Sanjha Morcha

Ex-soldiers as guardians of Punjab welfare schemes: Know details, and meet the General who will lead

Former chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), a much-feted commandant of the Indian Military Academy, a decorated armoured corps officer, and a military historian, Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) has worn a variety of hats.

Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd)

Former soldiers will guard against leaks in social welfare schemes in Punjab by keeping a close vigil at the village level, in a first-of-its-kind scheme by any state government in India. Here’s who’s heading it. Former chairman of the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), a much-feted commandant of the Indian Military Academy, a decorated armoured corps officer, and a military historian, Lt Gen TS Shergill (retd) has worn a variety of hats. Now he’s donned a new one, that of heading the ‘guardians of Punjab’. Read on for details of the scheme and excerpts from a conversation with Lt Gen Shergill.

Seed of the idea: “We thought it would be a great way to productively use ex-servicemen, many of whom retire after 15 years of service, when they are only 35. Alexander had said a soldier was at his best at this age.”

The purpose: The General says a study found that of every rupee earmarked for social welfare, only 15 paise reached the target group. “We will plug this leak.” Former soldiers will be appointed guardians in all the 12,710 villages of Punjab. They will educate the villagers about the various schemes, find out if they are reaching them, and then report their findings to a central control room. “It’s an information system to help the administration. It won’t replace, replicate or become a shadow of the administration,” says Shergill.

Appointing guardians: Every village will have one guardian. “He will have to volunteer for the job. The chief selection criterion will be the respect he commands in the village regardless of his rank,” says Shergill, pointing out that “respect” holds the key. He also underlines that it’s an apolitical scheme.

The structure: The CM will be the chairman of the scheme. The guardians will have four layers: one at the village level; second at the tehsil level with a three-member team comprising an officer, junior commissioned officer (JCO) and other rank (OR), headed by an SDM; and third at the district level with a team of two officers, JCOs, and ORs each headed by the deputy commissioner. The 24-hour control room will be set up at the CM’s office.

 

E-governance: Every guardian will be armed with a check list of schemes and a cellphone. He will file a fortnightly report, and will be free to red-flag any lapse in the interregnum. “The information received by the control room will flow to the administration. The objective is to ensure that rectification or assistance is carried out at the village level.”

Training: Maharaja Ranjit Singh Institute of Public Administration is producing a manual for the guardians who will be trained before they take charge.

Honorarium: A sum of Rs 11,000 is being proposed for the village guardians to cover their daily expenses. They will initially be given tenure of two years.

Job scheme: The government is also tying up the guardians with its scheme of Ghar Ghar Naukri (job for each household) under which unemployed educated youths in the age group of 18 to 35 will be given a stipend of Rs 2,500 a month. “The guardians will approach these youth to serve as their eyes and ears,” says Shergill, adding that over time they will also channel them into sports and skill development.

Rollout: The district-level launch will take place in July.

GoG to supervise execution of government schemes

Amarinder Singh Final

April 1, 2017

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh has begun to set up a place a mechanism which has to be christened Guardians of Governance (GoG), to manage the implementation of government schemes and to collect feedback on the working of officials to ensure not to indulge in corrupt practices. The Congress had promised to fight against corruption as stated in the manifesto.

The Amarinder Singh government’s aim is to recruit and train ex-servicemen at the village and block level. Advisor CM, Lt. Gen TS Shergill (retd.), held a meeting to prepare a blueprint for GoG appointments. It is not clear whether any honorarium or a fixed salary will be given to ex-servicemen who will be recruited for the purpose. Punjab has around 12,000 villages and the number of ex-servicemen are approx. two lakh.

Sources said that ex-servicemen would be trained in information technology and special portal will be created to upload the information. Action would be taken based on the report filed by the ex-servicemen with in a stipulated period.

The ex-servicemen would report on delivery of services such as healthcare, drinking water, power and education.

Former servicemen, unemployed to ‘guard’ governance in Punjab

A brainchild of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the process to recruit the ex-servicemen is expected to start by July.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo: PTI)

 Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh (Photo: PTI)

Chandigarh: The Punjab government will soon begin the process of recruiting ex-servicemen and unemployed youths for its ambitious ‘Guardians of the Governance’ scheme wherein the members will act as the “eyes and ears’ of the administration at the grassroots level.

For the scheme, which is being conceived to oversee the implementation of programmes and policies at the grassroots level, the state government will enroll around 13,000 ex-serviceman, one from each village across the state.

