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The Meadow The Meadow charts the fates of ten backpackers taken hostage by Islamic extremists in Kashmir in JulyIt tells of the escape of one hostage, the secret letters another wrote and hid in his clothing as he contemplated his situation, and how, with a brutal beheading, the kidnappers took an irreversible step into the abyss [Read] ➵ Longbow Girl ➲ Linda Davies – 9facts.co.uk the secret letters another wrote and hid in his clothing as he contemplated his situation [Download] ✤ On His Naughty List ➸ Jessica Jarman – 9facts.co.uk and how ❴PDF❵ ✓ Fire Colour One Author Jenny Valentine – 9facts.co.uk with a brutal beheading ➷ [Reading] ➹ Invisible Wounds By Kay Douglas ➬ – 9facts.co.uk the kidnappers took an irreversible step into the abyss


10 thoughts on “The Meadow

  1. Ritu Ritu says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here This book was a heartbreaking read The Meadow is an interesting and well researched book It gives a detailed account of the kidnapping of six foreign trekkers in Kashmir in 1995 It also gives the reader a perspective of the politics being played by the India government A look at how if you are a local average citizen from any country and not a Somebody , the countries most often just abandon you and do very little or nothing to help you My heart bled for the Ostro the Norwegian who was beh This book was a heartbreaking read The Meadow is an interesting and well researched book It gives a detailed account of the kidnapping of six foreign trekkers in Kashmir in 1995 It also gives the reader a perspective of the politics being played by the India government A look at how if you are a local average citizen from any country and not a Somebody , the countries most often just abandon you and do very little or nothing to help you My heart bled for the Ostro the Norwegian who was beheaded For the families involved For the wives and girlfriends who witnessed their partners being taken away at gunpoint For never getting an answer For being put through so much of trauma, only because they chose to trek through The Meadow Chose to believe all those involved that it was perfectly safe to visit Kashmir For having faith in humanity


  2. Anant Anant says:

    The book is able to create a close relationship of the reader with the hostages That is the best part in the book.The authors convey only monochrome view of the Indian Security Forces, and Intelligence Agencies All other organizations involved including the kidnappers were given layered characteristic And I believe that is the weakness and make me feel it is not completely unbiased rendition The bias may be in the thought and not intentional.Even the squad s interminable reach seems less c The book is able to create a close relationship of the reader with the hostages That is the best part in the book.The authors convey only monochrome view of the Indian Security Forces, and Intelligence Agencies All other organizations involved including the kidnappers were given layered characteristic And I believe that is the weakness and make me feel it is not completely unbiased rendition The bias may be in the thought and not intentional.Even the squad s interminable reach seems less convincing.But still overall it is a worthy one time read


