Sanjha Morcha

US Air Force chief Goldfein flies Tejas aircraft in Jodhpur

US Air Force chief Goldfein flies Tejas aircraft in Jodhpur
India’s indigenous Light Combat Aircraft, the Tejas. Twitter: IAF

Jodhpur, February 3

The Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, General David L Goldfein, on Saturday flew India’s indigenous light combat aircraft ‘Tejas’ at the air force station here.

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Goldfein, who arrived here on Friday, was accompanied by Air Vice Marshal A P Singh as co-pilot during the sortie, defence officials said.

“General David L Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, is on an official visit to India. He flew a sortie in ‘#MadeinIndia’ LCA Tejas aircraft at AF Stn Jodhpur today,” the IAF said on Twitter

Goldfein yesterday interacted with the airmen and pilots at the station.

“His visit was a gesture of mutual cooperation between the Indian and the US air forces, both of which are considered the best in the world,” the official said.

Earlier, General Goldfein had stressed on the “strong relationship” between the two air forces.

“We look forward to deepening the relationship between our two air forces,” he said in his posts on Twitter and Facebook.

The first squadron of Tejas was inducted into the IAF in July 2016. PTI


Jodhpur: US Air Force Chief General David L Goldfein flew a sortie in indigenous Light Combat Aircraft Tejas on Saturday at the IAF station in Jodhpur. Goldfein arrived in India on Thursday, on a visit to boost defence ties between the two nations. In November last year, the Defence Minister of Singapore Ng Eng Hen was flown in a Tejas fighter jet. Produced by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Tejas can fly at 1,350 km per hour. IANSKer Speaker in eye of storm over Rs 50k glasses       Thiruvananthapuram: A controversy has erupted over Kerala Assembly Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan purchasing a pair of spectacles for nearly Rs 50,000 and getting the amount reimbursed from the cash-starved state exchequer. Replying to an RTI query, the Secretariat stated that the Speaker spent Rs 49,900 for spectacles — Rs 4,900 for the frame and Rs 45,000 for the lens. The Speaker said the purchase was made on doctor’s advice. PTIPanchgani among cleanest, Aamir elated        Mumbai: Actor Aamir Khan says he is proud that Panchgani, where he got married to Kiran Rao in 2005, has been named as one of the country’s cleanest towns. “I am very proud that my town Panchgani has been selected as one of the cleanest towns in India, winning three district honours: Open defecation free city, Swachh city and Best Municipal Council in the state. My gratitude to local leadership, administration, and my fellow citizens,” he tweeted. IANS

Residents woken up by gunshots, grenade blasts

Sumit Hakhoo

Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 10

Residents of the Sunjuwan area in Jammu were woken up by gunshot sounds and grenade blasts around 4:10 am today. They thought firecrackers were being burst somewhere.The pre-dawn attack by terrorists on an Army installation at Sunjuwan was not only surprising for locals, but there was also anger against the authorities over their failure to check the growing number of Rohingya settlements in the area.Eyewitnesses said they heard gunshots around 4.10 am. Initially, they thought someone was bursting firecrackers or it was a routine target practice at the camp.However, after they saw soldiers and policemen rushing towards the military camp on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway, they knew what had happened.“I was going towards Narwal Mandi. After a few minutes, we saw several police and Army vehicles on the road. We were stopped by soldiers and told about the attack. It is a disturbing trend that terrorists are frequently targeting Jammu,” said Bachan Singh, an eyewitness.Another local, Mohammad Aslam, said the police and paramilitary personnel had cordoned off the entire area. “There was a heavy exchange of gunfire between 8.30 am and 9 am. After that, we head intermittent fire,” said Aslam.As news about the attack on the Army camp spread, hundreds of people from the surrounding areas reached the spot. Several of them expressed concern over the rising number of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis settling in the area and other parts of the Jammu region.“Rohingyas are being brought into Jammu and given land. Hundreds of them are living near the Army camp. The administration should remove them as they are a security threat,” said Surinder Gupta, a local.The area has been overwhelmed by colonies of illegal settlers for over a decade. Despite demands by locals to deport them from Jammu and Kashmir, the government has failed to take any action.

