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    Resizing the Army: One Size that Doesn’t Fit All by Lt Gen (Dr) JS Bajwa

    “It is too true, however disgraceful it may be to human nature, that nations in general will make war whenever they have a prospect of getting anything by it.”

    — John Jay, The Federalist Papers September 17, 1787.

    “You must first enable the government to control the g ..

    Read more at:The paramount measure of national power is military capability. Today, countries endure in an environment where internal and external threats to security are both common and ever-present; the effectiveness of the coercive arm becomes the ultimate criteria of power. Capable military’s enable countries to defend themselves against all adversaries, foreign and domestic, while at the same time enabling the government to pursue and protect whatever interests they value, if necessary, over and against .. National power has many components, some tangible, like economic wealth and technical pre-eminence. Other components are intangible – such as moral force, or strong national will. Military forces, when they are strong and ready and modern, are a credible – and tangible – addition to other elements of a nation’s power. When both the intangible national will and those forces are forged into one instrument, national power becomes effective. 
    Of all the many policies the citizens of a country need to understand, is the use of military power. Deterrence will work only if the adversaries’ understand the nation’s firm commitment to keeping the peace and a well-informed public that can be expected to stand solidly behind its government decision. The first American President, George Washington, enunciated a policy of peace through strength in his fifth annual message to Congress, the 1793 State of the Union Address. He said: “There is a rank due to the United States among nations which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity; it must be known that we are at all times ready for war.” The old truism holds good – a strong military is the best guarantee for peace. Peace through strength or if that failed, peace through threat. 
    Alexander Hamilton, writing in the Federalist Papers (September 1787), said that – “it is impossible to foresee or define the extent and variety of national exigencies, or the correspondent extent and variety of the means which may be necessary to satisfy them”. If it was true then one can fathom the complexity of the geopolitical and strategic environment now. Most leaders today often mention of the complex and dynamic geostrategic environment prevailing. Countries are faced with serious indirect challenges to the peace in a spectrum from border wars to proxy wars onto individual terrorist action. While the use of military force to defend territory has never been questioned when a democracy has been attacked and its very survival threatened, most democracies have rejected the unilateral aggressive use of force to invade, conquer or subjugate other nations. The extent to which the use of force is acceptable remains unresolved for the host of other ..


    Image result for Maj Shaitan Singh Bhati
    Today 18 Nov is commemorated by (some in) India as Rezangla Day, in memory of one of the *most stirring battles ever fought*. Last man last bullet is spoken of often but happens ever so rarely. Indian history has Saragarhi and Rezangla among its most well-known. While the former fought in 1897 for the British Indian Army is, perhaps, more remembered because the Brits recognized and spread word about it, the *latter was fought more recently in 1962 against the Chinese, for Independent India, but, alas, remains largely unknown* outside military circles.

    Almost the entire lot of people at the post viz. *114 soldiers (of the 120), of the Charlie company of 13th battalion of the Kumaon regiment, died defending Rezangla hill* about 20 km SE of Chushul, Ladakh at a height of 16500 feet and *repulsed the Chinese attack in this sector*. In the dark and depressing overall scenario of the 1962 war (notwithstanding supreme acts of bravery by individuals and units displayed at many places like that by its sister battalion the 6 Kumaon at Walong in the North East or by Jaswant Singh of 4th Garhwal Rifles at Nauranang, in Tawang, whose anniversary was yesterday. 17 Nov) Rezangla was the bright spot that showed the Chinese (and the World) that India was not the pushover they had imagined.
    Details of the battle can be easily googled. Or if you please, read a brilliant piece by reputed military analyst and scholar Mohan Guruswamy on his Facebook post today. Suffice to just give some details. *120 (some reports say 123 or 124) Indian soldiers without artillery support, with most antiquated weapons against almost 5000 Chinese with artillery support and modern weapons. Icy cold weather, snow all around, oxygen in short supply, howling winds. And a battle on*.
    Chinese soldiers kept advancing wave after wave even before the Indian soldiers could replenish their stocks and reload the machine guns, The Company Commander Major Shaitan Singh and his Ahir boys kept firing even though they were under a constant barrage of artillery. There was no hope and no way of replenishing their ammunition.
    Major Shaitan Singh had two options: Fight to the last man and last bullet, or Abandon Post. The soldiers were tired and bleeding. But their morale was high. They chose to fight on. *Not a single man abandoned his post. Not a single man fled the battle*.
    Almost all the Indian soldiers were killed in action (114 of them died, 6 were captured as POWs, of whom one died in captivity and one escaped back to Leh and recounted the tale) versus about 1300 Chinese who died. When their bodies were found later, in Jan of 1963, *many were clutching the triggers of their guns. They had died fighting until the last bullet*. Many had even resorted to fighting with bare hands after they could not use weapons or ran out of ammunition.

