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114 Armed Forces veterans write to PM Modi against #MobLynching and supporting #NotInMyName Protest

Armed Forces veterans write open letter to PM Modi: Condemn targeting of MuslimsDalits

In the letter the Armed Forces veterans said they stand with the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign and that the Armed Forces stand for “Unity in Diversity“. They added the current situation in the country is that of fear, intimidation, hate and suspicion.

To: The Prime Minister of India, Chief Ministers of the States, and Lieutenant-Governors of the Union Territories.

30 July, 2017

We are a group of Veterans of the Indian Armed Forces who have spent our careers working for the security of our country. Collectively, our group holds no affiliation with any single political party, our only common commitment being to the Constitution of India.

It saddens us to write this letter, but current events in India have compelled us to register our dismay at the divisiveness that is gripping our country. We stand with the ‘Not in My Name’ campaign that mobilised thousands of citizens across the country to protest against the current climate of fear, intimidation, hate and suspicion.

The Armed Forces stand for “Unity in Diversity”. Differences in religion, language, caste, culture or any other marker of belonging have not mattered to the cohesion of the Armed Forces, and servicemen of different backgrounds have fought shoulder to shoulder in the defence of our nation, as they continue to do today. Throughout our service, a sense of openness, justice and fair play guided our actions. We are one family. Our heritage is like the multi-coloured quilt that is India, and we cherish this vibrant diversity.

However, what is happening in our country today strikes at all that the Armed Forces, and indeed our Constitution, stand for. We are witness to unprecedented attacks on society at large by the relentless vigilantism of self-appointed protectors of Hinduism. We condemn the targeting of Muslims and Dalits. We condemn the clampdowns on free speech by attacks on media outlets, civil society groups, universities, journalists and scholars, through a campaign of branding them anti-national and unleashing violence against them while the State looks away.

We can no longer look away. We would be doing a disservice to our country if we do not stand up and speak for the liberal and secular values that our Constitution espouses. Our diversity is our greatest strength. Dissent is not treason; in fact, it is the essence of democracy.

We urge the powers that be at the Centre and in the States to take note of our concerns and urgently act to uphold our Constitution, both in letter and in spirit.

Signatories (in alphabetical order of last name)