Panic grips Jammu

Jammu: Fear and panic gripped the Jammu region on Saturday after the attack on the Sunjuwan Army camp. Educational institutes not only in and around Sunjuwan, but in other areas also were closed by the authorities. “It is time the Central government fights a decisive battle with Pakistan or similar attacks will keep taking place,” said Vikram Sharma, a resident of Sainik Colony. TNSAttacks in Jammu since 2003

  • Jan 9, 2017: Terrorists attack GREF camp in the Akhnoor sector of Jammu. Three civilians killed
  • Nov 29, 2016: Terrorists attack a military unit at Nagrota, killing seven soldiers
  • August 5, 2015: Pakistani terrorists attack a BSF convoy near Samroli on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, killing two BSF men and injuring others
  • March 21, 2015: Two militants killed in a fidayeen attack on an Army camp in Samba. A civilian, Major and an Army jawan injured
  • Sept 26, 2013: Twelve persons, including Lieutenant Colonel Bikramjeet Singh, killed in two militant attacks on the police and Army formations in Kathua and Samba
  • July 22, 2003: Fidayeen attacked an Army camp in Akhnoor, killing a Brigadier. Twelve Army officers, including four Generals, Brigadier and two Colonels, were injured in the attack

IAF mulls modifying used planes for aerial refuelling

IAF mulls modifying used planes for aerial refuelling
An IAF IL-78 tanker refuels Mirage-2000 fighters during an exercise.

Vijay Mohan

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 6

With its plan to procure six additional air-to-air refueling aircraft facing headwinds over the past seven years, the IAF is exploring the option of acquiring used transport aircraft and then modifying them for refueling role.Besides seeking the Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) cost of new custom built refueling aircraft, the IAF has, in a request for information issued this week, also asked prospective contractors the ROM for pre-owned “green” aircraft and modifying them as aerial tankers as well as the estimated discount due to the aircraft being pre-owned.(Follow The Tribune on Facebook; and Twitter @thetribunechd)“Green” aircraft refers to a ready-to-fly aircraft but without any internal cabin fixtures or equipment, which can be later outfitted as per the users’ specific requirements. Many aircraft for VIP use, for instance, are bought from aircraft manufacturers in green configuration and their cabins are styled later by contractors. The IAF has, at present, six Russian IL-78 tankers acquired in 2003 that are four-engine aircraft also capable of being employed as conventional freighters with the fuel tanks. However, maintenance and serviceability issues are affecting this fleet, as was revealed by the Comptroller and Auditor General in its report tabled last year.Specifications listed for the additional tankers indicate that the IAF wants twin engine aircraft having a two-crew cockpit configuration. The IAF’s requirement is a mid or long-range aircraft that can carry sufficient payload to refuel six to eight fighters in a single operation. Among the aircraft that fall in this category are European Airbus 330 and American Boeing 767, both of which have military tanker variants. The procurement process, which would include procurement of ground equipment and support facilities, is likely to commence in the third quarter of 2018. Two procurement bids in the past have gone with the wind.


GOG( Gurdians of Goverance)  on colcluding Day TRAINING AT GURDASPUR was visited by Lt Gen TS Shergill,PVSM Sr advisor to the CM Punjab cum Sr Vice Chairman of GOG and Maj Gen SPS Grewal ,CMD PESCO cum Vice Chairman GOGIMG-20180201-WA0031


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Army shall give proper reply to Pak: Rajnath on ceasefire violation

Army shall give proper reply to Pak: Rajnath on ceasefire violation
Home Minister Rajnath Singh. File photo

New Delhi, February 5Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday condemned the cross-border firing by Pakistan in which four Indian soldiers, including a Captain, were killed, saying he has full faith in the valour of the Indian Army and they shall “give proper reply” to the neighbour.”Have full faith in the valour of our soldiers, and they shall give proper reply,” Rajnath Singh told reporters.

