While taking a very grim view of the most reprehensible incidents of police officers tampering with evidence even in heinous cases of crime as in rape cases, the Madhya Pradesh High Court in a noteworthy judgment titled Ajay Sahu v. The State Of Madhya Pradesh And Anr. in Criminal Appeal No. 379 of 2022 delivered just recently on April 21, 2022 has directed the State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee to take appropriate action against the police officers concerned for tampering with forensic evidence in a rape case, to allegedly shield the appellant/accused who also happened to be a police officer. The single Judge Bench comprising of Justice Vivek Agarwal of Madhya Pradesh High Court at Jabalpur further lamented that the Court would’ve directed that the case be handed over to the CBI for further investigation but the same, prima facie, would not help the victim as the delinquent officers had ‘already played their role’ by tampering with the evidence. We thus see that the Court denied bail to the appellant and the appeal was dismissed.
To start with, this brief, brilliant, bold and balanced judgment authored by a single Judge Bench comprising of Justice Vivek Agarwal first and foremost puts forth in para 1 that, “This appeal is filed by the applicant Ajay Sahu S/o Shri Ramesh Kumar under Section 14(A) of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 1989 as amended upto date.”
Simply put, the Bench then states in para 2 that, “Case Crime No.05/2021 is registered at Police Station A.J.K., District Chhindwara (M.P.) for offence under Section 376(1), 294, 323, 506 of IPC and Section 3(2)(va), 3(1)(w)(i) (ii) of SC/ST, Act 1989. Date of arrest is 13.11.2021.”
Of course, the Bench then points out in para 3 that, “It is submitted that the appellant is innocent, he be enlarged on bail. DNA report is negative, inasmuch as Forensic Science Laboratory has opined that since sample of the fetus was preserved in Formalin Saline, therefore, DNA testing is not possible.”
Briefly stated, the Bench then discloses in para 4 that, “In this regard, I have perused the report dated 20.04.2022 forwarded by Shri Umesh Joga, Additional Director General of Police, Jabalpur, Zone Jabalpur. It is evident from the report that Civil Surgeon of the Hospital Dr. Shikhar Surana had earlier given a casual report saying that sample was preserved in the Formalin at the hospital as it is available in the OT. This opinion has been changed by the Civil Surgeon which clearly points out that Civil Surgeon is guilty of furnishing incorrect information to the High Court. Vide report dated 24.03.2022 forwarded to the D.S.P. Women Safety, Chhindwara vide letter No. /2022/830.”
While mentioning about the Additional Director General of Police, the Bench then reveals in para 6 that, “He has concluded that Staff Nurse Sudha Dhurve admitted that in O.T. Normal and Formalin Saline is available, therefore, there is a possibility that on 13.12.2021 Smt. Radha Boniya (O.T. Technician) might have by fault handed over the container in place of Normal saline filling it with Formalin. After coming into notice of this fact, Hospital Administration is trying to suppress the facts. However, it is evident from the list of persons whose statements were recorded that statement of Sudha Dhurve, Staff Nurse was not recorded. Only statements of 10 persons mentioned above were recorded.”
No doubt, the Bench then concedes in para 7 that, “Dr. Shikhar Surana, Civil Surgeon admitted that for last one and a half year no Formalin was supplied to Prastuti Vibhag.”
As we see, the Bench then states in para 8 that, “Dr. Disha Lamba in her statement stated that Dr. Pathak had directed Sister Kavita to prepare a pack of Normal Saline in which product of Conception (fetus) can be kept. On this instruction, Sister working in Secrolatory had brought a box of Normal Saline in which Dr. Pathak had preserved product of Conception which was handed over to the police authority.”
It also must be mentioned that the Bench then lays bare in para 9 that, “Dr. Shweta Pathak has admitted that Radha Bonia, Staff Nurse was helping Kavita. She has categorically mentioned that she had not paid attention as to whether N.S. was filled in the container by Ms. Kavita or Ms. Radha but container given to her by Ms. Kavita was filled with N.S. because it was not emitting any smell of Formalin. That container was handed over by Dr. Diksha Lamba to the police authority.”
