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J&K: Fire at residential quarter of educational institute in Shopian

Tue, 1 Nov 2016-11:45pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a suspected case of sabotage, a fire broke out at a residential quarter of an educational institute in Shopian district of Kashmir on Tuesday night, police said. The fire broke out in the residence of the principal of District Institute of Education and Training at Shopian around 10 PM, a police official said.Local residents and fire brigade personnel rushed to the spot and put out the fire, he said. Officials said the cause of the fire was not immediately known, but did not rule out the possibility of sabotage. Over the past few months, around 25 schools have been burnt down mysteriously across the Kashmir Valley which is under the grip of unrest following the killing of militant commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in early July.

Jammu: Amid continuous Pak shelling, govt orders closure of 174 schools

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the continuous shelling from Pakistan which has resulted in the loss of lives, the Government has ordered the shutting down of 174 schools along the International Border and Line of Control in Jammu region.84 schools have been closed in Balakot zone in Poonch and 45 schools in Samba district. Over 25 schools have been gutted in the Valley in the last three months since the unrest broke out after Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani’s killing by Indian security forces.Earlier today, the state’s High Court stepped in and asked the government to protect the schools in the Valley which are under attack. The High Court took “suo moto cognizance” or acted of its own accord to order the state government to take preventive measures. The court also directed the police and administration to ensure protection of schools besides unmasking those responsible.Meanwhile in the wake of the continuous ceasefire violations and firing from Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh called a high level meeting, in which Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and other senior MHA officials were present. The Border Security Force (BSF) today targeted around 14 Pakistan posts along the International Border (IB) in response to the unprovoked firing and shelling of Pakistan Rangers in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ramgarh and Arnia Sector since morning.

Kashmir fire: J&K HC asks civic officials to protect school buildings from being burnt

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday directed police and civil administration officials to devise modes and methods for protecting schools which have become target of miscreants in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. “All the three responsible officers present in the court are directed to sit together along with higher authorities and lower officials and to devise modes and methods which will be effective in protecting school institutions,” a division bench of the court said.The directions were issued to the Inspector General of Police, the Divisional Commissioner and the Director of School Education of Kashmir.The high court took suo motu cognizance of the reports about 26 schools being burnt in Kashmir Valley over the past 115 days of the unrest which started following the killing of terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in early July. The case was heard by Justices Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Ali Mohammad Magrey.The court also directed the Chief Secretary and the Director General of Police to issue necessary instructions to their district level officers including Deputy Commissioners and SPs to take all preventive measures as shall be necessary for saving the school buildings from being burnt and to ensure that no other school building is harmed or destroyed.”Further the mysterious enemies of education shall be unmasked and dealt with iron hand,” the court said.The bench lashed out at the state government, saying the “administrative authorities are required to have resort to protective measures but they are still in deep slumber, appear not to have devised any protective policy for protecting school buildings”. The bench observed that the mysterious burning of centres of learning has sent shock waves awakening all to ponder.”Education is the main factor for intellectual excellence and prosperity. Imparting education in the centres of learning has no other viable substitute,” it added.The court also expressed hope that the “mysterious persons” will stop burning school buildings and “also hope that the citizens will also help in protecting school buildings”. The court listed the case for next hearing on November 7 and directed the three officials to remain present.

Normal life affected in Kashmir valley for 114th day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life remained affected in Kashmir for the 114th consecutive day on Sunday due to the separatist-sponsored strike over the recent civilian killings and in support of their demand for right to ”self determination”. Although there were no curbs imposed by the authorities, normal activities remained badly affected due to the strike called by the separatists.A large number of street vendors had set up their stalls at the weekly flea market, known locally as Sunday Market here, while fair number of of private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying in the city. However, normal life continued to remain affected in the rest of the Valley due to separatist-sponsored strike. Shops, petrol pumps and business establishments were shut, but are expected to open this evening as the separatists have announced relaxation in the strike from 5 pm onwards.Security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable spots and along the main roads as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order as well as to instill a sense of security among the people to carry out their day to day activities without fear. The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in support of their demand for right to self determination, have been issuing weekly protest calendars since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.As many as 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.Thousands of youth, including some top separatist leaders, have been arrested by police over the past three months in an attempt to break the impasse.Over 300 people have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

India facing two ceasefire violations daily after surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistani forces have been making desperate attempts to retaliate since the surgical strike carried out by the Indian Army last month, which destroyed terror launch pads across the Line of Control (LoC).The Forces have been kept busy over the last month, as on average, two ceasefire violations have taken place every day since the precision operation by the Indian Army. According to official figures, out of the 115 violations along the border this year, 60 have taken place after India’s offensive last month. The Indian Army hit back after 18 armymen were killed in a terror attack in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir on September 18.”There has not been a single day since the surgical strikes when Pakistani forces have not indulged in shelling and firing. We have hit back each time,” said an intelligence official.Sources say the situation will continue to remain volatile as Pakistani forces are now desperate to hit back across the LoC and International Border. (IB) “According to ground intelligence and chatter picked up from across the border, Pakistani forces are pumping in more fidayeens (suicide bombers) to strike at Indian forces,” said an intelligence official.Intelligence inputs also indicate that after India’s surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army has carried out “precautionary deployment” all along the LoC on their side to fill up the gaps, as they fear another round of strikes from Indian forces.”Soon after our raids, they have increased deployment in areas they consider vulnerable. Precautionary deployment is roughly 25 per cent of full mobilisation,” said an intelligence official.It’s not just in the IB, where security forces are facing a stiff challenge but also in the Kashmir Valley that has been in turmoil over the last three months since the killing of local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani by Indian forces.Taking advantage of the situation, Pakistani terror groups have intensified their efforts to recruit local Kashmiri youth into militancy. It is estimated that around 100 youth have gone missing in the last three months, raising fears of a massive local recruitment drive. According to a recent review by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the number of locals joining the outfits could go over 150 this year. “Last year, around 80 young men joined the terror ranks but we expect this to double by the end of the year,” said a top intelligence official.Sources also said that around 4,000 people, who were part of the stone- pelting mobs attacking security forces, have been arrested in the last three months. These were mostly from areas in south Kashmir that have the maximum number of local recruits.Figures released by the Army show that 129 terrorists have been killed this year till now. Contrast this to 2015, when the figure for the entire year was 97. Sources say that most of the kills this year have happened near the LoC as infiltrating terrorists were intercepted.Pak blames India for ceasefire violationsDr Mohammad Faisal, Pakistan’s Director-General (SA & SAARC), summoned India’s Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh on Friday and strongly condemned the “unprovoked ceasefire violations” on October 27 by Indian forces at the working boundary in Shakargarh sector and on the LoC in Nikial sector, resulting in the martyrdom of six civilians, including two women and injuries to 22 civilians, the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Iraqi villagers celebrate freedom from Islamic State, but still haunted by terror | Reuters

By Michael Georgy
| FADILIYA, Iraq

FADILIYA, Iraq When Kurdish fighters cleared Islamic State from the northern Iraqi village of Fadiliya, some residents celebrated by passing around cigarettes – an act that would have earned them a public whipping under the group’s reign of terror.Peshmerga forces took the village on Thursday as they advanced towards Mosul, Islamic State’s last main stronghold in Iraq which lies about four km (2.5 miles) away.As the fighters moved through the streets and greeted villagers, there was no longer any sign of the jihadists, alive or dead. Their fear easing, local people began speaking openly for the first time about their two years under Islamic State occupation.”If you are caught smoking you get whipped with a water hose 50 times in public,” said Othman Mahmoud, as his friend handed around a pack of cigarettes with a smile.A teenager joined the gathering, describing a code imposed with ferocity on every aspect of personal life, right down to facial hair.”If you are caught growing sideburns you get whipped 25 times,” he said. “There were so many things we could not do.”Young men in their 20s all had beards of similar length to meet the demands of the group which captured Fadiliya during a lightning sweep of northern Iraq in 2014.One of them had complied with the beard rules, but was still punished after getting into a harmless argument with a friend while playing soccer. He was publicly whipped on the dirt pitch.The short distance away in Mosul, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi walked into a mosque two years ago to declare a caliphate and himself as the leader of the world’s Muslims.

Now Iraqi and Kurdish forces are recapturing territory as part of the offensive to recapture Mosul from Islamic State, which is known by its opponents in Arabic as Daesh. The battle for Iraq’s second city is expected to be the biggest since a U.S.-led invasion of the country in 2003.Several residents and a peshmerga commander said it took only about 50 militants to control Fadiliya, whose population once numbered 5,000 before many villagers fled, so pervasive was fear of the group.HIDDEN CELLPHONE
After 10 days of pressing the jihadists, Kurdish forces took full control after firing mortar rounds at their positions on Thursday. Residents had hung up white flags on their homes, hoping to avoid being targeted by airstrikes.

Children joyfully ran through the streets singing songs and chanting “peshmerga”, “peshmerga”, “peshmerga”. One peshmerga fighter named Ahmed arrived at his home to see his loved ones for the first time in two years.His sister stood in the doorway and wept and screamed while looking up to the sky. “Daesh ruined our lives. Look what they have done to us,” she said.Ahmed’s brother-in-law described how the family had taken risks to make contact with him every 25 days. Possession of a cellphone was punishable by torture, or worse, he said.

“We kept the cellphone hidden and only used it to call him. But we hid in a room and whispered,” said the brother-in-law, Wasim Abdullah. “Islamic State had a habit of climbing over people’s walls at night for surprise inspections of homes.”The jihadists appeared to have melted away. “Some of them escaped through tunnels,” said a peshmerga commander.But there were plenty of reminders of what they had done – cars that had been blown up, demolished buildings, bullet holes. “They kill. They kill,” said a 12-year-old girl named Nour.Villagers said they had not seen any public executions or beheadings – Islamic State’s favourite method of spreading fear.They noted, however, that people were often taken to Mosul for the maximum punishment, and word always got back to Fadiliya so that threatening notes that Islamic State distributed would keep everyone on edge.As more and more people came out of their homes to taste freedom that had been unthinkable for so long, Khalid Abdel Hafiz tried to hold back tears as he recalled a knock on his door one week ago. The militants took away his 19-year-old son Ihsan along with 14 other young men.”They just showed up and said ‘we have security orders from high up’,” he said. “I have no information about Ihsan. I am resigned to the fact I will never see him again.” (editing by David Stamp)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Pakistani militants say they worked with Islamic State to attack police college | Reuters

By Syed Raza Hassan and Saud Mehsud
| QUETTA/DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan

QUETTA/DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan A faction of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) cooperated with Islamic State this week in an attack on a police college that killed 63 people, the group’s spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.The confirmation of a link between the two groups will stoke fears that Islamic State, based in Syria and Iraq, is building a presence in Pakistan.Islamic State claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack in the city of Quetta and released photographs of the purported gunmen who killed cadets during a raid that lasted nearly five hours.Pakistani authorities, who in September said they had crushed Islamic State’s efforts to enter Pakistan, pinned the blame on Al-Alami, a faction of LeJ.Al-Alami spokesman Ali bin Sufyan told Reuters by instant message: “We have no direct link with Daesh (Islamic State), but we have done this attack together.”He declined to give specifics, saying only: “We will provide help to anyone who asks against Pakistani security forces, and we will also accept help for this.”ACCUSING INDIA
Provincial government spokesman Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar said the death toll from the attack had risen to 63, and that Islamic State’s claim of responsibility was “part of Indian design to malign Pakistan that this terror group has emerged in our soil”.

Pakistan has previously accused India of fomenting unrest in the province of Baluchistan, of which Quetta is the capital. A spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry said: “We reject this baseless allegation completely.” Concern has been growing in Pakistan that Islamic State will seek to exacerbate long-standing sectarian tensions that have flared up in recent years.The Sunni Muslim LeJ has carried out some of the worst sectarian attacks in Pakistan’s history, including several major bombings in Quetta, and has often targeted the Shi’ite Hazara minority. Analysts have long speculated that Islamic State would strike up a partnership with LeJ, even though the Pakistani group is affiliated with Islamic State’s rival, al Qaeda.LeJ has claimed responsibility for a slew of attacks in Pakistan’s commercial capital Karachi, though officials doubt that all the claims are true.

In August, Pakistan announced a 5 million rupee ($48,000) reward for information leading to arrest of Syed Safdar, the head of al-Alami, who goes by the nom de guerre Yousuf Khorasani.INTERCEPTED CALLS
General Sher Afgun, a senior military commander in Baluchistan, told media that intercepted calls suggested the gunmen had received orders from across the border in Afghanistan.