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Earlier, Minister of State for Home Affairs Hansraj Ahir also condemned Sunday’s ceasefire violation in Jammu and Kahsmir’s Rajouri and Poonch districts saying that it shall “cost Pakistan dearly”.”Pakistan has been violating ceasefire along the LoC. And this year the number of ceasefire violations are high,” Ahir said.”Yesterday (Sunday) also, they again violated ceasefire. We will not forgive Pakistan’s actions,” the Minister said.”The ceasefire violations would prove to be Pakistan’s foolishness and will cost them dearly,” he added.Union Minister for MSME, Giriraj Singh also slammed Pakistan for the ceasefire violations and said, “Have faith in the Indian Army. When the right time comes they shall give a proper reply to them.” Referring to the 2016 surgical strikes, the Minister said, “When the Army carried out surgical strikes it didn’t tell the media about it. Similarly, they shall act accordingly at the right time.” He said India has been following international laws.”There is a Hindi saying in Bihar ‘latkhor’ (addicted to being beaten), and similarly Pakistan is ‘latkhor’ and thus proper reply would be given to them,” he added.The Minister’s remarks came in the wake of the increased cross border firing in the Kashmir Valley.On Sunday, four Indian soldiers were killed and four others were injured in firing in Rajouri and Poonch districts.The killed soldiers included Captain Kapil Kundu, who would have celebrated his 23rd birthday on February 10. Hailing from Haryana’s Gurugram, he is survived by his mother Sunita.The others were Riflemen Ramavatar, 27, from Baraka village in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior, besides Subham Singh, 23, from Kathua and Havilder Roshan Lal, 43, from Samba in Jammu and Kashmir.




             The President of India,

            The Supreme Commander.

            Rashtarpati Bhawan. New Delhi.



             President of India as the Supreme Commander & the Armed Forces are under oath of allegiance to the Constitution of India; continue to silently suffer ‘cruelty’ in J&K, when it is an offence against Animals but for some unknown reasons, Soldiers continue to suffer, not objected by RM or COAS, except their Children or Parents of the Soldiers.

  1. Is RM not responsible to prevent cruelty to Soldiers? Fundamental Duty of all Citizens including Military Officers Article 51A is to bring to the notice of concerned authority, if something is going wrong.

3,         Why Rajya Sainik Board of J&K / Kendra Sainik Board of MoD ares keeping quite when Welfare of AFs is on ‘concurrent list’?

  1. As a responsible War Veterans request the President of India to protect Soldiers from cruelty of Stone Pelting by issuing Presidential Order please since Political Leaders have failed to en-act Law in this respect.

Dated 9 Feb 2018.

   Brig HS Ghuman, SC, Retd.

# 1043 Sector 71, SAS Nagar.

Punjab, Pin 160071.

Sunjuwan attack: 5 soldiers, 1 civilian dead; 3 terrorists gunned down

Army personnel take their positions in Sunjuwan area on the second day of terrorist attack in Jammu on Sunday. Tribune photo: Inderjeet Singh

A military tank takes its position outside family quarters in Sunjuwan, Jammu, on the second day of a terrorist strike at an army camp on Sunday. Tribune photo: Inderjeet Sing

Tribune News Service
Sunjuwan (Jammu), February 11

A shootout with some armed gunmen that began when they stormed an army camp in Jammu’s Sunjuwan in a pre-dawn strike on Saturday has left six people—five soldiers and one civilian— as well as three militants dead, a defence spokesperson said.

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Defence spokesperson Lt Col Devender Anand confirmed three heavily armed militants—suspected to belong to Jaish-e-Mohammad— had been killed.

All three gunmen were dressed in military fatigues.

There are unconfirmed reports of two more militants being gunned down.

Among the 10 wounded are six women and a 14-year-old boy. The latter was hit in the head with a bullet and is believed to be critical.

Also among the injured is a pregnant woman who later delivered a baby. Both are believed stable.

Search operation at the camp is still ongoing. The defence spokesperson said that security forces found heavy arms and ammunition.

A group of heavily armed gunmen attacked the sprawling camp of the 36 brigade of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry early on Saturday.

Two Army personnel, including a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO), were killed on Saturday.
Lt Col Devender Anand said a number of families were still there and the Army’s aim was to ensure their safety.

“There was no firing since last night,” the officer said.

Those who were killed have been identified as Subedar Madan Lal Choudhary; Subedar Mohd Ashraf Mir; Ha. Habib-Ullah Qurashi; Naik Manzoor Ahmed; Lance Naik Mohd lqbal . A civilian, Lance Naik Iqbal’s father, also died in the operation.

Lt. Col. Rohit Solanki of 6th Mahar; Lance Naik Bahadur Singh of 1st Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry; Hay Abdul Hamid Rashid of 1st Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry; and Subedar Rajinder Singh of 6th Mahar were injured.

Six civilians were also wounded, among them a pregnant woman.

Read: Residents woken up by gunshots, grenade blastsThe latest attack on the camp took place nearly 15 months after the Jammu region was hit by a similar attack. On November 29, 2016, terrorists had stormed the Army’s Nagrota camp on the outskirts of Jammu city, killing seven Army personnel, including two officers. Three terrorists were also gunned down.

