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IKB-DEF-DEC 06, 14

Indicia Knowledge Brief
A Daily Assessment on Indian Defence and Internal/Homeland Security
December 06, 2014.
Primary aims of Indicia Daily Brief are two-fold. First, it distills infinite information into a
capsule form, thus saving precious time of its clients. Second, it tries to link micro-events
to larger strategic canvas through its analyses, thus providing support knowledge for
better understanding and decision-making.
Indicia Analysis of the Day
The present government’s intention has been to clear delayed projects
and fast-track various programmes for the modernization of the armed
forces. Since the clearing of naval projects was among the priority, the
Indian government’s decision to finally select the US Sikorsky S-70B
Seahawk for its shipboard multi-role helicopter (MRH) requirement is not
Despite DRDO’s Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Programme running behind
schedule, the defence minister’s announcement that as many as 20-30
indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas will replace the aging MIG
fighters and will be commissioned soon, is a heartening proposition.
The wave of terror strikes across northern J&K is a frustrated attempt by
the militant to deter voters who have come out in large numbers.
I. National Defence and Security:
Indian Navy to purchase 16 US multi-role choppers for $1 bn:
The Indian Navy has finally selected the US Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk for its
shipboard multi-role helicopter (MRH) requirement. Sixteen helicopters will
initially be bought for $1 billion. Sikorsky's tender was opened December 4 on
the Navy Day, soon after the navy chief, Admiral Robin Dhowan, said that the
government was fast-tracking various programmes for the modernization of the
armed forces, and that some of the naval projects would be cleared "very soon."
Indeed so, the opening of the commercial bid at the ministry of defence (MoD),
where the files have been held up for one reason or another for three years, was
a Navy Day gift to the force. Admiral Dhowan, who hosted a big Navy Day
reception, did not say anything on the ceremonial occasion but was visibly in
smiles and high spirits. Only a day before, on December 3, he had told this writer
that it was "comforting" to the navy brass to know that long-pending
requirements were now being procedurally cleared on fast-track. In an interview
with India Strategic ( before the Navy Day, the admiral
indicated that the navy would likely exercise the option to buy the stipulated 16
helicopters along with an option for another eight. "To address critical shortages,
the Indian Navy is progressing a case for acquisition of 16 MRH and I expect the
commercial bids to be opened shortly. This project may be expanded through an
option clause to buy additional eight helicopters to meet any additional
immediate requirements." The navy is also buying 16 more Advanced Light
Helicopters (ALH) helicopters from state-run HAL, he disclosed. The Sikorsky
deal is estimated at around $1 billion-plus. Sikorsky's Regional Executive for
India and South Asia, Air Vice Marshal Arvind Jeet Singh Walia (retd), said that
he was delighted at Sikorsky's selection, pointing out that he had been working
for eight long years for the company's participation in Indian military
programmes. "We look forward to fruitful negotiations now to conclude this
requirement, and then move on for other projects." The company has already
offered to build helicopters in India under transfer of technology (TOT) subject
to US export control laws. The Seahawk is a naval variant of the US Army's Black
Hawk UH 60 helicopter, which has a proven track record in US military ventures
in different parts of the world, including Afghanistan. The navy had floated a
tender for 16 helicopters with an option for another eight in 2008. Besides the
United Technologies Corporation Sikorsky helicopter, European NH Industries
NH 90 was also shortlisted for technical trials, which both of them cleared. But
before the commercial bids could be opened, allegations of corruption erupted in
Italy over AgustaWestland's VVIP helicopter deal with India. As AgustaWestland
is part of NHI, its commercial bid was not opened. Italy's Finmeccanica has a
controlling stake in the Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland, which in turn is a partner
with Airbus Helicopters and Fokker Aerostructures in NHI. For the time being,
the defence ministry is not dealing with any company related to AgustaWestland.
