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Security agencies entered ‘Tora Bora’ of Kashmir to kill JeM militants

A recent encounter in which four Jaish-e-Mohammed militants were killed in Budgam’s Pakharpora area is being seen as the security forces’ maiden entry into an area popularly known as ‘Tora Bora’ because of the heavy presence of foreign militants there, officials here said.The militants are often in hiding in the area’s deep forests, a maze not very different from the labyrinth of caves of Taliban-controlled Tora Bora in northern Afghanistan, they said.The Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir police and Army carried out its first operation in this region on Thursday, killing the four terrorists.Also readIslamic State claims it captured Osama bin Laden’s Afghan hideout of Tora BoraIn April this year, two militants were killed at Hyat Pura, 8km from Pakharpora, but that officials said was a chance encounter as the incident followed a routine check.Militants have been particularly active over the last year in Pakharpora, located strategically in the district of Budgam, for it leads into South Kashmir as well as Srinagar city.Also read5 militants killed in two separate encounters in KashmirHeightened militancy this year has been receiving ground support, with local people strongly resisting the forces, especially during counter-insurgency operations.The Valley’s ‘Tora Bora’ had figured prominently in many meetings of security agencies after the area, 45km from here, became the infiltration route for militants entering South Kashmir, the epicentre of unrest following the killing of Burhan Wani, the poster boy of the Hizbul Mujahideen militant group, on July 8 last year.An official said the region has become the “reception area” for foreign militants who sneak into South Kashmir via Pakharpora. The dense forests and deep gorges in the region provide a natural cover to the militants.There is also a constant stream of people visiting Pakharpora because of a shrine there which has become popular in the last couple of years. This makes it difficult for security forces to swiftly identify the militants, the official said.After it came to light that terrorists were using public roads instead of the usual mountainous path while moving towards the south, security agencies had suggested barricading the roads and increasing patrolling in the area — a move turned down by the state government.Not much has been done to plug this route despite repeated warnings by the central intelligence agencies, official sources said.However, the Army recently moved in a battalion comprising 1000 men around the area and also established a camp near Pakharpora, which is a part of the Beerwah Assembly constituency represented by former chief minister Omar Abdullah, to give a semblance of security to the region.According to intelligence reports, accessed by PTI, there are various villages around Pakharpora which witness militant movements and have a network of militants.These villages include Kuzwera, Magray Pora, Behrampora, Kaisemullah, Gowharpora, Qazipora, Wanbugh, Hayat Pora, Malpora, Tujan and Dalwan, the reports said.The reports highlighted that these areas are among the most dangerous in the twin districts of pulwama and Budgam.
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5 terrorists killed in J&K; toll crosses 200 after 7 years

Security forces on Thursday killed five terrorists in two major counter-terror operations in north and central Kashmir. With these two operations, the total number of terrorists neutralised by the security forces in 2017 has crossed the 200 mark. This is the highest number of terrorists neutralised in a year in the last seven years in Jammu and Kashmir.”A collective effort of the Jammu and Kashmir police, Indian Army, CRPF, CAPF & the people of Kashmir has lead to neutralisation of more than 200 terrorists in 2017 alone. This marks a huge landmark for establishing peace & stability in the state of J&K & our country,” tweeted Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, Director General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir.Data reveals that 270 ultras were killed by the security forces in 2010. The figure came down to 119 in 2011. Around 84 in 2012, followed by 100 in 2013, 110 in 2014, and 113 in 2015. Despite an ongoing unrest, security forces had killed 165 terrorists in 2016.The success against terror in 2017 is attributed to ‘Operation All Out’ launched by the security forces early this year. The operation saw top leaders of different terror outfits neutralised, thus breaking the backbone of terror activity.They included Burhan Wani’s successor Sabzar Bhat, Lashkar-e-Tioba chief Abu Dujana and Abu Ismail, two nephews – Abu Musaib and Obaid –of Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Talha Rashid nephew of Pathankote attack mastermind Moulana Masood Azhar and others.However the achievement in the war against terror came at a very high cost with more than 75 security force men laying down their lives in the line of duty this year so far.Official figures reveal that there are more than 200 militants still operating in the valley. Of whom at least 110 are locals and around 100 are foreigners, mostly Pakistani nationals.The landmark of eliminating 200 militants came on the day when security forces stepped up winter offensive and killed five militants in Phutlipora-Pakherpora village of Budgam and Sagipora village of Sopore in Baramulla district.The first operation was launched in Phutlipora village after security forces received a tip off about the presence of the militants in the area. A Joint team of Army, CRPF and police cordoned off the village at 5.30 am and an hour later contact was established when militants opened fire on the search party.”Four militants were killed in the operation. The operation is still continuing”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Massive protests and stone pelting rocked the area after people tried to disrupt the operation in Phutlipora. Youth pelted stones and tried to march towards the encounter site. Protestors also torched a private pickup truck.Security forces immediately swung into action and lobbed tear smokes shells to quell the mob. When the protesters refused to retreat, security forces fired pellet shots and other live munitions causing injuries to few people.In another operation, security forces killed a militant at Sagipora village in the apple rich town of Sopore. A soldier sustained injuries in the operation.The operation was launched after forces received information that militants are hiding in the area. When the security forces were zeroing in on the target house, they came under heavy fire. It was retaliated and in the ensuing gun fight one militant was killed.
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Govt denies rumours on power for Mehbooba Mufti

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir government has strongly refuted reports circulating on social media that power supply has been cut off in 30 villages to provide electricity to the guest house that is housing Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti in Budgam district.Social media was abuzz with reports that the Power Development Department (PDD) had cut off power supply to 30 villages to ensure uninterrupted power supply to Budgam Dak Bungalow where Mufti is staying for the night.Taking her public outreach further, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti had convened a public grievances redressal camp at Budgam on Sunday where she interacted with hundreds of people and deputation.Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah was quick to jump on the bandwagon asking Mehbooba to go home to allow resumption of power supply to villages. “If this is true Mehbooba Mufti, Budgam is only 40-45 minutes from Fairview can you please go home & let these villages have electricity? (sic)” he tweetedThe government, however, did not take it lying down and came out strongly against the reports.”It is a small guest house. We have a generator for the guest house. How can we cut off power of 30 villages just to provide electricity to this small guest house? I am sorry to say that it is a big lie,” Mohommad Harun Malik, deputy commissioner of Budgam, told DNA. Malik said there was a snag that had caused the outage in few habitations which was later sorted out.”To link this with the CM is unfortunate and a mockery of sorts,” he said.

70-yr-old Kashmiri killed on suspicion of being braid chopper

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Braid chopping hysteria claimed the first life on Friday when an elderly man was killed after being mistaken as a braid chopper in Anantnag. Meanwhile, protests over the mysterious braid choppings in the Valley have intensified, prompting authorities to impose restrictions in old Srinagar and suspend mobile net services there.Abdul Salam Wani, 70, died after he was hit by a brick when he had walked out of his home to defeacate at Danter village in Anantnag on Thursday night. Wani suffered grievous head wounds and was shifted to the district hospital in Anantnag where he succumbed on Friday morning.Police, however, dismissed that it was a case of mob justice, claiming the absence of any gathering at the site when the attack took place. Sources said Wani was hit by an individual on suspicion of him being a braid chopper. Police are suspecting the involvement of Wani’s kin in the incident.Altaf Ahmad Khan, Senior Superintendent of Police, Anantnag, said they have taken the cognizance of the case and are looking into it. “We are ascertaining the facts. We will do the needful,” he said.Fear has gripped the people after mysterious braid chopping incidents began in the Valley in the past few weeks. This has led to massive protests, with some taking law into their hands and thrashing suspects.Figures reveal that Jammu division alone has witnessed 192 cases of hair chopping, while Kashmir recorded more than 50 cases. In the three districts of central Kashmir — Srinagar, Budgam, and Ganderbal — police have registered around 24 cases of braid and beard chopping. Latest being the case of an Imam’s beard being chopped mysteriously while he was on his way to a mosque for early morning prayers in Budgam district on Friday.However, nobody has been arrested so far, prompting the police to double the reward money to Rs 6 lakh for any information leading to the culprit.The incidences have taken a political turn with separatists using it as a pretext to whip up passions and convert the anger into an `azaadi groundswell’.

The inside story of the Srinagar BSF encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A nine-hour long gun-battle was what it took to neutralize the three Jaish-E-Mohammed (JeM) terrorists who had infiltrated inside the 182nd Battalion Camp of the Border Security Force (BSF) in Srinagar in the wee hours of Tuesday but security forces have reason to believe that there are four more JeM cadres who are still roaming free in the Valley and plotting another fidayeen attack.“There is credible information that 10 JeM terrorists had infiltrated into the Valley a few days back. Three of them were killed in the encounter in Pulwama where they attacked the District Police Lines. Of the seven who were remaining, three were neutralized today. That still leaves us with four more terrorists who are still out there planning the next fidayeen attack,” reliable sources told WION/DNA.The BSF Battalion Camp that came under attack today is located in close proximity of the Srinagar International Airport, in the Humhama area falling in Budgam district. And while security agencies maintained that the airport was not the target, the possibility of them using this camp as a base to launch an attack on the airport was not being ruled out completely.The three terrorists who were gunned down today had been spotted in a black-coloured Alto car on the Pulwana-Budgam border late Monday night. Two of them were clad in BSF uniform while the third was in civilian clothing, sources said. In the wee hours today, these terrorists used a wire-cutter to cut the perimeter wire of the BSF camp to get inside. “It appeared to be a brand new, newly-purchased wire-cutter,” a source said.As soon as the three terrorists gained entry inside the camp from the back side of the Subordinate Officers’ (SO) Mess, they ran into different directions. While one of them dashed toward the Administrative Block, the second made his way to the SO Mess and the third made a run towards the canteen.It was then that the terrorist who was running towards the canteen—wearing civilian clothes–was challenged by a BSF sentry. “This terrorist responded with firing a burst but was not good enough for this sentry who took him out swiftly,” a source revealed.The other two terrorists managed to enter the Administrative Block and the SO Mess, respectively. “It was in the SO Mess that this terrorist martyred the BSF Assistant Sub Inspector. Before he could cause more damage, he was overpowered by the JCOs there who snatched his weapon and neutralized him,” the source said.Meanwhile, the terrorist who entered the Administration Block opened fire and injure an Exchange Operator and 2-3 more BSF personnel, one of whom was hit by a bullet in the abdomen. This terrorist was finally neutralized when he tried to escape from the Administration Block by running away.Sources said the three JeM terrorists were heavily armed. They were carrying AK-47s and Pakistani-made Shaheen pistols. A US-made sabre knife (having a compass) was also recovered from one of the killed terrorists.

Grenade attack in Srinagar, 1 civilian killed, 15 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A civilian was killed and 15 others, including three policemen, were injured in a grenade attack in the busy Jehangir Chowk area of Srinagar city on Thursday.Security personnel deployed at Jehangir Chowk were the apparent target of the grenade attack at around 5.40 pm, a police official said.Sixteen people were injured in the explosion, the official said.One of the injured identified as Maqsood Shah, a resident of Budgam district, succumbed to injuries, he said.SSP Srinagar Imtiaz Parray said the grenade thrower was also reportedly injured in the blast.”According to eyewitnesses, the person who hurled the grenade was also among the injured. We are trying to verify this,” he said.

