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Monday, 9 September 2013

From Today's Papers - 09 Sep 2013
Muzaffarnagar clashes toll 21; Army out
Violence spreads to several rural areas Mulayam calls meeting Centre seeks report from UP Govt
Tribune News Service & PTI
Lucknow/Muzaffarnagar, Sept 8
At least 10 more persons were killed in spiralling violence in Muzaffarnagar on Sunday, taking the toll to 21 in the western UP district where the Army staged flag marches and hundreds of anti-riot police personnel were deployed to restore law and order. The fresh incidents took place in the rural belt of the district, now being described as "highly sensitive".

An indefinite curfew continued in three police station areas of Civil Lines, Kotwali and Nai Mandi in Muzaffarnagar with the Army carrying out a flag march, violence has now spread to more rural areas. Apart from the Army, 10,000 Provincial Armed Constabulary personnel, 1,300 CRPF men and 1,200 Rapid Action Force personnel deployed, officials said.

"As it (violence) is going on in several villages, it is taking time to defuse the situation," Additional Director General of Police Arun Kumar told PTI after visiting the affected areas.

District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma said 21 persons have died in the violence so far. However, in Lucknow, UP Home Secretary Kamal Saxena put the toll at 19, including 11 yesterday. Saxena said adequate force has been deployed in the affected areas and incidents of violence have been reported from Sisauli, Shahpur, Fugna, Kalapar and Dhaurakala areas of Muzaffarnagar.

In one place, the Army had to resort to firing after someone opened fire at them, he said. Asked whether shoot at site orders have been given, Saxena said directives have been issued to control the situation and for that, if necessary, firing can be done.

The Muzaffarnagar district administration requisitioned the Army late last night after which eight columns were deployed in Muzaffarnagar and two columns in neighboring Shamli district, which is also experiencing violence and tension. "We are committed to bring peace and harmony in the area. No trouble maker would be spared," Chief Secretary Javed Usmani said.

The Centre has sought a report from Uttar Pradesh government on violence in Muzaffarnagar and directed it to take strong action to curb riots. Describing the deaths as unfortunate, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today raised the compensation amount for the families of the dead to Rs 10 lakh each. He appealed to citizens to remain calm and not believe the rumours doing the rounds. The family of journalist Rajesh Verma would get an additional Rs 5 lakh, Akhilesh announced.

In Kutba, where four people were killed, mobs set ablaze a religious place, several shops and vehicles. In Phugana village, cops said three members of a community had taken shelter in a police station, fearing violence. The other badly affected villages were Shahpur, Bhuvana, Basi Kala.

The Army's assistance has been sought by the UP Government in nearby Shamli and Meerut district, Army sources said. However, ADGP Arun Kumar said there was no information of riots spreading to other districts in the state including sensitive Meerut district. "These are all rumours," he said.

A high alert has been sounded in neighbouring Uttarakhand also. Chief Secretary Subhash Kumar has asked the administration and the police to be vigilant, especially in Dehradun, Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar districts which border the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Condemning the violence in Muzaffarnagar, Muslim clerics cautioned the people against "political conspiracies" aimed at dividing them on religious lines and appealed for peace and harmony in Uttar Pradesh.

Samajwadi Party national president Mulayam Singh Yadav called an emergency meeting at his residence to review the situation. The Chief Minister, Chief Secretary, Home Department officers and elected representatives of the area attended.

While RLD president Ajit Singh demanded imposition of President's Rule in the state, Leader of Opposition BSP Swami Prasad Maurya also demanded Governor BL Joshi's intervention and President's Rule in the state.