     A Rajput company commander Maj Shaitan Singh Bhatti from Jodhpur leading 120 Ahirs (Yadavs) from the plains of Haryana, of the 13 Kumaon regiment, laid down their lives in the cold and barren mountains of the Karakoram Range. *This is an inspiring India story for you*. Legend has it that Major Shaitan Singh did not want the Chinese army to take control of his body or mutilate it. He was mortally wounded in combat. *He ordered his jawans to hide his body behind boulders*. One of his buddies unslung his rifle, used the sling to tie Major Shaitan Singh’s body to his and rolled down the hill. As the brave Major Shaitan Singh breathed his last, his body was hidden behind boulders. Pse read the accompanying tweet of Major Gaurav Arya, a retired Kumaon regiment officer and now a well known military analyst seen frequently on TV.
    Defence analyst and media person Gaurav Sawant, who recently anchored a TV episode on this war (India Today TV Channel) and who has written on this war himself recounted in his Facebook post last year, of the stories his father, a retired Army Brigadier told them.  “My father told us stories of how one soldier, a wrestler, crushed the heads of two Chinese soldiers with his bare hands, when he ran out of ammunition. Another soldier flung himself on two Chinese soldiers and took them down with him as they climbed towards the peak. All this is a part of the military folklore’.
    What caused this *exemplary display of bravery and fortitude in most treacherous weather where breathing itself was difficult*. As Mohan Guruswamy puts it aptly “At this altitude it took hours to bring a kettle to boil for tea and whatever fruit and vegetables that came were frozen hard”. And let us not forget that 13 Kumaon was not even acclimatized having been *deployed in Chushul on 24 Oct* in the lull of the Indo China war. *Less than a month later* they were in the middle of a no holds barred battle. To quote Gaurav “The epic battle of Rezang La is the story of unparalleled valour, raw courage and victory buried in the crushing defeat in 1962’. Let us leave it to the management schools and other analysts to make sense of this. Let us simply today celebrate the strategic message they sent out.
    On 18 Nov in this battle *seven waves of Chinese attacks were repulsed*. On Nov 21, barely 3 days later the war came to a halt. Surely the Chinese would have imbibed the lessons of Rezangla. If they came in again they would do so at their own peril. As the folklore goes, the Chinese stopped at Rezang La to count their dead and tend to the injured. They lost their will to move forward and retreated. The battlefield was covered in snow.
    Why do we say legend or folklore in some descriptions? Simply because initially there was disbelief about what the one person who had escaped (or few survivors) had recounted. There was skepticism too.  It was only in 1963 when the snow had melted and a new battalion returned to Rezang La, (some accounts say a wandering shepherd but that should not matter) that they found the brave soldiers *of 13 Kumaon still in their trenches……Frozen. Finger still on the trigger*. To quote Guruswamy “It was as if the very last moment of battle had turned into a tableau”. This was bravery beyond the call of duty, in the line of fire. *And then, 114 bodies were cremated with full military honours in 1963 at those icy heights*. Brig TN Raina (later COAS), the Brigade Commander of 114 Brigade tasked to defend Ladakh and himself a Kumaon officer led the party that recorded the scenes for posterity and gave us a chance to tell our countrymen what happened that Sunday morning (coincidentally today is Sunday too).
    The USMC war memorial inscribed after the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 ‘uncommon courage was their common virtue’ to describe their marines. Perhaps the same can be said of the Rezangla braves. We have however been more deferential to the idea of service and duty and inscribed in their memorial these lines of *Thomas Macaulay “How can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers and the temples of his Gods.”* And this is the bravery that continues to inspire succeeding generations of Indian soldiers.
    Maj Shaitan Singh was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the highest award for bravery. The battalion also got 8 Vir Chakras and 4 Sena Medals for gallantry. 13 Kumaon got the battle honour ‘Rezangla’. Every man who fought that battle deserved a gallantry award though. *However, save some pockets of Haryana the story of Rezangla remains untold and the heroes unsung*. Of course, there has been some focus on this in the recent past. I can recollect excellent accounts by Shekar Gupta and Gaurav Arya (himself a retired officer of the Kumaon Regiment). And last year on this day, there was fair bit of remembrance. This year too over the last few days and from this morning social networks have been active remembering and recounting this battle. *Even so, this is one story that must resonate all over India. It must be told and retold, ballads sung and stories written*.
    To get some sense of the poignancy and tragedy, the desolation and desperation and yet through it all human heroism and dignity, do go to you tube and watch one of the most *moving songs ever written and picturised on this war ‘Kar Chale Hum Fida..’ in, arguably, India’s best war movie ‘Haqeeqat’.* With lyrics by Kaifi Azmi, set to tune by Madan Mohan and sung by Mohammed Rafi, it is guaranteed to move you to tears. If there is just one thing you have to do today, please do this. *Read about the battle or atleast watch this song*.
    Either way, before the night fades away and brings us the dawn of another day, before we go back to our worldly woes of money and mice, let us today spare a thought for the Rezangla warriors whose unsurpassed *courage will go down as one of the best and greatest examples of ‘last man, last bullet. Let us never forget Rezangla*.
    We must also mourn the passing away, yesterday 17 Nov 18, of *Brig Kuldip Singh Chandpuri*, Maha Vir Chakra, VSM, the hero of the *Battle of Longewala, in 1971*. The movie ‘Border’ was made on this battle with Sunny Deol essaying then Major Kuldip Singh Chandpuri. That battle is another must read, must know, must study in Indian annals. Again, 120 infantry men of 23 Punjab against nearly 5000 Paki forces with an armoured regiment of 45 tanks. Happily in this case (though not for those who passed away) our losses were much less and it was part of a winning campaign. Let us hope our countrymen and children, today and in future become aware of such epic battles.

