Sanjha Morcha

Army ‘was sent to protect judicial officers at acting CJ’s instance’

Army ‘was sent to protect judicial officers at acting CJ’s instance’
Army personnel take out a flag march during the Jat stir in Rohtak. afp file photo

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 28

The Army was sent to protect judicial officers at the instance of the Acting Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court during the Jat agitation. Information to this effect was furnished before a Division Bench during the hearing of petitions hovering around the lawlessness in the state during the agitation last month.As the case came up for hearing, the Bench of Justice SS Saron and Justice Gurmit Ram was told by the amicus curiae, or the friend of the court, Anupam Gupta, that the state failed to protect judicial officers.The assertion came just about a fortnight after a Rohtak Court recorded in its order the details of attack on the houses of judicial officers. In his order, Rohtak Sessions Judge Sushil K. Gupta asserted: “It appears the curfew was only on papers. There was a complete collapse of the law and order machinery.“Even the gate lights, name plates and sign boards of the Sessions’ House were broken. All judicial officers were so afraid that on the evening of February 20, they had to run out of their houses to seek shelter at a safe place”. The observations were made during the hearing of a bail plea by Virender Kumar, an aide of former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.During the course of hearing this afternoon, Gupta also referred to a letter by Bhiwani Chief Judicial Magistrate-cum-secretary of the District Legal Services Authority Swati Sehgal.Addressed to Panchkula District and Sessions Judge-member secretary of the Haryana State Legal Services Authority, the letter said: “It has been told to me that from February 20 till February 29, the police guards deputed for the safety and protection of the court complex were disarmed. No intimation of the aforesaid action was given by the police department SP to the District Judge nor the guards deputed at the court complex bothered to inform the District Judge or any other judicial officer about the same.”“As per the information, during the Jat agitation, the DC and all officers of the administration and their families were at the residence of the SP for their safety, where a special guard was deputed.“Judicial officers posted in Bhiwani had several sleepless nights. Neither the police nor the administration, took the responsibility of safeguarding the families of judicial officers,” she added. The Bench took note of the communication before fixing April 4 as the next date of hearing.

CARJACKING IN PATHANKOT Army put on alert along highway

Tribune News Service

Jammu, March 23

Following the carjacking in Pathankot last evening, the Army has been put on the alert along the 102-km-long Jammu-Pathankot national highway.The Jammu-Pathankot highway is lined by several Army formations and is on the terror radar of Pakistani terrorists. “Though the carjacking incident took place in the Sujanpur area of Pathankot district last evening, we are keeping an eye on the development,” said an Army officer of the Samba Brigade.The number of the car and its owner has been traced and an alert has been sounded all along the highway, he added.The incident took place around 7 pm on Tuesday evening on the Pathankot-Jammu highway, around 15 km from the Pathankot airbase.  The Kathua police have also been put on the alert.Security agencies are taking the incident seriously in view of two major terrorist strikes in the area in recent months. The Pathankot airbase was attacked on January 2 by heavily armed Pakistani terrorists, while Dinanagar in Gurdaspur district of Punjab was attacked by Pakistani terrorists on July 27 last year.

Pakistan all set to take delivery of 4 Russian copters

Pakistan is all set take delivery of four Mi-35M Hind-E combat helicopters from Russia and talks between the two countries are in progress to cut deal for Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets.

With the Mi-35M Hind-E landmark deal, Pakistan and Russian Federation have entered into a new strategic cooperation to further deepen bilateral relations in various fields between the two countries.

“Pakistan is set to take delivery of the acquired Mi-35 Hind-E helicopters sometime this year as experts of the Army Aviation Division are busy making final technical assessments of the four helicopters”, a senior official of the Ministry of Defence told The Nation on Friday.

The official who requested not to be named also confirmed that talks are in progress with Russia to secure Su-35 fighter jets deal. The procurement of four helicopters is a maiden defence deal that materialised following a defence cooperation agreement signed by Pakistan and Russia in November 2014 which Pakistan’s Defence Ministry regards as ‘a milestone’ in defence cooperation between the two countries.

