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22ND KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATED ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Ashish Singh

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The nation remembers the supreme sacrifices of soldiers killed during the Kargil War when India successfully recaptured the covertly occupied few outposts inside the Line of Control on this day twenty-two years ago. Ever since the victory in Operation Vijay, 26 July is celebrated the ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ every year. Kargil Vijay Diwas is commemorated every year as a saga of gallantry and valour of a battle fought in the most inhospitable terrain in the World in the area of Kargil-Drass Sector of Ladakh. On this day the Indian Armed Force braving most difficult terrain, battling extreme weather conditions fought valiantly on the steep slopes of icy peaks with grit and valour thus defeating the evil designs of the enemy and throwing the intruders out from Indian soil. The Kargil War – Operation Vijay was fought at an altitude of approximately 16,000 feet. The ceremony was attended by a limited number of serving personnel from all three services following all COVID-19 safety precautions and guidelines.

DEFENCE MINISTER PAYS HOMAGE AT NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL ON KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh paid homage to the fallen heroes on the 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas at the National War Memorial in New Delhi on Monday. The Defence Minister laid wreath in the honour of the bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in the service of the nation during India’s victory in ‘Operation Vijay’ in 1999, also known as Kargil conflict.

In his message in the visitors’ book at the National War Memorial, Shri Rajnath Singh recalled the valour of the bravehearts of the Kargil conflict, saying that nation will never forget the sacrifice made by the gallant heroes of Indian Armed Forces. He added that the grateful nation will always be indebted to their courage and continue to follow their ideals. In a tweet, the Defence Minister said the supreme sacrifice of the brave soldiers will inspire the generations to come. Rajnath Singh also shared a video message on Twitter in which he saluted the valour and sacrifice of the brave Indian soldiers. Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of the Army Staff General MM Naravane, Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar and Chief of Integrated Defence Staff to the Chairman Chiefs of Staff Committee (CISC) Vice Admiral Atul Kumar Jain also paid homage to the fallen heroes at the National War Memorial on the occasion. Senior civil and military officials of Ministry of Defence were also present on the occasion.

During the Kargil conflict, the gallant soldiers of the Indian Army, with the help of Indian Air Force, overcame insurmountable odds, hostile terrain and inclement weather to win against the enemy that had occupied dominating heights. On this momentous occasion, the proud nation is celebrating the victory by remembering the fallen heroes through various events across the country.

KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS CELEBRATED BY ANDAMAN & NICOBAR COMMAND

Andaman and Nicobar Command (ANC) celebrated Kargil Vijay Diwas at Birchgunj Military Station on Monday to commemorate India’s victory during the 1999 Kargil war. The wreath laying ceremony by a Joint- service guard, comprising all components of ANC, was organised to pay homage to the fallen heroes of the Kargil War, who made the supreme sacrifice, upholding the highest traditions of the Armed Forces. Commander-in-Chief Andaman and Nicobar Command (CINCAN) Lieutenant General Ajai Singh laid a wreath to honour the bravehearts. Veterans of all the three services residing in Andaman and Nicobar Islands were also invited for the function. The CINCAN also interacted with the troops. He called for jointness among the Armed Forces and preparedness at all times, saying that it provides an exponential advantage in the battle field. All COVID-19 protocol measures were followed by the personnel present at the event.

HOMAGE PAID TO KARGIL VEERS AT THE WAR MEMORIAL AT VISAKHAPATNAM

On the occasion of the 22nd Anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Eastern Naval Command paid homage to our brave soldiers who laid down their lives fighting for our country. Vice Admiral Sreekumar Nair, Director General Naval Projects, Visakhapatnam, Mr. Manish Kumar Sinha, Commissioner of Police, Visakhapatnam and Commodore Rahul Gokhale Commanding Officer INS Circars paid homage to the Veers of Kargil War in a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at ‘Victory at Sea’ War Memorial Visakhapatnam. A 50 men Guard of Honour was paraded on the occasion. The Guard performed the ‘Salami Shastra’ and Vice Adm Sreekumar Nair placed the floral wreath. While the bugler sounded the ‘Last Post’, a two-minute silence was observed.

