Citizens' Issues
Mini blasts in Pune send out maximum message

For the second time round, Pune has hit headlines for an allegedly terror/mischief monger attack. While the German Bakery blast was horrendous, Wednesday’s series of mini blasts at the prime Jangli Maharaj Road probably have a bigger, more dangerous message

While the horror of the German Bakery blast still haunts Puneites, Wednesday’s min-serial blasts on the prime Jangli Maharaj (JM) Road should be seen as terrorists/mischief mongers’ activity, sending out a maximum message of defiance, a comeback and loud warning.


While fortunately only one person was injured, the 15 minutes of half-hearted explosions that rocked JM Road reflected the cunning strategy of the culprits that has succeeded in shattering Pune’s confidence of peace and inciting fear into every Puneite.  Here’s why:


  • JM Road is in a sense is the most sought after and perhaps the most travelled arterial road for Puneites coming from innumerable directions of the city. Unlike the German Bakery which is locally called a “camp area” landmark and you get to see it only if you travel the North Main Koregaon Park Road
  • JM Road represents the very ethos of culture which Pune is known for as the public auditorium, Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir which earns the highest cultural heritage status in Maharashtra is located here (in front of which a bomb exploded). Thus, the heart of every Puneite has been shattered
  •  International brands like Pizza Hut, MacDonald’s KFC and number of international clothes and sports brand outlets are concentrated here. Along with famous eateries at every 100 feet and having one of the most popular public gardens, Sambhaji Park located here, it attracts youngsters and families in thousands during evening hours
  • The timing chosen for the bomb blasts was in the evening when people go to see plays, visit the Sambhaji Garden, stroll around for shopping and eating out. Besides, it’s that time of the hour when traffic is at its peak as thousands return home from work
  • It was the time when new home minister Sushilkumar Shinde was to use this road for an official function but changed his mind in the 11th hour
  • It is the road where the Anna Movement is spearheaded in Pune—just opposite the Bal Gandharva Rang Mandir
  • It is important to remember that it is on 8th June that Indian Mujahideen operative Qateel Siddiqui was murdered in the high security Anda Cell of the Yerawada Central Prison
  • Pune is the most favourite hub of major terrorist outfits including right wing ones

    It is thanks to these many connotations and significant choice and time of the attacks that the law and enforcing authorities are refraining from sticking their neck out with any specific comments. Pune Police Commissioner Gulabrao Pol denies the hand of terror while home secretary RK Singh does not rule it out.

    What’s very worrisome is that Pune has been the hub of practically all major terrorist outfits of India. Indian Mujahideen (IM) and Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) have their set bases here, particularly in the southern part of the city. ATS (Anti-Terrorist Squad) officials had stated that Pune is now also the new home-ground for members of the Naxalite Movement and a safe haven for Maoists, too. A couple of years back, six alleged Naxalites were arrested by the ATS.

    Pune has become a favourite breeding ground for terrorist activities due to the large student and migrant labour population, ATS top cops had stated it is easy to lure youngsters and migrant labourers into such activities and increase membership. Besides, Pune is easily accessible to all major cities, having fantastic road, rail and air links. Mainly, it is closest to Mumbai, which was earlier the underworld empire and has been under the scanner of the police since several years. So, Pune becomes the next best place as the hide-out.

    One cannot forget that young IT engineer Mansoor Peerbhoy, a resident of Kodhwa in South Pune, was the whiz kid of the IM who was arrested last year. He earned a neat salary of Rs19 lakh per annum but worked in the moonlight for IM. Or that it is the home ground of the Hindu radical outfit Abhinav Bharat.

    Indeed, the fear has set in Pune, with minimum efforts by the alleged terrorist outfit.


(Vinita Deshmukh is the consulting editor of Moneylife, an RTI activist and convener of the Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyaan. She is the recipient of prestigious awards like the Statesman Award for Rural Reporting which she won twice in 1998 and 2005 and the Chameli Devi Jain award for outstanding media person for her investigation series on Dow Chemicals. She co-authored the book “To The Last Bullet - The Inspiring Story of A Braveheart - Ashok Kamte” with Vinita Kamte. She can be reached at [email protected])



sohan modak

5 years ago

the sick part of this story is that subsequent to earlier events a decision was taken to install cctv cameras at strategic locations and huge sums were spent on procurement and installation. But, alas, most of the cctv cameras at the location of yesterday's blasts were not functional. hence, no photographic clues available on the potential perpetrators. As if the callousness of the administration of PMC and/ Pune police is ensuring that the terrorists can continue to strike at will anywhere in the city.


Rajkumar Singh

In Reply to sohan modak 5 years ago

If the will is not there to set things right at our end, it is very simple to blame others for any lapse.

To make my point clear, I request you to read the following:


Whether an issue or objection is raised or not in the public interest by the Government, it becomes a business product for a group to sell and sail it through reporting of difference of opinions only to enlarge or enrage the issue.

Such debates are a ploy under, "Divide & Rule", to garner like and dislike minded people without resolving the issue but be in the limelight of its new venture.

If self-aggrandisement is not a part of the solution, it is the real problem of our society and the country.

If there is no limit, then free for all will only make the whole nation blind.