The agreement was signed by the Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shigu and Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Asif in Pakistan that provides multifaceted cooperation between the countries.

It provides foundation for exchange of information on politico-military issues; cooperation for promoting international security; intensification of counter-terrorism and arms control activities. It also provides strengthening collaboration in various military fields, including education, medicine, history, topography, hydrography and culture; and sharing experiences in peacekeeping operations.

According to experts, the Mi-35M Hind-E which is a comprehensive upgrade of the Mi-24V, brings to the battlefield a whole range of capabilities.

Mi-35M Hind-E is primarily designed for attack missions, and a secondary capability enabling military transport missions, the helicopter delivers superior flight performance characteristics and manoeuvrability when compared to its predecessors.

Its cockpit and vital components are protected by titanium armour, part of the reason the Hind series is referred to as the ‘flying tank’. It has new main rotors with a better aerodynamic profile. A new X-shaped tail rotor has also been incorporated, replacing the earlier three-blade rotor. The characteristic stub wings of the Hind have been shortened, but still retain their ability to carry large amounts of rockets and guided missiles. Avionics have also received a major update with the new export model of the Hind. The cockpit is now night vision capable, with new and improved Multi Functional Displays (MFD). The sensor package has received a major upgrade too, giving the helicopter the ability to engage in combat operations at any time of the day, in all weather conditions.

The turboshaft engines have been improved and are now more powerful, making the Mi-35 perfectly suitable for operations in our tribal areas and other high altitude areas of operation.

They believed that the Mi-35 will be an excellent addition to the attack helicopter fleet flown by Pakistan Army Aviation.

“With ageing AH-1 Cobras, Army Aviation is in need for more modern combat helicopters”, Dr. Fazl-ur-Rehman a Pakistani defence strategist said , adding that Mi-35 deal will serve as backbone of a more modern attack helicopter wing, and the possibility always exist for further orders in the future. According to Najam Rafique, Director Research at the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad said that the troops carrying ability of the Mi-35 Hind-E can also be used in a number of ways.

“The helicopter can be used to insert Special Service Group (SSG) personnel onto dominating heights in areas of operation, from where they can provide vital surveillance on surrounding areas or provide fire cover to ground forces to manoeuver the target”.

Elated to join the Indian Army, 183 OTA cadets celebrate their last day as trainees




 The Indian Army cadets of the Officers Training Academy celebrate after the passing out ceremony at the OTA grounds in Chennai, India on 12 March 2016. Solaris Images
The Indian Army cadets of the Officers Training Academy celebrate after the passing out ceremony at the OTA grounds in Chennai, India on 12 March 2016. Solaris Images

India to buy air defence guns for ` 7,000 crore

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has set the ball rolling to buy 244 air-defence guns at a cost of around ` 7,000 crore. The defence acquisition council, headed by defence minister Manohar Parrikar, met on Friday and gave its in-principle approval to acquire the guns to defend vital installations against the aerial threats. The guns will be built in India in possible collaboration with a foreign player. A defence ministry official said the council had accepted the necessity of buying the guns. The DAC’s ‘acceptance of necessity’ for weapons and systems is the first step towards procurement.

F-16 fighter jets sale to Pak escapes US Congress axe

MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA: US lawmakers have refused to block the sale of eight F-16 combat jets to Pakistan but said they remained resolved to deny funding for it, citing Islamabad’s sketchy counter-terrorism record.

REUTERSThe Obama administration notified Congress of the sale of the F-16s to Pakistan on March 5, paying no heed to opposition from US lawmakers and India.Republican Senator Rand Paul had sought a Senate vote on a petition to disapprove the sale. It failed in a 71-24 vote, getting support far in excess for a move doomed to fail.

But in refusing to support Raul’s move, Senate leaders, from both sides of the aisle, said they will continue to deny the Obama administration permission to finance it.

“I continue to oppose any taxpayer dollars being used at this time to support this sale given that Pakistan is providing safe haven to terrorist groups and refusing to target the Haqqani Network, which attacks US troops and threatens the future of Afghanistan,” said Bob Corker, Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.

