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Indian Army plans to use camels to patrol LAC in Ladakh

In view of the Chinese aggression along the Sino-India border, the Indian Army is planning to use both double-humped and single-humped camels along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh on a pilot basis. If the pilot project is a success, camels will be used by the military in the region and in terrains between the altitude of 12,000 and 15,500 feet, a Times of India report said. Under the project, these animals will be trained to patrol and carry heavy loads of ammunition and other supplies. Indian Army traditionally uses mules and ponies in the region which have capacity to carry about 40 kg of load. In comparison, the double-humped (Bactrian) camels can carry between 180-220kg load and can cover a distance of 10 to 15 km within two hours.The Army has already got four single-humped (dromedary) camels to Ladakh from the National Research Centre on Camel in Bikaner.Also readPost Dokalam stand-off, China’s ties with India still fragile, says Global Times op-edThe project is being introduced as part of a measure to check intrusion, months after the Doklam standoff near the Sikkim-Tibet-Bhutan trijunction. The Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR), a unit of of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Leh, has already started research on the load-carrying capacity of the Bactrian camels. The DIHAR will assess how the camels can be trained for carrying load in such harsh topography and weather conditions.Also readPost Doklam stand-off, SSB increases presence on India-Bhutan border”The Bactrian camels were inducted at DIHAR in February 2017 for a pilot study on their suitability for border patrolling, load-carrying ability, training, and devise management practices, considering conditions in high altitude.” the DIHAR director was quoted as saying by the daily. In India, double-humped camels are only found in Ladakh’s Nubra Valley and their number ranges around 200.

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40-day harsh winter period starts in Kashmir Valley with fresh snowfall

Chillai-Kalan — the 40-day harshest winter period in Kashmir – started today on a wet note as the higher reaches of the valley received fresh snowfall while the plains were lashed by rains.Fresh snowfall was recorded at the twin resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam during the night as Chillai-Kalan marked its beginning in Kashmir, an official of the MET department here said.He said while Gulmarg recorded 1.8 cm of snow, Pahalgam received nine cms of fresh snowfall last night.Many other areas in the higher reaches of the valley also received fresh snowfall, the official said.He said Srinagar and other areas in the plains of the valley were lashed by rains and owing to cloud cover, the night temperature increased across Kashmir division, including Ladakh region.Also readSnowfall brings cheer to KashmirSrinagar recorded a low of 3.1 degrees Celsius last night, an increase from 2.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.He said the mercury in Qazigund in south Kashmir settled at a low of 2.6 degrees Celsius nearly two degrees up from 0.8 degree Celsius, while Kokernag town recorded a low of 1.9 degrees Celsius.Also readJ&K: Army recovers body of one of the five missing soldiers in snow avalancheKupwara town in north Kashmir registered a low of 2.2 degrees Celsius compared to 1.3 degrees Celsius the previous night, the official said.He said Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius last night compared to the previous night’s minus 5.2 degrees Celsius.The resort was the only place in the valley where the night temperature settled below the freezing point.The night temperature in Pahalgam rose from minus 0.1 degree Celsius to 0.3 degree Celsius, the official said.Leh town of Ladakh region recorded a low of minus 9.2 degrees Celsius last night – over a degree up from previous night’s minus 10.5 degrees Celsius, he said.The nearby Kargil town registered a low of minus 6.2 degrees Celsius, he said.The MET office has forecast isolated downpour in the valley over the next 24 hours.Chillai-Kalan is the period when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum and the temperature drops considerably.It ends on January 31 next year, but the cold wave continues even after that in the valley.The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long Chillai- Khurd (small cold) and a 10-day long Chillai-Bachha (baby cold).

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Three Army jawans missing after heavy snowfall in Kashmir

Three army jawans went missing at Mani Post Bagtoor Gurez sector of Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Bandipora district due to snow avalanche.They went missing after the night temperature at most places in Kashmir division, including Ladakh, dropped last night.Pir Panjal range in Rajouri and Srinagar continued to receive season’s first snowfall, while the Mughal road and the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway has been closed for traffic due to snowfall in the region.Meanwhile, Solang valley in Manali of Himachal Pradesh also received fresh snowfall.The Met Department had earlier said that a western disturbance would affect the state from December 11.

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To live and pray

Ladakh, a stunning Himalayan region in India, is home to 28 Buddhist nunneries – this is one of them.

J&K parleys: RSS makes wishlist clear

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The RSS had made its wishlist clear for what it expects from newly-appointed Jammu and Kashmir interlocutor Dineshwar Sharma. No preference to separatist elements and equal weight for the public opinion of all the regions of the state, not just the Valley, are at the heart of the rightwing thinking.Chief RSS affiliate working in Kashmir, Jammu Kashmir Study Circle (JKSC), told DNA that the interlocutor needed to approach the people of the state as a “common man himself” and not be overwhelmed with the separatist narrative that is “current in just five districts of the Valley”.JKSC believes that former spymaster Sharma must not give any preferential treatment to the Hurriyat leaders. “We are not saying that Hurriyat leaders must not be talked with. But, they must not be given any preference over others or they must not be considered as the sole voice of Kashmir. If they wish they can approach the interlocutor and express their views, but Sharma must not invite them especially,” said JKSC media director Abha Khanna.”Hurriyat has lost the trust and support of the people and that needs to be made clear,” Khanna said. “Sharma must ask them why their children have not been throwing stones, and are the legatees of state patronage in the form of government jobs and properties across the country.”Khanna also told DNA that there were such nascent yet powerful and numerically dominant sections among the common people of the state who want to come to the mainstream and yet were unable to sound their views due to threat perception from the separatists.”Anybody who wants to get a real sense of Kashmir, they must go as a non-entity, not as a journalist and not as a bureaucrat or as a politician. One should go like a tourist and go around and about on the day of a bandh call by the separatists. Then you shall see that life goes normally without being effected, only some shop shutters will be seen closed. That is the real Kashmir,” Khanna said.”There is a growing civil society in the state which so far has not been allowed to grow. It is nascent, but numerically powerful and must be taken into consideration by the interlocutor. They have not been able to come in the public realm openly due to the fear psychosis created by the separatists. They must be reached out to because they shall not be able to dare to approach Sharma on their own,” the JKSC director said. “Some such groups are women or villagers whose problems are civic and not separatism.”Moreover, the RSS-backed body wants an end to the dehyphenation of the Valley from the other regions of the state such as Kargil and Ladakh. “The state is diverse; the people of Kargil or Doda or Ladakh or Jammu are equal to those in the Valley. Why should their voice not command equal weight,” Khanna added.Meanwhile, Sharma would be back in the Valley on November 26. He would be visiting Mufti’s constituency and south Kashmir.

RSS gives another shot to end ‘separatist’ narrative in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has made yet another attempt to expand the dialogue on Kashmir and end the “separatist narrative” that identifies the state with just the Valley as an affiliated body would be celebrating the birth centenary of the best known Buddhist lama of Ladakh Kushok Bakula Rinpoche.The RSS has always maintained that the mainstream narrative regarding Kashmir was exclusivist, having over-emphasised the significance of the Valley, while not giving due pride of place, political as well as social, to the other regions of the state, such as Kargil and Ladakh, which constitute majority of the state. Such, narrative, RSS believes gives more say to the separatists voices. The move attains political significance as the Centre had recently appointed former top spy Dineshwar Sharma as interlocutor in Kashmir.RSS’ primary affiliate working in Kashmir, Jammu Kashmir Study Centre (JKSC), in association with Himalayan Sanskriti Sanrakshan Sabha would be celebrating the 100th birth anniversary of 19th Kushok Bakula Rinpoche on November 23.According to JKSC functionaries, while Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan would inaugurate the event, RSS leader Suresh Soni would be the chief guest on the occasion. What lends more weight to the commemoration is the representation of the state, most probably by deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh.”Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan will be inaugurating the centenary celebrations of Buddhist saint Kushok Bakula. The 19th Kushok Bakula is recognized by the 13th Dalai Lama as a direct disciple of Gautam Buddha and is popularly considered as the architect of modern Ladakh, the largest region of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Kushok Bakula Lobzang Thupten Chognor is considered as GOD figure in Ladakh, Russia, Tibet and Mongolia because of his social and spiritual contributions,” said Abha Khanna, JKSC’s Director (Media).The acclaimed Buddhist saint was also a statesman and diplomat. He was elected to the Parliament, and was deeply engaged with welfare, education and rights of Scheduled Castes and Tribes of India. In his later years, he became India’s Ambassador in Mongolia. In 2005, the Leh airport was renamed as the Kushok Bakula Airport.