Rajkumar Singh

5 years ago

It is very easy to blame the government but very hard to accept that to some extent we are also equally responsible for bearing stressful life.

If the pedestrians are made to walk on the carriageways, it may be because of unevenness of the surface or the encroachment made by the encroachers.

Here, the pedestrians and encroachers are not the government, but we, the public, or the people of India.

Such corrupt people support and vote or select those corrupt politicians, who in turn provide them protection for their such encroachments.

When I wanted that any unknown vehicle or hawker or sales girl or man, etc., which are the initiatives or breeding grounds for crimes, should not be entertained in our area, except the police, no one from the public supported my stand.

Reporting or blaming anyone is easier for becoming a part of the problem, than finding the solution for the problems.


sohan modak

In Reply to Rajkumar Singh 5 years ago

I am amazed at the wishy washy reply (?) by Rajkumar Singh. My contention was simple and straightforward that cctv cameras installed were mostly non functional. so where is this nonsense about Divide and Rule debates etc. When the probability of quickly locating the culprits would have been high with CCTV footage, why skirt the issue and talk about the social responsibility of others! Or, you seem to be trying to cover up the ills of officials responsible for the lapse. We have a Government to regulate public affairs and provide amenities, preventive measures and security to the public. If they have failed, let them be accountable.

Rajkumar Singh

In Reply to sohan modak 5 years ago

It is easy to blame others to become a part of the problem than to find a solution to become a part of the solution.

I couldn't wash things off though I wished it. That is the tragedy of our country.

Wish you good luck.

India's telephone subscriber base crosses 951 million

During the quarter to end-March, total wireless (GSM and CDMA both) subscriber base, grew 2.83% to reach 919.17 million, while wireline subscriber base declined to 32.17 million

New Delhi: Total telephone subscriber base in the country grew by 2.68% to reach 951.34 million at the end of March, 2012, according to January-March quarterly data released by sectoral regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), reports PTI.
The subscriber base stood at 926.53 million at the end of December 2011.
The total wireless (GSM and CDMA both) subscriber base, grew 2.83% during the quarter to reach 919.17 million at the end of March 2012 as compared to 893.84 million at the end of December 2011.
However, the wireline subscriber base continued to decline and at the end of March 2012. It stood at 32.17 million as compared to 32.69 million at the end of December 2011, bringing down teledensity to 2.66 from 2.71.
Subscription in urban areas grew from 611.19 million at the end of December 2011 to 620.52 million at the end of March 2012, taking urban tele-density from 167.85 to 169.55.
Rural subscription increased from 315.33 million to 330.82 million, and rural tele-density increased from 37.48 to 39.22.
Internet subscriber base grew 2.10% during the quarter to reach 22.86 million at the end of March 2012 from 22.39 million at the end of December 2011. The broadband user base reached 13.81 million from 13.35 million during the same period.
Gross revenue and adjusted gross revenue of telecom service sector for the quarter has been Rs49,242.99 crore and Rs34,457.07 crore respectively.
Monthly average revenue per user (ARPU) for GSM service increased by 1.66% to reach Rs97 at the end of March 2012 from Rs96 at the end of December 2011.
Bharti Airtel maintained its leadership position with a user base of 184.55 million at the end of March 2012.
However, in terms of net additions during the quarter, Idea was number one having added the maximum users, followed by Uninor and Bharti Airtel.
Idea added 6.34 million new users while Uninor and Airtel added 6.13 million and 5.58 million respectively.
Vodafone added 2.74 million users during the quarter to take its total base to 150.48 million at the end of March, 2012.
State-run BSNL and MTNL added 1.22 million and 0.16 million new users to take their base to 120.98 million and 9.29 million respectively at the end of March, 2012.
Tata, S-Tel and Etisalat have recorded a negative growth during the quarter. Tata lost 1.70 million subscribers during the quarter while 0.12 million users left STel and 0.89 million left Etisalat.


HC restrains sale of benami property in Rs600 crore Pen Urban bank scam

The petitioners have alleged Rs600 crore had been siphoned off by directors of Pen Urban Cooperative Bank and this money be recovered from them

Mumbai: Hearing a petition alleging siphoning of Rs600 crore by board of directors in Pen Urban Cooperative Bank in Raigad district of Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court has restrained owners of 39 properties held in benami names from selling or creating third party rights, reports PTI.
Justice DD Sinha and Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani also asked Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to make its stand clear on 26th September, the next date of hearing.
The 39 benami properties valued at Rs60 crore have already been attached. However, the court ordered those persons holding such properties as benami on behalf of the owners not to dispose them or sell them or create third party rights until the case is finally disposed of.
RBI had suggested appointment of a liquidator but the petitioners Naren Jadhav and others have opposed the move saying the bank should be revived instead so that the interests of the investors are protected.
It was argued that most of the investors were those who had invested less than Rs1 lakh individually and would stand to lose if the bank was allowed to go under liquidation.
The petitioners have instead suggested that steps be taken to help the bank in meeting its obligations towards the investors and protecting the funds.
The petitioners have alleged Rs600 crore had been siphoned off by the bank's directors and this money be recovered from them.


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