Corker has put a “hold”, an infor mal declaration of opposition to an expense, on the sale making it conditional on Pakistan acting resolutely against the Haqqani Network.

Democrat Ben Cardin, the ranking member of the Senate committee, too announced a “hold”, which he has no intention of lifting yet. In short, the sale is stuck for now, unless Pakistan pays for all the jets worth $699.04 million. Paul’s move — described as a legislative procedure — was bound to fail, said sources, because Congress has never disapproved an arms sale, conceding it as a prerogative of the administration.

Withdraw cases or face stir from March 14: Jats

Withdraw cases or face stir from March 14: Jats
Jat leader Yashpal Malik addresses a meeting of Jats at Bohar stadium in Rohtak district on Thursday. Photo: Manoj Dhaka

Sunit Dhawan

Tribune News Service

Bohar (Rohtak), March 10

Members of the Jat community assembled under the banner of the Jat Ekta Panchayat here today and demanded the withdrawal of cases registered against youths in connection with the agitation for grant of reservation to the community.The community leaders warned the state authorities that a fresh stir would be launched on March 14 if their demands were not met. A 51-member committee was also constituted to chalk out the future course of action.Jat leader Yashpal Malik maintained that the violence during the agitation was part of a political conspiracy hatched by leaders owing allegiance to the Congress as well as the BJP. He said a statewide agitation would be launched on March 14 if the cases against youths were not withdrawn.Meanwhile, differences among Jat leaders have starting coming to the fore, with khap leaders distancing themselves from the stance adopted by youths, who have been dominating the agitation.On the other hand, the Akhil Bhartiya Adarsh Jat Mahasabha has condemned the role played by Yashpal Malik in the entire episode. Deepak Rathee, a spokesman for the mahasabha, said Malik was pursuing his vested interests in the name of Jat agitation.

Release names of those arrested: Outfit

  • Jhajjar: The Akhil Bhartiya Adarsh Jat Mahasabha (ABAJM) has demanded the state government to release the names of persons arrested from across the state in connection with the Jat stir.
  • Deepak Rathi, spokesman of the ABAJM, said the police had implicated innocent youth on the charges of spreading violence and arson. If the names were not made public, they would approach the court for further action, he added.

The lure of grandeur Sri Sri’s event sets a bad precedent

It was perhaps too late for the country’s apex environmental court, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to stop Sri Sri Ravishankar’s mega show this weekend on Delhi’s Yamuna flood plains. It was the same case when the Supreme Court could not prevent the first violation. Then, a BJP-led government let a global religio-corporate group to build a complex of concrete. A stadium and metro terminals followed but were for the greater public good. Now, another BJP government has handed over vast proportions of Delhi’s lung for a mega event packaged in the aura of spirituality and general goodness.  As the muted reactions of most politicians show, they have been happy to sup with gurus with deep pockets and affluent devotees scattered all over the world.  Down the years, all parties have obliged new age gurus. But the Bharatiya Janata Party has a particularly strong urge to oblige god men. For all its claims to nationalism and devotion to the cause of the soldier, the Army was enlisted for the pre-event preparations. After Ramdev, Sri Sri is another god man with a visible increase in his political heft after he backed Narendra Modi in the the general elections. The first payback came this Republic Day with a Padma award. With the President and the Prime Minister by his side, the three-day jamboree would have heralded Sri Sri’s arrival in Delhi’s corridors of power. Till environmentalists spoilt the game, the list of attendees was an across-the-political-spectrum roll call and included even self-avowed rationalists like Arvind Kejriwal, and Akhilesh Yadav.In compensation Sri Sri has promised to leave behind a biodiversity park, though his 2010 initiative to clean the Yamuna led nowhere. This foray, however, is of an altogether different dimension. The cost of temporary occupation in the home of 320 bird species and 200 plant varieties is immense. The damage to just 60 acres is estimated at over Rs. 100 crore which will offset by a Rs. 5 crore fine. Worse, the grand setting of acres of rolling farmland framed by the river will tempt the resourceful to follow suit. That then would be the end to Delhi’s lungs.

