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Friday, 1 July 2011

From Today's Papers - 01 Jul 2011






Navy to buy 80 interception boats from Lankan firm 

Tribune News Service & PTI  New Delhi, June 30 As part of the exercise to strengthen coastal security, the Navy has decided to procure 80 interception boats at a cost of Rs 300 crore from a Sri Lanka-based ship manufacturer.  The boats, with speeds between 45-50 miles per hour, will be an asset in shallow waters close to the coast crew, Naval officials said. The small speed boats were effectively used in the past by the Sri Lankan Navy in its well-documented fight against the LTTE that, for a rebel organisation, had a good strong naval wing.  The boats are planned to be used by the newly formed Sagar Prahari Bal and other wings of the Navy, naval officials said.  The contract process for 80 Fast Interception Craft (FIC) from Sri Lanka-based SOLAS Marine is in its final stages and the deal is expected to be finalised soon, they said.  Delivery of the first 15 FICs is expected to be completed by the end of 2012 and the next 80 would be inducted in coming 36 months, they said.

DRDO develops integrated shelters for soldiers

Kusum Arora/TNS  Jalandhar, June 30 Aimed at providing protection to soldiers against extreme weather conditions in the high-altitude areas, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed integrated thermally-regulated shelters for the soldiers. The shelters were handed over to the GOC of Headquarters 14 Corps recently.  The indigenous shelters have been designed and developed by the DRDO following the intense damage caused by the flash floods at Leh last year, which had caused huge loss of life and property. The shelters are equipped with integrated temperature regulators, biodigestors and air-monitoring systems.

Tendulkar, Dhoni to fly Sukhoi soon

New Delhi, June 30 Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will soon don the flying suits, with the Defence Ministry clearing their flights in IAF’s mighty Su-30 MKI fighter jets. “Our proposal to fly the two cricketers in the Su-30s has been approved by the Defence Ministry and we are looking forward to their flight in Pune soon,” IAF officials said.  The proposal for flying Tendulkar and Dhoni was submitted with the government by the IAF. They said the dates for the flights have not been finalised yet and would be done soon depending on the availability of the two cricketers.  After India’s World Cup victory in April this year, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik had said he would seek special permission from the government so that Dhoni and Tendulkar could experience a flight in Su-30MKI.  “Tendulkar is already our Honorary Group Captain. Once both Sachin and Dhoni are free from their cricketing engagements, I will ensure that they get to fly Su-30MKI. They have done our country proud and it will be an honour for us,” he had said.  At present, Dhoni is leading India in the three-match test series against West Indies in the Caribbean and Tendulkar is on a personal visit to England. — PTI

Naval officer, actress found guilty in Neeraj Grover murder case

Shiv Kumar/TNS  Mumbai, June 30 The sensational murder case of television executive Neeraj Grover came to a close today with the Mumbai Sessions Court finding Emile Jerome Mathew, a lieutenant in the Navy, guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Mathew's fiancée Kannada actress Maria Susairaj, who helped him chop Grover's body into pieces and dump it in an isolated forest, was found guilty of destroying evidence.  Both Mathew and Susairaj will be sentenced by Sessions Judge MW Chandwani tomorrow. According to Susairaj's lawyer, Sharif Shaikh, she will be set free tomorrow as the maximum sentence for destroying evidence is three years which she has already served as an undertrial.

The duo were arrested in March 2008 after friends of Grover, an executive with Star Television, reported him missing. Maria Susairaj was the original complainant in the case, but she was arrested after she could not provide satisfactory answers to the police about what transpired when Grover spent the intervening night between May 6-7, 2008, at her residence.  Subsequent investigations revealed that Mathew, who was engaged to Susairaj, had spoken to her from the Kochi naval station where he was posted the night before the murder. However, a suspicious Mathew boarded a flight to Mumbai and on landing in Mumbai went straight to Susairaj's flat, according to the chargesheet filed in the case. On finding Grover in the flat, Mathew got into an argument with him. The verbal battle soon resulted in a scuffle and Grover was stabbed to death. Mathew and Susairaj then chopped up Grover's body and bundled the remains in two bags that they disposed off in a forest in Manor (Thane). The bags were burnt in an attempt to destroy evidence, according to the prosecution. Neeraj's father Amarnath Grover said he was disappointed with the verdict. However Susairaj's lawyer had argued before the court that she was merely a "victim of circumstances".

