Sanjha Morcha

Ex-sahayak kills retired Colonel’s wife, mother


  • Ex-sahayak, aide arrested for murder of retired Colonel
  • Burglary suspected as motive behind crime
  • Another suspect on the run

NAINITAL/DEHRADUN: It was a double murder that shook the laidback town of Haldwani near Nainital. The wife and mother of Colonel DL Sah — who had retired from the Army barely a few months ago in December last year — were found brutally murdered at their home on February 22.

Four days later, on Sunday, police claimed to have cracked the case by arresting two men — one of whom has turned out to be the Colonel’s former sahayak (batman). “Three accused have been identified and we have arrested two of them — Mahendra Goswami, former batman of the retired colonel and Akhtar Ali, a carpenter who was working in the house,” said Janmejay Khanduri, SSP of Nainital district. Another man is on the run.

Khanduri said the trio broke in the house around 11.30pm and were challenged by the officer’s wife and mother. “The accused killed both of them and stole 150g of gold and silver items beside Rs 25,000 cash,” Khanduri said. “They are believed to have been in the house till 4 in the morning. We have recovered the cash and the silver items from them,” Khanduri said.When the incident happened, Sah was away at Haridwar. His son and daughter-in-law are also in the defence forces and were not home at that time. Sources said that Goswami had served as Sah’s sahayak in the Mahar regiment and was still in the Army. “On preliminary interrogation, Goswami has revealed that when Sah retired, he, too, took leave from the Army for two months and used to come to Sah’s home and help him with odd jobs. He had become like a trusted family member,” said Yashwant Singh Chauhan, assistant superintendent of police, Haldwani.

 The involvement of the sahayak in the brutal murder has left many in the defence fraternity in Uttarakhand aghast. “The bond between an officer and his sahayak is a close-knit one. That is why, it is shocking to learn that such a heinous crime has been committed by an Armyman either due to greed or revenge,” said Dehradun-based Lt Gen (rtd) RS Pradhan.The incident also seems to have revived the continuing debate about the sahayak system wherein orderlies are often asked to do menial jobs by officers’ families.

(Inputs by Yogesh Kumar & Yeshika Budhwar

Maintenance to estranged wives: Lt Col moves HC

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 26

A Lieutenant Colonel in the Army has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court alleging failure on the part of bureaucrats in the Ministry of Defence to implement orders of the Defence Minister to rationalise the system of granting maintenance allowance to estranged wives of serving personnel.Stating that he had been issued orders to give maintenance allowance to his wife through a non-speaking order, the officer has contended that despite the lapse of six months, MoD officials had failed to give effect to directions of the Defence Minister, thereby, not only jeopardising his rights and property but also undermining the authority of the highest political executive.Under provisions of the Army Act, penal deductions from salaries can be made for paying maintenance to wives if they apply for the same. The officer has averred that the stipulation was not repealed even after inception of maintenance provisions in the Hindu Marriage Act, since the pay and allowances of defence personnel were immune from attachment by courts, thereby, necessitating an enabling provision to give effect to maintenance orders by civil courts.

Army chief calls for united action to curb stone-pelting

SRINAGAR: Army chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday called for coordinated efforts by security forces to effectively deal with the problem of stone-pelting by civilians during counter-insurgency operations in Kashmir.

PTI PHOTOArmy chief General Bipin Rawat paying tribute to Lance Naik Ghulam Mohiuddin Rather in Srinagar on Friday.

The army chief discussed the issue with army officers during security review meetings at headquarters of counter-insurgency units— Kilo Force and Victor Force in Srinagar, an official said.

“Reinforcing the need to maintain high vigil, the army chief discussed the issue of stone-pelting during operations and impressed upon all to synergise efforts with the other security agencies in dealing with such situations effectively,” the official said.

Rawat, who arrived in Srinagar on Thursday, was briefed on the prevailing security situation and recent operations conducted by the security forces.

He also reviewed the collaborative measures of security forces towards ensuring peace in the region.


Rawat, accompanied by Northern Command chief Lt General D Anbu and Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen JS Sandhu, paid tributes to the three soldiers killed in a militant attack in Shopian on Thursday.

He laid floral wreaths on the coffins carrying the mortal remains of the three soldiers —Lance Naik Ghulam Mohiuddin Rather, Sapper Sreejith MJ and Sepoy Vikas Singh .

