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September 15, 2001 - September 15, 2001

Vadodara's own WTC standing tall... 100 storeys short Saturday, September 15, 2001

SHOULD terrorists decide to attack any of Pune’s several defence establishments, it will be all too easy.

According to defence analysts at the University of Pune’s department of defence and strategic studies, the proximity of civilian structures to key defence establishments reeks of a lack of security understanding on the part of parties concerned. Air Marshall (retd) S Kulkarni of the department of defence and strategic studies flayed the city’s civic administration for giving no thought to security. “Pune is definite-ly a very attractive and vulnerable target, with all its military and airforce bases. But Pune suffers from a very apathetic situation. Our defence security lapses have been very debatable. I blame the civil administra-tion of the city. Civil s t r u c -tures are allowed to come up within a few yards of key defence establish-ments like the airforce base and NDA. For the self inter-est of a few civilians, the entire safety of a nation is put in jeopardy. A compliant admin-istration, a corrupt politician and a willing bureaucrat can be more dangerous than all the terrorists put together. Instead of being mute spec-tators, the common citizens should campaign together and make sure that our country’s safety is not compro-mised,” he said.

With the reality of what global ter-rorism can do being constantly flashed in our faces on television and in the newspapers ever since the attack on the USA, it is not too far fetched to ask, what about Pune? Consider this. The Southern Command, the largest and most pop-ulated army head quarter base is in Pune, coupled with the Pune Sub Area. The National Defence Academy, College of Military Engineering, Armed Forces Medical College, Indian Institute of Armament Technology, the Ammunition and High Explosive Factory, the Ordnance Depot, the Central Armoured Fighting Vehicles Depot, and smaller units like the Base Workshop, Supply Depot and Bomb Disposal Unit, are all based in and around Pune.

Apart from the military installations, Pune has the high security airforce base at Lohegaon and INS Shivaji at Lonavala. Research centres like the Armament Research and Development Establishment, the High Energy Materials Research Laboratory and the National Chemical Laboratories are also situated in Pune. “Put all these together and Pune definitely becomes an attractive target for any sort of terror-ist and military attack,” a top rank-ing official of the Armed Forces told Pune Times.

Former defence personnel in the city also reiterated that Pune is definitely an attractive target for any sort of war action. Surprisingly, the experts felt that our proximity to big brother Mumbai, a city that may well be called the New York of India, may actually work in our favour, since the state’s capital is a much more visible and alluring target.

According to Admiral (retd.) Jayant Nadkarni, Pune is a very enticing target. “But one has to realise the difference between a terrorist attack and a military attack. Terrorists don’t have any par-ticular military agenda. Their main objective is to cause chaos and disorder. Therefore, any prestigious building will be a good target, especially one that is lightly defended. For that matter the National Defence Academy is a prime institute and more or less vulnerable. An attack on such an institute will certainly give a terrorist group mileage as far as publicity goes.

On the other hand, military attacks are more centered towards military bases. Air fields, ammunition depots and other military stock bases are high on target lists. But here again, with Mumbai as a neighbour, atten-tion is often drawn away from Pune.

Bombay High and the Tarapore Atomic Power Station are also high target areas. Pune may not be first on the list of a terrorist’s attack, but it will also not be last either.”

Lt Gen (retd) B T Pandit, however, felt that even though Pune did seem like it was susceptible to an attack, the probability of the same happening was quite low. “However we shouldn’t press any panic buttons right now. That will only serve the purpose of terrorist groups,” he advised.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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List of Persons confirmed safe over Phone Saturday, September 15, 2001

List issued by Consulate General of India : New York


Preeti Dingle 630 728 8129

Un Known Sanjeev Bhattacharjee

Capt. S. N. Reddy, Hyderabad Satish Reddy

Un known father

Un known Sukhdev Singh

Amrit Kaur, Barnala Dr.Jasbir Singh

Un Known Benjamin, Rochester

Raman.k Shastri Velamuri(uncle)

Father ( unknown) Ahit Menon

Un known Mother

Rajesh A. Agarwal Shekhar Kumar

Nagesh Swamy,New delhi Rahul Sharma & Neru Sharma

un known Subhash Chpra, Jamaica

Kusum Kansal, Ludhiana Pradeep

Jaswinder Singh Ajmera Singh

S.K.Bajaj,Guwahati Ragini Sabharwal, Uncle

Sambasivan Brother of Sambasivan

T. Singh Manmohan Singh / J Kaur State Dep. WTC

Sister Sudhir Adhikari

Maupuri, UP Binod Goyal/ Radha Goyal

Pankaj Nigam,Kanpur,91-512-29885 S. P. Saxena, father

Jamshedpur Dr. Priya

Rekha Srinivasulu N. Balaji

Un known Sachin Man (Son)

