THE HIMALAYAN TALK: INDIAN GOVERNMENT FOOD SECURITY PROGRAM RISKIER

http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c The government of India has announced food security program ahead of elections in 2014. We discussed the issue with Palash Biswas in Kolkata today. http://youtu.be/NrcmNEjaN8c Ahead of Elections, India's Cabinet Approves Food Security Program ______________________________________________________ By JIM YARDLEY http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/04/indias-cabinet-passes-food-security-law/

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICAL OF BAMCEF LEADERSHIP

[Palash Biswas, one of the BAMCEF leaders and editors for Indian Express spoke to us from Kolkata today and criticized BAMCEF leadership in New Delhi, which according to him, is messing up with Nepalese indigenous peoples also. He also flayed MP Jay Narayan Prasad Nishad, who recently offered a Puja in his New Delhi home for Narendra Modi's victory in 2014.]

THE HIMALAYAN DISASTER: TRANSNATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT MECHANISM A MUST

We talked with Palash Biswas, an editor for Indian Express in Kolkata today also. He urged that there must a transnational disaster management mechanism to avert such scale disaster in the Himalayas. http://youtu.be/7IzWUpRECJM

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS LASHES OUT KATHMANDU INT'L 'MULVASI' CONFERENCE

अहिले भर्खर कोलकता भारतमा हामीले पलाश विश्वाससंग काठमाडौँमा आज भै रहेको अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय मूलवासी सम्मेलनको बारेमा कुराकानी गर्यौ । उहाले भन्नु भयो सो सम्मेलन 'नेपालको आदिवासी जनजातिहरुको आन्दोलनलाई कम्जोर बनाउने षडयन्त्र हो।' http://youtu.be/j8GXlmSBbbk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS BLASTS INDIANS THAT CLAIM BUDDHA WAS BORN IN INDIA

THE HIMALAYAN VOICE: PALASH BISWAS DISCUSSES RAM MANDIR

Published on 10 Apr 2013 Palash Biswas spoke to us from Kolkota and shared his views on Visho Hindu Parashid's programme from tomorrow ( April 11, 2013) to build Ram Mandir in disputed Ayodhya. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77cZuBunAGk

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALSH BISWAS FLAYS SOUTH ASIAN GOVERNM

Palash Biswas, lashed out those 1% people in the government in New Delhi for failure of delivery and creating hosts of problems everywhere in South Asia. http://youtu.be/lD2_V7CB2Is

Palash Biswas on BAMCEF UNIFICATION!

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS ON NEPALI SENTIMENT, GORKHALAND, KUMAON AND GARHWAL ETC.and BAMCEF UNIFICATION! Published on Mar 19, 2013 The Himalayan Voice Cambridge, Massachusetts United States of America

BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE 7

Published on 10 Mar 2013 ALL INDIA BAMCEF UNIFICATION CONFERENCE HELD AT Dr.B. R. AMBEDKAR BHAVAN,DADAR,MUMBAI ON 2ND AND 3RD MARCH 2013. Mr.PALASH BISWAS (JOURNALIST -KOLKATA) DELIVERING HER SPEECH. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLL-n6MrcoM http://youtu.be/oLL-n6MrcoM

Imminent Massive earthquake in the Himalayas

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS CRITICIZES GOVT FOR WORLD`S BIGGEST BLACK OUT

THE HIMALAYAN TALK: PALASH BISWAS TALKS AGAINST CASTEIST HEGEMONY IN SOUTH ASIA

Palash Biswas on Citizenship Amendment Act

Mr. PALASH BISWAS DELIVERING SPEECH AT BAMCEF PROGRAM AT NAGPUR ON 17 & 18 SEPTEMBER 2003 Sub:- CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT ACT 2003 http://youtu.be/zGDfsLzxTXo

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

My readers would perhaps care to remeber what Ihave been writing in my Novel AMERICA SE SAVDHAN as well as in my blogs. It was not Guess work. It is simply Objective Analysis of History. No Empire in History could ever Survive any War whatever may be

My readers would perhaps care to remeber what Ihave been writing in my Novel AMERICA SE SAVDHAN as well as in my blogs. It was not Guess work. It is simply Objective Analysis of History. No Empire in History could ever Survive any War whatever may be the consequence. GREEK, Roman, German, Russian, Japanese, British-NONE! US is Destined the same way as the Country lives on WAR Economy. Unfortunately India replicates United staes of Ameriaca. The State is Militarised so much so that it has been trapped in CIVIL War! The Ruling Hegemony and the LPG Mafia rule have engaged the State in a war aginst its People! War Cry is hyped as Nationalism! It is suicidal! As Faced with the prospect of a massive defense cut in the wake of weak economic conditions in the country, American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asserted that the US will never surrender its status as a global power and a global leader.

US warns action if Pak fails to stop cross border attacks!


China rebuffs US, Asia pressure in sea dispute!

Civil nuclear deal to increase Indo-US defence trade: Mark Lippert

Ample scope to go-ahead on AFSPA decision: Omar Abdullah

Binayak Sen plans campaign against sedition law
Mamata Banerjee asks interlocutors to continue talks with Maoists

Troubled Galaxy Destroyed Dreams, Chapter 710

Palash Biswas

http://indianliberationnews.com/

http://indianholocaustmyfatherslifeandtime.blogspot.com/





http://basantipurtimes.blogspot.com/


Asia Pacific: Power Dynamics
Obama pivots towards Asia, eyeing jobs
With Europe mired in debt crisis, both Democrats and Republicans are clearly focused on Asia as a key economic partner for the United States.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Civil-nuclear-deal-to-increase-Indo-US-defence-trade-Mark-Lippert/articleshow/10793109.cms

India has overtaken China as the world's largest arms importer, a Swedish defense industry watchdog said.

Arms sales to India accounted for 9 percent of the international trade in the period from 2006-10, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said in a study released this week. China, South Korea and Pakistan were the runners-up in the Sipri study.

India spent around $37 billion on its armed forces in 2009, Sipri data show. Russian-made weapons accounted for 82 percent of the Indian imports. Neighboring Pakistan and China also saw its arms imports increase over the past five years.


Sipri arms expert Siemon Wezeman said conflicts with Pakistan and China as well as internal security challenges have fueled Indian arms buys.

"As an importer, India is demanding offsets and transfers of technology to boost its own arms industry, and, in order to secure orders, major suppliers are agreeing to such demands," Wezeman said in a statement.

The United States remains the world's largest exporter of conventional arms with a 30 percent market share, followed by Russia (23 percent) and Germany (11 percent), which roughly doubled its sales during the past decade.

The total volume of global arms deals increased 24 percent in 2006-10 compared to the previous five years. The Asia-Oceania region led the world with 43 percent of arms imports, followed by Europe (21 percent) and the Middle East (17 percent).

The Indian arms buying spree was driven mainly by a desire to modernize the country's air force. Fighter jets accounted for 71 percent of Indian imports, Sipri said.

Russia last year delivered 35 Sukhoi Su-30MKI two-seat fighter jets jointly developed with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, and 10 Mikoyan MiG-29SMT.

European and U.S. arms firms are competing for yet another Indian order for 126 fighter plans, a contract estimated to be worth more than $10 billion.

Planes in the running are the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from Boeing, the Rafale by French firm Dassault, the Eurofighter Typhoon from Europe's EADS, Lockheed Martin's F-16, the Russian-made MiG-35 and the Gripen from Swedish firm Saab.

"European producers in particular are seeking export opportunities and are benefiting from government assistance with export promotion activities," Sipri's European arms trade expert Mark Bromley said in a statement.

Sipri has been compiling data on the international arms trade since the 1950s. It says its online database is the most extensive collection of such information available to the public.



Read more: http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2011/03/16/India-becomes-worlds-largest-arms-buyer/UPI-52241300293109/#ixzz1eAyljIkj

Full coverage

Civil N-deal to increase Indo-US defence trade: US

Hindustan Times - ‎6 hours ago‎

Describing the US-India defence ties as "strong and growing," a top US official has told lawmakers that the civil nuclear deal between the two countries would lead to increased defencetrade. "The civil-nuclear cooperation agreement was a landmark ...

Engaging India, China a challenge: Pentagon nominee

Economic Times - ‎9 hours ago‎

WASHINGTON: The United States faces difficult challenges in the Asia and Pacific regions, including how to engage emerging powers such as India and China, according to an Obama administration nominee to a top defence job. ...

Cincinnati native gets grilling at Senate confirmation hearing

Cincinnati.com (blog) - ‎22 hours ago‎

Cincinnati native Mark Lippert appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday for a confirmation hearing to serve as a top Defense official in the Obama administration. President Barack Obama nominated the one-time Mariemont resident ...


Ministry of Defence (India)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Republic of India

Ministry of Defence

*

Emblem of India

Agency overview

Jurisdiction

Government of India

Headquarters

Cabinet Secretariat

Raisina Hill, New Delhi28°36′50″N 17°12′32″E

Annual budget

US$36.03 billion (2011-2012)[1]

Agency executive

A. K. Antony, Defence Minister of India

Child agencies

Defence Finance

Department of Defence

Department of Defence Production

Department of Defence Research and Development

Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare

Indian Armed Forces

Inter-Services Organisations

Website

mod.nic.in


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is India's federal department allocated the largest level of budgetary resources and charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government relating directly to national security and the Indian armed forces.
The Indian Armed Forces (including Indian Army, Indian Air Force and Indian Navy); the Indian Coast Guard (a component of the paramilitary forces of India) and also the Indian Defense Accounts Service, Armed Forces Headquarters Civil Services, Indian Ordnance Factories Services and Mercantile Marine Training Ship Service are under the administration and supervision of the Defence Ministry. The MoD works closely with the National Security Counciland Minister for Home Affairs.

[edit]History

[edit]Origin

A Military Department was created in the Supreme Government of the British East India Company at Kolkata into the year 1776, having the main function to sift and record orders relating to the Army issued by various Departments of the Govt of East India Co. The Military Department initially functioned as a branch of the Public Department and maintained a list of Army personnel.
With the Charter Act of 1833 the Secretariat of the Government of East India Company was reorganised into four Departments, including a Military Department, each headed by a Secretary to the Government. The Army in the Presidencies of Bengal, Bombay & Madras functioned as respective Presidency Army till April 1895, when the Presidency Armies were unified into a single Indian Army. For administrative convenience, it was divided into four Commands viz. Punjab (including the North West Frontier), Bengal (including Burma), Madras and Bombay (including Sind, Quetta and Aden).
The supreme authority over the Indian Army vested in the Governor General-in-Council, subject to the Control of the Crown, which was exercised by the Secretary of State for India. Two Members in the Council were responsible for military affairs, one of whom was the Military Member, who supervised all administrative and financial matters, while the other was the Commander-in-Chief who was responsible for all operational matters. The Military Department was abolished in March 1906 and it was replaced by two separate Departments, the Army Department and the Military Supply Department. In April 1909 the Military Supply Department was abolished and its functions were taken over by the Army Department. The Army Department was redesignated as the Defence Department in January 1938. The Department of Defence became the Ministry of Defence under a Cabinet Minister in August 1947.

[edit]Post Independence Organizational Setup and Functions

On August 15, 1947, each Service was placed under its own Commander-in-Chief. Under the Constitution, the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces vested in the President. In 1955, the title of Commander-in-Chief was abolished and the three Service Chiefs were designated as the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Naval Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff. In November 1962, a Department of Defence Production was set up to deal with research, development and production of defence equipment. In November 1965, the Department of Defence Supplies was created for planning and execution of schemes for import substitution of requirements for defence purposes. These two Departments were later merged to form the Department of Defence Production and Supplies. In January 2004, the Department of Defence Production and Supplies has been renamed as the Department of Defence Production. A Scientific Adviser to the Defence Minister was appointed to advise him on scientific aspects of military equipment, research and design of equipment used by the Defence forces. In 1980, the Department of Defence Research and Development was created. Further, the Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare was created in 2004.
The Armed Forces are primarily responsible for ensuring the territorial integrity of the nation. The President of India is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the country. The Ministry of Defence, provides policy framework and wherewithal to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibility in the context of the defence of the country.

[edit]Role and Working

It is charged with the responsibility of internal and external security of the Republic of India. The Supreme Command of the Armed Forces vests with the President of India. The responsibility for national defence rests with the Cabinet. This is discharged through the Ministry of Defence, which provides the policy framework and wherewithal to the Armed Forces to discharge their responsibilities in the context of the defence of the country. The Defence Minister is the head of the Ministry of Defence. The principal task of the Defence Ministry is to obtain policy directions of the Government on all defence and security related matters and communicate them for implementation to the Services Headquarters, Inter-Services Organizations, Production Establishments and Research and Development Organisations. It is also required to ensure effective implementation of the Government's policy directions and the execution of approved programmes within the allocated resources.