Govt is with you always: Nirmala Sitharaman

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Spending Dussehra festival with the troops at Siachen and other forward locations in the Ladakh region, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday conveyed to them the government’s commitment to support them in all circumstances.During the visit, she also reviewed the security situation in the border region.Sitharaman, who is on a two-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir told the soldiers that the government is committed to spending time with the jawans and do whatever is possible for them.She also recalled to them the prime minister’s visit to Siachen in 2014 when he spent time with soldiers on Diwali and said the goverment wanted to understand the conditions in which the jawans live.”Jawans from different states, which have varied weather conditions, come and serve the nation in such high-altitudes and it is laudable. I assure you that the government is with you all the time and in all circumstances. We are not only sensitive to your needs and demands but also to those of your families,” Sitharaman said addressing the troops.She was accompanied by Chief of the Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D Anbu and GoC 14 Corps Lt Gen S K Upadhyay.The defence minister also inaugurated Pratham-Shyok bridge, first major construction on the Shyok Gong river, which will link Leh to Karakoram, providing connectivity on the strategically important Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Olde axis for military transport.She said it is nothing short of a miracle to construct roads and bridges in such a rough terrain and in such trying circumstances where even breathing is difficult and lauded the BRO and its men for working in difficult terrains and hostile conditions. She said that constructing roads and bridges in difficult terrains will help in development and progress of the nation and its people.WHAT DEF MIN SAIDJawans from different states, which have varied weather conditions, come and serve the nation in such high-altitudes and it is laudable. I assure you that the government is with you all the time and in all circumstances. We are sensitive to demands of your families as well

Nirmala Sitharaman meets J&K Guv, CM; security situation discussed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman today met Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra at the Raj Bhavan here and discussed the security situation in the state.An official spokesman said the meeting lasted an hour.Sitharaman was accompanied by Chief of Army Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat.”The governor and Sitharaman discussed several important inter-related issues concerning effective management of internal and external security, particularly in the context of increasing infiltration attempts, the ongoing anti-terrorist operations, and sustained terrorist attacks on security forces personnel in the Valley,” the spokesman said.At the meeting, the governor stressed the urgent need for enlargement of the Border Roads Organisation and strengthening of its resources for ensuring the maintenance of vital road networks and strategic connectivities in J&K, particularly in the Ladakh region.The governor also sought Sitharaman’s intervention for the return of certain pockets of land to the state government which were no longer required for military purposes.Sitharaman also met Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti here this evening.The two leaders discussed several issues related to the prevailing situation in the state.Mehbooba sought the intervention of the defence minister for the return of certain pockets of land in the state which are no longer required for operational purposes by the Army and about which consensus has already been arrived between state government and the Defence Ministry.Mehbooba also raised the issue of speeding up work on some important roads in the state being constructed by the BRO.She also pitched for the construction of tunnels at the Razdan pass on the Bandipore-Gurez road and the Sadhna pass on the Kupwara-Tanghdar road.The chief minister also proposed opening areas such as Battalik, Siachin base for tourist activities.Sitharaman assured Mehbooba to look into the issues raised by her in a time-bound manner, the spokesman said.

Missing Italian national found dead in Ladakh

After searching for five days, the Army was approached for help to locate the foreigner, identified as Karlos <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army rescuers have retrieved the body of the Italian national who had gone missing from Nimaling camp in the cold desert of Ladakh on September 17.An Army spokesman at Northern Command Headquarters said one of the five Italian nationals camping in Nimaling camp, around 30 kms from Karu, had gone missing from the camp on September 17.After searching for five days, the Army was approached for help to locate the foreigner, identified as Karlos. Army rescuers were immediately pressed into service and after two days of intense search the body of Italian national was recovered.”When he could not be traced, the Army was approached on September 22 to assist the search. Army carried out the search and recovered the body of Karlos on September 24. The body has been handed over to the police,” the spokesman said.

JK CM inaugurates satellite campuses of Kashmir univ at Leh,

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who is on a three-day visit to the Ladakh region, today inaugurated the Leh and Kargil satellite campuses of the University of Kashmir. The setting up of the satellite campuses at these places was a long-pending demand of the people of the region, given its inhospitable terrain, an official spokesman said. Both the campuses have adequate facilities for teaching and residing. At Kargil, the chief minister was informed that the satellite campus, built at a cost of Rs 29 crore, would have a student intake capacity of 150, initially in three subjects — Information Technology, Arabic and Botany. During her brief interaction with the students, Mehbooba announced that buses would be provided to ferry them from their areas to the campus. She also directed to introduce subjects such as Persian, Education and certain skill development courses. Later, the chief minister visited Leh on the second leg of her Ladakh tour, where she inaugurated the Leh satellite campus of the Kashmir University at Phyang. Built at a cost of Rs 27.40 crore, the Leh satellite campus is spread over an area of 41 hectares. It has separate buildings for classrooms, hostels, administration, arts and science streams. The chief minister directed to start undergraduate courses at the campus, which have a good demand in the job market, besides courses on regional development, ethnography, geology etc.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Prez presents Colours to Ladakh Scouts

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Ram Nath Kovind today presented Colours to all five battalions and the regimental centre of the Ladakh Scouts during his first official visit to Leh in Jammu and Kashmir. President Kovind said at the ceremony his Leh visit was also his first outside Delhi since he assumed office last month. “In his capacity as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, he dedicated the visit to the armed forces of the country,” Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Ashok Malik said in a statement. The Presentation of Colours from the President is in recognition of the regimental flag and to commend the regiment for courage displayed during conflicts. The President said it had been 54 years since the Ladakh Scouts became a part of the Indian Army. “This period has been replete with tales of heroism, honour and glory. The genesis of the Regiment was in the invasion by Pakistani raiders in 1947-48 and the resolve with which Ladakhis defended their motherland. This continues to remain a matter of pride for the entire country,” he said. Complimenting the Ladakh Scouts for 605 awards and honours for gallantry and distinguished services, the President said, “This speaks for the exceptional valour and spirit of the Regiment personnel and is a model for all soldiers and officers of our armed forces”. He pointed out it had earned distinction in various wars and operations and excelled in sports, adventure pursuits and professional challenges. The President said at the Colour Presentation Ceremony that he wished to pay homage to the martyrs of the Ladakh Scouts regiment. “Their blood and sacrifice secured our sovereignty, brought glory to our nation and protected our people from harm,” he said. He also congratulated all veterans and serving soldiers of the regiment for their adherence to duty and professional conduct. Ladakh Scouts was an affiliate of the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry till 1999. During the Kargil war, the Ladakh Scouts displayed exemplary courage after which the then Army Chief, General V P Malik, moved a proposal for establishing it as a separate regiment. The President also released a documentary film on Colonel Sonam Wangchuk, MVC, produced by Somesh Saha, and interacted with veterans and ‘Veer Naris’, besides gallantry awardees. Later, he laid the foundation stone for the Buddha Park for World Peace at Leh’s Mahabodhi International Meditation Centre, the statement said. Among the dignitaries present were Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawat.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Rajnath Singh confident of peaceful resolution of Indo-China deadlock over Doklam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday expressed confidence that the ongoing tiff between India and China over the tri-junction area of the Doklam sector near Bhutan will be resolved soon, and peace will be restored between the two neighbours. Addressing a gathering at the symbolic Pipping Ceremony Promotions of officers and personnel of the Indo Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) forces here, Rajnath stated that he is looking forward to a positive move from China, adding that the bilateral relations of India with its neighbours should involve solace, not struggle. ?We have healthy relations with other countries, and this has also been the focus of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We want peace, not struggle. I agree that there is a rift between India and China over the Doklam issue. I am sure that there will be a positive move from China, after which the matter will be resolved and peace will be restored,? said Rajnath. Lauding the jawans for their commitment towards maintaining national security, Rajnath, while narrating an incident from his meeting with them in Ladakh earlier, said their morale is so high that nobody would ?dare to raise eyes towards them?. ?When I went to Ladakh, I was meant to meet the ITBP jawans the following morning. The weather conditions were so extreme that I had never experienced such harsh cold. While I was expecting the jawans to be worn out and under the weather, their impeccable morale impressed me, and made me realise that with such a strong force, nobody would dare to raise eyes on them,? he said. Further instilling the nation?s faith in the forces, Rajnath assured that although there has been a delay in the promotions of some ITBP jawans, the matter will be cleared immediately, ensuring no such delay in the future. ?Promotions and persuasion are necessary to keep the morale of the jawans high. It is noteworthy, however, that in spite of a glitch in the same, the morale of these jawans has not dropped. Promotions should not be delayed at any cost,? he said. ?The Home Ministry has a proposal regarding the ITBP?s recruitment rules. I will ask the Home Secretary to clear this as soon as possible,? assured Rajnath. He also said the residential problems being faced by paramilitary forces are being deliberated upon and residential facilities will be increased in the near future. India and China have been witness to the stand-off for long over the tri-junction area of the Doklam sector. The stand-off emerged after the China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) construction party attempted to build a road near the Doklam area. Bhutan recognises Doklam as its area while China claims it as part of its Donglang region. Doka La is the Indian name for the region.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

