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On his last day as Army Chief, Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag pays tribute to martyrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>General Dalbir Singh paid tribute at Amar Jawan Jyoti on his last day as Army Chief on Saturday. He will be replaced by Lieutenant General Bipin Rawat as new army chief.General Singh inspected the guard of honour on his last day as Army Chief. “I salute our martyrs who made supreme sacrifices in upholding honour of the nation,” he said. He also thanked the Centre for granting One Rank One Pension to the armed forces.He also thanked PM Narendra Modi and the Centre “for their full support and giving free hand in conduct of operations”. Gen Dalbir Singh praised the Indian Army saying ,”Indian army delievered that in the last 2 and a half years. Indian Army is fully prepared and well trained to tackle any challenges be it external or internal. I strongly believe that actions must speak louder than words.” “In 2012, we had killed 67 terrorists, 65 in 2013 & killed 141 terrorists alone in J&K this year,” said General Dalbir Singh on his last day as the Army Chief. (With ANI/PTI inputs)Lt Gen Bipin Rawat’s appointment as the new Army Chief had created a controversy as it superseding seniors Lt Gen Bakshi and Southern Army commander Lt Gen PM Hariz. It had also sparked a fierce political row between a section of the Opposition and the government.

Nagrota: Militants gained entry from forest behind Army camp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The militants who attacked the Army camp at Nagrota in Jammu and Kashmir, had entered the premises from the forest area in its rear, official sources said today.The sources claimed that the militants used the forest area located behind the Army camp to gain entry.The area has barbed wire and a small wall, they said.Two Indian Army officers and five jawans were killed in an eight-hour long gun battle at the military camp near the Army’s 16 Corps headquarters in Nagrota on November 29. Three militants were also neutralised in the attack.The Army unit is located just three kms from the Corps Headquarters at Nagrota.A statement by the Army soon after the attack had said that the terrorists forced their way into the Officers Mess complex by throwing grenades and firing at the sentries.However, Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag said here on the sidelines of an event that the incident was under investigation and a final report will clarify everything.

General Dalbir Singh, Indian Army Chief visits China

Beijing: Indian Army chief, General Dalbir Singh, began a four-day visit to China on Monday and is set to visit the eastern theatre command of the People’s Liberation Army in Nanjing.

File image of General Dalbir Singh. PTIFile image of General Dalbir Singh. PTI

File image of General Dalbir Singh. PTI

He will also meet the Vice Chairman of all-powerful Central Military Commission Fan Changlong.

“He is here (China),” said an Indian embassy official in Beijing.

Eastern theatre command is one of the five zones of People’s Liberation Army — the world’s largest standing military.

“The visit aims at engaging China on subjects of mutual concern and shared interest, which include terrorism, humanitarian assistance and peace-keeping training,” the embassy said.

“This visit is an opportunity to re-engage PLA in field of defence cooperation and build upon existing mutual cooperation and trust between the two nations. The delegation will also be visiting military installations including Infantry Division and Army Air Defence Brigades,” the statement said.

Singh’s visit coincides with the ongoing joint military exercise between the two countries in Pune.

The drill will be followed by the visit of General Zhao Zongqi, commander, Western Theatre Command of PLA, in the second week of December.

First Published On : Nov 21, 2016 16:19 IST

Armed forces chiefs meet PM Modi

Sat, 24 Sep 2016-06:20pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The chiefs of the Army and the Air Force along with the Vice Chief of the Navy on Saturday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his residence in New Delhi.The meeting assumes significance as it comes against the backdrop of the deadly Uri attack. Defence sources described the meeting as “routine”. The chiefs of the armed forces have a monthly meeting with the Prime Minister to discuss various issues, they said.Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha and Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral K B Singh met the Prime Minister. Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lanba is out of town. The Army Chief has met the PM and top PMO officials a number of times since the attack last Sunday in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Stop terror, vacate PoK: India raises atrocities in Balochistan, persecution of Hindus at UN body

