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    Cows will get Aadhaar-like numbers, Centre says in SC


    NEW DELHI: The central government will soon approve tamperproof identity tags for all cattle in the country that will document a range of data, including a unique number and the type of their horn and tail, solicitor general Ranjit Kumar told the Supreme Court on Monday.

    A government-appointed panel headed by a joint secretary of the Union home ministry came up with the idea as part of efforts to prevent illegal transportation of cattle and livestock to Bangladesh. The panel’s report was submitted to the top court on Monday, and Kumar told the bench headed by Chief Justice JS Khehar that the government backed the suggestions.

    “The government will issue a formal notification soon,” Kumar said.

    The polyurethane tags will contain identification details such as the age, breed, sex, lactation, height, colour, horn type, tail switch and special marks of cattle heads and its “progeny”.

    The SC is hearing a petition to stop the smuggling of cattle to be slaughtered at beef export units.

    Focus on cow protection, especially by vigilante groups, has risen since the BJP-led government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power at the Centre three years ago. There has been a string of cow-related violence but many state governments, particularly those ruled by the BJP, have defended the action on the grounds that the animal is considered holy by many Hindus. Critics, however, accuse these vigilante groups of targeting people, mostly from the Muslim and Dalit communities.

    Cows, buffaloes and other cattle are issued identity tags when they are insured. But the new proposal seeks ID cards are all cattle. The suggestions included strengthening of institutional framework against cattle smuggling, sensitisation of enforcement agencies, the setting up of homes with guards for stray cattle and stricter prosecution.

    The panel identified the reasons for smuggling of cattle and evolved a comprehensive future plan to stop it. Such incidents were said to be the highest in West Bengal and Assam which have borders with Bangladesh.

    The idea to have unique tags came after the panel members learnt that the seized cattle heads, which get auctioned by the customs department, reach smugglers who re-sell them across the border.

    The panel took a view that the responsibility of safety and care of abandoned animals was mainly of the states. Asking the government to make tamperproof identification of cattle mandatory, the committee suggested having a state-level data bank to be uploaded on government websites and linked to an online national database.

    Sacrifices of martyrs will not go in vain, says PM Modi

    Sacrifices of martyrs will not go in vain, says PM Modi
    Prim Minister Narendra Modi.

    New Delhi, April 24Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday described the killing of CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh by Maoists as “cowardly and deplorable”.”We are proud of the valour of our CRPF personnel. The sacrifice of the martyrs will not go in vain,” Modi tweeted.”Condolences to their families. May those injured in (the) attack recover at the earliest.” The Prime Minister said the government was monitoring the situation in Chhattisgarh closely.

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    Home Minister Rajnath Singh said he was “extremely pained” over the Chhattisgarh killings.”Extremely pained to know about the killings of CRPF personnel in Sukma (district). My tributes to the martyrs and condolences to their families,” Rajnath Singh tweeted.He said he had spoken to Chhattisgarh Home Minister Hansraj Ahir, who “will take stock of the situation”.Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh said he was “extremely distressed” over the Naxal attack in his state.”I am extremely distressed to know about the Naxal attack in Sukma. I am cancelling my Delhi tour and returning to Chhattisgarh to attend a meeting,” he wrote on Twitter.Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said, “Sincere condolences to families of CRPF personnel martyred in the attack in Sukma. We salute sacrifice and courage of our bravehearts.”The Congress described the killing of CRPF personnel as extremely unfortunate and called on the Narendra Modi-led NDA government to initiate appropriate counter action.Addressing the media, party spokesman Manish Tiwari said, “Extremely unfortunate. Hope government will act with alacrity. Hope government initiates appropriate action against people responsible for attack.”  — Agencies

    Kashmir voter turnout, then and now by Lt Gen Subrata Saha (retd)

    We pride ourselves on having a political syetem that is far superior to any in the immediate, even extended, neighbourhoodFrom an impressive 65 per cent in the winter of 2014, the voter turnout plunged to 7 per cent and 2 per cent in the recently conducted Srinagar by-polls. The question that should be worrying us as a nation is: Why and how did the voter turnout crash?

