Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites

Loading

Saturday, 3 January 2015

From Today's Papers - 03 Jan 2015



















http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/5-rangers-die-as-india-responds-to-pak-border-fire/25747.html
5 Rangers die as India responds to Pak border fire

Jammu, January 2
Pakistan tonight resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on several BSF posts along the International Border in Samba and Kathua districts of Jammu and Kashmir, drawing a strong retaliation from India that left two Pakistan Rangers dead.

BSF sources said they had got reports that five Rangers had been killed in the exchange of fire since Thursday, with two casualties post 9.30 pm. Today's ceasefire violation was the fourth by the Rangers in as many days and eighth in the past nine days.

BSF Director General DK Pathak, who briefed Home Minister Rajnath Singh at 10 pm said the force had thwarted a "major infiltration attempt" from across the border tonight and his troops were on high alert.

Singh had ordered the BSF to respond with "appropriate" action following continuous ceasefire violation. The Home Minister said the firing was unprovoked.

Earlier, the Home Minister said there was no doubt that Pakistan was trying to push militants into J&K and giving cover to such attempts by continuous firing along the border.

A senior police officer in Jammu said: "Pakistan Rangers resorted to heavy firing and mortar shelling along the IB in Samba and Hiranagar sectors of J&K since 9.35 pm.” Also, BSF Inspector General Rakesh Sharma said all BoPs falling in three battalion areas of Samba and Hiranagar were being fired upon by Pakistan amid mortar shelling. Mortar shelling had also hit civilian areas, he said.  — PTI

Resolution against India
Pakistan’s political leaders on Friday adopted a resolution against India, condemning the killing of four Pakistan soldiers in BSF firing on December 31. The All Parties Conference, which met in Islamabad, took dim view of the incident in which Rangers were killed. A statement by the Prime Minister’s Office said the "cowardly and unethical act" of the BSF was in violation of international norms.


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/close-terror-call-off-gujarat-coast/25604.html
Close ‘terror’ call off Gujarat coast
Four occupants blow up suspicious vessel from Karachi after hot chase by Coast Guard
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 2
A suspicious Pakistani fishing vessel, believed to be loaded with explosives, blew up and sank off the coast of Gujarat after being challenged and intercepted by the Indian Coast Guard, officials said on Friday.

The boat — which had set off from ‘Keti Bandar’, a small port near Karachi, on the eve of New Year — turned into a ball of fire and sank after its occupants, believe to be four in number, set it ablaze early Thursday.

“The 15-metre-long Pakistani boat, suspected to be carrying explosives, sunk in the wee hours on January 1 after its crew set the boat afire,’ said Ministry of Defence (MoD) spokesperson Sitanshu Kar.

The dramatic incident —  a reminder of the manner in which 10 Pakistani terrorists sneaked into Mumbai in 2008 — occurred 365 km (197 nautical miles) south west off Porbandar.

Darkness and bad weather prevented the Coast Guard from apprehending any of the crew as the crew sank in the Arabian Sea along with the vessel. Indian intelligence agencies received a tip-off on December 31 about the boat sailing out and heading for an ‘illicit transaction’ in the Arabian Sea. A Dornier surveillance plane of the Coast Guard was dispatched and it identified the boat sailing towards India. KR Nautiyal, Deputy Director General (Operations & Coastal Security) of the Coast Guard, said: "We diverted our surface vessel to intercept the suspicious entity”.

The Coast Guard ship intercepted the unlit boat around midnight on December 31.  The Coast Guard ship warned the fishing boat to stop for further investigation of the crew and cargo. However, the boat increased its speed and tried to escape away from the Indian side of maritime boundary. The hot pursuit continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots.

“Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation. They later hid in the lower deck of the boat and set it on fire, which resulted in an explosion and major fire following which the boat sank along with its occupants,” said the MoD spokesperson.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar complimented the Coast Guard “for intercepting the rogue vessel off the coast of Gujarat, in a timely and precise manner, thereby, averting a possible terror strike”.

Earlier, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh accused Pakistan of trying to push terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir and giving cover to such attempts by continuous firing along the border.

