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Army chief exhorts troops to be ‘ever ready’

Just days after Indian Army troops — in a tit-for-tat action — crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and killed three Pakistani army men in Rawalakote sector of Poonch, Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat visited the forward posts in Rajouri sector and exhorted the troops to continue to remain “vigilant and ever ready”.A defence spokesman at Jammu said General Rawat visited the Rajouri sector, where he was briefed by the General Officer Commanding of the Ace of Spades division about the operational readiness.”He also visited forward posts along the LoC where he was briefed in detail on the actions being undertaken to ensure a robust counter infiltration grid. He also interacted with the soldiers deployed on the forward posts and exhorted the troops to continue to remain vigilant and ever-ready,” said the defence spokesman.Earlier, Chief of Army Staff, accompanied by the Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu, visited White Knight Corps to review the operational preparedness and the prevailing security situation.”The Army Chief was briefed by Lieutenant General Saranjeet Singh, General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps about the preparedness in dealing with the emerging and dynamically changing security situation and the measures taken to thwart any misadventure by the inimical forces,” said the spokesman.While complimenting the formations for their unflinching efforts, General Rawat reiterated the continued need to remain prepared in order to counter the nefarious designs of the enemy.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav meets his mother, wife from behind Pak smokescreen

In a carefully orchestrated event that played out through tweets, photos and videos, Kulbhushan Jadhav (47), on death row in Pakistan, met his wife and mother across a glass screen in Islamabad on Monday.After denying any communication with the former Indian Naval officer since his arrest on March 3, 2016, Pakistan arranged a meeting of mother Avanti and wife Chetana Jadhav at the Pakistan Foreign Office building, but denied any physical contact. Both women spoke to Jadhav through an intercom in the presence of five officials.Jadhav has been sentenced to death on charges of espionage and terrorism, a case that has become a rallying point in India, spurring calls for action to save the 47-year-old who New Delhi says was kidnapped and implicated by Pakistan.Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal indicated that it might not be the last such meeting. “It is not the last meeting. It should be categorically registered,” he said. But he repeated that Jadhav is a face of Indian terror directed against Pakistan.India has moved the ICJ in The Hague, on grounds that procedures were not followed under international law, a rare contest by the two nuclear-armed rivals at the top UN legal body.In May, the court put the sentence on hold till the case is conclusively heard.It was apparent that Pakistan was converting the humanitarian gesture into a full-fledged publicity blitzkrieg, by releasing a second video of Jadhav.Its diplomats portrayed visas to the two women and then a meeting on the birthday of its founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah a grand gesture ahead of the hearings at the ICJ.But a jail-like setting and not allowing the two women, who had travelled all along from Mumbai to meet the death-row prisoner did not go down well in India.Though there were no immediate reactions from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Congress spokesperson Manish Tiwari said, “The settings of the meeting and their full publicity have robbed it of any compassion and humanity.”The meeting was supposed to last 30 minutes. But at the request of Jadhav, it lasted 40 minutes. Pakistan’s Foreign Office also issued a new video message in which he is seen thanking the its government for arranging the meeting.All information about the meeting emerged through Pakistani Foreign Ministry tweets and images. Its spokesman Mohammad Faisal identified Jadhav with his military title. He also tweeted that the meeting was arranged in light of “Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds.” “The mother and wife of Commander Jadhav sitting comfortably in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan. We honour our commitments,” informed Faisal.From Pakistan’s side, Foreign Office Director for India, Dr Fareha Bugti, was present at the meeting.After the meeting Faisal made it clear that it was not a consular access. He said India’s deputy High Commission was present during the meeting, but was not allowed to speak or participate in discussions.He, however, said that decisions on consular access will be taken by Islamabad keeping in view the law and interests of his country. He said that the meeting was positive and the two sides talked thoroughly, but refused to share its details.Earlier, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif told a Pakistani media channel that his country has granted India consular access since an Indian diplomat will be accompanying the prisoner’s wife and mother. India downplayed the comments, maintaining that the its diplomat was only accompanying Jadhav’s family. Later Pakistani spokesperson himself overturned the statement of his own minister.The FO spokesperson claimed Jadhav had admitted to his involvement in acts of terror.THE FARCE PAK TRIALMarch 2016 India’s former naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav arrested by Pakistan on charges of espionage and terrorism April 2017 Jadhav sentenced to death by Pak. India says he was kidnapped from Iran, where he ran a business May ICJ stays Jadhav’s execution on India’s petition against the farce trial Dec 20 Pakistan issues visa to 47-year-old’s wife and mother to visit Islamabad and meet him Dec 25 Jadhav meets his family, first time after his arrest in March 2016

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Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife, mother to visit Pakistan tomorrow, says Foreign Office

Kulbhushan Jadhav’s wife and mother will arrive here on Monday to meet the Indian prisoner on death row, the Pakistan Foreign Office has said.They will arrive in Islamabad by a commercial flight and leave the same day after the meeting, it added.India’s Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh will accompany the visitors to the meeting.”India informs that the mother and wife of Commander Jadhav will arrive by commercial flight on 25 Dec and leave the same day. Indian DHC in Islamabad will be the accompanying diplomat,” Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted last night.Earlier, media reports said that Pakistan had asked India to convey the plan of Jadhav’s family at the earliest otherwise it would be difficult to arrange the meeting.Separately, Faisal had said that the meeting would take place at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its photo and video footage would be issued.The mother and wife of Jadhav were being provided with a meeting with him in the light of “Islamic traditions and based on purely humanitarian grounds,” he had said.Pakistan on December 20 issued visa to Jadhav’s wife and mother to visit Islamabad to meet him.Jadhav, 47, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism in April, following which India moved the ICJ in May. The ICJ halted his execution on India’s appeal pending the final verdict by it.Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.It said that Jadhav is not an ordinary person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out sabotage activities.Pakistan claims its security forces arrested Jadhav alias Hussein Mubarak Patel from its restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran.India, however, maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.

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Two rob Naval officer’s son, cousin, held

Police have arrested two men who had robbed a Naval officer’s son and his cousin inside a park in East of Kailash on Sunday when the duo was returning from a party.According to the police, around 1:30 am on Sunday when the complainant, a 19-year-old boy reported while he was returning with his cousin after attending a navy officer’s party at Varuna naval officers mess that he was robbed by two men. The complainant’s father is a Naval commander posted in Vizag.”When they got down from the cab near Sapna park, near their house, to take a short-cut, two persons who were in the park stopped them and forcefully robbed them of their mobile phones,” said Chinmoy Biswal, DCP southeast.

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Vijay Diwas: When Lt Gen Niazi-led 93,000 Pakistani soldiers surrendered to Indian Army in 1971- 5 facts

India is today celebrating Vijay Diwas to mark the victory of our soldiers during the 1971 War.It is on this day in 1971 when our soldiers gave India its finest moment with victory over Pakistan and resulted in creation of Bangladesh.As the nation pays rich tributes to the heroes of 1971 War, here are five facts about the saga.1: Apart from the endless tales of valour what’s etched in every Indian’s memory if the photo of Pakistan Army surrendering to Indian Army soldiers. It was Lt Gen AAK Niazi, who led the 93,000 Pakistani soldiers to surrender to India Army Commander of eastern Command Lt Gen JS Arora.2: Indian Air Force, with its sheer brilliance change the course of wars. The Indian Air Force continued operations at an unprecedented pace of 500 sorties per day, a rate higher than in the Second World War.3: Frustrated over losses, Pakistan began attack on all fronts. Not only in east, Islamabad started targeting Delhi from west also.4: The strategy led to attack on Longewala in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer district. The epic Battle of Longewala saw an Infantry company of 23 Punjab under Major (later Brigadier) KS Chandpuri, who withstood an assault by hundreds of tanks throughout the night. The Pakistan tanks were decimated the next morning by the Indian Air Force.5: The victory gave birth to a new country in Indian Subcontinent. Bangladesh was formed after India’s successful military campaign. Prior to this, East Pakistan, as it was known then, witnesses an era of imaginable brutality. A campaign of rape, torture, killings and conflicts pushed about nine million refugees into India following the widespread genocide which Pakistan conducted against the Bengali population of East Pakistan, aimed at the minority Hindu population

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Col Ashok Kumar Tara, a 1971 hero, who saved a young Sheikh Hasina, recounts Bangladesh liberation war

A battle-hardened veteran, who was in the midst of heavy action in Dacca (now, Dhaka) during the 1971 Indo-Pak war, Colonel (retired) Ashok Kumar Tara, is no stranger to limelight.During the war, Colonel Tara was told to rescue Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s wife and family, which included his 24-year-old daughter Sheikh Hasina (current prime minister of Bangladesh) and her child.The family was held hostage by a dozen trigger-happy, heavily armed Pakistani troops at a fortified house in the Dhanmondi area in East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh).Tara, then a 29-year-old Major, managed to rescue the Bangabandhu family, in a do-or-die situation as he himself puts.”During this operation I had to face trigger-happy, heavily-armed Pakistani forces, who just killed a media person who had tried to reach to them. I was alone. And unarmed. I took this bold decision to win over them psychologically, because asking an extra force would have taken a lot of time. I knew chances were very bleak, but I went ahead, in what can be known as ‘The Battle of Guts and Wits’,” Colonel Tara tells ANI.He added, “Reaching the house where Sheikh Mujibur Rehman’s family was under housearrest, they threatened to kill me. Their commander even ordered his men to load the weapon and was ready to shoot, but I stood my ground and repeatedly told them to surrender. However, I gave them an assurance of safe passage, so that they could go to their HQ. And from there to Pakistan to meet their families waiting for them. I finally got them surrendered and rescued the family. This was a do-or-die situation.”Colonel Tara, who retired in 1994, had already been awarded the Vir Chakra in the Battle of Gangasagar a few days ago.Elaborating on the above-mentioned battle, he said, “It was a railway station in East Pakistan (now, Bangladesh) opposite Agartala (in Tripura). It was an attack in file formation along the railway lines and was ‘Hand To Hand’, ‘Bunker to Bunker’. The battle went for about two hours. During the attack, I had to use maltove cocktail (patrol bomb), threw a hand grenade and pulled enemy medium machine gun from a bunker to destroy the enemy. For this, I was awarded the Vir Chakra.”Colonel Tara got recognition for his valour in 2012, when Dhaka announced it was conferring the ‘Friend of Bangladesh’ Award to him.Indira Gandhi, India’s Prime Minister in 1971, was conferred the award in her time.Earlier this year, Colonel Tara featured with Hasina and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the “Sommanona Ceremony” in New Delhi to honour the 1971 war martyrs.

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Kulbhushan Jadhav’s friends celebrate after Pakistan grants visa to his mother and wife

Friends and relatives of Kulbhushan Jadhav, the former Indian Navy commander jailed in Pakistan, are happy that visas will be issued to his mother and wife to visit him.”We all are very happy with the news that Pakistan will give visas to Kulbhushan’s mother and wife to meet him on December 25,” Tulshidas Pawar, a childhood friend of Jadhav said.He said the meeting would help them know the physical and mental condition of Jadhav.”After repeated attempts by the government over the past two years, Pakistan which recently agreed to grant visa to Kulbhushan’s wife only is now giving it to his mother as well,” he said.Earlier last month the Pakistan government had decided to arrange a meeting of Jadhav and his wife.”The Government of Pakistan has decided to arrange a meeting of Commander Kulbhushan Jhadav with his wife, in Pakistan, purely on humanitarian grounds,” the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said in a statement issued then.”Hope Pakistan releases him early and he returns to India safely,” said Pawar. Jadhav was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court on charges of espionage and terrorism.

