Saturday, October 31, 2009

Armed forces ‘should not be used for internal security’


Taking a U-turn from his earlier stance, Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik today categorically stated that the armed forces should not be used for internal security matters of the country. 

Naik was one of the chiefs of the armed forces who had reportedly sought permission from the government to strike against the Maoists a few weeks ago, which was denied to him.

“I am of the firm opinion that armed forces should not be involved in the internal security matters,” said Air Chief Marshal Naik while interacting with mediapersons here today after concluding his two-day visit to this forward military air base.

“Services, including Army, Air Force and Navy, are trained for lethal damage to cause maximum damage, and hence should not be involved in internal security matters. We should be allowed to play a supportive role for the paramilitary forces and should not be used for direct attacks,” pointed out the chief of the IAF.

Naik said China was not a cause of worry for India. While refusing to draw a comparison between the worthiness and capabilities of the IAF and the Chinese air force, especially when news in connection with border activities of China armed forces has been pouring in, he said, “ chinta ki koi baat nahi hai”.

He, however, said that there was a strong and immediate need for expanding and upgrading the air force gadgets, weaponry and other related things so it was able to meet the aspirations of the country.

The induction of Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) and Russian air-to-air refueller IL-78s and plan to acquire c-103 and c-17 aircraft would add edge to the already well-equipped air force, he claimed. On his comments over the acquisition of fighter aircraft of latest versions from the US by Pakistan, Naik said Pakistan was a sovereign country and, hence, India was not supposed to interfere in its matter.

“We are going to develop the fifth-generation fighter aircraft and multi-role transport aircraft with Russia and acquire helicopters, including VVIP helicopters, medium lift and light helicopters,” he said.

Super Hornet favourite in Indian and Brazilian tenders

The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is well placed to fulfil both the Indian and Brazilian fighter requirements, the company and its industry partners said on 28 October.
Boeing and its Team Super Hornet partners – Raytheon and General Electric (GE) – presented a broad-ranging review of the F/A-18E/F's position in both the Indian Air Force's (IAF's) Medium-Multirole Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) programme for 163 aircraft plus 63 options and the Brazilian Air Force's F-X2 tender for the first 36 of what is projected to be a total of 120 fighters.
Boeing stated that two major factors make the Super Hornet competitive in both markets: the first one being that the economies of scale that result from both the aircraft and its major subsystems are still hot (active) production lines and hence have steadily reduced the unit cost of the aircraft; the other is that the modular nature of the aircraft's sensors and propulsion system permit technology insertion that dramatically increases performance at minimal expense.
"The history of the F/A-18E/F's development has now seen a negative slope in terms of cost and a positive slope in terms of capability. For this reason we feel for the first time we are competing on even terms with the [Lockheed Martin] F-16 in terms of price," stated Boeing Military Aircraft IDS President Chris Chadwick.
Raytheon representatives, who also briefed during the New Delhi conference, emphasised that "Raytheon provided the first AESA [active electronically scanned array] radar sets to both the USAF [US Air Force] and USN [US Navy]", and that the company continues to leverage technological improvements across its product lines in improving the Super Hornet's AN/APG-79 radar

None should undermine IAF's capabilities: Naik

Pathankot(Punjab), Oct 30 (PTI) Unfazed by China or Pakistan inducting more aircraft, nukes or missiles in their existing fleet, Indian Air Force today said that none should undermine its capabilities.

"If our neighbours are purchasing new aircraft from the US, India is also inducting fifth generation aircraft in IAF shortly with Russian collaboration. One should not undermine the IAF's capabilities," Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said here, allaying fears about China or Pakistan replenishing their fleet.

The IAF is constantly updating and evolving new techniques and training well, he told reporters on the concluding day of his two-day visit to the Air Force Station here.

"We should be well prepared to meet any external threat," he said and pointed out at IAF's special training exercises with the US and Oman Air forces recently.

It serves an admirable purpose

The thought of the diminutive president Pratibha Patil strapping herself into the Indian Air Force's Sukhoi MKI fighter jet capable of shattering the sound barrier and hitting speeds of Mach 2.35 is admittedly a touch strange. But in the larger scheme of things, it is also entirely fitting. If Patil does go ahead with it, she will be following in former president A P J Abdul Kalam's well-publicised footsteps. And like him, she will be demonstrating both a deep appreciation for the armed forces' service to the nation and an understanding of her role within the constitutional framework. 

The president's post may be a largely ceremonial one in the Indian context, but whoever holds the office is nevertheless head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces. In a perennial state of readiness due to border conflicts, dealing with decades-old internal security situations that ideally should not be their responsibility, the least the military can expect is a public show of support from its titular head. That Patil should think of doing so by climbing into a fighter jet is particularly apt. 

The Air Force has been plagued by bureaucratic and financial constraints; these have seen its squadron strength dip and old, outdated aircraft retained in service. Not surprisingly, there have been a number of accidents and crashes over the years. By choosing to entrust her safety to the Air Force, Patil is providing a testament to both the men and the machines of the service. And if it also serves another purpose pushing the case for women fighter pilots so much the better. 

That her position is a ceremonial one, in fact, makes Patil the perfect person for boosting the morale of the armed forces. Tradition and ceremony are inextricably woven into the fabric of the armed forces. They are present in every aspect of their functioning. There are sound reasons for this; a sense of history and continuity are indispensable in a service that has nationalism as its raison d'etre and asks millions of men and women to risk their lives daily. Who better, then, to show that the nation appreciates their service and has faith in them than the highest citizen of the land whose office places a similar emphasis on tradition and history?

Pak fishermen nabbed, abandoned vessel seized off Koteshwar coast

BHUJ: In two separate incidents on Thursday, an abandoned Pakistani boat was found off the coast of Kutch near Sir Creek and five Pakistani fishermen nabbed from another area in the district. The Indian Navy was in the meantime conducting a mock drill off the Kutch coast, sources said. 

The boat, which has been registered in Pakistan, was found abandoned near Koteshwar in Lakhpat taluka of Kutch. It was spotted by jawans of BSF's 117 battalion who were patrolling the area. The seized boat has been brought to the coast. 

Later in the afternoon, five Pakistani fishermen were nabbed from another area in Kutch district. Security personnel were trying to find out how these fishermen landed in Indian territory and whether there was any connection between them and the abandoned boat, a BSF officer said. 

Meanwhile, the security forces are carrying out a search operation in the coastal areas of Kutch district, including the suspected spots on land and in deep waters.

Singapore and Indian Armies conduct Bilateral Artillery Exercise

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and the Indian Army are conducting a bilateral artillery exercise in Devlali, India. Code-named Agni Warrior, this year's exercise involves soldiers from the 23rd and 24th Battalion, Singapore Artillery, as well as the Indian Army's 283 Field Regiment.

As part of the exercise, the two armies carried out a combined live-firing with the SAF's FH-88 Howitzer guns and 155mm Battery guns from the Indian Army on 26 October 2009. Chief of Army Major-General (MG) Neo Kian Hong, who was on an official visit to India from 25 to 27 October 2009, witnessed the live-firing with Director-General Artillery Lieutenant-General K R Rao. MG Neo also met the SAF and Indian Army troops during the exercise. The exercise, which is the fifth in the Agni Warrior series, began on 9 October 2009 and will conclude tomorrow.

This series of annual exercises underscores the warm defence ties between Singapore and India. Apart from joint exercises, the SAF and the Indian Armed Forces interact regularly through visits, courses, seminars and other professional exchanges. 