[edit]Senior officials

[edit]Ministerial Team

The ministerial team at the MoD is headed by the Union Cabinet Minister for Defence, who is supported by one Minister of State and civil servants.

[edit]Defence Secretary and other senior officials

The Ministers are supported by a number of civilian, scientific and professional military advisors. The Defence Secretary is the senior civil servant at the MoD. His/Her role is to ensure the MoD operates effectively as a department of the government.
  • Defence Secretary — Shashikant Sharma.
  • Secretary of Defence Finance — Vijayalakshmi Gupta.
  • Secretary of Defence Production — Shekhar Agarwal.
  • Secretary of Ex-Servicemen Welfare — Neelam Nath.
  • Chief Scientific Advisor — V. K. Saraswat.

[edit]Chiefs of the Defence Staff

The professional heads of the three services of Indian Armed Forces are:

[edit]Organisation

The Ministry of Defence now consists of four Departments, namely, Department of Defence, Department of Defence Production, Department of Defence Research & Development and Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare . The Defence Secretary functions as head of the Department of Defence and is additionally responsible for coordinating the activities of the four Departments in the Ministry.
The principal functions of all the Departments are as follows:
  • The Department of Defence deals with the Integrated Defence Staff (IDS) and three Services and various Inter-Service Organisations. It is also responsible for the Defence Budget, establishment matters, defence policy, matters relating to Parliament, defence co-operation with foreign countries and co-ordination of all activities.
  • The Department of Defence Production is headed by a Secretary and deals with matters pertaining to defence production, indigenisation of imported stores, equipment and spares, planning and control of departmental production units of the Ordnance Factory Board and for Defence Public Sector Undertakings (DPSUs).
  • The Department of Defence Research and Development is headed by a Secretary, who is also the Scientific Adviser to the Raksha Mantri. Its function is to advise the Government on scientific aspects of military equipment and logistics and the formulation of research, design and development plans for equipment used by the Services.
  • The Department of Ex-Servicemen Welfare is headed by an Additional Secretary and deals with all re-settlement, welfare and pensionary matters of Ex-Servicemen.

The Finance Division of the Ministry of Defence is headed by Secretary Defence (Finance). He exercises financial control over proposals involving expenditure from the Defence Budget and is responsible for internal audit and accounting of defence expenditure. In the latter tasks, he is assisted by the Controller General of Defence Accounts (CGDA).

[edit]See also


[edit]References

  1. ^ "India's Defence Budget 2011-12" (HTML). Retrieved 2011-10-20.

[edit]External links


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My readers would perhaps care to remeber what Ihave been writing in my Novel AMERICA SE SAVDHAN as well as in my blogs. It was not Guess work. It is simply Objective Analysis of History. No Empire in History could ever Survive any War whatever may be the consequence. GREEK, Roman, German, Russian, Japanese, British-NONE! US is Destined the same way as the Country lives on WAR Economy. Unfortunately India replicates United staes of Ameriaca. The State is Militarised so much so that it has been trapped in CIVIL War! The Ruling Hegemony and the LPG Mafia rule have engaged the State in a war aginst its People! War Cry is hyped as Nationalism! It is suicidal! As Faced with the prospect of a massive defense cut in the wake of weak economic conditions in the country, American Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has asserted that the US will never surrender its status as a global power and a global leader.

The six government-appointed interlocutors for talks with Maoists in junglemahal, who had wanted to be relieved of their responsibilities, were today directed to continue their parleys by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

Meanwhile,Sticking to his demand for revocation of AFSPA from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today said there is ample scope to go-ahead with the move while addressing the concerns of the Army.


"I believe there is ample scope for us to go ahead with what we have decided to do, while at the same time addressing concerns that the Army has flagged off", Omar told reporters in Jammu today.


He was replying to a volley of questions about the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act(AFSPA) from some districts and what was his stand after his return from New Delhi, where he met the central leadership over the issue.


The Chief Minister further stated that he does not want a public debate over the issue.


"I do not want to get into the debate through the media on AFSPA. I have already told media on the two occasion when I was coming out from the meeting with Union Home Minister and Union Finance Minister", Omar, who was in Jammu to inaugurate a Kisan Mela organised by the State Horticulture Department, said.


Omar is demanding revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act from certain parts of the state, a move which is opposed by the Army saying it will handicap its ability to operate there.


CAG Vinod Rai Saturday said except for a few "high octane" cases the armed forces have a "near perfect" image, but advocated accountability of the defence sector to Parliament as it uses public money and does not exist in isolation.

Delivering the Admiral RD Katari memorial lecture here on 'Good Governance-Accountability and Probity in the Armed Forces', Rai said the argument for secrecy in the defence sector should not be a pretext for avoiding public criticism and accountability.
"Defence sector does not exist in isolation. It uses public money and must be accountable to the Parliament. Oversight of functioning of government offices which use public resources is the fundamental requirement of any democratic institution," the Comptroller and Auditor General of India said.
On the argument that defence is a sensitive subject and its functioning should not be put in public domain, he said, "The extent of confidentiality must be balanced."
"Lack of transparency in any establishment, allows corruption, fraud and abuse of power. On the other hand openness facilitates accountability and it prevents adhocism in the decision making process," he said.
However, the CAG said, "Barring a few high octane cases which were highlighted by the media, the defences forces enjoy a near perfect image."
On defence acquisition process, which involves multiplicity of agencies, he said, "Defence acquisition process involves at least 13 different agencies in multiple layers. It is granted that the procurement process involves multiplicity of agencies... I can assure that the entire procurement hierarchy is sensitized towards your urgency."
He said the acquisition process often gets delayed because of the uninformed queries about which the bureaucrats are not sensitized nor about the urgency and criticality of the requirements.
Rai said the defence establishment needs to be more transparent today as a huge volume of information is going into the public domain, empowering the common man who is interested in issues related to national security.
Terming credibility of armed forces a matter of public faith, he said, "Particularly after some of the terrorist attacks, people want to know whether the resources invested in defence activities are being used efficiently and effectively in protecting the security interest of the nations."
Observing that transparency will help in building public confidence, he said, "Insulating activities and processes of armed forces will only impair their credibility. While, transparency will give independent professional review and feedback from the civil society. Most importantly, it will help build public confidence and win trust of the public.
On perception that auditing is a fault-finding exercise, the CAG said, "This perception is flawed. I will look to this perception as an alibi to non-performance. Such mindset needs to be changed."
Citing the necessity of auditing, he said, "An oversight mechanism is an integral process of institution building. Auditing is an equal partner is the decision making process and our objective is the same."
Appreciating the "well laid out" Defence Procurement Procedure, he said, "I have seen the DPP, its very detailed and very extensive. Time lines have been very extensively laid out."
On granting financial powers to defence force chiefs, he said, "As per my opinion, I would say that give it to the chiefs. Don't ask for any other approval. But we have built a system of frequent checks and balances."
On whether CAG plans to audit the private sector, he said, "Certainly not. Our doctrine for private sector is absolutely robust."

Army's air defence units get more firepower

Rajat Pandit, TNN | Nov 19, 2011, 05.51AM IST
NEW DELHI: After years of neglect and delay, India is finally adding much-needed teeth to its Army air defence units to guard against hostile aircraft, helicopters and drones attacking high-value targets.

With a wide array of radars and surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems planned for induction, contracts worth over Rs 17,000 crore have been inked and several more are in the pipeline for the air defence artillery corps, say sources.

A major overhaul of the Army's air defence weapons is needed because over 70% of its existing inventory is obsolete or nearing obsolescence. The country's overall air defence may primarily be IAF's responsibility, but the Army too requires advanced surveillance, automation and weapon systems to ensure it can detect and destroy enemy aircraft much before they release their weapons.

While the IAF may be superior to Pakistan air force, the Army air defence units across the border are much better equipped, with quick-reaction missiles and man-portable SAMs like laser-guided stingers and mistral.

To address this imbalance, India has launched the procurement process for three types of SAMs - medium-range, quick-reaction and man-portable short-range missile systems - to replace the air defence corps' old Russian-origin Kvadrat, Strela and other systems.

These will be in addition to two regiments of the indigenous Akash systems, with six firing batteries and hundreds of missiles each, ordered at a cost of Rs 14,180 crore. "Deliveries of Akash missile systems to the Army will begin from March 2013," said a source. The IAF is also slated to get eight Akash squadrons - six of them will be based in the north-east to counter China - for Rs 6,200 crore.

The 25-km-range Akash is designed to neutralize multiple aerial targets attacking from several directions simultaneously, including sub-sonic cruise missiles, in all-weather conditions.

Besides, the Rs 750-crore project is underway to upgrade about 50 Shilka anti-aircraft armoured vehicles, which are equipped with four 23mm automatic cannons each, and imported fromRussia in the mid-1980s. Simultaneously, the Army air defence units are also on course to induct about 30 three-dimensional tactical control radars, which can track airborne targets up to 90-km away, and over 15 low-level light-weight radars, which can be used in mountainous terrain, for over Rs 1,500 crore.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Armys-air-defence-units-get-more-firepower/articleshow/10788391.cms

India's $11bn MMRCA choice to be clear mid-December news

*

19 November 2011


Bangalore: India's choice for a medium range multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) should be out in the open by mid-December, Indian Air Force chief, air chief marshal Norman Anil Kumar Browne, said Friday.

"By mid-December we should have very good sense of who has been selected," ACM Browne told reporters here.

The two rival aircrafts in contention for the contract are the Eurofighter Typhoon and the French Dassault Rafale. The commercial bids of both companies were opened 4 Nov in New Delhi.

"In another four weeks, we should be able to wrap-up the deal as a lot of work is going on and we are calculating hard," ACM Browne said on the margins of a conference on aviation medicine.

Of the original six bidders, the defence ministry short-listed in April European consortium EADS Cassidian (Typhoon) and French Dassault Aviation (Rafale) for the estimated $11 billion (Rs50,000 crore) contract to supply 126 fighters to the Indian Air Force ( IAF).

The four other contending aircraft knocked out of the competition were Lockheed Martin's F-16, Boeing's F/A-18, the Russian United Aircraft Corporation MiG-35 the Swedish SAAB Gripen.


http://www.domain-b.com/defence/air_space/iaf/20111119_choice.html

Military aid to Afghanistan must go on: S M Krishna

TNN | Nov 19, 2011, 05.49AM IST

NEW DELHI: Foreign minister S M Krishnareiterated in Moscow that international military help should continue until Kabul is able to handle its security concerns on its own. This is even as his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov called for complete withdrawal of US troops from the region once its anti-terror operations are over.

"We do realize that the Afghan security forces, as of today, are not adequately prepared to fight the menace of terrorism and it is necessary that the international community helps it take out this scourge of terror. India's whole approach is that Afghanistan should be able to defend itself and its security forces should be so organized that they are able to take care of themselves with a degree of confidence," Krishna was quoted as having said by agencies in a joint press conference with Lavrov.

Krishna added that India wanted Afghanistan to emerge as a "democratic, multiparty and pluralistic society". During his meeting with Lavrov, Russia again confirmed support for India's bid to become a full member of Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

"Since the declaration of our Strategic Partnership a little over a decade ago, India-Russia cooperation has undergone a qualitative change in almost all areas of our interaction, and particularly the main areas such defence, space and nuclear energy," said Krishna.

"Both sides are currently making efforts to ensure that our cooperation in trade and investment cooperation increases both quantitatively and qualitatively, so that we are able to meet the target of $20 billion by 2015. I will be discussing this issue in much greater detail tomorrow, in the meeting of the India Russia Inter Governmental Commission that deputy prime minister Sergei Ivanov and I co-chair," he added.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Military-aid-to-Afghanistan-must-go-on-S-M-Krishna/articleshow/10788373.cms
Binayak Sen plans campaign against sedition law

LUCKNOW: Human rights activist Binayak Sen said Sunday that he will soon undertake a nationwide signature campaign to scrap the sedition law under which he was booked in Chattisgarh.


Sen, who is also the vice president of the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), proposes to mobilise at least one million signatures that would be sent to parliament with a demand to repeal section 124 of the Indian Penal Code.


Disclosing this at a seminar on 'Violation of Human rights', Sen was very hopeful of getting the "archaic law" scrapped once and for all.


"The sedition law gives unbridled powers to police to book anyone who may raise his voice against injuctice; it clearly impedes the freedom of speech and expression, therefore, it is hightime that such a law is repealed," Sen said.


Arrested in May 2007 on charges of links with the outlawed Maoists, Sen was convicted by the additional sessions judge of Raipur Dec 24, 2010, for waging war against the state, entering into criminal conspiracy and sedition. The Chhattisgarh High Court Feb 10 rejected Sen's plea seeking the suspension of sentence and bail during the pendency of his appeal.


