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SOURCE: ONE INDIA

 On Friday in two different encounters, the security forces gunned down 7 terrorists. While this was a major boost for the forces, what was interesting was that the terrorists were not part of just one group. Out of the five terrorists killed in the Shopian encounter, two were from the Hizbul Mujahideen., two from the Ansar Gazwat ul Hind and one from the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. This goes on to show that all the terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir are carrying out operations jointly. A senior official tells OneIndia that this trend has emerged off late for a variety of reasons. These are different terror groups who report to one master and that is the ISI in Pakistan.

All these terrorists are locals and they stay together. Each one has subscribed to the cause of one outfit, but they work together. They have in fact been told to work together by the ISI. All these terrorists who have taken up arms are from South Kashmir and they are all followers of Burhan Wani, the officer cited above also said.

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SOURCE: TIMES NOW

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir Vijay Kumar on Monday said that the terrorists are misusing mosques for carrying out attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and appealed to the public, Masjid Intizamia, civil societies and media to condemn such acts.

“Terrorists misused mosques for terror attacks in Pampore on June 19, 2020, Sopore on July 1, 2020, and Shopian on April 9, 2021. Public, Masjid Intizamia, civil societies and media should condemn such acts,” ANI quoted Kumar a saying. Earlier on Sunday, the IGP Kashmir had asked the parents of the newly-recruited terrorists in the valley to make continuous appeals to their children to shun the path of violence and not confine themselves to the last appeal.

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SOURCE: NDTV

A new PIL (public interest litigation) over alleged corruption in the Rafale fighter jet deal will be heard by the Supreme Court after two weeks, the Chief Justice of India told the petitioner. ML Sharma, an advocate, had requested the Supreme Court for an independent probe, following fresh allegations that the 2016 deal between India and France also involved the payment of 1.1 million Euros by aviation major Dassault to an Indian middleman.

French publication Mediapart, citing an investigation by the country’s anti-corruption agency, reported that Dassault Aviation had paid about one million Euros to an Indian company called Defsys Solutions for 50 models of the aircraft which were to be given as “gifts”.

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SOURCE: HT

The outrage over US Navy’s intrusion in India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) near Lakshadweep last week was decades too late. US warships have been conducting “operational assertion”, as these intrusive sail-throughs are called, to express America’s refusal to recognise certain maritime claims by India, at least since 1985, under a freedom of navigation programme it launched in 1979, according to defence department reports.

India requires prior notice from foreign warships to enter its territorial sea, which extends its sovereignty 12 nautical miles from the baseline and requires prior permission for military exercises and manoeuvres in its exclusive economic zone, which extends it exclusive rights to economic resources for 200 nautical miles as per international maritime norms.

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SOURCE: THE PRINT

Even as China drags its feet on further disengagement in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army has put in place a new summer strategy for Ladakh. The force has also implemented key changes in the Order of Battle (ORBAT) to counter the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), with whom it has been locked in a face-off for nearly a year, ThePrint has learnt.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said the Army has retained a higher number of troops and equipment in Ladakh, besides the 3 Div, in charge of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and the 14 Corps Reserve. This includes some of the formations pumped in last year following the tensions with China, besides new elements brought in for summer deployment.

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SOURCE: HT

Colonel Harry Summers, a Vietnam veteran and author, once recounted a conversation he had with his North Vietnamese Army counterpart a week before the fall of Saigon. He said, “You know, you never beat us Americans on the battlefield.” “That may be so”, the NVA colonel replied. “but it is also irrelevant”. Conventional wars pivot around geographical resources. Be it capture of a ground of tactical importance, or victory at a theatre level, conventional war aims to destroy the enemy’s troops & resources and dominate areas previously controlled by the enemy. That is the pattern of conventional wars.

An insurgency, on the other hand, is a competition between the insurgent and the government or support of the local population. Superior kinetic energy and operational intelligence enabled Americans to win almost every battle in Vietnam but that very force and ruthlessness alienated the population, losing their support. That is why the NVA won the war, even though it lost most battles in purely military terms.

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SOURCE: ET

India is planning an expansion of Iran’s strategically located Chabahar Port through the supply of two more cranes, with an eye on playing a key role in the Afghan peace process and following efforts made to revive the nuclear deal by Tehran and world powers.

Shipping minister Mansukh Mandaviya is planning a visit to the Chabahar Port complex in the near future. India is considering supplying two mobile harbour cranes for the port by the middle of 2021 to handle growing traffic, ET has reliably learnt. These are in addition to two similar cranes New Delhi had supplied earlier this year under a contract valued at more than $25 million.

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SOURCE: MINT

Iran blames its regional arch-foe Israel for Sunday’s incident at the Natanz nuclear facility and will take its revenge, state TV quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying on Monday. Tehran has said the site was hit by “nuclear terrorism”. “The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions … they have publicly said that they will not allow this. But we will take our revenge from the Zionists,” Zarif said.

