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Notes to Myself

Month

December 2008

Cheteshwar Pujara – The Next Best Thing in Indian Cricket???

It is strange when you read about a rising cricket star in a Business magazine – an odd place for anything to do with cricket. But that is what happened today!

I had heard name of 20-year-old rising star Cheteshwar Pujara a couple of times before, but had not paid much attention to his achievements in domestic cricket. Some say he is the Next Big Thing in Indian criecket (though I dare not say – The Next Sachin since there can only be one Sachin!!!)

However I read an article on Pujara in this week’s BusinessWorld and found that this young kid has scored 3 triple hundred in just 24 days!!! Though this feat was achieved at domestic level, its importance cannot be underestimated. It has shown a glimpse of budding talent – just as Sachin showed many years ago!

Here is that article from BusinessWorld:
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PROFILE
Triple Ton Dealer

Cheteshwar Pujara could well be Indian cricket’s next big thing

FEROZ AHMED
26 Dec 2008

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cricket Player: Cheteshwar Pujara
His prodigious rungetting abilities and 
classical style are leading selectors 
and experts to talk of this wonder kid 
as India’s third ‘Little Master’

Few batsmen score a triple century in their entire career

When somebody scores three in three weeks, it is hard not to notice, whatever the grade of cricket and whatever the opposition. Cheteshwar Pujara, the 20-year-old batting phenomenon from Saurashtra, has given a fine option to Indian selectors at a time when India’s batting stalwarts are on their way to retirement.


In fact, Pujara got his first triple ton when he was only 13, scoring 306 not out in an under-14 tournament against Baroda in 2001. Since then, he has done other things of note: he was Man of the Tournament at the 2006 Under-19 World Cup, aggregating 349 runs; he scored over 800 runs in the 2007-08 Ranji Trophy; and this season he has scored two triple centuries in the under-22 C.K. Nayadu Trophy — 386 against Maharashtra and 309 against Mumbai — and one in Ranji Trophy — 302 not out against Orissa. He has also got big hundreds against top domestic teams with international bowlers in their ranks — 189 against Punjab and 176 against Mumbai.


Indian selectors are already under immense public pressure to let loose the wonder kid in the international arena. National selection committee Chairman K. Srikkanth has acknowledged him as a great prospect.

Trained in the classical mould by his father and coach, Arvind, himself a former Saurashtra cricketer, Pujara’s life-changing break came when the Indian Premier Le
ag
ue (IPL) franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) hired him. Though he did not get a game in the tournament, he got an opportunity to share the dressing room with international stalwarts such as Ricky Ponting and Saurav Ganguly. “I listened, watched and learnt in the dressing room,” he says. The exposure to the hell-for-leather Twenty20 cricket helped him add gears to his batting. He says his hitting rate has improved considerably, which has allowed him to score big hundreds in quick time to set up wins for his teams. “Pujara has a great work ethic and he is a tremendous prospect,” says KKR Team Director Joy Bhattacharya.

Looking at his potential, Nike and Pepsi have already signed up Pujara, who is being marketed by Mindscapes Maestros, a firm allegedly backed by Indian cricket team captain M.S. Dhoni. 

Indian cricket lovers are waiting to see whether Pujara can take his stupendous run-making ability to international cricket. In the past, many domestic cricket tigers have come a cropper at the highest level — Ashok Mankad, Brijesh Patel, Ashok Malhotra. “The pace and the skills of the international bowlers are quite different,” Pujara acknowledges, and he trains for hostile fast bowling using a bowling machine. “Also, I treat the games against strong teams such as Mumbai and Delhi as practice for the next level,” he says. His failure in both innings against Delhi in a recent Ranji match disappointed him, as well as his well wishers, hugely. 

With Indian batsmen routinely doing well in home games against foreign teams, Pujara can hope for a break when India goes down under to New Zealand in March 2009. It will be best for him to prove himself in away international games first. 

