<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union minister Kiran Rijiju today said India had adopted a “zero-tolerance policy” towards terrorism and lamented that neighbour Pakistan was not doing enough to control the growth of terror on its soil.”The government has made it clear on various international platforms that Pakistan is a breeding ground for terrorism,” he said at a function here to commemorate the supreme sacrifices made by the security personnel during the Mumbai terror attack nine years ago. On November 26, 2008, 10 Pakistani terrorists reached Mumbai via the sea route and opened indiscriminate fire, killing 166 people, including 18 security personnel, and injuring several others, besides damaging property worth crores of rupees.”India has adopted a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism. I do not want to go into its details but the outline is clear,” Rijiju said. Asked about the release of Mumbai terror attack mastermind and Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, the Union Minister of State for Home said, “It is a matter of concern for us. We have been putting pressure on Pakistan in a bilateral way as well as through multilateral forums.” Saeed is also the founder of terror outfit Lashkar-e- Taiba (LeT). The UN and US designated terrorist, who has a USD 10 million American bounty on his head, was freed by Pakistan on Friday.Rijiju said, “On various international forums, we are making it absolutely clear that Pakistan is a breeding ground for terrorism and it is not doing enough to contain the growth of terrorism on its soil. They must do much more than what they had said.” Asked about the neighbouring country being reluctant to cooperate in the Pathankot terror attack probe, the BJP leader said, “Our stand is clear and efforts are going on. I cannot disclose certain aspects of the attack or our efforts.” In January 2016, terrorists had sneaked into an Indian Air Force base in Punjab’s Pathankot. The attack had claimed the lives of seven security personnel, while four terrorists were killed.Rijiju said the coastal borders of India were much more secure now. “We have taken a series of measures to secure the coastal borders. We have adopted a series of integrated coastal security schemes which are effective,” he added.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As a part of an ongoing secret dialogue between the two nations, India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval confronted his counterpart, Lieutenant-General Nasser Khan Janjua, in a telephonic conversation with evidence challenging Islamabad’s claims to be unable to locate terrorists involved in last year’s attack on the Pathankot Air Force base. Citing highly placed sources, a report in the Indian Express stated that the conversations saw Doval press Janjua for the arrest of the suspects, who Pakistani investigators had earlier claimed they were unable to locate.”The NSA’s decision to press Islamabad on the Pathankot case was driven not so much by any hope of action, but to test Islamabad’s intent under the changed circumstances,” the source told the newspaper.
ALSO READ Remembering 26/11: President Kovind takes pledge to make India safer, pays tribute to victimsPunjab had witnessed two terror attacks in 2015 and 2016.In the first attack, three heavily-armed terrorists wearing army fatigues, had stormed a police station in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district in July 2015 killing seven persons, including a Superintendent of Police, before they were gunned down during a day-long operation.
ALSO READ ‘Golden goodbye’: Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe to get $10m payoff and immunity for family In the second attack, four terrorists who had sneaked in from across the border, attacked the Pathankot air base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2 last year, claiming the lives of seven security personnel.The newspaper further claimed quoting sources that even after Islamabad has held Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar under protective custody since January, Pakistan’s intelligence services had released at least half-a-dozen individuals held in the wake of the Pathankot attack without charge.
ALSO READ Sigh of relief for citizens as government denies proposal of banning cheque booksThe India-Pakistan NSA-level dialogue began at a meeting in Bangkok on December 6, 2015, where the two men met along with Foreign Secretaries S Jaishankar and Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar is a “bad guy” and should be declared a global terrorist, the US today said as China blocked a bid at the UN to list Pathankot terror attack mastermind as a designated terrorist. Last week, China for the fourth time had blocked a proposal backed by the US, France and Britain to list Azhar as a global terrorist, citing a lack of consensus among the members of the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council.The JeM, founded by Azhar, has already been in the UN’s list of banned terror outfits. “We certainly think that he is a bad guy. We would like to have him on that list,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said at a press conference when asked about China’s move.“There are some committee discussions that are underway over whether to add him or the entity to the sanctions list. That list is confidential under the United Nations, so unfortunately, I am not going to be able to comment on the deliberations at the UN under that,” Nauert said. “I’d have to refer you to the Chinese Government to explain why they voted the way they did, but we certainly think that this guy is a bad guy,” she said when asked about China’s action.“We consider the organisation to be a foreign terrorist organisation under the US law,” Nauert said. A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations. Notably, China was the only country opposing the designation of Azhar by the Security Council as a terrorist.All other 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council were supporting the bid to place Azhar on the sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban. Azhar is accused of several terrorist attacks in India, including one on the Pathankot air force station in January 2016.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior IPS officer YC Modi took charge as the chief of National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday. He was named as the outgoing Director General Sharad Kumar’s successor last month, and was appointed Officer on Special Duty so that he gets a month to settle in before taking full-charge.Modi, an IPS officer of the 1984 batch from the Assam-Meghalaya cadre was serving in CBI since 2015 where he was Additional Director. This was his second stint with the agency where he had also served between 2002 and 2010.Modi succeeds Sharad Kumar under whose tenure the NIA investigated cases like the Bodhgaya Temple blast, explosions during the Patna rally of the then BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, the Pathankot airbase attack, ISIS links and the Jammu and Kashmir terror- funding case.”Many important cases such as the United National Liberation Front case, Dilsukhnagar (Hyderabad) blast case, ISIS conspiracy cases and Fake Indian Currency Notes cases resulted in conviction,” the agency said in a statement.In another development senior police officer AP Maheshwari was appointed Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development, on Monday.Maheshwari, a 1984 batch IPS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre, is currently a Special Director in Border Security Force.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China today hinted at no change in its policy of blocking efforts to list JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist during the second tenure of President Xi Jinping, as Beijing continued to harp on its familiar stand that there was no consensus among UN Security Council members.A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council. JeM has already been in its banned list. China had in August extended by three months its technical hold on the the US, France and UK-backed proposal to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN after having blocked the move in February this year at the United Nations.”We have made our position clear many times from this podium. The relevant resolutions of Security Council have clear stipulations as to the mandate of 1267 Committee and also clear stipulations when it comes to the listing of relevant organisations and individuals,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here. Replying to questions whether China will block the ban on Azhar again when the 1267 Committee of the UNSC takes up the issue on Thursday, Hua said “as for listing application by the relevant country, there are disagreements”.China’s latest hold is due to lapse on Thursday. India has identified Azhar as the mastermind of the Pathankot terror attack on January 2, 2016. It has also blamed his brother Rauf and five others for carrying out the attack in which seven Indian soldiers were killed. Hua’s remarks indicate that China will continue its policy to block moves by India and other countries led by US to list Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN during the second term of President Xi.Hua said that China had put a technical hold to allow for more time for more parties to deliberate on this matter. “To our regret the committee is so far yet to reach consensus,” she said. China in the past had asked India to discuss the issue directly with Pakistan in order to reach an understanding. In the last two years, China has stonewalled efforts by India and then later by the US, the UK and France to declare Azhar as a global terrorist, stating that there was no consensus on the issue.She also put up all familiar defence of Pakistan, shielding it against criticism for sheltering terror groups. “You mentioned Pakistan. Pakistan is also a victim of terrorism and we support Pakistan in countering terrorism in accordance with the its own national conditions,” she said, adding that China advocated international cooperation on combating terrorism. On the Azhar issue, Hua said the UNSC resolutions have clear stipulations when it comes to the mandate of 1267 Committee and the listing of terrorist groups and individuals.”So far consensus has yet to be reached by the members of the Committee and the actions taken by China are meant to safeguard the authority and effectiveness of this committee,” she said, defending Beijing’s actions.She also claimed that China’s stance showed a “sense of responsibility”. “China will continue to follow the resolutions and the rules of procedure of the Committee and remain in touch and coordination with relevant parties,” she said, adding that the Chinese actions are meant to ensure the authority and efficacy of the UN Committee.”We believe that the Committee should follow the principles of objectivity, professionalism and fairness and reach decision by a consensus based on solid proof,” she said when asked if China is blocking India’s efforts at the behest of Pakistan. Last year in March, China was the sole member in the 15- nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The high-stakes Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll recorded a 56 per cent voter turnout today, lower than 70.03 per cent recorded in the 2014 general elections.Voting at 1,781 polling stations passed off peacefully, officials said. The bypoll is being seen as a barometer for the popularity of the six-month-old Congress government in Punjab. The seat, which had fallen vacant following the demise of actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna of the BJP in April, is witnessing a three-horse race between the Congress, the BJP and the AAP. While the Congress has fielded its Punjab unit chief Sunil Jakhar, the BJP has put up businessman Swaran Salaria.The AAP has placed a bet on Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria. “The total voting percentage was 56 per cent. Polling was peaceful,” Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Punjab V K Singh said. As many as 15.22 lakh voters were eligible to exercise their franchise in the by-election fought by 11 candidates. Of the total electorate of 15,22,922 in the constituency, 7,12,077 are women and 14 belong to a third gender, the official said. Out of the nine assembly segments falling under it, the Dera Baba Nanak Vidhan Sabha constituency registered maximum 65 per cent voting. The Batala Vidhan Sabha constituency recorded the lowest at 50 per cent, he said.Sujanpur recorded 54 per cent, Bhoa 60 per cent, Pathankot, Gurdaspur and Dinanagar 54 per cent each, Qadian 57 per cent and Fatehgarh Churian 63 per cent, Singh said. The polling percentage in the assembly segments was lower than that recorded in the 2017 assembly elections. Voting was scheduled to start at 8 am, but glitches in voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) machines led to delay at 19 polling stations, the CEO said.He said around 80 VVPAT were replaced before the start of polling as they had developed snag.Voting started on a slow note and just 23.44 per cent voters exercised their franchise till 12 noon. A minor clash was reported between Shiromani Akali Dal and Congress workers in Pahra village. Five Akali workers, including a former village head, was injured in the incident. “Congressmen thrashed our workers in Pahra village,” SAD spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema alleged. AAP candidate Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria filed a complaint with the Election Commission (EC) alleging that a polling agent of the Congress tried to influence voters at a booth in Pangoli village in Sujanpur.Singh said EVMs were kept in Gurdaspur and Pathankot where counting of votes would take place on October 15. “Tight security arrangements have been made where the EVMs have been kept,” he said. Around 30 companies of paramilitary forces and more than 7,000 Punjab police personnel were deployed in the constituency. A total of 1,781 polling stations were set up at 1,257 locations, of which 457 were declared as vulnerable and 83 as critical.Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPAT) was used at all the polling stations.The bypoll will gauge the popularity of the Amarinder Singh government which is battling allegations of reneging on its pre-assembly polls promise of farm debt waiver and free smartphones. The Congress, which had bagged 77 seats in the 117-member Punjab Assembly in February, is keen to keep the winning momentum going. The BJP has also tried pulling out all the stops to retain the seat, which Khanna had won four times.A victory would give much-needed boost to the BJP, which had bagged just one segment of Sujanpur out of the four seats it had contested in the assembly polls. The AAP, the main opposition party in Punjab with 20 seats in the House, is also looking to strengthen its presence in the state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Suspended Punjab police officer, Salwinder Singh, who was questioned by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with Pathankot attack case, was on Friday granted bail by Punjab and Haryana High Court in the rape case registered against him in Gurdaspur.Booked for sexually exploiting a woman whose husband was accused in a rape case, the former Gurdaspur SP has been lodged in jail since April after his surrender when he was declared a proclaimed offender if he continued to evade arrest.”He has been given bail in the case, which involved charges of rape and relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act. He will be released from jail on Saturday,” Salwinder’s counsel GBS Dhillion told DNA. The bail application was submitted before the court on July 27.Salwinder was booked for allegedly using his position to demand sexual favours from an accused’s wife under the false promise of helping her. The incident took place during his stint as Gurdaspur SP, which was marred by similar allegations from few other women police officials, which eventually led to his transfer out of Gurdaspur. Later, in August, citing his controversial conduct and indiscipline, the Punjab government decided to send him on premature retirement.