Wednesday, September 30, 2009

L&T will bid to build navy’s second submarine line

 New Delhi, Sep 29 (IANS) Engineering and Construction giant Larsen and Toubro Tuesday said it will bid for the Indian Navy’s second line of conventional submarines.
The company had built India’s largest shipyards, near Chennai and in Gujarat, which had the capacity to build all types of naval construction, including submarines, L&T chairman and managing director A.M. Naik told reporters here.

‘We will be bidding for the navy’s second line of conventional submarines,’ he said.

He pointed out that L&T, along with the Russians, was vying to build Amur-class vessels but the initiative did not take off due to lack of funds.

‘Our shipyards in Hazira and Kattupalli have the capability to take up construction of vessels of about 7,000 to 9,000 tonnage and even warships of the size three or four times these vessels,’ Naik said.

China Versus India

September 29, 2009: The commander of the Indian Air Force is openly complaining that China has three times as many warplanes as India (which has 1,700, have of them combat, the rest support). The head of the Indian Navy has been complaining about Chinese warships being more numerous, and more frequently  showing up in the Indian Ocean.
The Indian Army is less concerned. Three years ago, India adopted the Russian T-90 as its new main battle tank. There is now local production of about a thousand T-90s over the next decade. India already has imported 310 T-90s. Under this plan, by 2020, India will have 2,000 upgraded T-72s, over 1,500 T90s, and few hundred other tanks. This will be the most powerful armored force in Eurasia, unless China moves ahead with upgrades to its tank force. The border between China and India is high in the Himalayan mountains, which is not good tank country. India's tank force is mainly for use against Pakistan. But if the Chinese should ever cross the border, they had best be prepared to deal with lots of modern tanks.
China says it is not concerned with India's moving two more infantry divisions into northeast India, where the Himalayan mountains form a thousand kilometer long, unfenced border with China. There are boundary disputes between India and China along the Himalayas, but these are now being negotiated (although not settled yet). India is putting those two divisions into Arunachal Pradesh to deal with long term ethnic unrest. India also recently upgraded a primitive airfield (used mainly for helicopters), 25 kilometers from the Chinese border, to one that can handle larger transports. Again, while some Indian politicians proclaim that this is all about defending India from the Chinese menace, it's actually more about local tribal separatists.
Although India lost several border skirmishes to Chinese troops along that border in the 1960s, China was never considered a real threat. That's because there were no Chinese railroads leading to their side of the Himalayan frontier. With only a few roads leading into Tibet, from China proper, the Chinese could never launch a major offensive across the Himalayan border. That changed three years ago when China completed a railroad into Tibet.
So China is now a threat from all sides. India is particularly annoyed at China intruding into the waters surrounding India. It's not called the Indian Ocean for nothing, and the Indians consider these waters sacrosanct. Chinese naval power is not welcome. India has long blamed its defeat in the 1962 war with China over a lack of sufficient air power. This is still the case. Indian air force generals are using that memory, and the continued imbalance between the Indian and Chinese air forces, to make a case for buying lots more modern aircraft.

Source : Strategy Page

Russia tests Indian fighter jets on board its aircraft carrier

MOSCOW, September 30 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's MiG aircraft maker said on Tuesday it has successfully tested on board the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier four MiG-29 carrier-based fighter jets due to be delivered to India.
Russia and India signed a contract on January 20, 2004, stipulating the supply of 12 single-seat MiG-29Ks and four two-seat MiG-29KUBs to India as part of a $1.5 billion deal to deliver the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, currently being retrofitted in Russia for the Indian navy.
"During the tests on September 28-29, the MiG-29K and MiG-29KUB fighters conducted several take offs and landings on the deck of the [Admiral Kuznetsov] aircraft carrier in the Barents Sea," the company said in a statement.
Admiral Kuznetsov is the only aircraft carrier in the Russian Navy.
The two MiG-29Ks and two MiG-29KUBs were officially transferred to India earlier this year. They were inspected by Indian technical experts and used in a five-month flight training course for the Indian pilots.
The aircrafts are expected to be delivered to India in mid-October.
Meanwhile, Russia and India are still negotiating a new deal on the completion of the Admiral Gorshkov overhaul.
Russia has pledged to finish the Admiral Gorshkov's overhaul as soon as possible and deliver it to India in 2012 if the additional $1.2 bln funding is provided by New Delhi.
After modernization, the carrier will join the Indian Navy as INS Vikramaditya, and is expected to be seaworthy for 30 years.


New Delhi, Sep 29 (ANI): A five-day joint exercise involving IAF and USAF transport aircraft, Cope India-09, will be held at Agra from October 19.
The participating IAF aircraft include IL-76, AN-32 and Mi-17 helicopters, while USAF will participate with C-17 Globemaster, C-130J (Super Herclues) and C-130H transport aircraft.
The exercise is aimed at evaluating the efficacy of joint operations in the realm of tactics, aero medical aspects and Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) missions involving medium and heavy lift transport aircraft.
Nearly 160 USAF personnel and about 200 IAF air warriors will participate in the exercise.
The Indian Army and the US Army will also simultaneously conduct their largest joint exercise in October, featuring variety of armoured vehicles, medium and heavy lift aircraft and helicopters.
The Indo-US Army exercise will be conducted at Babina in Uttar Pradesh. (ANI)

CoBRA and Army cannot suppress our movement: Maoists

Maoist guerrillas have adopted a belligerent stand against the centre's move to send security forces into Maoist controlled areas in several States, by declaring that neither the commando force raised by the CRPF nor the Rashtriya Rifles of the Indian Army could suppress the revolutionary movement in the country.
The recent offensive in Bastar forests of Chhattisgarh by the CRPF's Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and Chhattisgarh police was “courageously” repulsed by the Maoist guerrillas who killed at least six security forces personnel. "After suffering the biggest loss, the commandoes caught several unarmed adivasis and killed them in cold blood", Azad, spokesperson of the Maoist Central Committee said in a statement here on Tuesday.
Referring to the September 18 offensive in forested areas of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh, Azad said the massive operation was part of a bigger offensive being taken up in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.
The brutal onslaught in Dandakarnya showed the extreme demoralisation of and desperation of the "fascist clique" at the centre over its failure to lay hands on the mineral wealth in the adivasi-inhabited regions in Eastern and Central India.
Azad alleged that the Centre was planning 'aerial bombardment' of some Maoist-held areas even at the cost of civilian casualties and destruction of clusters of villages. The centre had already tried 'Vietnam type' resettlement of adivasis in 'strategic hamlets' through the Salwa Judum campaign in Bastar forests. The visit of Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram to Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on September 25 was akin to "morale-boosting trips" of Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The advertisements in newspapers on naxal violence was part of a simultaneously taken up psychological war, but such 'cheap propaganda' was bound to backfire, as people witness the violence perpetrated by the security forces daily.
Conceding that the arrest of Kobad Ghandy was a 'great loss' to the revolutionary movement in India, Azad said Ghandy was betrayed by a 'weak element' in the party. The courier had led the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) of Andhra Pradesh and the intelligence wing in Delhi to Bhikaji Cama Place in South Delhi, where Ghandy had an appointment after his return from a trip to a Guerrilla zone in the country. Ghandy was arrested on September 17 and not on 20th as police claimed, he said charging that the police had planned to ‘torture and murder' him, but with the intervention of democratic civil rights organisations foiled their plans.

3 CRPF men killed in Sopore firing

SRINAGAR: Three CRPF personnel and a woman were killed when militants fired at a patrol at Sopore in North Kashmir's Baramulla district on Tuesday.

