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Thursday, 21 June 2012

From Today's Papers - 21 Jun 2012
No change in Army’s threat assessment along LoC
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, June 20
After almost a week-long exchange of fire between Indian and Pakistan troops in the Krishna Ghatti (KG) sector along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army’s assessment of the threat level has not changed.

No additional military build-up has been noticed across the LoC so far, sources said today. The threat-perception levels were high along the LoC and even minor movement would be factored in to assess changing ground realities, they added.

The firing from across the LoC has been very intense and the Army claims to have given a “calibrated response” to its western neighbour. The KG sector, around 180 km south-west of Srinagar, has been a traditional hot spot along the LoC.

Some Indian artillery guns have been moved closer to the LoC, but none has been ordered to fire as artillery fire can escalate the situation, besides causing collateral damage. The Director-General Military Operations (DGMOs) of both sides have spoken to each other.

Pakistan has to respond to the Brigadier-level flag meeting by tomorrow. India’s further response will depend on that. In case the Brigadier-level meeting is not conducted, the DGMOs will speak over the hotline. The matter will be most probably resolved in case the Brigadiers get to meet.

The Indian authorities, in their internal assessment, have not so far assigned any reason for the latest developments along the LoC. “It first started when Pakistan violated the ceasefire and continued to fire using heavy automatic weapons and mortars. One BSF trooper and an Indian Army jawan have been killed so far. This has impacted cross-LoC- trade via the Chakan-da-Bagh check post and also the Poonch-Rawalkote bus service connecting the two sides of Kashmir,” an official said.

“The intensity of firing is a major cause for concern. However, the infantry unit in the KG sector is capable of handling any such situation,” said an official.
Maoists abduct 19 railway staffers in Bihar
* 16 hostages released later * Station master among those in captivity * Services on Howrah-Delhi main line disrupted

Jamui, June 20
The Maoists today abducted 19 railway employees, including a station master in Bihar's Jamui district, but later released 16 of them in a forest, a railway official said.

The armed Maoists, numbering about 20, took the railway employees hostage when they were repairing railway tracks 3 km from Ghorparan station located between Jasidih and Simultala stations on Jhajha-Jasidih section, Simultala station master RNP Yadav said.

The ultras took all the railway employees to a nearby forest where they released 16 of them, including section engineer Soren Manjhi and Permanent Way Inspector Bhuwaneshwar Manda, he said.

Three other railway employees - Ghorparan station master Vijay Kumar and porters Munna Kumar and Dukhan Mahto - were in the captivity of the Maoists, Yadav said, adding efforts were underway to rescue them.

Jamui District Magistrate Mayank Barbare, SP Upendra Kumar Sharma and SDO Amlendu Kumar were camping at the spot to supervise rescue operations launched by the CRPF's CoBRA battalion and the district police.

Railway Minister Mukul Roy said in Kolkata, "We have spoken to the Bihar Home Secretary and the Inspector General of RPF has talked to the Bihar DGP." The chairman of the Railway Board was also in touch with the Bihar government and the Union Home Ministry, he said.

Train services, disrupted on the Howrah-Delhi main line after the incident at 10:30 hrs, resumed at 14:02 hrs, the Railway Minister said. — PTI

Excavator machine set ablaze
AURANGABAD: Armed Maoists set on fire an excavator machine and beat up four construction employees in Bairaon village in Bihar's Aurangabad district, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Sanjay Kumar said on Wednesday. About 20 Maoists had entered the village in the early hours of the day and beat up the excavator driver and three labourers before setting on fire the equipment of a private construction company that had undertaken a road project under the Prime Minister Grameen Sadak Yojana, he said.
Naxals recruiting kids: UN

New Delhi, June 20
The Maoist are recruiting and indoctrinating children and had constituted children’s squads and associations as part of mass mobilisation, a UN report said.

