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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


IMPORTANT : 1997 BATCH FAUJI's STILL IN GP OF 6600..............

As many as 11 IPS officers of the 1997 batch have been elevated to the selection grade by the Rajasthan government. They are: Vishal Bansal SP A.C.B. Jaipur, Vijay Kumar Singh A.D.C. to Governor Rajasthan, Hawa Singh Ghumaria SP Inlelligence Jaipur, S. Sengathir SP CBI S.C.B. Chennai, Gurcharan Rai SP Karauli, Dr. Girraj Lal Meena SP Chittorgarh, Gajanand Verma SP CID CB Jaipur, Girdhari Lal Sharma SP Kota Rural Kota, Mohan Singh Nitharwal SP Hanumangarh , Devendra Singh SP Dausa & Ravi Kant Mittal SP Pratapgarh .

Antony: CRPF to control J-K highways from Jan 15


With an improved situation on the terror front in the state, the Army’s visibility would be far less from January 15 onwards, as Defence Minister AK Antony today announced that the CRPF would take control of the highways and the police would have a greater role in urban areas.

Besides, the Defence Minister said his ministry had written to the Home Ministry to give instructions to the security forces to discontinue the use of “combat” uniform to ensure their lesser visibility. The minister said this while addressing the top brass of various security forces and agencies at the Unified Headquarters in Jammu today.

He disclosed that on the request of the Defence Ministry, the Home Ministry had issued instructions to the CRPF to take over the entire responsibility of the opening of roads on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway-1A from January 15. “This has been done to reduce the visibility of the Army, without in any way, diluting our counter-terrorist grid,” he added.

Antony said a request had also been sent to the MHA to issue instructions for the discontinuation of the use of combat uniform by all central police organisations and the state police.

The minister, however, did not make any statement on troop withdrawal from the state, which was the main demand of the state government. He asked the security agencies not to be complacent and work towards consolidating the gains achieved in the last couple of years.

Antony said year 2010 may prove to be crucial as forces inimical to stability and peace in the state would make all-out efforts to neutralise the gains of 2008 and 2009, when the state witnessed considerable improvement in the security situation.

“The incidents of the first week of January in the valley are indicative of the shape of things to come,” the Defence Minister said in reference to the terrorist attack in the Lal Chowk area of Srinagar.Antony said time had now come for the state police to shoulder far greater responsibility, particularly in major towns, in tackling the threat of terrorism. However, the handing over of the responsibility must be meticulously planned and undertaken in a gradual, phased manner,” he said.

Taking part in the deliberations, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah requested the Defence Minister to explore the possibility of recruiting more youth from the state in the three armed forces.