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Qazigund encounter: Anantnag Police arrests suspected terrorist

The Indian Army on Tuesday said that a suspected terrorist, who managed to flee away during the Qazigund encounter, was arrested by the Anantnag Police later.”One of the terrorist who managed to escape cordon, right in the beginning, was later arrested by Anantnag Police,” Sachin Malik, Commander of south Kashmir based 2 sector RR said.A Chinese pistol was also recovered from him, said Malik.Three terrorists were killed in Qazigund encounter that broke out on Monday when an army convoy came under terror attack.After the attack on the Army convoy that was on its way to Srinagar; the Rashtriya Rifles, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir cordoned off the area and launched a hunt for the militants. The search operation turned into an encounter with militants.Also readJ&K encounter: 1 soldier martyred, 2 terrorists deadTalking to ANI, SP Vaid, Director General of Police (DGP) of Jammu and Kashmir, said, “Three terrorists have been eliminated in the encounter, and two have been identified as Pakistani nationals. One of them was divisional commander of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), who had taken over from Abu Ismail.”
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21-year-old Indian man shot dead in US

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A 21-year-old Indian man has been shot dead in front of his house during a robbery in the US state of Mississippi, according to a media report, days after another Indian student was killed by four armed robbers.Sandeep Singh was shot in the stomach during a robbery reported on Sunday in the Jackson city, Mississippi, police was quoted as saying by WAPT, an ABC-affiliated television station.A group of men who investigators believe are responsible for a string of robberies could be connected to a fatal shooting, Jackson police officials said yesterday.Singh, and two other men were standing outside their house when a man in a mask and a hoodie walked up to them, police said.The robber took money and cellphones from them. As the robber ran away, he fired shots at the victims and one of the bullets hit Singh, police said. ALSO READ Indian-origin motel owner Akash Talati killed in US shootoutSingh was taken to the University of Mississippi Medical Center, where he died on Monday, police said.Singh’s death is the city’s 58th homicide for the year, the report said.Singh, had gone to the US around four years ago on a tourist visa and later got work permit there. He hailed from Jalandhar.The shooter is described as wearing a gray hooded shirt and was armed with a 9 mm pistol, police said. ALSO READ 46-year-old Indian-American lawyer killed after being hit by train in USThe gunman could be one of a group of armed men believed to be responsible for recent armed robberies of businesses and individuals throughout the northwest Jackson area, police said.”In an attempt to conceal their identities, they have their faces covered with bandannas and/or masks. The suspects have also been observed wearing hooded sweatshirts and gloves,” Commander Tyree Jones said in a news release.This is second such incident of killing of an Indian youth in the US in the past two weeks.On November 16, a 21-year-old Indian student was shot dead allegedly by four armed robbers, including an Indian- origin man, at a grocery store in the US state of California.

3 Pakistani LeT terrorists killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces on Tuesday killed three newly infiltrated Pakistani Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists in an operation in Magam area of Handwara in Kupwara district.Hours later, they launched another operation in Zurhama village of the border district to hunt down group of terrorists hiding in the area. A soldier was killed and two others were injured in the encounter. Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar, said, “Operation continues.”This is the third major counter-terror operation in North Kashmir in the last four days. Nine LeT terrorists including top commanders Mehmood Bhai, Zargam Bhai and the nephew of 26/11 mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi have been eliminated in two operations of Hajin and Handwara since Saturday.”We got specific inputs that the militants were hiding in a house. We laid a cordon in the morning as we did not want to put the people thtough any inconvenience,” said Brigadier Mohit Trivedi, Commander 8-Sector Rashtriya Riffles of the Army.After locating the terrorists, the army asked them to surrender. They, however, responded by opening fire on the search party. “We retaliated in which three foreign LeT terrorists were killed,” he said.The number of terrorists killed this year by the security forces has now touched 194. 21 terrorists have been killed in November so far. Sources said more than 71 security force personnel have lost their lives in the line of duty this year so far.Sources said 70 new ultras have been able to infiltrate Kashmir this year. Last year estimated net infiltration (number of militants who managed to sneak in) was 112 as compared to 33 in 2015. Similarly estimated net infiltration was 65 in 2014 compared to 97 in 2013.Brigadier Trivedi said the operation was conducted inn surgical style so that people are put to least inconvenience. “House has been saved and outer area in which militants were hiding suffered damaged. They were in the cowshed which caught fire and their bodies were charred. It was fresh infiltration”, he saidThis is the fourth operation in the valley in the last four days. A local ultra, Adil Rashid Chopan, who had fled the encounter when top commander Sabzar Bhat was neutralized in May, was finally killed by the security forces in an encounter in Tral forests of south Kashmir on Monday.Another mother takes to videoAnother woman has released a video appealing to her terrorist son to return home in Tral. The 45-second-long video of the mother of 18-year-old Irfan Ahmad Rather, who recently joined Hizbul Mujahedeen, has gone viral. She is the fourth mother who took to posting an appeal through video.

No authoritative info on presence of Islamic state in J&K: Home Ministry

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government today sought to downplay Islamic State’s presence in Jammu and Kashmir, but acknowledged the resurgence of a radical group in the Valley.There is no authoritative information about the presence of ISIS in Jammu and Kashmir, a senior home ministry official said.The comment came in the wake of claims that the global terror organization was involved in an encounter with security forces in Srinagar wherein a terrorist, identified as Mugees, was killed and a sub-inspector, Imran Tak, lost his life.’Amaq’, which is the official news agency of ISIS, had claimed the responsibility for the attack.Pictures of Mugees with the ISIS flag in the background surfaced on social media. Even his body was wrapped in the flag of the banned terror group during funeral.However, the official said it has come to light that Mugees belonged to an extremist group called Tehrik-ul- Mujahideen and was its Pulwama district commander.The Tehrik-ul-Mujahideen was among the first few militant groups that emerged at the onset of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s, the official said.It follows the ideology of Salafism which is ultra radical like ISIS. However, the police have found no logistical connection between the two, another official said.The cadre strength of the group is very small and it has been facing an extreme shortage of weapons.Officials said the Tehrik-Ul-Mujahideen was founded much before the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen came into existence.After the killing of Mujees, Adil Ahmed has been appointed the group’s commander in Pulwama district.

‘Considering’ India’s request to let Jadhav meet mother: Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan today said it is “considering” India’s request to let Kulbhushan Jadhav’s mother meet him, apart from his wife who has already received permission to visit the Indian death row prisoner.Last week, Pakistan said it had offered to arrange a meeting between 46-year-old Jadhav and his wife, months after India had requested it to grant a visa to his mother on humanitarian grounds.Foreign Office (FO) sources here said India in response has again asked Pakistan to issue a visa to Jadhav’s mother so she can also visit her detained son.FO spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed that India has responded to Pakistan’s offer.”Indian reply to Pakistan’s humanitarian offer for Commander Jadhav received & is being considered,” he tweeted.Jadhav, a former Indian Navy officer, was sentenced to death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and terrorism. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in May halted his execution on India’s appeal.Pakistan has repeatedly denied India consular access to Jadhav on the ground that it was not applicable in cases related to spies.Some media reports have linked Pakistan’s latest offer to quiet efforts by the US. Pakistan, however, insisted that its offer was made purely on humanitarian grounds.Jadhav has filed an appeal with Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek clemency, which is still pending.Last month, the Pakistan Army had said it is close to a decision on the mercy petition of Jadhav.Pakistan claims its security forces arrested him from restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered the country from Iran.However, India maintains that Jadhav was kidnapped from Iran where he had business interests after retiring from the Indian Navy.Jadhav’s sentencing had evoked a sharp reaction in India.After India approached the ICJ, a 10-member bench on May 18 restrained Pakistan from executing Jadhav till adjudication of the case.The ICJ has asked Pakistan to submit its response or memorial by December 13 before the court could start further proceedings in the case.

Masood Azhar nephew among 3 terrorists killed in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces dealt a blow to Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and gunned down its top commander Talha Rashid — nephew of Pathankot attack mastermind Moulana Masood Azhar — and recovered a US-made M4 carbine at Aglar-Kandi village in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Monday evening.Rashid was among the militants — including Pakistani JeM divisional commander Mohammad Bhai and local Wasim Ahmad Ganai — killed in a swift operation by a joint team of Army, CRPF and police. An Army soldier of 44 Rashtriya Riffles lost his life in the line of duty.The assault rifle is the first such weapon recovered from terrorists. It was smuggled into Kashmir after Pakistan’s Army passed it on to infiltrators for use against security forces.Police sources said Talha had been operating in Pulwama for the last four to five months after he infiltrated into the Valley from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.”For the first time they (JeM) have owned up a Pakistani militant. He (Rashid) is nephew of Moulana Azhar. Now we will take up the matter through proper channels. We request (Pakistan) very firmly, please claim the body and please take the body because they have said that he is a Pakistani nephew of Moulana Masood Azhar”, said Munir Ahmad Khan, Inspector General of Police, Kashmir Range.This is the second time this year when any family member of an India’s most wanted has been killed in an encounter in the Valley. On January 19, security forces killed Abu Musaib — nephew of 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi — at Hajin village in North Kashmir’s Bandipora district.The Army said the main feature of the Pulwama operation was the seizure of the rifle. “It is a US-made weapon presently with a lot of Armies of NATO and special forces of Pakistan’s Army. We have reasons to believe that this particular weapon was given by Pakistan’s Army to JeM cadres. This clearly shows the complicity between JeM and Pakistan”, said Major General BS Raju, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Indian Army’s Victor Force.”We have reasons to believe 5 to 10 such weapons could have been brought in by terrorists who infiltrated recently”, said Major General Raju.Meanwhile, the Army paid tributes to its soldier Sepoy Vrahma Pal Singh. Singh, 30, had joined the Army in 2004. He was from village Shaujana Rani in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a three-year-old son.

J&K: Masood Azhar’s nephew, two other terrorists killed in encounter, Army jawan martyred

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar’s nephew and two other terrorists were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.The encounter took place in Pulwama’s Aglar Kandi.One terrorist killed is identified as Talha Rasheed, a nephew of Masood Azhar. The two other terrorists are Divisional Commander Muhammad Bhai, a non-local and Waseem, a resident of Pulwama’s Drubgam.One security personnel Lance Naik Vrahma Pal Singh also lost his life in the encounter.The encounter broke out when the troops of 182 Bn and 183 Bn Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), along with 44 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and the Jammu and Kashmir Police were carrying out a cordon and search operation (CASO) in the region.On October 16, in a crackdown on terror module, the Security forces arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and on Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Jammu and Kashmir.Earlier, two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) top commanders including a prime recruiter in an encounter at Litter village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district were killed.In another encounter, a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was killed in an encounter in Ladoora area of Baramulla.

Noida’s ‘Traffic Baba’ dies at 81

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Retired Indian Air Force (IAF) wing commander Mukul Chandra Joshi, popularly known as the ‘Traffic Baba’, died on Monday. He was 81. Joshi had been aiding the traffic police by managing traffic and creating awareness about traffic rules at various locations in Noida and Ghaziabad for the last 14 years, and had won several accolades for his selfless contribution.In a tribute to the man, Traffic Inspector (Noida) Layak Singh said: “The services of Joshi have become an example for others. He stood for hours and managed traffic, only to help people avoid inconvenience. If every one of us makes our own little contribution, things would be better. He set an example for others with his social work for the city. We were disappointed by his death. Now, we will never see him on the busy roads managing the traffic anymore.”Wearing a white gown with traffic advisories written on it and a cap to go along with it, Joshi was often seen at the intersections around the Spice Mall in Noida, distributing traffic rules related pamphlets to commuters. Every day, he gave away nearly 250 pamphlets, printed at his own expense.”He was always armed with a loudspeaker and a microphone. Often, his loudspeaker would blare, ‘Aye bhai, zara dekh ke chalo’, in a bid to convey road safety message through music. This will be missed the most on the streets of Noida. He has set an example by spreading awareness, which we don’t see often nowadays,” Singh added.Joshi was a resident of Jalvayu Vihar in Sector 25 of Noida, where he lived with his wife and son.

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

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

Diplomacy in Xi-Modi era: India-China to hold Track II talks to avoid Doklam-like crisis

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a very important development in the wake of Doklam border stand-off, China and India have decided to hold Track II meeting at Minjing resort hotel in the city of Cheng Du in China on 3rd and 4th of November.The Indian delegation led by former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran would land in China on 2nd of November. The invitation for the Track II meeting was extended by China two weeks after Doklam crisis.Sources confirmed to DNA that the task for this meeting is to understand both China and India in context of Xi and Modi, two powerful leaders of Asia who hold sway in their respective countries.The job of the participants would be to understand each other’s concerns in the age of Xi and Modi. Sources also said that both countries want to avoid a showdown like Doklam and for this end TrackTwo will have participation by PLA and military from the Chinese side. The idea is to know each other better and discuss contentious issues which cannot be developed outside the public eye. Issues ranging from belt and road project to terrorism would be discussed by the participants. The issue of border dispute will be discussed between Chen Xiaogong and Jayadeva Ranade. Jayadeva Ranade is member of the National Security Advisory Board and Chen is former Vice Commander of the Air Force of the PLA and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee.Professor Madhav Nalapat, Director of Geo Politics will address the session of regional stability and terrorism. His Chinese counterpart would be Hu Shisheng.Hu is the Director of Institute of Contemporary International Relations. This visit assumes importance as many on the Indian side believe that China wants to understand India’s concern on the belt and road project.Sources also told DNA that the thrust would be to ensure that in future a situation like Doklam doesn’t arise and China gets to understand the Indian mind under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dispensation. Dipankar Banerjee, the Director of Institute of Peace and Conflict in India and Ashok Kantha from Vivekananda Foundation will also attend the Track II.

