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JeM turns to local cadres for fidayeen recruits

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

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5,500 first-time stone pelters to be granted amnesty in 2018

Call it a New Year gift to the misguided stone throwers, Jammu and Kashmir government is reviewing cases of 5,500 youth in a bid to save their academic career and amalgam them into the mainstream.Under the amnesty scheme for misguided youth, cases of around 5,500 first-time stone pelters of 2016-17 are being currently reviewed by the expert committee constituted by the Jammu and Kashmir government.Earlier, in November, cases against 4,327 youths involved in 744 incidents of stone pelting and other law and order problems during 2010-2014, were withdrawn under the Chief Minister’s amnesty scheme. Around 634 youths involved in 104 cases of 2008-2009 were given amnesty under this scheme.”Due to the improvement in situation this year the government took a decision of amnesty for those children who were misguided and not involved in heinous cases so that their career is not ruined. Same committee has been authorised by the government to review the cases of 2016-17. There are cases against 5,500 children and the committee, which I am chairing, is examining them,” said Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police (DGP), Jammu and Kashmir.Jammu and Kashmir police have brought back 74 boys from the jaws of militancy this year in the valley. Plus the new homecoming policy for local militants too have yielded positive results. “Seven boys have come back to join their family. I hope more boys will come back. Our effort is that the local terrorists should drop guns and we will help them to join the mainstream,” said Dr Vaid.The Director General of Police said this year around 206 terrorists have been neutralised, of which 84 were locals and 121 foreign terrorists. “It (local recruitment) has come down drastically and I am sure things will further improve,” he said.Additional Director General of Police, Kashmir, Munir Ahmad Khan said this year they have targeted leadership of militants who besides taking active part of terrorism were recruiting youth to militancy.”This year they have started operation in the areas where for some reason police was not able to enter for two years. There was resistance at some places. During the course of encounters there were some civil casualties because of cross fire. We have been appealing people to avoid going to sites where encounters are on,” said Khan.This year around 24 civilians have died near the encounter sites across Kashmir. “There is misconception that Operation All Out is about killing. It is not like that. Part of it is killing but it is about overall improvement by way of getting youth back, surrender and counselling,” he said.BUILDING TRUSTJ&K police, in 2017, brought back 74 boys from the jaws of militancy. The new homecoming policy for local militants too have yielded positive results. The forces also neutralised around 206 terrorists in 2017. Of this 84 terrorists were locals and 121 of foreign origin.

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Terrorists storm CRPF camp, 5 personnel killed

A group of heavily armed Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists stormed the highly secured Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) training facility in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday, and killed five soldiers, including an officer, while injuring three others. Two holed-up terrorists have been neutralised so far.The outfit has claimed the responsibility for the attack. A JeM spokesman called up local news agencies to stake the claim. He also ridiculed the Operation All Out, launched by the security forces earlier this year to eliminate terrorists.The incident took place at 2 am. A group of terrorists cut the barbed wire fence of the 185th CRPF battalion, by the isolated hillside. They then lobbed grenades and fired indiscriminately. Three soldiers were injured after the terrorists stormed the facility and took refuge inside one of the three blocks to engage the troops.Security forces immediately rushed in reinforcements to track down the holed-up terrorists and rescue the soldiers trapped inside the training facility.Several people were rescued before the forces took on the terrorists inside the facility. Fierce gunfight between the two sides continued throughout the day. Five CRPF soldiers, including an inspector-rank officer, were killed and three others were injured in the gunfight. Four of them died due to gunshot wounds and another one died of a cardiac arrest during evacuation. Two terrorists were also neutralised and efforts are on to neutralise other terrorists hiding in the facility.”We have recovered bodies of two terrorists. When the room intervention (room by room sanitising operation) was on to retrieve the third body, security forces came under heavy fire from the hiding terrorists. The exchange of fire is currently on,” said Rajesh Yadav, CRPF spokesman for Kashmir.The attack comes days after JeM vowed to avenge the killing of its midget chief, Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, by security forces in the Samboora village of Pulwama district.”I think the inputs had been coming for the last two-three days. They had been trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night. The challenge has always been there but as long as our neighbour (Pakistan) keeps sending people like this, my police, security forces, and the people of Kashmir have to go through this. This is unfortunate,” said Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, Director General of Police.Situated on a hillock, the 185th battalion CRPF camp is a huge complex used as a training facility for jawans and officers inducted for counter-insurgency purposes. The facility also houses the police component. The complex consists of an office and administrative block, residential quarters, and a control room.”The terrorists took shelter in the quarter block. There was no hostage-like situation. Of the four soldiers, one each is from Kashmir and Rajouri district of Jammu. Two others are from Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh,” Yadav said.Calling the terrorist act dastardly, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti said violence has taken a heavy toll on the society in the state, in terms of death and destruction, tearing apart of social fabric, massive economic, academic, and social losses, besides the irreparable loss of human lives.The terrorist attack on CRPF facility comes almost three months after the security forces repulsed a Pathankot-type terror attack and killed three JeM terrorists, soon after they stormed a highly fortified Border Security Force (BSF) camp neighbouring the Srinagar International Airport and the Air Force Station on October 3.

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Pulwama: Five CRPF jawans killed in JeM attack, 2 terrorists neutralised

In a pre-dawn strike, five CRPF men were killed when heavily armed terrorists carried out suicide attack on a camp of the paramilitary force in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, officials said.This is first time local terrorists carried out a suicide attack, which has been claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e- Mohammed. CRPF spokesperson Rajesh Yadav said the two terrorists are Manzoor Ahmad Baba from Drubgam (Pulwama) and Fardeen Ahmad Khanday from Nazeempora (Tral). Khanday is the son a serving policeman. “Five CRPF jawans have been martyred and three others are injured. The bodies of two terrorists have also been recovered. We believe another terrorist has also been killed but the body has not been retrieved,” Yadav told PTI.Also readPulwama encounter: 5 CRPF jawans martyred, 2 terrorists killedThe paramilitary force’s officials in Delhi said the two terrorists are reportedly from Jaish-e-Mohammed and their bodies have been recovered with arms and ammunition. Also, in a statement issued to news agencies here, the JeM has claimed responsibility for the attack. Yadav said the deceased personnel are Inspector Kuldip Roy from Hamirpur (Himachal Pradesh), Head Constable Taufail Ahmed of Rajouri (J&K), constables Sharief-ud-din Ganaie of Chadoora in Budgam (J&K), Rajendra Nain of Churu (Rajasthan) and P K Panda of Sundargarh (Odisha). He said while Roy died of heart attack during the gunbattle, the four others succumbed to bullet injuries.The injured personnel are constables Narendra Kumar, Malam Samadhan and Mala Ram, he said. “One or two terrorists are still holed up but firing has stopped. Forces are still continuing the search operation,” he said”The heavily armed terrorists stormed the camp at about 2 AM. They were armed with under-barrel grenade launchers and automatic weapons. They were challenged by camp sentries,” another CRPF official said, adding they fired indiscriminately injuring three personnel.Also readCongress blasts Modi govt’s foreign policy after Pulwama attackTerming the attack “unfortunate”, Jammu and Kashmir’s Director General of Police S P Vaid said security forces had input about an imminent militant strike in the Kashmir Valley for the past three days. He said as long as Pakistan keeps sending militants, security forces and people of Kashmir will continue to go through this. “There was an input from the last two-three days. They (militants) were trying. They probably could not get a place and time earlier. So, they struck last night,” Vaid told reporters here.The CRPF camp also serves as training centre for troops inducted for counter-militancy operations in the Kashmir Valley. A Jammu and Kashmir Police team is also co-located with CRPF in this camp.

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Pulwama encounter: 5 CRPF jawans martyred, 2 terrorists killed

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

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

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

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Jammu and Kashmir: Terrorists attack CRPF camp in Pulwama, 3 jawans injured

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<!–end of artlbotbor–><!–end of artlsocl–>Written ByDNA Web Team <!–end of artlbotbor–>Sunday 31 December 2017 6:21 ISTMust readEx-CJI TS Thakur says no to AAP’s Rajya Sabha offerKamala Mills fire: Know the story behind this picture<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>At least two terrorists attacked the training centre of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Sunday. According to reports, around 2: 10 am, the terrorists first lobbed grenades and then began firing in an effort to gain an entry into the training camp in Awantipora. According to reports, the militants are holed up inside the camp.Two jawans have reportedly been injured in the gunbattle. “Fidayeen managed to enter Lethpora camp at 0210hrs. As per report two of our men got injured during initial intrusion from J&K Police Commando training area side. There is quite a possibility of a similar type of attack on other camps also” CRPF said. This is a developing story. More details are awaited.

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Gulmarg entices New Year’s Eve revellers with a Winter Carnival on skis

As Gulmarg becomes a star destination for tourists despite the ongoing unrest, it will now also host a Winter Carnival this year to end the year in style. With the aid of the Army, the carnival is all set to rock the famed ski resorts of Gulmarg on Sunday with music, skiing, photography, gaming, snow sculpture all part of the event.The festival is in addition to the functions being organised by the local hoteliers for tourists on the New Year’s Eve in the ski resort. For the first time in the last two years, Gulmarg is fully sold out with tourists from different parts flocking the ski resort for New Year celebrations.”The Carnival has a plethora of attractions for the tourists such as Snow Scooter, ATV Race, Snowboarding, Sliding and Snowman making competitions, which will be open to locals as well as tourists without any entry fee. Apart from this, there will be a Photography Competition and live performances by local artists and youth from the Chinar 9Jawan Club, Baramulla and Army Bands,” said an Army spokesman.The carnival is aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the people and bringing them closer to the Army. “The event has already created a lot of buzz among the prospective tourists and the local tradesmen who believe that this initiative will not only spread the message of peace and harmony but will also boost the dwindling tourism business at Gulmarg”, said the spokesman.The fledgeling tourism sector has suffered huge losses post-Burhan Wani’s killing that created unrest in the valley last year. Curfews, hartals, stone pelting and encounters have shaken the confidence of the tourists. Post-Burhan Wani killing unrest has cost the hotel industry Rs 1,100 crore.Official data revealed that around three lakh tourists had visited Kashmir between July 2015 and September 2015. The footfall of tourists, however, were reduced to a trickle in the corresponding period of 2016, because of the unrest.Figures reveal around 7.9 lakh tourists visited Kashmir this year. They include over 2.6 lakh Amarnath yatris who visited the cave shrine this year. Last year, 11.27 lakh tourists visited Kashmir — most of them before July 8, when Wani was killed.However, come New Year, and the tourists are making a beeline again to the famed ski resort to bid goodbye to 2017.”Gulmarg is fully packed. All the hotels are 100 per cent booked for two days. Fifty per cent of the people are tourists and the rest are locals. Some of the hotels have organised musical programmes for in-house guests and dinner on New Year’s Eve,” said Mukhtar Ahmad Shah, President J&K Hoteliers Club, Gulmarg.

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Army Chief General Bipin Rawat reviews security situation in J&K, visits forward posts on LoC

Amid the spurt in ceasefire violations by Pakistan, Army Chief General Bipin Rawat today reviewed the operational preparedness of the force here and the prevailing security situation in Jammu and Kashmir, an defence spokesperson said.The Army Chief also visited forward posts along the LoC and interacted with soldiers in Rajouri sector, where an Army Major and three jawans were killed by Pakistani troops on December 23, he said.”The Chief of Army Staff, General Bipin Rawat, accompanied by the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen. D Anbu visited (Jammu-based) White Knight Corps to review the operation preparedness and the prevailing security situation,” the spokesman said.Also readPeace talks only when Pakistan stops supporting terror in Jammu and Kashmir: General Bipin RawatThe Army Chief was briefed by General Officer Commanding, White Knight Corps, Lt Gen. Saranjeet Singh, about preparedness in dealing with the emerging and dynamically changing security situation and the measures taken to thwart “misadventures by the inimical forces”, he said.The spokesman said the Army chief visited Rajouri Sector, where he was briefed on operational readiness by the General Officer Commanding, Ace of Spades division.Also readKeep military out of politics: General Bipin RawatThe Army Chief, while complimenting the formations for their unflinching efforts, reiterated the continuous need to remain prepared in order to counter nefarious designs of the enemy, the spokesman said.

