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Thursday, 1 July 2010

From Today's Papers - 01 Jul 2010






War-room Leak Officers won’t be taken back
Tribune News Service  New Delhi, June 30 The principal bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal today rejected the plea by two former naval officers, accused in the Navy war-room leak case. The two Commander, Vijender Rana and Commander Vinod Kumar Jha, had filed a plea contending that their dismissal from the Navy was "illegal" and asked that they should be reinstated in the Navy.  The tribunal did not find any merit in their pleas and dismissed these. The two officers, arrested by the CBI under the Official Secrets Act, are at present lodged in Tihar Jail.  Nine persons, including former IAF Wing Commander SR Surve, former Navy Commanders Vinod Kumar Jha, Vijender Rana and Ravi Shankaran, were charged with leaking secrets from the Navy's war room. The last one is at present in the UK and the government is seeking his extradition of which proceedings are on.  V Rana and V K Jha were found guilty by the Navy-constituted Board of Inquiry and were dismissed from service.










Will avenge killings, vows hurt jawan 
Raipur, June 30 He survived the latest Naxal ambush on CRPF men in Chattisgarh and got injured but has not lost his nerve and is raring to return to the jungles to avenge the death of his fellow security men.  As questions were raised whether there was any violation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) by the CRPF after the third major Naxal attack in as as many months in Chattisgarh, Parmanand, one of the injured jawans, today gave an eyewitness account of yesterday’s ambush on a 63-member security contingent.  As many as 27 personnel were killed and eight injured in the attack in a remote area in Narayanpur district, about 300 km from here, when jawans of the 39th battalion were returning from road opening duty came under indiscriminate fire from waiting rebels perched on a hill-top in Dhaudai jungles. 100 to 200 heavily armed Maoists were reported to have been involved.  Several CRPF men were injured in the surprise attack but they soon mustered courage and hit back at the heavily- armed Maoists, killing some of them, Parmanand told PTI in a city hospital where he is recuperating from leg injury.  The CRPF jawan said he himself saw three Naxals falling to the ground after being hit by bullets fired by the injured security men.  The Naxals numbered around 200, were in battle fatigue and armed to the teeth, he said. “The Maoists seemed well prepared, but the CRPF men did not lose their morale and retaliated with full force.”  Parmanand said he tried to evacuate some of his wounded colleagues and take the weapons of the martyred personnel, but he himself got injured after being hit by four bullets.  As additional personnel arrived at the spot, the Naxals started retreating but kept on firing, he said.  Parmanand said though he has been injured he has not lost his spirit and was ready to avenge the killing of his fellow security men. He said several of his colleagues also felt the same way. — PTI











CRPF men sitting ducks: Warfare experts 
Raipur, June 30 The Chhattisgarh Police and experts on Maoist warfare are blaming the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for repeatedly falling victim to Maoist guerrillas.  Police sources speaking on the condition of anonymity say that the CRPF personnel are not only poorly trained to operate in jungle terrain but are also reluctant to take on the well-entrenched Maoists.On top of it, the sources say, the CRPF personnel refuse to follow intelligence inputs while launching operations deep in the impregnable forests of Bastar region.“A majority of the CRPF men here are exhausted as they have been dumped in this Maoist nerve centre from other conflict zones such as Kashmir without being given any rest,” a senior officer and counter-insurgency expert told IANS.  “The Indian government is fighting a war relying on a force that is not ready mentally or physically to take the bull by its horn,” said the source who did not want to be identified by name or rank.  “They (CRPF) are ill-trained and ill-equipped and have mentally given up. If the government wants to turn the heat on the Maoists, it must quickly phase out these exhausted CRPF battalions from Chhattisgarh and bring in battalions that have experience of battling insurgency in jungle terrain, such as the Naga and Mizo battalions," the expert said.  A police officer having a record of serving in Maoist bastions for a long period remarked: “Keeping the demoralised CRPF is hurting everyone. This includes the government and strategists and above all the local policemen who want to fight and die as war heroes.”  “The big problem in Chhattisgarh now is a big gap in coordination between the CRPF and state police. The CRPF men refuse to use even specific intelligence inputs while going on operations. They flout standard operating procedures such as sneaking into landmine zones without clearing the areas of explosives,” the officer said.A police officer in Bastar region said 14 CRPF battalions were now deployed in the state. Thirteen were based in Bastar in the south and one battalion was in the northern district of Surguja bordering Jharkhand. “No matter how many meetings the top officials hold in Raipur and New Delhi, the fact is that only a new and sensible war policy in Chhattisgarh can save the jawans and prevent needless deaths," said another officer .The 40,000 sq km Bastar region, made up of five districts - Narayanpur, Bastar, Kanker, Bijapur and Dantewada - has been the nervecentre of Maoist guerrillas in India since the late 1980s. — IANS











