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Wednesday, 4 November 2015

From Today's Papers - 04 Nov 2015

Ex-paramilitary staff raises OROP issue with MHA
Shaurya Karanbir Gurung

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, November 3
Retired paramilitary forces personnel today sought an appointment with Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi to raise their demand for one rank, one pension (OROP) and pay and allowances similar to the defence forces.

“In a letter, we today sought an appointment with Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Joint Secretary Police Division-II (the Ministry of Home Affairs division which deals with paramilitary forces) to raise our demands. They have not called us yet,” said PS Nair, National General Secretary, All India Central Paramilitary Forces Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association.

The association is spearheading the protest of retired paramilitary forces personnel to demand OROP, separate service and pension rules instead of Central Civil Services (CCS) Rules, free medical facilities, ex-servicemen status, CSD canteen facilities, exemption from the contributory pension scheme, etc.
Senior Indian Air Force Officer Removed from Charge For Allegedly Harassing Women
New Delhi:  A senior Group Captain of the Indian Air Force (IAF) posted in the crucial Eastern Command that looks at China, has been removed from his current charge for allegedly harassing two women, one of them being the wife of a fellow officer.

Sources told NDTV that IAF Headquarters received complaints from at least two women who alleged that the officer had harassed them. A court of Inquiry has been ordered.

The Officer, sources said, will not continue with his normal duties till the inquiry is over and been has attached to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

The accused officer was also decorated recently.

This is not first time allegations of harassment have been made against serving officers. The forces have a zero tolerance policy in dealing with cases of harassment and misbehavior. And, in the past officers have been sacked and in some cases even jailed for such offences.

Ceasefire violation part of infiltration plan before snowfall: Indian Army
There were intelligence inputs that around 300 militants were waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate at various launchpads, said an official

Army today said the ceasefire violation along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir, which left two soldiers dead, was part of militants' plan to infiltrate into the Valley before the natural passes are closed by snowfall.

"It (ceasefire violation) seems to be an attempt to infiltrate more terrorists before the snowfall along the LoC," General Officer Commanding of the Army's 15 Corps Lt Gen S K Dua told reporters here.

He said there were intelligence inputs that around 300 militants were waiting for an opportunity to infiltrate at various launchpads on the other side of the LoC.

"There is increased pressure on them to infiltrate before the winter. Sometimes they just cross the LoC, open fire and then go back," the army officer said.

He said the infiltration from across the LoC was "next to nil" this year so far and the anti-infiltration grid was fully prepared to keep it that way.

"There has been not let off in the intent (to infiltrate) but the robust anti-infiltration grid has ensured that the attempts are foiled," Lt Gen Dua said.

Asked about the ceasefire violation in Gurez as it was not a traditional infiltration route, the army officer said, "They might have changed the tactics. The grid is coordinated and we are ready to take on the challenge."

On the killing of dreaded Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Abu Qasim last week, he said it was a major success for the security forces and would definitely dent the operational capabilities of the outfit.

In response to a query, Lt Gen Dua said if the Lashkar militants tried to stage retaliatory attacks, it would lead to more elimination of militants.

"We are prepared to deal with it," he added.
Bangladesh important IS target, says former Indian army general

Lt General Syed Ata Hasnain, however, did not see any ‘big’ IS presence in the region, including in Bangladesh, at present.

“At the moment it is restricting itself and not expanding in rapid-fire. It is looking for surrogates,” Hasnain, who commanded the Indian army in Kashmir and served as the military secretary in his much-decorated career, said in Dhaka.

He was delivering a lecture on Tuesday at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) on the challenges facing counter-terrorism in South Asia.

His comment on the IS came in the wake of the radical group claiming that it killed two foreigners in Bangladesh and hurled bombs on a Ashura rally preparation of the Shia Muslims that left at least two dead.

The government has dismissed those claims, but the US says they should be taken seriously.

Hasnain, however, said it was up to the Bangladesh agencies to find out whether IS was involved or not, when asked.

He said events in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan “may be the ‘feelers’ to see how [it] can be done here, if it has to be done at all”.

“A lot of people are raising Islamic State flags in Kashmir that is bull-shit. Those are all symbolic acts.”

But he said Bangladesh could be an “important” target in South Asia because of the “density of Muslim population” and its geographical location connecting South East Asia.

“If caliphate has to be successful, they have to look at the larger segment of territory. South Asia has a larger density of Muslim population. But in India Muslims live in pockets. Pakistan has concentrated Muslims as it is an Islamic republic.

“Bangladesh has a larger density and this is why Bangladesh is important in a larger game of expanding the so called caliphate movement,” he said.

But he added that secularism was Bangladesh’s biggest strength and, hence, it was “not as vulnerable as Pakistan”.

Hasnain suggested addressing the issue of “ideology”, which he said was one of the three things needed to trigger terrorism.

The other two, in his opinion, were leadership and finance.

“That’s (idealism) what our concern is today in South Asia. It’s a major concern in Bangladesh and India. We’re all worried about all aspects of radicalisation,” he said.

Senior military officers including Principal Staff Officer to the Armed Forces Division Lt General Md Moinul Islam, diplomats of different embassies, former Bangladesh diplomats, officials, academia and journalists were present at the lecture.
Pakistan-Based Ring Hacks Phones of Indian Army Personnel: Report
A private consortium has claimed that phones of Army personnel, who had downloaded some mobile application related to news, had been compromised by hackers based in Pakistan.

However, Information and Technology department denied any such reports saying that nothing of this had come before them.

"Last year cyber-security researchers at Indian Infosec Consortium (IIC) discovered that large number of Indian defence personal were being targeted by malwares and viruses posing as defence news websites and mobile apps.

"The espionage ring was found to be operated by actors based out of Pakistan," the website of Ground Zero Summit 2015 said.

When contacted the speaker on the subject, IIC CEO Jiten Jain said that based on the code analysis of news mobile applications and websites it was discovered that the operation was running at least over a period of last three years.

"Thousands of mobile phones were affected by these applications. The details were handed over to security agencies about six months ago which promptly sprung in to action and sanitised the affected phones and systems," Jain said.

However, Director General CERT-IN (Computer Emergency Response Team-India) B J Srinath said he was not aware of any such report. "At least I am yet to come across any such report so far," he said.

According to the Consortium, which is a group of ethical hackers who came under one umbrella after the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, Pakistan intelligence agencies were able to capture all communication made by officials from their mobile phone like calls and SMS, handling of cameras and videos of the mobile phone remotely without the knowledge of the owner.

Jain said he will be submitting the details of his findings during the forthcoming Ground Zero Summit, a conference of ethical hackers and cyber-security expert, on November 5 to make people aware about possible danger from mobile applications.

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