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Thursday, 3 October 2013

From Today's Papers - 03 Oct 2013
Flying with ‘netas’
by Col PS Sangha, VrC, (retd)

Before taking premature retirement from the Army in 1994, I had obtained a Commercial Helicopter Pilot’s Licence. After leaving the Army, it did not take me long to realise that my impressive military bearing and many military qualifications would be of little use in the corporate world. So, I went back to doing in the civil world what I did in the Army. I joined a non-scheduled aviation company as an executive pilot to fly helicopters. That is what I did for the next 17 years till I retired.

Much of my flying was done with the political bigwigs of various parties. I have flown past and future prime ministers, a future President of India, the top honchos of the Congress, BJP, SP, BSP, BJD, JD(U), TMC, Akali Dal, INLD and a host of members of Parliament. So, one got the opportunity to see the campaigning style of these ladies and gentlemen.

Most of these folks were pretty mundane in their behaviour. There was only one man who left a lasting impression on me. Not with his intellect, sincerity or honesty but by the sheer magnetism of his ability to put a spell on the voters. He was a leading political leader from Bihar who ruled the roost for a long spell of time. In the 90s there were only a few helicopters available for hire. This gentleman used to hire our helicopter. To make sure that no one else got it he used to get the helicopter in Patna well before the campaigning started. So, that is how my long relationship started with him. Once the campaigning started it was nonstop. We had our problems in the initial days when he tried to dominate me. But when I stood my ground, he was quick to realise that I was not a Bihar government employee. We became good friends thereafter. I always went the extra mile for him and he was always very nice to me.

A typical day started at about 10 o’clock and ended at sunset. We always came back to Patna after doing 12 to 14 meetings. He was a one-man election machine. One day we went on to do 22 landings. Most amusing was his language. He would address the DG Police as ‘Darogaji’ and the Chief Secretary as ‘Badey Babu’. While flying, we frequently could not find our destination due to wrong co-ordination. So, he would tell me: Sanghaji urankhatole ko yahan gira do, hum pata lagatey hain. He meant that I should land the helicopter so that we could get directions from the locals.

One day a pretty British lady journalist from the Economist magazine came on board. So, much against his wishes, he had to converse with her in English. It was very amusing to listen. While coming in for a landing at a village, he told her “Look at the cow mother with her cow boy”. The lady kept a poker face all through.

This gentleman had no idea of good governance but he could win elections all on his own. Having seen so many netas I can say that he was the guru of them all. Now, though out of power and in jail, he has a never-say-die spirit about him. He still has a great sense of humour. Will he make a comeback? A million dollar question!
Pakistan special troops backing infiltrators along LoC: Army
Majid Jahangir/TNS

Srinagar, October 2
The Army today said the militants holed up between the Line of Control and the fencing in the Keran sector had “the training and backing of special troops”.

The operation in Kupwara district, 130 km from Srinagar, entered its ninth day on Wednesday with the Army claiming to have killed 12 infiltrators so far. Five soldiers have also been injured in the operation.

Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 15 Corps, said the way the militants were fighting indicated they were highly trained.

“Analysing the methodology used, this is a border action team (BAT) operation-cum-infiltration bid. This attempt indicates there are special troops behind this massive infiltration,” Singh told mediapersons in Srinagar.
He said it was not an ordinary infiltration, as “the pattern shows there are some special troops behind the infiltration bid. It is different from earlier attempts”.

The Corps Commander said the infiltration was attempted by a group of 30-40 militants from multiple points along the LoC.

“We were prepared for this as we had the inputs,” Lt Gen Gurmit Singh said while denying reports that there had been any incursion.

“The militants or Pakistan army have not occupied any village or picket of the Indian Army. Any violation of territorial integrity will never be accepted by us,” the Corps Commander said.

The troops were in control of the area which had been cordoned off. “Last evening, a group of 10-12 militants tried to infiltrate into the secure area and there was an exchange of fire,” he said.

