There was an error in this gadget


Friday, November 6, 2009



In the wake of a recent cadre review of IPS officers in Madhya Pradesh the number of SPs will go up from  66 posts to 75 posts .

Earlier the IG post had gone up from 40+ to 60+ and ADG post had gone up from 8 to 13.

Reposted On Request

Dear Readers

1. I just compiled an approximate pay drawn by some of us. Here DA is @ 27% and Performance Related Incentive Scheme (PRIS) is in place for ISRO and likely to come through for IITs too.

2. For DRDO also there is a scheme to give upto 6 increments under incentive scheme.

3. I am leaving the conclusions for all of you to make. But just a "food for thought" :- Has MSP given any edge to Armed Forces ?

4. Plz note I ve made certain approximations at places. But the broad picture is there for you all to judge.


Hardcore (as usual)

US Army Maj goes on shooting spree, kills 12 at military base

A US Army psychiatrist, who was about to be deployed in Iraq, went on a shooting rampage at America's largest military base in Texas, killing 12 persons and injuring over 30 others before being shot and captured.

The suspect identified as Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, opened fire at a Fort Hood military processing center, where soldiers preparing for deployment go for a last minute medical check-up, at around 1.30 pm local time on Thursday.

Twelve people were killed before the gunman was shot and at least 10 of the dead were soldiers, Army Lt Gen Robert Cone said at the St Antonio military base, according to CNN.

While initial reports said he was killed in exchange of fire, Cone later said he was injured and in custody.

A civilian officer who was wounded in the incident shot the suspect, who is "in custody and in stable condition," Cone told reporters.

Two other soldiers arrested as suspects were later released.

The incident that sent shock waves across the country was termed by President Barack Obama as "a horrific outburst of violence".

"It is difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas... It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil," Obama said in Washington.

Hasan, 39, was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq "and appeared to be upset about that" said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who represents R-Texas.

"I think that there is a lot of investigation going on now into his background and what he was doing that was not known before," he said.

Hasan is a US citizen of Jordanian descent and this would have been his first deployment. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and a psychiatrist licensed in Virginia practising at Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.

Cone said the motive for the attack was unclear.

According to ABC news while Cone did not rule out the incident as an act of terrorism, he said evidence does not support that theory.

Meanwhile, Hasan's cousin Nader Hasan said she believed it was his upcoming deployment combined with the wartime horror stories he heard from his patients that set him off.

Hasan had recently hired an attorney to help him get out of the military.

According to Nader, Hasan was also harassed after 9/11 because of his ethnicity, and was called a "camel jockey."

Obama who was originally scheduled to spend more time at the Tribal Nations Conference immediately rushed to his Oval office to take stock of the situation.

"We will make sure that we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident," he said and left the stage.

The President spoke to the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, on the incident.

"We are working with the Pentagon, the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security, all to ensure that Fort Hood is secure, and we will continue to support the community with the full resources of the federal Government," he said.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by US Army from Fort Hood said the Department of Emergency Services officials confirmed that more than one shooter fired shots in the Soldiers Readiness Processing Center and Howze Theater on Fort Hood.

Vice President Joe Biden also expressed sympathies to the families of the soldiers who fell today: "We are all praying for those who were wounded and hoping for their full and speedy recovery... Our thoughts and prayers are also with the entire Fort Hood community as they deal with this senseless tragedy".

Fort Hood is the largest US military installation, with about 40,000 troops, in the world, and has suffered the greatest number of casualties of all American bases in the war on Iraq.

At least 25,000 people are at Fort Hood on any given day, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon said.

The Senate and the House of Representatives held a moment of silence for the victims of the Fort Hood massacre, and Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered flags be flown at half mast until Sunday.

Another controversy hits Gen Rodrigues

The outgoing Punjab Governor-cum-UT Administrator Gen S.F. Rodrigues (retd) is caught in yet another controversy.

The Company Law Board (CLB) at New Delhi has held that a Delhi-based entrepreneur Ashok Chawla, with whom Gen Rodrigues and his son had reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding in January, 2001, has succeeded in making out a “prima facie case of collusion and connivance” for ousting him from the management of a company.

Gen Rodrigues’s son Marc William Rodrigues was one of the company’s promoters/shareholders. Gen Rodrigues is said to have resigned from the chairmanship, and Marc was designated as the managing director.

