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Saturday, 3 November 2012

From Today's Papers - 03 Nov 2012







http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121103/nation.htm#1
Former Army Chief may gherao Parliament with cane growers
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
Inching close to what could be his official political debut, former Army Chief Gen VK Singh (retd) has given a call to gherao Parliament on December 4 to protest against the new regulations in the sugar industry.

As of now, he is not sure if he would actually participate in such an activity on December 4. On being asked if this could be seen as step towards him entering politics, he said, “Good people should enter Parliament, but I have not thought about myself.”

Gen VK Singh (retd), who was accompanied by convener of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan (RKMS) VM Singh, today raised objections to the report submitted by the Rangarajan Committee regarding the regulation of the sugar sector.

“In case the report is not rejected, cane growers of northern states will gherao Parliament on December 4 to protest against the report," the RKMS said today.

The five-page memorandum sent to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has the signatures of Gen VK Singh. “I endorse the call as it is in the interest of the farmers,” the former Army Chief.

Asked specifically if he would join the protest, he said, “There is still time. We will cross the bridge when we come to it. I am sure the Prime Minister will give the report a re-look.”

He said that in the letter, the PM has been requested to reject the Rangarajan report. “We have a competent and sagacious Prime Minister. We will wait for him to decide,” the former Army Chief said.

On his much-publicised visit to Rewari in Haryana yesterday where he shared the stage with former Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala, the former Army Chief clarified, “I went there for the ‘samman divas’ (honour day) of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal. Being a resident of Haryana, I has gone there as yesterday was Haryana Day. Nobody should have an objection to that.”

When asked if there was any confusion in his mind as he was sharing the stage one day with Anna Hazare, another day with Ramdev and yet another day with Chautala, he said “There is no confusion in my mind.”

Yesterday, General VK Singh (retd) shared the stage with Sharad Yadav of the JD(U), Parkash Singh Badal of the Akali Dal, Nama Nageswara Rao of the TDP and Ramdas Athawale of the RPI at Rewari. At the rally, even while he did not name the Congress he reportedly said, “Time has come to have participatory democracy and remove all those not following the spirit of the Constitution.”

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121103/nation.htm#18
Gorshkov delay: India to take up issue with Putin
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 2
The delay in the handing over of sea-borne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will be taken up in a "big way" during Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit next month and India may also consider imposing a penalty of around Rs 600 crore over the issue.

The delay, officially conveyed by Russia on October 10, will mean the warship will be delivered at the end of 2013, which is almost a year behind the earlier scheduled date of December 4 this year. The delivery schedule of the already much-delayed 45,000-tonne warship had slipped after it encountered a “malfunction” in its propulsion system and boilers during sea trials in Russia.

Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov had conveyed the delay during his visit to India in October. Now, Indian officials want to take up the matter with Putin and seek his intervention in speeding up matters. Though nothing is decided officially, India may impose a "penalty clause” that is up to 5 per cent of the contract amount of $ 2.33 billion. If converted into rupees, imposition of the penalty would mean a setback of some Rs 600 crore to the deal, meaning Indian will be pay Rs 600 crore less for Admiral Gorshkov.

Rs 600-cr penalty?

Sea-borne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov will now be delivered to India at the end of 2013, almost a year behind its earlier scheduled date of December 4 this year

India is considering the option of imposing liquidity damages up to 5% of the contract worth over $2.3 billion (Rs 600 crore) over delays in supply of the warship

In other words, India could end up paying Rs 600 crore less for Admiral Gorshkov, rechristened INS Vikramaditya

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2012/20121103/edit.htm#4
India-China border dispute
What can be a possible solution
by T.V. Rajeswar

Could Sino-Indian conflict of 1962 have been prevented? Going by the historical position of India, Indian frontiers never extended across the Karakoram to the Kuenlun range. The British official map attached to the Simon Commission Report of 1930 and the map of India submitted by the General Staff of the British Indian Army to the British Cabinet Mission in 1946 show the crest of the Karakoram mountains as the approximate alignment of the Northern and Eastern Frontiers of Kashmir.

Aitchison’s Treaties (Vol. 12-1931) state that the Northern and Eastern Frontiers of Kashmir remain undefined. This had also been confirmed right from 1897 by the British Foreign Office. Until 1954, the maps issued by the Surveyor-General of India had shown the Indo-Tibetan border in the Ladakh sector as well as in the Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh segments as “undefined” while the McMahon Line in the NEFA sector was shown as “undemarcated”. It was only in 1954, following the advice of the North-East Border Committee, that the Surveyor-General published a new official map of India showing the boundary line in the Kashmir-Ladakh sector which took the crest of the Kuenlun range and, for the first time, placed within the Indian territory the whole of the disputed Aksai Chin area.

