August 11, 2006

Hizbullah's Computerised weaponry and high morale

Computerised weaponry and high morale

Conal Urquhart in Metulla
Friday August 11, 2006
The Guardian

Israeli forces have been astonished at the discovery of networks of bunkers and computerised weapons in Hizbullah positions, according to officials.
Troops have found air-conditioned bunkers 40 metres (125ft) below the ground and anti-tank weapons that originate in France, the US and Russia in southern Lebanon.

Many of the tactics and weapons employed by Hizbullah have neutralised Israel's military superiority and made a complete victory difficult to achieve.

Hizbullah's use of rockets to attack Israel was not unexpected but the Israeli armed forces have been repeatedly surprised since they went on the offensive a month ago.

The first major shock was when Hizbullah narrowly missed sinking an Israeli destroyer with a Chinese shore-to-sea missile. Four were killed in the attack.

"There were some weapons we did not know about," said General Ido Nehushtan. "There were others such as the unmanned aerial vehicles which we had detected before."

The revelations have increased since Israeli ground forces invaded southern Lebanon. "The main threat is the use of sophisticated anti-tank weapons against our armoured vehicles. One of the most effective is the Kornet which was supplied by Russia to Iran and then to Hizbullah," said Lieutenant Colonel Olivier Rafowicz.

"We have been very surprised by the quantity of weapons and the building that has been carried out in the last six years. We knew they were preparing for war but we did not realise to what extent."

Soldiers have discovered bunkers with listening and observation devices working in tandem with computers.

The bunkers meant that Hizbullah fighters could shelter from Israeli air and artillery bombardment and then surprise advancing Israeli forces. Often the bunkers were so well hidden that fighters could wait until the soldiers had passed and then attack them from behind.

Israel has so far lost more than 80 soldiers in combat. Its highly mobile armour and air support is less effective against guerilla fighters, and its armour has been neutralised by Hizbullah's acquisition of state of the art weapons.

Hizbullah's older anti-tank weapons have been effective against armoured personnel carriers and buildings used by soldiers for shelters. Its newer weapons such as the Russian Kornet and US TOW missiles have been highly effective succeeded in piercing the armour of Israel's main battle tank, the Merkava, reputedly one of the best-defended tanks in the world.

One member of an Israeli tank crew who had just left Lebanon told the Guardian: "It's terrible. You do not fight anti-tank teams with tanks. You use infantry supported by artillery and helicopters. Wide valleys without shelter are the wrong place to use tanks."

Although he said Hizbullah's weapons had been supplied by Iran, Lt Col Rafowicz admitted the militants' prowess also stemmed from its morale and organisation. They are very keen to engage our forces. They are not wearing suicide bomb belts but they are not afraid to die, which makes deterrence very difficult."

Gen Nehushtan said: "We have to recognise that we will be dealing with new definitions of victory. There will be no white flags being raised on this battlefield," he said.

Current U.S. Federal Reserve Policy Could Accelerate Inflation

In the past two years, the U.S. Federal Reserve has taken an increasingly backseat approach in tightening monetary policy to confront steadily rising U.S. inflation. Focusing more on sustaining economic growth than containing accelerating inflation, the Fed appears to be on the verge of abandoning its two year-long tightening cycle. Seemingly unbeknownst to investors, the Fed also appears to have discarded its decades-long policy of preempting inflation. The Fed's new dovish place in the trunk could greatly accelerate inflation in the second half of 2006, prompting dollar depreciation and a sharp increase in U.S. bond yields.

Fed Takes a Backseat Approach

The gradualist approach used by the Federal Reserve to tightening monetary policy during the past two years has done little or nothing to slow economic growth to a non-inflationary rate. Fear of dampening the housing market boom and personal consumption expenditure growth persuaded the Greenspan Fed to slowly push interest rates higher in barely noticeable 25 basis point increments. Accordingly, real estate prices soared and personal spending accelerated, pushing real G.D.P. growth to nearly four percent in 2004. Real G.D.P. growth accelerated further in the first three quarters of 2005, then abruptly slowed after devastating hurricanes struck the United States in the final quarter of the year.

