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Saturday, 6 June 2015

From Today's Papers - 06 Jun 2015

Manipur ambush: Massive combing ops on as intel agencies see foreign hand
Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 5
An assessment by Indian security establishment on yesterday’s ambush resulting in 18 casualties in Manipur has concluded that north-east insurgents were backed, financed and supported by a ‘foreign country’. The Indian Army today marshalled its resources to launch a ‘massive’ counter offensive and combing operation.

A top functionary, who was a part of the emergency meetings conducted yesterday, told The Tribune, “Undoubtedly, there is a foreign hand behind this in the north-eastern”. He refused to specify the country but hinted at one of India’s neighbours. Eighteen soldiers were killed and 11 sustained injuries yesterday in one of the biggest single-day casualties suffered by the Army in more than two decades.

Intelligence agencies have told the government that disparate north-east insurgent groups have been brought together under one platform at the insistence of the ‘neighbouring country’.

The newly formed umbrella group is United Liberation Front of West South East Asia (UNLFW). The Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (K) headed by its chairman SS Khaplang is in the UNLFW. The National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) Songabijit faction, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Kamtapur Liberation Organisation are among those in the grouping.

Officials had yesterday hinted that rocket propelled grenades, a weapon used by regular Armies, was probably smuggled through Kunming, China. There are indications that these groups were being prompted to operate together to share resources and manpower, the sources said adding that the attackers, about 50 in number, moved back to Myanmar with which India shares an unguarded and unfenced boundary.

Elections to Autonomous Hill Council in Manipur and redeployment of troops created an ideal situation for the attackers to make a foray from Myanmar into India.
IB ex-chief is spl envoy on counter-terror body
New Delhi, June 5
Former Chief of Intelligence Bureau Asif Ibrahim has been appointed special envoy for counter terrorism and extremism in the National Security Council Secretariat, a move that is seen as an attempt to check the growing concern over the radicalisation and terror.

Ibrahim, a Madhya Pradesh-cadre IPS officer, demitted the office as the Director of the Intelligence Bureau, last December and was the first officer from the minority community to head the country’s internal spy agency. A release said the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet approved Ibrahim’s appointment as ‘Special Envoy for Counter Terrorism and Extremism’ in National Security Council Secretariat, in the rank of Secretary to the Government of India for three years or until further orders, whichever is earlier. — TNS
Sole breadwinners who gave it all for nation’s cause
Tribune News Service

Shimla, June 5
Seven of 18 soldiers killed in the ambush on an Army convoy of 6 Dogra Regiment by insurgents in Imphal yesterday belonged to Himachal Pradesh.

With almost all of them being the breadwinners for their families, the news of their martyrdom has left the families shattered who are now awaiting the arrival of the body of their loved ones by tomorrow.

Unmindful of the fact that this would be his last conversation with his family, Lance Naik Rajneesh Singh (35) of Garli village in Kangra spoke to his wife at 7 am yesterday, just two hours before he died. "He had visited us two months back but I never thought that this would be my last conversation with him," said Samita, Rajneesh's wife, who has two sons.

The family of Havildar Rajesh Kumar (37) of Hirapur in Ghumarwin area of Bilaspur was very happy that he had got a posting to Chandimandir and would travel home frequently. "We were to move into our new home and my husband had to join his new place of posting in a fortnight," said a Meenakshi.

The families of the two slain soldiers in Sirmaur were inconsolable as the news of their demise reached them. Ashok Kumar (30) is survived by his wife Anjana (30) and two daughters Ishita and Asha besides his elderly parents Baldev Rana and Renu Devi.

The scene at the house of Sohan Singh (26) was no different as villagers consoled his wife Rajni (21) and parents Sukhdev Singh and Rukhmani Devi. Sohan Singh has a three-year-old daughter.

Among those killed, three hail from Mandi district. They are Sepoy Vikas Bhardwaj (22) of Patnu village in Lad Bhadol. He was the lone child of his parents and had joined the Army two years ago and was a bachelor. The other two killed were Manoj Kumar of Masran in Padhar and Prakash Chand of Siun, also in Paddar.

Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has conveyed his deepest condolences to the families of the soldiers and directed the administration to extend every possible help to the bereaved families
Jammu waits for its six bravehearts
Manipur attack

Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu/Samba, June 5
The wait for the bodies of six soldiers of the 6 Dogra Regiment from Jammu and Kashmir, who among 18 soldiers attained martyrdom yesterday after they were attacked in an ambush by insurgents in Manipur’s Chandel district, continued for the second consecutive day today.

However, for the family of Havilder Sat Pal Bhasin, 39, of the Muthi area on the outskirts of Jammu, it was an unfortunate turn of events. The martyr was supposed to be with his family on a long leave from June 8. Now the family awaits his body. Sat Pal.

Only martyred soldier’s two brothers — Kuldeep Raj and Suresh Kumar Bhasin — are aware about the tragedy but they haven’t shared the information with other family members and their neighbours.

