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Monday, 10 August 2015

From Today's Papers - 10 Aug 2015

Anna sounds OROP bugle in Rohtak
Calls for jail-bharo from October 2
Sunit Dhawan

Tribune News Service

Rohtak, August 9
Social activist and former soldier Anna Hazare today exhorted ex-servicemen and farmers to be ready for a “jail bharo” campaign to get their concerns addressed.

Addressing a rally of ex-servicemen here, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was merely making speeches on various issues. He announced a countrywide drive to press for the implementation of one-rank, one-pension (OROP) regime and a farmer-friendly land-acquisition policy.

“After this demonstration in Haryana, I will hold rallies in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and finally launch a concerted agitation to press for the implementation of these demands in New Delhi from October 2,” he said.

Braving intermittent showers, thousands of ex-servicemen attended the rally organised by the Haryana Ex-Services League (HESL) under the aegis of the United Front of Ex-Servicemen. They raised slogans such as “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, “Vande Matram”, “Inquilab Zindabad” and “Anna Hazare Zindabad”, assuring the 78-year-old leader of their wholehearted support.

Hazare warned the Union Government that the people’s parliament was bigger and stronger than elected Parliament and people could teach parliamentarians a lesson if they failed to work properly in the larger interest.

He, however, exhorted the rallyists to refrain from adopting violent or destructive modes of protest. He advised them to adopt “Gandhigiri”. He asked them to assemble in front of the residences of MPs and sing bhajans like “Ishwar-Allah tere naam, sabko sanmati de Bhagwan” till they were taken away (by the police) and lodged in the jail.

“The Prime Minister sought support of the ex-servicemen, farmers and other sections of society and promised to address their concerns on coming to power. However, his government has failed to keep the promises although more than a year has passed since its installation. Even I was hopeful of some change, but the Prime Minister has only delivered speeches and given assurances so far,” he said.

The social activist said the PM had also promised to end corruption, bring back black money stashed in foreign lands and give each resident of the country Rs 15 lakh. But all those promises remain unfulfilled and the assurance of bringing “achhe din” still seemed to be a distant dream.

He also expressed concern at Parliament remaining non-functional for several days at a stretch and exhorted people to seek explanation from their elected representatives.
Soldier, two ultras killed along LoC
A soldier and two unidentified militants were killed in two separate operations along the Line of Control in frontier Kupwara district since Saturday evening.

The operations — one in Keran and the other in Tangdhar — were underway at a distance of about 25 km, said sources. Two groups of militants were intercepted by troops between the LoC and anti-insurgency obstacle system, a fence, when they were trying to sneak into the Valley.
Army seeks new road to link Pathankot with Udhampur
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 9
Keeping in view the susceptibility of the national highway and repeated terror attacks in the vicinity of the international border in Jammu and Kashmir and more recently in Punjab, the Army is urgently seeking upgradation of the alternate road link from Pathankot to Udhampur.

The Army, according to sources, is also mulling the establishment of two new military stations along the alternative route to cater to its operational requirements.

A 133-km road exists from Dhar village, located east of Pathankot, which links with Udhampur where the Army’s Northern Command is headquartered. Despite being the shortest route from Pathankot to Udhampur, it is used very little by the Army as well as civilian traffic, essentially due to its poor state of maintenance and lack of adequate infrastructure.

Sources said the issue of developing a viable alternate route had been taken up at the highest level in the government and a presentation was also made to Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently by top commanders from the Western Command.

“The development of the Dhar-Udhampur road as a viable alternate axis to J&K is imperative in the context of the prevailing security situation and wil have enormous advantages both from the civil as well as military point of view,” a senior officer said.

“It will not only reduce dependence on the national highway and help civilian and commercial traffic to bypass congested places like Jammu and Nagrota, but will also help in socio-economic amelioration of the local population and exploit tourism potential of the region,” he said.

The Dhar-Udhampur Road was constructed by the Central Public Works Department on single lane specifications in 1973. In 1990, it was taken over by the Border Roads Organisation and is presently being maintained by Project Sampark under national highway double-lane specifications. It runs almost parallel and 20-35 km east of the national highway and there are four lateral roads interconnecting the two roads.

To make it operationally sustainable, numerous stretches of the road need strengthening, curve improvement and maintenance. Several bridges also need refurbishment for two-way traffic. In addition, a stretch of about 8 km under the jurisdiction of the Ranjit Sagar Dam authorities is not open to civilian traffic, further dissuading the use of this route.
Soldier, two militants killed as Army foils infiltration attempts
Sources say jawan was captured before he was shot dead
Majid Jahangir

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 9
A soldier and two unidentified militants were killed in two separate ongoing operations along the Line of Control (LoC) in the frontier Kupwara district since Saturday evening. The two operations —- one in Keran and the other in Tangdhar —- are taking place at a distance of about 25 km.

