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    Amarinder visits Vajpayee’s residence to pay respects

    Amarinder visits Vajpayee’s residence to pay respects

    Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. File photo

    Tribune News Service

    New Delhi, August 18Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday visited the residence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to pay his respects.The chief minister spent about 30 minutes and wrote in the condolence book some of his feelings for Vajpayee, whom he remembered meeting for the first time back in 1970.The chief minister met Vajpayee’s foster daughter Namita and son-in-law Ranjan Bhattacharyya along with other family members, to pay his personal condolences, according to an official spokesperson.Recalling Vajpayee’s 1970 Punjab visit, the CM said Atal ji had come there to campaign for him and spent three days in Patiala.The chief minister reminisced that he had come out of the Army in 1968 and was contesting his first election — a bypoll from Dakala in 1970 after the sitting MLA, Basant Singh, was killed by Naxalites.The chief minister remembered the former prime minister as a great leader, an excellent statesman, a dignified politician and a fine human being. His death had left a vacuum that would be hard to fill, he said. 


    IMRAN KHAN’S OATH-TAKING Sidhu hugs Pak army chief, kicks up a storm back home

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    Vibha Sharma
    Tribune News Service
    New Delhi, August 18
    Indian cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday met and hugged Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan in Islamabad.Sidhu, who was wearing a dark blue suit and a pink turban, was seen seated next to President of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) Masood Khan at the swearing-in ceremony.The Pakistan government instead of seating Sidhu with other foreign dignitaries, positioned him next to Masood Khan in Aiwan-e-Sadr Hall of President’s House.Read: Haryana minister Vij attacks Sidhu for attending Imran Khan’s swearing-in

    Talking to the state-run PTV, Sidhu used his usual poetic expression to praise Khan.

    “A new morning is here in Pakistan with a new government which can change the destiny of the country,” said Sidhu, a minister in the Congress government in Punjab.He hoped that Khan’s victory will be good for the Pakistan-India peace process.Earlier, Sidhu and Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa were spotted hugging each other at the President House prior to the ceremony.Before entering the President House, Sidhu said: “People like Khan sahab (Imran Khan) create history. With this invitation, they have honoured me. People who build relationships are respected, people who break them are disrespected and I am one of those who respect relationships. It’s a new dawn. This government has come to change this country’s perception, picture and destiny, with high hopes and expectations”.

    The storm back home

    Sidhu’s hug has earned him sharp rebuke from his former party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, which called it a “heinous crime”.“Navjot Sidhu and Congress party have committed a serious crime. He hugged Pakistan Army Chief Bajwa, a man responsible for terrorism in India, killing hundreds of innocent Indian civilians and Army men and then sat next to so-called PoK president Masood Khan. The kind of vote of thanks he gave later, does it justify his position as an Indian minister and send the right message to the people across the country he represents,” questioned BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.“Sidhu is not an individual but a representative of the government. What he has done today is no simple crime. He should’ve refused to sit next to Masood Khan, who was deliberately brought in front where Sidhu was sitting. Sidhu should have refused to sit with him. He should have said I will not sit next to him,” Patra said.


    Shaan Teri Kabhi Kam Na Ho , Aye Watan INDIA – Param vir Chakra Vijeta ( Patriotic Song )

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    The Param Vir Chakra (PVC) is awarded to officers and enlisted personnel of all military branches for the highest degree of valor or self-sacrifice in the presence of the enemy. It may be awarded posthumously. The PVC is a post-Independent equivalent of the Victoria Cross (VC). — The Param Vir Chakra Winners : — 1947-48 J&K Operations • Major Somnath Sharma, 4 Kumaon, posthumous • 2nd Lt. Rama Raghoba Rane, Corps of Engineers • CHM Piru Singh, 6 Rajputana Rifles, posthumous • Naik Jadunath Singh, 1 Rajput, posthumous • Lance Naik Karam Singh, 1 Sikh 1962 Indo-China War • Major Shaitan Singh, 13 Kumaon, posthumous • Major Dhan Singh Thapa, 1/8 Gorkha Rifles • Subedar Joginder Singh, 1 Sikh, posthumous 1965 Indo-Pak War • Lt. Col. A.B. Tarapore, 17 Poona Horse, posthumous • CQMH Abdul Hamid, 4 Grenadiers, posthumous 1971 Indo-Pak War • Major Hoshiar Singh, 3 Grenadiers – 1971 War • 2nd Lt. Arun Khetarpal, 17 Poona Horse, posthumous • Fg. Off. N.J.S. Sekhon, No.18 Squadron, posthumous • Lance Naik Albert Ekka, 14 Guards, posthumous 1999 Kargil Operations • Captain Vikram Batra, 13 JAK Rifles, posthumous • Lieutenant Manoj K. Pandey, 1/11 GR, posthumous • Grenadier Yogender Singh Yadav, 18 Grenadiers • Rifleman Sanjay Kumar, 13 JAK Rifles UN Operations • Captain G.S. Salaria, 3/1 GR, posthumous – UN Operations Saichen Operations • Naib Subedar Bana Singh, 8 JAK LI – Siachen Operations IPFK Operations • Major R. Parameswaran, 8 Mahar, posthumous – IPKF Operations

