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JeM turns to local cadres for fidayeen recruits

The two fidayeens killed in the CRPF camp have been identified as local recruits who had joined terror ranks barely two to three months ago. This throws light on the imminent danger that awaits as the Jaish-e-Mohommad (JeM) is adding a dangerous dimension to the ongoing unrest by turning local cadres into fidayeens (member of a suicide squad).CRPF spokesman Rajesh Yadav identified the fidayeens as Fardeen Ahmad Khanday of Nazeenpora, Tral, and Manzoor Ahmad Baba of Drubgam, Pulwama in south Kashmir.In a clear departure from the policy of using Pakistan nationals as fidayeens to storm camps, the Jaish has used two local boys to carry out a suicide attack. And, it is after decades that locals have carried out a fidayeen attack in Kashmir.Fardeen was a 16-year-old school dropout and the son of a policeman from Tral area, who had joined terrorism a few months ago. Baba had also joined terrorism hardly two months ago. In fact, Baba’s family had made an emotional appeal for his homecoming, taking cue from the footballer turned militant Majid Khan, who returned after his mother made a fervent appeal.Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Munir Ahmad Khan, however, told DNA that they are still in the process of identifying the fidayeens gunned down in the incident.Five soldiers, including an officer, were killed, while three others were injured when a group of heavily-armed JeM fidayeens stormed the highly-secured Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training facility in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday.JeM claimed the attack. A JeM spokesman called up local news agencies to stake the claim. He also ridiculed Operation All Out, launched by the security forces earlier this year to eliminate terrorists.

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Congress blasts Modi govt’s foreign policy after Pulwama attack

The Congress today slammed the government over a terror attack on a CRPF camp in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was a sign of failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy.Party spokesperson Sushmita Dev said here that such recurring attacks send a message that anti-national forces do not fear India. During elections, Modi says India is a strong nation. But the number of casualties in ceasefire violations was going up, Dev said at a press conference. “It is a sign of failure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s foreign policy,” she said, adding the Congress wanted him to take strong steps to deter India’s external and internal enemies.Modi had claimed he had a 56-inch chest and that he would teach Pakistan a lesson, Dev said. “What that lesson could be he should decide. The Congress will support him if he takes any step in the interest of the nation. But he must do something immediately.” Citing a report on a “secret dialogue” between national security advisers of India and Pakistan, she said the government should inform Parliament about the dialogue it was engaging in concerning defence and foreign policy.Also readPulwama encounter: 5 CRPF jawans martyred, 2 terrorists killed”You have a talk after Christmas and an attack happened today in Pulwama. We are unable to accept these two. We do not oppose dialogue (with Pakistan) but what is the result of this if an attack dampens the image of the country in the world,” Dev said. She said the Congress expected the Modi government to have “consistency” in its foreign policy. “We have been repeatedly saying India is coming across as a nation with a wishy washy foreign policy. India is being increasingly taken more and more lightly,” she said.The government, by taking the Opposition along, should give a message to the world at large that “India cannot be taken lightly”, she said and added such incidents put the country in a “weak light”. Two heavily armed militants stormed the 185th battalion camp of the Central Reserve Police Force in Awantipora in Pulwama around 2 am, killing a personnel and leaving two others injured.

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Pulwama encounter: 5 CRPF jawans martyred, 2 terrorists killed

Five security personnel were killed and three were injured after heavily armed terrorists stormed a CRPF training centre in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir in the early hours today. Security forces also gunned down 2 attackers in the gunfight that is still underway.CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said the bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered.”Four CRPF jawans have been martyred and three others are injured. The bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered,” Yadav was quoted as saying by PTI. He said intermittent firing is still going on and one terrorist is believed to be holed up in building block.Also readSoldier martyred in unprovoked ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Naushera sectorOne of the injured personnel was identified as Saifuddin, a resident of Nowgam here, officials said.The terrorists attacked the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training centre in Awantipora around 2 am. They were armed with under-barrel grenade launchers and automatic weapons, officials said. They first lobbed grenades and then began indiscriminate firing and entered the centre.With the daybreak, more troops were called in to neutralise the terrorists. The buildings in the nearby area were also evacuated.”Fidayeen managed to enter Lethpora camp at 0210hrs. Jawans got injured during initial intrusion from J&K Police Commando training area side. There is quite a possibility of a similar type of attack on other camps also” CRPF said. Also readJammu and Kashmir | 2 terrorists gunned down, encounter still on in ShopianDirector General of Police S P Vaid said security forces had inputs about an impending militant strike in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days.Terming the attack as “unfortunate”, Vaid said as long as Pakistan keeps sending militants, security forces and people of Kashmir will continue to go through this.”There was an input from the last two-three days.They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night,” Vaid told reporters here.The fidayeen attack comes days after Jaish-e-Mohammad vowed to avenge the killing of its chief Noor Mohammad Tantray by security forces at Samboora village of Pulwama district. Also readJaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulwama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brassNoor Tantray alias Noor Trail, a midget militant who had jumped bail, was the main architect of recent fidayeen attacks in Kashmir. (With PTI inputs)

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Tamil Nadu: Rajinikanth to float political party, says, will contest next assembly polls

Earlier, Rajinikanth, who commands a huge fan base across the country, had been hinting for quite some time that he may join politics, but stopped short of announcing it. Rajini, while addressing his fans on Tuesday, said that he would announce his final decision on politics on December 31.”
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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 31 December 2017 9:16 ISTMust readEx-CJI TS Thakur says no to AAP’s Rajya Sabha offerKamala Mills fire: Know the story behind this picture<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth on Sunday announced his decision to join politics and launch his own party. He also announced that the party will contest next assembly elections.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Earlier, Rajinikanth, who commands a huge fan base across the country, had been hinting for quite some time that he may join politics, but stopped short of announcing it. Rajini, while addressing his fans on Tuesday, said that he would announce his final decision on politics on December 31.

Join the discussion<!–end of artlbotbor–>
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Here’s how “well-behaved” Shashi Kapoor was different from Raj Kapoor & Shammi Kapoor, writes Shobhaa De
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Salman Khan cheers up teary-eyed Katrina Kaif during ‘Tiger Zinda Hai’ promotions
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Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorists attack CRPF camp in Pulwama, one jawan martyred
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Two terrorists killed in encounter, one woman dies in cross-fire

Tension gripped south Kashmir on Tuesday after two top Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists were killed in an encounter in an overnight operation and a 24-year-old woman died in the cross-fire in Bata Murran village of Shopian district.Locals alleged that Ruby aka Beauty Jan was hit by a bullet during the clashes. Police, however, claimed that she was killed in a cross-fire.Acting on specific inputs, Shopian Police along with 44 Rashtriya Riffles and 14th battalion of CRPF cordoned off a cluster of houses at village Bata Murran Shopian.”While the cordon was being laid, terrorists fired upon the joint search party, ensuing an encounter. The cordon was strengthened and the civilians of nearby area were evacuated,” a police spokesperson said.Two security personnel including a jawan of 44 RR and a cop were also injured during the encounter. Police said their condition is stated to be stable.”During the cross-fire one lady identified as Ruby alias Beauty got critically injured. She later succumbed to the wound at Pulwama district hospital. Nine civilians were also injured,” a police spokesperson said.Police had to use force to disperse the mob as clashes rocked the area after the encounter. Police said nine people were injured in the clashes.Ruby is the third civilian to have died in the last week. A 25-year old mother of an eight month old girl was allegedly killed in the crossfire between ultras and forces on December 11. Massive protests rocked Kupwara after a 28 year old taxi driver Asif Iqbal was shot dead on Saturday night at Thindipora village.Police said during the encounter, on the request of family, made repeated announcement to persuade Tanveer Ahmad, a local ultra to surrender.”The terrorists continued firing on the security forces which was retaliated. Two JeM terrorists were killed in this encounter who were identified as Tanveer Ahmad from Bata Murran Shopian and Ali alias Qari, a foreign terrorist. Two AK rifles and other allied ammunition were recovered from the encounter site”, the spokesman said.”Moreover, another terrorist fled from the encounter site by taking advantage of the darkness”, said the spokesman.Police said the slain militants were involved in a number of terror incidents including the December 11 attack on the vehicle of J&K Bank near Poju Shopian in which two bank guards were killed.Meanwhile, Joint Resistance Leadership of separatists has called for a shutdown on Wednesday against the killing of three civilians during security force operations in the last one week.

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MHA allocates Rs 500 crore for CRPF modernisation

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned around Rs 500 crore for modernisation of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) for the next two years in the wake of increased participation of the force in anti-terror operations in Kashmir. Over 50 per cent of the total Rs 1,054 crore sanctioned for Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) will go to CRPF, Home Ministry officials said.The rest of the amount will be shared by other forces like Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Assam Rifles, and National Security Guards.The money will be spent on buying modern bulletproof jackets, bulletproof helmets, body armours, weapons, and high-tech gadgets for surveillance among other crucial items to equip the force.”Since the CRPF has been serving constantly in conflict zones, there is a need to upgrade the force. A huge share of the fund has been allocated to it,” a Home Ministry official said.The CRPF along with the Army and state police has been aggressively carrying out operation in Kashmir killing over 200 terrorists this year. It is also the lead force when it comes to combating MaoistsUpgrading of crucial weapons and equipment is part of MHA’s larger plan to give a push to the modernisation drive for police forces. MHA has already laid out a blueprint for Rs 25,000 crore modernisation schemes.CRPF and has a heavy deployment in the red zone. With strength of nearly 3 lakh it has the highest presence in Maoist hit states with nearly 85,000- 90,000 personnel serving in the red zone alone.There has been a five time increase in the amount sanctioned for CAPFs as part of a two year modernisation plan with the Home Ministry approved Rs 1054 from the corpus of Rs. 25,000 crore for the years 2018 and 2019.This a huge jump from the Rs. 200 crore amount spent by the forces in the last three years, sources said.While CRPF officials are happy about the amount being sanctioned they are also sceptical the amount being released. “In the past the amount actually released was much less than what was sanctioned,” said a CRPF official.

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Jammu and Kashmir | 3 terrorists gunned down in Handwara encounter, ‘raining whole night,’ tweets DGP

Three terrorists were gunned down in a joint operation by the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara on Monday.Giving out the details of the encounter, Jammu and Kashmir’ Director General of Police, SP Vaid tweeted that, “In Unisoo, Handwara all the three terrorists apparently Pakistanis have been neutralised.”He also said that the anti-terror operation was carried out by the joint team of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the Rashtriya Rifles and the CRPF.Lauding the valour of the men involved in the encounter, Vaid also said that ‘It has been raining whole night & boys were out there in the cold (sic).’Apart from the three terrorists, a civilian woman has also been killed in the encounter. ” Bodies of three terrorists killed in the operation and three weapons recovered. No other operations in the area”, th army spokesman said clarified.The clarification came in the wake of the update tweeted by news agency ANI that in a separate operation, two terrorists were killed and one captured alive in Baramulla’s Bomai area.However, the army has clarified that there was just one operation in Handwara and three terrorists have been killed in the encounter. This year, the security forces have killed more than 200 terrorists in various operations in Jammu and Kashmir.