Source: Businessworld Issue 30 Dec 08-05 Jan 09 (http://www.businessworld.in/index.php/Media-Entertainment/Triple-Ton-Dealer.html)

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Here are a couple of articles on Pujara:

http://www.cricketworld.com/internationalcricketnews/india/domestic_news/article/?aid=18010

http://cricket.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NewsRuns_have_come_at_right_time_Cheteshwar_Pujara/articleshow/3701436.cms

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Corporate governance: The strange case of Satyam

Further to my article on Satyam fiasco (http://cipher1980.blogspot.com/2008/12/satyam-computer-services-and-corporate.html), I came across a good article by Omkar Goswami in this week’s Business Today magazine.

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Corporate governance: The strange case of Satyam

I serve as an independent Director on the Board of Infosys Technologies which, in instances, competes with Satyam for bagging key projects. What follows here has nothing to do with my being on the Board of Infosys; it has everything to do with the tenets of corporate governance that I believe in and have publicly advocated for the last decade.


In Arthur Conan Doyle’s Silver Blaze, Watson asks Sherlock Holmes, “Is there any point to which you wish to draw my attention?” Holmes replies, “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” Watson says, “But the dog did nothing in the nighttime.”


Omkar Goswami, Chairman, CERG Advisory
Omkar Goswami
And Holmes remarks, “That was the curious incident.” Good independent directors are like watch dogs. Mostly, they will be collegial and work in tandem with management to grow long term shareholder value.

But, when management contemplates something, which may be inimical to the value or reputation of the company, or hurts the rights of minority shareholders, it is their responsibility to bark. No definition of ‘independence’ matters if, at the end of the day, you cannot stand up to the management and be counted.


Now to the Satyam episode. Here are the reported facts. Satyam is a publicly listed company in India and in the US. Its promoters, led by Mr Ramalinga Raju, own 8.74 per cent of the shares of the company. The public owns almost 72 per cent of the stock, of which 48 per cent is held by foreign institutional investors (FIIs) and 12.9 per cent by Indian public financial institutions (FIs).


This is what Satyam’s management and promoters proposed. A group representing only 8.74 per cent of the stock, wanted to use $1.6 billion of Satyam’s free cash to buy 51 per cent of Maytas Infra for $1.3 billion, and 100 per cent of Maytas Properties for $300 million. Maytas is Satyam spelled backwards; and over 36 per cent of Maytas is owned by Raju’s family, led by his sons Rama Raju and Teja Raju.


<p style="tex
t-
align:justify;margin:0 0 10px;”>Let’s assume that the valuations were right. Even so, this was a massive related party transaction. In effect, persons representing a mere 8.74 per cent of a listed entity were proposing to transfer a whopping $1.6 billion of the company’s cash to pay related promoters (i.e., themselves) of another company.


Irrespective of the debatable strategic merits of the deal—an IT company wanting to de-risk by purchasing infrastructure assets— corporate governance ethics demand that such a proposal ought to have been sounded out to institutional investors before making the announcement. And if that was done, the conclusion was foregone: FIIs and FIs would have given their thumbs down, as they indeed did.


The Satyam episode is a lesson in more ways than one. It shows that managements can put forward questionable transactions and expect Boards to give their assent—a fact that should make independent directors be ever more vigilant in discharging their fiduciary responsibilities. It also shows the power of institutional shareholders and the press. This is the second instance in recent times where FIIs and the fourth estate have forced management to rescind decisions that are inimical to shareholder interests. Hats off for that. Because codes of corporate governance are only guideposts. When you deviate, the press and activist shareholders have to severely rap your knuckles.



A picture speaks a thousand words…


Found this nice picture…


“Lifecycle of a leaf”  – How a leaf changes its colour throughouot its lifecycle…

Surely Mother Nature has some hidden message for all of us…age gracefully, and still look attractive!

Saina v/s Sania: Real v/s Pseudo star



(Above: India’s new Badminton sensation – Sania Nehwal)

(Below: One-time tennis star and now-a-days more of a ‘supermodel’ – Sania Mirza)



















 

Saina Nehwal (born 17 March 1990) is one of the finds of Indian sports in 2008!

 

Saina went down fighting (21-15, 14-21, 21-16) to Chen Wang of Hong Kong in the semi-final in the recent World Super Series Masters – one of the most prestigious and elite Badminton tournaments.