Curfew in many areas, Schools, Colleges closed

    Curfew continued in Civil Lines, Kotwali and Nai Mandi areas of Muzaffarnagar, with the Army carrying out flag marches; it also staged a flag march in neighbouring Shamli and Kairana towns
    Army's assistance sought in nearby Meerut district where primary schools and degree colleges have been closed as a precautionary measure; the police said 52 persons have been arrested
    High alert in neighbouring Uttarakhand, especially in Dehradun, Haridwar and Udhamsingh Nagar districts that border Uttar Pradesh
India bolsters security of its assets in Afghanistan
Ashok Tuteja/TNS
New Delhi, September 8
In the wake of the high-profile car bomb attack on the Indian Consulate at Jalalabad last month, India has intensified security at its embassy in Kabul as well as the four missions located in the battle-scarred nation.

Some 80 commandos of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have been flown to Afghanistan to join nearly 220 Indian personnel guarding the mission in Kabul and the Consulates at Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Kandahar.

Many in Kabul are, however, interpreting New Delhi's decision to bolster the security of its assets as a reflection of lack of faith in the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and the increased activities of Pakistani intelligence operatives in the war-torn nation.

But New Delhi has clarified to Kabul that the ITBP personnel would continue to protect the embassy as well as Consulates from inside their premises while the external security could remain in the hands of Afghan forces, official sources said.

Afghan authorities have also been told that fresh measures were aimed at securing Indian interests as well as providing better security to Indians working under hostile circumstances so as to contribute to reconstruction and other developmental activities in that country.

India believes that Pakistan's ISI would continue to target Indian interests in Afghanistan in the run-up to the withdrawal by NATO troops in 2014 to force India to reconsider its massive engagement in the troubled nation. Clearly, Pakistan's attempt is to gain 'strategic depth' in its neighbouring nation and influence the course of affairs after the drawdown by foreign troops.

New Delhi has, however, remained firm on its commitment to stay the course in Afghanistan despite terror attacks orchestrated by Pakistan-based groups on Indian assets.

There are concerns within Afghanistan that foreign beggars, particularly Pakistanis, might be involved in working for their spy agencies. In recent months, many incidents have come to light in which the beggars are unable to speak Pashto or Dari, Afghanistan's main languages, but are very well versed in Urdu.

CommandoS flown to Kabul

    Around 80 ITBP commandos have been flown to Afghanistan to join nearly 220 Indian personnel guarding the mission in Kabul and consulates at Jalalabad, Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat and Kandahar
    Many in Kabul are, however, interpreting New Delhi's decision to bolster the security of its assets as a reflection of lack of faith in the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces and the increased activities of Pakistani intelligence operatives in the war-torn nation
MoD query holds up artillery gun purchase
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
A crucial artillery gun that was supposed to provide much-needed firepower in the mountains has been held up. It could take months before the Ministry of Defence officially conveys its decision on buying the gun or stalling the project.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has raised serious objections on the purchase of the 145 ultra light howitzer (ULH) from the US under an inter-governmental agreement. The guns, costing nearly Rs 3,000 crore, are supposed to equip the upcoming mountain strike corps that the Cabinet Committee on Security recently cleared.

Besides this, the gun will be stationed at other locations in the Himalayas. A probe is on to look into an alleged irregularity in conduct of trials of the gun. A clean chit does not look possible in the immediate future, meaning leaving the decision on purchase to the next government that will take over sometime in 2014, sources said.

Defence Minister AK Antony had ordered a probe. Sources said it may be difficult to clear the project under the existing circumstances. The MoD has raised its questions on the trial reports. A Technical Oversight Committee has been tasked with examining all the complaints relating to this procurement.

The main issues raised in these complaints relate to technical parameters, cost effectiveness and economic viability of the gun. The committee has also sought comments of the Army headquarters on this issue. Earlier, details had emerged about how the trial reports of the guns were leaked.

The Director General Military Intelligence is probing the leak which is also being seen as trade rivalry triggered by a retired Army officer. The leaked report had suggested that the guns had underperformed during the trials. The ministry had then formed a committee under then DRDO chief VK Saraswat to submit a report whether the procurement should be realised or not.

The deal was given a go ahead only after Saraswat gave it clearance. The guns are serving in the US Army and were used in Afghanistan. It can be airlifted and be used for quick deployment of assets in mountainous regions. Since the Bofors controversy in late 1980s, no new gun has been procured by the Army for its artillery.