Defence sources said that the two groups of militants were intercepted by troops between the LoC and the anti-insurgency obstacle system (AIOS), a fence, when they were trying to sneak into the Valley from across the border

A Territorial Army soldier identified as Bashir Ahmad War was killed and two jawans of the elite Para unit of the Army were injured in a gunfight in the Tanghdar sector, some 130 km from here, late Saturday when they were carrying out a combing operation in the area. A tracker dog of the Army also died in the firefight. Unconfirmed reports, however, say the TA soldier was captured by militants and later shot dead along with the sniffer dog. The Army spokesman, however, denied the report.

“The firefight erupted on Saturday afternoon when a group of heavily armed militants was challenged near Ragni post in the Tangdhar sector. The infiltrators opened a heavy volume of fire and injured two soldiers before fleeing deep into the forested area,” a defence source said. “The troops later launched a massive combing operation to flush out the militants and late Saturday another contact with the militants was established in which a solider of the Territorial Army was killed along with a tracker dog,” he said.

The sources said there had been no exchange of fire between the two sides since morning and the combing operation was going slow due to the dense forest. The Army has pressed in helicopters to locate the militants hiding in the forest area. A tight cordon is being maintained in the area to ensure no militant manages to flee. While the Tangdhar operation was on, another group of militants was intercepted by troops this morning in the Jumgund area of the Keran sector, close to the AIOS fence.

“The group was challenged around 4 am. It opened fire, triggering a firefight. In the gunfight, two unidentified militants were killed,” the Army spokesman in Srinagar said. “We have recovered the bodies along with two AK-47 rifles,” he added. The identity and group affiliation of the militants is yet to be established. The spokesman said the combing operation in the Keran sector was still in progress.

Besides the two latest bids in Kupwara, the Army has this year foiled eight infiltration attempts in the Kashmir region in which 17 militants and four soldiers were killed.

Last week General Officer Commanding of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt Gen Subrata Saha had said that no militant had been able to sneak into the Valley this year. However, after the revelations of captured Pakistani militant Naveed that he sneaked into the Valley in April through the Kupwara sector, the Army said they were looking into the matter. Naveed was captured in Udhampur after carrying out an attack on a BSF convoy on Wednesday.
Indian Army rescues 400 stranded tourists from flood-hit Ladakh
Jammu: About 400 stranded tourists have been evacuated by the Army from flood-hit areas of Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir as several villages of the region were cut off from the main land.

"Army troops swiftly launched a large scale rescue and relief operations in all flood-affected areas to save precious lives," Defence Spokesman at Army's Northern Command, Col S D Goswami said.

"Heavy rains, flash floods since last month have affected large parts of Ladakh region. Inundated roads, submerged villages, damaged bridges have caused havoc during prime tourist season," he said.

The Ladakh region witnessed unprecedented heavy rains coupled with mud and rock slides resulting in sudden increase in water levels in almost all water bodies, he said.

Large stretches of roads have been washed away snapping lines of communications and a number of people were stranded, he said.

"Vital bridges near Achinathang, Biamah and Khalsar areas were also washed away which resulted in a number of villages being cut off," he said.

"In addition, 250 tourists at Upshi and 150 tourists at Khalsar were stranded," he said.

The Army units swiftly came to the rescue of the people and started restoring lines of communication on priority.

Col Goswami said that at Biamah village a crucial bridge and about 25 to 30 houses got washed away.

"Army established a relief camp in the village where food, medicines and other supplies were distributed. In addition, tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and blankets were distributed," he said.

The spokesman said,"in the Nubra valley, Khalsar village was cut off due to the bridge being washed away. A relief camp was established at Khalsar, where food, medicines were provided to the civilians".

"Army also evacuated about 400 stranded tourists from Khalsar and Upshi areas by constructing improvised crossings," he said.
Indian Army foils infiltration bid along Line of Control in Kashmir
 Two soldiers were injured in a gunfight that broke out as they foiled an infiltration bid on the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district on Saturday, a defence official said.

Earlier, an Indian army man was killed and three others were injured in an encounter with Mujahideen in the same area of the district.

The slain soldier was identified as Bashir Ahmad.

Both the LoC and global Border have witnessed the firing between Indian and Pakistani militants. The intruders fired at him, and he succumbed to his injuries.

Troops noticed a group of militants trying to?sneak into this side from across the LoC at Jumagund Nar in?Keran sector, an Army officer said.

The gun battle was going on when the last reports came in, the army official said.

Additional elite para commandos have been rushed to the site to give nailing reply to militants. According to reports, the search operation is still underway to flush out the militants, who infiltrated last night.

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