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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


13 ,1994 batch IPS officers have been promoted to the rank of DIG in Uttar Pradesh.

Maharashtra govt will allow top cops to sue Gafoor


MUMBAI: The Congress-led Democratic Front government is set to dump former Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor for exceeding his brief and criticising four senior IPS officers for ‘‘dereliction of duty’’ during the 26/11 terror situation in Mumbai last year.

Left red-faced by the media interview in which Gafoor reportedly said that four top cops — K L Prasad, Parambir Singh, Deven Bharti and K Venkatesham — either ‘‘dithered on rushing to the sites or chose to be away from action’’, the home department led by NCP leader R R Patil has decided on a two-pronged plan against Gafoor. In case the officers accused of inept handling seek permission to initiate defamation proceedings against Gafoor, it will be granted immediately; simultaneously, provisions of the all India services (conduct) rules will be invoked against the former police chief who is currently DG (housing) for breach of discipline.

‘‘We have asked additional chief secretary Chandra Iyengar to conduct an inquiry against Gafoor. The home department will question Gafoor and ascertain whether he really levelled charges of dereliction of duty against a section of senior officers in his interview to a magazine,’’ Patil told TOI. 

DRDO admits N-capable Agni-II failed night testing

New Delhi: The first-ever night firing of the Agni-II Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) on Monday failed, admitted Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

DRDO is investigating the cause of the failure.

The nuclear capable missile was test-fired on Monday night from the Wheeler Island off Orissa coast.

Agni-II was test-fired from a mobile launcher intended to train the end-user, the Strategic Force Command of the Indian Army, to operate the missile in adverse conditions.

Even though the missile took-off smoothly and reported no glitch in the first stage separation, the missile appeared to have failed to meet the desired results mid-way at the second stage separation, DRDO sources said.

Strategic Forces Command conducted the test with necessary logistic support by various ITR laboratories and DRDO scientists.

The purpose of the test was to validate procedures for night firing.

The indigenous weapon is a two-stage solid propelled ballistic missile and has a weight of 17 tonnes and length of 20 metres. It can carry a payload of one tonne over a distance of 2,000 km.

Agni-II was developed by Advanced Systems Laboratory along with other DRDO laboratories and integrated with Bharat Dynamics Ltd, Hyderabad with the private sector participating in a big way in its production.The missile is part of the Agni series which included Agni-I (700 km range) and Agni-III (3,500 km range). Agni-I was already inducted and Agni-III is in the process of induction, the officials added.

Ban on sale of combat dress in Udhampur

To keep a check on the activities of some unidentified persons wearing service uniforms and entering remote villages to harass civilians, Udhampur District Magistrate Ajay Khajuria has ordered a ban on the sale, purchase, stitching and use of service uniforms by unauthorised persons in the district. The ban has been imposed with immediate effect and would remain in force for two months.

The order has been issued on the basis of reports from security and intelligence personnel that militants wearing service uniform had been found moving around in remote areas of the district posing as Army, security force personnel and committing atrocities on civilians.

According to the District Magistrate’s order, unauthorised persons have been barred from selling and purchasing combat dress, besides use of uniform articles.

The use of Army-type painted vehicles by civilians has also been banned in the territorial jurisdiction of Udhampur district.

French defence team visits Army battle schools

A French army delegation, including military experts in the field of counterterrorism, visited Northern Command Corps Battle schools at Sarol, near Rajouri, and Khreuh, Srinagar, from November 16 to 21.

The visit is part of the implementation plan for defence cooperation and exchanges with the French army.

During the visit to these training establishments, the delegation was briefed in detail about various functional, training and administrative aspects.

The French military officials were given a demonstration of the finer aspects of battle craft and tactical drills being imparted to the troops to cope with the challenges of combating insurgency in the state.

The presentations included the methodology of conducting people-friendly operations and ensuring human rights in the conduct of counterterrorism operations.

