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Saturday, 1 September 2012

From Today's Papers - 01 Sep 2012
Big-ticket buys on cards as new Navy chief takes over
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi today took over as the 21st Chief of the Indian Navy. During his three-year tenure, new warships, a nuclear submarine, a dedicated naval satellite and reconnaissance planes, among other things, are slated to be inducted into the navy.

Admiral Joshi, who hails from Uttarakhand, is the 19th Indian to command the navy since independence. The first two Navy Chiefs were British during the period of transformation.

In a message to the force on his first day in the office, he said: “Navy would need to professionally re-audit, train and consolidate its preparedness to optimise the existing capabilities and harness the potential of new capabilities being inducted”.

During his tenure, the first key induction is slated to be of the Russian built sea-borne aircraft carrier, Admiral Gorshkov, that will be renamed as INS Vikramaditya. MiG 29s will operate from its deck. For the first time in 15 years the Indian Navy will have two aircraft carriers, the other being the INS Viraat though it is on its last legs.

The next induction will be of the US-built long range reconnaissance planes, Boeing P8-I. Orders have been placed for 12 planes and the first is slated to arrive in January 2013. At the moment India operates Russian-origin IL 38 and the Tupelov 142 for long-range reconnaissance at sea.
Air crash: IAF Chief visits Jamnagar
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
A day after nine Indian Air Force personnel, including five pilots, were killed in a mid-air chopper collision, IAF chief Air Chief Marshall NAK Browne visited the Jamnagar Air base to meet pilots, technicians and ground crew at the base and to reassure them to continue their mission.

The IAF has deputed three transport planes to carry the bodies of the deceased to be handed over to the families for their last rites. The planes flew this afternoon from Jamnagar for their respective destinations with the top brass of the IAF supervising matters at the spot. In North India, a plane has been tasked to bring bodies at Jaipur, Ambala and Pathankot. As per the demands of the families, the bodies have been sent to the places they desired. IAF planes have flown off to Thanjavur, Lucknow, Patna and Kochi. Personnel at the nearest air base will complete final formalities for funeral as per the traditions of the forces.
Two close aides of Army ex-chief VK Singh shifted
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 31
In a move that is seen as the first change ushered in by the Army Chief General Bikram Singh, five Lieutenant-General rank officials were shifted, here this evening.

Significantly, the Delhi Area General Officer Commanding (GOC), Lt Gen VK Pillai has been moved to Chennai as the GOC of the Southern states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, an insignificant posting in the Army. Lt Gen S Mitra replaces him.

The order to shift the Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen AK Chaudhary to be the GOC Bengal area has been sent for ratification to the Defence Minister. He has sought a transfer on health grounds and will be replaced by Lt Gen Vinod Bhatia. A new appointment at that level needs to be ratified.

Sources said in the eyes of the government these two officers were at the helm of affairs when troop movements were reported on the night intervening January 16-17 this year. The government had said the movements were routine, however, during the peak of these movements, the Secretary Defence was summoned back to India by cutting short his visit to Malaysia.

Among others to be shifted today were Lt DS Hooda, he will be new GOC of the Nagrota-based 16 corps replacing Lt Gen AS Nandal. Lt Gen JS Bajwa will be new Director General Infantry.
Defence, nuclear units were on Karnataka terror radar
NEW DELHI: Vital Army, Navy and nuclear installations in south India were on the terror radar of the suspects arrested in Bangalore and Hubli for allegedly plotting to target MPs, MLAs and journalists in Karnataka. During interrogation, they apparently said Saudi Arabia-based handlers of these terrorists are Pakistanis and Indians.

"Most politicians who were in the hit list of these suspected terrorists belong to BJP, one of them a party Rajya Sabha MP," said an official.

Karnataka Police recovered photographs and sketches of South Indian defence installations from the suspects. DRDO claimed "no sensitive or classified information was compromised" after the busted terror plot revealed involvement of one of its scientists Aijaz Ahmed Mirza.

Police suspect there must be some connection between these recovered photographs and sketches and Mirza, who might have been in touch with others in defence establishments over the months.

Though the police did not find any details relating to nuclear establishments during the raids in Bangalore and Hubli, three of the 11 terrorists - linked to Pakistan-based outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami (HuJI) - admitted during interrogation that they were also asked to do surveillance of these installations by their handlers in Saudi Arabia. Central agency sources said two of the arrested suspects had also visited Tehran before going to Pakistan.

It is learnt that the inputs about these two modules, operating out of Hubli and Bangalore, had come from Andhra Pradesh during technical surveillance on some of the 'remnant' groups of the slain HuJI terrorist Shahid Bilal.

Although Bilal, who had set up network in Hyderabad and other cities in Andhra Pradesh before fleeing to Pakistan, was reportedly shot dead in Karachi, some people belong to the modules created by him are active in many southern states. "Arrest of some more persons of these modules cannot be ruled out at this juncture", said the official.

These details emerged even as DRDO on Friday said that Mirza had been placed as Junior Research Fellow (JRF) for the past few months at the Centre for Air Borne Systems (CABS), a DRDO laboratory, after a thorough background check. "Verification of his antecedents including by police was conducted in the process of Mirza's placement on the temporary position of JRF," the DRDO said in a statement.
Twitter rant against President lands officer in jail
SEOUL: A South Korean army officer received a suspended jail term on Friday for insulting President Lee Myung-Bak on Twitter -- the first serving officer to be charged in the country over social networking.

The 28-year-old captain was found guilty of posting comments on his account last December criticising Lee using foul language.

The military court said it sentenced him to six months in prison but suspended his term for one year as it was his first offence.

Prosecutors said military law dictated that army officers should refrain from insulting their seniors or commanders.

Citing freedom of expression, lawyers unsuccessfully argued that the officer as a citizen had legitimately criticised Lee's policies.

The case has prompted the defence ministry to announce new guidelines on the use of social media that advises soldiers not to express political views or defame others.
Army to organise fair at Kargil on Sep 3
 In a goodwill gesture, Army is going to organise a fair at Kargil in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir on September 3.

A series of events have been planned to mark the event which will also aim to showcase the country's military prowess, a defence spokesman said here today.

The event is also expected to go a long way in fostering and strengthening the strong bond between people of the region and Indian Army, he added.

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