  3. Kanika Kanika says:

    Thoroughly researched and brilliantly written, it s quite a revelation Must read


  4. Ashraf Bhat Ashraf Bhat says:

    The Way To The Meadow A ReviewBy Dr M Ashraf Bhat Kashmir was comprised of secrets, buried so deeply they might never come to the surface Cath in The Meadow Judging from the two dozen odd reviews that it has garnered so far, The Meadow by the British journalists, Adrian Levy Cathy Scott Clark, is quite contentious despite impressive evidence of the very thorough research which has gone into its making My review, however, is different from other such assessments in one significant way The Way To The Meadow A ReviewBy Dr M Ashraf Bhat Kashmir was comprised of secrets, buried so deeply they might never come to the surface Cath in The Meadow Judging from the two dozen odd reviews that it has garnered so far, The Meadow by the British journalists, Adrian Levy Cathy Scott Clark, is quite contentious despite impressive evidence of the very thorough research which has gone into its making My review, however, is different from other such assessments in one significant way the events narrated in the book simply happened around me.Growing up in the shadows of conflict, of guns wielded by both militants and armed forces, we in Kashmir have witnessed many confusing narratives that just happened but which are now imprinted in our minds, seemingly forever Everything in 1990s Kashmir was, as I remember it iteratively, brought to a standstill each day Our lives as young boys were ruled by a primary goal to save ourselves and to live just for oneday While boys of our age in other parts of the country were aiming for productive careers in the engineering, medical and civil services and concentrating on their studies, our lives were part of another narrative knotted, twisted and often grotesque, despite the shimmering beauty of the landscape we inhabited.In July 1995, after our XI standard biology lecture, a seventeen year old boy told us a strange story before the news actually broke in the media It was the tale of the kidnapping of six foreigners from the upper ranges of Pahalgam valley How did this boy know of this event even before the fiery media disclosures He did not tell us and we did not ask but the dramatic kidnapping episode soon became the talk of the whole town Everybody had their radios tuned to the frequency for the BBC Urdu news, the only source the people of Kashmir perceived then as reliable and unbiased I could hear people speculate about the kidnapping everywhere but only a few knew the truth one of them being a classmate of mine.The Meado w the name of the lush, pine scented camping ground in the Kashmiri Himalayas tracks this decade and half old but still haunting story The book is essentially an unravelling of the brutal 1995 kidnapping of six foreign tourists two Britons, two Americans, one German and one Norwegian which, some believe, changed the face of modern terrorism and, in a convoluted kind of ways, paved the way for the urban attack of 9 11.In contrast to the marvellous description of the scenic beauty of the valley, the truth about the journey of the hostages is gritty the book unsparingly describes their incarceration in deep, remote forests, their rough hand written notes, the counter insurgency of militants, the horrific torture by security agencies, and the routine killings of innocent civilians The Meadow is a candid tract, leaving out little It discusses the narratives of global jihad, Kashmir , India , Pakistan , Afghanistan , America , Britain it deals in ideologies, clashes, deception, the making and unmaking of militancy, of Muslims and the western world It also considers language, identity and cultural discourses in both indigenous and global contexts.From my Kashmiri point of view the whole tragedy of the kidnapping recorded in such meticulous detail in The Meadow is framed by two larger action narratives the narrative of the Pakistani involvement in Kashmir and narrative of the Indian state Neither of these tales of violence, exploitation and indifference lack in the murky undertones and sinister overtones Both have had major repercussions not just on the lives of the innocent foreign victims of the 1995 kidnappings but on the continuing lives of the Kashmiri people That is why The Meadow is such an important and revealing work of journalism it exposes the overwhelming complicity of governments in ruining the psychological as well as physical environments in which ordinary people live.The genesis of the first Pakistani narrative that animates this book lies in the attempt by a group of Pakistan based militants to free Masood Azhar, a cleric, and the founder of Jaish e Mohammed, a Pakistani militant organization, who happened to be languishing in an Indian jail in the 1990s How so Well, Masood s long term objective was to persuade Kashmiris to engage in a holy war a jihad for freedom or azadi This overt aim on his part was happily in consonance with thecovert goal of Pakistan s secret service organisation, the Inter Services Intelligence ISI , whose eyes were on Kashmir after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan , to create a strategic discourse that would foment discontent in Kashmir In the February of 1995, Masood Azhar was, thus, dispatched to Kashmir via Bangladesh on a fake Portuguese passport to address the Jihad Council in Kashmir when the Indian security forces promptly arrested him and put him in Tihar Jail, New Delhi.Knowing that India had, in the past, released various top militant leaders when influential people were kidnapped by militants , Masood s affluent father, Master Alvi a religious cleric himself belonging to Bahawalpur in Pakistan then influenced the ISI to devise a specific strategy based on this premise To set Azhar free, a party of militants under the mysterious name Al Faran , an offshoot of Harkat ul Ansar Movement of the Victorious , was dispatched from Pakistan with a well planned operation Ghar , the Urdu word for home getting Azhar back to home.Due to some strategic problems, instead of heading towards their originally intended destination , Anantnag, this kidnapping party, under the command of a Pakistani militant Abu Jindal, had been forced to divert to the ancient citadel of Charar i Sharief holding the shrine, a wooded medevial settlement of fourteenth century Kashmir s patron saint or rishi, Shiekh Noor ud din Wali According to the revelations of the authors, ahead of the kidnapping party, the shirine was already occupied by Haroon Ahmad alias Mast Gul also known as Major Gul a Pakistani militant working for the then largest indigenous Kashmiri militant group, Hizbul Mujhahiden HM p.99 The shrine was cordoned by the armed forces and the men from the various Indian intelligence agencies In the early hours of 10 May 1995, two explodes rocked the shrine and the in charge of the kidnapping party, Abu Jindal was arrested by the Indian Army, nevertheless, the HM commander Mast Gul and most of his men had slipped away Finally, a party of militants succeeded in kidnapping the six tourists of which one American prisoner escaped from the upper hills of dense forests of Pahalgam valley, near the meadows Although Al Faran demanded the release of 21 militants imprisoned in the Indian jails after the kidnapping, it was clear that their main aim from the very beginning was to just free Azhar.The Meadow speaks of the unimaginable security conundrum in the Kashmir valley at the time Its description of the Kashmir valley in the 1990s includes the episode of 20 January, 1990 , when the JK police opened fire on worshipers at Srinagar and killed around five dozen civilians The book also offers portraits