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Monday, 6 January 2014

From Today's Papers - 06 Jan 2013
 Army comes to rescue of martyr’s ailing wife
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, January 5
The Army has contacted the family of ailing Munni Devi, wife of martyr rifleman Mahipal Singh, and assured it of getting her kidney treated. On December 22, The Tribune had reported the plight of Devi’s brother Harinder Singh, who had spent all his savings in his sister’s treatment and was now running from pillar to post for further help.

Taking cognisance of the report, Col CJS Khera (retd), General Secretary of the Ex-Servicemen Joint Action Front (Sanjha Morcha), approached the Army headquarters and authorities of the Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), a central organisation.

The Army headquarters has directed the ECHS to provide all possible help to Devi, who is suffering from chronic kidney ailment and has been advised kidney transplant.

Meanwhile, Devi has been shifted to Himalayan Hospital, Jolly Grant, from Indresh Hospital on the recommendations of Dehradun Military Hospital.

“Officers from the army headquarters have contacted me and now my sister has been shifted to Himalayan Hospital in Jolly Grant on the recommendations of doctors at the Dehradun military hospital. Devi’s treatment was started on Saturday,” Singh told The Tribune.
INS Vikramaditya, India's biggest warship, finally arrives
:  India's biggest ship, aircraft Carrier INS Vikramaditya, which was acquired from Russia in November, has finally arrived in the Indian Navy's Area of Operation in the Arabian Sea after a long voyage.  (See pics)

The much-awaited $2.3 billion ship is being escorted by other ships of India's western fleet and is headed to the Indian Navy's base at Karwar on the western coast. As the big ship entered the Indian Navy's area of operation in north western Arabian Sea, it had for the first time, the older and smaller aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, alongside it on Saturday. Throughout its long journey INS Vikramaditya has been accompanied by INS Trikand, a Talwar class frigate, INS Delhi, a Delhi class destroyer, and INS Deepak, the fleet tanker.

Fleet commander of the Western Fleet, Rear Admiral Anil Chawla, led the flotilla of the Western Fleet, that also comprised INS Viraat, besides two Delhi class destroyers, three Trishul class stealth frigates, a Godavari class frigate and a couple of offshore vessels.

INS Vikramaditya, which was commissioned into the Indian Navy on November 16 at the Sevmash shipyard in North Russia' Severodvinsk, is scheduled to reach its home port at Karwar in Karnatakain a week. The aircraft carrier is then expected to begin its weapons and air fleet integration. The air wing consists of 30 MiG 29K aircraft and six Kamov helicopters.

The MiG 29Ks would provide a significant boost to Indian Navy with their range of over 700 nautical miles, extendable to over 1,900 nautical miles with mid-air refuelling, and an array of weapons like anti-ship missiles, beyond visual range air-to-air missiles and guided bombs and rockets.

INS Vikramaditya is 284 metres long and 60 metres high - that's about as high as a 20-storeyed building. The ship weighs 40,000 tonnes and will be the biggest and heaviest ship to be operated by the Indian Navy.

The warship can sail nearly 1300 kilometres a day and can operate for 45 days without replenishment. It will be manned by about 1600 people. Just the crew is expected to use over one lakh eggs, 200,000 litres of milk and over 16 tonnes of rice every month.

INS Vikramaditya is a Kiev class aircraft carrier which was commissioned by Russian Navy in 1987 under the name Baku. It was later renamed as Admiral Gorshkov and last sailed in 1995 in Russia, before being offered to India. India agreed to buy it in 2004 for $974 million. The cost kept shooting up as Russia delayed the delivery by over five years.

India is also building its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, in Kochi, which is expected to join the navy in 2018-19.
Indian Army denies reports of Chinese troops entering Ladakh
New Delhi: Around 20 Chinese soldiers last week entered Indian territory near the LAC and pitched their tents in Chepzi area in Ladakh, sources said on Sunday.

Around 20-22 Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had last week pitched around 8-10 tents in the west of Chepzi in Ladakh area, the sources said.

However, the Army headquarters insisted there was no such incident in that area.

It was not immediately known whether the Chinese troops still remained in the Indian territory or have left.

The Army had held a flag meeting with the Chinese side yesterday.

