Pulwama attack: India withdraws MFN status to Pakistan

Pulwama attack: India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan

India today withdrew the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan following the Pulwama attack (Pulwama terror attack) that left nearly 40 CRPF Personnel dead.

In a media briefing after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all efforts will be made to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book.

He said those aiding and abating the perpetrators will have to pay a heavy price. Briefing reporters outside the Prime Minister’s residence, he said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all out effort to isolate Pakistan and all diplomatic efforts will be launched in this regard.

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting Srinagar on Friday and would convene an all-party meeting most likely on Saturday to brief political parties on the incident so that the nation speaks in one voice on the issue.

The Cabinet Committee on Security meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

At least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

In a media briefing after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all efforts will be made to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book. He said those aiding and abating the perpetrators will have to pay a heavy price. Briefing reporters outside the Prime Minister’s residence, he said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all out effort to isolate Pakistan and all diplomatic efforts will be launched in this regard.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting Srinagar on Friday and would convene an all-party meeting most likely on Saturday to brief political parties on the incident so that the nation speaks in one voice on the issue. The Cabinet Committee on Security meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

– PTI | 15 February 2019 | New Delhi

At least 42 CRPF jawans killed in IED blast in Pulwama

At least 42 CRPF jawans killed in IED blast in Kashmir’s Pulwama

At least 42 CRPF jawans were killed and many injured in an IED (improvised explosive device) blast in the Lethpora area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama on Thursday afternoon. This is the highest number of casualties in an attack in the last three decades in Kashmir.

Preliminary reports suggested that the blast occurred at 3 p.m. when the CRPF convoy, carrying dozens of jawans, was moving on the highway. CRPF Inspector General said a vehicle laden with explosives hit the convoy.

Jaish-e-Muhammad claims responsibility for the explosion, saying it was a suicide blast; two CRPF vehicles damaged in the blast.

Terror outfit Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was a suicide blast. A JeM spokesman said its cadre Adil Ahmad Dar alias Waqas carried out the bombing. It was not immediately clear if Dar was in the vehicle when it exploded. “All injured have been shifted to a hospital,” said the police.

The highway was sealed, as deployments were rushed to the spot. The police said they were verifying if the IED was planted on a vehicle and was detonated when the CRPF vehicles neared it.

Sacrifices of our security personnel will not go in vain:PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed the attack despicable and asserted that the sacrifices of security personnel would not go in vain. He also spoke with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials in the wake of the attack. “Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain,” he tweeted.

He said the entire nation stood shoulder to shoulder with the families of those killed. He also wished speedy recovery of those injured. “Spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and other top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama,” he said.

 The Congress conveyed its condolences to the family of the slain jawans through its official Twitter handle. “We are deeply saddened and angered by the terrorist attack that took the lives of our CRPF jawans in Pulwama. We strongly condemn this violence and stand with the martyrs. Our thoughts & prayers are with their friends and families in this time of grief,” it said.

BJP president Amit Shah termed the terror attack an “act of cowardice” and asserted that security forces would defeat those involved in terrorist activities. “Pained beyond words by the terror attack on our soldiers in Pulwama (J&K). It is an act of cowardice. My deepest condolences are with the families of our soldiers who have lost their lives. Our forces will remain firm against such acts of terror and defeat them,” he said in a tweet.

