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Saturday, 15 August 2015

From Today's Papers - 15 Aug 2015



























http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/govt-cong-in-war-over-orop-as-cops-manhandle-veterans/120103.html
Govt, Cong in war over OROP as cops ‘manhandle’ veterans
Ajay Banerjee &Shaurya Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi/Dehradun, August 14
A high-pitched drama was witnessed at Jantar Mantar today as ex-servicemen demanding implementation of “one rank, one pension” (OROP) resisted eviction attempts by the Delhi Police, a move that sparked a fresh war of words between the government and the Congress.

The ex-servicemen accused the policemen of manhandling and pushing them around. The eviction drive, started following “security concerns” ahead of I-Day, was called off following the government’s intervention as soon as the heated exchanges and jostling between the retired soldiers and the policemen were beamed live on television channels.

Some help is also learnt to have come from Union Minister Gen VK Singh (retd), who contacted the Home Ministry after being approached by the protesting soldiers.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said some technical discrepancies were holding back the scheme. “We will implement OROP. There are technical disparities but we are bound by our assurance and we will comply by it,” Parrikar said at a press conference in Dehradun. Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Col Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (retd) said an announcement may be made soon.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi was quick to join the veterans at Jantar Mantar. A section of the protesters welcomed him with a cap having ‘OROP’ embossed on it, a small group of the veterans booed him with “Rahul go back” slogans.

Rahul stayed at the venue for around 10 minutes and questioned the “veracity” of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The reality is that our Prime Minister makes promises very easily, but he fails to fulfil them,” he said.

On the technicalities cited by the government for not implementing the scheme, he said these should have been considered before the promise was made. “It is a very simple matter… The PM made a promise over OROP and now he just has to say one line -- I will get this work done by this date,” he said.

Rahul said "the PM had promised his corporate friends that he would get them the land Bill approved, but that did not happen. “Similarly, he had promised to implement OROP, but it too has not materialised,” he said.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too asked Modi to implement the scheme.

One of those manhandled was a 75-year-old retired soldier from Panipat, who has served in the Grenadiers Regiment in the 1962, 1965 and 1971 wars.

The police action became a rage on the social media with several retired veterans questioning the continuation of Gen VK Singh (retd) and Col Rathore (retd) in the Modi cabinet.

An Army veteran, Maj Gen Satbir Singh (retd), termed the manhandling as a “sad day” for the soldiers. He said “never should the police have been allowed to touch the military--the protectors of the nation”. He alleged his repeated messages and calls to Delhi Police Commissioner BS Bassi went unanswered.

Bassi, for his part, said there was no issue with the ex-servicemen sitting peacefully at Jantar Mantar. “The municipal staff had come to remove encroachments and we were assisting them,” he added.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/coast-guard-dig-to-face-court-martial/120136.html
Coast Guard DIG to face court martial
New Delhi, August 14
Coast Guard DIG BK Loshali, who had contradicted government’s version of events in connection with the interception of a Pakistani boat in January, will face court martial proceedings from September after being indicted by a Board of Inquiry (BoI).

The BoI was instituted in February after the Coast Guard found Loshali’s reply to the show-cause notice issued to him “unsatisfactory”. The notice was issued to him over remarks that he had ordered the Pakistani boat to be blown up off the Porbandar coast.

The Board had submitted its report to the Coast Guard headquarters in April-end after which it was studied at various levels. “The BoI had called for strict action. The general court martial proceedings against Loshali will start in September,” a defence source said.

Asked about the content of the report, sources said unedited video showed that Loshali did make the assertion that he had ordered the boat to be blown up, contrary to the denial he made later.

They added “suitable action will be taken” and that he will face strict action. Loshali had contradicted the government’s claim that the crew of the intruding Pakistani boat had themselves set the vessel ablaze, leading to an explosion that caused the vessel to sink.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the Coast Guard have consistently maintained the occupants of the boat had “self-destructed” after being chased by Coast Guard ships on December 31 night. — PTI

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/no-change-in-stance-on-india-s-claim-us-envoy/120101.html
No change in stance on India’s claim: US envoy
New Delhi, August 14
The United States today denied it is opposing India a permanent seat in the expanded United Nations Security Council (UNSC) expressing surprise at recent reports stating Washington is against it.

“The US is open to limited expansion [of UNSC],” said US Ambassador to India Richard Verma at an event here. Reaffirming the strong position by his country, the US envoy added America had always supported India as a permanent member explicitly.