The Seahawk 70B can be used for both advanced anti-submarine and antisurface warfare to neutralize underwater and over-water threats. One key
requirement is for amphibious assault role - and the machines will be
customized for that. It will have potent radars and weapons from leading global
majors, including Raytheon, Telephonics, BAE Systems, GE (two power plants),
French Thales and six other partners. The helicopters will replace the Indian
Navy's quarter-century-old Westland Sea King Mk 42 B/C fleet. What exactly is
on board though in terms of capability will be decided in negotiations likely to
commence within weeks. Significantly, at the navy chief's reception, a very welldone short film on the Indian Navy was presented, and its script had ample
emphasis on naval aviation in protecting India's offshore maritime interests. As
for manufacturing helicopters in India in accordance with the Government's new
'Make in India' policy, Admiral Dhowan said: “Towards this end, we have begun
the process of analyzing the capability and potential of the Indian aviation
industry to make aviation assets in India through (industry bodies)
Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), Associated Chambers of Commerce and
Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce
and Industry (FICCI). However as indigenous production could take some time to
mature, it is "in the interim" that the navy is going in for acquiring helicopters
from foreign vendors to "address (its) critical shortages”. Air Vice Marshal Walia
told India Strategic that as the number required is very small (16 + 8 (options),
there cannot be any manufacturing India. But there is a 30 percent offsets clause,
and Sikorsky will fully meet this obligation.
20-30 Tejas aircraft to be commissioned soon: Parrikar:
As many as 20-30 indigenously built Light Combat Aircraft Tejas, which will
replace the aging MIG fighters, will be commissioned soon, government informed
the Lok Sabha on December 05. Defence research and development organisation
(DRDO) is working on the Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Programme, which has
been running behind schedule. During question hour, defence minister Manohar
Parrikar said "20-30" Tejas aircraft are to be commissioned soon. Once ready,
Tejas would replace the aging MIG fighers. Noting that concerns over light
combat aircraft would be taken into account, the minister said negotiations are
going on for the 126 Rafale fighter jets deal. India and France have agreed to
iron out issues like pricing and a guarantee clause for French firm Dassault to
fast-track the estimated $15-billion deal for 126 Rafale fighter jets. In 2012,
India had selected Rafale jet but the final negotiations are still continuing
between the ministry and Dassault Aviation. To another question, Parrikar said
MIG 21 is being phased out and MIG 29 are being procured from Russia. With
fifth generation stealth technology, the strikes would be high as it cannot be
immediately detected by radar, he said. To another query, Parrikar said no deal
has been struck with Russia for procurement of fighter aircraft equipped with
stealth technology. However, an inter-governmental agreement has been signed
with Russian federation for design, development, production etc of a prospective
Multi Role Fighter Aircraft," he said.
French-Indian Rafale deal to wrap up in "months" - French
A deal between France and India to sell 126 Rafale fighter jets to India in a deal
worth an estimated $15 billion will need several months more negotiations,
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on December 05. Le Drian's
comments came after the Indian Defence Ministry said this week it had agreed
with the French Defence Ministry to fast-track negotiations and seek to
overcome differences in talks that have been ongoing since January 2012. "We
are in a positive process, I hope it will come to a successful conclusion. It has
progressed well," Le Drian told BFM-TV. Le Drian said it would not happen
before the end of the year, however. "It's not three weeks ... it's several months,
we'll see. But I'm optimistic." Last month, the CEO of Dassault Aviation
(AVMD.PA) told Reuters a contract by the end of March was a "reasonable goal."
France's Dassault has been trying to clinch a deal to sell India its Rafale jets since
New Delhi chose the company over other foreign plane manufacturers in 2012.
Disagreements over cost and work-sharing slowed talks, as well as elections in
India. Under the deal, which would provide a major boost to French domestic
defence manufacturing, the first 18 planes will be made in France and shipped to
India, while the remaining 108 will be produced by state-run Hindustan
Aeronautics Ltd.
