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Srinagar: 3 injured as stone-pelting protesters clash with security

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Three persons were injured on Friday in security forces’ action against a group of stone-pelting protesters in Pampore area of south Kashmir Pulwama district.Security forces conducted search operations in Naristan and Samboora areas of the district in the morning following information about movement of suspicious persons there, a police official said.As the security forces were withdrawing after concluding the operations, some youth started pelting stones at them, he said.Three persons were injured as security personnel fired a few rounds to disperse the mob, the official said adding the injured have been admitted to a hospital here for treatment.

DNA Morning Must Reads: Pampore attack despite intelligence warning; India lifts Junior Hockey World Cup trophy; and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1. J&K: Pampore attack despite strong intelligence warningAccording to some senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir police, all precautions were being taken but the race against time was lost when around 2 pm, three motorcycle-borne gunmen ambushed the convoy. Read more.2. Junior Hockey World Cup: India colts on cusp of new era, beat Belgium to lift trophy after 15 yearsWith junior hockey team manager Oltmans promising perfect hockey, hosts will hope to recreate history as they face Belgium in final today. Read more.3. Wary of increasing Chinese activity in neighbourhood, India to revive Special Service BureauThe move to revive the Bureau, in addition to a dedicated Mountain Corps and deployment of the Brahmos missiles along the Indo-China border. Read more.4. Writer from Kerala charged with sedition for allegedly insulting national anthemKamal C Chavara, alias Kamalsy Prana, was taken into custody on charges of insulting the national anthem in a Facebook post. Read more.5. Army chief appointment: Govt cites Rawat’s track record to blunt opposition’s attackOpposition has attacked the govt and asked for compelling reason behind not adhering to long established norms of seniority in Army Chief appointment. Read more.

Pampore attack: Army salutes heroes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eyes went moist and patriotism filled the hearts when the last post was sounded to pay homage to the three fallen heroes of Pampore. Three soldiers were killed when militants ambushed an Army convoy on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu national highway at Kadlabal area of Pampore in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday. The convoy was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu. Most of the soldiers were returning to rejoin their duties in the Valley after visiting their homes.One of three martyrs hailed from Pune, Maharashtra. Thirty-three-year old gunner Farate Sourabh Nandkumar of Bhekrai Nagar, Pune had joined the Army in 2004 and is survived by his wife Sonali Sourabh Farate and twin daughters.Hailing from Kotolipram, Kannur district in Kerala, Naik (gunner) Ratheesh C, 35 had joined Army in 2001 and is survived by his wife Jyoti Krishna Kumar and a son.Only 24, gunner Shashikant Pandey had four years of service in the Army and was in fact on his way to join his unit in the Valley. Survived by his parents, gunner Pandey hailed from Zharian, Dhanbad district in Jharkhand.On Sunday, Indian Army paid befitting tributes to three of its comrades who embraced martyrdom.In a solemn ceremony at Badami Bagh Cantonment, Srinagar, many senior officials from the civil administration and other security agencies joined Lieutenant General JS Sandhu, General Officer Commanding 15 Corps and all ranks in paying homage to the martyrs on behalf of the nation.“The mortal remains of the martyrs will be flown for last rites to their native places where they will be laid to rest with full military honours,” said an army spokesman here.On this occasion, Indian Army pledged to extend all help to the families of the fallen heroes of Pampore. “In this hour of grief, the Army stands in solidarity with the bereaved families of the martyrs and remains committed to their needs and well-being,” said the spokesman.Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Dalbir Singh Suhag also paid tributes to the fallen heroes of Pampore. “COAS and all ranks salute supreme sacrifice of our martyrs and offer condolences to the families of the brave hearts of Pampore,” tweeted Additional Directorate General of Public Information (ADGPI) of Indian Army.

Three soldiers killed in militant attack on Army convoy in J&K

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Militants sent a chilling reminder to the Mehbooba Mufti-led government on Saturday when they attacked an Army convoy on the strategic Srinagar-Jammu National Highway at Kadlabal, Pampore, in south Kashmir, leaving at least three army men dead.The attack follows the killing of the north and south chiefs of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) 10 days ago.The incident occurred at Kadlabal-Pampore between 3 and 3.15 pm when the convoy was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar. Militants fired indiscriminately on the convoy before escaping through the maze of lanes and by-lanes in the area.Three soldiers were injured in the incident. They succumbed to the injuries later. Security forces immediately retaliated and tried to chase the militants away, but to no avail. However, they recovered a magazine of a gun from a nearby lane. The entire area was cordoned off and massive search operations have been launched to track down the militants.Army and security forces retaliated and the terrorists were forced to runaway. “The area was crowded, so we could not fire openly. We always remain alert on the National Highway,” said Zulfikar Hassan, Inspector-General of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), operations.Panic gripped the area after the firing, with people running helter-skelter.”I was parking my vehicle when I heard the gunshots. When I came out, I saw people running helter-skelter. Later on, the Army came in and started search operations,” said a local resident of Kadlabal.Police said the militants came in a minibus to attack the convoy on the highway. “Militants came in a minibus and fled in the same vehicle after attacking the convoy”, said Dr SP Vaid, Special Director General of Police (law and order).Sources said an internal report prepared by another security agency suggested that two militants on a bike started chasing the army bus in the general area Pampore. Near Kadlabal Chowk the bus slowed down a little and the bike rider applied break to stop but the bike skidded. Then the pillion rider got down and ran towards the bus. He was carrying two weapons. He fired both on the bus from the side purposely keeping fire above glass level. With the result three soldiers died, sources said.This is the second major attack after the November 29 Nagrota terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir. On November 29, a group of heavily armed fidayeens (suicide bombers) donning police uniforms stormed into in the highly fortified camp of 166 field regiment and killed seven soldiers, including two majors, at Nagrota on the Jammu-Srinagar highway,Three militants were later neutralised in the day-long gunfight. Sixteen hostages, including two soldiers, two women and two children, were rescued.

Heart of Asia summit: Is there any good reason to accommodate Sartaj Aziz in Amritsar?

Why did Pakistan Foreign Minister Sartaj Aziz arrive in Amritsar fifteen hours before schedule and why was it allowed? It is not even an hour’s flight so there must have been good reason besides the obvious one of putting Indians on the backfoot as the bureaucrats adjusted the accommodate him. Make them scurry around.

That is the operative word. Accommodation.

The Hearts of Asia conference is about Afghanistan and while technically the Foreign Minister of Pakistan is a delegate, weren’t we supposed to get some sort of traction from the other side of the border by way of assurances that terrorism would have to terminate its relationship with state sponsorship. Suddenly we have their Foreign Minster pop in prematurely and that kind of puts paid to all the outrage over Pampore, Uri, Samba, the mutilation of our soldier in Maalchi and our absolute conviction that Pakistan’s authorities were integral to all these acts of unbridled horror.

It was JFK who said we should never negotiate out of fear but we should never fear to negotiate.

File image of Sartaj Aziz. ReutersFile image of Sartaj Aziz. Reuters

File image of Sartaj Aziz. Reuters

To that extent one concedes that every opportunity to try and end the 70 years of distrust should be grabbed and an attempt made to work out a truce. But that said, why is it always India that has to be the bigger person. There is a depressing sense of déjà vu about this meeting in Amritsar because in many ways we have closed the chapter on all the incidents that occurred on the border till 4 December, 2016. Today.

Once you shake hands and break bread that becomes the latest milestone on this arduous and exhausting Indo-Pak journey and everything else liquefies and turns into water under the bridge.

However unpleasant the current equation we have shifted today from boycotting Pakistan across the board to suddenly playing host, reluctant, but still host. It is no coincidence that the Pakistan Cricket Board uses this very day to announce how it will not cut off ties with India and now we are like the bad guys who aren’t being sporting and largehearted. They always manage to twist the scenario and produce this ‘reasonable, balanced’ rationale while we are saluting martyrs.

And this is where one balks at the idea of giving in without some guarantees. The moment the wheels of the Foreign Secretary’s plane touched down on Indian soil the initiative became his to run with.

Perhaps it would have been churlish to say come back later but someone in authority has to quantify what exactly India has gained from Pakistan before igniting talks if they are an a multi-lateral forum.

One just feels at such times that we take the blows on the chin and create a major wave of promised retaliation that kind of disappears like the morning fog. We will talk, Sartaj will mumble the same stuff about co-operation and mutual trust and TV talk shows will analyse the same old, same old and all those attacks and assaults on our bases and the litany of the dead will be consigned to the history books.

At least get something tangible out of him before he leaves.

First Published On : Dec 4, 2016 10:16 IST

Nagrota attack: A look at pervious attacks on military units shows lack of security measures

It was a dark day for India on Tuesday when a group of heavily-armed terrorists in police uniform stormed an army unit in Nagrota, about three kilometres from the 16 Corps headquarters on the outskirts of Jammu city on Tuesday morning, triggering an intense gunbattle that lasted for several hours.

Seven army personnel, including two officers, were killed in the attack before three terrorists were eliminated in an armed face-off which also involved a hostage-like situation with 12 soldiers, two women and as many children being held captive. All were later rescued, army spokesman said.

Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at the Army camp in Nagrota in Jammu. PTI

Security personnel take positions during a gun battle with suspected militants at the Army camp in Nagrota in Jammu. PTI

The attack has not only raised doubts about whether the surgical strikes conducted by the Indian army against terror launch pads across the Line of Control were actually effective or not but has also raised several questions about the security at military camps and units.

According to The Indian Express, intelligence services had been monitoring a Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) cell in Kashmir which had been plotting an attack on the 16 Corps headquarters in Nagrota for at least two weeks. Despite intelligence services warning of such an attack, the fact that attackers were still successful in infiltrating through the route to Nagrota says a lot about the security there.

Another report in The Times of India said that defence sources informed the newspaper that “very little follow-up action” had been taken after the recommendations of the tri-Service committee, led by former Army chief Lt Gen (retd) Philip Campose and constituted after the Pathankot terror attack. “Since the report was submitted to defence minister Manohar Parrikar in mid-May, few concrete steps have been taken. There were some general discussions with the three Service headquarters, which in turn have carried out some security audits of their bases,” the report quoted a source as saying.

Even if we ignore the major terror attacks on military installations which have taken place outside Jammu and Kashmir in India (like the Pathankot attack), and instead focus only on the attacks in Jammu and Kashmir (where tension has increased at the borders due to the deteriorating ties with Pakistan), the frequency of attacks on the army since 2015 points out how the security for our security personnel seems to have been ignored.

Here are the major attacks on military and paramilitary installations and units which took place in Jammu and Kashmir since 2015:

Attack on army installation in Samba (March 2015): Two terrorists opened fire at the camp of the 81 Armoured Regiment of the Army on the Jammu-Pathankot National Highway in Samba near Jammu. The two terrorists were killed but two security personnel and a civilian were also injured.

Attack on brigade headquarters in Kupwara (May 2015): Three terrorists were killed after they attacked the brigade headquarters of the army in Tanghdar sector of Kupwara near the Line of Control.

Terrorists kill army colonel in Kupwara (November 2015): A Colonel of the Army’s elite Para Commando force was killed and a policeman injured by militants during an operation near the LoC in Kupwara. The Commanding Officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles Colonel Santosh, who was leading a search party, was critically injured when militants hiding in a dense forest area of Haji Naka opened fire.