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BJP candidate for the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll Swarn Singh Salaria today said he did not expect a contest from the Congress and AAP nominees in the by-election and exuded confidence that the saffron party would retain the seat with a “massive” margin.The Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, a stronghold of the BJP, fell vacant after the sitting MP, actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, died of cancer in a Mumbai hospital on April 27.Khanna was a four-time MP from Gurdaspur.The BJP had, on September 21, named Salaria as its candidate for the October 11 bypoll. Khanna’s wife Kavita was also a frontrunner for the BJP ticket in the bypoll.Salaria (63), a business tycoon, lashed out at Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh for the latter’s remarks against him.Singh had yesterday taken a jibe at Salaria saying, “What can he (Salaria) do for the (Gurdaspur) constituency when he failed to run his own medical college in Chintpurni (in Pathankot), jeopardising the careers of 1,800 students.” He had also said the high court had ordered the closure of the college and the state government had sought permission from the Medical Council of India (MCI) to accommodate the students in other medical colleges of the state.Asked to respond to Singh’s remarks, Salaria said, “The Chintpurni medical college was shut when I took over. I tried to revive it. You (Singh) should support and admire me for this. The college is in Punjab and it is your (Singh’s) responsibility as well to run it.”He also rejected Singh’s claims that he had approached him for a Congress ticket in the bypoll.”He (Singh) is a senior leader and I respect him a lot.He should not level such false allegations,” Salaria said.”I am a successful businessman. I own an airline, hotels, restaurants and a security company. I have a workforce of more than 70,000 people,” he added.Salaria said he did not expect any contest in the bypoll.”This seat belongs to the BJP and we will again win it with a huge margin,” he told PTI.The Congress has fielded senior leader Sunil Jakhar in the bypoll, while Major General (retd) Suresh Kumar Khajuria of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is also in the fray.Salaria took potshots at both at Jakhar and Khajuria.”Jakhar has been brought from a distance of 400 km (from Gurdaspur) by the Congress to fight the bypoll. How can he win it,” he wondered.On the AAP candidate, Salaria said, “Khajuria has never been seen working for the welfare of the people of this constituency.”He claimed that he had been serving the people of the area for the last 15 years.”My family members, including my mother, sister, live in Gurdaspur and Pathankot,” said Salaria, who is a native of the Chauhana village in Gurdaspur.He said he would take the achievements of the Narendra Modi government to the voters while seeking their votes.”I will highlight the achievements and policies of the three-year-old Modi government at the Centre when I go to the people to seek their votes. There are several initiatives, such as demonetisation and GST, taken by the government.Moreover, there is no allegation of corruption of even a single paisa against this government,” Salaria said.The BJP candidate in the bypoll also said he would “expose” the Congress government in Punjab for “failing to honour even a single promise it had made to the voters” before the state Assembly polls earlier this year.”What has the Congress done in the last six months? They had made tall claims before the voters and now they are funding themselves unable to live up to their expectations.The people are angry with them,” he claimed.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US is aware of India’s position that talks and terrorism cannot go together and has asked Pakistan to crackdown on terror groups like the LeT and the JeM that are responsible for attacks inside India, a senior White House official has said.The top official also encouraged the two South Asian neighbours to engage in talks to reduce tensions.”The US is very aware of India’s position (that talks and terror cannot go together) and we have called on Pakistan to crackdown on organisations like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e -Mohammed (JeM) and others,” the official said, on condition of anonymity.”We have called Pakistan to take actions against people involved in the Mumbai attack, the Pathankot attack and other attacks. So, US is very clear about its position,” the senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.The official made the remarks while responding to a question on India’s stand that talks and terror cannot go together in the context of the Trump administration’s South Asia policy that seeks a direct dialogue between India and Pakistan to reduce tensionsPakistan needs to crackdown on terror groups, the official said.The official also referred to the India-US joint statement issued after the White House meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump on June 26, which made it clear that these issues are important to the US”And we are working with India to improve its counter terrorism. I think there is a lot of understanding between US and India on this issue,” the official said in response to a question.Earlier this month, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had told Parliament that the Indian government had laid the “roadmap” envisioning peace and normalcy with Pakistan even before it took over.”But it can’t be one-sided…Terror and talks cannot go together. The day they stop promoting terror, we will start the talks,” she had said.The State Department on Wednesday had also asked the two countries to engage in talks.”I think one of the things that we would do is ask or encourage India and Pakistan to sit down together and engage in direct dialogue that is aimed at reducing tensions between both of those countries,” State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert had told reporters.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police have detained four persons for allegedly hurling stones at a BJP legislator while protesting the death of four persons in a road accident in Samba district yesterday. “We have registered a case in connection with the attack on Samba MLA Devinder Kumar Manyal and have detained four persons for questioning,” Station House Officer of the Ghagwal police station Rajeshwar Singh Paul said. The BJP MLA was injured yesterday when some persons threw stones at his cavalcade in the Ghagwal police station area, where he had gone to take part in the cremation of two of the four persons who lost their lives when a mini-bus overturned on the Jammu-Pathankot national highway. Those killed included two students. Eighteen people were also injured in the accident, triggering protests by people against alleged failure of the government to check “rash driving and overloading”. The officer said the police were trying to ascertain the identity of those involved in the attack. He said the case would be investigated under sections of the Ranbir Penal Code pertaining to “attempt to murder, wrongful restraint and rioting”. The detention of the four persons led to protest by border villagers. They demanded that the detainees be released. Meanwhile, officials said a group of the MLA’s supporters blocked the highway at Samba Chowk and Diani for nearly two hours in the morning, demanding arrest and action against those involved in the attack on the legislator. They said the protest ended peacefully and normal traffic movement had resumed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Tibetan spiritual leader The Dalai Lama expressed his sympathies over the loss of lives due to a massive landslide in Mandi district where two buses were buried, killing 48 people. The Nobel laureate also assured that he would make a donation from the Dalai Lama Trust to the Chief Minister s Relief Fund. In a letter written to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh he said, “I am deeply saddened to learn that a massive landslide swept away vehicles, including public buses, on the Pathankot-Mandi Highway near Mandi on Saturday night resulting in the tragic death and injury of many people.” “I would like to offer my condolences to those families who have lost loved ones and to others affected by this catastrophe,” he said. The Dalai Lama said that Himachal Pradesh has been his home for over 57 years, and he naturally felt an affinity for its people. “Natural disasters like this are difficult to predict and consequently difficult to take precautions against. However, I wonder if the introduction of warning procedures at the first signs of trouble might help prevent the recurrence of such events in the future,” he said. On Saturday, two Himachal roadway buses were hit by a massive landslide triggered by a cloudburst on the Mandi- Pathankot National Highway, leaving at least 48 people dead and several others injured.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today announced a series of projects for the holistic development of the border areas of Gurdaspur and Pathankot, including health and education infrastructure, besides new cards under the MGNREGA scheme. As many as 67,000 MGNREGA cards would be issued to beneficiaries in Gurdaspur and 30,000 in Pathankot, the Chief Minister said in his Independence Day speech here. Fulfilling a long pending demand, he announced a state- of-the-art new bus stand to be constructed in Gurdaspur at a cost of Rs 20 crore. An amount of Rs 84 crore had been set aside for providing toilets and water connections to all rural households in the district, he added. In a bid to improve police functioning, the Chief Minister announced Rs 2.50 crore for the upgradation of the infrastructure of police stations in Gurdaspur, Batala and Pathankot. Amarinder also said that though the Gurdaspur Civil Hospital had been shifted to the bypass, the dispensary with emergency, as well as maternity and child care ward, would continue to function from the old building in the city. The Chief Minister further said that the water supply and sewerage works in Gurdaspur would be completed at a cost of Rs 7.50 crore. Another Rs 18 crore had been released for development projects in Dera Baba Nanak and other areas of the district, he added. Stressing the importance of ensuring the progress of the sensitive border areas, the Chief Minister announced allocation of Rs 44.02 for health infrastructure upgradation and Rs 118 crore for school infrastructure upgradation in Gurdaspur. Another Rs 45 crore had been allocated for disbursement under the old age pension scheme, in addition to Rs 7 crore for the ‘Ashirwad’ scheme, he added. The Chief Minister also announced the construction of a new Sainik School in village Dalla Gorian, Tehsil Gurdaspur. Besides a Rs 67 crore outlay for the urban facelift of Pathankot and another Rs 42 crore for urban facelift of Batala, the Chief Minister also announced the setting up of a PEPSICO bottling plant at Pathankot, where link roads would be repaired at a cost of Rs 55 crore. The Chief Minister also announced air connectivity to Pathankot, with flights set to be operational by September 30 this year. The announcement of development projects assumes significance in the wake of upcoming Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypoll. The seat fell vacant after BJP MP Vinod Khanna died of cancer in April this year. In other key announcements, the Chief Minister said the civil hospital at Fatehgarh Churian would be upgraded, with water supply and sewerage works in the area also to be completed at a cost of Rs 7.5 crore. A new Navodya Vidyalaya would also be set up in Fategarh Churian, said the Chief Minister, besides announcing the establishment of a new Revenue Sub-division, as well as a railway over-bridge in Dina Nagar and a new degree college at Kalanaur. Among other development initiatives, the Chief Minister announced the construction of a new bus stand at Qadian, along with 100 per cent water supply and sewerage facility at a cost of Rs 32 crore. The government has also decided to set up a new hospital, in addition to 100 per cent water supply and sewerage in village Ghumaan in Sri Hargobindpur. Later, the Chief Minister also inaugurated the newly built Gurdaspur District Administrative Complex, constructed at a cost of Rs 50 crores. Spread over an area of 6 acres, the complex houses the offices of the DC and other administrative officials.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive landslide buried two Himachal Pradesh roadways buses, killing at least 34 people and injuring several others at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mandi Pathankot national highway today, officials said. The toll was likely to rise further as over 50 passengers were travelling in the two buses hit by the landslide, which was triggered by a cloud burst, they said. “Thirty-four bodies have been recovered, and of these 14 have been identified,” an official said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the police were rushed to the spot and heavy earth- moving machinery deployed at the gorge where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the spot and said the rescue operation would continue till all the bodies were recovered. He said that eight passengers were travelling in the Manali-Katra bus, of whom three lost their lives, while five were rescued and taken to the zonal hospital in Mandi. There were around 47 passengers in the second bus which was on its way from Manali to Chamba, an official said. The chief minister said the state government would bear medical expenses of the injured. He also met the bereaved family members and expressed condolences. Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Transport Minister G S Bali and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Anil Sharma also reached the spot. Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased, while Bali announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC. The massive landslide, covering an area of more than 250 metres, swept away two other vehicles also and damaged some houses. The highway was closed and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on either side, officials said. D D Sharma, Director, Disaster management, Himachal Pradesh government said that lighting arrangements had been made to continue the operations during the night. He said a team of forensic experts had also been called considering that several of the bodies were mutilated.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A massive landslide buried two Himachal Pradesh roadways buses, killing at least twenty seven persons and injuring several others at Kotpuri near Padhar on the Mand Pathankot national highway, officials said. The toll was set to rise as over 50 passengers were travelling in the two buses hit by the landslide which was triggered by a cloud burst, they said. “Twenty seven bodies have been recovered, and of these thirteen have been identified,” an official said. Teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the Army and the police were rushed and heavy earth-moving machinery deployed at the gorge where the two buses lay buried under a heap of debris. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh visited the spot and said the rescue operation would continue till the last body was recovered. He said that eight passengers were travelling in the Manali-Katra bus of which three lost their lives while five were rescued and admitted to the zonal hospital in Mandi. There were around 47 passengers in the second bus which was on its way from Manali to Chamba, an official said. The chief minister said the state government would bear medical expenses of the injured passengers. He also met the bereaved family members and expressed condolences. Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur, Transport minister G S Bali and Rural Development and Panchayati Raj minister Anil Sharma also reached the spot. Thakur announced financial assistance of Rs 4 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased while Bali announced that Rs 1 lakh would be given to each bereaved family by the HRTC. The massive landslide, covering an area of more than 250 metres, swept away two other vehicles also and damaged some houses. The highway was closed and hundreds of vehicles were stranded on either side, officials said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Himachal roadway buses were hit by a massive landslide triggered by a cloudburst on the Mandi-Pathankot National Highway, leaving eight passengers dead while the fate of 22 others was not immediately known. Himachal Transport minister G S Bali said the toll could climb to 50 in the incident which took place last night. One of the buses was going from Manali to Katra and another from Manali to Chamba. The buses had halted for a tea break at Kotrupi in the night when the tragedy struck, said special secretary (Disaster) D D Sharma. The landslide swept away the road and the buses for almost 800 metres down into a gorge and there was no trace of one of the buses which was completely buried under the debris so far. The number of passengers in the buses could be between 30 and 40 as the number of passengers who boarded the bus en route was not known. He said immediately after receiving the information the ADM was rushed to the spot. The Army and NDRF teams have reached the spot and started rescue operation along with the police, administration and local people. The IG central range and Deputy Commissioner and SP are on the spot, he added. Director General of Police Somesh Goyal said that as per preliminary information there were eight passengers in the Manali-Katra Volvo bus while 47 passengers were travelling in the other bus. Authorities have been directed to arrange for on the spot postmortem, he added. So far eight bodies have been recovered which included the driver and the conductor of Chamba depot bus Chanden Sharma and Satpal. This is the third such incident in Himachal. Earlier 45 bus passengers were buried in a landslide near Matiyana in Shimla district in 1988 and 42 passengers were buried in another mishap at Luggar Hati in Kullu district in 1994.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today approved a proposal of the state police to set up an elite specially trained Special Protection Group (SPG) to deal with any terror attack and other threats in the state which shares border with Pakistan. “The contours of the proposed SPG, a small but effective 270-member young and dynamic team, were discussed at a meeting chaired by the chief minister,” an official spokesperson said here. The SPG will be set up, with a clear mandate to neutralise armed aggressors and to combat terrorism, besides infiltration, hijacking, hostage-taking and other sensitive threat situations. The chief minister had also suggested that a small core team from the SPG could be sent to Israel for the latest and state-of-the-art counter insurgency training. According to the proposal discussed during the meeting, the SPG would be headed by an ADGP rank official with an IG and a DIG rank officer to assist him. The SPG would be divided into three teams, headed by a SP rank officer who would be of less than 35 years of age. The DSP rank officers in the team would be younger than 30 years and ORs would be in the age group of 18-25 years, the spokesperson said. These teams would specialise in tackling different situations and would be trained both by the army and the NSG. Amarinder said the process to identify officers and personnel for the SPG, who would be drawn from various police departments should commence immediately. In order to attract the best talent, personnel and officers who join the SPG would be paid higher risk, ration and other allowances, besides being given an insurance cover of Rs one crore each, spokesperson said. Officials who attended the meeting said the SPG would have a clear mandate to neutralise armed aggressors and to respond to ‘fidayeen’ attacks, armed infiltration, hostage situations, hijacking and assault on vital installations. The chief minister was briefed that the force would have a recurring expenditure of Rs 5.7 crore a year, which amounts to less than Rs 50 lakhs a month. Notably, in recent times, Punjab had witnessed two terror attacks in 2015 and 2016. In the first attack, three heavily-armed terrorists wearing army fatigues, had stormed a police station in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district in July 2015 killing seven persons, including a Superintendent of Police, before they were gunned down during a day-long operation. In the second attack, four terrorists who had sneaked in from across the border had attacked the Pathankot air base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2 last year, claiming the lives of seven security personnel.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Punjab-cadre woman IPS officer is set to take over as the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) of UT Chandigarh. 2008-batch officer Jagdale Nilambari Vijay will be the first woman SSP of Chandigarh at a time when the city police is at the centre of attention over its handling of the case of a woman being allegedly stalked by the son of Haryana BJP chief. “The MHA (ministry of home affairs) orders (regarding appointment) came yesterday. It may take two to three days for relieving (from present post),” Vijay said today. She will hold the post for three years. UT Administrator VP Singh Badnore had earlier reportedly recommended the name of Nilambari Vijay for the post to the Union Home Ministry. Vijay is presently posted as the commandant-cum-deputy director (indoor) at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Punjab Police Academy, Phillaur. She had served in various districts including Ludhiana, Ropar and Pathankot. The SSP post in Chandigarh has been lying vacant after Sukhchain Singh Gill, a 2003-batch IPS officer, was repatriated to Punjab in December last year. SP Eish Singhal is presently officiating as the UT, SSP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China has again extended by three months its technical hold on the US, France and UK- backed proposal to list JeM chief and Pathankot terror attack mastermind Masood Azhar as a designated terrorist by the UN.China had in February this year blocked the US move to designate Azhar as a global terrorist at UN. The deadline for China to take action on its technical hold was till August 2.If China would not have extended the technical hold, Azhar would have automatically been designated under the UN as a terrorist. Sources told PTI here that just before the deadline lapsed, China once again sought a three-month extension until November 2 on its technical hold on the proposal.A veto-wielding permanent member of the Security Council, Beijing has repeatedly blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed leader under the AlQaeda Sanctions Committee of the Council.Last year in March, China was the sole member in the 15- nation UN organ to put a hold on India’s application with all other 14 members of the Council supporting New Delhi’s bid to place Azhar on the 1267 sanctions list that would subject him to an assets freeze and travel ban.The six-month validity of that technical hold lapsed in September and Beijing then extended it by three more months.In December last year, after China blocked India’s proposal to list the JeM chief, Indian diplomatic sources here had said that the pursuit of terrorism was not a “one-shot affair” for India and that it will continue to pursue issues of terrorism “through all available mechanisms”.Sources had said that the block would not prevent India from pursuing at the world body issues of terrorism and sanctioning of leaders of terror outfits.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major move, the government has delegated “substantial” financial powers to the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force to strengthen perimeter security at sensitive military installations across the country, the defence ministry said today. Defence Minister Arun Jaitley has fixed strict timelines to ensure that the works are undertaken on priority and in a time-bound manner to ensure full security at the critical defence assets, it said. The vice-chiefs of the three services have been empowered to place orders, procure equipment and carry out civil works without seeking approvals of the defence ministry. “In an unprecedented move, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has decided to delegate substantial financial powers to the Armed Forces for undertaking works for perimeter security of sensitive military installations,” the ministry said in a statement. Official sources said following the decision, each of the three vice chiefs will be able to spend at least Rs 800 crore annually in strengthening perimeter security at the sensitive bases. A total of 3,000 sensitive bases, including 600 highly sensitive installations of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force were identified by the forces months after the daring attack on Pathankot air base last year. The decision came at a time when Indian army is locked in a face-off with the Chinese army at Dokalam and confronting rising incidents of cross border attacks in Jammu and Kashmir. The defence ministry said the move to give financial powers is aimed at expediting the decision-making process involved in the modernisation of the security apparatus of airbases and defence installations. “The financial delegation represents a significant jump in the powers currently exercised by the services,” the ministry said. A security audit of defence bases was carried out on the recommendation of a committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose which was set up after the terror attack on the forward Pathankot air force base last year. The committee was asked to recommend measures to beef up security at the military bases. The armed forces had together sought Rs 2,000 crore to strengthen security infrastructure at all “highly sensitive, sensitive and moderately sensitive bases” during the current and next financial years. The sources said following the security audit, revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) were sent to the commands of all three services to revamp their security management, including putting in place a multi-tier security structure. A parliamentary panel had in March come down hard on the defence ministry for failing to take any concrete measures to beef up security at frontline military bases, and said the scenario is as “vulnerable” as has been “exposed” during the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks. The Campose Committee had submitted its report to the defence ministry last May. The parliamentary panel had said security arrangements at military establishments were dynamic in nature and called for maintaining a robust and strong response mechanism to emerging threats.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari has asked Pakistan to not blame Prime Minister Narendra Modi but their own policy of using terror groups for a proxy war against India for the current low-ebb in the relations between the two countries. “The infliction point in India Pakistan relations was 26/11 (Mumbai attacks). After 2008, irrespective of the fact that whether there was a UPA Government, or that was succeeded by a BJP-led NDA Government, the relationship with Pakistan has been in a deep freeze,” he said while speaking at an event here organised by the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council yesterday. “There is a very widespread feeling among the people of India, not limited to the government, that actions against the perpetrators of 26/11 is a pre-requisite for forward movement between India and Pakistan,” he said. Tewari said at a time when Modi spontaneously decided to land in Lahore to attend Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter’s wedding, the move was followed by the Pathankot airbase attack in India. “And post, the attack on Pathankot airbase, when India invited the joint investigating team from Pakistan, which consisted of people from across the agencies and gave them access to actually have a look at the evidence which pointed to the fact that this was an attack which was sponsored from across the border. “Rather than taking that evidence on board, you saw a knee-jerk reaction saying that this was a false flag operation and the Indians have done it themselves,” he said. “So, it’s very easy to blame Modi or the right-wing approach, which they as a government have, but in reality, the infliction point between India and Pakistan is 26/11,” Tewari said while responding to senior Pakistani leader Mushahid Hussian’s reamarks that Modi’s right-wing policies have resulted in the current low-ebb in relationship between Indian and Pakistan. Hussain, however, claimed that India seems to be pursuing an “ideological foreign policy via Pakistan”, which is based on the ideology of Hindutva and is an extension of what is happening to the Muslim population in India. “That is creating more complications (in Indo-Pak ties) and also leading to bigotry and also certain kind of chasm between communities which is sanctioned by the state at times,” he said. “For instance, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, his mindset, his attitude and things like there was for the first time there was no Muslim representation in his government. “So symbolism often becomes substance in these situations,” he added. Responding to a question on China, the former Pakistan minister said that India is currently isolated in the region on the issue of One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative of China. “Some people want India to play the role of a counter weight to China to short play the China card, to some people in America, Japan may want that. Others would like that India should be part of the mainstream, which is the Asian century. Pakistan is part of that – OBOR,” He said that Pakistan sees China as a source of strength and a source of stability in the Asian context. “We feel that India too should be part of that broad Asian mainstream when we talk of the Asian century,” Hussain said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab medical education and research minister Brahm Mohindra today ordered a vigilance inquiry into a degree racket under which fake certificates were issued in the name of Baba Farid University in the state. The matter of fake certificates and fake degrees was detected recently by the Registrar of the Board of Ayurvedic and Unani Systems of Medicine when Rajesh Kumar of Gurdaspur visited the board for a renewal of his registration certificate, an official spokesperson said. The registrar, Sanjeev Goyal, found the certificates of the candidate were fake as Sonam Dhiman, a Pathankot based doctor, was registered against the number provided by Rajesh. Mohindra, considering the seriousness of the matter, ordered a vigilance inquiry to expose fake degree racket. “There seems to be a wide spread menace and the same shall be unearthed and guilty shall be brought to book who are duping the candidates and endangering the health and the lives of the innocent public,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Air Commodore J S Dhamoon, who was commanding the Pathankot air force base when it was attacked by heavily armed terrorists last year, has taken pre-mature retirement from service. IAF sources said Dhamoon chose to take “premature separation” from service even as the process of Court of Inquiry into possible lapses in security at the base was going on. They also rejected reports suggesting that Dhamoon was sacked after the CoI found holes in security at the frontline base which was attacked by Pakistan-based terrorists on January 2 last year. The IAF sources said the report of the CoI will go through various levels before its recommendations are accepted and action is taken based on them. “The process of Court of Inquiry is still on,” a source said. As per another source, Dhamoon took premature retirement a couple of months ago. Dhamoon, Air Officer Commanding (AOC), had taken over the charge of the Pathankot air base in July, 2014 and he was transferred from the base less than two months after the terror attack. In the wake of the Pathankot terror attack, the IAF has been training selected people at its bases in Bhatinda in Punjab and Naliya in Gujarat on countering such strikes effectively. A security audit of defence bases was carried out on the recommendation of a committee headed by Lt Gen Philip Campose which was set up after the terror attack. The committee was asked to recommend measures to beef up security at the military bases. Following the security audit, revised standard operating procedures (SOPs) were sent to the commands of all three services to revamp their security management, including putting in place a multi-tier security structure. A parliamentary panel had in March come down hard on the defence ministry for failing to take any concrete measures to beef up security at frontline military bases, and said the scenario is as “vulnerable” as has been “exposed” during the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks. The Campose Committee had submitted its report to Defence Ministry last May. The parliamentary panel had said security arrangements at military establishments were dynamic in nature and called for maintaining a robust and strong response mechanism to emerging threats. The three services had sought Rs 2,000 crore from the government to plug the gaps in security at their bases in the wake of the Pathankot terror attack.