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Tag: mujahideen

After three month ban, Kashmir newspaper back on the stands

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Local English daily Kashmir Reader hit the stands on Wednesday after it was banned by the Jammu and Kashmir government for nearly three months on the charges that its publication was a threat to peace in the valley.The newspaper started its publication and distribution for the first time after it was banned through an order passed by District Magistrate, Srinagar on October 2.The District Magistrate’s order had alleged that the publication of Kashmir Reader posed a threat to peace in the valley which had been going through a period of turmoil since July following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.The revocation of the ban on the newspaper is seen as the first success for the newly-formed Kashmir Editors’ Guild, a body of all major dailies and weeklies published from the Valley.

WB terror suspect raised ISIS flags in Kashmir, says NIA

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday revealed that suspected Islamic State operative Mohammad Masiuddin also known as Musa, who was earlier this month interrogated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for his alleged terror activities, had waved flags of the terror outfit during his stay in Kashmir earlier this year.The revelation came after filing charge sheet against Masiuddin stating that the 27-year-old was planning terror attacks in India after being directed to do so by his Syria-based handler.Masiuddin was arrested in July this year following which it was revealed that he had been directed to target foreign tourists instead of Indian locals by his handlers.”Investigation has established that on the instructions of his handler, Abu Suleiman, Musa went to Srinagar in May, 2016, to carry out a Lone Wolf attack on foreign tourists. He also participated in a Friday congregation at the Jama Masjid and waved the ISIS flag. He even planned to kill foreigners near the Mother Teresa House at the Ripon Street in Kolkata,” the NIA said on Monday.A senior J&K police official told DNA that local investigators did not find possible links between Kashmiri youth and the terror outfit. The NIA revelation might however prompt local authorities to dig out travel details of Masiuddin who hails from Labhpur in Birbhum district of WB.According to official sources in the NIA, the accused had visited two locations, one in Srinagar and other in Kolkata, and selected them as venues where he was supposed to carry out an attack using the 13 inch knife that was allegedly recovered from him following his arrest in July.This was after Masiuddin had allegedly gotten in touch with ISIS handler Shafi Armar, who is wanted by Indian agencies for activities during his time with Indian Mujahideen. The NIA also revealed that Musa met Abu Suleiman during his visit to India twice in March, 2015 and May, 2016. Suleiman encouraged him to use secured encrypted chat applications. The probe agency said Forensic Analysis of the electronic gadgets seized from the accused contained pdf files like How to survive in the West- Mujahideen, The Mujahideen Explosives Handbook by Abdel-Aziz.

Kolkata: Suspected IS militant, Musa planned execution of foreigners at Mother House, says NIA

New Delhi: Alleged terrorist Mohd Mosiuddin was plotting Islamic State-style chilling execution of foreigners, especially those from the US, Russia and the UK, visiting the Mother House in Kolkata as it would be a “heart pleasing” experience for him, the NIA has claimed.

The NIA, in a charge sheet filed before a special court in Kolkata recently, claimed that Mosiuddin alias Musa was planning to stab and kill foreigners, a style frequently chosen by the IS to eliminate its targets.

The Mother House in West Bengal capital is the headquarters of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity. In its charge sheet, the anti-terror probe agency has said Musa termed the militants operating in Kashmir as “Mujahids (holy warriors) with impure ideologies” who were fighting for Kashmiri land when they should have fought in support of Sharia, the Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Quran and the traditions of the Prophet
(Hadith and Sunna).

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The agency has provided Musa’s photographs in Kashmir to buttress its claim that the terrorist had visited the Valley.

NIA alleged it had proof of his having bought a big knife to commit the terror crimes before fleeing away. He also allegedly procured pepper spray from Snapdeal, an online marketplace to facilitate his proposed criminal acts as the intended target would be rendered temporarily blinded by it.

The charge sheet alleged that Musa discussed plans for conducting such attacks at the Mother House, which is frequented by foreigners from the US, Russia and the UK. Armed forces of these countries are locked in fierce battles with the IS in many nations.

Musa had discussed with some others the exact location of the Mother House and was claimed to have told them that foreigners, particularly Russians, Britishers and Americans often visited the place. He wanted them killed as the governments of their countries had bombarded the IS in Syria and Libya, the charge sheet alleged.

The NIA had taken over investigation in the case from Howrah police on 22 July.

During Musa’ arrest, a .38 bore six-chamber revolver, three rounds of ammunition, a knife, a Samsung mobile phone and other incriminating articles were seized. Subsequently, one Apple Macbook and a sword were seized from his residence at Tiruppur, Tamilnadu.

During investigation, two more accused, namely Saddam Hossain alias Kalu and Abbasudin Sk alias Amin were arrested by West Bengal CID.

“Mosiuddin was found involved in furthering the illegal activities of the IS in India and Bangladesh and had been in touch with Shafi Armar…and was also linked to the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operatives in Bangladesh,” NIA had said in a statement.

Armar is a former Indian Mujahideen operative who was later claimed to have joined the IS. It was Armar who had radicalised him by sending the links of jihadi sites like Jihadology.net, Al-Shabab media and Just-Paste-it links, etc.

Armar also allegedly sent him videos released by Ansar Ut Tawid (AuT) which included footages of the war between the IS and Iraqi forces. The videos and speeches of ‘Anwar ul Awlaki’, a jihadist ideologue and preacher who was killed in a US drone attack in Yemen, were also sent to him by Armar, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka and one of the main recruiters for IS in India.

Abu Suleiman, a Bangladeshi IS/JMB operative, visited India to meet Musa twice in March, 2015, and May, 2016. He encouraged Musa to use encrypted chat applications like Telegram, Surespot, Threema, Chatsecure, to communicate with him and other IS operatives, NIA has alleged.

First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 21:14 IST

Kashmir unrest: CM Mufti wants cases against youths not involved in ‘serious crimes’ reviewed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday ordered review of the cases filed against the youths who were not involved in “serious crimes” during the over five-month-long unrest in the Valley. An official spokesman said Mehbooba gave directions in this regard at a meeting called to review the pace of development works in south Kashmir. Apart from her Cabinet colleagues, many senior officers from police and civil administration were present in the meeting. “Though not many youths are in custody now, a lenient view may be taken of youths who were either not involved in any serious offence, or were too young,” the spokesman said quoting Mehbooba.The Valley had witnessed violent protest after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. During the meeting, the CM impressed upon the officers to be responsive to the winter-specific needs of people in the Valley, particularly in sectors like power and water supply, firewood and fuel availability and ration, the spokesman said.She asked engineers of Power Development Department to rationalise their resources to address frequent power cuts during winters. Mehbooba also reviewed the stock and supply position of essential commodities like fuel, ration etc in the district and directed their regular augmentation. She directed the officers to keep tempo of developmental works on and double their efforts to make up for the lost time.She said though a good time of working season got lost this year, efforts should be made to make up by taking up and completing the works within or ahead of schedule. The meeting was told to work on several key development projects in the district is apace, including a 300-bed district hospital, Trauma Hospital at Bijbehara, degree colleges at Kokernag and Uttersoo, Pushwara bridge, polytechnic college at Larkipora, besides eight major bridges which are in various stages of completion.Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the meeting Hall in the Dak Bungalow complex. Built at a cost of Rs 4.88 crore, the meeting hall is first-of-its-kind in south Kashmir. The Chief Minister also laid the foundation of Khanabal-Batapora road to be constructed by the Department of Disaster Management, the spokesman said.

Militant hideout raided in Bangladesh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The sound of an explosion and several gunshots were heard in the Bangladeshi capital on Saturday as police’s elite counter terrorism unit laid siege to a three-storey building where heavily-armed militants, belonging to a Islamist group behind the July 1 terror attack, are holed up.”The inmates have vowed to fight us with grenades… we are repeatedly asking them to give up,” Dhaka s police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mian told reporters at the scene at Ashkona area of the capital. He said two women already came out from the three-storey building with their children.Police said three militants believed to be operatives of neo-Jamaatun Mujahideen Bangladesh (neo-JMB) were inside the building.”One of the three is a son of a slain neo-JMB leader but we are yet to know the identity of two others,” Mia said.The outfit, said to be inclined to the Islamic State, was behind the July 1 terror attack on a Dhaka cafe in which 22 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed. The commissioner has said police wants to capture the militants alive without using force “as any miscalculation could appear deadly in this densely populated neighbourhood”.Another official at the scene said one of the two women who surrendered was the wife of a slain renegade ex-army major who was killed on September 2 this year in a police encounter during a nearly identical raid at Dhaka’s Mirpur area. The other woman was the wife of a neo-JMB leader.Witnesses said police was repeatedly asking the inmates to surrender using megaphones but they were threatening to detonate grenades tied to their bodies. Ambulances and fire fighting units were kept stand-by outside the building while elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and plainclothesmen cordoned off the area.

Post Dilsukhnagar verdict, Owaisi questions NIA of inaction in certain terror cases

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Tuesday accused the NIA of not showing urgency in securing convictions in terror cases involving “non-Muslims”, a day after a special NIA court awarded death penalty to five IM operatives, including Yasin Bhatkal, in 2013 Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts case.In a series of tweets, the Hyderabad Lok Sabha MP questioned the National Investigation Agency(NIA) and also mounted a veiled attack on the Centre saying, “Do not be surprised the way NIA is pursuing those Bomb Blast cases where accused are Non-Muslims they will be exonerated bcos of Ache Din?”. “Why can’t our Premier Investigation Agencies show same Urgency to convict all alleged terrorist cases, Demolition (of) Babri Masjid pending since 92,” he asked.The BJP slammed Owaisi over the allegation levelled by him against the NIA, alleging he thrives on “communal agenda”. “Owaisi thrives on communal agenda. He is trying to communalise a court verdict. Politicians of this kind have become a parasite on Indian democracy,” BJP’s National Secretary Sidharth Nath Singh told a news conference in Delhi. Over the awarding of death penalty to the five Indian Mujahideen operatives, he sought to know, while 2013 Dilsukhnagar blast accused were convicted, will the NIA “get conviction” in Mecca Masjid blast, Ajmer Dargha blast and Malegaon blasts cases.”2013 Dilsukhnagar blast accused all get conviction Mecca Masjid blast, AJMER Dargha Blast, Malegaon blasts Will NIA get conviction these cases,” Owaisi said in a tweet. In further tweets, the AIMIM chief said, “Dilsukhnagar bomb blast accused can be convicted in 3 years why is it taking long to convict MMasjid, Ajmer, Malegaon Can NIA throw some light.”However, in another tweet, Owaisi said “Dilsukhnagar blast courts have given a verdict which must be accepted, terrorist should be punished.” Five key operatives of the banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen, including its co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and a Pakistani national, were yesterday awarded death penalty by a Special NIA Court in Hyderabad for the February 2013 Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts which claimed 18 lives.