The terrorists had struck before dawn on Saturday and managed to sneak into the camp from the rear side of the base after a brief exchange of fire with the sentry on its periphery.

“The terrorists entered the family accommodation complex after which quick response teams cordoned off the area and isolated the terrorists, who are holed up in a few houses (inside the camp),” officials said.

While there was no action around the main entrance and vehicles were moving along the Jammu-Lakhanpur bypass in front of the camp, Army personnel in bullet-proof vehicles engaged in the operation to rescue people from the family quarters in the rear side of the base.

Contingents of CRPF and police were posted outside the boundary wall and were keeping curious onlookers at bay to avoid civilian casualties.

A high alert has been sounded in Jammu and security beefed up in and around the city.

Intelligence inputs had warned of an attack on an Army or security establishment by Jaish-e-Mohammed in view of the death anniversary of Afzal Guru who was hanged on February 9, 2013.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad and some other senior Congress leaders visited Military Hospital to enquire after those wounded in the attack. With PTI

Exemption hike for seniors on interest income

Exemption hike for seniors on interest income
For senior citizens, the exemption limit on income from interest has been raised five times to Rs 50,000 per year

New Delhi, February 1

Announcing a series of benefits for senior citizens, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said the exemption limit on income from interest for them has been raised five times to Rs 50,000 per year.At the same time, the Finance Minister raised limit of deduction for health insurance premium and medical expenditure to Rs 50,000 from Rs 30,000 under section 80D.“All senior citizens will now be able to claim benefit of deduction up to Rs 50,000 per annum in respect of any health insurance premium and/or any general medical expenditure incurred,” he said while presenting the Budget for 2018-19.Besides, the Budget has increased the limit of deduction for medical expenditure in respect of certain critical illness to Rs 1 lakh in respect of all senior citizens, under section 80DDB.“In addition to tax concessions, I propose to extend the Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana up to March, 2020 under which an assured return of 8 per cent is given by Life Insurance Corporation of India,” he said.The existing limit on investment of Rs 7.5 lakh per senior citizen under this scheme is also being doubled to Rs 15 lakh, he added.Noting that a life with dignity is a right of every individual in general, more so for the senior citizens, he said, “to care of those who cared for us is one of the highest honours…these concessions will give extra tax benefit of Rs 4,000 crore to senior citizens.” — PTI 

Capt, 3 jawans killed in Rajouri LoC firing Missiles fired by Pak; soldier injured in Poonch too

Capt, 3 jawans killed in Rajouri LoC firing

Capt, 3 jawans killed in Rajouri LoC firing
Pakistan also shelled Shahpur sector of Poonch district. — Photo for representation
Amir Karim Tantray

Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 4

An Army Captain and three soldiers were today killed in heavy shelling by Pakistani troops along the Line of Control in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, forcing the Indian troops to retaliate.
The slain soldiers were identified as Captain Kapil Kundu (22) from Ransika village in Pataudi (Gurugram); Rifleman Ramavatar (27) from Baraka village in Gwalior (MP); Rifleman Subham Singh (23) from Mukandpur Choudharian village in Kathua (J&K); and Havildar Roshan Lal (42) of Ghagwal in Samba (J&K).
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Pakistani troops initiated unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of missiles, mortars, automatic weapons and small arms along the LoC in Bhimbher Gali sector of Rajouri district around 3.30 pm, an Army statement said.
“Indian Army retaliated strongly and effectively and heavy damage has been inflicted on Pakistani army posts,” a Defence PRO said.
“However, in the exchange of fire, one officer and three jawans were grievously injured and succumbed to their injuries and attained martyrdom,” he added.
This is for the first time that missiles have been used this year by Pakistani army to target Indian Army posts.
Earlier in the day, a jawan and two teenagers were injured in Shahpur sector of Poonch district in shelling from across the border, which started this morning. The injured civilians were identified as Shahnaz Bano (15) and Yasin Arif (14), residents of Islamabad village. They have been hospitalised.
Since January 13, five soldiers have died in LoC firing.
On January 13 and 19, Lance Naik Yogesh Muralidhar Bhadane and Lance Naik Sam Abraham were killed in Sunderbani sector. Sepoy Mandeep Singh was killed in KG sector of Poonch. Signalman Chandan Kumar Rai, injured in Mendhar sector, succumbed to his injuries on January 20. Naik Jagdish Kumar, who sustained injuries in the KG sector on January 20, died on January 24.


