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Sunday, 20 October 2013

From Today's Papers - 20 Oct 2013

Pak shells 26 Indian posts, two more BSF men wounded
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

In the biggest ceasefire violation along the 191.5-km International Border in a decade, Pak Rangers rained mortars and heavy machinegun fire on at least 26 Indian posts and some villages in Jammu and Samba districts.

Two BSF personnel were injured on Friday and a Pakistani intruder was killed in retaliatory firing. The BSF foiled multiple infiltration attempts through the night, said BSF spokesperson Vinod Yadav.

The two border guards have received minor splinter injuries. The have been identified as Sarvodh Kumar and Samir Ghosh of 193 Battalion. "They were injured in Nikowal post of RS Pura sector around 10 pm after Rangers opened unprovoked fire," said the spokesperson.

With the injuries to two more BSF personnel, the total number of injured in Pakistani firing in the past 24 hours has risen to nine, including five civilians. The BSF used hotline to lodge a protest via a forward post in Samba as it claimed the Pakistani side had earlier refused to respond. On Friday, the Pakistani side remained in denial mode, the spokesman said.

The spokesperson said the Rangers have refused to accept the body of an intruder shot dead by the BSF in Suchetgarh. The Rangers pounded Budhwar and Tent posts in Arnia sector, Nikowal, Sangral, Mangral, Allah Mai De Kothe, Jai Kishan, Jugnu Chak and Nawapind in RS Pura sector, 6R and Suchaitpur Kulian in Samba sector, Regal and Khwara in Ghagwal sub-sector, Pansar in Hiranagar sector, Najwal, Jaman Bela and Nikowal villages and Jamuna Bela, Najwal, Matkula, Maljoda in Pargwal sector and Kanachak BD Forward in Kanachak sector. BSF sources said the firing began on at 7.30 p m on Friday and continued till 5 am today.

The Rangers targeted 26 posts and civilian areas in RS Pura, Pargwal, Samba, Hiranagar in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts. "We retaliated in equal measure," the spokesman said. An Islamabad report said Pakistan claimed a civilian was killed and two others were injured in alleged "unprovoked firing" by the BSF. Against the backdrop of increased ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde will visit the forward areas on October 22.
In biggest ceasefire violation in 10 years, Pak troops open fire at 25 locations on international border
Jammu:  In the biggest ceasefire violation along the International Border in a decade, Pakistani soldiers opened fire at Border Security Force (BSF) posts at 25 different locations in the Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday night. Sources in the BSF say they have asked for a flag meeting to lodge formal protest but are awaiting response from Pakistan.
    The firing, that began around 7:30 pm on Friday and continued through the night, stopped on Saturday morning. The BSF retaliated with mortars.

    Two BSF personnel were injured and one infiltrator was killed as the Indian Army foiled multiple infiltrations bids through the night.

    Heavy exchange of fire was reported from Kathua, Samba, Hira Nagar, RS Pura and Pargawal sectors.

    There have been over 150 incidents of ceasefire violations by Pakistan in the last two months. (Injured in Pak shelling: Children aged 10, 12 and 14)

    People living in the area near the border say they are considering migrating to safer places as their houses have been damaged in the firing. (Watch video here)

    Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said the government will handle the "high priority" matter "with great determination to protect sovereignty and safety of the country." "We have full confident in our forces. We owe them tremendous gratitude for showing restrain, dedication, determination and total preparedness to face any situation," he added.

    Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said New Delhi should take up the issue strongly with Pakistan, adding that it would be "extremely difficult to maintain talks on ceasefire if the situation worsened." (Ceasefire violations worse after PM-Sharif meeting: Omar Abdullah)

    Intelligence sources say there are more than 40 training camps across the Line of Control and 700 militants are ready to infiltrate. More ceasefire violations are likely just before winter sets in and snow blocks the passes, they add. (Infiltration attempts will increase as Lashkar, Jaish terrorists wait to enter India: Intelligence sources)

    Mr Abdullah yesterday also questioned why the meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif last month has failed to stop the spurt in such incidents.

    In the backdrop of the increased ceasefire violations, Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde will visit forward areas along the International Border on October 22 to review the security situation.
Civilian killed by Indian Army: Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan accused Indian military forces of killing a civilian and wounding two others in "unprovoked firing" across the border on Saturday in the latest frontier flare-up between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

A Pakistani military official said a civilian was killed and two others were injured "due to unprovoked firing of heavy weapons including mortars by Indian Border Security Forces" near the eastern city of Sialkot in eastern Punjab province.

On Thursday, Pakistan accused India of killing a paramilitary soldier in "unprovoked firing" across the border in the same region.

The incident comes just weeks after the prime ministers of the two countries pledged to restore calm along the Line of Control (LoC), the heavily militarized border in Kashmir, at a meeting in New York.

A deadly flare-up along the LoC in January stalled peace talks that had only just resumed following a three-year hiatus sparked by the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, which killed 166 people.

Fresh violence erupted on the LoC after five Indian soldiers were killed in a raid in August.
Government to set up first separate pay commission for Indian military
India's armed forces are likely to have their own pay panel for the first time since independence.

