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Thursday, 2 April 2015

From Today's Papers - 02 Apr 2015

AFT quashes Brig’s censure orders, grants promotion
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 1
Over four years after a Brigadier was “severely reprimanded” for procedural lapses while posted as the commandant of the Kumaon Regimental Centre, Ranikhet, the proceedings against him have been set aside. The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has ordered that the officer be granted the notional promotion to the rank of Major General along with consequential benefits.

The AFT’s Chandigarh Bench comprising Justice SS Thakur and Air Marshal SC Mukul, while holding that defence personnel could not be treated as second-rate individuals and deserved all protections available to other citizens, today also granted similar relief to Lieutenant Colonel Vijayant Mahadik in the same case. It directed that the Lieutenant _Colonel be considered for promotion to the rank of Colonel as a fresh case.

In October 2010, the Army had awarded the punishment of “severe displeasure” to Brig Bhupinder Singh after a court of inquiry (CoI) had indicted him on several counts of financial and procedural irregularities. The CoI was convened on the basis of an anonymous complaint received by the Army a few days after he had been approved for the promotion to Major General. Consequently, he could not pick up his rank and retired a few months later.

Three officers were awarded similar censure orders in 2010 by the GOC-in-C, Central Command, for lapses such as lack of supervision leading to release of more than the authorised quota of liquor from the canteen and lack of proper adherence to instructions while purchasing yarn etc. Besides the aforementioned officers, it included another Brigadier. The officers filed statutory complaints against the orders. While the severe reprimand of the other Brigadier was converted into a non-recordable censure and he was, thereafter, promoted to Major General, no such relief was given to the other two.

They challenged the orders maintaining that the mandatory Army Rule 180 was not complied with and the proceedings were held behind their back, besides the same yard stick was not applied for all officers.
NDMA, Army create channel to drain out artificial lake in Zanskar
Tribune News Service

Jammu, April 1
In a major breakthrough in dealing with flood threat in nearly 40 villages of Zanskar sub-division due to the Phuktal river blockage, the joint task force of the Army, Air Force and the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) finally created a 75-metre-long channel through the landslide area to drain out water from the artificial lake in a regulated manner.

It took five days for the joint task force to create the channel by conducting controlled blasting at the landslide site with 175-kg explosive. The civil administration coordinated with the task force to avert any tragedy.

“Relentlessly working long hours in temperatures lower than -25°C with high wind chill, and unmindful of the risk to life, a 75-metre-long channel, 2 metres deep and 2 metres wide was created by controlled blasting over five days. An artificial channel was created through the landslide area that facilitated the flow of water to the downstream side,” said defence spokesperson Col S D Goswami. He said the water finally started gushing across the landslide in an uninterrupted manner from the lake formed. “The flow is currently being closely monitored,” he said, adding that due to the joint efforts of the Army, Air Force, NDMA and the civil administration, a major calamity had been averted.

On December 31 last year, a massive landslide, measuring 500-600 metres in length, had blocked the Phuktal river creating an artificial lake. After Governor NN Vohra urged the NDMA to constitute a multi-disciplinary expert group to evolve an action plan for dealing with the situation, an expert committee was constituted by the NDMA which visited the blockage site.

Following the recommendations of the NDMA, the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC), headed by Union Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, decided that an expert team would be deployed to the site to carry out controlled blasting to create a breach in the landslide and allow channelised flow of water. The landslide caused complete blockage of water in the river, resulting in accumulation of more than 30 million cubic metre of water and forming a 15-km-long lake along the river. It was feared that a sudden bursting of the landslide could lead to submersion of nearby villages.
To mark 50 years of climb, Army sends team to Everest
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 1
Fifty years after the first Indian team, led by ace mountaineer Capt MS Kohli, reached Mount Everest, the Army today dispatched a 30-member team, tasked with multiple activities, to the Everest to mark the anniversary.

Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag flagged off the team this evening while spelling out the tasks of cleaning the Everest, participating in the Everest marathon besides climbing an adjoining peak.

The Army team led by Major Ranvir Singh Jamwal is divided into two parts — one will attempt a climb at the Everest (8,848 metre), while another will attempt the Lhotse peak (8,516 metre), which is close to the Everest and the fourth highest peak in the world.

With the help of Sherpas, the two teams will bring down some 4,000 kg trash that now litters the slopes of the Everest. Nearly 4,000 people have climbed the Everest since 1953, when Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to set their foot on it, and littered the peak.

Nepal now has a rule that has a garbage deposit of $4,000 to be forfeited by any expedition from which each climber fails to bring back 8kg trash and human waste. The Indian Army team will be bringing back the trash of others also. “We have specially designed bags to carry back the trash,” Major Jamwal said. An equal amount of trash – 4,014 kg — was removed by a joint India-Nepal Army expedition in 2013.

The team will attempt the Everest between May 15 and May 31, coinciding with the first Indian team, which had submitted the Everest on May 21, 1965.

Capt Kohli, who was from the Indian Navy and a Padma Bhushan awardee, is much respected in strategic circles for a classic international espionage operation jointly carried out by India and the US in the late 1960s.
Nigeria's new president is Indian defence college alumnus
Nigeria's newly elected president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari who defeated incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election, is an alumnus of the Indian Defence Services Staff College in Wellington from where he graduated in 1973.

Maj. Gen. Buhari became the president-elect after President Jonathan conceded defeat in the election and put in a call to congratulate his opponent, the presidential candidate of the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC). This is the first time a Nigerian sitting president has conceded defeat in an election.

Maj. Gen. Buhari, a former military head of state, polled 15,424,921 votes against President Jonathan's 12,853,162, according to official results declared on Wednesday by the Independent National Electoral Commission. He also obtained the 25 percent threshold in 24 out of the country's 36 states to win in the first round of the election.

He was born on December 17, 1942, in Daura in Katsina state, and was the 23rd child of his parents. He lost his father, Adamu, when he was only four years old.

Buhari joined the Nigerian Army in 1961 and attended the Nigerian Military Training College in Kaduna. Between 1962-1963, he was an Officer Cadet at Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot in England and was commissioned a second lieutenant in January 1963.

He served as a commander of the Second Infantry Battalion from 1965-1967 and later became a Brigade Major, Second Sector, First Infantry Division, from April 1967 to July 1967.

Buhari was made Brigade Major of the Third Infantry Brigade, July 1967 to October 1968, and Brigade Major/Commandant, Thirty-first Infantry Brigade, 1970-1971.

Between 1971 and 1972, he served as the Assistant Adjutant-General, First Infantry Division Headquarters. From 1974 to 1975, Maj. Gen. Buhari was appointed Acting Director, Transport and Supply, Nigerian Army Corps of Supply and Transport Headquarters.

He was also made Military Secretary, Army Headquarters,1978-1979, and was a member of the Supreme Military Council, 1978-1979. From 1979-1980, Maj. Gen. Buhari attended the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and gained a masters degree in strategic studies.

Following a coup In August 1975 by the late General Murtala Mohammed, he was appointed governor of the North-Eastern state. In March 1976, General Olusegun Obasanjo, as a military head of state, appointed Maj. Gen. Buhari as the federal commissioner for petroleum and natural resources. When the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was created in 1976, Buhari was also appointed its chairman, a position he held until 1978.

Buhari became head of state from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985, after taking power in a military coup d'etat. Following the introduction of civilian rule, he ran unsuccessfully for the office of president in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections.

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