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Friday, 13 June 2014

From Today's Papers - 13 Jun 2014



























http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140613/main3.htm
Jawan killed; Major among 7 hurt in 2 blasts along LoC in Poonch
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria & Darshan Bharti
Tribune News Service
Jammu/Poonch, June 12
A soldier was killed and seven Armymen, including a Major, were injured in two blasts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.

Sepoy Shanker Singh of 20 Jat Regiment was killed while three others were injured when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) went off while an Army team was patrolling in Tarkundi area of Balakote sector at 8.30 am. The attack is suspected to have been carried out by Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT).

Jammu-based defence spokesperson Lt Col Manish Mehta said: "The injured have been shifted to hospital. They are reportedly out of danger." He said General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps, Lt Gen KH Singh, has expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased Sepoy.

A senior Army officer said, "It was an IED attack and the elements from across the LoC are suspected to have planted it.". "The soldier we lost belonged to 20 Jat Regiment while three injured --- Lance Naik Mohinder Singh, Sepoy Shamveer and Sepoy Saninder Prasad -- belonged to 6 Rajputana Rifles," he said."Initially, they were taken to 150 Garrison Hospital in Rajouri from where they were shifted to Command Hospital in Udhampur," said the officer. Intelligence sources, however, said the IED was planted on a foot track between Chira and Pir posts and was detonated by a remote. After the explosion, when troops of 7 Sikh Regiment and 66 Engineers were scanning the area for more IEDs, a soldier accidentally stepped on a mine resulting in injuries to four Armymen. The injured have been identified as Major Bhatia, Sepoy Ajay Pratap, Havildar Sushil Kumar, all from 66 Engineers and Lance Naik Sukhwinder Singh of 7 Sikh Regiment.

"Major Bhatia, Lance Naik Sukhwinder Singh and Havildar Sushil Kumar suffered critical injuries.All four injured rushed to 150 Garrison Hospital in Rajouri from where they were airlifted to the Northern Command Hospital," said sources.

IED targets patrol team

    An IED blast targeted a patrol team in Balakote sector at 8.30 am, leaving a soldier dead and 3 others injured
    After the explosion, when troops of 7 Sikh Regiment and 66 Engineers were scanning the area for more IEDs, a soldier accidentally stepped on a mine resulting in injuries to four Armymen.



http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140613/nation.htm#8
 Javadekar fast-tracks road projects near China border

New Delhi, June 12
The Defence Ministry need not come to the Centre to get green clearances for constructing border roads and strategically important projects coming within 100 kms of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Environment Ministry said today.

A decision on environmental and forest clearances on building defence infrastructure in the areas in the 100 km-range from the LAC can be taken by the state governments concerned, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.

A policy in this regard will be formulated very soon, he told reporters here.The 4,056-km-long LAC with China touches four states— Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.

The decision to ease the rules on green clearances was taken after senior Defence Ministry officials headed by its Secretary R K Mathur met Javadekar at his office.

“Today we met with the Defence Ministry officials at their requests because lot of their projects were held up and were getting delayed approval. The issue was how to ensure that there won’t be delay. The answer is policy-based decision,” he said.

The minister said the policy will be framed in a manner in which a state government can take decisions on environmental and forest clearances for defence infrastructure projects, including roads, coming in the 100-km-range of LAC.

He said the meeting considered the status of pending Defence Ministry proposals for environment or forest clearance by the Environment Ministry.

The minister, however, said the states should not compromise on the environmental concerns while granting green clearances to such projects.

“I assure you that we won’t compromise with environmental considerations. But we will cut short the delays,” he said.

Javadekar said he will discuss the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Arun Jaitley and “the government will have that policy in place so that the clearances will be more on fast-track without compromising the environmental issues”. — PTI

Policy to be formulated soon

    A decision on environmental and forest clearances on building defence infrastructure in areas in the 100 km-range from the LAC can be taken by the state governments concerned, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said.
    A policy in this regard will be formulated very soon, Javadekar said. The 4,056-km-long LAC with China touches four states- Jammu and Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim.
    The decision to ease the rules on green clearances was taken after senior Defence Ministry officials headed by its Secretary R K Mathur met Javadekar at his office.



http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140613/nation.htm#16
 Naxal commander involved in Jiram valley attack held

Raipur, June 12
Three Naxalites, including a senior commander who was allegedly involved in the last year's Jiram valley attack, have been arrested in insurgency-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, the police today said.

