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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

From Today's Papers - 20 Jan 2015


















http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/punjab/intelligence-agencies-probe-tara-s-links-in-pak-thailand/31988.html
Intelligence agencies probe Tara’s links in Pak, Thailand
Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, January 19
Central intelligence agencies, including the Intelligence Bureau (IB), today questioned Jagtar Singh Tara about his links in Pakistan and the links “that were still actively helping him during his stay in Thailand”.

The intelligence agencies are closely following the vital leads in the statements of arrested terrorist Jagtar Singh Tara, who is at present in five-day police remand.

The IB officials kept their visit a top secret, but sources confirmed that the investigating agencies were trying to ascertain if the whole plot to eliminate Beant Singh was “drawn and planned in Pakistan” with help from extremist leaders within India and if any of those links were still active.

Last evening, the police team escorted Tara to the Banur police station where a counter intelligence team questioned him about another attack which was recently planned against some people who had allegedly “attacked Jagtar Singh Hawara during a court hearing”.

In November 2011, during a court hearing, five activists allegedly belonging to a right-wing outfit had assaulted Hawara on the premises of the district court.

Though no officer was willing to confirm the same on record, sources said Tara was in touch with some Pakistan-based links to seek revenge _for the attack.

Intelligence and police investigations involving former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh’s assassin Jagtar Singh Tara are at present focussing on his Paksitani connects. The links could pose a major challenge for the state and Central agencies as they apprehend possible terror strike in near future.

“He is being questioned by the counter intelligence unit of the Punjab Police in addition to the central intelligence units which camped almost the whole day today at the Crime Investigation Agency police station, where Tara is lodged at present,” said a senior police officer.

“His grilling is crucial to ascertain cross-border threats that are still looming large as the Pakistani connects not only helped him escape from one country to other, but also facilitated his stay in a foreign country on fake documents,” claimed the police officer.

Earlier this month, the Thai authorities, acting on a tip-off from the Punjab Police, arrested Tara from the house of a member of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).

Tara is accused of planning the suicide attack on Beant Singh in 1995 in Chandigarh, an act of terror that resulted in the death of 18 people.

At present, Tara is in custody for the Rulda Singh murder case. Punjab Rashtriya Sikh Sangat president Rulda Singh was shot on July 28, 2009, by two assailants who later fled in a waiting car.

Sources have confirmed that Tara’s questioning is also a unique case study for the police department to know about his escape route after the jailbreak and his experience of escaping to Pakistan dodging the entire security network in India.

“This is a serious breach of security and was not possible without active help of outsiders,” they added.

The Khalistan Tiger Force commander and his accomplices Paramjit Singh Bheora, Jagtar Singh Hawara and Devi Singh were arrested after the incident, but escaped from the high-security Burail Jail in Chandigarh.

Tara was arrested from Thailand’s eastern province of Chon Buri on January 5 following a raid on a house owned by a Pakistan national.

Tara, who was using the alias Gurmeet Singh, was arrested by the Thailand police following intelligence inputs provided by the Indian agencies and the Punjab Police.

Ropar police to seek Tara’s custody

Ropar: The district police will seek the custody of Jagtar Singh Tara. A case under Section 307 of IPC was registered against the dreaded terrorist for allegedly firing at a police party in 1991. Ropar SSP Varinder Paul Singh said Tara was a proclaimed offender in the case registered in the district. It was on March 26, 1991, when Tara along with other accused Paramjit Singh Bheora, Jaswinder Singh, Sukhwinder Singh and Jasvir Singh allegedly fired at a police party led by Station House Officer Lakha Singh at the Railon Khurd road here. A case under Section 307 of the IPC (attempt to murder) and Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act was registered against them. After his arrest, Tara was released on bail in the case following which he was found involved in assassination of Beant Singh. — TNS


http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/community/pak-spy-agency-planned-a-hollywood-style-rescue-for-beant-killer-tara/32278.html
Pak spy agency planned a Hollywood-style rescue for Beant-killer Tara
Jupinderjit Singh

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 18
The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan was planning an ‘Argo’ film-kind of rescue operation for the Beant Singh assassin Jagtar Singh Tara to help him flee from Thailand in the garb of a member of a cultural troupe from Pakistan around Christmas last.