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the anger died down, BJP government officials sat down to mull over their options , after the militant strike on Indian Army soldiers in Uri. Sources within the BJP on Monday said that India was against any knee-jerk reactions and they were weighing all options for a calibrated response.Earlier in the day, the government had gone into a huddle with back-to-back high level meetings to decide the appropriate response to the attack. First, Home Minister Rajnath Singh conveyed a high-level meeting with top officials to review possible responses that the country could afford to go in for.Within 15 minutes of this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi steered a meeting with his senior cabinet colleagues. Those in attendance were Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag. External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj’s absence, however, raised eyebrows.Sources said that the 90-minute long meeting distilled options, before it was decided that the government would unleash a diplomatic blitzkrieg against Pakistan. Sources said the meeting also confirmed to the government Pakistan’s involvement in the attack. They said that Army officials had showed ministers that the terrorists had used “incendiary” ammunition, found only within army establishments.Meanwhile, India in its right to reply at the 33rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva asked Pakistan to stop supporting terrorism and vacate illegal occupation of Pak-occupied Kashmir as it highlighted rights violations in Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh and persecution of minorities including Hindus.Sources also added that Prime Minister Modi appeared visibly upset and was in an aggressive mood at the meeting. He directed Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag and other security and investigative agencies to quickly collect all evidence that showed Pakistan’s complicity in the Uri attack. He then directed that the attack needed to be presented in all fora, including the upcoming United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).Modi reportedly also warned ministers and all those present not to speak on the outcome of the review meeting since India’s strategic steps should not be made public.The PM is also believed to have pulled up Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar for his weekend visits to his home state Goa. Sources said that the PM asked Parrikar on Sunday to devote his time to the recent developments on the border and added that it was after Modi’s phone call that Parrikar rushed back to Delhi and flew to Uri.Parrikar, a former Goa chief minister, visits the state almost every week, addressing meetings and dropping hints that the upcoming Assembly elections early next year will be fought under his leadership.Asked as to why the defence minister and not the home minister visited Uri post the attack, an official said: “If it is an internal terror strike, then, of course, the home minister will be fully in charge. But Uri concerns the border and a possible build-up by the infiltrators. That falls within the defence minister’s arena.”On Monday evening, PM Modi met President Pranab Mukherjee and briefed him on the developments related to the Uri terror attack. The meeting is considered significant as the President is the Supreme Commander and has to be taken into confidence before any major decision can be taken.

Uri attack: Kargil war braveheart Saurabh Kalia’s father blames ‘lopsided’ Indian foreign policies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>NK Kalia, father of Kargil war braveheart Captain Saurabh Kalia, on Monday blamed India’s policies against Pakistan for terror attacks, like the one in Uri that took place yesterday, which killed 17 Indian Army soldiers.Condemning the Uri terror attack, Kalia told ANI that it is a highly painful and unfortunate news for all the Indians. “It is very painful to see such incidents on our soil. I don’t think we can conclude that Uri attack may be due to lapse on part of security system because the brave soldiers are on duty 24/7. This is due to the lopsided policy of Indian Government, at present and past towards Pakistan, terrorists and in particular towards Hurriyat conference. It is unfortunate that even after 70 years India failed to understand whether Pakistan is its friend or enemy,” he added.A terror attack on an army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir claimed the lives of 17 soldiers and has raised an alarm regarding the security situation in the state. Meanwhile, a high-level review meeting was chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the national capital. Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma, Army chief Dalbir Singh, DGMO Lt. Gen Ranbir Singh are present in the meeting. Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi will visit Srinagar today to assess the situation in wake of Uri attack. Mehrishi will meet the top officials of the state government and take stock of the situation. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Army Chief General Dalbir Singh visited Kashmir yesterday to take stock of the situation and review the overall security in Kashmir. They were briefed by the Northern Army and Chinar Corps Commanders Lt. General D.S. Hooda and Lt. General Satish Dua respectively at Srinagar on the Uri attack and the operation launched to neutralise the terrorists. Earlier the Army Chief also visited Uri to get a first-hand account where he was briefed on the latest situation by the Commanders on ground.Parrikar and the Army chief later met the casualties at the Army Base Hospital in BB Cantonment.

Singh vs Singh: Have our armed forces forgotten how to be officers and gentlemen?

The current murky reports of the incumbent chief of the Indian Army, General Dalbir Singh making allegations in court against his former chief and now minister VK Singh are tacky at best but must also be placed in perspective.