The cadres were apprehended by a special team of the Bijapur police when they arrived at a weekly market of Bacheli in Dantewada last night, said Bijapur Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Sukhnandan Rathore.

Following a tip-off about the movement of hardcore rebels in Bacheli, a police team was dispatched to the spot which later nabbed the trio on suspicion, the DSP said.

Those held have been identified as Chaitu Lekam alias Munna (25), a section commander of military company No. 2 of Maoists active in west Bastar Division, Aaytu Punem (37), a militia platoon commander and Mangu Kunjam (24), a Janmilitia member.

Active since 2007 in the outlawed CPI (Maoist) movement, Chaitu was involved in the Jiram valley incident in Darbha region of Bastar in May last year in which prominent Congress leaders were killed.

Besides, he was also involved in Mirtur ambush in Bijapur, killing six police personnel (2008), attack on a police party under Chintagufa police station limits of Sukma (2009) and attack on CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) post in Bacheli in which two jawans were killed (2012), he said.

Chaitu was a prominent figure of military wing of the CPI (Maoist) as he was also a member of an action team of the Naxals' south regional committee (south Bastar bordering Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh), the DSP said and added that he was carrying a reward of Rs 1 lakh on his head.

The two other arrested cadres — Aaytu and Mangu-- were involved in several Naxal instances of Gangaloor region. However, their involvement in other incidents of Bijapur, Dantewada and Sukma of south Bastar could not be ruled out, he added.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) which is probing the Jiram valley incident had been informed about the arrest of Chaitu, the DSP said.

On May 25, 2013, Naxals had ambushed the Congress' Parivartan rally convoy in Jiram valley of Bastar's Darbha region when it was on the way towards Jagdalpur from Sukma.

A total of 31 people, including PCC chief Nandkumar Patel, his son Dinesh, former Union Minister Vidayacharan Shukla, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma, and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar were killed and several others were injured.

Later, the NIA was tasked to investigate the Jiram valley attack. —PTI


http://www.tribuneindia.com/2014/20140613/nation.htm#17
 CRPF to honour ‘Juliet’ for saving troops in Naxal belt

New Delhi, June 12
The CRPF, in a rare instance, has decided to accord one of its highest service honours to an infantry patrol dog whose alacrity saved lives of many troops during an anti-Naxal operation in Odisha.

The female canine ‘Juliet’, is a Belgian Shepherd ‘Malinois’ and is the cousin of the same breed of canines which is reported to have assisted the elite US Navy Seals in sniffing out Osama bin Laden from his safe haven in Pakistan in May 2011.

CRPF chief Dilip Trivedi announced a Director General (DG) Commendation Disc, usually awarded to serving personnel and officers for either accomplishing a dare-devil task or rendering exceptional service, to Juliet in order to honour the silent soldier of the force.

The Indian forces inducted these dogs for the first time in 2011 to aid security personnel undertaking anti-Naxal operations and special offensive tasks. The latest episode occurred yesterday when ‘Juliet’ was out for an anti-Naxal duty in the jungles of Keonjhar district of Odisha along with the Central Reserve Police Force troops.

After about 8-kms of patrol, a senior official said, the squad reached the notorious ‘Sal Ghati’ under Daitri police station area in the district after which the highly-trained Juliet diligently began sniffing a mound of earth lying near the dirt track.

Her handler, Constable Zale Singh, goaded her further and she promptly dug out the electric wires of a hidden 20-kg Improvised Explosive Device (IED) buried 2-feet deep, which was also fitted with detonators and torch cells for activation.

