The Hindustan Times – India keeping a close eye on China-Pakistan military cooperation: Navy chief

Rahul Singh

New Delhi, 20 April 2015. India is keeping a close eye on the growing military cooperation between Pakistan and China as Islamabad and Beijing inch closer to hammering out a landmark submarine deal, navy chief Admiral Robin Dhowan said on Sunday.

In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, Dhowan said the navy was keeping the Indian Ocean under tight surveillance to be ready for any eventuality.

“We have our eyes firmly set on waters of interest around us. The navy is a multi-dimensional combat force and we are looking at all aspects related to sea control and sea denial amid the unfolding developments in the region,” Dhowan said in his first-ever interview after completing a year in office.

His comments come a day before Chinese President Xi Jinping lands in Pakistan for his maiden visit that is likely to see the finalisation of a deal for buying eight diesel-electric submarines, strengthening Islamabad’s current fleet of five French submarines, including two ageing vessels manufactured in the 1970s.

The agreement will be one of Beijing’s biggest exports and make Islamabad’s submarine strength competitive with that of New Delhi, which operates 14 such vessels.

“The navy is closely tracking the developments in the Chinese navy and keeping an eye on their deployment patterns in the Indian Ocean region (IOR). We will have to see which way Pakistan-China military cooperation is headed,” the navy chief said.

India has rapidly modernised its navy in recent years but still lags behind the Chinese Navy, which operates close to 60 submarines, including nuclear-powered attack and ballistic missile submarines. It is also preparing to commission three more advanced nuclear-powered attack submarines.

The last decade has seen Beijing scale up its presence in the Indian Ocean, building a string of ports, power plants and highways across the small island nations at the cost of billions of dollars.

But India hasn’t been caught unawares and is planning to boost its undersea capabilities by inducting 24 more submarines, including six nuclear-powered attack vessels, by 2030, the navy chief said.

The navy was scaling up its strengths under its 15-year maritime capabilities perspective plan and “we cannot have knee-jerk reactions (to capability build up by neighbours) in these long-term plans,” Dhowan said.

The navy chief also said the only change in the Chinese navy deployment in the Indian Ocean region in the last six to seven years was the “occasional deployment” of submarines. “The navy keeps its surveillance on waters of interest to see that we are ready for any eventuality, anytime” he added.

In an exclusive interview to HT last week, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had also cautioned against Pakistani naval expansion becoming “a weakness in India’s armour of controlling the ocean”.

“We are not going to neglect any area because our maritime interests need to be guarded on all fronts and in all dimensions,” Dhowan said.

The Tribune – US rights body seeks release of Sikh NRI

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, 19 April 2015. Human right activists in America are mounting pressure for freeing US-based NRI Ravinderpal Singh, who is under preventive arrest at the Ludhiana central jail for around two months.

Ravinderpal is son of NRI Surat Singh Khalsa (75), who is being fed through the nose for nearly two months at the Civil Hospital after the veteran Sikh activist observed a fast for over 40 days demanding release of 82 Sikh prisoners.

Ravinderpal who hails from Chicago was arrested by the police along with Surinder Singh of Jas Radio America on February 26 from the Civil Hospital after the duo allegedly protested against the police action of using a food pipe to break Surat Singh’s fast.

Hounslow People’s Peace Parade

21 March 2015

Hounslow High Street
Jackets zipped up: it was cold and windy !

The Lady Mayor

Hounslow High Street

Hounslow High Street

To see all my pictures :

More UK pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

The Hindu – ‘History too important to be left to politicians’

Sabyasachi Bhattacharya says the record of the ICHR is not flawless

Anuradha Raman

New Delhi, 20 April 2015. Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, eminent economic historian, has resigned as Chief Editor of the Indian Historical Review, the journal published by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).

“The record of the ICHR is not flawless, nor shall I claim, on behalf of the institute or the journal I humbly served, very great achievements. However, I doubt whether you would find instances of persons, nominated by the governments in power, regarding their position pro tem as a franchise to fantasise about history,” Professor Bhattacharya told The Hindu.

“There was by and large a liberal tolerance; I use the word liberal though it is pejorative in the idiom of the Left and the Right, towards differences in points of view. I do hope the ICHR will continue as a forum for expression of various approaches to Indian history. History is too important to be left to politicians.”

Denies differences

Y. Sudershana Rao, a Professor of History from Kakatiya University, who headed the Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana, the history wing of the Sangh Parivar, was appointed Chairman of the ICHR last June.

Professor Bhattacharya has denied that he had differences with Dr. Rao, but is said to be upset at the general right-wing turn in history writing.

Professor Rao has recommended a few names from the Sangh Parivar to the ICHR. Asked about this, he said: “Following the resignation of Professor Bhattacharya, Professor Dilip Chakrabarti has been appointed to the post. The committee of the journal has been reconstituted.”