of the people involved in the incident the story, for example, of Javid alias Sikandar the Persian name for the Alexander the Great , a cricketing enthusiast and talented pace bowler from Anantnag and a key accused in the kidnapping who had been reading about radical German students who had taken up arms and formed the Red Army Faction in 1970, turned a militant in 1990, and for whom an uncompromising Islamic identity became the only way to confront India.Indoctrination is, indeed,dangerous than nuclear weapons an idea can destroy or build nations A conscious and well strategised identity theft , which happened with all militants fighting in Kashmir, was to make them re identify themselves not as Kashmiris, Afghanis or Pakistanis but ahomogenous body of Islamic fighters, who would respond to any call to perform holy jihad , whether in Kashmir, Palestine or Azerbaijan Such defenders of Islam would be committed to defending any Muslim suffering at the hands of any non Muslim p.90 This notion of global jihad, then, was sustained by the idea of global Islamisation The authors of The Meadow expressively recount how Kashmir travelled, during the last twenty years of turmoil, from the Sufi Rishi and liberal human traditions to Islamic laws, referring, for instance, to the daughters of the nation, a fringe women s group lobbying for strict adherence to Koranic Law, demanding that women completely cover up For centuries, Muslim women of all ages have walked with their faces uncovered in Kashmir p 133.As the story advances, theit twists and gnarls, expressing a naked truth of which even the people of Kashmir were not fully aware The second framing narrative in The Meadow highlights the far from innocent role of the Indian state in Kashmir The authors claim that far from being utterly clueless, the Indian security forces identified the hostages exact location early on but chose not to act simply to prolong the adverse international publicity for Pakistan It also elucidates how the Government of India prolonged its dealing with the militants in its attempts to convince the world that it was not just India but whole world which was affected by the Pakistan sponsored war in Kashmir The narrative spells out how the families of six abducted tourists were kept in the dark while the deal between the militants and JK s then Inspector General of Crime was disclosed to the press in New Delhi by intelligence agencies This move callously and knowingly aggravated the situation by putting the lives of the kidnapped people at considerable risk.The book reveals the reluctance of New Delhi to allow either the JK Police or the Scotland Yard or the FBI to pursue independent investigations that could have ended the hostage crisis Levy and Scott Clark write Anywhere else in the world, the fraternity of police would have shared intelligence and war stories Here in Kashmir everything was infused by politics, shrouded in secrecy and predicated by control p 386.A focal point in the gripping tale that The Meadow reconstructs is the brutal, wretched and unfortunate death of one of the kidnapped foreigners, Hans Christian Ostro of Norway , on August 13, 1995 , in upper ranges of the Anantnag hills All my classmates then had discussed this tragedy but remained unaware of the identity of the perpetrators Bewildered, we had asked ourselves why this innocent Norwegian, whose life has little to do with the conflict in Kashmir , who had different dreams, was killed He was over smart and was fighting, answered the same boy who had broken the story of the abduction This boy was Abbas Dar, a student from the locality where the body of Hans Christian Ostro was found Later, we found that he had in fact joined militants and was fully aware of the identity of the abductors and of much else This very boy, Abbas Dar alias Shaheen, was later killed in an encounter with the security forces in Kishtwar near the Meadow It is in this ironic sense that his story and mine and those of our classmates were affected by the larger tale that Levy and Scott Clark have now undertaken to tell.Hans Christian Ostro was murdered John Childs, the American hostage escaped, but here again the authorities just wanted him to hold his tongue and adopt a conveniently amnesiac stance The remaining four abducted tourists were never found Nevertheless, Levy and Scott Clark s account bluntly exposes the real fate of these foreigners who, according to later disclosures, were handed over to the militants who has surrendered and subsequently worked with the Indian Army and to the shadowy Indian intelligence agencies These forces allegedly bought the four tourists from Al Faran for Rs.4 Lakhs and then shot them in cold blood on December 24, 1995.As for Masood Azhar, though the Indian government refused to release him or any of the other imprisoned militant leaders in 1995, he was in fact finally released on the Christmas Eve in 1999 when an Indian Airlines flight carrying 178 passengers was hijacked and forced to land in Kandahar The hijackers of this aircraft once again demanded the release of 36 prisoners from Indian jails and Azhar s name topped the list It was this same released Masood Azhar who was subsequently implicated in the spectacular and dreadful 26 11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008.To return to the terrain of Kashmir, Levy and Scott Clark s book finally highlights how Indian government sponsored surrendered militants and security agencies created a reign of terror in the 1990s, killing hundreds of innocent civilians in Kashmir where the official truth is always a manufactured narrative and burying them in mass graves Several such myopic and grave mistakes by the Indian state are still part of the community memories of all Kashmiris.Even in a generation that has not lived through the traumatic events of 1980s and 1990s, the memories of trauma are potent and quite sufficient to provoke the Kashmiri populace to violent incidents such as stone pelting against the Indian security forces at a moment s notice In this sense, The Meadow strongly questions the Indian claim to finding a political solution and explains how the Indian state in effect practices the counter insurgency doctrine get them by the balls, and the hearts and minds will follow In this context, as I see it, the innumerable stone pelting events from 2008 and 2010, for instance, were not the sudden, flash uprisings that they appeared to be but involved deep rooted memories of the atrocities and terror of 1990s Such events demonstrate that the earlier fears may have dissipated somewhat but an atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion still remains The brutal kidnapping of the western hostages is clearly the tip of an iceberg The region waits forstorytellers like Levy and Scott Clark including witnesses from within Kashmir.Following the shocking revelations in The Meadow , Kashmir s State Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the state government to explain the 1995 abduction of the foreigners whose fate the authors of The Meadow relate On August 13, 2012, The Hindustan Times from New Delhi reported The state police have told the State Human Rights Commission SHRC in Srinagar that the master file of the case of six foreigners kidnapping in south Kashmir in 1995 were gutted in a fire incident A convenient truth indeed It is time the trust of the Kashmiri people is restored and getting them by their balls is not a policy that can ever translate into peace The need of the hour is to take account of the people of Kashmir and not only the territory The author is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and can be reached at ashraf.iitk gmail.com.Full text is here


