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SOURCE: ET

Security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Assam want the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA to remain in force in the entire state for at least one more year.

AFSPA, which empowers the armed forces to enter any premises or arrest any person without a warrant, among others, was imposed in Assam at the height of insurgency in 1990 and it has been repeatedly extended, most recently till August this year. There is a demand from various quarters to withdraw the Act since insurgency is at its lowest ebb in the state. Continue reading

SOURCE: RAUNAK KUNDE / NEWS BEAT / IDRW.ORG

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh recently visited the headquarters of Defence Research and Development Organisation and directed them to focus on flagship programs of national importance and also promised to give priority to the long-delayed program for an Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS INDIA) program after recent skirmishes with neighboring Pakistan.

Under the AWACS INDIA program, India had selected the Airbus A330 platform to mount a fixed radome to provide total coverage of 360°. Scanning just like A-50EI Phalcon systems. While the program to procure the platforms have been approved in the principal but the final contract is yet to be concluded, reportedly due to the steep price of the platforms. According to the industrial sources close to idrw.org, Rajnath Singh has decided to fast track the program by infusing fresh funds to the program and also clear the purchase of the platforms. Continue reading

SOURCE: ET

Talks on digital tech & environment likely during Modi’s visit to G-7 summit, French envoy A Ziegler tells ET.

When will France deliver the first set of Rafale? How hopeful are you of garnering the order for the remaining 110 fighters?
In accordance with the contractual schedule, the first Rafale with Indian colours will be delivered to the Indian Air Force this September, exactly three years after the signing of the intergovernmental agreement by the French and Indian defence ministers on September 23, 2016. Continue reading

SOURCE: PTI

The armies of India and Myanmar carried out a three-week-long coordinated operation from May 16 in their respective border areas, targeting several militant groups operating in Manipur, Nagaland and Assam, Defence sources said on Sunday. The first phase of “Operation Sunrise” was conducted three months ago along the Indo-Myanmar border, during which a number of camps of North East-based militant groups were busted.

Myanmar is one of the strategic neighbours of India and shares a 1,640-km border with a number of Northeastern States, including the militancy-hit Nagaland and Manipur. Continue reading

SOURCE: ET

Two top US senators have moved an amendment to change the US Armed Controls Export Act to bring India on a par with NATO allies, Israel, Australia, New Zealand and Korea for purposes of selling military items under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) list.

The bipartisan amendment moved by Democrat Senator Mark Warner and Republican Senator John Cornyn on Thursday seeks to bring the change through an amendment to the relevant sections on foreign military sales in the National Defence Authorization Act (NDAA) 2020. Those aware of the details told ET that this will now kickstart the process of deliberations for the conference process in which the Senate and House versions of the NDAA will be reconciled. If the amendment makes it through this process, then it will signal a big shift in Indo-US relations. Continue reading

SOURCE: Khmer Times

The arrest of a man in India’s Tamil Nadu state over his suspected links to the alleged mastermind of the 21 April terror attacks in Sri Lanka is a clear sign of Daesh’s* existence in India, according to Major General (Retired) Dhruv Chand Katoch, an Indian security expert.India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Mohammed Azharudheen, 32, the alleged head of a suspected Daesh branch in Tamil Nadu. The arrest came as the agency was carrying out search operations at seven locations in the state’s Coimbatore city.

In a statement, the NIA claimed that Azharudheen was a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings that targeted Sri Lankan churches and hotels, leaving 253 people dead and over 500 injured.Besides Azharudheen, the probe agency also detained five other members of the terror offshoot. All of them are residents of Coimbatore city. Continue reading

SOURCE: THE HINDU

Calling for China to maintain status quo in the Doklam region, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Lotay Tshering said “no side” should do anything near the trijunction point between India, China and Bhutan “unilaterally”.

In an exclusive interview to The Hindu, and the first public comments by the Bhutanese leader on the Doklam issue which had seen a near conflict between the Indian and Chinese armies in 2017, he said that as long as status quo was maintained, “there will be peace and tranquillity in the region.” Continue reading

SOURCE: HT

Squeeze your friend to save your friend is India’s new recommendation to China. That is the implicit message Prime Minister Narendra Modi passed on when he told China’s President Xi Jinping that India cannot hold a dialogue with Pakistan unless there is an end to cross-border terror. Even before this exchange at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Kyrgyzstan, Beijing had, through public statements and its State-owned media, signalled that it wanted India and Pakistan to jaw-jaw rather than war-war.

