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TMC MP Tapas Paul’s bail denied, sent to 3-day CBI custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special court here today rejected the bail plea of Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Paul, arrested for his alleged involvement in Rose Valley Chit Fund scam, and sent him to three-day CBI custody.Paul was produced in the court of Special CJM, CBI, P K Mishra.Against it plea for a five-day remand of Paul, the court allowed CBI to take him into custody for three days. The cine star-turned politician was one of the directors of the tainted chit fund group that allegedly duped investors in Odisha, West Bengal and some other states.Paul is also accused of promoting the company and “misleading” people to deposit money in the firm. He was also charged with giving senior posts to his family members in the company, a senior CBI official said.In its charge sheet submitted in the court on January 7, CBI had accused the ponzi firm of duping investors of Rs 17,000 crore, of which Rs 450 crore is from Odisha alone. The company was active in Odisha and had 28 branches in the state.Paul was brought from Kolkata in the morning and taken to the CBI state headquarters. From there, he was sent to the Capital Hospital for medical examination before being produced in the court.CBI sources said a special investigation team led by DIG N K Singh, CBI Superintendent of Police, Bhubaneswar, Rajeev Ranjan and investigating officer will interrogate Paul.

BJP condemns Hurriyat leaders, says will continue to support the west Pakistani refugees

Jammu: BJP on Saturday condemned Hurriyat and other political parties for opposing the grant of domicile certificate to the west Pakistani refugees(WPRs) residing in Jammu and Kashmir and said it will continue to support the rights of the WPRs.

“Hartal called by Hurriyat and other separatist groups on Friday to oppose the grant of domicile certificate to WPRs is very unfortunate, unwarranted and uncalled for. BJP strongly opposes the efforts of these pro-Pakistan elements to politicise a humanitarian issue,” BJP state spokesperson Brig Anil Gupta (retd) said.

He condemned the attitude of Hurriyat and political parties who are opposing the grant of domicile certificate to the WPRs residing in the state and said what was more discomforting is that these people belong to economically backward segment of the society and have been denied the growth opportunities due to no fault of theirs.

“It is very unfortunate that a section of society living among us is termed as refugees and denied basic rights on the plea that they are not the state subjects and have migrated from West Pakistan at the time of partition,” he said.

Representative image. PTI

Representative image. PTI

Even after 70 years of independence they are being given this treatment in their own country due to the “parochial outlook” of the majority community in the state is tragic, Gupta said.

“It is the influx of illegal Bangladeshi and Burmese migrants that has resulted in the demographic change and ironically they do not raise any voice against them but welcome them.

“This highlights their communal outlook. Our Party will continue to support the WPR and ensure that justice is delivered to them,” he said.

Taking a dig at the National Conference’s stand, Gupta said political parties like NC are misquoting history and trying to mislead the people of Jammu using the name of late Maharaja Hari Singh.

“Their contention that State Subject laws were enacted by the Maharaja to safeguard the interest of Dogras is being quoted out of context.

“The State Subject Act was enacted by the Maharaja in 1927 to protect the rights of its citizens when J&K was an independent state.

“It was the Maharaja only who had acceded the state with India in 1947 and it was his desire that his state should be a part of Union of India,” he said.

He said, “All citizens of J&K are now citizens of India.”

Had the Maharaja been alive he would have himself ensured that any law that keeps his state away from rest of the country should be “abrogated”, the spokesperson said.

“He would have ensured that these helpless people are given all rights immediately and they would not have to suffer this humiliation for 70 years,” he said.

It was surprising and unfortunate that parties which had included this issue in their election manifestos in the past were now opposing the issue of the domicile certificate.

“The statements of Ambika Soni in Jammu and Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal in Srinagar clearly show that the Congress was only exploiting them for narrow political gains and now that their plight is being improved by the present BJP government they have joined hands with the Hurriyat and others to oppose the same,” he said.

“Issue of domicile certificate will enable the WP refugees to seek central government jobs including in the armed forces. There will be quota for them in the 5 IRP Battalions being raised under Prime Minister Special Package for J&K,” he said.

The contention that it is an attempt to change the state’s demography, Gupta said it is not understood as to how it will affect the demography of the state since they have been staying here since 1947.

“The State Subject Act was enacted by the Maharaja in 1927 to protect the rights of its citizens when J&K was an independent state.

“It was the Maharaja only who had acceded the state with India in 1947 and it was his desire that his state should be a part of Union of India,” he said.

He said, “All citizens of J&K are now citizens of India.” Had the Maharaja been alive he would have himself ensured that any law that keeps his state away from rest of the country should be “abrogated”, the spokesperson said.

“He would have ensured that these helpless people are given all rights immediately and they would not have to suffer this humiliation for 70 years,” he said.

It was surprising and unfortunate that parties which had included this issue in their election manifestos in the past were now opposing the issue of the domicile certificate.

“The statements of Ambika Soni in Jammu and Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal in Srinagar clearly show that the Congress was only exploiting them for narrow political gains and now that their plight is being improved by the present BJP government they have joined hands with the Hurriyat and others to oppose the same,” he said.

“Issue of domicile certificate will enable the WP refugees to seek central government jobs including in the armed forces. There will be quota for them in the 5 IRP Battalions being raised under Prime Minister Special Package for J&K,” he said.

The contention that it is an attempt to change the state’s demography, Gupta said it is not understood as to how it will affect the demography of the state since they have been staying here since 1947

First Published On : Dec 31, 2016 17:56 IST

Will continue to support the rights of West Pakistani Refugees: BJP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> BJP on Saturday condemned Hurriyat and other political parties for opposing the grant of domicile certificate to the West Pakistani Refugees residing in Jammu and Kashmir and said it will continue to support the rights of the WPRs.”Hartal called by Hurriyat and other separatist groups yesterday to oppose the grant of domicile certificate to WPRs is very unfortunate, unwarranted and uncalled for. BJP strongly opposes the efforts of these pro-Pakistan elements to politicise a humanitarian issue,” BJP state spokesperson Brig Anil Gupta (retd) said. He condemned the attitude of Hurriyat and political parties who are opposing the grant of domicile certificate to the WPRs residing in the state and said what was more discomforting is that these people belong to economically backward segment of the society and have been denied the growth opportunities due to no fault of theirs.”It is very unfortunate that a section of society living among us is termed as refugees and denied basic rights on the plea that they are not the state subjects and have migrated from West Pakistan at the time of partition,” he said. Even after 70 years of independence they are being given this treatment in their own country due to the “parochial outlook” of the majority community in the state is tragic, Gupta said. “It is the influx of illegal Bangladeshi and Burmese migrants that has resulted in the demographic change and ironically they do not raise any voice against them but welcome them.”This highlights their communal outlook. Our Party will continue to support the WPR and ensure that justice is delivered to them,” he said. Taking a dig at the National Conference’s stand, Gupta said political parties like NC are misquoting history and trying to mislead the people of Jammu using the name of late Maharaja Hari Singh. “Their contention that State Subject laws were enacted by the Maharaja to safeguard the interest of Dogras is being quoted out of context.”The State Subject Act was enacted by the Maharaja in 1927 to protect the rights of its citizens when J&K was an independent state. “It was the Maharaja only who had acceded the state with India in 1947 and it was his desire that his state should be a part of Union of India,” he said. He said, “All citizens of J&K are now citizens of India.” Had the Maharaja been alive he would have himself ensured that any law that keeps his state away from rest of the country should be “abrogated”, the spokesperson said.”He would have ensured that these helpless people are given all rights immediately and they would not have to suffer this humiliation for 70 years,” he said. It was surprising and unfortunate that parties which had included this issue in their election manifestos in the past were now opposing the issue of the domicile certificate. “The statements of Ambika Soni in Jammu and Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal in Srinagar clearly show that the Congress was only exploiting them for narrow political gains and now that their plight is being improved by the present BJP government they have joined hands with the Hurriyat and others to oppose the same,” he said.”Issue of domicile certificate will enable the WP refugees to seek central government jobs including in the armed forces.There will be quota for them in the 5 IRP Battalions being raised under Prime Minister Special Package for J&K,” he said. The contention that it is an attempt to change the state’s demography, Gupta said it is not understood as to how it will affect the demography of the state since they have been staying here since 1947. “The State Subject Act was enacted by the Maharaja in 1927 to protect the rights of its citizens when J&K was an independent state.”It was the Maharaja only who had acceded the state with India in 1947 and it was his desire that his state should be a part of Union of India,” he said. He said, “All citizens of J&K are now citizens of India.” Had the Maharaja been alive he would have himself ensured that any law that keeps his state away from rest of the country should be “abrogated”, the spokesperson said. “He would have ensured that these helpless people are given all rights immediately and they would not have to suffer this humiliation for 70 years,” he said.It was surprising and unfortunate that parties which had included this issue in their election manifestos in the past were now opposing the issue of the domicile certificate. “The statements of Ambika Soni in Jammu and Congress spokesperson Meem Afzal in Srinagar clearly show that the Congress was only exploiting them for narrow political gains and now that their plight is being improved by the present BJP government they have joined hands with the Hurriyat and others to oppose the same,” he said.”Issue of domicile certificate will enable the WP refugees to seek central government jobs including in the armed forces. There will be quota for them in the 5 IRP Battalions being raised under Prime Minister Special Package for J&K,” he said. The contention that it is an attempt to change the state’s demography, Gupta said it is not understood as to how it will affect the demography of the state since they have been staying here since 1947.

Pune: CBI arrests income tax officer for accepting bribe of Rs 1 lakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has arrested an Income Tax Officer from Pune for demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the complainant.A case was registered under section 7 of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 on a complaint against Income Tax Officer (ITO), Ward 2(2), Income Tax Office, Swargate, Pune.It was alleged that the ITO, demanded bribe of Rs 2 lakh from the complainant to pass favourable orders in connection with his tax liability.The CBI laid a trap and caught the ITO red handed while demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs 1 lakh from the complainant.Searches have been conducted at the office and residential premises of the accused which led to recovery of incriminating documents relating to tax assessment of the complainant; cash of Rs. 5,04,030/-(approx); jewellery i.e 4 Gold biscuits weighing total 350 grams (approx); two flats in Pune and 4 acres land at Solapur, 9 Bank accounts and one bank locker (yet to be operated).The arrested accused is being produced on Friday before the Court of Special Judge, CBI Cases, Pune.

Political parties relying on dubious sources of funding: report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for a debate on ways to crack down on alleged dubious funding to political parties has been welcomed, the previous United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had skirted the issue, despite a committee making many suggestions on the issue.The report, a copy of which DNA has accessed, was commissioned by the then Finance Ministry through the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) in 2011 and it was submitted in 2013. It clearly stated that major political parties were heavily relying on black money through unaccounted political donations. The report never saw the light of day during the then government’s tenure.The two-volume, hardbound blue-covered report, titled “Study of Unaccounted Income of India,” by the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) grimly stated the scale of the problem.“In the case of one party, the entire income from such donations is in tranches below Rs 20,000. In seven other cases, it is over 80 per cent. This implies that large amounts are being credited by these parties in their book of accounts as coupon sales or cash donation received from anonymous or unknown sources.” it said.“Cash donations or coupon sales below Rs 20,000 is an open avenue for political parties to introduce any amount into their books of accounts, and also avail exemption from tax with no question asked. This is a venue open to serious misuse and the introduction of black money,” the report said.Such damning findings beg two questions: why did the then government not take cognisance of the report? What was the role of the Election Commission (EC) in this regard?The report also pointed out that though the EC had taken steps to standardise audit reports of parties, little action had been taken and even if implemented, “they were unlikely to put any real check on introduction of black money through these opaque sources (black money avenues).”The report was vetted by 20 officials of the CBDT, which included KV Chaudhry (current CVC), Enforcement Directorate, Director of Revenue Intelligence, Financial Intelligence Unit, Election Commission and the then revenue secretary Sumit Bose.Asked to comment on the report, SY Qureshi, then Chief Election Commissioner of India, confirmed its findings. “Currently, almost 80 per cent of funds to parties are being seen as cash collections from unknown sources and the EC has been protesting about it for a very long time. We would like total transparency and we have to ask that every political party be audited annually by an independent auditor and the audit report be put on the party’s website.”Currently, the regulatory control of EC on the financial affairs of political parties is minimal, once the election period is over.There is evidence that a very large number of registered parties are not filing their contribution reports or audited statment of acounts with the EC.The proforma of return form ITR 7, which political parties are required to submit is the same as that prescribed for ​​Trusts and Section 25 companies. However, t​his is, for the most part, irrelevant to the type of information needed for the proper assessment of the income of political parties. Such a system does not require the particulars of contributions above or below Rs 20,000 to be reported separately.​As the report points out, “there is no mechanism to know as to which political party has not filled the contribution statement (form 24A) under Section 29C of the Representation of People’s Act (RoPa) with the EC, or even its returns of income.”The report also points out that lack of proper investigation by the Income-Tax (I-T) department suggests that parties are able to cover up funds that may be dubious.“Although copies of election affidavits are forwarded by the EC to the I-T department, our discussions brought out that such actions rarely lead to any effective investigation or verification.The main reason is that while the election affidavits have been designed as a statement of wealth of a candidate and his dependents, declaring the market value of the assets on a given date, the data available with the I-T department even in respect of those candidates who are assessed pertains to annual incomes,and not wealth,” the report said.​Not surprisingly, the contents of this report, has put political parties on the defensive. While former finance minister P Chidambaram refused to comment, other parties were vocal.Speaking to DNA, BJP’s national spokesperson GVL Narsimha Rao had this to say: “I am sure the report is in possession of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), which has been constituted by our government and not by the UPA. Given that such information is under the possession of the SIT, it is entirely in its realm to use that report and decide on it. Our government does not have any role to play.”Other parties insisted that a thorough probe was needed. Brinda Karat, CPM politburo member said the matter was under discussion between the EC and parties: “The EC has put this issue on the agenda of their discussions with parties.Such donations should form only a small percentage of the income, but at present there is no such limit and parties take donations from corporates. My party does not take any money from corporates. Our coupon donations are all recorded. Our mass collections form a very small part of our income,” she said.HOW TO REFORM POLITICAL FUNDINGSeparate return form for political parties. Special rules to check the opaque sources of funding, such as coupon sales. Returns of political parties and candidates must be made available for public scrutiny by making appropriate amendments in Section 138 of I-T Act. All parties and electoral trusts may be assessed centrally at the headquarters of Directorate-General of Income Tax (Exemption), Delhi. Parties should not receive any donation/contributions/Fees etc by whatever name from a single person or entity called exceeding Rs 10,000 in a year except through account payee cheques. THE REPORT STATES…In the case of one party, the entire income from such donations is in tranches below Rs 20,000.In seven other cases, it is over 80 per cent.
Cash donations or coupon sales below Rs 20,000 is an open avenue for political parties to introduce any amount into their books of accounts, and also avail exemption from tax with no question asked.
This is a venue open to serious misuse and the introduction of black money. MONEY MATRIXTotal income of parties from unknown sources for FY 2014-15 is Rs 1,131 cr.
60% of party incomes are from unknown sources.
Section 13A of the I-T Act, 1961, confers tax exemption to parties for income from property, income from voluntary contributions, capital gains and other sources. Only income under the head ‘salaries and income from business or profession’ are taxed.