  1. Lt Col EN Ambre
  2. Brig VKS Antony
  3. Maj MK Apte
  4. Col CT Arasu
  5. Lt Col Israr Asghar
  6. Cdr CR Babu
  7. Lt Cdr PS Bal
  8. Lt Cdr Rakeh Bali
  9. Maj Gen Dipankar Banerjee
  10. Lt Gen CA Barretto
  11. Brig Noel Barretto
  12. Col TS Bedi
  13. Surg Cdr P Bellubi
  14. Petty Off Gajanan Bhat IN
  15. Cdr PG Bhat
  16. Gp Capt AV Bhagwat
  17. Col V Bopiah
  18. Maj Gen PR Bose
  19. Vice Adm A Britto
  20. Col RT Chacko
  21. Lt Col M Chandrasekhar
  22. Cdre R Clarke
  23. Col KS Choudhry
  24. Brig TPS Chowdhury
  25. Brig Dileep Deore
  26. Col Samuel Dhar
  27. Lt Gen FT Dias
  28. Lt Col AP Durai
  29. Gp Capt MP Elangovan
  30. Maj Gen Shyamal Ghosh
  31. Col V Nanda Gopal
  32. Cdre EC Govindan
  33. Col V Govindarajan
  34. Col RP Grover
  35. Cdre PC Gulati
  36. Cdr M Hari
  37. Lt Col Muzaffar Hasan
  38. Brig Prem Hejmadi
  39. AVM Kapil Kak
  40. Col AT Kalghatgi
  41. Maj Gen MPS Kandal
  42. Col MS Kapoor
  43. Maj Gen TK Kaul
  44. Lt Col PB Keskar
  45. Lt Col V Kharkar
  46. Wg Cdr R Khosla
  47. Brig Anil Malhotra
  48. Col Arun Malhotra
  49. Lt Col RC Malhotra
  50. Brig GK Malik
  51. Cdre G Menezes
  52. Wg Cdr SN Metrani
  53. Maj GN Misra
  54. AVM RP Misra
  55. Col Biman Mistry
  56. Col RB Mistry
  57. Col AK Mitra
  58. Col Pradip Mitra
  59. Maj Gen H Mukherji
  60. Maj Gen RPRC Naidu
  61. Col Pavan Nair
  62. Lt Col VK Nair
  63. Col RLV Nath
  64. Cdr M Nirmal
  65. Lt Gen Vijay Oberoi
  66. Rear Adm Alan O’Leary
  67. Air Cdre Tanpat Pannu
  68. Lt Col Niraj Pant
  69. Col RC Patial
  70. Cdr Hector Poppen
  71. Capt Subbarao Prabhala IN
  72. Brig Ranjit Prasad
  73. Brig VHM Prasad
  74. Wg Cdr KV Raghuram
  75. Brig RS Rajan
  76. Col SS Rajan
  77. Cdr SM Rajeshwar
  78. Air Marshal Philip Rajkumar
  79. Col TN Raman
  80. Admiral L Ramdas
  81. Vice Adm IC Rao
  82. Col TK Ravindranath
  83. Air Marshal DS Sabhikhi
  84. Lt Col Nagaraj Sastry
  85. Lt Gen KM Seth
  86. Col PD Shah
  87. Brig Baqir Shameem
  88. Lt Gen YN Sharma
  89. Lt Col HD Shirmane
  90. Vice Adm MR Schunker
  91. Cdr MA Somana
  92. Brig Amardeep Singh
  93. Gp Capt DR Singh
  94. Brig Joginder Singh
  95. Brig Mastinder Singh
  96. Cdr Rajiv Singh
  97. Col Salam K Singh
  98. Col S Srikantha
  99. Brig M Sudandiram
  100. Flt Lt R Suresh
  101. Sgt MN Subramani
  102. Lt Cdr P Subramanyam
  103. Maj Gen L Tahliani
  104. Cdr SP Taneja
  105. Cdr TP Tharian
  106. Lt Col JK Thomas
  107. Cdr M Thomas
  108. Cdr N Tripathy
  109. Air Marshal NV Tyagi
  110. Capt AK Varma
  111. Wg Cdr BJ Vaz
  112. Maj Rajah Velu
  113. Lt Col R Venugopal
  114. Maj Gen SG Vombatkere

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Press release – Kunan Poshpora – Indian Govt Chooses Army over victims, Truth, Justice

GOVERNMENT CHOOSES ARMY OVER VICTIMS, TRUTH AND JUSTICE
Kunan Poshpora
Press release
24 July 2014
Despite the passage of 23 years, Government of Jammu and Kashmir and all its representatives continue to protect the Indian army for its crimes in Kunan Poshpora. On 1 July 2014, the High Court division bench recognized the State’s responsibility for the crimes committed in Kunan Poshpora and ordered the Government to explore the possibilities of payment of compensation, and sought a status report on the investigations carried out thus far.
The Government chose to spend the last three weeks to file a review petition against this order, and submitted today that no compensation could be given, and that investigations in the case were continuing properly.
On July 24, survivors of the crime and their families were present in court. They chose to be present to send a clear message to perpetrators and their protectors and facilitators that the people of Kunan Poshpora will not forget and will not forgive.
The High Court did not accept the contentions of the government counsel, who in turn sought a further three weeks time to consider the issue. The case is listed for 12 August 2014.
The reality is that the Government has, as always, chosen to side with the perpetrators of the crime – the Indian army. For more than a year virtually no investigations in the case have been carried out. The government has no interest in providing relief and justice to the survivors of Kunan Poshpora. To serve their own interests and positions, they are willing to sacrifice the rights of the survivors of the Kunan Poshpora mass rape and torture. The ruling elite including the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the Law Minister Saifullah Mir through their conduct have proved that they are on the side of the Indian army and that they have chosen to be our enemies.
Issued by Kunan Poshpora Village Committee

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#AFSPA Protects Army For Rights Violations , No Arrests Even As People Protest #Vaw

Mon July 21, 2014

By YASHASWANI SEHRAWAT

280

NEW DELHI: A decade has passed since the rape and murder of Thangjam Manorama, a victim of our great honored “Armed Forces” interminable barbarism through AFSPA. A decade has gone since girls from Manipur made headlines when they paraded naked with the banner “Indian Army Rape Us”. And this bygone decade has witnessed many similar acts of savagery by the Army and in response, only one constant action-inaction.

