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Surgical strikes: Rahul Gandhi praises PM Modi; says Congress party and the entire nation stands by him

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Friday praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a day after the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes across the Line of control (LoC).”I want to thank him (PM Modi) that for the first time in two and half years he has taken an action that is of the stature of PM,” said Rahul addressing a rally in Bulandshahar. “Modi has my full support; the Congress party and entire nation is standing by him,” he added.”All of us stand firmly united against terrorism and those who support and sponsor it. The Congress party and I salute the Indian Army and our jawans for acting valiantly to defend our country and our people,” Rahul had said on Thursday.Adding that India had also shared details of the surgical strikes with Pakistan Army and expected them to cooperate in the fight against terror, he said, “The motive of this operation was to hit out at the terrorists who were planning to infiltrate into our territory.”Pakistan has, however, denied the strikes took place, with PM Nawaz Sharif saying, “The notion of surgical strike linked to alleged terrorists bases is an illusion being deliberately generated by Indian to create false effects.”

Pakistan violates ceasefire yet again, targets Akhnoor district in Jammu

Jammu: Violating the ceasefire again, Pakistani troops opened fire from small arms along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor district. This is the fifth ceasefire violation in the month of September and the third in the past 36 hours.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“There was small arms firing (from Pakistan on forward posts) along the LoC in Pallanwala, Chapriyal and Samnam areas of Jammu district during the night,” Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said. He said the firing started at 12.30 am and ended at 1.30 am. There was no loss of life or injury to anyone in the firing, he said.

On Thursday, Pakistani troops had resorted to firing in Balnoie area of Mendhar sector without any casualty. On September 28, the Pakistan Army had violated the ceasefire by opening fire on Indian Army posts along the LoC in Sabzian area Poonch sector.

Pakistani troops had fired on Army posts along LoC in Poonch sector on 6 September. On 2 September, Pakistan troops had violated the ceasefire by firing on forward Army posts along the LoC in Akhnoor sector. Last year, 16 civilians were killed and 71 others injured in 405 incidents of cross-border firing by Pakistan, the officer said.

dna Morning Must Reads: US on Army’s surgical strikes, latest in Indo-Pak tensions and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Horrible’ attack like in Uri obviously escalates tensions: US on surgical strikesA terrorist attack like the one on an Indian Army camp in Uri “escalates tensions”, United States have said, asking Pakistan to take action against UN-designated terrorist outfits and delegitimise them. Read more2. Uri payback: Decoding the role of Indian Army’s Special Forces in the surgical strikeDays after terrorists stuck at an Army camp in Uri on September 18, a group of the Army’s Special Forces (SF), acting on specific information, crossed the Line of Control between the Rajouri and Poonch sectors into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) to attack the launching pads where terrorists had positioned themselves. Read in detail3. At UN, Pakistan flags rising tension with India, to discuss matter with Ban Ki-moonPakistan’s UN envoy asked the president of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday to informally brief the body on the country’s escalating tension with neighbouring India and said she will discuss it with UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday. Read more4. Black money scheme may see Rs 35,000 crore disclosuresWith just a day left for the Income Declaration Scheme (IDS), 2016, to end, tax officials said the undisclosed incomes and assets revealed by individuals and businesses totaled to around Rs 30000-35000 Cr. Read more5. Eden Test: Surging India, sliding KiwisOne cannot but feel sorry for the visiting New Zealand side. Even before the tour started, their chief medium-pacer Tim Southee had to return home with an ankle injury. Off-spinner Mark Craig had to be sent back after hurting his side strain during the first Test. And on the eve of the second Test here on Thursday, right-arm medium-pacer James Neesham has been ruled out of the match with a rib injury. Read more

Surgical strikes across LoC: Pakistan summons Indian high commissioner

Islamabad: The Pakistan Foreign Office on Thursday summoned Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale over the “unprovoked” cross-border firing by Indian Army in which two Pakistani soldiers were killed.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

According to Foreign Office sources, Pakistan “strongly” condemned the firing across the Line of Control, Geo TV reported.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry handed over the protest note to Bambawale, sources said.

India on Thursday said that its army carried out cross-border “surgical strikes” on terrorist launch pads in Pakistani territory.

Pakistan has denied that surgical strikes were carried out.

The Foreign Office, earlier in a statement, strongly condemned the “unprovoked ceasefire violations at LoC by Indian forces”, which it termed as “a continuation of a pattern of cease fire violations committed by the Indian forces”.

It said that “any such aggression will not go unanswered or unpunished”.

Two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the cross-border firing.

India has ‘all legal and globally accepted right’ to respond to attack on sovereignty: Bangladesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has “all legal and globally accepted right” to respond to any attack on her sovereignty and territory, Bangladesh said on Thursday after Indian Army carried out surgical strikes against terror bases across the LoC but called for “restraint” from all sides.”India has got all legal, internationally accepted right to make a response to any attack on her sovereignty and her soil,” Iqbal Chowdhury, Advisor to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said.Commenting on the Kashmir issue, he said it is a “bilateral dispute” and there has been a “violation from the other side”. “It (Kashmir issue) has been a long, continued dispute and there has been a… violation from the other side and Bangladesh always believes that any aggression or attack on the sovereignty of the independence and legal right of a country is not acceptable and Bangladesh always feels that any country must honour and respect the sovereignty of a third country,” he said.Chowdhury said after Bangladesh premier Hasina came to power, she had asserted that Bangladeshi soil will not be allowed to house any terrorist group and to plan or organise any attack or activity on the Indian side, and has been “very committed on this point that (there is) zero tolerance to any (such) type of activity.” “…I think that the Indian government and the people have all the right to rebuff and to combat any type of aggression from any quarter whether it is from a neighbouring country,” he told an Indian TV channel over phone.He, however, appealed for “restraint” from all sides for a peaceful neighbourhood. “Bangladesh always feels that in these type of things, there should be restraint from all sides because we believe that in the SAARC countries, we need to live in a peaceful environment, honouring the sovereign rights of each member country,” he added.His comments came after India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across the Line of Control(LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those who are trying to support them.

‘India violated Pak’s sovereignty with surgical strike’: J&K leader of opposition Mustafa Kemal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Mustafa Kamal, a leader of the opposition National Conference party in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday said India has violated the sovereignty of Pakistan by allowing the army to conduct surgical strikes across the Line of Control. (LoC). ‘The Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of our country has given a Press Conference in which he has said the Indian Army has carried out surgical strikes across the (Line of Control) LoC. Reportedly, on militant training camps along the LoC in which a large number of militants.. At the outset, this aggression, not to give it a sweeter word of saying ‘surgical strike’, they have violated the sovereignty of Pakistan, under whose administrative control the other side is, the PoK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir) is,’ Kamal said.Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) announced that the Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on seven terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC), in the wake of the infiltration bids by terrorists along the Line of Control (LoC), including at Uri and Poonch earlier this month.Lt. Gen. Singh said that the operation of the Indian Army was basically focussed to ensure that the terrorists do not succeed in their design of infiltration and carry out destruction endangering the lives of citizens of the nation.’This has the potential of a full scale war between the two, which will be very unfortunate, not only for us here in Jammu and Kashmir, for the country India, and the country Pakistan. I am sure the countries of the world, especially the power blocks, they will definitely have something to say on this issue,’ Kamal added.Pondering on the genesis of militancy in Kashmir, Kamal said, ‘Unfortunately, this is the story that has been circulated that India is facing militant threats. Militancy was born in J&K in 1989-90 and it was entirely an effort on our side.”As borne out by a letter that has been written by two dozen prominent Kashmiri Pandits, dated 22nd of September, 1990, after the exodus took place, they have clearly said Jagmohan made Kashmiri Pandits scapegoats and apologised to Muslims of Kashmir for having left them in distress. This is the latest and the clearest proof that Pakistan has taken advantage of militancy that was created within the country and the Kashmiri Pandits have named Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Jagmohan and a few others who instigated their exodus, who brought militancy here,’ he said.’Countrymen deserve to know the truth. The world deserves to know the truth, and our working President, Omar Abdullah, he said in Parliament there should be a Truth Reconciliation Commission to go into the genesis of militancy. Why hasn’t the government constituted this commission” Kamal asked.He concluded by saying, ‘India is a peace loving country, as said repeatedly. This is the first time, we find, that instead of being the aggressed, they are the aggressors.’ President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N Vohra, Chief Minister Jammu and Kashmir Mehbooba Mufti have been briefed on the surgical strikes by the Indian Army.However, denying the claims, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) earlier today said, ‘There has been no surgical strike by India, instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is an existential phenomenon’, reports Geo News. The ISPR however, confirmed that two Pakistani soldiers were killed in the crossfire. The statement came after the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Defence Ministry in a joint statement announced that the Indian Army had carried out multiple surgical strikes on various locations along the Line of Control late on Wednesday night.

Congress backs India’s surgical strikes against Pakistan, says it always supports national security

Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s aggressive stance against Pakistan exporting terrorism to Indian soil has received strong support from the main opposition party Congress.

Congress may have its differences with the Modi government on several fronts, but it has openly lauded the successful surgical strike by the Indian Army against the terrorist bases across the Line of Control (LoC).

It’s quite similar to the support that the Congress had given to the statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day speech on Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Congress President Sonia Gandhi. PTI

Congress president Sonia Gandhi said on Thursday that the Congress stands with the government in its actions today to protect the country’s security and deal with the menace of terrorism from across the border.

“The Congress Party congratulates the armed forces on the success of the operation and offers its support to the government in our country’s continuing battle against cross-border terrorism. This is a strong message that conveys our country’s resolve to prevent further infiltration and attacks on our security forces and our people,” said Gandhi.

In her statement, she said the Congress hopes that Pakistan would recognise that it bears a great responsibility in the continuing cross-border terrorist attacks against India.

“The party expects that Pakistan will take effective action to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism that it has supported and it ensures that its territory and the territory under its control is not used for terrorist purposes against India,” the Congress president added.

Former Defence minister and senior Congress leader, AK Anthony congratulated the government and Indian Army for the operation.

“I congratulate and salute the Indian Army for this action. It’s a logical action against terrorists and Pakistan should realise and stop sending terrorists across the border to India,” Anthony reportedly told ANI.

The chief spokesperson of Congress Randeep Surjewala remarked, “Congress wholeheartedly supports the surgical strike on terror pads in PoK by Indian Army. We salute the valour of our armed forces.”

However, this is not the first time that the Congress has supported Modi government’s decision. Prior to this, the Congress supported PM Modi’s remarks in his Independence Day speech on Balochistan and Pak-occupied Kashmir.

The PM in his speech from Delhi’s Red Fort on 15 August made it clear that he has completely rerouted his policy on Pakistan, delivering an aggressive message by referring to the human rights abuses in Balochistan and PoK.

“India will be compelled to expose Islamabad’s many wrongdoings in regions fighting terror and atrocities by its security forces,” the PM had said.

File photo of Narendra Modi. PTIFile photo of Narendra Modi. PTI

File photo of Narendra Modi. PTI

In response, the Congress had then asked the government to raise the issue of Pakistan’s human rights abuses in Balochistan and in PoK, both at the bilateral meetings with Islamabad and at international forums.

Even the Congress had distanced itself from the comment made by its senior leader Salman Khurshid, who had remarked, “PoK is our right. Our entitlement. We will support it. But by bringing in Balochistan, you are ruining our case.”

“The Congress does not subscribe to the statement made by Salman Khurshid, who is a senior leader. He can have his own opinion. Our view is very, very clear. Congress party believes there are serious human rights violations in Balochistan and the voice of democratic dissent is being suppressed by Pakistani forces and agencies,” the Congress party reportedly said after this, while supporting Modi’s statement.

Speaking to Firstpost, a senior Congress MP said, “Whenever it’s the issue of national security and integrity, Congress has always supported the cause, because the party strongly believes in it. And when it was in power at the Centre, it ensured that national security and integrity shouldn’t get compromised. Therefore, we supported PM Modi’s statement on Balochistan and PoK made on Independence Day, and didn’t subscribe to the statement made by our senior leader Salman Khurshid.”

After surgical strike, border villagers in J&K,Punjab asked to shift to safer places

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> People living within 10 kms of the border with Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab have been asked to shift to safer places and schools ordered to be shut till further notice in the wake of surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army across the Line of Control (LoC). The ‘Beating Retreat’ ceremony at Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar in Punjab has also been closed for public today, officials said.”We have asked border villagers living along IB and LoC to shift to safer area as a precautionery measure,” Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, Simrandeep Singh told PTI. All people living within 7 to 8 kms of India-Pak border have been asked to move to safer areas and schools in 10 kms area to be ordered to close down till further notice, he said.These directions have been passed on to people living along IB in Jammu, Samba and Kathua districts and along LOC in Rajouri and Poonch, officials said. In some areas of R S Pura, the movement of the border residents to safer places has already begun.”We have passed directions to them to move to safer places and some of them have started to move to the houses of their relatives in safer places,” a Police officer said.Army has started evacuating people living in the adjoining areas in Noushera belt of Rajouri anticipation of a possible retaliation by Pakistani troops, officials said.The surgical strike at the terror launch pads was carried out by the Indian Army about 2-3 kms across the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir.In Punjab too, people residing in villages within 10 kms of the International Border were asked to shift to safter places. Six districts of the state share border with Pakistan.The schools in the border areas have also been asked to remain shut until further orders, they said.Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has put the entire government and political machinery in an emergency mode, an official spokesman said in Chandigarh.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to Badal over telephone today to request him to immediately start the process of evacuation of the people residing in the villages falling within 10 kms of the International Border in view of the escalating situation, the spokesman said.Badal has directed the Chief Secretary and DGP to ask the concerned Deputy Commissioners (DCs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs) to oversee the entire evacuation process in the border districts of Ferozepur, Fazilka, Amritsar, Taran Tarn, Gurdaspur and Pathankot.The BSF has put all its units along the International Border on “high alert” in the wake of the surgical strikes by India on terror launch pads across the LoC last night.Officials said the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters here has issued orders to all its units along IB in Jammu, Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat to step up vigil and bolster their numbers at the posts by bringing in all personnel who are in the reserve.In order to ensure civilian safety, they said, members of the public will not be allowed today to witness the Attari-Wagah retreat ceremony from the stands right next to the designated border pillar in Punjab.The officials said BSF has also restricted all civilian movement along borders with Pakistan.The border guarding force, they said, has also been asked by the Centre to provide manpower to local administration for helping in evacuating people from border villages to safer locations.Officials said border units have been asked to undertake special patrols and conduct ambushes.The force has also been asked to augment the number of personnel and officers who work under the operational command of the Army at the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir.India carried out ‘surgical strikes’ on terror launch pads across LoC last night, inflicting “significant casualties” on terrorists and those who are trying to support them.The announcement of the sudden action by the Army was made today by DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, 11 days after the terror strike by Pakistan-based JeM on an Indian Army camp in Uri in Kashmir which left 18 Indian soldiers dead.