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three persons were arrested in Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan today for allegedly transporting 137 kg of opium in a truck laden with onions. Acting on a tip-off, a team of officers from Hathunia police station intercepted the truck coming from Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh. Upon search, six sacks containing 137 kg ‘doda chura’ were found hidden in the vehicle. Manish Gajaam (34), Raju Irpachi (25) of Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh and Pawan Pavitra Singh (24) of Amritsar, Punjab were arrested under relevant sections of NDPS, SP Pratapgarh, Shivraj Meena said. On being interrogated, the suspects revealed that they were carrying the illegal consignment from Indore to Pathankot, police said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police and security forces have launched a search operation in the border town of Samba along Jammu-Pathankot national highway following reports of suspected movement of four persons in the wee hours on Thursday.Some labourers informed police about movement of four armed persons in civilian clothes from Samba main chowk on the highway towards SIDCO industrial area close to Basantar river belt.Basantar river, which flows into Pakistan across the International Border (IB), is one of the main infiltration routes of militants into Jammu and Kashmir.”Search operation was launched in Samba town along the highway after some people reported about suspected movement of four persons in the wee hours today,” a senior police officer said.”We searched the entire area and till now found nothing.CCTV footage showed some unarmed persons in civilian clothes,” he said.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday asserted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, through his diplomatic skills, has been successful to bring international community onboard on terrorism. ?Prime Minister Narendra Modi through his diplomatic skills has been successful to bring international community onboard on terrorism,? Singh said during a press conference here. Singh claimed that during three years of tenure, no major terror incidents took place except Gurdaspur and Pathankot attack. ?In three years of tenure, no major terror incidents took place except Gurdaspur and Pathankot. Our Prime Minister always raises the topic of terrorism on every platform,? he said. Singh also assured the nation that the Centre has decided to give integrated permanent solution to the problem of Kashmir. ?We have decided to give integrated permanent solution to the problem of Kashmir. With the support of Pakistan some disruptive powers are trying to create unrest in the valley. I am always open for discussions and dialogues. In healthy democracy, major problems can also be solved by dialogues and discussions,? Singh further added. On June 3, the Home Minister assured that a solution for the Kashmir unrest will be chalked out at any cost, while adding that all the impediments coming in between the better future of Kashmir will be removed. “We will find a permanent solution to Kashmir. It might take some time because the problem which has been prevailing since 1947, the solution to it cannot be taken out with just a snap. We will remove all the impediments for a better future of Kashmir. The nature which has given talent in the hands of the people of Kashmir will be used for the development of the Valley and country. Nature has not given those hands to pelt stones,” he said. Rajnath reiterated the government’s stand on Pakistan being behind those forces which are trying to bring disturbance in the Valley. “We have always maintained that Pakistan is sheltering those forces which are trying to destabilise Kashmir. This won’t go for long,” he said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The security personnel in Punjab are on a high alert on the eve of the 33rd anniversary of the Army’s Operation Bluestar tomorrow with arrangements stepped up to prevent any untoward incident. Amid apprehensions that Sikh hardliners might object to the customary address by the Akal Takht (the highest temporal seat for Sikhs), Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh, tomorrow at the Golden Temple, the Amritsar city has been turned into a fortress with the deployment of about 5,000 security personnel, including seven companies of paramilitary forces. Radical outfit Dal Khalsa has called for a shutdown in Amritsar tomorrow, on the anniversary of the Army’s 1984 operation to flush out terrorists from the Golden Temple. To prevent anti-social elements from fomenting trouble, as many as 15 companies of paramilitary forces, including the CRPF, the ITBP and the RAF, have been deployed in different parts of the state. Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora had recently reviewed the security arrangements in Amritsar. Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) chief Kirpal Singh Badungar has appealed to all the Sikh organisations to unite and invited them to tomorrow’s event. He has also held a meeting with SAD(A) chief Simranjit Singh Mann and Dal Khalsa leader Kanwar Pal Singh to discuss ways to keep the event peaceful in accordance with Sikh ‘maryada’ (tenets). The Sarbat Khalsa-appointed “parallel” Jathedars are also expected to reach the Akal Takht tomorrow to take part in the event. To keep a tab on the anti-social elements, the police has also been conducting vehicle checks at several places. Flag marches were also conducted by the police, along with the paramilitary forces, at several places, including in Ludhiana, Phagwara and Pathankot. At Amritsar, security personnel have been deployed on the roads leading to the Golden Temple and the police was also keeping a surveillance on the vulnerable areas through CCTVs. At the Golden Temple, the SGPC task force is on an alert. While seven companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Amritsar, the rest have been deployed in Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Mohali, Batala and the border districts of Pathankot and Gurdaspur. Meanwhile, the Dal Khalsa took out a ‘Genocide Remembrance Parade’ in Amritsar with photos of the damaged Akal Takht. On June 6, 2015, five youths were injured in a clash inside the Golden Temple during an event to mark the anniversary of Operation Bluestar. A group of Sikh youths had even raised pro-Khalistan slogans on the periphery of the temple near the Akal Takht. On June 6 last year, pro-Khalistan slogans were once again raised on the Golden Temple premises. The state police has claimed to have busted three terror modules following three separate operations over the last fortnight. Meanwhile, there was a “poster war” between two groups in Phagwara, triggering tension in the city. While Sikh hardliners put up posters of separatist militant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale at different places, right wing Hindu outfits displayed posters of former prime minister Indira Gandhi, Army General A S Vaidya, former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh and former state DGP K P S Gill. However, there was no report of any law-and-order issue. Bhindranwale was killed during Operation Bluestar in 1984 while Gandhi, Vaidya and Beant Singh were assassinated subsequently.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Arun Jaitley today accused Pakistan of scuttling the environment that must exist for bilateral talks between the two neighbours even as he asserted that Kashmir situation is better than is being perceived. He further said that while India has taken several significant steps to ease tension, Pakistan responded by terror attacks at Pathankot, Uri and mutilating the bodies of Indian soldiers. “The Government of India has taken significant steps to ease the situation in the past… The fact that our Prime Minister dropped in at Lahore at a social function in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family, were all steps intended to ease the tension. “But each one of these have been responded by, let us say, a Pathankot or a Uri or by mutilation of two of our soldiers. And, therefore, that environment which must exist for a talk has been successfully prevented by Pakistan,” Jaitley said. Addressing the media on completion of three years of the Modi government, Jaitley said the Indian Army and the BSF are “dominating” the Line of Control (LoC) irrespective of where the troubles are being created by foreign insurgents or domestic terrorists. “The security forces have been able to build up a lot of pressure on them, and the results, some of which are evident almost on a daily basis… The situation in Kashmir is better than the impression,” he said. The Indian Army had last week said it launched “punitive fire assaults” on Pakistani positions across the LoC, inflicting “some damage”, days after two of Indian soldiers were beheaded. It had also released a video of the military action which showed some structures in a forested area crumbling in a heap under the impact of repeated shelling. Admitting that the situation in challenging in South Kashmir, he said it is normal in the rest of the state and recently the two-day meeting of the GST Council was held in Srinagar.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A search operation was launched by the Punjab Police and the Army after an abandoned bag containing Army fatigues was found here, a police official said today. A local resident informed the police about the bag yesterday following which the search operation was conducted in Pathankot city and Mamoon Cantonment here. “We conducted a search operation along with army officials here to look for any suspicious person,” the official said. “Five shirts and two trousers were found in a wheat flour bag at a secluded place near the Defence Road here,” the official said. In 2015, three heavily-armed terrorists wearing Army fatigues, had hijacked a car and stormed a police station in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district. They killed seven persons, including a Superintendent of Police, before they were gunned down. Last year, four terrorists who had sneaked in from across the border had attacked the Pathankot Air Base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2, claiming the lives of seven security personnel.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian Army and police are conducting a joint operation in Punjab’s Pathankot district after a suspicious bag was spotted near Mamun military station on Sunday night.A high alert has been sounded in the region and the Army, SWAT commandoes have launch search operation.On Sunday, three Army uniforms were found stuffed in a gunny sack with ‘Jammu’ written on it.Earlier this month, unidentified bags were recovered near Mamun Army cantonment in Pathankot. The police recovered two mobile tower batteries from the bags.Notably, Punjab had witnessed two terror attacks in 2015 and 2016.In the first attack, three heavily-armed terrorists wearing army fatigues, had stormed a police station in Dinanagar town of Gurdaspur district in July 2015 killing seven persons, including a Superintendent of Police, before they were gunned down during a day-long operation.In the second attack, four terrorists who had sneaked in from across the border, attacked the Pathankot air base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2 last year, claiming the lives of seven security personnel.(To be updated)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pathankot terror attack martyr Kulwant Singh’s younger brother and his wife were allegedly thrashed and beaten up by a travel agent and his accomplices in their village in Gurdaspur.The incident took place on May 13, but the CCTV footage of the incident went viral on the social media. The footage shows three persons, including two women thrashing Hardip Singh’s wife Kulwinder Kaur in a shop where they had stopped to recharge their phone. The two women dragged her outside the shop and started beating her in daylight, until onlookers intervened. The couple was taken to the hospital, from where they were discharged after primary treatment.The accused were identified as a travel agent, Gurnam Singh, his wife and other family members.The police said that Hardip Singh had given Rs 9 lakh to the travel agent for sending him to the US in 2015. After he failed to send Hardeep abroad, the family demanded that the money be returned. He returned Rs 3.4 lakh while deducting Rs 1.6 lakh towards expenses and signed an affidavit promising to refund Rs 4 lakh in due course.However, Gurnam kept dilly-dallying and made one excuse after another for not returning the money, when Hardeep took the complaint to village sarpanch. This led to a heated argument between the two after which Hardip decided to report the matter to police.”The incident took place when the couple was on their way to the police station to file the complaint. We have collected the CCTV footage and registered a case against Gurnam Singh, his wife and nine others under Section 323, 341, 354, 148 and 149 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said Sub-Inspector Vijay Kumar from Bhaini Mian Khan Police Station in Gurdaspur. However, no arrest has been made as yet.Hawaldar Kulwant Singh, 49, was among the seven security personnel killed when terrorists stormed the IAF base in Pathankot in January, 2016. A resident of Chak Sharif village in Gurdaspur, Singh had joined Defence Service Corps (DSC) after retirement from Army.Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh took suo moto cognizance of the incident and directed the Director General of Police (DGP) to initiate a thorough probe and ensure that the family is provided protection. “Such brazen lawlessness will not be tolerated, the Chief Minister said, directing the DGP to send a strong signal down the line to all policemen to be on their toes to ensure protection of the common citizens of the state.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pathankot terror attack martyr Kulwant Singh’s younger brother and his wife were allegedly thrashed by a travel agent and his accomplices over a monetary dispute, prompting Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order strict action against the culprits.Hardip Singh and his wife, Kulwinder Kaur, were thrashed in an area falling under Bhaini Mian Khan police station on May 13 with a video of the incident going viral on social media.Punjab police today submitted a detailed report to the chief minister on the incident and said a manhunt has been launched to arrest the absconding culprits.