HOMAGE PAID ON KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS AT SHAHEED SMARAK, MUMBAI

On the occasion of the 22nd Kargil Vijay Diwas on 26th July, a solemn wreath laying ceremony was conducted at Shaheed Smarak at Colaba, Mumbai to commemorate the victory of the Indian Armed Forces and to pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice of our martyrs. During the ceremony, wreaths were laid by Vice Admiral R. Hari Kumar, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, FOC-in-C Western Naval Command, followed by Lieutenant General S.K. Prashar, AVSM, VSM, General Officer Commanding Maharashtra Gujarat & Goa Area, Rear Admiral Atul Anand VSM, Flag Officer Commanding Maharashtra Naval Area and Group Captain Jitendra Dinkar Masurkar, VM officiating Air Officer Commanding, Headquarters Maritime Air Operations and other Senior officers from all three services.

SOUTHERN ARMY COMMANDER PAYS HOMAGE AT WAR MEMORIAL, PUNE

Headquarters Southern Command celebrated Kargil Vijay Diwas which commemorates the Indian Armed Forces victory over Pakistan in 1999. 26th July every year is celebrated as ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’ across the nation as a mark of remembrance for those who fought bravely at the icy heights with valour, defeating the enemy. Lt Gen J.S. Nain, GOC-in-C Southern Army in a solemn wreath laying ceremony held at the National War memorial, Pune paid tribute to the brave hearts of Kargil War who made the supreme sacrifice in maintaining the territorial integrity of the nation. Maj Gen Hukkur A.K. (Retd) the senior most veteran from Pune also laid wreath and paid homage to the Kargil War heroes. A week long celebration activities were organised across all Military Stations in Southern Command wherein Gallantry Award winners, veterans and veer naaris were felicitated during various events.“Kargil veterans are a source of inspiration to all of us in the Armed Forces and the nation. Their supreme sacrifice and service can never be forgotten,” said the Army Commander. He also felicitated the veterans present at the National War Memorial. During his interaction he gave assurance to all the veterans that the Indian Army is moving very strongly in the right directions as set by them and is absolutely committed and ready for any eventuality. The ceremony was conducted keeping strict COVID protocols with limited attendance.

ARMY CELEBRATES KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS

July 26 is observed as Kargil Vijay Diwas in memory of soldiers who sacrificed their life in Kargil War which took place from 3rd March to 26th July 1999. The day commemorates the success of “Operation Vijay” which was launched to recapture Indian territories occupied by Pakistani intruders in the Kargil-Drass sector in 1999. Kargil Vijay Diwas is a symbol of fearless determination and exceptional valour of Indian Armed Forces.

On the 22nd anniversary of Kargil Vijay Diwas, Sh Conrad Sangma, Chief Minister of Meghalaya and Lt Gen KC Panchanathan, AVSM, GOC 101 Area garlanded the busts of Capt K.C. Nongrum, MVC (P) and Maj David Manlun, KC (P), the two brave hearts from Meghalaya, who laid down their lives for honour of their motherland at Rhino Heritage Museum, Shillong. The Chief Minister interacted with the families of the heroes who were also present for the occasion. Later Air Marshal Amit Dev, AVSM, VSM, AOC-in-C Eastern Air Comd, Lt Gen KC Panchanathan, AVSM, GOC 101 Area and Lt Gen PC Nair, AVSM, YSM, DGAR laid wreaths at Rhino Prerna Sthal, Shillong in the memory of brave hearts who had made supreme sacrifice in Operation Vijay. The event was also attended by serving personnel and veterans.