With U.S. economic growth firmly above three percent for more than two years, a rate generally regarded to be non-inflationary, it is no surprise that inflation began to rise. Overly strong economic growth in the United States, the world's largest economy, sharply accelerated economic growth in many countries providing goods to U.S. consumers. The resultant jump in global economic growth produced a jump in global energy demand, gobbling up world energy supplies and pushing energy prices ever higher.

Initially, inflation was discernable only in surging energy prices. Producer prices in the United States also began to gallop higher, reaching 4.3 percent in 2004 and 5.5 percent in 2005. Despite accelerating producer price inflation, the Greenspan Fed and most analysts reasoned that producers had almost no pricing power, therefore very limited ability to pass on rising prices to consumers. Nonetheless, consumer price inflation edged higher, reaching 3.3 percent in 2004 and 3.4 percent in 2005.

Real G.D.P. growth re-accelerated in the first quarter of 2006, reaching an astonishing annualized rate of 5.6 percent. Economic growth also accelerated in most countries with strong trade ties to the United States, reigniting global energy demand and pushing energy prices higher. Surprisingly, U.S. inflation, by most measures, accelerated. Consumer price inflation reached an annualized rate of 4.3 percent and core consumer prices advanced by 2.6 percent, respectively, in the first half of 2006.

Even the Fed's treasured inflation yardstick, the core personal consumption expenditure (P.C.E.) deflator, jumped to a 12-year high of 2.9 percent in the second quarter of 2006 from 2.1 percent in the first quarter. Other U.S. inflation indicators such as wages and prices paid by manufacturers and service companies have also accelerated in the first half of 2006. Against the background of clearly accelerating inflation, the Fed's new chairman, Ben Bernanke, appears to have turned U.S. monetary policy in an even more accommodative direction.

On June 29, at the end of the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (F.O.M.C.) of the U.S. Federal Reserve, the Board of Governors issued its usual statement describing factors influencing policy decisions. In a highly unusual move, the statement indicated that the Fed would base future policy changes on incoming economic data, encouraging the notion that an end to the current cycle of monetary policy tightening was near. Led by the U.S. stock market, global asset markets responded with a powerful rally.

Apparently, very few understood that the Fed had made a fundamental change in its approach to setting monetary policy. Since the years of the Volker Fed in the late 1970s and 1980s, U.S. monetary policy has been based on preempting inflation. In other words, monetary policy was designed to slow U.S. economic growth before inflation began to accelerate. This policy of preempting inflation was key to maintaining price stability in the United States during the past 20 years. Explicit in the Fed's last statement was a change in policy from preempting inflation to waiting until inflation accelerated further to act.

To justify this significant change in policy, the Fed statement pointed toward the lagging economic impact of past rate hikes and rising energy prices as factors that would slow the U.S. economy, doing the Fed's work for it. For this reason, U.S. and global asset markets rallied strongly again after second quarter U.S. economic growth data was released in late July, showing real G.D.P. growth unexpectedly decelerated to 2.5 percent. The same release showed that inflation accelerated sharply, which is not surprising considering that annualized real G.D.P. growth in the first half of 2006 was 4.1 percent despite the deceleration in the second quarter.

More indications of U.S. economic weakness in early August have convinced investors that interest rates have peaked. Remarkably, accelerating U.S. inflation does not appear to be undermining this conviction. Last Friday, unexpectedly weak U.S. employment data prompted many analysts, and at least one bond market guru, to predict that the Fed will not nudge interest rates higher at its upcoming meeting set for August 8. Fed fund futures showed that the chance of a rate hike on August 8 was only 16 percent, down from over 40 percent before the employment data was released. The same employment report showed an unexpectedly large rise in wages -- further indication that inflation is rising.


Regardless of whether the Federal Reserve stands pat, as advertised, or hikes interest rates by another 25 basis points on August 8, inflation in the United States will possibly head much higher in the months ahead -- even though U.S. economic growth will almost certainly slow as well. The seeds of higher inflation were sown by the Greenspan Fed during the past two years and fertilized heavily by the Bernanke Fed this year. These seeds sprouted overly strong global energy demand pitched against increasingly elusive energy supplies.

