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DNA Morning Must Reads: India, Pak seek recall of expelled HC staffers; Top Pak Army officer for India spy mission; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Espionage case: India, Pakistan seek recall of expelled High commission staffersPakistan also declared an Indian High Commission official Surjeet Singh as persona non-grata. It has asked HC to make urgent necessary arrangements for Singh and his family to leave Pakistan by October 29. Read more.2. Top Pak Army officer handpicked Mehmood Akhtar for India spy missionMehmood Akhtar, a Havildar in the Pakistani Army, was handpicked for the espionage mission by a top army officer who was once in the race to be the Pakistan Army Chief. Read more.3. Maharashtra: Hungry for 2 days, Kalyan woman kills herself, 2 kidsThe US government said at least 15,000 people were tricked into shelling out more than $300 million. Read more.4. Karan Johar admits to getting botoxedThat and other secrets revealed in the KWK trailer. Read more.5. After securing Villarreal move, FC Pune City’s wonder boy Ashique Kuruniyan has big plansKerala boy Ashique Kuruniyan says his ultimate dream is to wear India jersey. Read more.

Top Pak Army officer handpicked Mehmood Akhtar for India spy mission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mehmood Akhtar, a Havildar in the Pakistani Army, was handpicked for the espionage mission by a top army officer who was once in the race to be the Pakistan Army Chief. Intelligence officials told DNA that Akhtar was part of the 40 Baloch Regiment after joining the Pakistan Army in 1997 before being sent to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on deputation on the recommendation of a Lieutenant-General, who also happened to be the Colonel Commandant of the regiment.Sources said Akhtar was deputed to the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi in January 2014 after undergoing a three-month special training in espionage.Soon after recommending him for the ‘special assignment’, the Lieutenant-General retired six months later. This officer was in the race to be Pakistan Army chief but lost out narrowly, as he retired months before then chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani’s scheduled retirement in 2013.”Mehmood Akhtar was just a Havildar, one of the lowest ranks in the army but he had the backing of the Pakistan Baloch Regiment Colonel Commandant,” said an intelligence official.Akhtar was not alone. A senior who he reported to was also sent for the assignment along with him on the recommendation of the same officer, sources said. The Delhi Police also confirmed that Akhtar got his deputation to ISI in January 2013.”His interrogation disclosed that he was posted in Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi, for about two-and-a-half years and was working in the visa section,” said Joint Commissioner (Crime Branch) Ravinder Yadav.”He also disclosed that he is on deputation to ISI since January 2013 and is a serving Havildar of the 40 Baloch Regiment of Pakistan Army,” he added. Akhtar’s name was disclosed while officials were tracking other spies. “He was on special assignment and came under the crosshairs of intelligence sleuths recently, though other local spies were under the scanner since January,” sources said.

All you need to know about Operation Ginger – the deadliest surgical strike by Indian Army on Pak soldiers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In 2011, India and Pakistan engaged in what appears to be deadliest cross-border surgical strike which lead to the deaths of 13 soldiers and beheading of six of them, reports The Hindu. Three of the heads were taken by the Indian side as trophies, two of taken by Pakistan.Citing official documents and videos, The Hindu reports that Indian soldiers from Kupwara-based 28 Division planned ‘Operation Ginger’ after Pakistan raiders attacked a remote army post in Gugaldhar ridge located on July 30, 2011. Havildar Jaipal Singh Adhikari and Lance Naik Devender Singh of 20 Kumaon were beheaded and their heads were taken back.SK Chakravorty lead the 28 Division which planned to attack the Police Chowki, a Pakistani army post near Jor, Hifazat and Lashdat lodging point after identifying them after seven reconnaissance missions.Operation Ginger was launched on August 30, 2011, and the ambush team went deep inside enemy territory. It was a just a day before the Eid and the enemy troops had not expected a retaliation.The Indian Army soldiers left on 3.00 am on August 29, 2011, and waited until 10.00 pm. They placed claymore mines to ambush Pakistani soldiers. They detonated the mines after four Pakistani soldiers, led by a Junior Commissioned Officer reached the ambush site. Then they lobbed grenades and fired at them. The soldiers also kept an IED under one of the bodies.They chopped the heads of three dead soldiers as one of them fell in the river. They took their rank insignias, weapons and other personal items.Due to the sounds of the explosion, two Pakistani teams rushed to the spot but were killed by a second Indian team waiting close by. As the Indian team retreated, loud explosions were heard which showed that the IED that had been kept under the dead soldier was triggered. Two to three more Pakistani soldiers were killed in the blast. The entire mission lasted for 45 minutes and Indian armymen left at 7.45 am. Three Pakistani heads — of Subedar Parvez, Havildar Aftab and Naik Imran — three AK 47 rifles and other weapons were taken back by the soldiers. Eight from the enemy team were killed and two more Pakistani soldiers were possibly fatally injured in the attack.

