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Saturday, 9 June 2012

From Today's Papers - 09 Jun 2012
Court summons VK Singh in defamation case
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
Just-retired General VK Singh, who created history by becoming the first serving Army Chief to drag the government to court over his age issue, today was summoned as an ‘accused’ in a criminal defamation case filed by Lt Gen Tejinder Singh (retd).

Four other officials, including the serving Vice Chief of the Army, have also been summoned by Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja who said all five have been "summoned as accused in the present matter". The court directed them to appear before it on July 20. This is perhaps the first case of its kind when the court has summoned such top-ranking officials. The summons have been issued to SK Singh,Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen BS Thakur, DG Military Intelligence, Maj Gen SL Narshiman, additional Director General of Public Information and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney.

Tejinder Singh has accused them of misusing their official positions, power and authority to level false charges against him through a press release on March 5.

Tejinder Singh , a former Director General of the Defence Intelligence Agency, had been accused of offering bribe of Rs 14 crore to General VK Singh for clearing a deal for 600 trucks, a charge strongly refuted by the former. The CBI is probing the matter separately.

The court clarified that the summons are only for the alleged offence of defamation. “The accused are not being summoned qua the allegation of hatching a criminal conspiracy against the complainant,” it said.

The officials have been summoned under Section 499 (defamation) read with Section 35 (act done with criminal knowledge or intention) of the IPC, the magistrate said.

Tejinder Singh had filed the complaint alleging that he was defamed by the Army through its press release issued on March 5. The press release blamed Tejinder Singh and some disgruntled serving officers of the Military Intelligence for planting story in the media relating to purported tapping of some sensitive phones in the Capital.

Ex-Gen not the only one

n Four other officials, including the serving Vice Chief of the Army, have also been summoned by Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja who said all five have been "summoned as accused in the present matter"

n The court directed them to appear before it on July 20 * The case has been filed by Lt Gen Tejinder Singh (retd). It is perhaps the first case of its kind when the court has summoned such top-ranking officials
India-US strategic dialogue on June 13
Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 8
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna is leaving here next week for Washington to co-chair with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the third India-U.S. Strategic Dialogue to be held on June 13.

However, what has raised many an eyebrow is the fact that from Washington, Krishna will travel to Cuba, a country considered a continental and ideological rival of the US.

Asked if there was no contradiction in clubbing the minister's visits to the US and Cuba, MEA spokesman Syed Akbaruddin shot back: ''Why should there be any issue'' on this score.

During the India-US strategic dialogue, the focus will obviously be on all aspects of the multifaceted bilateral relationship. The first such dialogue was held in the American capital in June 2010 while the second round was held in New Delhi in July last year.

The dialogue forum is considered the principal platform to bring the different strands of the broad-based and diverse agenda of bilateral engagement and pursue the vision of India-U.S. Global Strategic Partnership, outlined by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Barack Obama.

Krishna will be accompanied by Minister for Science and Technology Vilasrao Deshmukh, Minister for Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad, Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Prime Minister’s Public Information Infrastructure and Innovation Advisor Sam Pitroda, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath, Minister of State for Planning, Science & Technology Ashwini Kumar, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai, Home Secretary R.K.Singh and Director of Intelligence Bureau Nehchal Sandhu, among others. Secretary Clinton will be joined by her ministerial colleagues and senior officials.

Krishna will also deliver the keynote address at the Annual Summit of the U.S.-India Business Council on June 12. There will be several dialogues on the margins of and preceding the strategic dialogue. Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal will chair the higher education dialogue with Secretary Clinton on June 12. He will also co-chair the joint science and technology commission meeting with Dr. John Holdren, President Obama’s Advisor on Science and Technology.

The Foreign Minister will have a restricted meeting with Secretary Clinton on June 13 before they chair the plenary session of the dialogue, which will have discussions on five themes: strategic, defence, homeland security, counter-terrorism and Intelligence; economic, energy, climate; Science and technology, innovation and health; higher education and empowerment and regional strategies and linkages.

