12 - 04 - 2021

ITBP jawan shoots dead 5 colleagues, injures 2 in Chhattisgarh

New Delhi, Dec 04,2019:In a suspected case of fratricide, an ITBP jawan allegedly opened fire at his colleagues in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Narayanpur district on Wednesday, killing five personnel and injuring two others, a senior police official said.

The jawan who opened the fire was also killed, but it was not yet clear whether he committed suicide or was neutralised by fellow troopers, he said.

The incident took place around 8.30 am in a camp of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police’s 45th battalion at Kadenar village, around 350 km from here, Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI.

“An ITBP constable, identified as Masudul Rahman, of Nadia in West Bengal, opened fire from his service weapon, killing four troopers at the spot and injuring three other jawans, after some dispute,” he said.

One of the injured personnel succumbed to his injuries later, while Rahman was also killed in the incident, he said. “It was not yet clear whether Rahman killed himself or died in retaliation by his colleagues. Weapons of the killed jawans will be checked to ascertain whether they had retaliated or not,” the IG said, adding that further details of the incident were awaited.

The two injured jawans were airlifted and admitted to a private hospital in Raipur, he added.

Those who died were identified as Head Constable Mahendra Singh of Bilaspur in Himachal Pradesh, Head Constable Daljit Singh of Ludhiana in Punjab, Constable Surjit Sarkar of Burdwan in West Bengal, Constable Biswaroop Mahtoo of Purulia in West Bengal and Constable Bijeesh of Kozhikode in Kerala.

The two jawans injured in the incident are Constable SB Ullas of Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala and Constable Sitaram Doon of Nagour in Rajasthan. ( input from news agencies )

Set Aside Vendetta Politics, Fix Economy, Manmohan Singh Tells Centre

Agartala, Sept 1,2019 ( news agencies):The state of the economy today is deeply worrying, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, adding that "all-round mismanagement" by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government has resulted in the slowdown. The veteran Congress leader's comments come two days after government data showed that India's economy expanded at its slowest pace in over six years in the quarter ended June 30.

Growth in the country's gross domestic product (GDP) stood at 5 per cent in the first quarter of current financial year (2019-20), compared with 5.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 8.0 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, 20185.8 per cent in the previous quarter, and 8.0 per cent in the quarter ended June 30, 2018.

"India cannot afford to continue down this path. Therefore, I urge the government to put aside vendetta politics, and reach out to all sane voices and thinking minds, to steer our economy out of this man-made crisis," Dr Manmohan Singh said in a video statement.

"The last quarter's GDP growth rate of 5 per cent signals that we are in the midst of a prolonged slowdown," he said, adding that the country has the potential to grow at a much faster rate.

Dr Manmohan Singh is widely recognised for the economic reforms which he announced in 1991 when he was the Finance Minister in the Narasimha Rao government.

Sliding for the fifth quarter in a row, economic expansion came in at the slowest pace since the March 2013 quarter, when it had stood at 4.3 per cent. A slowdown in the sale of cars to biscuits and lakhs of estimated job cuts across sectors plagued the economic growth of the country, say analysts.

In its bid to push investments and revive growth, the government has announced a range of measures in the past few days, including easing of FDI or foreign direct investment norms in four sectors, and a reversal of higher taxes on foreign investors as announced in Budget.

On Friday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced reforms in the banking sector, merging several public sector banks.


Modi govt's go-to man in crisis, Arun Jaitley passes away at 66

Agartala, Aug 24,2019:Former finance minister Arun Jaitley, who was admitted to the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, passed away on Saturday following cardiac complications.

Jaitley, 66, had been undergoing treatment at the hospital for several weeks, after he was rushed to the AIIMS on August 9 following breathlessness and restlessness. 

Among the top leaders responsible for the emergence of the BJP at the national level, he was one of the pillars, and chief troubleshooter of the saffron party and the Narendra Modi government in recent times.

With the party since student days as an ABVP activist, Jaitley held the portfolios of Finance, Defence, Corporate Affairs, I&B among many others. Jaitley also spearheaded government policies in the Rajya Sabha as Leader of the Opposition, even though the numbers were not with the Modi government during the first tenure.

lawyer with friends across party lines, his speeches in Parliament were textbook cases of logic and finesse. He was among the BJP leaders available to the media freely, interacting with journalists generally after lunchtime when Parliament was in session.

A  legal eagle, a sharp mind, a perfect Parliamentarian, a former minister of Defence, Finance, I&B, Corporate Affairs, Jaitley was that and much more.

First session of 17th Parl session begins

 New Delhi, June 17, 2019  (Agencies):The maiden session of the 17th Lok Sabha commenced Monday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi among the 320 of the 542 MPs taking oath during the first day of the two-day long swearing-in ceremony marked by some controversy, slip-ups and slogan shouting.

Linguistic diversity was in full play with the oath being taken in different languages as several newly-elected members sported colourful attire, traditional shawls and headgears while a section wore a saffron look. As the Leader of the House, Modi was the first to take oath as member of the lower house, nearly four weeks after leading BJP to a resounding victory in the Lok Sabha polls. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister and BJP president Amit Shah, Transport and Highways minister Nitin Gadkari were among the prominent members who took oath.

The oath was administered by seven-term BJP MP Virendra Kumar shortly after he was sworn in by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan. Kumar will also oversee the election of the Lok Sabha speaker on Wednesday.