    IN November-December 2014, the entire nation lauded, indeed celebrated the unprecedented voter turnout in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly elections. The overall voter turnout of 65 per cent was in freezing temperatures, even as people were struggling to recover from the devastation caused by the terrible floods of September 2014. A little over two years later, the voter turnout in the recently concluded by-polls in Srinagar and Budgam constituencies dipped to 7 and 2 per cent, respectively. We pride ourselves on having a political system that is by far superior to any other in the immediate and extended neighbourhood.Instead of that unprecedented voter turnout, we are now witnessing unprecedented stone-pelting and violence with the rage shamefully engulfing school and college children. The victor and vanquished of the electoral process, and ironically the disruptors of democracy all seem to be together on the same page, as they level accusations and counter-accusations on the violence rather than answering the how and why of the violence.Talking about the Parliamentary elections in April-May 2014, one of the most erudite and experienced personalities of Kashmir had told me, “In Kashmir Farooq Abdullah losing is unthinkable”. He added, the Kashmiri voter had learnt to make choices and more importantly faith in the “Indian” electoral system had been revived.The more critical elections obviously were the Assembly elections, due after some months. He went on to add, “If you succeed in providing that sense of security without being obtrusive or intimidating, people will come out in large numbers.”Soon after our conversation came the unfortunate devastating floods in September 2014. Loss of property was huge, mercifully human loss, though sad was limited, particularly so given the scale of the disaster. Most political quarters made pleas to postpone the elections to the next year, but the people, administration and the security forces were ready to go ahead. The people were desperate to get their flood relief quickly through an effective administration. The Election Commission decided to go ahead in November-December, just before harsh winter sets in. For security forces this is the toughest period when temperatures have dipped but it has not snowed yet.It’s to the credit of all the security agencies the way they came together in true mission mode. They were instructed and convinced of the need to be visible everywhere but not obtrusive. The intensified deployment had to be sustained for nearly three months. An early start was essential for the people to see and gain confidence and equally for the candidates to be able to campaign freely. Joint meetings of all agencies of the core group at the Corps HQ was followed through for the first time with the apex leadership from Srinagar jointly chairing meetings at the district and sub-district level.Unprecedented resource mobilisation from within and outside the Valley was undertaken. For instance, the entire reserve of protected vehicles was inducted from the base depots. Some really innovative technology infusion was done to smarten procedures, particularly in surveillance and interagency communication. Any candidate travelling out would be known to anyone and everyone in the grid who needed to know. Any gathering of people was picked up aerially and monitored closely. The security grid was adapted to meet the changing requirements. There was proper networking and synergy achieved through repeated rehearsals, communication and joint monitoring by leadership of all agencies. Grenades were recovered sometimes just in time and just a whisker away from rally sites.As the election pitch picked up so did the separatists calls for boycott, but the people were in no mood to listen. They wanted a government of their choice that would deliver with urgency — getting the relief before winters was playing uppermost in most minds. The adversary too got panicky by seeing the mood of the people — undergirded by strong security. They made desperate attempts to disrupt by pushing in weapons, land mines and terrorists from across the line of control, all of them were foiled. Highly trained and equipped terrorist groups were eliminated not without loss of blood of the security forces.As the election dates arrived, more security forces came in and polling staff mustered from all over. Absorption and orientation of this added strength was done smoothly of course, with anecdotes of good humour in those stressful circumstances. The polling staff was delivered across remote cross-country terrain in mine-protected vehicles aptly called “Rakshak”.  On reaching the destination they would refuse to let go off the hand of the Company Commander. Of course, they understood when reminded that in a democracy the Army cannot be inside a polling booth. The polling staff rose to the occasion. It is to the credit of all the security agencies and the administration that the elections were conducted most professionally. All parties went on record hailing the fairness of the election unambiguously. Not one civilian life was lost in the entire electoral process of the Assembly elections 2014.This was the true victory of democracy, won over all attempts to boycott, disrupt and delay. In many ways, the success removed the very cause for which the militancy began in 1989, that is the alleged rigging of elections. Around the same time as the legislators got voted to power, it was time for the Durbar to move down to Jammu. A royal tradition followed most faithfully even till date where the government moves from Srinagar to Jammu for the entire winter. Incidentally, this winter was just after the floods. Imagine you are voted to power with the hope that you will provide succour and just when you are needed the most you are politicking in fairer weather. This was the beginning of the loss in hopes in leadership and democracy. Ironically, some separatist leaders who claim to be champions of the people’s cause too preferred escape to other areas in the country to avoid the winter cold.The awaam (people), of course, remained in Kashmir and so did the security forces. Avalanches came down,  roads got washed away, snow and land slides blocked access, but all these challenges were overcome as the two — awaam and jawan — weathered the harshness of the winter together,  waiting for the spring to come, bringing back the political leadership, the Durbar with ominous warnings of a hot summer. This is the story every year!Through the winter of 2014-2015, hectic political parleys led to an “agenda of alliance” — a bridge was supposedly laid between Jammu and Kashmir by Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. Whether it was the fragile health of the well-meaning architect, or was it the fragility of the bridge design or the piers?  It was too much for it to withstand the vengeful and vicious designs of the adversaries within and without. For the adversary across and their cahoots, the failed bridge provided ready fodder for vicious propaganda and killing whatever hopes, if any, for democracy.See how effective the vicious propaganda is. So much friction and heat amongst the two; awaam and jawan who weathered the cold winter together.While the victor and the vanquished seem to be obfuscating accountability for the key question, the disruptor of democracy is brazenly manipulating people. This will cost everyone dearly. We should not end up in a situation where democracy is abolished and people’s representation is demolished.The writer was the Corps Commander, Kashmir, in 2014-15.