Objections raised

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has raised objections to the purchase of 145 ultra-light howitzer (ULH) from the US
    The guns, costing nearly `3,000 crore, will equip the upcoming mountain strike corps
    The MoD has raised questions on the trial reports that suggested the guns had underperformed
    It has also questioned technical parameters, cost effectiveness and economic viability of the gun
BSF mulls procuring UAVs
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung/TNS
New Delhi, September 8
The sensitive borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh will now have better surveillance capabilities. The Border Security Force (BSF) which mans both these borders is now aiming to acquire Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Director General (DG) of the BSF, Subhash Joshi, on Friday confirmed that a proposal for procuring the UAVs has been sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs.

"Before we start using the UAVs, we need to get an approval from the Indian Air Force. They are creating standard operating procedures for us on how to use the UAVs," said Joshi on the sidelines of flagging off a 135-member BSF contingent on a United Nations mission to Congo.

The DG first said that the UAVs would be used for surveillance operations along the Indo-Pak border. When asked if it would also be used for the India-Bangladesh border, he replied: "They would be used wherever we are deployed."

India shares a 3,323-km-long border, including the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu and Kashmir, with Pakistan. The border runs along the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. The BSF guards the International Boundary (IB) and the Army mans the LOC. The Indo-Pak border has recently witnessed ceasefire violations that have led to casualties on both sides. The border is also notorious for infiltration attempts by militants from the Pakistan side of the border.

India also shares a 4,096-km-long border with Bangladesh, which consists of riverine and jungle terrain. The border is notorious for smuggling of cattle, drugs and fake Indian currency.

From April to September every year, when the BSF is unable to use their speed boats and floating Border Outposts in Sir Creek due to the turbulent weather, they take the help of the IAF's UAVs.

The BSF is also deployed in counter-Maoist operations in India. "We will use the UAVs in anti-Maoist areas and the Sir Creek, if there is an operational requirement," said Joshi. He said the training for the BSF personnel to use the UAVs will be imparted by the company, which is providing the UAVs.
Indian Ocean safety may get formal framework
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
The Indian Ocean and the safety of vital trade routes that run through it will be the focus of specialists at the multi-country Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS).

Experts from 35 member countries located along the Indian Ocean will brainstorm over related issues in Mumbai from September 11 to September 13. They could suggest a formal framework on maritime security. Member countries will discuss the "role and expectations of emerging navies in cooperative engagement for peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region".

For India, these trade routes are very crucial as pirates target merchant vessels in the Arabian sea, while China is closing in to the east and challenging its dominance. From its west, India ships in crude oil from Iran, Iraq, Saudia Arabia and elsewhere.

To its east lies the crucial Strait of Malacca, through which trade is conducted with countries eastwards. India has set a target of $100 billion trade by 2015 with the groups of ASEAN countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines and others.

More than 40 per cent of the global trade takes place through the Malacca route and around 55,000 ships cross this area annually. At its narrowest point, the water body is no more than 2.7 km wide. The US Energy Information Administration lists the Malacca Strait as one of six global "shipping chokepoints" or narrow shipping channels.

India has assumed the role of net security provider in the Indian Ocean and has to take the lead and ensure that trade routes are safe, Naval officials maintain. Since 2009, India has deployed its warships to counter piracy, but has refused to join any US-led or European Union-led flotilla. Rather, the Navies of India, China and Japan coordinate their patrolling in the Gulf of Aden.

Brainstorming session

    Experts from 35 member countries located along the Indian Ocean will brainstorm over related issues in Mumbai from September 11 to September 13
    They will discuss the "role and expectations of emerging navies in cooperative engagement for peace and stability in the Indian Ocean region"
Navy to get Russia-built aircraft carrier in Nov
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 8
Russia-built sea-borne aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov's sea trials are almost complete and the warship is in the last stages to check for on-deck landing of fighters. The warship has run on its top speed of some 30 knots, some 55 kmph, and final trials are on. After the trials, it will head back to the dock for a final 'spit and polish' before it is handed over to India. The warship is expected to be handed over to India in the middle of November.