He was scheduled to reach home on June 8 for a long leave to be with the family and children. His daughter, who is in LKG, is excited that his father is returning in next couple of days. She asks her mother four to five times a day about him. We don’t know how will we console our father, who is a heart patient, and young children after they come to know about this tragedy,” Kuldeep Raj said.

Havildar Bhasin had left his home to resume his duty in Manipur on January 5. “His Unit moved to Manipur about three years ago and it was on way to shift its base from Manipur to Chandigarh. Sat Pal had told me that he would join the unit in Chandigarh after spending a long leave with family but destiny has something else in store for him,” he narrated with moist eyes.

I have been told by local Army officers that the body is likely to reach tomorrow evening. Till then, it would be difficult for us to console the family. My father is a heart patient, while the mother is also not well. I don’t know how to break this sad news in the family,” he said, adding, “Sat Pal, who joined Army in 1995, was planning to take voluntary retirement after giving two years service”.

Other soldiers of the Dogra Regiment from Jammu, who attained martyrdom, were Ram Singh of Nandpur village in Samba, Sunil Kumar Sharma of Sunderbani in Rajouri, Randeep Singh of Barmal in Akhnoor, Kuldeep Raj of village Bern in Gharota of Jammu district and Vijay Kumar of Sehra Khor area in Akhnoor.

A pall of gloom descended on Swankha Morh village in Samba when the news of the killing of one of its braveheart Ram Singh spread in the village. The deceased’s father, Babu Ram, received a phone call from Manipur late last night from associates of Ram Singh in connection with Ram Singh’s death.

Ram Singh is survived by his parents, wife and two children. He joined the army in 2005 and was posted in Manipur.

The body of the jawan will reach Jammu tomorrow and he will be cremated with full honours at his native village at Nandpur in Bishnah,” a local police official said.
Pathankot soldier was to come home on vacation today
Ravi Dhaliwal

Tribune News Service

Pathankot, June 5
Naik Manjit Singh (26) of the Dogra Regiment was excited to come home tomorrow on a long vacation. He had told her mother Tripta Devi that he would come with surprise gifts for his younger brother and sister. But little did she know that her son would be coming back home in a casket one last time. She is inconsolable now.

The soldier, a native of Akhwana village, 10 km from here, was killed in an attack by insurgents in Manipur. He is survived by his parents and two siblings.

"My son was supposed to return tomorrow. However, I will be receiving his body tomorrow. I will not be able to see him in flesh and blood any more now. He will be brought home in a casket," said Sham Singh, the martyred soldier's father.

Manjit had rung up his mother, Tripta Devi, a few days ago and felt happy that he would be coming on June 6. Manjit Singh, who belonged to a middle-class family which is into farming, had joined the Army five years ago after taking part in a recruitment rally in Pathankot.

Deputy Commissioner Sukhwinder Singh has deputed a team of officials to the deceased's residence to oversee preparations of his cremation slated to be held on June 8.
To meet growing needs of Indian Army greater penetration necessary by pvt industry: Vice Chief of Army Staff -

Read more at:
There was a need for greater penetration by the private industry to meet the growing requirements of the Indian Army. With enhanced involvement of private industry, the Army today needs indigenized, cost effective and innovative solutions to modernize its equipment and technology.

This was stated by Lt. Gen. Philip Campose, PVSM, AVSM**, VSM, ADC, Vice Chief of Army Staff, Indian Army, in New Delhi yesterday while addressing a two-day international seminar on 'Modernization Vision & Plan of Indian Army Indian, Industry Preparedness and Future Commitments' organized by industry body, FICCI in association with the Indian Army.

He said that the 'Make in India' campaign launched by the Government of India has found great enthusiasm with the Indian Army. The highly complex, technologically advanced and lethal battlefield of today needs India to be well equipped and operationally prepared. Lt. Gen. Philip Campose, according to release, added that there was need for a synergized approach by all stakeholders to ensure success of the 'Make in India' campaign.

He said that Indian soldiers were amongst the best in the world and it was important to provide them with modern technology and weapons to combat the enemy and boost their morale. He added that Indian Army's response to emergencies has been swift, synergized and professional and to continue to do so it needed high level of preparedness, which would come with reliable ammunitions and indigenized technology.

On the occasion, FICCI?Q-Tech Compendium on 'Indian Defence ? Land System Platforms' was released by Lt. Gen. Philip Campose.
Vivek Rae, Member, 7th Central Pay Commission & former Director General (Acquisition), Ministry of Defence, Government of India, said that the government needed to be realistic about the capabilities of the Indian companies to play a lead role in the 'Make in India' campaign.

He suggested that first the capacity of Indian companies, such as large system integrators, should be assessed. Accordingly companies must be identified as champions of industry through a transparent process and national consensus, for their capability to develop complex defence products. Then a mechanism could be created where these companies could be awarded orders so that they could become globally competitive.

Jyotsna Suri, President, FICCI, said with the gradual shift in geopolitical diplomacy, India was emerging from a regional power to a global power. The defence sector was increasingly occupying more space in the Government's long term strategic planning with the defence cooperation agreements that India was signing with key nations.