Because global geopolitical instability is hampering an increase in global energy supplies, the only way global energy demand and supply can become rebalanced is by a reduction in demand. Global energy demand growth will probably only contract if the U.S. economy -- and global economy -- falls into recession. Fed officials and investors have seemingly forgotten the lessons of the late 1970s, when accelerating inflation was only subdued after the Volker Fed pushed interest rates to stratospheric levels.

The economic stakes of policy errors by the Federal Reserve are much higher now than they were in the 1970s. Back then, foreign investors played almost no role in the U.S. bond market. Now, foreign investors hold more than 50 percent of all U.S. Treasury notes and bonds outstanding. If U.S. inflation accelerates sharply in the months ahead and the U.S. Federal Reserve remains well behind the inflation curve, real interest rates on Treasury notes and bonds could plummet, prompting significant dollar depreciation.

Dollar depreciation could snowball out of control if foreign investors begin to liquidate their increasingly underwater investments, pushing bond yields sharply higher. The bad news is higher bond yields will probably trigger a U.S. recession. The good news is global oil demand and supply will become rebalanced, pushing inflation lower.

Report Drafted By:
Jephraim P. Gundzik

The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of All comments should be directed to

''Intelligence Brief: The Struggle within Hamas''

n June 25, 2006, all Palestinian factions, with the sole exception of Islamic Jihad, signed the National Conciliation Document. This agreement reflects the "prisoners' initiative," a document signed in May 2006 by a few of the most important political prisoners jailed in Israel, such as Fatah Secretary General Marwan Barghouti and senior Hamas leader Sheikh Abdel-Khaliq al-Natsheh. In late May 2006, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas placed pressure on Hamas to accept the prisoners' initiative by calling a referendum on the document. Hamas rejected such a solution, but a few weeks later agreed with Abbas on the main points of the document.

One of the main points of the agreement was the affirmation of a Palestinian state in the whole territory occupied by Israel after the Six Days War. This point represented a revolutionary concession by Hamas because it implies a two-state solution and an implicit recognition of Israel's existence. It was shortly after this agreement when the military wing of Hamas, Izzedine al-Qassam, attacked an Israeli base and captured an Israeli soldier.

The inner battle within Hamas raises the question whether the raid on the Israeli base could have been authorized not by the Hamas leadership in the Occupied Territories, but by Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Damascus and is one of the more radical Hamas members and the most important Palestinian leader outside of Palestine. The Hamas led-government was surprised by the Izzedine al-Qassam attack, which indicates the existence of a deep division within Hamas itself.

During the past few months, the gap between Hamas' military wing and its political leadership has increased sharply. The capture of the Israeli soldier was just the most recent example of the long-term struggle for power within the whole Palestinian political scene.

After Hamas' win in the January 2006 Palestinian elections, the movement faced new, different and harder challenges. With the election, Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and the rest of the Hamas leadership were thrust into an even more difficult position than in the past. The move toward a more pragmatic politics, of which the National Conciliation Document is a clear example, weakened Hamas' consensus within Palestinian society. Social consensus, which is a typical element of the "neo-traditionalist" Islamic movements of which Hamas belongs, was the key of the movement's electoral success.

Moreover, the recent inner crisis highlights a larger internal gap between Hamas' nationalist wing and its Islamic wing. On the one hand, for Hamas nationalists the cause of Palestinian nationalism is the main aim and Islam is a powerful instrument to reach it. On the other hand, the Islamic wing wants a new revolutionary order in the Middle East. Their struggle is not only for the Palestinians, but is a jihad against Zionism. They want to break the territories that make up historical Palestine free from the presence of Israel, and, according to this goal, the Palestinian people must become part of the global Islamic community. Thus, while the nationalists might be interested in a two-state solution, the Islamic wing does not accept such a solution.

Khaled Meshaal and other hard-line elements possibly believed that there were few benefits to Hamas' new government role, thus Meshaal might have wanted to use the current crises to increase his power in Hamas and to try to exploit the discontent against Hamas' leadership in the territories.

First of all, he may not want an agreement between Hamas and Fatah because he is afraid that such an agreement could weaken his hard-line faction's position. Therefore, he may have authorized the raid against the Israeli base to obtain a harsh military reaction from Israel. No agreement can happen with Israel in Gaza fighting against the Palestinians.