A brainchild of chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, the process to recruit the ex-servicemen is expected to start by July.  The state government has a budget of about Rs 170 crore for the scheme. The willing ex-servicemen will be roped in for the programme irrespective of their ranks.

According to Lt Gen T.S. Shergill (retd) senior advisor to the Punjab CM, “GOG scheme is not going to replace, hinder or replicate the administrative arrangement or the grievance redressal system, but assist the administration in providing the information at all levels of  governance village panchayat upwards.”

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Spotlight fades after massacre, kin of CRPF men left in the lurch

he CRPF hasn’t credited his March salary nor is there any word about the pension RINKI YADAV, widow of Ram Pal Yadav (above), who was killed by Maoists in Sukma on March 11

NEW DELHI: When her husband died last month in a Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma, Rinki Yadav was showered with countless offers of condolences and financial help.

Local well-wishers, politicians and reporters flooded her modest home in Uttar Pradesh’s Kannauj and assured that a grateful nation would take care of her and the couple’s two children.

But more than a month after the death of her husband Ram Pal Yadav, a constable with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Rinki says the government hasn’t even released his salary for March, let alone pensions.

Neither has she heard from any of the hundreds of well-wishers. “The messages stopped in three days,” says the 29-year-old, sitting next to her five and twoyear-old boys in a one-room rented house. Ram Pal was among 12 CRPF men who were killed in the Maoist-hit Sukma on March 11 while building a crucial road link that can scuttle the insurgents. An almost-identical attack just miles away earlier this week sparked a nationwide wave of sympathy for the paramilitary personnel.

But Rinki says the sympathy and good wishes didn’t help her tide over the crushing burden of daily household expenses. None of the promises of financial assistance have materialised.

“We are barely managing, the CRPF hasn’t credited his March salary nor is there any word about the pension,” she says.

The agency says normally all state and central government arrears were paid instantly to the families but pensions and salaries took between four and six months because of formalities. “We are monitoring it, anyway,” said CRPF deputy inspector general M Dhinakaran.

Rinki’s story isn’t isolated. HT found that high-voltage online campaigns and social media exhortations had translated into little relief on the ground.Close on the heels of the ambush earlier this week that killed 25 jawans, HT meets families of jawans who were killed in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, in an attack on March 11. For instance, not only is the family of constable Ram Pal Yadav waiting for his salary for March, the rest, who lost their breadwinners, are yet to get the promised compensation


Cabinet meet today, massive police, admn reshuffle on cards

Dinesh Manhotra

Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 27

Many important policy decisions, including a massive reshuffle in the police and civil administration, are likely to be taken at the Cabinet meeting before the shifting of the Durbar offices from Jammu to Srinagar for the next six months.The Cabinet, which will meet tomorrow, is also likely to approve transfer of land, already identified, to the Health Department for setting up of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Samba district.“In the Friday’s meeting, the Cabinet will formally take up the issue of transferring 293 kanals and 13 marlas, situated at Vijaypur, Samba, to the Health Department for setting up of AIIMS,” a source said, adding that the Cabinet is likely to give a nod to the proposal as the BJP is facing criticism for not speeding up the process of setting up the premier health institution.Contrary to the repeated announcements of ministers, the state government is yet to transfer the land for AIIMS. In August 2015, the state government had announced setting up of AIIMS at Vijaypur and had identified state land for the same but no steps were taken to transfer the land to the department concerned.Highly placed sources said that as per the agenda circulated for the Friday’s meeting, besides appointing the principal of Government Medical College, Srinagar, the government would take approval for transferring land for setting up of AIIMS. The Centre had announced the setting up of AIIMS in the Jammu region in August 2015.

On the agenda

  • Enhancement of ration money from Rs1,000 to Rs 2,000 for employees engaged in emergency services
  • Adoption of State Water Policy and Plan
  • Promotion of senior IPS Officer Alok Kumar

‘We have had enough of Udta Punjab, we need to change the narrative now’

I was surrounded by people who would never give a straight answer. Ask a Jat a simple question like ‘what time is it?’ and chances are that he will reply, ‘Tanne sooli chadna hai kya?’ Ishar was from the same stock RANDEEP HOODA, ACTOR

There were two Havaldar Ishar Singhs at the launch of Captain Amarinder Singh’s book on the Battle of Saragarhi.

