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Military storage bunkers spotted in Chinese village near Doklam

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NEW DELHI: China’s new villages close to the Line of Actual Control, meant ostensibly for settling civilians from far-flung areas close to the border, are part of strategy to enhance its military infrastructure in the area, top sources said.

One such village has also come up near Doklam where military storage facilities have been observed, as per intelligence reports. Construction of the new hardened bunkers appears to be an effort at militarily reinforcing the larger Doklam region, the source said.

There are dozens of similar settlements along the LAC, most of them coming up in areas facing Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh. Part of their integrated model villages that the Chinese intend to put to dual use – for civil and military purposes, some villages however remain uninhabited and are only turning out to increase military infrastructure to cater to additional deployment of the People’s Liberation Army.

Shelters have also come up at Bumdro which is opposite Kameng. Six to seven concrete huts have been constructed at Bumdro near Domsongrong to accommodate PLA personnel during their patrolling activity in Mera La, Thag La and Yangtse Area.

China has also constructed a road from Tirkangto Shivung La. The work was being undertaken from uphill side of Tirkang village in the south west direction towards Shiyung La.

IANS

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Army helps woman, her newborn reach home in J-K’s snow-laden Kupwara

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Kupwara (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], January 23 (ANI): The Indian Army on Saturday helped a woman reach her home, after she was stuck with her newborn child at a hospital in the Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir due to heavy snowfall.
Taking to Twitter, the Chinar Corps of the Indian Army said that the soldiers carried the wife and newborn of Farooq Khasana, a resident of Dardpora, for 6 km in knee-deep snow and helped them to reach their home.
“IndianArmy soldiers carried the wife and newborn of Farooq Khasana of Dardpora, Lolab, for 6 km in knee-deep snow and safely rescued them to their home,” tweeted Chinar Corps – Indian Army.


“Khasana’s wife gave birth to a child yesterday in a hospital. After being discharged, the duo was stuck there due to heavy snowfall,” a relative of the family said.
“Army official in 28RR Battalion helped them to reach home. I am very thankful to them,” he added. (ANI)

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Viva Group MD Mehul Thakur sent to 4-day ED custody

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 23 (ANI): Viva Group Managing Director (MD) Mehul Thakur and Director Madan Gopal Chaturvedi on Saturday were sent to four-day Enforcement Directorate custody in connection with Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative Bank (PMC) and Housing Development and Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) company scam.
Earlier today, Thakur and Chaturvedi were arrested by the ED, said officials.
On Friday, the ED conducted searches at five premises belonging to Viva Group and its associates.
The premises included a registered office of Viva Group in Virar, a residential premise of the concerned person of Viva Group in Virar, one associated office premise of Viva Group in Andheri, and two residential premises of two financial consultants of Viva Group in Juhu and Chembur respectively. During the search, Rs 73 lakh cash, incriminating digital and documentary evidence has been recovered, ED said in a release.
The ED initiated an investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) against Housing Development Infrastructures Limited (HDIL), Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan, Waryam Singh and Joy Thomas, Chairman and Managing Director of PMC Bank Limited and others on the basis of FIR registered by Economic Offences wing of Mumbai Police under Sections 409, 420, 465, 466, 471 read with 120B of IPC, 1860 for causing wrongful loss prima facie to the tune of Rs 4,355 crore to PMC Bank and corresponding gain to themselves.
Several properties of Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and Wadhawan family trust and others valued at Rs 293 crore were also attached and jewellery worth Rs 63 crores was seized earlier, the officials said.
A prosecution complaint has been filed against Rakesh Kumar Wadhawan and others under PMLA, they stated in a release. (ANI)

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Farmer unions to hold ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ on Republic Day

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New Delhi [India], January 23 (ANI): Farmer unions protesting against the new farm laws said on Saturday that they will organise ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ on the Republic Day.
“Farmers will take out ‘Kisan Gantantra Parade’ on January 26. Barricades will be opened and we will enter Delhi,” Swaraj India leader Yogendra Yadav told the media here.
The farmer unions and police held talks earlier in the day over the proposed ‘Tractor Parade’.
Yadav said there has been an agreement on the route and the final details are being worked out.
“To save the prestige of the Republic, farmers will hold the Gantantra Parade on the occasion of Republic Day. We will take out a historic and peaceful parade and it will have no effect on the Republic Day parade or the security arrangements,” he said, adding that there is no limit on the number of tractors participating in the parade.
Another farmer leader Gurnam Singh Chaduni appealed to the farmers participating in the parade to maintain discipline and follow the instructions issued.
“This is a big win that the barricades are being removed by the police. We do not have to force anyone to do that,” he said.
The talks of farmer unions and the government have seemingly broken down after the former insisted on their demand for the repeal of three new farm laws and the latter asked them to reconsider offer to put these laws on hold for about 18 months. The eleventh round of talks was held on Friday.
Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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NIA files chargesheet against 10 terrorists of Jihadi gang ‘Shahadat is our Goal’

