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J&K: Militants open fire in Handwara, cop killed

Sat, 31 Dec 2016-11:00pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A policeman was killed in firing on Saturday by militants on a naka party in Handwara area of Kupwara district of Kashmir, officials said.The militants, who were traveling in a load carrier, opened fire on police personnel at a barricade at Chogul in Handwara this evening, a police official said.Constable Abdul Karim was injured in the firing, he said, adding he succumbed at a hospital.The militants managed to escape in the load carrier, the official added.

J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Poonch, one civilian killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>One civilian was killed as Pakistani Army indulged in heavy cross border firing targeting Indian positions and civilian areas along the Line of Control (LoC) in Poonch sector of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting the Indian side to retaliate.”Pakistani troops targeted the Indian Army posts and civilian areas along the LoC in Poonch sector with small arms, automatic and mortars at 1655 hours,” an army officer said.He said the army was retaliating strongly and effectively to the ceasefire violation.One civilian has been killed in the ongoing firing, a senior police officer said.On December 16, Pakistan had violated ceasefire by targeting Indian positions along the LoC in Balakote sector of the same district.The ceasefire violation had come after a lull of over three weeks after the Indian troops had launched a counter- offensive against Pakistan on November 23 against the killing of three soldiers in the Machhil sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.In the cross-LoC attack by suspected Pakistani terrorists, three Indian soldiers were killed on November 22, with body of one of them being mutilated. Following the incident, Indian Army had vowed a heavy “retribution”.The 2003 India-Pakistan ceasefire agreement has virtually become redundant with over 300 incidents of firing and shelling along the LoC and IB in Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistani troops.Over 26 people, including 14 security personnel, have been killed in ceasefire violations since the surgical strike on terrorist launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Pakistani troops violate ceasefire, target army posts, civilian areas in Poonch

Poonch (J&K): After a lull of over three weeks, the ceasefire on the LoC was violated again with Pakistani army on Friday, resorting to heavy cross-border firing at Indian posts and civilians areas in Balakote sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Poonch district.

“Pakistani army violated ceasefire, targeting Indian positions along the Line of Control in Balakote sector. The firing started at 0900 hours continued till 1000 hours. Our soldiers gave a befitting reply,” an army official said.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The ceasefire breach comes after a lull of over three weeks. Two BSF jawans were injured in shelling by Pakistani troops along the LoC on 23 November, a day after three Indian soldiers were killed and the body of one of them was mutilated in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

A senior police officer said shells fired by the Pakistani troops landed in civilian areas in the sector. However, there was no report of loss of life or injury to anyone.

The Pakistani army said one civilian was killed and four school children were injured on their side in the exchange of fire.

First Published On : Dec 16, 2016 15:41 IST

In agitated Newa, Lashkar militants feel quite at home, impose diktat on shopkeepers

The large black crosses look like multiplication signs with squiggles at the top left corner. The edges are uneven, a bit of paint dripping at places, but the strokes are broad and bold, a couple of feet long.

Such signs have been painted on the shutters of some of the shops in the main market at Newa. Newa is a market hamlet on the highway from Srinagar to Pulwama. It is within Pulwama district in south Kashmir. Pulwama is arguably the district worst affected by unrest over the past five months, and within the district, Newa is a nerve centre of agitation.

Not just agitation, Newa is also a centre of Lashkar-e-Taiba militants. Yes, those black crosses on shop shutters are warnings — warnings that those shops have been marked by Lashkar-e-Taiba activists for defying the hartals ordered through the ‘protest calendars’ issued in the name of the joint Hurriyat groups.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Many well-informed Kashmiris, including some Hurriyat leaders, acknowledge that control over the situation in Kashmir has been harnessed by Pakistan, that the broad guidelines come from there for how and when protests and various degrees of violence are to be organised.

In Newa, Pakistan does not need remote control mechanisms. Lashkar, the most aggressively anti-India war group based in Pakistan is right there.

A local asks me quite nonchalantly whether I would like to meet Abu Dujana, as if it were the most natural thing. Since Dujana is Lashkar’s militant head in Kashmir, the suggestion startles me.

I look around to take in how well that surreal suggestion fits with the physical and social landscape. I have just emerged onto a rock-and-mud surface that suffices for a road. We have turned sharply right towards a makeshift bridge that has remained makeshift two years after a flood destroyed the bridge. There’s been no proper reconstruction yet.

I have just had a series of chats with locals in Gudoora village, not far from Newa. Much of the angst expressed in those conversations revolved around forces’ discourtesy — things like their entering houses with shoes on, breaking doors late at night, and disrespecting women’s privacy. These essentially cultural issues plug into receptivity to foreign militants.
So apparently, even a militant head as major as Dujana flits around places such as these, quite at home. Those who want to can get to him.

Continuing instability

For all the recent talk of restored normalcy, Pulwama is one of those Kashmir districts that remains unsettled. Not only was it one of the three most disturbed Valley districts (along with Kulgam and Kupwara) in summer and autumn, it not only still simmers, it is home to militiants. Several are of Hizb-ul Mujahideen, but Lashkar too is embedded in some pockets of the district such as Newa.

There’s more surreality in how the power of the state is exercised. A police officer at the Pulwama police station airily explains the relative lack of protests in places like Tral, compared with Pulwama, saying that “that’s because there are militants there. They don’t attract attention where there are militants”. Visits to places like Gudoora indicate that there are plenty of militants in Pulwama too. So that sort of talk from police officers is either calculated to mislead, or that such officers live in la-la-land.

In places like Newa (which apparently falls under the jurisdiction of the Pulwama police station), people even talk of posters urging shopkeepers to follow ‘protest calendars’, and announcing that Lashkar will deal with those who continue to flout it.

Even that police officer says later in our conversation that a hundred or so local militants are probably active now, 10 or 12 of them in Pulwama. His estimate is that there must be double that number of foreign militants, since, he points out, the ratio of locals to foreigners in encounters with the forces is often 1:2.

His theory is that, for the moment, the HM (often local) boys have been instructed to sustain themselves and survive, rather than get exposed, while Lashkar operatives engage in battle as and when.

That Lashkar not only engages in operations but seeks to impose its will on shopkeepers and others in places like Newa indicates that hard-core militants are entrenching themselves. The future looks as bleak as the wintry landscape of bare poplar clusters standing in a grey-brown haze in sub-zero day temperatures.

First Published On : Dec 11, 2016 13:12 IST

J&K: Night temperatures plummet, fringes of Dal Lake freeze

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Cold wave tightened its grip in Kashmir Valley on Saturday as the night temperature plummeted to the season’s lowest in many places, resulting in the freezing of fringes of the famous Dal Lake for the first time this winter. The summer capital Srinagar witnessed the coldest night of the season as the mercury settled at the low of minus 4.5 degrees Celsius, a spokesman of the MeT Department said in Srinagar.He said the dip in the temperature resulted in the freezing of fringes of Dal Lake in Srinagar and many other water bodies as well as drinking water taps. Leh in Ladakh region also experienced the coldest night of the season as the temperature plummeted to settle at minus 11.9 degrees Celsius. The region was the coldest in Jammu and Kashmir.The nearby Kargil town recorded the minimum of minus 8.2 degrees Celsius, the spokesman said. He said Kupwara, in north Kashmir, recorded a low minus 5.1 degrees Celsius, down from minus 4.9 degrees Celsius on Thursday. This was the lowest recorded temperature of the season so far in the border town.Pahalgam hill resort in south Kashmir recorded a low of minus 3.0 degrees Celsius. He said the minimum in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir settled at minus 1.0 degrees Celsius two degrees down from the previous night’s 1.0 degrees Celsius.The spokesman said Qazigund town in south Kashmir registered the minimum of minus 3.2 degrees Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town recorded the low of minus 2.0 degrees Celsius. The MeT Office forecast isolated rains in the plains and snowfall in the higher reaches for at least two days from Saturday night.

Encounter between militants, security forces in Kashmir’s Kupwara district

Srinagar: An encounter broke out between security forces and militants in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Monday, but the ultras managed to flee, police said.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Security forces launched a search operation in Langate area of Handwara in Kupwara following intelligence inputs about the presence of militants there, a police officer said. He said that as the forces were conducting search, the militants fired upon them, prompting retaliation.

“As a cordon was being laid, the militants fired upon the forces, which was retaliated, but the militants managed to escape,” the officer said.

He said the search operation to trace the ultras was on.

First Published On : Nov 28, 2016 14:43 IST

Indian soldier beheaded in Machhil: How the situation at LoC went from bad to worse

The situation at the borders in Jammu and Kashmir seems to worsening with every passing day. On Tuesday, in a cross-Line of Control (LoC) attack by suspected Pakistani terrorists, three Indian soldiers were killed, with the body of one of them being mutilated in second such incident in less than a month, triggering outrage in this country.

PTI reported that the ambush on army patrol took place in Machhil sector of Kashmir, following which the Indian army vowed heavy “retribution”.

“A counter-infiltration patrol party of Indian army was ambushed by terrorists ahead of the fencing along LoC in forest belt in Machhil sector in Kupwara district today,” a senior Army officer said.

A defence spokesman said heavy cross-Line of Control shelling was going on at four places in Machhil sector from 3.30 pm.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

“Around 1530 hour, heavy cross-LoC shelling has started from both sides at Dana Machhil, Ashni, Ringsar and Ringsar Payeen in Machhil sector of Kupwara district,” he said. He did not give any further details.

A report in Daily Mail also said that the terrorists were allegedly backed by the Pakistan Army because as soon as the encounter between the soldiers and terrorists began, the Pakistan Army posts from across the LoC also began firing in that direction to prevent the Indian Army from sending reinforcements.

This is a second such incident where a jawan’s body was mutilated in the same sector since 28 October. On that day, terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, had crossed the LoC and killed an Indian army jawan and mutilated his body in the Macchil sector. One attacker was killed in that incident.

In response to the beheading of the Indian soldier on Tuesday, India strongly protested to Pakistan when Indian Deputy High Commissioner JP Singh, who was called in by Director General (South Asia and Saarc) Mohammad Faisal, conveyed that Pakistani troops were deliberately targeting the civilian areas, resulting in heavy casualties.

News reports have also said that the Indian Army has begun counter operations and is targeting various Pakistani posts along the LoC.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar also condemned the attack.

Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Kumar Singh also expressed anguish at the attack. Reacting strongly over the killings of soldiers, Singh termed it as a “cowardly act” and the incident reflected the “barbaric attitude” of the forces on the other side.

On the other hand, Pakistan rejected the “Indian media reports” of the mutilation of the soldier’s body and said it was just “a blatant attempt to malign Pakistan”. M Nafees Zakaria, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Pakistan, also said that it was India which constantly violated the ceasefire.

The Indian Express also reported that terrorists saw a safe passage in Machhil because it was considered to be one of the ‘shortest’ and ‘safest’ infiltration routes into Kupwara across the LoC. The Macchil sector, which is situated at an altitude of over 6,500 feet, is marked by dense forests and weather and terrain which make it inhospitable.

With inputs from PTI

First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 13:36 IST

Another Indian soldier’s body mutilated, Pakistan denies charges

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan on Tuesday rejected as “false” and “baseless” the charges that the body of an Indian soldier, who was among the three killed by suspected Pakistani terrorists, was mutilated in a cross LoC-attack.Foreign Office (FO) spokesperson Nafees Zakaria in a series of tweets said the reports about the mutilation were aimed at maligning Pakistan.”Pakistan strongly rejects the false & baseless Indian media reports regarding the alleged mutilation of an Indian solider on the LoC. These reports are a fabrication and a blatant attempt to malign Pakistan,” he said.Zakaria said as a professional force, Pakistan Army isn’t involved in any such “unethical & non-professional” activity. He said the Pakistan Army never supported any such action.However, he said, Pakistan is fully prepared and ready to respond to any misadventure across the LoC, Working Boundary or the International Border.Earlier today, the Indian Army said three soldiers were killed in an ambush on army patrol in Machhil sector of Kashmir. “Body of one soldier mutilated, retribution will be heavy for this cowardly act,” it said through a tweet. A Defence spokesman said heavy cross-Line of Control shelling was going on at four places in Machhil sector from 3.30 pm.”Around 1530 hour, heavy cross-LoC shelling has started from both sides at Dana Machhil, Ashni, Ringsar and Ringsar Payeen in Machhil sector of Kupwara district,” he said.This is the second such incident of mutilation of the body of an Indian soldier in the same sector since October 28. On that day, terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, had crossed the Line of Control and killed an Indian army jawan and mutilated his body in the Macchil sector. One attacker was killed in that incident.

Kashmir: Three Indian soldiers killed in Machhal, one jawan mutilated along LoC

Three Indian soldiers were killed “in action” along the Line of Control (LoC) in Machhal, Jammu and Kashmir, while the body of one soldier was mutilated, the Indian Army said on Tuesday.

The Northern Command also vowed “heavy retribution for the cowardly act”.

“Three soldiers killed in action on LC in Machhal. Body of one soldier mutilated, retribution will be heavy for this cowardly act,” the Northern Command said.

This is the second such incident of mutilation of an Indian soldier by Pakistan in a month’s time.

The last time the body of an Indian soldier mutilated was in October, when terrorists aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, crossed the Line of Control and killed an Indian Army jawan and mutilated his body in Macchal sector of Kupwara district of Kashmir on 28 October.

One attacker was killed in the incident.

A day after the Indian soldier’s body was mutilated by terrorists, who escaped back into Pakistani side under covering fire from Pakistani troops, the Indian army hit back, destroying four Pakistani posts and inflicting “heavy casualties”.

The posts were destroyed in a massive fire assault in Keran sector of Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara, said the army’s Northern Command.

This is not the first time Pakistan has mutilated the bodies of Indian soldiers.

During the Kargil war in 1999, Captain Saurabh Kalia, Sepoys Arjunram Baswana, Mula Ram Bidiasar, Naresh Singh Sinsinwar, Bhanwar Lal Bagaria and Bhika Ram Mudh of four Jat Regiment were captured by Pakistani troops and brutally tortured.

The soldiers had their ear drums pierced with hot iron rods, eyes punctured and genitals cut off. The autopsy of the bodies also revealed that they were burned with cigarettes butts. Their limbs were also chopped off, teeth broken and skull fractured during the torture. Even their nose and lips were sliced off.

In another incident, on 8 January, 2013, Pakistani soldiers entered Indian territory in Krishna Ghati sector of the border and killed two Indian soldiers — Lance Naik Hemraj and Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh. Indian officials said both the bodies were mutilated, and Hemraj’s body was decapitated.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Nov 22, 2016 17:02 IST

Pak shelling kills another soldier on LoC, toll reaches 14

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan army killed another army soldier on Friday night when they resorted to heavy firing and shelling on the Indian forward posts along the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Keran sector.Now the toll of Indian soldiers killed by Pakistan army and rangers on the LoC and International Border (IB) has climbed to 14 since Indian army carried out the surgical strikes on the terror launch pads in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir on September 29.Around 12 civilians have also been killed and more than 50 others injured in Pakistan firing and shelling on the civilian areas along the twin borders across the restive Jammu and Kashmir since September 29 surgical strikes.The latest provocation occurred on Friday night when Pakistan army resorted to heavy firing and shelling and one of the soldiers sustained splinter wounds after a shell exploded near his post. He was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. “Pakistan violated ceasefire in Keran sector last night. A soldier, who had sustained injuries, later succumbed,” said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman, Srinagar.Awami Ithaad Party (AIP) Chairman Sheikh Abdul Rasheed, who represents Langate constituency of the border district of Kupwara in the Legislative Assembly, lambasted the government for ignoring people living in Keran and adjoining areas along the LoC in north Kashmir. “The least the government could have done was to provide concrete bunkers to the people and shifted the families well in time,” said RasheedFigures reveal, since surgical strikes, Pakistan has carried out more than 110 ceasefire violations. Indian troops have foiled 61 Pakistan abetted infiltration bids both across LoC and IB since September 29. Around 405 incidents of cross border firing have taken place along the Indo-Pak border in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015 killing 16 civilians. Out of these, 253 took place along the International Border and 152 along the Line of Control.

Army jawan killed in ceasefire violation in J&K’s Keran sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An army jawan was killed on Saturday in ceasefire violation on the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, police said.Pakistani troops violated ceasefire by indulging in firing and shelling in Keran sector this morning, a police official said.He said that in the incident, army jawan Harshid Badarya lost his life.The firing has stopped, the official said, adding further details were awaited.

Indian Army used artillery guns to destroy four Pak posts across LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Indian Army had used artillery guns to destroy four Pakistani posts in a massive assault across the Line of Control (LoC) in Keran sector of north Kashmir’s Kupwara district last month, government sources said on Friday.This is the first time the government sources have confirmed that artillery fire was indeed used by the Army to launch a massive assault against Pakistan, something which was always suspected.It is the first case of artillery fire at the LoC since the 2003 ceasefire agreement was signed between the two countries. They said artillery guns were stealthy moved up and used in straight fire position to raze four positions of Pakistan army to avenge the mutilation of an Indian Army jawan’s body by some suspected militants few days ago.Violating ceasefire, Pakistan had been firing 120 mm heavy mortars to target Indian civilian areas, to which India had responded strongly. Defence sources said while ceasefire violations by Pakistan was a regular feature “the intensity had never been so hard in the recent past.”Meanwhile, on the One Rank One Pension issue, sources said that 95 per cent of the cases have been “satisfactorily” resolved. Documents of around 96,000 ex-servicemen were missing, due to which the payment for some has been delayed, they said, adding remaining cases would be resolved in two months time.

Sound of silence descends in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>BSF rifleman Mandeep Singh of the Sikh regiment and constable Koli Nitin Subhash lived and died for the country. Exactly one month after surgical strikes, the brave sons of India have made a supreme sacrifice on the Line of Control (LoC) in Machil, Kupwara, North Kashmir.Constable Koli Nitin Subhash of Sangli, Maharashtra is the second soldier to have died on the LoC in a span of 12 hours. Mandeep Singh was earlier killed and his body badly mutilated by Pakistan backed militants on Friday evening.Son of a truck driver, 26-year-old Mandeep Singh from Kurukshetra, Haryana had joined the army in 2009. Comrades in his unit remember him as a patriot who always preferred country over self.Nationalism runs in the blood of the family of the rifleman. Singh’s maternal brother serves the same unit, which has been deployed to guard the LoC. Singh’s wife Prerna is working with the Haryana police.Patriotism filled the air as troops remembered the fallen hero on Saturday. “Sepoy Mandeep Singh lived by the teaching of the Holy Guru Granth Sahab and embraced martyrdom by it too,” said anarmy spokesman.Constable Koli Nitin Subhash had joined the BSF in 2008 and was respected for his bravery by his colleagues in the unit. Posted in particular Forward Defence Location (FDL) on the Line of Control (LoC) at Machil since August, he came to prominence when he and his team foiled Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) strike and successfully killed a militant some months ago.On Friday he was to retaliate to the ceasefire violations from Pakistan. While firing a long range weapon, one of the rounds blasted in the chamber causing him severe injury. He was given first aid but developed complications by late evening and succumbed. A BSF soldier and woman were also injured after the Pakistan army violated ceasefire along the Line of Control in Keran sector of Kupwara District. SP Kupwara Shamsheer Hussain said the situation is under control. Army late Saturday claimed that four Pak posts were destroyed in massive fire assault in Keran Sector. ” Heavy casualties inflicted,” tweeted army northern command.

4 Pakistan posts destroyed in firing across LoC in Keran sector, heavy casualties inflicted: Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Indian army said it had destroyed four Pakistani military posts on Saturday across the Line of Control in the latest escalation of tensions between the two countries. The attack came a day after Pakistan violated ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir’s RS Pura sector.”Four Pak posts destroyed in massive fire assault in Keran Sector. Heavy casualties inflicted,” the Indian army’s Northern Command said in a statement on its Twitter account late on Saturday. Heavy casualties have been inflicted on the Pakistani side, he said, without giving further details.The firing assault comes in retaliation to ceasefire violations by Pakistani troops in the Keran sector earlier in the day, in which one BSF jawan and a civilian woman were injured.On Saturday night at the International Border of Jammu, firing started from Pakistan side in RS Pura which continued intermittently till 3 am. According to ANI, the BSF retaliated appropriately.At 2 am Pakistan started firing in Hiranagar and Samba which continue till 6 am intermittently. No loss of BSF or civilians has been reported so far.The Indian Army had promised retribution after a jawan was mutilated by the terrorists in an encounter near the Line of Control in Macchil sector of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir. The terrorists mutilated the jawan’s body, apparently beheading him, before fleeing back into Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir under the cover of firing provided by the Pakistan Army.

