Thursday, December 3, 2009

Army men face action for selling weapons


New Delhi, December 2
In what is a serious blow to the image of the Indian Army, administrative and disciplinary action has been initiated against 41 officers, one JCO and four retired officers for allegedly selling their personal weapons in the grey market. 

Minister of Defence AK Antony, in a written reply in the Parliament said, these were non-service pattern weapons that are sold at dirt-cheap rates to the officers for their collection. These are not weapons of the Indian Army. Antony said, a Court of Inquiry was held to enquire into the circumstances under which some serving/retired army personnel had sold/purchased/disposed off firearms and ammunition of various calibers. The District Collector, Sriganganagar had provided a list of officers who sold their non-service pattern (NSP) weapons, which included two Major Generals and two Brigadiers. The Court of Inquiry however did not find them involved/blameworthy in the matter. 25 officers who were in possession of more rounds of ammunition than authorised for their NSP weapons have been censured. 
Air space violations
Pakistan’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s)-used for reconnaissance missions-have violated Indian air space some five times in the past one year. Separately, Chinese two choppers intruded into India on separate occasions in June this year. Besides this a fixed wing medium sized aircraft of Pakistan also intruded into India while the Chinese sent across a “slow moving aircraft” in May this year, AK Antony told the Parliament in written reply. The intrusion by Chinese choppers is the same incidents which led to a huge media outcry with both Nations exchanging a heated words. All such cases are taken up with the concerned country through diplomatic channels, as per established procedure, Antony said.

265 crashes in 20 years
  In the last two decades since April 1989 and up to November 26, 2009, 265 fighter aircraft of the Russian origin MiG series of the Indian Air Force have crashed. A total of 96 service personnel and 44 civilians were killed in these cases, the Defence Minister informed the Parliament today. Each accident was investigated through a Court of Inquiry and remedial measures undertaken accordingly to check their recurrence, said Antony.

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