Assault on army camp in Kupwara (November 2015): Three terrorists and a civilian were killed after the terrorists infiltrated a camp of Gorkha Rifles in Tanghdar. Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) had claimed responsiblity for the attack.

Attack on CRPF convoy in Anantnag (December 2015): Six CRPF jawans were injured when terrorist opened fired on their convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.

Pampore terror attack (June 2016): Eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others critically wounded when terrorists rained bullets on a bus carrying them at Pampore, near Srinagar, in what was a fidayeen attack carried out by LeT.

Attack on army convoy near Khawaja Bagh in Baramulla (August 2016): Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists attacked an army convoy on the Srinagar-Baramulla highway near Khawaja Bagh in Baramulla, killing eight people and injuring 22 others.

Assault on BSF camp in Kupwara (August 2016): An attack by terrorists on a BSF camp in Kupwara left three BSF personnel injured.

Uri attack (September 2016): In a terrible attack on the Army in many years, heavily armed militants suspected to be from Pakistan-based JeM stormed an army base in Uri in Kashmir killing 17 jawans. Located barely a few kilometres from the LoC and some 70 km from Srinagar, the base was subjected to the brazen attack by four terrorists at around 5.30 am, causing heavy casualties in the Dogra regiment which lost 17 of its men.

Attack on army, BSF camps in Baramulla (October 2016): Two terrorists and a soldier were killed and another soldier was injured after terrorists attacked army and BSF camps in Baramulla four days after India conducted the surgical strikes.

Attack on army camp in Handwara (October 2016): Terrorists attemped to storm a Rashtriya Rifles camp in the Langate area of Handwara. No security personnel were killed and all the three terrorists were killed.

With inputs from agnecies

First Published On : Nov 30, 2016 13:50 IST

Pampore attack: Rajnath Singh holds high-level meeting to review border security situation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday reviewed the security situation in the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval and other top officials.During the hour-long meeting, top officials briefed the Home Minister and Defence Minister on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the 56-hour gunbattle between militants and security forces in Pampore which ended on Wednesday with the killing of two ultras.The two ministers also took stock of the situation along the Indo-Pak border and the Line of Control and steps taken to check attempts of infiltration from across the border, official sources said.Unrest in Jammu and Kashmir has been continuing ever since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on July 8 that led to violent protests and clashes with security forces and death of 84 people. Terrorists also killed 19 soldiers at an army station in Uri on September 18 which led to the surgical strikes by Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK 10 days later.The top security officials also gave briefings on the overall situation in the country and steps taken to maintain peace in view of the ongoing festival season.The Home Ministry has already sent an advisory to all states to deploy additional forces in sensitive places to foil any attempt by terrorists to disturb peace and attempts by miscreants to try to create communal disturbance.

Rajnath Singh reviews security situation with Manohar Parrikar, Ajit Doval

New Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday reviewed the security situation in the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, with Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, NSA Ajit Doval and other top officials.

File image of union minister Rajnath Singh. CNN-News18

File image of union minister Rajnath Singh. CNN-News18

During the hour-long meeting, top officials briefed the Home Minister and Defence Minister on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of the 56-hour gunbattle between militants and security forces in Pampore which ended on Wednesday with the killing of two ultras.

The two ministers also took stock of the situation along the Indo-Pak border and the Line of Control and steps taken to check attempts of infiltration from across the border, official sources said. Unrest in Jammu and Kashmir has been continuing ever
since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen militant Burhan Wani on 8 July that led to violent protests and clashes with security
forces and death of 84 people.

Terrorists also killed 19 soldiers at an army station in Uri on 18 September which led to the surgical strikes by Indian Army on terror launch pads in PoK 10 days later. The top security officials also gave briefings on the overall situation in the country and steps taken to maintain peace in view of the ongoing festival season.

The Home Ministry has already sent an advisory to all states to deploy additional forces in sensitive places to foil any attempt by terrorists to disturb peace and attempts by miscreants to try to create communal disturbance.

dna Evening Must Reads: Parrikar on surgical strikes, 2 militants killed in Parampore encounter and more

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>1) Earlier army attacked on its own, first ‘surgical strike’ across LoC after govt’s instruction: Manohar ParrikarDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar rejected claims that surgical strikes were undertaken during the UPA regime and asserted that a “major” share of credit for the army action last month goes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Speaking at two different events, he said all the 127 crore people of India, including “doubting Thomases”, and the army share and deserve credit for the operation as it was done by the armed forces and not by any political party. Read more…2) Pampore encounter: 56-hour gunbattle comes to an end, two militants killedThe 56-hour gunbattle between security forces and militants holed up in a government building at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway ended this afternoon with both the ultras hiding there shot dead. As there were reports of two to three militants present in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) complex, the security forces had to search all the 50 rooms of the building before calling off the operation, an army official said. “We have recovered bodies of two militants and the search operation at the EDI building in Pampore has been almost completed,” the army official said. Read more…3) World will be in danger if Trump becomes US President: United Nations Human Rights ChiefThe world will be in danger if Republican nominee Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, the top United Nations human rights official said on Wednesday. U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein cited Trump’s views on vulnerable communities including minorities and his talk of authorising torture in interrogations, banned under international law, as “deeply unsettling and disturbing”. Read more…4) Pakistan seeks bigger South Asian economic alliance to counter India’s influence in SAARC: ReportPakistan is exploring the possibility of creating a greater South Asian economic alliance to include China, Iran and neighbouring Central Asian republics as part of its bid counter India’s influence in SAARC, a media report said on Wednesday. Dawn News, citing diplomatic observers, said Pakistan is exploring the possibility of creating a greater South Asian economic alliance to counter India’s “controlling hold” on the eight member South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Read more…5) Nuclear proliferation linkages active today have Pakistan fingerprints: IndiaHitting out at Pakistan, India has said nuclear proliferation linkages active today have clear “Pakistan fingerprints” and an “unbridled” expansion of fissile material under the nexus between state and non-state actors constitutes the biggest threat to peace. “The biggest threat to peace and stability comes from active promotion of terrorism and the unbridled expansion of fissile material production and delivery systems for nuclear weapons under the shadow of a deeply disturbing and deeply entrenched nexus between state entities and non-state actors,” Siddhartha Nath, Counsellor, Conference on Disarmament, Geneva, said. Read more…

Pampore encounter: 56-hour gunbattle comes to an end, two militants killed

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The 56-hour gunbattle between security forces and militants holed up in a government building at Pampore on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway ended this afternoon with both the ultras hiding there shot dead.As there were reports of two to three militants present in the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) complex, the security forces had to search all the 50 rooms of the building before calling off the operation, an army official said. “We have recovered bodies of two militants and the search operation at the EDI building in Pampore has been almost completed,” the army official said.While one militant was killed on Tuesday evening, the other militant was shot dead by the security forces on Wednesday, the official said. The official said details about the slain militants were being ascertained but prima facie there were indications that they belonged to Lashkar-e-Toiba.Security forces pounded the EDI building since Monday after the militants barged inside the complex with the aim of engaging the law enforcing agencies. The operation, which lasted more than 56 hours, has reduced the multi-storey building to a skeleton after many of its walls were blown up.Elite Para commandos of the army have were also called in to neutralise the militants, the official said. The militants had stormed into the EDI complex in the wee hours of Monday and took positions inside one of the buildings. The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that is yet to be ascertained, the official said. After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, which arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building.The official said the aim of the militants was to cause casualties among the security forces and prolong the stand off as long as they could. In the initial exchange of firing, one army soldier was injured, the official said.Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well. Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation which lasted 48 hours.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two terrorists neutralised, siege continues on EDI building in Pampore

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The massive siege on the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir continued for the third day on Wednesday as security forces neutralised two terrorists and continued operations to flush out the remaining holed up terrorists.Around three terrorists have been holed up inside the EDI building and counter operations have been underway for over 48 hours now to neutralise them.The government building now lies in an almost destroyed form as it is peppered with bullets and heavy gunfire. Several floors in the multi-storeyed building now lie damaged following several explosions.The terrorists who had entered the EDI complexes in the wee hours on Monday had fired upon the security forces triggering an encounter.According to reports, the terrorists arrived at the EDI complex from the rear using a boat on the Jhelum.An army jawan and a policeman were injured in the operation. Security forces used mortar shells, light machine guns and other small arms to flush out the terrorists but so far have only neutralised one.This is the second time this year that the EDI complex has come under fire, as in February, terrorists had taken shelter in the main building after attacking a CRPF convoy on the highway at Pampore.

Send Arvind Kejriwal and co to Pampore so that they can find proof

Even as Indian troops take on holed up terrorists in Pampore and try to flush them out, Kejriwal, Chidambaram, Nirupam and Alok must be deeply concerned that it is not happening and is just another sidetrack by prime minister Narendra Modi to shift the attention away from showing evidence of the surgical strikes that they so vehemently disbelieve.

And if they are meeting in conclave to discuss the honesty quotient of the ongoing Pampore assault they can always find comfort in the fact that why is it always Pampore. Suspicious, what…maybe the BJP has a movie set there. It happened in 2013, then it happened again when a bus carrying soldiers of the 161 battalion were ambushed so isn’t there something fishy about it all. Right?

This can be their basis for attacking the BJP government for not doing enough to strengthen our forces and their security in Pampore and allowing these militants to enter the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) where suspected militants have taken refuge.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

After all, if the media can chance it and go there to cover the attack, why can’t our politicians do much the same. Give them a flak jacket and let them get a taste of what it feels like to hear the ping of bullets flying around and the stench of cordite bruising their tender nostrils.

That way at least we will not have to hear them tell us it never happened or that they have to seek proof that it did.

This is actually not facetious as a suggestion. These people have embarrassed us so much these past few days by spreading doubt and even making our armed forces come off as liars that there have to be consequences which go beyond merely criticism.

You do not believe the militant camps were attacked well then, next time, come along and join the party. You have nothing to fear since you don’t accept it is occurring anyway so no worries.

It is one thing to lacerate the BJP government for behaving as if they were some embodiment of the Dussehra spirit and had personally gone out to slay Raavan and other sundry dragons and make political capital out of things but quite another to suggest that a three star General would hold a post operation press conference in full uniform and lie about what was done.

That is the part which galls.

If there is anything to cavil about it is the use of the phrase ‘surgical strike’ in its purest military sense. It is a sudden pre-emptive attack that wipes out the enemy completely and ends that chapter. In this case we destroyed several camps but we have not eliminated the threat or dismantled the hostile infrastructure. The attack on Baramulla almost soon after indicates that the operation was a successful raid on specific targets but not truly surgical in that nothing has changed.The threat is still a clear and present danger.

Time the government stopped bleeding the issue to its advantage and strengthened its front-line. That government building in Jammu and Kashmir currently occupied by militants. Get rid of it. Now, that might qualify as surgical.

J&K: Operation to flush out militants holed up inside a govt building in Pampore enters second day

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The operation to flush-out militants holed up inside a government building in Pampore area on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the second day on Tuesday, even as security forces launched a fresh offensive against the ultras. 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. Two to three militants stormed into the EDI complexes in the wee hours yesterday and took positions inside one of the buildings. The ultras could have entered the complex from the riverside but that can only be ascertained once the operation is over. After getting inside the complex, the militants set on fire few mattresses inside a hostel room to attract the attention of the police and other security forces, which arrived within minutes of the smoke emanating from the building.In the initial exchange of fire, one army soldier was injured, the official said.The security forces yesterday used mortar shells, Light Machine Guns and other small arms to flush out the militants but so far have not been successful, the official said. Militants had targeted the EDI building in February this year as well.Five security force personnel including two young army officers and a civilian employee of the Institute and three militants were killed in that operation that lasted 48 hours.