Tired, CRPF men have given up in Bastar
Sujeet Kumar  Raipur, June 30 The Chhattisgarh Police and experts on Maoist warfare are blaming the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for repeatedly falling victim to Maoist guerrillas.  Police sources claim that the CRPF personnel are not only poorly trained to operate in jungle terrain but are also reluctant to take on the well-entrenched Maoists. On top of it, they say, the CRPF personnel refuse to follow intelligence inputs while launching operations deep in the impregnable forests of Bastar region.  “A majority of the CRPF men here are exhausted as they have been dumped in this Maoist nerve centre from other conflict zones such as Kashmir without being given any rest," a senior officer and counter-insurgency expert said. The harsh comments came a day after 25 CRPF personnel and two policemen were massacred by Maoists in Narayanpur district, in the worst such Maoist attack after 36 people were killed in a bus bombing in May. As many as 76 CRPF and police personnel were killed in an ambush in April.  “The Indian government is fighting a war relying on a force that is not ready mentally or physically to take the bull by its horn," said the source who did not want to be identified by name or rank.  "They (CRPF) are ill-trained and ill-equipped and have mentally given up. If the government wants to turn the heat on the Maoists, it must quickly phase out these exhausted CRPF battalions from Chhattisgarh and bring in battalions that have experience of battling insurgency in jungle terrain, such as the Naga and Mizo battalions," the expert said.  A police officer having a record of serving in Maoist bastions for a long period remarked, “keeping the demoralised CRPF is hurting everyone. This includes the government and strategists and above all the local policemen who want to fight and die as war heroes”.  "The big problem in Chhattisgarh now is a big gap in coordination between the CRPF and state police. The CRPF men refuse to use even specific intelligence inputs while going on operations.  They flout standard operating procedures such as sneaking into landmine zones without clearing the areas of explosives," the officer said.  A police officer in Bastar region said 14 CRPF battalions were now deployed in the state. Thirteen are based in Bastar in the south and one battalion is in the northern district of Surguja bordering Jharkhand. — IANS










'Ketchup Col' files review plea at Tribunal
 July 01, 2010 02:02 IST Tags: Kohli, Armed Forces Tribunal, Army, Jit Singh, Bada Nagadun Share this Ask Users Write a Comment  Colonel (retired) H S Kohli, sacked from the Army for faking encounters during counter insurgency operations in North East in 2003, has filed a review petition before the Armed Forces Tribunal. "We have fresh evidence in official notings which suggest that defence ministry's decision-making process in the case was contrary to the decision taken by the authorities concerned. So, we have filed a review petition before the Tribunal," Kohli's counsel Dil Jit Singh said in New Delhi [ Images ] on Wednesday.  Kohli's earlier petition in the case was dismissed by the Tribunal this year in January. Singh claimed that the ministry notings on Kohli's dismissal orders show that the under secretary concerned had recommended commuting his sentence, which was accepted by the joint secretary, who was the competent authority. "But fearing media backlash if Kohli was reinstated, the joint secretary sent it to higher ups, who stuck to the dismissal order," he claimed. In the review petition, Singh said, the Tribunal would be urged to have a look at the decision-making process of the ministry in the case. According to Singh, during the court martial, Kohli was offered a plea bargain to plead guilty and he would be given a minor punishment but later on he was dismissed from service.  Colonel Kohli, commanding officer of an artillery regiment in Assam, had taken photographs of civilians splashed with tomato ketchup posing as corpses and gave them to his seniors to stake claim for gallantry award. The incident took place at Bada Nagadun near Silchar in Assam in 2003 and Kohli was dismissed from the Army in November 2004 after a court martial found him guilty. His modus operandi prompted media to dub him as "ketchup colonel". Later on it emerged that Kohli had followed orders from his superior Brig S S Rao, who said he was taking directions from his superiors. "No action was taken against the then Corps Commander. Rao's dismissal was commuted to lesser punishment and he was reinstated in the Army and only Kohli was left to be the fall guy," he added.