Responding to a question on the subject in the light of recent report that US, China and Russia have opposed the move for any reform of the UNSC, Ambassador Verma said there was no change in the stand articulated by President Barack Obama in Parliament during 2010 visit and reiterated when he came to India this January. — TNS

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/pak-wants-normal-cooperative-relations-with-india-says-basit/120099.html
Pak wants normal, cooperative relations with India, says Basit
KV Prasad

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
Pakistan on Friday emphasised it stands for “normal and cooperative relationship” with India for which it is necessary to settle all outstanding issues, especially Kashmir.

“Pakistan had always wanted to have a normal and cooperative relationship with India. To this end, it was necessary to settle all outstanding issues, particularly the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. Aspirations of the people of J&K could neither be ignored nor put on the back burner. No matter how much more time does their legitimate struggle take, Pakistan will never abandon Kashmiris and their cause,” Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit said here addressing a gathering at the High Commission on the occasion of its Independence Day.

The envoy’s statement came on a day when Islamabad summoned Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh and lodged a protest over the decision not to contest the conditional bail to Swami Assemanand, chargesheeted in connection with the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast that killed 68 people. The Foreign Office said the Deputy High Commissioner met the Director General (SA& SAARC), who lodged a protest against the decision of the National Investigation Agency to not oppose the bail granted to Aseemanand on “Special Leave Permission”.

“The Pakistan Government has serious reservations on the efficiency of the Court in processing and disposal of cases regarding terrorism, especially those involving deaths of Pakistani citizens,” the Foreign Office statement said.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/8-troops-who-fought-naga-rebels-to-be-awarded/120109.html
8 troops who fought Naga rebels to be awarded
Naval Commanding Officers at Yemen also on list
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 14
President Pranab Mukherjee has approved 67 gallantry awards to Armed Forces personnel and members of paramilitary forces on the eve of I-Day.

Eight of the Indian Army Para Commandos, who were part of the raid on Naga-rebel held areas in Myanmar in retaliatory strike on June 10, have been chosen for gallantry medals by the Ministry of Defence.

The MoD released the list tonight and among those awarded for gallantry are the Commanding Officers of Indian Naval warships INS Sumitra, INS Mumbai and INS Tarkash that carried out the rescue of Indian and foreign nationals from strife-torn Yemen by virtually “sailing into a barrage of bombs”.

An Indian Air Force pilot, who carried out the daring rescue of a CRPF contingent which was under fire from fully armed Naxals, is also on the list.

Lt Col Nector Sanjeenbam of the 21 Parachute Regiment (special forces) will be awarded the Kirti Chakra, the country’s second highest peacetime gallantry award, while Havildar Tanka Kumar Limbu of the same regiment will be awarded the Shaurya Chakra — the third highest peacetime gallantry award.

Five others of the same regiment have been chosen for the Sena Medal for gallantry. They are: Major Prashant Yadav, Lt Krishan Kant, Havildar Raj Bahadur Tamang, Havildar Chanar Singh, Naik Manoj Kumar and Naik Bhupinder Singh. They all were part of the retaliation launched against NSCN (K) rebels, who had killed 20 Armymen in an attack on June 4 in Manipur.

In all, two Kirti Chakras will be awarded — both to the Army. A total of 10 Shaurya Chakras will be awarded, including five to the Army, one each to the IAF, the Navy and the CRPF and two to the J&K Police.

Besides, 49 Sena Medals for gallantry have been announced for the Army, two Nao Sena Medals for gallantry to the Navy and three Vayu Sena Medals for gallantry for the IAF.

In the Navy, Commander Mohan Milind Mokashi, who led the INS Sumitra into the port of Aden on the night of March 31 despite armed Houthi rebels patrolling the harbour in boats, has been selected for the Shaurya Chakra. He carried out five evacuations from Aden, Ash Shihr and Al Hodeidah.

Besides, Captain Rajesh Dhankhar, Commanding Officer INS Mumbai, and Captain Pradeep Singh, Commanding Officer, INS Tarkash, will be awarded the Nao Sena Medal.

In the IAF, Wing Commander Sandeep Singh will be awarded the Shaurya Chakra for evacuating 22 CRPF casualties, including five with serious injuries, in Chattisgarh, despite being under heavy fire from Naxals. The operation was carried in almost darkness and under tense and trying circumstances in November last year.

A Vayu Sena medal will be conferred on Flight Lt Gandikota Jagan Mohan for executing a tricky supply mission in September last year when he was tasked to airdrop supplies to Indian Army soldiers holding on to “Point 4991” during a stand with the Chinese at Chumar in southeastern Ladakh.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/news/jammu-kashmir/poonch-comes-under-pak-fire/119976.html
Poonch comes under Pak fire
Ravi Krishnan Khajuria

Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 14
Even on their Independence Day, Pakistani troops violated the truce deal and pounded posts and forward villages along the Line of Control with 82 mm mortars in the Sabzian and Shahpur Kerni sectors of Poonch district today.