Afghan officials have consistently denied sheltering anti-Pakistan militants, but the border is not fully under government control.The Quetta attack has also reignited a debate in Pakistan about the need for authorities to target all militant groups, not only those who are actively fighting against the state.Pakistan has for its part been accused of harbouring leaders of the Afghan Taliban in Quetta as well as several militant groups opposed to the Indian government, something Islamabad denies.Critics say that, by not stamping out radical groups and their ideologies, Pakistan is making itself a recruiting ground for Islamist militants.”It may not be far off the mark to assume that militants in the country have assistance from across the borders. But this cannot change the fact that they essentially have roots within our own soil and that these have grown over the decades,” The News, an English-language newspaper, said in an editorial.Dawn, another English-language newspaper, said: “Blaming sanctuaries across the border or even foreign support is a political game when strong action is called for.” ($1 = 104.7100 Pakistani rupees) (Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

J&K deadlock: Signs of thaw as Hurriyat leaders meet five member team

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A crucial Track-II diplomatic efforts achieved a first major breakthrough on Tuesday when Hurriyat leaders, who had earlier slammed doors on the All Party Delegation (APD) members, welcomed the five member team led by former foreign minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha in a bid to break the logjam on Kashmir.Besides Sinha, the team comprises of former divisional commissioner Kashmir and Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah, former Air-Vice Marshal Kapil Kak, veteran journalist Bharat Bhushan and Executive Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Reconciliation Sushobha Barve.After landing here, the five member team straightaway drove to the residence of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Unlike September 2 when Geelani did not open the doors to APD members, Hurriyat hawk warmly received the five member team.”The conversation took place in a cordial atmosphere. Geelani reminded the delegation about the historical perspective of the Kashmir issue, pending for its final resolution since 1947. Delegation was told that for the last 107 days, 94 people have been killed with 15,000 people injured,” said a spokesman of Geelani led Hurriyat Conference.Geelani told the delegation that onus of peace in the region particularly in Jammu and Kashmir lies with those holding power, military might and other resources.”Geelani is under house arrest for last six years. All the people and leaders should be released and the cases against them should be withdrawn so that after consultation a common and collective point of view can be put forward,” the spokesman said.Later the delegation held talks with the moderate Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq at his Nigeen residence in the afternoon. Mirwaiz, who was released from sub jail Chashma Shahi on Monday evening, had earlier refused to meet the APD member Assaduddin Owaisi in the jail on September 2.”I did not know about the delegation till Monday evening. It is possible that my release was made in this context only. But I told the delegation unless Kashmir is accepted as dispute and meaningful process for resolution is started the uncertainly will continue in Kashmir. There are two ways of resolving this issue: either implement the UN resolutions or start meaningful tripartite talks between India, Pakistan and Kashmir,” Mirwaiz said.Unfazed by his detention, Mirwaiz threatened to break the curfew if he is not allowed to offer prayers at Jamia Masjid on Friday. Friday prayers have not been held in Jamia Masjid due to the curfew and restrictions imposed by the authorities since the unrest began after the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.Former foreign minister Yashwant Sinha tried to clear the air saying they have not come here as a part of any delegation. “We have come here for humanity. Talks were held in a very good atmosphere,” he said.The team is scheduled to meet the governor NN Vohra, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, representatives of trade and civil society during their stay in the valley.

Three potential gun-snatchers arrested in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three youth, allegedly planning to snatch weapons from police and join Hizbul Mujahideen militant outfit, were arrested in Pulwama district of south Kashmir on Monday, police said.Mohammad Asif Khan, Adil Ahmad Najar and Saqib Nazir Bhat were taken into custody during a joint operation by police and Rashtriya Rifles in Awantipora area of south Kashmir Pulwama district, a police official said. He said police acted after receiving specific information that a group of youth are being motivated by Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Rashid Bhat alias “Mosa” to snatch weapons from police and to join the banned militant group.”During question, the trio confessed that they had hatched a conspiracy to snatch weapons from pickets set up by police for the protection of minority communities or police so that afterwards they could join militant ranks,” the official said. He said a case under unlawful activities act has been registered against the arrested persons and investigations started.Over the last three months, there have been a number of incidents in which weapons have been snatched from police personnel in Kashmir valley. At least 67 guns, including INSAS and Carbines, have been looted during this period.

Kashmir unrest: As war looms over Valley, NC-PDP agree to not use protests for political gains

A lot has changed in Kashmir over the last five weeks, and even more over the past week. Somebody in power — probably the National Security Advisor — seems to be finally trying to pull its act together. As our TV screens relentlessly show, it is too late to avoid a war-like situation, but at least several defensive moves are taking shape.

Farooq Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti

Farooq Abdullah and Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti

Changes have occurred at various levels — most visibly in the deployment of armed forces in the Kashmir Valley.

But there’s one more significant change taking place that is less visible: Judging by straws in the wind and the grapevine, the political class appears to have been persuaded to come together.

Soon after National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah returned from a long sojourn in London, he convened a meeting of various parties, including the Congress, in the state. There are signs that some of the most powerful in the land have got him and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to work together.

Conveniently, his son Omar Abdullah has gone abroad, instead. While his father was abroad and Omar held the reins, there was much talk of the agitations being an opportunity for the NC to get back on the People’s Democratic Party for the flames its cadres had fanned in 2010, when Omar was the chief minister. In several places, NC cadre are said to have been active in July, in the weeks following militant commander Burhan Wani’s death.

One of the more unhappy trends in the first couple of months, after Wani was killed on 8 July, was that activists of most political parties fanned the protests seeking local benefits. They got no local benefit, but they did damage the national cause — arguably, the local cause too — just as a war-like situation loomed.

It appears that the decision to sack government employees and policemen who were playing both sides was implemented only after the new political cohesion was achieved.

Although the National Conference has reacted, it has chosen to target a particular minister in the state government — one who the NC older generation leadership hate so much that he was shunted to inconsequential posts; in fact a disciplinary action was taken against him when Farooq Abdullah was the chief minister in the late 1990s.

The NC could have more sharply targeted the government overall and the leadership of the BJP (also the ruling party at the Centre) instead of attacking one long-hated minister.

Indeed, the targeting of particular leaders could reflect the inner dynamics of the new political churning. While the two top leaders of the Valley’s most important parties may have been persuaded to keep the larger picture in mind, there must be factions within both parties which are deeply upset. Surely, the most unhappy leaders would be those who have personally resented the other leadership the most over the years.

In this context, it is worth nothing that the only leading politician to have raised a shindig against the sacking of government employees was the volatile Rashid Ahmed, independent MLA from Langate. That has become predictable. (Rashid had taken on beef vigilantism most strongly in 2015 by hosting an illegal beef party in the Srinagar MLAs’ hostel. He was consequently slapped by BJP MLAs in the house. Ink was thrown at him at the Press Club of India. That is the sort of low-brow tamasha that set the stage for the mass youth anger across the Valley.)

Judging by what is available on Google, most of those who were photographed prominently with Farooq Abdullah at his recent press conference, have held their peace — even those who have made a career out of speeches on workers’ rights.

The political detente that portends out of this should be strongly appreciated. At a time when war clouds loom around J&K, this is the least that can be expected of any responsible politician.

India, Pakistan are not at the brink of war: Omar Abdullah

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah does not see an imminent war looming between India and Pakistan despite the heightened tensions along the LoC and believes the two countries are a “lot more careful” about the prospect of war than some of the news channels would like them to be. “I don’t believe we are,” Abdullah said when asked whether India and Pakistan are at the brink of war. “I am not one of those who sees imminent war looming in the sub-continent. I’d like to believe that both governments in New Delhi and Islamabad are a lot more careful about the prospect of war than perhaps some of our TV channels would like them to be,” he said at a conference titled ‘India and Pakistan: A Subcontinental Affair’ organized by the students of New York University here yesterday. Pakistan’s former President Pervez Musharraf was also scheduled to speak at the conference but he cancelled his appearance at the last minute citing “security concerns”. There were several moments of animated discussions, some heated arguments and loud cheers during Abdullah’s nearly hour-long discussion with the gathering, that included students from both India and Pakistan, on Kashmir, the surgical strikes by India, killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani, tensions with Pakistan, plight of Kashmiri Pandits and Article 370. Abdullah said while there is tension along the Line of Control (LoC) and the ceasefire is “under a bit more pressure” than it was at the same time last year, India and Pakistan are not at the brink of war. Abdullah noted that the government of India has been very careful “in moderating how it has sold” to the rest of the world the surgical strikes conducted across the Line of Control. “The government of India has been very careful in explaining what they have done post the Uri militant attack. They have told the world this (surgical strikes) was an anti-terror operation conducted in the vicinity of the LoC,” he said adding that the government has not gone into giving details of how far they went inside the LoC or how many people were killed in the strikes. “What that has allowed is for an opportunity for a sort of a more nuanced response on the part of Pakistan,” he said adding that there would have been “enormous pressure” on Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to retaliate had the Indian government spoken of how far they went across the LoC or how many people were killed in the strikes. Abdullah said heightened tensions between India and Pakistan adds to the “mood of gloom” in the Valley because “no state more than Jammu and Kashmir suffers on account of a downturn in relations between India and Pakistan”. The Kashmir Valley has been facing unrest and agitations for over 100 days now, in the wake of Wani s killing and “unfortunately there is no end in sight to the current problem”.

J&K: Mehbooba Mufti bats for peace, says AFSPA not permanent

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) is not permanent in Jammu and Kashmir, adding the same can be revoked provided an environment of peace and tranquility is created.Speaking at the Police Commemoration Day parade, Mufti said, “We have to create an environment of peace and tranquility in Jammu and Kashmir, AFSPA is not permanent.”Speaking over the outrage which enveloped the Kashmir valley post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, Mufti urged for a need to stop militancy.”I want to ban pellet guns but it is possible only if you people support the government. Our children are always used as shields. We can’t force someone to talk by throwing stones on them. If we need a dialogue, we have to stop militancy,” she said.Mehbooba further took on Pakistan over its move to ban Indian content in its territory and said, “Even Pakistan has to help us as we both have to live together. We discuss about films but Wagah border is still moving.”

Apples cheaper for city, sour for Kashmir growers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Sweet apples have turned sour for the growers as prices of the fruit have crashed by 50 per cent in different markets of the country. Fruit growers say fear of war and unrest in Jammu and Kashmir have severely affected the trade of apples. Since the supply of apples started from Kashmir in the last week of September, the price has come down and traders fear that the trade will suffer the most in case a war breaks out.”We will not be able to sell even a single apple if war breaks out,” said Tausik Ahmad Abasi of Abasi Traders from Baramula in Jammu and Kashmir.Last week marked 100th day of the unrest in Kashmir, which has severely affected apple trade. “This is the peak season of apple supply from Kashmir. Traders fear that the fruits will sell at an all-time low price,” said Sanjay Pansare, former director of Agriculture Produce Market Committee (APMC), Vashi.The violence in Kashmir started after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.”Ever since Wani was killed, trade in the state has been severely affected and buyers are not coming to the state as there is huge problem of entry and exit of trucks,” said Abasi adding they have brought down the price of the apple by over 50% to sell maximum quantity to at least make recovery of investment.Horticulture is the mainstay of Kashmir’s economy with 23 lakh people associated with this sector. More than 3.37 lakh hectares are under the fruit cultivation in Jammu and Kashmir. Of which 2.18 lakh hectares of land is under the fruit cultivation in the valley. Of this 65 per cent comprise the apple orchards.Fruit production in Jammu and Kashmir was recorded at 24.93 lakh metric tonnes in 2015-16. Of this the valley alone produced 22.12 lakh metric tonnes.Kashmir valley is one of the largest producers of apple in the country with production touching 19.21 lakh metric tonnes in 2015-16. The apple production in 2014-15 was recorded at 11.70 lakh metric tonnes given the devastating floods of September 2014.Due to price fall, in the last one fortnight, the APMC Vashi has been receiving around 40 trucks laden with apple from Kashmir. “We are receiving around 80 trucks apple of which 40 trucks are alone form Kashmir. The quantity is enough for Mumbai and its adjoining areas daily requirement,” said Pansare.Pansare said that premium quality apple from Kashmir is available at around Rs 550 to Rs 600 per carton while last year, in the same period, the price of the same quality apple was around Rs 1200 to Rs 1400 per carton.According to Bashir Ahmad Basheer, chairman of Kashmir Valley Fruit Growers Cum Dealers Union, fruit growers have suffered Rs 2,000 crore loss so far this year. “The losses are only going to mount,” he said.

