Two terrorists eliminated at Bijbehara in Kashmir

Newsroom24x7 Network

Srinagar: A joint operation was launched on Saturday 10 April 2021 by Jammu & Kashmir Police, 3RR Army & CRPF 90Bn. On gathering information that two terrorists involved in a number of terror crime were hiding in a house in village Semthan Bijbehara. While searching the target house, terrorists hiding inside opened indiscriminate fire on the search parties that retaliated. In the midst of the encounter, all the civilians trapped in the gunfire were evacuated to safety and the operation was halted for the night.

After ensuring all civilians were safe, the anti-terror operation was resumed on Sunday morning and both the terrorists were killed in the exchange of fire.

The terrorists were given ample opportunity to surrender and face the law. Two AK series rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the spot.

The killed terrorists have been identified as Towseef Ahmad Bhat, son of Mohammad Ramzan resident of Takia Maqbool Shah Bijbehara and Aamir Hussain Ganie son of Ab Rashid, resident of Goriwan Bijbehara, Anantnag. While Towseef was active since 2017, Aamir had joined terrorist ranks in 2018.

Both of them were wanted in many terror crimes including in the killing of off-duty Territorial Amy solider Mohamamd Saleem Akhoon who was killed by them near his home in Goriwan Bijbehara on Friday. After this incident, round the clock track teams set out to track them down. The teams finally zeroed in on them leading to the encounter.

They were also wanted by law in Case FIR No. 07/2020 of PS Bijbehara which was registered last year after an attack on CRPF party in which one CRPF jawan was martyred. These terrorists had been threatening and intimidating the civilian population of the area and enticing the young boys to join terror ranks.

The dead bodies after medico legal formalities have been sent for burial in presence of family members.

3 Al-Badr terrorists killed in encounter with security forces in Kashmir

Newsroom24x7 Network

Srinagar: On a specific input generated by Shopian Police about the presence of terrorists in orchards of Reban Bandpawa area of Shopian, a joint cordon and search operation was launched by Police, 34RR and 178Bn CRPF on Saturday 10 April.

During the search operation, when it was confirmed that terrorists were present there, they were given an opportunity to surrender. The terrorists responded by firing indiscriminately upon the joint search party which retaliated leading to an encounter. In the initial retaliatory firing, one terrorist was killed, but the operation was suspended to give the trapped terrorists another chance to surrender.

The joint teams exercised maximum restraint and facilitated the presence of family members of a holed up terrorist Faisal Gulzar to the encounter site so as to persuade him to surrender. Despite repeated appeals by his family members and assurances by the security forces, the other terrorists didn’t allow him to surrender. Ultimately in the wee hours, during the fierce gunfight both the trapped terrorists were killed and bodies of all the three killed terrorists were recovered from the site of encounter.

The slain terrorists have been identified as Aasif Ahmad Ganai and Faisal Gulzar Ganai, both residents of Chitragam Kalan. The identity of the third terrorist killed in the encounter is being ascertained. As per police records, they were part of groups involved in many terror crime cases and were linked with proscribed terror outfit Al-Badr.

IGP Kashmir Vijay Kumar, IPS, congratulated the joint team of police and security forces for showing utmost patience and conducting operation in a professional manner. IGP Kashmir has made a fervent appeal to all misguided youth who have joined terror ranks to shun the path of violence and return to the mainstream.

Arms & ammunition, including 1 AK-56 rifle, 2 pistols and incriminating material have been recovered from the site of encounter. All the recovered material has been taken into case records for further investigation and to probe complicity of the terrorists in other terror crimes.

The police have registered a case under relevant sections of law and investigation has been initiated. People have also been requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of explosive material, if there is any.

De-mystifying Indian Cricket’s Myths

Harpal Singh Bedi

MYTH-BUSTING: Indian Cricket Behind the Headlines

By Gulu Ezekiel

Price: Rs 295 

Rupa Publications 

There is a myth that Cricket in India  gained popularity after winning the 1983 World Cup as the victory  was directly  beamed to the drawing rooms of  millions of people back home and they felt elated and proud watching Kapil Dev and his men lording at Lords – venue of many a humiliating defeats in the past.  

This is not correct. Cricket has been immensely popular sport in the Sub-continent since 1930s mostly patronized by the Rajas and Nawabs and to some extent by the Britishers.   

After Independence Hockey was declared the National game and it did bring laurels to the country winning three Olympic-gold (!948,52,56) but surprisingly Cricket held its own among the masses despite Indian team’s dismal and often pathetic showing. 

It was indeed ironic to see more books and write up on Indian Cricket players and the team after every disastrous performance while very few if any books at that time came out glorifying Hockey or Football. We have books on and about the former cricketers who wrote about their exploits in domestic circuit and talked emotionally about the defeats they suffered at International level. 

Intriguingly every defeat against West Indies, England, Australia and even Pakistan brought more crowd to the stadiums. Instead of thinning support base, craze for cricket kept growing. 

Every defeat was laced with some myths and few and far victories in that era became a sort of folklore.  

“Cricket around the World is built on myths and Indian cricket is no different. These myths have been repeated ad nauseam over the years till they have come to be accepted as fact”, opines Gulu Ezekiel. 