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Chhattisgarh: Security forces gun down Naxal

A naxal was on Tuesday gunned down in an exchange of fire with security forces in a dense forest in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Sukma district, police said.The skirmish took place in the forests of Duled village under Chintalnar police station limits, a senior police official said. A joint team of CoBRA (commando battalion for resolute action) 201st battalion – a CRPF specialised unit, and local police had launched the counter-insurgency operation in the jungles of Chintalnar, around 500 kms away from here, he said.While security forces were cordoning off the forests near Duled, they came under heavy fire from a group of armed naxals leading to the exchange of fire, he said.After the firing stopped, the security forces recovered the body of a Maoist along with one muzzle-loading gun, the official said adding that further details are awaited.Also readGadchiroli: CRPF jawan killed, two others injured in encounter with NaxalsSecurity forces have intensified patrolling in the interior forests of Bastar division that comprises seven districts, in view of People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA- military wing of the Maoists) week being observed by the ultras between December 2 and 8, during which the rebels step up their activities.
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Jammu and Kashmir: Four terrorists killed by security forces in Budgam

Four terrorists were killed by Jammu and Kashmir’s security forces in an encounter at Budgam’s Fultipora village on Thursday. Following specific tip-offs that the terrorists were hiding in a house, the security forces carried out a joint search operation involving Jammu and Kashmir police, Army and the CRPF. The militants opened fire at the security forces, who retaliated and led to a fierce gun battle.Police sources said one security force personnel sustained injuries during the operation while two civilians got injured in security forces action against protestors who were trying to disrupt the anti-militancy operation.In another encounter at Bomai in Sopore area of Baramulla district, security forces shot dead a militant, a police official said.Internet services have been shut down in central Kashmir’s Budgam region.Meanwhile, another encounter between security forces and terrorists has been ongoing in the Sopore area of Baramulla district.(With Inputs from PTI)
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Hey Delhi, International Trade Fair is on! Watch out for these 5 types of visitors at Pragati Maidan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>If you are living in Delhi-NCR, chances are either you are planning to or have already visited the India International Trade Fair, currently going on in Pragati Maidan.The 37th Trade Fair, which was inaugurated by President Ram Nath Kovind on November 14, has seen lesser footfall compared to the previous years.The single biggest reason is lack of open space. Until last year, the Trade Fair used to be organised in over 100,000 square meters of open space. But with ongoing construction work, the space has been reduced and there are fewer exhibitors this year.Most people are saying ‘pehle wali baat nahi hai (it’s not like earlier times).’Love it or hate it, Delhi has still not given up on this lavish fair.So while many would tell you what’s hot and what’s not this year, we decided to give a different side of the Trade Fair.Here’s our list of types of visitors that we saw in Trade Fair on Monday:The veterans: As the name suggest, they ALWAYS visit the Trade Fair. They are those who carry ghar ka khana, chatai or newspapers and water bottles. They know which stalls to go, the best discounts offered and just how to beat rush. They never fall for old gimmick, remember each pavilion by heart. Talk to them and you would hear, ‘arre, pahele kya baat thi…bahut variety thi (There used to be great time, lots of variety).’ Yes, to be honest, that is true indeed. There was a time when there was an entire hall dedicated to toys, yes loads of toys! The freeloaders: They are pain for all exhibitors, especially those dealing in food items. They never shy from ‘bhaisaab, try karana’. Be it gajjak, latest pasta, shampoo sachets or even pamphlet of a dishwasher, they just want everything. This year, we saw some queuing up for free balloons!The trend-setters: If you spot every second visitor buying one particular item, it is because of them. They set the trend. Be it fake flowers, buying crockery by kilo (yes, that happens) or new beauty product, just see around. The haters: Why there are so many people, why everyone is in same state pavilion as me, why the food is so bad, why toilets are not clean, why they are playing this music…you get the drift, right? These are the people who simply hate anything and everything. Till last year, this group kept on saying ki ‘yaar, kitna chalna padta hai’ and this year they are ruing over lack of open space! You just can’t keep them happy!The harassed lot: You will spot many outside the entry gates of Pragati Maidan. They didn’t realise that tickets are available online only. Though you can buy tickets at metro stations, but don’t dare getting down at Pragati Maidan and think, ‘ok, I’m here, let me buy tickets first,’ cause they don’t sell tickets there, duh! Classic example is the family who travelled all the way from Rohini only to realise they can’t buy tickets here. Oops, last heard, the husband sheepishly suggested…’chidiyaghar hi ghoom lete hain (let’s go to zoo)’.Also at Trade Fair:Aadhaar and Income Tax and GST stalls: Biggest crowd-puller this year are the government stalls.Crockery by kilo: You want a new dinner set? Or a pair of new storage jars? Just check out these stalls (I got some cool stuff in hall number 12).Super SARAS: The best stall, ever! Don’t want to buy that overpriced ethnic dupatta at neighbourhood mall? Just check out these amazing stalls at SARAS and have a blast. From weavers of Assam to Punjab’s Phulkari, you will get it all.The CRPF band: Alas, there’s no defence pavilion now. But you still have CRPF gallery and BSF stall. Plus, if you are there at right time, you can check the awesome performance of the CRPF band.No state pavilions: Remember the beautiful Kerala state pavilion or one from Gujarat….they all have been razed to ground. All state exhibitors are showcasing their products in state hangars instead.

Army says 190 militants killed in 2017 in J&K, asks youth to shun violence, return home

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>More than 190 terrorists have been killed in Kashmir this year that has remarkably improved the situation in the restive Valley, security forces said on Sunday as they set up a helpline and asked youth to shun violence and join the mainstream. This coincided with more families coming out in the open, appealing to their sons, who have joined terrorist ranks, to return home.”Eighty of the terrorists killed this year were locals. Of the 110 foreigners, 66 were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) while infiltrating. We have killed approximately 125 to 130 terrorists in the hinterland of the Kashmir valley,” said Lieutenant General JS Sandhu, General Officer Commanding (GoC), 15 Corps.This, he said, has resulted in a remarkable change in the situation. “You are all aware that the agitation has been brought under control to a great extent,” he said.He said Hajin, where six top LeT terrorists were killed on Saturday, had been under the radar for sometime, given the presence of foreign terrorists there. The Haijin group of LeT has largely been decimated. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone, Munir Ahmad Khan, said LeT is facing leadership crisis.There are more than 200 terrorists still operating in the Valley. Of them, 110 to 120 are local. “We look forward to continuing operations and we hope to restore peace in the Valley as soon as possible,” said Lt Gen Sandhu.Encouraged by the return of footballer-turned-terrorist Majid Irshad Khan, the CRPF established a helpline to facilitate the homecoming of the local militants.”We have come to know that some boys want to come back but they do not know how. We have a helpline, Madadgar. The police and the Army also have a helpline. Anyone, be it a militant’s friend or family member or anyone else who is looking for an opportunity to seek help from the forces or want to establish contact… this is the medium and means to contact us. We will try our best to help militants who want to return,” said Zulfikar Hassan, Inspector General of CRPF (operations).Hassan assured there will be no harassment. Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, SP Vaid, said the force was able to wean away more than 60 boys from the path of violence. “I hope other boys will shun violence and come back and adopt peaceful methods to join the mainstream,” he said.Sandhu also appealed to youth to shun violence and advised them to stop being Pakistan’s proxy in Kashmir.Meanwhile, shunning inhibitions, more families came forward appealing to their terrorist sons to shun violence and return home. Heart-wrenching videos of parents have surfaced. The mother of Ashiq Hussain Bhat, a shopkeeper in Shopian, appealed to him to return home. Bhat had left home for the shop but did not return. Later his picture brandishing a gun appeared on social media, announcing his formal joining of terrorism.”I want my son back. I appeal to him to return. He was a daily wager. We will lock the house and commit suicide. I am saying sorry if any mistake has been committed,” said his mother Fehmeeda, as tears rolled down her cheeks.Later another family of neighbouring Pulwama district went public appealing to their son Manzoor Ahmad Baba to return. “I have no one other than my children. Please let him go,” said his mother appealing to terrorist organisations to release him.Vaid said it is a very encouraging trend and more mothers should come forward to ask kids to return. “I request other mothers to appeal to their children because we do not want anybody to get hurt,” he said.KILLINGS AND COMEBACKSEighty killed this year were locals. Of 110 foreigners, 66 killed near LoC while infiltrating
More than 200 terrorists still operating in the Valley. Of them, 110 to 120 are local
CRPF sets up homecoming helpline, two more families appeal to sons to return home

190 terrorists killed this year in Jammu and Kashmir of which 80 were locals: Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army and Jammu and Kashmir Police on Sunday called for peace in the valley and urged the local terrorists to give up militancy.General Officer Commanding (GOC) of 15 Corps Commander Lieutenant General J.S. Sandhu said, “The local terrorists must realise that it is easy to call themselves a Mujahid. But are you a Mujahid, or just a proxy for Pakistan? Come back to the mainstream as this will facilitate return of peace to the valley. We are ready to receive them in an honourable manner.”While addressing a joint press conference along with state Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid, Sandhu claimed that the security forces have gunned down about 190 militants this year so far. “We have killed about 190 terrorists sa far this year. Out of these 190, 80 are local terrorists and 110 foreign. Out of these 110, 66 terrorists were killed near the Line of Control (LoC) while infiltrating,” he pointed out. He further said that the security forces have killed 125-130 terrorists in the hinterland of Kashmir Valley which has resulted in a remarkable change in situation.Speaking about the Bandipore encounter, Lieutenant General Sandhu hailed the Army, CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police for successful operation. “Based on specific information, joint operation was launched by CRPF, Army, Jammu and Kashmir Police in which six terrorists were eliminated, all were foreign terrorists. I commend all agencies who worked to ensure success of the operation,” he said.Six Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists, including Mumbai attack mastermind Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi’s nephew Owaid, were gunned down by security forces in the encounter in Hajin area of Bandipora district on Saturday.Meanwhile, DGP Vaid also called for peace in Kashmir and lauded the security force for Bandipora encounter. “Kashmir valley needs to be free from violence, terror, guns and drugs. It was a commendable joint effort by our agencies and jawans. Wish very soon we can see Kashmir free of violence,” he said.

Security forces step up winter offensive against militants in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up their winter offensive, security forces have launched two major operations against the militants in the troubled south Kashmir region early Tuesday morning.The fresh offensive comes 12 hours after security forces achieved major success when they repulsed the militant attack killing two Hizbul Mujhadeen ultras near a check point at Sultanpora Crossing in Zachaldara area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir on Monday evening.Police sources said two groups of the militants are reported to be trapped in the cordon in Kulgam and Pulwama districts of south Kashmir. First encounter started at Now bug Kund village of South Kashmir’s Kulgam district when a joint team of army, police, and CRPF cordoned off the area following specific inputs about the presence of militants.When the security forces were busy strengthening the cordon, the militants in the area fired on the troops triggering a gunfight. “Cordon and search turned into the encounter in Nowbug Kund, Qazigun in Kulgam. Police, Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF are on the job”, said a police spokesman.Sources said at least two militants are believed to be trapped inside the village and security forces are engaged in a fierce gun battle to eliminate them at the earliestEven as the security forces were busy flushing out the militants, there was another encounter reported from Laam area in the Burhan Wani’s home town of Tral in Pulwama district.Police sources said the encounter broke out after security forces launched a joint operation in the the area. However, the militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering a gun fight between the two sides. “Encounter started in Laam Tral in Awantipora. Police, Army and CRPF on the job”, said the police spokesman.This is the third encounter with militants in the last 12 hours in the Kashmir valley Two militants were eliminated in an operation in Handwara on Monday evening taking the toll of ultras killed in different encounters across Kashmir to 180 since January this year.Sources said around 70 security force men too have lost their lives in the line of duty this year so far. This year so far, sources said 70 new ultras have been able to infiltrate into Kashmir. Last year estimated net infiltration (number of militants who managed to sneak in) was 112 compared to 33 in 2015. Similarly, estimated net infiltration was 65 in 2014 compared to 97 in 2013.

