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Arrested IAF official was honey-trapped by spy in guise of British journo

Ranjith KK, the 30-year-old Indian Air Force official who was dismissed from service and arrested from an airbase in Punjab earlier this week, had allegedly passed on official secrets to a suspected intelligence operative.According to Delhi police crime branch, the official had been compromised after falling prey to a honey trap set up by the suspected operative, Damini McNought, who posed as a journalist on Facebook.The arrest, made during a combined operation by Delhi police, military intelligence and Air Force liaisoning unit (LU), is being considered another major breakthrough after an ISI-backed espionage network was busted in Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month.Ranjith was posted in Bhatinda as an LAC (Leading Air Craftsman) before being dismissed on Monday. Bhatinda serves as a front line airbase near Pakistan border and has a very important surveillance unit, according to the officials. He is married and has a kid as well, said police.”The accused joined IAF in 2010 and has served in other states as well. He was booked under official secrets act and produced in a city court which sent him to four-day police custody,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of Delhi police (Crime).Investigators told dna that Ranjith was contacted by Damini on Facebook nearly a year ago. Damini told Ranjith that she was working for a leading British magazine as a war correspondent and needed his help for a story she was working on.”The suspect offered to transfer money into a bank account under Ranjith’s name. We are looking into recent transactions made towards that account,” said a senior police official. In exchange, Ranjith sent official secrets that included Air Force deployments, exercises and troop movements, he added.Sources told dna that Rs30,000 transferred into the account of Ranjith from a foreign bank had tipped off the intelligence agencies. “Air Force had kept him under surveillance for nearly three months. He had passed on critical sensitive information including air field markings through VOIP calls,” said the source.The accused has disclosed that the alleged spy has a British accent, which was apparent in their conversations during later phase of their relationship, interrogators said.Ranjith’s relationship with the suspected operative took a turn after the duo cosied up to each other. By this time Ranjith had been frequently talking to the suspected spy over WhatsApp and Viber.”We cannot delve into the exact nature of the conversation. But it is believed that the alleged Intel operative had begun to blackmail the accused, threatening to publish the content he had sent her on social media,” an investigator told dna.Delhi police are now trying to pinpoint the location of Damini. Her Facebook profile shows Leeds, United Kingdom as present address and has some others with military background too in friends’ list.The Crime Branch had earlier busted a major espionage network involving officials of the armed forces. Five persons were arrested including personnel of Border Security Force and Rashtriya Rifles. With a second espionage case coming to fore, the Crime Branch is not ruling out the possibility of multiple espionage networks in Indian armed forces.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Etihad Airways to provide assistance to Indian students deported from US

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The Middle Eastern airline, which is an investment partner in domestic private airline Jet Airways, further said that it “understands current concerns of such students who have booked travel on Etihad Airways’ flights to the United States”.

Gulf carrier Etihad on Wednesday said it would provide all assistance to Indian students, who travelled on its flight to the US and had to return home due to refusal for entry, particularly those belonging to two California schools. “Any student who does not meet the requirements of the US authorities, will be assisted by Etihad Airways with travel arrangements back to their point of origin,” Etihad said in a statement. National carrier Air India has already announced that it will not accept students bound for these two universities — Silicon Valley University at San Jose and Northwestern Polytechnic University, Fremont — till it gets a go-ahead from its US office.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state-run carrier had on Sunday night stopped 19 Indian students heading to the two US universities from boarding a San Francisco-bound flight, citing a communication from US Customs and Border Protection agency. As many as 14 Indian students were last week deported as these institutions were “under scrutiny,” Air India had said. The Middle Eastern airline, which is an investment partner in domestic private airline Jet Airways, further said that it “understands current concerns of such students who have booked travel on Etihad Airways’ flights to the United States”.”In recent days a number of Indian nationals have been refused entry to the USA due to visa irregularities identified during checks carried out by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP),” the airline said, adding affected students booked on Etihad Airways who choose not to travel from India to the US can get refunds on cancelled tickets as per the norms in this regard. Alternatively, they can rebook once at no extra charge in the original class of travel and same fare type subject to availability on flights up to January 31 to enable them to resolve their visa issues with the relevant authorities, it said.However, such students are advised to contact the US consulate at their point of origin to confirm that their documentation is in order, Etihad said.

Crashed plane was airworthy, was flying well: BSF

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Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak said.

The BSF on Wednesday said its crashed Superking aircraft that killed ten of its highly experienced personnel was completely “airworthy” and was flying “very well” as it refuted allegations about any possible defect in the ill-fated plane. “This aircraft was 20-years-old and in the aviation (domain) an aircraft has life till 40-45 years. In the aviation (domain) such a plane is not considered old as required parts are changed from time to time…like engines are overhauled. “A major overhauling of this aircraft’s engines was done at the Beachcraft factory in Canada about six months back.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only two days back this aircraft did a good duty and a day back it had carried back officers from Bhuj (from the DG/IG meeting),” BSF Director General D K Pathak told reporters here. “There was no problem in the aircraft and it was completely airworthy. I would like to add that till the time an aircraft is airworthy, there is no problem in flying it,” he said. He was speaking after paying the ceremonial last tributes and placing of wreaths on the mortal remains of the ten personnel who were killed in the crash yesterday, at the Safdarjung airport here. The event was also attended by Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Ministers of State for Home Kiren Rijiju and Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary. He said the main probe into the crash is being done by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and that it would be “premature” to speculate on the possible reasons for the air mishap. The Border Security Force Chief said the plane B-200, registered as VT-BSA, was flying about 3-4 days in a week. “As I said, this aircraft has been flying very well…it had been flying three to four days in a week and there was absolutely no problem. Whenever any kind of a snag is reported it is promptly attended to and aircraft is not made airborne until it is certified by the technicians that it is worthy to fly,” he said. The plane, he said, was carrying the stipulated load yesterday and refuted reports that the crash had something to do with excess weight as a few personnel were asked to board it at the last moment. The plane had a capacity to carry 11 passengers, he said. “Even if there is a last moment change in the manifest (travelling passenger’s list) it doesn’t matter because it was carrying the prescribed and authorised load. So, there was no excess load. There was nothing of that sort…even if numbers were increased, it is immaterial. It (B-200) was carrying its required capacity,” he said.

BSF plane crash: Biggest ever loss for the force

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As per records, early today at 9:45 am, a call from a satellite-based device was received at the Palam hangar about some “mis-happening” with the now ill-fated plane, registered as VT-BSA, and at 9:50 am the ATC Palam confirmed that the aircraft has “crashed” in Dwarka

Parts of the crashed plane

With ten of its most experienced men being killed in a tragic crash on Tuesday, the elite BSF air wing is staring at one of its biggest losses and a vacuum created in its ranks raised exclusively for air support roles for troops deployed to ensure the internal security of the country.The three officers and other technicians and engineers flying the lone 1995 vintage Superking B-200 of the Border Security Force were also trained to handle the most modern asset the force has inducted recently in its inventory – the Mi-17 V5. This advanced ‘Mi’ chopper is equipped with an all- weather radar that makes it the most reliable machine for extricating troops and inserting commandos for operations in dense jungles and high-altitude any time of the day and during darkness and bad weather.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The six technicians who were killed were trained to take care of the Mi-17 V5’s inducted recently. While two such choppers have just been inducted early this year, six more will come in batches in the BSF airwing. “The choppers are required to cater to the increasing usage and role of security forces deployed along difficult border areas and in the internal security grid,” a senior official said. These men whom we have lost today, the official said, were experienced and had in-depth knowledge of these assets entrusted with the largest border guarding force of the country.”They were going to service a Dhruv chopper stationed in Ranchi,” another official said. The official said the crash in Dwarka has come as the biggest ever hit to this small unit which has about 30 flying machines, including helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts, and about 200 personnel. “There have been crashes of choppers earlier which has not only led to loss of the asset but has also killed pilots and crew in the line of duty but this is a jolt,” the official said. The intake in the air wing is already less, the official said, considering the specialised nature of the job and difficulty in getting talented personnel and officers from other forces and the Indian Air Force.”The crash has come at a time when the BSF is completing 50 years in the service of the nation. It already has a number of challenges to meet vis-a-vis keeping the two most important borders of the country with Pakistan and Bangaldesh secure and this accident is surely a big test of nerves for the top brass and the government,” another official serving in the wing said.As per records, early today at 9:45 am, a call from a satellite-based device was received at the Palam hangar about some “mis-happening” with the now ill-fated plane, registered as VT-BSA, and at 9:50 am the ATC Palam confirmed that the aircraft has “crashed” in Dwarka. The BSF air wing has a fleet of four fixed wing aircraft, one Embraer, two Avros and the crashed Superking (SKA B-200).Besides 15 helicopters consisting of six MI-17 1V, two advanced Mi-17 V5 choppers, six Advance Light Helicopters (Dhruv) and one Cheetah helicopter operate under the command of Home Ministry. The Superking was inducted in 1994-95 in the border guarding force for air support roles

Additional BSF deployed to prevent illegal activities at Indo-Bangladesh borders, govt tells Supreme Court

The ministry of home affairs also informed the court that the government has approved the projects for border fencing and installation of floodlights for proper visibility during night in the border areas.

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that in order to prevent illegal cross-border activities at the Indo-Bangladesh borders, additional BSF personnel have been deployed.The ministry of home affairs also informed the court that the government has approved the projects for border fencing and installation of floodlights for proper visibility during night in the border areas.Filing an affidavit in response to a PIL against illegal Bangladeshi immigration, the government said 29 Border outposts have been identified and adequate men power have been deployed with special surveillance equipments, vehicles and othe infrastructure in support to prevent smuggling of cattles.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Earlier, the court-appointed one-man commission had recommended a high-powered committee to inquire into various issues relating to infiltration.Senior advocate Upamanyu Hazarika, who was appointed by the court in May, had submitted the 53-page report to the court suggesting the shifting of cattle ‘haats’ 20km away from the boundary area and re-location of the villages from the border fencing area.After visiting extensively to the border area, Hazarika submitted the report.Citing the causes leading to such influx into Assam, the report said as a Bangladeshi passport holder can not only own land in Assam but also contest an Assembly election, it shows that the illegal migrant lobby has struck deep roots in the state. Therefore, the necessity, for an independent investigation and an enquiry into these nexuses and all the facts in this regard, cannot be overstated.The court, which is hearing a plea about the threat of the indigenous population of Assam being reduced to a minority by the year 2047 looming large, is to take a call on the report on November 5.

Retired BSF Personnel held by Crime Branch in Rajouri

The Crime Branch last week had arrested a BSF head constable and a Jammu and Kashmir based lab assistant for allegedly spying for a Pakistani Intelligence Operative.

In what is turning out to be a major controversy for the Border Security Force, a retired inspector was taken into custody, by the Crime Branch of Delhi police on Wednesday evening from Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir in connection to the alleged espionage network prevalent in country’s security forces. Both the accused were taken into custody by a Crime Branch team currently camping in Rajouri area of Jammu and Kashmir.The Crime Branch last week had arrested a BSF head constable and a Jammu and Kashmir based lab assistant for allegedly spying for a Pakistani Intelligence Operative. The latest police action also is part of the investigation which was initiated after Intelligence agencies informed the Crime Branch of the prevalent espionage network.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to intelligence sources, the retired inspector of the BSF was identified as Abdul Aziz. Abdul is a resident of Dhani Dhar area of Rajouri district which falls under Kaapa Kha police station. Abdul, according to officials, had retired from the BSF 2-3 years ago and had been staying in his village since then. His name allegedly cropped up during questioning of the two persons arrested by Delhi police last week. Among the arrest persons are BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed and the civilian Kaifaitullah Khan, both of whom belong to Rajouri area in J&K.The arrested persons are accused of passing secret information about security deployment along the Line of Control (LoC) to their PIO handler in Pakistan identified as one Faizal. Crime Branch of Delhi police told dna that Kaifaitullah had been forced to develop sources in the Indian armed forces so that he could procure secret information about army movement. Kaifaithullah had then approached his cousin Rasheed and some other officers of the armed forces who now are accused of providing information to Pakistani intelligence agencies. Sources told dna that the information was passed through WhatsApp but the conversations and the documents exchanged between the PIO and the accused were being deleted regularly.According to police, names of at least 4-5 army-men have cropped up during the questioning of the arrested men who have been charged with the Officials Secrets Act. A senior police official of the Crime Branch told dna that several of its teams have been dispatched to J&K as well as other northern states of India to question the suspected army-men that include some retired personnel as well.”Most of the information procured and sent to the PIO by the accused was regarding army deployment in areas including Nowsheera and Manthal. We suspect that the details of deployment, timings of movement and the number of forces were being asked by the Pakistani intelligence for the purpose of infiltrating terrorists,” said a senior Crime Branch official.

Landmine blast injures two jawans in Chhattisgarh

The explosion occurred on Wednesday morning when a joint team of Border Security Force (BSF) and district force was out on an operation under Koyalibeda police station limits, Kanker Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Meena said.

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File Photo

Two police jawans were on Wednesday injured in a landmine blast triggered by Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Kanker district, as the rebels struck on the first day of the Peoples’ Liberation Guerrilla Army week being observed by CPI (Maoist).The explosion occurred on Wednesday morning when a joint team of Border Security Force (BSF) and district force was out on an operation under Koyalibeda police station limits, Kanker Superintendent of Police Jitendra Singh Meena said.When the security forces were cordoning-off a forested patch near Markanar village, located nearly 300 kms in north Bastar, the Naxals triggered the blast in which two jawans were injured, Meena said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Assistant Constable Baijuram Potai and constable Santram Netam, belonging to district police, sustained injuries in the incident,” the SP said. Reinforcement was soon rushed to the spot and the injured policemen were being airlifted to Raipur for treatment, he said.A combing operation has been launched in the region to nab the attackers, he added. Security has been heightened across the insurgency-hit areas of Chhattisgarh, particularity in Bastar region, as the Maoists are observing the PLGA week from December 2-8 to commemorate their slain leaders. The Naxals hold meetings and gatherings during this period to spread their propaganda, recruits new members, review military operations besides carrying out attacks on security forces

Completely curb cattle-smuggling along Bangla border: Home Minister Rajnath Singh to BSF

The minister said many delegations from various parts of the country had met him in the past and congratulated him for bringing down the menace of illegal transport of cattle.