New Delhi: Following are the top stories of the northern

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>region at 1730 hrs: DES4 UKD-CLOUDBURSTS Pithoragarh: Six persons are killed while an Army jawan is missing after two separate cloudbursts in Dharchula sub division of the district. DES14 JK-HIZB Srinagar: Hizbul Mujahideen names Mohammad bin Qasim as its “field operational commander” in Kashmir in place of Yaseen Yattoo who was killed yesterday in a fierce gunbattle with security forces in Shopian district. DEL1 JK-PROTEST-DEATH Srinagar: One person is killed in south Kashmir’s Shopian district during security forces’ action on a mob of stone pelters who were protesting after an encounter in which three militants were killed yesterday, say police. DEL13 HP-LANDSLIDE Shimla: A village near the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway is declared unsafe and residents asked to shift to safer places in view of threat of landslides even as rescue operations are on at the site where two buses are trapped under mounds of debris. DEL20 JK-GRENADE Srinagar: Four security personnel are injured in a grenade attack by militants in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, say police. DEL24 UP-I-DAY-MADRASSAS Lucknow: Hoisting of national flag, singing of national anthem, paying tributes to freedom fighters and martyrs and programmes held on the occasion of Independence Day tomorrow in madrassas across the state will be videographed and photographed perhaps for the first time. DES5 UP-CHILDREN-VARUN GANDHI New Delhi: Moved by the Gorakhpur tragedy, BJP Lok Sabha member Varun Gandhi pledges Rs 5 crore from his MP development fund to build a state-of-the-art paediatric wing in Sultanpur district hospital. DES10 JK-BOY Srinagar: An explosive, apparently left behind at an encounter site around 40 days back in Kashmir’s Pulwama district, goes off, injuring a boy, say police. DES13 DL-TAXOFFICERS-DONATE-FLOOD New Delhi: Tax officers across the country have been asked to donate one-day salary to Prime Minister’s Relief Fund to help flood-affected states, says an association representing them. DES2 KASHMIR-RTI-HEALER Budgam (JK): Five days a week, 45-year-old Ghulam Mohiudin Sheikh is quietly at work as a carpenter. On the weekends, he dons a new hat — and seeks to change people’s lives. By Sheikh Suhail NRG1 JK-RESTRICTIONS Srinagar: Authorities impose restrictions in parts of Srinagar to maintain law and order in the wake of killing of two civilians in security forces’ action on stone-pelting protestors. LGD20 DL-COURT-WANI New Delhi: A Delhi court extends by six days the ED custody of alleged hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani, arrested in connection with a decade-old money laundering case involving Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Vision 2022: From intent to action on field

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Move beyond files and go to the field to understand ground realities. This was the message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the district collectors of the country during his first-of- its-kind interaction with them via video conference. He said the collectors should particularly understand the conditions related to health services in remote parts of the districts, according to a statement issued by the PMO.During the interaction under the theme ‘New India Manthan, he said the more a collector visits the field, the more active he will be on files.Calling the PM’s interaction as ‘motivational’, various district magistrates in the national capital were geared to move into action, after a 40-minute long video conference with him.Modi, while giving the reference of 1942’s Bharat Chodo Andolan said that all officers should work towards eradicating poverty, unemployment and corruption by 2022. PM Modi termed the agenda for the next five years as — Karenge aur Karke rahenge.During the interaction, Chief Secretaries from states like West Bengal, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and Uttar Pradesh even suggested ways in this regard.OFFICIALS’ SPEAKIt was inspiring for the deputy commissioners to treat your districts as an extended family and go past the files to the ground and create awareness among the people, and see how their problems could be solved.Farooq Ahmad Lone, Deputy Commissioner of SrinagarIt was a great experience to listen to the Prime Minister directly. I am ready to prepare the Vision Document for Budgam district as soon as possible.Mohammad Harun Malik, Deputy Commissioner of BudgamIt was quite motivational to listen to the Prime Minister. He suggested ways to make the administrative work simpler and approachable for citizens, in a way that even a poor person would be comfortable in approaching us.RC Meena, Sub-divisional magistrateWe have been listening to the Prime Minister through different mediums — letters, annual programmes and through various messages. This was a programme focused on district collectors and state bureaucrats to give them a common understanding to lead to a developmental scenario in a holistic manner with zeal.Talat Parvez, Deputy Commissioner of KulgamIt was an inspiring and motivating session. We are also determined to prepare a roadmap for Nagpur district to progress by 2022. This will be done by seeking inputs from intellectuals, the youth and eminent personalities from various sectors. What is important is the passion to work to achieve our goals.Sachin Kurve, Nagpur District CollectorIt was a very good session. We have already prepared a Vision Document for Pune district. But it will be refurbished after taking into account views from intellectuals and the youth. Our attempt will be to implement the Vision 2022 document in a timebound manner by putting in place monitoring a mechanism.Saurabh Rao, Pune District CollectorOur attempt will be to improve Washim district’s ranking in the Human Development Index, increase the child-sex ratio which is currently declining, and make the district open-defecation free in the next two years. Farmer suicides are high in the district, and so our focus in Vision 2022 will be to make the district farmer-suicide free.Rahul Dwivedi, Washim District CollectorThe Prime Minister urged all administrators to move more into the field and not just get stuck in the files. He suggested to achieve targets and not to think of publicity. These words came from the PM under the banner of New India: Manthan. He advised all of us to take tough postings as a chance to serve the poor, rather than taking it as a punishment posting. Our vision will be to strive to steer the district administration on the same path.Sampada Mehta, Mumbai City District CollectorIt was quite an unique experience. Vision 2022 will focus on education, health, increase in digital transactions and tribal development among other things. The district administration has improved rankings in Swachch Bharat Mission, but efforts will be further stepped up. Steps have already been taken to make the district open-defecation free. Adequate attention will be paid on further strengthening the health facilities.Dilip Pandharpatte, Dhule District CollectorThe Prime Minister has asked all district collectors to prepare a Vision Document for the backward areas. He has also instructed collectors to give respect to the poor if they have any grievances. They should be treated with dignity, and their problems should be addressed at the earliest.Sanjay Amrani, Amreli, Gujarat, CollectorIt was a very inspiring meeting. For the first time, the Prime Minister addressed the district collectors across the country through video conference on the theme of New India – Manthan. He asked us to interact with the locals to bring out a roadmap for the district’s development by August 15. He wanted us to work on those goals which should be achieved by 2022. We have already held a meeting with all the departments, immediately after the web address, to chart out plans to prepare the district roadmap. We are planning to hold interactions with a cross section of people — from villagers to intellectuals in Madurai.K Veera Raghava Rao, Madurai District CollectorThe PM wanted all the district collectors to make a vision document about formation of a New India. He also directed us to hold field visits while planning. He asked us to ensure better implementation of all health schemes of government and also talked about Newindia.in website.Gurpreet Sapra, DC, Mohali(Inputs from Sanjay Jog, Ishfaq-ul-Hassan, G Jagannath, Astha Saxena, Haresh Jhala)

25 pc funds meant for disaster mitigation in J-K diverted to

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has raised questions over the distribution of relief and assistance to the 2014-flood victims in Jammu and Kashmir, while portraying a dismal picture of disaster management in the state. Putting to audit an amount of Rs 1,369.16 crore, spent from State Disaster Management Response Fund (SDRF) from 2010 -11 to 2014-15, the CAG has pointed that 25 per cent (Rs 342.43 crore) of the expenditure meant for disaster mitigation purposes, was diverted towards ineligible works. The expenditure was even incurred on account of excess payments or procurements at higher rates, it said. The revelations were made by the CAG in its report on performance audit of disaster management in Jammu and Kashmir for the year ending March 2016. The report said despite multi-hazardous risks and occurrence of several disasters in recent past, the steps taken by the state government to prepare for and mitigate the impact of disasters were not commensurate with the task at hand. There were gaps and deficiencies in institutional arrangements, policy and plan formulation as well as implementation of pre-disaster measures. There was considerable scope for improvement in the management of SDRF funds so as to both augment available resources as well as to ensure its utilization for the intended objectives of disaster preparedness and relief, the report said. The auditor said the lack of preparedness and processes including internal control and monitoring mechanisms necessary to ensure efficient and timely relief and rehabilitation on the occurrence of a disaster were self-evident in the disaster relief activities following the disasters that struck the state recently, including the floods of 2014. There were deficiencies and delays in damage and need assessments, diversion of flood relief funds and delay in reaching relief and assistance to the affected persons or families, it said. Citing examples of mismanagement post the floods of 2014, the report said under the Special Plan Assistance (SPA), Rs 1,000 crore was provided for rebuilding damaged infrastructure in October 2014. “However, Rs 4.66 crore was spent in contravention of the SPA conditions and Rs 37.58 crore was spent for purposes not related to rebuilding the damaged infrastructure. “Overall, there was a lack of assurance that relief and assistance were provided to the actual beneficiaries in a timely and efficient manner despite availability of financial resources,” it said. In another example, the audit noticed that the district administration Srinagar hired 504 boats for evacuation of affected people from flood-affected areas at a cost of Rs 1.77 crore, but the details of rescue operations viz area or location where the boats were deployed, number of flood affected people rescued, were not on record. Even the details of areas or camps where the rescued people were sent, details of arrangements of food and lodging in these areas or camps were not on record. The audit also noted that Rs 1.77 crore was paid to the president of the All J-K Shikara Owners Association. As per the sanctions, payments were to be made in the range of Rs 38,000 to Rs 10,000. Scrutiny of the bank statements of payments made to the boatmen by DC Srinagar revealed less payment of Rs 30.16 lakh, the report said. In addition, it said, 58 boatmen to whom hire charges of Rs 20.02 lakh were sanctioned by the DC Srinagar were not reflected in the bank statement. The audit check of bank statements to the Shikara Owners Association showed that Rs 41.68 lakh was paid to persons who were not reflected in the lists of boatmen prepared by DC Srinagar. It was also noticed that Rs 9.50 lakh was drawn by the president of the association on self cheques for disbursement to boatmen. However, no records were available to verify whether such payments were actually made, the CAG said in the report, adding the procedure adopted by the DC Srinagar for making payments to boatmen provided no assurance that the funds disbursed actually reached the individual boatmen. The report pointed out that the state government authorised the Jammu and Kashmir Industries Limited (JKI) for procurement of tents for providing temporary shelters to the families whose houses were fully damaged. While JKI procured 20,345 tents at a cost of Rs 13.26 crore, the audit observed that 4,467 tents valuing Rs 2.84 crore were lying unutilized and 536 tents valuing Rs 34.04 lakh had gone missing during transit from Srinagar to Anantnag and Budgam. Hence, nearly 25 per cent of the tents procured valued at Rs 3.18 crore could not be used for the intended purpose, the report said. Citing another glaring example of mismanagement of funds post the floods, the CAG said the government provided Rs 2.14 crore under the SDRF to the Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) for collection and disposal of garbage and carcasses and the SMC incurred an expenditure of Rs 1.37 crore. However, records showed that number of tipper trucks and JCBs shown utilised by the SMC was at variance with the number verified by the ward officers (sanitary inspectors). An amount of 31.26 lakh was made in excess of payments verified by ward officers, the report said. It said that while the entire garbage was shown collected and disposed off by the SMC, an amount of Rs 1.3 crore was provided to Public Works Department (PWD) from the SDRF for restoration of washed out or damaged roads was also shown spent on lifting of garbage, clearance of drain in the city between October and November 2014. The details of vehicles utilised by the PWD for the disposal of garbage, including the details of agencies from whom they were hired were not on record. While the PWD claimed that the sanitation work done by them supplemented the work done by the SMC, the financial advisor and chief accounts officer of the SMC stated that the entire city had been cleared and no area under the SMC was left out or ignored during the cleanliness drive. Hence, the expenditure of Rs 1.3 crore included in the works bills for restoration of roads could not be verified by audit, it said. The report said the district authorities of three test- checked districts of Srinagar, Anantnag and Budgam changed the status of damage in respect of 4,114 houses after the lapse of periods ranging from four months to one year after the floods. This involved an extra expenditure of Rs 8.8 crore from the SDRF, the report said. It said funds amounting to Rs 12.25 crore were utilised on 1,208 works actually started or executed prior to the occurrence of the floods and Rs 10.21 crore was utilised for purposes not covered under the fund guidelines. A total amount of Rs 27.36 crore of SDRF was utilised on ineligible works and normal repair and maintenance works. The audit also observed that Rs 31.44 crore was released to seven departments that were not eligible for assistance under SDRF. Further analysis revealed that these ineligible departments incurred an expenditure of Rs 14.97 crore on items which were not associated with flood damage, the report said. The CAG pointed out that relief and evacuation were not provided to the victims of the floods in a timely and effective manner. The audit observed that this was due to the absence of adequate damage and need assessment, lack of effective coordination and monitoring by any nodal agency for procurement, transportation and distribution of relief materials. Diversion of funds and irregular spending or spending on ineligible items in contravention of SDRF guidelines were some other reasons, the report said. It said the initial and subsequent assessments varied from 11 per cent to 137 per cent, leading to delays in arranging materials and procurement of supplies that adversely impacted provision of timely assistance to the affected people. The CAG also said had the government made progress and properly implemented two schemes for improvement in flood spill channel, the impact of the 2014 floods would have been mitigated. Scheme for improvements to flood spill channel by way of construction of central cunnette (2008-09) was taken up to deal with the reduced carrying capacity of the Jhelum river due to accumulation of sediments from various nallahs (streams). This was subsumed in the flood threat to river Jhelum scheme (2010-11). Under the first scheme only about 81 per cent and under the second, only 68 per cent of the total targeted flood spill channels were treated. Further, Rs 1.98 crore under the first scheme and Rs 9.2 crore under the second were utilised for the purposes not related to the scheme objectives. Had the two schemes been progressed and implemented as per their detailed project reports, the impact of the floods would have been mitigated, the report said. Apart from the mismanagement of funds post the 2014 floods, the report also mentions that Rs 26.52 crore was released from the SDRF during 2010-14 for relief and restoration without declaration of disaster in terms of the state disaster management policy. The report recommended the state government to strengthen the mechanisms for pre-release scrutiny and post-release monitoring of SDRF funds to ensure that the funds are released and utilised only for the purpose of providing relief to persons affected by disasters and are not diverted for other purposes. It also recommended the government to conduct vulnerability, hazard and risks assessment especially in the 13 multi-hazard districts and prepare risk maps that would enable formulation of informed strategies and prioritization of resources for disaster preparedness including an early warning system.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Cops rescue boys who wanted to join militants after failing exams