Ready to withstand any weather, turbulence to protect nation: Indian Army

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With winter approaching, the Indian Army is gearing up to step up surveillance on the Line of Control (LoC), especially with the heightened state of tension across the borders and the spree of ceasefire violation.Winter brings with itself a host of obstacles when it comes to protecting the borders as it makes the conditions more favourable for infiltration, but that is not much concern for the army as they are confident of facing any untoward elements with the high-tech equipments and constant patrolling.”The enemy across the border can never be trusted, which is why we are always on the alert 24/7. Of course it is tough as the terrain and weather often turn unfriendly, but we continue with our patrols and keep carrying out surveys to keep infiltrators out,” an army soldier patrolling the borders said.Security all along the LoC has been tightened to ensure that any infiltration bid by militants receives a swift and fierce reception. Villagers living on the border are perpetually under threat with constant firing and shelling and the army assists them when it comes to evacuation.”Villagers are alerted the moment an alert is sound. We speak to the Sarpanch of the village the moment we get information of incoming danger. After then we take them to our bunker or other safe location,” a defence personnel said.When asked about what the troops in general feel about the continued assault on the borders, a Punjab Regiment officer said that their morale is high and with the addition of equipments and special bunkers which can take on any firing and shelling, the troops are pretty confident of giving the enemy a befitting reply.”The enemy is clearly unsettled and are continuing to attack us. However, we won?t let them carry out untoward intentions. As an Indian Army soldier, it is my job to withstand any turbulence and protect my nation,” he said.Another army soldier on duty here, said that in the recent surge of ceasefire violation from Pakistan the Indian troops are carrying out more ‘hunting operations’ and ambushes to neutralise infiltrators.”We have destroyed their posts in retaliation fire and have completely demoralised them. Our job is to stop infiltrations no matter the weather or conditions. Security along the border is always on. Whether the danger is active or there is a lull. Our routine does not depend on the enemy’s activity,” an officer from the Punjab Regiment said.Meanwhile, an encounter is on between terrorists and security forces inside a government building in Pampore near Srinagar for over 13 hours now. Some terrorists had entered the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute in the wee hours today and fired upon the security forces triggering an encounter.An Army jawan was injured in the exchange of fire. A portion of the building also caught fire. Traffic was temporarily suspended on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. A joint operation is on to neutralise the militants. Two to three terrorists are believed to be inside the multi-storey concrete building now cordoned off by security forces from all sides.Intermittently gunshots are heard as senior police and army officers are on spot monitoring the operation. The building under attack is the same entrepreneurs’ development institute complex where a 48 hour long encounter took place on 22 February this year, in which nine people were killed including three militants and three army jawans.

Pampore encounter: Congress asks govt to handle terrorist activities with all seriousness

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Taking serious note of the ongoing exchange of fire between the militants and security forces in Pampore area of Kashmir, the Congress on Monday pointed out that there has been increase in terrorist activities post the September 21 surgical strikes across the Line of Control (LoC) and urged the BJP-led NDA regime to handle this issue with all seriousness.Congress General Secretary Shakeel Ahmed dubbed the ongoing encounter as extremely unfortunate and said that efforts should be made to stop such events.”But all of us are observing from the past few days that especially after the latest surgical strikes such events have increased, ceasefire violations have increased, terrorist activities have increased. So, the government should handle this with all seriousness,” he told ANI.Earlier on Monday, a soldier was injured in the gun battle between the security forces and militants holed up inside a government building in Pampore. As per reports, two to three militants are believed to have entered into the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) in the early hours of Monday.Meanwhile, commenting on reports suggesting that the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) plans to execute a 2001 style attack on the Parliament to avenge the Indian Army’s surgical strikes, the Congress leader said this information should be taken with all seriousness.”There was an attack on the Parliament earlier when Vajpayee ji was the Prime Minister. So, the government must initiate all effective steps to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in the future,” he added.

Pampore attack: Militants holed up inside govt building; combing operations intensify

After India carried out surgical strikes across the LoC in PoK two weeks ago, Intelligence agencies in Kashmir had warned of a major terror strike either on an Army installations in Srinagar or convoys moving towards Jammu on the National Highway 1A. The security along the National Highway was immediately tightened, vehicles coming in or going out from Srinagar were thoroughly checked, before being allowed to move towards their destinations. And that attack did happen on Monday morning, but surprisingly at the same spot where militants carried out an attack in February leaving a trial of destruction inside the Entrepreneurship Development Institute in Pampore.

The suspected militants who are reportedly holed up inside Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), a government building in Sempora area of Pampore in south Kashmir, have been trying to infiltrate into Srinagar city from last many days, intelligence officials said.

On Monday morning, at around 6 am, one the employee of the EDI, a skill-training institute, saw smoke emanating from a building in campus. Although, the fire has stopped but combing operation have been intensified on the entire stretch along the National Highway 1 A and in adjoining areas.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

Militants had earlier taken positions inside a whitewashed building, among the three such buildings inside the campus. And after gunshots were heard inside the complex security forces rushed towards the area to flush out the militants.

The campus is located on the banks of river Jhelum, which flows through the capital of the Jammu and Kashmir, Srinagar, before entering Pakistan.

“We knew two people have been trying to enter Srinagar from Pulwama area and were recently spotted near Sanant Nagar locality but returned after they found Kashmir police checking vehicles near the national Highway,” an intelligence officer told Firstpost.

“Two to three militants are believed to be trapped inside either in the last building facing Jhelum or in the back yard of the EDI,” the intelligence official added.

Security forces have surrounded the entire area surrounding the building to prevent militants from escaping from the area. What is surprising is on normal days security bunker style vehicles are parked near the EDI main gate to protect the convoy passing through the Pampore area. It is not clear weather the militants entered the building from the main gate or the backside but intelligence officials said that the militants, to reach the institute, could have used boats across the river Jhelum to reach the institute, which would have been largely gone unnoticed.

“Once they were inside they set the hostel building on fire to lure forces a major gun battle followed,” officials said.

This is the second attack in nine months which has happened at the same location. Earlier this year in February an encounter that last more than forty eight hours left three militants dead holed up in the front building of the EDI. The operation was launched after militants attacked a CRPF convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway and took refuge in the multi-storey EDI complex.

The EDI building, which was destroyed in the previous attack is housed on approximately 10,000 square feet plinth area, and besides basement, has four storeys, including the ground floor, and a rooftop restaurant. Two army captains, one army para commando, two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers and a civilian were killed in the encounter in that encounter.

Pampore encounter: Gunfight continues near Kashmir’s Pulwama district; 2-3 militants trapped

Pampore encounter: Gunfight continues near Kashmir’s Pulwama district; 2-3 militants trapped

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Srinagar: Police said on Monday a group of two to three militants were trapped in a building of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex near Pampore town of Pulwama district.

“The militants were trapped inside a building in the JKEDI complex near Pampore town,” a senior police officer said.

“Security forces surrounded the building and all escape routes of the militants were sealed,” he said.

The officer said that intermittent gunshots were heard inside the complex as the security forces were moving in cautiously to flush out the militants.

A 48-hour long fierce gunfight took place in the same complex in February in which seven people including a civilian, three paramilitary commandos of the Army and three militants were killed.

The JKEDI complex is situated on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, about 10 kilometres from Srinagar.

Traffic on the strategic highway was also suspended.

Pampore attack: Gunfight continues near Kashmir’s Pulwama district; 2-3 militants trapped

Pampore attack: Gunfight continues near Kashmir’s Pulwama district; 2-3 militants trapped

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The police said on Monday a group of two to three militants were trapped in a building of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex near Pampore.

“The militants were trapped inside a building in the JKEDI complex near Pampore town,” a senior police officer said.

“Security forces surrounded the building and all escape routes of the militants were sealed,” he said.

The officer said that intermittent gunshots were heard inside the complex as the security forces were moving in cautiously to flush out the militants.

A 48-hour long fierce gunfight took place in the same complex in February in which seven people including a civilian, three paramilitary commandos of the Army and three militants were killed.

The JKEDI complex is situated on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, about 10 kilometres from Srinagar.

Traffic on the strategic highway was also suspended.

Uri, Pathankot, Pampore: 35 soldiers killed, over 1,740 injured in attacks on Indian Army in 2016

Termed as the deadliest attack on the Indian Army since the Kaluchak tragedy in 2002, the attack at a battalion headquarters of the Army in north Kashmir’s Uri town on Sunday killed 17 jawans and injured 19 other personnel.

According to recent reports by ANI, another sepoy K Vikas Janardhan succumbed to his injuries at the R&R Hospital in New Delhi on Monday taking the death toll to 18.

The Indian Army has lost many of its valiant soldiers since the start of the year. These recent spate of attacks have claimed lives of at least 35 soldiers. Uri, however, will still be remembered as one of the deadliest.

Here are some of the major attacks on the Army in 2016:

The Indian Army has lost many of its valiant soldiers since the start of the year. Uri will, however, still be remembered as one of the deadliest. PTI

An Indian army soldier during the Uri attack. PTI

Pathankot airbase attack

Heavily-armed terrorists carried out a pre-dawn strike at the Air Force base in Punjab’s Pathankot, triggering a fierce gunbattle.

Around six terrorists in army attire tried to storm the base located at 35 kms from the international border. The terrorists were linked to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) as is the case with the Uri attack.

Seven soldiers died, including Lt Col Niranjan, who is a member of NSG’s bomb disposal squad. He died while sanitising a terrorist’s body during the attack.

One commando of the Indian Air Force’s special Garud unit and two Defence Security Corps personnel also died during the attack.

Pampore attack

At least eight CRPF personnel were killed and 24 injured after Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists opened fire at a convoy belonging to the paramilitary force in Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar near Srinagar-Jammu National Highway.

The attack happened on the busy Srinagar-Jammu national highway when the security personnel were returning from a training exercise.

However, three more soldiers succumbed to their injuries.

Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also condemned the ambush in Pampore on the CRPF personnel. “Would like to express my condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in today’s dastardly militant attack,” news agency ANI reported Mufti saying.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid homage to the eight martyred CRPF personnel on Twitter saying that he was “pained by their demise.”

Kashmir unrest

As many as 81 people, including two soldiers, were killed in the unrest that broke out a day after Hizbul Mujahideen Commander Burhan Wani was gunned down in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir on 8 July.

Union Minister Rajnath Singh told the Parliament during the monsoon session that 1,700 civilians were injured in the violence. However, he also reminded the House that 1,740 jawans too were injured.

While foiling an infiltration bid along the Line of Control in Naugam sector of Kashmir’s Kupwara district, two soldiers were killed in July, 2016.

Pakistan also resorted to unprovoked firing in Poonch district of Jammu in August, 2016. A policemen lost his life while three soldiers were injured.

As of 19 September, normal life remained disrupted in the Valley for the 73rd straight day as a curfew was clamped in Pulwama and Baramulla districts of Kashmir.