A police officer said militants fired indiscriminately at the CRPF patrol near a bus stand. "The three personnel were injured and later succumbed in a local hospital,'' the officer said. "The woman pedestrian, in her fifties, died on way to the hospital.''

Sources said Al-Badr outfit has claimed responsibility for the attack. "Two AK-47 rifles of the slain personnel are also missing,'' a source said.

Security forces cordoned off the area to nab the attackers but no one was arrested till last reports came in.

Meanwhile, army averted a major tragedy by defusing five landmines at Tikipora in north Kashmir's Kupwara district. "The landmines were recovered after Army's 28 Rashtriya Rifles were tipped off that terrorists had planted them to target the forces,'' said SHO Sajjad Ahmad.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More promotion avenues to IFS Officers in Tamil Nadu

Many posts of Indian Forest Service (IFS) belonging to the Tamil Nadu cadre in a recent review have gone up. Posts of Additional PCCF has increased from four to 10.Similarly posts of CCF will be now 23. However, number posts of CFs, which was earlier 20, has been slashed to 16.

Promotion IPS to IG Police ( GP 10000)

1989 batch IPS officers belonging to the Uttar Pradesh cadre are soon going to be elevated as IGs. There are 10 vacancies of IGs in UP.

IIS career boost after Raghu Menon joins as new I&B Secretary

The career prospects of Indian Information Service (IIS) officers are expected to get a boost after Raghu Menon has Joined as the new Secretary in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. To begin with Menon has decided to lift the ban on forwarding the names of IIS officers for central deputation besides asking his department for speeding up SAG level promotions upto 1991 batch. One can only wish him good luck given the fact that he is an old I&B hand ,having served as JS in the Ministry earlier.

No doubt about India’s nuclear deterrent: former Navy Chief

NEW DELHI: Amid the controversy over the yield from the Pokhran-II nuclear tests, former Chief of Naval Staff Arun Prakash emphasised there was no room to doubt the credibility of India’s nuclear deterrent even as he advocated institutional checks and balances to take major decisions in this sphere.
“In the midst of the current brouhaha, we need to retain clarity on one issue; given the deuterium-tritium boosted-fission weapons can generate yields of 200-500kts, the credibility of India’s nuclear deterrent is not in the slightest doubt,” Adm.(Retd) Prakash said in his article on the National Maritime Foundation (NMF) website.
While observing that the “unseemly squabbling” among the nation’s senior most scientists would certainly upset and confuse the Indian armed forces, he said “this strong, silent bulwark of India’s security has, so far, accepted the claims and statements of the DRDO (and DAE) scientist at face value and borne the operational consequences of many failed scientific projects with admirable stoicism. Will they continue to do so?”
He said the organisational gap with the detachment of the Service Headquarters (SHQ) from most aspects of nuclear deterrence is well known.
The Army’s missile brigade, the Navy’s Prithvi-armed vessels, and the dual-tasked Indian Air Force units seem to form the only interface between the SHQ on one side, and the SFC as well as the DRDO/DAE, on the other.
Traditionally, Adm. Prakash said, there has been neither interest nor in-depth knowledge of the doctrine or philosophy of nuclear deterrence in the armed forces and this exists all the way up to the top.
This was so because it is only when the Service Chief becomes the Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff Committee that he finds himself in the nuclear chain of command.

Indian Air Force denies "espionage" incident

New Delhi, Sep 28 (PTI) The Indian Air Force Monday said none of its senior officers was made to part with sensitive information by a foreign embassy official posing as a Defence Ministry joint secretary.

"The IAF strongly denies the media report written on the basis of hearsay. The report is full of untruth. At that senior level, no sensitive information is discussed over phone," IAF spokesperson Wing Commander T K Singha said here.

However, he said, the report of a circular on information security from the Defence Ministry's chief security officer routinely alerted officials, both in the Ministry and the Services headquarters, and warned them about the risks of discussing security matters over phone.

No go-ahead from Ministry, so Navy opts out of US exercise

Leaving the US flummoxed, the Indian Navy pulled out of an amphibious exercise with American forces in Japan last week after it failed to get clearance from the Defence Ministry. 

The amphibious assault exercise was scheduled to start in Okinawa last Friday and the Navy chose 12 senior officers for the war games. Officers were pulled out from various commands and called to Delhi for final documentation. But the Navy’s participation was called off days before their departure because permission did not come through from the Defence Ministry. 

“The officers had been taken off duties, called to Delhi. Even the preparatory embarkment had been done but the permission did not come till the last moment,” a source said, adding that officers spent close to 10 days in Delhi, waiting for clearance. 

While no explanation was given by the Defence Ministry for holding back the clearance, this is not the first time that Indo-US defence interactions have been called off by the Ministry this year.

China ahead in warship sprint

China will soon deploy its first aircraft carrier and it will be more advanced than anything India has or plans to get. Varyag – an Admiral Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier — is more advanced than the INS Viraat —vanguard of the Indian navy — and the still to be procured Admiral Gorshkov (INS Vikramaditya).

Sources from the Indian navy say that the Chinese plan to operationalise the Varyag - purchased as junk from Ukraine for 20 million US dollars in 1998.
In 2005, the dead ship was docked at the Chinese naval base in Dalian. Since then it has been undergoing sophisticated upgrades, reveal sources in the Indian navy.
Hindustan Times has access to photographs of the warship undergoing repairs at a dock in north- eastern China.
A senior officer from the Indian navy, who has been monitoring China’s growing presence in the Indian Ocean, said that it will not be surprising to see the Chinese navy induct Varyag much before India procures and commissions Admiral Gorshkov.
He added that the induction of Varyag was certain as the Chinese had built a ski-jump (part of the aircraft carrier used for take off and landing of aircrafts) facility similar to that on the Varyag at it’s Yuanling airfield –— China’s main aviation test facility. The ski-jump is being used as a testing facility for modified Sukhoi-27 aircrafts, which the Varyag may carry.
“If Varyag was not to be inducted, the question of flight testing at a similar facility does not arise,” the officer observed.
According to sources, the Chinese have plans to get more aircraft carriers by 2020. Commander-in-chief of the Chinese navy, Wu Shengli’s aim to aggressively pursue indigenously built aircraft carriers has been a cause of worry for India.
Of the two other aircraft carriers being built by China, one is expected be inducted by 2015, added sources.

Navy blocks IMD plan for Chinese radar

New Delhi: The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has been forced to look for indigenous alternatives after the navy, citing security, refused to allow the installation of a China-made radar on its land in Mumbai.

Commissioning the advanced-technology radar would have meant allowing Chinese personnel on the premises owned and operated by the Indian Navy. 

Because of the delay in installing the radar, which was to be set up at the Naval Colony in Colaba and primarily used to warn of cloudbursts of the kind that deluged Mumbai in 2005, IMD is in talks with government-owned Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) to install its locally manufactured radars. IMD had rejected the BEL radars last year, saying they were at an experimental stage and not ready for operational forecasts.

IMD bought 12 Doppler weather radars on 30 May from Beijing Metstar Radar Co. Ltd, a 49:51 venture of China National Huayun Technology Development Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of China Meteorological Administration and US-based Lockheed Martin Corp. IMD is also buying 550 automatic weather stations and 1,350 automatic rain gauge stations as part of a Rs900 crore modernization plan to move into numerical weather prediction, globally used to give precise weather forecasts, as opposed to statistical techniques still being used in India for monsoon forecasts. 

