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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

From Today's Papers - 18 Jun 2013
Temporary court relief for Navy officers from arrest
Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Monday directed police not to arrest for the time being the two senior Naval officers against whom a complaint of sexual harassment had been filed by the estranged wife of another officer.

Justice P Bhavadasan issued the interim order after admitting the petition moved by the two officers -- Commodore Anand Balakrishnan and Lt Ajay Jaykrishnan.

The officers sought to quash proceedings against them in the complaint filed by the woman against her husband and his superior officers.

The court also directed the state and central government to inform them of their views.

In the petition, the officers also sought records leading to the FIR against them and to quash it.

The complainant had refused to come before the Board of Inquiry despite a magistrate's notice, it was stated.

The petitioners also pointed to inconsistencies in the locations and time of various incidents which had been mentioned in the complaint.

The complaint was malafide and intended to bring a bad name to the entire Navy, they submitted.

Meanwhile, the victim filed an impleading petition in the case.

The High Court had criticised police for "protecting" the higher Navy officials, while dismissing the anticipatory bail application filed by Lt Ravi Kiran, whose wife had filed the complaint.

Justice Kemal Pasha observed that it was a "serious matter" to be dealt with severely by police and a thorough investigation has to be carried out.

On the woman's complaint that she had allegedly been tortured for dowry and her husband's senior colleagues tried to molest her, the police had registered a case against 10 people, including her husband, under Section 498 of IPC.

The charges of torture related to dowry issues were against her husband and his relatives.

The Navy had denied her charges, saying the complaint was the result of a "marital discord" and the charges against "superior officers" were "unfair."
Antony begins four-day China visit on July 4
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
After discussing defence ties with Japan and Australia in the past three-four weeks, Defence Minister AK Antony will be heading to China on a four-day visit starting July 4.

This will be first visit by an Indian Defence Minister to China since 2006, when Pranab Mukerjee had visited the northern neighbour.

Antony’s visit to China comes in the backdrop of the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his counterpart Li Keqiang on May 20 in India.

The two PMs had spoken about depending cooperation including sorting out the 167-year-old dispute of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.

Since Li Keqiang visited India, there have been significant changes in the past four weeks. Manmohan Singh visited Japan and the two countries announced better cooperation in defence, mining of rare earths and strategic issues including the sale of a specialised sea-plane by Japan to India. Antony also visited Australia and for the first time the two countries announced joint military exercises and deepening cooperation in defence.
Pillai: BrahMos can’t be intercepted in next 20 yrs

New Delhi, June 17
BrahMos, the world’s only supersonic cruise missile and a symbol of the India’s military prowess has been billed to be “uninterceptable” for the “next 20 years”, by none other than the “father of BrahMos” himself.

“The equivalent of BrahMos is yet to be built. And, in the next 20 years, it cannot be intercepted by an enemy,” says A Sivathanu Pillai, CEO and MD of BrahMos Aerospace, while sharing the vision for the future trajectory of growth for the iconic missile technology developed jointly by India and Russia.

Pillai, also the Chief Controller (R&D) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and hailed largely as the “father of BrahMos”, mentions “missile technology” as one of the 10 key and “unique leap-frog technologies” for building a securer and greater future of India, “driven by youth power” in a new book which he has co-authored with the former President APJ Kalam.

Titled “Thoughts for Change: We can Do It”, by two renowned scientific minds aims to be a clarion call to the youth of India to “reclaim its ancient scientific wisdom” even as it exhorts them to embrace and work towards building a future where “multiple technologies will intersect and interoperate”.

“We take pride in the fact that BrahMos, world’s only supersonic cruise missile, a symbol of Indo-Russian cooperation, where India provided the guidance, avionics, software and airframe components, etc, has been successfully delivered to both the Indian Navy and the Indian Army and the aerial version for the Indian Air Force too shall be ready in few years time,” Pillai told PTI in an interview.

