Tuesday, 31 May 2016

WhatsApp Controversy In The Jat Heartland

WhatsApp Controversy In The Jat Heartland

I was amused to read a ‘breaking News’ item in a particular newspaper today, taunting Y.P. Shinghal, who was the Director General of Police, Haryana, till some time back and during whose tenure the ‘Jat Agitation’ had unleashed Haryana some months back. It appears that both the DGP and the Home Secretary had used WhatsApp messaging device to communicate with some, or may be more, of their junior colleagues who were perhaps ‘halfheartedly and dejectedly’ trying to control a ‘burning Haryana’.

Though, for some time now, I myself have been using this messaging device, but for the first time today I Googled this word WhatsApp. There it was defined as ‘a proprietary cross-platform, encrypted, instant messaging device for smart phones, using Internet to send text messages, documents, images, video, user location and audio messages using standard cellular mobile numbers. and this short and precise description did floor me. Being a former intelligence / police officer, i can appreciate the ground level requirements while dealing with a 'situation', more particularly a situation where exact and precise instructions are required by the 'field operatives'.

In older times, this work was done by ‘harkaras’. They delivered written message either running on their feet or used animal like horses and camels etc, depending upon the locale to deliver written sealed message which were hidden in their clothing or bag or whatever. Messages were also sent through pigeons, in the ‘kabootar, udd ja’ style. Then came in the wireless and telephone devices followed by tele-printers and faxes and scanners and the technology has continued to evolve. The purpose of all these ways and means and gadgets is just to ensure communication of cryptic, clear and precise information and / or orders without any ambiguity.

In a law and order situation where modes of communication, unfortunately often break down or where their efficiency and efficacy neither does nor remain trustworthy, use of nontraditional modes of communication to send precise orders is most welcome. In fact I appreciate the ingenuity of these men in question, the then DGP and the Home Secretary. In any law and order situation of this kind, there is always shortage of man power because each and every available individual, sometimes even cooks and class four employees of the police set up are made to don (a wrong practice though because such personnel are not trained and they can create havoc instead of controlling the situation) the uniform, given a ‘lathi’ and deputed on ground. Such situations also see shortage of vehicles and man power to communicate the messages received on T.P. links, FAX and other devices which are normally available in a police establishment. Because of ‘semi literate’ personnel who are normally put on the Morse Key, wireless communication has practically out lived its utility. Police forces in the states do not normally have latest technical gadgets like satellite phones etc. It indeed, is a serious reflection on the so-called ‘Modernization Plan of the Police Services’, which has been going on for decades now at the levels both of the central and state governments. Anyway let’s forget about stigmatizing the governments and confine ourselves to the ground level realities. In the absence of the required high tech equipment which is able to deliver written instructions / orders directly to the concerned men on ground, without any delay; instructions relayed through the word of mouth can often be unclear and can be misconstrued rightly or wrongly, depending upon the ‘convenience’ of parties at either end.

Yes, WhatsApp messaging device is safely encrypted. But it can be saved either by the sender or receiver and may be produced if required. These messages are clear, concise, in black and white and to my mind if the then DGP and the Home Secretary used this way of communication in that crisis situation; I can only admire their ingenuity, vision and clever use of available technology; more so a technology which was accessible to their own fingers.

My regards and hats off to them.  



As an ex Intelligence / Police officer, I am not unduly worried on the eve of the 32nd anniversary of the Operation Blue Star. I was in service in 1984 and had joined the Intelligence Bureau of the Government of India as a very junior officer. Though the operation was being planned and coordinated at the highest possible level but bits of information did percolate down, particularly to the Control Room where I had to visit off and on because of official reasons. Control Rooms are the hub and nerve center of any setup and information, though often half baked and ill conceived, floats around adding to the general excitement which is often there, particularly in a crisis situation. And the Control Rooms of such supposedly top secret organisations always keep humming with excitement with one set of information or other pouring in continuously.

In 1984, when Punjab crisis was reaching one of its peaks, particularly in the aftermath of the killing of DIG Atwal in Amritsar, I was worried like hell on three counts, being a Punjabi, being a nationalist and belonging to Punjab cadre of the IPS. It was the commencement of turbulence. Now after 32 years, I am again worried like hell. I fear commencement of another period of turbulence. That period was primarily an offshoot of political ‘misadventures’ and I foresee turbulence again on account of certain political ‘misadventurism’.

Operation Blue Star had blatantly outraged sentiments not only of Sikhs but even of non Sikhs, including Hindus, as well because Darbar Sahib is equally revered by all. Recent trends in Punjab, have again been leading to resentment among a substantial section of population, particularly the predominant Sikh population.

Religious institutions have generally been the pivot around which Sikh politics revolves. Darbar sahib and Shri Akal Takhat Sahib are the supreme institutions. The struggle to 'free' them started in 1920s. It saw the birth of Babbar Akali movement and culminated in the passage of the 1925 Act. A substantial section of Sikhs both in India and broad feel that once again these institutions are being ‘grabbed’ by a section of politicians for their own selfish political ends.

