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Budgam Chopper crash: IAF commander removed

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Srinagar: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has removed the Air Officer Commanding (AOC) Srinagar Air Base, the senior-most officer of the base, for circumstances related to the crash of an Mi-17 helicopter near Srinagar on February 27 after it came under friendly fire, even as a Court-of-Inquiry (CoI) continues to investigate the matter, Hindustan Times reported.

A final report is yet to be submitted.

An IAF spokesperson declined comment on the matter.

 

On February 27, even as Indian and Pakistani jets were engaged in a dogfight in the Nowshera sector, a Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter of IAF crashed. All six airmen on board the helicopter were killed. The helicopter was downed by a surface-to-air missile of IAF which mistook the aircraft to be hostile, initial inquiries have revealed.

As the inquiry nears completion, IAF is considering whether or not it should slap criminal charges against those found lacking. “There will be no tolerance of lapses,” said a senior defence ministry official who asked not to be named. Culpable homicide not amounting to murder is one of the charges that IAF is contemplating pressing against those found guilty by the CoI. “Unprecedented as it might be, IAF leadership is clear that such lapses are not repeated,” the official added.

The AOC has been removed because the incident happened on his watch.

The preliminary inquiry into the accident has allegedly indicated several lapses leading to the tragic accident. For instance, the air traffic control called the helicopter back even as air engagement between Indian and Pakistani fighters intensified. “Ideally, the helicopter should have been sent away to safer zone instead of it being called back to the base,” said a second senior defence ministry official who did not want to be named. “The incoming helicopter should have been vectored into the pre-designated zone meant for friendly aircraft to hold till the alert was called off,” the official added.

All bases have designated airspace for friendly aircraft in case of an air-defence-alert. “Air defence platforms such as missile systems, air defence guns etc. are kept free; they are free to engage any aircraft which doesn’t identify itself as a “friendly” either through the IFF or by remaining confined to the airspace designated for friendly aircraft,” the second senior officer added.

In this case, the Identification of Friend or Foe (IFF) – a transponder-based identification system that informs the air defence radars whether incoming aircraft is friendly – was switched off, against the laid down protocol.

After a “near-air-miss” incident in Jammu and Kashmir in 2018 between a C-130 J, a US-made transport aircraft, and a Russian-made Su-30 fighter aircraft, IAF Headquarters directed all aircraft coming into land to have their IFF systems on. Surprisingly, the Srinagar Air Base had issued contradictory orders. “Had the IFF system been on, air defence radars would have at least identified Helicopter as a friendly aircraft,” the second senior defence ministry official said.


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Anantnag attack: Injured SHO succumbs at AIIMS

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Srinagar, June 16: Station House Officer (SHO) Arshid Ahmad Khan who was injured in Fidayeen Attack on June 13 succumbed to his injuries today at AIIMS Delhi.

Arshid was airlifted to AIIMS hospital in Delhi today from SKIMS. On Saturday morning the SHO was shifted to SKIMS from army’s 92 base hospital Badamibagh where he was admitted on June 13.

A police officer told news agency that SHO succumbed to injuries in AIIMS hospital this evening.

 

SHO along with three paramilitary CRPF men were injured in Fidayeen Attack near KP road in Anantnag on June 13. Five CRPF troopers including two officers of ASI rank were killed also killed in the attack. One of the militants was later gunned down by the joint team of forces. A teenage girl was also injured during the incident. (GNS)

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J&K on high alert after Pakistan warns India of Pulwama-type attack

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Srinagar, June 16: Security forces in Jammu and Kashmir are on high alert after Pakistan reportedly warned India of a Pulwama-type attack.

Pakistan shared intelligence inputs with India and the US regarding the threat of a possible attack in Pulwama district, The Indian Express reported. According to the intelligence inputs, militants may carry out an attack using an improvised explosive device (IED) mounted on a vehicle to avenge the killing of Zakir Musa. The Jammu and Kashmir Police is on its toes after the alert.

“The Pakistanis shared this information regarding the possibility of such an attack with our High Commission in Islamabad. They had also shared this information with the Americans, who too, informed us. So this information has come directly as well as via the Americans to us. The attack, the Pakistanis say, is being ostensibly planned to avenge the killing of Zakir Musa,” a top security official was quoted as saying.

 

Zakir Musa, the head of the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind, a group affiliated with the Al-Qaeda, was killed by security forces in an encounter at Tral in May. He launched his Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind after breaking away from the Hizbul Mujahideen in May 2017. Pakistan PM Imran Khan Makes Veiled Attack on India Over Kashmir During Address in SCO Summit 2019.

“We are reading Pakistan’s sharing of this information in two ways. It is either a way to make sure that they avoid blame if a big attack takes place, because they have already shared the information with the Americans. Or it is a genuine attempt to inform us ahead after they found out, particularly because the information is regarding a plan to attack by members of an al-Qaeda linked group. We also understand that any activities of militants linked to al-Qaeda are seen differently by them (Pakistan),” the official said.

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Tendulkar sues Australian cricket bat maker over $2 million in royalties

Rukshana Rahman

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Sydney: Sachin Tendulkar has filed a civil lawsuit against an Australian bat manufacturer, accusing it of using his name and image to promote products and then failing to pay him $2 million in royalties.

In Federal Court papers filed this month and reviewed by Reuters, Tendulkar said Sydney-based Spartan Sports International agreed in 2016 to pay him at least $1 million a year to use his image, logo and promotional services to sell “Sachin by Spartan” sporting goods and clothing.

The retired star batsman soon went to work promoting the products, and appeared at a range of promotional events in places such as London and the Indian financial hub of Mumbai, the documents showed.

 

However, by September 2018, Spartan had failed to make a single payment owed, Tendulkar said, and he made a formal request for payment. When none came, he ended the agreement, asking the company to stop using his name and likeness.

Yet Spartan continued to do so, according to the documents.

Spartan, whose legal representative was not listed on the Federal Court website, did not respond to an email request from Reuters for comment.

Les Galbraith, listed by the court documents as its chief operating officer, did not respond to a private message sent to his LinkedIn page.

The law firm listed as representing Tendulkar, Gilbert + Tobin, declined comment.

Tendulkar’s civil claim accused the Australian company of misleading or deceptive conduct, “passing off”, or suggesting an official endorsement when none existed, and breach of contract. It did not say what damages were sought.

Tendulkar became the world’s leading run-scorer in tests and one-day internationals, with more than 34,000 runs and 100 centuries, in a 24-year career that ended in 2013.

In 2012, he was made an honorary member of the Order of Australia, one of the country’s highest civil awards.

The court website showed the lawsuit was filed on June 5, with the first court date in Sydney on June 26. Reuters

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