The annual report of the UN Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, submitted to the Security Council last week, said information has been received on recruitment and use of children by Naxalites, particularly in Chhattisgarh and some districts in adjoining states.

“Maoist armed groups were recruiting and indoctrinating children, and had constituted children's squads and associations (Bal Dastas, Bal Sangham and Bal Manch) as part of mass mobilisation,” it said, quoting official records.

The UN said the information was supported by a 2010 National Commission for Protection of Child Rights report, which indicated that children were being recruited by Naxals through intimidation and abduction and were used in support roles, including as lookouts, messengers, porters and cooks.

The report also pointed to the recruitment of children by now defunct militia Salwa Judum.

The Supreme Court last year ordered disbanding of the anti-Maoist group.

Referring to Home Ministry’s statistics, the UN report said in 2011, incidents of attacks on schools by Maoists continued to be reported and between 2006 and 2011, Maoist armed groups destroyed 258 school buildings, mostly in Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Bihar, of which, 21 schools were destroyed between January and November, 2011. — PTI
Lankan Navy men ‘abduct’ 9 Tamil fishermen

Nagapattinam (TN), June 20
Nine fishermen of a fishing hamlet in this district have reportedly been abducted by Sri Lankan Navy off Kodiakarai coast in Indian waters.

Fisheries department officials, quoting panchayat representatives of Akkaraipettai hamlet, said the fishermen put out to sea in a mechanised boat on June 16.

While fishing off Kodiakarai coast in Indian waters on June 19, some Sri Lankan Navy personnel in a fast craft reportedly abducted them and took them to Kangesanthurai port in Sri Lanka.

Other fishermen in the vicinity returned ashore and conveyed the news to villagers, who launched an indefinite fast, demanding that the state and central governments take steps to secure release of the fishermen. — PTI
India mulls joint military exercises with China
NEW DELHI: Defence ties between India and China are set to gain momentum with New Delhi mulling joint exercises with Beijing next year after the just concluded naval drills in Shanghai held after a gap of six years.

India is planning to propose joint military exercises with China which will also include army-to-army exercises, sources said here.

The armies of the two countries last held counter insurgency and counter terrorism wargames codenamed 'Hand-in-Hand' in 2009 in Belgaum in India and prior to that in China in 2007.

India and China had agreed to enhance defence exchanges and communications for better understanding and mutual trust during the fourth round of Annual Defence Dialogue (ADD) held here in December last year after a tumultuous two years for military ties.

New Delhi had suspended military exchanges with China in August 2010 after it had refused to grant permission to a senior Indian Army Commander to proceed on an official trip to Beijing.

As an immediate fallout of the event, India refused to hold the third round of military exercise and had put all other military exchanges on hold.

Meanwhile, top-level officers of the Indian and Chinese Navies held discussions to improve the ties between the two countries as four Indian warships took part in basic naval exercises there.
Indian Army launches combing operation in North Kashmir forests
Srinagar: Indian Army on Wednesday launched major combing operations in Handwara and Trehgam Sector in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.
Army’s 21 Rashtriya Rifles this morning cordoned off a vast portion of forested area in Zatchaldara along the line of Control (LoC) following the death of an army jawan yesterday in militant attack and current inputs about the presence of militants in the forest area, official sources said.
Simultaneously, Army’s 18 Rashtriya Rifles started search operation in Rashanpora forest area in Trehgam area of Kupwara district. The twin operations were going on when the last reports came in, the official added.
Meanwhile, police has claimed to have recovered an unidentified body of a non-local at Waterhal in Central Kashmir's Budgam district.
Police told GNS that that we are being in touch with other non-locals in the area to ascertain his identity and cause of his suicide.
However, police has registered a case under section 174 CrPc and starts further proceedings.(GNS)
Two Indian companies in fray for over Rs. 10,000 cr army deal
In a major boost to the private sector, defence ministry has shortlisted two indigenous agencies including Larsen and Toubro, Tata Power and HCL and the state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the over Rs. 10,000 crore tactical communication project of the army.
Two companies,
including a private sector consortium for the Tactical Communication System (TCS) project of the Army, have been down-selected, Defence Ministry sources said here.