The BSF has been urged by the government to ensure a total clampdown in cattle-smuggling along the porous India-Bangladesh border even as a 70 per cent decline has been recorded in this illegal activity in the last several months. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while taking salute at the 50th ‘Raising Day’ celebrations of the Border Security Force here, complimented the troops for ensuring effective curb on this cross-border menace, and added that the respect for the troops of this historic force has grown in the entire country for accomplishing this task. “The steps you took to stop cattle smuggling along the India-Bangladesh border have brought a sharp decline in (the instances of) cattle-smuggling, and your respect has grown in entire India (due to this)…from April this year till now, these instances have come down by 70 per cent. I am assured that this force will be successful in curbing cattle-smuggling hundred per cent,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The minister said many delegations from various parts of the country had met him in the past and congratulated him for bringing down the menace of illegal transport of cattle, but, he said, “I want to convey these good wishes to you (Border Security Force personnel).” It was the same occasion last year here when the Home Minister had asked the personnel and officers of this largest border guarding force of the country to mount effective vigil and stop cattle-smuggling instances which have become rampant along this frontier. The minister early this year had addressed the troops of the force at a border camp in South Bengal frontier and not only complimented them for checking animal-smuggling but reiterated that these efforts need to be more effective.The BSF guards the 4,096-km-long Indo-Bangla border which is interspersed with riverine, dense forests and hilly terrains. He also lauded the force for giving a “befitting reply” against ceasefire violations along India’s border with Paksitan.

Pakistan High Commission’s role comes under scanner in spy ring

Kaifatullah Khan(left), in the custody of crime branch in New Delhi on Monday
BB Yadav
dna
In a development which could also result in a major diplomatic row between India and Pakistan, the crime branch of Delhi Police has put Pakistani High Commission under their scanner in connection to the espionage network busted in the National Capital on Sunday.Not only has Pakistan High Commission’s name cropped up during the busting of the espionage network, but police here believe that there is a strong possibility that the arrested ISI agents had penetrated both the Indian Army and India based security agencies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Crime branch officials on Monday said that during interrogation Kaifatullah Khan, the alleged spy, revealed that a Pakistani Intelligence Operative (PIO) in Pakistan had directed him to apply for the Pakistan visa at the high commission and meet a ‘contact’ there.”The PIO had briefed him to contact him once he reaches Pakistan High Commission. He (Kaifatullah) was supposed to meet a contact of PIO near the Pakistan High Commission and had to hand over the passport and the recommendation letter. The recommendation letter was discovered from his possession which has been addressed to Pakistan High Commissioner. All the logistic support was to be provided by the contact of the PIO whom he had to meet near Pakistan High Commission. The passport and the recommendation letter have been seized from his possession,” said Ravindra Yadav, joint commissioner of police, Crime Branch.Kaifatullah, a librarian in a higher secondary school in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri area, was taken in police custody on Thursday last week when he was on his way to ‘Bhopal Ijtema’, an annual religious gathering, where he was allegedly supposed to scout for information and possible recruits.Subsequently Abdul Rasheed, a head constable in the Border Security Force was arrested in Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday for allegedly providing official secrets to Khan who is accused of working at the behest of Pakistan’s premier intelligence agency, ISI. According to sources, Abdul was first interrogated by the BSF and then handed over the crime branch.According to investigations so far, it has been revealed that Kaifatullah was able to penetrate Indian Army, BSF and various security agencies of India at multiple levels and had been “procuring secret information detrimental to the security of the country”. Rasheed, a cousin of Khan, however was one of his main sources.Kaifatullah was given specific tasks by the PIO, which were mainly concerning with the deployment of security forces and air force operations. The information was passed through e-mail, WhatsApp and Viber.Abdul, a head constable in the intelligence wing of BSF posted at the office of DIG, initially passed information to Kaifatullah but later had come in direct contact with ISI agents across the border. According to police Kaifatullah was selected in the year 1990 and was earlier posted in Gujarat and West Bengal and shifted to J&K in year 1998.”Being in the intelligence wing of BSF, he was having access to secret/sensitive information pertaining to deployment/ Border fencing/movement of the troops. He was passing the information to PIO initially through Kafaitullah but later on he developed close relations directly with the PIO and started communicating with him regularly through the App based communication.”His father had visited Pakistan in the year 2014 to meet his paternal uncle. He disclosed that he was cultivated by Kafaitullah to give sensitive/ secret information in lieu of monetary considerations. His bank account details are being verified for the same,” investigators said. “We have apprehensions that the espionage network had spread into the army and other security agencies,” Yadav said. According to sources name of at least one army official has cropped up during questioning.

Espionage racket with ISI links busted in Jammu, Kolkata by Delhi Police

The accused duo have been identified as Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.
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AFP photo
An espionage racket with ISI links was busted in Jammu and Kolkata in two separate incidents today with the arrest of a serving BSF personnel and four suspected ISI operatives from whom classified information having implications on national security were recovered.Kafaitullah Khan alias Master Raja (44), a resident of Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir, was intercepted and arrested at New Delhi railway station while he was on his way from Jammu to Bhopal and BSF head constable Abdul Rasheed, posted at the intelligence wing of Border Security Force in the same district, was arrested from his home, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said in Delhi.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Information was largely passed through e-mail, Whatsapp and Viber networks with Khan, an alleged handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative, being given specific tasks mainly concerned with the deployment of security forces and Air Force Operations, a police official said.”Khan is a handler of Pakistan Intelligence Operative (PIO) and Rasheed was one of his chief sources. The espionage racket run by them is supported by Pakistan’s ISI,” Yadav said, adding that the duo has been arrested under various provisions of IPC and Official Secrets Act.Based on tip-offs about ongoing anti-national activities sponsored by Pakistan Intelligence Operative, which suspectedly has a network spread over civilian handlers and security forces personnel, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch developed a network and a few suspects were identified, a police official said.On Thursday, Khan had boarded a train from Jammu and was leaving for Bhopal to allegedly recruit more persons in the espionage racket. He was apprehended by a police team at Delhi railway station and “documents having implication on national security” were recovered from his possession, he said.During interrogation, Khan disclosed that he was working as a library assistant in a senior secondary school at Majankote area in Rajouri district, he said.”In 2013, he visited Pakistan and came into contact with ISI agent there. He agreed to share with them secret information of the defence forces in exchange of money,” said the official, adding that Khan soon started cultivating sources in the Indian Army and BSF, and some of them allegedly started passing him secret documents.Head constable Rasheed was his relative and Khan soon roped him into the network, luring him with a share of the commission he received from alleged ISI agents in Pakistan.On being interrogated, Khan told the police about his associate Rasheed and he was then taken to Rajouri on a transit remand to identify him Soon, the police raided Rasheed s residence too and recovered more secret and confidential documents from his premises in Rajouri district.In Kolkata, the Special Task Force of the city Police arrested a contract labourer, his son and another relative for their alleged links to the Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). Irshad Ansari (51), a contract labourer with Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Limited (GRSE), his son Asfaq Ansari (23) and relative Mohammed Jahangir were arrested this afternoon from Dr Sudhir Bose Road in the Iqbalpur police station area in the southern part of the city, a senior STF officer said. All the accused are residents of the city’s Garden Reach area, he said.Besides recovering several documents revealing their links to the ISI, the STF also seized Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) with a face value Rs 2 lakh from Irshad and Rs 1.5 lakh each from his Asfaq and Jahangir, he said.”A hand-drawn map of the GRSE and the Netaji Subhas Dock in the city were also seized from Irshad who has been working with the warship building company for quite sometime. We are checking what his intention was or whether he had passed on the maps of any other sensitive area to the Pakistani agency or not,” the officer said. It was yet to be ascertained whether there were any links between the two incidents.

13 SSB personnel detained by Nepal border guards, released after investigation

Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF) personnel deployed at the Border Account Post at Kechana Village in Jhapa district, bordering Bihar’s Kishanganj district, arrested the SSB jawans around 6:30 AM, according to Nepal Police sources.

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Nepal on Sunday briefly detained 13 personnel of India’s Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), who allegedly entered the country with arms while chasing suspected smugglers near Jhapa district, bordering Bihar.Nepal’s Armed Police Force (APF) personnel deployed at the Border Account Post at Kechana Village in Jhapa district, bordering Bihar’s Kishanganj district, arrested the SSB jawans around 6:30 am, according to Nepal Police sources.Four SSB jawans were carrying modern rifles, they said. All 13 SSB personnel were later released after being briefly kept at APF camp in Kechana.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Assistant Chief District Officer Dambaru Prasad Niraula said they were handed over to the Indian side after an investigation into the incident. “They (SSB jawans) were quizzed on reason for entering Nepal,” Nirauala was quoted as saying by My Republica.Indian officials in New Delhi said the patrol party comprising 13 SSB personnel followed the lead team of two jawans, identified as Constables Roshan and Ramprasad of the 12th SSB battalion deployed in the area, and “inadvertently” crossed over to the other side by about 50 metres into Khuntanmani village after which villagers surrounded it.”Thirteen of our men were detained by APF at a border post along Indo-Nepal border. I had an interaction with the APF Chief and IG Mr Kesh Raj Onta and he had assured that these men will be released,” SSB Director General B D Sharma said in New Delhi.Sharma said there has been no ‘bodily harm’ to the SSB personnel and that they have been extended due courtesies by APF.The paramilitary force guards the 1,751 km-long open frontier with Nepal. Last week, four Nepalese nationals sustained injuries after being allegedly shot by SSB personnel in southern Nepal near the border with India.Nepal alleged that the SSB personnel entered 100 metres inside Nepalese territory in Sunsari district, which lies on the Nepal-India border, and fired at the four unarmed Nepalese nationals while chasing a group of chemical fertiliser smugglers. The Indian embassy, however, had said the border guards fired at the smugglers in self-defence inside Indian territory.India had last week hit out at Nepal for “shifting” blame of atrocities inside its “volatile” Sunsari district to the SSB. Relations between India and Nepal have nose-dived in recent months as Indian-origin Madhesis protesting against the new Constitution have blocked key border trade points with India, causing severe shortages of fuel and other essentials in the country.

Dreaded ISIS a live threat, says top army commander

The army commander’s statement comes just 12 days after the Jammu and Kashmir director general of police (DGP) K Rajendra Kumar said there was no ISIS ideology in the valley.

Indian Army on Saturday pressed an alarm button calling the dreaded Islamic State (IS) a “live threat”, even as the top cop of Jammu and Kashmir had just 12 days ago categorically ruled out the influence of ISIS ideology in the valley.”The IS is a live threat that cannot be ignored. It is a cause of concern and we are monitoring it… All the security forces and the intelligence agencies are monitoring this. That is all I can say,” Lieutenant General Satish Dua, General Officer Commander (GOC) of Army’s 15 Corps, told mediapersons in Srinagar on Saturday.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The army commander’s statement comes just 12 days after the Jammu and Kashmir director general of police (DGP) K Rajendra Kumar said there was no ISIS ideology in the valley.”Every case (or raising ISIS flags) is being investigated. We have not seen such (ISIS) ideology in Kashmir,” Rajendra told reporters at Kishtwar in Jammu division on November 16.Lieutenant General Dua’s statement comes two days after inspector general of Border Security Force (BSF) Jammu frontier Rakesh Sharma said it is being believed that ISIS can support Pakistani terrorists who are operating on the Line of Control and International Border.”It is being believed that ISIS can support Pakistani terrorists who are operating on the LOC and IB. Intelligence agencies accept it and there are also inputs. Let us see how things pan out in future”, Sharma said.IG BSF however hastened to add that there are no inputs (about ISIS trying to sneak into the state). “However, we are keeping pace with what is happening in the world. Terrorist can do anything anywhere in the world. We also become vulnerable. We have taken adequate measures. We have sensitized our ground commanders that they should be carefully examining the situation developing in front of them,” he said.Kashmir valley has been witnessing hoisting of ISIS flags and banners by some masked youth particularly in old city after Friday prayers.Sources said police had picked up several youth since the hoisting of the flags last year, but investigation did not reveal any organizational structure for the ISIS in the valley. Even separatist leaders have openly condemned ISIS and stated that there are no traces of the dreaded outfit in the valley.

Mumbai attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed, ISI motivating militants to wage war against India: BSF

“Hafiz Saeed is provoking terrorists time and again. We recently got inputs that he goes to the terror camps and delivers motivational speeches asking militants that we need to do something (attacks). When preachers will provoke (militants), then there will be more attacks,” Rakesh Sharma, inspector general of BSF, Jammu frontier, told reporters in Jammu.

