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Sunday, 7 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 07 Apr 2013
Man posing as Army officer cheats martyr Hemraj’s widow of Rs 10 lakh
Tribune News Service

Lucknow, April 6
A man conned Lance Naik Hemraj Singh’s widow out of Rs 10 lakh in the presence of her relatives in Kosi on the outskirts of Mathura by posing as an Army man sent to help her invest her compensation money.

The widow had received the money in compensation after her husband was beheaded by Pakistan troops along the Line of Control on January 8.

This is the second attempt in the past 10 days to defraud the widow who is still recovering from the tragedy of losing her husband.

The widow, Dharmvati, in her complaint said a man, who introduced himself as Amit Kumar and claimed to be an Army officer sent by the Army Headquarters, came to her native village of Shernagar this morning.

Dharmvati had some time ago asked the Commanding Officer of her husband’s unit — 13 Rajputana Rifles — to send someone over to help her invest the relief money. The officer had promised to send someone on April 10.

The unsuspecting widow failed to cross-check the man’s credentials and took him for the help sent by the CO who had visited her a few days ago.

The widow, her brother-in-law Bhagwan Singh and uncle Gajendra Singh accompanied Amit to the State Bank of India’s Chatta branch from where she withdrew Rs 20 lakh as advised by the accused.

“Of this, a fixed deposit of Rs 10 lakh was made in the branch in favour of my daughter Shivani, whereas we planned to deposit the remaining Rs 10 lakh in a bank at nearby Bukharari village.”

Amit kept the remaining Rs 10 lakh in his bag as the four moved towards Bukharari on two motorcycles — the brother-in-law and uncle on one and Dharmvati and Amit on the other motorcycle.

As they reached the outskirts of Mathura, the accused stopped his motorcycle at a petrol station for a refill, but sped away with the money as soon as Dharmvati got off the bike.

Mathura SSP Pradeep Yadav said a case has been registered under Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) and 406 (criminal breach of trust) of the IPC.

“The CCTV footage of the bank is being examined and the conman would be arrested soon,” he added.

The police had instructed the widow to inform the police about any major financial transaction in the future after a similar attempt was made to fraudulently withdraw Rs 60 lakh from her account on March 25, the SSP said.

However, the widow did not heed to the advice and was taken in by the conman.

Earlier, a man had stolen Dharmvati’s cheque book from the postman and later deposited two cheques for Rs 30 lakh each with an SBI branch in Palwal district in Haryana for withdrawal. But the fraudulent transaction was detected and payment was stopped.

Second time unlucky

    This is the second attempt in 10 days to defraud Lance Naik Hemraj’s widow
    The conman came posing as an Army man to help the widow invest the money she got in compensation
    The widow had earlier asked the martyr’s unit CO to send someone over to help her with the investment
    A man had earlier stolen her cheques and later deposited these with a bank in Haryana to withdraw Rs 60 lakh.
Army asks defence ministry to probe Brigadier on chopper deal
New Delhi: The army has asked the defence ministry to investigate the charges that a Brigadier had sought a bribe of Rs 25 crore from AgustaWestland to help it bag the deal for supplying 197 light choppers before taking any decision on the tender.

The allegations against the Brigadier surfaced during investigations into the VVIP chopper deal about the alleged involvement of Finmeccanica in paying kickbacks to secure the Indian contract for 12 VVIP choppers.
“The Army Headquarters has asked us to investigate the matter before taking any decision on the future of the deal, in which only two firms European Eurocopter and Russian Kamov are left in the race as AgustaWestland was eliminated before trials itself,” a defence ministry source said in New Delhi.

Recently, in a Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) meeting, the ministry had asked the army to take “responsibility” that there was no wrongdoing in the charges against the officer after which the force asked the government to conduct a probe before taking any further decision, they said.

The DAC also has to take a call on whether to allow the deviations from the tendering process by the two companies and a Special Technical Oversight Committee (STOC) has submitted its report in this regard.

After the charges came up, the ministry had asked the Italian government to provide the name and relevant documents relating to the alleged involvement of the Brigadier in the ongoing process for acquisition of 197 helicopters for the army.

The allegations have been levelled against the officer, who has denied the charges, in a letter allegedly sent by an AgustaWestland official in India to his superiors in Italy saying the Brigadier was seeking $5 million for facilitating the deal in their favour.