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Botanical garden of Jammu University makes it to international list

Strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir has a reason to celebrate after the sprawling botanical garden of University of Jammu was awarded prestigious membership by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), Royal Botanic Garden, Kew, London.Spread over an area of 6.2 acres, the Botanical garden of the Jammu University is one of the best in North India. Housing more than 500 species of angiosperms, gymnosperms, pteridophytes, bryophytes and MACRO FUNGI, the plants have been systematically been arranged as per the Bentham and Hooker’s system of classification. “Garden is having the experimental beds for researchers of the department, besides succulents, medicinal plants, and RET species. The botanical garden is also having the facilities of the green house, glass house and a registered Herbarium cum museum housing more than 12000 herbarium specimens”, said Professor Yash Paul Sharma, head, Department of Botany, Jammu University.Also readBananas successfully cultivated for first time in Jammu and KashmirScientists said the Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has conferred the membership keeping in view the coordinating efforts and building plant conservation capacity in the botanic garden and for spreading awareness amongst the masses.”BGCI is the largest plant conservation network in the world that aims to collect, conserve, characterise and cultivate world’s flora to ensure their survival against their extinction in the wild and as a source of plant material for human innovation, adaptation, and resilience”, Prof Sharma said.Also readKashmir Saffron all set to take global flight, new job opportunities surface for unemployed youthIn fact, BGCI is a global voice for all botanic gardens, championing and celebrating their inspiring work. “It is an organization that represents a network of over 500 botanic gardens in more than 100 countries, including the largest and most influential gardens of the world”, he said.Prof Sharma maintained that the registration of the Botanical garden with BGCI would help in securing funds from various agencies/Institutions of the world. “It is also a step towards a Green India Mission that would help bringing all the Institutions including civil society together and the availability of expert advice and literature pertaining to biodiversity conservation and germplasm storage would be more prompt and easier”, he said

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Pakistan army violates ceasefire twice in a day in J&K’s Poonch

Pakistani troops today violated ceasefire twice in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir as they resorted to unprovoked and indiscriminate firing from across the border, targeting forward posts and villages, an official said.The Indian troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) retaliated the firing but there was no immediate report of any casualty, the official said.He said the small arms firing from Pakistani side was reported for nearly three hours in the morning in three villages of Digwar sector, causing panic among the border residents.The firing from across the border again started this evening at Khari Karmara sector in Poonch and the exchange of firing between the two sides was continuing when last reports were received, he said.The nearby Rajouri district witnessed heavy exchange of firing between Indian and Pakistani army after the latter initiated the firing in Noushera sector.The latest violation of the ceasefire agreement from Pakistan comes a few days after their troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers in Keri sector of Rajouri district on December 23.On December 24, Pakistani troops had also targeted forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector of Poonch district for nearly four hours but there was no report of any casualty.The Indian troops also killed three Pakistani soldiers and injured another in retaliatory action at Rukh Chakri sector in Rawlakot on December 25.Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a total of 881 ceasefire violations this year, highest in past seven years, along the LoC and the International Border (IB), resulting in the death of 34 people.According to officials, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end.In these incidents of firing from across the border, 30 people — 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed.The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, the Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir came into force in November 2003.India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations in which 13 civilians and 13 government forces personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured.

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Separatists call for boycott of panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir

Separatists today appealed people to boycott the upcoming panchayat polls in Jammu and Kashmir, saying the central and state governments have been using such elections to hoodwink international community.Separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik said boycott of these elections will deliver a message that Kashmiris want freedom from Indian occupation, and that they will accept nothing less than freedom and right to self determination.”India and its stooges repeatedly stage this election drama to hoodwink international community, and pro-India parties and their leaders try to lure people in the name of roads, unemployment and other sugar-coated things,” the separatists said in a joint statement under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).”Soon (after) this election drama is over, these hypocrites, their masters in Delhi and media, declare this vote as a vote for India and use this farce to camouflage atrocities and human rights abuses in Kashmir,” they said.The separatists said any sort of election under this system — be it for “so-called assembly, Parliament, municipal committee or panchayat”– is meant only to “harm the interests of Kashmiris .”We appeal people of Kashmir to boycott panchayat election drama announced by the so-called rulers,” they said.The Jammu and Kashmir government on Monday said it would hold panchayat elections from Feburary 15 next year.

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‘Jammu and Kashmir extremely safe destination for women travelling alone’

Thanks to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), tourism honchos are cashing in on the positive indicators about women safety to promote the sector in order to ensure the increased footfalls of tourists to the valley.The 2016 NCRB report has revealed that Jammu and Kashmir recorded zero crimes against the foreigners, bringing smiles on the sullen faces of the tourism players in the valley.According to NCRB report, 382 crimes were committed against foreigners in India, of which 154 were committed in Delhi alone. Accordingly, 12 foreigners were murdered, 19 raped, 19 robbed and 38 foreign women assaulted in the country.“J&K is an extremely safe destination for women travelling alone. The feedback from women travelers from all over has been tremendous with respect to how safe they felt there”, said Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department.Post Burhan Wani killing unrest has cost the hotel industry Rs 1100 crore. Curfews, hartals, stone pelting and encounters have shaken the confidence of the tourists who have given Kashmir a miss after the killing of Burhan Wani on July 8 last yearFigures reveal around 7.9 lakh tourists visited Kashmir this year. They include over 2.6 lakh Amarnath yatries who visited the cave shrine this year. Last year 11.27 lakh tourists visit Kashmir most of them before July 8 when Burhan Wani was killed.Official figures reveal that the tourism sector suffered a loss of Rs 3000 crore due to the unrest in 2016. Official data revealed that around three lakh tourists had visited Kashmir 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-Burhan Wani killing unrest. Tourism players are hoping that NCRB figures will help in diluting the negative perceptions about Kashmir. “People have apprehensions about visiting Kashmir, but I must tell you that Jammu and Kashmir is one of the safest tourist destinations”, said Priya Sethi, Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for tourism.

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Jaish-e-Mohammad’s ‘commander’ Noor Tantray killed in Pulawama wanted to join BJP in 2003 to eliminate top brass

Noor Mohammad Tantray, the ‘midget’ terrorist killed in Pulwama encounter on Tuesday, wanted to join the BJP to eliminate its top leaders way back in 2003.Also known as Peer Baba, the four-feet-tall Kashmir chief of Jaish-e-Mohammad even went to the BJP headquarters at 11 Ashoka Raod in New Delhi. He managed to get a form to get himself registered as an active member, snoop on the leaders and attack them, a plan that never materialised. Before he could have succeed in his conspiracy, the Anti-Terror Unit of Delhi Police’s Special Cell, then headed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand nabbed him and his associates from Delhi with huge cache of arms and ammunition.Tantray also went by the name Gulzar Ahmed Bhat or Uwais was a resident of Darganjgund in Pulwama’s Tral area and was arrested in Delhi in August, 2003.“Tantray was a member of JeM, a terrorist organisation banned under Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 and was arrested for entering into a criminal conspiracy with four others (Rashid, Mohd Sahid, Habeeb and Khurshid Ahmed Butt, all said four others having since been killed in different encounters with security forces), to commit terrorist acts and wage war against India,” Chand told DNA.He was convicted in 2011 for life. He was languishing in Tihar Jail and was out on a parole since 2015 and thereafter started reviving the JeM in south and central Kashmir.In 2003, on August 29, the Special Cell received an intelligence inputs about Jaish terrorists being engaged in supply of arms, ammunition and explosive material transported in wooden boxes of fruits and vegetables by trucks from Kashmir to Delhi. The vehicles were also used to take back Hawala money from Delhi to Kashmir for being used for terrorist activities.On a specific information about a truck bearing registration number “153” of Jammu and Kashmir having reached Delhi with certain quantity of arms, ammunitions and explosives, efforts were made through a team headed by then Sub Inspector Govind Sharma, who is now Assistant Commissioner of Police, to locate the vehicle.It was learnt that truck bearing number JK-03-0153 had actually entered the fruit market in Delhi’s Azadpur at 10:55 pm on August 28, 2003. Since the truck could not be located in the market, extensive search was launched in surrounding areas. On August 30, 2003, at about 2.00 pm, then Sub Inspector Umesh Barthwal is said to have located the said truck parked in Qutub Road parking lot. A police officers comprising, amongst others, of then Inspector Hriday Bhushan was deployed to keep a watch over the truck in secrecy.At about 7.45 pm a short statured person later identified as accused Noor Mohd Tantray was seen approaching the truck and having a talk with the driver who was later identified as accused Parvez Ahmed Mir and cleaner later identified as accused Farooz Ahmed respectively of the truck.Tantray along with other two boarded the truck, thereafter three wooden boxes kept in the tool box were taken out. All three were nabbed and the three wooden boxes unloaded from the truck were opened and checked and beneath the fruit, 10 hand grenades, 10 grenades shells and one under barrel grenade launcher were recovered.Tantray during interrogation revealed that the consignment of explosives was to be delivered by his associates Zahoor in Pakistan and Aslam of Sikandrabad in UP, who were to meet him in front of Indraprastha Park on outer ring road in Nizamuddin. A team of police personnel at 9.15 pm in private cars and reached the park near and about 10.45 pm, a Maruti car bearing registration no. DL3C N8749 came from the side of Nizamuddin flyover and stopped.From the said car, two persons allegedly alighted and stood nearby and challenged by the police and when asked to surrender but instead of compliance the said they started firing at the police. The police returned the fire in the course of which both the said persons came to be injured and later scummed to injuries.In Delhi, Tantray had made his in house no A-44 at Mohindra Park in Azadpur as the base to carry out terror attacks. During search of his place, police recovered computer with its accessories, stereo cassette players, sets of Nokia, 10 channel cordless telephones, cash, Hawala money in the sum of Rs 19.20 lakh and certain incrementing documents. Sources said that these documents contained a form for BJP membership.The police team lead by ACP Rajbir Singh, who has since died, had then nabbed the accused under supervision of then DCP Ashok Chand. Chand retired from Delhi Police as Joint Commissioner in 2015.

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Pakistan denies Indian troops crossed LoC, summons envoy for ‘ceasefire violations’

Pakistan today summoned India’s acting deputy high commissioner to protest “unprovoked” firing by the Indian Army that killed its three soldiers along the LoC.The Foreign Office in a statement rejected reports that the Indian Army commandos crossed the Line of Control in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir and smashed a post. “The false claims by India about the alleged cross LoC adventures are a figment of their imagination and counter- productive for peace and tranquillity on the LoC,” it said. “The Indian actions got a befitting response from the Pakistani side and their guns were silenced,” it claimedThe Foreign Office spokesman said Director General (SA & SAARC) Mohammad Faisal summoned India’s acting deputy high commissioner and “condemned the unprovoked ceasefire violations” by Indian forces in the Rakhchikri sector.He claimed that the firing “provided a cover for the planting of IEDs by non-state actors”, resulting in the death of three soldiers. Faisal urged the Indian side to “respect the 2003 Ceasefire arrangement; investigate this and other incidents of ceasefire violations; instruct the Indian forces to respect the ceasefire, in letter and spirit and maintain peace on the LoC.”Also readIndian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers The Indian Army sources in New Delhi earlier said a “small group” of ‘Ghatak’ commandos carried out a tactical level selective targeting of the Pakistani post around 200-300 metres across the LoC last evening in which three Pakistani soldiers were killed and one was injured. The operation is seen as avenging the killing of four Indian Army personnel by a Border Action Team of the Pakistan Army in Keri sector Rajouri district three days ago.