GAJRAJ CORPS PAYS TRIBUTES TO WAR HEROES ON THE OCCASION OF KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS

On the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, General Officer Commanding Gajraj Corps Tezpur Lt Gen Ravin Khosla laid wreath and paid tributes to the bravehearts of the Kargil War who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the country, at Gajraj War Memorial in Tezpur on Monday. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on July 26 to commemorate India’s resounding victory over Pakistan in Operation Vijay in 1999.The Kargil war is regarded as a testimony of the Indian Armed Force’s grit and determination, in which the soldiers exhibited dauntless courage, resilience, valour and fought against all odds in the high altitude mountains in Kargil. Indian Army evicted the entrenched infiltrators from the icy heights and ensured a convincing victory for the country.

ASSAM RIFLES COMMEMORATES 22ND KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS IN MIZORAM

The battalions of 23 Sector Assam Rifles under the aegis of HQ IGAR(East) on Monday joined the nation in remembering the heroes of nation and celebrating 22nd anniversary of Indian Army’s victory in “Operation Vijay”. A grateful nation commemorates 26th July every year as “Kargil Vijay Diwas” to mark the victory of Indian Armed Forces against the intruders in icy heights of Kargil on this day. To pay tribute to the supreme sacrifice of our martyrs, a solemn wreath laying ceremony was organized at Assam Rifles War Memorial in Aizawl, Mizoram. Dr. Kambhampati Hari Babu, Governor of Mizoram graced the event as chief guest and also laid a wreath to honor the courage, valor and sacrifice of our martyrs.

The event also included visit of the Governor to the historical Quarter Guard of Assam Rifles. The construction of this historic building dates back to 1898, when this formed nucleus of ‘Aijal Fort’. The Aizawl city has developed with this building as its epicentre. Two majestic cannons used in the Battle of Waterloo placed in this building by Lt Col J Shakespeare, then superintendent of Lushai Hills add to the grandeur of the Quarter Guard. A motivational movie was screened at Serchhip showcasing the honour and valour of the martyrs during the Kargil war. An online quiz competition was organised at Lunglei for the kids as part of the Vijay Diwas celebrations.

KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS 2021 CELEBRATED AT KARGIL WAR MEMORIAL

The solemn ceremony to celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the Kargil Vijay Diwas at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras was held with Mr. R.K. Mathur, Lt Governor as the Chief Guest who laid a wreath and paid his tributes to the fallen soldiers in a ceremony held at Kargil War Memorial, symbolising ‘Shradhanjali’ from the entire nation to the bravehearts. This year’s Kargil Vijay Diwas celebrations were unique in two ways as the Kargil Vijay Diwas coincided with the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ reaching the Kargil War Memorial. The journey of the Victory Flame across the country commemorates 50 years of triumph in the 1971 Indo-Pak War.

On 26th July, at the Kargil War Memorial, the proceedings commenced with the reception of the ‘Swarnim Vijay Varsh Victory Flame’ at the Kargil War Memorial by General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Defence Staff in the presence of Lt Gen Y.K. Joshi, GOC-in-C Northern Command, Lt Gen P.G.K. Menon, GOC 14 Corps, Lt Gen D.P. Pandey, GOC 15 Corps and Lt Gen M.V. Suchindra Kumar, GOC 16 Corps, other officers, gallantry awardees, Veer Naris, NoKs of martyrs and civil dignitaries. It was followed by a solemn Wreath Laying Ceremony by esteemed civil and military dignitaries. The gallantry awardees of the Kargil War, next of kin of bravehearts, and veer naris also paid their tributes to the fallen heroes with tearful nostalgia. Every year on this day, the nation pays homage to the supreme sacrifices made by our bravehearts during Operation VIJAY in the Kargil War of 1999.

