Ku­dos to in­tel­li­gence agen­cies for nab­bing ter­ror­ists

SP's MAI - - EDITOR’S DESK - Jayant Baran­wal Pub­lisher & Edi­tor-in-Chief

Within a span of a fort­night, the In­dian in­tel­li­gence agen­cies nabbed two most wanted ter­ror­ists—Syed Ab­dul Karim Tunda and Yasin Bhatkal—on the Indo-Nepal bor­der. The ar­rests show how ter­ror groups have been op­er­at­ing in In­dia, spawned by cross-bor­der ter­ror­ism, be­sides in­di­cat­ing how por­ous the bor­ders can be. The ur­gency to se­cure the bor­ders and also the vast coast­line can­not be just ig­nored.

Th­ese two ter­ror­ists have been in­volved in ma­jor at­tacks on the In­dian soil. Seventy-year-old Tunda, an op­er­a­tive of Lashkar-eTaiba, is ac­cused of mas­ter­mind over 40 bomb blasts in New Delhi, Pa­ni­pat, Sonepat, Lud­hi­ana, Kan­pur and Varanasi be­tween De­cem­ber 1996 and Jan­uary 1998 that left 21 dead and over 400 in­jured. Thirty-year-old Yasin Bhatkal is branded as the face of mod­ern ter­ror and he is ac­cused of strikes in sev­eral in­stances in­clud­ing the Ger­man Bak­ery blast in Pune. Th­ese two ar­rests should lead to some more. How­ever, some big fish re­main out of the drag­net and the king­pin of all Da­wood Ibrahim is at large, shut­tling be­tween Pak­istan and the Mid­dle East with im­punity. In­dian in­tel­li­gence agen­cies should be un­re­lent­ing in their pur­suit of ter­ror groups.

In this is­sue, SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent has an­a­lysed the land­ing of Lock­heed Martin C-130J-30 Su­per Her­cules at Daulat Beg Oldie, the high­est airstrip in the world, in a sig­nif­i­cant ca­pa­bil­ity demon­stra­tion, be­sides rais­ing eye­brows across the bor­der, as the strate­gic air­lifter is kit­ted out as a Spe­cial Forces ve­hi­cle. In a can­did con­ver­sa­tion with SP’s M.A.I., Su­san A. Maraghy, Vice Pres­i­dent, South Asia, Cor­po­rate In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Lock­heed Martin, gave out de­tails of the com­pany’s fo­cus in Asia-Pa­cific and be­yond.

Mov­ing to land forces, SP’s Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent has writ­ten about the pros and cons of Pro­ject Ar­jun Mk.II which has com­menced user tri­als in the deserts of Ra­jasthan, an ex­er­cise that hope­fully would con­firm its use­ful­ness to the In­dian Army. This brings us to one point – that In­dian armed forces need to be equipped with the best of equip­ment, whether it is from over­seas or in­dige­nous, and th­ese in­duc­tions have to hap­pen in dou­ble quick time.

Con­tin­u­ing in the same vein, Lt Gen­eral (Retd) P.C. Ka­toch in his fort­nightly view­point has un­der­scored the im­por­tance of giv­ing teeth to the In­dian Navy. He avers that In­dia def­i­nitely re­quires two to three air­craft car­ri­ers, be­sides a larger num­ber of sub­marines con­sid­er­ing that Chi­nese sub­marines are al­ready lurk­ing in the In­dian Ocean. As we talk about se­cur­ing the coast­line and strength­en­ing the In­dian Navy, we see a healthy part­ner­ship de­vel­op­ing be­tween orig­i­nal equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ers from over­seas, one such be­ing Span­ish gi­ant Na­van­tia. In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with SP’s M.A.I., José Luis Montes Martinez of Na­van­tia has spelt out how the In­dian Navy’s plans per­fectly fit into the com­pany’s pro­grammes.

Mov­ing from the In­dian Navy to In­dian Air Force (IAF), there is good news. The IAF in its 81st year has got a new squadron, Squadron No.81, known as ‘Sky­lords’. Sucheta Das Mo­ha­p­a­tra who cov­ered the in­duc­tion of the C-17 Globe­mas­ter III strate­gic air­lifter into the squadron at Hin­don Air­base has a re­port wherein the De­fence Min­is­ter A.K. Antony has out­lined var­i­ous ini­tia­tives to en­hance ca­pa­bil­i­ties of the armed forces.

We look for­ward to your feed­back as it will help us sharpen our cov­er­age of news and anal­y­sis.

Happy read­ing !

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