Secondly, the military campaign against Lebanon and Gaza can be used by hard-line elements as a propaganda instrument against Fatah and the moderate wing of Hamas.

An agreement between Hamas and Fatah that implicitly recognizes Israel's existence is also seen as a threat by Meshaal's main allies, Iran and Syria. They provide fundamental support to Hamas, and they do not want the Palestinians making peace with Israel because it could weaken their strategic position in the Middle Eastern context.

Indeed, their money is an important source of power within the movement, and Meshaal wants to demonstrate to Iran and Syria that he is the most faithful Palestinian ally, different from the moderate leadership of Hamas. Another important question regards the captured Israeli soldier and the Palestinian prisoners. Meshaal said that the soldier will not be freed without the release of Palestinian prisoners. This means that if Israel decides to release prisoners for an exchange with the captured soldier, Meshaal can take sole credit for the exchange and the political victory.

He also wants to underline the close ties between Hamas' hard-wing and Hezbollah in the struggle against Israel during the present crisis. Therefore, he may want to use the growing popularity of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah within the Islamic world, even in the Palestinian territories, to strengthen his hard-line faction's power against the others Palestinian actors.

During the last few months, the fragmentation of the Palestinian political field increased. In the 1990s, the second half of the Palestinian struggle went through the "Tunisian phase," the old generation of leaders led by Yasser Arafat and the younger generation represented by the leaders of the first intifada. In the early 2000s, however, there has been a growing split between the secular-nationalist movement, such as Fatah, and the Islamic one, such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Yet, shortly after the political elections, the struggle for power has begun within Hamas.

The new role in the government has compelled the Hamas leadership toward a more pragmatic approach to other Palestinian factions and, above all, to Israel. Thus, Khaled Meshaal, who represents the main personalities of Hamas' hard-line, may have authorized the attack-and-capture raid against Israel because he wants to use the crisis to strengthen his power within Hamas.

The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of All comments should be directed to

''Economic Brief: Alaska Pipeline Shutdown and the Rise of Oil Prices''

The August 6 announcement by major oil company BP that it will need to shutdown 400,000 barrels a day of oil production in Alaska is the latest development pushing crude oil futures toward US$80 per barrel. BP's shutdown came after an oil spill was discovered in Alaska's North Slope in March. After finding the hole in the pipeline responsible for the leak, the company admitted that the crack was part of a larger pipeline corrosion problem that will force BP to replace 25 kilometers (16 miles) of a 35-kilometer (22-mile) pipeline that originates in Prudhoe Bay in Alaska. The production halt is expected to last 60-90 days. The Alaskan shutdown is the latest contributing factor to record high oil prices.

The upward trend of oil prices largely began in late 2003. At the start of the new century, oil prices fluctuated between $20 and $30 a barrel. The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States damaged the U.S. economy severely, thus sending oil prices below $20 a barrel as a result of reduced demand. In the following two years, however, the U.S. economy began to rebound, increasing energy demand and causing an upward trend in oil prices.

Yet it was after the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq that oil prices began to escalate sharply. After it became clear to investors that the intervention in Iraq would be more complicated than originally predicted, uncertainty began to enter the energy market. This uncertainty was punctuated by an attack by Iraqi insurgents on an oil pipeline in northern Iraq in August 2003, a tactic that has been repeated regularly for three years now.

In 2004, the price of oil moved higher, hovering near $50 a barrel as a number of factors contributed to market instability. In addition to the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and the regular attacks on pipelines there, workers in oil-rich Nigeria launched a general strike to protest the rising domestic fuel prices.

By the end of 2005, oil prices hit $70 a barrel and stabilized between $60 and $70. The instability in Iraq, mounting ethnic unrest in Nigeria, concerns about Iran's nuclear program and growing energy demand in China were all to blame for the dramatic price increase. Contributing to the rise in oil prices was the surprise devastation caused by hurricane Katrina that devastated the eastern coast of the Gulf of Mexico, causing damage and supply disruptions to off-shore oil rigs and U.S. refining capacity.

