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Sunday, 31 January 2016

From Today's Papers - 31 Jan 2016

Former Army Chief Gen Rao passes away
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 30
Former Army Chief Major General KV Krishna Rao, who played a key role in the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, died today in New Delhi. He was 92. During the 1971 war, General Rao, who was heading the 8 mountain division then, and Lt Gen Sagat Singh, who was leading the 4 Corps, launched the first-ever helicopter-borne launch of troops in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.

*Obituary: He put down insurgency in Northeast, J-K

For the job, General Rao had handpicked troops of the 4/5 Gorkha Rifles (the battalion of the current Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag). On December 6, General Rao’s division was tasked to capture Sylhet in the north-eastern part of that country. Six brigades of the Pakistan Army had fortified the town. The plan to send its own troops onboard helicopters was audacious. However, in a 12-hour operation using Mi-4 helicopters of the Indian Air Force, a full brigade of the Army had been moved across the Surma river. The troops had held back Pakistanis who were forced to surrender and that move allowed the other Indian troops to capture Dacca, the then name of Dhaka, from the eastern flank.

During his tenure as the Army Chief from June 1, 1981, to July 1983, General Rao conceptualised to fortify defences in Arunachal Pradesh fearing Chinese incursions, a plan that was finally put in place under “Operation Falcon” in 1986 by General K Sundarji.

General Rao was commissioned into the Army in August 1942. He had served in Burma, North West Frontier and Baluchistan during the Second World War. He was Chairman of the expert committee constituted by the government on Re-organisation and Modernisation for Defence of the country. He was the Western Army Commander during 1979-81.

He was appointed the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir in 1989, when a proxy war developed in the state and reached its peak. Barring a three-year break, he was the Jammu and Kashmir Governor till May 1998. In this capacity, he was instrumental in restoring peace and democracy in the insurgency-riven state.

In a condolence message, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said: “The country has lost one of its best known military leaders.” Army Chief General Suhag also expressed deep condolences on General Rao’s demise.
Pathankot probe report to be out soon, says Pakistan PM
Lahore, January 30
Pakistan will soon complete its investigation into the Pathankot terror attack and make it public, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said today.

The attack had had a negative impact and disturbed the talks with India which were “going in the right direction” after the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, he said.

“The investigation into the Pathankot incident is under way and we will make its findings public soon,” he said while talking to mediapersons here. “Whatever facts come out we will bring them forth before everyone,” he said. Sharif vowed that Pakistan would go to any length to uncover the alleged use of its soil in the January 2 attack on the air base in Pathankot by suspected Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists. “It is our responsibility to uncover if our soil was used in the attack. We will do this and the ongoing investigations will soon be completed,” he said.

The terrorists were being defeated and in desperation, they were carrying out isolated acts to make their presence felt, he said, adding that the remaining ones will also be eliminated.

Meanwhile, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said none of the “suspects” arrested in connection with the attack had been charged. “The investigation team is probing the matter and its findings will be made public,” Sanaullah told mediapersons.

On whether any link of JeM has been established, he said: “The investigation team is also probing this.”

Sharif had formed a six-member committee headed by Additional Inspector General of Punjab’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) to investigate the attack in which seven security personnel were killed. — PTI
Two more militants killed in Kupwara gunfight
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, January 30
Two more militants were killed in a gunfight in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Saturday taking the toll to three.

A commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, Abu Usama, was killed in the gunfight on late Friday evening when the Army and Special Operation Group of the J&K Police launched an operation in the Lolab area of Kupwara, some 120 km from here.

The security forces maintained a tight cordon at a mohalla for the whole night and this morning when the searches resumed a fresh contact was established with the militants who were hiding in house.

“An operation was later launched and two hiding militants were killed in the gunfight,” sources said, adding that the house where militants were hiding was damaged in the gunfight. Two rifles were also recovered from the encounter site.

The identity of the two militants killed today is being established. However, the sources said the two were associated with the Lashkar. The search operation is still underway in the village.

Lashkar commander Abu Usama, a foreign militant who is believed to have infiltrated last year, was killed on Friday night.

Clashes broke out in the area earlier in the day when news spread that a militant had got killed late last night.
Indian Army provides schooling to over 570 J&K students
The Army Goodwill Public School has a total of 577 students studying from class 6th to class 12th, which include 64 students from Below Poverty Line (BPL) and are completely sponsored by the Army as part of its campaign, to integrate the future generation of the state through education
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Over 570 students belonging to remote areas of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir are provided quality schooling by the army to integrate the future generation in the state through education, an official said today.

“The Army Goodwill Public School has a total of 577 students studying from class 6th to class 12th, which include 64 students from Below Poverty Line (BPL) and are completely sponsored by the Army as part of its campaign, to integrate the future generation of the state through education,” Jammu-based defence spokesman Lt Col Manish Mehta said.

The school was started in 2007 and is run by the 25 Division of the army. It is a premier CBSE-affiliated educational institute in Rajouri district catering for quality education and needs of the children of the border areas, he said.

The school has achieved excellent results in the academic year 2014-15, where nine students accorded a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of 10 in class 10th board exams with 36 students scoring above 70 per cent marks in the examination, he said.

“In co-curricular activities, the school has won almost all major events in Rajouri town including debate and quiz competitions and various other sports activities,” Lt Col Mehta said.

He said the school is equipped with the start-of-the-art infrastructure, including well-equipped computer, science laboratory and an indoor 10-meter air rifle range, which is one of a kind in the entire district and has also produced a national level shooting champion.

“The school is much sought after in Rajouri and adjoining towns. It stands as an epitome of the Army’s dedication towards the betterment of local population through creating an environment of academic excellence,” he said.
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