With inputs from agencies.

From Pampore to Infinity: Why India must exploit Pakistan’s fault-lines

Much has been written, said and debated about the recent ambush of a CRPF convoy in Pamporev – killing eight and seriously injuring 22. How many times Pampore has been mentioned in such notorious setting in the last 27 years of terrorism in J&K is anybody’s guess.

Incidentally, the first time when a vehicle was blown up in an IED (improvised explosive device) attack, it was an army one-ton vehicle travelling from Khrew to Srinagar, in 1990, in which an army JCO lost his legs. Now, as back then, the usual blame game is on.

A Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) version of the incident quoted in a prominent magazine read, “While Road Opening Party (RoP) duties are of the CRPF, it is the Army’s duty to dominate the area and protect the corridor. There were lapses at multiple levels, both by the CRPF and the Army, mainly in the Army’s area of domination and corridor protection,”

File photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. PTIFile photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. PTI

File photo of Indian PM Narendra Modi and Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif. PTI

“The stretch where the CRPF bus came under attack was completely unprotected. The bus got separated from the main convoy for a few minutes. That was time enough for terrorists to target it.”

According to a CRPF official, “The army mine protected vehicle (MPV) response was delayed”. So on and so forth.

According to the media, more MPVs are to be sent to J&K. The home minister is to visit J&K in the aftermath of the Pampore ambush. Statements have been made that the terrorists are feeling frustrated and want to keep the pressure up, and that the army is free to “react” in any manner.

Media has also flashed that the army is to conduct RoP duties – whether this is indeed an official direction which applies to the entire stretch of roads in troubled part of J&K, in addition to area under domination, is unclear. There have been plenty articles on the ambush, some suggesting that the convoy timings be reviewed, CI/CT (Counter-terrorism/Counter-insurgency) command structure be reviewed (actual unity of command instead of Unified Command), and highlighting the need for reviewing tactics; some suggesting that the Mehbooba government is taking baby steps to denounce terror, and the likes.

There are discussions on social media as as well about the need for cross-border raid(s) – like against two terrorist camps in Myanmar. One scholar has commented that the removal of bunkers close to roads in face of public protests (orchestrated by terrorists?) has increased the chances of terrorist strikes. All these recommendations and comments are germane to dealing with the issue undoubtedly.

However, two issues talked about by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his interview to Arnab Goswami are also significantly relevant in the above context: First, the PM reflected aloud as to who should India talk to in Pakistan about the ‘Lakshman Rekha’ (read red lines) with respect to terrorism; will it be the elected government or with other actors. He also said that because of this India will have to be on the alert all the time.

Second, on the issue of terrorism, Modi said that, ‘the world never bought India’s theory on terrorism. They would sometimes dismiss it by saying that it’s your law and order problem. Today, the world has to accept what India has been saying about terrorism. India’s dialogue on terrorism, the losses India has suffered due to terrorism, the losses suffered by humanity, the world is now acknowledging that.’ What the Prime Minister said reflects the ground reality, but it needs to be examined more closely if we indeed want to change from our current CI-CT policies, and method of countering proxy wars being waged on us by our opponents.

In the above context, India must acknowledge the following ground realities that are likely to remain unchanged:

One, the Pakistani military’s control over their country is increasing by the day – the entire parliament meeting at Rawalpindi in the Army HQ being just one indication; Pakistani military ‘must’ continue to sponsor terror and persisting confrontation with India and Afghanistan in order to remain in power and make billions – the namesake democracy remains powerless; Pakistani military has bartered the country’s sovereignty, and not only for economic gains; to say that terrorists are getting demoralized is fooling ourselves considering that just eight to ten terrorists striking Charlie Hebdo shook entire Europe – and Pakistan is hatching thousands, if not millions, of radicals annually.

And, with Pakistan willingly providing China a lifeline to the Indian Ocean, China will wilfully partner Pakistan in terrorism, even nuclear terrorism – with Pakistan assisting China against Uyghurs in Xinjiang and whitewashing China’s genocide in Xinjiang in exchange for China’s help in whitewashing the Pakistani genocide in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan – you scratch mine and I scratch yours; the US administration continues to back the Pakistani military – witness recent US announcement of $800 million aid to Pakistan simultaneous to Pakistan granting Rs 300 million to Darul Haqqania madrassa (University of Jihad) for the year 2016-2017 – Mullah Mansour Akhtar and Sirajuddin Haqqani being two of its prominent products.

There have been three major terrorist strikes in J&K on CRPF and BSF in the past five months (twice in Pampore), killing 15 security personnel. Whether there will be any incidents during the Amarnath Yatra that kicked off on Friday, is yet to be seen.

Sure, a review of all CI-CT measures including command and control, intelligence, timings of move, need for security bunkers etc must be reviewed, but is that all that needs to be addressed when cross-border terrorism is being sponsored by Pakistan, or shall we say China-Pakistan since China too is pumping in money to fuel terrorism in J&K?

The mere fact that China backed Pakistan is again demanding more evidence in the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks clearly indicates that there can be no improvement from the Pakistani side irrespective of the false solace we are drawing from gloating that Pakistan stands isolated and no one can blame India for not trying for peace – the blame is entirely on Pakistan.

But, does this change the ground situation in any way? Is Pakistan really “isolated” with China completely supporting her protégé – with PLA (People’s Liberation Army) inducted into Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), with three army divisions eventually to be deployed, and the US looking the other way?

“I continued to advocate for an aggressive and proactive counter and forward intelligence thrust against Pakistan. My voice was rarely heard and mostly ignored. The Pakistani establishment is a geopolitical bully. The best response to blunt such a bully is to take the war inside his home. India has allowed itself to be blackmailed by Pakistan even before it went nuclear,” wrote MK Dhar, former Joint Director, Intelligence Bureau, in his book ‘Open Secrets – India’s intelligence unveiled’, published in 2005, 11 years ago.

“The sabre rattling of ‘coercive diplomacy’, which is nothing but sterile military power, cannot convince the Islamist Pakistani Establishment that India can take the border skirmishes inside their homes and hit at the very roots of the jaundiced Islamist groups”, Dhar wrote.

Merely saying that the army is free to ‘respond’ is pointless – unless we are content with artillery barrages or an odd tactical level raid to satisfy egos momentarily. Army’s existing sub-conventional doctrine with its much publicised cliché of ‘iron fist in velvet glove’ is totally inward looking.

Pakistan has co-located her terrorist training facilities with army establishments saying any strike on these would be considered an act of war. But then today’s war is at sub-conventional level and while conventional strikes remain an option, best will be getting hold of the numerous fault-lines of our opponents and exploiting them as deterrents.

This must be done through covert politico-military missions at the strategic level controlled by the highest political authority – the prime minister. In the absence of this, we can continue to remain in the current state of Parkinson’s from Pampore to infinity. Hiding behind the Emperor’s clothes of doing much cross-border does not match with the happenings on the ground.

(The author is a veteran Lieutenant General)

The Ramadan drummers of Kashmir

Hundreds of drummers continue to wake up people in the holy month of Ramadan in Indian-administered Kashmir, reports Aarabu Ahmad Sultan.

dna Morning Must Reads: 36 dead after suicide bombers target Istanbul airport; Security threat post Pampore attack; and more

Suicide bombs kill 36, wound close to 150 at Istanbul airport; Turkish PM says first signs point to ISISThree suicide bombers opened fire before blowing themselves up in the main international airport in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing 36 people and wounding close to 150, officials said. Read more here <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>dna exclusive: Pampore style terror replay in 2 days?Intelligence agencies and security forces in Kashmir valley are currently fighting a battle against time after emergence of a conversation between two Lashkar-e-Taiba militants, finalising details of an “imminent” Pampore style attack that is to take place in the next two days. Read more here Arun Jaitley in mission mode as Modi goes after black moneyA day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi goaded black money holders to use the one-time compliance window to declare their ill-gotten wealth or face consequences, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, along with other senior ministers and bureaucrats, met industry representatives, tax experts and accountants to drive it into “mission mode”. Read more here It was a nervous idea: Kumble on being interviewed by former teammates Sachin-Sourav-LaxmanNewly-appointed Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble has also dismissed reports of conflict of interest between his new job and his involvement in a sports firm as well as heading the ICC Cricket Committee. Read more here Salman Khan: I don’t want to be a villain!Salman Khan explains why he won’t play an anti-hero. Read more here

Pampore attack: Militants taking advantage of vulnerable national highway, weak road opening party procedure

The attack on a CRPF bus in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir, last week was the fifth such assault in less than a year when the paramilitary force vehicles and convoys ferrying security personnel along the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was targeted by militant groups. Taking advantage of the laxed surveillance grid for protection of convoy movements, the strategic highway has become an easy target for militants to strike in Kashmir and inflict high casualties, sources said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The national highway connecting Jammu city with the valley has stretches marked as ‘vulnerable’ owing to urban built up area, valleys and river on either side, with an increased possibility of an armed attack. To ensure that militants don’t ingress or place IEDs on roads when force vehicles are moving along, a road opening party (ROP) procedure is followed with the army providing corridor protection. With the relative stable security situation in the valley, both these procedures, officials in Kashmir said, were relaxed in the past.“The army used to provide corridor protection for CRPF’s force movement and this would give a sense of back-up for the ROP. But this procedure is currently not followed as it requires additional troop deployment,” said a CRPF official from Kashmir adding that personnel in ROP are overstretched and stressed performing the duty. Movement of vehicles and convoys is a daily affair, and ROP start the duty from early morning hours primarily tasked for surveillance of ducts to detect IEDs, ambush and prevent ingress.As per the generic rules followed presently, the ROP comprising of a company secures a stretch of 3-5 km, with buddy pairs deployed at every 300-400 meters. Yet, militants from Lashkar-e-Toiba and Hizbul Mujaheedin, the two active groups in the valley, have struck repeatedly at CRPF and BSF vehicles ferrying troops along the highway (see box), with two attacks taking place in Pampore itself. There also appears to be a fixed pattern, with the attack taking place near to populated areas, militants throw hand grenades or deflate the tyres, making manoeuvring difficult for the troops sitting inside the vehicles.The attack on Saturday took place at the spot of the national highway in Pampore running parallel with Jhelum river, in between the stretch where the ROP personnel were not present. “The militants took advantage of the terrain and chose a busy part of the stretch with built up area when the four vehicle convoy was passing.”The two militants first fired at the CRPF truck slowing down the movement and later the front tyres of the bus carrying 40 personnel. Although both the doors were locked from inside deterring the militants to enter inside the bus, the wire-mesh on the windows turned out to be handicap for the troops sitting inside to maneuver weapons and fire.The spike in attacks on force vehicles is reflective of a combination of factors: fixed timing of convoy movement, busy human, vehicular traffic on national highway, weaknesses in corridor protection or RoP domination, and lack of hardened vehicles (with bullet-proof plating on the side), giving advantage to the militants to wait on a stand-by, hit and run or conduct a fidayeen attack.”Some diabolic military minds in Pakistan have identified the RoP as a major weakness, and its being exploited,” said former GOC 15 Corps Lt Gen Syed Ata Hasnain adding that the actual procedure for RoP as laid down in theory is not followed anywhere in the Indian conflict theatres of Kashmir, North East or Naxal affected region, as it is expensive in terms of troop deployment.The forces have overcome IED attacks on road since 2008 when a remote controlled IED blew up an army convoy killing 9. “The only way to prevent attacks on convoys, is to strengthen the ROP procedures and corridor protection, increase the density of the troops and carry troops in hardened vehicles,” Lt Gen Hasnain said.