Indian Army may turn to 1950s-vintage artillery

The Indian Army's artillery directorate is considering the acquisition of additional Soviet-designed 130 mm M-46 field guns, developed in the 1950s, from surplus stocks within the former Soviet republics to augment its severely depleted firepower.
Official sources said delays and constant postponement in acquiring new howitzers to replace and supplement the 410 Bofors 155 mm/39 cal guns procured in the late 1980s had promoted this possibility in a bid to plug the army's artillery shortfall.
India was the largest export customer for M-46 artillery pieces, with an estimated 800 purchased from the late 1960s onwards and employed during the 1971 war with Pakistan.
Thereafter, under the Field Artillery Rationalisation Plan finalised in the late 1980s, the army aimed by 2020-25 to acquire a mix of around 3,200 to 3,600 155 mm/52 cal and 155 mm/39 cal towed, wheeled, tracked and light howitzers for 180 of around 220 artillery regiments. The new guns were intended to replace the six different calibres the artillery currently deploys.

Revival of Khalistan? Reunion planned in Europe

October 31 will mark 25 years of the assassination of former prime minister Indira Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. More than two decades later, the Khalistani movement may have died down in India, but there is now a renewed attempt of some Sikh militant groups based in Europe and the US to revive it, with ISI support. Sumon Chakrabarti's special report.

IAF Mi-17 helicopter crashes into Chenab, pilot killed

NEW DELHI: A senior IAF pilot was killed and three others were feared dead after their Mi-17 helicopter crashed into the Chenab river in the mountainous Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday afternoon. 

While the charred body of pilot, Wing Commander R Garg, had been fished out by late afternoon, search operations were still in progress for the other three victims -- co-pilot Flight Lieutenant S Tomar and technicians junior warrant officer Kundan Singh and sergeant P K Deepak. 

The ill-fated Mi-17-1V, in formation with another helicopter on a regular sortie, was flying quite low over the Chenab when it apparently got entangled in a cable of a bridge and crashed into the water reservoir of Baglihar hydro-electric power project at Tringel Assar, 150 km northeast of Jammu. 

The helicopters were returning from the mountain-locked Nawapachi area of Kishtawar district, where IAF undertakes regular sorties to supply rations, arms and ammunition for the troops stationed there. 

This is the 10th aircraft crash in IAF this year, already making it one of the worst years for the force in recent times. From 1971-72 to 2003-04, IAF's consolidated average rate stood at 1.09 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, roughly translating into the loss of 23 aircraft and the death of 10-14 pilots every year. 

The crash rate did come down dramatically to around 0.27 accidents per 10,000 hours of flying, with an over 50% reduction in crashes after 2003-04. But the number of crashes has now gone up once again. 

The two main reasons for crashes are attributed to "human errors" and "technical defects". In other words, "inadequate" training to pilots, ageing machines and shoddy maintenance practices form a deadly mix for IAF. 

The sturdy Mi-17s have, however, proved to be one of the workhorses of IAF ever since 50 of them were inducted in the mid-1980s. Another 40 Mi-17-1Vs were later ordered in 2000. 

Incidentally, IAF is slated to induct another 80 of Mi-17's latest version from 2010 to 2014 under a $1.2 billion deal with Russia inked in December 2008. 

The choppers, which will also be weaponised for combat operations, are slated to replace the 50 old Mi-8s in the IAF fleet, which have already outlived their life span of 35 years, and boost operations in high-altitude areas like Siachen and Ladakh. 

Brushing aside criticism that Mi-17s were based on outdated technology and had high life-cycle costs, officers say the new choppers would be able to land at a height of 18,000-feet with their powerful engines, better avionics and night-flying ability.

Friday, October 30, 2009


As per the 6th Pay Commission's Recommendations, the Central Secretariat Stenographers Service (CSSS) has got a very good break through and 28 Senior Private Secretaries of CSSS working in Government of India have been appointed to the newly upgraded posts of Principal Staff Officer (PSO) in the pay band 4 (Rs.37, 400 - 67,000/- + grade pay of Rs.8, 700/-.)


Pilot who runs dist’s biggest dairy farm

Walking the earth once you have tasted the sky is rather insipid. Laju Cherian has found a way out: cut your own path and fly high on its success. That’s why when he is not flying Mukesh Ambani or Rahul Gandhi, this former Air Force pilot is busy pursuing his interest in a dairy farm on the outskirts of the city. In fact, the biggest dairy farm in the district with 130 cows, supplying farm fresh milk to hundreds of homes and a number of hotels. Living two worlds can sometimes be tiresome, Laju agrees. Presently, he has flown down from Mumbai for a week, before flying to the US for a month. But Laju makes sure he is just a call away for his labourers in the farm and flies down when they need him. His interest in cows goes a long way back to his childhood. Laju grew up at his ancestral home in Ernakulam which boasted of a dozen cows, drinking pure cow’s milk and seeing his grandfather taking to agriculture: it was only natural for him to nurture love for farming. But it was only after he took voluntary retirement from the Indian Air Force at 33, a couple of years back, that this man actually thought of rearing cows. He started off with ten, then added another ten, then decided to build a farm which finally took a commercial look some two years back. ``Kerala has real brains, it has everything to grow. But no food security. By the time it will expand with IT parks, people here will have to beg before the neighbouring states. I always wanted to put in my share to develop agriculture here. Opening this farm was taking a step towards my vision. At least, a few will get to drink hygienic milk,’’ Laju says. He flies in the private sector and presently has a contract running with Reliance to fly Mukesh Ambani. Last elections he had flown Rahul and Sonia Gandhi to various constituencies. These are just a few of the big names he had taken on a flight. But listening to Laju speaking about the huge capital investment needed in dairy farming or the shortage of raw materials and labour in this field, you wouldn’t guess he knows better jobs. ``Rearing a calf to cow is an expensive affair which goes up to Rs 60,000. So, I talked with Dairy Development officials and currently, they have come up with a subsidy for heifer rearing scheme,’’ he says. Laju has hundreds of bulky Holstein Friesians, some pure breeds and a dozen calves and heifers in his farm at Mulayara, two kilometres from Vilappilsala. His farm supplies more than 1,000 litres of milk everyday to locals and hotels. It comes in white and green packets carrying the label Papa’s farm fresh milk. The yield is high these days, but it had gone down to 500 litres during last summer. Milking and packing is mechanised to ensure hygiene, Laju says. Now that is something this man seems to be obsessed with: hygiene. The way he narrates the usual processing steps that major milk brands abide by or some banned products had earlier adopted, would bring a stop to your habit of drinking packet milk itself. Laju’s wife, Tara, is a yoga practitioner and their only daughter, 12-year old Sruthi, is a student of St Thomas Higher Secondary school. If not for all, Laju is happy that at least his daughter gets to drink fresh cow’s milk. ``That’s why I have named it Papa’s dairy,’’ he smiles.

Air warriors are becoming businessman


The Indian Air Force (IAF) has found that a large number of its men are moonlighting in their spare time and turning to trade and business. In fact, the IAF has sent out a strongly worded letter warning all its officers against such activities and warning them even of harshest steps like being sacked from service if its directive is not followed.

The letter comes from Air Vice Marshal R Sitaraman, in charge of administration who has said that the instances have particularly increased in the last one year to aid monitoring the situation, the Air Vice Marshal has asked for a list of those who have been warned earlier. TIMES NOW have accessed the document written to all the Air Force officers.

It is an internal directive from Air Vice Marshal R Sitaraman dated on 18th August and it notes that the persons subject to Air Force Act, 1950 are not allowed to engage in 'trade and business activities'. It goes on to say that the IAF head quarters has received a number of reports in the last one year pointing to breach of this rule by officers and warns the officers that such instances will be taken very seriously and stringent disciplinary and administrative action will be taken against those guilty to the extent that personnel found involved in business or trade even after that will be expelled from the IAF.

