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Tuesday, 18 December 2012

From Today's Papers - 18 Dec 2012
India to add 152 outposts on Nepal, Bhutan borders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 17
India will have 152 more border outposts along its borders with Nepal and Bhutan. These have been planned due to Nepal’s “internal issues” such as Maoists, said Arun Chaudhary, Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), today.

Terrorists infiltrating into India from Nepal is another problem that has forced India to increase its border outposts along the two borders.

At the force’s annual press conference held today, Arun Chaudhary also said that one of its prime focus would be gathering and sharing of intelligence with other security agencies.

The force has implemented new technology such as IP-based (web) surveillance cameras installed at the porous and visa-free Indo-Nepal border, said Chaudhary.

This system monitors the movement of men and material across the border and also helps identify wanted persons.

The force has also introduced GPS systems to manage and monitor their patrols along the border.

It has a water wing consisting of speed boats used for patrolling large water bodies, where cross-border movement takes place. The SSB water-wing already has 50 to 60 speed boats at West Champaran in Bihar, according to sources.

There are 450 border outposts (BOPs) along the 1,751 km-long Indo-Nepal border and 132 BOPs on 699 km-long Indo-Bhutan border. Chaudhary said that the force intended to add 152 BOPs at both the borders, bringing the total to 734.

He said, “The strengthening of the BOPs is driven by what is happening at the Nepal border. These are internal issues such as Maoists and we are keeping a tab on them. People, especially terrorists from the Kashmir region, are entering India via Nepal.”

Tech edge

    Web-based surveillance cameras installed at Nepal border
    GPS systems being used to manage and monitor SSB patrols
    Water wing consisting of speed boats formed to patrol large water bodies where cross-border movement takes place
    Emphasis being laid on intelligence network
Sensitive issues
Pak minister’s casual approach

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik made three major but casual observations during his New Delhi visit, showing that he was not fully prepared to handle questions related to the sensitive issues involved. One, he compared the 2008 terrorist killings in Mumbai with the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992. A seasoned politician in his position would have avoided answering any question concerning what happened at Ayodhya, as it was purely an internal matter for India. His denial indicates that he realised the blunder he made. But that is meaningless when the damage has already been done because of his casual style of handling the two totally unrelated and highly sensitive issues.

Two, the Pakistani minister tried to make the world believe that the Mumbai terrorist attack involving Pakistani nationals was not a state-sponsored incident. But he did not say much about the ISI’s role in 26/11. India has provided sufficient proof that the ISI had a hand in the Mumbai terrorist killings. Reports emanating from Pakistan itself and carried in the media worldwide prove that the Pakistan-based terrorist masterminds could not have succeeded in enacting the dance of death they did in Mumbai had the ISI support not been available to them. Non-state actors have their limitations. They cannot accomplish certain tasks without the involvement of the state actors.

Rehman Malik’s third observation that 26/11 happened because intelligence agencies of India and Pakistan were not sharing information among themselves. Can anybody believe that ISI officials would have informed their counterparts in India that Pakistan-based terrorists were about to indulge in mayhem in Mumbai in which the ISI itself was playing a role? He also boasted that he would get Lashkar-e-Toiba-founder Hafeez Saeed arrested while being in New Delhi if he was provided with clinching evidence of the extremist being behind the Mumbai massacre. There is no dearth of evidence to bring Saeed to book, and Malik cannot be unaware of this. What is needed is the determination not to allow anyone go unpunished if found involved in an act of terror. Saeed is roaming free because the case against him was not pursued by the Pakistan government with the intention to get him nailed.
No more Tatra trucks for Indian Army: Government
New Delhi: The Indian Army has 7,983 Tatra trucks but "there is no further procurement" of these vehicles or their spare parts, the government said on Monday.

Defence Minister AK Antony told the Lok Sabha that the existing Tatra trucks formed about four per cent of the total vehicles authorized for use by the army.

Asked about details of ongoing projects using the Tatra platform, Antony said: "The details ... cannot be divulged in the interest of national security."
Army Chief to arrive in Sri Lanka tomorrow
Indian Army Chief Bikram Singh and a delegation of senior Army officials, who arrive here on Wednesday, will pay tributes to Indian Peace Keeping Force personnel, including P. Ramaswamy M. Vr. C (Maha Vir Chakra), who did not fight for India, but nevertheless figure in the list of people who sacrificed their lives.