“As the entire nation salutes the martyrs who made the supreme sacrifice in yesterday’s terrorist attack in Shopian, the army gave a befitting farewell to its brave hearts today in a solemn ceremony here,” an army spokesperson said.

The army chief also expressed anguish over the death of an elderly woman, Taja Begum, in the attack.




Army man nabs robber, hands him over to cops

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 22

A day after an Army man was robbed of his trolley bag and cash at Ram Darbar, the complainant himself traced the accused and handed him over to the police. Complainant Shewale Sandip, a sepoy in the Indian Army, who is a native of Maharastra had reached Chandigarh on February 20. At around 9.30 pm, while he was going to the transit camp at Hallo Majra, two boys had stopped him and robbed him of his luggage containing his uniform and other belongings. The victim had chased the accused and saw them entering a house in Hallo Majra. Sources said the victim then returned and went to Zirakpur. The very next day, the victim again reached Hallo Majra and started looking for the accused. The victim saw one of the boys near the same house and nabbed him. The police was informed about the incident and the accused was handed over to the police. The matter is under investigation at the Sector 31 police station. The police said an investigation had been initiated. “We are investigating whether the accused is the same who had robbed the victim”, said a police official.

Siachen braveheart: Will sweep the floor, but give me a job, pleads Hanumanthappa’s wife

Photo published for Siachen braveheart: Will sweep the floor, but give me a job, pleads Hanumanthappa's wife

Siachen braveheart Hanumanthappa Koppad’s wife is pleading for a job so she can live a dignified life. Will those in authority wake up, wonders Anusha Ravi.”I will sweep the floor if I have to, but give me a job so that I can lead a life of dignity,” these are very painful words coming from the widow of a soldier who was called the Siachen braveheart. Life has not been easy for Mahadevi Koppad since her husband and Siachen braveheart Hanumanthappa Koppad passed away in 2016. The last one year has been a tumultuous one for the single mother whose eyes tear up each time her three-year-old little girl points to Hanumanthappa’s photographs and says Appa.

“It is not easy being a single mother. She misses her father and I can only try to give her all the love that she would have received had he been alive. I want her to join the army like her father did. I will tell her stories of soldiers, their sacrifice and their bravery to inspire her,” Mahadevi said in this exclusive conversation with OneIndia. [Hanumanthappa wife breaks silence on anti-national activities: Know what she said] There were one too many politicians, bureaucrats and representatives who came to offer condolences when Hanumanthappa passed away. Many promises were made, some were fulfilled while others are yet to see the light of day. The Karnataka government has given the family cash and land as promised but that hasn’t ensured the dignity of life for Mahadevi. [Hanumanthappa Koppad, a hero forgotten?]

The young single mother pleads for a job so she can live a dignified life. “I want a job to take care of myself and my child. I have not asked for anything specific, I will sweep the floor if I have to, but give me a job is all I ask. Authorities call me now and then and say that I will surely be given a job but for a year I have waited in vain. I am tired. I can’t keep pleading with the government for a job. Give me the option of living my life in dignity,” she said evidently disgusted with the system that denied the widow of a brave soldier the option of being independent. [Lance Naik Hanumanthappa: Daring soldier to the core] For a year now, the martyr’s wife has seen material for the memorial that was promised being dumped in her village but it is far from completion.

The memorial was planned near the village panchayat office. The chief minister’s office claims that funds have been released for the memorial and material required have been purchased but what then stops authorities from beginning the construction? A lack of will, it seems. While the Karnataka government needs to be appreciated for sanctioning the land and cash for the martyr’s family, denying job for his wife is truly unfortunate. Many from the government now claim that the responsibility of giving her a job falls on the centre government. They are pointing fingers at the director general of resettlement while it was, in fact, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who had announced a job for a family member. IPL 2017: Ben Stokes awestruck after ‘life-changing’ jackpot at auction Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella banned after T20 dissent Bangladesh recall Mustafizur Rahman for Sri Lanka test series Featured Posts We asked Koppad what she had to say about this blame game, her answer should knock the conscience of this nation and its people. “They are political parties at the end of the day and blame game comes naturally to them. If a soldier says the same? What will you do? If a soldier plays the blame game, can this country sleep peacefully? If a soldier works for a state and not a nation, where will the government go? The blame game is not the answer, playing with our lives is not the answer,” she said slamming all those trying to shirk away from responsibilities and promises made. “I have God on my side.