 

Saina was declared as the ‘most promising player of the year’ by the World Badminton Federation, in its council meeting in Seoul. Her election is made out of three players proposed by the world body ahead of one Korean and one from Pan America.<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:rgb(
51,0,0);”>

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ht:12.75pt;”> 

Saina has been in the peak of her performance this year and became the first Indian women to break into the list of world top-10. She achieved many excellences during this year like reaching the quarterfinals of Beijing Olympics and winning titles at Taipei Open, World Junior championship and Commonwealth Youth Games.

 

Saina is the first Indian woman to reach the singles quarterfinals at the Olympics and the first Indian to win the World Junior Badminton Championships.

 

But what is more heartening about Saina is her dedication and committment to her sport – Badminton! In spite of suddenly gaining an iconic status in last year or so – Saina is raely seen in advertisements, promotional campaigns or other social events. Her focus has constantly been to keep improving her game, fitness and ranking. She comes across as very soft-spoken, down-to-earth yet very focussed individual who has her priorities clearly set (towards Badminton and not fashion/ advertisemnts).

 

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Her commitment to sport stands out as a stark contrast to another of India’s (over??) hyped child prodigy – Sania Mirza (born November 15, 1986) – who shook the Indian tennis world just a few years ago. Like Saina (or even to a greater extent) Sania revolutionized tennis – girl’s/ women’s tennis to be precise – in India. As a 16 year old she showed great spark and promise when she participated in Grand Slam. Sania also did quite well to improve her Singles ranking to a career high of 27 …But that was all!

 

Since then Sania started her journey towards becoming ‘Indian Anna Kournikova’. Sania became a regular in fashion shows/ advertisements than in tennis tournaments and was lured away from the game by the instant stardom. During last year or so her game has so lowered (also because of injuries/ lack of fitness) that she ends year 2008 as ranked 101…yes from a career high of 30 she has droped below 100. What is more disturbing is the fact that she doesn’t seem to care much about it (with her ad campaigns and exclusive photoshoots going in full swing).

 

There is no denying that Sania has inspired many kids – especially girls – across India to turn pro in. tennis. Though her influence cannot yet be compared to Vishy Anand’s in Chess or Sachin’s in Cricket, she definitely has ability to inspire many more! And that is precisely why I feel that she should be more careful the way she carries in public. Of couse she has every right to behave as she wishes, may

be give up tennis, but still I honestly feel that she can learn a thing or two from Vishy Anand and Sachin who have set exceptionally high standards in the way they behave in their personal and public life.

 

This reminds me of my favourite movie ‘Good Will Hunting’ which deals with a similar – but not exactly the same – issue; that when a person is gifted or exceptionally talented at something, does he have a duty towards the society to give it back though that talent – or does he, as an individual, has right to do in life what he chooses  – even if means completely wasting the gift, the talent…

 

I immensely liked the film (the idea or the script – to be precise) More about it later…

 


Satyam Computer Services and Corporate Governance

Satyam’s Ramalinga Raju

Corporate Governance:






Today Satyam Computer Services was in the midst of news – for all the wrong reasons…



For the uninitiated: Established in 1987 by Ramalinga Raju, Satyam Computer Services has more than 51,000 employees on its payroll. In 2008, the company’s revenues crossed the $2-billion mark – and stands tall as the fourth (4th) largest Indian IT services company after TCS, Infosys and Wipro.


Satyam is among the youngest of all IT companies to cross $1 billion in revenue and sits on a cash reserves of more than $1.2 billion!


Now what can possibly go wrong with an organization with such great numbers?


Let me unfold story bit by bit – like a movie screenplay 🙂

————————————————————————————

It also started yesterday when Satyam announced <span class=
“Apple-style-span” style=”color:rgb(51,0,0);”>t
he acquisition of the privately held
Maytas Properties for $1.3 billion and increasing its stake in Maytas Infra to 51 per cent for $300 million.


The company immediately faced strong negative reaction from its shareholders and its ADRs (American Depository Receipts) were down 55%, when Satyam management acknowledgeed the market sentiments and abruptly called off the acquisition.


Now one may think that market reacted strongly because Satyam was deviating from its core business. 

The discrepancy was obvious… Satyam – an IT services company was buying Maytas Properties and Maytas Infra – companies into a different business altogether.

Maytas Properties is a scale player in development of urban space infrastructure such as integrated townships, special economic zones, hospitality, retail and entertainment spaces in tier I and II cities across India.