The sources said the militant group was believed to be holed up in Shalbato, a village near the LoC abandoned by the residents in the early 1990s.

The sources said the highly trained militants were hiding in many ruined “dohakas” (structures) and natural caves, and had been firing on the Army.

The militants infiltrated in Shalbato when soldiers of 20 Kumaon regiment were being replaced by 3/3 Gorkha Rifles in the sector, they said. The Corps Commander said the Army had a continuous process of change of units but the guard was never lowered during the transition.

He added that the operation to flush out militants would not be rushed through. “The remnants of militants are still holed up there. We are beginning the last phase of the operation but will not try to hurry,” he said.

Cop injured in gunbattle

A policeman has been injured in an ongoing gunbattle between suspected militants and security forces on the outskirts of Srinagar city on Wednesday evening.

Sources said the gunfight raged after police and paramilitaries CRPF cordoned off Ahmad Nagar area.

"As the search started, hiding militants fired on forces and lobbed grenades injuring a cop," the police said.

The injured cop has been identified as Ashiq Hussain. Reports said that two to four militants are hiding inside the locality. The gunfight was on when the report was being filed.

Nine-day operation

    The Army operation against infiltrators holed up along the LoC in the Keran sector of Kupwara district entered its ninth day on Wednesday
    Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, GOC, 15 Corps, said the militants were highly trained and backed by special troops
    Denied occupation of any Indian village or Army picket by the militants or Pakistan army
    Said they would not rush through the operation, which was entering its last phase
Separate commands for spl ops, cybersecurity, space: IAF chief

New Delhi, October 2
The armed forces propose to set up three separate commands in the fields of special operations, cyber security and space, IAF Chief NAK Browne said.

"We are in the process of setting up three commands which will be steered by particular service and they will be headed by three-star officers," he told DD News in an interview. He said as per the plans, the Special Operations command will be headed by an Army officer and the Space command by an IAF officer, while the Cyber command will get its head on rotational basis from the three services.

Browne said the Andaman and Nicobar Command, now headed by officers from the three services on a rotational basis, will be under a Navy Vice Admiral. The IAF Chief said a proposal in this regard would soon be sent for the approval of the government.

Commenting on the strategic reach of the force, he said the IAF has the capability to carry out operations to safeguard India's interest in regions beyond its neighbourhood such as protecting Indian diaspora in other countries and Army's UN peacekeeping operations.

Browne said the IAF was expecting to induct the first squadrons of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the light-weight multi-role jet fighter, by the end of 2015. He expressed hope that the deal to procure 126 multi-role combat aircraft from French Dassault Rafale would be completed in the next few months as negotiations between the two sides were progressing.

Asked about the leakage of sensitive information in the armed forces, the IAF chief said sensitive information should be protected not only in defence but in all departments. — PTI

The plan ahead

* The armed forces are in the process of setting up three commands which will be steered by particular service and they will be headed by three-star officers

* The Special Operations command will be headed by an Army officer and the Space command by an IAF officer, while the Cyber command will get its head on rotational basis from the three services

* IAF Chief NAK Browne said the Andaman and Nicobar Command, now headed by officers from the three services on a rotational basis, will be under a Navy Vice Admiral
Hike in commanders’ powers to hire premises for ECHS
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 2
Faced with increasing difficulty in getting premises on lease to house polyclinics for the Ex-servicemen’s Contributory Health Schemes, the Ministry of Defence has substantially hiked the financial powers of military commanders down the chain of command to hire immovable properties.

The move comes in the backdrop of rents having increased significantly over the past few years. With lower financial powers, the cases for approval had to be referred by commanders up the hierarchical chain, adding to the administrative workload and also leading to delays in processing the cases.