General Dalbir Singh did not choose this fight. He is only responding to a court case placed by retired Lt Gen Ravi Dastane who believes he was robbed of his fourth star and has sought legal address. The Chief of Army Staff has to respond or be seen in contempt of court.

General Dalbir Singh and Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh. Image courtesy PIBGeneral Dalbir Singh and Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh. Image courtesy PIB

General Dalbir Singh and Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh. Image courtesy PIB

Lt Gen Dastane believes that the then Chief Gen Bikram Singh blew away the cloud hovering over General Dalbir’s command reports and handed him the baton which should have gone to Lt Gen Dastane.

What justice Lt Gen Dastane expects to receive is difficult to perceive since it is the government that can take recommendations and then decide who should be chief. And it is all water under the bridge.

Generals traditionally fade away. Nowadays they go to court.

When you join the forces you get no guarantees of promotion after achieving your years of service rank. Then it is open house. And you do your best and you take your chances. Many a career has been shot down by a senior officer because of personal and professional reasons.

The armed forces have a major flaw in that the annual confidential reports have to be adverse for the officer being reported upon to see them. Otherwise they are totally confidential and the best way to destroy a career is to give the officer below you an average to high average report at about 6.5 which successfully destroys any chances of his promotion to general rank.

He cannot complain but he doesn’t get the next rung. And all too often he does not know why.

Brigadiers do not become Major Generals, two star officers with great career records are left behind and, most certainly, three star officers cannot all become chiefs.

Live with it. Thousands have. They are sidetracked, blocked, bypassed, overlooked and in service terms ‘don’t make it.’

The other way of doing someone in is to transfer an officer to a non operational command. Make him a sub area commander or send him as GOC of an Area or simply dispatch him to the NCC. Party over and he cannot complain.

That nepotism, regimental loyalty, personal dislike or regional affection can all play a role. That is human nature. So can ground reality. When Field Marshal Sam Maneckshaw was given a six month extension in June 1972 the ripple effect hit several careers and shuffled the pack of contenders for the fourth star.

The death of an incumbent has the same effect.

But no one went to court. Being in uniform you took your lumps, saluted, packed your bags and went home.

There was a grace and dignity in that conduct. And a tradition that yours was not to question why, but simply to do and die.

Out there would be thousands of officers at various levels who truly believe they were done down, done out, done the dirty. Reading this a retired General or Admiral or Air Marshal would nod wisely but with sadness and remember that the forces never washed their linen in public.

And this retired officer would look at these men squabbling in this undignified fashion and four star incumbents hiring lawyers and former chiefs being accused of skulduggery and pension taking Corps commanders filing cases like cry babies and he would say, this is not the armed forces I joined.

Put the linen back in the closet.

Be officers and gentlemen.

You got three stars Lt Gen Dastane and you flew your flag.. That’s one in ten thousand. Be grateful you weren’t left behind as a time scale Colonel because your brigade commander gave you a 6.5.

16 dead, 17 injured in Pulgaon ammunition depot fire

Sixteen people were killed and 17 injured in a fire at India’s largest military ammunition depot in Pulgaon, 115 km from Nagpur, on Tuesday.The fire, first detected at 1.10 am in one of the 10 ammunition sheds of the Central Ammunition Depot (CAD) of the Indian Army, was doused by 6.30 am. Ten fire engines were pressed into service.The deceased include a Lieutenant Colonel and Major, besides 13 personnel of the Defence Fire Services and two guards of the Defence Services Corps. Army sources said that approximately 130 tonnes of anti-tank mines were destroyed.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The cause of the fire has not yet been ascertained. The damage is being assessed. An inquiry has been ordered by the Army,” director general of military operations, Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, told reporters in New Delhi.The condition of the injured is stable. Army medical teams were moved from Pune to provide specialist care. The injured were evacuated to a multi-speciality hospital at Wardha, 35 km from Pulgaon.dna found a few names of the deceased but decided to withhold them since the Army was still in the process of informing their next of kin at the time of going to press.”We have lost our brothers. There is sensitivity involved. We will release all names only after we have informed the families,” a senior official at Army headquarters told dna.Sources said that the dead and injured were from the first group of men who responded to the fire. They died while containing the fire in the same shed where it started. Had it not been for them, the fire would have spread to other sheds too, a source said.CAD is spread over 7,000 acres. It stores a variety of ammunition, including AK-47s and BrahMos missiles.Defence minister Manohar Parrikar and Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag visited Pulgaon to asses the situation.