Militarily, China far ahead than India: PM   Read more at:

New Delhi:  Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said China was "far ahead" in its military strength but India was catching up with its limited resources. (Read: China, not Pak, is India's main threat)  "The Chinese are far ahead of us. They are building a blue water navy also. Aircraft carriers - they are acquiring," said Manmohan Singh in an interaction with a group of editors here.  He was asked about India's defence preparedness in the light of Chinese capabilities to which he replied the nation was modernising its armed forces.  "We have started the process. We are looking at the modernization of our armed forces, including the navy and the air force. For the first time in many many years, we have added two divisions to our army," he said.  "So within the limits of our resources, - we are doing - much advanced air fields in the border areas. We are trying to strengthen the border roads. Also to see, that states on our border - our villagers have access to electricity using solar power. The effort is on," said the prime minister.  He admitted that the defence expenditure as a percentage of the GDP has been falling from year to year.  "That is true. But quite frankly we have not restricted defence spending. No conscious decision has been taken to any fixed percentage. We are as a nation, prepared to live with a defence expenditure equal to three percent of our GDP. If the armed forces have a plan to raise their expenditure to that ceiling, the system will be able to tolerate it."   Read more at:

It’s official: Sachin, Dhoni to take off on Sukhois

The city will host two of India’s iconic cricketers—batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and team skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni — when they fly the Indian Air Force fighter jet, Su-30 MKI, from the Lohegaon Air Force Station. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has given the green signal to the Sukhoi sorties of Tendulkar and Dhoni. As the two are currently abroad, the formalities will be completed depending on their availability. “It is confirmed they will be flying from Pune. A decision on the dates and other formalities will be taken once they return to India, depending on their schedules,” IAF spokesperson Wing Commander T K Singha told The Indian Express from New Delhi.  While Tendulkar has been awarded the rank of an Honorary Group Captain by the IAF, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda had recently recommended Dhoni’s name to the MoD for the rank of an Honorary Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army. In January, Air Marshal Anjan Kumar Gogoi, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, South Western Air Command, had said during a visit to Lohegaon Air Force Station that a proposal for Tendulkar’s Sukhoi sortie had been sent to the MoD and if approved, it would take place from Pune. Dhoni’s sortie has, however, come as a pleasant surprise. “We will try to plan the sorties together. The duo will have to undergo medical tests and attend briefing sessions before the flight. They would be flying from the rear seat,” said Singha.

The Lohegaon Air Force Station, which houses three squadrons of Su-30 MKIs, hosted the then president A P J Abdul Kalam’s sortie in 2006. In 2009, President Pratibha Patil too took a sortie in a Su- 30 MKI.

India and Mozambique to cooperate on maritime security, anti-piracy efforts

India and Mozambique have agreed to work together to improve maritime security in the Indian Ocean, following a high level meeting between Mozambican and Indian defence ministers. This follows a similar understanding between South Africa and Mozambique reached earlier this months.  The scope of the Memorandum of Understanding signed on Tuesday covers all the three armed services, envisaging cooperation in the field of military technical cooperation, logistic support and training.  The Indian Government announced the agreement following Mozambican minister of defence Filipe Jacinto Nyussi’s meeting in India with defence minister Shri AK Antony on Tuesday.  "Both sides had a fruitful discussion on various bilateral defence cooperation issues. A number of fresh areas for cooperation were identified to enhance and strengthen the existing bilateral relation between the two countries," an Indian government statement said.  It also deals with joint activities including maritime patrols along the Mozambican coast, mutual training in military institutes, supply of defence equipment/services and establishment of partnership and transfer of knowhow and technology for assembling and repair of vehicles, aircraft and ships as well as rehabilitation of military infrastructure.  The issue of piracy was high on the agenda as it is a big concern for both countries, which have had numerous vessels hijacked by Somali pirates. Nyussi expressed gratitude towards the Indian Navy for rescuing pirated Mozambican ships. In March this year, the Indian Navy captured 61 pirates when they liberated the Mozambican fishing vessel Vega 5. Thirteen crew were rescued from the vessel, which was being used as a mother ship after being hijacked in late December.  The incident marked the Indian Navy's third anti-piracy operation this year, following the capture of 28 Somali pirates in February and another 15 in January. Both groups also are to be prosecuted in Mumbai.  During his five-day visit, Nyussi also met Chief of Indian Naval Staff Admiral Nirmal Verma, Chief of Army Staff General VK Singh and the Vice Chief of Air Staff Air Marshall NAK Browne. Nyussi also toured key defence installations including the Western Naval Command in Mumbai, National Defence Academy and Armed Forces Medical College in Pune besides the prestigious Army Research & Referral Hospital in New Delhi.  The Indian government said it has enjoyed close and friendly relations with Mozambique. In March, 2006 the two countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defence Cooperation. Subsequently, two meetings of the Joint Defence Working Group were held in 2008 and 2010.  At the beginning of the month, South African Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Lindiwe Sisulu and Nyussi signed a Memorandum of Understanding with regard to the combating of piracy and trans-border crime.  “The Republic of South Africa was asked by the Mozambican government to assist with information gathering, assessment and patrolling. SAS Mendi, one of the South African Navy’s frigates was then deployed to gather intelligence in this regard,” the military said in a statement. (The SAS Amatola has since replaced the Mendi.)  “Consequently the South African Navy presented an anti-piracy strategy to cabinet which was approved and the same strategy was presented to the Southern African Development Community Chief’s of Defence Forces who wholeheartedly supported it. As a matter of fact, the co-operation has been elevated to the level of SADC.”  Around a third of the world’s oil passes through the region around the Mozambique Channel, which also serves as the conduit for 98% of South Africa’s maritime trade.



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