He was granted bail by the Supreme Court April 15, with the court observing there was no case of sedition against Sen and he was at best a Maoist sympathiser.


Mamata Banerjee asks interlocutors to continue talks with Maoists
KOLKATA: The six government-appointedinterlocutors for talks with Maoists in junglemahal, who had wanted to be relieved of their responsibilities, were today directed to continue their parleys by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

"The chief minister has requested us to continue the peace process and we have accepted it,"Sujato Bhadra who heads the team of interlocutors told reporters after a meeting with the chief minister.

Asked about the interlocutors wanting to quit after the Maoists withdrew their unilateral ceasefire in the absence of talks by a letter on October one, Bhadra said, "The peace process will continue and it should be treated as an uninterrupted process."

He blamed a section of the media for negatively portraying the efforts of the interlocutors. "I am very disheartened."

Asked about their demand for withdrawal of the joint forces from junglemahal, he said, "we had detailed discussion about a lot of things with the chief minister, but it cannot be shared with the media."

Another interlocutor Chhotan Das said that the chief minister reposed confidence on them and wanted them to continue the peace process with the ultras.

"We have been asked to continue the peace process which the chief minister assigned to us to do to resolve the Maoist problem," he said.

The state government had appointed the team of interlocutors after coming to power six months ago to talk to the Maoists and bring them to the negotiation table.

Bhadra and his team have held three meetings with the Maoists so far.
"As we examine our geographic priorities, it's important to remember that we can and we will do more than one thing at a time. US security commitments are not zero-sum.

"And even as we enhance our presence in thePacific, we will not surrender our status as a global power and a global leader," Panetta said in his remarks at the Halifax International Security Forum in Canada.


His comments came at a time when US is wooing Asian countries large and small to help America's security agenda and is anxious to build some regional political balance to the rising might of China.


"As a country with global interests and responsibilities and with a military with unique global strength and reach, America will remain committed to global security," Panetta said.


He added, "In particular, we will continue to defend our shared interests in free and open commerce, the rule of law, freedom of movement across the global commons of air and sea and space and cyberspace, which is ultimately the bedrock of our security and our prosperity and that of our allies."

Describing the US-India defence ties as "strong and growing," a top US official has told lawmakers that the civil nuclear deal between the two countries would lead to increased defence trade.

"The civil-nuclear cooperation agreement was a landmark agreement that significantly transformed the US-India bilateral relationship," Mark Lippert said during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination as the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.

"The agreement has also deepened the level of trust between the United States and India that will have positive effects on DoD interests and will hopefully lead to greater military-to-military cooperation and increased defense trade," he said.

If confirmed, Lippert said he believe US priorities for this relationship should be focused on increasingmaritime security cooperation, expanding the military-to-military ties and deepening cooperation on defence trade and production.

"Additionally, I believe there is potential for cooperating on counter-proliferation, collaborating on humanitarian assistance and disaster response, dealing with piracy, cooperating on counter-terrorism, greater intelligence sharing on common threats, and working towards stability in Afghanistan and the broader Indian Ocean region," he said.

Observing that a close and continuing security relationship with India will be important for security in Asia and for effectively managing Indian Ocean security in the 21st century, Lippert said the US and India have a range of common security interests that include maritime security, counter- terrorism and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.



China pushed back on Saturday against a week of US pressure to resolve a rancorous dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea, a crucial, mineral-rich commercial shipping lane at the heart of growing tensions among Asian leaders.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao chastised PresidentBarack Obama for raising the issue during an Asia-Pacific leaders summit, hours after Obama told Wen the United States wants the sea lanes kept open and peaceful, capping two weeks of Sino-US tensions.


Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei all have claims to parts of the sea lanes, while China claims large parts of the region, which might hold rich deposits of oil and gas.


Obama ended a nine-day trip with a meeting with Wen where, according to US officials, he raised US concerns over festering economic issues such as China's currency policy, after huddling with Asian leaders in a concerted effort to court the world's fastest-growing region.


US lawmakers have long argued Beijing keeps the value of the yuan down to help drive the country's exports engine, a stance they say costs American jobs.


Wen defended Beijing's currency stance, stressing that from late September to early November, offshore foreign exchange markets showed "expectations of a depreciation in the renminbi exchange rate" and that China will also strengthen the renminbi's trading flexibility in either direction, without elaborating.


But it was Obama's comments on the South China Sea, a possible flashpoint in Asia, that drew Beijing's ire.


Wen said the South China Sea issue should be resolved directly among related sovereign countries "through friendly consultation and negotiation," state-owned news agency Xinhua reported, a comment that suggests US exclusion from the dispute.


He added that the East Asia Summit on the Indonesian island of Bali, where Obama met with 17 Asia-Pacific leaders in three days of talks, was not "a proper occasion" to discuss the issue.


Still, a briefing by a US official said 16 leaders present at the summit addressed maritime security. Indeed, the bulk of the discussions were a "very robust" conversation on maritime security and the South China Sea, the official said.


"The Chinese will come away from the meeting believing that a heavy-handed approach on the south china sea will backfire badly," said the official.


But Xinhua, in an English language commentary, warned that "any attempt by outside forces to internationalize the issue will only make it more complicated and undermine peace and stability in the region," in a veiled reference to the United States.


Tensions flared earlier this year with often tense maritime stand-offs in the sea that carries some $5 trillion a year in world trade. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier this week warned claimants against using intimidation to back their claims, an indirect reference to China.


An Australian think tank warned in June that risk-taking behavior of the Chinese military, the resource needs of the fast-growing economy and its greater assertiveness raised tensions and could spark a conflict that could draw in the United States and other powers.


China wants to hold bilateral talks with other countries that claim parts of the South China Sea as their territory, but the Southeast Asian claimants, the United States and Japan are pushing for a multilateral approach.


The United States had been "quite direct with the Chinese about our strategy," said Tom Donilon, Obama's top national security adviser.


Beijing understood that Washington was serious about sustaining a more active presence in the region to help its stability and peace, he said.


"Our partners and allies look to us for that reassurance. They want to know that the United States is going to play the role it has played with respect to security and reassurance and balancing and stability here," he said.


Still, he said Washington was pursuing deep engagement with China to manage a range of US-Chinese issues.


"We have a very complicated and quite substantial relationship with China across the board," he said, adding that while the United States does have "economic issues" with Beijing, "our relationship with China has in the main been productive and constructive."


INFLUENCE


The summit capped two weeks of a hard diplomatic push by Obama to reassert America's footprint in the Asia Pacific, which will fuel China's fear of being encircled, or contained by the United States and its allies.


However, Obama on Thursday acknowledged China's unease, pledging to seek greater cooperation with Beijing. And Clinton told America's ABC television: "It's not about countering anybody else's power. It's about asserting our own position as a Pacific power."


On Thursday, Obama said in Australia that the US military would expand its Asia-Pacific role, declaring America was "here to stay" as a Pacific power.


Days earlier, as host of the Asia Pacific Economic Co-Operation forum in Hawaii, Obama had voiced growing frustration at China's trade practices. He declared "enough is enough" as he pushed for a new Asia-Pacific trade deal with some of Beijing's neighbors.


However, China has adopted a largely restrained response to the expansive moves by Washington.


"The US has been an important player in Asia ever since the Second World War. We are looking forward to cooperating with them, with the US, in the region," China's Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin told reporters in Bali.


Obama also announced on Friday that he would send Clinton to Myanmar next month, which has drawn closer to China in reaction to Western sanctions.


It will be the first such trip to the isolated country in half a century and will add to Beijing's fears of encirclement.

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    Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This article is written like a personal reflection or essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. Please help improve it by rewriting it in an encyclopedic style.(October 2010)

    The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), was passed on September 11, 1958, by the Parliament of India.[1] It conferred special powers upon armed forces in what the act calls "disturbed areas" in the states of Arunachal PradeshAssamManipurMeghalayaMizoram,Nagaland and Tripura. It was later extended to Jammu and Kashmir as The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990 in July 1990.[2]

    Contents

      [hide

    [edit]The Act

    The Articles in the Constitution of India empower state governments to declare a state of emergency due to one or more of the following reasons:

    • Failure of the administration and the local police to tackle local issues.
    • Return of (central) security forces leads to return of miscreants/erosion of the "peace dividend".
    • The scale of unrest or instability in the state is too large for local forces to handle.

    In such cases, it is the prerogative of the state government to call for central help. In most cases, for example during elections, when the local police may be stretched too thin to simultaneously handle day-to-day tasks, the central government obliges by sending in the CRPF. Continued unrest, like in the cases of militancy and insurgence, and especially when borders are threatened, are the armed forces resorted to.[3]

    By Act 7 of 1972, this power to declare areas as being disturbed was extended to the central government. [4]

    In a civilian setting, soldiers have no legal tender, and are still bound to the same command chain as they would be in a war theater. Neither the soldiers nor their superiors have any training in civilian law or policing procedures. This is where and why the AFSPA comes to bear - to legitimize the presence and acts of armed forces in emergency situations which have been deemed war-like by local leaders which led to the armed forces' presence in the first place.[3][5]

    [edit]Constitutionality and other issues

    According to the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), in an area that is proclaimed as "disturbed", an officer of the armed forces has powers to:

    • "Fire upon or otherwise use force, even to the causing of death, against any person who is acting in contravention of any law" against "assembly of five or more persons" or possession of deadly weapons.
    • To arrest without a warrant and with the use of "necessary" force anyone who has committed certain offenses or is suspected of having done so
    • To enter and search any premise in order to make such arrests.

    It gives Army officers legal immunity for their actions. There can be no prosecution, suit or any other legal proceeding against anyone acting under that law. For declaring an area as a 'disturbed area' there must be a grave situation of law and order on the basis of which Governor/Administrator can form opinion that an area is in such a disturbed or dangerous condition that use of Armed Forces in aid of civil power is necessary .[6]

    The Act has been employed in the Indian administrated state of Jammu and Kashmir since 1990.[2] It was withdrawn by the Manipur government in some of the constituencies in August 2004 in spite of the Central government not favouring withdrawal of the act.

    In December 2006, responding to what he said were 'legitimate' grievances of the people of Manipur, Prime Minister Manmohan Singhdeclared that the Act would be amended to ensure it was 'humane' on the basis of the Jeevan Reddy Commission's report, which is believed to have recommended the Act's repeal.[7]

    Violence has increased in the past two decades since enforcement of the Act.[8] The state has created a "Gallantry Awards" pool for the arms forces which are awarded for elimination of insurgencies and conduction of operations. The term 'encounters' is used by the security forces to describe confrontations where it is deemed appropriate, under the provisions of the act, to employ violence.[8]

    Protests began in Kashmir valley on Sep 10, 2010, on the occasion of Eid and turned violent on Sep 11, the anniversary of the controversial act. Indian Goverenment is considering partial withdrawal of the act.

    [edit]The Jeevan Reddy Commission

    In 2004, in the wake of intense agitation [9] that was launched by several civil society groups following the death of Thangjam Manorama, while in the custody of the Assam Rifles and the indefinite fast undertaken by Irom SharmilaUnion Home Minister Shivraj Patil visited Manipur and reviewed the situation with the concerned state authorities. In the same year, Prime MinisterManmohan Singh assured activists that the central government would consider their demand sympathetically.

    The central government accordingly set up a five-member committee under the Chairmanship of Justice B P Jeevan Reddy, former judge of the Supreme Court. The panel was given the mandate of "review[ing] the provisions of AFSPA and advis[ing] the Government of India whether (a) to amend the provisions of the Act to bring them in consonance with the obligations of the government towards protection of human rights; or (b) to replace the Act by a more humane Act."

    The Reddy committee submitted its recommendations on June 6, 2005. However, the government failed to take any concrete action on the recommendations even after almost a year and a half. The then Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee had rejected the withdrawal or significant dilution of the Act on the grounds that "it is not possible for the armed forces to function" in "disturbed areas" without such powers.[citation needed]

    The 147-page report recommends, "The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, should be repealed." During the course of its work, the committee members met several individuals, organisations, parties, institutions and NGOs, which resulted in the report stating that "the Act, for whatever reason, has become a symbol of oppression, an object of hate and an instrument of discrimination and high handedness." The report clearly stated that "It is highly desirable and advisable to repeal the Act altogether, without of course, losing sight of the overwhelming desire of an overwhelming majority of the [North East] region that the Army should remain (though the Act should go)."[citation needed]

    But activists say the Reddy panel despite its recommendation for the 'repeal of the Act' has nothing substantial for the people. The report recommends the incorporation of AFSPA in the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, which will be operable all over India.[citation needed]On November 2, 2000, ten people were killed when a paramilitary force opened fire at a bus-stop near Malom in Manipur. Most of those killed were women and students. The firing was followed by a brutal combat operation also. A young lady, too shocked at the anarchical act of the state agencies, decided to begin a fast unto death demanding the repeal of the Act responsible for such brutality on the part of the state – the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. Thus began the fight of Irom Sharmila Chanu, the Iron Lady from Manipur whose fast completed 10 years this year.

