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Wednesday, 3 September 2014

From Today's Papers - 03 Sep 2014

3 JeM militants killed in J-K gunfight
AzharQadri & Farooz Ahmad Bhat

Srinagar/Pulwama, September 2
Three militants, including one of the last surviving commanders of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) outfit, were killed in a counter-insurgency operation in south Kashmir's Pulwama district this afternoon. The operation lasted 16 hours.

The slain militants have been identified as Altaf Ahmad Rather, Showkat Ahmad Dar and Farooq Ahmad, all residents of south Kashmir. The police identified Rather as the district commander of the JeM. He was among the last surviving senior ranking militants of the outfit, which had pioneered suicide attacks in Kashmir.

The bodies of militants, an AK-47 assault rifle, three self-loading rifles (SLRs) and a pistol were recovered from the encounter site in Pulwama's Hanjan village, around 40 km from Srinagar.

The security forces had laid siege to a house in Hanjan village on Monday evening after receiving reports about the presence of militants, said sources. Cordon was laid around the house and holed-up militants were asked to surrender, who refused the offer, triggering the gunfight which continued throughout the night and intensified after dawn.

A police spokesman said the hiding militants fired at the joint search party as the area was being cordoned off. "The encounter started when the search operation resumed this morning in which three militants were killed," the spokesman said.

Area residents said they heard loud blasts during the day as the militants continued firing at the security forces. The encounter ended this afternoon after the house was blown up and the militants were killed.

Since last year, the JeM has lost several foreign and at least eight local militants, including its erstwhile divisional commander Altaf Baba, during operations by security forces in south Kashmir.

The area also witnessed protests since early morning as youth pelted police and paramilitary personnel with stones. Eight protesters were injured.
 After Maj Gens’ spat, Army clarifies that GoC is the boss
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 2
The Army Headquarters, displeased with the manner in which two Major Generals had serious differences over protocol issues, has sent off instructions detailing who is deemed to be “in charge” at a station where more than one senior officer of the same rank is based.

The instructions stem from an incident that took place in August at Ahemadabad. Major General Dilawar Singh, Additional Director General of National Cadet Corps, and Major General SS Hasabnis, General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the 11 Division based at Ahemadabad, had a public showdown.

The instructions state that the GoC will be deemed to be the boss of the station and the final authority for all matters of the Army. Sources said there was no ambiguity, the GoC was the leader at the level of a Division of the Army and all associated activities.

Major General Dilawar Singh, who is senior to Major General Hasabnis by way of being inducted into the Army earlier, had complained against his “junior”. He had taken umbrage at the manner in which Maj Gen Hasbanis had ordered to stop the screening of Salman-starrer ‘Kick’ at the cantonment. Maj Gen Singh and his wife were reportedly sitting on seats earmarked for the GoC and his wife, the GoC arrived to watch the movie and asked Maj Gen Singh to vacate the seats. A showdown had ensued.

Before this incident, the two Major General's had another struggle. The Ahmedabad Gymkhana, a club in the city, that has the senior-most General in the station as patron of the club. Maj Gen Singh had written to the club stating he was the senior-most.

The two incidents- one at the movie and other of the Club - reached the Southern Army Command Pune. The Army headquarters intervened and expressed an opinion to both Major General's . The act of stopping of movie mid-way was not appreciated even as it was told very clearly that the GoC is the boss.
 DA case: Retd Brigadier gets two-year RI

New Delhi, September 2
A Delhi court has sentenced a decorated retired Indian Army Brigadier to two years of rigorous imprisonment in a disproportionate assets case involving Rs 68 lakh.

Special CBI Judge Dinesh Kumar Sharma convicted Brigadier Samir Baron Ray (retd) under different sections of te Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) for possessing assets worth Rs 68.09 lakh disproportionate to his known sources of income.

“I consider that taking into account the entire facts and circumstances of the case, the convict is sentenced with rigorous imprisonment for a term of two years and fine of Rs 5 lakhs,” the judge said.

The court, however, granted bail and suspended Ray’s sentence till October 1, 2014, while directing him to furnish personal bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of the like amount.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a case on August 31, 2008 against Ray, the then deputy director general, Ordinance Services, posted at Integrated headquarters of Ministry of Defence (Army), Delhi, alleging he had amassed assets worth several lakhs of rupees in his name as well as in the name of his family between April 1, 2000 and August 31, 2008.

Ray had joined the Army in 1973 and was promoted to the rank of Brigadier in 2005. He retired on August 31, 2008. — PTI
150-meters long tunnel dug up to infiltrate terrorists, claims Indian Army
Jammu: A 150 metres long tunnel which was recently discovered near a forward post along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu region's sensitive Pallanwala sector, was apparently aimed at infiltrating terrorists, Defence spokesperson said on Tuesday.

