Mohammad Akram Pasha is an educated youngster from Nanded in Maharshtra, who was in Bangalore as part of an operation to assassinate, reports Vicky Nanjappa
Mohammad Akram Pasha, 25, speaks flawless English and has no qualms admitting that he had come to Bangalore to eliminate journalists and Hindu leaders. Currently on a body warrant in Maharashtra , the Bangalore assassination plot was not the first time Akram has been involved in such a mission. A similar operation was planned in Maharashtra as well where Hindu leaders were targeted.
On Thursday, the Delhi police arrested three operatives of the Indian Mujahideen ; one of them being from Maharashtra. Police sources say that during questioning Akram revealed the name of one of the youngsters, which helped them carry out the arrest and prevent the attack.
Akram, according to the police, is associated with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and is part of the same module that Abu Jundal (key handler in the 26/11 Mumbai attack) was part of. Although the two have never been in contact, Akram too subscribes to the same ideology.
Akram, who hails from Nanded in Maharashtra, during interrogation, was calm and composed, answering questions with confidence.
The last time he was produced before a court in Bangalore, Akram was asked whether he was aware of the charges pressed against him and whether he would like to be told about it. Akram replied saying that he was aware of what he was booked for.
When asked why he had come to Bangalore, he answered, “I came here to kill journalists and that was my mission.” To a question as to who was guiding him in this operation, he said it was Zakir Ustaad. “I have no qualms in admitting the mission I was about to undertake.”
Police officials say that Akram is no ordinary operative. He is firm on his decisions, calm during his operations and takes pride in what he does. He is part of a rung comprising several youth who are disgruntled with some pro-Hindu persons, and has taken it upon himself to eliminate them.
The original plan of an assassination was devised in Maharashtra. Akram was part of that plan. Around the same time that plan was being chalked out, it was decided by Zakir Ustaad (still absconding) that a major operation needed to be undertaken in Bangalore and Hubli. While Ustaad oversaw the recruitment of youngsters in Karnataka [ Images ], Akram was sent to guide the operation. However, when the first round of arrests took place, Akram tried to flee Bangalore but was apprehended.
His interrogation led to the arrest of three persons in Maharashtra. He also provided information on operatives planning to carry out attacks in Delhi and Bodhgaya in Bihar as a result of which three more operatives were picked up on Thursday.
The police had earlier claimed that the assassination plot was an independent operation. But today it is clear that there was a Lashkar angle to the operation, as Akram was part of the group.
Officials in the Intelligence Bureau say that the Lashkar has various wings and modules and this was one of it. After youngsters are recruited from across India they are divided into separate groups. One of these groups handles only assassinations. Both Ustaad and Akram were part of this group.
While looking at the entire plot and the manner in which it has unfolded, it appears that Akram was way above in the command chain. The police say he is highly trained, dedicated and committed to the cause, which is why he was assigned the important task of overseeing the operation. Zakir Ustaad, his boss, took up the responsibility of coordinating with the foreign handlers and sending out instructions.
The police say that maximum number of recruitments was taking place from Maharashtra. Ever since the Nanded module of an extremist Hindu group was busted, the recruitments to carry out counter strikes has gone up, the police say. As part of the assassination plan, they were selecting educated youngsters as the operation required research and also a great deal of precision. Akram is still being questioned by the police and over a period of time they expect him to reveal more about a possible link with other groups and also other operations they have planned in other parts of the country.
Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore
A fantastic sentence written on every Japanese bus stop.
Only buses will stop here – Not your time.
So Keep walking towards your goal.
Japanese way of cost efficiency
The Taj hotel group had invited Mr. Masai Imai from Japan to hold a workshop for its staff.
The staff were very skeptical – the hotel is doing excellent business, this person from Japan has no exposure to hotel industry – what exactly is he going to teach?
But everybody gathered as planned for the workshop in the conference hall sharp at 9 am.
Mr. Masai was introduced to them – a not so impressive personality, nor the English all that good; spoke as if he was first formulating each sentence in Japanese and then translating it into rather clumsy English.
“Good morning! Let’s start work. I am told this is a workshop; but I see neither work nor shop. So let’s proceed where work is happening. Let’s start with the first room on the first floor.”
Mr. Masai, followed by the senior management, the participants, the video camera crew trouped out of the conference room and proceeded to the destination.
That happened to be the laundry room of the hotel.
Mr. Masai entered the room and stood at the window, “beautiful view!” he said.
The staff knew it; they need not invite a Japanese consultant to tell them this!
“A room with such a beautiful view is being wasted as a laundry room. Shift the laundry to the basement and convert this into a guest room.”
Aa Haa! Now nobody had ever thought about that!
The manager said, “Yes, it can be done.”
“Then let’s do it,” Mr. Masai said.
“Yes sir, I will make a note of this and we will include it in the report on the workshop that will be prepared.” Manager
“Excuse me, but there is nothing to note down in this. Let’s just do it, just now.” Mr. Masai.
“Just now?” Manager
“Yes, decide on a room on the ground floor/basement and shift the stuff out of this room right away. It should take a couple of hours, right?” asked Mr. Masai.
“Let’s come back here just before lunch. By then all this stuff will have got shifted out and the room must be ready with the carpets, furniture etc. and from today you can start earning the few thousand that you charge your customers for a night.”
“Ok, Sir.” The manager had no option.
The next destination was the pantry. The group entered. At the entrance were two huge sinks full of plates to be washed.
Mr. Masai removed his jacket and started washing the plates.
“Sir, Please, what are you doing?” the manager didn’t know what to say and what to do.
“Why, I am washing the plates”, Mr. Masai.
“But sir, there is staff here to do that.” Manager Mr. Masai continued washing, “I think sink is for washing plates, there are stands here to keep the plates and the plates should go into the stands.”
All the officials wondered – did they require a consultant to tell them this?
After finishing the job, Mr. Masai asked, “How many plates do you have?’
“Plenty, so that there should never be any shortage.” answered the Manager.
Mr. Masai said, “We have a word in Japanese -‘Muda’. Muda means delay, Muda means unnecessary spending. One lesson to be learned in this workshop is to avoid both. If you have plenty of plates, there will be delay in cleaning them up. The first step to correct this situation is to remove all the excess plates.”
“Yes, we will say this in the report.” Manager.
“No, wasting our time in writing the report is again an instance of ‘Muda’. We must pack the extra plates in a box right away and send these to whichever other section of Taj requires these. Throughout the workshop now we will find out where all we find this ‘Muda’ hidden.”
And then at every spot and session, the staff eagerly awaited to find out Muda and learn how to avoid it.
On the last day, Mr. Masai told a story.
“A Japanese and an American, both fond of hunting, met in a jungle. They entered deep jungle and suddenly realized that they had run out of bullets. Just then they heard a lion roaring. Both started running. But the Japanese took a short break to put on his sports shoes.
The American said, “What are you doing? We must first get to the car.”
The Japanese responded, “No. I only have to ensure that I remain ahead of you.”
All the participants engrossed in listening to the story, realized suddenly that the lion would stop after getting his victim!
“The lesson is: competition in today’s world is so fierce, that it is important to stay ahead of other, even by just a couple of steps. And you have such a huge and naturally well endowed country. If you remember to curtail your production expenditure and give the best quality always, you will be miles ahead as compared to so many other countries in the world.”, concluded Mr. Masai.