Pakistan says OIC backed it over Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Thursday said the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) has backed its stance over Kashmir by adopting a resolution upholding Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.OIC Foreign Ministers met in Tashkent on October 18-19 for the 43rd Session and adopted a very strong resolution on the “grave human rights situation in Kashmir”, Pakistan Foreign Office said. While upholding Kashmiris right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the grouping reaffirmed its unwavering support to the just cause of Kashmiri people, expressed deep concern and condemned in strongest possible terms the unabated killing of defenceless Kashmiris. The grouping said that demonstrations by unarmed Kashmiris, despite curfew in the wake of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani s death is a referendum against India, it said.It also rejected Indian attempts to equate the indigenous freedom movement of Kashmiris in Kashmir with terrorism. Stressing that “Jammu and Kashmir is the core dispute between Pakistan and India”, the grouping said its resolution is indispensable for realisation of the dream for peace in South Asia. Condemning in strongest possible terms the unabated killing and brutality let loose in Kashmir, the grouping expressed shock at the deadly silence of world community.They also condemned prolonged detentions of Kashmiri leaders by India and violations of freedom of movement and expression. Acknowledging that the people of Jammu and Kashmir are the party principle to the dispute, the resolution said they should be included in Pakistan-India dialogue process. The grouping regretted that India is not allowing OIC fact finding Mission to visit Kashmir or responded favourably to the offers of the Good Offices Mission by the OIC.They called upon India to implement numerous UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir which declare that the final disposition of the State of Jammu and Kashmir will be made in accordance with the will of the people, to join India or Pakistan, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. They reminded “the international community of its obligations to ensure the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir and fulfil the promises made by it with the people of Jammu and Kashmir”.

Video of Hizbul militants carrying weapons, greeting and hugging each other surfaces on social media

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A new video of Hizbul Mujahideen has surfaced on social media, showing a group of armed militants greeting and hugging each other, in a reminder of the campaign undertaken by its erstwhile commander Burhan Wani before he was killed in an encounter three months back.In the four-and-a-half minute video, 12 militants are seen in an orchard, carrying weapons, including INSAS rifles apparently snatched from police forces.They are seen greeting and hugging each other as well as laughing in an attempt to lure youth to join militancy.Wani had actively used social media to attract the youth to militancy. He made many such propaganda videos before he was killed in the encounter with security forces on July 8.In another video which also surfaced recently, the new Hizb commander Zakir Rashid Bhat alias Musa is seen asking youth to join militancy by snatching rifles from security forces.During the recent months, there have been a number of incidents in which weapons were snatched or looted from police and security personnel. At least 67 rifles have so far been snatched. These include INSAS and Carbine rifles, which are exclusively used by the police and security forces.

Jammu & Kashmir: Govt sacks at least 12 employees for alleged ‘anti-national activities’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid ongoing spiral of violence, agony and pain that the Valley has been witnessing, Jammu and Kashmir government on Wednesday night dismissed over a dozen of its employees for alleged anti-national activities.The Jammu and Kashmir government has issued orders to dismiss over a dozen of its employees for their alleged involvement in the ongoing unrest, IANS reported quoting a top official.The report says that the dismissed employees include an assistant registrar of Kashmir University, and officials from education, revenue, public health, engineering and food supplies.Stating that the state government invoked Article 126 of the state constitution to carry out the action, the official said, “Reports on their anti-national activities prepared by the state police were forwarded to the Chief Secretary, who then directed respective heads of departments to issue orders terminating their services.”With over 90 people killed so far in the clashes, the death toll continues to mounts and the number of injured also continuing to soar. As per reports, over 7,000 people have been detained along with the arrest of a human rights activist Khurram Parvez.The unrest began soon after the killing of poster boy Burhan Wani, a commander of militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen along with two other militants in an encounter in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on July 8.Wani was popular among Kashmiris, due to his activity on social media and many photos and videos posted by him on social media against Indian rule in Kashmir and soon after his killing, it sparked demonstrations across the valley as protesters clashed with the police and paramilitary forces, and even attacked government installations.The crackdown also witnessed a ban on the newspapers, mobile internet has been snapped along with partial communication blockade and the approximate business losses have been estimated at more than Rs 10,000 crore.(With agency inputs)

New Hizbul commander asks Kashmiri Pandits to return to Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has asked migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to flee the Valley in early 1990 after the eruption of militancy, to return to their homes, assuring protection to them, and also said it was planning to raise a group of Sikh youths.”We request Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes. We take responsibility of their safety,” Zakir Rashid Bhat alias ‘Musa’, the self-styled commander of the militant outfit, said in a brief video message released yesterday.Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Valley after they were targeted by militant groups during the outbreak of militancy and have been living in Jammu and other parts of the country. “They should look at those Pandits who never left Kashmir. Who has harassed or killed them?” asked slain militant Burhan Wani’s ‘successor’.Dressed in military camouflage and fiddling with a grenade in the video, Bhat, who dropped out of engineering course from a Punjab college and joined Hizbul Mujahideen some years back, also gave a bizzare argument that Pandits were forced out of the Valley under a planned strategy to target Muslims. He claimed that the government was planning to take action in the Valley in an operation similar to ‘Operation Blue Star’ in Punjab.Bhat revealed in the 1.38 minute video that the militant was planning to raise an exclusive group of Sikh youths in the outfit.”Our Sikh brothers are requesting us to join Hizbul Mujahideen…We are with them on every front and God willing, we will try and make an exclusive group for Sikhs in the outfit,” he said. About the latest trend of weapon snatching in the Valley, especially in south Kashmir districts, he said, “Many youths have taken to Jihad, snatched the weapons and joined our ranks.”Two green banners with religious slogans and as many weapons on both sides behind him could also been seen in the video which was shot at an unknown location. South Kashmir witnessed a spurt in weapon snatching incidents over the past three months of unrest which was triggered by the killing of Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The unrest has so far claimed 84 lives and injured thousands of others.

Hizbul Mujahideen asks exiled Kashmiri Pandits to return home, guarantees ‘protection’

Srinagar: Militant outfit Hizbul Mujahideen has asked migrant Kashmiri Pandits, who were forced to flee the Valley in early 1990 after the eruption of militancy, to return to their homes, assuring protection to them, and also said it was planning to raise a group of Sikh youths.

Security challenge in Kashmir. ReutersSecurity challenge in Kashmir. Reuters

Security challenge in Kashmir. Reuters

“We request Kashmiri Pandits to return to their homes. We take responsibility of their safety,” Zakir Rashid Bhat alias ‘Musa’, the self-styled commander of the militant outfit, said in a brief video message released on Tuesday.

Thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were forced to flee the Valley after they were targeted by militant groups during the outbreak of militancy and have been living in Jammu and other parts of the country.

“They should look at those Pandits who never left Kashmir. Who has harassed or killed them?” asked slain
militant Burhan Wani’s ‘successor’.

Dressed in military camouflage and fiddling with a grenade in the video, Bhat, who dropped out of engineering
course from a Punjab college and joined Hizbul Mujahideen some years back, also gave a bizarre argument that Pandits were forced out of the Valley under a planned strategy to target Muslims.

He claimed that the government was planning to take action in the Valley in an operation similar to ‘Operation
Blue Star’ in Punjab.

Bhat revealed in the 1.38-long minute video that the militant was planning to raise an exclusive group of Sikh youths in the outfit.

“Our Sikh brothers are requesting us to join Hizbul Mujahideen…We are with them on every front and God willing,
we will try and make an exclusive group for Sikhs in the outfit,” he said.

About the latest trend of weapon snatching in the Valley, especially in south Kashmir districts, he said, “Many youths have taken to Jihad, snatched the weapons and joined our ranks.”

Two green banners with religious slogans and as many weapons on both sides behind him could also be seen in the
video which was shot at an unknown location.

South Kashmir witnessed a spurt in weapon snatching incidents over the past three months of unrest which was
triggered by the killing of Wani in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.

The unrest has so far claimed 84 lives and injured thousands of others.

Indian army ready to deal with any misadventure from Pak

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian army on Tuesday reassured the nation that they are fully prepared to deal with any misadventure from the Pakistani army, even as militants continue to be present on the other side of the Line of Control (LoC) desperately trying to infiltrate into the Indian side.”On the LoC, our preparedness is of the highest degree. Indian army is prepared to deal with any misadventure from across the LoC by the regulars or otherwise,” Lieutenant General Satish Dua, general officer commanding (GOC) 15 corps told reporters here.The army commander noted that militants are still on the other side of LoC and continuously make attempts to infiltrate into Indian side. “We do see the presence across the LoC. The very fact they are infiltrating at different places, and several such encounters have taken place is ample proof that they are still there, and continue to make attempts to infiltrate. Like I said we are prepared for that or any other eventuality,” he said.Lt Gen Dua admitted that some infiltration has taken place, but maintained that the encounters along the LoC, and the number of militants eliminated show the preparedness of the Army.”Several infiltration attempts have been made in last couple of months. You are aware about how many of them have been foiled and how many terrorists have been neutralized somewhere in the vicinity of the LoC. So yes there is an increase in attempts of infiltration, and the Indian army is totally geared up to meet any challenge,” he said.The GOC however refused to comment on the surgical strikes saying this topic has been spoken of in various channels and various mediums. “It has been debated at length. All I will say is that appropriate authorities have already given out details that can be given to the media, and that is what I can tell you about. Authorities in Delhi, from the political establishments, and from the army have spoken, and we have given our point of view,” he said.Asked about the Uri terror attacks, Lt Gen Dua noted that they have made necessary improvements. “Whenever any operation or attack takes place, the army has a way of instituting its own mechanism to learn lessons and implement any improvement that need to be made. All this has been done. We have taken stock and have implemented the necessary improvements,” he said.On militants presence in south Kashmir, he said the army did not launch the major counter terror operation for the fear of collateral damage since ultras were moving in protests for the last three months.”In south Kashmir, we got militants moving around during the protests. We did not launch major operations for fear of collateral damage. Of late whenever there are inputs, we are launching operations,” he said.The army commander said that they have deployed enough forces to cool things down. “Roughly two brigades have come in, and things have actually quieted down in south Kashmir,” he saidExpressing concern over the growing incidents of riffle snatching, he said the issue is being addressed jointly by police and the army. “There are small pockets of the police where they are not able to tackle the situation when terrorists come there. It is a cause for concern, and it is being addressed jointly with the police,” he said.Lt Gen Dua admitted that some of the missing boys in south Kashmir have joined the militant ranks but said the exact number is not yet known.

10 Naxals including area commander held in major crackdown

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a major success, the Uttar Pradesh Police nabbed 10 Naxals including a self-styled commander carrying a reward of Rs 5 lakh during simultaneous raids here and in Chandauli district which yielded a huge cache of arms and weapons. Police claimed a major attack in Delhi and NCR has been averted with the arrest. IG (Special Task Force) Aseem Arun said nine Naxals were arrested from Noida during night-long raids that continued till this morning. Of the nine, six were picked up last night and three this morning. Another was arrested from Chandauli, adjoining Bihar, he said. Giving details, the STF officer said that acting on a tip off, a raid was conducted in an apartment in Sector 49 here. Pradeep Singh Kharwar from Bariatu village in Jharkhand’s Latehar district was arrested during a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and intelligence agencies last night. The self-styled area commander was hiding in Noida since February 2012. He carried a reward of Rs 5 lakh on his arrest. These Naxals were active in eastern UP and adjoining parts of Bihar and had made Noida their base. They had rented two flats and posed as property dealers, Arun said. He said 550 live cartridges, an INSAS rifle, two other rifles and three self-loading rifle magazines were recovered from them besides a huge quantity of explosives and detonators. The recovery of the INSAS rifle showed that they must have looted it from security personnel as the weapon is used by them against the ultras, he said. He also said that one of those arrested, Ranjit Paswan, owed allegiance to erstwhile People’s War Group. He used to be the self-styled area commander of PWG and was active in Sasaram district of Bihar. The IG said more arrests are likely as the crackdown on the left-wing extremists would continue.

Jammu and Kashmir: Indian Army to go full throttle against militants

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After 100 days of unrest, security forces have decided to go full throttle against the militants in Jammu and Kashmir.The decision to resume the counter terrorist operations in the hinterland comes in the backdrop of growing number of militant attacks and intelligence inputs that the ultras are regrouping to take advantage of the current unrest in the valley.A high level security meeting was held on Friday under the chairmanship of J&K Governor NN Vohra to review the security situation consequent to the terror attack at Pampore. Top army officers including Northern Army Commander Lt Gen DS Hooda, Director General of Police J&K K Rajendra Kumar, General officer Commanding 15 Corps Lt Gen SK Dua besides Intelligence Bureau head in J&K and senior paramilitary officers attended the meeting.”It was agreed that surveillance should be enhanced not only along the International Border and Line of Control (LoC) but also in the entire hinterland. Counter-terrorist operations should be resumed and steps should be taken to safeguard all civil and military vital establishments in J&K,” said an official spokesperson.For the last 100 days, the counter-terrorism operations have been severely hit with security forces concentrating on maintaining law and order and controlling the street violence.Figures reveal that 39 militants have been killed since the unrest began on July 8 after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani in an encounter at Bamdoora village in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district. Among the 39, only eight ultras were killed in the hinterland. Thirty one militants were killed near the LoC, mostly during anti-infiltration operations.Security forces suffered huge casualties in the militant attacks during the unrest. More than 37 security men were killed by the militants since the unrest began. Of the 15 gun fights that broke out, 11 took place near the LoC and only four in the hinterland. Most of the encounters ensued after militants attacked the forces.Besides fidayeen attacks, the militants have launched shoot and scoot attacks to inflict casualties on the forces. Militants have been targeting the security forces deployed on the law and order duties in a bid to up the ante.On Friday evening a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) jawan was killed and eight others were injured when their convoy was attacked by ultras near Zakoora in the outskirts of Srinagar.”Three companies were coming back in six vehicles. There were 130 to 138 people travelling in a convoy. Had they not fired back there could have been more casualties,” said Archana Ramasundaram, Director General of SSB.