When Modi’s name was called out by the Secretary General for taking oath, members from the ruling NDA thumped the desk greeting the prime minister with slogans such as “Modi-Modi” and “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.

Amid thumping of desks by Congress members, Rahul Gandhi took oath in English. He won the election from Wayanad in Kerala.  Besides the union ministers who were elected to Lok Sabha, members from 23 states and union territories took oath. In all, 320 MPs took oath, according to a Lok Sabha bulletin. The remaining 222 members will take oath on Tuesday.


AN-32: 13 bodies, black box found

New Delhi, June 14 ( Agencies):Bodies of all 13 Indian Air Force (IAF) personnel on board the ill-fated AN-32 transport aircraft were retrieved on Thursday from the crash site in Arunachal Pradesh, IAF said.

The black box of the plane was also recovered by a team of mountaineers that sent to the site early this morning, it said.

A Court of Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the cause of the accident, the IAF said.

The Air Force had confirmed Thursday morning that there were no survivors from the crash. A 15-member rescue team, mountaineers and special forces recovered the bodies from the densely forested mountainside where the aircraft crashed.

Helicopters would be used to ferry the bodies from the area. The team comprised eight mountaineers.

The 13 IAF personnel have been identified as W/C GM Charles, S/L H Vinod, F/L R Thapa, F/L A Tanwar, F/L S Mohanty, F/L MK Garg, WO KK Mishra, Sgt Anoop Kumar, Cpl Sherin, LAC SK Singh, LAC Pankaj, NC(E) Putali & NC(E) Rajesh Kumar.

The AN 32 plane, is a Soviet-designed twin-engine turboprop transport aircraft. 

It had gone missing around 1 pm on June 3 while flying from Assam’s Jorhat to Mechuka, a military landing strip in Arunachal Pradesh. It was meant to be a 50-minute journey. 

The wreckage was found on Tuesday in the mountains at a height of around 12,000 feet. It was apparent that the An-32 had crashed into a mountain amid bad weather and poor visibility because of clouds.

On Wednesday, Air Force sources had said that the view of the pilots could have been obscured by clouds causing the crash.

For a week, relatives of the 13 personnel were positioned at a Jorhat base camp as they waited for news. The search operation was hampered because of the terrain, incessant rain and lack of roads.

As the news broke out on Thursday that all the IAF personnel onboard the AN-32 aircraft lost their lives, grief struck the family of Flight Lieutenant Ashish Tanwar.

Ashish’s family members have blamed the government for the AN-32 crash. Lamenting the cuts in defence expenditure, the family alleged that out of the sum channelized for defence expenditure, most of it is spent on bureaucrats.  

“The number of soldiers who lose their lives due to faulty equipment is far larger than those who get martyred on the border or in wars,” the IAF officer’s uncle told ANI.


Jaitley opts out of ministry, Modi 2.0 to take over today

Agartala, May 30,2019:A day before the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suspense prevailed over the composition of his new Cabinet, with the only certainty being that senior leader Arun Jaitley will not be its part for now. 

Citing poor health, former Finance Minister Jaitley said he had decided not to take active responsibility in the new government. In a letter to Modi, the avid blogger who had been cogently and articulately defending the government on issues both inside and outside Parliament in the past five years, requested that he should not be assigned any responsibility in the government for now.

Jaitley wrote he had been suffering from ailments for the past 18 months and that he had also spoken to the PM before his Kedarnath trip about his decision to opt out of the new Cabinet.

“After the campaign had concluded and you were leaving for Kedarnath, I had orally informed you that even though I was able to discharge the responsibilities assigned to me during the campaign, I would in near future, for some time, like to keep away from any responsibility. This will enable me to concentrate on my treatment and health,” he said in the letter, which he also posted on the social media.

He added though he wanted some time off, he would be available to undertake any work “informally” to support the government. Jaitley, who has not been attending office for the past three weeks, met key officials of the Finance Ministry last week when he is said to have taken stock of the economic situation and approved an extension for the panel to review direct tax law, according to reports.

However, he has been keeping away from party meetings and was also not present during celebrations at the BJP headquarters on the result day, raising rumours over his health, which the party played down as “false and baseless”.

His letter comes at a time when speculation is rife over the possibility of BJP chief Amit Shah, the only leader PM Modi is said to be the closest to, joining the new Cabinet.

Political observers are also reading his letter on similar lines as ones posted by senior leaders Sumitra Mahajan and  Murli Manohar Joshi when they were denied the ticket for the Lok Sabha elections.

Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony on Thursday, both Modi and Shah held several meetings to finalise the new Cabinet. Shah also met JD-U chief Nitish Kumar and apparently asked him and other allies to send in the names of those they would like to be included in the Cabinet.

It is expected that Shiv Sena and JD-U will get two berths each, and Punjab ally Akali Dal, Ram Vilas Paswan-led LJP and UP partner Apna Dal a place each in the Council of Ministers. From the Akali Dal, it seems Harsimrat Badal is the party nominee. In the “new BJP”, only “two leaders in the BJP besides some in the RSS’ top brass” know who all are making the cut. Though Shah is believed to have asked the BJP’s likely ministers to meet him, all have chosen to keep mum.

As in 2014, this time too there is speculation about “new faces, integration of related ministries, technocrats being made in charge of key ministries and no changes in some departments, including the Prime Minister’s Office, to ensure continuity”.

( courtesy – The Tribune News Service)