J&K: Two terrorists killed in encounter in Bandipora’s Hajin, heavy stone pelting underway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two terrorists were killed in an encounter with the security forces in Bandipora’s Hajin area of Jammu and Kashmir on Sunday morning.Security forces cordoned off the Mir Mohalla village in Hajin area of the district following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there.When the forces were conducting the searches the militants opened fire on them, triggering a gun battle.Reports said that even though the firing was stopped, heavy stone pelting underway in the area.Jammu and Kashmir Police constable Zahir Abbas was also killed in the gunbattle.On October 16, in a crackdown on terror module, the Security forces arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and on Hizbul Mujahideen militant in Jammu and Kashmir.Earlier, two Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) top commanders including a prime recruiter in an encounter at Litter village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district were killed.In another encounter, a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was killed in an encounter in Ladoora area of Baramulla.

Valley can’t turn into Syria: Govt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The government’s interlocutor for talks in Jammu and Kashmir, Dineshwar Sharma, has said that the biggest challenge and the top priority are to deradicalise the youth and militants and prevent the Valley from turning into India’s Syria.The mission is to talk to anyone — ordinary youth, even a rickshawala or a thelawala — who can contribute in ensuring that violence ends and peace returns as soon as possible, Sharma told a news agency.”I am worried about the people of Kashmir. If all this picked up, the situation will be like Yemen, Syria and Libya. People will start fighting in so many groups. So, it is very important that everybody, all of us, contribute so that suffering of Kashmiris end”.On October 23, the government decided to initiate talks with all stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, hoping to restore peace by appointing the former Intelligence Bureau chief as a “special representative for a sustained dialogue”, following a prolonged period of violence in the state.He told the news agency that he will have to convince the youth of Kashmir that they are only ruining their future and the future of all Kashmiris in the name of whether they call it azadi, Islamic caliphate or Islam.”It is a big challenge and I will go about my job with an open mind,” Sharma had earlier told DNA. On being asked whether he will also talk to the separatist leadership of Hurriyat Conference, he had said, “We will speak to whoever is required to speak to… after consultations and a sense of the ground situation”. Sharma is a Bihar-born, Kerala-cadre IPS officer of the 1979 batch. He tracked terror networks in Kashmir and in the Northeast for decades. He is known to have compassionate view on the sufferings of the conflict-hit state. Sharma always kept a low profile and spent 25 years in the IB and headed the agency between 2014 and 2016.Over the last one year since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, there has been an escalation in violence. Stone-pelting mobs including women and children clashing with security forces had become a routine affair last year. With terror outfits luring local youth, and terrorists burning down schools, the dialogue process will focus on bringing them back to mainstream. Security forces have gunned down 175 terrorists this year compared to 150 in 2016.

Hizb leader’s home raided by NIA, devices seized

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Undeterred by the separatist and militants’ outcry, National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided the Soibug village residence of the Hizbul Mujhadeen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin and allegedly recovered phones, computers and other incriminating documents.The raids were carried out two days after the NIA arrested Syed Shahid Yousuf, the 42-year-old son of the Hizbul Mujahedeen supreme commander and United Jihad Council (UJC) in relation to the 2011 terror funding case.NIA sleuths arrived at the Salahuddin residence early on Thursday and conducted a detailed search of the premises. “During the search, the NIA recovered/seized five mobiles, two hard discs, one laptop, incriminating documents and other electronic devices,” said an NIA officer.The investigating agency has already filed two charge sheets against the six accused in the case in 2011. Out of these six charge sheeted accused, four — including Ghulam Mohommad Bhat, a close associate of Syed Ali Shah Geelani — are in judicial custody and facing trial in the Special NIA Court in New Delhi.Two others, Mohommad Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, are still absconding. Red notice has already been issued against both the absconding accused. Salahuddin’s son Yousuf, according to NIA, is one of the several Indian contacts of Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, who have been in telephonic contact to receive the money transfer codes.”Involving families into political affairs, arresting sons for fathers and fathers in place of sons, has been a long ploy of the Indian occupation. NIA arrest of Shahid Yousuf and attacks on non-combatant family members of those in freedom struggle are glaring examples of Indian aggression,” said Muhammad Yasin Malik, chairman of Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).Meanwhile, Salahuddin has asked New Delhi to accept their three conditions to start a dialogue process on Kashmir. “Since India is not sincere, so we have laid down three conditions. Let India declare Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory. Let it accept that there are three parties to dispute — India, Pakistan and Kashmiris. Also, let India accept that the Kashmir issue will be resolved in light of UN resolutions as per the aspirations of people of Kashmir,” he said.THREE DEMANDSLet India declare Jammu and Kashmir as a disputed territory
Let it accept that there are three parties to dispute — India, Pakistan and Kashmiris
Also, let India accept that the Kashmir issue will be resolved in light of UN resolutions as per the aspirations of people of Kashmir

Sustained dialogue on Kashmir: All you need to know about Former IB Director Dineshwar Sharma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Intelligence Bureau director Dineshwar Sharma has been appointed as the special interlocutor for sustained dialogue on Kashmir with all stakeholders. While making the announcement Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, “Dineshwar Sharma will initiate dialogue with elected representatives of J&K, political parties, different organisations and people.” IPS officer of the Kerala 1976 batch, Dineshwar Sharma was the chief of Intelligence Bureau from 2014 to 2016. Born in Bihar, he took his primary education from the Pali Village in Bihar. Sharma also qualified for the Indian Forest Service and later went to serve the nation as an IPS officer. He has served at various positions in Police, Paramilitary and Intelligence agencies.Here’re other details of his illustrious career:*He was the Sub-divisional officer in Alappuzzha District Kerala, later he was the ASP of a Malabar Special Batallion Police.* Sharma has been the DIG of the border security force from 1999-2003*He was also the Joint Director of IB (Islamist Terrorism Desk) in 2003-05, IG of CRPF in charge of Jammu & Kashmir, Director of the BSF Academy, and Additional Director and Special Director in the Intelligence Bureau. *Dineshwar Sharma was also the Instructor at the Sardar VallabhBhai Patel National Police Academy as the SSP.*Sharma has been specially trained on Intelligence work and policing methods in East Germany, Poland, Israel and South Korea.*He also dealt with 2015 Gurdaspur attack, aftermath of the encounter of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in Kashmir, Uri attack in 2016, rise of ISIS recruitment in Kerala as the Director of Intelligence Bureau.*Sharma has served as the interlocutor for peace talks with Assam’s insurgent groups, including the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) in June this year.* He has also worked with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval during his tenure as the IB chief.

Reform, former hardline leader tells Ulemas

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Twenty four years in jail seems to have mellowed the hardline Islamist militant leader Altaf Ahmad Fakhtoo alias Dr Mohammad Qasim, who has called upon the Ulema (Islamic scholars) to clean up Islam from the extremist ideologies and work for the reforms among Muslims.Dr Mohommad Qasim, Ameer (chief) of Muslim Deeni Mahaz (MDM) who is serving life sentence for killing human rights activist HM Wanchoo, when he was the commander of Jamait ul Mujahedeen in early nineties, said unless the moderate approach is adopted by Muslims, the strife in the societies will not end.”Islam has discouraged extremism in everything, be it beliefs or any other practical field of life and preaches moderation. It is therefore imperative upon scholars that they should first clean up Islam from these extremist ideologies and then work for reforms among Muslims,” Dr Qasim said through his spokesman.Dr Qasim, one of the longest serving Kashmiri convict, is serving life sentence for allegedly killing human rights activist HN Wanchoo. A simple commerce graduate when he was first arrested in 1993, Qasim utilised his jail term to pursue higher education and completed his PhD in Islamic studies, besides earning Moulvi Fazil degree. Dr Qasim is also the husband of Aasiya Andrabi, the chairperson of hardline women separatist group Dukhatran-e-Milat.”Muslims all over the world have been torn apart by internal strife and external aggression. Therefore need of the hour is that Muslims remain alert about these two extremist ideologies. Those ulemas and scholars present Islam as a way to usurp power,” he said.MDM leader said Islam is a religion of justice and moderation. “It encompasses the principles for beliefs, modes of worship, lawful and prohibitions and morality. Islamic teachings gives appropriate importance to all these,” he said.Elaborating, he said the Muslim society has been divided into two extremist ideologies that have led to internal discord and disputes amongst Muslims.”One of the ideologies is that the only aim of Islam is government formation and the other is that Islam has no relation with politics or state. The outcome of these two ideologies has been strife in Muslim societies. The former ideology has degraded the importance of ibadaat( worship) in Islam and has brought it closer to communism in the passion of grabbing power,” he said.Another ideology, he said, has separated Islam from the politics, economics, society, judicial system and education. “This has led to secularisation of Muslims. Today Muslims feel no harm in accepting the sovereignty of unbelievers. Therefore until these two extremist ideologies are shunned and intermediate and moderate approach is adopted by Muslims, the strife in their societies won’t end and the ever increasing secularization won’t be contained,” he said.WHO’S QASIM?Dr Qasim, one of the longest serving Kashmiri convict, is serving life sentence for allegedly killing human rights activist HN Wanchoo.
Dr Qasim, who did his PhD while in prison is also the husband of Aasiya Andrabi, the chairperson of hardline women separatist group Dukhatran-e-Milat

DNA Evening Reads | Gauri Lankesh’ killers identified; PM Modi in Bihar; Pulwama encounter and Burhan Wani and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Gauri Lankesh murder case: Two suspects identified, SIT releases sketchesThe police said that there are two suspects and sketches were similar because they were made by two artists based on different eyewitness accounts. Read more here2. PM Modi says Nitish Kumar committed to Bihar, praises Patna University studentsPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday shared the stage with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the first time after the the JD(U) returned to the NDA fold. Read more here3. ‘A big success’: LeT commander Waseem Shah killed in Pulwama encounterTop Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday morning. Read more here4. Remember Burhan Wani’s viral group photo? 2 years on, security forces have neutralised all but oneFor Wani and Shah were part of the group photo that went viral in 2015. The photo of 11 young terrorists in army fatigue not only rattled the security forces but also became hugely popular among the youth of Kashmir. Read more here5. Who said BJP is anti-women? EAM Sushma Swaraj cites cabinet members to counter detractatorsExternal Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday lashed out at BJP’s rivals’ claims that the party was anti-women. Read more here

Remember Burhan Wani’s viral group photo? 2 years on, security forces have neutralised all but one

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On July 8, 2016, Burhan Muzaffar Wani, the 21-year-old ‘poster boy’ of new wave of Kashmir militancy was gunned in Anantnag’s Kokernag area.More than a year later, top Laskar-e-Taiba commander Waseem Shah was killed in Pulwama on Saturday.Between the encounters of Wani and Shah lies the success of Indian armed forces.For Wani and Shah were part of the group photo that went viral in 2015. The photo of 11 young terrorists in army fatigue not only rattled the security forces but also became hugely popular among the youth of Kashmir.Seen as a propaganda attempt, Burhan Wani and his terror gang not only impressed the young minds but swayed the mood in the Valley in their favour.But the Anantnag encounter changed the narrative and thus began the story that led security forces to neutralise one terrorist after another.Despite the clashes and tension following Burhan Wani killing, the security forces were successful in making the impact.But the 2015 photo may have helped the security forces. Before Burhan Wani, Adil Ahmad Khanday, Afaaqullah Bhat and Waseem Malla were killed in 2015 itself. Another major blow that year was surrender of Tariq Ahmad Pandit. In 2016, Burhan Wani was killed in Anantnag. Others who were eliminated include Ishfaq Hameed and Naseer Ahmad Pandit.This year, the biggest success was encounter of Sabzar Ahmad Bhat. Today’s encounter in Pulwama killed Waseem Shah, who had switched sides from Hizbul to Lashkar. Local information also suggests that Anees has also been killed.The only surviving member of the original Burhan Wani gang is Saddam Paddar.Apart from these, other major successes this year include Lashkar chief Abu Dujana, Jaish-e-Mohammed’s operational chief Abu Khalid among others.But the biggest headache of the security agencies remains Zakir Musa, chief of Al Qaeda-linked New Jihadist group ‘Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind. The former top commander of Hizbul Mujahideen has not only distanced himself from the pro-Pakistan group, but is also seen and heard talking about establishing Sharia rule in Kashmir.