The state of Manipur was in state of furore and shambled with protests from every corner following the alleged rape and murder of Manorma in 2004. A dozen soldiers had busted into her house on a night in July and allegedly raped and tortured her. All attempts made by her brother and mother were only futile with brother badly beaten and mother knocked unconscious. An hour later she was taken outside only to be found dead, three miles away, the next morning. The police claimed that she was an insurgent who was shot while she tried to escape.

But the medical examiner had an entirely different story to tell. The examiner determined that she had been shot from close range while lying down, that stains on her dress were that of semen but that multiple gunshots to her vagina made any determination of rape impossible.

In another incident, a group of university students entered a railway compartment at Kokrajhar in Assam in the year 2005, unaware of their fate and the fact that that armed security persons from Haryana were travelling in it. The jawans closed the doors of the compartment and tried to molest the students. The Bodo student Union, aroused by their shouts stopped the train and tried to take action on the jawans. The police opened fire on them and four students died.

And there is an unending list of grave instances of bestiality, inhumanity and barbarity by the men in uniform.

However, the tragedy doesn’t end here. It only begins. Even after so many years of multifarious acts of misuse of power by the armed men, there has not been a single arrest. Not one man has even been charged with any crime. Simply no action has even been initiated.

What is even more appalling is the fact that there even wouldn’t be any action till at least a many many more years to come.

The Defense Minister Arun Jaitley has clearly stated a month back that the immunity law would remain in place until peace was secured.

The immunity law is actually the much talked-about Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA). AFSPA, by its very nature, gives complete impunity to the armed men regardless of how heinous the crime they might have committed, leaving the victims of armed forces abuse without a remedy. Section 6 of the act establishes that no legal proceeding can be brought against any member of the armed forces acting under the AFSPA, without the permission of the Central Government.

And the stand of the Central Government is distinct from what the Defense Minister had said. Not only this government, but no government in the history of 56 years of the enactment of AFSPA has had the courage to go against it, for, going against it is equivalent to going against the army.

Palaniappan Chidambaram, in the K. Subramanyam Memorial Lecture at the Institute of Defense Studies last year had made transparent the real reasons for the inability to even dilute AFSPA, leave alone its repeal. He had said “We can’t move forward because there is no consensus. The present and former Army Chiefs have taken a strong position that the Act should not be amended (and) do not want the government notification … to be taken back. How does the government … make the AFSPA a more humanitarian law?”

AFSPA, which was only to be enacted for on an experimental basis for six months in the North-East, has continued for more than five decades. Looking from the security point of view also, AFSPA hasn’t achieved much, at least that’s what data reveals. In 1958, the year of introduction of the Act, there was only one “terrorist” group in the North East. Manipur had two groups when the State was brought under the Act in 1980. Today, Manipur has more than twenty such groups, Assam at least fifteen, Meghalaya has more than five. How, then, does the honored Indian Army advocate for AFSPA so aggressively that not even a little dilution is acceptable to them?

And it is not merely the human rights watchdogs or activists or social rights groups or the jholawallahs who opine the repeal of this Act. This isn’t the voice of one Irom Sharmila or the locals who have lived the draconian law themselves. Such viewpoints have forsooth come from the persons who have worked within the system and know the dynamics of the Act and of running the Government.

In 2005, the Jeevan Reddy Commission said that AFSPA should be repealed and the necessary clauses should rather incorporate in other Acts. R. N. Ravi, former head of the Intelligence Bureau for the North East is on record that AFSPA is the biggest obstacle to peace in the region. Former Home Secretary G. K. Pillai has come out openly against the Act. Latest in the list is the Justice Verma Commission set up after the Delhi gang rape. It has stated in unequivocal terms that security persons who rape women should be judged under the same law that applies to the civilians.