Farooq Abdullah calls meeting of opposition parties in Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference President Farooq Abdullah on Friday called a meeting of opposition parties of Kashmir to discuss the prevailing situation in the Valley which has crippled normal life for more than three months.”Abdullah has called a meeting of opposition parties and individual leaders to discuss the ongoing situation in Kashmir,” a National Conference spokesman said. He said the aim of the meeting was to find a way out of the situation.Life in Kashmir has come to standstill for the past 98 days due to street protests which erupted after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.The unrest has claimed 84 lives, including two cops, and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces.Shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions have largely remained closed.Thousands of youths, including some top separatist leaders, have been arrested by police in an attempt to break the impasse. Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

US welcomes India’s prominent role in the world and in tackling global problems: WH official

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The US welcomes more prominent and effective role played by India on a wide range of global problems from climate change to maritime security, a top White House official has said”We welcome India not just because it is consequential because we share and often promote norms about a rules based order,” Peter Lavoy, the White House’s point person for South Asia, told a Washington audience.”The US welcomes more prominent and effective role that India is playing on a wide range of world problems from climate change and global health to peace keeping, maritime security and cyber governance.”He said that the US-India partnership has come a long way in the past eight years, but the best is yet to come.”We are handing over to the next team, a major defence partnership with India,” he said as he highlighted the vibrant dimensions of the Indo-US relationship.”First a growing convergence on regional issues. Second deepening cooperation on defense trade and third broadening in security partnership,” said Lavoy, Senior Director for South Asia at the National Security Council (NSC), said in his remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).During the past six years of Obama Administration, he said there has been growing convergence of views of the risks, threats and opportunities.”In part this convergence has come apart as we made monumental efforts to overcome specific areas of mistrust,” he said, adding that over the years the two countries have built habits of co-operation in discussing the challenge they face.Three regions where this co-operation has gained momentum are Afghanistan, Asia Pacific and Africa, he said.Maritime security is the key area of co-operation between the two countries.Over the last few years, the US has significantly increased its consultations with India on their shared interest in Afghanistan, he said.India, he said has played an important role in the collective effort of bringing stability and prosperity to that war-torn country, committing more than USD 2 billion in assistance.The Commander of US forces in Afghanistan now regularly travels to New Delhi to exchange views with Indian leaders, he said.Lavoy said it is fair to say that the US India defense relationship has matured in the last eight years than any period in US history.

Strike One

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Wednesday rejected claims by the Congress party that the Indian Army had conducted surgical strikes inside Pakistan in the past. He added that while the credit for the strikes goes to the armed forces and the people of India, the government should be “cheered” for its “bold” decision.”In about two years as the Defence Minister, I have not learnt about any surgical strikes any time earlier,” said Parrikar, while speaking at an event organised by the Forum for Integrated National Security (FINS) in Bandra.”What probably they are referring to is the action taken by border action teams. These are common practices across the globe and also in the Indian Army. The local commander takes punitive action against the opponent who has been troubling him to settle scores. It is not official action approved by the government,” he added, stating that these reports were sent to the government subsequently.Parrikar said the decision for surgical strikes was taken by the government. “This was announced by the army itself. If we were to take political credit, the Defence Minister would have announced it,” he said, calling the action a “one-time operation”.The minister added that “there was a burden of helplessness among the 127 crore citizens and 13.5 lakh army personnel of growing frustration that the enemy is continuously bleeding us through thousand cuts. The enemy does not even bother that there is a hue and cry internationally”. He noted that the steam accumulated over 30 years was vented out after the strikes across the Line of Control (LoC).”The hand of friendship,” Parrikar said, “was probably construed as weakness” when India had tried to patch up with Pakistan, “The country has never thought that strength itself can be a defining force for peace,” he admitted.Referring to threats about unleashing tactical nuclear weapons on India, Parrikar said “we should strengthen ourselves to a level that no one dares challenge us for conventional or non-conventional war”.

Kashmir unrest: Semblance of normalcy in uptown Srinagar, curfew in interiors of valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew remained in force in interior areas of Srinagar, while there was semblance of normalcy in the uptown city as the weekly flea market opened here on Sunday, but life elsewhere in the Valley remained affected.Curfew has been imposed in five police station areas of Srinagar — Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal and Maharaj Gunj — as a precautionary measure, a police official said. The curbs have been lifted from two police station areas – Maisuma and Batamaloo, the official said.The situation in interior areas of the city remained tense after a minor boy succumbed to pellet injuries here, sparking fresh clashes between protesters and law enforcement agencies at various places on Saturday.Twelve-year-old Junaid Akhoon, who was hit by pellets during clashes between violent protesters and security peronnel on Friday, succumbed to injuries at SKIMS hospital at Soura, taking the death toll in the ongoing unrest in Kashmir to 84. However, in the uptown areas of the city, especially around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, there was an increased movement of private cars and auto-rickshaws today as compared to the last two days.The weekly flea market, popularly known as Sunday Market, also opened today as more than 100 vendors set up their stalls along the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis in the city.Meanwhile, normal life remained affected for the 93rd consecutive day in the rest of the Valley following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The unrest, which has claimed 84 lives and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces, is in its fourth month as shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed, while public transport continued to be off the roads.Top separatist leaders and youths have been arrested by police over the past three months for allegedly inciting violence. Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

Jharkhand: Hardcore Naxal commander arrested in Dumka

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jharkhand Police has confirmed the arrest of a Naxal zonal commander and two of his associates from Basmata village under Masalia Police Station in the state’s Dumka district and seized detonators, transistors and Rs. 35,000 cash from their possession. Dumka Police has identified the commander as Kanchan Da, alias, Awadh Kishore, who is carrying a bounty of Rs 10 lakhs on his head. His associates were identified as Gopal Rai and Okil Murmu. They were arrested on Saturday in a joint operation of the district police and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB). Kanchan, a member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), was allegedly involved in many dreadful incidents. In the 1980s, according to the police, Kanchan was working with the Home Guards, and joined the Naxals after the death of his father in 1997. At present, he was looking after his organisation’s affairs in Dumka, Godda, Jamtara and Pakur districts, and had been recruiting youth in the Santhal Pargana division into his organisation. Dumka Superintendent of Police (SP) Prabhat Kumar told ANI, “The district police and the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) carried out a joint operation and arrested hardcore Naxal rebel Awadh Kishore Yadav, alias, Awadh Chandra Yadav, alias, Kanchan Da, alias, Mota, alias, Suresh Da, and his two accomplices Gopal Rai and Okil Murmur”? He said the Naxal zonal commander was involved in many dreadful incidents, including the murder of Shamshad Ansari, the then Station House Officer of the Shikaripara Police Station at Pokharia in 2008; in the murder of the then Pakur SP Amarjeet Balihar, and five police personnel in Jamuni village under Kathikund police range in 2013 and in the killing of eight polling officers, along with a policemen, during the 2014 general elections at Sarsajol village under Shikaripara Police Station among others. He was also involved in the encounter between police and Naxals on September 10, 2010 in Kathikund’s Taldanga Hills, in which the then Station House Officer of the Jama Police Station Satanand Singh and three other policemen were killed; while his role is being probed into the murder case of Sister Valsa John in Pakur district?s Amrapara block in 2015, said the SP. Prabhat Kumar said, Kanchan is expert in operating arms and has taken training in Giridih, while his two associates were also involved in many Naxal incidents.

Kashmir unrest: Srinagar teen killed in pellet firing, curfew remains

Srinagar: Curfew remained in force in seven police station areas of the city on Saturday following the death of a minor boy, who was injured during clashes between protestors and security forces in Safakadal area of the city.

Thirteen-year-old Junaid Akhoon succumbed to injuries at SKIMS Hospital at Soura late Friday night, taking the death toll in the ongoing unrest in Kashmir to 84, a police official said.

Akhoon was hit by pellets in the head and chest at Saidapora in Safakadal Police Station area on Friday during clashes between protestors and security forces, the official said.

A file image of the clashes between the separatists and police force in Srinagar. PTI

A file image of the clashes between the separatists and police force in Srinagar. PTI

He said curfew remained in force in seven police station areas of the city as a precautionary measure for maintaining law and order.

“Curfew has been imposed as a precautionary measure in seven police station areas of Srinagar city,” the official said here.

He said the police station areas where curfew has been imposed are Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma, and Batamaloo.

“Restrictions on assembly of people are in force in rest of the Kashmir Valley while security forces have been deployed in strength to maintain law and order,” the official said.

Normal life remained affected for the 92nd consecutive day in Kashmir following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.

The unrest, which has claimed 84 lives including that of two cops and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces, yesterday entered the fourth month as shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed, while public transport continued to be off the roads.

The roads across Srinagar city today wore a deserted look with security forces checking the handful of private vehicles seen on the roads.

J&K: 11 incidents of stone-pelting, curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Some stray incidents of stone- pelting were reported from various parts of Kashmir on Friday even as curfew was again imposed in parts of Srinagar district and restrictions were put in place elsewhere in the valley in view of call by separatists for a march to the local UN office.Curfew was imposed this morning in seven police station areas of Srinagar district as a precautionary measure, a police official said. The decision was taken as authorities had apprehended violence after Friday prayers. As a result, the roads across Srinagar city wore a deserted look after six days of increased movement of private vehicles.Restrictions on assembly of people were also in force in rest of Kashmir Valley and security forces had been deployed in strength to maintain law and order, the official said. In the evening, a police spokesman said, “During the day 11 incidents of stone-pelting were reported from Srinagar and Baramulla and Sopore in Baramulla district. The overall situation remained by and large peaceful.” He said 56 people allegedly involved in different crimes of creating public disorder have been arrested during the last 24 hours.”Continuing with its efforts to neutralise the activities of the miscreants and hooligans, 56 persons found involved in different crimes of creating public disorder have been arrested,” the spokesman said. Normal life continues to be affected in Kashmir since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.The unrest has claimed as many as 83 lives and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces. Some of the top separatist leaders and youths accused of inciting violence have been arrested by police over the past three months. Over 300 persons have been booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).

Pak Parliament passes resolution saying ‘Kashmir not an integral part of India’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan Parliament unanimously passed a resolution rejecting India’s assertion that Kashmir is an integral part even as it called for a result-oriented dialogue with New Delhi for resolution of all outstanding issues including Kashmir. The joint session of the Pakistan Parliament, which has been discussing the current tension with India since Wednesday, unanimously passed the resolution, urging the international community to carry out an independent investigation into “gross human rights violations” in Kashmir.The resolution moved by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz called upon the world community to play its role in stopping “Indian brutalities” in Kashmir. The resolution also expressed concerns over the detention of Hurriyat leaders and human rights activists and urged the Indian government to release them. “It strongly deplored the draconian laws which have created an environment of impunity” for Indian forces, Radio Pakistan reported.The resolution rejected India’s assertion that Kashmir is an integral part of India, recalling it is a “disputed territory” on the agenda of the United Nations. It urged the Indian government to immediately stop “terrorising” the people and fulfill its commitment regarding international and humanitarian laws. The resolution condemned the repeated “ceasefire violations” by India.It also reiterated Pakistan’s desire for a “result- oriented dialogue” with India for resolution of all outstanding disputes including that of Jammu and Kashmir. At the start of the session on Wednesday, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had hit back at his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying poverty cannot be eradicated by “driving tanks on farmlands”. He had also needled India again by calling Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani the “valiant son of Kashmir”.Two days ago, India strongly hit back at Pakistan, saying the “sell-by date” of the country’s “anachronistic approach” is long over and there is absolutely no support in the world body for claims on Kashmir by a nation that established itself as a “global epicenter” of terrorism. India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Syed Akbaruddin strongly rejected remarks on Kashmir made by Pakistan’s envoy Maleeha Lodhi during a UN General Assembly debate on ‘Report of the Secretary General on the Work of the Organisation’.”We have heard one such lone voice again a short while ago, making claims to an integral part of my country. This comes from a country which has established itself as a global epicenter of terrorism,” Akbaruddin said.He said claims by Pakistan on Kashmir find no resonance amongst the international community, with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif raising the Kashmir issue in his General Assembly address also finding no support.”Just less than 10 days ago, the GA (General Assembly) hall witnessed a singular lack of support for Pakistan’s baseless claims. Need one say more,” he said.Akbaruddin asserted that India’s response to Pakistan is consistent. “Abandon your futile quest. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and will remain so. No amount of misuse of international fora by Pakistan will change that reality. The sell by date of Pakistan’s anachronistic approach is over,” he said. a

Kashmir unrest: Upset over shutdown, distressed people in valley protest against Geelani

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Distressed by continuous shutdown in the valley against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8, scores of Kashmiris held a protest march against separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani in Srinagar on Thursday.With Kashmir entering its 90th day of shutdown, the locals in Srinagar have been finding it difficult to feed their children as they are unable to earn due to the strike. “Due to the shutdown since the last three months, our livelihood has been getting adversely affected. We are unable to pay the school fees of our children,” one of the locals said.The locals also criticised the Hurriyat leaders for not showing sympathy towards them and their family members.Internet services are still suspended except for mobile-phone services in several parts of the restive valley.Local shops and schools have been closed and public transport has been severely affected due to the shutdown.The police and paramilitary forces have been put on a high alert across the valley following the Uri and Baramulla attacks.Wani (22) was killed by the Indian security forces in an encounter in the Anantnag district. His killing has triggered massive protests in Kashmir.More than 83 persons, including two cops, have been killed and thousands others injured in clashes between the protestors and security forces since the unrest began.

