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Saturday, 18 June 2016

From Today's Papers - 18 Jun 2016

CRPF commando killed by Maoists
Ranchi, June 17
A commando of CRPF was killed and another injured during an anti-Maoist operation in the Pathar Garha forest of Giridih district, Jharkhand, today.

The Maoists attacked a CoBRA (Commando Battalion for Resolute Action), a unit of the CRPF, killing one commando. The deceased, Balan Harizen, was a native of Assam.

The body has been sent to his village after a postmortem. During a combing operation by CoBRA, some Maoists were killed but no body has been recovered so far. Maoists are active in 18 out of 24 districts of Jharkhand. — OC
Two Hizb militants killed in Baramulla encounter
Locals target security personnel
*During the encounter at Bomai in Sopore on Friday, locals from the neighbouring villages threw stones at the security personnel and tried to disrupt the anti-militancy operation. The clashes intensified after the gunfight concluded.

*The Bomai police station was also attacked by the protesters. The police fired aerial shots and several rounds of tear-smoke shells to disperse the protesters.

Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 17
Two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in a five-hour gunfight in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday.

The two were killed in Bomai, Sopore, 60 km from Srinagar, this morning when joint teams of the police, Army and the Central Reserve Police Force launched a search operation after a tip-off about the presence of militants in the area.

As the searches were underway, the militants who were holed up in a house opened fire on the forces, triggering a gunfight. “In the five-hour gunfight, both militants were killed,” said a police officer in north Kashmir.

The two local slain militants have been identified as Imtiyaz Ahmed Lone of Sumbal and Altaf Ahmed Mir of Sopore. While Imtiyaz had joined militancy eight months ago, Altaf had taken up arms three months back.

The house where the militants were hiding was also damaged during the gunfight.

This was the first gunfight in Sopore in the last eight months. The last gunfight had taken place in September 2015 in Ladoora in which a soldier and a top militant were killed.

During the gunfight today, locals from the neighbouring villages threw stones at the security personnel and tried to disrupt the anti-militancy operation. The clashes intensified after the gunfight concluded. The Bomai police station was also attacked by the protesters. The police had to fire several rounds of tear-smoke shells and even fired aerial shots to disperse the protesters.

Since Tuesday, seven militants have been killed by the security forces in three different operations, including two along the Line of Control in the frontier Kupwara district. The Army continues to carry out searches in both Machil and its neighbouring Tangdhar sector in Kupwara where two infiltration bids were foiled by the Army in the past three days.

A soldier and an unidentified militant were killed and four jawans were injured in a gunfight that erupted on Tuesday in the Machil sector. Four militants and a soldier were killed in a firefight on Thursday in the Tangdhar sector.
Iraqi forces take Fallujah govt HQ
Fallujah, Iraq, June 17
Iraqi forces on Friday entered the centre of Fallujah, the Iraqi city longest held by Islamic State, nearly four weeks after the start of a US-backed offensive that cleared out the tens of thousands of residents still there.

Government troops, supported by multiple air strikes from a US-led coalition, recaptured main government compound in the centre of the jihadist bastion of Fallujah, though the ultra-hardline militants still controlled a significant portion of Fallujah, an hour's drive west of Baghdad.

Federal police raised the Iraqi state flag above the government building and continued pursuing insurgents, according to a military statement. Hours later, a coalition spokesman said the advance was confirmed.

Fighting continued as government forces pushed into the city, and troops could be seen coming under sniper fire as they entered a large mosque about 100 metres from the municipal building.

Clashes involving aerial bombardment, artillery and machine gun fire were ongoing. Heavily armed Interior Ministry police units were advancing along Baghdad Street, the main east-west road running through the city, and commandos from the counter-terrorism service (CTS) had surrounded Falluja hospital, the military statement said.

Iraq launched a major operation on May 23 to retake Falluja, an historic bastion of the Sunni Muslim insurgency against US forces that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, in 2003, and the Shia-led governments that followed. — Agencies
Indigenous Trainer Aircraft HTT-40 Makes Inaugural Flight
India's indigenous basic trainer aircraft, Hindustan Turbo Trainer-40 (HTT-40), today made its inaugural flight in Bengaluru in the presence of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The two-seater aircraft designed and developed by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited was flown by Group Captain C Subramaniam and Group Captain Venugopal for about 10 to 15 minutes at the HAL Airport in Bengaluru.

Aimed at being used for the first stage training for all flying cadets of the three services, HTT-40 made its maiden flight on May 31.

Indian Air Force is expected to procure 70 HTT-40 aircraft.

Detailed design phase of HTT-40 was launched in August 2013 with HAL's internal funding and was completed in May 2015. From then, it has taken 12 months to fly the first prototype.

While the HTT-40 programme was almost junked during the UPA rule, Mr Parrikar pushed both IAF and HAL to ensure development of the trainer.

