Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria was personally present at the Ambala air base to welcome the first batch of Rafale fighter aircraft from France. After the planes touched down, they were given a ceremonial water cannon salute. Then ACM Bhadauria shook hands with all the pilots. They were similarly greeted by Air Marshal B. Suresh, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Western Air Command. The state-of-the-art fighter jets will be formally inducted into the Indian Air Force in the latter half of August 2020. These 5 jets are the first consignment of the 36 aircraft ordered by India from France's Dassault Aviation. The deal was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then-French President Francois Hollande during the former's visit to France in 2015. This marks the first induction of foreign fighter aircraft into the Indian Air Force in over 20 years. When the Rafales first entered Indian airspace after a journey of around 8,500 km, they were greeted and subsequently escorted by IAF's two Sukhoi Su-30MKIs. Indian Navy's warship INS Kolkata also beamed a welcome message to the new jets.
Credit: HT Digital Content Duration: 01:46Published
US Secretary of Defence Dr. Mark T. Esper on July 21 put a light on their vision towards the security in Indo- pacific region. He highlighted rapid increase in defence cooperation with India and even mentioned about focus of US over the situation between India and China. "I want to highlight our increased defence cooperation with India, one the all important defence relationships of 21th century. We conducted our first-ever joint military exercise last November," said US Defence Secretary. He added, "As we speak today, USS Nimitz is conducting combined exercise with Indian Navy in the Indian Ocean, demonstrating our shared commitment to stronger naval cooperation and support to a free and open Indo-Pacific." "We are obviously monitoring the situation between India and China very closely, what's happening along the Line of Actual Control and we are very pleased to see both sides are trying to de-escalate the situation," he said further.
With an aim to improve the cooperation between US and Indian maritime forces, Indian naval ships on July 20 conducted a passage exercise (PASSEX) with the United States Navy's USS Nimitz carrier strike group near the Andaman and Nicobar islands as it is transiting the Indian Ocean. Indian Navy had conducted similar PASSEXs with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force and French Navy in recent past.
India's amphibious warship Indian Navy Ship (INS) Jalashwa, which has been deployed to bring back the stranded citizens from Iran under Operation Samudra Setu, has departed from Bandar Abbas port on June 25 with 687 Indians aboard for Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu. INS Jalashwa reached the port of Bandar Abbas in Iran on June 24. On June 11, INS Shardul had brought back 233 Indians from Iran. Operation Samudra Setu is a part of Vande Bharat Mission to bring back stranded citizens overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian Navy had launched Operation Samudra Setu on May 08 to repatriate Indian citizens. INS Jalashwa and Magar have already evacuated 2,874 personnel from Maldives and Sri Lanka to ports of Kochi and Tuticorin. On June 23, INS Airavat brought back 198 Indians from Maldives.
A team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) officers arrived in Tamil Nadu's Madurai. They arrived at Madurai Airport on July 10. CBI will take over the probe in Thoothukudi custodial death case. The CBI had taken over the investigation on July 07 into the deaths of P Jeyraraj and his son J Benicks who died allegedly after being tortured in police custody in Tamil Nadu's Tuticorin. The Centre had issued a notification accepting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's request to transfer the probe to the CBI.
While speaking to ANI in Chennai on July 02, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) leader Kanimozhi spoke on Tuticorin custodial death case. She said, "The arrest is very much delayed and I don't understand what the government's hesitation was as they could have done it much earlier so that people will have faith in system." "They have completely shaken people's faith in the govt and entire system because of their delays. This kind of atmosphere is very unhealthy," she added. "I hope that the govt doesn't interfere and they will not try to indulge in tampering of evidence or anything. I hope the investigation should go in right way," DMK leader further stated. Five police officials including a sub inspector and two constables have been arrested in custodial death of father-son duo.
The security tightened in TN's Rameswaram ahead of Independence Day. The police personnel inspected the Pamban Bridge railway tracks and took surveillance of the area. The nation will celebrate 73rd Independence Day on August 15, 2020.
The cases of coronavirus continued to surge in India, however, fatality rate dipped to 1.99 %, informed Health Ministry. National Expert Group on vaccine administration has also been constituted by Centre. Maharashtra continues to witness surge of over 10,000 COVID-19 cases taking total tally in the state to 5,35,601. Delhi reported 1257 COVID-19 cases and 8 deaths on Aug 11. Karnataka recorded 6,257 COVID-19 cases today. While, Tamil Nadu reported 5,834 COVID-19 cases and 118 deaths so, total number of cases in the state is now at 3,08,649, including 2,50,680 discharged, 52,810 active cases and 5,159 deaths. Andhra Pradesh recorded 9024 cases. Country has conducted over 2.5 crore sample tests so far.
INS Jalashwa entered the Tuticorin Harbour in Tamil Nadu on July 01. Naval ship brought back 687 Indians from Iran's Bandar Abbas. Indian Navy had launched 'Operation Samudra Setu' to repatriate Indian..