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At four feet two inches, walking with a limp, ‘merchant of death’ Noor Tantray meets his inevitable fate

He was just four feet two inches tall and walked with a limp. Noor Mohammed Tantray, the Jaish-e-Mohammed commander who was gunned down today, stood out in a crowd but his mental acuity more than made up for that disadvantage, officials said.Called “merchant of death” by a special court in Delhi, Tantray was believed to be the brains behind several terror strikes, including the attack on the BSF camp outside the Srinagar airport on October 3 and on state minister Naeem Akhtar’s cavalcade in Tral on September 21 this year. The end came during the intervening night of December 25 and 26 at Samboora in Pulwama district of South Kashmir, not far from his home in Tral. The killing of the 47-year-old JeM divisional commander, who was out on parole, is a “significant blow” to the terror group’s operations in the Valley, officials said.”We had missed him only by few minutes in the past and I was sure he would run out of luck soon as his height was his biggest disadvantage. With each passing day, the search narrowed,” a senior police official, involved in the operations, said on condition of anonymity. Tantray’s limp also made it difficult for him to disappear into a crowd and police officials were sure they would be able to isolate him. After escaping from the Aripal encounter — in which three JeM militants were killed — at Tral in April this year, Tantray had been on the radar of the Special Unit of the Jammu and Kashmir Police.Also readTop Jaish-e-Mohammad commander gunned down in Jammu and Kashmir’s PulwamaTheir efforts to track him down finally bore fruit on Christmas night when he was trapped in a house and could not escape. His two other accomplices, believed to be foreign militants, managed to flee, an official said.Tantray, who spent eight years in Tihar jail, had intensified his activities since his release on parole in 2015. A close aide of Jaish commander Ghazi Baba, who masterminded the 2001 attack on Parliament, Tantray was arrested from Delhi’s Sadar Bazar on August 31, 2003.He was arrested along with four others and charged with conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in various parts of the national capital. The five militants were arrested following an encounter in which two terrorists were killed. Besides arms and ammunition, police also recovered a sum of Rs 19.20 lakh from Tantray. Then special POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) judge R K Gauba words proved prophetic when Tantray emerged as the most wanted militant in the Kashmir Valley after his release from jail, an official said.He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2011 in the case and shifted to Srinagar’s Central Jail in 2015 before being released on parole. His parole was extended by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court same year.While sentencing him along with others under the stringent anti-terror law in 2011, the judge had said the challenge posed by terrorism had to be met “head-on by a multi-prolonged strategy”. “India’s war against terrorism is to be waged not only by security measures but also by all organs of the state, including the judiciary which must share the responsibility of dealing with such elements with an iron hand,” he said. Terming the five “merchants of death”, the court had said the “foot soldiers of forces inimical to India and bent upon sabotaging the peace and tranquility here, besides posing a serious threat to its unity, sovereignty and integrity, have to be neutralised”.The “merchants of death” had to be locked away for the rest of their lives “…In order that they are suitably de- fanged and blunted so as to be of no further use to the enemy”, the judge had said in his seven page order. Tantray’s terror graph validated the judge’s words, said an official. Tantray is believed to have provided logistical support to JeM militants who stormed the Police Lines in Pulwama in August this year. Eight security personnel and three militants were killed in that attack. He was allegedly involved in the JeM attack on the BSF camp, outside the Srinagar International Airport, on October 3, in which one BSF officer and three militants were killed. Tantray was also found to be involved in the grenade attack on State PWD Minister Naeem Akhtar?s cavalcade in Tral on September 21

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Surgical Strike 2.0: Indian Army planted IEDs to surprise Pak; toll could be higher

The Indian Army troops planted explosives on Pakistani side to surprise the enemy during the ‘mini surgical strike’ it carried out on Monday.According to the new details emerging from the last night’s cross-border raids, the IED blasts were targeted for initial damage on the Pakistani side. It was followed by heavy firing by the Indian troopsThe DNA had first reported on Monday about the ‘mini surgical strike’. The sources say that the toll in the cross-border raids could be much higher than the three dead and one injured identified on Monday.The Indian security forces had crossed over to the Pakistani side on Monday to retaliate the Saturday’s ceasefire violation in Rajouri that had killed three including an Indian Army officer.The Pakistani soldiers killed in the Monday raids have been identified as sepoy Sajjad, sepoy Abdul Rehman and Sepoy M Usman. The injured soldier on the Pakistani side has been identified as sepoy Athzaz Hussain.”We got a go ahead to cross over and carry out an operation to avenge the killings of four soldiers including a major rank officer,” said government sources confirming the army strike in Pakistan occupied Kashmir.According to a statement by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, the Indian forces opened fire along the Line of Control killing three of their soldiers. The raid happened in 12 Division of the 59 Balooch Unit in PoK, sources said.

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Top Jaish-e-Mohammad commander gunned down in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama

In a major success for the security forces, top commander of Jaish e Mohammad was gunned down in an encounter at Samboora village of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Tuesday.The terrorist has been identified as Noor Mohammad Tantray alias Noor Trali, a three feet midget who had jumped parole in July and taken over the command of Jaish in South Kashmir. Tantray was arrested in Delhi in 2003 and sentenced to life by a POTA court in 2011.”The encounter has been going on since last evening in Awantipura district. There was input about presence of two to three terrorists near National Highway planning to attack convoy. One dead body of terrorist recovered so far, search for others going on”, tweeted Dr Shesh Paul Vaid, director general of police, Jammu and Kashmir.The anti-terror operation started on Monday evening after security forces received a tip-off about the presence of terrorists in the village.Also readJammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire; targets Indian forward posts along LoC at PoonchImmediately the village was cordoned off and when the search team was zeroing in on the target, militants opened heavy fire.The fire was retaliated and in the ensuing gun fight one militant was gunned down. “Dead body of one mulitant with arms and ammunition recovered. Search continues”, said a police spokesman at Srinagar.Also readJammu and Kashmir | 3 terrorists gunned down in Handwara encounter, ‘raining whole night,’ tweets DGPThe 2017 also saw highest number of over 206 militants being killed since 2010. Figures reveal that 270 terrorists were killed by security forces in 2010. The figure came down to 119 in 2011. Around 84 terrorists were killed in 2012 followed by 100 in 2013, 110 in 2014 and 113 in 2015.Despite unrest, security forces killed 165 terrorists in 2016. This year close to 100 local youth have joined the terrorists ranks in the strife-torn Kashmir Valley, which is the highest in last seven years.

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After 2 year delay, Panchyat polls in J&K in Feb

Ending the long wait and suspense, Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to hold the panchayat elections from February 15, in the strife-torn state.The decision to hold the panchayat polls after a gap of two years was made in the cabinet meeting chaired by J&K Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti a few days ago.Mehbooba, on Monday, drove to Raj Bhavan to inform Governor NN Vohra about the dates for the panchayat elections. “During their half hour meeting, the Chief Minister informed the Governor about several important matters with regard to which the Cabinet had taken decisions a few days ago. She also informed about her Government’s decision to commence the panchayat polls from February 15, 2018,” said an official spokesman.The Governor, the official spokesman said, reiterated his concern about the vital importance of ensuring prompt redressal of public grievances and for the entire administrative system to function in a truly transparent and accountable manner, to promote public welfare.Seen as one of the biggest achievements of the Omar Abdullah government, the panchayat elections were last held in 2011, after a 33 year hiatus in Jammu and Kashmir.More than 80 per cent people had defied the terrorists and cast their votes in the panchayat elections in 2011. More than 33,000 panchayat representatives were elected in the 2011 polls.The panchayat elections were due last year, but due to the post-Burhan Wani killing unrest, they got postponed indefinitely.Last month, Vohra had set the ball rolling for holding the elections in the winter of 2017-18.Since the Assembly was not in session, Vohra had promulgated the ordinance, so that no time is lost in commencing preparations for the conduct of the pending elections.Considering the time-frame for the forthcoming elections, the Governor issued the J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Ordinance, 2017, to empower the State Chief Electoral Officer to determine and delimit Halqa (block) panchayats and conduct panchayat polls.

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Diplomat Eenam Gambhir’s phone snatched in Rohini

Two bike-borne men on Saturday evening snatched the mobile phone of Eenam Gambhir, the first secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.The incident took place in Delhi’s Rohini area when Gambhir was out with her mother on a walk.Police are yet to identify the accused and make any arrests in the case. The phone had US-registered SIM card and some important files related to Gambhir’s work.As told to police, the two men, who were on a bike, approached Gambhir on the pretext of asking an address and when they came close, the pillion rider snatched her phone. Both of them sped away on the two-wheeler. Since it was dark, Gambhir informed that she could not note down the vehicle’s registration number, police said.The diplomat also told the police that her iPhone had a US-registered SIM card and some important files related to her work. Police are now scanning CCTV footages from the area to identify the accused. Efforts to arrest the accused and recover the diplomat’s phone are being made, police stated.In September this year, Ukraine’s ambassador to India, Dr Igor Polikha’s phone was also snatched while he was clicking pictures near the Red Fort.Exercising India’s right to reply after Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi raked up the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly, in September this year, Gambhir had made a strong rebuttal by calling Pakistan a “terroristan”.Gambhir, who is a mathematics graduate from Delhi University’s Hindu College, hails from Delhi. At the United Nations, Gambhir is in charge Security Council reform, counter-terrorism, cybersecurity issues.Delhi Police has registered as many as 7,870 cases of snatching this year till November 30.

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Indian Army crosses LOC to retaliate, kills three Pak soldiers

Indian Army troops crossed over the Line of Control killing three Pakistani army soldiers and leaving one injured in a cross border raid on Monday retaliating to the death of four India army personnel including a major on Saturday. Based on ground intelligence and surveillance intelligence, agencies have identified the Pakistani soldiers killed as sepoy Sajjad, sepoy Abdul Rehman and Sepoy M Usman. The injured soldier on the Pakistani side has been identified as sepoy Athzaz Hussain. “We got a go ahead to cross over and carry out an operation to avenge the killings of four soldiers including a major rank officer,” said government sources confirming the army strike in PoK. According to a statement by Pakistan’s Inter Services Public Relations, Indian forces opened fire along the Line of Control killing three of their soldiers. The raid happened in 12 Division of the 59 Balooch Unit in PoK, sources said. This comes a day after Indian Army said one Pakistani soldier was killed in retaliation to the Pakistani Army firing killing four Indian Army personnel. ISPR said one other than the casualties one Pakistani soldier was injured. There have been frequent skirmishes on the line of Control with Pakistan Army indulging in repeated ceasefire violations. There has also been an increase in infiltration attempts from Pakistan trying to send terrorists into Jammu and Kashmir.