We should give befitting reply to Pakistan: Father of mutilated soldier Mandeep Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The barbaric incident at the LoC in Kashmir in which the body of an Indian army jawan was mutilated after being killed by terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, sparked an outrage today even as a pall of gloom descended on his native village in Haryana.Union Minister Jitendra Singh condemned the mutilation of the soldier’s body as “atrocious” while senior Congress leader Manish Tewari called it “depraved behaviour”. The jawan’s family members demanded that Pakistan be taught a lesson for harbouring terrorists while former Army officers expressed their sadness. His brother Sandeep Singh demanded that the family wanted 10 Pakistani heads for the price of one. Terrorists, aided by the cover fire by Pakistani Army, last night crossed the Line of Control(LoC) and killed sepoy Mandeep Singh and mutilated his body in Macchil sector of Kupwara district.The family members of the 30-year-old martyr were inconsolable. Several women from Aantehri village in Kurukshetra reached the martyr’s house and tried to console Mandeep s widow. The couple had got married two years ago, family members said. Mandeep’s widow Prerna is a Head Constable with Haryana police and posted at Shahbad Markanda in Kurukshetra. Mandeep’s father said the Indian army should give a befitting reply to Pakistan.”It was his duty, he has done it. He sacrificed his life. We should give a befitting reply to Pakistan,” he said, adding that he got the news of his son’s death when army personnel visited him at his home at 1 AM.Prerna said Pakistan must be taught a lesson for harbouring terrorists.”Pakistan should be taught a lesson once for all so that no other family of a soldier has to go through such pain,” she said breaking down several times. She said that Mandeep had come for vacation six months back. “He was supposed to visit home again on Diwali but his leave was cancelled in view of the tension on the border at Machil sector.” Kurukshetra’s Deputy Commissioner Sumedha Kataria also visited the jawan’s home and offered her condolences.The martyr’s neighbours described him as a “go getter” who always had a smile on his face. Subhash, husband of the Sarpanch of the village, said Mandeep was a helpful person who always offered help to anyone who approached him in need. “There can’t be anything more atrocious than this (on terrorists mutilated the body of a soldier),” Jitendra Singh told reporters in Jammu.”I am always of the view that the human rights of soldiers should enjoy precedence over human rights of anybody else”, he said. “These are acts of cowardice and these are happening at the time of desperation of the part of the Pakistan army as well as Islamabad. Indian forces are capable of standing upto this challenge.” Tewari while condemning the mutilation as “absolutely depraved behaviour” said it “violates you as a human being”.”There are certain rules of engagement and conduct even in a conflict situation. Pakistan is expected to respect the rules of engagement,” he said. “I am very sad being a soldier. It is a very sad mentality to take your anger on an injured or dead person,” said Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri.

Slain Colonel Mahadik’s buddies ensure sweet Diwali for unit jawans

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Classmates of an Army officer from Maharashtra, who laid down his life battling militants near the Line of Control (LoC) in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district last year, have sent 400 packets of sweets to soldiers in his unit.Col Santosh Mahadik, the Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, was critically injured during the operation in the Haji Naka forest area of Kupwara near the LoC in Kashmir in November and succumbed to his injuries at a hospital later. “The mithai boxes, weighing just over 300 kg, landed at Srinagar airport and are being sent to the 41 Rashtriya Rifles, for distribution among the soldiers the martyr once commanded,” a classmate of Mahadik, involved in this initiative, said. Col Mahadik was a student of Sainik School, Satara. “This Diwali, we thought of his comrades in arms, who suffer harsh climes and the enemy from across the border, as well as some within. We thought this would be a nice gesture for soldiers, who spend Diwali away from their families,” he said.An officer from the elite 21 Para-Special Forces unit, Col Mahadik was awarded a Sena Medal for gallantry during Operation Rhino in the North-East in 2003. Mahadik’s wife Swati last month joined the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai as part of the SSCW (Non-tech) course for 11 months’ training before she joins the Army as a lieutenant. An ace football goalkeeper, a skilled horse-rider and a passionate boxer, Mahadik was an all-rounder, his friends recall.Despite the inhospitable terrain that made the Kupwara operation immensely challenging, the colonel particularly chose to lead his battalion.

Pak violated Geneva Convention by mutilating body of Indian soldier: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan’s act of mutilating the body of an Indian soldier was described by the Congress party on Saturday as a violation of Geneva Convention.”There are certain rules of engagement, certain rules of conduct even in a conflict situation and Pakistan is expected to respect those rules of engagement. They are not only codified in terms of international conventions but is also including the Geneva Convention,” Congress leader Manish Tewari told ANI. Tewari said that to mutilate the body of a soldier is an act of depraved behaviour and deserves to be condemned in strongest words.On Saturday night, in an encounter close to the Line of Control in the Machhal sector, an Indian Army soldier lost his life and a terrorist was neutralised. During the encounter, one of the terrorists mutilated the body of the soldier before fleeing into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
ALSO READ J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Kupwara; terrorists mutilate body of Indian soldier”This barbarism is a true reflection which pervades in official and non-official organisations across the border. This act will invite an appropriate response,” the Indian Army said in a statement.On Saturday morning, heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan was reported in Kathua and Abdullian area of the RS Pura Sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian troops are giving a befitting response to the repeated ceasefire violations.

BSF jawan killed in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in J&K’s Machil sector

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Besides an Indian Army soldier, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan also lost his life in the ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Machhal sector of Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday. Last night, in an encounter close to the Line of Control in Machhal sector, an Indian Army soldier lost his life and a terrorist was also neutralised.During the encounter, a terrorist mutilated the body of the soldier before fleeing into Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), supported by covering fire from Pakistan Army posts. “This barbarism is a true reflection which pervades official and non-official organisation across the border. This act will invite an appropriate response,” the Indian Army said in a statement. Meanwhile, heavy mortar shelling by Pakistan has been reported in Kathua and Abdullian in RS Pura sector of Jammu and Kashmir. Indian troops are giving a befitting response to the ceasefire violation initiated by Pakistan. On Friday, A BSF head constable was killed and seven civilians injured as Pakistan Rangers on Thursday continued firing mortar shells and small arms in RS Pura and Arnia sectors, while the Pakistani army resorted to unprovoked ceasefire violation along the LoC in Sunderbani, Mendhar and KG sectors. However, A BSF spokesperson, said that a Pakistan Ranger was also killed and another injured in retaliatory fire. Ever since the Indian Army on September 29th carried out surgical strikes targeting terror launch pads in PoK, ceasefire violations are a daily norm along the LoC and five Indians, including four security personnel, have been killed and 34 injured since. On October 21st, the BSF killed seven Pakistan Rangers and a terrorist in Kathua and on October 25, around three Pakistani Army personnel were reportedly killed in retaliatory firing by Indian troops in the Noushera sector of Rajouri district.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Terrorists mutilate body of soldier in Kupwara; Pak violates ceasefire again; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. J&K: Pakistan violates ceasefire in Kupwara; terrorists mutilate body of Indian soldierOne terrorist was also killed in the gunbattle, army said. Read more.2. Pakistan violates ceasefire in Kathua sector of J&K; BSF retaliatesThe latest violation comes in the wake of a “barbaric” incident in which terrorists crossed the LoC and killed an Indian army jawan. Read more.3. Hillary Clinton presidential campaign hit by FBI email probe 11 days before electionFBI Director James Comey said in a letter to several congressional Republicans that the agency had learned of the existence of emails that appeared to be pertinent to its investigation. Read more.4. Cyrus Mistry denies Tata Group’s claim on Welspun BuySacked chairman Cyrus Mistry denied the group’s claim that the board was not properly consulted on Tata Power’s buy of Welspun Power. Read more.5. Aamir Khan’s double Diwali bashOne party to bring in festive season and the other to celebrate response to Dangal trailer. Read more.

5 suspected militants, policeman arrested in Jammu and Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Six suspected militants, including a policeman were arrested during two separate operations on Friday by security forces in the city and Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir. Acting on an intelligence input about the presence of the Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, the security forces launched a search operation in Batamaloo police station area of the city, official sources said. Five suspected militants of LeT were arrested during the operation, they said, adding weapons and explosives were recovered from their possession.One of the arrested persons is a policeman hailing from Karnah area of Kupwara district. In another operation, police arrested a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen from Wampora area of Kulgam district, the sources said. Police officials, however, refused to confirm the arrests.

Jammu and Kashmir: 5 suspected militants and policeman arrested

Jammu and Kashmir: 5 suspected militants and policeman arrested

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Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Srinagar: Six suspected militants, including a policeman were arrested during two separate operations by security forces in the city and Kulgam district of Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday. Acting on an intelligence input about the presence of the Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, the security forces launched a search operation in Batamaloo police station area of the city, official sources said.

Five suspected militants of LeT were arrested during the operation, they said, adding weapons and explosives were recovered from their possession. One of the arrested persons is a policeman hailing from Karnah area of Kupwara district.

In another operation, police arrested a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen from Wampora area of Kulgam district, the sources said. Police officials, however, refused to confirm the arrests.

Kashmir unrest: Police finds govt employees organise anti-India marches, indulge in stone pelting

On 19 September, Lateef Ahmad Malik, a junior laboratory assistant in sheep husbandry department, woke up during the night to the rumble of vehicles outside his house at Andresh colony, Bemina, in Srinagar city. Consistent pounding on his door left him terrified and soon he heard the yells of police personnel. But when his family opened the door they told a police party that the house didn’t belong to Lateef. Police took away his older brother before beating up his family members. Lateef couldn’t sleep and when dawn broke he walked up to the police station to inquire the reason for the raid. He was detained by police for five days and taken to an interrogation Centre and asked whether he knew any of the Hurriyat leaders.