In the Eastern Sector, historically, the erstwhile Kameng Frontier Division of NEFA was under the dual control of the Tawang Monastery and the Drepung Monastery of Lhasa while the Dzongpons of Tsona district, who were the secular officials of the Tibetan government, administered the area. They periodically toured the Kameng area to collect taxes and settle disputes, and they used to visit right up to Kalaktang in the south-west extreme of the present-day Arunachal Pradesh. The palatial house of the Dzongpon in Dirang Dzong, which is south of the Sela Pass in Kameng district, is still there. Aitchison’s Treaties (Vol. 12 - 1931) state that the people inhabiting the Monul region, which approximately corresponds to Tsona district, were called Mombas (Monpas as they are called presently in Arunachal) and the Mombas living north of the Sela range were under the Tibetan administration.

The main objective of the British at the Simla Convention of 1914 was to confine the Chinese suzerainty to Outer Tibet and make China accept inner Tibet’s autonomy, including its demilitarisation, as this area was contiguous to British India and Nepal. The Chinese were unwilling to ratify it primarily on the ground that the boundary between the Outer and Inner Tibet, as proposed by the British, was unacceptable to them. Lord Hardinge, the Viceroy, had stated on July 23, 1914, while forwarding a copy of the official memorandum of Sir Henry McMahon on the proceedings of the Simla Conference, that the consideration of the North-Eastern Frontier of India was not a part of the functions of the Simla Conference and that the views and proposals put forward by McMahon in this respect might be regarded as only personal, having no endorsement of the Government of India. Olaf Caroe’s attempts in 1938 to put forth certain claims and his subsequent attempt in 1945 through Hugh Richardson to produce certain spurious documents were of no avail.

In 1946, the KMT government in China had protested against British intrusion into the NEFA area and sent as many as four protest notes. In October 1947, the Government of Tibet asked for the return of Tibetan territories from Assam to Ladakh, including such areas as Sikkim, Darjeeling and Bhutan. In November 1949, the KMT government gave a note to the Ministry of External Affairs repudiating the Simla Convention of 1914. It was only in February 1951 that a contingent of the Assam Rifles led by Major R. Khathing, Assistant Political Officer, went to Tawang and hoisted the Indian national flag proclaiming the jurisdiction of India over the area. This led to a hostile demonstration by the Tibetans against the Indian Consul-General at Lhasa.

The Tibetans were exercising a nebulous politico-religious authority in several pockets along the NEFA frontier such as Tawang, Sarli, Longju, Gelling, Kibithoo, etc. Alastair Lamb (The China-India Border — 1963), while rejecting the Chinese claim on the entire NEFA, upholds its claim to Walong and the Tawang tract of the region by virtue of its suzerainty over Tibet.

The Sino-Indian Treaty and the Trade Agreement signed in 1954 resulted in India giving up all its extra-territorial rights in Tibet acquired by the British first in 1904 and then enhanced in 1914. The Panchsheel, which was supposed to guide the Sino-Indian relations, was a by-product of these agreements. However, Panchsheel meant nothing to the Chinese as subsequent events proved. Nehru’s disillusionment was reflected in his public speech at Kathmandu during his visit to Nepal in June 1959 when he commented on Panchsheel: “Where is Panchsheel? Who observes Panchseel?”

The border dispute had not been taken up by India as a serious issue with the Chinese till 1957, and only the disputed maps had been referred to in some of the notes exchanged. During Premier Chou En-lai’s visit to India in the winter of 1956, only the McMahon Line was mentioned and not the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh, particularly since the Chinese road in the Aksai Chin area was first noticed by Indian patrols only in the summer of 1958. In the subsequent diplomatic notes and letters which were exchanged between the two parties, while India insisted on its claim on the basis of “tradition, custom and usage”, China steadfastly stuck to its position that the border was not defined and remained to be negotiated.

India came within an ace of solving the dispute amicably in April 1960 when Chou En-lai offered “reciprocal acceptance of present actualities in both sectors and constitution of a boundary commission”, which meant China’s acceptance of the de facto position of India’s border claim in the eastern sector along the McMahon Line and India’s acceptance of the de facto position of China’s claim in the Aksai Chin plateau, north of the Karakoram mountains which formed the watershed between the Indus basin and the Tarim basin.