2 held with 10 kg charas at airport

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Ahmedabad Narcotic Control Bureau nabbed two men from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Domestic Airport of Ahmedabad and seized 10 kg of Charas inside an Apple box and Rs 2 lakh cash on Sunday night.The accused were identified as Farooq Ahmed Reshi, 28, a resident of Sheri Baramulla of Jammu and Kashmir and Shakeel Ahmed Qureshi, 48, a native of Nagpada in Mumbai and currently living in Shah-e-Alam area of Ahmedabad.As per Hari Om Gandhi, Zonal Director of NCB, “Working on specific inputs about the consignment of Charas, officials kept a watch at Airport, when a passenger matching the description got out of the airport with a box of apples and met the receiver, officials cordoned off the area and nabbed the two.While searching the belonging of the two, officials recovered 10kg of Charas from the apple box and Rs 2 lakh cash from the receiver.”During the investigation it was revealed that Farooq had concealed the drugs in an apple box, somehow managed to get clearance from the three security checks at Srinagar Airport of Jammu and Kashmir and reached Mumbai Airport in the 636 flight of Indigo Airlines and from there through a connecting flight to Ahmedabad.As per a NCB source, Srinagar airport has the highest security arrangements in India, where passengers and their luggage are checked three times by the CRPF jawans, and then twice by the Jammu and Kashmir Police before boarding the plane. If he managed to clear all check points and was able to transport the drugs to Ahmedabad, then it is a question of national security, the source added.Further investigation of accused revealed that Shakeel is a drug supplier in Mumbai and Ahmedabad market. He has been dealing with MD (Ecstasy) and Charas. As per the officials, this was the first time he had transported drugs to Ahmedabad, but earlier he used to transport it to the Mumbai by taking domestic flights. Shakeel had brought Rs 2 lakh cash with him to the airport, which he was supposed to give to Farooq for his delivery, out of which Farooq was going to get Rs 50,000 and rest was advance payment for the next supply of drugs.In the primary investigation it was revealed that Farooq’s younger brother was apprehended in Mumbai for narcotics case and Shakeel was wanted in the case. The duo has been arrested under Sections 8(c), 20(b)(B) and 29 of NDPS Act, 1985 and will be sent in judicial custody on Monday.

90% dip in stone-pelting incidents: J&K DGP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Call it National Investigation Agency (NIA) or demonetization effect, stone pelting has dropped by 90 percent in the restive Kashmir valley this year.Data available reveal there were over 2,000 incidents of stone pelting last year which has dipped to 700 till August-end this year. Over 1,000 CRPF men were injured in stone pelting last year. This year, 720 stone-pelting incidents were reported from different parts of Kashmir till August-end, in which 331 CRPF men were injured. The figures exclude thousands of policemen injured in the stone-pelting in Kashmir in the last two years.“Stone pelting incidents have roughly dropped by 90 percent this year. Earlier, there were 50 incidents of stone pelting reported daily and now there is not even one incident in a week or 10 days”, Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir told DNA.The DGP said credit goes to the people of Kashmir. “You tell me hasn’t situation improved? Credit goes to people”, he said.Sources said demonetization and NIA raids have hit the stone-pelting syndicate and militants hard in Kashmir. Sources said the militants require huge money to pay their cadres, buying logistics, including smartphones, SIM cards and paying for transport and other facilities.Figures reveal that around 12 banks have been looted since demonetization was announced in November last year.NIA raids in the terror funding cases too have dealt a blow to stone pelting because fund flow has suddenly stopped, which has hit the morale of the separatists. “Every transaction is now under watch and every possible financier under surveillance. This has hit the morale of the stone throwers and their backers in the Valley”, said an officer.

Interlocutor kickstarts J&K dialogue process

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terror threats loomed large as the Centre’s interlocutor for dialogue with stakeholders in Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, arrived here on a five-day visit. Nine delegations and individuals met him on Day One, sources said.These include Youth Sports Forum Qamarwari, Students Association Pattan, Youth Sports Fraternity, Gujar Association, Peace Forum Ganderbal and Youth Forum Kupwara, besides others. He is scheduled to stay for three days and meet a cross-section of society and different political parties.”The hope of resolution via dialogue has been rekindled in J&K. I am optimistic that parties and organisations in J&K will not miss this opportunity to be a part of peace parley”, tweeted J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti.Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Public Works and official spokesperson of the state government, Naeem Akhtar, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has kept his promise by appointing a special representative for Kashmir.”The appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as the special representative reflected what the Prime Minister had said on Independence Day – neither ‘goli’ (bullets) nor ‘gaali’ (abuses) can solve the Kashmir issue, and that it can only be addressed by embracing Kashmiris”, he saidWhile the government hopes that Sharma’s efforts will break the ice, intelligence inputs received by security forces indicate that militants might step up violence to scuttle the dialogue process in Kashmir.Security forces are suspecting a spurt in grenade attacks on security forces and shoot-and-scoot attacks by militants to create an environment of fear and overshadow the dialogue process in the Valley.”There is an input that there may be grenade throwing and there may be hit-and-run attacks on CRPF and police. Whenever steps are taken which lead to peace, the enemy does not like it”, said Ravideep Singh Sahi, inspector general of CRPF.Sources said security forces have been put on the maximum alert to thwart militant designs and ensure peace in the restive Valley.Meanwhile, Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani asked people to disassociate themselves from pro-Indian politicians, “who are bargaining and exploiting the sacrifices for their personal gains”.

Army mulling imported rifles for troops in combat zones

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army is exploring the option of importing modern assault rifles for the infantry engaged in counter-terror operations and other combat positions as homegrown weapons lack the potency needed for such encounters.People with the knowledge of the matter have told DNA that the force feels that at least 2.5 lakh assault rifles out of the total requirement of 8 lakh should be procured from abroad. These can be used by the front-line troops who fight terrorists in Kashmir and insurgents in North-East.The need to equip the infantry with a modern assault rifle is a top priority, Army sources said.”Buying the entire 8 lakh rifles from a foreign firm will turn out to be very expensive. But we cannot compromise on the quality of the weapon being used by the infantry,” said an army source.Another option being explored is to get the initial procurement from abroad and subsequently set up a manufacturing line in India under the Strategic Partnership model.The Army had earlier expressed reservations on the assault rifle being developed by the state-run Ordnance Factory Board. This firearm was expected to meet infantry’s requirement and be an alternative for the INSAS (Indian Small Arms Systems) rifles inducted in 1988.Listing out the limitations in the 7.62 x 51 mm rifle after an internal evaluation, the army review had said in June that the weapon is a prototype with several faults that go beyond 20 times the maximum permissible limit.In September 2016, when the Ministry of Defence came out with a Request for Information to identify probable vendors, it was said that 65,000 out of the total requirement of 1.85 lakh rifles were needed urgently.Not just the Army, but other forces like the Central Reserve Police Force, which is a part of the counter-terror operations in Kashmir and fights Maoists, is also looking at global options. Soon after Home Minister Rajnath Singh urged for speeding up indigenous procurement for para military forces, the CRPF issued a global tender for 29,823 assault rifles.Sources said the need to arm the forces with a modern assault rifle is a must in view of the changing dynamics of counter-insurgency operations, especially in Kashmir.Joint operations by the Army, CRPF and Jammu & Kashmir police have been successful and resulted in killings of terrorists including several top commanders. Nearly terrorists have been gunned down this year in Kashmir going past last year’s tally of 150.MORE FIREPOWERThe Army sources said that at least 2.5 lakh expensive assault rifles out of the total requirement of 8 lakh should be procured from abroad.
These can be used by the front-line troops who fight terrorists in Kashmir and insurgents in North-East.

BSF damages five Pak posts; 5 CRPF jawans injured in terror attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Border Security Force (BSF) damaged at least three Pakistani posts and grievously injured two Pakistan Rangers after a BSF constable was killed when Pakistan violated the ceasefire on the International Border in Samba sector of Jammu on Thursday.The action on border comes on the day terror revisited Kashmir when militants attacked a CRPF convoy injuring five jawans at south Kashmir district of Anantnag.”In response to misadventure of Pakistan Rangers at 9.30 am in which constable Tapan Mondal attained martyrdom while on patrol ahead of fence, BSF carried out calibrated retributive action against Pak Rangers in Samba Sector and caused serious damage to two to three Pakistan Posts and caused grievous injuries to minimum two Pak Rangers,” said a BSF spokesman.The retaliatory action by the BSF continued till 2 pm to silence Pakistani guns. Hailing from village Satui, in Murshidabad district of West Bengal, constable Tapan Mondal is survived by his mother Sumitra Mondal.In a separate incident militants attacked a CRPF convoy injuring five jawans at Anantnag. Police said a convoy of 96th battalion of CRPF was attacked by the militants at Lazibal village in which five jawans were injured. Two of them suffered bullet wounds while as three suffered bruises because of the shattering of wind shields.”A convoy of CRPF 96 battalion with six buses was on their way back to Mattan when terrorists fired at them. The attack was repulsed though two CRPF men received minor injuries. The area is under cordon,” said a police spokesman.Rakesh Yadav, the CRPF spokesman said, the vehicle was on way to Anantnag from Jammu when it was attacked. “All the soldiers are out of danger,” he said.HIZB CHIEF’S SON SUSPENDED FROM GOVT JOBThe Jammu and Kashmir government on Thursday suspended Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Syed Shahid Yousuf from his agriculture department job, 10 days after he was arrested by the NIA in a terror-funding case, officials said.

CRPF vehicle attacked by militants in J&K’s Anantnag, two jawans injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two jawans were injured on Thursday after militants attacked CRPF vehicle in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag. CRPF spokesperson said that the vehicle was coming from Jammu when the attack took place.Injured jawans are out of danger.Last month, militants had attacked a CRPF vehicle in busy Sanat Nagar area of Srinagar.On October 16, in a crackdown on terror module, the Security forces arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and on Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Jammu and Kashmir.Earlier, two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) top commanders including a prime recruiter in an encounter at Litter village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district were killed.In another encounter, a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was killed in an encounter in Ladoora area of Baramulla.

Constable killed, jawan injured in terror attack

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A police constable was killed after heavily armed terrorists launched a massive counter offensive against the security forces when they were trying to close in on their hideout in Hajin village of North Kashmir’s Bandipora district on Sunday.Constable Zaheer Abbas Khan was part of the security forces team when terrorists opened a barrage of fire at Mir Moholla in Bandiproa district. A resident of Poonch district in Jammu, Khan received serious wounds and was rushed to the hospital, where he succumbed. However militants later managed to escape from the cordon”Bandipora police along with 13 Rashtriya Riffles and the 45th battalion of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation in Mir Mohalla area of Bandipora district. During search operation, terrorists hiding in the area fired upon the joint search party. Constable Zaheer Abbas Khan was injured and was shifted to hospital for treatment where he achieved martyrdom,” said a police spokesperson.Zaheer Abbas Khan is survived by aged parents, wife and three minor children — Mehtab Zaheer 10, Manik Ahmad, eight and Sumaira Zaheer, five. Tributes were paid to the martyr for displaying exemplary bravery while taking on the heavily armed militants. Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh and senior officers paid tributes and placed floral wreaths on the body of the slain constable. Senior police and civil administration officers too paid their last respects to the martyrs.

Indoor Chhath, thanks to water pollution

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Thursday evening, Nitish Parashar, 28, stood near a large vessel full of water he had kept on the terrace of his home and prayed to the setting sun. “It’s the penultimate day of the four-day Chhath festival. The Yamuna is so polluted, you cannot even go there,” says the marketing executive in South Delhi’s Lado Sarai.Chhath is also about cleanliness and caring for rivers ponds, lakes and canals where the prayers are offered. But with rapid urbanisation and rising pollution, families are forced to complete the rituals at artificial water bodies. And the festival is no more limited to Bihar, Jharkhand and eastern Uttar Pradesh. About 40 lakh people from this region called Poorvanchal live in Delhi alone.Similar stories are heard from other cities as well. Nalin Pandey and his family also offered the arghya on their building premises in Mumbai’s Nerul. For the last two years, they have been avoiding a nearby lake due to filth and overcrowding. “On our premises, there is a water fountain, placed in a way that both setting and rising suns can be seen from there,” says Pandey, head of a shipping company.Chhath begins from the sixth day of Diwali. The first day is Nahai-Khai, when devotees prepare traditional food after bathing. The second day is called Kharna, when a dawn-to-dusk fast is observed. On the third day, devotees stand in water and offer arghya to the setting sun.On the final day, devotees offer arghya to the rising sun.”Chhath is about rigour. Devotees strive to attain mental and physical purity. How can we perform puja near the Yamuna which is nothing but a sewage canal?,” asks Renu, 23, a Delhi student. Chhath, this year, is being celebrated from October 24-27.”In Patna itself, rush, risks and filth along the banks of the Ganga have forced a number of devotees to turn to community ponds or makeshift water bodies on rooftops to perform the rituals,” says Shiv Kumar of the city’s Lohanipur area.Sunita Gupta, a school teacher in Kolkata, has made an arrangement at her terrace. “We have a tub which is filled up with water for Chhath. We bring Ganga water, pour it in the tub and perform the rituals.” Lucknow’s Manoj Mishra also has a small pond built on the terrace of his house for Chhath.Chhath in Kashmir has its own side. Inside a small pond at the CRPF Recruit Training Centre (RTC), Sujata Tiwari is waiting for the sun to start setting. Braving autumn cold, Sujata of Eastern UP performs the rituals with precision as her husband watches on. The festival is mostly confined to a few highly secured camps of security forces where men from Bihar and Eastern UP are living with their families.Irrespective of the venue, thekua — a delicacy made of finely-ground flour, ghee and sugar — remains the main prasad!(With inputs from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow and Srinagar)

J&K: Massive cordon and search operations underway in several villages of Shopian

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive cordon and search operations are underway in various villages of Shopian district in Jammu and Kashmir.The security forces launched the operations in the wake of recent militant attacks in south Kashmir, following a tip-off on the presence of militants in the area.Joint teams of police, Army and CRPF have cordoned off at least eight villages of the districtOn October 16, in a crackdown on terror module, the security forces arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and on Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Jammu and KashmirEarlier, security forces killed two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) top commanders including a prime recruiter in an encounter at Litter village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district and a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was killed in an encounter in Ladoora area of Baramulla.

