VIF News Digest: National Security - Defence Studies & Terrorism, 1-15 May 2020
  • Frontline warriors salute Corona Warriors and VOW to continue supporting the fight
  • India salutes corona warriors and Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh lauds Armed Forces for ‘Armed Forces Salutes Corona Warriors’ gestures
  • BRO perseveres with Atal Tunnel work through the lockdown, to complete it by September 2020
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews contribution of NCC in nation’s fight against COVID-19
  • Indian Navy launches Operation “Samudra Setu”
  • Mission Sagar
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approves abolition of 9,304 posts in Military Engineering Service
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh speaks with Japan Defence Minister over phone on mitigating COVID-19
  • Modernisation of infrastructure for airfields of Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and other services
  • Indian Air Force airlifts essential Chemicals to assist State Government in tackling the Vizag Gas leak
  • Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approves Rs 400 crore Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme
International Terrorism:
  • Nigeria- Army killed 20 Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State.
  • Germany shall face consequences over Hezbollah ban, warns Iran.
  • Security forces arrested Islamic State’s regional leader Khorasani from Kabul;
  • Suicide attack killed 15 people in Nangarhar.
Domestic Terrorism:
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Five security forces personnel attained Veergati in gun-battle in Kupwara;
  • HM’s chief operational commander Riyaz Naikoo killed in Pulwama;
  • OGW of HM arrested from Doda;
  • Security forces arrested a JeM terrorist from Pulwama.
Left-Wing Extremism
  • NIA raided locations in connection with Kerala Maoist case;
  • Woman Maoist killed in gun-battle in Maharashtra;
  • Four Maoist were killed in a gun-battle in Chhattisgarh;
  • Maoists torched vehicles in Jharkhand.
Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
  • Enemy States trying to steal Coronavirus research, says UK NCSC.
Frontline warriors salute Corona Warriors and VOW to continue supporting the fight

A press conference was conducted in Delhi on 01 May wherein Gen Bipin Rawat, CDS accompanied by Gen MM Naravane, Chief of Army Staff, Admiral Karambir Singh, Chief of Naval Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, Chief of Air Staff addressed the media to acknowledge the efforts of the Corona Warriors and vowed to continue the support of front-line warriors to them in the coming days. Gen Bipin Rawat, CDS stated that the period from 24 March 2020 to 03 May 2020 signifies a period when considerable sacrifice was asked from every Indian. There are however a handful of Indians, ‘the Corona Warriors’, who risked and are still risking their lives every day to ensure that basic amenities such as electricity and water are delivered to everyone, that the streets are clean, that basic food items are available, that no patient is returned untreated, that law and order is maintained and that Indian citizens stranded abroad are brought back and cared for. These Corona warriors be it the doctors, nurses, hygiene and sanitation staff, police personnel or media personnel, they have ensured that India keeps on fighting this pandemic. We salute these warriors and their efforts and wish them the best of health. We are grateful for their sacrifice and their efforts in fighting COVID-19, knowing fully well the dangers that they face.

CDS also assured that the armed forces are fighting COVID-19 according to two principles: Force Preservation and Assistance to Civil Authorities. While replying to a query, he added that not even one soldier, sailor or airman in the frontline is affected and that Armed Forces are fully prepared for all challenges. Air Chief while answering a query confirmed that not even one case of Covid-19 has been reported in the force and that the guard is up to keep the same.

CDS further added that to show the solidarity of the frontline soldiers with the Corona Warriors some activities shall be undertaken by the Armed Forces on 03 May 20. On Sunday, the armed forces will be organising multiple events like fly past by fighter and transport aircrafts of the IAF from Srinagar to Thiruvanthapuram, and from Dibrugaarh to Kacchh. The helicopters from IAF and IN shall be showering flower petals on the Hospitals treating Covid patients. The Navy and ICG shall move ships in formations at sea at select locations while Army bands shall visit COVID hospitals and play tunes outside the hospitals in an expression of gratitude to the Corona Warriors.

While talking of the contribution of the police personnel, CDS thanked all stating that an exceptional and heroic effort has been put in by them too. To honour their effort, all three service Chiefs shall be laying wreath at the Police Memorial on the morning of 3rd May 2020. Click here to read....