Operations against Pak-backed infiltrators enters second day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For the second day on Wednesday, the operations against the Pakistan-backed infiltrators are continuing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri and Naugam sectors of North Kashmir, even as the investigators look for more leads in the Uri fidayeen attack.Army troops intercepted a group of 10 to 12 ultras near the Line of Control and foiled an infiltration bid in the Uri sector. Another infiltration bid was foiled in Naugam sector when troops detected another group of militants trying to sneak into the Indian side of LoC on Tuesday evening.Thirty-seven-year-old Havildar Madan Lal of Dogra Regiment was killed at Naugam when he came under heavy fire from the infiltrators. With 17 years of service, Havildar Madan Lal hailed from Pathankote and is survived by six year old daughter and two year old son.”The operations are continuing at both Uri and Naugam sectors along the Line of Control,” said an army spokesman.So far troops have not retrieved any body of the militant. Sources however said there is a possibility that they might have fallen into the deep ravines along the LoC.Even as the troops battle it out on the LoC, the investigators probing the Uri Fidayeen attack are looking for more leads. Investigators have found that the barbed wire fence of the 12 brigade headquarters was cut at two places which have given a new twist to the probe.Sources said investigators are baffled whether the militants made the entry from one point or used two points to enter into the camp.Sources said the four fidayeen were wearing the army uniforms and had divided into two groups to attack the tents and shelters in which the troops were sleeping. The militants used incendiary munitions which are used by regular armies to set the tents and shelters on fire.Investigators are working overtime to identify the slain militants who could help the centre to expose Pakistan before the international community. “We are trying to identify the militants with their addresses so that we can expose Pakistan by placing the proof before the international community,” said a source.

#UriAttack: Nation salutes sacrifice of the 18 martyred jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In one of the deadliest attacks on the Army in recent times, heavily armed terrorists, suspected to be from Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed ​(JeM) on Sunday stormed an army base in Uri in Kashmir, killing 18 jawans and injuring 25 others. The injured were taken to the army base hospital in Srinagar, where J&K Chief Minister Mehmooba Mufti too visited them on Monday. Prior to that, she lead senior Army and police officials in paying tributes at the wreath laying ceremony for the martyred soldiers.The ghastly incident has drawn strong reactions from everyone, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi promising a “befitting reply” to the culpritsHere is the list of jawans who died in the Uri terror attack.(1) Subedar Karnail Singh, r/o Vill Shibu Chak, Teh- Bishnah, Dist Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.(2) Havildar Ravi Paul, r/o Samba, Dist Jammu, Jammu & Kashmir.(3) Sepoy Rakesh Singh, r/o Vill Baddja, Dist Kaimur, Bihar.(4) Sepoy Javra Munda, r/o Vill Meral, Dist Khuti, Jharkhand.(5) Sepoy Naiman Kujur, r/o Vill Gumla, Chainpur, Jharkhand.(6) Sepoy Uike Janrao, r/o Vill Nandgaon (Kh), Dist Amravati, Maharashtra.(7) Havildar NS Rawat, r/o Vill Rajawa, Dist Rajasmand, Rajasthan.(8) Sepoy Ganesh Shankar, r/o Vill Ghoorapalli, Dist Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh.(9) Naik SK Vidarthi, r/o Vill Boknari, Dist Gaya, Bihar.(10) Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai, r/o Vill Ganga Sagar, Dist South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.(11) Lance Naik G Shankar, r/o Vill Jashi, Dist Satara, Maharashtra.(12) Sep G Dalai, r/o Vill Jamuna Balia, Dist Howarah, West Bengal.(13) Lance Naik RK Yadav, r/o Vill Balia, Uttar Pradesh.(14) Sepoy Harinder Yadav, r/o Vill Ghazipur, Dist Ghazipur, Uttar Pradesh.(15) Sepoy TS Somnath, r/o Vill Khadangali, Dist Nashik, Maharashtra.(16) Havildar Ashok Kumar Singh, r/o Vill Raktu Tola, Dist Bhojpur, Bihar.(17) Sepoy Rajesh kr Singh, r/o Vill Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh.(18) Sepoy K Vikas Janardhan, Below are the reactions of families of some of the martyred soldiers.