Mirpur police superintendent in PoK admits surgical strike took place on Sep 29: Report

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan can continue to deny India’s claim about ‘surgical strikes’ but a news report claims that a senior Pakistani police official admitted that the strikes did take place.A report on CNN-News 18 claimed that disclosures by Ghulam Akbar, SP of Mirpur range in PoK, admitted that surgical strikes took place in the early hours of September 29. Thinking that he was speaking to his superior IG Mushtaq, Ghulam Akbar, SP (Special Branch) of the Mirpur Range in PoK, revealed details about the strike. The report further claimed that bodies of terrorists were also removed by the Pak military. The SP also said the Pakistani Army took away the dead bodies in ambulances, adding that they may have been buried in villages. Akbar also claimed that 5 Pak armymen had died which contradicts Pakistan’s claim that two soldiers had died in the cross-firing.Akbar told CNN-News 18, that the attack took place between 2am to 4 or 5am. They also said that there were attacks on ‘separate places’. Akbar’s revelation included the fact that Army facilitated jihadi movement in forward areas and arranged for their crossing over to India.So far Pakistan had denied that any surgical strike took place. Earlier in the day, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif hit back at his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi, saying poverty cannot be eradicated by “driving tanks on farmlands” and once again needled India by calling Hizbul commander Burhan Wani a “son of the Kashmiri soil”.Responding to Modi’s speech last month challenging Pakistan to a contest over eradicating poverty and other social ills, Sharif said, “If they (Indian leaders) want us to fight them to end poverty, then they should realise that poverty cannot be eradicated by driving tanks on farmlands.” Sharif, while addressing a joint session of the Parliament convened to discuss the security situation in the wake of increasing Indo-Pak tensions, accused India of running away from dialogue and instead creating a war-like environment by blaming Pakistan for the Uri terror attack in which 19 Indian soldiers were killed last month. “We have done everything to make India come to the dialogue table, but India did not let it happen. Our efforts were thwarted over and over again,” Sharif claimed.”Without any investigation (into Uri incident), within a few hours, India blamed Pakistan for the attack,” he said. Sharif accused India of having some “motives” in blaming Pakistan for the Uri attack when it was “not even established” that who was involved in it. The Pakistan Prime Minister also accused India of violating the LoC ceasefire agreement and launching “aggression” against Pakistan.”India’s ceasefire violation resulted in the death of our two soldiers, when it attacked Pakistan. It was befittingly responded and was conveyed that Pakistan Army is fully capable to respond to any aggression,” he said.Sharif also expressed support for Kashmiris and said the issue should be resolved according to the wishes of people of Kashmir and the UN resolutions.”The Kashmiri youth have taken it upon themselves to carry on the movement of freedom against Indian aggression and atrocities,” Sharif said. He once again mentioned Wani in his speech. “The death of Burhan Wani, son of the Kashmiri soil, had reminded India to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination,” Sharif said.Raking up Kashmir at the UN General Assembly, Sharif had called Wani a “young leader”, evoking a strong reaction from India.Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8, sparking off protests in the Valley. Lambasting Sharif’s “glorification” of Wani in his UNGA speech, India had said hailing a “self-advertised” terrorist at the forum is “self-incrimination” by the Pakistani leader. Sharif, in his address to the Parliament today, urged the international community to play a role in implementing the UN resolutions on Kashmir.He claimed that India wanted to deflect the world from its “acts of suppression” in Kashmir by leveling allegations against Pakistan. He asserted that Pakistan’s armed forces were fully prepared and ready to thwart any attack.All opposition parties attended the joint session except Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf as the cricketer-turned politician had boycotted it, saying Sharif was not fit to lead the country and the session would only endorse his leadership. Sharif’s comments came after last month, while speaking at a public meeting in Kerala held on the sidelines of the BJP national council meet, Prime Minister Modi had said, “I accept this challenge. I want to tell you that India wants to fight with Pakistan. If you have the courage then why not fight to end poverty, unemployment, illiteracy. Let us see which country wins, India or Pakistan.”

Serving IAF officer, Bengaluru scientist arrested for running multi-state drug racket

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday arrested a serving Indian Air Force Wing Commander and a Bengaluru-based scientist in connection with its probe in an international drug racket involving a scientist and his wife. Wing Commander G Rajasekhara Reddy was apprehended near Nanded district in Maharashtra while he was trying to flee to Goa.

Reddy, who was posted at Air Headquarters in Delhi, was the alleged “kingpin” of the racket and his purported involvement was revealed after the questioning of the duo in Hyderabad.

Representative image. AFPRepresentative image. AFP

Representative image. AFP

The officials had on Tuesday seized 231 kg of amphetamine drug from research scientist Venkata Rama Rao as he was trying to collect a drug consignment in Hyderabad and later another 10 kg of the drug were recovered from the scientist’s residence. Following this, Rao, his wife and another aide Ravi Shankar Rao were arrested from Hyderabad on Tuesday.

The drugs seized were worth about Rs 45 crore and is considered to be a potent nervous system stimulant. It is banned in India under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

Officials said Reddy was produced in a court in Hyderabad on Wednesday which sent him in NCB’s custody.

Reddy’s name cropped up in NCB investigation after the scientist and his aides were questioned and Reddy was later nabbed based on the inputs provided by Rao. Some mobiles and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash were recovered from him.

According to The News MinuteWing Commander Rajasekhara Reddy, posted with the Information Technology Wing of IAF in Delhi, has been a classmate of Venkat Rao and the duo resumed contact when Reddy was posted in Bengaluru for about five years till January 2016. Reddy was subsequently posted in Delhi and since then he would reportedly travel to Hyderabad to secure the contraband and trade it to other dealers. The report further said that the group had been cooking the drug out of a rented lab in Hyderabad and were reportedly looking for a permanent base.

NCB first seized 221 kg of amphetamine from two persons at Miyapur area here on 30 September.

Another report in The Indian Express states that Reddy had been under the NCB scanner since several days and he absconded after the raids were conducted. The drug manufactured in Hyderabad was reportedly trafficked to places like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

With inputs from PTI

International drug racket: IAF Wing Commander, Bengaluru scientist arrested

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force has been arrested by the NCB from Maharashtra in connection with its probe in an international drug racket involving a scientist and his wife.Officials said Wing Commander G Rajasekhar Reddy was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in coordination with Nanded Police on Monday and brought to Hyderabad today, based on investigations after a drug racket was unearthed in Hyderabad two days back.They said Reddy, posted at Air Headquarters in Delhi, was the alleged “kingpin” of the racket and his purported involvement was revealed after the questioning of the duo in Hyderabad.Some mobiles and Rs 7.5 lakh in cash were recovered from him.Officials said Reddy was produced in a court in Hyderabad today which sent him in NCB’s custody.The NCB had on Monday seized 231 kg of the banned narcotic drug amphetamine, worth about Rs 45 crore, from Hyderabad and Bengaluru and arrested three persons including a research scientist and his wife.NCB first seized 221 kg of amphetamine from two persons at Miyapur area here on September 30.Venkat Rama Rao, a research scientist in a reputed private chemical firm of Bengaluru, had come to Hyderabad to collect the contraband from Ravi Shankar Rao, NCB said.After Venkat and Ravi Shankar were arrested, 30 grams of amphetamine and Rs 1.23 crore in cash were seized from a house rented by Venkat near Electronic City in Bengaluru, and his wife was also arrested.Further, 10 kg of amphetamine was seized from a manufacturing lab in Bollaurm area here on October 1.The seized amphetamine was worth about Rs 45 crore.

When tourism event turned into terrorism debate

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid growing tension between India and Pakistan, a war of words erupted at a tourism event in the national capital, after Delhi Tourism minister Kapil Mishra asked Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti to clarify her position on Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, and Afzal Guru.Beginning his speech, Mishra asked Mufti is she considered “Burhan Wani a terrorist or not”.”Terrorism and tourism can’t go together. We can fight Pakistan, but how do we fight with people who give shelter to terrorists in J&K? It can’t be that you don’t accept Burhan Wani as a terrorist and then expect tourism to increase,” he said.Mishra then went on to asking Mufti, if she considered Afzal Guru a terrorist or not.Although even as the event organisers rushed to contain the matter and interrupted Mishra’s speech urging him not to use the space for politics, Mishra exited the event claiming that he didn’t want to share the dais with Mufti.Mufti, however, refrained from commenting on Mishra, she highlighted rising crime against women in the national capital.”Any place in the world, including Delhi, women are safest in my Kashmir. They move around in shikaras and houseboats. That’s the biggest thing my state can offer. As compared to any place in the world, including Delhi, women and girls are safest; there is no fear of getting raped in a car,” said Mufti.She added, “The biggest confidence building measure in the current scenario would be if you visit our state, it will portray your trust in us. We need you, I don’t know if you need Kashmir or not, but Kashmir needs you.”

Ruckus at tourism event after AAP’s Kapil Mishra taunts Mehbooba Mufti on terrorism

Aam Aadmi Party minister Kapil Mishra managed to make Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti cry after he asked her if she considered Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani and Afzal Guru as terrorists or not, during his speech at the Bharat International Tourism Bazaar function in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Terrorism and tourism cannot go together, he said, inviting protests from Mufit’s entourage. He referred to the CM while saying, “We can fight Pakistan but how do we fight with people who give shelter to terrorists in Kashmir.”

Attacking Mehbooba, Mishra said Pakistani flags were being hoisted in kashmir and nobody was stopping it.

Chaos ensued soon after his statements.

He told Mufti that she cannot expect tourism to boost while not accepting Wani as a terrorist. After the uproar and protests, Mishra had to leave the venue. However, before making an exit, he said that he does not want to share the stage with Mufti.

Mishra’s sharp statements and accusations brought Mufti to tears. She said that she was in two minds about attending the event because “things are not good back home.”

While promoting tourism in the state, the chief minister raised the issue of safety of girls which is the primary concern for a lot of tourists. She said that girls are safer in Kashmir than any other place in the world. “There is no fear of getting raped in a car in Kashmir and the safety of women is the biggest thing that the state can offer,” she added.

She appealed to the people saying, “We need you. I don’t know if you need Kashmir or not but Kashmir needs you.” She considers tourism to be the biggest confidence building measure. By investing in tourism, people are investing in peace and in the emotions of the Kashmir people, according to Mufti. This is significant because it can accelerate the process of restoring normalcy in the state.

She referred to her father Mufti Mohammad Sayeed while saying that he was a lover of nature and Kashmir was his life. He went around asking people to come to the state and the number of tourists was huge this before the unrest started. However, it has died down and normalcy is returning, she said. Mufti then appealed to the people again to visit Kashmir and help it.

With inputs from agencies.

Kolkata: Navy’s fast interceptor boat catches fire, 2 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Navy’s fast interceptor boat caught fire on Tuesday morning on the banks of Babughat in the Port area of Kolkata.Two people, who were present inside the boat suffered serious injuries and have been shifted to the command hospital for treatment.However, the Navy claimed that the boat did not belong to them but was hired from a private company for patrolling the river Hooghly.”The boat does not belong to Navy. It is hired by the Navy for patrolling the river. Naval persons are on board only at the time of patrolling. The operation and maintenance of the boat lies solely with the contractor. When the fire took place today, there was no naval person on board,” said Defence CPRO, Kolkata, Wing Commander SS Birdi.Preliminary examination reveals that two boats, hired by Navy were parked on the banks of Babughat. Sources says a fire broke out in one of them due to a short circuit around 7.30 am. As many as two fire tenders were rushed to the spot to douse the fire completely.

