Jammu and Kashmir investor summit will be held soon: L-G Murmu

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Jammu and Kashmir investor summit will be held soon: L-G Murmu

The proposed summit was scheduled to be held in October but was postponed after life remained affected following the abrogation of special status of the erstwhile state on August 5.

INDIA Updated: Nov 19, 2019 05:35 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Srinagar
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu said on Monday that the investor summit would be held soon for the development of the region and also to create job opportunities for the youth.
Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu said on Monday that the investor summit would be held soon for the development of the region and also to create job opportunities for the youth.(PTI)

Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor GC Murmu said on Monday that the investor summit would be held soon for the development of the region and also to create job opportunities for the youth.

The proposed summit was scheduled to be held in October but was postponed after life remained affected following the abrogation of special status of the erstwhile state on August 5.

“We want investment to come so that people get employment and there is development. We are preparing for the investor summit. In the coming days, we will start the process,” Murmu said while addressing a passing out parade of 1,145 newly recruited personnel of Jammu and Kashmir Police at Police Training School in Manigam.

The L-G also wanted people to cooperate in making the summit a success. “We want people’s cooperation and there will be a bigger role for the police,” he said. Murmu said 30,000-40,000 job opportunities would be created. He said that the administration’s motive was development and peace in the Union Territory. “Our objective is development, job opportunities and a peaceful environment for that people,” he said. The L-G said the focus was also on completing pending projects.

India: 4 Manipur policemen arrested, suspended for involvement in drug racket

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

4 Manipur policemen arrested, suspended for involvement in drug racket

Police sources said the four personnel were arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in the seizure of 34 boxes containing Ketamine injection bottles.

INDIA Updated: Nov 17, 2019 12:23 IST

Sobhapati Samom
Sobhapati Samom

Hindustan Times, Imphal
Director general of police (DGP) LM Khaute, in his order dated November 14, said a disciplinary proceeding is being contemplated against the inspector for his “grave misconduct and dereliction of duty.”
Director general of police (DGP) LM Khaute, in his order dated November 14, said a disciplinary proceeding is being contemplated against the inspector for his “grave misconduct and dereliction of duty.”(Representative image)

Four personnel of a police station in Manipur, which was awarded the best police station last month, were arrested and suspended for their alleged involvement in connection with the seizure of contraband drugs, sources said on Sunday.

Director general of police (DGP) LM Khaute issued a suspension order against the inspector while Tengnoupal district’s superintendent of police Th Vikramjit issued similar orders against the three other police personnel, including an assistant sub-inspector.

Khaute, in his order dated November 14, said a disciplinary proceeding is being contemplated against the inspector for his “grave misconduct and dereliction of duty.”

Inspector Letkhohao Vaiphei, assistant sub-inspector T Paominlun Haokip, head constable Md Khalilup and constable (driver) Luckson Kom are from the Moreh police station, which was awarded the best police station during the 128th Manipur police raising day on October 19.

Police sources said the four personnel were arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in the seizure of 34 boxes containing Ketamine injection bottles from a house at Moreh, a commercial town bordering Myanmar on November 12.

Th Vikramjit said a case has been registered for investigation.

“It is early to comment anything as the case under investigation,” the SP said over the phone from Tengnoupal district.

Letkhohao was remanded into judicial custody till November 20 after being produced before the court of the special judge of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, Manipur on Saturday and the three others till November 18, according to sources.

Pakistan: terror training camps still active in Pakistan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Imran Khan’s posturing aside, terror training camps still active in Pakistan

South Block confirms that terror training camps of LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen are still active in Pakistan despite the public posturing of Imran Khan government.

INDIA Updated: Nov 17, 2019 09:33 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Imran Khan
Prime Minister Imran Khan(Reuters file photo)

External affairs minister S Jaishankar’s statement this week that Pakistan has developed a terrorist industry comes in the backdrop of reports that trained Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) suicide attackers have infiltrated Jammu and Kashmir in October and that the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leadership is in constant touch with their handlers in Rawalpindi GHQ.

