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Thursday, 25 April 2013

From Today's Papers - 25 Apr 2013
Now, China’s copters violate Indian airspace in Ladakh
Drop food, cigarette packets, notes
India plans more permanent posts along LAC
Ajay Banerjee & Ashok Tuteja
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 24
Close on the heels of Chinese troops entering the Indian territory in northern Ladakh and refusing to budge from their current position, two Chinese military helicopters have violated Indian airspace at Chumar in southeastern Ladakh, adding to the prevailing tension between the two countries.

With China virtually rejecting India’s demand that status quo be restored along the border, India is planning to set up more permanent posts closer to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and has pressed in additional unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to maintain an eye on Chinese movements.

Two Chinese military copters entered the Indian airspace in the Chumar sector on April 21, top sources confirmed. The incident occurred on April 21 and in the middle of the ongoing stalemate near Daulat Beg Oldie in northern Ladakh, where Chinese soldiers pitched a tent on April 15. The Indian side had responded on April 18 by rushing in its troops.

The helicopters hovered over the area for quite some time and returned only after dropping some food cans, cigarette packets and hand-written notes, sources said. Brigadier BM Gupta had raised the matter with his Chinese counterpart senior Colonel Ayan Yanti at the flag meeting held yesterday.

Last September, Chinese helicopters flew over Chumar with some of its troops even getting onto the ground. The troops destroyed bunkers and old tents of the Indian Army before returning to their own airspace. Chumar is around 300 km southeast of Leh and lies close to India’s high-altitude astronomical observatory at Hanle.

Large swathes of the LAC, which has no definite alignment, are patrolled by Indian troops on a regular basis. At least five sections of the LAC are disputed in eastern Ladakh. Permanent posts, however, are few and far away from each other. The latest incursion by Chinese in northern Ladakh means that India will have to take a proactive role to protect its interests, sources said.

Unlike, the Line of Control (LoC) on the western front with Pakistan, the existing rules of engagement along the LAC do not entail having a post after a fixed distance. There are very few posts where the troops of either side eyeball-to eyeball. The distance from the LAC is mandated under peace agreements by the two sides since 1993.

Sources said the developments in the past one week have forced New Delhi to review its strategy along the LAC. So far, the peace agreement and modalities on confidence-building measures (CBM’s) were working. Whenever soldiers of either side came face-to-face due to varying perception of the LAC alignment, they withdrew as mandated under the April 2005 agreement. But now the dynamics have changed.

The latest intrusion by Chinese troops has taken place at Raki Nallah, east of Daulat Beg Oldie - India’s advanced landing ground (ALG). The area is manned by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police. However, Army troops were rushed in to counter the Chinese.

After two meetings proved unfruitful, a Commander-level flag meeting is likely to take place on April 26. Official sources were, however, confident that the issue would be settled through negotiations between the two sides. On being asked about the fate of upcoming bilateral visit of Chinese Premier to India in the wake of the latest border row, Indian officials said as of now the scheduled visit of new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was on.

Li would visit India in the third week of May. The two sides were working on his programme in India.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, meanwhile, said the two countries were in touch to settle the matter while emphasising that New Delhi and Beijing had differing perception of the LAC. China yet again asserted it had not violated the LAC, virtually rejecting India’s demand that status quo be restored along the border. “I want to reiterate that Chinese troops have been acting in strict compliance with the bilateral agreements and conducting normal patrol on their side of the LAC. They have never crossed the line,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in Beijing.

India, on its part, has sent its Army delegation to Beijing to finalise the dates of bilateral military exercise expected to be held later this year. The delegation has been sent to avoid any escalation in the situation A Brigadier from the Military Operations is heading it and will finalise the date for the third edition of the hand-to-hand exercise between the two sides after a gap of four years. The exercise is expected to be held in September-October this year, said Indian officials.
Fresh tension

April 21: Two Chinese helicopters enter Indian airspace at Chumar in southeastern Ladakh; hover over the area for quite some time
April 15: A platoon-strength contingent of China’s People's Liberation Army comes 10 km inside Indian territory in Daulat Beg Oldie sector; sets up a tented post
The locations are around 600 km apart
Two flag meetings prove unfruitful; a Commander-level meeting likely to take place on April 26

Talks on to resolve row, says Antony
Defence Minister AK Antony said on Wednesday that negotiations with China were going on at various levels to resolve the stand-off over the recent incursion by its troops in Ladakh. He said the government would take every step to protect the country’s interest and security.
How top LeT man Fahadullah landed in J&K Police net
Majid Jahangir/TNS
Sopore, April 24
The J&K Police received a tip-off around 4 pm on April 17 that two militants, including a foreigner, were travelling on a bicycle from apple-rich Chattilora village to Bahrampora. The two places are situated around 2km apart.

