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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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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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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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PM Modi you ‘killed’ my Indianness by branding me a terrorist sympathiser: Salman Nizami

An unknown entity in the political circles a week ago, Salman Nizami has become a topic of many TV debates and political discussion since Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioned his name at a campaign rally on Saturday. Nizami, a Congress leader from Jammu and Kashmir, on Sunday penned an open letter to Modi asking him if he was targeted because he is a “soft target” as a Muslim and a Kashmiri. In the letter, published on ABP News website, Nizami wrote, “I am a proud Kashmiri and a proud Indian, and I have always taken the most defiant stand against terrorists and terrorism. My family has spilled blood for holding up the integrity of this nation. My cousin was killed by terrorists.”Also readWho is Salman Nizami? Congress leader has had Twitter trouble in the past as wellNizami said that the tweets that the prime minister cited to claim that he was a “Azadi sympathiser” was “posted a few years back after pranksters hacked my Twitter handle.”He said that a he had complained to cyber police regarding this.Also readGujarat elections: Prime Minister Modi accuses Congress of ‘misleading Muslim community’, targets Salman NizamiThe former journalist wrote that by “killing” his Indianness, prime minister has done what terrorists ‘failed to do’. “Do you have any idea how life-threatening an attempt it is for a Kashmiri, who lives in terrorism-infested villages, to take on the terrorists? The terrorists subsequently attempted to kill me. But, failed,” he wrote. “Today, you have succeeded in ‘killing’ me. For you have killed my Indianness, you have branded me a terrorist sympathiser. You have so completely killed my existence. What terrorists could do, you have done.”Also readBJP releases Salman Nizami’s pictures with Shaktisinh Gohil to counter Congress claims of non-associationAttacking Modi, Nizami furhter said, “..once you are at 7 Race Course Road, you belong to everybody. Why do you continue to act as a BJP mascot and an RSS affiliate, who belongs to only his supporters? This is the reason why your report card as a PM is zero. You have never acted as a PM.”Prime Minister Narendra Modi had latched on to tweets by Nizami who, he said, was a Congress leader to tear into the opposition party for allegedly questioning his parentage.At an election rally at Lunawada, the prime minister said India was his father and mother, and like a good son, he will spend his entire life serving the country.”There is one Congress youth leader called Salman Nizami, who is campaigning for Rahul Gandhi in Gujarat. He said on Twitter that Rahul Gandhi’s father (Rajiv Gandhi) and grandmother (Indira Gandhi) had sacrificed their lives, while his great grandfather (Jawaharlal Nehru) was a freedom fighter. Okay, very good, we do not have a problem with that,” Modi said.”Then he (a reference to Nizami) went on to ask that Modi should answer who is his father and mother,” he said, quoting from the purported tweets of Nizami.The prime minister disapproved of the use of this kind of language in public discourse. “Do we use this language in public discourse? Do we ask such things, this Salman Nizami is their star campaigner?” Modi said.”What else has he tweeted, he is from Kashmir and he says he wants Aazad Kashmir. He called Indian armed forces rapists,” Modi said.Lashing out at Nizami, the prime minister said he has also glorified Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, who was hanged for his crime.”That person has further said in his tweets that ‘ghar ghar se Afzal niklega’. Afzal Guru was sentenced to death by our courts and this man wants every home to produce Afzal.”Do you want Afzal in every home? Can you allow Afzals in Gujarat?” Modi asked the crowd at the rally in Lunawada, Mahisagar district, where the second phase of polling will be held on December 14.”The person who has spoken such things is campaigning for Rahul Gandhi. Should we forgive such people? Is this not an insult to our armed forces. To call our armed forces rapist is not their insult? Should we forgive such people?” Modi asked repeatedly.With inputs from PTI

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Rs 200 crore loss as saffron production dips sharply

Persistent dry spell in Kashmir valley has led a 80 per cent drop in the production of saffron causing Rs 200 crore financial loss to the farmers.Official figures reveal that saffron production in 2017 was 3.5 metric tonnes against 17 metric tonnes in 2016. Estimates worked out by the Agriculture department peg the financial loss at over Rs 200 crore.”On an average, our saffron production is 17 metric tonnes. This year there is a 80 per cent drop in production. One kilogramme saffron sells at Rs 1.6 lakh, and by that estimate we have suffered roughly Rs 200 crore loss,” said Altaf Aijaz Andrabi, director of department of agriculture, Kashmir.Experts say increased temperature and no rainfall during sprouting period are the main reasons for crop failure this year.”It requires rainfall in September. In addition, temperatures should also be moderate. Moisture in corn helps sprouting. We had no rainfall, which resulted in crest formation,” Andrabi said.Touted as world’s most expensive spice, saffron is used in multiple ways in multiple industries — ranging from medicine, beauty, colour, food, among others. Kashmiri saffron kahwa (tea) is a delicacy which is served on special occasions signifying the importance of the guests. It is used in beauty products and has a high medicinal value.Around 3,715 hectares of land is used for saffron cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir. Pampore in the Pulwama district of south Kashmir tops the list with 3,200 hectares under saffron cultivation. It is followed by Budgam and Srinagar with 328 and 165 hectares respectively under the saffron cultivation.”Production is almost nil and farmers are ruined. We have suffered huge financial losses this year. Government should come up with a scheme to help the farmers in distress. We have no other source of income,” said GM Pampori, president J&K Saffron Growers and Dealers Association.”Our worry is now about the mother corn. You need good water regime for multiplication of corn for next year’s crops. If the dry spell continues for another month, it will have catastrophic effect on future crops,” said Andrabi.SUDDEN DIPOfficial data reveals that saffron production in 2017 was 3.5 metric tonnes against 17 metric tonnes in 2016. Experts blame increased temperature and lack of rain in the Valley are the primary reasons behind failure of the crop this year.

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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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Eid-e-Milad 2017: When a Kashmiri Pandit couple stole hearts by greeting Milad procession

For those who spread hate, this should serve as an eye-opener.Welcome to the troubled South Kashmir, where Kashmiryat (pluralistic culture) was in full bloom on Friday.A middle-aged Kashmiri pandit couple greeted the procession of Eid Milad-ud-Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Mohommad) by distributing candies to the Muslims as a token of love and affection.Vimal and Shushma Tickoo surprised the people when they lined up on the route of the Milad procession and showered candies.Carrying a bag full of candies, the couple was distributed the toffees to pedestrians a mark of respect.“We are greeting them on the auspicious occasion. We are welcoming them. We do it every year”, said Vimal Tickoo.Hailing from Mattan area of Anantnag and braving sub-zero temperatures, the couple came out of their home to greet the procession.“They too join us when we celebrate our festival. We have so much of brotherhood in our area. There has been no problem in Mattan. They are our well wishers”, said Shushma Tickoo.The gesture of the couple stole the hearts of the local Muslims. Selfies and handshakes followed. A young Muslim man came forward to click selfies with the couple as a gesture of love from the majority community of Kashmir.The video of the kind gesture by Pandits have gone viral on social networking sites. Director General of Police Dr Shesh Paul Vaid also retweeted the video of Pandit couple distributing candies to the people during Milad procession.Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non migrant pandits, reveal that 677 Kashmiri pandits have been killed by the militants since 1990.The figures include the mass massacres of Kashmiri pandits at different places at different times. However the state government figures reveal that only 219 Kashmiri pandits were killed in the state since 1989. Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states.Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs. Thousands of people marched through South Kashmir’s Anantnag to celebrate the birthday of the Last Messenger of Allah.The south Kashmir district has been the epicenter of last year’s unrest in the Valley.Watch full video here:
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The Tibetan Muslims who have made Kashmir their home

In a region where being seen as outsiders can be dangerous, the community keeps a low profile.

Syed Salahuddin’s son among 18 inmates: Tihar jail to MHA

Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin’s son Syed Shahid Yusuf is one of the 18 prisoners referred to AIIMS after being allegedly beaten up by security personnel in Tihar jail, the prison authorities have informed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).Two separate probe panels will be investigating the incident.A district judge has been appointed to look into the incident while a law professor from National Law University has been asked to provide legal assistance to inmates involved in the scuffle that led to the alleged thrashing of prisoners last week.Another inquiry will be conducted by Commandant of the Tamil Nadu Special Police posted at the high security cell who were allegedly involved in the scuffle.There were 25 prisoners in the high security ward when the incident took place on the night of November 21-22.Several Kashmiri prisoners are currently lodged in Tihar jail in Delhi after being arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in a terror funding case. Saluhuddin’s son Yusuf, who was a government employee in Jammu and Kashmir, is also part of the same investigation.The Tamil Nadu police personnel posted at the cell have been removed, Tihar jail authorities said in their report to MHA.”The prisoners referred to AIIMS will be examined by a panel of three doctors who will submit a report on the nature of injuries,” said a home ministry official.Yusuf faces allegations of receiving money from his father who is based in Pakistan. Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the United Jihad Council — an umbrella organisation of all terror outfits operating in Kashmir, has been declared a global terrorist by the US Department of State.The incident took place when during a search certain objectionable material was found leading to a confrontation between some prisoners and jail security following which MHA asked for a detailed report from Tihar authorities.Tihar autorities in its report to MHA also stated that jail officials have been sensitised to ensure that inherent dignity of prisoners is always maintained, especially during searches.Following reports of some Kashmiri prisoners being beaten up Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti spoke to union home secretary Rajiv Gauba expressing her concern over the security of inmates from the state.INSIDE THE JAILThere were 25 prisoners in the high security ward when the violent thrashing took place. MHA had asked for a report on the incident from the prison authorities.
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Territorial Army jawan killing: Shiv Sena questions govt claim on fall of terror activities in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Shiv Sena today questioned the government claim that terror activities have come down in Jammu and Kashmir and said terrorists were now killing jawans to create fear among the youth in the Valley.Referring to the killing of Territorial Army jawan Irfan Ahmed, the Sena said it is a “new technique” aimed at demoralising and creating fear among the Kashmiri youth.The Sena said the brutal killings of jawans is a Pakistani game plan.”All this is the ‘Mann ki baat’ of Pakistanis. Will the person, who does his ‘Mann ki baat’ every (month on a) Sunday will realise this?” the Sena questioned, alluding to the radio programme hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.It also said that the release of Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed from detention in Pakistan may give a new lease of life to militancy in the border state.
ALSO READ Shopian | Territorial army jawan, on vacation, killed by terrorists in J&K”Soldier Irfan Ahmad was abducted and killed in Shopian district. Terrorist organisations are adopting this technique to demoralise the Kashmiri youth working in the Army and instill fear amongst them,” the Sena said in an editorial in party mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.According to the Army, militants abducted and killed the 23-year-old Territorial Army jawan. His bullet-riddled body was found in an orchard in Watmullah Keegam area in Shopian district of south Kashmir on Saturday.
ALSO READ Terrorists kill another off-duty jawan in J&KThe latest killing was part of a technique being adopted by terror outfits to kill Kashmiris who have joined the Army or paramilitary forces, the Marathi daily said.In May this year, Lt Ummer Fayaz was killed in a similar manner and later in September, BSF jawan Ramzan Pare was also killed, the Sena publication said.”The killing of Irfan Ahmad challenges the claims of those who say terrorist activities have reduced in Kashmir.Also, Hafiz Saeed being released from house arrest may give a new lease of life to terrorist activities,” it said.”The government claims 100-150 militants have been killed (this year) in Kashmir and incidents of stone pelting have reduced. At the same time, killings of youth haven’t stopped.Terrorists cannot digest the Kashmiri youth joining the Army to serve the nation,” it added.