Missing soldier’s body recovered from under snow in Ladakh

A day after a massive avalanche hit the army patrol; the rescuers recovered the body of a missing solider from under the huge mounds of snow in the Turtuk Sector in Ladakh region on Saturday.Rifleman Sunil Rai along with Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang were buried under huge mounds of snow when an avalanche swept away army patrol on March 25. Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang who was retrieved immediately succumbed to his injuries in the hospital on Friday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mortal remains of Rifleman Sunil Raj were recovered by rescue teams from deep under the snow on Saturday morning.”The mortal remains of the soldiers are being evacuated from the area of the avalanche. Later a wreath laying ceremony will be conducted to honour the martyrs. Thereafter, they will be transported by air to their native places where they will be accorded funerals with full military honours,” said Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command.Hailing from Lopshu village in Darjeeling tehsil of West Bengal, Lance Havildar Bhawan Tamang is survived by his wife, a six-year-old daughter and his parents.Rifleman Sunil Rai of Lower Sontook Lungbhung Algarah village of Darjeeling, West Bengal, is survived by his parents and two younger brothers.General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-in-C) Northern Command Lieutenant General DS Hooda expressed his deep condolences to the families of the martyrs. “The Indian Army fraternity stands shoulder to shoulder with the bereaved families in their hour of grief,” he said.This is second time in a week when an avalanche has hit the Indian Army troopers in the cold desert of Ladakh. On March 17 an avalanche hit the army post situated at the altitude of 17,500 feet in the Kargil sector. Two soldiers, who were on surveillance duty, were swept away by the avalanche. One of the soldiers was immediately rescued while the body of another was retrieved from under the snow three days later.

India bids emotional farewell to Siachen bravehearts

Madurai/Theni: Hundreds of people on Tuesday bid emotional farewell to Siachen bravehearts G Ganesan and S Kumar, whose last rites were performed with full state honours at Chokkathevanpatti in Madurai and Kumanan Kuzhu in Theni districts respectively.

Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh paying homage at the mortal remains of soldiers, at Palam Airport, in New Delhi on 15 February 2016. Image courtesy PIBChief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh paying homage at the mortal remains of soldiers, at Palam Airport, in New Delhi on 15 February 2016. Image courtesy PIB

Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh paying homage at the mortal remains of soldiers, at Palam Airport, in New Delhi on 15 February 2016. Image courtesy PIB

While Sepoy Ganesan (25) was cremated at Chokkathevanpatti, Havildar Kumar (37) was buried at Kumanankuzhu.

The atmosphere at the funeral was highly emotional with friends, relatives and locals bidding tearful farewell.

District Collectors of Madurai and Theni – Veeraraghava Rao and Venkatachalam respectively – handed over cheques of Rs 10 lakh each to the bereaved families, the solatium announced by the state government.

The government has also assured job to one family member of the two deceased soldiers.

Ganesan, Kumar and eight other soldiers, including Havildar M Elumalai of Vellore and Sepoy N Ramamurthy from
Krishnagiri of Tamil Nadu, got buried in snow after an avalanche hit their high-altitude post in Siachen glacier in
Ladakh on 3 February.

One of them, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, found alive under the snow, also died on 11 February after battling
for life.