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir Police today said it rescued two teenage boys who wanted to join militants due to fear of “failing in examinations” from Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.Basharat Ahmad Dar (15) and Anayat Qayoom Bhat (17) were recovered by the police from militancy-infested Tral area on Wednesday, two days after they were reported missing by their families in Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district, a police spokesman said.The duo told the police that they had gone to Tral to meet militants after they had done poorly in the mock board examinations conducted in their school, he said.”During questioning, both the students said that they had gone to Tral after faring poorly in the exam and wanted to meet militants.After proper counselling, they have been handed over to their parents yesterday,” he said, adding that the parents of the two boys hailed the efforts of the police in bringing their children back to their families

Terrorists storm cops’ houses in south Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terrorists on Thursday night stormed residences of some police officers in south Kashmir region, threatened family members, and ransacked their property before fleeing.According to sources, they raided a senior police officer’s house and threatened the family members with dire consequences.Police sources said terrorists launched coordinated raids at residences of police officers in Kulgam and Pulwama districts. The raids started from Kulgam and spread to Pulwama villages where the attackers broke windows and glass panes apart from ransacking other property and household items. None of the police officers were home when the attacks were carried out.The terrorists also torched a house at Buchroo village of Kulgam district.SP Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir, said, “They (terrorists) are frustrated because their support structure is being handled by Jammu and Kashmir police very effectively.”Meanwhile, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat reviewed the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation in Jammu division.This is not the first such instance in the Valley. In March, heavily armed militants stormed the residence of an assistant jail superintendent, threatened his family, abducted his son, and torched his vehicle in Budgam district. The son and his relative were later released 12 kilometre away from the spot.Few days later militants barged into the house of a police officer in Shopian district of south Kashmir and opened fire. Ultras tried to ransack the property but the neighborhood came to the rescue of the family.On his arrival, the Army Chief was briefed by general officer commanding of 16 corps Lt Gen A K Sharma about the preparedness in dealing with the emerging and dynamically changing security situation and the measures taken to thwart any misadventure by inimical forces.Later General Rawat visited forward posts along the LoC in Rajouri where he was briefed in detail on the actions being undertaken to ensure a robust counter infiltration grid.”General Bipin Rawat complimented the troops for their unflinching efforts and reiterated the need to remain ever prepared to counter the nefarious designs of the adversary”, said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Northern Command headquarters.

Kashmiri farmers satisfied with bumper plum crop production

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Good spells of rain and moderate temperature have yielded a bumper plum crop for Kashmir Valley farmers as compared to last year. Kashmir is popular for its fruits and dry-fruits. Apples, pears, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, mulberry, peaches, apricots, walnuts , almonds and mouth watering plums that require a moderate climate including light rainfall and bright sunshine. Farmers are busy harvesting the fruit, which are mostly grown in the Bhagati Kanipora area of Budgam district and in Zakura in Gulabbag district. ?This year we have a bumper production of plums. This year the rain was also adequate and the quality of the fruits is therefore very good,? plum dealer Abdul Hameed said. The harvesting of any type of fruit crop also generates employment among the poor. No doubt that the sizes of the plums are little bit smaller as compare to last year but production is good and rates are also high which results growers will earn satisfactory amount this year. Plums are available in the market for two months only (July and August) as of its short shelf life. In order to increase its shelf life and sell it in the markets unhurriedly, Plum dealers directly shift the fruits to the Lassipora stores soon after plucked off from the plants.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Muneer-Khan-PC-on-Ayub-Pandit-lynching @ 7/24/2017 12:46:08 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Jammu and Kashmir Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muneer Khan on Monday divulged details about the horrific lynching of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Ayub Pandith, which took place on June 22, informing that 20 accused have been arrested till date and assuring that more arrests are to be made. Addressing a press conference here, Khan said, ?There was a gruesome incident that took place on June 22 where our Security Wing of Jammu and Kashmir, Deputy SP Ayub Pandit was lynched near Jamia Masjid, Srinagar. It was a serious incident and first of its kind that has happened in the valley. The police found that four miscreants, including terrorist Sajid Ahmad Gilkar, played a major role in instigating the mob against Pandith. Investigation is on expeditiously and effectively and 20 accused have been arrested till date, more arrests will be made soon?. Explaining more about the investigation which is on in this matter, Khan stated that an iron rod which was used on Pandit was found including his identity card and pistol. ?Initially only after getting the clues we arrested three main accused who were involved. After our custodial probe they led us to more accused people who were also involved,? said Khan. Speaking on the investigation which is underway and about progress in the matter, Khan also said the probe is absolutely in the right direction and will be resolved soon. ?While being lynched the DSP had fought in self defence and had also fired three bullets to miscreants below the waist line. The investigation is still on absolutely in the right manner. Some more accused are to be arrested and will be brought out in the due course of time. We are hopeful; to complete the investigation soon,? the Inspector General of Police said. Finally hailing the hard work of the Srinagar police and team, Khan congratulated the probe carried out by them. ?A special investigating team under the command of SP Nath was constituted. I take the opportunity to congratulate Srinagar Police the way they have carried out this probe in a very professional manner and so far they have brought this investigation into a logical issue,? Khan added. On July 12, one of the militants involved in killing of Pandith killed in Redbug area of Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir. The information about the killing of the militant was tweeted by the Jammu and Kashmir police. Pandith died after a brutal mob attack outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar last month. The deceased was allegedly making a video of stone pelting by locals, and objecting to this, the violent mob attacked him. Ayub opened fire through his service pistol in his own defence after the situation became out of control.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mohammed Ayub Pandith’s lynching case: 20 persons arrested, says IGP Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir police on Monday said that 20 persons have been arrested in connection with the lynching of a Deputy Superintendent of police Mohammed Ayub Pandith.A fortnight ago, one of the militants involved in killing of Ayub Pandith was killed in Redbug area of Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir.”Investigation in the case going on expeditiously and effectively. 20 accused have been arrested and more arrests will be made soon,” said Muneer Khan, IGP Kashmir.Last month, Ayub Pandith was stripped naked and stoned to death by an irate mob after he allegedly opened fire at a group of people, who caught him clicking pictures near a mosque in downtown area of Srinagar.The deceased was allegedly making a video of stone pelting by locals, and objecting to this, the violent mob attacked him. Ayub opened fire through his service pistol in his own defence after the situation became out of control.Pandit belonged to Khanyar area which is adjacent to Nowhatta where he was killed.

Youth killed after army opened fired on stone-pelting mob in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Army opened fire on stone pelting mob on Friday in central Kashmir leaving a youth dead and injuring another in the former chief minister Omar Abdullah’s assembly constituency of Beerwah in the Budgam district.While police claimed that the Army mistook hurling of fire cracker as grenade and opened fire, the Army said they fired after stone throwers tried to snatch weapons from troops in Kondur village near Beerwah.Two persons — Tanveer Ahmed and Mohammed Ibrahim — were injured in the firing. The injured were immediately shifted to a hospital where Tanveer succumbed to his injuries. According to police said Ibrahim’s condition is stable.”As per initial information a foot patrol of the Army was returning to its camp when some miscreants pelted stones on them. One of them also hurled a fire cracker at the army men. The soldiers thought a grenade was hurled and retaliated,” a police officer said.Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, said, “An Army patrol was subjected to stone pelting by a mob in Kondur village. Some stone-pelters tried to close in on the patrol and snatch weapons from the soldiers.”Tension has gripped the area after the killing. Thousands of people joined the funeral prayers of the slain youth shouting pro-freedom slogans.Clashes erupted after the funeral with scores of youth pelting stones on the security forces. Security forces took to lathi charge and fired smoke shells to quell the mob.National Conference president and former J&K chief minister Omar Abdullah said, “My heart goes out to the family of young Tanveer. The cycle of death and despair has consumed the youth, and this cycle must be broken with peace, resolution, and reconciliation.”Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani said, “Unless and until these forces are made accountable for their wrongdoings the killing spree will go unabated.”