India, Pakistan NSAs talk to diffuse tensions between two countries along LoC: Sartaj Aziz

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an attempt to diffuse the escalated tensions between two nations along the Line of Control (LoC) after India’s surgical strike, National Security Advisors (NSA) of India and Pakistan have reportedly had talks, even though Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif warned that Islamabad was also capable of executing surgical strikes.According to The News International, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan’s Nasser Janjua and India’s Ajit Doval spoke to diffuse tensions between the two countries. “Both officials stressed on the need to establish contact to reduce tensions along the Line of Control,” Aziz told the portal.However, Aziz also claimed that India was escalating tensions with Pakistan at the Line of Control to deflect the attention of the world from Kashmir. Aziz said that Pakistan wanted to bring down tensions at the Line of Control so that the focus could be on the issue of occupied Kashmir.Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called a special Cabinet meeting last week to discuss the latest tension with India and the situation on the LoC, a day after Indian Army conducted surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.In a first, India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads across the LoC on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, with the Army saying it inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from PoK, days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Uri attack would not go unpunished.India and Pakistan are witnessing growing bitterness after Pakistan and its Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made provocative statements on the Kashmir situation in the wake of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani’s killing on July 8.Recently, raking up Kashmir at the UN, Sharif had glorified slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani as a “young leader” even as he expressed readiness for a “serious and sustained ‘dialogue’ with India for peaceful resolution of all outstanding disputes, especially Jammu and Kashmir.

Army ready for any eventuality after surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Amid heightened tension with Pakistan, Army asked the forces to be “prepared for any eventuality” and maintain “very high level of alert” as its Chief Gen Dalbir Singh visited Jammu and Kashmir to assess the military preparedness.The situation on the Line of Control (LoC) and hinterland was discussed at a meeting held by Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda and attended by Srinagar-based Corps Commander Lt Gen Satish Dua, state Chief Secretary B R Sharma and DGP K Rajendra Kumar.During the meeting, “Lt Gen Hooda stressed upon the need for maintaining a very high level of alert and vigil and to remain prepared for any eventuality,” an army spokesman said.”The Chinar Corps Commander, Lt Gen Satish Dua reviewed the entire gamut of operational readiness with the Army Commander and briefed him on all security measures along the LoC as well as the hinterland,” the spokesman added.The review of security was undertaken against the backdrop of surgical strike carried out by the Indian army against terror camps across the LoC two days back.The army made an “earnest appeal to the people of Kashmir to ensure calm and peace in these sensitive times and strengthen the government and security agencies in meeting the challenges emanating from across the borders”.Earlier, Lt Gen Hooda briefed the Army Chief at Northern Command Headquarters at Udhampur about the overall security situation along the borders. The Army Chief then visited the Kashmir valley.Lt Gen Hooda and Lt Gen Dua also called on Governor N N Vohra and apprised him about the overall security situation in the state and preparedness of the army.Lt Gen Hooda assured the Governor of complete synergy amongst all the agencies towards facing any kind of security challenges.He also conveyed his compliments to 15 Corps for the high degree of professionalism shown by all ranks involved in the planning and execution of surgical strikes across the LoC.Meanwhile, a Raj Bhawan spokesman said the Governor congratulated the Northern Army Commander and all his officers and men concerned for their outstanding success in executing a crucial counter-terrorism operation across the Line of Control in the areas of responsibility of the 15 and 16 Corps.”The Governor particularly complimented Lt Gen Hooda for the brilliant efficiency with which he had planned and carried through this milestone initiative,” the spokesman added.

China continues veto on India’s move to designate Masood Azhar as terrorist by UN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China on Saturday said its technical hold on India’s move to get Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar designated a terrorist by the United Nations has “been extended”, days before the expiry of the hold.The Chinese technical hold was set to lapse on Monday, and had China not raised further objection, the resolution designating Azhar as a terrorist could stand passed automatically. The hold has been extended for another six months. “The technical hold on India’s listing application submitted to the 1267 committee in March, 2016 has already been extended,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI here.”There are still different views on India’s listing application. The extended technical hold on it will allow more time for the Committee to deliberate on the matter and for relevant parties to have further consultations,” Geng said.On March 31 this year, China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, had blocked India’s move to put a ban on the Jaish-e-Mohammed leader and Pathankot attack mastermind under the Sanctions Committee of the Council.China was the only 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. Geng said the 1267 Committee of the UNSC “organises its work as mandated by relevant resolutions of the Security Council.””China always maintains that on the listing matter, the 1267 Committee should stick to the main principles of objectivity, impartiality and professionalism, base its judgments on solid evidence and decide upon consensus among the members of the Security Council,” he said in a written reply to a question. Following the decision, the hold now has been extended in the midst of India-Pakistan tension over the Uri terrorist attack, which was blamed on the JeM group.China’s technical hold coupled with its move to block India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) cast a shadow on the Sino-India ties. Both the countries have held several rounds of talks on the issues in recent months. China’s move to extend the technical hold comes ahead of the expected meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Goa during the BRICS Summit on October 15-16.In June last year, China had blocked India’s demand for taking action under the Council’s anti-terrorism resolutions against Pakistan for releasing Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Lakhvi – the mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Sources have previously said India is not alone in its bid to get Azhar listed as terrorist as the US, the UK and France had “co-sponsored” the resolution seeking Azhar’s listing.India has repeatedly slammed the UN Sanctions Committee for its failure to designate terrorists, saying that the terror groups are proscribed entities under the Sanctions regime but individuals heading them are not listed. India has slammed the UN sanctions committee for taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism when the technical hold was put on its application to include Azhar’s name on the committee’s list of designated terrorists.In April, India had said it finds it “incomprehensible” that while the Pakistan-based JeM was listed in the UNSC Committee as far back as 2001 for its known terror activities and links to the al-Qaeda, the designation of the group’s main leader, financier and motivator has been put on a technical hold.India had submitted a detailed dossier on Azhar and moved the UNSC 1267 Committee following the January 2 attack on an Indian airforce station in Pathankot. In March, India’s submission was considered by the Counter-Terrorism Executive Directorate for technical aspects of the evidence provided. The technical team then with the support of the US, the UK and France had sent it to all the members.All were told that if there were no objections, the designation will be announced after the expiry of the deadline. However, hours before the deadline, China requested the committee to hold up the banning of the JeM chief.India had said the sanctions committee was taking a “selective approach” in tackling terrorism. India had made a strong call for reform of the “subterranean universe” of the UN Security Council’s sanctions regimes, as it criticised the lack of transparency in their functioning and said that the principles of “anonymity and unanimity” adopted by Council members absolve individual members of accountability.

26/11 attack: Next week, Pakistan panel to inspect boat used by terrorists to reach India

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A judicial commission constituted by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court will travel to the port city of Karachi next week to examine a boat used by 10 LeT terrorists to reach India for carrying out the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The commission will travel to Karachi on October 6 to examine the boat, Al-Fouz, and will also record the testimony of a witness who saw the vessel being seized at the Karachi Shipyard.Headed by an ATC judge, the commission includes officials from Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), the defence counsel and court officials. The commission was constituted during a hearing into the Mumbai terror attacks case by ATC-Islamabad, which held the hearing at the Adiala Jail Rawalpindi, last week as the court heard the boat was used by the terrorists in the attacks in which 166 people were killed and around 300 were injured.The ATC judge accepted the request by the FIA to send a judicial commission to examine the boat as it was difficult to produce the vessel before the court.Earlier the Islamabad High Court had set aside the verdict of a trial court of not allowing to send a commission to Karachi terming it “flawed and not in accordance with law” and allowed examination of the boat in the port city. In May, the prosecution had challenged the trial court’s decision to reject its plea to form a commission to examine the boat so that the vessel could be made a “case property”.According to the FIA, the attackers used three boats – including Al Fauz – to reach Mumbai from Karachi. Al-Fauz is in the custody of Pakistani authorities in Karachi, from where the 10 LeT terrorists armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand-grenades had left for India on November 23, 2008, to carry out attacks in Mumbai. En route to their destination, they hijacked another boat, killing four of its crew members. They forced the vessel’s captain to take them close to the Indian shores and killed him when the vessel reached Mumbai’s coast.Mastermind and LeT operations commander Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attacks. Lakhvi is living at an undisclosed location after being released from jail on bail a year ago. The other six suspects are in Adiala Jail, Rawalpindi. The case has been underway in the country for more than six years.

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes against terrorists along LoC, says DGMO

Indian Army conducted surgical strikes against terrorists at launch pads along LoC

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Sep 29, 2016

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Amid heightened tension with Pakistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday chaired a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) to review the situation along the Line of Control. The meeting is understood to have discussed various options related to the LoC in the wake of the Uri attack.

The meeting is also understood to have taken stock of ceasefire violations and infiltration attempts. Four terrorists had stormed an army camp in Uri on 18 September and killed 18 soldiers.

Pakistani troops have also violated the ceasefire along the LoC twice since Wednesday. Pakistani troops on Thursday violated the ceasefire along the LoC in Naugam sector of Kashmir by opening indiscriminate fire towards Indian Army posts.

Pakistani troops on Wednesday had targetted Indian positions with small firearms along the LoC in Poonch district.

Meanwhile, director general military operations (DGMO) and Vikas Swarup to address media shortly, ANI reported.

26/11 case: Pakistani judicial commission to inspect boat used by terrorists

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A Pakistani judicial commission has been ordered by an Anti-Terrorism Court in Islamabad to visit Karachi to inspect a boat which was allegedly used by LeT terrorists in the 2008 Mumbai attack.An ATC Judge on Tuesday heard the Mumbai attack case and accepted a request filed by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to inspect the boat ‘Alfoz’ in Karachi.The FIA had requested the court to send a judicial commission to examine the boat as it was difficult to produce it before the court,In addition to examining the boat, the commission would also record the statement of a witness, Munir, during its visit to Karachi.Earlier, ATC-II judge had allowed the FIA’s application requesting the court to exhibit the boat as evidence as it was allegedly used for transporting the assailants to India and ultimately led to the attack in Mumbai.The court s decision to inspect the boat in Karachi comes days after India wrote a letter to Pakistan, suggesting legal ways to expedite trial of the Mumbai terror attack case.India had written the letter after the FIA dropped charges against a suspect in the Mumbai attack case after failing to find any incriminating evidence.The FIA had submitted a charge sheet before the ATC and placed the suspect, Sufiyan Zafar, in the second column of the charge sheet, which means no evidence was found against him.According to the prosecution, Zafar had reportedly provided financial assistance to the other suspects.In the charge sheet, the FIA said that Zafar had transferred Rs 14,000 into a suspect’s account. During the course of investigation, the investigators said it had emerged that Zafar had lent the money to the other suspects also without asking why they needed it.LeT operations commander Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people in November, 2008.Lakhvi, believed to be the mastermind of the Mumbai attack, is living in undisclosed location after being released from jail on bail a year ago. The other six suspects are in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. The case has been underway in the country for more than six years.

Chhattisgarh: Two Naxals killed in gun-battle with security forces in Sukma

Raipur: Two Naxals were killed on Tuesday in a gun-battle with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district.

“The encounter took place early this morning in the dense forest of Fulbadgi Police Station area while a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation,” Sukma Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela told PTI.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Composite squad of District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and local police had launched the operation in the interiors of Fulbagdi, located around 450 kms away from Raipur, based on specific inputs, he said.

About 8 kms away from the police station, an exchange of fire broke out between both the sides after ultras opened fire on security forces, the SP said, adding, rebels soon managed to flee the spot taking the cover of dense forest.

“During search of the area, bodies of two male Maoists, beside a muzzle loading gun and one 315 bore gun were recovered from the spot,” he added.

The identity of the ultras will be ascertained once the patrol party will return to its camp, the SP said.

On Monday, three Naxals, including two hardcore commander rank cadres, were gunned down by security forces at separate places in Bastar division.

With Tuesday’s encounter, the number of Maoists having been killed in separate encounters in Bastar this year has reached to 99.

Chhattisgarh: Two Naxals killed in gunbattle in Sukma

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two Naxals killed in a gunbattle with security forces on Tuesday in Chhattisgarh’s Sukma district. “The encounter took place early this morning in the dense forest of Fulbadgi Police Station area while a joint team of security forces was out on an anti-Maoist operation,” Sukma Superintendent of Police Indira Kalyan Elesela said. Composite squad of District Reserve Group (DRG), Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) and local police had launched the operation in the interiors of Fulbagdi, located around 450 kms away from here, based on specific inputs, he said. About 8 kms away from the police station, an exchange of fire broke out between both the sides after ultras opened fire on security forces, the SP said, adding, rebels soon managed to flee the spot taking the cover of dense forest. “During search of the area, bodies of two male Maoists, beside a muzzle loading gun and one 315 bore gun were recovered from the spot,” he added.The identity of the ultras will be ascertained once the patrol party will return to its camp, the SP said. Yesterday, three Naxals, including two hardcore commander rank cadres, were gunned down by security forces at separate places in Bastar division. With today’s encounter, the number of Maoists having been killed in separate encounters in Bastar this year has reached to 99.