I am a fourth-generation member of an armed forces family, married into a 5th generation armed forces family, therefore, even before I begin my letter I would like to bring to your notice that nothing I say today comes without deep thought and a feeling of seethed agony to see how our brave men and women in the uniform are being treated by the civil dispensation in your state.
My letter to you today is written in my capacity as an Army wife and not so much as just another pained citizen of India. I would like to know that despite the countless times the country has demanded evidence from men from our fraternity regarding their effectiveness and humanity, what has been your contribution as a politician and the incumbent Chief Minister in ensuring that troops are looked after in a way that they feel motivated to serve you and “brethren” in the valley despite living a life marred with constant humiliation, stress and a an “awaam” that is not only thankless but also hostile.
What steps have you taken to reign in or at least counsel the gentry who leave no stone unturned while comparing a martyr like Lt. Umar Fayyaz with a murderous terrorist like Burhan Wani? Is that not the greatest disrespect to the memory of someone who made the ultimate sacrifice for the Motherland?
I would also like to ask you and by extension the Government of J&K exactly how many FIRs the State Police filed when Operation Clean Up was launched in the early months of 2017 to bring back peace in an otherwise upturned valley?
Was it convenient then to let the armed forces do their job because your fragile political career depended on it? Or is it easier now to prosecute an entire regiment because you need to win the “hearts and mind” of the stone pelting minority?
I am seeking these answers today on behalf of all those women who are sitting far away from the tumultuous events of the valley wondering if today their loved ones are safe from both grenades and stones? And while they are ceaselessly watching your back, I need to know if you are watching theirs? Because, clearly, the events since January 27th are not hinting at a State Government willing to grant our men and women in uniform the support needed to serve their country and the people of J&K with the dignity expected of the Indian Armed Forces. A few months back it was Major Gogoi, today it is Major Aditya, tomorrow it could very well be any of our husbands or brothers, what do we do then?
Did it ever strike you as ironical Madam, that the case against Major Gogoi which was so enthusiastically supported by the more liberal factions of our great country, took place during when he was on election duty defending the Kashmiri people’s right to vote, and used his Army Jeep and thinking on his feet found the best possible solution to send a message to instigators of violence that they would not get in the way of the conduct of free and fair elections on his watch. Sure his method was unconventional, but he was pushed into a corner and he worked with what he had and tied the offender to his Jeep to iterate his point, but why did everyone stop at that? Why did no one notice that the Major also ensured that no violence broke out and voting remains unaffected till the very last vote was cast? Major Aditya before being termed a “murderer” in the FIR, is a decorated officer who has proved his mettle during his tenure in the RR with four kills of Jaish-e-Muhammad terrorists to his name.
Your State Journalists and Politicians are quick to call uniformed men rapists and murderers, but then how do you explain the need to turn to these very “murderers” when the water rises in the Jhelum and there is panic across the valley. Will you please explain to me that what exactly are our “irrational” men doing in Siachen where even nature has given up?
Will you please also care to elaborate the need for the State Government of Jammu & Kashmir to turn to the “marauding” Indian Army to set up Goodwill schools in the valley or run Skill Training sessions for the “Kashmiri Awaam”, because from where I am standing, I see a young world kick boxing champion Tajamul Islam, the student of a local Army Goodwill School, being motivated by our jawans to kick hard and fight like a champion and conquer the world. Is it just us or do you too feel the pride when 9 students coached by the Super 40 Class organized by the Army crack their way into the prestigious IITs of the country?
Our men serve the nation without a flutter of self-conscious worry, I have yet to come across an officer or a jawan who would flinch at the news of being posted to the RR, for them that is the utmost honor to serve & protect the dignity of India from where it matters, the Frontlines. But what kind of an example are you setting by prosecuting an officer of the Indian Army who only chose to act in order to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. How come the police hasn’t registered an FIR against the stone pelting blood thirsty mob causing extensive damage to government property and personnel? Do you think you are any less accountable to the wife of the JCO who got hit on the head and was almost set on fire? Is a stone pelting, violence inciting youngster of more worth that the men who seek to protect and empower everyday life in the valley even if it comes at the peril of their own? I would want to know exactly what has been their contribution towards the constructive social upliftment that hasn’t already been undertaken by the Army? This is the same Indian Army, Madam, which pulled out a terrorist at the end of an encounter and took him to the hospital despite suffering fatalities of their own. Or have you chosen to forget that? Of course you have.
What is it about their selfless service and unparalleled commitment to the nation that scares you, your administration? Need I remind you, that it has been a result of the relentless presence and action of the Armed Forces that tourism has managed to make a comeback in the valley, where the bulk of your economy depends on tourists from across the country and beyond. Do you for a second feel that they would feel safer in the presence of your recently pardoned stone-pelters than they would knowing that there is an Army outpost nearby looking after their security.
It took the likes of Bollywood close to two decades and more, to feel “safe enough” to return to Gulmarg for work, making it possible for your state to reclaim its spot as a favoured tourist destination. Now I really hope Madam, that you alone are not taking the credit for the booming pony business in valley, after all, the visitors are relaxing only because there are those silent ADP marches, ROP routines taking places somewhere in the backdrop.
I can assure you, Madam Chief Minister, it takes a certain amount of courage to sit by the phone every day waiting for the call to come in assuring us that all is well where our men are posted, but it takes even more gumption for most women from our fraternity to live with the knowledge that someday that call may not come. So, I need to know from you just what are you prepared to say to all the women sitting away from their loved ones when things go south and it was your action that let those men down.
I would like to know from the administration of your state exactly how do you justify to the 70,000 plus men who made Operation Rahat a life saver for the citizens of the valley and beyond, that their hard work counts for nothing compared to your efforts to appease 2000 odd stone pelters, who I am sure will not think twice before lynching another policeman outside another mosque or try to set ablaze another olive green vehicle because in their eyes their government understands their murderous intent but does not acknowledge the dedication of the men sworn to guard you all with their lives.
These men too have a life beyond the borders, they too have families and aspirations of their own. And as someone who has grown up with olive green in their blood, I demand that you tell me how is my brother or a brother officer expected to fight with dignity for your safety when you will not even give him the scope to protect his own life and those of others who look up to him as their leader, and are willing to take the bullet should the need arise.
You may feel the need to write to the Central Home Ministry if a terrorist is getting ill-treated in Tihar Jail, but how many times have you tried to write a heartfelt letter to the father of Captain Saurav Kalia who was tortured and killed because he chose to remain loyal to the nation till his last breath.
Madam, you have a lot of soul searching to do and I hope the next time you feel safe enough to venture out on a political rally, you remember to thank the men who keep you safe even as you decide to walk all over them. It is indeed shameful that you are choosing to prosecute a brother officer for not giving in to a diabolical crowd.
I hope better sense prevails soon
Jai Hind
Malvika S. Lamba

