Sanjha Morcha

Landslide blocks Manali-Leh highway, over 2,000 vehicles stranded

Landslide blocks Manali-Leh highway, over 2,000 vehicles stranded

Heavy rain in the area caused the landslide. Tribune photo

Tribune News Service

Manali, June 29

The Manali-Leh National Highway-3 has been blocked due to a massive landslide near Marhi at Chumbak mod, nearly 30 km from here.

Heavy rain in the area for the past 24 hours caused the landslide.

The landslide occured late night on Thursday and came into light by early morning on Friday. The local administration was informed by the commuters at around six in the morning.

Border Roads Organisation (BRO) officer Avril Jain confirmed the landslide and said that the road would be clear soon.

“The road clearing operation has started and would be done soon for the traffic. Machines have been deputed along with the BRO engineering team,” said Jain.

Long queues of vehicles were seen on both sides of the highway as the landslide left more than 2,000 vehicles stranded. The police have been deployed to monitor the traffic situation. With agencies

Major arrested in murder case sent to 14-day judicial custody

Major arrested in murder case sent to 14-day judicial custody

Major Nikhil Rai Handa being taken to a court. PTI file

New Delhi, June 29

An Army major, arrested for allegedly killing another officer’s wife, was on Friday sent to 14-day judicial custody by a Delhi court after the police did not seek his further remand. Metropolitan Magistrate Manisha Tripathy sent Major Nikhil Handa, who was produced before the court on expiry of his four-day police custody, to Tihar Jail here, while allowing the application moved by the crime branch of Delhi Police seeking the same.“Accused is remanded to judicial custody for 14 days. To be produced on July 13, 2018,” the magistrate said.Handa was arrested on June 24 from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh for his alleged involvement in the killing of another Major’s wife in west Delhi on Saturday.The court also held as “infructuous” the applications moved by the counsel for the accused — one for medical examination of Handa every day during police custody and another application seeking lawyers’ assistance at the stage of interrogation.“Since the accused has been sent to judicial custody remand, both the applications have become infructuous and are disposed of,” the court said.During the hearing, the investigating officer told the court that several recoveries were made during the four-day custody and he was no more required for interrogation.The counsel for Handa, advocate Sanjeev Sahai, moved an application to have a 10-minute meeting with the accused, which was allowed by the court.The Delhi Police told the court that it yesterday recovered the knife, allegedly used by Handa to slit the throat of a fellow Army officer’s wife, from a spot near the Meerut-Muzaffarnagar highway. Traces of burnt clothes were also recovered from the spot, it said.The woman’s body was found with her throat slit near the Brar Square in the Delhi Cantonment area.Initially, the police was informed that a woman had died in an accident. Later, when they inspected the body, it was found that her throat was slit, the police had said.The accused had allegedly run a car over her face and the body in order to make the incident appear as an accident, the police have claimed. — PT

China’s PLA holds drill in Tibet, first since Doklam standoff

China’s PLA holds drill in Tibet, first since Doklam standoff

The drill was the first such reported exercise in Tibet since the Doklam standoff. — Photo for representation

Beijing, June 29

Chinese military stationed in Tibet has carried out a drill to test their logistics, armament support capabilities and military-civilian integration in the remote Himalayan region, official media reported here on Friday.The drill carried out by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) units on Tuesday was the first such reported exercise in Tibet since the Doklam standoff.State-run ‘Global Times’ which reported the drill also cited the PLA’s 13-hour long exercise conducted at an elevation of 4,600 metres in August last year.Analysts hailed the Tuesday’s drill, which was held in cooperation with local companies and government, as an important move toward military-civilian integration, a strategy to realise the country’s goal of building a strong military in the new era, the report said.An important component of the drill was the military-civilian integration strategy, a key component in Tibet where the Dalai Lama’s legacy still lingers on.The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has an adverse climate and complex topography. Over a long period of time, it is very difficult to provide soldiers with logistics and armament support, the report said.To solve the difficulties in personnel survival, delivery, material supply, rescue, emergency maintenance and road safety, the military has adopted a military-civilian integration strategy and constantly advanced logistics support capabilities, Zhang Wenlong, head of the command logistics support department, was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua News Agency.Zhang said the drill aimed to explore a new mode of military-civilian integration in the plateau command following the reshuffle of the military system.During the drill, a local petroleum company supplied fuel immediately when the armoured unit ran out of fuel and the city government of Lhasa delivered a steady flow of food to soldiers after a day of mock battle, the report said.“The biggest challenge of battle at the high altitude is to provide sustainable logistics and armament support. In the 1962 China-India border conflict, China failed to protect its fruits of victory due to poor logistics support. Although local Tibetan residents provided soldiers with temporary support, it was not sustainable,” Song Zhongping, a military expert, told the Global Times.“The drill showed that military-civilian integration is a feasible strategy and could help form stronger combat power,” he added. — PTI

