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Friday, December 25, 2009

Engineers in uniform face greater challenges’


LT Gen Arun Kumar Nanda, engineer-in-chief of the Indian Army, called on the graduates at the College of Military Engineering (CME) here to keep their technical skills top-notch.

Engineers in uniform, he said, would face greater challenges than engineers in civil life as they would have to be good engineers and good soldiers. “The need of the hour is to use cutting-edge technologies which are best suited to meet our requirements,” Nanda said.

He was speaking at the scroll presentation ceremony at the CME where 41 officers of the 99th batch of the Engineer Officers Degree Engineering and 12 officers of the Technical Entry Scheme were awarded their degrees.

Nanda said that historically the Indian Army had left an indelible mark on national projects. He cited the example of the bailey suspension bridge at base camp in siachen glacier, oil pipeline at siachen glacier, roorkee canal, and the road to khardungla pass. “In the present-day knowledge based society, only those who cultivate the habit of constantly updating their skill shall emerge successful. As the economy grows , aspirations of users who are primarily from the defence forces, both in combat engineering and the works environment, will go up,” Nanda said.

Nine rebels 'killed' in Manipur

Army officials said the rebels belonged to two different groups.

Six of those belonged to the Peoples Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak) and three were members of the Kanglei Yana Kan Lup (KYKL).

Manipur is home to nearly a dozen rebel groups - some fighting for the state's independence from India.

Others are fighting for tribal homeland they want carved out of the state.

Officials said the army raided two Prepak hideouts near the remote villages of Singheu and Laiboldung in Manipur's eastern Chandel district .

"After encircling the Prepak hideouts late at night, the army attacked at first light. The rebels were taken by surprised and many were killed," military spokesman RK Palta said.

He said another military platoon launched a similar attack on a Kykl base at Chirikhunao in the state's central district of Thoubal .

The army says that troops have now fanned out around these bases to hunt down other rebels who fled after the encounters, leaving their dead comrades behind.

Mr Palta said that some weapons and large quantity of ammunitions and explosives were recovered from the sites of the encounters.