Hyderabad blasts: ‘Rarest of the rare’ case says judge, gives death sentence to 5 IM operatives

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Five key operatives of Indian Mujahideen, including the banned terror outfit’s co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and a Pakistani national, were awarded death penalty on Sunday by a Special NIA Court here in the February 2013 Hyderabad bomb blasts which claimed 18 lives.Pronouncing the sentence, Judge T Srinivasa Rao described the case as the “rarest of the rare”. This is the first case where operatives of the home-grown group have been convicted in a terror case.NIA Special Public Prosecutor K Surender said the court, after going through their evidence, found that the case is based on facts. “As per investigation…evidence that is placed on record clearly reflects that the five IM members planned and executed the bomb blasts. We sought capital punishment (for the convicts) and accordingly the court gave death penalty to them,” he said.The prosecutor described the verdict as a “victory” for NIA’s investigation and the witnesses.The court, after hearing the arguments of prosecution and defence counsels on sentencing, awarded death penalty to the convicts and also varying jail terms on different counts including, waging war against the Government of India and commission of terrorist act. On December 13, the court had convicted the five operatives — IM co-founder Mohd Ahmed Sidibapa alias Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Ajaz Shaikh — who are at present in judicial custody and lodged in the Cherlapally Central Prison here.The IM convicts said they will go for an appeal, according to the NIA counsel.All relevant records will be submitted in the high court for confirmation of the death sentence, Surender said.Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in two deadly explosions in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city, on February 21, 2013. On November 7, the final arguments had concluded in the case before the special court. Since IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal, the prime accused in the case, is absconding, the trial was split up against him.The court convicted Yasin Bhatkal and others under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).According to NIA, Riyaz Bhatkal arranged for explosive substances and directed Asadullah Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rahman at Mangalore to receive the same. After receiving the explosive materials and the money sent by Riyaz through hawala (illegal channels) and other money transfer modes, Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas reached Hyderabad and joined Tahseen Akhtar, who was already hiding there, NIA had said.Together they prepared two IEDs after procuring the other required material as well as two cycles for mounting the home-made bombs from Hyderabad, the anti-terror agency had said.After preparation of the IEDs on February 21, 2013, the accused mounted two bombs on the bicycles. They had planted them at separate places in Dilsukhnagar which resulted in powerful explosions, it had said. In its charge sheet, the NIA had claimed that Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against India and decided to carry out bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror in the mind of people and further the activities of the outfit. The main feature of the conspiracy was that the accused were communicating through the Internet, chatting with each other throughout the planning, finding suitable hideouts, purchasing material for the bombs, until the final escape, it said.They were also found to have used proxy servers to hide their identity, it said. The role of Yasin Bhatkal in the planning, procurement of explosives and harbouring of Asadullah Akhthar after the incident, was also unearthed by the NIA, the agency said. During investigation, a total of 440 witnesses were examined and 251 documents and 300 material objects seized. Extensive cyber forensic evidence was gathered and placed on record, according to the agency.Meanwhile, the counsel for the IM operatives said he will file an appeal before the high court against the conviction of his clients after obtaining a certified copy of the judgement. “I have received instruction to file (an appeal) from them (the convicts) and their relatives,” defence counsel Mahadevan said.

DNA Evening Must Reads: Death penalty for Yasin Bhatkal; Karun Nair’s triple ton; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. Dilkhusnagar blasts: NIA court gives death penalty to IM founder Yasin Bhatkal and four othersOn Tuesday last week, in the first ever conviction of banned Indian Mujahideen cadres in a terror case, a special NIA court in Hyderabad convicted Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and four others for being involved in 2013 twin blasts at Dilsukhnagar which had claimed 18 lives. Read more here.2. Demonetization like World War 2 fire-bombing on poor people: Rahul GandhiIn a direct attack on the Prime Minister, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today alleged that Narendra Modi visits the US and China “using” the aircraft of his wealthy “friends” and has “made fun” of 99 per cent honest people through demonetisation. Read what Rahul Gandhi said here.3. New ‘Rs 5,000 bank deposit’ rule: RBI announcement decodedThe Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced restrictions on deposits of old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in an attempt to check the laundering of unaccounted cash and also boost the money that goes to new government scheme- Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY), 2016. Read the provisions here.4. EPFO lowers provident fund interest rate from 8.8% to 8.65% for 2016-17Retirement fund body Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) decided to lower the interest on Employee Provident Fund (EPF) deposits for the current fiscal to 8.65%, from 8.8 provided in 2015-16, for its over four crore subscribers.Read more here.5. IND vs ENG: Karun Nair creates unprecedented Indian feat by smashing triple tonKarun Nair became the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to score a triple century as India declared their first innings at 759 for seven, a lead of 282 runs, on day four of the fifth and final test against England on Monday. England reached 12 for no loss at stumps. Read more here.

Hyderabad twin blasts case: Yasin Bhatkal, four others sentenced to death by NIA court

An NIA special court on Monday sentenced to death five Indian Mujahideen operatives, including Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal, involved in the 2013 twin blasts in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar area, which had claimed 18 lives, and injured 131 others.

However, Yasin Bhatkal’s brother, Riyaz Bhatkal, still remains at large and the NIA has issued a red corner notice for his arrest. Riyaz is allegedly the kingpin of the group and the prime conspirator in the case, according to NDTV. 

File photo of Yasin Bhatkal. AFPFile photo of Yasin Bhatkal. AFP

File photo of Yasin Bhatkal. AFP

The prosecution lawyer told NDTV that the NIA produced strong circumstantial evidence against the convicts in the court and the accounts of 157 witnesses, which helped in nailing down the charges against the Indian Mujahideen cadres in the terror case. He also said that the judges observed that the case fell into the rarest of the rare categories for awarding a death sentence.

Even as the convicts are likely to appeal in a higher court for relief, the NIA court’s ruling is being seen as a landmark judgement as this is for the first time that top cadres of the banned Indian Mujahideen terror group have been convicted in a terror case.

“It was a wonderful investigation carried out by the team in which every evidence was examined minutely. This is the first ever conviction of Indian Mujahideen cadres,” an elated Director General of NIA Sharad Kumar had said at the time of the conviction ruling.

The NIA special court had convicted Bhatkal and others under various sections of Indian Penal Code, Arms Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on 13 December.

Besides Bhatkal, the others convicted were Asadullah Akthar of Uttar Pradesh, Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas of Pakistan, Tahseen Akhthar of Bihar and Aizaz Shaik of Maharashtra, all of whom have been sentenced to death.

The final arguments in the case concerning the attack, carried out on 21 February, 2013 had concluded last month. Trial in the case had begun on August 24 last year.

In its chargesheet, the NIA had claimed that Indian Mujahideen had hatched a conspiracy to wage a war against India and decided to carry out the bomb blasts in Hyderabad to create terror in the minds of people and further the activities of the outfit.

The main operative of the module, Riyaz Bhatkal, who is named as the first accused in the case, had allegedly directed his associates Asadullah Akhtar and Waqas to find a place in Mangalore to be used as a hide-out for explosive materials sent by him, it had alleged.

With inputs from agencies

First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 17:59 IST

Govt action to be based on probe report on death of Burhan’s brother: Nirmal Singh

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh on Saturday said the government action on the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani’s brother will proceed “as per the outcome” of the probe into his death and an FIR has been registered in this connection.His comments came amid protests by several organisations over the PDP-BJP coalition government’s decision to compensate the family of Khalid Wani, who was killed in an “encounter” with the Army in Pulwama district on April 13 last year. Singh said an FIR has been lodged and “whatever be the outcome of the probe, government will act accordingly”. “There is a law of the land applicable to it. Whatever be the outcome of the investigation, action would be taken as per that,” Singh told reporters at a function here.”If it is proved that he was a terrorist as the FIR has been lodged, action would be taken as per that,” he said replying to a question on giving compensation to Khalid’s family. Khalid’s brother Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed by security forces on July 8, and his death had led to months-long protest in the Valley in which 86 people died. Asked about the impact of Union government’s move to demonetize old high-value currency notes on unrest in Kashmir, Singh said the exercise has “badly-hit” terrorism and ‘hawala’ transactions, which is believed to support the militancy.”That is why the terrorists are engineering cases of looting of money from the banks because they are facing dearth of money,” he said, adding that the government was making “full security” arrangement to ensure such incidents do not recur. “There is a dip in smuggling of weapons from Pakistan. They are frustrated by the demonetization,” he said. He asked Hurriyat leaders and other separatists to think “positively” so that normalcy returns and added that shutdown by separatists is “causing loss to everyone,” he said.

J&K: After two days of normalcy, separatists call strike again

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After two days of normalcy, life was again affected in Kashmir Valley on Friday due to a strike called by separatists as part of their agitation programme to protest the killing of civilians during the unrest and in support of their other demands. Most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments in Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, were shut, while public transport was minimal, officials said.The effect of the strike was accentuated by a public holiday in Kashmir on Friday, they said. Reports of shutdown were also received from most of the other district headquarters of the Valley, the officials said.On Wednesday, the separatist groups — both factions of Hurriyat Conference and JKLF — had scaled down their strike call from five days a week to two days. They have extended the protest programme till the end of this month and have asked people to observe shutdown on Fridays and Saturdays.The separatists have been spearheading the agitation since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8. The more than five-month unrest in the Valley has left 86 people dead and thousands others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.

