December 26, 2009

Kathmandu on the boil again

Balbir K Punj

Reports from Nepal are anything but reassuring. After being shown the door from power, the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), led by former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, are now upping the ante for a showdown with the mainstream political parties. They are planning a takeover of the country to reduce it to a satellite of China.

Nepal’s Maoists had recently launched a three-day, nationwide bandh that had sparked violence across the country. The bulk of the people of Nepal oppose the Left-wing extremists. But the latter are well organised and their armed cadre is like a parallel army. It is with the help of this parallel army that Nepal’s Maoists are enforcing their diktat and even declaring areas under their influence as ‘independent’ with a parallel administration. “Any kind of violence in favour of the people’s rights is justified,” declared United Communist Party of Nepal(Maoist) ideologue Baburam Bhattarai.

What the extremists want is a Constitution for Nepal that would guarantee their control of the country’s Government in perpetuity. In the present Constituent Assembly, the mainstream political parties are opposing such an authoritarian political structure. But Maoist leaders like Bhattarai have already declared that if the demand for a Constitution of their liking is not met by May 14, they will treat the existing Government as defunct and announce an alternate Government for Nepal.

Another key issue in the political conflict is the merger of the Maoist people’s liberation army with the Nepali Army. It goes without saying that any such move would lead to a Maoist takeover of Nepal’s armed forces. Once that happens, control of Government will safely be in Maoist hands, even if some other party gets elected to power. Bhattarai has made it clear that it is either the Maoist way or complete anarchy.

Under the earlier Prachanda Government, the Maoist agenda of infiltrating and taking over the institutions of the country one by one was being pursued vigorously. This was done in a systematic manner. First, Prachanda sought to play China against India. This he did by visiting Beijing and then making impossible demands on New Delhi. Next came severing of Nepal’s cultural and religious ties with India. Without fully realising the consequences of the steps that the Prachanda-led Government was taking, the other political parties went along with the measures. The alert bell was only sounded when Maoists sought to remove Indian priests from Pashupatinath temple that led to a public outcry.

To gain access to power, Maoists collaborated with the forces of democracy to end monarchy in Nepal. But once in power, they even insisted on the King being driven out of his palace. The other political parties gave in to this demand. But the ultras were not through. Their aim was to impose Maoism on Nepal and jettison Hinduism.

There has been no attempt on the part of Nepal’s Maoists to hide their real agenda. Backed by China, whose armed forces are at the border and key officials in Kathmandu, the ultras are sure of winning the battle if it comes to a street fight. Already they have declared parallel administrations in several parts of the country.

What we are seeing unfold in Nepal is the age old Leninist-Maoist tactic of capturing rural areas and then surrounding the cities. To add another dimension to this tactic, Nepal’s Maoists have let loose their cadre in Kathmandu and other urban centres like Biratnagar to create chaos. Kathmandu Valley has already been declared as an ‘autonomous region’.

The UPA Government in its previous avatar had sent our own Communist leaders like Mr Sitaram Yechury to hammer out a peace deal in Nepal when forces of democracy and royalty were engaged in a confrontation. But unfortunately, our Communist leaders helped broker a peace largely in favour of their ideological colleagues. Since then Nepal’s Government has been tilting towards Beijing and adopting an anti-India stance.

For India, Nepal slipping into total Maoist control would be a serious blow to its security. A Maoist Nepal could easily provide material and ideological support to Indian Maoists in our country’s east. China’s People’s Daily has published articles endorsing a plan to break up India into several independent states and thereby weaken her. This is truly ominous and comes on top of the fact that China already has strong links with Pakistan.

The Government in New Delhi appears too weak to respond to this danger from across the border. Its constant downplaying of the Chinese threat has lulled the Indian public into not taking Beijing’s real intentions seriously. During the recent incursions by Chinese forces into Indian territory, the UPA Government was more intent on taking action against the reporters who reported the incidents rather than tell the Chinese to behave.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met his Chinese counterpart two months ago. But there has been no word on whether he raised the Chinese plan of militarily encircling India and promoting anti-India forces with him. When a serving naval chief warned about the Chinese threat, he was asked to shut up.

In the backdrop of this pusillanimity we have reports from the US that a top Chinese naval officer had proposed to his American counterpart to divide the globe into two, with countries west of the Pacific falling under China’s sphere of influence. As far as India’s defence preparedness is concerned, we have a plethora of reports that suggest our armed forces are lagging behind, ammunition is scarce, modern weapon systems have not been inducted and many of the existing weapons are duds for want of spare parts. Are we waiting for a repeat of 1962?

A delicate dance of power

By Robert M Cutler
MONTREAL - China's emergence as an important player in the development and use of energy resources found in the Caspian Sea basin, alongside longer established interests emanating from Russia, Europe and the United States, is a reminder of the ever-changing dynamics of the region, too easily overlooked during periods of apparent statis, such as during the late Soviet era.

Yet the appearance of this new power in the region also confirms the essential stability of a core group of relationships about which others wax and wane, with a periodicity of possible future importance that China's presence can help us to identify.

Two bilateral energy relations, Kazakhstan-Russia and Turkmenistan-Russia, are of such import and duration that we can justifiably speak of the Kazakhstan-Russia-Turkmenistan triangle as the foundation for the evolution of Central Eurasian energy geo-economics. That is the case, even though the third leg of that triangle, the relations between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, is only beginning to manifest itself through cooperation over the gaspipeline to China.

Development of hydrocarbon energy resources in Central Asia and the South Caucasus began independently of each other, although they share the same chronology. Yet despite the apparent disorder of everyday life in the region over the past decade and a half, "patterns", if not a "logic", that recur and recombine in different and ever newer ways are detectable.

In particular, it is possible to detect three phases over the past 16 years in Caspian/Central Asia energy development and its connection with the South Caucasus. The first, from 1993 to 1998, we can term the "bubbling up" phase; the second, from 1999 to 2004, "settling down" phase; and the third, from 2005 to 2010, as the "running deep" period.

The Kazakhstan-Russia-Turkmenistan triangle is the fundamental fact, and here it is worth noting that network sociologists in the 1990s demonstrated that the dynamic of triangular, or triadic, relations are qualitatively different from any aggregation of bilateral, or dyadic, relations. [1]

By circumstance, a different strategic player - a "fourth vertex" - became the principal motor of developments during each of the three phases identified above. From 1993 to 1998, this was the United States; from 1999 to 2004, it was the European Union or at least several of its member-states and their "national champions" such as BP for the United Kingdom and Eni for Italy; from 2005 to 2010, it has been China. Each of these fourth players has interacted in different pairs from the initial three, setting up their own triangles of development.

During the first phase, in addition to the basic Kazakhstan-Russia-Turkmenistan triangle, the US was the fourth player -creating a Kazakhstan-Russia-US triangle, immediately in evidence over the question of an export pipeline for Tengiz crude.

American offshore terminals in the Gulf of Mexico were the first intended targets of Kazakhstani oil shipments. Also during these years, the US embassy in Almaty (then Kazakhstan's capital) proved essential to Russia and Kazakhstan for the restructuring of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, enabling the CPC's pipeline to be subsequently in fact built.

Western interest in Turkmenistan at this time was exclusively US interest, concentrated on ameliorating Ukraine's payments situation as an importer from Turkmenistan and also promoting the first attempt to negotiate a Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline (TCGP). In the 1990s, US companies GE Capital, Bechtel and PSG were the driving forces behind this pipeline. The US-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan triangle remained undeveloped.

From 1999 to 2004, the EU became the fourth vertex associated with the fundamental Central Asian energy triangle, with EU interest in gas from Turkmenistan in the early part of the present decade after the American project had failed. The EU's latest initiative, led by the German company RWE, is for a Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan gas link descending from that failed project..

The EU-Russia-Kazakhstan triangle was manifested in European and Russian interest in developing the Kashagan deposit and other North Caspian fields in Kazakhstan's offshore, though the European interest was from EU member states and their national champions, rather than from the EU itself.

The EU-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan triangle was manifested also in the failed Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline project and other designs still on the drawing-board, with more or less direct successors being the idea to pipe Kashagan's associated gas to Azerbaijan, and the proposed Kazakhstan-Caspian Transportation System (KCTS), also for Kashagan if not Tengiz oil.

Finally in the third phase, from 2005 to 2010, China comes into a prominence as the fourth vertex.

The China-Turkmenistan-Russia triangle is animated by contradiction between China and Russia over Turkmenistan's natural gas, as in the competition between Russia's unrealized project for a refurbished Caspian Coastal (Prikaspii) Pipeline on the one hand and, on the other, the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline now under construction.

The China-Kazakhstan-Russia triangle is also animated by a China-Russia contradiction, in for example the China-Russia competition to buy out the Canadian firm Petrokazakhstan (previously Hurricane Hydrocarbons).