Chepzi is close to Chumar area, which has been witness to a large number of incursions by the Chinese side in the last one year.

In April, Chinese troops had entered 19 km inside Indian territory in the Daulat Beg Oldi sector and left the place only after long negotiations and a series of flag meetings between the two sides.

The reports about the Chinese camp in the area have come soon after PLA troops apprehended five Indian nationals in the Chumar area and took them to their camp across the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in an apparent bid to stake their claim on the area.

After the two countries signed the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) in Beijing, they have agreed to resolve their issues under the mechanisms provided by the new pact aiming to prevent flare-ups between their troops.

Defence Minister AK Antony had recently warned that the new border pact does not guarantee that nothing will happen in these areas in future.

Chumar has been one of the most active areas on the LAC in terms of transgressions by the Chinese troops.

Located 300 km from Leh, it has always been an area of discomfort for the Chinese troops as this is the only place along the Sino-Indian border where they do not have any direct access to the LAC.
Army fears increase in violence in poll-bound J&K this year

The guns on the Line of Control (LoC) have fallen silent for the time being, thanks to the DGMO-level talks between India and Pakistan.

But the Army is still on the edge, given that 2013 was one of the bloodiest in recent times with more soldiers killed than the previous two years put together.

With elections due in Jammu and Kashmir this year, violence is expected to go up, according to an assessment by the Army. The situation cannot be compared to what it was in the early 1990s, when militancy was at its peak, but now the attacks on the security forces have become bolder and more intense. The militants have outgrown their earlier strategy of throwing grenades and running away.

These days they are organising well-planned attacks on the armed forces with an aim to inflict maximum damage. The tactic is to attack and then merge with the population.

With the Assembly elections due in 2014, Pakistan will make every effort, like in the past, to subvert the democratic process in the state. The Indian Army is clear that the Armed Forces Special Powers Act cannot be lifted from parts of the state at least till the fallout of the US withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan can be assessed.

The security establishment is convinced that the withdrawal of US forces can unleash a fresh wave of militancy in the Valley. ACTS of terror has not come down, said sources, even though infiltration might be down.

The Army's assessment is that at least 400 militants are still operating all across Jammu and Kashmir from the north to the south of the Pir Panjal. The arch of militancy is spreading and this is a cause of concern for the security establishment. The militants are not only better trained but also equipped with good quality radio sets and night vision devices ensuring that darkness is no more a hindrance in crossing over the border.

With better radio equipment, their handlers back in Pakistan also guide the operations right till the last word. Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh, in a recent interview to defence ministry's inhouse journal Sainik Samachar, had said that any let up at this stage is likely to be exploited by terrorists and other inimical elements to their advantage.

He also said that it is strategically imperative that India waits and watches the developments in Afghanistan post the US drawdown in 2014.

In 2011, 35 militants and 33 security personnel were killed while in 2012, 13 militants were killed on the LoC as against 15 security personnel. But in 2013, 53 securitymen died and only 33 militants were eliminated, putting the Indian Army on tenterhooks.
Intel-sharing biggest lesson learnt from 26/11’
Coordinated intelligence and intelligence sharing are the biggest lessons learnt from 26-11, said Brigadier Pawan Bajaj, the commander of the Aundh-based Shivneri Brigade. Bajaj was speaking on the sidelines of a media visit to the Aundh military station. He also elaborated on the Army's efforts towards modernisation and training advancements that follow alongside modernisation.

Bajaj, in his briefing, highlighted the role of the Indian Army and its contribution towards nation building. He also focused on the Indian Army's operational preparedness and contribution in providing relief and succour to citizens during natural disasters like tsunami, earthquakes and floods.

Under the aegis of the Southern Command, a visit for 150 schoolchildren and approximately 150 NCC Cadets to the Shivneri Brigade at Aundh Military Station was also organised on Saturday. "The visit was organised with an aim to provide them an overview of the various facets of military life at Pune. The visit gave the attendees an excellent exposure to various training facilities of the military, including a weapon display and a visit to a Maratha Battalion and culminated in a demonstration on various training and battle drills," said a press release issued by Press information Bureau, Defence Wing.

The interactions were followed by training demonstrations by the army men followed by an overview of the various activities and camps organised by the brigade.

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