ALSO READ WATCH: Pathankot martyr’s family assaulted by travel agentTaking suo motu cognisance of the incident, Amarinder directed the DGP to initiate a thorough probe and ensure that the family of the martyred Hawaldar was provided full protection, said an official release here.Acting on the chief minister’s directives, the DGP has ordered a thorough investigation in the matter.According to the police report sent to the chief minister, the dispute arose after Hardip gave Rs 9 lakh to travel agent, Gurnam Singh of Chak Sharif, to send the former to the USA in 2015.After Gurnam failed to send him abroad, Hardip’s family demanded that the money be returned.”The agent returned Rs 3.4 lakh while deducting Rs 1.6 lakh for expenses. For the balance amount, an affidavit was signed by the agent promising refund of Rs 4 lakh in due course,” police said.However, the agent allegedly made excuses for not returning the money, following which Hardip threatened him with a police complaint.The police said the Chak Sharif village sarpanch had intervened in a bid to resolve the issue but failed, leading to a heated argument between the parties. The sarpanch then advised Hardip to report the matter to the police.On May 13, Hardip and his wife were on their way to a police station to lodge a complaint when they stopped at a shop to recharge a mobile phone.Gurnam and his family members, including women, beat up Hardip and his wife inside the shop, and the incident was captured by a CCTV, according to the police report.An FIR dated May 14 has been registered under relevant sections of IPC at Bhaini Mian Khan police station. Ten suspects have been named in the FIR based on the statement of Kulwinder Kaur, wife of Hardeep.”All the suspects are absconding and police teams have been dispatched to arrest them,” police said.Hawaldar Kulwant Singh was among the seven security personnel who lost their lives when four terrorists sneaked in from across the border and attacked the Pathankot air base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2 last year.Kulwant was a resident of Chak Sharif village in Gurdaspur
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pathankot terror attack martyr Kulwant Singh’s younger brother and his wife were allegedly thrashed by a travel agent and his accomplices over a monetary dispute, prompting Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order strict action against the culprits. Hardip Singh and his wife, Kulwinder Kaur, were thrashed in an area falling under Bhaini Mian Khan police station on May 13 with a video of the incident going viral on social media. Punjab police today submitted a detailed report to the chief minister on the incident and said a manhunt has been launched to arrest the absconding culprits. Taking suo motu cognisance of the incident, Amarinder directed the DGP to initiate a thorough probe and ensure that the family of the martyred Hawaldar was provided full protection, said an official release here. Acting on the chief minister’s directives, the DGP has ordered a thorough investigation in the matter. According to the police report sent to the chief minister, the dispute arose after Hardip gave Rs 9 lakh to travel agent, Gurnam Singh of Chak Sharif, to send the former to the USA in 2015. After Gurnam failed to send him abroad, Hardip’s family demanded that the money be returned. “The agent returned Rs 3.4 lakh while deducting Rs 1.6 lakh for expenses. For the balance amount, an affidavit was signed by the agent promising refund of Rs 4 lakh in due course,” police said. However, the agent allegedly made excuses for not returning the money, following which Hardip threatened him with a police complaint. The police said the Chak Sharif village sarpanch had intervened in a bid to resolve the issue but failed, leading to a heated argument between the parties. The sarpanch then advised Hardip to report the matter to the police. On May 13, Hardip and his wife were on their way to a police station to lodge a complaint when they stopped at a shop to recharge a mobile phone. Gurnam and his family members, including women, beat up Hardip and his wife inside the shop, and the incident was captured by a CCTV, according to the police report. An FIR dated May 14 has been registered under relevant sections of IPC at Bhaini Mian Khan police station. Ten suspects have been named in the FIR based on the statement of Kulwinder Kaur, wife of Hardeep. “All the suspects are absconding and police teams have been dispatched to arrest them,” police said. Hawaldar Kulwant Singh was among the seven security personnel who lost their lives when four terrorists sneaked in from across the border and attacked the Pathankot air base on the intervening night of January 1 and 2 last year. Kulwant was a resident of Chak Sharif village in Gurdaspur.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal today constituted zone-wise three-member committees for early and smooth reorganisation of the party set-up. Each committee will be headed by a senior party leader. A statement here said the committee headed by former minister Tota Singh will have senior leader Sarup Chand Singla and MLA Gurpartap Singh Wadal as members. This team will take up responsibility for Ludhiana district and Kapurthala. Similarly, former minister Ajit Singh Kohar’s team will have Pawan Kumar Tinu and Ranjit Singh Kahlon as members and this team will work for district Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Gurdaspur and Pathankot. The team headed by Daljit Singh Cheema will have Santa Singh Umaidpuri and senior party leader Parmjit Singh Sidhwan as members. This team will take up responsibility in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar and submit its report on reorganising party the set-up. The team headed by former minister Sharanjit Singh Dhillon will have senior party leader Sant Balbir Singh Ghunas and Iqbal Singh Jhunda as members. It will take up responsibility for Ropar, Mohali, Fatehgarh Sahib and Moga districts, it said. The team under former minister Gulzar Singh Ranike will have Mantar Singh Brar and Parkash Chand Singla as members and they will look after district Bathinda and Mukatsar. These and other teams will take up meetings in their respective districts and send their report within a month to the party president. The party’s new organisational set-up will be declared on the basis of reports of these committees, the statement said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security is being beefed up — with additional mobile jammers and forces — for the annual Amarnath pilgrimage in the South Kashmir Himalayas starting on June 29 this year, a senior CRPF officer said. Besides routine security measures, extra forces along with new gadgets including 20 mobile jammers and some static jammers will be put in place to ensure a peaceful Amarnath Yatra this year,” Inspector General (IG) CRPF A V Chouhan told reporters today. Jammers are used to block mobile signals to disable the use of cell phones, which are often the mode of communication in militant attacks. With protests spilling out to the streets of Kashmir this summer, extra troops will be deployed all along the highway from Pathankot to the Jawahar Tunnel. He said patrolling parties would be equipped with the “latest gadgets” to meet any untoward situation. “Although we are still in the planning stage we will deploy extra force depending on the situation in Srinagar,” the officer said. Troop deployment and intelligence on the highway would be strengthened, he said. “We are going to take care of each and every yatri,” he said. Beside the Amarnath yatra, the IG CRPF, on a day-long visit to Kishtwar and Bhadarwah, also discussed with security agencies arrangements for the forthcoming yatra season, which includes the Kailash Yatra, Manimahesh Yatra, Trishul Bhaint Yatra and Machail Yatra. The Amarnath pilgrimage will begin on June 29 and conclude on August 7. Over 1.30 lakh pilgrims have been registered for this year s yatra.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An unattended bag was found lying near Dalhousie chowk here today, triggering a security scare. However, after checking the bag, the police found that it contained batteries. “A bag containing some batteries was left at Dalhousie chowk by a local trader after he had a fight with someone,” Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Vivek Sheel Soni said. The person who left the bag was detained, he said, adding that there was no terror angle behind the incident. Pathankot had hogged limelight after a terror attack on the air force base here in 2016 in which seven security personnel were killed.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Actor-turned-politician Vinod Khanna, a four-time MP from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab, was popularly known as “Sardar of bridges” for connecting remote villages in his constituency.70-year-old Khanna died of bladder cancer at a hospital in Mumbai today.As the news of his death spread, his constituency went into a state of mourning.”The news has come as a great shock to us. We cannot believe that he is no more. He was ever so helpful and did so much for his constituency,” 78-year-old Jarnail Singh, a Pathankot-based resident in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency, said.Suave and easy to mingle with voters, Khanna was always a crowd puller in his constituency. He even bought a house in the region so that he could have easy access to the people of his constituency.
ALSO READ Will miss you, Amar: Rishi Kapoor pays tribute to the late Vinod KhannaHe had demanded a special package for border districts to create employment opportunities and promote adventure and spiritual tourism in his border constituency during the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.After joining the BJP in 1997, Khanna was fielded from Gurdaspur parliamentary seat in 1998. He met the expectations of the saffron party when he unseated veteran Congress leader and five-time MP Sukhbuns Kaur Bhinder with a handsome margin.
ALSO READ His superstar swag is what we grew up on: actors, sportspersons pay tribute to the late Vinod KhannaKhanna, who appeared in over 140 films, including “Haath ki Safai”, “Hera Pheri” and “Muqaddar Ka Sikander”, again trounced Bhinder in 1999 and 2004 Lok Sabha polls.However, he had to taste defeat in 2009 Lok Sabha elections when he was defeated by Congress candidate Partap Singh Bajwa.