While continuing in a similar vein, the Bench then brings out in para 10 stating that, “Dr. Shobha Moitra has also given similar statements clearly mentioning that Normal Saline in which fetus was preserved was supplied by Store Keeper Manish to the O.T.. For last two years no Formalin has been supplied to the Operation Theater. As per her memory, in last 12 years, no human organ has been preserved in Formalin.”
It must be noted that the Bench then mentions in para 11 that, “Statements of Smt. Kavita Bele are on record in which she has categorically mentioned that Radha Bonia had filled Normal Saline, it was Radhe who had sealed the container.”
It deserves mentioning that the Bench then while mentioning about the statement of Radha Bonia which is important notes in para 13 that, “Reading this statement, it is evident that Ms. Radha Bonia has not admitted that she had filled Formalin in place of Normal Saline. There are no statements of Ms. Sudha Dhurve which Additional Director General of Police has mentioned that she has admitted that in O.T. Normal and Formalin saline are available.”
Needless to say, the Bench then states in para 14 that, “First of all Formalin is not a Saline. Additional Director General of police has not applied himself to the fact situation. It appears that he signed the report and has not taken into consideration the fact that there are no statements of Staff Nurse, Ms. Sudha Dhurve.”
Without mincing any words, the Bench then acknowledges in para 15 that, “Accused appellant is a Police Personnel, thus there is good probability of he being shielded by the higher Police Officials for the reason best known to them.”
Adding more to it, the Bench then also alarmingly points out in para 16 that, “It is prima facie apparent that sample is tampered with and only beneficiary from the tempering of the sample is the present appellant. It also appears that now Police Officers are trying to save him.”
Be it noted, the Bench then enunciates in para 17 that, “Section I5(A) under chapter IVA of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 as amended upto date deals with Rights of Victims and Witnesses. Section 15-A(8) provides as under:-
“(8) Without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (6), the concerned Special Court or the Exclusive Special Court may, on an application made by a victim or his dependent, informant or witness in any proceedings before it or by the Special Public Prosecutor in relation to such victim, informant or witness or on its own motion, take such measures including :-
(a) concealing the names and addresses of the witnesses in its orders or judgments or in any records of the case accessible to the public;
(b) issuing directions for non-disclosure of the identity and addresses of the witnesses;
(c) take immediate action in respect of any complaint relating to harassment of a victim, informant or witness and on the same day, if necessary, pass appropriate orders for protection;
Provided that inquiry or investigation into the complaint received under clause (c) shall be tried separately from the main case by such Court and concluded within a period of two months from the date of receipt of the complaint;
Provided further that where the complaint under clause (c) is against any public servant, the Court shall restrain such public servant from interfering with the victim, informant or witness, as the case may be, in any matter related or unrelated to the pending case, except with the permission of the Court.””
Furthermore, the Bench then states in para 18 that, “Rule 16 provides for Constitution of State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee. Sub Rule 2 of Rule 16 provides that the high power Vigilance and Monitoring Committee shall meet at least twist in a calendar year in the month of January and July to renew the implementation of the provisions of the Act, Relief and Rehabilitation facilities provided to the victims and other matters connected therewith, prosecution of cases under the Act, Role of different Officers/Agencies responsible for implementing the provision of the Act and various report received by State Government.”
On the face of it, the Bench then states in para 19 that, “Similarly, Rule 17 provides for Constitution of District Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee.”
Most damningly, the Bench then hastens to add in para 20 that, “In the present matter it appears that none of the Committees be it State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee for a District Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee have taken pains to do the needful as is provided in Rule 16(2), Rule 17 and Section 15-A(8) of the Act.”
Truth be told, the Bench then concedes in para 21 that, “Appellant should have been transferred out of the local area to a far flung area so that he is not able to influence the witnesses.”
Most significantly, what forms the cornerstone of this notable judgment is then encapsulated in para 22 wherein it is held that, “This Court would have handed over this case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in view of the conduct of the Police Personnel which includes the appellant, Superintendent of Police, Chhindwara, and Additional Director General of Police, Jabalpur but at this distance of time when Civil Surgeon of District Hospital, Chhindwara and concerned Police Personnel have already played their role, and it is not possible to retry the sample, therefore, any indulgence of the CBI prima facie does not appears to be of immediate help in protecting the rights of the victim. Therefore, instead of handing over the investigation to the CBI, it is directed that concerned Officials be transferred specially the appellant to a far flung place in Madhya Pradesh so that he is not able to influence the witnesses as now case is to be decided on its own merits in view of the available ocular evidence.”