Highly placed sources revealed the Punjab police got a whiff of the plan from their sources in a European country. The police were already on the trail of the Khalistan Tiger Force chief Jagtar Singh Tara in Thailand. It increased surveillance and presence at exit points. A Major-rank officer with the ISI is said to have shared the plan with a UK-based operative, who further leaked it.

‘Argo’ film was a political thriller based on a famous US-Canada joint operation of the rescue of six US diplomats from Tehran by showing them as part of a film crew. They were trapped in Tehran following an attack on the embassy during the 1979-1981 US-Iran crisis. The Punjab police interrogation of Tara so far is concentrating on the weekly dinner meetings of the heads of various terrorists organisations which concentrated on Punjab.

“With the help of the Thailand police and central agencies, we had issued look-out notices for Tara — both for his real identity as well as of the assumed identity of Gurmeet Singh (clean-shaven). As he could not move out, ISI official Major Noor (common name for such ISI officials) hatched the plan to send a 20-member cultural troupe to Thailand.

Tara was supposed to take the place of one of the members when the troupe returned,” said a police official.

Terrorist-supporting organisations in Europe had collected Rs 1.5 crore for the rescue operation of the ISI. Major Noor had hired one Sultan Bari to task his Thailand-based brother Khailat Bari alias Akhtar Bari for help in hiding Tara and felicitating his escape. The cultural troupe did visit Thailand but Tara could not move out due to the vigil on him.

Tara is the third chief of a terrorist organisation arrested by the Punjab police in last six months. A police official revealed that it was a record of sorts that three out of six main terrorist organisations based in Pakistan under the aegis of the ISI were now behind bars in Punjab. The police have in custody Rattandeep Singh, head of Babbar Tiger Force of Khalistan (BTFK); Mintoo, head of Khalistan Liberation Force (KLF); and Tara, head of Khalistan Tiger Force.

The other three remaining in Pakistan are Babbar Khalsa headed by Wadhawa Singh Babbar, Khalistan Commando Force chief Paramjit Singh Panjwar and Khalistan Zindabad Force Ranjit Singh Neeta.

Police sources said they had information about every movement of Tara. “It was no mean task tracing and arresting Tara. He was a mastermind of the assassination of late Chief Minister Beant Singh and had slipped out of the high-security Burail Jail through a tunnel. Our intelligence network made tracking him possible on foreign soil. We learnt he had reached Thailand in August last year. We ran a check and spotted him at the airport CCTV footage. We told the Thailand police, which wanted us to get an arrest warrant.”

Sources said the warrants were taken in the name of Tara who had, by then, changed his identity. “We even told the Thai police about the locality he was living in there.


http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/meet-the-captain-wholl-be-leading-indian-armys-first-ever-all-women-contingent-on-26th-jan-229554.html
Meet The Captain Who'll be leading Indian Army's First Ever All Women Contingent On 26th Jan!
As the Indian Army's all-women contingent prepares for its first-ever presence at the Republic Day parade, its commander expressed hope that seeing the officers march down the Rajpath will inspire more women to don the olive green uniform.
Captain Divya Ajith, who scripted history by becoming the first woman cadet in the history of the Army to win the 'Sword of Honour' for best cadet at the passing out parade of the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai in 2010, is now all set to write another, when she leads the contingent on the ceremonial boulevard on January 26.

"For me it's a matter of great pride to command an all-women contingent for the first time in the Republic Day parade. And, I think many of those parents who will be seeing us either at the Rajpath or on television, will feel inspired to send their girls to the Army and many of those girls would themselves be motivated to don the uniform," Captain Ajith of the Corps of Army Air Defence, told PTI.
The 25-year-old woman officer, who hails from Chennai, said, she always wanted to join the Indian Army and after serving for five years, it's an honour for her to lead the march, in front of the country. "The entire contingent is also excited about marching in front of US President Barack Obama, who will be the chief guest on the occasion," she said.

But, with glory comes a lot of hard work, as the entire contingent has been preparing rigorously since coming to Delhi. "From 6-9 AM in the morning and then 3-6 PM in the evening, all seven days, it's been a tough regimen but our training at the OTA is coming in handy. Also, since we are marching here for the first time, we are training doubly harder vis-a-vis our male counterparts," she said with a smile.
The women contingent would also comprise some women cadets, a Defence official said. A multi-faceted personality, she is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, percussionist and well-versed in sports like basketball, discus throw, among others.

