Custom Search Engine - Scans Selected News Sites


Friday, 3 April 2015

From Today's Papers - 03 Apr 2015

Militants escape after killing 2 securitymen in Baramulla
Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, April 2
In the first gunfight in the Kashmir valley since the PDP-BJP government came to power, a jawan of an Army’s counter-insurgency unit and a Special Police Officer (SPO) of the J&K Police were killed in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The militants, believed to be at least two and hailing from south and central Kashmir, broke the cordon and managed to escape.

The militants, sources said, escaped the cordon in the initial stages of the encounter that erupted when a joint team of the Army’s 29 Rashtriya Rifles battalion, Special Operation Group (SOG) of the J&K police and CRPF launched an operation following a tip-off about the presence Hizbul Mujahideen militants in Hardespora Pattan village, nearly 40 km from Srinagar. The gunfight erupted at 7.45 am when troops were zeroing in on the suspected militant hideout in the village. “As the house was being zeroed in, the hiding militants opened indiscriminate fire on the forces, resulting in injuries to two Army men, an SPO and a civilian,” said an official.

The heavy exchange of fire continued for almost half an hour. The injured were rushed to the Srinagar-based Army hospital where a soldier and an SPO succumbed to their injuries. 

The slain were identified as Jageshwar from Dewas, Madhya Pradesh, and a SPO Mohammad Shafi. A civilian Manzoor Ahmad Rather, who was injured, was shifted to Srinagar hospital for treatment, where his condition is stated to be stable. Meanwhile, additional deployment of Army and police personnel was rushed to the area.
Navy rescues second batch of 306 Indians from Yemen
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
The Indian Navy today rescued 306 people from strife-torn Yemen. Those rescued included 38 women and 17 children.

The INS Sumitra, which had evacuated 349 Indians from Aden on Tuesday night, today carried out the second evacuation from the port city of Al Hodeidah on the West coast of Yemen on the Red Sea coast.

The port is 143 km from the capital city of Sanaa, where maximum Indians are stranded. Sources in New Delhi said scores of Indians will be evacuated to Djibouti in north-eastern Africa on this mission. Djibouti is located on the east coast of Africa and separated from Yemen by a narrow strait, the Bab-El-Mandeb. It will take around 10 hours of sailing to reach Djibouti.

Two C-17 strategic air lifters of the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been stationed at Djibouti to evacuate people back to India. The first two flights carrying people landed at Mumbai and Kochi early this morning.

In Kochi, the plane landed at 1:45am with 168 passengers, while another plane reached Mumbai at 3:35am with 190 people. The C-17s flew back to Djibouti this evening to ferry back people who are being evacuated from Al Hodeidah.

“Conditions are testing,” Commander MM Mokashi, INS Sumitra captain, reported to the headquarters at midnight during the first operation.

The US and the French have their naval airbases in Djibouti which are to be used by the IAF planes and Air India. The US is providing real time information using a mix of drones and satellites to the Saudi Coalition.

Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces and the Hauti rebels are involved in a tough fight to hold onto territory in Yemen and safe spaces are shrinking rapidly.

Two Indian Navy warships — INS Mumbai, a destroyer, and INS Tarkash, a BrahMos missile carrying Frigate — are on the way to Yemen. The ships are so well armed that they cannot just protect themselves but destroy a small flotilla of ships or elements on land. They are expected to reach Yemen on April 4.

The two Indian Navy warships will be escorting two passenger liners — MV Kavaratti and MV Corals — which departed from Kochi on March 30. The four ships are now moving as a composite group towards Yemen.

Minister of State in the External Affairs Ministry General VK Singh (retd) is camping in Djibouti and coordinating the operations.
ITBP expresses concern over poor route condition
Our Correspondent

Pithoragarh, April 2
With the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra beginning on June 12, the ITBP has expressed concern over the poor condition of the route.

Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel said in the wake of heavy snowfall this year, which continued till March, the route had damaged. The stretch from Gala to Lipulekh Pass was still covered under thick snow and required immediate attention of the administration.