“Around 7.30 am on Friday, Pakistani troops started firing at Indian posts and villages in the Keri sector and about 10 am they started firing 61mm and 82 mm mortars drawing Indian troops into the gunfight,” said an Intelligence source.

Heavy exchanges between the two sides went on through the day and stopped around 6 pm, he added.

“In the Sabzian sector, Pakistan targeted a 10-km stretch opening medium machine gun fire around 11.15 am and the exchange of fire lasted till 2 pm,” he added

A local said some panic-stricken villagers from the forward villages of the Sabzian and Shahpur Kerni sectors migrated to Poonch town.

“The Army had stopped civilian movement from the Gali Maidan area in the Sabzian sector because of the intense shelling. Pakistan has been shelling and firing constantly at us for the past five days,” he said.

“The Pakistani Army is continuously resorting to ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. Last night, Pakistani troops opened fire intermittently over about two and a half hours in the Poonch and BG (Bhimber Gali) _sectors,” said defence spokesperson Lt Col _Manish Mehta.

“Our troops retaliated appropriately. While the damage and casualties on the enemy side are still being ascertained, _no injury due to Pakistani firing or damage has been reported on our side _till reports last came in,” he added.

There have been 30 violations of ceasefire deal in August this year.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/politicians-clear-their-own-raises-in-days-point-out-army-veterans-1207384?utm_source=ndtv&utm_medium=top-stories-widget&utm_campaign=story-3-
http%3a%2f%2fwww.ndtv.com%2findia-news%2fpoliticians-clear-their-own-raises-in-days-point-out-army-veterans-1207384
Politicians Clear Their Own Raises in Days, Point Out Army Veterans
On a muggy day in Delhi, an 70-year-old man stood in the midst of a whorl of cameras and reporters that scrummed around him. For 30 years, he served in the Indian Navy, retiring as commander. The nation has a strange way of acknowledging his contribution, he said. "These politicians take 3 days to increase their salaries. But they can't increase our pension by 80 rupees a day? We can't understand this," said Commander (Retd) RN Anand.

For two months, a group of 50 retired army officers, most of them well above the age of 70, some of them wearing their medals pinned to their chests, have spent their days and nights in two crowded tents at Delhi's Jantar Mantar. What they want is the government to assent to One Rank One Pension (OROP) - a long-sought policy that would entitle all army officers and soldiers of the same rank to equal pension. Currently, an officer who retired many years ago collects far less than a junior who has completed service more recently.

Sources say that the government and the military community remain unreconciled on even the most basic issues of difference - like which year should form the basis of deciding the pay-out rate.

The Prime Minister in his election campaign had pledged to resolve the controversy. But sources say if at all he refers to it in his Red Fort speech tomorrow, crucial details will be absent. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar was vague today as he said a solution would be found "during this government's tenure".

The previous Congress-led government  has been much criticised for displaying a lack of political will in finding a solution that indicates the country respects the enormous sacrifice of soldiers.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/keeping-war-machinery-in-readiness-an-imperative-defence-minister-manohar-parrikar-1207485
Keeping War Machinery in Readiness an Imperative: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar
New Delhi:  Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that keeping the war machinery in readiness and to be able to mobilise troops to forward positions at short notice is an imperative to prevent any misadventure from across the borders.

In his first broadcast to armed forces personnel over All India Radio on the eve of India's 69th Independence Day, Mr Parrikar said there is a need to constantly upgrade and modernise the weapon systems and equipment.

The government is well aware of the need to maintain all-round vigil on the nation's borders and to prevent any misadventure from across the borders, he said in the pre-recorded address.

"Therefore, keeping our war machinery in readiness and to be able to mobilise troops to forward positions at short notice is imperative. At the same time, there is the need to constantly upgrade and modernise the weapon systems and equipment.

"We have taken a number of steps to equip our forces with the best of the arms currently available and are constantly striving to make most of them indigenously. Since taking over, our government has so far sanctioned acquisition proposals worth over 1,60,000 crore rupees," he said.

The Minister said that over eight hundred 155mm mounted artillery guns for Indian Army worth nearly 16 thousand crore rupees are also being acquired and more ammunition purchased to enhance the fire-power.

He said the contract negotiations are also underway for procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft from France, to provide a major boost to IAF's operational capability.

The recent undocking of India's indigenous aircraft carrier in-the-making, INS Vikrant, and the first of Scorpene submarines are important landmarks of our endeavour to build a Blue Water Navy, he said.