On the seventh anniversary of the 26/11 terror attack, Border Security Force (BSF) dropped a bomb saying that the Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) founder Hafiz Mohammad Saeed was working in tandem with the Pakistani security forces and visiting terror camps to motivate militants to launch attacks on India.The revelation comes in the backdrop of intelligence reports that Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) is again trying to foment trouble in Jammu and Kashmir by working out to forge an alliance of top three terrorist outfits – the LeT, Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Hafiz Saeed is provoking terrorists time and again. We recently got inputs that he goes to the terror camps and delivers motivational speeches asking militants that we need to do something (attacks). When preachers will provoke (militants), then there will be more attacks,” Rakesh Sharma, inspector general of BSF, Jammu frontier, told reporters in Jammu.Sharma said Pakistan security forces are complicit in allowing Saeed, who also heads Jamat-ud-Dawa, to carry out his activities in the border areas.“If Hafiz Saeed can openly and without any hindrance operate in the border area, it is an indication that Pakistani security forces are involved with him. It is as simple as that. If they are interested to maintain peace and tranquility on the International Border (IB), they can stop (him) but they do not,” he said.“I would say that any security force, who want nothing to happen in their area of responsibility definitely forces its will. If it is not forced it is a clear indication (of their complicity)”, he said.What has however created a stir in the security establishment are the intelligence inputs that the ISI has brought about 30 highly trained terrorists from the three outfits into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) region from Peshawar to infiltrate the Line of Control (LoC) and launch attacks on the security forces.The fresh intelligence comes days after the earlier intelligence alert proved correct and almost following the written script JeM launched an attack at an army camp in the border town of Tangdhar in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Wednesday.Sources said that the ISI has instructed the terrorists to carry out terror attacks in Kashmir valley over the next one month and before the routes in the upper reaches are closed down due to heavy snowfall.“Apparently, the ISI has got frustrated because of the high degree of vigilance maintained by our troops along the LoC and the border as most of the terrorists are being neutralised or forced to retreat. This perhaps is the reason why it has brought all the three outfits together,” sources said. terror mastermind, ISI motivating militants to wage war against IndiaISIS involvementWhat has added a new dimension to the whole saga are the apprehensions that ISIS may support the Pakistani militants operating on the other side of Line of Control and IB”It is being believed that ISIS can support Pakistani terrorists who are operating on the LOC and IB. Intelligence agencies accept it and there are also inputs. Let us see how things pan out in future”, Sharma said.IG BSF however hastened to add that there are no inputs (about ISIS trying to sneak into the state). “However, we are keeping pace with what is happening in the world. Terrorist can do anything anywhere in the world. We also become vulnerable. We have taken adequate measures. We have sensitized our ground commanders that they should be carefully examining the situation developing in front of them”, he said.

Security breach: Man arrested after crashing SUV at Wagah-Attari border gate

Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

Wagah border

In a major security breach at the Wagah-Attari border crossing with Pakistan, an NRI crashed his SUV into the security gates at the Attari Joint Check Post (JCP) in the wee hours of on Monday and reached the Zero line at the International Border. The 42-year-old NRI from Canada, who originally hails from Jalandhar and was identified as Surinder Singh Kang, was later arrested by the BSF, Punjab Border Range IG Lok Nath Angra said.Kang smashed his SUV into two gates before being overpowered by BSF personnel, Angra said, adding that “few medicines consumed for mind relaxation were recovered from his possession.” <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF IG Anil Paliwal said that “the person broke into two gates before being arrested and was handed over to Punjab police.” Angra said that a case under attempt to murder, Passport Act and preventing government official from performing his duties had been registered against the person who was driving a grey-coloured Mahindra Scorpio vehicle. “Investigation is under process,” Angra said, adding that it was “pre-mature” to establish that he was a psychiatric patient.A senior BSF official said that the NRI has told investigators that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib in Pakistan, but thought obtaining visa and going through other formalities would take time. The Attari-Wagah JCP is about 30 km from the holy city of Amritsar.Giving details, another senior BSF official said that between 3:30 AM to 4 AM, after paying obeisance at the Golden Temple here, the NRI crossed the first gate near the border after which he smashed a Customs barrier whose pillars broke and then proceeded towards the Swarn Jayanti Dwar, and was apprehended before he could further proceed towards the international gate.”He told us that he wanted to pay obeisance at Nankana Sahib, but did not want to wait for the visa and other formalities and adopted the illegal way,” the official said.The vehicle stopped near the Pakistani gate at the border, BSF sources said. Meanwhile, Pakistani Rangers are understood to have written to the BSF authorities seeking an inquiry into the incident. Some media reports said that the NRI was apparently “drunk” at the time when he rammed his vehicle into the security barriers.

No blockade on Nepal-India border, supplies to resume soon, says envoy Ranjit Rae

Expressing concern over the obstruction of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has clarified that India has not blocked supplies at the border, and added that if there was a blockade, then hundreds of trucks would not have lined up on the Indian side of the border.

PTI
Expressing concern over the obstruction of essential supplies on the Nepal-India border, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae has clarified that India has not blocked supplies at the border, and added that if there was a blockade, then hundreds of trucks would not have lined up on the Indian side of the border.”There are interruptions of supplies on the border because of ongoing protest by certain groups of Nepalese citizens. As soon as the protests are over, I am sure supplies will resume. We hope that with the dialogue process which is under way, there will be a resolution of these political issues that are agitating certain groups and communities in Nepal,” he said in an interview to Nepal TV.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>He also said that protests at Terai region in Nepal have been going for three months now and despite of killings and violent protests in the first and a half month, there was no resolution for the issues which lead a change in the nature of the protests, and also said, “Protestors started picketing the major access routes into India and that is when this so called notion of blockade started coming in.””The problem is rising because of insecurities, like the Birgunj incident. We see the problem is political in nature and we hope very much that these political issues will be resolved and once the protesters change the forms of protest and stops picketing borders routes, I am sure supplies would come back to normal. As far as the Indian government is concerned we have made every effort to re-route supplies through other check posts and also provide petroleum through other depots but 70% of Nepal’s trade comes from Birgung and that is the place which is blocked” he added.”Well I am not sure which supplies are coming in and which are not. There are 1600 trucks lined up in Sanoli, Nepal, these queues are there for several kilometers and trucks are coming one by one. As far as the petroleum is concerned foreign minister already made a request to re-route these trucks through other check post,” he said.Expressing grief over the killing of an Indian citizen in police firing Rae said, “We have asked the Nepal police to fully investigate the matter. We reject the allegations that Indians are fuelling the protests that are going in Tarai. We feel that there is mass agitation and people in parts of Tarai are involved, this is a home grown agitation arising out of certain perceptions of those people and it is best that those perceptions are addressed through dialogue,” he added.When asked about the bilateral relationship between India and Nepal, Rae said, “We are at a difficult stage of relationship but I am very confident that our relationship is very strong and robust. It is a relationship fundamentally between our peoples, so there are aberrations from time to time but I am confident that we emerge out of these every crises and difficulties. Both sides are committed to this relationship and we will do everything to set it back on the track.””Our perception is that the constitution being a foundational document. There were great expectations and aspirations from the people of Nepal. Some sections feel that they are not full stake holders in this process, has generated certain anxieties and protests. We are optimistic that these issues will be resolved and have to be resolved because that is the only solution to maintain peace and stability,” he said.He further added that India is very close friend and neighbour of Nepal.”Instabilities of Nepal will have a negative implication on us but we hope the dialogue process will progress and there will be a resolution of these complex issues and everything on border become normal.””I think there is a constant process of engagement in and there are many communication channels so we are constantly engaging with each other and I am also engaging all political actors, business communities and media to share, engage our views and resolve any issue that exists. We want Normal meeting, exchange institutional mechanisms in a multidimensional relationship should take place,” he told media here.”We understand the great desire of Nepal people of their right to constitution and this is the desire which was articulated more than 6 decades ago so we understand how important it is and obviously it is a foundational document which should accommodate every section of the society. It is not an easy task but it can be achieved. I think if you have a constitution is a great achievement and I hope it would accommodate all those who feel left out,” he added.He said that as long as the protests continue on Raxaul- Birgunj border, supplies would continue to remain interrupted.”Every effort will be made to create environment in which Nepal- India relation would improve but we reject anti- India campaigns,” said Rae.

Toll collectors struggle to implement SC order as no green tax paid in last 2 days in Delhi

The apex court order on commercial vehicles to pay ‘Environment Compensation Charge’ (ECC) for entering Delhi that came into force from Sunday onwards would be difficult to implement, if toll collectors manning the booths are to be believed.

The apex court order on commercial vehicles to pay ‘Environment Compensation Charge’ (ECC) for entering Delhi that came into force from Sunday onwards would be difficult to implement, if toll collectors manning the booths are to be believed.John D’souza, incharge of toll at Singhu Border, says that it is not possible to check every vehicle entering the national capital.“It has been observed at Singhu Border that number of vehicles have reduced since order has come into force. Besides, we have not received any intimation from Delhi government on how to implement the tax,” he adds.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per official sources, no green tax has been collected in last two days because there has been no official communication from Delhi government. Cops could also not be seen manning the booths for implementation of the order.As per the Supreme Court order, a green tax of Rs 700 and Rs 1,300 has to be levied on commercial vehicles entering Delhi to ensure that national capital, which has been counted amongst one of the most polluted cities in the world, can have a cleaner air.This report was first published on iamin.in. For more hyper-local stories visit their website.

Birgunj police firing: Nepal Ambassador meets MEA, terms shooting ‘tragic incident’

Madhesi protesters, who have reportedly blocked the Maitri bridge, claimed that they were ‘baton-charged’ by the Nepal Police

Image Courtesy: Twitter (ANI)
Expressing India’s concern over killing of its citizen in the Nepal Police firing, Ministry of External Affairs Official Spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Monday said India is deeply concerned at reports of firing in Birgunj, as issues facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved by force. One person has been killed and six others injured in firing by the Nepal Police during protests at the Indo-Nepal Border near Bihar’s Raxaul town.Nepal’s Ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhyaya has spoken with the MEA. Calling it firing a tragic incident, Upadhaya said, “Our concerned officers are looking into matter.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is a bilateral issue between India and Nepal, diplomatically we have to consult each other. The peace dialogue between agitating parties and Nepal government is going on,” the Nepal Ambassador added.Earlier today, a second year BA student was killed in ‘ No Man’s Land’ when the Nepal Police opened fire. Among those injured, three were baton-charged, while the rest suffered bullet injuries. Swarup said, “Causes underlying the present state of confrontation need to be addressed by the Government of Nepal credibly and effectively. Indian freight forwarders and transporters have voiced their worries again today (Monday) about the deteriorating situation across the border. We are advising them to exercise caution and not put themselves in danger. We are monitoring the situation carefully’,” he added.According to reports, the borders have been sealed again.All trucks, including fuel carriers, have been barred from entering Nepal. Madhesi protesters, who have reportedly blocked the Maitri bridge, claimed that they were ‘baton-charged’ by the Nepal Police on Monday for blocking a bridge at the Indo-Nepal Border near Bihar’s Raxaul town. The protesting parties have demanded, among other things, withdrawal of armed police force from Terai districts and withdrawal of cases against their leader and cadres and martyrdom status of those killed during protests.According the Human Rights Watch, at least 45 people were killed during the protests in August and September. For over two months now, the Madhesi protesters have been opposing Nepal’s new Constitution. With agency inputs

Retired paramilitary personnel begin stir to press OROP demand

New Delhi: Retired personnel of various paramilitary forces on Monday began a three-day ‘dharna’ in new Delhi demanding one rank one pension (OROP) benefits and other privileges under the ex-servicemen category.

An association of former officials of forces like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force and Sashastra Seema Bal began the sit-in at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to press their demands which they said should be conceded as they are undertaking similar rigours and hardships as the defence forces.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“The dharna is to request and inform the government that its ex-paramilitary personnel are suffering. We have representatives of various states assembled here and they will continue the agitation till 4 November,” National General Secretary of All India Central Paramilitary Forces and Ex-servicemen Welfare Association P S Nair said.

“Our major demands to the government are the granting of OROP to paramilitary veterans like the military personnel, exemption of serving troops from contributory pension scheme and extending full benefits to these forces under the ex-servicemen category,” he said.

President of the Association R B Pathak said the agitation by the paramilitary veterans will “intensify” in the coming days and they will hold a big rally next year if there is no positive communication from the government.

Close to 300 of these veterans assembled at the protest site, very close to where a similar agitation is being held by the ex-servicemen of the armed forces for the prompt implementation of the OROP for them.

They said their ‘fight for right’ agitation has a ten-point charter which includes a demand for change in the their common identity name from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs).

The government has recently said it will soon come out with a notification for OROP implementation for the veterans of the armed forces.

The association of the paramilitary forces said it had sent a memorandum to the government in this regard and after having failed to get a reply it decided to hold the protest.

Veteran Ram Singh said the government was acting in a “discriminatory manner” with regard to paramilitary personnel and they will agitate in all those states which will go to polls.

“The country cannot sleep peacefully even for a day without the paramilitary forces. There is no proper rehabilitation ensured for these forces. We need the support of the government and public in bettering the lives of these men and women who are on job round-the-clock in hard working conditions,” Nair said quoting a statement.

He said that the defence and paramilitary forces should be kept on equal footing while granting service benefits.

The association claims to have support of state chapters in this regard and had met senior government leaders in connection with its demands.

The agitators also demanded that benefits of healthcare and canteen facilities should be extended to the families of both the serving and retired personnel.

There are about nine lakh personnel serving in these forces working under the Union Home Ministry while there are an equal number of retired personnel and their families in the country.

PTI

OROP: Retired paramilitary personnel begin 3-day dharna

President of the Association RB Pathak said the agitation by the paramilitary veterans will “intensify” in the coming days and they will hold a big rally next year if there is no positive communication from the government.