But it appears that all these and thousands of other voices are swept under the carpet. It seems that AFSPA is not meant for the security of the citizens, as is intended, but instead, for the security and immunity of the armed personnel. Tens of thousands of Indian troops, deployed to the remote borderlands, with the mission to fight a decades-long armed separatist rebellion have rather waged a separate power war on civilians-the one where powerless, innocent civilians are raped and murdered by the powerful immune security forces.

Read mor ehere – http://www.thecitizen.in/afspa-protects-army-for-rights-violations-in-the-north-east-no-arrests-even-as-people-protest/

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#India – world’s ninth largest military spender and number one arms importer #WTFnews

India is the world’s ninth largest military spender and number one arms importer, according to data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. By R. SURESH

According to the figures released on April 14 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), India is the world’s ninth biggest military spender. The data on trends in international arms transfer reveal that India has also emerged as the biggest importer of arms during 2009-13.

Military spending continues to fall in the West but rises everywhere else, says SIPRI, an independent international institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control and disarmament.

Expenditure and arms transferThe SIPRI data reveal that global military expenditure at 2.4 per cent of the world gross domestic product totalled $1.75 trillion in 2013, a fall of 1.9 per cent in real terms since 2012. The fall in the global total comes from decreases in Western countries, led by the United States, and despite increases in all other regions. In fact, military spending in the rest of the world excluding the U.S. increased by 1.8 per cent.

The volume of international transfers of major weapons during 2009-13 was 14 per cent higher than in 2004-08. The five biggest exporters in 2009-13 were the U.S., Russia, Germany, China and France and the five biggest importers were India, China, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

India’s import dependenceIndia has been expanding its arms imports thanks to its perception of threat from Pakistan and its militarily better-equipped neighbour, China. The country has failed in its effort to develop weapons indigenously and has had to increasingly look to global weapons manufacturers for its needs.

India is expected to spend over $100 billion in shopping for arms over the next few years. It has already inked several deals with major suppliers, but several have run into controversies. Interestingly, the share of the U.S. in the Indian arms pie is steadily increasing, although Russia still remains its main supplier.

In the Interim Union Budget for 2014-15, India has allocated Rs.2,24,000 crore for defence, an increase of 9.98 per cent over the 2013-14 defence budget. India has the second largest standing army after China and a bulk of its defence budget goes into servicing revenue expenditure. Defence experts feel that the hike in capital expenditure, which mainly caters to the modernisation requirement of the armed forces, is still very low.

China’s military expenditureMilitary expenditure in Asia and Oceania rose by 3.6 per cent in 2013, reaching $407 billion. The increase is mostly accounted for by a 7.4 per cent increase by China, whose spending reached an estimated $188 billion.

Printable version | May 1, 2014 2:05:28 PM | http://www.frontline.in/other/data-card/arming-india/article5959148.ece

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Rape Of Tamil Women, Men And Children By Sri Lankan Armed Forces And Their Collaboratorsm #Vaw

By Brian Senewiratne – Dr. Brian Senewiratne

Executive summary

 

The rape of Tamil civilians (women, girls and even men)  in the Sri Lankan North and East by the Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) Armed Forces (at all levels), Police, specialised Police units such as the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Terrorism Investigation Department (TID), the Colombo Crime Division (CCD), National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), and the Sri Lankan Intelligence Service (SIS), pro-government Tamil paramilitary groups, and even Sinhalese workers relocated or sent to the Tamil areas to work on several projects, has now become a major problem.

With the brutal (Sinhalese) military and police running the North and East, treating the Tamil civilians as the ‘spoils of war’, and the area as ‘conquered territory’, backed by the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa that does what it likes to whoever it likes with no accountability, international intervention is mandatory and urgent.

A leading organisation for women in Sri Lanka said, on 14 July 2013, that in Sri Lanka a woman is raped every 90 minutes. With well-documented under-reporting because of shame or fear, the actual number of people subjected to rape and sexual violence in the Tamil areas, is much higher.

Rape is defined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Rape is a war crime when inflicted with impunity by victorious armies. Broader than rape, any form of sexual violence is prohibited under both customary International Humanitarian Law and Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions. International human rights law prohibits sexual violence.