    Illegal migrants need to be deported, says Army chief

    • Army chief General Bipin Rawat said he supported deportation of those who have entered the country illegally
    • He also defended the Army’s record on human rights and called for investigations against individuals and organisations “filing false cases against soldiers with an intent to malign the institution”

    With just three weeks to go for the closure of claims for inclusion in the National Register of Citizens in Assam, Army chief General Bipin Rawat has said that he supports NRC, and that parties opposed to it are undermining national security. In an interview to Times Now, the chief of Army staff also said that most of the accusations of fake encounters and human rights abuses by the army were false.

    Rawat said he supported deportation of those who have entered the country illegally. “If they are illegal, they need to be deported. If they are legal, they need to be amalgamated. But then that amalgamation must happen in a manner that benefits everybody. Let it not go the political way,” he said.

    He suggested that political parties were helping illegal migrants stay on. “There are some organisations which have amalgamated them into the system. There are others who have come in illegally who do not have citizenship, but there are some people who are trying to get them citizenship,” he said.

    In February, Rawat had spoken of the growth of All-India United Democratic Front, led by MP Badruddin Ajmal, in Assam. Rawat had said: “There is a party called AIUDF. They have grown in a faster timeframe than BJP.”

    Army chief General Bipin Rawat said, “When we talk of Jan Sangh, with two members of Parliament and where they have reached, AIUDF is moving at a faster pace in Assam. Finally, what will be the state of Assam, we have to take a call.”

    Speaking to Times Now, the Army chief also defended the Army’s record on human rights and called for investigations against individuals and organisations “filing false cases against soldiers with an intent to malign the institution”.

    “The time has come to probe these people who have come out with these cases,” he said. Rawat gave the example of a case in the National Human Rights Commission when he was in the Eastern Command. “The case was that one of the units had killed a terrorist and the body was missing. We started the probe, and found that the lad was alive. They closed the case. But what about the person who made this allegation, should that not be investigated?” he said.