A navy spokesperson said the weather radar clearance was still being discussed, but didn’t indicate when a decision was likely. “There are government orders on such kind of installations and when certain companies are involved. It is an important security issue.” Previously too, defence and intelligences agencies have raised objections to the presence of Chinese companies. According to The Indian Express report on 19 May 2003, the Chinese antecedents of Hutchison Port Holdings disqualified the firm from participating in key construction work at a terminal at Mumbai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. Mumbai, being a port and a hub of international maritime traffic, is considered especially sensitive by the navy.

IMD chief Ajit Tyagi and ministry of earth sciences (MoES) secretary Shailesh Naik confirmed that the navy hadn’t cleared the radar’s installation and that talks were on with BEL to use their radar instead of the Chinese one. “Security concerns is one of the factors that has led to this delay. We are in talks with BEL to see if we can use their radars,” Tyagi said.

Mint reported on 18 June last year that Beijing Metstar outbid BEL, which develops weather radars based on proprietary technology of the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), and Germany’s Selex Gematronik GmbH, for IMD contract to install the radars in 12 cities and key ports at Mumbai, Delhi, Agartala, Mohanbari, Paradip, Bhopal, Nagpur, Patna, Lucknow, Karaikal, Patiala and Goa. The radars, to be supplied, installed and commissioned by Metstar cost about $17.8 million (around Rs85 crore now).

The Isro radars, say experts, didn’t make the cut as there was a lot of room for improvement in their software. The plan, according to IMD, was to consider Isro radars for the second stage of modernization that would include installing 33 radars in other parts of the country.

“The Isro radars are very good,” said P.S. Goel, former secretary, MoES, who was involved with the tendering process before he retired in 2008. “But the software wasn’t good enough for forecast purposes. So, we told them, then, that the radars would be tested for two years and then considered for evaluation in the second round of acquisition.” 

Tyagi said the Isro radars had “improved” and therefore were worthy of being used at Mumbai. He didn’t give a time frame for installing the instrument. 

“If it’s a matter of security, the navy’s concerns are nonsense,” said Goel. “There’s no way these radars can be used as bugs or any purpose other than forecasting.”

Doppler weather radars have an edge over other radar systems. The radars the government uses provide information only on the range of a storm whereas a Doppler instrument provides data to accurately estimate an approaching storm’s centre and intensity, fixing its position and predicting its path.

“Now it’s DWRs everywhere. Nobody really uses ordinary weather radars,” Tyagi said.

Secret Pleasures Revealed

September 28, 2009: India believes that the Pakistani government has still not gained complete control over Islamic radical elements in its intelligence (ISI) and security forces. As evidence, India points to ten new terrorist camps that have been allowed in Pakistan in the last year, bringing the total to 62. Most of the new ones are near the Indian border. Hatred of, and violence towards India remains popular in Pakistan, despite the more immediate threat from Islamic radical groups like the Taliban and al Qaeda. Many Pakistani government officials still support the use of terrorism against India, especially in Kashmir. Thus while the senior-most Pakistani officials talk peace, many junior officials make war on India. The Pakistanis have removed some of these Islamic radical officials, but hundreds remain, and are considered too much trouble to deal with. Meanwhile, Islamic radicals in the Pakistani army appear to have made a come-back, at least when it comes to violence against India. In the  last year, there has been an increase in incidents where Pakistani troops on the border, fire into India, to provide cover for Islamic terrorists trying to cross the border. The Indian army is incensed at the inability of the Pakistani government to deal with this kind of indiscipline and blatant cooperation with Islamic radical groups. In Indian Kashmir, there are several clashes, with Islamic terrorists, each week, as a result of the increased border crossing attempts.
U.S. investigators believe that a major source of financing for the Pakistani Taliban is pro-terrorist Arabs in the Persian Gulf. While there are some wealthy individuals sending money to the Taliban, there are many more who contribute to Islamic charities, that pass the money on to the terrorist groups. Violence against non-Moslems is still a popular theme in the Islamic world, something the governments of these nations strive to downplay. But taking a look at the local media (especially the stuff published in the local languages) makes this hatred clear. The English language web sites of Pakistani and Arab media are much less hostile to the infidels (non-Moslems). This split personality has long been ignored in the West, but it's one of the major sources of terrorist support.
The U.S. is also angry at Pakistan, believing that Pakistani police and intelligence officials have been moving Taliban leaders to Karachi (the largest city in Pakistan, where many Pushtun tribesmen live). There, the police are told to stay away from Pushtun neighborhoods where the terrorist leaders are living. Taliban leaders are also being moved into Baluchistan (southwest Pakistan), an area where, by mutual agreement, U.S. UAVs have not often attacked terrorists. The U.S. says it will start hunting terrorists in Baluchistan more aggressively, because Pakistani officials are helping Taliban flee to that area.
The Pakistani government has put rewards, of up to $60,000, on the heads of the five top Taliban leaders in the Swat Valley. Most of the civilians, who had fled, have returned to Swat. But there are still hundreds of armed Taliban in the valley, all trying to hide and prepare for a comeback. In support of this, the Taliban has increased their assassination attempts against anti-Taliban tribal leaders. This has caused the kind of split, among pro-terrorist tribes, that caused the collapse of Islamic terrorist power in Iraq. The same thing is happening in Pakistan, at least in the tribal territories.
The Pakistani army is still skirmishing with Taliban gunmen in Swat and Waziristan. The tribes want the roads unblocked before Winter sets in, and are willing to fight against the Taliban, if that's what it takes. This violence has killed about a hundred so far this month, less than a third the death toll across the border in Afghanistan (where Western troops have been more aggressive than the Pakistanis).
India is getting more concerned with China, especially since its diplomats there noticed that the government controlled mass media has replaced the United States with India, as the designated "main enemy" of China.
The Indian government has massed over 20,000 police and soldiers for a major offensive against Maoist rebels in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand states. The government has had a more difficult time getting the army to release more of its Special Forces battalions for the anti-Maoist effort. The army insists that these units are essential for anti-terrorist operations, not chasing communist rebels through the jungles of eastern India.  The government has been criticized, for years, of mismanaging anti-Maoist efforts. Police and troops have not been allocated properly, and efforts to deal with the social and economic problems have been half-hearted and ineffective. All this has allowed the Maoists to survive, and often thrive, in the rural areas.
In southeastern Bangladesh, police arrested five Islamic terrorists, and seized bomb making materials.
September 26, 2009: Two suicide car bombers attacked in Pakistan's tribal territories (Peshawar), killing about two dozen and wounding over 200. One target was a police station, as the Taliban attempt to shake government control of Peshawar, the largest city in the territories. Such efforts have not been successful, and have turned more people against the pro-Taliban tribesmen. This anti-Taliban attitude helped clear the Taliban out of the Swat Valley, and has turned most of the Mehsud tribe against the Taliban. For years, the Mehsud tribe has been the core support of the Taliban in Pakistan. But many Mehsud make their living driving trucks that carry cargo in and out of Afghanistan. Taliban violence against this lucrative trade has split the tribe. Taliban violence against schools (which most Mehsud back) has also caused internal divisions. It is believed that most of the Mehsud no longer back the Taliban, and this has caused more violence within the tribe. There is now a tribal council that is anti-Taliban and negotiating a peace deal with the government.
September 24, 2009: In Pakistan's tribal territories, Taliban gunmen ambushed and killed four anti-Taliban tribal leaders. Two other anti-Taliban tribal leaders were killed in the Swat Valley. At the same time, a U.S. UAV fired missiles into a Taliban compound, killing at least a dozen terrorists. All the dead were believed to be Afghans, including a Taliban leader.
September 22, 2009: Outside Peshawar, the largest city in Pakistan's tribal territories, the Taliban blew up another school, because it taught girls as well as boys. In the last two years, the Taliban have destroyed over 200 schools in the tribal territories. The Taliban violence has left over 2,000 dead. 

