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Wednesday, 1 May 2013

From Today's Papers - 01 May 2013
China says can go a few steps back, India wants total retraction
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, April 30
India has shot down a proposal by China that troops of both sides could slightly back off from their existing eyeball-to-eyeball position in Ladakh even as Defence Minister AK Antony made it clear that the country would take every possible step to safeguard its interests.

Chinese troops have to go back to positions held before the April 15 intrusion to defuse the current border crisis, the Indian side said during a flag meeting with China today. The third flag meeting, held between Brigadier-level officials at the ‘Spanggur-Gap’ in eastern Ladakh, lasted for nearly four hours. China, sources said, offered a phased response and it looked that as if it was testing India’s military resolve.

The Chinese side suggested that troops can be asked to go back by a few hundred metres to defuse current tension. At present, troops are stationed at a distance of around 80 m across the Raki Nullah near India’s Advanced Landing Ground in the Daulat Beg Oldie sector.

India wants that China should withdraw its troops in totality, making it clear that forces have to be at the spot where they were stationed before the April 15 intrusion. The face-off is taking place at desolate, barren and tree-less expanse at an altitude of 16,700 feet in a snow- bound area. Both sides have pitched insulated tents some 800 m away from each other. The tents are used as staging ground from where a small contingent of troops is dispatched to the face-off site. Both sides hold banner drills asking each other to withdraw.

India has yet again reminded China that their act of staying on disputed sections of the Line of Actual Control was a violation of the April 2005 protocol which said soldiers of either side will back-off on seeing each other and not stay put in disputed areas.

“There should not be any doubt that the country remains unanimous in its commitment to take every possible step, at all levels, to safeguard its interests,” Antony told his military commanders in New Delhi. Later, the Defence Minister was briefed by the National Security Adviser and three Service chiefs on the LAC situation.

Describing the current situation in Ladakh as ‘not one of our creation’, Antony said India remains committed to a peaceful resolution of the situation through dialogue within the framework of agreements for maintaining peace and tranquility. Antony said bilateral relations with China are, at times, bedeviled by border issues, particularly along the LAC.

Third flag meet

Chinese troops have to go back to positions held before the April 15 intrusion to defuse the current border crisis, the Indian side said during a flag meeting with China on Tuesday

Antony talks tough

Defence Minister AK Antony made it clear that the country would take every possible step to safeguard its interests. He was briefed by the NSA and three Service chiefs on the LAC situation
Musharraf banned for life
Afzal Khan in Islamabad

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) on Tuesday banned former military ruler Pervez Musharraf from politics for life. The court gave its ruling in response to an appeal by Musharraf against rejection of his nomination papers by an election tribunal. The papers had been filed for the National Assembly seat in Chitral and had earlier been accepted by the returning officer. Musharraf also wanted to contest from Karachi, Islamabad and Kasuri but his papers were rejected at both stages — returning officers and election tribunals.

A four-member larger Bench, headed by PHC Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan, ruled that since Musharraf had abrogated the Constitution twice, he could not be allowed to contest elections for either the National Assembly or the Senate.

Justice Khan said that Musharraf had imposed an illegal emergency and targeted the judiciary. Therefore, the court was imposing a lifetime ban on the retired General, barring him from contesting polls for the national and provincial assemblies as well as the Senate.

Bugti case

An anti-terrorism court on Tuesday allowed the Balochistan police to question Musharraf in the case pertaining to the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Akbar Khan Bugti.

Bugti was killed in a military action in the mountains of Dera Bugti on August 26, 2006 while Musharraf was President as well as army chief.
No plans to cancel China visit: Khurshid

New Delhi, April 30
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today said that as of now there was no plans to cancel his visit to Beijing in wake of Chinese incursion in Ladakh.

He, however, appeared to keep his options open saying "one week is a long time in politics". “Can I cancel my visit? Government has to decide. There is no such decision and there is no reason we should do that but you know one week is a long time in politics, so lets move forward," he told reporters outside Parliament.