This grouse started with allegations of a ‘systematic’ erosion of the authority of the Jathedar of Shri Akal Takhat Sahib and alleged ‘capturing’ of SGPC at the instance of some political circles. Allegations about the misuse of some ‘gurudwara golaks’ as also about the moral degradation and perversion of some SGPC members only aggravated their woe and anguish.

Disfranchising of Sehajdharies, howsoever justified it may be, has only led to resentment in a section of populace. Traditionally substantial number of both Sehajdharies and Amritdharies have common lineage.  Several children of Punjabi families chose to grow hair and don the turban while some of them just chose to keep living their lives as per the Sikh religious tenets and having faith in Ten Gurus and in Shri Guru Granth Sahib. Segregation of Sehajdharies from Amritdharies led to resentment in all such families as also families of such Sikhs some of whose children had become ‘patit’, that is they chose to cut their hairs and abandon some of the holy ‘Ks.’ Though this division is seen by some as an attempt on part of some political interests to ensure their supremacy in the SGPC, which is considered as the ‘religious parliament of the Sikhs, but it is also said to have eroded social fabric of Sikh community. Some aggrieved Sehajdharies consider it as their ‘excommunication’ from the religion. Anyhow, it has led to a ‘schism’ within the Sikh society.

Viewed in this background, coupled with off and on reports about the arrests of potential militants, their movement and the continued known resolve of the Pakistan’s nefarious ISI, the situation is indeed worrisome. Those who recall pre and post 1984 situation are well aware that the militant phase of Punjab had two sets of ‘forces’ working on ground. One was the section which thought that they were fighting for an ideological cause; right or wrong, for I am no one to sit on judgement. The second section and which incidentally was more predominant and active; primarily consisted of criminals anti social elements, working either independently to stack in cash or working for certain political parties / organisations to add on to the general mayhem. This latter section also consisted of individuals working for certain influential officials as ‘Cats’ and bringing in both 'cash and laurels' to their employers.

And this latter category is once again hyper active in Punjab at the instance of the antisocial segment of the Punjabi polity and officialdom. These criminals, who are called gangsters in today’s parlance, own their allegiance no one but this anti social segment of Punjab’s polity and officialdom.

May god save Punjab...

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

My affidavit filed in Punjab & Haryana High Court today, May 4, in the Drug related case. Notice issued to Punjab and Union Government



                                                            CM No. ______________________ Of 2016
CWP NO. 20359 of 2013(O&M)

Court on its Own Motion                             
 State of Punjab and others

            Affidavit of Shashi Kant, IPS (Retd.), a former Director General of Police, Punjab, Resident of #1258, Sector 18-C, Chandigarh

I, the above named deponent do hereby solemnly affirm and declare as under:



1.     That this Hon’ble Court had, very kindly, Suo Motu admitted this CWP No 20359 of 2013 (O&M) on the basis of my very broad spectrum letter petition concerning the glut of drugs in Punjab and resultant ‘genocide’ of people at the behest of highly placed drug lords and drug barons living on the very soil of Punjab, a number of which are known to be highly placed politicians, with active and willful connivance of a number of personnel belonging to security forces including Punjab Police and BSF etc.
2.     That though UT Chandigarh and Haryana, over a period of time became serious competitors in the matter of drug consumption, but they are lucky enough to be second and third in this sinister race (some areas like Gurgaon and Faridabad; in that order; which fall on the periphery of Delhi, are however as much, if not more inundated like Punjab. Gurgaon tops the list). We are thankful to this Honorable Court for taking this important issue which can save people of Punjab.  The steps taken till now, however, fall under the category of ‘long term’ remedies. The most important of the immediate and foremost steps, that is cutting the chain of supply, has however not been addressed to in its entirety.


1-    In context of Punjab, the situation continues getting more and more out of control with not only new addicts joining but the chain of suppliers also getting swollen. In this context suppliers mean second, third and still downwards rung of suppliers and pushers. Immediate need is to cut off the chain of supply of drugs which has remained intact. As per my information as an antidrug activist, major drug lords in Punjab remain the same as they were in 2007.I have filed innumerable affidavits seeking permission to disclose those names which appeared in the list of drug dons prepared by the intelligence wing of the Punjab police under myown orders way back in2007 when I was posted as the Additional Director General of Police, Intelligence. The state government has unfortunately been making divergent statements in this regard, the last being an outright denial by them about the very existence of this report. It is only a clever move by the Punjab government which knows that even if a copy of this reports exists anywhere, that can’t be made public because if it being a ‘Top Secret’ document and coming under the preview of the Official Secrets Act.

2.     These drug dons, most of whom are known political figures still control the smuggling operations, though now in a more discreet way. Drug trade and political patronage there to is only going to further increase in view of impending Punjab Assembly Elections scheduled for early 2017. This Hon’ble Court may like to peruse the enclosed report of the then Chief Election Commissioner Mr. Qureshi which was highlighted in the press and a copy of which is enclosed at Annexure-A. It indicates that drugs and drug money remains a major factor in the Punjab elections. Punjab government only remains a major conspirator and abettor on account of its willful failure to break this cartel. Situation is akin to the one prevailing in South America. More and more police officials are also known to be working as promoters of the drugs. Politicians and police nexus with drug smugglers is true not only in case of Punjab but of Haryana and UT Chandigarh as well besides elsewhere in the entire country as also the world at large.