It was Ramaswamy’s son, Maj. Parameshwaran, who laid down his life as part of the IPKF. For his heroism, the Major was presented the Param Vir Chakra, India’s highest military honour.

Though The Hindu pointed out this discrepancy on August 16 this year, and though officials at the Indian High Commission claimed that they were aware of this issue much before the newspaper pointed it out, nothing has so far been done to correct the mistake. A visit to the memorial on Monday night revealed no activity, though one official claimed that the mistake was being rectified.

The visiting Indian Army Chief is scheduled to meet President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Defence Secretary, the Chief of Defence Staff and the three forces’ Commanders.

His Sri Lanka visit will also take him to the Security Force Headquarters in Vavuniya and the Ex-combatants’ Rehabilitation Centre.

He and his wife will also spend time taking in the heritage of Anuradhapura, and will also travel to the cooler climes of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.

He will be the Chief Guest at the Passing-out Parade at the Sri Lankan Military Academy, Diyatalawa, on December 22.
Concern over shortage of personnel, arms in Indian Army
NEW DELHI: Concerns were voiced in Rajya Sabha on Monday over national security issues in the wake of severe shortage of personnel and arms in the Indian Army.

Raising the issue during Zero Hour, Shanta Kumar (BJP) said it is a matter of grave concern that Indian Army is facing a shortage of 12,500 officers and 30,000 jawans.

The shortage has been accepted by defence minister A K Antony and has been widely reported in media leading to a sense of insecurity among masses, Kuamr said.

Demanding filling up of the vacant posts immediately, he said even former Army Chief V K Singh had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh regarding shortage of arms and equipment in the Indian Army.

He also stressed the need for lifting the condition that appointment in armed forces can be made only on the basis of population of states so that more people from states like Punjab and Himachal Pradesh could join the Army.

These are the states from where traditionally a large number of people join the Army and are willing to serve the nation.
Homage to 1971 War Army martyrs
TEZPUR: Army's Gajraj Corps in Assam today paid homage to the martyrs of the 1971 war with Pakistan, remembering the sacrifices of the brave soldiers who made the supreme sacrifice.

Today marks the day in 1971 when the Indian Army spearheaded by Gajraj Corps had brought about the capitulation of East Pakistan leading to the birth of a new nation Bangladesh, said its Chief of Staff Maj Gen D K Purohit addressing the army veterans.

Maj Gen Purohit also emphasised on the re-employment opportunities for retired soldiers, including information on Defence Security Corps expansion and assistance facilitated by the Army Welfare Placement Organisation (AWPOs).

Officers and men of Gajraj Corps laid wreaths at the War Memorial to remember the sacrifices of the soldiers.

The wreath laying was followed by a Veteran's Mela attended by over 500 ex-servicemen, including Veer Naries ( women) and their families from nine Divisional Ex-Servicemen Associations of Sonitpur District where Gajraj Corps is situated.

The year 2012 has been declared as the 'Year of Veterans' to honour Ex-servicemen who have served the nation with dedication for an entire lifetime and today's Veteran Mela and Rally was to commemorate the occasion, defence sources here said.
In Assam, Indian Army's Fourth Corps celebrates 'Bangladesh Victory Day'
Calcutta, Dec 15 ( – India's Fourth Army Corps based in Assam's Tezpur cantonment on Sunday observed the Victory Day to recall its operations that led to the defeat of the Pakistan army and the creation of Bangladesh.

A solemn ceremony was organised in the headquarters of the 4th Corps, popularly known as Gajraj Corps, to pay homage to the soldiers who fought for the liberation of Bangladesh from Pakistani occupation.

"Like each year, we remember this day as a red-letter day in the history of our formation. Because it was the thrust provided by units under the Gajraj Corps that led to the capitulation of the Pakistani forces and the liberation of Bangladesh. We not only recall the memories of our fallen soldiers but also the thousands of Bangladeshi freedom fighters who fought shoulder to shoulder with our forces," said Major General D K Purohit, chief of staff of the Gajraj Corps in a press release.

Maj-Gen Purohit and other senior officials laid wreaths at the War Memorial in the Tezpur cantonment.

For the 4th Corps, December 1971 was its finest war. This is the formation that guards India's eastern borders with China , at whose hands it had suffered a humiliating defeat in 1962. 1971 changed that and the 4th Corps could redeem its lost glory through a determined thrust across eastern Bangladesh that carried its formation to the vicinity of Dhaka at great speed.

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