Maytas Infra is engaged in the business of infrastructure construction and asset development spanning core areas of economic growth such as highways, metro/railways, ports, transport management systems, airports, power, oil and gas, irrigation and water treatment.



But Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju had a ‘valid justification’ for that as well. He said the acquisitions would pave the way for accelerated growth in new geographies and market segments such as transportation, energy and infrastructure sectors for the core IT business.

“The buyout will de-risk the core business by bootstrapping a new business vertical in infrastructure. This market segment can mitigate the risks attributed to developed markets and traditional verticals that are likely to be impacted by the recessionary economy,” Ramalinga Raju had said in a statement.

Satyam was exhausting its entire $1.3 billion cash on non-core businesses – something unheard of any reputed organization. But that is not all!
<span class="Apple-style

-span”>


That is not the only reason why Satyam stock was hammered so ruthlessly…that is not th reason why Raju had to call off the acquisition after facing a strong criticism from all the investors.

To understand the real reason – let’s see the background of target companies.

If you were just told that the name of acquired companies, ‘Maytas‘ is actually ‘Satyam‘ spelled backwards…you would sense something fishy about it! But that is not all…


Now add to that a ‘small’ detail that – Maytas properties and Maytas Infra is currently owned and run by B Rama Raju and Teja Raju respectively – who happen to be sons of Ramalinga Raju …what a coincidence!!!


So to put everything in perspective:

Satyam Computer Services (of which Raju owns just about 8%) is exhausting all of its $1.2 billion in cash to buy-out two Maytas companies, owned by Raju’s sons…that too for non-core businesses, with justification of ‘de-risking’!!!

So effectively, Raju is turning Satyam’s cash (belonging to all shareholders of Satyam – and not just Raju) to his sons. This is a complete mockery of Corporate Governance!

The media, the shareholders and analysts have put Ramalinga Raju under fire. Investors and shareh

olders have lost faith in the management. They feel that Satyam has betrayed them.



Even though Satyam’s deal with Maytas has been called off, it has completely shattered investors’ confidence, which is clearly seen in the way the stock is being pounded. Even after cancelling the deal, Satyam stock fell almost 30% today. 


Although the company may have no malified intentions in the acquisition, this is definitely not a good strategic move to enter into a sector like infrastructure, which is itself in bad shape. The justification by the chairman is not satisfying. After all, the funding of this deal would have been from its core business which is information technology.

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This incidence is first of its kind in the Corporate India – but it has raised many serious questions about Corporate Governance – something that has not been discussed and debated much in Corporate India till now…


Funnily enough I am currently reading a very interesting book on Warren Buffet’s investment philosophy (more about that book soon!!!) and to put my knowledge into application, I was looking for Indian companies satisfying the suggested criteria.

Surprisingly, Satyam Computer Services is one such good bet – with string fundamentals, healthy cash surplus, good financial ratios…and most importantly the right price! (The stock is almost at it’s 52-week low)

But the numbers don’t say anything about issues such as management vision, corporate governance, organizational culture – things that could have such a great impat on its future earnings!

Little that an investor who invested in Satyam 2-days back would have known about Corporate Governance (??) that Satyam has shown in Maytas…but for no fault of his, the investor has been hammered badly…who is to be blamed for this?

The institution

al investors and other biggies are considering ousting the Satyam management for not considering shareholder’s interest…if that is done that will be a welcome decision that would send a strong message to top management of all firms – that they are there to serve interest of primary shareholders…

 

Rehman nominated for the Best Original Score in Golden Globes award






A R Rahman, India’s best music composer of this generation,  has done it again!!!



A R Rahman has won the prestigious Golden Globe nomination for the Best Original Score for his 

composition in British filmmaker Danny Boyle’s ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, which explores the life of a street boy from Mumbai.



Slumdog Millionaire is Rahman’s second big western film score after Shekhar Kapoor’s ‘The Golden Age’.


The tale of the street orphan who ends up on a high-profile television game show also won three other nominations — Best Film , Best Director for Boyle and Best Screenplay for Simon Beaufoy. 