-FEBRUARY 14, 2019 / Pulwama J&K/PTI & Microstat

Central Govt has no plan to change reservation policy

Central Government has no plan to change reservation policy

The Central government has no plan to do away with quota policy for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday.
His assurance came a day after violent protests against a Supreme Court order by Dalits claimed nine lives. The court order dilutes a law on preventing atrocities against the marginalised communities in the country.
Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Rajnath Singh said “rumours” were spread that the Union government wanted to end reservation.
“Rumours are being spread about the reservation policy. It is wrong and baseless. I appeal to all political parties to help in maintaining peace and amity in the country,” he said amid noisy protests in the house.
CentralThe Minister said that “the government is fully committed to protect the interests of the SCs/STs and that an advisory has been issued to all the states to ensure law and order”.
He said the government has provided all assistance to the states immediately on their request and is in constant touch with them.
Opposition members shouted slogans and were on their feet in protest against the Supreme Court’s March 20 order pertaining to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Conveying condolences to the families of people who lost their lives during Monday’s protests, Rajnath Singh said “he fully appreciates that there is widespread anger among the people on the Supreme Court order”.
“I wish to inform the house that the government of India was not party in that case. People have taken to the streets. I want to assure them there has been no dilution in law whatsoever by our government. Rather, after coming to power and examining the SC/ST Act, we have taken a decision to strengthen it,” he said.
Rajnath Singh said the then government passed the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act in 1995.
“As per the amendments, new offences were added. It was observed that due to the delay in filing of charge sheets (in cases of atrocities), the victims and witness who were vulnerable were influenced and silenced. In order to protect them, the provision of witness protection was introduced. The compensation payable to the victims was also enhanced,” the Home Minister said.
He said there has been a new provision wherein action against government servants found negligent in implementing the Act will be taken.
Rajnath Singh said the government acted swiftly and had already filed a petition in the top court to seek review of its order.
Trinamool Congress’ Kalyan Banerjee countered this, saying the Additional Solicitor General had given his consent to the Supreme Court’s decision.
Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said the “dilution in the Act has already been done” and the opposition parties “want to discuss it” in the lower house of Parliament.
AIADMK members, meanwhile, created a ruckus and gathered near Speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s podium to demand early constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board to oversee water-sharing arrangement between Tamil Nadu, Karantaka, Kerala, and Puducherry.
Scindia also raised the issue of no-confidence motion moved by the opposition against the Narendra Modi government.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said the government was ready for a debate on the motion and blamed the Congress for creating disruptions.
“They are trying to halt the democratic process in the house,” Ananth Kumar said. The Speaker said she was unable to proceed with the no-confidence motion notice and adjourned the house for the day.
This is the last week of the budget session that began on January 29 and went into a recess on February 9. The session resumed on March 5 and will conclude on April 6.
The post-break session has been completely washed out amid a logjam in both houses of Parliament. Important Budget bills were passed without debate amid protests.
– 03 April 2018 | IANS | NEW DELHI

Brave Indian force can defend our borders: Rajnath Singh

Brave Indian forces can defend our borders: Rajnath Singh on Doklam standoff

Indian security forces can defend the country’s territories bravely, said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, August 21.

Brave Indian forces can defend our borders: Rajnath Singh on Doklam standoff

Indian security forces can defend the country’s territories bravely, said Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday, August 21.

“Our security forces have all the power to protect Indian borders,” said Singh at an event organised by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP). “Thought they’ll be cold and tired but the spirit I saw in them (security forces)! No one would dare raise eyes towards India. We have such brave soldiers.”

“I went to Ladakh once and had never experienced such harsh cold in life. I was told (ITBP) Jawans would meet me in morning,” recalled Singh, further adding the the government will make sure that “their promotions aren’t delayed.”

Speaking on the ongoing standoff between India and China at Doklam, the minister said, “There will be a solution soon and I am sure China will make a positive move.”

“India has never attacked any country, nor does it have an ambition to expand its borders. Security forces are equipped to handle any situation (at the border),” he further added.

The home minister said he wanted to convey a message to all neighbouring countries that India wanted peace.

The ITBP guards the 4,057 km long Sino-Indian border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh.

India and China have been locked in a face-off in the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector after Indian troops stopped the Chinese Army from building a road in the area over the last two months.

China has been ramping up rhetoric against India over the last few weeks demanding immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from Doklam. The Chinese state media, particularly, have carried a barrage of critical articles on the Dokalam stand- off slamming India.

With Agency Inputs

-August 21, 2017, New Delhi

 

Complete sealing of Indo-Pak border by Mar 2018

Complete sealing of Indo-Pak border with ‘smart fence’ by March 2018: BSF DG

Border Security Force DG KK Sharma said that the country’s relations with its eastern neighbour Bangladesh are “very good” at present.

Complete sealing of Indo-Pak border with 'smart fence' by March 2018: BSF DG

Sealing the Indian border with Pakistan is an immediate “priority” and a smart technology- aided fence will be in place along the Jammu sector by March next year, the BSF chief on Wednesday said.