The schedule

n SM Krishna will leave for Washington next week

n He will deliver the key note address at the Annual Summit of the US-India Business Council on June 12

n There will be several dialogues on the margins of and preceding the strategic dialogue

n The focus will be on all aspects of the multifaceted bilateral relationship

n Krishna will have a restricted meeting with Hillary Clinton on June 13
IMA upgrading facilities to adjust 2,400 cadets
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, June 8
The Indian Military Academy (IMA) is developing infrastructure to accommodate at least 2,400 Gentleman Cadets at a time.

Commandant of the IMA Lt Gen Manvender Singh told mediapersons at the academy here today that while at present the IMA had 1,800 Gentleman Cadets, its infrastructure was for an authorised strength of 1,650 Gentleman Cadets. “But we are now developing infrastructure for at least 2,400 Gentleman Cadets in the near future,” said Lt Gen Manvender.

He said as the National Defence Academy was also on an expansion mode, improving infrastructure of the IMA was also needed. He added many applicants despite clearing the Service Selection Boards failed to make up to the overall merit list due to limitation of the existing training infrastructure in the academy.

Lt Gen Manvender said though acquisition of 1,950 acres in proximity to the IMA had been proposed, the final decision rests with the Uttarakhand Government.

Responding to queries, Lt Gen Manvender said while the IMA cadets were not allowed to use online social networking sites due to security reasons, a very limited Internet access was being provided to them for their academic subjects. He added even the cadets were convinced that a temporary absence of Internet was required.

The IMA Commandant said security in the academy was the foremost concern and an additional infantry battalion was already engaged in providing effective security. He added a biometric system had also been introduce in the academy to ensure a full-proof security mechanism.

Lt Gen Manvender said 678 Gentleman Cadets would pass out from the academy tomorrow. He added since its inception in 1932, a total of 51,661 Gentleman Cadets had passed out from the academy. He said 823 of these officers had attained martyrdom in various operations.

He ruled any reduction in the period of training for former NDA cadets coming to the IMA.
ITBP’s dog training centre gets more teeth
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 8
Canines are set to play a more active part in anti-terror operations. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) National Training Centre for Dogs (NTCD) is being expanded and upgraded, thereby enabling a greater number of dogs to be inducted into service.

This is envisioned to increase the training capacity of the centre from about 100 dogs annually to about 250 dogs. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned a grant of Rs 15.51 crore for the purpose.

The NTCD is co-located with the force’s basic training centre at Bhanu near here and trains dogs for the paramilitary forces as well as state police organisations.

The MHA’s grant includes Rs 12.81 crore for infrastructure, with the remaining amount being earmarked for manpower provisioning, stores and equipment. The infrastructure to come up under this grant includes 50 new kennels, a grooming shed for dogs, barracks to accommodate 180 men, 25 residential quarters of various categories and three stores. Other expenditure includes an air-conditioned dog van, generators and various vehicles.

As part of the upgradation plans, the ITBP has forwarded a proposal for creation of 61 new posts at the NTCD, which is being considered by the Ministry of Finance. While the creation of the new posts requires a one-time expenditure of about Rs 10 lakh, the recurring costs in terms of pay and allowances would be about Rs 2 crore.

The police’s and paramilitary forces’ requirement of trained dogs has increased over the years as they gear up to meet the ever-increasing and diversifying security challenges. German Shepherds and Labradors are generally the breeds used for police work.

A 24-week training curriculum as per international standards has been developed for the canine students at NTCD. Besides discipline and obedience, the canines are taught to sniff out narcotics and explosives, track suspects, undertake patrolling and guard duties and tackle hostile individuals. Dogs trained at NTCD have also been deployed for anti-Naxal operations in the red belt.
Arms dealer Abhishek Verma, wife held
Syed Ali Ahmed/TNS

New Delhi, June 8
Arms dealer Abhishek Verma and his Romanian wife were today arrested by the CBI for allegedly receiving money from a Swiss arms company to delist them from the companies blacklisted by the Indian government.