In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Jaishankar said the eradication of anti-India terrorist groups is a pre-condition for dialogue with Pakistan.

South Block confirms that terror training camps of LeT, JeM and Hizbul Mujahideen are still active in Pakistan despite the public posturing of Imran Khan government. India sent a specific list of locations, including Google map co-ordinates of 24 prominent terror training camps in Pakistan to the country after the Pulwama attack but none of these camps has been shut down to date.

The names of camps include Abdulla bin Mashood (LeT); Balakot (JeM); Barali/Fagosh 1 & 2 (LeT); Barnala (HM); Bhawalpur (JeM); Batarsi camp 1 & 2 (LeT & JeM); Chelabandi (LeT/JeM/ HM) and Daura-e-Azeemat (HM). Many of these camps are located in Occupied Kashmir, Manshera, Peshawar, Bhawalpur and Lahore.

According to security agencies, JeM’s operational commander Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar along with his brother Maulana Ammar met their handlers in Rawalpindi GHQ on November 10 seeking financial help, removal of restrictions on the terror group and instructions for future action.

Indian intelligence inputs also say that two LeT suicide attackers, Osama and Abdullah infiltrated the newly created UT in early October after undergoing a so-called purification course and with the approval of senior LeT leadership.

While the hunt is on in J&K for these two, the state police has killed no less than 150 terrorists this year including 70 Pakistani nationals.

When EAM Jaishankar talked about terrorist factory, he was also talking about Pakistan’s other options in targeting India. As recently as September 23, Pakistan based Ranjeet Singh Neeta’s Khalistan Zindabad Force tried unsuccessfully to send a cache of AK-47 rifles, pistols, satellite phones and ammunition across the international border.

Pro-Khalistan terrorists currently being given shelter by Pakistan include Harmeet Singh and Lakhbir Singh of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF); Paramjit Singh Panjwar of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF); Gajinder Singh of Dal Khalsa and Wadhawa Singh Babbar of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI).

Members of Indian Mujahideen group, who planned and executed blasts in India between 2005 to 2013, are also now freely operating in Pakistan. These include Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal, Mohasin Choudhary, Afiff Hassan Siddibappa and Mohammed Rashid.

The fugitives taking shelter even today in Pakistan are all the principals accused in 1993 Mumbai bomb blast cases, engineered by global terrorist Dawood Ibrahim. His associates including Anees Ibrahim, Tiger Memon, Chhota Shakeel, Mohammed Dosa and Fahim Machmach also operate freely in Pakistan.

India: Tension along LAC has reduced

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Tension along LAC has reduced, Rajnath Singh says in Arunachal Pradesh

The minister, who is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh, made the remark after visiting an Indian Army forward post at Bumla near the border with China and interacting with soldiers and officers there.

INDIA Updated: Nov 15, 2019 14:25 IST

Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Defence minister Rajnath Singh visited the Indian Army’s forward post at Bumla in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday
Defence minister Rajnath Singh visited the Indian Army’s forward post at Bumla in Arunachal Pradesh on Friday(twitter/@rajnathsingh)

Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday that both the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have reduced tension on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) “despite perceptional differences”.

The minister, who is on a two-day visit to Arunachal Pradesh, made the remark after visiting an Indian Army forward post at Bumla near the border with China and interacting with soldiers and officers there.

“Despite perceptional differences on the boundary issue both the Indian Army and PLA have been sensible enough to reduce tensions on LAC. I congratulate the Indian Army for showing great maturity in all situations,” tweeted Singh.

Watch: Rajnath Singh visits Bum La pass, says no tension with Chinese Army at LAC

During his visit, the Union minister is taking stock of security preparations along the border with China. Beijing claims most of Arunachal Pradesh, which it calls South Tibet, to be part of its territory.

In September this year, Tapir Gao, a Bharatiya Janata Party lawmaker from Arunachal Pradesh had claimed that Chinese army personnel had entered India and built a temporary bridge over a stream.

The Indian Army denied there was any such thing in an official statement.

“Had a wonderful interaction with brave jawans and officers of the Indian Army. The army is securing India’s frontiers even in the most challenging environment,” Singh tweeted.