ALSO READ Will miss a great actor and a gentleman: Politicians pay tribute to Vinod KhannaKhanna took his ‘sweet revenge’ in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when he thrashed Bajwa with a margin of over 1.30 lakh votes.Khanna, who became a disciple of Osho in the late 1970s, had also come under severe criticism by his political opponents as they dubbed him as “Mumbai Ka Babu” and an “outsider”.The veteran actor is survived by his wife, Kavita Khanna, and four children – Rahul, Akshaye, Sakshi, and Shraddha.He had always said that he considered his constituency as his fifth child.”Gurdaspur constituency is my child. In fact, it is my fifth child which needs my attention the most,” he had said during poll campaigning for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.Khanna, who had donned the hats of Union Minister for Culture and Tourism, and Minister of State for External Affairs in 2002 and 2003 respectively, was popularly known as “Sardar of bridges” for building several bridges on Ravi and Beas rivers.”He got several bridges built on Ravi, Beas and Ujh rivers. These bridges helped in connecting several villages located at far off places with the city and as a result of which Gurdaspur got developed,” said his close aide Samarinder Sharma.”He also got a Railway shunting yard removed from Pathankot which helped in resolving the traffic problem in the area. The leader also helped in setting up the domestic airport at Pathankot,” he said.Sharma, who had been associated with the actor for 20 years, said Khanna even bore expenses pertaining to heart and cancer surgeries of several needy patients of his constituency.”Khanna ji last visited the constituency in December. He could not visit further due to his failing health,” he said.The veteran actor had even come under attack from opposition parties for not being present in his constituency at the time of the terror attack at Pathankot air force base station last year.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan has prepared a new dossier about alleged militant activities of Indian prisoner on death row Kulbhushan Jadhav and will share it with the UN and foreign envoys stationed here, media reports have said. The new dossier is based on Jadhav’s early testimonial and statements given in front of the Field General Court Martial about his alleged involvement in espionage and sabotage activities in Karachi and Balochistan, reports said. The document contains the attested report of Court Martial General, as well as the court proceedings timeline, The Nation reported. Jadhav, 46, was tried through Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and was awarded the death sentence. Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence last week. The documents will also contain details of arrests and raids done by Pakistan security agencies on Jadhav’s tip-offs. “The dossier will be handed over to different ambassadors in Islamabad. The Pakistani envoys across the world will also present it to their host states,” the paper said. The document will also be shared with the United Nations and other global organisations, it added. On Friday, Indian High Commissioner Gautam Bambawale said they would appeal against the death sentence to Jadhav and demanded from Pakistan a certified copy of the charge-sheet as well as the army court order in the case, besides seeking consular access to the retired Indian navy officer. Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.” The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest. India had acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government. The Jadhav episode could further strain the India- Pakistan ties which were hit after attacks in Pathankot and Uri by Pakistan-based terrorists last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A parliamentary panel has rapped intelligence agencies for the terror attacks in Pathankot, Uri and a few other places saying these strikes “exposed the deficiencies” of the agencies but there was no analysis of their “failure”. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Home Affairs, headed by senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, said a year had passed since the January 2, 2016 terror attack at the Indian Air Force station in Pathankot but the probe has not been completed by the National Investigation Agency. Moreover, it said, no analysis seems to have been done of the “failure” of the intelligence agencies to provide credible and actionable inputs regarding the attacks at Pathankot, Uri, Pampore, Baramulla and Nagrota. “The committee feels that these attacks have exposed the deficiencies of our intelligence agencies,” it said. While in the Pathankot attack, seven security personnel were killed, 19 army soldiers lost their lives in the attack at the Brigade headquarters in Uri on September 18 last year. Terrorists also attacked a convoy of CRPF vehicles on June 25, 2016 at Pampore along the Srinagar-Jammu highway, killing eight paramilitary personnel. While in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir, militants attacked a camp of the Rashtriya Rifles killing a security personnel on October 3, 2016, seven soldiers were killed when an army base in Nagrota in the state was attacked by militants on November 29, 2016. “The committee, therefore, recommends that the (Home) ministry should instruct the NIA to complete the investigations of these attacks at the earliest so as to identify the loopholes in the intelligence setup in the border areas,” it said. Taking note of “huge rise” in the number of infiltration, the committee said the government must carry out a thorough investigation into the sudden spurt in infiltration attempts along the Line of Control from across the border and find out vulnerabilities that are being apparently exploited by the infiltrators. There were 364 attempts of infiltration in 2016 of which 112 were successful in comparison to 121 infiltration attempts and 33 net infiltration in 2015. The committee also noted that there has been an increasing number of incidents of infiltration through tunnels from across the border. The panel felt that in future this might become a major modus operandi of the infiltrators and the government must take proactive steps to foil such attempts. “The committee recommends that the ministry must explore technological solutions for tunnel detection in border areas and should seek the help of other countries which have successfully developed tunnel detection systems,” it said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It was nothing less than a replay of the Pathankot terror attack for the country’s security agencies when a suspicious man sneaked into the Palam Air Force station at the Indira Gandhi International airport side and reached up to the sensitive technical area, giving slip to the multi-layered security cover.Sources said that the station, regarded as one of the most sensitive areas in the country and hosts all VIP movements, is guarded by the Air Force police, Delhi police and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).The incident that was reported around 10 am on Thursday, triggered panic among intelligence agencies and the man was being jointly interrogated by the police and intelligence sleuths till late Friday. However, sources claimed that nothing suspicious was recovered from him.The man was caught in the “prohibited area” of the Palam airbase near 27 end. He revealed his identity as 30-year-old Ashok Kumar, a permanent resident of Bilaspur near Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh. “Questioning and primary probe revealed he gained entry through the tech gate to the restricted area. No incriminating item was found with apart from Rs 77 and a pair of earphones. The Delhi police were immediately roped in and he was handed over to them,” said a senior officer.The Air Force police, and the Delhi police, with a dog squad, combed the entire air base. CCTV cameras were also checked, officers said.”The Palam air base is a den of crucial assets for the Indian Air Force. After more than an hour-long combing operation, we declared the area safe and the man was arrested. He was booked under IPC Section 447 for criminal trespass. Thereafter, he was presented for a joint interrogation by the intelligence agencies and police that continued till late Friday evening,” said a senior police officer.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif today said that Kulbhushan Jadhav has a right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days, even as he justified the death penalty given to the Indian national. Jadhav, 46, was awarded death sentence by military Field General Court Martial under the army act for his alleged involvement in terrorism and espionage. The death sentence was confirmed by powerful army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. Speaking in the Senate, upper house of parliament, the defence minister today said that Jadhav has the right to appeal against his death sentence within 60 days. The sentence sparked angry reaction from India which said Jadhav’s execution would be treated as “premeditated murder.” Asif dismissed Indian concerns that proper legal process was not observed in the trial. “There was nothing in the legal proceedings that was against the law,” he said. He also rejected the charges of premeditated murder. “It’s not premeditated murder, what’s happening in Kashmir is (premeditated murder),” he alleged. The minister further said that the trial of Jadhav went for went on “for three months”, rejecting rumours that he was hastily convicted. The minister said those working against the security of Pakistan would be treated with “iron hands.” “Whether the enemies come from across the border or within Pakistan, they will receive punishment,” he said. He said that Jadhav had confessed his crime in the confessional statement, which is available on record. Pakistan claims its security forces had arrested Jadhav from the restive Balochistan province on March 3 last year after he reportedly entered from Iran. It also claimed that he was “a serving officer in the Indian Navy.” The Pakistan Army had also released a “confessional video” of Jadhav after his arrest. India had acknowledged that Jadhav had served with the navy but denied that he has any connection with the government. The incident is expected to further deteriorate already strained Indo-Pak ties which were hit after deadly attacks in Pathankot and Uri by Pakistan-based terrorists last year.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today asked Pakistan to stop backing militancy in the state and enable restoration of peace so that a dialogue process could begin. “It is my appeal to those across (the border) that they should renew the policy of not supporting militancy or the gun that they had adopted during (Prime Minister A B) Vajpayee’s time,” she said addressing an election meeting in Dooru in Anantnag constituency. “Help us restore peace in Jammu and Kashmir and then talks will take place here and across (PoK) as well,” she added. The Chief Minister was campaining for Mufti Tassaduq Hussain, her brother and ruling PDP candidate for by-poll to Anantnag Lok Sabha seat vacated by her last year. Mehbooba said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Pakistan in December 2015 had rekindled hopes of improving relations between New Delhi and Islamabad. “Narendra Modi went on his own to Lahore to meet Nawaz Sharif. A new hope was attached to it but unfortunately Pathankot (terror attack) happened,” the Chief Minister said. “These (tense) times will not last forever. Vajpayeeji used to say that you can change friends but not the neighbours. We have to live with each other cordially,” she added.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least two US-based companies, with headquarters in San Francisco and Texas, are hosting and securing the website of proscribed Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), disseminating anti-India propaganda, jihad in Kashmir and violent extremist ideology.JeM is responsible for daring attacks on India including the one on Parliament in 2001, the Pathankot air force base and the Army’s Nagrota camp last year and active in the Kashmir militancy. It has been found to be using the services of a US company CloudFlare Inc to protect its website alqalamonline.com and rangonoor.com from cyber-attacks and accelerate its presence on the web making it easily accessible to its users.The JeM has enrolled LimeStone Networks for hosting other domains like musalmanbachay.com, fathuljawwad.com and sadaemujahid.com –all part of its online propaganda machinery in the form of articles, videos of fighters hailed as martyrs who died in Kashmir, write-ups from leadership, quranic verses, and poetries on holy war, DNA investigation shows.These companies have previously been flagged off as favorites of the Islamic State, al Qaeda, Hezbollah and other Islamic extremist groups, but have not been subjected to US law enforcement yet. US companies are prohibited from financial transactions with designated terrorist organisations. Incidentally, JeM is proscribed by the United Nations and the United States since 2001 for its terrorist activitiesFollowing the Pathankot attack, an audio clip was uploaded on rangonoor.com with the voice of Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar claiming responsibility for the attack and praising its fighters. Four Pakistani terrorists were killed in the air force station. A transcript of the audio was featured on the online magazine alqalamonline.com …the mouthpiece of JeM, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed charge sheet on the attack in the Mohali court states.After these claims appeared on the websites, Pakistani authorities briefly shut down JeM’s online publications and put its leader Maulana Masood Azhar under house arrest as pressure from India began to mount. The alqalam website has contents of jihadi thoughts, a weekly newspaper by the group and columns featuring Azhar along with other senior JeM leaders.In its investigation, the NIA found that these sites are hosted by Bulgaria-based web hosting company SiteGround by a Karachi administrator Muhammad Tariq Siddique.A quick WHOIS search on myip.ms which provides hosting information, websites and IP database shows the IP address of alQalamonline as 22.214.171.124 and Rangonoor’s 126.96.36.199, linked with IP Reverse DNS (Host) company Cloudflare located in California, San Francisco.In an email query sent by dna, Vanessa Royale from Cloudflare said that the company isn’t a host for the two websites. “Our IP addresses may appear in a DNS (Domain Name System) query since we are a reverse proxy, but we are not hosting the sites.”It means that CloudFlare acts as an intermediary between the user and the parent hosting company of alqalamonline.com and rangonoor.com SiteGround company, thereby ensuring malicious data or DDOS attacks are not directed to the websites. Dna investigation has reconfirmed that both the sites are currently running on IP address 188.8.131.52 hosted by the main company SiteGround on the which was reconfirmed by dna investigation.”It basically acts as a watchman between the user and the main hosting company by putting the IP address of CloudFlare data centres behind the website. The traffic is routed through CloudFlare while the website is still hosted in its original location, thus making it difficult to carry a DDOS or inject attack,” said Information Security Analyst Tarun Wig of Innefu labs Pvt Ltd in Delhi, which works on national security surveillance with the government. He added that a lot of malicious domains and websites are usually found hosted in data centers in countries like Bulgaria and Ukraine.Although CloudFlare refused to comment on customers or customer plans without their approval, Royale skirted the issue on technical grounds that her company was responsible for facilitating terrorist websites. “Terminating a customer would not cause any content to go away. It would simply make it slower and more vulnerable to attacks,” she said.JeM has protected its principal websites alqalamonline.com and rangonoor.com, with a daily traffic of at least 200 visitors, against the distributed denial of service (DDoS) or malicious script attacks by placing them in CloudFlare services since March 2014.When dna tried to access alqalamonline.com, a white screen with a five-second pause appeared and a text, ‘checking your browser’ before accessing alqalamonline appeared. In the fine blue print, it states DDoS protection by CloudFlare.CloudFlare’s services (some are free) are used by organisations to optimise their website delivery. “Once the service is enabled by a website owner, it will provide security against DDOS and safeguard content, acting as a web application firewall (WAF). The CloudFlare service will cache the website and helps faster delivery (or optimise the website-loading speed),” said cyber security researcher of Mumbai based Open Security Alliance, Dinesh Bareja.”It is a paradox to see terror organisations using CloudFlare, which is unwittingly providing them security against web-based attacks and ensuring these sites get loaded fast,” he said.Limestone Networks, based out of Texas, is the parent hosting company of JeM’s other websites featuring its monthly magazine for children, Musalman bachay, and Sada-e-mujahid, with information and material regarding Islam, Quran, Jihad, sermons by Azhar and some content with English translation. These domains indulge in soft propaganda and introduces JeM’s thoughts to potential recruits: young children and teenagers.Limestone did not respond to an email from dna. Limestone is also a popular forum favoured by Salafi-Jihadi ideologues.SECURING TERRORA quick WHOIS search on myip.ms shows the IP address of alQalamonline as 184.108.40.206 and Rangonoor’s IP address as 04.27.132.179
CloudFlare acts as an intermediary between the user and the parent hosting company of alqalamonline.com and rangonoor.com SiteGround company, thereby ensuring malicious data or DDOS attacks are not directed to the websites.