President Kovind presents colours to Ladakh Scouts regiment

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> President Ram Nath Kovind presented “The President?s Colours” to Ladakh Scouts Regimental Centre and all five battalions of the regiment here on Monday. A ceremonial parade was conducted as per the highest military traditions of the Indian Army which was attended by a spectrum of civil and military dignitaries, including Jammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. Chief of The Army Staff General Bipin Rawat, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Northern Command, Lt. Gen. Devraj Anbu, General Officer Commanding 14 Corps, Lt. Gen. P. S. Pannu, besides a large number of serving and retired personnel witnessed the grand ceremony.Raised as Nubra Guards in 1948, amalgamated into the Indian Army as regular troops in 1963 and restructured as an infantry regiment in the year 2000 post Operation VIJAY, the Ladakh Scouts have carved a niche for themselves in the annals of history of the Indian Army. President Kovind complimented the Ladakh Scouts personnel for their outstanding performance in all spheres and their exceptional valour and sacrifice while upholding the sovereignty of the nation in the Ladakh region, especially in the Siachen Glacier. He appreciated the exceptional gallantry and indomitable courage displayed by the brave NUNNUS during all major wars and operations since independence which have earned them 605 gallantry and distinguished service awards besides,Battle Honours of Batalik and Turtuk, Theatre Honour Kargil and the coveted Chief of the Army Staff Banner for Valour and Sacrifice, making them one of the most decorated regiments of the Indian Army. President Kovind also released a documentary movie on Col. Sonam Wangchuk (MVC) and also interacted with veterans and Veer Naris, besides the gallantry awardees and complimented them. He exhorted all personnel to continue to striving hard in pursuit of excellence in all spheres and take a solemn vow to defend the sovereignty of the nation against all odds in the true spirit signified by the colours presented to the regiment.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Omar Abdullah seeks special session of J-K Legislature on Article 35A

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> National Conference president Omar Abdullah on Friday sought a special session of Jammu and Kashmir Legislature before August 29, to frame up an appropriate response to counter the narrative with regard to tampering or repealing of Article 35A of the Constitution. ?The issue is of vital importance for the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, as abrogation of Article 35A will have serious ramifications?, Omar Abdullah said in a statement. Abdullah expressed grave concern over the reported unsatisfactory response of the Union and the State governments in putting up a strong case before the apex court in safeguard of the Article 35A. ?And, in such a precarious situation, the State Legislature will have to take a call on this fundamental issue, especially as the Constitution empowers the Legislative Assembly to determine the issues with regard to permanent residence,? Abdullah said while appreciating general consensus across the state, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or region, with regard to preserving of this significant constitutional guarantee bestowed upon Jammu and Kashmir by Constitution of India. ?It is therefore appropriate to have the aspirations of the people reflected through the State Legislature?, he said. The NC Chief further hoped that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will rise above party politics and fight every overt or covert attempts to trample with Article 35A, which is regional neutral, religious neutral and ethnic neutral. He said abrogation of this proviso is detrimental to every segment of society in Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

After Ladakh scuffle, India and China armies meet to resolve Doklam stand-off

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after a scuffle between Indian and Chinese troops in Ladakh near Pangong Tso (lake), officers of both armies met on Wednesday in Chushul sector to address the issues that sparked the brawl which left nearly half a dozen Indian soldiers wounded.“Issues regarding strengthening of mechanism to ensure peace and tranquillity were discussed,” government sources said. Despite which the two-month-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the India-China-Bhutan trijunction, the two sides were quick to talk peace in the eastern region of Ladakh. According to sources, although the brigade-level meeting between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army was pre-scheduled and border personnel issues were to discussed, the incident of Tuesday’s stone-pelting was also discussed.Chinese troops on Tuesday tried to enter Indian territory near the Pangong Lake, but their attempts were foiled by Indian troops. The 135-km lake has eight fingers that remain to be a region of dispute between India and China. ‘Fingers’ is a reference to ridges jutting out of the mountains into the lake. There were two confrontations earlier this year that took place in mid-May and the first week of June in Ladakh between the two troops. The first face-off took place east of Karakoram in May and the second at Pangong Tso during boat patrols. Both the incidents went on for 3 -4 days, sources said.Since mid-June, the two troops have been involved in a stand-off in Doklam at the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction. The Indian Army had stopped China from building a road in Doklam region. With no breakthrough, India increased its operational preparedness along the eastern border in Sikkim and parts of Arunachal Pradesh. Neither sides has shown any signs of backing off from the site of confrontation in Bhutan.DOKLAM BOILINGThere were two confrontations earlier this year that took place in mid-May and the first week of June in LadakhIndian Army had stoped China from building a road in Doklam region

Army officers of India, China to meet in Leh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army officers of India and China are holding a meeting today in Chushul area of Leh, a day after Indian border guards foiled an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of Pangong lake in Ladakh. Official sources said the meeting is expected to deliberate on maintaining peace and tranquility along the Sino -India border in Ladakh. Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas– Finger Four and Finger Five– twice between 6 am and 9 am yesterday. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops. Chinese troops had managed to enter up to Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory. There was stone pelting also that caused minor injuries to people on both sides. When asked about yesterday’s incident in Ladakh, Defence Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters, “This is not a subject on which the government makes a comment on.” Two thirds of the Pangong Lake are controlled by China while one third of it is controlled by India. The incidents in Ladakh took place amid a face off between Indian and Chinese armies in Dokalam in India-Bhutan- China trijunction which has entered the third month. Official sources said notwithstanding the standoff, sweets were exchanged between the Indian Army and PLA troops in multiple border locations including in Dokalam. Exchange of sweets on Independence Day and Republic Day has been a tradition for last several years.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India and China troops clash along Himalayan border

The altercation near Ladakh comes within months of a stand-off along another portion of the border.

No confrontation between Indian, Chinese troops in Arunachal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Sources in the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on Wednesday described as false information relating to a reported confrontation between Indian and Chinese troops in the north eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh. “The MoD sources said, “Please refer to certain queries regarding confrontation with PLA (People’s Liberation Army) troops in Arunachal Pradesh. It is clarified that the information is false. Meanwhile, the Army has also issued a statement saying that India’s 70th Independence Day on Tuesday was “well celebrated all across border areas.” It also confirmed that, “sweets were exchanged between the Indian Army and PLA troops in multiple border locations, including in the area of Doklam.” The army was apparently countering reports of a fresh clash breaking out with Chinese troops in the Doklam Plateau, where a nearly two-month-long stand-off over a trilateral border terroritorial ownership is still on. The army also refuted reports appearing in some media that both sides had commenced “Flag Meetings” to resolve the issue in Doklam and Ladakh that has strained bilateral relations between the two nations. It said, ” Report of flag meeting started is incorrect.” These comments attributed to the Ministry of Defence and the Army came hours after Indian and Chinese soldiers were reportedly involved in an altercation in the Pangong Lake area, further raising tensions between the two countries. Sources said Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel reportedly formed a human chain and foiled a bid by Chinese troops to enter Indian territory on foot in Ladakh, near the Pangong Lake. Chinese soldiers tried to enter Indian territory from Finger Four and Finger Five posts along the banks of Pangong Lake in Ladakh between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m., but on both occasions, they were reportedly thwarted by alert Indian troops It was also reported that several Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and in the ensuing melee, there were minor injuries on both sides. China has also said that it was not aware of reports of PLA soldiers entering Indian territory along the banks of the Pangong Lake in Ladakh. Asked to comment on the incident,Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hu Chunying said, “I am not aware of the information. The Chinese side is committed to peace and tranquillity of the China-India border. We urge the Indian side abide by the LAC and relevant conventions between the two sides.” The two sides have frequently accused each other of intrusions into each other’s territories, but clashes are rare. The two armies are already engaged in a standoff in the Doklam Plateau further east, in another part of their 3,500-kilometer-long unmarked mountain border. China has repeatedly asked India to unilaterally withdraw from the Doklam area, or else face the prospect of a military-related escalation. The trouble started in June when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and India’s ally Bhutan. New Delhi said it sent its troops because Chinese military activity in Doklam, near the trijunction of the borders of India, China and Bhutan, was a threat to the security of its own northeast region, especially in Sikkim. But Beijing has said India had no role to play in the area and diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis have not made much headway. Further updates are awaited.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