While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, suspicion fell immediately on Israel, where its media nearly uniformly reported a devastating cyberattack orchestrated by the country caused the blackout. If Israel was responsible, it further heightens tensions between the two nations, already engaged in a shadow conflict across the wider Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Sunday with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, has vowed to do everything in his power to stop the nuclear deal.

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SOURCE: NDTV

The ongoing dismantling of aircraft carrier INS Viraat got the approval of the Supreme Court today, which dismissed a petition to stop it on the ground that the petition was too late. The battle to save the decades-old Navy carrier had been on for more than a year, with a Mumbai-based company making efforts to turn it into a maritime museum — like the Cutty Sark in London or a score of ships in the US — in collaboration with the government of Goa.

The ship, which served the country for three decades after its stint with the Royal Navy in the British Period, was towed into the shipyards of Gujarat’s Alang in September last year, where the dismantling process had started. In an earlier hearing, the court had ordered a freeze on the dismantling process.

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SOURCE: TNN

In a totally avoidable kerfuffle, the US navy carried out a freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) in India’s exclusive economic zone near Lakshadweep deliberately without New Delhi’s permission. In fact, the US Seventh Fleet in a statement said that the USS John Paul Jones – a guided missile destroyer – asserted navigational rights and freedoms around 130 nautical miles west of Lakshadweep on April 7. India has objected to this citing the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

While the US has since somewhat toned down its statement, saying it had carried out an innocent passage in the vicinity of the Maldives and that its FONOPs aren’t targeted at any country in particular, the whole affair does stick out as an oddity.

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SOURCE: TNN

The four Indian astronaut-elects have successfully completed their training in Russia and have arrived in Bengaluru recently. Having familiarised themselves with basic astronaut training the four IAF test pilots, now employees of Isro, will soon start with the mission-specific training that will happen in multiple Indian cities.

Dmitry Loskutov, director general, Glavkosmos, the organisation with whom Isro has a contract for astronaut training had told TOI in March: “…Indian astronauts didn’t need any special final exam given that they had passed all the tests and exams in the process of their preparation, he had said that the Russian module was set to complete no later than the end of March and that Isro will determine when they are supposed to return to India.”

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SOURCE: Newindianexpress

Now that ‘vaccine diplomacy’ has served an unplanned yet welcome purpose going beyond traditional Indian national behaviour, it may be time for New Delhi to build on the positives, that too for the common political good of the region as a whole. Going beyond bilaterals in the neighbourhood, New Delhi may now consider retrieving the leadership role in South Asia, which the world used to acknowledge as ‘India’s traditional sphere of influence’, but not anymore.

A new urgency has arisen, as nominees of two of India’s SAARC friends in Afghanistan and Maldives are competing for the presidency of the UN General Assembly’s (UNGA) 76th session next year. The General Assembly will be voting on the same in the 75th session later this year, and there may be other candidates too in the fray, making the election difficult for the two South Asian nations.

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SOURCE: ET

Sri Lanka’s Gotabaya Rajapaksa government is concerned that the banned Al Qaeda and Abu Sayyaf outfits may create a terror hub in the island nation which could have major implications for the southern Indian Ocean region. ET has learnt that Lankan authorities are working closely with their Indian counterparts to probe the Al Qaeda-Abu Sayyaf network and its links in the Gulf and eastern and southern African regions.

Against this backdrop, expansion of security partnership could be on the agenda if the Lankan president visits India later in April. Rajapaksa is mulling a New Delhi visit, people in the know told ET. Over the years, Sri Lanka has become a vulnerable trans-shipment hub for transnational organised crime (TOC) since the LTTE commenced drug trafficking and money laundering in the 1980s to fund purchase of arms and ammunition.

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SOURCE: PTI

A deepening partnership between the US and India in the military and security sphere is “destined to occur” as there is too much in common between the two large democracies that share really good values, according to former American defence secretary Ash Carter.

Speaking at a US Chamber of Commerce hosted session, Mr Carter said the two countries shared more than just the English language. “In fact, it is destined. I think it’s in fact destined to occur, because there’s just too much in common between us… In interests, in functioning,” Mr Carter, who was defence secretary from 2015 to 2017 under the Obama administration, said when asked if he felt going forward by deepening partnership with India that extends powerfully to the military and security sphere.

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SOURCE: INDIA TIMES

A 35-year-old PoK intruder was nabbed by the Army after he crossed into this side from across the Line of Control in Balakote, according to sources. PoK intruder now has been taken for interrogation and security forces are trying to ascertain if he crossed LOC mistakenly or he is part of the Terror groups that often hire local POK residents as Guides to the terrorists in the Kashmir valley.

Since this is a developing story, more details are awaited.

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