Jaswinder Singh Ajmer Chandra

Shubra sen Gupta Ashok Majumdar, Long Island

Charan Singh Amarjit Singh

Kiran Bindale, Galgaon, Suresh Bindale

Gurdas Singh Yaspal Singh

Ralph Babosa Nestratrorenas, West Virginia

Mrs. Proniti Singh 631-400-947

Un known Mr. Karan Keshyao

Pritam Kumar Vinod Kumar Nandwani, East Meadow

Haresh Trivedi Bhuj Arjit Taralal (in Virgenia

Un known Naga Prasad

Ashish Malhotra, Shyampura, UP Malhotra

J.K. Bhatt Dr. Jonathan D. Leitesoss, Mng. Parner, Shalom Equity Co. and owners of just designed real estate company.

from Vijayawada Nagesh Rao Putsala

Unknown Singh

Punjab 718-441-5889

Hari V. Krishna murthy

Harpal Singh Balwinder Singh

Phool Chand Mehra Dev Mehra

Prabhas Chandra Haldar, Kolkata Suresh Chandra Sarkar

Guru Raj Connecticut Hemat Kumar

Viren Gandhi NJ Nitin Paragsen Paker

Kriahsn Madhar Ramesh Kumar (Brother)

H S Rane from Dheradhun.UP Uttranjal H.S. Rane's sister in Houston

Harcharan Singh, Punjab Naranjan Singh

Un known Sukbir Singh

P. Patel, Ahmedabad Dharti

Shingara Singh Joga Singh

Damodaran (grand father) Pothiraj

Jigmar Tushar desai

Rajiv Singh Govind Singh

Shajeev Alice David

Ramjeet, Nawazsahar Avtar

Gagan, Mumbai Suman Toor, Harvinder Toor

Anibu S. Dutta Sandeep Datta

J. Thomas D. Thomas, Brooklyn

Jivan Kumar Ramesh Kumar Rashmi Kumar, Jatin Kumar

Adarsh Pal Singh Harvinder Singh, Sonia, San Francisco

Anookh Singh Bhagwan Singh

Ravi Shankar Dubey Ashok Kumar Dubey

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Teachers back in schools Saturday, September 15, 2001

AHMEDABAD: There was a lot of catching up to do as higher secondary schools reopened on Thursday with teachers ending their fortnight-long strike which achieved nothing.

The teachers didn't really return to schools as victors and some of them had that sheepish grin which said it all.

Students said some teachers behaved as if nothing had happened in the last fortnight, and Thursday was just another day for students in the city.

But post-stir, the students have, indeed, begun to see their teachers in a different light, what with some of them putting up vulgar posters of the education minister on a busy Ahmedabad street.

"I wanted to ask my teacher if he would scold us if we made some similar cartoons on the black board every day," remarked a tenth standard student of St. Xavier's Loyola Hall.

It is still not clear whether the students, who have already lost precious two weeks because of the strike, would be delivered another blow with the curtailment of Navratri and Diwali holidays. This again, is not going to make the teachers too popular!

There was an ominous silence as you enter Diwan Ballubhai Higher Secondary School at Paldi. Where is the buzz of busy classrooms if the teachers have indeed withdrawn their strike, you wonder.

A peep into the classrooms proves that normal business is, in fact, back on track. Stern-looking teachers are holding fort as the students, in uniforms that look neat, peer into their textbooks.

Principal Dayalbhai Patel is also busy reading a book, but this one is a government booklet on the Essential Services Maintenance Act. He is wondering how teachers could be brought under its purview.

Patel confirmed there were hardly any absentees in school, either teachers or students.

The day was also an opportune moment for teachers at Ankur High School to congratulate their octogenarian director Frenny Desai who recently received the Eklavya Excellent Educator Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Present and past teachers gathered in her chamber to wish Desai, one of the last remaining Gandhians to have participated in the freedom struggle.

Outside, a sea of white and blue uniforms stroll out after their first day at school since the strike. "At some point during the unexpected vacation, I started missing my classmates, my friends," one of the students said. "Not the teachers, just my friends. In that sense it is good to be back. The rest is all the same."

St Xavier's High School, Loyola Hall, was one of the few schools where a handful of students of Standard XI kept coming to the campus even when the authorities had not asked them to. It was, therefore, not difficult for them to get back on track when the strike was called off.

"You can see for yourself," said principal Father Fernand Durai pointing outside his window as groups of students ran around during the recess. "They seem to be happy to be back." He added that except those who had reported sick, most of the teachers and students were back.
Source -

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32 IIM-A alumni at WTC safe Saturday, September 15, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Many a hearts skipped a beat at the city's Indian Institute of Management when the two passenger planes slammed into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre at New York's Manhattan.