Sexual violence consists of actions of a sexual nature committed with a person without their consent, which besides including the physical invasion of the human body, may include acts that do not imply penetration or even any physical contact whatsoever. Examples include forced nudity or virginity tests. Covering a broad range of gender-based offences such as rape, sexual slavery, molestation, sexual mutilation, forced marriage, forced abortion, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy and enforced sterilisation, sexual violence is defined as any act of a sexual nature that is committed on a person under circumstances that are coercive.

Acts of sexual violence may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity.

In addition to direct criminal responsibility for crimes committed on the ground, commanders or other superiors (military or civil) may be guilty for failing to prevent or punish crimes by their subordinates.

The increased (Sinhalese) militarisation of the North and East is one of the most important factors (if not the most important factor) for the large number of documented instances of rape and sexual violence unleashed on the local (Tamil) population. The corollary is that unless/until the Armed Forces are removed from the Tamil areas, the ‘epidemic’ of rape will continue.

The Sri Lankan government’s policy of protecting criminals and allowing local politicians and others who support the regime in power, to carry out such crimes with impunity has compounded the problem.

The criminal justice system in the country has collapsed. There are serious concerns about the independence of the judiciary and the adequacy of other checks on Executive and Military/Police power. The increase in rape cases is a sign of lawlessness.

It is crucial to appreciate that rape and other gross violations of human rights are going on today in the Tamil North and East, nearly five years after the end of the armed conflict. The current problem is due to four factors:-  1)The GoSL and its Armed Forces believing that the Tamil people are the ‘victims of war’. 2) The Sri Lankan Armed Forces running the Tamil areas – behaving like an Army of Occupation with no accountability. 3) The collapse of Law and Order and even the judicial system. 4) The exclusion of internationally credible human rights groups, independent observers and the media from the area by the GoSL.

As a doctor of medicine in Australia, there have been several Sri Lankan asylum seekers referred to me who are in need of medical attention. Many of them had been raped, and have physical and psychological problems.

Since much of the rape in the Tamil areas is associated with the 26-year long war in Sri Lanka, this is briefly described.

WikiLeaks has released a document sent in 2006 by then US Ambassador (Robert O.Blake Jr) in Colombo, to the USA, titled, Sri Lanka: GSL complicity in paramilitary factions’ Human Rights abuses.The Ambassador’s report deals with two separate parts of the Tamil North and East under two (Tamil) people, Douglas Devananda (in Jaffna in the North), and ‘Karuna’ (Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan) (in the East). This is reproduced.

The ground situation in the Tamil North and East is described, and the options available to the (Tamil) people who live there – 1)To conceal the fact that they have been raped. 2) To struggle and cope with the consequences, including pregnancy. 3)To seek (physical) refuge. 4)To complain. 5). To leave the country if possible. 6)To commit suicide.

The legal dimension is gone into in detail – both International Law, Conventions and Treaties and Sri Lanka’s Laws and the Constitution.

Major international publications on Rape in Sri Lanka are cited and discussed.

The urgent need to admit Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group into Sri Lanka in general, the Tamil North and East in particular, for humanitarian reasons, is stressed.  This, of course, the Sri Lankan regime will not allow. Hence the absolute need for international pressure, with force if necessary. The use of force is permitted in the UN R2P (Responsibility To Protect). The Tamil civilians in the North and East are most definitely in need of protection.

The question of addressing the problem locally and internationally are set out.   

The publication ends with a series of suggested actions.

To read more click here

 

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#India – Army’s Subversion of Justice – Pathribal Verdict #AFSPA #Vaw

EPW
Vol – XLIX No. 7, February 15, 2014

 

The Pathribal verdict only shows that the impunity of the Indian Army has grown.

The decision of the Indian Army to drop all charges against its officers accused of orchestrating and carrying out the cold-blooded murder of civilians in Pathribal (Kashmir) in March 2000 has been shocking, even by the cynical standards of the Indian security establishment. It is not just that innocent civilians were killed in a fake encounter, which is all too common among our police and armed forces. That the army can nonchalantly close a case for “want of evidence” when the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) told the Supreme Court that the killings were “cold-blooded murders” and that the army officers involved should be given “exemplary punishment” shows that there is really no civilian control over India’s armed forces. They have the insolence and impunity to kill any citizen on their whims and fancies and nothing can, or will, be done by anyone!