India, China soldiers involved in border altercation – Indian sources

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian and Chinese soldiers were involved in an altercation in the western Himalayas on Tuesday, Indian sources said, further raising tensions between the two countries which are already locked in a two-month standoff in another part of the disputed border. A source in New Delhi, who had been briefed on the military situation on the border, said soldiers foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian territory in Ladakh, near the Pangong lake. Some of the Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and in the melee there were minor injuries on both sides, the source said. It was not immediately possible for Reuters to obtain comment from the Chinese military. The two sides have frequently accused each other of intrusions into each other’s territories, but clashes are rare. The Indian military declined to comment on the incident. “There was an altercation near the Pangong lake,” said a police officer in Srinagar, the capital of India’s Jammu and Kashmir state, under which the area falls. An army source in Srinagar also spoke of an altercation following what he called a Chinese army “incursion in Pangong lake area”. The two armies are already engaged in a standoff in the Doklam plateau further east, in another part of their 3,500 km (2,175 mile) unmarked mountain border. China has repeatedly asked India to unilaterally withdraw from the Doklam area, or else face the prospect of an escalation. Chinese state media have warned India of a fate worse than its crushing defeat in a brief border war in 1962. The trouble started in June when India sent troops to stop China building a road in the Doklam area, which is remote, uninhabited territory claimed by both China and India’s ally Bhutan. New Delhi said it sent its troops because Chinese military activity in Doklam, near the trijunction of the borders of India, China and Bhutan, was a threat to the security of its own northeast region. But Beijing has said India had no role to play in the area and diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis have not made much headway. An Indian government minister said efforts were continuing to find a way to end the standoff. The minister, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government had no choice but to act to stop the Chinese road activity in the region because it had come too close for comfort.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Indian troops foil China’s incursion bid in Ladakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian border guards today frustrated an attempt by Chinese soldiers to enter Indian territory along the banks of famous Pangong lake in Ladakh resulting in stone pelting that caused minor injuries to people on both sides, officials said. Soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) tried to enter the Indian side in two areas–Finger Four and Finger Five– twice between 6 am and 9 am. But on both the occasions their attempts were thwarted by alert Indian troops, they said. After Chinese troopers found their path blocked by Indian soldiers who formed a human chain, they began hurling stones, prompting a swift retaliation by Indian border guards. Personnel from both sides received minor injuries and the situation was brought under control after the customary banner drill under which both sides hold banners before stepping back to their respective positions. An Army spokesman in New Delhi declined to comment on the incident which came amid continued stand-off between the armies of the two countries at Doklam in Sikkim. Chinese troops had managed to enter upto Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory. When the Indian side staked claim to the area during negotiations in late 1990s, the Chinese army constructed a metal-top road and insisted it was part of Aksai Chin, which is under the latter’s control, officials said. China had constructed a road up to Finger Four which falls under Siri Jap area and is five km deep into the LAC. Earlier, the Chinese patrols used to come frequently from the northern and southern banks of this lake, whose 45 km stretch is on the Indian side while 90 km is on the Chinese side. Indian forces are now armed with high-speed interceptor boats, bought from the US, which can accommodate nearly 15 soldiers and are equipped with radars, infra-red and GPS systems. These boats are said to be as good as Chinese vessels and are used to conduct reconnaissance and area domination patrols. The situation along the banks of the lake has always remained volatile with Chinese troops being intercepted by Indian Army patrol several times after the three-week long stand-off in the Depsang plains of Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) in May 2013.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

PM to lay foundation stone of Zojila Tunnel: JK BJP chief

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Zojila tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir after August 15, state BJP chief Sat Sharma said today. The project aims at providing all-weather connectivity between Kashmir valley and Ladakh, which remains cut-off from the rest of the world during winters due to heavy snowfall. Zojila pass is situated at an altitude of 11,578-ft on Srinagar-Kargil-Leh National Highway which remains closed during winters (December to April) due to heavy snowfall and avalanches cutting off Leh-Ladakh region from Kashmir. The prime minster is very focused for the development of this frontier district, Sharma said at a function in Kargil to mark three years of the NDA government. IL&FS Transportation, which won the tender for Zojila tunnel project in re-bidding, had said on July 28 that it has emerged as the lowest bidder for Rs 4,899 crore Zojila pass tunnel. On March 1 last year, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had ordered re-bidding for the project awarded to IRB Infrastructure. Sharma, while thanking PM Modi and Union Minster for Surface Transport Nitin Gadkari, requested the Centre for ensuring the completion of the Zojila Tunnel, a long pending demand of the locals, at the earliest so that Kargil could also flourish like other parts of the country. The BJP’s state unit chief, however, expressed dissatisfaction over the reach of flagship schemes of the NDA government in Kargil and there proper implementation. Sharma said schemes should reach to every nook and corner of the country particularly in this frontier district which remains cut off for more than six months.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Diplomacy to defuse India, China border crisis slams into a wall – sources

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India’s diplomatic efforts to end a seven-week military standoff with China have hit a roadblock, people briefed on the talks said, prompting Chinese state-run media to trumpet rhetoric of “unavoidable countermeasures” on the unmarked border. China has insisted that India unilaterally withdraw its troops from the remote Doklam plateau claimed by both Beijing and Indian ally Bhutan. But China did not respond to India’s suggestion in the talks that it move its troops back 250 metres (820 ft) in return, said one source with close ties to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government. In the low-key diplomatic manoeuvres that took place outside the public eye, the Chinese countered with an offer to move back 100 metres (328 ft), so long as they received clearance from top government officials. But there has been no comeback since, except for China’s mounting warnings of an escalation in the region, which it calls Donglang. “It is a logjam, there is no movement at all now,” said a second source with knowledge of the talks. In Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry, which has repeatedly urged India to withdraw, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the state of talks. Indian troops went into Doklam in mid-June to stop a Chinese construction crew from extending a road India’s military says will bring China’s army too close for comfort in the northeast. Their faceoff since, military experts say, is the most serious since going toe-to-toe in the 1980s, with thousands of soldiers each, elsewhere along the 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border. China has held off going to war in the hope New Delhi would see reason, the state-run Global Times, which has kept up a barrage of hostile commentary, said on Tuesday. “If the Narendra Modi government continues ignoring the warning coming from a situation spiralling out of control, countermeasures from China will be unavoidable,” it said. The border crisis caps a year of souring diplomatic ties between the Asian giants, even though trade between the fast growing economies is rising rapidly. India has grown concerned at China’s ties to its arch rival Pakistan, viewing their trade corridor across Kashmir as an infringement of its claim to the whole of the region. Modi refused to join President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road initiative to knit together Asia and beyond, making India the lone country to boycott a summit in May. China has warned New Delhi not to be drawn into a Western military alliance led by the United States and including Japan. Modi has sought closer ties with both. “There will be no happy ending for this confrontation,” Indian foreign policy expert C. Raja Mohan wrote in the Indian Express newspaper, adding that India was unlikely to give in. The second source said the worry was the standoff could drag on into a summit of BRICs nations China is hosting next month. LIVE MANOEUVRES Indian military officials say there is no troop buildup on either side, nearly two months into a standoff that involved about 300 soldiers just 100 metres (328 ft) apart on a plateau 3,000 m (10,000 ft) above sea level. China has accused India of massing troops, however, and state media have warned against a fate worse than its defeat in a brief border war in 1962. “We will keep engaging with China to resolve the dispute. War cannot solve problems,” Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj told parliament, sticking to a conciliatory stance. Still, both have flexed their muscles. Last month, China held live-fire drills on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau near the site of the standoff, state media said. India’s army ran low-key exercises in the Ladakh sector of the western Himalayas, where previous disputes have flared, though it is thousands of miles distant from Doklam. “The chance of a conflict is low, nobody is expecting Xi Jinping to go to war before the Communist Party’s congress,” said Srikanth Kondapalli, a China specialist at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, referring to an Oct-Nov meeting expected to confirm a second five-year term as party general secretary for the Chinese leader.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kargil Vijay Diwas: PM remembers bravery of armed forces