They will now submit a Detailed Project Report (DPR) on whose basis further steps will be taken to select the final winner, they said.

It was a significant step towards fulfilling army's requirement to replace its older radio network system to handle communication requirements in battle zone, they said.

TCS is a wide network deployed to provide secure communications infrastructure and network enabled operating environment to tactical forces in a battle zone.

Commenting on the Defence Ministry decision to select the two companies, the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) said, "Army has selected a private sector Special Purpose Company consisting of Larsen & Toubro, Tata Power SED and M/s HCL Infosys Ltd as a designated agency (DA) for the prestigious TCS project. Both DAs are supposed to make the prototype and out of two the lowest bidder will be given the final project."

"This selection is an outcome of rigorous rounds of scrutiny and years of concerted efforts put in by the Corps of Signals, army, Defence Ministry and Indian Industry together," it added.

The TCS project would be the first programme under the 'Make' clause in the Defence Procurement procedure (DPP). Under 'Make' programmes, Government provides 80% funding for the development phase and rest comes from the industry.
BEML-Tatra deal faced objections from defence establishment
BEML-Tatra deal had faced objections from senior defence ministry officials over lack of indigenisation and other issues related to Czech all-terrain vehicles but still the PSU managed to keep on supplying them to army, CBI sources said on Wednesday.

The sources in the agency, which is probing alleged irregularities in the deal, said one such instance was of Home Secretary RK Singh who, during his tenure at Defence Ministry, had objected to the way the agreement with Tatra Sipox UK was renewed by the BEML in 2003, three years before schedule.

Singh had also questioned poor pace of indigenisation of the Tatra vehicles even though BEML had a transfer of technology agreement with the supplying firm, they said.

They said the defence ministry was not very satisfied with the way BEML was functioning as far as the procurement and supply of Tatra vehicles was concerned but surprisingly the PSU kept the supplies on even after objections from officers like Singh.

Singh, who was Defence Production Secretary before taking up the present assignment as Home Secretary, had placed these objections on record in the form of a detailed note where he underlined the issues related to supply of Tatra vehicles.

CBI sources said they are also probing the "helping hands" of Tatra Sipox UK Director Ravinder Rishi in the defence ministry who ensured that the supplies of all-terrain vehicles from importer BEML continue to the Indian army.

The agency is probing alleged irregularities in supply from Czechoslovakia-based Tatra, with which the agreement was signed in 1986, to Tatra-Sipox UK owned by Rishi in 1997 showing it as original equipment manufacturer and the fully-owned subsidiary of the Czech company which was against rules, they said.

The agency has found that despite transfer of technology agreement with Tatra in 1986, the indigenisation of these vehicles remained far below satisfactory, they said.
The leader speaks – Lt. General Rajesh Kochhar
Lt General Rajesh Kochhar, AVSM, SM, VSM – Chief of Staff, Army Training Command, the senior most serving General of Indian Army, talked to the PGPex students on the topic of Leadership.
“Dearest Papa Mama….By the time you get this letter I’ll be observing you all from the sky…” – Lt. General Rajesh Kochhar started on a heavy note quoting from the last letter of Capt. Vijayant Thapar who sacrificed his life during the Kargil war. Lt. General Kochhar was addressing the 2013 PGPEx & PGPEX-VLM batches at IIMC and he was stressing on the military leadership and how the concepts can be applied to corporate world as well. He defined leadership in a simple but elegant way. According to him leadership is all about knowing what to do and getting things done. He stressed on leadership by example – something that Brigadier Sher Jung Thapa did in Skardu in holding back the enemy for six months. But that is not enough. The leaders need to motivate people in the proper direction. Thus purpose, direction and motivation formed the three cornerstone of military leadership.