While one stared down from the screen − a lion of a man with a battle-hardened face and steely eyes, the other one sat among the audience.

Resplendent in the Britishera uniform of the 36th Sikh, actor Randeep Hooda cut a tamer figure. But soon it is clear that there is more Ishar in him than just the uniform.

For one, Hooda has by-hearted the character he is essaying in Raj Kumar Santoshi’s movie by the same name.

“I had to get under his skin, put myself in his circumstances. Ishar Singh, I realised, didn’t know the meaning of fear,” says the actor.

A Jat from Rohtak, Hooda says that he had no trouble in understanding Ishar’s rough and ready ways.

“I was surrounded by people who would never give a straight answer. Ask a Jat a simple question like ‘what time is it?’ and chances are that he will reply, ‘Tanne sooli chadna hai kya?’ Ishar was from the same stock,” says Hooda.

Describing him, a British General once wrote, “A nuisance in peace time, he was magnificent in war.”

Hooda pointed out as to how the Americans and the Russians had failed to tame the Pashtuns despite their huge arsenal and weapons of mass destruction.

“I was amazed to learn that Maharaja Ranjit Singh and Gen Hari Singh Nalwa were among the few people who were successful in defeating the Pashtuns,” adds the actor.

“Santoshi,” he says, “had decided to make this film as a tribute to the martyrs of Saragarhi and the Sikh soldiers. We tend to overlook the contribution of the Singhs to the North-west frontier. Our stance is ‘had there been no Singhan di fauj with its undiluted valour, India would not be in its present shape.”

Hooda claims that he had delved through scriptures to understand the motivation of the 21 soldiers at Saragarhi.

“Then, I read the lines ‘Soora so pehchaniye jo lade deen ke het’ and it made sense,” says Hooda, who has also mastered the war cry ‘Jo bole so nihal.’

Visibly fond of the character he is playing, Hooda shrugs off the questions about discomfort of wearing a massive turban with, “It’s my crown.”

“Actors,” he believes, “should create heroes for the youth.” He hopes that Saragarhi will be able to do that.

“We have had enough of Udta Punjab, we need to change the narrative now,” he says, and Havaldar Ishar Singh would have agreed.

ISHAR IN REAL LIFE

A native of Jhurla village near Jagraon, Havaldar Ishar Singh was 42-year-old at the time of the battle. He was married but had no children. Captain Amarinder Singh writes that Ishar was excellent in distilling illicit liquor and was known to borrow, without permission, ration for his men from the neighbouring units.

On the morning of September 12, 1897, about 8,000-strong Afridis (other historians put this number at 12,000) sent a peace emissary to the Fort of Saragarhi, saying that they had no animosity with the Sikh soldiers and their war was against the British, and so they could leave unharmed.

“Havaldar Ishar Singh,” says Amarinder, “replied with the choicest of abuses in broken Pashto. And that was how the battle began.”

 


Back to the Valley by G Parthasarathy

Back to the Valley
Mean business: India should insist on the agreement reached at the Ufa Summit.

