Patna: One could call it jail bharo, Lalu style. To ensure that his jail yatra in BJP-ruled Jharkhand neither dented his lifestyle nor put him at any serious discomfort, RJD president and former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav had made arrangements for his helper and masseur-cum-cook to land in prison hours before his own grand arrival in Ranchi’s Birsa Munda central jail on December 23, 2017, in connection with a fodder scam case.
Helper Lakshman Mahto and masseur-cum-cook Madan Yadav turned themselves in voluntarily on December 23, 2017, over an allegedly fudged theft and assault case registered against them by their neighbour.
Sources said that the two have allegedly been personally attending to him inside the jail since December 23, the day the RJD chief was convicted and sent to prison in the Deoghar treasury fodder scam case. While the ruling JD(U) and the BJP have cried foul, sources said that the timing of the leak about Lalu Yadav’s “jail luxury” is meant to have an adverse impact on his bid to seek bail from the Jharkhand high court in the next few days.
The JD(U) and the BJP also demanded a high-level probe to find out the “real truth” behind Lalu Yadav’s helpers reaching the jail just hours before he was convicted.
The RJD jumped to its leader’s defence, insisting that the presence of Mahto and Madan Yadav in jail was “conicidental”.
The superintendent of Birsa Munda Central Jail could not be reached for comments. Other government officials remained tight-lipped.
JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar, in a statement issued in Patna, said, “Lalu Yadav is a person with feudal mindset who can make his party workers go to any extent to serve his personal interest.”
“This shows that Lalu Yadav’s commitment to social justice is a sham and he cares only for himself and his family members,” said Mr Kumar, a JD(U) MLC.
Sources said Mahto and Madan Yadav, both residents of Jharkhand, had moved into a house in Ranchi a few weeks before the December 23 CBI special court verdict against Lalu Yadav. Thereafter, they had a fight with a neighbour and were booked.
The FIR against Mahto and Madan Yadav was registered by their neighbour Sumit Yadav in Lower Bazaar police station, alleging that he was beaten up and robbed.
“They abused me and assaulted me when I asked them to return my money which they had borrowed. They also stole Rs 10,000 from my shirt’s pocket” Sumit Yadav said in his FIR against Madan Yadav and Mahto.
Both the aides of Lalu Yadav have been booked under IPC Section dealing with theft, causing hurt, insulting someone and wrongful restraint, punishable with a maximum of three years in jail.
This is not the first time the two have accompanied the RJD chief to Ranchi jail. Sources claimed that in 2013, when Lalu Yadav was convicted in the first fodder scam case related to fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 37.7 crore from the Chaibasa treasury, Mahto and Madan Yadav used the same trick to land in jail and be at their master’s beck and call.
Lalu Yadav has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in jail by the special CBI court in connection with the Deoghar treasury case involving the embezzlement of more than Rs 89 lakh in government funds between 1991 and 1994.
Next war with indigenised weapons: Army chief
New Delhi, Oct 15: Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Tuesday said the Defence Research and Development Organisation has made strides in ensuring that requirement of the country’s defence services are met through home-grown solutions, adding that the next war will be fought and won through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.
Speaking at the 41st DRDO Directors Conference, Rawat said: “The DRDO has made strides in ensuring that requirements of the services are met through home-grown solutions. We are confident that we will fight and win the next war through indigenised weapons systems and equipment.”
With a network of 52 laboratories, the government agency DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development covering various fields like aeronautics, land combat engineering, armaments, electronics, missiles, and naval systems.
The Army chief said that the Defence industry of India is a budding industry and the time has now come to look at the development of systems for future warfare and start preparing for “non-contact warfare.”
Rawat asserted that along with artificial intelligence, the future lies in the development of cyber, space technology, laser, electronic warfare and robotics.
“We are looking at systems for future warfare. We have to start looking at development of cyber, space, laser, electronic and robotic technologies and artificial intelligence,” he said.
The Army chief said that if the timeline between the design development and production of any weapon system of equipment is to be reduced then it would be better to embed the service officers along with Research and Development.
Calling for joint research by Army officials and DRDO, he said: “In a joint project, the success and failures will become a joint responsibility and we will not start pointing fingers at each other.”
On the occasion, Rawat recalled APJ Abdul Kalam on his birth anniversary stating that the late President had set benchmarks and standards for the Defence Research and Development (R and D) community, which is a challenge for scientists who are now emerging.
“I am quite sure the scientists will live up to those expectations,” he said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Indian Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval were also present at the event. (IANS)
Major shift in govt’s way of handling ‘terrorism’: IAF chief on Balakot
New Delhi: The strategic relevance of Balakot air strikes is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism, Air Chief RKS Bhadauria said on Tuesday.
In his Air Force Day message, the Air Chief said, “The strategic relevance of this (Balakot air strikes) is the resolve of the political leadership to punish the perpetrators of terrorism. There is a major shift in the government’s way of handling militant attacks.”
Stressing that the present security environment in the neighbourhood is a case of serious concern, the Air Chief said Pulwama attack is a stark reminder of the persistent threat to defence installations.
Earlier, the Chiefs of three services paid floral tributes at the national war memorial on the occasion of 87th Air Force Day.
“On February 26 this year, the IAF successfully struck camps located at Balakot. On the next day, the IAF successfully thwarted Pakistan Air Force’s attempts to attack our military establishments. In the aerial engagement that followed we shot down a PAF F-16 fighter aircraft and lost a MiG-21,” the IAF chief said in his remarks during Air Force Day press conference on October 4.
RSS chief says lynching a ‘western construct’ being used to defame India
Nagpur: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Tuesday said lynching is a “western construct” and should not be used in the Indian context to defame the country.
Addressing the Vijayadashmi function of the RSS at Reshimbagh ground in Maharashtra’s Nagpur city, he said the word ‘lynching’ does not originate from Indian ethos but comes from a separate religious text, and such terms should not be imposed on Indians.
He also lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah over the government’s move to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, but said some vested interests do not want the country to be strong and vibrant.
Voicing his displeasure over several incidents of mob violence in the country, he said, “Lynching is not the word from Indian ethos, its origin is from a story in a separate religious text. We Indians trust in brotherhood. Don’t impose such terms on Indians.”
“Lynching itself is a western construct and one shouldn’t use it in the Indian context to defame the country,” he said.
Bhagwat urged citizens to create harmony, and that everyone should live within confines of law. “Swayamsevaks are brought up with that sanskar,” he said.
He said in the past few years, there has been transformation in “direction of thought process of Bharat”.
“There are many people in the world and in Bharat as well, who don’t want this. A developed Bharat creates fear in the minds of vested interests…such forces will also not want Bharat to be strong and vibrant,” the RSS chief said.
Even well-meaning policies, statements from persons in government and administration were being misused to benefit nefarious designs by vested interests, he rued.
“We must be alert in identifying these plots and counter them on intellectual and social levels,” he said.
Bhagwat said the world was eager to know if the 2019 elections in such a huge country will be conducted smoothly.
“Democracy in India is not something imported from any country, but a practice which has been prevalent here since centuries,” Bhagwat said.
He said India’s borders were now safer than ever, and more focus was needed on coastal security.
“The number of guards and check-posts on land borders and surveillance along the maritime border, especially on islands, have to be increased,” he said.
On concerns over the economic sector, he said the slowing down of world economy has left its impact everywhere.
“The government has taken initiatives to tide over the situation in the last one-and-a-half months. Our society is entrepreneurial and will overcome these challenges,” he added.