Some of the top brains from the institute were employed in at least three firms which had offices at the nerve centre of the US economy with links around the globe. However, by late Wednesday morning, the officials were breathing easy with the knowledge that their entire alumni was safe.

"We know of at least 32 former students employed at Lehman Brothers, J P Morgan Stanley and Salomon Brothers," says student Kapil Dahiya of the institute's placement cell. About 25 of them were at Lehman Brothers alone. After the initial panic, we now know that all of them are safe."

One of the top management school's worries were compounded by the fact that Lehman Brothers have their offices on three floors of the WTC _ from the 38th floor to the 40th in the North Tower.

Well-known investment bankers Morgan Stanley, on the other hand, had their offices in the South Tower with offices from the 43rd to the 46th floor, 56th floor and from the 59th to the 74th floor.

Not wanting to disclose names, Dahiya confirmed that at least one alumni from 1980 was in the WTC when the first plane crashed in. He got out before the two towers came crumbling down.

Not being able to get through to the New York offices after the attacks as all telephone lines were clogged, the students tried the next best thing. They got in touch with their Asian headquarters at Tokyo and Singapore which gave them the confirmation that no one was hurt.

By early morning on Wednesday, with the telephone lines back on line, the students had managed to contact all their alumni.

"We did have a fear for at least two students who did not get in touch for about 15 hours", Dahiya said.

"But they too are fine", he added. Institute director Jahar Saha added that he spoke to officials of the three firms and confirmed that none of the alumni were missing after the attacks.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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Attack on America :: Ahmedabad lad had a 16-km walk home Saturday, September 15, 2001

AHMEDABAD: Twenty-four-year-old Tushar Daru stood some 300 feet away from the 110-storeyed structure, dumbstruck as he witnessed the New York skyline change forever.

Dust cloud bellowed out as the twin towers of World Trade Centre came crashing down, turning day into night.

An Ahmedabad boy, Tushar works for software giant Infosys and is now deputed to the Goldman Sachs office. Tushar has been in New York since February. He recounted his experience in a chat with TNN over telephone.

Visibility dipped to zero and Tushar lost track of his friend as he rushed into the nearest departmental store that provided a surprisingly warm welcome. Scores of people were already huddled inside the shop while the owner tried his best to make them feel at home.

"Wash your face and hands, choose something to drink ... You can stay here as long as you wish," the storekeeper repeated over and over again as more people came in covered in soot and thick layers of dust.

Sirens wailed on as Tushar after dusting and washing himself the best he could had some time to himself. Immediately, he thought about his cosy, six-roomed apartment in New Jersey.

The day had begun with bright sunshine and a filling breakfast. Soon he was off on the metro; 15 minutes later he alighted a little way from his office in 32 Old Ship building, Near Staten Island Ferry. At 8.20 am he crossed the towering World Trade Centre and headed for the elevator that would take him up to his office on the 32nd floor.

Just as he settled down to another day's work, Tushar looked outside his huge office window and was taken aback to see the first aircraft crash into one of the WTC towers. He thought this was just a terrible accident. Then, his colleagues and he watched in horror as another aircraft crashed into the second WTC tower, instantly enveloping it in a huge ball of fire.

Moments after the second strike, the youngster sent an e-mail to his father in Ahmedabad which read: "Two planes strike WTC. I am safe."

The 32 Old Skip building was soon evacuated as were other skyscrapers in the neighbourhood. And before long, Tushar was standing beside his colleague near another office building and waiting at a spot about 300 metres from the WTC for another friend (the three of them share the apartment at New Jersey).

Before they could get any further, the first tower gave way. A loud crash later, the entire area sunk into darkness.

Tushar got a rude awakening when wails of siren, together with human grief and stench of burning flesh, brought him back to what was his temporary haven.

Three hours had gone by, the second WTC tower too collapsed. Yet, the people dared not venture out; the dust cloud was yet to settle down and tension had only increased during the time as news of attack on the Pentagon filtered in.

Gathering courage, Tushar and a small band came out of hiding as visibility improved somewhat. But, outside they found a new predicament -- no transport. And, so Tushar walked for three hours, groping his way through 16 km.

Finally, he reached the Hudson riverbank. He took a ferry across to New Jersey and reached home only at 6 pm. As Tushar began calling up his parents and friends in Ahmedabad to reassure them that he was safe, his other two room mates walked in, in an equally dishevelled state, recounting hours-long horrors on streets of New York that had once represented the spirit of liberty and enterprise.

News Source : Times News Network [India's best Newspaper]

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