The route between Kalapani and Lipulekh was also covered under snow. Artificial glaciers had formed between the Lamari and Malpa camps en route, which could pose difficulties for the pilgrims. They said if snow deposits were not removed before the start of the yatra, pilgrims would be facing a _tough time.

“We have sent a report in this regard to the district administration, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police headquarters and the KMVN office,” said Kadar Singh Rawat, an officer of the 7th Battalion of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Mirthi.

The ITBP officer said a 16 metre track between Kalapani and Lipulekh Pass had disappeared due to snow deposits while an artificial glacier had formed at Malpa. “Snow needs to be cleared before the pilgrimage and for this extra efforts are _needed to be done by _the administration,” said _the Indo-Tibetan Border Police officer.
Indian Army Team To Scale Mount Everest, Will Come Back With 4000 Kg Garbage
New Delhi:  Mountaineers usually shed baggage as they climb higher. A 30-member Indian team setting out for Mount Everest next month plans to come down with 4,000 kilos of excess baggage, or rather, garbage.

The team is making the climb to mark the 50th anniversary of India's first ascent of the world's highest peak. But equally high on their agenda is what sounds like a massive clean-up of Everest's slopes.

Some estimates say the amount of trash left on Everest over the last 60 years is as much as 50 tonnes, making it one of the most littered mountains in the world. Oxygen tanks, sleeping bags, coffee makers, electronic waste, human waste and possibly corpses, are strewn all over the slopes.

Last March, the Nepal government declared that climbers would have to mandatorily bring down some trash.

"In the normal process, we need to come down to the base camp (17,700 feet) from the forward camps for acclimatization," said Major Ranveer Singh Jamwal, the team leader. "For instance, we will come down to the base camp from Camps 1, 2 and 3, and climb back for the final assault. When we come down to base camp, on each instance we will have less load and that is when we intend to carry back the trash," he explained.

In 1965, Captain MS Kohli, one of India's finest mountaineers, led nine people to the summit, which at the time was a world record and endured for 17 years.

Major Jamwal has scaled Everest twice before. His team will split into two at Camp 3, where 14 team members will head to Everest and the rest will make their way to Mount Lhotse, which at 8,612 metres, is the fourth-highest peak in the world.
Up In Arms: The Army officers’ promotion case
The Supreme Court last week stayed an order of the Armed Forces Tribunal, which had, on March 2, quashed the Army’s 2009 promotion policy. The matter will now be heard on April 15. SUSHANT SINGH recaps the controversy, and explains the issues in the case.

What is the Army officers’ promotion case about?

The dispute is over the distribution of vacancies of Colonels to various branches (arms and services) of the Army, viz. Infantry, Artillery, Armoured Corps, Engineers, Signals, Mechanised Infantry, etc. Before 2009, the number of Colonels in each branch was pro rata, i.e., proportional to the number of officers in the rank of Lt Col and below. After 2009, the Army switched to a Command Exit policy, which has benefitted the Infantry and Artillery at the cost of other arms and services. Five officers approached the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) against the policy. Last month, the AFT upheld their contention, and ruled that the Command Exit policy violated Article 14. The government filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court against the AFT judgment. On March 25, the SC stayed the AFT ruling. The next hearing is on 15 April.
Does this policy also affect promotions of senior officers?

Yes. The numbers of Brigadiers, Maj Generals and Lt Generals in various arms is decided on a pro rata basis from the number of Colonels in each arm. If the AFT order is upheld, it will reduce the number of Colonels from the Infantry and Artillery, and will subsequently cut the numbers of Brigadiers, Maj Generals and Lt Generals from these two arms.

How and why was the new promotion policy adopted?

The 1999 Kargil Review Committee recommended younger Battalion and Brigade Commanders: 37 years and 45 years respectively. The government formed the Ajai Vikram Singh Committee (AVSC) in July 2001 to restructure the officer cadre. The AVSC report was submitted in 2003, and the government approved upgradation of 1,484 posts of Lt Colonels to Colonels in two phases. In Phase I, 750 vacancies were distributed in 2004 and 2005 on pro rata basis to various arms and services. But the release of 734 vacancies of Colonels in Phase II in 2009 followed the Command Exit model.