No sabotage, cause to be known after inquiry: Manohar Parrikar on Pulgaon fire

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Tuesday said there was no sabotage involved in the fire at the central ammunition depot at Pulgaon in the district but the exact cause would be known only after inquiry. “We are not ruling out any possibility but there is no sabotage as such,” he told reporters here. Fire was contained with timely help from all the concerned persons and only a complete inquiry will reveal its cause, Parrikar said. It is too early to speculate about the cause, he added. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parrikar, who visited the injured personnel at the Datta Meghe Medical College and Hospital at Sawangi Meghe in the district, said 130 tonnes of anti-tank mines were destroyed in the fire. However, the 16 persons who lost their lives while trying to douse it succeeded in saving the ammunition stored in nine other sheds, the minister said. Parrikar, accompanied by the Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, spent more than half an hour meeting the injured personnel at the hospital. At least 16 defence personnel, including two Army officers, were killed in the massive fire that broke out at one of Asia’s biggest ammunition depot in Pulgaon which houses the largest stockpile of weapons in the country. The fire which started at 1 AM at one of the sheds that housed “highly sensitive ammunition” in the high security central ammunition depot (CAD), spread over 7,000 acres, has been completely doused and the situation brought under control after an overnight operation. Parrikar said the 16 defence personnel who died in the mishap prevented a greater disaster with their fire-fighting effort. “These 16 men lost their lives while fighting fire… but for their sacrifices, the ammunition in remaining nine stores would have created a havoc in the area,” he said.When asked about monetary loss caused by the blaze, the minister said the loss of life was more important. Necessary compensation will be paid to the victims and their kin as per the norms, he said. To a question whether there was a plan to bifurcate the stock at Pulgaon and create one more depot, Parrikar said it had already been bifurcated. Earlier, on arrival at Nagpur airport from Delhi, Parrikar and Army Chief Dalbir Singh Suhag flew to the CAD in a chopper and spoke to the Army officials at the site to take a stock of the situation.

Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh visits violence-affected Handwara, Kupwara

Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh on Tuesday visited Jammu and Kashmir to review the security situation in the state against the backdrop of civilian killings in Handwara and Kupwara in security forces’ firing.”General Dalbir Singh, the Chief of Army Staff, accompanied by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda, today visited the Srinagar based Chinar Corps. The Army Chief was briefed by the Corps Commander, Lt Gen Satish Dua, on the overall security situation and the preparedness of Chinar Corps in dealing with emerging challenges,” a defence spokesman said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army Chief’s visit comes a week after protests against alleged molestation of a girl by a soldier in Handwara and subsequent firing by security forces that left three persons dead. Singh was briefed about the incidents in Handwara which witnessed violent protests in the past few days, the spokesman said.The Army Chief also visited Kupwara where he was briefed about the situation along the Line of Control and the hinterland. The Army Chief expressed satisfaction at the operational preparedness of the units deployed along the Line of Control and hinterland, the spokesman said. He said Gen Singh impressed upon all to ensure security in the area.Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Handwara town and some adjoining areas following violent protests over the alleged molestation of a girl last Tuesday.Three persons, including a woman, were killed in firing by security forces on protesters on Tuesday while two more persons were killed in separate security forces’s action against protesters on Wednesday at Drugmulla and on Friday at Nathnusa.