Govt’s special representative Dineshwar Sharma all set to kick-start ‘Mission Kashmir’ 2.0

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Mehbooba Mufti government announced amnesty to first time stone throwers, centre’s Special Representative Dineshwar Sharma is all set to kick-start `Mission Kashmir’ 2.0 and meet the cross sections of society in strife-torn Jammu and Kashmir.Unlike his previous visit last month, Sharma is starting his tour from the winter capital city Jammu on Friday. Sharma will be visiting the migrant pandit camps and meet the representatives of the community to discuss their problems.During his last visit he had met the delegation of Panun Kashmir, an apex body of Kashmir migrant pandits in Jammu. This time around he is touring their camps in Jagti and take on the spot view of their problems.Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims, and 1,758 Sikhs.Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant pandits, reveal that 677 Kashmiri pandits have been killed by the militants since 1990. The figures include the mass massacres of Kashmiri Pandits at different places at different times. However, the state government figures reveal that only 219 Kashmiri Pandits were killed in the state since 1989.“From day one we have been saying pandit townships in Kashmir are not alternative to our miseries. We believe that homeland for pandits in the valley with Union territory status is the only solution”, said Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, president of Panun Kashmir.In a resolution passed by Panun Kashmir in December 1991, Kashmiri Pandits demanded that the Centre create a homeland comprising the regions of the valley to the East and North of river Jhelum. The homeland, according to Panun Kashmir, should have a union territory status where the Constitution of India is made applicable in letter and spirit to ensure a right to life, liberty, freedom of expression and faith, equality and rule of law.“We have met Sharma last time and we do not have any problem in meeting him again if he desires so this time around. We will be pressing for a homeland. We also want to reiterate that the sovereignty of the country is non-negotiable. It is the bottom-line and government should make it clear during discussions”, said Chrungoo.

SC panel seeks report on city’s potholes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court (SC)-appointed Committee on Road Safety headed by S Sunder has directed Delhi government’s Public Works Department (PWD) to audit all potholes in the national Capital to verify if the rectifications have been made. The panel also sought a compliance report from the various stakeholders.The PWD officials have claimed that 3,945 potholes were identified during a special drive and all of them had been rectified.Taking strong note of lack of a mechanism to monitor the condition of the roads, the Committee has also directed the state government to authorise the transport department to monitor the condition of the roads belonging to all road owning agencies in Delhi.At a high-level meeting that held last week, the SC-appointed Committee has expressed concern on the fatalities occurring due to potholes which are not just a threat to the lives of commuters but also cause congestion on roads.In the meeting, PWD said that they had conducted a special drive for 15 days and identified 3,945 potholes across the city and all potholes have been rectified. The officials also stated that sometime potholes occur as the roads are to be cut for utilities.The Committee asked the PWD to lay down a protocol and follow the same at the time of the maintenance of roads. The PWD officials also informed the committee members that they have a website for lodging complaints by the public throughout the year.A survey by the School of Planning and Architecture pointed out that overloaded trucks entering Delhi caused the maximum damage to footpaths.ROADS WITH HOLESRoad connecting ISBT Kashmiri Gate flyover to Shastri Park intersection.
Road connecting Old Railway Iron Bridge via Marginal Pusta Road to Khajuri Chowk.
Mehrauli-Badarpur road.

It was a very brave decision: Major General BS Raju hails Kashmiri footballer Majid Khan for leaving LeT

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major success for the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir, Anantnag’s footballer turned terrorist has surrendered.The 20-year-old footballer, Majid Khan, who had recently joined Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), surrendered before the security forces in Kashmir.Majid was presented before the media at a press conference here on Friday.’It was a very brave decision by Majid Khan. I compliment him and assure that he will be able to get back to normal life very soon,’ said Major General BS Raju, who heads the Victor Force that performs counter-insurgency operations in five districts of South Kashmir.Majid surrendered before the First Rashtriya Rifles and is currently under the custody of Victor Force in Awantipora.Majid reportedly surrendered after his parents’ appeal.Even the top police officer of Jammu and Kashmir appealed Majid to surrender and once again join the mainstream.On Thursday, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Munir Khan told media, ‘A very serious counselling campaign is going on in Kashmir to discourage youth to join militancy and we will get positive results in near future. It is our sincere endeavour to ensure that these misguided youth come and join the mainstream.’He also informed the media that the government is preparing a new surrender policy for local Kashmiri militants.

Videos of glorified militants stage a comeback in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After brief hiatus, militants have again unleashed a psychological warfare on the social media in the strife-torn Kashmir.Fresh videos of militants have flooded Facebook and other social networking sites to romanticize militancy and to lure gullible youth to join their ranks beside outwit the security forces and garner public support.A new video of militants dressed in pheran (traditional Kashmiri loose long gown used by people in winters to keep themselves warm) and Pathan caps have gone viral on the social media. Shot in undisclosed dense forest area, the gun-wielding militants are seeing patrolling and raising their index finger (symbolizing oneness of Allah).Sources said the video seems to be fresh given the attire of the militants as Kashmir is witnessing sub-zero temperatures. In another video, two militant commanders of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba are seen wrestling in a room while a commentary runs in the background about the friendly bout. Wearing olive green army fatigues, the two commanders are seen trying to pin down each other in a well laid out room.Sources said security agencies have started an investigation to find out the veracity of the videos that have been posted on the social media sites. “We are looking into the matter. It will be premature to comment unless we know where and when was the video shot”, said a police officer.The fresh videos have been posted at a time when security forces have gone all out against the militants killing more than 182 since January this year. The videos have surfaced after months of hiatus as the militant top brass had issued directions to their cadres to avoid using mobile phones. However, after suffering reverses, the militants have again started posting videos seemingly to show their presence and raise the morale of their cadres.“It is a psychological warfare. Militants are trying to show their presence because they have been hit hard by the forces in the last few months”, said another security force officer.Sources said around 70 security force men have lost their lives in the line of duty this year so far. This year so far, sources said 70 new ultras have been able to infiltrate into Kashmir. Last year estimated net infiltration (number of militants who managed to sneak in) was 112 compared to 33 in 2015. Similarly, estimated net infiltration was 65 in 2014 compared to 97 in 2013.

There has been decline in incidents of extremism, credit should go to followers of Islam: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said Pakistan was continuing with its antics and making efforts to break India, but in spite of that, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir had improved significantly.He also said there was a decline in the incidents of extremism and that the credit for this should go to the followers of Islam in the country. Speaking at an event organised by a newspaper here today, Singh said, “Pakistan is continuing with its antics and making efforts to break us, but the co-ordination among our Army, paramilitary forces, the Jammu and Kashmir Police and intelligence agencies has been excellent.” He said there were 86,000 terror-related incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in 1995, adding that over the last one year, the number of such incidents had come down to 300 in that state.Stating that there had been a significant improvement in the situation in the restive region, Singh pointed out that the Centre had already appointed a special representative (former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma) for a dialogue with all the stakeholders in Jammu and Kashmir, including the Hurriyat leaders. “The special representative will talk to all the stakeholders and recommend to the Government of India as to what should be done to resolve the problems,” he added. Replying to a question pertaining to Jammu and Kashmir, the home minister said, “When we are in the government, there is a direct conversation with the public. We are working in the direction of resolving problems.”On the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits in the Valley, he said, “Everyone wants them to be rehabilitated. There were talks with former (Jammu and Kashmir) chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and he had given his consent (to it). Later, the matter got stalled owing to disturbances there.” Singh added that the issue of rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits was discussed with current Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as well and that the latter had promised effective steps in this regard. “We want to resolve the Kashmir issue by taking the people of Kashmir into confidence,” he said.On a question on the Rohingya Muslims issue, the BJP leader blamed the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government for the current situation involving the refugees. He reiterated the Centre’s commitment to alleviating poverty and unemployment and said employment would be given to one crore youth of the country through its skill development programme. “It is possible that the immediate effects may not be visible. But, tough decisions lead to long-term benefits. We want sabka saath, sabka vikas,” Singh said, referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for the country.On extremism, the home minister said, “There has been a decline in the incidents of extremism. The credit for this should go to the followers of Islam in India.” Claiming that terrorism and Naxalism would gradually lose steam and would be eliminated by 2022, he said, “Advanced weapons are being given and advanced training is being imparted to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other paramilitary forces. “In the Naxalism-hit areas, we have made an effort to reach out to the public and establish a dialogue with them. We are integrating the people with the process of development.”Singh also said the number of battalions of the central paramilitary forces was being increased. “We are laying an emphasis on the use of technology and in this regard, help from other countries is being sought,” he added. On a question over the smog in Delhi-NCR, Singh said, “We want a pollution-free Delhi. Whatever steps are being taken by the Delhi government in this regard, we will support those initiatives.” The home minister also said the world had started realising that India was no longer a weak nation and that it belonged to the club of powerful countries in the world.”At the international level, India’s importance has grown. The world realises that India, at this point of time, has emerged as the biggest economy in the world. India today is no longer a weak country, but in the club of the powerful nations of the world,” he said. Replying to a question, the BJP leader said, “At places, there are more praises and less criticism now. Whatever we had envisaged to achieve, we have achieved it.”On another question pertaining to the performance of the BJP-led government at the Centre over the last three years, Singh said he would not like to evaluate his own performance, but added that overall, the clout and credibility of the country had increased.