The warship had left the Sevmash shipyard in north-west Russia in July for final trials. So far, all reports are satisfactory. In August-September 2012, the boilers of the 44,550-tonne warship had malfunctioned during sea trials leading to a delay of by a year. The damaged parts have been replaced and the ship is now ready to sail for delivery acceptance trials.

The warship, re-christened INS Vikramaditya, was scheduled to be handed over India in December 2012. Now the delivery deadline has been re-scheduled for the last quarter of 2013.

The insulation system of all eight boilers on board the warship has been replaced with new ones. Three of the boilers had malfunctioned due to faulty insulation during sea trials in August-September last year. During the latest trails, the biggest test was the insulation system and that has been found to be okay.

Before the last trials commenced, the warship has been given a final coat of anti-rust paint on the portion that will remain submerged under water. Starting from first week of October, the ship will be back in the dock for the final painting and last-minute touch-ups.

India and Russia had signed a $2.3-billion (Rs 16,000 crore approx as per today's valuation) contract for refitting the aircraft carrier of the erstwhile Soviet Navy. The first contract was signed in 2004 when no other country was ready to sell such a technology to India. The malfunction notwithstanding, the warship continued to sail and undergo other trials like the landing and take off of MiG-29K fighters from its deck. In the meantime, the MiG 29-Ks have been inducted at a land base at Goa on May 11.

In October last year, Russian Defence Minister Anatoly Serdyukov visited India for the 12th annual meeting of the India-Russia inter-government commission on military technical cooperation where the matter concerning the delay in Gorshkov's delivery was discussed. Serdyukov had told the media: "We have given a revised time table. Sea trials shall resume in April next year. We believe the transfer (of the ship) will take place in the fourth quarter of 2013."
Notes from Kashmir
Zubin concert sends positive waves

MUSIC is a universal language of peace and harmony as music maestro Zubin Mehta, who performed at Srinagar on Saturday, proved resoundingly. Unfortunately, prior to the concert many discordant notes were struck as separatists not only opposed the event by calling a strike but also organised a parallel function.

While the successful culmination of the musical feast may have put an end to a needless controversy, the question that still begs an answer is: How would have the cause of the Kashmiri people been served by disallowing the musical extravaganza? Rather the state, where tourism is the mainstay of the economy, is likely to reap rich dividends if right signals are sent out to the international community.

It is possible that organising "Ehsaas-e-Kashmir" may have had political undertones, an attempt to send out a message that all is well with Kashmir. Those who opposed the concert on the ground that it was elitist and meant for the exclusive preserve of 1,500 VVIPs are well within their right to voice their dissent. However, they must realise that such programmes can become mass events only if a conducive atmosphere is created and not under the shadow of fear and threat of disruption.

This is not the first time that misguided elements have tried to scuttle cultural events in the Valley. Two years ago their protests dealt a blow to the holding of Harud, a literary festival. Not too long ago they had come out against Pragaash, an all-girl rock band of Kashmir. Undeniably, the culture of intolerance is not confined to the Valley, it is an affliction that affects other parts of the country as well. But in the backdrop of turmoil that the state has suffered for too long, any attempt to put it back on the path of normalcy towards which it is inching slowly but steadily, should be welcome. The Valley, home to "Sufiyana mousiqi" that reinforces oneness of humanity, must reverberate with sounds of all kinds of music for no force transcends the mundane better than the seven notes of music.
Adventurous Army Mela concludes
The 'Know Your Army' Mela continued to enthrall the audience on the second day also. People thronged the Torch Light Parade Grounds, Bannimantap, here, to be part of the event on Sunday.

Being a weekend, the event attracted more crowd. Curious people from all walks of life and irrespective of age were in the grounds to witness the stunning performances of the Army personnel. The stunts, with the message, 'Please do not try this at home' enthused the spectators. Each and every performance of the Army troupes received whoops and applause from the audience.