New Delhi: Court acquits two men of charges of waging war against country

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city court has acquitted two persons of charges of waging war against the country in an over ten-year-old case registered by Delhi Police which had claimed that they were members of a banned militant outfit.Additional Sessions Judge Reetesh Singh absolved Bihar residents, Irshad Ali and Maurif Qamar, who were allegedly picked up by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in 2005.The case was later transferred to CBI following directions of the Delhi High Court. After probing the matter, CBI had filed a closure report in the case claiming that the two men were informers of the special cell and Intelligence Bureau.According to the FIR, the police apprehended Ali and Qamar from Mukarba Chowk bus stand in north west Delhi on February 9, 2006. It was alleged that both were members of banned outfit Al-Badr and were carrying arms and ammunition including pistols, live cartridges and detonators.Thereafter, an FIR under section including 121 (waging war against Government of India) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of IPC, and under several provisions of the Explosive Substance Act and the Arms Act was registered.The accused, however, approached the high court and sought a CBI inquiry in the case alleging that both were illegally picked up by Delhi Police in December 2005 from the city and that they were the informers of the agency’s special cell and Intelligence Bureau, advocate Sufian Siddiqui, the counsel for the accused, said.The high court directed a CBI probe in the matter and the agency filed a closure report.The trial court, however, rejected the CBI’s report against which the accused again approached the high court. The high court asked the city court to consider CBI’s report.The special cell, however, had approached the Supreme Court against the high court order. The apex court in December 2012 directed the trial court to take the call and, if needed, ask the agency for re investigation in the matter.The trial court then ordered framing of charges without considering CBI’s closure report, the counsel said.The accused again approached the high court challenging the city court order for trial in the case. Thereafter, the high court again asked the trial court to consider all the aspects before passing the order which has now resulted into the acquittal of the accused. The accused were on bail since July 2009.

Arrested air chief to spend christmas in jail, Court may decide on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Air Chief Marshall SP Tyagi will be spending Christmas behind bars as the court’s decision on his jail application maybe announced on Monday. Two days after the defence concluded their arguments, CBI submitted their opposition in front of Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar at Patiala house court on Friday.Special CBI Judge Arvind Kumar reserved its order on the bail applications of Tyagi, his cousin Sanjeev aka Julie and Delhi-based lawyer Gautam Khaitan who were arrested on December 9 in the case pertaining to the AgustaWestland chopper scam.Refuting the charge that the CBI had arbitrarily arrested SP Tyagi and thereby tarnishing his image, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing the CBI, stressed that not much could be revealed at this delicate stage since the investigation was multi-layered, and multi-jurisdictional. “We have evidences where the meetings unofficially took place for the purpose of crime. Let the probe be completed,” Mehta said, seeking the dismissal of all three bail pleas.The CBI submitted a case diary that contained evidence collected through oral and documentary material. “This evidence is not to be disclosed in the pre-chargesheet stage,” Mehta stressed throughout his submission. Mehta stated that the evidence gathered took time since Letters of Rogatory (LORs) were sent to eight countries through official channels and the process was time consuming. Mehta said that in 2014 Italy, one of the countries approached, sent 1.2 lakh documents of which 70 per cent was in Italian. Mauritius, Mehta added sent evidence in 2016.”We cannot reveal many facts as it will have serious implication on the case,” Mehta said. “During investigation the accused came to know the line of questioning when he was interrogated. Hence, the moment the accused comes out, there is a concern that other witnesses who have not yet been interrogated will be influenced and perhaps evidence maybe destroyed,” Mehta added.Mehta submitted that during their investigation not only Tyagi, but his family members also figured as prospective witnesses. “SP Tyagi and his cousin’s name have cropped up often during the investigation,” Mehta said. Replying to the court’s query whether the former air chief had received any money – the sole charge against him in the FIR, the CBI stated that SP Tyagi had bought several properties while he was still in office which he did not declare as he was supposed to.In the hour-long submission, the CBI touched upon many points – a few to strengthen their case against the three accused, and others to rebut the argument made by the defence.Clarifying that the Italian Surpeme Court had set aside the order of the appellate court and not the trial court, in the case pertaining to Giuseppe Orsi and Bruno Spagnolini, former CEOs of Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland. Whereas, Italian national and middle-man Guido Haschke had never contested his guilt and continued to be a convict. “The decision of the Italian courts is not the foundation of my case, though it may simply work as a guide to my investigation,” Mehta said.Opposing CBI’s contention, Meneka Guruswamy, representing the former air chief, said his client “could not be deprived from freedom if the investigation is taking time to complete”. Guruswamy claimed that the CBI had already seized all the documents since the FIR was registered. “The CBI’s case is simply this, I will not tell you the case, I will not tell you the evidence and I will not allow you a defence,” Guruswamy argued. “Self-incrimination does not amount to non-cooperation,” she added.”Even today, the CBI has not demonstrated anything more than a statement that my client received some cash,”the defence said.

CBI asks Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat to appear for preliminary enquiry to probe sting operations

New Delhi: CBI has asked Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat to appear before it on 26 December in connection with a probe into the purported sting operation involving him.

This is the second time that Rawat has been summoned by the CBI on a Preliminary Enquiry (PE) registered by it in last seven months. He had earlier appeared before the agency on 24 May during which he was questioned for nearly five hours.

The agency had registered a preliminary enquiry in connection with the alleged sting operation on April 29 purportedly showing Rawat offering bribes to rebel Congress lawmakers to support him during a floor test in the Uttarakhand Assembly.

This may be a unique case where a sitting Chief Minister has been summoned by the CBI during its probe of a PE.

The PE is the first step during which the agency verifies the facts in the complaint received by it. During a PE, the agency usually only “requests” a person “to join the probe” and does not summon him, carry out searches or make any arrests.

File photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

File photo of Harish Rawat. PTI

If verification of facts shows need of further probe, it may register an FIR or else close the PE.

The CBI probe focuses on Rawat’s relations with the owner of a news channel, alleged bribe proposal made to one dissident MLA by him and a minister in his previous cabinet, besides his claims on the purported sting video.

The reason for summoning him against, according to the sources, was because Rawat had not furnished full and complete details on many issues.

The case was registered on the reference received from the state government (during President’s rule) and subsequent notification from BJP-led central government.

Rawat has denied the allegation and called the video fake after it was released by the rebel Congress legislators but later admitted that he was on camera in the sting operation.

After Rawat’s victory in the floor test, the state cabinet had met on 15 May and withdrawn the notification recommending a CBI probe into the sting operation involving him.

Instead, the state cabinet decided to constitute a Special Investigating Team to probe the case as it was a state subject.

CBI had said the notification was rejected after taking legal opinion, which said there was no ground for its withdrawal and it was “not legally tenable”.

The chief minister had failed to get a reprieve from Uttarakhand High Court also which had refused to quash the ongoing CBI probe into the sting operation.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 21:29 IST

IAF gets nod for acquiring C17 transport aircraft

New Delhi: The government on Friday gave the go ahead to the IAF to purchase one more C17 heavy transport aircraft and also gave the nod to the Coast Guard’s proposal to acquire six multi-mission maritime aircraft for Rs 5,500 crore.

The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minster Manohar Parrikar, also reviewed the working of the DRDO besides giving the go ahead for the procurement of 1,500 indigenously designed and developed Nuclear Biological and Chemical (NBC) warfare protection system for the infantry combat vehicle for Rs 1,265 crore.

Another proposal of the army and the IAF for the procurement of 55 low level light weight radar was also cleared by the DAC for Rs 419 crore.

c17 Image courtesy Boeing

C17 heavy transport aircraft. Image courtesy Boeing

Two “classified” proposals for the acquisition of arms and ammunition for the Special Forces and another related to the Airborne Warning And Control System (AWACS) is also understood to have been cleared.

The aircraft likely to be shortlisted for the Coast Guard is the C295, which is already been negotiated as a replacement for the Avro transport fleet of the air force.

Asked why the IAF is purchasing just one additional C17 aircraft besides the already 10 in possession, sources said this is because that was the only lone aircraft available with Boeing.

The IAF seems to have taken too long to push through the original proposal to buy three new C-17 aircraft. The American manufacturer had already pledged four of the last five C-17s in its production line to Qatar.

As per the 2011 contract worth $4.7 billion, India had an option clause to purchase six additional C-17s but paucity of funds meant that the follow-on order got delayed.

Talking about the NBC system, sources said the infantry combat vehicles are currently fitted with a manual system and the news ones will be automatic.

Sources said the six aircraft to be purchased by the Coast Guard will be fitted with state of the art “mission suite”, designed and developed by the DRDO.

First Published On : Dec 23, 2016 19:16 IST

Rajasthan govt tries to assure Gujjars on quota after stir threat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With Gujjars threatening to launch a fresh agitation for quota, Rajasthan government has assured the communities under the special backward classes that it would go for appropriate solution within the framework of law to protect their interest.The Rajasthan High Court had on December 9 struck down Special Backward Classes quota given to Gujjars and five other communities by the state government as the total reservation exceeded the permissible limit of 50%. “State Government is waiting for a certified copy of the Rajasthan high court judgment so that an appropriate solution, within the framework of law, can be arrived at,” a statement said.The government said that it always showed its commitment to the welfare and uplift of Special Backward Classes (SBCs) of the state and concrete steps had been taken in the past. “The decisions taken in the interest of the communities include convening a special session of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. “The Chief Minister had directed that all efforts have to be made to defend the legislation of 2015,” the statement said.The Rajasthan High Court has directed to suspend its December 9 order for a period of six weeks and that the appointments/admissions given by the Government of Rajasthan, pursuant to the 2015 Act, shall not be disturbed, it said Even before the orders of the High Court were passed, the Cabinet Sub-Committee constituted to look into and address issues related to the welfare of SBCs, met several times, it said.After the court order, the Gujjar Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti had threatened to launch a fresh agitation for quota. On November 28, 2012, the Rajasthan Cabinet had decided to provide a separate 5% quota to the SBCs without touching the 21 per cent reservation available to Other Backward Classes and taking the overall reservation in jobs and education to 54%.This had left Gujjars dissatisfied as it was susceptible to judicial rejection since its inception.Earlier too, an attempt was made to enhance five per cent of reservation over and above the prescribed limit in 2008 which was not permitted by high court. Then in 2009 and 2010, the high court had asked the OBC commission of the state to revisit the concession made by state government and after the study and recommendation of OBC Commission again, the Gujjars and five other communities were given 5% extra reservation in 2012 that has been struck down.The state has witnessed violent agitation by Gujjars several times since 2007, when the community members blocked national highways and railway tracks and were fired upon by the police.

Sheena Bora murder case: Indrani denied interim bail, but can attend post-death rituals of father

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The special CBI court in Mumbai on Thursday rejected the interim bail application of Indrani Mukerjea, prime accused in the Sheena Bora murder case, for conducting post-death rituals of her father in Assam. The court however allowed her to attend rituals anywhere in Mumbai, including at her residence, on December 27.Indrani’s father Upendra Bora died on December 15. Special judge HS Mahajan said Indrani shall be taken out of the Byculla jail in Mumbai in the morning under a police escort and brought back to jail by 7 PM. She shall not speak to the media during this time, the judge said.Indrani had sought interim bail for visiting Assam for the rituals, but CBI opposed her request. The agency produced an e-mail sent by Indrani’s son Mikhail to CBI, saying he did not want her to visit Guwahati. Mikhail, an important witness in the case, said in the mail that his grandfather was bed-ridden for the past one year and he was looking after both his grandparents for the last three years without any financial and psychological support from Indrani.
ALSO READ Sheena Bora murder case: Peter was part of conspiracy from start, says CBIHis grandparents had legally adopted him as their son and he has already commenced the post-death rituals, he said. “Indrani has been accused of murdering my elder sister Sheena Bora and ruining my family. Therefore it is my utmost plea that I don’t want Indrani to come to Guwahati and visit me as this will create chaos and unnecessary disturbance in my life due to media and other persons, and will hamper post-death rituals of my grandfather,” Mikhail said.CBI also said that Indrani’s intention was to influence prosecution witnesses and there was also a possibility that she might try to escape from custody. Indrani’s lawyer then said she may be allowed to conduct the rituals in Mumbai.

CISF to get 37,000 more troops to boost airport, metro security

New Delhi: Augmenting the manpower of CISF guarding critical infrastructure like airports and
assets in the nuclear domain, the government has sanctioned raising the strength of the force with 37,000 more troops in order to bolster security at these facilities.

A CISF personnel. Reuters.A CISF personnel. Reuters.

A CISF personnel. Reuters.

The force has been seeking enhancement of its manpower, from the existing 1.45 lakh, for quite some time now as it is being increasingly entrusted with security duties like with the expansion of the Delhi Metro network in the national capital and transfer of more civil airports and private sector units under its cover.

The Union home ministry recently approved raising the strength of the force to 1.80 lakh, by having 35,000 more
personnel, with sanctions to raise two more battalions (about 2,000 personnel) once the new strength is achieved fully in about two years time.

“This has come as a shot in the arm for us. Our tasks are increasing gradually and the enhancement in our strength will act as a great boon to ensure better operational preparedness, faster promotions and effective supervisory control,” CISF Director General OP Singh told PTI while confirming the development.

He added the force will soon begin recruitments to fill up these sanctioned numbers.

“We are also going for a full cadre review of the force. The new strength will also help in undertaking a better
organisation of posts and services,” the DG said.

Central Industrial Security Force officials said that with the government making clear its intention of entrusting more and more civil airports to it and an increasing task in the domain of VVIP security, the force required more numbers.

While the CISF guards 59 civil airports in the country as of now, it also has an elite VVIP security wing under its command called the Special Security Group (SSG).

At least 3,000 personnel, they said, are only required to cater to the security needs of the transport lifeline of the national capital, the Delhi Metro, which is not only expanding its network but is also witnessing an increasing passenger load from the current about 27 lakh commuters per day.

Some manpower is also required to beef up security at sensitive aerospace and nuclear installations in the country and the new manpower when raised, will also be sent to these locations.

After it was tasked to secure vital infrastructure in the private domain post the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, the
forces’ role in this domain is also increasing with eight facilities already under it command and manpower for the ninth is set to be deployed soon.

Early this year, the government had ordered deployment of about 35 CISF personnel to guard Baba Ramdev‘s Patanjali Food and Herbal Park Private Limited in Haridwar.

The other seven private sector units being guarded by CISF are: Electronics City in Bengaluru and Infosys campuses in Bengaluru, Mysore and Pune, Reliance Refinery and Petrochemicals in Jamnagar, Coastal Gujarat Power Ltd project executed by the Tata group in Mundra and the Tata Steel project based in Odisha’s Kalinganagar.

First Published On : Dec 22, 2016 22:27 IST

Tamil Nadu: Day after IT raids, Rao dropped, Girija Vaidyanathan appointed as new Chief Secretary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the Income tax department conducted raids, Tamil Nadu government on Thursday appointed Girija Vaidyanathan as the new Chief Secretary in place of P Rama Mohana Rao.”Dr Girija Vaidyanathan IAS, Additional Chief Secretary/ Commissioner of Land Administration, is transferred and posted as Chief Secretary to Government, vice Dr P Ramamohana Rao,” a Public (Special A) Department order dated December 22 said.In perhaps the first case of a top bureaucrat being raided, the house and office of Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary was on Wednesday searched by Income Tax officials and recovered Rs 48 lakh cash in new notesThe IT action came in connection with a case related to the biggest cash haul of new notes post demonetization after the department raided some sand mining operators of Tamil Nadu here.The search locations included the residence of Rao, his kin and associates, besides his chamber at the Secretariat.