The Kashmir Valley: What Next by Lt Gen Raj Kadyan

The political co-habitation between BJP and PDP in J&K has come to an end. There is no dearth of the inevitable ‘I told you so’ experts who claim that they had predicted it long ago. Equally, there are those who claim that they had the prescience to know of its failure from day one. However, in dealing with the vexed and long-festering problem in the State, which has defied solution for all these years, choosing a new direction was a bold and correct decision.   As such, the experiment failed, is no reason that it should not have been tried.
The question now is what next? It has been suggested that the security forces must go ‘all out’ to hunt down the 200-odd terrorists reportedly present in the Valley. True that. But it ignores the fact that when – and if – the SF are able to do so, there is no denying that more will trickle in from across the border, following the same methodology that these 200 have done. The supply line is unending.
Another view is that the Hurriyat leaders being the real source of the problem, and a conduit for the inflow of funds and other wherewithal for the terrorists, must be imprisoned. This fetches a cautionary call by some. It is argued by the soft pedal group that the present Hurriyat leaders are soft, and if they are taken away, a more hard-line leadership is likely to take over. However, this apprehension is unfounded. Among the terrorists or their supporters, there is nothing known as a soft or  there is nothing known as a soft or hard category. Their mindset is all the same, working against the interests of the country. Since money link of the present Hurriyat leaders with their mentors or handlers in Pakistan has already been established, they must be incarcerated without delay, and must be kept away from circulation in the State. The reality of their active involvement in fuelling unrest cannot be overlooked on a mere apprehension that their successors would tow an even harder line.
In the aftermath of sudden political developments, the flow of debate lost sight of the real issue. Killing terrorists in not synonymous with finishing terrorism.  More will keep coming despite our best efforts to check their infiltration. For indoctrinated militants, who are determined to kill and are prepared to die, no security system can ever be fool-proof. Countering terrorism is akin to tackling the menace of malaria. Swatting mosquitoes in not the solution; their source of breeding has to be neutralised. That brings us to the basic question. We have to deter Pakistan from sending terrorists and from perpetrating violence in the Valley.
Read more at:


Another Surgical Strike? Indian Army Strike NSCN-K Terror Camp In Myanmar, Inflicts Casualties

Another Surgical Strike? Indian Army Strike NSCN-K Terror Camp In Myanmar, Inflicts Casualties

Indian soldiers look on from their position by a road overlooking army barracks. (ROUF BHAT/AFP/GettyImages)

The Indian Army reportedly carried out a successful surgical strike against a camp belonging to the Khaplang faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland, or the NSCN(K), killing five rebels and destroying the  camp on Wednesday afternoon.

According to news reports, commandos of the elite anti-terror unit, the 12 Paras, launched the strike at the camp that was located at Shwelo, three kilometres inside Myanmar. Five militants of the outfit were killed and the camp was destroyed.

Soldiers of the 12 Para went swiftly inside Myanmar and reached the came at about 2 pm on Wednesday (27 June). The rebel camp was attacked by mortars, grenade launchers and rocket launchers. The Indian soldiers didn’t suffer any injuries or casualties.

NSCN(K) information Secretary Isak Sumi has reportedly confirmed the strike. He said: “The Indian Army in huge number crossed Chenmoh village and arrived at the international boundary some kilometres away from the Naga Army forward post and on realisation that their presence has already been detected they resorted to blank firings randomly for several minutes to which the Naga Army responded and prevented any further advance. Casualties could not be ascertained. The incident occurred yesterday around noon”.

Thursday’s was the second successful surgical strike on North East rebel group bases inside Myanmar. A number of militants of the NSCN(K), the ULFA (Independent) and Manipuri insurgent outfits are based in the remote and forested areas in northwest Myanmar over which Myanmarese Army have little control.


Dear friends time to buckle up for the pride and honour of our defence fraternity. I am shocked at the way these parties and politicians treating our army people in Srinagar as if they have no voice. Nation is losing respect to them as if our people have joined forces only to die. Value of their lives has become a mockery.
 No-one can throw ink or shoe on any politician but their duty is to face stone pelters and not react.
These bureaucrats and politicians will go to mall also with security where as fauji hai so he should be non reactive to people attacking him also.
What an irony???
We should organise ourselves to fight out this hypocrisy. Let us voice our concerns for our friends, husbands, brothers and die hard patriots.
I request everyone who feels with me  to join me for voicing these causes now and always…..
Jaspreet Cheema


When Veterans Forget the Unity of the Military to Play Politics Instead BY LT. GENERAL BHOPINDER SINGH

Political polarisation

 As the institutional angst of the Armed Forces brews— following questionable orders like lifting of traffic restrictions for civilians in the cantonments, utilising military manpower to clear garbage or build railway bridges, inaccurate spin-doctoring of military heroes in electioneering, cuts in order for the assault rifles, unending OROP sophistry—blame for the debilitation of the institution invariably falls on the politico-bureaucrat combine or the ostensibly servile, serving ‘Generalship’ of the Armed Forces.

Somewhere conveniently, as the surrogate ‘voice’ of the Armed Forces, the Veterans, have incredulously forgotten their own actions (or inactions) as the systematic degradation and devaluation of the institution, started at the time of Independence itself.

The fact remains that as the legitimate and only plausible ‘voice’ of the institution, the Veterans too have got too politically polarised and dangerously disunited in either defending or venting against the dispensation of the day.

2014 General Elections was the turning point in the political baptism of the Veterans, with the Rewari rally assuming the defining moment of the political usurpation of the ‘Indian Soldier’.

Ironically, the electoral gratification of appropriating the imagery of the ‘Indian Soldier’ was not just to bank the Veteran vote, in as much as it was to build compelling credentials of political-muscularity, ultra-nationalism and governance-decisiveness that would logically accrue to any political party that sought to project itself as the champion of the ‘Indian Soldier’.

Post-elections, political pragmatism and basic disinterest ensured a sub-optimal One Rank One Pension (OROP), continuing shortages in weaponry and equipment, and the unthinkable spectre of war heroes languishing on the footpaths of Delhi. However, armed with promises (later clarified as jumlaas), a new phenomenon of ‘primetime warriors’ emerged in the TV newsrooms, resplendent in their tilted Military caps, blunting any contrarian views with an immediate moral/nationalistic cover, that was afforded naturally to Veterans.

Unknowingly, the politicalisation of the ‘Indian Soldier’ ensued in full swing and the politicians were delighted to use the invaluable ‘covering fire’ offered by the Veterans in slamming any opposition view as ‘anti-national’, in an ever expanding interpretation.

The concept of ‘larger good’ ensured that the inherent untruths in overtly political claims like ‘first time ever’ (prefixed to the ‘Surgical Strikes’) were allowed to become a gospel-truth. And even when some partisan Veterans were challenged on the specific claims, they fired back with arguments referring to undeniable blunders of previous dispensations, as the justification for ‘minor’ inaccuracies.

The groundswell of ultra-nationalism was inadvertently injected with the emotional testosterone offered by the ‘newsroom warriors’ who allowed political moves to be defended as prudent for the Armed Forces.

This led the wily politicians to obfuscate uncomfortable decisions like demonetisation, student protests etc. in the inexplicable context of the ‘Indian Soldier’!

Political deflection was further afforded by finger-pointing to the past trysts with the likes of VK Menon, Nehru or even Mulayam Singh as the Defence Minister – and a sweeping political narrative of ‘one better than the other’ was successfully constructed and delivered to the political classes by some Veterans.

Rectitude and the deliberately apolitical moorings which are the cornerstone of a professional military in any democracy, were sadly the foremost casualty in the new construct of the institutional domain. And the ‘voice’ of the Veterans acquired a distinctly political slant with a proselytizing tone, militating against the age-old ethos of ‘band of brothers’ or the spirit of ‘leave no man behind’, that defines the soldering code, profession and unity.

It is no one’s case that the Veterans should not partake of political opportunities post-retirement.In fact, there is an urgent need for more participation. Given their leadership experience in the most challenging of environment the Veterans can certainly be utilised for better governance.

In the US, one in every five lawmaker is a Veteran – however when it comes to the issues pertaining to the institution of the Armed Forces, a ‘closing of ranks’ in the best interest of the institution usually plays out, irrespective and often contrary to their own party positions.

For instance Republican John Kasich had refused to endorse Donald Trump’s Presidential nomination following his infamous diatribe against a slain Muslim US soldier. Kasich had noted, “There’s only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honour and respect”. Or again as another Republican and veteran John McCain fighting cancer has recently made clear that he would not want Donald Trump at his funeral.

