‘Militants waiting to infiltrate across the border’

26 03 2009

Mir Ehsan Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 1427 hrs IST
Source: Indian Express
The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.

The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped.

Srinagar: As the combing operation in the forests of Kupwara is still going on, Army claims that all the slain militants were foreigners owing allegiance to Lashkar-e-Toiba. So far, seventeen militants and eight soldiers have been killed in the operation.

Brigade General Staff 15 Corps, Brigadier Gurmeet Singh said the operation is going on in the thick forests of Kupwara in the difficult mountainous terrain. “The militants were primarily an infiltration group attempting to infiltrate and a reception party,” he said. “The slain militants were foreigners owing their allegiance to Lashkar e Toiba.”

Singh said that the majority of the militants have been killed. “Remnants if any, will also be eliminated.”

The senior army commander said that the militants killed in the encounter were highly trained, well equipped. “We have received latest weapons, communication system and maps from the slain militants,” he said adding that the items recovered from the slain militants are being used by the state.

Brigadier Singh termed it as a first major infiltration attempt and said that more militants from across the Line of Control are waiting to sneak into the Valley. “As per intelligence reports 300 to 400 militants are awaiting on other side of the Line of Control to sneak into the Valley. We are prepared to tackle any infiltration attempt,” he said.

Singh said this is the time when militants try to infiltrate into the Valley as not only border fencing is buried under the snow also the snow starts to melt. Besides, huge quantity of war like ammunition, army has so far recovered 23 AK rifles from the encounter site.

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Poonch encounter ends,finally :Mukhtar Ahmad In Srinagar

9 01 2009

January 09, 2009 02:14 IST
Last Updated: January 09, 2009 12:58 IST

Source: Rediff

The nine-day-long gun battle in the Bhatidar forest area of Poonch district has officially been called off even though deliberate searches shall continue in the area “to look for any tell-tale signs there”.

So far, two Army troopers, one special police officer (SPO) and four militants have been killed in this operation against the militants. But the bodies of the slain militants have not yet been recovered.

Having spilled over more than nine days, this is the longest operation carried out by the Army against the militants ever since the present violence started here in 1989.

“The possibility of the terrorists having slipped out taking advantage of the rugged terrain and the prevailing climatic conditions cannot be ruled out,” said the statement issued Friday by the Indian army’s [Images] 16th Corps whose trooped engaged the militants for nine days in the Bhatidar forests of Mendhar area of Poonch district.

Brigadier General Staff of 16 Corps, Brigadier Gurdeep Singh had ruled out the possibility of the militants having used concrete bunkers during the encounter with the army troopers in the area.

“They had used natural caves in the area as their hiding places. During the course of the flushing out operations a couple of natural caves were destroyed,” he said.

“Deliberate searches in the area will continue to look for any tell tales signs,” the army’s spokesman said.

Seven people, including four militants and three security personnel, were killed in the first three days of the battle that began Jan 1. But the army has not yet recovered the bodies of the killed militants.

A source in the army said no exchange of fire had taken place with the hiding terrorists throughout Thursday, though the troops had been on alert.

The soldiers had busted three hideouts and all they found were edible oil, dal, rice and cooking gas cylinders. “All the caves where the militants were hiding had two openings,” the army source said.

The battle started when terrorists killed two army men – a junior commissioned officer and a soldier – while they were laying a cordon.

The militants had taken away the rifle of the JCO, whose body was found two days later.

Singh had said the militants tried to breach the cordon Tuesday night “but the troops fired at them pushing them back into the jungle”.

Mendhar has always been a traditional infiltration route of militants sneaking into the Indian side from Pakistan across the Line of Control (LoC) that divides Kashmir between the two countries. It provides access to the Kashmir Valley through mountain passes.





The Indian Special Forces: Dont we need consolidated effort

25 12 2008


Source: Outlookindia

army’s director general of

military operations (DGMO). Within the directorate, Division 8B, headed by a brigadier, which looks after all Special Forces (SF) operations, was immediately put on alert, say army sources. Soon commanding officers of three other SF units—1 Para (SF), 9 Para (SF) and 10 Para (SF)—were similarly alerted. Unfortunately, all three were terribly pressed for manpower, since their men had been committed to counter-terrorist operations in the Valley.

another SF unit, much closer to Delhi, stationed next to an airbase in Agra. It even had the planes to transport men.
This was 2 Para (SF), designated strategic reserve unit of army HQ.