India raises Pak lobbying, 13 extradition cases with UK MPs

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India pitched for putting an end to lobbying by Pakistani groups with British parliamentarians to influence the discourse on Kashmir and gathering support for the cause during a bilateral meeting in New Delhi on Monday, said government officials privy to the discussions.New Delhi also urged UK to ignore propaganda on minorities being targeted in India calling it a “bogey” to put pressure on the government.India also took up the pending extradition cases of 13 individuals including liquor baron Vijay Mallya, businessman Lalit Modi who was the first Chairman of the Indian Premier League and cricket bookie Sanjeev Chawla wanted in a in a match fixing scandal being probed by Delhi Police .Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju communicated India’s stand to his counterpart Minister of State for Immigration Brandon Lewis as well as concerns on the continuing anti-India propaganda carried out by Kashmiri and Sikh extremists in the UK that bear “serious repercussions on India’s sovereignty.”“It was communicated that they should not allow their territory to be used by Kashmiri and Khalistani separatists,” said a government official privy to the talks.There have been efforts by groups in UK led by Pakistanis to initiate a dialogue on Kashmir including accusing India of excesses. There have also been debates in the British Parliament on the issue.

Hurriyat chief figures on ‘500 most influential Muslims of world’ list

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Moderate Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Mohammad Umar Farooq has, for the fourth time, been chosen among the 500 most influential Muslim personalities across the globe for 2018.Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre, Jordan released a list in which Mirwaiz figures among the five top most influential persons in the sub-continent.“Dr Farooq inherited the title of the 14th Mirwaiz Mirwaiz, (traditional preacher of Muslims in Kashmir) in 1990 after the martyrdom of his father. At the young age of 20, he became the chairman and founder of All Parties Hurriyat Conference, a grassroots coalition of pro-freedom parties in J&K. He has raised the Kashmir problem at the United Nations, European Parliament and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), advocating dialogue with both India and Pakistan so that the aspirations of the Kashmiri people may be realized”, reads the commentary about Mirwaiz in the list.“Declaring Mirwaiz among the most influential 500 Muslims across the world and among five in the sub-continent is a matter of pride and honour for the people of Kashmir and an acknowledgment of their rightful and just struggle”, said the spokesman of Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat.Others who are on the list include Islamic preacher wanted by NIA, Dr Zakir Naik, and MIM leader Asaddudin Owaisi besides others.

India seeks UK cooperation in Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi extradition

Updated: Nov 6, 2017, 10:16 PM IST, PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> India today sought cooperation from Britain for extradition of 13 fugitives, including Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi, and asked it to not allow its territory to be used by Kashmiri and Khalistani separatists, officials said.These issues were strongly raised by Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju with British Minister of State for Immigration Brandon Lewis at a bilateral meeting here. Rijiju has pressed for cooperation from Britain in extradition of 13 individuals, including liquor barron Vijay Mallya, former IPL honcho Lalit Modi and cricket bookie Sanjiv Kapur, a home ministry official said. India also sought legal assistance in prosecution of 16 other alleged criminals. Rijiju asked Lewis not to allow the British territory to be used for anti-India activities by Kashmiri and Khalistani separatists, the official said.

Rajnath Singh meets Mehbooba Mufti to discuss interlocutor and funds

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the first meeting between Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Thursday since the appointment of former Intelligence Bureau chief Dineshwar Sharma as special interlocutor for talks on Kashmir, the two discussed the way forward.Among other issues, they discussed matters related to security, delay in rehabilitation of Kashmiri pundits and jobs for them, and the Rs 80,000 crore package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015.”Funds are getting released and many development works are underway. Works on AIIMS in the state is also going on,” Mufti said after the meeting.The meeting was also attended by the MoS (Home) Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Union Home Secretary Shri Rajiv Gauba, and officials from MHA and state government. “It was decided to fast track the projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) by making encumbrance-free land available for infrastructure projects like road, power, and health etc,” the Home Ministry said in a statement.Under the Prime Ministers’ Development Package for Jammu and Kashmir (Rs 80,068 crore), there are 63 major development projects that cater to 15 central government ministries. While Rs 22,042 crore (approx. 28%) has been released, Rs 62,599 crore (approx. 78%) has been sanctioned, but not yet released. Development of border areas and construction of bunkers along the border for safety of people living there was also discussed.”It was also decided to accelerate the development projects relating to additional jobs to Kashmiri migrants, transit accommodations, transfer of cash relief/honorarium through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode and providing employment to youth of J&K,” the Home Ministry said.After the meeting, Mufti said the situation in the state has improved a lot as violence has come down significantly. The chief minister also said she discussed the appointment of a special representative for Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu & Kashmir: Centre to expedite building bunkers near Pakistan border in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>To ensure the safety of people living in border areas in Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian government has decided to expedite the construction of bunkers along the border. The government has also decided to give special emphasis on development of border areas falling in a 10-kilometer radius from the International Border and the Line of Control while selecting projects under the Border Area Development Program.This was decided after Jammu & Kashmir’s Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti met Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday.The move to accelerate the construction of bunkers for civilian population along the border is essentially aimed at providing safe shelters to local populations from the heavy shelling from across the border which has been causing heavy loss of life and property in these border areas.In the past few weeks, there have been several instances of Indian civilians getting killed or seriously injured in firing and shelling from across the border. And though the Indian government has been raising this matter with Pakistan constantly, the number of ceasefire violations in Jammu & Kashmir have scaled unprecedented levels this year. As compared to a total of 228 ceasefire violations in 2016 along the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir, a staggering 503 such ceasefire violations occurred till October 3 this year.In fact, on October 3, the Indian government had to summon Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner Syed Haider Shah to lodge a strong protest with him over the deaths of three Indian children in an unprovoked ceasefire violation on October 2 by Pakistani forces in the Poonch sector. At that time, India conveyed to Pakistan that such “deliberate targeting of civilians was not acceptable and was against humanitarian norms and practices”.Following Mufti’s meeting with Rajnath, the government has also decided to fast track projects under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP) by making encumbrance free land available for the Infrastructure projects relating to roads, power and health.“Under the Prime Ministers’ Development Package for Jammu and Kashmir (Rs 80,068 crore) for 63 major Development projects pertaining to 15 Central Government Ministries, an amount of Rs 62,599 Crores (approx. 78%) has been sanctioned and an amount of Rs 22,042 Crores (approx. 28%) has been released,”the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said in a statement Thursday.In a bid to further reach out to the Kashmiri masses, the government has also decided to accelerate the development projects relating to additional jobs to Kashmiri migrants, transit accommodations, transfer of cash relief/honorarium through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) mode and providing employment to youth of J&K.

Peace is top priority: Dineshwar Sharma on being appointed govt’s special representative on Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The clock has turned full circle for former IB chief Dineshwar Sharma, who was appointed the Centre’s special representative in Kashmir on Monday, 25 years after his first posting for the bureau in the Valley.It was May 1992. Militancy was at its peak and Sharma, then 36, arrived in Srinagar after completing a year of customary training at the Intelligence Bureau headquarters in New Delhi.The Kerala-cadre officer, who was posted as assistant director between 1992 to 1994, went on to head the IB from 2014 to 2016. Today, he was appointed special representative for the government’s “sustained dialogue” process for peace in the Valley.”It’s like homecoming for me. I am sure that I will be able to fulfil the expectations of the government and people of the country,” Sharma said.The 61-year-old — at present the Centre’s pointperson for dialogue with Assam-based militant groups — said he feels honoured that he has been assigned such a challenging task.Kashmir has been a running thread through his career. After his return from the Valley in 1994, Sharma was again posted at the Kashmir desk in the national capital.”The times were tough and I hope that now we will together bring peace in the Valley,” he said.Asked whether he would talk to separatist groups in the Valley, Sharma said, “The modalities are being worked out but I would like to talk to everyone who is interested in bringing permanent peace in the Valley.””Let me make it clear that peace is the priority and for that my doors will be open to everyone,” he said.Referring to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, Sharma said, “… We have to work towards the goal set by the prime minister and embrace Kashmiri’s and ensure that lasting peace is achieved.”Sharma, who has also served in Uttar Pradesh and northeastern states besides holding sensitive posts at the IB headquarters here, called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.Sharma would hold talks with all sections of people and organisations, the minister had said at a hurriedly called press conference here earlier in the day.The home minister made it clear that Sharma, who would hold the rank of a cabinet secretary, would have complete independence in deciding who to hold talks with.”The Centre has shown conviction and consistency on Kashmir issue and carrying forward this policy, we have decided to begin a sustained dialogue policy for Jammu and Kashmir,” the minister said.

Partition 70 years on: When tribal warriors invaded Kashmir

Witnesses tell the BBC how men with sticks and axes started one of the world’s longest conflicts.