To demolish these myths and de-glamourize some of the cricketing folklores, Gulu Ezekiel ambarked on a tough, unpopular and arduous journey and the result is the 232-page  book MYTH-BUSTING – Indian Cricket Behind The Headlines

Gulu is a veteran sports journalist but he Lives cricket. This is his 14th book and the second that I am reviewing. 

Reviewing a book written by a friend is a very tough job and on top of it if it is specifically related to cricket because 90 percent chances are that the writer and reviewer both have witnessed so much in common.  

I know Gulu for over two decades and having lavishly praised his previous co-authored book  Speed Merchant, I was apprehensive about this one. But the forward written by Anil Kumble made my job easier     

Kumble sums up the book nicely” Gulu’s attempt to demystify some of these myths of Indian cricket is unique and commendable. His desire to sift fact from fiction and the painstaking research that has clearly gone into the process is evident. Underneath the facts, stories and anecdotes, lies the desire to get rid of some of these existing myths and rumours, in order to   purify this beautiful game.”   

Myth Busting has several startling facts which so far have been camouflaged and one of them is about Ranji.

Ranji Trophy is now a part of Indian cricket’s folklore. The   hallowed tournament named after Shri Sir Ranjitsinhji Vibhaji, Maharaja Jamsahab of Nawanagar aka Ranji has showcased domestic talent which took the sport in the country to its pinnacle.

In a chapter “Ranji.the legend and the myth” the author quotes first secretary of BCCI Anthony de Mello: “Ranji did absolutely nothing for Indian Sports and Sportsmen” 

In de Mello’s own words: “We approached Ranji with a request that Duleep (Sinhji) be encouraged to bring his cricket talents to the aid of India. To all our requests for aid, encouragement and advice, Ranji, gave but one answer; Duleep and I are English cricketers” 

To this Gulu writes, ‘India’s embracing of the legend and the man, even though he played his major cricket in England and had a hardened disdain for all things connected to Indian cricket, is not unique”.  

There are several myths which have been accepted because they are harmless and amusing. One of them being a imaginary quote attributed to Australian captain “mate you have just dropped the world cup” after his rival dropped a catch in that tournament. 

In India, Salim Durrani, the handsome allrounder was nicknamed the Sixer man who hit a Six whenever the crowd demanded or asked for it. This myth has been punctured by Guu pointing out that though the tall Pathan was a rare talent he hit only 15 sixes in 50 innings.  

Most of the cricket fans lament that because of a strike in BBC they could not watch Kapil Dev’s historic 175 against Zimbabwe in 1983 World Cup.  

Gulu effectively demolishes this myth proving that two other matches on that day Involving England/Pakistan and Australia/west Indies had live telecast. If there was a strike how come these two matches were shown?  

The author also has an answer, because India/Zimbabwe match was not a priority event for the BBC and both the teams were considered rank outsiders. After India’s stunning performance, this canard of strike was spread which became a myth and later accepted as a fact. 

There is detailed chapter on the Tied test titled “Chepauk’s Many Myths”. It is about the test match between India and Australia in 1986 played in what was then Madras.  

The author details the test proceedings with quotes from the players, media persons and umpires that are contradictory. He comes to the conclusion that the tied test after all was not that tied. But as it has been officially recignised as tied test number two, he ends it with a quote from opener K.Srikkanth: “Hay guys, forget the win, we have become part of history”. 

Gulu also challenges another myth that Bishan Bedi virtually surrendered the Test against West Indies by declaring when the team had lost five wickets for 97 at Sabina Park, Jamaica. He shows that there was nothing the skipper could do as other five players were injured and unfit to bat and the story that Indian captain declared in protest is false.         

MYTH-BUSTING is simply unputdownable. – Harpal Singh Bedi

The book is full of reality checks. It also contradicts Farokh Engineer’s assertion of scoring fastest test century from just 47 balls. The dashing wicket keeper batsman has also claimed that he had hit three boundaries off the first three balls he faced on his debut but that claim has also been proved wrong. 

“Engineer is not the first and certainly not the last among many famous sportspersons to embellish his own deeds with colourful stories that have entered cricket folklore and are accepted as gospel truth” (Page198) 

The book also covers Engineer’s sullen reaction after Abid Ali hit the winning run in that historic Oval test in 1971. The Wicketkeeper was on the other end on 28. He  had scored 59 in the first innings.  “Abid rushed out, got a top edge and voila, we were home and Abid was a hero, never mind how he got the run”.

Except that it was not a top edge, it was a square cut to the boundary and the video footage is freely available (page 206).   

There are several other intriguing myths perpetuated for decades – like “Mankading” which have been de-mystified by Gulu. The book also vividly recalls Indian cricket’s Grand Slam moments from June 1983 to March 1985. Details Kapil Dev’s era Before and After. Younger generations aggressiveness epitomized by Virat Kohli etc.

As Anil Kumble writes “The true hero of this book is Gulu” and he is absolutely correct.   

Myth – Busting is not any other cricket book. It is a well documented thesis that’s very absorbing funny and hilarious some time and and as it’s jacket proclaims it is a cricket connoisseur’s delight.