Petrokazakhstan owned a piece of the pipeline that China needed to put together its Tengiz-Xinjiang oil pipeline, a westward extension of the pipeline from eastern Kazakhstan to China agreed to in the late 1990s and which entered into service after long negotiations over implementation.

Finally, the China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan triangle is manifest in the gas pipeline, negotiated on the basis of a bilateral China-Kazakhstan project, now being built from Turkmenistan, through Uzbekistan, and then through Kazakhstan to western China. There, it will join up with the "West-East" Pipeline in China running to the coast, which Beijing constructed earlier this decade, and for precisely this reason, at a financial loss.

We can identify, therefore, three periods of "epigenetic" development ( that is, each period building out or "accreting" from what went before), starting from the basis of the Russia-Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan triangle, then successively adding on the US, then the EU, then China, as fourth vertices, consecutively driving the evolution of the network as a whole.

The terms "bubbling up," "settling down," and "running deep" characterize these phases. To put flesh on this skeleton, "bubbling up" refers to how, after the Soviet state disestablished itself, new possibilities for patterns of international relations began to percolate from events on the ground, relatively free from the hierarchical constraints that characterized the bipolar Cold War system.

In the realm of Eurasian energy development, this means that the years 1993-1998 were marked principally by proposals for new exploration for and development of resources, and pipeline construction. "Settling down", referring to the 1999-2004 period, identifies the fact that it was during these years that some of those projects acquired a life of their own and moved toward physical realization. Others died, or perhaps entered a state of suspended animation. "Running deep" designates those years (2005-2010) when such projects that had acquired life began to operate and thrive. Put another way, the three phases can be considered periods of, successively, emergence, self-produced development, and coherence.

If we now look ahead, an increasing body of work, involving independently conducted studies that use distinctively different methods for prediction and forecast, strongly suggests that international relations as a network will begin to undergo another radical transformation beginning in about the early 2040s - that is, about 32 years hence, or about twice the overall length of time considered above. [2]

That then raises the question of whether the period just considered is, then, itself only the initial, or "bubbling up", phase of the transformation forecast to start in the early 2040s.

If that is so, then we are now at the start of a "settling down" metaphase of the present international system, including international energy geo-economics, that is, in turn, likely to be followed, if the present metaphase lasts more or less 16 years, by a third, "running-deep" metaphase of similar duration, bringing us to the early 2040s - and the possible transformational turmoil equivalent in quality and extent to the end of the Cold War. This change, clearly, cannot yet be described, as its nature will depend upon the system's evolution, including energy geo-economics, in the interim.

This is a perspective from which the coming "settling-down metaphase" of Eurasian energy geo-economics can, and possibly must, be seen, for it offers a broader, and valuable context for considering issues and decisions of present importance regarding the vital resources of the region and their use far further afield - from the Nabucco and South Stream gas pipelines, to White Stream, to the broader significance of the "Trans-Anatolian" (Sansum-Ceyhan) oil pipeline, and other others. Stay tuned.

1. For examples, see: Ronald L. Breiger, Explorations in Structural Analysis: Dual and Multiple Networks of Social Structure (New York: Garland Press, 1991); Phillippa E. Pattison, Algebraic Models for Social Networks (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993); Stanley Wasserman and Katherine Faust, Social Network Analysis, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
2. See literature review in Robert Denemark, "World System History: From Traditional International Politics to the Study of Global Relations," International Studies Review, Vol. 1, No.2 (1999), pp 167-199.

Dr Robert M Cutler (, educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan, has researched and taught at universities in the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, and Russia. Now senior research fellow in the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University, Canada, he also consults privately in a variety of fields.

Recognizing confident India as indispensable

Japan Times

PARIS — "Do not forget India." That warning made sense 10 or 15 years ago; not any longer. India is now impossible to ignore, much less forget, owing not only to its rapid economic growth but also to the country's increasing geopolitical stature.

Europeans often speak of an emerging "Group of Three," implying an international system dominated by the United States, China and the European Union. But this ambition looks more presumptuous and unrealistic every day, particularly given the choices that Europe just made in naming its new "president" — Belgium's Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy — and "foreign minister" — the never-been-elected-to- anything Lady Catherine Ashton from Britain.

How can Europe pretend to stand for an ambitious message when it picks such low-profile — indeed, practically anonymous — messengers to deliver it?

Given this demonstration of Europe's Lilliputian instincts, if a G3 ever becomes a reality, the only serious contender nowadays to join the U.S. and China is India.

The very warm greeting and State Dinner given to India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by U.S. President Barack Obama in Washington three weeks ago is ample testimony to India's new international status.

That reception was, of course, intended to nurture India's collective ego, which had sensed a Sino-centric tilt to American policy ever since Obama became president. But there is much more to it than that.

In 1991, the fall of the Soviet Union presented for India a serious strategic test, which the country has passed with flying colors. Partly in response to the Soviet collapse, India embraced capitalism without reservation, which has produced spectacular economic progress. And, like the economy, India's self-confidence has boomed.

India today sees that the wider world, particularly the West, regards it with growing respect, not only for the country's performance, but also for its essence — a young country and that is also an ancient civilization.

A little more than 60 years ago, India remained the crown jewel of the British Empire. Fifty years ago, if you sought to read about India in the West, you would mostly find books about spirituality. Today the books about India include topics like management and nuclear strategy.

Of course, contrary to China, India still finds it difficult to fully perceive itself as a world power, though it is well aware that it has become a regional giant.

At least for the foreseeable future, however, this status is highly dependent upon India's relationship with the U.S. The great diplomatic success of George W. Bush's presidency (and maybe the only true one) was to construct a strategic partnership with India.

One of the indirect consequences of this privileged relationship, however, has been the deepening of Japan's identity crisis. Forty years ago, Japan represented the "Asian West." Today the emergence of Chinese-style and Indian-style modernity is mentally destabilizing Japan. After all, if China is America's main economic partner in Asia, and if India is America's main diplomatic partner, what is left for Japan? Its aging population watches resignedly as the new, younger Asia, becomes as important for the U.S. as Europe was during the Cold War.

George W. Bush's approach was to view India as the "anti-China," and thereby to balance the "biggest democracy in the world" against the "oldest civilization in the world." As a result, India's leaders seem not to have understood the shift toward China in U.S. diplomacy in the first months of Obama's presidency.

Why, Indian officials seemed to wonder, change what works, and at a time when the U.S. needs India more than ever?

In terms of democracy, there is no competition of course between India and China. But India is also increasingly aware that nothing can be done without its help on issues from Pakistan to Afghanistan to Iran to global warming. For example, if Pakistan is to dedicate all of its forces to the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban, India must convince the Pakistani Army that it need not fear a stab in the back.

The time has come for India to recognize that with power comes responsibility, and to act like the indispensable nation for regional and world security that it has become. The period when India was forgotten or an afterthought is at an end, and with it the period when India could forget about the world.

Dominique Moisi is a visiting professor at Harvard University and the author of "The Geopolitics of Emotion." © 2009 Project Syndicate (

December 25, 2009



It is too early to assess definitively the failed attempt by a person of Nigerian origin to create an explosion on board a North-west Airlines flight (Airbus 330 with 278 passengers) from Amsterdam to Detroit as it was about to land in Detroit on Christmas Day on December 25,2009.

2.The attack seems to have failed due to the mal-functioning of what was intended by the suspect to be an explosive mixture and the prompt intervention of fellow-passengers, who managed to overpower the suspect after he had unsuccessfully tried to cause a detonation. While official sources in the US have characterised the incident as an attempted terrorist attack, the US Attorney-General has not yet done so.

3. A tentative assessment on the basis of available details would indicate that this could be an attempt by Al Qaeda to cause an explosion on board an aircraft by concealing a powder in the groin of a passenger posing as a diabetic patient and injecting a chemical trigger carried without being detected by the security inside an insulin injection tube.

4. Two serious breaches of security have come to notice: Failure to detect a person with a previous suspicious background as a terrorist despite the fact that his name figured in databases of terrorist suspects and failure to detect the concealment of a suspicious-looking powder in the groin of the suspect. The attempted use of medicines such as insulin for concealing chemical triggers, if corroborated, shows the continuing evolution of the modus operandi tried/used by the terrorists to escape detection.

5.The available details of the incident from open sources are given below:

(a). Identity of the suspect: A senior law enforcement source speaking to CBS News has identified the suspect as Nigerian national Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23. ABC News named the suspect as Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, who was said to be an engineering student at the University College of London.

(b). His background: US media reported that the passenger told investigators he was affiliated with Al Qaeda. CNN and other broadcast channels said the man told investigators he had acquired the explosive device in Yemen, along with instructions as to when it should be used. Peter King, a Republican Party member of the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee, told Fox News that the suspect "definitely has terror connections". "My understanding is ... that he does have Al-Qaeda connections, certainly extremist terrorist connections, and his name popped up pretty quickly" in a search of intelligence databases. The CBS News reported that the suspect was on a U.S. government watch list of people with suspected terrorist ties. It said that a senior administration official declined to elaborate on how a man on a U.S. terrorist watch list was able to board the airline

( c ): Where did he get into the flight. At Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. According to “The Sun”,the man, who flew from Nigeria to Amsterdam and then Detroit, was taken into custody at the Detroit airport.