According to orders issued by the MoD about a month ago, the financial powers of Army Commanders and their equivalents in the other services have been enhanced to Rs 5 lakh per annum per property from the earlier Rs 2 lakh. The powers of corps, division and area commanders have been enhanced to Rs 3 lakh from Rs 1 lakh, while those of brigade, sub-area or station commander and their equivalents have been hiked to Rs 2 lakh from Rs 75,000.

These powers will remain in force for a period of two years or till a new polyclinic has come up in that station. Under the ECHS, a total of 432 polyclinics have been authorised at military and non-military stations across the country. Out of these, 333 polyclinics had been operationalised till the beginning of this year.
‘Prez guard job only for Rajputs, Jats & Sikhs’

New Delhi, October 2
The Army has admitted in the Supreme Court that recruitment to President's Bodyguard (PBG) is open only to Hindu Rajputs, Hindu Jats and Jat Sikhs, saying that it is done purely on "functional requirement" and there is no caste and religion bias in it.

In an affidavit filed in the apex court, the Army refuted the allegation that any of the recruitment is done on the basis of caste and religion, saying that ceremonial duties in the Rashtrapati Bhawan demand common height, built and appearance.

"It is stated that the example of PBG being open to only three classes cited by the petitioner (who alleged biasness on part of Army) once again proves the point that Force structuring/composition is purely based on functional requirement," the affidavit said.

PBG was raised in 1773 at Benares by the then Governor, Warren Hastings. Since being first christened as 'The Guard of Moguls' in 1773, the Regiment has had various titles. With India becoming a Republic on 26 January 1950, the Regiment came to be known as - "The President's Bodyguard". — PTI
Addl Sukhoi squadron likely for Chabua base

Chabua (Assam), October 2
An additional squadron of advanced combat aircraft Sukhoi-30MKI is likely to be stationed at the Indian Air Force's eastern-most station in view of the strategic importance of the base.

Sharing the news here, Wing Commander Gaurav Mani Tripathy told journalists yesterday that the Sukhoi-30MKI multi-role fighter plane squadron is used to patrol the skies in the region.

With the Mig-21 era coming to an end at the station, the last squadron moved out in 2009, Tripathy said the base underwent a major renovation and expansion of facilities in preparation for the induction of the Sukhoi-30MKI fighters, which arrived in February 2011.

Speaking about the Su-30MKI, Tripathy said the aircraft was manufactured by HAL under licence from Russia's Sukhoi.

He said that the heavy, all-weather, long-range Indian variant of the fighter plane was more advanced than the basic SU-30MK and more capable than those used by China (SU30MKK/MK2) and Malaysia (SU-30MKM).

Talking about the Chabua base, he said, "The station has served as a major supply point for troops deployed in Arunachal Pradesh with various transport aircraft and helicopters operating from here." The Chabua base was built in 1939 and used throughout World War II by Allied Forces against invading Japanese forces. — PTI
Indian army hints at Pakistan army's role in massive LoC encounter
The Indian army today stopped short of accusing the Pakistani army of involvement in a massive infiltration attempt by at least 30 terrorists in Kashmir, but said that the encounter, now in its ninth day, suggests that the infiltrators had backing and training of "special troops."