dna Evening Must Reads: Indian Army’s surgical strike across LoC; Sensex tanks; updates on Cauvery row; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) Indian Army’s surgical strike kills 38 terrorists; all-party meet endsIn response to the recent Uri attack that killed 18 soldiers, the Indian Army on Wednesday night conducted surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) on terror launch pads, said Director General of Military Operations (DGMO).Addressing a joint press conference with External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Thursday, DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said, “Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads on the LoC. Heavy damages have been caused to terrorists and many of them have been killed.”Read more…2) Pakistan rejects India’s claim of ‘surgical strikes’ across LoCPakistan on Thursday rejected India’s claim of a ‘surgical strike’ across the Line of Control (LoC), saying that the incident was ‘cross-border fire’.”There has been no surgical strike by India,instead there had been cross border fire initiated and conducted by India which is existential phenomenon. As per rules of engagement same was strongly and befittingly responded by Pakistani troops,” said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) in its press release.Read more…3) BSE Sensex tanks 465 points as Indian Army reports surgical strikes across LOCThe 30-share BSE Sensex tanked 573 points intraday as the Indian Army announced the surgical strikes carried out last night on terror launch pads across the Line of Control. The BSE Sensex breached the 28,000-level and fell under it.On Thursday, the BSE closed the trading session down 465.28 points or 1.64%, under the 28,000-level, at 27,827.53. The NSE Nifty index closed down 153.90 points or 1.76% lower at 8,591.25 from the previous place.Read more…4) Uran ‘terror’ scare: Schoolgirl reveals it was a prank; did for ‘some thrill’, says reportThe terror alert in Uran near Mumbai that lead to a four days search operation sending multi-security agencies into a tizzy, was a prank by a schoolgirl for ‘some thrill’.According to Times of India’s report, during the second round of the investigation, the girl said that it was prank for ‘some thrill’, as she was prompted to do so after seeing the pictures of Islamic State terrorists wearing black clothes and flashing automatic weapons.Read more…5) Cauvery row: Karnataka’s ‘deliberate defiance’ against spirit of Constitution, says JayalalithaaTearing into Karnataka for treating the Supreme Court orders on release of Cauvery water with ‘utter contempt’, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday said such ‘deliberate defiance’ goes against the spirit of the Constitution and amounts to “contempt” of the Court.In her speech, read out by Chief Secretary P Ramamohana Rao, at the meeting of the Chief Ministers of two states convened by the Water Resources Ministry, she said her state has “scrupulously” adhered to every Apex Court order.Read more…6) Watch: ‘Channa Mereya’ song from ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ has Ranbir Kapoor summing up the ‘ek tarfa pyar’ feeling!The makers of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil have unveiled the third song from the film called ‘Channa Mereya’ and we won’t be surprised if it becomes the heartbreak song of the year. Read more here

LIVE: After Army’s surgical strikes in PoK, Pak high commissioner Abdul Basit gets threatening calls

LIVE: After Army’s surgical strikes in PoK, Pak high commissioner Abdul Basit gets threatening calls

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Sep 29, 2016

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Amid heightened tension with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to review the situation along the Line of Control. The meeting is understood to have discussed various options related to the LoC in the wake of the Uri attack.

The meeting is also understood to have taken stock of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts. Four terrorists had stormed an army camp in Uri on 18 September and killed 18 soldiers.

Pakistani troops have also violated the ceasefire along the LoC twice since Wednesday. Pakistani troops on Thursday violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Naugam sector of Kashmir by opening indiscriminate fire towards Indian Army posts.

Pakistani troops on Wednesday had targetted Indian positions with small firearms along the LoC in Poonch district.

Meanwhile, director general military operations (DGMO) and Vikas Swarup to address media shortly, ANI reported.

After Indian Army’s surgical strikes across LoC, Punjab govt orders evacuation of villages on border

Chandigarh: The Punjab government has ordered the evacuation of villages in a 10-km belt along the border with Pakistan following the surgical strikes by the Indian Army across the LoC.

File photo of the Indian Army. AFP

File photo of the Indian Army. AFP

The union home ministry on Thursday directed the Punjab government to get the border villages evacuated.

Local authorities were using loudspeakers to announce to residents in the border villages to leave their homes and villages and move to safer zones.

The authorities have ordered the closure of schools and other institutions in the border belt.

Punjab’s border districts include Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Abohar and Fazilka.

Informed sources said the Border Security Force (BSF) was mobilising its troops and strengthening the security along the border belt.

Punjab shares a 553-km border with Pakistan.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called an emergency meeting of the cabinet on Thursday evening.

Congress supports Indian Army’s surgical strikes across LoC

Congress supports Indian Army’s surgical strikes across LoC

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New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday supported the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian Army on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).

“The Congress wholeheartedly supports the surgical strike on terror (launch) pads in PoK (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) by Indian Army. Salute the valour of our armed forces,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said.

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel, too, congratulated the Indian Army for undertaking surgical strikes on terror launch pads. “We stand completely behind our Armed Forces,” he said.

Director General Military Operations (DGMO) Lt Gen Ranbir Singh, said the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes on terrorist launch pads across the LoC inflicting heavy casualties.

The military action by India came 11 days after terrorists killed 18 Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir.

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes against terrorists at launch pads along LoC

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes against terrorists at launch pads along LoC

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Sep 29, 2016

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Amid heightened tension with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to review the situation along the Line of Control. The meeting is understood to have discussed various options related to the LoC in the wake of the Uri attack.

The meeting is also understood to have taken stock of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts. Four terrorists had stormed an army camp in Uri on 18 September and killed 18 soldiers.

Pakistani troops have also violated the ceasefire along the LoC twice since Wednesday. Pakistani troops on Thursday violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Naugam sector of Kashmir by opening indiscriminate fire towards Indian Army posts.

Pakistani troops on Wednesday had targetted Indian positions with small firearms along the LoC in Poonch district.

Meanwhile, director general military operations (DGMO) and Vikas Swarup to address media shortly, ANI reported.

Increasing ‘happiness quotient’ of Indian soldiers: A concept that belongs on paper alone

Multiple media reports state that the that DRDO is to tie-up with IIT-Kharagpur to increase the ‘happiness quotient’ of Indian soldiers; some say the endeavour is devised to bring the smile back to the faces of the soldiers, and others say it’s to heighten the morale of soldiers. A comprehensive soldier fitness programme is reportedly being worked out, aimed at increasing happiness quotient of the Indian Army. Manas K Mandal, director-general of Life Sciences at DRDO says, “We are looking at devising ways to build resilience among our soldiers, and it can be done by increasing the happiness quotient among them. We will be working with the Rekhi Centre of Excellence for the Science of Happiness at IIT-Kharagpur.”

Mandal, along with Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, director of IIT-Kharagpur told the media that “that an increase in happiness levels increases productivity, resulting in increased sense of loyalty in soldiers”. The reports state that “hundreds of soldiers have committed suicide due to stress in the past six or seven years and many cases of suicides have been reported in Kashmir after the Burhan Wani case.”

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The idea of the ‘happiness quotient’ has apparently been derived from the concept of gross national happiness (GNH) and the happiness index introduced by the King of Bhutan in 1972. Bhutan is ranked first in the world happiness index. Mandal told the media, “Unlike the US Army serving in Afghanistan, where soldiers require programmes to de-stress, our men on the frontlines do not need such tools. Most of our soldiers come from struggling families and continue to face hardships on the job, so they are much less vulnerable compared to US soldiers in Afghanistan, who are used to abundance.”

“Working in extreme weather conditions (in Siachen, for example) for a prolonged period does require a lot of resilience, which we can induce through this programme (read proposed programme),” Chakrabarti said, adding, “This is an emerging discipline and is going to be one of the key pillars by which human development will happen.”

In the above context, both Mandal and Chakrabarti would be well-advised to be very careful of what they say to the media with reference to the army. The loyalty of the Indian soldier is unquestionably the very best. An odd case of fratricide does not mean that you start questioning the loyalty of soldiers and start working on a programme to educate soldiers across the board about loyalty. On the contrary, those involved with working on the proposed programme need to go and spend some days living with troops at the frontline to see why they are stressed out. Dr Abdul Kalam (later president) as principal scientific advisor had remarked after his first visit to Siachen, “I wish I had come to this area earlier during my 26 years with the DRDO.”

Both Mandal and Chakrabarti actually owe an apology to the army soldiers for questioning their loyalty, especially at a time when the army is being denigrated, including by putting army soldiers below the policeman in terms of pay and allowances.

Morale again is a function of command. No amount of courses, cadres or education programs can teach morale to the soldiers unless there is an improvement in the stressful environment in which they are operating. Quoting Wani’s killing when talking of soldier suicides is also stupid. Surely, soldiers are not committing suicide in mourning or euphoria over this terrorist having been killed. Much before Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed on yoga and successfully introduced the International Yoga Day, whole infantry battalions were practicing yoga during their entire tenure on the Saltoro Massif in Siachen Glacier, and had been coming out stress-free, some even without a single weather casualty. Mandal should also know that number of suicides in units deployed in peace is more than in those in units deployed in the field.

The logic that our soldiers coming from struggling families that continue to face hardships on the job, so they are much less vulnerable to stress cannot be applied across the board because what is described as “struggling families” are mostly joint families. The soldier becomes aware of family or social clash immediately with modern communications, and since he cannot rush home every time because of commitments, his stress levels go up. The civil administration seldom entertains problems of the families back home and why should they when you have politicos making occasional statements that soldiers are meant to die anyway?

The Centre making any effort toward sthis is out of the question when peacefully-protesting veterans are baton-charged by the police, while serving soldiers including wards of those being beaten up, watch in horror. The defence minister tells Service Chiefs to immediately implement 7th Pay Commission, placing the soldiers under even the police and civilian defence employees, and the department of ex-servicemen (DESW) takes pleasure in denying dues to every widow and even the war-wounded and disabled, forcing them into prolonged litigation they can ill-afford.

How can the DRDO-IIT evolve programs for the military without going and living with the soldiers along the LoC and experiencing battle environments in conflict situations?

The happiness quotient is directly proportional to pay commissions and the partial OROP that has been granted, plus living conditions of the soldiers and their families. The abject penury of the families of the 18 martyrs of the Uri attack shown on TV was moving. With the breadwinner gone, every penny is vital to them, especially when there is no provision to even provide a job to a family member as in the case of police. The type of response for the Uri attack doesn’t raise the morale or happiness of the soldier either with terrorists having killed and burned alive 18 of their kin.

Sure, the army must ensure that the officer-soldier relationship remains the very best at all times but what is the DRDO and IIT going to do about the happiness quotient in the civil-military relationship that appears to have reached its lowest nadir? How will Mandal tackle the mounting happiness quotient of the politico-bureaucratic mafia that goes euphoric every time the happiness quotient of the soldier declines? Besides, what Mandal knows and Chakrabarti does not is that during the Kargil Conflict, General VP Malik — then Army Chief — was forced to say, “We will fight with what we have.”

The DRDO is the acknowledged culprit within the military as the prime contributor to the low levels of happiness of the soldier. With its sprawling mass and manpower, the DRDO has failed to provide the soldier with adequate clothing, weapons, surveillance equipment for day and night operations, communications, survival equipment etc when say in the LoC environment, the threat to life is greater and demands on the soldier to remain vigilant 24×7 are constantly giving them limited sleep — leave alone the hawks angling to increase their stress through human rights violation allegations, most of which are false.

The Bhutanese concept of GNH and happiness index of the Bhutanese in Bhutan’s environment is something entirely different from the happiness quotient of the Indian soldier. From what is apparent, the proposed programme is still an “emerging discipline” and the Rekhi Centre of IIT-Kharagpur primarily runs eight-week programmes for corporate organisations. How can the DRDO-IIT evolve programs for the military without going and living with the soldiers along the LoC and experiencing battle environments in conflict situations? The policymakers need to look into these issues least we land up in another wasteful project of the DRDO sans any significant gain.

The author is a veteran Lieutenant-General of the Indian Army

MNS sets 48-hour deadline for Pakistani actors, artists to leave India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri region in which 18 Indian Army soldiers lost their lives, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) on Friday issued a 48-hour deadline to Pakistani actors and artists to leave India, saying they will push them out of the country if they don’t go back to their nation.”We give a 48 hour deadline to Pakistani Actors and artists to leave India or MNS will push them out,” said Amey Khopkar, MNS Chitrapat Sena president. This comes at a time of heightened tensions between the two nations after four terrorists killed 18 Army personnel at an Army camp in Uri region.India blamed Pakistan for the attack as probe agencies reportedly recovered weapons and ammunition bearing Pakistani insignia from the site. Pakistan has, however, flatly rejected New Delhi’s claims of involvement in the Uri terror attack, stating that the latter has a traditional tendency to point fingers at the former whenever a terror attack takes place on Indian soil.Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the attack and said that it won’t go unpunished. Notably, it is not the first time that Pakistani artists have been threatened by Mumbai-based political parties.

Indian Army steps up vigil on LoC following spurt in infiltration bids

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army has stepped up vigil on the Line of Control (LoC) after two more infiltration bids were foiled in the Naugam sector of north Kashmir.The infiltration bids were foiled even as the operations against infiltrators along the LoC in Uri and Naugam sectors entered into the third day on Thursday.Indian Army said two infiltration bids were successfully foiled by the army at two different places in the Naugam sector on Wednesday night.Troops guarding the LoC noticed suspicious movement on the LoC and challenged the militants. A brief exchange of gun fire ensued forcing the militants to take a hasty retreat into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).”Wednesday night there were two infiltration bids in the same area of Naugam sector. There was a brief fire fight and they (militants) retreated back,” Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.Sources said the army has conducting the operation in the area of 10 to 15 kilometer stretch along the LoC in Naugam sector to hunt down the militants if any in the sector. Naugam operation apart, the Uri operation, which started on September 20, entered into the third day with troops still busy in combing of the area.Sources said Pakistan is trying to push in as many as militants into Kashmir valley post fidayeen attack on 12 brigade headquarters at Uri in which 18 soldiers were killed and 20 others. Four fidayeens were also killed in the retaliatory action.Since September 20, four infiltration bids have been foiled in Uri and Naugam sectors. A soldier has already lost his life while foiling one of the infiltration bids in Naugam sector.”Army has enhanced its vigil in view of the increased Pakistan abetted infiltration attempts along the LoC. On the intervening night of September 21 and 22 two separate groups trying to sneak in were intercepted and forced to flee back,” said an army spokesman.Official figures reveal around 17 infiltration bids have been foiled by the army along the LoC this year. Of the 110 terrorists killed in Jammu and Kashmir, 31 have been slain while they were trying to infiltrate into Indian side from across the LoC.Meanwhile, Indian Army launched a major operation against militants in the Bandipora area and killed an unidentified ultra.Police said following specific information about the presence of militants in Chapran village of Bandipora, security forces cordoned off the area and launched search operation.”The cordon and search operation turned into an encounter when the search party was fired at. In the retaliatory fire one militant was killed whose identity is being ascertained,” a police spokesman said.Violent protest rocked the area after the killing of the militant. Protestors pelted stones on the forces which used force to disperse the mob.Police soon after the encounter around 150 miscreants assembled in the area and pelted stones on the police and security forces. “To chase them away the security forces used some force which caused injuries to a few miscreants,” he said.

How the Uri attack unfolded

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After the deadly suicide attack that killed Indian Army soldiers in Uri on Sunday, security agencies are conducting a thorough probe as to how the militants were able to get through. While the stock taking is continuing some initial details of the investigation have come out.The army camp is surrounded by the Pir Panjal mountain range on three sides and behind the peaks is the Line of Control which divides J&K. Security officials maintain that the militants used the route closest to the army camp which passes through Sukhdar village that lies at a distance of four kilometers from the camp. It is around this area that the security agencies believe that the suicide bombers had rested before attacking the camp.Speaking to dna, sources privy to the probe’s findings said, “There are a couple of possibilities as to when the group entered into Indian side of the LoC. If an insider was accompanying them, then the group might have entered on Saturday itself or Sunday. Investigators have not recovered any spare clothes till now so the group was dressed in army fatigues.”Sources also contend that around 5.30 on Sunday morning, after breaking into two groups and breaching the camp in two places, the second group then divided into three. Two of them proceeded towards the barracks, one of them advanced towards the officer’s mess and the third towards the administration block of the base camp. It was at the barracks when the group of two noticed diesel barrels that store the fuel for the generator set located near-by.”We suspect that the plan was to first fire indiscriminately and hurl grenades at the most vulnerable spots within the camp. However seeing the diesel the terrorists began hurling 12-15 grenades at the fuel and within minutes three barracks perished along with the personnel inside.”Investigators also believe that a guide, most likely from Uri, had accompanied the terrorists till the army camp was in their plain sight. If no involvement of an insider is found it only shows a dangerous trend which is that terrorists can strike purely depending on GPS sets which provide a detailed recce provided to them before they leave Pakistan, officials said. “From Uri to Pathankot, the terrorists are trying to establish a perimeter and telling us that they can strike anywhere.”