PTI

Siachen Heroes: Bodies of 9 soldiers likely to be brought back tomorrow

The bodies of nine Siachen bravehearts, who were buried alive in an avalanche that struck their post on the world’s highest battlefield, are likely to be brought to New Delhi on Monday, if weather permits.The weather at Khardung La remains extremely poor and all attempts to bring the mortal remains of the nine soldiers to Leh are being made, a senior Army official said. If weather permits, the bodies will be brought to the national capital not before Monday, he said. A wreath-laying ceremony is also expected to be held.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Plan to further move the mortal remains to Bangalore, Chennai, Trivandrum, Madurai, Pune, Hyderabad, is in place,” he said. The mortal remains of nine soldiers were transported from Siachen Glacier to Siachen Base Camp in helicopters on Saturday.A Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) and nine other soldiers of Madras Regiment were buried under the avalanche on February 3. While Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad was miraculously dug out alive, the bodies of nine others were recovered on February 9.One of those killed was Subedar Nagesha TT, a highly motivated and physically fit Junior Commissioned Officer. The JCO had served 12 years in tough field areas out of his 22 years of service. During his illustrious career, he had taken part in ‘Operation Parakaram’ where he laid and recovered large number of mines.He also participated in Operation Rakshak at Mendhar in Jammu and Kashmir for two years where he was actively involved in counter-insurgency operations. He volunteered to serve with Rashtriya Rifles in Jammu and Kashmir for two years. The JCO also volunteered to serve as a Commando in NSG for three years. Later, he went to North East from 2009 to 2012 to take part in ‘Operation Rhino’ where he was part of several successful operations against the militants as the ghatak platoon JCO.His colleagues remember him as ‘Rambo’ who used to lift others weapons as well as load in addition to his own. He was highly adventurous and also did a para-motor course with outstanding grading. He is survived by wife Asha and two sons Amit TN and Preetham TN aged six and four respectively.The others killed in the avalanche were Havildar Elumalai M of Dukkam Parai village, Vellore district, Tamil Nadu, Lance Havildar S Kumar of Kumanan Thozhu village, Theni district, Tamil Nadu, Lance Naik Sudheesh of Monroethuruth village, Kollam district, Kerala and Sepoy Mahesha PN of HD Kote village, Mysore district, Karnataka.Sepoy Ganesan of Chokkathevan Patti village, Madurai district, Tamil Nadu, Sepoy Rama Moorthy of Gudisatana Palli village, Krishnagiri District, Tamil Nadu, Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed of Parnapalle village, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh and Sepoy (Nursing Assistant) Suryawanshi S V of Maskarwadi village, Satara district, Maharashtra are the others.Read: Need to maintain presence in Siachen: Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar Also Read: After bravehearts lost their lives, Pakistan pitches for mutual demilitarisation of Siachen

In a daredevil mission, army choppers airlift nine martyrs from Siachen glacier

Battling inclement weather, Indian Army undertook a daredevil mission on Saturday when they airlifted mortal remains of nine martyrs from the world’s highest battlefield of Siachen to the base camp for their onward journey to Leh or Khardungla.Hostile weather conditions had been hampering the evacuation of bodies of nine soldiers from the Saichen glacier for the last 10 days. Tragedy had struck the glacier on February 3 when 10 soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), were swept away by a massive avalanche that buried their Sonam post at the altitude of 19,600 feet.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Exploiting a very narrow window of fair weather, army aviation helicopters, in a daring act, succeeded in moving mortal remains of nine brave-hearts,” tweeted additional directorate general of public information (ADGPI), Indian Army.Mortal remains of all the nine soldiers were moved from the northern glacier to airstrip close to base camp before being airlifted to the base camp. “Weather continuing to be extremely adverse. All options being considered to move them further to Leh or Khardungla if weather opens up,” added ADGPI-Indian Army.Of the 10 slain soldiers, four hailed from Tamil Nadu, three from Karnataka and one each from Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The slain have been identified as Subedar Nagesha TT, Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad, Sepoy Mahesha PN, all hailing from Karnataka.Four martyrs from Tamil Nadu have been identified Havildar Elumalai M, Lance Havildar S Kumar, Sepoy Ganesan G and Sepoy Rama Moorthy N. Three other martyrs include Lance Naik Sudheesh of Kerala, Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed of Andhra Pradesh and Sepoy nursing assistant Suryawanshi SV of Maharashtra.”An FIR has been lodged. Postmortem of the bodies will be held. Army helicopters did a wonderful job by bringing the mortal remains despite inclement weather,” said Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command headquarters.Officers who have commanded the bravehearts in different hostile zones across Jammu and Kashmir, have paid tributes to them. Leading the tribe are the.”After completion of the stint on the line of control the unit was deployed for counter terrorist operations in depth area. Here was the first time Elumalai (Havildar Elumalai M of Madras regiment) saw action and he performed with aplomb and played a major role in elimination of two terrorists. During Operation Parakaram, he was at the forefront again and was part of the mine laying and mine recovery parties. He was also the lead in the unit training cell which produced many instructors,” said a former commanding officer of Havildar Elumalai M.