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It is indeed ironical that in a week where J&K has seen FIR filed against Major Aditya and his unit for firing in self-defense, today, i.e 31 January, falls the birth anniversary of India’s first PVC Major Somnath Sharma. Major Somnath gave up his life while defending the same Kashmir from Pakistani rapists and ravagers, in short, the Pakistan Army which had attacked Kashmir on 22 October 1947 and was on the doors of Srinagar. Jinnah and his army had taken advantage of Maharaja Hari Singh’s clever by half attempt to make Kashmir ‘Switzerland of the East’ and made a vicious attempt to grab the state by force. Major Somnath had landed with his Kumaonis while his arm was still in plaster courtesy a hockey playing injury. It was in Budgam where his company took on the Pakistani army despite being outnumbered 7:1. Major Somnath and his company fought like lions with exemplary leadership from him with even the plaster not being hindrance to bravery. The Kumaonis inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy notwithstanding the losses they themselves suffered. Major Somnath was grievously injured as a mortar shell fell on their ammunition storage spot. His last message; “The enemy are only 50 yards from us. We are heavily outnumbered. We are under devastating fire. I shall not withdraw an inch but will fight to the last man and last round”, has passed on to military folklore. The bravery displayed by Major Somnath and his company saved Srinagar airport from falling into the hands of Pakistanis and kept India’s lifeline into the state, functional. That we failed to take back PoK in 1947-48 was political failure for which the country is still paying a heavy price. That the same Kashmiris whom the army saved from Pakistani savages have been brainwashed into throwing stones at their protectors and filing FIR’s show that religion has been abused to spread hatred. But all this does not in anyway lessen the sacrifice made by Major Somnath Sharma and it is our duty to ensure that these sacrifices do not go in vain.

Major Somnath Sharma – First Param Vir Chakra Awardee

: The Param Vir Chakra is India’s highest military decoration for acts of conspicuous gallantry in the presence of the enemy.