The ruling, by the CLB’s Principal Bench, categorically says the respondents, Crystal Island Park Private Limited and Marc William Rodrigues, “cannot hide behind the high court’s order to lend validity to all the acts which stand vitiated by fraud”.

With this, it is clear that Rodrigues remains surrounded by controversies on one issue or another. During the last one year, the land deals for various projects like those for “Medicity”, “Film City”, amusement park and IT park development in the Union Territory have hit his image badly.

The company, Crystal Island Park Private Limited, was incorporated in January, 1999, with Marc Rodrigues and two others as promoters/shareholders. The company’s case was that on January 22, 2001, a memorandum of understanding was “purportedly entered into between Ashok Chawla, Gen S.F. Rodrigues (Punjab Governor), Marc Rodrigues (his son) and Zuari Tigers Aqua Private Limited”, whose name was later changed to Zuari River Agrotech Private Limited (ZRAPL). Pursuant to the MOU, the petitioner was inducted into ZRAPL.

Available information suggests prior to the acquisition of the entire shareholding of the company by M/s Grandeur, the company’s shareholding was jointly held by Marc and Chawla. The company, Marc and the petitioner then agreed to merge Zuari with the company to expand its business.

It is believed Zuari was set up by Gen Rodrigues and his son in Goa. When the company failed, Chawla was invited to join for its revival. But was later thrown out. Indications are that Chawla has also submitted an application before Superintendent of Police, Economic Offences Cell, Panaji, Goa, alleging forgery, cheating and fraud.

Chawla’s counsel contended in terms of the MOU that he and Marc were to hold 50 per cent each equity shares of ZTAPL. It was also decided the petitioner would be co-opted as a director and chairman, while Marc would be designated as the managing director. The objectives of the alliance were specified and related to “opportunities such as benolim hatcheries, amusement theme parks, water sports….”

Chawla further contended Marc “fraudulently diluted his stake to about 13 per cent”, though he was to hold 50 per cent. It was argued the traces of nefarious activities carried out by Marc “left behind deep imprints of fraud, cheating, deception, fabrication, forging and fudging of records and account”.

After going through the rival contentions, the Principal Bench asserted: “It is a case of forfeiture/change of shareholding of the petitioner, who has also been denied access to all the documents/books of the respondent company on the amalgamation in 2006.

“It is admitted case of the respondents that prior to the acquisition of the entire shareholding of the respondent company by M/s. Grandeur, the company’s shareholding was jointly held by Marc and the petitioner….”

CLB member Vimla Yadav added: “I have noted that the pages have been changed; and while changing the pages the pages inserted are not of the same type.

“Alleged corrections without putting initials by putting whitener are logically seem to have been done subsequently to the petitioner’s signing of such minutes, no prudent person would sign to damage his own rights and claims…. The minutes of the meeting book has been allegedly fabricated to start with continuous numbers of the first register, but later pages show different sequence of numbers….

“No credence can be given to the story that the petitioner first signed the share transfer forms and the consideration was paid subsequently”. Before parting with the order, CLB member Vimla Yadav asserted: “I find that the petitioner has succeeded in making out a prima facie case of collusion and connivance between the company and Marc in ousting him from the shareholding and management of the company. Fraud vitiates all acts, including the orders obtained from any court, even the high court….

“The high court of Bombay at Goa’s order on the amalgamation of the companies by misleading this court cannot revalidate the acts done in a fraudulent manner….”

Air force looks for G-suits as Prez gets ready to fly Su-30

New Delhi: She isn't fit enough to be a fighter pilot, nor is she at an age to think of becoming one. Besides, the air force doesn't even have a G-suit that fits her. But president Pratibha Patel has made up her mind. She would fly in a Sukhoi-30 MKI -- the Indian Air Force's most potent fighter.

In military style, detailing planning is underway in Pune and Delhi to ensure that the first woman president of the country has a smooth ride, like her predecessor APJ Abdul Kalam. Air force sources said the president would be flying for almost 30 minutes over Pune later this month. The probable date is November 25.

The president would sit in the rear seat, as the commanding officer of the Number 20 'Lightning' Squadron based at Lohegaon, Pune, would take the SU-30 to the sky. An air force officer said the president would be given a "slow and steady" ride, but "it won't be boring". She would be exposed to basic manoeuvres that would give her a good idea of the capabilities of the Russian-made fighter. The fighter, however, would not be pushed to the limits.