Kashmir: Army foils two more infiltration bids along LoC

Kashmir: Army foils two more infiltration bids along LoC

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Srinagar: Army on Thursday foiled two infiltration bids along the Line of Control by militants trying to sneak into Kashmir Valley from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

“Even as counter-infiltration operations continue in Uri and Nowgam sectors, two more infiltration bids have been successfully foiled by the army at two different places in Nowgam sector,” an army spokesman said.

Army has been engaged in counter infiltration operations in Uri and Nowgam sectors for the past two days in which one soldier has been killed. There were reports of at least eight militants getting killed in the Uri operation but no bodies have been recovered so far.

The spokesman said Army has enhanced vigil in view of increased infiltration attempts along the LoC . “In the wee hours of today (Thursday), two separate groups, trying to sneak in, were intercepted and forced to flee back,” he added.

Uri terror attack and a sense of déjà vu: India has no partner for peace in Pakistan

On 18 September, terrorists suspected to belong to the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan attacked an Indian Army camp at Uri in a pre-dawn raid, killing 18 soldiers. The South Asian commentariat has gone into its usual and predictable tizzy, some quarters demanding military action while others urge a firm reprimand, international pressure, ‘strategic restraint’, and talks. A good dose of recrimination on past policies and (in)actions is also available. In a few days, perhaps a week, calm will return and all will be forgotten… until the next terrorist attack. Ultimately, 18 soldiers would still be dead and the country would still be hapless about its own defence, but the commentariat would have inched closer to reaching their monthly writing quota.

There is nothing new in the terrorist attack at Uri — whether in the terrorists’ methods and capacity to acquire intelligence and materials or in what India might have learned about the intentions of its western neighbour and its proxies; nor is there anything new in what has been produced in the newspaper columns and television studios across the country. It would have probably been easier and cheaper to simply recycle the columns and video clips from the previous terrorist attack.

An Indian Army soldier during the Uri attack. PTI

An Indian Army soldier during the Uri attack. PTI

Despite an avalanche of advice from armchair as well as erstwhile military strategists, Delhi’s response to terrorism with Pakistani fingerprints has always been to bluster and bear it. India accuses Pakistan of conducting terrorism from behind a nuclear shield and although Islamabad has not changed the situation in the past two decades, there does not seem to have been much movement either intellectually or materially from India’s side either. Simply put, India has been and still is without an option against Pakistan.

The first option is talks; unfortunately, talks on terrorism have never yielded anything positive for India. At best, it is a colossal waste of time and money and at worst, symbolism in the name of security. It is difficult to fathom even to whom India should talk: Not only have civilian governments in Islamabad repeatedly been proven to be unable to rein in the military but have often even been kept in the dark about certain policies and programmes by the armed forces.

As even Pakistani commentators have noted, the country’s unhealthy obsession with Kashmir and its very existence rooted firmly in an anti-India ideology, the military is unwilling to negotiate to remove its raison d’etre. With the civilian government ineffective, Delhi has no partner for peace in Islamabad.

India’s second option is diplomacy: Delhi could use its international influence to isolate Pakistan politically and hinder its economics. Though theoretically sound, India simply lacks the clout to embark on such a policy. China, of course, will continue to nurture the thorn in India’s back, and few of India’s trading partners see the South Asian country as so important to their national interests as to upset Pakistan without any tangible gains in return. Delhi has neither the economic, political, nor military influence to persuade even a few states important to the Pakistani economy to scale back on relations with Islamabad or impose intrusive anti-terrorism conditions on bilateral relations.

Admittedly, the Indian economy has grown in the last two decades, but it is not yet an indispensable component of vital global supply chains. Delhi’s reticence to involve itself in international affairs, not just beyond its immediate region but even in its neighbourhood, has meant that it has a small diplomatic and military footprint. This has shown little sign of changing in the near future, and as Delhi has often found in the past, moral arguments are not always convincing in international affairs.

Finally, the third option that many have been urging is the use of military force. Although no one serious advocates war, there is nonetheless a clamour for conducting limited yet punishing cross-border strikes on Pakistan’s vast asymmetric warfare infrastructure. This, however, remains the least feasible of options. As the much-publicised raids into Myanmar slightly over a year ago showed, the Indian military lacks the capabilities to undertake covert operations into enemy territory in terms of planning, material, and training. Until recently, even the political will to acquire these capabilities was lacking. Since 2014, there has been rhetoric but actions are yet to match the bombast.

Worse, Indian conventional superiority over Pakistan has been steadily eroded over the years. India’s much-vaunted military modernisation notwithstanding, Pakistan has worked assiduously to counter India’s military planning and advantages. While Delhi remains locked in negotiations for a mid-level aircraft for its air force and the low-level indigenous effort is not yet in sight, Islamabad has increased the range of its missiles as well as acquire tactical and cruise missiles specifically meant to blunt rapid Indian advances into Pakistan. In conjunction with recent horror stories about the Indian military’s operational readiness — after the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai, for example — Pakistan may prove more of a challenge to India than is generally appreciated.

With the civilian government ineffective, Delhi has no partner for peace in Islamabad

Thus, India has no plausible response to Pakistan’s provocations for the time being. This view, though hotly contested, appears to best explain India’s utter inaction at each juncture. The real question after Uri is not how India should punish Pakistan but whether Delhi has moved — fast — on addressing these strategic and tactical lacunae. Even a modest retaliatory capability would take a decade to develop but has the government started on that road yet?

To be fair, all is not glum: The US and Britain have swiftly condemned the attack and observers believe that, though neither country named Pakistan in their statements, they agree with the Indian assessment of the origin of the attacks, something that was unthinkable in the hyphenated era just a few years ago. India’s diplomatic visibility — utility? — has clearly grown but Delhi is still a long way off from using diplomacy and economics as supplementary options to military force.

Uri Attack: Why was my son sent to the front instead of seniors, asks father of martyred jawan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the terrorist attack at Uri, Kashmir, the father of Sepoy G. Dalai rued that his son was sent to the front instead of his seniors. “Why was my son allowed to go the front when he was a junior sepoy. His seniors are supposed to go the front,” Onkar Nath Dalai, father of the martyred jawan said. “He was just 22 years old and he had hardly completed a year with the Indian Army. He was the sole earning member of our family. I do not know how we are going to survive now,” he added. His father said that the government should ensure that strict punishment is given to those who killed his son. Dalai was a resident of the Jamuna Balia village in Howrah district of West Bengal. Besides Balia, Sepoy Biswajit Ghorai from Bengal was martyred in the terrorist attack. The mortal remains of both the martyrs were flown in from Jammu and Kashmir to the city. On September 18, a group of heavily armed terrorists stormed into the Army administrative base at Uri. As many as 18 soldiers were martyred and several others were injured during the counter-terrorist operation.In the counter-terrorist operations, the army neutralised the four ‘fidayeens’, who had stormed into the Uri base.

Uri attack: Army, Navy, Air Force must formulate ‘military’ response to Pak, says Yashwant Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Asserting that time has come when India responds in equal measure to Pakistan following the deadly terror strike in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir, in which 17 army soldiers lost their lives, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and former union minister Yashwant Sinha on Monday called for a military response, adding that the nation’s three forces must formulate an action plan and present it to the Centre.Speaking to ANI, Sinha stated that responding to Pakistan must be left with the military, adding that the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force should sit together to work out a response and then inform the government.”Then it is up to the government to not only approve the plan of the army, but also take adequate diplomatic measures to inform the public opinion globally about why India has been forced to do what Indian Army must be doing,” he said.Stating that the ‘military response’ should be New Delhi’s current policy with Islamabad, Sinha added that India must let go of the strategy to engage with Pakistan and establish a level of friendship.Maintaining his stern stand, the senior BJP stated that Pakistan has always ditched India and been at war, which is why they should never be trusted with to take action.”I was never in favour of a Pakistani team coming to Pathankot because I knew nothing is going to come out of it. Nothing has come out of the Mumbai attack in 2008. In eight years the people who are responsible for that dastardly attack on Mumbai have not been brought to book in Pakistan,” Sinha said.Emphasising that Pakistan will never take action against terrorists, whom they themselves are giving shelter and sponsoring, he stated that the terrorist elements are aiding Pakistan’s policy of enmity with India.Refering to the Pakistan Army, Sinha stated that they have never been interested in friendship and are daring India saying, ‘to do what you will, but we will continue with our acts of cross border terrorism.’However, Pakistan has flatly refused New Delhi’s claims of Islamabad’s involvement in Uri terror attack, stating that said that pointing fingers on them has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack.”Pointing fingers at Pakistan has become a traditional tendency of India after each terrorist attack,” the Dawn quoted Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria as saying.”In the past many Indians were involved in the terrorist acts for which India had blamed Pakistan,” he asserted.Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has lashed out at Pakistan branding it as a ‘terrorist state’, adding that he was disappointed by Islamabad’s continued support to terrorism and terrorist groups. Calling Pakistan a ‘terrorist state’ and stating that it should be identified and isolated as such, the Home Minister added that there are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators of Uri attack were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped.”I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups,” he said in a series of tweets.In one of the worst attack in recent times, at least 17 soldiers lost their lives and 30 others injured post the terror strike on an army camp close to the headquarters of the 12th Brigade at Uri in Baramulla district. All four terrorists have been killed in what has emerged as worse than the attack on the Pathankot air base earlier in January this year, in which seven army men were killed.Director General of Military operation Lt. Ranbir Singh yesterday said that the four terrorists, who attacked the military base in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri, belonged to Pakistan’s banned terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

Uri terror attack: Fate of PM Narendra Modi’s ‘strong leader’ image lies in his response

This is testing time for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the toughest in his two-and-half years rule at the Centre. His response to Pakistan-backed terror attack on the Indian Army brigade headquarters at Uri, which comes in close succession to the attack on the Indian Air Force base station at Pathankot, will decide whether he should be taken as a strong and decisive leader or his ‘chhapan inch ki chhati’ would be lampooned.

He has often been equated with the late prime minister Indira Gandhi but so far that comparison and contrast was in terms of popularity, reach and making the party win elections on personal charisma in states where its organisational base was not strong. Despite her failings on several counts, Indira was called Durga as she took the call of militarily engaging with Pakistan and winning it decisively. It’s a different matter though that India lost its gain over Pakistan in the Shimla Accord. However, Indira is considered to be one of the strongest Indian leaders.

The test is not only for Modi but also for his number two in the government, as also for the BJP and the RSS to prove that they meant what they said in the run-up to 2014 parliamentary elections. But all eyes are on Modi.

An Indian Army soldier during the Uri attack. PTI

An Indian Army soldier during the Uri attack. PTI

After all, India had overwhelmingly and decisively voted for Modi, the first single party majority government in the last 30 years. He was not called Chhote Sardar (after Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel) by his supporters for nothing. A majority of his supporters saw in him a mix of Vikas Purush (development man) and Loh Purush (Iron man). It’s time for Modi to meet their expectations.

The current national mood — after a series of backstabs and terror attacks by Pakistan, most recently Pathankot and Uri and fomenting trouble in Kashmir Valley — is of assertive nationalism.

That prevalent national mood is best reflected by the manner in which a 2.10-minute video of a BSP jawan reciting a patriotic poem inside a bus full of his other jawans went viral on social media. “Jakar Bata Do pakistanion ko….hum darte nahi atom bombo se, visfotak poto se hum darte hai to Shimla, Tashkant jaise samjhuaton se….Kashmir to hoga par Pakistan nahi hoga…..”. The other jawans shouting in chorus Pakistan nahi hoga. This has an inherent message for the political ruling class, don’t make us sacrifice and then concede the gains for a farcical truce with Pakistan. Wage a decisive war against this troublesome neighbour.

The BJP national general secretary’s Facebook post is also interesting as it comes from someone higher up in ruling echelon: “The Prime Minister has promised that those behind the Uri terror attack will not go unpunished. That should be the way forward. For one tooth, the complete jaw. Days of so-called strategic restraint are over. If terrorism is the instrument of the weak and coward, restraint in the face of repeated terror attacks betrays inefficiency and incompetence. India should prove otherwise.”

The theme cuts both ways — it is both an asset as well as a challenge — from within the party-Parivar ranks and outside. This means that gone are the Vajpayee era, the spin doctors singing virtues of “coercive diplomacy” for cornering Pakistan and making President Pervez Musharraf yield that Pakistan soil would not be allowed to use for terror activity.

Uri and Pathankot attack mean attack on the Indian state, just as attack on Parliament on 13 December, 2001 meant attack on the Indian state. It demands retaliatory action from the Indian state, otherwise Indian state will always be called a ‘soft state’, always looking for other countries like the US to take up its cause on its behalf and end up doing what they say “increased pressure”. India and its people have seen that enough and is no longer in the mood to consider that as a viable option. Coercive diplomacy is good only if it is accompanied with military option.

Modi should take some lessons from Vajpayee’s failure. After 2001 Parliament attack, Atal Bihari Vajpayee had famously said “ab aar par ki ladai hogi” (a final and decisive battle would be waged now) and Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) approved Operation Parakram — massive combat troops mobilisation on the western borders. After cancelling leave of all officers and jawans and having an eyeball to eyeball mobilisation along the Line of Control (LoC) and International Border in Punjab, Rajasthan and elsewhere, Operation Parakram ended in mid-October 2002 with CCS taking a decision to call off mobilisation and making a face-saving statement that troops would now be strategically redeployed.

Vajpayee in Parliament played with his own words, claiming that he had never said ‘ab aar par ki ladai hogi’, instead he had said ‘agar ladai hui toh aar par ki ladai hogi’. Vajpayee and his men thought that by doing verbal gymnastics they had been able to convince people. The results of 2004 parliamentary elections proved that people of India never forgave them. Remember Vajpayee had won 1999 election post the victory in Kargil war.

Also, the eventual capitulation of Vajpayee and his men under international pressure made Indira’s position distinct from other leaders. In 1971, she not only won the war, but liberated East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

This time around Modi is talking about liberation of Balochistan.

Consider Modi’s position. Two distinct things have happened since after Uri attack — first, consider the tweets: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “We strongly condemn the cowardly terror attack in Uri. I assure the nation that those behind this despicable attack will not go unpunished.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh: “My heartfelt condolences to the families of the martyred soldiers. Those behind this terror incident would be brought to justice.” In another tweet he names Pakistan: “I am deeply disappointed with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups.”

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley: “Perpetrators of Uri terror attack shall be punished. My thoughts & prayers are with families of our soldiers injured & martyred.”

All three top leaders in the government assured that the sacrifice of soldiers will be avenged. The Indian Army and the Home Minister have named Pakistani establishment and terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad as the ones behind these attacks.

Now the question is: Is there any other way other than going for military option whatever one may call hot pursuit or surgical exercise or risking full-scale war to punish “those behind the attack”? More so, if that option will have to be exercised then it has to be exercised before the next possible attack. Remember, surprise factor is generally an advantage on terrorist and their backers side.