While Jawaharlal Nehru was inclined to accept the offer, Home Minister G.B. Pant stoutly opposed the suggestion and the proposal fell through. There was one more opportunity, almost on the very brink of the catastrophic event of October 1962, when Krishna Menon met the Chinese Foreign Minister, Chen Yi, in Geneva in July 1962. Chen Yi repeated Chou En-lai’s offer of April 1960, but there was no response from India. If only Jawaharlal Nehru had asserted his primacy in political affairs and taken a bold stand in seizing the offer of Chou En-lai in 1960, the history of Sino-Indian relations would have been entirely different.

A possible solution to the border dispute would be the acceptance of what Chou En-lai offered in April 1960 — “reciprocal acceptance of present actualities in both sectors and constitution of a boundary commission”, which means Chinese acceptance of India’s border claim in the eastern sector along the McMahon Line and India’s acceptance of the Chinese border claim in the Aksai Chin plateau north of the Karakoram mountains.n

http://dawn.com/2012/11/02/former-indian-army-chief-threatens-to-siege-parliament/
Former Indian Army chief threatens to siege Parliament
NEW DELHI: Former Army chief VK Singh on Friday backed a farmers body’s demand for rejection of the Rangarajan Committee report on freeing the sugar sector and threatened to siege the Parliament next month if it is not met, The Times of India reported.

Addressing a press conference along with VM Singh, convenor of the Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan (RKMS), Singh said the committee’s recommendation on doing away with state advisory price (SAP) and cane reservation area will adversely affect the farmers of northern states.

He said the revenue sharing formula suggested by the committee is not fair and does not provide a level-playing field to northern states, where sugar recovery is below 9 per cent. But the panel suggests 70 per cent revenue be paid based on an average 10.31 per cent recovery of sugar.

Singh demanded that the Centre should not fix fair and remunerative price (FRP) and current system of SAP and cane area reservation should continue. He said the farmers’ body has no objection to other recommendations of the panel.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, both VK Singh and VM Singh said, “In case the report is not rejected, canegrowers of northern states would gherao Parliament on December 4 as a protest against the said report.”

Asked whether he supports the call for a ‘gherao’ (siege) of Parliament, the former Army chief said, “I am endorsing a call which is in the interest of farmers.”

On joining the agitation next month, he said, “We will cross the bridge when we reach there … Whether that situation will come or not, we will see. I am quite sure the Prime Minister is competent enough to relook at the report.”

Singh further said that he will support all those who work in the interest of the country. He was responding to a query about his presence at platforms led by Anna Hazare and Ramdev endorsing different issues.

He clarified that he has not yet decided on contesting elections. “Good people should enter Parliament. But I have not thought about myself yet.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/army-officer-files-complaint-against-panchkula-traders/1026112/
Army officer files complaint against Panchkula traders
A serving officer of the Indian Armed Forces on Friday filed a complaint in the Police Station Sector 10, Panchkula. He claimed that the traders of the market misbehaved with him when he tried to park his car in the parking area which he claims has been encroached by the traders.

He claimed that the traders in Panchkula Sector 10 market have made encroachments due to the festive season.

"One of the traders has also reserved the parking area for his trucks to be loaded and unloaded. When I asked my son to move one of the tables to make way, all the traders gathers in a mob and started abusing me,” he said.

He further added that when he called for the PCR vehicle, the traders subsided. But the encroachments were as it was when the complainant visited the market in the evening.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/millionstrong-indian-army-short-of-firing-ranges/303590-3.html
Million-strong Indian Army short of firing ranges
New Delhi: The shortage of land in India is well known but it's also now affecting the army which is running short of firing and manoeuvre ranges to train on. It's not only illegal encroachment, even state governments are reluctant to notify firing ranges given in demands from their own people.

India's million man army is running short of firing ranges to train on and perfect doctrine and tactics as expanding population is putting pressure on land. Firing ranges in sensitive areas like Kashmir are already feeling the heat. People living outside the Toshe Maidan range, 50 km from Srinagar, want it shut down.

“Many youngsters have died, many have been injured. We haven't gained anything out of this. Our Toshe Maidan is very beautiful. We want tourists,” says a local. However, the army says Toshe Maidan can’t be shut as it sits on traditional infiltration routes into the Kashmir Valley.
In two other firing ranges, private operators are active. In Belgaum, an MBA institute is coming up close to the Bagdad Asmara firing range in complete violation of law. Then there's the Shahgarh firing range in Jaisalmer, just 10 km from the Pakistan border, a private firm is exploring for oil there.