Reform, former hardline leader tells Ulemas

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

J&K terrorists’ jilted lovers turn informers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned, the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir are fast learning to their dismay. Their jilted girlfriends have found a way to hit back, and hard, where it really hurts. These women have been turning in to informers, giving the intelligence agencies vital information, which is immensely helping the forces track down the terrorists.In fact, according to some sources in the security establishment, some of the top terrorists gunned down this year were nailed after their heartbroken lovers became turncoats. The sources further said that the trend was catching up fast, and the forces were now deliberately identifying women who might have been exploited by these womanising terrorists before being abandoned.Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) commander Abu Dujana and Khalid, who headed the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) operations in Kashmir, were traced and gunned down earlier this year after forces were tipped off by their lovers.Dujana was trapped in Pulwama in August, after giving the security forces a slip on at least five occasions. He was visiting his wife at the time, but she and other locals were apparently irked with his womanising ways. “His wife and her father decided to share the information, which finally led us to success,” an official said.Similarly Khalid, who was responsible for the recent attack on a Border Security Force camp in Srinagar, was killed last week after his girlfriend tipped off the security forces about his movement.Only sketchy information was available about him after he infiltrated from Pakistan in August last year. He was active in Sopore area but the intelligence agencies knew very little about him.One of his girlfriends, who was upset with his philandering, provided specific details about where he was supposed to meet her. A trap was laid accordingly and he was killed.”These top terrorists were traced because of the information shared by their partners. So, now an effort is being made to win the confidence of these women and their families. It has given us good results as many women have come forward and shared information about their hideouts and movement,” a security officer said.According to sources, most of the top Pakistani terrorists lead debauched lives. The local Kashmiri youth, who are joining the terror ranks, are also getting influenced by this. Many of these terrorists start indoctrinating teenaged girls, before exploiting them.”They have a Robin Hood-like image and young girls get attracted to that. We noticed the trend and started approaching the girls’ families,” an official said. Sometimes, neighbours of these women also help agencies track down the terrorists, sources said.Over 170 terrorists have been killed this year, so far, as compared to 150 last year.

Zee Salaams Srinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dr Subhash Chandra Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha and Chairman, Essel Group & Zee Media accompanied by Jagdeesh Chandra, CEO Zee Regional Channels on Monday inaugurated bureau office of Zee Salaam, Urdu News channel at Rajbagh in Srinagar.Pertinently, Zee Salaam has started one hour’s special news beltline with focus on Jammu & Kashmir Affairs being telecasted at 7pm to 8pm. On the occasion, Dr Subhash Chandra said that the negativity about the Kashmir should be avoided rather positive stories should be given due space in media. Among others, Syed Tajamul Zee Salaam Bureau Chief Jammu Kashmir, Khalid Hussain Zee News Correspondent was also present on the occasion.Besides one hour news bulletin with special focus on Jammu & Kashmir, the channel is also amid to telecast special programs in Kashmiri language to promote Kashmiri language and culture.Dr Subhash Chandra was on two days visit to Kashmir. He also hosted India’s popular motivational youth Show at SSM College of Engineering & Technology on Sunday. Huge number of students who participated in the DSC show interacts with the Chandra. During this next episode of the show, Dr. Chandra shared his views on ‘Choosing the Right Career Path’ and ‘How to Make or Break a Habit’. The inspirational change-maker from Kashmir were also invited on the show. The episodes shot in Kashmir will be telecast on Zee Media’s channels on November 11th and 18th respectively.Advising the youth on ‘Choosing the Right Career Path’, Dr. Subhash Chandra said, “Finding the right career path is quite a difficult choice if you analyse its impact on your life. It could be a decision that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. But there are different approaches to looking at this decision. Some argue that your chances of success are very high when you make your passion your career. While others argue that career has nothing to do with passion – there are numerous factors which contribute to a successful career and passion is merely one of them. However, if you follow your heart and intuition while making this decision, they will lead you on the path to success.”Sharing his views on ‘How to Make or Break a Habit’, Dr. Chandra added, “Often, when we do something for the first time, we face a lot of difficulty. But as we do it more often, it become easier, and finally, with sufficient practice, it becomes a habit. We end up doing it semi-mechanically, or with hardly any consciousness at all. The insight is that your habits are what you choose them to be. Once that choice occurs and becomes automatic, it’s not only real, it starts to seem inevitable. Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be formed or reshaped.”

Pak rakes up Kashmir issue at UN, India calls it ‘lonely voice from the wilderness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Tuesday raked up the Kashmir issue again at the UN with its envoy accusing India of spreading terrorism in the Valley, drawing a strong reaction from India which described her diatribe as a “lonely voice from the wilderness”.Pakistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, during a debate of the General Assembly, also alleged that India made a “false claim” of conducting surgical strike across the LoC to provoke conflict with Pakistan.She warned New Delhi that “any aggression” by it would receive a “matching and effective response”.”This claim, and India’s repeated threats to conduct such strikes across the LoC, constitute flagrant violations of the UN Charter’s injunction against the use or threat of use of force,” Lodhi said during the debate on the Report of the Secretary General on the work of the world body.Continuing her tirade against India on the Kashmir issue, Lodhi alleged, “To cover up its crimes against the Kashmiri people, and to divert world attention, India resorts to daily violation of the ceasefire along the Line of Control in Kashmir.”Lodhi said the international community represented in the United Nations cannot allow “India impunity to conduct “crimes against humanity” in Kashmir under the “flimsy cover” of combating terrorism.”The only terrorism in Kashmir is India’s state terrorism. State terrorism is, in fact, considered as the gravest form of terrorism by the Non-Aligned Movement, comprising almost two thirds of the General Assembly s membership,” she alleged.Eenam Gambhir, First Secretary at the Permanent Mission of India to the UN, exercising the country’s right to reply said, “We have heard a lonely voice from the wilderness articulate a narrative of the past.”Pakistan, Gambhir said, has “focused on a topic that has not even been deliberated upon for decades” at the UN.”An issue which that delegation tries to keep alive by procedural stratagems even while the world has moved on.Yesterday’s people reflecting antiquated mindsets of the bygone times are symbolic of what holds us all back,” she said.The Indian delegation does not wish to “waste the precious time of this August Assembly” in engaging further with such distractions, Gambhir said.Lodhi also said India’s claim of carrying out the surgical strike provides Pakistan “sufficient reason” to respond and exercise its right to self-defence.Lodhi went ahead to warn India, saying it should not “underestimate Pakistan’s resolve and capacity to defend itself”.The top Pakistani diplomat said that the UN should not “ignore these open threats to use force” by India.The international community should take urgent action to ask India to halt its provocations against Pakistan, she said.During the General Assembly debate last month which was addressed by leaders from more than 100 countries, not a single country supported Pakistan’s Kashmir policy.Unmindful of that, Lodhi reiterated her allegation with regard to non-implementation of the UN Security Council resolution on Kashmir.In her address to the UN General Assembly last month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had responded to a similar allegation raised by the Pakistani Prime Minister on Un Security Council resolution.”Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the ShimlaAgreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally,” Swaraj had said.

After Pakistan misuses Gaza girl photo, UN says it will ‘certainly think’ about the issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Days after Pakistan misused the photo of a Gaza attack victim to pass it off as ‘proof’ of violence in Kashmir, the United Nations has said that it will look into the matter.According to media reports, Miroslav Lajcak, President of the United Nations General Assembly, said that he will “certainly think” about how to deal with erroneous use of pictures.When asked if he would like to see “some sort of factual baseline” set Lajcak said, “I will certainly think about it.”But he also added that it was matter of diplomacy and the rights and sensitivities of nations.”It is not for me to answer. It’s for the delegations that are involved.”Last week, Pakistan envoy Maleeha Lodhi had used the photograph of a Gaza victim and said it was ‘face of democracy’ in India.Lodhi alleged that “in her vitriol she (Sushma Swaraj) deliberately ignored the core issue” of Kashmir.But Islamabad was on backfoot as soon as the social media unmasked the its lie.Days later, India also exercised Right to Reply, and showed the picture of Lt Ummer Fayaz, a bright young Kashmiri man, who was kidnapped and killed by terrorists.“The Permanent Representative of Pakistan misled this Assembly by displaying this picture to spread falsehood about India. A fake picture to push a completely false narrative,” said Indian envoy Paulomi Tripathi said.

DNA Evening Reads | Pak’s lies exposed; BHU students thrashed; PM’s Mann Ki Baat and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistanis try to pass off Palestine victim as Kashmiri’This was the face of Indian diplomacy”! Pakistan’s Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi’s dramatic waving of picture of a victim of Indian ‘atrocities’ in Kashmir during her Right to Reply to Sushma Swaraj’s UN speech turned out to be one big hoax, an elaborate lie. The picture was actually of Rawya Abu Jom’a. She was injured in Israeli airstrikes in 2014. It was taken by photographer Heidi Levine and has been featured in prominent newspapers like Guardian and New York Times. Click here to know moreCongress set to lose chairmanship of key parliamentary panel to BJP MPThe Congress is set to lose chairmanship of a key parliamentary panel, which is finalising a report on political funding, owing to a fall in its numbers in the Rajya Sabha. Click here to read moreBHU students demanding security in campus thrashedSeveral girls from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) were injured on Saturday night after the police thrashed students protesting against the increasing incidents of eve-teasing inside the campus. Click here to read morePM Modi’s Mann Ki baat speechRead the full text herePM Modi’s key speech on MondayPrime Minister Narendra Modi may seek to dispel concerns over the state of economy and lay down his government’s economic and political agenda at a two-day BJP national executive meeting which began in New Delhi on Sunday. Click here to read more

J&K: ED files charge sheet against separatist leader Shabir Shah after he admits to speaking to Hafiz Saeed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Enforcement Directorate (ED) today filed a charge sheet against Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah and a suspected hawala dealer in connection with a 2005 money laundering case filed against him for alleged terror financing.During interrogation, Shah admitted that he talks to Hafiz Saeed on phone on the issue of Kashmir; he recently spoke to Saeed in January 2017.The final report, filed before Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, also named the alleged hawala dealer Mohammed Alsam Wani, who is in judicial custody along with Shah.The case dates back to August 2005 in which the Delhi Police’s Special Cell had earlier arrested Wani.Wani had then claimed that he had given Rs 2.25 crore to Shah, following which the ED had registered a criminal case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the duo.Shah was arrested by the ED on July 25. The agency arrested Wani on August 6.

