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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

From Today's Papers - 29 Apr 2014

 Pak troops violate ceasefire again
Open fire on Indian post in Keri sector of Rajouri dist
Shaym Sood

Rajouri, April 28
The Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked firing on an Indian forward post in the Keri sector of Rajouri district this morning. A similar truce violation was reported in the Shahpur sector of Poonch district on Saturday.

The incident cannot be termed an infiltration bid as the troops didn’t notice any movement of militants in the area. A grenade was first thrown on the targeted post around 7 pm yesterday and it was followed by an exchange of small arm fire for a few minutes.

Defence sources said the Pakistan army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation in the Keri sector using small automatic weapons around 5.15 am today. Indian troops retaliated and the firing went on till 6.30 am.

“Our troops returned the fire using similar caliber weapons. There was no loss of life or property on our side,” said Lt Col Manish Mehta, Jammu-based defence spokesman.

It was the fourth truce violation in Rajouri and Poonch districts by the Pakistan army this year. Sources said more than 150 fully equipped militants had been waiting at forward launching pads to get a chance to sneak into the Indian territory.

“Their every effort has been foiled by the Indian troops so far and there was a remote possibility that any infiltration attempt may succeed in Rajouri and Poonch districts,” sources added.

The entire Line of Control in both districts is being looked after by Rajouri-based Infantry Division. Its GOC has been directed by the higher authorities to deal with any situation by taking spot decisions, sources said.
 Five Navy men held for molestation
Tribune News Service

Mumbai, April 28
Five naval personnel based in Mumbai were arrested early Sunday morning for allegedly molesting a woman at a suburban pub.

The police said the incident happened at the Hawaiian Shack pub in suburban Bandra where the woman accompanied by her husband and a friend were dancing. They were accosted by the five men who misbehaved with the woman, the police said.

The five have been identified as: Maheshwar Mahendra Singh (26), Tirthlal Dilpanath (25), Ashish Jai Kishan (29), Shyam Bhandare (29), and Chandan Mishra (26). All of them are class IV-level officers of the Indian Navy attached to the electronics department.
The ‘curriculum vitae’ of a soldier
Col IPS Kohli
Every year a large number of officers are put out to pasture by the armed forces even when they still have a few working years left in them. The reason is well known. I too became a 'supernumerary' recently and was honourably placed on the superannuated list. With the umbilical cord severed, there is a sudden vacuum in your daily routine. With nothing to do and nobody to bullshit, you end up getting on your wife and children's nerves.

I needed work to keep myself busy. Usually, soldiers in civilian jobs are like square pegs in round holes. However, there are many who have excelled in the vocation they chose post retirement.

I searched the job portals but found nothing that suited me. Somebody advised me that there are agencies in Gurgaon to whom you send a detailed resume about yourself and after charging a certain fee they make a suitable 'curriculum vitae'. This CV, when put on the net, facilitates placement. This 'curriculum vitae' business was something new to me. In the Army we call it 'Service Particulars'. A womb-to-tomb account of your deeds and misdeeds. This document, precise, to the point and devoid of any frills could make one look no different from his or her true self.

I downloaded the forms and made the resume as good as I could and sent it to the agency in Gurgaon. While filling the forms I felt a sense of pride at some of the things I did or had been associated with while in service. With credentials such as mine, I had no doubt that job offers would come aplenty.

One day I received a call from the agency to which I had applied for making my 'CV'. The bimbo who called tried to sound more important than she actually was, and tried to make me feel a bigger fool than I actually am. 'Sir, we have received your mail and it's making no sense to us at all. All your military assignments, courses, postings and operations etc you participated in are of little or no use to the corporate sector. We would like to know that due to your contribution and presence, how much was the increase in the production and as a consequence of that the increase in the profits of the organisation?'

I admit I have a short fuse. I replied, 'Sweetheart this is a Colonel of the Indian Army you are talking to and not a shop floor manager of a bloody factory. The only production I have ever been associated with is the birth of my three lovely children. A soldier's skill lies in causing destruction and not production and we do it in an extremely disciplined and organised manner. There is a method to our madness unlike you jokers who can do nothing right. Design the damn CV accordingly'.

I remain jobless and pass my time doodling.
Politics divides Indian Army

New Delhi,Apr 27 (TruthDive): Indian Army has never before been caught in a succession battle with a retired Chief of Staff spearheading the NDA opposition to the scheduled appointment by UPA.

A senior office has moved the apex court against the appointment. Involved is General V K Singh who is a BJP candidate and who has just stepped down as Chief of Army Staff. Singh had a spat with Defense Ministry on his date of retirement among many things.

For the first time, Indian Army was dragged to court by a Chief of Staff. Singh wants to stall the promotion of General Suhag to the top post as he had taken disciplinary action against the officer during his service. Secondly if the appointment is delayed by one month, BJP will be deciding and it means V K Singh. Among those in line for the top post is Singh’s daughter’s father- in- law is just incidental.

BJP moved the Election Commission to stop the government saying the appointment is done two months before retirement of Army Chief but UPA is going ahead and there are three months to go. BJP knows that Defense Minister A K Antony is going to thwart V K Singh’s game plan.

The Election Commission has overruled the BJP’s objection. Now, Swamy of BJP has written to President of India about the move of UPA to appoint a Chief to Indian Army in haste. The Defence Ministry has completed the process of succession and on May 1 the elevation of Suhag to Indian Army Chief post is expected.