OROP protest in New Delhi on November 2

PTI
Retired personnel of various paramilitary forces on Monday began a three-day ‘dharna’ in New Delhi demanding one rank one pension (OROP) benefits and other privileges under the ex-servicemen category.An association of former officials of forces like Central Reserve Police Force, Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force and Sashastra Seema Bal began the sit-in at Jantar Mantar here to press their demands which they said should be conceded as they are undertaking similar rigours and hardships as the defence forces.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The dharna is to request and inform the government that its ex-paramilitary personnel are suffering. We have representatives of various states assembled here and they will continue the agitation till November 4,” National General Secretary of All India Central Paramilitary Forces and Ex-servicemen Welfare Association PS Nair said.”Our major demands to the government are the granting of OROP to paramilitary veterans like the military personnel, exemption of serving troops from contributory pension scheme and extending full benefits to these forces under the ex-servicemen category,” he said.President of the Association RB Pathak said the agitation by the paramilitary veterans will “intensify” in the coming days and they will hold a big rally next year if there is no positive communication from the government.Close to 300 of these veterans assembled at the protest site, very close to where a similar agitation is being held by the ex-servicemen of the armed forces for the prompt implementation of the OROP for them.They said their ‘fight for right’ agitation has a ten-point charter which includes a demand for change in the their common identity name from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) to Central Paramilitary Forces (CPMFs).The government has recently said it will soon come out with a notification for OROP implementation for the veterans of the armed forces. The association of the paramilitary forces said it had sent a memorandum to the government in this regard and after having failed to get a reply it decided to hold the protest.

Ceasefire violation: Pakistan targets 30 border posts in Jammu & Kashmir, five civilians injured

After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday night resumed ceasefire violations along the international border.

Jammu: Villagers showing mortar shells fired from across the border by Pakistan in a village of Sadoh, Samba district, on Sunday.

PTI
At least five civilians were injured in overnight ceasefire violation by Pakistani troops in Jammu and Kashmir’s Samba and Kathua district.Pakistani troops targeted 30 border posts during the heavy shelling that still continues at some places.According to reports, Pakistan Rangers used 82 mm mortars and heavy machine guns. The Border Security Force (BSF) strongly retaliated, resulting in a heavy exchange of fire. Several houses and shops have been damaged in the shelling.Speaking to ANI, local from Kathua said, “Neither us nor our children have slept for the last 3 days, we are scared.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday night resumed ceasefire violations along the international border.The ceasefire violations, which had become routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between the BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire 17 times in September 2015. On September 5, an army jawan was injured as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on forward posts along the LoC in Poonch district.On August 28, three civilians, including two women, were killed and 17 were injured as Pakistani troops pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing.

J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire, targets 14 border posts in Samba sector; two civilians Injured

Pakistan on Sunday once again violated the ceasefire by targeting 14 border posts in Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistan on Sunday once again violated the ceasefire by targeting 14 border posts in Samba Sector of Jammu and Kashmir.The unprovoked firing by Pakistan started at 9:00 pm on Saturday and was on till 5:00 am. The Border Security Forces also retaliated to the Pakistani firing.Two civilians have also been injured in the attacks.After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday night resumed the ceasefire violations along the international border.The ceasefire violations, which became a routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani troops have violated the ceasefire 17 times in September this year.On August 28, three civilians, including two women, were killed and 17 were injured as Pakistani troops pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing.On September 5, an army jawan was injured as Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire by firing on forward posts along the LoC in Poonch district.

Pakistan continues firing along International Border overnight, one killed

Heavy firing continued throughout night in Samba sector between Basantar and river Tarna. The BSF retaliated to the Pakistani firing.

A BSF jawan

Pakistan on Saturday violated ceasefire by resorting to firing on nine Border Out Posts (BoPs) along the International Border in Samba sector of Jammu district, says NDTV.Heavy firing continued throughout night in Samba sector between Basantar and river Tarna. The BSF retaliated to the Pakistani firing, sources said to NDTV.”At about 1705 hours, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing, targeting BSF Naka mound and “At about 1705 hours, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing, targeting BSF Naka mound and civil Labourer in the Samba sector, who were carrying out construction work of culvert well inside the Indian territory,” a BSF spokesman said to PTI.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The BSF gave a befitting reply to the Pakistani firing, he said, adding the exchange of fire stopped at 1730 hours. As per initial reports, three civilians working on the construction of the culvert received bullet injuries, the BSF spokesman said. Police said one of the injured died on way to the hospital where the other injured were undergoing treatment.”One of the injured has succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital. The other injured are undergoing treatment at district hospital Samba. We are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased,” SSP Samba Joginder Singh told PTI.(With PTI inputs)

Pakistan provokes India again, kills labourer on International Border

The incident occurred on Saturday evening when civilian labourers were carrying out construction work on the culvert inside the Indian Territory in the Samba sector.

Tension has again gripped international border (IB) after Pakistan Rangers fired indiscriminately on the Indian forward posts and civlian labourers, killing one of them and injuring two others in the Samba Sector of Jammu division.The incident occurred on Saturday evening when civilian labourers were carrying out construction work on the culvert inside the Indian Territory in the Samba sector.”At about 1705 hours Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing targeting BSF Naka mound and civil labourers who were carrying out construction work on the culvert well inside the Indian Territory. Reportedly three labourers suffered bullet injury,” said a BSF spokesman.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The injured were shifted to the hospital where one of the labourers succumbed. Border Security Force (BSF) troops deployed on the IB immediately retaliated to silence the Pakistani guns. “BSF troops also gave befitting reply (to Pakistani firing). Firing from both side stopped at 1730 hours”, said the spokesman.The fresh round of firing on the borders came a month after BSF and Pakistan Rangers reportedly broke the ice and decided to uphold the border ceasefire in the meeting held in New Delhi in September. The Indian delegation was led by BSF director General DK Pathak while Pakistan Rangers team was led by senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Major General Umar Farooq Burki.The incident occurred at a time when Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is on a visit to the United States where he tried to rake up Kashmir issue with President Barrack Obama.Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the IB while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. Eight soldiers including four BSF men and four army personnel were killed in the cross border shelling. Official figures reveal there were a total of 347 ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir including 199 along the LoC in 2013.

1 civilian killed after Pakistan Rangers violate ceasefire along International Border in Jammu

The ceasefire violations, which had become a routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.

After over a month-long lull, Pakistani troops on Friday violated the ceasefire along the International Border in Jammu region, killing one civilian and injuring two others.”At about 1705 hours, Pakistan Rangers started unprovoked firing, targeting BSF Naka mound and civil Labourer in the Samba sector, who were carrying out construction work of culvert well inside the Indian territory,” a BSF spokesman said.The BSF gave a befitting reply to the Pakistani firing, he said, adding the exchange of fire stopped at 1730 hours. As per initial reports, three civilians working on the construction of the culvert received bullet injuries, the BSF spokesman said. Police said one of the injured died on way to the hospital where the other injured were undergoing treatment.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”One of the injured has succumbed to his injuries on way to the hospital. The other injured are undergoing treatment at district hospital Samba. We are yet to ascertain the identity of the deceased,” SSP Samba Joginder Singh told PTI.Today’s ceasefire violation from the Pakistani side came after a lull of more than a month. The ceasefire violations, which had become a routine, had stopped after the Director General (DG)-level talks between BSF and Pakistan Rangers on September 12.

India, China end military drills with anti-terror exercises

A video footage of the drill released by the ministry showed both sides in a combined operation raiding and seizing a terrorist camp.

Officials say the significant feature of this exercise is that both sides designed special drills, pooling up their anti-terrorism experiences.

The fifth round of India-China joint military exercises wound up on Thursday in the Chinese city of Kunming with the two countries holding a unique mock exercise depicting counter-terror operations at the Sino-Indian border. “A joint field exercise depicting counter-terrorist operations on India-China border areas was held from 21 to 22 October to validate the exercise objectives,” a statement by Indian Defence Ministry here said. “A series of challenging tactical situations were presented to validate the reactions of the sub-units and a very high-level of professionalism and coordination was seen among troops of both the armies,” it said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A video footage of the drill released by the ministry showed both sides in a combined operation raiding and seizing a terrorist camp. An exercise featuring troops from both sides at the border was regarded significant considering recent tensions between the two militaries in the Ladakh region, where Indian troops objected to attempts by their Chinese counterparts to claim areas on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).Such issues were discussed at the periodic meetings of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) including the one held here in the second week of this month. Referring to the Kunming exercises, the press release said that the joint exercise has “met its stated objectives; to exchange experience on counter-terrorist training and conducting counter-terrorist operations, enhance mutual trust and understanding and promote healthy military relations between the two armies.”Officials say the significant feature of this exercise is that both sides designed special drills, pooling up their anti-terrorism experiences.While India has been confronting infiltration by militants in Kashmir, China is battling terrorists from East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Xinjiang for the past few years.India and China have pressed in different contingents each time so that personnel from various commands are exposed to each other.

BSF finds footprints near Indo-Pak border in Kutch, launches search operation

An official of BSF (Gujarat Frontier) said that the footprints suggested that ‘a camel-party’ consisting of three persons and two camels may have crossed the border near Vighakot to the north of Bhuj town. The border is not fenced in this area.
Representational Image
dna Research & Archives
The Border Security Force (BSF) and the Kutch district police have initiated a joint search operation near the India-Pakistan border in the Rann of Kutch after spotting some suspicious “footprints”.An official of BSF (Gujarat Frontier) said that the footprints suggested that ‘a camel-party’ consisting of three persons and two camels may have crossed the border near Vighakot to the north of Bhuj town. The border is not fenced in this area.”BSF men have not seen any Pakistani smuggler or person. We found footprints of three persons and hoof marks of two camels. BSF and police have launched a joint search operation. No specific information is received yet from the border villages about any suspects,” said the official.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We are still verifying whether someone crossed the border and went to Pakistan from Gujarat with camels or came here from Pakistan. It is also possible that stray camels from Pakistan came here to drink water and returned, which usually happens because the area does not have any fence,” said the official.

President Mukherjee arrives in Israel, heads for Ramallah

President Mukherjee was received by Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister M K Uri Ariel.

Pranab Mukherjee

A special plane carrying President Pranab Mukherjee and his entourage landed in Israel capital Tel Aviv a short while go on Monday. President Mukherjee was received by Israel’s Agriculture and Rural Development Minister MK Uri Ariel. He was then driven in a special cavalcade to Ramallah in Palestine via the Betunia Border. President Mukherjee will visit the mausoleum of late Palestine President Yasser Arafat and pay floral tribute to a bust of Mahatma Gandhi. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

On the eve of Bihar polls, Maoist belt turns into war zone

Gaya: Khaki, olive green and black – these are the dominant colours in the landscape of south and central Bihar ahead of the polls. On the eve of the first phase of polling the entire Maoist belt – ‘The Red Corridor’ from Banka to Kaimur – has virtually turned into a war zone with the presence of contingents of the state police, and Central Armed Para-military Forces (CAPFs).

Fifteen Maoist-affected districts of the state go to polls in the first two phases of polling – 12 October and 16 October. The role of CAPFs has increased after the Election Commission of India’s (EC) new diktat – a first of its kind—that each and every polling booth in the state should be in command of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Considering the gravity of the ground situation in Bihar during elections, especially in the Maoist infested districts, the EC has ordered for the first time that all the 62779 polling stations in the state should be under the command of the CRPF. For this, 250 companies of CAPFs have been deployed. The first two phases of polling are crucial as both will be in Bihar’s most sensitive region. If this experiment becomes successful, the EC will replicate it in future elections,” Inspector General, CRPF, Bihar, Arun Kumar told Firstpost.

The CAPFs comprise CRPF, Border Security Force (BSF), Rapid Action Force (RAF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Seema Suraksha Bal (SSB).

In view of the repeated Naxal threats and the call to boycott the polls, the security cover across the Red Corridor has been scaled-up. Out of 38 districts, 33 are affected by Maoists.

“Due to Maoist threat, 47 polling booths have been shifted in consultation with political parties and EC. Because in these areas the Naxals will try to cause maximum damage to poll parties and security forces through landmine blasts. We’ve already recovered a large number of landmines and IEDs. The islands in the riverine belt are also safe haven for the Maoists and to track them, we’re using UAVs. We’re constantly changing our operational tactics. This election will witness one of the largest mobilizations of central para-military forces (more than 60,000) in Bihar. We’re engaged in multiple roles, from protecting the booths and voters to the polling staff as well,” added Arun Kumar, who’s also Force Coordinator (Bihar) for CAPFs.

The CAPFs in collaboration with Bihar Police, Bihar Military Police, Special Action Force and Special Task Force have chalked out an elaborate strategy to counter and nullify the possible Maoist attack during the polls.

Counter-offensive of central forces to nullify Maoists:

· First-time use of UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) ‘Netra’ to monitor polling in deep sensitive interiors and riverine belt.

· Special bomb disposal squad.

· Use of dog squad, with new breed of Belgian Shepherd sniffer dogs to track landmines and IEDs.

· 27 Anti-mining vehicles deployed.

· Special training by experts from IED Institute, Pune on handling and diffusing explosives.

· The booths in Naxal-infested areas shall have Naxal police stations, with a strike team of 20 personnel armed with sophisticated weapons and anti-riot equipment.

· Air ambulances in vulnerable and high sensitive zones.

Amongst the Naxal infested districts, Jamui and Gaya are the most sensitive. Out of 250 CAPF companies, the highest number, 25, have been deployed in Gaya alone, followed by 20 in Jamui.

Dhirendra Verma, Commandant, 159 Battalion of CRPF said, “Gaya is the most sensitive and volatile district in Bihar in terms of Maoist activities. It’ll go to polls in the second phase on 16 October, but we’re already on our toes and conducting regular combing operation to sanitize the polling station areas. As Gaya, Jamui, Banka, Nawada and Aurangabad are bordering with Jharkhand and the Palamau district, a stronghold of the Maoists, it makes these districts highly sensitive. We’ve already recovered IEDs (cylinder bombs) and landmines in Gaya district.”

What’s the fuss about? India and Pakistan share serene embrace in a Nasa photograph

Indian and Pakistan might be quarreling on several issues, from Kashmir to cross-border terrorism, but the view from above, far above, is quite different. Yes, things might look grim on the ground, but from space, it’s a different story.

Nasa has released a photo taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station which captures the India-Pakistan border in the nighttime. The photograph manages to include Karachi, visible as a cluster of lights facing a completely black Arabian Sea, the Indus Valley, the foothills of Himalayas and the winding border between Indian and Pakistan, lit by security lights that have a distinct “orange tone”, all in one frame.

