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‘Gun-licenses issued to Army personnel in JK under ATS scanner’

Press Trust of India

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Jaipur, July 17: Over 3,000 gun licenses issued in the purported name of army personnel during their stint in Jammu and Kashmir are under the scanner of Rajasthan’s Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) which has asked the army to verify the names following suspected involvement of a gang to procure them illegally, police officials said on Tuesday.
The case dates back to November 2017 when the Rajasthan police’s ATS carried out an operation codenamed “Jubaida” and arrested 52 people so far for their alleged involvement in getting gun licenses issued from various districts of J&K under suspicious circumstances. The licenses included 3,367 in the purported name of army personnel, the officials said.
After unraveling the entire conspiracy, the officials of the ATS found that such licenses were issued by the Deputy Commissioners of the districts over the past one decade and no records were allegedly maintained for the same, they said.
Letters were written in this connection to the Army, Indian Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard, seven para-military forces including the Border Security Force (BSF) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), National Cadet Corps(NCC), Railway Protection Force(RPF) and National Disaster Response Force(NDRF).
While majority of them had replied, a comprehensive response from the army was still awaited notwithstanding the reminders, the officials said.
The first letter was sent to all the organisations on November 9, 2017 along with a list of personnel against whom the arms licenses had been issued. The police had asked these organisations to verify the names and submit relevant information which included their duration of tenure while being posted in J and K.
While most organisations started furnishing their response, the army also submitted a list of 375 personnel without giving the time period when they had served in the militancy-infested border state prompting the Rajasthan police to send another letter on February 14 this year in which the attention of the army authorities was drawn to the seriousness of the case.
“We have received information of only 375 personnel and after perusal of the report, we found that the despatched information is not in conformity to what we wanted. Some information is missing…
“As the matter is extremely serious, sensitive and of expedient nature, therefore, you are requested to provide information at the earliest keeping in view the seriousness of the case,” said the letter from ATS Rajasthan to the Additional Director General (Personnel and Services) at the Army headquarters.
The police wanted to know the period of posting of the 3,367 army personnel mentioned in the list, tenure of posting of these personnel in J and K and whether these personnel have retired from the service.
After this, the army sent a list of around 2,500 personnel without mentioning whether or not they had served in J&K, the officials said.
The Rajasthan police fired a third letter on March 24, saying the list again does not conform to what has been asked from the army authorities, they said.
“We are still awaiting the information from the army authorities. This case has security implications,” a senior ATS official said on the condition of anonymity.
As far as other organisations are concerned, the Navy informed the police that out of the list of 26 personnel submitted, only 14 cases were genuine, the officials said, adding this will help us in finding how the remaining 12 people allegedly posing themselves as Navy personnel got the gun license from J and K.
The IAF was provided with a list of 39 people by the ATS out of which the credentials of only 17 were found to be correct. Similarly, out of the 548 personnel from the BSF, records for 471 were received out of which cases of only 336 personnel were found correct, the officials said.
The CRPF list stood at 424 out of which 237 were found correct, the officials said, adding, among other forces, only 154 out of 387 were found correct for the Central Industrial Security Force(CISF), Seema Sashtra Bal(SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police(ITBP), National Security Guards(NSG), Coast Guard, Railway Proection Force(RPF), National Cadet Corps(NCC) and the NDRF.


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Danish billionaire’s 3 kids among killed

Agencies

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Copenhagen, Apr 22: Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for Povlsen’s fashion firm said on Monday.
The spokesman declined to give any further details but Danish media said the family had been on holiday in Sri Lanka.
A string of bombings at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka killed 290 people and wounded about 500 in Sunday’s attacks. A senior investigator said on Monday that seven suicide bombers had taken part in the attacks.
Povlsen is the owner of fashion firm Bestseller, which includes brands like Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, and is the majority stakeholder in online retailer Asos while also holding a big stake in Zalando.
He owns more than 1 percent of all the land in Scotland, according to Forbes.

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We took bold steps to counter ‘terror’, Congress response timid: Modi

Press Trust of India

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Pimpalgaon (Maharashtra): Targeting the UPA regime on national security issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said his government took bold steps to counter ‘terror’, compared to the timid approach adopted by the Congress-led regime.

Modi’s remarks at a poll rally here in Nashik district of Maharashtra came a day after a terror attack in Sri Lanka killed 290 people in a series of eight blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in the island country.