Curfew-free Kashmir for second consecutive day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew-free for the second consecutive day, Kashmir was by and large peaceful on Monday but normal life remained affected due to the shutdown call of the separatists.”The situation remained normal and peaceful throughout the valley where greater movement of vehicular traffic was observed during the day,” police spokesman said. He said 55 people, wanted in various offences of creating disruptions in normalcy, were arrested during past 24 hours from various parts of the Valley.There was no curfew anywhere in Kashmir even as restrictions on the assembly of people were in place in many parts of the Valley as a precautionary measure. He said the decision to not clamp curfew was taken in view of the improving situation.However, normal life continued to remain affected due to the shutdown call of the separatists who are spearheading the agitation since Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed on July 8. Markets had come to life yesterday afternoon in the wake of relaxation announced by separatists.Shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed today due to the separatist call for shut down, while public transport remained off the roads for the 80th straight day. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also remained closed across the Valley.

Chhattisgarh: 2 naxals of PLGA military company 6 killed in encounter

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three Naxals, including two commander rank cadres, were today killed in a gunbattle with security forces in Chhattisgarh’s insurgency-hit Bastar division, police said. “While two hardcore Maoist commanders were gunned down in Narayanpur district, another rebel was killed in neighbouring Kondagaoan district early this morning,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar Range) SRP Kalluri said.In Naryanpur, a surgical operation was launched by District Reserve Group (DRG) based on the input that a platoon of military company (no. 6) of Maoists led by Shobhi would be coming towards Jhara police camp in Narayanpur to target Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) jawans, the IG said.Security forces had laid an ambush near the jungles of Banspal and Toinar, located around 400 kms away from here, on the route tipped off to be followed by the Naxal party while moving toward Jhara (in Narayanpur), he said. “On reaching the spot, about 20 armed cadres smelled the presence of security forces and opened indiscriminate fire on them prompting police to retaliate,” Kalluri said, adding the exchange lasted for one hour in Narayanpur after which Naxals escaped from the place taking cover of dense forest.During search, bodies of two Maoists identified as Tirupati alias Akash, a native of Madded in Bijapur, and Lokesh alias Ramesh from Dhaudai region of Narayanpur, were recovered from the spot, he added. “They both were active as commanders in military company 6 of Maoists,” the IG said calling the operation as “stunning” success for security forces.”Drag marks and blood stains found at the spot indicate that more Naxals were either killed or injured in the encounter but their colleagues managed to take them away from the spot,” he added. Besides, weapons and other Naxal items were also recovered during search of the area. Meanwhile, reinforcement was rushed to the spot to trace the ultras fled from the spot after the incident, the IG added.In another incident, body of a rebel clad in uniform was recovered after an exchange of fire between a joint team of security forces and Naxals in the forest of Mardapal police station limits in Kondagaon

No curfew in Kashmir for second day; normal life continues to remain affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Kashmir continued to remain curfew-free for the second consecutive day on Monday after the curbs on the movement of people were lifted from the entire Valley on Sunday following improvement in the situation. However, restrictions on the assembly of people were in force in most areas.There is no curfew anywhere in Kashmir today as well, but restrictions on the assembly of people were in place in many parts of the Valley as a precautionary measure, a police official said here.He said the decision to not clamp curfew was taken in view of the improving situation.However, normal life continued to remain affected in Kashmir, where the markets came to life in the afternoon yesterday in the wake of relaxation, from 2 PM, announced by separatists.Shops, petrol pumps and other business establishments remained closed today due to the separatist call for shut down, while public transport remained off the roads for the 80th straight day.Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also remained closed across the Valley.The separatist groups are spearheading the ongoing unrest in Kashmir against the civilian killings in security forces action during violent clashes that broke out in the Valley a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on July 8.They have been announcing weekly protest programmes with periodic relaxation on some days. However, there is no relaxation today.As many as 82 persons, including two cops, have been killed and thousands of others injured in the ongoing unrest.

Bangladesh to erect barbed wire fence along 282 km road border shared with India, Myanmar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With India looking to completely seal the Indo-Bangla border in Assam soon, a top Bangladeshi security commander has said his country has decided to erect a barbed wire fence along the border with India and Myanmar. Director General of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh’s border guarding force, Major General Aziz Ahmed told a visiting group of Indian journalists here that his government has already approved a project to have a 282 km road along the border it shares with India and Myanmar.While India borders Bangladesh from three sides (4,096 km), it shares a small 271 km border with Myamnar on its eastern flank. “Our government, in principle, has agreed to have barbed wire fencing along the borders with India as well as Myanmar. In principle, it has also been decided to have link roads all along the border like India is having which facilitates BSF activities and those of the Myanmarese border guarding forces,” the BGB chief said while speaking via video-link at the headquarter of BGB’s south-west region here from his office in Peelkhana in Dhaka.He said it was “unfortunate” that these “two basic needs” of having a barbed wire fence and roads has not been developed on the Bangladeshi side till now. Ahmed said these projects are under “active consideration” of his government. Ahmed made the remarks while replying to a question where he was asked what was Bangladesh’s response to the India which had recently said that the Indo-Bangla border in Assam will be fully sealed by June, 2017 and later all along.”You would understand that all these things require huge amounts of money…but the government has already approved a project for 282 km where roads along with barbed wire fence will be erected and possibly that will start from the Myanmarese side,” Ahmed said.He said as India has already raised fence along 79% of the Indo-Bangla border, it “indirectly helps” his country in checking cross-border crimes. The DG stated that in a large number of cases where BSF approaches them for construction of fencing along the border, they give a “prompt consent” except in few instances where the construction is very close to the zero line and there are issues involved. “After all, Indian fencing helps us too,” he reiterated.The top commander said the two border guarding forces are also working to create a database of habitual offenders active along the Indo-Bangla frontier as he accepted that this was a “weak” point in ensuring effective border security and trans-border movement of terrorists and criminals was a “serious concern” for them.

Kashmir unrest: Curfew lifted from all parts with restrictions on assembly

Kashmir unrest: Curfew lifted from all parts with restrictions on assembly

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Srinagar: Curfew was lifted from all parts of Kashmir on Sunday but restrictions on assembly of people remained in force in most areas as a precautionary measure.

“The entire Kashmir Valley is curfew-free today but restrictions are in place in many parts as a precautionary measure,” a police official said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

He said the curfew was lifted following improvement in the situation on Saturday.

There were no reports of any untoward incident from anywhere in the Valley on Sunday.

Shops and other business establishments remained closed due to separatist call for shut down for the 79th straight day while public transport remained off the roads.

However, markets are expected to open at 2 pm as the separatist groups have announced a 16-hour relaxation in the shutdown till 6 am on Monday.

As many as 82 persons including two cops have been killed and thousands of others have been injured in the ongoing unrest that started after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.

Kashmir unrest: Curfew imposed in Handwara; parts of Srinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew was on Saturday imposed in Handwara town of north Kashmir, while the curbs were in force in three police station areas of Srinagar, even as normal life remained affected in the Valley for the 78th consecutive day.”Curfew has been imposed in Handwara town of Kupwara district, while it remains in force in three police station areas of downtown (interior city) Srinagar,” a police official said.He said the curbs on the movement of people remained in force in Nowhatta, Khanyar and M R Gunj police station areas of the summer capital of the state. “Curfew has been imposed in view of the apprehensions of law and order problems,” the official said.He said the curbs have been lifted from four police station areas of the city, where they were imposed on Friday in view of the apprehensions of law and order problems after Friday congregational prayers.The official said restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc would remain in force in the rest of the Valley.The separatists, who are spearheading the current agitation in the Valley, have extended the protest programme till September 29, but have announced periods of relaxation in the strike on some days, unlike the previous week’s protest programme where there was no relaxation.They have called for marches to various tehsil headquarters across the Valley on Saturday and have announced a 12-hour relaxation from 6 pm.Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain disturbed in Kashmir for the 78th straight day due to restrictions and separatist sponsored strike.Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley, while public transport was off the roads. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also continued to remain shut.Mobile Internet services also remained suspended, while the outgoing calls on prepaid numbers continued to remain barred across the Valley.As many as 82 people, including two cops, have been killed in the unrest that broke out a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir on July 8.

Protest hits Kashmiris hard, state tourism industry suffers Rs 3000-crore loss

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Tourism sector in Kashmir has suffered a loss of around Rs 3,000 crore as the 77-day ongoing unrest in the valley resulted in sharp decline of tourists. According to preliminary estimates, tourism department officials said the key sector of state’s economy has suffered a loss of around Rs 3,000 crore due to the unrest which broke out on July 9 following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces a day earlier. “The tourism destinations and hotels both in private and government sector have been worst affected and most of the hotels are left with zero occupancy,” they said. While around three lakh tourists had visited Kashmir between July and September last year, the tourist footfall in the Valley for the corresponding period of the current year is just about a trickle, the officials said. They said a total of 10,059 tourists visited the valley between August 1 to 12 against 89,243 tourists during same period last year.The officials said several film crews who were scheduled to be in Kashmir for shooting of films during summers also changed their destination in view of the prevailing situation in the Valley.Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC), Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary said most of the Corporation’s properties in Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Yousmarg and other destinations have two-four per cent occupancy which ought to have been 90-100 per cent around this time of the year.Similarly, accommodations of Tourism Department and Tourism Development Authorities have also witnessed a shortfall of 90-95 per cent compared to last year.”Not only the tourist arrivals, most of the major infrastructure projects which were to be taken up in Kashmir under Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP) have also come to a halt,” the officials said.They said Rs 400 crore were available to the department under PMDP for infrastructure development at new and existing destinations. “Under this programme, the department had formulated projects for infrastructure development at Daksum, Doodhpathri, Kokernag, Verinag, Pahalgam and Salamabad (Uri). All these projects are now in limbo because of the prevailing situation,” the official said.The people associated with tourism trade apprehend that the prevailing situation could adversely affect the tourist arrivals during the next year as well with disastrous implications for the local economy.

J&K: Clashes between mob and security forces leads to death of youth, 30 injured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A youth was killed and over 30 were injured on Friday in clashes between stone-pelting mobs and security forces in Kashmir where curfew was imposed in some parts of Srinagar district and restrictions were in place elsewhere in the valley in view of separatist call for protests. A 22-year-old youth Wasim Ahmad Lone died when security forces opened fire to disperse a stone-pelting mob in Nadihal area on Sopore-Kupwara road in Baramulla district, police said.The incident occurred when a mob targeted a convoy of security forces by pelting stones as it was on its way from Sopore to Kupwara, a police official said. To disperse the mob, the security forces opened fire in which Lone was injured in the chest. He was rushed to district hospital Baramulla but the doctors declared him ‘brought dead’, the official said.The local residents, however, claimed that Lone was not part of the protestors and was harvesting paddy in his field when the army opened fire. The police official said the law enforcing agencies were trying to restore order in the area. Following the death, fresh protests broke out in Nadihal and adjoining areas, the police official said.With this death, the toll in the ongoing unrest, which began after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8, has risen to 83. Clashes between security forces and stone-pelting mobs were also reported from several other areas of the valley in which at least 30 people were injured. These places included Chrar-e-Sharief in Budgam district and Old Barzulla area of Srinagar, the official said.Authorities had imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar in view of the apprehensions of law and order problems after Friday congregational prayers, even as normal life remained affected in the Valley for the 77th straight day. Curfew was imposed in five police station areas of downtown Srinagar and Batamaloo and Maisuma areas in the uptown city, the official said. He said the curbs on the movement of people were imposed as there were apprehensions of law and order problems in view of the Friday congregational prayers.Restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc remained in force in rest of the Valley. The separatists, who are spearheading the current agitation in the Valley, have extended the protest programme till September 29 but have announced periods of relaxation in the strike on some days, unlike the previous week’s protest programme where there was no relaxation.They had called for marches to various tehsil headquarters across the Valley on Friday. Due to the restrictions and separatist-sponsored strike, shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley, while public transport was off the roads.Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also continued to remain shut. Mobile internet services also remained suspended, while the outgoing calls on prepaid numbers continued to remain barred across the Valley.

