Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Monday, 12 August 2013

From Today's Papers - 12 Aug 2013
Curfew in 5 more J-K districts
Army called out
1 more killed in fresh clashes in Kishtwar’s Padder area
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria & Arteev Sharma/TNS

Jammu, August 11
One more person died, while three others were injured in fresh clashes in Padder late yesterday following the riots in Kishtwar. The state government clamped indefinite curfew in five more districts of the Jammu region and called out the Army to prevent escalation of communal violence across the region.

The injured have been hospitalised in the Army Command Hospital in Udhampur, said state Home Secretary Suresh Kumar. Reports said three injured sustained gunshot wounds.

On the situation in Padder, Jammu Divisional Commissioner Shantmanu said one person died there last night. “His post-mortem examination is being conducted and the area has been placed under curfew. The Army has also been sent there,” said the Jammu province head.

“Curfew has been clamped in eight districts, but there is no curfew in Ramban and Poonch districts as of now,” he said. Independent sources identified him as Lassa, son of Mohammado of Kaijai Padder. Padder is some 298 km from Jammu.

With one more death, the number of those killed has risen to three and the number of those injured in the Kishtwar clashes has increased to seven.

The total number of districts placed under curfew across the Jammu region has risen to eight. The districts are: Kathua, Samba, Jammu, Udhampur, Reasi, Rajouri, Doda and Kishtwar — the place from where the communal violence started.

However, the situation in Ramban and Poonch districts remained normal where no curfew is in force.

However, despite curfew restrictions, protesters took to streets and staged violent protests hurling stones on the police and torching vehicles at several places in Kathua, Jammu, Samba, Udhampur and Reasi.

Shantmanu further said a majority of the Machail Mata yatris stranded in Padder were shifted to safety in Udhampur last night. “The administration is taking care of the remaining persons,” he added.

However, reports reaching here from Paddar area in Kishtwar district said four people received bullet injuries on Saturday evening in mob firing. Some shops were also damaged during the clashes.

The Deputy Commissioners of Kathua, Samba, Udhampur, Doda, and Reasi said their districts were placed under curfew either at midnight or this morning. Army has been called out and flag marches staged. They described the situation in their respective districts as normal.

Ramban DC MH Malik and Poonch DC Sajjad Ahmed Khan informed that the situation in their districts remained normal but a constant watch was being maintained.

However, in Poonch, section 144 CrPC has been imposed, prohibiting assembly of more than four persons.

Kishtwar district was placed under curfew on August 9 the day clashes broke out, while Rajouri and Jammu districts were put under curfew last night.

The four injured, who had sustained gunshot wounds in Kishtwar town on August 9 and admitted in Northern Command Hospital, were stable.

Meanwhile, all Jammu University examinations, including the practicals, scheduled to be held on August 12 and August 13 have been postponed. A university official said fresh dates would be notified soon.

(With inputs from Ranjit Thakur in Rajouri, RK Kichlu in Ramban, Devinder Thakur in Reasi and Darshan Bharti in Poonch)
BSF jawan hurt in Pak firing
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria/TNS

Jammu, August 11
Violating ceasefire thrice in the last two days, Pakistani troops today opened fire at forward posts along the international border in Jammu and Kashmir, seriously injuring a BSF jawan. A BSF border guard was injured in sniper fire by the Rangers along the International Border (IB) in Jammu sector. Pakistan Army troops also opened small arms fire in Mendhar sector along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district today.

“Around 7.40 am Pakistani Rangers opened two to three rounds of sniper fire critically injuring a BSF border guard constable Pawan Kumar near Alpha Machail border outpost of the BSF in Jammu sector,” said a BSF officer.

The fire hit the border guard in his rib cage. He is in a serious condition, he added

The officer described it a clear case of ceasefire violation. “We retaliated and a small arms fire is on in the area,” he added.

In another ceasefire violation along the LoC, Pakistani Army troops opened small arms fire in Mendhar sector around 11 a.m. “Around 11 a.m. they (Pakistani troops) opened small arms fire in Mendhar sector of Poonch district prompting a calibrated response from Indian Army troops guarding the borderline,” said a senior Army officer.

