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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

From Today's Papers - 29 Jul 2014

 India, China admit to intrusion in Ladakh

Beijing/New Delhi, July 28
India and China today admitted to intrusion by Chinese “herdsmen” into Ladakh last week but both sides sought to play it down saying the issue was resolved amicably through a flag meeting.

“The issue was properly resolved through the border personnel meeting,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its response to query in Beijing on reports of Chinese herdsmen intruding into Demchok sector along the Line of Actual Control in Jammu and Kashmir.

“Maintaining peace and tranquility in the China-India border areas is an important consensus and a common aspiration of the two sides. China will work with India to safeguard the peace and tranquility in the border area between the two countries,” it said.

In New Delhi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, responding to the reports of intrusion, said, “The Chinese went back after the flag meeting.” The incident is reported to have taken place on July 25 at the Charding Nilu Nullah Junction in the Demchok sector along the LAC.

An Indian patrolling team was dispatched to the spot and later a team of China’s People’s Liberation Army also reached there.

The reports suggested that a flag meeting between the commanders from both sides finally resulted in the Chinese agreeing to move back the herdsmen a day after.

In the context of border disputes, the Chinese Foreign Ministry also cited President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting in Fortaleza, Brazil, on sidelines of the BRICS Summit this month, during which the two leaders agreed to manage and handle differences in a positive and forward-looking manner. — PTI
Army Chief for rapid induction of modern tech
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 28
In his final message to the Indian Army, outgoing Chief General Bikram Singh today assured that the Army was "fully prepared" to take on present and future challenges while suggesting that modern technology will have to be inducted with greater speed.
General Bikram Singh's 28-month tenure will end on July 31 and General Dalbir Singh Suhag will take over.

The message of General Bikram Singh has been sent to all units and also posted on the Army website.

Terming force modernisation and capability development as a "critical challenge", General Bikram Singh said: "Technology has changed the nature and character of future wars and we need to induct modern capabilities to remain relevant."

He said the Army's professionalism was aptly demonstrated during the Uttarakhand tragedy.

The outgoing chief said it was his endeavour to bring in greater transparency and accountability in all their policies and procedures.

The chief ended his note wishing the Army "Har Maidan Fateh" (Be victorious in every battle).
Involve int'l players too for war memorial, PM to Army
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Army to involve international architects and builders along with domestic players while inviting bids for the construction of a "grand" national war memorial in the national capital.

The instructions to involve international agencies were given by the Prime Minister when he was told by the Army during a briefing that it was planning to invite bids only from domestic architects and builders for the project, highly placed Army sources said here.

The Prime Minister wants to build a "grand" national war memorial and wants the project to come out in the best possible way, they said.

The Modi government had promised in the elections that a national war memorial will be built for all the defence personnel who lost their lives after independence and has allocated a budget of Rs 100 crore for its construction.

Defence Minister Arun Jaitley is scheduled to visit the Prince's Park complex near the India Gate in a day or two along with the Services chiefs to finalise the construction site of the war memorial.

The Minister has already earmarked the Prince's Park site for the construction of a war museum.

The proposal for the war memorial has been hanging fire for several years now with the armed forces and the government agencies disagreeing over the site of the project.

During the UPA regime, the project had faced opposition from the then Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit who claimed that a memorial at the India Gate complex would be an inconvenience for the general public, who flock the site on holidays.
Militant hideout unearthed in Baramulla
Srinagar: The Indian Army has unearthed a militant hideout in Baramulla district of Kashmir, recovering a cache of arms and ammunition.

"Based on a specific intelligence input, a joint operation was launched by an Army unit and J&K Police in Baramulla yesterday which resulted in busting of a terrorist hideout and recovery of a large cache of arms and ammunition," a defence spokesman said on Monday.

He said the joint team of Army and police during searches in Hajibal area recovered one AK-47 rifle, two AK magazines, two pistols, two pistol magazines, 225 rounds of AK ammunition, three UBGL grenades and 19 RPG rockets.

The other recoveries included five radio sets, one communication set, one binocular, 13 detonators and five kg of explosives, the spokesman said.
War memorial likely at Princess Park: Arun Jaitley
Paying homage to Kargil martyrs, defence minister Arun Jaitely, on the 15th anniversary of the Kargil war, said the government will soon finalise the site for construction of a grand National War Memorial.

"For the war memorial, where names of all those who sacrificed their lives for the country will be written, we feel it is required," he said.

After paying homage to martyrs of the 1999 war with Pakistan, Jaitley said he would soon be visiting the Princess Park locality near the India Gate complex with the chiefs of the three defence services to take a decision on the issue.

"It is a huge piece of land and I think it is appropriate for the war museum, which is required by India. As soon as details are finalised, they will have to get sanctions from all the departments. I think, in principle that is the arrangement. It will take some time before it is completed," said Jaitley.

The government has earmarked Rs100 crore for the construction for the war memorial and the war museum. "Whatever funds would be required, we will be making it available," he added.

Asked about the kind of talks India will have with Pakistan at the foreign secretary-level since ceasefire violations are taking place frequently, the defence minister said, "The issue taken up by you in itself is an issue...Whenever talks are held, India takes up issues which are related to its sovereignty."

On shortage of funds for armed forces modernisation, he said, "It is not so. The Army is fully equipped and ready," adding whenever armed forces require anything, the government "on priority basis, even if we have to cut expenditure from other avenues, meets the requirements of the forces. This year also, we have increased the defence expenditure."

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