Militants attack Army patrol in Valley; one jawan killed
Blood stains at the spot in Pampore where one soldier was killed by militants. Tribune photo: Amin War
Srinagar, July 7
A jawan was killed and another critically injured when suspected militants today opened fired on an Army patrol at Pampore, around 15 km from here on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
“The two jawans of 50 Rashtriya Rifles were attacked around 3 pm at Kadlabal market,” Vijay Kumar, DIG, South Kashmir Range, told The Tribune.
Lt Gen Om Prakash, GOC Chinar Corps, said a group of soldiers were securing the NH-44. On finding a suspiciously parked autorickshaw and scooter, two soldiers approached these vehicles. The militants who were inside a shop nearby open fire on them from a very close range. The injured were immediately shifted to sub-district hospital at Pampore, where Sepoy Deepak Singh succumbed to injuries.
Fifth attack in three weeks
July 7 Militants attack Army patrol, kill jawan
July 3 Militants kill two policemen from point-blank range in separate attacks in Pulwama and Kulgam districts
June 28 Two grenades lobbed at an Army camp in Srinagar
June 19 Militants attack a post in Handwara in north Kashmir, kill jawan
June 15 NC block president shot dead in Srinagar
The other injured, Trilok Nath, was shifted to 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar for treatment and his condition is stated to be critical. The militants also snatched a rifle from one of the jawans.
The militants fled immediately after firing sparking off panic in the town. The incident took place at a time when there was a heavy rush of vehicles carrying Amarnath pilgrims. The troops did not retaliate immediately in view of the heavy traffic, the DIG said. Manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits.
No militant organisation has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. On July 3, militants had shot dead two policemen from point-blank range in separate attacks in Pulwama and Kulgam districts. Adequate security arrangements were in place in view of the heavy flow of tourists and pilgrims to Kashmir, said the police.
Northern Army chief, Guv discuss security
Lt Gen KT Parnaik, Northern Army Commander, called on Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhawan on Saturday. Parnaik briefed the Governor on security arrangements, especially in the wake of the Amarnath Yatra and other recent incidents of violence in the state.
Bathinda air base gives Air Force big edge
First in the country to have latest radars, navigation tools & tracking systems
New Delhi, July 7
The Indian Air Force forward base at Bathinda is now the first defence
airfield in the country to be equipped with the latest radars, navigation tools and aircraft tracking systems that will enable total automation in air
traffic management and allow the next generation of warplanes having fly-by-wire-technology, to operate from there.
The Ministry of Defence had early last year signed a contract with Tata Power’s Strategic Electronics Division under a Rs 1299 crore modernisation of airfield infrastructure (MAFI) project for upgradation of 30 air bases in the country, including those in the north-east. Bathinda is the first airfield where the project was launched in July last year with the target of completion in June 2012. IAF sources told The Tribune that upgradation work at Bathinda was completed earlier this week. The IAF is now operating with the latest equipment.
The newly installed hi-end gadgetry brings Bathinda airbase at par with air force bases in the developed world using such technology. This is an important cog in the network-centric approach.
Ground based, controllers will have a real-time view enabling sharp decision making. The information can be relayed further to ground based troops of the Indian Army.
The newly inducted twin-engined Mi-17-V5 armed choppers — used for troop insertions in forward areas — are based there. However, the upgrade means
one of the fighter squadrons, which have the very latest warplanes, can also be based there at a short notice.
The MoD had signed a contract in early 2011 for upgradation of 30 air bases in the country
Bathinda was the first airfield where the project was launched in July last and completed earlier this week
Controllers on the ground will now have a real-time view, enabling sharp decision making. The information can then be relayed to ground-based Army troops
It’s official: NDA Commandant shifted to Army headquarters
Four days after Defence Minister A K Antony ordered the transfer of NDA commandant Lt Gen Jatinder Singh to facilitate fair CBI probe into the alleged recruitment scam in the academy, the NDA on Saturday confirmed receiving the formal transfer orders of Lt Gen Singh. Singh will be transferred on attachment to Army Headquarters said a press release issued by the academy. This has put an end to speculation that he would be transferred to Southern Command on attachment.
“We have received formal transfer orders for Lt Gen Singh and these orders are being complied with. As of now, Deputy Commandant Rear Admiral Anand Iyer has taken over as officiating Commandant. The rest are matters of procedural details, which will be implemented as instructed by the Headquarters,” said a press release issued by the Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Defence.
The NDA is the only tri-services training establishment that trains cadets before joining the academies of the respective services. Thus, the Commandant of the academy is an office held by officers of the three services on rotation. Lt Gen Jatinder Singh who assumed the office of the NDA commandant on January 1, 2011 was to retire in October- November. Prior to this, the charge was held by Vice Admiral Satish Soni, a Naval officer. As evident, it was the turn of the Air Force to hold the office of the Commandant after Lt Gen Singh's retirement. However, the NDA Commandant's early exit has led to speculation whether the new Commandant will be an Air Force officer or an Army officer. In case it’s an Army officer, he will hold the office for three-four months before handing over charge to an Air Force officer of the Air Marshal rank.
