SIM card of phone used by 26/11 terrorists traced to Delhiite

The SIM card of a mobile phone used by 26/11 terrorists to talk to their Pakistani handlers during the attacks last year has been traced to a Delhi resident whose whereabouts are still not known, a witness informed the trial court here on Thursday.

Deposing before Judge M L Tahaliyani, a former Airtel nodal officer Sunil Tiwari said that on a request made by Mumbai police, he had made inquiries about the SIM card number used in the phone number 09910719124 and found that it was issued in the name of Suresh Prasad, a resident of Masoorpur in New Delhi.

The SIM card was issued on October 5 last year to Prasad who had given a fake address, the witness said in response to a query by Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The witness said, on November 27, while the attacks were on, then Additional Police Commissioner Parambir Singh had forwarded a written request to his company to inquire about the SIM card and also to divert all calls from the number to 022-23053162. Accordingly, his request was complied with, the court was told.

Another witness, Govinder Singh Bakshi, who owns “India Communication” shop in Delhi also deposed saying Prasad had purchased the SIM from him and personally collected it.

Bakshi further told the court that Suresh had signed the application form and affixed his photograph besides furnishing electricity bill as residence proof.

Investigation Officer Vilas Wankhede informed the court that his team had visited the Delhi address given by Prasad and found it to be fake.

… contd.

Inter student commits suicide – HYDERABAD

HYDERABAD: An intermediate student committed suicide at P and T colony near Saroornagar dejected by the sudden demise of her friend a few-days-ago.Teekshna (17), a second year intermediate student at Narayana Junior college hanged herself at her residence, in the absence of her parents. She was depressed from the time her friend Monica, committed suicide a month back due to her poor performance in the exams.  Saroornagar sub-inspector Narasimha Rao told ‘Expresso’ that Teekshna in her suicide note explained that she was pained by the death of Monica.

Engg student commits suicide – HYDERABAD

HYDERABAD: Upset that he was unable to perform well in studies and thinking that he had failed to live up to the expectations of his parents, an engineering student committed suicide at Sanatnagar on Tuesday.C Premdeep (19), a second year student at Nova Engineering college was found hanging from the ceiling in his room. Hailing from Kadapa district, Premdeep was staying at Sanatnagar along with his friend Santosh.On Tuesday morning Santosh left for the college whereas Premdeep stayed behind. Around 7 p.m., Santosh’s mother came to the room and when there was no response from Premdeep, she along with the neighbours broke open the door. Sanatnagar police said Premdeep took the extreme step after 1.30 p.m and left behind a suicide note. Incidentally, his father Narasimhulu called him at 1.30 p.m to inform that he would be coming to Hyderabad on Wednesday. “In the suicide note, Premdeep said that he felt sorry that he failed to live up to the expectations of his parents. He failed in many subjects prescribed in second year course curriculum,” Sanatnagar sub-inspector Vidyasagar said. However, his family members alleged that Premdeep resorted to suicide as the college authorities denied him a hall ticket.

4 vehicle-lifting gangs held – HYDERABAD

HYDERABAD: If you end up buying a stolen vehicle, knowingly or unknowingly you could also find yourself languishing behind bars. This was asserted by Cyberabad Police Commissioner S Prabhakar Reddy on Wednesday after nabbing four gangs that also comprised college students, involved in vehicle-lifting.Police recovered 66 two-wheelers and six tractors from the accused. Yelubari Shekar, Gottimukkla Srinivas Rao, Nagaraju Kalyan Varma and Chennoji Chandra Sekhar were caught by Balanagar police. The gang had stolen 28 motorcycles and sold them at lower price and issuing fake registration certificate. The kingpin in the gang was Yelubari Shekar who resorted to acquiring easy money by stealing vehicles when he found himself cash-strapped.“We request the people to verify the genuineness of the registration documents. If the papers are found to be fake, surrender the vehicles voluntarily at the local police station, else the ‘owner’ of the stolen vehicle will also be an accused,” Prabhakar Reddy said. Similarly three graduation students belonging to Alwal were arrested and 18 motor cycles were recovered.  Other gangs were caught by Malkajgiri, Uppal and Saroornagar police. Similarly sleuths of Hyderabad Central Crime Station (CCS) also caught one J Badhya Naik and recovered 23 two-wheelers worth Rs 10 lakh.