GAJRAJ CORPS PAYS TRIBUTES TO WAR HEROES ON THE OCCASION OF KARGIL VIJAY DIWAS

On the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas, General Officer Commanding Gajraj Corps Tezpur Lt Gen Ravin Khosla layed wreath and paid tributes to the bravehearts of the Kargil War who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the sovereignty and integrity of the Country, at Gajraj War Memorial in Tezpur on Monday. Kargil Vijay Diwas is celebrated every year on July 26 to commemorate India’s resounding victory over Pakistan in Operation Vijay in 1999. The Kargil war is regarded as a testimony of the Indian Armed Force’s grit and determination, in which the soldiers exhibited dauntless courage, resilience, valour and fought against all odds in the high altitude mountains in Kargil. Indian Army evicted the entrenched infiltrators from the icy heights and ensured a convincing victory for the country.

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Defence

Emergence of Indian Armed Forces since 1947

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The Indian armed forces, with strength of over 1.3 million, are the fourth largest army in the world today. Since independence, the forces have undergone a gradual transformation in their strength, operational ability, and role. As an associated force to the British armed forces in different military operations as well as to maintain internal security, the most dedicated, decisive, and strong combat power of the modern world with the aim of safeguarding the interests of the country against any internal or external threat.

The transformation of the armed forces started with the beginning of the Second World War. The strength of the military had significantly increased from 6 lakh to 2.5 million during the war. However, the impending independence of India led to British apathy towards armed forces, resulting in a drastic reduction of manpower, depleted logistics, and weaponry. The 1947 Indian Independence Act was passed by the Parliament of the United Kingdom on July 5, 1947 to partition British India into two new independent dominions, India and Pakistan. The act received Royal Assent on July 18, 1947. As a prelude to the Indian Independence Act, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee announced on February 20, 1947, a grant of self-government to India not before June 30, 1948. The Mountbatten plan was announced on June 3, 1947, having specified an outline of the proposed transfer of power and partition of India.

The partition of armed forces and distribution of military assets were formulated as per the provisions of Sections 11, 12, and 13 of the India Independence Act. A Partition Committee was formed on June 7, 1947, with two representatives from each side and the viceroy in the chair, to decide about the division thereof. As soon as the process of partition was to start, it was to be replaced by a Partition Council with a similar structure. As per the provisions of the act and the consent of the Partition Committee, the division of the British Army took place on June 30, 1947. Out of 11800 officers and 5 lakh other serving personnel, they were divided into a ratio of 64% for India and 36% for Pakistan. Similarly, assets, including ordnance factories and training establishments, were also re-distributed. However, the process of distribution was very complex as various military units had mixed religious structures. Hence, the inter-unit transfer of troops also took place. In the same way, all sixteen ordnance factories were located in India. Hence, it was retained by India and a lump sum payment was made to Pakistan to develop its infrastructure. The defence training institute remained in Quetta, and India had established another training institute at Wellington.

The Northern Command of the British Indian Army was allotted to Pakistan, whereas the Southern and Eastern Commands became part of the Indian Army. The Central Command was raised during the war and was disbanded in September 1946. Later on, Delhi and East Punjab Command were raised on September 15, 1947. During the process of transformation and division, 144 army units were disbanded. 61 units of the Indian Princely forces were returned to the states. The Brigade of Gorkhas, recruited in Nepal, was split between India and Britain. Of the Indian divisions which took part in World War II, the 6th, 8th, 10th, 14th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 23rd, 25th, 26th, and 39th were disbanded, those remaining being the 4th, 5th, and 7th Infantry Divisions, the 1st Armoured Division, and the 2nd Airborne Division. Hence, the Indian Army was left with 88 infantry battalions, 12 armoured regiments, and 19 artillery regiments at the time of independence.

At the time of partition, the nations inherited a split air force that was weak in quantitative and qualitative terms. The assets of the Royal Indian Air Force were divided on a one-third basis, under which India and Pakistan got six and two fighter squadrons, respectively. The Indian Air Force, at that time, was composed of around 900 officers, 10,000 non-commissioned officers, and over 820 civilian technicians and administrative staff.