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A sea of emotions erupt as Kashmiri pandits use theatre to highlight their pain

Emotions ran high when migrant Kashmiri Pandit troupe staged `Rovmut Bhatta’ (Lost Pandit), a play depicting the pain and plight of the exiled community who are living as refugees in their own land.Staged by the Vomedh Rangmanch, a Kashmiri theatre troupe in the Annual Drama Festival of Jammu and Kashmir Academy for Culture, Art and Languages at Abhinav Theatre in Jammu, ‘Rovmut Bhatta’ left the jam-packed audience spellbound by the script, direction and the performance of the artists.‘Rovmut Bhatta’ is a satirical take on the journey of Kashmiri Pandits since their forced exile in 1990 after the eruption of militancy in Kashmir valley and the impact it has had on the community caught in the cobweb of terrorism and cross-cultural chaos.Also readKashmiri pandit’s sweet gesture: Candies for Eid processionThe story revolves around Tathya, a man in eighties in a coma for almost three decades whose elder son was killed by terrorists in Kashmir due to which he went into the coma and how his second son Raju shifts to Jammu along with Tathya’s foster son Jorra.One day Tathya suddenly comes out of the coma and the drama unfolds as he begins asking uncomfortable questions to his son why he or the community has not been able to get justice all these years. He finally takes it upon himself to seek justice by going on fast unto death as the leadership has failed them. He finally dies during the protest fast raising several uncomfortable questions about the political class, bureaucracy, community leadership and the confusion prevailing within the community.Also readEid-e-Milad 2017: When a Kashmiri Pandit couple stole hearts by greeting Milad procession“Rovmut Batta is a story of deep introspection. It is a story of stock-taking of what has gone wrong with Kashmir Pandit community and why? Are there only external factors responsible for all the ills that the community is faced with? Rovmut Batta is a satirical comedy with elements of introspection, reflections, nostalgia, resilience, and hope”, said Rakesh Roshan Bhat, the playwright.Director of the play Rohit Bhat said Rovmut Batta is a story of resilience and hope as the protagonist springs back into action even after being in the coma for so many years. “The optimist would say if he could do it anyone can do it, and the pessimist would say if he could not do it, no one can. They are not trying to preach anything and their intention is not to hurt anyone’s feeling but it is an attempt to pause and look back; after all isn’t this what good and meaningful theatre is all about”, he said

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Jammu and Kashmir: Pakistan violates ceasefire; targets Indian forward posts along LoC at Poonch

Pakistani forces on Sunday again targeted Indian forward posts and villages in Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district, a day after an Army major and three soldiers were killed in firing from across the Line of Control (LoC).Indian troops guarding the LoC retaliated effectively and the firing between the two sides was going on when the last reports came, a police official said.The latest ceasefire violation comes a day after the Pakistani forces opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers, in Keri sector of the state’s Rajouri district.The Pakistani troops started firing from heavy and light weapons from across the border, targeting forward posts and villages in Shahpur sector around 12.55 pm today, a police official said.However, there is no immediate report of any casualty in the skirmishes, the official said.Jammu and Kashmir witnessed a total of 881 ceasefire violations this year, highest in the past seven years, along the LoC and the International Border (IB), resulting in the death of 34 persons.According to officials, Pakistan has violated ceasefire along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir 771 times till December 10, and 110 times along the IB till November-end this year.Thirty persons — 14 Army personnel, 12 civilians and four BSF personnel — were killed in such incidents.The truce between India and Pakistan along the International Border, Line of Control and the Actual Ground Position Line in Jammu and Kashmir came into force in November, 2003.India shares a 3,323-km-long border with Pakistan, of which 221 km of the IB and 740 km of the LoC fall in Jammu and Kashmir.In 2016, there were 449 incidents of ceasefire violations wherein 13 civilians and 13 government forces personnel were killed and 83 civilians and 99 security personnel were injured.In 2014, there were 583 incidents of ceasefire violation in which 14 civilians and three security personnel were killed and 101 civilians and 28 security personnel were injured.In 2015, the number of ceasefire violations was 405; 347 in 2013, 114 in 2012, 62 in 2011 and 70 in 2010.

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The urgency to manage margins: A developmental perspective for Gurez

Last time, I shared the story of neglect but also of creative aspirations of children and women of Gurez valley in Jammu and Kashmir. During the 40th Shodhyatra, we also came across many more possibilities.It seems the government has belatedly realised a fraud that had been going on in the education sector. A lot of school teachers were initially posted in Gurez but using their political clout got transferred to better endowed regions.Similarly, during recruitment drive for various services including paramilitary, youth from this region could not get the attention they deserved. The medical facilities are also not up to the mark. Even the Army medical facility, which helped civilians without any hesitation or reservation does not have a pathological facility. The lab-in-a-suitcase, which Army Medical wing has acquired from BIRAC supported biotech start-up like Accuster, has not reached here.It can perform 36 tests in one hour in less than Rs 250. Such facilities must be provided in all border and other less developed regions urgently. Local youth can be trained to perform these tests.Majority of schools do not have a computer or science lab. Such labs are needed in these regions even more. The Midday Meal programme in nine schools in the region was allocated one fourth of the ration needed for 220 days. The HRD ministry must look into such anomalies urgently.On one hand, there was a general notion that Kashmir was given a lot of resources and subsidies, the reality seemed contrary, unless the resources meant for this region were pilfered or pre-empted on the way. Earlier, we had noticed similar neglect in skill development programme.Class six student Khursheed Ahmedabd Meer from Niru village said, “Do you know when an electronic gadget goes out of order, not all components of it are wrong?” I feigned ignorance. I asked, “So, what should one do if such is the case.” He said, “We should have one room in every village where such things should be deposited. Children can take out the functional components and make new things by using them.” I probed, “Have you made any such thing?” Of course, he replied and ran to his home to bring a fan that he had made by salvaging a motor from a broken gadget.I hope colleagues in the Atal Innovation Mission and Niti Aayog are listening and will sanction a tinkering lab in this village. The Honey Bee Network through Prof Bhat of Kashmir University, Electronics department, has initiated steps to start a small community innovation lab.The question now is how can we rethink developmental opportunities in the region. Firstly, every developmental policy should be implemented in marginal areas and after saturating the needs here, less privileged regions should be covered. A change in fundamental priorities of developmental planning and implementation is required. Secondly, the huge drudgery that women go through must make them the top priority for LPG gas provision. Thirdly, recruiting teachers for the block and district only can address the chronic problem of transfers from Gurez. Also, MDM and other such programmes need to be strengthened. Besides, modernisation of post-harvest processes, access to improved varieties, urgent investment in hydro-power generation and lift irrigation are the need of the hour. It is to be noted that NIF is encouraging grassroot innovators to set up such devices.A team of Honey Bee Network has already left for Gurez to share spinning wheel, winnower among other things that could be met through local innovations and resources supported by SRISTI and NIF besides volunteers. Hope policy planners will start rethinking developmental design in such regions, critical for national integrity and well-being.

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X’mas bells in Valley church after 50 yrs

History will be created on Monday when the sacred bell at the British-era Holy Family Catholic Church in Srinagar will ring after 50 years, on the occasion of Christmas.The 105 kg bell, the largest of its kind in Jammu and Kashmir, was installed in the 121-year-old church in October this year. The belfry of the church was torched in 1967, in an incident of arson, and since then there had been no bell to call the faithful for the prayers.”It is a very happy and historic occasion. Most of the Christian people here are less than 50 years of age. They have never heard bells ringing on the occasion of Christmas. Only few elderly people remember that,” said SM Rath, spokesman of the Church Committee.Traditionally, the bell is used to call worshipers to the church for a prayer service and for announcing times of daily prayer. “There was no bell since 1967. We put up a bell only in October this year. Now every Sunday, the bell rings in church. This will be first time that this bell will ring on Christmas,” Rath said. Midnight prayer services, however, will not be held due to the security reasons.”We have one prayer service on December 24. Usually, the service should be held at 11.30 pm but we have not been holding the midnight services for the last 25 years. Our prayer service will be held at 6 pm on December 24. On Christmas, we will have a prayer service at 10 am,” Rath said.He further said that there are less than 200 Christians — Catholics and Protestants — living in Srinagar. There are five churches in Kashmir and regular prayer services are held only in three of them.

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Army Major, 3 soldiers killed in Pak firing in Keri sector, J&K CM pays tribute

Pakistani troops opened fire on an Indian Army patrol, killing a Major and three soldiers, along the Line of Control (LoC) in Keri sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district today, officials said.The latest violation of the ceasefire agreement took place at a time when Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was camping in Rajouri district headquarters to address people’s grievances, they said. A defence spokesman said Pakistani troops targeted the Army patrol at Brat Galla in Keri sector at around 1215 hours. “We suffered three fatal casualties including one officer in the incident. Major Moharkar Prafulla Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail Singh and Sepoy Pargat Singh were grievously injured during the ceasefire violation and succumbed to their injuries. Two other personnel also sustained injuries and are undergoing treatment,” the spokesman said.Defence sources, however, said four Army personnel were killed in the “unprovoked” firing.The Army, in a statement, said that Indian troops retaliated “strongly and effectively”. Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh paid rich tributes to the slain soldiers and condemned Pakistan for the ceasefire violation. “Pakistan is indulging in such cowardly actions and is being given a befitting response, but it does not desist from such cowardly acts,” Singh told reporters on the sidelines of a function here.Major Ambadas (32) belonged to Bhandara district in Maharashtra and is survived by wife Avoli Moharkar, while Lance Naik Gurmail Singh (34) belonged to Amritsar district in Punjab and is survived by wife kuljit Kaur and a daughter.Also readPeace talks only when Pakistan stops supporting terror in Jammu and Kashmir: General Bipin RawatSepoy Pargat Singh (30) belonged to Karnal district in Haryana and is survived by wife Ramanpreet Kaur and a son, the Army said. “Major Ambadas, Lance Naik Gurmail and Sepoy Pargat were brave and sincere soldiers. The nation will always remain indebted to them for their supreme sacrifice and devotion to duty,” the Army statement said. The deputy chief minister said Pakistan has got isolated at the global stage, especially on the issue of terrorism. “Pakistan is a terrorist state and it will not be too long before the country is declared a terrorist state by the world. It does not only support terrorism but also provide state sponsorship,” Singh said. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today paid rich tributes to four Army personnel, including a Major, killed in Pakistani firing along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district.Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti paid rich tributes to the Army Major and three jawans who were killed in an incident of cross-border shelling at Keri sector in Rajouri district,” an official spokesperson said. He said the chief minister had conveyed her heartfelt condolences to the families of the slain soldiers.

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J&K: Pak violates ceasefire in Keri, three Indian jawans including one Major killed

In a case of another blatant provocation, a ceasefire violation by Pakistani forces in Keri Sector along Line of Control has resulted in death of three Indian soldiers. Out of the three jawans, one was a Major. One Indian soldier is injured too, according to reports received. Currently firing is underway According to reports, from 12.15 PM on Saturday, 120 Infantry Brigade encountered heavy shelling in Keri battalion area which lead to death of the three Indian soldiers. Indian side is currently retaliating to this unprovoked ceasefire violation. Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat on Friday said peace talks with Pakistan can take place only when it stops supporting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Given its actions, it doesn’t appear that Pakistan really wants peace, the Army chief added.Also readMHA review reveals surge in ceasefire violations by Pak this yearHe was in the Thar desert in the western sector to witness the ‘Hamesha Vijayee’ exercise conducted by the Southern Command close to the India-Pakistan border in Rajasthan. Rawat said Pakistan should stop supporting terrorists. “Only then can we say that peace talks should take place,” he told reporters in the exercise area near Barmer.”We also want that relations should be better but given what kind of actions there are (from their side) and terrorism is spreading in Jammu and Kashmir, it doesn’t appear that they really want peace,” Rawat said.More details are awaited

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Restrictions imposed in parts of Srinagar after separatists’ call for protests

Authorities today imposed restrictions in parts of Srinagar to maintain law and order in view of protests called by separatists.Restrictions have been imposed in seven police station areas of Srinagar, a police official said.He said restrictions under Section 144 CrPc have been imposed in Safakadal, Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari and M R Gunj police station areas of the city, while partial curbs were in force in Maisuma and Kralkhud areas.The curbs have been imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order, the official said.Separatists yesterday called for peaceful protests after Friday prayers today against the killing of civilians in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir.Also readTwo terrorists killed in encounter, one woman dies in cross-fireA woman was killed in south Kashmir’s Shopian on Tuesday during an encounter in which two militants were also killed.Another woman was killed in cross-fire in Handwara area of Kupwara in north Kashmir during an encounter on December 11.The separatists, under the banner of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), have appealed people to observe protest after Friday congregational prayers.Meanwhile, authorities have placed Mirwaiz under house arrest, while Geelani continues to remain under house detention for some time now.”Put back under #House Arrest, was released yesterday evening only !! Mirwaiz said on Twitter.