China is one of the few foreign countries with any real influence over Pakistan and the only one taken seriously by the Pakistani military. China also seems increasingly worried about stability in the southwest Asian region as a whole and the fallout of continued friction between India and Pakistan in particular. This combination provides New Delhi some leverage with regard to Islamabad’s behaviour. Sensibly, Mr Modi is seeking to exploit this. Continue reading

SOURCE: INDIAN DEFENCE REVIEW

Preparations for space warfare and developing weaponry for it commenced globally decades ago. Its scope included ground-to-space warfare like attacking satellites from the earth – anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, space-to-space warfare like satellites attacking satellites, as well as space-to-ground warfare for attacking targets on ground with kinetic energy and directed energy weapons (DEWs) on board vessels in space. A prominent example of space-to-ground warfare was China’s port of Tianjin struck on August 12, 2915, by Pentagon’s secret space-based kinetic weapon ‘Rod of God’ dropped from high orbit that instantly destroyed six city blocks on the edge of the city of Tianjin; described in Western media quoting Chinese dissidents as an act of “kinetic retaliation” by the Pentagon in response to China’s sudden Yuan devaluation the preceding day – August 11.

Weaponization of space has been ongoing over past several decades. Soviet Union’s unmanned space station ‘Polyus’ had a weapon platform equipped with a megawatt carbon-dioxide laser and self-defence cannon. But while this was essentially to guard against hostile boarding, America’s Strategic Defence Initiative (SDI) or ‘Star Wars’ program proposed in 1983 was far advanced with ‘kinetic kill vehicles’ or rockets fired from satellites to destroy ICBMs, and satellites carrying lasers to kill ICBMs / enemy space vessels. Continue reading

SOURCE: DH NEWS

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) has announced a package of programmes which, while being continuations of earlier space ventures, will also be new achievements and chart out new directions for it in outer space. It starts with Chandrayaan-2, the second mission to the moon, scheduled for launch next month, the first indigenous manned space flight by 2022, and includes building an Indian space station.

Isro is a rare beacon of scientific and technological ambition and achievement in the country which cannot boast of too many other institutions that can match its performance. Decades of dedicated work, including successes and failures, have primed it for a bigger role and greater things, and the new plans vouchsafe for that. Isro’s work has been an essential element in the country’s progress and development in many vital areas like telecommunications, agriculture, mining, meteorology and defence. It has also raised the country’s international profile as a major space-faring nation with achievements that only a few other countries like the US, Russia and China can boast of. Continue reading

SOURCE: ENS

On June 6, 1944, the longest day, Allied troops landed in Normandy and started the final march to victory in Europe. Last week, the 75th anniversary of the Normandy landings was celebrated by leaders of the US, UK, France and many European countries. Veterans of the landing came dressed in their uniform with their children and grandchildren and were paid tribute for their efforts in winning back freedom.

Continue reading

SOURCE: TNN

An agreement China signed with the Maldives to build an observatory in the Indian Ocean is likely to be scrapped, as India’s relations with its maritime neighbour enter a purple patch following the exit of former Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen.Top local government sources in Male told TOI that the agreement Yameen signed with China in 2017, which raised a security alarm in India, is “not on the table”. Titled ‘Protocol on Establishment of Joint Ocean Observation Station’, the agreement was meant to allow China to construct an observatory at Makunudhoo, the westernmost atoll of the Maldives in the north.

The finalisation of the agreement had set off concerns in India that it would allow China a vantage point of an important Indian Ocean shipping route through which many merchant and other ships pass. It would also be located uncomfortably close to Indian waters. Continue reading

SOURCE: AAKAR PATEL / AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL INDIA / ASIAN AGE

I spent a few days in Srinagar this week, going there after a couple of years. I think it is important that readers know a little about what is going on in that state because it is disturbing. It is always strange to visit that state because the reality of Kashmir and its people hits you in the face when you are actually there. When you are away you can get carried away by whatever narrative is spun on our news channels.

The first thing that one notices is how little change there is in Srinagar. The vast changes in the landscapes of Indian cities over the last 15 years are absent here. There are no multiplexes, not a single cinema hall and no malls. The restaurants look the same as they did two or three decades ago and though the traffic has increased there is very little other visual sign of change or economic progress. Because the government in Delhi constantly cuts off the mobile services, there is no app-based economy in Srinagar. No Uber or Ola or the other things that we have become accustomed to for years now.

Continue reading

SOURCE: UNI

A youth, who had gone missing from frontier Kashmir district of Kupwara few days ago, has reportedly joined Hizbul Mujahideen (HM), as his picture flaunting an AK-47 rifle has gone viral on social media.

Official sources said a complaint was registered few days ago at a Police Station in Kupwara that one Imtiyaz Ahmad Mir had gone missing after he left home to get stock for his shop on June 11. “A case was registered and investigation was taken up,” they added. However, a picture of Mir brandishing an AK47 assault rifle has gone viral on social media sites, including Facebook and Twitter. Continue reading

SOURCE: NDTV

Three civilians, including an 11-year-old girl, were injured when the Pakistan Army shelled villages and forward posts during ceasefire violation along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district Sunday, officials said.”At about 1930 hours Sunday, Pakistan army initiated unprovoked ceasefire violation starting with firing of small arms followed by shelling with mortars along Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch Sector”, a Defence spokesman said.

The Indian Army retaliated befittingly, he said. In the firing and shelling, Maryam Bi, the girl, was injured in Kanote forward village and Razia and porter Akbar were injured in Shahpur forward village, the officials said. Continue reading

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