Indian Army -- News Folder -- September 2003

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Indian Army -- News Folder -- September 2003

Postby member_201 » 01 Sep 2003 08:18

Please observe the following guidelines:

PLEASE DO NOT post a news article without the proper heading and the URL.

PLEASE DO NOT post a news article without explicit mention of the source (Radio or TV channel name, time, program) along with the news.

PLEASE DO NOT post an entire article unless there is no archiving available on the news site. Should you post an entire article, give proper credit to the source, mention the date of the article, and the URL.

PLEASE DO NOT comment and/or discuss on the news articles posted in the news folder.

Thanking You in advance for your cooperation.

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Re: Indian Army -- News Folder -- September 2003

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Postby Vick » 03 Sep 2003 21:14

India To Set Up Elite Counter-Terrorism Units Within Infantry Battalions
(Defense News, 03 Sept 2003)

India will spend more than 3 billion rupees ($65 million) to set up lethal units in its infantry battalions to counter terrorism, Defence Secretary Ajay Prasad announced September 3. Prasad said the decision was made by the security Cabinet presided over by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee. "The security Cabinet has also decided to authorize the modernization of battalions with enhanced firepower, state-of-art communication equipment and night-vision capability through hand-held thermal imagers," Prasad said. He said the platoons would be carved from the existing battalions of India’s Army and armed with lethal weaponry, part of which will be imported from the international arms bazaar.

"The lethal units will be ready by 2007," Prasad told a crowded press conference after the security Cabinet meeting. The Indian Army is spread thin on the country’s borders, having to assign large portions of its combat formations on "internal security" duties, a euphemism for counter-insurgency tasks. Islamic militancy is steadily bleeding the 1.3-million-strong Army in the Indian zone of troubled Kashmir, where 38,000 people, including hundreds of soldiers, have died in separatist violence since 1989.

Tribal and ethnic insurgencies in six of India’s seven northeastern states also have taken a deadly toll and a general distaste for internal security has led to a staggering shortage of 15,000 officers in the military. Prasad said the Army also will spend an additional 2.9 billion rupees ($62 million) over the next two years to create special units to deal with land mines and other ambushes involving explosives. "Keeping in view rampant terrorism it has been decided to create special units to neutralize improvised explosive devices used by terrorists," he said, adding a sizeable number of such units will be drawn from the Army’s engineering, infantry and other formations.

"These units in the Army will be able to handle challenges," said Prasad, in an oblique reference to India's mounting military casualties in disputed Kashmir. Most paramilitary organizations in Indian Kashmir have trained, cutting-edge commando units but they often fail to match the massive firepower of better-armed separatists in ground combat. "It is a good step as the chief of the Army had been asking for better equipment for years," said General V.N. Sharma (Retd.), former Indian Army Chief.

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Postby AmanC » 24 Sep 2003 12:52

Jordan Valley Battle Honour Day celebrated by Deccan Horse
[Hindustan Times, 23 September 2003]

By Man Aman Singh Chhina, Chandigarh

The Deccan Horse, a cavalry regiment with over two centuries of tradition in valour and courage, celebrated its 'Jordan Valley Battle Honour Day' today. It was in the World War-I that a troop of Deccan Horsemen led by Risaldar Badlu Singh charged a vastly superior enemy in the Jordan Valley (Palestine). The Risaldar, though mortally wounded, pressed ahead and routed the enemy. He earned the second Victoria Cross for his regiment for his courage in battle. Speaking to officers and soldiers, Lt Gen T.S. Shergill, Colonel of The Deccan Horse, called upon the Deccan Horsemen to emulate the deeds of their illustrious forebears.

The raising of Asaf Jah’s Irregular Cavalry in 1790 by Nizam-ul-Mulk, the then Nizam of Hyderabad, saw the birth of a legend now known as The Deccan Horse. The regiment won favourable mention from Col Arthur Wellesley – later the Duke of Wellington – as the 'Finest irregular cavalry in the world'. The regiment battled not only in Central India but also abroad in the Afghan wars, Burma and Africa. In a daring action at Chichamba in 1858, it won its first Victoria Cross, the highest gallantry award of the time.

The process of Indianisation of the regiment began in 1903 when it was selected for merger into the Indian Cavalry as the XXth Deccan Horse and XXIX Lancers Deccan Horse. The regiments’ deeds, both in mounted and dismounted actions in France, Belgium, Flanders and Palestine, are epitomised in the second Victoria Cross won by Risaldar Badlu Singh. The outstanding services of the regiment led to it getting the title 'Royal' in 1921. After Independence, the Mussalman Squadron of the regiment went to Pakistan and in exchange, a squadron of the Dogras of the Probyn’s Horse merged into The Deccan Horse. The Dogras soon imbibed the 'Deccan Spirit' and the regiment saw action at Chhamb Jaurian in 1948, where the advance of the Pakistanis was halted and lost territory recaptured.

On 26 January 1950, the regiment was re-christened The Deccan Horse. The 1965 and 71 Indo-Pak wars saw a similar display of courage and action in Khem Karan and Chhamb sectors, respectively, which won for the regiment numerous honours and accolades. The regiment has won over 300 gallantry awards to date, including two Victoria Crosses, two Mahavir Chakras, six Vir Chakras, 12 DSOs, seven Sena Medals, 24 Military Crosses and 50 Mention in Dispatches. The regiment was presented its Guidon on 09 January 1984, by the then President of India, Giani Zail Singh. The regiment saw one of its officers, General A.S. Vaidya, MVC, rise to the highest attainable position of Chief of Army Staff. At present, The Deccan Horse comprises Jats, Dogras and Sikhs and officers come from all parts of India. These diverse yet integrated warriors form a bond with single-minded purpose under the regiment's motto 'Sanghe Shakti', meaning 'Unity in Strength'.

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