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Siachen takes the life of one soldier every month

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New Delhi: Since 1984, India has lost about one soldier every month in Siachen Glacier due to avalanches or extreme climatic changes. The death of Lance Naik Hanumanthappa and his nine comrades is the latest one.

It started since first sending soldiers to Himalayan area to counter Pakistani army 32 years ago.

According to Lok Sabha’s data, total 869 Indian troops died at Siachen between 1984 and Dec 2015. 10 soldiers were buried under avalanche at an altitude of 20,500 feet on 3 Feb 2016 in Madras regiment and three others this year which increases the number to 883.

The troop includes 33 officers, 54 junior commissioned and 784 other rankers. All these are the result of extreme climatic conditions and not enemy fire, said Lok Sabha.

However, the death rate is declined from 24 in 2011 to 5 in 2015.

Siachen Glacier is considered as the world’s highest battlefield, but the battle is mostly with the weather. It is located in Himalayan region astride India-Pakistan border.

India has spent 6,556 crore between 2012-13 and 2014-15 for soldiers at Siachen, mostly on clothing and mountaineering equipment.

Many Pakistani soldiers also died due to Siachen’s extreme climatic conditions . An avalanche killed 140 people at a Pakistani camp , including 129 soldiers in 2012.

Siachen’s altitude reach 22,000 feet (The highest peak Mount Everest is at 29,000 feet), and temperature minimize upto-45 degress Celsius.

Soldiers faces many problems like lung damage, memory loss, serve depression and blurred speech. They also have to deal with long cracks and fractures in ice surface especially in summer.

Transporting is the most toughest task in these conditions, with some is possible only by helicopters and some needs pulleys to hoist the supplies up the mountainside.

Light Cheetah helicopter is the only mean of transportation during winter as the land route close.

3,000 to 4,000 Indian soldiers from three battalions serve every year, where each battalion spends three months on Glacier.

“The decision on Siachen is based on the security of the nation”, said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar recently. “I am disturbed by the loss of life, but I think that due to this, some other solution (withdrawal) would not be the proper analysis.’’(IANS)(image:defenceforumindia.com)

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Star ICC Asks Anonymous Accuser Of Sexual Assault Charges To Step Forward

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were "clear instructions" given to make the sales team fulfil the targets.

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Star ICC
#MeToo: Star India internal panel writes to anonymous accuser to come forward

The Internal Complaints Committee of Star India on Sexual Harassment (Star ICC) has written to the anonymous accuser — who had alleged “sexual exploitation” of women employees — asking her to reach out to the committee or its external member on allegations made by her in tweets.

In a Twitter post on Friday, Star ICC, formed under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 said it had reached out to the accuser through two emails on the ID provided by her through her tweets. The committee’s external member is Veena Gowda, a Mumbai-based woman rights lawyer.

The accuser, who tweeted through handle @ApurvaS17 — saying she would remain anonymous — had made sexual harassment allegations against the company’s officials in an open letter.

Star ICC
Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt.

Asked to comment on the allegations, a Star India spokesperson said in a statement that despite no response by the anonymous accuser to the messages sent, the Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy” in respect of the allegations.

“We strongly urge any genuine complainant to approach the Star ICC. At Star, we stand with women in drawing the line on any behaviour that violates human dignity or the ability for women to pursue their dreams with respect and freedom. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards sexual harassment,” read the statement in response to an email query by IANS.

It also said that the anonymous tweet shared on October 13 raised an allegation that “runs completely counter to everything we believe in and the norms and values that we deeply embrace.”

The statement further said: “Star believes that the allegations made in the tweet without the complainant coming forward and giving any further detail, is a malicious attempt to malign and defame the reputation of the company and the CEO.” It said that Star reserves its right to initiate appropriate legal proceedings in this regard.

Star ICC
The Star ICC had “suo moto conducted a preliminary inquiry and found no basis or factual accuracy.

The accuser in her tweets had said that the #MeToo movement had encouraged her to come forward and that she had quit her job at Star India in the Airtime Sales section after 26 months and nine days and was now a homemaker, “taking care of my baby and hubby in a beautiful country, far away from Mumbai.”

The accuser said that while she was at the company, there were “clear instructions” given to make the sales team fulfil the targets in case they want to continue with their employment contract, “for which even if you have to take the clients to a hotel room and sleep with them for days.”

She said there were many instances when she and three of her female colleagues (interns) had clear instructions to reach a hotel after office hours for a private party hosted for influential friends.

Also Read: India’s Junior Foreign Minister M.J. Akbar Quits Following #MeToo Harassment Allegation By Women

She says the influential friends were “mostly bureaucrats and sometimes politicians and foreign nationals” who were “all ready to violate you, force you to dance against your wishes, drink with them, make drink(s) for them, exchange your numbers and even quietly accompany them to their respective rooms if they want you to”.

Veteran writer-director Vinta Nanda, who earlier this month accused actor Alok Nath of sexually violating her 19 years ago, wrote on Twitter: “I’m neither shocked nor surprised. I salute your courage to have come out and spoken out. The rot runs deep.” (IANS)