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Friday, 26 July 2013

From Today's Papers - 26 Jul 2013





http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130726/nation.htm#7
India, France to hold defence talks today

New Delhi, July 25
Defence Minister of France Jean-Yves Le Drian will be arriving in India for talks with the Indian side, which are scheduled tomorrow. The Indian side will be led by Defence Minister AK Antony.

According to a senior official, no contract will be signed during the visit even as discussions will revolve around equipment that India is buying from French defence manufacturers. “No big contract is to be signed,” a senior French official said today.

The visiting French Defence Minister will also address an audience of strategic thinkers at the Institute for Defence and Security Analyses (IDSA) and deliver a lecture. — TNS

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130726/main3.htm
Ramban incident: BSF was first to fire, then police, says Omar
Tribune News Service
Srinagar, July 25
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said the Border Security Force (BSF) had opened fire first after the alleged altercation between its personnel and civilians in Ramban on July 18. The firing resulted in injuries to some civilians following which a large number of people gathered and the BSF and the police had to “use force to control the mob,” he said.

Omar revealed this during an exclusive interview to the Editor-in-Chief of The Tribune. The full text of the interview will be published on Sunday.

The Chief Minister said the police was not the first to open fire. “These issues are being inquired,” he said.

At least four persons were killed and 42 others injured in the incident which occurred in the Gool area of Ramban. The incident had triggered widespread tension in the Jammu region and its ripples were felt in the Valley too. While curfew was clamped in Ramban, shutdown and demonstrations were seen in several areas of Kashmir. Sensing trouble, restrictions were imposed in Srinagar and other major towns of the Valley for two days. The controversy remains as to who fired first — whether the state police or the BSF.

Replying to a question on the situation in the Valley that followed Ramban incident, Omar said it was a “localised thing” and not related to Kashmir.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has already ordered an inquiry into the incident and assured Omar that “any use of excessive force or irresponsible action will be dealt with strictly”. The state government has also ordered a magisterial inquiry to determine the exact sequence of events.

Regarding Budgam, which was rocked by clashes between two sects recently, Omar said the situation was gradually improving there.

What Omar said

    The initial shooting was done by the BSF in the Gool area of Ramban on July 18
    It resulted in injuries to some civilians following which a large crowd gathered in the area. The BSF and the police had to use force to control the mob
    The police was not the first to open fire


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130726/nation.htm#6
Chinese troops make fresh incursion bid in Chumar

Leh/New Delhi, July 25
Close on the heels of over a dozen incursions since the face off in Ladakh in April from across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Chinese troops made a fresh attempt to violate the International Border at Chumar area in north-east of Leh on July 20 but were forced back by Indian troops.

The ‘assertive posturing’ by the Chinese troops, who had climbed a small mountain where they faced Indian troops, has been flashed to all units along the Sino-India border in the area to keep a strict vigil on their movement, official sources said today.

Chinese troops claimed it was their territory and they were headed towards to Tible area, 5 km deep into the Indian territory. Chumar, which is located 300 km from Leh, is the last town after which Himachal Pradesh starts. This area also has the distinction of having a defined International Border with China.

Chinese troops, who were confronted almost bang on the border by alert Army and ITBP troops, said they needed to follow the orders of PLA headquarters and conduct some photography in Tible area.

However, after a usual face-off drill, the Chinese troops who had to walk down a long stretch to reach Chumar, sought assistance in getting some food as they had run out of their stock, the sources said.

While no food was provided as the troops did not carry it with them, some cans of juices were given to the PLA soldiers, the sources said, adding the Chinese troops then retreated into their area.

All Indian units located along the LAC have been asked to maintain a tight vigil in their Area of Responsibilities (AOR) and launch frequent patrols to the higher reaches, the sources said. — PTI

Persistent trouble

Chinese troops, who were confronted almost bang on the border by alert Army and ITBP troops, said they needed to follow the orders of PLA headquarters and conduct some photography in Tible area

However, after a usual face-off drill, the Chinese troops who had to walk down a long stretch to reach Chumar, sought assistance in getting some food as they had run out of their stock

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2013/20130726/nation.htm#5
B’desh confident India will ratify border pact
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, July 25
Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni today expressed confidence that the Indian Parliament would ratify the land boundary agreement (LBA) during the upcoming monsoon session.

“I am very hopeful that things that are in the works will come to fruition. Both sides have worked very hard on the agreement. Regardless of their party affiliations, I think they (Indian lawmakers) would be able to see the larger picture in India-Bangladesh ties and act accordingly... it will happen,” she said during a question-answer session after delivering the fourth RK Mishra Memorial Lecture, organised by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).

She indicated that she would also be meeting Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley during her stay in New Delhi to seek the BJP’s support for the LBA, which was signed between the two countries during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Dhaka in September 2011.

Moni was confident that the prospects of the ruling Awami League in Bangladesh would not be affected even if the Indian Parliament failed to ratify the LBA by the time her country goes to the polls early next year.

Asked if Dhaka had raised with China the issue of Beijing building dams over the Brahmaputra, she said: “Rivers are a source of life...we must and do talk to all our neighbours about any action which might have a negative impact on us as a low-riparian state.”

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/1865435/report-army-to-launch-green-campaign-in-kolkata
Army to launch green campaign in Kolkata
The "Go Green Campaign" on the stretch, widely acclaimed as the 'Lungs of the City', is being undertaken by the Bengal Area of the Eastern Command, which has its headquarters Fort William in the area.
The Indian Army will plant 5,000 saplings of various varieties on Sunday in a bid to augment the green cover in and around the vast expanse of Kolkata's Maidan - a five sq km open field.