The security personnel, however, had no idea that the militants they were going to catch hold of included top Lashkar-e-Toiba man Qari Naveed, alias Fahadullah, of Pakistan. Fahadullah had been on the run for the past four years.

The tip-off about the militants’ movement came after the security agencies persistently kept a close watch on LeT over-ground workers in Sopore town and its neighbouring villages.

After the tip-off that a foreign militant was riding a bicycle along with local militant Shakir of Nowpora, it was decided that security men in civvies would set up nakas on the stretch and be ready for an encounter in case the militants opened fire.

“The security men intercepted the duo around 5.30 pm. They were overpowered and in panic, one of them said he was Fahadullah. He was carrying three grenades and pleaded with them not to kill him,” said a police officer.

Both of them were whisked away to a nearby Army camp. The news about the arrest of two militants, including the top LeT man, was kept secret.

Top police and Army officers reached the Army camp immediately. Fahadullah was injured in an encounter at Chakrotiakhan Badamibagh in Sopore in 2009. “The arrested militant had the bullet injury mark. Other sources also confirmed that the arrested militant was Fahadullah, a resident of Multan in Pakistan,” the police said.

Fahadullah had been putting up at the house of local Urdu scribe Rafiq Malik of Marazigund Rafiabad for the past over three months. “Fahadullah revealed he did not use a mobile phone while staying at Marazigund. He used to travel a distance of around 3 km if he had to make any call. He used to switch off the mobile immediately after making the call,” sources said.

Fahadullah said he had not entered Sopore town ever since the killing of nine militants of the outfit in two separate encounters there in December last. During questioning, Fahadullah gave a tip-off about two militants, Shabir Ahmed Sheikh (alias Shaka) and Hilal Moulvi (alias Khalid). He chatted with them on Facebook and asked them to meet him at the Wagub railway point in Sopore. The two militants did not know that Fahadullah was in police custody.

“Once again men in civvies were sent to intercept Hilal and Shabir. One of the militants, however, recognised the policemen and the duo tried to flee. They were followed and Shabir was killed in the ensuing exchange of fire. Hilal, however, managed to escape,” said a police officer.

Four over-ground workers of the LeT have been arrested since then. The police finally declared the arrest of Fahadullah on April 18.

“Fahadullah had been in touch with commanders across the border and was planning attacks on security forces,” Kashmir IGP Abdul Ghani Mir said.

  There was a tip-off on April 17 that two militants were travelling on a bicycle from Chattilora village to Bahrampora
  The duo was arrested and one of them was later recognised as top Lashkar commander Fahadullah
  While in custody, Fahadullah gave a tip-off about two other militants, Shabir Ahmed Sheikh (alias Shaka) and Hilal Moulvi (alias Khalid)
  He helped the police call them to the Wagub railway point in Sopore
  While Shabir was killed in the ensuing exchange of fire, Hilal managed to escape
  The police has arrested four over-ground LeT workers since then
Musharraf’s bail plea in Benazir case rejected
Afzal Khan in Islamabad
A division bench of the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi registry on Wednesday dismissed the bail petition of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto, adding to the legal woes of the ex-army chief who is currently being held at his farmhouse.

The Rawalpindi bench of the high court rejected an application by Musharraf's lawyer Salman Safdar for the extension of his interim bail. The cancellation of the bail would necessitate another arrest of the former President, who is already confined in his residence in the judges dismissal case.

Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s prosecutor Chaudhry Zulfiqar said following the cancellation of his bail petition, Musharraf could be arrested any time now.

The bench had resumed the hearing over a petition filed by Musharraf seeking bail in the case. Musharraf’s counsel instead of giving his argument, had sought more time and requested the court to adjourn the hearing.

Musharraf has been accused of failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan from self- exile. She was assassinated by a suicide bomber shortly after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007.

Prosecuting lawyer of the FIA had objected to the request arguing that Musharraf was already under detention on judicial remand at his Chak Shehzad residence, which was declared a sub-jail after the cancellation of his bail in the judges detention case The former military ruler was arrested last week after the Islamabad High Court revoked his bail in a case related to the detention of over 60 judges during the 2007 emergency. Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after nearly four years of self-exile, promising to “save” the country from economic ruin and militancy.

However, he was barred from running in the May 11 General Election, which will mark the first democratic transition of power in Pakistan’s history. He is facing several serious criminal cases.