    The troops of 8th Assam Rifles were deployed in Malom to counter the 'insurgent' attack in the area. Those killed at the Malom massacre were L Sana Devi (60), G Bap Sharma (50), O Sanayaima (50), K Bijoy (35) A Raghumani (34), S Robinson Singh (27), Ksh Inaocha (23), T Shantikumar (19), S Prakash Singh (18) and S Chandramani (17).

    Though Sharmila began her marathon fast in protest, the investigation into the Malom massacre has still not yet been completed even after 10 years. Following a directive of the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench, in 2004 and 2005, the District and Session's Judge is conducting an enquiry into the incident. On January 7, 2010, a team of the court led by Th Surbala, the District and Session's Judge, Manipur East, conducted a spot inquiry at Malom and investigation is on into the facts and circumstances leading to the firing incidents.

    Since November 2, 2000, Sharmila has been arrested under section 309 of IPC which punishes attempted suicide by a one-year imprisonment. She is released every year to be arrested again. A compartment in the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital has become her virtual nest, where the poet in Sharmila pens her verses. She turned down many requests to end her fast and expressed her firmness to continue her fast till the Act is repealed. She has been awarded with many laurels for her nonviolent contribution towards the human rights movement in north east India.

    In a telephonic interview Sharmila's brother Singhajit shared his memories of his sister's childhood. He said, 'Up to 10 years she was somewhat different from other children. She was a pure vegetarian. After passing class X, she started a training of yoga, nature cure and the holy Gita. She had only three-four friends. She liked to be alone listening to the radio, writing poems, shorthand writing etc. She was different. In October 2000, retired Justice Suresh from Bombay lead a commission and inquired about the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Sharmila attended it as an individual activist. It was completed on 25th October, 2000. The Malom massacre took place on November 2. Ten people were killed near the airport in Malom. Sharmila began her fast after hearing the sound of the massacre on that Thursday. She informed some of her friends about her fast and then went to her mother to ask her permission for the fast. Mother gave her blessings and asked Sharmila to do whatever she could. She spent the night with her friends. On 5th, she went to the Malom Massacre site and sat there continuing her fast. In the early morning on 6th November, police arrested her and kept her in the custody. On November 11, 2000, I went to Sajowa jail and told her that we would fight together but she should give up her fasting. She replied, 'Please come to encourage me and don't come to discourage me'. At that moment, I promised her that I will be with her in her struggle. After returning from the jail, I resigned my job as an agriculture officer in a leading NGO called Citizen's Volunteer Training Centre where I was drawing a handsome salary. I resigned to devote my time for Sharmila's struggle and since then I am with her.'

    When asked about the reaction of the state agencies when Sharmila decided to fast, Singhajit informed that the family members were threatened by the state agencies and were urged to sign in a letter for handing over Sharmila to the family. 'But we believe that since Sharmila started her fast she is no more my sister, rather she is the sister of whole Manipur. We cannot sign in any paper asking to hand her over to our family' he said.

    Singhajit was emotional to answer his mother's reaction over the whole incident. He said, 'Our mother said that she feels happy when she gets the news about Sharmila's achievement. But she feels sad whenever she remembers about her daughter. She passes several nights in tears. She believes that she will die after Sharmila's death. This is her wish. She requested before the media that the central and state governments may decide to withdraw the AFSPA for at least 10 days so that she can meet her daughter before her death. Since Sharmila started her fast, the mother and daughter have never met as meeting may discourage Sharmila from continuing her struggle. Until and unless the mission is accomplished, the mother and daughter will never meet.'

    Sharmila was honoured by the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2007 by the May 18 Memorial Foundation in South Korea. The Prize was instituted to celebrate the spirit of the May 18 Gwangju Uprising by recognizing individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace in their work. In September this year, she was awarded the Rabindranath Tagore Peace award carrying Rs 51 lakhs, a gold medal and a citation. The Prize was presented to Sharmila by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) on September 11 at the JN Hospital.

    To mark the completion of 10 years of Sharmila's fast, the Just Peace Foundation (JPF), Manipur, has organized several programmes in Imphal under the name the Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace which will be held from 2 to 6 November 2010, in Imphal, Manipur. JPF informed that the Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace will be a celebration of the indefatigable spirit of humanity; a celebration of peace, justice and harmony; a celebration of the traditions and cultures of the North-east and its people; and a celebration of the Peoples' Movement that has been going on for the last ten yea

    [edit]Non-state views and commentary

    [edit]United Nations view

    When India presented its second periodic report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee in 1991, members of the UNHRC asked numerous questions about the validity of the AFSPA. They questioned the constitutionality of the AFSPA under Indian law and asked how it could be justified in light of Article 4 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ICCPR. On 23 March 2009, UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay asked India to repeal the AFSPA. She termed the law as "dated and colonial-era law that breach contemporary international human rights standards."[10]

    The Attorney General of India responded that the AFSPA is a necessary measure to prevent the secession of the North Eastern states.[citation needed] He said that a response to this agitation for secession in the North East had to be done on a "war footing."[citation needed] He argued that the Indian Constitution, in Article 355, made it the duty of the Central Government to protect the states from internal disturbance, and that there is no duty under international law to allow secession.[citation needed]

    [edit]Non-governmental organizations' analysis

    The act has been criticized by Human Rights Watch as a "tool of state abuse, oppression and discrimination".[11]

    The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre argues that the governments' call for increased force is part of the problem.[12]

    "This reasoning exemplifies the vicious cycle which has been instituted in the North East due to the AFSPA. The use of the AFSPA pushes the demand for more autonomy, giving the people of the North East more reason to want to secede from a state which enacts such powers and the agitation which ensues continues to justify the use of the AFSPA from the point of view of the Indian Government." - The South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre[13]

    A report by the Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis points to multiple occurrences of violence by security forces against civilians in Manipur since the passage of the Act.[14] The report states that residents believe that the provision for immunity of security forces urge them to act more brutally.[14] The article, however, goes on to say that repeal or withering away of the act will encourage insurgency.

    [15] In addition to this, there have been claims of disappearances by the police or the army in Kashmir by several human rights organizations.[16][17]

    A soldier guards the roadside checkpoint outside Srinagar International Airport in January 2009.

    Many human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch(HRW) have condemned human rights abuses in Kashmir by Indians such as "extra-judicial executions", "disappearances", and torture;[18] the "Armed Forces Special Powers Act", which "provides impunity for human rights abuses and fuels cycles of violence. The Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) grants the military wide powers of arrest, the right to shoot to kill, and to occupy or destroy property in counterinsurgency operations. Indian officials claim that troops need such powers because the army is only deployed when national security is at serious risk from armed combatants. Such circumstances, they say, call for extraordinary measures." Human rights organizations have also asked Indian government to repeal[19] the Public Safety Act, since "a detainee may be held in administrative detention for a maximum of two years without a court order.".[20]

    The act has been cricised by many non governmental organisations and human rights activists. In J&K only, hundreds of people have been killed by security forces. Many cases of fake killings, binded labors, rapes and other atrocities have come in light.

    Acticists who are working in J&K for peace and human rights include names of Madhu Kishwar, Ashima Kaul, Ram Jethmalani, Faisal Khan, Ravi Nitesh, Swami Agnivesh, Dr. sandeep Pandey and many others. They all accept that people to people communication and development of new avenues are the only way for peace, however laws like AFSPA are continuously violating human rights issues there.

    [edit]United States leaked diplomatic cables

    The Wikileaks diplomatic cables have recently disclosed that Indian government employees agree to acts of human rights violations on part of the Indian armed forces and various paramilitary forces deployed in the north east parts of India especially Manipur. The violations have been carried out under the cover of this very act. Governor S.S. Sidhu admitted to the American Consul General in Kolkata, Henry Jardine, that theAssam Rifles in particular are perpetrators of violations in Manipur which the very same cables described as a state that appeared more of a colony and less of an Indian state.[21][22]

    Earlier leaks had also stated that International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had reported to the United States diplomats in Delhi about the grave human rights situation in Kashmir which included the use of electrocution, beatings and sexual humiliation against hundreds of detainees. This act is in force in Kashmir since 1990.[23]

    [edit]See also

    Irom Sharmila Chanu (born March 14, 1972), also known as the "Iron Lady of Manipur" or "Menghoubi" ("the fair one")[1] is a civil rights activist, political activist, and poet from the Indian state of Manipur. Since 2 November 2000, she has been on hunger strike to demand that the Indian government repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 (AFSPA), which she blames for violence in Manipur and other parts of India's northeast.[2] Having refused food and water for more than 500 weeks, she has been called "the world's longest hunger striker".


    On November 2, 2000, ten people were killed when a paramilitary force opened fire at a bus-stop near Malom in Manipur. Most of those killed were women and students. The firing was followed by a brutal combat operation also. A young lady, too shocked at the anarchical act of the state agencies, decided to begin a fast unto death demanding the repeal of the Act responsible for such brutality on the part of the state – the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958. Thus began the fight of Irom Sharmila Chanu, the Iron Lady from Manipur whose fast completed 10 years this year.

    The troops of 8th Assam Rifles were deployed in Malom to counter the 'insurgent' attack in the area. Those killed at the Malom massacre were L Sana Devi (60), G Bap Sharma (50), O Sanayaima (50), K Bijoy (35) A Raghumani (34), S Robinson Singh (27), Ksh Inaocha (23), T Shantikumar (19), S Prakash Singh (18) and S Chandramani (17).

    Though Sharmila began her marathon fast in protest, the investigation into the Malom massacre has still not yet been completed even after 10 years. Following a directive of the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench, in 2004 and 2005, the District and Session's Judge is conducting an enquiry into the incident. On January 7, 2010, a team of the court led by Th Surbala, the District and Session's Judge, Manipur East, conducted a spot inquiry at Malom and investigation is on into the facts and circumstances leading to the firing incidents.

    Since November 2, 2000, Sharmila has been arrested under section 309 of IPC which punishes attempted suicide by a one-year imprisonment. She is released every year to be arrested again. A compartment in the Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital has become her virtual nest, where the poet in Sharmila pens her verses. She turned down many requests to end her fast and expressed her firmness to continue her fast till the Act is repealed. She has been awarded with many laurels for her nonviolent contribution towards the human rights movement in north east India.

    In a telephonic interview Sharmila's brother Singhajit shared his memories of his sister's childhood. He said, 'Up to 10 years she was somewhat different from other children. She was a pure vegetarian. After passing class X, she started a training of yoga, nature cure and the holy Gita. She had only three-four friends. She liked to be alone listening to the radio, writing poems, shorthand writing etc. She was different. In October 2000, retired Justice Suresh from Bombay lead a commission and inquired about the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. Sharmila attended it as an individual activist. It was completed on 25th October, 2000. The Malom massacre took place on November 2. Ten people were killed near the airport in Malom. Sharmila began her fast after hearing the sound of the massacre on that Thursday. She informed some of her friends about her fast and then went to her mother to ask her permission for the fast. Mother gave her blessings and asked Sharmila to do whatever she could. She spent the night with her friends. On 5th, she went to the Malom Massacre site and sat there continuing her fast. In the early morning on 6th November, police arrested her and kept her in the custody. On November 11, 2000, I went to Sajowa jail and told her that we would fight together but she should give up her fasting. She replied, 'Please come to encourage me and don't come to discourage me'. At that moment, I promised her that I will be with her in her struggle. After returning from the jail, I resigned my job as an agriculture officer in a leading NGO called Citizen's Volunteer Training Centre where I was drawing a handsome salary. I resigned to devote my time for Sharmila's struggle and since then I am with her.'

    When asked about the reaction of the state agencies when Sharmila decided to fast, Singhajit informed that the family members were threatened by the state agencies and were urged to sign in a letter for handing over Sharmila to the family. 'But we believe that since Sharmila started her fast she is no more my sister, rather she is the sister of whole Manipur. We cannot sign in any paper asking to hand her over to our family' he said.

    Singhajit was emotional to answer his mother's reaction over the whole incident. He said, 'Our mother said that she feels happy when she gets the news about Sharmila's achievement. But she feels sad whenever she remembers about her daughter. She passes several nights in tears. She believes that she will die after Sharmila's death. This is her wish. She requested before the media that the central and state governments may decide to withdraw the AFSPA for at least 10 days so that she can meet her daughter before her death. Since Sharmila started her fast, the mother and daughter have never met as meeting may discourage Sharmila from continuing her struggle. Until and unless the mission is accomplished, the mother and daughter will never meet.'