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J&K | Mehbooba Mufti govt puts Hurriyat chief under house detention to clamp down separatist march

Authorities have placed moderate Hurriyat Conference chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house detention and imposed restrictions in the sensitive old Srinagar city to prevent separatist-sponsored protests against the recent civilian killings on Friday.Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of separatists had called for Kashmir-wide protests after Friday congregational prayers against the “killing of civilians, indiscriminate use of pellets and vandalizing properties”.JRL is an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded the last year’s unrest in Kashmir valley that left 100 people dead and thousands others injured and blinded.“The growing aggression against unarmed and peaceful people in state has touched the alarming line and turned this beautiful place into a battle field. Authorities are desperate to cover their gruesome and inhuman acts and shielding criminals under the garb of Mistaken identity”, said a JRL spokesman.’Expressing deep anguish over the continuous silence of international community, the JRL spokesman said though several resolutions were accepted in UNO to resolve this long pending issue, no steps have been initiated to end the hostilities in sub-continent.“International community should take concrete political steps to resolve the longstanding Kashmir dispute”, he said.Sensing trouble and apprehending law and order situation, the authorities were quick to take preventive measures to prevent the situation from flaring up.Moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is also the chief cleric of Jamia Masjid, was placed under the house detention at his Nigeen residence on Thursday evening. “Put back under house arrest, was released yesterday evening only”, Mirwaiz tweeted with a picture showing police vehicles outside his residence.Authorities have also decided to impose restrictions in the areas falling under the jurisdiction of seven police stations in Srinagar city.Official sources said complete restrictions shall be imposed in the areas falling under Rainawari, Nowhatta, Khanyar, MR Gunj and Safa Kadal police station. However there will be partial restrictions in the areas falling Maisuma and Kralkud police stations of Srinagar district.

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Jammu and Kashmir: Clamour grows for legislation on generic drugs

Clamour is growing for passing a legislation to prompt the doctors to prescribe cheaper generic drugs instead of costly branded medicines in Jammu and Kashmir.Flagging off the debate, Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has called on the government to pass a law to make it mandatory for doctors to prescribe cheaper generic drugs in order to benefit the large poor population of the state.“Jammu and Kashmir is fully competent to bring its own legislation due to the constitutional position of the state. That would make generic drug prescribing mandatory. Unless a legal framework is put in place, the push for generic medicines will remain an idea without implementation,” said Dr Nisar ul Hassan, president of DAK.The law, DAK hoped, would make drugs affordable and accessible to poor patients who are not able to buy expensive branded drugs. “In J&K 21.63% population, comprising 24.21 lakh people do not have access to medicines due to lack of purchasing power. Generic drugs are copycat versions of branded drugs and cost 80 to 90% less than branded medicines as manufacturers do not have to spend on development and promotion of the drug”, he said.Jammu and Kashmir consumes medicines worth Rs 600 crores annually and of which Rs 400 crore is spent in Kashmir valley alone. Official figures reveal that there are 9451 licensed retailers and 6073 licensed wholesaler drug distributors in Jammu and Kashmir. Of which 4912 retaliators and 4573 wholesalers are operating in the valley.Also readJammu and Kashmir | Education gets mega boost, 16 new colleges, 400 upgraded govt schools to come up next year“Research has shown that costs were lowered significantly among patients who were prescribed generic medicines compared to patients who were given branded drugs. generic drugs account for 88% of prescriptions in the United States. In J&K doctors continue to dole out unnecessary expensive therapies when equally effective cheaper generic versions are available,” he said.DAK also red-flagged the deep-rooted nexus between doctors and pharma companies that is keeping generic drugs away from patients. “For writing costly branded drugs to gullible patients, pharma companies provide these doctors everything from luxury cars, family trips to household items,” Dr Nisar saidAlso readFrom helpline to WhatsApp number: Steps taken to help women in distress in Jammu and Kashmir DAK president noted that even the chemist shops get huge margins for selling branded medicines. “Nexus is misleading people about generic drugs that is preventing these drugs from getting popular”, said Dr Nisar.

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J&K women’s body: Do soaps make women spies?

Are television serials teaching women spying, infidelity and rebellion in the restive Jammu and Kashmir? The Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Women (SCW) has sought opinion on this question from people on social media after men complained about women watching television serials and learning spying and rebellion.”During one of our awareness programmes, some men suggested women should stop watching TV serials which teach them nothing except spying, infidelity and rebellion… I want you to respond to this….what is your view on it…” SCW asked in a Facebook post.”Usually we include men as well (in awareness camps) because of gender sensitisation. Somebody said these serials teach women spying and we should stop them from watching those. I said, no, you can’t just tell them what to watch and what not to. Everybody has a right on what to wear, eat or watch and you can’t force your opinion on them”, Nayeema Ahmad Mehjoor, chairperson of SCW, told DNA.Later women in the camp retorted back saying they never ask their men not to watch football, cricket or the sports channels.However, the SCW chairperson said people should discuss the issues even if these are trivial. “It is stupid. Even if it is a trivial or petty issue, we should discuss it so that we do not have to keep everything to chest. We should come out, we should open up to each other and we should talk about these things. We should evolve a discussion about every point which is making our life little bit uncomfortable”, said Mehjoor.Official figures reveal that SCW has received 3000 complaints of domestic violence and harassment at work places in the last three to four years.Waking up to the rising incidence of violence against women, SCW has started a one-stop crisis centre to help women in distress.SCW has opened an exclusive phone line where women in distress can call or text or even WhatsApp to lodge a complaint. Officials of SCW can immediately reach out to women and help her to redress their grievances.Police figures reveal that 2,920 cases of crime against women were reported in 2016. These include 805 cases of kidnapping, 275 cases of rape, 157 cases of eve-teasing and 1,233 cases of molestation in 2016.

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Not one Rohingya deported yet

There are nearly 40,000 Rohingyas in India, according to home ministry estimates, but not a single illegal immigrant flagged as a terror threat has yet been deported. The ministry had asked for states to identify Rohingyas with terror links and deport them to Myanmar, but no such links have been reported as yet.On the other hand, in the last three years, 330 Pakistanis and 1,700 Bangladeshis have been sent back to their country for illegal entry into India.In August, the Home Minstry wrote to state governments urging them to identify illegal Rohingyas and deport them. “Detection and deportation of such illegal immigrants from Rakhine state, also known as Rohingyas, is a continuous process. Therefore, it is essential to identify them and keep a watch on their activities for preventing any untoward incident that can take place,”the home ministry communication to states said.Government sources also say that keeping in mind certain strategic reasons, the Rohingyas need to be deported. The government has been under attack for its decision to deport Rohingyas and even UN human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein condemned India’s move. However, the government has defended its action and Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijiju has in the past called it “calibrated design” to “tarnish” India’s image.”As per an estimate, more than 40,000 illegal Rohingya immigrants are presently staying in India mostly in the States of Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Rajasthan,” the Home Ministry said in a reply stated in Parliament on Wednesday.Ministry says‘Since entry of such illegal immigrants without valid travel documents is clandestine and surreptitious, it is not possible to have accurate data of such illegal Rohingya immigrants living in parts of country’

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Death toll in J&K avalanche up to 3; 2 still missing

The death toll in the avalanche along the Line of Control in the Gurez sector of North Kashmir has gone up to three after Army rescuers pulled out two more bodies on Tuesday.Lance Naik Marigendra Nath Pramanik and Sepoy Shiv Singh were part of the three-member team when an avalanche swept away their high-altitude post last week. Two soldiers are still missing.”Two bodies have been recovered from Gurez. Earlier, the body of another soldier was retrieved from the Naugam sector. However, two soldiers continue to remain missing,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Last Tuesday, a massive avalanche swept away the army bunkers at two different places. The first incident occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in the LoC when an avalanche hit the `Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area. Three army jawans manning the post were swept away and are still untraceable. The second incident occurred in the Naugam sector along the LoC, when two soldiers were taken in by a snow slide.For the last seven days, army rescuers have mounted a mammoth search and rescue operation to locate the five missing soldiers. Indian army has also pressed Specialized Avalanche Rescue Teams (ARTs) into service and moved special equipment to the site to trace out the missing soldiers.

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Two Kashmiri brothers assaulted in Bengaluru; Mehbooba Mufti demands action

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday demanded strict action against those who allegedly assaulted a Kashmiri student and his brother in Bengaluru last week for not speaking in Kannada, a Dravidian language spoken mainly in the state of Karnataka.According to media reports, a 24-year-old hotel management student from Kashmir and his elder brother were reportedly beaten up and their vehicle damaged by a group of men near a bus stop in north Bengaluru’s Sanjay Nagar locality.The incident happened on the night of December 11, but came to light only yesterday, police said today.”Very disturbed by the news of 2 brothers from Kashmir being assaulted in Bengaluru. I would urge the authorities to take strict action against the accused,” Mufti posted on Twitter today.Two persons — Mahesh and Harish — have been arrested based on the CCTV footage installed near the bus stop. Both are now out on bail, said Chetan Singh Rathore, deputy commissioner of police (Bengaluru North).Mahesh is a fashion designer while Harish a driver, the police said.A friend of the victims, requesting anonymity, said the student, studying in a college here, and his brother were returning home in the early hours of December 11, when one of them stopped the car to answer a phone call.Around that time, two motorcycle-borne youths reached there and asked them something in Kannada.The student told them that he did not know Kannada, following which the youth insisted that they speak in Kannada. “When he and his brother objected, the youth called a few more people and started hitting them with stones. They even damaged their car,” said the friend.The two suffered injuries and were treated at a nearby hospital.

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Civilian killed in Army-terrorists gunfight in Kupwara, police lodges FIR

A civilian was killed in an exchange of fire between Army personnel and terrorists in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, a defence spokesperson said today.Police said Asif Iqbal Bhat, a driver by profession and a resident of Thandipora, was injured in a firing incident in the Thandipora area of Kupwara last night.He was taken to the Kralpora sub district hospital, from where he was referred to a hospital in Srinagar where he succumbed to injuries, they said.An FIR was registered at the Kralpora police station in connection with the incident and a probe was underway, a police spokesperson said.The body was handed over to the family for last rites after completion of medico-legal formalities. The police and civil administration will provide all help to the bereaved family, he said.Also readJammu and Kashmir | 3 terrorists gunned down in Handwara encounter, ‘raining whole night,’ tweets DGPSrinagar-based defence spokesperson Col Rajesh Kalia said Bhat was killed in an exchange of fire between Army men and terrorists.”Based on information about the presence of terrorists in Thindpura village, Army laid ambushes in the area on the night December 16-17.Also readJammu and Kashmir: Suspected terrorists fire upon civilian in Shopian district”Around 2255 hours, an ambush party noticed suspicious movement of three people near a nullah in the village. They were challenged by troops.”The terrorists opened fire on the Army ambush party. The troops retaliated. In the crossfire, one person, Asif Iqbal Bhat, was killed due to a gunshot wound,” the defence spokesperson said.”An investigation is underway,” Col Kalia said.