1984 riots case: Sajjan Kumar gets anticipatory bail

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress leader Sajjan Kumar was granted anticipatory bail in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case on Wednesday by a Delhi court which directed him to cooperate in the probe and not influence witnesses. Additional Session Judge Vikas Dhull, while granting relief to the former MP on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and a surety of the like amount, also ordered that he will not leave the country without the court’s permission.The court had reserved its order on Wednesday after hearing the arguments of counsel for both the parties in two cases filed against Kumar falling in the jurisdiction of Janakpuri and Vikaspuri police stations in West Delhi. The complaint in Janakpuri pertains to the killing of two Sikhs, Sohan Singh and his son-in-law Avtar Singh, on November 1, 1984 and in the other where a Sikh Gurcharan Singh was burnt on November 2, 1984 in the jurisdiction of Vikaspuri Police Station.As per the complaint, Gurcharan, who was half burnt, remained bed-ridden for 29 years. He died three years ago. Seeking anticipatory bail for Kumar, his counsel had argued that his name had appeared in this case after 32 years and the case was politically motivated.Opposing the plea, senior advocate HS Phoolka, appearing for the complainants, had argued that the allegations against Kumar were very serious and he was a very influential person. The prosecutor, appearing for SIT, had also said that Kumar was not cooperating in the investigation and his custodial interrogation was required. The court was told that Kumar was summoned twice by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) but he had appeared only once.

Demonetization: Police seize Rs 46 lakh in valid currencies in Gujarat, detain five

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police have seized over Rs 46 lakh cash in valid currencies in two separate incidents in Morbi town and detained five personsOut of the seizure, Rs 29 lakh was in new Rs 2000 denomination and rest in Rs 100 and Rs 50 bills.In an operation conducted last night by the Special Operations Group (SOG) team, a man was held near Darbargadh area in Morbi carrying cash worth Rs 17 lakh in new currency notes, police said.”An SOG team on night patrolling found one Bhavik Lodariya (20) carrying a bag in a suspicious manner. When searched, they recovered from his possession 853 pieces in denomination of Rs 2000, worth Rs 17,06,000,” said Morbi SOG police sub inspector J V Dhola.Lodariya has been detained and investigation is on to trace the source of money and purpose for carrying it.In another incident, Morbi town Local Crime Branch (LCB) team recovered Rs 29 lakh from a suspiciously moving car on Sunday night, of which Rs 12 lakh was in Rs 2000 tender.”Four persons in the car, including driver, were detained from Morbi-Navlakhi road Sunday night after currency notes amounting to Rs 29 lakh was recovered from their possession,” said Morbi LCB in-charge police inspector Bharatsinh Parmar.He said of Rs 29 lakh, Rs 12 lakh was in the form of Rs 2000 denomination.They are identified as Rasik Patel, Manu Rabari, Wasim Fakir and Bhagvandar Dangar, he said, adding Income Tax department has been informed after the quarter failed to produce documents pertaining to money they were carrying.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Pampore attack despite intelligence warning; India lifts Junior Hockey World Cup trophy; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. J&K: Pampore attack despite strong intelligence warningAccording to some senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir police, all precautions were being taken but the race against time was lost when around 2 pm, three motorcycle-borne gunmen ambushed the convoy. Read more.2. Junior Hockey World Cup: India colts on cusp of new era, beat Belgium to lift trophy after 15 yearsWith junior hockey team manager Oltmans promising perfect hockey, hosts will hope to recreate history as they face Belgium in final today. Read more.3. Wary of increasing Chinese activity in neighbourhood, India to revive Special Service BureauThe move to revive the Bureau, in addition to a dedicated Mountain Corps and deployment of the Brahmos missiles along the Indo-China border. Read more.4. Writer from Kerala charged with sedition for allegedly insulting national anthemKamal C Chavara, alias Kamalsy Prana, was taken into custody on charges of insulting the national anthem in a Facebook post. Read more.5. Army chief appointment: Govt cites Rawat’s track record to blunt opposition’s attackOpposition has attacked the govt and asked for compelling reason behind not adhering to long established norms of seniority in Army Chief appointment. Read more.

Two more RBI officials held in currency exchange fraud, arrests a big blow to regulator

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two more officials of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) were arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday for their alleged role in currency conversion fraud cases.The arrests, coming in less than a week’s time, have caused much discomfort for the central bank, which had maintained that the one arrested earlier was a junior-level functionary. The fresh arrests put into question the role of its officials involved in currency exchange process, initiated following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s note ban announcement on November 8.The two accused—identified as Sadananda Naika and AK Kavin—are posted as Senior Special Assistant and Special Assistant RBI’s cash department in Bengaluru. The first to be arrested, K Michael, was a Senior Special Assistant in the Issue Department of RBI’s regional office.Elaborating on the arrests, a CBI official said the accused fraudulently gave away new currency notes to unknown RBI officials and others in replacement of demonetized notes to the tune of Rs 1.99 crore, in violation of the currency exchange limits imposed by the RBI.”It is alleged that both the accused and other unknown officials of RBI, Bengaluru entered in criminal conspiracy with unknown others,” said the official. Among several sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code, the duo was slapped with charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud, criminal breach of trust and so on.The arrests come after the RBI, earlier this week, claimed that “elaborate instructions” had been given to bank managements to keep in check untoward transactions.It was the arrest of Parashivamurthy—a cashier of the State Bank of Mysore in a branch in Chamarajnagar district for allegedly exchanging demonetized notes to the tune of Rs 1.51 crore with Rs 100 notes—that led the agency to Michael. Further probe revealed the role of more officials.In another incident, CBI registered case against KL Bhoyar, Assistant Commercial Manager, Central Railway, CST Mumbai. The agency said Bhoyar allegedly exchanged demonetized currency worth Rs 8.22 lakh (approx) with new Rs 2,000 notes and legal tender of Rs 100 notes at booking counters at CST, Mumbai and Kalyan in Thane district. The agency also recovered Rs 2.2 lakh cash—in denomination of Rs 100—in subsequent raids.

Rajiv Jain to be new IB chief, Anil Dhasmana to head RAW

New Delhi: Jharkhand cadre IPS officer Rajiv Jain was on Saturday appointed as the new chief of Intelligence Bureau (IB) while Anil Dhasmana will head external intelligence agency RAW.

Both the officers will have a tenure of two years.

Intelligence Bureau logo. IBNLiveIntelligence Bureau logo. IBNLive

Intelligence Bureau logo. IBNLive

Jain, who is at present serving as the Special Director in the IB, will take over on 1 January after the incumbent Dineshwar Sharma completes his two-year tenure on 31 December.

A recipient of President’s Police Medal, the 1980-batch officer has served in various departments of the IB including the sensitive Kashmir desk.

He was advisor to the previous NDA government’s interlocutor on Kashmir KC Pant when talks were held with
separatist leaders like Shabbir Shah.

In another appointment, Anil Dhasmana will take over the reins of the Research and Analysis Wing, an organisation which looks after the external intelligence of the country.

He succeeds Rajinder Khanna who completes his tenure this year end.

Dhasmana, a 1981-batch officer of Madhya Pradesh cadre, has been with RAW for the last 23 years during which he has served on important desks including Pakistan.

First Published On : Dec 17, 2016 22:35 IST

In South Delhi civic schools, over 1,600 posts for special educators are yet to be filled

Due to the lack of an adequate number of eligible candidates, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation has failed to meet its judicial directive to fill up the posts of special educators in Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) schools in the National Capital, the civic body recently admitted in an affidavit in the Delhi High Court. The civic body filed this affidavit as a reply to a contempt petition by Social Jurist, a lawyers group, alleging its non compliance with an earlier order by the same court to fill up the posts of special educators.

According to the affidavit accessed by Firstpost, despite two attempts to fill up more than 1,600 posts of special educators the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB) has not been able to find the required number of eligible candidates.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The DSSSB is responsible for selection of special educators for schools run by both the Delhi government and the MCD.

The affidavit says that the unified MCD had sent a letter to DSSSB to fill up 1,610 posts of special educators in the month of January 2012. But later on, the DSSSB let the civic body know that a sufficient number of applications had not been received by the DSSSB to fill up the posts and recommended only 40 names for appointment. Later still, another advertisement was issued to fill 1,695 vacancies for special educators in 2014. But this time, only 90 names were recommended by the DSSSB for appointment.

The DSSSB has also let the SDMC know that very few applications have been received against the vacancies.

The lack of special educators in MCD schools has led to serious difficulties in imparting education.

A teacher on condition of anonymity told Firstpost that students who need special education are to be identified and be provided separate education at an early stage. “But due to a lack of special educators, many schools under the MCD fail to identify them and take proper care of them. This is one of the reasons why many students who pass out of these schools often fail to demonstrate adequate reading and writing skills,” said the teacher.

Recently, the Delhi government launched a drive among students in high schools to teach them how to read. Teachers say that some of these students actually require special education in their early years. Ashok Agarwal, the advocate for the case in the Delhi High Court and an activist who has been fighting the case for the rights of special children, told Firstpost, “The lack of special educators in MCD schools have led to a rise in dropout rates in schools. Students who need special care often get frustrated due to lack of it and add up to the dropout list.”

He further said that the Delhi High Court ordered the Delhi government to appoint at least two special educator in every school in the year 2009.

“The government’s inability to meet this criteria is a painful failure,” he added.

Explaining the reason of lack of special educators in Delhi, a teacher in a Delhi government schools said Firstpost, “The career of a special educator has not been a very popular one even among the aspirants of teachers jobs. For very few want to get involved with the ‘disabled sector’.”

He further added that some of them join this profession only after they fail to get job anywhere else.

“By then, they cross the maximum age limit set by the DSSB to be appointed as a special educator in MCD schools in Delhi,” he contended.

Moreover, some candidates fail to meet other eligibilty criteria set by DSSB, such as qualifying the Teachers Education Test.

On account of this difficulty in filling these posts, recently the Delhi government has began appointing special educators as guest teachers by relaxing these norms.

Agarwal suggests that SDMC should also follow suit to fill these posts.

First Published On : Dec 15, 2016 08:08 IST

Hawala operator arrested, Rs 5.70 crore in new currency seized

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI on Tuesday arrested an alleged hawala operator K V Veerendra in connection with seizure of Rs 5.70 crore of new currency notes of Rs 2000 denomination from his premises in Karanataka.The agency sources said CBI has registered a case against officials of four banks–State Bank of India, State Bank of Mysore, ICICI Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank.They said Veerendra was produced before Special court in Bengaluru which has sent him to six days of CBI custody for questioning.The sources said during preliminary probe names of several persons have been taken by Veerendra and it is trying to gather material evidence linking the alleged hawala operator with them.The sources said during the six days of questioning CBI will confront him with documents recovered from his premises and will try to get the source of these funds which may unravel alleged involvement of senior bank officials in the case.

PIL filed in SC against Rakesh Asthana’s appointment as CBI’s interim boss

New Delhi: A PIL was filed on Monday in the Supreme Court challenging the appointment of Rakesh Asthana as the interim director of the CBI.

Representational image. IBNliveRepresentational image. IBNlive

Representational image. IBNlive

The plea, filed by NGO Common Cause, has alleged that the Centre took a series of steps in a “completely mala fide, arbitrary and illegal manner to ensure that Asthana was given the charge of CBI director”.

It claimed that the government did not convene a meeting of the selection committee comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of the largest Opposition Party and the Chief Justice of India, even though it was fully aware that Anil Sinha was going to demit the office of CBI director on 2 December.

Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre officer of 1984-batch, was elevated as the Additional Director in the agency on 2 December when CBI Special Director RK Dutta, who was reportedly among the frontrunners for the top post, was shifted to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) as a Special Secretary.

The PIL claimed that the government had “prematurely curtailed” the tenure of and transferred Dutta, to the MHA on 30 November, ie just two days before Sinha was slated to demit office.

First Published On : Dec 5, 2016 19:51 IST

Charge sheet filed in minor girl rape case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Buldhana Police on Saturday filed a charge sheet in one of the two alleged rape cases of two minor girls and another charge sheet in the case of molestation of a minor girl studying in a private boarding school in Hivarkheda area of the district. DNA was the first to highlight these cases of gender violence on tribals.“Charge sheets have been filed in one of the two rape cases and the molestation case,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Rupali Darekar. After the incident had come to light, the Director General of Police (DGP), Maharashtra, Satish Mathur, had announced setting up of a Special Investigative Team, headed by a senior IPS officer.

Pushing for relaxing norms for Arunachal road projects: Kiren Rijiju

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Admitting that road connectivity in border areas is of utmost importance, Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju on Saturday said he has been pushing for relaxation of norms specifically for Arunachal Pradesh in implementing Prime Minister Gram Sadak Yojana.”The Union Home Ministry will pursue with the ministry concerned for connecting each registered village under PMGSY by relaxing its norms for the state,” he said.Rijiju was addressing a meeting with Chief Minister Pema Khandu and high level officers of the state government on ‘Special Package for Border Areas’ in Itanagar. He said the ministry is also mooting proposals for a frontier highway and an industrial corridor for Arunachal Pradesh, an official statement said. “We are proposing the frontier highway to connect all towns along the international border and the industrial corridor to connect all foothill areas.These roads along with the ongoing Trans-Arunachal highway in the middle belt will become the lifeline of the state around which other arterial roads will come up solving the connectivity hurdle forever,” Rijiju said.He asked the state government to submit proposals immediately so that the Home Ministry can pursue those with the ministries concerned for sanction. Khandu emphasised on road connectivity to usher in development and welfare projects in remote border areas of the state. The proposal for seeking a ‘special package’ for border area development was mooted in 2014 but was delayed due to various factors, the statement said.Khandu asserted that further delay in going ahead with the proposals will deprive timely development of remote border areas of the state and urged officials of the departments concerned to submit their proposals immediately. “We have lost enough time. We can’t wait anymore,” the chief Minister said.The state government is seeking special assistance from the Centre in health, education, rural connectivity, power (including solar and alternate resources), drinking water and civil supplies, the statement said.

CBI chief Anil Sinha retires but govt doesn’t name new head: Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana to take over

New Delhi: CBI director Anil Sinha on Friday retired from the post handing over the baton to his second-in-command, Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, as the government did not name any full-time chief.

Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre officer of 1984-batch, got elevated as the second-in-command in CBI two days ago when Special Director R K Dutta, who was among the frontrunners for the top post, was shifted to the Home Ministry as a Special Secretary. The post of second special secretary was created for the first time in the ministry.

It is the first time in last 10 years, that no new CBI chief has been named to succeed an incumbent. Sinha completed his two-year tenure on Friday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The competent authority has approved assignment of additional charge of the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to Rakesh Asthana, IPS (GJ: 1984), Additional Director, CBI with effect from the date of relinquishment of charge by Anil Kumar Sinha, IPS (BH:1979) on completion of his tenure with immediate effect and until further orders,” an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.