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Prime Minister Narendra Modi today hailed the Indian armed forces for their prowess and sacrifices for the country on the occasion of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’. July 26 is celebrated as the anniversary of India’s victory in the 1999 Kargil conflict with Pakistan. “Remembering our brave soldiers who fought gallantly for the pride of our nation & the security of our citizens during the Kargil War,” Modi said in a series of tweets. “Kargil Vijay Diwas reminds us of India’s military prowess & the great sacrifices our armed forces make while steadfastly keeping India safe,” he added. The Kargil conflict in the mountains of Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region took place after Pakistani troops occupied Indian posts on the heights. It took about three months for the the Indian forces to recapture the posts.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Why are there so many Rohingya refugees in J&K and Ladakh? Swapan Dasgupta raises issue in RS

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Veteran journalist and nominated member Swapan Dasgupta today expressed concern over the reported influx of Rohingya refugees in Jammu and Ladakh saying it was a matter of national security.Raising the issue during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, he said there was a “vicious” ethnic conflict and civil war going on in Myanmar, but since it was an internal affair of a friendly neighbouring country, “we refrain from commenting on it”.”But it is curious and somewhat inexplicable as to why there should be so many Rohingyas who have migrated to Jammu and to Ladakh,” he said. Rohingyas are tribals from Myanmar, commonly also known as the ‘boat people’.Dasgupta said as per the Jammu and Kashmir Government, there are approximately 5,700 Rohingyas in Jammu and 7,664 Rohingyas in Ladakh.Whereas the UN High Commission for Refugees states there are 14,000 Rohingyas in the whole of India, the media reports say that the Home Ministry estimates there are 40,000, he added.”Now to my mind…this is very, very suspicious. The suspicion arises not for humanitarian reasons or anything like, but because of what the Bangladesh Government has reported that there are at least three terrorist organisations among the Rohingyas,” the member said.He further said “we have seen” evidence of Rohingya involvement in the blast in Bodh Gaya and in October, 2016, that one of the two militants killed in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir, turned out to be from Myanmar.”To my mind…it is something which is a pressing matter, which goes beyond the humanitarian aspect…,” he said, adding that the Rohingya refugees have also been flaunting voter cards and Aadhaar cards.”It is only when they tried to register themselves as State Subjects that the issue came to the fore and assumed great importance. I would urge the Government to take this matter very, very seriously,” Dasgupta added.

China endangering 50 years of bullet-less border management

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Five years after the 1962 Sino-Indian war, following a fierce skirmish and retaliation by the Indian Army at Sikkim in 1967, the 4057-kilometer-long complex and perception-based Line of Control (LAC), has been managed by both armies without pulling the trigger for 50 long years. And that is despite very frequent incursions/transgressions mainly/much more by China?s People’s Liberation Army (PLA), many of which resulted in unarmed grappling by troops of both armies, but always ending with negotiations by field commanders and/or diplomatic dialogue. However, the PLA?s transgression beginning on June 8, 2017 into Bhutan?s Doklam Plateau (also known as Doka La by India and claimed as Donglun by China), at the tri-junction of India?s Sikkim, Bhutan and China-held Tibet, actually amounts to aggression and has resulted in a dangerous stand-off, continuing for over a month. On the very next day, i.e. June 9, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?s Summit at Astana, Kazhakstan, it was reported: “There was an understanding that where we have differences, it is important that differences should not become disputes.” But the PLA?s actions on the ground belie such a spirit. First, it demolished two bunkers and then began constructing a road towards Doka La. The Royal Bhutan Army (RBA) tried to intervene, but were pushed back. The RBA then sought assistance of the Indian troops, who moved down the ridge and obstructed the construction work, leading to the standoff. Visuals on television of Indian soldiers relentlessly grappling with their PLA counterparts leave no doubt about their determination and great restraint. Bhutan?s Ambassador to India Vestop Namgyel is reported to have stated in the media that Bhutan issued a demarche to China over the construction of a road towards its army camp in Zomplri area of Doklam and asked China to restore status quo by stopping the construction work. The stand-off has also led to diplomatic heat between India and China, as both sides have reinforced their positions. China has accused India of wrongfully interfering in China-Bhutan boundary talks and said that the ?ball is in India?s court? to end the standoff. The Indian Army has deployed 3,500 additional ?non-combative? troops in a show of strength near the tri-junction. India expediting the building of hollow block bunkers along the LAC, India?s refusal to take part in the One Belt, One Road summit organized by China and Prime Minister Modi?s visits to the United States and Israel, have all peeved China. Since then, Beijing has issued a warning over India?s strategic infrastructure development along/near the LAC, especially in the north-east region. China opposed the infrastructure development issue several times. It is certainly not happy about India raising a mountain corps with two divisions already. The construction of bunkers particularly, has been a flashpoint in Sino-India ties. Former foreign secretary and former Indian Ambassador to China, Nirupama Rao is reported to have stated that the last few months have exposed the fragilities and strains in the India-China relationship. The equilibrium is already pitched at a low level. There has been no visible attempt to defuse tensions as the temperature has risen steadily. India has some genuine grievances for which China has shown little understanding. The Chinese handling of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor issue is one example…… The dispute in the Doklam area is known. It is not a new phenomenon. But China?s road construction is a deliberate move to trigger a response from Bhutan and India. Through its actions, China is seeking to impose its own definition of the tri-junction point of the boundary between Bhutan, China and India (Sikkim). The move has serious security ramifications for both Bhutan and India. Bhutan and India enjoy the closest relationship of mutual trust and confidence. There is absolutely no controversy about military-to-military cooperation and understanding between our two countries. India holds Bhutanese sovereignty as sacred and inviolable. According to Claude Arpi, and India-based French expert on India, China and Tibet, China has tried to push the envelope by starting to build a road through territory which is disputed, thinking that India would not defend Bhutan. Beijing has been proved wrong in this regard. A brief look at some events during the past fifty bulletless years is relevant. In 1967, when the PLA upped the ante at Nathu La, Sikkim, by mortar and artillery bombardment and direct fire, killing some Indian Army officers and soldiers, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi overturned the 1962 humiliation by sanctioning use of artillery requested for by the then Brigade Commander, Brigadier M.M.S. Bakshi, MVC, resulting in about 400 PLA troops being killed, a convoy of vehicles being destroyed and many bunkers being levelled. The message that 1962 cannot be repeated went to the Chinese very effectively. However, incursions by Chinese continued in some form or the other, but significantly, they have all been bullet-less for fifty years since that skirmish, so far. 1986-87: China upped the ante again with a massive build-up in the Sumdorong Chu region, north of Tawang. The then Indian Army Chief Gen.Krishnaswamy Sundarji responded by launching “Operation Falcon”. The crisis was resolved without any exchange of fire. 1994: Gen. Bipin Joshi became the first Indian Army Chief to be invited to visit China since 1962. While the Chinese broke protocol in welcoming him, transgressions continued. 1999: During the Kargil conflict, the Pangong Tso area became a great flashpoint when, China constructed a five-kilometer-long track right up to the lake’s southern bank. Both sides now carry out routine patrols on the track and mark their presence, but avoid physical contact. Yet Chinese patrolling speedboats often swirl aggressively around Indian boats. 31 January 2000: The Chinese People’s Liberation Army built a permanent road network and set up bunkers five kilometers into the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh?s Aksai Chin area. 1 April 2000: India and China commemorate 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations. Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Mukut Mithi accused China of violating the LAC and crossing into Indian territory. Mithi said Chinese-built mule tracks had been discovered by Indian Army soldiers near the Kayela Pass in the state’s Dibang Valley district, bordering Tibet. “They come in the guise of hunters, cross the LAC and at times even claim that parts of Arunachal belong to them,”he had said. 23 June 2003: Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee made a landmark visit to China. Simultaneously, a Chinese patrol transgressed 16 kilometers inside India and intimidate an Indian detachment. 6 July 2006: China and India re-open Nathu La Pass, Sikkim, which was closed since the 1962 Sino-Indian war. In November 2006, the Chinese Ambassador to India publicly declared that Arunachal Pradesh was Chinese territory. In December, PLA conducted joint military war games with Pak army in West of J and K, codenamed “Friendship 2006?, to mark the 55th anniversary of Sino-Pakistan diplomatic relations, based on India being viewed as a common enemy. Subsequently the Chinese build-up began in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, which now amounts to an army division. 25 May 2007: China denied a visa to Arunachal Pradesh chief minister, arguing that since the state is in fact a part of China he would not require a visa to visit his own country. Then BJP MP Kiren Rijiju made a startling claim that China had moved 20 kilometres into the Indian territory, amounting to 9000 square kms since quite some time and claimed that Ministry of External Affairs had admitted to Chinese occupation of Arunachal Pradesh. 140 incursions reportedly occurred in 2007. Soon after former Defence Minister AK Antony?s late 2007 visit to Arunachal Pradesh , former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promised a substantial long-overdue infrastructural development package to the state . Major mobilization and relocation of Border Roads Organisation?s (BRO) resources became the spark-off point for the Chinese to focus their attention on Eastern Ladakh, the J and K part of the LAC, by launching a series of multi-mode and multi-dimensional incursions involving camping, painting CHINA in Mandarin on rock faces, filching fuel and what not. In this “increasingly assertive” behaviour by China, transgressions on the Pangong Tso (tso means lake), by Chinese troops on foot/ motorized boat patrols have become a continuous routine. 2008-09: There were major Chinese incursions in the general area of the barren land at Chumar, East of the picturesque Morari Tso, Zulung La and the 22, 420 feet high Mount Gya. 27 August 2010: India canceled defence exchanges with China after Beijing refused a visa to Lt. Gen. B.S. Jaswal, heading Northern Command, because he ?controlled? the disputed area of J and K. India subsequently refused to allow two Chinese defense officials to visit New Delhi. November 2010: China started the practice of issuing stapled visas to people from Jammu and Kashmir. April 2013: A platoon-plus Chinese detachment made a most unusual kind of intrusion 19 kms across the LAC into Indian territory at Chumar, in Ladakh?s Daulat Beg Oldi sector/Depsang Valley, camped there in tents with Molosser dogs for three weeks and departed after much diplomatic dialogue. On 17 June another detachment of Chinese troops came on horseback, demolished/damaged some bunkers, cut some wires of cameras installed at the border post and took away some other visual equipment, broken remains of which were reportedly returned later. Chumar, located 300 km from Leh, has always been an area of discomfort for the Chinese troops as this is the only area along the LAC, which they do not have easy/close access to . On 12 July, Chinese troops transgressed in area Burtse, about 30 km from the LAC. September 2014: When Xi visited India, PM Modi, broke protocol and received him in Ahmedabad. China promised $20 billion worth of investments in India over five years. Even as the two leaders sat on a swing at the banks of the Sabarmati river, the PLA had already violated the LAC at Ladakh-Chumar and Demchok. When confronted by Modi over these intrusions, Xi is reported to have assured him to have his troops to withdrawn and end the border standoff, after he returned. While China has been petty enough to disallow Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar, Indian government and Army are tight-lipped but deliberating at the highest levels and this time they have not yet blinked. War is certainly not a favorable option for either country. But God forbid, if push comes to shove, the Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat has already stated that Indian Army is prepared for a two and a half fronts war. PLA should remember 1967. The view expressed in the abover article are that of Col. Anil Bhat (Retired).(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mehbooba Mufti raises China & China raises Ladakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti blamed external forces, including China, for creating trouble in the state, China raised its pitch on the Sikkim issue, saying there was no room for negotiations. In fact, the neighbour added a new dimension to the matter by calling Ladakh a disputed area.”India should not regard earlier standoffs in 2013 and 2014 in Ladakh, a disputed area between China, Pakistan, and India, as similar to the current (Sikkim) one. Diplomatic efforts led the troop’s frictions there to a well-arranged end. But this time, it is a totally different case,” the official Chinese Xinhua news agency was reported as saying.Beijing then offered to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir issue but New Delhi rejected the offer, reiterating that it was a bilateral issue.For the last one month, Indian and Chinese troops have been in a face off in Dokalam, a disputed territory between China and Bhutan, falling on the Indo-Bhutan-China tri-junction on the Sikkim border.Mufti had met with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday, to discuss the issue of safety of Amarnath pilgrims.On Friday, during an all-party meeting, the government had briefed the Opposition on the military standoff with China and the Amarnath attack.”Kashmir is not a law and order problem. It is happening because of external forces. The ongoing fight is a handiwork of external forces and now, unfortunately, China is also trying to meddle into it,” Mufti said after the meeting.Sources said Singh stressed on the need to normalise the situation in the state quickly and also expressed happiness that everybody in Kashmir was one in condemning the attack on the pilgrims.During the half-an-hour meeting, the CM informed the Home Minister about the steps taken in Kashmir to maintain peace.Meanwhile, on Saturday, the security forces gunned down three terrorists, taking this year’s toll to 107. Also, so far, more than 1.86 lakh pilgrims have visited the shrine and the number is expected to cross the last year’s mark of 2.21 lakh.Over 21,000 paramilitary personnel, double the last year’s number, were deployed for the yatra this year, in wake of the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen member Burhan Wani. This was in addition to the state police force and five Army battalions. Sources said the additional deployment is likely to continue.Besides, Mufti said the state government had requested the Centre to ensure that Article 370 was not diluted. “I am happy that the President, in his order, reiterated that the special status granted to the state would not be diluted.”

