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    PUNJAB POLITICS GETTING MURKIER:;Shoe hurled at Badal in Lambi, CM unfazed

    Shoe hurled at Badal in Lambi, CM unfazed
    Gurbachan Singh, who hurled a shoe at Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, in police custody. Tribune photo

    Varinder Singh &

    Archit Watts

    Tribune News Service

    Bathinda, January 11

    A shoe was hurled at Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in his home constituency of Lambi today. Unfazed, the CM sought to downplay the incident, claiming that it only proved his opponents had “lost the game” and that they wanted to deflect the people’s attention from the agenda of “peace and all-round development” that the SAD-BJP government had pursued vigorously over the past 10 years.The attacker, Gurbachan Singh of Jhurd Khera village near Abohar, was detained. He is the brother of Bhai Amrik Singh Ajnala, the “parallel jathedar” of Takht Sri Kesgarh Sahib. An agriculturist, Gurbachan is a registered voter at Rattakhera Chhota village, one of the two waterlogged villages that the CM adopted for development. A case under Sections 352, 353 and 186 of the IPC  has been registered. (Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)“Gurbachan Singh, who arrived on a motorcycle, threw a shoe at the CM,” said Dhruman H Nimbale, SSP, Muktsar. Speaking over the phone, Bhai Amrik Singh said: “Gurbachan is my younger brother. I can’t say whether he took the right step or not. But I do know the Sikh community is very angry over the government’s failure to check incidents of desecration.”Warning that certain elements wanted “to push Punjab’s youth back into the jaws of bloodshed”, a reference to the dark days of militancy, Badal termed the incident “an attempt to scuttle free, fair and peaceful elections”.  “These people, like seasonal birds, appear only during elections. But I have stayed amid people every day of my life. Nothing will stop me from following the path shown by the Gurus, saints and seers. Our commitment to serve the people is too strong to be shaken by such acts,” said an emotional Badal.

    “Nothing will stop me from following the path shown by the great Gurus. Our commitment to serve the people is too strong to be shaken by such acts.” —Parkash Singh Badal, CMNo matter what the provocation, hurling a shoe at someone is only condemnable. There can’t be any justification for such incidents. — Manish Tewari, Congress Leader
    ommunity is hurt with large number of desecration incidents.


    Punjabi vs outsider rift post Sisodia’s Kejri pitch

    Says vote ‘as if voting for Kejriwal as CM’ at AAP rally

    Punjabi vs outsider rift post Sisodia’s Kejri pitch
    Manish Sisodia (centre) talks to an AAP worker’s daughter at a rally in suppot of Mohali nominee NS Shergill on Tuesday. Vicky Gharu

    Jupinderjit Singh

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, January 10

    Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, on his first day of campaigning in Punjab, today reportedly urged people in Mohali and Anandpur Sahib to cast their ballot for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) “as if they are voting for Arvind Kejriwal  as Chief Minister”, triggering a Punjabi versus “outsider” debate.While AAP’s state leadership refused to elaborate, the SAD and Congress claimed there was a “conspiracy to anoint Kejriwal as Punjab CM through the back door”. Atishi Marlena, AAP spokesperson in Delhi, said Sisodia’s remarks had been twisted out of context. “He (Sisodia) said vote as if Kejriwal is going to be CM. He did not say Kejriwal will be CM,” Marlena explained. A senior AAP leader claimed Sisodia had been misunderstood. “He sought votes in the name of Kejriwal  as he is the man behind the AAP movement.” He refused to make an official statement. There has been much speculation on AAP’s chief ministerial  candidate, with one of the aspirants, Bhagwant Mann (Sangrur MP) seeking people’s backing for his claim to the top post at election rallies. However, Sanjay Singh, the party’s political affairs incharge, says it will be up to the elected MLAs to chose their CM.Sisodia, who it is believed will take over as Delhi CM if Kejriwal moves to Punjab, told the media that Kejriwal alone could solve Punjab’s problems, taking on the Centre till all demands were met.Dr DS Cheema, SAD spokesperson, and party’s Delhi leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa claimed that by projecting Kejriwal as AAP’s face in Punjab, the party leadership had accepted that  none of its state leaders were worthy of the CM’s chair.Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh said Sisodia’s statement was no surprise as the Congress had all along maintained that Kejriwal had his eyes on Punjab. “It would be suicidal for Punjab if his nefarious design succeeds,” he added.(With inputs by Kulwinder Sangha in Mohali and Arun Sharma  in Anandpur Sahib)QUOTESAAP’s conspiracy to foist an outsider on Punjab is now out in the open. It has chosen a Haryanvi who has already bartered away interests of Punjab on SYL. —Sukhbir Singh Badal, sad chief and deputy CMIt is sheer manipulation of the electorate. Sisodia’s statement makes it clear that Kejriwal is scheming to become Punjab CM. This is a mockery of the democratic process, and AAP will have to pay for it. —Preneet Kaur, Congress leaderIt may be an attempt to create a media hype around Kejriwal. But if they are serious, it will not only be disrespect to the people of Delhi, but also to the political acumen of Punjab and Punjabis.  —Dr Dharamvira Gandhi, patiala MP.