    Sharmila was honoured by the prestigious Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2007 by the May 18 Memorial Foundation in South Korea. The Prize was instituted to celebrate the spirit of the May 18 Gwangju Uprising by recognizing individuals, groups or institutions in Korea and abroad that have contributed in promoting and advancing human rights, democracy and peace in their work. In September this year, she was awarded the Rabindranath Tagore Peace award carrying Rs 51 lakhs, a gold medal and a citation. The Prize was presented to Sharmila by the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) on September 11 at the JN Hospital.

    To mark the completion of 10 years of Sharmila's fast, the Just Peace Foundation (JPF), Manipur, has organized several programmes in Imphal under the name the Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace which will be held from 2 to 6 November 2010, in Imphal, Manipur. JPF informed that the Festival of Hope, Justice and Peace will be a celebration of the indefatigable spirit of humanity; a celebration of peace, justice and harmony; a celebration of the traditions and cultures of the North-east and its people; and a celebration of the Peoples' Movement that has been going on for the last ten yea

    [edit]Footnotes

    1. ^ "THE ARMED FORCES (SPECIAL POWERS) ACT, 1958"
    2. a b "(PDF) The Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990" Indian Ministry of Law and Justice Published by the Authority of New Delhi
    3. a b Harinder Singh (July 6, 2010). "AFSPA: A Soldier's Perspective". Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
    4. ^ http://www.hindu.com/nic/afa/afa-part-ii.pdf
    5. ^ Anil Kamboj (October 2004). "Manipur and Armed Forces (Special Power) Act 1958". Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses.
    6. ^ ""Naga People's Movement of Human Rights vs. Union of India,1998"".
    7. ^ ""Humane garb for 'black law'"". December 3, 2006.
    8. a b IDSA strategic analysis: Armed Forces Special Powers Act
    9. ^ "MANIPUR ON FIRE". Frontline. September 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
    10. ^ "United Nations asks Indian govt to repeal AFSPA". IRNA. March 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
    11. ^ "Crisis in Kashmir" Council on Foreign Relations
    12. ^ India: Repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act; 50th Anniversary of Law Allowing Shoot-to-Kill, Other Serious Abuses.Human Rights Watch
    13. ^ AFSPA South Asian HRDC
    14. a b Institute for Defense Studies and Analysis, 'Manipur and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act 1958' "the alleged rape and killing of Manjab Manorama", "security forces have destroyed homes", "arrests without warrants", "widespread violations of humane rights", "The cases of Naga boys of Oinam village being tortured before their mothers by Assam rifles Jawans in July 1987; the killing of Amine Devi and her child of Bishnupur district on April 5, 1996 by a CRPF party; the abduction, torture and killing of 15-year-old Sanamacha of Angtha village by an Assam Rifles party on 12th February 1998; the shooting dead of 10 civilians by an Assam Rifles party in November 2000 are some of the glaring examples that are still fresh in the mind of Manipuris."
    15. ^ "Blood Tide Rising"TIME Magazine. January 18, 1993.
    16. ^ India
    17. ^ BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Kashmir's extra-judicial killings
    18. ^ Behind the Kashmir Conflict - Abuses in the Kashmir Valley
    19. ^ India: Repeal the Armed Forces Special Powers Act
    20. ^ Behind the Kashmir Conflict: Undermining the Judiciary (Human Rights Watch Report: July 1999)
    21. ^ Nambath, Suresh (March 21, 2011). "'Manipur more a colony of India'"The Hindu (Chennai, India).
    22. ^ http://www.thehindu.com/news/the-india-cables/the-cables/article1556742.ece/ref>
    23. ^ Burke, Jason (December 16, 2010). "WikiLeaks cables: India accused of systematic use of torture in Kashmir"The Guardian(London).

    [edit]External links

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    1. Armed Forces in Anti-Naxal Operations-I: Identifying the Problem by ...

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    2. Armed Forces in Anti-Naxal Operations-II: Mechanics for ...

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    Operation Green Hunt

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Operation Green Hunt
    Part of Naxalite-Maoist insurgency
    DateNovember 2009 -
    Location India's Red Corridor
    StatusOngoing
    Belligerents
    India India South Asian Communist Banner.svgCommunist Party of India (Maoist)
    Strength
    50,000 Central and State Police [1] 10,000-20,000 Insurgents[2]
    Casualties and losses
    80 killed (2010) [3] 90 killed (2010) [4]
    +145[1]
    [show]v · d · e

    Operation Green Hunt is the name used by the Indian media to describe theGovernment of India's ongoing paramilitary offensive against the Naxalite rebels. The operation began in November 2009 along five states in the "Red Corridor."[5]

    The term was coined by the Chhattisgarh police officials to describe one successful drive against the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the state. It was erroneously used by the media to describe the wider anti-Naxalite operations; the Government of India doesn't use the term "Operation Green Hunt" to describe its anti-Naxalite offensive.[6]

    Contents

      [hide

    [edit]Planning and implementation

    In October 2009, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) announced that it was in the final stages of planning the offensive and had received approval from the Union-led government. The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) would take the lead in the operations against Maoist insurgents.[7]

    At the beginning of November 2009, the first phase of the operation began in Gadchiroli district. As many as 18 companies of the central paramilitary forces were moved into the area in anticipation of the operation.[8]

    [edit]Maoist response

    As a response to the offensive, the insurgents launched several high-profile attacks on the Indian security forces:

    • On February 15, 2010 at least 25 policemen died after Maoists overran a security camp in West Bengal state. Naxalite-Maoist leaderKishenji claimed responsibility for the attack. He was quoted as saying that, "We have attacked the camp and this is our answer to P. Chidambaram's [the Indian Minister of Internal Affairs] 'Operation Green Hunt' and unless the Centre stops this inhuman military operation we are going to answer this way only."[9]
    • On April 6, 2010, Maoist rebels killed 75 policemen/CRPF men in a jungle ambush in central India in the worst-ever massacre of security forces by the insurgents. On the same day, Gopal, a top Maoist leader, said the attack was a "direct consequence" of the government's Operation Green Hunt offensive. This raised some voices of use of Indian Air Force against Naxalites, which were however declined citing "We can't use oppressive force against our own people".[10]
    • On June 29, 2010, At least 26 policemen have been killed in a Maoist attack in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh.[11]

    [edit]See also

    [edit]References

    1. a b "Maoists rebels kill 26 policemen in central India"BBC NEWS. 2010-06-29. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
    2. ^ "Profile: India's Maoist rebels"BBC NEWS. 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
    3. ^ http://www.merinews.com/article/eighty-crpf-jawans-killed-during-operation-green-hunt/15803282.shtml
    4. ^ http://www.indiavision.com/news/article/national/39368/
    5. ^ "India launches attack against Maoists"RT. 2009-11-11. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
    6. ^ "There is no 'Operation Green Hunt': Chidambaram"The Times of India. 2010-04-07. Retrieved 2010-04-08.
    7. ^ "'Centre's Anti-Naxal Plan to be Implemented Soon'"Outlook India (Mumbai: M/s Outlook Publishing (India) Private Limited). 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
    8. ^ Ali, Mazhar (2009-11-02). "First phase of Operation Green Hunt begins"Times of India (Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd). Retrieved 2010-03-13.
    9. ^ Banerjee, Monideepa (February 16, 2010). "Naxals massacre cops, furious Centre wants answers"NDTV (New Dehli). Retrieved February 17, 2010.
    10. ^ http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/Chhatisgarh-attack-consequence-of-Green-Hunt-Maoist-leader/Article1-528028.aspx
    11. ^ "India Maoists kill 26 policemen"BBC News. 2010-06-29.
    [show]v · d · eNaxalite-Maoist insurgency

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      Green Hunt: the anatomy of an operation

      AMAN SETHI
      SHARE  ·   COMMENT (15)   ·   PRINT   ·   T+  
      OPERATION GREEN HUNT: The adivasis of Bastar bear the brunt in the government's vow to eliminate Maoists.
      The HinduOPERATION GREEN HUNT: The adivasis of Bastar bear the brunt in the government's vow to eliminate Maoists.

      Away from the gaze of the media and the judiciary, the adivasis of Bastar are paying a heavy price … for just being there.

      An operation is underway in Central India, but no one really knows what it is. Variously described as a media myth, a comprehensive hearts and minds strategy, and an all-out offensive by paramilitary forces and the state forces along the borders of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, Operation Green Hunt has become a shoebox of news clippings, police reports, public demonstrations and armed encounters.

      Depending on the definition, Green Hunt either began in July 2009, September 2009 or November 2009. Speaking off record, senior policemen confirmed that the intensification of "search and comb" operations in Chhattisgarh began as early as July last year. In September 2009 the press reported on the progress of "Operation Green Hunt": a massive 3 day joint operation in which the central CoBRA force and state police battled Naxal forces in Dantewada.

      By November, the press was regularly reporting on the planning and progress of Green Hunt, prompting Home Minister, P. Chidambaram to term the operation a "media invention." Since then, the security apparatus has scrupulously avoided all mention of Green Hunt. The week-long joint operation, launched on December 25 2009 in

      CHANGE IN NOMENCLATURE

      Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra for instance, was termed "Police Week." The change in nomenclature could be prompted by a realisation that the battle between the state and the Naxals is unlikely to end anytime soon. Speaking on background, police sources confirm that the conflict shall take the form of "a prolonged, open-ended engagement" rather than a short, fierce "operation."

      There is also little clarity on the extent of troop deployment, the composition of the forces and the chain of command between central paramilitary forces and the state police. Privately, sources in the security apparatus admit that part of the confusion is by design rather than by default to control the information available to Naxal commanders. At present, the only information independently confirmed by The Hindu relates to the Bastar Zone, a 40,000 square kilometre area in Chhattisgarh that lies at heart of the battle. Sources state that 7 additional battalions of central forces have been moved in the area, bringing the strength of central forces in Bastar to a total 20 battalions including troops from the CRPF, ITBP, BSF and SSB. Taken alongside the 6,000 policemen deployed in Bastar, the size of the total fighting force in the zone is about 20,000 troops.

      "The first step was to secure the roads. Ninety to ninety five per cent of casualties of security forces occur on the roads." said T.J. Longkumer, Inspector General of Police, Bastar in an interview to this reporter. "We have started road security operations and indentified ambush prone areas." It is the next step that is proving controversial. "Forces shall actively enter villages and nab naxal elements," he added. Longkumer insists that search operations are conducted only on the basis of concrete intelligence and that all possible care is taken to minimise the death of innocents. However, information emerging from villages in the interior suggests otherwise.

      Figures provided by the police suggest that a majority of police operations have targeted "Sanghams" with 499 sangham members arrested in 2009 – up from 214 in 2007. Sanghams refer to village level bodies installed by the Naxals in areas under their control. Sangham members are considered to be sympathetic to the Naxal cause, but it is important to note that sangham members are not necessarily armed. While the number of Naxals killed has also increased to 113 in 2009, as compared to 66 in 2008, and the number of civilian deaths attributed to Naxal violence has reduced from 143 in 2008 to 116 in 2009, Chhattisgarh does not keep any record of civilians killed by the security forces. Police sources cite this as validation of the state's efforts to minimise civilian casualties, but sceptics see this as tautology where all those killed by the police are retrospectively termed Naxals.

      Two PILs pending in the Supreme Court since 2007 have highlighted precisely this problem, asking for an inquiry into killings, rapes and murders since 2005. They have provided an initial list of over 500 people killed, and subsequently pointed to discrepancies in the police version and the FIRs filed. Initially, the bodies were not even counted; now they are recorded as Naxalites killed in encounters. The NHRC, which investigated a small sample of the killings on the orders of the Court, noted with respect to the sangham members: "These villagers were specifically targeted when Salwa Judum was on the rise. The enquiry team has come across instances where some of these villagers were even killed (no criminal cases were, however, either reported or registered). Though the State has taken action against SPOs in some cases for violations like murder and attempt to murder, but these cases do not pertain to the violence let loose on innocent villagers during operations against Naxalites."

      Despite the gravity and urgency of the situation, there has been no hearing of this case for over a year now, because a suitable 'non-miscellaneous' day has not been available. Not surprisingly, allegations of unlawful killing continue to dog the state authorities. A writ petition filed in the Supreme Court last year implicates the Chhattisgarh police in the deaths of a total of 12 villagers in Gachanpalli and Gompad villages as part of "sanitisation" operations in September last year. As reported previously in The Hindu, the Chhattisgarh police have assumed control over at least four of the 13 petitioners, and have actively prevented them from meeting their lawyer. Witnesses to the Gompad incident have accused the police of killing innocents at random.

      FLUID IDENTITIES

      On the other side, on January 21 2010 local newspapers reported the killing of two "police informers", one a 16 to 18 year old tribal youth, in Chhattisgarh's Narayanpur district. Police sources cited in the story attributed the killing to the Eastern Bastar Division Committee of the Naxals. At a press conference in Raipur, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram stated that the two youth were killed as they wanted to join the Indian Army.