Add to those modern guns, tanks or artillery have longer ranges which means existing ranges like Babina in Uttar Pradesh are already short on space. The Mahajan range in Rajasthan, Deolali in Maharashtra,Kargil in Kashmir, Gamrala in Arunachal Pradesah and Hema and Bircha in Madhya Pradesh are other problem ranges.

On paper, the army has an impressive 66 firing ranges but has acquired only 12 so far. The status of others is uncertain. Government lethargy, delays and legal obstructions means even the notification of some areas as firing ranges have expired.

However, defence analyst Colonel Ajay Shukla, says that there are two kinds of firing ranges – one operated directly by the army and the other notified where the forces move in and ask the villagers to leave the area. “There are two kinds of ranges. One is acquired ranges which is directly in control of the army and the second is notified ranges where army first tell villagers to vacate the place,” he said. “But here you have the army deployed on the border which cannot be pulled out. The ranges have to be in the close vicinity of the rangers,” he added.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/52762-25-million-indians-won-allies-their-war.html
2.5 million Indians won Allies their war
 Official India acknowledged this, but overlooked enshrining the historical experience for posterity — with disastrous consequences as seen in 1962. This week, at long last, the long-forgotten volumes documenting India’s role were reintroduced — to the delight of scholars

The ‘Official History Of Indian Armed Forces In The Second World War 1939-45’, put together by the History Division of Ministry of Defence in eight volumes is most welcome. This work deserves to be read widely by both Indians and scholars abroad. Most of the Indian regiments and descendants of those Indian soldiers — apart from those which formed the Pakistan army on
partition — have constantly and repeatedly ensured India’s integrity, amply disproving the doubts nursed by some of India’s founding political leaders.

The Indian Army’s strength at the beginning of World War II was about 200,000 men. By the end of the war in August 1945, it had become the largest volunteer army in history, rising to over 2.5 million men. Serving in formations infantry, armour and a fledgling
airborne force, they fought on three continents, Africa, Europe and Asia. In Ethiopia Indian Army fought against the Italian Army, in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, against both the Italian and German Army, and after the Italian surrender, against the German Army in Italy.

However, the bulk of the Indian Army was committed to fighting the Japanese Army, first during the British defeats in Malaya and the retreat from Burma to the Indian border; later, after resting and refitting for the victorious advance back into Burma, as part of the largest British Empire army ever formed. These campaigns cost the lives of over 36,000 Indian servicemen, while another 34,354 were wounded, and 67,340 became prisoners of war. In March 1944, Japan initiated an offensive into India and advanced as far as Kohima in Nagaland. The Japanese advance in Southeast Asia reached its farthest point and was halted in pitched battles fought on the territory of India itself — at Kohima and Imphal.

The British appreciated the valour of Indian soldiers during the World War II with the award of some 4,000 decorations. Twenty eight Indian personnel were awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), while 8 were awarded the George Cross (GC). The VC is the highest award for exceptional bravery the face of the enemy for Commonwealth armed forces, while the GC is the highest gallantry award for civilians as well as for military personnel for actions not against the enemy. Originally awarded only to living
personnel, posthumous awards were allowed from 1905. Another rule of this award being only for whites was broken in World War I, when the British had to accept and acknowledge the bravery of Indian soldiers. Sepoy Khudadad Khan became the first Indian to be awarded the VC, after which the floodgates were opened and 11 were more awarded the same in that war.

Welcoming Lt Gen. JFR Jacob, who released the books and Lt Gen. Satish Nambiar, Lt Gen. YM Bammi, Brig. Rahul Bhosle, Col. PK Gautam, Dr UP Thaplial (former head of MoD’s History Division and Sqn Ldr RTS Chinna, who spoke in a panel discussion, DG, IDSA Arvind Gupta appreciated the value of such a work for research scholars and praised Pentagon Press for the quality of reprinted volumes. After releasing the books, Lt Gen. Jacob related anecdotes at length before the panel discussion, which, chaired by Lt-Gen. Satish Nambiar, dwelt on some of the important operations. The panelists commended the efforts of the publisher in bringing out the eight volumes and expressed that as a rising power, India should create awareness about the tremendous role the Indian Army played in the victory of the allied forces. Lt Gen. Nambiar asserted that the contribution of Indian Armed forces during World War II has largely gone unnoticed and that the confusion among the ranks of the nationalist movement leaders on the issue of India’s participation in the war resulted in poor negotiation when it came to distribution of spoils of war, following Indian soldiers’ professionalism, loyalty and exceptional courage.