"There were some special troops (involved in the infiltration bid), the training shows it. It is different from earlier attempts," said Lt-General Gurmeet Singh of the Army's 15 Corps. He said it would be "premature" for him to comment on specifics, but said, "This  is a BAT action cum infiltration," referring to the Border Action Team of the Pakistani army. The unit includes members of Pakistan's commando Special Services Group.
Lieutenant General Gurmeet Singh said five Indian soldiers have been injured in the encounter, none of them seriously.
The infiltration by the Pakistanis began on September 24, in the Keran sector about 100 km from Srinagar, five days before the Prime Minister and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif met in New York. The leaders agreed that their military commanders will work urgently to repair the ceasefire along the Line of Control, which has been violated gravely in recent months, creating tension for both countries.
Analysts say that the encounter proves that Mr Sharif, who was elected in May, will be unable to influence or check the powerful Pakistani army.
Though the Indian army claims 12 infiltrators have been killed, no bodies have been recovered so far. When asked for an explanation, Lieutenant General Gurmeet Singh said, "Retrieving bodies of dead terrorists is of no consequence to us."
The scale of the infiltration attempt, sources said, is clear from the fact that nearly 300 militants were gathered on the Pakistani side of the border, just miles from the Indian village of Shala Batu along the Line of Control. Army sources said that recently, a group of them tried to cross into India, but were trapped between a fence and the border.
Intelligence officials said that they were alerted to the presence of Pakistani militants by villagers from Shala Batu, who said that late in September, local girls were harassed by the foreigners, triggering angry protests.
Indian army says troops fighting militants who entered Indian-held Kashmir
The Indian army says its soldiers are battling dozens of anti-India rebels who crossed the heavily militarized border from the Pakistan-controlled portion of the disputed Kashmir region into Indian-held territory in recent days.

Lt. Gen. Gurmeet Singh, an Indian army commander in Kashmir, says soldiers first intercepted up to 40 militants on Sept. 24 in the abandoned village of Shala Bhata, near the U.N.-drawn Line of Control that divides the Kashmir region.

Singh says at least 12 militants have been killed in fighting that has raged for nine days in and around the village, whose residents moved in 1990 to the Pakistani side. He says five soldiers have been wounded as of Wednesday night.