The CBI chief is selected through a collegium comprising the prime minister, the Leader of Opposition or largest party in Opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. The collegium has not been able to meet. 60-year-old Sinha took charge of the agency when it was earning sobriquet of “caged parrot” and “closure bureau of investigation” and he managed to steady the ship by keeping away from media and ensuring a low profile with limited social circle.

Sinha proved to be a soft-spoken yet assertive leader for the agency who guided investigation in a number of important cases like the Sheena Bora murder case and Vijay Mallya loan default case. In Mallya’s case, Sinha ensured that a case is registered against the flamboyant liquor baron for his alleged default of loans extended to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines even though banks did not approach CBI with a complaint.

He directed his teams to explore role of media baron Peter Mukerjea in the Sheena Bora murder case after the agency was handed over the investigation.

Sinha ensured that CBI rigorously follows cases of piling of Non-performing Assets in public sector banks even though banks were reluctant to initiate a probe in these cases fearing loss of possible middle path which can be arrived at through discussions with defaulters.

Sinha, an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University where he studied during the first decade of its inception, follows his interests in psychology and economics and loves to spend a quiet time with his family.

First Published On : Dec 2, 2016 17:55 IST

Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana takes charge as new CBI Director

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>CBI Director Anil Sinha on Friday retired from the post handing over the baton to his second-in-command, Gujarat-cadre IPS officer Rakesh Asthana, as the government did not name any full-time chief.Asthana, a Gujarat-cadre officer of 1984-batch, got elevated as the second-in-command in CBI two days ago when Special Director R K Dutta, who was among the frontrunners for the top post, was shifted to the Home Ministry as a Special Secretary. The post of second special secretary was created for the first time in the ministry.It is the first time in last 10 years, that no new CBI chief has been named to succeed an incumbent. Sinha completed his two-year tenure on Friday. “The competent authority has approved assignment of additional charge of the post of Director, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to Rakesh Asthana, IPS (GJ: 1984), Additional Director, CBI with effect from the date of relinquishment of charge by Anil Kumar Sinha, IPS (BH:1979) on completion of his tenure with immediate effect and until further orders,” an order issued by the Department of Personnel and Training said.The CBI chief is selected through a collegium comprising the Prime Minister, the Leader of Opposition or largest party in opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. The collegium has not been able to meet.60-year-old Sinha took charge of the agency when it was earning sobriquet of “caged parrot” and “closure bureau of investigation” and he managed to steady the ship by keeping away from media and ensuring a low profile with limited social circle. Sinha proved to be a soft-spoken yet assertive leader for the agency who guided investigation in a number of important cases like the Sheena Bora murder case and Vijay Mallya loan default case.In Mallya’s case, Sinha ensured that a case is registered against the flamboyant liquor baron for his alleged default of loans extended to his now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines even though banks did not approach CBI with a complaint. He directed his teams to explore role of media baron Peter Mukerjea in the Sheena Bora murder case after the agency was handed over the investigation.Sinha ensured that CBI rigorously follows cases of piling of Non-performing Assets in public sector banks even though banks were reluctant to initiate a probe in these cases fearing loss of possible middle path which can be arrived at through discussions with defaulters. Sinha, an alumnus of Jawaharlal Nehru University where he studied during the first decade of its inception, follows his interests in psychology and economics and loves to spend a quiet time with his family.

HC says son can stay with parents only at their ‘mercy’: How this millennial is dealing with it

On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court ruled that an adult son had no legal right to stay in his parents’ house and that a person can reside in his parents’ house only at their “mercy.” FP Special Forces asked the totally non-fictional Ascharya Singh (‘Ash’ to his friends) — a 28 years old millennial-filmmaker-turned-short filmmaker-turned-investment banker-turned-finding himself in his parents’ house — about how he feels about the High Court ruling. He wasn’t very pleased and was taking ‘demomeisation’ quite badly.

I mean, can you imagine the ignominy of having to queue up everyday at an ATM to withdraw enough to be able to pay his equally non-fictional friend Haze (real name Harminder) for Coldplay tickets? Tickets, it must be noted, that ‘Haze’ procured from her father, whose best friend’s second cousin was a co-sponsor of the event. So strings had to be pulled. But so what? I mean, how often can you take a selfie in BKC with Chris Martin and his cohorts in the background? I mean, bro, come on! All because ‘Ash’s’ mother wouldn’t stump up the cash herself.

Anyway, ‘Ash’, as you’ve probably guessed, relies rather heavily on his parents for… well, pretty much everything.

Here’s a typical exchange between him and his mother, who somewhat unfairly is not entirely pleased with her directionless son who is continuing to mooch off her. Bear in mind, their conversations are largely conducted on the platform of text messaging.

Ash’s things are now in a box in his mother’s garage, but his last whereabouts are unknown. But, his social media is buzzing with updates.

Ash-Singh

Starbucks (1)Starbucks (1)

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 14:24 IST

FICN racket: Police seize fake notes worth Rs 2,22,310 & two photocopy machines, 6 arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six members of a gang were arrested on Saturday on the charge of printing Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) and conspiring to circulate the counterfeit notes including newly introduced Rs 2,000 notes. Sleuths of Special Operation Team busted the racket by arresting six members of the gang from Ibrahimpatnam here and seized fake notes in denomination of Rs 2,000 among others, all with a face value of Rs 2,22,310, Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat said.Arrested accused Jamalapur Sainath, G Anjaiah, S Ramesh, C Satyanarayana, K Sridhar Goud, A Vijay Kumar besides Kalyan and Srikanth (both absconding) initially printed less number of fake notes of small denomination and were successful in circulating them in the market, he said.”With the demonetization of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, the accused persons decided to print FICN of small denomination and circulate in the market. After the release of the new Rs 2000 note, they successfully printed it and were waiting for an opportunity to circulate in the market,” Bhagwat said. “They were discussing on plans of circulating the fake notes in the market, when Rachakonda Police received credible information about their plans and raided the house of Ramesh at Ibrahimpatnam and took the accused persons into custody,” he said.Police seized original notes to the tune of Rs 50,000 besides two photocopy machines, and fake notes in denomination of Rs 2,000 (105 notes), Rs 100 (102 notes), Rs 50 (105 notes), Rs 20 (117 notes) and Rs 10 (102 notes) all with a face value of Rs 2,22,310.

Malegoan case: ATS files secondary evidence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Anti Terrorism squad (ATS), on Thursday has filed an affidavit before the special court presided over by judge SD Tekale, pleading the court to allow the prosecution to lead with the secondary evidence, in the wake of some documents in the Malegaon 2008 blast case going missing.The agency has relied on the confessional statement of three accused in the case. Special NIA prosecutor Avinash Rasal said, “The papers in this case have traveled to various courts and thus there are certain important documents which have been missing from the file. Thus, to fill those gaps, the agency has pleaded the court to allow them to use the confessional statements of three accused which was recorded under section 164 CrPC. The ATS in its affidavit has mentioned that it is ready to show the court the track record of the confessional statement, so that it informs the court that proper procedures were followed while recording the statements.”This move of the ATS has come after the Bombay High Court had asked the Sessions court to expedite the matter and just to avoid the delay, the ATS has pleaded the court to allow the agency to use the confessional statements as the evidence.Meanwhile, accused Sankaracharya (Sudhakar) Dwivedi has filed for his bail on the grounds of merits of the case. The prosecution is yet to file its reply on the same. According to the prosecution, Lt Col Prasad Purohit had carried out a blast in Malegaon with 11 others, killing seven people.

Rs. 20 crore Naxals’ black money deposited in Chhattisgarh banks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 50 banks in Naxal-hit areas of Chhattisgarh have recorded deposits of nearly Rs. 20 crores within two weeks. Based on an intelligence report, transactions in these accounts have been put on hold.Police suspect the money deposited belonged to the Naxals and that the latter is using the bank accounts of other people to escape the demonetisation drive.Police said they are not making the names of the account holders? public as of now, but if the money was found to be of Naxals, legal action will be taken against the latter for helping the former.Special Director General (Naxal Operations and Special Intelligence Bureau) Durgesh Madhav Awasthi said: “We have issued an instruction that after demonetisation. The Naxals will bring out huge hoarded money buried in the ground for mobilisation in a bid to save it from becoming illegal tender. They are applying two-way approach to save their money: first, they are returning old money to their contractors and asking them to provide new currencies after getting it converted; secondly, they are using their rural and urban networks to deposit their money in banks.””We are getting such information from all eight Naxal-hit districts. In the last three to four days, we have identified people in whose accounts money was deposited, and have sent their names to the SP (Superintendent of Police), Collector and banks, asking them to stop transactions in such accounts till it is established that the deposited money belongs to account holders. The depositors will themselves speak about the source of money. It is also possible, in some cases, that money belongs to the depositors,” he said.”However, as per information, Maoists have deposited big amounts in the accounts of people having very little transactions or having ‘Jan Dhan’ accounts. I have instructed Superintendents of Police and bank officials to inquire into such accounts. More than 50 accounts have been traced so far, but their numbers are increasing. We have information of Rs. 15-20 crore being deposited in such accounts,” he added.

Centre blinks, give time till February 28 to NGOs to renew their FCRA licence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With days of national human rights commission (NHRC) admonishing the union home ministry on allegations of “draconian approach” over the renewal of FCRA licences, the ministry has given time till February 28, 2017 to about 12,100 NGOs to renew their licences.Besides 11,319 NGOs who had lost their FCRA licence after failing to submit papers online, registration of 1,736 NGOs had also lapsed on October 31 the last date of renewal.Basing its observation on UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Association and Assembly analysis’s report the NHRC said, “Prima facie it appears FCRA licence non-renewal is neither legal nor objective and thereby impinging on the rights of the human rights defenders both in access to funding, including foreign funding.”The UN Rapporteur noted that FCRA is not in conformity with international law, principles and standards as access to resources including the foreign funding is a fundamental part of the right to freedom of association under the international laws, standards and principles.The DNA had earlier written that the union home ministry could find itself on a weak wicket as the NGOs are planning to take the legal route after they found that the ministry was using FCRA section dealing with renewal to cancel their FCRA, thusThe government had derecognised 11,319 NGOs last month after they failed to renew their registration by June-end, preventing them from receiving foreign funds.”As many as 11,319 NGOs have lost FCRA licence after they failed to renew it. Besides, around 800 NGOs whose paper work was found deficient may now re-apply by February 28, 2017,” a home ministry official said.Earlier this month, the ministry had announced that FCRA licences of 11,319 NGOs whose registration was expiring on October 31, 2016 and which needed to apply for renewal by June 30,2016 were “deemed” cancelled from November 1, 2016.It also closed the FCRA renewal applications of 1,736 NGOs who applied within the deadline but failed to submit the complete documents, but gave them time till November 8 to complete their documents. After nearly half of these NGOs managed to explain the lack of documentation, the home ministry allowed renewal of about 800 entities.

Vijay Mallya’s extradition request: CBI moves non-bailable warrant

New Delhi: CBI on Monday initiated an extradition request to bring back former liquor baron Vijay Mallya from the United Kingdom through a Special Court in Mumbai.

File photo of Vijay Mallya. AFP

File photo of Vijay Mallya. AFP

The investigative agency secured a non-bailable warrant against Mallya, following it with an extradition request from the Special Court, to competent authorities in the United Kingdom, CBI sources said in New Delhi on Monday.

Mallya had left the country on 2 March and has not returned ever since, they said.

CBI, in its 16 October, 2015 request to issue a lookout circular, had said if Mallya tried to leave the country, he should be detained at the exit point.

Nearly a month later in November, the agency asked for a revised circular, where it asked the Bureau of Immigration (BoI) to only inform it about his departure and travel plans.

As per agency sources, the lookout circular depends on the issuing authority and unless they ask BoI to detain a person or stop him from boarding a plane, no action is taken.

They said after CBI changed the lookout notice, BoI did not make any attempt to stop him from travelling abroad, and every time he travelled the agency was duly informed about it.

Mallya is facing the CBI probe for defaulting on repayment of loans of Rs 900 crores taken from IDBI. In total, the former liquor baron owes several banks a total of as much as Rs 9,000 crores.

State Bank of India, which leads the consortium of 17 banks that lent money to the grounded Kingfisher Airlines, had moved Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) in Bengaluru against the airlines chairman Mallya in its bid to recover over Rs 7,000 crore of dues from him.

The CBI had registered a case against Mallya, Kingfisher Airlines (KFA), Chief Financial Officer of the airlines A Raghunathan and unknown officials of IDBI Bank alleging that Rs 900 crores that IDBI sanctioned as a loan to Mallya was in “violation of norms to do with credit limits.”

The agency had later expanded the probe to include loan defaults of all other banks.

Clarifying his position regarding the loan owed by KFA, Mallya said in a recent statement after the closure of the airline, that since April, 2013, the banks and their assignees have recovered, in cash, an aggregate of Rs 1,244 crores from the sale of pledged shares.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 17:21 IST

Trucks from other states to be allowed in Delhi only post midnight: LG Najeeb Jung

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As part of measures to curb air pollution in the capital, Lt Governor Najeeb Jung on Tuesday ordered that trucks coming from other states will be allowed to enter Delhi only after midnight till January 31 next year. Although the LG has lifted a ban on construction and demolition activity imposed last week, the ban on firecrackers and diesel generating sets will continue in the city.Jung held a review meeting on Tuesday on condition of air pollution which was attended by PWD minister Satyendar Jain, Environment minister Imran Hussain and others. The last meeting had been chaired by him on November 7 where LG had ordered to de-register diesel vehicles older than 15 years. “The LG has ordered Transport Department to allow entry of trucks in Delhi only after midnight till January 31, 2017 to bring down air pollution level,” an official said.At present, trucks coming from other states are allowed in the national capital from 11 PM onwards. In Tuesday’s meeting, the Lt Governor was informed by Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPPC) that it has recorded 1/3rd fall in PM 10 levels and 1/4th in PM 2.5 level in the last week. “In view of loss of income to daily wage labourers, the LG has lifted the ban imposed in construction and demolition activity in the city. However, ban will continue on firecrackers and diesel generators sets. “Jung has instructed to take action against violators of ban on firecrackers, particularly during marriage season,” the LG office said in a statement.
ALSO READ Pollution in Delhi: Transport dept has no idea what to do with impounded diesel vehiclesThe Lt Governor was informed that over Rs 1.5 crore revenue was generated from violators of construction/demolition activity in the last one week. The Special Commissioner (traffic) informed that construction has been stopped at 539 sites and 29 cases have been registered.On de-registration of diesel vehicles older than 15 years, Jung was apprised that 763 vehicles have been deregistered and 1,795 challans issued. In view of impounding of large number of vehicles, he has directed DDA will loan space/pits to Traffic Police to temporarily park these vehicles.Jung directed the Transport Department to submit a comprehensive proposal in the next meeting to scrap the impounded vehicles. 2,625 non-destined vehicles have been turned back which amounts to more than 90% of non-destined vehicles being returned back even since the last meeting chaired by the LG on November 7.The Special CP traffic informed 3,033 visibly polluting vehicles and vehicles not carrying PUC certificate have been challaned. In addition, 42 diesel commercial vehicles older than 15 years have been detained. North MCD informed that one excavator and four bulldozers have been deployed at Bhalaswa landfill site and daily construction waste material in about 200 trucks is being spread on the site.The DPCC has closed 33 polluting units in confirming areas and 146 in Redevelopment areas. East MCD has also closed 13 polluting industries and issued 196 challans. The Lt Governor will be holding a review every 10 days at Raj Niwas on this matter.