Verma and his wife Ancia Neascu were placed under arrest this evening by the CBI after they failed to give convincing answers to the investigation agency which registered a fresh case against him yesterday.

Verma, who had been earlier arrested by the CBI in connection with alleged fake passport and leaking of secret commercial information from Naval war room to foreign companies, was called to the agency headquarters in the morning along with his wife.

The duo were extensively questioned by the sleuths regarding transactions of funds between Ganton India and Ganton USA, which are claimed to be his front companies, and about his business relationships with estranged associate C Edmon Allen who has levelled series of allegations against him with the US FBI.

The CBI had booked Verma in a fresh case alleging that he took $530,000 from Rheinmetall Air Defence AG on the promise that he would use his influence to stall blacklisting proceedings initiated by the government against it after the Ordnance Factory Board scam had surfaced. The two would be produced before a designated court tomorrow when the CBI would seek his custody.

The CBI also questioned former director of the Swiss defence company Mohinder Sahni and Arjun Arora whose houses were searched yesterday. Verma is an accused in the Naval War Room leak case in which commercial naval secrets were leaked to foreign companies. Ravi Shankaran, kin of former naval chief Arun Prakash, is also an accused in this case.
Indian Army docs treat Pak soldiers in Congo
Tribune News Service

Pakistan troops deployed on UN mission in Congo being treated by Indian doctors stationed there.
Pakistan troops deployed on UN mission in Congo being treated by Indian doctors stationed there. A Tribune photo

New Delhi, June 8
Indian Army doctors posted in Congo on a UN Mission are nowadays treating Pakistani soldiers who have been injured in a clash while on UN peacekeeping deployment in the same country.

The Pakistani soldiers are also on a UN Mission, but are deployed elsewhere in Congo. Sources said the Indian Army unit at Goma treated injuries to eight soldiers, including one officer, of the neighbouring country.

They were injured in a gunfight with Congolese rebels in the South Kivu province. Indian troops are deployed in North Kivu province.

As many as 11 Pakistani soldiers sustained injuries, including a few serious ones, in the armed clash.

Due to a lack of adequate UN medical facilities in South Kivu, the injured were immediately airlifted to the Indian hospital at Goma.

Two of them needed life-saving surgeries which have been performed. The duo has been moved to a hospital in Pretoria, South Africa. Four others have been discharged while remaining two are recuperating at the Indian hospital. Sector Commander of Pakistan visited the hospital. He met Indian Brigade Commander Harinder Singh, and thanked him. Lt Gen Chander Prakash, Force Commander of the Mission, also called on the injured.
Gen VK Singh free to join any movement, but should give right date of birth: Khurshid
New Delhi: Former Army Chief V K Singh is free to join any movement after retirement but he should give his "right" date of birth, Law Minister Salman Khurshid said on Friday.

The piece of advice came from Mr Khurshid in response to a question from reporters about claims being made by yoga teacher Ramdev's camp that General Singh was joining their anti-corruption movement.

"V K Singh can don any role now after he has finished his term with Army. I hope he gives his right date of birth before joining Anna movement," the Minister said.
Reports emerging from Ramdev's camp claimed General Singh would be soon a part of their campaign against corruption and black money.
Army rules for corporate
The disciplined and highly focused life of the Army could be well emulated by the corporate world with a high success rate.

Probably the reason why students of the Indian School of Business recently underwent a military leadership programme titled ‘Lessons for Corporate’. As part of the programme, three top officials from the Indian Army discussed the benefits of incorporating the military ethos to propagate good team work among students.

“The major takeaway for me was one of the official’s experiences during the 1971 war and the Kargil war. His points on people management could definitely be adapted in the corporate world,” says Rishikesh Deshpande, ISB student. Several topics such as integrity, discipline and team management were also discussed during the interaction session.

Another participant Vasava Datta, shares, “The corporate world is filled with stress and high pressure, and it’s very important for us to balance them at work. The General’s insight on team work is what I loved the most and the role he played during the war was thrilling.”

Shifa Soomer, ISB student, further adds, “All the topics discussed by the officials on military ethos had a strong connect with the corporate world. We have now developed several leadership skills.”