3 students overcome hearing problem after help from J&K police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three disabled students including two girls in the city overcame hearing problem after Jammu and Kashmir police provided a financial assistance of over Rs 12 lakh for their treatment. The students along with their parents today met Director General of State Police S P Vaid at police headquarters to express their gratitude to the department for the noble gesture and assistance which helped them to overcome their disability and live a normal life, a police spokesman said. Senior officer V K Singh, during his posting as additional director general of police, security, took the initiative of screening 15 students with hearing disability at Modern High School, Rambagh in uptown Srinagar in September 2015, under Civic Action Plan (CAP). “The ENT specialist at SMHS Hospital Srinagar certified that two students – Abida Hanief of Old Barzulla locality of Srinagar and Rutba Rashid of Narkara village of Budgam – could be benefited by way of cochlear implant surgery,” the spokesman said. Accordingly, he said an amount of Rs 12 lakh was incurred by Police under CAP besides Rs 31,000 on account of providing a hearing aid to Abid Hussain of Litter village of Pulwama in south Kashmir. Cochlear Implant Surgery was conducted by former principal government medical college Professor Rafiq Ahmad Pampori along with head of department ENT SMHS Rouf Ahmad and registrar ENT SMHS Aleena, the spokesman said, adding hearing aid implant activity was conducted by audiologist, SMHS, Tariq Ahmad. Welcoming the students and their parents at police headquarters, the police chief interacted with them and said “it is heartening to note that efforts of the police have shown good results”. Vaid also hailed the efforts of Singh, the doctors and Assistant Inspector General of police Welfare Haseeb Mughal for getting the disability of the students treated, by medical intervention. Union ministry of social justice and empowerment has launched a scheme for assistance of such disabled children, under which cochlear implants up to Rs 6 lakh per unit are provided for children under the age of two years with hearing disability.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

102 terrorists killed in JK in 7 months of this years; more on

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces and Jammu and Kashmir Police have killed 102 terrorists till now this year, making it the highest number of killings in the January-July period in seven years, a police official said today. The security forces also have prepared a hit-list of several other terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammad and Hizbul Mujahideen. The slain terrorists included Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Bashir Lashkari who was involved in the killing of six policemen in south Kashmir and top Hizbul Mujahideen militant Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, he noted. The security forces and police are going after terrorists as part of the operation “hunt down” and on the basis of a “hit-list” of terrorists, said the official who refused to be identified. The killing of 102 terrorists till July 12 makes it the highest number in the past seven years, the official said. Earlier in 2010, the highest number of 156 militants were killed between January and July that year. Last year, 77 terrorists were killed during this period, 51 each were killed in 2015 and 2014, respectively, 43 in 2013, 37 in 2012 and 61 in 2011, according to the police data. The hunt for terrorists of various outfits has been intensified under an operational strategy, the official said. The counter-terrorist grid continues to maintain dominance and deny any space to terrorists, the official said, adding synergised hard intelligence-based joint operations involving the J&K police and central paramilitary forces have been the hallmark of these operations. While the forces have already eliminated those involved the killing of seven cops and lynching of Dy SP, a massive hunt is underway for LeT commander Abu Ismail who has emerged as the mastermind of the deadly attack on Amarnath pilgrims. Sabzar Bhat, who was a close associate of the slain poster boy Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, was killed along with an associate in an encounter in Tral in South Kashmir on May 28. On July one this year, Lashkari and another LeT militant Azad Malik were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Anantnag’s Brenti village in South Kashmir. Bashir Lashkari was involved in the killing of six policemen in the district s Acchabal area on June 16, according to the police. On July 12, top Hizb terrorist Sajad Gilkar was among three militants killed by security forces in Budgam district of central Kashmir. According to the police, Gilkar had played a key role in the lynching of DySP Mohammad Ayub Pandith near Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of Srinagar on June 22. Most of the encounters have taken place in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Shopian and Anantnag districts while others have taken place in Bandipora and Kupwara in north Kashmir and Budgam in central Kashmir, the official pointed out. In June, the Army had released a “hit-list” of 12 top militants in Jammu and Kashmir who it aims to “go after”. The hit-list carries the names and pictures of the militants along with the areas they are active in and the strikes carried out by them. The hit-list includes LeT’s so-called ‘divisional commander’ Abu Dujana alias Hafiz, its Kulgam ‘district commander’ Junaid Ahmad Matoo alias Kandroo, Anantnag ‘district commander’ Bashir Wani alias Lashkar, Pulwama ‘district commander’ Showkat Tak alias Huzaifa, Shopian ‘commander’ Wasim Ahmed alias Osama and Zeenat-ul-Islam alias Alkama (LET), according to the police. Abu Hamas, Jaish-e-Mohammad’s so-called ‘divisional commander and a Pakistani national, is also in the hit-list. From the Hizbul Mujahideen, the list includes its ‘divisional commander’ Zakir Rashid Bhatt alias Musa, Shopian ‘district commander’ Saddam Paddar alias Zaid, Pulwama ‘district commander’ Reyaz Ahmed Naikoo alias Zubair, Badgam ‘district commander’ Mohd Yasin Ittoo alias Mansoon and Kulgam ‘district commander’ Altaf Ahmed Dar alias Kachroo.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Restrictions in Srinagar for 3rd day, curbs lifted from other

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Restrictions on the movement of people continued in parts of Srinagar for the third consecutive day today, while curbs were lifted from other areas of the valley. A police official said the restrictions were in place in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal, M R Gunj and Rainawari areas of the summer capital. The curbs are a precautionary measure as one of the militants killed in Wednesday’s encounter in Budgam was a resident of Nowhatta, he said. The official said the curbs were lifted from all other areas of the city as well as elsewhere in Kashmir as the situation was improving. Authorities had yesterday imposed curfew in Shopian town and restrictions in seven police station areas of Srinagar as well as in Anantnag, Pulwama and Kulgam districts in south Kashmir and Sopore and Handwara townships in north Kashmir. The action was taken in view of a strike called by separatists to commemorate the death anniversary of 21 persons who were killed allegedly in firing by the Dogra army on 13 July, 1931.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Terrorist dead in Budgam played key role in lynching of DSP Pandith: J&K Police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Sajid Ahmad Gilkar, who was killed in an encounter today, had played a key role in the lynching of DSP Mohammad Ayub Pandith last month, police said.DSP Pandith was stripped and stoned to death by a mob outside the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar on June 22. “Gilkar played a key role in the lynching of DSP Mohammad Ayub Pandith of the security wing,” a police spokesman said today. Gilkar went underground and joined the Hizbul Mujahideen after the lynching incident, he said. “He was also involved in grenade attacks on the CRPF at Nowhatta on April 22, Khanyar police party on April 30 and SafaKadal CRPF camp on June 21,” the spokesman said.He said the slain terrorist was also involved in attacks on PDP worker Abdul Qayoom in Barzulla on May 24 and an army convoy near SKIMS Bemina April 1. Gilkar and his associates Aaqib Gul and Javaid Ahmad Shiekh were killed in an overnight gunbattle with security forces in Redbugh area of Budgam district this morning.
ALSO READ India hits back: 24-hours after Amarnath Yatra attack, 3 Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists killed in Budgam”They (slain militants) were involved in recent weapon snatching incidents in the south and central Kashmir. They were also involved in anti-national activities, unlawful activities, damaging of government property and stone pelting incidents,” the spokesman said.

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.)

Restrictions in old Srinagar after local militant killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities today imposed restrictions in several parts of the old city after a militant from downtown Malaratta was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kashmir’s Budgam district. Although police did not spell out the reason for the sudden restrictions in five police station areas of the old city, administration officials said they apprehended violent protests following the killing of Sajid Ahmad Gilkar. “Restrictions have been imposed in the police station areas of Maharajgunj, Safakadal, Rainawari, Nowhatta and Khanyar as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” a police official said. Three Hizbul Mujahideen militants, including Gilkar, was killed after an overnight gunbattle with security forces in Budgam’s Redbugh area this morning, police said. His body is lying in police control room and will be handed over to his family later in the day. The other two slain militants have been identified as Aaqib Gul of Gooripora and Javaid Ahmad Sheikh of Beerwah.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Three militants killed in encounter in Kashmir’s Budgam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three militants were today killed in an overnight encounter with security forces in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, police said. “Three militants were killed this morning in the encounter,” a police official said. He said security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Redbug area of Budgam last evening after receiving specific intelligence inputs about the presence of militants in the area. The search operation turned into an encounter as the search party of the security forces was fired upon by the militants. The operation was halted for the night but the security forces maintained the cordon of the area to stop the militants from escaping, the official said. He said the gun fight resumed this morning and three militants were killed. The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants is being ascertained, he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists neutralised in Budgam

Wed, 12 Jul 2017-07:50am , Jammu and Kashmir , ANI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists were killed by security forces near Budgam district in Jammu and Kashmir on Tuesday 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.The joint operation was launched at around 6:00 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 distrcit.At lease seven people were killed and more than 15 sustained injury in the attack.

J&K HC lawyers protest against army chief’s remarks

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Work in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court here was affected today as lawyers abstained to protest the recent remarks of Army chief Gen Bipin Rawat in the context of a Major using a man as a human shield against stone pelters last month. Lawyers affiliated to Kashmir High Court Bar Association stayed away from work, terming Rawat’s remarks as “inhuman and barbaric”. In a statement, the association said Rawat’s comments will give a “licence” to the armed forces to “humiliate, torture, kill, maim and blind the innocent people of Kashmir.” Rawat had stoutly defended Major Leetul Gogoi for using a man as a human shield against stone pelters in Budgam district of Kashmir on April 9, saying the army is facing a “dirty war” in Jammu and Kashmir which has to be fought through “innovative” ways. The bar association alleged that image of the army is at its “lowest ebb” and “If there was anything left, that gap has been filled by Major (Leetul) Gogoi by tying an innocent civilian to an army jeep and by parading him from village to village and also by the army chief by awarding him for his innovative method.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jeep-tying issue: Separatists call for protests tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Separatists have called for peaceful protests in Kashmir tomorrow against the “inhuman act” of an Army officer tying a man to a jeep as a human shield against stone-pelters and then honouring him. Three major separatist groups — hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, moderate Hurriyat Conference headed by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF led by Yasin Malik — issued a joint statement here today calling for the protests. Major Leetul Gogoi had tied a man to his jeep as a human shield against a large mob of stone-pelters who had surrounded a polling booth in Budgam district during bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9. Gogoi has said that he had to rescue some paramilitary personnel and polling staff and by his act, many lives were saved as, otherwise, he would have been forced to order firing. Earlier this week, Gogoi got a commendation card from the Army chief for his action. “Awarding erring officer for this inhuman and unjustified act vindicates our claim that forces are involved in war crimes and are patronized and encouraged by Indian leadership,” the joint statement of the separatists said. They said that awarding the Major tantamounts to “justifying the human rights violations” and sending a clear message to the people that “they can go to any extent without any apprehension of accountability”. The separatist groups also appealed to human rights organisations, the International Court of Justice and Amnesty International to take cognizance of the incident and “fulfill their responsibilities in saving precious lives” in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmir Jeep Row: Five things you need to know about the recently-awarded army officer Major Gogoi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi of the Indian Army, who rose to fame after a video of him driving a jeep with a human shield tied on its bonnet went viral, was recently awarded a a commendation certificate by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Bipin Rawat for his sustained endeavours in counter-insurgency operations.There have been mixed reactions over the award, with Gogoi coming before the media on Tuesday, saying that he had saved the life of at least 12 individuals because of his actions.”I got a call on April 9, when the by-election was being held in the Budgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir. I got a call from an officer, who informed me that around 1,200 people had cornered their booth and were trying to burn it with petrol bombs. When I went there, I somehow managed to rescue the polling staff and tried to escort them away to safety, but it was proving very difficult in the face of more than 1,200 stone-pelters,” he told in a press briefing.
ALSO READ Kashmir human shield row: I saved 12 lives, says Major Nitin Leetul GogoiWe take a look at Major Gogoi’s life before he shot to fame Major Nitin Leetul Gogoi was born in 1979-80 in Guwahati, Assam. He is the son of a farmer He reportedly joined the force when he was 18, and served as a jawan in the 3rd Battalion of Assam He then moved to Dehradun-based Army Cadet College (ACC) to become an officer. Gogoi was commissioned as a lieutenant in December 2008. In 2013, he became an officer and has been involved in several counter-insurgency operations that have neutralised threats to the people of Kashmir.