    Where the Army found that encounters were staged, it has taken strict action, he said. “Where we felt encounters, I won’t say were fake, but could have been better conducted, we have punished people,” he said. Rawat said complaints about fake encounters were being filed by “third parties”. “To say it was a fake encounter or that it was not conducted in a way the Army is supposed to conduct an encounter, the complaint should come from near and dear ones. In most of the cases, the allegation has come from a third party. It could be an NGO that has been created.

    Joint Planning Among Army, Navy, IAF Key to Win Any War in Shortest Time, Says Dhanoa

    The IAF chief said all the three services will have to adopt a coherent approach to effectively deal with all possible security threats facing the country, asserting that his force strongly stands for “jointness”.



    New Delhi: Chief of Air Staff B S Dhanoa has strongly pitched for institutionalised structure for joint planning among the Indian Air Force, Navy and Army so that the country wins any war in future in the “shortest possible” time.

    The IAF chief said all the three services will have to adopt a coherent approach to effectively deal with all possible security threats facing the country, asserting that his force strongly stands for “jointness”.
    “No single service can win the war solely on its own inherent organic capabilities given the variety of threats which nations are capable of inflicting upon each other,” he said.
    “Thus it is imperative that the three services promote joint planning and exploit the strengths of sister services to help win a war in the shortest possible time. India by itself is one theatre,” he told PTI.

    There have been deliberations within the government and the three forces on whether India should go for integrated theatre commands where all the manpower and assets of the three services will be under the command of one officer. The US as well as several western countries follow this model.

    There were voices within the defence establishment who were in favour of setting up at least two theatre commands — one in western sector for dealing with Pakistan and other in eastern sector for dealing with any eventuality along the frontier with China.

    Though there is no clear indication of whether the government was serious about setting up theatre commands, in April, it formed a Defence Planning Committee (DPC) headed by National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval to prepare a national security strategy with a focus on ensuring convergence among the three forces.

    “What we require is an institutionalised structure for joint planning. Incidentally, IAF is the only service that deputes senior officers who serve alongside principal fighting formations of the other two services so as to improve and enhance their combat potential in achieving desired outcomes,” said Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa.

    He said the IAF enables the Army and the Navy to achieve laid down objectives set by the political leadership.
    At present, India has 17 single-service commands. The country’s only tri-services command was set up in 2001 in the strategically located Andaman and Nicobar.

    Nearly two years back, China reorganised its military into five theatre commands to enhance the overall capabilities of the forces.

    Asked about the IAF’s long-pending modernisation initiative, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa said his force has a capability-driven modernisation plan with an aim to achieve full spectrum capabilities.

    “It is the IAF’s endeavour to achieve self-sufficiency through a focused, sustained and evolved indigenisation programmes by supporting the Make in India’ initiative. Rest assured, IAF is prepared to respond to future challenges and safeguard the Indian skies,” he said.

    The IAF chief said the government was pursuing multiple initiatives to achieve higher levels of indigenisation and self-reliance in the defence sector.

    This, he said, was sought to be achieved by harnessing the capabilities of both the public and the private sector industries, thus increasing the defence industrial base in the country.

    “Self-reliance is a major cornerstone on which the military capability of any nation must rest. Our country has immense potential to leverage the manpower and engineering capability within the country for attaining self-reliance in design, development & manufacturing in defence sector,” he said

    India: The Forgotten Army

    In 1914, India sent nearly 1.5 million men to fight alongside the British in World War I. When Britain denied the colony greater autonomy at the end of the war, the men were swiftly forgotten.


     Over 100 years ago, nearly two million men in Asia were recruited to fight in the greatest war humanity has ever witnessed.


    In Radical Restructuring Plan, Army Brigadiers, Major Generals To Have Same Rank, Pay

    The Indian Army plans to implement several significant steps “to meet futuristic challenges keeping budgetary prudence in mind”.

    In Radical Restructuring Plan, Army Brigadiers, Major Generals To Have Same Rank, Pay



    1. Indian Army plans major restructuring of force over the next two years
    2. These steps will help army meet “futuristic challenges”, save resources
    3. Measures will be tested next year, sent to Defence Ministry for approval
    4. Within two years, the ranks of Brigadier and Major General in the Indian Army could be merged, a move that is part of the most comprehensive plan ever to re-organise the force. The plans would, however, need to be approved by the Defence Ministry before they can be implemented on the ground.