J-K govt aid for Burhan’s kin will generate more sympathisers in Valley: Defence expert

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Criticising the Mehbooba Mufti government for announcing an ex-gratia payment to Burhan Wani’s brother Khalid Wani, in the next of kin killed in militancy-related incidents in the Valley, defence expert Colonel Sunil Deshpande has said the government’s decision would only encourage terrorists to generate more sympathisers and give boost to terrorism in the valley.”Khalid Wani, the brother of Burhan Wani, was killed in action and he was a supporter of terrorists. It was proved that he was working for the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and the civilian authorities announced the list of the supporters who were working for terrorists, and he was ranked ninth on the list. It is incorrect on the part of the government to give money to Khalid Wani,” said Deshpande.Deshpande further said, “Khalid Wani was not an innocent person. He was a known sympathiser and, after his death, a payment of Rs. 4 lakhs is absolutely incorrect on the part of Mufti government. This money is given to those who are killed in action. This will help terrorists to create more sympathisers in the valley and it will give a boost to terrorist activity in the valley.”The government yesterday cleared ex-gratia payments to the next of kin of 17 persons, including Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani’s brother, killed in militancy-related incidents in the valley.The government has given one week’s time for filing of any objection before formal orders are issued.According to a notification issued on Monday by the deputy commissioner of Pulwama, ex-gratia relief under rules were cleared by the district-level screening-cum-consultative committee (DLSCC) in favour of next of kin of those persons who died in militancy-related incidents.As per report, the ex-gratia relief entitles a victim’s family to a payment of Rs. four lakh or employment for a member of the family.Burhan had left home at the age of 15 in October 2010 to join the Hizb-ul- Mujahideen, while his brother Khalid lived in Tral in Pulwama with his family.Twenty five-year-old Khalid was pursuing a Masters in political science from IGNOU, reportedly told his mother on the afternoon of April 13, 2015 that he was going for a picnic. However, his body was found in the nearby jungle hours later.

Dilsukhnagar blasts: Yasin Bhatkal, 4 others convicted by Hyderabad court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the first conviction of Indian Mujahideen cadre, a special court for cases probed by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Hyderabad on Tuesday convicted Yasin Bhatkal and four others in connection with the February 2013 Dilsukhnagar twin blasts case.The court had framed charges against Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, Pakistani national Zia-ur-Rahman alias Waqas, Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi, Tahaseen Akhtar alias Monu and Aijaz Sheikh, who are at present lodged in the Cherlapally Prison.Indian Mujahideen founder Riyaz Bhatkal, the prime accused in the case, is absconding. The case was split up against him.Eighteen people were killed and 131 injured in two deadly explosions near Konark and Venkatadiri theatres in Dilsukhnagar, a crowded shopping area in the city, on February 21, 2013.The accused were tried under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, and other relevant acts including IPC.(With agency inputs)

J&K: Separatists placed under house arrest, life partially affected

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life was partially affected in Kashmir on Monday due to a strike called by separatists even as authorities placed Hurriyat Conference leaders Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq under house arrest to foil their plans of holding a march to Lal Chowk city centre.”Geelani and the Mirwaiz have been placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order,” a police official said.The separatist groups had called for a march to Lal Chowk today to protest civilian deaths during the unrest in the Valley that began on July 9, a day after Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces.The authorities have sealed off Clock Tower and surrounding areas in Lal Chowk to prevent the separatists from assembling there.Shops and other business establishments remained closed due to the strike call but transport — both public and private — was plying in many parts of the city.Schools and government offices are closed today due to public holiday to mark the 111th birth anniversary of former chief minister and founder of opposition National Conference Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah.Reports of shutdown were received from other districts and towns of the Valley but the situation so far is peaceful, the official said.The unrest in the Valley has left 86 people dead and thousands others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.

Kashmir unrest: Private schools remain open on weekends after shutdown

Srinagar: With educational activities in Kashmir picking up after remaining suspended for over four months due to the unrest, private schools in the valley are following separatist-issued ‘protest calendar’ by remaining open only during the relaxation period over the weekend.

Students are happy to resume their class-work, which was affected by the continuous shutdown following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on 8 July. The schools went on a two-week summer holiday on 1 July but could not resume functioning due to the unrest.

The separatists, spearheading the agitation since Wani’s killing, have been issuing weekly protest programmes against the civilian killings in the unrest and in support of their demand for right to self-determination. They have also announced periodic 15-hour relaxation in the strike on few days of the week, with two full days of relaxation on Saturdays and Sundays.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Since the 16 November announcement of weekend relaxation by the separatists, private schools in the valley decided to resume class-work on these two days, as education in Kashmir was hit hard by the unrest, with schools and colleges, including government-run institutions, remaining closed for over four months with no or minimal activity.

“It feels good to be back at school. I was getting tired sitting idle at home without any class-work or studies. It has affected us but we should remain focused now,” Zia-ul-Islam, a student at a private school, said.

Kashmir remains abuzz with activity on the weekends as shops, business establishments and fuel stations open in the early hours while public transport plies on all roads from the morning on these two days. Most of the private educational institutions have also been functioning over the weekend since the announcement of relaxation in the strike, though government-run schools have not followed the separatists’ announcements.

Private Schools Association of Kashmir (PSAK) has asked the schools to ensure 100 percent attendance of students and teachers during the relaxation period.

“Students are going through a hard phase. We have decided to help them in every possible way. Our entire staff will work overtime during the relaxation period to help the students,” PSAK chairman GN Var said. He said the association would ensure that schools remain open on Saturdays as well as Sundays.

There is no hesitation among the parents as well to send their children to schools on the weekend. “As the schools remain open only on weekends, I do not see any reason not to send my children to their schools.
Saturday and Sunday are full relaxation days. Public transport remains available, private cars can ply without any fear of stone-pelting, so students can reach their school without any hassles,” Javaid Ahmad, a resident of old city, said.

“There are still some problems in sending children to schools on weekdays. There is no transport, less activity in markets, chances of tension on the roads, so as a parent, I hesitate in sending my children to school on non-relaxation days,” he added.

However, government-run schools do not follow the separatist announcements. While teachers remain present in their respective schools on the weekdays, students do not attend the institutions.

The government-run schools are closed on Sundays.

The educational activity in the valley is limping back to normal after the government started conducting the annual board examinations.

The examinations for Std 12 began on 14 November, while those of Std 10 started a day later. Till then, since 1 July, there was no education-related activity in the valley schools.

As many as 86 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the clashes between protesters and security forces in the valley in the unrest triggered by Wani’s killing. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in those clashes.

First Published On : Dec 4, 2016 15:58 IST

Kashmir unrest: We need to listen to people like Omar Abdullah, says RJD

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has agreed with former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah view that Pakistan can’t be blamed for the unrest in the Kashmir Valley, saying that people like him need to be listened to with bit more understanding.”I think we need to listen to people like Omar Abdullah with little bit of understanding, setting aside some of the phrases which have been used by him. What is the essence of his statement; that we should not stop the conversation process in the valley and should continue engaging. And that was the mandate of the all party delegation,” RJD leader Manoj Jha.Jha asserted that no major political party has ever deferred from the position of the security establishment and alleged that the Centre and the state government of blocking the dialogue process with the people of the Kashmir Valley.”If you don?t talk to the people in the valley, then how will you resolve this issue? Pakistan is a kind of menace we have been fighting and, I think, governments prior to the present regime have fought much more vehemently without making much noise,” Jha said.Abdullah on Saturday had criticised the Centre for failing to take concrete measures to curb the unrest in Kashmir post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani and said that it would be a “grave mistake” to always blame Pakistan and turning a blind eye to internal issues.”Simply blaming Pakistan for the present situation, then, it would mean that we don’t have to do anything to prevent the unrest, which I think would be a grave mistake. We need to have talks internally, we need to solve this political crisis and until we are conscious of this reality, I don’t think we can take any concrete action,” Omar told reporters here.Omar’s remarks came days after he reprimanded incumbent Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti for the prolonged unrest in Kashmir and asked the latter to take responsibility for the same.

Shun stones, focus on careers… counsels police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Police have embarked on an arduous journey to counsel stone throwers in a bid to wean them away from the path of violence in the valley.Thousands were arrested while more than 90 people have been killed and over 13,000 injured in the unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen leader Burhan Wani’s killing on july 8. More than 1,100 people, mostly teenagers, have suffered injuries in their eyes when security forces fired pellets to quell the violent mobs.Come December, the police are adopting a humane approach to help the youth shun violence and concentrate on career building. To start with, police on Friday organised a counselling session for the youth of Baramulla town and adjoining areas who were involved in violent activities for the past few months.“The session was aimed at creating an understanding so that ways and means are found to prevent recurrence of such violent incidents in future. Many parents and respectable citizens of the town also joined,” said a police spokesman.Senior Superintendent of Police Baramulla Imtiyaz Hussain impressed upon the youth to concentrate on career building and work hard to make up the loss they have suffered in the past few months.“These youth should not to fall prey to the propaganda and, instead, should channelise their energy in constructive and positive pursuits,” he said.“Peace is must for developmental activities and law enforcing agencies have a major role to lead the State towards tranquility and prosperity,” said K Rajendra Kumar, Director General of Police.

Kashmir police turn counsellors, advice youth against stone pelting

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In an effort to curb incidents of stone pelting, police in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district are conducting counselling sessions with the pelters to guide them on ways to lead better lives.More than 200 stone pelters participated in these counselling sessions recently and were asked to refrain from indulging in protests and to stay away from pelting.”We have tried to explain to the students to concentrate on their studies and their careers rather than indulging in stone pelting incidents,” Mir Imtiaz, Senior Superintendent of Police, told ANI.The pelters were asked to get into constructive work that would be beneficial to society.Stone pelting, known locally as ‘Kanie Jung’, has become a tool of resistance in the hands of young boys who take to the streets to express their anger at the Indian state.The need to rehabilitate stone pelters can be attributed to the spate of stone pelting incident that took place post the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani, who was gunned down in southern Kashmir on July 8 by the security forces.Reportedly, Kashmir has so far witnessed more than 2,347 incidents of stones pelting at security forces, across all ten districts.