Do not believe every news item that you see without verifying it: Rajanth Singh tells SSB jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that anti-national elements have been trying to foment tension in the society by posting unverified information on social media and asked people not to forward such messages without verification.Singh said information and news, that was completely wrong or having no basis, was being regularly circulated on social media such as WhatsApp and many people consider it to to be true.”I want to tell SSB jawans not to believe such messages and forward to anyone without verification as anti-national elements have been trying to foment trouble in the society. We all have to be careful before believing or forwarding them,” he said after launching the intelligence wing of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) here.Lauding the role of the SSB, which guards the 1,751 km- long Indo-Nepal and the 699 km-long Indo-Bhutan borders, Singh said it is very tough to guard such open borders, which allow visa-free movement of people, than fenced borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.”In an open border, the security-men do not know who is anti-national, which way a criminal is coming or who is carrying fake currency or fake drugs,” he said.Referring to his earlier announcement that the family of each martyred paramilitary solider will get at least Rs one crore as compensation, the home minister said he was contemplating to “do something” for those serving personnel who face an emergency situation but are unable to cope up with it and need help.”I am also thinking to do something and I will certainly do it,” he said amidst applause from about 1,000 guests, mostly serving and retired personnel from different paramilitary forces.Earlier, the home minister launched the the SSB’s first- ever intelligence wing, which will gather information along the borders with Bhutan and Nepal, which are often used by criminals and Kashmiri militants returning from Pakistan.The intelligence wing will have 650 field and staff agents to gather actionable information.Due to the visa-free regime, India has with Nepal and Bhutan, there is a trans-border movement of criminals and anti-national elements which pose a major challenge, a home ministry official said.As many as 230 former Kashmiri militants, based in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, have returned home through the Indo-Nepal border since 2010.The Indo-Bhutan border is known to be frequented by the Assam-based insurgent group National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), which has even attacked Bhutanese nationals in the past.The SSB has also been declared as the lead intelligence agency for both the borders. Thus, the central government felt that a well-knit intelligence network of the highest capability that can function and deliver would be the prime requirement for comprehensive border management.This was essential as the SSB’s operations are based on intelligence to prevent criminals and smugglers from taking advantage of the friendly borders with Nepal and Bhutan, the official said.

Terror funding: Will not acknowledge NIA raids until results are found, says Farooq Abdullah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president (JKNC) Farooq Abdullah on Friday said he would not acknowledge the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids in connection with a terror-funding case and Line of Control (LoC) trade case until it brings out some results.Addressing the media, Abdullah said nobody would bow down due to the torture of the NIA and the Government of India.I will acknowledge the NIA raids only if they bring any consequences. If they are being conducted to threaten people and to torture them, then I would like to tell the Centre and the NIA that no matter how much they torture us, nobody will bow down before them, he added.The NIA on Thursday carried out searches at 11 more locations i.e. nine in Kashmir valley and one each in Jammu and Gurugram, in connection with the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case and Line of Control (LoC) Trade case.
ALSO READ NIA raids several cross-LoC traders, recover documents, cash and other itemsThe locations related to Hurriyat leaders namely Ghulam Nabi Sumji and Syed Aga Hassan Budgami and close aides of Shabbir Shah viz. Zameer Sheikh and Razzaq Choudhary were searched.The offices of the Chartered Accountants of Hawala operator Zahoor Watali and residences of suspect LoC traders were also searched.They are suspected of fuelling secessionist and subversive activities in Jammu and Kashmir .During the searches, FDs worth over Rs. 1 crore, and lots of incriminating material, suspect’s financial records, property-related documents and electronic devices have been seized.Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief and top separatist Yasin Malik was arrested in Srinagar by the NIA. Malik, who had warned to launch a protest against the NIA in Delhi, was nabbed from his Abi Guzar office in Srinagar.On Wednesday, separatists Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had said that they will protest outside the NIA headquarters on September 9 against, what they termed as, ‘vilification of Kashmiri’ people by the investigation agency.However, Malik had alleged that the Centre was foisting one issue or the other every month on the people of Kashmir.

NIA arrests two stone pelters from south Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After cracking down on terror funding, National Investigation Agency (NIA) is now probing stone pelters in Kashmir.The agency arrested two alleged stone pelters, Kamran Yousuf from Pulwama district and Javaid Ahmad from Kulgam in the troubled south Kashmir region after an investigation.Police sources said Kamran was working as a stringer for some media outlets in Pulwama. He was picked up by the police after summons were issued against him.“NIA had issued summons against Yousuf. We picked him up and handed over to NIA. He had recently posted a picture of torching of the national flag in Karimabad on the social media,” said Mohammad Aslam, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Pulwama.Both Yousuf and Ahmad are likely to be flown to New Delhi for further interrogation.The duo’s arrests come a day after NIA issued a summon to top Kashmiri lawyer and president of Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association Mian Abdul Qayoom for questioning on Wednesday as a witness in the terror funding case.These fresh arrests have come months after seven separatists, including the son-in-law of Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani Altaf, Ahmed Shah and Shahid-ul-Islam, a top aide of moderate leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were held in the terror and stone pelting funding cases.

JuD chief warns of intensified jihad against India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As the Central government has drawn up a tough strategy to deal with the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir and has already killed more than 140 terrorists this year, Pakistan-based terror outfit Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) announces to intensify terror attacks in India.JuD chief Abdul Rehman Makki pledged to intensify ‘jihad’ against India in the Valley. Makki also confirmed the formation of a new political outfit Milli Muslim League (MML). He is the brother-in-law of Hafiz Saeed, the mastermind behind the 26/11 attack in 2008. Makki was given the charge to head JuD after Saeed was placed under house arrest by Pakistan government in January.Sources in intelligence agencies stated that the influence of Makki and Saeed in the Valley are losing ground as Pakistan-based terror outfits members are being killed. “This is worrisome for them who trap the innocent and unemployed Kashmiri youth to carry out terror attacks in lieu of money,” a senior intelligence bureau officer said.Makki also hailed the terrorists who were killed by security forces in Kashmir.He also lashed out at the United States to label JuD cadres as extremists, jihadis, fundamentalists and terrorists, and declaring the outfit as dangerous for peace in the region. Makki said that JuD’s basic aim is to consolidate Pakistan and “to free Kashmiris from the yoke of Hindu forces”. He also blamed the Indian government to declare Hafiz Saeed a terrorist and having him placed under house arrest.”The Pakistan leadership needs to be taught to work for the supremacy of Islam, liberation of Kashmir, and to stop being friends with New Delhi,”he said. On former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Makki said, “Allah punished people for stopping others from following the path of Jihad.”

Three Kashmiri youth arrested for disrespecting National Anthem

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Three Kashmiri students were arrested for allegedly disrespecting the National Anthem as they did not stand up for it when it was played in a cinema hall at Hyderabad. The incident took place on Saturday afternoon when the trio went to the Mantra mall, located near the Rajendra Nagar Police Station, and allegedly did not stand up when the National Anthem was played before the film?s screening. ?On Sunday, we received a complaint that three youth did not stand, while the National Anthem was being played by the theater management at the start of the film and they were also laughing while all the members were standing,? Shiva Prasad, Sub Inspector of the Rajendra Nagar Police Station said. He added that the trio was brought to the police station for enquiry, adding they belong to Jammu and Kashmir?s Baramulla. ?They are studying B. Tech in the Al-Habeeb College of Engineering. We have registered a case under Section 2 of Prevention of Insult to National Honour 1971 Act,? Prasad said. The police said an investigation is underway. Further details are awaited.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmiri biz man sent to 10-day NIA custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court on Friday sent Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Watali to 10-day NIA custody for interrogation after he was arrested by the investigating agency for allegedly collecting money from Pakistani-based terror organisations for Hurriyat leaders.Additional District and Sessions Judge Poonam A Bamba agreed for the custody after it contended that the accused has to be confronted with evidence in which Altaf Ahmed Shah, the son-in-law of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, and six others were earlier arrested by the agency.During the in-camera proceedings , the judge said that it was the considered opinion of that ends of justice would be met by granting the custody to the agency.According to sources, the probe agency said that it had found various suspicious documents from the accused during the searches, including details of bank accounts and cash received by him from various terror outfits.Senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the agency, sought his custody for two weeks.Watali was arrested on Thursday by the agency for alleged involvement in the case. Earlier, the agency had carried out raids at his premises and that of other suspects.

Kashmir, terrorism, naxalism issue to be solved before 2022, says Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the issue of Kashmir, terrorism, naxalism, northeast insurgency will be solved before 2022.Addressing ‘Sankalp se Siddhi – New India Movement (2017-2022) Naye Bharat kaa nirmaan’, Rajnath said that country is facing problems of terrorism, naxalism, Kashmir problem and northeast insurgency but a solution to these problems will be found before 2022 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has pledged to make a new India by 2022.”There are a lot of problems like terrorism, naxalism, Kashmir problem and northeast insurgency. There is no need to tell you much about all these problems. But, I want to assure you that if we (Government) has adopted a resolution for a new India by 2022 then I want to assure countrymen that a solution to all these problems will be found before 2022, Rajnath asserted.The Union Home Minister’s assertion comes in the backdrop of the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA’s) crackdown on Kashmiri separatists.The NIA visited Srinagar in May to probe the alleged funding by Pakistan for illegal activities in Kashmir, and questioned several Separatist leaders on the issue of raising, collecting and transferring funds via the Hawala route and other channels to fund terror activities in Kashmir.On July 24, the NIA arrested seven separatists over money laundering charges, for funding terror in the Kashmir Valley.All seven separatist leaders – Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate – were later sent to 10-day NIA custody.The accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.On Friday, one Zahoor Ahmad Watali, a close aide of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was sent to 10-day NIA remand in connection with the terror funding case.According to a NIA source, Watali used to get the money through Dubai, Pakistan and even Pakistan High commission in India and worked as a conduit for separatists from more than 10 years.The NIA source added that Naseem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Gilani, also received money from Pakistan and Dubai for terror funding.Another Kashmiri separatist Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah is under Enforcement Directorate (ED) net. On August 9, Shah was sent to a 14-day judicial custody by a court here in a decade-old case of money laundering for alleged terror-financing.