I believe that my husband is alive and is with me each minute. I have undergone many troubles this past year and I shall survive this too. Most of my troubles are personal but being independent will put an end to it. If nothing, a job will help keep my mind occupied and give me peace’, she said. Hanumantappa lay his life down for this country and his wife and daughter are struggling for a dignified life. The big words and the deep condolences are of little use if a martyr’s wife has to plead for what is rightfully hers. It is time for those in authority to wake up.

India, China talk strong ties as Azhar, NSG remain sore points

India, China talk strong ties as Azhar, NSG remain sore points
Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar shakas hands with top Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi in Beijing on Tuesday ahead of India-China strategic Dialogue on Wednesday. PTI photo

Beijing, February 21India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar will meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday, as the two countries hold bilateral talks despite several sticking points between them, including Beijing’s position about New Delhi’s membership to Nuclear Supplier’s Group.Jaishankar, who landed in China after his visit to Sri Lanka, met top diplomat Yang Jiechi.Jiechi, China’s State Councillor of the Communist Party of China and Beijing’s Special Representative for border talks between India and China — a leader who, under Beijing’s system, functions directly under the country’s leadership — at Zhongnanhai.”We truly hope that in the year ahead our two countries can enhance our exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation so that we can jointly contribute more to peace and stability and development of our region and the world at large,” Yang said, recalling President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit last year.Jaishankar is expected to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, besides attending an upgraded strategic dialogue with China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui on Wednesday.The meetings are likely to witness talks on some contentious issues — such as China’s resistance to India’s entry into the elite NSG and its position over India’s call for UN sanctions on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar. China’s $46 billion investment on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — a project that passes through the contested Pakistan-Occupied-Kashmir — will also likely be discussed.China, an ally of Pakistan, has been reluctant to allow India into the NSG citing India’s position on the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.India is not a signatory to the treaty.Another sore point between the two countries, besides an unresolved border dispute, is China’s efforts to block India’s application to have Azhar — a man who has been accused of having been involved in several terrorist attacks in India, including one at a military base in Pathankot last year — listed as a terrorist in UN Security Council’s 1267 Sanctions Committee list.Sanctions against Azhar would mean a travel ban and assets freeze for him. Last month, China had frustrated a resolution by the US for the sanctions. Beijing had already blocked two of India’s resolutions before.      

Counter terrorism

In an interview before the meeting to China’s state run newspaper Global Times Jaishankar said India was worried about the CPEC project and terrorism.”For us, there are questions of sovereignty which need to be addressed first,” he said in oblique references to CPEC passing through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) over which New Delhi has already conveyed its protest to Beijing.He also said India and China should loosely work on “countering terrorism”, a hint at China’s ‘technical hold’ on India’s application for sanctions.”China has a very strong, principled position on counter-terrorism. We hope the position China already has will be further implemented,” Jaishankar said, adding that India was holding discussions with China. — PTI

Army Chief right in his caution to protesters BY Lt Gen Harwant Singh


During the recent antiterrorist operations in the Kashmir valley, villagers have been coming out in large numbers and blocking actions of the security forces. Often young boys have been throwing stones at the security forces and in the process, interfering with these operations and even being instrumental in the escape of terrorists. Often during the firefight with security forces, it is the terrorists who shoot locals knowing that the blame for civilian casualties will invariably be pinned on security forces.


Pelting security forces with stones in the Valley has been going on for quite some time. The fact that the local police have not been arresting protesters has only encouraged them to continue with this practice. There is a visible impact on actions of troops when locals come out in large numbers to help terrorists hiding in houses during counterinsurgency operations. To avoid casualties to civilians, security forces often have to deviate from their usual tactics and in the process take higher number of casualties on themselves.

It’s in this background that the army chief cautioned the local population of the Valley, particularly the youth, against this practice of blocking operations of security forces and often helping terrorists escape. This act of blocking security forces operations is not only an-anti national activity, but equally a serious infringement of law. No one can condone such activity. Equally hoisting ISIS and Pakistani flags is unacceptable and cannot be overlooked.


Burhan Wani was a confirmed terrorist and during his encounter with the security forces, he was heavily armed. There was no ground for the sort of sympathy that surfaced on his killing. The later demonstrations and stone pelting by young boys was unnecessarily countered by the use of pellet guns by the central police. The best course was to round up these boys, put them behind bars and make them face the law of the land.