Cops bust Hizbul leader’s video-production facility

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The war on terror notched a major win on Friday when security forces busted a studio-cum-communication centre of Hizbul Mujahideen commander and Burhan Wani’s successor Zakir Rashid Bhat in Tral area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district.The studio was busted a day after Zakir released a video threatening to target the families of the cops in case the family members of militants are harassed by the security forces in the valley.Sporting a short trimmed beard, Zakir, an engineering drop out, is seen in the video wearing a t-shirt with olive green camouflage waste-coat and trouser in a room covered with curtains. Holding a rifle in his lap, Zakir is seen armed to the teeth with four automatic rifles resting on both sides and a machine gun in front of him.Police said a joint team of cops and 42 Rashtriya Rifles raided the house of Mudasir Ahmed Gunoo at Batipora Dadsara village. They found material and articles used by Zakir for shooting videos.“During preliminary investigation it was also established that Zakir used to record videos in one of the room of the house. Some clothes and other material used by Zakir in different videos and photographs were also recovered,” said a police spokesman.Police sources said the house was converted into a hideout-cum-studio by Zakir. They also said Zakir used different settings for different videos, that he published on social media platforms, to create an impression that they are operating at will.Sources said he had also created a wardrobe of fancy battle fatigues and camouflages which were donned by him for shooting videos.Since the death of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani, Zakir has released three videos in the valley akin to his former boss Burhan Wani who was known for using social media to reach out to the people.

After video surfaces, forces launch hunt to nab Hizbul Mujahideen commander

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Soon after two new videos of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Zakir Rashid went viral, security forces launched a manhunt to nab him and tracked one of his hideouts in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district where the clip was believed to have been shot.Security forces are “inching closer to him through our informer network,” police officials said about Zakir, who has purportedly claimed in the two-minute video that his outfit had got hold of the database of all “informers” working with the agencies.Launching a manhunt, security forces conducted an “intelligence-based operation” in Batipora Dadsara village of Tral in the district and “busted” the “studio hideout” where the video was believed to have been filmed, they said. Some clothes and other material used by Zakir alias Moosa and other militants in different videos and photographs were recovered from the house which was raided by the security forces, the officials said. “We identified the room and other things that appear in HM commander’s videos and photos. He may have been using one of the rooms of the said house as a studio, where he used to record his videos,” the officials said.The house owner is absconding and a case has been registered, they said, adding investigation has been taken up and “strict action will be taken against all over-ground workers and harbourers of militants in the future as well.” In the video which is in circulation on social media in Kashmir, a man, who cannot be seen but has a voice-over, claims to be Zakir and is heard saying that the militant outfit has gained access to ‘database’ of “informers” of security forces. However, the claim was disputed by the police.Another video was also doing the rounds on social media, showing Zakir holding a rifle and donning army fatigue. In the video, he is seen issuing threats to policemen while speaking in Urdu. Zakir had taken over the militant outfit in the Valley after his predecessor Burhan Wani was killed in an encounter with security forces in July this year.

Nagrota terrorists were in India for a week

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Post the Nagrota attack in Jammu, where seven Army men were killed on Tuesday, an assessment carried out by intelligence agencies reveals alarming findings. Intelligence officials believe that the terrorists had not only been in Indian territory for over a week, but also had the support of freshly recruited local militants.Officials say that this was made clear by the perfectly fitting police uniforms worn by the terrorists. Also, the truck used by them and the reconnaissance mission carried out before the terror strike indicates that the three terrorists were not part of a fresh infiltration, according to a preliminary report by the Army.Intelligence sleuths are also probing if the weapons used by the terrorists were handed over to them by local aides. There has been a sharp increase in arms snatching during the local unrest in the Valley in the last four months following the killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8. According to estimates, over 100 weapons have been snatched during the recent turmoil.Three terrorists were gunned down after the day-long encounter on Tuesday, in which sixteen hostages—including 12 soldiers, two women and two children were safely rescued—but seven army personnel, including two majors, lost their lives.”It appears that the terrorists have spent considerable time in Indian territory and were provided logistics and help by locals,” said an Army official.”They seemed to be well-prepared and had an idea of their target,” he added.With intelligence reports constantly indicating an increase in local recruitment following the unrest in J&K, local assistance to Pakistani terrorists has alarmed security forces. Sources said there was prior intelligence about a week back that Pakistan-based terrorists would target military establishments, especially in Jammu.According to a recent review by the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the number of locals joining the outfits could go over 150 this year. “Last year, around 80 young men joined the terror ranks but we expect this to double by the end of the year,” said a top intelligence official.The three terrorists were carrying AK-47 rifles, four under barrel grenade launchers, Japanese-made Icom radio sets, 15-16 loaded magazines, and a huge cache of medicines with Pakistani markings.While the Army has gunned down over 140 terrorists this year, there has also been a sharp increase in casualties. There have been 67 Army casualties in J&K till date this year. Out of this, 24 Army men have died in the last two months after the Army launched surgical strikes destroying terror camps across the Line of Control. In 2015, there were just 33 army casualties in J&K.On September 18, Indian Army personnel were killed in Uri after which the surgical strikes were planned. Since then there has been frequent skirmishes in the border areas with heavy shelling and firing from both sides.Following a series of attacks on defence installations, the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, N N Vohra, on Wednesday, asked all security forces, commanders, and the government to enhance surveillance and immediately review security operations in all important installations.After being briefed about the attacks by Pakistani terrorists at Ramgarh and Nagrota on Tuesday, the Governor spoke with the Northern Army Commander Lt Gen D S Hooda, J&K DGP K Rajendra, GOC XVI Corps Lt Gen A K Sharma, GOC 26 Div Maj Gen S Sharma and IG BSF (Jammu Frontier) DK Upadhyaya.

Mehbooba Mufti meets PM, wants CBMs for Kashmir

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Facing five-month-old unrest in the valley, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday impressed upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reach out to the people there by initiating confidence-building measures (CBMs) as she met him in New Delhi.During the meeting in Parliament House complex, she briefed Modi on the latest situation in Kashmir Valley which has been witnessing trouble since July, sources said. Mehbooba, who is heading a PDP-BJP coalition government, underlined the need for reaching out to the people of the state and in this regard urged the Prime Minister to initiate state-specific CBMs, they said. The Prime Minister was supportive of her views, they added.Later speaking to reporters, the Chief Minister said the situation in Kashmir is improving. “I discussed (with PM) how we can apply balm to the wounds of the people of Kashmir and talked about keeping a peaceful environment in the valley,” she said.”The situation (in Kashmir) is improving gradually. I am happy that the students sat for the exams despite all this hardship. I congratulate the parents for this,” she added. She said people of the country should visit Kashmir and allow the people to Kashmir to welcome them and provide them their services. Kashmir has been witnessing unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.Though stone-pelting incidents and other such forms of violence have stopped, normal life continues to be disrupted in the valley because of the continuous shutdown sponsored by the separatists. The strike, which has been going on for last five months, has been further extended till December 1.To questions on demonetization, Mehbooba hailed the decision, saying it will benefit the country. “I congratulated the Prime Minister for the decision of demonetization. This is not an ordinary decision,” she said, adding “All those who have illegal money, fake currency have been hit by this move.”The Chief Minister said the people will face difficulties for some time. “Whenever there is any drastic decision, some kinds of inconvenience are caused for some time but I believe it will prove historic for the nation,” she added. Contending that demonetization move will lead to the improvement in development for the country, she said, “There was no development for the last 70 years. No proper infrastructure, hospital, roads, water etc. In the coming days the improvement of the country will be speedy because of Prime Minister’s decision.”

J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti meets PM Modi, seeks Confidence Building Measures

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here and pressed for initiation of confidence-building measures (CBMs) to reach out to the people of the state.During the meeting in Parliament House complex, she briefed the Prime Minister on the latest situation in Kashmir Valley which has been witnessing unrest since July, sources said.Mehbooba, who is heading a PDP-BJP coalition government, underlined the need for reaching out to the people of the state and in this regard pressed for initiation of state-specific CBMs, they said.The Prime Minister was supportive of her views, they added.Later speaking to reporters, the Chief Minister said the situation in Kashmir is improving.Kashmir has been witnessing unrest since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8. Separatists are continuing with their strike, which has been further extended till December 1.While replying to questions of reporters, Mehbooba said she supports demonetization decision as it will benefit the country.

Kashmir unrest: Shutdown resumes in Valley after two days of relaxation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After two days of relaxation by the Hurriyat Conference, the prolonged shutdown picked up where it left off in Kashmir Valley on Monday as schools, colleges and business establishments followed the protocol and streets resumed their deserted look. The police and CRPF have been deployed across all the district headquarters and in Srinagar city to foil the separatists protest call.The two-day respite from the shutdown by separatists came after private passenger vehicles plied on some routes in Srinagar after being severely hit by the four-month long strike. This was the first time that separatists announced full-day relaxation during the ongoing unrest which began after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani on July 8.The separatists had called on the people to use public transport to make up for the losses incurred during the last few months. “There will be full day relaxation on November 19 and 20. People are requested to exclusively use public transport on these days for the support of transport community,” said a statement.The Valley burst into life following the relaxation, as shops, commercial establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions opened in Srinagar and in other major towns and villages. Authorities had also removed deployments of security forces from all the areas of the Valley including in Srinagar’s downtown.The people in large numbers thronged the markets and there were traffic jams on all major city roads throughout the day.

Kashmir conflict: New sturdier fence might be the answer to mounting infiltration problems

A fence of ‘an absolutely new design’ is being built along the Line of Control (LoC) at the edge of the Kashmir Valley. Fifty kilometres of this new fence has been built this year. The Army is confident that it will be more effective than the fences that have been built since 2003-04 according to Lt Gen DS Hooda, the Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Command. It has been redesigned to withstand the pressures of weather as well as the wiles of infiltrators and other enemy tactics.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

So far, the fence has been a white elephant with barbs. One, it collapses under the weight of tons of snow every year. Two, it costs the earth to build, rebuild and maintain. Three, it doesn’t seem to have made very much difference to stemming infiltration. Since it came down every winter and was rebuilt every summer, the construction of the fence has been something of a continuing process — a very costly one. That should have been predictable when the idea was conceived. For most parts of the LoC get up to ten metres (30 feet) of snow every winter — more than enough to push those fences into the ground. Since they could only be rebuilt when the snow melted after April, reconstruction generally continued until September every year.

