“Pay and Resolve” says Supreme Court to Punjab Government

Sand Mining has been the center of focus ever since Capt. Amarinder Singh took charge as Chief Minister of Punjab. In connivance with mining officials, the old sand mafia has continued to excavate sand despite orders from Government and court. From maligning of his minister to being dragged to court over cancellation of mines and then stay over High Court’s order in Supreme Court, the old mining mafia has been his largest pain point.

Wiring High Court’s orders, the Supreme Court rejected the petition of ex-miners and instructs them to surrender the mines. The order instructs Punjab Government to resolve the conflict by paying off the advance profit for the balance term.

While this order solves the long-drawn controversy of ownership of the sand mines, the advance profit will further hit Government of Punjab’s already shallow pocket. This profit to be paid for the balance term of contract will be calculated by multiplying the quantity of balance extractable minor mineral by bid price and subtracting the expenses from it.

What if the quantity of extractable mineral for the total term has already been illegally extracted? May be a lot more, say our sources.

Reference : Supreme Court Order dt 07.05.18

Saffron Terror : Why was this term coined ?

Its evident that intellectual terrorist think tank coined the term saffron terror. It has been used frequently by paid media and politicians, specially by the Congress party leaders. We will come to why in sometime. But the rage that erupted against recent fake rape case, due to media hints towards a bigger danger in front of us.

After publishing article on why kathua rape case was yet another attempt to malign and divide hindu votes of ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), we received multiple responses that the photos of Istanbul Airport were fake and photoshopped. We welcome views of each reader, but after thorough discussion we have decided not to remove them from the article. We can not ignore the speed at which these images along with the paintings demeaning the trident and hindu gods, sprouted on the social media. The media was abuzz in hours, with celebrities holding placards of being ashamed to candle light photo ops. By mocking sensitive Beti Bachao campaign, they aren’t just targeting BJP, they are defaming India on global stage. Gone were the days when ruling party and opposition would stand together, when it comes to nation’s pride.

While every religion has its own practices and rituals, we believe one should never challenge anyone’s belief. Not even that of an athiest. The hindu rituals like pouring milk on shivaling and festivals like holi, deepawali and janamasthami are being targeted by missionary media, who chooses to ignore similar wastages and brutal atrocities towards animals in other religions. The freedom of speech is being misused. The law against fake news was not implementable in its state, and that is why BJP leadership pulled it back. We hope to see it in effect soon, to control the menace of media in India.

BTW not many religions would allow such jokes, leave aside derogatory comments about their beliefs. Its punishable under blasphemy (ish ninda) in almost all countries. The hindu tolerance is being tested when a reporter claims to feel threatened by saffron stickers of hanuman behind cars. Or when paid pro-reservation protesters spit at and burn images of gods. Ever wondered why its done ? The answer is simple, because hindus let them. Hinduism is a global symbol of peace and tolerance, and this unity is their real target.

Coming back to Saffron Terror, though its not a new term but it’s being used by liberals very often these days. Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Yuva Vahini and many other right wing groups existed earlier, but are growing in strength under the BJP rule. The recent get together of 3 lakh people (shakti ankalan) of RSS in Meerut shows just a tip of their prowess. These groups serve as the backbone of BJP’s political existence, and the reason of unpresedented success in 2014 elections. Defamation of these saffron wings, helps the opposition to team up against Narendra Modi’s popularity.

Social media is flooded by liberals, fake seculars and intellectual icons paid to spread rumors, fake images and make divisive comments. While newspapers, TV channels and magazines may be controlled by missionary mafis, the social media still remains open for everyone. We call all nationalist forces to not only remain united but be engaged, as such incidents to divide sects within hindus and malign their ideologies is not going to cease anytime soon. Not until 2019 elections, for sure.

#JusticeForAsifa – An attempt to malign and divide hindus

I keep distance from those who spread #IntellectualTerrorism only when hindu beliefs, godmen and temples are involved. But somehow this time many new folks joined sponsored signboard and biased NGO (change.org) gang. Don’t blame yourselves as you were just strategically blinded. There is no revolution forecast here, no awakening. 
 