    Kar chale hum fida jaan-O-tann sathiyo (Muhammad Rafi)

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    Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo l Immortal Patriotic Song Of India l Gautam Deonani

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    Pakistan violates ceasefire on LoC

    Pakistan violates ceasefire on LoC

    Jammu, August 17

    The Pakistan Army on Friday resorted to unprovoked firing on Indian forward posts on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, defence sources said.
    “Adequate retaliatory action was taken by our troops. No casualty has been reported from our side,” the sources said. — IANS  

     Four soldiers hurt in Nowgam sector gunfight

    4 soldiers hurt in Nowgam sector gunfight

    Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh reviews security situation in the Rajouri sector on Thursday. Tribune Photo

    Tribune News Service

    Srinagar, August 16

    Four Army men were injured in a gunfight close to the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara district in the wee hours of Thursday, defence sources said.The gunfight erupted in the Nowgam sector, 120 km northwest of Srinagar, when soldiers noticed suspicious movement near a forward post.“As the group was challenged, it opened fire, which was retaliated. In the exchange of fire, four soldiers were injured,” sources said. The injured soldiers were shifted to a hospital.Defence sources said the infiltrators were supported by the Pakistan army which resorted to a ceasefire violation to give a cover to the militants.“It could have been a BAT attempt which was foiled or it could have been an infiltration attempt,” they said.Soon after the firing, the Army launched a massive combing operation in the sector to trace the militants. However, there is a possibility that the militants could have escaped to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir taking the advantage of the ceasefire violation.This is the second time in the past 24 hours that Pakistan has fired on Indian posts in Kupwara district.On Wednesday evening, the Pakistan army fired on Indian posts in the Tangdhar sector. The two sides exchanged fire at forward posts in the Sudhpora and Danni areas of Karnah till Thursday morning. The firing has created panic among locals.Armed men spotted in Jammu, search held  

    • Jammu: A search operation was launched in the Bathindi and Narwal areas of Jammu city on Thursday after the Army received an input of two armed men roaming in the area in a  vehicle.
    • After the intelligence input, the quick response teams were activated in these areas and the search operation was on till the filing of the report.
    • The police also joined the Army in the search operation and a close watch was being kept on the movement of vehicles. TNS

    Army foils infiltration bid in Rajouri district

    • Rajouri: Troops of the Gorkha Regiment have foiled a major infiltration attempt by terrorists in the Jhangar sector of Rajouri district.
    • Defence sources said around 5.15 am on Wednesday, alert troops noticed some movement along the Line of Control in the Jhangar sector and challenged the intruders.
    • “On being challenged, the intruders opened fire on the troops which was retaliated effectively. Pakistani soldiers also provided cover fire to the intruders. An Indian soldier, Krishan Bahadur Acharya, received injuries during the firing and was evacuated to a hospital,” the sources said. TNS

     


    K-situation stable, but fragile: Army

    Tribune News Service

    Jammu, August 17

    The Army has said the situation in the conflict-torn Kashmir valley, where the number of youth joining the militant ranks has been on the rise, is stable but fragile.Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh made this statement earlier this week during a review of the security situation and after conducting a tour of the Line of Control as well as the hinterland, said sources.“If I was to give you an overview of the situation in Kashmir, it is stable however fragile. The violence parameters which we have seen in 2018 are relatively better as compared to 2017 and earlier years. You would have all seen that there were a large number of stone-throwing activities last year but this year it is relatively less,” he said at the meeting.The Northern Command chief held Pakistan responsible for vitiating the atmosphere in the state by pushing in militants from across the LoC. “Security forces are in full control, and we should be able to handle any of the contingencies that may arise,” he observed.So far this year, 128 youth have joined militancy whereas over 123 were killed both on the LoC and in hinterland. As many as 52 security forces personnel have also been killed. There have been 137 infiltration attempts this year.


    Soldier among 3 killed in Valley Rifleman dies in Handwara gunfight; woman shot by ultras in Pulwama

    Soldier among 3 killed in Valley

    A brief gunfight erupted during a search operation in Bandipora district on Friday. Tribune Photo

    Majid Jahangir & Suhail A Shah

    Tribune reporters

    Srinagar/Anantnag, August 17

    Militants unleashed a fresh wave of violence on Friday, leaving a soldier, woman and an elderly man dead and three others injured across the Valley.The day began with the killing of a soldier in a gunfight in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district in the wee hours.The gunfight erupted at Kralgund in Handwara, some 90 km from Srinagar, when joint teams of the police, Army and CRPF launched a cordon and search operation after inputs about militant presence.“As the searches were being carried out, militants hiding in the area opened fire on the forces, critically wounding a soldier,” the police said. “The soldier was shifted to the Army’s 92 Base Hospital in Srinagar, where he succumbed.”The Srinagar-based defence spokesman identified the slain soldier as Rifleman Ram Babu Shahi, 25, a resident of Chitwan in Nepal.Sources said militants managed to escape after the shooting. A massive combing operation was later launched to trace the militants.A brief gunfight also broke out at Mir Mohalla in Bandipora district during a cordon and search operation. However, again the militants managed to give the security forces the slip. During the CASO, clashes broke out between the protesters and the forces.On Friday afternoon, a woman was shot dead in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.A police officer from Pulwama said 38-year-old Shameema Akhtar of Koil village was shot dead in Drubgam village. The incident, according to the police, took place about 1 pm today.“The woman was visiting her parents in Drubgam. She was shot just outside her parent’s house,” the officer said. “Preliminary reports suggest that the Hizbul Mujahideen was behind the killing.”Not more than 15 minutes after the woman was shot dead, a 70-year-old civilian was killed and three others were injured in a grenade attack in the Awantipora area of Pulwama district .“The grenade, aimed at the SSP office, fell on the roadside where it exploded leaving four civilians injured,” a police official said. “One of the injured, Abdul Ahad (70), later succumbed to his injuries.”