SOURCE : Strategypage

Chinese scare turns into election issue in Arunachal

Two major allies of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre are raking up the Chinese incursion issue in the run up to the assembly elections in the frontier state of Arunachal Pradesh even as Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu maintains that Chinese claims over the state are baseless.
Elections to the 60-member legislature are scheduled for October 13, although voting would be for just 57 seats with three candidates already declared elected unopposed.
The Trinamool Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), both allies of the UPA, have made reports of Chinese incursions and Beijing's claims over Arunachal Pradesh election issues in the state. In this state assembly poll, the parties are fighting one another.
"New Delhi should be bold enough in its stand against China, especially when it comes to Arunachal Pradesh. The central government should firm up its stand," Kito Sora, state Trinamool Congress president, told IANS.
Apart from the Congress that has fielded candidates in all 60 seats, the NCP is putting up 30 contestants and the Trinamool Congress is fielding 28.
"Time and again China is staking claim over Arunachal Pradesh and the response by the central government is seen to be rather muted. We want a very bold stand from New Delhi," said senior NCP leader L Wanglet.
The Trinamool Congress and the NCP are fighting the polls independently against the ruling Congress.
The latest hiccups follow reports of Chinese intrusion in the Jammu and Kashmir sector, soon after Bejing's opposition to Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's visit to Arunachal Pradesh had irked local sentiments here.
The mountainous state of Arunachal Pradesh shares a 1,030-km unfenced border with China. The two countries had fought a bitter war in 1962 with the Chinese troops advancing deep into Arunachal Pradesh and inflicting heavy casualties on Indian soldiers.
The border dispute with China was inherited by India from British colonial rulers, who hosted a 1914 conference with the Tibetan and Chinese governments that set the border in what is now Arunachal Pradesh.
China has never recognised the 1914 McMahon Line and claims 90,000 sq km, nearly all of Arunachal Pradesh.
After 1962, tensions flared again in 1986 with Indian and Chinese forces clashing in Sumdorong Chu valley of Arunachal. Chinese troops reportedly built a helipad in the valley leading to fresh skirmishes.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) too is making the Chinese scare an election issue in Arunachal Pradesh.
"Chinese incursions are a great security threat and despite reports the Congress-led UPA government seems to downplaying such risks. It is unfortunate on the part of the central government to be taking things so lightly," P. Chandrashekhar, BJP organising secretary for the Northeast, said.
Almost all the opposition parties are making the Chinese threat an election issue in the state.
"Surely people want an assurance from us about our stand on the China issue," the NCP leader said.
Chief Minister Khandu too is concerned, but maintains the central government has already clarified its stand on Chinese claims over Arunachal Pradesh.
"Arunachal is part of India and will remain so. The central government had time and again clarified in bold terms that Chinese claims are baseless," Khandu said.
But with massive Indian army movement along the frontiers, the Chinese scare is going to dominate electioneering in Arunachal Pradesh, a state where political parties are bereft of any other major poll issue to harp on. 

Indian apex court asks army to follow rules in court martial proceedings

 NEW DELHI, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The Indian Army has to give mandatory four days time to a jawan (soldier) before court martial him for any offense, the country's Supreme Court ruled on Monday.
    Rejecting the central government's argument that the Rule 34 of the Army, which mandates a 96-hour gap between the time of charge and actual trial, was merely directory and not mandatory, the Supreme Court ruled that a jawan has to be given the mandatory 96 hours time.
    The apex court made the observation in a judgment dismissing the Union government's appeal which had challenged acquittal of A.K. Pandey of 12 Corps Signal Regiment, Jodhpur, who was dismissed from service and sentenced to three years in jail by court martial proceedings on Nov. 6, 1995.
    "A trial before the General Court Martial (Army court) entails grave consequences. The accused may be sentenced to suffer imprisonment. He may be dismissed from service," the Supreme Court observed.
    "The consequences that may follow from non-observance of the time interval provided in Rule 34 being grave and severe, we hold, as it must be that the said provision is absolute and mandatory," a three judge bench of Justices B.N. Agrawal, Aftab Alam and R.M. Lodha said.
    The charge against Pandey was that he had illegally sold a country-made pistol and one round of ammunition to another signalman J.N. Narsimilu of the same unit. 

FROM PAKISTAN ; Indian threats will not work


Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor, in his recent statement, indicated that India is losing patience over frequent cease-fire violations by Pakistan along the Line of Control (LoC) and warned that at some stage it would have to retaliate. General Kapoor also claimed that reports about Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal needed to be confirmed and after that New Delhi could think about reviewing its own nuclear strategy. General Kapoor said that firing across the LoC was part of the Pakistan Army’s tactics to push infiltrators through. His comments followed a recent alleged cease-fire violation in the Poonch sector in which an Indian soldier was killed. It is strange to observe that Indian Army authorities are either ignorant or overlooking what is happening in and around LoC. 

One wonders if the Indian Army authorities are really ignorant of the deeds of their officers and men. The incident, which General Kapoor has taken so hard on his nerves, has even not been properly investigated. The actual story is quite different from the one being projected by Indian Chief, which can also be confirmed from the Intelligence Wing of Border Security Forces (BSF) as well as officers of Rashtriya Rifles deployed in Poonch. The name of the soldier in question was Lance Naik Dag Bahadur Gurung, who was involved in narcotics smuggling through Afghan peddler namely Haji Gul. He was killed due to his refusal to make payment of previous consignments. However, Indian Military Intelligence (MI) alleged that death of Naik Dag Bahadur Gurung was killed as a result of unprovoked firing from Pakistani side. Army authorities did not waste any time and termed the incident as case of ceasefire violation and said that the matter would be taken up with Pakistani authorities. It is pertinent to mention here that often Indian nationals cross over LoC to supply liquor, smuggle drugs and fake currency. 

In fact Indian military personnel have started side businesses on LoC in which they are minting millions of rupees through illegal means. To quote an incident relating to Poonch district, which took place a few weeks back, two Jawans of the Territorial Army (TA), posted in the Poonch were arrested by the Jammu and Kashmir Police after fake currency worth Rs 1.7 lakh was recovered from them. The Jawans were identified as Mohd Aslam and Inayat Hussain of village Kalai in Poonch. Both the Jawans were recruited in the TA battalion more than five years ago and were attached with 27 Rashtriya Rifles. During the investigations by Police to track down the channel of the counterfeit currency notes, it came to light that other Army officers and personnel were also involved in the fake currency business. It also came to light that fake currency is smuggled through Pakistan to Afghanistan, UAE and European Union countries. Accordingly, a Police party was sent to Malti general area near the Line of Control (LoC) to pick other suspects named by the TA Jawans during preliminary investigations. However, when the Police party reached location of 17 Rajput, a group of Army Jawans of 17 Rajput led by two Army officers of the Major rank trashed Station House Officer (SHO) of Poonch Police Station Kuldeep Khajuria and accompanying Police personnel inside the Army camp, snatched their weapons and opened fire to scare them. In this context, Police has lodged FIR against the senior Army officers and their Jawans in the Poonch Police Station under Section 307, 332, 342 and 147. 