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J&K: Army recovers body of one of the five missing soldiers in snow avalance

After five days of mammoth search and rescue operation, the Indian army has pulled off the body of one of the five missing soldiers from the tonnes of snow along the Line of Control (LoC) in Naugam sector.Sepoy Kaushal Singh of 20 Dogra regiment was among the two soldiers who were buried under the mounds of snow after they slipped down the high altitude area of the Naugam sector along the LoC on Tuesday. After hectic efforts, the specialized rescue team recovered his body from the snow.“We have recovered the body of Sepoy Kaushal Singh. Four other soldiers continue to remain missing. The search and rescue operation is on”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Massive snow avalanches had swept away army bunkers at two different places on Tuesday. The first incident had occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in the LoC when a snow avalanche swept away a high altitude `Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area.Three army jawans, who were manning the post were swept away by the avalanche and continue to remain untraceable. The second incident occurred in Naugam sector along the LoC when two soldiers slipped down from the high altitude area.For the last five days, army rescuers are busy in mammoth search and rescue operations to locate five missing soldiers in the huge mounds of snow in Gurez and Naugam sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir. Inclement weather and poor visibility in high altitude areas is also hampering the search and rescue operations. Upper reaches and high altitude areas have been receiving heavy snowfall in the last five days.Indian army has pressed Specialized Avalanche Rescue Teams (ARTs) into service and moved special equipment to the site to trace out the missing soldiers. Specially trained sniffer dogs too have been brought in to help the soldiers in the search and rescue operations. Tones of snow has accumulated at both the places and army rescuers are digging deep to locate the missing soldiers. The fresh tragedy has come 11 months after the army lost 20 soldiers in the snow avalanches in Gurez, Sonamarg and Machil areas in the north and central Kashmir.

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MHA allocates Rs 500 crore for CRPF modernisation

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

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Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist found dead in Jammu and Kashmir

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Saturday 16 December 2017 15:58 ISTMust readMinor set ablaze by neighbours for opposing molestation in UP’s MainpuriAaditya Thackeray sets deadline for quitting alliance<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>One Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist, a Pakistani national, was found dead in Tral Eidgah in South Kashmir on Saturday.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Also readJammu and Kashmir | 3 terrorists gunned down in Handwara encounter, ‘raining whole night,’ tweets DGPThe terrorist was killed after a landmine went off where he was hiding.More details are awaited.

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Hopes fade after 5 days of rescue ops for missing soldiers

It is turning out to be one of the biggest search and rescue missions in Kashmir. For the last four days, army rescuers are busy in the mammoth search and rescue operations to locate five missing soldiers in the huge mounds of snow in Gurez and Naugam sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir.Massive snow avalanches had swept away army bunkers at two different places on Tuesday. The first incident had occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in the LoC when a snow avalanche swept away a high altitude ‘Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area. Three army jawans, who were manning the post, were swept away by the avalanche and continue to remain untraceable. The second incident occurred in Naugam sector along the LoC when two soldiers slipped down from the high altitude area.Massive search and rescue operations continued for the fourth day on Friday to locate the missing soldiers in the huge mounds of snow.”Rescue efforts are going on. We do not have concrete results. The massive effort is on. Most of the time weather did not permit for last two-three days. Now things have improved rescue operation is gaining momentum”, said an army spokesman.Inclement weather and poor visibility in high altitude areas are also hampering the search and rescue operations. Upper reaches and high altitude areas have been receiving heavy snowfall in the last four days. Indian army has pressed Specialized Avalanche Rescue Teams into service and moved special equipment to the site to trace out the missing soldiers. Specially trained sniffer dogs too have been brought in to help the soldiers in the search and rescue operations. Tones of snow have accumulated at both the places and army rescuers are digging deep to locate the missing soldiers.Families of soldiers are hoping against the hope see their loved one in blood and flesh again. One of the soldiers is hailing from Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir. The fresh tragedy has come 11 months after the army lost 20 soldiers in the snow avalanches in Gurez, Sonamarg and central Kashmir.wDEADLY AVALANCHEMassive snow avalanches had swept away army bunkers at two different places on Tuesday. The first incident had occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in the LoC when a snow avalanche swept away a high altitude ‘Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area.

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Union cabinet clears Triple Talaq bill, 3 years jail proposed for offenders

The Union Cabinet on Friday cleared the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017 to criminalise the instant divorce practice. The bill is likely to be tabled in the current session of Parliament. Here is all you need to know about the triple talaq bill:1. Maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and fine to men pronouncing ‘talaq-ebiddat’.2. The new proposed law will become a cognizable and non-bailable offence. 3. The bill says that triple talaq in any form either verbal or writing by any means like email, Whatsapp and SMS would be illegal and void.Also readMuslim organisation oppose single-step criminalisation of triple talaq4. The provision of maintenance and custody of minor child has been incorporated to ensure legal and financial protection in case husband forcibly throws the victim out of the house. It would empower women to approach magistrate seeking maintenance and custody of minor child.5. The bill is set to be tabled in the Parliament to be passed by both the houses to finally become a law.Also readTriple Talaq law: Govt mulls 3-year jail term for offenders 6. All states, except Jammu and Kashmir will be part of the law once it is passed in both houses of the Parliament. 7. The states that have supported the proposed bill are Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Assam.8. Earlier, the five-judge Constitution Bench had struck down the practice of instant triple talaq in a 3:2 judgment. The top court had called the controversial practice of instant divorce as “arbitrary and unconstitutional”.

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Mehbooba Mufti clamps down on separatists to thwart ‘resistance’ march in Anantnag

Strict restrictions have been imposed in Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s Assembly constituency of Anantnag to thwart the march of Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) of separatists to the South Kashmir Township on Friday.“General Public is informed that restriction is imposed in certain parts of Anantnag town under police station Anantnag for mitigating any law and order situation”, tweeted deputy inspector general of police, South Kashmir Range.JRL had asked people to march to Anantnag for a rally to counter the narrative of the government that separatists have lost the battle for azadi in Kashmir.JRL is an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who spearheaded the last year’s unrest in Kashmir Valley that left 100 people dead and thousands others injured and blinded.Authorities, however, went into an overdrive and placed Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house detention. Few days ago JKLF leader Mohammad Yasin Malik was arrested when he defied orders and tried to lead a march from in Srinagar.Hurriyat hawk continues to remain under house detention at his residence at Hyder Pora.Authorities have also imposed restrictions in four police areas of old Srinagar city and two police stations areas of uptown to prevent people from marching towards Anantnag on Friday.Hardline faction of Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani said police arrested and raided residences of several leaders to thwart the march to Anantnag on Friiday.“Such coercive measures and repression won’t break our resolve. Most of its leaders and activists succeeded and reached Anantnag”, said a spokesman of Hurriyat.Appealing people of south Kashmir for their participation in Anantnag rally, Huriyat said that it will symbolise their dedication and commitment with “freedom movement”.On the other side a crucial meeting of moderate Hurriyat Conference was held at the Awami Action Committee headquarters at Rajouri Kadal and it was decided in the meeting Mirwaiz will try to leave for Anantnag at 11 am on Friday.“JRL leaders will address the people and announce their future strategy,” a spokesman of Hurriyat said.

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ISIS ka halla Quran mey kahin nahin hain: Army chief Rawat to Kashmir students

The message of peace and harmony is “beautifully portrayed” in the holy Quran and people often do not understand its essence, Army Chief Gen Bipin Rawat told a group of students from Jammu and Kashmir today, adding it does not propagate violence.Interacting with the group of madrasa students at his office here, Gen. Rawat also asked them to pick up sports like cricket and football and work towards containing terrorism so that Kashmir valley flourishes again. “How many of you have read the holy Quran?” Gen Rawat asked the 25-member group which is here as part of a national integration tour being conducted by the Army. “I will tell you what is the message in it. It is the message of peace and harmony (‘Aman ka paigam hai’). And, it has been beautifully portrayed in it. And, all this noise made by the IS, it is nowhere mentioned in Quran (‘Ye jo IS ka halla hai na, yeh Quran mey kahin nahin hai’) ,” he said.”So, you must follow the message embedded in the holy text. You think people understand the message. We do not properly understand it. In simple ways, Quran has given the lessons (on human values),” the Army chief asserted. The students, aged 13-22, arrived here on December 12 and many of them are visiting Delhi for the first time. Various militant outfits have been trying to radicalise the youths in Kashmir Valley by using different means including online propaganda. A number of people were arrested in the Valley in the past few months on charges of raising flags of dreaded terror group Islamic State (IS).Also readKeep military out of politics: General Bipin RawatThe Army chief warmly shook hands with all the students and accompanying teachers and asked them what difference they found between Delhi and Kashmir. “Unlike Kashmir, you do not see bunkers here, people roam at night in peace. We want the same peaceful environment in Jammu and Kashmir too so that you can fearlessly go to schools and madrassas.”Kashmir valley is equated with the heavens, and if you want that land to flourish, we must stop terrorism,” Rawat said. He suggested that they take up cricket and football and engage themselves in constructive activities.”Play cricket and football, but I hear that the youth there play hide-and-seek with weapons (‘hathiyar ke saath chor-sipahi’),” he said. Abdul Hameed, 13, from Panjgram village in Jammu, said, “I am very happy to be in Delhi. I have never travelled out of Jammu. And for the first time I travelled in a train.” A senior Army official said the group visited Taj Mahal yesterday and tomorrow they will go to see Red Fort and Jama Masjid.During the trip, the students also visited the National Science Centre in Delhi, the official said, adding, “Today, we will take them for a metro ride”.Also readOperations against terrorists in Kashmir will go on, says General Bipin Rawat “In Agra, they also prayed at a mosque, and tomorrow, they will also offer prayers at the Jama Masjid. And, in the evening, we will take a train back to the state,” he said. 37-year-old teacher Abdul Majid, accompanying the students, said, “We will return and spread the message of peace (‘Paigam-e-Aman’) back home as the Quran says.” The Army has adopted a tough approach against militants in Kashmir valley and stepped up its counter-terror operations in the last six months.The Army has also been carrying out various activities including organising national integration tours for youths of the state as part of efforts to reach out to the local residents.

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‘Their romance could adversely affects the students’: Teacher couple sacked by private school in Pulwama

A teacher couple working in a private school in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir were sacked on their wedding day with the school management claiming their “romance could adversely affect the students”.Tariq Bhat and Sumaya Bashir, residents of Tral town in Pulwama, were working in Boys’ and Girls’ wings, respectively, of Pampore Muslim Educational Institute for the past several years.They alleged their services were abruptly terminated by the school management on November 30, the day they entered the wedlock.While the principal of the school did not respond to calls for a comment on the sacking, chairman of the school Bashir Masoodi said the duo were relieved from service as they were in a “romantic relationship” before getting married.”They were having romance and it is not good for the 2,000 students of the school and 200 staff members working there. This can adversely affect the students,” Masoodi told PTI.On other queries, he asked the reporter to “visit the school and talk to the principal for it”.The couple claimed that they had an arranged marriage.”Ours was an arranged marriage. We got engaged a few months ago and the entire school management knew about it as Sumaya hosted a party for the staff members soon after the engagement ceremony,” Bhat said.He questioned the school management’s claim of “romantic relationship”, asking why they were not given an opportunity to explain if it were the case.”We both applied for leave to get married almost a month before the wedding day and the school management sanctioned the leave. If we were in a romantic relationship, did they come to know of it only after we announced our wedding plans?” Bhat asked.The couple alleged the school management was “tarnishing” their image. “We have got married which is the right thing to do from which ever perspective one looks at it. We have not sinned or committed a crime,” they said.

