Tue, Apr 25, 2017 | updated 12:10 PM IST

Lt. Gen. Srinivas Kumar Sinha, a distinguished soldier-diplomat

Updated: Nov 18, 2016 17:35 IST      
Lt. Gen. Srinivas Kumar Sinha,  a distinguished soldier-diplomat
By I. Ramamohan Rao

New Delhi [India], Nov.18 (ANI): I had had the opportunity of personally knowing Lt. Gen Srinivas Kumar Sinha for over three decades before his passing on Thursday after a brief illness. He was General Officer Commanding of the Indian Army's Western Command, a prestigious appointment in the early eighties, and was transferred to Delhi as the Vice Chief of Army Staff, with the expectation that he would succeed General K. V. Krishna Rao as army chief. I was then serving as Director of Public Relations in the Ministry of Defence.

As Vice Chief of Army Staff, he was supposed to familiarise himself with the functions of the office of the army chief. It was a surprise when he was superceded and Lt. Gen. A. S. Vaidya, the GOC-in-C Eastern Command was appointed as Chief of Army Staff. Lt. Gen. Sinha submitted his resignation and elected to lead a retired life.

As spokesman for the Ministry of Defence and the armed forces I had called on him when the announcement was made. He asked me that there were requests from the media for meeting him. I sought an approval from the Defence Minister R. Venkataraman, who in fact had visited all the army commands, and sent his recommendations to the Prime Minister. I went along with a few media persons to Lt. Gen. Sinha, who displayed no bitterness and gave dignified answers to the questions raised by the media.

He must have felt then, where did I go wrong?

I did have the chance to meet him when he was appointed India's Ambassador to Nepal in 1990 by Prime Minister Chandrashekar. During his tenure in Nepal, democracy was restored in Nepal and India-Nepal relations steadily improved. It was said in Nepal: "General Sinha was as much India's Ambassador to Nepal as Nepal's Ambassador to India".

Later, he was appointed as the Governor of Assam in 1997. He was able to establish a smooth understanding between the state government and the security forces which had helped in containing the activities of militant organizations like the United Liberation Front of Assam. He ended the psychological alienation that had crept in between Assam and the rest of the country, and when he departed in 2003, insurgency was virtually over in the state. According to senior editor D. N. Bezbaruah, he was referred to as a true son of the soil of Assam."

When the post of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir fell vacant following the retirement of G. C. Saxena in 2003, he was seen as the natural choice. He made efforts to promote Kashmiriyat as an antidote to religious fundamentalism which was the root cause for militancy in the state. Among his other responsibilities, he was to oversee the activities of the Vaishno Devi Trust and the Amarnath Trust.

When Lt. Gen. Sinha assumed the govenorship of the state and the head of the Board of Trustees of the Amarnath Trust, he tried to ensure that the security forces were able to monitor the route and ensure the safety of the pilgrims. Next, he sought the assistance of the government in establishing prefabricated structures at camping grounds along the mountainous routes, which would provide shelter to the pilgrims.

The prefabricated structures were useful. Some of them were sent to shelter the victims of the October 2005 earthquake.

As the head of the Amarnath Trust, he wanted some permanent arrangements to be made and made a request for the transfer of 800 kanals of land to enable pilgrims to have restrooms, and have facilities of proper latrines instead of deep trench toilets, which had to be covered by mud after use by people, which emitted foul smell. He wanted to introduce a modern scientific system that would leave zero scope for pollution.

The transfer of 800 kanals was made just a few days before Lt.Gen. Sinha was to hand over office to his successor.

Lt. Gen. Sinha was all prepared to leave Jammu and Kashmir feeling that the hard work put in by him will be remembered by pilgrims to the Holy Amarnath Cave.

But the controversy over the transfer of ownership of 800 kanals of land continued and his last wish remained incomplete.

He was settled in New Delhi after his term as Governor and has been a prolific writer sharing his views about 1947-48 Kashmir operations, the Hyderabad operations and the efforts made by him to have a better salary structure for the defence forces with the people of the country . I have had the good fortune of interacting with him all these years.

Mr. I. Ramamohan Rao is a former Principal Information Officer, Government of India. He can be reached on his e-mail:raoramamohan@hotmail.com. (ANI)

New Delhi [India], Apr 25 (ANI): After Indresh Kumar claimed that Muslims do not want a mosque to be built at the disputed site in Ayodhya as they fear it will be "unholy" for them, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday said the senior Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS) functionary has done 'great service' by bringing the issue out.

Full Story >>

'Cowardly' Sukma attack exudes frustration of Maoists: Govt

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 11:56 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 25 (ANI): Condemning the gruesome ambush by the Maoists on CRPF men in Chhattisgarh's Sukma, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday dubbed the attack as cowardly and asserted that the unwarranted violence exuded the frustration of the ultras.