No less significant is what is then stated by the Bench in para 23 wherein it is held that, “As far as, merits of the present appeal is concerned, it is evident that forensic evidence has already been tempered with and now case is dependent on the ocular evidence, therefore, for the present when the appellant appears to be wielding sufficient influence on various authorities who are suppose to be independent, probability of tempering with the evidence cannot be ruled out thus unless important prosecution witnesses are examined it cannot be said that the appellant is entitled to be enlarged on bail.”
As a corollary, the Bench then holds in para 24 that, “Application fails and is dismissed.”
Finally, the Bench then concludes by directing in para 25 that, “Let a copy of this order be forwarded by the Registry along with reports dated 01.04.2022 and 20.04.2022 to the State Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee through the Chief Secretary for taking appropriate action against the delinquent persons within 15 days from today. Let record be kept in a sealed cover.”
In conclusion, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has taken a very strong exception to police officers tampering with evidence in rape case to help the accused police officer to get himself exonerated from the court. This is nothing but trampling upon justice and due process of law. How can this sabotaging be allowed? This no court can ever afford to allow at any cost and under any circumstances. No denying it!
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Election Commission declares 253 RUPPs as inactive, bars them from availing benefits of the Symbol Order, 1968
Additional 86 Non-existent RUPPs shall be deleted from the list and benefits under the Symbols Order (1968) withdrawnAction against these 339 (86+253) non-compliant. RUPPs takes the tally to 537 defaulting RUPPs since May 25, 2022
In continuation of the earlier action initiated on May 25, 2022 for enforcing due compliances by Registered Unrecognized Political Parties (RUPPs), the Election Commission of India led by Chief Election Commissioner, Shri Rajiv Kumar and Election Commissioner Shri Anup Chandra Pandey today further delisted 86 non-existent RUPPs and declared additional 253 as ‘Inactive RUPPs’. This action against 339 non-compliant RUPPs takes the tally to 537 defaulting RUPPs since May 25, 2022.
As per statutory requirements under section 29A of the RP Act, every political party has to communicate any change in its name, head office, office bearers, address, PAN to the Commission without delay. 86 RUPPs have been found to be non-existent either after a physical verification carried out by the respective Chief Electoral Officers of concerned States/UTs or based on report of undelivered letters/notices from Postal Authority sent to the registered address of concerned RUPP. It may be recalled that ECI had delisted 87 RUPPs and 111 RUPPs vide orders dated May 25, 2022 and June 20, 2022, thus totalling the number of delisted RUPPs to 284.
This decision against 253 non-compliant RUPPs has been taken based on reports received from Chief Electoral Officers of seven states namely Bihar, Delhi, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Telangana & Uttar Pradesh. These 253 RUPPs have been declared inactive, as they have not responded to the letter/notice delivered to them and have not contested a single election either to the General Assembly of a State or the Parliament Election 2014 & 2019. These RUPPs have failed to comply with statutory requirements for more than 16 compliance steps since 2015 and are continuing to default.
It is also noted that of the above 253 parties, 66 RUPPs actually applied for a common symbol as per para 10B of the Symbol’s Order 1968 and did not contest the respective elections. It is pertinent to note that privilege of a common symbol is given to RUPP based upon an undertaking for putting up at least 5 percent of total candidates with regard to said legislative assembly election of a State. Possibility of such parties occupying the available pre-election political space by taking benefits of admissible entitlements without contesting elections cannot be ruled out.
Coastal clean-up campaign receives a huge response: Dr. Jitendra Singh
The 75-day long ongoing Coastal Clean Up Campaign is receiving a huge response from across the sections of society and besides others, Governors, Chief Ministers, Union Ministers, celebrities, film and sports personalities, civil society groups etc. are joining the campaign with overwhelming enthusiasm and pledging their support to the longest and largest beach cleaning campaign in the world titled “Swachh Sagar, Surakshit Sagar”, coordinated by Union Ministry of Earth Sciences with collaboration from all the other Union Ministries, departments as well as governments of the coastal States.