US companies are prohibited from financial transactions with designated terrorist organisations. Incidentally, JeM is proscribed by the United Nations and the United States since 2001 for its terrorist activities.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three suspected drug peddlers have been arrested and a large quantity of intoxicants has been seized allegedly from their possession in separate incidents in Samba district, police said today. Acting on a specific information, the police conducted a raid at Bari village in Smailpur area of Bari Brahmana last evening and arrested one Zaheer Abas, a police officer said. 610 intoxicated capsules of clavidol, nine injections of Pramsliv, 30 tablets of Prilamlive and 14 tablets of Macdol were seized which he used to sell to drug addicts, the officer said. Police has registered a case under the NDPS Act at Police Station Bari Brahmana and further investigations are underway, he said. In another incident, one Vishal Sharma was arrested near Vijaypur railway station in the district and 476 capsules of Spm-Prx Plus were seized from his possession, he said. A case under NDPS Act was registered at Police Station Bari Brahmana and an investigation is underway, he added. Acting on some specific information, the police nabbed one Joginder Singh alias Kanta near Jammu-Pathankot national highway and and seized 130 grams of cannabis, he said, adding that a case has been registered against him and further investigation is on.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Centre today insisted in the Supreme Court that Hindi TV channel NDTV India tender an apology for allegedly violating the telecast norms during the Pathankot terror attack last year.Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told a bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan that the news channel must clearly say that it regrets the unfortunate incident that led to the government’s passing direction for it to go off air for a day in November last year.Senior advocate Harish Salve appearing for NDTV India said that the channel is ready to furnish a letter clarifying that it carries out responsible journalism.He said that the channel is ready to state that the reportage consistently takes care of the issues of confidentiality and the Centre should call a meeting to clarify and lay down clear guidelines.The bench posted the matter for further hearing on March 31.On November 8 last year, Rohatgi had informed the court that the decision to ban the transmission on November 9 had been put on hold by the government.He had said that NDTV would be given a hearing by the inter-ministerial committee before which the channel had made a representation for a review of the decision directing NDTV India to go off the air for allegedly violating the telecast norms.NDTV has challenged the constitutional validity of the provision of the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act under which the order was issued against it.The ban was been widely condemned by journalists and editors with all press councils drawing parallels between the move and the Emergency of the 1970s when basic constitutional rights including the freedom of the press were blatantly violated, the channel said on its website.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> A five-term Lok Sabha MP, BJP leader Yogi Adityanath is a fiery Hindutva mascot who has developed a reputation of being controversy’s favourite child over a period of time.Named as the next chief minister of Uttar Pradesh today, 44-year-old Adityanath, a priest-turned-politician, is known for his provocative speeches and mass following across the state and never shies away from making controversial remarks, be it about Islam or Pakistan. Clad in his trademark saffron-coloured robe, Aditayanth, a Gorakhpur MP, has been seeking greater power and is expected to give a push to BJP’s Hindutva-wrapped agenda of development with the emergence of a separate powerbase for the party in eastern UP.Born Ajay Singh, the diminutive shaven headed politician is known for his powerful oratory, though most of his speeches hinge on divisive lines and has been in the forefront in keeping the communal politics alive in the country. Adityanath, who is a strong votary of construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, drove BJP’s Hindutva campaign in eastern UP in the just concluded Assembly polls in the politically crucial state where it won three- fourths majority.Adityanath has rebelled against his party on several occasions, but because of the sway he holds over the ‘Hindu’ voters, the BJP apparently could not ignore his ‘leadership qualities.’ He had floated Hindu Yuva Vahini, a right-wing outfit, in 2002. Ever since, the HYV has been largely instrumental in his meteoric rise – from a student leader to five-time MP. Right from comparing Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed during the intolerance debate in 2015 to asking people to leave India if they don’t practice Surya Namaskar in 2015, the Yogi has been at the centre of several controversies.Playing the religious card during the pre-poll campaign, the firebrand leader had said that controversial issues like ‘love jihad’ and ‘Kairana Hindu’ exodus have always been on his party s agenda. He had also said that the hurdles on the path of construction of a grand Ram temple will be gradually removed and its construction will soon start in Ayodhya. Born on June 5 1972, Adityanath was the youngest member of the 12th Lok Sabha at 26. He has been elected as an MP from Gorakhpur to the Lok Sabha in the 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections.In 2005, Adityanath allegedly led a purification drive which involved the conversion of Christians to Hinduism. In one such instance, 1,800 Christians were reportedly converted to Hinduism in the town of Etah in UP. In January 2007, an altercation involving a Hindu group and Muslims broke out during a Muharram procession in Gorakhpur which led to the hospitalisation of a young Hindu, Raj Kumar Agrahari. The District Magistrate had made it clear that Adityanath should not visit the site as it may inflame tensions.He initially agreed but after Agrahari died, he disobeyed the magistrate and travelled to the site with a group of his followers. Adityanath then started a non-violent dharna on the site. However, inflammatory speeches were made and some of his followers even set fire to a nearby mazar (Muslim mausoleum). Curfew was imposed by the local police, but Adityanath broke it and was subsequently jailed. He was arrested and remanded for a fortnight, on charges of disturbing peace. His arrest led to further unrest and several coaches of the Mumbai bound Mumbai-Gorakhpur Godan Express were burnt, allegedly by protesting Hindu Yuva Vahini activists.The tensions escalated to riots across Gorakhpur leading to the burning of mosques, homes, buses and trains. During the intolerance debate in the media, Adityanath compared Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed. He had said, “Shah Rukh Khan should remember that majority population of the country made him the star, and if they boycott his films, he will also have to wander on streets. It is unfortunate SRK is speaking the same language that of Hafiz Saeed.” That he is not someone who minces words while expressing himself was was manifested when he came out full throttle for yoga in the midst of controversy over the issue saying that those who oppose Surya Namaskar can leave India.He also made a request that those who see communalism in even Sun God should drown drown themselves in the sea or live in a dark room for the rest of their lives. On January 3, 2016, one day after the terror attack on an IAF base in Pathankot, Adityanath blamed the assault on Pakistan, claiming, “The Pathankot attack has once again proved that Satan could change for the better but Pakistan cannot.” Adityanath has had a strained relation with the BJP for more than a decade. With the emergence of a separate powerbase in eastern UP, he has been seeking greater power, causing further conflicts.In December 2006, Adityanath had organised a three-day Virat Hindu Mahasammelan at Gorakhpur, during the same period when the BJP was holding its National Executive Meet in Lucknow. The 2007 elections saw a conflict between Adityanath and the BJP leadership – he wanted more than hundred seats in this region to go to candidates selected by him, but the party leadership would not agree. Subsequently, a compromise agreement was reached, possibly with inputs from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and eight of his candidates were fielded.In March 2010, Adityanath was one of several BJP MPs who started the defiance to the party whip on the Women’s Reservation Bill. Adityanath is the Mahant (head priest) of the Gorakhnath Mutt, a Hindu temple in Gorakhpur, following the death of his spiritual “father,” Mahant Avaidyanath in September 2014. Though known more for his rightist Hindu politics, it is to his credit that people in Gorakhpur, especially around the temple, hold him in high esteem irrespective of whichever caste or community they belong to. Even Muslims around the temple are given protection by the Yogi.He is also the founder of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, a social, cultural and nationalist group of youth who seek to provide rightist Hindu platform. Yogi Adityanath comes from a Rajput family. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Science from Uttarakhand.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan today said a trial in a terror case like 26/11 takes time to conclude and one must not “jump the gun” and must wait for the court verdict. Abdul Basit, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, said Pakistani nationals suspected of involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attack case have been booked by the authorities and further progress is expected in the matter. “The accused have been booked and we hope to make further progress in the matter,” he said at the India Today Conclave here. “The crime took place in India. The trials in such cases do take time. Our government is trying hard to ensure justice (to the victims). But, let’s not jump the gun. Let us please wait for the final verdict of the court,” he said. The Pakistani diplomat was replying to a query from a 26/11 attack survivor who attended the event. “But, at the end of the day, bilateral cooperation is required to dispense justice,” Basit said, adding, “We also need to see why it is taking too long to bring the perpetrators of the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombing (to book).” Replying to another query, he said as far as the trial in the Pathankot terror attack case was concerned, “we strongly feel that both the countries should cooperate (in the investigation) and we need to sit across the table”. During an interactive session, Basit asserted that there were “no terror training camps” in Pakistan and maintained that his country too was a “victim of terrorism”. “This blame game is not going to take us anywhere. Let’s not forget that Pakistan has been a big victim of terrorism.” Asked if Islamabad considers 26/11 attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed a terrorist, the Pakistani envoy evaded a direct reply and said the LeT founder has been put under house arrest as per the anti-terrorism law. Speaking at the event, former High Commissioner to Pakistan G Parthasarathy questioned the neighbouring country’s commitment to fight terrorism. “The world’s most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden was found living with his family members in Pakistan (in Abbottabad town which houses a military base). Every terror attack in Afghanistan emanates from the neighbouring country (Pakistan),” he said. Taking a dig at Pakistan’s claim that it too is a victim of terrorism, the veteran Indian diplomat said, “You can’t nurture a snake in your backyard hoping it will bite only your neighbour.”(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Punjab and Haryana continued to be under the grip of cold weather conditions, with Adampur being the coldest place in both the states after recording a low of 6.1 degrees Celsius. Gurdaspur and Bathinda in Punjab registered below normal temperature at 7.8 degrees and 8.3 degrees Celsius respectively. Halwara (9.7 degrees), Pathankot (8.1 degrees) and Amritsar (8 degrees) also registered below normal minimum temperatures, a MeT Department official said here. The cold weather conditions also prevailed in Patiala, where the minimum temperature settled at 9.6 degrees Celsius, three notches below normal, while Ludhiana recorded a low of 10.1 degrees. Union Territory Chandigarh registered a low of 9.5 degrees Celsius, down three notches against normal. In Haryana, Karnal was the coldest place after recording the minimum temperature of 6.8 degrees Celsius, six notches below normal. Hisar too experienced a cold night at 8.6 degrees Celsius, six degrees below normal. Ambala recorded a low of 11.3 degrees Celsius, down three degrees against normal. The MeT attributed the recent dip in mercury in the plains of Punjab and Haryana to fresh spell of snowfall last week at many places in neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The airbase station here, which had witnessed a terror attack last year, was put on high alert today and a massive search operation was initiated in the area following intelligence input about presence of suspicious men. The joint operation of Punjab Police, the Army, the Air Force and the Himachal Pradesh Police was launched following the intelligence input, Pathankot SSP Nilambari Vijayjagdale said. Without divulging much information, she said the search operation is part of precautionary measures and more than 500 security personnel are engaged in it. The SSP said the operation is being carried out in villages and other areas located near the airbase station and air surveillance is also being conducted using helicopters. Besides patrolling by security personnel, Quick Response Teams have also been deployed to check any suspicious activity, police said. Last year, terrorists had sneaked in from across the border and attacked the air base on the intervening night of January 1-2 while Dinanagar in Gurdaspur was targeted on July 27 in 2015. The Pathankot attack had claimed the lives of seven security personnel while four terrorists were killed. In the Dinanagar attack, three heavily-armed terrorists wearing army fatigues had stormed a police station, killing seven persons, including a Superintendent of Police, before they were gunned down during a day-long operation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Yuvraj Bhupinder Singh, son-in-law of former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur (Bholath), Sucha Singh Langha (Dera Baba Nanak), Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, son of SAD MP Ranjeet Singh Brahmpura (Khadoor Sahib), Virsa Singh Valtoha (Khem Karan), Ajit Singh Shant (Mehal Kalan), Sewa Singh (Qadian) and Upinderjit Kaur (Sultanpur Lodhi). BJP failed to provide much needed support to its ally SAD at the hustings as the party’s many top guns missing the shot at victory. BJP national secretary Tarun Chugh lost from Amritsar central to Congress stalwart O P Soni. Badal’s political advisor Tikshan Sud lost from Hoshiarpur seat to Sunder Shyam Arora of Congress. BJP senior leader Arunesh Kumar lost his traditional Mukerian seat, while former Punjab BJP chief Ashwini Kumar lost to Amit of Congress from his traditional seat Pathankot.