With US President Barrack Obama slated to visit India for the Republic Day function, Indian agencies suspect  that Pak-based terrorist groups were planning to carry out “spectacular attacks”.
How terror boat was intercepted

Intelligence agencies intercept two Pak-based persons talking about delivering ‘expensive cargo’ to India.

After a specific input that a 15-metre boat has sailed out of Keti Bandar (port) near Karachi for India, Coast Guard dispatches Dornier aircraft for investigation

Dec 31: Around noon, the

aircraft spots the “suspicious boat” around 365 km off Porbandar in Gujarat.

Coast Guard ship ‘Rajrattan’ is asked to sail to the spot.

2:30 pm: A back-up plane keeps track of the boat

5 pm: Another Dornier flies to track the Pakistani boat

1 am: The Coast Guard patrol vessel reaches the spot and sights an unlit boat. Occupants of the boat are asked to stop and warning shots are fired. The boat, however, tries to speed away. The vessel is chased in high seas for one hour and is finally stopped by the Coast Guard.

3.30 am: Four persons are seen on the boat, who quickly hide themselves in the lower deck compartment and set the boat afire, which results in a major explosion. The boat sinks on the spot


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/pakistan-violates-ceasefire-again-targets-bsf-posts-in-jammu-s-samba-and-hiranagar-643311?pfrom=home-lateststories
Pakistan Violates Ceasefire Again, Targets BSF Posts in Jammu's Samba and Hiranagar
Five Pakistan Rangers have been killed since Thursday after Indian security forces retaliated to heavy firing near the International Border in Jammu and Kashmir.
The ceasefire violations continued on Friday evening, when Pakistani Rangers resorted to heavy mortar shelling and firing on Border Security Force or BSF posts in Jammu's Samba and Hiranagar sectors. Cross-border firing is still going on in the two sectors. (Baseless, Says India on Pakistan's Allegations over Cross-Border Firing)

Home Minister Rajnath Singh ordered the BSF to respond with 'appropriate' action to the cross-border firing; the firing was unprovoked, said the Home Ministry

Today's ceasefire violation was the fourth by the Rangers in as many days and the eighth in the last nine days.

On Tuesday, a BSF jawan was killed when Pakistani Rangers fired on a group of Indian soldiers on patrol.

India had returned fire and four Pakistani soldiers were killed in retaliation. India stopped firing when Pakistan Rangers raised a white flag, requesting time to remove the bodies.

In a letter to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today, Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz had alleged that India killed two Pakistani Rangers after calling them for a meeting on the International Border on December 31.

India has dismissed the allegations, saying they are baseless.


http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/pakistani-boat-blows-up-off-gujarat-coast-unanswered-questions-643312?utm_source=ndtv&utm_medium=top-stories-widget&utm_campaign=story-1-http%3a%2f%2fwww.ndtv.com%2farticle%2findia%2fpakistani-boat-blows-up-off-gujarat-coast-unanswered-questions-643312
Pakistani Boat Blows Up Off Gujarat Coast: Unanswered Questions
Was the Pakistani boat which sank off the coast of Porbandar in Gujarat in the early hours of January 1 carrying "explosives" or was it just part of a flourishing smuggling racket between India and Pakistan and carrying much harmless cargo like diesel?

The Ministry of Defence (MoD), in its written statement issued earlier today, said the Coast Guard had intercepted a "suspect boat carrying explosives" that was "planning some illicit transaction in Arabian Sea." A transaction is necessarily between two parties.

Also, sources tell NDTV that Indian security agencies picked up information about the fishing boat early in the morning of December 31 which suggested that the vessel had left Keti Bunder - a small fishing port north of Karachi.The Coast Guard launched the first
Related

    Pakistani Boat With Explosives Blows Up Off Gujarat Coast, Says Government
    18-Hour Operation to Find And Stop Pakistani Boat: 10 points
    Pakistani Boat Intercepted Amid High Alert Ahead of Barack Obama Visit

Dornier - a maritime surveillance aircraft - at 11.30 am in the morning. The ship was spotted in the Indian waters. "It was idling and appeared to be waiting for instructions," a senior Coast Guard official told NDTV.