In fact even the Union Defence Minister AK Antony has not refused the existence of such an attempt to cleanse the Air Force. When asked by TIMES NOW , he stopped just short of accepting the fact that the IAF was aware of its men turning to moonlighting and said that the force is fast in stamping out aberrations, as and when they arise. 

Civilian War Memorial to come up in Goa soon

Panaji, Oct 29 (PTI) Nearly five decades after they laid down their lives for liberation of Goa from the Portuguese rule, a Civilian War Memorial would be established to commemorate the sacrifice of Indian soldiers.

"We are scouting for a suitable place to set up this memorial that will be located in a civilian area," Capt (Retd) Venugopal Nair, Secretary Rajya Sainik Welfare Board (RSWB), said today.

The RSWB, which takes care of 2,300 retired military men and army widows in Goa and is headed by Chief Minister Digamber Kamat, this year decided to set up the memorial to in the memory of Indian army soldiers who laid down their lives, he said.

Codenamed 'Operation Vijay', the 36-hour-long military exercise in 1961 -- involving air, sea and land strikes -- ended 451 years of Portuguese colonial rule in Goa.

Defence ministry orders inquiry against senior army commanders

New Delhi, Oct 29 (IANS) The defence ministry Thursday ordered an inquiry into an alleged land scam in Darjeeling in West Bengal involving two lieutenant generals – including the designated deputy chief of army staff.
‘The defence minister (A.K. Antony) has ordered inquiry into the alleged land scam,’ a senior defence ministry official [^] said without divulging further information.

The alleged fraud related to how an institution, posing as an affiliate of the Ajmer-based Mayo College, obtained a no-objection certificate (NOC) from army officials for transferring a large tea estate adjacent to the Sukna military station in Darjeeling a few years ago.

An NOC is mandatory for sale of land adjacent to military stations due to security reasons. The army had initially refused an NOC but the decision was allegedly reversed by senior officers. Deputy Chief of Army Staff-designate Lt Gen P.K. Rath and present Military Secretary Lt Gen Avadhesh Prakash have allegedly come under the scanner in the scam.

The army, which has already ordered a probe into the episode claims that the probe was against procedural lapses and not directed against any individual.

Antony Wednesday said that nobody would be allowed to go ’scot free’ if found guilty and that the government was taking a serious view of the corruption in the armed forces.

Arrest warrants against 2 armymen for links with ISI operative

Patna , Oct 29 A Bihar court today issued arrest warrants against two army personnel and a local for allegedly having links with an ISI operative. Chief Judicial Magistrate S P Singh accepted a petition by Patna police praying for issue of arrest warrants against army personnel Anil Kumar and Vivek Ranjan, besides a villager Pappu Srivastava from Bihar&aposs Madhubani district. The police in its petition had said prima facie involvement of the trio in aiding an ISI operative in passing information about deployment of Indian army had been established during investigation in a case against another army man Sudhanshu Sudhakar, arrested by state police recently on charge of spying for ISI. Sudhakar was dismissed from services in September. He is lodged in judicial custody in the high security Beur jail here.

Special Forces modernisation keeping in view Taliban menace: Army Chief

AGRA - To guard the territorial integrity and national security from any quarter, the Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor, has assured that security forces are ready to face any challenge from the Taliban, and added that Special Forces modernisation is being done keeping in view asymmetric and fourth generation warfare.

Para commandos are elite special forces of Indian Army. They are the largest and most important part of the Special Forces of India. The parachute units of the Indian Army are among the oldest airborne units in the world. On April 15, 1952, by absorbing three parachute battalions the Parachute Regiment was finally formed.
“I like to assure everyone that we are ready to face any challenge,” General Kapoor told ANI when asked about the preparedness of the Army in wake of growing Taliban menace in neighbouring countries.
A fortnight ago Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud said that India is the next stop for Taliban fighters after they create an Islamic state in Pakistan.
“There are whole lot of new equipments, which is being thought of for Para Special Forces modernisation, especially in view of the fact that asymmetric warfare, and fourth generation warfare is a matter of concern and from that perspective we are trying to modernize entire Para Forces,” said the Army Chief during the paratroopers reunion hosted by the Parachute Brigade here on Tuesday.
Since the mid-1990s the role of Para commandos as a counter terrorist force has increased substantially. They are now actively involved in counter terrorist operations in Jammu and Kashmir to conduct pro-active raids against militants hiding in the countryside and mountains.
Commenting on the preparation of the Special Forces for 21st century warfare, Colonel of the regiment, Lt. General P C Katoch said: “One can see what is happening in the J-K, Northeast, there is outside interference. Parachute Regiment and Special Forces are all prepared for it all along.”
As part of the modernisation of the Special Forces, a hi-tech warfare training is being given to the troopers, who have been equipped with light weight weaponry to enable them to take swift action during combat operations.
The Special Forces, which is also known as the Red Devils for their courage and professionalism, have been equipped with Travor rifles that would prove beneficial to the troops, deployed in counter insurgency operations.
The Special Forces will also get helmets fixed with night vision binoculars and earpiece for communication purposes. The body armour will comprise of lightweight bulletproof vests and shoes. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

Operation Bluestar did not go as planned: P.C. Alexander (25 years after Indira Gandhi's assassination)

Indira Gandhi decided to send the army to the Golden Temple in 1984 as a last resort and only after getting repeated assurances from then army chief A.S. Vaidya that not a brick of the Sikh shrine would be harmed, recalls P.C. Alexander, the powerful principal secretary to the former prime minister.
'What happened was not planned. Things happened in the Golden Temple much against what had been approved by her and what had been indicated to her by the army chief,' Alexander, one of Gandhi's closest confidants, told IANS in a telephone interview from Chennai.

It has been 25 years since Gandhi was assassinated on Oct 31, 1984, by two Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for her ordering army troops to storm the Golden Temple complex in June 1984.

Tracing the events leading to the 'difficult decision' to send the army June 5, 1984 to liberate the temple from Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the militant Sikh leader, and his cohorts rooting for a separate state, Alexander stressed that Gandhi's efforts all along were to find a political settlement.

'When she returned to power in 1980, she held a series of meetings with Akali leaders like Sant Harchand Singh Longowal, Parkash Singh Badal and Surjit Singh Barnala to find a solution to the Punjab problem,' said Alexander.

'But the Punjab situation was taking a dangerous turn.

'Bhindranwale was pursuing a policy of creating a rift between Sikhs and Hindus. He was organising an unofficial army and was spewing venom against the Hindu community. Money was flowing in from Britain, Canada.'

'Finally, when he occupied the Akal Takth and Harmandir Sahib, Mrs Gandhi realised that even if all their demands were granted, they will then also insist on a separate state,' he said.

The 88-year-old Alexander, who also served as governor of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, recalls vividly the fateful meeting on May 25, 1984 that was to culminate in the army action inside the Golden Temple and subsequently Gandhi's assassination Oct 31, 1984.

'Indira Gandhi had called a meeting to discuss the Punjab situation. Army chief, General A.S. Vaidya, RAW chief R.N. Kao, minister of state for defence K.P.Singh Deo, and I were present at that meeting.'

'She was assured by Gen. Vaidya that force will not be used inside the Golden Temple. She made it clear to Vaidya that the holy book will not be touched and not a single brick will be damaged and made Vaidya repeat these assurances many a time.

'Finally she gave the go-ahead, subject to these conditions,' he said.