  5. Ankit Ankit says:

    I read this book just after returning from a trip to Kashmir March, 2017 During my trip, I was taken aback with the military presence around the beautiful Kashmir valley, specially in the town of Anatnag which later I realized was the heart of militancy A lot of the locals I met during my trip felt stifled by the army presence, despised the atrocities committed by the army and blamed the Indian Government for violence brought down in the valley The Army on the other hand considers their I read this book just after returning from a trip to Kashmir March, 2017 During my trip, I was taken aback with the military presence around the beautiful Kashmir valley, specially in the town of Anatnag which later I realized was the heart of militancy A lot of the locals I met during my trip felt stifled by the army presence, despised the atrocities committed by the army and blamed the Indian Government for violence brought down in the valley The Army on the other hand considers their intervention inevitable because of militancy and Pakistan s active role in sponsoring the same I had a lot of questions after my trip and wanted to knowabout how Insurgency started, the army s intervention, Indian Government s take, etc My wife had read The Meadow and she suggested me to read it The book did a fair justice to my goal The book is about the kidnapping of six foreigners during 1995 and the events around it The militants abducted 6 foreigners and asked for 23 militants to be set free, along with their leader Massod Azhar The book is day wise account of how the events turned out before, during and after the kidnapping The book has quite a few narratives, but the most intriguing ones are from the view point of, 1 The Militants vouching for Azaadi , 2 Indian army and other security forces, and 3 Renegade militant organizations which the Indian army sponsors against other militant organizations It also detailed notes from journals of Massod Azhar, Guys who were kidnapped their wives, Journalists closely involved in the research Things I loved about the book Research This is probably one of the best work of journalism I have read Bold The authors have taken names and narrated the story as is, not masking any names Multiple Narratives The authors have handled the complexity of different narratives really well through the book Nothing seems abrupt, yet each perspective is fairly deep and detailed Things that I didn t like Too many details about the before life of the guys who were kidnapped I couldn t get to understand the jihad narrative based on which thousands of young Kashmiris were inducted to the multitude of militant organizations Despite the short comings of the book, I will still rate it 5 stars for the amount of well researched information in the book