    The Punjab poll vault

    Pramod Kumar
    Erosion of ideological support base and leadership deficit are evident

    The Punjab poll vault
    Fight, no cause: No party has a transformational agenda for Punjab.

    THE electoral din in Punjab is like the lunatic swing of a pendulum creating a wave of different parties within a short span. It has moved from the Congress sweep at the time of the coronation of Amarinder Singh as PPCC president in December 2015 to the AAP rampage in post-Maghi in January 2015, and now the whisper of the Akali-BJP for a hat. These are often accompanied by claims and counterclaims — the showcasing of performance and the promise of golden performance. It has liberated political parties from consistent political positions and ideological filters. Elections are being treated as events to be managed by professional managers without any ideology, commitment to pro-people politics with the sole aim to win. Besides anti-incumbency that provides a safe passage to parties without vision, the winnability criteria allow faceless politicians’ entry into politics and incentivises the hopping from one party to another. As if parties are nothing, but dharamshalas without doors. Political leadership has been discredited, the political parties are poaching celebrities and oiling the slide of leaders from one party to another. Has the political culture and terrain of Punjab become an ideological freak or rudderless? The history and culture of Punjab does not support such generalisations. Punjab politics can be located in three evolved axes. One is a stunted identity assertion ranging from religious, communal and secular Punjabi identities. The second is a unique feature of majoritarian arrogance and minority persecution complex in both the main communities — the Hindus and Sikhs. The Sikhs are in a majority in Punjab and minority in India and the Hindus are in a minority in Punjab and a majority in India. The third axis is the intermeshed religio-caste categories as caste is not a category in itself for electoral mobilisations in Punjab.These axes lay down broad boundaries for the politics to function. Electoral alliances and coalitions have been formed with even diametrically opposed political parties. The Congress and the Akali Dal even merged in 1937, 1948 and 1956. Most Akalis who joined the Congress did not return to the Akali fold. Prominent among them were Pratap Singh Kairon, Swaran Singh, Baldev Singh, Bhai Mohan Singh, Darshan Singh Pheruman, and now Capt Amarinder Singh. The political culture of Punjab is, no doubt, competitive, but not conflictual. Apparently, in the post-Operation Bluestar and ’84 riots period, the Congress faced opposition, but regained power in 2002. The lesson is that voters do not see parties as antagonistic, but competitive. Most people keep both a  blue turban (Akali symbol) and a white turban (Congress symbol) ready to wear as per the need. To hinge the whole campaign that the Congress and the Akalis are mixed up and then expect that people will vote for a third party may not bring corresponding results.The parties have not only merged with each other, but also formed coalitions. In reorganised Punjab, between 1967-1980, four post-election coalitions were formed between the Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Jana Sangh and in the post-terrorism phase the Akali Dal and the BJP formed three pre-election coalitions. In view of the lessons learnt from the decade of terrorism, the parties entered into pre-poll alliances. The Congress apologised for Operation Bluestar and the riots. And the competing parties gave representation to all existing fault lines of religion and caste rather than representing exclusive communal interests. The SAD, which has mainly been a party of Jat Sikh peasants, gave representation to Punjabi Hindus with 11 out of 94 SAD candidates for the 2012 polls. The BJP that largely represents urban Hindu traders gave representation to Sikhs. Similarly, the Congress made inroads into the SAD support base of rural Jat Sikhs by fielding an equal number of rural Jat Sikhs with the SAD. Dalits who constitute around 32 per cent of the population have been represented in all political formations. Of the 1,248 MLAs in the state from 1967 to 2012, Dalits constituted 25.16 per cent, OBCs 8.97 per cent and urban traders (Khatris) 22.12 per cent. But a majority of MLAs (43.74 per cent) came from the rural Jat peasantry.The ‘uncertain religious allegiance’ of the Dalits and in the absence of caste as a defining parameter for social position, Dalits found representation in all parties. Even the Jat-dominated SAD has had a higher representation of Dalits in six of the 11 Assembly elections and in the remaining five, the Congress had a greater Dalit legislators. It is interesting to note that Dalit legislators have been elected from parties other than the BSP and the Communist parties. Thus Punjab politics has shown signs of blurring religious and caste fault lines. To mobilise people as exclusive categories like Hindu Banias, or Scheduled Castes may not bring the desired results. Considering this background, which way will Punjab go? Will it go the AAP way? The AAP won a surprise victory with four seats and a 24 per cent vote share in the 2014 parliamentary elections. It had the advantage of anti-incumbency against the Congress at the Centre and the Akali Dal-BJP in the state. However, wherever people could find a formidable alternative to the Akali-BJP alliance, the AAP candidates were not selected. This can be inferred from the results of two constituencies — Bathinda from where Harsimrat Badal defeated Manpreet Badal, and in Amritsar where Amarinder Singh defeated BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley. The two Assembly byelections, in Patiala and Talwandi Sabu, showed that the AAP may not be able to consolidate its support. Unlike the Akali Dal and the Congress, the AAP does not have a historical baggage and therefore does not have a historical advantage either. Another AAP disadvantage is that unlike Delhi, Punjab does not have a large footloose population — as people have their culture and history. The Congress and the Akalis have a regional flavour to their advantage and the AAP is yet to evolve a regional identity of its own. The only advantage it has is an anti-drug and an anti-corruption stance. How far it will help to win is a moot question.The SAD’s non-Panthic, development and governance reforms plank and the BJP’s emergence at the national level have added a new flavour to the elections. How far will this alliance benefit from this and reversal of moral hegemony with demonetisation which brought Modi, Nitish Kumar and Navin Patnaik on one side and Arvind Kejriwal in the company of Mayawati and Lalu Yadav?Punjab needs a paradigm shift. In order to outcompete one another, all parties are raining sops rather than initiating a debate on policies to diversify economy, building a consensus against drug abuse, suggesting policies for productive engagement of youth and empowerment of women. This is symptomatic of an erosion of the ideological support base of parties, political leadership deficit and absence of a transformational agenda.The writer is the Director, Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh

    Sukhbir from Fatehgarh Sahib also?

    Surinder Bhardwaj

    Fatehgarh Sahib, January 11Is Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal interested to contest from Fatehgarh Sahib apart from Jalalabad? The question gained currency following a remark by Sukhbir during his visit to the town last evening.The SAD president, addressing party activists, said, “Fatehgarh Sahib edda wadhia halka hai, kai baar mera jee karda ethon hi chon lar lawan. Ki lor enni dur jaan di? Main thonu sahi dasaan ethe Akali Dal di 80 per cent vote hai ate dujian partian di koi 20% hovegi (Fatehgarh Sahib is such a good constituency that I wish to contest from here sometimes. What’s the need of contesting from a far-away segment? The Akali Dal has 80 per cent vote share here, while the rest of the parties 20 per cent).”A speculation is rife in the party circles that Sukhbir may also contest from here following SAD MP Sher Singh Ghubaya’s son joining the Congress. Ghubaya has a considerable following in Jalalabad, from where Sukhbir had been elected a number of times. When asked whether or not he was serious on contesting from another seat as well, he clarified, “I will contest from there (Jalalabad) alone.” But his remark declaring Fatehgarh Sahib a safe bet for the SAD have set tongues wagging.AAP’s Jalalabad candidate Bhagwant Mann, who was here to canvass for his party nominee yesterday, said he knew that Sukhbir would contest from Fatehgarh Sahib. “Sukhbir will file papers five minutes before the deadline. I am keeping a watch. I will also file the nomination online from Fatehgarh Sahib at the same time,” Mann said.



    ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫ਼ੌਜੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਨੂੰ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਸਮਰਥਨ

    ਨਵੀਂ ਦਿੱਲੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਵਿਸ਼ੇਸ਼ ਕਾਨਫਰੰਸ ਤੋਂ ਪਹਿਲਾਂ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਨੂੰ ਮਿਲਦੇ ਹੋਏ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਕੈਪਟਨ ਅਮਰਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ, ਵੀਰਭੱਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਅਤੇ ਹਰੀਸ਼ ਰਾਵਤ।     -ਫੋਟੋ: ਮੁਕੇਸ਼ ਅਗਰਵਾਲ