Get ready for crime branch report that culprit was writing exam in UP and wasn’t in Kashmir. And there is no cellar under the said temple. While your thoughts were honest for Asifa, the celebs who held #JusticeForAsifa placards are seen partying the next day. That juvenile is roaming freely after being awarded a sewing machine for what he did to Nirbhaya. Wolves have tasted blood and will attempt to create communal rifts, even if it defames India at global stage
 
Conclusion : After muslims and dalits, this time women are targeted and then shown being harassed to create hatred. Go back to sleep, politicians or paid media will let you know when next to wake up. India is going through a tolerance test of communal harmony,  but still remains one of the best countries to live in. 
#StayUnited #SpeakUp #JusticeForAsifaAndOthers 

#PunjabMiningRow : Multi-political party backed Sand Mafia

War against sand mafia was one of the key campaign issues during the Punjab Assembly polls. From liquor to stone crushing, mafia cartelization has long root in sand, boulder mining in Punjab. The huge amount received by government through forward bidding indicates how the sand mafia was causing huge losses to the state coffers. The recent order of Honorable High court cancelling 83 mines on the basis of “Reverse Bidding” opens a Pandora box where its apparent that Sand mafia is operative in the state for last two decades and plundered thousand of crores of public exchequers money.

Royalty Theft an unwritten rule – Governed the Punjab

Monopolies flourish in Punjab as party leaders run the state like a “private limited company”. Roots of mafia and cartelization  originate from the system in the past which was managed and manipulated to favour some special groups. These groups penetrate any ruling party through money. Their modus operandi is to grease the palms of all concerned in such a manner that their hold on sand cartelization remains intact and they keep looting the general public and state exchequers simultaneously. According to a 2012 petition filed by lawyer Gurbir Singh Pannu, in Roop Nagar district the total quantity permitted to be taken out in three years was 159,000 tons. There are about 400 crushers in the Roper district and this much quantity of stones will last barely three days.

Reverse bidding – practically no bidding, Just a draw 

Its commented in the High Court order that to control the pit head price the past  government adopted the process of auction through  reverse bidding.  In auction by reverse bidding the state pre-determines various components, which the bidder will pay such as royalty , compensation to land owners, environment clearance expense, weigh bridge expanse etc. The profit of the bidder is also fixed and added to the component. This tool of tie was being used by putting same bid to ensure the draw.

Who controlled the Reverse bidding and How

The sand syndicate consists of

  1. Kuldeep Makkar
  2. Sahibjit Sandhu ( Sambhdhi of Kuldeep Makkar)
  3. Amrik Singh Dhillon
  4. Sukhpal Bhullar-Mohan Pal Pannu ( Brother In law)
  5. Fringe players ( Approved by above four)

Its inconsequential which party is in power, as the cartel governs this trade. With support from some senior civil/police officials, they are having free run starting from allotments to postings of mine officials. All these illegal operations have forced an increase in price of sand in last one decade. The members inter-party allegiance has provided them contacts and easy access in all relevant political parties of the state. Their cog of wheels is so entrenched in mining department that policies are made to suit these players and help them.

How cartelization and bid rigging was done 

Government of Punjab placed 35 rivers for  public auction on 19.12. 2016 in  Ferozpur district and about 625 bids were received which are equal to Government declared Pit head price.  Most interesting thing is that for these 625 bids only 20 IP addresses were used. And out of these 20 , 5 IP addresses logged upto 488 bids.  173 bids were logged in through  same IP of 122.173.165.196 and  193 were logged in through  IP 122.173.237.131.

No draw it was rigging  (same IP and interrelated parties)

There were 12 bidder who placed bids equal to Government declared pit mouth price for Bhawda Azamshah-2 , Hadbast no 222 quarry. Out of 12 bidders, 9 bidder logged in from 122.173.165.196  IP address and 3 from  103.241.242.187 IP address. Hence it was a draw among two group only rather than 12 parties, obvious winner is from 122.173.165.196  IP address.