This comes as the government prepares to set up the seventh Pay Commission to decide on salary hikes for the 50 lakh central government employees, ahead of state polls and national elections due by May. The pay panel's recommendations are expected to be implemented from January 2016.

All three military chiefs had written to the Defence Minister last year, asking for pay parity with civilian employees. The armed forces have also been demanding the one rank one pension and one rank one pay rule.

They are also pushing for fixing rank pay and fixing pay structure for jawans and junior commissioned officers (JCOs).

In June last year, Defence Minister AK Antony had reportedly written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on "growing discontent among the services personnel due to the anomalies in payment and salaries."

Mr Antony had said that service personnel, ex-servicemen and pensioners were "equally agitated" and suggested that corrective action be taken or "things may take a bad turn."

A month later, the PM set up a four-member committee of secretaries, headed by the Cabinet Secretary, to look into the demands. The armed forces had then objected to the absence of military representation on the committee. Later, some of the anomalies were corrected, and the government had promised a separate pay commission for the armed forces.

Government salaries had been substantially hiked under the sixth pay commission headed by Justice BN Srikrishna. The revised pays fixed the salary of the Cabinet Secretary at Rs. 90,000 a month and Secretary at Rs. 80,000 per month, while making Rs. 6,660 as the minimum entry level salary.
Pak troops open fire at 25 locations on border
After intelligence agencies have warned about the inscreasing of infiltration attempts Lashkar, Jaish-e-Mohammad and Al Bader terrorists wait to enter Valley before the onset of winter, Pakistani Army opened fire at Border Security Force (BSF) posts at 25 different locations in Jammu and Samba districts.

According to the defence sources, the firing continued through the night and the BSF retaliated with mortars. Two BSF personnel were injured and one infiltrator was killed in the firing as the Indian Army foiled multiple infiltration bids through the night.

Pakistani Rangers are giving cover fire to the terrorists, who are planning more Samba-style fidyeen attacks in Jammu.

According to BSF sources, one terrorist was killed and his body is lying near the zero line in Suchatgarh area of RS Pura sector in Jammu.

Heavy exchange of fire was reported from Kathua, Samba, Hira Nagar, RS Pura and Pargawal sectors.There have been almost 197 ceasefire violations by Pakistan this year.
Last evening BSF apprehended a Pakistani national at Malu Chak Border out Post (BoP) in Ramgarh sector of Samba district. The arrested Pakistani is identified as Abzal. He was being questioned to ascertain reasons for his infiltration. The BSF handed over the Pakistani national to Ramgarh police for questioning.

In Forward area of Chajja Man along the LoC in Balnoi sector of Poonch district, Army opened firing at 7 pm after observing movement of a group of militants trying to infiltrate into the Indian territory.

The militants were forced to retreat to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) from where they had been launched.

Sources in intelligence said that around 600 well-trained and heavily-armed terrorists, mostly from the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Bader, Hizbul Mujahiddin and the Jaish-e-Mohhmad are waiting at 40 launch pads on the Pakistani side close to the Line of Control in Pir Panjal mountains and Kupwara sector. Pakistani army is providing frequent fire to provide cover to the terrorists as they attempt to cross over into India.

Meanwhile, One army man was critically injured when armed militants attacked an army patrol party in Handwara area of Kupwara district on Saturday.

The attack took place in the Maratgam area of Handwara on army party belonged to 30 RR. The area has been cordoned by the Special Operation Group of Jammu and Kashmir Police and 30 RR of Indian Army and a hunt has been started to nab the attackers.
Russia war game before PM trip

New Delhi, Oct. 18: Troops of the Russian armed forces’ Eastern Military District began landing in Rajasthan this evening for a joint counter-terrorist wargame with the Indian Army ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Moscow next week.

The seventh drill in the series of exercises called Indra, the wargames from October 19 to 28 would involve mechanised forces of both armies working under a joint command in a scenario that envisages an attack and destruction of a terrorist haven.

The exercise will be conducted at the Mahajan Field Firing Ranges in Rajasthan. Command-level meetings of the exercises would be held in Jodhpur, Jaipur and Bikaner.

About 250 soldiers of Russia’s Eastern Military District would use Russia-supplied tanks and armoured personnel carriers that are in use in the Indian Army.

“Both countries have troops deployed in active counter-insurgency/counter-terrorist operations and therefore, sharing each other’s military experiences will pay meaningful dividends,” said a defence ministry statement.

Army sources said the troops will initially familiarise with each other’s concepts, organisational structures, weapons, equipment, training and tactical drills.

These would graduate to integrated battle drills in semi-desert terrain. Army sources said the exercise involved a scenario in which the two armies were functioning jointly in a UN peacekeeping scenario.

Russia is India’s largest supplier of military hardware but the operational principles of the two armies are contrasting.

The 250 troops from the Russian army who would be here under the command of Lt Gen. Vladimir G. Tzilko are originally based in Siberia. The last edition of the Indra series of exercises was held in Siberia in August 2012.

The mechanised combat groups from India would be led by Colonel Rajesh Nambiar.

The exercises will continue even as Prime Minister Singh leaves for Moscow for a visit that will involve talks on major military projects. India wants to develop its military trading relationship with Russia — in which it is mostly a buyer — to the level of a co-producer and co-developer of weapons.

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