THE year 2016 was tumultuous in the Kashmir valley. The gunning down of Burhan Wani, a terrorist who built his image by imaginative use of social media, was accompanied by an unprecedented, but imaginatively crafted agitation, using stone-pelting youths to confront the security forces. The winter snows restricted such enthusiastic and carefully financed and planned pelting. The planners, sitting in comfortable surroundings in the PoK and Pakistan, did, however, achieve their objective of getting wide media publicity, even if it involved disrupting and sacrificing the lives of young Kashmiris. Not surprisingly, the Hurriyat Conference, receiving instructions from ISI handlers, did its bit in inflaming public sentiment.With the Himalayan snow set to melt in the coming weeks, India will have to prepare for yet another summer of disruption and stone-throwing. The ISI will ensure that those Kashmiri youngsters, who crossed the LoC, will be joined by new jihadis from the LeT and JeM to serve as cannon fodder for fulfilling ISI ambitions. Enough funds will be provided to get unemployed youth to resort to  pelting and getting killed or injured in the return fire by the security forces. Social media will be used for incendiary messaging, crafted to stoke passions. In the meantime, a propaganda blitz will be launched by Pakistan calling on the world to intervene and compel India to resume the sterile ‘composite dialogue process’. Why does Pakistan place so much emphasis on this so-called ‘composite dialogue process’? The answer lies in the fact that this dialogue process, initiated in 1997, was the outcome of one of the worst blunders in Indian diplomacy, matched only by our diplomatic ineptitude during the Sharm-el-Sheikh fiasco. In this process, primary importance is given to what Pakistan wishes to discuss, including J&K, Siachen, Sir Creek, and hydel/ river water projects in J&K, which Pakistan likes to block. Shockingly, ‘terrorism’ features only towards the very bottom of this list. Terrorism was rendered even more marginal by coupling it with ‘drug smuggling’. This is a format that suited Pakistan as it could unleash terrorism across India and then insist that terrorism could be discussed peripherally, alongside issues like cultural ties and visas!The strike by our Special Forces on terrorist staging areas across the LoC on September 29 had more than mere symbolic importance. It signalled a readiness by India to strike across the established borders, if and when needed, at a time and manner of its choosing. The likes of Hafiz Saeed and Dawood Ibrahim should not ever be allowed to feel secure from such Indian retribution. To achieve this, the entire ‘composite dialogue process’ should be discarded. There is no need for a ‘structured’ dialogue process with Pakistan. We merely need to convey our readiness to discuss all issues when the time is appropriate.To start with, India should insist that in accordance with the agreement reached between Prime Ministers Modi and Nawaz Sharif at the Ufa Summit, the DGMOs of both countries should discuss specific measures to seal the borders and end infiltration and terrorism. The levels of such meetings could be raised to meetings between the Indian Army’s Vice-Chief and Pakistan’s Chief of General Staff. There could even be meetings between the two army chiefs. While one cannot expect significant change in the strategic aims of the Pakistan army, its present army chief, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, does not appear to be afflicted by megalomania, like his predecessor.The entire dialogue should be exclusively security-oriented and also involve meetings between chiefs of the BSF and Pakistan Rangers. Meetings could be considered between the chiefs of R&AW and the ISI. Meetings between foreign secretaries, and at political level, should commence only if our concerns on terrorism are seen as being addressed in an irreversible manner. India should continue to back moves by Bangladesh and Afghanistan to keep SAARC in coldstorage, while promoting links with our eastern neighbours through forums like BBIN and BIMSTEC.Given its domestic situation, Pakistan does not appear able to deliver meaningfully on issues of terrorism. Sharif is under siege domestically, because of a Supreme Court inquiry into his properties and wealth abroad. Pakistan is being torn apart by sectarian Shia-Sunni and Wahhabi-Sufi rivalries and violence. The army is now deployed virtually across the country, fighting insurgencies in Balochistan and the Pashtun tribal areas bordering Afghanistan. Islamabad is being repaid in kind by the Afghans across the disputed Durand Line, both in Balochistan and the Pashtun tribal areas. Sectarian violence has reached Punjab and Sindh. India needs to ensure that it extends unstinted moral, material and diplomatic support to Afghan efforts to deal with ISI-sponsored terrorism.While the security and diplomatic efforts to deal with terrorism continue, New Delhi will also have to consider measures internally to signal that it means business in dealing with those encouraging, supporting and inciting youths to take to stone pelting.  South Block has for too long looked rather benignly on the Hurriyat Conference and its role in inciting and supporting violence. There is evidence against many Hurriyat leaders of money laundering and other charges. People like Syed Ali Shah Geelani, who take the lead in inciting violence, based on instructions from across the LoC, need to be charged, moved out of the Valley and tried. Even Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is said to receive benign treatment, is given to inciting crowds regularly, especially after prayers he leads. Those inciting and distributing money to youngsters should be immediately put behind bars.The state government and its police, including the Special Operations Group, should be activated to take the lead in restoring normalcy, with the Army’s backing. Terrorists have been emboldened to threaten the lives of family members of police officials. The Punjab Police reacted very strongly when their families were similarly threatened. There is no reason why the J&K Police cannot be similarly motivated. Moreover, far more proactive measures are needed to curtail and even disable facilities for the use of social media in the Valley. Most importantly, the ruling coalition partners should set aside differences, with the Mehbooba Mufti-led government taking the lead in ensuring that the education of children is not held hostage to the diktats of separatist leaders and their patrons across the LoC.