BSF to step up vigil on Indo-Bangla border

BSF officials were today asked to maintain close surveillance along the 856-km long porous Indo-Bangla border in Tripura, official sources said.

Raman Srivastava, Director-General of BSF, who arrived here on a two-day visit, held series of meetings with top BSF officials of the state and visited two border outposts (BOP) besides meeting the Governor and the Chief Minister.

Sources said, during meeting with the officials, the DG directed all officials to maintain a close vigilance in the border areas so that no unwanted elements could enter into the Indian territory from the neighbouring Bangladesh.

He would tomorrow visit two air-maintained BOPs in the North Tripura district and interact with jawans and officials.

The visit assumes significance in view of the mounting pressure on Bangladeshi security force on the Indian insurgents using their soil for conducting subversive activities in Indian territories.

BSF sources said, the official was also apprised about the outcome of the Inspector-General level meeting held recently in Sylhat in the first week of this month.

BSF had nabbed Ulfa’s self-appointed finance secretary Chitraban Hazarika and self-styled foreign secretary Shashadhar Chowdhury along the Bangladesh border in West Tripura district this month. — PTI

Pak nukes may fall into wrong hands: Antony

Expressing concern over the safety of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal, Defence Minister AK Antony today said the threat of these weapons falling into the wrong hands was an "area of serious concern" and its consequences would be unimaginable.

There was barely any country not affected by terrorism and the recent incidents of terrorism in Pakistan and Afghanistan had "pushed South Asia into sub-conventional conflict and instability," the minister said while addressing a seminar on “Changing Nature of Conflict: Trends and Responses.”

He called for greater synergy among security agencies, both nationally and internationally, to tackle the threat from terrorism. He stressed on the need for conventional armed forces to maintain an edge over such non-conventional players.

The world had witnessed a paradigm shift in the nature of conflicts, he observed. “Though territory-related issues retain their primacy, other issues like historical differences, ideological biases, economic disparity, religious prejudices, energy security and water shortage are no less a contributing factor”, he observed.

“Modern-day conflicts are not merely confined to states, but have expanded to include sub-nationalities, terrorists and insurgences, religious fanatics and ethnic interest”, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor said South Asia along with West Asia had emerged as an epicentre of conflict and instability.

He warned that the situation could worsen as there was neither political nor diplomatic unity on the issue.

MARCOS out of depth during Mumbai operation: Ex-NSG DG


New Delhi: The elite Marine Commandos (MARCOS) of the Indian Navy who were initially scrambled to tackle the terrorists during the 26/11 attack were "a little out of depth" operating in a hotel, says the then chief of NSG J K Dutt.

"The MARCOS is a force which is meant for conducting special operations on water... I think they fell a little out of depth operating in a premise like a hotel...," Dutt, who retired from the elite force in February, said.

...but at that time had the MARCOS been able to follow them (the holed up terrorists )and keep them pinned would have been useful… and since NSG is suitably equipped the operation would have been over much faster," Dutt told a news channel.

The MARCOS were initially sent to multiple locations during the 26/11 attacks to flush out terrorists before the NSG arrived on the morning of November 27.

Dutt also said that the NSG commandos tried to negotiate with the Lashker-e-Toiba terrorists during their operation.

"We did try to negotiate (with terrorists) but there comes a point in every operation when you know that this is going to be the final assault and in the next few minutes it is going to be over...," he said.

...the response (from the terrorists) was always abuses and more abuses...followed with shooting and...after that the commandos knew what they had to do...," he said.

The terror attacks left 166 dead and 304 injured.


Indian Navy keen to buy newer generation aircraft

New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) The Indian Navy has floated a Request for Information (RFI) for a newer generation of aircraft which can operate from the two indigenous aircraft carriers it will commission over the next 10 years.

The Ministry of Defence and industry sources indicate that the RFI, issued recently, is of a “generic” nature, looking for newer platforms and airborne technologies and what is on offer from some of the well-known manufacturers. The US Boeing and French Dassault have confirmed receipt of the RFI for their respective F18 Super Hornet and Rafale.

