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Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi rules out resignation, offers support to new army chief Bipin Rawat

Kolkata: Putting to rest all speculation about his resignation, Eastern Army Commander lieutenant general Praveen Bakshi assured his full support to General Bipin Rawat, who took charge as the new army chief superseding him.

Lt General Praveen Bakshi. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.Lt General Praveen Bakshi. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Lt General Praveen Bakshi. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

“I convey my best wishes and full support of Eastern Command to Gen. Bipin Rawat on having taken over as the Chief of Army Staff,” Bakshi said on Saturday. He also made it clear that he was not resigning, and even called the new army chief on the phone to congratulate him on taking over the reins of the army, an official said.

Speculation that he may seek premature retirement from service gained ground after he met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on 21 December and then proceeded on leave after Christmas.

Bakshi was initially the frontrunner for the post of army chief. However, keeping aside the trend of seniority, the government appointed vice-chief of army, lieutenant general Bipin Rawat, a batch junior to Bakshi, as the new chief.

The army commander requested that speculation in media and trolling on social media should stop and everyone should focus on contributing their best to the betterment of the army and the nation.

At a function here on new year’s eve, he greeted all ranks of Army’s Eastern Command and said he would continue to lead the Command with full professional sincerity. He, however, continues to be on leave for the next few days.

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 16:48 IST

Furore over army chief’s appointment: Cong demands answers, govt says permission of 10, Janpath not required

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Centre announcing the name of Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the new Chief of the Army Staff superseding two seniors for the coveted post, the Congress on Sunday demanded an answer from the government over the decision, while asserting that the Army is a public institution and the nation deserves an answer.Lieutenant General Rawat, who took over as the Army vice-chief in September 2016, bypassed Eastern Command chief Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi (armoured corps) and Southern Army Command chief Lieutenant General PM Hariz (mechanised infantry).”With all due respect to General Rawat’s professionalism and brilliance as a soldier and no personal animosity to anybody, there is a legitimate question as to why has this supersession taken place. After all, Lt. Gen Praveen Bakshi who commands the Eastern Command, the Southern Army Commander Lt. Gen Mohammed Ali and the Central Army Commander are all senior to the gentleman who is being designated,” Tewari said.However, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi lambasted the Congress for demanding an explanation, saying the government followed standards norms and does not require the permission of 10, Janpath for the same.Taking the Congress to task for time and again questioning the government’s decision, Naqvi said the grand old party is till date not able to digest the fact that they have lost power.”I think till now the Congress is not able to understand that they have lost power at the Centre. The government is following standards norms over the appointment of Army Chief and does not require the permission of 10, Janpath (Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s official residence),” said Naqvi, adding the government won?t allow the Congress to dictate terms as it did during its tenure at the Centre.Earlier on Saturday, the government announced the name of Lieutenant General Rawat as the new Chief of Army Staff and Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa as the new Chief of Air Staff.Lieutenant General Rawat, who took over as the Army vice-chief in September 2016, bypassed Eastern Command chief Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi (armoured corps) and Southern Army Command chief Lieutenant General PM Hariz (mechanised infantry).Lieutenant General Rawat has remarkable experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades.He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and in the North-East.He is known for his balanced approach towards soldiering, compassion, and his connect with the civil society.

Army a public institution, nation needs answers on ‘supersession’: Congress on new Chief of Staff