'Four days later, (May 29, 1984), Vaidya again met her and said it was not possible to launch the operation as planned earlier as Bhindranwale and his men were heavily armed. He said it will be a risky operation but we will do our best not to harm the shrine.

'Mrs Gandhi listened to him. But in the end she agreed as she respected the army a lot. I trust my general,' Alexander recalled Gandhi telling Vaidya.

'However, the operation did not go as planned. The tanks had to be used as there were a large number of people armed with sophisticated weapons who were well-entrenched inside the temple.'

In retrospect, Alexander said Gandhi was anguished by all that had happened but her decision emanated from her belief that she had the superior knowledge to decide what was good for the country.

'Mrs Gandhi did not find fault with the army. She never said she was let down by the army. She was very proud of the Indian Army and of Sikh heritage. Ironically, she was killed by Sikh soldiers in uniform.'

Having worked with Gandhi closely during her last stint in power, Alexander feels that her image as an 'Iron Lady' was really an invention of people who never knew her. 'She was very safe and gentle. When a journalist famously described her she was the only man in the cabinet, she was outrageously angry as he thought the comment was very patronising.'

(Manish Chand can be contacted at

3 militants killed in separate gunfights in India-controlled Kashmir

 SRINAGAR, India-controlled Kashmir, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Three militants were killed in two separate gunfights with joint parties of Indian army and police in India-controlled Kashmir, defense officials Thursday said.
    Two militants were killed when a gunfight broke out Wednesday night at village Kataria Ban of Mendhar in Poonch, around 250 km northwest of Jammu, the winter capital of India-controlled Kashmir.
    "After receiving an intelligence input about presence of two hard core foreign militants in village Kataria Ban, our troops and special operation group of police launched a search operation. During the operation the militants were found hiding in a hut. An exchange of fire took place that continued until late night and two militants were killed,"said Lt. Col. Biplab Nath, defense spokesman based in Jammu.
    The militants have been identified as the cardres of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), said the defense spokesman.
    Meanwhile, another militant was killed in an encounter that broke out Thursday morning in Tangdhar-Kupwara, 130 km northwest of Srinagar, the summer capital of India-controlled Kashmir.
    "One militant was killed in Tangdhar area when our alert troops spotted him while trying to infiltrate in the region," said Lt. Col. J. S. Brar, defense spokesman based in Srinagar.
    Both the gunfights were reported at a time when Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was on a two-day visit to the region.

India to facilitate medical training to Maldives soldiers

Minister of Defense and national Security Ameen Faisal has said that an Indian Army medical college will facilitate Maldivian soldiers to train in the field of doctor, nurse and technicians.
This was revealed by India during Maldives Defense Minister Ameen Faisal’s ongoing visit to India. In his visit he met with Director General of Armed Forces’ Medical Service Lt. General MK Paama and Director General of Medical Service of the Army Lt. General SR Mehetha at the RNR hospital.
Minister of Defense Ameen Faisal also met with Indian Defence Minister AK Antony. At the meeting, discussions were held on ways of expanding defense cooperation between the two countries. Indian Defence Minister Anthony assured that his government will send the promised helicopter in sometime around November to establish an air wing in the Maldivian National Defense Force (MNDF). He also said that the radar systems will be installed at different locations in Maldives this year to further maritime surveillance in the region. Minister Anthony also said that the Indian Army engineers will assist Maldives in conducting surveys to construct a bridge between Lh. Naifaru and Hinnavaru.

Earlier this year, following Indian Defence Minister AK Antony’s visit to Maldives, Minister Ameen said that India will provide all necessary assistance to establish a 25 bed military hospital in Male’ and will provide training to Maldivian doctors and paramedics working at the hospital.
Minister of Defense Ameen Faisal visit to India is from 27 – 31 October.

12 killed in Jaipur IOC depot fire, Army called

JAIPUR & NEW DELHI: A devastating fire swept through an Indian Oil fuel storage and distribution terminal on the outskirts of Jaipur on
Jaipur oil depot fire
Flames engulf a major oil depot in Jaipur. The blaze at the Indian Oil Corp facility in the desert state of Rajasthan swiftly spread out of control killing at least 12 people and injuring scores more, officials and emergency workers said. (AFP Photo)
Thursday, killing at least a dozen people and injuring more than 100. The toll is likely to go up as the blaze is still raging. At the time of going to press, all 12 tankers at the terminal were aflame. ( Watch Video )

Preliminary reports said the fire broke out after a pipeline valve failed when petrol was being transferred from the IoC terminal to Bharat Petroleum's storage nearby. D C Daga, director marketing of IoC, said the fire began with a leak in one of the tankers.

The Met department recorded a tremor measuring 2.3 on the Richter scale around the time the first explosion was heard at 7.36pm. Such was the impact of the explosions that windows of houses even 3km away were damaged. The capacity of the terminal is 80 lakh litres of fuel.

There were at least 40 IoC employees at the terminal, which is close to the Sanganer airport, and it isn't known how many of them have managed to escape. About 300 tourists from nearby Chowkidhani resorts were evacuated. Electricity lines in surrounding areas have snapped. Students living in nearby hostels have been taken to safer places.

All 31 fire tenders in Jaipur have been rushed to the spot and an expert from Mumbai has been contacted to fly down and help douse the fire. The terminal gets its supplies from IoC's Mathura refinery through pipeline and feeds part of the Rajasthan market.

The massive spillage of highly inflammable petrol being pumped at high pressure has resulted in heavy destruction. A team of IoC officials has rushed to Jaipur. Petroleum minister Murli Deora is expected to reach the spot on Friday morning. IoC officials said oil supply in the state would not be affected, and that another terminal at Jodhpur would be pressed into service.

J&K troop withdrawal starts

The Indian Army has begun withdrawing troops from the Rajouri and Poonch districts of Jammu and Kashmir in a move that will meet a major demand of Kashmiri separatists.
The withdrawal of one division strength, around 15,000 troops, is being seen as a big confidence-building measure to get separatists, especially hardliner, on board for talks.
It is for the first time since militancy erupted in the state that such large numbers of troops are being moved out.
Officially, it is being called “relocation”, but the fact remains that the troops are moving out of the state.
When asked to confirm if soldiers of 39 division, or Dah division, were being withdrawn, Defence spokesman Lt Col Biplab Nath said, “These are operational matters and details cannot be divulged.”

What makes the move all the more significant is that the twin districts of Rajouri and Poonch were brought under the Disturbed Area Act along with the Kashmir Valley in July 1990. Also, the security forces were given special powers under Armed Forces Special Powers Act around the same time.
The twin districts in south of Pir Panchal range of Himalayas are militancy-prone. With a 200-km stretch running along the Line of Control with the Pakistan occupied Kashmir, the area is vulnerable to infiltration as well.
When it was pointed out to Lt Col Nath that convoys were moving out of the mountainous belt of Pir Panchal, he said, “Certain elements of 39 division were being relocated, as per the periodical review of the security situation.”
On November 17, 2004, a week before he visited the state as the prime minister for the first time, Manmohan Singh had announced that the army's presence would be reduced. The troops begun to move out the day — November 24, 2004 — he landed in Srinagar. But, a spurt in terrorist violence and repeated ceasefire violations by Pakistan brought the process to a halt.
Significantly, on Thursday, as the Prime Minister ended his two-day visit to the state, the troops begun to move out.
Two battalions — one each from Qazigund, 80 km from Srinagar in south Kashmir, and Handwara, 100 km from the state capital in north Kashmir, — were moved out of the state early this month.