More than halfway through 2006, oil prices have almost surpassed $80 a barrel. A mixture of growing unrest in Iraq, Russian gas cuts to Europe, the threat of sanctions against Iran, an escalating ethnic insurgency in Nigeria's oil region, a low-scale war between Israel and Lebanon, an attack on Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil facilities and now the shutdown of a section of BP's pipeline in Alaska are to blame for the price hike.

Nevertheless, the global economy has been able to withstand the sharp increase in oil prices. The world economy experienced positive growth in 2004 and 2005. However, inflation is on the rise, largely as a result of increased oil prices. With the current geopolitical outlook heavy with uncertainty, it can be expected that oil prices will maintain their current highs and probably continue to rise.

The current conflict between Israel and Lebanon risks spilling over into the region; the insurgency in Iraq has grown more sectarian and chaotic; ethnic insurgent groups in Nigeria have threatened to shut down the country's oil exports; China's energy demand remains high; a new hurricane season is approaching the United States in the coming months; and al-Qaeda and other Islamist militant organizations continue to make threats against oil interests in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Any significant reduction in oil exports -- coming at a time when oil producers are pumping at near full capacity -- will send oil futures close to or past $100 a barrel, contributing significantly to inflationary pressures that could derail state economies and cause a widespread economic recession.

The Power and Interest News Report (PINR) is an independent organization that utilizes open source intelligence to provide conflict analysis services in the context of international relations. PINR approaches a subject based upon the powers and interests involved, leaving the moral judgments to the reader. This report may not be reproduced, reprinted or broadcast without the written permission of All comments should be directed to

August 09, 2006

Anti Hindu Congress govt extends its tentacles beyond the framework of law

8/7/2006, HK Correspondent

On July 18, the anti Hindu Congress government in India banned several Hindu websites including Hindu Human Rights Organization websites. The Congress government headed by Italian Catholic Sonia Moina did not follow any natural justice or legal proceedings before the banning of Hindu websites. Legal and Human Rights experts say that there is nothing that could justify a blanket ban of these websites by the Congress government in New Delhi.

Information and Broadcasting Ministry Official explained why the Indian government decided to ban Hindu Websites. The official highlighted that India wants to keep close relations with Muslims. According to another source within the government, the ban is a clear signal that congress government does not want the corrupt practices and anti Hindu policies being exposed in these websites. Several Indian journalists explained that the ban was an indication that the government had succumbed to the pressure from Sonia and Islamic fascists. The whole exercise is to browbeat Hindus and show their lower status in India. The government is subscribing to the absurd argument that several Hindu Websites promote hatred against Jihadis and Jihadistan*.

The websites which are banned are:

These sites which were exposing the corrupt practices and anti Hindu policies of the Congress government, Communists and the nexus between the secularists and Jihadis.

The government has plans to ban several other pro Hindu websites.The list of the websites is kept confidential.

Banned sites include Hindu, Rahul, all were Pro Hindu websites which

In which dictionary Congress Autocrats found Pro Hindu means Anti National ?

In another blog blocked - has been exposing Sonia's loot of India's wealth.

Since when exposing Sonia Gandhi is considered as an Anti National activity?

Its evident that the websites are banned not for antinational activities but for Exposing Congress double standards and Islamic Fundamentalism. Terrorist website of Hezbollah's TV Al Manar is banned by all countries who are waging war against Terrorism. Ironically the same website is hosted in India!. (

Hindus and Human Rights activists around the world need to ponder:

Why was Pro Hindu sites banned in the name of Terrorism?

Why Islamic websites promoting terrorism were not banned?

How come the Jihadi websites promoting terrorism, which is banned in several countries able to host its websites in India?

India is referred as the largest democracy. But the Indian government controlled by the Italian Catholic women Sonia has succumbed to mounting pressure from Islamo fascists and communists and ordered a nationwide ban on several Hindu websites.

The Indian government's ban of Hindu websites is in complete contrast with the practices of democratic nations across the world. It seems the ban is a move to ensure that Indian citizens do not get to see the atrocities that are presently being committed by the congress, communists and Islamo fascists and Jihadistan* agents.

