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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

From Today's Papers - 29 Oct 2013

Armyman killed in fresh LoC firing
Majid Jahangir/TNS

Srinagar, October 28
Barely two days after the guns fell silent on the J-K border, an Army personnel was killed in firing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector of Baramulla district last night.

The Army said Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) Prakash Chander of 8 Kumaon regiment was killed when an area-domination patrol of the Army came under fire in Uri sector, around 120 km from here.

“The firing took place close to the LoC at the Army’s Bhim post in Uroosa village in which a JCO was killed,” a Defence official in Srinagar said.

While the Army maintains that the JCO was killed in firing during patrolling, police sources said they were ascertaining if it was a ceasefire violation or an attack by infiltrators. “We are trying to ascertain the facts. But the firing took place from across (the border) and that is sure,” a source said. The firing took place near the Aman Setu that connects Kashmir with the PoK. It continued for 15-20 minutes.

URI incident

    Junior Commissioned Officer Prakash Chander of 8 Kumaon regiment was killed when an area-domination patrol of the Army came under fire in Uri sector last night
    Police sources said they were ascertaining if it was a ceasefire violation or an attack by infiltrators
India Army's UAV crashes near LoC in Rajouri

Defence sources said that the UAV crashed near Rajal village of Nowshera around 1.45 pm. The Army has ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to inquire in to the circumstances leading to the crash of the UAV in thickly populated area.

According to Ministry of Defence spokesperson in Jammu, "the UAV was on a training sortie when it suddenly developed some technical snag and crashed in Rajal village in border district of Jammu.

The Defence spokesman also clarified that no loss of life or property was reported in the crash.

Defence spokesman said, a CoI has been ordered to find out the exact details related to the crash.
Indian army claims officer killed in fresh firing on LoC
SRINAGAR: Indian army said one of its soldiers was killed when Pakistani troops allegedly fired early Monday across the Line of Control (LoC).

The soldier was killed just after midnight at an army post along the northern part of the heavily militarised border, an Indian army spokesperson said.

Indian army did not fire back and instead lodged a protest with the Pakistani army over a hotline, said the army’s spokesman in Srinagar, Naresh Vig.

“It is a ceasefire violation. A junior commissioned officer was killed as Pakistani soldiers fired at an Indian army post in Uri sector at 12:15am,” Vig told AFP.

The incident came hours after senior officials of the two armies held scheduled phone talks on Sunday aimed at easing tensions in the region, that has recently seen some of the worst firing since a ceasefire agreement a decade ago.

Both sides have accused each other of violating the truce agreed in 2003.

India’s Border Security Force said last week that 50 frontier posts had been targeted in an escalation of small arms firing and shelling over the last month – despite public pledges to reduce tensions there.

Pakistan, in turn, accused India of killing a Rangers soldier and two civilians last Wednesday during firing and injuring 26 civilians.
Defence minister A K Antony reviews border situation with Pakistan
NEW DELHI: Defence minister A K Antony on Monday asked the armed forces to maintain "a high-level of alert" along the border with Pakistan, even as yet another Indian soldier was killed in firing across the Line of Control (LoC) in the early hours of the day.

In the backdrop of tensions along the 778 -km LoC easing a little, with no major ceasefire violation being reported over the last few days, Antony reviewed the situation along with national security advisor Shiv Shankar Menon, Army chief General Bikram Singh, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal N A K Browne, Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi and defence secretary R K Mathur.

Though India has already recorded 236 ceasefire violations this year, the highest over the last decade, no serious firing incident has occurred across the LoC since the one at the Mendhar sector on October 23. While 184 of the violations occurred across the LoC, 51 were recorded along the 198-km stretch of the international boundary (IB) in J&K.

It is still not clear whether the junior commissioned officer killed in the Jhelum Valley region in the Uri sector in the early hours of Monday, Subedar Prakash Chandra of 8 Kumaon, died as a result of firing by Pakistani soldiers or some terrorists trying to sneak across the border.

"Subedar Chandra was leading an area domination patrol from our Bhim post when he was hit in firing of UBGLs (under-barrel grenade launchers) from across the border. The firing, however, did not originate from the Pakistani Army post in the area," said an officer.

India has already conveyed its strong concerns to Pakistan about the major spike in ceasefire violations in recent months during the weekly hotline talks between the two director-generals of military operations. While assessing the situation, the government has kept on hold till now the proposed meeting between the two DGMOs, which was agreed to during the Manmohan Singh-Nawaz Sharif meeting in New York last month.
Army chief on a 2-day visit to Myanmar
Seeking to strengthen military ties, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh will be on a two-day visit to Myanmar starting tomorrow.

Singh will discuss ways of strengthening military ties with the top military leadership of that country, Army officials said.

His visit comes around 18 months after his predecessor went to Naypyidaw to forge stronger ties with a country which has had strong ties with China.

During the visit by then Army Chief Gen V K Singh, India had offered to increase the number of vacancies reserved for Myanmar's gentlemen cadets in the National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakvasla in Pune.

India has also offered road construction equipment to Myanmar for improving connectivity in border areas.

In the recent years, India has been working towards building strong military ties with its eastern neighbour which started with gifting of two Islander maritime surveillance aircraft.

India is also reportedly building highways and bridges in Myanmar to help improve its both internal and external connectivity.
Spectacular Finale to NCC National Games
Report by India Education bureau, New Delhi: Minister of State for Defence Shri Jitendra Singh, yesterday reviewed an impressive march past presented by the ‘Young Custodians of the Nation’ at the Garrison Parade Ground, Delhi Cantt which marked the  end to the nine days long NCC National Games-2013. The ceremony was a grand spectacle of pageantry marked with precision of pulsating energy kindling each heart with pride. The cadets presented a true picture of aspirational India on their journey to becoming empowered citizens with sound values inculcated by a common binding force – ‘THE  NATIONAL CADET CORPS’.