The "Go Green Campaign" on the stretch, widely acclaimed as the 'Lungs of the City', is being undertaken by the Bengal Area of the Eastern Command, which has its headquarters Fort William in the area, said a defence ministry release Thursday.

The Eastern Army Commander, Lt. Gen. Dalbir Singh, and the GOC Bengal Area, Lt. Gen. A.K. Choudhary, alongwith other officers, soldiers of the Kolkata Garrison and their families will plant the saplings, including medicinal and fruit bearing ones.

Students of the Army Public School and cadets from the National Cadet Corps from city schools and colleges will also participate in the programme. In addition, all the clubs located in the Maidan area - also regarded as the city's sports hub - will also contribute to the initiative.

The saplings, procured from West Bengal's forest and public works department, include trees like Neem, Arjun, Tabobuia, Therspesia, Margo, Jamun and several other dwarf trees.

http://newindianexpress.com/nation/US-Army-chief-meets-Bikram-Singh/2013/07/25/article1700641.ece
US Army chief meets Bikram Singh


At a time when US Vice-President Joe Biden is on the last leg of his ties-enhancement visit to India, American Army Chief General Raymond T Odierno arrived here to meet the Indian defence leadership, ahead of the 2014 drawdown by the western troopers from Afghanistan and amidst the increasing reports of Chinese transgressions along the LAC.

Odierno met Defence Minister A K Antony, Army Chief General Bikram Singh and Indian Navy Chief Admiral D K Joshi at the South Block in Raisina Hill. While the meetings with Antony and Joshi were primarily courtesy calls, the US Army Chief held a detailed one-on-one discussion about the emerging security and strategic situation in South Asia and its immediate neighbourhood with his Indian counterpart.

Ahead of his talks with General Bikram Singh, Odierno was given a 15-minute presentation by the Indian Army on the ‘Indian Security and Strategic Perspective’, sources said.

On Afghanistan, India had a clearcut policy not to get invloved militarily, New Delhi would continue to provide all assistance to Kabul for rebuilding their nation.

The American General was informed that India was keenly watching out for ‘any other implication’ that the western forces’ drawdown in 2014 would have on Jammu and Kashmir.

With regard to the reports of transgressions by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control, he was told that India had not witnessed ‘any alarming change in the pattern’ of these incursions.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-23455128
India: Army 'mistook planets for spy drones'
India's army reportedly spent six months watching "Chinese spy drones" violating its air space, only to find out they were actually Jupiter and Venus.

Tensions have been high in the disputed Himalayan border area between the two nations in recent years, with India frequently accusing its neighbour of making incursions onto its territory. Things came to a head during a stand-off in April when Chinese troops were accused of erecting a camp on the Indian side of the de facto boundary known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC). By that stage, Indian troops had already documented 329 sightings of unidentified objects over a lake in the border region, between last August and February, according to the Calcutta-based Telegraph.

It quotes military sources as saying the objects violated the LAC 155 times. So, the army called the Indian Institute of Astrophysics to identify the objects. "Our task was to determine whether these unidentified objects were celestial or terrestrial," astronomer Tushar Prabhu told the paper. Only once the objects' movements were noted in relation to the stars were they identified as planets. The Telegraph suggests the sentry ought to be forgiven, with planets appearing brighter as a result of the different atmosphere at altitude and the increased use of surveillance drones.

http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/french-defence-minister-in-india-to-push-for-15-bn-rafale-deal-113072501008_1.html
French defence minister in India to push for $15 bn Rafale deal
French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian who is on a two-day visit to India is expected to push for the $15 billion Rafale deal under which India will be buying 126 medium-range multi- role combat aircrafts (MMRCA) for the Air Force.

However, ever since the deal has been agreed upon both parties have failed to reach a consensus on the pricing of the deal putting a question mark on the agreement. Defence cooperation forms one of the pillars of India-France strategic bilateral economic relations.

It was earlier expected that the much-awaited deal, which is pegged as one of the world’s largest defence orders, will be signed during the French President Francois Hollande’s visit here in February this year. However, it was not signed then as negotiations were still on.

Le Drian, who had earlier visited India as part of President Hollande’s entourage, will meet his counterpart AK Antony during the visit. Officials told Business Standard, that the main purpose of the visit is to review the progress of the negotiations as delay in signing the deal has invited considerable criticism from  both sides.

The French defence minister will also be presenting a White Paper on Defence and National Security to Institute for Defence and Security Analyses (IDSA), which was released in April 2013 by President Hollande to Institute for Defence and Security Analyses (IDSA).

French firm Dassault Aviation had won the $15 billion contract to sell 126 French Rafale MMRCA to the Indian Air Force in January 2012. The plan is to import 18 of the fighter jets from Dassault directly while the remaining 108 will be manufactured in Bangalore by Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL).

Le Drian is also scheduled to visit the Air Force base in Gwalior for a briefing on the Indian Mirage 2000 squadrons and interaction with pilots, officers and technicians who fly and maintain the fleet. Last month, the minister had said that the first batch of Rafale will be delivered to India by 2016-2017.

Last month on the sidelines of the Paris Air Show, senior officials from HAL and Dassualt met to discuss the final contours of the agreement.

India and France is also jointly developing short–range surface–to–air missile (SRSAM). During his visit, President Hollande discussed the matter with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of the Rs.11,000 crore deal to research and develop Mirage 2000 aircraft.

France also plans to sell 197 helicopters to the Indian Army. This will be France’s second such attempt after a similar deal worth $600 million got cancelled in 2007.

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