The intercept, sources tell NDTV, talked about very "expensive cargo" - each between Rs. 4-5 lakh - which was on its way to India. It also talked about how those on the Indian side had been "paid" to receive the cargo, implying someone in the Indian waters was waiting to pick up the cargo. The Defence Ministry and the Government seemed to be ill at ease to explain what happened to the second party that was to receive the "illicit" cargo. What the vessel was carrying "is a matter of investigation," Inspector General of Operations of the Coast Guard, KR Nautiyal told NDTV.

Also, if the Pakistani vessel was laden with weapons and terrorists were on board, then the fact that the men did not put up an opposition but instead chose to evade the Coast Guard ship seems surprising.

The Coast Guard Ship "Raj Rattan" - a Fast Patrol Craft - which was sent after the Pakistani boat sails at a maximum speed of 30 nautical miles per hour and is sturdy enough to be at sea for two weeks continuously. But the Pakistani boat - which from pictures released appears to be a single-engine vessel - still managed to stay ahead of it for over an hour. The MoD, in its statement, says that when challenged, "the boat increased speed and tried to escape away from the Indian side of maritime boundary. The hot pursuit continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard Ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots".


http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/air-space/support/2014/12/30/india-russia-south-korea/21056835/
India Requires Russia, S. Korea to Partner With Local Firms in Helo Contest
India's Defence Ministry has decided that South Korea and Russia must partner with Indian firms in order to take part in its helicopter competition, despite offers of complete technology transfer, according to an MoD source.

South Korea is offering its Surion light utility helicopter (LUH) and Russia its Ka-226 machine. Russian President Vladimir Putin made the offer during his Dec. 11 visit to India.

"MoD's decision to buy LUH only through competition from domestic vendors is a virtual rejection of any government-to-government helicopter production deal between India and Russia," said defense analyst Nitin Mehta.

The MoD source, however, said the decision not to enter a joint program with either South Korea or Russia is part of a policy to boost the domestic private sector defense industry, and that the MoD would like to see partnerships for weapons programs with overseas companies.

After coming to power, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi canceled two global tenders for light utility helicopter purchases and approached the domestic companies to participate in the procurement of unspecified numbers of helicopters, either alone or in partnership with an overseas company.

India needs 440 LUHs to replace its aging Cheetah and Chetak helicopters used for reconnaissance and logistics in the high altitude battlefields in the Himalayas.

After the summit talks with Putin, Modi said in a statement: "I am pleased that Russia has offered to fully manufacture in India one of its most advanced helicopters. It includes the possibility of exports from India. It can be used for both military and civilian use. We will follow up on this quickly."

South Korea has also offered India full tech transfer of the Surion helicopter, the MoD source said. A diplomat from the South Korean Embassy in New Delhi confirmed that a proposal was been made to India in December, but gave no details.

In August, MoD canceled the 2012 tender for the purchase of 56 naval utility helicopters, in which Airbus Helicopters and AgustaWestland were in the race.

In July, MoD canceled the 2008 global tender for the purchase of 197 light utility helicopters worth $1 billion, in which now Airbus Helicopters' AS550 was in competition with Russia's Ka-226T built by Kamov.

India's helicopter requirement is expected to grow to 600. In addition, the MoD also plans to procure 90 multirole helicopters worth $2.5 billion through the "Buy and Make (India)" route.

"Except for state-owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited [HAL], no private-sector defense major has ever produced a military helicopter," Mehta said. "But in the future, tie-ups are expected with overseas defense companies to tap the emerging helicopter market."

US-based Sikorsky and Tata Group already have an agreement, and in October, Airbus Helicopters also announced a tie-up with the Tata to jointly produce Avro transport aircraft.


http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Defence-Agents-to-Be-Legalised-by-mid-February-Parrikar/2014/12/31/article2596716.ece
Defence Agents to Be Legalised by mid-February: Parrikar
NEW DELHI: Changes in the Defence Procurement Policy to legalise representatives from foreign defence firms will be done in another month and a half, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.

He also said that the ministry is thinking of giving conditioned and limited approval to dealing with banned firms, and a ban has been lifted to get spare parts for Tatra trucks.