Lawyers have petitioned the Supreme Court to put him on trial for treason for imposing emergency. He also faces charges over the death of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation. (With inputs from PTI)
Lahore HC:
Didn't provide security

    Musharraf has been accused of failing to provide adequate security to Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan from exile
    She was assassinated by a suicide bomber shortly after addressing an election rally in Rawalpindi in December 2007
    FIA’s prosecutor said following the cancellation of his bail petition, Musharraf could be arrested in this case any time
    Musharraf returned to Pakistan last month after four years of self-exile, promising to “save” the country from economic ruin
CRPF housing target runs short by 35%
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Chandigarh, April 24
The Central government’s endeavour to provide official residential accommodation to a greater number of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel has run into rough weather. There is a shortfall of almost 35 per cent in the targets for construction of new dwelling units.

In the last three years, only 2,291 houses could be constructed against the target of building 3,570 houses at various locations across the country, according to officially available information.

The CRPF possesses land in 23 cities and town. Some of the land has been recently acquired, where construction of houses, barracks and other infrastructure is under way.

According to sources, CRPF authorities and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) have blamed the various construction agencies, particularly the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) for delaying the execution of work, which has resulted in the shortfall in targets.

Functioning under the Ministry of Urban Development, the CPWD is primarily responsible for undertaking construction work of office and residential buildings, roads and bridges as well as other infrastructure related projects for the Central government organisations.

Sources said a meeting is now scheduled on May 1 between the CPWD, the MHA and central armed police forces (CAPFs). Status reports pertaining to their projects have been asked for from the CPWD, which would be reviewed. Chief engineers dealing with construction work for CAPFs have been particularly asked to be present.

Earlier, while attending a CRPF function during his tenure as the union home minister, P Chidambaram had announced that the Central government had approved the construction of 8,826 new houses for the force.

Housing is an important issue as the CRPF, said to be the world’s largest paramilitary force with 210 battalions, is in the process of expanding and is raising new battalions.

Lagging behind

    Only 2,291 houses could be constructed against the target of 3,570 houses in the last three years
    CRPF, said to be the world's largest paramilitary force, is in the process raising new battalions
Coast Guard DG to review op readiness

Chennai, April 24
Director-General of Indian Coast Guard, Vice-Admiral Anurag G Thapliyal, will visit various CG units and evaluate the operational readiness during his maiden visit to this city, starting today.

He is slated to call on Chief Minister Jayalalithaa during his three-day visit, a Coast Guard statment here said.

Vice-Admiral Thapliyal, a navigation and direction specialist, would also review the ceremonial parade at the Coast Guard Air Station here tomorrow, it added.

He took over as Director-General of Coast Guard in February this year. — PTI
Beware of bank account and password stealing Internet virus
A new virus has been found to be "spreading widely" in the Indian cyberspace which cleverly steals bank account details and passwords of the user once it is clicked.

Country's cyber security sleuths have alerted Internet users in the country about the new and suspected variant of malware family called 'Win32/Ramnit'.

"Ramnit worm spreads by infecting or modifying files existing on target systems such as (EXE, dll or html) and creating a new section so as to modify the entry point to that section," an advisory issued by country's premier cyber security agency - Computer Emergency Response Team-India (CERT-In) - said.
The malware, the advisory states, "steals credentials like file transfer protocol passwords, bank account logins, infects removable media, changes browser settings and downloads and executes arbitrary files".

The virus is so deadly and potent, cyber sleuths say, that it has ability to hide itself from anti-virus solutions and acquires various aliases to attack a genuine system or Internet-based connection which works to play emails and other user services.

The virus is so lethal in its operations that it "infects the removable media by copying itself to its recycle bin and creates an autorun.inf file," the advisory said.

Once the system is infected, the malware injects its code into windows executable, html files or dlls to communicate with its command and control server, thereby compromising the security of the online system.

The agency has also advised some counter measures in this regard.

The combat steps against this virus stipulate that users should not download and open attachments in emails received from untrusted users or unexpectedly received from trusted users, one should exercise caution while visiting links to web pages and users should not visit untrusted websites.

"Enable firewall at desktop and gateway level and disable ports that are not required, avoid downloading pirated software, keep up-to-date patches and fixes on the operating system and application softwares and keep up-to-date anti- virus and anti-spyware signatures at desktop and gateway level," the advisory stated.
Army chief reviews troop formations, security in Doda
Wednesday, Apr 24, 2013, 22:25 IST | Place: Jammu | Agency: PTI

Gen. Singh went to the Rashtriya Rifles Headquarters at Dharmund and Sila as part of his visit to formations under the Nagrota-based 16 Corps.