To a question on the right-ward turn of the ICHR, Prof. Rao quipped, “Was it left-ward earlier?”

However, the minutes of the meeting held on March 27, posted on the council’s website, give an indication of the direction the newly appointed members of the council want the ICHR to take. Some members, for instance, wanted a restructuring of the History syllabus taught in schools.

Another member demanded to know what had been done in the past 50 years as ICHR was in the hands of “fascist” historians. Yet another member wanted an authentic history of the ICHR to be written. One member wanted History to be linked to the tourism industry to generate jobs.

Others cautioned against the misuse of the ICHR by political parties at last month’s meeting.

Whether it was the slugfest at a memorial lecture — where the chief guest, a Belgian Professor of Philosophy, who said the reading of the Mahabharata was sufficient for an understanding of the past — which was followed by a loud protest or the heckling of the member secretary over a disagreement in the course of a lecture organised by the council, the ICHR is in the news for the wrong reasons.

Published in: on April 20, 2015 at 6:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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The Asian Age – Disproportionate assets case: Supreme Court to hear plea on April 21

J Venkatesan

New Delhi 19 April 2015. A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court will hear on April 21 petitions filed by DMK general secretary K. Anbazhagan challenging the appointment of Bhavani Singh as the special public prosecutor in the appeals filed by former Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa and three others in the Rs 66 crore disproportionate assets case against their conviction and four-year imprisonment by a trial court in Bengaluru.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra, R.K. Agrawal and Prafulla C. Pant will hear the matter from April 21 and it is expected to give its verdict before May 12 so that the high court could decide one way or the other on giving verdict in the appeals.

On April 15, a bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and R. Banumathi gave a split verdict on the validity of the appointment of Bhavani Singh as the special public prosecutor to represent the prosecution in the appeals filed by Ms Jayalalithaa and three others — Sasikala, Ialvarasi and Sudhakaran — in the Karnataka high court.

Holding that Mr. Singh had no authority to be the SPP and that his appearance in the appeals had vitiated the hearing, Justice Lokur had ordered a fresh hearing after the appointment of a new public prosecutor by the Karnataka government in consultation with the HC Chief Justice.

Justice Banumathi, however held that Mr. Singh had the authority to represent the prosecution in terms of Section 301 Cr.P.C. according to which a person appointed to a case could continue his appearance even in an appellate court.

If the three-judges accept Justice Lokur’s stand then there has to be a fresh hearing either by Justice Kumaraswami or by a new judge. If they accept Justice Banumathi’s decision then there is no impediment on Justice Kumaraswami of the Karnataka HC to pronounce his verdict before May 12. – Ravinder Jeet Singh Gogi Not Presented in Court For the Fourth Time

Sikh24 Editors

Ludhiana, 18 April 2015. Son of Bapu Surat Singh Khalsa, Bhai Ravinder Jeet Singh “Gogi” was again not presented in the court today. He has been brought to the courthouse four times, however every time his case is deferred until future date.

Earlier today, around 10 AM, he was brought to the court where family members and two US embassy representatives were waiting there to speak with them.

Ravinder Jeet Singh briefly told his sister, Bibi Sarvarinder Kaur that is in a lot of pain due to the beating by the police staff. Before his previous court hearing, he was thrashed by ASI Richard Maseeh brutally using metal chains.

Police has refused to take Ravinder Jeet Singh to the hospital and medical staff at the jail have been giving him pain killers.

Representatives of the US embassy were not allowed to meet with Ravinder Jeet Singh “Gogi”. The next court hearing has been scheduled for April 30.

Sikh24 Editors can be reached at

Hounslow People’s Peace Parade

21 March 2015

Walking down Hounslow High Street

Walking down Hounslow High Street

System change – NOT Climate change

Walking down Hounslow High Street

Nice bench

To see all my pictures :

More UK pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

Dawn – ATC transfers cases against Sufi Mohammad to regular courts

Bureau Report

Peshawar, 19 April 2015. An anti-terrorism court accepted on Saturday two applications filed by Maulana Sufi Mohammad, chief of the banned Tehreek Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Muhammadi (TNSM), and ordered transfer of two cases against him to regular courts. One of the cases carries the sedition charge and the other that of inciting hatred against the government.

Judge Abdur Rauf Khan, who had reserved orders on the applications after completion of arguments a few days ago, pronounced that the charges against the accused did not fall under the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997.

He ordered that the cases be placed before the Swat district and sessions judge for referral to the relevant court.

Due to security reasons, the proceedings were conducted in the Peshawar Central Prison, where Sufi Mohammad had been imprisoned since his arrest in 2009.

He has been acquitted in 10 of the cases referred to the ATC.