He said the gun battle was on in the sector, but there are no reports of casualty and injury to our troops so far, he added.

Earlier, a Head Constable Ram Niwas Meena of 200 BSF Battalion, who was injured in sniper firing on Narainpur BoP area in Samba district on August 5, succumbed to injuries at AIIMS, New Delhi. He had suffered a bullet injury in the chest

On July 27, Pakistani Rangers had opened sniper fire critically wounding a BSF border guard Baljeet Singh near Kothe border outpost along the International Border in Hiranagar sub-sector of Samba.

In a major ceasefire violation, Pakistani troops during the intervening night of August 9 and 10 had targeted several Indian posts by firing 7000 rounds of heavy ammunition and mortar shells during a seven-hour firing along the LoC in Poonch district.

On the intervening night of August 5 and 6 Pakistani Border Action Team had killed five Indian troopers in a sneak attack in Chakan-da-Bagh area of Poonch district.

3rd time in 2 days

    Pakistani troops on Sunday fired at forward posts along the LoC, seriously injuring a BSF jawan
    Pakistan troops also opened small arms fire at Indian posts in the Balakote-Mendhar forward belt in Poonch district at 11 am on Sunday. No loss of life or damage to property
    Pakistani troops during the intervening night of August 9 and 10 had targeted Indian posts by firing 7,000 rounds of heavy ammunition and mortar shells over seven hours along the LoC in Poonch
Vikrant set to be launched today
Vijay Mohan/TNS

Kochi, August 11
As INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenously built aircraft carrier, lay decked up with flags and streamers awaiting its launch tomorrow, it signaled a moment of intense pride for the engineers and technicians who had toiled and innovated for almost seven years to build the hull of what would be the largest warship ever to be built in India.
With the launch and subsequent commissioning of INS Vikrant, India would become the fourth country in the world to build aircraft carriers of this size, the other three being the US, Russia and France. This feat comes close on the heels of another landmark in Indian naval history-the nuclear reactor of INS Arihant, the indigenously developed nuclear powered submarine, becoming critical.

The 37,500-tonne carrier, being built by Cochin Shipyard Limited, will be launched by Defence Minister AK Antony’s wife Elizabeth here tomorrow. The launch has immense strategic implications for India and sends a strong signal to the maritime community.

The launch would signify that the hull is capable to be put out to water, though the carrier is still years from becoming operational. The hull would be floated out from the dry dock where it is being constructed and the remaining works, including building the superstructure and out fitting it with its sailing and war fighting tools, would be carried out while it is moored at the dock. At present, the carrier weighs about 18,000 tonnes.

While the engines have been installed, the next major task is electrification. According to the shipyard’s chairman-cum-managing director, Cmde K. Subramaniam, the process would be complete by 2016, following which INS Vikrant would head out to sea for trials. Commissioning is scheduled for 2018.

Cmde Subramaniam said the entire process was a huge challenge for the shipyard, which had employed about 5,000 engineers, designers, technicians and support staff for the purpose. There were times where we had to innovate things to overcome hurdles. Specialised welding of steel plates for the carrier, installing unique support structures for the shafts and heavy moving equipment to virtually inaccessible areas were some of the things we carried out.

The entire ship’s structure was divided into separate parts and different teams worked simultaneously on them, cutting down on time and quickening the process, he added.
To undo political damage, Antony didn’t limit himself to his ministry
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, August 11
Defence Minister AK Antony tacitly widened the ambit of his tirade on Pakistan during his statement in Parliament on Thursday in an effort to undo the political damage caused by his ‘weak’ statement on August 6.

He not only blamed the Pakistan Army for the Tuesday morning attack on Indian soldiers along the Line of Control (LoC) but also talked about the consequences of the attack on ‘the relationship with Pakistan’.

He also brought in the pending issue of seeking punishment for 26/11 Mumbai attackers.