Despite all the bitterness and violence that plagues the border areas, the photograph evokes a sense of serenity and peace.

The India-Pakistan border in the nighttime, photographed from space. Image courtesy: Nasa.

The India-Pakistan border in the nighttime, photographed from space. Image courtesy: Nasa.

The photo was taken on  23 September, 2015 and has been made public by Nasa’s Earth Observatory website.

According to the website, the picture was taken using a Nikon D4 digital camera, fitted with a 28 millimetre lens, and was provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by a member of the Expedition 45 crew, the website adds.

Don’t take unilateral actions along LAC: China’s army to India

India’s action not consistent with the relevant agreement and spirit of the consensus of the two sides.

China’s military on Thursday asked the Indian Army not to take any “unilateral actions” affecting the stability of the border areas, days after the Indian side removed a Chinese-built hut in the Ladakh sector. “The recent actions by the Indian Army in the relevant area was not consistent with the relevant agreement and spirit of the consensus of the two sides,” China’s Defence Ministry spokesman Wu Qian said, commenting for the first time on the recent incident at Ladakh’s Burtse area in which the Indian army removed the hut along with surveillance cameras.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Jointly maintaining peace and tranquility of the India-China border is an important consensus reached between the leaderships of the two countries and also a solemn commitment and promise made by the two governments and militaries,” Wu, who took over as new spokesman of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), said replying a question. “We ask the Indian army to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the two governments and refrain from taking any unilateral actions which will effect the situation in the border areas and work together with the Chinese military to jointly maintain peace and stability in China-India border areas,” he said.Asked whether any meetings have been held between the two militaries to discuss the incident, he said, “the China India-Border areas generally maintain peace and stability. The two sides are in contact and communication through diplomatic channels and border mechanisms.” Earlier on September 14, the Chinese Foreign Ministry downplayed incident saying that there is no “face-off” along the border and sought “clarification” from India on this issue. “As far as I know there is no such face-off, in the border area,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei had said. “The Chinese border troops have been performing their duties on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control, (LAC),” he said reiterating the consistent position maintained by China in the previous incidents that the PLA troops have been carrying out activities on their side of the border.Chinese troops pitched tents in the Depsang area during the visit of its Premier Li Keqiang in 2013 to India asserting that the PLA troops are carrying out activities on their side of the border. It was resolved after prolonged consultations.Since then few more standoffs have taken place in Ladakh region. A similar face-off took place at Chumar in Ladakh during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in 2014. It was resolved after several weeks of talks. In his briefing today Wu also said the two armies will hold their joint anti-terrorism exercises this year near China’s Kunming city from October 11-24 in which 144 troops from both the countries would take part.

Himachal Pradesh CM says efforts are on to trace third worker trapped in tunnel

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday expressed satisfaction over the success of rescue operation to extricate the employees trapped in the tunnel and said that while the two employees – Satish Tomar and Mani Ram – have been rescued, the operation to trace the third employee will continue.

“I hope and pray to almighty about the well being and safety of Hriday Ram, who is still missing,” he said.

Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh. PTI

Himachal Pradesh CM Virbhadra Singh. PTI

He said the Border Road Organization, State Disaster Management Authority, the district administration, National Disaster Response Force and all other involved in relief and rescue operations deserve appreciation for their relentless efforts despite hostile weather conditions.

“It was not an easy task and the work had to be carried out scientifically and technically so that no further harm was done to those trapped inside,” he said, adding that the rescue teams and even the Deputy Commissioner and Superintendent of Police had camped at the site to monitor the operations.

He said that such incidents were very rare and it was unfortunate that the tunnel caved in unexpectedly trapping them inside and to leave them to undergo a never-ending ordeal for almost nine days.

“It will be ensured that such an incident does not occur in the future,” he said, adding that all the safety measures had to be adopted by the construction companies before undertaking big hydel, tunneling or road projects at hand.

PTI

Rajnath Singh bats for better relationship with Pakistan and China

Rajnath Singh said, “India wants better relations with Pakistan and China. We have always extended a hand of friendship and Pakistan should reciprocate and take steps to improve the relationship.”

File Picture

Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that India wants better relations with both Pakistan and China.Singh, who arrived in Jammu earlier in the day, will visit forward areas along the borders with Pakistan and China, including Chumar in eastern Ladakh which saw a fortnight-long stand-off between Indian and Chinese troops a year ago.Rajnath Singh said, “India wants better relations with Pakistan and China. We have always extended a hand of friendship and Pakistan should reciprocate and take steps to improve the relationship.” Immediately after his arrival, Singh left for the Samba border district where he will inaugurate an ITPB complex and also take a first hand account of the latest situation on the international border.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>During his visit to the forward areas of Jammu and Kashmir, he will inaugurate a new officers’ mess at the camp of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force in Samba and may also go to posts in the sector which has often witnessed firing from across the border.Singh will then visit border posts in Chumar in eastern Ladakh where Indian and Chinese troops had eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in sub-zero temperatures in September 2014. It will be followed by a visit to the police memorial in Hot Spring and ITBP posts in Thakung and Chushul, official sources said.The Home Minister will review the situation along the Sino-Indian border and interact with troops of ITBP, which guards the border. He is also expected to chair a meeting with local administration and Border Roads Organisation about the development activities being carried out in the forward areas.With agency inputs

Centre keen to resolve border dispute with China, says Arun Jaitley

On border issues, Jaitley rejected the suggestions that it was proxy war-like situation.

Relative slowdown in China does not impact India, he said (File Photo)

PTI
Bullish on growing trade ties with China, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the government is very keen to see the border dispute getting resolved expeditiously, even as he said India’s border with China has been “far more peaceful” than the western borders. “India-China trade has increased significantly. Trade has brought the two countries much closer… We have some contentious issues of the past between us, but even while those issues would be resolved in the due course, I think our economic relations have become a symbol of strength and therefore mutual investments in each other’s country will be a win-win situation for both of us,” he said. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaitley, who is here to meet foreign investors, also said China has established its place as a low-cost manufacturing brand globally and India is now trying to build its Made in India brand with the Make in India campaign. “Great economies do compete with each other and that does not mean they become opponents,” he said during his media interactions here.On border issues, Jaitley rejected the suggestions that it was proxy war-like situation. “I don’t think that is the correct expression to use. There is a border dispute and there is a mechanism in place since 2003 in order to look at that dispute,” he noted. “We will be very keen to see that the border dispute is resolved very fast. In fact, the border with China has comparatively been far more peaceful than our western border itself,” he said.On opportunities for India to attract FDI after China slowdown, the Finance Minister said, “I see an important opportunity for India and I see that opportunity because the relative slowdown in China does not impact India as such.”

Pakistan summons Indian envoy over killing of a soldier in alleged firing along LoC

Islamabad: Pakistan on Wednesday summoned India’s deputy high commissioner in Islamabad to lodge a protest over the killing of a solider in alleged firing by Indian troops.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Foreign Office said in a statement that a Pakistani soldier was killed on Tuesday, while a civilian was injured in Rawalakot today due to firing by Indian troops.

“The Indian Deputy High Commissioner (JP Singh) was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Director General (South Asia & SAARC) and a protest was lodged over the latest unprovoked ceasefire violations by India at the LoC,” it said.

While condemning both the incidents, Pakistan expressed its deep concern over the continuous unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Indian side at the LoC and targeting of the civilian areas, the statement said.

“The Indian government was urged to stop forthwith the ceasefire violations and observe the 2003 Ceasefire Arrangement for restoration of peace and tranquillity at the LoC and the Working Boundary,” it said.

It is for the first time since meeting of border security chiefs in New Delhi that an Indian diplomat has been summoned over border incident.

The biannual meeting between commanders of Pakistan Rangers and Border Security Force on Saturday decided to completely ban firing of mortar shells along the border and LoC in Jammu and Kashmir which has killed several civilians and damaged houses.

PTI

India-Pakistan border ‘Confidence Building Measures’ to be implemented in next 15 days

The two sides, during their three-day DG-level talks in New Delhi, had decided to enhance communication channels by getting in touch over the fastest modes of communication like mobile phone, fax and email and ensure that they alert the other side with a precautionary illumination fire if either side detects something suspicious on the International Border (IB).

Border Security Force (BSF) Director General DK Pathak and Pakistani Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki shake hands after signing an agreement, at the end of the BSF-Pak Rangers Annual Meet at BSF headquarters in New Delhi on Saturday.

PTI photo
The latest set of confidence building measures (CBMs) agreed upon by BSF and Pak Rangers to put an end to ceasefire violations and firing along the border are expected to be put in place in the next fortnight.The two sides, during their three-day DG-level talks in New Delhi, had decided to enhance communication channels by getting in touch over the fastest modes of communication like mobile phone, fax and email and ensure that they alert the other side with a precautionary illumination fire if either side detects something suspicious on the International Border (IB).<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The 20-point joint record of discussions stipulates that the new CBMs and other points agreed upon shall be put into operation in the next 15 days. A number of these initiatives do not require the permission of governments on either side and can be implemented by the two forces on their own keeping in mind the top most agenda of peace, tranquillity and safety of border population,” sources privy to the development said.They said like in the case of exchange of mobile numbers, both the sides have to work out modalities as international calling is barred from border locations and hence mechanisms have to be put in place for this.”Basic details like the colour of the warning flare shots that will be used by either side will have to be worked upon and communicated to each other within the next fortnight so that the decisions taken during the DG-level talks could be implemented on ground,” they said.The joint record was signed and endorsed yesterday here by the two chiefs– Border Security Force DG D K Pathak and Pak Rangers Director General Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki. The Rangers delegation, after this official ceremony, crossed over to their side in the evening through the Attari-Wagah land border. These bi-annual border talks had taken place almost after a break of two years as relations between the two neighbours came under strain due to a host of issues.As part of efforts to bring peace on the border, India and Pakistan had yesterday also decided to put a complete ban on firing of mortar shells along the IB in Jammu and Kashmir which has claimed the lives of several civilians and damaged their houses.The outcome of the talks, which both the sides said were held in a “cordial and constructive atmosphere”, also endorsed a CBM that in case either side notices suspicious movement along IB, they will fire precautionary illumination shots to alert the counterpart that the forthcoming fire is aimed at the intruder and not at them.However, Pakistan has put on hold for the time being two other CBMs of cultural and sporting activities exchanges as proposed by BSF.”Pakistan said it could be implemented after some time is given to the primary decisions taken for ending ceasefire violations and development of mutual trust. They have assured that these two CBMs would be activated before the BSF delegation travels to Pakistan by the middle of next year for similar talks,” sources had said.BSF and Rangers also decided to hold coordinated patrolling along IB in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab and once this is successful, it will be conducted along the Jammu frontier too.The joint record also mentioned that both sides will take extra steps to help and repatriate those who inadvertently cross the border and similarly ensure early release of apprehended fishermen. It was also decided, they had said, that any serious breach of ceasefire violation will be “jointly investigated” by the two sides.

BSF, Pakistan Rangers firm up agreement to stop ceasefire violations

BSF chief D K Pathak and Pakistani Rangers DG (Punjab), Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki in Delhi on Friday
B B Yadav
dna
In what could bring great relief to thousands of people living close to Indo-Pak border, Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers have agreed to initiate protocols to cool down tempers at the international border.Ceasefire violations in the past few months have not only killed dozens of people on both sides but also forced thousands of people living in hamlets, villages and mofussil towns to migrate to safer areas intermittently leaving their economy in a shambles.The two border guarding forces that were exchanging unprecedented fire at the international border until recently will sign a joint statement to stop ceasefire violations through enhanced communication via multiple modes at all many levels along to maintain peace, sources said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Adding political weight to India’s commitment, Union home minister, Rajnath Singh told Pakistan Rangers that India will not be the aggressor and will not fire the first bullet.”Why we both fire at each other — why can’t we both respect our uniform when our ultimate objective is peace at the border,” said Singh addressing officials of both the forces.”India has more Muslim population than Pakistan. India can be called as more Islamic than Pakistan,” he said. The home minister noted that India is home to all the 72 ‘firkas’ (sects) of Muslims, which no other country has.Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, the head of Pakistan Rangers’ delegation, who is here for talks with director general of Border Security Force D K Pathak, responded, “Your country is very big and vast. It is a great nation. We also want to have very good relations with India.” The two sides have decided to implement Pre-Fire protocol in the wake of tension at border for which commandant-level meeting would be the first step, followed by a DIG-level meeting.To bring down cases of firing, the two forces are expected to agree on modality that, if necessary, they would use illumination bombs and rubber bullets before resorting to firing.Agreeing that the meeting reflected warmth and understanding to understand each other, Pakistani sources said, both sides showed willingness to amicably resolve minor issues at local level.Refuting BSF allegations of illegal border crossing, Pakistan Rangers said that the BSF is maintaining impregnable border control through fence, light, gates and other surveillance means etc, which minimises any chance of crossing through fence.”Yet, both sides agreed to work out some additional methods to further strengthen border control,” sources said.BSF agreed to share information about cartels involved behind cross border smuggling activities to help Pakistan Rangers in taking necessary actions.Pakistani sources said, their force has asked India to stop any new construction of defence structures along the western border as it is against the existing agreed norms to which BSF agreed to refer the issue to government.Pakistan Rangers registered strong objection to the killing of rangers soldiers during flag meeting to which BSF insisted to forget the past and move forward while assuring non repetition of such happenings and also agreed to conduct joint investigation in case of serious incidents happening along international border, as exists in respective areas, in future, Pakistani sources added.—With PTI inputs

India-Pakistan DG-level talks extended by a day to discuss strategies to end ceasefire violations

New Delhi: India and Pakistan on Thursday decided to devise new strategies along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir to put an end to incidents of ceasefire violations as they began their three-day DG-level border dialogue in New Delhi.

