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8 days on, anti-Kudankulam activists call off hunger strike

, by indianmilitaryveterans

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: March 27, 2012 19:36 IST

Kudankulam, Tamil Nadu: S P Udhayakumar spearheading the anti-Kundankulam nuclear plant agitation has withdrawn his hunger strike. 14 others also have called off their strike.

As a result of this, regulatory orders in areas adjoining Kudankulam have been lifted. For now prohibitory orders will only continue at the Kudankulam.

The decision to lift the orders was taken after police and collector held talks with villagers who were assured that their demands would be considered.

15 people led by the People's Movement Against Nuclear Energy (PMNE) were on fast unto death demanding release of arrested villagers and withdrawal of cases against them.

Around 200 people have been arrested and cases filed against at least a thousand more since March 19 when the Tamil Nadu government gave its go ahead for the operation of the plant.

Mr Udhayakumar had on Monday said that he was ready for talks with the government provided cases against PMNE members were dropped.

The condition of five people including Mr Udhayakumar has worsened and doctors had advised shifting them to a hospital, officials said on Tuesday

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CBI to ask Army chief for formal complaint, Antony says VK Singh didn't want to pursue bribe matter

, by indianmilitaryveterans

NEW DELHI: The Central Bureau of Investigation is likely to ask Army chief Gen V K Singh for a formal complaint in connection with his allegation that he was offered a bribe of Rs 14 crore to clear a "sub-standard" defence deal.

According to agency sources, any action will be taken only after getting a formal complaint from Gen Singh. The CBI has asked the army chief to submit details about the date of meeting with the lobbyist and possible witness list along with the complaint, they added.

"Before a formal complaint is received from Singh, no case will be registered. As soon as we get a formal complaint, FIR will be registered in the case," said a CBI official.

The official informed that CBI has received a reference from the defence ministry to probe the matter and it has been processed according to the laid down procedure.

The army chief had claimed that an equipment lobbyist had offered him a bribe of Rs.14 crore in order to have a tranche of 600 sub-standard vehicles of a particular make cleared for purchase, a matter which he had reported to defence minister AK Antony.

Army chief didn't want to pursue bribe matter: Antony

Defence Minister AK Antony admitted on Tuesday that army chief Gen VK Singh informed him about Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh offering a bribe of Rs 14 crore but didn't want to pursue the matter.

Antony told Parliament he would investigate the army chief's allegations and was ready to cancel any contract if there was corruption. The minister on Monday ordered a CBI inquiry into the allegations.

"He (army chief) told me Lt Gen Tejinder Singh offered him bribe but he told me he did not want to pursue it. No written complaint was given. Till today I have not received any written complaint from him and after yesterday's (Monday) report, I have ordered a CBI inquiry," Antony told parliament.

The minister said he started his political career in 1958 as a student union leader and had fought corruption all through his life.

"From day one as defence minister I have cleared my position that I am for modernisation of forces but will not tolerate corruption. I have nothing to hide and will say nothing but the truth," he said.

Antony assured the house that he would go to any extent to probe the army chief's allegation.

"Will take action, nobody will be spared. Will cancel all contracts if any corruption was found. If I am wrong, punish me. But I have done my best," he said.

The army chief has disclosed that he was offered a kickback of Rs.14 crore in his office by a retired defence officer, sending shockwaves through the defence establishment.

He said he had informed Antony immediately about the conversation.

Antony also promised to streamline the defence procurement process. "We are also discussing how to tighten the system and improve the procurement process," said Antony.

Antony's remarks come a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party said the minister's indecisiveness could be one of the reasons why the army chief spoke to the media.

BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and SS Ahluwalia said in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday that they had no doubt about the minister's honesty, but asked him to clarify why such a charge was being levelled after over a year and why no action was taken.

"Over the last few months, the facts that are tumbling out make the situation curiouser and curiouser. There is civilian control over the armed forces, and such confrontations need to be avoided," said Jaitley.

The BJP leader said Antony should have made a distinction between "substantiated charge" and "baseless charge" and should have got the matter investigated.

"...putting blinkers on and not getting the charge inquired at all means that we are learning to live with corruption," Jaitley said.

"We are completely with you in curbing corruption in the defence forces," Jaitley told Antony.

"But please maintain a judicious balance between curbing corruption and act on defence preparedness and modernisation of defence forces."

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Release of additional instalment of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief

, by indianmilitaryveterans

Release of additional instalment of Dearness Allowance and Dearness Relief
The Union Cabinet today gave its approval to release an additional instalment of Dearness Allowance (DA) to central government employees and Dearness Relief (DR) to pensioners w.e.f. 1.1.2012 representing an increase of 7% over the existing rate of 58% of the Basic Pay/Pension, to compensate for price rise. The increase is in accordance with the accepted formula, which is based on the recommendations of the 6th Central Pay Commission. The combined impact on the exchequer on account of both dearness allowance and dearness relief would be of the order of Rs.7474.53 crore per annum and Rs.8720.32 crore in the financial year 2012-13 (i.e. for a period of 14 months from January, 2012 to February, 2013).

***
SH/SK
(Release ID :81556)
PIB : Release of DA 7% to Central Govt Employees

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