    ਪੱਤਰ ਪ੍ਰੇਰਕ
    ਨਵੀਂ ਦਿੱਲੀ, 5 ਜਨਵਰੀ
    ‘ਇਕ ਰੈਂਕ ਇਕ ਪੈਨਸ਼ਨ’ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਦੇ ਉਪਰ ਪ੍ਰਦਰਸ਼ਨ ਦੌਰਾਨ ਚਰਚਾ ਦਾ ਵਿਸ਼ਾ ਬਣੀ ‘ਇੰਡੀਅਨ ਐਕਸ ਸਰਵਿਸਮੈਨ ਮੂਵਮੈਂਟ’ (ਆਈਈਐਸਐਮ) ਨੇ ਚੋਣਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਸਮੇਤ ਹੋਰ ਸੂਬਿਆਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਰਥਨ ਦੇਣ ਦਾ ਐਲਾਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਨੇ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਪਣੇ ਮੈਨੀਫੈਸਟੋ ਵਿੱਚ 21 ਸੂਤਰੀ ਏਜੰਡਾ ਸ਼ਾਮਲ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ।
    ਇੱਥੇ ਏਆਈਸੀਸੀ ਦਫ਼ਤਰ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਕੈਪਟਨ ਅਮਰਿੰਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ, ਹਿਮਾਚਲ ਪ੍ਰਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਵੀਰਭੱਦਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਤੇ ਉੱਤਰਾਖੰਡ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਹਰੀਸ਼ ਰਾਵਤ ਸਮੇਤ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਆਗੂਆਂ ਏਆਈਸੀਸੀ ਜਨਰਲ ਸਕੱਤਰ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਮਾਮਲਿਆਂ ਦੀ ਇੰਚਾਰਜ ਆਸ਼ਾ ਕੁਮਾਰੀ, ਸੰਸਦ ਮੈਂਬਰ ਅੰਬਿਕਾ ਸੋਨੀ, ਪ੍ਰਦੇਸ਼ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਮੀਤ ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਸੁਨੀਲ ਜਾਖੜ ਤੇ ਰਣਦੀਪ ਸੁਰਜੇਵਾਲਾ ਨੇ ਚੇਅਰਮੈਨ ਮੇਜਰ ਜਨਰਲ (ਸੇਵਾਮੁਕਤ) ਸਤਬੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਦੀ ਅਗਵਾਈ ਵਾਲੇ ਆਈਈਐਸਐਮ ਮੈਂਬਰਾਂ ਦਾ ਸਵਾਗਤ ਕੀਤਾ। ਸੇਵਾਮੁਕਤ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਅਫਸਰਾਂ ਜਨਰਲ ਐਸ.ਪੀ. ਗਰੇਵਾਲ ਤੇ ਲੈਫਟੀਨੈਂਟ ਜਨਰਲ ਤਜਿੰਦਰ ਸ਼ੇਰਗਿੱਲ ਵੀ ਸਨ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਆਈਈਐਸਐਮ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਕਾਂਗਰਸ ਨੂੰ ਸਮਰਥਨ ਦੇਣ ਨਾਲ ਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫੌਜੀ ਹੁਣ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਦੇ ਹੱਕ ਵਿੱਚ ਆ ਚੁੱਕੇ ਹਨ।
    ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਨਰਿੰਦਰ ਮੋਦੀ ਤੇ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਮਨੋਹਰ ਪਰੀਕਰ ਦੀ ਪੂਰੀ ਤਰ੍ਹਾਂ ਉਦਾਸੀਨਤਾ ‘ਤੇ ਵਰ੍ਹਦਿਆਂ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਕੇਂਦਰ ਨੇ ਨਾ ਸਿਰਫ਼ ਇਕ ਰੈਂਕ ਇਕ ਪੈਨਸ਼ਨ ਦੀ ਮੰਗ ਨੂੰ ਪਿੱਛੇ ਧੱਕ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ, ਸਗੋਂ ਫੌਜ ਦੇ ਰੈਂਕਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਘੱਟ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੀ ਸੀਨੀਆਰਤਾ ਨੂੰ ਘਟਾ ਕੇ ਧੋਖਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਸ੍ਰੀ ਸਤਬੀਰ ਸਿੰਘ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਰੱਖਿਆ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਵੱਲੋਂ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਦਾ ਅਪਮਾਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਗਿਆ ਹੈ, ਜਿਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਆਈਬੀ ਜਾਂਚ ਦਾ ਆਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਕੇ ਅਸਲੀਅਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਇਕ ਸਿਪਾਹੀ ਦਾ ਅਪਮਾਨ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਪਰੀਕਰ ਦੀਆਂ ਗੈਰ ਜ਼ਿੰਮੇਵਾਰਾਨਾ ਟਿੱਪਣੀਆਂ ‘ਤੇ ਸਖ਼ਤ ਨੋਟਿਸ ਲਿਆ।
    ਮੇਜਰ ਜਨਰਲ ਸਤਬੀਰ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਪੰਜਾਬ ਵਿੱਚ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਲਈ 53 ਸਕੀਮਾਂ ਹੋਣ ਦੇ ਬਾਵਜੂਦ ਕੋਈ ਵੀ ਸਹੀ ਤਰੀਕੇ ਨਾਲ ਲਾਗੂ ਨਹੀਂ ਕੀਤੀ ਜਾ ਸਕੀ। ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਕੈਪਟਨ ਨੇ ਸੱਤਾ ਵਿੱਚ ਆਉਣ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਇਹ ਮਾਮਲਾ ਪਹਿਲ ਦੇ ਆਧਾਰ ‘ਤੇ ਚੁੱਕਣ ਦਾ ਵਾਅਦਾ ਕੀਤਾ ਹੈ। ਹਿਮਾਚਲ ਪ੍ਰਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਵੀਰਭੱਦਰ ਨੇ ‘ਇਕ ਰੈਂਕ ਇਕ ਪੈਨਸ਼ਨ’ ਦੇਣ ਦੀ ਮੰਗ ਕਰਦਿਆਂ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਇਹ ਪੈਸੇ ਦਾ ਨਹੀਂ, ਸਗੋਂ ਉਨ੍ਹਾਂ ਦੇ ਸਨਮਾਨ ਦਾ ਸਵਾਲ ਹੈ। ਉੱਤਰਾਖੰਡ ਦੇ ਮੁੱਖ ਮੰਤਰੀ ਹਰੀਸ਼ ਰਾਵਤ ਨੇ ਕਿਹਾ ਕਿ ਮੋਦੀ ਨੇ ਇਕ ਰੈਂਕ ਇਕ ਪੈਨਸ਼ਨ ਮੁੱਦੇ ਨੂੰ ਮੋੜ ਦਿੱਤਾ ਹੈ। ਉਹ ਮੋਦੀ ਸਰਕਾਰ ਉਪਰ ਸੱਤਵੇਂ ਤਨਖ਼ਾਹ ਕਮਿਸ਼ਨ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਸੇਵਾਵਾਂ ਵਿੱਚ ਅਸਮਾਨਤਾ ਪੈਦਾ ਕਰਨ ਨੂੰ ਲੈ ਕੇ ਵੀ ਵਰ੍ਹੇ। ਏਆਈਸੀਸੀ ਆਗੂ ਰਣਦੀਪ ਸੁਰਜੇਵਾਲਾ ਨੇ ਮੋਦੀ ਉਪਰ ਇਕ ਰੈਂਕ ਇਕ ਪੈਨਸ਼ਨ ‘ਤੇ ਪਿੱਛੇ ਹਟ ਕੇ ਸਾਬਕਾ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਪਿੱਠ ਵਿੱਚ ਛੁਰਾ ਮਾਰਨ ਦਾ ਦੋਸ਼ ਲਾਇਆ,
    ਕਸ਼ਮੀਰ ਤੇ ਦੇਸ਼ ਦੇ ਹੋਰ ਹਿੱਸਿਆਂ ‘ਤੇ ਮਾਰੇ ਜਾਣ ਵਾਲੇ ਫੌਜੀਆਂ ਦੀ ਯਾਦ ਵਿੱਚ ਦੋ ਮਿੰਟ ਦਾ ਮੌਨ ਵੀ ਰੱਖਿਆ।