Three held in Rajasthan for terror links

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three terrorists who killed a policeman in Jammu & Kashmir were arrested from the Merta Road station while travelling on Jammu Tawi Express. They were caught by the GRP and the CRPF, which have handed over them to ATS on Friday. The trio – Sohail, Omar Hussain and Wasid Rashid of Kulgam – was then handed over to the Jammu & Kashmir Police on Saturday, said SP Vikas Kumar of ATS Rajasthan over phone.According to information received from the sources, three people were caught on the basis of suspicion after conducting a search on the Jammu Tawi Express. When they did not give any satisfactory answer, the Jammu & Kashmir Police were informed and their photographs were sent. The information that came shocked the authorities as they were involved in the killing of a policeman. It is believed that Sohail was the mastermind of the murder of a policeman which took place on October 14.“We were already tipped off by the J&K Police and we acted accordingly,” said an official of the GRP. When contacted, a J&K Police officer said that Sohail is wanted in many militancy related cases. “He (Sohail) is most wanted among them. With regards to others, we are ascertaining their role. We have dispatched a team to Rajasthan and we would be bringing them here,” he said.

Darjeeling crisis: Round 1 goes to Didi as Calcutta HC puts stay on removal of forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Calcutta High Court today put stay on the removal of central forces from strife-torn Darjeeling on Tuesday.The High Court’s decision can be termed as victor for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerje who had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh against troop withdrawal from the region.The Centre will file an affidavit in the Calcutta High Court by October 23 and the state government will file a reply on October 26. The next date of hearing in the case is on October 27.The latest friction between the Centre and Bengal government came after the Union Home Ministry on Sunday informed about the decision of withdrawing seven companies of the CRPF and three companies of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) from Darjeeling and Kalimpong from October 16.However, a notification from the MHA said that the remaining five companies of the CRPF will continue in the Hills to aid the police force till October 20.Slamming the BJP for creating a tension in the state, Banerjee had said “BJP is repeatedly trying to disturb the situation in Darjeeling. One BJP minister is directly involved.””The central government wants Bengal to be destablised, they want Bengal should be divided, and Darjeeling should face an acute problem, so that they can get one (Lok Sabha) seat from Darjeeling,” the chief minister had said.(With agencies input)

J&K: Militant module unearthed in Kulgam, Hizbul, LeT?men arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a crackdown on terror module, the Security forces arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and on Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Jammu and Kashmir, in last three days.The three ultras were arrested from Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. The LeT militants have been identified as Khursheed Ahmad Dar and Haziq Rather. One pistol, some ammunition and a live grenade were recovered from their possession.A joint party of the police, the Army and the CRPF established a check-point and nabbed the two militants, who were riding a motorcycle, said Inspector General of Police Kashmir Munir Khan.Another arrested militant has been identified as Rameez Yatoo, and arms and ammunition were recovered from his home.On Saturday, security forces killed two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) top commanders including a prime recruiter in an encounter at Litter village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.Last week, A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was killed in an encounter in Ladoora area of Baramulla.

Pakistan using JeM as force multiplier to keep pot boiling in Jammu and Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) fidayeens are the new force multipliers of the Pakistan intelligence apparatus to keep the pot boiling in Jammu and Kashmir. A 17-member group of Jaish fidayeens were pushed in from Pir Panjal into Jammu and Kashmir to replenish the militant ranks in July following the drubbing of the cadres in the valley.Sources said the militants later took the Poonch-Shopian route to enter into south Kashmir region where they were distributed to different areas. Three of the fidayeens were killed when they attacked the District Police Lines Pulwama on August 26. Eight security force men —four each from CRPF and Jammu and Kashmir Police — were killed and six others injured in the encounter.Sources said the highly trained fidayeens had a job cut out to carry out a suicidal attack on the camps and vital installations to boost the morale of the militants operating in Kashmir.”The inputs are these fidayeens (killed on Tuesday) were from the same group. Three of them were eliminated at Pulwama. Things are to be verified. But I think this group infiltrated in the month of July-August from Shakargah side. But we will verify things,” said Munir Ahmad Khan, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Zone.Police said most of the fidayeens of this group were killed but still some of them are on the run and may carry the suicidal attack again. “If we make a rough estimate I think they are left with six to seven terrorists who we are looking for,” said Khan. More than 152 militants including top commanders of the Hizbul Mujahedeen and Lashkar-e-Tioba have been eliminated by the security forces this year so far. This has hit the morale of the militants who have gone hiding to avoid being killed.Sensing the trouble, Pakistani security and intelligence agencies have revived Jaish to help raise the morale of militants and keep the pot boiling in Kashmir. “CRPF has neutralised six highly trained and motivated terrorists of Jaish -e- Mohammad within span of 40 days. It is worth to mention that CRPF neutralised three JeM terrorists at DPL Pulwama on August 26, 2017,” said a CRPF spokesmanFounded by Moulana Masood Azhar, one of the three militants released in exchange of passengers of the Indian Airlines flight IC 814 in 1999, Jaish-e-Mohammad has been the deadliest group only second to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). But after 2001, security forces had managed to break the back of Jaish by eliminating its top brass including Gazi Baba, the mastermind of the Parliament attack which prompted New Delhi to mobilise Indian army and launch Operation Parakaram.Jaish has been pushed to margins after the security forces blew the lid off the conspiracy to revive the outfit in the north Kashmir last year. First, it was the arrest of Pakistani commander Sadiq Gujjar in February 2016 that hit Pakistan’s plan to revive Jaish.Pakistani handlers later pushed another Jaish commander Abdul Rehman along with four other militants from Machil sector to recruit people in Baramulla. But Rehman too was arrested which hit Pakistan’s plan to revive Jaish. The revival was again visible when security forces killed two of its commanders in Saria Bala locality of Srinagar in May 2016.

J&K: Attack on BSF camp near Srinagar Airport; 3 jawans injured, terrorist killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One militant was killed and three jawans were injured in a gunbattle after the militants attacked a three Border Security Force (BSF) camp near the high-security Srinagar International airport on Tuesday morning.”Three personnel have been injured. Firing is ongoing,” BSF officials said.The ultras targeted the administrative block of BSF’s 182nd Battalion, located just outside the main gate of the airport.The attack took place at 4.00 am and exchange of firing was going on between the militants and security forces.The terrorists are holed up inside the building campus of the 182nd Battalion camp, according to BSF officials.No employee, passenger or vehicle is being allowed to go towards the Airport.Besides the only civilian airport, the technical airport used by Armed Forces and VIPs is also in the vicinity. The area also houses training centres of the BSF and CRPF.

Fighting terror can wait, but not cleanliness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For a change, the battle hardened security forces replaced their guns with brooms on Monday to realise Mahatma Gandhi’s dream of clean India.From Dal Lake to the famed winter resort of Gulmarg, security forces joined the nation in ‘Swachhta Hi Seva’ under the Swachh Bharat campaign.Troops of Indian Army embarked on cleanliness drive in the famed resort of Gulmarg in coordination with locals and service providers including ponywalls and others.”Under Swachh Bharat Mission, we created awareness and launched many programmes involving schools and local people. Painting and poster competitions were held in schools. Gujar Bakerwal dhok (nomads’ homes) competition was held. We also held programmes in coordination with Pony Owners Association and Hotel Owners Association in Gulmarg,” said Major General RP Kalita, General Officer Commanding 19 Infantry Division.Continuing with the commitment of serving the public, the CRPF organised a cleanliness drive under the Swachh Bharat Mission in which all the Battalions of the Srinagar sector participated.”It was ensured that the local public and the schoolchildren also participate in the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan so that awareness is generated and the message is spread amongst the general public to help the civic bodies in keeping the city clean and beautiful,” said Rajesh Yadav, CRPF spokesman for Kashmir.’Swachhta Hi Sewa’ campaign was launched by CRPF from September 15 to October 2, during which special emphasis was given on the cleanliness and beautification of the camps and the surrounding areas.On the last day of campaign, the Srinagar Sector CRPF led by IGP Ravideep Singh Sahi carried out a special cleanliness drive along the Dal Lake on the Boulevard and the Shankaracharya Hill. Around 500 officers and jawans from all the units of the sector participated.Addressing the troops Sahi emphasized the CRPF men to help the local public in the best possible manner.Jammu and Kashmir Police also completed the campaign across the valley on Monday. The drive was conducted in every district of the valley, in which all the officers and officials participated and cleaned their premises and adjacent areas with commitment and devotion. The drive was held in Anantnag, Ganderbal, Shopian, Budgam, Bandipora, Kulgam and other districts of the valley.

Going with an open mind, want resolution to problems: Rajnath Singh ahead of J&K visit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ahead of his visit to Jammu and Kashmir, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said he is going there with an “open mind” and is ready to meet anyone who wishes to interact with him as the government wants resolution of all the problems.During his four-day visit beginning tomorrow, Singh will travel to Srinagar, Anantnag, Jammu and Rajouri and meet civil society members, leaders of political and social outfits, business leaders and others, a move seen as a follow-up to the prime minister’s Independence Day speech in which he had reached out to the people of the Valley. “I am going with an open mind and I am willing to meet all those who come to meet me. We want a resolution to the problems,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here today.A home ministry statement said during his visit, the home minister will meet Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. He will also review the works related to the Prime Minister’s development package of Rs 80,000 crore announced in 2015 and security situation in the state, it said. Singh will interact with the personnel of the Jammu and Kashmir Police, the CRPF and the BSF, who have been in the forefront of the anti-militancy operations in the state, in Anantnag.On Sunday, Singh is expected to attend a comprehensive security review meeting with the chief minister and the top brass of the Army, CRPF and J&K police. Singh is also likely to interact with college students in Srinagar to get their views on the Kashmir situation. The home minister will address a press conference in Srinagar on Monday before leaving for Jammu. He will also visit a camp of the BSF in Rajouri. In Jammu, the home minister will meet stakeholders including traders, migrants, Kashmiri pandits and representatives of communities including Gujjars and Bakarwals.In his August 15 speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had reached out to strife-hit Kashmiris, asserting that the Kashmir issue cannot be resolved either by bullets or by abuses, and that a solution can only be found by embracing all Kashmiris. The home minister himself had said on August 19 that a solution to the Kashmir problem, besides terrorism, Naxalism, and the northeast insurgency will be found before 2022. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who heads the Congress policy planning group on Kashmir, will also lead a team of party leaders to Jammu and Kashmir next week for discussions on the current situation in the state with party workers and “like-minded” groups.A group of citizens, led by former Union minister Yashwant Sinha, had visited Jammu and Kashmir on August 17-19 and prepared a report which said the sense of “dismay and despondency” had grown among the people and the situation was “much worse” than their previous visits. In September 2016, the home minister had visited the state leading an all-party delegation when he met about 200 members of 30 delegations from various sections of society and listened to their point of view to arrive at a common solution to the Kashmir issue. However, the Kashmiri separatists had rebuffed attempts by five opposition MPs to talk to them.