“The police started questioning and told me why I evaded them during the night. I told the personnel that I was terrified; I asked them why was I required for questioning. I am a government employee and had not done anything. I was detained for five days and there was no FIR registered against me. I was mentally tortured,’’ he said. Following the police raid the health condition of Lateef’s mother, who has undergone a stroke, deteriorated. She remains hospitalised since then and his sister-in-law was injured in the shelling that police resorted to during the raid. “It was harassment, police fired shells which landed in our house. We cried asking for help but the neighbours were also terrified due to the shelling. When police had left our neighbours came and asked us that we would make an announcement in the mosque, but I told them there was no need. There were around 20-30 vehicles which stopped outside our house and I still don’t know what was my crime,’’ he said.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Lateef is not the only one who has faced detention by police. There are over 300 government employees including the senior rank gazetted officials who are facing police cases for either taking part in the stone pelting incidents or lading the anti-India protests and having incited a mob. A top police official said that “predominately the employees are from education department.” “In many cases the employees were found to be organising the protests and leading anti-India processions. Many of the employees are facing departmental inquires, many others
have been suspended,’’ he said.

The police have booked the employees for being a “threat to the peace of the state”, but employees said that the charges have been fabricated against them.

According to officials police have registered cases charging employees of disturbing the peace. Legal expert and general secretary of the High Court Bar Association, Basheer Sidique, said that the police was misusing the provisions of the law to arrest the government employees and the local people. “Under 107 CrPC a person is being detained for an apprehension of breach of peace. A person can furnish a bond to the Teshildar that he willn’t indulge in any unlawful activity for 6 months. The police have to issue a notice to an accused and seek an undertaking, but the procedure is not followed,” he said.

Vice President of the Employees Joint Action Committee (EJAC), Wajahat Durrani, said that a number of employees have been booked even as they had no role in the current unrest. “ Many people have been arrested in false cases. There are over 300 employees who are facing cases including the gazetted cadre employees. Of them nearly 100 have been suspended by the government. The government has implicated the employees on frivolous charges,’’ he said. The employees have been largely booked in Southern part of Kashmir and in frontier district of Kupwara.

Deputy Inspector General of Police, North Kashmir range, Uttam Chand, said that the police have valid evidence against the people including the employees for their involvement in the “incidents of stone pelting’’ due to which the cases have been registered against them. “They have been found involved in serious anti-national activities,” he said.

Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan, said that “we are examining the cases of the employees involved in the incidents of stone pelting.’’ He however said that only an appropriate legal action is taken against them as warranted under the law.

Militants shoot dead political party worker in Kashmir | Reuters

Militants shoot dead political party worker in Kashmir | Reuters

Updated: Oct 12, 2016 19:47 IST

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By Fayaz Bukhari
| SRINAGAR

SRINAGAR Militants shot dead a political party worker from Indian-controlled Kashmir’s ruling coalition on Wednesday, police said, hours after two suspected militants were killed by armed forces in the region.Local police said Ghulam Nabi, a party worker of the People’s Conference in Kashmir was shot by at least two armed militants in the Kupwara district.Kupwara is near the Line of Control, the de facto border that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan, which both claim the Muslim-majority region.Tensions in the state have been running especially high in recent weeks after an attack by militants last month on an army base in the Indian-controlled part of the disputed region claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.

New Delhi blamed the attack on militants, who crossed over from the Pakistan-controlled part of the region. Pakistan has denied any involvement. In retaliation, India said its troops had crossed into Pakistan’s side of Kashmir and killed suspected militants in a “surgical strike”, an operation Pakistan says never took place.Nabi was rushed to hospital but died of his wounds, Police Superintendent Ghulam Jeelani said. The People’s Conference that he worked for, headed by Sajad Lone, is a part of the coalition in power in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Earlier on Wednesday, the army in Indian-controlled Kashmir killed two suspected militants, holed-up in a large government building, ending a three-day stand-off.Last week, Indian soldiers shot dead seven suspected militants who tried to attack two army bases in Kashmir. Three of them were shot in the Kupwara district where Nabi was killed on Wednesday.

The latest round of tensions over Kashmir initially erupted in July when protests erupted after Indian forces killed a separatist leader.India accuses Muslim Pakistan of backing the separatists and helping them infiltrate Indian-ruled Kashmir. Pakistan denies this, saying it only offers moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their campaign for self-determination. (Writing by Euan Rocha; Editing by Dominic Evans)

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

Army foils infiltration bid by militants in Kupwara, Kashmir

Army foils infiltration bid by militants in Kupwara, Kashmir

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The Indian Army on Wednesday foiled an infiltration bid by militants from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir.

“An infiltration bid was foiled by Army in Tangdhar sector,” an Army official said. Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia told IANS that the incident took place at Tangdhar sector.

“A group of heavily armed terrorists was challenged by the troops, forcing them to withdraw back into Pakistan,” the officer said.

He said a search operation had been launched to ensure that no terrorist managed to sneak into Jammu and Kashmir.

With inputs from IANS and PTI

J-K: Army foils infiltration bid in Kupwara

J-K: Army foils infiltration bid in Kupwara

Wed, 12 Oct 2016-01:06pm , Srinagar , PTI

An infiltration bid was foiled by Army in Tangdhar sector, said an official. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Army foiled an infiltration bid on Wednesday by militants from across the Line of Control (LoC) in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district in Jammu and Kashmir “An infiltration bid was foiled by Army in Tangdhar sector,” an Army official said. He said an operation has been launched and further details are awaited.

250 active terrorists in Kashmir Valley plan to ‘avenge’ surgical strike

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>At least 250 terrorists belonging to three Pakistan-based terror groups were active in the Kashmir Valley, trying to target security forces to “avenge” the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army in PoK.Quoting intelligence inputs, top government sources said, most of the 250 terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen had infiltrated before the surgical strikes on the intervening night of September 28 and 29, which caused significant damage to their outfits.The terrorists were given clear instructions by their handlers across the border to target security forces in Kashmir Valley to “avenge” the surgical strikes, sources said. The central government has asked security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir to maintain maximum level of alertness and take all precaution to foil any attempt by the militants to target them.Sources said even though vigil along the LoC as well as the International Border has been intensified, there are gaps in many places due to difficult topography of the region. All attempts are being made by the security forces to foil any fresh infiltration bids from across the border, sources said.There were intelligence reports that terrorists were planning to infiltrate India from various directions in Kashmir as well as Jammu region. Sources said Lashkar-e-Taiba suffered the maximum damage in the cross-LoC surgical strikes on terror launch pads carried out by Indian army with assessment reports of radio intercepts indicating that around 20 of its militants were killed.The assessment reports available from Indian army field units which included radio conversations between various Pakistani formations showed maximum damage was inflicted on LeT, a banned terror group, at Dudniyal launch pad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, opposite to Kupwara sector of North Kashmir, according to sources in the know of details of the recent surgical strikes.

At least 250 terrorists trying to target security forces to ‘avenge’ surgical strikes: Govt sources

New Delhi: At least 250 terrorists belonging to three Pakistan-based terror groups were active in the Kashmir Valley, trying to target security forces to “avenge” the surgical strikes carried out by the Indian army in PoK. Quoting intelligence inputs, top government sources said, most of the 250 terrorists belonging to Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen had infiltrated before the surgical strikes on the intervening night of 28 and 29 September, which caused significant damage to their outfits.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The terrorists were given clear instructions by their handlers across the border to target security forces in Kashmir Valley to “avenge” the surgical strikes, sources said. The central government has asked security forces operating in Jammu and Kashmir to maintain maximum level of alertness and take all precaution to foil any attempt by the militants to target them.

Sources said even though vigil along the LoC as well as the International Border has been intensified, there are gaps in many places due to difficult topography of the region. All attempts are being made by the security forces to foil any fresh infiltration bids from across the border, sources said.

There were intelligence reports that terrorists were planning to infiltrate India from various directions in Kashmir as well as Jammu region. Sources said Lashkar-e-Taiba suffered the maximum damage in the cross-LoC surgical strikes on terror launch pads carried out by Indian army with assessment reports of radio intercepts indicating that around 20 of its militants were
killed.

The assessment reports available from Indian army field units which included radio conversations between various Pakistani formations showed maximum damage was inflicted on LeT, a banned terror group, at Dudniyal launch pad in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir, opposite to Kupwara sector of North Kashmir, according to sources in the know of details of the recent surgical strikes.

Man behind 2011 Operation Ginger against Pakistan confirms it took place

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Major General (Retd.) SK Chakravorty, who was behind the planning and execution of Operation Ginger along the Line of Control (LoC), on Sunday said that the 2011 strike was a revenge attack carried out by the Indian Army after Pakistan staged two cross-border surgical strikes in which at least 13 soldiers were killed.”They (Pakistan) first conducted an operation, but action was done from their side. To take revenge of that, this operation was conducted,” he told ANI.Major General (Retd.) admitted that all details which have come up regarding the 2011 operation was true and said that even the then DGMO and the then Army Chief General VK Singh had information about it. However, he refused to discuss further details.It was reported earlier that the Indian Army had carried out surgical strikes across the LoC in 2011, in retaliation to a surprise attack on an army post in Gugaldhar ridge in Kupwara in July 2011 which led to the death of 13 soldiers and beheading of six of them. In revenge, the Indian Army planned Operation Ginger.

India troops kill three ‘militants’ in Kashmir

Indian troops have killed three suspected militants who tried to attack an army base in Indian-administered Kashmir, authorities say.

Army recording fake exercises as evidence for PoK surgical strikes: J&K MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid

Srinagar: Amid the growing clamour for making public the evidence of the recent surgical strikes by India on terror launch pads in PoK, controversial Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid on Wednesday said the Army was video graphing “fake exercises” in Leepa Valley near LoC to offer them as proof for the same.

The MLA from Langate in Kashmir’s Kupwara district claimed that since the last three days, the Army was making footage of fake strikes in Leepa Valley in his constituency in order to show them as proof of the surgical strikes.

Sheikh Abdul Rashid. AFPSheikh Abdul Rashid. AFP

Sheikh Abdul Rashid. AFP

“Fake targets are being made and I want to tell the whole world that if they show some proof, it is of Leepa and is fake and we can prove it,” he said. He alleged that there had been no firing at two of the five places where the Army claimed that it conducted the strikes.

“Two of the five places are in my area. I tried to know from the people and to the best of my knowledge, there has been no firing there for the past 20 days,” the legislator said.

Alleging that the surgical strikes were a “drama to divert the attention from Kashmir”, which has been reeling under violence for around three months, Rashid asked the Army to not fall into the hands of politicians .