Multi-layered fence

The current fences consist of barbed wire strands and coils. The strands are strung along high iron girders. A few of those strands are electrified. The coils are lower but far more forbidding, since there are barbs all over their bunched strands. At most places along the LoC, the fence is actually a series of two or three fences, placed some distance apart. The calculation is that invaders who get past one fence might get caught or held up at the next one. Even the first fence is well within the Indian side of the LoC. Construction and repair right at the LoC would be fraught with danger, since Pakistani bunkers and machans could open fire at any point. Work on the new fence has gone well this year in both Baramulla and Kupwara districts, despite the army’s preoccupation with external and internal strife. The army brass are confident that the entire length of about 300 kilometres would be covered over the next two summers.

The new fence has stronger supports and includes cement grouting to help hold firm. The engineering challenge is huge, in light of heavy snowfall every winter. The sheer weight of the snow brings down the wire strands and girders. To be sure, even the old fences do look forbidding. But it has become obvious over the past couple of years that their effectiveness is limited. Large numbers of militants are reported to have crossed over during the past couple of years. The army estimates that a hundred militants got through during the first ten months of this year, three times more than the entire year 2015.

First real test

This is the first time the fences have faced a real test since they were built — from 2003-04. The mobilization of troops right along the international borders in Punjab and Rajasthan, by India and then by Pakistan too, throughout 2002 had forced Pakistan to severely curtail infiltration. The two armies had been in eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation following the attack on Parliament House in December 2001. After the armies were pulled back, Prime Minister AB Vajpayee reached out to make peace with Pakistan in April 2003. Pakistan responded at the end of that year and a potentially historic breakthrough was agreed at Saarc’s Islamabad summit in January 2004. As peace talks made tremendous headway over the next couple of years, the militancy which had begun in 1988 petered out around 2006. Already, fighting in those last years had been limited largely to those who had already been in the field by the end of the 1990s; not much infiltration was attempted after the end of 2001.

Ineffective, and too late

When there was massive infiltration, throughout the 1990s, there was no fence. Thousands of Kashmiris crossed both ways in peak months such as April 1990. The proportion of Pakistani and other foreign militants expanded from December 1992 on, until it was more or less a proxy war during the decade from 1996 to 2006, with Kashmiri militants playing largely supportive roles. The current militancy began around 2009, when police atrocities, administrative unresponsiveness, religious radicalization, and a well-orchestrated `narrative’ caused a few Kashmiri boys of the generation born during the earlier round of militancy to go underground.

These generally ‘snatched’ a weapon from a police or paramilitary soldier, but did not cross the LoC for training. For example, the internet-based star, Hizb-ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani, never apparently crossed the LoC. Nor did he or his young Kashmiri comrades do much as militants, compared with those who have infiltrated from Pakistan to join them. Even three years ago, the army brass and New Delhi’s high profile ‘strategic thinkers’ were oblivious to new infiltration. They insisted there was none. Meanwhile, the ineffective fence kept coming down annually, and getting rebuilt; large amounts were happily spent. Now that infiltration has become far too obvious to miss, let’s hope the new design is effective — and thus worth the huge cost and effort.

First Published On : Nov 20, 2016 17:12 IST

After four months of unrest, people in Kashmir resume normal life

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The city along with rest of Kashmir was buzzing with activity on Saturday with offices, shops and other business establishments opening in the Valley which saw return of normalcy after 133 days of shutdown as separatists suspended their stir for the weekend. The situation has been by and large peaceful over the last few weeks in the Valley, which had been hit by clashes between violent protesters and security forces following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8. The unrest had left 86 people dead and many others, including 5,000 security personnel, injured.Shops, offices, business establishments and fuel stations opened this morning for a full day for the first time since the unrest began. While some had started opening earlier defying the separatists, others did business few hours on some days of the week whenever relaxation in the strike was announced.There was massive traffic on the roads in Srinagar the summer capital- as public transport resumed fully and people came out to carry out their day to day activities. The authorities had increased the presence of traffic personnel on the roads to manage the traffic. Similar reports of people resuming their normal life were received from most of the other district headquarters of the Valley.With the start of Board exams for classes 10 and 12 this week, life in the Valley had been gradually returning to normalcy. The authorities last night restored mobile internet services on postpaid numbers due to improvement in situation. However, such facility on prepaid numbers continued to remain snapped and there is no word yet on their restoration.The separatists have been issuing weekly protest programmes. They had for the first time announced a two-day relaxation in the strike beginning today.

Internet on postpaid mobiles restored in Kashmir after 4 months

Fri, 18 Nov 2016-11:59pm , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Mobile Internet services on postpaid connections were restored tonight in Kashmir four months after these services were snapped due to the unrest in the Valley.Mobile Internet services, which were snapped on July 15, have been restored on postpaid connections, an official said here. The official said the decision to restore mobile Internet services was taken following considerable improvement in security situation in the Valley. Mobile Internet services were snapped following violent protests across Kashmir following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter on July 8.

Kashmir unrest: Train services partially resume in Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>After remaining suspended for over four months due to ongoing unrest in the Valley, the rail service connecting north and south parts of Kashmir resumed partially on Thursday, officials said. The full operations are expected to start within the next 10 days, they said.The rail service resumed from Budgam to Srinagar Railway stations after completion of necessary restoration work on damaged infrastructure and tracks, the officials said. They said the service was resumed along the 11.5 km axis after a trial run on Wednesday. “Two trains were scheduled to run on the route today, one in the morning and another in the evening,” they said, adding the passenger turnout was very low but is expected to pick up in the coming days.The Railway authorities are working on a plan to resume normal operations along the 120-km track between Banihal in south and Baramulla in north Kashmir within next 10 days, the officials said, adding restoration work on the damaged infrastructure and tracks are in full swing and expected to be completed shortly.
ALSO READ Kashmir unrest: Curfew lifted across the valleyNorthern railways suspended the service as a precautionary measure on July 9 following widespread protests over the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir a day earlier. The unrest has left 86 persons dead and thousands others injured.The railways suffered heavy losses due to the damages and disruption in its services. “The signal boxes, junction boxes, wiring and other infrastructure have been badly damaged during the unrest,” the officials said.

Srinagar MP Tariq Hameed Karra’s resignation accepted by LS Speaker

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan has accepted the resignation of Srinagar MP Tariq Hameed Karra, who put in his papers protesting against the “failure” of Parliament to make “any tangible moves” to end violence in Kashmir.Mahajan announced in the House on Thursday that she has accepted the resignation of Karra with effect from October 17.Karra, a founder member of PDP had sent his resignation letter to Speaker on September 23. He had also quit from his party.In the wake of unrest in the Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani, 61-year-old Karra had announced his resignation on September 16, blaming the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the turmoil, saying “the seeds of deceit, disillusionment and disenchantment were sown in the minds and hearts of people the day the PDP tied an alliance with the BJP …it was an unnatural alliance.”Karra had said he was forced to take the extreme step to register his “strong protest” against the “unabated killings, grievous injuries and repression and suppression let loose” on the people of Kashmir and the “failure of Parliament”, Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government “to find a way out of this painful situation”.A one time close confidant of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, Karra, who had defeated National Conference President Farooq Abdullah in 2014 Lok Sabha polls by a margin of 40,000 votes, had also accused the PDP of “working on the RSS-agenda”.

Would have been better if Burhan Wani wasn’t killed: Vice Chancellor Jammu University

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Vice Chancellor Jammu University Prof R D Sharma has courted controversy by saying it would have been “better” if Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani was kept in jail instead of being killed.”If we would have kept him (Burhan) in jail for entire life, it would have better than killing him. I feel so.Killing a militant is ok and those who have done deaths and destruction should be killed. The problem in Kashmir is that people are still with militancy…We need to understand this,” Sharma told media at a function yesterday. He said an “issued was created” by killing the militant.”What a big issue was created by killing a militant. I don’t know whether I am saying right or wrong? If we would have arrested him, the career of school children would not have been spoiled. I am saying this not as politician but as an educationist,” he said.Sharma said students in Kashmir are “dedicated, well organised and career conscious but would fight if they feel they are being harassed”. “They (Kashmiri students) are very enlightened. It was a surprise and shock for me as to why they don’t go to schools and colleges. It is sensitive issue. I am not a politician, I am a educationist,” he added. His statement today sparked protests by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha following which he issued a statement saying his views be interpreted in the light of academic pursuits only.”It is clarified and impressed upon that the statement given by the vice chancellor, which is already available on the social media as well, be interpreted in the light of academic pursuits only, as it in no way was aimed to promote or protect the interests or hurt the sentiments of any individual. Communication gap caused, if any, is regretted,” a statement quoted Sharma as saying.He said, “It is unfortunate that some vested interests have started twisting the statement to satiate their own objectives”.”We should take lessons from it. If one militant’s killing can create this situation for four-long months, where families, parents and children become adamant and want Kashmir issue to be resolved…This is an eye opener for all of us. We need to change our strategy,” he said.BJYM today held protests over Sharma’s remarks, saying as an academician he should stick to his work only. State General Secretary, BJYM, Vikas Choudhary said he (Sharma) has given his statement at a time when there was unrest in the state and “our jawans were giving sacrifices for the nation”. President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry Jammu, Rakesh Gupta said the chamber was concerned about the statement by the vice chancellor.

Signs of normalcy return to Kashmir Valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Increased movement of people and traffic in Srinagar and other main towns of Kashmir hinted at return of normalcy in the Valley where separatists have called for a meeting of all stakeholders today to chalk out the future course of action with regard to the current unrest. Srinagar, the summer capital of the state, and some other main towns of the Valley witnessed increased movement of people and public transport, except buses, as more people defied the separatist diktats by coming out to carry out their day-to-day activities, officials said. They said a large number of taxis, auto-rickshaws and private cars were seen plying in the city especially in the areas in civil lines and the outskirts, including in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk here.Inter-district cabs also plied on the routes connecting many district headquarters with the city, the officials said, adding reports of increased movement of traffic were received from other main towns of the Valley as well. Some shops were also open in these areas, while there was huge rush of customers at banks, the officials said.They said there were no curbs on the movement of people anywhere in Kashmir, but adequate deployment of security forces has been made on some vulnerable points to maintain law and order as well as to instill a sense of security among the people to carry out their day-to-day activities. However, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut elsewhere in the Valley due to the separatist-sponsored strike. They are expected to open in the evening as the separatists have announced a 15-hour relaxation in the strike from 4.00 pm onwards.The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, triggered by killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, has completed four months.The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in the Valley, have called for a meeting of all stakeholders at hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s residence today to chalk out the future course of action. There is an urge to take all the stakeholders into confidence for taking the ongoing movement forward.All the forums among whom traders, educationists, transporters, civil society members, religious, social and political organizations, bar association and people from other walks of life have been called at Hyderpora to jointly deliberate and discuss future course of action, the separatists said in a joint statement on Sunday. The decision to invite the stakeholders came after a meeting of chairmen of both Hurriyat factions Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik at Geelani’s residence earlier on the same day.As many as 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley.