    According to Army sources, “an officer commanding a brigade will be designated a Brigadier, but when that officer comes for a staff position, he will be designated a Major General and will not need to go through any Board.” A brigade in the Indian Army is composed of approximately three thousand men and women.

    In other words, there will be no separate assessment (or ‘Board’) of an officer to be designated Major General, a rank which will be granted entirely on the roles and responsibilities that are assigned. “The Brigadier and Major General level will be merged. Financially, they will be in the same grade” said senior officers to NDTV. The merger of the two ranks will also give 80 more officers in every batch the opportunity to make it to the much sought-after position of Major General. Presently, the pyramidal system of promotions within the army mean that very few among even the most deserving candidates rise beyond the rank of Colonel.

    There are other significant steps that the army plans to implement “to meet futuristic challenges keeping budgetary prudence in mind”. Army Headquarters in Delhi will now be primarily staffed by officers of the rank of Colonel and above while the majority of younger officers including Majors and Lieutenant Colonels will be posted out to increase the strength of field formations. In carrying out these changes, the authorised size of the Army Headquarters will come down from 1,450 to 1,250 officers. However, in an effort to draw on the best experience available, a hundred retired officers or specialists will be recruited as “re-employed officers.”

    Some new posts will also be created to deal with emerging threats while some others may be removed. The army will now have a Lieutenant General heading up the post of Director General (Information Warfare) while various branches of the army looking at the training of officers and jawans will be rationalised. The Vice Chief of the army, and the Director General (Training) will no longer be involved in the training process. Instead, the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) will be looking after this function in its entirety. A Major General will now be appointed the head of the Army’s Vigilance Cell and will report directly to the Army Chief while the Lieutenant General who heads Financial Planning will report to the Vice Chief.

    The changes being proposed in the army will be tested at select formations across the country through 2019 before a proposal is sent to the Defence Ministry to take a final call. Sources tell NDTV that the goal of the entire exercise is to “reduce duplication, ensure shorter decision making time, and work towards higher synergy in various verticals while ensuring greater accountability and more efficiency.”

    Fresh details have also emerged on the army plans to base its operations around the concept of Integrated Battle Groups (IBG). Sources have indicated to NDTV, that each IBG will be bigger than a brigade (3,000 men and women) but smaller than a division (9,000-10,000 men and women). Each IBG will be designed in a manner that it can be quickly deployed in the event of tension on the borders. Each IBG will have integral infantry, armour, artillery, reconnaissance and support units. Presently, it takes the army several weeks to re-position, stock and deploy major fighting formations which are expected to battle Pakistan or China. IBGs are meant to be “lean and agile groupings with elements of all arms all of which are trained together.”


    Between 1975 and 2016, there have been 13 studies looking at reorganising the army. The changes being proposed now are based on four separates studies which are taking place concurrently. These include ‘Reorganisation and optimisation of the Indian Army,’ ‘Reorganisation of Army Headquarters, ‘Officer Cadre Review’ and ‘Terms of Engagement of Junior Commissioned Officers and Other Ranks including minimum service for pension.’ Each study is being supervised by a Lieutenant General.

    Indian Army will have to wait some more, fresh RfP to be issued for replacement of outdated Insas by close-quarter carbines

    Despite efforts of the Indian Army to fast-track the procurement of small arms, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering to issue a fresh request for proposal (RfP) for the procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), a deal worth $553.33 mn.

    The procurement of 93,895 CQB for the Indian Army had run into rough weather.

    Despite efforts of the Indian Army to fast track the procurement of small arms, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is considering to issue a fresh request for proposal (RfP) for the procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines (CQB), a deal worth $553.33 mn.

    The Indian Army which has been trying for long time to replace age-old ‘INSAS’ rifles which has reliability issues, has so far failed in finding the right replacement either from foreign OEMs or from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

    After receiving a series of complaints against Caracal of the UAE which was shortlisted as the lowest bidders for the CQBs, from the other bidders including French Company Thales and S&T Motiv of South Korea, the MoD is mulling on cancelling the previous RfP.

    Read | Procurement of 93,895 close-quarter-battle carbines for Indian Army, a deal worth $553.33 mn runs into rough weather

    As has been reported earlier by FE, a nine-member committee headed by an Army brigadier has been receiving complaints regarding non compliance of Caracal of UAE.