  6. Sushender Aiyer Sushender Aiyer says:

    I ve always had a thing for true stories and this was probably the reason I chose this book First and foremost, this book is very well written, the characters involved have been delineated very well, the only quibble would be its crawling pace in the beginning.Nevertheless, my heart goes out to the families involved , ostro, the Norwegian who was beheaded , I just couldn t muster up to think how his family would have felt, an affable person , gregarious and kind in nature , full of life , whose I ve always had a thing for true stories and this was probably the reason I chose this book First and foremost, this book is very well written, the characters involved have been delineated very well, the only quibble would be its crawling pace in the beginning.Nevertheless, my heart goes out to the families involved , ostro, the Norwegian who was beheaded , I just couldn t muster up to think how his family would have felt, an affable person , gregarious and kind in nature , full of life , whose life was cut short by them.As the book goes on , you just hope that a truce is reached and the hostages are freed ,Startling revelation have been made , accusing Indian government being hand in glove or rather incompetent to deal with such crisis.The thing that hurts most is that it s theCommon men and women who happen to be the victims


  7. Ribhu Rathore Ribhu Rathore says:

    Spoilers The book is a page turner aright ,but in the end it is slight of hand It takes time to build the personalities of all the characterless the victims the kidnappers et all but then really quickly in the end blames it all on the Indian army without much evidence, a lot of blame is passed on the indian army without any evidence including the attempted assassination of a BBC journalist and other events.It even takes pains to humanize the kidnappers who beheaded one of thee victims , for wh Spoilers The book is a page turner aright ,but in the end it is slight of hand It takes time to build the personalities of all the characterless the victims the kidnappers et all but then really quickly in the end blames it all on the Indian army without much evidence, a lot of blame is passed on the indian army without any evidence including the attempted assassination of a BBC journalist and other events.It even takes pains to humanize the kidnappers who beheaded one of thee victims , for which it blames only one of the kidnappers and clears the rest while there is no evidence to show which one or ones actually did it or that most of the others weere against it as the book suggests


  8. Anandraj R Anandraj R says:

    Brilliant book Thoroughly researched and the story has been told in very gripping manner.Kudos to the author for bring out some shocking revelations on how a group of foreign backpackers who had nothing to do with the Kashmir issue were made as pawns in a game of politics between India Pakistan All the allegations assumptions has well supported evidences Later part of this book highlights how the renegades were committing so many atrocities and HR violations with the help of the Indian secu Brilliant book Thoroughly researched and the story has been told in very gripping manner.Kudos to the author for bring out some shocking revelations on how a group of foreign backpackers who had nothing to do with the Kashmir issue were made as pawns in a game of politics between India Pakistan All the allegations assumptions has well supported evidences Later part of this book highlights how the renegades were committing so many atrocities and HR violations with the help of the Indian security establishment A must read book for those who want to know a thing or two on Kashmir


  9. Shahnawaz Haque Shahnawaz Haque says:

    Want a first hand account of why the valley cries, read this book.While everyone knows the reason for instability in the valley but counter forces have not been responsible too.There are some sincere officers doing their best to handle kidnapping but everyone else is highly reluctant.The last chapter The Circus have been quite aptly named.Uncovering the mass graves in Kashmir SSP Yatoo says Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure the tender mercy of its peo Want a first hand account of why the valley cries, read this book.While everyone knows the reason for instability in the valley but counter forces have not been responsible too.There are some sincere officers doing their best to handle kidnapping but everyone else is highly reluctant.The last chapter The Circus have been quite aptly named.Uncovering the mass graves in Kashmir SSP Yatoo says Show me the manner in which a nation cares for its dead, and I will measure the tender mercy of its people,their respect for the law of the land and their loyalty to high ideals


  10. Rachit Parekh Rachit Parekh says:

    The real game of thrones Brilliantly researched, well written and connects all the dots This is what investigative writing is about I d recommend this book to any government who s thinking of siding up with shady characters to fight proxy wars Just goes to show how little control we have over the monsters we create.


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