Trained in India, to fight in Iraq

New Delhi, Oct. 29: An Indo-US wargame that ended today in Uttar Pradesh helped retrain part of an American contingent that went into action in Iraq and will be redeployed in the war-ravaged country, scaling up the bilateral exercise that was originally projected as a peace-keeping drill.
Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09 – the latest in a series of Indo-US drills that began in 2004 – involved the largest deployment of ground forces by the two countries for joint training. When the exercise began, the Indian Army officially stated that the scenario for the drill was that of joint operations for peace keeping under a United Nations’ mandate.
It was more or less expected that the US Army will begin using Indian military facilities and experience to train for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with the wargame.
But the scale of the drill was far deeper than initially thought. Within the first five days of the two-week drill, it quickly morphed into an armoured and infantry exercise involving para-dropping and securing urban settlements simulating environments in Iraq and Afghanistan with live firing. Forces led by the US had invaded Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) without specific UN mandates.
Around 250 soldiers from the US contingent – of the 2nd squadron 14 Cavalry -- pulled out of Iraq in April this year after a 15-month deployment. It is marked to re-deploy there in nine months.
Till April this year the squadron was based in Camp Taji, about 25km north of Baghdad, in a zone that is the most violent in Iraq. At least one of its soldiers, Sergeant Timothy P Martin, 27, was killed. He died in a blast from an improvised explosive device in August last year.
The drill with Indian mechanised forces in Babina – one of the Indian Army’s largest and most sophisticated training centres with a large field firing range– starts off a period of re-training for the US forces.
The exercise was witnessed by the chief of the US Army Pacific, Lt Gen Benjamin R. Mixon and India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen A.S. Sekhon.
The trend among US-led coalition forces to use Indian military facilities to train for “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and “Operation Enduring Freedom” (Afghanistan) began in September 2007. But the drills have never involved as many soldiers, so much hardware and such massive firepower.
A unit of the British Royal Marines engaged Indian special forces in an exercise named “Himalayan Warrior” in Ladakh in September-October 2007.
The UK requested access to Indian military facilities in Ladakh and an exercise in that region because the dry desert terrain is similar to parts of Afghanistan. The British soldiers were also acclimatised at the Indian Army’s High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) in Sonamarg.
Last October, the US army chief, General George Casey, was also escorted by Indian Army Chief, General Deepak Kapoor to Ladakh and to Indian army establishments in Kashmir and other Indian military facilities.
So far, army-level drills between the two countries involved companies (about a 100 troops in each company) or even smaller platoons. But the involvement has now been scaled-up several notches with Exercise Yudh Abhyas 09.
Just how seriously the Pentagon takes its exercises with the Indian military is indicated by the logistics that have gone into the Babina drill. It deployed 17 Strykers – the largest deployment of the multipurpose armoured vehicles outside Iraq and Afghanistan – that were shipped all the way from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, where the unit is currently based, to Mumbai.
In Bombay, the Strykers, each weighing about 19 tonnes, were transported in sixteen-wheeler trucks to armoured corps base in Babina (that was started by the British with the acronym that stands for British Army Base in North India).
The Strykers and the US troops will now head back the same way for more training in the Mojave Desert in Southern California.
“This exercise (Yudh Abhyas 09) is a ramp-up in training, as the unit prepares for larger pre-deployment training exercises such as those at the National Training Facility in California,” a US army statementsaid.
The US army contingent was hosted by the general officer commanding the Indian Army’s 31st armoured division, Maj Gen Anil Malik. The Indians deployed the 7th Mechanised Infantry for the drill.
The scale of the exercise involving armoured units – India’s Russian-origin BMP troop-carriers, its latest T-90 tanks and Dhruv helicopters – and the US Pacific Army chief’s comments invariably stoked interest once again on possible joint operations.
“This is all about training with the Indian army, to enhance relationships so that we gain a greater understanding of each other. That’s really what this is all about,” the general said. “India has a professional army. I will go with the Indian Army anywhere, anytime,” he added.
But beyond the show of power and battlefield skills, there was also a pitch for arms sales to India. The Stryker vehicle itself was closely watched by the Indian forces. It can be configured for several tasks – offensive, reconnaissance, communications and evacuations apart from troop carrying.
A senior official of the Pentagon’s defence sales branch also escorted executives of defence companies Lockheed Martin and Raytheon to Babina for the exercise. The US contingent demonstrated the fire-and-forget Javelin anti-tank missile, at least a generation ahead of the Milans that the Indians use. India is scouting the markets to stock up on anti-tank systems because the Indian Army still trains for scenarios of armoured warfare.
Indian soldiers were not allowed to drive the Stryker but some of them took shots at dead tanks with the missile.
The sleek shoulder-fired Javelin hones into its target without having to be guided to it. It is made by Raytheon.

Indian Army says Pakistan capitalising on ceasefire to strengthen defence

Major General K. Majumdar, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Indian Army's 10 Division has said that Pakistan is taking advantage of the ceasefire to strengthen its defence along the India-Pakistan border.
After attending an ex-serviceman rally, General Majumdar said that India was aware of the activities of Pakistan across the border, and counter measures were being taken.
Further he added that the war of wits is always on between the two nations and it would continue.
"There is no doubt that they are taking advantage of ceasefire to strengthen their defence, but we can't take any action unless there is ceasefire violation. We are doing our bit and they are doing their bit," said General Majumdar.
General Majumdar added that threat of infiltration is always there, but the Indian army is always vigilant to foil attempts of anti-national elements.
"There has always been a lurking threat. There have been attempts in the winters in our sector. Of these, people out of sheer desperation of not having been able to get through try and infiltrate places where they feel they can. However since the time we have got this fence on road, we have developed this fence. So this sort of threat to some extent has reduced. We need to be careful and eliminate any attempts by these antinational elements to get across LoC oblique the border," General Majumdar said.
Kashmir remains at the core of a six-decade-long conflict between India and Pakistan.
They fought two of their three wars over Kashmir since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. (ANI)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1989 batch IAS to be JOINT SECYs

 Review of 1989 batch IAS officials (already in GP of 10000 as SAG) for the post of Joint Secretary( =MAJ GEN) is on the cards. It would include about two dozen officials.



Bimal Julka is going to deliver a lecture on the "role of defence forces in security of the nation" at Bhopal based R.C.V.P.Noronha Academy of Administration on October 31,2009. The Academy's Director General (DG) is Dr. Sundeep Khanna who is a Madhya Pradesh cadre IAS officer of the 1972 batch. Bimal Julka who is also an MP cadre IAS officer of the 1979 batch had been in the Defence Ministry for a pretty long time. Presently he is Delhi based Resident Commissioner (RC) of the Madhya Pradesh government.

Pay revision for polytechnic colleges

On behalf of AIFPTO, General Secretary Shri N Chandra Shekhar,has led a delegation of Polytechnic teachers on Dt. 23-10-2009 and met Smt. Purandeswari, MOS HRD at her camp office in Visakhapatnam. AIFPTO Thanked her for taking initiative for submitting a note to Sri Kapil Sibal, HRM to consider review of MHRD recommendations for inclusion of PB4 for Polytechnic teachers. She assured us that a meeting with AIFPTO office bearers in the presence of Sri Kapil Sibal would be arranged after Nov. 1st to resolve the issue.

Shri N Chandra Shekhar advised polytechnic community to wait for better days to come and requested to give wide publicity of this news item among all polytechnic teaching community and local press.

The copy of letter to MoS MHRD

To                                                                                                                                           Dt. 23-10-09

Smt. D. Purandeswari
Hon’ble Union Minister of State for
Human Resource Development
Government of India
New Delhi.

Respected Madam,

Sub: AIFPTO - VI Pay Revision for teachers of Diploma level technical institutions – Notification not yet issued – Request for early Notification - Reg.