    The UAE Company has failed to submit its response as per the format of the commercial bid and the amount of Rs 70 crore was not reflected in the bid format which is used for determination of L1 vendor.

    Concerns have also been expressed to the nine member committee about the ability of Caracal to supply 96,000 weapons within a period of 12 months as required under the RfP.

    Officials confirmed that the UAE based company started its commercial production in 2014 and till date does not have a lot of orders to indicate that it has the capacity to produce 93,895 CQBs.

    Adding, “This, in turn will also impact the life cycle of the weapon as the company has no previous data to establish the reliability of the CQB.”

    As has been reported earlier, the procurement of 93,895 CQB for the Indian Army had run into rough weather, when after stiff evaluations two companies — Caracal of the UAE and S&T Motiv of South Korea —had been declared non-compliant by a nine-member committee headed by an Army brigadier.

    This left Sig Sauer of the US, Kanpur-based MKU with French company Thales in the race.

    Caracal of the UAE and Reliance Armaments with S&T Motiv of South Korea were competing for this deal. It may be recalled that the Embassy of South Korea in New Delhi had protested against being declared non compliant in spite of meeting all the requirements laid down in the request for proposal.

    The nine member team had gone to facilities of the competing companies before being invited for the extensive trials in India for testing with the Indian ammunition and in different terrains and temperature.

    Representatives of the S&T Motiv, producers of small arms for the last four decades were part of the delegation when South Korean President Moon Jae-in had visited India in July. The company had offered to transfer technology to produce the CQBs under Make in India initiative when the defence minister of that country had visited close on the heels of President Moon Jae-in.

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    Captain Snubs Kejriwal in turn Punjab Roadways’ Volvo buses to IGI airport banned:: Nt Bann on Badals

    Order passed by Delhi govt under SC guidelines; restricts their access up to ISBTs at Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar; DTA had impounded three buses last week

    LUDHIANA: Passengers travelling in Punjab Roadways Volvo buses to Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport in Delhi will now be put to inconvenience as the Delhi Transport Authority (DTA) has banned entry of stage-carriage vehicles into the airport for allegedly lacking the required permits.

    The DTA passed an order on Monday, saying these buses can ply only up to inter-state bus terminals (ISBTs) in Delhi, including those located at Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar.

    From Kashmere Gate, the distance to the airport is 19.4km, from Sarai Kale Khan 18.5km and from Anand Vihar around 30km.

    The DTA had impounded three buses of Jalandhar depot of Punjab Roadways last week. The roadways had to pay a fine of ₹5,000 per bus to the DTA to get its buses released. It was stated that as roadways buses do not have specific permits, they will not be allowed to enter the IGI airport.

    There are more than 40 luxury buses plying towards Delhi from various roadways depots in the state, including Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr, Muktsar, Ropar and Pathankot.

    DELHI GOVT ORDER When contacted, general manager (GM), Punjab Roadways, Jalandhar, Parneet Minhas said, “The order passed by the Delhi government under the Supreme Court guidelines states that stage-carriage buses will be allowed to stop at only three bus stands in Delhi — Kashmere Gate, Sarai Kale Khan and Anand Vihar. Our buses were also picking up the passengers from the airport. Now, the authorities have told us that the airport is not your station (sic), so our buses cannot drop or pick up passengers from there.”

    However, he added, “It’s a temporary issue which is expected to be resolved within a few weeks.”

    A roadway official, seeking anonymity, said, “The Jalandhar depot was earning ₹75 to ₹80 lakh from its nine buses plying to the IGI Airport and the Ludhiana depot was earning around ₹9 lakh per month from just one Volvo bus.”

    Following this, the Ludhiana and Jalandhar depots of Punjab Roadways had even announced to shut down their bus services to the IGI airport.

    Confirming the development, GM, Punjab Roadways Ludhiana, Gursewak Rajpal said, “The services were shut down from Monday as some buses of Jalandhar depot were impounded by the Delhi government. I held a meeting with GM Jalandhar regarding the matter on Monday.

    On Tuesday, we had a meeting at Chandigarh with state officials. I hope the matter could be solved soon.”