The deal for procuring 197 light choppers has already been cancelled once in 2007 in the last stages.
Army trucks: Ashok Leyland-L&T consortium emerges lowest bidder for Rs 100-cr contract
NEW DELHI: Aconsortium of Indian firms has emerged the lowest bidder in the first in a series of Indian Army tenders to procure specialised vehicles, in what could be the beginning of the end of a decades-old monopoly of the imported Tatra trucks as the army's all-terrain vehicles and the mobility platform for weapons systems such as missiles and rocket launchers.

According to people familiar with the development, a consortium of Ashok LeylandBSE 0.91 % and L&T emerged the lowest bidder two weeks ago when commercial bids for procurement of 100 multibarrel rocket launchers (meant to upgrade the BM21 rocket launchers) were opened. The value of the contract is about Rs 100 crore, according to industry sources.

The contract involves refurbishing the existing rocket launchers and mounting them on new vehicles. The weapons-related work will be done by L&T and the vehicle is a new Ashok Leyland platform. The Leyland-L&T combine left behind a team of Tata Group companies (Tata Motors and Tata PowerBSE 0.37 % SED) and a team of Tatra, Bharat Earth Movers and Bharat ElectronicsBSE 0.27 %. The last two are public-sector defence companies.

Tatra, a Czech vehicle manufacturer, has supplied powerful all-terrain vehicles for India's armed forces for decades, to the exclusion of Indian manufacturers.

Its long monopoly is now the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation after former army chief General VK Singh alleged he was offered a bribe to clear the procurement of Tatra trucks. These vehicles are assembled by public sector BEML. CBI is also investigating the role of former BEMLBSE 1.62 % MD VRS Natarajan in the Tatra case. Tatra is majority-owned by London-based Indian businessman Ravi Rishi.

"We are finally biting the bullet on indigenisation. We have the capacity and capability to develop vehicles for weapons platforms. This is absolutely a welcome step and it will help cut down our dependence on imported vehicles such as Tatra and Urals," said Brigadier (retd) Arun Sahgal, director at the Forum for Strategic Initiative, a Delhibased think tank. The contract for rocket launchers is among four tenders for specialised trucks the army had called for in 2009. Field trials are over and commercial bids will be opened in the coming months.

The others are for 1,239 units of 6-wheel-drive high-mobility vehicles, 255 units of 8-wheel-drive highmobility vehicles and 100 units of so-called field artillery tractors.

Ashok Leyland, Tata MotorsBSE -0.97 % and Tatra are competing in all categories. Ashok Leyland, which has supplied more than 65,000 four-wheel-drive Stallion trucks for the Indian Army, says it has developed a worldclass platform for the army's specialised needs. "Our trucks have more than 90% local content. The Neptune is an 8-litre, 6-cylinder, thirdgeneration common rail diesel engine that can deliver 360-400 bhp.

It is compliant with most European norms," said Ashok Leyland Vice-Chairman V Sumantran. His company has developed 6x6 and 8x8 variants of a truck called the Super Stallion that is competing in the army tenders. A spokesperson for Tata Motors declined comment. "Tatra is most suited for Indian conditions. Our competitors just meet the requirement," Tatra CEO Ronald Adams said in an emailed statement
The potential victory of Indian truck makers in the army tenders comes at a time the government has been emphasising the need for indigenisation in the wake of allegations of bribery in the purchase of Agusta Westland helicopters. India imports more than 70% of its defence equipment needs and has been the world's largest weapons importer for three consecutive years. A defence ministry spokesperson declined comment on the competition.

"Trucks are not a high-tech weapons system and we have every capability to build them. It is welcome that finally the defence ministry has woken up to the fact that we don't need to import even the trucks on which the weapons are mounted," said Deba Mohanty, a Delhibased strategic analyst. The new trucks will also come as a relief to Indian Army drivers, who operate in conditions ranging from the deserts of Rajasthan to the high altitude of Leh.

Many variants feature air-conditioned cabins and automatic transmission. The all-terrain trucks in the competition are equipped with a technology called continuous tyre inflation system, which allows the driver to change tyre pressure to suit terrain
Lawrence College: Army takes notice of principal's forced resignation
MURREE: A Lawrence College student who was rusticated by the principal over a serious breach of discipline, has been restored, while the latter’s resignation, who he tendered under pressure of a high-ranking army officer, has been accepted, Geo News reported.