Ref: i) Various representations from AIFPTO

      ii) Report of Prof. Goverdhan Mehta Committee

The Association would like to submit that the Polytechnic Faculty of India is the only left over category of teachers in the country who has not received the benefits of the 6th CPC.

The AIFPTO (All India Federation of Polytechnic Teachers’ Organisations) which is the body representing all the Polytechnic Teachers’ Associations/ Organisations in the country has submitted several representations to the Hon’ble Ministers and to the officials of MHRD and AICTE. In fact, the Federation has submitted its proposals to the Prof. Goverdhan Mehta Committee on Dt. 29-05-2009 at New Delhi. Later, the Committee has submitted its recommendations to the Ministry of HRD in July 2009.

In this regard, the Association would like to bring the following few points to the kind notice of the Hon’ble Union Minister for his information and favourable action.

i) Technical Education is instrumental in making remarkable contribution to the economic growth of the Developing Countries.

ii) The same pay structure has been prescribed for the Polytechnic and Engg college teachers in the previous IV & V Pay Commissions. (Ref: Annexure)

iii) The Ministry has notified the Prof. Chadha Committee Report (for UGC teachers) and Prof. Goverdhan Mehta Committee report (for CFTIs) in its website. But the Prof. Goverdhan Mehta Committee report for teachers working in Diploma level technical Institutions was not placed in the Ministry’s website till to date due to reasons unknown.

iv) In various discussions with the officials of MHRD, it has come to light that Pay Band IV is being denied to the Polytechnic teachers in the VI Pay Committee Recommendations. Whereas our counterparts in the Universities and Engg. Colleges have been recommended the Pay Band IV. Such a recommendation is contrary to the vision of the present Government (expansion plans of setting up 1000 Polytechnics in the country) which has launched an ambitious programme of ‘Sub-Mission on Polytechnics’ to the tune of nearly Rs. 7000 Cr. In the 11th and 12th Plan periods.

v) Such a move would force the competent and experienced faculty to leave the Diploma system and move on to Engg. colleges as the qualifications are similar but Pay structure would be different. Also the Govt.’s commitment to attract and retain qualified and talented teachers would take a back step. Further it is likely to lead to overall frustration among the Polytechnic teachers and possible agitation across the country.

vi) The delay in issuing the notification amounts to huge monetary loss to the incumbent teachers as the MHRD is not furnishing any financial grants to the respective State Govt.s and they are at liberty to implement the Revised Scales as per their convenience.

Hence the Association requests the Hon’ble Union Minister of State for HRD to consider the plight of nearly 1200 Polytechnic teachers and see that

i) The Prof. Goverdhan Mehta Committee report is placed on the Ministry’s website.

ii) The Pay scales for Polytechnic teachers are notified immediately without any further delay.

iii) The Polytechnic faculty, like their UGC and Engg College counterparts is allowed to move from PB3 to PB4 (after 3 years of service as Lecturer (Selection Grade)/ Head of the Department).

iv) A white paper on the importance of the Polytechnic System be prepared by the Ministry and steps to galvanize the polytechnic system may be enumerated herein. The State Govts may use the same as Reference.

Thanking you,

Yours Sincerely,

LTC : Clarification

F.No. 31011 / 3 /2009- Estt.(A)


Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pension

Department of Personnel & Training

New Delhi, the 28th October, 2009


Subject:- Use of own car / hired taxi on LTC journey on account of physical handicap.

The undersigned is directed to refer to this Department's O.M. No. 3101114/2008-Estt(A)dated 23.9.2008 in which it was stipulated that LTC facility shall be admissible only in respect of journeys performed in vehicles operated by the Government or any corporation in the public sector run by the Central or State Government or a local body.

2. Instances have come to notice where Government servants on account of physical handicap/disability of self or dependant family members are unable to perform the LTC journey by the authorized modes of transport and are compelled to undertake the journey by own car or private taxi. Representations are being received to allow reimbursement in such cases. Matter has been examined in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, Department of Expenditure and it has been decided in relaxation of LTC Rules to authorize the Head of Department to allow use of own/hired taxi for LTCjourney on account of disability of the Government servant or dependent family member after obtaining following papers/conditions to avoid misuse of such relaxation:-

(i) Medical Certificate from competent authority.

(ii) Undertaking from Government servant that journey in authorized mode is not feasible and he actually travelled by own car/hired taxi.

(iii) such claim should not be more than journey performed by the entitled class by rail/air by the shortest route.

Chinese intrusions errors: Krishna

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna today said there was nothing alarming about border incursions by the Chinese military.

In a ‘meet-the-press’ programme at the Press Club here today, Krishna said border between India and China was not clearly delineated and this gave rise to the problem.

“It is nothing to be alarmed about,” Krishna said and added that a mechanism was being worked out to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

“Indo-China border is most peaceful. There may be incursion by the Chinese without them even being aware of it. Relations between the two countries are warm,” Krishna, who held a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart here yesterday, said. He added that efforts were underway to take the relationship between the two nations to the next level, which would be one of “partnership”.

The Minister said National Security Adviser MK Narayanan had been assigned to hold negotiations with the Chinese on the boundary questions and the two sides had already held meetings on the issue. He, however, added that resolution of the disputes would be a time-consuming process and would require a “lot of patience” on the part of those who were keen to see an end to the boundary problems.

Regarding the proposed visit of Dalai Lama’s to Arunachal Pradesh, Krishna reiterated that the Tibetan spiritual leader was an “honoured guest of India” and was free to go to any part of the country that he would wish to visit.

After Russia, US to produce fighter aircraft in India

The US has decided to allow production of its front-line fighter aircraft, F-18 super-hornet, in India if the Indian Air Force selects the same for use.

President of the Boeing Military Aircraft systems Chris Chadwick made it clear today that F-18, produced by Boeing, “will be for licensed production in India by the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL)”. If the IAF selects F-18, first 18 aircraft will be imported and the rest will be made in India. Chadwick was replying to a question if Boeing was comfortable with producing its frontline aircraft in India like the Russian products are made here.

Notably, Russian fighter Sukhoi-30, rated as one of the best in the world, and the T-90 tanks, both are produced in India as part of an agreement between India and Russia.

His colleague Mike Reitz, director of the F-18 project made it clear: “The US government has approved of the technology transfer. We will be building the plane here itself and not be just assembling parts ”. The F-18 is part of the six global contenders of the medium range multi-role aircraft (MMRCA) project that India in buying. At $10 billion, it is one of the biggest ongoing deals in the world. The F-18 has finished its two-stage Indian leg of the trails conducted across Bangalore, Jaisalmer and Leh.

As part of its commitment to Indian market, Boeing has signed agreements with a total of 38 Indian defence public sector companies and private companies for supplying equipment.

Agreements have been signed with Indian companies such as Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Boeing India head Vivek Lall said.

As per the Defence Procurement Procedure, for any deal worth over Rs 300 crore, the selected manufacturer has to reinvest a minimum of 30 per cent of the deal’s worth in Indian defence industry.

The F-18 has been modified for Indian conditions, said Reitz as he challenged the other five contenders saying “we challenge anybody to fly a plane like us”. A new radar, that allows tracking of multiple targets on land, air and sea, is fitted onto the plane. The US Government has also approved this for technology transfer to India.

Ready for talks if Pak curbs terror: PM

Wanpoh (Anantnag), October 28
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today reached out to Pakistan for carrying forward the ties of friendship, but at the same time made it clear that the neighbouring nation would first have to curb the activities of elements targeting India.

Addressing a largely attended gathering while inaugurating the 19-km Anantnag-Qazigund railway section in south Kashmir, Singh also made an appeal to the state youth to join in the building of a new Kashmir.