50 days for a new India: PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“This is not an end. I have more projects in mind to make India corruption-free…Cooperate with me and help me for 50 days and I will give you the India you desired.”That was Prime Minister Narendra Modi replying to detractors of demonetization at a function in Panaji, Goa, on Sunday. Modi, who got emotional over the problems being faced by the people and the long queues before banks, urged them to bear with him till December 30, saying he was ready to face the consequences of his move.“I know that (some) forces are up against me, they may not let me live, they may ruin me because their loot of 70 years is in trouble, but I am prepared,” Modi said.“This government does not want to bother honest people but doesn’t want to spare the dishonest…I am not going to stop at this…I am not born to occupy the high chair. I have left my village, my family for the sake of the country,” Modi said.Hitting out at the erstwhile UPA government at functions in Belagavi (Karnataka) and Pune, Modi said: “We will take action against benami property. This is a major step to eradicate corruption and black money.”Taking potshots at the Congress, Modi said, “Those who were involved in the coal scam, 2G scam and other scams, now have to stand in queues to exchange Rs 4,000.”He said the people had voted against corruption in 2014. “This had become clear from the very first Cabinet meeting when a Supreme Court- monitored Special Investigation Team was formed to investigate black money parked outside the country.“We collected Rs 67,000 crore under the amnesty scheme. In the last two years, through raids, surveys and declarations, Rs 1,25,000 crore has flown into the government coffers,” he said, referring to the Jan Dhan scheme aimed at financial inclusion.Stating that an enemy country is printing more fake Indian currency than their own currency, Modi said that this money is being used by the terrorists and extremists to foment trouble in our country. Allaying the fear of farmers, Modi said that no tax would be imposed on their agricultural income.Stressing the need to go cashless in transactions, he said: “There is a talk about a cashless society and we should shift to plastic money. That’s why we have removed all taxes from debit and credit cards in the budget.”(With inputs from Agencies)

Bill to amend 150-yr-old Christian divorce law in winter session

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Christian couples’ wait for two years for seeking divorce by mutual consent may soon end as a nearly 150-year-old law is set to be amended to lower the requisite separation period to one year following persistent demand from the community. The government has put the Divorce (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the ‘tentative list of government legislative and financial business’ expected to be taken up during the winter session of Parliament beginning November 16.However, the proposal to amend the provisions dealing with Christian marriages is yet to be cleared by the Union Cabinet.According to the Law Ministry proposal, the Divorce Act, 1869 would be amended to halve the separation period for couples from the present two years to one year before they can file for divorce by mutual consent to bring it at par with laws governing other communities.The separation period under the Hindu Marriage Act, Parsi Marriage and Divorce Act and the Special Marriage Act is one year. Section 10A(1) of the Divorce Act, added through an amendment in 2001, says that a couple seeking divorce should be living separately for a period of “two years or more”.Against the backdrop of a Supreme Court order in April last and persistent demands by members of the community, the Law Ministry has decided to move the proposal to reduce the separation period. Questioning the existing law, the Supreme Court had urged the Centre to make necessary amendments. “Should Christians stay separated for minimum two years when the period prescribed for others is one year? It does not make sense to us. It is a pure question of law and you (government) should have acted on your own,” a bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen and A M Sapre had observed.The bench delivered the order on a petition filed by a Delhi resident. Some high courts have also struck down the provision of two-year separation. The ministry has also proposed another amendment in the law to enable any of the spouses living in India to file for divorce. As of now, both husband and wife should be living in India when the petition for dissolution of marriage is moved.Also, if the law is amended, then it will allow a woman to move the divorce petition in the district court within whose jurisdiction she ordinarily resides. As per the existing provisions, a petition can be filed only where the marriage was solemnised or where the couple reside or last resided together.The Law Commission had on several occasions in the past recommended amendments to the Divorce Act to make it more women-friendly.

Modi in Japan: Full text of the Prime Minister’s media statement

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed gratitude to his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe for the support extended for India’s membership bid to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).‘I wish to thank Prime Minister Abe for the support extended for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group,’ Vikas Swarup, official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) quoted Prime Minister Modi as saying.India and Pakistan are the two non-NPT states aspiring for the membership of the 48-member international nuclear trade body.Many countries, including China, had opposed India’s bid to join the NSG at its last meeting in June citing that the latter has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which is the basic criteria to enter the NSG.Full Statement by Prime Minister during his visit to JapanNovember 11, 2016Your Excellency, Prime Minister Abe,Friends,Mina-Sama, Komban Wa!A Zen Buddhist saying in Japanese says – “Ichigo Ichie” , which means that our every meeting is unique and we must treasure every moment.I have visited Japan many times, and this is my second visit as Prime Minister. And, every visit has been unique, special, educative and deeply rewarding.I have met Excellency Abe on many occasions in Japan, India and around the world. I have also had the privilege of receiving several high level Japanese political and business leaders in India in the last couple of years.The frequency of our interaction demonstrates the drive, dynamism and depth of our ties. It also reflects our continuing commitment to realize the full potential of our Special Strategic and Global Partnership.Friends, In our conversation today, Prime Minister Abe and I took stock of the progress in our ties since the last Summit. It is clear to both of us that our cooperation has progressed on multiple fronts.Deeper economic engagement, growth of trade, manufacturing and investment ties, focus on clean energy, partnership to secure our citizens, and cooperation on infrastructure and skill development are among our key priorities.Today’s signing of the Agreement for Cooperation in Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy marks a historic step in our engagement to build a clean energy partnership.Our cooperation in this field will help us combat the challenge of Climate Change. I also acknowledge the special significance that such an agreement has for Japan.I thank Prime Minister Abe the Japanese government and the Parliament for their support to this agreement.Friends,India and its economy are pursuing many transformations. Our aim is to become a major centre for manufacturing, investments and for the twenty first century knowledge industries.And, in this journey, we see Japan as a natural partner. We believe there is vast scope to combine our relative advantages, whether of capital, technology or human resources, to work for mutual benefit.In terms of specific projects, we remain focused on making strong progress on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail project. Our engagement and agreement on cooperation in the financial sector will help us in accessing greater resources for infrastructure development.Our dialogue in regard to training and skills development has broken new ground, and is an important component of our economic partnership. We are also shaping new partnerships in areas such as space science, marine and earth since, textiles, sports, agriculture and postal banking.Friends,Our strategic partnership is not only for the good and security of our own societies. It also brings peace, stability and balance to the region. It is alive and responsive to emerging opportunities and challenges in Asia-Pacific.As countries with an inclusive outlook, we have agreed to cooperate closely to promote connectivity, infrastructure and capacity-building in the regions that occupy the inter-linked waters of the Indo-Pacific.The successful Malabar naval exercise has underscored the convergence in our strategic interests in the broad expanse of the waters of the Indo-Pacific.As democracies, we support openness, transparency and the rule of law. We are also united in our resolve to combat the menace of terrorism, especially cross-border terrorism.Friends,The relations between our two countries are blessed by deep cultural and people to people ties. During Prime Minister Abe’s visit to India in December last year, I had committed to take steps to create basis for their further expansion.And, as a result, since March 2016 we extended ‘Visa-On Arrival’ facility to all Japanese nationals. We have also gone a step further in extending a long-term 10-year visa facility to eligible Japanese business persons.Friends,India and Japan also consult and cooperate closely in regional and international fora. We will continue to work together for reforms of the United Nations and strive together for our rightful place in the UN Security Council.I wish to thank Prime Minister Abe for the support extended for India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.Excellency Abe,We both recognize that the future of our partnership is rich and robust. There is no limit to the scope and scale of what we can do together, for ourselves and for the region.And, a key reason for this is your strong and dynamic leadership. It is indeed a privilege to be your partner and friend. I wish to thank you for the most valuable outcomes of this Summit, and for your generous welcome and hospitality.Anata No O Motenashi O Arigato Gozaimashita!(Thank you for your kind hospitality!)

APSC member Samedur Rahman arrested for corruption in Assam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assam Public Service Commission member Samedur Rahman was arrested on Wednesday from Rangia near Guwahati on alleged charges of corruption in the organisation as the state government has formed a Special Supervisory Team (SST) to monitor the ongoing probe.On November 7, the state government had formed a Special Supervisory Team (SST) to monitor the ongoing probe into alleged corruption in Assam Public Service Commission by its beleaguered Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul.Police said Rahman who was declared an ‘absconder’, was apprehended from his house in Rangia around 1 am and taken to Guwahati for interrogation. Police from neighbouring Baksa district, where he was reportedly in hiding, surrounded Rahman’s house in Rangia acting on a tip-off. They informed police in Guwahati and the special investigating police team from Dibrugarh which earlier arrested APSC Chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul on November 4, police said. Rahman was brought to Guwahati for interrogation to the 4th Assam Police Battalion (APBN) in Kahilipara where the APSC Chairman was also being questioned, the sources said. Rahman’s name came to light in connection with the cash-for-job scam when his personal security officer Mabud Ali Choudhury was arrested, based on arrested Dibrugarh Town Planning engineer Naba Kanta Patir’s statement.According to Investigating Officer Dibrugarh district, Additional Superintendent of Police Surjit Singh Paneshar, on October 27, Patir was arrested on a complaint filed by a dental surgeon that he had promised to give her a job through the APSC for a bribe of Rs ten lakh.Based on Patir’s statement during interrogation, Samedur Rahman’s personal security officer Mabud Ali Choudhury was arrested the next day, Paneshar said. Interrogation of Patir and Rahman and phone conversations about money transactions between Patir and the APSC Chairman, revealed strong evidences about a big racket involving Rakesh Paul and Rahman, the police official said.Paul,who was picked up from his office before his arrest, was being currently interrogated at the 4th APBN and he is stated to have disclosed the names of politicians, government officials, film personnel involved in the APSC recruitment racket.

Centre’s plan for a hot winter in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Equipped with the information that unprecedented terror turbulence can hit Jammu and Kashmir as the snow melts next year which may spiral the situation out of hand, the Centre has evolved a four-pronged action plan to restore normalcy.To be executed between winter months – from November to February – the execution of the action plan will be monitored directly by small team under the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), highly placed sources said. There is a strong apprehension in the security establishment that lack of governance and absence of administration during long period of unrest has helped create situation that has potential to put the Kashmiri society on the path of Talibanisation. “Burning down of schools on a massive scale across the valley is one indication of what Pakistan supported terror groups are planning to do. This is an unprecedented development in Kashmir that has never happened before. In all over 120 government buildings have been burnt down or damaged of which at least 27 are school buildings,” added sources. According to the plan, the Army and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of J&K Police aided by central armed police forces (CAPFs) have been tasked to neutralise or apprehend all the 300 odd terrorists and militants present in the valley. Sources said, these terrorists aided by the prevailing confusion during unrest managed to find safe havens across several pockets and have been instrumental in abating and aiding further unrest.The next step of the plan includes action on a massive scale against over ground activists of resistance group who have aided, instigated and participated in “subversive” activities like stone throwing, burning down government properties and aiding terrorists and militants to hide, sneak in and escape. An important part of the plan is reclaiming back the so called liberated areas, especially in South Kashmir, from the violent agitators that also have strong presence of militants and over ground activists. Sources said this may prove to be long haul exercise as they want minimum collateral damage during action. At the same time, along with the tough approach, the government plans to launch programmes on massive scale for winning hearts and minds of Kashmiris, aimed especially at those who want peace to return to help their children study and business progress.Those involved in the plan believe that the Centre’s action will not find much resistance in Kashmir as majority of Kashmiri are fed up with the spiral of violence and unrest and want to lead normal life.

Buldhana rape case: All accused have been arrested, says Maharashtra CM Fadnavis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday termed as “very serious” the allegations of rape of a minor girl at a government-aided tribal school in Buldhana district and said all the accused have been arrested in the case.”All accused have been arrested by the police. A team of police officials led by a woman IPS officer will probe the case. My government has taken cognisance of the incident,” Fadnavis said in a statement.The Chief Minister’s statement, however, was silent on the exact number of the victims and the accused arrested so far. State DGP Satish Mathur has said eleven persons have been arrested in connection with the case while search is on for remaining two.The minor girl was allegedly raped at the government- aided tribal residential school following which 11 people, including members of school management, were arrested last night.An SIT has been formed to probe the case as the police suspect that more children could have been sexually exploited. The CM said, “A team of officials led by a woman IPS officer will probe the case. All directors of the ashram shala are being arrested.”Ashram shala is also known as tribal residential school in Maharashtra.”Women police officers will visit all ashram schools, aided and government-run, in the state and speak to the girl inmates to find out whether laid down standard operating practices (SOP) related to security of the girls are being followed or not. Strict action would be taken if any lapses are found,” the CM said.On Friday, the DGP announced setting up of a Special Investigative Team (SIT), headed by a senior IPS officer, to investigate the case. The top cop had said only one girl has complained of rape.

Maharashtra: Headmaster among 11 arrested in Buldhana tribal school girls abuse case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eleven people, including the headmaster of a government-aided tribal residential school, in Khamgaon tehsil here have been arrested following allegations of sexual abuse of two girls over the last six months, police said on Friday.The accused, including the headmaster, staff and members of the school management were arrested last night from various villages across the district and brought to Khamgaon.Offences were also registered against them under relevant sections of IPC, POCSO and SC/ST Atrocities Act.The incident came to light after former Maharashtra minister Eknath Khadse was approached recently by the family of one of the victims who hailed from his assembly constituency in Muktainagar (Jalgaon).Khadse immediately informed District Guardian Minister Pandurang Phundkar who then asked police to look into the matter.According to police, a 14-year-old girl student from Nanji Kokare Adivasi Ashramshala in Lokanda Pala at Khamgaon taluka here went to her home in a village in Muktainagar for Diwali vacations and narrated her plight to parents.Her mother informed the woman sarpanch of the village who in turn told Khadse about the alleged exploitation.Looking into the gravity of the issue, Khadse immediately informed Phundkar about it. He asked Additional SP, Buldana Yashwant Solanke to look into the matter. Immediately, police swung into action and 11 people involved in running the Ashramshala were arrested, they said.Phundkar, who is camping in his constituency (Khamgaon) to monitor the progress of the investigations, told PTI today that so far only two girls have came forward with complaints of alleged abuse.The tribal residential school belongs to a local politician, he said.Meanwhile, Arti Singh who is presently heading the Special Investigation Department (SID), Nagpur has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting a probe into the incident.

BJP should focus on development and not ‘triple talaq’: Digvijaya Singh

Tirupati: Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Wednesday assailed Narendra Modi for denouncing the practice of “triple talaq” among Muslims, saying instead of raising such issues, the prime minister should focus on his slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas“.

“Triple talaq” was related to a particular religion and it should be left to that religion. The Centre should not take any decision on it without a consensus, he told reporters here.

