On July 8, a joint team of 19 Rashtriya Rifles (affiliated to the Sikh Ll) along with the Special Operations Groups (SOG) of Srinagar and Anantnag police forces eliminated Burhan Wani, poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen along with two other insurgents. Surprisingly, considering his image as a macho fighter, Burhan didn’t put up much resistance. The social media face of insurgency, he had a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head. His removal from the scene is a great fillip to the counter-insurgency campaign because of his value as a recruiter.
On May 21, 41 and 47 Rasthriya Rifles combined with the SOG of the Kupwara police located and killed five terrorists near the district’s Dragmulla village. These were possibly from Jaishe-Mohammed having infiltrated from bases in POK. In both cases specific intelligence inputs about the presence of insurgents in a particular area were probably delivered by the police who have the best sources on the ground embedded as they are with the population. The army with its firepower and tactical strength did the rest. This has become a pattern in the counter-insurgency in J&K. The police with their extensive networks provide actionable intelligence in real time with the army conducting the elimination or apprehension operation. The symbiosis among the two forces has evolved over time through personal rapport.
ECHS POLYCLINIC, SECTOR 47
The Ex-Servicemen Contributory Health Scheme operates through 426 polyclinics spread across the country. These not only examine patients and supply medicines (where available) but also issue referrals for empanelled hospitals. According to veterans these clinics which are the first point of contact for patients are of varying quality, because of differing facilities and the calibre of staff. However, tricity veterans praise the working of the polyclinic in Sector 47. This unit reaches its peak patient footfall around noon. Nevertheless, Colonel TS Gill of Garhwal Rifles, officer in-charge, says with some pride that the rush is cleared by 1.30pm.
I spoke to the veterans who use the facility. Air Marshal RS Bedi spoke of the non-availability of medicines (a perennial complaint with most polyclinics) while praising the unit. Brigadier BS Bains felt that increased powers of local purchase of medical supplies should be vested with the officer in-charge. New accommodation, coupled with fully air-conditioned premises, adds sheen to the efforts of staff. An exemplary facility, it needs to be taken note of, if the scheme is to attain its full potential.
GROUP CAPTAIN HS GADHOK
Group Captain HS Gadhok has taken over command of 1 Technical Type Training School (TETTRA) at Air Force Station, High Grounds located off the Zirakpur-Patiala road. TETTRAs are specialised training institutions where maintenance engineers and technicians of the IAF are trained to service specific types of aircraft, equipment, radars, etc. TETTRA is meant for training on engines, airframes, avionics and electronics of MIG fighters (21s, 27s and 29s). Group Captain Gadhok is an aeronautical engineer (mechanical) with experience of over 27 years in maintenance activities on MIG-29.
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