"Representatives from defence firms are already allowed in the Defence Procurement Policy... the problem is it does not say what is not acceptable," Parrikar said Tuesday night during an interaction with journalists.

"Changes will be made to the DPP, representatives will be allowed but commission, or percentage of profit for the deals will not be allowed. The representative's remuneration shall be declared by the company," he said.

Parrikar added that a draft of the changed policy is ready and a final draft will be ready in another 8-10 days. It will then go through further procedures before going to the union cabinet.

"The process shall be completed in another one and a half months," said Parrikar, but noted that those agents who have been banned by the ministry will not be permitted under the new arrangement.

He also said that banned firms can be conditionally allowed.

"Based on merit and necessity, one can think of lifting the ban to a reasonable level," he said.

Parrikar said the state-run Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) has been allowed to supplying spare parts for Tatra trucks, as long as it does not deal with the British subsidiary of the company, which was banned following irregularities in its deal with BEML.

"Limited NoC (no objection certificate) has been given to BEML because we need Tatra trucks," he said.



Army Wasn't Late in Reacting to Bodo Attack

Parrikar denied that the army was late in reacting to the attack by Bodo militants in Assam, and said they had to wait for a request from the local administration.

"We were alert about the attack even before the news was flashed in the media. The armed forces stationed there were ready, but we had to wait for request from local administration," Parrikar said.

"As soon as the local administration requested, we deployed the forces," he said.

The minister said 73 columns of the army were now deployed in Assam, where Bodo militants massacred dozens of tribals two days before Christmas.



BRO to be brought fully under defence ministry

Border Road Organisation (BRO) will be brought fully under the defence ministry and non-sensitive roads in border areas will be handed over to the National Highways Authority of India, said Parrikar.

The BRO is presently under both road transport and defence ministries. While the former allocates funds, the latter has executive control.

Parrikar said dual control has led to a sad state of affairs in the organisation.

"The BRO will be brought fully under the defence ministry. There was lot of confusion because it was under two masters," he said.

"By the next budget it will be under defence ministry completely," he said.

The minister added that nearly 3,000 km of roads will be transferred to NHAI in the areas which are not sensitive.

On the question of a rail link along India-China border, he said he will soon hold meetings with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu.

On China's objections to infrastructure development in the border areas, Parrikar dismissed them. "What we do on our side of the border is not their business," he said.


http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/ban-on-tatra-partially-lifted-new-defence-policy-to-have-make-in-india-stamp-says-manohar-parrikar/
Ban on Tatra trucks lifted partially, new defence policy to have ‘Make in India’ stamp: Parrikar

The government is open to reviewing all cases of blacklisted defence firms on merit and has partially lifted a ban on Tatra trucks as it prepares a new policy that will allow foreign defence firms to legally hire agents, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said.

The new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), that will lay thrust on development of domestic defence industry and faster acquisition process, will be issued in another month and a half.

Asked about the new government’s policy on blacklisted firms, Parrikar said, the “debarment principle” is also being worked out and pointed out the basic principle is in the interest of the armed forces.

“So if I have to deal with a firm which does have some earlier colour on it, it will based on merit,” Parrikar said in an interaction with journalists late last night here.

He added that based on merit and necessity, the government can “consider after proper verification, lifting the ban or restriction to a reasonable level”.

Explaining the process, he said the state-run BEML has been allowed to supply spare parts for the Tatra trucks as long as it does not deal with the British subsidiary of the company, which was banned by the UPA following a scandal.

“We have lifted the restricted ban for technical and purchases of spares from the original company provided they have nothing to do with the people who have been blacklisted,” he said.

Parrikar pointed out that one should not just go by the name Tatra as there are 3-4 companies which make the trucks. “The company which has been banned is Tatra UK and we have permitted BEML to deal with the original company which is owned by different people now,” he said, adding the condition is that they should not have relations with “questionable individuals”.

“A restricted Non Objection Certificate has been granted to BEML, because we do need for defence purpose Tatra vehicles. It has become critical for certain applications,” he said.

Heavy vehicle maker Tatra was banned in March 2012 after the then Army Chief General (retd) V K Singh’s allegations that he was offered bribe to clear “sub-standard trucks” supplied by the company to the Indian Army.