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‘Winter’ is coming: Mumbai records coldest day of season at 15.8 degrees celsius

Mumbai recorded the coldest day this season, with minimum temperatures dropping to 15.8 degrees CelsiusThe 24- hour temperature recorded between 8.30 am on Wednesday to 8.30 am Thursday saw the minimum temperature dropping to 15.8 degree Celsius at Santacruz, while the minimum temperatures recorded at Colaba was 18.8 degree Celsius.“Mumbai does not experience a winter as compared to the northern states but at times due to northerly winds during the night and the effect of snow fall in Jammu and Kashmir it has phases where the minimum temperature sees a drop for few days,” said an official from the Regional Meteorological Centre, Mumbai adding that due to the temperatures seen dropping on Thursday the city was experiencing cooler breeze even till noon.Karan Rane a Borivali resident said that it was quite chilly in the wee hours of Thursday. “I was returning home around 2am from work and I was almost shivering in the auto rickshaw.”Meanwhile several morning walkers too claimed that they suddenly felt the nip in the air on Thursday morning as the temperature drop was quite evident.In fact in December 2016, the coldest day was recorded on December 11 when the minimum temperatures dropped to 15.0 degree Celsius while the coldest day of December 2015 was on December 24 when the minimum temperature recorded was 11.4 degree Celsius. However the all time record for coldest day in December was on December 20, 1949 when the minimum temperature recorded was 10.6 degree Celsius.According to IMD officials till date Mumbai’s three of the coldest days have been in January 1962, when the minimum was recorded as 7.4 Celsius, In February 2008 when the minimum mercury reached 8.5 degree Celsius and in February 2012 when the minimum temperature recorded was 8.8 Celsius.

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Hopes fade for soldiers missing in avalanche

Hopes of finding alive the five soldiers, who went missing following heavy snowfall along the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, are fading as blizzard-like conditions are hampering search and rescue operations.A search and rescue operations continued for the second day on Wednesday to locate the missing soldiers. “Our search operations are continuing. The soldiers continue to remain missing,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Snow avalanches had swept away army bunkers at two different places on Tuesday. The first incident had occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in the LoC when a snow avalanche swept away a high altitude `Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area. Three army jawans, who were manning the post were swept away by the avalanche and continue to remain untraceable. The second incident occurred in Naugam sector along the LoC when two soldiers slipped down from high altitude area.Indian Army has pressed Specialized Avalanche Rescue Teams (ARTs) into service and moved special equipment to the site to trace out the missing soldiers. Specially trained sniffer dogs too have been brought in to help the soldiers in the search and rescue operations. However the rescuers have not got any success to locate the five missing soldiers so far.Sources said inclement weather and poor visibility in high altitude areas is also hampering the search and rescue operations. Upper reaches and high altitude areas have been receiving heavy snowfall for the last two days.The fresh tragedy has come 11 months after the army lost 20 soldiers in the snow avalanches in Gurez, Sonamarg and Machil areas in the north and central Kashmir.

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NGT declares Amarnath cave shrine ‘silence zone’, prohibits religious offerings beyond entry point

In a bid to preserve the eco- sensitive Amarnath cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, the National Green Tribunal today declared it a “silence zone” and prohibited religious offerings beyond the entry point.A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said the Amarnath Shrine Board should ensure that proper infrastructural facilities are provided to the pilgrims so that they are not deprived of a clear ‘darshan’, and the ecology of the area is maintained. The NGT earlier said that declaring the area around the Amarnath cave shrine a “silence zone” would be helpful in preventing avalanches and maintaining its pristine nature.”Nobody would be permitted to carry anything from the stairs leading to the holy cave and everybody should be properly frisked at the entry point. From the point of stairs and the area inside the cave should be declared silence zone,” the bench said. The green panel ordered removal of iron grills in front of the ice stalagmite resembling the ‘Shiva Linga’ so that devotees could get a better view of it and said there should be no noise pollution near the sacred structure.Also readNGT slams Amarnath shrine board over lack of amenitiesIt also restrained carriage of personal belongings including mobile phones beyond the last checkpoint and asked the shrine board to construct a place where pilgrims can keep their valuables. The green panel also directed the committee of experts headed by an additional secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to submit an action plan on providing facilities to the pilgrims within three weeks. Environment activist Gauri Maulekhi, on whose plea the directions were passed, welcomed the NGT order and termed it “progressive”.”The Amarnath cave is located in a delicate ecosystem. The directions would make the Amarnath Yatra safe and convenient for the devotees. This would protect the shrine from degradation and ensure it is protected for the coming generations. It is indeed a very good and progressive direction,” Maulekhi told PTI. The matter will be heard again on January 18 next year.Also readNGT calls for Amarnath to become ‘silence zone’In November, the NGT rapped the Amarnath Shrine Board for not providing proper infrastructural facilities to pilgrims going to the cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas, saying it could not “deprive people of proper darshan”. The green panel took exception to non-compliance with the directions issued by the Supreme Court in 2012 and asked the board what steps it had taken in all these years. The bench directed the experts committee to submit report on aspects such providing a proper path and declaring the cave shrine a “silence zone” while maintaining cleanliness in the area.The Amarnath cave shrine is considered to be one of the holiest in Hinduism. The cave itself is covered with snow most of the year except for a short period of time in summer when it is open for pilgrims

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RTI reply: 19000 Kashmiri migrants moved to Delhi, 40000 still settled in Jammu

Since 1990, due to militancy issues in the Kashmir valley, 61,000 Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Muslim and Sikh families have migrated from the valley. However, surprisingly 40,000 are still residing in the state, and are in Jammu, while 19,000 have come to Delhi and remaining 2,000 to various other parts of the country. This has been revealed in an RTI reply from the Ministry of Home Affairs (Jammu and Kashmir Division), Government of India. The RTI was filed by a Pune based entrepreneur Prafful Sarda seeking details on how many Kashmiri Pandita have been affected by the militancy. He had posed an array of questions, of which the ministry replied only this much. For the remaining ones he has been asked to apply under RTI rules prevalent in Jammu and Kashmir state, which is different from the rest of the country. The RTI reply reads, “Due to militancy in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the early 1990s most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from the Kashmir valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. More than 40,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are residing in Jammu, about 19,000 registered Kashmiri Migrant families are living in Adelphi and about 2000 families are settled in other states.” Also readKashmiri pandit’s sweet gesture: Candies for Eid processionSarda claims his reason for seeking this information was that, “With this RTI figures, I wish to highlight our courts do have time to know and understand Rohingya Muslims issue but the citizen of this country “Kashmiri Pandits” are fighting for justice and courts have not given any firm decision in last 30 years.”

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Mehbooba Mufti-led govt cheated nation, says BJP

Fissures have surfaced in the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir after the BJP accused its alliance partner of pursuing the policy of discrimination against religious and linguistic minorities in the state. The BJP on Tuesday said, the state’s move is “tantamount to cheating the nation” and looting the exchequer.”This is the same communal politics of Jammu and Kashmir government that Kashmiri people have been pursuing for so many years. They discriminated against the minority population of the state in all respects. The affidavit filed in the Supreme Court is the reflection of this policy,” Professor Virender Gupta, BJP state spokesperson, told DNA.Gupta’s statement comes in the aftermath of an affidavit filed by the state government in the Supreme Court, ruling out the formation of a state minority commission. The affidavit was filed in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a local lawyer Ankur Sharma”We urge the government of India to direct the respective state governments to provide benefits to its minorities. If Muslim in J&K are in majority, the benefits should go to its minorities (i.e. Hindus and people of other faiths). Similarly in other states where Muslims are in minority benefit should go to them,” he saidLaunching an attack at the Mehbooba Mufti government, Gupta said the decision to submit affidavit in apex court might be an unilateral decision since the concerned department is held by the Kashmiri leaders.”I have talked to some of the leaders, and they are of the opinion that the minority should get the benefit in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.BJP with 25 MLAs is the major alliance partner of PDP which has 28 MLAs in the 87 member elected House. Sajad Lone led People Conference with two MLAs is the major ally of the BJP.DISCRIMINATORYBJP says state govt discriminated against religious and linguistic minority. This comes after the state ruled out formation of a state minority commission.

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Five soldiers missing after heavy snowfall along LoC

Five Indian Army soldiers have gone missing following an avalanche that hit two different sectors along the Line of Control (LoC) in Bandipora and Kupwara districts of North Kashmir since Monday.Heavy snowfall has swept away Army’s high altitudes posts along the LoC. Special rescue teams of the Army are conducting search and rescue operations to locate the five missing soldiers.The first incident occurred at Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez when an avalanche hit ‘Mani Post’ in Bagtoor area. Three army jawans, who were manning the post, were swept away.The second incident occurred in Naugam sector along the LoC when two soldiers fell down a slope. “Two soldiers slipped down the slope in Naugam Sector in Kupwara. Three soldiers went missing from a forward post in Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez in Bandipora district during heavy snowfall in the last 24 hours. Search and rescue operations are underway,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.Apart from special team of the Indian army, specially-trained sniffer dogs and state-of-the art equipment have been pressed into service to locate the soldiers.Bandipora Deputy Commissioner Sajjad Hussain on Tuesday evening issued a weather advisory asking locals in Gurez and Tulail areas not to venture in avalanche prone areas till weather conditions become favourable.Hussain also directed the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Gurez to take all precautionary measures in coordination with the concerned departments for the safety of the general public.According to the Met department, there has been moderate to heavy snowfall in many areas of the Valley with Gulmarg receiving the highest so far.Meanwhile, Kashmir has been covered by a blanket of snow bringing smiles on the faces of people who were otherwise battling with dry cold and disease.Famed ski resort Gulmarg has received two feet of snow. Srinagar has received 3.5 cm of snow while Qazigund, the gateway to Kashmir has got 13 centimentr of snow so far. Famous health resort of Pahalgam has received 25 centimeter while Kokarnag has received 12 centimeter of snow so far.Cheers notwithstanding, snow has also caused disruption of essential services in many parts of the valley.. The 300 kilometer Srinagar-Jammu highway, the lifeline for the landlocked valley, has been closed for traffic due to the snow at Jawahar Tunnel and en route.”National Highway and Mughal Road closed. All district roads operational”, tweeted deputy inspector general of police, south Kashmir range.VALLEY OF WOESMet department said there has been moderate to heavy snowfall in many areas of the Valley with Gulmarg receiving the highest so far. Police said on Tuesday they rescued 70 people in Surankote who were trapped due to heavy snowfall.

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5 soldiers missing along LoC after heavy snowfall in Kashmir

Five soldiers have gone missing along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir’s Gurez and Naugam sectors, following heavy snowfall in the valley since yesterday, a defence official said today.Jammu and Kashmir is experiencing widespread snowfall and rain with the meteorological (MeT) office forecasting present weather conditions to continue till Thursday due to a western disturbance over the state.”Two soldiers fell down a slope in Naugam sector (Kupwara district) while three others went missing from a forward post in the Kanzalwan sub-sector of Gurez (Bandipora district) during heavy snowfall,” Defence spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here.Also readSnowfall in Kashmir: Valley cut off from rest of India, 3 Army jawans missing after avalancheSearch and rescue operations are on to trace the five missing soldiers, he said.Earlier, a police official had said that the three soldiers in Gurez sector went missing after an avalanche hit their post at Baktoor near the LoC.Also readNorth India experience chilly weather; snowfall in J&K and Himachal, rain in DelhiAn army porter is missing since yesterday after he came under an avalanche in Tulail in Gurez.

