Pulwama attack: India withdraws MFN status to Pakistan

Pulwama attack: India withdraws Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan

India today withdrew the ‘Most-Favoured Nation’ status to Pakistan following the Pulwama attack (Pulwama terror attack) that left nearly 40 CRPF Personnel dead.

In a media briefing after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all efforts will be made to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book.

He said those aiding and abating the perpetrators will have to pay a heavy price. Briefing reporters outside the Prime Minister’s residence, he said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all out effort to isolate Pakistan and all diplomatic efforts will be launched in this regard.

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Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting Srinagar on Friday and would convene an all-party meeting most likely on Saturday to brief political parties on the incident so that the nation speaks in one voice on the issue.

The Cabinet Committee on Security meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

At least 37 CRPF personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

In a media briefing after the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security(CCS), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said all efforts will be made to ensure that perpetrators of the attack are brought to book. He said those aiding and abating the perpetrators will have to pay a heavy price. Briefing reporters outside the Prime Minister’s residence, he said the Ministry of External Affairs will launch an all out effort to isolate Pakistan and all diplomatic efforts will be launched in this regard.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting Srinagar on Friday and would convene an all-party meeting most likely on Saturday to brief political parties on the incident so that the nation speaks in one voice on the issue. The Cabinet Committee on Security meet was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the security scenario in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the Pulwama terror attack.

– PTI | 15 February 2019 | New Delhi

ISI role in Pulwama terrorist attack; suspects US expert

ISI role in Pulwama terrorist attack; suspects US expert 

American experts suspect the role of Pakistani intelligence agency ISI in “supporting the masterminds” of the Pulwama terrorist attack in which at least 37 CRPF personnel were killed. Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) has claimed responsibility for one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.

The experts on South Asia said the terror strike shows the United States has failed to persuade Pakistan to act against Jaish-e-Mohammad and other terrorist groups. “The self-proclaimed involvement of JeM in the attack raises serious questions about the role of the ISI in supporting the masterminds of this operation,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst, told PTI.

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The terrorist attack, which has direct footprints inside Pakistan, poses the first major challenges to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, said Riedel, who is now a scholar at the Brookings Institute think-tank. “This will be a real challenge for Imran Khan, the first serious challenge of his administration,” he said.

Anish Goel, a former National Security Council official in the previous Obama administration, said the horrific attack highlights just how actively Pakistan-based terrorist groups still operate in Kashmir. “By claiming such quick credit for the attack, Jaish-e-Mohammed is clearly indicating that they will continue to cause trouble in the region and stoke tensions between Pakistan and India,” he said. “In the wake of this attack, there will likely be increased pressure on Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi to take action against all militant groups still active in Kashmir,” said Goel.

Alyssa Ayres from the Council on Foreign Relations said, “Unfortunately, the attack also shows the limits of US and international policy efforts to date to persuade Pakistan to take serious action against these groups. The urgent question is what else the international community can do.”

According to Moeed Yusuf from the US Institute of Peace, the current situation has all the making of an India-Pakistan crisis. “Prime Minister Modi cannot take it lying down but Pakistan isn’t going to be able to absorb any Indian action either. Things are simply too tense between India and Pakistan,” he said.

Ironically, the biggest deterrent to any escalation is the presence of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman in the region, he said. “Salman arrives in Pakistan Friday and is coming to India too. His visit will be seriously overshadowed. The Saudi relationship is too important for either side to want that to happen,” he noted.

“I think the damage to India-Pakistan relations is going to be immense – even if the situation doesn’t escalate. The hope was that India and Pakistan will get back to talking after the Indian elections later this year. I think the hawks on both sides are going to make it very difficult for that to happen now,” Yusuf said. “Terrorist attacks as in Kashmir are not possible without an ideology or theology that justifies terrorism and brainwashes its followers that massacring others leads a person to paradise. The terrorist mindset must be removed along with the terrorist infrastructure on the ground,” said noted Hindu scholar David Frawley.