Salman Khurshid is scheduled to travel to Beijing on May 9 in connection with preparations for Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit here next month.

Samajwadi Party had yesterday objected to the Minister's visit to China with party leader and former defence minister Mulayam Singh Yadav accusing the government of acting in a "cowardly" manner on the Chinese incursion issue.

Khurshid expressed confidence that the stand-off between the two countries will be resolved amicably through talks.

“I would like to say it once again that let talks take place. We have a system which we have developed it over the years and have strengthened it and whenever any such development takes place, it is solved within that system. I am confident that a solution will emerge out of this,” he said. — PTI
Wielding the baton with prudence
In view of the growing incidence of police violence, it is imperative to introduce a holistic approach to training that includes emotional intelligence and problem-based learning to ready personnel for real-life situations
Rohit Choudhary
Taking suo motu cognisance of police brutality against a woman in Tarn Taran in Punjab and lathicharge of women teachers in Bihar, the Supreme Court observed that such “animal behaviour” by the police cannot be allowed any longer and sought the current status of implementation of police reforms. It noted that unless we have an independent mechanism for recruitment and training, we cannot solve this issue.

The Gore Committee set up in 1971 by the government to look into the aspect of police training came to the unflattering conclusion that police training had been badly neglected over the years and training arrangements, by and large, were unsatisfactory, both in quantity and quality. It found that training institutions failed to take note of the changing situations and develop realistic training programmes.

The police departments today remain stuck with antiquated and uninspiring training methods, contents that have little applicability in the field and to future policing needs, and an organisational environment that has little support for training. As rightly observed by the Supreme Court, a paradigm shift in the basic approach to police training is the need of the hour, and the police departments will have to adopt some of the new strategies as the current practices in training suffer from some fundamental flaws in content and approach.

Police training is rigid evolving from the law, policies, procedures and rules that are followed in strict conformity by the police department. However, the studies and practical experience show that traditional police training curricula are designed to instruct recruits in what they will be doing just 10 per cent of the time while on duty, i.e. law-enforcement functions. The traditional police training does not deal with specific problems the police is expected to handle and the methods to deal with them. This is one of the major reasons why recruit training has so often been criticised as having no relevance to the job. As soon as a police officer reaches the police station, he has first of all to unlearn what he has been taught in training institutions.

The other neglected aspect in police training is that it is weighted towards technical aspects of police work and does not prepare the officers for the everyday interactional tasks that they perform. For effectiveness, the training needs should be identified through a top-down and bottom-up approach, with inputs from the staff at the police stations, so that there is a “connect” between the teaching and practical daily police work at the cutting edge.

Lecture mode won’t do

As per the report of the National Police Commission, 1977, 49 per cent duties performed by a constable call for exercise of higher degree of initiative, discretion, judgement, etc., and 37 per cent duties involve a combination of application of mind and exercise of judgement — together they constitute about 86 per cent of the duties. However, the present police training process still lays emphasis on the lecture mode for teaching suited for children, whereas adults learn new knowledge, understandings, skills, values, and attitudes most effectively when they are presented in the context of application to real-life situations.

The basic approach to police training should, therefore, highlight problem-based learning (PBL) on the part of trainees that engage the recruit in real-world ill-structured problems that interconnect the curriculum and cause the recruit to think. This can be extremly important for the police officers when they are relating to problem solving, conflict resolution, cultural, religious and social diversity at work. While the police recruits at present, even at the level of Assistant Sub-Inspectors and constables, are highly qualified, police training must be active, engaging, and relevant for the recruits and in-service personnel who attend professional development courses.

Numerous law-enforcement agencies are moving to the PBL training model. Academies in Washington, Kentucky, and California are changing their instructional style to reflect current learning and teaching needs. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has used PBL in their training academy for years and are the leaders in self-directed training.