Lt. General Kochhar, while interacting with the students, said, “People are more important than physical resources. Organisations should identify junior leaders and help them develop leadership traits so that when it’s time for them to don the mantle, they are able to lead with ease.”

He also brought into focus how the corporate sector could adapt military rules that stress on excellent group work, an impartial and secular organisation, and the ability to put the interests of subordinates and the nation before the individual.
India at risk of losing Siachen watchtower
New Delhi, June 8: The Indian Air Force risks getting squeezed out of a base in Tajikistan that promised to be India’s only overseas military facility from which it could keep tabs on Pakistani and Chinese activities, including those on the Siachen glacier.

As defence secretary Shashi Kant Sharma heads to Islamabad for talks on Monday and Tuesday on Pakistan’s proposal for a mutual troops pullback from the glacier, the possible loss of access to the Ayni/Farkhor airbase that India helped rebuild is casting a shadow on New Delhi’s political and diplomatic intent.

Situated northwest of the Saltoro Ridge that flanks the Siachen glacier, it would have afforded the Indian military the superb advantage of watching aerially Pakistani troops from behind their lines.

Despite a political inclination at the government’s highest level to achieve a takeaway from the Indo-Pak talks that may pave the way for the Prime Minister to visit Pakistan, New Delhi has almost shut out the possibility of finding Manmohan Singh his “peace mountain” in Siachen.

“I do not want to talk about it publicly right now because the defence secretary is going there in two days. Our stand will be known there (in Islamabad). Don’t expect any dramatic announcement or decision there,” defence minister A.K. Antony said today, almost repeating what he had told Parliament last month.

The Indian position on Siachen is unchanged despite Pakistan’s formal request on April 8, a day after an avalanche buried an estimated 135 of its troops in Gyari. India says Pakistan will first have to “authenticate” the Actual Ground Position Line for a review of the position to be even considered. Pakistan has said it wants the glacier de-militarised.

The fact is that Pakistani troops are not on the glacier but largely on the slopes of the Saltoro Ridge on the northern and western flanks of the glacier. Indian troops occupy the commanding heights on the ridge from 14,000ft to 22,000ft.

The Indian Army says that unless Pakistan acknowledges this by authenticating the Actual Ground Position Line, there is no question of vacating the posts.

But Islamabad has sold its people a lie — that its troops are on the glacier. Even after authentication, India will want to verify that the Pakistani troops are not occupying positions that Indian troops vacate. This is where Farkhor/Ayni would have presented a vantage point.

India had a military hospital in Farkhor, Tajikistan, that cared for the fighters of the Northern Alliance till 2001, by when the Taliban had overrun Afghanistan. Farkhor’s location, close to the borders with Afghanistan, Pakistan (PoK) and China, makes it a listening post and watchtower for which major powers are vying.

Last October, Antony was greeted warmly with traditional honey and bread during an unscheduled stop in Dushanbe by his Tajik counterpart, Colonel General Sherali Khairyulleov. India has always kept its connection to Farkhor/Ayni, just northwest of Dushanbe, low profile, never officially admitting its role in revamping the Soviet-era airbase.

But the Indian government spent more than Rs 350 crore in hard currency and posted a detachment of the army’s Border Roads Organisation (BRO) to re-do the base. The BRO extended the runway for it to be operational for fighter jets, built a perimeter fence and three hangars. It was a strategic investment in the hope that Tajikistan would give India an exceptional watchtower.

But now the honey isn’t sweet enough.

India, Tajikistan and Russia were working to operate the base jointly. But Tajikistan, seen by China as its western gateway to Central Asia, has been under diplomatic pressure from its neighbours to stave off an intimate military engagement with India. Russia, too, has been wary of India’s foreign military footprint, largely because Moscow suspects that New Delhi is increasingly inclining westwards for its defence hardware.

In addition, the US, keen to open more supply lines into Afghanistan, is now understood to have evinced interest in using Ayni/Farkhor. For the Indian Air Force and the Indian military, the basing of helicopters

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