The defence minister would also inaugurate on Friday a 200-metre bridge on the Sisseri River connecting Pasighat and Roing in the northeastern state, which would reduce travel time between both places by nearly five hours.

Singh also visited the memorial of Subedar Joginder Singh, a Param Vir Chakra awardee who fought valiantly during the 1962 war with China before laying down his life, at Bumla.

Indian Army’s M777 regiment to get 3 made-in-India guns

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Indian Army’s M777 regiment to get 3 made-in-India guns

Of the 18 howitzers with which the army is raising its first regiment, 15 are being supplied by BAE Systems and three by its Indian partner Mahindra Defence, said the second official, also on condition of anonymity.

INDIA Updated: Nov 13, 2019 09:39 IST

Rahul Singh
Rahul Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
M777 Howitzer gun fires in the air at the formal induction of the major artillery gun systems including the K-9 Vajra, a self-propelled artillery gun and Composite Gun Towing Vehicle during a ceremony at Deolali artillery centre, in Nashik district on November 09, 2018.
M777 Howitzer gun fires in the air at the formal induction of the major artillery gun systems including the K-9 Vajra, a self-propelled artillery gun and Composite Gun Towing Vehicle during a ceremony at Deolali artillery centre, in Nashik district on November 09, 2018. (PTI File Photo)

The Indian Army’s first regiment of ultra-light howitzers is expected to consist of 15 ready-built M777s supplied by the US, and three locally built guns that will represent the country’s Make in India push for military hardware, two officials familiar with the move said.

The howitzers will be delivered to the army by the year-end, enabling the force to raise the first of its planned seven M777 regiments early next year, said one of the officials cited above who asked not to be named.

India ordered 145 howitzers from the US for $750 million in November 2016. As part of the deal, M777 manufacturer BAE Systems will supply 25 ready-built howitzers and the remaining 120 guns are being built locally in collaboration with Mahindra Defence Systems Limited under the Modi government’s Make in India initiative.

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Of the 18 howitzers with which the army is raising its first regiment, 15 are being supplied by BAE Systems and three by its Indian partner Mahindra Defence, said the second official, also on condition of anonymity.

A spokesperson for Mahindra Defence declined to comment.

“The parallel induction of imported howitzers and the locally assembled ones serves the army’s interests. The rate of production will be higher and delivery faster under such an arrangement. Also, if there are any issues with the howitzers, the army can quickly reach out to the original equipment manufacturer and the Indian partner,” said Lieutenant General Subrata Saha (retd), who was the army’s deputy chief when the M777 deal was inked three years ago. The army is likely to get all the 145 howitzers by the end of 2021.

Saha also said that the M777s were an important part of the army’s field artillery rationalisation plan (FARP) as the guns were designed for flexible deployment in mountainous terrain.

The 155 mm/39-caliber howitzers can be sling-loaded to Boeing CH-47F (I) Chinook helicopters and swiftly deployed to high-altitude areas to provide accurate artillery fire support. India ordered 15 Chinook helicopters from the US for $1.18 billion in September 2015. Six of them have already been delivered.

The army is preparing to deploy its new M777s in eastern Arunachal Pradesh and the howitzers could prove to be a game-changer in the sector due to their tactical mobility, as reported by HT on October 7.

The howitzers have a range of 24-30 km.

The ~50,000-crore FARP lays down the road map for inducting new 155mm weaponry, including tracked self-propelled guns, truck-mounted gun systems, towed artillery pieces and wheeled self-propelled guns. The plan seeks to equip 169 artillery regiments with a mix of nearly 3,000 guns over the next eight to 10 years.

The M777s were the first artillery guns to be ordered after the Bofors scandal unfolded in the late 1980s. These howitzers have superior tactical mobility as they are made from titanium and aluminum alloys and weigh only 4,218 kg, which is half the weight of conventional artillery guns deployed in the northern and eastern sectors.

Apart from the M777s, some of the other Make in India projects include local production of AK-203 assault rifles and K9 VAJRA-T artillery guns.