    Captain’s knock awaited Punjab needs major shake-up to restore law and order

    HERE are reports of gangster shootouts every other week in Punjab. It has been a baptism by fire for the Congress government on the law and order front, and it cannot be said that it has met the challenge with the gumption required. Putting a stop to drugs within a month was another promise to which the government is being held by the Opposition. To be fair, the Punjab Police have had some successes with the arrest of a few notorious gangsters and jail escapees. But when the crooks brazenly carry out executions, it does no good to public confidence. The arrests in the drug trade have been unimpressive. It defies reason that only petty street peddlers and some of the constabulary were involved, but they are the only ones the police seem to be going after.Another, and perhaps even more worrisome, aspect is the spectre of Congress workers or known supporters being involved in attacks on SAD and BJP leaders and associates. A few have been murdered too. Most of the violence has been in attempts to take over control of truck unions or of village-level politics from the ousted ruling alliance. But it is indicative of the confidence Congress leaders have felt in taking the law in their hands. Some MLAs have even gone to the extent of directly threatening the police against harming their interests. It may well be said the present state of law and order is a legacy the government has received from the SAD-BJP dispensation. But it must ponder what calculations and interests produced that situation. The Congress in its euphoria over a sweeping majority runs a serious risk of going down the same path.Capt Amarinder Singh has made much of his ability to take bold decisions in the interest of the state. He would establish his credentials if he could ensure the police are able to reach the root of every tentacle of lawlessness. If that means making an example of certain fat but bad apples in his own party, the police or the bureaucracy, so be it.

    Dialogue of the deaf

    NITI Aayog crowd lacked focus

    Sunday’s meeting of chief ministers arranged by NITI Aayog saw diverse ideas thrown around with an option to pick and choose. The BJP chief ministers read out their report cards expecting a pat or a word of approval from the Prime Minister. Their mind, however, was elsewhere. Most of them tweeted about “Antyodaya”, meaning “the rise of the last person”, because of its association with Deendayal Upadhyay, who was the subject of a four-day ongoing RSS seminar in the national capital. Prime Minister Modi was on a different planet where having simultaneous assembly and Lok Sabha elections and a shift to a new January-December fiscal year occupied his attention. In-between he praised states for sinking their differences over GST without listening, or responding, to the CMs beseeching him to make good in time their revenue losses on account of the GST rollout. Apparently on being prodded by the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Narendra Modi also remembered to make an appeal to the CMs to protect Kashmiris living in their states. The BJP-PDP coalition has been going through a rough patch of late and Mehbooba Mufti had to be pacified even if the platform was a little inappropriate. The PM also asked states to spend more on infrastructure. He spoke about hiking fund allocations to states, whereas CMs kept asking for more. The opposition CMs, notably the ones from Bihar and Tamil Nadu, complained of bias in fund allocations. The Himachal CM gave instances of fund squeeze under Central schemes. The Punjab CM kept up the pressure on a farm debt waiver, while seeking funds for border area development. It was left to Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to question the replacement of the Planning Commission by the NITI Aayog and point out that the “space for constructive debate is shrinking” with forums such as the National Development Council and the Inter-State Council becoming almost defunct. Two years down the line the NITI Aayog’s role remains hazy and undefined. At the end of the day, it remains far from clear what we mean by “New India”.

    India is now world’s fifth largest defence spender

    India is now world’s fifth largest defence spender
    India moved from 7th to 5th place. PTI file photo

    Ajay Banerjee

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, April 24 

    India, after having made a push in its spending, is now the world’s fifth largest defence spender for the year 2016.

    India moved from 7th to 5th place after its largest annual military spending increase since 2009. China is second on the list, while Pakistan does not figure in the top 15 spenders.