BrahMos, developed jointly in a strategic partnership between the DRDO and Russian NPO Mashinostroyeniya, is a stealth cruise missile with a range of 290 km and travels at a speed of Mach 2.8 to 3. The name BrahMos is a portmanteau formed from the names of two rivers, the Brahmaputra of India and the Moskva of Russia.

Among other technologies that the authors believe will lay the roadmap for the future of war theatres and health care, etc, in India is the convergence of information, biotechnology and nanotechnology (nano-info-bio). Other technologies in the list include robotics, artificial intelligence and cognitive sciences; sensor technology; materials technology; high energetics; fusion technology; space technology; hypersonics and green technology. — PTI
Army didn’t compromise to end LAC standoff, says Lt Gen Parnaik
Amir Karim Tantray/TNS

Udhampur, June 17
No compromise was made to end the standoff with China in the Daulat Beg Oldie Sector of Ladakh in April, said General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Northern Command, Lt Gen KT Parnaik, on Monday.

Parnaik said Chinese troops were forced to go back to the pre-April 15 positions along the Line of Actual Control after talks were held between the two countries at various levels.

“I must make it clear that no compromise was made and we didn’t dismantle any structure in Chumur while dealing with China over the intrusion issue,” Parnaik told reporters at a function to mark the 42nd Raising Day of the Northern Command.

On April 15, troops of the People’s Liberation Army had come 10 km inside Indian territory in the DBO Sector and pitched tents. They refused to go back even after numerous flag meetings. The matter was resolved only after the ministerial-level intervention.

There were reports that China had agreed to move back after forcing India to dismantle some strategic structures in Chumur.

Parnaik said the Army had deliberately chosen not to make any public comments on the stand-off at that time as the government had taken up the responsibility to do so. "While the stand-off with China was going on, the Army had deliberately chosen not to make any public comments. At that time, the task of informing people was taken by the government and the foreign office was dealing with it directly," he said. Parnaik said intrusions were common in Ladakh as there is no clear demarcation of the LAC and both the countries have different perception about the border.

Parnaik said continuous surveillance on the Line of Control has considerably brought down infiltration.

“We are maintaining strong vigil and not giving militants any chance to sneak in,” said Parnaik.

AFSPA rollback dangerous

Lt Gen Parnaik warned against the withdrawal of AFSPA from certain areas in J&K. “If it is revoked, the Army will not be able to act against militants effectively,” he said. The NC government has been pushing hard for AFSPA’s revocation. “We have informed the Defence Ministry about our concerns and it is now up to them to decide,” he said.

Threat to amarnath yatra

Intelligence reports suggest that there was a threat to the Amarnath yatra, said Parnaik. “We have to keep a tight vigil. There is a need for an increased synergy between intelligence agencies and security forces,” he said.
Army, ITBP spearhead relief, rescue operations
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 17
Teams of the Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been working tirelessly to conduct rescue operations in the flood-hit areas of North India.

A major rescue operation is on in Uttarakhand, where thousands of pilgrims, tourists and locals are stranded. Army assistance centres have been established at Harsil, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Govindghat, Hanuman Chetti and Dharchula over the past 24 hours. These centres provide information, medical aid, food and water to stranded pilgrims.

The ITBP has pressed into service hundreds of men and vehicles and opened relief centres for tourists and pilgrims stranded on the Char Dham Yatra route, connecting Badrinath, Joshimath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri and Gangotri.

The pilgrims are being accommodated in shelters at Joshimath. An emergency medical centre to accommodate about 300 victims has been established at the ITBP campus in Joshimath. Another 250 pilgrims have been accommodated at the Joshimath gurdwara.

The Army has set up eight quick-reaction medical teams at Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Govindghat and Dharchula to provide immediate life-saving medical assistance. Stranded pilgrims are also being given expert medical advice on telephone via virtual network through Medical Emergency Helpline.

The Army and the ITBP have also sent reconnaissance teams to far-flung areas for obtaining first-hand information about the situation there. The ITBP and district administration are conducting search and rescue operations for pilgrims stranded at Kedarnath and Gaurikund. A river rafting team of the ITBP rescued 24 persons from Budi village, 12 km from Dehradun, where a multistory building was washed away in the flooded river around 3 am today.