      As the battle-lines between the Naxals and the State shift with every jungle encounter, adivasis across the zone of operations are forced to assume a series of fluid identities contingent on the force in power on a given day.

      In a police operation with no clear name, timeline or goal, fought against a guerrilla force that rarely wears uniforms, the adivasis are learning that each side extracts a heavy price for supporting the other.

    http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article101706.ece

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Wealthy and Worried, India Is Rich Arms Market

By CHRISTOPHER DREW and HEATHER TIMMONS
Published: November 4, 2010

A big item on President Obama's India to-do list this weekend is securing a $5 billion deal forBoeing to sell 10 of its C-17 cargo planes.

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One of six Lockheed Martin C-130J cargo planes India bought for $1 billion.

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The agreement, for which Boeing and American officials have long laid the groundwork, would be part of a flurry of military equipment deals that foreign suppliers are eager to nail down with India. Mr. Obama's French and Russian counterparts are expected to visit New Delhi this year, with their own military sales contracts in hand.

India, flush with new wealth but worried about its national security, is rapidly turning into one of the world's most lucrative arms markets.

In the last several years, as its budget and appetite for more sophisticated weaponry have grown, India has reduced its traditional reliance on Russia for planes, ships and missiles.

The White House is backing sales like the C-17s, which India would use to transport its rapid-response forces, to help make India a regional counterweight to China.

But there is a big trade motive, too. As the United States and European nations trim military spending, the biggest weapons contractors, including Boeing and Lockheed Martin, see India as a sales lifeline.

Still, American companies face complex political and bureaucratic obstacles to gaining a large part of India's business. The president's trip will be focused in part on trying to cut through some of those problems.

Perhaps the biggest concern is Indian leaders' wariness about relying too much on the United States, which they see as a new, untested military partner, and one that is also arming Pakistan, India's main adversary.

In India, the United States "starts with a handicap" on arms sales, said K. Raja Menon, a retired admiral who is chairman of an Indian government task force that studies security risks.

India's accelerating economy gives it the resources to join Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the biggest arms buyers. And its desire to upgrade its military was spurred by the terror attacks in Mumbai in late 2008, when militants slipped in by sea and killed 160 people.

"There's nothing to galvanize the psyche of the Indian people toward better defense and homeland security than what happened in Mumbai," said Tom Captain, who leads the aerospace and defense group at Deloitte, the global consultancy.

Mr. Captain and other analysts estimate that, as its military budget expands by 7 percent to 8 percent annually, India could spend $50 billion to $80 billion in the next five years on equipment.

Besides the Pakistan issue, Indian military officials say that trade sanctions imposed after India conducted nuclear tests in 1998 have also put the United States at a disadvantage.

Most of the sanctions, which prohibited military exports to India and exports to Indian companies believed to be involved in the nuclear program, were repealed in 2001. But the sanctions have left concerns about Americans. "There is an entrenched view in bureaucracies in India that these guys will turn off the tap," said Mr. Menon, the retired admiral.

Indian officials are also upset that other technology controls remain in place, including bans on the sale of software that could also be used for weapons. The officials will press Mr. Obama to ease those strictures. Another sticking point could be that India has balked at signing agreements to protect American secrets that are a standard part of any sales.

India also uses the lure of big military contracts to require foreign companies to farm out work to Indian companies and create high-paying jobs there. But India's fledging military industries cannot handle all the work, and American officials want more flexibility in those arrangements.

At the same time, American analysts say that India's military spending process is so chaotic and unfocused that it is proving difficult to complete deals.

"India at the moment has the money to buy weapons, but behind this there is not much strategic direction," said Stephen P. Cohen, an analyst with the Brookings Institution.

Still, India's plan to modernize its military is so sweeping that industry officials say there should be plenty of business to go around.

"All I can say is that the market potential here is so significant that there is room for various countries and companies," said Vivek Lall, the vice president in charge of Boeing's military business in India.

One of the biggest prizes would be a $10 billion contract to replace old Russian fighter planes with 126 new jets. Boeing, Lockheed Martin and four companies from Europe and Russia have bid, and the contract could be awarded next year.

Mr. Obama is likely to talk up the American companies during his visit, just as Nicolas Sarkozy of France and President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia are expected to make pitches for their manufacturers when they visit India.

American companies are also bidding on major contracts involving helicopters and missile systems, while some earlier deals are coming to fruition.

Lockheed Martin, for example, is about to deliver the first of six C-130J cargo planes that India ordered for $1 billion in 2007. Boeing, meanwhile, is building maritime surveillance planes under a $2.1 billion contract awarded in early 2009.

But American executives say they realize that success in India will depend on how well they can unite with Indian companies, a process that could help them win more political support.

Several American contractors have created joint ventures with a government-owned company, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. Boeing signed a 10-year, $1 billion deal with the Indian company in 2007. Hindustan is making parts for Boeing's 777 commercial jets and for planes it is building for the Pentagon and India.

And the Tata Group, India's largest business conglomerate, is expected to deliver the first Indian-made cabins for the Sikorsky S-92 helicopter in November.

Bharat Wakhlu, the resident director of Tata in New Delhi, said labor costs in India were one-eighth or less than in the United States. So even though productivity levels are lower, he said, the American companies can still realize significant savings by moving work there.

American officials, however, say that Indian rules limiting foreign contractors to minority stakes in joint ventures, and requiring them to spend 30 percent of any contract money on work in India, are too onerous.

But as long as India's economy is booming, American arms suppliers may still make big gains. The cost of weapons is simply not as much a factor as it was just a few years ago, when India relied mainly on Russia for military equipment, said Gurmeet Kanwal, a retired brigadier and the director of the Center for Land Warfare Studies, a research organization in New Delhi.

American technology is seen as the "top of the top," he said, and "we should aim to pay a little more for the best equipment."

Vikas Bajaj contributed reporting.

A version of this article appeared in print on November 5, 2010, on page
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/business/05defense.html


For the Arms Industry, India Is a Hot Market

By JYOTI THOTTAM AND NILANJANA BHOWMICK / NEW DELHI Friday, Feb. 19, 2010
Scale models of helicopters are on display at Defexpo 2010 in New Delhi on Feb. 16, 2010
Gurinder Osan / AP

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The Indian Defense Minister, A.K. Antony, called this week's massive defense-industry trade show, Defexpo 2010, "an endeavor to showcase India's capabilities in land and naval systems as well as its emergence as an attractive destination for investment in the defense sector." His junior minister, M.M. Pallam Raju, was a little more blunt. He called the event, which attracted more than 600 companies from 35 countries, a "one-stop shop." India is emerging as one of the most important defense markets in the world, with billions of dollars to spend, and the global defense industry is only too happy to help it do so.
The country's marquee bid is an order for 126 fighter planes, worth $10 billion — the single biggest tender in the world in the past 15 years. Six companies' jets are in the running: Boeing's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Aviation's Rafale, Lockheed Martin's F-16, Russia's MiG-35, Saab's JAS 39 Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon from EADS, a six-nation European consortium. All of them sent teams of delegates to Defexpo. They hovered around their booths, giving impromptu presentations over free cappuccino to bureaucrats, army officers and local journalists. The bid is already in its final stages — Indian air force pilots are testing the planes in the field — so it is unlikely that the PowerPoint slides at Defexpo will sway the decision. Still, says Marco Bonelli, spokesman for the Eurofighter Typhoon, "you have to be here."(See pictures of India a year after the Mumbai attacks.)
So it was with no small pride that EADS representatives pointed out that the Defense Minister came to their booth this week and tried out the Eurofighter Typhoon flight simulator. He sat in a replica of the cockpit, watching a head-up display projected onto a screen in front of him as a simulated landscape — in this case, the west of England, near Manchester — passed underneath. Wing Commander Anthony (Foxy) Gregory of the Royal Air Force was there to answer technical questions, and will head to Bangalore to work with Indian test pilots. "We see the Indian air force becoming a strategic partner in the region," Gregory says.
What has really drawn defense companies to India, however, is the smaller-ticket market for internal security, especially after the Nov. 26, 2008, terrorism attacks in Mumbai. "We had to rethink our strategy after 26/11," says Woolf Gross, corporate director of international programs for Northrop Grumman. "After our review, we decided to cater to India's homeland security." The company adapted one of its surveillance systems, for example, to identify suspicious vehicles at sea, the route that the Mumbai attackers are believed to have used. For the first time since the inaugural Defexpo in Delhi in 1999, Northrop Grumman has flown in representatives from all five of its units. "We are hoping for that one big sale in India," he says.
The Indian government, too, has signaled the new importance of what it calls "low-intensity conflict," like the multiagency security offensive aimed at defeating India's armed Maoist insurgency, a movement that controls a wide stretch of territory in central India. The Defense Ministry's research and development arm, which traditionally caters to the needs of the armed forces, displayed this year for the first time unmanned aerial vehicles and other weapons developed for counterinsurgency. "Technology is being dovetailed to suit low-intensity conflicts," a top defense research official told TIME.
U.S. companies are following their lead. Taser, for example, is selling its controversial stun-guns, used by law-enforcement authorities to subdue people, to Indian state police forces as well as central security forces, which are conducting joint anti-Maoist operations. It has already signed contracts for Taser weapons with the police forces of two states — Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir — and expects India to become one of its "top 10, if not top 5," export markets, says spokesman Yogesh Saini. "They're not allowed for private security guards [in India], but we have had people asking about it."
One question left unanswered at Defexpo 2010 was whether a country in which one-third of the adults are illiterate and 43% of children are malnourished should spend so much on weapons. India's central government spent $4.5 billion on education in 2008 — about the same amount that it plans to spend on 197 new helicopters. A handful of protesters picketed outside the gates of the exhibition hall on opening day, but they drew little notice. India's attention is firmly focused on what a defense-company representative called the "quality gap" between its weapons and those of its neighbors, Pakistan and China. The gaps at home will have to wait.
See the best pictures of 2009.
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1966605,00.html


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1966605,00.html#ixzz1eArF1r9I

Cornered Naxals put Mamata Banerjee on hit-list

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KOLKATA: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee is on the Maoists hit-list. Intelligence agencies have alerted the state home department about this recent development. Banerjee is aware of it as she runs the home ministry.


According to an official in Writers' Buildings, senior home department officials will urge the chief minister to use the security cordon meant for her while travelling within the city. Banerjee does not use bullet-proof cars in the city. She often breaks the security ring to meet ordinary people.


Maoists are unhappy with Banerjee because the state administration has managed to dismantle most of their hideouts and convince several activists to surrender. A Maoist couple from Jangalmahal, Jagari Baske and her husband Rajaram Soren, had surrendered on Thursday. There are also many activists in the safe custody of the police, helping joint forces to run search operations in Maoist hideouts.


Lambodar Majhi, a Maoist activist from Purulia district is reportedly in the safe custody of the district police and guiding the joint forces in locating Maoist dens and finding arms and ammunition from hideouts. Dwijen Hembram is another Maoist action squad leader in Belpahari under West Midnapore district, reportedly helping joint forces in West Midnapore district to trace Maoist dens and seize arms and ammunition.


In the last few days, joint forces have seized 6 Insas rifles, 2 SLRs, 1 AK-47 and 786 cartridges, including 150 kg bomb-making materials from different forests in Lalgarh, Belpahari, Binpur, Narayangarh and Jhargram. Hembram and some other Maoist activists helped joint forces in finding such a huge cache of arms and ammunition.


In a related development, Maoists posters were found inside the chamber of food minister Jyotipriya Mullik. Maoists had threatened to kill the minister and claimed that they will close all food department offices in Purulia district.


They also demanded Rs 2,000 per quintal to farmers as support price for rice. They held Mamata Banerjee responsible for the current spate of violence in Jangalmahal and sought to know from her when peace and normalcy would be back in the region.

Asia Pacific: Power Dynamics
Obama pivots towards Asia, eyeing jobs
With Europe mired in debt crisis, both Democrats and Republicans are clearly focused on Asia as a key economic partner for the United States.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/cornered-naxals-put-mamata-banerjee-on-hit-list/articleshow/10787602.cms

Explosives found before survey in Maoist-hit areas

PTI
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Security personnel on Saturday found explosives in Saranda forest before a survey in Maoist-hit villages to implement development schemes in West Singhbhum district.
"Two boxes of gelatin sticks and boosters were found from Tirilposi and two landmines weighing 20 kg each were found from Tirilposi-Digha in Saranda forest in Maoist-hit Manoharpur police station," DIG (CRPF) Bhanu Pratap Singh said.
He said the anti-Maoist operation was continuing in Saranda forest, which was recaptured from the clutches of the Maoists recently.
In an attempt to implement the action plan, Mr. Singh said four teams of the State government have been conducting survey in the affected areas.
The teams would survey, prepare Detail Project Report for the development projects including construction of roads, panchayat and anganwadi bhawans.
Keywords: Jharkhand, Maoists, CRPF, Survey, Explosives

US warns action if Pak fails to stop cross border attacks


Charging that violent extremist groups from their safe havens in Pakistan were posing a "significant threat" to US forces, a topPentagon official has warned that Washington would "consider a range of options" if Islamabad does not address these concerns.