Revealed: What army won’t say about Bengal land scam


New Delhi, Jan. 12: Yesterday’s scam is today’s strategic blunder. But Fort William came in between.
An investigation by the Eastern Command of the Indian Army has found that senior officers, including the top aide to the army chief, overrode national security concerns to strike a deal with a realtor in north Bengal’s Siliguri Corridor, the strategic “Chicken’s Neck” that runs between three international boundaries and connects the Northeast with the rest of the country.
On Monday, army headquarters issued showcause notices for administrative action against military secretary Lt Gen. Avadhesh Prakash, Lt Gen. Ramesh Halgali and Maj. Gen. P. Sen and disciplinary proceedings (that may lead to a court martial) against Lt Gen. P.K. Rath.
Meagre information that trickled out on the “Sukna land scam” from army headquarters has so far painted a story of corruption. Even today, sources in army headquarters insisted that there was no “scam”, a view that reflects the opinion of the realtor, Dilip Agarwal, too.
That might as well be true. The investigation has found much more than hands in the till. The findings and the opinion of the court of inquiry that was convened by the Eastern Army commander, Lt Gen. V.K. Singh, in Fort William invest far greater strategic importance in the case.
It has found that the 33 Corps, headquartered in Sukna, was facilitating underhand commerce in a corridor it is tasked to protect militarily. The area of responsibility of the 33 Corps is on the China front and includes territory in Sikkim, north Bengal and Bhutan.
But officers commanding it and the military secretary, in charge of posting the officers and troops, not only ignored security concerns in allowing a commercial project on land adjacent to its headquarters but also actively facilitated Agarwal’s venture.
They bent rules, altered policies, escorted the realtor, ignored the higher (Eastern) command, tailored formal agreements to suit the deal and put pressure on juniors to hurry it through while they kept suppressing evidence, the court of inquiry has found. All the while, the military secretary was in constant touch with Agarwal.
Lt Gen. Prakash introduced Agarwal to the 33 Corps commander and deputy chief-designate (now the appointment has been cancelled), Lt Gen. Rath, as a family friend, the court of inquiry says in its report forwarded to army headquarters.
Agarwal used to visit the military secretary in his house in Delhi. Agarwal and Lt Gen. Prakash were likely to have met when the military secretary served as commander of the Indian Military Training Team (Imtrat) in Bhutan, within the 33 Corps’ area of responsibility.
Agarwal issued a media release in Siliguri on December 31 in which he said: “The question of an ‘army land scam’ does not arise. The land never belonged to the army and the controversy is unnecessary.”
Today, a day after the showcause notices were issued, an army headquarters source said he did not know why the Eastern Army commander had recommended such strong action (“termination of service”) against the military secretary because “we never owned the land and, therefore, there is no scam”.
What army headquarters’ spin meisters are conveniently ignoring is that the force was actually in the process of acquiring the land from the Bengal government because of security concerns. The Bengal government appreciated these concerns and had conveyed to the army that it was “favourably disposed” towards transferring the land.
The controversy relates to a “tea tourism” project to build villas and malls in an estate surrounded by army units. When construction was stopped, an “education” project was proposed to get around the ban.
The court of inquiry found that Agarwal had floated the Geetanjali Education Trust registered in Ghaziabad in 2001. “It has not functioned in a true sense and has constructed no school or college so far,” the report said. Agarwal was “reluctant to part with information regarding his companies”.
Yet, the 33 Corps headquarters entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with him after deleting “Paragraph 17” of the draft. The report describes this clause as “the most potent” paragraph because it gave rights to the army to terminate the MoU “on security grounds”.
In their review of the case, the investigators reported that the Chumta Tea Estate spread over 2,711 acres was on a 33-year lease from the Bengal government. It is inside the Sukna military station and is surrounded by army units.
Of this land, nearly 72 acres were barren and was handed over to the Bengal government. The Bengal government in turn offered it on lease to four firms (Mata Vaishnodevi Mercantile Pvt Ltd, Sheetla Vyapaar Pvt Ltd, Akshara Vanijya Pvt Ltd and JF Low and Co Ltd) represented by S. Bajoria.
“The barren portion of 71.55 acres is enclosed like a lobe within the tea garden, with one side literally bordering the (33) Corps Headquarters,” the report said and pointed out that “the sensitivities of the Siliguri Corridor also necessitated that no civil construction be permitted in the close proximity of the Corps Headquarters”.
In February 2008, the army discovered in newspaper reports that the barren land was being developed for “tea tourism” and would include a film city, villas and malls. Then 33 Corps commander, Lt Gen. Deepak Raj, informed the Eastern Army commander and told the Bengal government’s chief secretary that all construction on the land must be stopped. The Bengal government agreed and gave the orders accordingly.
“The army’s objections to civilian construction on Chumta Tea Estate were based on security implications, arising out of proximity of the site to corps headquarters and Ascon (the army’s dedicated telecommunications network) node,” the report said.
In July-August 2008, Agarwal went to Bajoria and with him proposed building a girls’ school at the site.
On December 29, 2008, Lt Gen. Rath, who was then the 33 Corps commander, received a request for a “no-objection certificate” to establish a residential school with a franchise of Mayo College.
The next month, Agarwal and Bajoria met Rath. Rath forwarded the proposal from Agarwal with a note “Please examine — a new angle project we may consider” to the administration in charge, Brigadier (now Maj. Gen.) Sen.
In between, in October 2008, military secretary Prakash visited Sukna on an official trip and met Agarwal. He introduced Agarwal to Rath and Lt Gen. Ramesh Halgali, who was chief of staff of the corps, as a friend. In July 2008, Prakash and Agarwal were said to have met Gaj Singh of Jodhpur.
That set the ball rolling till the MoU was signed in talks between March 18 and 20, 2009. In those three days, Agarwal and Lt Gen. Prakash were in constant touch, according to telephone records called by the investigators who describe this connection as the “influencing factor”.
The Eastern Army commander, Lt Gen. V.K. Singh, grew suspicious and called off the deal. He convened the court of inquiry on September 30.

Pakistan up to something big, Army informs Antony


SRINAGAR: Defence minister A K Antony has asked for ‘intensive operations’ against militants and stepping up of vigilance on the Line of Control to ensure development process in Jammu and Kashmir does not fall prey to militant activities.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah requested Mr Antony to consider more recruitment of the youth from border belts in defence services and using choppers to address the winter isolation of these areas.

During his day-long visit to Jammu, Mr Antony was briefed about the repeated infiltration bids from Pakistan and the status of the counter-insurgency operations. Border Security Forces gave the visiting minister a detailed presentation about the recent bid to infiltrate, using dynamite to destroy the fence on the international border.

Militants who returned after over 40 minutes of firing on BSF positions, according to the presentation, had used cordex wire to blast an IED that destroyed a vast portion of fencing including cobra wire and seven wires of concertina . The incident took place between Pillar Nos. 621 and 627 near Alfa Machail post in Gho Manasan area between Domana and Kanachak sectors.

The Army informed the minister about the ongoing operations against militants. They referred to the encounter in a Pulwama village in which one militant was killed. Reports said another militant who was besieged had actually fled. Reports from Jammu suggested that a senior Army officer in the unified headquarters meeting told the defence minister that “Pakistan is up to something big” and “we need to know what it is” .

“Outside forces inimical to the country are making several attempts to infiltrate borders, therefore, there is need to heighten vigilance,” Mr Antony told the meeting. He complemented J&K Police and security forces for efficiently handling incidents in Lal Chowk, Khrew, Pulwama and Reasi and hoped such incidents would be handled with same efficiency. He informed the meeting that the Army had vacated all hospitals and school buildings in the state.

Mr Antony asked the defence forces to mount pressure on militants to neutralise them at every level. He said the current situation called for intensive operations against militants in the state, and also put an effective mechanism in place along the LoC and international border to check infiltration.