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‘Balakot tree strike’ shattered myths about Indian armed forces : Report

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Mirage 2000 Fighter Jet

Islamabad, Oct 21 (IANS) Pakistan’s shooting down on February 27 this year of an Indian Air Force jet, after the cross-border Balakot air strike by India, “shattered many myths regarding the Indian armed forces and the false aura they had created in the past 20 years”, a Pakistani newspaper article has written, terming Indian Wing Commander Abhinandan, who was taken captive, as “Abhi none done”.

An opinion piece in the Express Tribune, titled “Bhadauria: IAF needs pilots, not coconuts”, referring to new Indian IAF chief RK Bhadauria, says that Indian air force pilots though “sharp, wily and hardworking” have a “complex about Pakistan”.

The authors say the “complex” during the current government in India is “more pronounced due to the Sanghi rule in India”.

“RSS Bhakts and neo-Nazis have turned every ministry and department into the Sangh Parivar (family). Professionalism is taking a back seat and the Modi cult is the ultimate recipe to fix everything bad in India, whether it’s the downturn in economy, crash of Indian rupee, loss of millions of jobs or the Balakot tree strike; “Modi Hai to Mumkin Hai” (with Modi it is possible).”

It is dismissive of the February 26 Balakot air strike by India, terming it a “Balakot tree strike, which killed a brave Pakistani crow and injured 10 trees”. It says the Indian political used the Balakot incident to start a “blitz of lies and deceits, and as aceAbhi none done” was “undone” by the PAF and was escorted across the Wagha border in shame, this charade of lies and deceit became a shameless cover-up”.

It says “former IAF chief Dhanoa was forced to become the face of this cover-up”. “Despite all the twists and fake stories telling the brave intrusion of Abhinandan and shooting down of a PAF F-16, the international experts on air warfare did not buy the Indian charade of lies and Dhanoa had to do a catwalk with Abhinandan till the last day to keep up the IAF’s morale”.

It says Bhadauria, “like a true Rajput, did acknowledge part of the truth that the IAF air defence system had shot down their own helicopter right at the Srinagar Air Base and that a military court would sort out those responsible.

“Our advice would be to put ex-chief Dhanoa into a lie detecting test and maybe Bhadauria will have to court-martial a lot of the top brass of the IAF for covering up this blatant lie. Unfortunately, the Modi-Amit-Doval circus won’t allow that, as accountability of the military would mean accountability of the political decision makers who wanted to take advantage of the clouds to hide their radar signature.”

It says the Indian military’s PR media campaign after February 27 shows a “deliberate attempt on giving more space to the IAF. This campaign has four major facets.

“The facade of bravado and fakery to cover up the faux pas of the Balakot incident; project IAF’s technological and numerical superiority by advertising the latest procurements on an almost daily basis; conveying to the PAF that India has taken a head lead over Pakistan in acquiring modern hardware; and lastly, showing political pooja paat as essential element of military power and use of nimboo narial and laddus (lemon, coconuts and sweets) to justify the Shastra Pooja,” it says referring to Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who had performed a “Shastra Pooja” in France while taking the first Rafale jet.

It says the IAF’s “Balakot tree strike” and the Pakistan Air Force’s “aggressive response sent some very strong strategic signals across the globe”.

“Pakistan conveyed to the world that it can display a sure footed response based on political intent and was ready to climb the escalation ladder in a nuclear overhang, when it comes to territorial integrity and honour of the nation. The PAF proved that Indian technological and numerical superiority was a myth and the PAF could dominate the skies over South Asia by displaying superiority over the IAF in technical, technological, training and operational domains. The PAF also displayed unwavering faith in Allah Almighty and the cause of Pakistan.”

“Pakistan also re-established nuclear deterrence by a quick and bold conventional response, the mere fact that Indian politico military leadership did not venture across the LoC or the international border after 27th February proves that India chickened out in this brinkmanship,” it says.

“When Modi said that he wished Rafale was there on February 27th, it was a slap on the face of the largest air force in the region. This statement by Modi points out that the IAF was unfit for war without new inductions. Should Dhanoa and his team be made accountable for this admission?”

“While we congratulate Mrs Asha Bhadauria on becoming the Chief Parton of AFWWA (Air Force Wives Welfare Association), there is a need to control AFWAA Sazi (Fake news in Urdu) in IAF. The new IAF chief should try enroll some real pilots: Coconuts won’t work in war,” it says.

India

Tale of two Delhi Police responses

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JNU Student and Delhi Police

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) In an incident reminiscent of then Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar directing his force to unleash water cannons and tear gas on the protesting youth in the aftermath of the gruesome Nirbhaya gang-rape case in December 2012, Delhi Police on Monday came down heavily on the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) demanding “complete rollback” of the recent hostel fee hike.