“You (Army) claim to be a credible organisation. You should not enact drama for politicians, by virtue of which your credibility may get lost,” he said. The MLA said Pakistan took international media to the LoC to show them that no such strikes were carried out.

If India was truthful in its claims, they would have also done the same, he said. He also asked India and Pakistan not to make Kashmir a “battleground” for their vested interests.

Meanwhile, Union Minister Hansraj Ahir said on Wednesday that the Army has handed over to the government video clips of the cross-LoC surgical strikes as per laid down procedure.

Baramulla attack kills one jawan: How the militant assault on BSF, army camps unfolded

On Sunday evening, I was sitting in my parents’ home in Baramulla town, when few hundred metres south of our house, a volley of gunshots broke the evening calm. This was followed by at least a dozen blasts for the next two hours, and firing continued till midnight.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Majority of residents with whom I spoke to on the phone thought it was Kashmir police shelling the old town of Baramulla and trying to arrest stone-pelters. But as the firing intensified, it was clear that militants had either attacked the 19 Infantry division of Baramulla or the 46 RR Headquarters; both face each other across the river Jhelum.

Baramulla is a garrison town. It is also the headquarters of 46 RR, which was attacked by militants on Sunday evening at around 10:20 pm, and is located on Baramulla-Kupwara national highway and few hundred metres from old town, but is guarded from four sides by soldiers round the cloak.

“The sound of the gunfire was so heavy that I thought the militants had attacked DC office in our neighbourhood. We could not muster the courage to peep through the window,” Sajad Haider, a resident of Dewan-Bagh, which faces the RR camp from across the river Jehlum, told Firstpost on Monday morning.

We will only know how the militants managed to come even close to the camp after investigations are over. But what we know is that one BSF jawan was killed while another injured in this ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) style attack on a BSF and adjoining army camps in Baramulla.

In the 27 years of the insurgency in Kashmir, despite being so close to the once hub of militancy in early nineties, the militants have never been able to strike this camp, which also houses a cricket stadium in a locality called Stadium colony.

“It was surprising, even during the worst years of militancy and being so close to old town, never was this camp attacked. As far as I remember correctly, this is the frist,” Yakoob Ahmad, a resident of Azad Gunj, told Firstpost outside his home early on Monday morning.

When an armed insurgency started ebbing in the Valley, locals had requested the army to open the stadium for cricket tournaments. The stadium lies inside the fenced wall of the camp. Not only did the army allow the people to play cricket inside the stadium, but it also organises many cricket tournaments for local boys throughout the year. Few years back, the army had also started providing free coaching to students in winters in a building adjacent to the camp and the cricket ground.

Locals said the army had recently used boats to ferry its soldiers from the new town of Baramulla occasionally to avoid clashing with stone-pelting crowds on three bridges, which connect the old with the new town of the Baramulla.

Throughout the night, the army illuminated the entire area, perhaps to give less chance to militants to enter the camp and also to see that they don’t run away and manoeuvre around.

At the time of the filing of this report, the army could be seen carrying out combing operations around the camp and on the banks of river Jhelum, which crisscrosses through Baramulla town before entering Pakistan.

Sources, however, maintain the number of the militants was not known but they maintain that militants were not able to breach the RR camp.

Unconfirmed reports had earlier said that two militants have been killed, while two managed to flee from the site. It is quite possible the militants might have used the large swaths of land filled with vegetation, which is cultivated by local people, to flee from the spot.

Helicopters hovered over the area throughout the night illuminating the entire area after the firing stopped no was able to move towards the Azad Gunj area.

Uri base commander ‘shifted out’ as investigation begins to probe security lapses

Heads have begun rolling in Uri post the deadly terror attack on 18 September that claimed the lives of 19 soldiers and left several others injured. According to reports, the Brigade Commander of the Uri-based army brigade has been “side stepped” for fair, comprehensive and objective inquiry.

19 soldiers were killed in 18 September attack on Uri Army base. PTI

19 soldiers were killed in 18 September attack on Uri Army base. PTI

“The Brigade Commander has been “side stepped” for fair, comprehensive and objective inquiry,’ an Army source told IANS on Saturday. Army sources also informed the news agency that this was a part of the protocol of inquiry.

Brigadier K Somashanker has been shifted out of the sensitive brigade, PTI said. Quoting sources from the Army, it added: “An officer from the 28 Mountain Division of the Army is scheduled to take over as the Uri Brigade commander”.

Though, according to PTI, Army sources in New Delhi insisted late Saturday night that no such orders have been issued by the army headquarters, a The Times of India report mentioned that “Colonel Yashpal Ahlawat, who has been approved for the next rank and was posted in the Kilo Force of the Rashtriya Rifles, which looks after counter-insurgency operations in Kupwara, Baramulla and Srinagar areas, was sent to Uri on Saturday to take charge of the Uri brigade.”

“The CoIonel is probing the series of lapses and poor perimeter security, despite prior intelligence alerts, which allowed the four fidayeen terrorists to storm the camp, next to the brigade headquarters in Uri, early on September 18,” it added.

India carried out surgical strikes on seven terror launch pads inflicting “significant casualties”across the LoC on the 28 and 29 September, seen as a reprisal for the Uri attack. The Uri Army base was attacked by heavily-armed Pakistani terrorists on September 18. India has maintained that the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed was behind the attack.

PM Modi to chair Cabinet Committee on Security to discuss situation after surgical strikes

PM Modi to chair Cabinet Committee on Security to discuss situation after surgical strikes

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New Delhi: The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) will meet on Friday to discuss the situation in the wake of the “surgical strikes” on terrorist launch pads across the Line of Control that inflicted massive casualties and dramatically heightened tensions in the region, informed sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the meeting.

Modi also chaired a CCS meeting to consider the situation along the Line of Control (LoC) on Thursday,

An unspecified number of terrorists and Pakistani troops were killed in the early Thursday operation across Kupwara and Poonch sectors as the army moved Special Forces into Pakistan-held Kashmir, officials said.

Watch: Decoding Indian Army’s surgical strike across the Line of Control

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India has carried out surgical strikes across the LoC, with the Army saying on Thursday that its special forces inflicted “significant casualties” on terrorists preparing to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).Defence sources said 6-8 terror launch pads were destroyed by special forces of the Indian Army on the intervening night of September 28 and 29 in a nearly five-hour-long operation during which heli-borne and ground forces were deployed.The sources said the launch pads in PoK were in the range of 2 to 3 km from the LoC and were under surveillance for over one week while Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu said the strikes targeted 5-6 places across the LoC along Kupwara and Poonch in Jammu and Kashmir. Naidu said there was no casualty on the Indian side.DNA and WION Editor-in-Chief Rohit Gandhi weighs in on the strike that came 11 days after the deadly terrorist attack at Uri, which resulted in the loss of lives of 18 soldiers.

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.

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.

Uri attack aftermath: Army steps up vigil after ‘war-like’ situation develops along LoC

Srinagar: Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, has been informed that a “war-like” situation has developed along the Line-of-Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir and security has been stepped up in the wake of an increase in incidents of infiltration from Pakistan following the militant attack at an army base in Uri that left 18 soldiers dead.

The army camp in Uri where the attack happened. PTIThe army camp in Uri where the attack happened. PTI

The army camp in Uri where the attack happened. PTI

“It is a war-like situation here at the LoC in Uri. Even the movement of police personnel towards the LoC has been stopped and the constant mortar-shelling has been witnessed here for the past four days. Even Pakistan has evacuated people from a large area facing the Uri sector and is carrying out security drills,” said a senior police official in Srinagar.

In a review of the situation, conducted by Mufti, the chief minister was informed by the police top brass that heightened militant activity has been witnessed from across the LoC in Kupwara and Uri. After Sunday’s militant attack at the Uri army base, constant shelling has been witnessed along the LoC and the exchange of fire has continued even during the night. The army has said that at least four infiltration bids have been foiled from across the LoC along the Nowgam sector in Kupwara and Uri for the last past four days.

Defence spokesman Rajesh Kalia said that the vigil has been stepped up along the LoC following the Uri militant attack. According to sources, there have been constant attempts by the militants to sneak inside. Two boys from Pakistan who have also crossed to this side have also been apprehended by the security agencies and questioning about their involvement in the militant activity is underway.

On Tuesday afternoon, the army had intercepted a group of militants at Bijhama in Uri and though there were initial inputs that 10 militants were killed however search operations still continue in the area and not a single body has been recovered as of now. Along the Nowgam sector in Kupwara source said that besides the death of one army jawan, Madan Lal, a militant was also killed but the body has not been recovered as of now.

“The search operations continue at both Nowgam and Uri,” said Kalia.

Director General of Police, Law and Order, SP Vaid, said the Pakistani troops have occupied vantage positions at different places along the LoC in Uri due to which Uri has seen a stepped up militant activity.

“The Uri area is surrounded by a mountain range and the peaks have been occupied by the Pakistani troopers due to which militants get the advantage of sneaking inside,” he said.

According to sources even as a large area of LoC remains fenced and the army has set up IEDs near the fence to prevent the infiltration of militants into the Indian side, the militants are trying to sneak into this side through the ravines and drains.

“A large area of the LoC remains fenced but there are some areas which remain porous from where the militants are trying to sneak inside,” said a senior official.

Security officials are apprehending that in case the infiltration attempts go up and some militants manage to sneak in the attacks on security installations within Kashmir will go up.

“Certainly the militant attacks have gone up. But handling the attacks inside and constant pounding along the border will be a tough challenge in the region particularly when the movement of militants in protest hit areas has increased,” said a senior army official in Srinagar, adding however that forces are fully geared up to deal with the situation.

BSF arrests 30-year-old Pakistani intruder along International Border in Jammu

New Delhi/Jammu: Border Security Forces (BSF) arrested a 30-year-old Pakistani intruder along the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir’s Akhnoor sector on Friday, an official said.

Abdul Kayum, who claimed to be a resident of Pul Bhagawa area of Sialkot in Pakistan, was arrested between 4 am and 5 am in the Pargwal area.

“We arrested the intruder as soon as he reached near the fence in Akhnoor area. He was unarmed,” a BSF officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

He said a mobile was recovered from the intruder.

“We are yet to ascertain the purpose of the intruder of crossing the border and entering Indian territory as he is continuously changing his statement.”