Army wants 900 body bags, 150 caskets lying in warehouse for 17 years

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The Army has sought early handing over of 900 body bags and 150 caskets procured in 1999 lying in a warehouse for the past 17 years after allegations of kickbacks in the USD 4 lakh deal and subsequent CBI probe into it.The Army’s renewed pitch for getting custody of the body bags and caskets comes at a time when images of bodies of seven military personnel wrapped in plastic sacks and tied up in cardboard triggered outrage last week.The military personnel were killed in an Mi-17 helicopter crash in Tawang on Friday. Official sources said the Army has requested the CBI again to facilitate the handing over of the body bags and caskets as the probe into their procurement was over and the case was closed in 2013.When contacted, CBI sources said they are looking into the matter. In the aftermath of the Kargil war, the then NDA government had ordered procurement of 3,000 body bags and 500 aluminium caskets. However, following allegations of kickbacks in the contract, the deal was cancelled but the company which was given the contract had supplied 900 body bags and 150 caskets by then. The CBI had carried out probe into the allegations. A Delhi court in 2013 had discharged three former Army officials who were charge sheeted by the CBI.A senior Army official said CBI had found that a typographical error at a clerical level triggered these allegations. He said the actual weight of each casket should have been mentioned as 55 kg but instead, it was written 18 kg.The official sources said, however, an observation by a government auditor favouring scrutiny of the pricing of the body bags and caskets held back their release. They said a city court had issued directions for release of the caskets and body bags.They said the US government had also bought body bags and caskets from the same company at almost the same period when India had finalised the deal and the auditor suggested to find out the rates at which the American government had procured them. The images of bodies of the seven military personnel wrapped in plastic sacks had triggering outrage prompting the Army to call it an “aberration”. Former Northern Army commander Lt Gen (Retd) HS Panag had said proper military body bags must be used to transport bodies from forward locations until ceremonial coffins were available.

Baramulla terrorist attack: Jaish-e-Mohammed Operational Head Khalid killed in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander was on Monday killed in an encounter between terrorists and security forces in Ladoora area of Baramulla district of Kashmir.The JeM Operational Head has been identified as Khalid.Khalid is believed to have trained and infiltrated from Pakistan and was active in North Kashmir’s Sopore area. His name had cropped up for the first time in October 2016, when the Army busted a JeM module in Baramulla. Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Ladoora area following information about the presence of militants in the area.Meanwhile, an Army soldier was killed in a brief encounter with militants.The slain soldier has been identified as Subedar Raj Kumar.

BSF camp attack mastermind among top 5 terror commanders

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) commander in Kashmir code named Khalid, who has been active since 2016 and is among the top five terror commanders, has been identified as the mastermind behind the BSF camp attack in Srinagar.Other than Khalid, the other top commanders on the list are Zakir Musa, Riyaz Naikoo, Saddam Padder, and Zeenat-Ul-Islam.Khalid was leading a ring of 12 terrorists, 10 Pakistanis and 2 locals, who were targeting high-valued security establishments, sources said.Sources said there are sketchy details available about Khalid but he is said to be one of the key JeM terrorists given the responsibility of reviving the terror group in Kashmir.He is believed to have trained and infiltrated from Pakistan, and is active in north Kashmir’s Sopore area.His name had cropped up for the first time in October 2016, when the Army busted a JeM module in Baramulla that was responsible for an attack on an army convoy in which killed two Army men and one cop.According to sources in the security establishment, the group was also responsible for the attack on a police complex in Pulwama on August 26 where three terrorists were killed.”With three more being killed on Wednesday, the group of four Pakistanis and two locals is still on the prowl,” said a source.On their radar were the airfields in Awantipora and Srinagar but they aborted the plan seeing a strong security cordon.The dossier on other top terror commandersRiyaz Naikoo: Hizbul MujahideenThe chief of Hizbul Mujahideen, Naikoo, and an ‘A++’ category terrorist. The 29 year old is one of the most experienced Hizbul commanders and at present its head of operations in Kashmir. He took over from Yaseen Ittoo after his death in an encounter last month. Naikoo, who is from Durbug, Awantipora, is considered tech savvy. In a recent funeral of a terrorist he countered Zakir Musa’s anti-Pakistan propaganda and tried to garner support for Pakistan.He has been booked by police in several murder cases including that of policemen. To bolster his moderate image he had earlier during the year also released an 11-minute video asking Kashmiri Pandits to return to the Valley. Naikoo overlooks the Over Ground Worker (OGW) support for Hizbul.Saddam Padder: Hizbul MujahideenPadder was part of killed terrorist Burhan Wani’s group and is now the only one active terrorist among the 12 who featured in a photograph along with Wani. Apart from Padder, Tariq Pandit, who featured in that photograph, is alive as he had surrendered. Padder also comes from a family of farmers. Not much is known about Padder, except the fact that Hizbul thinks highly of him. Padder is a school dropout who joined militancy about 4-5 years ago but with little education he is said to be a ‘clever’ militant. He was with LeT until he joined Hizbul in 2015. After Musa left as the chief of Hizbul, Saddam Padder was one of the top contenders to be the next Hizb chief, a place later taken by Naikoo.Zeenat-ul-Islam: Lashkar-e-ToibaOne of the local terrorists who could take up the LeT leadership in Kashmir. The 28-year-old is a resident of Sugan Zanipura, Shopian, and was recruited in 2015. He is considered one of the main accused in the Shopian attack in February that left three soldiers dead. Known as an IED expert, he is a former member of Al-Badar Militant outfit.He was once arrested in 2008 where he is said to have confessed to being an over ground worker (OGW). He was eventually released four years later and is said to have gotten married before joining LeT.Zakir Musa: Al-QaidaAfter his split from Hizbul Mujahideen, he launched the Kashmir chapter — Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind — of al-Qaida. In a short span, Musa has become popular among the youth and cadres of other terror outfits. He was said to be close to Abu Dujana, LeT in Kashmir who was recently killed. He’s considered quite dangerous because he’s been using propaganda to call for an Islamic caliphate in Kashmir and throughout India, an ideology that’s rapidly gaining ground in the Valley.

5 terrorists killed on LoC, 70 waiting to infiltrate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army foiled two major infiltration bids and killed five terrorists in Uri and Tanghdar sectors on Monday even as around 70 trained terrorists are waiting on the launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) to be pushed into this side of North Kashmir.The first infiltration bid was foiled in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district when Army noticed some suspicious movement along the LoC. Troops immediately cordoned off the area and challenged the terrorists. However, the troops came under heavy fire which was immediately retaliated. In the initial firefight one terrorist was killed and later two more were eliminated.”Infiltration bid has been eliminated in the Tangdhar Sector. Three terrorists were killed so far and weapons recovered. Search operations continue,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, Defence spokesman at Srinagar.The second infiltration bid was foiled on the LoC in Rampur Sector of Uri in Baramulla district. “Two terrorists killed, two weapons recovered. Search operations still ongoing,” said Colonel Kalia.This is the third major infiltration bid to have foiled in the Uri sector in the last 10 days. Army thwarted Uri-type fidayeen attack when they intercepted and killed four newly infiltrated terrorists before they could unleash mayhem in Kalgai village of the Uri sector along the Line of Control (LoC) on the night of September 23.Three days later, Indian Army dealt a major blow to Hizbul Mujahideen after they killed one of the longest surviving terrorists Abdul Qayoom Najar when he was trying to sneak into the valley from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) from Lachipora in Uri sector.On September 26, Indian Army repulsed Pakistani Border Action Team (BAT) strike on their post and forced the attackers to beat the hasty retreat on the Line of Control (LOC) in the Keran sector of North Kashmir’s Kupwara district.The infiltration bid was foiled on the day top Army commander said around 70 terrorists are waiting on the terror launch pads across to sneak into the valley.”Around 60 to 70 terrorists are waiting on the launch pads for infiltration,” said Major General RP Kalita, General Officer Commanding 19 Division.

Def min inaugurates bridge near LaC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has commissioned a strategically important bridge near the Line of Actual Control (LaC) which will help the armed forces to transport men and heavy military equipment in a record time during exigencies in the cold desert of Ladakh.Pratham-Shyok bridge, which will connect the region to Karakoram in North Eastern Ladakh, was inaugurated by the Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday. The bridge will provide vital connectivity on the axis of Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Olde (D-S-DBO) road for military transport.”Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited the forward locations of Leh, Ladakh and Siachen and reviewed the security situation in the area. She also inaugurated a bridge on river Shyok on the road between Durbuk and Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO), which was constructed by Border Roads Organisation”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Located on the 255-km long strategic road on Ladakh’s border with China, the ‘Pratham-Shyok’ bridge is a part of the massive infrastructure development push to boost the road and bridges network on the LAC for better connectivity and troop movement in all weather conditions.”There is a need for moving heavy equipment and other stores. Pratham-Shyok is a permanent bridge also called load classification of 70 yard, which can take the heaviest load. It is a 60 metre double lane bridge,” said a Border Roads Organization (BRO) officer.The bridge has been constructed in such a way that it can withstand heavy load movement including tanks and artillery. ‘Pratham-Shyok’ bridge is part of the programme to replace the 24 small bridges by heavier load classification bridges for faster movement and connectivity.”There are 24 lower load classification equipment bridges which are being replaced by heavier load classification bridges on the stretch to handle the transportation of heavier equipments for faster movement and connectivity. Work is underway on the seven important bridges. The deadline for the seven heavier load classification bridges is 2020 and we are on schedule”, he said.Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman interacted with the soldiers in the remote areas of Siachen Glacier and conveyed her best wishes on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra. During her visit to Leh, she interacted with the troops of Indian Air Force at Air Force Station Leh.”During her visit she was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff, Army Commander, Northern Command and Corps Commander of the Ladakh Corps”, said Colonel Kalia.PRATHAM-SHYOKIt’s located on the 255-km long strategic road on Ladakh’s border with China
It can withstand heavy load movement including tanks and artillery
The bridge will provide vital connectivity on the axis of Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Olde road

LeT terrorists behind killing of BSF constable

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hajin-Bandipora: Jammu and Kashmir police achieved a major breakthrough on Thursday when they were able to identify the group of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militants that killed the BSF Constable Mohammad Ramzan Parrey aka Rameez here on Wednesday night.”There has been movement of LeT militants led by Mehmood Bhai in the area. It was Mehmood and his associates who stormed into the house of Constable Ramzan and killed him. There were three or four of them,” said Nitish Kumar, Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir.Police said the militants have suffered huge reverses in the last few months so they are now resorting to killing innocent and unarmed people.”In the last seven to eight months, more than 14 militants have been killed in the area. Now they are frustrated and it (killing of unarmed BSF man) is the result of that. Only four to five militants are left in this area and Mehmood is their commander in Hajin,” said Sheikh Zulfikar Azad, senior superintendent of police, Bandipora.Security forces are confident that they will neutralise the militants very soon. “We are after them and we will get them,” said Azad.The police are investigating the motive behind the killing of Constable Ramzan, who was on leave and was at his home for over two weeks. Sources said Mehmood’s group was strolling at the river embankment late night when they saw Ramzan talking over the phone.”There was an altercation and they snatched his phone. After 15 minutes they came back and killed Ramzan and injured his family members. We suspect that they saw the pictures of Ramzan in uniform in the phone that tipped them off that he was working in the force,” said a police officer.Police figures reveal that there are 85 militants operating in the three border districts of North Kashmir and most of them are foreigners. “Most of the terrorists are Pakistanis and locals are very less,” said Kumar.