Major called for questioning over recovery of grenades

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 4

The J&K Police have called a Major named by the soldier, who was detained on Monday after the recovery of two grenades from his luggage, and is also looking for two persons for questioning.Police sources said Bhupal Mukhia of 17 JAK Rifles, who was arrested from Srinagar airport told the investigators that the packet in which the grenades were concealed was given to him by a soldier at a transit camp at Badamibagh.“A jawan handed over the well-concealed packet to me saying that ‘Major Sahib’ from his unit had directed him to hand it over and deliver it in Delhi,” the sources said.“After the disclosure, we have also called the Major for questioning. We are also looking for the sepoy who handed over the packet and another person who called Bhupal over phone to inquire about the packet (grenades) which were to be delivered in Delhi,” they said, adding that they were cross-checking all claims made by the jawan.“For now, it looks that the Army jawan from whom the grenades were recovered was not aware what was concealed inside,” they said.The Major, who is currently in Jammu will be joining the police investigation in a day or two, the sources said.The police are also trying to find how and from where the grenades were procured.Bhupal serves near the Line of Control in the Uri sector of Kashmir and was to board a Delhi- bound flight before the anti-hijacking wing at the airport detained him after the recovery of the two grenades concealed in the luggage.The Army had initially told the investigators that the grenades were “drill items”.The Army, which has assured action as per the law, has also ruled out that there was any hijacking angle.“After preliminary investigation, it is clarified that it is a case of carriage of grenade and there is no hijacking angle to the incident,” Srinagar-based defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said on Monday


Militants ambush Army convoy; 3 jawans injured

Militants ambush Army convoy; 3 jawans injured
Security personnel take position during a search operation after militants ambushed an Army convoy in Srinagar on Saturday. PTI

Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 1

Just a day ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to J&K, militants today surfaced in Srinagar and ambushed an Army convoy on the outskirts of Srinagar city, injuring at least three jawans.The ambush by militants, believed to be two to three in number, at the Bemina bypass along the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, took place in the afternoon when an Army convoy was on its way from border town of Uri in Baramulla to Srinagar.“Militants armed with assault rifles fired at the Army vehicles near a hospital on the Parimpora-Panthachowk bypass road which was retaliated. Three soldiers were injured in the ambush. The attackers managed to escape,” sources said, adding that the shootout created panic in the area.The attack took place despite the highway being secured by the Army and CRPF under the Road Opening Procedure (ROP), a daily drill to protect security vehicles that ply on the road.Soon after the attack, the police and CRPF cordoned off the locality and carried out searches to trace the militants involved in the attack.Defence spokesman Col Rajesh Kalia said three injured soldiers were evacuated to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital.“The firing took place in the overcrowded area and the Army showed maximum restraint,” Col Kalia said.Militant group Hizbul Mujahideen in a statement to a Srinagar-based news agency claimed responsibility for the attack.The attack took place amid heightened security in the wake of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the state. Modi will inaugurate the Chenani-Nashri tunnel, India’s longest highway tunnel, on the Jammu-Srinagar national highway on Sunday.Even as many ambushes on forces on the national highway in south Kashmir took place last year, today’s ambush was the first attack on the Army on the 14-km Parimpora-Panthachowk bypass in the past nearly four years. In 2013, Lashkar-e-Toiba militants had ambushed an Army convoy at Hyderpora, Srinagar, in which eight jawans were killed and over a dozen injured.Minutes before the ambush on the Army convoy at Bemina, panic spread in the city centre of Lal Chowk after gunshots were heard in the locality. Sources said a mentally challenged man entered a hotel in the Lal Chowk and the security men took him as a militant. However, the person was detained from the hotel by the police. As he was being taken away, locals feared that a militant had been arrested by the police and they threw stones on forces. The forces fired a few gunshots.SP (East) Sheikh Faisal said a boy tried to enter the hotel. “I think he is mentally deranged. He is with us and we are ascertaining his identity,” Faisal said.Following the incident, there were massive clashes in the city centre for at least an hour. The police also fired teargas shells to disperse the mob.Soldier killed in explosion on LoCJammu: A junior commissioned officer of the Army was killed on Saturday in an explosion near LoC in Poonch district, the police said. Police sources said the incident occurred in the Degwar sector in Poonch. “The exact cause of the explosion is being ascertained,” the sources said. —IANSMajor attacks since 2016February 20-22, 2016: Three elite para commandoes, including two Captains, two CRPF men, three militants and a civilian were killed in a gunfight in Sempora, Pampore, on the Srinagar Jammu highway. The militants took shelter in the EDI building after carrying out an attack on a CRPF convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu national highwayJune 3: Three BSF jawans were killed and seven others were injured after militants ambush their convoy on the busy Srinagar-Jammu highway at Bijbehara in south KashmirJune 25: Militants intercepted a convoy of the CRPF and killed eight security personnel and injured 22 personnelAugust 17: Two Army jawans and a policeman were killed as militants ambushed a convoy of the Army in Baramulla districtDecember 17: Three soldiers were killed and two others injured in a militant attack on an Army convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu highway at Pampore in Pulwama districtFebruary 23, 2017: Three Army jawans were killed and five others, including two officers, were injured in a militant attack in south Kashmir’s Shopian district. A woman was also killed in the firing 