Solution to Kashmir, terrorism, naxalism will be found before 2022 Rajnath

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Solution to the Kashmir problem, terrorism, naxalism, northeast insurgency will be found before 2022, said Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Addressing ‘Sankalp se Siddhi – New India Movement (2017-2022) Naye Bharat kaa nirmaan’, here on Friday, Rajnath said that country is facing problems of terrorism, naxalism, Kashmir problem and northeast insurgency but a solution to these problems will be found before 2022 as Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government has pledged to make a new India by 2022. ?There are a lot of problems like terrorism, naxalism, Kashmir problem and northeast insurgency. There is no need to tell you much about all these problems. But, I want to assure you that if we (Government) has adopted a resolution for a new India by 2022 then I want to assure countrymen that a solution to all these problems will be found before 2022,? Rajnath asserted. The Union Home Minister?s assertion comes in the backdrop of the National Investigation Agency?s (NIA?s) crackdown on Kashmiri separatists. The NIA visited Srinagar in May to probe the alleged funding by Pakistan for illegal activities in Kashmir, and questioned several Separatist leaders on the issue of raising, collecting and transferring funds via the Hawala route and other channels to fund terror activities in Kashmir. On July 24, the NIA arrested seven separatists over money laundering charges, for funding terror in the Kashmir Valley. All seven separatist leaders – Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate – were later sent to 10-day NIA custody. The accused have been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. On Friday, one Zahoor Ahmad Watali, a close aide of Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, was sent to 10-day NIA remand in connection with the terror funding case. According to a NIA source, Watali used to get the money through Dubai, Pakistan and even Pakistan High commission in India and worked as a conduit for separatists from more than 10 years. The NIA source added that Naseem Geelani, son of Syed Ali Shah Gilani, also received money from Pakistan and Dubai for terror funding. Another Kashmiri separatist Kashmiri separatist Shabir Shah is under Enforcement Directorate (ED) net. On August 9, Shah was sent to a 14-day judicial custody by a court here in a decade-old case of money laundering for alleged terror-financing.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

US move to blacklist Hizbul Mujahideen ‘unjustified’, says Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan was “disappointed” with the US decision to designate the Kashmiri militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist organisation and the move was “unjustified,” the Foreign Office said today. The US yesterday designated the Hizbul Mujahideen as a foreign terrorist group, nearly two months after declaring its Pakistan-based chief Syed Salahuddin as a global terrorist. “Declaring organisations or groups supporting freedom struggle in Kashmir as terrorist outfits is completely unjustified,” Foreign Office Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said during his weekly press conference here. He said the US decision did not take into account “the 70-year struggle of Kashmiris.” “We are disappointed (with the US decision) in view of the fact that Kashmir is an internationally recognized dispute,” he said. He reiterated Pakistan’s “moral, diplomatic and political support to Kashmiri people’s struggle”. Formed in 1989, Hizbul Mujahideen is one of the largest and oldest militant groups operating in Kashmir. Hizbul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

I am 70: The shopkeeper who lived through Kashmir’s wars

Mohammad Younus Butt, the grocery store owner who has lived through peace and conflict in Kashmir.

Woman’s video raising patriotic slogans in Lal Chowk goes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A video of a woman raising “Bharat Mata ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram” slogans on Independence Day in Srinagar’s Lal Chowk has gone viral on social media. In the 45-second video clip, Sunita Arora, is purportedly seen raising slogans in the heart of the city, where over 200 activists of BJP’s youth wing, who wanted to hoist the national flag at Lal Chowk, were detained yesterday as a precautionary measure. Arora, a Kashmiri Pandit, said she wanted to convey a message to the “misguided youth” to return to the mainstream. Arora, after returning here from Srinagar, said she felt proud chanting slogans while being encircled by policemen near the historic clock tower in Lal Chowk and faced 20 security check points to reach the spot with “the national flag hidden in my purse”. The woman claimed she crossed almost two dozen security points on foot, pretending that she was out for a “morning walk” and extended greetings to senior officers en route to Lal Chowk, where she unfurled the tricolour. The video of Arora’s act has garnered huge viewership on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter with thousands of people ‘liking’, ‘sharing’ and ‘retweeting’ it.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM Modi has created environment of hatred and anger in Kashmir: Rahul Gandhi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked Narendra Modi saying, the Prime Minister has created an environment of hatred and anger in Kashmir.”Modi’s policy has created space in Jammu and Kashmir for Pakistan to misbehave,” said Rahul Gandhi addressing a public rally in Bengaluru.The Congress leader also said that the Prime Minister represents spirit of people of India and it is time for Narendra Modi to start ‘acting and operating’ like a PM.Rahul Gandhi’s remark came a day after Narendra Modi reached out to strife-hit Kashmiris in his Independence Day address saying, bullets or abuses will not help resolve their problems and a change can take place by embracing all Kashmiris.”Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se… samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (problems of Kashmir cannot be addressed by either bullets or by abuses. The change can come by embracing all Kashmiris).”He said only a handful of separatists were resorting to different tactics to create problems in the state but the government is committed to making Kashmir a paradise once again.Modi said not only the Jammu and Kashmir government but the entire country is with the people of the state in helping them realise their dreams of development.He also said the government is committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and again make it the ‘heaven on earth’s.

Sena takes dig at PM’s I-Day address

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address, the Shiv Sena today dared the Centre to abolish the Article 370 of the Constitution so that people from across the nation can “visit Kashmir and embrace its people.” Modi, in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red fort yesterday, said, “Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir problem cannot be resolved by either bullets or by abuses. It can be resolved by embracing Kashmiris).” Reacting to it in a sarcasting tone, an editorial in the Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamana’ today said, “Why nobody got this great thought before is very surprising.” “Now to bring this thought into practice, abolish Article 370 of the Constitution so that hoards of people from across the country can go there (Kashmir) and embrace its people,” the editorial said. The Sena also said that violence in “the name of faith is prevalent in the country”, which frightens not only Muslims but the Hindus as well. “Some segments of the Hindu community have become violent and extremists in the name of cow protection. Merely warning them will not be enough,” said the party, which is part of the BJP-led alliance governments at the Centre and in Maharashtra. The Sena further questioned why the government was not as strict against those who refuse to sing ‘Vande Mataram’ as the way it implemented demonetisation and GST. The prime minister had promised to bring back black money from foreign banks and deposit Rs 15 lakh in each person’s account, it said, adding, “We believe this will be done in the next two years.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

It was just a regular day at JNU

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As India celebrated its 71st Independence Day, the students at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had no special celebrations at the University. Since last year, JNU has been under scanner when a group of students allegedly shouted anti-national slogans, but the students are of the view that they need not organise programmes to show their patriotism.Deep Bagchi, a student of School of Physical Sciences, said that there are no special celebrations to mark the day of Independence. “Independence Day is important to all Indians including us, but we need not organise special events to show our patriotism,” he said.Another student, Ramzan, hailing from Ladakh, said that just because they did not participate in the flag hoisting ceremony at the Vice Chancellor’s office, they cannot be called anti-nationalist.”We did not participate in the flag hoisting ceremony, does not make us anti-nationals; we were awake till late night and could not wake up at 6.30 am,” he said.The University bore a calm look with only a handful of students seen on the streets. However, as the day progressed more people were seen.Meanwhile, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had organised Dahi Handi Utsav at the campus. The event which is being organised from the past six years, had seven teams participating from the various hostels of the University and alumni of Sainik Schools from the country studying at JNU.According to the organisers, the event was a step to mobilise the youth and renew the culture which has been lost in the politics.”We can connect the event to history where freedom fighter Bal Gangdhar Tilak mobilised the youth during the struggle. This is also not a religious festival but an attempt to revive the sportsmanship spirit in the youth which has been lost due to politics,” ABVP leader Umesh Kumar said.Saurabh Sharma, another ABVP leader said that the Left should also organise such festivals.”We have seen the Left organising events for Eid and other festivals but no celebrations are held for Hindu festivals. I believe festivals are fun and we should participate in its celebrations ,” he said.The varsity has always been on the brink of controversies.On 9 February 2016, students of (JNU) held a protest on their campus against the capital punishment meted out to the 2001 Indian Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, and Kashmiri separatist Maqbool Bhat.The event was followed by clashes between the student groups with anti-national slogans allegedly being raised during the protest.

Kashmir issue can be resolved by embracing Kashmiris- PM Modi

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said that Kashmir issue can?t be resolved with bullets and abuses but by embracing Kashmiris. He was addressing the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on the occasion of 71st Independence Day after unfurling the tri-colour. ?The Kashmir issue can?t be resolved with bullets and abuses but it would be resolved by embracing Kashmiris,? PM Modi said. His assertion was aimed at connecting chords with the common Kashmiris at a time when there is continued unrest in Kashmir Valley, security forces have been offensive against terrorists and there is a crackdown on the Kashmiri separatists. Last month, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested seven Kashmiri separatists – Altaf Shah, Ayaz Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Mehraj Kalwal, Shahid-ul-Islam, Naeem Khan and Bitta Karate for funding terror in the Kashmir Valley. The Prime Minister said that ?we have to work for the progress of Jammu and Kashmir and we are committed to restoring Kashmir?s status of Heaven on Earth?. It is for the first time that PM Modi?s party- Bharatiya Janata Party- is a part of Jammu and Kashmir Government which is headed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti. PM Modi also sent a strong message against terrorism and said there is no question of being soft on terrorists and terrorism will be dealt with iron fist. The Prime Minister said India is fighting the menace of terrorism jointly with the global community. Jammu and Kashmir has been in the grip of terror since 1980s and the bloodshed has claimed lakhs of lives of civilians and security forces. Kashmir Valley has been witnessing unrest since last year when the security forces gunned down terror outfit Hijbul-Mujahideen?s poster boy Burhan Wani in an encounter. While on the one hand, security forces have managed to kill top terrorists in Kashmir Valley and their morale is high, and on the other hand terrorists are also desperate to have their presence felt. Not only Burhan Wani, the security forces also managed to eliminate his successor Sabzar Bhat on May 26, 2017. Amidst the sporadic terror incidents in the Kashmir Valley, the terrorists also managed to attack highly secured annual Amarnath Yatra on July 10 and killed 8 pilgrims. PM Modi also mentioned 2016 surgical strike in his speech and said that when India conducted surgical strikes then the world acknowledged our might. India on September 29, 2016, announced conducting surgical strike against militant launch pads across the Line of Control in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). The surgical strikes were conducted to avenge September 18, 2016 Uri terror attack in which four heavily armed terrorists had killed 19 soldiers. It was reported as “the deadliest attack on security forces in Kashmir in two decades”.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Article 35A likely to be heard by five-judge bench

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday indicated that matters challenging the validity of Article 35A is an issue that should be decided by a five-judge bench.Justices Dipak Misra and AM Khanwilkar then tagged a matter that highlighted the gender inequality in Article 35A to other matters that are already being heard by a bench led by the Chief Justice of India.After six weeks, the apex court will finally decide whether this issue, along with the challenge to the constitutional validity of Article 35A under Article 370, should be heard by a five-judge bench.The apex court’s observations were made in response to a petition filed by a Kashmiri woman Dr Charu Wali Khanna, who married outside her caste and has settled outside the state of Jammu & Kashmir.Meanwhile, records related to inserting Article 35 A in the Constitution in 1954 through a Presidential order are not traceable in the Ministry of Home Affairs, government sources said.The Home Ministry has not filed an affidavit in SC but sources say at some point it will take a stand on the contentious issue. J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti was in Delhi last week rallying support from the BJP — her ally in the state government.