Lidder’s recommendations? Some salient points:

  • The tasking/execution of SF operations are unique and handling officers at army HQ are unfamiliar with it. This must change—specialists must take over.
  • SF units now function in isolation. They must come under one professional, unified command with access to the highest political authority. This is essential as special ops involve high political risk.
  • There is no mechanism in army HQ to execute politico-military missions. It still depends on the DGMO despite several proposals to the contrary.
  • The mindless expansion of special forces units must stop immediately.
  • Special forces must not be part of parachute battalions. They must have a separate identity.
  • A special SF budget must be allocated. Currently, they are equipped piecemeal, not even provided complete equipment packages.
  • Units must have full complement of sanctioned strength of officers at all times.
  • Direct link with civilian intelligence agencies needed.

Lidder was among the pioneering batch of officers when the first SF unit was created in 1968.





Jammu: Rescued hostages recount incident

28 08 2008
Jammu: Rescued hostages recount incident
28 Aug 2008, 0943 hrs IST,AGENCIES
sources:TOI

Hostage

One of the hostages and the surviving child, recollecting the fearful incident.

JAMMU: It was a trauma they would have never imagined to came across. Fear could be seen on the faces of the seven hostages, including four children, who were held captives by the suspected LeT militants for 19-hours before being freed in a military operation on early Thursday. ( Watch )

Billu Ram, the owner of the house in which the terrorists were holed up, and his family members were rescued following the gunbattle that lasted till late Wednesday. However, a neighbour, his son, and a teacher present in the building were killed by the three terrorists, who were later shot dead by army personnel.

“The first to be brought out was Sarita, the wife of Billu Ram. She was injured. After that, his four children were rescued,” a police officer said.

The youngest of the children was Vipin Kumar, 2, while the other three were Kajal, 4, Ishant, 6 and Sheetal, 9.

“Later, Billo Ram, his brother Tarsem and his wife Ritu were rescued. Some of the hostages are still in shock,” the officer added.

Billo Ram, the father of the children, said, “I had lost hope. I had given up. It was God’s grace that they (the children) are safe. I am also thankful to the army for getting them out.”

“The operation is over. Our Special Forces have killed third militant early today,” army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel S D Goswami said.

Earlier TIMES NOW spoke to the mother and her children, who were holed up inside the house by the militants and were witness to the brutal killing of three other hostages, including the teacher of the children.

Mother Ritu, describing the entire episode, said, “They (militants) said ‘we will kill you’. We pleaded with them not to kill us and said take all the belongings and cash but please spare us. We have small children.”

She further said: “We were trapped inside the house. They came inside the house and started firing. We went out of the kitchen, into the bedroom and they again started firing. We kept screaming. They warned us not to go out of the room, or they will fire. They did not even give water to the children.”

Sheetal Kumar, one of the hostages and the surviving child, recollected the fearful incident and said, “We were in the kitchen. Somebody was at the gate and we thought it was the Army. But they broke the door and started firing.”

Meanwhile, Nishanth Kumar, another hostage child, said, “They killed one boy. They asked us to come out of the kitchen. We came out. They started firing. I was scared.”

“Three unidentified people came into the house. When they came, they killed three people. We were in another room, and locked the door. They tried to break the door. But couldn’t. We did not talk to them. We were in one corner of the room. They were just firing. There were totally nine of us inside,” the paternal uncle said.

‘We’re woken up by gunfire,” added the uncle. An eyewitness to the incident said that they were sleeping when the firing started. The eyewitness also added that the Army came in, and told them that there were militants in the next house, and at that time his parents were still inside in one of the neighbouring houses.

Three terrorists had crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from the Kanachak sector of the border with Pakistan Tuesday morning. They were intercepted at the police check post of Chinore, about 20 km north from the centre of Jammu, Wednesday morning.

The three militants, dressed in police uniforms and carrying AK-47 assault rifles, shot dead a junior commissioned officer (JCO) and then hijacked a three-wheeler. They then fired indiscriminately, killing Shabeet Hussain, a milkman, and motorcyclist Naseeb Singh before killing the three-wheeler driver, Vijay Kumar, police said.

The guerrillas then entered Billu Ram’s house. Police and army personnel cordoned off the area and had a gun battle with the militants. Grenade explosions and gun shots were heard in the area as the single-storey building was perforated with bullet marks. By late Wednesday, the army personnel managed to kill all three militants.

This was the second major gun battle in Jammu region in less than three and a half months. Six people were killed in Samba town, 40 km southwest of Jammu May 11.

According to defence sources, militants had infiltrated May 8 from across the international border in Samba sector before they surfaced May 11 morning and killed civilians and soldiers. Three militants were killed in that battle.