In his address, the Minister complimented Lt Gen PS Bhalla, DG NCC and entire NCC fraternity for the impressive conduct of the NCC National Games. He acknowledged the vital role and commitment of NCC in grooming the future leaders and exhorted the Cadets to usher in a positive change in society and contribute their best towards nation building. The Minister as the Chief Guest also distributed trophies to the winner Directorates of each sports discipline conducted during the games.  He also presented the Overall Champion Trophy to West Bengal & Sikkim Directorate and the Runners up Trophy to Maharashtra Directorate.

The Closing ceremony began with hundreds of yore blossoming cadets performing a scintillating mass display of Rhythmic Yoga. The versatile cadets then presented a mesmerizing display of Lezium followed by an energetic Bhangra performance, a diorama of tribute of National Integration through culture, music and choreography. A thrilling and daring display by the ‘SARANGS’ – Helicopter Aerobatic Team from the Indian Air Force and the ‘DARE DEVILS’ – Motor Cycle Display Team from the Indian Army kept the audience spell bound. The ‘AIR-DEVILS’ Sky Diving team from the Adventure cell of the Air Force also presented their magnificent skills.

This was followed by a smart march past by the participating sportsmen formed into their Directorate Contingents and led by cadets mounted on their stallions carrying the National, Services flags and the NCC flag symbolizing ‘Unity and Integration’. The Para motor display team from the Indian Army with their magnificent flying skills added to the vibrant and colourful environment.

The NCC National Games has it’s genesis in the year 1997 when they were held as part of the NCC Golden Jubilee Celebrations. In the subsequent years, the format was changed to the conduct of different games at the regional levels.

 This year onwards, the games are being conducted in a centralized format at Delhi, aiming to provide the talented sportsmen among the cadets a feel of a major sporting event and preparing them with the requisite match temperament and further their sporting skills. The games conducted by the Directorate General of NCC were attended by nearly 2100 Cadets from 17 State Directorates representing all the States and Union Territories and participating in seven sport disciplines which commenced from 19 October 2013 in the national capital.

The Closing Ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries and eminent guests, including Air Chief Marshal NAK Browne, Chief of the Air Staff, General Bikram Singh, Chief of the Army Staff and other important Services and  Civil high dignitaries.
 India, Russia hold wargames near Pak border

NEW DELHI - India and Russia held joint military exercises in the deserts of Rajasthan, near the Pakistani border.
The manoeuvres were named Exercise GangNeva, from the River Ganges of India and the River Neva of Russia, Indian media reported on Sunday.
Russian soldiers used T-72 tanks and infantry combat vehicles, also known as the BMP, which were originally made in Russia and currently used by the Indian Army.
Russian army’s Lt-Gen Alexey V Zovizion and India’s General Officer Commanding, 10 Corps Lt-Gen NS Ghei oversaw the exercises.
Exercise GangNeva, saw both Indian and Russian mechanised troops capture a notional rebel strong point by fire assault of attack helicopters, tanks and BMPs.
Meanwhile, as part of preparations to meet challenges from China and Pakistan, India is planning to lay 14 strategic railway lines close to borders with these two countries to help in easier and faster movement of troops.
According to PTI, the railway lines are besides 73 roads being constructed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China.
Out of the 14 planned railway lines, survey has been completed for 12.
The railway lines have been planned in Occupied Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Rajasthan.
Of the 73 roads with a total length of 3812 km, laying of 61 roads covering 3,404 km have been assigned to Border Roads Organisation (BRO). 27 of the 61 roads are being constructed in Arunachal Pradesh, 12 in Held Kashmir, 14 in Uttarakhand, five in Himachal Pradesh and three in Sikkim.
The infrastructure development is being carried out as China has made strides in this regard and India is lagging much behind.
Indian Defence Minister AK Antony conceded in Parliament last month that China is "superior" in terms of border infrastructure as India was late in deciding on building roads and other capabilities near the LAC because of the impact of the 1962 war. He had described it as a "collective failure" of all the successive governments.
India handed over to Pakistan five key documents running into nearly 600 pages for use in the 26/11 case in that country to proceed against seven key accused.
The documents include the true copy of the Indian Supreme Court judgement of the Mumbai attack case, deposition by two doctors who conducted the postmortem of slain nine terrorists and the chief investigating officer who probed the case and summons to the witnesses.
The two other documents are proceedings of the Pakistan Judicial Commission, which visited Mumbai last month, before additional chief metropolitan magistrate and application for producing the recovered articles from terrorist by the senior public prosecutor from Pakistan, before the additional chief metropolitan magistrate.
New Delhi had said it was incumbent on Pakistan to present the evidence in 26/11 attacks as the planning, training of the terrorists responsible for the strikes and also the financing was done in that country and therefore, "99 per cent" of evidence will be available there.
The strong reaction came after Pakistan Foreign Office said that it requires more evidence to move ahead in the Mumbai attack case in that country.
These documents were authenticated copies of the deposition and cross examination by the second Pakistan Judicial Commission. The documents were handed over to the Pakistan High Commission on October 15.
Five key documents handed over to Pakistan in 26/11 case:
The eight-member Pakistani judicial commission, which included prosecutors and defence lawyers, had visited Mumbai in September and was allowed to cross examine the witnesses.
The panel's visit came after the Pakistani court dealing with the 26/11 case had said that material collected by the commission during its first visit to India in March 2012 had no "evidential value" to punish those involved in the Mumbai attack as they were not allowed to cross examine the witnesses.
Lakhvi and six LeT operatives are key accused in the case. They are lodged in the Rawalpindi jail where the trial by the special court has been marred by delays.

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