Current Indian Army Chief General Bikram Singh is fighting his former Chief for going ahead with ministry to appoint Lieutenant General Dalbir Singh Suhag. If Suhag misses the post, then Southern Army commander Lt Gen Ashok Singh will be in line. V K Singh’s daughter is the wife of Ashok’s son is yet another interesting fact.

Top Indian Army commanders were in New Delhi and posed for group photographs with the outgoing Indian Army Chief to present a picture of unity. V K Singh had asked CBI to probe Suhag’s purchase of parachutes but as Indian Army-instituted inquiry had cleared him, the agency did not go ahead.

V K Singh’s successor General Bikram Singh removed the promotion ban and Lt Gen. Suhag’s became Vice Chief of Indain Army in 2012. General Bikram Singh’s succession to top post was not without controversy as an NGO moved a court about a fake encounter in Kashmir. The NGO sources’ statement is backed by Indian Army’s military intelligence in Kashmir.

There is a court case filed by Ravi Dastane, a senior Lieutenant General and he claims it is his turn to be the Indian Army Chief. This stance is supported by V K Singh and he says that his relative is not in the running and that in service itself he could have taken action on Suhag, if he had wanted.

British army dog awarded bravery medal for work in Afghanistan
PDSA awards 'animals' Victoria Cross' to Sasha the labrador for helping save lives by detecting explosive devices

A British army dog that helped save lives by finding explosive devices in Afghanistan is to be awarded a posthumous medal by the animal charity PDSA.

Sasha, a four-year-old labrador, was killed along with her handler, Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe, in a Taliban ambush in July 2008. The two were shot dead while on patrol from a remote base in Helmand province.

The PDSA Dickin medal, to be awarded in May, was introduced in 1943 and is regularly described as the animals' Victoria Cross.

Lance Corporal Rowe's mother Lyn welcomed the award: "Kenneth always adored animals and loved working with his dogs. He took his role protecting his fellow soldiers very seriously. We are so proud of him and he would be incredibly proud that Sasha's bravery is being recognised."

Rowe was with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute regiment.

Sasha is credited with 15 finds, detecting explosive devices as well as mortars, mines and other weapons.

The PDSA director general, Jan McLoughlin, said: "We are extremely proud to be awarding a posthumous PDSA Dickin medal to military working dog Sasha, which is the highest award any animal can receive for lifesaving bravery in military conflict."

"Sasha's exceptional devotion to duty in Afghanistan saved many lives, both soldiers and civilians."

The award will bring to 65 the number of Dickin medals awarded to animals in war: 29 dogs, 32 second world war messenger pigeons, three horses and a cat.
New army chief Lt General Dalibir Suhag's appointment runs into controversy
In a fresh controversy into the appointment of new army chief, a writ petition has been filed in Manipur high court against army personnel including naming Lt General Dalibir Suhag, who is the front-runner for the post of army chief.

A petition filed in the Imphal high court by the family member of one of the Manipuri youth, who were allegedly killed by the military intelligence unit in Dimapur in March 2010. Bodies of three Manipuri youth were found in Dimapur on March 25, 2010. Army has denied its involvement in the killing and claimed it happened due to "inter-group rivalry."

The petitioner has mentioned that when the local police requested the Dimapur-based 3 Corps to co-operate in the investigation as fingers were being pointed towards the intelligence unit of the same Corps, the then Corps Commander Lt General Dalbir Suhag refused to cooperate with the police investigation citing protection under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act.

However, the army has denied any involvement of Lt General Dalbir Suhag, as he was not Corps Commander at the time of the incident.

"The killing took place because of inter-group rivalry. Army had carried out a detailed investigation but nothing was found against army personnel. And at that time, 3 Corps Commander was Lt General NK Singh not Lt General Dalbir Suhag. Suhag took over as 3 Corps Commander in March 2011," said a senior army officer. Interestingly, General VK Singh, who has accused the government of appointing next army chief in haste, was the Eastern Army commander when incident happened.

However, the then Army chief Gen VK Singh had imposed a discipline and vigilance promotion ban on Lt General Dalbir Suhag in May 2012. General VK Singh placed him under the ban on charges of "abdicating responsibility" in handling an intelligence and surveillance unit under his command in Dimapur-based 3 Corps for what was dubbed as a "botched-up intelligence operation." However, the ban was revoked by General Bikram Singh within a week of his taking over as the army chief.

It is notable that a similar type petition was filed in the J&K high court for alleging involvement General Bikram Singh in a fake encounter, as an attempt to derail his appointment as chief of army staff. Petition was filed weeks before General Bikram Singh was slated to be designated as the successor of General VK Singh in May 2012.

Meanwhile, despite stiff resistence from opposition, the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA)-II is all set to go ahead with the appointment of next army chief.

According to top sources in the government, the ministry of defence has completed the procedural requirement for the appointment before sending to the Appointments Committee on Cabinet headed by the prime minister.

"All requirements have been completed including assessment reports from the Intelligence Bureau, CVC and CBI. Very soon, the file will move to the prime minister's office for approval," said an officer. The ministry of defence has already got clearance from the Election Commission considering appointment as routine administrative matters.

The BJP has approached the Election Commission and the President for restricting government for making appointment of next army chief.

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