This was in sharp contrast to his first statement in the House on August 6 that the Opposition led by the BJP had termed weak and one aimed at ‘giving a clean chit to the Pakistan army’.

On Thursday, Antony, who does not qualify among the better orators, changed tack and widened the verbal attack and covered the most important aspect of the relations, or the lack of them, with Pakistan.

The LoC attack pertained to the Defence Ministry headed by Antony. The matter of bringing the 26/11 attackers to face trial comes under the Home Ministry, nowadays headed by P Chidambaram in the absence of an ill Sushilkumar Shinde.

The not-so-veiled warning that such an attack on the LoC could have consequences on ‘the relationship with Pakistan’ was clearly within the ambit of the External Affairs Ministry headed by Salman Khurshid.

“It was as if Antony was speaking for the government and not for his ministry alone,” noted an official while pointing out that Antony normally does not speak on issues which do not concern his ministry.

A strong line emerged on Pakistan after Antony arrived at his South Block office at 8 am yesterday to draft his reply.

The minister held no consultations with anybody outside the inner circle of officers who brief him daily on security matters. Unlike the August 6 statement which conveyed a ‘diplomatic tone’ and was clearly not the message Antony would have liked to convey, his statement on Thursday matched his public stance on cross-border terrorism and the conduct of the Army in dealing with it along the Line of Control.

At public forums, Antony often talks of terrorist camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and never shies from stating that we are living in a troubled neighbourhood.

In his revised statement on Thursday, he apportioned blame on the Pakistan army for Tuesday’s attack on Indian soldiers.

Strong reply

    His first statement in the House on August 6 had been termed weak by the Opposition and aimed at ‘giving a clean chit to the Pakistan army’
    To give a strong reply to Pakistan, his second statement on August 8 also included issues under the ambit of the Home and External Affairs Ministries
Mi-17 copters to power BSF fight against Reds
Shaurya K Gurung/TNS
 New Delhi, August 11
Equipped with heavy armour plating and the latest avionics, eight Mi-17 V5 military transport helicopters will soon be delivered to India’s Border Security Force by Russia. The helicopters will be force multipliers in counter-Naxal operations.

India has signed a contract with Rosoboronexport, Russia’s sole state agency, which is responsible for the import and export of its defence-related products.

The contract states that eight Mi-17 V5 helicopters will be delivered to the Border Security Force (BSF) by October 2015. Some of the helicopters will be delivered by September 2014, according to BSF sources.

“The new helicopters will be force multipliers in anti-Naxal operations. They will also enhance the sustainability of our 28 air-maintained border outposts in Mizoram.

“The aim of acquiring the new aircraft is to cater to the growing demands of air support, induction and de-induction of troops, operational reconnaissance, special heli-borne operations and communication sorties for the troops serving in inhospitable areas,” said a senior BSF officer, adding that those would not be used as helicopter gunships.

The BSF’s Mi-17 V5 helicopters will be operating from Ranchi in Jharkhand and Raipur and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. Presently, six Mi-17 1V (the predecessor of Mi-17 V5) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and six Dhruvs of the BSF are being used in anti-Naxal operations. The BSF also has Mi-17 1V in its Air Wing that are being used in the same operations.

The Mi-17 V5 has day and night flying capabilities. Each helicopter can airdrop up to 20 troops in a short period of time. It can hover over an area for a considerable period, thereby allowing troops to slither down.

The IAF is already using the helicopters. An IAF Mi-17 V5 helicopter pilot told The Tribune, “The most modern development in the aviation industry is the glass cockpit of the V5. The aircraft can carry a maximum load of four tons. It has a flight management system that provides the auto-pilot function.

“The older Mi-17 1V does not have this option. The V5 when compared to its predecessor has stronger armour plating, better avionics and navigation controls.”

Former IAF pilots, who have been absorbed in the BSF, will be flying these machines. Presently, BSF personnel are being trained on advanced light helicopters and will subsequently be trained on the Mi-17 V5s.