The patrol squad was alerted by the scout officer, the official said, after which the IED was sanitised and the bomb disposal team was called in which crippled the bomb which, once activated, would have claimed many lives. The force, thick in anti-Maoist operations, has inducted close to 108 ‘Malinois’ dogs in its ranks over the last two years and deployed them with patrol squads which has produced good results, the official said. — PTI

Wonder dog

    The female canine ‘Juliet’, is a Belgian Shepherd ‘Malinois’ and is the cousin of the same breed of canines which is reported to have assisted the elite US Navy Seals in sniffing out Osama bin Laden from his safe haven in Pakistan in May 2011
    CRPF chief Dilip Trivedi announced a Director General (DG) Commendation Disc, usually awarded to serving personnel and officers for either accomplishing a dare-devil task or rendering exceptional service, to Juliet in order to honour the silent soldier of the force



http://ibnlive.in.com/news/jaitley-to-visit-jk-to-review-security-situation/478652-3-244.html
Defence Minister Arun Jaitley to visit J&K to review security situation
New Delhi : Defence Minister Arun Jaitley will review the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir along with top Army commanders during his two-day visit to Srinagar starting on Saturday.

In his first visit to the state after taking over as Defence Minister, he is also expected to discuss the possibilities and ways of ensuring the safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Kashmir valley.

He will be briefed about the militancy situation in the state by the Northern Army Commander and the three Corps Commanders under him looking after the security of the international borders, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with
China and the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, Defence Ministry officials said.

Army chief Gen Bikram Singh will be present on the occasion and he is likely to be accompanied by Army Chief- Designate Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag during the briefings, they said.

Jaitley may also hold meetings with Chief Minister Omar Abdullah and the Governor.

The Kashmir valley has not witnessed any major incident of violence in the recent past but the Army terms the situation as "absence of violence" and is taking all possible steps to curb infiltration and violence there.


http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/army-soldier-killed-three-others-injured-in-poonch-ied-blast-update-114061200746_1.html
Army soldier killed, three others injured in Poonch IED blast (Update)
An army soldier was killed and three others injured in an IED blast on Thursday morning in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch District.

According to a defence spokesman in Jammu, Sepoy Shankar Singh was part of an army patrol that was targeted by alleged militants at approximately 8.30 a.m. this morning.

The spokesman confirmed the death of Sepoy Shankar Singh. He also said the injured have been moved to the nearest military hospital for treatment. The army soldiers were attached to the Gambhir Battalion of the Indian Army.

When reports last came in, search operations were still on. (ANI)


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Defence-projects-along-LAC-to-get-quick-green-nod/articleshow/36455655.cms
Defence projects along LAC to get quick green nod
NEW DELHI: The ponderous elephant will now try to catch up with the fleet-footed dragon. The Narendra Modi government has decided to fast-track clearances for roads and other military infrastructure projects along the 4,057-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, signalling that environmental clearances will not needlessly hamper national security objectives.

"Construction of roads within 100-km of LAC will be given fast-track approvals under the new policy being formulated," environment minister Prakash Javadekar said after meeting defence secretary R K Mathur and other top officials on Thursday.

"Delays in defence projects were happening due to the case-to-case decision-making process. We are evolving policy-based solutions. The new policy will ensure faster clearances without compromising environmental issues," he added.
This comes soon after the environment ministry gave the green nod to two other crucial long-pending defence projects, the expansion of the strategic Karwar naval base in coastal Karnataka and installation of a radar station at Narcondam in the A&N Islands.

The defence establishment has for long identified delays in environmental clearances as one of the major stumbling blocks for India's lumbering attempts to strategically counter China's huge build-up of military infrastructure all along the LAC, from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

Defence officials say the construction of around 80 roads, adding up to around 6,000-km, along the LAC as well as infrastructure build-up in about 5,000 acres of land in Arunachal and Assam for the new Army mountain strike corps and other formations being raised against China have been "on hold" due to lack of environmental nods.

But apart from green norms, the "limited capacity" of Border Roads Organisation (BRO), red-tape, hard rock stretches, restricted working seasons in high-altitude areas and inadequate air efforts to mobilise resources, have also ensured that India has lagged far behind China in the arena.
Just 18 of the 73 "strategic'' roads (adding up to 3,808-km) identified for construction along the LAC for better troop mobility almost a decade ago, for instance, have been completed till now. All the 73 all-weather roads, with more east-west lateral links as well as better access routes to strategic peaks and valleys, were to be completed by 2012, as reported earlier by TOI.