Several Non Resident Indians and Hindu leaders around the world described the move as a game of double standard that Sonia government is playing. the response to the ban by political leaders in India was dismal. They are in cohort with anti Hindu Jihadis, congress and the communists. They are in an alliance to crack down freedom and the right of Hindus. They are relentless in their efforts to eliminate any sense of Hindu cultural identity, closely monitoring, and punishing Hindu organizations and cultural centres promoting Hindu websites.

It is time for Hindus to unite and be active

What went wrong in Balochistan?


The situation in Balochistan has reached its lowest ebb since the military operation began in Balochistan in
January 2005. The entire province is besieged; provincial government is abandoned, where the centre is directing
the policies at its own will with the gun and stick by terming it development, assistance and people's betterment.
The establishment has itself opened up a war inside Balochistan at all fronts. This has resulted in increasing
polarisation between the Baloch population and the federal government particularly with military.

The much-talked about Parliamentary Committee on Balochistan formed in September 2005 was supported and
backed by all Baloch Nationalists Parties. According to the resolution passed in both houses of parliament, the
timeframe for the committee to finalise its report was 90 days. Its first meeting was held on 7th October 2004, it was
decided that two sub committees were to be formed, with the task of looking into the current crisis in Balochistan
and second committee was assigned to look into the issue of larger provincial autonomy.

I, as a member of sub-committee on current crisis, presented my detail presentation to the committee on 12th
October, and all members agreed to the issues, like Gas Well Head Price (Balochistan-47/MBTU.
Punjab-222/MBTU), excess of Para-military forces in Balochistan through their illegal 700 check posts, allotments
in Gwadar district, Cantonments issue, jobs in natural resources related departments, and major socio-economic
plan for uplifting of common population of Balochistan. The committee failed to implement 10-point CBMs approved
in the first meeting, which were initially introduced to gain the public confidence on the committee's working. The
CBMs were about releasing some political activists, removing para-military checkposts from the civilian areas,
cancelling land allotments in Gwadar, and stopping intelligence agencies from interfering in political affairs of the
province. Instead of adopting CBMs, in November 2005 Police and Intelligence agencies picked up more then 300
political activists of BNP and other nationalist parties in November 2005.

In the last 56 years out of 23 governors, 13 have been sent from out side to govern Balochistan, and they have
proved more problematic. This time again, Governor, IG Police, IG FC, Heads of all intelligence agencies have been
sent from outside and assigned a tough task to eliminate Baloch democratic forces which are demanding control
on socio-economic and political policies of province. These unwisely and hasty decisions of federal government
further fueled the frustration in province.

Baloch websites have been banned, name of most of the Baloch political leaders are on exit control list, families of
prominent politicians have been victimised. Baloch TV channel was banned and men behind the establishment of
TV channel were picked up from Karachi airport are still missing. Common social and political businessmen
affiliated with Baloch struggle arrested or picked up by the agencies have disappeared. These frustrated moves
from agencies against the Baloch families further raised the anti-government and ant-military sentiments in
province. The absence of rule of law and neglecting of the basic human rights is creating more insecurity among
the population, instead of respect and support for government.

Government and officials cannot get rid of the Balochistan issue through filtering news and blocking access to the
media in the region. Picking up political activists and killing people will not be helpful for long term solution of
Balochistan problem. The following steps can provide peace and stability in the province. (a) Immediate cease fire
in the conflicting areas of Balochistan between government and fighting forces. (b) Release and appearance of all
abducted Baloch social, political and tribal elders. (c) Withdrawal of para-military forces from the civilian areas. (d)
Deputing politically more wise and indigenous politicians on important positions in Balochistan. (e) Intelligence
agencies' work should be limited. (f) Engaging all political parties in dialogue regarding long-standing political and
economic issues of province. (g) Blame game must be stopped and patriot Baloch politicians should not be
blamed as anti-state and (h) Balochistan political and economic issues should not be mixed up or confused with