Factoring in empathy

Emotional intelligence includes the way police officers manage their emotions and the way they manage their contacts and relationships with others. Emotional intelligence has an enormous role in policing, particularly in developing new officers and solving the most common issues that create problems for the department and the individual such as police misconduct and brutality. These problems develop when police officers are unable to empathise with others or control their impulses and emotions.

Therefore, in order to prevent incidents of police brutality more inputs on personality development, communication skills, human values, sense of belongingness to society, self-awareness, problem solving, describing and analysing police misconduct, training on ethical standards and police myths and cynicism may be more useful. Once the recruit has a solid foundation in these areas he or she will be prepared to better understand his or her professional value system and the environment during the formative period in the academy.

With the advent of the Internet, increased flow of manpower, trade and crime, even the training needs are becoming globalised. Exchange of ideas, information and expertise can play an important role in the training of police officers. In the Netherlands, the Police Knowledge Network (PKN), which is a form of digital databank, occupies a special position among the centres of expertise. The databank serves as a repository of the knowledge of the Police Training and Knowledge Centre, the police forces and the external partners, and can be consulted online by police officers. The data consists not only of documented knowledge taken from textbooks and training modules, but also practical information that can be used in situations the police officers confront on a daily basis.

A similar network of the police academies in India would strengthen and supplement their training resources, further their integration with the international networks can help them to access from international standards and wide knowledge database in policing.

Organisational support

Organisational support to training remains one of the most important issues. If the police department itself remains hostile or indifferent to training, any amount of good training will not show significant positive effect. Since 1997, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has been a fervent practitioner of learning organisation concepts. Recruiting only the best talent, a majority of SPF recruits are degree or diploma-holders, ensuring intellectual propensity for learning. Subsequently, the mental models of officers are then shaped through training.

In the Indian Police departments, the training remains a neglected wing and very often the people sent for training are those who are considered spare, near-retirement and many a time they are working in a unit not related to the training theme. And on return from training, the skills acquired by the police officers in the training programmes are seldom put to use as their job responsibility is rarely decided on the basis of training programmes attended.

Not only the training academies at the state level, but also training schools in every district should function as susidiary knowledge centres and should be given their due importance and earmarked funds. Regular, short and focused capsule training courses of two to three days in the district police lines with the help of faculty from outside could be of immense benefit to the police officers in polishing their soft skills for the interface activities with the public.

Future training needs

Training programmes for the police, which remain outmoded, should be reviewed and continuously improved to maintain their relevance and efficacy. While taking care of the current needs it is essential that the training also looks at the prepardness of police officers in terms of what demands future would place on them. For a future police training and planning, the following external factors have to be taken into account:

nIncrease of the police product in volume, gravity and complexity, aggravated by the expanding international dimension requiring new resources, connections and information exchange

nDevelopment of new technologies providing criminals new means to commit crime and effective communication systems

nEconomic and political situation with social and political unrest, economic crunch, massive population, unemployment, juvenile crime and further migration waves to exploding mega cities

nChallenge to tackle terrorism, underworld and spreading Naxalite movement, which is affecting one-third districts in the country

Developing the necessary skills for maintaining quality standards that the public has begun to expect would be critically dependent on the skills developed in the policemen at the cutting edge. Unlike other professions where the entrants to the service are selected on the basis of their professional competency and the necessary skills are predominantly pre-acquired, the policemen get to learn the basics of their profession only through in-service training. Therefore, their skills, attitude and competencies depend to a large extent on the training they receive in the police academies. The training programmes should be used to herald a new strategic thrust and a commitment to the police department’s mission, vision and values.

Broad base training

    Move to the problem-based learning method
    Determine the training needs through a top-down and bottom-up approach
    Developing emotional intelligence of police officers should be a critical part of every teaching in the police department
    Strategic partnerships between training institutes, police knowledge networks and individuals for online exchange of ideas and expertise
    Regular short capsule training courses in every district on soft skills
    Supportive environment within the department for training
Third flag meeting for India and China offers some progress
Ladakh/New Delhi: At a third flag meeting between army commanders from India and China, some progress was made in the search for a solution to the stand-off in Ladakh, provoked when Chinese troops set up  camp 19 kms within Indian territory on April 15.