    HUDA plots: Col, Lt Col among 16 booked for fraud

    Accused forged affidavits to acquire more than 1 plot under reserved category

    ROHTAK: The district police on Friday booked 16 people, including serving and retired army personnel of the ranks of Major, Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel, for fraudulently acquiring more than one plot in Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) under the reserved category by allegedly submitting false affidavits and defying the laid norms. Sources say most of the accused belong to Rohtak and Jhajjar. ROHTAK: The district police on Friday booked 16 people, including serving and retired army personnel of the ranks of Major, Colonel and Lieutenant Colonel, for fraudulently acquiring more than one plot in Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) under the reserved category by allegedly submitting false affidavits and defying the laid norms.

    The Punjab and Haryana high court in 2013 had directed the officials to probe a similar case of allotment, after which more such people came under the scanner of HUDA.

    Sources say most of the accused belong to Rohtak and Jhajjar.

    The complaint was submitted by an estate officer of HUDA, who stated that as per their policy, terms and conditions, an applicant can avail the benefit of allotment of plot under the reserved category only once in a lifetime.

    “However, all these accused gained the benefit more than once by submitting false affidavits and concealing facts,” the complainant stated.

    “The accused applicants were issued showcause notices to justify the allotment of more than one plot, however, they failed to give a response,” he added.

    One of the accused was allotted a plot in Sector 2 in Rohtak in 2001, based on his affidavit and other documents.

    However, the department, in its inquiry, found that he already owned a plot in Sector 45 in Gurgaon which was alloted to him in 1998 under the reserved category.

    Based on the estate officer’s complaint, the police have registered separate first information reports (FIRs) against each of the accused under Sections 193 (punishment for false evidence), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and other suitable sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

    SHO Urban Estate Ramesh Kumar said they were in the process of identifying more such cases.

    The Punjab and Haryana high court in 2013 had directed the officials to probe a similar case of allotment, after which more such people came under the scanner of HUDA.

    Sources said the government was ordering an inquiry to identify senior bureaucrats who also allegedly took advantage of the policy by defying the norms.

    Army officers ‘gave’ false affidavits for HUDA plots

    16 FIRs registered in Rohtak; 24 more complaints lodged by dept

    Sunit Dhawan

    Tribune News Service

    Rohtak, December 30

    Several cases of applicants submitting false affidavits for the allotment of HUDA plots under reserved categories have come to light.These applicants, who include several serving as well as retired officers of the armed forces, had allegedly concealed facts and given false affidavits to get more than one HUDA plot by hoodwinking the department.HUDA Estate Officer Amit Kumar Gulia told The Tribune that they had lodged 40 complaints against the applicants who had concealed facts and submitted false affidavits for allotment of multiple plots.“After detecting undue claims and concealment of facts in affidavits, we gave show-cause notices to the applicants under the scanner. When no response was received from the applicants or the response was found to be unsatisfactory, we proceeded with the registration of FIRs,” he maintained.Gulia revealed that the applicants against whom the police complaints had been lodged included serving as well as former Army officers up to the rank of Brigadier. Such applicants also included paramilitary officials and members of other reserved categories, he added.Rohtak SP Pankaj Nain confirmed to The Tribune that that the registration of FIRs was in progress on complaints received by the HUDA authorities in this regard and further investigation would be carried out subsequently.At the time of filing of this report, an official police spokesperson disclosed that 16 FIRs had been registered and registration of more FIRs was in progress.Nearly 30 such FIRs had been registered in Rohtak on similar grounds about a year ago. The HUDA authorities across the state had been filing police complaints regarding allotment of multiple plots on the basis of concealment of facts and submission of false affidavits.