Army chief General Bikram Singh on Wednesday visited Rashtriya Rifles formations in Doda sector of Jammu and Kashmir and reviewed counter-insurgency (CI) operations.

Gen. Singh went to the Rashtriya Rifles Headquarters at Dharmund and Sila as part of his visit to formations under the Nagrota-based 16 Corps, PRO Defence SN Acharya said.

Army Chief was briefed on the current situation and CI operations by the respective General Officers Commanding (GoC), Acharya said.

Gen. Singh also visited the Division Headquarters at Akhnoor border belt of Jammu district and was accompanied by GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen. KT Parnaik and GOC 16 Corps Lt Gen. BS Hooda.

During his two-day visit, the Army chief reviewed the security scenario and discussed various issues related to the Armed Forces with formation commanders.

He also interacted with troops deployed on the Line of Control (LoC) as well as those on CI duties. He complimented them for their selfless sacrifice in ensuring the sanctity of the country's frontiers and in facilitating return of normalcy in the state.

Gen. Singh exhorted the troops to uphold the core values of the Indian Army through dedication towards duty.

He had on Tuesday met J&K Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and discussed the over situation. He had also briefed Vohra and Omar about the Chinese incursion.

The Army chief left for New Delhi in the afternoon.
China’s border incursion: India rushes more troops to frontier
New Delhi, April 23/Nationalturk – The Indian army has rushed more troops to its frontiers with China after Chinese army’s reported recent incursions into Indian territory in mountainous Ladakh in Indian administered Kashmir.

“On night of April 15, a platoon of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came 10 kms inside the Indian territory in Burthe in Daulat Beg Oldie sector in Ladakh at an altitude of about 17,000 feet. The soldiers, set up a tented post there,” Indian army sources have told media.

The Ladakh in Indian administered Kashmir has about 650 km of Line of Actual Control with China, which is not demarcated at most places.

According to an English daily,  Indian Army has rushed more troops to the region to prevent Chinese army incursions.

“An infantry regiment of the Army specialising in mountain warfare has been sent to Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh,” the newspaper quoted sources as saying.

According to the reports, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which is deployed on India-China border,  has also erected a tent post near the one set up by the Chinese troops.

“India will take every step to protect its interests to resolve the situation arising out of deep incursion by Chinese troops into Indian territory in eastern Ladakh. We are taking every action to protect our interest. We will take every step to protect our interests,” Indian defence minister A K Antony has said.

Sources said military commanders at Brigadier level from the two countries had met last week to discuss the issue. “However, the flag meeting failed to break the deadlock”.

They said the second flag meeting between military commanders of the two countries is expected to take place today (Tuesday). “China has so far not agreed to India’s request for a second flag meeting, citing the non-availability of their senior officers”.

India and China have fought a war in 1962.
Beijing rejects incursion allegations

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying  has rejected reports of intrusion by its troops in Ladakh, saying its soldiers patrolled the Chinese side of Line of Actual Control (LAC) without “trespassing” into it.

“China’s troops have been abiding by the agreement between the two countries and abiding by the LAC agreed by the two countries. Our frontier troops have been patrolling on the China’s side of LAC”, Hua said at a media briefing here.

She said their troops are patrolling on the Chinese side of the LAC and have never trespassed the line.

“China’s position is firm and clear. We have been abiding by the agreement of the two countries having normal patrol on Chinese side and never trespassed the LAC”, Hua added.
India's MoD Says No to Joint Heron Development With Israel
NEW DELHI — India has shot down an Israeli proposal to jointly develop an advanced version of the Heron UAV in India, a rarity for projects between the two nations.

This month, India’s Ministry of Defence rejected the codevelopment and coproduction proposal by India’s Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI), MoD sources said.

During a meeting this month, senior MoD officials said DRDO should concentrate more on the Indo-Israeli Medium Range Surface-to-Air Missile (MRSAM) program, which is behind schedule and has technical problems.

IAI executives here were not available for comment.

This rejection illustrates the new thinking among India’s MoD, which is concentrating more on sustaining existing DRDO programs than on paying for new projects, the source said. In 2009, India and Israel agreed to jointly develop the MRSAM for use by both militaries. One prototype failed in December, the source said.

DRDO signed the codevelopment contract with IAI after the MoD failed in its efforts to procure the MRSAM through competition. No vendor was prepared to transfer technology for the system.

The Indian Air Force’s requirement is for 18 MRSAMs, estimated to cost around US $1.2 billion. The MRSAM would be a low- and medium-level, quick-reaction missile system capable of moving with mechanized forces. The system would be able to engage manned and unmanned aircraft, missiles and all types of airborne targets.