If Modi government fails to do so, or seem to be taking any other effective and tangible measure then all such words used in tweets would be taken as empty rhetoric and people would not forgive Modi and the BJP. The popular perception is, if Modi can’t do, no one else will ever do it. Modi has the popular mandate and the image to do it. If he fails to do it then he not only fails himself, but also the entire nation.

Second, for the first time ever, the government has released pictures of those attending high-level meetings chaired by prime minister and home minister with top ministers and security and intelligence officials. There has also been leakages that the army was seeking the use of military option. The idea is to assure people that the government was seriously reviewing its options. But then there is no structured meeting of CCS yet.

It is for Modi to decide whether he would stand true to the image he so consciously cultivated for over a decade.

Uri terror attack: To reclaim a sense of history, India needs war museums like Hall of Fame in Leh

The Indian Army was attacked in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) on Sunday, where 18 jawans were killed in Uri. But, is this the first such attack?

No, this was the 18th major strike on security forces in J&K since 1999, the first one being when ten army personnel were killed in a fidayeen attack on 15 Corps Headquarters at Srinagar’s Badami Bagh.

It is unfortunate that India speaks to a nation that has made the export of terror an instrument of state policy. India’s quest for peace is so strong that we refuse to learn from past betrayals. Actually, we lack a sense of history. Since 1947, our experiences and learnings are inadequately documented and not available in the public domain; thus, the bureaucracy, political class, and civilians make the same mistakes again and again.

Note that India’s principal adversaries on the east and west side have an excellent sense of history; to the extent that they keep reiterating the same lies in the hope that they are accepted as the truth.

The entrance to Hall of Fame Museum in Leh. Photo: www.esamskriti.com

The entrance to Hall of Fame Museum in Leh. Photo: www.esamskriti.com

It is in this context that museums play an important role. The learnings and contents of the Indian Army Museum in Leh are relevant to contemporary India and make a case for setting such museums across the country, and globally.

A board at the entrance sets the tone for what to expect inside. It reads, “The Hall of Fame is as much a tribute to the valour and sagacity of the brave men of the Indian Army who guard the frigid, windswept and barren frontiers of Ladakh as much as it is an expression of recognition, adulation and wonderment of the indomitable spirit, rich culture and a zest unique to the men and women who inhabit Ladakh.”

Someone has correctly observed, “True Ladakh begins where the road ends!”

The museum tells you about the history of Ladakh since the first century AD – key battles of 1948, 1965, 1971, the 1999 wars with Pakistan and the Indo-China war of 1962. It highlights the contributions of the Ladakh Scouts. There is a section on the Siachen Glacier, which briefly tells about the battles fought and the equipment provided to jawans to enable them to guard the border posts at heights between 15,000 to 22,000 feet. It also recognises the contribution of Project Himank in building roads. Lastly, there is a memorial and a Shaurya Sthal where the names of all the martyrs are inscribed in stone.

The Hall of Fame museum presents history through pictures and illuminated boards. A lot of information presented there has strategic value, something that many civilians are unaware of:

1) Information about the battles fought to occupy and retain control of Siachen Glacier between 1984 and 1999.

2) It is only when you see a map of pre-1947 Jammu and Kashmir that you realise that India could have shared a border with Afghanistan, had the then government taken control of the entire princely state.

3) Why did Ladakh develop close cultural relations with Tibet, which continue to this day?

4) Details of battles in 1948 with Pakistan in Zoji la Pass, Kargil and Leh sectors.

5) Capture of Point 13620 and Kala Pahad on NH 1A – at Kargil in the 1965 war.

6) Capture of Turtuk in Nubra Valley during the 1971 war. It was part of Pakistan until then.

7) Details of numerous battles fought to recapture heights in Drass sector in 1999.

Of particular interest are three key battles fought in 1965, 1984 and 1962. Brief details of each battle and learnings are as follows:

Recapture of Point 13620: The Point overlooks the Srinagar-Leh Highway. It was captured by India thrice. First four Rajputs captured it on 17 May, 1965. Following assurances by the UN Observer, it was handed over to Pakistan in June 1965. In the first week of August, Pakistan resorted to mass infiltration in J&K with an intent to enter through Kargil sector and fan out towards Drass, Zanskar etc regions. It was subsequently recaptured by 17 Punjab on 15 August 1965. In July 1966, it was handed over to Pakistan in accordance with the Tashkent Agreement. It was recaptured by India on 9 December, 1971.

Re - Capture of Point 13620. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev NayyarRe - Capture of Point 13620. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Re – Capture of Point 13620. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

What must Team India remember?

Trust Pakistan at your own risk. Never return areas that overlook national highways or a Pass that allows the enemy to sneak in, like the Haji Pir Pass in 1965. “It is through this Pass, infamously returned to Pakistan five months after its capture, that Islamabad has been infiltrating terrorists into J&K for the last 27 years.”

Note that the Kargil War of 1999 was essentially fought to regain control of the heights that overlook the Srinagar-Leh highway.

Secondly, the occupation of Siachen Glacier in 1984. “The operation to occupy the glacier by 13 April, 1984 was planned to pre-empt the Pakistan Army by about four days as Intelligence had reported that Pakistan Army intended to occupy the glacier by 17 April, 1984. About 300 troops dug into the critical peaks and passes on Saltoro Ridge, thus effectively denying the glacier.”

If India had played good boy, gone to the United Nations (UN), we might never have occupied the glacier and would still be arguing over UN resolutions.

Operation Meghdoot 1984. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev NayyarOperation Meghdoot 1984. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Operation Meghdoot 1984. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

Always be pro-active, seize and never lose control, better to attack then defend and take the battle into the enemy camp.

Note that ever since Pakistan started supporting terrorism in Punjab, J&K and rest of India, the Indian State is perpetually defending itself. If India has to counter the infinite Pakistan attack it must keep the rogue nation under pressure 24/7, 365 days a year. Students of history should read BR Ambedkar’s Thoughts on Pakistan to understand the sub-continent Muslim mind.

Thirdly, Battle of Rezang La in Ladakh. It is true that China defeated India in the 1962 war. What is not true is that India went down without a fight in every place.

The Chinese launched a silent first attack on 18 November, 1962. The attack was stalled by the brave Ahirs of 13 Kumaon. At the break of dawn, Chinese attacked the post again only to be thwarted by accurate small-arm fire. Next, the Chinese resorted to heavy shelling. The Charlie coy deployed under Major Shaitan Singh Bhati repulsed seven waves of Chinese human attacks despite heavy artillery shelling. About 113 soldiers and the Major laid down their lives. According to this article, the battle left close to 500 Chinese dead and wounded, although locals put the number at about 1,300.

The Battle of Rezang La. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev NayyarThe Battle of Rezang La. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

The Battle of Rezang La. Photo courtesy: Sanjeev Nayyar

When the local leadership was strong, the Indian Army gave the Chinese a good fight. We lost because of idealism, underestimating the enemy and failure to decipher Chinese thinking. The spiritual concept of ahinsa (non-violence) must not be used in the realm of geopolitics. Accepting mistakes allows us to put the past behind and emerge stronger. Only when India becomes an economic and military powerhouse will be there shanti, shanti, shanti.

Note that the closest land route to Mount Kailash is from Demchok in south Ladakh. It’s unlikely that Indians will be allowed to enter Tibet from there because that means defying the border. Any border settlement with China must include an entry from here as well. The move would be appreciated by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Tibetans worldwide.

It is time to make more Indians aware about such historical facts. Therefore, the government must create similar Hall of Fames in major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kolkata. This should not be confused with the proposed National War Memorial in Delhi.

The same format could be used. It should include information about other wars and acts of bravery, for instance, Jaswant Singh in 1962, Battle of Longowal and Liberation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Since the Indian Army runs schools and women empowerment centres, pictures of Sadbhavna activities should be displayed. It should have a separate section titled ‘What must Team India remember’.

The benefits of such an initiative would provide reliable data and limits the scope for spreading misinformation. It would give civilians, bureaucracy, and armed forces lessons in history and continuously reinforce learning. Wars have to be fought by the people of India, not the armed forces alone. It would definitely create a feeling of national pride and patriotism.

At a time when social media plays an important role in information warfare, it would empower Indians worldwide to respond to country’s opponents.

Once successfully implemented, the Hall of Fame should be set up in international cities with large Indian populations like New York, London, Dubai and Singapore.

This way the Indian point of view gets communicated globally and more importantly, consistently. Few countries have done this so far. India could be amongst them.

Most importantly, Indians must now realise that they can live in peace only when the country has strong leadership, national strength, and the political will to take tough decisions against the country’s opponents.

The author is an independent columnist. He tweets with the handle @sanjeev1927

Uri attack: VK Singh calls for probe into lacunae which led to the assault

New Delhi: Union Minister and former army chief VK Singh on Monday said the “lacunae” which led to the attack at an army base in Uri need to be investigated even as he advised the Indian Army to decide on its response “coolly” with proper planning.

VK Singh. News18

VK Singh. News18

“Having seen the army closely, I feel, it needs to be analysed as to what happened there…It needs to be investigated how the incident took place and what were the lacunae,” the Minister of State for External Affairs said.

“…from the army’s side, alertness is required. The Kashmir situation needs to be thought about. The action has to be taken without getting influenced by emotions, anger. It has to be taken coolly and with proper planning,” Singh said.

He also said Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have already spoken about the action which will be taken.

“(That action) we will leave it to the government,” he added.

Condemning the Uri terror attack, in which 17 soldiers were killed, Modi had on Sunday said those behind the “despicable” act won’t go unpunished.

#UriAttack: Pakistan says India has history of blaming it after terror strikes, rejects charges as ‘baseless’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has rejected as ‘totally baseless and irresponsible’ allegations by India that it was behind the terrorist attack in Jammu and Kashmir’s Uri that killed 17 Indian soldiers, saying India has a “history of blaming Pakistan” immediately after a terror strike.Following the dawn strike, India had criticised Pakistan for the latest attack on the Indian Army. Home Minister Rajnath Singh directly blamed Pakistan saying it was a “terrorist state” and should be isolated.Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in an interview to a TV channel said the Indian allegations against Pakistan are “totally baseless and irresponsible”.”Pakistan always sought concrete evidence from India to prove its accusations, but it failed to do so,” he said.He said “India has a history of blaming Pakistan immediately after a terror attack, which always proved wrong in investigations”.Zakaria said “India is using different tactics to divert the world attention from the situation in occupied Kashmir”.The Pakistan Army had earlier demanded “actionable intelligence” to support India’s accusation.Pakistan army spokesman Lt Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa said that following the attack Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMOs) of the two countries discussed the situation along the Line of Control through hotline.”Refuting the unfounded and premature Indian allegation, Pakistani DGMO asked his counterpart to share any actionable intelligence,” Radio Pakistan reported citing an ISPR release.Pakistani DGMO rejected allegations of cross border infiltration and said that “watertight arrangements” were in place on both sides of the LoC and the Working Boundary. He also asked India to share evidence.Heavily-armed militants stormed a battalion headquarters of the Indian Army in North Kashmir’s Uri town in the wee hours, killing 17 jawans and injuring 19 other personnel in the attack in which all four terrorists were neutralised.

#UriAttack: Clamour grows to hit back at Pakistan; experts say we must have our military option open

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the clamour grew for a military offensive against Pakistan following the deadly attack on the Indian Army camp in Uri on Sunday that killed 17 soldiers and injured 19, the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh, said here that “all four (terrorists) killed were foreign terrorists and had some items with them which had Pakistani markings.”Initial reports, he said, indicated the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed Tanzeem. “Four AK 47 rifles and four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers along with a large number of other war-like stores were recovered from them,” said DGMO. Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said, “I have spoken to Pakistan DGMO and conveyed our serious concerns on the same.”Even as Army didn’t release the names of the deceased soldiers, sources told dna that they included 15 from 6 Bihar Regiment and two from 10 Dogra Regiment.Sources also said that a map carried by militants was found which was marked and indicated in Pashtun language.Earlier, home minister Rajnath Singh who postponed his scheduled visits to Russia and the US held a high-level crisis meeting here with the National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, home secretary, Intelligence Bureau chief, defence secretary, DGMO and CRPF DG. Rajnath Singh later briefed the PM on the developments of the day.“Those behind this terror incident would be brought to justice. There are definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped,” Singh said. He also said that “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such.”Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal (retired), a fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses here, told dna that “India’s response needs to be reviewed and upgraded to a more pro-active one that increases Pakistan’s cost for waging a proxy war.”“It is high time we hit back and hurt Pakistan physically,” Brigadier Kanwal said. On questions of India’s military response leading to escalation, he said that India was comfortably placed militarily and diplomatically to take this war on Pakistan’s door. “There are plenty of ways to strike back effectively without crossing the LoC. These include artillery strikes to destroy their bunkers and forward posts, communication centres, logistic infrastructure and ammunition depots. India can launch air-to-ground strikes and also let the Special Forces conduct raids on Pakistani posts through which infiltration takes places,” Kanwal said.Another expert, Lt Gen (retd) B S Jaswal, said, “We must have our military option open, if required to strike at certain places.”“Bring pickets, which have launch pad to the ground, raze them to the ground. The reason is that till the time it does not hurt Pakistan physically, they would not respect our decency,” Lt Gen Jaswal, who was GOC-in-C of the Northern Command, said.“Pakistan keeps doing it (terror strikes) again and again knowing that we would not take any action,” said Major (retd) Gaurav Arya, who has expertise in Jammu and Kashmir security situation.The problems in Kashmir are “systematically manufactured” at the GHQ in Rawalpindi, he alleged, adding “We must take immediate action. Stop trade with Pakistan, downgrade (its) Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status. The world must know we are serious.”Former military secretary and former commander of the Srinagar-based 15 Corps of the Indian Army, Lieutenant General Syed Ata Hasnain (retd), however said that, “Knee jerk reactions are the worst in this kind of conflict situation which is hybrid in nature. The cause-effect needs greater analysis for a suitable response at the right time. This is a campaign being fought and campaigns are not fought by one-off responses to losses. The responses have to be thought through for relative strategic advantage rather than tactical satisfaction and ego.”He told dna, “The government and the army would obviously be contemplating that and the Prime Minister has done well in giving his mind early. Direct action is good for public solace, but it is always the indirect method which has greater impact. No doubt an army as experienced as the Indian Army is not going to sit on its haunches without a response. The range of options will all be under analysis and the most suitable one will be chosen both by the army and the political leadership in due course. Clearly, Pakistan, which has been carefully calibrating the interference in Kashmir for all these years and attempting to keep it below the threshold of India’s tolerance, may have just crossed that line, the consequences of which it will have to bear.”