    Army to have helipads on all forward postsJammu: At a time when the Pakistani army is becoming unpredictable on the Line of Control (LoC) and resorting to unprovoked ceasefire violations, the Indian Army is improving its communication lines to remain prepared for any eventuality. Efforts are being made to connect all forward posts on the LoC by road to make them accessible at any time. Sources said that during a meeting of officers, Northern Command chief Lt Gen Ranbir Singh said: “We are trying to construct helipads at every forward post so that if there is any need, our soldiers can be brought down immediately through helicopters,” he said. The Army has also updated the communication system in forward areas. Apart from mobile connectivity, three more communication lines have been set up so that soldiers remain connected with their headquarters. TNS


    Job for martyrs’ kin in paramilitary forces

    Our Correspondent

    Chamba, August 16

    Himachal Pradesh was also known as Veer Bhoomi. Keeping in view the contribution of the paramilitary forces for the country, the state government had taken a decision to give employment to the kin of martyrs of the paramilitary forces on compassionate ground at par with the Army. This was said by Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar while presiding over the district-level Independence Day celebrations at the historic Chowgan here on Wednesday.The minister unfurled the national flag and took salute of the march-past presented by the contingents of police, home guards and NCC cadets.Speaking further, the minister said that the state government had enhanced the honorarium of representatives of the panchayati raj institutions.The government had also enhanced the mandays under MNREGA from 100 to 120 days.He said the government was according priority to the welfare of minorities. The Chief Minister had recently launched Minorities Welfare Scheme in the state.The minister awarded Dr Sanjeev Suri, Principal of Rising Star School, Chamba, in recognition of his services in the field of education.The minister also gave away prizes to the participants of cultural performances and others.


    IAF evacuates injured French woman from Leh

    IAF evacuates injured French woman from Leh

    An injured French national being transferred to an ambulance from C-130 J in New Delhi. PTI

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, August 17

    The IAF on Friday evacuated a 50-year-old French woman who was seriously injured in a road mishap while on a road trip to Leh on bikes along with her husband.Bresson Florence was taken to a nearby Army hospital and shifted to the ICU at SNM Hospital in Leh. Her condition was critical while her husband, Christophe, suffered minor injuries.The Embassy of France at New Delhi requested immediate evacuation of the patients to Chandigarh or Delhi on Thursday. A C-17 Globemaster aircraft was prepared with a Patient Transfer Unit, a mobile ICU. However, the weather at Leh on Thursday did not allow the aircraft to land. Early on Friday, a C-17 aircraft from Chandigarh landed at Leh with the PTU. Bresson was transferred to the PTU.Simultaneously, a C-130 Hercules aircraft from Hindon reached Leh and took off with the patient accompanied by her husband and other medicare personnel and landed in New Delhi.“Due to bad weather we could not launch the aircraft last evening. Our medical team was in touch with the doctors at Leh and at the first opportune moment, both the aircraft were launched and the mission was executed successfully,” said Air Cmde S Srinivasan, Air Officer Commanding, 12 Wing Chandigarh.


    Face readers at border to keep track of farmers BSF begins pilot project along fence

    Face readers at border to keep track of farmers

    Vijay Mohan

    Tribune News Service

    Chandigarh, August 17

    Faced with increasing instances of cross-border smuggling and to check unauthorised movement across the border fence, the Border Security Force (BSF) is introducing face recognition-based access-control system at gates through which farmers move to till their land.As a pilot project, one such system is being installed at a border post to monitor and regulate movement.During a visit to Amritsar, BSF Director General KK Sharma said Pakistani smugglers were trying to push in more contraband into India and that seizures by the BSF had gone up in the recent past. Connivance of some border residents, including those who cross the fence for farming, is a known fact.According to BSF sources, the face reader, with ruggedised hardware, should be fixable on a fencing gate, naka or observation post.The system, having a storage capacity of at least one lakh entries, will have a camera with infrared source for low-light conditions, that will be linked to a laptop and handheld tablets.“The system will also have information about unwanted persons such as known smugglers, criminals or blacklisted persons and generate a different alarm for them on recognition,” an officer said. “Additionally, the system will be able to register additional information in respect of farmers like vehicle, animal, farming tools, farm products and personal belonging, besides keeping a record of other persons such as helpers or labourers accompanying registered farmers by taking their photograph,” he added.