The prime minister said that due to the bold approach adopted by his government, ‘terrorism’ has been curbed in India and is confined only to some parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Under attack from the Congress for not letting the Rafale contract go to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Modi accused the opposition party of destroying the state-run enterprise.

The HAL has a unit in Nashik.

The prime minister said his government has increased defence production under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Campaigning for BJP-Shiv Sena alliance candidates from Nashik, Dindori and Dhule Lok Sabha constituencies, Modi said the Lanka blasts took place on Easter when people were sharing the message of peace.

“What was the condition in India before 2014? Bomb explosions would take place in corners of the country every now and then in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kashi (Varanasi), Ayodhya, Jammu,” Modi said.

“What did the then Congress-NCP government do? Held condolence meeting, expressed grief. They went about crying in the world, saying Pakistan did this and that in our country,” he said.

“But what did your chowkidar do? Your chowkidar changed this timid approach of the Congress-NCP government,” Modi said.

In an apparent reference to the 2016 surgical strike and Balakot air strike carried out in February this year, Modi said the security forces barged into the “factory of terror and cleaned everything without any discrimination”.

Modi said every “terrorist” is aware that “Modi would trace him even if he is hiding in the netherworld.”

Without naming any leader from the opposition, Modi said “some” experience electric current the moment I talk about dynasty and national security.

He said the opposition was restless given the response the BJP got in the first two phases of the Lok Sabha polls across the country.

Addressing the rally in a region known for onion production, Modi said his government is trying to increase onion storage capacity and reduce tax on their transportation.

He claimed that the Congress tweaked crop prices to benefit middlemen.

“I have fought a battle against these middlemen,” he added.

“Our government working to end the rule of middlemen,” Modi said.

Speaking at a poll rally at Nandurbar later, Modi said accused the opposition parties of spreading rumours that reservations will modified if he returns to power.

Modi said he will ensure that the quota quantum is not disturbed.

“Till Modi is here, nobody can touch reservations, given to us by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he said.

Modi also assured people in the tribal dominated constituencies in north Maharashtra that his government will ensure they would not face eviction from their land.

“As long as Modi is there, reservation for adivasis will not be removed. No one can lay hand on your agricultural land you are cultivating now,” he said.

The adivasis are currently struggling to keep their land with themselves as some provisions of the Forest Rights Act are being challenged.

“In Maharashtra alone, 1.25 crore farmers’ families are benefiting from Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Yojana. If voted to power again, we will remove the upper land holding limit of five acre,” Modi said.

“My government is also going to introduce a pension scheme for farmers in coming years,” he said.

North Maharashtra produces sugarcane which can be used for ethanol production, Modi said.

It will create jobs for locals but the Congress-NCP leaders never allowed it to happen, he said.

“These leaders used to get kickbacks for importing fuel.

If fuel imports are reduced due to ethanol blending, they fear of losing their income,” Modi said.

Recalling that it was in Nandurbar that the Aadhar scheme was launched in 2010, Modi said his government ensured its wider impact.

“But and now the Congress has approached the Supreme Court against Aadhar card,” he said.

Funds meant for pregnant women and children were “looted” by Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh and were seized from residences of some of their leaders, he said.

“They (Congress) are unrelenting in abusing me as I targeted their corruption,” Modi said.

The prime minister also attacked Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for his alleged remark that those who don’t get a square meal join the army and become jawans. Modi said that according to Kumaraswamy, people who guard our borders are not children of the rich and join the armed forces because they don’t have food to eat.

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JK Cong rings Delhi even for minor decisions: Omar

Global News Service

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Srinagar, Apr 21: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah Sunday said Congress leaders from Jammu and Kashmir are not allowed to take decisions on their own.
“When we were in an alliance with Congress, I noticed it myself that even for minor decisions they have to seek permission from party leadership in New Delhi,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a party function in South Kashmir.
However, Omar said, NC candidates for Parliamentary Elections if elected will not have to take “dictation” from New Delhi.
“Not only New Delhi but even National Conference top leadership. Our Parliamentarians will just have to represent the voice of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Omar said people should come out to vote as boycotting elections will only help the BJP and RSS.
He said it was unfortunate that Election Commision of India was ignoring repeated violations of Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendara Modi and top BJP leadership.

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