Reallocation of naval resources reduced the operational capability of the Indian Navy to maintain vigilance and patrol the eastern and western coasts of India as well as the islands of Andaman and Nicobar.

After Second World War in 1945, the Indian Armed Forces had only one Indian General officer, Major General Hiraji Cursetji of the Indian Medical Service officer. In addition to him, one brigadier from medical, three Indian brigadiers from combatant arms, and 220 other Indian officers in the temporary or acting ranks of colonel and lieutenant-colonel were part of the Indian armed forces. Till May 1947, the Indian Armed Forces had only 14 Indian officers at the rank of brigadier serving in combatant arms, with no Indian flag, general, or air officer in the combat arms of the armed services.

Sir Claude Auchinleck was the last Commander in Chief of British India. He was reappointed on August 15, 1947, as Supreme Commander of India and Pakistan till November 11, 1948, when this post was abolished. He played a crucial role in monitoring and executing the division of armed forces between India and Pakistan. It is an irony that the first Indo-Pak War and the intrusion of the Pakistan army took place in Kashmir while he was the supreme commander of both countries. As well, both commanders in chief of the Indian and Pakistan armies were officers of the Royal British Army and were reporting directly to him.

General Sir Rob McGregor MacDonald Lockhart, a senior British Army officer, was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army from 15 August 1947 to 31 December 1947. He was succeeded by General Sir Francis Robert Roy Bucher on January 1, 1948, and he handed over the command to the first Indian officer, General KM Cariappa, on January 15, 1949.

Similarly, Air Marshal Sir Thomas Walker Elmhirst was the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force since 15 August 1947 to 22 February 1950. Air Marshal Subroto Mukerjee became the first Indian Air officer to took over Chief of Air Staff on April 1, 1954. He continued till November 8, 1960.

Rear Admiral J.T.S. Hall happened to be the first Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Navy from August 15, 1947, to August 14, 1948. Vice Admiral Ram Dass Katari was the first Indian to become Chief of the Indian Navy on 22 April 1958 till 4 Jun 1962. Hence, the transformation of the Indian Armed Forces was completed in 1958.

The Indian armed forces faced the biggest challenge at the time of partition. This process of transfer of power, assets, and demographic migration on a religious basis has witnessed the transfer of more than 14 million populations across the border, clubbed with massive violence and clashes. During this entire process of independence, responsibility for maintaining law and order was handed over to India’s own Armed Forces. Despite the heavy loss of manpower, logistics, and firepower, the armed forces acted in a very professional manner. Over and above, during this crisis of migration, the sudden attack of the Pakistan army and militia on Jammu and Kashmir was the real litmus test for our defence forces. Undoubtedly, joint operations by the Indian Air Force and Army halted the intrusion and saved Kashmir. Armed forces successfully completed the accession of Junagarh and Hyderabad and later on the annexation of Goa into India in 1961 into India.

Independence and the division of armed forces resulted in a heavy loss to the armed forces and took decades to recover. Since then, the Indian military establishment has gone into phases of transformation, namely post Indo-Sino war in 1962, the recommendation of Gen K.V. Krishna Rao in 1975, followed by the post Kargil war since 2000 onwards. The Indian armed forces have now entered into the era of the biggest reforms since independence, comprising of the creation of integrated theatre command, battle groups, cyber, space, nuclear, and strategic forces, and the implementation of CDS and the Department of Military Affairs. The modern Indian armed forces are in the process of convergence as a global superpower with complete dominance on land, sea, air, and space. Indeed, it is a great transformation of the armed forces since independence.

The author is, SM, VSM Former Additional DG (AFMS) & Expert in Defence, International Strategies & Current affairs.

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Defence

A SALUTE TO THE INDOMITABLE SPIRIT OF KARGIL BRAVEHEARTS

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o commemorate the 23 years of victory over Pakistan in the Kargil War of 1999, the Indian Army on Monday organised a motorcycle expedition from New Delhi to the Kargil War Memorial at Dras (Ladakh).