Firm forged defence ministry letter to export vests:
The ministry of defence has approached the Delhi Police to register an FIR
against a firm dealing in military equipment for having allegedly forged the
MOD's NOC and submitting it to the customs to export ballistic (bulletproof)
overvests to African countries. The case has been handed over to the crime
branch which has registered an offence under sections of criminal conspiracy
and fraud and investigations have been initiated by the special task force unit,
sources said. In a complaint filed by Deputy Secretary Jean GV Zingkhai on behalf
of the ministry, it has been claimed that a Kanpur based firm produced a forged
NOC purportedly issued by the MOD before the custom authorities while
exporting the vests to Nigeria. The customs sent the NOC to the export
promotion cell of the department of defence production under the MOD which
deals with issue of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for exports in respect of items
covered under the definition of Military Stores. "The system is that as and when
an application for expert of such item (Military Stores) is made by an exporter,
the same is decided by his department on case to case basis. It is only after NOC
in respect of a particular item of Military Stores has been issued by this
Department that an item defined under this category is allowed to be exported,"
the complainant said. After enquiry, the same was found to be forged and not
having been issued by the MOD. An in-house enquiry was also conducted which
confirme that the letter was forged. Subsequently, customs department imposed
a penalty of Rs 27,27,250 under various Sections of the Customs Act, 1962 on the
firm. "With the approval of the then Raksha Mantri, the matter was referred to
CBI for investigation. The CBI's report confirmed that an attempt was made by
the suspect firm for exporting overvest to Nigeria on the basis of fake ' No
Objection Certificate'. But, they did not succeed in it, as the same was detected by
the Customes Deptt. Later on the firm obtained valid NOC for exporting the
goods as such no wrongful loss has been caused to the Govt. Exchequer. The
involvement of public servant is also not appearing in the matter," the complaint
Defence modernisation: Get on the offensive:
‘If we are the biggest customer, why can’t I get things done in my country?”
defence minister Manohar Parrikar pointed out at the ET Awards for Corporate
Excellence last weekend. “I think with some improvement, some screwtightening with defence ordnance factory (sic), we can get it right.” Parrikar’s on
the right track. But he’s not the first one to point this out. It would require much
more than simple screw-tightening to ‘get it right’. First, the defence
procurement procedure to permit liberalised government-funding for research
and development (R&D) to private players must be given the go-ahead. Over the
past five decades, huge public monies have been showered on the Defence
Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) with precious little to show.
Had there been accountability, heads of top scientists would have rolled. The
DRDO route to developing indigenous technology has failed. So it would make
eminent sense to finally financially empower the private sector and demand
results. Select projects have shown the vibrancy in our private sector, with the
nuclear submarine INS Arihant being the prime example. Second, the 52
laboratories of the DRDO should be opened up to private players for R&D on
payment. Though DRDO officials aver that there is no bar to such usage, the
reality on ground is different. Setting up labs is avery costly proposition and for
real path-breaking indigenous research, affirmative action of this type is
imperative. Third, the Defence Offsets Management Wing (DOMW) should be
immediately reformed. Even if all steps for setting up an indigenous military
industrial complex are in place today, the process will take at least a decade to
take shape. Till then, to maintain operational efficiency of the services, imports
would take place with associated offsets to get in technology. Every bidder
enhances his quote by aminimum of 12-15% in a contract that mandates offsets.
In the last few years, offset contracts to the tune of $4.8 billion have been signed,
though the figure was to be $22 billion in the 11th Plan (2007-12). As per one
estimate, the cumulative market for offsets would be almost $68 billion and $130
billion by the end of the 13th Plan (2022) and the 14th Plan (2027) respectively.
To manage contracts of such huge amounts, it is humanly impossible for the
DOMW – it has 10 officers, including a joint secretary – to ensure that technology
worth every paisa paid towards offsets is extracted from the foreign
manufacturer. Also, the little it can do also leaves a lot to be desired due to ad
hoc decision-making and the absence of any institutionalisation of procedures.