The officer said “this kind of incident generally happens on the IB and we take them seriously every time.”

This incident comes in the wake of the September 18 cross-border terror attack on an army camp in Uri sector in Jammu and Kashmir which left 18 soldiers dead and many more injured. Four terrorist were also gunned down in the attack.

The officer said a combing operation had begun along the Line of Control (LoC) near Keran village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Friday morning after noticing some suspicious movement which also forced them to resort to firing.

The army said on Thursday that it had foiled two infiltration bids on the LoC.

Mehbooba government slaps PSA on prominent human rights defender

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Jammu and Kashmir government has slapped Public Safety Act (PSA) against human rights activist Khurram Parvez five days after he was arrested by the police.Khurram, who is a programme coordinator of Jammu and Kashmri Coalition of civil society (JKCCS) and chairman Asian Federation against Involuntary Disappearance, was arrested on the intervening night of September 15 and 16.Local court had ordered his release from Kupwara Jail but police re-arrested him from the premises of Kupwara sub jail and shifted him to police station Kothi Bagh here. District authorities have directed the police to lodge Khurram in Kot Balwal jail, Jammu,, sources said.”Detaining a person right after he is released, without any intention to charge him or bring him to trial, amounts to using a revolving door of persecution,” said Aakar Patel, Executive Director, Amnesty International India.Amnesty said the activist was first arrested on September 16 and placed in administrative detention in a jail in Kupwara for allegedly posing an imminent threat of ‘breach of peace’.”The detention order was based on a police report which claimed that policemen had seen Khurram on September 15 standing outside a mosque inciting people to shout slogans and march towards a government building. His wife has denied the claim, saying that they were at her parents’ house in another part of the city at the time”, said Amnesty spokesperson in a statement.Amnesty said administrative detention laws such as the Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act allow for people to be detained without charge or trial. “These laws have often been used to hold individuals in arbitrary detention on vague grounds for long periods of time, ignoring regular criminal justice safeguards”, the spokesperson added..A co-author of the report on unmarked nameless graves, Khurram holds Masters in Mass Communication and Journalism from University of Kashmir.Khurram, 39, had a miraculous escape in IED blast in Kupwara during 2004 parliamentary elections. Khurram’s colleague died in the incident while his leg was amputated and he is now using a prosthetic leg.”Amnesty International India calls on authorities in Jammu and Kashmir to immediately release Khurram or charge him with a recognizable criminal offence and prosecute him in a fair trial. Pending his release, he must be protected from torture or other ill-treatment, given access to his family and lawyers, and provided adequate medical care,” said the spokesperson.

Curfew clamped in Pulwama, Baramulla districts of Kashmir as separatists call for protests

Srinagar: On Monday, curfew was clamped in Pulwama and Baramulla districts of Kashmir, while it remained in force in some other areas of the Valley including in parts of Srinagar, in view of the separatists call for a protest march to the three districts.

Normal life also remained disrupted in the Valley for the 73rd straight day.

A police official said that curfew has been imposed in Pulwama and Baramulla districts on Monday, while it remains in force in Shopian and five police station areas of downtown (interior city) along with Batamaloo in uptown Srinagar.

He said the curbs have been imposed to maintain law and order in view of the separatists call for a march to the three districts of Baramulla, Pulwama and Srinagar.

The official said restrictions on the assembly of people continued to remain in force in the rest of the Valley.

Representational image. APRepresentational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The separatists, in the weekly protest programme, have called for a march to the three districts Baramulla (in north Kashmir), Srinagar (in central Kashmir) and Pulwama (in south Kashmir) on Monday.

They have asked the people of north Kashmir districts of Bandipora and Kupwara to march towards Baramulla, people of south Kashmir districts of Shopian, Kulgam and Anantnag to march to Pulwama and people of Central Kashmir districts of Ganderbal and Budgam to march towards Srinagar.

Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain paralysed in Kashmir for the 73rd consecutive 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 22 September.

Shops, business establishments and petrol pumps continued to remain shut, while public transport was off the roads. Schools, colleges and other educational institutions also continued to remain shut.

Mobile telephony, except the postpaid connections of BSNL, and the mobile Internet services continued to remain snapped 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.

Six unidentified militants killed in two gunfights in Kashmir’s Kupwara

Srinagar: Six unidentified militants were gunned down by troops in two separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kupwara district on Thursday, a defence spokesman said.

Troops of counter-insurgency Rashtriya Rifles (RR) and special operations group (SOG) this morning launched a massive search operation in the forest area in Lolab in Kupwara district, he said.

“The operation was launched on specific information about presence of a group of heavily-armed militants in the forest area. While the troops were conducting searches, hiding militants opened fire leading to a fierce exchange of fire. Three militants were killed and the operation is still on,” the spokesman told IANS.

He said army also gunned down three more militants in another gunbattle in the forest area near Drugmulla in the same district.

“This operation is also still on,” he added.

Pak terror machinery exposed: Another top Pak terrorist caught alive

Pakistan’s terror machinery was exposed again on Tuesday when Jammu and Kashmir Police caught a top Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist alive in the Lolaab area of border district of Kupwara.Abu Ukasha alias Hanzullah of Bhawalpur Pakistan was arrested by the police during a routine patrol in Sogam market in Lolaab area on Tuesday evening. The 19-year -old Lashkar-e-Taiba was making some purchases when a police party got suspicious about him.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ukasha was immediately taken into custody and during questioning, he divulged that he was a Pakistani militant who had crossed from across the Line of Control (LOC) for subversion in this part of Kashmir.”On Tuesday evening when our patrol party was busy checking in the market they saw a suspected person. He was caught and brought to the police station where we came to know that he was a militant. Whether he is a commander or not will only be known after his sustained questioning,” said Ajaz Ahmad, senior superintendent of police, Kupwara.Police have launched a manhunt to nab his four associates who are on the run in the Lolaab valley. “We are questioning him about four of his associates. When investigation will be complete we will able to know when and where from he had come,” said Ajaz.Police have recovered a grenade from the possession of Ukasha at the time of his arrest. “He was not carrying any gun. However we recovered a grenade from him when he was taken into custody,” said the SSPSources said Ukasa’s associate and top Lashkar commander Abu Bakar was also hiding in the Lolaab valley. Security forces have intensified the operation in the jungles to nab his associates including Abu Bakar.This is the second time in the last one month that a Pakistan militant was caught alive by the security forces in north Kashmir. On May 14 Jammu and Kashmir police foiled a major fidayeen (suicide) attack after they caught a top Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammad suicide bomber alive from the Baramulla town in North Kashmir.Twenty three year old Abdul Rehman alias Shabir Ahmad Khan of village Pollas of district Poonch in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) was arrested in a joint operation by the J&K police and 46 Rashtriya Riffles (RR) of the army.Earlier in February, police had arrested 17 year old Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohommad terrorist Mohommad Sidiq Gujjar alias Shahid of Sialkot Pakistan along with three local ultras from Baramulla.Ukasha is the fifth Pakistani militant to have been caught alive since Udhampur terror attack in August last year.Lashkar-e-Tioba militant Mohammed Naveed alias Usman of Faisalabad Pakistan was captured alive when he along with his associate Noman attacked the BSF convoy near Narsoo Nallah at Udhampur on August 5 2015.On August 27 2015 Sajad Ahmad aka Javid Ahmad alias Abu Ubadullah, a 22 year old Lashkar-e-Tioba operative of Muzaffargarh in South West Pakistan, was captured alive after all his four associates were gunned down during a fierce gun fight at two different locations in Bijhama to Panzala forests of Baramulla district.

Jammu and Kashmir: Army foils infiltration bid in Tangdhar, two militants killed

Army on Thursday foiled an infiltration bid by killing two militants in Tangdhar sector near the Line of Control in Kashmir, officials said here.This was the second such infiltration bid foiled by the security forces along the LoC in Kashmir in three days. “Army foiled an infiltration bid in Tangdhar sector of Kupwara district near the LoC this morning. Two militants have been killed and the operation is in progress,” an army official said. He said one soldier was also injured in the operation.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On Tuesday, an infiltration bid was foiled in Machhil sector of Kupwara district. The two-day operation left one militant dead while one soldier laid down his life.Four other jawans were also injured in the operation.

Srinagar: Infiltration bid foiled, 4 soldiers injured; gunfight on

Army on Tuesday intercepted a group of terrorists near the Line of Control (LoC) when they were trying to infiltrate from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, triggering an encounter in which four soldiers were injured.The infiltrators were attempting to sneak in through the Macchil sector of Kupwara district of Kashmir when they were confronted by the army and the gunfight was still underway.Alert army troops foiled an infiltration bid in Machhil sector this afternoon, an army official said here. He said the militants have been engaged by the soldiers and exchange of firing was going on till reports last came in.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Four soldiers were injured in the ongoing operation, the official said.

Terror corridor to charm tourists in Kashmir

‘Gateway of terror’ will now captivate the tourists with its awe-inspiring beauty!Located near the Line of Control (LoC) in North Kashmir’s Kupwara district, the Bangus valley has been thrown open for the visitors. Infamous for the cross-border infiltration, the Bangus valley has witnessed fierce gunfights between the militants and security forces in the past. Dozens of militants were killed in these encounters.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Fast-forward to 2016, the Bangus valley is now witnessing a steady stream of visitors to bask in the breathtaking beauty of nature. For the first time, schools in Kashmir have chosen Bungus valley for excursion which has given a boost to the place which was once a favourite infiltration route of militants.Situated at an altitude of 10,000 feet, Bangus is a lineal bowl comprising around 100 lush green meadows which are surrounded by the lofty mountains in the Rajwara area of border district of Kupwara, 125 kilometres north of Srinagar. Gushing streams, exotic flora and fauna and the rich wildlife makes the tourist spot more distinct and attractive for the nature loving tourists.”Indian army has lifted the restrictions and people in good numbers are now visiting the Bungus valley. The army is also vacating a small camp which was located in Bangus,” Mohammad Asadullah Rather, chief executive officer of Lolab-Bangus-Drangyari Tourism Development Authority, told dna.Jammu and Kashmir government has devised a Rs 8 crore project to develop Bangus as a niche tourist destination. Helipad, trekking paths, eco-friendly accommodation are all planned to increase the tourist footfalls in this virgin valley.”We have submitted a proposal of Rs 8 crore to the government. We are awaiting the clearance from the forest department so that this project could take off. We plan to construct even a helipad in this area (for tourists),” said Rather.The government has also decided to involve local nomads to create eco-friendly accommodation for the tourists. “We have decided to talk to the nomads and convince them to construct a room and a bathroom in their hutments for tourists. We will give them money so that they could do the modifications and make accommodation available for the tourists,” said Rather.Indian too has chipped in to help in restoring the confidence among the visitors. “There is no restriction on the movement of people in Bangus Valley. People are free to enjoy the scenic beauty of Bangus,” said Colonel NN Joshi defence spokesperson at Srinagar.