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Army Institute of Law celebrates annual day

Chandigarh, April 29

The Army Institute of Law (AIL), Mohali, celebrated its annual day here today. Various scholarships and cash prizes were awarded to meritorious students on the the occasion. Two industrial scholarships worth Rs 80,000, three alumni scholarships worth Rs 1.40 lakh and eight Tata Merit Scholarships for toppers in academics worth Rs 1.40 lakh were awarded to the students.—TNS


Jadhav’s trial conducted in a ‘transparent’ manner: Pak

Jadhav’s trial conducted in a ‘transparent’ manner: Pak
Kulbhushan Jadhav. File photo

Islamabad, April 27

Pakistan on Thursday stuck to its stand on Kulbhushan Jadhav’s sentencing, saying the military court’s ruling was based on specific evidence and the trial was conducted in a “transparent” manner.Pakistan’s assertion came a day after India handed over an appeal by the mother of retired Indian Navy officer Jadhav, sentenced to death by the Field General Court Martial, to the appellate court, initiating a process to get his conviction overturned.Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria claimed that Jadhav has been tried for espionage according to the law of the land in a “transparent manner”.Jadhav’s sentencing was based on specific evidence as well as his “confessional statement” that also led to the dismantling of the terror network in the country, Zakaria was quoted as saying by Radio Pakistan.Zakaria’s remarks at a briefing came a day after the appeal on behalf of Jadhav was given to Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua by Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale, who also handed over a petition by Jadhav’s mother seeking the Pakistan government’s intervention for his release and expressing the desire to meet him.Jadhav was given death sentence earlier this month, evoking a sharp reaction in India which warned Pakistan of consequences and damage to bilateral ties if the “pre- meditated murder” was carried out. — PTI


Action, not advisory Revival of attacks on Kashmiris

The thrashing of Kashmiri students in Chittorgarh’s Mewar University and hoardings in Meerut asking Kashmiris to leave Uttar Pradesh can only worsen the situation in the Valley. The Kashmiri sense of alienation, reflected in the recent bypolls, may aggravate. Whatever little that was sought to be achieved with a delayed, half-hearted realisation that the Army men were wrong in tying a Kashmiri youth to a jeep bonnet and the initiation of an inquiry has been undone by the latest incidents in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Already the video of youths heckling a CRPF jawan had generated a widely shared sense of anger against them.  Apart from those like Sonu Nigam seeking relevance by stoking communal tension, low-level and some not-so-low-level trouble-mongers are allowed to get away with mischief. They contribute to a nationwide buildup of anti-Muslim sentiment, which at places erupts in violence. Dubbing the Pehlu Khan killers “today’s Bhagat Singhs and Azads” by a saffron-clad president of the Rasthriya Mahila Gau Rakshak Dal is insulting to the national icons. More serious was a tweet calling for the killing of “100 Kashmiri stone-pelters” by no less than a serving member of the Lucknow bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal, Air Marshal Anil Chopra (retd). What impartiality or justice can be expected from such a member who hears appeals against a court martial? What is more worrying is the Centre’s resort to selective action. A BSF jawan has been sacked for a bad food video but the Air Marshal has not been touched. The Modi regime’s strong-arm response to the Kashmir stone-throwers contrasts with its soft approach towards those doing Muslim-bashing — physical or ideological — on behalf of the cow, the CRPF and the Army. Although the latest targeting of Kashmiris has evoked an appeal for their protection from the Home Minister, such gestures do not work in a charged environment. Instead of asking the BJP Chief Ministers in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to deal sternly with the culprits, the Home Minister has issued a general advisory to all states. Social polarisation brings out the worst in some of us — but this may be as per political calculations.