Need to cut delays in weapons supply to CRPF, says Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday lamented the “delay” in supply of weapons and critical equipment to the CRPF by the defence ministry and said there was a need to develop a framework involving defence PSUs to address the issue.Singh also called upon all defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) to focus on 100 per cent indigenisation of military equipment and platforms and effectively implement the Make in India initiative in defence production to bring down import dependence.Welcoming the appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman as defence minister, Singh exuded confidence that the key ministry will get “new energy and strength” under her as women symbolise “shakti” (strength).Speaking at an event in DRDO, where equipment built by several DPSUs were handed over to the paramilitary CRPF, the home minister said procurement of weapons and other systems for paramilitary forces is largely handled by the defence ministry and delays in their supplies often affect them.Sitharaman was also present on the occasion, the first event she attended as the defence minister.”For the CRPF, I have seen that the procurement of equipment is done by the defence ministry. The CRPF does not get the priority it should.”There has been a delay in supply of equipment and weapons to them. There is a need to think over it as due to the delay, they suffer. I think a framework for it has to be developed,” Singh said.The CRPF was handed over various weapons and platforms developed by DPSUs which included armoured buses, bullet-proof jackets, assault rifles, all terrain vehicles, carbines and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).Sitharaman congratulated the Defence Research Development Organisation and other DPSUs involved in developing the critical platforms.The home minister asked the DPSUs to focus on 100 per cent indigenisation of military equipment and platforms and not limit the indigenous components to 60, 70 or 80 per cent.He expressed happiness over the appoinment of Sitharaman and noted that the media has hailed the move to make her the first full time woman defence minister.”I was with you at your last event as commerce minister and I am present here at your first event as defence minister,” said Singh.The home minister said the armed forces will have to equip themselves with latest technologies to deal with those involved in crimes.He said when he visited naxal-dominated areas in Jharkhand, jawans requested fort lighter helmets. “We have given lighter helmets, but there is a need to make them more lighter.”He said, “Those involved in crime are using latest technologies. While sitting in any part of the world, anybody can make anyone a terrorist, they can hack…. We will have to equip ourselves with latest technologies to combat them.”

J&K: DGP SP Vaid praises bravehearts who took down terrorists in gunfight in Pulwama encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Director General of Police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir, S.P. Vaid on Sunday said that the brave hearts of the Pulwama encounter played an excellent role in evacuating families affected in Saturday’s encounter.”Our boys did a great job in rescuing 36 families affected in the Pulwama encounter. Although they had performed well in the past too, but this type of incident happened after a long time,” DGP SP Vaid told ANI.He further said this was an attempt by the agencies to send foreign militants like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).”Senior officers of the valley supervised the operation. DIG Anantnag supervised the sector commander of the Army and a para unit of the Army was used to flash out the terrorists,” he added.Eight security personnel, including four CRPF soldiers and four policemen, were killed in the encounter between the security forces and fidyan terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.In the massive gunfight, three terrorists were also gunned down.The terrorists had carried out a suicide attack on District Police Lines in south Kashmir’s Pulwama.While Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti strongly condemned the killing of jawans, Union Defence Minister Arun Jaitley condoled the death of the personnel killed in the encounter.

Provide ‘high-level security’ to judge who convicted Dera chief Ram Rahim: Centre tells Haryana govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was proven guilty in rape and sexual assault case, the Centre on Friday asked the Haryana government to provide high-level security to the CBI special court judge who passed the order, officials said.The home ministry told the Haryana government that Judge Jagdeep Singh should be provided highest level of security in view of the threat perception after he delivered the verdict against the Dera head, an official said.The home ministry will analyse intelligence inputs before deciding whether the Judge’s security needs to be handled by a central force, such as the CRPF or CISF, the official said.
ALSO READ Messenger of Destruction: 30 die in Haryana; violence in Punjab & Delhi as Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is convicted of rapeWidespread violence in Haryana and a few neighbouring states followed after the conviction of the Dera chief that led to 30 deaths and scores injured.Angry followers of Ram Rahim went on a rampage, vandalising public properties and burning vehicles.
ALSO READ Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: The ‘Godman’ who thrived on controversyAn Income-Tax office in Panchkula’s sector 2 and a petrol station in sector 4 were burnt. Two train stations were set on fire in Punjab’s Malout and Balluanna.Arson by the frenzied followers was also witnessed in some parts of Delhi, Punjab, and Rajasthan.Two empty rakes of Rewa Express at Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal railway station were set on fire.

Additional forces to stay for anti-terror operations in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 6,000 additional troops from the Army and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in Kashmir to strengthen anti terror operations.The extra strength deployed during Amarnath Yatra is now being used for counter terror duties, sources said. Two of the five extra battalions of the Army deployed for Amarnath Yatra have been relocated to South Kashmir, while two are guarding the National Highway 44 where forces can be targeted.From the 100 companies of CRPF, 50 will remain in Kashmir to assist the army in counter terror operations. With a battalion comprising 800-900 troops and a company close to 100, there is a sizeable increase in the troops on the ground.Sources said, while roughly 3,000 troops have been relocated exclusively for counter terror operations in South Kashmir which the hub of terror activity the others will enhance security on National Highway 44. Earlier the army had 10 battalions exclusively for South Kashmir.”With an increase in troop density the outreach and contact is expected to enhance giving a boost to terror operations. The counter terror operations that have got success recently can further be intensified,” army sources said.The security forces have killed over 135 terrorists this year, while last year’s total number was 150.According to the intelligence inputs Pakistani terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba has managed to flood the terror ranks in both South and North Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen has also been a fresh recruitment spree identifying youth to join terror ranks.Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday welcomed the step taken by the United States of declaring Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist group. Addressing the media, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that the move reflects the joint commission of India and US to firmly deal with terrorism.”No cause or reason can defy the continuous profusion of shelter to such entities and individuals,” he said referring to the activities of Hizbul Mujahideen.He further said that everybody is aware, the kind of activities Hizbul Mujahideen group has been involved in.

Centre accords VIP security to Anupriya Patel, Roopa Ganguly

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union minister Anupriya Patel and BJP MP from West Bengal Roopa Ganguly have been accorded VIP security cover of armed paramilitary commandos by the Centre. A senior home ministry official said Patel, the Minister of State for Health, has been accorded the ‘Y’ category security cover while Ganguly has been given the ‘X’ category cover. Central security agencies had prepared a threat assessment report for the two women leaders after which the Union home ministry decided to accord the cover, he said. Patel, a Lok Sabha MP from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh, would be getting a security cover by about ten commandos and about half of them move with her every time she travels in her home state. Under the X-category cover, accorded to Ganguly, a contingent of about half-a-dozen commandos will provide her security and about 2-3 would move with her every time she travels in West Bengal. She is a nominated Rajya Sabha MP. “There have been incidents in the past where attempts have been made to harm and attack the two leaders in their respective states. The security cover has already taken charge of the new task,” the official said. The task of providing security to the women leaders has been entrusted to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which has a dedicated VIP security unit in its establishment. The commandos of this CRPF unit are equipped with sophisticated arms and gadgets to ensure security to the protectee. The country’s largest paramilitary, with about 3-lakh personnel in its ranks, secures prominent VIPs like BJP President Amit Shah, RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, his wife Nita Ambani and Kerala-based spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi among over 70 such VIPs.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CRPF jawan injured in Budgam grenade attack dies

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A CRPF jawan, who was injured in a grenade attack by militants in Budgam district of Jammu and Kashmir, succumbed to injuries today, officials said. Constable Reyaz Ahmad died at SKIMS hospital in Soura this afternoon, they said. He was among the four security force personnel injured in the attack on August 14. The militants had hurled a grenade at a road opening party of CRPF and police at Batpora in Magam area, 20 kilometres from here, a police official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K Police’s SOG constable gets Shaurya Chakra for daring ops

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Police constable Manzoor Ahmad Naik, who was killed while taking on militants holed up in a house in Tral early this year, has been awarded the Shaurya Chakra for his daring and courageous feat. The Shaurya Chakra is the third highest gallantry medal given during peace times. Naik is the lone policeman to have been awarded with a military medal this Independence Day. The 36-year-old constable, who had joined the service in 2003 and was working with the elite Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police, made his supreme sacrifice in the line of duty on March 5. His citation said Naik “displayed sheer grit and unflinching devotion to duty” during the difficult operation. The brave jawan, who was soon to become a father for the second time, was so determined to do his task that he went to place explosives in a house holding the militants after miraculously escaping a volley of fire the first time. Naik came forward on two occasions after senior officers decided to bring down the house at Reshipora from which the two militants had continued firing on a joint security forces squad comprising the police, the Army and the CRPF. Undeterred by the firing from assault rifles, the brave heart crawled in the pitch dark surroundings and placed charges (explosives used for road construction) around the house. The constable came under heavy fire from the militants as he started retreating towards his position but managed to escape. “Koi baat nahi (don’t worry),” was his nonchalant reply when it was pointed out to him that he would have been killed and he should not take such risks. The explosives planted by him, however, brought down only half of the house. This was followed by a heavy exchange of fire which continued till nearly 2 AM. The situation was tense as people in the nearby locality were protesting and the social media was abuzz with rumours to mobilise more people. Soon, the firing stopped and after a wait of two hours, Naik again volunteered to plant explosives to bring down what remained of the house, after an Army Major suffered serious gunshot injuries. As he charged towards the house, he was hit by a volley of bullets from a militant. Despite his wounds, Naik planted the explosives on remaining part of the house before breathing his last. Survived by four-year-old son Aarzoo, a pregnant wife and two unemployed brothers, the resident of Salamabad in Uri North Kashmir) was the lone bread-earner for his family. He had requested his senior officers earlier that he would want to proceed on leave as his wife was expecting. “It’s sad that we have lost a boy, but his love for his duty and motherland will not go waste. The supreme sacrifice made by the constable boosts the moral of Jammu and Kashmir police. I salute the brave heart,” Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) S P Vaid had said. Both the militants, one of whom was from Pakistan, were killed in the encounter. One of the militants was a Hizbul Mujahideen operative identified as Aaquib Bhat, popularly known as Aaquib Maulvi, who was active in the area for the last three years. The other, Saif-ul-lah alias Osama, was a Pakistani terrorist associated with Jaish-e-Mohammed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CRPF CO’s daughter, wife to unfurl flag where he fell last

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The six-year-old daughter of slain CRPF Commandant Pramod Kumar and his wife will tomorrow unfurl the tricolour from the same battalion camp in Srinagar, where exactly an year ago he saluted the flag and was killed minutes after in a militant encounter. Kumar was today decorated by the government with the Kirti Chakra, the third highest peacetime gallantry medal, for his dare devil action where he picked up his AK-47 and rushed to the Nowhatta Chowk area after he was told his patrol party was under attack. The Commanding Officer (CO) of the 49th battalion of the CRPF suffered a fatal bullet shot in his head. “I want my 6-year-old daughter Aarna to know what her father stood for and what he did. She should know that what is the importance of earning a Kirti Chakra. Hence, I made it a point to be on the same soil where my husband lost his life to mark his first death anniversary,” Kumar’s wife Neha Tripathy told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2 troops killed in J&K encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yaseen Itoo, a top commander of the terrorist outfit Hizbul Mujahideen, was among three terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday. Two soldiers also lost their lives in the 20-hour gun-battle that began last night. Three others, including an officer, were seriously injured.The encounter started on Saturday evening when security forces received a tip-off that the Hizbul Mujahedeen was holding a meeting of its top commanders in the village.The Jammu and Kashmir Police, along with soldiers from the 3-Rashtriya Rifles as well as the 14th and 177th battalions of CRPF, launched a search operation soon after.During the operation, the terrorists hiding in the area opened fire at security personnel. Intermittent firing continued through the night and security forces launched an all-out assault in the morning.In the initial gun battle, five army personnel were injured. However, two army personnel succumbed to their injuries later. The two slain personnel were identified as sepoy Ilayaraja and sepoy Gawai Sumedh Waman of the Rashtriya Riffles.Later, the security forces encircled the targeted house and engaged the militants in a gun battle. However, the militants continued to change their locations to hoodwink the forces.Besides Ittoo, also known as ‘Ghaznavi’, two others identified as Irfan ul Haq Sheikh from Shopian and Umar Majeed Mir from Kulgam were killed.”The killing of Yaseen Ittoo is a big setback for the Hizbul leadership because he was the main recruiter and operational commander. He was involved in numerous terror activities including cop killings and grenade lobbing. He was also involved in causing disruptions during elections,” Ambarkar Shriram Dinkar, Superintendent of Police, Shopian, told DNA.