"It is Pakistan's responsibility to prevent attacks from its territory on others, including Afghanistan and our forces there," Mark Lippert said in his testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing for the post of the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs.


"If Pakistan does not address these threats, the United States will have to consider a range of options, but it is best when we have Pakistan's cooperation," he told lawmakers in a written response to the question asked to him.


"The ability of violent extremist groups to find support and safe haven in Pakistan poses a significant threat to US forces, the NATO mission, and the long term stability of Afghanistan," he said, adding that attacks against US and coalition personnel are unacceptable.


Noting that Pakistan has legitimate concerns that should be understood and addressed by the Afghan Government in any process to bring about a stable and durable political solution in Afghanistan, he said at the same time Pakistan also has responsibilities of its own, including taking decisive steps to ensure that the Afghan Taliban and affiliated groups cannot continue to conduct the insurgency from its territory.


"Increased action is particularly critical with groups such as the Haqqani network, who continue to maintain close ties to Al-Qaeda and other violent extremist organizations that pose real threats not only to the United States, but also to the people and Government of Pakistan," he said.


China says differences on South China Sea can be overcome: Report


BEIJING: Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers have "vowed" to "eliminate the disturbance" in bilateral ties and to improve relations, according to official Chinese media here.

Noting that in the meeting between Wen Jiabao andManmohan Singh on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Bali in Indonesia, differences over theSouth China Sea had figured prominently, the media said Beijing would make efforts with New Delhi to eliminate such differences.


"China would like to make efforts with India to eliminate disturbance and stick to the path of friendship, mutual trust and cooperation," the state-run China Daily quoted Wen telling Singh during their 55-minute-long meeting yesterday.


The daily said the meeting between the two leaders came a few weeks after Beijing and New Delhi quarrelled over India's overseas oil exploration in the South China Sea (blocks claimed by Vietnam), and quoted Singh as telling Wen that despite differences, India was committed to developing the "best of relations" with China.


"We are neighbours and also large, growing economies of Asia. We should cooperate bilaterally and globally," Singh was quoted as saying and had conveyed to the Chinese leader that "there are enough areas where India and China can enhance cooperation."


The daily also carried comments by Sanjay Singh, Secretary East Asia of the External Affairs Ministry that on the South China Sea dispute Manmohan Singh has argued that Indian explorations of oil and gas deposits were purely commercial and the issue of sovereignty should be resolved according to international law and practice.


But, the official Xinhua news agency said that though Beijing always cherished its bilateral ties with India, "China's goodwill can by no means be interpreted as a desperate outreach to endear India and other neighbours at any cost."


Xinhua report also quoted Wen telling Singh that he was confident China and India would have better cooperation in the future.


Wen called on both countries to create more favourable conditions for free circulation of goods, technology,capital and services, to encourage two-way investment and cooperation in projects contracting, so as to make more benefits for companies and peoples of the two countries, it said.

17 NOV, 2011, 06.35AM IST, JOHN SAMUEL RAJA D,ET BUREAU

Six ways in which black money is created

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Black money is turning out to be big issue with many political leaders and civil society members speaking a lot about it. ET brings out the ways in which the black money is created.

Also read: What obstacles are preventing black money retrieval by the government

Ten means to put an end to black money issue

METHOD 1: MULTI-LEVEL MARKETING SCHEME

A recent trend is to use international debit or credit cards issued by offshore banks. This enables easy usage.

STEP 1: A group of individuals float a multi-level marketing scheme or investment scheme promising extraordinary returns to investors.

STEP 2: Investors deposit cash or cheques in bank accounts floated by the firm. The firm, in turn, issues them post-dated cheques.
STEP 3: The firm transfers the money to personal bank accounts of the promoters.

STEP 4: The promoters wire transfer the money to an offshore bank account in a tax haven. They wire transfer it again to another offshore bank account, in another tax haven, to widen the trail.

STEP 5: The offshore bank issues a credit or debit card valid anywhere in the world, which a promoter can use for transactions.

LIVE EXAMPLE:

In 2009, India's Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) received suspicious transactions report from banks that a large number of deposits had been made in a few accounts. Further investigation revealed these accounts had a common permanent account number (PAN), address and contact numbers, and that it was a multi-level marketing scheme promising extraordinary returns. As explained above, the firm transferred the money collected to personal bank accounts of its directors.

Fifteen operators floated 10 firms, which in turn opened 35 bank accounts in 11 different banks. One operator alone received Rs 130 crore in his accounts over a period of 16 months, and the state police have attached Rs 190 crore of assets in various locations.

INDICATORS:
Lifestyle beyond known sources of income

Ownership of assets abroad, but not declared in tax returns

Large inter-account transfers with no economic rationale

Cash transactions with unknown persons

Withdrawal of large foreign remittance in cash

METHOD 2: DISGUISED OWNERSHIP

Increasingly, criminals want to own legitimate business. It could be to earn a return or to convert black money into white. A typical example of how this is done:

STEP 1: Criminal X generates Rs 10 crore in cash from illegal activities in India, and wants to 'launder' it abroad. He uses the 'hawala' route to transfer the money: he gives the Rs 10 crore cash to a local hawala operator. The operator, for a fee, arranges to deposit the sum in an offshore bank account belonging to a company floated by X.

STEP 2: The offshore company buys shares in a domestic company promoted by X, that too at steep valuations

STEP 3: The domestic company pays a high salary and dividends to X. Black becomes white, and X can show the money as income.

INDICATORS:
International corporate structure with no visible benefits

Shares of domestic companies sold at higher valuations

Tax returns don't support capital contribution by investors

Large cash holdings

Offshore companies will do business outside the country where it is formed. Such companies can be run by a nominee director and are often not required to publish annual accounts.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/six-ways-in-which-black-money-is-created/articleshow/10763250.cms

17 NOV, 2011, 06.49AM IST, JOHN SAMUEL RAJA D,ET BUREAU

Ten means to put an end to black money issue

RELATED ARTICLES



Part one of this series showed how the govt was flailing to recover black money . In the concluding part, here are 10 things the govt could do to come down harder on this economic crime.


Also read: Six ways in which black money is created
1. Lobby to End Banking Secrecy

Automatic exchange of information between countries can take place in many ways. An example is theEuropean Union withholding tax, under which EU residents are taxed on their deposits irrespective of the country within the union they are held in.

That way, taxes cannot be avoided within the 27 EU countries that have agreed to this; the three exceptions are Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg. India, by comparison, has to make specific -- and detailed -- requests to the same countries for information on its citizens for tax fraud or for criminal activity.

It can't arm-twist smaller, secretive countries the same way as large, developed economies can. In the past two years, India has been pressing for greater and easier sharing of tax information with 75 countries, including 22 tax havens. "The reworking of existing treaties and new tax-sharing agreements is not going to help at all," says R Vaidyanathan, professor of finance at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

"India should push for automatic exchange of information." Vaidyanathan, who has held various positions with the market and insurance regulators, calls tax havens "financial brothels". "The sooner we close them, the better." The global antipathy towards tax havens and banking secrecy is increasing.

At the G20 summit earlier this month, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called to end banking secrecy. It will take more than that: a mechanism like the World Trade Organisation to evolve global consensus or the brute force of a grouping like the G20, which account for about 80% of the world economy.

2. Bribe for Information

Germany bribed a former LGT bank official to get data on bank deposits held by its citizens in the Liechtenstein-based bank. Similarly, France paid off an official of HSBC Geneva to obtain data on bank accounts of its citizens in the Swiss Bank.

There were Indians on both these lists, and their names -- 26 in LGT and 700 in HSBC -- reached the government in India, and action is underway. This has, by far, proven to be the most effective route. The protocol and restrictions in tax treaties signed by India make information flow a slow process, and recovery an unlikely outcome.

"Most communications are under DTAA (double tax avoidance treaty)," a senior incometax official based in Mumbai, on the condition of anonymity. "Sometimes, information flows through diplomatic channels also."

"Looking for suspicious transactions is like trying to find a needle in a haystack," says Arun Kumar, professor of economics in the Jawaharlal Nehru University. "Better would be to steal the data from the bank by bribing officials." Indian tax laws allow for payments to informers that result in successful tax demand and collection.

Rupee slide: Impact & Analysis
Falling Rupee, high interest rates bring home a flurry of Dollars
Indians working overseas are sending back record amount of dollars to take advantage of strong greenback and lucrative returns offered by banks.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/finance/ten-means-to-put-an-end-to-black-money-issue/articleshow/10763329.cms
19 NOV, 2011, 04.12AM IST, ET BUREAU

US defence secretary Leon Panetta describes India as threat


NEW DELHI: US defence secretary Leon Panetta put both feet in his mouth by describing India and China as "emerging threats" to his country. Panetta's gaffe in Washington coincided with President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's meeting in Bali to boost bilateral engagement. His office quickly retracted the remarks and said Washington strongly values close ties with New Delhi.


Agency reports from Washington said Panetta departed from the prepared text and said: "There are still threats out there. We face threats from Iran; we face threats from North Korea; we face threats from cyber," while talking to workers at a submarine plant in Connecticut about emerging challenges facing the US beyond the Iraq and Afghan wars.


But the former CIA chief, who recently said that he was looking forward to visit India, strayed from the known US foreign policy stand by adding China and India to the list of countries posing security dangers: "We face the threats from rising powers - China, India, others - that we have to always be aware of and try to make sure that we always have sufficient force protection out there in the Pacific to make sure they know we're never going anywhere."


But Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby quickly sought to correct the impression, saying Panetta believed that relationships with China and India were absolutely vital. "Any suggestion that he was implying either country was a military threat is just false," Kirby said suggesting Panetta was referring instead to the challenges that China and India face "within themselves.


http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/us-defence-secretary-leon-panetta-describes-india-as-threat/articleshow/10787750.cms

US will not stop till al-Qaeda is completely destroyed: Joe Biden

WASHINGTON: The United States today pledged never to forget the enemy which was responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks in the country 10 years ago and said it will not rest till al-Qaeda is completely destroyed.


"We will not stop. You will not stop until al-Qaeda is not only disrupted, but completely dismantled and ultimately destroyed," Vice President Joe Biden told US soldiers at the 9/11 observance ceremony at the Pentagon.


Biden said over a decade of war, the US military and intelligence community pioneered new tactics, mastered new language, developed and employed advanced new technologies.


"They took on responsibilities once reserved only to those with considerably more seniority; responsibilities that extended beyond the base or the battlefield, to the politics of Afghanistan, to the politics of Iraq, to the economies of those countries and to the development task that ultimately will lay the groundwork for us to leave behind stable countries that will not threaten us," he said.


"And along with the intelligence community and the law enforcement community, they relentlessly took the fight to al-Qaeda and its affiliates. They were prepared to follow bin Laden to hell's gate if necessary and they got him," he said.


Biden said the terrorists who attacked the Pentagon sought to weaken America by shattering this defining symbol of our military might and prowess. "But they failed."


Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said: "By these memorials to each victim, we pledge to never forget the enemy that made this happen, why we fight them, and why we will never stop fighting them to make sure that what happened here and in New York City and in the field in Pennsylvania never happens again."


"As we recall that day of tragedy and trauma, of bravery and heroism, we remember it as a defining moment for all Americans. We were challenged by al-Qaeda and its vicious hatred aimed squarely at our values. They tried to weaken us and instead they made us stronger," Panetta said.


"Out of the darkness of this grief, out of the darkness of this sorrow, has come the light of inspiration to serve America, to fight our enemies, to protect the safety and freedom of the American people, and to make our country stronger and better for future generations of Americans," Panetta said.


Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a whole new generation has been inspired to serve, many of them in uniform.


"Indeed, from this place of wrath and tears, America's military ventured forth as the long arm and clenched fist of an angry nation at war. And we have remained at war ever since, visiting upon our enemies the vengeance they were due and providing for the American people the common defense they demand," he said.

Development must to fight Maoists: Jairam Ramesh

Jairam Ramesh takes the oath of office as Minister for Rural Development after a cabinet reshuffle in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, July 12, 2011. India's embattled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is shaking up his Cabinet by removing ministers tainted by allegations of corruption and mismanagement and promoting younger politicians.Photo/Saurabh Das)

IANS | Nov 19, 2011, 07.28PM IST

WEST MIDNAPORE (West Bengal): Citing non-development as the main reason whyMaoists are flourishing, union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh Saturday said the government needed to focus on growth, political dialogue and police action to tackle the guerrillas.