Last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs had asked the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that its demand of Mi-17 V5 choppers be clubbed with the MoD’s purchase of 80 such helicopters at a cost of Rs 7,500 crore.

The first lot of about 20 helicopters arrived in February last year and has been pressed into IAF operations in Punjab.

For anti-Naxal operations

    The helicopters will be force multipliers in counter-Naxal operations
    These will be operating from Ranchi in Jharkhand and Raipur and Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh
    Former IAF pilots, who have been absorbed in the BSF, will be flying these machines
Govt to hire 2,000 ex-Armymen

New Delhi, August 11
The Union Government has decided to recruit over 2,000 ex-Armymen, specialised in jungle warfare tactics and counter-IED operations, to impart cutting-edge training to CRPF personnel fighting Naxalites in various states.

This is the second time that the country’s largest paramilitary force is recruiting such a big number of ex-servicemen for operational roles after the first exercise was done in 2011.

The total vacancies advertised by the Central Reserve Police Force, mainstay for anti-war operations in the country, are for 2,037 personnel who have retired as Junior Commissioned Officers (JCOs) and Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) The perks and salaries, for this task, are also attractive as JCOs can earn unto 55,000 per month while NCOs can draw upto Rs 35,000 per month. These servicemen, according to eligibility norms, will be drawn from Army regiments and Corps like infantry, armoured, artillery, bomb disposal and engineering Corps for the purpose. — PTI
Woman cadet is first on Pilatus

New Delhi, August 11
A trainee cadet at the Air Force Academy, Dundigal, has become the first to qualify to fly the newly inducted basic trainer aircraft, the Pilatus, PC-7 MK. The turbo prop plane has been imported from Switzerland to impart the first level of training to IAF rookie pilots.

Flight Cadet Vaishnavi Chellappa became the first trainee among her course that had commenced on July 1, 2013 at Dundigal, Hyderabad. The IAF does not allow women to join as fighter pilots. However, Chellappa will now have the option of flying transport planes or helicopters. — TNS
Defence diplomacy with China may get a boost
Ajay Banerjee/TNS

New Delhi, August 11
In an effort to expand relations with China, New Delhi wants to upgrade the level of its defence diplomacy with Beijing. The Ministry of Defence is looking to upgrade the rank of the existing defence attache and also, for the first time, post Naval and Air attaches to address a wider spectrum of issues with its neighbour.

At present, a Colonel rank Army officer is posted as defence attache to China and is aided by a Lieut-Colonel. Now India desires to have a Brigadier-level officer to be tasked to China. An Army officer becomes a Brigadier after serving for almost 25-26 years and has the necessary experience to handle the sensitivity of the India-China relations.

In addition to this, New Delhi wants, for the first time, to post a Group Captain-rank officer of the Indian Air Force as air attache and a Captain-rank officer of the Navy as naval attaché. Both ranks are one rank lower to Brigadier, means the Army man will be heading the defence wing at the Indian Embassy at China.

A similar kind of arrangement is with Pakistan where a Brigadier heads the defence wing at the Indian High Commission while a Group Captain of the IAF and a Captain of the Navy also work with him.

China is the only country in the five-member UN Security Council with which India has a Colonel-level defence attaché. In the US, France, the UK and Russia, the Indian DA’s are Brigadiers and their IAF and Naval equivalents are also in the same rank.

The matter of expanding defence diplomacy with China is pending for almost a decade but the lack of trust between the two countries has held back issues.

The change has come about after Minister of Defence AK Antony paid an official visit to China from July 4-7 at the invitation of the Chinese Defence Minister Gen Chang Wanquan. The two sides agreed that the navies will increase ship visits, consider conducting joint maritime search and rescue exercises and cooperate in counter-piracy operations. It was also agreed that the air forces will carry out high-level visits and expand their functional exchanges.

Also as India and China are hunting for the same strategic space in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), New Delhi is looking to have a Cold War-style protocol at seas that existed between the US and the USSR to ensure that competition does not escalate into a conflict on the high seas.