Field Marshal Manekshaw, hero of 1971 war, is dead

27 06 2008

Former Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw seen in 2004

New Delhi – One of India’s greatest war heroes, field marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, died Friday, the Defence Ministry said. He was 94.

Manekshaw died from a progressive lung disease at the military hospital in the southern Indian town of Wellington, the ministry said in a statement.

‘He had developed acute bronchopneumonia with associated complications, and his condition had been serious for the past four days,’ the statement said.

Born on April 3, 1914, Manekshaw was commissioned into the Indian army in 1934 when the country was under British rule.

Manekshaw became chief of Indian Army in 1969 and crafted what is considered India’s greatest military victory in the 1971 India-Pakistan war, which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Manekshaw, whose military career spanned four decades and five wars, was conferred the rank of field marshal in 1973, one of only two Indian generals to have risen to that position, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh mourned the death of Manekshaw, popularly known as Sam Bahadur, which means brave in Hindi.

Singh described him as ‘one of India’s greatest soldiers and a truly inspiring leader of the country.’

‘Military historians will forever record the strategic brilliance and the inspirational leadership of Sam Bahadur,’ Singh said in his condolence message.


Friday June 27 2008 11:22 IST

IANS

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (file photo)

CHENNAI: Former Indian Army chief Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, who scripted India’s 1971 military victory over Pakistan, died at the military hospital in Wellington in Tamil Nadu early Friday after developing acute bronchopneumonia. He was 94.

Almost all his family members were at his bedside when the end came just after midnight, the defence ministry said.

Manekshaw, who became a household name after the 1971 victory led to the creation of Bangladesh, had been hospitalised at Wellington for some time due to a progressive lung disease. His condition had become serious in the past few days and he was being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Born April 3, 1914, Mankeshaw was a part of the first batch of officers to be commissioned from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in 1934.

He was the Indian army chief from 1969 to 1973. He was made a field marshal just before retirement in 1973.

He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, and won the Military Cross for his role in Myanmar, then Burma, during the Second World War when he was wounded.





Field Marshal Manekshaw, hero of 1971 war, is dead

27 06 2008

Former Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw seen in 2004

New Delhi – One of India’s greatest war heroes, field marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, died Friday, the Defence Ministry said. He was 94.

Manekshaw died from a progressive lung disease at the military hospital in the southern Indian town of Wellington, the ministry said in a statement.

‘He had developed acute bronchopneumonia with associated complications, and his condition had been serious for the past four days,’ the statement said.

Born on April 3, 1914, Manekshaw was commissioned into the Indian army in 1934 when the country was under British rule.

Manekshaw became chief of Indian Army in 1969 and crafted what is considered India’s greatest military victory in the 1971 India-Pakistan war, which led to the creation of Bangladesh.

Manekshaw, whose military career spanned four decades and five wars, was conferred the rank of field marshal in 1973, one of only two Indian generals to have risen to that position, the ministry said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh mourned the death of Manekshaw, popularly known as Sam Bahadur, which means brave in Hindi.

Singh described him as ‘one of India’s greatest soldiers and a truly inspiring leader of the country.’

‘Military historians will forever record the strategic brilliance and the inspirational leadership of Sam Bahadur,’ Singh said in his condolence message.


Friday June 27 2008 11:22 IST

IANS

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw (file photo)

CHENNAI: Former Indian Army chief Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, who scripted India’s 1971 military victory over Pakistan, died at the military hospital in Wellington in Tamil Nadu early Friday after developing acute bronchopneumonia. He was 94.

Almost all his family members were at his bedside when the end came just after midnight, the defence ministry said.

Manekshaw, who became a household name after the 1971 victory led to the creation of Bangladesh, had been hospitalised at Wellington for some time due to a progressive lung disease. His condition had become serious in the past few days and he was being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Born April 3, 1914, Mankeshaw was a part of the first batch of officers to be commissioned from the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in 1934.

He was the Indian army chief from 1969 to 1973. He was made a field marshal just before retirement in 1973.

He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest civilian award, and won the Military Cross for his role in Myanmar, then Burma, during the Second World War when he was wounded.