(d). What kind of explosive or incendiary device he carried and how did he conceal it?: According to the Associated Press, one of the U.S. intelligence officials said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it. It added that a law enforcement source said the explosives may have been strapped to the man's body but investigators weren't immediately certain, partly because of the struggle with other passengers. According to the Agence France Presse, the explosive, which was apparently carried onto the flight from its originating airport in Amsterdam, was originally believed to be a small firecracker, but a US official said the device was "more complicated than gunpowder firecracker" and caught fire as the man tried to set it off. According to a report on the ABC television network, the suspect told the authorities he had had explosive powder taped to his leg and used a syringe of chemicals to mix with the powder that was to cause explosion. Another US intelligence official quoted by AP said an explosive device had been used consisting of a "mix of powder and liquid". The CBS reported that the explosive material was apparently taped to the man's leg and lit the lower part of his body. He was immediately subdued and restrained and was later transported to a hospital unit. He reportedly told US investigators that he picked up the explosive material in Yemen and was instructed to set it off on board an airplane. Those claims could not immediately be verified. One law enforcement source said the man claimed to have been instructed by Al Qaeda to detonate the plane over U.S. soil. A high-ranking law enforcement official told CBS News that the suspect apparently used a syringe to inject a chemical into a powder located near his groin, a technique not seen in previous attempted attacks. It's possible, the source said, that this incident was a test of whether the materials could pass screening and how effective they might be at causing damage. (26-12-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. E-mail: )


When Mahomed Kasim marched from Mooltan to go to Delhalpoor, 50,000 men, horse and foot, were under his standard. To whatever country he went, he fixed a force there. In this manner he carried the armies of Islam as far as Kanoge. The Rajas and Hakeems in all that space came under the orders of Islam, agreeing to pay yearly tribute in money and produce, and to convey it to Darul Islam. Mahomed Kasim, having quieted his mind, by placing men of confidence and troops in all places of importance, turned homewards. At that time a letter came, written agreeably to the order of the Khaliph Wulleed, to this effect:—

“After taking Alore, you sent two daughters of Rais Daher, and some prisoners, in charge of Mahomed the son of Ali Tohman, Humdanee, with Seedee servants, to Darul Khaliphat. The Khaliph called these two sisters to the Harem one night, and gave them in charge of the eunuchs, that they might pay them attention. They were to produce them when they had recovered from the toils of travel. Two months afterwards, they were produced before the Khaliph, and an interpreter attended. The two sisters threw back their veils, and the Khaliph, on seeing them, became distracted with their great beauty. He then asked them their names. One said her name was Purmul Dewe, the other said her’s was Sooruj Dewe. The Khaliph ordered the attendants to leave one of them there. Then she, rising, said: ‘We are not fit for the bed-chamber of the Khaliph, because Mahomed Kasim placed both of us by himself for three days, and he afterwards sent us to the Khaliph.’”

The interpreter explaining this, the fire of anger was lighted in the body of the Khaliph, who gave orders, that as a punishment for this want of respect, Mahomed Kasim should wrap himself up in the raw hide of an ox, and be present at Darul Kaliphat. To show his great anger, and by way of intimidation, the Khaliph wrote in the margin of this letter in his own hand, that “Whenever this reaches Mahomed Kasim, he is to come from thence to Darul Khaliphat, wrapped in the hide of a cow. There is to be no delay in obeying this order.” At that time Mahomed Kasim was at Oodeypoor. When the Chobdar brought this letter (Firman), Mahomed Kasim, on reading it, to obey the orders it contained, said to the Chobdar:— “That which you have been directed to do, do it. He wrapped Mahomed Kasim in a raw hide, and departed. Three days afterwards the bird of his life left his body, flying to heaven. The Chobdar, seeing this, put the body into a box, taking it to Darul Khaliphat. He arrived there on a Durbar day, and took the box to the Khaliph, who, seeing it, inquired if he were alive or dead. The Chobdar replied, that he had wrapped him in a raw skin, but three days afterwards he died. The Khaliph then directed the box to be taken into the Harem, and that it should be opened in his presence.

The Khaliph went to the Harem, and calling the daughters of Rais Daher, said, come and see how penetrating my orders are; come and see Mahomed Kasim. They both went forward, and, looking at, recognised him. Offering great praises to the Khaliph, they said:— “Kings of great justice should not do great things in a hurry; they should not use that which is told them by their enemies.” The Khaliph asked what was the meaning of this.

They replied:— “We raised this suspicion against Mahomed Kasim in enmity to him, because our father was killed at his hands: country and wealth have departed from our father’s house, and we have come as prisoners to the land of travellers. The king, in his anger, did not weigh our words, he did not distinguish between our truth and our falsehood, and issued such an order. The truth is, this man was to us as a father or a brother; his perfidious hand never touched the skirts of our purity: it was in our heart to revenge our father; on this account we raised this suspicion upon him. Our wishes have been fulfilled, but in the house of judgment of the king there is great sorrow.”

When the Kahliph heard this, for one hour his head was in the pocket of repentance; then the fire of anger became alight in his breast. He gave orders— the two girls were tied to the tails of two horses, and after having been dragged round the city, they were thrown into the Dijlah (the Tigris). Mahomed Kasim was buried at Damascus. It is said, that two years after the death of Mahomed Kasim, the people of all the countries he had conquered refused to obey orders; only those from Daibulpoor to the salt sea remained under the hands of the agents of the Khaliph.



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July – 2008 at Los Angeles California
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China: Nationalistic Blogs Raise New Issues Concerning Sino- Indian Border

Source: South Asia Analysis Group

By D. S. Rajan

There is apparently a lull now in the propaganda drive of the Chinese state-controlled media on the Sino-Indian border issue. Epithets like ‘no compromise on territory’, ‘lessons of 1962’ and ‘dangerous consequences for India’, used by them earlier, are carefully being avoided. Adding to the atmosphere is the muted media reaction noticed so far to the Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s firm reference (Washington, 25 November 2009) to China’s ‘certain amount of assertiveness of late’ and implied disapproval of that country’s reform path ‘introduced by the writ of the ruling group in a non-democratic set up’. The only critical comment has been in a very brief manner- ‘Unfriendly remarks’, said People’s Daily of 9 December 2009. Similar has been the case with concerns expressed recently by the Indian Defence Minister, Mr. Antony, on China’s military help to Pakistan, with the Chinese media by and large not paying much attention.

The fall in the level of the media rhetoric coincides with some significant military exchanges between the two sides. The Indian Air force Chief has taken part in the Zhuhai (China) air show in November 2009 and two top Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) officials - Deputy Chief of Staff General Ge Zhenfeng and the Commander of the Tibet Military District Lt Gen Shu Yutai, have paid visits to India. The symbolic importance of the Tibet military commander’s sojourn in India, at the present juncture comes out clearly.
The Chinese language unofficial websites and blogs in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) however continue to take on India on the border issue, rather vehemently, which should be noted if not with alarm in India . Chinese scholars visiting India have argued in the past that the government is in no position to control bloggers in the country, said to be about 180 million; more over views expressed in the blogs have come from ‘Fen Qing’ or angry youth and do not represent official opinion. On the other hand, the contents of the blogs have always appeared important for analysts abroad as the concerned writers looked knowledgeable, enjoying more often access to the government data and information.

In the context mentioned, what the Chinese websites and blogs have said of late on contentious issues including that of Sino-Indian border deserve close scrutiny. Their views topic-wise are given below:

Sino-Indian war?
First, the blogs in the websites address the question whether there will be a second war with India and if so at what time. Revealing that China’s top central leadership has reached a consensus to teach India a lesson and recover ‘Southern Tibet’ (India’s Arunachal Pradesh), two blog assessments in Chinese language ( dated 1 December 2009 and dated 9 December 2009) predict that Beijing may consider the 2010-2011 period as suitable for action against India; they argue that by that time conditions would have been established for next power transfer in China, economic crisis in China would have been over, the international role of the US would have become extremely weak, China would have become a powerful player in international politics, China would have been able to bring in a regional military balance , the PRC’s comprehensive national strength would have developed further in comparison to that of India and lastly, China’s military preparedness would have been completed.