The number of newer generation aircraft is yet to be decided.

According to the coming issue of India Strategic defence magazine, the new generation aircraft will be in addition to the 45 Mig-29Ks the navy is buying from Russia, 16 of which were ordered in 2004 along with Admiral Gorshkov. The Mig-29K is a modernized naval variant of the Mig-29 operational with the Indian Air Force (IAF).

The order for an additional 29 Mig-29Ks is being processed, and is likely to be placed shortly after price negotiations and delivery schedule are worked out.

There should be no delay from Russia on the supply of the Mig-29Ks although it has delayed the delivery of Gorshkov by four years and is also demanding an extra $1.2 billion over and above the contract price of $974 million. The old carrier was given free and the price was for repairing and refurbishing the vessel which was damaged in an onboard fire accident.

The Super Hornet, a successor of the earlier Hornet, was introduced in 1998 for the US Navy while Rafale, a successor of the old Mirage 2005, has both air force and naval versions already operational. Both these aircraft are also competing for the nearly 200 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (M-MRCA) requirement of the Indian Air Force.

Eurofighter Vice President and Head of India Campaign Directorate Dr Matthias Schmidlin told India Strategic that while he could not confirm receipt of the RFI for the naval variant of Eurofighter, his company would bid for the Indian Navy’s requirement if invited.

In fact, he pointed out, Eurofighter is the only aircraft among the six contenders for the IAF order which would have thrust vectoring capability in the coming years. Thrust vectoring capability allows an aircraft to stand still in the air, and takeoff and land even in vertical mode like a helicopter.

Some 200 Eurofighters have been produced so far, predominantly to meet the requirements of participating nations which include Germany, Britain, Spain and Italy.

Thrust vectoring is being developed and would be operational on Eurofighters within the first half of the next decade, Dr Schmidlin said.

Harrier, which India bought in the late 1970s from Britain, was the first aircraft with thrust vectoring. The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), being developed by Lockheed Martin for US Air Force and Navy for the coming years, will have this capability.

Besides Boeing, Dassault and Eurofighter, the other contenders in the IAF competition are Mig-35 (a newer version of Mig-29), Gripen from Sweden and F 16 Viper IN (US Lockheed Martin).

The Indian naval brass is reportedly only doing a bit of loud thinking on its new requirement, but if it formally opens the competition in the coming years, it would add a new dimension to the IAF’s ongoing contest.

IAF’s Request for Proposals (or tenders), is for a firm order for 126 aircraft and for 63 more as an option at the same price. Given the continuing fall in the number of IAF squadrons due to the obsolescence of its largely Soviet-vintage aircraft, a repeat order for at least 100 more MRCAs is likely.

If the Indian Navy chooses the same aircraft, then it would be a bonus for the supplier, and also for HAL, which would be the lead integrator for Transfer of Technology (ToT) and 50 percent offset mandatory in the RfP.

Procedurally, the Navy would also find it easier to buy the same aircraft without opening an international competition, as it would be a follow-on order requiring no multi-vendor bid.

The Indian Navy has one small aircraft carrier, INS Viraat, which has recently been refitted and modernized for life-extension. There are a dozen old Harriers to operate from its deck, while Gorshkov will be available in 2012 or 2013.

Notably, Gorshkov is a 44,000-tonne carrier while India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier, being built at Kochi, will only have about 37,000-tonne displacement. The second carrier, already sanctioned by the government, could be modified to be a little bigger.

Both these carriers are being designed by Italy’s Fincantieri.

It may also be noted that both Eurofighter and Rafale are smaller in size than the F 18 Super Hornet, which operate from very large US aircraft carriers floating in all the oceans.

But Boeing IDS’ Head for India, Dr Vivek Lall, told India Strategic that Boeing had done a computer simulation to verify that the Super Hornet could operate from Gorshkov and Indian carriers as and when they are commissioned.