Pakistan can’t conquer Kashmir through war: Former Pak foreign minister’s candid confession

Pakistan’s former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar has said that Islamabad cannot “conquer Kashmir through war” and progress on the issue can only be made in an environment of mutual trust with India.In an exclusive interview to Geo News on Sunday, Khar said that the Kashmir issue can only be discussed based on mutual relations. “I believe that Pakistan cannot conquer Kashmir through war and if we cannot do that, the option we are left with is dialogue, and dialogue can only proceed with a partner with which we have normal relations and a certain level of mutual trust,” Dawn quoted her, as saying.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Khar claimed that the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) despite being in coalition government then, tried its best to normalise ties with New Delhi through relaxation of visa rules and normalising trade ties for the purpose. She said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif can do much more in terms of relations with neighbours, as his Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz party enjoys majority. “The issues between the two countries cannot be resolved in a hostile environment,” she added.
ALSO READ Pakistan involved in Pampore attack; Hafiz’s son-in-law plotted strike on CRPF convoy: ReportKhar, who was Pakistan’s foreign minister from 2011 to 2013, was of the view that the if India and Pakistan continue to talk on the Kashmir issue, then the arch-rivals will reach somewhere at some point of time. On being asked about the military’s influence on Pakistan’s foreign policy, she said that it is a diplomat’s job to carry forward the military’s perspective on issues where the military is a relevant stake holder. She was also of the opinion that some people believe that the Kashmir issue can only be resolved “if there is a BJP government in India and a military government in Pakistan”.Hina said that during former President Pervez Musharraf tenure, the army general gave India adequate relaxation on the Kashmir issue.
ALSO READ Pampore attack: Rajnath Singh blames Pakistan for CRPF ambush, pitches for tit-for-tatOn international relationsRegarding the souring of relations between Islamabad and Washington and the US’ tilt towards India, Khar said the move was driven by economy, market and added that it was also because of a wish to contain the rising power of China.
ALSO READ Modi lacking comprehensive policy towards Pakistan, says Opposition “Now, let us ask ourselves, is the US moving towards India because India is a nuclear state, or because it is a military power, no, it is people power and their democratic traditions, if we want to compete, lets compete on these grounds,” said Khar.She also termed Pakistan’s entry into Afghan Jihad a ‘mistake’ and maintained that the country’s dependence on Washington is more in “our minds than on the ground”. Criticising Pakistan’s current foreign policy, she maintained that it is “reactive and not active” and added that Islamabad is not taking its own line or direction, but only reacting to circumstances arising in the region or the world at large.The former foreign minister said that the basic objective of Pakistan’s foreign policy should be to serve the people of the country and not pursuit of power.

Pampore attack: Rs 20 lakh ex gratia for kin of five UP jawans

Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday announced a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh each to the kin of five CRPF jawans hailing from Uttar Pradesh, who were killed in an ambush by terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir last week.”The Chief Minister has announced all possible help to the family members of the CRPF jawans killed in terrorist attack in Pampore district and said the country salutes their martyrdom,” an official spokesman said here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Eight jawans were killed when two terrorists attacked CRPF convoy in Pampore district on June 25.Five of the slain jawans – Kailash Kumar Yadav (Unnao), Sanjay Kumar (Jaunpur), Veer Singh (Firozabad), Satish Chandra (Meerut), and Rajesh Kumar (Allahabad) – hailed from the state.

Pakistan involved in Pampore attack; Hafiz’s son-in-law plotted strike on CRPF convoy: Report

A day after Home Minister Rajnath Singh accused Pakistan of trying to destabilise India, a report has claimed that intelligence agencies have found credible evidence against Pakistan in the Pampore attack. Eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others were injured in the incident on Saturday.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to a Times of India report, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed’s son-in-law Khalid Waleed is suspected to have masterminded the attack.The report also said that Intelligence agencies and Jammu & Kashmir police have found evidence that directly pointed at Pakistan being involved in the June 25 attack. The two terrorists involved are said to have carried “articles like seven grenades with ‘Pakistan Ordnance Factory” markings, medicines, track suits and shoes made in Pakistan, packets of dates not available in India, 11 magazines of AK-47 rifles and used/live rounds procured in Pakistan,” the report said. Meanwhile, after Saturday’s ambush, a row erupted between the paramilitary force and the army over whose personnel killed the terrorists. While the army claimed to have killed the two militants in retaliatory fire, the CRPF lodged a protest against it for “wrongly claiming credit”.Earlier on Tuesday, a terrorist was killed by security forces in Kupwara district.Last week, as many as eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were martyred and 24 others injured in a major ambush by two terrorists who were neutralised in the encounter at Pampore.Arms and ammunition including 2 AK-47 Rifles, 11 hand grenades were also recovered from the killed terrorists.

Pampore attack: CM Akhilesh Yadav announces aid for families of martyred CRPF personnel

Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday announced financial aid of Rs 20 lakh each to the families of five CRPF troopers who died in a terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir on June 25.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. AFPUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. AFP

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav. AFP

The five martyred troopers belonged to the state. They are Kailash Kumar Yadav from Unnao district, Sanjay Kumar from Jaunpur, Veer Singh from Firozabad, Satish Chandra from Meerut and Rajesh Kumar from Allahabad.

They are among the eight troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) killed when terrorists fired on their vehicle in Pampore in Pulwama district on June 25.

RSS affiliate body withdraws Iftar invite to Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit

Muslim Rashtriya Manch, an RSS affiliate body, has withdrawn its invitation to the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit for a grand Iftar party it is organising on 2 July, according to ANI.

In what was seen an attempt to redeem its anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan image, the right wing body had last week invited the Pakistan High Commissioner Abdul Basit for Iftar on 2 July. According to a Times of India report, ambassadors of several other countries were also invited.

According to The Dawn, Pakistan’s interior Minister Nisar Ali Khan had earlier in the same week, blamed Indian Hindu right wing organisations like the RSS to hamper the normalisation of ties between the nations. But, the Muslim Rashtriya Manch went ahead and invited Basit, saying their aim was to “tell the world about Indianness, helping people from all communities live in peace and harmony.”

However, on Tuesday, just three days ahead of the party, the RSS affiliate body decided to withdraw its invitation, citing Pakistan’s failure to condemn the attack on a CRPF convoy in Pampore in south Kashmir. The national convener of Muslim Rashtriya Manch told ANI that the body has decided to withdraw its invitation.

Apparently, Basit had earlier downplayed the deadly attack on the CRPF convoy by asking the media to focus on the Iftar party during Ramzaan. “We hope we will sit and discuss on the issue and find a solution. It’s the month of Ramzaan, let’s focus on this Iftaar party,” Basit told the media when asked to react on the Pampore attack.

The Muslim Rashtriya Manch was founded in December 2002, the same year as the infamous anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat. Their official website claims that the group founded by nationalist Muslims and functionaries of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) aims to bridge the widening rift between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

Jammu and Kashmir: One terrorist killed in encounter with security forces in Kupwara

One terrorist was killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and kashmir’s Kupwara district on Tuesday, reported India Today. The encounter comes just two days after eight CRPF personnel and two terrorists were killed in Pampore.

Representational image. AFPRepresentational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to the report, a Hizbul Mujhadeen commander was believed to be hiding inside a house.

“As the joint party of Army and police zeroed in on a suspected house in the village, the hiding militant opened fire, which was responded to triggering a gunfight. In the nearly four-hour-long gunfight, the Hizbul militant commander was killed,” The Tribune quoted a police official as saying.

Two AK 47 Rifles and 11 hand grenades were recovered form the encounter site, Business Standard reported.

 According to The Tribune, soon after the militant was gunned down, clashes erupted between police and protesters in the area.
The militant commander, active from 2014,  was a resident of Dooru, Sopor. He was also associated with Lashkar-e-Islam for a brief period.

Pampore Attack: CRPF chief contradicts Defence Minister Parrikar

Vir Singh, 48-year-old head constable of CRPF, who died in ambush attack in Pampore while traveling in a bus, didn’t take the bullets lying down. Despite being hit by seven bullets, the valiant soldier fired back 39 rounds, his empty magazine showed.Similarly, Kailash Yadav, 38, from Unnao and 39-year-old Satish Chand from Meerut joined in firing back. All three took several bullets in the process. By the time they succumbed, they had fired 100 rounds in all.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>And so fought many others, who were literally sitting ducks inside the bus, before succumbing to bullets, insisted the CRPF.The CRPF jawans fired back 493 rounds against 216 rounds fired by the two terrorists.”That is why the terrorists who had way laid the bus couldn’t enter it. The martyred jawans saved many lives,” said a senior CRPF officer adding that the engagement gave the ROP travelling in Vajra to reach the spot engage the terrorists and kill them.Defending his force, director general, K Durga Prasad refuted all allegations that are being hurled at CRPF for not following the standard operating procedures (SOPs) resulting in the grave loss of eight soldiers.”The convoy was following instructions. We will look into any improvements that are needed,” he said contradicting Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar who had indicated failure of SOPs as the reason of attack.The DG, however, agreed that the SOPs need some tweaking because of change in tactic by the terrorists who are targeting moving convoys.”The bus was not bulletproof so there were casualties. We have to see how to make the bus more secure to travel in. We have been studying the attacks including this one, and from now on instead of big convoys of over 20 vehicles we will break them up to smaller ones of three to four,” added Durga Prasad.The DG, however, raised the spectre of LeT getting help from surrendered militants.”Our information suggests that surrendered militants had dropped them at Pampore in car minutes before the attack. The vehicle sped back towards Srinagar after dropping them. We have asked the investigators to pay particular attention to this,” he said.A home ministry team is investigating possible lapses that may have helped the attackers inflict greater damage.The bus was travelling with armed escorts and a road opening party (ROP), which sanitises important roads for troop movement. It failed to detect the attackers who were waiting in a car.Sources conceded that the security seemed highly inadequate, given that there was specific intel input about an attack at Pampore.Durga Prasad admitted that there aren’t enough bullet proof vests with the force. “The number of light bullet proof vests is very limited and they are deployed for the ROP or escort duties. We are reviewing whether all soldiers need to wear these jackets,” he said.

