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Thursday, 4 September 2014

From Today's Papers - 04 Sep 2014

Keep your spirits high, Ansari tells IMA cadets
Tribune News Service

Dehradun, September 3
Vice-President Hamid Ansari visited the Indian Military Academy here today. Addressing the Gentlemen Cadets at the Chetwode Hall, the Vice-President asked them to keep their team spirit and the bonds inculcated in the academy intact no matter where they are deployed in future. Ansari also answered the questions raised by Gentlemen Cadets during an interactive session.

Ansari was accompanied by IMA Commandant Lt Gen Manvender Singh, Deputy Commandant Maj Gen YS Mahiwal and several other officers from the academy.
Ex-Armymen get benefits on par with CRPF martyrs

There is positive step taken by the Ministry of Home Affairs towards former armed forces personnel working on contractual basis with the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The government has approved the grant of ex-gratia compensation to the families of two ex-Armymen, Inspector Tilak Raj Singh and Head Constable Lakhbir Singh, who were killed in action while on contractual assignment with the CRPF. The compensation is at par with the CRPF personnel killed in action. The two ex-servicemen ahd been killed along with nine CRPF personnel in an ambush by the Naxalites in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh in March. While the families of the CRPF martyrs were paid Rs 15 lakh each as ex-gratia, the two ex-Servicemen were, however, not entitled to such benefits. On perusal of the case, the MHA approved payment of equal ex-gratia to the families of the ex-servicemen on the grounds that they were performing the same active duties like the CRPF personnel.

Two NCC cadets die from snakebite at camp

Tragedy struck the National Cadet Corps (NCC) when two cadets died while attending a training camp at Sirohi in Rajasthan last week. According to sources, they were bitten by a snake. The incident had taken place on the first floor of a school building where the camp was being conducted. A court of inquiry to investigate the incident and determine whether there had been any lapses in safety has been ordered. NCC Additional Director General, Maj Gen Sumedh Kumar is the COI’s presiding officer with a brigadier and a colonel as its members.

Lions fly past 51st milestone

The IAF’s No.31 Squadron turned 51 on September 1. Raised with French Mystere fighters at Pathankot in 1963, the squadron, known as the Lions were tasked to attack enemy armoured columns during Pakistani offensive in the Chhamb Sector in 1965. Rocket attacks were carried out on tank concentrations at Troti and Chhamb, besides straffing Pakistani positions at Jaurian. In the following days, the Lions also conducted recce ops and attacked Pakistani trains ferrying tanks as well as artillery concentrations. The then Commanding Officer, Wing Commander WM Goodman was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra. The squadron was extensively employed in the ground attack role in support of the Army on the western front in 1971. The Squadron was resurrected on January 1 2009 at Air Force Station, Pune and requipped with the Su-30 MKI.
Gunners of 51 Mountain Regiment remember old times
Old timers from the Regiment of Artillery’s 51 Mountain Regiment, now known as 51 Medium Regiment, held their annual get together in Chandigarh this week, reviving old memories and reigniting regimental bonds. The unit was raised in Assam in 1961 and son after saw action in the Twang Sector during the 1962 conflict. Then still without its guns, it was deployed in an infantry outfit and used for recce and observation. After remaining on the eastern frontier during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, it moved west and saw intense action in the 1971 Indo-Pak war along the Uri-Tangdhar axis in Jammu and Kashmir. A number of officers residing in the region attended the event. Among them were Maj Gen KS Bajwa, Col Eshar Singh, Lt Col Jagga and Lt Col Gurdev Singh, who were among the unit’s founding officers. .

Air Marshal Sinha takes sortie in Tejas

The Deputy Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SBP Sinha, became the highest ranking IAF officer to get a first hand experience of flying the indigenous Tejas aircraft, when he undertook a sortie in a trainer version at Bangalore this week. The Air Marshal was on a two-day visit to the Aeronautical Development Agency and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, during which he reviewed various aspects of the Tejas programme.
Philippine troops botched up Golan op: Indian commander
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 3
Within hours of the Philippines seeking an inquiry into an alleged botched-up UN operation at Golan Heights (between Israel-Syria), Lt Gen Iqbal Singh Singha, the Indian commander of the UN force stationed there, has accused the Filipino troops of having compromised the UN position.