Addressing a press conference today, three days ahead of “International Coastal Clean-up Day” on 17th September, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology, Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh said, he will join the campaign at Juhu beach in Mumbai on 17th September and informed that Governor Maharashtra Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan and several personalities as well as NGOs will also join at Juhu.
The Minister also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his support through social media. The PM has stressed on keeping India’s coasts clean as he praised efforts of volunteers to remove garbage from the Juhu beach in Mumbai. Responding to a video posted by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh about the clean-up at the beach, Modi tweeted, “Commendable… I appreciate all those involved in this effort. India is blessed with a long and beautiful coastline and it is important we focus on keeping our coasts clean”. The Minister said, “A cleanathon was organised at Juhu Beach in Mumbai, saw participation in large numbers especially by youngsters and Civil Society.
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will take a lead in the clean-up campaign at world famous Puri beach, while Pratap Chandra Sarangi, former union minister will be at Chandipur. BJP MP from Hooghly, West Bengal Ms Locket Chatterjee will be at Digha on D-Day. R.K.Mission head will lead the campaign at Bakkhali in southern Bengal.
Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendrabhai Patel will be at Porbandar (Madhavpur), while Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Khodabhai Rupala will join the clean-up operation at Jafrabad, Amreli.
Governor of Goa P. S. Sreedharan Pillai and Chief Minister Pramod Sawant will take part in beach cleaning campaign in South and North Goa beaches on 17th September.
Similarly, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan will be at Kochi, while MoS External Affairs V. Muraleedharan will be at Kovalam beach at Thiruvananthapuram.
Governor of Karnataka Thawar Chand Gehlot will join the campaign at Panambur beach in Mangalore, while the Governor of Telangana, Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan will lend her helping hand at Puducherry beach.
Governor of Mizoram Dr. K. Hari Babu will take part in Vizag beach while L. Murugan, Union MoS, Information and Broadcasting will join the event at Chennai
Dr Jitendra Singh informed that the campaign has entered the mode of whole of Government approach plus whole of nation participation.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, apart from active cooperation of Ministries of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Jal Shakti, Health and Family Welfare, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, External Affairs, Information and Broadcasting, organisations and associations like National Service Scheme (NSS), Indian Coast Guard, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), Seema Jagran Manch, SFD, Paryavaran Sanrakshan Gatividhi (PSG), along with other social organizations and educational institutions are participating in the clean-up campaign.
The MPs of coastal states have also pledged full support to the first-of-its-kind and longest running coastal clean-up campaign in the world and they also advised the Ministry of Earth Sciences to undertake a variety of activities by involving local NGOs.
DASHBOARD TO BE SET UP SOON TO SHARE THE BEST TECH PRACTICES AMONG THE CENTRE & THE STATES: UNION MINISTER JITENDRA SINGH
Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today announced setting up of a Dashboard to share the best technology practices among the Centre and the States.
Presiding over the concluding session of the two-day “Centre-State Science Conclave” at Science City in Ahmedabad, Dr Jitendra Singh informed that a high level mechanism will be developed by the Department of Science and Technology to monitor and coordinate the follow up action of the conclave. The Minister also asked the States to appoint a Nodal officer in each of the States to coordinate and cooperate with the Special Committee for knowing and sharing the best practices.
Giving the example of heli-borne technology launched from Jodhpur, Rajasthan in October, 2021, Dr Jitendra Singh said, to start with, the States of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab and Haryana were taken up for this latest heli-borne survey.
The Minister pointed out that if the same technology is uploaded on Dashboard, other States may join and share this CSIR technology from source finding to water treatment and thus benefit millions of people across the country.
Dr Jitendra Singh said, it will also positively contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Har Ghar Nal Se Jal” as well as “doubling farmer’s income” goals. He said, the latest state-of-the-art technology is being employed by Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) for mapping groundwater sources in arid regions and thus help utilise groundwater for drinking purposes.
