Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Violent face-off in Galwan valley: 3 Indian soldiers killed

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New Delhi: Indian and Chinese troops have clashed in Galwan valley of Ladakh, leaving, at least, three Indian soldiers including an officer dead. The Chinese too are reported to have suffered but the number is not known.

Defence spokesman, Colonel Rajesh Kalia, said here that during the "de-escalation process" underway in the Galwan valley, "a violent face-off took place on Monday night with casualties on both sides".

He added, "The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers.
Official sources said there was no firing between the two sides.

"During the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley, a violent face-off took place on Monday night with casualties. The loss of lives on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers," the Army said in a brief statement.

It is learnt that the Army officer killed in the clash was the commanding officer of a battalion at Galwan. It is believed that the three Army men died due to injuries sustained following stone-pelting by the Chinese side.

However, there is no official word on it.

Large number of Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in Galwan Valley and certain other areas of eastern Ladakh for the last five weeks.

The incident comes days after Indian Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said both sides have begun disengaging from Galwan Valley.

China's state-run newspaper Global Times claimed in a report that clashes were triggered by Indian troops as they crossed over to the Chinese side and carried out attacks on Chinese soldiers.

The Indian and Chinese armies are engaged in the standoff in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh. A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.

The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.

In their first serious efforts to end the row, Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin held a nearly seven-hour meeting on June 6.

The meeting was followed by two rounds of Major General-level talks. The Indian side has been pitching for restoration of status quo ante and immediate withdrawal of thousands of Chinese troops from the areas which India considers on its side of the LAC.

On Saturday, Gen Naravane said both sides are "disengaging" in a phased manner. "We have started from the north, from the area of the Galwan river where a lot of disengagement has taken place. It has been a very fruitful dialogue that we have had."

Following the standoff in eastern Ladakh, the two sides have deployed additional troops along the LAC, the de-facto Sino-India border, in North Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh in the last few days, the sources said.

After the standoff began in early last month, Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops will adopt a firm approach in dealing with the aggressive posturing by the Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.

The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the LAC by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment.

The trigger for the face-off was China's stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.

The road in the Finger area in Pangong Tso is considered crucial for India to carry out patrol. India has already decided not to stall any border infrastructure projects in eastern Ladakh in view of Chinese protests. The situation in the area deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6.

The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.

Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. - Deccan Chronicle

Trump says will sign executive order on police reform on Tuesday

US President Donald Trump. (Photo:ANI)

Washington [US], June 16 (ANI): US president Donald Trump has said that he will sign an executive order on police reform on Tuesday.

"We will be signing it tomorrow. And we will have a news conference at some point in the day," Trump said on Monday. "The overall goal is we want law and order and we want it done fairly, justly and we want it done safely... I think we are going to do a good job tomorrow."

The US President said last Thursday that his administration was finalizing an executive order that would encourage police departments to meet "professional standards" for the use of force in the line of duty.

Calls for changes in policing policies started after the deth of a black man George Floyd. He died after a white police officer in Minneapolis knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. Protests broke out in the various cities against the killing of Floyd.

The calls intensified again this week after a white police officer shot and killed Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, in Atlanta. (ANI).

India slams Pak for raising Kashmir at UNHRC, asks it to 'introspect' its grave human rights situation

Senthil Kumar, the First Secretary of India's Permanent Mission. (Photo:ANI)

Geneva [Switzerland], June 16 (ANI): India on Monday ripped into Pakistan for raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) here and expressed “serious concern” over Pakistan’s audacity to accuse others of “effecting a state-sponsored genocide.”

Exercising its Right of Reply after Pakistan raised Kashmir at the 43rd session of UNHRC, Senthil Kumar, the First Secretary of India’s Permanent Mission called out Islamabad for misusing the rights forum and its mechanism and asked the neighbouring country to introspect on its grave human rights situations before extending unsolicited advice to anybody.

Drawing the attention of the Council to crimes against humanity in Pakistan, New Delhi stated that enforced disappearances, state violence, forced mass displacement, extrajudicial killings, army operations, torture camps, detention centres, and military camps are a regular feature in Balochistan.

Maintaining that India’s decision to revoke Article 370 of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August year does not have any external ramifications, Kumar said that the people have marched ahead despite Pakistan’s “nefarious attempt” to derail peace and prosperity.

“It’s unfortunate that Pakistan continues to maintain its track record of misuse of the Human Rights Council and its mechanism. It’s a matter of serious concern that Pakistan being the only country in South Asia of effecting a state-sponsored genocide would have the audacity to accuse others of it,” Kumar said.

“It’s questionable that a country of serious credibility issues would talk about human rights and self-determination. This country emerged out of religious fundamentalism and bloodshed and its history rigged with assassinations, coups and puppets running,” he added.

Kumar elaborated on the human rights abuses and persecution faced by the minority communities in Pakistan. He talked about the misuse of Blasphemy in Pakistan to terrorize minorities and cited examples of systemic targeting of minorities through blasphemy laws.

“Systemic misuse of Blasphemy in Pakistan has terrorized the minorities in Pakistan. The recent fate of two Hindu girls in Sindh, one Christian girl in Lahore, one Ahmadi lady in Chaleki, two professors from Khairpur are the examples of systemic targeting of minorities through blasphemy laws. The state of Pakistan is well manifested in the impunity in the murder of 65 transgenders in Pakistan since 2015,” Kumar explained.

“Enforced disappearances, state violence and forced mass displacements, harassment, extrajudicial killings, army operations, torture, kill-and-dumps, torture camps, detention centres, military camps are regular features in Balochistan.

India also pointed out that there was no information on the fate of 47,000 Baloch persons and 35,000 Pashtuns who have been missing till date. It added that sectarian violence has claimed over 500 Hazaras in Baluchistan and more than 100,000 Hazaras have fled Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)

China, Pakistan have more nuclear warheads than India: SPRI

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New Delhi (ANI): China and Pakistan have more nuclear warheads than India, according to the stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SPRI).

According to the SPRI Yearbook 2020, India possesses 150 nuclear warheads, while China and Pakistan have 320 and 160 warheads respectively.

"China is in the middle of significant modernization of its nuclear arsenal. It is developing a so-called nuclear triad for the first time, made up of new land-and sea- based missiles and nuclear-capable aircraft. India and Pakistan are slowly increasing the size and diversity of their nuclear forces," the think tank said in the statement.

The nine nuclear-armed states--the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)--together possessed an estimated 13 400 nuclear weapons at the start of 2020.

This marked a decrease from the 13865 nuclear weapons that SIPRI estimated these states possessed at the beginning of 2019.

The Swedish think tank has said a decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world in 2019 was largely due to the dismantlement of retired nuclear weapons by Russia and the US--which together still possess over 90 percent of global nuclear weapons.

Russia and the US have extensive and expensive programmes underway to replace and modernize their nuclear warheads, missile and aircraft delivery systems, and nuclear weapon production facilities.

The 51st edition of the SPRI Yearbook reveals a continuiing deterioration in the conditions for international stability. (ANI)

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