Sushma Swaraj meets Myanmar President, takes up issue of cross-border activities

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Myanmar will not allow its territory to be used for any anti-India activities, this was conveyed by Myanmarese leaders to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who assured “all help” to the new government that came to power in March after decades of military rule. In the first high-level visit from India after the civilian government assumed office in Naypyidaw, Swaraj called on President U Htin Kyaw and held talks with State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi on key bilateral issues, including cross-border activities by certain insurgent groups.Describing India as a friendly country, Myanmarese President U Htin told Swaraj that he looks forward to a “very productive partnership”. “Myanmar leadership assured that they will not allow any insurgent groups to use any territory for action against India, (that) they all recognised is a friendly country which has stood by people of Myanmar and they look forward to a very productive partnership with India as Myanmar continues on its journey of peace, progress and development,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup told PTI.The issue of cross-border activities by certain insurgent groups was taken up by Swaraj in her maiden meeting with the country’s first democratically-elected President in five decades, according to sources. Swaraj’s visit comes just days after the Indian Army had an encounter with NSCN-K militants in Nagaland who were trying to enter the country from Myanmar. While reports suggested that the Indian Army had crossed over to Myanmar, it was denied officially by India.Swaraj also discussed with the Myanmarese leadership how India can help in Myanmar’s development efforts. They discussed a number of areas of possible collaboration, such as power. India is already supplying 3 MW electricity to Myanmar through the Moreh-Tamu link but this can be further upgraded, Swarup said.Cooperation in renewable energy, transport, health, education and social development was also discussed during the meeting Swaraj had with the leadership. They also discussed the possibility of strong cooperation in area of agriculture, particularly pulses where there is a possibility of importing large amount of pulses from Myanmar, Swarup said following Swaraj’s 45 minutes-long meeting with Suu Kyi.Congratulating Suu Kyi for the victory in the “first genuine election”, Swaraj assured her of “all help”.”India is committed to strengthening your democratic institutions and socio-economic development of your people,” Swaraj said during her meeting with Suu Kyi, whose National League for Democracy party won a historic landslide election last year that finally brought an end to five decades of military rule. Swaraj said this was the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee. “Both sides agreed to make efforts to ensure peace and security along the long shared border. The Myanmar side stated that activities of insurgent groups would not be countenanced from Myanmar territory and suggested that this issue should be addressed and taken forward through cooperation in established bilateral forums,” sources said.Swaraj extended invitations to both the Myanmar President and Suu Kyi to visit India at their earliest convenience. Both invitations were accepted, sources said. Suu Kyi recalled her long association with India. Both Suu Kyi and the President said they were looking forward to a visit to India.Swaraj also conveyed India’s very strong support to Myanmar in exploring possibilities of further strengthening democratic institutions. The Myanmarese President remarked that India is a country that Myanmar can learn from, Swarup said.”India is the country we should get best lessons from on what democracy means,” U Htin was quoted as saying. This visit by Swaraj will serve as a very strong foundation for development and diversification of bilateral ties which are set for a very bright future, Swarup said.”Discussions were held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere as befitting the traditionally close ties and strong people to people links between the two countries. Myanmar leaders were deeply appreciative of the fact that EAM represented the first Cabinet-level dignitary who had paid a visit to Myanmar after the new government took office,” sources said of Swaraj’s meetings with the leaders here.Swaraj expressed “fullest support” to the new Myanmar government in its efforts to meet its developmental goals.Suu Kyi also briefed Swaraj on the preparations for the upcoming 21st Century Panglong Conference for National Reconciliation. Swaraj, on her part, conveyed India’s full support to this process and said India stands ready to extend any necessary help.”Both sides agreed that India’s Act East Policy fitted neatly into Myanmar’s needs and as such areas of mutually beneficial cooperation should be identified in the near future,” sources said.Swaraj was accompanied by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and other senior Ministry of External Affairs officials. Suu Kyi, the de facto leader of Myanmar and a Nobel laureate besides being a democracy icon, thanked Swaraj for the support.Banned from becoming president by a junta-era Constitution, Suu Kyi has a strong control over the country’s first civilian-led government. The Constitution effectively bans her from the top post as it rules out anyone with foreign-born children or spouses from becoming president. Suu Kyi married and had two sons with a British national. The military also retains control of the key home, defence and border affairs ministries, while 25 per cent of parliamentary seats are reserved for unelected soldiers.Incidentally, Swaraj’s visit comes just days after Suu Kyi made a high-profile trip to China.

Indian Army celebrates International Yoga Day at Siachen Glacier

Amid sub-zero temperature, the Army on Tuesday celebrated International Yoga Day at the Siachen Glacier, situated at the height of over 20,000 feet.”The soldiers and the officers posted at Siachen, commonly known as the highest battlefield in the world, today celebrated International Yoga Day”, a defence spokesman said.He said apart from Siachen, the Army’s Fire and Fury Corps also celebrated the day at Leh, Kargil and other forward locations along the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC).<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>PTIThe event at Leh was attended by over 900 personnel which included officers, junior commissioned officers and jawans of the Leh Garrisson, the spokesman said.”Large attendances were also organised at Siachen, Kargil and other forward locations along the borders,” he said.PTIApart from giving an impetus to physical fitness, the events were aimed to popularise yoga and also to spread awareness on benefits of yoga among the soldiers, he said, adding large number of soldiers showed interest in learning yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation.The Indian Army has incorporated yoga asanas into the daily routine of the soldiers in high altitude areas with harsh climatic conditions, he said.

Indian Army celebrates International yoga day at Siachen

Srinagar: Amid sub-zero temperature, the Army on Tuesday celebrated International Yoga Day at the Siachen Glacier, situated at the height of over 20,000 feet.

Representative image. ReutersRepresentative image. Reuters

Representative image. Reuters

“The soldiers and the officers posted at Siachen, commonly known as the highest battlefield in the world, today celebrated International Yoga Day”, a defence spokesman said.

He said apart from Siachen, the Army’s Fire and Fury Corps also celebrated the day at Leh, Kargil and other forward locations along the Line of Control (LoC) and Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The event at Leh was attended by over 900 personnel which included officers, junior commissioned officers and jawans of the Leh Garrisson, the spokesman said.

“Large attendances were also organised at Siachen, Kargil and other forward locations along the borders,” he said.

Apart from giving an impetus to physical fitness, the events were aimed to popularise yoga and also to spread awareness on benefits of yoga among the soldiers, he said, adding large number of soldiers showed interest in learning yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation.

The Indian Army has incorporated yoga asanas into the daily routine of the soldiers in high altitude areas with harsh climatic conditions, he said.

Indian Army to continue with its goodwill initiatives in Jammu and Kashmir

The Indian Army has reiterated its commitment to carry on with its welfare initiative in Jammu and Kashmir called ‘Sadbhavna’.’Sadbhavna’ was launched in early 1990s with an aim to reach out to the people of Jammu and Kashmir reeling under the shadow of foreign sponsored terrorism.The benefits accrued from the initiative in improving the social indices, infrastructure and in consolidating the peace dividends in the state are far in excess of what was perceived during its conceptualisation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Goodwill Schools, an education initiative launched under the ambit of ‘Sadbhavna’ in Jammu and Kashmir, has provided middle/high school level education to over one lakh students.Presently, over 14,000 students are undergoing schooling in various army run schools in the state and over 1,000 children from the state are studying in institutions outside the state through scholarship programs facilitated by the army.In the last three years only, the army has provided medical aid to approximately 3.68 lakh people and treated over 4.57 lakh animals in medical and veterinary camps held under Sadbhavna, local civilian authorities and people actively participate in these hugely popular camps.Over 200 National Integration Tours have been conducted under Sadbhavna, wherein, more than 5,000 beneficiaries (both students and elders) visited other states of the country and got a firsthand view of the culture of their fellow citizens and the growth trajectory of the nation. They came back motivated to become productive citizens of the country and actively leverage the growth trajectory for personal development.Army, under Sadbhavna, is also committed to skill development of the youth and women of the state to further facilitate their employment. Army run vocational training centres and women empowerment centres spread across the state provide practical skills to interested and deserving candidates.Sourced through Army’s own budget, people friendly projects are being executed year after year to ameliorate the conditions of people living in far flung regions of the State.The success of any goodwill initiative can be measured by its popularity, active participation and number of beneficiaries, which, in case of Sadbhavna has very encouraging statics. It remains the endeavour of the army to contribute in the well being of citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, for which reason the army will remain committed to its efforts to meets aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir through this unique program.

Indian and Chinese troops break into a scuffle at LAC

A scuffle had broken out between troops of Indian Army and Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) when the 276 Chinese personnel entered the Indian side from four different border points in Arunachal Pradesh last Thursday, according to an official account of the incident on Wednesday.The incident occurred at ‘Shankar Tikri’ on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of Yangtse area in Arunachal Pradesh with the PLA claiming the area belonged to China. The area, which is being guarded by the Indian Army, was immediately covered and army moved in its men to prevent the aggressive PLA troops from crossing the perceived LAC in the region.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An estimated 215 PLA troops reportedly tried to push their way at ‘Shakar Tikri’ and simultaneously 20 each from ‘Thang La’ and ‘Mera Gap’ and another 21 from ‘Yanki-I’ of Arunachal Pradesh made similar attempts.During the normal banner drill, the PLA troops striking an aggressive posture tried to attack the Indian army personnel physically but were overpowered immediately, official sources said on Wednesday. The sources said the army has officially reported that there was only a “mild scuffle” between the Army and PLA at east of ‘Shankar Tikri’.Tensions reportedly eased only after four PLA officers accompanied by an interpreter met Commanding Officer of the Indian army formation in the area and presented him with two packets of chocolates and one gift packet to the in-charge of Yanki-I post.Yangtse is one of the identified disputed pockets between the two countries and is an Indian territory. PLA carries out unusually big patrols as compared to other areas along the LAC. The area has been reportedly witnessing transgressions by the Chinese side at regular intervals since 2011. Meanwhile, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said the scuffle had ended with exchange of chocolates.”The Chinese troops went back with a sweet note,” he told reporters in New Delhi.

Army goes on hot pursuit of insurgents on Indo-Myanmar border; sources say surgical strike planned at highest level

The Indian Army is on a hot pursuit of the Manipuri insurgents after the latter killed six Assam Rifles personnel, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) by carrying out an ambush on May 22 near Hengshi village in Chandel district of Manipur.Reliable Army sources told dna that a surgical strike, planned and coordinated at the highest level, has been carried out, leading to killing of insurgents and destruction of insurgent camps along the porous Indo-Myanmar border.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The entire operation is yet not over and being monitored by the general officer commanding (GoC) of Dimapur-based 3 Corps.”Army has gone after the rebels heavily,” a senior official said.Army has been rattled by the latest deadly attack, similar to the one in June last year in which 18 soldiers of 6 Dogra Regiment were killed in an ambush. Days later, the Indian Army had, in a cross-border operation neutralised 20-25 insurgents.A senior official termed the ongoing retaliatory action by Army “a massive trace-and-hunt operation to avenge the killing” but stayed short of admitting if it was again a cross-border strike.Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag, accompanied by Kolkata-based Eastern Army Commander Lieutenant General Praveen Bakshi visited the 29 Assam Rifles battalion and the insurgent attack site in South Manipur on May 25. Suhag was briefed “on the incident, including the combing operations in progress and the measures undertaken to neutralise the insurgent group involved in the attack”, by the Inspector General Assam Rifles (South) Major General VS Sreenivas and the commanding officer of the 29 battalion, the soldiers of which were killed on May 22 attack.Army said that the chief stressed “on the need to further carry out relentless operations against the insurgents active in the region”.Corcom, a group of six banned organisations – Kangleipak Communist Party, Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup, People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak, People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Progressive), Revolutionary People’s Front, United National Liberation Front and United Peoples Party of Kangleipak – has claimed responsibility for the latest ambush.

Indian army team scales Mt. Everest after 2 year hiatus

Jammu: An Indian Army mountaineering team led by an officer belonging to Jammu and Kashmir Thursday scaled the Mount Everest.

Colonel SD Goswami, spokesman of army’s Udhampur-headquartered Northern Command told IANS in winter capital Jammu on Thursday: “Indian Army Mountaineering team scaled Mount Everest on Thursday at 6.07 a.m. in spite of inclement weather conditions after a hiatus of two years following the Nepal earthquake.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The team was led by Lieutenant Colonel Ranveer Jamwal who belongs to Jammu district of J&K.

“The team included one officer, one junior commissioned officer (JCO) and five other ranks,” he said.

Army Chief General Dalbir Singh has congratulated the team.

The team, led by Lt Col Jamwal, a reputed climber, was at the Everest base camp last year when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake stuck Nepal on 25 April, 2015.

In 2015, following the Nepal quake, an avalanche had struck the Everest Base Camp from Mount Pumori destroying camps of many expedition teams, killing 22 international climbers and local sherpas, and injuring more than 70, some of whom were critical due to severe head injuries.

The Indian Army’s Everest Expedition Camp was also in the path of the avalanche, but its members were safe.

The team had immediately taken control of the situation by regrouping and started helping in rescue operations by providing stretcher bearers, as well as providing shelter and rations to those in need.

As various agencies gradually moved their mountaineers down, the Indian Army team was the last to leave Everest Base Camp.

Arunachal Pradesh: Jawan dies during training, Army says not a case of ‘mutiny’

Itanagar: An Army jawan died on Sunday during a routine training activity in Arunachal Pradesh, leading to an outburst where a few of the jawan’s colleagues roughed up a Captain.

Indian army soldiers march near an army base on India's Tezpur-Tawang highway, which runs to the Chinese border, in Arunachal Pradesh. File photo ReutersIndian army soldiers march near an army base on India's Tezpur-Tawang highway, which runs to the Chinese border, in Arunachal Pradesh. File photo Reuters

Representational image. Reuters.

An Army officer said that following the jawan’s death, his colleagues, who were being consoled by their adjuant (the Captain) got emotional. Agitated, the jawans got into a scuffle with their Captain.

“The jawan complained of chest pain prior to a route march and was checked by the unit medical officer who found him fit. He later collapsed during the march. He was rushed to the field ambulance where he died,” the officer said.

ANI tweeted that,

The officer further said that the incident is being investigated like all cases of death during training.

Even as the Indian Army denied that there was any case of mutiny in the infantry unit, it confirmed that an officer was injured following the scuffle.

The incident is being investigated.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Indian Army’s Super 30 in Kashmir attains excellent results in JEE Mains

The result of the JEE (Mains) 2016 competitive examination has brought great cheer to the engineering aspirants of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the Kashmir valley.15 students of the state coached under the Super 30 programme sponsored by the Indian Army, as a part of its two and a half decade old welfare initiative ‘Operation Sadbhavna’, have cleared this prestigious examination.This initiative by the Indian Army was launched in 2014. It is based on the model of the Super 30 in Bihar that has attained global recognition. The Kashmir Super 30 is being run in partnership with the Centre for Social Responsibility and Leadership.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The initiative was launched in a modest manner with less than 30 students in the first year. Care was taken to select those who were from the lower strata and had the requisite academic acumen to be able to take on the challenge with necessary coaching. Of these, one cleared the IIT-JEE Advanced examination and as many as 17 found seats in other prestigious Engineering Colleges, an impressive beginning by all standards.Buoyed by the success, the army selected 36 students in 2015. Three cleared the IIT entrance and 27 more were eligible for admission in various Engineering Colleges within and outside the state.The impressive tally of the current year reflects the dedication of those who are imparting training and the hard work put in by the selected students.”The result gives a clear indication that students from Jammu and Kashmir, especially so the Kashmir valley, have the capacity to compete with the best in the country and come out victorious. What is important is to provide to them the right platform. A salute to the Indian army for supporting such a noble cause,” said Colonel (Retired) Jasbir Sarai, a functionary of AAP party from Chandigarh who takes keen interest in the affairs of Jammu and KashmirOver the years, the Army has, under the ambit of Operation Sadbhavna, expanded the scope of its education initiative. What started as provision of primary education in Army Goodwill Schools has now expanded to the professional level with initiatives like the Super 30.Many other similar initiatives have led to admissions of Kashmiri students in educational institutes across the country. The army is making a tremendous effort to help students pursue higher education outside the state. Most of the students studying in Army Goodwill Schools under scholarship are being assisted in obtaining admission in institutes outside Jammu and Kashmir.The Super 30 this year was conducted by the Dagger Division of the Army located at Baramullah, Kashmir. The division held a felicitation ceremony for the successful students in which Major General JS Nain, General Officer Commanding of the Division lauded the perseverance and hard work put in by the students.

