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Monday, 6 October 2014

From Today's Papers - 06 Oct 2014

Heavy firing by Pak troops in Poonch
10th border ceasefire violation in J-K in five days
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria
Tribune News Service

Jammu, October 5
Less than 24 hours after carrying out an IED attack that left a soldier dead and another critically injured, the Pakistani Army on Sunday shelled forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in Balnoi and Mankote sub-sectors in Mendhar tehsil of Poonch. The Indian side guarding the borderline effectively responded to the firing.

"Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by resorting to unprovoked heavy firing on Indian forward posts along the LoC in Balnoi sub-sector of Poonch district around 8 am,” defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said here. There was no causality on the Indian side.

An intelligence source, however, said Pakistani troops opened heavy fire using mortars and automatic weapons around 5 am.

“Initially, they opened small arms fire and then switched over to mortars and automatic weapons. The fire was opened from Badmash, LP1, LP2 and Durachiyaan posts,” said the source.

The source said the four Pakistan posts, which were opposite Tiba Tekri post of the Indian Army where the IED had exploded on Saturday, bore the maximum brunt in the retaliatory fire.

Panic-stricken locals from Balnoi-Sagra area told The Tribune that the exchange of fire lasted nearly five hours before guns fell silent on both sides.

This was the 10th ceasefire violation along the J-K border since October 1.

There have been seven ceasefire violations along the LoC in Poonch and three along the IB in Jammu. Pakistani troops had yesterday fired mortar shells along the LoC in Poonch district, drawing equal retaliation from the Army.

In Arnia, along the IB in the RS Pura sector, the Rangers had fired 82 mm mortars, injuring an elderly man and his grandson on October 4.

On October 3, Pakistani troops had shelled forward areas and villages along the LoC in Sabjian sector killing a minor girl and injuring four others. There have been over 100 ceasefire violations by Pakistan along the LoC in recent months.
 Six new air strips in Arunachal Pradesh to be ready by 2015
Ajay Banerjee
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, October 5
Six new air strips will be ready in Arunchal Pradesh by the end of 2015 to aid rapid military mobilisation.

The Air Force is setting up radars, air defence sensors and surface to air missiles in the North-East. This will be a long drawn process, but the good news is that the mud-paved British-era advanced landing grounds (ALGs) are being converted into regular concrete paved runaways to handle fixed wing transport planes.

These six ALGs will be force multipliers of future as special operations planes such as the C-130-J and C-17 will be able to operate from landing ground that dot various folds of the Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh. These planes can carry anything from troops to tanks and have all-weather flying abilities.

"In the next five years, the northeast will be sufficiently capable," Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshall Arup Raha told the media yesterday. Six of the ALGs in the North-East will be ready by the end of 2015, he said, adding: "These are being expanded. We can run fixed wing operations and will aid in mobilisation," the IAF Chief said. The project of the six ALG's is expected to cost Rs 1,723 crore and is running four years behind schedule. It was originally conceived in 2008 as part of the Prime Minister special package for the North-East.

The scope of work includes expanding the length with regular landing surface allowing more types of planes to land. The existing mud-paved ALGs are too small in length and allow only very small aircraft to land and have a non-existent ground support. These are rendered unusable during rains.

The project will cover ALGs at Tuting, Mechuka, Pasighat, Along, Walong, Ziro and Tawang (helipad).

The IAF has based its Sukhoi30- MKI, the frontline fighter jets, at Tezpur, Chabua and Hasimara - all in the North-East.
Two militants killed in Army operation in Assam
Two militants, one ULFA area commander and the other a hardcore GNLA member, were killed in an operation by the Army in Goalpara district close to the Assam-Meghalaya border on Sunday. Two pistols, three hand grenades and some ammunition were recovered.

Defence PRO Lt Col Suneet Newton said the troops began the operation based on specific intelligence about a plan of the militants to kidnap a state government employee from Balaikhawar village late Saturday night. While the militants approached the village, a fierce exchange of fire took place, leading to the death of two of them.

Lt Col Newton said incidents of kidnapping and extortion by different groups have increased along both Assam-Meghalaya border and Assam-Bhutan border in the past month.
- See more at:
Militant outfits in Pakistan desperate to disrupt J&K polls: Army

JAMMU: Militant outfits based in Pakistan want to disrupt the upcoming Jammu and Kashmir Assembly polls by "desperately" trying to push their cadre into the Indian side to carry out terror activities, an Army official has said.

"They want to disrupt the Assembly elections in the state as they know that a large number of their cadre has already been eliminated. So to reinforce their numbers, they are desperately trying to infiltrate more people into the state," Udhampur based Defense Spo ..
Army wiped out 14 militants in backdrop of worst Jammu and Kashmir floods
Massive rescue and relief operations notwithstanding, the Indian army has gone the whole hog against militants killing at least 14 of them and arresting six more. The operation against militants was carried out with the worst floods in the backdrop in September across the Jammu and Kashmir.

"The terrorist activities in September were overshadowed by floods in Kashmir. However, the month saw a number of infiltration attempts and terrorist movement which was foiled by the army, resulting in the elimination of 14 terrorists and apprehension of six others", said Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command headquarters.

Colonel Goswami said that with rains lashing the valley causing large-scale flooding in parts of South Kashmir, the army eliminated three terrorists in an encounter at Hanjan Bala near Shopian on September 2.

Within a week, four more terrorists were eliminated at Laribal near Rajwar and Pharkian on September 9 and 10 when Srinagar was reeling under the worst floods. Two more terrorists were eliminated at Machhal on September 17 followed by four more at Tangdhar in Kupwara district on September 19.

Thereafter, one more terrorist was killed at Lolab in Kupwara district on September 30 bringing the total number of terrorists dying in September to 14.

"During the same month, a number of local terrorists were apprehended with the help of Special Operations Group of Police", Colonel Goswami said.

The army's operations against the ultras continued despite the fact that 30,000 troops were deployed for rescue and relief efforts in flood-hit areas. Besides three teams of Naval commandos too were pressed into service to help in rescue operation in north Kashmir. Sixty four transport aircrafts and helicopters of Indian Air Force and Army Aviation Corps were pressed into service for rescue and relief work.

Official figures reveal that 12.5 lakh families have been affected by the floods which claimed 281 lives—196 in Jammu province and 85 in Kashmir valley. Around 29 persons have also been reportedly missing in the floods. Around 5,642 villages were affected across the state. As many as 800 villages were submerged for over two weeks.

"There are now an estimated 8,00,000 internally displaced persons [IDPs] in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been a complete breakdown of an already overburdened healthcare system", said a joint spokesman of doctors and civil society groups.

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