"The Maoists and Naxals have flourished here because these areas have remained undeveloped for long. A lot needs to be done for the people there so that they get their basic needs. The key focus should be on rural development along with political dialogue and police action to tackle them," he said.


Jairam Ramesh is on a visit to the state to take stock of the various rural developmental projects in the forested stretches of three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura -- which are popularly known as Junglemahal, a Maoist stronghold.


"The central government has declared 60 districts across the country as Maoist affected which includes West Midnapore. Soon, Bankura and Purulia too would be included," he said.


The minister also said the government was keen on undertaking various development projects in Maoist affected districts.


"In the next two years, 600 kms of rural roads will be constructed. The ideal need is 1,800 kms across the country, which we will be undertaken soon," he said.

Amid hiccups, peace process kick-starts in Maoist heartland in Nepal

PRASHANT JHA
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The HinduMaoist combatants wait for their moment to go through the categorisation process. Photo: Prashant Jha
With uniformed Maoist combatants walking into a cordoned-off part of their divisional cantonment to decide their future on Saturday afternoon, Nepal's peace process kicked off in the original 'base-area' of the Maoist revolt. Twenty minutes away from the police post that the Maoist rebels attacked in 1996 to signal the beginning of the 'People's War', former fighters began expressing their preference among three options for the future – integration into the Nepal Army (NA), rehabilitation, or retirement with cash packages.
But the day was marked by high drama, giving a glimpse into problems that may mar the peace agreement.
When surveyor teams began the process of categorization, combatants provided their current educational levels, current ranks in the People's Liberation Army (PLA) hierarchy, and date of birth based on citizenship certificates acquired after the war ended. But the teams claimed that previous understanding was to include data of combatants in accordance with U.N. verification in early 2007. The process was temporarily halted.
Sitting around the main square at the cantonment, battalion commander Vivek Gaire toldThe Hindu, "Many of our friends, who could not study during the war, have used the past four years to earn degrees. Should that not be the criteria now?"
By the afternoon however, negotiations at different levels led to a breakthrough. Maoists and secretariat of the Special Committee for Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Combatants agreed that both sets of data – as in 2007, and current levels – would be included. With the new deal, the process was resumed. But informed sources suggest that while the problem had been postponed, further negotiations could be expected on the issue.
Murmurs of dissatisfaction could be heard from other sources.
Balwan Pun Magar 'Sandeep' joined the Maoists in 1997, and suffered limb injuries in cross-fire in a major battle against the army five years later. A platoon commander, he said that there was 'confusion and uncertainty' since the agreement did not have a separate package for those with different abilities. "We want pension and guarantee of life-long health treatment." There are almost 200 combatants with disabilities in the 2400 strong Rolpa division.
Top level fissures between party leaders are reflected in Rolpa too. One divisional vice commander, Raj Bahadur Budhamagar 'Avinash', considered loyal to party chairman Prachanda, told the press that they all accepted the seven point agreement on November 1. But another vice commander Ram Lal Roka Magar 'Madan', loyal to the more dogmatic faction of vice chairman Mohan Vaidya 'Kiran', expressed his dissent from the same stage. He said, "The agreement is against the sentiment of the PLA and disregards our contribution." But he added that they would not obstruct the regrouping process.
Despite hiccups, on the day that many saw as the beginning of the end of their four year stay in cantonments, most combatants were busy discussing their preferred options, with the emphasis being it must be 'respectful'. While some were keen to go for integration option, others thought that retiring and taking cash made more sense. Only a few are understood to be attracted to rehabilitation and training packages. The process is scheduled to end on November 28.
Keywords: Nepal, Rolpa contonement, Peace process, Rehabilitation, PLA

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2642635.ece

Dreaded Maoist Jagori Baske surrenders, slams rebels' wrong path

TNN | Nov 19, 2011, 03.13AM IST
KOLKATA: The name that launched a thousand red guerrillas in the Maoist siege against the state finally bade farewell to arms. On Thursday, Maoist commander Jagori Baske - who inspired awe and terror in Jangalmahal - walked up to Writers' Buildings with her husband, rebel comrade Rajaram Soren, and five-year-old son to surrender before chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
Jagori's name had cropped up after every major Maoist attack, including the Silda massacre, and she was accused in over 30 cases, including horrific murders like the burning of an elderlyCPM leader and his wife in Purulia in 2005.
In the battle between the awe-inspiring squad commander and a loving mother, Jagori chose the latter. Five Maoist leaders, beginning with Prakash, have now surrendered to the Mamata government.
What is not clear is how she approached the administration. Sources say that Jagori got in touch with some officials three months ago, leading to a series of delicate negotiations and culminating in Thursday's dramatic surrender.
Clad in battle fatigues, Jagori echoed Mamata's words, saying: "The party (Maoists) led us on the wrong path. They said they would offer freedom to the people. They taught me to use weapons and kill people and policemen. As I grew older, I came to realise that they were doing many wrongs. I want to go back to the mainstream. They (Maoists) are opposed to the development that the government wants, and that's the reason I want to come back".
Surprising words from a ruthless rebel who joined the Maoist ranks as a 16-year-old and never batted an eyelid when she took someone's life. Jagori was most recently accused in the abduction and murder of police officer Partha Biswas and teacher Saumyajit Basu in Purulia in 2010. Her name first started doing the rounds in the December 2005 brutal murder of CPM leader Rabindranath Kar and his wife Anandamoyee in Purulia. She is suspected to have led a squad that gunned down another leader, Mahendra Mahato, in July that year. She is said to be an expert in firearms, from the AK-47 to .303.
But all that is past, Jagori said. She claimed she was misled into believing that change can be brought about at gunpoint and feels that the movement has "lost its direction and purpose". Rajaram said: "They (Maoists) had said they would work for development of the tribals, but I found them killing the tribals instead and realised that I had chosen the wrong path."
Jagori's surrender is a major success for Mamata who has given the war cry against Maoists after several of her partymen were killed in Jangalmahal. "I congratulate them for coming out like this," Mamata said, promising to take up the responsibility of educating Jagori's son Bahadur. She reiterated her rehabilitation package and appealed to Maoists to surrender.
"They (Jagori and Rajaram) have told me certain things - about how the Maoists torture women. People often take the wrong path, but when they realize it they can always come back. My appeal is to stop this bloodshed," the CM said. She even gave the rebels a private hearing when they said they had some special requests regarding their son's education.
Police did not divulge exactly when the duo surrendered, but sources revealed that they were in touch with the police for three months, long after Jagori was removed from the Ayodhya squad.
According to police, Jagori's relation with CPI(Maoist) got strained in 2007 when she was expelled along with her mentor Gurucharan Kisku alias Marshall. While Marshall completely turned against the Maoists, even reportedly assisting in police operations, the Maoist leadership had a soft corner for Jagori. She was apparently taken back in 2009 but things were not the same.
Police had a hunch that she was disgruntled with the Maoists and started exploring this strain in the relationship between the rebel couple and the Maoist top brass, say sources. Jagori and Rajaram were relatively "inactive" in recent times.
A senior Kolkata Police officer, a veteran of Purulia, has been exploring these links, say sources. Some top police officers spent the last few weeks trying to figure out if Jagori and Rajaram were really keen on surrendering. When they were convinced, the rebels were made to surrender before special IG-IB Om Prakash Gupta.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Dreaded-Maoist-Jagori-Baske-surrenders-slams-rebels-wrong-path/articleshow/10787364.cms

Explosives found before survey in Maoist-hit areas

PTI
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Security personnel on Saturday found explosives in Saranda forest before a survey in Maoist-hit villages to implement development schemes in West Singhbhum district.
"Two boxes of gelatin sticks and boosters were found from Tirilposi and two landmines weighing 20 kg each were found from Tirilposi-Digha in Saranda forest in Maoist-hit Manoharpur police station," DIG (CRPF) Bhanu Pratap Singh said.
He said the anti-Maoist operation was continuing in Saranda forest, which was recaptured from the clutches of the Maoists recently.
In an attempt to implement the action plan, Mr. Singh said four teams of the State government have been conducting survey in the affected areas.
The teams would survey, prepare Detail Project Report for the development projects including construction of roads, panchayat and anganwadi bhawans.
Keywords: Jharkhand, Maoists, CRPF, Survey, Explosives

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Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/11/19/us-reportedly-prepares-new-sanctions-on-iran/#ixzz1eAfa7kRD

In Asia-Pacific, a determined Obama

(Charles Dharapak/AP) - U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Nusa Dua, on the island of Bali, Indonesia, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011.

By David Nakamura, Saturday, November 19, 9:08 PM

GUAM — As he hopscotched across the Asian Pacific over the past nine days, President Obama cast himself as a leader determined to protect American interests and spread American values, willing to project power and take political risks for the sake of a better future.
It was a message that returned a degree of lift and optimism — and the notion of American exceptionalism — to the president's political oratory, elements that have been largely absent in recent months as he has focused on the grinding task of creating jobs and curbing unemployment at home.

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Obama heads back to Washington early Sunday feeling upbeat about his Asia-Pacific tour, although the good vibes will probably not last long. A bipartisan congressional "supercommittee" appears unlikely to meet a Wednesday deadline to reach agreement on a debt-reduction plan, and the resulting political chaos almost certainly will engulf the president again.
By taking his case abroad, however, Obama temporarily put distance between himself and the political impasse that has nearly paralyzed Washington. The president largely succeeded in putting flesh on his administration's bare-bones declaration that it was pivoting its attention to a region where U.S. influence had waned.
He unveiled plans to create a new regional trade pact, establish a distant U.S. military outpost in Australia and reopen diplomatic relations with a long-cloistered autocratic government in Burma. In doing so, Obama sent a strong signal to China that the United States would not allow it to bend international rules at the expense of American businesses and global security — simultaneously appealing to the U.S. business community and blunting criticism from Republican rivals that he has taken a soft line with the country's fast-growing rival.
"In the United States, there are times where we question our influence around the world," Obama said in Honolulu, answering questions at a forum of 1,000 large-company CEOs who do business in the region. "But the news I have to deliver for the American people is: American leadership is still welcome."
The reason, he added, is that the United States goes beyond its own parochial interests to set up "rules and norms" in the international arena. Those nations that failed to follow, Obama declared, would face U.S. sanctions.
Time and again, it was China that bore the brunt of Obama's criticism for failing to "play by the rules." Obama's top aides told reporters that the president stressed, in a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, that U.S. business executives had grown frustrated with the slow pace of reform in China's economic policies, which the executives felt unfairly kept the country's currency values low and looked the other way on intellectual property rights violations.
The message was aimed at shoring up confidence in the business community that the Obama administration is willing to take a tougher approach with China. The administration also announced progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact with eight other nations, a free-trade agreement that does not include China.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/in-asia-pacific-a-determined-obama/2011/11/19/gIQA3U4TbN_story.html
* 19 Nov 2011, 10:35 PM (IST)

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The War of 1971
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The Liberation Times
Day by Day coverage of the Bangladesh War

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Bharat Rakshak

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Leh's Hall of Fame

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The President's Body Guard - A History

*This article covers the history of the President's Body Guard. PBG is the oldest surviving mounted unit and the senior most regiment of the Indian Army.

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Book Release : Downwind, Four Green

*Downwind, Four Green - A comprehensive history of the Sea Hawk fighter in Indian Naval Aviation Service. Authored by Vice Admiral Vinod Pasricha (retd), this book covers all aspects of the aircraft's history - including individual airframe service histories. Highly recommended!




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·         Security Environment - An Overview

·         Indian Army

·         Indian Navy

·         Coast Guard

·         Indian Airforce




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Security Environment - An Overview

India 's security concerns are defined by a dynamic global security environment and the perception that South Asia region is of particular global security interest. The continuing presence of terrorist and fundamentalist forces in its neighbourhood  has prompted India to maintain a high level of defence vigilance and preparedness to face any challenge to its security.

The security challenges facing India are varied and complex. The country faces a series of low intensity conflicts characterized by tribal, ethnic and left wing movements and ideologies as also the proxy war conducted by Pakistan and various radical jehadi outfits through the instrumentality of terrorism. India is also affected by the trafficking in drugs and proliferation of small arms and the fact that it is surrounded by two neighbours with nuclear weapons and missiles and history of  pastaggressions and war. There is also the ever present possibility of hostile radical fundamentalist elements gaining access to the weapons of mass destruction in Pakistan . The country has experienced four major conventional border wars besides an undeclared war at Kargil. India 's response to these threats and challenges has always been restrained, measured and moderate in keeping with its peaceful outlook and  reputation as a peace loving country


National Security Objectives

India's national security objectives have evolved against a backdrop of India's core values namely, democracy, secularism and peaceful co-existence and the national goal of social and economic development. These are:-

·         defending the country's borders as defined by law and enshrined in the Constitution;