The MRSAM will have a range of more than 50 kilometers, and its warhead will have self-destruct capabilities to avoid unwanted collateral damage on the ground. The system will have an active seeker with the option of a passive seeker and an electro-optical system will be provided, which would enable the system to track targets in hostile electronic countermeasures environments.

As for the Heron, the Indian MoD has around 60 and requires more, although it hasn’t said how many.

In its proposal for the joint development of Herons, DRDO claimed it has developed a broad spectrum of knowledge on UAV subsystem technologies, including aerodynamic design, composite materials, telemetry and propulsion. The advanced Heron would have featured greater range and endurance.

The Indian Army plans to procure a variety of UAVs, including micro and nano UAVs. The Army also plans to acquire weaponized UAVs, which can be armed with precision missiles.
Army to raise two new airborne units for deployment near China border
NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of China strengthening its capability to airlift soldiers, India is planning to raise around 1,500 more airborne troops for deployment in the northeast along the China border.

Under the 12th Defence Plan, India is planning to raise two new battalions of the airborne troops with around 1,500 personnel under the elite Parachute Regiment of the Army, defence ministry sources told PTI here.

The new raisings would be apparently used to check any move by any adversary to airdrop their troops within Indian territory and capture that area, they said.

The new units would also be used for the conventional roles in counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations in that area and would also be capable of being dropped behind enemy lines in case of any future war, they said.

Recently, the Army raised the 11 Para (SF) that is being deployed under the Tezpur-based 4 Corps and 3 Corps in Dimapur which are two of the Army's main formations looking after the border with China in the northeast.

The Parachute Regiment has 10 units under it of which eight are special forces units while the rest are Para Commando units with capability of launching airborne operations.

Seven among them have already been trained and classified as special forces, which are supposed to carry out counter-insurgency operations during peacetime and sabotage enemy installations beyond enemy lines during wars.

They are deployed in different sectors of the country and have also been given the responsibility to handle 26/11 type attacks near their area of deployment.

China in the recent past has significantly enhanced its capability to launch airborne operations and according to some reports, can air lift more than 3,500 soldiers for operational deployment in one go.
China denies Ladakh incursion, accuses India of 'aggressive patrolling'
Leh:  Despite a second meeting on Tuesday between Indian army commanders and their Chinese counterparts, a stand-off in Ladakh continues. New Delhi says soldiers from the People's Liberation Army crossed 10 kilometres (six miles) into Indian territory on April 15 and pitched tents there. Incorrect, says China. India's Army chief discussed the issue with Jammu and Kashmir Governor and Chief Minister yesterday.
ndia and China held a second flag meeting on Tuesday to discuss the alleged incursion.  Like the earlier meeting on April 18, this one ended without a breakthrough. China says it has not trespassed into Indian territory. "Our troops are patrolling on the Chinese side of the actual line of control and have never trespassed the line," said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Monday.

China has reportedly objected to India's attempts to develop infrastructure such as roads and logistics bases close to the border in the Depsang area, where the incursion had happened. China has also accused India of aggressive patrolling.  (Blog: reporting on the Chinese incursion in Ladakh)

The Defence Minister has said negotiations are on at various levels to resolve the issue peacefully. Despite the border stand-off, an Indian army delegation has gone to Beijing to finalise the dates of a bilateral military exercise expected to be held later this year.

Army chief General Bikram Singh met Jammu and Kashmir Governor NN Vohra at the Raj Bhavan yesterday and discussed the stand-off. General Singh also called on Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and discussed the situation in Leh.

Indian government officials have confirmed that on the night of April 15, two helicopters gave support to over a dozen Chinese soldiers as they set up temporary posts on the Indian side of the disputed border.

"We have asked the Chinese side to maintain the status quo in this sector (of the western border)," Foreign Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said today. "By this I mean the status quo prior to this incident."

The de facto border separating China and India is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). While it has never been formally demarcated, the countries signed two accords to maintain peace in frontier areas in 1993 and 1996.

On Monday, Defence Minister AK Antony said, "India will take every step to protect its interests." The Indian army has set up its own temporary camp just 500 meters (1600 feet) from the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers after the incident on April 15. Though small incursions across the Line of Actual Control are common, it is rare for either country to set up camp so deep within disputed territory.

The assessment in the Indian government is that the Chinese will eventually withdraw but could use this "occupation" to lay claims to the area at a later stage of border negotiations.

The latest border tension has erupted at Daulat Beg Oldie, where India established a landing strip during the 1962 war. At 5,100 metres (16,700 feet), the strip is one of the world's highest. It was reopened in 2008.

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