Army veterans divided over commendation card to Major Gogoi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army veterans today appeared to be divided over a commendation card which was awarded to Major Leetul Gogoi, who had tied a man to a jeep in Kashmir purportedly as a shield against stone pelters.Lt Gen (retd) H S Panag, former GOC-in-C, Northern Command, criticised the move saying Gogoi’s action was unbecoming of the traditions followed by the Indian Army.”IA (Indian Army) traditions, ethos, rules & regs swept away by the ‘mood of the nation’! I stand by my views even if I am the last man standing!” Panag tweeted.Gogoi was yesterday honoured with army chief’s commendation card for his “sustained efforts in counter- insurgency operations”.Major Gen (retd) Ramesh Chopra came out in support of Gogoi.
ALSO READ Major Gogoi honoured: Jitendra Singh says it’s a matter of national honour, PDP unimpressed”With his innovative thinking, he saved lives of people and that has to be appreciated. I give him full marks for his presence of mind,” Chopra said.Col Anil Kaul (retd), who served in the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) in Sri Lanka, said Gogoi deserved more than a commendation card because of his “out of the box thinking”.
ALSO READ Kashmir jeep row: Major Gogoi defends action, ‘tied man’ expresses dismay over Army award”He saved lives of people without even firing a bullet despite being attacked by stone pelters. His act should be applauded and he should be given a Shaurya Chakra,” Kaul said.Breaking his silence today, Gogoi said about 1200 stone- pelters had surrounded a small group of security personnel at a polling booth in Utligam village of Budgam district on April 9. He claimed that if he had ordered firing, there could have been at least 12 casualties.The mob, which included women and children, was threatening to set ablaze the polling booth, he claimed.Amidst the mob, he claimed he saw a man who appeared to be the “ring leader” as he was “instigating” the stone-pelters at Utlgam on the day of bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maj. Gogoi defends his act, says by tying stone-pelter he saved others

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After the Jammu and Kashmir Police refused to quash the First Information Report (FIR) against him for tying a man to the bonnet of his jeep to serve as a ‘human shield’, Major Leetul Gogoi on Tuesday defended his act by saying that he took the step “to save the people trapped in the polling booth.” ?I got a call on April 9, when the by-election was being held in the Budgam sector of Jammu and Kashmir. I got a call from an officer, who informed me that around 1,200 people had cornered their booth and were trying to burn it with petrol bombs. When I went there, I somehow managed to rescue the polling staff and tried to escort them away to safety, but it was proving very difficult in the face of more than 1,200 stone-pelters,? he told in a press briefing here. He said that at that time he saw the man who was instigating the crowd and was even-raising anti-national slogans. So, they caught the man after which the crowd dispersed a bit. “It was very difficult to control them; their number was considerably increasing. I could have opened fire, but that would have even worsened the situation. At that time suddenly in my mind, I thought to tie the stone-pelters to the jeep. Seeing this, the stone-pelting stopped. Then I got a safe window to come out. I did these things just to save the local people. Had I not done it, 12 people would have died,” Gogoi said. Earlier, the political parties were left irked when Major Gogoi was awarded by Chief of Army Staff’s (COAS) Commendation Card for his sustained distinguished service till now in counter-insurgency operations in the state, citing that his measures against stone-pelters would only aggravate the situation in the Valley. The officer was awarded by Army chief Gen. Bipin Rawat during his recent visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Major Gogoi was in the spotlight after a video shot during the April 9 Srinagar Lok Sabha by-polls, posted on the social media, showed a man tied on the bonnet of an Army jeep in Jammu and Kashmir’s Badgam. The video went viral and sparked a major controversy, with one faction condemning the Army’s action while the other commended their ingenuity. The Court of Inquiry regarding April 9 incident is under finalisation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cop injured in ‘accidental fire’ in Kashmir’s Budgam district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A policeman was injured today when his service rifle went off accidentally while guarding a politician’s house in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, police said. Constable Nishan Singh, who was on guard duty at Congress party leader Farooq Ahmad Indrabi’s residence in Chadoora area of the district, was injured due to an accidental fire from his service rifle, a police official said. He said the constable suffered injuries in his right foot and was rushed to a nearby hospital where from the doctors referred him to Bone and Joint Hospital here for further treatment.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Police arrests two ‘chronic’ stone-pelters in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cracking down on trouble mongers, the police today arrested two “chronic” stone-pelters who were allegedly involved in creating disturbances in central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The arrested youth included a college student, the police said, adding a mask and a “green and white flag”, an apparent refence to the Pakistani flag, were recovered from them. On the basis of available evidence, police arrested a “chronic” stone-pelter identified as Tahir Nasrullah, a resident of Parimpora area on the outskirts of Srinagar, a police spokesman said. He said Nasrullah had recently taken admission in the Government Degree College, Magam, and taking advantage of being new in the area, he resorted to creating disturbances there. According to the spokesman, Nasrullah was identified from the videos of various “unlawful incidents”. He was identified on the basis of physical features like the kind of clothes he wore, his height, colour of school bag he carried, the spokesman said. He said the police team apprehended him outside the college when Nasrullah was changing his clothes from uniform to civil. The police recovered a mask, college uniform and a mobile phone from his bag, the spokesman said. His arrest, the spokesman said, led to the arrest of another stone-pelter identified as Samir Bhat, a resident of Yarigund area of Magam. Police recovered “a green and white flag from his bag,” the spokesman said, apparently referring to the flag of Pakistan. Further investigation into the matter is going on, he said. Kashmir has been witnessing recurring incidents of stone-pelting in various parts for the last few months.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Norway’s envoy calls on Omar Abdullah, discusses Kashmir issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Norway’s Ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvag today called on National Conference working president Omar Abdullah here and discussed the Kashmir issue with him. Kamsvag met the former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister at the latter’s Gupkar residence. The overall political and economic situation of the state came up for a detailed discussion during the hour-long meeting between the two, a spokesman of the National Conference, the opposition in the state, said. He added that Omar briefed the envoy about the prevailing situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the NC’s stand on it. Several members of the public as well as delegations of political parties from Beerwah, Ganderbal, Budgam and Srinagar also met Omar and informed him of the problems being faced by the people in their respective areas, said the spokesman. “Omar heard them patiently and assured them that he will take up their problems with the authorities concerned for an early redressal,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Terrorists turn robbers in J&K, loot 3 banks in 24 hours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terrorists on Wednesday targeted two banks in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district within a span of two hours and decamped with Rs 6 lakh. In the past 24 hours, terrorists have looted three banks in different parts of South Kashmir.The terrorists first struck the Ellaquai Dehati Bank at Wahibug in Pulwama and looted Rs 4.9 lakh on Wednesday. Two hours later, they barged into the J&K Bank at Nihama and looted Rs 1.3 lakh cash before escaping.On Tuesday, pistol-borne terrorists stormed the Ellaquai Dehati Bank in Kader Yaripora village of Kulgam district and looted over Rs 65,000.Terrorists on Monday attacked a cash van of Jammu and Kashmir Bank and killed seven people, including five policemen and two employees, besides looting four self-loading rifles at Pumai village of Kulgam district.However, there was no cash in the van since it was returning after distributing the money to the branches.”They (terrorists) have been targeting the banks ever since they faced cash crush following demonetization last year. Terrorists require money for so many activities including for buying high-end cellphones,” Rayees Mohommad Bhat, superintendent of police, Pulwama, told DNA.Figures reveal that around 10 banks have been looted since November last year. These include four in Pulwama, two in Shopian, two in Kulgam, one each in Budgam and Kishtwar.Last year’s demonetization has hit terrorists and their associates hard and they are facing cash crunch.Sources said the terrorists require huge money to pay their cadres and buying logistics.”Earlier, only Lashkar-e-Toiba was involved in looting banks, but now Hizbul Mujhadeen too is resorting to it to feed their cadres.Last month, two top terrorists of Lashkar-e-Tioba were killed in Padgampora village of Budgam district. One of the terrorists Abu Ali, a Pakistan national, was the prime accused of the bank robberies in Pulwama district.It is not only the banks which are on the radar of the militants in south Kashmir. For the last few months militants have been on looting spree of the weapons of policemen to replenish their depleting arsenal.Meanwhile, terrorists on Tuesday night entered the district court complex Shopian and disarmed five policemen before decamping with four INSAS and one AK 47 rifles. All the five cops have been suspended by the police.”Definitely they are falling short of weapon. When they snatch a weapon they do not have ammunition. They snatch a weapon which may carry one magazine. Once they use the bullets, the weapon becomes useless. They need ammunition and they are trying to get better weapons. For example if they looted SLR last year, they would try to get AK 47 this year,” said Rayees.Seemingly rattled by the bank looting, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti appealed the people particularly youth to help and support the government to stop this death and destruction.”What are we doing? We need to think what we are achieving by this robbery and bloodbath. There can’t be misfortune than this. There can’t be misfortune than this. I appeal all people particularly the youth and children that J&K I s yours and work for its betterment and help us in stopping this destruction,” said Mehbooba.

Army says it will kill militants but has no intent to harm

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The army will have to kill militants and will do so but there is no intent to harm civilians, a top commander said today and sought cooperation of the people in restoring peace in Kashmir where the situation is “grim”. Lt General J S Sandhu, Commander of Srinagar-based Corps which looks after security of the Kashmir valley, expressed concern over the number of videos of militants being circulated on the social media and the rise in militancy- related incidents in the valley. He said the situation in Kashmir was “grim” but the valley has to be taken out of such a situation towards peace and prosperity. “It is a matter of concern, but I want to assure you that for the last few months, we have been taking action against the militants to a great deal and we will continue doing so… We will continue action against the militants here,” he said while talking to reporters at the end of a two-day youth festival ‘Jashn-e-Baramulla’, “We have to kill militants and we will kill militants only. We should not need to kill anyone else. Basically, our intent is that,” Lt Gen Sandhu said. He did not elaborate but was apparently referring to the situations when the army is forced to act against mobs of stone-pelters who assemble at the encounter sites to disrupt operations by the forces against militants. This kind of trend has been increasing. Lt Gen Sandhu referred to last Saturday when the army killed two militants in Hayatpora near Budgam and asserted, “Such operations will continue.” Asking the people of Kashmir to cooperate with the army, he said the intent of the force is not to harm the civilians. “Only yesterday, in the Unified Headquarters meeting, we discussed this (not harming civilians during anti-militancy operations). Our intent is also that people should cooperate,” he said. Expressing happiness over the ‘Jashn-e-Baramulla’ festival in which Kashmiri youth participated in large numbers, the army commander said it was a ray of hope as it “gives us a sense that people here want peace” and “want their lives to be better”. He said the army has to take along youth of the valley as they are the future of the nation. “Today, Kashmir is going through grim situation and we have to take Kashmir out of this situation, towards happiness and prosperity. But, I think, that is not up to us. That is in the hands of the people of Kashmir, Lt Gen Sandhu said. To a question by a reporter, he said, “It is absolutely right, 100 per cent, that we have to take the youth along and work with them because youth is the future of a nation. If we cannot ensure better future of the youth, then the nation will not progress, he said. Our endeavour is to take a step. When others cooperate with us, such steps increase. But if there are hurdles in front of those steps, then there are difficulties. “But, I want to assure you that the government forces, security forces and people, all want peace and we are all trying to restore that peace,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

300 Whatsapp groups were used to mobilise stone-pelters at

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Nearly 300 Whatsapp groups were being used to mobilise stone-pelters in Kashmir to disrupt security forces’ operations at encounter sites, of which 90 per cent have been shut down, a police official said today. Each of these 300 Whatsapp groups had around 250 members, the official said while explaining how determined attempts were being made to disrupt the operations of the security forces by mobilising stone-pelting mobs at the encounter sites. “We identified the groups and the group administrators, who were called in by police for counselling. We have had a good response to this initiative,” he said on the condition of anonymity. In the last three weeks, more than 90 per cent of these Whatsapp groups have been shut down, the official said. He said the government’s policy of suspending internet services appeared to be showing positive results in curbing stone-pelting during encounters and cited the case of yesterday’s encounter in Budgam district. Just a few youth gathered to hurl stones after two militants were gunned down in the encounter yesterday. This was in sharp contrast to an encounter in Durbugh village in the same area on March 28, when a large number of stone-pelters had assembled and three of them were killed in firing by security forces. “With no internet services, the mobilisation of mobs has almost become impossible. Earlier, we would see youth from as far as 10 kilometres from the encounter sites joining the protesters to pelt stones at security forces to disrupt the anti-militancy operations. “That did not happen yesterday during or after the encounter in the absence of internet on mobiles,” the official said. He said some of the youth listed personal issues like alleged harassment by security forces as reasons for taking to stone-pelting. “Most of them get carried away momentarily,” he said, adding authorities are also looking at further sensitising the personnel on the need to adopt a humane approach while dealing with the youth. “With the internet facility withdrawn, the activity on these social networking groups and other sites like Facebook has come down drastically,” he added. Stone-pelting on security forces near the encounter sites has been causing major operational problems for the law enforcing agencies over the past one year. More than half a dozen youth have been killed in such incidents in the first quarter of this year. However, the common people especially those from the business community say they are facing hardships, because of the inability to stay connected online. “Today, the business depends on internet for communication. I am into stock markets and I have had no business since the mobile internet services were withdrawn on Monday,” Mudasir Bhat said. Bhat said most of the people had done away with landlines and broadband internet services as mobile internet facility gave them more freedom and were also cheaper. Ishfaq Ahmad, a contractor by profession, said life, without internet, had come to a standstill. “I had to submit a tender document two days after the internet facility was withdrawn. As the document was to be submitted online, we had to request the concerned department to extend the date till we make arrangements for e-filing,” Ahmad said. He said he has applied for landline connection but the service provider, BSNL, has informed him that it will take time. “BSNL is the only landline services provider here in Kashmir. I hope the government takes steps to ensure that businesses do not suffer because of this internet ban,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Jammu and Kashmir: Two militants gunned down by security forces in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two militants, who opened fire on an army patrol, were killed by the security forces in an encounter on Saturday in the Budgam district of central Kashmir.”Two militants have been killed in the gunfight with the security forces,” a police official said.A patrolling party of the 53 Rashtriya Rifles came under fire from the militants at village Hayatpora, 18 kms from here, at around 6 PM, triggering a gunbattle between the two sides, a police official said.The official said reinforcements were rushed to the village and an operation was launched to flush out the militants, during which two of them were killed.One of the militants has been identified as Younis Maqbool Ganai, a resident of Patrigam area of Chadoora, while the identity of the other is being ascertained, the official said.An AK-47 assault rifle and some ammunition has been recovered from the encounter site, the official added.