India salutes corona warriors

India has been successfully fighting Corona Virus with the help of COVID Warriors. IAF has been contributing towards the national effort to contain Corona by supporting mobility of men and material both at International and Domestic level. More than 600 tons of medical supplies and large number of people have been airlifted including Doctors, Para-medics and equipment for setting up COVID testing labs. IAF personnel will continue to contribute towards fight against Corona. As a gratitude to all the Corona Warriors in India, IAF along with sister services is planning to salute these brave warriors of India in its own unique way. The planned fly past of the aircraft of the Indian Air Force is to salute the brave COVID warriors who have been tirelessly and selflessly working during these unprecedented times of corona virus pandemic.

A number of aircraft of Indian Air Force are planned to do a fly past over Delhi NCR region and Pan India on 03 May 20. This flying activity is combined along with the training activity of IAF and opportunity flight for transport aircraft and helicopters who are involved in moving supplies related to COVID-19 task. The aerial salute to the Corona Warriors was planned over Delhi between 1000-1030 hrs. Fighter aircraft formations, comprising of the Sukhoi-30 MKI, MiG-29 and Jaguar were flown over Rajpath, and did orbits over Delhi and other major towns in India and will be visible to the residents from their roof tops. In addition, C-130 transport aircraft will follow a similar profile as fighters covering the entire country. The aircraft were flying at an approximate height of 500 meters to 1000 meters keeping Aerospace safety in mind especially in respect of bird activity.

Additionally, carried out petal drop over Police War Memorial followed by Delhi hospitals involved in providing relief to patients of COVID-19. The list of hospitals was pan India. Army and IAF bands visited COVID hospitals and played tunes in an expression of gratitude to the Corona Warriors. The Navy and ICG ships formed formations near shores at select locations; ships were illuminated tonight at 25 locations across the country’s coastline. Click here to read....

BRO perseveres with Atal Tunnel work through the lockdown, to complete it by September 2020

Atal Tunnel is being constructed since Manali-Sarchu-Leh road remains closed for six months every year due to Rohtang Pass being completely snow bound between November and May. The tunnel will connect Manali to Lahaul Valley throughout the year and will reduce the road length of Manali-Rohtang Pass Sarchu-Leh road by 46 kilometers. Besides connecting the people of Lahual to rest of India through the year the tunnel will aid the forward connectivity offering the security forces a major strategic advantage. Resumption of work started on April 05, 2020 with on-site labour in active coordination with the State Government. Works in Atal Tunnel are being executed with all necessary COVID-19 precautions in place to ensure its completion in September 2020 as planned. Click here to read....

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh reviews contribution of NCC in nation’s fight against COVID-19

Shri Rajnath Singh appreciated the vital role that the NCC directorates were playing as more than 60 thousand NCC cadets, of whom 25 per cent were girl cadets are assisting the local administration in preventing COVID-19. Click here to read....

Indian Navy launches Operation “Samudra Setu”

Indian Navy launched Operation “Samudra Setu” - meaning “Sea Bridge”, as a part of national effort to repatriate Indian citizens from overseas. Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar would be taking part and evacuating Indian citizens from the Maldives. INS Jalashwa evacuated 698 people and INS Magar 202 people. Each ship did a single trip and the distance travelled from Male to Kochi was 900km over an approx. 36-48 hrs. Click here to read....

Mission Sagar

As part of the Government of India outreach amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Naval Ship Kesari has departed for Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Madagascar and Comoros, to provide Food Items, COVID related Medicines including HCQ Tablets and Special Ayurvedic Medicines with Medical Assistance Teams embarked, on 10 May 20.Naval Ship Kesari entered the Port of Male in Republic of Maldives on 12 May, to provide them 600 tons of food provisions as a part of the Mission Sagar. Click here to read....

Raksha Mantri approves abolition of 9,304 posts in Military Engineering Service

One of the recommendations of the Committee of Experts, headed by Lt General Shekatkar was to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the Armed Forces. One of the recommendations was to restructure the civilian workforce in a manner that the work of MES could be partly done by departmentally employed staff and other works could be outsourced. In line with the recommendations made by the Committee, based on the proposal of E-in-C, MES, the proposal of abolition of 9,304 posts in MES out of the total 13,157 vacancies of the Basic and Industrial staff has been approved by Raksha Mantri. The recommendation was aimed at making MES an effective organisation with a leaner workforce, well equipped to handle complex issues in the emerging scenario in an efficient and cost effective manner. Click here to read....