Fourth, immediate steps should be taken to generate a pool of scientists and
engineers. Is the product coming out of our engineering colleges really fit for
research work? The answer, sadly, is no. In 2008, the government constituted the
Rama Rao Committee to review the DRDO’s functioning. It found that 60% of its
scientists were diploma-holders, engineering and science graduates. Only 10% of
the DRDO’s total scientific manpower were PhDs. Where does the private sector,
when brought into mainstream defence manufacturing, source its manpower
from? The answer lies in going back to the education policies governing higher
education and instituting measures to stem this fatal rot in our system. This
would require inter-ministerial coordination, which leads to the fifth action
required. Today, everyone in the defence ministry is marking time to see through
his tenure without coming on the radar of the three Cs: the CBI, the CVC and the
CAG. There is no continuity due to short tenures as bureaucrats move up the
promotion chain. Besides this, a whole bunch of other ministries are involved
when setting up a defence manufacturing unit – involved in taxation, excise,
foreign trade, industrial promotion, heavy engineering etc. And they bring with
them a multitude of laws that need to be navigated. The only way of shortening
the loop is to get all experts under one roof. Finally, India and the US are
discussing defence technology transfer and joint defence production as a prelude
to President Barack Obama’s visit to India in January. Those who see this as a
short-cut to getting technology are living in a fool’s paradise. No country parts
with cuttingedge technology, no matter how friendly it is. Indigenous R&D is the
only way of retaining strategic autonomy, and India has to stand on its own feet
by harnessing talent and expending money.
Tanks from Tata Motors, torpedoes from Pipavav:
The decks have been cleared for some leading Indian companies to pour billions
of dollars into domestic defence production, with a designated panel over the
past few months clearing a flurry of proposals involving the manufacture of
highly capital-intensive equipment and integrated systems that have hitherto
remained out of bounds for them. India’s capital spending in the defence sector
has risen one-and-a-half times over the last four years (see graphic), and is
projected by CII-BCG to rise five times by 2025 — over 70% of India’s needs are
met through imports. Many of these proposals will be supported by the India-US
Defence Trade and Technology Initiative and will pave the way for technology
assimilation for Indian companies in high-tech areas like integrated defence
systems, main battle tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles and sophisticated
submarines, official sources told FE. Defence production wings of leading
domestic conglomerates like Reliance, various Tata firms, Mahindra & Mahindra
and a host of others with interest in the sector like Larsen & Toubro, Bharat
Forge, Pipavav Defence and Punj Lloyd secured clearances for one or more of
defence production projects over the last two meetings of the licensing
committee of the department of industrial policy and promotion. A total of 35
projects were listed for consideration of the committee, and most are believed to
have been cleared. Among the big projects cleared are a 2010 proposal from Tata
Motors to overhaul all armoured fighting vehicles as well as to make a battle
tank. Tata Motors is not the only company wanting to make tanks. Pipavav
Defence and Offshore Engineering also has a proposal pending since 2012 to
manufacture tanks, armoured fighting vehicles and gun turrets. Pipavav also got
a clearance for manufacturing missiles and rockets, torpedoes and also
structural parts for aircraft. A total of seven projects from Pipavav were
considered by the licensing committee. Punj Lloyd Aviation had applied for
permission to manufacture aircraft as well as drones. Piramal Systems &
Technologies has also applied to make drones while Bharti Shipyard applied for
a licence to produce warships and submarines. As part of the process of
expediting Make-in-India for defence, the Defence Acquisition Committee (DAC)
has, since July 19, cleared over Rs 150,000 crore worth of projects for a
combination of buying and make-in-India. Among the big-ticket items are the
purchase-cum-manufacture of replacements for Avro transport carriers at a cost
of roughly Rs 15,000 crore, 814 mounted gun systems for the army at a cost of Rs
15,750 crore and six submarines for Rs 50,000 crore.