The 2-day ‘Centre-State Science Conclave’ was formally inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Science City, Ahmedabad, yesterday. Dr Jitendra Singh expressed satisfaction that important plenary sessions with State S&T Ministers discussed in detail on issues like Agriculture, Innovation for producing portable drinking water including application of technologies like Desalination, Heli borne methods developed by DST, Clean Energy for All including S&T role in Hydrogen mission, Deep Sea Mission of MoES and its relevance for Coastal States/UT, Digital healthcare for All and Synergizing Science with National Education Policy.
A special session with the CEOs of over 100 Start-Ups and industry at the Centre-State Science Conclave’ in Ahmedabad came up with scientific solutions in the field of agriculture, drone, artificial intelligence, biotechnological solutions, single-use plastic alternates, irrigation and digital health amongst others.
Many of the State governments have shown keen interest in some of the technologies and agreed to partner with some of the startups for State-specific technological solutions.
Floods, economic crisis and political bickerings: A saga of Pakistan’s mismanagement & insensitivity
The worst floods in several decades have wreaked havoc in Pakistan, one of the most populous countries of South Asia. The floods have touched the country’s 220 million people’s lives directly or indirectly. More than 1,300 people have died with 81 out of 160 districts directly affected by the floods, leaving at least 33 million people homeless.
The heat waves followed by rains and glacial melting has been a global trend this year bringing out the stark reality that despite all talks and conventions, the world community has failed to contain and reverse climatic change. But Pakistan’s case is unique.
Beyond the human losses, the country’s economic managers have the most challenging task ahead as floods ravaged the country’s road and communication network, damaged an incalculable number of houses, and destroyed millions of hectares of crops.
Niaz Murtaza, a political economist, describes present crisis as “a triple whammy”, putting together economic, political and natural. “The poor had been suffering the first two months because of inflation, job loss and political paralysis. Now the floods have pushed millions into ruin,” he said.
Despite this, the political masters are not only busy in bickering and allegations against each other, but have also triggered a blame game on social media as usual, pointing fingers on India for the flood havoc. The bombardment of propaganda, nevertheless, cannot change the reality that Pakistan government and its institutions have utterly failed in fulfilling their duties towards its citizens.
Ludicrous as it is, it cannot absolve the leadership of Pakistan that has failed people in terms of economic mismanagement, entrenched corruption and naked cronyism in the system. Added to these are the wrong policies and priorities of Islamabad which have been instrumental in bringing economic crisis and political instability. The floods have only abetted it.
The natural disaster has struck Pakistan while economy is passing through the difficult phase of multiple challenges including Balance of Payment (BoP) crisis, heavy debt burden and solvency-related issues. The protracted economic crisis is likely to deepen further despite conclusion of talks with the IMF for release of Extended Fund Facility credit.
While Finance Minister Miftah Ismail estimates that the country has incurred a total loss of “at least $10 billion”, independent analysts, including Uzar Younus, Director of the Pakistan Initiative at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia centre and economist Ammar Habib Khan, put the figure between $15-20 billion, and expect it to rise further as information is coming with a great lag.
Existing infrastructure is collapsing with the flooding submerging one-third of the country, pushing 37 per cent of population into poverty. Pakistan is literally and figuratively under deep water, writes Nasir Jamal. It may take a few more months before the damages can be assessed. Even before the flooding, 60 per cent of the population was suffering from hunger, malnutrition and related diseases and the figures are bound to shoot up now.
In view of the mammoth loss, the IMF’s $1.2 billion credit now seems to be a peanut. Pakistan was earlier wounded and now it is bleeding. Floods will exacerbate the economic crisis that had shown initial signs of abating with the IMF deal. Twin deficits, growth prospects and inflationary expectations will be worsening, inflicting misery on the poor. Despite increasing gravity of the situation, saving people’s life and livelihood have not still become the priorities among the political class who are revealing in an ugly slugfest.
The real cost of the natural calamity is being borne by millions of poor kids, pregnant women, elderly and sick persons crowded under the open sky or tents, prone to hunger, diseases and insecurity as they wait for aid. It will be weeks before many can even return to their villages as the land drains and dries. It will take months, even years, to recover from the loss of housing, animals, crops and cultivable land.
