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Wednesday, 30 December 2015

From Today's Papers - 30 Dec 2015
New book reveals how Indian Army took enemy by surprise in Kargil
NEW DELHI: It was the speed and spontaneity with which the Indian Army launched its attacks that took the enemy by surprise, leading to their victory in the 1999 Kargil war, says Lieutenant General Mohinder Puri. He headed the 8 Mountain Division.

Gripping accounts of valour and fortitude from the battle front of the war between India and Pakistan have been recollected in a new book penned by Puri.

The book titled 'Kargil: Turning the Tide', which was launched here on Monday evening, is a first-hand narrative of the operations of 8 Mountain Division, which was tasked to evict the enemy from the Drass-Mushkoh Sector during 'Operation Vijay'.
"We surprised the enemy with the speed and ferocity of our movement. It was the speed with which we conducted the operations and took them totally by surprise, this was one of the reasons why we succeeded in evicting the enemy," he said.

Recounting one such incident, the then Major-General Puri said how after several failed attempts to capture the pivotal Tololing peak, he had asked his men to attack again the next evening, but by the time he reached his headquarters, India had already conquered the strategic feature.
The Tololing, a dominant position overlooking Srinagar- Leh Highway (NH-1D), was so strategic that after it was conquered it was only a matter of six days for Indian troops to notch up a string of successes by evicting well-entrenched intruders in four nearby outposts.

He said, Colonel MB Ravindranath, Commanding Officer of the 2 Rajputana Rifles, radioed him, camping some 20-km away and said in a terse message, "Sir, I'm on Tololing top."

"After I was informed that we have not been able to capture Tololing, I just asked them to consolidate and in the evening I said, 'have a go.' By the time I reached the headquarters, I was told that we have captured Tololing.
"I spoke to Ravi and when I asked him what had happened he said he just saw a window of opportunity and there he launched the attack and captured the feature which was until then with the enemy," Puri said.

Puri's division was responsible for spearheading the Army's offensive in the Kargil sector which restored the sanctity of the Line of Control by capturing Tololing, Tiger Hill and Point 4875.
General (retd) VP Malik, who himself has authored a book titled "Kargil - From Surprise To Victory" in 2006 on the same subject inaugurated the event at Manekshaw Centre here.

"Lots of books have been written about the Kargil War and most of them are hearsay. There are only two authentic books I can mention, one is General Puri's and I will take credit for the second one.

"While I have dealt with the war at a macro level, General Puri's book talks about the several battles fought. After all, there is no war without these battles," Malik said.
Rape In India: Army Personnel Allegedly Gang-Rape 14-Year-Old Girl In Moving Train

Indian Army personnel allegedly gang-raped a 14-year-old girl Monday in a moving train in the eastern state of Jharkhand, according to local reports. Police in Jharkhand reportedly detained one of the men and said the other two would be arrested soon.

The girl ran away from her home Sunday and was travelling alone on a train bound for the town of Amritsar, in the northwestern state of Punjab. Her family alerted police of her disappearance, who informed railway authorities. The officials identified the girl -- who was seen boarding a traincar reserved for troops -- on surveillance camera footage, the Times of India reported.

Railway police rescued the girl, who later said in a complaint that one of the soldiers offered her liquor and two others raped her after she was drunk. The man who offered the girl liquor was arrested and the other two were absconding, DNA newspaper reported. The girl was scheduled to undergo a medical test to confirm the rape allegations.

"Prima facie, it seems the allegations are correct. We have identified the two accused and interrogation of the arrested person is likely to provide further leads. It seems that the crime occurred soon after the train left Howrah," Asim Vikrant Minj, Dhanbad city superintendent of railway police, reportedly said.

In recent months, women's safety in India has become a national debate following a series of violent rapes that received massive media coverage. And, earlier this month, the country's judicial system was in the spotlight after the Supreme Court ordered a man, who was among several people convicted of a violent rape on a moving bus in New Delhi in December 2012, was to be released after he served time in a juvenile detention facility.
PSU beats Anil's Defence

New Delhi, Dec. 29: In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's showpiece "Make in India" project to be opened this Sunday, a public sector firm has beaten Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence that was lobbying to make Russian helicopters.

Moscow announced last night that the Russian state arms export agency, Rosoboronexport, and the chopper-maker, Rostec, have chosen the Indian defence undertaking Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) to make the Kamov 226t "Sergei" light utility helicopters for the military.

India's army and air force have a requirement of 200 such reconnaissance and surveillance helicopters immediately to replace the Cheetah and Chetak machines that currently undertake the task. The initial order is estimated to be worth $1 billion.

Most of the Cheetah and Chetak helicopters are more than 40 years old and have a high rate of accidents. Earlier this year, the wives and widows of military officers who fly/have flown the Cheetahs and Chetaks urged the government to replace them.

The total order for Sergeis could go up to 400 with the navy also projecting the requirement.

The process of replacement has taken more than 10 years. The Prime Minister, who returned from Russia last week, is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of a HAL facility to make helicopters at Tumkur, 100km from Bangalore, this Sunday.

"The agreement with India is the result of the long work with our Indian partners," the CEO of Rostec, Sergei Chemezov, said in a statement distributed by Russian news agencies.

An Indian government source said "the Russians chose HAL".

Ambani's Reliance Defence has announced plans to make fighter planes, warships and submarines for India's military. Ambani was part of a delegation of corporate leaders who were in Moscow last week during Modi's visit.

Foreign ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted during the Moscow visit that this would be the first "Make in India" project.

The Russian statement said: "This is the first Russian-Indian high-tech project, implemented by the Indian government within the framework of the 'Make in India' programme."

In choosing HAL, the Russians have selected the only company in the country that can show infrastructure and partnership experience to build aircraft. HAL has been partnering with Russia to build aircraft for decades from Russian semi and completely knocked-down kits. It is currently turning out Sukhoi fighter aircraft for a price that is considerably higher than their off-the-shelf cost, government auditors have pointed out.

The defence ministry has in the past thrice scrapped a global tender for light utility helicopters on charges of corruption. In May this year, the Defence Acquisitions Council chaired by Manohar Parrikar accepted the necessity of acquiring the Sergeis for the armed forces.

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