There were 34 bidders who placed bids equal to Government declared pit mouth price for Ththa, Hadbast no 24 quarry. Out of 34  bidders , 16  bidders logged in from 122.173.165.196  IP address and 18  from 122.173.237.131 IP address. Hence it was a draw among  two group only rather than 34 parties, obvious winner is from 122.173.237.131 IP address.

There were 13  bidders who placed bids equal to Government declared pit mouth price for  Dhandian-2 , Hadbast no 145. Out of 13 bidders , 7  bidders logged in from 122.173.165.196  IP address and 6 from 122.173.237.131 IP address. Hence it was a draw among  two groups only rather than 13 parties , Winner is from  122.173.237.131  IP address.

There were 15  bidders who placed bids equal to Government declared pit mouth price for  Chugetwala , Hadbast no 139 quarry . Out of 15 bidders , 7 bidders logged in from 122.173.165.196  IP address, 6 from 122.173.167.251 IP address and 2 from 27.255.223.64. Hence it draw among three groups and not among 15 parties. Winner is from  122.173.167.251 IP address.

There were 8  bidders who placed bids equal to Government declared pit mouth price for  Masteke, Hadbast no 36 quarry. Out of 8  bidders , 4  logged in from 122.173.165. 196   IP address and 3 from 122.173.167.251 IP address. Hence it draw among 3 group and not 8  parties.  Winner is from 122.173.165.196  IP address

There were 17  bidders who has placed bids equal  to Government declared pit mouth price for  Burrewala,  Hadbast no 04 quarry. Out of 17  bidders , 5   bidders logged in from 122.173.165.196  IP address and 5  from  122.173.237.131 .  Winner is from 122.173.165.196  IP address

It  is conclusive that it was only four groups which were playing all this game of draws by cartelizing. Bidding from same IP address and related companies, is a direct indication of cartelization and bid rigging.  State Government must accept the role of this mafia, incidentally it doesn’t even require hi-tech abilities like tweeting an aerial view from chopper.

Mining mafia exposed as court cancels 83 sand mines in Punjab

Last week, Litmus News highlighted how sand mines were allotted to mafia at rock bottom prices through reverse bidding by earlier Punjab Govt. We exposed how illegal mining and collection of Goonda Tax was still going on, citing the stay order from the Hon’ble High Court. On 12th January, the court gave relief to the ruling Punjab Govt. by dismissing the appeal of sand mafia and cancelling 83 mines. Further, in its order the court took the reply of State Government into consideration,  – that the action of cancelling these mines has been taken to curb the menace of illegal mining, rationalisation of supply and prices and maximisation of State revenue.

The newly adopted progressive auction of 53 mines fetched an estimated revenue of Rs. 1,000 Crores to the present Government, whereas hundreds of old sand mining contracts were allotted to the cartel of contractors headed by mafia at an approximate average of just Rs. 40 Crores per year during the last 10 years. Adding up, the revenue loss to the state in last 10 years was more than 10,000 crores.

Our investigations reveal that the mafia is headed by Kuldeep Makkar, Mohan Pal Singh Pannu, Sahibjit Singh Sandhu, Sukhpal Bhullar (Congress MLA) and Kanwaljit Singh Dhillon (son of Amrik Singh Congress MLA).  It would be interesting to note that Sahibjit Singh Sandhu’s daughter is married to Kuldeep Singh Makkar’s son. By creating cartel of all sand mining contractors, during last 10 years they controlled the sand business in Punjab.

In the ‘reverse bidding method’ cartelization was highly probable due to low cost of auction. In coming times, the cartelization would be reduced if not completely eradicated, because a contractor has to pay 25% of the annual contract amount as security deposit plus the contract money for first quarter of the ensuing year in advance. It would, therefore, be difficult to obtain contracts of large number of mines owing to the cost factor.