He denied Indian media reports that Pakistani soldiers had crossed the Line of Control.
The Soldier and the State: Civil-military ties in India
In the 1950s, when Indian Army’s top brass apprised the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru about the Chinese build-up and incursions, concerted with release of maps, he trashed their reports, naively complacent with his belief in the Panchsheel agreement and the Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai mantra. The perception of Major T.P. Francis, one of the official interpreters during Zhou En Lai’s visit to India in 1962, did not match with the interpretation that the others gave. He predicted that China would attack India in six months. When nobody in the government, including Nehru, believed his interpretation, Major Francis resigned in protest. China did indeed attack India within six months. Indian Army, inadequately armed with over half-a-century-old bolt action .303 Lee Enfield rifles, insufficient ammunition and lack of warm clothes, suffered a humiliating defeat with around 1,860 casualties. Along with the above shortcomings, daft and rigid political directions of “forward posture”, “not to lose an inch of ground” and not using the Air Force in offensive manner so as “ to not raise the level of confrontation” made the defeat hurt the Armed Forces all the more. While everything from potatoes to postage stamps became dearer, Nehru, it was said, was a broken man who had to sack the then defence minister V.K. Krishna Menon.
In 1967, when Chinese Army upped the ante at Nathu La, Sikkim, by mortar bombardment in addition to killing a number of Indian Army officers and soldiers, the then Brigade Commander, Brig M.M.S. Bakshi, requested for the permission to respond with artillery fire. This could only be sanctioned by the defence minister, whose portfolio was then held by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Giving her approval without any delay, that too when she was in a cabinet meeting, Indian Army’s retaliation resulted in about 400 of its Chinese troops being killed. Further, a convoy of vehicles was destroyed and many Chinese bunkers were levelled. Thus, Gandhi in one stroke overturned the 1962 humiliation. The message that 1962 cannot be repeated went across to the Chinese very effectively, resulting in not a single bullet being fired by them till date.
Again, thanks to Gandhi’s decisive and assertive nature, the planning, preparation and implementation in the third war waged by Pakistan against India in December 1971 was fought in a Chanakyan or Kautilyan mode. Gandhi’s decision to take the recommendation of the Army Chief Gen (later Field Marshal) Sam Manekshaw seriously, resulted in 93,000 Pakistan armed forces surrendering to Indian Army at Dhaka within two weeks of the war in erstwhile East Pakistan.
These two instances are classic examples of negative/disastrous versus positive/pro-active approaches to national security. The Nehru-Krishna Menon duo’s response to China was a combination of absolute absence of strategic perception along with a contemptuous manner of dealing with an obedient and apolitical military leadership. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s approach to the second India-Pakistan war was positive as was his dealing with the military leadership. While Gandhi’s approach, dealings and decisions related to 1967 and 1971 were indeed effective and did have some influence on her son, Rajiv Gandhi who later succeeded her (responding to Chinese army at Sumdorong Chu, Arunachal Pradesh in 1986).
While subsequent governments failed to follow the assertive approach, what we are seeing in 2013, in dealing with both China and Pakistan are the nadir. And post-1971, a process of downgrading the military’s status is amply reflected in orders of precedence and the Central Pay Commissions (CPCs), particularly the 6th CPC for its anomaly in the grant of Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU) to defence forces.
Ayesha Ray’s The Soldier and the State in India is an appropriate and timely work which comes as an yet another wake—up call for the government. This book endeavours to accomplish two goals. First, it brings out the changing nature of civil-military relations in India since the country’s independence. Second, in discussing the changes, the book addresses some vital factors. The role of nuclear strategy, the nature of India’s political system, and the nation’s counter-insurgency policy are decisive factors in influencing the relationship between the country’s political leadership and the military. These issues have significant implications for understanding the conduct of war and the strategic choices facing India’s leadership. Of particular importance are her book’s four chapters, viz., The Evolution of India’s Higher Defence Organization, Nuclear Weapons Development in a Strategic Vacuum, The Effects of Pakistan’s Nuclear Weapons on Civil-Military Relations in India and The Indian Military’s Role in Unconventional Operations.
In analysing civilian control, while the author correctly maintains that it is the cornerstone of a democracy and in most democracies, the military works as an agent of the government remaining under civilian supremacy. The relationship between a country’s political leadership and its military is often subjected to change as this relationship is conditioned by a number of factors. Moreover, the issues addressed contain critical implications for the nature of Indian democracy since the performance and legitimacy of the military as an instrument of the state is a major factor in determining the viability of the state. In a democracy, for effective governance, civilian control of the military is considered a critical necessity. It is the principle of civilian control that differentiates democracies from authoritarian states. In authoritarian regimes, the military performs a dual role of fighting wars and making policy. However, democracies pride themselves in a clear demarcation of roles between civilian and military functions. In most democracies, the executive, whether the President or the Prime Minister, is responsible for formulating policy while the military is designed to be a war fighting force entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the country’s territorial sovereignty from external and internal attacks.
The fact that the author is the daughter of an army officer may well have been motivating for her to take on the complex issue of civil-military relations in India. India since Independence stands out as a country which being the world’s most populous democracy is one in which the military, despite being apolitical and a bulwark of nation building, has been not only given a raw deal by the politico-bureaucratic establishment but also been majorly misused on two counts. One is of misusing it to deal with certain internal situations, which the police has failed to deal with effectively. And the other is of misusing it by often not using it or not optimally using it, when it should have been used in sheer national interest against external aggression.
The book is a must read for all categories of professionals dealing with national security, particularly decision makers in the government.
Indian, French armies conclude joint exercise
New Delhi, Oct 2 (IBNS): The recently concluded joint exercise between India and France has given a boost to the robust relationship between the two countries in the defence arena, the Indian government's defence wing said on Wednesday.

Interacting with the officers and troops of the 5th Battalion, the Kumaon Regiment represented the Indian Army in the exercise.

Lt Gen Gyan Bhushan,GOC-in-C (Army Commander), South Western Command on Wednesday met the contingent and congratulated them for their excellent performance.

He praised them for being true ambassador of the professionalism and high standards of the Indian Army. He also applauded the troops for their dedication and hard work in the preparatory training phase which enabled them to successfully participate in the exercise with confidence and élan.

The exercise was conducted over a twelve day period from Sept 9 to 20 in Bourg St Maurice, in the French Alps with the theme being Counter Terrorist Operations in Mountainous Terrain.

