Two terrorists, Shadullah and Imran Babar, rang up India TV twice during the siege on Thursday using cellphones of their hostages to place their points of view.
The first call came in the morning from Shadullah who was holed up in Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai. Using Cellphone no. 09769679723 belonging to a Swedish lady named Lisa Ringner from Room No. 1856, Hotel Oberoi, Shadullah rang up India TV's popular number 93505 93505 and spoke at length about why he and his colleagues carried out the strikes in Mumbai.
Shadullah claimed that he belonged to Deccan Mujahideen, a little known outfit which had claimed responsibility of the terror strikes in Mumbai on Wednesday night. The anchor repeatedly asked whether he was from Hyderabad, India, or from Hyderabad, Pakistan, to which he replied in his heavily Pakistani accent that he belonged to Hyderabad of the Deccan. Shadullah carried on with his litany of perceived injustices meted out Muslims in India. The conversation ran thus :
India TV – What do you want?
Shadullah – When so many of us were killed, who did anything for us? Babri Masjid was demolished. We were not allowed to stay in peace..That time, nobody was with us. You are talking of surrender.. Let these commandos come.. Hum Uski Aisi Chhutti karega ki Who apne bachhey ko yateem kar lega.(We will get rid of them in such a manner that their sons will become orphans)
India TV- You belong to which place? To which faction do you belong?
Shadullah- We belong to Hyderabad.
India TV—Hyderabad of Pakistan?
Shadullah- No, Hyderabad of the Deccan. And we are from Deccan Mujahideen.
India TV—What are your demands?
Shadullah- Wait for a minute ( he consults with somebody)
India TV—Tell us your demands, because the whole of India is listening to you.
Shadullah—Hello, We demand the release of all mujaheddin put in jails. Then will we release these people. Otherwise..Nahin Toh hum Eent se Eent Bajayega (we will destroy this place)..You must have seen, what's happening here.
India TV- Tell us, how many of you are there in Oberoi hotel?
Shahdullah—Why should I tell you?
India TV—No, you tell us because you are claiming that so many people are fighting for you..At least tell us, how many of you are there?
Shadullah – Hum saath hain (We are seven)..saath (seven)
India TV- You are seven there in Oberoi Hotel?
India TV—Do you have the single demand that all mujaheddin arrested be released.. or do you have any other demand?
Shahdullah - Yes, release them, and we, the Muslim who live in India, should not be harassed.. Things like demolition of Babri Masjid and killings should stop.
India TV—Shahdullah, we want to tell you that you are yourself a citizen of India.. You yourself say that you belong to Hyderbad. Don't you have love for your own country.. your own Hindustan? Because those who are killed they could be your brothers, or the brothers of others..
Shahdullah--- We love this country.. this is our country..but the issue is this: when our elders, our brothers are killed, didn't these people see all this? OK ..Allah Haafiz.
The second call was from another terrorist Imran Babar from Nariman House, Mumbai, where he used the cellphone no. 9819464530 belonging to Holtzberg Gaverlein, staying at Nariman House Number 3, Hormusji Street, Colaba, Mumbai. Imran Babar also rang up India TV's popular number kept aside for viewers 93505 93505. Time: 17:07:05 hrs.
India TV—Hello, Imran, where are you?
Imran Babar – We are here..You call their (Israeli) Army Staff to visit Kashmir.. why is it so?..Who are they to come to J & K..This is a matter between us and Hindus..the Hindu government..Why does that Israel come here..To say that Israel and Palestine..
India TV—Imran, you claim that you are in Nariman House.. How many of your friends are there in Nariman House?
Imran –We know how to live.. how to snatch our rights…
India TV – Imran, are you able to listen to what I am saying?
Imran—Yes, I can hear you..
India TV—Just reply to my question.. How many of you are there in Nariman House?
Imran—I have five persons with me..
India TV—And when did you come to Mumbai?
Imran—Hum log.. Hum log apne kaam se aaya hai (We have come here for our work)..Raah Dekhte Raha (we waited)…Saara maamla aapke samne hai (everything is before you).. Zulm aur zyadati bardasht karke jab hum thak gaya hai, tab humne eisa karne ko majboor ho gaya hai.. Aapke saamne haalaat hai.. Main toh wahi aapko baar baar itihaas bata raha hun..lekin (We are tired of facing tortures and injustice, we are forced to do this.. The situation is in front of you..I am merely repeating history to you, but..) I don't' understand why you people talk like this?
India TV—What's your age, Imran?
Imran—I am 25.
India TV—What's the age of your friends?
Imran—My other friends are also of the same age…young..adults..
Claiming to have worked as a medical representative in a multinational company, Babar said these attacks were to avenge "torture and injustice". He, however, skirted the query as to which place he hails from.
India TV repeatedly appealed to both the terrorists to surrender and release the hostages, but they were adamant. India TV informed the security agencies in Delhi and Mumbai as soon as the calls were received from the terrorists. The details of the cellphones were obtained from security agencies, who were keeping track of these conversations.
About Mr Rajat Sharma, Ms Ritu Dhawan, and Independent News Service Private Limited (INS):
Mr Rajat Sharma is Chairman of Independent News Service (INS) and Editor-in-Chief of India TV. India TV is the flagship service of INS. INS was co-founded by Mr Sharma and Ms Ritu Dhawan in 1998. Mr Sharma edited important publications before entering television in 1992 with the iconic 'Aap Ki Adalat' and India's first private news bulletin. With 20 years of work behind her, Ms Dhawan, Managind Director, INS, is one of India's senior-most television producers. India TV Interactive (ITVI) Pvt Ltd..is their newest foray.
INS launched India TV in August 2004. Today it has a talent pool of 500+ personnel. As per TAM data across 41 weeks this year, India TV has been a leader in the C&S Hindi news market.
INS had investment from Fuse+ Media, an entity of ComVentures, a leading Silicon Valley-based venture capital and private equity group with over $1.5 billion of assets under management. Earlier this year, after another strategic investment, INS's enterprise value stood at Rs 500 crore.