Another feather in Rahman’s cap…2008 has been a fabulous year for A R Rahman and his fans – with as many as six films releasing this year – all musical hits. viz. Jaane Tu Yaa Jaane Na, Jodha-Akbar, Ada (yet to be released – but music is already a hit), Ghajini, Yuvvraaj and Slumdog Millionaire


More about Rahman’s music and other hits of 2008 soon…as we wind up this year.



‘We Were Shown … Atrocities On Muslims In India’






Full text of what is said to be the verbatim statement of the lone surviving terrorist out of the ten who were involved in the attack on Mumbai
————————————————————————————————————————————–

Name: Mohammad Ajmal Amir [aka Qasab*]

Age: 21 yrs. 

Occupation: Labour

R/O: Village Faridkot, Tehsil Dipalpur, Dist: Okara, State: Punjab, Pakistan


I am as above and reside at the above given address since my birth. I have studied up to 4th standard from Government Primary School.


<span class="Apple-style-span" style="color:rgb
(51,0,0);”><span class="Apple-st
yle-span” style=”font-size:small;”>
After leaving school in 2000, I went to Lahore. My brother Afzal stays at Galli No. 54, R.No. 12, Mohalla Tohit Abad, near Yadgar Minar, Lahore. I did labour jobs at different places till 2005. During that period I used to visit my native place. In the year 2005, I had a quarrel with my father. Therefore, I left my house and went to Ali Hajveri Darbar at Lahore.


At the said place, the boys who had run away from their houses are kept. From there, the boys are sent to different places for employment. One day when I was there, a person by name Shafiq came there and took me with him. He was in the catering business. He was from Zhelam [Jhelam]. I started working with him on daily wages. I was given Rs 120 per day. After some days my salary was increased up to Rs 200 per day. I worked with him till 2007.


While I was working with Shafiq, I came in contact with one Muzaffar Lal Khan, aged 22 years, r/o Village -Romiya, Tehsil & Dist -Atak, State -Sarhad, Pakistan. As we were not getting enough money, we decided to carry out robbery / dacoity at some place so that we will get a large amount. As such we left the job.

Thereafter we went to Rawalpindi. We hired a flat at Bangash Colony, Rawalpindi, and started residing in it. Afzal had located a house where he thought we would get a large amount.



He had surveyed the said place and drawn a map of the said place. We required some fire-arms for our purpose. Afzal told me that he could get some fire-arms at his native place, but it was very risky, as there was frequent checking at his native place.


While we were in search of fire-arms we saw some LeT stalls at Raja bazaar, Rawalpindi, on the day of Bakri-id. We thought that, even if we procured fire-arms, we could not operate them. Therefore, we decided to join LeT for weapon training.


After making enquiries we reached LeT office. In the LeT office we met a person. We told him that we wanted to join LeT. He made some enquiry with us, noted our names and address and told us to come on next day.

On the next day, we went to LeT office and met the same man. One more person was present with him.



He gave us Rs 200 and some receipt. Then he gave us the address of a place called Marqas Taiyyaaba, Muridke, and told us to go to the said place where LeT is having their training camp. As directed, we went to the said place by bus. We showed the receipt given to us at the gate of the c

amp. We were allowed inside. At the entry gate, our details were filled up on two forms. Then we were taken to the actual camp area. At the said place, initially we were selected for 21 days training called Daura-Sufa. From the next day, we started attending training. The daily programme was as mentioned below.


04.15: Wake up call and thereafter namaz

08.00: Breakfast

08.30-10.00: Lecture on Hadis and Quran by Mufti Sayyed
10.00-12.00: Rest
12.00-13.00: Lunch Break
13.00-14.00: Namaz
14.00-16.00: Rest
16.00-18.00: PT and Game Instructor Fadulla
18.00-20.00: Namaz and other work
20.00-21.00: Dinner


After completion of the above said training, we were selected for another training called Daura-Ama. The said training was also for 21 days. We were then taken in a vehicle to a place called Mansera, Buttal Village.


At the said place, we were given training of all weapons for 21 days. The daily programme was as mentioned below.