    India’s Future Main Battle Tank Will Come Without Life-Saving ‘Active Protection System’

    NEW DELHI: India’s future main battle tank, the T-90MS ‘Tagil’, which will be license manufactured in Avadi in Chennai, will not be equipped with new-generation active protection systems that destroy incoming missiles and shells before they can hit the tank. Active protection systems have saved the lives of dozens of tank crew deployed in Israeli combat operations in Gaza and have now been deployed by the Russian Army in operations in Syria.

    For decades, tanks have depended on their armour to protect their crew from enemy shells and anti-tank guided missiles. However, the singular vulnerability of modern tanks to the latest anti-tank guided missiles in the ongoing Iraq and Syria conflicts have raised serious question marks on the ability of armour alone to prevent casualties among tank crews.

    Active protection systems are meant to counter this threat. Radars fitted on tanks detect the launch of hostile missiles and tank shells, predict their incoming trajectory and launch guided ammunition that can destroy or deflect hostile projectiles upto 50 metres away from the tank. The ensuing blast destroys the enemy missile, rocket propelled grenade or shell before it can pierce the armour of the tank.
    NDTV has learned that the Russian ‘Arena’ active protection system and the Israeli ‘Trophy’ system were both being considered for the Indian Army’s new T-90MS tanks based on the formidable reputation they have earned during combat. However, the ‘Arena’ system was withdrawn from the competition at the technical evaluation stage prior to field trials being held because it did not meet the technical criterion spelt out by the Indian Army.

    The withdrawal of the ‘Arena’ resulted in a single-vendor situation with only the Israeli ‘Trophy’ remaining in the race. This is a scenario the government looks to avoid in major defence purchases since it no longer has the ability to choose the least expensive system among the shortlisted options available. Accordingly, in late October this year, the Defence Acquisition Committee rejected the import of all active protection systems. These were likely to have cost approximately Rs. 2 crore per tank. Now, the government has ordered a feasibility study to see if the systems can be developed in the country under the government’s flagship ‘Make in India’ programme which may involve a joint venture with a foreign firm.
    Israeli Trophy Active Protection System mounted on Israeli Army Merkava IV tank
    The delay in the acquisition of active defence systems for its tanks is a cause of concern for the Indian Army. Videos of the conflict in Syria and Iraq uploaded by rebel fighters on YouTube clearly show modern American-built M1 A1 ‘Abrams’ and German designed Leopard 2A4 tanks being destroyed by Russian or American anti-tank guided missiles which have been supplied to rebel fighters. According to the website ‘War is Boring’ which has monitored the conflict in Syria, “There’s no fewer than 1,800 T-55, T-62 and T-72 tanks plus BMP fighting vehicles exploded, burned, disabled or seized by rebels – with potentially thousands of crewmen also being killed injured or captured.”

    In November, the government cleared a Rs. 13,448 crore deal to acquire 464 brand-new T-90MS ‘Tagil’ tanks. India already operates more than 800 T-90S tanks first delivered by Russia in 2001. These are considerably less capable than the T-90MS which has now been ordered. All T-90s form the cutting edge of the Indian Army’s armoured formations and would be an integral part of any offensive across Punjab and Rajasthan in the event of war with Pakistan. At the moment, no tank in Indian Army service has an active protection system.

    Don’t train the gun on service chiefs

    In an unprecedented move, the government of India arrested a former Chief of Air Staff for allegedly facilitating a helicopter deal for personal gratification. It is the first ever such incident in the history of democratic India, although a serving Chief was earlier dismissed from the service most unceremoniously. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat was sacked in December 1998 under the provisions of the constitution of India and the principle of civilian supremacy. A terse note from the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Defence, was handed over to him, relieving him from the service with immediate effect. How then Defence Minister George Fernandes was able to prevail over the statesman like Prime Minister to dismiss the Chief in this reckless manner was rather surprising.

    In the case of the former Air Chief S P Tyagi too, the Modi government seems to have acted rather irrationally. Why arrest him now at this juncture? Apparently, his arrest had not been seriously deliberated. Interestingly, in both cases it is the NDA government that has taken this drastic step.


    This habit of belittling or humiliating the Service Chiefs publicly is fraught with danger. They are institutions in themselves. They function on the basis of traditions, loyalty, and morale. The services have their own characteristic ethos, which is not easy for an outsider to understand. The implications of affecting the morale of one and a half million men who look up to their Chiefs with awe and reverence must not be lost sight of. Their institutional sanctity must be maintained. They should be treated with a certain degree of restraint and caution. The best of the armies come a cropper because of low morale and doubtful loyalty. There are better ways of dealing with errant officers.