Covid-19 had only disrupted economic exchange without damaging the economic base. But the flood has destroyed crops, land, animals, bridges, etc. negatively impacting deeper on the poor and the economy. And the insensitive political class in Pakistan is still deeply engrossed in political maneuver and cunning tricks against each other rather than presenting a united face at the time of calamity. That is the character of Pakistan’s politics.
In view of the contribution of agriculture to the extent of one fourth of the GDP, the country would have to face major revenue loss due to crop losses. As per the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s August 29 report, almost 80 per cent of crops in Sindh, which produces roughly 30% of Pakistan’s cotton output, were destroyed.
Close to 70 per cent of Pakistan’s textile industry, an important source of employment and foreign exchange, uses the cotton produced in the country. Floods are likely to cause severe shortage of cotton, said Abdul Rahim Nasir, Chairman of the All Pakistan Textile Mills Association. He added that instead of earlier average import of cotton estimated at about 4 million bales, Pakistan would now need to import just the double of that figure, at a potential cost of $3 billion.
Shahrukh Wani, an Oxford economist, says the flood will make it terribly difficult for the government to reduce the trade deficit because while the country will need to import food to “compensate” for lost crops, the textile sector will find itself struggling due to “potential shortage” of cotton crop.
The biting inflation which rose to 25% in the month of July from a year earlier, the highest since May 1975, is taking its own toll on the living conditions of masses. The flooding would further push up the inflation and accentuate the scarcity of even essentials.
Amreen Soorani, Head of Research at JS Global Capital Ltd, said that “the main concern from the floods is the impact on inflation”. Even the IMF warned that the runaway inflation could trigger protests and instability.
Islamabad secured funds from the IMF for immediate bailout of the economy from the saturating forex crisis. However, the problems would be far from over for Islamabad. As the advanced countries are focused more on the impact of Ukraine-Russia war and trying to cope with recessionary pressures while some of the development partners including Middle Eastern countries and China are down with donor fatigue, Islamabad has scant probability to get any major international relief.
For now, the immediate challenge that government will face is to fulfil the conditions of raising taxes and applying austerity measures as part of its agreement with the IMF for its bailout package. This might turn out a politically unpopular move and could flare up the political bickering. The condition is rife for mass protests in view of increasing cost of living for many months now, which opposition could take advantage of. Anger is rising across Pakistan over the slow pace of government relief efforts.
The catastrophic floods have put a downward pressure on growth prospectus. Initial estimates suggest that the economic growth rate may slow down to just 2 per cent. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the recent floods caused more damage than the 2010 calamity wherein the economic losses had been estimated at $9.7 billion. The floods have already caused supply chain-related issues.
Even during natural calamity, politicians are concerned about their political agenda rather than allowing international aid agencies to import essential food items from the neighbouring country. Cases after cases of corruption are cropping up, “you reveal mine, I will reveal yours”, an unending slugfest continues.
Instead of fighting the fallout of the devastating natural calamity united, they are engrossed in manoeuvre and cunning tricks and a regressive thought process whether or not to allow aid flow from India. Some of the government top officials have suggested importing essential commodities such as food and medicine from India, while others are still the victim of the old rigidities and anti-India mindset.
India is an undoable reality of being the most potent vehicle of South Asia’s growth vision as it is a responsible regional power and the fastest growing economy of the world, which offers a big market for exports and sourcing imports. Islamabad needs to understand that cooperation with neighbours does not reduce the stature of a calamity hit country.
Separated in 1947, Sikh brother meets sister reunite
The Kartarpur Corridor has once again reunited another family after a man who separated from his parents when he was only a few months old in 1947, finally met his sister in Pakistan.
Amarjit Singh was left out in India along with his sister while his Muslim parents came to Pakistan. All eyes went teary as they saw the emotional scenes of the brother-sister reunion in Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartarpur, Geo News reported.
Amarjit Singh arrived in Pakistan via the Wagah border with a visa to meet his Muslim sister and to remain as her guest.
His sister, 65-year-old Kulsoom Akhtar, could not control her emotions after seeing Amarjit.
Both hugged each other and kept crying. She had travelled from her hometown in Faisalabad along with her son Shahzad Ahmed and other family members to meet her brother.