China reportedly suggested that the two armies increase the distance between the temporary camps that they have set up in the Depsang Valley near the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border.  However, Chinese officials did not discuss a withdrawal.

India said it would consider the suggestion but said it would not accept pre-conditions for more discussions. So far, Beijing has said politely but firmly that it has not violated the border.

After a platoon of Chinese soldiers crossed the LAC and pitched tents, the Indian army set up its own camp just 500 meters away. China's suggestion implies that it's willing to move its temporary posts a few feet back; India will hope that signals a return to the "status quo" it had been seeking before the incursion.

The centre of the flare-up of tension has been Daulat Beg Oldie, where India established a landing strip during the 1962 war. At 16,700 feet, the strip is one of the world's highest. It was reopened in 2008.
In Delhi, a meeting was cancelled of a parliamentary committee that handles defence issues.  No explanation was offered by  Congressman Raj Babbar who heads the committee.  Most of the 20-odd members of the committee were upset  by the sudden postponement. " The Government wants to hide facts and this amounts a severe breach,"  said Prakash Javadekar of the BJP.
Some members of the  committee have been seeking a briefing by senior army officers and officials in the Defence Ministry.
Border face-off with China in Ladakh's DBO sector has left Indian Army fuming

The developing border face-off with China in Ladakh's Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector has left the Army fuming and out in the cold.

The DBO sector comes under operational control of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), and with a diplomatic solution to the face-off being given top priority, the Army remains cut out from the worsening situation.

Chinese troops have put up another tent in the DBO sector of Ladakh after their first incursion into the area a fortnight ago. The additional tent raises to five the number of temporary Chinese structures in the area that India claims as its territory.


Chinese troops are also reported to have deployed Molosser dogs - large mastifftype canines - at the site of incursion, 70 km south of Burtse in Ladakh division.

Seething Indian Army sources told Mail Today that they have been arguing vehemently for a One Border One Force plan for some time.

The top sources said: "The Army would like to deal with all disputed borders. At the moment, there is a face-to-face situation which involves troops.

An expeditious response is mandatory because the perception of the Chinese may well be that DBO where they are stationed 19 km inside Indian territory is the Line of Actual Control, which is a dangerous trend."


India has a 4,000-km border with the Chinese and this specific sector comes under Indo-Tibetan Border Police. The China Study Group comprising the secretaries of defence, home and foreign secretaries, has met several times on this issue.

The Group's present thinking is predicated on the Ministry of External Affairs running with the ball on this extremely sensitive issue. External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid scheduled to visit Beijing early in May, which will be followed by a visit of the new Chinese premier Li Keqiang.

Taking a call

Army sources added that after the Kargil conflict, the government would take a call on whether all border security management would vest with the Indian Army. That hasn't happened for 14 years, they said, adding that the Army wants this issue resolved.

At ground zero, a banner hoisted outside the Chinese camp says in English: You are on the Chinese side. People's Liberation Army (PLA) personnel maintain a round-the-clock vigil along with their dogs which are considered as the best for keeping a watch in these highaltitude areas, official sources added. The officers are armed with Chinese Makarovs, and the soldiers bear Kalashnikov variants.

Other reports say the additional tent has come up after three failed flag meetings between Indian and Chinese Armies at Chushul. The report said aggressive ITBP patrolling had managed to push back intruding Chinese troops back by at least nine km before they settled down at the present location which is nearly 19 km inside Indian territory in the DBO Sector.

Failed meet

According to a report submitted to the home and defence ministries, the incursion was detected by the ITBP on the intervening night of April 15 and 16.

The ITBP sent a Quick Reaction Team which not only prevented the PLA personnel from further progressing in the area but also pushed them back across the Raki Nala.

The face-off has since continued even as ITBP jawans have been joined by the Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment of the army.

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