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Centre announcing the name of Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the new Chief of the Army Staff superseding two seniors for the coveted post, the Congress on Sunday demanded an answer from the government over the decision, while asserting that the Army is a public institution and the nation deserves an answer.Lieutenant General Rawat, who took over as the Army vice-chief in September 2016, bypassed Eastern Command chief Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi (armoured corps) and Southern Army Command chief Lieutenant General PM Hariz (mechanised infantry).After taking to Twitter to voice his annoyance with the decision, Congress leader Manish Tewari assured that this was not a personal attack on the new Chief of Staff but a legitimate question.
ALSO READ Lt Gen Bipin Rawat is next Army chief, Air Marshal Birender Dhanoa to head Air Force”With all due respect to General Rawat’s professionalism and brilliance as a soldier and no personal animosity to anybody, there is a legitimate question as to why has this supersession taken place. After all, Lt. Gen Praveen Bakshi who commands the Eastern Command, the Southern Army Commander Lt. Gen Mohammed Ali and the Central Army Commander are all senior to the gentleman who is being designated,” Tewari said.Reiterating his demand for an answer to the legitimate question as to why this supersession has taken place, the Congress leader added that the government?s defence saying the grand old party superseded in the 80s and therefore the ruling dispensation has the right to do so is complete ‘non sequitur’. Expressing disappointment over the controversy surrounding all high-level appointments during the NDA regime, the Communist Party of India (CPI) said that transparency should go along with integrity in the appointment of new Army Chief Lt. General. Bipin Rawat, adding the decision is not in the interest of democracy.Rawat was found the best suited among current batch of candidates of Lt. Generals, to deal with emerging challenges, including a reorganised and restructured military force in the north, continuing terrorism and proxy war from the west, and the situation in the North-East.According to Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources, Lt. Gen Rawat has tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas, and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades. This is very unfortunate that the appointments in Army have become controversial. All the top-level appointments are becoming controversial. Transparency should go along with integrity and nobody should raise question. Now, questions are being raised and it is not new,” said CPI leader D. Raja.The CPI leader demanded a justification from the Centre and Defence Ministry over the new appointment of new Army Chief.”It is very unfortunate. This is not in the interest of our democracy, our country and of course there should be transparency. It is a question about the Army and not about any political party. Army belongs to the whole country and the nation should be convinced,” he said.Lieutenant General Rawat has remarkable experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades.He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and in the North-East.He is known for his balanced approach towards soldiering, compassion, and his connect with the civil society.

Bihar: Railway cop turns teacher for rag-picking children in Gaya

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Platform number 1 at Gaya railway station is bearing a different picture these days, as a policeman, Praveen Kumar, with the Railway Police, who used to chase rag-picking children once, has turned teacher and is now teaching ‘ka, ‘kah, ‘g’ and ‘A’ ‘B’ ‘C’ to them.The drive is a brainchild of the Gaya Railway Police officers, who engaged these rag-picking children living in slums along the railway tracks in education.Encouraged by the number of rag-picking children coming for study and their dedication, a policeman has been deputed by the officers to teach them regularly.Praveen said, “I have been directed to teach these children. DSP and the inspector also do the same for these kids.”Suman, a rag-picking child who now attends the classes, said, “We are rag pickers, but now we are studying here. I wish to get into the police service some day.”

BJP wants Kejriwal’s name included as accused in tanker ‘scam’

Seeking registration of an FIR in the alleged Rs 400-crore tanker scam by Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) or CBI, Delhi BJP leaders on Wednesday met Lt Governor Najeeb Jung and pressed for inclusion of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s name in the list for “suppressing” facts in the matter.A fact finding committee set up by the AAP government had submitted its report to it July last and Water Minister Kapil Mishra had apprised the Chief Minister about it 11 months ago, claimed a BJP memorandum submitted to Jung.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Mishra had written a letter to Chief Minister Kejriwal in this context and also submitted the report of the committee but he sat over the file for 11 months. Hence from legal point of view he is guilty of protecting the persons involved in the scam,” Delhi BJP media incharge Praveen Kapoor said in a statement.Dismissing the allegations against the Chief Minister, a Delhi government functionary said the BJP should hand over ACB to the city government before leveling allegations against it.”We had directed for a probe but who took away ACB,” he said, adding what did BJP do in the matter when it was “calling the shots” for 1.5 years before AAP came to power.