BSF Director General DK Pathak shakes hands with Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki. PTI

BSF Director General DK Pathak shakes hands with Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab), Major General Umar Farooq Burki. PTI

In what can be seen as an encouraging development in bilateral talks between the two neighbours, the BSF-Pakistan Rangers meeting has been extended for a day to “discuss and finalise” these new protocols and strategies.

“The most significant takeaway of the talks has been that the two sides agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility on this border is the most important issue and this needs to be implemented on the ground,” a top government source said.

According to the set agenda, the talks were to be wrapped up today as tomorrow the Rangers are scheduled to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh at his South Block office and later meet staff and officials in the Pakistan High Commission.

On their last day in Delhi on 12 September, a joint record of discussions was to be signed between the two sides after which the visitors were to leave for Islamabad.

“Yes, the talks have been extended for a day and a special session will be held tomorrow to decide on protocols that will be put in place to put an end to ceasefire violations and make the Indo-Pak border tranquil,” the source said.

Border Security Force (BSF) chief DK Pathak, during a public function of central investigative agency NIA in the evening in New Delhi, told PTI that the Indian side was “happy” after the deliberations on the first day.

“I wouldn’t say anything beyond that. The talks went on in a very cordial manner and we are happy about it,” Pathak said.

Sources said the Indian side suggested that rather than debating and contesting about the past incidents, the two sides should work on a “future” strategy to make this border peaceful and safe for the troops and civilians alike.

Pakistan agreed to this point and after some more positive talks it was mutually decided that the session should be extended by a day, they said.

The Rangers, led by their DG (Punjab) Umar Farooq Burki, asked BSF to initiate the joint patrolling along some mutually identified areas on this border which was agreed by India, they said.

The sources further said the Rangers “did not bring on table” the issue of activation of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan).

These much-awaited talks are happening amid escalating tensions and continuing cases of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir and after over 1.5 years.

BSF also put forth its agenda points of stopping infiltration from across the border, smuggling of narcotics and construction of unauthorised defence structures by the other side on the frontier, the sources said, which was taken note by Pakistan.

The Rangers told the BSF that firing from their side had claimed the lives of their troops and civilians and this should be stopped.

Earlier, Rangers DG Maj Gen Burki was accorded a guard of honour at the border guarding forces’ headquarters here and later welcomed by Pathak and other senior officers prior to the formal commencement of the deliberations taking place after December 2013 when BSF went to Lahore.

The Pakistani delegation, which had reached Delhi last evening via Amritsar, includes officials of Sindh Rangers, the country’s interior ministry, Survey of Pakistan, anti-narcotics force and immigration department, among others.

This is the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the National Security Adviser (NSA)-level talks scheduled in Delhi on 23-24 August were cancelled due to differences over the agenda.

The issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF raises the ‘white flag’ that is used to indicate suspension of firing to allow a meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides was also taken up and it was decided to have more channels of communication between field commanders, the sources said.

“The confidence building measures would be finalised tomorrow and jointly signed by their two DGs on September 12,” one of the sources said.

BSF is also understood to have taken up the issue of intrusion into the ‘Harami Nallah’ area in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, and illegal movement of suspects up to the ‘zero line’ area along the IB, at many times in the dead of the night.

“Pakistan said it is doing its best with available resources and infrastructure it has and will also improve it to keep an effective vigil on the border,” the source said.

When the other side raised the issue of air space violation, the BSF said it was not their domain as they do not have any air assets.

“Much of the talking was done by the Indian side and the Pakistani side was very receptive,” the source said.

PTI

India wasting too much time on Pakistan, says Subramanian Swamy

Let them do whatever they are doing and we should not put our attention on it, he added.

BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Thursday said India is wasting too much time on Pakistan, even as the two Director Generals of the border troops began a meeting in Delhi.We are wasting too much of time on Pakistan. Two policemen meeting, how is that of any national importance. They (Pakistan) are screaming so that we reply and they can get a status of equality, Swamy told ANI.Let them do whatever they are doing and we should not put our attention on it, he added.The DG-level talks between India?s Border Security Forces (BSF) and Pakistan’s Rangers (PR) is scheduled to take place here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF Director General D.K. Pathak will meet Pakistan Rangers chief Major General Umar Farooq Burki to discuss border related issues between the two forces.

India-Pakistan begin DG-level border talks in Delhi

The Pakistani delegation, which had reached Delhi last evening via Amritsar, includes officials of Sindh Rangers, the country’s interior ministry, Survey of Pakistan, anti- narcotics force and immigration department, among others.

India and Pakistan on Thursday began a three-day DG-level border dialogue here with the host nation set to flag the “most important” issues of ceasefire violation and cross-border infiltration, weeks after parleys between the NSAs of the two countries was called off.Amidst escalating tensions and continuing cases of ceasefire violations along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir, with two fresh instances reported yesterday, a 16-member Pakistani delegation today reached the Border Security Force headquarters here for the talks that are being held between after a gap of over one-and-a-half years.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Talks between the two sides were last held in December, 2013, in Lahore.Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab), Maj. Gen. Umar Farooq Burki, who is leading his country’s delegation, was accorded a guard of honour at the BSF headquarters and later welcomed by BSF DG DK Pathak and other senior officers prior to the formal commencement of the deliberations.The Pakistani delegation, which had reached Delhi last evening via Amritsar, includes officials of Sindh Rangers, the country’s interior ministry, Survey of Pakistan, anti- narcotics force and immigration department, among others.Led by Pathak, the 23-member Indian side is is expected to raise issues like ceasefire violations in J-K, including sniper attacks on BSF personnel, and cross-border infiltration.It is the first high-level interaction between the two countries after the National Security Adviser (NSA)-level talks scheduled in Delhi on August 23-24 were cancelled due to differences over the agenda.According to sources here, extra stress would be laid on the “most important” issue of ceasefire violations in J-K, which have led to the loss of lives of civilians and soldiers and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the International Border (IB).The issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF raises the ‘white flag’ that is used to indicate suspension of firing to allow a meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides will also be taken up, the sources said.”The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence-building measures,” according to a BSF statement.BSF said it will also take up the issue of intrusion into the ‘Harami Nallah’ area in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the ‘zero line’ area along the IB.Meanwhile, a Punjab Rangers spokesman had said that the issue of frequent armed exchanges along the Line of Control (LoC) and Working Boundary would be on the top of the agenda for the Pakistani delegation.

Pakistan troops violate truce as Rangers arrive to talk peace

Director General Punjab (Pakistan) Major General Umar Farooq Burki with IG Border Security Force, Anil Paliwali in Attari on Wednesday

PTI
On the day a delegation of Pakistan Rangers arrived in India to talk peace, its troops violated the ceasefire again and fired at the BSF soldiers injuring two of them, including an officer, in the Nowgam sector of the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.The incident occurred at 11am on Wednesday when Pakistani troops sniped on the BSF jawans when they were on a routine patrol from Hira left post to Hira right post in the Nowgam sector.Two BSF soldiers, including a sub inspector-rank officer, were injured in the firing. The injured personnel have been identified as sub inspector Jawahar Lal Yadav and constable Rahul Yadav of 119 battalion of BSF.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”There was a ceasefire violation (from Pakistan side) in which two of our boys got injured. Both the injured troopers are stable. It was a sniper attack,” said a BSF spokesman at Srinagar.BSF soldiers immediately swung into action and retaliated aptly to silence the Pakistani guns. Intermittent firing between the two sides was going on till the reports last came in.The fresh ceasefire violation came just hours before a 16-member Pakistan delegation led by the Rangers director general (Punjab) Major General Umar Farooq Burki landed in India to hold talks with their BSF counterparts. Director general of BSF DK Pathak will lead the 23-member Indian delegation that will discuss unprovoked cross-border shelling and infiltration bids from the other side of the International Border (IB) in Jammu.Rakesh Sharma, inspector general of BSF Jammu frontier, the area that has seen heavy shelling from Pakistan in the last two years, will also be part of the Indian delegation in the meeting.”The ceasefire violation on Wednesday shows the real intentions of Pakistan. On one side they want to talk peace while on the other they try to keep the pot boiling on the borders. They cannot hoodwink the people anymore,” said an intelligence officer. The incident occurred 15 days after Pakistani army killed Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of the army when he was guarding his picket at the Badal post along the LoC in the same sector. Official figures reveal that around 430The number of ceasefire violations occurred on the International Border in 2014 153The number of ceasefire violations reported on the LoC in 2014 8The number of soldiers, including four BSF men, who were killed in the cross border shelling. 347The number of ceasefire violations in J&K in 2013 199The number of ceasefire violations along the LoC in 2013

India-Pakistan border force talks to start on Thursday: Delegation likely to discuss ceasefire violations

New Delhi: Amid a growing war of words and firing from across the border, a high-level delegation from Pakistan crossed over to India on Wednesday and arrived in New Delhi for director-level talks between the border forces of both countries.

A 15-member team of Pakistani Rangers arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday evening, led by Major General Umar Farooq Burki, director general of the Pakistan Rangers (Punjab).

The talks, between the Rangers and the Border Security Force (BSF) will start at 10 am on Thursday, and go on till 12 September. Even as the media was briefed on Thursday’s schedule, at least two BSF jawans were injured in cross-border firing on Wednesday in Nowgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The delegation is expected to also discuss continuous ceasefire violations. The Pakistan Army also fired at Indian positions on Wednesday along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch district.

The talks, one of the measures agreed upon during a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif, gain special significance after the National Security Adviser level talks could not take place due to Pakistan’s insistence on discussing Kashmir.

The delegation entered India via Attari, and was welcomed by senior BSF officers. There, they boarded a special aircraft to Delhi, where the talks will take place. At the Delhi airport, the delegation was welcomed by BSF Director General DK Pathak.

From the Indian side, a 23-member delegation led Pathak will take part in the talks.

Representative image. AFPRepresentative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

The Indian delegation includes officials from the home ministry, the Narcotics Control Bureau and the Survey of India.

“During the conference, discussions will be held on important issues like cross-border firing, infiltration and smuggling etc. The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures,” a BSF official said.

Asked if the talks will reduce tension between the two countries, Pathak said: “That is the objective for talks.”

BSF’s former additional director general P.K. Mishra, however, said Pakistan may try to divert the agenda from the talks, as reports suggest the country may seek international monitoring of the ceasefire violations.

“Pakistan may try to divert the agenda of the meeting. It has been making attempts to put the blame of ceasefire violations on India by showing the world the damage on its side,” Mishra told IANS.

“They have been trying long to bring the UN into the picture. To show the effect of retaliatory fire by India… we don’t fire first, but we retaliate when there is firing from the other side,” the former BSF officer said.

Mishra also said Pakistan has come on the table under “international pressure” and said he was skeptical about the results.

“We have been seeing these talks for years, ceasefire violations resume as soon as talks end,” Mishra said.

With some 100 ceasefire violations along the India-Pakistan border since the Ufa talks, the issue is likely to dominates the agenda from the Indian side, sources said.

Till June this year, there have been 199 ceasefire violations by Pakistan.

Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the international border while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. In 2013, it was 347.

According to reports, Pakistan has listed in its agenda a revived role for the United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) for intervening in ceasefire violations.

As per sources, issues Pakistan has placed on agenda also includes the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side, and lack of response on simultaneous coordinated patrolling along the border.

Pakistan is also expected to raise the issue of airspace violation by suspected unmanned aerial vehicles.

Pakistan had blamed India of violating its airspace when it shot down a drone in July. India, however, said the drone was not like any of those in the Indian inventory and appeared to be of a Chinese variety available off-the-shelf.

IANS

Ceasefire violations, infiltration to dominate BSF-Rangers meeting

The talks between Indo-Pak border forces are being held after more than one-and-a-half-years.

People’s Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti addresses a public rally in Pulwama district of Kashmir on Tuesday

PTI
Unprovoked cross-border shelling and infiltration attempts from the other side of the International Border (IB) in Jammu will be at the centre of talks between Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers in New Delhi starting Thursday. The 15-member visiting Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers director general (Punjab) Major Genera Umar Farooq Burki while director general of BSF DK Pathak will lead the 23 -member Indian side. Inspector general of BSF Jammu frontier Rakesh Sharma will also be part of Indian delegation in the meeting.”During the conference major border-related issues like unprovoked firing and infiltration bids from across the border will be discussed. Besides the matters pertaining to different types of disputes will also be discussed,” said a BSF spokesman at Jammu.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The talks between Indo-Pak border forces are being held after more than one-and-a-half-years. The last round of talks was held in Lahore in December 2013.Sources said the issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’, an indication to ceasefire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides, will also be taken up during the talks.”The conference is being held at a very crucial juncture since for the last two years the border guarding forces have been engaged in heavy exchange of fire from time to time resulting in the heavy losses of men, material and livestock to the ether side of the border,” said the spokesman Official figures reveal that around 430 ceasefire violations occurred on the IB while 153 violations were reported on the LoC in 2014. Eight soldiers including four BSF men and four army personnel were killed in the cross border shelling. Official figures reveal there were a total of 347 ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including 199 along the LoC in 2013.Sources said the BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects close to zero line along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities. Pakistan had last month confirmed the agenda for DG-level talks which included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected unmanned aerial vehicles. According to Pakistan High Commission sources, serious concerns on the infiltration from the Indian side in Punjab and Rajasthan and who were involved in sabotage activities will be raised during the talks.