Security forces coming from outside caught in crossfire 
They are known by the colour of their uniform. They come from all parts of country – Kerala to Punjab, Haryana to Maharashtra. And they have little that is common with the life and people of the valley.  In Kashmir even IAS and IPS officers, who have to serve their entire tenures here, are not accepted as local people. There is hostility towards uniformed personnel, whose basic task, especially in the past 20 years, has been to fight militants, many of whom were, and are, sons, brothers and relatives of the locals.  They are straightway bussed or airlifted into the valley, where the land, language, cultural ethos are different from what they are accustomed to. It is the vale where the jackboots have become an anathema. The very presence of the men in uniform, in many quarters, is not only unwelcome but also something that needs to be resisted.  And the resistance against them has come in the form of shootouts, grenade attacks, stone pelting or straightway ransacking of their bunkers.  The men who live in 6/8 square foot bunkers or move around the armoured personnel carriers do feel the heat of the inimical atmosphere.  And enmity breeds enmity. If a security person is killed or injured in an attack, his colleagues too react emotionally. It usually happens when there are processions raising anti-Indian slogans and besmirching the Indian national flag. The crowds often move menacingly. Earlier, they used to have guns, now they carry stones.  Psychiatrists who have dealt with them or carried out studies say it is a result of conditions of “chronic conflict” in which they live.  “In such conflict situations, when danger is assumed or when it is real, there are brain elements that react emotionally,” says Dr Mushtaq Marqoob, professor of psychiatry at Government Medical College, Srinagar, and co-chairman of Indian Psychiatry Society.  “In surcharged atmospheres, there is more of such reaction,” he said. And when news from home is not happy, they turn even more edgy.  But the Army believes that the soldiers make sacrifices because they want to avoid collateral damage.  “Casualties occur because the Army tries to avoid damage to civilians and to civilian property – this is strictly ingrained in all our operational precepts,” said an official of the Northern Command while detailing the professional attitude of the force even during gun battles.  He told HT via e-mail: “The operations are planned with great deliberation and care. The officer leading from the front is responsible for the command, control and coordination of his unit/sub-unit. He is, therefore, more vulnerable.”  The army is out of towns. The Border Security Force too has been replaced in most of the towns in the valley by the CRPF.  The CRPF’s bunkers are located in lanes and bylanes and whenever they come under attack, they are within their rights to take “self-defence measures,” said a CRPF officer.  “Our men are trained to deal with high-voltage situations all across the country,” he said. “We are a disciplined force and react professionally,” he maintained.  Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday said: “The CRPF had to use force in self-defence.”









Sagem delivers Sigma 30 for Pinaka rocket launchers
 Last Updated:Jun 30, 2010  The Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher which will have the Sigma 30 artillery navigation systems. A DRDO Photo PARIS (BNS): France-based defence company Sagem of the Safran group has delivered the Sigma 30 artillery navigation and pointing systems for the Indian Army's Pinaka multiple launch rocket systems.  The first two regiments of the Indian Army deploying the indigenous Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launchers will be equipped with the new artillery systems, the company announced.  Sagem has also set up a maintenance facility near New Delhi to help the Indian Army upkeep the Sigma 30 systems. Indian mechanics have received specialised training for the system in both France and India, the company said.  The Sigma 30 is a laser gyro land navigation and pointing system for artillery pieces. It has been designed for highly accurate firing on short notice. The system can also be fitted in howitzers, mortars and light guns besides multiple rocket launchers.