Handwara files molestion case returns to haunt army and police

Handwara ‘molestation’ row has returned to haunt the army and Mehbooba Mufti-led government in Jammu and Kashmir.Father of the schoolgirl on Wednesday approached the local court in Handwara praying for lodging an FIR against the personnel of 21 Rashtriya Rifles and the police.”Father of the minor girl submitted an application to the Judicial Magistrate, Handwara for registering an FIR over molestation by the soldiers of 21 RR, the police misconduct, illegal detention, intimidation and the recording and circulation of the video,” said a spokesman of Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society (JKCCS), a human rights group, which had filed the case in the high court on behalf of the girl’s mother<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After hearing the arguments of the JKCCS legal team, the spokesman said the judicial magistrate issued the notice to station house officer, Handwara asking him to submit the status report of the case by June 15.Earlier on May 16, the family of the Handwara minor girl had moved a formal application to the special investigation team (SIT) of Jammu and Kashmir Police and the SHO Handwara for registering the two separate FIRs.”One FIR was sought to be filed against the army personnel of 21 RR who molested the minor girl outside the public toilet at Handwara market. Another FIR was sought to be filed against the SP Handwara and others who recorded and circulated the video statement of the minor girl without the consent of her parents and for the misconduct, intimidation and the illegal police custody of the girl,” he said.JKCCS spokesman noted after police did not file FIR for more than 20 days the family of the minor girl decided to petition the Handwara district court as per the established procedures under section 156(3) Cr PC.The 16-year-old girl was freed on May 10 after spending 27 days in the police custody. Handwara girl was taken under the “police protection” on April 12 when violent protests rocked Handwara township after rumours spread that she was molested by the army trooper when she entered into a public washroom. Five people were later killed in the security forces firing on the protestors across the Kupwara district of north Kashmir.”As experienced so far, the police are making every effort to scuttle the process of justice for the Handwara minor girl. They have also used rumours as a medium for tarnishing the credibility of the girl and her family. Despite all the intimidation the family is undeterred and will continue to strive to ensure that truth about this case is not buried by the oppressive state machinery,” said the JKCCS spokesman.Deputy inspector general of police, North Kashmir Range, Uttam Chand, told dna that there is already an FIR registered and investigation is going on in the case. “We have not received any direction from the judicial magistrate so far,” he said.

Decline in trend of youths joining militancy in J&K: Army

Uri: The Army on Thursday claimed that the alarming trend of local youth joining militancy in Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a decline with fewer youths joining militant ranks this year as compared to last year.

Securing the Valley. PTISecuring the Valley. PTI

Securing the Valley. PTI

“Last year, a large number of youth got recruited in militancy. But this year we are witnessing a decline in the
trend. This year the number is very less compared to last year and among those who joined the militant ranks, six have returned or surrendered,” General Officer Commanding (GoC) of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, Lt Gen Satish Dua told reporters.

He was here in the border town to inaugurate the Chinar Youth Club set up by Army as part of Operation Sadhbavana
(goodwill) to provide opportunities to the local youth to hone their skills in different fields including sports and education.

“We intend to start training for IAS competitive exams for the desirous youths from this year,” he said, highlighting the efforts of Army’s Super-30 coaching programme in which 16 students of the state were selected for IIT this year.

He said the Army is also providing coaching to the local students for the National Defence Academy exams.

Referring to the Chinar Youth Club, he said Army is setting up 70 such clubs across the valley.

More than 20 have already been set up and in the next couple of months, the rest will be completed, Dua said.

The Army commander also dismissed reports that the Army is obstructing tourist activity in Tosamaidan in Central
Kashmir Budgam district and Bangus valley in Handwara area of Kupwara district.

“The reports are baseless and irresponsible. Three years back the lease of Tosamiadan expired and the state government decided not to renew its lease agreement and wanted us to clear the area of the littered explosives, which was a genuine demand.

“Army under an operation cleared the whole area and handed it over to the then Chief Minister Omar Abdullah. Since then, the land is not with us and tourists are going there as well,” he said.

“As far as Bangus valley is concerned, the people mostly do not visit there as it is very sensitive area and also close to the border. If someone wants to visit the valley, we will try he will go there,” Dua said.

About the upcoming Amarnath Yatra starting on 2 July, he said the Army is ready to meet any challenge to ensure a
peaceful pilgrimage and troops guarding the Line of Control (LoC) are fully geared to foil any infiltration attempt.

PTI

A government by the woman, for the woman, of the woman

Women of the conflict-ridden Jammu and Kashmir have a big reason to smile as the state’s first woman chief minister Mehbooba Mufti opened her purse strings to invest hugely in their development and empowerment.From waiving off the fee of all girl students in the state government run educational institutions up to the higher secondary level to reserving 10 per cent area in all industrial estates to women specific police stations. Mehbooba has also focused on the women empowerment in her first maiden budget which was presented in the J&K Legislative assembly on Monday<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”The government will waive off the fee of all girl students in the state government run educational institutions up to the higher secondary level. Two entrepreneur development centers will be set up at Srinagar and Jammu to help, guide, and train aspiring women entrepreneurs,” said Dr Haseeb Drabu, Jammu and Kashmir finance minister.Fee waiver in schools will instantly benefit six lakh girl students in the Jammu and Kashmir. According to official figures Jammu and Kashmir has 24,265 schools with 16.68 lakh students and 1.43 lakh teaching staff.”Around six lakh girl students will be benefited by the fee waiver scheme. Free books, uniforms and other things will also be covered under this scheme,” said Naeem Akthar, Jammu and Kashmir’s minister for education.Operating women centric buses have been icing on the cakeFour women police stations will be established in Pulwama, Kupwara, Kathua and Udhampur districts. Out of over 73,000 personnel in Jammu and Kashmir Police the women personnel comprise 2,512 that includes 37 gazetted officers and 154 non-gazetted posts officers.”I am earmarking an additional amount of Rs five crore for a dedicated city bus service for women in Srinagar and Jammu cities and a provision to provide exclusive women toilets in the entire state, district and sub district hospitals,” Drabu said.

Terror revisits Kashmir, two dead

Terror revisited the Kashmir valley on Wednesday when militants launched two attacks leaving two people, including a cop, dead at two different places in Kupwara and Pulwama districts.Police said militants attacked the security escort of the National Conference (NC) district Pulwama president Ghulam Mohidin Mir when he was attending a marriage party in Manhama village this afternoon.A cop, who was attended the marriage, was killed while a personal security officer of the leader suffered wounds in the attack. Militants later decamped with the assault rifle of the PSO.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Giving details, superintendent of police, Pulwama, Mohammad Rayees Bhat told dna that Mir was safe and a cop, who was attending the marriage of his cousin, was hit by the bullet and later succumbed to his wounds.”Reportedly two to three militants attacked the PSO and snatched his weapon. Another PSO fired back in which a militant was injured. A PSO has got a minor bruises,” said Bhat.The SP said the cop who died was not part of the security escort of the NC leader. “He was attending the marriage of his cousin. By profession, he is a cop but he was not a part of the escort of the leader,” he saidFormer chief minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah however tweeted that the PSO (personal security officer of his district president has been injured in a militant attack. “Hope he makes a complete and swift recovery,” he saidMassive cordon and search operation has been launched in the area to track down the militants responsible for the incident. Police have also intensified the search in neighbouring areas since one of the militants has suffered wounds after he was hit by the bullet.Earlier in the morning, police recovered a bullet riddled body of a 20 year old Liyaqat Ali from the Waderbala forests of Handwara in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Ali was kidnapped by the unknown militants on Tuesday evening and later shot dead in cold blood.Police said Ali was abducted from his sister’s home in Watsar village and taken to the forests where he was shot dead. Massive search operation has been launched to nab the militants responsible for the killing of Ali.The attacks comes just two days after militants carried out twin shoot and scoot attacks in summer capital city of Srinagar leaving three cops including an assistant sub inspector dead.The attack also comes two days after police killed two top Jaish-e-Mohommad commanders who were posing as students in Srinagar’s Saraibala locality.

Suspected militants kill a 28-year-old in Kupwara

Srinagar: A 28-year-old youth was shot dead on Wednesday by suspected militants in Kupwara district of north Kashmir, police said.

Bullet-riddled body of Liyaqat Joo was recovered from the forest area of Wadder Payeen in Handwara, 85 kms from Srinagar, a police officer said.

Joo who is a resident of Wadder Payeen, was suspected to have been killed by militants, the officer said.

Police has registered a case and started investigations, the officer said adding a hunt has been launched to nab the culprits behind his murder.

Representational Image. ReutersRepresentational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

Meanwhile, the officer said a huge cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from the possession of the two militants who were shot dead in a brief gun battle at Sarai Bala locality in the heart of Srinagar on late Monday evening.

The recoveries included two AK assault rifles, four magazines, 86 rounds, a pistol with a magazine and two rounds, three hand grenades, a grenade thrower and a pouch, he said.

The two militants including Jaish-e-Mohammad commander Saifullah were killed by police during a raid at Sarai Bala on Monday, sparking protests by locals who contested the police version and claimed that the duo were killed in a “fake encounter”.

Shops and business establishments in the area and adjoining business centres including Maharaj Bazar, Hari Singh High Street and Gonikhan remained closed for the second day today to protest the killings.