Complimenting the HTT-40 team for the accomplishment, he said, "when I came here in March 2015 the confidence they had infected me also. They had promised me within one year they will fly the aircraft. I'm happy that they have kept the assurance."

According to HAL, the team behind HTT-40 programme is "young" with an average age of 29 when it started. The programme aims to achieve its operational clearance by 2018, and towards this the company will be manufacturing three prototypes and two static-test specimens.

Also work has started on the stall and spin tests campaign in order to meet the project timelines.

The Defence Minister said, "I request them to bring it still earlier, by the beginning of 2018, so that they can go into serial production in 2018 itself."

He said while HAL would supply HTT-40 to defence forces, it would be permitted for certain percentage of export.

Stating that HAL has proven track record in the design and development of basic trainer, Chairman T Suvarna Raju said HTT-40 was an example of the company's commitment to indigenously developing trainer aircraft for the armed forces.

Responding to a query on the Air Force earlier being "hesitant" about the country-made aircraft, Mr Parrikar said, "the initial issue was the legacy of the past ... HHT-40 was never encouraged earlier. Our government, with the initiative of Make in India, provided the support."

The Defence Minister added that the IAF has been very positive about this development.

Earlier, the IAF had blocked funding for HTT-40 by telling the Defence Ministry that the aircraft would be too expensive, heavy and not able to meet its needs. It had instead backed a Swiss trainer, the Pilatus PC-7 Mark II.

Mr Parrikar also said, "though price is not finalised, I can only confirm this that this flight may be 20-25 per cent cheaper than the imports."

HAL chairman Raju said the programme has managed to glide through multiple headwinds and emerge successfully.

He said till date the aircraft had completed seven flights, and added, "The initial performance assessment has met expectations and further flight testing is under progress."

The aircraft on its third flight flew in heavy rains and successfully undertook wet runway landing.

Designed to meet the current demands of the Air Force, there was also a provision to include weapons for the trainer aircraft.

According to HAL officials, the indigenous content on HTT-40 is close to 80 per cent with about 75-plus systems out of the total 90 on the aircraft sourced from local players and sister divisions of HAL.

They said the role of private players and MSMEs had been significant in the production of parts and assembly jigs.

Almost 50 per cent of the 4,000-odd components on HTT-40 are manufactured by private players.

HTT-40 aircraft weighs about 2,800 kg and has Turbo Prop engine of 950 shp class.
Indian Army says it will continue Sadhbhavana in J&K
PUNE: Indian Army said that it will continue its Sadhbhavana, or goodwill initiative, in the northern state of Jammu & Kashmir. Sadhbhavana was launched in the early 90s to better connect with people, when the state was gripped with militancy.

In over two decades, the Army claims to have made sizeable inroads under the initiative in providing education to the youth in the state -- with over one lakh children having attained middle/high school level education, above 14,000 students undergoing schooling in various Army Goodwill School and over 1000 children from the State studying through scholarship programme.

In the last three years, the Army said that it has provided medical treatment to both humans and animals in the state - probably owing to the floods that ravaged the State in 2014. Interestingly, the Army's own figures say that they have treated more animals than humans in the last three years.
"In the last three years only, Army has provided medical aid to approximately 3.68 lakh people, treated over 4.57 lakh animals and conducted over 200 National Integration Tours wherein in excess of 5000 beneficiaries visited other States of the country," the army said in a statement.

Operation Sadhbhavana is sourced to Army's own budget and it said that it will "continue with its efforts to meets aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir through this unique programme."
Army Headquarters looks for permanent locations to conduct courts martial
As of now, the military is free to hold trials at any of its locations across the country and even at remote areas citing exigency of service.
IN A move to do away with ad-hoc arrangements of conducting courts martial proceedings and ensure more transparency in the military justice system, the Army Headquarters is learnt to have asked its subordinate headquarters across the country to suggest cities where infrastructure to hold military trials could be set up on a permanent basis.

The move comes soon after the submission of a report by a panel of experts who had been tasked by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to suggest reforms in the military litigation and topics associated with it.

The panel, which comprised retired senior officers of the Army as well as experts in military law, had recommended that there was a need for identifying two to three stations in all commands of the three services — Army, Navy and Air Force — for creation of permanent courts martial rooms.
The panel had also recommended that a list of legally qualified officers should be maintained in each command and in the office of the Judge Advocate General (JAG) of the three services so as to employ them on courts martial duty on voluntary basis.

Highly placed sources said the Defence Minister has asked for speedy implementation of the reforms suggested by the panel.

Currently, courts martial are ad-hoc bodies/juries comprising members who are not legally or judicially trained but who sit in judgement over trials which are essentially criminal trials in nature. The courts martial may be assisted by a Judge Advocate who is not a direct part of the decision making process though, and whose role is only advisory.

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