India air pollution at ‘unbearable levels’, Delhi minister says

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)

 

India air pollution at ‘unbearable levels’, Delhi minister says

In the smog, a large crowd of Hindu worshippers entering the River YamunaImage copyright REUTERS
Image caption Worshipers braved the smog to enter the polluted River Yamuna as part of the Hindu religious festival of Chatth Puja

Air pollution in the north of India has “reached unbearable levels,” the capital Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvid Kejriwal says.

In many areas of Delhi air quality deteriorated into the “hazardous” category on Sunday with the potential to cause respiratory illnesses.

Authorities have urged people to stay inside to protect themselves.

Mr Kejriwal called on the central government to provide relief and tackle the toxic pollution.

Schools have been closed, more than 30 flights diverted and construction work halted as the city sits in a thick blanket of smog.

A sign reading "Keep Delhi clean" with a thick smog in the backgroundImage copyright AFP
Image caption Only cars with odd or even number plates can drive on given days in a bid to reduce pollution

Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain advised the city’s residents to “avoid outdoor physical activities, especially during morning and late evening hours”.

The advisory also said people should wear anti-pollution masks, avoid polluted areas and keep doors and windows closed.

How bad is the smog?

Levels of dangerous particles in the air – known as PM2.5 – are far higher than recommended and about seven times higher than in the Chinese capital Beijing.

An Indian health ministry official said the city’s pollution monitors did not have enough digits to accurately record pollution levels, which he called a “disaster”.

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Five million masks were handed out in schools on Friday as officials declared a public health emergency and Mr Kejriwal likened the city to a “gas chamber”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says a third of deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease are due to air pollution.

“This is having an equivalent effect to that of smoking tobacco,” the WHO says on its website.

How are people reacting?

Mr Kejriwal’s most recent comments are unlikely to please government officials, reports the BBC’s South Asia regional editor Jill McGivering. She said Indian politicians were blaming each other for the conditions.

On Sunday young people in Delhi came out to protest and demand action.

“You can obviously see how terrible it is and it’s actually scary you can’t see things in front of you,” said Jaivipra.

A protester holding a sign that says: "Can't decide whether air quality or economy is falling faster"Image copyright AFP
Image caption Angry protesters compared the pollution to India’s sluggish economy

She said she wanted long-term and sustainable anti-pollution measures put in place.

“We are concerned about our futures and about our health but we are also fighting this on behalf of the children and the elderly who bear the biggest brunt of the problem here,” she said.

Some ministers have sparked controversy on social media by suggesting light-hearted measures to stay healthy.

Harsh Vardhan, the union minister for health and family welfare, urged people to eat carrots to protect against “night blindness” and “other pollution-related harm to health”.

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Meanwhile, Prakash Javadekar, the minister of the environment, suggested that you should “start your day with music”, adding a link to a “scintillating thematic composition”.

“Is that the reason you have turned deaf ears to our plight on pollution?” one Twitter user responded. “Seems you are too busy hearing music that you are not able to hear us!”

What’s caused the pollution?

A major factor behind the high pollution levels at this time of year is farmers in neighboring states burning crop stubble to clear their fields.

A row of police wearing facemasks to protect themselves from the toxic smogImage copyright AFP
Image caption Police are wearing face masks to protect themselves from the toxic smog

This creates a lethal cocktail of particulate matter, carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide – all worsened by fireworks set off during the Hindu festival Diwali a week ago.

Vehicle fumes, construction and industrial emissions have also contributed to the smog.

Indians are hoping that scattered rainfall over the coming week will wash away the pollutants but this is not due until Thursday.

Media caption Residents have been donning high-grade masks to counter the smog

PM Narendra Modi leaves for home after concluding visit to Saudi Arabia

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

PM Narendra Modi leaves for home after concluding visit to Saudi Arabia

PM Narendra Modi, held wide-ranging talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during which a Strategic Partnership Council was established to coordinate on important issues.

INDIA Updated: Oct 30, 2019 06:26 IST

Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Riyadh
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets H.M. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets H.M. King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.(PTI photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded his visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, during which he held extensive talks with the top Saudi leadership and addressed a key financial forum here.