Indian Navy Must Be Made Combat-Ready:
Navy Chief Robin Dhowan’s recent observation that Chinese activity has gone up
in the Indian Ocean region albeit its fleet is inadequate needs to be seen as a
wake-up call for the Indian naval establishment. Months after a stand-off along
the disputed Indo-China border in the Himalayas, Chinese submarines have
shown up in Sri Lanka off India’s southern coast. China has also strengthened its
ties with the Maldives. These reflect its determination to beef up Chinese
presence in the Indian Ocean, through which four-fifths of its oil imports pass,
and coincides with escalating tension in South China Sea, where Beijing’s naval
superiority has rattled neighbours. All this makes it imperative to take urgent
steps to beef up Indian naval preparedness. The UPA government did little to
make the Navy combat-ready for emerging challenges. Mercifully, the NDA
government seems to be attaching due importance to fulfilling the Navy’s longfelt equipment needs. Apart from equipping the Navy to counter the Chinese
threat, New Delhi must seek naval cooperation on a war footing with Japan and
Australia, and expand the military base on the Andaman Islands, about 140km
from the Malacca Straits. The Navy has now also factored into its security
calculus the prospect of terrorists commandeering Pakistani warships in their
bid to wreak havoc on India.....
Navy chief warns of rising terrorist threat in the maritime
Navy chief Admiral R K Dhowan said that dynamics of maritime security have
changed due to rising “terrorist threat” in the domain. Speaking at a press meet
ahead of Navy Day (December 4), Dhowan said following September’s PNS
Zulfiqar incident, when suspected al-Qaeda militants hijacked a Pakistani
warship to carry out terrorist activities, the jihadi angle has to be “taken into
account”. “Threat in the maritime domain from terrorists, non-state actors is
huge…terrorists trying to commandeer a ship is a serious situation..We have
taken note (of the PNS Zulfiqar incident),” Dhowan said. “We have 2.5 lakh
fishing boats in the country…any one can take up arms, ammunition in remote
islands. (There are) 1197 islands and 7016 km of coastline. (It speaks) how easy
it is from the other side and how difficult it is for us to secure,” he said. Dhowan’s
comments come in the backdrop of the recent anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai
terror attacks which exposed the country’s vulnerability to threat from the sea. It
is in the aftermath of this attack that the Navy undertook the project to establish
coastal security radars along the coastline under the NC3I project. Dhowan said
“a lot has been done” since 2008 towards securing coasts, but added that it is a
complex and ongoing task. On the increasing Chinese presence in Indian Ocean
Region (IOR), Dhowan said: “We monitor (the Chinese activities) closely..the PLA
Navy has been operating in the IOR since 2008 because their trade and oil passes
from the IOR,” he said. The Navy chief also probably hinted that a lapse in
procedures could be one of the reasons that led to the accident on-board INS
Sindhurakshak last year, in which 18 sailors lost their lives. Commenting on the
board of inquiry report, which is currently being weighed by the Naval
headquarters, Dhowan said, “It is not normal for a submarine to explode…a
series of issues led to this accident…there are aspects related to procedures that
need to be followed when we are handling explosives on board submarine. The
Navy is a technical force and SOPs and safety procedures are laid down…when
procedures don’t get followed, there is room for error and accidents happen”.
J&K police launch hunt for missing Army officer:
The Jammu and Kashmir Police have launched hunt for a 37-year-old Army
officer who has been missing from the city for the last one month under
mysterious circumstances. Identified as Captain Chaitanya Bhatwadekar, he was
arrested by state police in April 2008 on charges of abetting his wife Captain
Megha Razdan to commit suicide. Captain Megha’s body was found hanging from
the ceiling of her room near Kunjwani in July 2007. At present on bail, he was
transferred from Nagrota to border Poonch district nearly two months ago,
police said, adding a complaint regarding his disappearance was lodged at the
Bus Stand Police Station by his father Sanjay Chaitanya Bhatwadekar who had
come from Maharashtra. According to the complainant, Captain Chaitanya had
come home in Maharastra on leave. After the completion of his leave period last
month, he returned to Nagrota near Jammu where he still had a quarter. Last
time, he called his wife in Maharashtra on mobile phone from Indira Chowk on
November 8, he said, adding that they earlier approached the army authorities to
trace him and when they said that he did not report back on duty, the family
decided to approach the police. “We have called the call details of his mobile
phone and also questioned some army officials in the matter,” said SHO Bus
Stand, Bhushan Singh Manhas. Even the taxi driver, in whose vehicle Captain
Chaitanya travelled from railway station was questioned and he confirmed that
the latter had called his wife from his mobile and had asked to drop him at Indira
IAF Airlifts Water Bottles to Quench Maldives’ Thirst:
The domestic terminal of the Thiruvananthapuram airport was abuzz with
activity as the Indian Air Force (IAF) readied a giant Ilyushin-76 transporter with
thousands of bottles of water for Maldives, which is facing an acute water crisis
after a fire at its water treatment plant cut off supply. By 1 pm, the IL-76 took off
with 22 tonnes of potable water for Male, the capital city of the island nation.