Chinese reinforcement in the border
The second theme in the blogs pertains to reinforcement of China’s troops in the border already carried out and the improvement of logistics on China’s side, in response to India’s recent dispatch of additional forces to Eastern sector. A Blog evaluation (in, dated 11 December 2009) says that India’s sending more 60000 troops is a unilateral step and th is also a part of Western strategies to contain China. Another Blog (in dated 1 December 2009) highlights the holding of military exercises in the Chengdu Military Region recently, to counter the threat coming from India. Elaborating this point, a report (in dated 6 December 2009) reveals that China’s border defence troops have now entered the strategically important plains the southwest of Rikaze and East of Yadong covering the trijunction of China, Bhutan and Sikkim, adding that Bhutan, conscious of China’s influence, has been quiet on the presence of Chinese troops in its disputed area. Bhutan has also supported China’s position in the Sino-Indian border talks, it further claims. As per another Blog disclosure ( dated 11 December 2009), with additional toops in position, China’s border with India now stands sealed. The Chinese army is fully prepared as India, taking the reported military training to ULFA in China as a pretext, may plan to attack China, according to another blog (in uid-158463-action-viewspace-itemid-390632)
On upgrading of logistics position, a blog ( dated 11 December 2009) quotes foreign reports to say that that the new airport at A Li with 4500-meter long runway is capable of lifting fighter aircraft and bombers. In the same connection a report ( dated 19 October 2009) focuses on the proposed extension of Qinghai-Tibet railway to Nepal border and a railway project under planning to link China and Pakistan in parallel to the existing China-Pakistan Friendship Highway.

“Ladakh- Another Southern Tibet”
As third theme of the websites, India’s Ladakh region is being described as part of China’s Tibet, along with the assertion that the Chinese government has never recognized New Delhi’s official position that Ladakh is part of India. Taking this stand, a blog under the title “Ladakh- another Southern Tibet”( dated 13 December 2009) says that the Volume 8 of the “Historical Atlas of China”, published in Beijing showing China’s territories as existed in 1820, included Ladakh as part of China’s Tibet. “Whether it is McMahon line in the East or Johnson line in the West, both have no legal basis and received no recognition from the Chinese government and people”, it asserts.

“Drive India out of Sikkim”
While one blog (, 13 December 2009) says that acceptance of Sikkim as part of India with Nathula as trading point, has been the greatest Chinese concession to India made during border talks, another comment ( dated 6 December 2009) under the caption “ China should drive India out of Sikkim”, finds motives behind India’s deployment of its 27th Mountain Division to Sikkim belt, after shifting it from its original base in Kashmir. It attributes the shift to the strategic pressure from China felt by India. It concludes by saying that a clash of Indian and Chinese strengths to capture Sikkim has already started.

India-Nepal Ties
India-Nepal relation is also a notable topic figuring in the Chinese language websites. Noting India’s high-level treatment to the visiting Nepalese Army Chief in December 2009 and its proposal to supply T-72 tanks to Nepal, a report in the authoritative website ( compares the military assistance to Nepal by China and India and finds China’s help to Nepal’s military training programme as superior. It quotes a Chinese military expert to say that the balanced position being maintained by Kathmandu at the current time of Sino-Indian tensions marks a victory for Beijing’s military strategy in the neighborhood. Also, according to an opinion (, the airport in Nepal’s Surket, to be built by New Delhi under an agreement with Kathmandu, will be a ‘springboard’ to India for attacking China.

Despite tensions, both Beijing and New Delhi have managed to keep relations at government levels at an even keel and there is constant official exchange of views between the two sides. Even setting up of a hotline between the two prime ministers is under discussion. This being so, there may be some justification if a question is asked as to why pay attention to unofficial blogs now. The aim of this paper, which has done so, is not to create panic and cause misgivings in respect of Sino-Indian ties. But at the same time, it may not be wrong to say that analysts in India have a responsibility to take notice and analyze implications, of the tall claims being made in the Chinese blogs like the ‘consensus’ at top leadership levels in the PRC to teach a lesson to India and recover Arunachal in the 2010-2011 period. Also, the assertion that Ladakh is part of ‘Southern Tibet’ and that the PRC has never recognized that territory as part of India, definitely raises more suspicions in India on China’s intentions.

(The writer, Mr. D.S.Rajan, is the Director, Chennai Centre for China Studies, Chennai`, India.

Ruchika’s case: The man who bravely fought molester Rathore

Anand Parkash and his wife took over the fight as Ruchika's family fell silent after her death. Prakash says Rathore offered to settle the case out of court, but his reply was: the only person who had a right to settle it was dead.

By appearance, 67-year-old Anand Parkash seems diminutive -- a little over five feet tall and with a voice so soft that one has to strain ears to hear him properly. But it was this man's steely resolve and endurance that brought about the conviction of former Haryana DGP S P S Rathore in the Ruchika molestation case.

As the case dragged over 19 years, he visited various courts in different cities, more than 450 times. Ask him about the expenditure and the trouble he encountered fighting the battle for the girl who was his daughter's best friend, he says, "If you start fretting over these things, you cannot fight a battle."

"One has to be optimistic and have faith in God. Believe me, there are good people too. For example, our lawyers, Pankaj Bhardwaj of the Punjab and Haryana HC and Meet Malhotra of the Supreme Court, did not charge a single penny from us."

When asked about Rathore's punishment, he shrugs, "If you ask me, the quantum of punishment is not sufficient. But our purpose was to bring conviction, which we did. It is a matter of great disgrace for a government officer to be convicted."

Parkash recollects the start of the battle. "I still remember that day, when I heard Ruchika and my daughter Aradhana talking to my wife Madhu in our house.

I was in another room but when I heard sounds of muffled sobs I entered the room and the girls confided in me,"
he says. "Ruchika did not have a mother, and she and my daughter had developed a strong friendship over the years. I knew the family well and had to stand by them in their hour of distress." It was he who warned Ruchika's father not to go and meet Rathore at his residence. "Rathore had called him through a written message which was not even signed. The message which was carried by one of his men, read that her father should come alone. I had every reason to be suspicious, especially by going over through Rathore's conduct in the last few days."

After Ruchika's death, her family withdrew into a shell. But Parkash carried on the battle. "It is unfair to blame her father and brother for not pursuing the case. In fact, they had given me an affidavit under which I could act on their behalf. I was harassed as well. I was a Haryana government employee. Out of the blue disciplinary charges were slapped against me. I was abruptly transferred along with my entire staff to far off places. But I was supported by my wife and daughter who kept fighting."
It was his wife, who filed a criminal petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

"Rathore's men started harassing me. Goons would stalk my daughter but we were not deterred. I remember when my daughter came specially to depose in front of CBI, Rathore used his connections to delay her statement. She was here for over a month but the court did not take her statement until one day before she was to leave for Australia. It was only when we protested and threatened to complain, that they took her version," says Parkash.

Did Rathore try to influence him as well? "Yes, he did. He even offered to settle it outside the court. To which I said that the only person who had a right to settle it was now dead. It was a disgraceful offer."

Parkash is not satisfied with the outcome so far."The battle has only started.

I now want to expose every official and politician who shielded Rathore and suppressed facts."

He doesn't like a job unfinished.

A 19 year wait: The case file

Ruchika and her friend Aradhana were members of the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association, of which S P S Rathore (then IGP, Haryana) was the president. A chronology of the events recorded in the case:

AUG 11, 1990: Rathore visits Ruchika's house at noon. Persuades her father, S C Girhotra, a bank manager, not to send Ruchika to Canada. Promises special training for the teenager. Asks her father to tell Ruchika to visit his office-cum residence the next day.

AUG 12: Ruchika and Aradhana visit Rathore's office. Rathore asks Aradhana to fetch the coach. Aradhana returns and finds Rathore molesting Ruchika. On seeing her, Rathore lets go Ruchika, who rushes out of the room. Rathore asks Aradhana to talk to Ruchika and that "he would do whatever she would say".
The girls decide not to talk about the incident to their parents, considering Rathore's powerful position.

AUG 14: Ruchika and Aradhana go to the tennis court. Rathore calls Ruchika again to his office. This time, the girls decide to share it with the parents. Ruchika confides in Aradhana's mother, Madhu Parkash.

AUG 15: Both families along with parents of other HLTA trainees hand over a written complaint to Home Secretary J S Duggal. The Chief Minister marks it to then DGP R R Singh.

AUG 26: The DGP summons Rathore. In retaliation, Rathore allegedly arranges 45-50 hoodlums who raise slogans against Ruchika and smash the windowpanes of her house.

SEPT 3: DGP's report finds the allegations true, recommends registration of case and investigation by CID.

MARCH 11, 1991: Change of government brings new DGP, RK Hooda, who too recommends departmental action against Rathore.

1992: Government agrees that an FIR can be registered against Rathore. Case transferred to Chief Secretary.

AUG 12, 1992: First of the six auto theft FIRs registered against Ashu, Ruchika's brother.

OCT 23, 1993: Ashu arrested, kept in custody for two months. He was beaten up in custody and one day taken to his house, where Ruchika was told that her father would meet the same fate if she did not withdraw the complaint.

DEC 28: Ruchika consumes poison, dies next day. Ashu released.

JAN 1994: Government withdraws all charges against Rathore.

APRIL 1997: Ashu discharged from all theft cases.