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    The rankings were released on Monday morning (IST) by Swedish think-tank Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Titled ‘Trends in world Military Expenditure, 2016’, the report said India spent $55.9 billion on defence in 2016, which was 2.5 per cent of its gross domestic product (GDP). India also spent 3.3 per cent of global spending, which stood at $1,686 billion in 2016 or is estimated at $227 per person globally.

    “After 13 consecutive years of increases (from 1998 to 2011), world military spending has continued to plateau—with only minor decreases between 2011 and 2014”, the SIPRI report said.

    The US is the top most spender at $611 billion, followed by China at  $215 billion, Russia at $69.2 billion and Saudi Arabia $63.7 billion

    Notably, five of the top fifteen global spenders in 2016 are in Asia and Oceania: China, India, Japan, South Korea and Australia. “China had by far the highest military spending in the region: an estimated $215 billion, or 48 per cent of regional spending. This amount is almost four times that of India’s total, which is the second largest in the region at $55.9 billion,” the report said.

    Between the 2007 and 2016, China has seen the biggest growth in military spending, with an increase of 118 per cent, followed by Russia (87 per cent) and India (54 per cent).

    Conversely, in the same period, Italy (–16 per cent), the UK (–12 per cent) and the United States (–4.8 per cent) were the only countries in the top 15 to see their military expenditure fall.

    In 2016, total US military expenditure of $611 billion is over one-third (36 per cent) of world military expenditure. This is nearly three times the level of China’s spending.

    US military grew by 1.7 per cent between 2015 and 2016, the first increase after five consecutive years of decline. Despite this slight growth, US military spending remains 20 per cent lower than its peak in 2010.

    PDP leader killed in militant attack at Pulwama in Kashmir

    PDP leader killed in militant attack at Pulwama in Kashmir
    The site of the militant attack in Pulwama. ANI photo

    Majid Jahangir

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, April 24

    Ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Abdul Ghani Dar was shot dead in a militant attack in Pulwama in south Kashmir on Monday.Police said PDP district president, Pulwama, Dar was fired upon by militants at Pinglina on the outskirts of Pulwama town.

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    “His vehicle was intercepted by militants at Pinglina and he was fired upon. The injured Dar was shifted to a Srinagar hospital where he succumbed to his injuries,” they said.The attack on the PDP leader came on a day when Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti held a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and discussed the prevailing situation in the state.

    Mehbooba says PM amenable to talks to ease Kashmir situation

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. —PIB

    New Delhi, April 24Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday said the Prime Minister appeared amenable to holding talks with stakeholders in a bid to arrest the deteriorating situation in the Valley.However, she cautioned that “an atmosphere needs to be created” for a dialogue.“Talks cannot happen amid stone-pelting and firing of bullets,” she told reporters after a 20-minute meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence.

    (Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)

    At the meeting, she invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s policy on Kashmir, saying the thread should be picked up from where he had left it–an apparent suggestion for talks with separatists.“The Prime Minister has an intention of holding talks after the situation becomes normal,” Mehbooba told reporters.Kashmir is in the grip of increased violence since the April 9 bypoll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency. The security forces are under intense pressure as they are faced with almost daily protests and stone-pelting.The army and the CRPF have received some praise for showing restraint under provocation, and also come under criticism, especially after a video showed a civilian tied to a jeep as a human shield as it drove through the streets to avoid being attacked.“Talks are the only option,” Mehbooba said. “How long can you have a confrontation?”“Talks with Hurriyat (Conference) had taken place when Vajpayee ji was the Prime Minister and LK Advani ji was the Deputy Prime Minister. We need to start from where Vajpayee ji left. Talks are the only way out,” she said.Referring to the increase in stone-pelting incidents in the Valley, she said there were some young people who were “disillusioned” while some were being “instigated”, often through the use of social media sites such as Facebook and WhatsApp.Rising tensions between the coalition partners, the PDP and the BJP, over the handling of the security situation in Kashmir also came up at the meeting.The coalition also came under strain when the PDP lost a seat in the recently held MLC polls when an independent MLA voted in favour of BJP candidate Vikram Randhawa, leading to his victory.“Whatever happened should not have taken place. But this is an internal matter and we will resolve it with the BJP,” she said.She also raised the Indus water treaty issue, saying it was causing a huge loss of Rs 20,000 crore to the state.Mehbooba said the Prime Minister assured her that efforts would be made to see how the state would be compensated for this.The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister said the situation in Kashmir would be discussed in a meeting of the Unified Command on Tuesday.The GOC-in-C Northern Command, GOC 16 Corps, GOC 15 Corps, DGP J&K, IG BSF, IG CRPF, senior officers of the IB and RAW and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh will also participate in the meeting in Srinagar. PTI