Downstream along the Yamuna, Air Force helicopters had been asked to be on standby as the water level had been rising in the river.

On the east bank of the river, 21 persons stranded in the Nakur area of Saharanpur district were rescued. On the west bank, 22 persons were rescued from Indri subdivision of Karnal district in Haryana. The IAF has its aircraft on standby at Ambala, Sarsawa, Bareilley, Gorakhpur and Agra for prompt missions.

Teams of the Indian Army were called in to rescue people of Lapee, Udhri and Gumthala villages. Using boats, the teams evacuated 52 persons to safer places.

15 killed in Saharanpur

At least 15 persons were killed in different parts of Saharanpur district as flash floods, caused by heavy rains in neighbouring Uttarakhand, wreaked havoc in the area while Meteorological Department issued a heavy rainfall warning for some parts of the state. At least 15 persons have lost their lives in incidents of house collapse and cars being washed away in parts of Saharanpur due to the situation in Uttarakhand during the past 24 hours," IG (Law and Order) RK Vishkarma said.

Pilgrims evacuated at Gobind Ghat

Dehradun: Hundreds of pilgrims stranded at Gobind Ghat here were evacuated this morning by Army units and taken to Joshimath. Further evacuation attempts have been disrupted at some places due to extensive landslides in the area. Food, medical aid and shelter have been provided to hundreds of stranded pilgrims in the area by the Army.

Trains cancelled

Chandigarh: Passengers at the Chandigarh railway station had a harrowing time as three trains on the Chandigarh-Lucknow route were cancelled on Monday. The trains were cancelled as the rail link between Jagadhari and Kalanaur remained blocked after an overbridge collapsed due to flooding on Sunday evening. The Chandigarh-Lucknow Express (5.15 pm), the Chandigarh-Allahabad Unchahar Express (4.20 pm) and the Chandigarh-Lucknow Sadbhavna Express (5.50 pm) were cancelled, forcing passengers to wait for several hours.
CBI to probe bribe charge against army brigadier
CBI is set to seek clarification from a serving Indian army brigadier as part of its probe into alleged irregularities related to the bid of United Kingdom-based AgustaWestland firm to supply light utility helicopters in 2010.

“We will soon seek clarifications from an army brigadier about allegations that he had offered to help a UK-based firm to clinch a deal to supply 197 light utility helicopters in lieu of a bribe of US $5 million,” said a CBI source. A preliminary enquiry to probe allegations against the firm and the official was lodged on request from the Defence Ministry.

The army official had allegedly made contacts with the accused UK firm’s representatives in January 2010, with an offer to provide information on the bidding process for the supply of light utility helicopters.

The allegations came to light when Italian investigators, who were probing corruption charges against the UK-based firm and its parent Italian firm in connection with a deal to supply VVIP helicopters to India, seized some documents, said the source.
Army sets up medical aid posts in flood-hit areas
In an effort to aid stranded people in flood-hit Uttarakhand, Army has set up medical aid posts at three affected areas of the state to provide life saving assistance. Eight quick reaction medical teams have established medical aid posts at Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Govindghat and Dharchula to provide immediate life saving medical assistance.

Besides, stranded pilgrims are being given expert and specialist medical advice on telephone via virtual network through Medical Emergency Helpline, a Defence Ministry statement said in New Delhi. Army assistance centres have been established at Harsil, Uttarkashi, Rudraprayag, Joshimath, Govindghat, Hanuman Chetti and Dharchula in the last 24 hours to provide information, medical aid, food and water to stranded pilgrims.

So far, hundreds of pilgrims have been evacuated by the Army on foot from Govind Ghat to Joshimath. Army has also launched a dozen reconnaissance parties to inaccessible areas to obtain first hand information. While five columns are already in location to provide assistance on ground, 10 more columns have been kept stand by to move at short notice to flood affected areas.

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