The 30-member rally was flagged off by Lt Gen B S Raju, the Vice Chief of Army Staff from the National War Memorial, New Delhi on Monday.

Over the next six days, the team of 30 serving personnel who have embarked on this expedition will endeavour to replicate the indomitable spirit of the Kargil brave-hearts by rekindling the spirit of fortitude, courage and adventure synonymous with the Indian Army, said the Ministry of Defence.

The bike rally would pass through Haryana, Punjab, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh before culminating the expedition at the Kargil War Memorial, Dras on 26 July 2022.

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Defence

2 ARMY OFFICERS KILLED IN ACCIDENTAL GRENADE BLAST

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Two Army officers were killed in an accidental grenade blast along the Line of Control in the Mendhar sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch, the Defence Public Relations Office said on Monday. During the treatment, one army officer and one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) succumbed to their injuries.

JCO Sub Bhagwan Singh

Captain Anand

“Last night, an accidental grenade blast occurred in Mendhar Sector, Dist Poonch, when troops were performing their duties along the Line of Control. The blast resulted in injuries to soldiers.

During the treatment, one officer and one JCO succumbed to their injuries, “said PRO Defence Jammu.

According to the Defence PRO, the blast occurred along the Line of Control (LOC) on Sunday night, when the army troops were performing their duties, thus injuring them. All the injured soldiers were immediately evacuated to Udhampur via helicopter.

As per the reports, one officer and one Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) succumbed to the injuries.

The Indian Army expressed grief over the death of two officers.

The Indian Army tweeted, “General officer commanding (GOC) @Whiteknight_IA and all Ranks salute brave hearts Capt Anand and Nb Sub Bhagwan Singh who made the supreme sacrifice while performing their duties on the LoC in Mendhar Sector. We offer deepest condolences to their family members.”

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Defence

MAKE IN INDIA PUSH: IAF TO INDUCT COMBAT AIRCRAFT

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Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari on Sunday said that the Indian Air Force (IAF) is planning to induct Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA) and Light Combat Aircraft MK-1A and MK-2 along with the 114 multirole fighters. This will be done to bolster India’s combat capabilities through indigenisation under “Make-in-India” in the future.

The IAF chief said that the move will not only “strengthen the Air Force” but also bring a “huge boost” to the Indian aviation industry as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat initiative of the Narendra Modi government. “On the aircraft front, we are looking ahead for the AMCA and the LCA MK-1A and also the LCA MK-2 a few years from now. The case for 114 MRFA is also progressing well. With this, it will not only strengthen the Air Force but also bring a huge boost to the Indian aviation industry,” ANI quoted the Air Chief Marshal as saying.

“We have already committed for seven squadrons of AMCA. The numbers for the LCA MK-2, we will take a call as and when the first production model comes out and we start inducting the aircraft into the air force and we can always increase the quantity based on its performance and rate of induction,” he added while speaking about the number of units of the aircraft that the IAF is planning to induct.

When asked about the timeline of the induction of the S-400 air defence system from Russia into the forces, he said that it will be done as per the schedule adding that all deliveries should be completed by the end of next year. “The induction program of S-400 is going as per the schedule. The first firing unit has been inducted and deployed. The second unit is also in the process of getting inducted. Delivery schedules are on time, hopeful that by the end of next year all deliveries will be completed,” Chaudhari said.

“The threat of multiple fronts always exists. The capabilities of the air force in handling two fronts at a time will necessarily have to keep getting bolstered by the induction of various platforms. On the ground, we will need more radars, and additional SAGW systems and all of these are going to come from indigenous sources, for which the action is already at hand,” he added.

The IAF chief further said that the forces are fully in sync with the Centre’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat push which has resulted in the “quick induction” of platforms such as the light-combat helicopter and aircraft and radar systems.