What Pathribal shows once again is that this insolence and impunity of India’s armed forces and police is structural to the “system”, a much used appellation of our times. What is particularly alarming is that this impunity of India’s security establishment seems only to be increasing with time. Despite media exposes and even the establishment of prima facie guilt by India’s premier investigation agency (in the case of Pathribal), the armed forces manage to escape even the most minimal punishment.

The massacre of the Sikhs at Chattisinghpora on 20 March 2000, on the eve of the visit to India of the then US President Bill Clinton, was followed by the Pathribal murders five days later. The army claimed that the five killed at Pathribal were “foreign militants” involved in the Chattisinghpora attack. Previously the government and armed forces had claimed that the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Hizbul Mujahideen were responsible for that massacre. A few days after the Pathribal murders, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) police killed another eight people at Barakpora when they opened fire on a procession of people protesting the Pathribal killings.

Till today neither the army nor the police have been able to provide one shred of evidence about either the involvement of “foreign militants” in the Chattisinghpora, Pathribal or Barakpora killings. Serious allegations of a “false flag” operation in Chattisinghpora have been raised and not adequately addressed. In fact, the way in which the DNA samples were fabricated to hide the identity of those killed in Pathribal, the manner in which the army units near Chattisinghpora did not react to the first news of the massacre, their inability to find the real killers and the repeated statements of the Sikhs of Kashmir that official accounts of the killings are “nonsense”, all these details have raised serious questions about the conduct of the army, the police and the governments of J&K and at the centre, which have not been addressed.

This refusal to address these very serious allegations indicates that it is not just rogue elements in the army or security forces that have been responsible for these excesses. They were perhaps mere agents of a “system” whose culpability goes to the very top. Why else do we still not know who replaced the DNA samples of the relatives of the Pathribal victims and why? Why has no effort been made to punish the police officers involved in Barakpora? Why do the Sikhs of Chattisinghpora, even today, refuse to accept that it was “foreign militants” who attacked them?

There was a sliver of hope that justice may yet be done to the victims of Chattisinghpora, Pathribal and Barakpora when the CBI produced evidence of “cold-blooded murders”. Yet the manner in which the police, the political establishment and even the judiciary have passed the buck since then shows that the primary effort of every institution of the Indian state has been to hide the truth and deny justice. While the chief minister of J&K, Omar Abdullah, raised the Pathribal issue, his administration refuses to act against policemen involved in the Barakpora and numerous other killings which are prima facie fake. The Congress-led central government has not just allowed the army this impunity, but has refused to revoke the dreadful Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA).

For some time now India’s democracy has been celebrated; and surely the growing democratisation of our polity with wider participation and greater public focus on political power is a positive development. However, parallel to this, and worryingly insulated from it, the impunity of India’s security establishment and “deep state” has grown. The manner in which the army can reject civilian political demands on AFSPA, the manner in which the Assam Rifles can be absolved of the killing of Thangjam Manorama, the manner in which the Intelligence Bureau can protect its officers shown to have been complicit in the Ishrat Jahan killing, the cavalier manner in which peaceful anti-nuclear protestors can be charged under the National Security Act, all these omissions and commissions show the insolence of these men with guns towards Indian democracy. For the health of the latter, it is crucial to dismantle India’s deep state. Charging and convicting the army officers involved in Pathribal will be a good start.

 

Read mor ehere — http://www.epw.in/editorials

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Supreme Court issues contempt notice to former Army Chief VK Singh

VK Singh

IE | 1 Oct, 2013,
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court issued contempt notice to former Army Chief Gen VK Singh, saying his remarks against its order on his age row prima facie amounts to “scandalising” and undermining the authority of the court.

The apex court directed the former Army Chief to file his response by October 23 after taking suo moto cognizance of a news report quoting him on why the apex court had not decided his age on the basis of matriculation certificate if such document is relied upon to decide the age of a rape victim.

A bench of justices RM Lodha and HL Gokhale also issued notice to publisher of a national daily which had published Singh’s statement on September 22.

