Defence Ministry Eases Procurement Regulations

Defence Ministry Eases Procurement Regulations

Under the so-called Make II category of the Defence Procurement Procedure, Indian companies, including start-ups, can now make suo motu proposals to the armed forces. The Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) on Tuesday also cleared procurement of assault rifles and carbines worth Rs 3,547 crore on ‘fast track basis’

New Delhi: The defence ministry has

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Major boost for armed forces

NEW DELHI: A top government panel led by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday decided to purchase 1,66,000 assault rifles and battle carbines, the basic weapon used by soldiers, on a fast track basis for the armed forces.

The armed forces had first accepted the need for new carbines 11 years earlier but an attempt to make the purchase finally collapsed in 2016 because only one bidder cleared the trials. The wait for the assault rifles is a little shorter, 7 years.

On Tuesday, the Defence Acquisition Council - the defence ministry's highest decision making body on procurement - decided to cut the red tape and make sure that the armed forces get at least some of the weapons that they have sought without any more delay.

As part of this decision, the forces will now conduct trials, shortlist guns and sign a contract as soon as possible to buy 83,895 carbines and 72,400 assault rifles. Indian soldiers currently use AK-47s and INSAS or Indian Small Arms System rifles, which are made in India, and were inducted in the Army in 1988 and were meant to be replaced this year with deadlier assault rifles of higher calibre, especially for use along borders and in counter-insurgency operations.

Gun manufacturers from around the world including Defence Research and Development Organisation will be invited for trials.

But the Army had last year rejected assault rifles made by Ordnance Factory Board. In 2016, Excalibur, once considered a possible replacement for the in-service 5. 56 mm INSAS rifle, was also rejected. Sources told NDTV that the weapons acquired cleared by the top panel on Tuesday were meant for all services.

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Drunk Bengaluru mob seen hitting 2 men on bike in viral video

Bengaluru: Two young men from the north-east are thrashed and punched by a group of New Year's revellers in Bengaluru in a video that has gone viral. The 27-second video shows a group partying in a lane at the city's posh Indira Nagar area when three persons, including a woman, arrive on a motorbike. The bike gently brushes past one of the revellers without causing any visible harm to him.

But suddenly, some of the other revellers pounce on the two men, repeatedly hitting them on their faces. The woman, who got off the bike before it fell during the assault, reportedly tried to stop the group but without any luck.

The woman on the bike was not attacked, said Bengaluru Police Commissioner T. Suneel Kumar. However, one of the victims -- Gautam -- later claimed that the woman was his sister and had been slapped once. Describing it as a case of road rage, Mr Kumar said two of the assaulters have been arrested. One of them, Ambreesh, has a criminal record. The police are looking for three more men.

The video was shot and uploaded by another group of revellers, police said, adding that the bikers who were attacked didn't report the assault. After watching the video, the police filed a case on their own and are trying to approach the victims, said Mr Kumar.

The previous year, Bengaluru's New Year celebration was clouded by outrage after many women were molested and harassed by a big mob that went on the rampage in the city's MB Road and Brigade Road, where people had gathered for celebrations. The police had then denied there was any molestation.

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Missing Haryana class 10 student raped, murdered; liver, lungs ruptured

NEW DELHI: A 15-year-old girl in Haryana, missing since last week after she left home for tuition classes, was found dead on Saturday with 19 severe injuries to her body and signs of unspeakable torture. Her liver and lungs had been ruptured and an object had been jammed into her body, doctors said.

Amid horror at the brutality of the crime, Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar said one of the attackers had been identified and would be arrested soon.

The Class 10 student, from a village in Kurukshetra, went missing on Tuesday. Her mutilated, half-naked body was found near a canal about 100 kilometres away, in Jind. It was covered just by a torn shirt, and there were wounds on her face, neck, lips and chest. She was believed to have died two days earlier.

The body had many injury marks, the private parts were mutilated and there were lot of internal injuries. Signs of sexual assault are visible and looks like three-four people were responsible, a hard and blunt thing was inserted inside her, signs of drowning also found," said a doctor in PGI Rohtak, SK Dattarwal.

He said it was apparent that the girl had struggled to escape but was gagged, and someone sat on her chest.

The girl's father hit out at the administration. My daughter was kidnapped and raped. She was tortured. If administration had done its job well, an incident like this would have never happened," he wept.

The assault has been compared to the Delhi gang-rape in which a 23-year-old medical student -- who came to be known as Nirbhaya -- died after being gang-raped and tortured on a moving bus in December 2012.

Two special investigation teams led by senior officers have been set up to investigate the schoolgirl's rape, said the police in Jind.

The body of another girl, 11, was found in a village in Panipat on Sunday, the police said.

The girl was allegedly kidnapped on Saturday evening when she had left her house to throw garbage in the village dump. She was raped and strangled, the police said.

Rahul Sharma, superintendent of police, Panipat, told news agency Press Trust of India that two men in her neighbourhood had been arrested.

Last month, a six-year-old girl was raped and killed in the state's Hisar district. She had also been tortured with a stick.

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