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Snowfall in Kashmir: Valley cut off from rest of India, 3 Army jawans missing after avalanche

The Kashmir valley was cut off from the rest of the country on Tuesday due to snowfall and rain. Flight operations at the Srinagar airport were suspended and the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway and Mughal road were closed for traffic.The present weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to continue till Thursday due to a western disturbance over the state, the meteorological (MeT) office said.Three army jawans went missing at Mani Post Bagtoor Gurez sector of Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district due to snow avalanche.Also readThree Army jawans missing after avalanche in KashmirThe 300-km long Jammu-Srinagar National Highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with the rest of the country, was closed following heavy rains and snowfall at several places, including the Jawahar Tunnel, and incidents of shooting stones near Panthal.In Jammu, the Mughal road, connecting Poonch and Rajouri with south Kashmir’s Shopian district, was also closed after heavy snowfall in Pir Ki Gali.Also readSnowfall brings cheer to Kashmir”The highway and the Mughal road are closed for the second day today. The highway was closed due to heavy snowfall at the Jawahar Tunnel, the Patnitop and Ramban areas and landslides at Pathiyal. There has been heavy snowfall in Pir Ki Gali and other areas en route Mughal road,” police officials said.The Srinagar-Kargil, Bandipora-Gurez, Kupwara-Macchil, Kupwara-Keran and Kupwara-Karnah roads were also closed, police officials said.In Jammu, there was very heavy snowfall in the hill regions of Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban, Kathua, Rajouri, Reasi and Poonch districts, due to which some inter-district and inter- state roads were closed.In the state’s summer capital, flight services to and fro from the Srinagar International Airport were hit due to poor visibility caused by the heavy snowfall, airport authorities said.Director, Srinagar airport, Sharad Kumar said, “Air traffic to and fro from the airport has been suspended due to low visibility. There has been no improvement in the visibility around the airport so far.””We are monitoring the situation. If visibility improves, we will resume flight operations,” he said.However, in Gulmarg, the coldest in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 6.5 degrees Celsius, the spell of snowfall brightened prospects for winter sports as nearly four feet of snow accumulated at the ski resort.Srinagar, which is experiencing intermittent rains since morning, received snowfall till 10 am, while heavy snowfall was recorded in Sonamarg and Baltal, base camps of the annual Amarnath Yatra in central Kashmir, the MeT office said.Moderate snowfall was reported from across south Kashmir, including Pahalgam, a tourist resort, where seven inches of snow has accumulated so far, it said, adding 3.5 feet of snow accumulated at Sonamarg.Kargil in Kashmir recorded minus 3 degrees Celsius, Leh minus 1.4 degrees Celsius, Kokernag minus 0.6 degrees Celsius, Srinagar minus 0.2 degrees.The MeT has forecast more snow and rain in the valley over the next few days.

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Potential controversies like Art 370 stand neutralised: PDP on alliance with BJP

PDP vice president Sartaj Madni today said despite widespread criticism against formation of PDP-BJP coalition in Jammu and Kashmir, many potential controversies on crucial issues like Article 370 stood “neutralised” in present times.”The PDP faced criticism for entering into alliance with the BJP in the state. Yet, the party leaders stood firm in the belief that sooner than later, people of the state would reap benefits of the decision,” he said at a party event here.”it is now for everyone to see that many potential controversies on vital issues like Article 370 stand neutralised and gaps of any communal and regional divisions are getting filled,” Madni said.The PDP leader hoped that the state would witness fresh political, diplomatic and economic initiatives in the near future. PTI AB

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Gunmen fire at bank vehicle in Shopian, two employees injured

Two employees of a bank were injured today when gunmen opened fire on their vehicle in Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said. <!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>Security forces have launched a search operation to track down the assailants. A police official said, “Unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle of Jammu and Kashmir Bank in Keller area of Shopian this afternoon, resulting in injuries to two employees”. He said the injured are being shifted to a hospital.

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Earthquake of magnitude 4.5 hits Jammu and Kashmir, no loss of life reported

A medium intensity earthquake of magnitude 4.5 hit Jammu and Kashmir on Monday, THE India Meteorological Department reported in a statement.<!– /11440465/DNA_Mobile_Article_300x250_BTF_1 –>There was no immediate report of any injury or destruction in any part of the state, which was jolted at 4:48 am.Earlier on Saturday, an earthquake of magnitude 4.7 hit Jammu and Kashmir.Further details are awaited.

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Ex-chair of Hurriyat denies meeting interlocuter

Ending speculations, on Sunday, former Hurriyat Conference chairman Professor Abdul Gani Bhat denied meeting center’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma, although a group of Muslim Conference leaders recently removed him from the position of president and reposed full faith in the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL).”I did not meet Sharma. However, two persons — a Kashmiri Pandit and a non-local –met me on the evening of November 27. Some people are churning conspiracies and based on guess work and creating confusion,” Bhat told a local news agency.Batting for a dialogue, the former Hurriyat chairman said talks without Pakistan cannot be fruitful. He also noted that he would open his cards in the next few days, regardless of whether he remains a part of the Hurriyat or not.”I don’t play politics on the blood and tears of masses. There is no place for dictatorship in a movement. Dictatorship can happen in politics, but not in a movement which is fighting for a cause,” Bhat said.Even as the former Hurriyat chairman tried to steer clear from any controversy, a group of his party leaders held an emergency meeting and expelled him from the post of president of the Muslim Conference.”The meeting between Bhat and the centre’s interlocutor has send shock waves across resistance leadership and the people of Kashmir. Muslim Conference (MC) held an emergency meeting and appointed Mohommad Sultan Magray as its interim president for six months. Manzoor ul Haq Bhat has been appointed vice president,” said Magray.Earlier, Bhat wrote to Mirwaiz informing him that he has expelled Manzoor, who was MC’s representative in Pakistan, from the basic membership of the party. “In exercise of the authority vested in me, I hereby expel you from the basic membership of the organisation and shall therefore cease to represent MC in any respect at any level,” Bhat said in the letter.

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Zaira Wasim molestation: ‘Appalled at what happened,’ says Mehbooba Mufti, calls for strict action

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said she was appalled by the incident wherein ‘Dangal’ fame actress Zaira Wasim was allegedly molested on a flight, and sought swift action in the matter.The actor has alleged that she was molested by a co- passenger on board a Delhi-Mumbai flight and narrated her ordeal on Instagram via live video.”Any harassment/crime against women shld (should) be dealt with swiftly & (and) effectively. As a mother of 2 (two) daughters I am appalled at what happened with @zairawasimz.Hope relevant authorities take strict action,” Mehbooba wrote on Twitter.Zaira said she was on an Air Vistara flight from Delhi to Mumbai when a co-passenger sitting behind her put up his feet on her arm.

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NIA arrests man assisting Lashkar-e-Taiba in J&K

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday arrested a man from Jammu and Kashmir for his alleged activities related to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the country.The arrested person has been identified as Tauseef Ahmed Malik (25), a resident of Pulwama.The arrest has been made with the assistance of Jammu and Kashmir police.He was later produced in the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate Pulwama which granted his transit remand for four days.The accused will be brought to Delhi and produced before the NIA Special Court at Patiala House soon.The role of Tauseef came to light after Nayeem, who was arrested earlier by the NIA from Aurangabad, during his interrogation revealed his name.He has also remained in contact with Nayeem since March 2017 when the latter had visited Pulwama and stayed with LeT terrorists for three months.

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Election Commission must address queries related to working of EVMs: Omar Abdullah

"I hope the Election Commission can step up & address the questions that are being asked of it about the trustworthiness of voting machines," he said in another tweet. ”
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Saturday 9 December 2017 17:14 ISTMust readWhat’s wrong with Vande Mataram? If not mother, will you salute Afzal Guru, asks Vice President Venkaiah Naidu DNA EXCLUSIVE: Guj High Court asks EC to clarify on VVPAT counting by Dec 12<!–end of artlmustredbx–><!–end of articllftpbx–>Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah today asked the Election Commission to address the queries being raised on the trustworthiness of the electronic voting machines (EVMs).”I’ve been extremely sceptical of EVM related conspiracy theories but I’m beginning to question my unwavering faith in the machines & their infallibility,” Abdullah wrote in a Twitter post.The former chief minister was referring to reports of EVM malfunctioning at some election booths in Gujarat.”I hope the Election Commission can step up & address the questions that are being asked of it about the trustworthiness of voting machines,” he said in another tweet.

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De-addiction centres to counter Udta Kashmir phenomenon

Alarmed by the rising incidence of drug abuse, Jammu and Kashmir government has decided to establish de-addiction centres in all district Hospitals across the state to counter the Udta Kashmir phenomenon.“The government will establish drug de-addiction centres in each district hospital of the state in next two months”, said Bali Bhagat¸ Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Health and Medical Education.This follows the alarming increase in the incidents of drug smuggling and addiction cases in the valley. Strife-torn Kashmir is emerging as a hub of the contraband drugs with smugglers exploiting the law and order problem to carry out the nefarious trade. More than 10000 drug abusers have been treated in police de-addiction centre alone since 2008.“Civil society to contribute to saving the youth from this menace and asked them to form Mohalla Committees to monitor and report the cases of drug abuse”, said Bhagat.Health minister also directed assistant Drug Controller to conduct inspections of supply records of the chemists to keep a check on the drug abuse. SSPs have also been asked to take stringent action against habitual offenders under NDPS Act.Official figures reveal that police have seized 64 kilograms of charas, 7.5 kilograms of charas powder, 194 kilograms of bhang and bhang dust, 925 kilograms of fukki, 915 kilogram of poppy straw and 3.75 kilogram of brown sugar in different parts of the valley in 2016. If it was not enough, police seized 26457 intoxicating capsules 10553 intoxicating tablets and 12983 bottles intoxicating syrup in 2016. Around 312 persons were arrested in 2016 of whom 202 were prosecuted and 26 others were booked under Public Safety Act (PSA), under which a person can be jailed without trial and bail up to two years. Similarly in 2015 police had registered 375 cases and arrested 442 people and 13 others have been booked under PSA.Figures released by Excise Department of Jammu and Kashmir have revealed shocking details about the drug cultivation in the trouble-torn valley. Poppy crop spread over 2863 kanals (20 kanals form one hectare) of land was destroyed this year so far. Last year poppy crop spread over 2873 kanals of land was destroyed by the Excise Department.In summer this year Bhang spread over 1475 kanals of land has been destroyed in Kashmir valley. Last year the crop over 180 kanals of land was destroyed by the Excise Department.

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Go back to Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf formula for peace: Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri

Former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri on Friday suggested that the Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf formula for diplomacy could still pave way for restoration of peace between India and Pakistan. He, however, blamed India for stalling the dialogue process by setting new ‘red lines’ for Pakistani leaders and its diplomats — barring them from meeting Kashmiri separatist leaders.”Pakistan is ready to address other issues afflicting India, but would never agree to this red line,” he said, adding that it has potential to adversely affect public opinion back in his country.Speaking at an event with Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on the current relations between the two nations, he said India was too important a country for Pakistan to ignore. Admitting that there were completely different narratives on Jammu and Kashmir, he said both countries had tried everything from wars to tensions to military build-ups. “We have tried everything and it has not yielded any result. We have fought wars and suffered from it. So, India and Pakistan have to progress together,” he added.He said that besides nuclear parity, the two nations were also on equal footing as far as conventional weaponry was concerned. “Any future war between the two countries will not end in 15-17 days; it will last months and years. Neither can win, but both will lose I don’t know any condition when there was peace after hosting wars,” he said.The ex-minister also attacked United States President Donald Trump and said that Pakistan couldn’t be isolated, as it was at an important strategic location.”They will isolate Pakistan? Let me tell you, Pakistan cannot be isolated. It is important, not just for your strategic location, adding, “Today, the US is isolated, not Pakistan.”AIYAR AT EVENTStressing the need to initiate dialogue with Pakistan, he said it was important to co-operate with Pakistan rather than looking at it suspiciously regarding terror movement

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