The police action caused injuries to many students, many of whom had blood streaming down their faces — for their part, the police said many among them were injured in the clashes.

Hundreds of students were stopped by the police on Monday near the JNU campus soon after they began marching towards the Parliament. The protests brought traffic in the area to a standstill.

In response, the police lathi charged and beat up the protesting students, including visually-impaired students.

Just 10 days ago, the same police personnel protested after they had clashed with lawyers in Delhi’s Tis Hazari court premises.

Many JNU students and academia have now started questioning, “Were the cops who thrashed the students venting their spleen for being beaten up by the lawyers?”

On Monday, a visually impaired student, Shashi Bhushan Pandey, who was taking part in the march to the Parliament, was roughed up by Delhi Police personnel following which he had to be taken to the AIIMS trauma centre.

“I was taken away from the human chain. I thought since I told them that I am visually impaired, they would spare me a beating, but no. I was hit on the leg. The boy who helped me and took me to the hospital was also attacked by the Police,” Pandey later said.

“When I told the policemen that I was blind, they said, ‘If you are blind, why have you come for the protest’,” said Pandey.

The university’s visually challenged students’ forum has issued a statement in condemnation of the police action. While senior police officers accepted the fact that it was not correct, they also endorsed the lathi charge on the agitating students.

“We asked them to stop and not cross a particular point, but they kept marching and thereafter indulged in clashes. It should have been avoided,” said a senior IPS officer.

On November 5, in an unprecedented protest by Delhi Police, thousands of its personnel laid siege outside the Police Headquarters for several hours and staged a virtual revolt against Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik for not speaking up for them when they were attacked by the lawyers on Tis Hazari court premises on November 2.

The senior officers who came to address their grievances faced their ire. Amidst slogans like “We Want Justice” and “Go Back, Go Back”, senior officers, including Patnaik, were forced to leave, putting a big question mark on the leadership of the force.

Senior officers of Delhi Police declined to comment on the decision to order a lathi charge on JNU students.

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Election

Supreme Court moved over discrepancies in 2019 Lok Sabha poll data

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Lok Sabha Election 2019

New Delhi, Nov 20 : Two non-government organisations (NGOs) have moved the Supreme Court seeking a probe into alleged discrepancies in the voter turnout data and votes counted in 347 constituencies in the 2019 general election.

“There have been serious discrepancies in the number of voters in different constituencies (i.e. the voter turnout data collated and provided by the Election Commission) and the number of votes counted,” said the plea filed by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the Common Cause.

The NGOs have clarified that the plea didn’t challenge the Lok Sabha election results, or the process adopted to conduct polls.

They contended that the EC declared results of the election on provisional figures and without determining the exact vote count and without due reconciliation of the discrepancies in various constituencies.

“The EC has not laid down any prescribed system for compiling, reconciliation and publishing of poll data and therefore, has been evading placing the methodology followed by it, in public domain”, the petition stated.

It sought a direction to the EC to place the information in statutory forms — 17C, 20, 21C, 21D and 21E — for the general elections and all future elections, in public domain.

The discrepancies between the actual voter turnout and provisional data in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as pointed out were significant and couldn’t be set aside without a satisfactory resolution of the same, it said.

“The current statute has a procedure for resolution of a dispute through an election petition, but no provision for resolution of the doubts arising out of discrepancies in a large number of constituencies all over the country,” it said.

The plea highlighted the dereliction of duty by the EC in declaring results of the Lok Sabha and Assemblies through electronic voting machines (EVMs) based on accurate and indisputable data which is put in public domain.

The petitioners said, the discrepancies ranged from 1 to 1,01,323 votes, which was 10.49 per cent of the total votes.

However, there was no particular co-relation with any party regarding discrepancies found in its research, the ADR added.

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India

Cabinet approves sale of stakes in BPCL, 4 other PSUs

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New Delhi, Nov 20 : The Cabinet on Wednesday approved sale of government’s stake in five blue-chip PSUs, including Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL), Shipping Corp of India (SCI) and Container Corp of India along with transfer of management control, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The government will sell its 53.29 per cent stake in BPCL after taking out Numaligarh refinery from its portfolio, she told reporters here.

Besides, the government will sell its stake in THDC India and North Eastern Electric Power Corporation Ltd (NEEPCO) to state-owned NTPC Ltd, she said.

Finance Minister said the Cabinet has also approved cutting government’s stake in select PSUs below 51 per cent while retaining management control.

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