The writer is a member Senate from Balochistan

August 06, 2006

Harassement and Torture by TTD Vigilance and Officials


[ The following is a report of Sr Om Prakash Agarwal, Southern Coordinator of Sudharshan TV, sent to the authorities of the Sudharshan TV, regarding the harassement and torture by TTD Vigilance and Officials meted out to him and a Hindu social worker who went to Tirupati-Tirumalai to investigate about the Christian conversion and propaganda activities in the areas belonging to the most ancient Hindu temple where preaching and practice of any other religion is banned by law. The Christian employees in the service of Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam, emboldened by the clandestine support of the Andhra Government headed by a Christian Chief Minister, had the guts to lay their hands on a Hindu media person and subject him to inhuman torture. The video cassttes seized from him have not been returned to him though he was let off. The Udupi Pejawar Mutt Peedaatheeswar, Sri Vishwesa Teertha, had appointed a fact finding committee consisting of a retired High Court Judge, a retired Director General of Police of Andhra and a retired Vice-Chancellor had come out earlier with startling revelations of Christian activities in Tirumala Tirupath and sadhus and sants headed by the Udupi Peedaatheeswar had also demonstrated in front of the TTD Office and held a massive conference in Tirupathi to protest against the Christian activities. The media persons went there to find for themselves the true story and the man-handling of the media persons amounts to violation of press rights as well as human rights. The awakened Hindus, Hindu leaders and religous heads must strongly condemn this high-handedness, demand an enquiry and punishment of the guilty.The video discs seized from the reporter should also be returned to him. We appeal to Hindu leaders and religious heads to take up this matter with all seriousness.--Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan]

Respected Sir,

I would like to bring to your kind notice that, I, Omprakash Agarwal, working as a Reporter and South India Co-ordinator in your Esteemed Channel was Harassed and Tortured by TTD officials on 30th July to 1st August 2006.

Sir, I went to Tirupathi after consultation with Senior Executives and your goodself to cover a program on Christian Religious Propoganda in Tirupathi-Tirumala for our Channel based on reports from various leading dailies of South India (ie. Vijay Karnataka, Samyukata Karnataka, Indian Express and many more print and electornic media). I also took tips from the Report of the "Fact Finding Committe" deputed by Pejawar Math Swami Sri Vishweshwar Thirtha Swamiji to probe into the affairs.

Sir, As you are aware I went to Tirupathi on 29th to Cover the Episode, I made some coverage in local Tirupathi area on 29th and on 30th Morning, I went to Tirumala Hills to cover the program with a local escort by name Damodaran aged 20-22 Years, who was familiar with local language and place. Damodaran had arranged a vehicle to take me to Tirumala. We first went to the Foothills known as Alipiri around 10:45 A.M (30th July), We reached Tirumala around 12:20 P.M and I got down near Krishna-Arjun park at the entrance of Tirumala to take few shots of some shops selling Cross and other items. Based on information received, I left for Papavinasham where there were reports of conversions taking place. We searched all the place in Papavinasham but could not gather any information, later we left for a place called as Balaji Nagar on the outskirsts of Tirumala. We enquired from various sources on the route to Balaji Nagar, as it was in news for propogation and other religious activities. At around 3 P.M, we entered Balaji Nagar searching for houses conducting Sunday prayers, Balaji Nagar is a very large Residential area which houses to about 1,000 - 2000, but almost after1 hour search we could not trace anything, We continued our search and finally around 4: 15 P.M, we came across a few houses where Cross marks were put outside the houses. We immediatley stopped our vehicle and I took video shots of 2-3 houses. After taking shots we went futher to enquire if there were any Christian families in the locality. The residents denied saying that there were no one there, When we were just talking to the ladies, two people came to us and enquired who we were. I said I am a reporter and he is my escort from Tirupathi. They did not believe us. They alleged that we only painted the cross and were shooting, They caught hold of us and within fraction of second over 60 people had gathered at the venue and harmed us physically. They took away our belongings containing our Handycam, Mini Dvs, Mike set, Channel (ID) Logo, & Bag containing clothes and cash. After a few moments The Vigilance department Officials of TTD arrived, They too harmed us and snatched away our mobile phone and took into custody all our belongings. Later they took us to the Vigilance Office led by NAGU REDDY ( V.C.O) in Tirumala and beat me and my escort Damodaran. After sometime we were taken to Joint Executive Officer Shri Dharma Reddy, there also we were beaten with sticks and were booted by this Nagu Reddy (Vigilance officer), his assistants (Murthy and others) and Dharma Reddy. Later they began to see our Video footage which we had covered. We had taken a few shots of shops in Tirumala selling Cross items. The Vigilance Officer asked me to accompany to pin point the shop where it was sold. They took me in a high secuity vehicle as a criminal to the shop. I pin pointed the shop from where Cross was sold. The shop keeper was bought to the Vigilance office and he was made to say by the Executive officer and Vigilance officer that it was I who gave him to cross to sell it. That shop keeper too was threatened to tell lies as he too was at their mercy. We were shocked seeing this behaviour of the officials who were all there to fabricate cases against us for shooting this in Tirumala. I protested and pleaded to the executive officer to show the Tape once again so that I could explain him. I pinpointed that all the products in the shop keepers premises had same company brand packing. Rather than accepting the mistake, he immediately asked his men to delete this portion of shots from the Video Dv's. The Torture continued till late night and they were forcing us to confess that we belonged to some organisaition or have been sent by some agent to blaspheme Tirupathi-Tirumala. Vigilance Officer had gone to the extent of threathening us with a loaded PISTOL to confess, otherwise he would get us killed in an ecounter declaring us as ISI Agents, Terrorists, or Naxalites. But by the grace of God and intervention by the Sub-ordinates, it did not work out. Before that they had invited all the Media persons both from the print and electronic media at the vigilance office and paraded us, and gave a one sided press note to them without allowing us to speak with the media men.