"BRO's capacity-building through more manpower and latest construction technology and equipment is a top priority. The outsourcing of roads to private firms is also being considered," said a top defence official.
Apart from its vastly superior military capabilities, China's border military infrastructure more than doubles its advantage along the LAC against India. A concerned Indian Army, in fact, had over two years ago even proposed that infrastructure build-up within 50 km of the LAC, as also the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, should be exempted from requisite environmental and other clearances.

China, after all, now has at least five fully-operational airbases, an extensive rail network and over 58,000-km of roads in the Tibet Autonomous Region, which makes it possible for it to swiftly move over 30 divisions (each with over 15,000 soldiers) to the LAC to outnumber Indian forces by 3:1. The People's Liberation Army has also taken to conducting major ground and air exercises in the high-altitude Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in recent times.


http://www.firstpost.com/india/modi-must-shut-up-vk-singh-but-he-has-to-fix-army-govt-ties-1565693.html
Modi must shut up VK Singh, but he has to fix Army-govt ties

Gen VK Singh is not doing himself or the professional army he served till mid-2012 any credit by making wild allegations about the next army chief, Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag. Incensed by a government affidavit in court that rubbished the disciplinary action he had initiated as army chief against Suhag as “illegal” and “without any basis or material on record”, Gen Singh shot back on twitter. He alleged that Suhag’s unit may have “killed innocents”. He tweeted: “If unit kills innocents, does dacoity and then head of organization tries to protect them, should he not be blamed? Criminals should go free!!” It is possible that the defence ministry affidavit that trashed Gen Singh’s actions may have been initiated at a lower level, and Arun Jaitley, who is holding additional charge as defence minister, may not have known about it.

But this is no reason why Gen Singh should be going ballistic on the next army chief. He has thus once again broken the Omerta code among politicians and the public that one does not play politics with the army – even if some bad things have been done to Gen Singh. By abusing the next army chief, Gen Singh has lost whatever sympathy the public may have had for his cause. The Prime Minister clearly needs to have a private word with Gen Singh on not going public with his private feelings. Or else... The Congress may be baying for Gen Singh’s blood, but even if Narendra Modi does not oblige, he needs to tell the general that he can’t be speaking out-of-turn on these issues, especially because he is now a minister. If Gen Singh has a grouse with the defence ministry affidavit filed in court, there were quieter ways of registering his concern over it. Four things are worth pointing out following this avoidable airing of the army’s dirty linen in public. First, the country needs a full-time defence minister. Arun Jaitley has his hands full preparing the budget and dealing with the ills of the economy. The defence ministry cannot be a part-time job even for a few weeks. It has many things that need fixing. Modi needs to appoint a heavyweight and above-board defence minister quickly – perhaps between now and the budget session. Second, now that Arun Jaitley has made it clear that the NDA government stands by the appointment of LT Gen Suhag as the next army chief (he will take over on 31 July), he (or his successor) should also put in place a transparent process for the selection of future army chiefs. The current process, which goes largely by seniority, has been vitiated by Gen Singh’s age issue – which changed the entire line of succession after him. In future, maybe a process needs to be initiated whereby the short-list of potential army chiefs is widened to a panel of three or more, with the job going to the most competent. Seniority ought not to be the only way to pick a chief. Third, the next defence minister also needs to fix the civilian-military relationship and put it on even keel. Currently, the civilian babus lord it over the military, using their administrative powers to keep the military out of the loop even on matters that are important to the armed forces. This needs to change and the civilian-military relationship needs to be one of trust and equality, even without giving up on the basic rule of the armed forces working under civilian leadership. Thanks to this erosion of trust during the UPA regime, some babus in the UPA panicked and worried about a possible coup when some army units were seen moving towards Delhi during Gen VK Singh’s tenure around the time of his age controversy. It was a routine movement, but suspicious babus panicked because they thought the general was upto something unholy. Fourth, and yes, Gen Singh needs to be given a clear warning that he cannot be dabbling in army affairs any more, let alone tweet controversial statements. Modi did well to keep Gen Singh far away from the defence ministry, but he should make this position crystal clear to the general who still appears to be smarting at his ouster in 2012 over his date of birth. The general ought to show some grace and accept the fact that he cannot have a permanent chip on his shoulder about his exit – even if he believes he was short-changed. The interests of the nation and the army are larger than him.

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