Kulsoom said that her parents came to Pakistan from the suburbs of the Jalandhar region of India in 1947, leaving behind her younger brother and a sister, Express Tribune reported.
Kulsoom said she was born in Pakistan and used to hear about her lost brother and a sister from her mother. She said that her mother used to cry every time whenever she remembered her missing children. Kulsoom said that she did not expect that she would ever be able to meet her brother and sister. However, a few years ago, a friend of her father Sardar Dara Singh came to Pakistan from India.
Kulsoom’s mother told Singh about her son and daughter she left behind in India. She also told him the name of their village and the location of their house in the neighbouring country.
Amarjit then visited her house in Padawan village of Jalandhar and informed her that her son was alive but her daughter was dead. Her son was named Amarjit Singh who was adopted by a Sikh family back then in 1947, The Express Tribune reported.
After getting the brother’s information, Amarjit and Kulsoom Akhtar contacted on WhatsApp and using the Kartarpur Corridor and the meeting between the two siblings became a reality.
Now an elderly man, Sardar Amarjit Singh came to Gurdwara Sahib in a wheelchair. Kulsoom Akhtar also could not travel due to back pain, but she showed courage and reached Kartarpur from Faisalabad along with her son. Both the siblings kept crying while embracing each other and remembering their parents.
Amarjit said that when he first learned that his real parents were in Pakistan and were Muslims, it was a shock to him. However, he comforted his heart that many families were separated from each other in addition to his own family.
Many Muslim children became Sikhs and many Sikh children became Muslims, Express Tribune reported.
He said that he always wanted to meet his real sister and brothers. He said that he is happy to know that three of his brothers are alive. However, one brother who was in Germany has passed away.
He said he will now come to Pakistan via the Wagah border with a visa and spend time with his family. He also said that he will take his family to India as well so that they could meet their Sikh family. Both the siblings had brought many gifts for each other.
Shahzad Ahmad, son of Kulsoom, said that he used to hear about his uncle from his grandmother and mother. He said that all of the siblings were very young at the time of Partition and no name was given to Amarjit or perhaps, after so many years, the name had slipped out of mind.
“I understand that since my uncle was brought up by a Sikh family, he happens to be a Sikh, and my family and I have no problem with this,” he added.
Shahzad said that he is happy that even after 75 years his mother has found her lost brother.
22 officers of different cadres to serve in J&K
The Centre has relaxed Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) deputation rules to encourage IAS and other all-India service officers as well as those of the Central Services get posted in Jammu & Kashmir, in a bid to address the shortage of officers in the Union Territory.
Union Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said that due to relaxation of DoPT rules, 22 officers belonging to various services and different cadres have been posted in Jammu & Kashmir at various levels at a crucial time.
He said that DoPT has played a major role in facilitating induction of Jammu & Kashmir Administrative Services officers into the IAS by coordinating with UT administration, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the UPSC.
As a result, recently 16 officers from JKAS have been inducted into IAS and another 8 such vacancies will be filled up shortly giving opportunities to the JKAS officers to become part of prestigious IAS service after a long gap of 12 years.
The Minister added that mid-career training of JKAS officers of various seniority was carried out in collaboration with the LBSNAA and this has provided a new level of exposure to the JKAS Officers and more than 200 offices. Some other initiatives by the Ministry include special concessions or incentives to the Central government employees working in the Kashmir Valley in attached and subordinate offices or PSUs falling under control of the Central government.
They have been extended special concessions for a period of 3 years with effect from August 1, 2021 and the incentives include an additional house rent allowance, composite transfer grant, per diem allowance, incentive for period of temporary duty, messing allowance, and facility to draw pension at place of settlement in relaxation of relevant provisions.
Besides, facilities for retention of general pool accommodation available to officers who have served in the Central government has also been extended to officers posted in Jammu & Kashmir on the pattern of northeastern states.
Post 370, investment climate brightens in J&K
Raise retirement age of SC, HC judges: BCI
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According to Dior Couture, this taboo fashion accessory is back
Business5 years ago
Uber and Lyft are finally available in all of New York State
Sports5 years ago
Phillies’ Aaron Altherr makes mind-boggling barehanded play
Sports5 years ago
Steph Curry finally got the contract he deserves from the Warriors