Alert forces ensured peaceful Amarnath yatra in Jammu region:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A heightened level of alertness and a strong multi-tier security set up prevented terrorists from disrupting the annual 40-day Amarnath yatra in the Jammu region, a senior CRPF official said today. While the yatra ended peacefully in Jammu, a terror attack on a bus on July 11 in Anantnag district of Kashmir left eight devotees dead and several others injured. “Barring the July 16 road accident near Banihal which claimed the lives of 17 pilgrims and left 26 injured, the yatra ended peacefully here and it is because of the coordinated efforts of the security agencies,” Inspector General of the CRPF (Jammu sector) Abhay Vir Chauhan told reporters here. He said there were intelligence reports about a possibility of terror attacks but the terrorists could not succeed due to the alertness of the Army, CRPF, police and other agencies. “No such thing (terror attack) was witnessed in the Jammu region, but we were fully prepared to deal with any situation,” the CRPF officer said. He said the government reposed faith in the force and gave it the added responsibility of securing the entire route from the Bhagwati Nagar base camp here to the base camps in Kashmir. More troops were deployed and gadgets were used this year as against previous years in view of the intelligence inputs “suggesting a determined attempt by terrorists to target the yatra”, Chauhan said. The pilgrimage began from here on June 28, a day ahead of its commencement from the twin routes of Pahalgam in Anantnag district and Baltal in Ganderbal district. A total of 2.60 lakh pilgrims performed the yatra, which ended today. The pilgrimage concludes on the festival of Raksha Bandhan every year. He said adequate steps were taken for the peaceful conduct of the pilgrimage “but there’s still a place for improvement”. Timely departure of devotees from the Bagwani Nagar camp will help them reach their destination in time before dusk, he said. “Ensuring timely departure of convoys was a major challenge. Traffic snarls were another cause for concern. If the pilgrims could leave the camp early, we could avoid traffic congestion on the highway,” the BSF IG said. “At times, convoys reached the base camps in Kashmir after dusk, which is not good from the security point of view,” he said, adding the delay was due to unavoidable circumstances. He said the Bhagwati Nagar base camp, which was his area of responsibility, was fully fortified. “The CRPF, for the first time, used unmanned aerial vehicles to keep a close watch on everything. Where naked eyes could not see, we deployed UAVs,” Chauhan said. While CRPF and police personnel were deployed on road opening duties on the highway, the Army secured the hills overlooking the arterial roads. “Landslides is not in our control but we were prepared to deal with such a situation to ensure normal traffic movement on the highway. “The personnel, who were to be deployed in landslide- prone areas, were given a special one-week training at Nagrota,” the CRPF officer said. The force also set up a booth at the railway station for helping pilgrims out.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Motorcycle-borne terrorists attack CRPF and J&K police, one security personnel injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two motorcycle borne terrorists attacked a party of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police in Jammu and Kashmir’s Nowgam on Saturday. In this attack, a wireless operator of 29 BN CRPF received a bullet injury in his thigh.Public Relation Officer (PRO) of CRPF, Rajesh Yadav said that the police fired in the air to avoid civilian causality as the area was very crowded and had heavy traffic movement. The terrorists fled from the spot after the incident. Meanwhile, a massive search operation is underway to nab the terrorists. Further details are awaited.

Lashkar-e-Taiba behind Amarnath terror attack, confirms J&K police; three arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir police on Sunday confirmed the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taiba in attack on an Amarnath yatri bus in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir last month.Seven Amarnath pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 injured when the bus came under terrorists’ gunfire.Addressing to media, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir Range) Munir Khan said, “Happy to tell you that three accused persons have been arrested and they have revealed everything. Lashkar-e-Taiba was involved, and accused were identified.”Khan also said that the attack was initially planned for July 9, 2017, but that day there was no movement of CRPF or yatri vehicle in isolation.”Ismail, a Pakistani militant of Lashkar alongwith two other Pakistan militants and a local Kashmiri Lashkar militant carried out attack,” Khan said.”Accused people who provided them logistics to carry out their plans in the state and work as their guides have been identified,” Khan said.Khan also said that the terrorists had code word ‘Shaukat’ for yatri vehicle, and ‘Bilal’ for CRPF vehicle. “It was purely a terrorist act,” he said.The attack was initially planned for July 9th,but that day there was no movement of CRPF or yatri vehicle in isolation.The top officer also said that two Lashkar militants were eliminated few days ago and their involvement in this particular case, is still being investigated.

First person account: How a tourist survived the Burhan Wani protests and what it tells us about Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Feasting my eyes on the sun setting over the tranquil Dal Lake on my last evening in Kashmir, I finally switched off my survival mode and began processing the extraordinary events of the past few days. It was a sunny morning five days ago when I drove out from Gulmarg towards Sinthan top. After snaking past noisy tourists on bulky ATVs, behaving like they were riding army tankers, my small car finally made it to the freeway surrounded by emerald pastures and grazing pashmina sheep.En route, I stopped at Tanmarg to meet 16-year-old Shaheen, whom I had befriended earlier at Srinagar’s Shalimar garden. While Shaheen and her cousins sang soulfully for me, the elders treated me to Kashmiri delicacies and tea prepared with crushed maize. As we excitedly exchanged interesting stories of our daily lives, these strangers started feeling like family, busting the diet of stereotypes I had been fed about Kashmiris being violent, anti-India, etc. Their strange sense of calm despite living in this highly disturbed region rubbed off on me. Little did I know then that I would need this extra reserve of calm very soon.As we were driving on the highway connecting Srinagar to Pahalgam, I suddenly noticed CRPF personnel on high alert. Their numbers were far greater than the usual scattered few I had started getting used to. Someone called up my driver, Afzhal to inform him that there was a violent outbreak because the head of Hizbul Mujahideen, Burhan Wani and some of his accomplices had just been killed in an army encounter. I should have been petrified, but was overcome with the inexplicable sense of calm I had felt with Shaheen’s family. To stay safe, I had to be alert and to be alert, I had to stay calm.We started driving towards Pahalgam through the scenic, interior village lanes rather than the highway as it was relatively safer. It was heart breaking to see sniper toting, young CRPF men risking their lives for our sake.As the government had blocked the internet as a security measure, we briefly stopped en route at Afzhal’s sister-in-law, Shazia’s home to freshen up, catch up on the latest news and take stock of the situation. As Shazia smilingly offered me a cup of kahwa, her five-year-old son insisted that I watch cartoons with him. I couldn’t believe I was laughing as Doraemon struggled to fly a spacecraft, while just a few kilometres away, snipers pointed at the village, ready to fire. As a curfew was expected soon, Afzhal suggested we continue driving. Women from the neighbourhood gathered to see me off. Concerned about my safety, they asked me to cover my head in a shawl and disguise myself as a local.On our way, we gave a lift to an elderly local, who guided us through shortcuts. Suddenly, the car stopped when a group of around ten boys (5 – 8 years old) surrounded our car. Afzhal and the elderly man started scolding them. They then plastered their faces on the car window to stare at me. I’ll never forget the look in their light eyes – a strange mix of curiosity, terror, anger, sadness and innocence. Not knowing how to react, I remained expressionless. After we drove off, they told me the kids had stones in their pocket and that they were explaining to them why it’s wrong to hit tourists. My mind went numb. I had never imagined stone pelters to also be little kids!Soon after, we dropped off the local and returned to the highway because the inner roads for the next few kilometres were inaccessible. Suddenly, we heard a resounding crash. A large stone had been thrown at the windscreen; given its size and speed, it was a miracle that the windscreen didn’t break. For the first time, I felt nervous and vulnerable. After dodging some more stones, we began speeding down the highway.The village we reached next had an eerie vibe. A line of vacant buses and trucks were parked ahead, so Afzhal stepped out to check whether there was a roadblock. Groups of people were sitting outside their homes, but no one was talking. Sensing nervous anticipation in the air, I just pulled the shawl closer around my face, waited nervously for Afzhal to return. After ten nerve wracking minutes that felt like forever, he returned with another man he knew. He was heading to Pahalgam too and following my instincts, I agreed to let him come along as additional security. We also gave a lift to a stranded couple and their baby, and finally arrived at Pahalgam after what seemed like eternity. Gazing at the pine covered mountains from the hotel window, I felt profoundly grateful and deeply humbled to be safe.Thanks to the curfew, my original plan – to visit the glaciers at Sinthan top and stay in homestays in picturesque villages of south Kashmir – went for a toss. The area was on red alert as the encounter had taken place at Traal in south Kashmir. It wasn’t possible to return to Srinagar either. With stone pelters at large, inter-city commute during the day was very unsafe.Tourists who had come in groups and had return flights from Srinagar the next day, were considering risking it and travelling in a convoy at night, as chances of stone pelting would be lower. But it was too risky for a solo, woman traveller like me.Panic calls from family and friends began pouring in as TV channels were in a frenzy, showing repeat telecasts of the violent outbreaks in Kashmir. Hearing them panic, my calm composure began to crack. When well-wishers asked me why I was in Kashmir of all the places, knowing fully well of the constant instability, I had no logical answer. But somewhere deep inside, I felt I was destined to be here now and that I will be safe. Strangely, I was grateful to get a real insight into the lives of locals at an unsettling time like this. Isolated from my comfort zone, I discovered their unconditional compassion and support – no one asked about my religion or where I was from.As Ramzaan was starting the next day, my hotel owner and his wife Zarina warmly invited me for dinner after they broke their fast. It was a lavish affair. Sitting down on the carpet with their large joint family, I relished delicious fresh trout, while TV channels broadcasted security issues in Kashmir and the beef ban in a non-stop loop. The initial awkward silence gave way to a very open exchange of ideas. The family seemed to be on the brink of losing all hope of a solution that could guarantee peace and a fresh start. I had observed the same sense of hopelessness in many young Kashmiri boys, who had quit high school and college to work as sweepers and cleaners in hotels and houseboats.When the owner’s four-year-old daughter started crying for attention, he recited a poem to pacify her. I didn’t fully follow what he was saying, but on hearing the word ‘shelling’, I asked him to repeat. The first line of the Hindi poem was ‘Shelling velling na, bhai na’ and the last line was ‘Hame bas azadi chahiye’. Without getting into the pros and cons of the azadi debate, what shocked me was how normal it is for kids here to grow up hearing poems that shun the use of weapons, while other kids are learning ‘Twinkle Twinkle’. The next evening was spent plucking Kashmiri saag with Zarina and her sister, at their farm. Since two days, her sister and her family too were stranded due to stone pelting. Locals were as much at risk as tourists. I offered to drop them off on my way to Srinagar and was relieved to have company.We left early next morning. Since it was Ramzaan, we were hoping for less trouble as people would be busy with early morning prayers, but again encountered a group of small boys armed with stones. Afzhal got out and chased them away. CRPF personnel stopped us several times en route, enquiring why we were travelling during a curfew. There was a red alert as Burhan Wani’s supporters were expected to go to Traal to pay their last respects that day. Only when I explained that I’m a tourist and had a flight the next day, did they let us pass. The highway was lined with army tanks and large convoys.Finally, I reached Srinagar and breathed a sigh of relief. That evening, watching darkness creep in over the Dal Lake and the moon glimmering fiercely in the sky, I called and bid goodbye to all my friends in Kashmir. Hitherto, all my goodbyes were to people returning to safety like me. But, this goodbye was different. While I was returning to the luxury of safety of my Mumbai apartment, they would continue to live in troubled territory. But, then what explained their strange sense of peace? It certainly wasn’t the kind of peace that comes from political stability, but the inexplicable calm that comes from having accepted the finality of loss of something or someone you are attached to. Perhaps once you become the eye of the storm, you rise above the storm. When I was in Pahalgam, an elderly Kashmiri Muslim man gifted me an old horseshoe, from a horse on which he had taken tourists for the Amarnath Yatra, saying it would bring me good luck. And it sure did. Thanks to that and the extraordinary love of locals who looked out for me, I returned home safe with all stereotypes busted and this story to tell.