Aerobatics in sky to mark Air Force Day on October 8

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Air Force will celebrate Air Force Day on October 8. Prior to this, the Air Force trainee pilots showed amazing skills while performing aerobatic in the supersonic Sukhoi 30 at Jodhpur air base. At the same time, the air force’s team, Garuda demonstrated the live operational activities. The updated MiG-27 and the Helicopter Mi-17 pilots thrilled with their acrobatics. High tech weapons and equipment were also exhibited on the airbase.Jodhpur Air Force Station Chief Air Commander N Tiwari said that the Air Force celebrates Air Force Day on October 8 every year. Jodhpur air base is the most important operation air base of the western border. The trainee pilots are also trained in fighter planes here.On the question of the movement of the aircraft at night at Jodhpur Airport, he said that with modern information system in place, movement of planes are allowed from sunrise to sunset. But due to lack of staff it is not possible to allow flights at night.Tiwari, talking about the spectacular display of the fighter aircraft and the Garuda team at the Jodhpur air base, said: “ We want to tell the people of the country through these promos that the tax paid by them is used in the right way by the Air Force.” Every year the preparation of the events start before October 8 in which trainee pilots perform surprising adventures on Sukhoi aircraft. Simultaneously, on October 8, there will be programs at all the air force hubs of the country. The largest event will be organised at Hindon air force station in Delhi. Aerobatic Suryakiran team will show its strength on Air Force Day.

J&K: Army foils infiltration bid along LoC, one militant killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A militant was killed today (Tuesday) as Army foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control (LoC) in Uri sector of north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.”An infiltration bid has been eliminated in general area Zorawar of Uri sector. One terrorist has been killed,” an Army official said.He said a weapon has been recovered from the site of the encounter. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the official added. On Monday, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat had said that terrorists will keep coming, we are ready to bury them two feet under the ground. Surgical strikes were carried to send a message to the adversary and if required these can be repeated, he added. Yesterday, Indian Army gunned down four terrorists and recovered war like stores in an anti-terrorism operation near the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla’s Uri.According to a senior army personnel the terrorists were planning to carry out a September 18, 2016 Uri-like attack. The September 2016 attack was carried out by the terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammed, in which at least 23 army jawans were killed and several others were injured.Harpreet Singh, Deputy Commander, Uri Brigade, said, “Army foiled a major terrorist attempt in Baramulla district. The terrorists gunned down in the operation were here to carry out a major attack at an army camp.”The Army officer added that the terrorists were planning to attack the Kalkai camp in Baramulla district of the valley.(With agency inputs)

Terror funding: NIA summons J&K traders’ body, PhD student

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The traders here are bracing up for a showdown with the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after the latter summoned their president, as well as a university scholar, for questioning in the terror funding case.The agency has summoned Kashmir Traders’ and Manufacturers’ Federation (KTMF) president Mohommad Yaseen Khan and research scholar of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at University of Kashmir Aala Fazili for questioning at their headquarters in New Delhi on Monday.The NIA action has triggered a chain reaction with Kashmir Inc calling the move as “an attempt to trample Kashmir’s economy”. Major trade bodies including KTMF, Kashmir Economic Alliance (KEA and transporters have joined hands and called for valley-wide strike against NIA action on Monday.”Summoning business leaders is nothing but a ploy of the Centre to crush our fragile economy. We have been apprehending that the attempts are being made to crush the economy of Kashmir. Our worst fears came true when NIA issued summons,” said Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, vice-president of KTMF.Separatist Hurriyat Conference too has jumped onto the bandwagon to condemn the summoning of Khan and Fazili. “These moves are clearly aimed at putting pressure on individuals and organisations who are sympathetic to the Freedom struggle. Government of India is using NIA and ED as tools of state to harass and intimidate people,” said the spokesperson of moderate Hurriyat led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq.He said the line of action adopted by the NIA and ED is purely aimed at changing the focus from the real issue of Kashmir dispute and an attempt to defame every segment of Kashmiri society.”These efforts were made in the past as well but failed to change the nature of Kashmir’s genuine and sacred struggle and the fresh assault is also destined to fail. Kashmir issue is a reality accepted by the world community as there is already 18 UN resolutions pending implementation in the UN Security Council,” he said.The summons come months after seven separatists and businessman including son-in-law of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani and a top aide of moderate leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in the terror and stone pelting funding cases.Those arrested included Altaf Ahmed Shah alias Fantoosh, the son in law of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Peer Saifullah, political secretary of Geelani, Ayaz Akbar, spokesman of Geelani led Hurriyat Conference, Raja Mehraj-ud-din Kalwal, Srinagar district president of Tehreek-e-Hurriyat led by Geelani and Shahid-ul-Islam, media secretary of Mirwaiz.Others leaders arrested include National Front chairman and suspended provincial president of hard-line Hurriyat Nayeem Ahmad Khan and former militant commander and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (R) leader Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate. Top businessman Zahoor Watali was also arrested by the NIA.

Kashmir tourism bleeds, Rs 1,100 cr loss in a year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fida Ahmad Khan, 49, looks pensive at his Spartan office in Downtown Srinagar. For the last one year, Khan, who owns Peace Holidays Private Ltd, has been struggling to pay wages and meet daily office expenses.In the last one year, the number of annual bookings fell to 30 from 300. Khan has suffered a loss of Rs 15 lakh this year alone. “We have become defaulters because we could not pay our loan installments to banks. We lost out on 90 per cent of bookings this year,” says Khan.Khan is not alone. Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8 last year and subsequent unrest have cost Kashmir’s hotel industry Rs 1,100 crore.Burhan’s encounter killing sparked daily clashes between security forces and stone-pelting protesters.The protests plunged the Valley in an unprecedented four-month spiral of violence that claimed 90-odd lives and left thousands of people wounded. Curfews, hartals, stone pelting and encounters have shaken the confidence of tourists.”Last year we suffered losses worth Rs 500 crore. This year so far, we have lost out on Rs 600 crore. We have 54,000 beds in the Valley, and occupancy was not even 10 per cent this year. Fifty per cent of our hotels are locked.Most employees in hotels have been retrenched. These losses pertain only to the hotel industry”, says Adil Khan, vice-president of Kashmir Hotel and Restaurants Association (KHARA).In 2017, 7.9 lakh tourists, including 2.6 lakh Amarnath Yatris, have visited Kashmir. In 2016, Kashmir had 11.27 lakh tourists, most of them came before Hizb posterboy Wani was killed by security forces.The tourism sector suffered a loss of Rs 3,000 crore due to unrest in 2016. Around three lakh tourists had visited the Valley between July 2015 and September 2015. The footfalls of tourist however were reduced to a trickle in the corresponding period of 2016 because of the post Wani killing unrest.”This year, arrivals have been hit. It is because of the problems we have been facing for the last one year. We have had ups and downs in the tourism sector”, says Mehmood Ahmad Shah, Director of Tourism, Kashmir.The tourism department is now planning a major publicity blitzkrieg to woo tourists back to the Valley. “We are starting an aggressive advertisement campaign, both through print and electronic media. Plus, there will be road shows, familiar tour and travel marts,” says Shah.”We have had some positive takeaways this year as a record number of Thai and Malaysian tourists arrived in the Valley”, he, however, says.

No one wants to be LeT chief: SP Vaid

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid speculations about Zeenat-ul-Islam being named as new Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief, Jammu and Kashmir police chief Dr Shesh Paul Vaid said nobody is ready to don the mantle of the commander of the outfit.”What is in the name? I have heard the vacancy of commander is still vacant and nobody is ready to take it up,” Dr Vaid told reporters after inaugurating the Jashn-e-Dal (Dal Lake Festival) and Shikara Race – 2017.This follows back to back setbacks suffered by the LeT in the last one month. Two chief operations commanders of LeT were killed by the security forces in a span of one month in Jammu and Kashmir.LeT chief Abu Ismail, the main accused in Amarnath yatra bus attack, and his associate Abu Qasim were killed in a brief encounter at Aragam-Nowgam in Srinagar outskirts on September 14. He had taken over from Abu Dujana who was gunned down by security forces in Pulwama on August 1.Zeenat-ul-Islam, the 28-year-old terrorist, is one among the 12 most wanted list released by the Indian Army on May 30. A resident of Sugan-Zainpora village of south Kashmir, Islam had joined Lashkar on November 17, 2015. An expert in making IEDs, he was arrested in 2008 before being released in 2011. Later he recycled again into militancy and rose quickly in the LeT ranks.Islam is among the four most wanted, including Zakir Musa, who are on the radar of the security forces after the elimination of top commanders in the list of 12. “For us he (Zakir Musa) has taken up arms and he is a terrorist,” Dr Vaid said.Director General of Police said the operation all out against militants will continue till peace returns to the state. He said instruction has been passed down the line that if any militant wants to surrender he should be given a chance to lay down his arms.”Those who want to live and lay down arms; we will give him chance to live. But only condition is that he should not fire,” he said.Dr Vaid said they have brought back 60 youngsters from the jaws of militancy. “I want to appeal through you that don’t leave everything on police. It is responsibility of all be it teachers, religious leaders political leaders et to make our children understand what is good and bad. Bloodshed will not achieve anything,” he said.

Marshal of Indian Air Force Arjan Singh — an epitome of military leadership in classical sense

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Marshal of Indian Air Force, Arjan Singh, an icon of India’s military history, will always be remembered as a war hero who had successfully led a young IAF during the 1965 Indo-Pak war.The only officer to attain the highest post of Marshal, the Air Force equivalent to the Army’s five star field marshal, Singh was a fearless and exceptional pilot who had flown more than 60 different types of aircraft.He played a major role in transforming the IAF into one of the most potent air forces globally and the fourth biggest in the world.”His contribution to the Indian Air Force is monumental to the least. The IAF grew with him. He was epitome of military leadership in classical sense and it is, therefore, not surprising that he was honoured with the rank of Air Force Marshal,” former Vice Chief of IAF Kapil Kak said.Singh was honoured with the rank of Marshal on the Republic Day in 2002. Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw and K M Cariappa were the only two army generals honoured with the rank of field marshal.Known as a man of few words, Singh was not only a fearless pilot but had profound knowledge about air power and applied it in a wide spectrum of areas.Singh had assiduously led the IAF during the 1965 war and denied success to Pakistani air force though it was better equipped with American support.”His most outstanding contribution was during that war,” said Kak.Commending his role in the war, Y B Chavan, the then Defence Minister had written: “Air Marshal Arjan Singh is a jewel of a person, quiet efficient and firm; unexcitable but a very able leader.”In 1944, the Marshal had led a squadron against the Japanese during the Arakan Campaign, flying close air support missions during the crucial Imphal Campaign and later assisted the advance of the Allied Forces to Yangoon.In recognition of his feat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) on the spot by the Supreme Allied Commander of South East Asia, the first Indian pilot to receive it.Singh was selected for the Empire Pilot training course at Royal Air Force (RAF) Cranwell in 1938 when he was 19 years old. He retired from service in 1969.Singh was born on April 15, 1919, in Lyalpur (now Faislabad, Pakistan), and completed his education at Montgomery (now Sahiwal, Pakistan).His first assignment on being commissioned was to fly Westland Wapiti biplanes in the North-Western Frontier Province as a member of the No.1 RIAF Squadron.After a brief stint with the newly formed No. 2 RIAF Squadron where the Marshal flew against the tribal forces, he later moved back to No.1 Sqn as a Flying Officer to fly the Hawker Hurricane.He was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader in 1944.For his role in successfully leading the squadron in combat, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in 1944.On August 15, 1947, he achieved the unique honour of leading a fly-past of over a hundred IAF aircraft over the Red Fort in Delhi.After his promotion to the rank of Wing Commander, he attended the Royal Staff College at the UK. Immediately after Indian independence, he commanded Ambala in the rank of Group Captain.In 1949, he was promoted to the rank of Air Commodore and took over as Air Officer Commanding (AOC) of an operational command, which later came to be known as Western Air Command.Singh had the distinction of having the longest tenure as AOC of an operational base, initially from 1949-1952 and then again from 1957-1961.After his promotion to the rank of Air Vice Marshal, he was appointed as the AOC-in-C of an operational command.Towards the end of the 1962 war, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff and he became the Vice Chief of the Air Staff in 1963. He was the overall commander of the joint air training exercise “Shiksha” held between IAF, RAF (Royal Air Force) and RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force).On August 1, 1964, in the rank of Air Marshal, the Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh took over reins of IAF, at a time when it was still rebuilding itself and was gearing up to meet new challenges.Singh was the first Air Chief to keep his flying currency till his CAS rank.Having flown over 60 different types of aircraft from pre-World War II era biplanes to the more contemporary, Gnats and Vampires, he has also flown in transport aircraft like the Super Constellation.In 1965, when Pakistan launched its Operation Grand Slam, with an armoured thrust targeted at the vital town of Akhnoor, Singh led IAF through the war with courage, determination and professional skill.He inspired IAF to victory, despite the constraints imposed on the full-scale use of Air Force combat power.Singh was awarded Padma Vibhushan for his astute leadership of the Air Force during the war.Subsequently in recognition of the Air Force’s contribution during the war, the rank of the CAS was upgraded and Arjan Singh became the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force.He remained a flyer to the end of his tenure in IAF, visiting forward bases and units and flying with the squadrons.He retired in August 1969, there upon accepting Ambassadorship to Switzerland. He was Lieutenant Governor of Delhi from December 1989 to December 1990.Having been a source of inspiration to all personnel of Armed Forces through the years, government conferred the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force upon Arjan Singh in January 2002 making him the first and the only ‘Five Star’ rank officer with Indian Air Force.