China face-off: India boosts troop might near Sikkim

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India recently sent more troops in a “non-combative mode” to strengthen its position in an area near Sikkim, where its soldiers have been locked in a standoff with Chinese troops for almost a month, reports said on Sunday. The impasse between the two armies is being seen as the longest since 1962.The move follows the destruction of two Indian bunkers and “aggressive tactics” adopted by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), sources said.The PLA on June 1 asked the Indian Army to remove the two bunkers set up in 2012 at Lalten in Doka La, which falls in the vicinity of Chumbi Valley at the corner of India-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction, sources said.The Indian Army, which had been patrolling this area for many years, decided in 2012 that two bunkers would be positioned there as a backup option, besides providing security to the Bhutan-China border.The Indian Army forward positions informed Sukna-based 33 Corps Headquarter in North Bengal about the Chinese warnings on the bunkers, the sources said.However, during the night of June 6, two Chinese bulldozers destroyed the bunkers, claiming that the area belonged to China and that India or Bhutan had no right over it, the sources said.Indian troops on the ground prevented the Chinese men and machines from doing any further damage or transgressing into the area, they said.Additional forces from nearby brigade headquarters, located 20 km from the faceoff point, were moved in on June 8 during which a scuffle led to soldiers on both sides suffering minor injuries.PLA troops were rushed in from its 141 division located in the area, prompting the Indian Army to also strengthen its position.The last standoff, which carried on for 21 days, occurred at Daulat Beg Oldie in the Ladakh division of Jammu and Kashmir in 2013, when Chinese troops entered 30 km into Indian territory till the Depsang Plains and claimed it to be a part of its Xinjiang province. They were, however, pushed back.After the India-China war of 1962, the area where the Indian troops are stationed was placed under the Indian Army and the ITBP, which is the border guarding force and has a camp 15 km from the international border.Doka La is the Indian name for the region which Bhutan recognises as Dokalam, while China claims it to be part of its Donglang region.The reports of reinforcements being rushed in came on a day when China released a map to back its claim that Indian troops “transgressed” into the Doklam area of the Sikkim sector, which it claims as part of its territory.China said Indian troops entered the area to prevent the PLA troops from building a strategic road. Bhutan has protested to China asserting that the area is part of its territory and Chinese action is vocative of agreements.Sikkim, which became a part of India in May 1976, is the only state which has a demarcated border with China. The lines are based on a treaty signed with the Chinese in 1898. Of the 3,488-km-long India-China border from Jammu and Kashmir to Arunachal Pradesh, a 220-km section falls in Sikkim.(With inputs from agencies)

Two soldiers dead, one missing after avalanches hit Batalik sector in Ladakh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Two of the five soldiers trapped in a series of avalanches in Jammu and Kashmir?s Batalik succumbed to their injuries on Friday, while one is still missing. At least five soldiers were trapped when a series of avalanches hit the Batalik sector in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir clamping down an army post yesterday. Four soldiers have been rescued from the area, so far. Since Tuesday, most places of the state received moderate to heavy rains. Met office said that the higher reaches received heavy snowfall. Divisional Administration Kashmir had issued an avalanche warning for next 24-hours for hilly and avalanche prone areas of Kashmir Valley and Kargil district. According to MeT department officials, Srinagar received 83.9 mm rain and snowfall since yesterday while Kokernag in south Kashmir received 69.9 mm of rains in that period. Pahalgam, also in south Kashmir, recorded a rainfall of 64.2 mm since yesterday. As many as 20 Army personnel including a Major and a Junior Commissioned Officer lost their lives in three separate incidents of avalanches in Sonamarg area of Ganderbal, Gurez in Bandipora and Machhil in Kupwara districts in January this year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

