India’s Defence Ministry removes three-years worth of monthly reports from website

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  • The Indian Ministry of Defence has wiped three-years worth of monthly reports, dating back to 2017, from its website.
  • Archived screenshots of the Ministry of Defence’s website show that the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Newsletter tab was also absent for a while earlier today.
  • The complete takedown of reports is happening after India already removed its June report, which cited China’s ‘unilateral aggression’ against India, in August.

India’s Ministry of Defence has removed all of its monthly reports dating back to 2017 from its website. It has not yet issued an explanation as to why the three-years worth of reports were removed.

Screengrab from September courtesy of the WayBackMachine shows the Chief Information Security Officer(CISO) Newsletter tab is absent from the Ministry of Defence’s website earlier todayWayBackMachine/BI India

Business Insider also discovered that the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Newsletter tab was also missing earlier today but came back by 4:00 pm.

Officials told the
Indian Express that the reports are likely to be back up by next month. According to them, the move is a part of the department’s plan to clean up the procedure of how files are shared with the public — to make them more ‘comprehensive’ rather than just a list of updates.

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The removal comes after the Ministry of Defence had already removed the report from the month of June in August, which spoke of China’s ‘unilateral aggression’ in Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The June 2020 report on Chinese aggression
The monthly report of June addressed the Galwan Valley clash between Indian and Chinese forces, which resulted in the death of 15 Indian soldiers and an undisclosed number of casualties on the Chinese side.

It also highlighted that Kugrang Nala, Gogra, and the north bank of Pangong Tso lake were friction points created by Chinese transgressions on May 17 and 18.

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In the fresh takedown, the reports from April and May have also gone missing. They did not directly point at China but did refer to the crisis along the LAC.

Overall, since August 2019, China has been mentioned in India’s monthly reports four times. Once in August 2019 after a meeting of the India-China Joint Working Group and then again in December 2019 after the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) conducted a joint exercise in Meghalaya.

Early this year, in February, China’s name came up again after its warship — Jiangwei-II — was spotted in Pakistani waters a little too close to Porbandar for India’s comfort. And, finally, China was mentioned in March in reference to the construction of the Bailey bridge by the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) “to meet the strategic requirements and ensure connectivity to 451 villages in Upper Subansiri District bordering China.”

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www.businessinsider.in2020-10-08 10:36:00

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