Stand up for the Indian soldier

7 06 2008

Harsh V Pant
June 06, 2008
Courtesy: Rediff.com

It is with a sense of disbelief that one hears the Indian minister of state for defence, sitting in his cozy air-conditioned seminar room, pontificating that ‘it is unbecoming’ of former soldiers to protest against the treatment meted out to them by the government. So here’s a non-soldier making a public protest. One hopes that it is not below the dignity of the minister to read this.
The minister would not have dared to make such a comment had the protestors been a part of his or his party’s vote bank. The fact that the Indian armed services do not go public with their grievances does not mean that they do not have any concerns and the fact that they have been forced to come to the streets should make the minister and his government acknowledge how desperate the situation might be.
The Indian government is fooling itself if it thinks that by dragging its feet on the issue of the armed forces dissatisfaction with the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission, it can make the issue go away.
A country that refuses to respect its armed forces will eventually end up getting forces that will not respect the nations’ aspirations. A country makes a sacred contract with its soldiers that while he/she will lay down his/her life when called upon to do so, the nation will take good care of his/her and his/her family’s needs to the extent its resources would permit.
This contract underpins the very survival of a nation as when its territorial integrity and political independence are under threat, the nation looks upon the only instrument that can protect it — its armed forces.
While all governments have to look for a considered bargain between their commitments and power and between power and resources, a responsible government will always be aware of the serious implications of not spending adequate resources on defence.
The debate as it has been made out to be in some quarters between defence and development is a spurious one. Unless adequate provisions are made for defence, no state will be able to pursue its developmental agenda. This is much more important for a country like India that faces a unique security environment with two of its ‘adversaries’ straddling it on two sides of its borders and problems on all sides of its periphery.
A government can keep spouting pious rhetoric about global peace and non-violence but it realises fully that force is the ultima ratio in international relations. Politics among nations is conducted in the brooding shadow of violence. Either a state remains able and willing to use force to preserve and enhance its interests or it is forced to live at the mercy of its militarily powerful counterpart.
Even Nehru, after neglecting defence for all the years after independence had to eventually concede in 1962 that India’s military weakness ‘has been a temptation, and a little military strength may be a deterrent.’
The Indian public and press remain apathetic on defence issues. We make Kargil into a television spectacle, an opportunity for our journalists to try to show their temporary bravery by going to the frontlines for a few hours and getting the excitement of covering a war from the inside. And then when it is all over, our soldiers have been interred into their graves, we move on to new and more exciting spectacles — to our song and dance reality shows and saas-bahu sagas, forgetting that soldiers are still on guard.
This is a nation that will cry with Lata Mangeshkar [Images] when she sings Aye Mere Watan Ke Logon but will not make any effort to understand the real problems and concerns of its soldiers. It is a sign of the highly skewed priorities of the Indian media that the rising turmoil and dissatisfaction within the ranks of nations’ armed forces is being given only perfunctory coverage.
It is an issue of nation’s very survival yet the media seems busy with its devotion of superficialities. Every rave and rant of Bollywood actors is religiously covered, detailed dissection of seemingly never-ending cricket matches are conducted, exorbitant pay rises in the corporate sector make it to the headlines but the one issue that can make or break the future of this country is consigned to the margins.
We continue to pray at the altar of our false heroes while our real heroes continue to face neglect and scorn.
The armed forces feel they have never got their due from various pay commissions over the years but the government in its wisdom decided to keep the armed forces away from any representation in the latest Pay Commission. The dominance of bureaucrats meant that while the interests of the bureaucrats were well-recognised, the armed services once again ended up getting a raw deal.
The discontent is so serious that some of the best and brightest in our services have refused to go for the Higher Command Courses and more and more are seeking an early retirement. Indian armed forces are desperately trying to fill vacancies as other professions are luring the young of the country.
Against the sanctioned strength of 300 per batch, the National Defence Academy finds that it can only attract 192 cadres this year. The same story repeats itself in the Indian Military Academy. A country that purports to be a rising power is facing a shortage of more than 11,000 officers.
The reason is pretty obvious: One can’t think of any major power in the world that treats its soldiers the way India does. It is indeed a sorry sight when India’s bravest have to literally cry out for help from a callous politico-bureaucratic elite.
Our politicians remain more than willing to waste tax payers money by routinely boycotting Parliament and have never shied away from increasing their own pay and allowances, claiming that they remain underpaid. Yet those who defend the sanctity of Parliament are given a short shrift.
The abysmal knowledge of defence issues that pervades the Indian political class probably gives them an illusion that the country is being protected by divine blessings.
Political apathy and bureaucratic design are rapidly eroding the self-esteem of our forces. A functioning liberal democracy needs a loyal soldier that can take care of the state’s security, allowing the state to look after its citizenry. In India, the State is gradually withering away, all that’s left is the loyal soldier. How long will this soldier, under siege from all sides, remain steadfast to its commitments, is a question all Indians should seriously ponder on.
Dr Harsh V Pant teaches at King’s College London [Images].