Court of Inquiry instituted against Major for tying youth to moving army jeep

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A Court of Inquiry was instituted against Major Leetul Gogoi, who tied a stone-pelter in front of his jeep to safeguard few Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) jawans. The inquiry is being headed by an officer of the rank of Colonel. The report is expected to be submitted within a month. Earlier on Friday Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police (DGP) S.P. Vaid informed that no one had approached the police then in connection with the video showing a youth tied allegedly to an army jeep as a human shield against stone-pelting. He, however, added the Indian Army is doing its own investigation into the same. Vaid told ANI, “I did see the video. No one has approached the police yet.” The video was reportedly shot in Beerwah area of Budgam district where the miscreants disrupted polling during April 9 by-polls to the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency by pelting stones.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K: Now, 2 videos of youths allegedly being beaten by soldiers surface

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two videos, showing military personnel beating up youth and forcing them to shout anti- Pakistan slogans, are doing rounds on social media after which army said that it would ascertain the veracity of the footage and take appropriate action.The purported videos emerged just a day after another video in which army personnel were seen having tied a youth to the fender of their jeep and parading him through villages in Budgam district to bring stone-pelting under control.In one of the videos that emerged on Sunday, four army personnel are seen catching hold of student from Pulwama degree college, pin him to the ground and thrash him with a cane.In the second video, three youth who seem to be under army custody in a vehicle are forced by a soldier to abuse Pakistan and shout slogans like “Pakistan murdabad”.”Azaadi chahiyay tum ko (do you want freedom)?” the soldier is seen asking the youth before slapping them and hitting them with a stick.Blood is seen oozing from the forehead of one of the youths in the army vehicle.Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said the veracity of the videos is being ascertained.”Action will be taken against those found guilty of misconduct,” Col Kalia said.It is not yet clear who shot the videos but they are being circulated across social media platforms, leading to condemnation from netizens of Kashmir.”This is complete impunity. Yesterday human shield. Today breaking into a government college in the daylight and these brutal incidents,” a Facebook user commented on the video.On Saturday, a video emerged in which army personnel had tied a youth to fender of their jeep and paraded him through several villages in Budgam district to bring stone-pelting under control.The video drew widespread condemnation, prompting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to seek a detailed report from the state police. Army also began an internal investigation into the incident.

‘Human shield’ video case: FIR registered in Beerwah Police Station

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An FIR has been registered in connection with a video of a young man tied to the front of an army vehicle being paraded in a village of central Kashmir’s Budgam district as a sign of warning of same consequence for the stone pelters.FIR No. 38/17 U/S 342/149/506 & 367 RPC was registered in the Beerwah Police Station on April 13.The video went viral on the social media and evoked angry response across Jammu and Kashmir and the country alike.Former J-K chief minister Omar Abdullah had tweeted the video on Friday saying, “Here’s the video as well. A warning can be heard saying stone pelters will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry & follow up NOW!!”A number of videos appeared on the social media in wake of the by-polls in Srinagar parliamentary constituency on April 9, when as low as 7.14 voter turnout was registered.The re-poll at 38 polling stations on April 13 recorded 2 percent voting.Internet services were also shut down on the night before elections on April 9 and resumed completely on April 13.Another video that was widely circulated on the social media and TV channels was of an armed CRPF personnel exercising immense restraint even when he was being attacked by few protestors.The Jammu and Kashmir police, on complaint of the CRPF, later registered a case to investigate the matter.

Kashmiri man tied to jeep: Army Chief Rawat meets CM Mehbooba Mufti, promises timely action

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army Chief General Bipin Rawat called on Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti this evening amid a controversial video showing a man tied to an army vehicle during polling for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat on April 9.While the 30-minute-long meeting, which began at 1900 hours, was termed as a courtesy call, official sources said that the chief minister raised the issue of the video that has gone viral on social media.The army chief, who was on a visit to the Jammu-based IX Corps of Western Command, had called on Governor N N Vohra and apprised him about the situation along the borders and also on the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra.Gen Rawat apprised Mehbooba about the situation in the Valley and assured her of timely action against its personnel who were responsible for the act of tying the man to the vehicle at Budgam.According to the sources, the army officials told a probe team that they had received a call from ITBP and local police guarding a polling station to save them from a mob which was out to lynch them.The army convoy rushed in from Kandipura and tied 36- year-old man Farooq Dar to the army jeep, they said.This incident was shot by unknown residents on their mobiles and the video showing Dar as a shield against stone- pelting protesters was circulated on social media.The video triggered a public outcry in the valley prompting the civil and army authorities to launch separate investigations.During the investigation, Dar was claimed to have said he was picked up when he was on way to his sister’s house, where a bereavement had occurred, after casting his vote.He alleged he was picked up by an army contingent that wanted to enter Beerwah village with the polling staff and tied with ropes to the front of the vehicle, officials said. The video showed the thickset man strapped to the bonnet while seated on the stepney affixed to the bumper of the jeep. Dar claimed he was moved around 10-12 villages at the head of the convoy, which included vehicles with security personnel and polling staff, before being let off.Two more videos go viral Two videos, showing military personnel beating up youth and forcing them to shout anti- Pakistan slogans, are doing rounds on social media after which army said that it would ascertain the veracity of the footage and take appropriate action.The purported videos emerged just a day after another video in which army personnel were seen having tied a youth to the fender of their jeep and parading him through villages in Budgam district to bring stone-pelting under control.In one of the videos that emerged today, four army personnel are seen catching hold of student from Pulwama degree college, pin him to the ground and thrash him with a cane.In the second video, three youth who seem to be under army custody in a vehicle are forced by a soldier to abuse Pakistan and shout slogans like “Pakistan murdabad”.”Azaadi chahiyay tum ko (do you want freedom)?” the soldier is seen asking the youth before slapping them and hitting them with a stick.Blood is seen oozing from the forehead of one of the youths in the army vehicle.It is not yet clear who shot the videos but they are being circulated across social media platforms, leading to condemnation from netizens of Kashmir.”This is complete impunity. Yesterday human shield.Today breaking into a government college in the daylight and these brutal incidents,” a Facebook user commented on the video.Yesterday, a video emerged in which army personnel had tied a youth to fender of their jeep and paraded him through several villages in Budgam district to bring stone-pelting under control.The video drew widespread condemnation, prompting Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to seek a detailed report from the state police. Army also began an internal investigation into the incident.

Video of man tied to jeep as ‘human shield’ in restive Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The man, who was seen tied to an army jeep in a shocking video shot during the poll-day violence in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 9, apparently as a shield against stone-pelting protesters, has been identified as Farooq Dar. Officials investigating the matter under instructions from Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said Dar is a resident of Sitaharaan village in Khag tehsil of Budgam district in central Kashmir and the army unit involved is 53 Rashtriya Rifles. The video, which triggered a public outcry in the restive Kashmir valley, prompted the civil and army authorities to launch separate investigations. During the investigation, Dar was claimed to have said he was picked up when he was on way to his sister’s house, where a bereavement had occurred, after casting his vote. He alleged he was picked up by an army contingent that wanted to enter Beerwah village with the polling staff and tied with ropes to the front of the vehicle, officials said. The video showed the thickset man sporting a beard strapped to the bonnet while seated on the stepney affixed to the bumper of the jeep. Dar claimed he was moved around 10-12 villages at the head of the convoy, which included vehicles with security personnel and polling staff, before being let off. Sources in the army claimed Dar was picked up from a “trouble spot” and was tied up for barely 100 metres before being released.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J&K CM seeks report from police on incidents in “disturbing”

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has sought a report from the state police on the “disturbing” videos of “unacceptable” incidents which have emerged from the Budgam district from the day of polling for the Srinagar Lok Sabha seat. The Chief Minister expressed concern over the disturbing videos being circulated on social media and has directed the police to “submit a detailed report about the incidents so that necessary action is taken”, official sources said. They said Mehbooba, while expressing concern over the incidents caught on camera, has maintained that such incidents were “unacceptable”. Three videos from the polling day in Srinagar Lok Sabha seat have gone viral here. In one of the vidoes, a CRPF man on polling duty is seen being heckled by protestors in Chadoora area of Budgam district. In the second video, a stone-pelting protestor is shot dead by security forces personel from close range outside a polling station. In another video, army men have tied a youth to a jeep for using as a human shield against stone-pelters in Beerwah area of the district on April 9.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Investigating video showing youth tied to army jeep: Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army today said it is investigating a video in which a youth was seen tied allegedly to an army jeep as a human shield against stone pelting. “In reference to the video showing a young man tied to an army jeep, the contents of the video are being verified and investigated,” a defence spokesman said here. The video, which went viral on social media here, has led to an outrage with former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, terming it as “shocking”. The video was reportedly shot in Beerwah area of Budgam district where miscreants disrupted polling during Sunday’s bypoll to Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency by pelting stones. It is being widely shared on social networks in Kashmir and is drawing condemnation. “This young man was TIED to the front of an army jeep to make sure no stones were thrown at the jeep? This is just so shocking!” Omar wrote on Twitter. The NC leader, who represents Beerwah seat in the state assembly, said while he understands the outrage generated across the country by a video in which CRPF personnel were being heckled by protestors, he was outraged that the video of the youth tied to the jeep was not generating the same anger. “I understand the outrage the CRPF video generated. I’m also outraged that the video of the youth on the jeep won’t generate the same anger. “Let’s see channels going ballistic and having discussions with outraged panelists now. Probably not since ‘Kashmir is ours’ hell with Kashmiris,” the former chief minister said. Omar demanded an inquiry into the incident. “A warning can be heard saying stone pelters will meet this fate. This requires an urgent inquiry and follow up NOW!” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Many stone pelters probably paid by govt so that voters can’t come out: Farooq Abdullah’s shocking allegation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir CM and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah has levelled a sensational allegation against the state government. He said on Friday, “Many stone pelters are probably govt paid to create situation where people don’t come out to vote.Need to investigate that”, reports ANI. In essence, he meant that the ruling party is hoping for a low turnout to offset for possible anti-incumbency. PDP so far hasn’t reacted to Farooq’s statement. On Thursday, a mere two per cent turnout was witnessed in repolling held in 38 polling stations of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, making it the lowest percentage in the state’s history, election officials said. However, the overall percentage in the entire constituency now stood at 7.13 per cent, the officials said.The situation was by and large peaceful during today’s electoral exercise which had been necessitated because of large-scale violence on last Sunday when balloting was held in the entire constituency. “Only 709 of the 34,169 voters exercised their franchise across all the 38 polling stations by the time the polling ended at 4 pm,” an election official said.No votes were polled in Khansahib assembly segment while only three votes were cast in Budgam segment and 84 in Chrar- e-Sharief segment, the official said. Beerwah segment saw a turnout of 362 voters and Chadoora saw 261 voters since 7 am. Barring a couple of minor incidents of stone-pelting, the repolling passed by peacefully, the official added.The seat fell vacant following resignation of PDP leader Tariq Hameed Karra in protest against the “atrocities” on people during summer agitation last year in the wake of killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The repolling had been ordered at these polling stations by the EC following large scale violence during Sunday’s polls for the prestigious seat.On Sunday, eight people were killed and over 100 security personnel were injured after rampaging mobs took to streets at scores of places across the Lok Sabha constituency straddling Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts. The mobs even set ablaze a polling station and attempting to set afire two others. The voter turnout then was 7.14 per cent, the lowest ever.There was an altercation between opposition National Congress and ruling PDP workers at Badran in Beerwah area over allegations of bogus voting, the officials said.With PTI inputs