NOV 1997: Aradhana's mother files a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. A year later, court directs CBI to conduct an inquiry.

DEC 1999: Supreme Court upholds the order of High Court.

JAN 2000: CBI files chargesheet against Rathore, recommends his removal in interest of "free and fair deposition".

JULY 2002:
Rathore retires as DGP .

NOV 2009: Case transferred to CBI Chandigarh.

DEC 11, 2009: Court closes all final arguments and sets the date for verdict.

Source: The Indian Express

Ruchika molestation case needs to be revisited: Law minister

IANS 25 December 2009, 04:41pm IST

NEW DELHI: Law minister Veerappa Moily on Friday said the molestation case of teenager Ruchika Girhotra needs to be "revisited". He, however, added that the "rule of law should not be interfered by any one".

"The case of this nature has been mistreated and whoever is responsible has to be appropriately dealt with. And a case of this nature needs to be revisited," Moily told reporters on Friday.

Fourteen-year-old Ruchika was molested Aug 12, 1990 by S.P.S. Rathore, who rose to become Haryana's police chief.

The girl committed suicide three years later. A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court convicted Rathore in the molestation case and sentenced him to six months' imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs.1,000. Rathore was immediately granted bail by the court.

Moily said he had discussed the matter with the Solicitor General of India.

"I have discussed it with the solicitor general of India and have asked him what could be done after this sentence. I told him to discuss the case with the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) director also," said Moily.

Acknowledging that justice has been delayed in the case, Moily said that the laws relating to atrocities on women needed to be revisited.

"The delay of 19 years by the judiciary is unpardonable. We have to revisit laws also in terms of punishment and the manner in which the case was treated," Moily added.

The law minister added that the cases relating to atrocities against women, senior citizens and disabled citizens will be fast-tracked.

Protesters reach Rathore's house demanding justice for Ruchika Hindustan Times
Ruchika case verdict mockery of judiciary
Ruchika expulsion was against school norms Times of India - Shimona Kanwar
19 years on, school says Ruchika an 'old issue' Indian Express
How her world came apart bit by bit... Chandigarh Tribune

How her world came apart bit by bit...
Geetanjali Gayatri
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 24

The sillhouette of a girl against the light peeping in through the classroom windows, sitting on the wooden bench with her head buried in her arms on the desk, sobbing painfully in the last row — that was Ruchika Girhotra’s last memory for me.

After the conviction and sentencing of former Director-General of Police SPS Rathore, the only picture that comes to my mind when I think of my school, then Sacred Heart Secondary School, Sector 26, is that of a girl — lonely, traumatised and very aloof.

As I travel back in time to the year 1990, my memory zooms in to the last classroom next to the library on the second floor of the building, announcing Class X A. It was here that Ruchika Girhotra and I had sat together, studied together, and may have, at some time, even been punished together.

Despite this, she and I were never friends, only classmates. During her last days in school, however, I particularly noticed her, sad and somber and always in tears, every time I walked into the class with my friends after a break.

I felt her pain in an odd-sort of a way across the rows of students who separated us but never tried to reach out to her, never had the courage to ask her the what, where, when and how of things. And, then, there was Puja Harjai, seemingly the only friend she had in school, to comfort her, talk to her and be with her, always.

During that time the molestation must have just happened. Though I don’t recall the month, I vividly remember that the news spread like wildfire. Like the rest of my classmates, I, too, had heard the “rumours” doing the rounds in the school.

After the morning assembly was over, while we marched up to our classrooms, we, the tailenders in the line, managed to catch up on a thing or two before reaching the class and Ruchika, invariably, ended up being the topic of discussion.

We had also heard that the father of another batchmate of ours was the culprit and we were aghast at the man’s audacity, especially since he had a daughter of the same age in the very same class. As days went by, in that very classroom I saw Ruchika change from an upfront student who had stepped into Class X to a scared, scarred and introverted girl as the rumours gained ground. Classmates huddled together to deliberate in whispers what might have transpired during the sordid episode every time an opportunity presented itself.

All the time, Ruchika, motherless (her mother had died a couple of years prior) and friendless, watched everybody rip her apart through her tears but never uttered a word. Ever. Since that fateful August of 1990 which turned her world upside down.

A few weeks later, Ruchika, faded into oblivion for us — her classmates of the batch of 1991. We heard that she was never coming back to school again and that was the end. A loner, she was conveniently forgotten. Then, one day, just like that, a couple of years later, she re-appeared in newspapers — as a suicide story. In her end, I think, was the beginning of much more to come.

I also saw Rathore’s daughter, a bright, hardworking student to her teachers, slip a little, away from the limelight to lie low, very low. We often exchanged pleasantries on our way home, in the school bus, but she, too, like Ruchika, chose to keep to herself. School ended and everything became a memory up until now when the “connection” between two batchmates came gushing back as I read through newspaper reports.

Volume 17 - Issue 26, Dec. 23, 2000 - Jan. 05, 2001
India's National Magazine
from the publishers of THE HINDU


A delayed prosecution

A Director-General of Police in Haryana is charge-sheeted in a case of molestation of a schoolgirl a full decade after the allegation was made against him.

in Chandigarh

FINALLY, S.P.S. Rathore, Director-General of Police, Haryana, was charge-sheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a case of molestation a full decade after the alleged incident took place. The delay occurred despite a full-fledged inquiry by the then DGP, R.R. Singh, which indicted Rathore. The incident in question took place in August 1990 and, the victim, Ruchika Girhotra, a minor, committed suicide three years later.

The Ruchika molestation case has had to negotiate many an impediment, which could not have been placed on its path without the tacit knowledge or support of people in the government. There was inordinate delay on the part of the prosecution, the reason f or which could be seen in the government's inaction, as stated by a Special CBI Court in Ambala. Surprisingly, the First Information Report was filed only on December 29, 1999, nine years after the incident in question. Even this was done in response to two court orders, one from the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the other from the Supreme Court. The Om Prakash Chautala government, which prevaricated for long, stripped Rathore of his post under pressure from the State units of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and the Congress(I), and sections of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The ruling Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) is a constituent of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), but relations between the INLD and the BJP have been less than cordial at the State level. The pressure from the BJP to secure Rathore's removal, therefore, did not go unnoticed. Union Minister of Consumer Affairs Shanta Kumar wrote an open letter to Chautala stating that had he been in Chautala's place, Rathore wo uld have been out of the job.

S.P.S. Rathore.

Chautala cleared the prosecution proceedings on December 5, the day the Special CBI Court condoned the delay in filing the charge-sheet and pulled up the government for its inaction. Although the CBI had charge-sheeted Rathore on November 16, he continue d to hold the post.

The issue of alleged molestation of Ruchika, 15, of Panchkula in Chandigarh and her subsequent suicide was taken to court by the parents of her friend Reemu, who was a witness to the alleged incident. Reemu's parents, Anand Prakash and Madhu Prakash, app roached the court only after several attempts to get an FIR registered were frustrated and the government remained indifferent. The Anands filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh in 1997, seeking directions for the regist ration of a criminal case under Section 354 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Section 509 against Rathore who was then the Additional Director-General of Police, Haryana. The High Court, after studying the R.R. Singh inquiry report and also other material, concluded that a criminal case had to be instituted and directed the CBI to conduct an investigation. (The CBI was asked to investigate the case as Rathore was the DGP of Haryana. Rathore had also suggested that the investigation be made by an independent authority such as the CBI.) The Supreme Court on December 14, 1999, upheld the High Court order and directed the investigating agency to complete the investigation as expeditiously as possible, preferably within six months.

The delay in dealing with the case led to issues such as the expiry of the period of limitation. However, the CBI contended in the Special CBI court that there had been no delay in the investigation by it from the date of registration of the FIR and that courts could take cognisance of the offence even after the expiry of the period of limitation. Counsel for Rathore argued that the case had been filed with the intention of harassing and defaming the accused. Pleading that there was no case for condonat ion of the delay, counsel claimed that the CBI investigation was biased and unfair and information was being leaked to the press selectively to prejudice the minds of the public and the judiciary.

ACCORDING to the charge-sheet filed by the CBI on November 16 this year, Ruchika Girhotra had alleged in a memorandum to the Financial Commissioner and the State Home Secretary, that Rathore had molested her on August 12, 1990 at about 12 noon. Investiga tions by the CBI disclosed that during 1989-91, Rathore was on deputation to the Bhakra Beas Management Board as Director (Vigilance and Security). During 1988-89, he had formed the Haryana Lawn Tennis Association (HLTA) and become its president. The HLT A had enrolled more than 60 members, young boys and girls, mostly residents of Panchkula, for training in the game. Ruchika, then 15 years old, and her friend Reemu, were among them. Rathore used to visit the tennis courts in the evening.

Ruchika was to go to Canada for a few months and had informed Rathore of it. On August 11, 1990, around noon, Rathore visited the Girhotra household to persuade her father not to interrupt Ruchika's training by sending her abroad as she was a promising p layer. He said that he would arrange special coaching for her. Rathore then asked Girhotra to send Ruchika to his office the next day at 12 noon to discuss the arrangements for that. Ruchika spoke to Reemu about these developments.

