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Saturday, 16 January 2016

From Today's Papers - 16 Jan 2016

NIA to conduct Punjab SP’s lie-detector test next week
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 15

The anti-terror probe agency NIA has set into motion the legal process to get Punjab Police SP Salwinder Singh’s consent to subject him to a lie-detector test. The agency plans to conduct the test on the officer sometime next week.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said that even after several rounds of questioning for five consecutive days and also confronting him with his cook Madan Gopal and caretaker of Dargah Somraj, the officer — who is presently posted as Assistant Commandant with 75th Battalion of the Punjab Armed Police – made changes in his statements.

Salwinder Singh, shunted out barely few days before the January 1-2 terror strike as Superintendent of Police (headquarters) of Gurdaspur and facing alleged charges of breach of discipline, has given his in-principle consent for a polygraph test, sources said.

Sources said that the NIA, which has been probing the case, will move an application before a designated court here tomorrow seeking permission for conducting a polygraph test on Salwinder.

His car was hijacked by terrorists before they entered the Pathankot IAF base on the intervening night of December 31 and January 1.

Sources said that bringing the witnesses and accused face to face was necessary because of the “conflicting statements”. While Salwinder had told the Punjab Police he regularly visited the shrine, Somraj claimed that he had seen him for the first time hours before the terrorists launched the attack on the Pathankot facility.
Pak shuts JeM seminaries
To seek DNA, fingerprints of terrorists
Pakistan authorities have shut down several religious schools run by the Jaish-e-Mohammad that is accused of masterminding the Pathankot attack, the provincial Law Minister said today.
The crackdown in Punjab province, PM Nawaz Sharif's power base and the headquarters of Jaish-e-Mohammad, follows the arrest of several members of the militant group, including its leader, Maulana Masood Azhar.

Pakistan has said it is clamping down on Azhar's group, which India has long accused Pakistani authorities of tolerating, while it investigates Indian assertions that the January 2 attack on the Pathankot air base was the work of the Pakistan-based militants.

"Officials of the Counter-Terrorism Department raided the Jamiatul Nur seminary in the Daska area on Thursday and arrested more than a dozen people," Rana Sanaullah, Law Minister of the Punjab province where Jaish-e-Mohammad is headquartered, said.

"The seminary has been sealed off and documents and literature have been confiscated from the premises," Sanaullah said.

Meanwhile, the Joint Investigation Team set up by Pakistan to probe the Pathankot attack today decided to seek from India the DNA reports and fingerprints of the slain terrorists amid its keenness to expedite the probe, an official said. The team, headed by IG Rai Tahir of Punjab Counter-Terrorism Department, held a meeting to discuss the progress in probe. — Agencies
Cross-border terrorism continues to bleed J&K: 69,000 cases in 25 yrs
13,920 civilians, 4,922 security men, 21,777 terrorists killed since 1990: MHA
Arteev Sharma

Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 15
Cross-border terrorism continues to bleed Jammu and Kashmir as the state has witnessed on an average eight terror-related incidents in a day during the past 25 years.

During this period of turmoil and bloodbath, as many as 18,881 civilians and security personnel have been killed in over 69,000 terrorism-related incidents across the state since 1990, while around 21,800 terrorists have been gunned down in encounters with security forces during the period.

This information was provided by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs in response to an RTI application here.

“A total of 69,387 terrorism-related incidents have taken place in Jammu and Kashmir till December 13 last year since 1990. However, the number of terror incidents has shown a declining trend after 2002. The highest number of terrorism-related incidents was reported in 1995 when the state saw 5,938 such incidents followed by 5,829 terror incidents in 1994. Only 170 incidents, the lowest-ever in past 25 years, were witnessed in 2013,” the Union Home Ministry said.

It said a total of 13,920 civilians have fallen to the bullets of terrorists from across the border since 1990. “In 1990, 461 civilians lost their lives, while the highest number of civilians (1,341) fell to the bullets of terrorists in 1996 followed by 1,031 civilians in 1995. The civilian causalities, too, have recorded a declining trend after 2003,” it said.

After the eruption of insurgency in J&K, the Centre had to extend the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which gives sweeping powers to the armed forces to detain suspects and use force, as the Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990, in the Kashmir valley in 1990 and the Jammu region in 2001, to deal with the terror situation.

“A total of 4,922 security personnel laid down their lives while fighting terrorists during the past 25 years. Security forces suffered the maximum collateral damage in 2001 when 536 of their personnel were killed followed by 453 in 2002,” the Union Home Ministry said, adding that the collateral damaged being suffered by forces was significantly brought down in 2012 when only 15 personnel lost their lives. However, as many as 39 security personnel were killed last year till December 13.

The security forces eliminated 21,777 terrorists till December 13 last year since 1990 and the maximum number of terrorists (2,020) was gunned down in 2001 followed by 1,707 terrorists in 2002. Last year alone, 105 terrorists were gunned by security personnel in the state.
Army ready for any situation on border
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 15
The Army today said it was well-equipped, well-trained and on alert to deal with any situation on the Indo-Pak border.

Responding to media queries on the sidelines of an Army Day function here this morning, Maj Gen Sanjeev Narain, General Officer Commanding of Tiger Division, said after the Pathankot airbase terror attack and with the onset of foggy weather, the Army was well equipped, well trained and on alert to deal with any situation _on the border.

“Foggy weather and winter are an annual feature, but the Army is well trained and well equipped to deal with any of these situations,” said the General Officer Commanding of Tiger Division.

Asked if there were any intelligence inputs on intrusion bids or terror attack plans in Jammu on Republic Day, Major General Narain said the Army was alert and vigilant about the situation.

On the 68th Army Day, a ceremony was organised at Balidan Stambh and Tiger War Memorial. Wreaths were placed by Maj Gen Narain. Military bugles were sounded in consonance with the military band and added to the gaiety of the ceremony.

Army Day is celebrated on January 15 to pay homage to the valour and courage of brave soldiers who had sacrificed their lives in protecting _and upholding the territorial integrity and sanctity of the nation.
Award for Pathankot martyr
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, January 15
Lt Col Niranjan E Kumar, head of the Bomb Disposal Unit of the National Security Guards who was killed in the recent terror attack at Pathankot airbase, has been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation on the occcasion of Army Day 2016. The officer had reportedly been killed in a blast while handling a body of a terrorist that was booby trapped, during the sanitising operations. He was an officer from the Corps of Engineers and went on deputation to the NSG in 2014.

The list of commendation cards issued by the Army shows his rank as Major, but mentions his posting with the NSG. A total of 503 persons across all arms and services, including a handful of civilians, have been given commendations this year.

The list of martyrs for the past year released by the Army does not mention Lt Col Kumar’s name. 

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