The titles of the series are:

1. India and the War, East African Campaign 1940-41;

2. The North African Campaign, Expansion of the Armed Forces and Defence Organisation 1939-45;
3. Campaigns in South-East Asia 1941-42, The Arakan Operation 1942-45;
4. Campaign in Western Asia and Post-War Occupation Forces: Japan and South-East Asia.

While British officers in Indian regiments, led by General Sir Claude Auchinleck- a multi-linguist in Indian languages, treated Indians as comrades, there were those like the pompous, publicity-crazy Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery, “1stViscount Montgomery of Alamein”, who certainly did not like Indians. No wonder Montgomery was a favourite of the rabidly anti-Indian Winston Churchill, who reportedly opined: “Indians are a beastly people with a beastly religion”.

However, in 1995, when Allied countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of their victory, UK invited Indian VC awardees to attend the ceremonies and then Prime Minister John Major hiked their pensions to 100 pounds Sterling, but by that time there were very few still alive. Immediately after Independence, Indian Army was drastically downsized to less than half —
about 11,00,000 today and officers’ salaries were slashed. Over the years, Armed Forces Chiefs were pushed far down in the order of precedence.


http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/saabsweden-invests-rs-202-crore-in-pipavav/194224/on
SAAB of Sweden invests Rs 202 crore in Pipavav
The share price of Pipavav closed at Rs 82.35, up by 0.12% at the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday
Shubhashish / Mumbai Nov 02, 2012, 19:50 IST

SAAB AB of Sweden has invested Rs 202 crore in Pipavav Defence and Offshore, the company said in a stock exchange filing.

Pipavav has issued 2.45 crore shares to SAAB at Rs 82 per share which is at a premium of 7.75 per cent to the average six month’s weekly closing price of Pipavav’s stock price. With this share issue, SAAB will get 3.5 per cent shareholding in the Indian company with an option to increase it further at a later stage.

The share price of Pipavav closed at Rs 82.35, up by 0.12 per cent at the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.

SAAB is a global leader in military hardware, meant for Army, Navy and Air Force and will bring in advanced proprietary technology in India through the company, which will immensely benefit India’s armed forces, Pipavav said.

The two will also look at exporting military hardware. Pipavav said, “This is the first strategic investment made by a global defence major into an Indian company focusing on defence production.”

Pipavav already has a joint venture with Mazagon Dock in Mumbai to execute their Naval warships production orders worth Rs 60,000 crore.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/unidentified-flying-objects-ufo-seen-in-ladakh-jammu-and-kashmir-by-indian-army-itbp/1/227372.html
Mystery Sighting Spooks Soldiers


Read more at:
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/unidentified-flying-objects-ufo-seen-in-ladakh-jammu-and-kashmir-by-indian-army-itbp/1/227372.html
Units of the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force (ITBP) have reported Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOS) in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir. An ITBP unit based in Thakung, close to the Pangong Tso Lake, reported over 100 sightings of luminous objects between August 1 and October 15 this year. In reports sent to their Delhi headquarters in September, and to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO), they described sighting "Unidentified Luminous Objects" at day and by night. The yellowish spheres appear to lift off from the horizon on the Chinese side and slowly traverse the sky for three to five hours before disappearing. These were not unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), drones or even low earth-orbiting satellites, say Army officials who have studied the hazy photographs taken by ITBP.

Drone sightings are verified and logged separately. The Army has reported 99 sightings of Chinese drones between January and August this year: 62 sightings were reported in the western sector, the Ladakh region, and 37 in the eastern sector in Arunachal Pradesh. Three of these drones intruded into territory claimed by India along the 365-km-long border with China in Ladakh, manned by ITBP. Such mysterious lights have been sighted before in Ladakh, a barren, 86,000 sq km heavily militarised zone wedged between Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Chinese-occupied Aksai Chin. The persistent sightings by the ITBP this year, however, worried the Army's Leh-based 14 Corps. The ITBP, did not respond to a detailed India Today questionnaire.

In September, the Army moved a mobile ground-based radar unit and a spectrum analyser-that picks up frequencies emitted from any object-to a mountaintop near the 160-km-long, ribbon-shaped Pangong Lake that lies between India and China. The radar could not detect the object that was being tracked visually, in dicating it was non-metallic. The spectrum analyser could not detect any signals being emitted from them. The Army also flew a reconnaissance drone in the direction of the floating object, but it proved a futile exercise. The drone reached its maximum altitude but lost sight of the floating object.