However, the top brass of Pakistan Army taking a notice of the incident has ordered an inquiry as the students continue to protest demanding their former principal back in the place of his successor, who assumed office Saturday.

Earlier it was reported that an army officer as well as a member of the college’s board of directors, started forcing Mohammad Hafeez, the principal, to restore his relative Asim Gardezi, the suspended student.

Against what goes without saying the “man of principle” refused to submit to the diktats of nepotistic board member upholding his disciplinary action he took against the undisciplined student.

According to sources as the pressure mounted the unyielding educator preferred biting the bullet to eating a humble pie.

Taking a calculated jump to the conclusions as a protest, he sent his resignation to the Governor of Punjab, Makhdoom Syed Ahmed Mahmood, who in spite of being cognizant of the whole comeuppance gave it a nod under the pressure of the same military officer.

End of the story, no absolutely not! Surprisingly, hundreds of his now former college students as well the faculty came out of their dorms to raise voice against this injustice. They also announced to boycott the classes until the restoration of their outgoing principal.

Standing around their beloved Principal who was sent packing by the power-towers, they chanted slogans in his favour and appealed to the administration not to let go of the man who had been so phenomenal for the institute as well as the students at large.

When contacted for a comment, a representative for the college's board of directors said all the rules & regulations had been duly followed with regard to principal's stepping down, which was utterly voluntary.

The principal, while talking to Geo News, said he was overwhelmed with emotions when he found the students standing in his way --urging him to stay put-- as he was leaving the college for good.

"I cordially value the sincere respect they have shown for me. I thank them all for making me so proud. My parting advice for them is to concentrate on their studies. That's all", said he.

It must be mentioned Lawrence College Ghora Gali, one of the most prestigious educational institutes in Pakistan, is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and Pir Panjal at a height of about 1950 meters (6395 feet) above sea level, on a pine covered spur, covering an area of 150 acres. Ghora Gali is 4 km from Murree Town and 57 km from Rawalpindi.

Lawrence Schools of the subcontinent are the brainchildren of Sir Henry Lawrence. He was born in 1806 in (then) Ceylon and educated at Folye College Derry and then Addiscomb Military Seminary.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood seek to infiltrate, control powerful army: report
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood is seeking to infiltrate the military establishment, overthrow its leadership and bring it fully under its control, Egyptian media reported Friday.

The Islamist movement is not happy with the military because the latter has refused to recruit more of its members and because the generals object to President Mohammed Mursi’s rapprochement with Iran, the daily al-Masry a-Youm reported, quoting sources.

Last February, similar reports claimed that the Brotherhood sought to overthrow the head of Egypt’s Armed Forces, General Abdulfatah al-Sisi, and other high-profile officers in a scenario similar to the ouster of Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi.

Al-Masry al-Youm's reported, however, that the military will not allow the ouster of another general and that Sisi enjoys wide support among military officers and the public at large.
Government should run like an army unit: Gen V K Singh
JIND: Former Army chief Gen V K Singh has said the country needed a system where the government was run like a military unit, for which the nation is above any caste or religion.

"Poverty and corruption are rampant in the country and no effective steps had been taken to eradicate them...the country needs a system where the government was run like an Army unit for which the nation is of prime importance and caste or religion comes later," Singh said here last night addressing a public meeting of 'Jantantra Yatra', led by anti-corruption crusader and social activist Anna Hazare.

The former Army chief alleged that various political parties divided people on the basis of caste and religion for their political gain.

Hazare, however, could not preside over the meeting due to ill-health. Gen Singh has been touring with Hazare in Punjab and Haryana as part of the Yatra since March 31, which entered Karsindhu village of Jind district last evening.

Gen Singh appealed to the people to attend Jan-Sansad (public-rally) which will be held in New Delhi in September this year, and unitedly fight against corrupt people and anti-national forces.

Earlier, addressing series of rallies on way to Jind, Anna Hazare had said the 'Jantantra Morcha' is not seeking change of power at the centre, but is struggling for a change in the existing political system for choosing better leaders.

Hazare had said "we have started fight against the system where corrupt and criminals were ruling the country" and called upon the people to choose honest persons in the up coming general elections.

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