Kashmir encounter: One militant killed, two policemen injured in Shopian district

Kashmir encounter: One militant killed, two policemen injured in Shopian district

Updated: Nov 7, 2016 09:56 IST

#Army #Hizbul Mujahideen #Kashmir #NewsTracker #Shopian

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Srinagar: A Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was killed and two army personnel were injured in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Shopian district, police said on Monday.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“An encounter broke out between security forces and militants at Wangam in Shopian after the security forces launched a search operation following specific intelligence inputs,” a police official said.

In the gun battle, one militant identified as Sadam Hussain Mir, a resident of Chatripora Shopian, belonging to Hizbul Mujahideen, was killed, the official said.

Two army personnel were injured in the encounter, he said.

Security forces have recovered one assault rifle, five AK 47 magazines, 119 AK 47 rounds and one hand grenade, the official said.

Srinagar: Security forces intensify vigil after fresh violence

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces were deployed in strength in parts of Srinagar on Sunday in the wake of fresh violence following death of a teenager, even as normal life remained affected elsewhere in the Valley for the 121st consecutive day due to separatist sponsored strike. “Adequate deployment of security forces has been made in parts of Srinagar, but there is no curfew in the city (here) or anywhere in Kashmir,” a police official said.He said security forces have been deployed in strength in some areas of the city to maintain law and order in the wake of yesterday’s violence following death of a 16-year-old boy Qaiser Sofi due to alleged poisoning. Sofi was reported missing on October 25 and found in an unconscious state in Shalimar area of the city six days later and hospitalised.However, local residents of the area alleged that the teen was force-fed some poisonous substance. Police have said an investigation is underway into the case registered under section 309 Ranbir Penal Code (attempt to suicide) at Nishat Police Station. Although there was very less movement of people and vehicular traffic in the areas in the old city, the civil lines areas of the summer capital, including the areas around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk, witnessed a fair amount of traffic as private cars and auto-rickshaws were seen plying, the official said.He said some shops were open in these areas along with the areas in the outskirts of the city, while many vendors set-up their stalls in the weekly flea market in the TRC Chowk-Batamaloo axis passing through Lal Chowk.However, most of the shops, fuel stations and other business establishments were shut elsewhere in the Valley but are expected to open in the evening as the separatists have announced a 15-hour relaxation in the strike from 4 PM onwards. The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, triggered by killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on July 8, has completed four months.The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in the Valley, have been issuing weekly protest programmes. As many as 85 people, including two cops, have been killed and several thousand others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.

Kerala: Father, priest arrested for denying breast milk to newborn for 24 hours

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Kerala Police has arrested the father of a newborn for refusing to breastfeed the child for more than a day after birth. The priest who advised the parents to do this has also been reported ANI.A case was registered against parents of the newborn, who was born in EMS hospital in Mukkom in Kerala, The Times of India reported. The police had filed a case against the mother, Afsath and the father, Aboobacker for not providing the child’s basic rights. Aboobacker had stopped his wife from breastfeeding his child saying that a preacher had told him not to feed the baby until the fifth Azan call after the child’s birth. The hospital then made a police complaint. The police has filed a complaint against the parents under sections 75 (whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a child, assaults, abandons, abuses, exposes or wilfully neglects the child or causes mental or physical suffering) and section 87 (abetting any offence) of the Juvenile Justice Act. The Ithihadu Subbanil Mujahideen (ISM), youth wing of the Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen (Makazu Dawa), will protest against the spiritual leader who doled out the advice to deny breast milk to the baby. ISM’s state president Jabir Amani said,”We have planned a meeting as mark of protest against all superstitions.”

Separatist strike: Life in Kashmir Valley still affected; shops, schools remain shut

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Normal life remained affected in Kashmir Valley on Thursday due to the separatist-sponsored strike.While most of the shops, business establishments and fuel stations across Kashmir were shut, some were open at a few areas in Civil Lines and outskirts of Srinagar, officials said.Most of the public transport continued to remain off the roads but auto-rickshaws and cabs were seen plying at some places in the Valley, including at a few areas of the city here, they said.However, the movement of transport, including private cars, was comparatively less today, apparently because there was no relaxation in the strike.The separatists, who are spearheading the ongoing agitation in Kashmir, have been issuing weekly protest calendars since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.They announce periodic relaxation in the strike on some days of the week for people to buy essentials items. However, there is no relaxation this evening.The separatists have extended the strike till November 10.Schools, colleges and other educational institutions continue to remain shut, but the government has notified holding of board examinations as per schedule.Officials said there are no curbs on the movement of people anywhere in Kashmir, but restrictions on assembly of people under Section 144 CrPC were in place throughout the Valley.They said security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable spots and along the main roads as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order as well as to instill a sense of security among the people to carry out their day to day activities without fear.As many as 85 people, including two security personnel, have been killed, while several thousand have been injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes.Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

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

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

Post Bhopal jailbreak, searches at Sabarmati jail where 75 SIMI activists are lodged

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In the wake of the jail break by eight SIMI activists in Bhopal, Gujarat Police has conducted a major search operation at Sabarmati Central jail in Ahmedabad to review its security measures which houses over 75 prisoners alleged to be SIMI and Indian Mujahideen activists.Various teams of Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) along with city crime branch and Special Operations Group (SOG), led by ATS Superintendent Himanshu Shukla, visited the Central prison late on Monday night to acquire first hand information of the overall security arrangements. As many as 78 prisoners, accused in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blast case and alleged to be associated with SIMI or Indian Mujahideen, are currently lodged in a special high security area of the jail.”Following the incident of jail break by SIMI activists in Bhopal, officials of ATS, crime branch and SOG have visited Sabarmati jail to supervise the overall security arrangements,” Assistant Commissioner of Police, city SOG, B C Solanki said.”We have made separate teams led by 18 police inspectors to search each and every barrack of the jail. We have also checked if various security systems, such as alarms and CCTV cameras are functional. Nothing suspicious has been found from any prisoner during the search,” he added.Sharing details of the enhanced security set up at the jail, senior jailor H M Shah told reporters that around 100 armed personnel from State Reserve Police (SRP) are doing round the clock patrolling in the jail.”Apart from our staff, around 100 SRP jawans were deployed here some time back to keep a close watch on each and every movement,” Shah said.In the 2008 terror attack, 21 serial blasts had rocked Ahmedabad on July 26 and claimed 56 lives while hundreds were severely injured. Gujarat police has so far charge-sheeted 100 people in the case, of which, 78 are behind bars in Sabarmati jail, while remaining are still absconding.Notably, security at Sabarmati jail has been a cause of concern for authorities after some of the accused attempted to escape from jail in February 2012 by digging a 218-feet long tunnel inside barrack no. 4. Following the jail-escape bid, all the blast accused were shifted to high-security barracks.

Situation in Kashmir wasn’t surprising: Mohammad Yasin Malik

Mon, 31 Oct 2016-12:03am , Srinagar , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, who was released after four-months of detention on Saturday, claimed on Sunday the ongoing agitation in Kashmir was “indigenous” and “spontaneous” and would continue till people support it. “The situation in Kashmir after the killing of (Hizbul Mujahideen commander) Burhan Wani was a spontaneous reaction. It surprised India and the world but there was nothing surprising in it,” he told reporters here.”People of Kashmir had opted for peaceful means for resolution of the Kashmir issue during similar agitation in 2008, 2009 and 2010. But the military response of the government forced the likes of Burhan Wani to take up arms,” he said. “Burhan Wani and his associates never went to Pakistan but still joined militancy after they realised that the peaceful means for resolution of the Kashmir issue was being crushed by the government,” Malik said.He claimed the burning of schools in Kashmir was a conspiracy to defame separatist leaders.

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.

Curfew imposed in parts of Srinagar ahead of Friday prayers

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities imposed curfew in parts of Srinagar in view of the separatists’ call for a march to the historic Jamia Masjid here ahead of Friday prayers. Curfew has been imposed in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Safakadal, Rainawari and Maharaj Gunj in the old city and Batamaloo in uptown, a police official said.The curbs were imposed in the wake of the separatists’ call for a march to Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city, he said. There were no restrictions on movement of people elsewhere in Kashmir, the official said. However, curbs on assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc were in place in the Valley.The separatists have been agitating since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8.The restrictions in parts of the city considerably brought down the movement of people and vehicles today as much less traffic was seen on the roads in the civil lines and the outskirts of the city. Meanwhile, normal life continued to remain affected in the rest of the Valley for the 112th day due to the separatist-sponsored strike. Shops, petrol pumps and business establishments were shut while educational institutions continued to remain closed. Security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable spots and along the main roads as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order.As many as 85 people, including two policemen, have been killed and thousands of others injured in the ongoing unrest in the Valley. Around 5,000 security forces personnel have also been injured in the clashes. Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA).

Kashmir: Three schools set on fire, police suspect handiwork of miscreants

Srinagar: Three school buildings were set ablaze by unknown persons in Kashmir over the past 24 hours, setting alarm bells ringing among authorities who have decided to step up security around educational institutions.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

A Government school was set ablaze by unknown persons in the wee hours of Tuesday in Noorbagh area of the city but the blaze was put out by fire tenders, a police official said.

He said the school building suffered damage in the fire and the firefighting operation.

In another incident, miscreants tried to burn down Government Higher Secondary School at Aishmuqam in Anantnag district, the official said.

The school building was saved by the timely intervention of fire brigade personnel, he said adding one window panel was damaged due to the fire.

Last night, fire broke out in a building of Government Middle School in Sadrukote Bala of Bandipora district.

Fire tenders were rushed in and the blaze was put out, the official said, adding the incident is suspected to be handiwork of miscreants.