JKNPP demands imposition of Governor’s rule in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) today demanded imposition of Governor’s rule in the state in view of the “deteriorating” law and order situation. “We urge President Pranab Mukherjee to invoke Section 92 of J&K Constitution without any further delay so that Governor rule is imposed in the state which has been on fire for nearly 14 months,” chief patron of JKNPP Bhim Singh told reporters here. He alleged that the security and law and order situation is worse in the state and the government has failed on all fronts. Singh claimed that the Governor’s rule is the only solution and the state Assembly should be dissolved without any delay and fresh elections be held. The law and order situation triggered by unrest in Kashmir can only be tackled when the state is reorganised by establishing Jammu and Kashmir as two separate states, the JKNPP leader asserted. The people of Ladakh region should have the option to remain with Kashmir or Jammu or under the control of the Union as Union Territory, he said. Singh said JKNPP will be holding its 34th foundation anniversary on March 23 in Jammu with a “mission” that there should be one Constitution from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. Our party stands for urgent amendment in the Constitution of India so that Article 370 is amended to make way for one flag and one Constitution from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, he said. “That is the only solution to restore peace and normalcy in J&K when every Indian citizen residing in J&K shall enjoy all fruits guaranteed in the fundamental rights in the Indian Constitution,” he added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

2400-cr to be invested in next 5-yrs to promote tourism in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre along with the Jammu and Kashmir government will be investing Rs 2400 crore over the next five years to give a boost to tourism in the picturesque state with a focus on unexplored and new regions like Kargil. “We are putting a major thrust on the tourism industry and will invest Rs 2,400 crore in the next five years,” Secretary, Tourism (J&K) Farooq Shah said here speaking on the sidelines of an event last night to promote tourism in his state. “Of this, Rs 2,000 crore will be spent by the Centre and rest by the state government. Apart from this, private sector is investing in a big way. We have international and national hotel chains. Le Meridian, The Sheraton Group and ITC is making hotels, while Ramada (group of hotels) is already has its presence in Kashmir,” he said. There are many historical sites across the state which are yet to be explored. We have urged tour operators (from Maharashtra also) to promote such regions (including Kargil) in their packages, he said. Shah said from heritage sites to adventure sports Kashmir has everything and has no competitors in the country as far as tourism is concerned. “We are the best in the country and have no competitors. As far as infrastructure is concerned, there is enough of it. We are the best golfing destination, we are the best heritage destination..best shopping and our cuisine is world famous. We have Jammu which is a pilgrim site. Kashmir is the paradise on earth and Ladakh offers best adventure sports. So J&K in itself is a world,” he added. Maintaining that Kashmir is as “safe” as any part of the country, he urged tourists to visit ‘India’s own Switzerland’. “Jammu and Kashmir is as safe as any part of the country. People need not go to Europe and spent money. They should visit our own Switzerland which is Kashmir.” Echoing similar views, Haji Inayat Ali, Chairman J&K Legislative Council, said, “things are different from what is portrayed in media..Tourists are always safe there. Even during peak of militancy, tourists were never troubled.” Also, we cannot have heavy industries in the region. Tourism is the only industry that can thrive there and provide employment to youth, Ali added. Present at the event were host of dignitaries and tour operators from J&K and Maharashtra.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Landslides shut Srinagar-Jammu highway

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed for traffic on Monday as landslides occurred at several places along the road link following rains.An official of the Traffic Control Room said one-way traffic from Jammu to Srinagar was scheduled to ply on the highway today, but the vehicles have been halted near Nagrota in Jammu region due to landslides.The official said men and machinery have been pressed into service to clear-off the muck left behind by the landslides and the road is expected to be re-opened for traffic later this afternoon.Landslides occurred at some places along the nearly 300-km long highway, the only all-weather road link connecting Kashmir with the rest of the country, due to overnight rains.A spokesman of the Meteorological Department here said most parts of the Valley, including summer capital Srinagar, received rains overnight.Owing to the overcast conditions, the night temperature across the Valley, except Gulmarg, remained above the freezing point.Srinagar recorded the minimum temperature of 5.8 degrees Celsius- up from 4.7 degrees Celsius the previous night, the spokesman said.He said Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir along Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, registered a low of 4.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded a low of 3.7 degrees Celsius.He said Kupwara town of north Kashmir registered a minimum of 2.7 degrees Celsius, same as that of the previous night.The night temperature recorded at the famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir was 0.8 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said, adding the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir was the only place in the Valley where the night temperature was below the freezing point at minus 1.4 degrees Celsius.Leh in frontier region of Ladakh was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 3 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said.He said the town had recorded a low of 0.3 degrees Celsius yesterday which was above the freezing point for the first time this winter.The spokesman said there is possibility of light rainfall or snow, especially in the higher reaches of Kashmir, over two days from today, after which the weather is likely to remain dry.

Overcast conditions lead to rise in min temp across Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Overcast conditions led to an increase in the minimum temperatures across Kashmir division, with the mercury settling above the freezing point at most places in the Valley, even as the Meteorological department forecast rains or snow over next few days. The night temperature across Kashmir Valley, except at Gulmarg and Pahalgam, settled above the freezing point last night, an official of the Meteorological Department here said. He said Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, recorded a low of 1.7 degrees Celsius — an increase of nearly three degrees from the previous night’s minus 1.1 degrees Celsius, the official said. He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, registered a minimum temperature of 0.8 degree Celsius — up from the previous night’s minus 1.6 degrees Celsius. The official said the mercury at the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at minus 5.6 degrees Celsius up from yesterday’s minus 6.5 degrees Celsius. The health resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded a low of minus 3.9 degrees Celsius — an increase of over two degrees from minus 6.4 degrees Celsius yesterday. The north Kashmir town of Kupwara registered a low of zero degrees Celsius and Kokernag in south recorded a low of 1.6 degrees Celsius, the official said. Leh, in Ladakh region, was the coldest recorded place in the state as the mercury there settled at a low of minus 13.3 degrees Celsius — an increase of three degrees from the previous nights minus 16.3 degrees Celsius. The nearby Kargil town recorded a low of minus 9.8 degrees Celsius, the official said. The Meteorological Department has forecast another spell of wet weather in Kashmir from today. The official said there is possibility of isolated to scattered rainfall or snow over two days from today, while there are chances of scattered rains or snow over four days from February 17.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

ITBP troops get snow scooters to patrol Chinese border

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Expensive and sleek snow scooters, usually found at ice-capped tourist spots for adventure sport lovers, have for the first time being inducted for patrol by ITBP troops along the Sino-Indian frontier. Five of these powerful scooters, procured from a US-based firm, have been deployed at high-altitude border locations of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Ladakh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim that overlook the Chinese PLA deployment on the other side. Officials said the modern scooters, all costing around a crore, can seat two personnel (driver and pillion rider) with their rifle and ammunition in tow and can negotiate a 45 degree slope on the hills and are supported by chaincase belts to help the 278 kg machine glide smooth and cut through the ice. The force, as part of bolstering its capabilities to effectively secure the 3,488km border, had last year procured over six dozen SUVs and sent them to far-flung border areas for patrol and transport. This is the first time that such scooters, used for tourist purposes in the upper reaches of Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh and by defence forces for training, have been procured and inducted for operational roles by Indian Security forces. “These snow scooters have been procured as part of the modernisation of the force to better equip the personnel on ground in rendering their duties in the hard areas they serve. These will act as force multipliers,” ITBP spokesperson Deputy Commandant Vivek K Pandey told(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Cold intensifies in Kashmir, Kargil coldest at minus 15.8

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The night temperature across Kashmir division, including Kargil, slipped further below the freezing point, even as the day temperature has risen and settled above the normal for this time of the year today. Kargil was the coldest recorded place in the state with a low of minus 15.8 degrees Celsius, officials said. The maximum temperature has improved and remained above normal for this time of the year at most places in Kashmir, while the minimum temperature last night went further below the freezing point owing to dry weather and clear sky, a Meteorological Department official said. Srinagar registered a minimum temperature of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius down from minus 1.2 degrees Celsius the previous night, while the maximum temperature recorded yesterday was 11.8 degrees Celsius, three notches above the normal for this time of the year, the official said. The mercury in Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir, went down nearly four degrees from the previous night’s minus 5.4 degrees Celsius to settle at minus 9.2 degrees Celsius. The maximum at the resort yesterday was also three degrees above the normal at 9.2 degrees Celsius, the official said. Gulmarg, the famous ski-resort in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 9.4 degrees Celsius against the previous nights minus 9.0 degrees Celsius, while the maximum at the resort yesterday was four degrees above normal at 4.6 degrees Celsius. Qazigund, the gateway town of the Valley, recorded a low of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius and Kokernag town in south Kashmir, recorded minus 2.2 degrees Celsius. The mercury in Kupwara Town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, the official said. Leh town in Ladakh region shivered at a low of minus 14.7 degrees Celsius yesterday, down by nearly three degrees from minus 11.9 degrees Celsius. He said the weather is likely to stay dry over the week ahead.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Fog affects rail ops in north India, claims 3 lives in Haryana