Amarnath terror attack: People said Abu Ismail should be brought to justice; today there is justice, says J&K police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Abu Ismail, the Lashkar-e-Taiba commander who masterminded the deadly attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims in July, was killed by security forces on Thursday along with another Pakistani terrorist, police said.The two were gunned down after a brief encounter that saw the duo running for their lives.”On specific information, a joint operation was launched in Aribagh in Nowgam area on the outskirts of Srinagar city.It was around 4:15 pm that a contact was established with the two hiding terrorists in a house there. In a very brief encounter, both the terrorists were killed,” Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Khan said.He was addressing a joint press conference along with general officer commanding of the Army’s Victor Force, Major General B S Raju, and IG CRPF Ravideep Singh Sahi.Khan said the other terrorist has been identified as Abu Qasim alias Chota Qasim.”The bodies of the slain terrorists have been kept at the appropriate place for appropriate disposal,” he said.The IGP said two AK rifles, UBGLs and other material were recovered from them.He said Ismail was involved in 15 cases including the July 10 attack on a bus carrying Amarnath yatra pilgrims in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district which left eight of them dead.”After the elimination of Abu Dujana, he (Ismail) had taken over as the chief of LeT in the valley. He was involved in around 15 criminal cases in valley which included murder, dacoities and other militancy related incidents. So, I compliment our teams for executing a wonderful operation with no collateral damage,” Khan said.”The day they (militants) killed yatris, the people said that they should be brought to justice and today they have been brought to justice. It is a great success for the security forces. A chapter of these terrorists has been closed. Tomorrow will be a new day for us. We will start our work afresh.”When the attack took place, there was total condemnation of the act committed by terrorists from all sections of the society and people said loud and clear that these killers must be killed. So, from that day onwards, these killers were our targets and our teams whether they be police, army or the CRPF – were looking for them,” he said.He thanked the people for “expressing that sentiment that time because that was against Kashmiriyat. No Kashmiri liked that”.Asked whether all the militants behind the attack have been neutralised, the IGP said “One foreign and one local terrorists are left.”He said Ismail was an “A++” category militant while Qasim was “A+” category, but refused to share further details of the operation.”It is better not to ask such questions because they are operational details which we do not want to divulge. It is not that whole militancy has been wiped out by their killing. So, it is better not to divulge the details,” he said.Khan said the priority of the security forces is to neutralise the militant leadership in the valley.”Militant leadership is important to be neutralised. That has to be eliminated because they not only are militants but also provoke and motivate children. The priority is to neutralise the militant leadership. You know who are the leaders and they will be our next target,” he said.He, however, said “we have a long way to go and we will keep on trying.”Maj Gen Raju said Ismail’s killing is extremely important because he was responsible for the death of about 14 security forces personnel and eight civilians.”This success is also important because we are expecting vacuum in the foreign terrorists’ leadership of the LeT. After the death of Abu Qasim, then Abu Dujana and now Ismail. In between we also killed (Abu) Ali. Now, we are looking at a serious deficiency in their leadership which should give us more opportunities,” he said.

Terrorists in Kashmir, beware! Indian Army will take you down with its ‘SAMOSA’ missile

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>For months now, anti-India graffiti painted on walls has become a common sight in the Kashmir Valley.From abusing the Indian government, to mocking the Indian Armed Forces, to glorifying terrorists, these graffiti have not just been used as a propaganda tool but also a means to demean India’s armed forces.Obliterating such offensive graffiti had been Indian Army’s conventional response to the menace till now. Not anymore. A few young Indian Army officers have now decided to take the battle right up to these walls—one graffiti at a time.The name of Zakir Musa—a Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist recently believed to be named by the Al- Qaeda as its India chief—was found painted on walls after walls in Budgam district. It was then a young Rashtriya Rifles’ Company Commander decided he needed to respond: spray can for spray can and that too, innovatively.So the graffiti which originally said ‘MUSA BHAI’ in capital letters was modified by adding two new alphabets and tampering with an existing one. A few sprays later, the graffiti screaming MUSA BHAI became an even more screaming SAMOSA BHAI.As Budgam woke up the next morning, the sense of amusement on the streets was unmistakeable. Many were intrigued by who this SAMOSA BHAI was. And the fun continued for a few days.“We found that not a single wall had been spared. Zakir Musa’s name had been painted all over the place. At first, we thought of obliterating these graffiti like we normally do. Then we had this idea and decided to react differently,” said an army official in Kashmir, requesting anonymity.“It was an interesting experiment, one that also lifted the mood of our men,” the army official said. Senior Army officials acknowledge that the anti-India messages painted on walls in Kashmir can at times make soldiers feel disheartened and demeaned. “This kind of a response surely helps in lifting the spirits of our men,” the official added.Sources said there was a growing appreciation within the Army establishment for officers and leaders who were trying to come up with out-of-box solutions to the situations they face on a daily basis in the conflict zone in Kashmir.“You will keep hearing of more such innovations in days to come,” the officer from Kashmir said.

All-woman Indian Navy embarks on circumnavigation of globe; PM wishes them luck

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today wished success to an all-woman team of the Indian Navy as it embarked on circumnavigation of the globe, a first of its kind from India.The six women Naval officers had met the prime minister on August 16 and he had exhorted them to project the country’?s capabilities and strengths across the world.The ‘Navika Sagar Parikrama’ was flagged off by Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman near the Panaji coast. The expedition being undertaken on an India-built sail boat INS Tarini is slated to conclude in Panaji in March next year.”Today is a special day! 6 women officers of the Navy begin their journey of circumnavigating the globe on board INSV Tarini,” Modi tweeted today.”The entire nation comes together in wishing the all- women team of Navika Sagar Parikrama the very best in their remarkable endeavour,” he added in another tweet.The expedition will be covered in five legs, with stopovers at 4 ports — Fremantle (Australia), Lyttleton (New Zealand), Port Stanley (Falklands), and Cape Town (South Africa).INSV Tarini is a 55-foot sailing vessel, which has been built indigenously, and inducted in the Indian Navy earlier this year.The vessel is being skippered by Lt. Commander Vartika Joshi and the crew comprises Lt. Commanders Pratibha Jamwal, P Swathi, and Lieutenants S Vijaya Devi, B Aishwarya and Payal Gupta.

AirAsia pilot suspended for smoking in cockpit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An AirAsia Indian pilot was suspended by the airline for smoking in the cockpit while operating a ferry flight from Hyderabad to the national capital.The incident is being probed by the aviation regulator DGCA.The incident took place last month and there was no passengers onboard as it was a ferry flight.A source said the commander of the flight was found smoking in the cockpit, following which immediate action was taken by the airline.An AirAsia India spokesperson said the airline apprised the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) about the breach that took place on a ferry flight from Hyderabad to Delhi immediately after the incident.”The captain has been suspended with immediate effect and the case is being investigated by DGCA. The airline will comply by the regulator’s instructions,” the spokesperson said in a statement.While various violations get reported, not often are there incidents of smoking in the cockpit.

Can breach LoC and strike when we need: Top Army Gen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hours after Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa pledged support to the cause of Kashmir, Indian Army hit back saying the surgical strikes were a message well conveyed and that they can breach the Line of Control (LoC) and strike whenever needed.”Surgical strike was a point that we wanted to drive home that LoC is not the line which cannot be breached. When we want to, we will be able to breach and go across and strike when we need. So, that was a subtle message we wanted to convey and we did it”, said Lieutenant General Devraj Anbu, General Officer Commanding in Chief (GoC-in-C) of Northern Command.The Northern Army Commander’s statement comes on a day when Pakistan again violated ceasefire and targeted Indian positions across the LoC in Poonch sector, injuring two porters. Pakistan resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing at 11.45 am.”Situation on LoC is very much under control and we have moral ascendancy. We are very firm in dealing with any infiltration or any act which abets infiltration from the other side. There is no question that anybody can take things lightly and try infiltrating across LoC,” said Lieutenant General Anbu.The Northern Army Commander also noted that there are a large number of terrorist camps and launch pads both in South and North of Pir Panjal.”Those camps have not decreased. Last year, the number of attempts (of infiltration) was relatively less compared to this year. While there may be attempts but they have prevented them (ultras) entering (into Jammu and Kashmir).We have been foiling them at LoC. Sort of deterrence has been created so that they (militants) are not able to enter in. While attempts are more but we are able to prevent them from infiltrating into our borders whether in the Valley or Jammu region”, he said.Figures reveal that more than 475 militants are waiting across the LoC to infiltrate into Jammu and Kashmir. Around 144 militants have been eliminated by the security forces in different operations across Jammu and Kashmir this year.The concernsThe Northern Army Commander also noted that there are a large number of terrorist camps and launch pads both in South and North of Pir Panjal.

Terror camps across LoC has gone up, 475 militants waiting to cross border: Army commander

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The number of terror camps and launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC) in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir have gone up and around 475 militants are waiting to sneak into the Indian side, northern Army commander Lt Gen Devraj Anbu said on Thursday. Internally, he said the NIA raids on separatists and the killing of top militant leaders by security forces have helped in improving security situation in Kashmir. He said 144 militants have been killed in the state so far this year and the situation is “well under control”. Gen Anbu said there have been a large number of infiltration attempts along the LoC in J&K this year but “very less” have been successful. “We cannot tell you the exact number of the militants.But the militants, who are waiting to cross over to this side (via the LoC from PoK) are nearly 250 in north Kashmir and around 225 in south of Pir Panjal (Jammu region),” said the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GoC-in-C) of Northern Command. He was responding to questions from journalists after presenting gallantry and distinguished services medals to 103 army officers and jawans and certificates of appreciation to 31 units apart from 31 civilians at an investiture ceremony at the Northern Command headquarters here.Gen Anbu said the security situation along the LoC and in the hinterland in well under control. “We are firmly in control of the situation along the LoC… (the number of) launching pads and terrorist camps along LoC has increased as compared to the previous years,” he said. “While infiltration attempts have increased, the success to infiltrate has been much less than previous years despite large number of infiltration attempts. That is because of our robust counter-infiltration grid that we have on LoC,” he said.”The (number of) militants coming to this side have decreased to a large extent this year,” Gen Anbu said. According to Multi Agency Centre (MAC) of intelligence gathering, the number of militants who have managed to infiltrate is 75 during the last eight months, he said, adding, “But according to our assessment, it is 45 to 50.” He said the Army has created a “strong deterrence” at the LoC so that militants do not enter the Indian side. “While attempts are more, we are preventing them from entering this side, whether in Kashmir valley or Jammu region,” the Army commander said.About the input of a group of militants having sneaked in via Samba, he said all agencies are closely watching that. “If it manifests somewhere, we will get to know,” he added. “The situation along the LoC and in hinterland is under control,” he said. He said the NIA raids aimed at choking funding to separatists, “which has got direct link to terrorism in Kashmir, compliments the security operations” of forces. “Administration (in J&K) is good. We have been able to eliminate terrorist leaders and it is complimented by the choking of funds by NIA raids. All this will have a deterring effect on the youth who are likely to become part of agitation dynamics. It has come down drastically,” he said.”What was in November-December last year and what is now – there are very few incidents that take place. There is now a token number of persons who are on the ground as they have realized (futility of terrorism). It is only now handful people who are into this,” he added. Regarding the issue of protests, he said, “Agitational dynamics does not mean that each and every person comes to streets and their heart and soul is into it. There is an upward curve. The government in power and security forces get to top of it.”The Army commander said elimination of the leadership of terrorists has brought down incidents and recruitment of the local terrorists. “It (local recruitment) happens when the terrorists have an upper hand. The youngsters in the age group of 16 to 18 get moulded by the terrorists and separatists to join the ranks,” he added. “This is what we need to look at. The number of the locals militants joining ranks have been constant in last year years including this year,” he said.About the militancy situation in the hinterland, Gen Anbu said, “It is improving. Those (militants) who are operating in the hinterland are foreign terrorists in north Kashmir and south Kashmir has presence of local terrorists more and foreign terrorists are lesser.” He said the security forces are trying to dominate the south Kashmir region. “We conduct searches keeping in mind that we do not cause any inconvenience to local people. That is where we get information from and warn them in advance. We conduct operations and they (operations) are clean. After the operation, we keep interacting with people so that they are on our side. This has had very good effect in south Kashmir,” Gen Anbu said.”We have killed 100 militants in the past four months. A total of 144 militants have been killed so far (in Kashmir this year),” he said. “The effect of what is happening now will manifest in a couple of months from now. But there is decrease in local youth getting recruited,” he added. The Army commander strongly batted for reaching out to the youth of Kashmir.”The issue that needs attention is that you need to engage the youth and the state government and everybody has to play a part in ensuring employment generation and positive security environment is created by the security forces and it will get controlled,” Gen Anbu said. Army commander said no footprint of militants has been seen in the Jammu region. “There is no militant presence in Jammu region. May be there will one odd such report and that too due to any infiltration. But there is no resident terrorist or presence of foreign terrorist in Jammu region,” he said in reply to a question with regard to presence of the militants in the region.