What is the argument for the Command Exit Policy?

While filing the SLP, Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told SC that the Infantry alone “faces the bullets” and serves in the toughest areas. It thus needs to have a larger number of Colonels. He argued for faster Infantry promotions because the Pakistani and Chinese armies have younger battalion commanders. Similar arguments presented by Army Headquarters before the AFT were rejected. The Army had also argued in the AFT that the promotion policy was

its internal matter, and did not warrant intervention from the judiciary.

What has been the impact of this case on the Army?

From the original group of five, the number of officers trying to become a party to the case has gone up to 200. On the Internet and social media, officers and veterans have warned of a demotivated and fractured Army, should the 2009 policy be upheld. In case of a war, it might adversely affect the cohesion and performance of the Army, they have warned. On the other hand, officers and veterans of the Infantry and Artillery argue that considering the risky nature of their job and the hard postings, they deserve a larger share of senior ranks.

Lt Gen (retd) Syed Ata Hasnain, an Infantry officer who retired as Military Secretary, has said that the Command Exit model was not needed, and that he supports reverting to the pro rata model. Srinath Raghavan, who served in the Infantry and is now a Senior Fellow at Centre of Policy Research, too has called the 2009 policy discriminatory and unwarranted.
Kashmiris not expect help from Indian army
Srinagar, April 02 (KMS): In occupied Kashmir, senior Hurriyet leader Masarrat Aalam Butt has said that Indian army is an occupation force and the Kashmiris do not expect that it will help them in any natural disaster.

Masarrat Aalam Butt in a media interview in Srinagar said that army conducted selective relief operation and rescued only its own people during the last year’s floods. The real relief, he added, was done by the local youth themselves. The Hurriyet leader deplored that the occupation forces have been engaged in worst type of state terrorism in the territory during the last six decades.

The locals of landslide-hit Ladan village of Chadoora in Badgam talking to media expressed resentment against lackadaisical attitude of the puppet administration towards their sufferings. They said that the authorities had failed even to shift the affected people to safer places.

Senior Hurriyet leader, Shabbir Ahmad Shah in a statement issued in Srinagar expressed serious concern over an attack by criminals on Kashmiri political prisoners in Delhi’s Tihar jail. He called upon international human rights organizations to play their role in mitigating the sufferings of the detainees.

The forum led by the veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar, today, demanded action against Indian police officers involved in the killing of eight innocent civilians at Brari Aangan Shangs in Islamabad, 15 years ago. A team led by Mir Hafeezullah visited the area and expressed solidarity with the families of the victims.

Meanwhile, an Indian police officer and an army man were killed, while several personnel were critically injured at Tangmarg in Baramulla district, today.
Mumbai lady cadet gets sword of honour during course at Indian Army's Officer Training Academy - See more at:
Lieutenant M Anjana from Vashi, Navi Mumbai recently achieved the rare distinction of being the first lady cadet to secure both Gold Medal and the coveted Sword of Honour in the combined course of Short Service Commission 99 and Short Service Commission (Women) 13 courses from the Indian Army’s Officer Training Academy (OTA), Chennai
The gold medal is received for the officer who is first in the over-all order of merit and Sword of Honour is given to the best all round cadet of the passing out course. The combined course comprised of 185 cadets of which 140 are Gentlemen Cadets and 39 are Lady Cadets and 6 foreign cadets and the curriculum has emphasis on both academics and physical fitness.

Captain Divya Ajith is the first lady cadet to get the Sword of Honour in the year 2010 during the passing out of SSC(W) 04.

As a cadet, Lieutenant M Anjana, led the passing out parade at OTA on 14 March 15, and was also awarded a Commendation by Lieutenant General Sanjeev Madhok, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Army Training Command.
The officer is a resident of Vashi, Navi Mumbai and competed schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan. She has graduated from Government Law College, Mumbai with the outstanding student award in the final year. The Officer has joined the Judge Advocate General (JAG) branch and will proceed for her training attachment with Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry at Shrinagar on completion of leave.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Mail your comments, suggestions and ideas to me

Template created by Rohit Agarwal