A separate FIR over recovery of fake currency under Section 489-B and 109 was also filed. There are numerous other incidents which supports the point. However, Indian intelligence agencies in collaboration with Army and security forces keep their country busy in blame game so that illegal businesses remain unhindered. 

Both Indian and Pakistani governments desire to ease their relations but the Indian intelligence agencies, especially Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Military Intelligence (MI) are bluffing the Indian government and the Army to attain their vested interest. Ironically, it is on record that Indian Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor himself admitted few days back that border crossing from Pakistani side of LoC has decreased manifolds. India should not forget that election in Indian held Jammu & Kashmir state could not have been possible if Pakistan had nefarious designs. If we recall, it was due to good intensions of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at Sharm-el-Sheikh in Egypt that both Pakistan and India could reach the landmark joint statement which de-links action on terror from the composite dialogue process between both the countries. However, Indian intelligence agencies made a lot of propaganda on inclusion of Balochistan in bilateral document? 

Thus the Indian intelligence was once again successful in developing the gulf between the two countries. It is right time for India and Pakistan to behave mature and end blame game as it would not lead anywhere. India Army Chief, with all the respect, should fix his officers and men involved in initiating fake reports and work above any suspicion with Pakistan. Such uncalled for statement from top brasses of Indian Army would only instigate Pakistan leading to more friction. India must take a new start and stop blaming Pakistan for everything without proper investigations. Keeping in view the security problems faced by both countries, it right time to give up policy of mistrust and suspicion and contribute for peace and harmony in the region.

Four Indian Army hand grenades recovered near Ajmer

Hathi Kheda village (Rajasthan), Sep 28: Rajasthan police recovered four hand grenades from a hilly area in Rajasthan's Ajmer district on Sunday. 

Officials said the grenades were live and were found at hilly area of Hathi Kheda village.

"We got information that in the hilly areas of Hathi Kheda village that there were four live hand grenades. We came here and saw it for ourselves that these bombs were looking live and we are now investigating the matter," said Rahul Prakash, assistant sub-inspector of police.

"The highly explosive HE 36 grenades bore markings of Indian army's ordnance factory," he added.

First female Indian troops 'are prostitutes'

India has accused Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency of circulating claims that women troops dispatched to its border with Pakistan are in fact prostitutes sent to boost the morale of their frontier guards.

 By Dean Nelson in New Delhi 
New Delhi's home minister P Chidambaram has ordered his officials to launch an official complaint with Pakistan's High Commission after a Pakistani newspaper reported an investigation alleging that 178 female members of its Border Security Force had been deployed to "meet the natural needs" of its male soldiers on the Line of Control between the two armies in disputed Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the report in the Pakistan Daily Mail earlier this month, New Delhi had "deployed 200 prostitutes" according to its "authoritative sources". It claimed the decision had been taken by senior Army officers who feared a number of troop suicides and incidents where soldiers had killed their own comrades was linked to loneliness and the absence of female company.
In their search for a response they had contacted a number of consultants and analysts who said the soldiers had acted in "acute frustration and depression". They had recommended increased home leave for married soldiers, but could compromise on security by allowing too many to take leave.
The newspaper claimed a major-general was sent to Moscow to research how the Russians had dealt with a similar problem in Afghanistan in the 1980s. "The Russian consultants told the Indian Army that the since the soldiers in the valley were [starved of women], they should be provided with women to meet their genuine and natural needs."
A high-level committee of senior army officers was formed to explore how they could recruit prostitutes and give them basic military training. The newspaper claimed India's intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing was drafted in to screen the prostitutes because, it said, it already had a "network of prostitutes in different cities of India".
The report which was published on the day the female unit was deployed in Kashmir has been dismissed as a propaganda ploy by Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency, the ISI, to demoralise Indian troops.
"It is clearly a story written under a pseudonym, planted by the ISI to demoralise the new women-only contingent. Psychological warfare is not new for the Pakistanis," said a home ministry official.
Jagir Singh, deputy inspector general of the Border Security Force said the claims were an "insult to Indian women".
"These women are aged 19-25 and most of them are from small towns and villages of Punjab. You can imagine the demoralising effect it can have on them," he said.

Dwarka gears up for President's visit

JUNAGADH\PORBANDAR: The district administration of Porbandar and Junagadh and police authorities have only one job at present. To make foolproof  arrangements for President Pratibha Patil's scheduled visit to the region starting October 2. Authorities have even prepared a helipad near Dwarka temple. Special care is being taken at Dwarka and nothing is being left to chance. 

"We have to make all arrangements as per the book of guidelines. We have arranged for a bedroom, sitting room, dressing room and dining hall. Special air-conditioners are fitted in every room," said an official. 

As many as 13 rooms of Dwarka circuit house have been equipped with new air-conditioners and a special shamiyana is being put up for dinner for 100 people who will accompany the President. 

Chiefs of Indian Army, Navy and Airforce will be present to welcome her on her arrival along with representative of the Gujarat government, energy minister Saurabh Patel. 

Rajkot Range IG police, SPs of Jamnagar and Vadodara, 5 DySPs, 20 PIs, 40 PSIs and 400 jawans of SRP will be present. They will provide security along the way from circuit house to Dwarka helipad and other temples of the holy town. 

As per schedule, she will first visit all the temples of Dwarka and reach the circuit house. The President will be accompanied by her family members in her visit to the holy town. After lunch, she will leave for Sasan Gir. 

source: sandesh

Security forces gun down three LeT terrorists in J-K

Srinagar: Three Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists, including two planning a fidayeen attack, were killed and three security force personnel were injured in a fierce gunbattle in south Kashmir district of Pulwama on Monday.

A woman was also killed in the encounter, a police spokesman said in Srinagar.

He said on a tip-off about the presence of some LeT terrorists at Amlar village in Tral, about 35 km from Srinagar in Pulwama district, Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) launched a joint operation on Monday morning.

However, when the village was being cordoned off, terrorists hiding there opened fire and also hurled grenades on the search party.

The fire was returned and in the fierce clash, three terrorists were killed.

The slain terrorists were later identified as Zahid alias Abu Shahib, resident of Multan, Abu Dujana, resident of Pakistan and a local Mehrajuddin alias Qua alias Chota-R. Mehraj had left militancy but recently joined LeT again.

Abu Sahib and Abu Dujana were planning a fidayeen attack in south Kashmir.

Two CRPF and a police personnel were also injured in the clash.

A Defence Ministry spokesman claimed that it was a joint operation of the Army and CRPF in which the terrorists were killed.

He said three AK rifles and other arms and ammunition were recovered from the slain terrorists.