She added that historically institutions like DRDO, Defence Public Sector Units, Ordinance Factories and lately the private sector have contributed in achieving partial self-reliance. However, this is not commensurate with our aspirations of becoming a global economic power.

Rahul Chaudhry, Co-Chairman, FICCI Defence Committee & CEO, Tata Power SED, said that with 'Make in India' campaign, the Indian government for the first time had showcased a will to not only indigenous Indian Army but also to export Indian defence systems. To achieve this, it was essential to measure the Indian industry's capabilities and control the technology.

There was a need for the private industry and armed forces to create technology and weapons in India with a control over intellectual property, he added.
India, US all set to expand defence links
New framework pact inked; technology sharing will go up

In a significant move, India and the United States on Wednesday “finalised” agreements for joint development of “Next Generation Protective Ensembles” (protective gear for soldiers against biological and chemical warfare), and “Mobile Electric Hybrid Power Sources” (generators for troops that would possibly work on solar energy and be smaller, more portable and efficient, and for use in remote outposts), even as visiting US defence secretary Ashton Carter and defence minister Manohar Parrikar signed the strategically-important “2015 Framework for the India-US Defence Relationship”, which “builds upon the previous framework and successes to guide the bilateral defence and strategic partnership for the next 10 years”.

India and the US agreed to “expedite discussions” on “forward cooperation on jet engines, aircraft-carrier design and construction, and other areas”. Speculation is rife that the United States could assist India in the construction of its second indigenous nuclear-powered aircraft-carrier, which could be nuclear-powered. The new framework agreement “provides avenues for high-level strategic discussions, continued exchanges between armed forces of both countries, and strengthening of defence capabilities”, the Indian government said.

The issue of China’s increasing naval presence in the Indian Ocean region and the growing Chinese military assertiveness as well as the situation in the Af-Pak region (Afghanistan-Pakistan) in India’s neighbourhood is also likely to have been discussed during the visit. India’s plan to acquire 22 Apache attack and 15 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters from the US along with ultra-light howitzer artillery guns could have also figured in the discussions.

During Mr Carter’s current visit, the two countries have moved ahead on two of the four “pathfinder projects” identified under the Defence Trade and Technology Initiative (DTTI) during US President Barack Obama’s visit to New Delhi in January this year. The four pathfinder products are the Raven mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), “roll-on, roll-off” mission modules for the C-130J Super Hercules aircraft, mobile electric hybrid power sources and chemical-biological warfare protection suite for soldiers.

Mr Carter is reported to have told journalists travelling with him that one of the projects is the development of a high-tech mobile power source for the Marine Corps that will work on solar energy, be smaller, more portable and efficient, and which could be used in remote outposts, while the other is a protective suit for the Indian Army that would be more lightweight and effective when used in chemical and biological hazard incidents. According to a Reuters report, both the projects on protective clothing for soldiers as well as developing the next-generation power source for the battlefield will each have $1 million in funding shared equally by the two sides.

According to the Reuters report, Mr Carter told reporters that while the two projects approved are modest in scale, India and the US are also exploring collaboration at the higher end of technology. “We have big ambitions, and jet engines, aircraft-carrier technology are big projects that we’re working very hard on,” he reportedly said.

The Reuters report further said India is eyeing US aircraft launch technology for a carrier it plans to build and that the two sides have set up a working group to explore cooperation. “We have the pre-eminent aircraft-carriers in the world. They are excited about possible collaboration. There are multiple areas of possible collaboration. It’s a huge platform,” a US official was quoted in the Reuters report as saying.

Defence minister Parrikar was quoted earlier in the day as saying: “There are very positive things happening. As far as DTTI is concerned, many things are coming closer. I think two or three issues may be sorted out, not necessarily today but in a couple of weeks. They are very close to finalisation.”

In addition, building on the areas of agreement during President Obama’s visit to India in January 2015, Defence Minister (Parrikar) and Secretary Carter agreed to expedite discussions to take forward cooperation on jet engines, aircraft-carrier design and construction, and other areas. The two also agreed to pursue co-development and co-production projects that will offer tangible opportunities for American defence industries to build defence partnership with Indian industries, including in manufacturing under ‘Make in India’,” the defence ministry said in New Delhi.

During an official visit to India, Dr Ashton Carter, US Secretary of Defence, met Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He also met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. Before arriving in Delhi, Secretary Carter also visited the Eastern Naval Command. The Defence Minister and Secretary Carter discussed the India-US defence relationship, and the broader India-US Strategic Partnership, and reaffirmed their commitment to expand and deepen the bilateral defence relationship. The two also reviewed the existing and emerging regional security dynamics. The Defence Minister and Secretary Carter agreed to continue their efforts to enhance bilateral cooperation in areas of mutual interest, such as maritime security and knowledge partnership in the field of defence... Secretary Carter invited the Defence Minister to visit the US for the next meeting. The Defence Minister accepted the invitation in principle,” the MoD said.

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