Parrikar said that a draft of the changed policy is ready and a final draft will be ready in another 8-10 days. It will then go through further procedures before going to the Union Cabinet.

“The process shall be completed in another one and a half months,” he said.

Defence Ministry sources said a blanket ban on defence firms has proved to be detrimental to the interests of the armed forces as it cripples the procurement process.

“The thinking is that there cannot be a blanket ban on defence firms. Measured steps can be taken and the policy will outline what steps would be taken for various offences, if committed,” the sources said.

Under UPA Defence Minister A K Antony, a number of companies were blacklisted due to alleged cases of corruption. The last major one was that of Italian defence giant Finmeccanica in a Rs 3,600 crore deal on VVIP helicopters.


http://www.livemint.com/Politics/TCvLIbSZ6qn07U3lyaW7TL/BRO-to-be-brought-exclusively-under-defence-ministry-Manoha.html
BRO to be brought exclusively under defence ministry: Manohar Parrikar

In a bid to boost India’s border road connectivity especially along China, the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) will be entirely brought under the ministry of defence by the next budget. Around 6,000-7,000 km of non-sensitive roads in border areas will be handed over to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), defence minister Manohar Parrikar said. The BRO receives funds from the ministry of road transport and highways but undertakes the tasks assigned by the ministry of defence. The dual control of BRO is one of the principal reasons behind non-availability of funds and the organization’s not-up-to-the-mark performance, officials said. “BRO will be brought fully under the defence ministry. There was lot of confusion because it was under two masters,” Parrikar said, adding that the process would be completed by the next budget. In the last two years, BRO received more than Rs.110 crore less than what it wanted from the road transport ministry. Parrikar, in an interaction with journalists here last night, said, “Work ethics (in BRO) have to be improved”. Road connectivity to border areas is a major force multiplier in conflict situations, as they are crucial for rapid troop movement and equipment mobilization. Incidentally, the BRO has failed to meet the deadlines in 73 strategic road projects on the India-China border, cleared by the cabinet committee on security in June 2006. The deadline to complete the 3,500 km road build up was 2012. But so far only over 500 km of roads have been built, and the deadline has been extended to 2016. On the question of a rail link along the China-India border, the minister said he will soon hold meetings with railway minister Suresh Prabhu. On China’s objections to infrastructure development in the border areas, Parrikar just said, “What we do on our side of the border is our business.” Parrikar also said the government is open to reviewing all cases of blacklisted defence firms on merit and has partially lifted a ban on Tatra trucks as it prepares a new policy that will allow foreign defence firms to legally hire agents. The new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP), which will lay thrust on development of domestic defence industry and faster acquisition process, will be issued in another month and a half. Asked about the new government’s policy on blacklisted firms, Parrikar said, the “debarment principle” is also being worked out and pointed out the basic principle is in the interest of the armed forces. “So if I have to deal with a firm which does have some earlier colour on it, it will based on merit,” Parrikar said in an interaction with journalists late on Tuesday night in New Delhi. He added that based on merit and necessity, the government can “consider after proper verification, lifting the ban or restriction to a reasonable level”. Explaining the process, he said state-run BEML has been allowed to supply spare parts for the Tatra trucks as long as it does not deal with the British subsidiary of the company, which was banned by the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) following a scandal. “We have lifted the restricted ban for technical and purchases of spares from the original company provided they have nothing to do with the people who have been blacklisted,” he said. Parrikar pointed out that one should not just go by the name Tatra as there are three-four companies which make the trucks. “The company which has been banned is Tatra UK and we have permitted BEML to deal with the original company which is owned by different people now,” he said, adding the condition is that they should not have relations with “questionable individuals”. “A restricted no-objection certificate has been granted to BEML, because we do need for defence purpose Tatra vehicles. It has become critical for certain applications,” he said. Heavy vehicle maker Tatra was banned in March 2012 after the then army chief V.K. Singh’s allegations that he was offered bribe to clear “sub-standard trucks” supplied by the company to the Indian Army.

No comments:

Post a Comment

 

Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal