Saturday, 16 January 2016

Of Mazars, and Farm Houses in Punjab

‘Bambi’ (Tube Well) is a popular house hold word in rural Punjab. Despite the constantly diminishing cultivated farming area in Punjab, a good chunk still remains green. No longer exclusively depending upon the rain god, farmers in Punjab, as also elsewhere in more prosperous areas of the country, have been depending more and more upon canal waters, wherever they exist, and on tube wells to irrigate their crops, Rabi and Khareef, besides the seasonal cash crop. These Bambies are located crisscross in obscure rural areas all over. Besides irrigation, they have also been traditionally coming in handy for sundry nefarious purposes including sheltering criminals, drinking bouts, debauchery and hiding ‘Lahan’ (the brewed concoction from which illicit liquor is distilled). All along the border belt a number of such Bambies have also been used as ‘safe houses’ to hide the smuggled contraband including drugs, arms and ammunition etc. The turbulent and disturbed past of the Punjab militancy bears testimony to this fact. And this factual state of affairs still continues.
All smuggled goods; drugs, arms and ammunitions are never carried to their ultimate destinations in one go. They are always laid off (hidden) in the designated safe houses to ‘cool off’, to prevent the chances of any ‘hot pursuit’ or detection. They are carried off to the next safe houses, again laid for some time and the process goes on till they reach their desired destination. This is the normal mudus operandi except in cases where there is ‘immediate and urgent need’ to push on the stuff to the designated place and in such cases often vehicles, including that of the rogue security elements are also used. Popular ‘safe houses’, besides these “Bambies’; include ‘pathi dumps’ (dumps of dried cow dung which is also uses as fuel at a number of places in rural areas, ‘Paily” (place where hay stock and cow dung is stored), abandoned houses and such shrines, which are not in common use.
Such places exist in abundance all along on the border areas as well. Contacts in the NIA and central agencies indicate that perhaps the ‘Mazar’ which has figured in the Pathankot incident, was one of such places which have been used as a ‘safe house’ for quite some time now, under the very nose of the antidrug / security / police agencies. Though actual fact, whether or not, such was the case, will come out only once the investigation is complete, but the central agencies are also trying to check up about the location or otherwise, of safe houses located  in some farm houses in Pathankot and Gurdaspur districts of Punjab.
Central investigation and security agencies have also ‘reopened’ the Pandora’s Box of the Dinanagar incident. It may be recalled that Punjab government had not permitted the NIA and other concerned national agencies to step into this incident and eye brows were rightly raised whether NIA and the central investigative and security agencies really required the permission of the state governments to ‘enquire and investigate’ into a matter which concerns the security of the nation as such. Questions have also been raised if it was an attempt on part of the state government to shield someone powerful in ‘one or the other way’. To put it more explicitly, was, or not political or money power had any role to play in drawing curtains on the Dinanagar episode.
Indeed time and investigation will reveal the truth, that is, if it is permitted to come out in openly in the public domain. I have been getting pointed queries from a section of foreign media as to how come, despite these two blatant terrorist attacks on the Indian sovereignty by Pakistan terrorists with explicit collusion of the ISI and a section of Pakistani army / government, why the Punjab and Indian governments are not taking any head on action against Indian drug barons and lords, about whose identity even the children are aware of and who, for decades now, have been involved in snuggling of drugs and about whom I have been talking since 2007? They are also asking other embarrassing question including the one that whereas the entire world knows about the fact that drugs and terrorism are directly related, why the Indian and the Punjab governments are still oblivious to this very fact which is prominently written all over on all walls the world over? Is the security of the Indian nation is subservient to the petty political interests of the Indian powers that be?
Well, I have no answer to any of these loaded questions. Perhaps the readers can help me in answering them.

And it came in the Quint like this;

Opinion|For Punjab drugs mafia,border shrines, farmhouses are secret hubs:@shashikantips54…

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