Pampore attack: CRPF DG dismisses Parrikar’s suggestion that SOPs were not followed

Rejecting suggestions that not following SOPs might have led to high casualties in Saturday’s ambush by militants in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pampore, CRPF on Monday said all laid down procedures were “absolutely” adhered to by its personnel.It, however, said the security drill will be reviewed and convoys of the central paramilitary force will be provided bullet-proof protection while moving in the state. CRPF Director General K Durga Prasad, during a press conference at the force’s headquarters here said his men, before laying down their lives, valiantly fought back the two terrorists and fired as many as 91 rounds.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”I really have no comments to make on that…but whatever SOPs are in position right now they have been followed and that’s the reason why I said that we will require and can have a look at them again. “They (standard operating procedures) were absolutely followed,” he said when asked to comment on Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s statement voicing doubt over whether the SOPs were followed properly by the bus-borne CRPF personnel.He said the force will look at “tweaking” its security drills this time too, as always, and as a special measure, 3-feet high and 3mm thick bullet proof plates will be used on vehicles to provide them armoured protection, as was being done by the army. Prasad added the force needs to do a “little bit more” of vehicle checking by deploying security check posts with JK police so that they can “detect” possible terrorists travelling undercover.”We will have to conduct vehicle checks at more places and more frequently. The militants who came to attack were wearing normal black trousers and T-shirts and were not wearing usual ‘kaftaans’ that they could be identified,” he added.It has been decided that henceforth convoys will move in blocks of at least three vehicles so they are better protected. Eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 injured in the ambush by suspected LeT militants. The CRPF DG said the force had “intercepts” about the militants planning to target security personnel in the Kashmir Valley but there was no specific indication about the location. Prasad, who is expected to travel to the ambush site tomorrow, said they had “some information” about a few “surrendered militants” having helped the two slain terrorists in carrying out the attack.He said, after dropping the two terrorists at a busy marketplace in Pampore, a car that had brought them there, reversed and zipped away towards Srinagar city. The DG praised his troops who were onboard the ill-fated bus. He said that three of his martyred men Head Constable Vir Singh fired 39 rounds from his AK series rifle, Constable Satish fired 32 rounds from his INSAS rifle and Head Constable P Yadav fired 20 bullets before succumbing to injuries.Prasad said the terrorists, who attacked the bus from “very near” and fired as many as 200 bullets from AK rifles, were neutralised by CRPF troops who were onboard a bullet proof mobile bunker as part of their road opening task. The DG said the entire ambush lasted between 3 and 7 minutes. Army’s 51 RR (Rashtriya Rifles) unit reached the spot after the incident got over, he said, adding all the 45 CRPF men in the bus were armed.Prasad said five troopers injured in the attack out of 22 are in intensive care on ventilator and the condition of one jawan is “very critical.” All the slain personnel have been accorded due last rites and the service compensation they deserve for sacrificing their lives in the line of duty has been released, he said.He said some issues had cropped up over erection of the statue of Head Constable Vir Singh, who hailed from Uttar Pradesh’s Shikohabad, with locals opposing it. The DG said, following the intervention of CRPF officials, the matter was settled and it was decided that a memorial gate would be constructed to pay tribute to Singh.

Kashmir: BJP protests in house over attack on CRPF convoy

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Monday witnessed noisy scenes after BJP MLAs shouted anti-Pakistan slogans demanding action against the neighbouring country in retaliation for the attack on a CRPF convoy in the Valley that left eight personnel dead and 21 injured.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The BJP legislators started shouting anti-Pakistan slogans as soon as the House assembled for the day and demanded “bombing” of militant camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

They also demanded that the House pass a resolution to condemn Pakistan for the attack in Pampore, the deadliest on security forces in recent years.

Meanwhile, Independent MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid demanded “justice” for five civilians who were killed in firing by the security forces during protests against alleged molestation of a school girl in Handwara in April this year.

Pampore terror attack: BJP MLAs raise anti-Pak slogans in Kashmir assembly

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs staged a protest in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Monday in the wake of the killing of eight CRPF troopers in an ambush in Pampore on Saturday.The BJP MLAs raised anti-Pakistan slogans like ‘Pakistan Murdabad’ while demanding strict action against the neighbouring country.BJP leader, Ravinder Raina said for the first time anti-Pakistan slogans have been raised in J-K Assembly.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is very unfortunate. Pakistani militants are continuously attacking our Jawans. Our jawans are getting sacrificed. Air strikes in terrorists camps in PoK should be made so that this does not happen again. The nation will not accept further sacrifices. The assembly has condemned the attacks on jawans,” he saidHe also added that Indian military and Air force should be allowed to enter the areas where militants are hiding.Eight CRPF personnel were martyred and 24 injured in the major ambush by two terrorists on Saturday, who were neutralised in the encounter in Pampore.Security personnel recovered arms and ammunition, including two AK 47 Rifles, 11 hand grenades from the killed terrorists. Saturday’s attack was the fourth one on the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir this month. At least 17 security personnel were killed and several others injured in the last three major strikes along the Jammu-Srinagar Highway during the period.Officials say infiltration has dramatically gone up compared to the previous year with more than 50 terrorists crossing the border in the last five months. Last year, there was zero infiltration in the first four months.

NC raises uproar over IIT, IIM for Kashmir Valley, walks out of state assembly

Srinagar: Opposition National Conference (NC) MLAs led by party leader and former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah staged a walkout from the state assembly on Monday alleging discrimination against the Valley.

Representational image of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Getty ImagesRepresentational image of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Getty Images

Representational image of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly. Getty Images

The legislators were agitating against the state and central government for not sanctioning an IIT and an IIM for the Valley.

BJP legislators on the other hand got up on their seats shouting slogans against Pakistan who they blamed for masterminding the Pampore attack by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) on Saturday in which eight paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) troopers were killed and 22 others injured.

The two suicide (Fidayeen) militants who carried out the attack were also killed in the ensuing gunfight.

‘You are trained to kill the enemy, not to die’: Parrikar tells security forces

In light of Saturday’s attack on a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy in Pampore town of Jammu and Kashmir, Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said that he has instructed the security forces to reply with full force if threatened while advocating that they are trained to kill and not to die.Addressing a gathering at Sarala Bhawan as part of the BJP”s “Vikas Utsav”, Parrikar hailed the relentless endeavours of the security forces and said that over 70 percent of infiltrators have been gunned down in the past two months. “In the past two months we have killed over 70 percent terrorists, who were trying to infiltrate the Indian borders. And during these operations our men did not die because we had already told them that I respect martyrdom, but you are trained to kill the enemy, not to die,” said Parrikar.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Moreover, we have given them instructions that if anyone threatens you give them a reply with guns. What did I do” I just gave them the confidence,” he added. He wondered if there was any security lapse behind the Pampore terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir but Home Minister Rajnath Singh made it clear bullets will not be “counted” during India’s retaliation.As yesterday’s attack on a CRPF convoy, the deadliest one on security forces in recent years that left eight personnel of the force dead, triggered an outrage, Singh and Parrikar said the security forces have “standing orders” and “full freedom” to retaliate and forget the “count of bullets” if they are fired upon.With questions cropping up over a possible security lapse, Parrikar expressed doubt if the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was followed properly by the bus-borne CRPF personnel at Pampore.He said he “doubted if the SOP was followed properly” while noting that the clear picture will emerge after the inquiry.”We will only get to know the exact reason after the inquiry,” Parrikar told reporters in Bhubaneswar. A three-member team of Home Ministry officials is visiting Kashmir on Tuesday to find out if there were any security lapses and the practices being followed during the movement of the attacked CRPF convoy. It will also look into the possible increase of cross border infiltration during the attack. “I have asked the Home Secretary to send a committee to Pampore to look into any lapses so that we can correct it in the future and our jawans do not face martyrdom in such incidents,” Singh said.

Mehbooba has joined ‘Islamic terror’ bandwagon: NC hits back at her ‘setback for religion’ comment

Opposition National Conference attacked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday, over her alleged remark that she is “ashamed as a Muslim.” NC spokesperson Junaid Mattu claimed that Mehbooba Mufti while speaking to reporters after the wreath laying ceremony for the CRPF personnel martyred in Pampore has said that “she was ashamed as a Muslim over the attack.””This is the same Mehbooba Mufti who used to say that terror has no religion. Now suddenly she sees terror as an offshoot of Islam for which Muslims should be ashamed. This is shameful coming from a Chief Minister,” Mattu said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>National Conference leader Omar Abdullah in a tweet said, “So Mehbooba Mufti has joined the “Islamic terror” bandwagon after spending years saying terror had no religion.”
ALSO READ Pampore attack: Such incidents ‘defaming’ J&K, setback to religion we practise: Mehbooba Mufti”Nothing can be achieved by this…. We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a set back to the religion we practice,” Mehbooba had said on Sunday after laying floral wreath on the coffins of the CRPF personnel killed in Pampore on Saturday.
ALSO READ Pampore attack: Mehbooba Mufti, Nirmal Singh attend wreath laying ceremony for martyrsCondemning the dastardly attack on the CRPF convoy, the NC spokesperson expressed solidarity with the families of the martyred policemen saying violence in any form is condemnable and unacceptable. “While our hearts go out to the families of the martyred CRPF personnel, we are shocked at the Chief Minister’s continued desperation to jump on the Islamic terror bandwagon. One wonders what her compulsions are but this is tragic. She’s either still trying to prove her loyalty to the RSS and VHP or she has pledged to assail Muslim societies, Muslim countries and Islam as a convenient medium of political empowerment,” Mattu alleged, adding Mehbooba’s comment was “despicable and highly condemnable.”

We won’t fire first but if Pakistan fires then we won’t keep an account of our bullets: Rajnath on Pampore attack