Border Security Force DG K K Sharma, in the same breath, added that as the country’s relations with its eastern neighbour Bangladesh are “very good” at present, a similar plan to make the Indo-Bangla border impregnable would be taken up once the “resources” are available.

“My priority is Pakistan, as anything happens here (along the Indo-Pak border), it has grave consequences. We are working to ensure complete sealing of this border and make it more fortified,” the Director General said on sidelines of an event to announce the ‘BSF half marathon for martyrs’ to be held in October this year.

“We are implementing a comprehensive integrated border management (CBIM) plan and are running a pilot project to make our international border (IB) along Pakistan secure,” he said.
This project will be in place in the Jammu sector (of the IB) by March next year, Sharma said.

Asked if there were any similar plans for the 4,096-km long India-Bangladesh border, the DG replied “it is a question of priority”.

Both the governments of India and Bangladesh have good relations and the ties between the BSF and its counterpart Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) are also at an all-time high, the DG said.

“We are also conducting simultaneous coordinated patrolling wit the BGB … Once we have the resources (after completing the border sealing task with Pakistan), we will do it on the eastern side,” Sharma said.

He added that the project to create ‘smart fencing’ along the Indo-Bangla border has “not started” as of now along the eastern frontier.

The BSF DG’s statement comes in variance with that of Union home minister Rajnath Singh who has earlier said that the Assam portion of the Indo-Bangla border (about 200kms) will be completely sealed by the first half of 2018.

He added that the challenges of guarding these large borders on the two flanks of the country are very “dynamic” and hence the security requirements keep changing and nothing can be said to be adequate.

“We are modernising our equipments and the Indo-Pak border will be more fortified by the use of advanced technology. What we keep doing, I am sure, will have to be followed by my successor even,” he said.

Talking about the security situation along the Indo-Pak border, the BSF boss said terror “launch pads are always active to infiltrate terrorists from across the border into India”.

“We are committed to ensure fool proof security along the border despite all hardships and challenges at these two borders,” he said.

Sharma said since the last year, there has been no infiltration from across the IB that is under the absolute control of the force.

He added that these instances instead have taken place from the Line of Control (LoC), where the BSF is deployed under the operational command of the Army.

Talking about the half-marathon, the BSF chief said it will be held in the national capital on October 22, a day after the national police commemoration day, in the memory of its martyrs.

The families of the martyrs will be invited to witness and participate in it and the trophies of the event will be named after those personnel who laid down their lives in the line of duty, he added.

The about 2.5-lakh personnel strong force was raised in December 1965.

-August 3, 2017, New Delhi

Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours

”Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours”: Rajnath Singh 

“ Kashmir is ours, Kashmiris are ours and Kashmiriyat is also ours,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday, asserting that the Modi government will find a “permanent solution” to the Kashmir problem.

KashmirThe Home Minister’s assertion came amid continued unrest in the Kashmir Valley. Addressing a public reception here, Mr. Singh accused Pakistan of fomenting trouble in Kashmir. “But I want to tell all of you that our government will find a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue,” he said, without elaborating.

Hope for change

The Minister deplored the fact that was no change in the “attitude” of Pakistan which wanted to “destabilise” India. “We hope that Pakistan will change. If it does not change, we will have to change them. After globalisation, one country can’t destabilise another country as the international community will not forget it,” he said.

Unrest has continued in Kashmir since the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in July last year.

There has been an unprecedented involvement of students in the protests, with even girls taking to the streets to fight pitched battles with security forces. Around 80 people have lost their lives in the prolonged violence.

Mr. Singh said heads of government of all neighbouring countries, including Pakistan, had been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of the Modi government in 2014 in an indication that India wanted friendly relations with them.

Security reviewed

The Home Minister is on a three-day visit to Sikkim during which he attended a conference of Himalayan States to review the security situation and development activities along the Sino-Indian border.

He also visited the Nathu La border post, besides a few posts of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and SSB along the Sino-India and Indo-Nepal borders respectively.

-PTI, PELLING (SIKKIM), MAY 21, 2017

India plans major step against terrorism

India plans major step against terrorism, to seal international boundaries with Pakistan, Bangladesh soon

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday said India is pondering over sealing the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh soon. These borders would be sealed by 2018, he added.