Oppn attacks govt over Art of Living event

Simran Sodhi

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 9

The government today came under fire from the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha for using Army personnel for a three-day world cultural event being organised by the Art of Living Foundation on the banks of the Yamuna.The Opposition raised slogans demanding that the Defence Minister respond to their questions. The issue was raised during Zero Hour by Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal-United along with other members of the House.The Opposition alleged that the event being planned on the banks of the Yamuna was an ecological disaster. “What function is he (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) doing? Kya tamasha kar raha hai (what drama is he doing)?” said Yadav.CPM leader Sitaram Yechury asked: “Can Army be roped in to assist a private function…It is highly irregular…for Army to be called in to create facilities for a private function.”MoS for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the Army deployment was from security point of view.

Indian Army committed to vacating land for civic amenities: Defence spokesman

Srinagar: Indian Army said on Friday it was committed to vacating land it had agreed to during meetings held last year with the Jammu and Kashmir government.

“Army would like to clarify that it is committed to meeting all the mutually agreed decisions arising not only out of Civil Military Liaison Conference, 2015 but of all previous such CMLC meetings,” a defence spokesman said here.

Dismissing a media report that Army was undecided over vacating land for civic amenities, he said while it has implemented several decisions taken at these conferences, the genuine needs of the force also need to be addressed.

“In the past, army has handed over A1 Defence Land at Batmaloo, Pantha Chowk and Hari Parbat which were essential to develop civil amenities.
“Army has also provided timely NOC to infrastructure development projects like Haft Chinar flyover, roads construction under NHAI, BEACON and PMGSY especially in border areas,” the spokesman said.

He said “while it has been agreed in principle to exchange Tattoo Ground land for alternative land, in the interim a citizen park is under construction”.
He said army has also committed to providing land for expansion of Jammu University and land under its possession in Anantnag for setting up of south campus of Kashmir University.

Army has also agreed to vacate the Lower Plateau in Kargil at the request of the administration, the spokesman said.


Philippines impounds N Korean ship under UN sanctions

Philippines impounds N Korean ship under UN sanctions
The North Korean cargo ship Jin Teng, anchored at the former US naval base at Subic port, north of Manila, Philippines, on March 4, 2016. AFP

Manila, March 5

The Philippines said today it had impounded a North Korean vessel in response to tough new United Nations sanctions introduced in response to Pyongyang’s recent nuclear and ballistic missile tests.The 6,830-tonne cargo ship Jin Teng will not be allowed to leave Subic port, northeast of the capital Manila, where it had been docked for three days and its crew will be deported, presidential spokesman Manolo Quezon said on state-run radio station Radyo ng Bayan.It was the first reported case of the sanctions — the toughest to date, which were adopted late Wednesday by the UN Security Council — being enforced.”The world is concerned over North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme and as a member of the UN, the Philippines has to do its part to enforce the sanctions,” Quezon said.A team from the UN is expected to inspect the ship in the port, located near a former United States naval base, foreign affairs spokesman Charles Jose said.The Jin Teng was inspected for the second time today, this time using electronic weapons sensors, coastguard spokesman Commander Armand Balilo told AFP, adding the 21 crewmen were “very cooperative”.North Korea has no embassy in the Philippines. Its embassies in Thailand and Indonesia were unavailable for comment when contacted by AFP.There are no other North Korean ships docked in Subic, according to the coastguard.The Jin Teng, carrying palm kernels, arrived in Subic from Palembang, Indonesia Thursday afternoon, just hours after the latest sanctions were unanimously passed.In response to the UN’s move, Pyongyang fired six short-range missiles into the sea on Thursday, while North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un ordered its nuclear arsenal put on standby for pre-empty use at anytime.Yesterday, the European Union also tightened sanctions against North Korea by adding 16 individuals and 12 entities to a list of some 60 individuals and groups who were hit with travel bans and asset freezes. — AFP