According to the CBI case, on the day of the incident, while the two young women were at the net, they were told by a ballboy that Rathore had sent word for Ruchika. Both went to meet Rathore, who was stated to have insisted that they accompany him to th e office. Rathore then apparently told Reemu to go and call the coach, T. Thomas. Reemu went to the rear of the building to call the coach, leaving Ruchika with Rathore, but Thomas waved from a distance indicating that he would not come. Reemu returned t o the office.

The CBI case goes thus: On entering the room Reemu found Rathore holding Ruchika's hand with one hand, his other hand encircling her waist, and Ruchika struggling to free herself. On seeing Reemu, Rathore apparently got nervous and fell on his chair. Re emu was ordered to go again and get the coach. Ruchika wanted to leave the room but Rathore asked her to stay back. He once again ordered Reemu to get the coach. Ruchika then reached Reemu's side and ran out of the office. At this point Rathore told Reem u: "Ask her to cool down. I will do whatever she says."

Reemu's parents, Anand Prakash and Madhu.

The young women did not inform anybody of the incident as they feared that Rathore, who was an Inspector-General of Police then, would harass their parents. On August 14, the two went to the tennis courts early so as to avoid Rathore. Around 6-30 p.m., when they were to return from practice. Rathore summoned Ruchika again. The two did not go. Instead they decided to talk to their parents about this as Ruchika felt that Rathore had become emboldened after the August 12 incident.

Thus began a 10-year-old saga of indifference and inaction by government agencies. A memorandum was prepared, addressed to the then Chief Minister, Hukam Singh, Governor Dhanik Raj Mandal, the Home Minister, the Sub Divisional Magistrate, and the Station House Officer, Panchkula. Home Secretary J.K. Duggal was given a copy of the memorandum and, after discussions with the Home Minister on August 17, he asked the then DGP, R.R. Singh, to inquire into the matter.

Meanwhile Ruchika was suspended from the tennis courts for alleged indiscipline with effect from August 13, that is, the day after the alleged molestation. Both the coach and the manager of the court wrote on the suspension order that they were not aware of any act of indiscipline by Ruchika, thus contradicting the claims made in the order, allegedly issued under directions from Rathore. Investigations by the CBI also revealed that no act of indiscipline by Ruchika had been officially recorded or inquir ed into.

Interestingly, the DGP's inquiry report of September 3, 1990 concluded that whatever had been stated about the molestation was based on facts and that there was a case of cognisable offence made out. The DGP forwarded the report to the Home Secretary on September 3. Matters did not move after that, and Ruchika, CBI investigations revealed, remained confined to her house and was depressed. It was alleged that Rathore harassed her family to such an extent that her father had to sell their house at Panchku la. Her brother had several cases of car theft slapped on him. On December 12, 1993, perhaps worried over the events, Ruchika consumed an insecticide. She died the following day.

The CBI investigations concluded that Rathore had indeed molested Ruchika. The offence is punishable under Section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the IPC, and the punishment is imprisonment up to two years. Hence the limitation for filing such cases extends to two years. The CBI had to move an application for condoning the delay as the case had been filed a good 10 years later. However, Section 473 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (Cr.PC) empowers the court to take cognisance after the expir y of the period of limitation if the court is satisfied that the delay has been properly explained or it is necessary to do so in the interest of justice.

Reemu, friend of Ruchika Girhotra and witness to the alleged incident.

The Prakash family, which was involved in bringing the incident to public gaze right from the beginning, became even more resolute after the girl's death. R.R. Singh's report was put in cold storage. No case was registered by the government. Madhu Prakas h, the original petitioner, got a copy of the report only in 1997. She approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking a ruling that a case be registered. The Court observed that a case should have been registered immediately after the receipt of th e (R.R. Singh) report. "Why the State government had allowed eight years to elapse has not been explained properly...," noted the order.

The Court also dismissed the defence plea that Madhu Prakash, the petitioner, was no blood relation of the deceased and hence her locus standi was questionable. It held: "Repeatedly, it has been held by the Supreme Court and endorsed by various Hi gh Courts that offences against women are not only offences against an individual, it is an offence against society. In these circumstances, if the petitioner has advocated the case of the prosecutrix, I am of the opinion that she has the locus standi even to file the present petition." It directed the government to register a criminal case under Section 354 of the IPC read with Section 509. The Judge observed: "I have given these directions against an officer of the rank of Additional DGP though he may be under suspension. Law is uniform to everybody." Rathore not only continued in his post but was promoted as DGP subsequently. He petitioned the Supreme Court against the High Court order. The apex court upheld the High Court order and ordered t hat the CBI investigation be concluded in six months.

ANAND PRAKASH and Madhu Prakash told Frontline that it had been an unequal fight. Instead of an FIR, a charge-sheet was filed by the government, even though it was not the competent authority to do so. On August 12, 1992, the file was still at the Chief Secretary's level. The Anands said that until December 1993, six cases had been registered against Aashu Girhotra, the younger brother of Ruchika, and he had been beaten up by the police. Reemu told Frontline that Ruchika continuously blame d herself for the misery wrought on her family.

The Girhotra family, it appears, was torn asunder after the incident. Both father and son were untraceable until recently. It was presumed that they had left the State fearing persecution. Anand Prakash alleged that the six FIRs filed against Aashu were instigated by Rathore through the then Superintendent of Police, Panchkula. They were all registered between September 6, 1992 and August 30, 1993. The trial court found no prima facie case against Aashu and his co-accused. The S.P. was subsequent ly promoted and is now a Deputy Inspector-General of Police (CID).

Rathore maintained that he was not with the State police during the period concerned. Prakash responded that it was rare for any Superintendent of Police to refuse an order from an I.G. Rathore told Frontline that some officials in the government had hatched a conspiracy to frame him and used Ruchika for this. He said: "I proceeded on leave on my own. Because of the media trial and the charge-sheet, I voluntarily stepped down," he said. Accusing his colleagues of "spreading falsehoods", he denied any role in the cases filed against Aashu. He said that he had "nowhere made him a party to the defamation complaint", in which he has involved several persons. He alleged that a section of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) lobby was out to "fix" him. Duggal was one of those who were out to "fix" Rathore, because Duggal headed a rival tennis body, it was imputed.

Rathore's version of what happened on August 12, 1990 was totally at variance with that of Ruchika and Reemu. According to Rathore, the young women were called to his office to be questioned about playing on a wet court and not to discuss Ruchika's tenni s coaching. While Reemu tendered an apology, Ruchika drew some caricatures, which infuriated Rathore, according to him. Reemu was then told to bring the coach. "How could in that short interregnum of 15 to 20 seconds I have achieved what I am supposed to have done?" asked Rathore. Members of his family felt that an honest officer was being persecuted.

M.S. Malik, who replaced Rathore as the DGP, was somewhat non-committal on the matter. Without commenting on the merits of the case, which he said was sub judice, Malik told Frontline that the entire Haryana Police Department could not be b lamed on the basis of one incident. He admitted that the response period for cases had to be narrowed drastically. Without referring to the alleged involvement of his predecessor, whom he described as a "good officer", in the molestation case, Malik aver red that "after all, policemen were also part of the same society and have the same kind of habits that ordinary people have". He spoke about the expanding police presence in the State and then detailed the steps taken to "correct" the "indifferent" atti tude of the people towards the police.

The case will now come up for hearing on January 11, when Rathore will appear in court for the first time as an accused.

American perversion: PEW report is based on fiction

The Pioneer Edit Desk

Foreigners who visit India are struck by the fact that ours is an open, plural and liberal society with a remarkably high level of tolerance for others. True, there have been instances of bigotry (no country, least of all the US and its trans-Atlantic allies, can claim to be entirely free of them) but these are at best aberrations which by no means suggest that social and religious orthodoxy guides daily life in India. In fact, our cultural ethos, though rooted in our civilisational identity, is defined by its many hues; unlike the West’s, our culture is neither monochromatic nor is it religion-specific. Our traditions and the values we cherish transcend selfish concerns. Yet, we now have the Washington-based think-tank, PEW Research Centre, slamming India for social hostility and religious discrimination perpetrated by individuals and groups as well as imposed by Government-induced restrictions. It is amusing that PEW should find Saudi Arabia more tolerant than India in social and religious affairs; it is laughable that a think-tank rated highly by the Washington establishment should be ignorant of the fact that ‘Hindutva’ does not mean ‘Hindu nation’. While PEW’s researchers, who look at the world through the prism of Christian majority America and Europe, may find this far too difficult to understand, it bears reiteration that ours is a secular and democratic society because India is a Hindu majority nation with an all-embracing Hindu ethos. Perhaps this inability to grasp the Indian reality is the reason why PEW, in its recent voluminous report,Global Restrictions on Religion, has clubbed India with Sri Lanka, Ethiopia and Bangladesh as countries where the majority population wants to protect the “special place” of one particular religion. “Many of the restrictions imposed in these countries are driven by groups pressing for the enshrinement of their interpretation of the majority faith, including through sharia’h law in Muslim societies and Hindutva movement in India which seeks to define India as a Hindu nation,” the report says. Those who have funded this project should demand their money back, unless they intended the report to malign India and its Hindu majority. Indeed, questions are already being raised about motives behind PEW’s obviously motivated ‘findings’: Was the report’s purpose to reflect concerns of Christian evangelical groups? Or was it to criticise India (and other non-Christian countries) for standing up to the dubious activities of these groups?