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Defence

SEARCHES FOR SURVIVORS ON, ARMY INDUCTS RADAR

Ajay Jandyal

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The Indian Army on Sunday inducted radars to trace survivors under the debris which was laid after a cloudburst struck the area near the holy shrine of Amarnath on Friday.“Xaver 4000 radar has been inducted and has been operational at Amarnath since late noon for finding any survivors under the debris,” said Indian Army officials. Earlier, Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Jammu and Kashmir Manoj Sinha on Sunday visited a base camp in Pahalgam and met pilgrims.“The security personnel and administration have carried out an efficient rescue operation. We pay condolences to those who lost their lives. Efforts are underway to resume the Yatra along with repairing the path. Pilgrims should come, we will provide them with all facilities,” Sinha assured.

Rescue operations underway at cloudburst-affected areas of Amarnath, on Sunday. ANI

The Amarnath yatra was temporarily suspended on Friday, till further notice. 

However, the pilgrims have been waiting at the Baltal Base camp for it to recommence.As many as 35 pilgrims were discharged following treatment, Shri Amarnathji Shrine Board (SASB) Officials informed on Saturday.“35 pilgrims have been discharged following treatment. 17 people are getting the treatment and are likely to get discharged tonight. All safe and healthy,” said SASB Officials.The critically injured patients were airlifted to Srinagar.“Critically injured people were airlifted to Srinagar. 2 people who were buried but were alive were rescued. We’re taking all precautionary steps. 41 missing as per Jammu and Kashmir police out of which some were rescued. Yatra may resume within a day or two,” said Kuldiep Singh, DG, CRPF.As per the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) data on Saturday, at least 16 people have died in the cloud burst incident near the holy shrine of Amarnath.Meanwhile, four Mi-17V5 and four Cheetal helicopters of the Indian Air Force were deployed for rescue and relief efforts at the Amarnath shrine on Saturday.The Cheetal helicopters flew 45 sorties, carrying five NDRF and Army personnel and 3.5 tonnes of relief material while evacuating 45 survivors from the holy cave.Earlier the officials on Saturday informed that the LG chaired a high-level meeting to review the ongoing rescue and relief operations at Amarnath cave.Meanwhile, the Indian Army informed that they have pulled up “critical rescue equipment” to speed up the rescue operations in the affected areas.“Indian Army pulls up critical rescue equipment to speed up the process of rescue operations and route maintenance in view of recent cloudburst of Amarnath in which 16 people lost their lives while several are assumed missing,” said the Indian Army.

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Defence

LET TERRORIST TALIB HUSSAIN NOT A MEMBER OF BJP: J&K BJP CHIEF

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Jammu and Kashmir BJP chief Ravinder Raina on Monday said the most wanted Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Talib Hussain who was apprehended from Reasi district is neither an “active member of the BJP nor a primary member”.

 Speaking to ANI, Raina said, “Hussain is neither an active member of the BJP nor a primary member. There was a letter circular, on the basis of which it is believed that Sheikh Bashir, who is the President of BJP Minority Front of Jammu and Kashmir had appointed Hussain on 9 May.” He termed the reports fake which claimed that one of the two most-wanted LeT terrorists, who were overpowered by locals and handed over to the police, was in charge of the party’s IT cell.

 The BJP leader further said after that Hussain had circulated a letter himself and resigned from the membership of the party on 18 May. “A couple of years ago, Hussain along with with his three colleagues used to come to the BJP office as a media person. He had also interviewed me many times, he used to call himself a reporter for a YouTube channel named ‘New Sehar India’,” Raina said.

 “As a journalist, Hussain clicked photos with us many times in the BJP office. Pakistan terror outfit wanted to target the head office of the BJP of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been done through the targeted medium and carried out such incidents,” he said. “It is too soon to say more on this matter as the investigation is going on. Not only the BJP, but all the offices of other political parties need to be more alert now,” Raina added.

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