Digvijaya Singh. AFP

Digvijaya Singh. AFP

The prime minister should remember his slogan of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” and focus on it, the Congress general secretary said.

Singh, who earlier offered his prayers at the famous Lord Venkateswara temple here, also accused the Modi government of “politicising the army’s surgical strikes” across the LoC.

He said even during the UPA regime, surgical strikes were carried out, but they were never “utilised for political mileage”.

Slamming both the ruling TDP in Andhra Pradesh and the NDA government at the Centre, he alleged that they had “fooled” the people of the state on the issue of “Special Category” status after the birth of Telangana.

Before the 2014 general election, the BJP had promised a 10-year “Special Category” status to Andhra Pradesh if they won, but after coming to power, they only offered some incentives in the name of special package and Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu too compromised on the matter, he charged.

Singh also questioned Naidu’s decision to involve foreign agencies in building the new capital city of Amaravati.

Later, speaking to reporters at another place, the Congress leader said farmers were facing an “extremely bad” situation in Uttar Pradesh due to a mounting loan burden and the absence of a minimum support price for their produces.

Alleging “total mis-governance” by the Samajwadi Party government led by Akhilesh Yadav in that state, he claimed that people wanted a change in the upcoming Assembly polls.

Replying to a query on the Congress’ prospects in the Uttar Pradesh polls due early next year, Singh said the party was “aiming to capture power”.

“We are making an all-out effort in the campaign led by party vice-president Rahul Gandhi who is overseeing the entire election propaganda of the party. Like every political party, we are pinning our hopes on forming the government in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

India, China NSAs to meet next week to discuss bilateral ties

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Security Advisors of India and China will meet next week to discuss measures to improve bilateral ties which are strained by differences over a host of issues including India’s admission into NSG and Beijing’s attempts to block UN ban on JeM Chief Masood Azhar.National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi will meet in Hyderabad in November first week for informal dialogue on the state of bilateral relations, specially the irritants bedevilling the development of ties, officials said.Besides blocking India’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China had put a second technical hold on India’s move to bring about a UN ban on Azhar. Also India has been protesting over the US $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).While India is concerned over the Pakistan factor creeping into India-China relations making the bilateral ties more complex, China too is airing its apprehensions over the movement to boycott Chinese goods in India as well the visit of US Ambassador to New Delhi, Richard Verma, to Arunachal Pradesh, which it considers as Southern Tibet and India’s permission to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the area.Chinese officials say Beijing is apprehensive about India moving closer to US and Japan broadening its strategic and defence ties with both the countries.Doval and Yang who are the designated Special Representatives of the India-China boundary talks, also periodically meet to discuss the whole gamut of the Sino-Indian relations.Yang was the former foreign minister of China before he was elevated to the rank of State Councillor of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) after President Xi Jinping took over power in 2013. In Chinese power structure, State Councillor is more powerful than the Foreign Minister on foreign policy issues.Both Doval and Yang have been meeting regularly to discuss the problems affecting the bilateral relations. Officials say that the Hyderabad meeting is not Special Representatives dialogue on border but an informal consultation in which all issues including those relating to the borders may figure.Their meeting is set to take place in the backdrop of the just concluded plenary meeting of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) which conferred the status of “core leader” on Xi, broadening his power base both in the party and military.On India’s admission into the NSG, both sides held in-depth talks over the issue. India has been pressing China to relent on its opposition saying that vast majority of the 48 member group back New Delhi s case.China, which is opposing India’s membership on the ground that India is not a signatory to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says the group need to work out a proposal on the accession on all the non-NPT countries meaning Pakistan’s admission too.After talks with India, Chinese officials also held talks with Pakistan on the same issue.On the issue of ban on Azhar, China has not reacted to Pakistan’s reported move to freeze his bank accounts and keeping him under house arrest. Beijing’s technical hold in the UN on Azhar s ban issue is due to expire in December.Doval and Yang were expected to touch on these issues as well as India’s concerns over the ballooning trade deficit which according to Chinese officials touched over US $51 billion last year in little over US $70 billion trade between the two countries.China has been promising to step up investments in India besides opening up markets for Indian IT and Pharmaceuticals.

Jharkhand: Maoist leader surrenders, to receive Rs 5 lakh as per surrender policy

Wed, 26 Oct 2016-01:05pm , Ranchi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Maoist leader Baleswar Oraon, who was carrying Rs five lakh reward on his head, has surrendered before the Jharkhand Director General of Police DK Pandey. Oraon surrendered yesterday and was given a cheque of Rs five lakh. The rebel would also get other benefits under the surrender policy, police spokesman MS Bhatia said. Oraon was a sub-zonal commander of the outfit and member of its Bihar-Jharkhand Special Area Committee. He had decided to surrender on July 14 this year, he said.

Illegal mining: Ex Karnataka CM Yeddyurappa, others acquitted in bribery case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa and other accused were on Wednesday acquitted by the Special CBI Court in Bengaluru, in the Bellary illegal mining case during his chief ministership.Yeddyurappa, who led the BJP to its first ever government in the south in 2008 elections, had to relinquish the chief minister’s post following his indictment by the Lokayukta report on illegal mining submitted on July, 2011 by the then anti-corruption ombudsman Santosh Hegde.The report had cited receipt of a Rs 10 crore donation from South West Mining Company to the Prerana Trust owned and managed by Yeddyurpapa’s family and another Rs 20 crore paid for purchase of 1.02 acres in Rachenahalli by the mining firm.Hegde in his report had observed that these payments were made to Prerana Trust in anticipation of getting some favours by the mining company, a charge Yeddyurappa had rejected.CBI had registered an FIR against Yeddyurappa and others, and raided their residential and other premises as part of the probe ordered by the Supreme Court on recommendations of the Central Empowered Committee set up by it to look into illegal mining.He returned to BJP following the announcement of Modi as party’s prime ministerial candidate ahead of 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

Naya Bazaar blast: Rajnath Singh speakes to Delhi Police Commissioner

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma on Tuesday over the death of a person in an explosion in north Delhi’s Naya Bazar area.The Home Minister, who is in Bahrain, telephoned the Delhi Police Commissioner to take stock of the situation in the national capital. Verma briefed him about the incident and the steps taken in this regard, official sources said.The Home Minister instructed the Delhi Police Commissioner to arrest those involved in the incident and take all possible measures to ensure peace in the city. One person was killed and two others were injured in the explosion. A senior police officer said the cause of the explosion was yet to be ascertained.Forensic teams and officers from the Special Cell are on the spot and collecting samples. Further details are awaited. Delhi Police personnel have been maintaining a tight vigil in view of the festive season.

Missing JNU student: Cops fear issue could turn communal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Passions are flaring up on campus as JNU student Najeeb Ahmed remains missing for the eighth consecutive day. The Delhi Police now fear that the issue may take a communal turn in the university.According to a report of the Delhi Police’s Special Branch, there are chances that political parties prevalent on the JNU campus may try to polarise the matter. This, they say, can lead to communal tension.“It is pertinent to mention that the student involved in this issue, Vikrant, belongs to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) organisation and Najeeb belongs to religious minority community. As a result, this incident can flare up into a communal issue. Presently, JNUSU (Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union) is dominated by students from different left leaning organisations and in recent elections they formed an alliance against ABVP,” read the report.Ahmed, a biotechnology student at JNU, went missing on October 15 evening after a scuffle with ABVP members. An FIR for kidnapping and wrongfully confining a person was lodged at Vasant Kunj North police station on October 20 after the police received a complaint from the student’s guardians.The report comes amidst ongoing protests and mudslinging by the political parties. It also says that while the JNU administration has taken a note of the entire situation, no action has been taken yet.The report further adds, “Keeping in view the overall situation in the campus and the student sentiments there are chances, different student and political organisation may try to mobilise and polarise supporters on this issue. Moreover, the media may also give the matter larger coverage through a communal lens.”The sudden disappearance of the student has led to severe tension on campus with students leading continuous protests and demanding immediate action in the issue. The agitated students had even locked-in the authority officials including vice-chancellor Jagadesh Kumar and other university officials, keeping them confined to the administrative block for over 20 hours.The protest by the students had also led Union Home minister Rajnath Singh to direct the Delhi police to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to trace the missing student.

Bangladesh probe team questions 6 JMB operatives arrested in India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bangladesh’s elite anti-terror agency RAB arrived in India on Saturday morning to question Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) operatives that were arrested in India’s eastern state of West Bengal.A team of two investigators reached the National Investigation Agency (NIA) office and questioned the six JMB operatives, who were arrested by the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police last month.The team questioned and examined them to find out if they played any role in the attack at Dhaka’s high security zone, Gulshan. The agency will also explore their links with the Islamic State, if any.Currently, the six are under NIA custody and the agency is also examining them for their role in the October 2, 2014, Burdwan blast case in West Bengal. The six arrested include JMB’s Bengal unit chief, Inam alias Anwar Hussain, Maulana Yusuf, chief motivator of JMB across Madrasas in Bengal. Sahidul Islam, chief of the JMB in the North-eastern region. Md. Rubel alias Rafique is a resident of Jamalpur, Bangladesh and an expert in IEDs. Md. Abul Kalam was also an expert in IEDs and used to assist another operative, Sahidul. Jabirul Islam alias Jahidul Islam is a Bangladeshi national, who had entered India without any valid passport or visa.The six JMB operatives were arrested by the Special Task Force of Kolkata Police from West Bengal and several other eastern Indian states. Of the six, three are Bangladeshi nationals and three are Indian nationals of Bangladeshi origin. The arrested were running JMB sleeper cells and their modules were active in eastern and north-eastern India and were plotting a terror attack in the eastern region of India.Sources in the investigating agency highlight that these operatives were controlled and handled by JMB’s Majlish-e-Shura, think-tank, in charge of India, Salahuddin.

Triple talaq: Reformist Muslims to launch campaign for Uniform Civil Code

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While debate rages over the review of the provision of triple talaq and formulation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC), the Muslim Satyashodhak Mandal, founded by social reformer-activist Hamid Dalwai, which has been campaigning on these issues for decades, has supported the move to reform and secularise the community’s personal laws.While demanding that obscurantist practices such as polygamy and halala be eradicated for the sake of gender justice, it has also opposed moves to delink the triple talaq issue from UCC.The Mandal will launch a campaign to seek support from Muslims for the UCC and a ban on triple talaq, and will also be organising a national convention in November in Pune to assert the rights of Muslim women.In April 1966, Dalwai, an author and founder of the Indian Secular Society, had organised a morcha of the Muslim women at the receiving end of the oral, one-sided divorce, at the state administrative headquarters. The Mandal was launched in March 1970 for social and religious reforms among Muslims but faced opposition from orthodox sections within the community.”Instead of going into what the religion says, emphasis must be placed on social justice. Outdated practices must be eradicated,” Professor Shamshuddin Tamboli, president of the body, told DNA.”Steps must be taken for reform, disregarding any opposition,” he said, adding that “outdated” practices such as oral talaq, polygamy and nikah halala, needed to be done away with.Pointing to misunderstandings about UCC, Tamboli said it would only deal with civil issues, such as marriage, divorce and inheritance, and not with religious practices. “(Personal laws) must be based on the law of the land, gender justice and equality,” he demanded, adding that while 95 per cent of the laws, including criminal laws, were common for all, there was a difference in marriage, divorce, alimony, adoption and inheritance laws.Many provisions contained in the British-era Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act -1937 were outdated. Moreover, Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Turkey and Bangladesh have already eradicated oral triple talaq.”This is a secular country. There must be restrictions on religious freedom,” said Tamboli, adding that there were misunderstandings about UCC as no models had been placed before society. He noted that some models could include UCC in force in Goa since the Portuguese era, proposed by academician and legal expert Satyaranjan Sathe, and the Special Marriage Act-1954.”There is no option but UCC… for national integration and gender justice. The problem will not be solved by merely banning triple talaq,” said Tamboli. “Divorce proceedings should be conducted in court. Women must have an opportunity to present their side,” he stressed, adding that the UCC could also be referred to as a “uniform family law”.Tamboli also pointed to how other social and religious sections had been demanding their own set of personal laws, which was a divisive move.”We will co-operate with the law commission,” said Tamboli, referring to the questionnaire put out by the body on the UCC. He said moves by the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) to boycott the questionnaire were wrong. “They do not represent all Muslims. It is a self-appointed organisation,” charged Tamboli, adding that Sunnis and Shias had their own sets of personal laws.The Mandal, which had also stood by Shah Bano in the landmark case over maintenance for the 60-year old divorcee, will collect signatures of men and women from the community and also hold a national-level convention in Pune on November 26, the Constitution Day.”Women have Constitutional rights regardless of what the religion says,” he said. Memorandums will also be given to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.Tamboli stressed that the right to religious freedom could not supersede the right to equality before law and prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, caste or sex, as contained in the Constitution.

Gopinath Munde’s death case: Court refuses to discharge accused driver

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A city court has decided to proceed with the trial of a driver who had allegedly rammed his vehicle into the car of Union Minister Gopinath Munde, leading to the BJP leader’s death two years ago. Special Judge Gurdeep Singh refused to discharge accused driver Gurvinder Singh in the case and held there was “prima facie” evidence to try him for the offences including the crime of rash driving and culpable homicide not amounting to murder (killing without motive). Sixty-four-year-old Munde, a prominent face of the BJP in Maharashtra, had died apparently of shock and cardiac arrest suffered during the road accident on June 3, 2014. The defendant’s contention that he was innocent and the drivers of cars ferrying VIPs drove at high speed, did not find favour with the court. “Each case depends on its own facts and nothing can be generalised in this manner. There is no presumption that all the drivers of VIPs, drive at a fast speed. Although, it may be true in some cases,” the court said, adding that the matter will be looked into during the trial. “As per the charge sheet and other evidence on record, prima facie offence is made out against the revisionist (accused) under Section 279 (rash driving) and 304-A (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) IPC,” it said.The court passed the order on an appeal filed by the accused against a magisterial court judgment on which charges were framed against him. It also noted that according to an expert, the speed of car of the accused was more than that of the politician’s car. The court said the FIR was registered on the statement given by Munde’s driver. The accused, who is out on bail, had challenged the trial court order on the ground that he was the original complainant but due to political pressure, the prosecution had made him the accused.He had claimed that he was the initial caller to the police and the Minister’s vehicle had sped away from the spot after hitting his vehicle, adding that it was the driver of the politician who was speeding with a red beacon light.