The latest attack by Jaish-e-Mohammed is another example of how Pakistan’s intelligence services continue to sponsor terrorist incursions into India, Washington-based Hindu American Foundation said. “While it’s heartening to see that a wide swath of the international community is unequivocally condemning the attack, such statements of solidarity must be backed up by actions which help bring to an end the ability of such terrorist groups to kill with impunity and destabilize the region,” the foundation said.

Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP)-USA in a statement demanded that United Nations designate Masood Azhar as global terrorist. “China should be ashamed of itself in blocking Azhar’s ban at the UN. Indian diaspora demands that if Pakistan is sincere in seeking peace with India, it should arrest Maulana Masood Azhar and his cohorts and disband all terrorist organisations station in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is a pariah nation anyhow and if it wants to exist in the real world, it should not play games, resort to lies, and abet terrorism. It should get rid of all terrorist organization from its soil,” it said. “It’s long past time for Pakistan’s establishment to root out these fanatic groups, many of which operate in the open and with the support of elements of the Pakistani state. It’s unacceptable. And it’s outrageous the world didn’t draw a collective red line on this a long time ago,” Jeff Smith of the Heritage Foundation said.

At least 37 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and five injured on Thursday in one of the deadliest terror attacks in Jammu and Kashmir when a Jaish suicide bomber rammed a vehicle carrying over 100 kg of explosives into their bus in Pulwama district.

-PTI |15 February 2019 | Washington

India’s only Army Air Defence College in Gopalpur-Tazeen Qureshy

Into the Heart of India’s only and most advanced Army Air Defence (AAD) College in Gopalpur (Brahmapur), Odisha

Written by Tazeen Qureshy and Edited by Shruti Singhal

It’s a sunny weekday afternoon, and the road leading to the famous Gopalpur sea beach in Odisha is bustling with activity. Shopkeepers are wrapping up last-minute sales to break for lunch while some of the others are making way to their homes.

Amid the hustle, a bus takes a left diversion, and all the activities cease into oblivion. After another right turn come two entry points, which are paths leading to a different world altogether.

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‘Trespassers will also be trained,’ the signboard reads. You read that right! Trained, not prosecuted.

The signboard is a metaphor for the rigorous training and discipline inside India’s only and most advanced Army Air Defence (AAD) College.

One of the youngest corps of Army, the Army Air Defence Corps bifurcated from the Regiment of Artillery 25 years ago. Spread over 2,700 acres, the institution boasts of modern facilities, equipment and weapons.

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The AAD College has around 3,000 recruits. It is a popular training hub for all the AD warriors from Air Force, Navy, CRPF and CISF personnel. Around 100 are recruited from the Officers Academy. The College also receives foreign officers from 20 Asian and African countries including Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Mozambique and Rwanda.

The training period is divided into physical and advanced training modules. While the former can take up to 19 weeks, weapon training takes at least 45 weeks.

“When we get trainees, the first task is to improve their endurance, strength and confidence. We undertake physical training activities like vertical rope, horizontal rope, toe touch beam, shuttle race and other body exercises. At the end of each day’s training, the trainees are made to play any game for five minutes as a recreation,” says an instructor posted at Gopalpur Military Station.

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PARTNER EVENT

Weapon training is more sophisticated. From Russian-made 9mm Carbine guns to the latest 5.56 mm Light Machine guns, the Air Defence (AD) Warriors are provided in-depth training. The AAD also has radar control weapons including ZU 23mm guns and L 70 guns, to combat aerial threats.


As the sun sets, the dark skies suddenly roar with thunders and erupt into beams of light, striking a target, barely visible to the naked eye. The logo of the AAD has the Sanskrit wordsRelated image ‘Akashe Shatrun Jehi’, which means “no enemy can dare venture into our skies”.

“The ultimate test of any personnel is defeating enemies. So, we focus a lot on firing. The ZU 23mm has a firing range of 2.5 km, while the L 70 gun has a range of 3.5 km,” says Major General PS Bhatia, Deputy Commandant, AAD College.

