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Cong questions new army chief’s appointment, MoD sources say Rawat best suited to deal with terror threats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lt. General. Bipin Rawat, who has been appointed as the next Chief of Army Staff, was found the best suited among current batch of candidates of Lt. Generals, to deal with emerging challenges, including a reorganised and restructured military force in the north, continuing terrorism and proxy war from the west, and the situation in the North-East.According to Ministry of Defence (MoD) sources, Lt. Gen Rawat has tremendous hands on experience of serving in combat areas, and at various functional levels in the Indian Army over the last three decades.He has handled various operational responsibilities in many areas, including along the LoC with Pakistan, the LAC with China, and in the North-East.
ALSO READ Lt Gen Bipin Rawat to be new Army Chief, Air Marshal BS Dhanoa to head IAFHe is also known for his balanced approach towards soldiering, compassion, and connect with civil society.His experience as GOC-in-C Southern Army Command in Mechanised Warfare has been focused towards the western borders, in coordination with the other two services.Also, Air Marshal B.S. Dhanoa was appointed the next Chief of Air Staff. He was commissioned into the fighter stream of the IAF in June 1978 and has served in various squadrons, and in the Intelligence Directorate of Air Headquarters.Meanwhile, the Congress has slammed the Centre over the appointment of the new army chief, as the government overlooked a tradition of elevating senior-most officers as service chiefs.The Congress asked why the Centre did not follow the seniority principle in appointing Lt Gen Rawat, the vice-chief in the army.”Why has Seniority not been respected in Appointing of Army Chief? Why have Lt Gen PRAVIN Bakshi & Lt Gen Mohamed Ali Hariz been superseded Mr PM,” questioned Congress leader Manish Tewari on Twitter.

Suspense over new Chiefs of Army, Air Force

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Suspense is on over who will be the next Chiefs of the Army and the Air Force as the incumbent officials will be superannuating just about three weeks later.Both the Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag and the Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha are retiring on December 31 and the guessing game is on as to who will succeed them. Traditionally, the name of the new Chiefs are announced weeks in advance but it has not been the case this time. Even the current Navy Chief’s name was announced just 23 days before Admiral Robin Dhowan retired.Sources said one of the reasons for the delay in the announcement of the new chiefs could be that Parliament is in session which would end on December 16. The Defence Ministry has already sent the file to Prime Minister’s Office recommending three names each for the two Services. They are Eastern Army Commander Lt Gen Praveen Bakshi, Southern Army Commander Lt Gen P M Hariz and Vice Chief of the Army Lt Gen Bipin Rawat, sources said.Lt Gen Bakshi, under whose tenure the Myanmar anti- insurgency operation was carried out, is the senior most of the Commanders. Speculation is that the government may appoint someone based not on seniority alone but also experience in handling Kashmir and Pakistan, two issues which will continue to be the focus in the next two years. While Lt Gen Bakshi is from the Armoured Corps, Lt Gen Hariz is from Mechanised Infantry and Lt Gen Rawat is an outright infantry soldier.

Demonetization: Fishermen in Tamil Nadu lament lack of cash to buy diesel for boats

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Demonetization has rendered thousands of fishermen across Tamil Nadu jobless for the past several days as there was no money to buy diesel for boats, fishermen representatives said on Thursday, seeking measures to help them overcome the problem.Fishermen of Thoothukudi, Thanjavur, Pudukottai, Tiruvarur and Ramanathapuram held a meeting here and discussed the impact of demonetization and other problems plaguing them.Fishermen of these districts, including around 25,000 here, were unable to take up fishing in the past several days as they did not have adequate money to buy diesel in view of the restrictions on withdrawals, they said.A minimum of Rs 20,000 was required for buying diesel for small boats, Confederation of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Fishermen associations General Secretary N J Bose said.He wanted extension of mobile ATM facilities as had been made available to the farmers after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on November 8 that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes ceased to be legal tenders.The meeting was attended by around 200 representatives of the fishermen associations, including TN Coastal Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association President P Sesuraj.Among others, the fishermen also said that 20 of their colleagues and 115 boats were still under Sri Lankan custody and sought their release.The fishermen leaders said they planned to meet Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and state BJP President Tamilisai Sounderrajan next week to highlight their problems.They also demanded formation of an exclusive Fisheries ministry at the Centre.The fishermen will proceed to attend the inauguration of a new church built in Katchatheevu islet, under Sri Lankan control, even if no permission was granted, they said.

Sri Lankan Navy attacks TN fishermen with stones, sinks boat and destroys nets

Rameswaram: Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly attacked Tamil Nadu fishermen with stones besides ramming and sinking a mechanised boat and destroying fishing nets of several other vessels off Dhanushkodi, a Fishermen Association functionary said on Thursday.

The Lankan naval personnel cut fishing nets of about 70 boats and pelted stones and bottles forcing more than 2,000 fishermen to flee and return to the shore here this morning, Tamil Nadu Mechanised Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told reporters here.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Windscreens of some of the boats suffered damage, he said.

The fishermen from this region had put out to sea in 437 mechanised fishing boats last night and were fishing off Dhanushkodi sea when Lankan Naval personnel allegedly rammed their vessel against one of the boats, Sesuraja said.

Under the impact of the collision, the boat broke into two pieces and sank, he claimed, adding five fishermen on board were left to struggle in the sea till fellow fishermen rescued them.

The latest incident comes a day after five fishermen from Pudukottai district were detained by Sri Lankan Naval personnel along with their boat.

Condemning the incident, Sesuraja said such an attack taking place when Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was on a visit to India and holding talks with his counterpart Narendra Modi caused deep anguish.

“When the Prime Ministers of the two countries are holding talks, the attack on Indian fishermen has taken place. It causes deep anguish. The two leaders should find a permanent solution to the recurring problem,” he told PTI.

Stating that the livelihood of the state fishermen was at stake, he said the two countries should hold talks and find a permanent solution to the problem of fishing in the Palk Strait.

An early resolution of the issue was important as more than 100 seized boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen were anchored in Lankan waters and faced the danger of suffering damage in view of the coming North East monsoon, he added.

Meanwhile, several fishermen staged a protest in this town, condemning the attack, and resolved to go on an indefinite strike.

Fishermen here have decided to boycott fishing from today, said General Secretary of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Fishermen Association, MJ Bose.

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