Indian War Designs Posted by admin 
Jun 30  It was shocking for the whole world when the Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor said that a limited nuclear war with Pakistan was possible and then on another occasion said that India was ready to fight a two front war with Pakistan and China.  It will be not hard for any person of an ordinary prudence to imagine the destruction of a nuclear conflict, no matter it might be a limited or large scale war. In fact, only Indian Army Chief can explain what the meaning of a limited nuclear war is?  The Japanese nation knows the nuclear misery very well and they have not forgotten it even after elapse of almost 54 years. The Little Boy,(the nick name given to the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945), which killed 140000 persons, whileA “Fat Man” bomb was dropped over Nagasaki, on August 9, 1945, near the end of World War II, which caused the death of near 70000 people. The intensity of those bombs was far less than the 21st century nuclear weapons. Any such limited nuclear war, as desired by Mr. Kapoor will be more horrible, not only for the 1.19 billion people of both States, but for the whole region.  It was India which had started nuclear arm race in the sub-continent. Pakistan, as a smaller state, had no other option rather to develop its nuclear program for maintenance of regional balance of power.  It is very strange and sad that besides Pakistan, no other State or any Organization had taken serious notice the statement, because Nuclear weapons are a serious concern for the whole world. Even the inventor of this technology had predicted that after any nuclear war, the world would fight next war with stones and sticks. The shinning India will lead to Stone Age, along with Pakistan, if its Army Chief was allowed for his desired act.  The second statement is also a serious one, as China has been placed with Pakistan on the option of a single war. It means Pakistan and China have the status of one enemy for India. In case of Pakistan, one can say that it was the enemy because India had fought three wars with it but when India talks about China, it does not denote mere Indian concern. Although India has an old border dispute and fought a single war with China but in reality the two front wars’ threat is for the sympathy of the Super Power.  It’s very simple. First of all, the Indian Army Chief must have remembered the lesson from war with China. Secondly, according to a report prepared by the global consultancy firm KPMG and Confederation of Indian Industry, almost half of Indian weapons and other defense equipments are out dated which need an urgent up gradation. On the other hand Indian Minister A.K. Anthony has also admitted recently that the old Soviet era weapons were out-of-date. India has lost almost 200 MiG series aircrafts since 1990 which is a single example.  India as 10th largest defense spender is purchasing most of the sophisticated and modern weapons in huge quantity. If India became successful to assure United States that China is an enemy of India and war is also an option for it with, then who will be the better arms and ammunitions provider, than the US itself.  It is very unfortunate that India was destabilizing the regional peace and security just for the support and benefits from the United States. India is looking more or less an agent of United States in the region because there are numerous examples on its part which indicate that both economic and military co-operation with US is more important for it. Besides China card, India with the cover of American interests, is there in Afghanistan and enhanced its influence there for its own interests and Pakistan enmity.  Indeed India has served nothing for the US in Afghanistan rather it has created problems for both US and Afghanistan. The world is well aware of the fact that without the help from Pakistan, the occupied forces will never succeed, while India is using Afghan soil for anti-Pakistan activities. Pakistan has shown its great concerned over the matter, but in vain. Afghanistan is also realizing the situation and that’s why the Afghan foreign minister appeared with a statement in Islamabad that Indio-Pak conflicts must not affect Afghanistan. But it is fact that the growing Indian influence has a negative impact over Afghanistan.








Tribunal for equal disability pension to retired army personnel  
PTI Wednesday, June 30, 2010 23:40    The Armed Forces Tribunal today asked the government to pay equal war disability pension to personnel who retire at same rank irrespective of the pay commission under which they have left the service.  Hearing the plea filed by lieutenant colonel (retired) PK Kapur, Tribunal's Principal Bench headed by justice AK Mathur "struck down" the defence ministry circular issued in 2008 regarding war disability pension.  "Government is directed to give benefit of war disability pension without any distinction between pre and post 2006 retirees," the Tribunal said. It also asked the ministry to pay the difference in pension to Kapur with 12% interest from 2006.  As per the present policy, personnel who have retired after 2006 get more benefits under the war disability pension than those who have left service before it.  Following the tribunal verdict, all eligible retired personnel are likely to get the pension as per the sixth pay commission which came into effect from January 1, 2006.  In his plea, the retired officer had termed the new rate of war disability pension implemented after the sixth pay commission as "unconstitutional" as it gave more benefits to those who retired after it.  After joining the Sikh Light Infantry regiment of Army in early 60’s, Kapur suffered an injury during the India-Pakistan war in 1965 and was released from service in 1989 with 30% disability.




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