"It won't be like the ride that Dr Kalam had. He was looking at the performance of the machine, since he was familiar with it. So it was slightly tougher than the ride president Patil would have," a senior officer said.

As the air force prepares for the president's flight, they are faced with some unique challenges. The force does not have a G-suit, flying suit and boots of her size. The air force does not have women fighter pilots, so the single-piece G-suits and flying suits are made to the size of men, who are much taller. The G-suit, specifically the Anti-G-suit, helps pilots in a fighter plane to withstand high acceleration, or g-force.The G-suit is made of special garment and has inflatable bladders. It is a tight-fighting trouser worn over or under the flying suit. The bladders press tight on the abdomen and stomach, preventing blood from flowing away from the brain, which, otherwise, would result in a blackout.

India to supply coastal security equipment to Mauritius

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) India and Mauritius signed an agreement for enhancing coastal security during the visit of the Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor earlier this week, when he also handed over a Dhruv helicopter to the Indian ocean island state.

Tharoor on a two-day official visit was the chief guest at the 175th anniversary celebrations of the arrival of indentured labourers from India. The Indian minister also met with the Mauritian President Anerood Juganauth, Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam and held talks with Foreign Minister Arvin Boolell.

On Tuesday, both governments signed an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding for supply of coastal surveillance radar system from India to Mauritius. A separate agreement was also signed between the Mauritian government and Bharat Electronics Limited for the supply of the equipment.

Under the agreement, India will supply up to eight coastal surveillance radar systems, five of which will be on the main island, while one each on the islands of Rodrigues, Agalega and St. Brandon.

BEL will also provide the training and technical support. ‘An India-Mauritius Joint Monitoring Committee will be set up consisting of members from the government of India, government of Mauritius and BEL to facilitate the implementation of the project and review the progress of work,’ said a press release issued by the external affairs ministry.

Tharoor handed over a Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter to Prime Minister Navinchandra Ramgoolam, which was then inducted into the Mauritius Police Force. Later, Ramgoolam took Tharoor for a spin on the helicopter for a aerial tour of the island nation.

Both the coastal surveillance radar system and the helicopter are covered under the grant element of the $100 million line of credit that India offered during the visit of Prime Minister Ramgoolam in October 2005.

The Indian minister also delivered an address to a 800-member audience in the University of Mauritius on the subject ‘India-Africa: Partners in Development’.

Top General, Brigadier under scanner now

After a probe into the land scam case in Darjeeling, the Army top brass has been rocked by another controversy with an inquiry being ordered into alleged irregularities in the construction of a war memorial and renovation of a museum at the Ranikhet-based Kumaon Regimental Centre.

While Brigadier Bhupinder Singh, who was heading the centre, has been attached to the Lucknow-based Central Command for the inquiry into charges of diverting funds for the museum and memorial against the norms, the probe has also put one of the senior-most Generals of the Indian Army under the scanner. The inquiry is looking into the role of the Colonel of the Kumaon Regiment Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash for allegedly sanctioning funds to the tune of Rs 1 crore for the museum and memorial against the norms. Lt Gen Prakash is currently the Military Secretary (MS).

Sources said the inquiry, which has commenced in Lucknow under a Major General, is looking into allegations that the regimental centre concealed from central authorities that it had received funds of over Rs 80 lakh from the Cultural Department to construct the museum in violation of procedures.

Another charge being probed is that over Rs 30 lakh was allegedly taken out from the welfare funds of the Regimental Centre—funds that are earmarked for the welfare of ex-servicemen—to construct the museum and memorial.

While the inquiry has now put the promotion of Brigadier Singh, who had been approved for the rank of a Major General, on hold, Army officials defending the decision to grant sanctions for the museum said the funds were utilised “as per the standing operating procedure” and “proper sanctions” were given.

However, sources said the inquiry was ordered after the Central Command discovered that the massive amount of funds had been sanctioned without its approval. Sources said the contract for the design and construction of the war memorial was given to the daughter of a serving General, again in a violation of norms and no open tender was sanctioned by the regimental centre. It may be recalled that the Kumaon Regimental Centre is already under the shadow in the Army land scam case in which an educational institution allegedly posing as an affiliate of the Mayo College in Ajmer was close to purchasing regimental land under the garb of starting a school. The name of Lt Gen Prakash has also cropped up in the investigation into the Darjeeling land scam case.

Indian tank fights doubts over performance

NEW DELHI, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The Indian army will take at least 124 of the controversial Indian-made Arjun tanks by April, according to media reports.