Jammu and Kashmir: 15 injured in Ganderbal protest

At least 15 people, including eight policemen, were injured on Wednesday in clashes between stone-pelting students and cops in Ganderbal district of Kashmir, police said.A group of students indulged in stone-pelting near the mini secretariat in Ganderbal town, 21 kms from here, to protest against the alleged “insensitivity” of traffic police which had stopped a passenger vehicle carrying large number of students in the morning, a police official said. The protestors alleged that the action of the traffic cops had cost them academically.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The police officers tried to pacify the protesting students but to no avail, the official said. After the protest turned violent, police resorted to baton charge to disperse the students and bring the situation under control, he said.At least seven protestors and eight policemen were hurt in the clashes, the official said.All the injured were administered first aid at a local hospital and discharged. Kupwara district in north Kashmir also saw a protest with taxi operators resisting a directive by the district administration to shift the cab stand from the busy town market.The taxi operators demanded that the district administration revoke its directions for shifting of the taxi stand as it would affect their livelihood.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two militants killed in separate encounters, says army

Srinagar: Two militants were killed in two separate encounters with security forces in Shopian and Kupwara districts of Kashmir, army said on Tuesday.

Hizbul Mujahideen militant Farooq Ahmad was killed in a gunbattle with security forces in the wee hours today at Pehlipora in Shopian, 52 kms from Srinagar, an army official said.

In another encounter, an unidentified militant was killed in Kupwara district, he said.

“The operation in Kupwara is continuing,” the official said.

JeM suicide bomber held in Jammu and Kashmir

The Jammu and Kashmir police foiled a major fidayeen (suicide) attack when they caught a Pakistani Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorist in Baramulla on Saturday.Twenty-three-year-old Abdul Rehman alias Shabir Ahmad Khan of village Pollas of district Poonch in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) was arrested in a joint operation by the J&K police and 46 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) of the Army.”It is a big achievement. The terrorist was the commander of Baramulla. He was planning to establish a fidayeen base. He was operating in and around Baramulla,” Imtiyaz Hussain, senior superintendent of police, Baramulla, told dna.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>What has, however, rattled security agencies is the recovery of an Aadhaar card with the name Shabir Ahmad Khan and his picture superimposed on it. “It could be a fake as well. We are verifying it,” said Hussain.”He is part of a fidayeen squad that infiltrated in January this year from the Machil sector (of LoC in Kupwara district). The terrorist was trained at the JeM training camp in Balakote, Pakistan,” said Hussain.Police said the JeM is desperately trying to establish a base in Baramulla to launch sensational attacks on security forces and other targets.A similar attempt was foiled in February when security forces busted a JeM module and arrested 17-year-old Pakistani terrorist Mohommad Sidiq Gujjar alias Shahid from Sialkot, along with three local miltants.Gujjar was was part of four members Afzal Guru Squad of JeM, which carried out the fidayeen attack on the 3/1GR camp which was foiled by troops, leaving three militants dead on November 25, 2015. A civilian was also killed in the attack.Gujjar, however, managed to escape from the spot and was later asked by his handlers from across the LoC to set up base in Baramulla and Kupwara and wait for further orders of launching fidayeen attack in or outside the valley.Rehman is the fourth Pakistani fidayeen to have been captured alive in J&K since the Udhampur terror attack in August last year.LeT militant Mohammed Naveed alias Usman of Faisalabad was captured alive when he, along with his associate Noman attacked, a BSF convoy near Narsoo Nallah at Udhampur on August 5, 2015.Noman was gunned down while Usman took some civilians hostage in a bid to flee from the spot. He was overpowered by two hostages and handed over to security forces.On August 27, 2015, Sajad Ahmad aka Javid Ahmad alias Abu Ubadullah, a 22-year-old Lashkar-e-Taiba operative from Muzaffargarh in Pakistan, was captured alive after all his four associates were gunned down at two different locations in Bijhama to Panzala forests of Baramulla district.

Jammu and Kashmir: Jawan killed in encounter with militants in Kupwara

A jawan was killed in an encounter with militants in a forest area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir, police said.The jawan identified as Om Veer Singh was injured in the encounter and was rushed to hospital where he was declared brought dead, a police official said.Security forces had launched an anti-militancy operation in Watsar forests in Handwara area of the district last night following information about the presence of militants there, the official said.

Kashmir: Gunbattle between security forces and militants erupt in Kupwara forest

An encounter broke out between militants and security forces in a forest area of Kupwara district in north Kashmir on Tuesday night, police said. No casualties have been reported on either side so far in the operation, a police official said.Security forces launched an anti-militancy operation in Watsar forests in Handwara area of the district on Tuesday following information about the presence of militants there, the official said. He said the gunbattle raged when reports last came in late on Tuesday evening. Further details are awaited.

Militant killed in encounter with security forces in J&K’s Kupwara

Srinagar: A militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in Kupwara in north Kashmir early on Friday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The militant, who was holed up in a mosque since last night, was killed as he tried to escape, an Army official said.

Security forces had launched an operation in Kanthpora village of Lolab following information about the presence of militants in the area.

“After a brief exchange of firing, at least one militant took shelter in a local mosque,” the official said.

The operation was yesterday hampered by local residents who pelted stones at security forces.

Several policemen, including an officer, were hurt in the stone pelting, a police official said.

Handwara crisis: J&K HC directs SP to allow minor girl to meet family and legal team

At the centre of the protests in Handwara sparked by the molestation of a young school girl, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directed the police superintendent to allow the minor to meet her mother and lawyers.

Protests erupted in Handwara town after allegations of molestation by an Army solider on 12 April, two people died and a women was hit by a bullet. However, the case has taken on different turns since then. Initially, an army personnel was accussed of molesting the girl, however in her video statements to the police and the chief judicial magistrate under Section 164-A of CrPC, she absolved the armyman of any wrongdoing.

Security personnel in Handwara. File photo. PTISecurity personnel in Handwara. File photo. PTI

Security personnel in Handwara. File photo. PTI

The girl named, Hilal Ahmed Bandey as one of the persons who molested her after she she came out of a public restroom. In her statement before the Judicial Magistrate, she said that on 12 April, after school hours, while proceeding to her home with her friend, she entered in a public lavatory near main chowk in Handwara — “As soon as she came out of lavatory she was confronted, assaulted and dragged by two boys and her bag was snatched. One of the boys was in school uniform. The production of the girl along with her father before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Handwara was to comply with the order of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court,” police had said.

According to The Hindustan Times, the girl was being kept in “illegal police custody”and a Habeas Corpus writ was heard by the High Court. A statement by the Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies (JKCCS) quoted in the paper reads, “The consequence of today’s proceedings is six more days of illegal police custody for the Handwara minor girl. But, the direction to SP Ghulam Jeelani Wani will ensure that for the first time since being detained the minor girl and family will have unhindered access to legal counsel.”

The girl’s counsel claims that her statements to the police and CJM were not made voluntarily. He said the girl, who did not blame any army personnel for molestation as alleged earlier, had been pressured to testify in a manner directed by the police. He said the girl’s statement before the chief judicial magistrate, Handwara on Sunday was recorded in the absence of her father and her lawyers. “The minor girl’s statement under Section 164-A CrPC was recorded before the judicial magistrate at Handwara.

Her father was not present in court during the recording of the statement. No lawyer was present in court accompanying her. “In the courtroom, besides the judge, there were four other persons who the minor girl could not identify,” the spokesman said. JKCSS also maintains that the girl was being kept in detention illegally, in a “jungle-like place.”

The JKCCS has also written to Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, director-general of Jammu and Kashmir Police, IGP Kashmir, DIG North Kashmir, divisional commissioner Kashmir and DC Kupwara for “unhindered access of the legal counsels to the family”.

But, so far, “the government has chosen to not respond,” he said.

With inputs from PTI

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Curfew lifted in Handwara: Markets reopen, normalcy returns

Srinagar: Restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir’s Handwara town were completely lifted after six days after the four-hour curfew relaxation on Tuesday remained peaceful.

Life returned to normal as markets opened when curfew was relaxed in the morning from 8 am to noon.

“Life has returned to normal in Handwara town after six days today. It was decided to lift curfew restrictions completely from the town,” a senior police officer told IANS in Srinagar.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The civil administration also removed an army bunker from the town after 20 years, using an earthmover machine to demolish the concrete bunker in Handwara Chowk.

Counter-insurgency Rashtriya Rifles soldiers had vacated the bunker last Tuesday when a mob attacked the bunker and set it ablaze partially.

Trouble had erupted in the town after wild rumours spread there last Tuesday that a school girl had been molested by a soldier while she was using a public convenience facility, near the bunker in the town square.

Five people were killed in firing by security forces in the widespread violence that engulfed Handwara and adjacent areas in Kupwara district after the molestation allegation.

The girl later deposed before the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) of Handwara that she had not been molested by anybody and that some local youth were responsible for accusing her and spreading the molestation rumour in the town.

Based on her statement, police on Monday arrested a local youth named Hilal Ahmad Bandey who the girl said had spread the rumour in the town.

Kupwara district magistrate Rajeev Rajan has suspended five lower-rung government employees in the district for stoking passions during the Handwara flare up.

Jammu and Kashmir: Curfew-like restrictions lifted in violence-hit in Handwara town

As peace returned after a week, curfew-like restrictions were on Tuesday lifted from Handwara and Kupwara towns, on a day the authorities gave in to the demand of locals by removing four bunkers of security forces from the epicentre of the unrest that began last Tuesday.Restrictions were eased in Handwara for four hours from 8 am, two hours after the authorities started demolishing the security force bunkers in the town, a police official said. As the four hours passed off peacefully, the relaxation was then extended till 6 pm. The authorities then decided against re-imposing the restrictions, saying there was no law and order problem.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in Handwara town and some adjoining areas following violent protests over the alleged molestation of a girl last Tuesday. In Kupwara and Trehgam towns, the restrictions were lifted at noon following peaceful morning.Earlier in the morning, the municipal authorities of Handwara demolished four security force bunkers from the main market, fulfilling one of the long-pending demands of the local residents, the official said. He said the main bunker, located in the round-about of the main market, has also been demolished and taken over by the municipal authorities. The municipal authorities also erected a board on the premises of the bunker, marking the place for conversion into a public park.The locals had been demanding removal of the bunkers for quite sometime but the Army had put its foot down, saying it was strategically important for the troops. However, the demand for removal of these bunkers intensified after last week’s violence triggered by alleged molestation of a girl.Three persons including a woman were killed in firing by security forces on protestors on Tuesday while two more persons were killed in separate security forces’s action against protestors on Wednesday at Drugmulla and on Friday at Nathnusa.

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