Kerala Industries Minister EP Jayarajan to quit over nepotism allegations

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kerala Industries Minister EP Jayarajan will resign on Friday after the controversy surrounding alleged nepotism in appointments for key posts in state PSUs.The CPI(M)’s Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said that CPI(M) state secretariat permitted Jayarajan to submit his resignation.The State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau was understood to have decided to order a preliminary probe into certain controversial appointments of relatives of Industries Minister EP Jayarajan in key posts yesterday in state PSUs. However, there is no official word on the decision of the bureau. Meanwhile, the Special Court (Vigilance) directed the bureau to file its reply by tomorrow on a complaint with regard to the alleged appointments. Against the backdrop of opposition Congress and BJP targeting it on the issue, the four-month old LDF government has decided to bring in a law to prevent any nepotism in appointments in key positions in public sector units (PSUs).The cabinet also entrusted Chief Secretary S M Vijayanand with the task to examine the various complaints with regard to any appointments which have become controversial. “This is to prevent nepotism in appointments,” a statement quoting Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said. The complaint in the Special Vigilance court had sought filing of FIR and registration of case against Jayarajan, who had allegedly appointed some relatives to key posts in state PSUs. When the case came up today, the court directed the Vigilance bureau to file a reply on the petition by tomorrow.According to sources, preliminary inquiry was to find out whether there was any substance in the complaints to register a case and order further probe. The complaint filed in the Vigilance court contended that nepotism amounted to corruption and sought registration of a case under Prevention of Corruption Act. Besides the complaint in the court, three other petitions, including that of Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and BJP leader V Muraleedharan seeking filing of FIR and registering a case against Jayarajan, are pending before Vigilance Director Jacob Thomas. Against this backdrop, Thomas met Chief Minister Vijayan this morning and held discussions. Vijayan also met party secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan this evening ahead of the party state committee to be held tomorrow which may discuss the appointment issue.

Kabul dogs roped in to help secure BRICS summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Part of ‘Mission Kabul’ these ferocious canines from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force’s (ITBP) K9 unit have been serving in Indian missions in conflict hit Afghanistan for a while now.Battling terror threats daily, these brave dogs have now been pressed into action to secure the BRICS summit being held in Goa from October 15-16.This is in the wake of intelligence inputs about a possible terror attack. As a result, the contingent comprising German shepherds, labradors and Belgian Melenois have been sent from Kabul to Goa to aid security forces.These dogs were deployed at the Indian Embassy in Kabul for over three years and have experienced all sorts of threats and situations. Calling them “battle scarred veterans” an ITBP official says they had a high success rate when used in anti-terror missions against the Taliban.Sources told DNA that the decision to deploy the dogs serving in Kabul was taken amid several intelligence inputs regarding terrorists using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to blow up the venue.”We got an SOS call to secure and sanitise the venues and hotels where delegates will be staying in the wake of the heightened security alert,” said an ITBP official.According to intelligence inputs, Pakistani-based terrorist groups could conduct terror strikes in Goa near the venue between October 12 and 14 with an aim to disrupt the Summit. The is especially important as meetings of important dignitaries from BRICS countries will begun from October 12.Sources also say that the terror attacks are being planned as retaliation to the “surgical strikes” by the Indian Army destroying terror launchpads across the Line of Control (LoC).”Since these dogs are experts at sniffing explosives and also detect suspicious movements it was decided to send them,” said an official.There have been several terror attacks on Indian missions in Afghanistan in the last few years including the Embassy in Kabul.ITBP’s dog squad have also been serving in Maoist hit states and play a pivotal role in securing high target installations like the Parliament.Dogs from the force are also part of the Special Protection Group (SPG) guarding the Prime Minister. These dogs have also thwarted several terror attacks in the country over the last year when they were part of several operations.Over the years, dog training modules have also been modified to keep pace with growing threat perceptions. Most of the dogs are not just used for sniffing but have also become experts at assault and reconnaissance missions.They go through a 24 week training programme before being pressed into action.

Why the National Security Guard (NSG) commandos took over the Red Fort

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was another quiet evening at Delhi’s Red Fort on Monday till 8.45 in the night. That is when Gypsies and buses carrying National Security Guard (NSG) commandos reached the iconic monument.This was no mock drill. The elite force trained for anti-terror operations took over the Red Fort in the wake of intelligence inputs about a possible terror strike during festive season. Top Delhi Police officers told DNA that this was not a usual exercise and this was the first instance when the NSG will be camping at the Red Fort, which was attacked in 2000.Paragliding prohibitedThe Delhi Police on Monday night issued an order under Section 144 of the CrPc, prohibiting sub-conventional aerial platforms like paragliders, paramotors, hang gliders, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), microlight aircraft, remotely piloted aircraft, hot-air balloons, small size powered aircraft, quadcopters and even parajumping from aircraft. The order comes will be valid from October 11, 2016 to November 6, 2016.This correspondent was present at the Red Fort as the commandos set up their barracks by 1 am. They went about their job under minimum lights. All they had were the headlights of their vehicles.In the last few days, there were two instances of security breach at the Red Fort. An officer from the Special Cell, the Delhi Police’s anti-terror unit, was sent to do a ground check in view of the heightened threat. He walked passed the security check with his weapon. In the second incident, two BSF officers were detained for carrying revolvers while entering the Red Fort.Sources say that the NSG will camp at the fort for a few days. The NSG’s arrival has also left the local police and other security agencies alarmed.The cracks1. On October 8, 2016, a Special Cell officer sneaked into the Red Fort from gate number 1 with his service Glock pistol. He was detected by a police officer and his pistol recovered only after some time. It was gross negligence on the part of the two officers manning the DFMD (Door Frame metal Detector), when the city was on high alert. The officers were transferred to district lines with immediate effect. 2. On October 9, 2016, two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were detained while they were entering through gate number 1. Loaded service revolvers were found in their possession as well. They were later let off after a warning.The Red Fort houses around three Ramlilas and sees a gathering of over 10,000 people per day. Though dignitaries including the President, Vice-President and senior leaders of various political parties visit the fort at this time of the season, the NSG has never been positioned there before. The footfall of visitors who come to see the monument is very large and Chandni Chowk next to it is an add-on.The Special Cell received an alert on October 3 about the possibility of a terror strike at crowded places during the festive season as it would be an easy target and the attack would get maximum publicity. The advisory specifically mentioned about the tight vigil on the border areas and highways. The Red Fort is situated close to the National Highway. The advisory further said that the recent surgical strikes by the Indian Army at terrorist launch pads across borders may encourage terrorists to orchestrate indiscriminate acts of terror on iconic targets and civilians. The recent terror attacks in Uri and the Pathankot Air Force base may also encourage the terrorists to carry out another possible strike in the Capital.Another input said that two fidayeens (suicide bombers) are headed towards Delhi from Kashmir and a high alert was sounded on October 7

Terrorists mouse-trapped in J&K; second attack on EDI in nine months

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A group of heavily armed fidayeens cruised through Jhelum in a boat on Monday, before occupying the seven-storey Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) hostel building to use it as concrete bunker and engage the security forces in a fierce gun battle.An army soldier was injured in the gunfight, which had been continuing since morning. The fidayeens entrenched themselves at vantage points, and used furniture and other goods to block the staircases and corridors.This is the second time in nine months that fidayeens have been holed up in the EDI complex. On February 22, a 48-hour gun battle between militants and the Indian army had ended after three foreign ultras were neutralised in the EDI building. Three elite para-commandos including two captains, two CRPF men and an EDI gardener, were killed and 13 personnel were injured in the three-day operation.Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna, “The operation is still on. An army soldier has been injured. His condition is stable.”Sources said the group of two to three fidayeens crossed the Jhelum in a boat and barged into the EDI complex from the rear side. Situated on a plateau along the banks of Jhelum, the EDI complex comprises the main office building and hostel. The seven-storey hostel complex is being used as a makeshift office for EDI since February, when the main building suffered extensive damage in a fidayeen strike.Militants tried to set the hostel building on fire to confuse the security forces. When the smoke started billowing out, fire tenders were immediately rushed to the spot. The lurking militants, however, opened fire that blew their cover. “Militants entered the building at 6am and tried to set it on fire,” EDI director Mohammad Ismail Parrey told dna.”We are using the first three floors as a makeshift office. Other floors still serve as hostel. Only a cook and a waiter were present at the time of the attack, who escaped unhurt,” Parrey said.Security forces cordoned off the building from all sides while militants kept firing intermittently. The security personnel fired rockets, grenades and used IEDs to neutralise the militants.”Para commandos of the Special Forces have been called in to eliminate the fidayeens. The personnel are working slowly deliberately in a bid to exhaust the fidayeens and prevent any troop fatality,” said an officer.Security forces have been on maximum alert since the army carried out surgical strikes in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Sources suspect fidayeens holed up in the EDI complex might have been planning to enter Srinagar but could not do so due to heightened security on the Srinagar-Jammu highway.”Every day, it’s either militants snatching guns or militants staging attacks. How can the Centre be so blasé about where J&K is headed? All the EDI ever did was train young Kashmiri boys and girls to stand on their own feet and not seek government jobs. Militants don’t like that!” tweeted former chief minister Omar Abdullah.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said attacking schools and EDI was a thought-out strategy to deprive Kashmiri youth of opportunities for education and work.

Home Minstry issues country-wide advisory, asks states to be extra vigilant during festivals

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amidst the continuing tension with Pakistan, the Centre has asked all states to be extra vigilant against attempts by terrorists and subversive elements to disrupt peace and ignite communal tension during the festival season. Acting on intelligence inputs, the Home Ministry has issued a country-wide advisory asking all states to deploy additional forces in crowded places like markets, railway stations, bus terminuses and religious sites to foil attempts by terrorists to carry out attacks.The advisory was issued after intelligence inputs suggested that Pakistan-based terrorist groups may try to disrupt peace in vulnerable areas in the wake of surgical strikes by Indian army against terror launch pads across LoC. The Home Ministry particularly told the police of major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad to be extra vigilant during the Dussehra, Durga Puja and Moharram festivities.The states were also asked to be alert during the festivals as provocative sloganeering, especially near mosques and dargahs, besides places where idols have been installed. The Centre said observance of festivals at disputed places, processions through non-traditional routes and forcible collection of donations, besides eveteasing often trigger communal tensions.Besides, crowded pandals and immersion processions also remain soft targets for saboteurs. Special watch on pandals, procession routes and venues of immersion would be desirable to prevent communal incidents and other law and order problems, the advisory said.In the recent past, there have been incidents of campaigns by right wing Hindu activists against cow slaughter leading to communal tension. Sacrifice of cattle in public and non-traditional places has also triggered communal incidents.

Nashik rape case: Town limps to normalcy after arson and rage

A day after arson and protests against the alleged rape of a five-year-old girl, Nashik in Maharashtra limped to normalcy on Monday, officials said.

“The situation is tense but under control. We have deployed adequate police personnel in the affected villages. The highway and city roads are normal,” Superintendent of Police (Rural) Ankush Shinde said. He said several persons involved in Sunday’s violence and damage to public properties had been arrested. Deputy Commissioner of Police Laxmikant Patil said any attempt by mischief mongers to violate the law “would be dealt with a heavy hand”. Police Commissioner RK Singhal said suitable action had been taken against alleged rapist and urged people not to believe rumours circulating on social media networks. In Amravati, Union Minister for Social Justice Ramdas Athavale, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP President Sharad Pawar made separate appeals to the people to maintain peace.

In Amravati, Union Minister for Social Justice Ramdas Athavale, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and NCP President Sharad Pawar made separate appeals to the people to maintain peace.

Nashik was on the edge after a teenage boy allegedly tried to rape a five-year-old girl near Trimbakeshwar, sparking large-scale protests and tension in the district. The incident occurred in the Trimbakeshwar pilgrim town in the district where a case was registered late on Sunday night by the victim’s mother. On Saturday when the victim’s parents, both farm labourers, had gone to work in the fields, the accused teenager, aged 15 or 16, allegedly attempted to lure the two sisters, a seven-year-old and a five-year-old girl, who were playing near a temple in the Talegaon-Anjaneri village. While the older girl refused to go, the younger one went with him after he gave her money to buy a soft drink. Later, the boy took the younger girl to some dilapidated structure behind the temple and allegedly raped her.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

As soon as the news spread, tension gripped Talegoan as locals gathered at the police station Sunday night demanding that the boy be booked and arrested. The villagers staged ‘rasta roko’ in Wadovhare, Ghoti and Anjaneri-phata areas. Some people set tyres on fire, and also damaged a tractor in Talegaon. A group of people also protested at Nashik Civil Hospital last night and demanded that the victim be examined by a woman doctor. Enraged locals gathered at several places Sunday morning also and damaged three police vehicles, including the car of Special IG, Nashik Range, Vinaykumar

Enraged locals gathered at several places Sunday morning also and damaged three police vehicles, including the car of Special IG, Nashik Range, Vinaykumar Choube. Thousands of people blocked the Mumbai-Agra highway, attacked the police and targeted public and private vehicles to protest against the rape. Twenty policemen were injured and several vehicles, including nine state transport buses and four police vans, were torched. Police fired several rounds in the air to disperse the mobs. The Mumbai-Agra, Nashik-Igatpuri and Nashik-Aurangabad highways remained choked for nearly eight hours.

The immediate provocation for the violence is reported to be a statement by Nashik Guardian Minister Girish Mahajan who said it was not a rape, but attempted rape. Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan, who is also the guardian minister of Nashik, visited the girl’s family and termed the incident as “unfortunate”. He said a rape attempt was made on her by the boy and said the case would be fast-tracked.

According to a report by The Indian Express, there have been multiple silent protests across Maharashtra three months back after the Kopardi village gangrape and murder of a 14-year-old, against the misuse of the Dalit Attrocities Act. The police have charged the accused with rape based on the five-year-old’s statement. The have sent her urine, blood samples and vaginal swaps for tests. It has been reported that there are no serious injuries on the victim’s body. “However, since the victim is a minor, inappropriate touching also amounts to rape under the amended provision of IPC and the new Act,” according to a senior police official.

Police lobbed teargas shells and also fire some rounds in the air at Talegaon to disperse the mob, a rural control room official said. Mahajan assured that charges will be framed in the case within a fortnight and it will be heard in a fast-track court. Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam will be appointed as prosecutor in the case, he said. “We will ensure that the accused gets a strict punishment and that this case is tried in a fast track court,”said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He also asked people not believe the rumours circulating post the incident, saying “I appeal to the people not believe in these rumours, stay calm, abide by rules and regulations and help us maintain law and order.” Senior lawyer Ujjwal Nikam will be appointed as prosecutor in the case, he said. No senior doctor or civil surgeon of Nashik Civil Hospital were available for comment.

According to ANI, lawyer and social activist Abha Singh claimed that crimes by 16-18-year-olds has gone up by 400 percent and the government is right in having reduced the juvenile justice age to 16 so the accused will now be tried as an adult. A case of IPC 376 shoud be registered. Another activist, Brinda Adiga, said that the police has probably taken the accused into custody for his protection and not as a culprit.

As per Quint, the local media played down the news related to the events in Nashik, directed by the district administration. However, social media errupted on the issue with hearsay and tidbits of news.  And according to the DNA, the city police suspended all internet services and bus services since Monday morning. Heavy security has been arranged for at places of large-scale protests, and schools remain closed.

With inputs from agencies

Non-implementation of Kashmir resolution is UN’s failure: Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Raking up the Kashmir issue again, Pakistan has said the non-implementation of UN Security Council resolutions for a plebiscite in the Valley is the “most persistent” failure of the United Nations.”The decolonisation agenda of the United Nations will remain incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, among the oldest items on the UN’s agenda,” Pakistan’s envoy to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said at a debate on Friday of the Special Political and Decolonisation Committee in the General Assembly. She said for over six decades UN Security Council resolutions promising a plebiscite under UN auspices to allow the Kashmiri people to determine their destiny, have not been implemented.”This is the most persistent failure of the United Nations,” she said adding that generation after generation of Kashmiris has only seen broken promises and brutal oppression. She asserted that Jammu and Kashmir “never was and can never be” an integral part of India but is a disputed territory, the final status of which has yet to be determined in accordance with several resolutions of the UN Security Council.Lodhi said the the United Nations has a moral responsibility towards people suffering under colonial domination and foreign occupation.”There is an urgent need to bring the work on this unfinished agenda to closure and eliminate the last remaining vestiges of colonialism. We hope that we will be able to achieve this shared goal sooner rather than later,” she said.