But the army still doubts its performance as the country's proposed main battle tank to replace hundreds of Russian-made T-90 tanks.

W. Selvamurthy, head of research and development at the Defense Research and Development Organization, made the announcement, saying many of the tanks are already being manufactured and getting readied for delivery.

"All of them will get inducted into the armed forces in March and April," Selvamurthy said in a report in the Times of India newspaper. "Other organizations are also giving us orders."

He was speaking at the valedictory function of a training course at the Defense Institute of Advanced Technology at Girinagar, near the city of Pune.

The DRDO project manages the Arjun, which has been designed and is being made by Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment at Avadi, in the state of Tamil Nadu.

But the project has been 35 years in the making, and getting the first batch operational has been a battle in itself, lasting a decade, according to a report in the Hindustan Times newspaper last May.

Around 45 examples are already being used by the army, said the report. Yet the vehicle faces extensive comparative trials with the T-90s to see just how much the military can depend on it.

The Hindustan Times article said the Arjun was plagued with a number of major problems concerning its fire control system, suspension and poor mobility due to its excessive weight, coming in at just under 60 tons. The T-90s weigh in at around 45 tons.

Performance issues rose as early as 2000 prompting the army to begin ordering the T-90s instead of waiting for improvements to, and delivery of, Arjun tanks.

More than 390 T-90s were ordered in 2001, and last November another 347 were ordered. Also, as part of the deal, the Avadi Heavy Vehicles Factory in India has begun the licensed manufacture of another 1,000 T-90S tanks. The army is also upgrading nearly 700 T-72 tanks.

In July 2008 the army said it needs nearly 1,800 dependable tanks to replace the older Russian T-55 and T-72 tanks. This will be met through the progressive induction of 1,657 Russian-origin T-90S tanks and 124 Arjuns.

The Arjun measures just under 33 feet long and 12 feet wide. Armor is a Kanchan steel-composite sandwich development. A 1,400hp diesel engine gives it an operational range of 280 miles with a speed of 45 mph on roads and 25 mph cross-country.

The 120mm rifled main turret gun can fire the LAHAT anti-tank missile. Secondary armaments are a MAG 7.62mm Tk715 coaxial machine gun and an HCB 12.7mm AA machine gun.

Indian media reported in May 2008 that the tank was found to have low accuracy, frequent breakdown of power packs and problems with the gun barrel. Details of failures during trials were embarrassingly noted in question-and-answer times by ministers and elected representatives in the nation's parliament, the Lok Sabha.

The DRDO said it needs to have up to 300 rolling off the production line in order to see where all the performance issues lie. It wants the army to eventually take at least 500 tanks before any serious upgrades can be considered.

The Arjun tank is named after one of the main characters of the Indian epic poem the Mahabharata. The discussion of life and karma is the longest epic poem in the world, being roughly 10 times the length of the Iliad and Odyssey combined.

The Arjun news comes just after the end of a joint exercise by the Singapore armed Forces and the Indian army in Devlali, India. Soldiers from the 23rd and 24th Battalion, Singapore Artillery, and the Indian army's 283 Field Regiment took part.

The exercise, which included live firing of the SAF's FH-88 Howitzer guns and 155mm Battery guns from the Indian army, was the fifth in the Agni Warrior series. It began on Oct. 9 and ended Oct. 26.

A few black sheep don’t make the entire Indian Army corrupt

The image of the Army has taken a beating recently. Earlier, it was for professional incompetence but after media reports exposed corruption among senior officers, fake killings and recruitment scams have shattered the image of Army as an honest and professional organisation.

While there are certainly a few corrupt elements in the Army, it is unfortunate that certain sections of the media are portraying entire Armed Forces as a corrupt institution.

Till a decade ago, associating the word corruption with Forces was considered a taboo as media felt it could demoralise them. Today, media houses are competing with each other to twist corruption cases linked with Army and discrediting the institution in its entirety. While none can justify the incidences of corruption in the Army, mistaking a few black sheep with the entire flock is neither appropriate nor acceptable. It is not possible to isolate the Army from the degeneration of moral fibre that has been accepted by the society as our fate for years. Very few take pride in being upright and talking straight. Courage, integrity and morality have been the major casualties in recent times giving way to hypocrisy and sycophancy and the Armed Forces have not remained untouched.