Curfew, restrictions in Kashmir ahead of Friday prayers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew was imposed in parts of Srinagar in view of apprehensions of law and order problems after Friday congregational prayers. “Curfew has been imposed in five police station areas of downtown (interior city) and Batamaloo and Maisuma areas in the uptown,” a police official said, adding restrictions on assembly of people would remain in force in the rest of the Valley.He said curbs on the movement of people were imposed as there were apprehensions of law and order problems after the Friday prayers.Normal life remained affected in the Valley for the 77th straight day due to restrictions and separatist sponsored strike. The separatists, who are spearheading the current agitation in the Valley, have extended the protest programme till September 29 but have announced periods of relaxation in the strike on some days, unlike the previous week s protest programme where there was no relaxation.They have called for marches to various tehsil headquarters across the Valley today. Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley, while public transport was off the roads. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also continued to remain shut.Mobile internet services also remained suspended, while the outgoing calls on prepaid numbers continued to remain barred across the Valley. As many as 81 people, including two cops, have been killed in the unrest that broke out a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir on July 8.

High alert in Mumbai after school kids report spotting suspicous men near Uran navy base

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A high alert was sounded in Mumbai and adjoining areas on Thursday after two schoolchildren reported spotting suspicious persons in the Uran area. While the first child informed the school principal about one suspected terrorist, the other reported a group of 5-6 – all dressed in black, pathani suits and probably carrying weapons in their backpacks. Both reported spotting the terrorists near the Uran bus depot.As the school authorities escalated the matter around 7 am, security agencies got into the act. What worried the agencies was that while the suspects were reportedly speaking in an incomprehensible language, two words could be clearly heard – school and ONGC.The Navy, Coast Guard, Intelligence Bureau, National Security Guard (NSG), Force One, Coastal Police, Anti-Terrorism Squad, Crime Branch, Quick Response Team, Home Guards, Navi Mumbai Police, Mumbai Police and Thane Police all pressed their teams for surveillance.ONGC has a major installation in Uran. This plant is for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) processing and related products. Areas in and around Uran also have sensitive installations like INS Abhimanyu, a base of Marcos, the elite marine commandos of the Indian Navy, Naval Armament Depot, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, among other. A platoon of the NSG, too, was flown in and deployed in and around Uran.All educational institutions in Uran remained shut during the day and some reports said that even locals were not allowed to venture out of their homes during the combing operations. In fact, in Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai and adjoining areas, there were random checks by the local police.”Indian Navy’s Western Naval Command first alerted all coastal security stakeholders. Searches and other actions were initiated. The situation is being closely monitored in liaison with the police. No person has been located or apprehended till now,” said Commander Rahul Sinha, Indian Navy spokesperson.There was no headway till late Thursday evening. “The Maharashtra Director General of Police has been asked to submit a detailed report on the Uran terror alert by Friday,” said KP Bakshi, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department.The identity of the two children hasn’t been disclosed.

Pakistan is ‘Terroristan’, Sec 370 should be removed in Kashmir: Chetan Bhagat

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reacting strongly to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly, author Chetan Bhagat hit out on Thursday at Pakistan calling it ‘Terroristan’.In a series of tweets, Bhagat said that India and the entire world should refer to Pakistan by its new name ‘Terroristan’.He further demanded that Article 370 be removed from Kashmir.In his speech at the UNGA on Wednesday, Sharif glorified Hizbul Nujahideen commander Burhan Wani by calling him a ‘young leader’. “Burhan Wani, the young leader murdered by Indian forces, has emerged as the symbol of the latest Kashmiri Intifada,” said Sharif.Sharif, who earlier declared Wani a ‘martyr’ post his death even as India branded him a terrorist, said Islamabad fully supports the demand of the Kashmiri people for self-determination as promised to them by several Security Council resolutions and urged the United Nations to intervene and assist in solving the Kashmir dispute.

Kashmir unrest: Curfew imposed in Anantnag after separatists’ call for protest march

Srinagar: Curfew was on Thursday imposed in south Kashmir’s Anantnag town, while it remained in force in three police station areas of Srinagar city in view of the separatists’ call for a protest march.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Normal life, meanwhile, remained affected in the Valley for the 76th straight day.

Curfew has been imposed in Anantnag town in view of the separatists call for a march to the district. The curbs also remain in force in three police station areas of downtown (interior city), a police official said.

He said the three police station areas of the summer capital where the curfew was in force are Nowhatta, MR Gunj and Khanyar.

The official said restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc continued to remain in force in the Valley.

The separatists have called for a march to Anantnag and Srinagar uptown areas.

The separatists, who are spearheading the current agitation in the Valley, have extended the protest programme till 29 September. They have announced periodic relaxation in the strike on some days.

Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain disturbed in Kashmir for the 76th consecutive day due to restrictions and separatist-sponsored strike.

Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut in Srinagar and elsewhere in the Valley, while public transport was off the roads.

Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also continued to remain shut.

Mobile Internet services also remained suspended, while the outgoing calls on prepaid numbers continued to remain barred across the Valley.

As many as 81 people, including two cops, have been killed in the unrest that broke out a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in South Kashmir on 8 July.

Will respond to Pakistan on ‘Uri misadventure’ at multiple levels: Ram Madhav

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lashing out at Nawaz Sharif for glorifying slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani as a ‘young leader’ at UN General Assembly, BJP leader Ram Madhav on Thursday said that Pakistan Prime Minister spoke like he was the Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen.”Pakistan PM at UN was at his pathetic best, he talked not like Supreme Commander of Pak but Supreme Commander of Hizbul Mujahideen. Pakistan PM was openly campaigning for one of his terror commanders,” Ram Madhav told ANI.Saying that it was pathetic to see the Pakistan PM championing the cause of UN designated terror organisations, he said, “Pakistan should be declared a terrorist state. Nawaz Sharif with his speech established everything that India has been saying about him and the government in Pakistan.”
ALSO READ Uri attack: Time to reply Pak in language it understands, says Uddhav ThackeraySpeaking about the Uri attack, Ram Madhav said, “At diplomatic level, befitting response to Pakistan has been given. We will respond to Pakistan on its Uri misadventure at multiple levels.””Apart from diplomatic offensive which we have already launched, the other aspects will also be taken care of. I am sure the government will take necessary actions. Perpetrators of Uri attack will not be spared,” he added.
ALSO READ Uri attack: India summons Abdul Basit, gives five-point proof exposing Pak handHeavily armed militants from Pakistan-based JeM had on Sunday attack at an Army Brigade Headquarter in Uri in which 18 soldiers were killed.

Pakistan is ‘terrorist state’, carries out war crimes: Full text of India’s response to Sharif’s speech at UN

Slamming Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for glorifying slain Hizbul commander Burhan Wani at the UN, India on Wednesday said his remarks show Pakistan’s continued attachment to terrorism.

Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN. PTI

Pakistani PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif speaks during the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly at UN. PTI

Here is the full text of  First Secretary, Eenam Gambhir, exercising India’s Right of Reply during the general debate of the 71st UNGA session on Wednesday.

Mr President,
I take the floor to exercise the right of reply in response to the long tirade of Pakistan about the situation in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

The worst violation of human rights is terrorism. When practiced as an instrument of state policy it is a war crime.

What my country and our other neighbours are facing today is Pakistan’s long-standing policy of sponsoring terrorism, the consequences of which have spread well beyond our region.

Mr President, 

Only last week, the international community honored the memory of thousands of innocent victims from around the world, who lost their lives not far from here in New York fifteen years ago in a most horrifying terror attack. 

The world has not yet forgotten that the trail of that dastardly attack led all the way to Abbottabad in Pakistan. 

The land of Taxila, one of the greatest learning centres of ancient times, is now host to the Ivy League of terrorism. It attracts aspirants and apprentices from all over the world. 

The effect of its toxic curriculum are felt across the globe. 

It is ironical therefore that we have seen today the preaching of human rights and ostensible support for self-determination by a country which has established itself as the global epicentre of terrorism. 

Mr President,

Shortly before Pakistan gave its hypocritical sermons in this august house today, its envoy in New Delhi was summoned in the context of the most recent of the terror attacks in Uri that claimed 18 Indian lives. That terrorist attack is part of a trail of continuous flow of terrorists trained and armed by our neighbour and tasked to carry out terrorist attacks in my country.

What we see in Pakistan, Mr President, is a terrorist state, which channelizes billions of dollars, much of it diverted from international aid, to training, financing and supporting terrorist groups as militant proxies against it neighbours.

Terrorist entities and their leaders, including many designated by the UN, continue to roam its streets freely and operate with State support. With the approval of authorities, many terrorist organizations raise funds openly in flagrant violation of Pakistan’s international obligations. 

Mr President, 

Even today we have heard support by the Prime Minister of Pakistan for a self-acknowledged commander of a known terrorist organisation Hizbul Mujahideen. 

Pakistan is a country with a democracy deficit. In fact it practices terrorism on its own people. It extends support to extremist groups, it suppresses minorities and women and denies basic human rights including through draconian laws. 

As a democracy India is firmly resolved to protect all our citizens from all acts of terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir. We cannot and will not allow terrorism to prevail. 

Finally, Mr President, we have heard Pakistan, whose nuclear proliferation record is marked by deception and deceit, talking about restraint, renunciation and peace. 

Similar false promises it has made to us – the international community – on terrorism. 

Perhaps renunciation of lies and self-restraint on threats could be a good place for Pakistan to start.

I thank you Mr President.

Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi challenges legality of 26/11 commission

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Mumbai attack mastermind Zaki-ur Rehman Lakhvi and six other suspects have challenged the legality of a Pakistani judicial commission that travelled to India in 2013 to probe the 2008 attack, which could further delay the case proceedings.Lakhvi’s counsel Raja Rizwan Abbasi on Wednesday said the defence lawyers on Monday challenged the proceedings of the judicial commission that travelled to Mumbai to record the statements of four Indian prosecution witnesses in the Islamabad High Court. When asked had not the trial court already declared the commission’s proceedings ‘null and void’, Abbasi told PTI: “No… the trial court had not declared the commission’s proceedings null and void and we have challenged the legality of the commission in the IHC early this week.” Earlier, the defence lawyer had challenged the legality of the commission before the trial court in 2013 but it was dismissed.A Pakistani panel comprising special prosecutors and the defence counsel in 2013 had visited Mumbai to record the statements from prosecution witnesses, including Magistrate R V Sawant Waghule, who recorded the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, Ramesh Mahale, the chief investigation officer of the case, and Ganesh Dhunraj and Chintaman Mohite, the two doctors who had conducted the post-mortem of the terrorists killed during the attack.The commission in 2012 had recorded the statement of these witnesses but due to an “official understanding” between the Pakistani and Indian governments, had not cross-examined them. Lakhvi’s lawyer has filed a plea the commission that went to India had not been allowed to cross-examine four key Indian witnesses. A prosecution lawyer said the defence lawyers challenging the legality of the commission and saying it was not allowed to cross-examine the key Indian witnesses was aimed at delaying the case further.He said this is evident from the fact that the legality of the commission is being challenged over three years after it had travelled to Mumbai. “As the case is already not heading further because India has yet to decide whether to send 24 witnesses to Pakistan to record their statement the defence lawyers challenging the Pakistani commission’s proceedings in the IHC may further delay it,” he said.The court has not fixed the date of hearing. LeT operations commander Lakhvi, Abdul Wajid, Mazhar Iqbal, Hamad Amin Sadiq, Shahid Jameel Riaz, Jamil Ahmed and Younis Anjum are accused of abetment to murder, attempted murder, planning and executing the Mumbai attack that killed 166 people in November, 2008. Lakhvi, believed to be the mastermind of the Mumbai attack, is living in undisclosed location after being released from jail on bail a year ago. The other six suspects are in Adiala Jail Rawalpindi. The case has been underway in the country for more than six years.

Defying Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call, J-K youth line up for police jobs in Pulwama

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Defying separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s call for Kashmiri youth not to join the police force in the state, hundreds of youth lined up for SPO (Special Police Officer) posts during the recruitment rally organized by the Jammu and Kashmir Police in violence-torn Pulwama district.Notably, Geelani has asked the youth not to opt for a job in Jammu and Kashmir Police after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement of an employment package for 10,000 youth.The youth belonging to various areas of Pulwama district like Tral, Pulwama , Awantipora and Lethpora etc, participated in a physical test.”SPO’s recruitment is going on here. Unemployed youth keep coming here for some source of income. They come here so that they get unemployment and their future is secured,” said Javed Ahmed, a local resident of Tral.”I have come here for employment. We are four brothers and we are very poor .we do not have any support,” said another local.The SPOs are engaged on a monthly salary of Rs. 6,000 -raised from Rs. 3,000 a month since January this year. “We have started the recruitment process since morning. We got a very good response. Many youth from Tral, Awantipora, Lethipora areas have appeared for fitness tests for SPOs post. Many have qualified as well,” said Iftikhar Chaudhary, DSP DR, Member Recruitment Board.The SPOs after training, work with the Kashmir Police in maintaining law and order situation. It is here to mention that the Kashmir Valley is under disturbance for the last 75 days due to separatist’s shutdowns and restrictions following the killing of Hijbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.

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