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Stepping up offensive against the Pakistan-based terrorist organisation, National Investigation Agency (NIA), a special court in Mohali has declared Chief of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) Maulana Masood Azhar and three others proclaimed offenders (PO) in the Pathankot air base attack.The order was passed by the Special Court in Mohali during the ongoing trial in the Pathankot attack case. A heavily armed terrorist group had stormed the Pathankot Air Force Station on January 2, 2016. The anti-terrorist operation had lasted four days and was declared over on January 5, 2016 after four terrorists were killed.Masood, his brother Mufti Abdul Rauf Asghar and two others, namely Shahid Latif and Kashif Jan, have been charge sheeted by the NIA for allegedly masterminding the 2016 attack.The investigation agency informed the Special Court that a written proclamation notice requiring the accused to appear in Court had already been publicised on February 5 through newspapers and internet. A red corner notice has also been issued through Interpol to arrest the accused.Taking it into account, the Special NIA Court issued the formal proclamation orders under Section 82/83 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).In the wake of absence of the accused, the NIA Counsel also requested the Court to initiate the trial under Section 299 of the CrPC and record statements of witnesses. The case was adjourned for next hearing on April 10, when NIA is likely to submit the list of witnesses.The orders will build up India’s case to list Masood as a designated terrorist in the United Nations which it has been persistently trying post the Pathankot attack.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>No concrete measures were taken to beef up security in frontline military bases and the scenario is as “vulnerable” as has been “exposed” during the Uri and Pathankot terror attacks, a parliamentary panel said today. Slamming the Defence Ministry, it said though a Committee had submitted its report 6-7 months ago on the security aspect, no concrete measures have been taken to address the lacunae. “The security scenario is vulnerable as has been exposed during Pathankot and Uri attacks,” the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence said in its latest report, which was tabled in the Lok Sabha. After last year’s Pathankot terror attack , the government had set up a military committee headed by ex-Army vice-chief Lt-Gen Philip Campose to review existing security infrastructure and suggest measures to strengthen security at defence installations. The Campose Committee had submitted its report to Defence Ministry last May. The parliamentary panel said there is no information regarding inputs considered in the report. “Yet, no concrete measures appear to have been taken even after a lapse of 6-7 months of the submission of the report. The Committee are distressed to note the apparent lack of sincerity on the part of the Ministry of Defence in this regard and desire that situation should improve. “Necessary measures must be taken so as to ensure that any unpleasant incidence does not recur,” the panel said. It said security arrangements in military establishments are dynamic in nature and called for maintaining a robust and strong response mechanism to emerging threats. The parliamentary panel said the recommendations of the military committee need to be studied carefully and suitably implemented. As directed by the government, the three Services had carried out security audit of all their military establishments following the Pathankot attack.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>President Pranab Mukherjee today said a strong deterrent is needed against those who want to adversely affect India’s progress and security in view of the ever changing geo-political situation in the region. He also honoured a helicopter unit for its meritorious works, including its stellar role in confining terrorists to a restricted area during the last year’s terror attack on Pathankot Air Force Station. “India is a responsible and emerging power in a multipolar, multilateral world. The ever changing socio- economic and geo-political scenario in our region of influence demands a strong deterrent against those with nefarious designs to affect the progress, prosperity and security of our nation,” Mukherjee said. Apart from providing deterrence against inimical entities, both external and internal, the armed forces have been at the forefront of providing succour to the citizens during natural calamities, he said. “The operations by the Indian Air Force during floods in Uttarakhand, Kashmir Valley and Tamil Nadu deserve a special mention and will always be remembered by the entire nation. “The relentless and selfless operations showcase the fortitude and determination of its gallant air warriors,” Mukherjee said. He was speaking after awarding the President’s ‘Standard’ to 125 Helicopter Squadron and ‘Colours’ to Mechanical Training Institute at the Tambaram air base, one of the oldest establishments of the Indian Air Force, near here. The awards of Standard and Colours are given to a unit for its meritorious service. The 125 Helicopter Squadron (Gladiators) since its formation in November 1983 has enhanced its operational capability over the years and earned accolades for its valour and strike capabilities when deployed internally as well as abroad. When deployed under the United Nations flag in Sierra Leone, the Gladiators were instrumental in securing the release of 232 captured Indian Army personnel. In January 2016, the Squadron played a stellar role in confining the terrorists to a restricted area during the Pathankot terror attack, thereby reducing casualties, the President said. The Mechanical Training Institute at Air Force Station Tambaram is the oldest technical training institute of the force. Raised in 1935, the institute has undergone changes in locations as well as in nomenclature over the years and was rechristened as Mechanical Training Institute in 1980. The unit imparts fundamental technical training in aircraft maintenance and servicing to the young recruits in mechanical aviation trades. The tradesmen are the backbone of the maintenance arm of the IAF, ensuring its operational capability and effectiveness.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir in the last two and a half years? Will the Prime Minister take responsibility for it,” he asked. The Congress leader said it was the Modi government that invited “the rogue Pakistan based ISI” to investigate the Pathankot terror attack. “Since the PM is now stating its involvement in the Kanpur train accident, the nation would like to know why did the PM invite ISI to investigate Pathankot,” he claimed. “It is a fact that the JIT (Joint Investigation Team) probing the Pathankot attack went back to Pakistan and in return blamed India for carrying out such an attack,” he said. Joshi also claimed that the Prime Minister’s Saree-Shawl diplomacy viz-a-viz Pakistan was “a complete failure”. Alleging that the recent arrests by Madhya Pradesh ATS in connection with the ISI-run spy racket have “completely exposed” the “‘Chaal Charitra and Chehra’ of the Bharatiya Janata Party”. He asked if it was true that atleast four persons out of 11 arrested are BJP-VHP Bajrang Dal members and have active connections with the Sangh Parivar. “Is it not true that they teamed up with the ISI to spy on the Indian Army? What action will the PM and BJP chief Amit Shah take on such elements in their own party,” he said. Addressing an election meeting yesterday in Gonda district, which is close to the Indo-Nepal border, Modi touched upon the derailment of 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express near Pukhraya in Kanpur Dehat district on November 20 and said the findings showed it was a “conspiracy”. “The Kanpur rail accident in which hundreds of people were killed was a conspiracy and conspirators carried it out sitting across the border…Gonda is adjoining Nepal,”he said. “If the cross-border foes want to carry out their work, is it not necessary that more vigil is maintained in Gonda,” Modi asked people as he exhorted them to vote for the BJP.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After a temporary respite, cold weather conditions have revived at most places in Punjab and Haryana, with Adampur today turning out to be the coldest place in both states at 4.7 degrees Celsius. Adampur’s temperature was six degrees below the normal minimum while Bathinda too experienced a cold night at 6.9 degrees Celsius, the Met department said. Amritsar (7.7 C), Ludhiana (9.6 C), Patiala (10.1 C), Pathankot (8 C), Halwara (8.2 C), Faridkot (7.5 C) and Gurdaspur (7.4 C) also recorded below normal minimum temperature. Chandigarh registered a low of 10.1 degrees Celsius, which was within normal limits. Ambala in Haryana recorded a low of 12.4 degrees Celsius, two notches above normal. However, at most other places in Haryana, the low settled a few notches below normal range. Hisar recorded a low of 9.2 degrees Celsius, down three notches against normal while Karnal experienced a cold night at 8.2 degrees Celsius, down by two notches, a Met Department official said here. The minimum temperature at most places in the two states has been settling below normal limits during the past few days.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Banjar and Gohar had 28 mm and 24 mm of rains, followed by, Sundernagar 21 mm, Jhandutta 20 mm, Mandi and Seobagh 19 mm. In a respite from cold, the minimum temperature increased at most places in Punjab and Haryana. Amritsar and Ludhiana recorded an identical minimum of 8 degrees Celsius, while Patiala had a low of 9.6 degrees. Adampur was the coldest place in Punjab, registering a low of 6 degrees Celsius. Pathankot had a low of 9.1, Halwara 9, Bathinda 7.5 and Halwara 9 degrees Celsius. Chandigarh’s low settled at 10.2 degrees Celsius. In Haryana, Karnal was the coldest place at 7 degrees Celsius. Hisar recorded a low of 8.7 degrees, while Ambala’s minimum settled at 11.7 degrees Celsius.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>scenario, have prepared a blueprint to equip its commandos with the latest gadgets as they foresee a situation where the contingency force will have to undertake multifarious operations, ranging from closed spaces of a five-star hotel like during 2008 Mumbai attacks and acres of open field at the Pathankot air base. The force has also procured light-weight (3.8kg) Israeli and US-made ‘corner shot’ rifles that can pin down terrorists and save hostages with precision, without the commando being exposed. A favourite weapon of the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) teams and Special Forces, the ‘corner shot’ have also been improvised for better aim after the NSG felt their use after the 26/11 terror attacks. In order to better protect its commandos right in the line of fire, the force has got new ballistic helmets with glass visor that can save them from eye injuries through splinter or grenade blasts. The helmets, of the top notch NIJ-III specifications that define the best bullet proof protection, weigh 2.6-kgs. A special combat gun, SPAS-15, is also now in the combat inventory of the force. The Italian shotgun can hold a six round magazine and is popular among commando forces as it is used to blast the locks of closed doors. “The NSG did a lot of door busting when a number of rooms in two five-star hotels had to be forcibly opened during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Then door-charge ammunition was used which is crude and could result in collateral damage. The SPAS-15 does this job effectively and efficiently,” the official said.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A search operation was today launched in Punjab’s Pathankot district after a car bearing the registration number of Jammu and Kashmir allegedly tried to run over police personnel on patrol duty. The patrol party of the Pathankot police tried to stop the silver-coloured Maruti Alto K-10 at a check barrier in Sujanpur but the occupants tried to run over the cops, Pathankot SSP, Nilambari Jagdalay Vijay said. She said the occupants, believed to be 4-5 in number, escaped and the vehicle was found abandoned at Badrali village during the search operation. “We have registered an FIR against unknown accused under relevant provisions of the law,” Nilambari said. She said the police was questioning the locals of the area where the car was found. “Nothing suspicious has been found from the search of the car. The security agencies are on the hunt to arrest the accused,” she said. Last year, occupants of a black Maruti Alto car had abandoned their vehicle near Bhagwal village in Pathankot, which is close to the Indo-Pak international border, and escaped on foot after the villagers had tried to stop the vehicle. Terrorists had sneaked in from across the border and attacked the Pathankot air base on the intervening night of January 1-2 last year, while Dinanagar in adjoining Gurdaspur district was targeted by terrorists on July 27, 2015. The Pathankot terror attack had claimed the lives of seven security personnel, while four terrorists were killed in the incident. Three heavily-armed terrorists wearing Army fatigues had stormed a police station in Dinanagar town in Gurdaspur district killing seven persons, including a Superintendent of Police, before they were gunned down during a day-long operation.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four employees of Jammu and Kashmir Bank were today killed when their vehicle collided with a bus coming from the opposite direction in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. The employees were on their way to Pathankot from Jammu for duty when their Swift car met with the accident at Sodhi Resort in Kathua district this morning, a police officer said. Their bodies have been recovered and sent for postmortem, he said. They would be handed over for last rites after the completion of all medical and legal formalities, the officer said. A case has been registered and bus has been seized, he said, adding that further investigation is on.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India wants Pakistan to renounce violence and take “strong preventive action” against terrorists and extremists without discrimination, Indian High Commissioner to Islamabad Gautam Bambawale has said. “India wishes Pakistan well in its nation building process. India wishes to see a stable, moderate and prosperous Pakistan which is at peace with itself, at peace with its neighbours and at peace with the world,” Bambawale said at the inauguration of the 8th Karachi Literature Festival yesterday. He said as this year’s festival commemorates the 70th anniversary of Pakistan’s independence “perhaps some introspection may not be out of place”. “India wishes to see a Pakistan which abjures violence and takes strong preventive action against terrorists and extremists. India wishes to see a Pakistan which does not distinguish between good and bad terrorists but instead moves against all such elements irrespective of whom their hatred is directed against,” he said in a statement. The High Commissioner said he was happy that several writers and authors from India have been invited to the festival. “I am sure they will contribute positively to your deliberations and interactions,” he said. Tensions have been running high between India and Pakistan since a terror attack on Pathankot Air Base on January 2, 2016 by Pakistan-based terrorists.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)