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Sunday, 3 April 2016

From Today's Papers - 03 Apr 2016

First battalion of Indian Gorkhas is born
Comprises only Indian domiciles instead of Nepalese troops as in other Gorkha units of Army
Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 2
The Army has turned over a new leaf by raising a new Gorkha battalion comprising entirely of Gorkha troops of Indian domicile. Traditionally, the majority of troops in Gorkha regiments belong to Nepal.

This is the first Gorkha battalion to have come up in 50 years. The new battalion, the Sixth Battalion of the First Gorkha Rifles (6/1GR), christened “Kanchi Paltan”, has been raised at Sabathu in the Shivalik foothills near Shimla, that houses the 14 Gorkha Training Centre.

In 1815, the British had raised the first Gorkha battalion, 1/1 GR, from the remnants of General Amar Singh Thapa’s forces following the Gurkha War fought between the Gorkha kings of Nepal and British East India Company.

Col Avaneesh Chambial is the battalion’s first Commanding Officer. The recruits for the battalion had been undergoing training at the centre for the past nine months and the battalion’s regimental flag was unfurled by the Colonel of the First Gorkha Rifles, Lt Gen Ravi Thogde, at a ceremonial parade on Friday.

The Army has several Gorkha regiments — 1GR, 3GR, 4GR, 5GR, 8GR, 9GR and 11 GR. The stipulated ratio of composition of these regiments between Nepalese and Indian domicile Gorkhas is about 70:30. In some units it is 60:40.

The Army’s plans are that each Gorkha regiment will raise an additional battalion in due course as part of the approved force accretions and the ongoing organisational restructuring.

A senior officer said more Gorkhas of Indian domicile i.e. those settled in the hilly regions of northern India and the North-East and even other parts of the country would be recruited and Gorkha regiments were envisioned to have a pan-India footprint. The minimum educational qualification for Gorkha troops was also being raised from matriculation to Class XII.

Three years ago, the Army had raised the Sikkim Scouts comprising locally recruited youth from the state for deployment in the border regions. The unit has been affiliated with 11 GR.
Azhar doesn’t qualify as terrorist:_China
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 2
India and China were at loggerheads today after Beijing supported Pakistan by using a “technical hold” to prevent the Pathankot attack mastermind Masood Azhar from being designated a terrorist by the United Nations. While India, without naming any country, expressed disappointment over the move, China justified it by saying Azhar was not a terrorist.

India said: “We find it incomprehensible that while the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) was listed in the UN Security Council Committee established under a UN Security Council Resolution as far back as 2001 for its well-known terror activities and links to the al-Qaida, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.”

The statement went on to state that the recent terror attack in Pathankot showed that “India continues to bear the dangerous consequences of not listing Masood Azhar”.

China, however, defended its actions saying Azhar’s case did not meet the requirements needed to blacklist him.
Pak Says India Failed To Prove Pathankot Terrorists Were Pakistanis: Report
The team of Pakistani investigators, who visited India to probe the Pathankot attack, today said the Indian authorities failed to provide evidence to prove the air base was attacked by terrorists from Pakistan.

The team was allowed to enter the military air base from the narrow adjacent routes instead of the main entrance and the duration of its visit was just 55 minutes. This was just enough for a mere walk through the military facility, Pakistan media quoting sources close to the Joint Investigation Team said.

National Investigation Agency officials had briefed and accompanied the Pakistani team into the Pathankot air base on March 29. The team was also showed the route taken by the terrorists to enter the base.

Pakistani investigators said they could not collect evidence in this limited time, the news report said quoting sources.

The JIT returned yesterday after its five-day visit to India during which all evidence pertaining to the attack was shared with it. This included the DNA samples of four terrorists, their identities as well as call records showing involvement of Jaish-e-Mohammad or JeM terrorists.

Seven security personnel were killed in a gun battle with four terrorists that lasted for over 80 hours at the Pathankot air base on the night of January 1.
‘Giving land to Indian army in Ladakh aimed at strengthening military occupation’
SRINAGAR: Reacting to the reports of Jammu and Kashmir government’s handing over five lakh kanals land to Indian army in Ladakh, Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF), Muhammad Yasin Malik, on Saturday termed it “another attempt to strengthen the illegal occupation by military might”

In a statement issued here, Malik said the move will worsen the already fragile ecological balance in the state. “Jammu and Kashmir is a forest land area where glaciers, water reservoirs, forests, and pastures have been damaged by the presence of more than one million military troops,” he said.

“Dumping more and more ammunition, explosives, and arms and settling further troops in this ecologically fragile land is against the interests of humanity,” he said.

Malik said J&K cannot be overrun by such actions and international community and forums working for the safeguard of forest lands, water reservoirs, and environmental stability, should take a serious note of this “new military intrusion of India in Ladakh”.

JKLF chief said Kashmiris oppose such “illegal military occupational attempts” and will strive against all these measures on all fronts.
Indian Army guns down two senior KPLT terrorists, apprehends one
Guwahati: With just two days left for the Assam assembly polls, the Indian Army on Saturday claimed to have eliminated two senior Karbi People Liberation Tigers (KPLT) terrorists and apprehended one of their accomplices in an operation launched at Kalyani Reserve Forest in Karbi Anglong district yesterday.

The KPLT terrorist was identified by the army as Sojong Tisso, who was the outfit's finance secretary. The security forces were looking out for him and his accomplice Mokrang Bey for the last three months. The apprehended terrorist has been identified as Son Tisso.

The army claimed to have seized sophisticated weapons, including HK 33 Rifle and an automatic pistol, from the terrorists.

"After receiving specific inputs of movement of some of the armed insurgent cadres on March 31, a highly trained team of the army launched an operation in the dense Kalyani Reserve Forest," Lieutenant Colonel Suneet Newton, Public Relation Officer (Defence), said in a statement today while divulging details of the operation.

"Following the tracks of insurgents, the army personnel on about 5 P.M. on April 1 came in contact with armed insurgent cadres. On being challenged, the terrorists attempted to escape and fired indiscriminately at the army troops," he said.

"In the ensuing fierce encounter, two senior KPLT terrorists were eliminated and one was apprehended alive," said Lt. Col. Suneet Newton, adding that the army had busted a terrorist hideout and seized a cache of arms, ammunition and explosives on Friday.

"This swift surgical intelligence-based operation just two days prior to the Assam State polls has resulted in a major setback to insurgent groups. This successful operation has instilled a sense of security and safety in populace residing in East Karbi Anglong," he said.

He said that a host of intelligence inputs were being received in the last two weeks of insurgent groups' movement in Karbi Anglong districts, adding the army undertook extensive day-night operations in jungles and in inhospitable terrain with an objective to thwart their designs. 

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