Surgical strikes and ceasefire violations: What India and Pakistan taught us this week

First things, first.

It’s slightly late in the day, but from one type of Special Forces to another:

vUrVnmQ - Imgur

And since we’re on the topic of things we learned, one of the most striking is how closely footballer and hat-tipper extraordinaire Mesut Özil resembles yesteryear actor/director/producer/writer Buster Keaton.

via GIPHY

See the resemblance?

Uncanny, right?

Good. Now that that’s out of the way — because that’s neither here not there — let’s reflect on the week gone by. This week — as indeed the tail-end of the last one — has been all about the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army’s Special Forces across the LoC in the early hours of 29 September.

According to some, such a strike had never been conducted before. According to others, this sort of thing has been happening for years now. Here, at FP Special Forces, we simply don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong — if such a binary can, in fact, be used in this context.

What we do know, however, is that within a week the role of the media changed drastically. A former high-ranking officer of the FP Special Forces had once said that the role of the news media would only ever be to inform, interpret and elaborate, but not to educate. How wrong he was. This week, all of that changed and the media cleared the cobwebs from our understanding and truly educated us. Let’s go through some of these teachings imparted through the tireless efforts of numerous news anchors, graphic designers and talking heads:

Surgical Strikes

With a show of hands, how many of you even knew what ‘surgical strikes’ were, before DGMO Lieutenant-General Ranbir Singh, flanked by the strong and silent Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup (for moral support, we imagine), used the phrase at that fairly famous press conference? Or did you think it was what happened when a bunch of surgeons, protesting low-pay, poor work conditions or violence perpetrated by the relatives of patients, decided to down tools, pick up placards and go on strike? Be honest!

On the off-chance that you did know what they were, your definition was probably closer to the traditional one — the one that refers to a swift and focussed attack on a specific target that causes minimal collateral damage. Right?

To quote Donald Trump, “WRONG!”

As we learned this week, a surgical strike can be anything you want it to be. For example, one interpretation refers to an incredibly daring Rambo-esque operation — in which political leaders transform into eminent personalities from Indian mythology — that leaves the victors setting off fireworks and the losers crying in shame. Or something like that. Another interpretation alludes to standing at one’s post and firing away across the border in the hopes of hitting someone, preferably an enemy combatant.

A third interpretation is the one that sees the ‘striker’ do something that appears as though it never happened. And what’s so surgical about that? Well, we’re glad you asked. Think of the way a good surgeon conducts a surgery. She makes the incision, does what is required and she’s out leaving the patient unscarred. Almost like there’s no evidence of said surgery having ever taken place. “Look ma! No scars,” like the Pakistan Army told foreign journalists when they were taken on a tour of the LoC.

Why?

strike

That’s why!

Let’s move on.

Ceasefire violations

Nearly every TV news channel explodes with angry red, blue or white (any resemblance to the US flag or the Dutch, Australian, British, Russian, French ones or any of the seemingly hundreds of others that use this colour combination is purely coincidental) tickers.

What ceasefire? According to some reports, there’ve been 20 ceasefire violations in the past week. And we’re not even going to try to calculate the total number of such violations this year. Is there even a reason to continue considering there to be a ceasefire in place if it’s going to be violated all the time? Apparently there is. And that’s what we learned.

All things covert

We also learned a new definition for the word ‘covert’. Put away your flights of fancy about ‘plausible deniability’ and ‘clandestine’ stuff. No, covert in today’s world — as we’ve been taught this week — apparently means something to brag about and something for which video evidence can be demanded. We’re sure the Indian Army’s Special Forces did a collective facepalm just as we, at FP Special Forces did, when we received this learning.

Manohar Parrikar

Nothing to add, suffice for this:

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Lt Governor Najeeb Jung directs Delhi police to deploy more personnel at crowded places

New Delhi: Ahead of the festive season, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Thursday held a meeting with top Delhi Police officers and directed the force to keep a close tab on the city’s crowded places by deploying sufficient security personnel and ensuring that CCTV cameras installed at these places are functional.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung. PTI

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Lt Governor Najeeb Jung. PTI

In the wake of the Uri attack and intelligence inputs of a terror threat to the capital, Delhi Police has ramped up security at places that see high footfall. The meeting was attended by Delhi Police Commissioner Alok Verma, Special Commissioners (Law & Order) and Joint Commissioners of Police (all ranges). The Lt Governor issued instructions to Delhi Police for strict compliance with these directions.

Jung asked the police personnel to be particularly vigilant and keep a close watch on major markets in the national capital with increased footfall during festive season. He also asked all police officers that ahead of the festive season, all CCTVs cameras installed in markets, malls and crowded places should be made fully functional. These CCTVs cameras will help the police keep an eye and help prevent any untoward incident.

In the meeting, Jung expressed concern at inadequate training of security personnel of private agencies manning malls, cinema, halls, etc. He directed Delhi Police to be extra careful in all such places.

The Lt Governor instructed that sufficient numbers of police personnel should be deployed for the safety of the citizens during Ramleela, Navratra and Muharram and other festivals and wherever there is large congregation of people. He also instructed that police personnel to ensure safety and security of sensitive installations in the capital.

Seeking proof of surgical strikes is illegal and unjustified: Ujjwal Nikam

Mumbai: Noted special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam on Thursday said that any demand for proof of army’s surgical strikes across the LoC is “illegal and unjustified”.

“Such a demand for disclosure of evidence on surgical strikes is not only illegal but also not justified, because if the evidence is disclosed by way of video footage or photographs it would endanger the Indian Army and the security of India.”

File photo of Ujjwal Nikam. Reuters.

File photo of Ujjwal Nikam. Reuters.

“This would give an opportunity to the enemy country to adopt counter steps in future by attacking us,” Nikam, who was the Special Public Prosecutor in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case, told PTI.

He was responding to the government’s stand that it has the proof but would not disclose it in public.

Nikam said, a similar situation on disclosure of evidence on fight between army and terrorists had occurred during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks trial.

He said the special court wanted to know how National Security Guards (NSG) commandos had fought the terrorists who had come from Pakistan and attacked targets in Mumbai such as hotel Taj, Trident and other places.

The terrorists included Ajmal Kasab, the lone attacker captured alive who was later sentenced to death.

“I was asked by the court to examine NSG commandos as witnesses so as to know how they had countered the terror attack, but I refused to do so,” Nikam said.

Eventually, the Maharashtra government and NSG had challenged the order of special court (to examine NSG guards) in Bombay High Court which ruled that such evidence, i.e., strategy adopted by armed guards in fight against terrorists, could not be disclosed in public interest, he said.

The law of the land also prohibits the authorities to disclose the details of surgical strikes launched by India on terrorists camps in Jammu and Kashmir, he further said.

“To ask for the proof of surgical strikes is not only ridiculous but this would help the enemy country as they would benefit by knowing our warfare tactics and might employ counter strategy to defeat India, Nikam said.

“Few persons who have raised a hue and cry by asking for proof of surgical strikes by India are grabbing headlines in Pakistani media. Are they really aware of the implications of what they are demanding?”, he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had on Monday released a video clip in which he “saluted” PM Narendra Modi for the surgical strikes by Indian Army but also urged the prime minister to clear the air around “Pakistan’s false propaganda”.

He was later criticised by Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. “It was most painful and unfortunate that the AAP leader was in Pakistani media headlines today as his remarks yesterday gave it a chance to question India Army’s claim,” the BJP had leader said.

Surgical strikes sent right political message to Pakistan, but let’s not go overboard

While opposition parties were expected to politicise India’s surgical strikes in PoK on 28 September, our electronic media appears to have gone more than berserk. The opposition fears are natural with the approaching elections particularly in Uttar Pradesh where they would not want the NDA government to draw any political mileage having demonstrated a pro-active stance against rogue Pakistan.

So while they support government action, they make direct and indirect suggestions that the strikes were a big hoax by the Centre that has created the adverse prevailing situation. Those media hawks aligned cross-border or with the Opposition including those funded from dubious sources directly or through media houses located abroad continue to play games that certainly are not in our national interests. But they are secure in the knowledge that India is yet to find a solution on how to differentiate between ‘sedition’ and ‘freedom of press’ – similar to confusing ‘bureaucratic control’ over military with ‘civilian control’ whereas it should actually be ‘political control’ over the military. So these media hawks are naturally revered by our adversaries.

Then there is this politician famously called ‘pole tortoise’ who is obsessed with cross-border love, who reportedly consulted a surgeon and surmised that surgical strike implies cutting a limb, crippling the enemy and deterring terrorism but Pakistan’s response shows nothing has been cut off or deterred. His conclusion therefore is that these strikes were not ‘surgical’ but perhaps could have been categorised as ‘general medication’. But wait, he has more pearls of wisdom – he says launch pads are used by missiles, not guerillas, who are very mobile and infiltrate wherever opportunity beckons; they are not stationary targets (read like missile launch pads). Apparently, this tortoise could have taught a thing or two to Liddell Hart, Colin Grey and others. The Opposition sure doesn’t want the government to gain because of their bold action and stern political message to Pakistan in the forthcoming elections in UP, Punjab and other states. So, they have adopted the policy to praise the military but demand proof — not realizing they doubt and denigrate their own military in the process. But then there are many of those who are prepared to sell anything of the sake of votes.

Representational imageRepresentational image

Representational image

There are others of the same ilk holding important positions that are patronized more by Pakistan and do the latter’s bidding. So whatever they say publicly finds widespread mention in the Pakistani media. Take for example the recent exhortations by Delhi CM to release evidence of the surgical raids undertaken by India. This, in the backdrop of the massive disinformation campaign launched by Pakistan, which was not required in the first place if nothing had really happened or rather the cross-LoC strikes had not been executed. But let us examine the demand for release of photographic evidence to prove that the strikes actually took place, which actually amounts to doubting their own military. It is known by and large by now that the above mentioned surgical strikes were monitored by Cartosat-2.

However, satellites clips of even US and Israel operations only show movement of personnel as small-sized gray-white blobs. These cannot differentiate between friend and foe and certainly cannot identify any individual. A launch pad for 8-10 terrorists actually implies an overnight halting place, not an elaborate set up like the some of the crows would believe it to be. Filming can hardly be expected as done by US Navy Seals in Abottabad or like the movie Zero Dark Thirty. Besides, Indian Special Forces do not have the wherewithal yet to upload live pictures directly to the satellite. Whatever photos/video evidence taken cannot certify these were shot at a particular place – there are no signboards like this is Delhi CM’s residence or that is his bedroom.

Pakistan’s ISPR knows this full well and that is why increased Pakistani demands, including its sympathisers in India, to release the photos. When Pakistan can say that the Uri terrorist attack was the handiwork of RAW, why would they not say the same when evidence is released by India — that these pictures are taken within India? Most importantly, you cannot expect your own military to be part of such hoax. In fact with our NSA speaking to his counterpart in the US before these strikes, these operations may have monitored by US satellites also. Surprisingly Pakistan never asked for photographic evidence when they lost East Pakistan, when General AAK Niazi signed the instrument of surrender and when 93,000 Pakistani military men laid down their arms. So, why the demand now – is it because they have been shocked out of their wits? Why fire at civilians in villages in desperation now? Nawaz Sharif yelling “naked aggression” immediately post the strike was proof enough.

But it is shameful to see and hear the crows and frogs within our country who are cawing and croaking without any sense of national pride.

The media continues to go berserk; debating future operational options, pitting senior military veterans, even former Service Chiefs in these senseless debates. In which country do you see this type of nonsocial drama? Who discusses options like this in public? Of course there can always be an odd journalist who can’t get over his childhood shock of having seen his father go down in disgrace. But then there are others who will produce sand models showing future options, akin to arrows and pincers shown after every corps level exercises or like layout of the Parliament was shown after it was attacked by terrorists. Then media’s love for Special Forces shoots up after every major terror attack or incidents like the US raid to kill Osama-bin-Laden or say our last raid along the Myanmar border. So this time also the very same sets of questions were brought up by many channels, including whether our boys can execute the Abbotabad type of raid? This without knowing how many years it took the US to build up intelligence, how it was acquired, mechanics of the raid to kill Osama, suppression of Pakistani air defences and the like. The more enterprising ones wanted to know details of all types of weaponry and equipment our Special Forces hold. Some having heard Special Forces had been employed, talked about para-dropping, combat free-fall and even helicopters landing across the across the LoC. The whole process is akin to discussing scams in India – intense debate and then shoved under the carpet till next scam comes up; in this case till the next major terror attack or Special Forces action.

What we need to realise is that though these surgical strikes sent the right political message to Pakistan, they were executed on foot and given the distance across the LoC were tactical. Though Special Forces were used, these could have been undertaken by regular infantry too. The primary employment of Special Forces should be at the strategic level. But that is something that the hierarchy is unlikely to address in the near future given the type of higher defence structures that we have.

Meanwhile, let the crows caw and the frogs croak but let us not go overboard about these surgical strikes.

The author is veteran Lt Gen of Indian Army who has served in Kashmir

Supreme Court paves way for Ex SIMI chief to seek bail in MCOCA case

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a relief to Saquib Nachan, former chief of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) who is booked under the MCOCA by Maharashtra police in 2012, the Supreme Court, on Tuesday, paved the way clear for him to seek bail before the Special Court as the police failed to file the charge sheet against him within the stipulated time of 90 days.The apex court quashed the Bombay High Court order which had stayed the special MCOCA court’s order rejecting the probe agency’s plea seeking more time to file the charge sheet against Nachan.A bench headed by Justice AK Sikri allowed him to file his bail plea before the trial court which will consider his request. Soon after the top court order, Nachan’s counsel Mehmood Pracha told dna that after Nachan completed the formalities before the trial court, he will be out from jail.”Now mere formalities are left before the Special MCOCA court in Thane. This is the case in which he was in the jail. In other cases, he is either acquitted by the court or on bail,” Pracha said.”Nachan has been in jail for more than 8 years for the POTA case. Although he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years under the Arms Act, he has nearly completed the jail term. He will be released on bail soon,” the lawyer said.In August 2012, the Thane police had registered a case under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, (MCOCA) against Nachan in an attempt to murder of Manoj Raicha. Nachan was arrested on August 24,2012.After the failure to file the charge sheet against him within 90 days, the Thane police had moved an application seeking more time. The Special court had rejected the plea.Being aggrieved of the order, the police had approached the Bombay High Court, which had stayed the trial court order in July 2013. Nachan challenged the HC order in the Supreme Court.Nachan was booked in as many as 8 cases including a case under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) in the 2002-2003 triple bomb blast case. Out of these cases, he was acquitted by the court in three murder cases and in Ghatkopar blast case. He was discharged by the trial court.He is also facing trial in two criminal cases in which he was granted bail by the court.

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