In the wake of attack on a CRPF convoy in Kashmir, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday clearly accused Pakistan of trying to destabilise India even as he said lapses, if any, in Saturday’s incident would be looked into and status of infiltration ascertained.An attempt is being made by these terrorists and our neighbouring country to destabilise India,” Singh said in a clear reference to Pakistan but without naming it. “I want to praise the bravery of our security men. I salute their courage. Terrorists attacked them (security men) deceitfully. But our security men killed those two terrorists successfully,” he said addressing a function in Fatehgarh Sahib in Punjab to mark the 300th martyrdom anniversary of legendary Sikh Warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Rajnath Singh later in a public rally said, A three-member team of Home Ministry officials will visit Kashmir on Tuesday to find out if there were any lapses involved in the attack in Pampore, the deadliest one on security forces in recent years, in which eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 injured. The team will look into the possible increase of cross border Infiltration and practices being followed during the movement of paramilitary forces convoy in Jammu and Kashmir.Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, while condemning the incident and paying tributes to the deceased eight CRPF personnel, said the people of the state were the “worst sufferers” of such attacks as these deprive them of development and employment.Observing that such attacks “defame” the state, she highlighted that the strike had been carried out during Ramzan, the holy month when “people should be seeking forgiveness and expiation for past sins” and “making sure not to hurt others.” After the attack, CRPF has moved about half-a-dozen heavy-armoured mine protected vehicles (MPVs), which were earlier used for anti-Naxal operations, to Kashmir Valley to effectively secure its troops deployed there.”Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, in an apparent reference to Pakistan, said India seeks peace “but from the position of strength and not from the position of weakness”. He said the attack is a “fallout of frustration” as he cited the records of last one month during which 25-30 terrorists have been gunned down after their infiltration from Pakistani side.”I am pained that eight jawans were killed. Why, how it happened and whose fault it was, it will be clear after an enquiry,” he said. Rajnath Singh said he has asked the Home Secretary to send a team to Pampore “to look into any lapses so that we can correct it in the future and our jawans do not face martyrdom in such incidents.”The team, to be headed by Secretary (Border Management) Sushil Kumar, is to submit its report at the earliest. The other officials are Special Secretary (Internal Security) Mahesh Kumar Singla and Joint Secretary Gyanesh Kumar. “We should greet and welcome the bravery of our security people and the way they are working with such valour and courage… India cannot forget those security men who got martyred. They are not with us now and we pay our tributes to them,” the Home Minister said.Mehbooba, who laid floral wreaths on the coffins of the CRPF personnel in Srinagar, said targeting security forces personnel who were only doing their duty was “condemnable”. “This is a fasting month when people should be seeking forgiveness and expiation for past sins. This is the time when we should be making sure not to hurt others. This kind of attack where you are affecting families by snatching their bread earner is condemnable.”Nothing can be achieved by this…. We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a setback to the religion we practice,” the Chief Minister said. Emphasising that militants were also giving a setback to tourism of Kashmir, she told reporters that “People from many countries have started arriving but this would send a wrong signal about the situation here.” She said such attacks also deprived Jammu and Kashmir from its share of development witnessed in the rest of India.”Today there is atmosphere of development. India is attracting lot of investments in infrastructure development and healthcare but when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, the investors shy away because of these incidents. The worst sufferers of these attacks are people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar said, “It is a desperate act by the terrorists. You must have seen over the past few days the attacks at Anantnag, Bijbehara or Pampore, these are desperate acts. Over the past six months, many terrorists and their leadership have been eliminated.” He downplayed suggestions that the CRPF casualties could have been avoided if there had been better intelligence.”The CRPF personnel were returning after doing their duty and in such cases they become sitting ducks. In earlier attacks, the militants managed to escape but yesterday, our jawans were alert, there were intelligence reports which led to neutralising of terrorists. They could not escape,” Kumar said.Asked if there was any militant involved in yesterday’s attack on the loose, the DGP said, “We are investigating the case. We are looking at all possible angles and links and we will get them, we will get the perpetrators to the book.” On the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra which begins on July 2, Kumar said, “We will take all steps necessary for safe and secure environment for smooth conduct of the yatra.” On infiltration of militants from across the Line of Control, the DGP said while “some infiltration has taken place, JK police and security forces are all prepared and geared up to handle any sort of situation”. Paying homage to legendary Sikh warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, the Union Home Minister said that historians had not done justice to him despite his “unprecedented sacrifice”. Lauding the contribution of ‘Khalsa Panth’ to the country, he said it has served as an armour (Surakhya Kavach) to safeguard the Indian culture and civilization. Earlier, addressing the gathering, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal called upon the people to follow the teachings of Banda Singh Bahadur and overcome forces of tyranny, oppression and injustice.The Chief Minister said Banda Singh Bahadur’s sacrifice in the annals of Indian History laid the foundation of Indian Freedom movement with establishing of the first ‘Sikh Raj’ in 1709. He was a true champion of oppressed sections of the society especially the farmers upon whom he bestowed the ownership rights thereby abolishing the Zamindari system, Badal said.Seeking inspiration from Bahadur’s great philosophy, Badal said, “Our government has also taken several pro-poor and farmer friendly initiatives to improve upon their lot in its own humble way.” The Chief Minister lamented that the Sikhs failed to preserve their rich cultural heritage, adding it was an established fact that the nations which tend to forget their history eventually perish.Appreciating efforts of BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, the Chief Minister thanked Singh for constituting SIT to reopen the cases of 1984 riots, besides enhancing the compensation to its victims from Rs 3.5 lakh to Rs five lakh. Badal said with these initiatives, these hapless victims had last seen a “light at the end of the tunnel” after a period of 32 years thereby assuaging the tormented psyche of Sikhs.He attacked the Congress, alleging that it has shielded the guilty. Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said the state government is fully aware of its responsibility to make the younger generation to comprehend the glorious cultural and heritage of the state.Keeping in view, Punjab is contemplating to launch a scheme so that the youth from villages across the state could witness the historical monuments in the buses on the lines of ‘Tirath Yatra Scheme’. Throwing light on the initiatives of the state government, he said the Chief Minister is paying special attention to the preservation of heritage of state.Lashing out at those who were “trying to defame the state by branding its entire youth as drug addicts”, he said “anti-Punjab and anti-Panthic people have evil designs” on their mind as such unscrupulous elements want to disturb hard earned peace of the state. He said the state government would not allow the nefarious plans of such forces to succeed.Prominent amongst others who were present on the occasion included Punjab Vidhan Sabha Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, Cabinet Minister Daljit Singh Cheema, Bikram Singh Majithia, BJP MLA and minister Madan Mohan Mittal.

Attack on CRPF personnel in Jammu and Kashmir an act of frustration: Manohar Parrikar

Bhubaneswar: Condemning the terrorist attack on a CRPF bus near Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir a day earlier, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Sunday said it is an act of frustration and assured the government will deal with such incidents strongly.

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTIDefence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar. PTI

“In the last one month, over 25 terrorists have been killed by security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. It is an act of frustration on their part to show that they still hold power,” the minister said while addressing an ex-servicemen’s convention here.

Calling it a very unfortunate incident, Parrikar said he had doubts if the standard operating procedure (SOP) was followed in the case.

He, however, said the exact reason of the incident will only come out after inquiry.

“This nation has to seek peace. We seek peace, but from a position of strength and not from a position of weakness,” he added.

Parrikar said that after becoming the Defence Minister, he had told soldiers to retaliate in case of a terrorist attack.

“… I told jawans that if terrorists attack you, you don’t need to stop; you have all the freedom to retaliate,” the minister said.

Eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and 22 others wounded when terrorists attacked a bus carrying security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday.

Addressing a press conference later, he welcomed the changes in the Foreign Direct Investment policy in the defence sector.

“The government has taken a big step in the defence sector by increasing the FDI. This has been done so that India becomes an ‘export hub’ over the years,” the minister said.

He said the capacity of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited’s MiG factory in Odisha’s Sunabeda will be doubled within two to four years.

Parrikar also highlighted several central welfare programmes initiated for the benefit of the people.

Pampore attack: Such incidents ‘defaming’ J&K, setback to religion we practise: Mehbooba Mufti

Paying tributes to the CRPF jawans killed in the Pampore attack, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Sunday said such incidents are only “defaming” Kashmir while keeping potential investors and tourists away from the state.The Chief Minister laid floral wreaths on the coffins of the eight CRPF personnel killed in the militant attack on their convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Saturday. She said targeting security forces personnel who were only doing their duty was “condemnable”. “This is a fasting month when people should be seeking forgiveness and expiation for past sins. This is the time when we should be making sure not to hurt others. This kind of attack where you are affecting families by snatching their bread earner is condemnable.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Nothing can be achieved by this…. We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a setback to the religion we practice,” Mehbooba told reporters. She said the militants were also giving a setback to tourism of Kashmir. “People from many countries have started arriving but this would send a wrong signal about the situation here,” she said.The Chief Minister said such attacks also deprived Jammu and Kashmir from its share of development witnessed in the rest of India. “Today there is atmosphere of development. India is attracting lot of investments in infrastructure development and healthcare but when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, the investors shy away because of these incidents. The worst sufferers of these attacks are people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar downplayed suggestions that the CRPF casualties could have been avoided in view of prior intelligence inputs and said the attackers were neutralised due to alertness of the jawans and intelligence inputs.”It is a desperate act by the terrorists. You must have seen over the past few days the attacks at Anantnag, Bijbehara or Pampore, these are desperate acts. Over the past six months, many terrorists and their leadership have been eliminated,” he said. “The CRPF personnel were returning after doing their duty and in such cases they become sitting ducks. In earlier attacks, the militants managed to escape but yesterday, our jawans were alert, there were intelligence reports which led to neutralising of terrorists. They could not escape,” Kumar said.Asked if there was any militant involved in yesterday’s attack on the loose, the DGP said, “We are investigating the case. We are looking at all possible angles and links and we will get them, we will get the perpetrators to the book.” On the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra which begins on July 2, Kumar said, “We will take all steps necessary for safe and secure environment for smooth conduct of the yatra.” On infiltration of militants from across the Line of Control, the DGP said while “some infiltration has taken place, JK police and security forces are all prepared and geared up to handle any sort of situation”.

Pampore attack: CM Mehbooba Mufti says such incidents defaming Jammu and Kashmir

Paying tributes to the CRPF jawans killed in the Pampore attack, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today said such incidents are only “defaming” Kashmir while keeping potential investors and tourists away from the state. The Chief Minister laid floral wreaths on the coffins of the eight CRPF personnel killed in the militant attack on their convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway yesterday. She said targeting security forces personnel who were only doing their duty was “condemnable”.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”This is a fasting month when people should be seeking forgiveness and expiation for past sins. This is the time when we should be making sure not to hurt others. This kind of attack where you are affecting families by snatching their bread earner is condemnable. “Nothing can be achieved by this…. We are only defaming Kashmir and the state by these acts. We also deal a set back to the religion we practice,” Mehbooba told reporters.She said the militants were also giving a set back to tourism of Kashmir.”People from many countries have started arriving but this would send a wrong signal about the situation here,” she said.The Chief Minister said such attacks also deprived Jammu and Kashmir from its share of development witnessed in the rest of India. “Today there is atmosphere of development. India is attracting lot of investments in infrastructure development and healthcare but when it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, the investors shy away because of these incidents. The worst sufferers of these attacks are people of Jammu and Kashmir,” she said.Director General of Police K Rajendra Kumar downplayed suggestions that the CRPF casualties could have been avoided in view of prior intelligence inputs and said the attackers were neutralised due to alertness of the jawans and intelligence inputs. “It is a desperate act by the terrorists. You must have seen over the past few days the attacks at Anantnag, Bijbehara or Pampore, these are desperate acts. Over the past six months, many terrorists and their leadership have been eliminated,” he said.

Pampore attack: Neighbouring country trying to destabilise India, says Rajnath Singh

Fatehgarh Sahib (Punjab): In a clear reference to Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the neighbouring country was trying to destabilise India even as he announced that a committee will be sent to Pampore to look into any lapses in the handling of the terror attack that left eight CRPF personnel dead.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh. PTI

Home Minister Rajnath Singh. PTI

Showering praise on security men for successfully eliminating two terrorists involved in yesterday’s attack, he said, “I have asked the Home Secretary to send a two-member committee to Pampore to look into any lapses so that we can correct it in the future and our jawans do not face martyrdom in such incidents.

“I want to praise the bravery of our security men. I salute their courage. Terrorists attacked them (security men) deceitfully. But our security men killed those two terrorists successfully,” he said addressing a function to mark the 300th martyrdom anniversary of legendary Sikh Warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur here.

The Home Minister said Indian youth should stand up to face forces which want to destabilise the country.

“An attempt is being made by these terrorists and our neighbouring country to destabilise India. I call upon Indian youth to stand up to face such forces and we should greet and welcome the bravery of our security people and the way they are working with such valour and courage,” said Singh without naming any country.

The Home Minister said, “India cannot forget those security men who got martyred. They are not with us now and we pay our tributes to them.”

In the deadliest attack on security forces in recent years, eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others critically wounded yesterday when terrorists rained bullets on a bus carrying them at Pampore, in Kashmir.

The Minister stressed that the country needed brave and courageous people to face the current challenge.

“But this period is going on and we need brave people in this time like Banda Singh Bahadur who were ready to lay down their lives for the country and society. Such people can protect the nation,” he said.

He noted that people should take inspiration from people like Banda Singh Bahadur. “Today our country is facing many challenges and to win over these challenges, we can take inspiration from life of people like Banda Singh Bahadur,” he said.

The Union Home Minister also assured the people that the Centre would deliver justice to the victims of 1984 anti-Sikh riots.