“From Thiruvananthapuram, Male is just one hour away,” an IAF spokesperson
said. The IL-76 which took off from in the afternoon was one of three transport
aircraft that the IAF dispatched by December 05 evening following an SOS
Maldives sent to India. The IL-76 which took off from Thiruvananthapuram had
been hastily flown in from Chandigarh for the purpose, a defence spokesperson
said. The other two aircraft - C-17 Globemasters - were dispatched fron New
Delhi, an IAF spokesperson said. Two more flights were expected to leave New
Delhi late in the night with more water, the spokesperson said. The two C-17
Globemasters left New Delhi at 3.30 p.m. and 5 pm respectively. The fire had
broken out damaging the cables at the water treatment plant cutting off water
supply to around one lakh residents.
Homeland Security
21 killed as terrorists stage serial attacks to disrupt Kashmir
A series of four terror attacks rocked Kashmir on as militants struck a heavilyfortified military camp at Uri in Baramulla district as well as police and civilian
targets in three other districts. At least 21 have been killed, among them eight
soldiers, including the commanding officer in Uri, three policemen, two civilians
and the remaining militants. The concerted attacks in Uri, Pulwama, Shopian and
Srinagar were seen to be aimed at disrupting the state elections which have so
far witnessed record voter turnouts despite dire terror threats. The worst attack
was in Uri which goes to the polls in the next round and where PM Narendra
Modi was scheduled to campaign on December 08. All six militants who attacked
the Uri military base were eliminated by the Army, and two other terrorists were
shot dead in Soura area of Srinagar. In Uri, 100km from Srinagar and 18km from
the Line of Control, terrorists hurled grenades and fired from automatic guns
trying to storm their way into a forward artillery base of the 32 Field regiment.
As they approached the camp, the fidayeen broke into two groups of three each.
While one headed towards the main gate, the other turned towards the barracks.
A fierce gun battle followed in which commanding officer, Lt Col Sankalp Kumar,
and seven soldiers along with three policemen were killed. Firing at the barracks
that stored kerosene, the fidayeen set off a fire that charred four soldiers. By
11.30am, the encounter was over and all the six fidayeen had been killed. The
attacks set off a massive security alert across several cities and in New Delhi
Army chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag briefed Modi. The hand of banned terror
outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba is being widely suspected. Significantly, Jamaat-ud-Dawa
chief Hafiz Saeed, who on Thursday told his supporters in Lahore that Pakistanis
and Kashmiris are blood brothers and elections in Kashmir are no substitute to
plebiscite, tweeted, "Ghazwae Hind (conquest of India) is inevitable, Kashmir will
be freed, 1971 will be avenged and Ahmedabad Gujarat victims will get justice,
Insha Allah." In Ahmad Nagar in Soura area of Srinagar district, terrorists inside
a car fired at the police during a routine check. A terrorist was killed when police
retaliated while another took refuge in a civilian home. Police and paramilitary
forces cordoned off the house and in the ensuing encounter the second terrorist
was killed. Over 50km from Srinagar, in Shopian, a hand grenade attack on a
police station shattered the window panes of the DSP's residence. In Tral,
Pulwama district, a lone terrorist threw a grenade at a bus-stand in which 51year-old Ghulam Hasan Gojri and 27-year-old Mohammed Jamal succumbed to
their injuries. The attacker was untraced till reports last came in. Speaking on the
condition anonymity, a senior Army officer commanding the operation
confirmed to TOI that it was a "fidayeen" (suicide) attack in Uri. "The terrorists
are believed to be Pakistanis. In Uri, they killed three policemen on the road
outside our Army camp: ASI Mohammad Akbar Lone, head constable Abdul
Majid and constable Sanjay Koul. They entered the camp from the gate through
the road which lacks a concrete boundary wall," the officer said. "Lt Colonel
Sankalp Kumar of 24 Punjab Regiment of Raipur was killed in the exchange of
fire," he said, adding that SHO of Uri police station Latif Durrani was wounded.