So what one needs to become a leader? What should be the indicators of a good leadership? These are the questions that are applicable to all organizations – be it the army or the corporate sector. General Kochhar then went on explaining these issues. You need to thorough, must complete the job at hand, must have implicit faith in subordinates and last but not the least you need to be sincere and honest – he quoted Marshal of the IAF, Arjan Singh, while explaining the characteristics of a leader. Morale, spirit de corps and discipline forms the indicators of a good leadership – he further explained. Morale or the degree of motivation to do a job is very important so as discipline. But what binds a unit is the common spirit of comradeship or feeling towards the ‘izzat’ of the unit. General Kochhar illustrated these facts citing many instances. One such instance was the Battle of Saragarhi where 21 Indian soldiers fought against 10,000 Afghan tribesmen till ‘last man last round’. Battle of Rezang La similarly displayed height of comradeship where 98 Indian Army jawans led by Shaitan Singh held back the Chinese Army, which was almost 20 times larger in size, for 2 days till the ‘last man last round’. While the above two examples show great spirit among the unit members, then the story of Second Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal, who laid down his life in the Battle of Basantar but not before putting the Indian army in a stronger position in the Shakargarh bulge, provided great example of high morale and sense of duty.

So what are the things the corporate sector can learn from the army? General Kochhar stressed on military ethos –“principle of impartiality and justice for everyone, principle of secularism, live and die for each other and interest of country & subordinates come first”. Elementary but so easily forgotten in everyday life! His word of advice to the batch – people are more important than resources so invest in building up a team because at the end of the day it is teamwork that matters. But what is necessary to do that? One needs to have a long term vision in mind and he should be able to articulate that in clear terms. Articulate a compelling vision and align people around that and execute it – that’s it! Another very important thing that came up during discussion was ethics – a clichéd word which is lesser understood these days. General Kochhar sounded emotional while mentioning how a Pakistan soldier saved his life on a UN mission at Mogadishu. That’s what ethics is – playing just the role the uniform demands. He had some famous quotes on ethics for his presentation and one that stands out is the one from Steve Loranger – “It is not just winning that matters in the business world; it is how you win”.

At the end there was a Q&A session where he again stressed on importance of challenges in life. Where there is no challenge life is not worth living there was his motto. He urged the ‘corporate warriors’ (that’s what he preferred calling the corporate folks) not only to have a long term vision but also to give equal stress on execution part of it. But while doing all these, one must not lose the flexibility. One must have a plan B ready, must innovate, must be flexible but at the same time stick to the basics. As he rightly pointed out at the end – “keep it simple, stupid”.
India Denies ‘Cold Start’ Plan
India has told the United States that, contrary to speculation, it doesn’t have a ‘cold start’ doctrine for invading Pakistan within days of any conflict breaking out.

The ‘cold start’ doctrine is a version of World War II’s ‘blitzkrieg’ principle, under which India would mobilize within four days against Pakistan, rather than taking the minimum two months believed to be required to move a substantial invasion force to the eastern border.

The doctrine was mentioned following ‘Operation Parakram’ in December 2001, when Indian troops were mobilized after the Indian Parliament was attacked by Pakistani terrorists.

The previous Indian army chief, Deepak Kapoor, alluded to ‘cold start’ and the possibility of fighting a ‘limited war under a nuclear overhang’, comments which angered Pakistan. Indeed, Pakistan used these comments to justify its refusal of American requests to move the bulk of its troops to the east to fight the Taliban.

According to reports, the US asked for clarification from India about ‘cold start’, a doctrine that the Indian Army denied was central to its considerations.

In a press interview, Army Chief Gen. V.K. Singh said simply, ‘There is nothing called “Cold Start.” As part of our overall strategy, we have a number of contingencies and options, depending on what the aggressor does. In recent years, we’ve been improving our systems with respect to mobilization, but our basic military posture is defensive.’

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