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Wednesday, 14 May 2008

From Today's Papers - 14 May

















Woman to head missile project for the first time

New Delhi, May 13
After rising to the ranks of Lt-General in the Army and Air Marshal in the IAF, a woman is now set to head the country's key missile project.

Fortyfive-year-old Dr Tessy Thomas, one of the around 200 women scientists and technicians working for the DRDO, has been cleared to be appointed to the post of project director of the upgraded version of the 2000- km-long nuclear capable Agni-II missile.Thomas is presently the associate project director of the 3,000- km range Agni-III missile project.

Asked about the new version of Agni-II being planned, Thomas, who was yesterday honoured along with the entire team of Agni-III by the Prime Minister, told PTI that "It is still a confidential project. It will be called Agni-II A (2)." "I like my job. I feel I am contributing to my nation's security," Thomas, who has named her son after the country's light combat fighter Tejas, said.

A B.Tech from Thrissur Engineering College, Calicut, and M.Tech from Pune, Thomas is an expert on all solid system propellant. — PTI


Schemes for ex-servicemen discussed

Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, May 13
With a view to work towards the ex-servicemen and their widows, union minister of state for defence Dr M.M. Pallav Raju was here to discuss various projects and schemes.

Raju said there are nearly 20 lakh ex-servicemen and 5 lakh widows of ex-servicemen in India. He said in order to provide them with various facilities Kendriya Sainik Board, an autonomous department, was established.

He said the chief objective of the department was to connect the ex-servicemen and their widows. In this regard, committees will be set up on the block, district, state and national level. A website will also be initiated by the board which will keep all the details of the Army personnel and their families.

Further he said employment is provided to retired ex-servicemen in private sector after a training session.

Speaking to The Tribune, Raju informed, “From April 1, regimental centres under DGR were established which provide short-term trainings to ex-servicemen in the areas like insurance, banking and finance.”

In this regard, the board had fixed a target of providing employment opportunity to 40,000 retired Army personnel and successfully placed 44,000 in sectors like retail, hospitality and engineering last year. The board also provides vocational trainings to them from a recognised university.

Director general of resettlement Maj Gen S.G. Chatterjee talked about self-employment schemes for the Army personnel. “We are preparing to launch a pilot project near Agra in tie up with Mother Dairy, just like Amul was started in Gujarat. Army personnel will be looking after this project in accordance with women of Rashtriya Mahila Kosh,” Chatterjee said.

On his plans for the state, he said, “The Chief Minister has given his consent and is looking forward to schemes and projects for ex-servicemen. After a few months time we will launch some self-employment schemes for the Army personnel of the state.”

Militants may infiltrate via new routes
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13
After two failed attempts of trying to sneak into India through Jammu and Kashmir, militants based in Pakistan could now try other routes to enter India ahead of the assembly elections in J&K slated for October.

Attempts could be made all along the Indo-Pak border in states of Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat or the militants could go to Nepal and try and enter through Uttarakhand or UP, security agencies, have warned.

The possibility of such attempts was high, sources said while confirming that the matter was discussed in the “inputs sharing” meeting of various intelligence gathering agencies in New Delhi in the past couple of days. The blasts in Jaipur this evening indicate the plan.

The Indo-Pak border in Punjab, Rajasthan or Gujarat is not extensively patrolled as in J&K, where the ongoing militancy has meant greater deployment of forces like the BSF, The Indian Army and the CRPF.

For the past two years or so, the border in J&K is being manned by the BSF, the Army is present there and forms a sort of an outer ring.

In other states, it has always been the BSF that mans the border. The Indian Army had warned in last week of March that contingents of militants were waiting across the border in PoK.

At least four attempts have been made in the past one month while two have been have made in the last one week.


Shaurya Chakra for a soldier who was a militant
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 13
It seems to be a story that happens only in Bollywood. A former militant who reformed himself was inducted in the Indian Army. He will be conferred upon with Shaurya Chakra posthumously tomorrow.

Rifleman Abdul Hamid Chara, born in 1975, was named after the famed Abdul Hamid Khan of 1965 Indo-Pak war, who earned his name for the battle of Asal Uttar and won the Param Vir Chakra.

He was barely 14 years of age when a sudden wave of terrorism swept a part of the valley. Al-Barq terrorists kidnapped and forced Chara to join their outfit. He deserted them after a couple of days and surrendered to the police.

Chara served with the special operation group (SOG) of J&K police and provided valuable inputs leading to many successful anti-terrorist operations. Unmindful of threat to him and his family, Chara continued to work for ushering in peace in Lolab valley, where his home is. Frustrated over unsuccessful attack on Chara, terrorists killed his father Laidin Chara in 2004.

In October 2004, Chara joined 62 Infantry Battalion (TA) and was posted with Divar (markul) company of 18 Rashtriya Rifles Battalion.

On June 12 last year, Chara took part in search and destroy operation in Ander Nar area of Gagal (Kupwara). During midday, he observed two terrorists trying to run away. He allowed them to come within five metres as he crawled under dense undergrowth of vegetation to cut off their escape route. The terrorists spotted him and brought down heavy volume of rocket, grenade and small arms fire. Despite serious multiple gunshot and splinter injuries, he continued to fire and crawled downhill to cover dead ground and killed a terrorist who was later identified as Mussa, self-styled district commander of the LeT, Kupwara. Mussa was in charge of coordinating all activities and management of the LeT.

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