Thermal Imaging system for T-72 tanks

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) The Russian-made T-72 tank fleet of the Indian Army is undergoing an upgradation programme to equip thermal imaging capabilities to its night vision system, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Defence Minister A K Antony told the Lower House in a written reply during question hour that the process of upgrading the night fighting capabilities of the T-72 tanks with thermal imaging was an ongoing process.

He said the fleet was being optimally used and was the mainstay of the present tank fleet. "The entire fleet of this tank is fully battle worthy with high mission and operational reliability."

Of the total holding of T-72 tanks, a part of them was already equipped with high-end technology night vision device, which was fully integrated and exploited, he said.

India currently operates about 1,800 T-72 tanks.

Situation will worsen in South Asia: Gen Kapoor

Even as a terror threat over India looms large, Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor has warned that the situation will worsen further in South Asia.

At an international seminar on terrorism, Gen Kapoor painted an ominous picture of the ground situation in one the most volatile Asian regions. He was obliquely referring to China for its support to Pakistan despite unrelenting attacks on India from Pak-based groups.

The army chief said there is neither any political or diplomatic unity nor even common ground to build consensus to fight the war on terror.

Every country in South Asia has been a victim of terror sometime or the other and although India has been a major target of terrorism, much of it was Pakistan sponsored, Gen Kapoor said.

He said the preference of treating one country's enemy as another's friend was resulting in the conflict assuming dangerous proportions. It was a clear reference to China's backing for Pakistan.

Without naming it, he also took a swipe at Pakistan referring to foreign soil being used to launch attacks on the mainland or on missions abroad.

Major, Captain among 5 killed in Manipur ambush


Five security personnel including a Major and a Captain were killed as militants suspected to belong to the outlawed United National Liberation Front (UNLF), one of the oldest underground groups of Manipur, ambushed a patrol party of the Assam Rifles at Old Samtal in Chandel district bordering Myanmar on Monday.

The number of security personnel killed in attacks by militant groups in the current year in Manipur has now risen to 14. While six security personnel were killed between January and June, one JCO and two jawans were killed on October 31 in an ambush at Aibol Khul in Chandel district.

An army official said a patrol party of the 43 Assam Rifles was ambushed while it was on area domination duty in a thickly wooded area in Chandel district, leading to a fierce encounter in which five security personnel including the two officers were killed. The incident took place around 9:30 am. The incident occurred about 120 km east of Imphal.

The two officers killed in the ambush were Major Bhupinder Mehra and Raminder Kumar, the latter being an assistant commandant equivalent to that of a Captain. The ambush also came one day ahead of the 43rd foundation day of the UNLF, which was established with the aim of an “independent” Manipur.

Agni-II missile fails to clear night trial

BALASORE: India's nuclear-capable intermediate range Agni-II missile, test-fired for the first time after sunset on Monday, reportedly failed to get the desired results.

The Army test-fired the surface-to-surface Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) from Wheeler’s Island, Bhadrak district, around 7.50pm.‘‘The liftoff and the first stage separation was smooth. But it faltered just before the second stage separation and behaved erratically, deviating from its coordinated path. Further analysis is on to ascertain the cause,’’ said a source.

The entire trajectory of Monday’s trial was tracked by a battery of sophisticated radars, telemetry observation stations, electro-optic instruments and a naval ship.

The launch, originally scheduled in the first week of this month, was deferred due to some technical snags in its pneumatic system. Though the snags were rectified, another glitch surfaced during Monday’s test, leading to the fiasco, the source claimed.

The nuclear capable 2,000-km-plus range missile has a length of 20 meters, a diameter of one meter, weighs 17 tonnes and can carry a payload of around 1,000 kg. It was first tested on April 11, 1999.

The test launch was significant from India's strategic point of view because for the first time since the beginning of DRDO’s missile development programme, a missile was put under trial during night. The user trial was conducted by Army officials while scientists from DRDO were present to provide necessary logistical support.