Modi, who arrived here Monday night, held wide-ranging talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, during which a Strategic Partnership Council was established to coordinate on important issues.

A memorandum of under standing was also signed to roll out RuPay card in the Kingdom – making Saudi Arabia the third country in the Persian Gulf after the UAE and Bahrain to introduce India’s digital payment system.

Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, “Leaving with a marked upswing in bilateral relations. PM Narendra Modi departs from Riyadh after steering the India-Saudi relationship on a upward trajectory pointing towards greater collaboration in future.” Prime Minister Modi also delivered a keynote address at the high-profile Future Investment Initiative (FII), dubbed as ‘Davos in the desert’, where he pressed for the United Nations reforms while expressing regret over some “powerful” countries using the global body as a “tool” rather than an “institution” to resolve conflicts.

At the fort, he said that India will invest a USD 100 billion in oil and gas infrastructure to meet energy needs of an economy that is being targeted to nearly double in five years. He also sought investment from the oil-rich Saudi Arabia and other nations to boost supplies.

India’s relations with Saudi Arabia have been on an upswing over the last few years based on burgeoning energy ties. India’s bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia was at USD 27.48 billion in 2017-18, making Saudi Arabia its fourth largest trading partner.

This was Prime Minister Modi’s second visit to the country. During his first visit, King Salman conferred Saudi’s highest civilian award on him. The Crown Prince visited India in February 2019, giving a further fillip to the bilateral ties.

Saudi Arabia last month said that it was looking at investing USD 100 billion in India in areas of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and mining.

First Published: Oct 30, 2019 06:13 IST

5 Most Populous Cities in India

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Most Populous Cities in India

With a population of 1.34 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world. Statistically, one in six people on Earth is from India. There are 46 cities with over 1 million people, compared to just 10 cities within the United States. And these are the five most populous of them all. Population numbers are 2019 estimates according to World Population Review.

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5. Chennai

Photo of a colorful Indian temple covered in statues
Credit: Jayakumar / Shutterstock

Population: 10.7 million

Chennai is a coastal city on the Bay of Bengal. It is well known for its artistic, religious, and culinary traditions. With such a long and rich history, Chennai is a popular travel destination for tourists and is one of the most visited cities in the world.

The city is also famous for its healthcare services and boasts of its medical tourism industry. People flock from across the world to get medical care for a fraction of what it would cost in their home country. More than 10.7 million people live in the city of Chennai.

4. Bangalore

Aerial photo of the city of Bangalore, India
Credit: Noppasin Wongchum / Shutterstock

Population: 11.9 million

Officially called Bengaluru, Bangalore is located in southern India on the Deccan Plateau 3,000 feet above sea level. It is a melting pot of many different cultures and religions. In the city alone, there are over 1,000 Hindu temples, 400 mosques, 100 churches, 40 Jain derasars, two Buddhist viharas, and one Parsi fire temple.

Because of its diversity, Bangalore is one of India’s most progressive cities and offers artsy cafes and modern shopping malls. It has been dubbed the “Silicon Valley of India” because of its numerous new tech startups. There are many parks and lakes scattered throughout the city. As far as Indian cities go, Bangalore is among the easiest to live in — just ask one of the almost 12 million people who call it home.

3. Kolkata

Photo of a busy street in the city of Kolkata
Credit: Mazur Travel / Shutterstock

Population: 14.8 million

Kolkata is located in eastern India on the bank of the Hooghly River. The river empties out into the Bay of Bengal, making Kolkata a hub for manufacturing, transportation, and commerce. The city was originally built in the style of a European city but has since managed to combine East and West to create its own unique identity.

The city was originally named Calcutta, which was the British version of what the locals called it: Kalikata. Kalikata referred to the goddess Kali and was a combination of the three cities that combined to make the metropolis. In 2001, the name Kolkata was officially adopted. The city covers 40 square miles and is home to almost 15 million people.