Complainants to get FIR copies through WhatsApp in Maharashtra

In a bid to make the complainants of the case get FIR copies faster, Maharashtra DGP Praveen Dixit has instructed police personnel to send them the document through social messaging platform WhatsApp. Dixit told PTI on Sunday that he has given the said instructions in this regard. He said the complainants (after lodging the FIR) can also take photographs of it through their (mobile or other) camera.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In most of the cases, complainants used to get the FIR copies a day or two late after it was signed and checked properly by the police, a senior police official said. Now after this move, the complainants will be able to get the copies of the FIR quickly, he added.

No recent case of misuse of AFSPA in North East: Army

Defending the imposition of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the North East, the Army on Monday said there was no recent cases of misuse of the law in the region.”In Eastern Command, during the time I have spent here, there has not been a single incident which has been reported where AFSPA has not been used for the right reason,” Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi said. He said if there was any breach of AFSPA it was dealt with firmly by the Army.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”If the Army is required to handle insurgency, we require AFSPA. If we don’t have AFSPA, our hands are tied and we cannot do our job. It is an enabling provision and not a draconian provision,” he said. Various human rights organisations have long been demanding repeal of the AFSPA which they call a “draconian” law. In Manipur, rights activist Irom Chanu Sharmila has been on a fast-unto-death for 15 years demanding withdrawal of AFSPA. She is forcibly nose-fed at a government hospital in Imphal.

Rajya Sabha adjourned as mark of respect after demise of Congress MP Praveen Rashtrapal

Rajya Sabha was adjourned for the day as a mark of respect towards sitting Congress member Praveen Rashtrapal, who died on Thursday morning after suffering a heart attack.Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari announced the news of the demise of Rashtrapal (76) and after paying respects to the departed soul, adjourned the House for the day as a mark of respect.His aide Amrut Pandya said that the MP from Gujarat had complained of uneasiness but before he could be provided medical assistance, he suffered a cardiac arrest and passed away.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rashtrapal was a member of the upper house from Gujarat. He became a member of Rajya Sabha in April 2006 and was re-elected in April 2012.He was also elected to the 13th Lok Sabha in October 1999.Rashtrapal retired as Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax and was also associated with the trade union movement of Income Tax employees.Rashtrapal is survived by three daughters and a son.

Ahead of polling day, TMC worker shot dead in Hooghly

Chinsura: A 52-year-old man, said to be a Trinamool Congress worker, was shot dead at Julpia in Hooghly district on Saturday.

Mohammed Akhtar was shot dead allegedly by one Lakshman Chaudhuri (40) when he was going to market at about 7.30 am, SP Praveen Tripathi said.

Chaudhuri was arrested and the weapon used in the crime recovered from him, he said. “We have taken the accused in custody and murder charges have been slapped against him. We have initiated a probe into the matter,” Tripathi said.

On whether the victim had links to TMC, the SP said, “We have received complaint from Akhtar’s family, but not from any political party. We are investigating the matter to find out the truth.”

Kolkata flyover tragedy: Manohar Parrikar asks armed forces to assist in rescue work

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday directed the armed forces to provide all assistance in relief and rescue operations in the flyover collapse in Kolkata.LIVE INDIA vs WEST INDIES 2nd semi final T20, ICC World T20″Defence Minister expresses his shock at Kolkata flyover collapse and grief on loss of lives. Directs armed forces to provide all needed assistance,” a Defence spokesperson said.General Officer Commanding-In-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Eastern Command Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi said, “The Army expresses its condolences to the bereaved families on this tragedy. Army is fully committed in providing all possible resources and assistance till the rescue operations are completed.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence officials said the state government had sought the help of Army in the relief and rescue operations after which five columns of rescue personnel were deployed.Each column roughly consists of 60 men including three medical teams, surgeons along with nursing assistants. The Army has sent 10 ambulances along with its complement of medics to the spot.A team of engineers from the Army has also reached the spot with cranes, water bowsers, gas cutters and specialist equipment to help the civic authorities dismantle the debris, officials said.General Officer in Command of Army’s Bengal area Lt Gen Rajeev Tewary went to the spot of accident to monitor rescue operations as many people were trapped under the concrete debris of the flyover.