Addressing the passing out parade of the Border Security Force Assistant Commandants at the BSF Academy in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh, Singh said: “India is planning to seal the international boundaries with Pakistan and Bangladesh as soon as possible. This could be India’s major step against terrorism and the problem of refugees.”

The minister added that the border with Pakistan would be sealed by 2018.

The decision has been taken in the wake of an increase in infiltration attempts, said Singh.

“The project will be periodically monitored by the Home Secretary at the Central level, the BSF from the security forces’ perspective and the Chief Secretaries at the state-level,” Singh said, adding that the government would apply technological solutions for sealing the border in difficult terrains.

Lauding the BSF personnel, the Home Minister stated that the force has changed the rules of engagement at international borders which have made it a known entity in the neighbouring countries.

“The BSF has changed rules of engagement at international borders. Now, the BSF is a known entity even in neighbouring countries,” Singh said.

Singh also spoke about the planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces which will be implemented soon.

“We are planning for an effective grievances redressal mechanism in the forces. The forces are coming forward with such mechanism,” said Singh.

After the passing out parade, the Home Minister signed the visitors’ book at the BSF academy.

He also visited the national training centre for dogs at the BSF Academy.

-March 25, 2017, New Delhi

 

Sukma ambush: Death toll in Maoist attack rises to 12

Sukma ambush: Death toll in Maoist attack on CRPF rises to 12, Rajnath Singh to visit site

Sukuma ambush

Twelve CRPF personnel were on Saturday killed and their arms looted when Naxals ambushed their patrol party in the Maoist hotbed of Sukma in Chhattisgarh.

Four personnel were also injured in the Naxal attack and two of them were stated to be critical.

The incident occurred in the dense forests near Kottacheru village under Bhejji police station, around 450 kms away from the state capital, at 9:15 amwhen 112 personnel of CRPF’s 219th battalion were out for a road opening task.

 The Bhejji area in south Bastar region of the state is notorious for Naxal attacks and many security personnel have been killed here in the past.

The Naxals also looted ten weapons like INSAS and AK series assault rifles and two radio sets from the killed men, officials said.

“The troops were part of the road clearing party that has been securing an under-construction road between Bhejji and Kottacheru. They were ambushed by Naxals who set off multiple hidden IEDs on the ground and opened fire. The squad effectively retaliated before twelve made the supreme sacrifice,” acting CRPF DG Sudeep Lakhtakia said.

He added that Maoists are trying to disrupt normal life and activities in this area as the Central Reserve Police Force has increased its presence here and got re-opened a local ‘haat’ (market) last year here after it was forcibly shut by the red ultras.

FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation and spoke to Home MinisterRajnath Singh who will be travelling to Sukma.
  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has strongly condemned the Maoist attack and described it as a “cowardly act”.
  • Security personnel have laid down their lives to free Bastar from violence and Maoist terror. Their sacrifice will not go in vain. “I salute their sacrifice,” the CM said, adding ultras were frustrated with development of road network in the region.
  • He also extended condolences to the bereaved families.
  • The CRPF chief and senior officials are also rushing to Raipur.
  • A senior Chhattisgarh official said that the road opening party was passing through the forests between Bhejji and Kottacheru villages when Naxals opened indiscriminate fire on them.
  • According to a CRPF official, summer season is regarded as an offensive period by rebels as they observe annual ‘tactical counter offensive campaign’ (TCOC).
  • The dry weather is a favourable period for carrying out ambushes in the vast jungle terrain and this attack would have been planned by Maoists led by hardcore naxal cadre Hidma who is active in southern part of Bastar, the paramilitary official added.
  • However, further investigation would reveal the details, he added.
  • The injured have been air lifted and brought to the CRPF field hospital in Bheji and few others have been transferred to Raipur.
  • A special counter-Naxal teamof CoBRA has been rushed to the ambush spot as reinforcement to sanitise the area and launch a search.
  • Another senior CRPF officer said the ambush site has very weak mobile phone connectivity and communication is being done through satellite phones.
  • “It is estimated that a hundred plus Maoist squad was present in the area when the ambush was launched. These are preliminary inputs. More details are awaited,” the officer said.