The official said in view of these incidents, the security patrol around school buildings have been increased to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.

State government has announced that annual board examinations will be held next month even though the schools have remained closed since July following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces.

Protests have been held against the government decision to hold examinations.

Three potential gun-snatchers arrested in Kashmir

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

Instead of killing youth who have joined militancy, bring them back: Mehbooba Mufti

Srinagar: Try to bring back to their homes the “local boys” who have joined militancy instead of killing them in encounters, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti urged police on Friday amid unrest triggered by the death of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in a gun-battle with forces in July.

File image of Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. PTI

File image of Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. PTI

She also appealed to the police and security forces to refrain from using weapons like pellet guns while dealing with protests and instead “tolerate” stone-pelting as a “sacrifice”.

The Chief Minister said while the police had exhibited patience during the last three months of unrest in the Valley, there were some mistakes which warrant action. She also underlined that “black laws” like Afspa would be repealed from the state only when the situation improves. “We all have to work together, heal the wounds of the people here. The children here are the responsibility of God first, then our police because it is they who see them every day, everywhere,” she said.

“Those who have taken up arms or those who have not but are missing from their homes and want to join militancy, they are local boys. I request the police to try to bring them back to their homes. Instead of their being killed in encounters,” she added.

Mehbooba, who has dealt with the unrest triggered by Wani’s killing on 8 July in a tough manner, told the police, “such youth (who have taken to the gun) need hand-holding…If it is possible to bring them back, make them a part of the mainstream. Give them bats, balls and good education, instead of guns.”

Her remarks at the Police Commemoration Day function at Armed Police Complex in Zewan on the outskirts of Srinagar came close on the heels of a fresh video surfacing which shows a group of local militants of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit is playing weapons. Earlier, similar videos of Wani and his associates used to surface in the Valley, before he was killed in an encounter.

Urging local youth to shun violence, Mehbooba said, “When the situation improves here, we will end the black laws. For that we have to create an atmosphere first. I know that today the situation is not such, but tomorrow, a year after… we have to repeal Afspa as we cannot keep it in force forever.”

While stressing that ending militancy and restoring peace were a pre-requisite for repealing AFSPA and for seeking start of dialogue process in the state, she said, “We cannot force anyone to have dialogue on gun-point, stones or by lathis.”

She said only when there is a “conducive” atmosphere, she can go to Delhi with her “head held high”. “How can I do it today? There is infiltration, there are encounters. We have to end militancy and create peace in Jammu and Kashmir so that we can repeal Afspa from some areas here,” she said. She said the police should deal with militants but civilians should not be troubled.

Dhaka cafe attack mastermind dead, says Bangaldesh police

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The chief of a radical Islamist group accused of carrying out Bangladesh’s deadliest terror attack on a popular cafe in Dhaka in July died during a police raid, the country’s elite security force announced on Friday, in a major blow to the ISIS-linked outfit.Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) confirmed the identity of dead militant Abdur Rahman as the chief of Neo-JMB, a new faction of banned militant outfit Jama atul Mujahideen Bangladesh. “Our investigations confirmed that (slain) is the chief of Neo-JMB,” RAB’s director general Benazir Ahmed told a media briefing.Rahman died on October 8 after falling from a five storey building in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital while attempting to evade arrest during a police raid, BD News reported. Rahman’s identity was confirmed by his family who were shown pictures of his body, the statement added. Rahman had used the alias Shaykh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif while forming Neo-JMB.RAB officials said Rahman took over as the Neo-JMB s ‘ameer’ in July last year. They said the Neo-JMB has been reduced to just 21 operatives after security forces launched a massive crackdown against the group after the July attack.New JMB is said to be ideologically linked to the ISIS which had claimed responsibility of the attack on Dhaka’s Holey Artisan restaurant on July 1 in which nine Italians, seven Japanese, an American, an Indian and five Bangladeshis, including two police officers, were killed.

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

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

Curfew, restrictions in Kashmir ahead of prayers on Friday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Curfew was clamped in six police station areas of the city and restrictions imposed in rest of Kashmir as a precautionary measure ahead of Friday prayers, affecting life in the Valley which showed a semblance of normalcy this week after over 100 days of unrest. The curbs have been imposed in view of violent protests that have taken place after Friday prayers at these places in the past. “Curfew has been imposed in Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Batamaloo, Safakadal and Maharajgunj police station areas of the city as a precautionary measure,” a police official said. The official said restrictions on assembly of four or more people were imposed in rest of the Valley for maintaining law and order. Normal life came to a standstill due to restrictions imposed by authorities with roads and streets across the Valley wearing a deserted look. There had been increased movement of traffic on main roads of Kashmir and the city’s civil lines this week with people defying the separatists’ call for shutdown. Security forces have been deployed in strength at vulnerable spots and along the main roads to ensure that the day passes off peacefully, the official said. Shops and business establishments remained shut in the Valley.The ongoing unrest in Kashmir has affected the education as schools, colleges and other educational institutions continue to remain shut in the Valley. As many as 84 people have been killed and several thousand others injured in violent clashes following the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter in July this year. Over 300 persons have been booked under Public Safety Act (PSA) so far.

Kashmir dispute: Sayeed Salahudeen urges Pak for ‘military support’

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> United Jihad Council (UJC) chairman Sayeed Salahudeen has said that talks will not provide solution to the Kashmir dispute and urged the Pakistani military to support the Mujahideen in its cause.”The festering (Kashmir) issue is not going to resolve through talks or resolutions’ Pakistan should militarily support Kashmiris by providing resources to the Mujahideen”, the Dawn quoted Salahudeen as saying at a press conference.”If the Mujahideen get military support, not only Kashmir will clinch freedom but the map of the subcontinent will also undergo a change,” he said. He, however, declined to elaborate the kind of military support required by the cadres. “India invaded and occupied Kashmir at the strength of its military might and military occupation can hardly be brought to end through politics or diplomacy,” he said. “When the world is paying no heed to us, the only option left with us is the armed struggle,” Salahudeen said alleging that the Indian Government had also resorted to economic terrorism in Kashmir in a bid to pressure Kashmiris into surrendering their legitimate struggle. He also alleged that the Indian intelligence agencies and their ‘touts’ were trying to create disunity among the Hurriyat leadership as well as the Kashmiri public. He was of the view that the base camp of the freedom movement – a reference to Pakistani side of Kashmir – should not only send a strong message of solidarity across the divide but also adopt a forceful, rather aggressive, role in this regard. Salahudeen asked the police on the Indian side of Kashmir to stand by the unarmed public instead of being in the vanguard of the Indian Army or face the wrath of Kashmiri people. “The governments in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad should also raise the problems of Jammu-based Muslims at national and international forums,” he said. In India, Hizb-ul-Mujahideen is a designated terrorist outfit and Salahudeen is National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) most wanted terrorist.

Jammu and Kashmir: Army, police launch major search operation in Baramulla

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A major search operation has been launched by the security forces and police in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir at suspected hideouts of militants.This is the second such search operation in less than a week.Security forces on Wednesday recovered Chinese flags along with incriminating material during raids at suspected hideouts of militants in Baramulla and arrested 44 people for their alleged involvement in “terror-related activities”.”Over 700 houses were searched in a span of 12 hours on October 17 in an extensive search operation in old town in Baramulla, during which 44 persons involved with terror related activities have been apprehended,” an army spokesman said.Over a dozen of employees have also been dismissed by the Jammu and Kashmir government for alleged anti-national activities.With over 90 people killed so far in the clashes, the death toll continues to mounts and the number of injured also continuing to soar. As per reports, over 7,000 people have been detained along with the arrest of a human rights activist Khurram Parvez.The unrest began soon after the killing of poster boy Burhan Wani, a commander of militant organisation Hizbul Mujahideen along with two other militants in an encounter in Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir on July 8.

Apples cheaper for city, sour for Kashmir growers

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

New Hizbul commander asks Kashmiri Pandits to return to Valley

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

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

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

Security challenge in Kashmir. ReutersSecurity challenge in Kashmir. Reuters

Security challenge in Kashmir. Reuters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jammu & Kashmir: Eight-fold surge in terror infiltrations across LoC

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>It’s been a tough year for Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, as they have been battling an eight-time jump in terrorist infiltrations. Apart from this shocking statistic, officials say that the rising number of cases of arson by raging mobs suggests a rise in local recruitment this year.According to officials, the good news is that ‘surgical strikes’ have brought cheer at a time when infiltration is at an all-time high with 87 cases reported this year, while the tally last year was 10.“Ceasefire violations have taken place in hundreds for the last five-six years… The only difference is that if they do it now, we give a befitting reply,” said Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar at an event in Ahmedabad on Monday. However, officials warn that the situation is only going to get worse from here with Pakistan-based terrorists planning retaliation. According to ground intelligence and intercepts, more men have been pumped in by terror groups to strike at Indian forces. This has kept the forces on its toes with the terrorists kills also doubling. Sources said with more infiltration, even the numbers of kills have increased. Last year, in the corresponding period, around 70 terrorists were gunned down, while the tally this year has reached 128. While the Army has killed 120 terrorists, the other operations were carried out by local police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).Clearly, the surgical strikes destroying terror launchpads have not deterred Pakistani-based terrorists from planning more strikes. “The infiltration attempts are still continuing,” said a government official.Sources said a number of infiltrations have occurred along the LoC and it seems the terrorists are going back to the old routes used for penetrating into Indian territory. In 2013 and 2014, there had been increased infiltration from new routes along the International Border (IB).The assessment of infiltrations increasing is based on ground intelligence from civilians, intercepts and evidence of fence-cutting in some areas.The recent trend of the increasing cases of arson has been a cause of worry for the forces. Around 100 arms were looted by raging mobs protesting against the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen local commander Burhan Wani.Sources said this is also an indication that local terrorist recruitment is happening as arms are needed for them.Since Wani’s killing in July, mass protests triggered turmoil in the state with over 80 deaths and thousands wounded over the last three months. Army sources said that since then operations in South Kashmir have taken a hit.Intelligence inputs also indicate that after India’s surgical strikes, the Pakistani Army has carried out “precautionary deployment” all along the LoC, as they fear another round of strikes from Indian forces.“Soon after our raids, they have increased deployment in areas they consider vulnerable. Precautionary deployment is roughly 25 percent of a full mobilisation aimed to plug the gaps,” said an intelligence officer.Fears of local recruitment by Pakistan-based terror groups, has also alarmed security forces. It is estimated that around 100 youths have gone missing in the last three months.