J&K: Viral image of CRPF jawan doing namaaz, with fellow soldier keeping guard breaks internet

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Srinagar unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Saturday shared a couple of images on their Twitter handle that garnered a lot of response on social media.The two images, captioned Brothers In Arms For Peace, shows a jawan getting ready to do namaz, while his fellow-soldier keeps guard with a baton and rifle. The CRPF has also retweeted the picture.The images elicited multiple responses, mostly positive, with some saying “this is real India” and that the photograph showed we were capable of “unity and harmony.”The CRPF has come under a spate of attacks on its convoys in the Valley in the recent past. Recently, it also considered to ensure a partial or full bullet-proof armour to its four-wheeled troop carriers.

Elaborate security for Vaishno Devi shrine: Spl DG CRPF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Elaborate security arrangements are in place in and around Mata Vaishno Devi shrine to thwart any terror attack, a top CRPF official today said. There is high degree of alertness amid increased security deployment in and around the shrine, Special Director General, CRPF (J&K Zone), S N Srivastava told reporters here. “There is threat in general. There is possibility of the (terror) attack on Vaishno Devi shrine..that is why there is heavy security presence of CRPF as a large number of devotees visit the shrine,” he said. The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer said that a massive combing operation was carried out at the shrine in view of the special input of terror attack recently. “There was an input of our sister security agency about a specific terror attack on Vaishno Devi (shrine). We got entire area checked … But nothing was found”, Srivastava said. The top CRPF official said that there was no security or intelligence lapses in connection with terror attack on Amarnath yatra bus last month in which seven pilgrims were killed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Naxal ops: CRPF personnel to get AK rifles, force to move

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major change of strategy to counter the red extremists, the CRPF will replace the traditional INSAS weapons used by its personnel in Naxal bastions in 10 states with AK series rifles. To reduce the influence of Maoists in one of their last bastions, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is moving a fresh contingent of 2,000 personnel in Chhattisgarh’s south Bastar area, which it said was its “biggest challenge”. “South Bastar remains one of their (Naxals) last bastions…in that area we have to plan how to reduce their (Maoists) influence. “We are looking to deploy one battalion in that area soon while one has just moved in. We are planning to induct more troops,” CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar told reporters on on the eve of the 78th Raising Day of the force here. A battalion consists of 1,000 personnel. He said that the Bastar area is a “big challenge” for the force. A senior CRPF officer later told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

CRPF organises sports event to reduce soldiers stress levels

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) organised a sports meet to reduce the stress level of soldiers who have been working under difficult situations across Jammu and Kashmir. More than 300 CRPF soldiers from twenty-eight battalions took part in the sports meet which included different games. ?The CRPF has taken a very important step to organise sports event which has encouraged soldiers to participate and explore themselves in the field of sports,? CRPF soldier Deepak Shah told ANI. The soldiers who participated in the event asserted that these kinds of activities helped them develop physically and lower their tensions and also encourage them to perform their duties in better way. CRPF soldier, Sunil Kumar said, ?Most of the times we are working across the country and do not get the opportunity to engage ourselves in extra-curricular activities. With these kinds of sports events organised by the CRPF, we get motivated to build ourselves physically and try to groom up to perform in Olympics or any other sports events.?(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Lucknow court remands LeT terrorist to seven-day custody for 2008 attack on CRPF camp in UP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Mohammed Saleem was today sent to seven-day custody by a court here after he was produced before it by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad.Saleem was brought here last night on transit remand from Mumbai, where he was arrested for his alleged involvement in a 2008 terror attack on a CRPF camp at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.He was arrested at the Mumbai airport on July 17, shortly after his arrival from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”Mohammed Saleem was today produced in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate (customs), which sent him to a seven-day remand,” Aseem Arun, Inspector General (IG), ATS said in a statement here.Saleem Mukim Khan alias Abu Amaar alias Arif, a resident of Hathgaon in Fatehpur district in Uttar Pradesh, was brought here last night from Mumbai for further interrogation, he added.The statement said Saleem was being quizzed as to how many times he got Indian passports made against his name, how many days he spent getting trained in terror activities in Muzaffarabad (in PoK) and who were his co-trainees.The ATS would also question him on his involvement in terror incidents, why did he go to Saudi Arabia and what were his activities there, the IG said.He added that Saleem would also be quizzed on his links with terrorists both in India and abroad and what was his exact role in the terror incidents.His connections with other terror outfits would also be looked into, said the IG.Saleem was also allegedly a financier of suspected ISI agent Aftab Ali, who was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh ATS from Faizabad in May.He was nabbed in a joint operation by the anti-terrorist squads of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh police.Saleem, against whom a lookout notice was issued, was stopped at an immigration counter at the Mumbai airport in the intervening night of July 16 and 17 and taken into custody.Eight persons, including CRPF jawans, were killed in the terror attack on the Rampur camp of the paramilitary force on January 1, 2008.A case was registered in connection with the attack under the relevant sections of the IPC, the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act, the Explosives Act and the Foreigner Registration Act.An initial inquiry by the Maharashtra ATS indicated that Saleem was associated with Pakistan-based terror outfit LeT.

SC transfers appeal against Manipur CM’s son to Gauhati HC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court today transferred the appeal challenging the conviction of Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh’s son for lesser offence in a 2011 road rage case from Manipur to the Gauhati High Court. The apex court also provided security cover of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) to the parents of the victim, a social activist, and police security to an advocate who was representing the mother and father in the appeal after they claimed they had received death threats. A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi said that the security of the parents, social activist Bina Laxmi and advocate Utsav Bains was the responsiblity of the court looking at the “peculiar facts and sensitivity” of the case. “Their security is now our responsiblity and this we will do keeping in view the peculiar facts and sensitivity of the case,” a bench also comprising Justices L N Rao and Naveen Sinha. The bench directed the CRPF and the Chandigarh police to file compliance report within two weeks. Bains is a resident of Chandigarh. The parents of the victim Irom Roger, who was killed in the incident, had claimed that they and their lawyer fear for their lives in Manipur. It was alleged during the hearing that no lawyer wanted to appear in the high court in Manipur to argue the appeal against the five-year jail term awarded to Ajay Meetai, the chief minister’s son. Meetai has been awarded the jail term under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC for firing at Roger on March 20, 2011, and killing him. The incident had occurred after Roger had allegedly not allowed Meetai to overtake him in his SUV which had irked the chief minister’s son. At the outset, the bench queried why the state government has not filed appeal against the lesser sentence awarded to Meetai or the parents have filed the appeal in High Court at Imphal. Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the petitioner, said that the parents have filed the appeal, but it was returned due to some objection and the state has not filed the appeal as the case was transfered to the CBI. “If they have filed it, then we will transfer it and if they have not filed it we will allow them to file in another high Ccourt. We will permit filing of an appeal in the Gauhati High Court and take over the responsiblity of security cover to the four persons,” the bench said. It told the counsel for the Manipur government that security is not the responsiblity of state now and the court will direct the CRPF to provide security to the aggrieved. The apex court had yesterday indicated that it would transfer the case to some other high court. The Centre had last month told the court that Roger’s parents would be provided security by the state government. The state government had also informed the apex court that the parents – Irom Chitra Devi and Irom Lokendra Singh – would be provided round-the-clock security by the Manipur Rifles at their residence. In an affidavit filed before the apex court, Manipur’s chief secretary had denied the allegation that at the instance of the chief minister, the administration, including the police, was obstructing the Iroms from approaching the high court to challenge the conviction of Meetai for lesser offence. The state had said that the allegations, including that the chief minister was abusing his official position to obstruct the parents from approaching court, have been found to be false. On May 29, the apex court asked the Centre to consider giving security cover to the parents of the youth. The Manipur government had told the court that it does not have any problem in providing security to the parents of the youth who have alleged that they feared for their lives. The apex court had on May 22 sought response from the Centre and the state on the plea of parents who also alleged that they were being threatened and the family members were being allegedly implicated in cases. The parents had sought directions “to provide security for the safety of the life and liberty of the petitioners and their family members against any kind of threat and victimisation for their peaceful stay throughout India”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

LeT ‘terrorist’ blamed for attack on CRPF camp in UP held

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A suspected terrorist of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), allegedly involved in an attack on a CRPF camp in Uttar Pradesh in 2008, was arrested today at the Mumbai airport shortly after he flew in from UAE, police said. Salim Mukim Khan alias Abu Amaar alias Arif, a native of Hathgaon in Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh, was facing a lookout notice and was stopped at an immigration counter on the intervening night of July 16 and 17, said a police official in Mumbai on condition of anonymity. His interrogation and records available with the security agencies showed his alleged role in the “suicide” attack on a CRPF camp in Rampur, Uttar Pradesh, on January 1, 2008, he said. Initial inquiry by the Maharashtra ATS showed that Salim was suspected to be associated with LeT, the official said. Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) was informed and its team reached Mumbai and arrested Salim. Eight people, including some CRPF jawans, had been killed in the terror strike. In Lucknow, Inspector General of UP ATS Aseem Arun said that after the arrest of ISI agent Aftab from Faizabad on May 3, 2017, the ATS had come to know that Salim Khan used to pass on directions to him and also send him money from abroad. Arun said that two people, Kausar and Shareef, arrested in connection with the attack on CRPF camp, had told the UP police that Salim Khan had got training with them at a terror camp in Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir in 2007. While being abroad, Salim had been in contact with Aftab and gave instructions to him about terror activities and funding, the official in Mumbai said. Aftab had been in constant touch with the Pakistan High Commission and had gathered information about several defence establishments in UP, the official said. UP ATS and Maharashtra police are interrogating Salim Khan in Mumbai, Arun added. In Mumbai, the police said the UP ATS will seek Salim’s custody for questioning in the Rampur attack and alleged involvement in severeal other anti-national activities under their jurisdiction. The Maharashtra ATS is extending all cooperation to its UP counterpart for Salim’s interrogation, the official added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Tral encounter: Terrorist’s corpse covered with Islamic State flag

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two of the three terrorists killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district have been identified and were involved in several terrorist activities, police said today. DNA also managed to capture the moment when one of the terrorists was covered with an Islamic State flag.A police spokesman here said two of the terrorists killed yesterday in Satoora forest area of Tral were locals while the third was a foreigner.The two locals have been identified as Mukhtar Ahmad Lone alias Gazi Umer, a resident of Amirabad Tral, and Parvaiz Ahmad Mir, a resident of Pahoo Pulwama, the spokesman said.He said both of them were involved in a number of terror activities.Lone was involved in many grenade attacks on CRPF and police, the spokesman said.He said Lone was involved in attacks on CRPF battalion headquarters at Tral Bala in which two personnel were injured, CRPF camp at Lariyal Tral in which 10 CRPF personnel were injured, Army camp at Panzoo Tral, and police post at Aripal in which one CRPF person was injured.He said Mir, along with four other persons, was involved in the murder of one Mushtaq Ahmad Kuchay, a resident of Rakh Lajoora in the year 2010. Mir was in judicial custody in the case.During the trial, the court released him in March and later he joined the militant ranks, the spokesman said.He said three AK rifles and other ammunition were also recovered from the encounter site.