And in an opaque reference to the proposed talks with separatists, the Prime Minister expressed willingness to talk to anyone “who had any meaningful ideas for promoting peace and development in Kashmir”. “We want to carry all sections of the society along in resolving the political and economic problems of Jammu and Kashmir,” the Prime Minister said.

Also present on the occasion were UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union Ministers Farooq Abdullah and Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of State Prithivi Raj Chavan, Governor NN Vohra and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah.

Notably, Singh had flagged off the first ever train in Kashmir from Srinagar on October 11 last. And with today’s inauguration, the 119-km-long railway link has got completed.

Asserting that terrorism only led to death and destruction, the PM said: “The perpetrators of the acts of terror must pay the heaviest penalty for their barbaric crimes against humanity.” He held that the “real face of terrorism was clear for the people of Pakistan to see with their own eyes”. Singh hoped that Islamabad showed sincerity in acting against the perpetrators of terrorism.

Between 2004 and 2007, said Singh, his government was always ready to discuss all issues with Pakistan. And during this period when militancy and violence were on the decline, he said, the “most fruitful” and “productive” discussions ever were held with the Government of Pakistan.

His government, said the Prime Minister, was committed to having unconditional dialogue with anyone who abjured violence. “We had discussions with different groups. We had a number of ‘Roundtable Conferences’. All issues were discussed. We tried to give voice to the demands of all sections of the people. We have implemented a number of initiatives as a result of this process,” he said.

CM Omar Abdullah, too, reiterated the importance of Centre-state internal dialogue to resolve various issues. The economic packages have their own significance in the development process but political issues require political dealing and dialogue was the only medium for it, he said.

Omar assured his government’s help in making the situation conducive for resumption of state-Centre talks so that issues were politically addressed and resolved amicably, and, thereby, the state relieved from the shadow of gun. “It is very important for us that an effective dialogue process takes place to deal with the political aspect of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were accorded a warm welcome at the airport by Governor NN Vohra, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, his deputy Tara Chand, other cabinet colleagues and senior officials.

China wants good ties with India: Krishna

“No dam is being built by China on Brahmaputra”

S.M. Krishna
BANGALORE: External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna on Wednesday acknowledged that China had never allowed its territory to be used by forces hostile to India.
“China wants to have good ties and I have often said India would like to have very friendly relations with China. Our effort is to take this relationship to the level of partnership. Hence there is goodwill on both sides and it augurs well,” he said.
Mr. Krishna was replying to questions on the outcome of his two-day meeting with his Russian and Chinese counterparts at a “meet-the-press” organised by the Press Club of Bangalore.
He said organisations based in Pakistan were “breeding terror” against India, and termed “ridiculous” the allegation by the Pakistan Foreign Minister that India was supporting terror attacks in several parts of that country.
On the boundary issue with China, he noted that the Special Representatives appointed by both countries had met 13 times, and suggested that its resolution would be a “time consuming process” because of the long boundary.
“We have to have lots of patience. I would like to assert that the India-China border is one of the most peaceful and tranquil one though it is not delineated. Because of this, if there are incursions, there is a mechanism and things are sorted out at the field level.”
Mr. Krishna said the Dalai Lama, as a guest of India, was free to go wherever he wants. “The only restriction on the Dalai Lama is that he should not indulge in politics or boundary related questions.”
On reports of construction of a dam by China across the Brahmaputra, he said “It was conveyed to us by our own experts that no such thing is happening there.”
About the issuance of visa to Indians from Jammu and Kashmir by China on a separate slip, instead of on the passport, Mr. Krishna said he told his Chinese counterpart that it should be uniform for all Indians.
Preliminary reports on the two attacks on the Indian Embassy in Kabul suggested that the perpetrators were “outsiders and not those who live in Afghanistan.”
On the Mumbai attacks, Mr. Krishna said India had provided six dossiers to Pakistan on the involvement of its nationals and Islamabad should now pursue the leads and bring them to justice. 

No military involvement in Afghanistan: Antony

NEW DELHI: Indian and American armed forces may be conducting a flurry of joint war games to build `interoperability' in tune with their growing strategic ties but India remains firm that there is no question of it joining the US-led military operations either in Afghanistan or Iraq.

"I am saying categorically that there is no question of Indian military involvement in Afghanistan. I do not foresee such a situation, not now or in the future," defence minister A K Antony said on Wednesday.

India is helping Afghanistan only with humanitarian aid, reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts, and it will be limited to that, he added.

This comes in the backdrop of India holding its largest-ever ground combat exercise with US at Babina, near Jhansi, earlier this month. The 15-day exercise, interestingly, was codenamed `Yudh Abhyas' (preparation for war) and revolved around the use of mechanised infantry, with its combat vehicles, for counter-insurgency/counter-terrorism in semi-urban terrain.

During the exercise, on being asked whether US would like to have Indian troops helping it in Afghanistan, a top American military commander had said his troops would be comfortable operating with their Indian counterparts anywhere and anytime in the future.

The US, anxious to grab a major chunk of the lucrative Indian arms market, had undertaken `live-fire ops' of its high-tech weaponry like the Stryker infantry armoured vehicles and Javelin anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) during the wargames.

Incidentally, it was the largest overseas deployment of the Strykers after Iraq and Afghanistan, with the US Army coming with 17 of the eight-wheeled armoured combat vehicles for the war games. 

Post-Mumbai: 3,000 new posts for Coast Guard

Defence Minister A.K. Anthony Wednesday announced 3,000 additional posts for the Coast Guard to beef up maritime surveillance and security.
Antony said that the concept of security was changing in the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack. The government would fill up vacancies on a priority basis.

'The modern day dynamics of security and geopolitics mean that the Coast Guard cannot rest on past laurels and can ill-afford to be complacent. The responsibilities on the Coast Guard have been increasing. The terror attacks on Mumbai have resulted in a bigger role for the Coast Guard,' the minister told reporters here.

The Coast Guard is in the process of acquiring 20 fast patrol vehicles (FPVs), 41 interceptor boats, 12 coastal surveillance aircraft (Dorniers) and seven off-shore patrol vehicles (OPVs).

'Work is in progress to put in place a chain of 46 coastal radars spanning nine coastal stations across the country. Also, nine new Coast Guard stations have been approved. These need to be established early,' Antony said.

He said that presently 50 ships were being constructed at various Indian shipyards, to be acquired by the various military agencies.

In the aftermath of the Mumbai attack of November 2008, the Indian Navy was made the nodal agency for the coastal security of the country's 7,516 km long shore line. 

