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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

From Today's Papers - 15 Apr 2015

Pak Punjab challenges Lakhvi’s release by HC
Provincial govt moves SC against Lahore court order
Lahore, April 14
Pakistan's Punjab government today challenged the Lahore High Court's decision to suspend the detention of LeT operations commander and 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in the Supreme Court, saying his release has created problems for it.

The Punjab government in its petition pleaded the apex court that the LHC had suspended the detention of Mumbai attack case accused Lakhvi under Maintenance of Public Ordinance despite seeing "sensitive documents" against him.

The government said the release of 55-year-old Lakhvi had created problems for it. "Besides, there are chances that the investigation into Mumbai attack case may also be affected because of the release of Lakhvi," the government argued in the petition.

It requested the apex court to suspend the order of the LHC and restore the detention of Lakhvi under the security act.

The SC office will fix the date of hearing. Lahore High Court Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq on April 9 had suspended Lakhvi's detention as the government failed to present "sensitive documents" against him in the court.

The government's counsel presented "sensitive reports" prepared by the intelligence agencies about the activities of Lakhvi but the judge expressed dissatisfaction over it observing "the reasons cited by the government for the petitioner’s detention were not enough".

On April 10, Lakhvi was released from Adiala Jail Rawalpindi after about six years of his arrest in the Mumbai attack case.  The government managed to keep him behind the bars under the security act for nearly four months since the trial court granted him bail on December 14, 2014.

Pakistan faced strong criticism from India over the release of Lakhvi. India questioned Pakistan's commitment to fight against terrorism. — PTI
Treat terrorism as sensitively as nuclear proliferation: Modi
Berlin, April 14
Asking the international community to treat terrorism as “sensitively” as nuclear proliferation, PM Narendra Modi today said the world should collectively put pressure on countries which provide shelter to terrorists, in an apparent reference to Pakistan.

The PM also made a strong pitch for the conclusion of the long-pending Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) at the UN this year which marks the 70th anniversary of the global body. The objective of the CCIT is to strengthen cooperation to combat international terrorism.

Addressing a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel here after their talks during which they discussed the menace of terrorism, Modi described it as the “biggest threat to humanity” and said all those believing in humanity should speak in one voice and intensify collective efforts to tackle it.

“Terrorism is a challenge to the whole world...This issue should be dealt with as sensitively as nuclear proliferation,” the Prime Minister said. He further added that “We need to work on how we can stop sources from where the weapons are supplied. How we can put pressure on the countries where governments provide shelter to terrorists...We need to isolate such countries and governments,” he said.

Modi’s remarks came four days after a Pakistan court released LeT operations commander and the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, which evoked a sharp reaction and concern from several countries including the US, France and Israel. — PTI
Fire officer, AWHO director booked
Bipin Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, April 14
A group housing society – Army Welfare Housing Organisation (AWHO), Vikram Vihar, Sector 27, here has come under the scanner with the Panchkula police registering a case of cheating, forgery and under the Prevention of Corruption Act against a fire officer of the Municipal Corporation and a project director of the society.

The officer and the project director were booked under Sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 120-B of the IPC and under the Prevention of Corruption Act on a complaint of Col Tajinder Singh (retd), president, and Major Virender Singh (retd), secretary, of the Users Committee of the society, on April 12. A case was registered against them at the Chandimandir police station.

The Panchkula police acted after the complainants moved an application at the CM Window in Panchkula, alleging corruption by Panchkula fire officials in issuing a no-objection certificate for fire safety to the group housing society, GH AWHO, Sector 27, on February 13. The application was forwarded to the DGP, Haryana, and further to the district police.

Taking note of the complaint, the Panchkula police sought an opinion from the DDA and the case was registered after an investigation by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Jagtar Singh. Deputy Commissioner of Police, Panchkula, Hamid Akhtar said the case was being investigated from all angles and action would be taken against those involved in it. In the application, the complainants have claimed that the NOC for fire safety clearance was given by the fire officer of the MC to the project director, AWHO. The Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) had issued an occupation certificate to the society for this multi-storeyed housing project comprising 10 towers (stilt plus nine storeys).

The complainants also stated that no fire safety equipment/infrastructure was in place in any of the blocks at the time of the inspection conducted by the fire officials. Of the 10 blocks, fire safety equipment was partially placed in five blocks on August 2014 whereas the inspection was carried out before July 2013.

Hence the effectiveness of the entire fire safety was compromised with. The guidelines of the National Building Code of India were also violated blatantly, the complainants alleged.

A majority of the blocks were without the mandatory fire safety norms even now, they said. The complainants stated that the AWHO had already given possession to 350 allottees and more than 100 families had already shifted there and were living under a "great risk". A majority of the residents are retired Army personnel.
Showers of love as Army’s grand old lady turns 100
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 14
“Do your duty. It’s your real wealth.” This is the message the Indian Army’s grand old lady, Rajkumari Shrinagesh, had for the present generation of officers and their spouses on her 100th birthday, which she celebrated with √©lan with her family members and well-wishers here today.