According to PEW, its researchers “combed through 16 widely cited, publicly available sources of information, including reports by the US State Department, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the Council of the European Union, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Human Rights Watch, the International Crisis Group, the Hudson Institute and Amnesty International”. This is useful disclosure because it enables us to understand why PEW is so terribly wrong in its assessment. In the past, many of these organisations and agencies of the US Administration have criticised the Government and citizens of India for not facilitating the conversion of those who belong to vulnerable sections of society to Christianity through inducement and fraud. Most recently the USCIRF heaped abuse on India on the basis of fiction propagated by American evangelists. We could view the PEW report as inconsequential. But that would amount to ignoring the sinister purpose behind such calumny.

December 24, 2009

I was treated like a dog: Ruchika's brother to court

Fri, Dec 25 05:25 AM

The Indian Express

Narrating the inhuman treatment meted out to him by the Haryana Police at the behest of S P S Rathore, Ruchika Girhotra's brother, Ashu, had filed an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on December 3, 2001. Ashu was implicated and picked up for six false cases of auto theft — all the charges later fell flat in court.

"Hell was let loose on me. I was treated like a dog. I was slapped, given fist blows and had to further undergo more inhuman torture which I cannot explain in this affidavit. I was not given any food or water to drink for various days. Whenever I used to ask for a glass of water, the police officials used to give me filthy abuses," he said in his affidavit.

Saying that he tried to console Ruchika, who was suffering from depression, he added: "Life was made more miserable for the entire family. Ruchika was literally living under house arrest. As and when Ruchika used to come out of our residence, some mischievous people, who were deployed at the instance of Rathore, used to pass lewd remarks at her. Rathore also made it a point to see that Ruchika did not continue her studies."

The affidavit further states: "I was brutally beaten up by the CIA staff, Panchkula. Rathore was personally supervising the interrogation and directed the investigating officer to beat me till I give up. I was so terrorised that I could not even disclose this to the magistrate. I and my family members have been reeling under tremendous pressure. I was picked up during Diwali. I never thought that Diwali of 1993 would be the most gloomy phase of life wherein I would have to undergo such inhuman treatment. I was beaten up so mercilessly that I could not even walk properly."

Ashu was handcuffed and paraded in the neighbourhood. The "police officers were abusing my sister and father. I was like an animal who was in a cage and was trying to get myself free to save the honour of my family. My father begged the police to be afraid of God and not to inflict this inhuman torture on the family. After a few days, I was told in custody that Ruchika had committed suicide. I was picked up by the police on October 23, 1993 and was released only on December 23, 1993, after the death of my sister," Ashu had informed the High Court.

India outrage over girl molestation sentence

ABUSE OF POWER :What Ruchika said about her molest...

Hemant Karkare's Missing bulletproof jacket

A sweeper at JJ Hospital in Mumbai has said he may have thrown away former ATS chief Hemant Karkare's bulletproof jacket on November 27, last year.



Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Myanmar on December 19 and 20,2009, during the course of a four-nation tour covering Japan, South Korea, Myanmar and Cambodia. He went to Cambodia from Myanmar. Xi, who undertook the visit at the invitation of Vice Senior-General Maung Aye, Vice-Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC), called on SPDC Chairman Senior-General Than Shwe in Nay Pyi Taw.

2.Xi is believed to be in the run to succeed President Hu Jintao, when he completes his tenure. His visit to Myanmar was significant for three reasons.

3.Firstly, through the importance accorded to the visit, the Myanmar military junta sought to reassure Beijing that despite recent moves for increased contacts between the junta and the Obama administration, the junta continued to give priority to Myanmar’s relations with China. Improved relations with the US will not be at the expense of the relations with China. Xi as well as his Myanmar hosts described the relations between the two countries as “baobo relationship”, which has been interpreted by local analysts as cousin-cousin relationship. The next door cousin is more important than the distant US---that was the message of the Junta to the Obama Administration.

4.Secondly, China reiterated its determination to go ahead with the construction of the parallel oil and gas pipelines between the Arakan area of Myanmar and Yunnan despite opposition from the local residents and insecurity along the route of the pipelines. China has accorded greater priority to the Arakan-Yunnan pipeline than to the Gwadar-Xinjiang pipeline proposed by the Pakistan Government. The Chinese Government has greater confidence in the ability of the Myanmar Army to ensure the security of the parallel pipelines passing through Myanmar territory than in the ability of the Pakistan Government to ensure the security of any pipeline passing through Pakistani territory. Moreover, with the recent commissioning of the first stage of the pipeline connecting Xinjiang with the Central Asian Republics, the need for a Gwadar-Xinjiang pipeline is not that urgent. Whereas the Arakan-Yunnan pipelines will have the dual purpose of transporting oil brought by Chinese tankers from West Asia and Africa thereby reducing the present Chinese dependence on the Malacca Strait and transporting the gas procured locally in Arakan by Chinese companies, any pipeline from Gwadar will have to be exclusively for transporting oil/gas from West Asia. Pakistan does not have any oil or gas to sell to China.

5.Thirdly, the visit underlined the concerns of Beijing over the anti-Chinese riots in the Kokang area of the Shan State in August,2009, when thousands of Chinese traders, who had illegally settled down in the Kokang area, had to flee to Yunnan following attacks on them. The attacks on the “Chinese cousins” ---- and the action of the Myanmar Army in closing its eyes to these attacks----were a rude shock to Beijing.

6. In an editorial published on December 22,2009, the Government-owned “ New Light of Myanmar” said that Xi’s visit strengthened the mutual friendship and the bilateral cooperation between the two countries. It added: “The peoples of the two countries have mutual respect and deep friendship as they have been dealing with each other like brothers for a long time. With reciprocal goodwill visits by the leaders of the two nations, bilateral relations and cooperation are thriving.”

7.It was stated by official spokesmen that Xi discussed with Maung Aye matters relating to the further improvement of bilateral relations and cooperation in the agriculture, transport, energy, electricity and communications sectors. The two countries signed five agreements on the development of trade, economy, the transport infrastructure, technological cooperation and purchase of machinery; seven financial agreements, three agreements on hydroelectric power; and one agreement on the energy sector and the oil and natural gas pipelines.

8. Among the MoUs signed during the visit was an agreement to allow the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) exclusive rights to build and operate a Myanmar-China Crude Oil Pipeline. According to a press release issued by the CNPC on December 21, the agreement grants the CNPC rights relating to tax concessions, transport of crude oil through Myanmar, customs clearance and road operations.

9.The press release added: “The agreement also stipulates that the Myanmar Government shall ensure the company's ownership and exclusionary (exclusive?) right to the pipeline and guarantee the safety of the pipeline.”

10.The pipeline will be constructed and run by a subsidiary of the the CNPC called the South-East Asia Crude Oil Pipeline Ltd. Earlier in June, 2009, the CNPC and the Myanmar Government had signed an MOU, agreeing that the CNPC would be responsible for the design, construction, and operation of the pipeline.

11.The CNPC started building a crude oil port on October 31 as part of the 771-kilometre pipeline project, which will start from the Maday Island in the Arakan state on the western coast of Myanmar and run through the Arakan State, the Magway division, the Mandalay division and the Shan State, and will finally enter Ruili in China’s Yunnan Province. Some reports have estimated the length of the pipeline as 1100 kms. This probably includes its length from Ruili to Kunming too.

12.The natural gas pipeline is proposed to be extended from Ruili to Kunming and then to the Guizhou province and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, covering a total distance of 2806 kms.

13. Earlier, in March 2009, the two Governments had signed an agreement which provided for the construction of a parallel oil-gas pipelines starting from the Kyaukpru port in the Arakan State. The construction is scheduled to be completed by 2013. According to the March,2009, agreement, a gas collection terminal and a port for oil tankers will be constructed on the Maday Island.

14. The Chinese state-owned CNPC will hold a 50.9-percent share in partnership with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) in the company which will construct and run the pipelines. The project is expected to yield $29 billion over 30 years to the Myanmar military junta. Initially, the gas to be transported by the gas pipeline will be bought from the Shwe Gas consortium, which has already struck gas in the blocks for exploration allotted to it by the Myanmar Government, but it hopes to supplement it with gas found by Chinese companies in the blocks allotted to them by the Myanmar Government.