Raksha Mantri speaks with Japan Defence Minister over phone on mitigating COVID-19

On 08 May 2020, the two Defence Ministers had discussions on their respective responses against the COVID-19 pandemic. Shri Rajnath Singh informed Mr Kono Taro on India’s contribution to international efforts against COVID-19 and discussed areas of mutual cooperation in the global fight against the pandemic. They also agreed that India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership provides a good basis for both countries to work together along with other countries in this regard to deal with the post COVID-19 related challenges. Both ministers also conveyed their commitment to take forward the initiatives of bilateral security cooperation under the framework of the India-Japan Special Strategic and Global Partnership.

Modernisation of infrastructure for airfields of Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and other services

Ministry of Defence signed contract for Modernisation of Air Field Infrastructure (MAFI) of 37 airfields for Indian Air Force (IAF), Indian Navy (IN) and Indian Coast Guard (ICG) with M/s Tata Power SED (TPSED) at a cost of nearly Rs 1,200 crore.

The MAFI Phase-II is a follow-on programme based on MAFI Phase-I that included upgradation of 30 airfields of IAF. The airfields modernised under MAFI Phase-I have been of immense benefit to both military and civil users. The project is a turnkey project that includes installation and commissioning of modern airfield equipment like Cat-II Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Cat II Air Field Lightning System (AFLS), etc. The modern equipment around the airfield will also be directly connected to Air Traffic Control (ATC), thereby providing excellent control of the airfield systems to the air traffic controllers. The upgradation of navigational aids and infrastructure under this project would enhance the operational capability by facilitating air operations of military and civil aircrafts even in poor visibility and adverse weather condition while enhancing aerospace safety.

Indian Air Force airlifts essential Chemicals to assist State Government in tackling the Vizag Gas leak

On 09 May 20, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out its latest task as part of its humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) operations by assisting the state government of Andhra Pradesh in tackling the Vizag gas leak. Based on the request from Industries and Commerce department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh, IAF airlifted 8.3 T of essential chemicals required to effectively control the gas leak that occurred at Styrene Monomer Storage tank in LG Polymers at Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.

Two An-32 transport aircraft of IAF were deployed to airlift approximately 1100 kg of Tertiary Butylcatechol and 7.2 T of Polymerization Inhibitors and Green Retarders from Mundra, Gujarat to Vizag in Andhra Pradesh. These chemicals were required to reduce the toxicity of the gas being leaked from the storage tank. The IAF also facilitated the move of Director, Indian Institute of Petroleum from Delhi and a specialist on Styrene Gas from Mumbai to Vizag, the two individuals were required to oversee the operations being undertaken to control the gas leak. Click here to read....

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh approves Rs 400 crore Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme

In order to give a boost to domestic defence and aerospace manufacturing, Raksha Mantri has approved the launch of Defence Testing Infrastructure Scheme (DTIS) with an outlay of Rs 400 crore for creating state of the art testing infrastructure for this sector. The Scheme would run for the duration of five years and envisages setting up six to eight new test facilities in partnership with private industry. This will facilitate indigenous defence production, consequently reduce imports of military equipment and help make the country self-reliant.

The projects under the Scheme will be provided with up to 75 percent government funding in the form of ‘Grant-in-Aid’. The remaining 25 per cent of the project cost will have to be borne by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) whose constituents will be Indian private entities and State Governments. The SPVs under the Scheme will be registered under Companies Act 2013 and shall also operate and maintain all assets under the Scheme, in a self-sustainable manner by collecting user charges. The equipment/systems tested will be certified as per appropriate accreditation. Click here to read....

Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh commissions Indian Coast Guard Ship ‘Sachet’ and two interceptor boats

The 105 meter long ship ‘Sachet’ displaces approximately 2,350 tons and is propelled by two 9,100 KW diesel engines designed to attain a maximum speed of 26 knots, with an endurance of 6,000 nautical miles. The sustenance and reach, coupled with the latest equipment and systems, provides her the capability to perform the role of a command platform and undertake tasks to fulfill the ICG charter. The ship is designed to carry a twin-engine helicopter and four high speed boats and one inflatable boat for swift boarding and search & rescue operations. The ship is also capable of carrying limited pollution response equipment to undertake oil spill pollution response at sea. It is for the first time in Indian maritime history that a ship was commissioned through digital medium.

