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Friday, 5 June 2015

From Today's Papers- 05 Jun 2015

18 Army men killed, 11 hurt as rebels target convoy in Manipur
One of the deadliest attacks on Army in 2 decades | Soldiers belong to 6 Dogra
In one of the biggest strikes on the Army in the last two decades, 18 soldiers were killed and another 11 seriously injured after being ambushed by insurgents at Moltuk in Chandel district of Manipur today. The incident occurred 30 km south-east of Imphal, the state capital.
A convoy of the Army's 6 Dogra Regiment, with around 40 troops, was moving in four trucks when improvised explosive devices exploded under the vehicles. Even as the troops regrouped to attack, they were bombarded with rocket-propelled grenades. The Dogra Regiment mainly comprises personnel belonging to the lower hills of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian security establishment has termed the attack as a "turning point" and asked the Army to launch a counter-offensive, say sources.

There have been a series of strikes in recent months by insurgent outfits, which have grouped under an umbrella organisation, 'United Liberation Front of West South East Asia' (UNLFW), with its base in neighbouring Myanmar.

The UNLFW has, through its coordination committee spokesperson Paresh Baruah, claimed responsibility for the attack. The area where the ambush took place is dominated by Kuki tribe.

The first-ever use of shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades today has left the security agencies pondering over the extent of advanced armoury available with the North-East insurgent groups. Such armoury is suspected to have been smuggled from Kunming in China through Myanmar. Sources said the attackers may have escaped to Myanmar. Since December last year, there have been a series of attacks in the sector.

Soon after the attack, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag met to take stock of the situation. Sources said the common thinking at the meeting was that the attack was a turning point, and that the forces must launch a counter-offensive.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was briefed later, condemned the attack as "mindless" and "very distressing". "Today's mindless attack in Manipur is very distressing. I bow to each and every soldier who sacrificed his life for the nation," he tweeted.

Parrikar said those behind the "cowardly act will be brought to book". Congress chief Sonia Gandhi expressed shock at the incident while party vice-president Rahul Gandhi expressed condolences to the families.
NSCN-K pullout a threat to Nagaland, says Rijiju
Bijay Sankar Bora

Tribune News Service

Guwahati, June 4
The uneasy peace in troubled Nagaland is under serious threat in the wake of the Naga rebel group NSCN-K led by Burmese-origin Naga SS Khaplang unilaterally abrogating the ceasefire with the Government of India.

Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said: “Sudden abrogation of ceasefire by NSCN-K has created tension in Nagaland where the civilian population is facing threat due to it. No one in the Ministry of Home Affairs knows the reason behind the NSCN-K move.” Rijiju also clarified he did not say the NSCN-K had nothing to do with Naga causes as reported in a section of media. “My comment made in Parliament regarding extortions resorted to by Naga rebel group’s cadres without the knowledge of their leaders, was misinterpreted. What wanted to drive home the message that Naga rebel group’s cadres indulging in extortion had nothing to do with Naga cause. I did not mean NSCN-K which sounds very critical of me of late,” Rijiju said.

The NSCN-K had unilaterally pulled out of ceasefire pact on March 27 this year, saying continued extension of the ceasefire was futile.
India concerned over terror from neighbours
Minsk, June 4
President Pranab Mukherjee has voiced serious concern over terrorism and extremism emanating from India’s neighbourhood, saying it remained a major security threat for India as well as other countries in the region.

Terrorism and extremism emanating from our shared neighbourhood remains a major security threat for India and for Belarus too,” he said in his address at the prestigious Belarus State University here last night. He insisted that addressing this challenge required greater cooperation among all nations and clarity of purpose.

The President said India had and would always remain committed to peaceful methods in its foreign policy. Earlier, on the first leg of his two-nation tour, the President had raised the issue of terrorism while speaking at the Uppsala University in Sweden, where he deviated from his written speech and said the world was not free from trouble. “What is happening in West Asia? What is happening in different parts of the world? Whatever be the divergence of views, on the issue of terrorism, I am sure that all will agree that terrorism has no respect for any religion,” he had said, adding it believed in nothing but wanton destruction.

It is important for the international community to face this greatest menace, I would say, not to any country or territory but to entire civilisation. The very existence of human values, the respect for peaceful co-existence, tolerance, pluralism are being dangerously threatened by this,” he had said in a strongly worded speech.

Mukherjee, who is in Belarus on the first-ever state visit by an Indian President, was conferred the Professor Honoris Causa by the Belarus State University. He said India was strongly interested in further deepening its already substantive relationship with Belarus.

I have had excellent discussions with President (Alexander) Lukashenko earlier today. With a view to further energise our co-operation, we have issued a very substantive and focused Roadmap on the India-Belarus partnership.

We are hopeful of doubling our trade to a level of $1 billion by 2020. India’s decision to grant ‘Market Economy Status’ to Belarus will also be a significant step to enhance our bilateral trade and to promote greater integration of Belarus,” he said. — PTI
Line of control
Parrikar can experiment with reticence
In Manohar Parrikar’s defence, there’s no agreed-to line of control between India and Pakistan when it comes to each other's vast repertoire of adversarial adjectives. That's where his defence ends. In the reciprocity of foolhardy neighbourliness, public figures in both countries equate the vitriolic with patriotic duty and rarely miss a chance to take vicious potshots. This display of contempt never misfires. The public discourse is often allowed to take the course of no return, the gulf between the people widens and the vocabulary of hate gets reinforced. As television studios are left to loudly debate the necessity of disengagement, the governments carry on their necessary business of engagement.

Parrikar was perhaps thinking aloud when he made his “terrorists have to be neutralised through terrorists” remark, which led to India being immediately dubbed a state sponsor of terrorism across the border. The Pakistanis not responding with trademark bravado was unthinkable. As was what a sarcastic Parrikar came up with next. Asked whether “Pakistan ko mirchi lag gayi” with his remark, he responded, “Pakistan ko mirchi lagi hai, aur wo bhi Andhra ki. I don’t want to say anything about what Pakistan feels.” What more was left to say? Was that a first-time eager-to-be-noticed MP speaking or India's Defence Minister?

Agreed he's no “stalemate Defence Minister” like AK Antony, but every word spoken, or in Antony's case not spoken, by the minister holding the office is dissected and analysed for its import. A country aspiring to be a regional superpower cannot afford to tie itself in knots of personal opinions of public authorities. The 60-year-old IITian is considered a man of simple tastes who likes to speak his mind. These are not attributes that are common to most of his ilk. His style of informality on solemn occasions of the defence forces is taken in stride, and no fuss was made over his announcement through the media of slashing the raising of the new mountain strike corps. That said, restraint is what is most required of him. Senior colleague Sushma Swaraj would make for a good mentor.

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