying is that in a perfectly peaceful world which is getting along fine solving day to day problems of existence...discontent and later on insurgencies can be planted by carefully planted stories...
    were the issues raised by bhindrawale and laungewal the truth...or coloured perceptions as we agreed? they definitely were not on the side of truth.
    My next arguement about surgical healing may not go well so i reserve it..some truths are so hard to tell and defend.
    Mr kps gill...he is a media creation in my mind...media likes to make super cops and one man heroes who made the world livable ever after...i donot say he solved it..
    i will write rest of my arguement a little later...getting late to reach somewhere...plas pardon...

  14. Was the situation in Kashmir a perfectly peaceful world at all? The seeds of dissent were there from the beginning. While stories can be planted, insurgency movements anywhere in the world arise mainly due to disillusionment. Rumours do not movements make.

    As I said the onus is on the establishment. The Rajiv Longowal Accord or Bhindranwale or Operation Bluestar were planned acts and the Akali support for separatism is well known. The political machinery had a great deal to do with 'handling' terrorism and KPS Gill was a part of it. I agree with you that the supercop image is a media creation but the govt too was propping it up in the so-called national interest.

    Truth is relative and facts are often buried deep.

    I think we can handle the surgical healing if you wish to discuss it. I would be interested.

    I hope you had a great evening. No probs that you had to leave. You must have been up to your 'gills' by now :)

  15. Mash, Farzana :
    A deeply dis-illusioned population with very strong anti-India feeling was not something the Indian ruling class was comfortable with. Especially so, when this state happened to be sharing border with a "traditional rival". Under these circumstances - any deployment of Security forces would essentially be harsh. High-handedness , Excesses, Custodial deaths and disappearances would automatically follow.
    Any outcome after this would essentially be a military and non-political outcome.

    While we are at it ... I saw distribution of money being mentioned in Mash's response and in FV's counter-response. A little curious about this - since when has keynesianism gained foothold in the psyche of Indian babus and mantrijis ?


  16. Mahesh:

    We seem to be on the same page for the most part.

    Re. Keynesianism, isn't it embedded in our national and political psyche due to Nehruvian socialism? Now, of course, we can say we are on the same track as the most important man in the world, a certain BO!

  17. Was the situation in Kashmir a perfectly peaceful world at all....
    u tell me..was there terrorism before 1980,s...were kashmiri pundits being killed prior to that...
    r people in mumbai or bihar discontented? shud they take to terrorism??(i guess conversations have a habit of getting out of hand..
    as far as distribution of money and Keynesianism(i googled and cudnot relate with my arguement..so pls pardon)
    all i was trying to highlight was kind of money being pumped in to kashmir and the way it is being siphoned off...without kashmiris being required to work for it...
    it was simple research on internet..in nov 2004 PM promised 24000 crores for revival plan...while the population of j&k as per 2001 census is 1 crore only..
    use of force to settle any issue per say will involve harsh measures by security forces..as it is diffrent from detective work...
    ps: fortunately i m not into company of gills :)

  18. Mash and Mahesh:

    Thank you for this discussion!

    Mash, discontentment has historical reasons too, and that started soon after partition. What happened later was the political machinery at work. Outside forces came in later. Jagmohan did a lot to create disaffection.

    Mumbai and Bihar have different histories. One could well ask, why is the N.East at war?

    You mention the money being siphoned off without Kashmiris having to work for it. How much of it really goes ot the people? You yourself agreed that it did not.

    The Kashmiris have not demanded this largesse; this is politicians trying to cover up their lack of initiative in solving the issue. Of course, force will result in force by the security agencies...the point is just as terrorists can be branded for their acts, those security forces that do commit acts that are not provoked need to be questioned too. And that does take a lot of detective work!

    I know you are not in the company of gills...nothing fishy here :)

    And for you and Mahesh, I am putting up a separate comment with this 2004 bonanza details...

  19. Here are some of the 2004 plan details:

    “The Prime Minister’s “ New” Package.
    The Prime Minister addressing an impressive meeting in Srinagar on
    November 17 announced an “economic revival plan” of Rs.24000 crores
    for Jammu and Kashmir. By unwrapping the package as a bold new one
    the Prime Minister is guilty of some terminological inexactitude. What is
    new is just Rs.5800 crores. The other Rs.18200 crores has been
    committed several years ago to ongoing power projects of the Central
    Government’s National Hydroelectric Power Corporation.

    The underlying problem of Jammu and Kashmir is not economic. It is
    political and administrative.
    The state does quite well in terms of socioeconomic
    development. Its literacy level (64.8%) is almost on par with
    the national level (65.4%). Its sex ratio (923/1000) too is almost on par
    with the national average (933/1000). Its birth rate (19.9/1000) is lower
    than the national average (25.8). Its death rate (5.4/1000) is also lower
    than the national average (8.5/1000). J&K’s infant mortality rate
    (45/1000) is also superior to the national average (68/1000).”

    And yet:

    “There are hardly any public works contributing to the common good and higher
    productivity to show. Roads are in a terrible condition. The power
    situation is miserable. There is no public sanitation worth the name and
    all the sewage seems to flow into the Dal Lake and thence carried into
    Pakistan by the Jhelum.

    The J&K government’s books have not been audited for over a decade
    and no one really knows what was spent where and who got what? Talk
    to even the most ardent pro-India Kashmiri, and there are some, and he
    will tell you that the politicians and bureaucrats have stolen most of the
    money. Lending credence to this is the amazing explosion of new
    construction in evidence all over the Kashmir Valley. It is believed that
    every second house belongs to a government employee or one connected
    with it. Relate this to the low poverty level in the state and it would seem
    that trickle-down economics works! It also underlines John Galbraith’s
    description of trickle-down economics: that it is akin to feeding
    racehorses high-quality oats so that the sparrows can eat the dung!”

  20. Farzana,
    My comment about "keynesianism" earlier stemmed from a different reason. Keynesianism - as we have known so far - emphasises role of state in boosting depressed markets and demand by employing deficit spending as a measure where monetary (friedmanian) measures failed. However, "popular culture" developed a misnomer (actually, pun) around keynesian tenets equating its implementation with "distribution of money to the masses so they spend it" notion. I found Mash echoing this sentiment when he argued about kashmiri spending though he most likely didn't mean it. To be sure we haven't yet seen any keynesian measures taken by Indian state - even in "troubled border states" the spending has still been catering to "private interests" . You need to look up the fiscal allocation and see for yourself how terribly such large spending has performed in terms of employment generation.
    Hope this clarifies my position.


    P.S.: Next 2-3 weeks I am going to be hopelessly challenged on professional front and may not respond to your responses regularly. But, please feel free to keep the thread of conversation running if you feel like responding.

  21. Thanks, Mahesh, for the clarification although I think it was understood in spirit. I don’t imagine anyone would have doubts that distribution of money is employed when a fruitful barter system prevails. The masses do not have anything to give back. Interestingly, even political promises for betterment of infrastructure for the people’s good benefit the private sector and the establishment, in forms of tenders to the highest bidder and kickbacks. The employment potential, if it is generated, is entirely by default, with its accompanying lowest wages proviso.

    PS: It’s ok if you cannot respond, and best wishes for the challenges which one should hope are ‘hopeful’ in nature :)

    - -


    Yes, indeed...


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