2. New Delhi

Photo of a busy street in New Delhi
Credit: Steve Photography / Shutterstock

Population: 16.3 million

The city of Delhi is made up of two parts: Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi is a historic city that reaches back into the 6th century and beyond. New Delhi was created under British colonization as the capital of India and the capital of British India. More than 16.3 million people live in New Delhi alone, making it the second most populated city in India.

If you count Delhi as one unified city that includes both New and Old Delhi, the population jumps to nearly 30 million, doubling the population of Kolkata! Because of its massive population, pollution is a major issue for both air and water quality.

1. Mumbai

Photo of the Mumbai city skyline
Credit: Towering Goals / Shutterstock

Formerly known as Bombay, Mumbai is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India. It is the largest as well as the wealthiest city in the country. The city is home to 37 billionaires, making it the city with the tenth most billionaires in the world. One of the most expensive private residences on Earth is also located in Mumbai. The 27-story, 400,000-square-foot palace is considered second only to Buckingham Palace in terms of cost and size.

While there is immense wealth in Mumbai, that wealth is not spread evenly across the population of almost 20 million people. More than half of the city’s inhabitants live in slums, most without access to clean water or electricity.

Credit: Kriangkrai Thitimakorn / Shutterstock

India, China coordinate patrolling of disputed area 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF INDIA’S HINDUSTAN TIMES)

 

India, China coordinate patrolling of disputed area

Fish Tail-I and II are in the easternmost corner of Arunachal Pradesh. Fish Tail -I is largely glaciated terrain, and patrols from either side are few and far between.

INDIA Updated: Oct 26, 2019 08:57 IST

Sudhi Ranjan Sen
Sudhi Ranjan Sen

New Delhi
India and China are for the first time patrolling Fish-Tail II,  one of the 13 disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in south-east Arunachal Pradesh. (Representative Image)
India and China are for the first time patrolling Fish-Tail II, one of the 13 disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in south-east Arunachal Pradesh. (Representative Image)(PTI)

India and China are for the first time patrolling Fish-Tail II, one of the 13 disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in south-east Arunachal Pradesh, in coordination with each other in an attempt to build mutual confidence and maintain peace along the border, a senior official in the security establishment said on condition of anonymity.

Fish Tail-I and II are in the easternmost corner of Arunachal Pradesh. Fish Tail -I is largely glaciated terrain, and patrols from either side are few and far between.

The proposal for “coordinated patrolling” was made by India at a high-level meeting between the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and the Indian army in June in the run-up to the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mamallapuram,Tamil Nadu, earlier this month.

The two sides met in Arunachal’s Kibuthu, one of the seven designated border personnel meeting points. The Indian side was led by the commander of theDinjang (Assam)-based 2 Mountain Division of the III Corps of the Indian Army, the senior official cited above said.

China agreed to the Indian proposal, leading to structured “coordinated patrolling” along Fish-Tail II, the first time that such an exercise has been undertaken by the two countries, the official said.

“One of the key takeaways of the 2018 Wuhan summit, which followed the 73-day-long standoff between the Chinese People’s Army and the Indian army at Doklam, was to give strategic guidance to both armies to reduce border tensions. The coordinated patrolling is a step in that direction,” a senior ministry of defence official said.

The standoff at Doklam, in the India-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, began on June 16, 2017, when the PLA entered the area in a bid to alter the status quo in violation of Beijing’s existing understanding with both India and Bhutan. The issue was eventually resolved with the disengagement of border personnel on August 28 that year. India had suggested “coordinated patrolling” of the border earlier too, but found no takers in Beijing. “Coordinated patrolling would mean both sides would inform the other about their outgoing foot patrols, and the areas that the patrol is likely to go and the duration of the patrol,” a second senior official who did not want to be named said.

Patrols from either side go up the designated “claim-line” and mark their presence before returning. “When patrols come face to face, each have to challenge the other,” the third official said. Recently, Indian and Chinese troops came face to face on the disputed Pangong Tso Lake in Ladakh, leading to a scuffle, according to some reports, the defence ministry official said.

Fish-Tail -I &II are among the most remote areas along the LAC and India’s road infrastructure is extremely poor in this area. India, however, regularly sends patrols, some of which take up to a month to reach their destination. The PLA undertakes sporadic patrols in the region.