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Both day and night firing is possible with the weapon system. With these state of art facilities already in place, the AAD is now up for further modernisation. “Day and night firing are completely different. In day-time firing, the target is in front, while at night, the radar controls most firing. The Indian army is equipped to use both,” says Major General Bhatia. “Air-borne threats have changed over the years. We are transforming the technology at AAD. MRSAM

(Medium Range Surface to Air Missile) have been inducted in defence forces through a joint venture with Israel. Our teams will be sent to Israel, and a new facility will be built at this Army AD College in Gopalpur,” says Lieutenant General A P Singh, Commandant, AAD

Image result for Army Air Defence College in OdishaWhile the military station is generally out-of-bounds, it was recently open to media interaction, to display its strength.

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“Most people are not aware of this AAD College and its training. We want people to know they are safe, with us around. Apart from what we do (combat training), we are directly engaged in service when there are natural calamities like cyclones or civil unrest. All we want to say is that the AD warriors are ready, should there be any requirement,” concludes Major General PS Bhatia.

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Central Industrial Security Force personnel have started training at Army Air Defence College and Centre in Gopalpur (Brahmapur)

(Written by Tazeen Qureshy and Edited by Shruti Singhal)

Watch how Army Air Defence College is moving towards modernisation

May 8, 2018

Link- https://www.zeebiz.com/india/video-gallery-odisha-watch-how-army-air-defence-college-is-moving-towards-modernisation-45879

Sukma ambush: Death toll in Maoist attack rises to 12

Sukma ambush: Death toll in Maoist attack on CRPF rises to 12, Rajnath Singh to visit site

Sukuma ambush

Twelve CRPF personnel were on Saturday killed and their arms looted when Naxals ambushed their patrol party in the Maoist hotbed of Sukma in Chhattisgarh.

Four personnel were also injured in the Naxal attack and two of them were stated to be critical.

The incident occurred in the dense forests near Kottacheru village under Bhejji police station, around 450 kms away from the state capital, at 9:15 amwhen 112 personnel of CRPF’s 219th battalion were out for a road opening task.

 The Bhejji area in south Bastar region of the state is notorious for Naxal attacks and many security personnel have been killed here in the past.

The Naxals also looted ten weapons like INSAS and AK series assault rifles and two radio sets from the killed men, officials said.

“The troops were part of the road clearing party that has been securing an under-construction road between Bhejji and Kottacheru. They were ambushed by Naxals who set off multiple hidden IEDs on the ground and opened fire. The squad effectively retaliated before twelve made the supreme sacrifice,” acting CRPF DG Sudeep Lakhtakia said.

He added that Maoists are trying to disrupt normal life and activities in this area as the Central Reserve Police Force has increased its presence here and got re-opened a local ‘haat’ (market) last year here after it was forcibly shut by the red ultras.

FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi took stock of the situation and spoke to Home MinisterRajnath Singh who will be travelling to Sukma.
  • Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has strongly condemned the Maoist attack and described it as a “cowardly act”.
  • Security personnel have laid down their lives to free Bastar from violence and Maoist terror. Their sacrifice will not go in vain. “I salute their sacrifice,” the CM said, adding ultras were frustrated with development of road network in the region.
  • He also extended condolences to the bereaved families.
  • The CRPF chief and senior officials are also rushing to Raipur.
  • A senior Chhattisgarh official said that the road opening party was passing through the forests between Bhejji and Kottacheru villages when Naxals opened indiscriminate fire on them.
  • According to a CRPF official, summer season is regarded as an offensive period by rebels as they observe annual ‘tactical counter offensive campaign’ (TCOC).
  • The dry weather is a favourable period for carrying out ambushes in the vast jungle terrain and this attack would have been planned by Maoists led by hardcore naxal cadre Hidma who is active in southern part of Bastar, the paramilitary official added.
  • However, further investigation would reveal the details, he added.
  • The injured have been air lifted and brought to the CRPF field hospital in Bheji and few others have been transferred to Raipur.
  • A special counter-Naxal teamof CoBRA has been rushed to the ambush spot as reinforcement to sanitise the area and launch a search.
  • Another senior CRPF officer said the ambush site has very weak mobile phone connectivity and communication is being done through satellite phones.
  • “It is estimated that a hundred plus Maoist squad was present in the area when the ambush was launched. These are preliminary inputs. More details are awaited,” the officer said.