Indo-Pak DG level talks: Pakistan Rangers team to arrive today

15-member Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burk

Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level talks

A high-level delegation of Pakistani Rangers will arrive here tomorrow to hold the much- anticipated bilateral talks with their counterparts BSF on Thursday on key issues including ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration. The talks between Indo-Pak border forces come after more than one-and-a-half-year. The last round was held in December 2013 in Lahore.Despite it cancelling the NSA-level talks with India which made it clear that there should not be any meeting between Kashmiri separatists and Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here, Islamabad had agreed to New Delhi’s proposal on a meeting between the two border guarding forces. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>While the 15-member Pakistan delegation will be led by the senior Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki, the 23-member Indian side would be headed by BSF DG D K Pathak during the talks and expected to raise issues like ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks on BSF personnel and infiltration. “The talks will also endeavour to focus on positive issues like different levels of communication, more simultaneous coordinated patrolling and other confidence building measures,” a BSF statement said.According to sources, extra stress would be on the “most important” issue of breach of ceasefire in J&K which has led to loss of lives of civilians and troops and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the IB. The issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’ which is used to indicate stopping of fire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides will also be taken up. The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the zero line area along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities.Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level which included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected unmanned aerial vehicles. According to Pakistan High Commission sources, serious concerns on the infiltration from the Indian side in Punjab and Rajasthan and who were involved in sabotage activities there will be raised during the talks. The Pakistani delegation will also stress on the activation of the UNMOGIP (UN Military Observer Group in Indian and Pakistan), they said. However, India has always maintained that the UN group has lost its relevance and therefore, was redundant. Pakistan has also listed alleged construction of defence infrastructure along the border, firing by taking aid of ‘Sarkanda’ (thick bushes), no response on Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) along this frontier, smuggling and apprehension and killing of civilians in their agenda for talks. The Rangers have also alleged that the Indian side has not been responding to their request of flag meetings when they desire and have claimed use of heavy ammunition by India during cross-border firing.The delegation which will also have second Rangers DG (Sindh) Maj Gen Bilal Akbar is expected to cross over the Attari-Wagah land border in Punjab by 12 noon tomorrow and after a ceremonial reception by BSF commanders, they will leave from Amritsar airport on a special BSF plane for Delhi. The talks will begin on September 10 after a ceremonial guard of honour by the BSF at their headquarters here and a joint record of discussions will be signed on September 12 by the two DGs.The ties between the two sides have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control and other issues. The two sides will also stress for the release of prisoners in the jails of the either countries. During the talks, the BSF is also expected to propose initiation of some sporting tournaments between the two sides on the lines of a similar arrangement with Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB).”However, the proposal is subject to acceptance by the Rangers,” a senior official said.

India won’t declare war, but if Pakistan wants it, we are ready: Subramanian Swamy

Pakistan troops indulged in unprovoked firing on Poonch late last night, using 82 mm mortars and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). The Border Security Force (BSF) said that its personnel has responded to this firing from across the border appropriately.

Subramanian Swamy

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Monday said that India would never want to declare a war against Pakistan, but if the latter desired it, the former is ready for it. Swamy was responding to the latest ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch District.”Pakistan has no power. It is frustrated and weak. Their civilian government is useless. It’s a dummy government. If the military wants a war, we are ready, but we are not going to declare a war,” Swamy told ANI. “We have always been a country which has never gone to war with anybody, unless the war is forced on us,” he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan troops indulged in unprovoked firing on Poonch late last night, using 82 mm mortars and rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). The Border Security Force (BSF) said that its personnel has responded to this firing from across the border appropriately.

BSF recovers heroin worth 30 crore from Pakistani smugglers at IB

During routine patrolling in the wee hours today along the North Dhariwal Border outpost of Amritsar sector, jawans noticed suspicious activities of Pakistani smugglers

Personnel searched the spot and seized six packets of heroin, each containing one kg of the drug (Representational image)

Border Security Force (BSF) today seized heroin weighing six kg, worth around Rs 30 crore in the international market, from near a border outpost at the international border, a senior official said on Sunday. During routine patrolling in the wee hours today along the North Dhariwal Border outpost of Amritsar sector, jawans noticed suspicious activities of Pakistani smugglers, Deputy Inspector General of Punjab Frontier of BSF, R S Katiyar said. When the force personnel challenged the smugglers, they fled from the spot in the cover of grass, he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Personnel searched the spot and seized six packets of heroin, each containing one kg of the drug, valuing Rs 30 crore in international market, he said. This year the BSF has recovered 75 kg of heroin along the border area in Amritsar sector till now while 151 kg of drug has been seized from across the state, the DIG added.

BSF-Pak Rangers meet from Sept 9, ceasefire violations, infiltration key agenda

The Rangers in their agenda have included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects

Ceasefire violations in Jammu and Kashmir, including sniper attacks, infiltration, intrusion in Rann of Kutch and smuggling are among the key issues India is expected to raise with Pakistan during the five-day DG level talks between their border guarding forces from September 9. A 16-member delegation headed by Pakistan Rangers Director General (Punjab) Maj Gen Umar Farooq Burki is expected to travel to Attari-Wagah border crossing in Punjab on September 8 and later fly down from Amritsar to participate in the talks here with the Border Security Force from September 9-13, officials said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian delegation with as many members will be led by BSF chief Devendra Kumar Pathak. The Indian agenda for the talks has put extra stress on the “most important” issue of breach of ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir which has led to loss of lives of civilians and troops and “unprovoked” firing by the Rangers along the IB, they said. The Indian side will also take up the issue of “no response” by the other side when BSF waves the ‘white flag’ which is used to indicate stopping of fire and meeting of on-ground commanders of the two sides.The BSF will also take up the issue of intrusion in the ‘Harami Nallah’ area of the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, smuggling of contraband from across the border and illegal movement of suspects up to the zero line area along the IB in order to facilitate illegal activities. Issues of infiltration from across the border and use of sniper weapons to target troops manning border posts will also be raised. Pakistan had last month sent confirmation and agenda for these DG-level talks despite it calling off the meeting of the NSAs of the two countries a fortnight ago after India made it clear that Kashmiri separatist leaders would not be allowed to meet Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here.The Rangers in their agenda have included issues like the alleged use of objectionable language by troops on the Indian side and air space violations by suspected Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The have also listed alleged construction of defence infrastructure along the border, firing by taking aid of ‘Sarkanda’ (thick bushes), no response on Simultaneous Coordinated Patrolling (SCP) along this frontier, smuggling and apprehension and killing of civilians.The Rangers, whose delegation will not have DG from Sindh, have also alleged that the Indian side has not been responding to their request of flag meetings when they desire and have claimed use of heavy ammunition by India during cross-border firing. The decision on meeting of NSAs and heads of border guards was taken during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif when they met in Russia’s Ufa in July.Upon their arrival in India, the Rangers delegation will be secured by an elite commando squad of the BSF, armed with sophisticated weapons and vehicles, which has been specially chosen for the task. The BSF had earlier sent an invite for DG-level talks in early 2014. The last time the two sides met was in December 2013 when a BSF delegation travelled to Lahore. Since then, the ties have been strained because of ceasefire violations along the International Border and the Line of Control and other issues. The Indian side would have officials drawn from border management division of the Home Ministry, Ministry of External Affairs, officials from states bordering the IB, sleuths of the Narcotics Control Bureau and those from the Survey of India among others.The Pakistani delegation is expected to have senior officials from its security establishment including those from the Interior Ministry

Now, paramilitary forces set their eyes on OROP

After doling out one rank one pension (OROP) to defence personnel, Modi government may have to brace up for a similar demand from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).

After doling out one rank one pension (OROP) to defence personnel, Modi government may have to brace up for a similar demand from Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs).Monitoring the OROP developments closely, several CAPF veterans felt that they are more worthy of the scheme than the defence personnel who bear the brunt only during the wartime unlike them who are in perpetual battle mode on the border and in counter-insurgency operations.Feeling anguished, former IG of Border Security Force, Srinivasan said, “The Army should have taken CAPFs along with them. Some of the ex-servicemen have done harm to the unity of forces by saying that army is better than the CAPFs.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Srinivasan also said that the first line of defence is always the BSF or ITBP on the border and is ahead of the army positions and fight on equal footing during war besides defending the borders 24X7, when the Army takes the role only during wartime.””Only one-third army belonging to infantry or armoured division goes to the border but the one rank one pension is applicable to all the wings of the Army. Why? What is wrong with us? Are not we equally important if not more? But we will not come out on the road and will choose recourse through courts,” he said.A serving DIG-level officer in Central Reserve Police Force said, “This is not equality. We bear most casualties overall, even during so-called peacetime we suffer and die in operations in Naxal-affected areas and in the northeast. If one can count the numbers, we have produced maximum martyrs. Unlike the army officers, there is no golf-playing club life for us. There is no doubt that the government should keep us at parity with defence forces personnel.”A young deputy commandant, who joined the ITBP in 2005, said that despite being equally battle worthy, the ITBP personnel serve in more hostile areas than army with fewer provisions and yet they were handed over New Pension Scheme in 2004.”How can you call it justice when we have to contribute for our pension from own pockets and the army gets OROP on a platter. Our veterans should also go on agitation mode,” he said.A few officers warned that the different treatment meted through OROP can have an adverse fall as there is a clear divide between Army and CAPFs.”On the field, this will have an adverse effect,” said an officer.

Ceasefire violations, infiltration issues to be raised during BSF-Pakistan Rangers meet

New Delhi: Repeated violation of ceasefire and frequent infiltration attempts by terrorists will be in top agenda of the meeting between heads of border guards of India and Pakistan to be held in New Delhi next week.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The meeting between chiefs of Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers will be held from 9 to 13 September, a fortnight after the cancellation of NSA talks between India and Pakistan.

“The agenda for the meeting has been exchanged by the two sides. From Indian side, we will raise the issue of repeated ceasefire violation and frequent infiltration attempts by terrorists,” a senior official said.

Killings of civilians living along the border due to firing from Pakistan will be forcefully raised by the BSF. The Pakistan Rangers are also expected to raise the same issue as they have been claiming casualties in their side too.

BSF is keen to take up the issue of infiltration of terrorists from Pakistan, with the particular case being the recent one in which the infiltrators struck in Gurdaspur and Udhampur.

The Indian side will also take up the issue of smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes and drugs as also unauthorised construction of defence infrastructure, the official said.

Confirmation by Pakistan for the DG-level talks comes despite it calling off the NSA talks a fortnight ago after India made it clear that Kashmiri separatist leaders would not be allowed to meet Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here.

The decision on meeting of NSAs and heads of border guards was taken during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia, on 10 July.

PTI

Indo-Pak talks: Ceasefire violation, infiltration to be raised in BSF-Pakistan Rangers meet

The Indian side will also take up the issue of smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes and drugs

Repeated violation of ceasefire and frequent infiltration attempts by terrorists will be in top agenda of the meeting between heads of border guards of India and Pakistan to be held here next week. The meeting between chiefs of Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers will be held from September 9 to 13, a fortnight after the cancellation of NSA talks between India and Pakistan. “The agenda for the meeting has been exchanged by the two sides. From Indian side, we will raise the issue of repeated ceasefire violation and frequent infiltration attempts by terrorists,” a senior official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Killings of civilians living along the border due to firing from Pakistan will be forcefully raised by the BSF. The Pakistan Rangers are also expected to raise the same issue as they have been claiming casualties in their side too.The Indian side will also take up the issue of smuggling of Fake Indian Currency Notes and drugs as also unauthorised construction of defence infrastructure, the official said.Confirmation by Pakistan for the DG-level talks comes despite it calling off the NSA talks a fortnight ago after India made it clear that Kashmiri separatist leaders would not be allowed to meet Pakistani NSA Sartaj Aziz during his visit here.The decision on meeting of NSAs and heads of border guards was taken during talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif in Ufa, Russia, on July 10.

India, Pakistan must avoid ‘winner-takes-all’ approach to avoid a repeat of NSA-level fiasco

First, the big news. The next round of India-Pakistan talks at the level of Chiefs of Border Security Force (BSF) and Pakistan Rangers in New Delhi beginning from 9 September is on track.

This in itself is a big move forward considering that the NSA-level talks between the two sides have just been scuppered amid cacophony.

The primary agenda of these talks would be issues like cross-border firing or infiltration or the like. Pakistan has already upped its ante by pushing a 13-point agenda and it remains to be seen how the Indians respond to the Pakistani wish list.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ReutersRepresentational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

However, the success or failure of these talks would depend on how much the two sides are willing to give and take. The fact remains that the two sides engaging in bilateral talks close on the heels of flop show of the NSA talks.

The ground situation does not paint a rosy picture. Both sides are to be blamed equally for this.

The two sides have been guilty of tackling the NSA talks in a ham-handed manner. Both took the kind of diplomatic positions which are normally taken in war-time situations, not like the normal diplomatic template they should have resorted to.

The genesis of the problem lay in the Ufa statement which was read out jointly by the two foreign secretaries. The main problem in the Ufa statement was that each side practiced the flawed approach of winner-takes-it-all. This kind of situation works well only in war situations, not in diplomacy.

Diplomacy is all about give and take. The main problem in the Ufa flop show was that the two sides tried to go back home with concrete deliverables without caring for the other side.

Indians exulted claiming that they stood tall at Ufa and did not allow Pakistan to raise the K word. This practically hemmed in the Pakistani side, which went back home with guilt, rather than the feeling of some achievement.

The end result was that the Indian victory proved to be hollow. The moment the Pakistani interlocutors in Ufa returned home, they realised that the Ufa statement was well past its sell-by date and that there was nothing in the Ufa spirit that they needed to care about, leave alone think about implementation.

Thus, the Ufa agreement did not work from the Pakistani viewpoint. This is not the way diplomacy should be practiced. Both sides have to take care of each other’s political considerations and compulsions for any understanding to be finalized.

This was the primary reason for the fiasco that eventually exploded in the face of India and Pakistan as they sought to engage with each other at the NSA level.