04.15 – 05.00: Wake up call and thereafter namaz
05.00-6.00: PT Instructor abu Anas
08.00: Breakfast
08.30-11.30: Weapons training. Trainer Abdul Rehman, Weapons AK-47, Green-O, SKS, Uzi gun, pistol, revolver
11.30-12.00: Rest
12.00-13.00: Lunch break
13.00-14.00: Namaz
14.00-16.00: Rest
16.00-18.00: PT
18.00-20.00: Namaz and other work
20.00-21.00: Dinner

After completing the said training, we were told that, we will be given the next advance training, but for that purpose we have to do some Khidmat for two months (Khidmat is a sort of service in the said camp as per the trainees’ liking). We agreed to do the Khidmat for two months.

After two months, I was allowed to go to meet my parents. I stayed with my parents for one month. Thereafter, I went to LeT camp situated at Shaiwainala, Muzzafarabad, for further advanced training. At that place, they took my photographs and filled up some forms. Then we were taken to Chelabandi pahadi area for training called Duara-khas. The said training was for 3 months. The training included PT, handling of all weapons and firing practice of the said weapons, training of handling of hand grenade, rocket launchers and mortars. The daily programme was as mentioned below.

04.15-05.00: Wake up call and thereafter namaz
05.00-06.00: PT Instructor Abu Mawiya
08.00: Breakfast
08.30-11.30: Weapons training handling of all weapons and firing practices of the said weapons, training of handling of hand grenade, rocket launchers and mortars, Green-O, SKS, Uzi gun, pistol, revolver, Hand grenade, rocket launchers. Trainer Abu Mawiya
11.30-12.00: Rest
12.00-13.00: Lunch Break
13.00-14.00: Namaz
14.00-16.00: Weapon training and firing practice. Lecture on Indi

an security agencies
16.00-18.00: PT
18.00-20.00: Namaz and other work
20.00-21.00: Dinner

At the said place 32 persons were present for training.

Out of these 32 trainees, 16 were selected for some confidential operation by one Zaqi-ur-Rehman Chacha. Out of these 16 trainees 3 trainees ran away from the camp. The above said chacha then sent the remaining 13 of us along with a person called Kafa to the above said earlier camp at Muridke. At Muridke, we were taught swimming and getting acquainted with the environment experienced by a fisherman on a sea.

We did some experimental tours by launches on the sea. During the said training, we were given lectures on working of Indian security agencies. We were shown the clippings highlighting the atrocities on Muslims in India.

After completing the said training, we were allowed to go to our native places. For seven days, I stayed with my family members. After seven days I went to the LeT camp at Muzzafarabad.

The above said 13 of us were present for training. Thereafter, as per the instructions of Zaki-ur-Rehman, the above said Kafa took us to camp at Muridke. At the said camp again we underwent the training of swimming and getting acquainted with the environment and experience on sea. The training continued for one month.

During the said training, we were given the lectures on India and its security agencies, including RAW. We were also given the training on how to evade the chase by security personnel. We were strictly instructed not to make phone calls to Pakistan after reaching India.

The names of the persons present for the said training are as mentioned below.

Mohd Azmal aka Abu Muzahid

Ismail aka Abu Umar
Abu Ali
Abu Aksha
Abu Umer
Abu Shoeb
Abdul Rehman (Bada)
Abdul Rehman (Chhota)
Afadulla
Abu Umar


After completion of training, Zaki-ur-Rehman aka Chacha selected 10 of us and formed 5 teams each having two persons on 15 Sept 2008. My team included myself and Ismail. Our code name was VTS team. We were then shown the site ‘Google Earth’ on Internet. On the same site, we were shown the information about Azad Maidan, Mumbai, how and where to get down at Mumbai. We were shown the film on VT railway station and the film showing the commuters moving around at rush hours at VT railway station.


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Apple-style-span” style=”color:rgb(51,0,0);”>

We were instructed to carry out the firing at rush hours in the morning between 7 to 11 hours and between 7 to 11 hours in the evening. Then kidnap some persons, take them to the roof of some nearby building. After reaching at the roof top, we were to contact chacha. After that, chacha would give the telephone or mobile no of electronic media. We were then to contact the media persons on the same phone. And as per the instructions received from chacha, we would make demands for releasing the hostages. This was the general strategy decided by our trainers.