Only 2 pc turnout in repoll in Srinagar LS constituency

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Only two per cent turnout was witnessed in repolling in 38 polling stations in Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency, officials said. Repolling had been ordered at these polling stations by the EC following large scale violence during Sunday’s polls for the prestigious seat. The by-poll result will be declared on April 15. Barring a stone pelting incident at Soibagh area in Budgam district, the situation was peaceful in the areas where the polling was held, the officials said. Miscreants pelted stones at polling station at Soibagh but they were chased away by the security forces, they said. There was an altercation between opposition National Congress and ruling PDP workers at Badran in Beerwah area over allegations of bogus voting, the officials said. The issue was later resolved with the intervention of the polling staff and security personnel posted on duty there. Eight people were killed in firing by security forces as unprecedented election-day violence marred the bypoll for Srinagar Lok Sabha seat which saw the voter turnout plunge to an all-time low of 7.14 per cent. Rampaging mobs took to streets in scores of places across the Lok Sabha constituency straddling Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal districts, perpetrating wanton violence and arson, even setting ablaze a polling station and attempting to set on fire two others, amid a boycott called by the separatists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Gautam Gambhir condemns stone-pelting video of CRPF jawan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Strongly condemning a video showing a section of population targetting the Jammu and Kashmir security force personnel by pelting stones and raising anti-Indian slogans, veteran Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir on Thursday said that for every slap on the country?s army Jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. The viral video features a CRPF personnel exercising immense restraint even when he is attacked by an angry mob at a polling booth in Srinagar. Expressing his anger towards the same, Gambhir wrote on Twitter, ?For every slap on my army’s Jawan lay down at least a 100 jihadi lives. Whoever wants Azadi LEAVE NOW! Kashmir is ours. #kashmirbelongs2us Gambhir did not stop here and also explained what the Indian flag signifies. ?Anti-Indians hav forgotten dat our flag also stands 4: saffron – fire of our anger, white – shroud for jihadis, green – hatred 4 terror,? he added. Earlier, after the video appeared, PRO of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Bhavesh Kumar said that they were trying to ascertain the exact location of the video and the uploader. “This video is not made by our security personnel. We also got this through the social media. An unknown person has made this video and uploaded it. After seeing the circumstances, we think that this can be from some area of Budgam. We are trying to ascertain the exact location,” CRPF PRO told ANI. Bhavesh also expressed his concern towards the soldiers who worked in such conditions in Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Trying to ascertain exact location of stone-pelting video, uploader- CRPF

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> After a video appeared showing a section of population targetting the Jammu and Kashmir security force personnel by pelting stones and raising anti-Indian slogans, PRO of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Bhavesh Kumar on Wednesday said that they were trying to ascertain the exact location of the video and the uploader. ?This video is not made by our security personnel. We also got this through the social media. An unknown person has made this video and uploaded it. After seeing the circumstances, we think that this can be from some area of Budgam. We are trying to ascertain the exact location,? CRPF PRO told ANI. The viral video features a CRPF personnel using immense restraint even when he is attacked by an angry mob at a polling booth in Srinagar. The video shows the Jawan walking when suddenly a civilian attacks the soldier. The impact of the attack makes the Jawan?s helmet roll down the road. This caused him some injuries. Bhavesh also expressed his concerned towards the soldiers who worked in such conditions in Kashmir. He said, ?This video automatically shows the condition our security forces are working under in Kashmir. Stone pelters were misbehaving with the security forces; still the forces didn?t retaliate. 53 security personnel were injured, out of which four to five are injured badly. The security personnel gave more importance to the polling parties and EVMs as they were their first priority.? In wake of the prevailing tension in the Kashmir Valley, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday deferred the Anantnag by-polls till May 25. Earlier, it was scheduled to be held on April 12. A school designated as polling station for Anantnag by-polls was set on fire in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir. A Panchayat Ghar was also set ablaze in Pulwama district. The Srinagar Parliamentary constituency witnessed lowest voter turnout for the by-polls in the wake of the clashes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Are Vajpayee, Advani ‘anti-nationals’ for talking to separatists Yashwant Sinha

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Highlighting the burning need to find a solution to the escalating woes in the Valley, senior BJP leader and former union minister Yashwant Sinha on Wednesday called on the Centre to immediately engage in constructive dialogue with separatists and also drop the notion of branding people as ?anti-national? for talking to them. ?Talks with separatists are imperative to attaining peace in the Valley. These days? the people get branded as anti-nationals for simply talking to the separatists. So, does that make Atal Bihari Vajpayee an anti-national too since he he started the trend. Is Advani also an anti national in that case?? Sinha told ANI in an exclusive conversation. Chastising the NDA Government for labelling unpalatable elements as ?anti-national?, Sinha asserted that the trend of attacking those who don?t agree with the Centre will not bear any fruit. ?Peace will return through talks. All Kashmir stakeholders must be involved in talks as was promised by the BJP and PDP,? he added. Talking about the alarming voter turnout in the Kashmir by-polls, Sinha said this is a matter-of-fact that no one wants to risk their lives by stepping out to cast votes. Meanwhile, the separatists have asked the people to resume normal activities after a three-day shutdown and thanked them for staying away from the by-polls which witnessed a mere seven percent voter turnout, the lowest in the valley in the last 27 years. The violence in Budgam in which eight civilians were killed in the clashes between the protesters and security forces was the prime reason behind the low voters? turnout. In wake of the prevailing tension in the Kashmir Valley, the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Monday deferred the Anantnag by-polls till 25 May.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Re-poll in 38 polling booths tomorrow, 20 looted EVMs still missing

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Repolling will be held in 38 polling booths across Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 13, the Election Commission (EC) announced on Tuesday. It also decided to go ahead with the counting schedule on April 15 for Srinagar seat.The decision has come a day after the EC deferred the second phase of by polls in Anantnag parliamentary constituency to May 25 amid apprehensions of large-scale violence and low turnout.”There are total 33 EVMS which are missing and damaged. Of the 20 missing EVMs, four were recovered in a badly damaged state and in parts. Thirteen EVMs have been damaged in the violence that erupted on Sunday. We have lodged FIRs in each case,” Shantmanu, chief electoral officer (CEO) of Jammu and Kashmir told DNA.Official figures reveal that around 150 polling booths were affected by the violence on Sunday. However, after assessment, the authorities decided to hold re-poll in only 38 booths, all located in the Budgam district which saw large-scale violence on Sunday that left eight people dead and 117 other injured.”Around 150 polling booths were affected. But the 38 booths were those where re-poll was necessary because the polling was cancelled on Sunday,” said Shantmanu.The state government has submitted a fresh proposal to the chief electoral officer for relocating some of the polling booths keeping in view the security threats. “We have received the proposal from the district administration which we are examining and will send it to the EC. If we will get the approval then we will relocate. Otherwise we are making preparations in the existing ones,” said the CEO.Massive security arrangements have been made to ensure incident-free polling on Thursday. Additional security forces are being deployed for maintaining law and order on the day of re-polling in Budgam district.”Situation isn’t conducive for polls in Anantnag but it’s conducive for a re-poll in the areas worst affected by violence on the 9th. Logic??” tweeted Omar Abdullah, former chief minister of Jammu and KashmirMeanwhile, broad band internet services were restored after remaining suspended since Saturday night. Mobile internet services continue to remain blocked in the valley.Life remained paralysed for second day on Tuesday following the hartal call given by the separatists to protest the death of eight civilians in the firing by security forces on Sunday.

Re-polling on 38 stations of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 13 ECI

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday announced re-polling on 38 polling stations of Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency on April 13. The by-polls of Srinagar Parliamentary constituency were held on April 9 amidst multiple incidences of violence resulting in the killing of seven civilians and injuring many. The Chief Electoral Officer Jammu and Kashmir Shantmanu said that re-polling would be held at 38 violence-hit polling stations. At least seven civilians were killed during clashes with the security forces in various areas of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on April 9. Large spread violence was reported from Budgam area in central Kashmir, which is a part of the three districts voting in the elections – Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal. Reports suggest polling stations were attacked and EVM machines were also vandalised at many places. Severe clashes were reported from Delwan and Chadoora area where two people lost their lives. Locals said a group of boys tried to attack a polling station, but the security forces opened fire resulting in the two casualties. Three others were injured in the incident. A similar incident was reported in Beerwah area where another person lost his life during the clashes. The violence affected the overall voting percentage recording 7.2 percent voter turnout.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba Mufti’s brother Tasaduq wants Anantnag by-polls postponed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Ruling party candidate Tasaduq Mufti, who is the brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has called on the Election Commission to postpone the Anantnag by-polls slated for April 12th. Addressing a press conference today, Tasaduq said the PDP has sent a request to the Election Commission seeking postponement of the polls. The development comes in the wake of the Valley being on lockdown following the death of eight civilians in clashes with security forces. Tasaduq asserted that the current turbulent situation is not conducive for polls. Reacting to his statement, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said that if the polls are postponed then Mehbooba must resign and the Governor must take charge. Meanwhile, Government schools designated as polling booths ahead of the Anantnag by-polls are under attack in Jammu and Kashmir, as miscreants having been setting them on fire in a clear attempt to obstruct the upcoming polls. Security remains tight and the Valley has been turned into a fortress. Booths have been provided maximum security, with hundreds of troopers deployed at colleges and schools where voting will be held. Following the escalation of violence on Sunday, internet services have suspended in entire Kashmir Valley till Anantnag by-polls on April 12. Apart from this, all Kashmir University exams scheduled to be held up-to the Anatanag by-polls have been postponed. New dates for the same will be notified separately. Meanwhile, with another civilian succumbing to injuries, the death toll in the brutal Budgam clashes has gone up to seven. The civilians were killed during clashes with security forces in various areas of central Kashmir’s Budgam district. The Srinagar Parliamentary constituency witnessed lowest voter turnout for the by-polls in the wake of the clashes.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Srinagar turnout lowest in 27 yrs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Violence marred the by-election to the Srinagar parliamentary constituency on Sunday, leaving eight people dead and 117, including 100 securitymen, injured.The turnout was only 6.5 per cent, with only 80,000 out of the 12.61 lakh voters exercising their franchise. This was the lowest turnout in the state in the last 27 years of militancy-hit elections. Despite boycott calls by separatists, more than 26 per cent people had cast their votes in the 2014 parliamentary polls. The Anantnag constituency goes to polls on Wednesday.Large-scale violence and arson dominated central Kashmir. Maximum violence was reported from Budgam district of central Kashmir, where people pelted stones and stormed polling booths.Security forces fired at protesters and the stone-pelting mobs at different places. “Today was not a good day… There were more than 200 incidents in the constituency, particularly in Budgam district. The incidents included stone-pelting and petrol bomb attacks,” Shantmanu, Chief Electoral Officer of Jammu and Kashmir, said.Protesters also damaged several Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). “We recovered many EVMs. There were firing incidents and seven lives were lost and 17 civilians were injured. More than 100 police and paramilitary personnel were injured,” said Shantmanu.One of the polling booths was set ablaze and there were attempts to set afire a few more. “Because of that, we had to temporary close polling booths. Some of vehicles, including SRTC and private vehicles, were set ablaze”, said Shantmanu.Though protesters held several securitymen hostage for a brief period, they released them later.“A team of election observers, returning officers and presiding officers (PO) will examine the PO diary and take a final call on what has to be done in those places where elections could not be concluded,” said Shantmanu.Main opposition party National Conference (NC) went hammer and tongs against the government for failing to maintain the law-and-order situation. “This government has failed in providing a peaceful atmosphere. I have heard two people have died and many injured in pellet-gun firing. It shows the situation has worsened”, said Farooq Abdullah, NC President, who is a joint candidate of the NC-Congress alliance in Srinagar.The separatists have called for a two-day bandh from Monday to protest the killings of seven civilians.The bigger challenge for the authorities will be the second phase of polling in Anantnag constituency on Wednesday. Spread over four districts, having 16 assembly segments, Anantnag is infested with militants and stone-throwers. “Certainly it is much bigger challenge so we will face that,” said Shantmanu.