-Saturday, March 11, 2017 | PTI | Raipur

 

India will not count its bullet if Pakistan provokes

India will not fire first but will not count its bullet if Pakistan provokes: Rajnath Singh

“India wishes to see a Pakistan which abjures violence and takes strong preventive action against terrorists and extremists. India wishes to see a Pakistan which does not distinguish between good and bad terrorists but instead moves against all such elements irrespective of whom their hatred is directed against,” he had further said in a statement, as per PTI.

India will not fire first but will not count its bullet if Pakistan provokes: Rajnath Singh

In a stern statement, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Sunday that India will not fire first, but if the bullet is fired from Pakistan’s side then India will not count its bullet.

“India has conveyed to the world that it is a strong country and the forces that disturb her peace will not be spared,” Singh added, as per ANI.

On the other hand, Indian envoy to Islamabad had said on February 10 in Karachi that India wanted Pakistan to renounce violence and take “strong preventive action” against terrorists and extremists without discrimination.

“India wishes Pakistan well in its nation building process. India wishes to see a stable, moderate and prosperous Pakistan which is at peace with itself, at peace with its neighbours and at peace with the world,” India High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale had said at the inauguration of the 8th Karachi Literature Festival.

“India wishes to see a Pakistan which abjures violence and takes strong preventive action against terrorists and extremists. India wishes to see a Pakistan which does not distinguish between good and bad terrorists but instead moves against all such elements irrespective of whom their hatred is directed against,” he had further said in a statement, as per PTI.

Tensions have been running high between India and Pakistan since an attack on an Indian army base in Uri on September 18 last year by Pakistan-based terrorists.

-February 19, 2017 | PTI |  New Delhi

 

After Pakistan blacks out his speech, Rajnath Singh skips SAARC lunch

After Pakistan blacks out his speech, Rajnath Singh skips SAARC lunch

After Pakistan blacks out his speech, Rajnath Singh skips SAARC lunch; briefs PM Modi in Delhi

 Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday arrived back in New Delhi after skipping a lunch hosted by his Pakistani counterpart Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. His scheduled news conference at Delhi airport was also cancelled.

Khan had organised the lunch for the visiting dignitaries, who were here to attend the seventh SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ conference, and had scheduled it after the main meeting.

However, the Pakistani Interior Minister left the venue immediately after the meeting got over despite being the host of the lunch. Singh then took the decision to skip the lunch.

 The Home Minister later had his lunch at his hotel room along with the members of the accompanying Indian delegation. After the lunch, Singh left for India.

The ongoing strain in Indo-Pak relations was also evident at the SAARC Interior/Home Ministers’ conference here when Singh came face-to-face with Khan for the first time today and the two leaders barely shook hands.

As Singh arrived at the venue of the conference at the posh Serena Hotel here, Khan was at the gate to receive the dignitaries. The two leaders barely touched their hands, not even a formal handshake, before Singh moved ahead to enter the meeting hall.

After returning to India, the home minister said that he would unfold the facts relating to his visit to Parliament.

Evading media pressure, Singh said that he had placed India`s point of view across Pakistan, adding all information can be gathered from his speech which is now in the public domain.

However, the Home Minister briefed Prime Minister Narendra Modi about his visit to Pakistan.

Earlier in the day, Singh, in a strong message to Pakistan, said there should be no glorification of terrorists as martyrs and also called for “strongest action” against nations supporting terrorism.

Without mincing any words, Singh told the Interior/Home Ministers Conference of SAARC countries that mere condemnation of terrorism and terrorists is not enough.

Singh’s comments in his speech came against the backdrop of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s praise of Burhan Wani who was killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir on July 8 and his description of Hizbul Mujahideen commander as a martyr, much to India`s ire.

“There should be no glorification or eulogising of terrorists as martyrs. There are no good terrorists or bad terrorists,” Singh said.

Shockingly, Singh`s speech during the meet was blacked out. Members of the Indian media, who had come from New Delhi to report on the conference, were not allowed to cover the speech. They were reportedly kept at a distance by Pakistani officials. Some reports said that there was an aggressive verbal exchange between officials of the two sides over the issue. Only Pakistan state PTV was allowed to cover introductory speeches of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan. Even private Pakistani media not allowed to cover the event.

Singh arrived in Islamabad yesterday amid protests by supporters of various terrorist groups, including the Hizbul Mujahideen.

-August 4, 2016,Islamabad