"We also marched for the first time on Army Day this year and we are all excited about the R-Day now," she said.


http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2015-01-17/news/58175315_1_army-day-republic-day-parade-indian-army
Hope more women will join Army after seeing us on Republic Day parade: Divya Ajith
 NEW DELHI: As the Indian Army's all-women contingent prepares for its first-ever presence at the Republic Day parade, its commander expressed hope that seeing the officers march down the Rajpath will inspire more women to don the olive green uniform.

Captain Divya Ajith, who scripted history by becoming the first woman cadet in the history of the Army to win the 'Sword of Honour' for best cadet at the passing out parade of the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai in 2010, is now all set to write another, when she leads the contingent on the ceremonial boulevard on January 26.

"For me it's a matter of great pride to command an all-women contingent for the first time in the Republic Day parade. And, I think many of those parents who will be seeing us either at the Rajpath or on television, will feel inspired to send their girls to the Army and many of those girls would themselves be motivated to don the uniform," Captain Ajith of the Corps of Army Air Defence, told.

The 25-year-old woman officer, who hails from Chennai, said, she always wanted to join the Indian Army and after serving for five years, it's an honour for her to lead the march, in front of the country.

"The entire contingent is also excited about marching in front of US President Barack Obama, who will be the chief guest on the occasion," she said.

But, with glory comes a lot of hard work, as the entire contingent has been preparing rigorously since coming to Delhi.

"From 6-9 AM in the morning and then 3-6 PM in the evening, all seven days, it's been a tough regimen but our training at the OTA is coming in handy. Also, since we are marching here for the first time, we are training doubly harder vis-a-vis our male counterparts," she said with a smile.

The women contingent would also comprise some women cadets, a Defence official said.

A multi-faceted personality, she is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, percussionist and well-versed in sports like basketball, discus throw, among others.

"We also marched for the first time on Army Day this year and we are all excited about the R-Day now," she said.


http://www.newindianexpress.com/nation/Police-Links-Infiltration-to-Possible-Militant-Attacks-in-JK/2015/01/19/article2626632.ece
Police Links Infiltration to Possible Militant Attacks in J&K


SRINAGAR: The police chief of Jammu and Kashmir has linked infiltration of militants from across the border to possible attacks in the State ahead of country’s Republic Day.

“Infiltration of militants from across the border is directly linked to possible militant attacks in the State head of Republic Day,” J&K DGP K Rajendra told Express.

He said they have seen in the past that after successful infiltration bids, militants have been carrying out strikes in the State.

Three major militant attacks in the State last year had taken place immediately after infiltration of militants.

13 persons including four army men, four policemen, two civilians and three militants were killed in militant attack in border districts of Samba and Kathua in Jammu province on September last year.

On November 27, 10 persons including three army men and three civilians were killed when infiltrating militants targeted civilians near International Border (IB) in Arnia sector of Jammu. Four militants were also killed in the gunfight.

On December 5, militants attacked an army camp in Mohura, Uri, close to Line of Control (LoC) in North killing eight  army men and three policemen. Six militants were also killed in the firefight.

DGP said in the first fortnight of Pakistani forces were resorting to near daily ceasefire violations along Line of Control (LoC) and International Border (IB) in Jammu and firing on Indian posts and civilian areas.

After a brief lull, Pakistani troops again fired on Indian posts in Samba sector today.

Army’s defence spokesperson in Jammu, Lt Col Manish Mehta, told Express that surveillance and infiltration grid along the LoC and IB in Jammu is in place.

“The security men and officers are on alert to thwart any infiltration attempts by militants from across the border,” he said.

BSF sources said the deployment of border guards along the IB in Jammu has been increased.

“The patrolling and strength of the border guards has been increased and every possible measure has been taken to prevent infiltration of militants,” they said.

General Officer Commanding (GOC), 16 Corps, Lt Gen K H Singh had recently warned that there were inputs about possibility of attacks by militants on “soft targets” like schools, religious places, security convoys and civilian areas in the State ahead of US President Barack Obama’s India visit.

Obama will start his three-day India visit on January 25.

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