No system can remain foolproof in such times as designing a fair system is one and letting it function effectively quite another. Vested interests don’t let the system function, as the babu and politician combine ultimately controls the introduction of any major weapon system or equipment in the Army. Procurement of any equipment depends upon various factors including urgency, quantities required, import cost, production with foreign collaboration and indigenous development. However, the system which attempts to integrate many agencies like DGMO (Director General Military Operations), DGMI (Director General Military Intelligence), ADGWE(Assistant Director General Weapons and Equipment) , DGQA(Director General Quality Assurance), DGSD, Ordnance, MOD in the procurement process of equipment tends to become unnecessarily complex and unwieldy.

Apparently such a system should have less scope for corruption to thrive, however, it has turned out having more tentacles to be greased, causing avoidable delays and ensuring rot.

Misuse and mismanagement of human and material resources have been important issues for the Army. Various sections of the society have not openly criticised it till now because they had very limited knowledge about the Army and also they did not want to be dubbed as anti-national. Consequently, Army refused to consider mismanagement and projected it as a non-issue.

Mismanagement is a larger sin as compared to misuse. Many who mismanage do so out of sheer conviction that they can never go wrong, resulting in flawed decision-making. Misuse may be seen as a corollary to mismanagement as it pertains to securing undue benefits.

Misuse of resources by seniors and juniors is complementary to each other as seniors ignore the misuse by juniors so that they bend backwards to meet their illegitimate demands.

Commercialisation of Regimental Institutions, on the increase in recent times, projects a very poor image of Army. The search for sources which can generate funds has become the favourite obsession of those in a position of authority to use these funds. It seems piggeries and dairy-farms have run out of fashion as the emphasis today is on the CSD canteens.

Everyone seems to have conveniently forgotten the welfare aspect of this service. New methods are adopted to lure the combatants (and civilians?) into buying their ‘wants and desires’ rather than their needs.

While toothpaste and combs may not be available sometimes in a CSD canteen, their shelves are full of expensive items.

Five-star culture has been gaining popularity in the Army messes and other functions. Golf-mania of the top rung has made the matters worse. Everyone seems to be competing with each other in hosting a bigger and better show. Brass-buttoned uniforms, rank badges and red tabs no longer satisfy the officers and they want freedom of flirting with a few ‘good things’ of life.

Having waited in the wings for years for their turn of ‘freedom-fighting’, they now want to do it in style.

The common man today has much better perception of the Army functions and has higher expectations from it. He looks at Army as the last straw of hope in a corrupt and unethical society.

Within the Army, the present state of affairs contributes to disillusionment and frustration for good officers.

To quote an old proverb, “The nation gets the government it deserves. The government gets the Army it deserves.” It highlights that the ills of the Army, like all other ills, have its roots in the people it serves.

The sad state of affairs has tarnished the image of Army but still this does not give a licence to anyone to decry the large number of those officers who are honest, upright and have dedicated themselves to the cause of their motherland.

How can anyone forget the glorious records of gallantry, splendid victories and charismatic military leaders? Nothing can make us forget the grit and valour of young officers who have done India proud in all the wars, Kargil being the latest instance. Let us not forget that even in the land of heroes, there are bound to be some who sell their soul for a few silver coins.

China reassures India on dam projects

Ananth Krishnan

BEIJING: The Chinese government on Thursday said it would not undertake dam projects on the Brahmaputra river that would damage India’s interests, amid reports that China was starting construction of a hydropower project on the river.

“China is a responsible country and will not do anything to damage the interests of others,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ma Zhaoxu said when asked about China’s plans to build dams on the Brahmaputra, or the Yarlung-Tsangpo as it is known in Tibet. The river flows 1,625 km in Tibet before it enters India.

Project at Zangmu

In March, a 1.14 billion Yuan contract was awarded to the Gezhouba Corporation, one of China’s biggest engineering and construction companies, to build a hydropower project at Zangmu in Tibet, along the Yarlung-Tsangpo. Initial work is expected to commence soon, and the project will be completed by December 2015, officials said.

Experts say run of the river hydropower projects such as the one at Zangmu, which do not involve substantial diversion of a river’s waters, will not significantly impact areas in India downstream.

“The point where they were making a dam is 1,100 kilometres away from our boundary. It’s a small dam and no reservoir as such. They already have such 15 dams there which they are using for local purposes,” Water Resources Minister P.K Bansal said on Thursday in New Delhi, PTI reported.

He said while run of the river projects were China’s right to pursue, India’s concern was there should not be diversion in existing flow exceeding 79 BCM (billion cubic metres). “There is no evidence of any such diversion so far,” Mr. Bansal said.

China has also announced plans to build a dam on the “great bend” of the Brahmaputra, further down the river from Zangmu, where the river changes direction and begins its flow into India.

This plan involves substantial diversion of the river’s waters, and is part of Beijing’s $62 billion “South to North Water Diversion” project which envisages diverting waters from the Brahmaputra to the drought-affected northern areas of the country. 

Feasibility studies

The plan has been grounded in delays as a result of soaring costs, and is more than five years behind schedule. Work has not started on the project, and feasibility studies have not yet been completed. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh first raised India’s concerns about this project when he met Chinese President Hu Jintao here last year. He also raised the issue when he met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Thailand last month. China has assured India that it will not begin work on any diversion project without first notifying New Delhi through the joint working group mechanism the two countries have set up to discuss water-sharing issues.

Centre refuses to allow foreign media to cover Dalai visit

GUWAHATI: In the latest twist to the Dalai Lama’s visit to Tawang, the Centre has refused permission to the foreign media to cover the much-hyped event in Arunachal Pradesh, a state that China claims as its own.

The Union government on Thursday revoked its earlier permission given to four foreign correspondents, including two journalists from the Associated Press (AP), besides cancelling fresh permits. The two AP journalists, who landed at Guwahati airport on Thursday, were not allowed to proceed to the Himalayan state to cover the Tibetan spiritual leader’s visit to the monastery town. Government officials told them to return.

Confirming this, an AP spokesperson in New Delhi said their correspondents were asked to return to the Capital and not to proceed to Tawang. She, however, refused to disclose names of two other foreign journalists whose permits were cancelled. ‘‘I can confirm this much only. I cannot give you exact details of what happened,’’ she added. The AP spokesperson quoted president of New Delhi-based Foreign Correspondents’ Club, Heather Timmons, saying on Thursday, ‘‘We are surprised and disappointed to learn that reporters’ visas to Arunachal Pradesh have been cancelled ahead of the Dalai Lama’s visit.’’

Central officials in Guwahati and Delhi were unavailable for comments. The chief minister’s office in Itanagar said it was unaware of the ‘‘incident’’. An official said, ‘‘Any decision on travel by foreigners is taken by the MHA.’’

Foreigners are required to obtain Restricted Area Permits (RAP) from the Government of India to visit Arunachal Pradesh. According to RAP rules, foreign tourists can visit the state in a group of two or more and the permit for stay is up to 30 days. Foreigners can obtain RAP from Indian missions abroad, foreigners’ regional registration officers (FRROs) in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, chief immigration officers, Union home ministry and Arunachal government’s home commissioner.

Even Indian citizens from other states also require Inner Line Permit to visit the northeastern state. Arunachal government issues the ILP from its offices located in different parts of the country. Indian journalists based in New Delhi, Kolkata and Guwahati were seen proceeding towards Tawang on Thursday.

More forces reach Lalgarh

LALGARH: Six more companies of CRPF reached Lalgarh on Thursday to strengthen the joint operation against the Maoist menace. They will join the 22 companies of central forces comprising CRPF, BSF and IRB who had been deployed at Jangalmahal, along with eight companies of police from Kolkata and the rest of the state, since June 18.

After five months of operation, however, there have been questions raised about the joint forces' efficacy. The Maoists, on the other hand, have stepped up violence, especially since the Centre banned the organization in the third week of June.

Add to that the hijacking of the Rajdhani Express at Banstala on October 27, and it's easy to see why both the state government and the Centre are perceiving this as a growing threat.

In fact, since the start of the joint operations, Maoists have killed as many as 114 people including 12 Jharkhand Party, two Trinamool Congress leaders; most of the victims were CPM leaders and workers.

Interestingly, the six additional companies of forces reached Lalgarh on the first anniversary of the alleged torture on tribal women by police at Chhoto Pelia, Lalgarh after a blast near the chief minister's convoy on November 2 that year.

Residents of Chhoto Pelia, Boro Pelia, Dalilpur, Kantapahari and Narcha started road blockades and later formed the People's Committee against Police Atrocities.

Two weeks later, the administration arranged treatment for the injured women, of whom Chhitamoni Murmu had already lost an eye. Three months later, the state government announced Rs 50,000 for Murmu and Rs 25,000 for the others.