Full Story >>

Rajnath pays tribute to martyred CRPF jawans

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 11:38 IST     

Raipur (Chhattisgarh), [India] Apr 25 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh paid tribute to the CRPF personnel, who lost their lives in the Sukma attack, during their wreath laying ceremony here on Tuesday.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India] Apr 25 (ANI): Strongly condemning Chhattisgarh's Sukma attack that claimed the lives of 26 CRPF personnel, Vice President Hamid Ansari has said there is no justification for such heinous and reprehensible acts while demanding punishment for the perpetrators.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad (Telangana), [India] Apr 25 (ANI): In a brutal incident, a man hailing from Hyderabad succumbed to burn injuries in Saudi Arabia's Riyadh after being allegedly set blaze.

Full Story >>

New Delhi, [India] Apr 25, (ANI): Taking a dig at the Centre's claim of bringing 'Achhe Din', Congress leader Manish Tewari on Tuesday highlighted some of the burning issues that have created an atmosphere of turmoil in the nation during last few months.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], April 25 (ANI): After three days of continuous grilling, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader T.T.V. Dinakaran has finally accepted that he met Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the man alleged to be the middleman in his bribery dealing with the Election Commission of India (ECI).

Full Story >>

Digvijaya slams PM Modi over UID for cows

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 08:31 IST     

New Delhi [India], April 25 (ANI): Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issuance of Aadhar Card-like Unique Identification Number (UID) to cows and cattle in order to protect them and prevent their smuggling across the India-Banglad

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Apr 25 (ANI): In a disturbing revelation, world's heaviest woman Eman Ahmed's sister Saimma Selim has alleged that Dr. Muffazal Lakdawala, who has been treating the former, is not correct about his updates about Eman's health and recovery, adding that her sister has not recovered at all.

Full Story >>

Lucknow/Kolkata (Uttar Pradesh/West Bengal), Apr 25 (ANI): The Congress on Tuesday questioned Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti's decision of allying with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), if she was not happy in the first place with th

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], April 25 (ANI): In yet another shocking case of religious discrimination, an aged Muslim man was denied a seat in Delhi metro by a group of youth, who hurled slurs and abuses at him over his appearance.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], April 25 (ANI): Amid talks between the Centre and the state government over coming up with a solution to bring down the level of tensions in the Valley, defense experts have reckoned that Governor's rule must be imposed in Jammu Kashmir as the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti-led government had failed to provide leadership for various reasons.

Full Story >>

Stalin cleverly playing 'anti-Hindi' game in Tamil Nadu: BJP

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 06:42 IST     

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Apr 24 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday slammed Dravida Munnetra Kazhaghan (DMK) leader M.K. Stalin for accusing the Centre of imposing Hindi on citizens, saying that the latter is cleverly playing an 'anti-Hindi' game in Tamil Nadu politics to be relevant.

Full Story >>

No relief for Dinakaran as interrogation enters Day 4

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 06:40 IST     

New Delhi [India], Apr 25 (ANI): After an eight-hour long grilling of the ousted All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) leader T.T.V. Dinakaran by the Crime Branch office of the Delhi Police on Monday, his interrogation over the case involving bribing of an Election Commission official to get the party's 'two-leaves' symbol will continue today.

Full Story >>

'Power hungry' AIADMK least bothered with governance: DMK

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 06:39 IST     

Chennai (Tamil Nadu), April 25 (ANI): Slamming the state government for not focusing on serious issues like water scarcity in Tamil Nadu, the DMK party on Tuesday asserted that the AIADMK government's sole purpose is to remain in power.

Full Story >>

Jadavpur University centre of Naxal ideology: BJP

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 06:38 IST     

Siliguri (West Bengal) [India], April 25 (ANI): Condemning the deadly attack on CRPF personnel in Chhattisgarh's Sukma district, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday tore into the West Bengal Government for not taking a firm hand in the rampant 'Maoist activities' prevalent in the Jadavpur Univeristy.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Apr 25 (ANI): The opposition parties led by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhaghan (DMK) on Tuesday will be observing a state-wide shutdown in support of drought-hit farmers.

Full Story >>

London [U.K.], Apr. 25 (ANI): It is a well known fact that fishermen live an extremely dangerous life and that risking themselves on a daily basis is routine for them, which is why a collaborative project that grew out of a competition at the University of Sussex, has created a special initiative in order to safeguard the lives of these fishermen.

Full Story >>

Jharkhand: 5 dead, 20 injured in road accident in Latehar

Updated: Apr 25, 2017 03:55 IST     

Latehar (Jharkhand), April 25 (ANI): Five people were killed on the spot while twenty others were injured in a tragic road accident in Jharkhand's Latehar district on Monday night.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], April 25 (ANI): The police custody of Sukesh Chandrashekhar, the man alleged to be T.T.V Dinkaran's middleman ends on Tuesday, as he will be produced in the Tis Hazari court in the case involving bribing of an Election Commission official to get the party's 'two-leaves' symbol.

Full Story >>