Citizens' Issues
How mastermind of Punjab CM's assassination was caught
Former Delhi Police chief Neeraj Kumar says that nabbing the mastermind of Punjab chief minister Sardar Beant Singh's assassination was the most dangerous operation he ever undertook.
 
But as luck would have it, when mastermind Jagtar Singh Tara was tracked to a hideout in south Delhi, he was unarmed -- save a cyanide capsule that was hidden in his turban.
 
"We were half expecting the men inside to be sitting with Kalashnikov rifles, ready to fire. Instead, to our surprise and relief, we found a tall turbaned Sikh youngster sprawled leisurely in an executive chair," Kumar told IANS in an interview.
 
"Another Sikh, but without a turban, was also seated there, in a relaxed mode. We overpowered them in no time."
 
The man in turban admitted that he was indeed Tara. This was in September 1995, barely weeks after Beant Singh's assassination in Chandigarh by a suicide bomber shocked the nation.
 
Beant Singh became chief minister at a time when the Khalistan campaign was at its bloody peak in Punjab. Soon after he took charge of the state, security forces ended the decade-long saga of violence.
 
Kumar -- then with the Central Bureau of Investigation -- recalled those terse moments in an interview with IANS. "Jagtar Singh Tara's arrest was one of the most risky operations I did."
 
Beant Singh, the chief minister from 1992 to 1995, was killed by the Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) in a deadly suicide attack on August 31, 1995. Seventeen others were also killed.
 
Beant Singh had come down from his second floor office around 5.10 p.m. When he was about to get into his car in the VIP porch, the suicide bomber dressed in police uniform, Dilawar Singh, blew himself up.
 
Explaining the risky factors of the operation to catch Tara, Kumar said: "Tara was reported to be armed. He also had cyanide pill. We were unarmed and were four in number."
 
A deputy inspector general in the CBI then, Kumar knew that taking on Tara was a dangerous affair. 
 
"My decision to come to this point without a commando unit, without weapons and bullet proof jackets, without cordoning off the entire area, without taking some local residents into confidence, could all backfire, literally, within a matter of seconds.
 
"All our combined heroism could blow up on our face," Kumar said. 
 
Assisting Kumar were Assistant Sub-Inspector Anchal Singh, constables Dharambir Singh and Surinder Singh.
 
They suddenly barged into a shop in a small single-storey municipal market in Safdarjung Enclave in south Delhi. 
 
That's where they found their prey. "Fortunately, there was no weapon on either of the two men."
 
Kumar's book 'Dial D for Don', which is basically about the Indian underworld after the 1993 serial bombings in Mumbai that was blamed on the still fugitive mobster Dawood Ibrahim or "D Company", also has a detailed description about the arrest of Tara. 
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Pakistani spy racket busted; BSF man, ISI-linked handler arrested
A BSF personnel and a Pakistani intelligence operative have been arrested for obtaining secret information related to India's national security and sharing it with Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), police said on Sunday.
 
Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44) and Border Security Force (BSF) head constable Abdul Rasheed were arrested from Jammu on November 26.
 
Khan is a resident of Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, while Rasheed was posted with the BSF intelligence wing in the same district.
 
"Khan is a handler of Pakistani intelligence operatives, and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. They were running an espionage racket which was supported by Pakistan's ISI," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ravindra Yadav.
 
"Both were arrested under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Official Secrets Act."
 
Yadav said the crime branch team arrested Khan from the Jammu railway station on November 26 when he had boarded a train for Bhopal. "Later, his relative Rasheed was held."
 
Yadav said the operation was conducted following tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan's ISI, which is suspected to have a network of civilian handlers and security personnel in various parts of the country.
 
"Some secret documents related to national security were also seized from their possession," the official said.
 
Yadav said Khan has contacts in India's security agencies through which he was procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country.
 
Khan disclosed that he was working as library assistant at a higher secondary school in Manjakote in Rajouri district, Yadav said.
 
"Khan had visited Pakistan in 2013 where he came in contact with an ISI agent and in lieu of monetary benefit, he agreed to provide secret information about the defence forces.
 
"He later cultivated his sources in the army and the BSF and they started passing on information to Pakistani intelligence operatives. The information was passed through email, WhatsApp and Viber," Yadav said.
 
Yadav said Khan was given specific tasks by ISI, mainly relating to the deployment of security forces and Indian Air Force operations.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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CCTV Systems: The Good, Bad & the Ugly
CCTV systems can help you with surveillance, but there is no replacement for human alertness and the ability to intervene, if needed
 
Quantico, the TV series featuring Priyanka Chopra as an FBI agent, revolves around a video footage. In fact, footage from closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras is an integral part of the popular series and gives several twists and turns to the plot. However, we need to understand that no security system in the world, including CCTV systems, can replace human alertness. Nevertheless, CCTV is going to be here and everywhere; so let us discuss this surveillance system.
 
As per Wikipedia, the first CCTV system was installed in 1942 by Siemens in Germany for observing the launch of V-2 rockets. Over the years, the main function of CCTV has remained the same, namely, observation or video surveillance. As with every system, CCTV also has its good, bad and ugly features. The good point is that it can be used for 24x7 surveillance, which can be recorded and these recordings can be used for legal purposes. The ugly part is that, with CCTV everywhere, there is no privacy: you are under watch all the time (I will not go into privacy issues here). According to an estimate from the British Security Industry Association, in 2013, there were about six million CCTV cameras in that country. In other words, there was one CCTV camera for every 11 persons in the UK. 
This leads us to the bad part.  A CCTV system simply records what it sees, and not the motive or reason behind it. Remember, how Alex Parish (played by Ms Chopra) is trapped in Quantico using CCTV footage? CCTV aids in detection and conviction of offenders. But, again, it depends on the technology used. Most CCTV cameras and systems used, especially in India, are selected mainly based on its cost, rather than effectiveness and end results like recording quality and ability to record longer footage. For example, most systems do not use high definition (HD) quality for recording which helps store longer footage. But when it comes to identification of objects, low resolution footage may turn out to be a handicap for the police or other investigation agencies. 
 
Which CCTV system should one use? With increase in awareness and, consequently, sales, cost of CCTV systems has declined and they have become more affordable. Dome cameras are usually used in closed environments like homes, offices, stores and hotels. Bullet cameras offer better quality video and cover more area, compared with dome cameras. You can buy either the entire CCTV system, including cameras, recorder and hard disk, or use the complete services offered by a service-provider. In both cases, you will have to bear the cost of cables (about Rs75 per metre). When you buy the entire system, you need to keep an eye on it and maintain it. Of course, you can give an annual maintenance contract (AMC) to any service provider. 
 
Some companies are offering a service under which the customer bears the cost of cables and the company provides cameras, recorders and other support systems free of cost. The company monitors and maintains the entire system and even replaces faulty devices without any extra cost. All you have to pay is monthly charges, depending on the number of cameras and recording capability of the system.
 
From my personal, and other people’s experience, I can say that a CCTV system definitely helps, in deterring crime or other harmful activities. But it cannot stop them and human intervention is a must. For example, CCTV may act as deterrent for a thief, but will not stop a terrorist from carrying out deadly attacks. As Dr Antony Brooks, of the University of Liverpool, concluded in his study of CCTV systems in 2010, “...the crime is merely observed, yet not prevented.” So, make sure you don’t develop a false sense of complacency after installing a CCTV. 

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