Though frail and dependant on a wheelchair to move around, she was alert and cheerful, with a sparkle in her eyes as she met visitors, many of whom having old regimental association, thanking them and telling them to come again. She is staying with her daughter, Primila Puri, here.

The seniormost lady of the Indian Army, she is the wife of the late Gen Satyavant Mallanh Shrinagesh, who served as the third Chief of Army Staff from May 1955 till May 1957. After retirement, he served as the Governor of Assam, Governor of Andhra Pradesh and Governor of Mysore. He was commissioned into the 19th Hyderabad Regiment (now known as the Kumaon Regiment) in August 1923 and later served with the 2/1 Madras Pioneers. As Corps Commander after Independence, he was responsible for the Kashmir operations in 1947-48.

Her family members say she has been a great source of inspiration and strength for them. Along with her son, Major Satish Shrinagesh (retd), she had compiled an anthem for daily inspiration, titled “Yes! It's possible!!” that advocates the virtues of honesty, hard work, sharing and peaceful living.

“Her whole life has really been one of giving and she has never made any demands of us or burdened us with any issue,” said Major Shrinagesh. “We had lost our father to Parkinson’s almost 40 years ago and for the past 18-20 years of his life, she had nursed and looked after him virtually single-handedly,” he said. She takes active interest in family matters and every morning her children and grandchildren sit with her and share a few words.

As pipers and drummers from the Garhwal Rifles belted out cheerful tunes, a host of serving and retired officers as well as prominent local residents poured into the house in the evening to greet her. Among them were the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Command, Lt Gen KJ Singh, Chief of Staff, Western Command, Lt Gen V Menon, Lt Gen Om Prakash, Quarter Master General of the Army and Colonel of the Kumaon Regiment, and Lt Gen SL Narasimhan, Commandant, Army War College and Colonel of the Madras Regiment.

Rajkumari’s father was a veteran of World War I and II and among the first four Indians to be inducted into the medical wing of the erstwhile British Indian Army. Fascinated with the Army life since childhood, she wanted to marry an officer, to which her father agreed. Though belonging to a Punjabi family, she wed General Shrinagesh, then a Lieutenant, who was from Maharashtra. The couple had three sons and two daughters.

Looking back at her life’s “wonderful and joyous journey”, she recollected the time she spent in the Army and memories of all good as well as tough times came flooding to her mind, making her emotional and proud, prompting her to quip that she still remains wedded to the Army. She was also featured on the cover of Life magazine when her husband was the chief.
Concern grows over Indian Army’s Internal disputes being hotly debated on social media
New Delhi: With each passing day, the social media is spreading its wings. Not just for escalating awareness about social evils or any current issue but some serious matters as well. Now the Indian Army personnel are  using these medium to discuss their internal disputes.

The dispute within Indian Army over its promotion policy has started to boil over into social media. Discussions over various messaging groups have prompted calls for intervention to prevent fissures in its officer ranks from becoming crevasses that will be hard to bridge. The bitterness of the discussion has raised serious concern both inside and outside India Army.

Several officers have reported the springing up of WhatsApp groups and discussion forums in which messages, most of them critical of the infantry and artillery wings that stand to gain the most from the promotion policy, are exchanged between officers belonging to the other arms who feel wronged.

Through these messaging apps and social media, people related to this issue are easily getting information and developments related to it.

The issue is related to the contentious promotion policy, which gives a higher proportion of newly created senior ranks to the infantry and artillery arms at the cost of other army wings, has got some watchers of the situation likening it to a veritable Kurukshetra, with infantry and artillery ranged on one side and the remaining arms on the other.

Under this policy, adopted by the army in 2009 and aimed at reducing the age of officers commanding units on the border, officers from arms such as the armoured corps, mechanised infantry, signals and ordnance corps have a far lesser chance of attaining the rank of a Colonel and with it, ranks above it, compared with their counterparts in the artillery and infantry wings. According to one estimate, while 60% of Lt. Colonels in the infantry and artillery arms can become Colonels, the number is less than 30% in the other wings.

Last month, this policy was struck down by the armed forces tribunal. However, the defence ministry has gone in appeal against the verdict to the SC.
Ceremonial Squadron of the Indian Army to take part in Victory Day Parade in Moscow
The ceremonial squadron of the armed forces of India will take part in the celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Moscow. The TASS correspondent learned this on Tuesday from the press service of the Ministry of Defence of India.

“The ceremonial squadron of the armed forces of India will come to Moscow – to take part in the parade dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of Victory in the Great Patriotic War – on April 25, to participate in rehearsals, and then on May 9, will make the solemn march through Red Square,” says the press service of the ministry. “The Indian armed forces will be represented by 70 military ground troops in modern dress uniform and carrying small arms.”

It is noted that the honor to represent India at the Victory Parade will go to the best drill squadron, which will also participate in the annual parade in New Delhi during that country’s Republic Day.

As the TASS correspondent learned earlier from the Ministry of External Affairs of India, the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, will also take part in the Moscow celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of Victory.

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