Commissioning of a number of marine police stations, naval bases including INS Sardar Patel and establishment of a new Coast Guard Air Enclave at Bhubaneswar will strengthen the coastal security of the country, he added.

The government is taking measures to equip the Navy with the state-of-the-art warships, submarines and naval helicopters.

Mr Parrikar complimeted army personnel for the "daring" raid along the India-Myanmar border and repulsing ceasefire violations at the LoC by Pakistan.

Mr Parrikar stressed government was committed to welfare of the ex-servicemen and One Rank One Pension.

Mr Parrikar said that since he took over the reins of Defence Ministry in November last year, it has been his constant endeavour to work towards the welfare and well-being of serving and ex-servicemen.

Various welfare measures pertaining to pension including broadbanding, ex-gratia compensation and OROP are receiving highest priority of the government, he said.

Considering the hardships and agony of long separations of jawans from their families when serving in forward and high altitude areas, he said the Ministry is working on the Married Accommodation Project to provide nearly 2.7 lakh dwelling units for the married personnel near their places of posting.

"As I speak to you, my thoughts are with the near and dear ones of all those who laid down their lives for the protection of our nation. You are performing the task of protecting the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity as also defending the motherland from the destructive designs of anti-national forces," he said in his address.

He said that the whole nation was in full admiration of the daring operation against the insurgents which was undertaken very creditably along the Indo-Myanmar border.

"I compliment the Special Forces for undertaking this surgical strike smoothly and without any casualty on our side.

You have also successfully and effectively repulsed all ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir from across the border and attempts of terrorists to infiltrate into the country," he said.
 

http://www.oneindia.com/india/no-dates-for-orop-implementation-in-parrikar-s-address-1838494.html
No dates for OROP implementation in Parrikar’s address

Read more at:
http://www.oneindia.com/india/no-dates-for-orop-implementation-in-parrikar-s-address-1838494.html

New Delhi, Aug 14: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar's customary broadcast to the armed forces personnel on All India Radio on the eve of the 69th Independence Day, had only one passing mention of the burning issue of One Rank, One Pension (OROP). He also did not commit on any deadline by which the OROP will be implemented. He said ever since he took over the reins of the Ministry of Defence in November last year, he was working towards the well-being of serving and ex-servicemen.

Read more at:
http://www.oneindia.com/india/no-dates-for-orop-implementation-in-parrikar-s-address-1838494.html

"Various welfare measures pertaining to pension including broadbanding, ex-gratia compensation and OROP are receiving highest priority of the government," Parrikar said. This was the only mention about OROP in his address.

Read more at:
http://www.oneindia.com/india/no-dates-for-orop-implementation-in-parrikar-s-address-1838494.html

"My thoughts are with the near and dear ones of all those who laid down their lives for the protection of our nation. You are performing the task of protecting the nation's sovereignty and territorial integrity as also defending the motherland from the destructive designs of anti-national forces," Parrikar said. Praise for the Special Forces He praised the efforts of the Special Forces team that undertook surgical strikes against the insurgents along the Indo-Myanmar border. "I compliment the Special Forces for undertaking this surgical strike smoothly and without any casualty on our side. You have also successfully and effectively repulsed all ceasefire violations in Jammu & Kashmir from across the border and attempts of terrorists to infiltrate into the country," the minister said. He expressed his concern over the huge number of cases on Service matters pending in different courts of the country including different benches of Armed Forces Tribunals. "I personally feel that redressal of your grievances should be expeditiously looked into, so that you give full concentration to your duties. We have recently formed a high-level panel to suggest necessary steps to lessen the number of such cases in courts. Once its recommendations are received, we will take corrective measures," he said. He said taking into account the hardships and agony of long separations of jawans from their families when posted in forward and high altitude areas, the government is working on the Married Accommodation Project. "Over 2.7 lakh dwelling units for the married personnel near their places of posting will be constructed," the minister added. Other highlights of the address * Under Digital India Project, a special software system ARPAN or Army Record Officers Process Automation launched recently. * ARPAN to enable more than 12 lakh junior commissioned officers and jawans of Indian Army to access their service records and employment details online. * NDA government has so far sanctioned acquisition proposals worth over Rs 1,60,000 crore. * Over 800 155mm mounted artillery guns for the Indian Army being acquired. * Indigenously designed, developed and produced Akash Air Defence missile system formally handed over to the Indian Air Force. * The contract negotiations are also underway for procurement of 36 Rafale aircraft from France. * Undocking INS Vikrant and the first of Scorpene submarines important landmarks of our endeavour to build a Blue Water Navy.

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