off the record

Cops heave a sigh of relief

When the co-founder of Indian Mujahideen (IM) Yasin Bhatkal was being brought from Motihari to Patna, from where he was to be flown to New Delhi, policemen who were part of the tight security cover, were appalled over the terrorist’s idea of Bihar’s topography.

Just when the vehicle, in which he was being escorted, entered the 5.5 km-long Mahatma Gandhi Setu, the bridge over the Ganga which connects North Bihar with the state capital, Bhatkal told one of the policemen, “Ab toh Patna aa gaye na? (Finally, we have reached Patna. Isn’t it?).”

The cop was bemused (over Bhatkal’s route knowledge) as the IM terror module was believed to have confined his stay in North Bihar districts,  particularly Darbhanga, where he stayed under the guise of an ayurveda doctor and recruited sleeper cells, mostly from the local madarsas. The terrorist, who originally is from Karnataka, had made North Bihar his karma bhoomi (work place) and later married a girl from Samastipur (that too in North Bihar).

The escort party, which included sleuths from IB, NIA and Bihar police, were more alarmed when after reaching Patna, the terror module who was an expert in configuring improvised explosive devices (IED), said, “Aage aage dekhiye hota hai kya” (Just wait and watch, what happens next).

Some of them feared a retaliatory action by the terrorist group in the state since the IM co-founder was arrested from Bihar-Nepal border. However, they heaved a sigh of relief when the special BSF aircraft eventually took off with Bhatkal and NIA sleuths for New Delhi.
Abhay Kumar, Patna

Juvenile justice

The juvenile accused in the December 16, 2012, case has been convicted, but because of his age, his prison sentence is of just three years. While the conviction itself is good news, the people of Cyberia have been expressing extreme disappointment with the quantum of the jail term. And as can be expected of some very intelligent people who have considerable amount of time at their disposal to engage in some sharp form of reductio ad absurdum, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms have been filled up with some great witticisms.

For starters, some are suggesting that crime syndicates will henceforth recruit only juveniles, because they would not be punished too seriously even if they are caught. Others are putting a slightly more positive spin to it, offering take care of any juvenile, as well as his family, who kills our corrupt leaders.
Arkadev Ghoshal, Bangalore

Ashwani Kumar on revival track

Former minister Ashwani Kumar is on a fast revival track. Last week, he got himself elected to the coveted Public Accounts Committee. It is interesting that he is on a parliamentary committee which is probing the same coal-block allocations that has made him to resign from the cabinet.  
By sending Kumar to the committee, the Congress and the government has clearly indicated that they do not consider him wrong for what he has done as law minister on the coal-gate issue. 

Just a week ago, he was appointed prime minister’s special envoy to Japan with rank of cabinet minister.

Naturally, the former minister should feel elevated. Any one could see his glowing face on the day MPs were voting to elect Public Accounts Committee members. He was canvassing with all confidence. However, he was keeping himself away from media.
How can he forget the manner in which media chased his resignation story?

His colleague, who had to resign along with him, must also be waiting for similar rehabilitation. A month ago, he made a massive media exercise and fervently argued innocence. It seems he will have to put in more effort.
Anil Sinha, New Delhi

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