“This court, therefore, takes cognizance of the criminal contempt and direct that notice be issued to him as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him,” the bench said.

Referring to Singh’s statement in the news report, the bench said, “The same amounts to scandalising the court and prima facie V K Singh’s statement tends to scandalise the judiciary and also tends to lower the authority of the court.”

The bench also asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati to assist the court in hearing of the case. The apex court had yesterday taken suo motu cognisance of Singh’s remarks against its order on his age row.

The bench had earlier dismissed Singh’s plea against the Centre on his age row.

“If the court can define the age of a rape victim on the basis of his matriculation certificate then why has the Supreme Court failed to decide my age despite checking and cross checking my certificate?,” Singh was quoted as having stated in the report.

Singh had on February 10 last year lost his legal battle on the age row in the apex court which said the government decision on his date of birth will apply for his service matters, forcing him to withdraw his petition.

The apex court had told Singh that he cannot resile on his commitment that he would abide by the government decision to treat his date of birth as May 10, 1950 and rejected the contention of “prejudice” and “perversity”.

The apex court, however, had applauded his 38 years of service to the nation, saying that it was “proud” of having “meritorious” officer like Gen Singh.

The court had said that government decision on his age issue will continue to be there and refused to interfere with his service record which maintains his date of birth as May 10, 1950.

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Eight ex-Army chiefs reject Gen VK Singh’s allegations, say Army is apolitical

CNN-IBN | Posted on Sep 28, 2013 a
New Delhi: Days after General VK Singh created a controversy by alleging that the Army pays ministers in Jammu and Kashmir, eight former Army Chiefs have come together to reject his allegations.
“No funds were ever provided by the Army, to any politicians, political party or any NGO in their tenures and nor would they have allowed that. This aspect should not be mixed with ‘Sadhbhavna’ operations, which laid down deliverables and procedures, allotted in the defence budget. Indian Army is completely apolitical.” they said in a joint statement.
The Central government had on Wednesday lashed out at Gen VK Singh over his allegation that the Army pays ministers in Jammu and Kashmir. According to sources, the government is considering a probe into his claims.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also had on Wednesday breaking his silence on the issue, said Gen Singh’s remarks have dealt a blow on the credibility of his government. The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister had said that the state government has taken up this issue with the Centre. Reacting for the first time over Gen Singh’s remarks, Omar had said accusations cannot be brushed aside, they require investigation.

General Singh in an interview to CNN-IBN on Monday had said money is essential to stabilise the youth in the terror struck area and to get them engaged in useful acts and it was given by the Army for this purpose.
The admission by the combative former Army Chief General about the Army having given money to J&K politicians, however, kicked off a furore with politicians from various parties demanding answers from the general.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has so far defended the General also sounded its disapproval against his claims. “After these disclosures have been made, its India that comes out to be weaker. There could be a campaign against VK Singh but its a secondary issue. Bigger worry is national security,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley had said.
Reacting to the admission by the General, the Union Home Ministry said that have not heard officially either from the J&K government or VK Singh. “We will take action if general gives us details of who was paid,” Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said.

 

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Unit set up by V K Singh used secret funds to try and topple J&K govt, block Bikram Singh: Army probe

Indian Express, New Delhi, Fri Sep 20 2013New Delhi, Fri Sep 20 2013
Misusing secret service funds to destabilise the Omar Abdullah government in Jammu and Kashmir, to pay off an NGO to try change the line of succession in the Army top brass, to buy off-air interception equipment, to conduct “unauthorised” covert operations — a string of alleged irregularities by the Technical Services Division (TSD), a controversial Military Intelligence (MI) unit set up by former Army Chief General V K Singh in May 2010, should come under the scanner of an external agency like the CBI.

This is a key recommendation of a secret Board of Officers inquiry report into the functioning of the TSD. The inquiry was led by Lieutenant General Vinod Bhatia, DG, Military Operations.

The report, which includes original Army documents and notings, was submitted to the then Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma around March this year. It has rattled the security establishment and prompted a series of measures to curtail MI’s powers, tighten monitoring of its covert operations and its use of secret service (SS) funds.

Government and Army sources have confirmed to The Indian Express that a summary of the report has been put up by the Ministry of Defence to Minister A K Antony who is understood to have instructed that its contents be brought to the notice of the Prime Minister’s Office. The report has been examined, sources said, at the “highest levels” in the MoD and the PMO.

The Indian Express has learnt that the report cites testimonies of officials on money taken from SS funds for operational expenses by the TSD at the expense of other commands and field units. These claims include:

* Rs 1.19 crore given to Ghulam Hassan Mir, presently Agriculture Minister of Jammu and Kashmir, to engineer a change of Governmrnt in Jammu and Kashmir. When contacted by The Indian Express, Mir called the charge baseless.

* Rs 2.38 crore was given to one Hakikat Singh on orders from Army Headquarters. Hakikat Singh set up an NGO named “Jammu and Kashmir Humanitarian Service Organisation (JKHSO),” which was linked to “Yes Kashmir,” another NGO which filed a PIL against then Army Commander Bikram Singh (who is now the Army Chief) in the alleged fake encounter case in Jangalat Mandi when Bikram Singh was a Brigadier. That PIL, which was later dismissed, was widely seen as an attempt to scuttle Bikram Singh’s appointment and change the line of succession in the top brass.

* Rs 8 crore was spent on purchase of interception equipment from a Singapore-based company in November 2010 ostensibly meant to be deployed in the J&K 15 Corps. In March 2012, following orders of the then DG, MI, Lt Gen D S Thakur, the equipment was physically destroyed. Incidentally, this happened days after a report in The Indian Express on the illegal use of this equipment in New Delhi.

* Frequent foreign travel by TSD officials to places like London and Dubai using their personal and not official passports and of specific TSD officials “doctoring” documents to tarnish Army officers.

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Sri Lanka army slammed for killing protesters

 

Roman Catholic Church accuses military of shooting unarmed villagers protesting against water contamination.

Last Modified: 07 Aug 2013 16:55
  

Christian priests and nuns joined a candle-light vigil in the capital to protest against the military action [AFP]
The Roman Catholic Church has accused the Sri Lankan army of shooting unarmed protesters and desecrating a church during demonstrations against water contamination.In an unusually strongly worded statement on Wednesday, the Archbishop of Colombo condemned “unhesitatingly” the military shooting that killed three people and wounded more than 50 others in a village just outside the capital last Thursday.Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith accused Sri Lanka‘s army of violating the sanctity of St Anthony’s church, beating up people who rushed there to escape the army shooting.

“We wish to condemn unhesitatingly the attack that was carried out by some elements of the [armed] forces on people who had sought refuge at St Anthony’s church,” the archbishop said.

“Such actions cannot be accepted by anyone… We do not accept using one’s power in a repressive manner to suppress protests, even if they get out of hand.”

The military opened fire on Thursday on thousands of unarmed residents who were protesting against the contamination of their ground water supply, allegedly by chemical waste from a rubber glove factory.

Government ministers said the military was acting in self-defence because protesters threw petrol bombs and shot at them at the instigation of a third party bent on discrediting the government.

Local media reports said soldiers barged into the church, ordered some of the people, including children, to kneel down and then beat them with sticks. Troops were also accused of opening fire inside the church compound.

Journalists said the military attacked them and damaged cameras before turning on the protesters.

Investigation demanded

Christian priests and nuns joined hundreds of faithful in staging a candle-light vigil in the capital on Wednesday to protest against the military action.

The vigil and the cardinal’s statement came as two of the victims were buried in the village of Weliweriya on Wednesday amid mounting protests from opposition political parties against the military attack.

The main opposition United National Party (UNP) has criticised the army’s plans for an internal military probe and demanded an international investigation into the deadly crackdown.

“We cannot accept the government getting one of its henchmen to probe the killings,” UNP general secretary Tissa Attanayake told reporters in Colombo on Monday.

Rights group Amnesty International also said the army should not be allowed to investigate itself.

“The Sri Lankan army should have never been policing unarmed demonstrators in the first place,” Polly Truscott, Amnesty International’s deputy Asia-Pacific director, said in a statement.

“Having them investigate their own alleged abuses is simply ridiculous,” she added.

Several people are still being treated in hospitals after the military attack, medical officials said.

 

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