    As per the norms mentioned on the official website of Delhi government, permits shall be subject to conditions laid down in the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and rules made thereunder and also subject to the conditions laid down by the state transport authority (STA), Delhi, from time to time.

    It also mentioned that a bus shall be used only on the route specified in the permit or as changed from time to time by the STA in consideration of traffic pattern, commuter patterns or other factors considered relevant.


    Victims of mass genocide can’t be left in lurch: Judge

    A Delhi court pronounces death sentence on one and life term on another for killing two people during mob violence in the aftermath of the assassination of ex­PM Indira Gandhi

    NEWDELHI: Victims of ‘mass genocide could not be left in the lurch and that their allegations should also be given a fair hearing, a Delhi court observed on Tuesday while sentencing two convicts in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.

    Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey noted that for 33 years the two men had escaped the process of law and said that it is time for the court to rise upon the cry of the victims and the demand of the society. The court awarded death penalty to convict Yashpal Singh for killing two men during the riots — the first capital punishment in the case. Co-convict Naresh Sehrawat was given life term.

    Judge Pandey said from the testimony of the eyewitnesses, it is clear that Yashpal had come to the spot in the bus on November 1, 1984 and that he was actively involved in the burning of shops of the deceased and the eye witnesses. The court also pointed that there was sufficient material and allegations in the affidavit given by one of the eyewitnesses, Santokh Singh, who is also the complainant.

    The judge said there is no material before it to consider that convict Yashpal had reformed himself. “He appears to be playing gimmick with the court and victims to date. He appears to be purposely hiding his income and properties,” the court said.

    “The court is of the opinion that if he did not repent for 34 years and his mentality did not reform when he was at large in society for such a long period. He attempted to mislead the court in order to escape his liability, his chances for reformation now are almost negligible,” the judge said.

    While convicting the duo, the court has said that ‘fair trial should not be fair to only the accused persons. It also said that the accused had never been even arrested till the pronouncement of their conviction on November 14. “The court recalls the feelings of the victims when the eyewitnesses appeared before the court on November 5 and expressed their grief that the convicts were roaming at large,” the judge said.

    Stressing on the need for justice in such cases, the judge said such incidents break the trust between communities which, once broken, cannot be restored, even after decades. “Incidents of this kind breaks entire fabric of trust and harmony against communities, severely affecting the knitting and assimilation of different religious and social groups,” the court said.

    The verdict was pronounced in Tihar Jail after the local police moved a petition in the high court citing security reasons and possibility of attack on the convicts on the premises of the Delhi court, said a senior police officer.

    Timeline of the Mahipalpur case

    November 1, 1984: Two men were killed, three others injured after a mob armed with sticks and other weapons attacked them and threw them down from the first floor of a building in Delhi’s Mahipalpur. FIR (406/84) was registered at the Mehrauli police station the same day.

    February 23, 1985: Chargesheet filed against Jai Pal Singh.

    September 9, 1985: Santokh Singh, brother of three victims, filed an affidavit before Justice Rangnath Justice Ranganath Misra Commission that was formed to probe the killings for filing a separate case.

    December 20, 1986: Sessions court acquitted Jai Pal Singh of all the charges. The other two accused Naresh Sehrawat and Yashpal Singh did not face trial.

    1993: Fresh FIR was filed on Santokh’s affidavit on the recommendation of Justice JD Jain and DK Aggarwal committee

    February 9, 1994: Metropolitan Magistrate TS Kashyap accepted the untraced (closure) report filed in the case by the Delhi Police, saying the police could not gather evidence to prosecute Sehrawat and Singh

    February 12, 2015: Central government constituted Special Investigation Team (SIT) to reopen and further investigate anti-Sikh riots cases, which were either cancelled or closed for want of evidence.

    July 8, 2016: The SIT intimated the Patiala House Court about re-opening and further investigation of the case

    January 31, 2017: The SIT filed the chargesheet against Sehrawat and Singh.

    November 14, 2018: The court convicted the two men.

    November 15, 2018: Sehrawat was assaulted by Delhi’s Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislator Manjinder Singh Sirsa outside the courtroom moments after the court reserved its order on the quantum of punishment.

    November 20, 2018: The court pronounced death sentence for Singh and life term for Sehrawat.