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BSF plane crash –The biggest ever loss for Air Force

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With 10 of its most experienced men being killed in a tragic crash on Tuesday, the elite Border Security Force air wing is staring at one of its biggest losses and a vacuum created in its ranks raised exclusively for air support roles for troops deployed to ensure the internal security of the country.

The three officers and other technicians and engineers flying the lone 1995 vintage Superking B-200 of the BSF were also trained to handle the most modern asset the force has inducted recently in its inventory – the Mi-17 V5.

This advanced ‘Mi’ chopper is equipped with an all-weather radar that makes it the most reliable machine for extricating troops and inserting commandos for operations in dense jungles and high-altitude any time of the day and during darkness and bad weather.

“The six technicians who were killed were trained to take care of the Mi-17 V5’s inducted recently. While two such choppers have just been inducted early this year, six more will come in batches in the BSF airwing.

“The choppers are required to cater to the increasing usage and role of security forces deployed along difficult border areas and in the internal security grid,” a senior official said.

These men whom we have lost, the official said, were experienced and had in-depth knowledge of these assets entrusted with the largest border guarding force of the country.

“They were going to service a Dhruv chopper stationed in Ranchi,” another official said.

The official said the crash in Dwarka has come as the biggest ever hit to this small unit which has about 30 flying machines, including helicopters and fixed wing aircrafts, and about 200 personnel.

“There have been crashes of choppers earlier which has not only led to loss of the asset but has also killed pilots and crew in the line of duty but this is a jolt,” the official said.

The intake in the air wing is already less, the official said, considering the specialised nature of the job and difficulty in getting talented personnel and officers from other forces and the Indian Air Force.

“The crash has come at a time when the BSF is completing 50 years in the service of the nation. It already has a number of challenges to meet vis-a-vis keeping the two most important borders of the country with Pakistan and Bangaldesh secure and this accident is surely a big test of nerves for the top brass and the government,” another official serving in the wing said.

As per records, early today at 9:45 AM, a call from a satellite-based device was received at the Palam hangar about some “mis-happening” with the now ill-fated plane, registered as VT-BSA, and at 9:50 AM the ATC Palam confirmed that the aircraft has “crashed” in Dwarka.

The BSF air wing has a fleet of four fixed wing aircraft, one Embraer, two Avros and the crashed Superking (SKA B-200).

Besides 15 helicopters consisting of six MI-17 1V, two advanced Mi-17 V5 choppers, six Advance Light Helicopters (Dhruv) and one Cheetah helicopter operate under the command of the Home Ministry.

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Priyanka raps Yogi on migrants testing positive remark

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Priyanka Gandhi Election

New Delhi, May 25 (IANS) Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, here on Monday, took a jibe at UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath over his statement that people returning to the state from other states were raising the number of coronavirus cases and asked him to share the testing and infection data with full transparency.

“Heard the UP Chief Minister’s statement. According to him, 75 per cent of returnees from Maharashtra, 50 per cent from Delhi and 25 per cent from other states have tested Covid-19 positive. According to the state government figures, around 25 lakh people have returned to UP,” she said in a series of tweets in Hindi.

Questioning the Chief Minister, Priyanka said did he mean there were more than 10 lakh people affected by Covid-19 in the state. The state government statistics say total number of Covid-19 affected persons in UP is 6,228. “What’s the basis of statistics of infection reported by him? Where did this percentage of returned migrants come from,” she remarked.

If there was some truth in the Chief Minister’s statement then the state government should share the testing and infection data with the public, she said and added, it should also tell us about the preparation to control the infection.

The migrant workers have been returning from the Shramik special trains since May 1. UP has received the maximum number of Shramik special trains, ferrying stranded workers, students, tourists and pilgrims.

Thousands of people have also returned to the state either on foot or through other modes of travel, like trucks, buses, bicycle and auto-rickshaws.

According to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, UP has recorded 6,268 Covid-19 cases. Of this, 161 people have died and 3,538 recovered.

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SAD condemns Akali worker’s murder in Punjab

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Chandigarh, May 25 (IANS) Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal, here on Monday, condemned the murder of Akali worker Manjot Singh and murderous assault of two other youths, including an NRI, saying political killings continued unabated in Punjab even during lockdown.

The SAD chief said the Batala police district continued to remain the vortex of political killings, and added, earlier the district had witnessed murder of Dhilwan sarpanch Dalbir Singh in a shootout.

Like in the earlier case, the Batala police had failed to move quickly and arrest the accused even though they had been identified, he said and demanded immediate arrest of those associated with the murder and assault.

He also asked Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to rein in Congressmen who were taking the law in their hands to settle political scores.

Badal also assured free legal aid to the aggrieved family.

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After spurt in cases, Ghaziabad seals border with Delhi

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Ghaziabad, May 25 (IANS) In more woes for the people travelling from Uttar Pradesh to Delhi, the Ghaziabad district administration on Monday once again decided to seal its borders with the national capital after witnessing a surge of 10 fresh cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours.

The district administration in an order said, “In Ghaziabad district, there is an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in the last few days. A large chunk of these cases are linked to those who travel between Delhi and Ghaziabad.”

“Hence, on the recommendations of the Chief Medical Officer, the district administration has decided to seal the Delhi-Ghaziabad border until further orders,” the order read.

The district administration had earlier ordered to seal its border with the national capital on April 26.

According to the district administration on Sunday, 10 people tested positive for the virus in the district.

The administration said that the people employed in essential services will be allowed. Doctors, paramedical staff, police, media personnel and bank employees will not need passes. Their identity cards will be enough.

Meanwhile, the officials of the third and fourth grade working with the central and Delhi government offices where 33 per cent attendance system is in place, would be required to produce temporary passes from their offices to gain entry into the district and their identity cards alone would not be considered.

The order also stated that till the time the central and Delhi government employees don’t get proper passes their ID cards will be valid to travel. Even the advocates have been allowed to travel to Delhi.

The order also asked the government employees to enter Delhi before 9 a.m. and return to Ghaziabad after 6 p.m.

The order also stated that in case of emergency. residents willing to get e-passes will have to apply. Such applications will be assessed and then e-passes issued, it said.

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