Srinagar by-polls record 6.5 percent voter turnout, clashes kills six

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Srinagar reported a poor 6.5 percent voter turnout on Sunday during the by-polls for Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency as multiple instances of violence took place in Jammu and Kashmir. Large spread violence was reported from Budgam area in central Kashmir, which is a part of the three districts voting in the elections – Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal. Reports suggest polling stations were attacked and EVM machines were broken at many places. Severe clashes were reported from Delwan and Chadoora area where two people lost their lives. Locals said a group of boys tried to attack a polling station, but the security forces opened fire resulting in the two casualties. Three others were injured in the incident. A similar incident was reported in Beerwah area where another person lost his life during the clashes. The violence affected the overall voting percentage. Earlier in 2014 polls, voter turnout was 26 percent, slightly better than 25.55 percent recorded in 2009 elections. Nine candidates were in fray for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency where more than 1,500 polling stations were set up for nearly 12.61 lakh voters. Internet services were shut down ahead of the polling. All the polling stations were declared as either ‘sensitive’ or ‘hyper-sensitive’ keeping in mind threats perceptions. The counting will take place on April 13.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Internet services in Kashmir to be suspended till Apr 12

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Internet services will remain suspended in the entire Kashmir valley till conclusion of the by-poll for Anantnag Lok Sabha seat on April 12, official sources said here today. The decision followed large scale violence during the by-poll for the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency today which claimed the lives of 7 people in firing by security forces. Dozens of civilians were wounded, while over 100 security personnel were also injured in clashes. Internet services in three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal, which the Srinagar Lok Sabha constituency straddles, were shut down last midnight as a precautionary measure to prevent floating of rumours by anti-national elements. There were reports that Pakistan-based groups were engaged in spreading “disinformation” on the eve of polls, official sources said. Though the ban was to be lifted immediately after today’s polling, the authorities decided to extend it across all districts of the valley till conclusion of the polling in Anantnag.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Three people killed, several injured during protests in India’s Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three people were killed and more than a dozen injured on Sunday when police clashed with protesters during a by-election in Srinagar in India’s disputed Kashmir region, an official said. Separatist factions in Kashmir had called for a boycott of the by-polls, resulting in heightened security and low voter turnout when the polling began. In Budgam district, police used tear gas to counter stone-pelting protesters, but was then forced to open fire, killing three people, a senior police official told Reuters. Overall, more than a dozen people were injured during the clashes across central Kashmir on Sunday, the official said. The by-election in Srinagar is being held to fill a vacant seat in the Lok Sabha, India’s lower house of Parliament. A second by-poll in the state for a separate Lok Sabha seat is set to take place on April 12 in Anantnag. The results of both polls are set to be announced on April 15. India and Pakistan, which claim Kashmir in full but rule only in part, have fought two of their three wars over the disputed region since independence. India accuses Pakistan of backing separatist fighters – a charge Islamabad denies. The state has been in a phase of unrest since last year when Indian security forces killed separatist leader Burhan Wani. The violence since then, largely in the form of troops firing on civilian crowds with shotguns after protesters throw stones, has left 84 civilians dead and more than 12,000 civilians and security force personnel wounded.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Srinagar Lok Sabha bypoll: 2 youths killed as security forces open fire on stone-pelting mob that stormed polling booth

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two youths were killed and several injured when security forces opened fire on a stone-pelting mob that stormed a polling station in Budgam district in this Lok Sabha constituency on Sunday, disrupting polling which saw an abysmally low 3.3% turnout till 11 AM.Hundreds of protestors stormed a polling station at Pakherpora in Chrar-e-Sharief area of Budgam district and ransacked the building, officials said.Security forces fired several warning rounds to disperse the mob which did not relent. Six persons were injured in the firing, of whom two later succumbed to injuries. Those killed were later identified as 20-year-old Mohammad Abbas and 15-year-old Faizaan Ahmad Rather, the officials said, adding both died of bullet wounds.They said BSF, deployed for security of the polling stations, fired live rounds as they were not provided with pellet guns. Violence marred polling in some other parts of the Srinagar parliamentary seat as polling staff and security force personnel were forced to abandon two polling stations in Chadoora assembly segment as they came under heavy stone- pelting by mobs, the officials said.Stone pelting incidents were reported from over two dozen other places across the three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Ganderbal which constitute the Srinagar constituency, the officials said.The voter turnout has been low so far with only 3.3% of the 12.61 lakh electorate exercising their franchise in the first four hours of polling, the officials said. Even in traditionally high turnout areas like Budgam, Ichgam and Maloora, many voters chose to give polling a miss.

Pakistan inciting youth in Kashmir to pelt stones: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Friday accused Pakistan of using the social media to incite youths in Kashmir to storm encounter sites and pelt stones on the security forces to help holed-up terrorists. He also held a meeting with top officials to review the security and development of the troubled state.Responding categorically to the concerns raised by Trinamool Congress MP, Saugata Roy and other members in Lok Sabha over the death of three civilians in Budgam firing by security forces, Singh said, “I believe that our youth of Jammu and Kashmir who pelt stones on security forces are being misguided by some Pak sponsored forces inimical to India.”“…The group that operates different social media applications like Facebook and WhatsApp to mobilise youth is based in Pakistan,” said Singh adding that the security forces will continue to give a befitting reply to terrorists and infiltrators in Jammu and Kashmir and also expressed confidence that India will defeat all forms of terrorism.To take stock of the Budgam incident and coming summer months, the home minister also convened a high level meeting of top security officials saw participation of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain. Besides reviewing security situation of J&K in the light of increase in the intensity of violent protests, the meeting also deliberated on the disbursal of Prime Minister’s relief package of Rs. 80,000 crore. Sources said the meeting was of the view that with the part release of Rs. 17,000 crore from the relief package will help put the troubled state on an accelerated path of recovery and also help dissuade youth from joining violent agitations.

Separatists keep own children safe, push youth into conflict:

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP leader Ram Madhav today termed separatists leaders as “most irresponsible” and said they are “pushing” youngsters into conflict in Jammu and Kashmir while their own children are “enjoying the government largesse”. The remarks come on the day extra forces were deployed in sensitive areas of the Kashmir Valley due to a strike called given by the separatists to protest against the killing of three civilians during a clash with security forces yesterday. “They (the separatists) are deliberately pushing youngsters of the Valley into this conflict whereas their own children and grandchildren are enjoying the largesse of our own government. “They provoke the ordinary people of the Valley and push them into conflict with security forces and their own children are in safe places,” the BJP general secretary said. The separatists are “most irresponsible leaders”, he said. Three civilians were killed and scores of others injured yesterday when stone-pelters clashed with security forces. The stone-pelters were trying to disrupt army’s anti-militancy operation which ended with the killing of a militant in Budgam district of Kashmir. Most of the shops, business establishments and fuel stations were shut in Srinagar in view of the strike, state officials said. Similar reports of shutdown were received from most other district headquarters of the Valley, they said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India won’t allow violence to spread in J-K- Hansraj Ahir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Alleging that the youth of Kashmir have been provoked by Pakistan?s terrorism, Minister of State (Mos) for Home Hansraj Ahir on Wednesday said India will not allow any violence to spread in the valley. ?Unfortunately Pakistan?s terrorism has become successful in provoking youth to spread violence in Kashmir through stone pelting. The nation will not allow any violence to spread in Kashmir and would fight back against Pakistan for its security,? Ahir told ANI. Condemning the Budgam encounter that took place yesterday, Ahir expressed grief for the injured security and military forces. Ahir also appreciated the Indian paramilitary forces for their bravery in the Budgam encounter. After three young men died while trying to break a police cordon near an encounter site, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti yesterday said nothing can be achieved through violence adding that the state must realize this and accept that only talks are the way forward. Mufti asserted that thousands of militants, civilians and have died in attacks and encounters. “Nothing can be achieved through war and violence. Every year thousands of militants, civilians, security forces and police officials die due to these attacks,” she told media.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

‘Kashmiri voters determined to defy diktats of terrorists’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmiri voters are determined to “defy the diktats” of terrorists, Union Minister Jitendra Singh today said, stressing that the terrorists tend to create volatile atmosphere ahead of polls. South Kashmir will hold by-elections in two parliamentary constituencies – Srinagar and Anantnag – next month. The minister’s comments came as three civilians were killed in action by security forces against protesters near an encounter site in Budgam district in Kashmir. The anti-militancy operation ended with the killing of the lone militant. “On the eve of these by-elections, terorists and their supporters tend to create such kind of atmosphere but I am sure the common voters in Kashmir which comprise largely of the young voters are determined to defy the diktats of terrorists, the promoters of terrorism and become a part of India’s mainstream healthy democracy,” Singh said. Three civilians – all young men in their twenties – were killed while 18 others were injured in security forces’ action against a large number of protesters who pelted stones at the security personnel allegedly in a vain bid to help the holed up militant escape. Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Durbugh area of Chadoora in the early hours today following information about the presence of militants in the area. The search operation turned into a gun battle after the militant opened fire on security forces.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba says pained at Budgam deaths, urges restraint

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti today expressed anguish over the death of three civilians in Budgam and urged restraint from all sides saying issues confronting the state cannot be resolved if violence becomes the norm. In a statement released by the official spokesman, Mehbooba expressed deep anguish and grief over the death of three youths at Chadoora. “It is highly painful to see the young boys losing their lives,” the chief minister said. She termed the killings as highly unfortunate and said the people in Kashmir continue to suffer massive collateral damage due to violence of past three decades or so. Violence has given people of the state innumerable miseries, she said adding that it is high time that peaceful means are given a chance for the resolution of issues. “We know there are issues that need to be addressed and resolved but no one will be able to do anything at a point when violence becomes a norm. There is a need for restrain from all sides so that conducive atmosphere is created and dissent is expressed in peaceful way,” she said. Three civilians — all young men in their twenties — were killed while 18 others were injured in security forces’ action against a large number of protesters who pelted the law enforcing personnel with stones allegedly in a vain bid to help the holed up militant escape. Earlier in the day at an election rally, Mehbooba asked local militants to give up their arms as nothing can be achieved through violence. “Today an encounter is going on at Chadoora… We made efforts to tell the lad to lay his arms and come back (to the mainstream). Violence will not yield anything,” she said addressing an election rally in south Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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