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 23 (ANI): The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday filed a chargesheet against ten terrorists of a jihadi gang ‘Shahadat is our Goal’ in a Chennai Court.
“The probe establishes that accused were radicalised by violent Jihadi ideology. Prime accused Sheik Dawood and Mohamed Rifas had attempted to carry out terror acts by procuring illegal firearms,” NIA officials said.
Apart from Dawood and Rifas, NIA has charge-sheeted Muparish Ahamed, Abubakar Siddiq, Hameed Asfar, Ahamed Imithiyas, Mohamed Rashid, Liyakath Ali, Sajith Ahamed and Rizwan Mohammed. They have been booked under sections 120B, 153A, 121A and 122 of IPC, sections 13 and 18 of UA (P) Act and section 25(1)(a) of Arms Act.
This case was originally registered as FIR 46/ 2018 dated April 2, 2018, under sections 153A and 120B of Indian Penal Code, sections 15(c), 17, 18, 19 and 20 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 and sections 25(1)(a) of Arms Act, 1959 at Keelakarai Police Station in Ramnathapuram district of Tamil Nadu after the arrest of accused Rifas, Ahamed and Siddiq from Keelakarai.
Lethal weapons including swords, along with pamphlets pertaining to the terrorist gang ‘Shahadat is our Goal’ were seized from their possession.
NIA re-registered the case as RC-01/2019/NIA/DLI on January 10 in 2019 and initiated an investigation, which established that the charge-sheeted accused persons were radicalized by violent jihadi ideology.
The prime accused that Dawood and Rifas had conspired with co-accused and organised meetings at various places in Tamil Nadu, since Ramadan, 2017, with the intention of radicalising and recruiting the co-accused and others for shahadat (getting themselves killed) to establish Islamic rule in India.
“The accused had created various social media groups, especially on WhatsApp and were disseminating materials advocating violent jihad, including the videos and speeches of the Sri Lankan Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) leader Zahran Hashim,” NIA said.
The accused had also prepared pamphlets titled “Shahadat is our Goal” calling for violent jihad to liberate their associates lodged in prisons, they added.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, accused Dawood and Rifas had also attempted to carry out terrorist acts by procuring illegal firearms in order to liberate their associates lodged in prisons, NIA said.
Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

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If China can be aggressive at LAC, so can we: IAF Chief Bhadauria

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Jodhpur (Rajasthan) [India], January 23 (ANI): Amid the threat of China getting aggressive on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the coming months, Indian Air Force Chief (IAF) Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria on Saturday said India too can be aggressive if Beijing tries to get aggressive.
Addressing a press conference here on the sidelines of IAF and the French Air and Space Force’s bilateral exercise ‘Desert Knight-21’, Bhadauria said, “If they can be aggressive, we can also be aggressive. We are fully prepared.”
On being asked if the training or exercises are also being done at the Eastern border as the current exercise ‘Desert Knight-21’ is being done at the Western border, Bhadauria said, “The bilateral exercises are not part of exercises against any country. It is to develop capability and improve bilateral ties. If it is not being seen that does not mean it is not happening. Several trainings are also being done there.”
The IAF Chief said that eight Rafale fighter jets have arrived in India and three will come by the end of the month. “Enough training of pilots are being done. By next year, the induction of the jets will conclude,” he added.
India has signed an inter-governmental agreement with France to procure 36 aircraft at a cost of Rs 59,000 crore.
He further said that Rafale is a serious contender for India’s project to buy 114-multirole fighter aircraft.
“Our initial priority was to operationalise Rafale and also to integrate with other combat fleets, Su-30 being primary and that has been already done. So all the task has already been done,” he said.
Responding to a question on the capabilities’ enhancement of the IAF, Bhadauria said, “We have started the fifth-generation fighter aircraft programme with DRDO under AMCA aircraft project. We would like to add sixth-generation capabilities in that but we would like to first focus on the fifth-generation fighter aircraft.”
Indo-French air exercises “Desert Knight-21” is underway at Air Force Station Jodhpur, from January 20 to 24.
The joint exercise is being conducted to enable the two air forces to share operational experience, particularly regarding Rafale jets and learn how to operate together more effectively, according to a statement on January 19.
India and France have fielded a number of fighter jets in the exercise which include Rafales of two sides besides Mirages and the Sukhois of the Indian Air Force.
The French are participating with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and approximately 175 personnel.
The Indian Air Force aircraft participating in the exercise include Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft, Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) and AEW&C aircraft. (ANI)

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IAF ready to tackle any challenge from Leh to Kanyakumari, says Rafale pilot

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Jodhpur (Rajasthan) [India], January 23 (ANI): Indian Air Force’s (IAF) Rafale fighter jet pilot and Squadron Leader Sarthak Kumar on Saturday asserted that the force is ready to undertake any challenge from Leh to Kanyakumari, with their fleet of Rafale jets.
Kumar, who was part of the IAF and the French Air and Space Force’s bilateral exercise ‘Desert Knight-21’ at the Air Force Station Jodhpur being held from January 20 to 24, said that it was a great learning experience.
“IAF is ready to undertake any challenge from Leh to Kanyakumari. The Rafale fleet is ready to undertake any operation. Rafale is not only able to operate in different parts of the county but across the world. It is able to complete all the tasks that any fourth-generation or fifth-generation fighter can do,” Kumar told ANI.
“The Rafales we (IAF) have are the fastest and most advanced as of now,” said the Rafale pilot, when asked if Indian Rafales were more advanced than their French counterparts.
Kumar further said that the ‘Desert Knight-21’ was a successful exercise.
“This has been a really important exercise for the integration of Rafale in the operations of the IAF. The basics of all these exercises were all about cooperation, learning from each other’s experiences while operating in different terrains, spectrum and thereafter applying it to enhance our operational capability. So this has been a really successful exercise,” he said.
“We have flown with their (France) pilots in Rafale cockpits. We learned from them what they do in different situations and similarly, they have also learned from us. Both of us learned great lessons,” he added.
India and France have fielded a number of fighter jets in the exercise which include Rafales of two sides besides Mirages and the Sukhois of the Indian Air Force.
The French are participating in the exercise with Rafale, Airbus A-330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), A-400M Tactical Transport aircraft and approximately 175 personnel.
The IAF aircraft participating in the exercise include Mirage 2000, Su-30 MKI, Rafale, IL-78 Flight Refuelling Aircraft, Airborne Early Warning and Control System (AWACS) and an AEW&C aircraft. (ANI)

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