India tests new lethal proactive war game on Western borders with Pak

From fundamentally “a non-aggressive and defensive policy” to former Army chief General Krishnaswamy Sunderji’s doctrine of “holding corps” designed to check a Pakistani advance to the latest war game of striking the enemy within its own territory , Indian Army has come a long way.For the past over a month, the Indian Army has been testing its new doctrine of launching a retaliatory strike, destroying enemy positions before international community could intercede, but taking precaution not to provoke a nuclear strike. Even as the “non-aggressive” as well as “holding corps” doctrines were in place, Pakistan’s adventurism in Kargil leading to a war, 2001 Parliament attack and the 2008 Mumbai attacks couldn’t be prevented.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Friday, an entire brigade went airborne in the heavy-lift aircraft C-17 Globemaster-III, C 130 J Hercules, IL 76 and Antonov 32 and some 3,000 soldiers were air- dropped deep inside the enemy’s territory with lethal weapons, albeit in simulated conditions. The giant aircraft breached the serene and seamless wilderness of the golden sand dunes in Thar deserts of Bikaner close to the International Border (IB) with Pakistan. In the past, the Indian Army has never tested offensive strategy of this scale to fight a war inside enemy territory — either in real or simulated conditions.The men and equipment tied with parachutes dropped from a slew of transport aircraft forming a trail stretching over a kilometre in the sky. As the troops captured their objective and linked up with the waiting mechanised forces, it made way for tanks to move in.Major General PC Thimmaya, involved deeply with the planning of this exercise, said it was somewhat closer to what the allied forced did against Germany in the World War II. “The integrated air-land battle exercise is executed with a high degree of synergy. Para dropping an entire brigade is not a regular military activity. It reaffirms the Indian Army’s strike capabilities with impunity,” he told dna.The over one-month-long mega exercise of the Indian Army’s Mathura-based Strike Corps 1, one of the three principal strike formations involved mobilisation and participation of 30,000 troops from the armoured, infantry, artillery and aviation units in close coordination with the Indian Air Force (IAF). The exercise concluded on Saturday.The exercise, code named ‘Shatrujeet’ validated the synergy between Army and Air Force in executing air-land battle. As the mighty T-90 and T-72 tanks belonging to the Blue land (codename for Indian territory) and Red Land (codename for the enemy territory) engaged in close combat, they got support from the IAF’s MiG 27s hovering over them. The Army also claimed that the exercise validated an effective response mechanism in case of a nuclear, biological, chemical (NBC) warfare environment. Shatrujeet brings to the fore India’s pro active war strategy also known as the Cold Start doctrine adopted in the wake of Operation Parakram in 2001 post the Parliament attack.During Parakram, by the time Indian forces were mobilised over a period of a month, Pakistan got an opportunity to build its defence and also mobilise international community. “This exercise validates that we can mobilise our resources within days. I am extremely proud of what our men have achieved during the exercise,” said Army chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag who visited the exercise area.

Outrage after police takes girl in video into protective custody

Shock and outrage has gripped the Valley after Jammu and Kashmir Police took the school girl into a “protective” custody after the Indian Army released her video to prove that the molestation charges against its soldiers were motivated in the Handwara township.The girl has been in the “protective” custody since Tuesday when security forces fired at the protestors after locals alleged that she was molested by the army trooper when she entered into a public washroom. Five people including a woman have been killed in the firing on the protestors at different areas.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”She is in our protective custody. They (family) had asked for protection. Her family members are with her because girl cannot be kept alone,” Uttam Chand, deputy inspector general of police, North Kashmir range, told dna.However, human rights groups are not convinced and have alleged that the girl has been detained and family has been denied access to meet her.”The detention of the minor girl and her father are outside the powers of the state and appears to be an attempt to further pressurise the family to withdraw all allegations against the armed forces,” said a spokesman of Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS).The spokesman noted that the manner in which the video has been recorded and then circulated is a gross violation of the special protections afforded to minors particularly during investigation of sexual assault cases.”The action of the police and the army would necessarily invite criminal prosecution if investigated,” he said.Indian Army on Wednesday released a video in which a school girl is seen apparently giving a clean chit to the soldiers in the molestation case and blaming an unidentified boy for inciting people at Handwara town on Tuesday.”The State under the garb of law and order is ensuring that all access to the family of the victim is denied so as to ensure protection to the armed forces personnel and seek to further distract from the crimes that have been committed – from the sexual assault to the killings,” he said.The legal team of JKCCS led by Parvez Imroz were not allowed to meet the girl and asked to reach to the Handwara town. “The team sought to meet the mother of the minor girl and following consultations approach the High Court, Srinagar bench, by the close of the day. Besides consultations on the case, relevant signatures on court documents needed to be taken,” said the spokesmanMeanwhile, a delegation of main opposition National Conference too was not allowed to visit Handwara town.

Delhi HC rejects plea for IB probe against Kanhaiya Kumar for his ‘seditious remarks’

The Delhi HC dismissed a plea seeking seeking for an IB probe against Kanhaiya Kumar for his allegedly seditious remarks. Justice Pratibha Rani was quoted saying by ANI ‘our law and order can take care of itself, your type of activists are not needed’.Earlier, a petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court against Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar seeking an Intelligence Bureau (IB) probe in the February 9 incident where ‘anti-national’ slogans were allegedly raised in the campus. In the petition, the petitioner demanded an SIT probe stating that Kanhaiya’s speech on the Indian Army falls under ‘sedition’.Speaking at a student’s gathering on International Women’s Day, Kanhaiya alleged that the Indian Army personnel have committed atrocities against women in Jammu and Kashmir. “No matter how much you try to stop us, we will speak up against human rights violations. We will raise our voice against AFSPA. While we have a lot of respect for our soldiers, we will still talk about the fact that in Kashmir women are raped by security personnel,” Kanhaiya said on March 8.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The petitioner alleged that Kanhaiya had violated the terms and conditions on which he was granted a six-month interim bail by the court. Last week, the JNU had revoked the suspension of eight students after the high-level probe panel submitted its report on the February 9 incident.Besides Kanhaiya Kumar, the eight suspended students include Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh, Rama Naga, Anant Kumar, Shweta Raj and Aishwarya Adhikari. They were suspended on February 12 for their alleged involvement in organising an event to protest the hanging of the parliament attack convict Afzal Guru on his third death anniversary.

PLA troops’ presence across LoC sparks security fears

China has pressed India’s raw nerve once again after People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops were spotted stationed at the forward posts on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).The development comes five days after Chinese made fresh incursion, entering six kilometres deep into Indian territory near Pangong Lake in Leh district. However, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) immediately swung into action and forced foreign troops to retreat.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What has created an alarm in the security establishment now is the presence of PLA troops at the forward posts on the side of Nowgam sector in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, and intercepts of communication suggesting the PLA was there to help Pakistani army build infrastructure along the LoC.Also, there are credible reports that PLA would be drilling tunnels in the Leepa Valley in PoK to build an all-weather road that will serve as an alternate road link to Karakoram highway.PLA officials’ presence is also seen as part of Beijing’s 46 billion dollar China-Pakistan economic corridor (CPEC), under which Gwadar port in Balochistan will be linked to Chinese Xinjiang province through Karakoram highway.Indian Army, however, officially denied any such movement of Chinese troops on the other side of LoC. “There are no such inputs (about Chinese army presence on the LoC in PoK),” Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar, told dna.This is not the first time that Chinese troops or engineers have been spotted in PoK. In 2011 Pakistan stationed Chinese troops on the LoC in PoK, sending alarm bells ringing among the Indian army guarding the porous border line which is often used by Pakistani army to push militants into Kashmir. Indian troops had spotted Chinese troops in the Neelam valley of the northern Kashmir.China is involved in construction and up-gradation of numerous roads, bridges and hydro power projects. The Chinese links with Pakistan through PoK lend credence to the Sino-Islamabad nexus.In 2012 Indian Army spotted Chinese engineers, technical staff and other people in civvies on the other side of LoC in PoK amid reports that Pakistan was allowing China to use some of its occupied areas for military purposes. The issue had then rocked the state Assembly after reports suggested that the PoK had “leased out” land to China for military purposes besides allowing them to keep watch on India.The PLA troops were also spotted in 2015 opposite Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district. Government-owned China Gezhouba Group Company Ltd has been building a Jhelum-Neelum 970 MW hydel power project in PoK.Pakistan is also raising a special division to protect the CPEC and Chinese engineers working on the project. However, reports said PLA camouflaging under a local name will establish a security wing in the PoK to hoodwink India. More than 30,000 men are expected to be deployed for security of vital installations in PoK.

Army most admired, respected institution: Dalbir Singh

Army chief General Dalbir Singh on Saturday said the force was the “most admired and respected institution” in the country and it was even being recognised by the international community.”Indian Army has an image. Our Army is the most admired and respected institution in the country. We have rendered exemplary service in the face of external and internal challenges,” he said in his address after reviewing a passing out parade at the Officers’ Training Academy here. He said that Indian Army’s role in UN peacekeeping operations had been “lauded by the international community” and noted that Indian Army was not just for the power it represents, but also for maturity and responsibility.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag with wife Namita arrives on a buggy to attend a passing out parade at the Officer Training Academy in Chennai on Saturday (PTI)Earlier, 183 cadets, including 37 women, passed out as officers following an impressive parade. Among those inducted as officers were Lt Nikita A Nair, a former ‘May Queen Miss Pune’ who had walked the ramp for two fashion pageants, the Army said.Lt G Vaishali was a professional Bharatnatyam dancer while Lt Balveer Singh Rathore from Jodhpur is the son of a tourist guide who wanted to make it to the Army. General Singh also gave away awards to outstanding cadets.

Army most admired, respected institution: Gen Dalbir Singh

Chennai: Army chief General Dalbir Singh on Saturday said the force was the “most admired and respected institution” in the country and it was even being recognised by the international community.

“Indian Army has an image. Our Army is the most admired and respected institution in the country. We have rendered
exemplary service in the face of external and internal challenges,” he said in his address after reviewing a passing out parade at the Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai.

Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag taking salute during a passing out parade at the Officer Training Academy in Chennai on Saturday. PTIArmy Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag taking salute during a passing out parade at the Officer Training Academy in Chennai on Saturday. PTI

Army Chief General Dalbir Singh Suhag taking salute during a passing out parade at the Officer Training Academy in Chennai on Saturday. PTI

He said that Indian Army’s role in UN peacekeeping operations had been “lauded by the international community” and noted that Indian Army was not just for the power it represents, but also for maturity and responsibility.

Earlier, 183 cadets, including 37 women, passed out as officers following an impressive parade.

Among those inducted as officers were Lt Nikita A Nair, a former ‘May Queen Miss Pune’ who had walked the ramp for two fashion pageants, the Army said.

Lt G Vaishali was a professional Bharatnatyam dancer while Lt Balveer Singh Rathore from Jodhpur is the son of a tourist guide who wanted to make it to the Army.

General Singh also gave away awards to outstanding cadets.

Later, Singh visited the Army’s Southern Command where he was briefed about the training activities being carried out at various regimental centres.

Singh was also briefed on the assistance provided by the Army during the December 2015 floods in Chennai and the rescue and relief effort undertaken, where “19,500 civilian were rescued, 20,000 were provided with medical aid and more than two lakh relief packages distributed”, a PIB (Defence) release said.

Singh expressed his appreciation on the work undertaken by the Army, it added.

PTI

Afzal Guru’s lawyer Nandita Haksar says sedition law in India loosely defined

New Delhi: Afzal Guru’s lawyer Nandita Haksar on Thursday said that the law of sedition is “loosely” defined in the Indian constitution and its interpretation depends on who is in power.

“What is sedition and what is not in law is just the matter of who is the master. We need a much deeper understanding of nationalism, of sedition and their subtleties. Even lawyers only look at individual rights and media sees things in black and white,” she said while addressing the students at JNU.

Haksar was speaking on “Sedition and Nationalism” as a part of nearly a month-old speak-in series on ‘nationalism’ by JNU professors and eminent personalities in the backdrop of arrest of three JNU students in a sedition case over an event against hanging of Afzal Guru during which anti-national slogans were allegedly raised.

A file image of Afzal Guru. Image courtesy: IBNLiveA file image of Afzal Guru. Image courtesy: IBNLive

A file image of Afzal Guru. Image courtesy: IBNLive

Haksar, the lawyer of both the Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru and Ex-DU lecturer SAR Gilani, booked for sedition charges said, “she wanted to prove to the Kashmiris that India had space for dissent”.

“When I did the case of Afzal Guru and Gilani that was to prove to the people of Kashmir that there is a space. Do not identify this country with Modi. Please identify this country with all of us Indians who are willing to listen,” she said.

Haksar also asserted that questioning the shady acts of Indian Army personnel should not be disallowed under the garb of “nationalism”.

“Of course our soldiers are there and they are defending but who are they defending it against? Are they defending it against militants who come inside or are they defending it against our own people who are alienated? The fact is that the only security India can give is that people inside the country are not alienated,” she said.

Haksar slammed the government for arresting students and said free thinking should be allowed in campuses.

“Campuses by tradition have been places of thought. Without campuses, you can’t have nationalism. JNU is the place where people charged with sedition become nationalists,” said Haksar.

“My nationalism is not going to be defined by Modi or state. This is the battle of different visions of nationalism. I believe we are right and they are wrong,” she said.

PTI

In the militancy plagued valley, joining Indian Army is a new craze

For those who raise alarm over the radicalisation of youth and home grown militancy, this should come as a good news. Shunning taboos, hundreds of Kashmiri youth thronged the army recruitment rallies to become the proud soldiers in order to serve the country.Such was the enthusiasm that more than 2,300 Kashmiri youth applied for less than 50 posts in different branches of the Indian Army. Over 1,500 candidates turned up for the 30 vacancies of soldiers at Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regimental Centre in the first phase of recruitment rally for Shopian and Srinagar districts.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the second phase of recruitment to fill two vacancies of tradesmen, over 700 candidates appeared in the rally from almost all districts of Jammu and Kashmir with maximum representation from Baramulla, Bandipora and Anantnag districts.”The army offers a lifetime opportunity of adventure, education, progression besides dignity and self-esteem to a soldier, as also to his family. The overwhelming response to the rally is but a reaffirmation of the Kashmiri youth’s growing aspirations to embrace the noble profession of soldering for the nation,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Given the huge craving among the youth to join the forces, Indian Army has planned several recruitment rallies across Jammu and Kashmir in coming months.”Army is sensitive to the growing desire of Kashmiri youth and has started conducting recruitment in a phased manner. The rallies for recruitment into all categories of the army will be held in Sunjuwan in Jammu, Bandipora in Kashmir and Drass in Ladakh in the coming months,” said Colonel Joshi.The huge response to army recruitment rallies comes in the backdrop of the reports of rising radicalisation of youth and home grown militancy in the valley. Figures reveal that over 60 local and highly educated youth joined the militancy in the last year alone sparking fears about the new breed of radicalised ultras overtaking the foreign counterparts in the valley.In contrast, 242 young soldiers of the state passed out from JAKLI centre on Saturday after grueling training of eleven months. What was icing on the cake was the huge rush of people thronging the JAKLI centre on Saturday to watch the parade by the young soldiers.Over 3,000 spectators including proud parents and relatives of the soldiers, veterans and other guests watched the parade of the young recruits turned soldiers.Lieutenant General Satish Dua, General officer Commanding (GOC), in his address praised their contribution in encouraging more youth from J&K to come forward to join security forces. “He even highlighted the vital role played by their parents in motivating their children and wards to join this noble profession,” said Colonel Joshi.