To regain their stronghold, the mafia is discouraging the new bidders/entrants in sand mining business in Punjab. They have financed and supported campaigns to stop the new entrants in this business. The mafia would want these mines to be re-auctioned quickly, so that with connivance of mining officials their monopoly could be retained. The new entrants are afraid of this cartel and may not like to participate in the auction if these mines are put to auction in the immediate near future.

Sand Mafia continues to excavate illegally and collect Goonda Tax in Punjab

The sand mafia during the SAD (Akali) regime had bagged sand mines at nominal prices/reserve prices through reverse bidding mechanism. When the Congress Govt took charge, they changed the bidding method to progressive/forward bidding and the Punjab Govt successfully managed to get mammoth revenue which was more than 100 times of the revenue earned during Akali regime from the auction of these sand mines. Although, despite fresh allocation of mines to new bidders, the mafia continues sand excavation illegally across Punjab.

The new bidders brought this to the notice of Punjab Govt. since they had paid crores of rupees to bag the mines in Govt. auctions. When good sense prevailed on the Congress Govt, they decided to cancel these old auctioned mines given at throw away prices to the sand mafia.

The issue didn’t get fixed there, as the mafia approached the High Court to obtain interim stay against the Punjab Govt’s decision. After getting this stay, they left no stone unturned to delay the matter. Finally, all hearings were concluded in last half of December, 2017 before the Division Bench of the Hon’ble Punjab & Haryana High Court, who had reserved the order on completion of arguments of both sides.

As the decision is reserved with the court, the sand mafia is enjoying the interim stay and are still excavating sand at a very large scale. They also openly collect crores of rupees daily as ‘Goonda Tax’ from crushers and trucks entering from other states. This practice of illegal ‘Goonda Tax’ started in the previous Akali regime. This ‘Goonda Tax’ is still being collected by the sand mafia and it runs into crores of rupees daily. This huge money power goes into shield their misdeeds and corrupt practices. Officials from district or state administration seem helpless, as this mafia is strong financially as well as politically.

Despite fresh bidding from Govt, eventually there is no respite to the end user who still continues to pay exorbitant prices for sand and gravel. Also, the state exchequer is suffering an annual loss of over Rs. 1,000 Crores due to this mafia and their ‘Goonda Tax’.

While Litmus News is further investigating on the matter and intends to expose the names of the mafia and their political connections, authorities must take action to immediately stop these losses.

A JOURNEY OF BJP FROM ABKI BAAR MODI SARKAAR TO HAR BAAR MODI SARKAAR

We the members of LITMUS NEWS would like to congratulate the entire clan of the Modi sarkaar for its upcoming glorious victory. Time and again BJP has proved that the Modi sarkaar campaign has been strong enough to achieve repeated victory. Yet again, strong inputs are coming that BJP has so far performed well in elections in all important 5 state elections in UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Punjab. A clear majority NDA government is expected from all states, except maybe Goa.

BJP is using complex social listening tools that can clearly state the mood in the region. Social Media team of BJP is busy consistently sharing the mood of the voters to its top brass. As per their indications, recap of Haryana and Maharashtra results is expected. Modi used Twitter to share and express his happiness, he tweeted: “Historic results! A matter of immense happiness & pride for BJP. I salute our Karyakartas for their tireless efforts.” Next tweet: “Thanks to the people of Haryana for giving us the opportunity to fulfil their dreams & to take Haryana’s development journey to new heights.” Third tweet: “My gratitude to the people of Maharashtra. We are committed to Maharashtra’s progress & creating a Maharashtra the world will be proud of.” Sources state, that such tweets are expected from the Prime Minister soon after election results.

He has secured respect and love from the Indians with his bold actions on corruption and national security. Digital India, Startup India, Sukanya Yojna, PMKVY, Jan Awas Yojna and the list of yojnas goes on and on. The factor that matters the most is that its just been three years since he has taken over the prime spot in national politics. Brand Modi is big enough for the party to sail through these coming elections.

Keep tuned for more updates, as we get better insights as we head closer to the results !!