Monday, September 28, 2009

US puts Lockheed off Tejas flight path

The US government is, for the second time, squeezing American aerospace giant Lockheed Martin out of an important contract related to India’s Tejas Light Combat Aircraft (LCA).
Business Standard learns that Lockheed Martin, selected in June as a consultant for developing the Naval version of the Tejas, was given 90 days to obtain the clearances it needed from the US government. But now, with time running out, Washington has sent Lockheed Martin a list of questions about what assistance the company will provide.
Senior officials from Bangalore-based Aeronautical Development Agency (ADA), which manages the Tejas programme, say they will not delay the naval version any longer. ADA has recommended to the Ministry of Defence that another consultant be chosen. It has put forward the names of France’s Dassault Aviation, and European consortium EADS.
For Lockheed Martin, this is déjà vu. In 1993, it was selected to partner ADA in developing the Tejas’ high-tech flight control system (FCS). But after India’s nuclear tests in 1998, Washington ordered the company to terminate the partnership. India eventually went it alone, developing the world class FCS that is on the Tejas today.
Lockheed Martin is still fighting to salvage the situation. The company told Business Standard, “We are continuing our dialogue with the Aeronautical Development Agency and the US Department of Defense and are hopeful we will be able provide the consultancy desired by ADA on the Naval LCA.”
But the decision now lies in the hands of V K Saraswat, scientific advisor to the defence minister.
Lockheed Martin’s current situation replicates that of Boeing, which was front-runner for the air force Tejas consultancy. But earlier this year, after the US government failed to grant Boeing a clearance (called Technical Assistance Agreement) in time, the defence ministry awarded EADS the contract. The European consortium obtained the sanctions in time and is now working with ADA.
Foreign consultancy has been sought by ADA to introduce the Tejas into service without further delay. The air force Tejas, a single-seat, single-engine fighter, is at an advanced stage of testing. The naval Tejas, being developed around the twin-seater air force trainer, will take to the skies by mid-2010. But it will fly off an aircraft only in 2014, after getting a new, more powerful, engine. That is about when the Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, being built in Kochi, will join the Indian Navy.
The immediate challenges before the naval Tejas — which the consultant will help to resolve — include strengthening the undercarriage to absorb the high impact of landing on aircraft carrier decks, fitting an arrestor hook at the tail of the aircraft to bring it to a quick halt after landing, and adding a flap on the front edge of the wings to slow the landing speed by almost 150 kmph.
In addition, the naval Tejas needs a fuel dump system, in case of an emergency just after take-off. The take-off weight of a Tejas, with full weapons load and fuel, is 12.5 tonnes. But for landing back on an aircraft carrier, it must be less than 9.5 tonnes. In an emergency, 2 tonnes of weapons and external fuel tanks will be instantly shed, but a system must be built in for jettisoning another tonne of fuel from the fighter’s wing tanks.
None of the US Navy’s most successful carrier-borne aircraft — the F-4 Phantom, the F-14 Tomcat and the F/A-18 Hornet — was built by Lockheed Martin. Despite that, ADA believes Lockheed Martin’s experience in designing the futuristic F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter qualifies it as a consultant.
“All the earlier US navy aircraft had two engines, giving them the weight and strength to support a tail hook,” explained P S Subramaniam, the director of ADA. “But Lockheed Martin has designed the F-35 Lightning, which is a single-engine fighter with a tail hook.”
Dassault’s Rafale fighter and EADS’s Eurofighter Typhoon are both twin-engine aircraft.

Highest parachute landing-world record set near Mount Everest

KATHMANDU, Nepal --Three skydivers: two Britons, Leo Dickinson and Ralph Mitchell, and one Indian Air Force officer, Ramesh Tripathi jumped from an airplane at 20,000 ft (6,154 meters) and landed by parachute at Gorak Shep, a frozen lake bed, 16,940ft. (5,165 meters) above sea level, near Mount Everest-setting the world for the highest parachute jump landing.

   Photo: Mr Dickinson, flanked by fellow Briton Ralph Mitchell (left) and Indian army officer Ramesh Tripathi, stand at the 16,800ft-high plateau after they all skydived on to it from a helicopter flying 4,000ft above / AP photo
   (enlarge photo)

 "They landed at the highest zone at Gorakshep," Tourism Ministry official Dipendra Poudel said. "This will open a new adventure tourism event in Nepal and more skydivers are coming to Nepal."   

   Dickinson told reporters in the Nepal's capital, Katmandu, that after he jumped, he got a glimpse of Mount Everest before opening his parachute and saw "a panorama of fantastic mountains" and it was just amazing. You have got the mountains rushing past you. I just didn't want it to end. I had a freefall for four seconds and in the next three minutes I was already landing," Dickinson said.

   The divers were in free fall for about 5 seconds before opening their parachutes and gliding down to the landing zone. All three are experienced skydivers. Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Mitchell have done over 4,000 jumps so far, while Mr. Tripathi has done over 3,000 jumps.

   Photo: A skydiver prepares to land at Gorakshep at a height of 5164 metres after a parachute jump over Mount Everest. Photo: AFP
  (enlarge photo)

   "It was the fulfilment of a dream,” said Tripathi, who in 2005 had led the IAF team that ascended Mt Everest. “Now if I die tomorrow, I will die a happy man.”

   It was a remarkable feat for Tripathi especially as he had suffered a brain haemorrhage six months ago and his doctors opposed his skydive plan from a height where the dearth of oxygen could cause death. Unlike his peers, who spent about five days in Gorak Shep acclimatising, Tripathi did not have that luxury since he did not have leave.

   Surendra Sapkota, chief of Nepal's mountaineering department said officials from his department, police and the home ministry escorted the skydivers to the area and witnessed the jump.

  The previous world record for the highest parachute landing was made last year when skydivers jumped to a drop zone in the same region at 12,350ft.

   Gorakshep is a small patch of flat land at 16,940 feet near Mount Everest.

   Bikrum Pandey, chief of Nepali hiking agency Himalaya Expeditions that provided logistics to the skydivers said it was a "test jump" to see if Gorakshep could become a safe landing site for regular skydiving.

   This is the first year that the Nepal tourism has opened the Everest zone to skydiving. The landlocked mountain nation plans to celebrate Visit Nepal Year in 2011 to attract more tourists.
    Tourism is one of the Nepal's biggest foreign currency earners with tens of thousands of tourists coming to trek in the Himalayas every year.

  More than 3,600 climbers -- including a 16-year-old boy, a 76-year-old man, a man with an artificial limb and a blind person -- have since scaled the world's highest mountain.

   In May this year, the Indian Army’s Colonel Niraj Rana set another record by landing above Camp II of Mount Makalu, situated at 7,000 metres, on a paraglider. This was the highest place a paraglider has ever landed. 

Gorshkov deal inked in ‘haste’

Delhi, September 27
India signed the multi-million dollar deal of decommissioned Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov merely on “visual examination in as-is condition” and Navy “thought” ship could be repaired.

After signing the contract in 2004, the opening up the equipment for detailed examination and survey of the state of the hull structure, systems and cabling, it emerged that these could not be repaired and hence would have to be replaced with new ones, says Vice Admiral SPS Cheema.
The contract for the aircraft carrier was signed in January 2004 for which the “work package was drawn up based on visual examination in ‘as-is’ condition wherein it was thought that the majority of equipment, systems and hull structures could be repaired while the electronic equipment could be renewed,” Cheema said in a reply to an RTI application filed by Subhash Chandra Agrwal.
“This has resulted in additional work and in the interest to endure operation efficacy of the ship, these additional works have been accepted for consideration. The extra works have in turn resulted in increase in the project cost,” he said.
The deal which was signed for $ 974 million has escalated by about 300 per cent to $ 2.9 billion, according to sources. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India had also slammed the Indian Navy for the deal in which it would be “acquiring, belatedly, a second hand ship with a limited life span by paying significantly more than what it would have paid for a new ship.”
The report without naming the ship said that it was not an aircraft carrier but more of a cruiser equipped with a flight deck which had to be configured for a different type of service from that of its original design. “The vendor’s shipyard that was to undertake the repair and re-equipping work, had neither repaired ships of this magnitude nor had any work experience on aircraft carriers,” the report had said.
Cheema refuted the report saying the “basis on which the report has arrived such a conclusion is not known, as per the data available from internet and other sources, a new carrier of size of Gorshkov, is likely to cost anything between three and four billion US dollars and that too understandably without the spares, training, infrastructure and documentation cost.” He said it is not feasible to buy a new aircraft carrier commercially off-the shelf. — PTI