Unrest in Kashmir Valley completes 100 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The ongoing unrest in Kashmir, triggered by the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces, on Sunday completed 100 days even as the Valley remained curfew-free in view of the improvement in the situation. The unrest, which began a day after Wani was killed in an encounter in south Kashmir on July 8, has left 84 people, including two cops, dead and several thousand injured. The Valley has witnessed continuous shutdown for the past 100 days with periodic relaxation as announced by the separatists who are spearheading the current agitation. The strike has crippled normal life in the Valley as shops, business establishments and petrol pumps have remained closed except for the relaxation period. The shutdown has affected the education of the children as schools, colleges and other educational institutions have been shut in the Valley. Authorities also imposed curfew and restrictions on most of these 100 days, throwing normal life out of gear in the Valley. However, there was no curfew anywhere in Kashmir today, a police official said, adding restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc were in force throughout the Valley as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order. He said there was improvement in the situation with each passing day as more people were defying the Hurriyat-sponsored strike and coming out to carry their day-to-day activities. There is increased movement of public transport, except buses, on the days when there are no restrictions. Some shops also opened in some areas in the civil lines and outskirts of the city, the official said. He said security forces have been deployed in sensitive areas to maintain law and order as also to instill a sense of security among the people so that they can carry out their day to day activities without fear. The authorities had on Friday night restored outgoing call facility on prepaid mobile phone connections after three months in view of the improving situation. However, mobile Internet services continued to remain suspended across Kashmir.

Kashmir unrest: Curfew lifted across the valley

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities on Saturday lifted curfew across Kashmir following improvement in the situation, but normal life remained affected due to the unrest which erupted after killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani in July.A police official said there is no curfew anywhere in Kashmir and the curbs on the movement of people have been lifted across the Valley, including from the summer capital here, following improvement in the situation. However, restrictions on the assembly of people under Section 144 CrPc were in force throughout the Valley.He said security forces have been deployed in sensitive areas to maintain law and order as also to instill a sense of security among the people so that they can carry out their day-to-day activities without fear.The authorities on Friday night restored outgoing call facility on prepaid mobile phone connections after three months in view of the improving situation. However, mobile Onternet services continued to remain suspended across Kashmir. Meanwhile, normal life remained affected in the Valley for the 99th day due to the ongoing unrest.The unrest, which has claimed 84 lives, including that of two cops, and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces, would complete 100 days tomorrow as shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed, while public transport continued to be off the roads.However, there was increased movement of private transport and auto-rickshaws in the civil lines areas of the city including around the commercial hub of Lal Chowk. Many vendors set up their stalls in the areas around the city centre while some shops were also open partially, the official said.

Srinagar: One SSB jawan killed, 8 injured in militant attack at Zakura

Srinagar: Militants attacked a paramilitary force convoy on the outskirts of the city this evening, killing a jawan and injuring eight others.

The incident took place at Zakura when militants fired at the vehicles of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) carrying its personnel to their camp after performing law and order duties in the city, officials said here.

Representational Image. ReutersRepresentational Image. Reuters

Representational Image. Reuters

Banned Al-Umar Mujahideen terrorist organisation claimed the responsibility for carrying out the attack and also warned of similar actions in near future.

This outfit had become dormant in the early part of 1990s and ceased to exist after its chief, Mushtaq Ahmed Zargar alias ‘Mushtaq Latram’, was arrested in 1992.

Zargar was one of the three prisoners exchanged for passengers of IC-814 plane that was hijacked by Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group in 1999.

Besides Zargar, the other two released were Jaish chief Maulana Masood Azhar and Sheikh Omar.

The claim by the outfit signalled revival of the militant group in Kashmir after more than two decades.

In Saturday’s attack, one jawan of the SSB was killed and eight others were injured, the official said.

The injured, who included a policeman, have been admitted to a hospital for treatment.

Security forces immediately cordoned off the area and launched search operations to track down the militants.

This is the first militant attack in the city since the encounter at Nowhatta on 15 August in which a CRPF commandant was killed and nine other personnel were injured.

Burdwan blast: NIA gets police remand of six accused till Oct 27

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday got police remand of the six Burdwan Blast case accused till October 27 for further interrogation. The Kolkata Police Special Task Force had earlier arrested the six wanted militants of the banned Islamic outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Assam and different parts of West Bengal.Among the six arrested, two chargesheeted accused are Moulana Yusuf and Abul Kalam, and the other three who are yet to be chargesheeted are Rafique, Jahidul Islam and Sahidul Islam. Moulana Yusuf is the second-in-command and main accused in the 2014 Burdwan Blast, according to sources.At least five of the six arrested accused were listed as wanted militants by the NIA for their alleged role in the blast at Khagragarh in Burdwan on October 2, 2014. The blast is suspected to have taken place while bombs were being assembled inside a building.Police identified the others arrested as Jahidul Sheikh alias Zaffar alias Jabirul; Mohammad Rafique alias Mohammed Rubel alias Pichchi; Shahidul alias Surya alias Shamim; and, Abdul Kalam alias Kalim. They were remanded in police custody until October 6.

Are missing Kashmiri youths becoming jihadis?

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>An estimated 100 young men have gone missing from their homes in various parts of the Kashmir Valley over the last three months. According to a secret internal report by security agencies, following the unrest in Jammu and Kashmir after the death of Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) commander Burhan Wani in July this year, 80-100 youth are reportedly untraceable.Security agencies believe that these men may have been part of a mass recruitment drive by terrorist outfits. A review done by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) also indicated that the recruitment of local youth was likely to increase in the coming months.”We expect a big surge in local recruitment in the next few days. It’s difficult to give an accurate number as of now, but in the last three months, the numbers have gone up considerably,” a top security official told DNA.
ALSO READ Kashmir tense as Hizbul Mujahideen poster boy Burhan Wani killedSources in the security establishment said with the local armed movement gathering momentum, security forces and particularly the Army have been asked to carry out area domination exercises in parts of the state considered especially prone to terrorist activity. Areas and neighbourhoods in south Kashmir have been identified as potential recruitment hubs which are now under watch.AT A GLANCEClashes between raging stone pelting protestors and security forces have killed more than 80 people and left thousands wounded in the Valley.Figures show just how alarming the situation in the Valley has become. Last year, security agencies estimated that 80 Kashmiri youth had joined the terror ranks.This year, till July, before Wani’s death, only 35 Kashmiri youth had been recruited.Post Wani’s death, agencies say the number of radicalised Kashmiri youth has risen to 90, out of the total number of 145 militants in the Valley.”Before Wani’s killing around 35 locals had taken up arms this year. We had expected the numbers to be low. But now everything has changed in the last three months and the number of militants are likely to go well over 100 this year,” said an official.
ALSO READ Latest video of new Hizbul Mujahideen commander emerges in KashmirOfficials privy to the situation say that it is no surprise then that Pakistan-based terror outfits are taking advantage of the situation and luring local men. Just like Wani who soon became the posterboy of indigenous militancy in the conflict hit state, another rung of young men are now being prepared to be showcased as local militants.The rise in local militants is alarming as it can help Pakistani-based terrorists to carry out attack on security forces with greater ease. “Not only do the local recruits gather support for an armed insurgency but also play a crucial role in assisting fidayeens who infiltrate from Pakistan to carry out terror strikes,” says a security official.
ALSO READ Who is Burhan Wani? All you need to know about the Hizbul Mujahideen poster boyIt’s not the first time that recent events have caused Kashmiri youth to pick up the gun. In 2013, the hanging of Afzal Guru, convicted for the Parliament attack of 2001, became a catalyst for local youth in the state to join terror groups.The Burhan Wani killing could well just be another catalyst for an even bigger indigenous militant movement against Indian security forces.

Shopian attack Live: Grenade hurled at CRPF convoy, eight people injured

Three Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers and five civilians were injured on Tuesday after unidentified persons hurled a grenade at a CRPF convoy in the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir, reports Times Now.

On Monday, a soldier was injured in the exchange of fire between security forces and militants holed up inside a government building in Pampore which had witnessed a suicide attack in February this year.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

The operation to flush out militants holed up inside the government building entered its second day on Tuesday, even as security forces launched a fresh offensive against the militants.

An army official said the area around the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) premises has been cordoned off and exchange of fire was going on.

“Security forces have launched a fresh offensive this morning to flush-out the militants,” the official said.

On Tuesday, curfew remained in force in the interior areas of Srinagar as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of the fourth day of mourning a young boy, who was hit by pellets during a protest.

Curfew continues in five police station areas of downtown (interior areas) city as a precautionary measure, a police official told PTI.

He said the curbs on the movement of people in the police station areas of Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal and Maharaj Gunj have been imposed in view of the fourth day mourning of 12-year-old Junaid Akhoon, who was hit by pellets at Saidapora and later succumbed to injuries at SKIMS Hospital at Soura. He was buried on Saturday.

Normal life remained affected for the 95th consecutive day in the rest of the Valley following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on 8 July.

With inputs from PTI

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.

Curfew enforced in some parts of Srinagar

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Authorities clamped curfew on Monday in 11 police station areas of Srinagar as a precautionary measure in view of the eighth day of Muhurram. A police official said the police station areas in which the curbs on the movement of people have been imposed are Nowhatta, Khanyar, Rainawari, Safakadal, Maharaj Gunj, Maisuma, Ram Munshi Bagh, Kralkhud, Shaheed Gunj, Karan Nagar and Batamaloo. The official said the curbs were imposed as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order. The traditional Muharram procession used to pass through these areas, but have been banned since eruption of militancy in 1990 as authorities maintain that the religious gathering has been used for propagating separatist politics. Meanwhile, normal life remained affected for the 94th consecutive day in the rest of the Valley following killing of Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. The unrest, which has claimed 84 lives including that of two cops and left thousands of others injured in clashes between protestors and security forces, is in its fourth month as shops, business establishments, petrol pumps and educational institutions remained closed, while public transport continued to be off the roads.

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