    IMG-20170419-WA0035 IMG-20170419-WA0036

    Was organised  by UCHCHI BASSI Stn Cdr under the aegis of 21 Sub
    Area .Veer naris,Gallantry  awards winner and disabled ESM of Hoshiar dist were facilitated.
    Warm Regards
    Brig Prahalad Singh

    Capt Yadav to help sacked BSF jawan

    Rewari, April 22

    Former minister Capt Ajay Singh Yadav today called on sacked BSF jawan Tej Bahadur Yadav at his residence here and assured him of all sorts of succour in fighting a legal battle in court.“Since Tej Bahadur has been removed from service unconstitutionally, I have assured him of all help in his case,” he added.Meanwhile, Ved Prakash Vidrohi, chief of Gramin Bharat, a social organisation, termed the dismissal of Tej Bahadur as unconstitutional and said it would demoralise other Army personnel. — TNS

    Canada minister Harjit Sajjan gives coin of honour to Diljit Dosanjh

    Canada minister Harjit Sajjan gives coin of honour to Diljit Dosanjh
    Canada”s Defence Minister Harjit Singh Sajjan presented the coin of honour to Diljit Dosanjh on the sets of a reality show. Photo courtesy Twitter handle: @diljitdosanjh

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, April 23

    It was a proud moment for Punjabi singer and actor Diljit Dosanjh on the sets of Rising Star where he received the coin of honour from Canada’s Minister of National Defence Harjit Singh Sajjan.The defence minister had also unveiled the second poster of Diljit’s upcoming film Super Singh.“Had a unique opportunity to meet the famous and very humble @diljitdosanjh. Great discussion on his work to inspire the next generation,” the minister later wrote on his social networking site.The event is trending on twitter currently. Sajjan gave his personal coin of honour that the government of Canada had bestowed upon him.On Twitter Diljit Dosanjh shared his experience, “Harjit Singh Sajjan Said It’s good to get rewards for your Hard work but what is more important is what you give back to society!!”

    Reduction of BOPs: Parliamentary panel takes serious note

    Reduction of BOPs: Parliamentary panel takes serious note
    Army jawans patrol along LoC in Jammu and Kashmir. Tribune file photo

    New Delhi, April 23

    A parliamentary panel has taken strong exception to the government’s move to reduce the number of new outposts along the Indo-Pak and the Indo-Bangla borders, saying such posts are crucial for the country’s security.

    The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, said no reasons were furnished by the home ministry on why the proposal to construct 509 additional border out posts (BOPs) in the two borders had been revised and reduced to 422.

    The panel recommended that the original plan of constructing 509 BOPs should be reconsidered in the interest of the country’s security.

    “Reducing inter-BOP distance is very crucial for the security of the country and to keep a tab on the activities going on at the border,” the panel said in its report.

    In 2009, the government had approved a proposal to construct additional 509 BOPs along the Indo-Pak and the Indo-Bangla border at an estimated cost of Rs 1,832 crore. In 2016, the scope of the project was revised by the Cabinet Committee on Security from 509 BOPs to 422 BOPs.

    At present, there are 609 BOPs along the 3,323 km-long Indo-Pak border and an additional 126 BOPs (including upgrading of 38 BOPs in Jammu) are to be constructed to reduce the inter-BOP distance to 3.5 km.

    There are 802 BOPs along 4,096 km-long Indo-Bangla border where the additional 383 BOPs were to be constructed.

    The parliamentary panel said even the reduced target was not achieved and only 97 BOPs have been completed by the end of 2016 along the Indo-Bangla border. It has also taken serious view of the cost and time overrun due to delay in land acquisition.

    “The government should have taken advance action to overcome all such difficulties for timely implementation of the project,” it said.

    There will be barracks, generator room, kitchen, toilet block and officers’ chamber in each of the BOP.

    The committee said it was anguished over the extremely slow pace of construction of fencing along the Indo-Bangla border as the home ministry has been able to complete just 21 km of fencing in 17 months since July 2015.

    “The committee notes that a long stretch of 423.34 km has remained unfenced due to non-feasibility of physical barrier and deployment of non-physical barriers is still in its testing phase and will require time before its implementation,” it said. — PTI