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Indian civil society to oppose India-Israel ties

Mohammed Mohsen

Srinagar, Thursday, March 06, 2008:

Hi tech crime
An Indian trooper with Israel made Tavor rifle in Kashmir

Civil society organisations in New Delhi Thursday urged India to end its military and security ties with Israel.

The organisations have decided to launch a mass awareness programme and a signature campaign to impress India to snap ties with Israel.

The decision by civil society organisations has come in wake of Israel's attacks on Palestinians, The Hindu reported.

All-India Peace and Solidarity Organisation and the Committee for Independent Foreign Policy said, "Arms sales form the backbone of the Israeli economy and massive Indian orders not only helped resuscitate its military industrial complex but also contributed to the perpetuation of Israel's occupation."

India not only purchases arms from the Israel but also engages Israeli military officers to train its army to counter insurgency in Indian administered Kashmir and the seven sister states in the Northeast Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.

Last week for the first time Indian troopers were seen equipped with Israel made Tavor assault rifles in Indian administered Kashmir during a gunfight.

The rifles developed by Israel for usage in urban warfare are part of India's strategy to modernise its army, especially while dealing with insurgencies.

Last week Indian Finance Minister P Chidambram announced a 10 per cent increase in defence budget allocation.

The increased allocation means more sophisticated weaponry.

Israel is the second biggest arms dealer for India.

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