Children, accompanied either by their parents or teachers, were awed by the breathtaking stunts. Martial dance performance for the song 'Vande Mataram' by the Madras Engineer Group and Centre, Bangalore, aside from dynamic stunts including Kalaripayattu by Madras Regimental Centre, (Wellington), Mallakamba  by Maratha Light Infantry Regimental Centre, Belgaum, equestrian jump horse show by Army Service Corps (North), Bangalore, motorcycle display by the team 'Tornadoes' of Army Service Corps Centre (South), Bangalore, and music band by Parachute Regimental Training Centre, Bangalore, Madras Engineer Group and Centre, Bangalore, and Army Service Corps Centre and College, Bangalore, kept the crowd spellbound. People were electrified as the members of the Army Aviation Squadron, Bangalore, slithered though the rope from the chopper during the air show.

Amidst different adventurous horse show, where Army personnel jumped over eight hurdles successfully, including boards, walls, people reading newspaper, a sleeping man, two bikes, Marshal, the horse of Sepoy Siddarth lost balance and the latter fell on the ground. However, the brave duo completed their act, recovering within a few minutes.

Kalaripayattu also kept the crowd absorbed with the unparalleled valour with the swords and metal shields. The commentary in English and Kannada helped people identify and understand the performance.

Adding to the mesmerising displays were two clowns each in all the events, amusing people with their exemplary action.

People and children got their photographs clicked with the Army personnel as well on the tanks, after the event.

'Veera Naaris' (either wife or mother of martyrs) were felicitated on the occasion. Nirupa Madappa, wife of late Major Ganesh Madappa, Mahadevi, mother of late Sepoy Sundra N, Ratnamma, mother of late Sepoy Mahesha N S, Lakshmi Mali Patil, wife of late Subedar Ramesh Kandappa Police Patil, Shakuntala, wife of late Naik Radhakrishnan, Balamani, mother of late Sapper Sharath G, Suvarna, wife of late Naik Shivananda, Mallige, wife of Lance Naik P S Shambu, Seethamma, mother of Naik Sundaresh M G, Y M Halamma, mother of Lance Naik Prabhakaran M, C M Balamma, mother of Lance Naik Somaiah C M, Janamani, wife of Naik C R Chandra, Dechavva, mother of Sepoy Kutta P B, Sarada, mother of Sepoy Ravindra K S, B S Kamavva mother of Havildar Devaiah, Bindu, wife of Naik T Radhakrishna A received the honours.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in his address to the audience, assured that the State Administration will work closely with the Sainik Boards in each district for implementation of various schemes related to ex-servicemen, aside from presently providing 10 per cent reservation in government jobs as well as in various housing schemes.

He said, the corporate sectors should make use of the talent and skills of soldiers after retirement by providing them with jobs.

Noting that the government was striving to meet the needs of ex-servicemen and the Veer Naaris, he said, it included their medical needs through the 'Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS)'. "Land has been alloted for construction of an ECHS Polyclinic and a canteen in Mysore," he added.