A case against a large number of TNSM activists and Sufi Mohammad for storming a police station at Kabal in Swat was transferred to a regular court by the ATC last month.

In some of the cases, he was acquitted after the government withdrew the charges following peace deals between the TNSM and the then provincial government in 2008 and 2009.

Sufi Mohammad and TNSM activists had held a sit-in for several days at the Rest House Ground in Timergara in October 2008 and made speeches against the government. After the final stage of a military operation against militants was launched in May 2009, an FIR was also registered against the participants of the sit-in.

He is also accused of sedition and instigating people to wage war against the country during a speech at the Swat Grassy Ground in April 2009.

The Asian Age – Janata Parivar is anti-dalit, says Ram Vilas Paswan

Asian Age Correspondent

Lucknow, 18 April 2015. Union minister for consumer affairs, food and public distribution Ram Vilas Paswan said on Friday that the various constituents of the emerging Janata Parivar had an anti-dalit mentality.

Talking to reporters here, the minister said that the leader of the new front Mulayam Singh Yadav had vehemently opposed reservation in promotion which was designed to benefit the weaker sections.

“There is not even a single dalit leader in the Janata Parivar which puts a question mark on its social and political relevance. The members of the Janata Parivar made Jitan Ram Manjhi the chief minister to counter me in Bihar politics and insulted him,” he said.

Mr Paswan, while replying to questions, said that the Janata Parivar will disseminate even before the Bihar elections since all the constituents had decided upon their respective candidates. “They have not yet decided on the name of the party, flag of the party and the symbol of the party till date which shows that there are many hurdles in the merger.

“Dil milne se hi dal milte hain. The Parivar will disintegrate when real issues come up,” he pointed out. The Union minister also took a dig at Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for his 56-day sabbatical and said that ups and downs are part of politics but for the first time he has seen a leader “going missing” after poll drubbing.

“Ups and downs are part of politics. For the first time it was seen that any leader went missing due to defeat,” he said without taking Mr Gandhi’s name.

Talking about the compensation to farmers who had lost their crops due to untimely rains, Mr Paswan said that the Centre had not only increased the limit of compensation from 50 per cent to 33 per cent but had also increased the compensation by one-and-a-half times.

“We received the letter from the UP government just two days ago and we will be giving maximum compensation to the farmers,” he said.

Mr Paswan said that UP and Bihar was lagging behind in compensation because the “mandi system” was not being effectively implemented.

He also said that Uttar Pradesh had not yet implemented the Food Security Act as a result of which food grains were not being made available to the poor at the lowest rates. “I plead to the state government to implement the same at the earliest,” he added.

The Tribune – SGPC, Pingalwara lock horns over stall removal

Society president stages sit-in, says will continue struggle till stall is restored

Perneet Singh, Tribune News Service

Amritsar, 17 April 2015. The SGPC and the All India Pingalwara Charitable Society today came face-to-face after the former removed the latter’s stall located near the main entrance of the Golden Temple. Pingalwara chairperson Inderjit Kaur has launched a sit-in near the holy shrine.

For the past many decades, the stall was being used to promote philanthropic activities of the society among devotees visiting the holy shrine.

The SGPC move came after Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal issued orders for the stall’s removal during his visit to the holy shrine a couple of days ago. As soon as the word about the stall’s removal spread, Inderjit Kaur reached the spot along with her associates and started performing a “path” as a mark of protest against the SGPC move.

All of them sat on ground near the “jora ghar” (shoe keeping facility) with Pingalwara literature placed around them. They also put up a banner stating that the Pingalwara’s stall should be allowed to remain at its original position.

She said they would continue their struggle round-the-clock until the stall was restored at its original position.

She said the SGPC resorted to the move despite their writing a letter to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar and the Darbar Sahib Management Committee, urging them not to do so. Some other organisations have also come out in the support of Pingalwara authorities.

Pingalwara’s Chief Administrator Colonel Darshan Singh Bawa alleged the SGPC forcibly removed their stall, thus “perpetrating sacrilege of religious literature”. He said they had put up the stall with the SGPC’s consent but they removed it without allocating an alternative space to them.

He said they had been promoting their activities through this stall since 1957. He said the place held great significance for them as Bhagat Puran Singh used to sit there.

“We’ve old and emotional ties with the holy shrine. Besides, the stall helps us get monetary aid from thousands of devotees visiting the shrine daily.

The SGPC itself gives Rs 10 lakh annually from its budget to Pingalwara for humanitarian work” he said. Former SGPC chief Gurcharan Singh Tohra had also removed their stall once, but restored it later on, he added.

Darbar Sahib manager Partap Singh said they had removed the stall as it was on the way to the holy shrine and the devotees were facing inconvenience.


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