Fresh impetus

    The Ministry of Defence is looking to upgrade the rank of the existing defence attache to China from a Colonel-rank Army officer to a a Brigadier-level officer
    Plan is also on anvil to post Naval and Air attaches to address a wider spectrum of issues with its neighbour
    New Delhi wants, for the first time, to post a Group Captain-rank officer of the Indian Air Force as air attache and a Captain-rank officer of the Navy as naval attaché
BSF jawan injured in cross-border firing at LoC dies at Delhi hospital
A Border Security Force (BSF) troop, injured in cross-border firing in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district on August 5, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital in New Delhi today.

Head Constable Ram Niwas Meena, admitted for treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) since he was injured along the International Border with Pakistan died at 12:30 am due to multi-organ failure and excessive bleeding, doctors said.

"Meena, who succumbed to his bullet injuries today was administered about 100 units of blood and blood products," Dr MC Mishra of the AIIMS Trauma Centre said.

Meena's body was sent to his home in Rajasthan along with his family members by a BSF vehicle this afternoon, a senior force official said.

Meena was kept on ventilator in the ICU of the AIIMS trauma centre since he was brought here from Jammu.

His vital body parts had ruptured due to the bullet injuries which BSF had said was brought about on the trooper by 'sniper weapon' firing from across the border.

Meena was injured in the Ramgarh sector of Samba on August 5, when two rounds were fired from the Pakistan side.

Meena belongs to the 200 Battalion and was manning the border outpost at Narianpur.
India, China Aim Could Sign Border Agreement During Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Upcoming Trip To Beijing
ndia will send a high-ranking delegation to China next month to set the stage for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing later this year, where the two countries could put to rest an ongoing border dispute.

Citing unnamed defense sources the Press Trust of India reported Sunday that a delegation of Indian military officials will travel to China later this month to work out details of joint naval and air force exercises. The move is part of a larger effort to quell tensions over the row.

Another high-ranking delegation of ministers are also scheduled to visit Beijing next month to set the stage for the visit between the countries two leaders in October, where the two sides could sign the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement that includes protocols such as prohibiting the exchange of gunfire.

The two armies routinely trail each other’s patrols and conduct "banner exercises" with sight of each other, waving their respective country’s flags. Earlier this year, China proposed banning all infrastructure development in the disputed territories, but India rejected the move, pointing to a military buildup by China along the disputed borders.

Signing the border agreement in October is by no means guaranteed. Last month, Lt. Gen. Prakash Katoch, of the Indian Army’s I Corps, lambasted the agreement in Indian Defence Review, calling it a “dangerous trap” by China.

“China has developed border infrastructure so intricately [in the disputed territories] that its roads and tracks even in high mountainous regions look like fingers running down your spine,” he wrote. “In some cases the roads are intruding into Indian Territory that our hierarchy is petrified to admit."

Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony traveled to Beijung in early July to meet with his Chinese counterpart Gen. Chang Wanquan to discuss the dispute. The two sides issued a rosy statement after the meeting, saying they're seeking to “enhance mutual trust.”

Arun Sahgal, director of the Forum Strategic Initiative think tank, told DefenseNews that despite numerous rounds of talks over the issue, China appears to have its mind made up.

“[China] is, however, concerned by the fact that India is rising out of its stupor and has started taking steps to upgrade both infrastructure and defense capability,” he said. “Beijing will keep the boundary line delineation issue hanging till such time it sees as a positive leverage.” China claims about 35,000 square miles of territory that India insists falls within its sovereignty.

The border between the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir and Tibet, which China claims, has been the focus of a series of recent standoffs between the People’s Liberation Army and the Indian Army. China also claims a swath of territory to India’s northeast, near Bhutan and Bangladesh.

On July 16, 50 members of the People’s Liberation Army on horses and ponies rode into the Ladakh, a northern territory claimed by India, amid routine banner drills where both armies patrol the disputed line waving their respective countries’ flags. A week earlier, Chinese military helicopters violated Indian air space in the same area. Incursions by China into areas India claims have increased since April, raising concerns that the military posturing could lead to armed conflict.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal