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    Japan deploys antimissile system against N Korea

    short by Nihal Thondepu / 07:21 pm on 02 Feb 2016,Tuesday
    The Japanese government on Tuesday said it has deployed ground and sea-based antimissile interceptors to prepare itself for a possible missile test by North Korea. Japan’s Defense Ministry said surface-to-air missile systems as a part of a two-tier defense were deployed at 34 locations. However, Japan did not reveal if they will shoot down the test missile when launched.

    Woman BSF constables foil intrusion attempt

    BATALA: An attempt by three intruders to sneak into the Indian territory from Pakistan was foiled by women personnel of BSF in Ajnala sector last night, an official of the force said on Friday.

    The women constables of the BSF deployed at Sundergarh Border Out Post (BOP) in Ajnala Sector noticed some movement on the Indo-Pak border late last night, the official said.

    Three intruders were trying to sneak into Indian territory from Pakistan side, the official said. The women constables opened fire on them to stop them from entering Indian territory, he said, adding the intruders managed to escape under the cover of darkness.


    Freedom fighter’s wife refuses honour

    Sanjiv Kumar Bakshi,Hoshiarpur, January 27

    A freedom fighter’s wife refused to take the honours during the Republic Day celebrations at the local police lines here yesterday. Health Minister Surjit Kumar Jyani was the chief guest on the occasion.Channan Kaur of Naru Nangal village, whose husband Jai Singh was the driver of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, alleged that they face several problems throughout the year, but neither the police nor the district administration gave an ear to them.She said if they have to be ignored and insulted like this, then why should they accept this two-metre cloth in the name of honour which was given to them on August 15 and January 26.She said if such attitude continued then she would have no option but to immolate herself outside the Deputy Commissioner’s door.Channan Kaur alleged that many a time the police moved her out of the police station or offices. She said the freedom fighters were not getting pension from the state government and they were only getting pension issued by the Union Government.She said whenever they raised their problems before the chief guests at Independence Day or Republic Day, they ask the DC to look into the matter, but the DCs never pay heed to them.Jyani said he had no idea why she was saying so. He added that all officers listen to her and they had even gone to her village.


    Air Force readies to receive special craft

    Tribune News Service,Chandigarh, January 23

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    ‘Cotam Unité’ is the official call sign of French President Francois Hollande’s personal aircraft that the Chandigarh Air Force Station would be playing host to during his brief visit to the city tomorrow.Special arrangements have been made by the local Air Force authorities for handling the Airbus as this type of aircraft is neither in the IAF’s inventory nor used by scheduled commercial airlines operating out of Chandigarh.Portable passenger step ladder and other ground-handling equipment compatible with the Airbus 330 have been positioned here. “The station has the required capacity to handle the Airbus-330,” a senior officer said.The presidential Airbus is operated by the Escadron de transport, d’entrainement et de calibration (Transportation, training and calibration squadron), which is under the direct command of the French Minister of Defence.The aircraft will be parked in the dispersal area in front of the Air Traffic Control, which is generally used for VVIP flights.

    About Cotam Unité

    • Cotam Unité is the official call sign of French President Francois Hollande’spersonal aircraft
    • A specially retrofitted Airbus 330-200, the aircraft is the French version of Air India One, the aircraft used by the Indian President or PM
    • Cotam is the acronym for the French Air Force’s Military Air Transport Command

    Fog could pose concern

    • IAF sources said weather was a concern as fog could reduce visibility. “Chandigarh does not have a category-III instrument landing system for zero visibility operations,” an officer said.

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    Search for ‘intruders’ near Army camp in Ludhiana

    Tribune News Service,Ludhiana, January 23

    The Army and the police began a search operation in Dholewal today after residents of Bhagwan Nagar reported the movement of unidentified persons near the Army camp.Sources said a resident of Achaar Wali Gali in Bhagwan Nagar complained of his window grill having been dismantled. He told the police that those who broke the grill were in Army uniform.As the street is near the Army camp, the police and the Army swung into action. The police also procured the CCTV footage from various places in the area. The police said since the footage was not clear, they couldn’t identify the culprits.Paramraj Umranagal, Commissioner of Police, Ludhiana, said, “On a preliminary investigation, it seems to be a theft bid. But as the street is near the Army camp, we do not want to take any chances and thus, we started a search operation.”Umranangal said two persons in blue jackets were first seen moving in the area around 10 pm and then around 1.30 am.


    Vikrant memorial to be unveiled on Jan 25

    The memorial to India’s first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, will be inaugurated at the traffic island on K Dubash Marg, opposite Lion Gate on January 25.

    Commodore Medioma Bhada (retd), an ex-pilot who served on the warship, took efforts to keep the memory of Vikrant alive.

    “The memorial is a living testimony of deep gratitude to a majestic ship, which charted a glorious innings in the service of our nation,” said a defence official.

    Bhada gets nostalgic when the talks about the time he spent on board the battleship during the 1971 war. “I was 31 years old when I served on INS Vikrant. She played a vital role in the victory of the war, representing India’s multi-dimensional sea power. We, her shipmates, offer the little monument to the iconic aircraft carrier as our tribute,” Bhada told TOI. Bhada also commended the role played by the civic body, the heritage committee, the Mazagon Dock Limited and the Indian Navy. The memorial is designed by sculptor Arzan Khambatta.

    “I already have two of my sculptures at traffic islands in Juhu and Worli. Normally, a public sculpture as such takes 90-100 days once all the approvals are received. Considering that a commodore, who is fond of the battleship took the initiative, my responsibility to design it doubled. I wanted to design something that makes people feel proud,” he said.

    A defence official said more than 60% of the ship’s artefacts had been moved to the Maritime History Society in Mumbai and the rest were shifted to Goa’s Naval Aviation Museum.


    #ArmyDay: 10 things to know about this day honouring the Indian Army

    The Indian Army Day, which marks its 68th year today, is being today celebrated nationwide.

    The Indian Army

    For Indians, January 15 happens to be a very important day. It is when the Army Day is celebrated nationwide, honouring the soldiers of our country.

    Wonder why and how this day came to be celebrated? Here some things about the Army Day you should know:

    1. Army Day is observed in the memory of our country getting its first Indian Army’s Commander-in-Chief, Lt General KM Cariappa, after the Independence.
    2. On January 15, 1948, Lt General Cariappa took over the position from British Army General Roy Butcher.
    3. This year, 2016, we are celebrating the 68th Indian Army Day.
    4. Army Day is celebrated at every Army Command headquarters in the country and in the national capital.
    5. In Delhi, celebrations begin with tributes being paid to the martyred soldiers at the Amar Jawan Jyoti in India Gate.
    6. Different military shows featuring the technology and achievements of the Army are then carried out.
    7. The Indian Army also hold parades, which include the exhibition of BLT T-72, T-90 tanks, Brahmos Missile, carrier Mortar Tracked Vehicle, 155 MM Soltum Gun, Advanced Light Helicopters of the Army Aviation Corps, etc.
    8. Bravery awards like Unit credentials and Sena Medals are also distributed to the soldiers on this day.
    9. The soldiers of the Indian Army take a pledge on staying dedicated to be a part of the ‘War Winning Team’.
    10. Army Day is observed to honour the valiant soldiers, living and dead, who risk and sacrifice their lives to guard our country.

    This Video about the Indian Army’s past 100 Years Will Give You Goosebumps

    The Indian Army is justifiably famous for its legendary discipline, professionalism, and bravado. For more than a 100 years — when the men of the army first fought in World War I — they have been doing India proud.

    But their greatest contribution, their incredible gift to over a billion countrymen, is perhaps that they allow us to live our dreams, to follow our passions without fear. Sometimes, the cost of this gift is their lives.

    indian army

    From having successfully defended India in a number of wars to the liberation of Bangladesh and the capturing of Siachen (the world’s highest battlefield!), our soldiers have reminded us time and again what a superlative defence force looks like. Even today, when the enemy in the form of terrorism is faceless and constantly shifting and the battlefields are our very cities, the Indian Army isn’t letting us down.

    The army has also been part of United Nations peacekeeping missions in as many as 7 different countries, helping secure the lives of people around the globe.

    The army is also most often the fastest responder during times of national emergency.

    During crises such as the floods in Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, and Chennai, or even the earthquake in neighbouring Nepal, the army has helped rebuild the lives of thousands of people.

    indian army

    To learn more about the army, watch this video, which was originally posted on the Indian Army’s Facebook page:


    Camel contingent to skip R-Day for 1st time

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    New Delhi, January 17For the first time in history of the Republic Day celebrations, the iconic BSF camel contingent will not be ambling down the Rajpath here on January 26.Officials said the 90-member Border Security Force camel-mounted troops and band contingent had not been practising during the dress rehearsals of the event in the absence of official directions. “While the contingent is in Delhi since the last few months, it has not been included in the rehearsals as there are no official orders issued in this regard,” they said.The majestic and elegantly dressed four-legged “ship of the desert” belonging to the border guarding force first became a part of the national festival celebration in 1976 after it replaced a similar squad of the Army which had been participating in the Republic Day parade since the first such event in 1950.“The BSF camel contingent has since been the intrinsic part of the parade at the Rajpath on every January 26. There are two teams which take part in the event, the 54-member mounted contingent and the 36-member band,” a senior official involved with the camel squad said. While the first contingent showcases smartly dressed BSF border guards with weapons riding camels, the second follows with bandsmen in beautiful multi-colour dresses on the back of camels playing martial music. Officials said the January 26 parade this time was undergoing a number of changes such as non-inclusion of paramilitary forces such as ITBP, CISF and SSB whereas some new features, including the dogs squad contingent of the Army and a team of French soldiers, had been added to it.“The camel contingent may also not be a part of the Beating the Retreat Ceremony to be held on January 29 where they stand along the ramparts of the North and South blocks on Raisina Hill,” they said. The BSF camel contingent is the inheritor of the heritage of the Bikaner Royal Camel Force, known as “Ganga Risala”, and is based in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.Every year the contingent travels to Delhi in November to participate in the BSF Raising Day event on December 1 and the Republic Day parade after which it retreats to its base. — PTI


    Steadier hands at the wheel

    By rescheduling the foreign secretary-level talks, the government seems to have worked out that ‘drawing of red lines’ can be unsustainable

    Observing the India-Pakistan relationship over the last two decades has been like watching a film where some of the actors change but the storyline remains hackneyed, predictable and stale. In a relationship that has been typically defined by déjà vu — the attempt at dialogue, the terror strike that is virtually written into the script, the standard condemnation and then the denials and the dithering — for the first time one can finally see a shift in approach.

    AP FILENot once in all these years has Masood Azhar been probed for the hijacking of IC-814, which delivered him his freedom from an Indian prison in 1999. The sense of hope that was raised by the Pakistan media which reported his detention has already been belied

    At the Pakistan end, there has been none of the usual nay-saying. Instead, there has been a near-admission that the Jaish-e-Mohammed was responsible for the Pathankot air-base strike. On our side, India has wisely ignored the high-decibel pressure of television shows that believe the angry hashtag is War by other means. The biggest shift is in fact the move away from the needless histrionics we saw when the meeting of the two National Security Advisors in Delhi was cancelled over the Pakistanis wanting to meet with Kashmiri separatists. At the time an elaborate game of shadow-boxing reduced the diplomatic process to a ball-by-ball commentary on prime-time. Sushma Swaraj eventually saved the day and masterfully covered for the inconsistencies in the government’s approach with a pitch-perfect press conference. But by then the familiar and puerile melodrama of the India-Pakistan conundrum had done the damage.

    This time notwithstanding a much graver transgression — targeting an Indian military base is effectively an act of war — the hand at the wheel, on both sides, has been much steadier. Both countries have quietly agreed to reschedule the foreign secretary-level talks for another day in the near future, while the National Security Advisors continue to talk. This makes sense because the immediate aftermath of any terrorist violence is hardly the most opportune moment to talk about resuming the composite dialogue which would bring to the table a host of other issues, including the stand-offs over Sir Creek and the Siachen Glacier. The government seems to have finally worked out that the ‘drawing of red lines’ — a phrase we heard a lot of when the Pakistan-Hurriyat Conference nexus became the basis to scrap the NSA dialogue — may well have a nice, macho ring to it, but in the end it was quite simply unsustainable.

    But despite the greater maturity there is still a big challenge that could yet trip the government’s next moves on Pakistan. By asking for “prompt and decisive action” against the perpetrators of Pathankot, the foreign ministry has created, and rightly so, the expectation among Indian citizens that the Pakistani probe must go well beyond ambiguous raids and non-specific crackdowns. Indian diplomats may well argue that long-term policy cannot hinge on an individual and that the future of talks cannot depend on whether Masood Azhar, in this case, or Hafiz Saeed (for 26/11) is put away or not. But there is already exasperation and cynicism among people at the fact that the terrorist responsible for the attack on India’s Parliament as well as the assault on the Jammu and Kashmir assembly has only been taken into ‘protective custody’. Not once in all these years has he been probed for the hijacking of IC-814 which delivered him his freedom from an Indian prison in 1999. The sense of hope that was raised by the Pakistan media which reported (it turns out incorrectly or at least prematurely) his detention has already been belied. Now imagine if four days before or after the foreign secretary’s arrival in Islamabad, Azhar is released from the house in Islamabad where he has been questioned. Such a scenario is entirely plausible after all he has never been formally charged with terrorism. Despite the government’s efforts to delink the next round of talks from Azhar’s arrest, the question will inevitably surface — with Azhar free, what precisely would qualify as the ‘definitive’ action India had

    If it is true, as is often suggested, that the Jaish is not what the Lashkar is to the Pakistani military. The LeT has been used as a strategic weapon against India by Pakistan’s security agencies and the Jaish has on occasion turned on its own, most famously with the attempted assassination attempt on Pervez Musharraf — then the inability to put Azhar away or to even name him in press releases is inexplicable.

    Let’s not forget that while the Jaish has been diminished today by counter-terror operations in Kashmir Valley it was Masood Azhar who was responsible for the very first suicide squad attack in Srinagar. Four months after he was freed in exchange for the passengers on board IC-814, a 17-year-old student and son of a teacher rammed a stolen car laden with explosives into the entry gate of the Army’s cantonment area in Badami Bagh. Azhar, who had recently launched Jaish-e-Mohammed (it did not exist before the IC-814 hijacking) and was now settled securely in Pakistan, claimed responsibility. Up until then the Lashkar-e-Taiba, by contrast did not endorse suicide because of strictures against it in Islam. Now the Jaish forced a shift in battle tactics. When the second suicide attack took place on Christmas that same year the Zarb-i-Momin — a mouthpiece for the Jaish called the 24-year-old bomber from Birmingham a “martyr”. So began the attempt to locate Kashmir within the larger global ‘jihad’ and try and transform a political insurgency into a religious one.

    The Jaish may have gone off-script over the years but it has definitely been a part of the Pakistani Deep State’s Great Game in Kashmir. Acting against Azhar won’t be simple; no wonder a statement purportedly from the Jaish tauntingly declares that no arrest has happened.

    Now, the difficulty for India is how to keep the process of engagement with Pakistan alive without seeming to renege on its own demand for “prompt and decisive action”. It’s a razor thin line that the Prime Minister must find the courage to walk on.

    newsmaker

    MAULANA MASOOD AZHAR Jaish chief

    WITH MY KILLING, NEITHER WILL MY FRIENDS WILL MISS ME NOR WILL MY ENEMIES… AN ARMY WHICH LOVES DEATH HAS BEEN PREPARED… AS FOR MY FAMILY AND MY CHILDREN, THEY ARE TAKEN CARE OF BY ALMIGHTY ALLAH.

    WHAT HE REALLY MEANT >

    I HOPE NO ONE REMEMBERS THAT YEARS AGO, WHEN I WAS IN CUSTODY, I DID NOT DISPLAY ANY JIHADI QUALITIES. I HOPE THE ARMY THAT I HAVE PREPARED WILL BE THE CANNON FODDER WHILE I CONFINE MYSELF TO STIRRING QUOTES AND THREATS.

    WHAT HE DEFINITELY DIDN’T >>

    MY FAMILY IS BEING TAKEN CARE OF BY THE FRIENDLY FOLK IN RAWALPINDI WHO ARE NO DOUBT GUIDED BY ALMIGHTY ALLAH, BUT IF ANYONE ELSE WOULD LIKE TO CHIP IN, DO GET IN TOUCH THROUGH MY JIHADI FACEBOOK ACCOUNT.

    CROSSOVER CONNECTIONS

    The Indian and Chinese diasporas were shaped by the differences in their migration patterns

    In the beginning, there was slavery. With its abolition, the British imperium constructed a globespanning system of labour movement. Coolies, both Indians and Chinese, were a product as were the Gujarati and Chettiar middlemen who helped ship their less fortunate countrymen around. Just feeding this system led to the creation of today’s rice bowls of the Irrawaddy and Mekong deltas. It also led to millions of Indians and Chinese migrants pouring into Southeast Asia during the 19th and early 20th century. Smaller numbers settled in each other’s countries. The story of this migration, the communities thus produced and cultural peculiarities that evolved, is the theme of this collection of academic essays.

    The place where these two migratory flows found maximum confluence was the Malay peninsula. Between 1840 and 1940, eleven million Chinese settled there. They were joined by four million Indians. Indians came through a tightly controlled imperial contract system. The Chinese largely arrived to work in Chinese-owned enterprises. The Chinese were allowed more self-government and had more opportunities for social uplift. Mahatma Gandhi, on a visit to Singapore in 1908, noticed the gulf between the two. Contemporary observers found racial or cultural reasons for the disparity, but much of this book is about how circumstances — legal, political, economic and even historical accidents — shaped the future trajectory of, say, Indians in Burma or Chinese in Thailand.

    Once they had finished their labour contracts, many Indian migrants in the colonial period did not stick around. “As much as 90 per cent of the Indians who went abroad in the colonial era eventually returned home,” writes Madhavi Thampi. Many Chinese who went overseas, however, were simply unable to return as their homeland disintegrated into civil war and then found stability in an oppressive one-party dictatorship. There are some excellent detailed studies on micro-issues like how the Chinese legal system treated its diaspora, why it’s a myth to talk of a trust-based and community-driven “Chinese capitalism” among its diaspora, and the almost comical problems British colonial judges had grappling with traditional Asian charitable concepts like ‘sinchew’ and the waqf.

    Inevitably, given present geopolitical realities, there will be curiosity to know how Indians and Chinese compete or cooperate with each other when face-toface. On the one side there is the enthusiastic Chinese participation in Thaipusam celebrations by Singaporean Tamils or Kali-worshipping Chinese in Kolkata — in one case supposedly because a Chinese-Indian was granted a Canadian visa, after two rejections, after he prayed before the goddess. On the other is the persecution and harassment Chinese migrants faced at Indian hands during and after the 1962 war. Thousands were transported in guarded railcars to a concentration camp in Rajasthan in an episode most Indians have conveniently forgotten.

    One essay describes how a tradition of Indian gold jewellery has slowly become Sinicized — in ownership, not design — in Singapore. Another describes the travails diaspora of both ethnicities have had in Myanmar thanks to the racism and xenophobia of the dominant Burmans. A new development are the thousands of Indians who have settled in Guangzhou to pursue “the China Dream”, often marrying locals, setting up flourishing businesses and all praise for Beijing’s leadership. Example: Sagnik Roy, an exchange student to China from Kolkata, who married a Chinese business professional and made $ 600 million fortune in pharma.

    At times, one wishes deeper explanations were provided for the Indian and Chinese diaspora experiences. One study, comparing how local movies portrayed their respective migrant experiences, notes “Indian films depict Indians overseas as mainly living very affluent lives, and this element of struggle to achieve as depicted in Chinese films is hardly ever a factor in Indian ones.” How or why this interesting difference developed is never explained.

    The governments of India and China also treat their diasporas differently. “Independent India took time to review its policies towards non-resident Indians… governments of republican China after 1911 found value in the overseas communities.” Both republican and communist China maintained large offices in their major cities to manage and strengthen family and locality bonds. New Delhi has only begun to awaken to the merits of its diaspora in the past decade — and largely only its most successful overseas brethren. Given that India inherited a welloiled migrant apparatus from the British while the Qing empire treated overseas Chinese as near-traitors, New Delhi’s seeming indifference deserved greater scrutiny. But in the authors’ defence it’s likely that a full account of two of the world’s largest and most successful ethnic migrants would fill a library — and their interactions an annexe.


    Award for Pathankot martyr

    Tribune News Service,Chandigarh, January 15

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    Lt Col Niranjan E Kumar, head of the Bomb Disposal Unit of the National Security Guards who was killed in the recent terror attack at Pathankot airbase, has been awarded the Chief of Army Staff’s Commendation on the occcasion of Army Day 2016. The officer had reportedly been killed in a blast while handling a body of a terrorist that was booby trapped, during the sanitising operations. He was an officer from the Corps of Engineers and went on deputation to the NSG in 2014.The list of commendation cards issued by the Army shows his rank as Major, but mentions his posting with the NSG. A total of 503 persons across all arms and services, including a handful of civilians, have been given commendations this year.The list of martyrs for the past year released by the Army does not mention Lt Col Kumar’s name.


    Bravehearts honoured at Army Day celebrations

    Army Day is celebrated on 15 January every year in India, in recognition of Lieutenant General (later Field Marshal) K. M. Cariappa‘s taking over as the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from General Sir Francis Butcher, the last British Commander-in-Chief of India, on 15 January 1949. The day is celebrated in the form of parades and other military shows in the national capital New Delhi as well as all headquarters. On 15 January 2015 India celebrated 67th Indian Army day in New Delhi. Army Day marks a day to salute the valiant soldiers who sacrificed their lives to protect the country and the people living in it. [1]

    https://youtu.be/zh_ZsUT9-QI

    https://youtu.be/tnHlGzwDA-E

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