The date fixed for the said operation was 27th Sept 2008. However, the operation was cancelled for some reason. We stayed at Karachi. Again we made practice of travelling by speed boats on the sea. We stayed there upto 23rd Nov 2008. The other teams were as mentioned below.


2nd Team 
1) Abu Aksha
2) Abu Umar

3rd Team
1) Bada Abdul Rehman
2) Abu Ali

4th Team
1) Chhota Abdul Rehman
2) Afadulla

5th Team
1) Shoeb
2) Abu Umer


On 23rd Nov 2008, the above said teams including our team left from Azizabad, Karachi along with Zaki-ur-Rehman aka Chacha and Kafa. We were taken to the nearby sea shore. At 04.15 hours we reached the sea shore. At the sea shore we boarded a launch. After traveling for 22 to 25 nautical miles we met a bigger launch in the sea. We boarded the said launch and after journey of 1 hour we boarded a bigger ship by name Al-Huseini in the deep sea. While boarding the said ship, each of us was given a sack containing 8 grenades, one AK-47 rifle, 200 cartridges, 2 magazines and one cell phone for communication.

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pan class=”Apple-style-span” style=”font-size:small;”>

Then we started towards Indian coast. When we reached Indian waters, the crew members of Al-Huseini ship hijacked one Indian launch. The seamen from the said launch were shifted to Al-Huseini ship. We were then boarded the hijacked Indian ship. One Indian seaman was kept along with us.


At the gun point, he took us towards the Indian coast. After journey of about 3 days, we reached near sea shore of Mumbai. While we were at some distance from the shore, Ismail and Afadulla killed the Indian seaman, (Tandel) at the basement of the said Indian launch. Then we boarded floatable dinghi and reached Budwar Park Jetty as per the instructions received earlier.


After getting down at Budwar Park, I went along with Ismail to VT railway stn by taxi.

After reaching the hall of VT railway stn. We, i.e. Ismail and myself, went to the common toilet, took out the weapons from our sacks, loaded them, came out of toilet and started firing indiscriminately towards the passengers.



Suddenly one police officer in uniform came towards us and opened fire. In retaliation, we threw hand grenades towards him and also opened fire towards him. Then we went inside the railway stn threatening the commuters and randomly firing at them.


Then we came out of the railway stn and started searching for a building with roof top. But we did not find a suitable building.

Therefore, we entered a lane. Then we entered a building and went upstarts. On 3rd or 4th floor we searched for hostages but we found that the said building was a hospital and not a residential building. Therefore we started coming down.



At that time policemen started firing at us. As such we threw some grenades towards them. When we were coming out of the hospital premises, we suddenly saw one police vehicle passing in front of us. Therefore, we took shelter behind a bush.


Another vehicle passed in front of us and stopped at some distance. One police officer got down from the said vehicle and started firing at us. One bullet hit my hand and my AK-47 dropped down. I bent to pick it up when second bullet hit me on the same hand. I got injured. Ismail opened fire at the officers who were in said vehicle. They got injured and firing from their side stopped.
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We waited for some time and then went towards the said vehicle. Three bodies lying there. Ismail removed the three bodies and drove the said vehicle. I sat next to him. While we were moving in the said vehicle, some police men tried to stop us. Ismail opened fire towards them while we were on the move; our vehicle got punctured near a big ground by the side of road. Ismail got down from the driver seat, stopped a car at the gun point and removed the three lady occupants from the said car. Then Ismail carried me to the car and sat me inside as I was injured. Then he drove the said car.



While we were moving in the said car, we were stopped on the road near sea shore. Ismail fired towards them. Some policemen got injured. Police also opened fire towards us. Due to the police firing Ismail got injured. Then police removed us to some hospital. In the hospital I came to know that Ismail succumbed to the injuries he has sustained.


My statement is read over to me, explained in Hindi and it is correctly recorded.

Mohammad Ajmal Amir*

*The surviving terrorist’s name has been variously used as Azam Amir Kasab, Muhammad Amin Kasab, Azam Amir Kasav, Iman Qasab etc. His correct name is as above. Apparently, when asked about his caste, he had mumbled in pain that he hailed from the Kasai (butcher) community. This is what was misheard and mistranscribed as Kasab/Qasab/Kasav or even Kamaal in some of the accounts.