Defence Ministry mulls framing ‘clearer’ policy on army’s involvement in civil work

Controversy over army being engaged for building pontoon bridges over the Yamuna River bed here for a private event World Cultural Festival (WCF) refuses to die down.Amidst this, the ministry of defence (MoD), sources said, is considering to work on a new framework that could spell out when or when not to take the armed forces services in such situations.It was not immediately clear what exact purpose will the new formulation serve as the army rule book already lays down the situations in which it can be requisitioned and deployed in aid of civil authorities. These are for maintenance of law and order, of essential services, assistance during natural calamities and any other assistance to civil authorities.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, sources said that the defence secretary has been asked to look into framing of a new clearer” policy that could define the scope of Army deployment ranging from events as big as the WCF to cases when they are used to rescue children trapped in borewells.Questions are being raised after the Indian Army built pontoon bridges over the Yamuna for the Art of Living Foundation’s upcoming three day event starting March 11. Sources in the army maintain that it had raised reservations to directions from MoD to divert its resources for a private event but had to buckle under pressure from the political executive. According to organisers, about 3.5 million people are expected to attend the event even as president Pranab Mukherjee, who too was supposed to come for the valedictory function, pulled out citing ‘unavoidable circumstances’.Besides the issue of army’s involvement, the entire event has generated controversy for flouting environmental norms and on Wednesday the National Green Tribunal asked the organisers to fork out Rs5 crores as compensation for damage to the flood plain.Had reservation Questions are being raised after the Indian Army built pontoon bridges over the Yamuna for the Art of Living Foundation’s upcoming three day event starting March 11. Sources in the army maintain that it had raised reservations to directions from MoD to divert its resources for a private event but had to buckle under pressure from the political executive.

Another tragedy at Siachen as army porter falls to death

A month after 10 Indian Army soldiers were killed in the snow avalanche, tragedy hit the world’s highest battlefield again when a civilian porter working with army died after falling into a 130 deep crevasse at Siachen glacier.The incident occurred on February 27 when the porter accidentally fell in the crevasse in the northern Siachen glacier. Indian army immediately launched the search and rescue mission to locate the missing porter.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This crevasse situated at an altitude of 19,000ft was 6ft long and 2-4ft wide. The depth reached by the rescue team was 130ft. However, the rescue operations were extremely slow as the width of crevasse had to be widened by cutting the blue ice.Unfortunately, the deceased Porter Thukjay Gyasket, 40, of Leh district in Ladakh could not be saved from deep cold icy crevasse and his body was recovered after a herculean effort by the rescue team around noon on Tuesday. The mortal remains have been sent in an army ALH chopper to Field Hospital at Hunder for wreath laying and other ceremonies. Gyasket is survived by his mother, wife and two daughters.Recently three crevasses opened up in the Northern Glacier on 25 February. These crevasses were bridged on February 26 and 27.Chief of army staff General Dalbir Singh led the nation to pay tributes to the brave porter who died on the Siachen glacier. “It takes extraordinary courage, physical fitness and mental robustness for a civilian porter to work with the army in torturous and unforgiving terrain of Siachen. For me he is one of us. We will take all possible measures and not rest till we retrieve him,” said General Singh.Five days later Indian Army rescuers pulled off a miracle when they extricated Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad alive from the huge blocks of snow and ice at the altitude of 19600 feet on the world’s highest battlefield of Siachen on Monday night. Lance Naik Koppad of Madras regiment however died of multiple organ failure in the Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi some days later.Indian Army has suffered huge causality with 14 soldiers losing their lives in the last two months at Siachen glacier. This is the highest casualty figures in the last four years on the world highest battlefield. Official figures reveal, 10 soldiers were killed at Saichen glacier in 2013. In 2014 and 2015, eight and nine soldiers respectively lost their lives at the glacier.Indian Army has lost hundreds of soldiers to weather vagaries, including avalanches and frost bites, in the last 30 years.Pakistani army suffered humiliating defeat in 1987 when Indian Army led by Honorary Captain Bana Singh captured their “Quaid” post located at 21,153 feet which was later named “Bana” post.However, for the last 12 years, the 150 kilometer Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen, is witnessing calm following the border cease-fire in 2003. Before that the AGPL was a regular battlefield with both armies exchanging artillery and small arms fire to pin each other down.

Now, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed praises Pampore terrorists, leads prayers

A video uploaded by Lashkar affiliate Jamaat-ud-Dawah shows Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed leading prayers for the three terrorists who were killed by the Indian Army in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir, recently.In the weekly Friday prayers, traditionally led by Saeed at Qadsiya masjid in Lahore, where JuD and LeT have their headquarters, he eulogised the three militants.Saeed is also seen making a speech against the background of moving images, like smoke billowing from the Entrepreunership Development Institute (EDI) building in Pampore, where the terrorists were holed up, scenes from the conflict between military personnel, Kashmiri protestors and even the Indian Parliament.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commending the “honourable young men and women of Islam in the battlegrounds of jihad in Kashmir”, Saeed says: “Last week, there was an impressive attack in Kashmir. The fight continued for three days. There were three mujahideen against thousands of Indian Army personnel.”He said that the funeral prayers were held in Pakistan following a request by the Hurriyat and Dukhtaran-e-Millat’s Asiya Andrabi to read eulogies for the “martyrs” in Kashmir.Indian security agencies believe that the Pampore attack is the handiwork of LeT. However, no militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.Yet, JuD leaders have been supporting the attack on social media platforms. Saeed’s endorsement of the Pampore militants strongly asserts that the attack on Indian armed forces was carried out by the LeT. Both Lashkar and its charitable organisational front Jamaat are banned by the UN Security Council as entities of al-Qaeda.On February 20, militants led siege to the EDI building and the fight with security agencies lasted for more than 48 hours.On the second day, as the encounter continued, local residents started pelting stones on military personnel cordoning the area and mosques in the vicinity blared songs hailing the mujahideen.Saeed said this scene was being seen after many years and shows the faith of Kashmiri population in the acts of mujaheeds. Recently LeT’s Kashmir chief Mehmood Shah, in a statement to local news agencies, said that the attack was carried out to avenge the death of two young civilians – Shaista Hameed and Danish Farooq Mir–in Pulwama earlier this month when security forces opened fire on a mob that was protesting against the killing of a local militant in Kakpora village. Saeed reiterated that the mujahideens took revenge for the killing of their sister Shaista.In the video, Saeed also talks about how the Pampore attack has shown that these jihadis are on the right path. “The United States and India conspired to support new militant groups in Pakistan, including the Islamic State (ISIS), so that people will join these groups. But the sacrifice of mujahideens in Kashmir struck down this conspiracy to divert militants from jihad in Kashmir.”LeT supports al Qaeda and opposes IS.

Here is why Siachen braveheart Hanamanthappa’s widow wants her daughter to join Army

Wife of Siachen braveheart Hanamanthappa Koppad, Mahadevi Ashok Bilebal wants their only daughter to join the Indian Army when she grows up.33-year-old Lance Naik Hanamanthappa, who epitomised grit and determination was miraculously pulled out alive from under 30-feet of ice-and-snow debris where he lay buried for six days on the unforgiving Siachen glacier, died on February 11.”I do not have a son but have no regrets for I have a lovely daughter. And I have one wish–to raise her into a strong Indian who will join the Indian Army when she grows up. That will be the true tribute to her brave father,” the young widow of Hanamanthappa said here yesterday where she along with the jawan’s mother Basamma were felicitated.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hanamanthappa’s brother Shankar Gowda too was present on the occasion where wife of Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Kanchan presented a cheque of Rs 1 lakh to the jawan’s family.The soldier was laid to rest with full state honours, after thousands of people bid an emotional farewell to the Siachen braveheart at his native village of Betadur in Dharwad district of north Karnataka earlier this month.The youth wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Yuva Jagaran Manch had organised a programme to honour the martyr. Sunil Ambekar, National Organising Secretary of ABVP, City Mayor Praveen Datke, retired Col Sunil Deshpande were also present.

3-day-long siege of Jammu and Kashmir building ends as Army kills all 3 militants

The three-day-long gun battle between three holed-up militants and the Indian Army ended on Monday evening after the unidentified militants were neutralised in the multi-storey building of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (EDI) here in Pulwama district.”It was a very successful operation.We have eliminated three hard-core terrorists and recovered war-like stores. They were terrorists from across the border. We had no specific intelligence information about the three coming to attack this specific place,” said Major General Arvind Dutta, general officer commanding (GOC), Victor Force of the Indian Army.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The encounter started late on Saturday afternoon when militants attacked a CRPF convoy, killing two jawans and injuring 13 others before taking shelter in the building.More than 120 trainees and employees were rescued by security forces. A gardener of EDI was killed when people were being evacuated.The Indian Army lost three commandos, including two captains of the elite Para (Special Forces) units, when they came under heavy gunfire while they were securing rooms inside building during the last three days.The operation was one of the fiercest in the recent past in Kashmir Valley. During the last three days, security forces made three attempts to storm the building and gun down the militants, who were hiding at vantage positions from where they were able to see troop movement.”Initially, the CRPF tried to get inside the building from the ground floor. The moment they attempted that, the terrorists threw grenades and fired on them. This party had to withdraw,” said Maj Gen Dutta.Thereafter, the army worked out a plan to localise the terrorists and neutralise them. However, the troops did not have the exact location of the terrorists as the latter had occupied a large space.On Saturday night, the army threw a tight cordon and lit up the area to launch a crack operation to gun down the militants. A 10 Para Special Forces commando team was given the task to storm the building and neutralise the terrorists.”Their first task was to occupy the top of the building. They did a marvellous job. Captain Pawan was part of this team. They successfully manoeuvred through the ground, first and second floors. As they were entering the third floor from where they wanted to enter the roof, a brief contact was established with the terrorists. In the ensuing fight, Pawan was martyred,” said the GOC.On Sunday morning, the army decided to storm the building with a large force to secure each floor gradually and eliminate the terrorists.”We launched the 9 Para commandos on Sunday morning and they successfully cleared various floors. In that process two brave commandos — Capt Tushar Mahajan and Lance Naik Om Prakash – got martyred,” Maj Gen Dutta said.Security forces were able to corner the militants in the upper storey of the building. Since Monday morning, forces used rockets, rifle-propelled grenades, mortar bombs and other ammunition to pulverise the positions of the militants.Late on Monday afternoon, there was a brief lull in firing, indicating that the militants might not be alive anymore. Crack teams of the forces immediately went inside and found the three bodies lying on the floor of the upper storey.”In every operation, we have to see what the challenges are. This building had so many rooms and corners and places to hide. Time was not a problem for us. Our aim was to proceed stage by state and neutralise them in the end,” said Maj Gen Dutta.

‘I thought LeT would be interested in killing Bal Thackeray’: David Headley

Mumbai: Pakistani-American terrorist-turned-approver David Coleman Headley on Friday said the global terror network Al Qaeda wanted to attack India’s National Defence College in New Delhi as he also revealed a medley of Lashkar-e-Taiba plans to strike terror in the country.

AFP image.AFP image.

AFP image.

Headley, who has been testifying through video-conferencing since Monday before a special court in Mumbai for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, claimed that Al Qaeda considered the defence college as “a good, high-value target with many senior military officers”.

He said he visited the college campus casually for a survey in 2007 at the instance of Al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri.

In his ongoing deposition before Special TADA Judge G.A. Sanap, Headley revealed how the Lashkar nefariously planned to eliminate Shiv Sena founder late Bal Thackeray.

Headley, 56, spoke of developing close links with Rajaram Rege, the former PRO of present Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray, by luring him with a business offer to access Shiv Sena Bhavan which was also on the target list of LeT.

“I took videos of the Shiv Sena Bhavan from outside and inside… I thought LeT would be interested in attacking it or even carry assassination of its (then) head (Bal Thackeray),” Headley said.

He said he provided two-three videos to his Pakistani handlers Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal.

Rege admitted that he knew Headley but said he never took him to the Shiv Sena Bhavan.

Sena MP Sanjay Raut said the Thackerays and the party have always been targeted by international terror groups “since we are the only ones who speak out against Pakistan”.

The terrorist-turned-approver also talked about the Lashkar plans to hit Mumbai’s famed Siddhi Vinayak Temple and attempts to recruit staffers from the sensitive Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) to tap them for “classified information”.

“The ISI wanted to recruit BARC staffers for future… to get classified information from them,” Headley said.

The Lashkar operative, jailed in the US for his terror activities, said that he came in touch with actor Rahul Bhatt, son of veteran film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, through the in-charge of the upmarket Moksha Gym. Headley was a member of the gym from October 2006.

He said he again surveyed the NDC, Chabad Houses in international tourist destinations like Goa, Pune and Pushkar after the Mumbai attack on the instructions of Kashmiri.

He said he handed over videos of the famed Siddhi Vinayak Temple in Dadar and the Naval Air Station to his main contacts Mir and Iqbal.

Outside the temple, he said, he bought a bunch of around 15 red and yellow coloured sacred threads and sent them to Mir so the terrorists could tie them around their wrists and pass off as Hindus and avoid detection.

Headley claimed to have discussed the temple and other terror plans with his LeT handlers and the ISI discouraged them from targeting the temple, Indian Navy’s air force station, Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Gateway of India in Mumbai as they were very heavily guarded sites when he surveyed them.

On his spying activities, Headley said he followed the progress of Indian Army and on one trip to Mumbai, he bought a book “Indian Army-Vision 2020” from Nalanda Books & Record Shop in Hotel Taj Mahal Palace.

He had purchased four other books – “Royal Rajasthan”, “India’s Jewish Heritage”, “The Grand Trunk Road” and “Polo In India” – but the army book was of great interest to him, he said.

“The other four books were mostly pictorial and there was nothing sinister about them.”

At this, Judge Sanap enquired whether there was anything “sinister” (motives) about the book on Indian Army, Headley replied: “Yes… My Lord!”

At one point in the deposition, Nikam suddenly shot a question about a woman named Kainaz.

“She was a friend from Mumbai,” Headley replied.

“Friend or girlfriend,” Nikam countered.

“Not a girlfriend, just a friend,” a visibly irritated Headley replied.

Later, identifying a picture of the captured and hanged terrorist Ajmal Kasab, Headley said the LeT was “saddened” by his arrest during the November 26, 2008, Mumbai attack.

IANS

As families wait, nine martyrs’ remains still stuck in Siachen

Nine days on, the hostile weather conditions are hampering the evacuation of bodies of nine martyrs from the world’s highest battlefield of Siachen.Tragedy had struck the glacier on February 3 when 10 Indian army soldiers including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) were swept away by a massive avalanche that buried their Sonam post at an altitude of 19,600 feet.Army rescuers had pulled off a miracle when they extricated Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad of Madras regiment alive from the huge blocks of snow and ice on Monday night. Hanumanthappa later passed away in Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi on Thursday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bigger challenge, however, remains for the Indian army – to airlift the bodies of nine martyrs from the glacier. Inclement weather and hostile conditions are hampering the air operations, even as martyrs’ families are waiting for the mortal remains of their dear ones.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 Hanumanthappa Koppad, Sepoy Mahesha PN (all from Karnataka), Havildar Elumalai M, Lance Havildar S Kumar, Sepoy Ganesan G and Sepoy Rama Moorthy N (all from Tamil Nadu), Lance Naik Sudheesh of Kerala, Sepoy Mustaq Ahmed of Andhra Pradesh and Sepoy Nursing Assistant Suryawanshi SV of Maharashtra.Battling frequent snow blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility, the rescue teams had cut through 30 feet of ice at multiple locations to trace out the soldiers. Specialised rescue teams, heavy snow cutters and other equipment including state of art radars were airlifted to the site to locate the soldiers buried under the snow. Indian army said blocks of snow and ice had fallen on the post, burying it very deep into the glaciated area.The glaciated area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day.Situated at the eastern tip of Ladakh, Siachen literally means the Land of Wild Roses. Famous as the highest battlefield in the world, Indian Army is holding posts at unimaginable heights across the largest non-polar glacier in the world. Indian Army has lost hundreds of soldiers to weather vagaries, including avalanches and frost bites, in the last 30 years.