3.     That Punjab government remains a will full partner and abettor is clear from that fact that till now, at least since September 2013, when this Hon’ble Court had taken suo-motu notice of my letter petition, none of the powerful drug lords have been arrested till now. As and when this Hon’ble Court seeks an explanation, the Punjab government goes into a fit and in a rush, arrests thousand of persons, innocents as also petty end users / peddlers, submits figures in the Court and then goes off into the sleep mode. With due regards for the office of the Chief Minister, I hold him responsible for this state of affairs and for thousands of deaths on account of drugs. He is the captain of the ship and should not hesitate to accept his ultimate responsibility. He takes laurels for whatever success and shirks when it comes to accepting responsibility. He needs to be made a party to this petition.

4.     Had he been serious, he would at least have ordered, in the first place, a special time bound survey of drug addiction, prevalence and availability like he orders special girdawries in case of a natural calamity. Secondly he would have ordered a total crack down on the drug barons and lord, about whom even kids of Punjab know. Only the Punjab government and Punjab police are mercifully unaware of their identity because they are sharing the drug money. I request this Hon’ble Court to hold the Punjab government guilty, vicariously or otherwise for at least willful negligence of duty which has led to the death of thousand of youth in Punjab on account of drugs. The victims of the drug abuse also need to be compensated adequately because it is only on account of its casual attitude and complicity that thousands of them lost their lives to drugs and almost an entire generation has been wiped out. I once again also request this Hon’ble Court to please permit me to bring to its notice names of more notorious of drug lords and barons of Punjab as also major beneficiaries of drug money. As a responsible police officer I had been bringing these names and facts to the notice of the Punjab Chief Minister. I can either submit the names, as per my memory, eitjer in the form of a list or even take the names in the open court.I wish to assist this court only in the interest of justice and for a just social cause even at the cost of my life.
5.     I wish to bring it to the notice of this Honorable Court that I have no ill will against the Punjab government to whom I have served for decades. For anti drug work, I have been offering my service to it since 2007 and my offer still remains open, if the same is done under the supervision, this Honorable court because I just do not have any faith in the Punjab government which is run by politicians, by the politicians and for the politicians.

6.     I also request this Honorable Court to please direct the Election Commission of India to ensure that drugs and drug money do not play any role in the forthcoming Assembly Elections due in Punjab in 2017. I had made this submission in this Hon’ble Court way back in 2014 as well and the then Hon’ble Mr. Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court had directed me to approach the Election Commission of India. I carried out the orders and the E.C.I. had been candid enough to admit the massive role of drugs and drug money in Punjab’s electoral politics. I had submitted details of this meeting to this Hon’ble Court and they must be a part of record. But since my plea with the Election Commission had not helped on ground in 2014, I hereby again approach this Hon’ble Court to issue appropriate instructions to the Election Commission, more so on account of the damaging report of the ECE, which had appeared in the press. Ideally one of the most important instructions could be posting of renowned intellectuals, journalists, NGO people and such other individuals of repute who may not succumb to the pressures and lures of the field officials and politicians of Punjab. I have long enough been the part of the government machinery to know how these election observers are lured and how a woefully large number of such officials fall prey to the dangling bate.

7.     It is also humbly brought to the the notice of this Honorable court that the drug issue is eating into the very vitals of the entire country and the Indian society and drugs are prevalent everywhere. I am literally a lone ranger in this matter fighting the matter at the cost of the security of my own self as also of my family and I do not have required resources and capacity to fight with the drug lords except by approaching this Hon’ble Court. In the name of justice, I beseech this Hon’ble Court to please refer the matter to the Supreme Court pertaining to drug menance in the entire nation so that the Pan India situation could be addressed to uniformly. This Hon’ble Court is requested to please continue looking into the issues pertaining to Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, most importantly Punjab, one of the major gate ways of drugs into the rest of the country.

8.     My last prayer to this Hon’ble Court will be to take a note that if either I or my family is harassed or harmed in any way, the Punjab government and top brass of the Punjab police shall be personally responsible there for. There is hardly any place or space here to indicate the harassing and intimidating tactics which continue to be employed against me by such persons in power and position. With due apologies and with utmost humility, I may please be permitted to bring the attention of this Hon’ble Court to the recent statement of the Honorable Mr. Chief Justice of India about the way certain governments behave to twist the arm and I am the smallest possible fly in this small state of Punjab. 
Respectfully submitted please

Place: - Chandigarh                                                                                 Deponent

Dated:- 4/5/2016                                                           Shashi Kant I.P.S. (Retd.)


Verified that above contents from para 1-7 are true and correct to my knowledge and information

Place: - Chandigarh                                                                                 Deponent

Dated:- 4/5/2016                                                           Shashi Kant I.P.S. (Retd.)