CRPF IG demoted

New Delhi: In the first of its kind action, CRPF Inspector General S S Sandhu has been demoted as Deputy Inspector General after the Jammu and Kashmir High Court upheld a decision of Union Home Ministry which found discrepancies in his physical fitness record.
The order for his demotion was issued by the CRPF Directorate last evening and Sandhu, who is a direct recruit officer of the paramilitary force, was sent to Silchar in Assam with immediate effect.
Last week, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court had upheld a decision of the Home Ministry which had ordered demotion of Sandhu. However, he challenged the move in the court which had granted an interim stay.
According to a CRPF official, it is for the first time in the history of 74-year-old three-lakh strong CRPF that a top rung officer has been demoted.
In its order, the Srinagar bench of the High Court had dismissed Sandhu’s allegation of “mala fides and malice” being perpetrated against him in this case.
Sandhu had approached the High Court for relief after the Home Ministry when R K Singh was the Home Secretary had declared him unfit and hence ineligible to be promoted as an Inspector General.
“Though the learned counsel for the petitioner (Sandhu) has sought to rake the issue of malice and mala fide, but, given the demeanour of the petitioner that he has not only misled the Home Secretary, but has suppressed and concealed material facts from this Court, the plea of mala fides and malice has to be taken with a pinch of salt,” the court said.
‘541 infiltration bids in JK in last 2 years, 65 militants killed in 2013’
New Delhi: In the last two years, there have been 541 attempts to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir while 65 militants were killed in 2013 in encounters with the Indian Army, India’s Defence Minister A K Antony informed Rajya Sabha Wednesday.
In 2012 and 2013, there have been 541 infiltration attempts in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2013, 65 militants were killed in encounters with the Indian Army, he said in a written reply.
“No Pakistani soldier was apprehended on the LoC in 2013. However, on February 14, last year, one Pakistan Army soldier was killed while intruding across the LoC in the Naushera sector,” the Defence Minister said.
To a query on AgustaWestland chopper scam, he said the government has scrapped the VVIP chopper deal with effect from January 1 on grounds of breach of pre-integrity pact.
“No decision has been taken till date to debar the said company,” the Minister said.
Replying to another query, Antony said in last five years, three MiG-29 combat aircraft have met with accidents and these mishaps have been investigated by the IAF.
On the issue of large number of services personnel not being able to cast their votes, Antony said, “The matter relating to the further facilitation of voting by defence personnel has been taken up with the Election Commission of India.”
On setting up of a national war memorial, the Minister of State for Defence Jitendra Singh said a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Antony has recommended its construction at the India Gate hexagon.
“The Urban Development Ministry is processing the recommendations for approval by the competent authority,” he said.