“Given the terrain, connectivity and security implications, it’s basically a low hanging fruit where coordinated patrolling can be done. And it may be a good idea and place to experiment with coordinated patrolling and used in other areas too,” the first senior official cited above said, explaining the move.

In response to a detailed questionnaire, the Indian army did not comment on “coordinated patrolling” of Fish Tail -II or on the road through Bisa to the LAC being constructed by the Chinese PLA. But it did underline that borders have not been “demarcated,” leading to “differing perceptions” of the border. Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda (retd), who handled several India-China standoffs in the past, said, “If handled maturely and with respect for each other’s security concerns; it is a good concept.” The arrangement holds the promise to negate incidences witnessed at the Pangong Tso Lake between the two armies.”

First Published: Oct 26, 2019 03:52 IST

India: Another trucker, his helper shot dead in Kashmir; toll reaches 5

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Another trucker, his helper shot dead in Kashmir; toll reaches 5

It is the latest in a series of attacks targeting the fruit industry, one of the economic mainstays of the Valley, and non-Kashmiris, following the change in the constitutional status of Jammu & Kashmir.

INDIA Updated: Oct 25, 2019 05:44 IST

HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Hindustan Times, Srinagar
A driver covers a supply truck loaded with apples on a highway near Qazigund in south Kashmir's Anantnag district, October 17, 2019. Picture taken October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Ismail
A driver covers a supply truck loaded with apples on a highway near Qazigund in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, October 17, 2019. Picture taken October 17, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Ismail(REUTERS)

Suspected militants on Thursday shot dead a truck driver and his associate in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, taking the death toll of people from outside the state killed by militants to five in two weeks, the police said.

Another driver, who was injured in the incident, was rushed to a hospital in Srinagar. The truck drivers had gone to ferry apples.

“Terrorists killed two civilians in Shopian and left one injured, who has been shifted to hospital,” a police spokesperson said.

It is the latest in a series of attacks targeting the fruit industry, one of the economic mainstays of the Valley, and non-Kashmiris, following the change in the constitutional status of Jammu & Kashmir. The Centre, in August, effectively revoked Article 370 which gave special status to the state, and bifurcated it into two Union territories — J&K and Ladakh.

The police have called these attacks attempts to intimidate the people against resuming normal life in the Valley.

The incident also comes on a day when the Block Development Council polls were held for the first time in the history of the state ahead of its bifurcation on October 31.

Jammu & Kashmir director general of police Dilbagh Singh on Thursday said militants stopped three trucks with registration numbers from Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab, and opened fire at the drivers near Chittargam in Shopian. They also torched two of the trucks, causing partial damage.

Security forces rushed to the spot after the attack to cordon off the area.

One of the truck drivers killed by militants has been identified as Iliyas Khan, a resident of Alwar in Rajasthan, while the identity of his associate is being ascertained. The second driver injured in Thursday’s attack has been identified as Jeevan Singh from Punjab’s Hoshiarpur.

Last week, a fruit trader from Punjab was killed and another was critically injured after militants opened fire at them at Trenz village in Shopian.

The same day, on October 16, a brick kiln worker from Chhattisgarh was gunned down by militants in south Kashmir’s Pulwama. Two militants, including a suspected Pakistani national, killed a truck driver from Rajasthan and assaulted an orchard owner in Shopian district on October 14.

Fearing violence, the Jammu & Kashmir administration placed restrictions in the Valley after the August 5-6 move to revoke Article 370. Curbs have since been eased in the Valley since, with the state taking out newspaper advertisements asking people not to be afraid of militant threats and resume their businesses even as heavy deployment of security forces continues.

After the attacks, DGP Singh visited Shopian and chaired a high-level meeting, after which an advisory was issued to non-local drivers “not to lift apples from deep inside villages”.

According to state officials, eight lakh metric tonnes of fruit has been exported from the Valley in the last three months, to various fruit markets of the country.

(With inputs from PTI)

First Published: Oct 25, 2019 01:20 IST

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