The two Interception Boats are indigenously designed & built by Larsen & Toubro Shipyard Hazira, and fitted with latest navigation and communication equipment. The two 30 metro long boats are capable of achieving speeds in excess of 45 knots and designed for high speed interception, close coast patrol and low intensity maritime operations. Click here to read....

Commissioning of Seventh Ship of Landing Craft Utility MK-IV ‘INLCU L57’ (GRSE Yard 2098) at Port Blair – 15 May 2020

The LCU MK-IV ship is an amphibious vessel with a designated primary role of transporting and deploying Main Battle Tanks, Armoured Vehicles, troops and equipment from ship to shore. Based at the Andaman and Nicobar Command, these ships can be deployed for multirole activities like beaching operations, search and rescue, disaster relief operations, supply and replenishment and evacuation from distant islands. The ship has a complement of five officers, 45 sailors and is capable of carrying 160 troops in addition. The ship, displacing 830 tonnes, is capable of transporting various kinds of combat equipment such as Main Battle Tanks Arjun, T72 and other vehicles. The ship is fitted with state-of-art equipment and advanced systems, like Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS).

The last ship of the same class is at an advanced stage of construction at M/S GRSE, Kolkata, and is scheduled to be inducted by this year end. It is anticipated that induction of these ships will contribute to the nation’s maritime security needs, in consonance with the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s drive for ‘Make in India’.

Army killed 20 Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State

On 10 May, Nigerian Army’s 121 Task Force Battalion—Pulka killed 20 Boko Haram terrorists in Bama/Gwoza axis of the Borno State in Nigeria. The terrorists had ambushed the convoy of Gwoza Caretaker Chairman—Saeed Sambo from Gwoza to Maiduguri. Terrorists had detonated the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) followed by rapid firing; however, they were repelled by the Army troops. Click here to read....

Germany shall face consequences over Hezbollah ban, warns Iran

On 30 April, Germany banned Lebanon-based Hezbollah terrorist organisation and had raided mosques and association across the nation linked to the group. In a statement issued next day, Iran’s Foreign Ministry read that the ban ignored the realities in the Middle-East and was solely based on the objectives of the propaganda machine of the Zionists (Israel) and America’s confused regime. The action of Germany has showed complete disrespect to the government of Lebanon as Hezbollah is a formal and legit part of country’s government and parliament and shall face negative consequences for its decision. Click here to read....

Security forces arrested Islamic State’s regional leader Khorasani from Kabul

Acting on actionable intelligence inputs, the Afghanistan security forces arrested key Islamic State (IS) regional leader Zia ul-Haq aka Abu Omar Khorasani, along with two other IS leaders, from Kart-e-Naw area in PD8 of Kabul. The other two IS terrorists are Head of Public Relations, and Intelligence division in the IS. “The NDS in continuation of its special operations for identifying, tracking, and destroying terrorist cells that have martyred our compatriots and disrupted Kabul security, has destroyed the joint ISIS and Haqqani Network Centre," read the statement released by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS). Click here to read....

Suicide blast killed 15 people in Nangarhar

On 12 May, a suicide blast has killed at least 15 people and injured 56 others at a funeral ceremony of a local pro-government militia commander in Khewa district of Nangarhar province. In another incident on the same day, unidentified terrorists attacked a maternity hospital in the western part of the Kabul and involved in a gun-battle with Afghan police. Police officials safely evacuated new-born babies and their mothers. No terrorist organisation had claimed responsibility for the Kabul attack, but both the Taliban and the IS are active in the Afghan capital and its surroundings, and both frequently target the military and security forces, as well as civilians. However, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid later tweeted that the Taliban were not involved in either the Kabul or the Nangarhar attack. Click here to read....

Jammu and Kashmir
Five security forces personnel attained Veergati in gun-battle in Kupwara

On 03 May, Indian Army’s 21 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) Colonel Ashutosh Sharma, Major Anuj Sood, Naik Rajesh, Lance Naik Dinesh, and a Jammu & Kashmir police officer Sub-Inspector (SI) Shakeel Qazi, had attained Veergati in a gun-battle with terrorists at Chanjmullah in Handwara area in Kupwara district. In the same operation, two terrorists of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), out of which one identified as Hyder—a key commander of LeT, were killed. Click here to read....