“The ambiguity over whether the Army will send an officer of the Lt Gen rank to take over the office or it will be handed over to the IAF still remains. As of now, Rear Admiral Iyer will officiate as the Commandant,” said an NDA official.
“It will be sensible to appoint an IAF officer as it would help him hold the office for a longer duration. He will get two years to put the house in order. For this, the Army will have to forgo three months of their turn. But since the Army has more stake in the NDA owing to maximum number of Army cadets in the academy, it might want to hold the office for three months and rebuild its image it appears to have lost over the recent incident. Besides there are promotion-related aspects to be considered,” said a senior retired officer.
Army jawan killed, one injured in militant attack at Pampore in J&K
SRINAGAR: An Army jawan was on Saturday killed and another injured when militants opened fire on them from point blank range in highway town of Pampore in south Kashmir, police said.
This was the third such shooting incident in south Kashmir during the past five days.
The soldiers were withdrawing money from an ATM at Kadalbal, 16 kms from here, on Srinagar-Jammu national highway when the ultras armed with pistols targetted them around 3.10pm, they said.
Sepoy Deepak Kumar died on way to hospital after being hit by a bullet in the neck, while his colleague was undergoing treatment.
The ultras fled immediately after the shooting which sparked off panic in the busy town, the police said adding a hunt has been launched to nab them.
No militant outfit has so far claimed responsibility for the attack.
On July 3, militants shot dead two policemen from point blank range in separate attacks at Rajpora chowk in Pulwama and Yaripora in Kulgam district.
Mahakumbh: Army says no permanent structure on its land
The Army will extend all possible cooperation to the civic authorities during preparation and the conduct of Mahakumbh, but will not be able to allow any permanent construction in the Parade Ground and the land around the Akbar’s Fort, where it has a base.
The message to this effect was conveyed to the civil administration today, during its meeting with Lieutenant General Anil Chait, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C), Central Command.
With this, the possibility of Qila Ghat, which was touted as the most important pucca ghat, seeing the light of the day has receded further. However, the GOC-in-C told the civil administration officials that the matter would be sent for consideration of the Ministry of Defence, as it was the final authority in the matter.
Mela officer Mani Prasad Mishra said: “The matter of Qila Ghat was raised during the meeting. The high ranking officer reiterated that no permanent construction could be allowed near the Fort or on the Parade Ground. Nevertheless, the matter would be referred to the Defence Ministry.”
In a statement issued by the Defence PRO here, it was said that the local military authority has been directed to provide all assistance to the civil administration during preparation and conduct of the mega-event.
Mishra said that the Army has always cooperated with the civil administration in the matters related to Mahakumbh. “Usually, we require Army help for smooth traffic movement, access control, entire land in Parade area and also trained divers, besides other things,” said Mishra.
Meanwhile, a team of experts of the Irrigation Department was likely to visit the current Qila Ghat site — which is supposed to be more than 1,000 square yards away from the Fort boundary — on Sunday to assess its feasibility. The work on the Qila Ghat (proposed to be 150 meters long and 80 metres wide and costing around Rs 10 crore) had been stopped on June 11 following objection from the Army that it was being constructed within 1,000 square yards from the Fort boundary, which was not permissible.
Subsequently, the Irrigation Department, which was constructing the Ghat, decided to shift the site closer to Sangam area. But then the Mela administration had expressed apprehension that the ghat so close to the Sangam “nose point” may affect the water flow.
Earlier, there were proposals for construction of pucca night shelters for the devotees in the Parade Ground. Senior administration officials had said that the matter would be taken up with the Army, but no headway was made in this regard.
Indian Army Gen appointed head of UNDOF
New Delhi. An Indian Army Major General Iqbal Singh Singha, has been appointed Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF). He succeeds Major General Natalio C Ecarma of the Philippines who will complete his assignment on August 13, a senior official of the UN office here said.
Major General Singha brings to his new position extensive command experience and knowledge of peacekeeping attained through service at the national and international levels.
Prior to his appointment, Major General Singha was the General Officer Commanding Infantry Division, a position he held since 2010.
From 2009 to 2010, Major General Singha served as Brigadier General Staff Operations and was President, Army Standing Establishment Committee from 2007 to 2009.
He was Colonel General Staff Sub-Conventional Operations at the Army Training Command from 2005 to 2006 and held the appointment of Colonel General Staff of an Armoured Division in the Indian Army.
From 2003 to 2005, he served the United Nations Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia as Chief Logistics Officer. Major General Singha holds Masters’ degrees in Defence and Strategic Studies from Madras University and Defence Studies and Management from Devi Ahilya Vidya Peeth, Indore. He also graduated from the National Defence Academy, Pune and the Army War College, Mhow, in India. UNI