Thread.

Since tensions escalated with China this summer, India has moved thousands of additional troops to Ladakh.

That's been backed up by a massive military logistics operation.

Yesterday, we got a glimpse into how it works.

in.reuters.com/article/specia…

Below: A C-17 lands.
In recent months, the military has brought vast quantities of ammunition, equipment, fuel, winter supplies and food into Ladakh - more than 150,000 tonnes, via two highways and a fleet of large transport aircraft.

You can spot two below.
Eastern Ladakh, where the flare-up occurred, is typically manned by 20,000-30,000 soldiers. But the deployment has now more than doubled.

And they are set to stay through the harsh winter, in freezing temperatures and often deployed above 15,000 ft.

In the middle of a pandemic.
The materials brought in are stored across a network of logistics hubs.

From these depots, the suppliess are pushed to logistics nodes by trucks, helicopters and, in some particularly difficult parts, mules.

Didn't find a mule yesterday.

Here's an IAF Chinook, instead.
Fuel is a critical part of the supplies, both for vehicles, armour, and heating equipment in high altitudes.

The Indian army has one of its biggest (and highest) fuel depots in Leh, where an entire hillside was dotted with green barrels.

Below: a convoy of tankers rolls out.
The Indian army also has a fleet of light helicopters to move small amounts of troops, supplies and carry out medical evacuations from remote posts.

This is the indigenously built Advance Light Helicopter, taking off for a supply run from a base around Leh.
With months to go before winter sets in, military officials told us they've already got everything they need.

And if things do get worse, the airforce can bring in more, in double time.

Full story here, with pictures by @dansiddiqui: reut.rs/3mtpyVw

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More from @DevjyotGhoshal

4 May
A ground report from Agra.

The city was initially celebrated for its coronavirus containment plan.

Then, cases spiked, bringing its strategy under close scrutiny.

To understand exactly what happened, we went there.

Our piece. Thread below.

in.reuters.com/article/health…
When we got there late last month, the city seemed completely locked down.

With more than 100 checkpoints, thousands of police were deployed.

Loudspeakers at traffic signals asked people to stay in.

It was all being monitored from this control room.
Agra, a leather hub, reported its first case on March 03 after a 44-year old shoe businessman returned from a trip to Italy.

Incidentally, he came back just a day after Donald Trump and his entourage visited the Taj Mahal.

The case sent the local administration scrambling.
Read 10 tweets
3 Apr
A thread on #TabligiJamaat, the Islamic group at the heart of India's biggest coronavirus cluster.

March 18 - alarm bells go off after Indonesians test +ve

March 21 - Indian govt writes to states

March 29 - Manhunt begins to track down 9,000 people

in.reuters.com/article/uk-hea…
On March 13 - two weeks after a #TabligiJamaat meeting in Malaysia kicks off a huge outbreak in SE Asia - members gather in New Delhi's #NizamuddinMarkaz HQ for a conference.

In attendance are 200 Malaysians and Indonesians, according to two top leaders interviewed by Reuters.
Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) is an orthodox Islamic missionary movement with members across the world.

Thousands of people from across Asia and elsewhere gather at its global HQ (the Markaz) in Delhi’s densely-populated Nizamuddin West area, famous for its Sufi shrines and kebab stalls.
Read 10 tweets
29 Mar
Thread.

On March 23, Samir Kumar Mitra died in Kolkata after testing positive for coronavirus.

The death triggered a public backlash that left his son - stuck in the US - stunned.

Crowds fought police to stop the cremation.

Online, abuse poured in.

in.reuters.com/article/health…
On Facebook and WhatsApp, rumours swirled.

They accused Samir of meeting with his son Satyaki and his daughter in law - who was alleged to be Italian, but is actually American - and bringing the deadly virus to Kolkata.

It was pure misinformation.
An example of the online hate.

On Samir’s Facebook profile, a message posted below a photo of him and his family said: “It’s because of people like him that the coronavirus has come to us."

"They should be shot dead.”
Read 9 tweets
23 Mar
Thread:

For some days, I've been trying to find out the likely trajectory of the #CoronavirusOutbreak in India.

This is what it might look like: around 100,000 - 1.3 million cases by mid-May.

in.reuters.com/article/health…
These numbers are from a study by @BhramarBioStat & a team of bio-statisticians and epidemiologists, most of them at @UMich.

And they enforce what some experts and health officials have been telling me since last week: cases are going to spike soon.
The original study was based on data up to March 16, but following a request from Reuters, the team updated their model using cases from Indian health authorities up to March 21.

So, by end March: potentially 4,000+ cases
By end-April: 30,000-230,000 cases
Read 11 tweets
24 Feb
Thread.

I've had a little time to digest what we saw today in North East Delhi, finish an update on our story, and take a breath.

Here is our story, with pictures by @dansiddiqui.

in.reuters.com/article/india-…

Below is what I saw.
It had already built up by 1pm, when we got there.

Police used tear gas and smoke grenades but struggled to disperse the crowds, as both sides hurled stones and turned a wide boulevard into a rock-strewn battle zone, about 11 miles from where Trump will meet Modi tomorrow.
Within minutes, a pattern on running battles had been established.

Pro-CAA folks, most seemingly Hindu, on one side.

Anti CAA folks, most seemingly Muslim, on the other.

Here's how it went down.
Read 11 tweets
31 Jan
Thread.

I've made two trips to Jewar in the last 24 hours to find out more about the 17-year-old shooter at #Jamia - who exactly he was and why he did what he did.

This is what I found.

#JamiaShooting #CAA_NRC_NPR

in.reuters.com/article/india-…
Family members, neighbours, and a school official in Jewar described the boy as quiet and ordinary. His act of violence took them by surprise.

In recent days, he had become even more withdrawn.

“We tried talking to him but we couldn’t get him to open up,” said his father.
In social media posts and conversations with some classmates, he spoke of restoring Hindu pride and expressed admiration for a right-wing activist whom police have accused of fomenting violence.

“For years, he had said he was going to do something big," a classmate told me.
Read 7 tweets

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