The Indian Army contingent benefitted from the training on rock craft and combat mountaineering techniques imparted by 13th Mountain Infantry Battalion of the French Army which is a specialist Alpine battalion.

On the other hand, the French troops were highly impressed with the tactics and drills of counter terrorist operations displayed by the Indian Army Contingent.

The exercise is part of a broad slab of measures intended to deepen the engagement between the militaries of the two mature, like-minded democracies who have shared concerns in the spread of terrorism.

The Indian Army on Wednesday said Shakti-13 achieved those objectives in a highly professional manner.
Indian arms deal probe exonerates Denel
India's Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has closed its eight-year long corruption probe into South African arms manufacturer Denel following allegations that it paid kickbacks to Vara Associates, a company based in the Isle of Man, to help secure five deals between July 1999 and April 2005, to supply the Indian Army with 1 000 anti-material rifles and over 300 000 rounds of ammunition.

Indian defence procurement rules and the country's Prevention of Corruption Act expressly forbid original equipment manufacturers who bid for contracts with the army from hiring any middlemen or intermediaries to influence or 'swing' the adjudication of the contracting process.

According to reports from the Indian capital New Delhi, the CBI dropped the case on Monday after eight of years of trans-national investigations in South Africa, the Isle of Man, Switzerland and the UK failed to prove the allegations levelled against Denel.

The probe started in June 2005, two months after the Indian government stopped all dealings with Denel amid allegations that the South African company had paid 'commission' to the value of 12.75 per cent of the total worth of the arms deals secured with the Indian Army to Vara Associates, based in the tax-haven Isle of Man, to 'swing' the five contracts in its favour.

The contracts involved the supply of 700 NTW-20 anti-material rifles (bunker-busting and light armour penetrating), knocked-down kits for another 300 rifles of the same make and 398 000 rounds of ammunition. According the CBI case opened in June 2005, allegations against Denel were that it had made the pay-offs to Vara Associates, accused by investigators of acting as an intermediary, disguised as technical assistance and consultancy fees.

In the course of its eight-year probe, the CBI sent requests for information to judicial and investigative authorities in the UK, South Africa, the Isle of Man and Switzerland which all reported that they could not find any evidence to support the charges against Denel.

Several employees of Vara Associates and the Indian Ministry of Defence were being probed alongside Denel on allegations of conniving with Vara Associates to swing the five contracts in question in favour of the South African company.

After the Denel deal fell through, India’s Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli began manufacturing the locally developed Vidhwansak multi-calibre anti-materiel rifle, which bears many similarities to the NTW-20. Available in 14.5 mm, 12.7 mm and 20 mm calibres, it has an effective range of approximately 2 000 metres.
Indo-Pak DGMOs’ meet likely soon
As mandated by the political leadership of the two countries, the Indian and Pakistani director-generals of military operations (DGMOs) are expected to meet soon for the first time since the Kargil conflict between the two countries in 1999.
Defence sources said that meeting —- 14 years ago — had taken place at Attari near the Indo-Pak Wagah border in Punjab towards the end of the Kargil conflict. The meeting expected to take place soon could also be held at the same venue. In the past 14 years since then, the Indian and Pakistani DGMOs have never met face-to-face but have interacted on phone. The large number of ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Army this year at the LoC in Kashmir have effectively made a mockery of the ceasefire between the two countries that came into effect in 2003.
The very fact that this would be the first meeting since the Kargil conflict itself illustrates the seriousness of the situation. In the wake of the recent meeting between the PMs of the countries in the US, the Indian Army is now waiting for a formal directive from the government before getting down to the modalities of organising the meeting, sources said.
Ever since the mutilation of the bodies of two Indian soldiers in the Mendhar sector of J&K by Pakistani Army troops in January this year, the situation on the LoC has deteriorated, with heavy firing between the two armies after several ceasefire violations by the Pakistani Army.
The killings of five Indian soldiers in August this year in the Poonch sector in another daring cross-border raid across the LoC by Pakistani troops further worsened the situation. The Pakistan Army has been going all-out to push in terrorists across the LoC.
Incidents like the recent terror attack on the Army camp in Samba have also thrown the spotlight on Pakistan’s plans to spread the arc of terror to the Jammu region as well.
On the anniversary of the foundation day of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, Chinese troops hosted Indian troops Tuesday at a customary celebration on the Chinese side.
IAF teams bag inter-services squash title
Indian Air Force (IAF) bagged the team championship trophy at the 52nd Inter Services Squash Championship 2013, which recently concluded at Air Force Station, Lohegaon.