Chinese Soldiers on Indian Borders


The media these days are full of stories of the Chinese Army’s violation of India’s northern borders. Of late it spoke of violation in the central sector. I live in a border town in this sector. Before one believes these stories of violations, one should have an idea of the border topography. The border, not surveyed and not demarcated yet, for it to be accepted by both sides, runs along the highest ridges, across which it is impossible to see. A newspaper story quoted a villager seeing Chinese roads built in Tibet and Chinese soldiers coming on them. That is impossibility. One can see Tibet only from the top of the ridge that, in this sector, divides India from Tibet. Seeing Chinese motor roads from the Indian side is a matter of imagination and so is seeing soldiers coming riding across.
Does India have sentries bang on the border ridges? It does not. I speak of the central sector, reported to have been violated. This sector, as the entire border now, is patrolled by the Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP), created to guard the border. The disputed area here is called Bara Hoti, an 80-square kilometre sloping pasture. The ITBP post in this sector is at Rim Khim, some ten kilometres from the high pass one has to cross to enter Tibet. Two kilometres ahead of the ITBP post is a ridge where there is an observation post where the ITBP men and an Indian Army soldier go and spend the day watching the border. Beyond that is a lake called Parvati Kund and then a small river called the Hoti Gad, from where one starts climbing to the high passes of Tunjunla, Marila and Salsalla that lead into Tibet. From the Indian observation post the passes are at least eight kilometres away, from where it will be impossible to notice anyone coming through the passes.
The ITBP men do go patrolling into the pasture and up to the lake. The pasture has Indian shepherds from the border villages tending their sheep. The ITBP men have in the past come across people from Tibet bringing their yaks for grazing to the pasture. They wear standard Chinese close collar jackets and trousers and are sometimes taken for Chinese soldiers. Neither side knows the language of the other. Yak owners do gesticulate which has been interpreted by the ITBP men as saying that the pasture belongs to them. From the Indian border villages shepherds stay in the pastures for months. The high altitude grass there is very nourishing and fattens the winter-starved sheep and yak.
In the 1962 border war there was no fighting in this sector, while battles were fought in the eastern and western sectors. Chinese soldiers did come to this sector, as did Indian ones and there was some argument but no shots were fired. Since then there has never been any shooting or conflict in the area.
Those that bring their yaks across are surely Tibetan villagers and not Chinese soldiers. Soldiers always carry guns and generally ride horses. The Chinese motor road does come to the Tibetan border village of Dapa and a little below the passes, which are quite high, at about 17,000 feet. It is said that perhaps once a year, in July or August, Chinese soldiers do come across Tunjunla and down to the Hoti Gad river. There have been occasions when the ITBP men have gone there to confront them and show banners written in Chinese saying it is Indian territory and they should go back. And they have always gone back. Coming there once a year might be a way to their asserting that they have a claim to it and the border remains disputed. In the other tiny disputed area in this sector, beyond Neelang and Jadang, the Chinese have not come at all.
As stated, nobody lives in the bowl-like pasture all the year round. Indian shepherds arrive there in the summer. Occasionally an ITBP patrol with a lone Indian Armyman goes there.
One wondered how and who leaked to the media the news of Chinese troop incursion in the middle sector. There are only three sources: the Army, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing. Officials of the last two stay in Joshimath, almost a hundred kilometres from the border. They seldom go to the border and it may not be easy for them to get day-to-day information from there. The ITBP and the Army have persons on that border and know more than the others the goings-on there. One does not know if it is the intention of the Army to create an impression that China is causing a threat along the middle sector and in fact all along the border.
The last round of India-China talks on the border was held in Delhi last month. Neither side gave any account of what happened at that round. China has issued a long report which does not go beyond generalities of both sides wanting to settle the issue peacefully through negotiations. At what stage the talks are, neither side has made public. The last one heard years ago was that both sides had asked for their respective maps. India had given its border maps to China, but China has made no comment of them so far. What are they doing with the maps? Are they trying to reconcile them? There has been no news.
I have visited some passes in the eastern sector, like Jalepla, Nathula in Sikkim and the one below Chhuthangmo in Kameng of Arunachal Pradesh. From nowhere on the Indian side can one see Tibet across these passes and this must be the case with passes that lie further to the east. Yet there has been a spate of news stories of Chinese soldiers being seen intruding in the west, central and eastern sectors of our border and the media has gone to town over the security threat China is said to be causing all around, not only along the border but also from next-door countries like Myanmar, where China is said to be planning to build a naval station.
Apart from protesting over the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh, the Chinese have made no statements that could be remotely related to its unhappiness over the border deliberations or developments in India.

Indian Army's Artillery regiment celebrates 182nd Gunners Day on Monday

ndian Army's Artillery regiment will be celebrating its 182nd foundation day on Monday.
The raising day, which is known as Gunners day, is observed every year on September 28 to mark the raising of first Indian Artillery Unit 5 (Bombay) Mountain Battery on this momentous day in 1827.
Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor will lay the wreath at the Amar Jawan jyoti to pay homage to the martyrs on the occasion.
The Bahmani Sultans first used artillery in India in the 14th Century during the Deccan War against Vijaynagar Kingdom. Since then the Mughals, the Marathas, Hyder Ali, Tipu Sultan and the Sikhs under Maharaja Ranjit Singh, artillery was the leading arm and the 'Golandaz' battalions occupied a place of pride in the battlefield.
In 1935, Second Lieutenant P.S. Gyani became the first Indian officer to be commissioned into 'A' Field Brigade which was a unit comprising four batteries of horse drawn guns. The Royal Indian Artillery won its spurs in the Second World War.
The Artillery regiment was part of all the wars that India fought since independence. The gunners demonstrated fortitude against all odds during operations of 1947-48, 1962, 1965, 1971 and Kargil War.
Since the mid 1980s, gunners have been fighting shoulder to shoulder with the infantry in counter insurgency operations in Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and the North Eastern States.
During the Kargil War in May-June 1999, the Artillery regiment created havoc among the enemy lines and giving an unprecedented victory to the Indian Armed forces.
Amongst the present inventory of the Artillery are the indigenously manufactured 105mm Indian Field Gun (IFG) and its lighter version for employment in mountains called Light Field Gun (LFG). The 155mm FH 77B Bofors, and the 130mm Medium Gun of Russian origin are two of the most versatile and effective gun systems, in all types of terrain and climatic conditions.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


All OCs/COs belonging to ASC(South), M.E.G. & Centre, PARA Regt., C.M.P., PCTC & MLI are requested to instruct and assist all PBORs serving under their Units/Formations to register their Bank details by accessing the official website of CDA Bangalore the link of which is provided on this page. This registration will help the respective PAOs to create a database of their bank particulars, which in turn, will enable the PAO to credit their monthly salary directly into their respective state bank accounts.

The Monthly Pay Statement of the PBOR is planned from the Month of November 2009 onwards, hence the bank details are required immediately. If possible 15th of October’2009 or latest by 25th of October’2009

All Officers are requested to read the following instructions so as to create a correct and meaningful database.
Clicking onto following link will take you to the website of CDA Bangalore which in turn has a link to PAO ASC(South).
The form which appears before you is a common one for all PBORs belonging to any of the above six regiments/Corps.
The user id of the PBOR is his Army number without check digit(suffix).
The default password assigned is also his army number.
The system forces the PBOR to change the password the first time he logs on. “It goes without saying that he should not forget the same”.
As all PBORs may not be conversant with PC/WEB based applications, it is requested that adequate help may be provided to them.
All the fields provided are mandatory except the e-mail id and mobile number, which, if provided, will help us in providing him future personalized services.
In case the bank IFS Code (Indian Financial System Code) & MICR Code are not available with the PBOR his Cheque book may be consulted which contains both of them.
In case PBOR does not possess cheque book the following URL may be followed to RBI wherein all bank branches are listed with IFS Code and MICR Code
In case of any problems in filling up the details the below listed officers may be contacted for clarifications.