J-K: Battalion Commander level meeting held in Poonch’s Chakan-da-Bagh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In the backdrop of numerous ceasefire violations and civilian casualties, Indian and Pakistan Army on Wednesday held a Battalion Commander Level Flag Meeting at Chakan-da-Bagh in Poonch Sector of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian delegation highlighted abetment and support of Pakistan Army, to cross border terrorism, sniping actions on the Line of Control (LoC) and deliberate targeting of civil population during the ceasefire violations. The resumption of trade and transit through Chakan-da-Bagh was also discussed by both the sides. In the meeting, which lasted for nearly 50 minutes, both the sides mutually agreed to the importance of exercising restraint on the LoC and keep the channels of communication open between the local commanders. The ceasefire violations from Pakistan?s side along the LoC have risen in the past several months. 285 such incidents have been reported this year as compared to 228 in 2016.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

At J-K NCC camp, common refrain among female cadets: ‘Real

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As they made it to the NCC camp here, leaving behind stones-scattered streets and youths raising ‘azadi’ slogans, the girl cadets echo one message- “shun stone-pelting, sloganeering and enjoy the real azadi in India”. These female NCC cadets from Kashmir are among the 500, of which 147 are girls, undergoing training at a National Cadet Corps (NCC) camp at Sainik school, Nagrota, in the outskirts of Jammu city. They are participating in the 10-day camp to select a 40 -member Jammu and Kashmir Directorate Thal Sainik Team, which will take part in a national-level camp at New Delhi soon. Soft-spoken Aneesa of first JK Battalion Srinagar, and a student of government women’s degree college in Anantnag, said she was the only girl representing her college at the camp. “Most of the girls wanted to come. But were disallowed by their parents citing the prevailing situation in south Kashmir,” she said. Addressing those advocating ‘azadi’ and taking the path of violent protests, the cadets asked them to “taste the freedom enjoyed by them outside Kashmir”. “I want to tell them that the real azadi (freedom) is here. If you want azadi, it is here,” she said and asked the youth to shun stone-pelting and sloganeering. “Please don t go towards the bad things like protests, stone-pelting or getting involved in sloganeering for azadi. Azadi is nothing. If you want azadi it is here,” Aneesa said. She said she was initially worried when she joined the camp. “Before I came to this camp, I was very much worried and asking what will happen in the camp. What type of activities will be there?” she said. “But the camp commander lifted my morale. The camp commandant is very nice person and motivated me. I am enjoying a lot here. I want to suggest all girls to come forward if you want to live a life of freedom which is here,” she said. Another cadet Syed Rabia, also of first JK battalion, Srinagar, said she alongwith two other girls, had come from Army Goodwill Higher Secondary School Uri in Baramulla district of north Kashmir. “We are three girls here from Army Goodwill Higher Secondary School Uri. We are very lucky to be part of the NCC because we do not only learn discipline and unity but it helps us in our overall development,” she said. She said she would like to suggest the girls from across the state especially in the Valley, which has seen violent protest recently over several issues, to be part of the NCC for overall development. Lt Col Ravindra Singh, Commanding Officer, Second Jammu and Kashmir Independent Company NCC Bhaderwah, said this is the first phase of the ‘Thal Sainik’ camp and is run by his unit. “Second and third phase will also be organised. In the third phase, the final JK Directorate Thal Sainik team will be selected which will take part in national competition in Delhi later,” he said. About the activities at the camp, he said the day starts with physical training, yoga and drill followed by training in obstacles, firing, field and battle craft and health and hygiene. In the evening, games and crossing of obstacles are performed, he said. “In this camp, we have children from all across the state including Bhaderwah, Jammu, Akhnoor, Poonch, Rajouri, Baramulla, and 100 children from the Srinagar group,” he said. Sonum Angu, a cadet from Ladkah, said she belongs to first JK pro company and is accompanied by 12 other cadets. “I am feeling proud to be part of this camp. We get a lot of experience here, and our confidence level goes to to new height. All girls are requested to join this camp,” she said. Rajesh Kumar Vohra, 2nd officer, Second JK NCC battalion, said a total of 500 cadets, including 147 girls, are participating in the camp. Vohra, posted in Army Public School Udhampur, said he salutes the valour of children who joined the camp from the turmoil-hit Kashmir. “They have shown the courage, especially our daughters from Pulwama, Baramulla, Anantnag and Ladakh and their message is simple and straight that there is whole world outside Kashmir,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Terror funding: ‘Hawala dealer’ in judicial custody till Aug 31

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Allowing an Enforcement Directorate (ED) plea, a Delhi court has sent suspected hawala dealer Mohammad Aslam Wani in to judicial custody till August 31. Wani was arrested in connection with a decade-old money laundering case, involving Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah.Duty magistrate Jasjeet Kaur gave the orders after ED counsel N K Matta submitted that Wani be sent to judicial custody. The 36-year-old was produced in the court after his two-week custody for interrogation ended. The ED had arrested Wani on August 6, after a sessions court issued an open-ended non-bailable warrant (NBW) against him and sent him to eight-day ED custody.According to an ED official, Wani was arrested in Srinagar with the help of state police and later brought to Delhi. Despite multiple summons issued by the ED for his appearance in the case, he had refused to appear. The agency had arrested Shah from Srinagar on July 26.The money laundering case dates back to August, 2005, when the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had arrested Wani. He had stated to have passed on Rs 2.25 crore to Shah. In 2010, a Delhi court cleared him of terror funding charges, but convicted him under the Arms Act.The ED then registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against Shah and Wani. At the time of his arrest, on August 26, 2005, Wani allegedly had Rs 63 lakh, received through hawala channels from the Middle East, in his possession, along with a large cache of ammunition.During questioning, Wani had told the agency that of the Rs 63 lakh, Rs 50 lakh was to be delivered to Shah and Rs 10 lakh to Jaish-e-Mohammad area commander Abu Baqar. The rest was to be his commission, the FIR stated.

Coast Guard reviews operational preparedness of eastern region

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Coast Guard Commander, Eastern Region, Rajan Bargotra today reviewed the operational preparedness of the the region at the District and Station Commanders Works conference here today. Bargotra reviewed the operational preparedness with emphasis on coastal security, pollution response and infrastructure development, an official release said. He sensitised the District Commanders on the present security scenario in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and stressed the importance of working in tandom with all the stake holders. The role of fishermen fraternity towards coastal security was also highlighted on the occasion. Coast Guard District and Station Commanders from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and senior officers from various Coast Guard units participated, it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India welcomes US designation of HM as foreign terrorist group

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India today welcomed the US’ decision to designate Kashmiri terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation and said it reflected the joint commitment of the two countries to firmly deal with terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. “We welcome the designation of the Hizbul Mujahideen that has been responsible for carrying out heinous acts of terrorism and taking innocent lives in the state of Jammu and Kashmir as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said. He also referred to the US declaring the group’s Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist nearly two months ago. “We feel that these designations reflect the joint commitment of India and the US to firmly deal with terrorism in all its forms and manifestations,” Kumar told reporters. The MEA spokesperson said it is an obligation for everyone to end moral, diplomatic and material support to such internationally designated terror outfits and individuals. “No cause or reason can justify continued provision of support, shelter and sanctuary to such entities and individuals in any manner,” he said. The US on Wednesday had designated Hizbul Mujahideen as a “foreign terrorist organisation”. The designation, which slaps a series of US sanctions on the outfit, came against the backdrop of upsurge in the terror activities of the militant group in Kashmir in recent months. The US decision marks a severe blow to Pakistan which has been projecting the militant group as a voice of Kashmiri people. Pakistan’s powerful Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif have repeatedly praised the militant group’s slain commander Burhan Wani who was killed in July last year in an encounter in Kashmir. Formed in 1989, Hizbul Mujahideen is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

U.S. sanctions Kashmiri militant group Hizbul Mujahideen

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The United States on Wednesday said it had sanctioned Hizbul Mujahideen, the largest of the anti-Indian Kashmiri militant groups fighting in the Himalayan territory divided between Pakistan and India. The U.S. Treasury Department, in a statement on its website, said it had listed the Pakistan-based group as a counter- designated group, freezing any assets it may hold in the Untied States and prohibiting Americans from dealings with it. “These designations seek to deny HM (Hizbul Mujahideen) the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks,” the U.S. State Department said in a separate statement. In announcing the designation, the State Department said the group had claimed responsibility for several attacks, including one in 2014 in Jammu and Kashmir that left 17 people injured. Last month, the United States also designated Syed Salahuddin, a militant commander for the group, as a terrorist – a label he denounced. Such designations are aimed at denying individuals and entities access to the U.S. financial system. Both India and Pakistan claim Kashmir as a whole. Pakistan has denied giving material help to Kashmiri separatists but has pledged to provide continued diplomatic and moral support. India blames Pakistan for stoking the 28-year-old revolt in Muslim-majority Kashmir and has stepped up its pressure on Pakistan over the conflict.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Blow to Pakistan: US lists Hizbul Mujahideen as a terror outfit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US has listed Kashmiri outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation, in a boost to India’s fight against Pakistan-backed terrorism in the restive Valley. The move also comes as a blow to Pakistan and the terror outfit as it could choke its resources and funding.In June, the US had declared the group’s Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin a global terrorist. “These designations seek to deny Hizbul Mujahideen the resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks,” the US State Department said in a statement.Hizb’s property and interests in property subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from any transactions with the group that largely comprises local recruits controlled by Pakistan.Pakistan’s Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have repeatedly praised Hizb commander Burhan Wani.Wani was killed in July last year in an encounter in Kashmir.Pakistan based Lashkar-e-Taiba chief and mastermind of the Mumbai 2611 attacks, Hafiz Saeed, also made public statements about Wani’s killing and hailed him as a hero.Wani’s killing triggered a prolonged spell of unrest in Kashmir with frequent clashes between security forces and stone-pelting mobs. The terror outfit also went on a recruitment spree after Wani’s killing.Hizb was formed in 1989 and is one of the largest terror outfits operating in Kashmir. “Hizbul Mujahideen is led by Specially Designated Global Terrorist Mohammad Yusuf Shah, also known as Syed Salahuddin. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks, including the April 2014, explosives attack in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, which injured 17 people,” the US, Department of State said.The State Department said terrorism designations expose and isolate organisations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement activities of US agencies and other governments, it said.One of the top Hizb commanders, Zakir Musa, recently set up another terror group Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind — an affiliate of Al Qaida. His action was condemned by the United Jihad Council, an umbrella body of terror outfits active in Kashmir. Syed Salahuddin also heads the United Jihad Council.