-Saturday, March 11, 2017 | PTI | Raipur

 

Rajnath Singh holds meeting with civil society members in Kashmir

Rajnath Singh arrives in violence-hit Kashmir, holds meeting with civil society members

Rajnath Singh arrives in violence-hit Kashmir, holds meeting with civil society members

 

As Kashmir Valley continued to remain under curfew for the 15th day running, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh arrived in the state on Saturday to take stock of the situation.

Immediately upon reaching Srinagar, the minister held a meeting with a civil society delegation.

Rajnath Singh will be in the Kashmir Valley for two days – this is his second visit this month to the state.

He had travelled to Kashmir at the start of this month after eight CRPF men were killed by militants in Pampore area of Pulwama district.

He had then also undertaken the Amarnath Yatra.

During his visit, the minister will meet official and public delegations in an effort to end the impasse brought about in the Valley since July 9, a day after Hizbul commander Burhan Wani was killed along with two of his associates in a gunfight in south Kashmir`s Anantnag district.

The minister will also visit some areas in south Kashmir where violence has been witnessed recently.

The death toll in the current unrest stands at 48 — 46 civilians and two policemen.

Officials said strict curfew will continue in south Kashmir`s Anantnag, Kulgam, Shopian and Pulwama districts while restrictions will remain in force in the rest of the Valley.

-July 23, 2016, Srinagar

Eight CRPF jawans killed in shootout in Pulwama district

Eight CRPF jawans killed in shootout in Pulwama district

Two of the militants who attacked a CRPF patrol on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway killed

CRPF jawans killed

Eight CRPF personnel and two militants were killed on Saturday afternoon when a group of militants attacked a bus carrying security forces on the Srinagar-Jammu highway in the Pampore area.

CRPF spokesman Bhavesh Kumar said the bus came under attack from “armed militants near Frestibal. Eight personnel were killed, while two militants were killed in retaliatory fire.” Several jawans were injured

The bus was travelling from south Kashmir to Srinagar when three militants got out of a car and opened fire around 4.50 p.m. The exchange of fire lasted for more than one hour.

SRINAGAR, June 25, 2016

Pampore gunfight ends after 48 hours, three militants shot dead

Pampore gunfight ends after 48 hours, three militants shot dead

The 48-hour long gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore town in which six people, including five security personnel, were killed so far ended on Monday evening with security forces saying they had killed three guerrillas hiding in the JKEDI complex.
“Security forces have killed three militants in the JKEDI (Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute) complex in Pampore town and their bodies have been recovered.
“Firing exchanges have stopped and room-to-room searches of the multi-storeyed building where the militants were hiding are going on,” a senior police officer told IANS here.
The 48-hour long gunfight between a group of heavily-armed guerrillas and security forces had started on Saturday when guerrillas attacked a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus at Sempora (Pampore) on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.
Two CRPF troopers identified as head constable Bhola Prasad and driver constable R.K.Rana had died in that attack, and the assailants had fled to the nearby JKEDI complex for shelter.
Security forces immediately surrounded the complex, but the operation against the guerrillas was started only after around 120 trainees and staff members were safely evacuated from the complex.
The army took over the operation against the guerrillas, believed to belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, with a group of specially-trained para commandos being brought in to flush them out.
However, two officers of the elite Para Regiment – Capt. Pawan Kumar of 10 Para and Capt. Tushar Mahajan of 9 Para regiment – who were leading from the front were killed in the operation after they entered the multi-storeyed building which guerrillas were using as a fortified bunker.
Captain Kumar belonged to Haryana’s Jind district in Haryana while Captain Mahajan belonged to Udhampur town in the Jammu region.
Another commando identified as Lance Naik Om Prakash was injured in the operation and succumbed in hospital on Sunday.
A civilian, Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora village in Pulwama district, who worked as a gardener at the institute was also killed in the gunfight.
As may as 15 other security personnel including an assistant commandant of the CRPF have been injured in the gunfight and are being treated in hospital.
At least 15 protesters were injured in Pampore town on Monday in clashes with security forces.
The protesters had defied curfew-like restrictions and were trying to carry out a march towards the site of the gunfight.
22 February 2016 | IANS | Srinagar