Proud that martyrs like you served the nation: From Modi to Sachin, India mourns Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Koppad’s death

Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad was no mean soldier. Before leaving all of us in mourning and before embarking on his final journey, Lance Naik Koppad showed his countrymen the mettle he is made of. Always up for the most challenging postings that the Indian Army could provide, the Lance Naik miraculously survived for six days after being found buried under tonnes of snow in the Siachen Glacier after an avalanche hit his post located at a super-high altitude.

His colleagues did rescue him after a gruelling search and rescue mission but he breathed his last at the Army R&R Hospital in New Delhi despite the best efforts by a determined medical team. Nine other soldiers also lost their lives in the incident. The 33-year-old Lance Naik was part of the 19th Battalion of the Madras Regiment. Aptly described as “highly-motivated and physically fit” by an Army officer on Wednesday, Lance Naik Koppad has left the nation in grief and tributes are pouring in from all over. Below is a collection of how India is paying homage to this Siachen braveheart.

Indian Army:Despite best of medical efforts L/NK Hanamanthappa K could not be saved. #COAS & all ranks #IndianArmy express heartfelt condolences RIP. The soldier in L/NK Hanamanthappa will continue to inspire generations in the Indian Army #COAS

Tribute to the Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Courtesy NeelabhToonsTribute to the Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Courtesy NeelabhToons

Tribute to the Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa Koppad. Courtesy NeelabhToons

Vice President Hamid Ansari: I am extremely saddened to learn of the demise of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad earlier today. A survivor of the mishap at Siachen, he had come to symbolize the grit, determination and the indomitable spirit of the Indian armed forces.

The role of the Army rescue team and the doctors and staff of the Army (Research & Referral) Hospital in making the valiant effort to save Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad have been commendable.

I join the nation in praying for eternal rest for the departed soul and in offering solace and fortitude to the members of the bereaved family.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi: He leaves us sad & devastated. RIP Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. The soldier in you remains immortal. Proud that martyrs like you served India.

Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar: Condolences to family of L/Nk Hanumanthappa on his passing away. The Nation salutes him.

Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi: In his life and his passing Lance Naik Hanumanthappa has shown the world the meaning of perseverance & courage. His extraordinary spirit and tenacity, till the very end, is an inspiration for all. My thoughts & prayers are with his bereaved family.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar: Deeply saddened by the passing away of Siachen braveheart Lance Naik Hanamanthappa. Condolences to his family and loved ones.

Union Environment Prakash Javadekar: #Hanumanthappa showed us all what a soldier is made of. My salute to the brave heart. Condolences to his family. RIP

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah: I’m deeply saddened by the news of d sad demise of Soldier #Hanumanthappa Koppad. My heartfelt condolences to his family members. Our Govt pays due respect to all d three martyrs of #SiachenAvalanche and their families w’ll get suitable compensation

Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu: #Hanumanthappa fought valiantly on field ,bellow piles of snow,in hospital,till he breathed his last,Salutes to this Braveheart.We bow!

Union Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu: Deeply saddened by the death of Shri Lance Naik #Hanumanthappa today. A brave heart, he braved the harsh Siachen for long.

Congress MP Deepender S Hooda: Tributes to #LanceNaik #Hanumanthappa. Your fighting spirit & sacrifice shall inspire generations. India is united in grief.

Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar: The only ray of hope amidst the devastating news of the avalanche was finding one of our jawans alive against all odds. Hearing of his demise leaves the entire nation shattered. I have always held our armed forces in the highest regard especially those who serve in these extreme conditions. RIP Lance Naik #Hanumanthappa.

India Siachen avalanche soldier dies

An Indian soldier who was found alive after being buried for six days in an avalanche on the Siachen glacier in Indian-administered Kashmir dies in a Delhi hospital.

In pictures: India avalanche soldier’s ‘miracle rescue’

Images of the army operation to rescue a soldier who was buried in an avalanche that struck the Siachen glacier.

Soldier rescued from Siachen in coma, remains ‘extremely critical’, says army statement

New Delhi: The Indian Army soldier, found alive six days after being presumed dead under 35 feet of snow in Siachen, is currently in comatose state and continues to be in shock with low blood pressure, an army statement released on Tuesday said.

The soldier, Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad, has been put on ventilator in ICU, and remains “extremely critical”, the medical bulletin said.

Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. Image courtesy: IBNLiveLance Naik Hanumanthappa. Image courtesy: IBNLive

Lance Naik Hanumanthappa Koppad. Image courtesy: IBNLive

“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 hours due to the complications caused by re-warming and establishment of blood flow to the cold parts of the body,” the bulletin said.

“He has pneumonia and his investigations have revealed liver and kidney dysfunction. Fortunately there was no cold exposure related frost bite or bone injuries to him,” it said.

“He is being treated by a team of intensivists, neurologists, nephrologists, endocrinologists and surgeons. He has been treated with fluids and drugs to bring up his blood pressure,” the bulletin said.

IANS

Cutting through blocks of ice, Indian army retrieves one of the bodies of 10 Siachen martyrs

Braving snow blizzards and extreme freezing temperatures, Indian Army rescuers finally achieved first major success when they were able to retrieve one of the 10 bodies buried under huge blocks of snow and ice on the world’s highest battlefield of Siachen.”After intense and exhausting search operations, which has entered its sixth day, rescue parties have hit the camp site and recovered the mortal remains of one martyr,” said Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command headquarters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tragedy had befallen the Indian Army on Wednesday when 10 Indian Army soldiers including a junior commissioned officer (JCO) of Madras regiment were swept away by a massive avalanche that buried their post at the altitude of 19,600 feet on the Siachen glacier.Of the 10 slain soldiers, four hailed from Tamil Nadu, three from Karnataka and one each from Maharashtra, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.Indian Army has established a new camp at the location to coordinate the rescue efforts in the sensitive area. “Rescue teams are cutting through 30-feet of ice at multiple locations where our soldiers could be buried. Probable locations are identified by using specialised equipment which was inducted along with the rescue teams,” said Colonel Goswami.Reports from the ground indicate the efforts are hampered by the frequent snow blizzards, extreme freezing temperatures and low visibility apart from the effects of rarefied atmosphere in such high altitude.”The teams are working round the clock and observing all precautions since the unstable ice and snow in the region could trigger fresh avalanches. Rescue efforts will continue till all our soldiers are found,” he said.Indian Army said blocks of snow and ice had fallen on the post burying it very deep into the glaciated area. Heavy snow cutters and major equipment have been pressed into service to clear and cut the ice blocks. The glaciated area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day.Situated at the eastern tip of Ladakh, Siachen literally means the Land of Wild Roses. Famous as the highest battlefield in the world, Indian Army is holding posts at unimaginable heights across the largest non-polar glacier in the world. Indian Army has lost hundreds of soldiers to weather vagaries, including avalanches and frost bites, in the last 30 years.Pakistani army suffered humiliating defeat in 1987 when Indian Army led by Honorary Captain Bana Singh captured their “Quaid” post located at 21,153 feet which was later named “Bana” post.However, for the last 12 years, the 150 kilometer Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen, is witnessing calm following the border cease-fire in 2003. Before that the AGPL was a regular battlefield with both armies exchanging artillery and small arms fire to pin each other down.

Government may address armed force’s hardship allowance concerns on 7th pay commission

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday told reporters on the sidelines of the International Fleet review in Vishakapatnam that he had an interaction with the three service chiefs – of Army, Navy and the Air force- over the concerns on recommendations of the seventh pay commission. He said the ministry has sought a fresh analysis of those concerns raised by them.The prominent issues are of disparity in risk and hardship allowance recommended by the seventh pay commission and also the disability pension. Moreover, the death of 10 soldiers of the Indian Army at Siachen last week after their post was hit by an avalanche has brought the issue of armed force’s entitlement under the allowance to the fore.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Forces that find it discriminating to have lesser entitlements as against their civilian counterparts as recommended by the latest pay commission, have demanded re-evaluation of the prescribed ‘Hardship Matrix’ for deciding allowances.While Rs31,000 is the prescribed hardship allowance per month for officers and Rs 21,000 per month for jawans posted at Siachen, the pay commission recommended new salary slabs will work out the tough area allowance for IPS and IAS officers to be nearly Rs 55,000. The same for other civilian officer ranks will be Rs 30,000, even if their postings are in a lesser risky areas than Siachen.In a meeting with Parrikar last week, the service chiefs raised this issue besides the seventh pay commission’s report questioning the increase in the number of disability pension claims. A senior army official at the service’s headquarters here argued that no logic can justify lesser hardship allowances to armed forces posted at a glacier in comparison to a civilian officer posted in a place like Srinagar or Andaman Nicobar islands.

In his death, Satara boy makes country proud

For the second time in the last four months, Satara district of Maharashtra has made the country proud after another son of soil died in the line of duty at the world highest battlefield of Siachen.Sepoy nursing assistant Suryawanshi of village Maskarwadi in Satara was among the 10 soldiers who were buried under the tonnes of snow and ice after massive avalanche hit their post at the altitude of 19,600 feet in Siachen glacier on Wednesday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On November 17, 2015 Colonel Santosh Mahadik, a highly decorated para-commando of Satara, who was commanding officer of the 41 Rashtriya Riffles, died fighting militants at Manigah forest area in Kupwara district of north Kashmir.Of the 10 slain soldiers buried at Siachen glacier, four were from Tamil Nadu, three from Karnataka and one each from Kerala and Andhra Pradesh.Indian Army has intensified the operation to retrieve the bodies of the soldiers buried under the mounds of snow and ice. More specialised teams and equipment have been airlifted to the glacier to augment the rescuers at the tragedy site.”The rescue operation is continuing with additional specialised equipment and teams deployed at the site of avalanche,” said Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command headquarters.Indian Army said blocks of snow and ice had fallen on the post burying it very deep into the glaciated area. Heavy snow cutters and major equipment have been pressed into service to clear and cut the ice blocks.The glaciated area presents temperatures ranging from a minimum of minus 42 degrees in the night to maximum of minus 25 degrees during the day. Specialised teams are braving adverse weather and effects of rarefied atmosphere to locate the bodies.On Thursday, army declined the offer of help from Pakistani army in rescue mission on the Siachen glacier. More than 140 Pakistani soldiers were killed when an avalanche swept away their camp in Gayari sector of Siachen in 2012.Situated at the eastern tip of Ladakh, Siachen literally means the Land of Wild Roses. Famous as the highest battlefield in the world, Indian Army is holding posts at unimaginable heights across the largest non-polar glacier in the world. Indian Army has lost hundreds of soldiers to weather vagaries, including avalanches and frost bites, in the last 30 years.Pakistani army suffered humiliating defeat in 1987 when Indian Army led by Honorary Captain Bana Singh captured their “Quaid” post located at 21,153 feet which was later named “Bana” post.However, for the last 12 years, the 150 kilometer Actual Ground Position Line (AGPL) in Siachen, is witnessing calm following the border cease-fire in 2003. Before that the AGPL was a regular battlefield with both armies exchanging artillery and small arms fire to pin each other down.

Pakistan offers help to recover and rescue India army personnel buried in Siachen

Islamabad: Pakistan on Thursday offered its assistance in the rescue and recovery of Indian Army personnel buried in an avalanche on Siachen glacier.

Pakistan Army’s Director General of Military Operations Maj Gen Sahir Shamshad Mirza called Indian DGMO Lt Gen Ranbir Singh and offered assistance in the ongoing rescue operation, a military statement here said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Ten Indian soldiers were reportedly buried in an avalanche that hit Siachen glacier in India-administered Kashmir on Wednesday.

The soldiers were hit while on duty at a post at an altitude of 19,000 feet.

An Indian army statement earlier said the post was being manned by a junior officer and nine soldiers when the avalanche struck.

In 2012, at least 140 people, including Pakistan Army personnel and civilians, were killed when an avalanche struck an army camp in the strategically important Gayari sector.

The Siachen Glacier has been dubbed as the world’s highest battlefield. Avalanches and landslides are common in the area during winter and temperatures there can drop as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius.

An estimated 8,000 troops have died on the glacier since 1984, almost all of them in avalanches and landslides or due to frostbite, altitude sickness or heart failure rather than combat.

IANS

10 soldiers missing after avalanche hits Siachen glacier

Tragedy struck world’s highest battlefield of Saichen on Wednesday when around 10 Indian army soldiers were swept away by a massive avalanche that hit their post at an altitude of 19,600 feet.All the 10 soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer (JCO), are missing since the avalanche hit the northern Siachen glacier in the early hours of Wednesday.According to colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesperson at Northern Command in Udhampur, specialised teams from Army and Air Force have been pressed into service to locate the missing soldiers. “The rescue operations are being closely monitored from Leh and Udhampur,” he added.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>This is the second big tragedy at the glacier in the last one month. Four soldiers belonging to 3-Ladakh Scouts unit were killed when a massive avalanche hit their patrolling party at the glacier on January 4. Another massive avalanche had left an army captain dead on November 13, 2015, even as 15 soldiers were safely rescued.Situated at the eastern tip of Ladakh, Siachen literally means the ‘land of wild roses’. Famed as the highest battle field in the world, Indian Army is holding posts at unimaginable heights across the largest non-polar glacier in the world. India has lost hundreds of its soldiers to weather vagaries, including avalanches and frost bites in the last 30 years.Pakistani army suffered humiliating defeat in 1987 when Indian army led by honorary captain Bana Singh captured their ‘Quaid’ post, located at 21,153 feet. The post was later named ‘Bana’ post.However, for the last 12 years, the 150-kilometre actual ground position line (AGPL) in Siachen is witnessing calm following the border cease-fire in 2003. Before that the AGPL was a regular battlefield with both armies exchanging artillery and small arms fire to pin each other down.

Avalanche in Siachen: Search continues for 10 missing soldiers

Indian helicopters and rescue teams searched on Wednesday for 10 soldiers missing in northern mountains and presumed trapped in an avalanche, in an area known as the battleground on the roof of the world.The victims were missing in one of the world’s most unforgiving environments, at an altitude of 19,600 feet (5,974 metres) on the Siachen Glacier that India and Pakistan have fought over intermittently for years, beginning in 1984. The soldiers, including a junior commissioned officer, disappeared after an avalanche swept down the mountain striking their post, India’s defence ministry said in a statement.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to ANI, the avalanche struck the Indian Army post in Northern Siachen Glacier located at height of 19600 feet in early morn hrs and rescue operations are underway. “Rescue operations by specialised teams from army and air force are underway to rescue the soldiers,” the ministry said.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.Military experts say the inhospitable climate and avalanche-prone terrain have claimed more lives than gunfire. The strategic importance of the glacier is widely seen as insignificant. Until 1984, neither side had troops permanently stationed there. Both countries agree on a need to demilitarise the glacier, but attempts to reach any agreement have been unsuccessful.Siachen is in the northern part of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, the main source of the two nations’ almost seven-decade-old hostilities and the cause of two of their three wars. Last month, four soldiers of 3 Ladakh Scouts were killed when their patrol party was hit by a massive avalanche in the Ladkah region of Jammu and Kashmir.With inputs from agencies

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