Geelani’s son-in-law, 3 others sent to judicial custody

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four Kashmiri separatists, including the son-in-law of Hurriyat leader SAS Geelani, were sent to judicial custody today by a Delhi court in a terror funding case. Duty magistrate Pankaj Sharma sent Geelani’s son-in-law Altaf Ahmed Shah, popularly known as Altaf Fantoosh, Peer Saifullah, Mehrajuddin Kalwal and Nayeem Khan to jail for 14 days. The court’s order came after the NIA submitted that they were not required for further interrogation. The agency had arrested seven persons on July 24 in the case of alleged funding of terror and subversive activities in the Kashmir Valley to fuel unrest. The other three separatist leaders — Shahid-ul-Islam, Farooq Ahmed Dar and Mohamad Akbar Khanday — were sent to the judicial custody till September 1. The money was being raised to fund separatist and terror activities in restive Jammu and Kashmir, NIA had alleged, claiming that the accused were waging war against the country and were involved in various offences punishable under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. It had also alleged that the accused were involved in creating unrest by way of anti-India demonstrations and bandhs, which were done on their and others’ instructions. Shah was in the custody of Jammu and Kashmir Police, which had put him under preventive detention immediately after Eid last month. Geelani’s close aides, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar and Peer Saifullah, were arrested by the NIA from the Valley.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmiri Pandit cop embodies hope in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the valley of death, a Kashmiri Pandit cop embodies hope!Superintendent of Police, Manoj Kumar Pandita aka Manoj Sheeri has embarked on a mission to spread the message of communal amity and build reconciliation between two estranged communities — Pandits and Muslims — through his writings in Urdu and Kashmiri.After Khushbuay Kashmir (Fragrance of Kashmir), a compilation of short stories in Urdu, Manoj Sheeri is all set to release his collection of Urdu dramas ‘Bikharay Bichaday’ (Scattered Separation) in Kashmir.The 51-year-old, who has been witness to killings of his relatives and neighbours during the painful migration, has chosen Urdu to communicate with the people to build an atmosphere of reconciliation and spread communal amity.“When I released Khushbuay Kashmir, it was liked by everyone. There was an overwhelming response to the book. It delved deep into the human relationship and highlighted our happiness, sadness, pain and trauma. There were rave reviews of the book,” Manoj Pandita, who writes by his penname Manoj Sheeri, told DNA.Sheeri is a small village in Baramulla district where Manoj was born to a family of farmers and orchardists. After completing his degree from Government Degree College Baramulla, Manoj went to Jammu to pursue his masters in journalism.Soon after, he joined an English newspaper in Jammu before he cracked Indian Information Services in 1994. Luck however had other things in store for him as he cracked Kashmir Administrative Service exam in 2001 and was allotted police cadre.URDU HIS FIRST LOVEThe subtext of Manoj’s works is to spread communal harmony and reconciliation.
His Urdu dramas revolve around relationships and social milieu of Kashmir.

Not a single person who mastered Yoga ever became a terrorist : Baba Ramdev

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yoga guru Ramdev today said his consumer products company is in the process of acquiring land in Jammu and Kashmir to set up a unit there and would also offer jobs to youth in the state.Speaking on terrorism in the country, Ramdev said, “Any one who masters the art of Yoga can never become a terrorist”. Not a single person who mastered Yoga ever became a terrorist in history”.Replying to questions on violence in the Kashmir Valley, he said children should be taught good things about all religions as it will bring harmony among religions. “I believe Yoga can cure the thought process of those creating menace in the valley,” he said while speaking at the the India TV conclave.Ramdev said Patanjali is in the process of acquiring 150 acres of land in Jammu and Kashmir, and would be offering jobs to Kashmiri youth. He also called for boycott of Chinese goods, saying that India is ready to counter China on every front. “Even the idols of our gods are imported from China. As Indians, we should boycott Chinese products for the reason that it (China) supports Pakistan,” he added.The Yoga exponent, known for his airing his political views, said India should take back Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and support Balochistan’s movement for independence.

Centre working towards a permanent solution to Kashmir issue: Rajnath Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh today said the incidents of stone pelting in Kashmir Valley had declined and that the Centre was working towards a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue.Singh also lauded the Jammu and Kashmir Police’s efforts in curbing terrorism and added that the state government had not posed any obstruction in the fight against terrorism.”…whatever steps we are now taking in Kashmir is towards a permanent solution of the issue. I will not like to clarify much, and it would not be proper too. Kashmir should maintain its identity,” Singh said while replying to questions on the Kashmir issue at an event organised by India TV.There has been a decline in incidents of stone pelting in the valley, but the government is “not satisfied with this and stone pelting must stop altogether”, a statement quoted him as saying.”We have to provide jobs to Kashmiri youths,” he added.Speaking on the return of Kashmiri Pandits to the valley, the minister said various steps were taken during the tenure of the late chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and that land was earmarked for their stay in the valley.”At that time it was decided that a certain percentage of people from other communities would also be settled with them.But conditions have changed thereafter for the worse, and the implementation is getting delayed. I cannot say that this will happen in a year or six months. It cannot be done in a hurry,” he said.Singh retreated the government’s stand that talks with Pakistan would resume only after it stopped the use of its soil for terror activities against India

Two Indian soldiers, three militants killed in gunfight in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Indian soldiers and three militants were killed in a 12-hour gunfight in South Kashmir’s Shopian district, a top police official said on Sunday. The gunfight began on Saturday night when militants hiding inside a village opened fire on security forces, who were conducting a search in the area following a tip-off about the presence of three members of Hizbul Mujahideen – the largest of the anti-Indian Kashmiri militant groups. The gun battle went on until Sunday morning. “Three terrorists were killed in the encounter,” S.P. Vaid, director general of the state police, told reporters. “We lost two officers and three army personnel were injured.” Indian security forces have launched a massive offensive against militants, killing 135 of them this year. Nearly 150 militants were killed last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Court sends Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah to JC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court today sent to 14-day judicial custody Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah, who was arrested in a decade-old money laundering case for alleged terror financing. Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma sent the accused to jail after the Enforcement Directorate (ED) submitted that he was not required for further custodial interrogation. Earlier, on August 3 the court had allowed the ED custody of Shah after the agency alleged that he was “ruining” the country by using money to fund terror. Shah was arrested by the ED a day after several Hurriyat leaders were taken into custody of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in a case of alleged terror funding in the Valley to fuel unrest. He was taken into custody in the August 2005 case in which the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35), an alleged hawala dealer who is currently in ED custody, claiming that Rs 63 lakh was recovered from Wani out of which Rs 52 lakh was allegedly to be delivered to Shah. The agency had earlier issued summonses to Shah in the case, the prosecution had said, adding that Wani had claimed that he had given Rs 2.25 crore to Shah. Investigating agencies like the NIA have cracked down on Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law — Altaf Ahmed Shah, also known as Altaf Fantoosh — and six other Kashmiri separatists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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

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

This is not TV studio: Judge tells lawyer who asked J&K separatist leader to chant Bharat Mata ki jai

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Delhi court snubbed today an overenthusiastic prosecutor for the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for asking Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Shah to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ to prove his patriotism, saying it was not a television studio.Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma chided the lawyer for his remark and later allowed the ED’s plea for extension by six days sixty-four-year-old Shah’s custodial interrogation in a decade-old money laundering case.The ED’s counsel Rajeev Awasthi alleged that Shah was ruining the country by using money to fund terror and breached the line by daring the separatist leader to chant ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ to prove his patriotism.However, an anguished judge stopped him, warning that the courtroom was not a “television studio.””Argue on the merits of the case,” said the judge.During the proceedings, the ED submitted that foreign funds were used for terror activities including stone pelting on the security agencies in the Valley.The agency told the court that the source of funding of properties of Shah, worth hundreds of crores of rupees, had to be unearthed.The prosecutor told the court that Shah, arrested on July 25 in the money laundering, was “totally non-cooperative” during his questioning by the ED.Advocate M S Khan, appearing for Shah, however, alleged that his client was being pressured and compelled to give various statements during his custody by ED officials.He opposed the submission made by the agency, saying that it was not revealing the complete facts before the court.The agency said there was a need to probe a lot of cash transactions which were used for terror activities and stone pelting causing huge inconvenience in the Valley.The ED said it was ascertaining Shah’s role in “anti- national activities” as well as the terror funding through ‘hawala’ channels from countries like Pakistan, the UAE and the UK.It told the court that the separatist leader was in continuous contact with anti-national elements, besides terrorists in Pakistan, and received money for “disrupting the peace of Jammu and Kashmir”.It also said that Shah’s associates were to be confronted with him and the “international ramification” of financial involvement was to be unearthed.The ED’s application, seeking seven days’ custody, also said that during interrogation Shah revealed that he was obtaining donations for the Kashmir issue in cash for which he was not filing any income tax returns.The records relating to the donations were to be recovered and the accused had to be confronted with them, the agency said.Shah was arrested by the ED a day after several Hurriyat leaders were taken into custody of the National Investigating Agency (NIA) in a case of alleged terror funding in the Valley to fuel unrest.He was taken into custody in the August 2005 case in which the Special Cell of Delhi Police had arrested Mohammed Aslam Wani (35), an alleged hawala dealer, claiming that Rs 63 lakh was recovered from Wani out of which Rs 52 lakh was allegedly to be delivered to Shah.The agency had earlier issued summonses to Shah in the case, the prosecution had said, adding that Wani had claimed that he had given Rs 2.25 crore to Shah.Investigating agencies like the NIA have cracked down on Hurriyat leaders like Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s son-in-law — Altaf Ahmed Shah, also known as Altaf Fantoosh — and six other Kashmiri separatists.