Source: Outlook India Magazine – http://www.outlookindia.com/full.asp?fodname=20081210&fname=ajmal&sid=1&pn=4

Let’s tone it down, cricket can only do so much

A nice article by Harsha Bhogale – one of India’s best known sports commentator and an intelligent thought leader. Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/lets-tone-it-down-cricket-can-only-do-so-much/397339/

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Can two teams playing a Cricket match overcome the wounds of terrorism? Can they make the world feel a more secure place? Can they deliver a slap on the face of a terrorist? As my sport so beautifully takes centre stage once again, I debate these questions endlessly. These and many more. Can England vs  India at the Chepauk quell the anger in my land? Can sport be a balm at all? Does it count?


Yes, I tell myself but I am not sure if cricket can bring solace to those that are hurt. Cricket can uplift me because I have lost nobody. I played a game against Ashok Kamte, the brave officer of the Mumbai Police, and we laughed between deliveries. Can I go to his wife and say that Harbhajan bowling to Pietersen is our response to the man who killed her husband? That everyone is being brave, that the show must go on? Which show?


And so cricket can at best be an intoxicant, a mild drug that soothes you and lets you forget briefly. It brings a smile to your face to see a Tendulkar, a Dravid, a Dhoni, a Pietersen, a Flintoff; fine people doing what they know best. They are wonderful ambassadors of joy and may they long be that way but even as I visualise Harmison and Flintoff firing thunderbolts into Tendulkar’s ribs I cannot, and may not for a long time, get myself to use the word ‘brave’.


So let us put the imagery behind us, rein in our adjectives a bit, and watch cricket for what it is. And let us say thank you to England for coming back to our shores when they had every reason to be apprehensive, even scared. Maybe they still are but they are playing cricket on our land, as our guests and we must applaud them for that. They had a reason to pull out this time, unlike in 2001 when Robert Croft and Andrew Caddick got their geography mixed up and couldn’t find a map handy. 


There is a perception that England are here because the cricket world needs India. That is true for without a strong India while the game will still survive, it will do so rather less affluently. It is much like the world needs the US markets to be healthy because the Americans have traditionally spent more than anyone else. A weak USA is bad for world markets as a weak India is bad for cricket. But don’t forget that the BCCI needs teams to come to India as much as visiting teams want to. If England had opted not to return, and other teams followed their example, Indian cricket might have found itself in a downward spiral as well. So you see this tour is as much about emotion as it is about cold commerce; a soufflé and a flaming pickle on the same table! 


India’s, and by extension the world’s, current predicament shows how fragile our sport is. It needs fresh lands to play in, more teams to compete; it needs to find more pockets of wealth, more avenues for competition. There will never be more than half a dozen teams playing the game as we know it now and at the level we want it to be. It can no longer be the modern missionary of the game. People in the US, in Fiji, in Denmark and in Hong Kong cannot, will not, bow to the altar of Test Cricket like we do. T2
0
cricket must do that. In this brash young kid lies the future of our sport and, dare I say, the future of Test cricket. Cricket needs to be more nimble to protect its treasure, which is what test cricket really is.


But till we take the time we sometimes need to see what is standing opposite us, we must lumber along. Hopefully this will be a good series. It needs to be. England must play like cricketers not like the six hundred that rode into the valley of death; or like aid workers coming to fulfil an obligation. And India must show them all the gratitude they can off the field.


I hope the cricket is good. It cannot be a balm but we could do with the intoxicant.

Funny Quotes By Woody Allen














  1. “In Los Angeles they don’t throw out their garbage away. They make it into television shows.”
  2. “I’m such a good lover because I practice a lot on my own.”
  3. “My problems all started with my early education. I went to a school for mentally disturbed teachers.”
  4. “My love life is terrible. The last time I was inside a woman was when I visited the Statue of Liberty.”
  5. “My wife and I pondered for a while whether to take a vacation or get a divorce. We decided that a trip to Bermuda is over in two weeks, but a divorce is something you always have.”
  6. “Another good thing about being poor is that when you are seventy your children will not have declared you legally insane in order to gain control of your estate.”
  7. “Bisexuality doubles your chances of a date on a Saturday night.”
  8. “On the plus side, death is one of the few things that can be done just as easily lying down.”

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