    The government has displayed total insensitivity by first dismissing the naval Chief unceremoniously and now arresting a former Air Chief hastily. Surely softer options were available to the government in both the cases. The naval Chief could have been moved out laterally elsewhere or even asked to resign quietly. View this in the light of Chief of Army Staff, General K S Thimayya’s resignation, which jolted Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. He literally beseeched the Chief to withdraw his resignation, knowing full well its consequences. In the case of the former Air Chief’s arrest, he could well have been dealt later along with the bigger fish, if found culpable. Where was the hurry to arrest him now amidst all this publicity? The government action has created ripples in the air force and dealt a severe blow to the morale of the entire defence community. The government does not realise that the bond between the serving and the retired defence personnel is very strong. The presence of a large number of senior retired air force and army officers in the court was a clear manifestation of this bond. Loyalty still plays an important role in the services.


    Apparently, the government doesn’t seem to be aware of the widespread discontent that exists in the armed forces at present. Their progressive downgradation, problems pertaining to OROP and the Seventh Pay Commission, deteriorating civil-military relations have all led to a general discontent in the armed forces. And now to make matters worse, the CBI has gone and arrested a former Chief of Air Staff under intense media scrutiny.

    It goes to the credit of military leadership that this simmering discontent within the armed forces has not been allowed to manifest into some sort of popular reaction. The defence forces are the only institution that are not yet sullied, and the only one that keep the integrity of the nation intact. They certainly deserve a better treatment from the nation. Pushing them hard will only force them crossing the threshold. India’s armed forces may not revolt as they did in 1857 and 1946, but let us not forget the 1997 air force revolt that was no less than a mutiny.

    It’s a serious matter that may affect the national security in the long run. The government must ensure that such incidents do not dent the morale of the armed forces and create a sense of insecurity amongst them. The feeling that the Chiefs can be got rid of easily can have a devastating effect on the rank and file. The notion that the Chiefs who stand up for a cause can be dispensed with easily can affect the very functioning of the higher hierarchy in the armed forces, which is neither good for the government nor for the services.

    Retreat ceremony now in Gujarat as well

    Retreat ceremony now in Gujarat as well
    Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani visits the border area. Courtesy: Twitter

    Manas Dasgupta

    Tribune News Service

    Ahmedabad, December 24

    On the pattern of Wagah border, the Gujarat government with the clearance from the Centre has opened another India-Pakistan border point for public viewing.“Border tourism” will now become a major attraction for the visitors to Gujarat in addition to the famous Somnath and Dwarka temples, the Asiatic lion sanctuary in Gir and other important tourist spots.Suigam border with Pakistan in Banaskantha district of north Gujarat will be thrown open to the visitors from the country every Saturday and Sunday.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechdA special “Beating the Retreat” ceremony — akin to the one performed at Wagah — was organised by the Border Security Force at Suigam border this evening in the presence of Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, except that there was no one present from the Pakistan side.Rupani assured governmental assistance for higher education to the children of the Army and BSF personnel killed or permanently disabled in action. He also promised to complete construction of mobile towers on the borders at the earliest to enable the personnel to stay constantly in touch with their families.He announced that in the next budget, the government would make all electronic goods purchased by the Army and BSF jawans tax-free.

    Army chief selection row: Lt Gen Bakshi meets Parrikar

    Army chief selection row: Lt Gen Bakshi meets Parrikar
    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. — File photo

    New Delhi, December 21Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at the South Block here on Wednesday in the wake of ongoing controversy surrounding the appointment of Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as the new Army Chief.The meeting between the two came days after Lieutenant General Bakshi, who headed the Eastern Command, was superseded by Lieutenant General Rawat for the top post.The opposition has questioned the government’s decision and demanded an explanation regarding the appointment.The government has, however, clarified that Lieutenant General Rawat was found best suited to deal with emerging challenges, including a reorganised and restructured military force in the north, continuing terrorism and proxy war from the west, and the situation in the North-East.According to Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources, Lt Gen Rawat has tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades.He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas including along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China and in the North-East. — ANI

    Martyrs remembered; families honoured

    Fazilka, December 16

    Tributes were paid to 206 soldiers who laid down their lives in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war in the Fazilka sector, at the Asfawala War Memorial, 7 km from Fazilka, as part of Vijay Diwas.On the occiasion, family members of the martyrs were honoured.Sandeep Gilhotra, president, Shaheedon Ki Samadhi Committee, said the Fazilka sector suffered the maximum casualties (206) against the total of 1,600 soldiers of the country in the war.Abohar: Punjabi Sabhyachar Manch and other NGOs honoured ex-serviceman Sharat Chander Sharma (74) and retd Major Surinder Prasad. — OC

    Ex-servicemen, soldiers demand status of war fighters

    Ex-servicemen, soldiers demand status of war fighters
    Army men pay tribute to martyrs on the occasion of Vijay Diwas at the War Memorial in Dharamsala on Friday. Photo: Kamaljeet