1. CDA Bangalore : 080-25545101

2. Shri. K.G. Chetty, Sr. AO : 09448813836 (Mobile).

3. Shri. T. Nityanandan, AO : 09916784130 (Mobile).

4. Shri. Suresh Kumar, AAO : 09449006739 (Mobile).

5. Shri. S. Vijay Kumar Naidu,AAO : 09480582420 (Mobile).

Complaints if any may be mailed to

IAF women officers to scale Mt Everest in 2011

NEW DELHI: A team of IAF's women officers will make an attempt to conquer the Mount Everest, the world's highest peak, in 2011.

"An all-woman IAF mountaineering team of 20 officers will endeavour to scale the 8,848-metre high Mount Everest in 2011," IAF officials said here.

The team is currently undertaking several expeditions in other ranges in the Himalayas to prepare them to endure the physical and mental challenges that have to be addressed first before undertaking the ultimate mission, they said.

With seven of the women officers on the team having scaled the 6,123-metre high Mount Stok Kangri in Leh this August 11, the group, led by Wing Commander Bhavana Mehra will now attempt to climb the 6,512-metre high Mount Bhagirathi-II in the Garhwal hills of Uttarakhand.

IAF Director General (Administration) Air Marshal Naresh Verma had on last Friday flagged off the team on their expedition to Mount Bhagirathi.

The team would also take up a few other expeditions in the next few months. It will scale 7,075-metre high Mount Satopanth in the pre-monsoon climbing season of 2010 and 7,757-metre high Mount Kamet in the post-monsoon season that year.

"This team will also be exposed to further higher altitudes in 2011 before setting course for Mount Everest," they added.


HAWS teams scale Machoi peak

Srinagar, September 26
High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) has successfully scaled the Machoi peak (18,000 ft) in three waves on September 16, 17 and 18.

The HAWS puts its students attending the mountain warfare advance course through the expedition to give them the first-hand experience of the planning and technical aspects of the course. These techniques may come handy in the face of any eventuality along our mountainous borders. The successful completion of the expedition also validated the rock craft and ice draft training imparted to the students, a defence spokesman said.

The first summit team comprising two officers, a JCO and 12 others ranks of training staff and six officers and 32 others rank students started under the leadership of Major Harsh Jha on September 16 from the road head at Gumri and established the Base camp at a height of 14,500 ft. The first team reached the summit at 10.54 am and by 11.20 am all teams reached the summit.

The complete wave reached the Base camp by 2 pm, after the lunch break of an hour this wave started their final journey to the road head at Gumri.

Simultaneously, the second wave had started at 6.30 am on September 19 and was safely at the Base Camp 10.30 am to welcome the first wave returning from successful venture.

The second wave comprising three JCOs and 10 others ranks of training staff and six officers and 30 others ranks students started under the leadership of Subedar Gokul Pradhan on September 17 from the Base Camp and reached the summit at 8.08 am and finally to the Base Camp at 12.10 pm with this wave returning .

The third wave comprising two officers, two JCOs and nine other ranks of training staffs and four officers, a JCO and 31 other rank students started under the leadership of Capt Mirza Zaihid Baig on September 18 from the Base Camp and reached the summit on September 18.

Clamour to let army fight Maoists rises

New Delhi, Sept. 26: The CPM in Bengal has joined an increasing chorus from the states to deploy the military as the Centre shapes a shotgun strategy counter-Maoist offensive.

Ironically enough, Bengal was the first — and remains the only — state in which the army was deployed against Naxalites since the uprising in Naxalbari (1967) spawned thousands of Maoists who now claim influence over a quarter of the country.

Despite the clamour for the army, Union home minister P. Chidambaram said even yesterday during a tour of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand: “There is no proposal to involve the army in anti-Naxal operations.”

But three days back in New Delhi, Chidambaram had said in two separate meetings, that if need be, the special forces of the army would be called upon to lend their muscle to the offensive he is now shaping.

The Indian Air Force is already involved in the operations and the army top brass is involved in strategising and training of forces.

The demand for the army, being voiced with increasing decibel levels from the states since 2006, cuts across party lines — whether it is the Congress, the Biju Janata Dal or the BJP and, now, the CPM. But the largest constituent of the Left in Bengal is unsure that it can carry the coalition it leads along with it.

Should the Eastern Command, headquartered in Calcutta’s Fort William, be asked to organise a deployment, this will be the second time since 1971. A full corps of the army was deployed in the western districts of Bengal and the eastern and southern districts of Bihar — one of the strongest areas of the Maoists then as it is today — that year under Operation Steeplechase.

That history has been all but forgotten as state administrations look to militarise their drive against the Maoists.

The demand for the army is accompanied by increasing measures to militarise the police force. The scare scenario for the army is that despite their “militarisation” — by means of better equipment and larger numbers — the state and central security forces run the risk of getting stranded.

“A militarised police is necessary but if the military is asked to police, it’s dangerous,” a senior army officer said.

“In that event, the military will be called upon to police the interiors of India, something we do not want,” he said. “In Jammu and Kashmir and in the Northeast, it is important for the army to be deployed because they are border regions,” he explained.

Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik met defence minister A.K. Antony yesterday and sought the military’s involvement in the offensive to take on Maoists in the western and southern districts of his state.

Patnaik was also keen that the army recruit soldiers from his state in larger numbers.

The chief minister is also understood to have requested the defence establishment to formulate special norms suited for the physical characteristics of tribals and others in Orissa so that they stand a better chance of getting recruited.

The Opposition Congress in Orissa has already called upon the Centre to deploy the army in Orissa.

In Chhattisgarh, the BJP government is making space in the outskirts of Raipur for a military cantonment. Chief minister Raman Singh has assured the army chief, General Deepak Kapoor, that land for a sub area command has been marked out. Though Raman Singh does not favour a deployment of the army just yet, his government-backed Counter Terrorism and Jungle Warfare College in Kanker is supported by the army.

It is run by a former army officer, Brigadier (retired) Basant Kumar Ponwar, who was the commandant of the army’s specialised Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School (CIJWS) in Vairangte, Mizoram, when he was in the service.

The army has seconded two Colonels to the faculty of the college that is the only one in the country dedicated to training state and central forces in counter-Maoist tactics. A helipad within the college campus is also used to launch air force helicopters for reconnaissance, casualty evacuation and the movement of troops.

In Operation Steeplechase — similar in many ways to the current security drive in and around Lalgarh — a corps of the army (about 45,000 troops) were deployed from July 1 to August 15 1971, in Midnapore, Purulia, Burdwan and Birbhum districts of Bengal, in Singhbhum, Dhanbad, Santhal Parganas districts of Bihar (now Jharkhand) and in Mayurbhanj district of Orissa.

The army was the outer ring of a cordon spread across the districts on the borders of the three states while central and state forces carried out searches and sweeps through much of the villages in the forested tracts. The army was withdrawn as India began preparing for the war with Pakistan in December 1971 that led to the creation of Bangladesh.