No Magaadu in Tollywood: Tammareddi

“Had ‘Taare Zameen Par’ been made in Tollywood, not even a single actor would have come forward to act in the movie. Bollywood has MEN,” director and producer Tammareddi Bharadwaj said Wednesday in an unusually candid talk.Incidentally, “Magaadu” __ the word meaning MAN in Telugu has been used so much of late in all the hero-centric movies in Tollywood. Bharadwaj’s remarks are not off the cuff. Showering praises on Aamir Khan, he lashed out at Tollywood heroes for focussing on commercial films and neglecting sensible and thought-provoking subjects. He opined that no hero in Tollywood would match Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. “Even the government should give subsidies to children’s films after the movies are released otherwise, the filmmakers try to save some money and end up making compromises,’’ he pointed out.“The Government should give a big impetus to the children’s film movement by providing subsidies, conducting film festivals, promoting film production by eminent filmmakers and also finally, training children and interested persons in the art, skill and basics of children’s films,” he opined.School Education Minister Manikya Vara Prasad, perhaps stung to the quick by Bharadwaj’s remarks, said the government will consider whether film making should be made part of the school curriculum.On excuses that children’s films do not generally work in Tollywood, Bharadwaj said, “the audience is very smart and more intelligent than we think; they have shown good content actually works. Otherwise films like Taare Zameen Par wouldn’t have done well.”Meanwhile, a little confusion over the venue between Children’s Film Society of India CEO Sushobhan Banerjee and Children’s Film Society of Andhra Pradesh President Ved Kumar at the Media Centre, Prasads Imax resulted in heated arguments between the two. Ved Kumar and Media Committee chairperson, G. Vardhachary felt humiliated and apparently walked out of the venue, forcing majority of the media to boycott the open forum. Nandita Das intervention only added fuel to the fire.

India as Important as China: US









Following New Delhi’s clear opposition to US-China joint statement having mention of Indo-Pak ties, the US had sought to soothe India saying that it has to decide with Pakistan the substance, scope and pace of their relationship.

“We’ve always said, in terms of Indo-Pakistan relations, that’s really up to India and Pakistan to decide how and when and the scope of that,” Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, told reporters in Washington.

With New Delhi disturbed with the joint statement issued in Beijing following talks between President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, the US said in an apparent bid to pacify India that it has an ‘equally important relationship’ with India as that with China.

“I don’t think there needs to be any concern in India about what the President said in China. We have very important relations with China. But we have equally important relations with India.

“And I think that will come out very clearly during the course of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit next week,” he said.

It may be noted that India reacted strongly to the statement yesterday and made it clear that a third country role cannot be envisaged nor is it necessary.

Suicide Bomber Strikes Peshawar Court, at least 16 Killed

A suicide bomber struck at the gates of a local court in Peshawar, the main city in Pakistan’s north western frontier bordering Afghanistan, killing 16 and wounding two dozen others Thursday morning.

The macabre strike caps a series of attacks in the region, ostensibly launched in protest of an ongoing military offensive against radical Islamists in several parts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), where dominant Pushtuns are known to share strong cultural and family ties with Afghanistan.

The strike, blows the covers off the Pakistani security establishment’s inability to secure citizens and government installations and offices, especially, as the attack this morning took place on the busy Khyber Road which has witnessed at least two other bombings this year.

Last week a car bomb targeted Pakistani intelligence offices on the same road, just a couple of kilometers west of the court, reported the BBC.

The court is also in the vicinity of the Pearl Continental Hotel, which was targeted by a truck bomb earlier this year, it added.

The Peshawar city establishment has confirmed that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

Medics at the Lady Reading Hospital have already confirmed the arrival of 16 dead, three of those killed in the attack were identified as policemen.

The bomb disposal office that normally sweeps locations after the death and destruction has been caused, said nearly 10 kg explosive was used in the strike.

The area around the court remains cordoned and closed for traffic.