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Parts of northern plains were engulfed by fog delaying rail traffic and claiming three lives in Haryana, while night temperatures in most places of Kashmir settled above freezing point, barring Ladakh and high altitude areas of the Valley. As many as 45 north-bound trains were delayed and 24 others rescheduled due to fog. Dense fog occurred at isolated places in West Bengal and Sikkim, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Chandigarh and Punjab, while shallow to moderate fog occurred at isolated places over Bihar and east Rajasthan in the morning hours. Three persons were killed and one was injured their car dashed into a truck which was parked on the roadside near Baas village in Hisar district of Haryana last night, police said, adding low visibility due to fog is stated to have led to the mishap. Mainly clear skies prevailed in the national capital after foggy conditions in the morning hours. There were some minor delays in flight operations because of the weather but there was no cancellation or diversion due to visibility, an airport official in Delhi said. The minimum temperature in Delhi was recorded at 8.6 degrees Celsius, normal for this time of the year, while the maximum temperature settled at 23.2 degrees Celsius, a notch above season’s average. Night temperatures in Kashmir registered a remarkable improvement to settle above freezing point but the high altitude areas, which recorded heavy snowfall last month, continue to reel under freezing temperatures, a MeT official said. Leh town in Ladakh region registered a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius against 13.1 degrees Celsius of the previous night, making it the coldest recorded place in the state, the official said. Leh was followed by nearby Kargil where the night temperature settled at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius against yesterday’s minus 11.2 degrees Celsius. The famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath yatra, registered an improvement of four degrees in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 3 degrees Celsius. Night temperature in the famous ski resort of Gulmarg plummeted to minus 7.6 degrees Celsius from minus 6 degrees Celsius yesterday. Srinagar also recorded a dip in the night temperature by one notch, which settled at 0.9 degrees Celsius. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Mercury settles above freezing point in Kashmir Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Barring Ladakh and high altitude areas of Kashmir, the night temperature at most places in the Valley settled above freezing point due to overcast conditions even as Met Department predicted another spell of wet weather during the next three days. “Light rain or snow could occur at isolated places during the next 24 hours followed by fairly widespread rain or snow on February 4 and 5 under the influence of western disturbance,” a spokesman of the MET department said. The night temperature in plains of the Valley registered a remarkable improvement to settle above freezing point but the high altitude areas, which recorded heavy snowfall last month, continue to reel under freezing temperatures, he said. Leh town in Ladakh region registered a low of minus 11.9 degrees Celsius against 13.1 degrees Celsius of the previous night, making it the coldest recorded place in the state, the spokesman said. He said Leh is followed by nearby Kargil where the night temperature settled at minus 10.4 degrees Celsius against minus 11.2 of yesterday. The famous hill resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir, which serves as the base camp for annual Amarnath yatra, registered an improvement of four degrees in the minimum temperature which settled at minus 3 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said. The famous ski resort of Gulmarg, the star attraction for tourists visiting the Valley during winter, was the coldest recorded place in the Valley after the night temperature plummeted to minus 7.6 degrees Celsius from minus 6 degrees Celsius yesterday. The spokesman said Srinagar also recorded a dip of one degree in the night temperature which settled at 0.9 degrees Celsius. The minimum temperature at Qazigund, Kupwara and Kokernag towns registered an improvement to settle at 0.6, 0.5 and 1.5 degrees Celsius, respectively, the spokesman said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Leh records -13.1 deg C; JK high reaches under freezing temp

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Leh, in the frontier region of Ladakh, recorded a low of minus 13.1 degrees Celsius today with the night temperature in high altitude areas of Jammu and Kashmir, including the famous Pahalgam Gulmarg hill resorts, nosediving several degrees below freezing point. The summer capital Srinagar, however, registered an improvement in the night temperature owing to the overcast sky with the mercury settling at 1.9 degrees Celsius against the previous night’s 0.9 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the MeT department said. Leh town recorded a dip of 8.7 degrees in the night temperature compared to yesterday’s minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, while nearby Kargil town also shivered at a low of minus 11.2 degrees Celsius, he said. Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra, recorded a drop of almost seven degrees in the night temperature and settled at 7 degrees Celsius. The MeT said the famous ski resort of Gulmarg in north, which experienced over 10 feet of snow this season, recorded a low of minus 6.0 degrees Celsius. The hill resort is agog with sports activities as a large number of tourists are camping there to enjoy their holiday. The sports activity at the resort had picked up after the January 6 snowfall, which ended the nearly five-month long dry spell in the valley. The MeT spokesman said Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, registered a slight dip in the night temperature but stayed above the freezing point. The town on Srinagar-Jammu national highway recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius against yesterday’s 0.8 degrees Celsius, he said. Kokernag, in south Kashmir, was another place where the minimum temperature settled above the freezing point at 0.7 degree Celsius, the spokesman said. He said Kupwara town in north Kashmir recorded a fall of almost one degree in the night temperature which settled at minus 1.3 degrees Celsius. The MeT said the weather is expected to remain dry in the state during the next 24 hours. However, it predicted widespread rain or snow on February 4 and 5 owing to western disturbance which is likely to hit the state this weekend.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Kashmir’s min temp improves, fog affects rail ops in north

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mercury in the northern plains today hovered around normal limits, while the minimum temperatures in Kashmir Valley marked an improvement due to overcast sky even as its higher reaches received snow overnight. Fog continued to affect rail operations in the northern states with 45 trains being delayed while 35 others were rescheduled. It was a pleasant day in the national capital as the minimum temperature was registered at 9.8 degrees Celsius, a notch above the season’s average, while the high settled at 23.4 degrees Celsius, a notch above normal. Humidity oscillated between 100 and 49 per cent. Some places in the higher reaches of Kashmir division received snow overnight with the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg recording three inches of snow since yesterday, a MeT department official said. He said the south Kashmir resort of Pahalgam, which serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath yatra, recorded 5.5 cm of fresh snowfall. Some other areas also experienced rainfall. However, the nearly 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu national highway, the region’s only all weather road connection with the rest of the country, was open for traffic, an official at the Traffic Control Room said. He said one-way traffic from Jammu towards Srinagar was plying smoothly and no vehicle was allowed to ply in the opposite direction. Meanwhile, the night temperature in most parts of the Valley and Ladakh region improved, providing slight respite from cold conditions. The mercury in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, settled above freezing point at 0.9 degrees Celsius, the Met department official said. He said the temperature in Qazigund, the gateway town to the Valley, also stayed above the freezing point at a low of 0.8 degrees Celsius. Kupwara, in north Kashmir, was another place were the minimum settled above the freezing point at 0.2 degrees Celsius, the official said. Gulmarg, which was the coldest recorded place in the state, registered a minimum temperature of minus 4.6 degrees Celsius, while other places in the Valley registered sub-zero night temperature but close to the freezing point. Leh, in Ladakh region of the state, registered the low of minus 4.4 degrees Celsius, the official said. (MORE)(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Leh observes shutdown in protest after professor molests MBBS student

Leh: A shutdown was on Saturday observed in Leh by political parties against the alleged molestation of an MBBS student by a senior faculty member at the Government Medical College in Jammu, demanding the immediate termination of the accused and appointment of a special prosecutor in the case.

The protest was organised by Ladakh Regional Joint Action Committee, comprising youth wings of the Ladakh Buddhist Association, Anjuman Moin-ul-Islam, Anjuman Imamia, and BJP and Congress in Leh district.

Representational image. CNN-News18Representational image. CNN-News18

Representational image. CNN-News18

The market in Leh district was shut down in protest against the alleged molestation of the final year student. The committee later submitted a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to regional authorities at Leh.

They demanded the setting up of a fast-track court, a SIT to probe the matter and appointment of a special prosecutor.

Jammu and Kashmir government on 3 January suspended the accused Bhupesh Khajuria, professor, Department of Forensic Medicine, a week after he was booked for molesting the girl.

He was booked following a written complaint by the girl.

In her complaint, the girl alleged that Khajuria called her to his room to discuss the result of her examination and tried to molest her.

The state government’ suspension order has said Khajuria will remain attached to the Directorate of Health Service, Jammu, during the period of investigation. But the protesters have sought his immediate termination.

First Published On : Jan 7, 2017 22:21 IST

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