India is on the verge of implosion from within

Soon after the independence on 15 August 1947, Brahman ruled India started gobbling princely states. 365 states were made part of Indian Union many among them wanting to stay independent or become part of Pakistan. Later on, India broke Pakistan into two and guzzled Goa and Sikkim.
It also got caught up in insurgencies. Nagas followed by Mizos were among the first to demand separation in 1950s. Indian security forces have spent over 50 years combating left wing extremists, separatists and religious forces in large number of states of India where dozens of insurgencies/separatist movements are raging but have been unable to quash any. India is home to 19 insurgent movements waged by left wing extremist groups within its borders and there are hundreds of terrorist groups.
Maoist movement is raging in West Bengal, Bihar, Western Orissa, Jharkand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh and several other regions.
Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have also now come under sway of Maoists. It is a popular movement and has massive support of people for their program and ideology. Maoists have appealed to the senses of the have-nots, who find their future in so-called democratic and shining India dark. Out of total 1.17 billion populations, over 39% of dispossessed Indians living below poverty line have hitched their wagon with Maoist movement led by Mupala Luxman Rao, which triggered in May 1969 in the form of peasant uprising in West Bengal against big Hindu landlords. They are hopeful that Maoists would bring a change in their wretched lives.
Maoist guerrillas threatened to kill Manmohan and Sonia Gandhi after the party was declared a terrorist group. They were reminded of meting the fate of Rajiv Gandhi at the hands of LTTE. In last July they gave one week notice to local Congress leaders in Jharkand to resign or be prepared to be taught a lesson. Maoists have adopted tactics of LTTE and fake Pakistani Taliban, ruthlessly killing police and govt officials, kidnapping for ransom and destroying property, attacking police stations and security check posts. There was linkage between Maoists and LTTE and latter provided them logistic support as well as training in explosives. In Chattisgarh, Naxals extort money from people to the tune of $60 million a year. 20,000 armed cadres of Maoists and around 50,000 members are active in 220 districts of country’s 608 districts (40% of Indian Territory) and 20 of 29 states. Since 2005, 1500 acts of violence by Naxals have taken place at an average of five a day and 60 killings per month.
Communist Party India (CPI-M) supported Maoists threat has been defined as India’s largest and most dangerous internal security threat. Naxalite insurgency in northeast of India known as Red Corridor has become so threatening that India is actively considering shifting 23 battalions of para-military forces from occupied Kashmir. Manmohan Singh admitted that Maoists pose biggest threat to Indian Union. India is equally disturbed about Maoist power in neighbouring Nepal where China commands strong influence. It does not rule out the possibility of Nepali Maos and Indian Maos forming a nexus duly supported by China.
Other dangerous insurgencies are in Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura, Maghalaya, Arunchal Pradesh, Bodoland and Gujarat. Khalistan movement waged by the Sikhs is still simmering in Punjab and aversion of Sikhs against Brahman Hindus has become deep-rooted. 12 out of 14 districts in Kashmir and 54 districts in northeastern seven sister states of India have been inflamed by religious and separatists groups. Hindu-Muslim riots in India have become a norm and in each riot the Muslims are blamed as well as vandalised. Gujarat carnage of the Muslims in 2002 at the hands of extremist Hindus fuelled Islamist Jihad and gave birth to Students Islamic Movement which was banned.
India is awash with home-grown terrorist organizations. All told there are 123 separatist and insurgent movements and terrorist groups in India based on left wing extremism and none is controllable. The insurgents have now acquired sophisticated weaponry and adopted sophisticated techniques. While over 7 lacs security forces are committed in Indian Held Kashmir since 1989, same number is employed in counter insurgency operations in other parts of India. The morale of Indian army and other paramilitary forces is at its lowest ebb. Suicide cases are also on the rise. Since January 2007, 125 army personnel have committed suicides in Kashmir alone. Cases of desertions and indiscipline have touched new heights and recruitment in army has dipped very low. Senior officers are involved in corruption scandals, promiscuous activities and in rapes of junior women army officers. Army officers in India have now been found linked with Hindu extremist groups carrying out acts of terror. There is large segment in armed forces which favours Hindu Rashtra with separate constitution and hates Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Since mid eighties, Hindu extremism is constantly on the rise. Baal Thackeray, head of Shiv Sena is notorious for stoking hatred against the Muslims and for indulging in subversive activities. He has urged Hindus to prepare suicide bombers to challenge Muslim extremism. Lt Gen retired Premnath Hoon and Col retired Jayant Chitale were among the founding members of Shiv Sena. Hoon proudly claimed that he was involved in training Hindu suicide bombers. Sangh Parivar is involved in almost all terror acts in India in which Pakistan was blamed. Patronised by BJP, it runs training centres in Gujarat and Maharashtra in full knowledge of all concerned. This outfit is involved in several acts of terror in India including demolition of Babri mosque in 1992, Samjhota express bombing in February 2007, bomb attacks in Muslim heavy Magalaon and several other places.
Avidhar linked with Sangh Parivar and having serving and retired Indian army officers as members was involved in Samjhota and Malegaon incidents. Maharashtra anti-terror squad Chief Hemant Karkare had broken this network and arrested Lt Col Purohit and 11 other accused. The accused had confessed masterminding Samjhota Express bombing in which 69 Pakistanis were burnt to death and their involvement in Malegaon bomb blasts in which the victims were Indian Muslims. A charge sheet was submitted to Mumbai court on 20 January 2008 by Karkare. India refuses to punish the guilty but is pressurising Pakistan to take action against culprits of Mumbai attacks without furnishing any evidence or court conviction.
RAW uses Sangh Pariwar, RSS, Shiv Sena, VHP, Abhinov Bharat, Avidhar and other Hindu terrorist organisations for internal and external targets. RAW has set up 26 training centres in Afghanistan along our western border where Chechens, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Afghans, Arabs and dissidents from Pakistan are trained as terrorists and suicide bombers and launched into Pakistan. Services of Indian Muslims and religious scholars to run madrassas are also being utilised.
Indian caste system is one of the major reasons that India didn’t become a cohesive unit. It has 350 languages and thousands of dialects. India suffers from ethnic insurgencies, ideological terrorism and religious jihad. 3% Brahmins and its 11% supporters are hated by great majority which is suffering at their hands. Low caste Dalits who are poorest of the poor, Muslims and Sikhs are the worst sufferers; they form over 80% of the population. 150 million Indian Muslims stand brutalized, humiliated and marginalized. Christians in India have always been subjected to ruthless vandalism; latest round was in Orissa in 2008. No minority has escaped persecution of Brahmins who are bigoted and intolerant towards religious minorities. Percentage of marginalized class in India is increasing placing India among the lowest 60 countries out of 193 countries. Secularism is a farce to keep all the communities together in bondage.
Corruption has become a grave socio-politico malady as politicians, bureaucrats, armed forces act in tandem to receive kickbacks. Bofors scandal of Rs. 64 crores is pending since 1990 in which PM Rajiv Gandhi was among the accused. Tehlka Commission of Inquiry had examined and identified corruption in 15 defence deals. There is rampant corruption particularly in defence deals in which margin of commission is heavy. Public accountability is non-existent and Hindu bigotry and intolerance is constantly on the rise.
Instead of attending to the miseries of 300 million downtrodden living below poverty line who commit suicide and sell their children, wives and kidneys to survive, insensitive Indian Brahman leadership suffering from megalomania and obsessed with becoming a global power has been constantly increasing defence budget from1987/88 onwards. Apart from maintaining exceptionally heavy sized forces, over 14 lacs security forces are employed on counter insurgency operations causing severe strains on Indian economy. Ambitious nuclear and space programs are impacting its economy. Instead of utilizing its resources for the alleviation of the sufferings of under-privileged, Indian rulers are investing billions in Afghanistan and spending huge amounts on modernizing its forces and on aimless clandestine operations against its neighbors.
Belatedly, Congress led UDA government has got concerned of the Maoist threat and is girding up its loins to crush it using military force. CPI-M has strongly opposed use of military in combating naxalite terror. If army is used, in all likelihood, it would backfire since it is a populist movement of the poor and has a just cause. It may impel Naxals to resort to suicide attacks and also seek help from Nepali Maoists. Visible cracks have appeared in the Indian Union, kept united through brute force. Indian leaders are in no mood to rein in Hindu extremist forces vying for Hindutva, or assuage sufferings of minorities in India, or are prepared to cast off their evil designs against its neighbors as well as their high sounding ambitions. Given the state of hopelessness among the have-nots in India and the momentum of insurgencies and terrorist movements, India is on the verge of implosion from within.
- Asian Tribune -