15.The Daewoo International from South Korea, holds 51 percent of the shares in the Shwe Gas Consortium, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) of India 17 percent and the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), 8.5 percent.

16. This will be the third oil/gas pipeline being developed by China---the other two being the oil and gas pipelines from the Central Asian Republics the first stage of which was recently commissioned by President Hu Jintao and the proposed Sino-Russian oil pipeline. Pakistan is interested in making the Chinese agree to the construction of a gas pipeline from Gwadar to Xinjiang. Talks in this regard between the two countries are still in the preliminary stage. Bejing has so far not shown much enthusiasm for this project due to the deteriorating security situation in Balochistan.

17. The importance of maintaining peace and stability in the areas near the Sino-Myanmar border was repeatedly emphasized by the leaders of the two countries during their interactions. The junta sought to reassure the visiting Chinese leader of its sincerity and determination in this regard. Beijing’s suspicion that despite the repeatedly professed friendship of the junta for China, Myanmar Army units were complicit in the attacks on the Chinese in the Kokang area remains strong.

18. According to a statement posted on the web site of the Chinese Foreign Ministry on December 21,2009, Than Shwe assured Xi that Myanmar will work with China to preserve peace and stability in the border areas. He reportedly added that he understood that China and Myanmar shared a long border and maintaining peace and stability on the border was extremely important to both the countries.

19. China’s State-owned Xinhua news agency reported that Xi said China wanted stability on the Sino-Myanmar border. He reportedly said: “China believes the Myanmar side would settle the relevant problems through peaceful ways such as dialogues and consultation so as to guarantee the stability in its border area with China.”

20. The Xinhua reported that Than Shwe assured Xi that his Government would continue to work with Beijing to ensure peace and development in the border areas. It would demonstrate good neighborly friendship and cooperation, he said.

21. Interestingly, the Myanmar-Government owned “The New Light of Myanmar” remained silent on these exchanges between Than Shwe and Xi. It merely said that the two leaders exchanged views on “matters to which two neighboring countries should pay serious attention.”

22. The August attacks on the illegal Chinese traders in the Kokang capital Laogai were triggered off by the refusal of anti-junta Kokang ethnic groups such as the United Wa State Army to disband themselves and join a border force formed by the Myanmar Army unless some of their conditions regarding the command and control of the proposed border force were met. The Myanmar Army seems to have suspected that these groups were being instigated by the illegal Chinese settlers from Yunnan living in the Kokang area not to accept the order of the Army. These dissident groups continue to defy the Army which has given them time till December 31,2009, to disband themselves and join the border force of the Army. It is not clear whether Xi pressed Than Shwe to withdraw this order and, if so, whether Than Shwe agreed to it. If the junta insists on enforcing its order after January 1, one could expect more violence. The fact that the Chinese are going ahead with the construction of the pipelines without worrying about the disturbed situation in the Shan State gives rise to the suspicion that some kind of an assurance might have been conveyed to Xi in this regard by Than Shwe. A possible face-saving for both will be to keep the order in force, but not to enforce it.

23. Lt-Gen Ai Husheng of the Chinese Chengdu Military Region that oversees Sino-Myanmar border security paid a six-day visit to Myanmar from December 5 to 10,2009, and met, among others, Maj-Gen Kyaw Phyoe, of the Triangle Region Command, Lt-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, Commander of Shan and Kayah states, and Maj-Gen Aung Than Tut, of the Northeastern Region Command. (25-12-09)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai. He is also associated with the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: )

India outrage over girl molestation sentence

Ruchika was a budding tennis player

By Geeta Pandey
BBC News, Delhi

"DGP Rathore should be lynched, or simply, someone should pay off a criminal to take care of him." a comment in Youtube

Outrage is growing in India over a six-month jail sentence handed out to a former senior police officer convicted for molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Ruchika Girhotra complained in 1990 that she was assaulted by SPS Rathore.

After Mr Rathore used his influence to harass the Girhotra family, Ruchika committed suicide three years later.

Earlier this week, a court found Mr Rathore guilty, but Ruchika's family and activists say he has got away with a "very light punishment".

Mr Rathore sentenced in jail for six months and ordered to pay a fine of 1,000 rupees ($20).

Exclusive: Aradhana on Ruchika molestation case

National Commission of Women has finally decided to set up a panel to look into Ruchika molestation case verdict. This must be music to the ears of Aradhana and her family who have been fighting for justice. Even after DGP SPS Rathore has been found guilty, Aradhana says, the work is just half done. Here is Aradhana exclusively talking to NewsX.

Ruchika's father breaks silence

He is currently on bail and has said he would appeal against the order.

'Living in fear'

"This six-month punishment is not enough, it has hurt us, what kind of justice is this?" Ruchika's father Subhas Chander Girhotra asked reporters in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh on Thursday.

"We want exemplary punishment for him so that Indian children can be safe in future. My daughter is dead, but at least no other girl should meet the same fate," he said, sobbing.

"All these years, we have stayed underground due to harassment. We would got knocks in the middle of the night. He was the director general of police - who could we turn to for help?

"We are still living in fear."

Television footage, showing a laughing and unrepentant Mr Rathore following the court order, has angered many civil rights groups.

This six-month punishment is not enough, it has hurt us, what kind of justice is this?

Subhas Chander Girhotra
Campaigners say he should be tried for "abetment of suicide" which carries a much longer jail sentence.

Analysts say Ruchika's case is a classic example of misuse of official power by a police officer who used his influence and contacts to escape punishment for nearly two decades for his crime.

Ruchika was a budding tennis player when she was assaulted by Mr Rathore, a senior police officer and president of Haryana state Lawn Tennis Association.

After her family lodged a complaint with the Haryana chief minister, the state police chief RR Singh was asked to investigate the case.

In his report, Mr Singh said there was credible evidence in the allegations and ordered the police to file a case against Mr Rathore.

This was just the beginning of nightmares for Girhotra family as Mr Rathore used his influence to harass them.

She was thrown out of school for "late fee payment" and her 14-year-old brother Ashu was falsely charged with theft several times until the Punjab and Haryana high court intervened and ordered an end to his harassment.

Unable to deal with the trauma, Ruchika committed suicide in December 1993 and her family went into hiding.

In 1997, the case was handed over to the federal police, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which concluded Mr Rathore was guilty and formally pressed charges in court in 2000.

In the meantime, Mr Rathore was promoted to the head of Haryana police.

In a case that took 19 years to reach a conclusion, Ruchika's family and friends say they are disappointed by the verdict and will continue campaigning to get justice.

A candle-lit march will be held in Delhi on Thursday in a bid to mobilise support for their campaign.

Aradhana's father, Anand Prakash, says, "We will see to it that justice is done."

ABUSE OF POWER :What Ruchika said about her molester

NDTV Correspondent, Wednesday December 23, 2009, New Delhi

A top cop molesting a 14-year-old girl, the trauma driving her to commit suicide and the cop getting away with just 6 months in prison, and on top of that getting bail immediately, this verdict has shamed the nation. (Read and Watch: Senior cop molested teen who killed herself)Ruchika Girhotra's story has led to public outcry. NDTV now has a copy of the affidavit signed by Ruchika, in which she clearly says she was shocked and nervous with the behaviour of Mr Rathore, the former DGP of Haryana. (Watch: Ruchika's story on The Buck Stops Here)She was traumatised, confused and clueless about what to do after the incident and how she and her friend Aradhana were afraid of Mr Rathore because of his position. (Watch: Justice for Ruchika: Friends seek public support Read: Her best friend's crusade for justice I Watch: NDTV speaks to Aradhana)The CBI says Rathore could not be charged for abetment to suicide, as it would have been extremely difficult to prove in court. (Watch: How did such a police officer get promoted: Ambika Soni)In that statement to R R Singh, the then director General of Police Haryana, Ruchika writes: "When we reached the office, Mr Rathore was alone, standing outside. On seeing us he came into the office and also asked us to come inside. I requested him that he may listen outside the office but he kept on insisting and perforce we had to go inside.""As soon as Reemu (Aradhana) left the place, Rathore caught hold of my hand. I tried to get rid of Mr. Rathore by pushing him away. I was shocked and became nervous with the behaviour of Mr. Rathore." (Read: Age and lengthy trial helped Rathore) 'I tried to narrate the incidence as to how Mr. Rathore tried to molest me, but I broke down." (Watch: Verdict is a national shame: Arun Jaitley) "She(Aradhana) had also seen when Mr. Rathore was misbehaving with me. I was so nervous and afraid that I asked Reemu (Aradhana) as to what we should do now? Shall I inform my father about this incidence? Ultimately we decided Mr Rathore is IG Police and we were afraid of him as he may involve or harass us or our parents. Therefore we decided not to inform our parents or anybody else about this incidence".(Forum: Is six months enough for such a crime? Read surfer comments)