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

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

Kashmiri woman challenges state’s "discriminatory" property law

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>By Rina Chandran MUMBAI, July 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A woman from India’s Jammu and Kashmir state is challenging a contentious law that denies women the right to own property in the state if she is married to someone from outside the state, saying it is discriminatory and violates her citizenship rights. The petition by Charu WaliKhanna, a Kashmiri Hindu belonging to the Pandit community, questions the validity of an article of the constitution that grants permanent residents in Kashmir special rights and privileges. Those who are not permanent residents do not have the right to buy property in Kashmir, work for the state government or vote in local elections. Kashmiri women who are permanent residents lose the right to own property in the state if they marry residents of other states; their children also lose their claim over the property. But a Kashmiri man who is a permanent resident can own property and bequeath his property to his children even if he is married to a woman who is not a permanent resident. “The law is creating a situation of discrimination and deprivation for Kashmiri women in their own state,” WaliKhanna said. “It questions my identity as a Kashmiri and denies me my right as an Indian citizen and an Indian woman,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The Supreme Court last week asked the central government to respond to the petition on Aug. 14. WaliKhanna, whose family fled the state some decades ago, has visited several times for holidays, she said. She looked into buying a home there a couple of years back. But officials said she could not because she is not a permanent resident, and that even if she were able to prove her Kashmiri ancestry, her marriage to a non-Kashmiri makes her ineligible. A lawyer herself, WaliKhanna said she decided to file the petition because the article, passed by a presidential order in 1954, runs counter to India’s inheritance laws giving women equal rights, and the constitutional right to equality. She is joined in her petition by a Kashmiri woman who is a permanent resident and was married to a non-resident. Her husband has died, but she is still denied the right to own property. Only a few thousand Kashmiri Hindus, mostly Pandits, still live in Muslim-majority Kashmir. Thousands of families fled the decades-long violence, leaving behind their homes and lands. Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday defended the laws of the state, saying any change would not be acceptable. “As a lawyer and as a woman, I find it abhorrent that this article still stands,” WaliKhanna said. “And that the state is using it to deny me the right to buy a home in the land of my ancestors.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmiris queue up to become proud Indian Army officers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Terrorists might have killed 22 year-old Army officer Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz, but they could not kill the spirit and zeal of thousands of Kashmiri youth who lined up to join the Army to serve the motherland on Sunday.More than 3,000 youths from Jammu and Kashmir appeared for the written exam for the selection of officers in the Territorial Army. Of whom, more than 800 youth hailed from the restive Kashmir valley alone, a figure which is almost double than the previous year.The exam was conducted at Srinagar and Udhampur and youth were bubbling with zeal to join the Indian Army and serve the nation.”Territorial Army, known as the Citizen’s Army, is a platform through which any Indian employed citizen can enroll and render service towards the nation. To get selected as an officer, the individual needs to clear a written exam followed by an interview,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Northern Command Headquarters.The youth of Jammu and Kashmir, Colonel Joshi said, have come forward and shown their willingness to join the Territorial Army and dedicate themselves for the selfless service to the nation.The extraordinary rush to join the army has come at a time when Kashmir is still reeling under the shock killing of Lieutenant Ummer Fayaz.The 22-year-old army officer of Rajputana Riffles was killed after terrorists abducted him from the residence of his maternal uncle in Batpora village of Shopian where he had gone to attend the marriage of his cousin sister on May 10.Lieutenant Ummer’s sacrifice seems to have reinvigorated a zeal among the youth to join the Army. On May 28, 1,292 candidates appeared in the written examination for Selection of Junior Commissioned Officers and other Ranks was held in Srinagar and Pattan. These candidates were shortlisted in 19,000 aspirants who had applied for different army posts when the recruitment drive started in April this year.”There is a lot of interest among the boys (of Kashmir to join the forces). If we continue with such endeavor, we can guide Kashmiri youth on the right path,” said an officer.

Army dogs lend a helping hand in war on terror

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>When Mansi, a four-year-old Labrador was awarded the gallantry award in 2016, she became the first canine in the history of Indian Army to earn the war honour posthumously.Mansi and her Kashmiri master Bashir Ahmed War of the Territorial Army (TA) made a supreme sacrifice while gallantly fighting a group of heavily armed infiltrators in the high altitude area along the line of control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector in August 2015.On the eve of Independence Day in 2016, Mansi was honored with the ‘Mention of Dispatches’ certificate and her name will appear in the Gazette of India for making supreme sacrifice for the nation. War, her handler and a resident of Kupwara, was also posthumously awarded the Sena Medal posthumously.Mansi’s bravery is just the tip of the iceberg in Jammu and Kashmir where dogs are the unsung heroes in the war against terror. From helping army to eliminate dreaded militants to detecting explosives, the canines have won many battle honours ranging from the chief of army staff commendation cards to general officer commanding commendation cards in the restive state.Take Derby, the six-year-old Labrador, averted a major tragedy when she detected five kilogram pressure cooker Improvised Explosive Device on Pantha Chowk-Nowgam highway in March 2015.In fact dogs are the force multipliers in the counter insurgency grid of J&K and play a crucial role in anti militancy operations, usually posted with infantry units.”We have two breeds; Labrador and German shepherd. Labradors are tracker dogs and are not lethal. German shepherds are mostly guard dogs posted in different units for perimeter security. They can be lethal as they are capable of attacking. However they attack only when their handler gives them the command”, said a commanding officer of the dog unit.Like soldiers, dogs too have to go through a gruelling training before it is posted with any of the units including obedience training and later a 36 week specialised training.DOING THEIR BITDogs attached with different counter insurgency units have varied responsibilities in J&K.
Trekker dogs are meant for helping troops in anti-insurgency ops, guard dogs are responsible for guarding garrisons during nights.
Explosive detection dogs and infantry patrol dogs help in detection of bombs and IEDs.

Either Mehbooba hasn’t bothered to look at GST Bill or she is trying to befool Kashmiris: Farooq Abdullah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Opposition NC president Farooq Abdullah today criticised Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s pitch for GST exemption to Jammu and Kashmir’s handicraft, dry fruits, and tourism industries.Abdullah said Mehbooba’s meeting with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was an attempt to hoodwink the Kashmiri people.”Either Mehbooba Mufti had not even bothered to look at GST Bill before giving it a go-ahead in the state Cabinet or she is clearly trying to befool Kashmiris. Asking for GST exemption now after passing the bill is mere drama,” Abdullah, Lok Sabha member from Srinagar constituency, said at a workers’ meeting at Ganderbal.The former chief minister said it was beyond comprehension that a bill just passed by her government needs her to engage in parleys now.When the whole state particularly the trading fraternity was worried that GST would not augur well with small and medium scale industries in the state, Mufti was the biggest proponent of the law, Abdullah said.He expressed dismay over what he called a “deaf and blind government” ignorant to the needs and aspirations of the trader community in particular and people in general.”Which chief minister will bat for GST one day and the next day come out and say ‘We are at loss because of GST?'” he asked.He said the conduct of the PDP-BJP alliance has always been incoherent and confusing.”They run around like headless chickens and the state is suffering because of Mehbooba Mufti’s inept handling of the CM’s office and her Cabinet,” he said.Reiterating his stance on resumption of the dialogue process between India and Pakistan, Abdullah said, until and unless Kashmir issue is resolved, there would be no peace in the state.”I appeal to both the countries to understand the gravity of the situation and initiate dialogue process immediately.And in that process all the stakeholders in the state must be taken on board,” he said. He said the central government must follow the policies of ex-PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee who was a strong votary of dialogue.”It was he who said that friends can be changed but not your neighbors, in direct reference to Pakistan,” Abdullah said.

Macchil encounter: Justification for granting bail scary, says

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah today termed as “unbelievably scary” the “justification” for the Armed Forces Tribunal decision’s to grant bail to five army personnel convicted in the 2010 Macchil fake encounter case. The Armed Forces Tribunal suspended the life sentence awarded to the Army personnel, including two officers, for allegedly staging the killing of three Kashmiri men in Macchil and granted them bail. “They wore Pathan suits, which are worn by terrorists… What an unbelievably scary justification. You can be killed for what you wear!” Abdullah wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter. He was reacting to a media report that claimed the tribunal had suspended their sentence and granted them bail on the grounds that the victims of the encounter were wearing Pathan suits which are worn by terrorists. The five army personnel had approached the tribunal challenging the punishment given to them following court martial proceedings in 2014. The encounter of the three civilians on the intervening night of April 29 and 30 in 2010 in Macchil sector had triggered widespread outrage and violence in the state.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

End of 5-year old battle brings joy on faces of nearly 200 KP

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The end of a five-year-long legal battle between a group of Kashmiri Pandit job aspirants and the state government has brought joy on the faces of nearly 200 such youths after the latter approved their appointments. The KP job seekers hailed the decision as a “victory for justice” and patted Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for it. “We are very thankful to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for keeping her word and approving our appointment in accordance with the High Court ruling of 2015,” president of the unemployed petitioners forum (UPF) Rahul Kachroo told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

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