There is alienation in the Valley, though there is no discernible cause for the same. India has been treating people of Jammu and Kashmir with kid glove and pouring much money in all manner of welfare schemes. Many in India advocate talking to the people of J&K (mainly the Kashmir valley) and yet fail to spell out the content of such talks. Yet another group advocates a political solution for resolving the problem of J&K and do not know of a solution which will placate the troublesome and anti-national elements in the Valley and at the same time uphold the territorial integrity of the country.


Undeniably problems of J&K are not those that require a military solution but are the result of failure to resolve them through administrative and political means, which resulted in these being pushed into the military’s lap. Over the years and at every step, we have been mishandling the Kashmir issue, and repeatedly failed to act firmly. Finally, suffering the ignominy of eviction of Pandits from the Valley and that too during the governor’s rule in the state. An environment of complete collapse of law and order machinery prevailed in the Valley and no heads rolled.

When holy relic (Muay Mukadus) went missing from Hazratbal Shrine, nearly three quarters of a million crowds assembled in Srinagar. It set on fire a police station, tehsil headquarters and the chief minister’s hotel under construction. When fire brigade vehicles arrived, these too were set on fire. Finally, the call was made to the army. We moved our fire brigade vehicles with a fully armed protection group and the crowds stayed away. The civil administration panicked and handed over the city of Srinagar to the army.

That night we moved two infantry battalions from Baramulla and deployed these in the town. For the next four days, nearly three quarter of a million crowd kept assembling in Srinagar and yet no one dare light a match, leave aside setting any building on fire. Such was the salutary effect of the military on marauding mobs.

Since then, much water has flowed down the Jhelum and the army is now being targeted with stones. This is the result of gross mishandling of the issue of J&K and pusillanimity of the successive governments in Delhi and overuse of the military in law and order situations.

What the Army Chief has said should have been said by his predecessors and should have got it implemented. The government in Delhi has rightly supported him in his warning to the errant youth and mischief-makers in the Valley. (The writer, a former deputy chief of army staff, is a commentator on defence and security issues. Views expressed are personal)

Pall of gloom descends on martyr’s village in Samba

Pall of gloom descends on martyr’s village in Samba
The grieving wife of slain Rifleman Ravi Kumar at Meen Sarkar Tabela village in Samba district. Tribune Photo: Inderjeet Singh

Amir Karim Tantray

Tribune News Service

Meen Sarkar Tabela (Vijaypur), February 15She is lost in her thoughts and her eyes are searching for the most loving person on the earth for her, her father. But she is unaware that her father, Rifleman Ravi Kumar, who sacrificed his life for the nation, will never return.As she grows older, Ravi Kumar’s three-year-old daughter Ruhani Ratta will realise and will have to adjust to the fact that her father is no more.While everyone in this village in Samba district was mourning Ravi’s death, Ruhani was wondering why so many people had come to their home and what was inside the coffin that was surrounded by Army men and villagers.Ravi is survived by wife Esha Devi and daughter Ruhani Ratta. Others in his family are father Rattan Lal, mother Shakuntla Devi, two sisters Rekha Devi and Vandana Devi, and brother Kavi Kumar. All were in a deep shock and crying.The 34-year-old soldier was liked by all in the village. He used to play with children whenever he was home. Around 14 years ago, he joined the Army and started supplementing income of father who was a cart-puller. He gave the work after his son started earning enough to run the family.Ravi was expected to reach home on February 18 to get his daughter admitted to a school. However, before he could return, he fell to the bullets during an anti-militancy operation in the Hajin area of Bandipora district yesterday.Talking to reporters, Rattan Lal said during his last chat with Ravi on February 13 evening, he had advised his son to take care of himself as the situation in the Valley was not good. “Ravi replied that everything was normal at the place of his posting, but next morning, an encounter started where he sacrificed his life for the nation,” he said.Saying he was proud of his son’s sacrifice, Rattan Lal said he wanted the government to take a call on Pakistan and go for the final assault. “We don’t want everyday violence and death of our soldiers,” he added.Ravi’s mortal remains reached his house around 2.30 pm. For around 30 minutes, his body was kept in his home and then taken for cremation. He was cremated with full military honours.Local MLA Chander Prakash Ganga, who is also Minister for Industries and Commerce, and newly appointed IGP, Jammu, SD Singh Jamwal also attended the cremation besides hundreds of villagers.