DU college principal claims assault by faculty member

The principal of DU’s Swami Shraddhanad College on Monday alleged he was assaulted by a member of its faculty even as the institution’s governing body appointed a new chairman and principal.Some teachers of the college accused former acting principal Praveen Garg of assaulting present principal AN Jha at the college gate. “A meeting of the governing body was convened, but the current chairman claimed there wasn’t any meeting. Jha was at the college gate to tell members there was no meeting when he was attacked by Garg. We have informed police,” said Suraj Yadav, a teacher at the college.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Garg, meanwhile, denied having attacked Jha and said that the Vice Chancellor had sent a letter on February 26 calling a governing body meeting to appoint a new chairman and recommend the name of the senior-most teacher as the principal of the college.VK Bhasin was elected the new chairman while Pankaj Bhan was appointed acting principal, he added. DCP (Outer) Vikramjit Singh said police have received a complaint from the principal’s office and they are looking into it.

Raipur: Teacher held for raping teenage girl student

A 38-year-old teacher of a government school in Durg district in Raipur was arrested for allegedly raping a 16-year-old student by threatening to make her fail her in exams, police said on sunday.The incident occurred under old Bhilai station limits on February 1 when the teacher, identified as Praveen Kumar Banjare, allegedly raped the girl after finding her alone at her residence, they said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to police, Banjare used to visit the girl’s house for taking tuition.A complaint was lodged with police after the girl confided with her parents about the incident, following which Banjare was arrested on Saturday.

Temple row: Guess who is now supporting the Shani Shingnapur Trust’s stand against women

Sarangi Mahajan, wife of Praveen Mahajan who killed his brother and BJP senior leader Pramod Mahajan in 2006, has made a foray into Maharashtra politics through the latest Shani temple row, reports a leading English daily.Sarangi has come out in support of the Shani Shingnapur Trust’s stand to disallow women from the sanctum sanctorum. She has also asked for a meeting with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on the matter and started a signature campaign with Sanatan Sanstha to support the age old traditions of the Shani temple. Sarangi has joined hands with Maratha Mahasangram, a Latur-based organisation, the Akhil Bhartiya Sonar Samaj; and a local Shani Shingnapur organisation called Sthanik Panchkroshi Mahila Sanghatana as well.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I will continue my fight against these misleading modernist tendencies. We lose everything if we lose our traditions. It is not about Shani Shingnapur. It is about faith,” Sarangi said to the daily.Women members and supporters of the Bhumata Brigade arrived from Pune on Tuesday in six buses with an aim to enter the temple’s sanctum where the idol of Lord Shani is placed on an open-air platform. However, the group led by Desai was stopped from marching towards the temple by police near Supa. They were also detained by police for some time, but released later.When asked whether her role in the Shani Shingnapur movement was a platform for her to break into politics, Sarangi said, “Politics in Maharashtra isn’t the monopoly of the Mahanjans (the Paramod Mahajan family) and the Mundes (former deputy chief minister Gopinath Munde’s family).”Gopinath Munde was married to Pramod Mahajan’s sister. Sarangi’s husband Praveen Mahajan died in a Thane jail while serving his sentence.Sarangi became an active BJP member in November 2015. “I was born and brought up in RSS and BJP. I was a member of BJP, but according to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s new scheme, to become an active member one must enrol 100 members for the party and get their signatures and submit the same to the party office. I have done that and I am an active member now,” she said to the daily.When the Mahajan family was asked about Sarangi’s entry into politics, Prakash, elder brother of Praveen and Pramod Mahajan, said, “My brother Pramod Mahajan’s legacy belongs to everyone.” Regarding Sarangi’s stand on the Shani Shingnapur controversy, he said: “A woman is the real enemy of other women’s progress.”

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