The algorithms of religion, region, caste or race that define political debates are natural anathema to a soldier and the armed forces, hence the need to protect the domain from any political affiliation, misuse and appropriation. In India, some Veterans have surrendered that apolitical high-ground.

A monolithic military ‘voice’ that singularly swears to the Constitution of the India and not to an individual or political party on matters pertaining to the Armed Forces, is the most powerful push-back to any potential misuse, mishandling and degradation of the institution.

Veterans cannot allow themselves to pawn away their unmatched moral currency at the altar of political intrigues, language and guile.

The politico-bureaucrat combine can only damage the institution if allowed, and it is this breach of institutional camaraderie and apolitical high-ground that has opened the floodgates for invasive division.

All political parties irrespective of their ideologies, agendas and professed concerns have contributed to the current morass. The Veterans must go beyond the charming optics of Defence Ministers flying the de riguer fighter plane, and insist on probity, responsibilities and accountabilities.

It is time for serious introspection within the Veterans to coalesce on military matters, whilst, freely holding on to their political positions and enthusiasms on all other fronts.

(Lt General Bhopinder Singh (Retd) is Former Lt Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands & Puducherry)


Wreath laying at Parsi Cemetry Ooty. It incl the imdt family members of Fd Mshl Manekshaw & offrs of DSSC
how soon nation forgets army heros,  we only remember politicians. Is any body in media remembering Sam on his death anniversary?

Defence Ministry issues new guidelines for startups

Defence Ministry issues new guidelines for startups

NEW DELHI: The defence ministry has specified new rules for homegrown startups to take part in military projects in an attempt to focus their attention on cutting edge research and development. The new rules, specified this week, seek to encourage new companies to undertake research projects to develop or upgrade weapon systems and to work towards reducing imports. Under the new rules, startups recognised by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) under certain categories will automatically qualify to take part in specified defence projects. These categories range from aeronautics, nanotechnology and Virtual Reality to renewable technology, robotics, green technology and internet of things.
For relatively smaller research and development projects, the government has simplified rules by keeping the race open to all Indian companies, doing away with any regulations for participation.
For projects with estimated cost of prototype development phase not exceeding Rs 3 crore, no separate technical or financial criteria (will) be defined for both ‘start-ups’ and ‘other than startups’, to encourage their participation,” the new rules specify.

These new rules apply to the ‘Make II’ category of defence procurement where the private industry funds the research for the product on its own and develops a prototype that is offered to the concerned service for evaluation.
There will be no government funding for developing the prototype there is an assurance of orders on successful development and trials of the prototype,” an official explained.

With these rules specified, the three services will now shortlist projects that can be awarded under the category. The Army, Air Force and Navy have already identified 53 projects that can be taken up on priority under the rules. These include Maneuverable Expendable Aerial Targets (MEAT) forArmy Air Defence, light weight body armour, a robotic surveillance platform, diesel engines for boats, limpet mines, air to ground rockets and long range glide bombs.
his is the third move in recent months to promote startups in the defence sector.

Surgical strike footage authentic but details edited’

NEWDELHI: A day after TV channels broadcasted video clips of the 2016 surgical strikes against terror pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and brought the operation back in focus, former Northern Army commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda (retd), who oversaw the mission, told Rahul Singh the footage was authentic but edited and releasing it was a good move. Edited excerpts:

■ Lieutenant General (retd) DS HoodaWhat do you think of the surgical strikes footage?

I can confirm that it is authentic and I have seen it.

What are your views on the video being released?

I think it’s good that the video is out. After Pakistan stoutly denied that no surgical strikes were conducted in PoK and there were doubts raised about the operation in some quarters in the country too, I strongly felt that the video should be released. It lays the matter to rest. The video has been released after some time, but it’s better late than never.

There have been questions that the video may have compromised how the army conducts

such operations by revealing its tactics.

There’s no such thing like that. I can confirm that the video has been properly edited so that sensitive information was deleted.

What did the strikes achieve?

When we launched the strikes, we did not even remotely think that it will end Pakistan-sponsored terrorism. But we wanted to send a strong message across the border and also avenge the killing of our soldiers in the Uri attack.

What message did the Army seek to send?

The idea was to send out multiple messages. We proved that we were capable of crossing the heavily -guarded line of control and strike at multiple places.

Questions were being raised about what the army was going to doing after the Uri attack. So it was a message to our own countrymen too to have faith in the army. And we are capable of doing it again. We only need the orders to go ahead.

What about the criticism that the government is exploiting the army’s valour for political gains?

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