“As many as 44 troopers from Fiji who are part of the United Nations Disengagement Observers’ Force (UNDOF) continue to be held hostage with the Jabhat Al-Nusra, a Syrian rebel group, due to the action of Filipino soldiers,” said the Lt Gen in his report to the UN. Now the rebels are doubting that the UNDOF was acting in connivance with Syrian Army and not releasing the Fiji troops.

The Filipinos killed three of the Al-Nusra rebels before escaping to the Israel side of narrow Golan heights, jeopardising the ongoing negotiations to free the captured soldiers. An Indian Army logistics battalions providing administrative support is safe, sources in New Delhi said. The UN force is under chapter VI of the UN charter which mandates no use of firearms unless in self defence General Gregorio Pio Catapang, Chief of the Philippines Army, had, on September 1 questioned the decision of UNDOF commander ( Lt Gen Singha) saying he wrongly advised the Filipino troops to give up their firearms.

“The UNDOF commander was very indecisive. He wants to save the Fijians at the expense of the Filipinos,” Catapang was quoted in media reports from Manila.

He accepted that he advised the Philippine troops to defy the UNDOF commander's order.

In his report to the UN, Lt Gen Singha narrated the incident saying that on August 27, Al-Nusra attacked the border outpost between Syria and Israel and took hostage 44 Fiji troops. The Filipinos were on post number 68 and 67 at the Golan heights and were surrounded by rebels. In the meantime, the UNDOF evacuated Filipinos from post number 65 and 80.

Israel was requested for real time surveillance while Syria provided fire support. Negotiations were opened with rebels through interlocutors. Lt Gen Singha moved across to Israel where he was informed about the build-up of 200 rebels on the Syrian side. Even as negotiations were on, the Filipino contingent fired at the rebels killing three of them. A ceasefire was ensured on August 31 around 9 am.

Lt Singha had earlier served at the UN between 2003 and 2005 posted in Africa and has sorted out 15 such hostage crisis earlier.
Scanners show LoC tunnel stretches up to 150 metres: Army
JAMMU: Almost a fortnight after a secret tunnel was discovered running underneath the India-Pakistan border at Pallanwalla in Akhnoor, the army authorities on Tuesday said it was 150 metres long. Ground-penetrating radar and other equipment were used to establish the length of the tunnel.

"Having failed to infiltrate terrorists across the LoC in the Jammu division, there was an attempt to construct a tunnel across the LoC (to facilitate infiltration)," the Jammu-based PRO, Defence, said here. The defence spokesperson said the tunnel, which was discovered on August 22, was found stretching approximately up to 130 to 150 metres along the LoC and originated on the Pakistan side.

The spokesperson said the Army deployed along the LoC in the sector thwarted the nefarious designs of the terrorists by discovering the tunnel before it could be completed. An army patrol had first noticed a depression in the ground.
Government plans to export BrahMos missiles, Tejas, air defence system to Vietnam, Indonesia and Venezuela

NEW DELHI: The Modi government is quietly working on a plan to export defence equipment and armaments produced in India to friendly countries. A beginning could be made by exporting BrahMos missiles to Southeast Asia and South American countries. Vietnam, Indonesia and Venezuela have expressed willingness to procure the supersonic missile jointly produced by India and Russia, sources indicated to ET.

Indo-Vietnam defence ties are on an upward trajectory and Hanoi has been keen for th ..

formal defence exports policy, it had earlier exported rifles to Nepal and Oman, besides supplying defence equipment to Myanmar including tanks, radars to Sri Lanka, defence equipment to Maldives, maritime patrol boats to Mauritius and defence spare parts to Vietnam.

India's current norm for defence exports involve supplies not only to friendly countries but also to countries which do not have civil war. "We do not want a situation where arms supplied by us is used by one group again ..

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