Siachen avalanche: Govt releases names of 10 soldiers killed at icy heights in treacherous terrain

Names of the 10 soldiers who laid their lives in the line of duty on Wednesday (3 February) owing to a deadly avalanche in the Siachen Glacier were released on Friday by the Ministry of Defence.

Treacherous terrain. Reuters

Ten army personnel were killed when an avalanche hit a military post in Siachen. Reuters

The soldiers belonging to the Madras Regiment had little chance to protect themselves as tonnes of snow covered them in no time, making it even tough for the rescuers to even retrieve their bodies despite the best efforts of both men and machine combined.

The graveness of the situation can be gauged from the fact that the Army is even having difficulties in contacting the rescue team which had gone to trace the bodies.

While four soldiers were from Tamil Nadu, three of them were natives of Karnataka. The states of Kerala, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh lost a brave son each in the tragedy. Following are names of the martyrs along with details of their ranks and their native places:

(1) Subedar Nagesha TT r/o vill Tejur, Hassan Dist, Karnataka.
(2) Havildar Elumalai M r/o vill Dukkam Parai, Vellore Dist, Tamil Nadu.
(3) Lance Havildar S Kumar r/o vill Kumanan Thozhu, Teni Dist, Tamil Nadu.
(4) Lance Naik Sudheesh B r/o vill Monroethuruth, Kollam Dist, Kerala.
(5) Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad r/o vill Betadur , Dharwad Dist, Karnataka.
(6) Sepoy Mahesha PN r/o vill HD Kote, Mysore Dist, Karnataka.
(7) Sepoy Ganesan G r/o village Chokkathevan Patti, Madurai Dist, Tamil Nadu.
(8) Sepoy Rama Moorthy N r/o vill Gudisatana Palli , Krishna Giri Dist, Tamil Nadu.
(9) Sep Mustaq Ahmed S r/o vill Parnapalle, Kurnool Dist, Andhra Pradesh.
(10) Sepoy Nursing Assistant Suryawanshi SV r/o village Maskarwadi, Satara Dist, Maharashtra

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Thursday mourned the loss of these soldiers on Twitter. “Demise of soldiers in Siachen is very tragic. I salute the brave soldiers who gave their lives to the nation. Condolences to their families,” Modi had tweeted.

Reports had said that Congress president Sonia Gandhi also expressed shock and deep distress on the confirmation of the demise of the ten Army personnel.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had also tweeted, saying he was “very sad to know that 10 of our brave soldiers lost their lives.”

The situation was already grim as a defence spokesman had earlier said that chances of finding any survivors were “very remote” after the deadly avalanche hit the affected army post at an altitude of 19,600 feet.

“Rescue teams are braving adverse weather and effects of rarified atmosphere to locate and rescue survivors. However, it is with deepest of regrets that we have to state that chances of finding any survivors are now very remote,” Defence PRO (Northern Command) Col SD Goswami had said in a statement in Jammu.

The Siachen Glacier in the Karakorum range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world. Thousands of Indian and Pakistani troops contest an area at altitudes above 20,000 feet where they must deal with altitude sickness, high winds, frostbite and temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them from avalanches, landslides, frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat, local media reports have said.

Arvind Kejriwal to visit Pathankot, Gurdaspur today

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will on Wednesday visit Pathankot and Gurdaspur.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had confirmed the news yesterday, saying that he would meet the families of the security personnel who were killed in Pathankot terror attack. Kejriwal would be meeting the families of Havildar Kulwant Singh, Honorary Captain Fateh Singh and taxi driver Ikagar Singh. Kulwant and Fateh laid down their lives fighting terrorists who had attacked the Pathankot Air Base on the night of January 1. Taxi driver Ikagar Singh was killed by terrorists, a day before they struck the air force base. Ikagar Singh was native of Bhagwal village in Pathankot.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven military personnel were martyred and another 20 injured when six terrorists crossed the border and launched a massive attack on the Pathankot Air Force base in the early hours of January 2.

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