The third phase of assembly elections will see Uri in Baramulla district going to
polls on December 9. This section of the LoC is significant for being the transit
point for the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service and trade between two parts of
Kashmir. No infiltration has occurred since the early 1990s. Six AK-47s with 55
magazines, two shotguns, two night vision binoculars, four radio sets, 32 unused
grenades, one medical kit and a large quantity of explosives were recovered from
the slain terrorists, the defence spokesman said. The militants also came wearing
snow boots and carried dry fruit, indicating that they were set for a longer
standoff. Chief minister Omar Abdullah, condemning the attacks, said this
exposed the militants' desperation to disrupt peace and normalcy. "Once again
(this) shows the desperate levels militants will go to disrupt peace and
normalcy," Omar tweeted.
Senior LeT commander killed near Srinagar:
Security forces gunned down a senior Lashkar-e-Taiba commander on the
outskirts of Srinagar on December 05 when he was trying to enter the city.
Giving details of how the terrorist was shot, police said at least two LeT members
were in a car and were trying to escape after they were stopped at a check point
at Ahmadnagar in Soura area. The policemen chased the car, and in the gun
battle that followed, the Lashkar commander identified as Qari Israr, was shot
dead. An AK-47 rifle was recovered from him. The area was cordoned off as
another terrorist escaped and took refuge in a house in the same area. Directorgeneral of Jammu & Kashmir Police K Rajendra said it was a "brilliant operation"
by his men as the dead terrorist was wanted in many cases. Israr is a Pakistani
national who has been active in this area. Police had intensified random search
of vehicles following intelligence inputs that militants might carry out a suicide
attack in Srinagar around the elections and the scheduled rally of Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on December 08.
Terror Alert Sounded after US Warning:
According to high-level sources, terrorists are planning to target VVIPs in India.
All states and security establishments have been placed on high alert with clear
instructions to strengthen security after the input came from the US intelligence
agency after decoding intercepts. The high-level alert was issued on December
05 about the possible threat starting from December 5 to December 12, sources
warned. The alert came on a day when suspected Pakistani terrorists carried out
four audacious attacks in J&K on December 05. The alert has been sent to all
Paramilitary forces, including CRPF and CISF, which guards the airports across
the country. CISF has been told to beef up security at all the airports. Security is
also being boosted at vital installations across the country. “In view of the several
public engagements of Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and political leaders,
the tip-off that came from the US is being taken very seriously by the security
and intelligence agencies,” sources added. All important public engagements,
including political functions, and public appearances of VVIPs, are being
Ops Underway to Wipe out Militants in Jammu and Kashmir,
Says Army:
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s poll rally, the Kashmir Valley was on
December 05 rocked by four terror attacks by militants from across the border
who stormed an Army camp in Uri leaving eight security personnel, including a
Lt Colonel, dead and killed two civilians in Tral in Pulwama district. Army
spokesperson Lt Col N N Joshi said combing operations were underway in
surrounding areas to flush out militants, who may still be hiding or attempting to
escape. “Six AK rifles, two shotguns, two night vision binoculars, four radio sets,
32 unused grenades, one medical kit and a large quantity of ammunition were
recovered from the militants,” he said. An Army official said they are
investigating whether the militants were fresh infiltrators or had been staying in
the area. “We are also probing from which side the militants breached the Army
camp.” The encounter took place three days ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to
the Valley. Narendra Modi is scheduled to visit Srinagar on December 08 and will
address an election rally in Sheri Kashmir Cricket Stadium, Srinagar. According
to BJP leaders, over 50,000 people are expected to attend the event. Meanwhile,
an encounter erupted between militants and security forces in Soura area of
Srinagar on December 05 afternoon....
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