Ideally, India should have agreed to the text of “both sides agreeing to resolve all outstanding bilateral issues, including Jammu and Kashmir”. The heavens would not have fallen because of this plain speak, as Jammu and Kashmir is without doubt an outstanding bilateral dispute. This has been one of the major sticking points between the two nuclear armed neighbours for decades and India wouldn’t have been making a compromise if it were to mention it upfront in a bilateral statement with Pakistan.

But this was not to happen. The Modi government got a chance to indulge in chest thumping by telling Indians back at home that it did not allow Pakistan to raise the K word without realising that the Ufa statement wouldn’t survive even for a minute in Pakistan once the Pakistani interlocutors reach home. This is precisely what happened and the Ufa spirit was killed.

This is the hard lesson that both India and Pakistan need to learn from Ufa and re-calibrate their future bilateral engagements if they want this process to pay dividends.

Thus far, the India-Pakistan engagements have been high on sound and fury, but abysmally low on the delivery quotient.

The upcoming talks between the heads of BSF and Pakistan Rangers provide yet another opportunity to try genuine diplomacy and give a new life to bilateral ties. It remains to be seen whether this can be done. If the Past history is an indication, this is not possible unless the two sides change their approach.

*The writer is Firstpost Consulting Editor and a strategic analyst who tweets @kishkindha

India, Pakistan must use dialogue to stop bloodshed, says NCP

It is very sad that the atmosphere on the border in Kashmir is going out of control. The Government of Pakistan, or the Pakistani soldiers are intruding into our territories, killing our jawans, and even civilians are not spared, which needs to be retaliated to very effectively, he added.

India, Pakistan must use dialogue to stop bloodshed, says NCP

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Majeed Memon on Wednesday said India and Pakistan must use the medium of dialogue to stop bloodshed.I am sure both sides must resort to some dialogue, whereby this bloodshed can be avoided, Memon told ANI.It is very sad that the atmosphere on the border in Kashmir is going out of control. The Government of Pakistan, or the Pakistani soldiers are intruding into our territories, killing our jawans, and even civilians are not spared, which needs to be retaliated to very effectively, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Memon said, I am sure that our soldiers and our guards at the border are competent enough to give a befitting reply to the Pakistani intruders.Memon was speaking even as an encounter was taking place between militants and security forces in Rafiabad in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla District.

Pakistan shelling leaves 3 civilians dead, 17 injured in Jammu

Villagers of RS Pura sector gather at a safe place on Friday; (Right) A part of a mortar shell fired from the Pakistan side

PTI
When the nation was celebrating 50th anniversary of 1965 war victory, Pakistan resorted to heavy shelling on the Indian positions and civilian areas killing three villagers including two women and injuring 17 others, three of them critical, in RS Pora and Arnia sectors of the International Border (IB) in Jammu division.The firing started at around midnight when Pakistan Rangers targeted the Border Security Force (BSF) outposts and civilian areas with small arms. Later Pakistan Rangers changed gears and started pounding the civilian areas with heavy arms including 82 mortar shells and bombs.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Rangers created mayhem when they bombed the villages in the wee hours when villagers had come out to graze their cattle and have breakfast. A shell hit a civilian in Abdullan village when he was grazing his cattle. Two women were also killed in Sai Khurd village when shell landed near their houses.At least 17 civilians, including a 12 year-old-boy, were injured in the shelling from across the border. All the civilians were later shifted to Jammu hospital where condition of some of them is stated to be critical.”Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing at midnight. Initially they fired small arms and later on resorted to shelling of mortars on BSF posts and civilian areas in RS Pora sector. BSF also retaliated in the befitting manner,” a BSF spokesman said in Jammu.Twelve Border Outposts (BOPs) of BSF and around 30 villages were targeted by Pakistan Rangers through the night. “Around 25 to 30 villages have been affected by Pakistani shelling. So many houses have suffered damages and cattle too have perished in the shelling,” said Harjit Singh, sub divisional police officer (SDPO), RS Pora.Fear has gripped the villagers after the intense shelling from Pakistan Rangers which continued throughout the night. Though there has been no migration so far, the administration is not taking any chances and has kept the shelters in readiness to meet any exigency.Jammu and Kashmir government has issued an advisory urging people to stay indoors and not assemble in groups outside their homes. “We have asked people not to converge and stay indoors. We are keeping close tab on the situation in the border areas,” said a senior officer.The fresh ceasefire violation comes three days after Pakistan army soldiers killed an Indian army’s JCO when he was guarding his picket at the Badal post along the Line of Control in Qalamabad-Handwara.

Ceasefire violations: PDP calls for immediate Indo-Pak DGMOs meeting

Leaders from both sides to rise to the level of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statesmanship to resolve all issues cordially,” Mufti said.

There should be an immediate meeting of the DGMOs of the two countries to sort out the issue amicably: Mufti

Ruling Peoples Democratic Party president Mehbooba Mufti called for an immediate meeting of the DGMOs of India and Pakistan to sort out the issue of ceasefire violations amicably so that innocent lives are safeguarded. “I appeal for ending the bloodshed of innocent people residing near the borders. There should be an immediate meeting of the DGMOs of the two countries to sort out the issue amicably so that lives of innocent civilians, including women and children who are under virtual siege from the past several months, are safeguarded,” Mehbooba, an MP from south Kashmir, said in a statement here.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Condoling the death of three civilians in continued shelling from across the border, Mehbooba said the border skirmishes have brought untold miseries upon the people, in particular those residing near the International Border and the Line of Control (LoC). Terming as unfortunate the cancellation of NSA-level talks between India and Pakistan, Mehbooba said the meeting was supposed to discuss critical issues like cross-border shelling and terrorism. “The need of the hour is for leaders from both sides to rise to the level of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s statesmanship to resolve all issues cordially,” she said. The PDP President conveyed her sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for peace to the departed souls. She also asked the Divisional Administration to provide advance medical treatment to those who have been injured in the shelling.

PM Modi should seal Vajpayee-like deal with Pakistan: PDP

Expressing grave concern over rise in cases of ceasefire violation, Jammu and Kashmir PDP on Friday said the Narendra Modi government “can and needs to” negotiate an agreement with Pakistan similar to the one done by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA dispensation.

Former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee

dna Research & Archives
Expressing grave concern over rise in cases of ceasefire violation, Jammu and Kashmir PDP on Friday said the Narendra Modi government “can and needs to” negotiate an agreement with Pakistan similar to the one done by the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA dispensation.”I remind the public and the central government that if an understanding (on the ceasefire) with Pakistan could be reached in the Vajpayee era, a similar agreement can and needs to be negotiated under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi,” senior PDP leader and MLC Vikramaditya Singh said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Singh expressed grave concern over the recent violations of the 2003 ceasefire agreement along border areas of Jammu, including Samba, Poonch, Rajouri, R S Pura and Arnia sectors.He said that his sympathies and prayers are with the families of the three civilians killed and nearly 20 injured in the most recent unprovoked firings by Pakistan Rangers in R S Pura and Arnia sectors.Singh said he had appealed to the Government of India to expedite the process for a peaceful resolution concerning ceasefire violations as innocent civilians on both sides of the border have been facing severe casualties.He said that from a humanitarian perspective the matter needs to be given top most priority. The PDP leader said the current status quo in Jammu and Kashmir is not acceptable to anyone in the state as repeated ceasefire violations and other outstanding issues have not been adequately addressed by the Government of India.Singh, who had been extensively touring the border areas of Jammu in the past few months, said the responsibility for bringing peace in the state and as well as the region lies with the Government of India.Three persons were killed and 17 others injured when Pakistani Rangers violated the ceasefire twice and heavily shelled civilian areas and border posts along the border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district on Friday.There have been 55 violations of the border ceasefire agreement by Pakistan in August and over 245 such incidents during the year so far.

Ceasefire violations: Pakistani shelling leaves 3 civilians dead, 17 injured in Jammu

Three civilians were killed and 17 injured as Pakistani troops on Friday pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing since the wee hours, in yet another ceasefire violation.

Representational Image

dna Research & Archives
Three civilians were killed and 17 injured as Pakistani troops on Friday pounded border areas of Jammu with heavy shelling and firing since the wee hours, in yet another ceasefire violation.BSF retaliated strongly to the Pakistani firing and shelling in RS Pura and Arnia sectors along the International Border (IB) in Jammu district.”Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing. Initially small arms were used but later on mortar bombs were shelled on BSF posts and civilian areas in RS Pura and Arnia sectors,” BSF spokesman said.The firing and mortar shelling started around 0145 hours in Kishanpur, Jora Form, Jugnu Chak, Nawapind, Gharna, Sia, Abdullian and Chandu Chak areas in RS Pura sector and at 0430 hours in Arnia sector, a police officer said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The shelling was so heavy that the shells landed deep inside villages much away from IB, he said. In the shelling and firing, three civilians were killed, 17 others injured, four of them critically, the officer said adding the injured have been hospitalised.While two persons died in RS Pura sector, one died in Arnia sector. Scores of animals were also injured and some buildings suffered damages in the firing, Deputy Commissioner (Jammu) Samreendeep Singh said.”BSF troops deployed in these forward areas gave a befitting reply and fired on the forward areas of Pakistan along the Line of Control, causing damage to them,” officials said.”No damage or casualty to BSF troops has been reported till last reports came in,” they added. There have been 55 violations of the border ceasefire agreement by Pakistan in August and over 245 ceasefire violations during the year so far.

Jammu and Kashmir: Three killed, 17 injured after Pakistan targets civilian areas

Jammu: Two people were killed and 16 others were injured when Pakistani Rangers heavily shelled civilian areas and Army posts along the International Border in R S Pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district on Friday, drawing retaliation from the BSF.

“Pakistan Rangers resorted to unprovoked firing. Initially small arms were used but later on mortars bombs were shelled on BSF posts and civilian areas in R S Pura and Arnia sectors since midnight”, a BSF spokesman said.

The firing and mortar shelling started around 0145 hours along the IB in Kishanpur, Jora Form, Jugnu Chak, Nawapind, harna, Sia, Abdullian and Chandu Chak areas, a police officer said.

The Pakistani troops fired mortar bombs and used automatic weapons in the firing. The shelling was so heavy that the shells landed deep inside villages much away from IB, he said. Deputy Commissioner Jammu, Simrandeep Singh said two persons are dead and 16 others were injured. He said there were reports that another person has also been killed in the firing.

Representational image. AP.Representational image. AP.

Representational image. AP.

However, Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal told PTI that three persons were killed in the firing. BSF troops guarding the border retaliated resulting in heavy exchanges which are going on when the reports last came in from the area, they said.

“Undeterred and resolute BSF troops deployed in these forward post areas gave a befitting reply and fired on the forward areas of Pakistan along the Line of Control, reportedly, causing damage to them”, the officer said.

“No damage and casualty to BSF troops on own side has been reported till the last reports came in”, he added. There have been 55 violations of the border ceasefire agreement of 2003 by Pakistan in August and over 245 ceasefire violations during the year so far.

Pakistani Rangers had pounded civilian areas and military positions along the International Border (IB) in R S pura and Arnia sectors of Jammu district on the intervening night of August 17-18, injuring a villager.

On the intervening night of August 16-17, Pakistan troops had resorted to ceasefire violations in Saujiyan and Mandi sectors of Poonch district and shelled forward posts and civilian areas with 120 mm and 82 mm mortar bombs and heavy machine guns (HMGs).

On August 16, a woman was killed and five persons were injured as Pakistani troops fired 120 mm and 82 mm mortars bombs, HMGs and RPGs on border posts and civilian areas in Poonch and Rajouri districts.

On Independence Day, six civilians, including a sarpanch were killed and five others injured in heavy firing and mortar bomb shelling by Pakistani troops at several Indian posts and civilian areas. Last month, there were 19 ceasefire violations in which four persons, including three jawans, were killed and 14 others injured.

Meanwhile, Pakistan military claimed that at least six civilians were killed and 46 others, including 22 women, were injured in alleged firing from the Indian side in the Charwa Sector near the Sialkot Working Boundary.

PTI

Delcare Pakistan a terrorist state: Kashmir Deputy CM on repeated ceasefire violations

Jammu: Condemning shelling by Pakistani troops in which 3 civilians were killed and 17 others injured, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Friday said that time has come when international community should declare Pakistan as a “terrorist state” as that country is using terrorism as an instrument of international diplomacy.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“Time has come when international community should declare it as a terrorist state as Pakistan is using terrorism as an instrument of international diplomacy”, Singh told reporters in Jammu on Friday.

Singh, who visited Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu to met injured people in Pakitani firing, said “I condemn Pakistani firing as they have restarted firing and shelling and killing civilians along the borderline, because they have been exposed on the international front for supporting terrorism.”

Singh assured the injured full support from the state government amid grant of exgratia compensation to injured people at GMC hospital.

“These are acts of desperation. Pakistan has been exposed on the International front politically as it could not face the world due to terror attacks, infiltrations and ceasefire violations,” he said.

Deputy Chief Minister said, “World should not accept this (sponsoring and aiding terrorism). India cannot tolerate it. The way, they are resorting to the mortar shelling and killing three people and 15 others injured, four are serious, cannot be tolerated”.

“Pakistan has been exposed following arrest of two of its citizens involved in terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. Our forces have caught two terrorists sent from Pak to create an environment of terrorism”, he said.

On the issue of NSA level talks, he said “Pakistan could not have faced India at the NSA level talks. Pakistan did all possible things engineering terror attacks, resorting to inviting Hurriyat Conference for talks, mortar shelling and killing people to force India to put an end to the talks but the country’s leadership had understood their designs and did not at all withdrew from the talks.”

“Pakistan has nothing to talk from their end in the talks at the level of NSA. Instead, we had all evidence like that of Naved and the terror attacks that is why he scuttle the talks”, he said.

Singh assured relief from the State Government for the people who were injured in the RS Pura ceasefire violation.

“Injured people are being treated for free. Relief from the State Government will be given,” Singh said.

PTI