"Having failed to infiltrate terrorists across the Line of Control in the Jammu Division, there was an attempt to construct a tunnel across the Line of Control (to facilitate infiltration)", he said.

The tunnel, which was discovered on 22 August 2014, was approximately 130 to 150 meters in length on own side of the Line of Control (LoC) and originated on the Pakistan Side, spokesman said.

The tunnel was approximately 20 feet below ground level and was four feet high, he added.

A senior Army officer at Udhampur-based Northern Command headquarters felt that tunnel has been dug up with origin from Pakistan with a design probably to push in terrorists and carry out smuggling of weapons and drugs and narcotic substances to keep the pot of militants boiling.

However, we have not got any evidence in this regard so far, the officer said.

The alert Indian Army personnel deployed along the Line of Control in the sector thwarted the nefarious designs of the terrorists and prevented major terrorist incidents by discovering the tunnel before it could be completed, spokesman said.

The alert area domination patrol of the Indian Army noticed a depression in the ground and after investigating the same with ground penetrating radar and other equipment, discovered that the tunnel, he said.

Earlier, Defence Spokesman issued a handout on 23, August, 2014 and said "On 22 Aug 2104, Army personnel deployed in Pallanwala Sector of Jammu District during routine patrolling found a tunnel approximately 50 meters on Indian side of the Line of Control".

"The dimensions of the tunnel is approx two and a half feet wide and three and a half feet high and is leading towards Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK)", Army has claimed at that point of time.

Defence Spokesman said that it appears to be an incomplete tunnel as no exit has been found on the Indian side.

The tunnel found near the Chakla post along LoC in Pallanwala sector, where there was an infiltration bid by armed militants in which one militant was killed and jawan lost his life on July 22, 2014.

As per the officials, Army troops had detected a tunnel in same area in 2008 also.

It may be recalled that on July 27,2012,a Cross-border tunnel was detected after an area caved-in at two or three places due to rains near the BSF's Chillayari Border Out Post (BOP) in Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir. "After the cave-in, the area was dug out to know the reason. But, the authorities were surprised to find a tunnel leading into Samba from Pakistan side.

The tunnel, with a dimension of 3x3-ft, was running between Chillayari BOP and Pakistan's Numberiyal BOP. Dug at a depth of 25-ft below the ground level, it was 400-mt long on the Indian side.

"The tunnel, which seemed to be freshly constructed, had air supply through a 2-inch pipe," he said adding "we are looking into all aspects."
Modi 100 days: Armed forces given budget, materiel boost
In a strong move, the Modi government also scrapped a seven-year-old global tender worth thousands of crores for acquisition of 197 helicopters for the Army and Indian Air Force after the acquisition process was mired in allegations of corruption.

In its first 100 days, the government cleared defence deals worth over Rs 40,000 crores and took a number of decisions, to boost Indian industry and reduce capability gaps faced by the armed forces including a decision that the 197 helicopters will now be manufactured by an Indian company in collaboration with a foreign vendor, thereby generating business worth Rs 40,000 crore in the country, clearing offset proposals for the proposed acquisition of Apache attack helicopters and Chinook helicopters from the US, equipping six ageing naval submarines with mid-life upgrades, approving procurement of 118 indigenously-developed Mk-II “Arjun” main battle tanks (MBTs) for the Army, acquisition of anti-submarine warfare systems for new warships, and paving the way for acquisition of 16 multi-role helicopters (MRHs) for the Indian Navy that had been hit by delays. Procurement of communication systems for Army troops stationed near the China border was also approved. The decisions were taken at crucial meetings of the Defence Acquisition Council headed by defence minister Arun Jaitley.

In just over a month after taking over office on May 26, the Modi government, in July this year announced the hiking of the foreign direct investment limit in the defence sector from 26 to 49 per cent to boost defence manufacturing and the quest for defence indigenisation and critical technology.
Army officer, two soldiers die in Kashmir accident
SRINAGAR: An army major and two soldiers were killed and five were injured on Tuesday in a road accident in north Kashmir's Kupwara district, an official said.

"A vehicle of 41 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) was returning to battalion headquarters from Kalaroos forests in Kupwara district where an operation has been going on for the last eight days against militants. It met with a road accident today (Tuesday) morning," a senior police official told IANS here.

"One major and two jawans were killed and five other ranks have been injured. The injured have been shifted to hospital. The vehicle went out of the driver's control and then skidded off the road," the official added.

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