Police Commissioner M A Saleem, Deputy Commissioner C Shikha, General Officer Commanding, Karnataka and Kerala Sub Area Major General A K Singh, and General Officer Commanding, Andhra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala Area Lieutenant General V K Pillai and others were present.
Myth of one versus ten
Indian aggression on Pakistan in 1965 was dealt with iron hand by Pakistani Army. Pak Army with support of the Air force and Navy battled bravely not only to compel the Indian Army to retreat from the occupied areas but it also entered deep into the Indian Territory, occupying its land too.
People of Pakistan stood shoulder to shoulder with their forces and the kind of support they gave to their forces was written in golden words in the history of Pakistan. Indian Army was much superior to its adversary during the 1965 war, but it fought with a little heart and was retreated from the war despondently. Although many defence experts and war historians believed that the 1965 war was a no-win no-lost, and it was actually terminated later on. Nevertheless, during the war the Indian Army was the main assailant and Pakistan was actually defending against the powerful aggressor. Before and after the 1965 war, a myth one versus ten came to fore, which means one Pakistani soldier can fight singly handedly against ten Indian soldiers in any kind of war. I don\'t know what was the reason behind the myth, and how did it crop up in Pakistan? The war was terminated after the Tashkent Accord between Field Marshall Ayub Khan and Indian Prime Minister Shastri. After singing the accord, Pakistani Army was ordered to leave all the occupied land as well as the Indian Army followed the suit. The moments after the Tashkent Accord was signed, at night Indian Prime Minister Shastri was found dead in his room and as well as a top cabinet minister ZA Bhutto also left Ayub\'s Government over the acceptance of humiliating terms in Tashkent Accord.
If we make a comparison between the Indian Army and Pakistani Army during 1965 war, it is clear that Indian Army outnumbered Pakistani Army. It is believed that the Operation Gibraltar was the main reason behind Indian aggression on Pakistan. Indian civilian and military leadership was skeptical about the movement of Pak Army along the borders of occupied Kashmir. They were having a view that Pak Army was giving arms to the Kahsmiris in order to initial an armed movement against the Indian rule in the occupied Kashmir. As a result, they wasted no time on waging an all-out war against Pakistan. But the Indian military planners failed to contemplate the modern weaponry of Pak Army. Many defence analysts still having a viewpoint that during the 1965 war it was the modern weapons which favored Pak Army. Although Pak Army was not even comparable to the Indian army when it comes to the size but what more important was the Indian civil and military planners failure to understand the type of sophisticated and modern weapons and ammunition possessed by the Pak Army, which later on helped par Army to solidify Pakistan\'s defence against the Indian Army. In fact, the advance military equipment possessed by Pak Army played an important role in Indian 1965 war retreat. The myth of one soldier versus ten Indian soldiers did became a reality when Pak Army fought with much superior weapons against the inferior and outdated Indian Army weapons. Despite having a conventional military superiority, the Indian Army unable to sustain against the larger barrels of Pakistani cannons. This is what I can understand about the myth of one versus ten.
We celebrate 6 September as our Defence Day, which was the first day of 1965 war. Forty Seven years has been passed, but today still Pakistan is facing troubles on its Eastern borders. Its adversary is building arms creating a security dilemma for it. Today, it adversary is modernizing its nuclear and missile programs in order to shift to balance of power in favor. Today, we are still not equal to Indian military might as Indian defence budget is ten times bigger than us creating one ratio ten. Today, the issue of Kashmir is still unresolved and India as status-quo power is still resisting ending the resolvable issue of Kashmir. Today, India is still enjoying a conventional military superiority over Pakistan. But after the overt nuclearization of South Asia, the convectional asymmetrical gap is not helping India anymore.
These are nuclear weapons which are the anchor sheet of peace and stability in south Asia. Today, Pakistan is a responsible nuclear weapon state. Nuclear weapons are the jewel of the crown of its defence. Pakistan firmly believes on its credible minimum deterrence against its adversary. Pakistan wants peace and stability in the south Asia and we must understand that Pakistan is the sole enabler of peace and stability in the region, but when it come to tango for tango it adds more vulnerability to the fragile peace of South Asia. A day before the Defence Day, a very significant meeting of National Command Authority was chaired by the Prime minister. NCA meeting reiterated Pakistan\'s long stand in bringing peace and stability but without any compromise on its nuclear program. Today, scores of myths are being created against the nuclear program, but it must be understand that Pakistan do have a robust command and control structure. The ignorant world media is creating myths regarding the safety and security of Pakistan\'s nuclear weapons deliberately creating myths, but they are unable to separate myths from realities.
In 1965 Pakistan able to defend because of modern convectional weapons, today we have nuclear weapons, despite conventional asymmetry, which makes Pakistan unconquerable to any power in the world.

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