HM’s chief operational commander Riyaz Naikoo killed in Pulwama

In a counter-terrorism (CT) operation on 06 May, security forces killed Hizb ul-Mujahideen’s (HM) chief operational commander and ‘most-wanted’ terrorist—Riyaz Naikoo, and one of his associates in a gun-battle in Beighpora of Awanitpora in Pulwama district. Soon after the operation, mobile internet services were shut, and curfew-like restrictions were imposed to maintain the law & order situation in the Valley. Riyaz Naikoo was ‘A++’ category terrorist and was active in the valley for 8 years. Click here to read....

OGW of HM arrested from Doda

On 07 May, Doda district police arrested an Over Ground Worker (OGW) of Hizb ul-Mujahideen (HM)—Raqib Alam, from Swanda area of Shiva in Doda district in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K). The interrogation of an OGW—Tanveer Ahmad who was arrested earlier from Tantna village of Gundana of same district, had revealed the whereabouts of Raqib Alam. Click here to read....

Security forces arrested a JeM terrorist from Pulwama

On 05 May, security forces arrested a Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist (identity undisclosed) from Satura village of Tral area in Pulwama district. The terrorist was arrested when he was found moving under suspicious circumstances at the Satura crossing. Upon his arrest, security forces seized an AK-56 rifle, five AK magazines, 150 AK rounds, three Chinese grenades, and two cellular phones from his possession. Click here to read....

Left-Wing Extremism
NIA raided locations in connection with Kerala Maoist case

In connection with a Maoist case registered against two college students, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 01 May raided two locations in Kozhikode district in Kerala. Earlier on 27 April, the NIA filed a charge sheet in a Maoist case before NIA Ernakulam Special NIA Court against Allan Shuaib (20 years-old) and Thwaha Fasal (24 years-old) who were arrested, and another absconding accused C P Usman (40 years-old). One of the raided locations was the premises of C P Jaleel— a Maoist who was killed in a gun-battle with the security forces in Wayanad district in March 2019. Click here to read....

Woman Maoist killed in gun-battle in Maharashtra

On 02 May, security forces killed a woman Maoist—Srujanakka (40 years-old) in a gun-battle in Sinbhatti forest area of Pendhra division in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. Security forces recovered an AK-47, a claymore mine, a pressure cooker, and Maoist literature from the operation site. Maoist Srujanakka was a divisional committee member of Kasansur dalam and had carried a bounty of ₹ 16 lakh on her head. Click here to read....

Four Maoist killed in a gun-battle in Chhattisgarh

On 08 May, Chhattisgarh police has killed four Maoists in a gun-battle in the forest area near Pardhoni village in Rajnandgaon district in Chhattisgarh. In the same operation, Chhattisgarh police’s Sub-Inspector (SI) S K Sharma attained Veergati. The four slain Maoists were identified as Ashok (divisional committee member), Krishna (area committee member), and two women Maoists—Sarita and Pramila who were junior cadres and worked as a party members of CPI (Maoist). Police also recovered an AK-47 rifle, one SLR, and two 315 bore rifles from the operation site. Rajnandgaon district comes under the newly-formed zone of Maoists. Maoists have built a new “red corridor” on the tri-junction of three States—Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh aka MMC zone. Click here to read....

Maoists torched vehicles in Jharkhand

On 09 May, Maoists set 13 vehicles on fire in Palamau district in Jharkhand. Around 15 to 16 Maoists raided a crusher stone company and torched 13 vehicles parked in the parking area. The denial to pay money to Maoists by the company is assumed to be the reason behind the arson incident. Click here to read....

Cyber & Artificial Intelligence (Security Perspective)
Enemy States trying to steal Coronavirus research, says UK NCSC

The United Kingdom (UK)’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has said that targeted cyber-attacks of reprehensible nature had increased. Dozens of universities and institutions in the UK are working on COVID-19 research, and it is understood that “enemy nations” including Iran and Russia are behind the hacking attempts to steal the research related information. “Any attack against efforts to combat the coronavirus crisis is utterly reprehensible. We have seen an increased proportion of cyber-attacks related to coronavirus and our experts work around the clock to help organisations targeted. However, the overall level of cyber-attacks from both criminals and states against the UK has remained stable during the pandemic”, says the NCSC spokesperson. Click here to read....

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