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Thursday, 16 July 2015

From Today's Papers - 16 Jul 2015

It started with Col’s bail plea
Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 15
When Justice Daya Chaudhary of the Punjab and Haryana High Court took up a serving army colonel’s plea for stay on arrest about two years back in the multiple plot allotment case, there was no way anyone could have realised that the matter would soon snowball into a major controversy allegedly involving politicians and bureaucrats.

After Justice Chaudhary took cognizance of the matter, HUDA recommended registration of an FIR against persons allotted more than one plot under the reserved defence quota.

As HUDA and the police went beyond scratching the surface, more than 220 FIRs were registered against 473 accused in the case. Challan was filed against 54 accused. The cases by the state police followed HUDA’s recommendations against persons procuring multiple plots.

HUDA too, during the course of the hearing, placed in dock the who’s who of the state government and police administration. In a list submitted to the High Court, HUDA named former ministers, MLAs, IAS and IPS officers, who allegedly procured more than one plot under the reserved categories in urban estates in contravention of the rules.

The prominent names included former ministers Shanti Rathi, Jagan Nath, Khraiti Lal and former MP Inder Singh Sheokand. Name of former IAS officer S Y Quraishi too figures in the list of around 36 persons furnished before the High Court.

Taking up the list, Justice Chaudhary had then indicated that the court would not spare anyone, however prominent or mighty he might be, if found erring. “It would be their misconception, if they feel that nothing is going to happen in the case,” Justice Chaudhary had observed in the court.

HUDA had, on a previous date of hearing, also stated that Haryana’s former Chief Minister Bhajan Lal’s nephew and former MLA, Dura Ram, had been allotted four plots under the discretionary quota in the name of his daughters, son and wife in Panchkula, Hisar, Karnal and Faridabad.

The list also mentioned that family of former President Shankar Dyal Sharma was also allotted more than one plot under discretionary quota in HUDA developed sectors.

The High Court has already refused to quash criminal proceedings against the beneficiaries in the multiple plot allotment case. Dismissing two such petitions, the High Court had recently made it clear that the plea of ignorance could at best be taken in defence during the trial.
After face-off, Chinese tents removed from Demchok
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 15
The tents, which the Chinese had erected on the Indian soil in Ladakh, during a face-off with India around the time when the Chinese President Xi Jinping visited India last September, have been removed.

Indian government officials explained that Chinese villagers had set up the tents in Demchok, Ladakh, in September last year to protest construction of a 100-feet water channel connected to Charding Nilong Nallah (CNN), which passes through Demchok. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) passes through the CNN.

Following the face-off in Demchok talks were held between India and China which led to the removal of the water channel about 15 days ago. A few days later, the Chinese tents, which were present at Demchok since September last year, were also removed. Indian government officials believe that Chinese intelligence officials were also using the tents.

The Indian villagers in Demchok wanted a water source for irrigation and other purposes. “They requested the local authorities for the water source. They started constructing a water channel (under MNREGA) from the CNN towards Demchok. The Chinese objected to it, saying that as the LAC passes along the CNN water channel cannot be constructed,” explained an official.

The Chinese villagers put tents at a grazing ground, which India believes is a part of it, according to the official.
Woman killed, 2 BSF _men hurt in Pak firing ahead of PM’s J-K visit
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 15
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on July 17, a woman was killed and five others, including two BSF personnel, were injured as the Pakistan Rangers today shelled five Indian posts and six forward villages along the border in Pargwal sector of Akhnoor, around 50 km northwest of Jammu.

The Akhnoor subdivision falls in Jammu district.

“It all began around 8.50 am when the Rangers opened sniper fire and injured a border guard in Pargwal sector. When a bulletproof vehicle was rushed to the site to evacuate him, they opened heavy machine gun fire on the vehicle,” said a senior BSF officer.

Two mortar shells exploded at Bhalwal Bharth village, killing Poli Devi (42) and injuring three other civilians, Ramesh Lal (24), Usha Devi (38) and Surender Kumar (22).

Surender and Ramesh were admitted to the GMC Hospital in view of their critical injuries, while Usha Devi is being treated at the Primary Health Centre, Pargwal.

Constable Anjani Kumar of 89 Battalion of the BSF hailed from the Basdih area of Balia in Uttar Pradesh. He was evacuated to the GMC Hospital here after a hard toil and his condition was stated to be stable.

“After the sniper fire, Pakistani troops targeted one of our posts in Kanachak sub-sector around 9.05 am with small and heavy arms from their Azam post, prompting us to retaliate,” the BSF officer said. “The BSF made a calibrated response as we didn’t want to escalate the situation,” he added. As the skirmishes flared up through the day, another BSF jawan Constable YP Tiwari sustained minor injuries. Today’s firing and shelling was the fourth truce violation by the Pakistani troops in the past one week.

At 9.10 am, they fired from the Noor post on another post of the BSF in Kanachak and at 10.25 am they fired two mortar shells (82mm) from their Khairi post on a post in Garkhial, the officer said.

“At 10.35 am, we retaliated with one burst of MMG on their Ayub post. At 11.25 am, they opened two bursts of machine gun fire from their MD Aslam post. In all, they targeted our five posts,” he said.

The firing continued till 12.05 am. “The Rangers resumed shelling around 1.30 am and fired 82 mm mortars. Three bombs fell inside a BSF post at 3.40 am. There has been no firing or mortar shelling from their side since 5.45 pm,” he added.

The officer said the BSF was apprehending some mischief by Pakistan on Eid. “We are giving them calibrated response so as to avoid a flare up, but if they didn’t mend their way, we would be compelled to go full throttle. The situation is tense,” he said. Modi is scheduled to attend centenary birth celebrations of former state Finance Minister Girdhari Lal Dogra on July 17.
Army Denies Pakistan's Claims of Shooting Down Indian 'Spy Drone'
New Delhi:  The Indian military today denied the Pakistan army's claims of shooting down an Indian "spy" drone.

"Some reports of a drone crash in POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) are being referred to. No drone or UAV crash of Indian Army has taken place," the defence ministry said in a statement. The army's Northern Command has also issued a denial.

The Pakistan army has alleged that the drone was being used for aerial photography near the Line of Control and was shot down in the Bhimber area of PoK. The drone was "brought down for violation of Pakistan's territorial integrity," it claims.

The incident comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif held talks in Ufa in Russia where the two leaders were attending a summit.

In a joint statement after the talks, the two countries decided to arrange meetings of senior military officials to reduce tension along the border.
In Dramatic Rescue, Armymen Move Truck With Bare Hands
New Delhi:  An army contingent stopped for a thrilling rescue act on spotting a man trapped under a truck on the highway in Maharashtra.

On Tuesday, a dumper truck toppled over on the rain-slick highway between Ahmednagar and Shirdi. The vehicle fell on a pan shop vendor.

An Indian Army bus passing through noticed the commotion and stopped. On assessing the situation, about a dozen personnel got together and using only their strength heaved the truck back into place.

A video that has been circulated on WhatsApp zooms in on the man who survived the weight of the truck.

"Must see the video and salute the Indian Army. These are GUARDSMEN presumably from the Regt Centre passing through... KUDOS! !!" said a message posted along with the video.

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