Will bring Kirpal Singh’s body back to India, says Sushma Swaraj

External Affair Minister Sushma Swaraj on Wednesday assured the kin of Kirpal Singh, who died under mysterious circumstances in a Lahore jail, that India would get his body back home.During a meeting with Kirpal Singh’s family members here, Swaraj said the Ministry of External Affairs had sought information from the Pakistan Government on the cause of death and details of the post-mortem report. Pakistan, however, claimed that Kirpal Singh died of a heart attack. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dalbir Kaur, the sister of Sarabjit Singh, who died in 2013 after he was attacked by two Pakistani prisoners in the Kot Lakhpat Jail, also met Swaraj along with kin of Kirpal Singh. She said Swaraj assured them that the MEA would look into the matter seriously and added that they trust her. Meanwhile, Dalbir Kour, along with relatives of Kirpal Singh, will meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at 11.00 a.m. at his residence here on Thursday. “According to Govt of Pakistan, Shri Kirpal Singh died on April 11 at 1455 hrs due to heart attack. We await further details. Our Acting High Commissioner met DG South Asia in the Min of Foreign Affairs & asked for earliest possible repatriation of mortal remains,” MEA official spokesperson Vikas Swarup said in a series of tweets.Kirpal Singh’s kin had on Tuesday staged a protest at the Attari border and raised anti-Pakistan slogans near the Integrated Check Post (ICP).

Siachen: Body of porter who fell into crevasse found

After a massive operation, the army on Wednesday traced the body of a porter who had fallen into a 200 feet deep crevasse in Siachen’s Northern Glacier, with Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag saying all possible measures will be undertaken to retrieve it.The porter accidentally fell in the crevasse on February 27. Rescue operations by specialised army teams were launched immediately. Rescue teams cut through the frozen snow and ice to reach 130 feet deep where they located the body, army sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Paying rich tributes to the porter, the Army chief said he was “one of us”.”It takes extraordinary courage, physical fitness and mental robustness for a civilian porter to work with the army in the torturous and unforgiving terrain of Siachen. For me, he is one of us,” General Suhag told PTI here.He said all possible measures will be taken and the army will not rest till the body is retrieved.The incident came just weeks after an avalanche killed 10 soldiers in Siachen.

Jat agitation: Rajnath Singh chairs high-level meeting with Parrikar, Army Chief and Ajit Doval

In the wake of the escalating protest by the Jat community spreading across Haryana, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday chaired a high-level emergency meeting to discuss further course of action in the matter.Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar were also present for the meeting at Rajanth’s residence in New Delhi.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, 13 army columns have reached the site and are assisting the administration in controlling the situation and10 more columns are being airlifted to respective destinations. 10 companies of para-military forces have reached and 23 more companies are on their way to Haryana.Earlier, seven causalities were reported from Jhajjar and 1 casualty in Kalayat in Haryana after Army columns open fire.

Siachen miracle: Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad in comatose state, condition critical, says Army

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, who was miraculously found alive after remaining buried under snow for six days, is comatose and his condition is extremely critical, Army Hospital Research and Referral said after he was flown in to New Delhi from Siachen Glacier on Tuesday.Fortunately, there was no cold exposure-related frost bite or bony injuries to him, a medical bulletin issued by the hospital said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”He has been placed on a ventilator to protect his airway and lungs in view of his comatose state. He remains extremely critical and is expected to have a stormy course in the next 24 to 48 hrs due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body,” it said.The soldier, who was earlier declared dead by the authorities, was found to be conscious but drowsy and disoriented on Monday after he was located during rescue operation.”He is currently comatose and continues to be in shock with low blood pressure. He has pneumonia and his investigations have revealed liver and kidney dysfunction,” the bulletin read.He was “severely dehydrated, hypothermic, hypoxic, hypoglycemic and in shock. He was immediately resuscitated by the doctors at the site, who had been there for the past five days in the hope of a survivor,” it said. He was treated with warm intravenous fluids, humidified warm oxygen and passive external re-warming.Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad Image Courtesy: PTIKoppad was flown out from the site on Tuesday by helicopter along with a medical specialist to the Siachen Base Camp, from where he was brought to the Thois air base. He was then transferred to Delhi by a fixed-wing aircraft of IAF along with a critical care specialist of the force and a medical specialist from the base camp.Koppad is being treated by a team of intensivists, neurologist, nephrologist, endocrinologist and surgeons. He has been administered fluids, drugs to bring up his blood pressure, besides antibiotics.Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, had visited the hospital earlier on Tuesday.Modi said Koppad is an “outstanding soldier” whose “endurance and indomitable spirit” cannot be described in words. “We are all hoping & praying for the best,” Modi added.On his part, Suhag commended the brave heart for his indomitable mental robustness and his refusal to give in to harsh elements of nature. He also conveyed best wishes on behalf of all ranks of the army for his early and complete recovery.

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