The championship was held on behalf of the South Western Air Command and the Air Force Sports Control Board under the aegis of Services Sports Control Board. Indian Navy, the winners of the last edition, became runners-up while Army Red bagged the third position. In the individual game, Sargent Sandeep Jangra of IAF was the champion and CPO Vikas Jangra of Navy finished second.

"A total of four teams, comprising two from the Indian Army and one each from the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force, represented by a total of 24 players, took part under two categories — team and individual championships. The aim was to select and choose the best players to form the Services teams that will participate at the national level tournaments later this year," said a press release issued by the Press Information Bureau, Defence Wing.

"Air Marshal K S Gill, Commandant National Defence Academy (NDA) who was the chief guest of the closing ceremony, congratulated the winning team...and wished the Services sports team all the best before declaring the meet closed. Air Commodore Surat Singh, Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station also conveyed his appreciation for the players who maintained highest decorum of service through the tournament," the release said.
3 jawans held for beating up two policemen
PUNE: The Wanowrie police on Tuesday arrested three army jawans for allegedly thrashing two policemen for patrolling a defence colony at Lullanagar on Monday night.

The army has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident.

The police have identified the jawans as Yogesh Motiram Mane (32), who is a nursing attendant at the Army Medical College, Dhiraj Shankarlal Prasad (38) and Suresh Ashru Sangle (35), who are both posted at the Station Workshop Electronic Mechanical Engineers.
On Monday at around 8.35 pm, two police beat marshals Sachin Gadve and Bhimrao Bhame reached defence colony Vikram Batra Enclave, to patrol the area and they drove away a four wheeler that was parked in an isolated place. At this point, four army jawans rushed out of their homes and sought an explanation as to why the civil police had entered a defence area.

According to the police, the jawans in a fit of anger thrashed Gadve and snatched his walkie-talkie and gun and also beat Bhame for intervening in the dispute.

Police said a passer-by Ravindra Barate intervened in the dispute and appealed to the jawans not to thrash the policemen, but they did not pay heed to his request. Barate then alerted the police control room and within minutes a team of four policemen rushed to the spot and nabbed Mane and Prasad who instantly returned the walkie-talkie set and gun. Sangle was later arrested. Police are on the look out for the 4th jawan whose name is not known.

Bajirao Mohite, senior inspector of the Wanowrie police station said the jawans thrashed Gadve in such a manner that his name plate was lost, his uniform buttons broken and his vest torn. The jawans were arrested under sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from performing his duty, 323 (punishment for voluntary causing hurt) and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace) of the IPC.

When contacted, the defence public relations officer Sanjay Arvikar told TOI, "The army authorities are aware of the incident. A court of inquiry has been ordered to ascertain the facts and strict action will be taken against those found guilty."

The jawans were produced before the Pune cantonment court on Tuesday afternoon and were remanded in magisterial custody, but were later released on bail. on furnishing personal and surety bonds of Rs 15,000 each. The court directed the jawans to give attendance at the Wanowrie police station on every Monday between 12 noon and 2 pm till the chargesheet was filed. They were warned not to leave India without seeking the court's permission.

Narendra Jadhav, the jawans' lawyer, said the beat marshalls had abused his clients. He claimed that the jawans were falsely implicated in the case.

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