Southern naval command celebrates independence day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Southern Naval Command (SNC) today celebrated the 71st Independence Day with a ceremonial parade reviewed by Vice Admiral A R Karve, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command. The Admiral had earlier paid floral tributes at the War Memorial for departed shipmates. Later, addressing the parade he highlighted the tremendous advances made by India in defence, space, science and technology while becoming one of the biggest economies in the world. He reiterated that it is important for everyone in the Southern Naval Command to train hard to be able to carry out their duties with professionalism and confidence, whether they wer on board a ship, submarine, aircraft or in a shore unit. The C-in-C said that the armed forces needed to be ready to face the present security challenges in the maritime domain and fully dedicated to serve the nation. He also complemented the parade for its smart turnout and crisp drill movements. Twenty four platoons, including six armed platoons attended the Parade. The President’s colours, presented to the Command by the then President late Zail Singh, was also paraded, accompanied by a 50 man Guard of honour. The Parade was commanded by Commander Sachin Rawat. Rear Admiral R J Nadkarni,Chief of Staff, SNC conducted the parade. The Southern Naval Command band was in attendance. All Kochi based naval ships were also ceremonially dressed overall with multi-coloured signal flags and pennants to mark the festive occasion. The festivities culminated in ‘Barakhana’, wherein naval personnel enjoyed a special meal together. Earlier,at midnight,a 70 km ultra marathon,to commemmorate 70 years of independence, was flagged off by Rear Admiral K Swaminathan, Chief Staff Officer (training). A number of naval personnel led by Commodore Joginder Chandna, Chief Staff Officer (Personnel and Administration) participated in the event as an expression of solidarity to the cause of nation building. The marathon was successfully completed at 9:30 AM by Commodore Joginder Chandna, Sub Lieutenant Nitin and Sub Lieutenant Deepak Kadian.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

On Pakistan’s Independence Day, soldiers exchange sweets at Wagah border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Celebrating the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan, Pakistani Rangers today gifted a box of sweets to the Border Security Force (BSF) on the Indian side of Attari/Wagah border here.Security personnel of both the sides hugged and shook hands with each other, besides sharing pleasantries for a few minutes, officials said.Pakistani Wing Commander Bilal shook hands with BSF Commandant Sudeep during the sweet giving ceremony to mark Pakistan’s Independence Day celebration at the Joint Check Post of Attari/Wagah border, they said.The BSF personnel would offer traditional Indian sweets to their Pakistani counterparts on the 71st Independence Day of India tomorrow, they added.

J&K: Four security personnel injured in granade attack by terrorists in Budgam district

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four security personnel were injured today in a grenade attack by terrorists in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, police said.Terrorists hurled a grenade at a road opening party of CRPF and police at Batpora in Magam area, 20 kilometres from here, a police official said.He said three CRPF personnel and one policeman were injured in the grenade blast.The injured personnel have been admitted to SKIMS Medical College hospital at Bemina here.The attack came amidst stringent security arrangements across Kashmir valley for tomorrow’s Independence Day celebrations.
ALSO READ J&K: Three Hizbul terrorists, including commander, two armymen killed in Shopian encounterMeanwhile, terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen today named Mohammad bin Qasim as its “field operational commander” in Kashmir in place of Yaseen Itoo who was killed yesterday in a fierce gunbattle with security forces in Shopian district.Qasim was made the new commander of Hizb at a meeting of the outfit’s command council chaired by Syed Salahuddin in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), a spokesman of the outfit said in a statement.Salahuddin said the high number of killings of militants in encounters were because of “traitors” and “Indian agents”.Itoo, alias ‘Gaznavi’, and his two associates were killed yesterday in an encounter that began on Saturday night in Awnira village of Shopian district in south Kashmir.In the encounter, two armymen were also killed and three others, including a Major, were injured.Itoo, who hailed from Budgam district of central Kashmir, had a long association with Hizbul Mujahideen and was responsible for keeping alive the prolonged unrest of 2016 following the killing of group’s commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.He had also played key role in recruiting several young men into the outfit, according to the police.Itoo had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996 but had surrendered in 2007 and was later released on parole in 2014.Subsequently, he had joined the militant group again and was its self-styled chief operations commander.Along with him, the security forces killed Umar Majeed, who hailed from Shopian, and Irfan, a tech-savvy militant involved in online propaganda for the militant outfit

Hizb names successor to slain Kashmir ‘operational commander’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hizbul Mujahideen today named 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. Qasim was made the new commander of Hizb at a meeting of the outfit’s command council chaired by Syed Salahuddin in Muzaffarabad (in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir), a spokesman of the outfit said in a statement. Salahuddin said the high number of killings of militants in encounters were because of “traitors” and “Indian agents”. Yattoo, alias ‘Gaznavi’, and his two associates were killed yesterday in an encounter that began on Saturday night in Awnira village of Shopian district in south Kashmir. In the encounter, two armymen were also killed and three others, including a Major, were injured. Yattoo, who hailed from Budgam district of central Kashmir, had a long association with Hizbul Mujahideen and was responsible for keeping alive the prolonged unrest of 2016 following the killing of group’s commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. He had also played key role in recruiting several young men into the outfit, according to the police. Yattoo had joined Hizbul Mujahideen in 1996 but had surrendered in 2007 and was later released on parole in 2014. Subsequently, he had joined the militant group again and was its self-styled chief operations commander. Along with him, the security forces killed Umar Majeed, who hailed from Shopian, and Irfan, a tech-savvy militant involved in online propaganda for the militant outfit.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Two Harkat-ul-Mujahideen terrorists arrested in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> The security forces on Monday arrested two terrorists of Harkat-ul-Mujahideen from Handwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. Yesterday, one of the three terrorists killed in Saturday’s Shopian encounter was identified as Hizbul Mujahideen’s operational commander – Yasin Yatoo. Hizbul Mujahideen’s topmost commander in Kashmir, Mehmood Ghaznavi, was also killed in a gun fight that started on Saturday evening at Shopian. Combing operations were launched to ensure no untoward elements reside in the area. Last week a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist was arrested from Soppore district of the state. Ishfaq Ahmad Kanna, a resident of Jamia-Qadeem in Sopore, was arrested after an operation was carried out by the Central Reserve Police Force ( CRPF) when it was conducting a security check on Seer Amargarh Road. During the security check, Ishfaq jumped over the ‘Naka’ and fled to a nearby orchard. The suspected area was cordoned off immediately and he was caught and one pistol, one pistol Meg, five pistol rounds and two UBGL grenades were recovered from him. A case was registered against Ishfaq in the Tarzoo Police Station. After thorough investigation, it has been found out that the militant is a part of the Lashkar Module in North- Kashmir. He used to work as active recruiter before joining the LeT outfit. Earlier, on 5th of August, three militants of the Lashkar module were killed at the Jamia Mohalla Amargarh in Sopore.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

One son has fallen down, another is still standing: Father of martyr

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> ?My son sacrificed his life for the country with Vande Matram as his last words? said Vamanrao Gawai, father of Sepoy Sumedh Waman who joined the Army in 2011. The sobbing father further added “My younger son is in the army too, If one has fallen down, my another is still standing, who will make two fall and will make the enemy pay back for his brother?s death.” Sep. Sumedh Waman hailed from Lonagra village in Akola, Maharashtra and was among the two Army soldiers killed in a fierce gunfight with the militants in Shopian encounter in Jammu and Kashmir. The mortal remains of the martyr were flown for last rites to his native place, Akola in Maharashtra, where he was laid to rest with full military honours. Chinar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. J.S. Sandhu, along with officials from all ranks, paid rich tributes to Sepoy.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2 troops killed in J&K encounter

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

Railway officials in Jammu put on alert ahead of I-Day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ahead of Independence Day, railway employees in the region have been put on alert and have been asked to be present at their workplaces, an officer of the Jammu Railway wing said. Security has been beefed up at all the railway stations, including at Jammu, Udhampur, Katra, Kathua and Samba, and on the tracks, the official said. “The railways have been put on alert and employees have been asked to be present in their offices ahead of Independence Day. It is done as a routine before such days,” he said. “The security has been beefed up at railway stations and on the track. Security personnel have been asked to be alert,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP)-Railway Mohd Arshad said. Checking and frisking at railways stations have been increased and patrolling on track intensified, he said. The decision comes a day after a crude bomb and a letter warning of revenge for the killing of Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Abu Dujana was recovered from the Amritsar-bound Akal Takth Express at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh by the Government Railway Police.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Three terrorists killed in Tral encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Radical commander Zakir Musa-led Al Qaeda linked ‘Ansar Ghazwat-Ul-Hind’ suffered a major setback on Wednesday when security forces killed three of its top local slain terrorists in a swift operation in slain terroristBurhan Wani’s hometown of Tral in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.A local youth was also killed when security forces fired pellets to quell the stone-pelting mob in the area soon after the encounter was over.Acting on specific intelligence inputs, the police along with 42 Rashtriya Riffles, 180th battalion of CRPF launched a joint cordon and search operation in Gulab Bagh area of Tral. When the forces were busy conducting the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired upon the search party. “The security forces retaliated, leading to an encounter in which three terrorists of Zakir Musa’s group identified as Zahid Ahmad Bhat, Mohammad Ishaq Bhat, and Mohammad Ashraf Dar were eliminated. Two AK 47 rifles and one pistol were seized from the encounter site”, a police spokesman said.Police said Mohd Ishaq Bhat was involved in grievously injuring the police Head Constable Abu Gani Bhat. He was also involved in thrashing and torturing of some SPOs on gunpoint and circulating its video on social media.”Zahid Rashid Bhat was involved in hurling grenade on CRPF Nafri which resulted in injuries to one CRPF personnel. Both Ishaq and Zahid were also involved in firing incident at Tral-i-Payeen Bazaar resulting in injuries to three persons. They were also involved in various grenade attacks in South Kashmir”, said the police spokesman.”Zahid Rashid Bhat hurled grenades on CRPF Nafri, which resulted in injuries to one CRPF personnel. Both Ishaq and Zahid were also involved in the firing incident at Tral-i-Payeen Bazaar resulting in injuries to three persons. They were also involved in various grenade attacks in South Kashmir,” said the spokesman.”Post the encounter, a huge mob pelted stones upon a camp. During this, one person sustained pellet injuries and later succumbed to his injuries,” said the police spokesman.Shortly after the encounter, the pro-Pakistan Hizb-ul-Mujahideen said the slain terrorists were re-joining the outfit after leaving Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.”Ansar-Gazwat-ul-Hind is headed by Zakir Musa and has been created to divide Kashmir,” said a Burhanuddin, Hizbul operational spokesman.

Northern Army commander reviews security in south Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D Anbu today visited south Kashmir to review the security in the militancy-infested region. “Lt Gen D Anbu, accompanied by Chinar Corps Commander Lt Gen J S Sandhu, was briefed on all aspects of security and operational preparedness in the valley,” a defence spokesman said here. He said the Army commander appreciated the measures put in place to meet any challenge and complimented the troops for the recent successful counter-terrorist operations. Lt Gen Anbu exhorted the commanders and troops to keep up the pressure on the terrorists in the Valley and appreciated the synergy amongst all security agencies and complimented the troops for undertaking operations with firmness and resolve. He also encouraged the soldiers deployed in the Valley to continue utmost vigil and operational focus and assured full support for their endeavours.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

J-K: Three Hizbul suspects nabbed for luring Kashmiri youth into terrorism @ 8/8/2017 3:05:18 PM

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> In an effort to foil terror elements from building a terror infrastructure to lure young boys of the Valley, the Baramulla Police assisted by 29 RR and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), apprehended three suspected individuals of Hizbul Mujahideen from here. The plan was chalked out to apprehend the terrorists on specific information, laid a joint Naka at Behrampora Tilgam crossing to detain the terrorists. The three terrorists are identified as Waseem Ahmed Mir of Andergam Pattan, Umer Hassan Rather and Akif Hussain of Achbal Sopore. The team of security forces also recovered two Chinese pistols along with ammunition from their possession. On sustained questioning the trio admitted that they are working for Hizbul Mujahideen terror outfit and were motivating young boys into terrorism and have been carrying out this activity in the North Kashmir region from quite a long time. As per reports, the network was being spearheaded by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Parvez Wani, who hails from Galoora Handwara region. These networks were not only luring the youth of the Valley to join the terror outfits, but were also providing logistic support to terrorists in the Andergam Pattan and Sopore areas. FIR has been lodged in Kreeri police station and a case has been registered under sections 13 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, ULA (P) Act.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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