In late September this year, a team of astronomers from the Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle, 150 km south of the lake, studied the airborne phenomena for three days. The team spotted the flying objects, Army officials say, but could not conclusively establish what they were. They did, however, say that the objects were "non celestial" and ruled out meteors and planets.
Scientists however say, the harsh geography and sparse demography of the great Himalayan range that separates Kashmir Valley from Ladakh, lends itself to unusual sightings. "The region is snowbound in winter, has few roads and is one of the most isolated places in India," says Sunil Dhar, a geologist at the government Post Graduate College in Dharamshala, who has studied glaciers in the region for 15 years.

Yet, none of the experts from the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO)-in charge of technical intelligence-and Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO), has been able to identify the objects. This has caused embarrassment rather than fear in the establishment. "Something is clearly wrong, if our combined scientific resources can't explain the phenomena," says a senior Army official in Delhi. Intelligence officials say these objects could be a crude psychological operation by China, or sophisticated probes attempting to ascertain India's defences in Ladakh.

"We can't ignore these sightings. We need to probe what new technology might have been deployed there, says former Indian Air Force (IAF) chief Air Chief Marshal (retired) P.V. Naik. In 2010, the IAF probed and dismissed Army sightings of such luminous objects as Chinese lanterns. UFO sightings have been endemic to Ladakh over the past decade. In late 2003, 14 Corps sent a detailed report on sightings of luminous objects to Army headquarters. Army troops on posts along Siachen had seen floating lights on the Chinese side. But reporting such phenomena risks inviting ridicule. When told about them at a northern command presentation in Leh, the then army chief, General N.C. Vij, had angrily dismissed the reports as hallucinations.

Scientists say the mysterious objects are not necessarily from outer space.  There is no evidence of UFOS being of extra-terrestrial origin, says reputed Pune-based astrophysicist Jayant Narlikar. The implication of them being alien objects is fancy, not fact, he says.

There is still no explanation, however, for what is believed to be the clearest UFO sighting yet, in the Lahaul-Spiti region of Himachal Pradesh less than 100 km south of Ladakh in 2004. A five-member group of geologists and glaciologists led by Dr Anil Kulkarni of the ISRO's Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad were on a research trip through the barren Samudra Tapu Valley. They filmed a fourfoot tall robot-like figure, that walked along the valley, 50 m away from them. The humanoid object then rapidly became airborne and disappeared. The encounter lasted 40 minutes.

It was seen by 14 persons including the six scientists. Kulkarni then interviewed each expedition member separately to verify what the team had seen. Copies of his detailed report were circulated to the PMO, ISRO, the Army and several intelligence agencies. Kulkarni established his team hadn't seen natural phenomenon. The matter, however, was buried soon after.

Sunil Dhar, who was part of the 2004 expedition, terms the sighting of the unidentified object an unforgettable experience. Locals, he says, have reported sighting mysterious objects for many years.  These are unsolved mysteries that need more intensive study, he says. Left unexplained, the Ladakh sightings risk slipping into the crack between fact and science fiction.



http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/ordered-to-do-menial-tasks-army-jawans-desert-unit_808904.html
Ordered to do menial tasks, Army jawans desert Patiala unit
Chandigarh: In yet another breach of discipline in the Indian Army, around 16 soldiers of an armoured regiment based in Patiala left their unit after being forced by their seniors to perform 'menial tasks'.

As per reports, the jawans were part of the 56 Armoured Regiment stationed at Patiala as part of the elite 1 Armoured Division.

The jawans were allegedly asked by some officers to carry out 'menial tasks'. They allegedly protested stating that they belonged to Army's clerk cadres and were supposed to do specific tasks only, The Indian Express reported.

Reports stated that the soldiers returned to their regimental centre in Ahmednagar after the Commanding Officer (CO) issued orders to punish them for showing dissent.

CO had the jawans put through a 'Battle Physical and Proficiency Test (BPET) which requires one to run several kilometres and cross obstacles in full battle gear. They were then forced to do a 'route march’.

The newspaper added that queries to Western Command's Chandimandir-based headquarters went unanswered and no statement was issued in this regard.

Over a 1,000 soldiers have committed suicide since 2003, with the yearly toll regularly climbing over 100. Incidents of fragging (to kill or wound a fellow soldier) have also become a regular phenomenon in the 1.13-million strong Army.

A report by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research had held that "perceived humiliation and harassment, over and above occupational and familial causes", by their superiors often serves as the final "trigger" for jawans in stress-related cases in the forces.

The Army has, meanwhile, ordered a probe into the matter.

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