    Shimla: Ex-servicemen on Friday demanded war fighter status for all serving and ex-servicemen, who fought wars for the country. They raised the demand on occasion of Vijay Diwas. They said they should be given all benefits that the Ministry of Defence gave to the freedom fighters. “Time has come to recognise the contribution of these unsung war fighters of the nation to motivate young people to join the armed forces,” they asserted. “To give war medals to these ex-soldiers is nothing more than a lollipop,” says Capt (retd) Jagdish Verma, president, Honorary Commissioned Officers’ Welfare Association of Himachal Pradesh, which has been championing the cause of the serving and ex-soldiers in the state for many years. “We appreciate both state and Central governments for increasing the monetary and other benefits for war heroes and war widows,” said Lt (retd) BM Dogra, Indian Navy. Kuldeep Chauhan

    Chinar Corps pays tributes to martyrs on Vijay Diwas

    Chinar Corps pays tributes to martyrs on Vijay Diwas
    15 Corps GOC Lt Gen JS Sandhu pays homage to the martyrs in Srinagar on Friday. Tribune photo

    Srinagar, December 16

    The Srinagar-based 15 Corps of the Army, also known as the Chinar Corps, celebrated the 45th anniversary of the Army’s victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war and commemorated the sacrifices of those who laid down their lives.Lt Gen JS Sandhu, General Officer Commanding, Chinar Corps, paid homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath at the war memorial here on behalf of the Army fraternity. A function was organised at the war memorial in the Badami Bagh Cantonment, Srinagar, where rich tributes were paid to those who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pak war.The day is celebrated every year as ‘Vijay Diwas’ to commemorate the Army’s victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. The Chinar Corps had the responsibility of J&K during the war. The day was also celebrated at various Army formations and units across the Kashmir valley, an Army spokesman said. — TNS

    Pak troops target Army posts in Poonch sector

    Our Correspondent

    Poonch, December 16

    Pakistani troops today violated the truce agreement by targeting forward posts of the Indian Army and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in the Balakote sector of Poonch district.“The firing from the Pakistani side started at 9.15 am and continued for about 75 minutes. Pakistan targeted several Indian positions in the Balakote sector and villages close to the LoC,” a defence source said.“The Pakistan army initiated indiscriminate firing of small arms, automatics and mortars at 9.15 am on Indian Army posts along the Line of Control in the Poonch sector,” a defence spokesperson said today. “The Army retaliated strongly and effectively. The firing stopped around 10.30 am,” he added.Sources said the Pakistan army shelled posts with heavy mortars and opened fire with small arms and automatic weapons in the Sholla, Basooni, Dharati and Panjani areas of the Balakote sector.No loss of life or property was reported on the Indian side. Pakistan violated the ceasefire after a lull of almost three weeks.

    Kharga Corps celebrates Vijay Divas

    Our Correspondent

    Ambala, December 15

    The Kharga Corps celebrated the 45th Vijay Divas at Vijay Smarak here today.A wreath was laid at the War Memorial by Lt-Gen MM Naravane, General Officer Commanding, to pay homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the motherland.Vijay Divas commemorates the victory of India in the 1971 Indo-Pak war which culminated in the liberation of Bangladesh.In one of the fastest and shortest campaigns of military history, a new nation was created.Also known as the ‘Lightening Campaign’, 93,000 prisoners of war surrendered to the Indian Army at the end of the operation.

    Seminar on Indo-Pak conflict

    Amritsar, December 15

    Folklore Research Academy will hold a seminar on “Indo-Pak conflict: Let live the people” here on December 18.Prof Bawa Singh, former chairman, Minority Commission, Jammu and Kashmir’s former MP AR Shaheen, UP’s former MP Shahed Sidiqqi, Satnam Singh Manak, Assistant Editor of a Punjabi daily, Parmod Jamwal, Editor, Kashmir Times, PN Puniyal and Pushpindera Kulshreshtha, both senior journalists, will deliver talks on the subject.Elections for the executive of Folklore Research Academy will also be held on this occasion. — TNS

    Brig HS Sodhi, who played an instrumental role in Bangladesh war, dies at 89

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, December 15

    Brig Harinder Singh Sodhi (retd), who had commanded the fourth battalion of the 4th Gurkha Rifles at Sikkim in 1964 and a mountain brigade, which played an instrumental role in the Bangladesh war, was cremated here today. He was 89 and passed away on Wednesday, informed a family member.He is survived by his wife Harjit Sodhi, son Jasbir Singh, daughter-in-law Neelam Sodhi and daughters Nishi Coday and Kiran.Born on January 27, 1927, at Gujranwala (now in Pakistan), Brigadier Sodhi had received his initial education at a local school in Guru Har Sahai before moving to Aitchison College in Lahore. Later, he went to the RIMC in Dehradun. He joined the Indian Military Academy in 1946 and was commissioned into the 4th Gurkha Rifles on December 22, 1947.After commanding the fourth battalion of the 4th Gurkha Rifles at Sikkim in 1964, Brigadier Sodhi became commandant of the 14th Gurkha Training Centre in Subathu. Later, he moved on to command a mountain brigade, which played an instrumental role in the Bangladesh war. He went into the war with just a walking stick and refused to carry a weapon. Brigadier Sodhi was a prolific sportsman and keen swimmer and polo player.He took premature retirement in 1976 to be with his family and to peruse his passion for writing. He was a keen military historian and had written seven books about the Indian Army.