The bloody history of ‘innocent birds’ butchered by ‘wild cats’ in the Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Potbellied sub-inspector Ali Mohammad has seen many ups and downs in Pahalgam. He is dusting old files in his police station’s record room. Orders have come from the Union Home Ministry in Delhi to send details of all past attacks on pilgrims. Monday’s strike is not the only one. There have been six terrorist attacks in the past. Why is the security setup not learning lessons? That’s the big question.The earliest-known attack was reported on July 7, 1994, when an unknown sadhu was found hanging from a tree. Pakistan-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Ansar (then led by Masood Azhar) first claimed responsibility, but later retracted after public outcry. A poet of Anantnag, a devout Muslim, wrote a poem on the sadhu to express anguish — he likened the hapless pilgrim to a frail innocent bird attacked by wild cats.In August 2000, 30 yatris were killed — the biggest terror attack in the history of Amarnath pilgrimage. The police blamed Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Policeman Ali Mohammad recalls that the attack was carried out at the base camp, which killed pilgrims, shopkeepers and porters. Around 60 people were injured during the two-hour shootout. A leaked report of a committee headed by Lt General JR Mukherjee suggested that many deaths were because of panic firing by the CRPF and the state police. The report was never made public. But the state government led by Farooq Abdullah leaked some of its portions, giving rise to suspicions that the attack was manufactured to foil a ceasefire announcement by the Hizbul Mujahideen. The report indicted the SP in charge of Pahalgam town and CRPF camp commander Hari Singh for failing to ensure that “notwithstanding the large number of yatris, the checking was foolproof”. DIG Javed Makhdoomi and SP Munir Khan, currently IG, were just a few hundred metres from the site of the killings. Forensic examiners Abdul Ghaffar and Karan Vir Singh told the Mukherjee Committee that they “could not identify” the type of firearms that caused the deaths. Like in the present case, in 2000 as well, intelligence agencies had forewarned the attack. Pointing to the movement of large groups of terrorists through areas above Pahalgam, the Intelligence Bureau had noted the existence of wireless intercepts on the LeT that an Iqbal should “collect small arms and ammunitions” for a “pre-fixed task”. Two earlier intercepts noted made clear that that task was an attack on the Amarnath Yatra. Truly disturbing, however, was the observation in the letter that the “deployment of SFs along the ridge line separating Lidder and Wadwan Valleys was deficient in at least two places until July 09, 2000”.A year after, on July 2001, the camp in the higher reaches at Sheshnag, highest stop before the cave, came under attack, killing 13 people, including eight yatris. One militant was also killed. He remains unidentified till now.In 2006, five pilgrims from Rajasthan were killed and another was njured when a grenade was thrown on their bus, returning form Baltal, another base camp.At the end of all these records of dastardly killings, a sentence in longhand Urdu reads that for the sake of evidence and witnesses the case could not be put on trial before the judicial authorities. The cases remain buried in the files. Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti in an interview assures dna that — unlike past such cases — the investigation into the latest attack will be taken to its logical conclusion. Actions and a proper investigation will only judge her words.

CM sanctions Rs 20 lakh for kin of CRPF jawan killed in

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today sanctioned a sum of Rs 20 lakh as ex- gratia to the next of kin of Suresh Kumar, a CRPF jawan from the state who lost his life during an anti-Naxal operation in Sukma, Chhattisgarh in March. Kumar, a resident of Sunhi village, Badoh tehsil of Kangra district, lost his life during the operation at the Vankupvada village in Sukma, Chhattisgarh on March 11. He was attached to the 219 Battalion of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The chief minister also directed the deputy commissioner, Kangra to ensure the disbursement of the grant immediately to the kin of the slain jawan.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

16th batch of 3,398 pilgrims leaves for Amarnath from Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tight security, the sixteenth batch of 3,398 pilgrims today left Jammu for the 3,888-metre Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the south Kashmir Himalayas. Escorted by the CRPF and police, the batch consisting of 2,535 males, 758 females, 100 sadhus and sadhvis, and five transgenders left in a convoy of 191 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps this morning, officials said. With today’s batch, a total of 50,028 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 16 batches since the yatra began from Jammu on June 28. Over 1,86,853 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine till last evening. The yatra will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

16th batch of 3,398 pilgrims leave for Amarnath from Jammu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid tight security, the sixteenth batch of 3,398 pilgrims today left Jammu for the 3,888-metre Amarnath cave shrine of Lord Shiva in the south Kashmir Himalayas. Escorted by the CRPF and police, the batch consisting of 2,535 males, 758 females, 100 sadhus and sadhvis, and five transgenders left in a convoy of 191 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base camps this morning, officials said. With today’s batch, a total of 50,028 pilgrims have left Jammu for Amarnath in 16 batches since the yatra began from Jammu on June 28. Over 1,86,853 pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine till last evening. The yatra will conclude on Shravan Purnima (Raksha Bandhan) on August 7.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Over 1.86 lakh pilgrims pay obeisance at Amarnath shrine since

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Over 1.86 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the 3,880-metre high holy cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir Himalayas, so far. “Today, on the 16th day of the yatra, 9,719 yatris paid obeisance at the holy cave and cumulatively 1,86,853 pilgrims have had its darshan since the beginning of the pilgrimage,” an official spokesman said. Escorted by the CRPF and the police personnel, the fresh batch, consisting of 3,111 males, 892 females and 102 sadhus and sadhvis, left in a convoy of 191 vehicles for Baltal and Pahalgam base-camps this morning, officials said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Sending 4 more CRPF cos to Darjeeling, Kalimpong: Govt to SC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today told the Supreme Court that they are deploying four additional companies of CRPF to maintain law and order in Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which have been hit by the agitation for separate Gorkhaland. The government told a three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra that 11 CRPF companies are already deployed in Darjeeling and Kalimpong and they have decided to send four more companies to ensure the safety of citizens and maintenance of law and order there. Attorney General K K Venugopal told the bench, which also comprised A M Khanwilkar and M M Shantanagoudar, that the Calcutta High Court has today asked the government to deploy four additional companies of CRPF there and they are sending additional paramilitary forces there. The bench, however, made it clear that the 11 companies which are already deployed there and the four additional companies, which will be sent, shall be utilised by the West Bengal government only for the purpose of maintaining law and order in the Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts. The bench also asked the authorities to ensure smooth movement of traffic and safety and security of passengers travelling in vehicles on National Highway-10, the sole road link connecting West Bengal’s Siliguri with Sikkim. “Needless to say, the citizens of these areas must understand that sustenance of law and order and living in peace is the hallmark of progressive civilisation and therefore, they shall also see that free flow of life is not in anyway disturbed or affected,” the bench said. The apex court’s order came on a petition filed by Sikkim for a direction to ensure safety of vehicles plying on NH 10 which connects the state with the rest of the country.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Calcutta HC asks Centre to send 4 CRPF companies in Darjeeling

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Calcutta High Court today directed the Centre to provide four additional companies of CRPF within 48 hours in Darjeeling to quell violence in the hills. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre and Justice T Chakraborty directed the Centre to provide the forces from the CRPF in addition to 11 companies of the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) already deployed there. The court also directed the state government to provide additional forces from its own resources in order to bring back normalcy in the hills, where an indefinite bandh demanding separate statehood has been going on for the last one month. The bench has repeatedly expressed concern over the sufferings of the people in the stir-hit Darjeeling hills amid the ongoing tussle over replacement of forces, sought by the state for ‘operational reasons.’ The Centre, in reply to the state’s request for replacement of three Mahila companies of CRPF, today said through an affidavit that the women members of the force could not be discriminated against. On the state’s request for replacing three companies of SSB from the restive Darjeeling hills claiming that they were familiar with the local people, the Centre submitted that it was not a cogent reason to replace the SSB companies as they worked without bias. Hearing both the Advocate General for the state and the Additional Solicitor General for the Centre, the division bench directed the deployment of four companies of CRPF in addition to the 11 companies already deployed in Darjeeling and Kalimpong districts in the hills. Out of the 11 companies of CAPF, there are three from SSB, three Mahila CRPF companies and the rest are CRPF companies comprising men.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J-K Police, CRPF neutralise three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in Budgam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were killed by security forces near Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir last night. Based on inputs of presence of some terrorists in a specific house, an operation was launched by troops of Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Radbug village of Budgam. Col. Ashok P. Achuthan of Rashtriya Rifles on Wednesday stated that they gave the terrorists chances to surrender, but they refused and retaliated with heavy gun fire. Speaking to reporters here, Col. Achuthan said, ?Based on inputs of presence of some terrorists in a specific house, an operation was undertaken by 2nd battalion of the Rashtriya Rifles, Special Operation Group (SOG) of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF in Radbug village of Budgam. We gave them chances to surrender, but they refused and retaliated with heavy gun fire.? ?In the ensuing gun fight, the internal areas of the house caught fire and finally the terrorist were force to come out firing. In that attempt, all the three terrorists were eliminated. They are identified as Javed Sheikh, Adil of Budgam and Sajjad of Srinagar. In the search that continued, we have managed to recover one Self Loading Rifle (SLR) and a pistol,? he added. The joint operation was launched at around 6:30 p.m. yesterday and at about 8.30 p.m. contact was established with terrorists. The security forces also recovered arms and ammunition and war like stores. This came a day after militants attacked a bus carrying Amarnath Yatra pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag district. At least seven people were killed and more than 15 were injured in the attack.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Army chief in Kashmir to review security situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today arrived here to review the security situation in the wake of the militant attack on Amarnath pilgrims. The Army chief will be briefed by top Army officials in the Valley about the overall security situation in Kashmir, especially in the wake of the attack last night in Anantnag. “The Army chief has arrived here in Srinagar and will be interacting with the Director General of Police (S P Vaid) later in the day. Gen Rawat might also hold a meeting with DG CRPF,” an Army official said. Seven Amarnath pilgrims, five of them women, were killed in a militant attack in Anantnag last night. The militants attacked an armoured car of the police at 8.20 pm yesterday. When the police fired back, the militants fled, firing indiscriminately, the official said. A bus carrying yatris was on the highway when the incident occurred, the official said. “In the firing by militants, seven people, five of them women, were killed, and another seven injured,” the official said. The bus had come from Sonamarg. The pilgrims were on their way back after visiting the Amarnath shrine. The police claimed the bus driver had violated rules for the pilgrimage, which state that no yatra vehicle should be on the highway after 7 pm.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Amarnath yatra attack: Terrorists knew that Amarnath yatris’ bus was unescorted

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The bus carrying the pilgrims from Gujarat, which was attacked on Amaranth Yatra route, was not registered for the pilgrimage, raising questions on flouting of standard operating procedures. Intelligence agencies also claim that there were specific inputs about terrorists targeting a vehicle that is not escorted by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) that provides security to the vehicles that are part of the convoy.”The bus was carrying pilgrims from Balatal to Mir Bazar. The bus was neither part of the convoy nor part of shrine board,” sources said.Sources said it seems the terrorists had inputs that the bus was unescorted, making it a vulnerable target. The terrorists first targeted the forces at a check post and later fired the bus nearby. The bus had a Gujarat number plate GJ 09Z 9976.The Centre had doubled the security deployment for Amarnath Yatra this year in wake of the death anniversary of Burhan Wani, Hizbul Mujahideen commander who was killed last year on July 8. There were more than 20,000 troops on the ground but many were diverted to control the backlash expected on Wani’s death anniversary. Sources said the attack could be linked to Wani’s death anniversary.The spike in killings of terrorists recently could also be the reason for terrorists to strike back.However, it is not clear whether the terrorists were locals or Pakistanis. Security forces have started search operations.All victims from GujaratAll seven Yatris who fell to terror attack are from Gujarat. According to police sources, three buses, all of Gujarat registration, were returning with pilgrims after ‘darshan’ and were delayed beyond the allowed time for pilgrimage, which is 7 pm. The attack took place around 8.20 pm.Three buses with 110 passengers left from Valsad on July 1. None of the buses were part of the CRPF convoy escorting pilgrims. It has not been confirmed whether all the deceased pilgrims were in the same bus.

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