At around 2:00 A.M on 31st morning, we were sent to II Town Police Station in Tirumala. The Sub Inspector interrogated us and we apprised him about all the events which took place and placed all the facts before him. After giving our statement, he provided us some place to sleep and said he will come back in the morning. On 31st Morning at 8:00 A.M, DSP of Tirumala Shri. Satyanarayana had come to the station to interrogate us, he interrogated for around 1/2 an hour and left the place. Again around 1:30 P.M, we were shifted to DSP Office and there we were interrogated by the Superitendent of Police Shri Gopal Krishna. We put all facts before him. He was convinced by it and he openly expressed in the presence of other officials that we were INNOCENT. Later he made arrangements for Lunch for both of us. Later in the evening the Police Officials had a meeting with the TTD officials and there they had decided to release us. At Around 9 P.M, the Police Department arranged for a VIP Darshan at the temple and they later asked us to write a statement at the Tirumala II Town Police Station.
Two Sub-Inspectors took our statements and after completing, we were requested to leave the place. The S I said it was already 12: 00 A.M and it was not safe to leave at that time. He said that we could leave in the morning.

We were forced to spend one more night in Police Station and we anxiously waited for the dawn. Next day morning the Sub Inspector arrived around 7 A.M (1st August 2006) and we asked his permission to leave. He said he would consult the Supdt of Police and only after that we could leave the place.

When the S I spoke to S P, he refused stating that "there is pressure from Higher officials not to let you, as we need to interrogate both of them". It was frustrating moments for us, in the meanwhile our friends from other media on hearing our news had come all the way from Bangalore to bail us out. My escort was taken to SP office in Tirupathi and there he was interrogated by the Crime Police. That went on upto 7 in the evening. At around 9 P.M the S.I said that I could leave for Bangalore. I was bought down by a constable who escorted me upto Tirupathi.

The SI asked us to leave for Bangalore, he also sent his constable along with us to Bangalore. Next morning we reached our house and the constable accompained me till my house, He left after he took an undertaking from my mother stating that I have reached Bangalore safely.

Sir, I did not understand why there was a conspiracy to fabricate us in false cases. Is it just because we had collected some information and video shots of some incidents in Tirumala which are already popular with other Media.

I will not be surprised, if they may cook and fabricate some more cases against me to suppress some more facts. THE CONSPIRACY HAS BEEN EXPOSED.

A) Is it not an Attack on freedom of Press?
B) Is it not human rights violation to beat brutally with sticks and kick with boots?
C) Is it not a Conpiracy to Implicate us in False Charges?
D) Is it not a violation of press rights to Seize Press Material?
E) Is it not human right violation to issue Threat to our Lives?

If it is so, then what for is the Right to Information Act ?

Thanking you

Yours Truly

Omprakash Agarwal