“Whenever I come to Punjab, I recall the 1984 riots. The burden of 1984 riots is still being felt. (1984 riots ke dangon ka jo bojh hai hamare dil par barabr bana rehta hai),” he said.

“But I want to assure you that being the Home Minister of the country, we have initiated effective action (in this regard),” said the Minister while addressing the gathering.

Singh said that after coming to power, the Modi-led government formed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe 1984 riots.

“After we formed the government, we constituted a SIT and I told SIT that if the (1984) victims and their families are not satisfied with the investigation and if they feel that the way the investigations should have been be held was not carried out, all such matters should be looked into,” said Singh.

The Home Minister said that SIT has recommended re-investigation into 22 such cases pertaining to 1984 riots.

“Several cases are being reviewed. There are 286 such cases. Many cases have been reviewed. But SIT has so far recommended re-investigation into 22 such cases,” he said.

“I want to assure you that you will get justice,” asserted Union Home Minister.

Pampore attack – Neighbouring country trying to destabilise India: Rajnath Singh

In a clear reference to Pakistan, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said the neighbouring country was trying to destabilise India even as he announced that a committee will be sent to Pampore to look into any lapses in the handling of the terror attack that left eight CRPF personnel dead.Showering praise on security men for successfully eliminating two terrorists involved in yesterday’s attack, he said, “I have asked the Home Secretary to send a two-member committee to Pampore to look into any lapses so that we can correct it in the future and our jawans do not face martyrdom in such incidents. “I want to praise the bravery of our security men. I salute their courage. Terrorists attacked them (security men) deceitfully. But our security men killed those two terrorists successfully,” he said addressing a function to mark the 300th martyrdom anniversary of legendary Sikh Warrior Baba Banda Singh Bahadur here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Home Minister said Indian youth should stand up to face forces which want to destabilise the country. “An attempt is being made by these terrorists and our neighbouring country to destabilise India. I call upon Indian youth to stand up to face such forces and we should greet and welcome the bravery of our security people and the way they are working with such valour and courage,” said Singh without naming any country. The Home Minister said, “India cannot forget those security men who got martyred. They are not with us now and we pay our tributes to them.”In the deadliest attack on security forces in recent years, eight CRPF personnel were killed and 21 others critically wounded yesterday when terrorists rained bullets on a bus carrying them at Pampore, in Kashmir. The Minister stressed that the country needed brave and courageous people to face the current challenge. “But this period is going on and we need brave people in this time like Banda Singh Bahadur who were ready to lay down their lives for the country and society. Such people can protect the nation,” he said.He noted that people should take inspiration from people like Banda Singh Bahadur. “Today our country is facing many challenges and to win over these challenges, we can take inspiration from life of people like Banda Singh Bahadur,” he said.

LeT terrorists ambush CRPF convoy in J&K, kill 8 jawans

A heavily armed group of fidayeen (suicide attackers) ambushed a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) bus, killing eight jawans and injuring 22 others. The condition of five of them are critical.The ambush occurred on the Srinagar-Jammu highway near Frestbal in the saffron-rich town of Pampore on Saturday. Two fidayeens were later killed in retaliatory firing.Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) has claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement to a local news agency, LeT spokesperson Dr Abdullah Ghaznavi said two militants belonging to a fidayeen squad attacked the CRPF bus on the highway, in which 13 soldiers were killed and 20 others injured. He also confirmed the death of both the fidayeens in the attack<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Police said the incident occurred at 4.50 pm when a CRPF convoy carrying jawans was returning to Srinagar after a firing practice at the Lethpora area of south Kashmir. Police said militants hiding in the area attacked the convoy with automatic weapons and tried to barge inside.However, CRPF personnel travelling in two other vehicles immediately retaliated and gunned down the two.”They (CRPF troopers) were coming from Lethpora to Srinagar when the fidayeens ambushed them. We immediately retaliated and killed two militants,” KK Sharma, deputy inspector-general of police, CRPF, told dna.The injured were rushed to the army hospital. “Injured CRPF personnel evacuated to the hospital… Injured CRPF personnel being attended to,” tweeted the Northern Command of the Indian Army.Panic gripped the area after the gun battle. People ran helter-skelter and shopkeepers downed shutters and fled. Traffic on the highway also came to a halt as security forces launched a massive operation to track down any remaining militants.The attack comes just a week before the Amarnath yatra takes off in the Himalayas in Kashmir.The Srinagar-Jammu highway is an important axis for the pilgrims who board buses from the base camp in Jammu to the cave shrine from Pahalgam and Baltal route. The attack has sent shivers down the security establishment, who are now busy rejigging the security plan for the pilgrims.Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti condemned the attack and said that such acts would only add to the tragedies and miseries of the people and subvert the government’s efforts to bring peace and prosperity.PTI adds: The terrorists appeared to have carefully chosen the spot for the ambush as every vehicle has to slow down there because of a sharp curve on the road. Security agencies suspect a reconnaisance might have preceded the assault.Asked whether the slain terrorists were from across the border, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police K Rajendra said: “In all probability, they seem to be from Pakistan.”

PM Narendra Modi, CM Mehbooba Mufti express condolences to family of Pampore martyrs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday offered his condolences to the kin of the eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel, who were martyred in an encounter with Lashkar terrorists in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday evening.”I salute the courage of the CRPF personnel martyred today in J&K. They served the nation with utmost dedication. Pained by their demise. My thoughts are with the families of those martyred today. May those injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister said in a series of tweets.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has also condemned the militant attack, saying that such acts of violence were aimed at subverting the Government’s efforts to bring peace and prosperity to the state.
ALSO READ Pampore: Lashkar terrorists attack bus carrying CRPF personnel; 8 jawans martyred”The only purpose of such blood-spattered acts of violence is to add to the tragedies and miseries of the people and subvert the Government’s efforts aimed at bringing permanent peace and prosperity to Jammu and Kashmir,” Mufti said in a statement.Mehbooba also said that the elements inimical to interests of Jammu and Kashmir have always tried to derail the peace efforts and the latest militant strike at Pampore was again aimed at subverting the peace and development initiatives launched by the Government. Mehbooba while expressing solidarity with the bereaved families of the security forces personnel, prayed for early recovery of the injured including civilians.
ALSO READ Pampore: ‘Deeply anguised’ by the attack, Rajnath Singh prays for speedy recovery of injured”I would like to express my sincere condolences to the families who have lost their loved ones in today?s dastardly militant attack,” she said and added that violence has not served any purpose in the past, nor is it going to do anything in future, except shedding precious human blood.Eight CRPF personnel were martyred and 24 injured in the major ambush by two terrorists, who were neutralised in the encounter in Pampore. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar offered his condolences to the families of the martyred and said that he is praying for the early recovery of those injured.CRPF DG K Durga Prasad has briefed Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the incident and will be visiting Pampore on Sunday to take stock of the situation.The CRPF asserted on Saturday that the two terrorists, who have been neutralised in the gunfight, appeared to be Pakistanis and were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives.”According to the first hand info, both killed terrorists appeared to be Pakistanis and definitely from Lashkar and in all likelihood fidayeen,” IG, CRPF operation Nalin Parbhat said.Security personnel recovered arms and ammunition including 2 AK 47 Rifles, 11 hand grenades from the killed terrorists.

Pampore: ‘Deeply anguised’ by the attack, Rajnath Singh prays for speedy recovery of injured

With eight Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel martyred and 24 injured in the major ambush by two terrorists in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has offered his condolences to the kin of the martyred.”Deeply anguished to learn of the death of CRPF personnel in an ambush at Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir today. My heart goes out to the families of the CRPF men who lost their lives in Pampore. I also pray for the speedy recovery of the injured,” Rajnath said in a series of tweets.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Meanwhile, CRPF DG K Durga Prasad has briefed Rajnath on the incident and will be visiting Pampore on Sunday to take stock of the situation. The CRPF asserted on Saturday that the two terrorists, who have been neutralised in the gunfight, appeared to be Pakistanis and were Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives.”According to the first hand info, both killed terrorists appeared to be Pakistanis and definitely from Lashkar and in all likelihood fidayeen,” IG, CRPF operation Nalin Parbhat said.In the fierce gun-battle that took place Saturday evening, eight CRPF jawans were also martyred. Security personnel recovered arms and ammunition including 2 AK 47 Rifles, 11 hand grenades from the killed terrorists.”Our jawans were returning after practicing in the firing range when the attack happened. Our men returned fire with great bravery and it was during that time that both the militants were neutralised. As of now we have lost five boys and around 20 are injured,” CRPF commandant Rajesh Yadav said.He added that all the injured and the bodies of the deceased have been moved to be 92 Base Hospital.

Kashmir terror attack: Eight CRPF troopers killed in Pampore ambush

In one of the deadliest attacks of this year, eight Central Reserve Police Force personnel were martyred and 24 injured on Saturday after militants opened fire at a convoy belonging to the paramilitary force in Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. Two militants were also shot dead in retaliatory fire.

The attack happened on the busy Srinagar-Jammu national highway when the security personnel were returning from a training exercise, police said, according to the latest reports from CNN-News 18.

Rajesh Yadav, CRPF commandant also said that 20 jawans injured in the attack were taken to the Army’s 92 Base hospital in Srinagar. He told ANI that the jawans were returning from firing range practice when the attack took place.

“A CRPF convoy on way to Srinagar was attacked by militants at Namblabal near Pampore town on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway,” a senior police officer told IANS.

Nalin Prabhat, IG, CRPF said that both the terrorists killed in the attack appeared to be from Pakistan and from Lashkar-e-Taiba.

“Firing exchanges are still going on at the attack site as two militants are still reported to be firing at the security forces,” he said, adding reinforcements have been rushed to the area to ensure that the surviving militants don’t escape.

Traffic on the busy highway came to a halt immediately after the attack, while tension has gripped nearby Pampore town. There is a high security alert issued in Srinagar and search is on for the two escaped terrorists. The DG is likely to visit Pampore on Sunday.

According to ANI, security personnel recovered arms and ammunition, including two AK-47 rifles, 11 hand grenades from the two terrorists killed in the attack.

With inputs from IANS

Now, Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed praises Pampore terrorists, leads prayers

A video uploaded by Lashkar affiliate Jamaat-ud-Dawah shows Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed leading prayers for the three terrorists who were killed by the Indian Army in Pampore, Jammu and Kashmir, recently.In the weekly Friday prayers, traditionally led by Saeed at Qadsiya masjid in Lahore, where JuD and LeT have their headquarters, he eulogised the three militants.Saeed is also seen making a speech against the background of moving images, like smoke billowing from the Entrepreunership Development Institute (EDI) building in Pampore, where the terrorists were holed up, scenes from the conflict between military personnel, Kashmiri protestors and even the Indian Parliament.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Commending the “honourable young men and women of Islam in the battlegrounds of jihad in Kashmir”, Saeed says: “Last week, there was an impressive attack in Kashmir. The fight continued for three days. There were three mujahideen against thousands of Indian Army personnel.”He said that the funeral prayers were held in Pakistan following a request by the Hurriyat and Dukhtaran-e-Millat’s Asiya Andrabi to read eulogies for the “martyrs” in Kashmir.Indian security agencies believe that the Pampore attack is the handiwork of LeT. However, no militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.Yet, JuD leaders have been supporting the attack on social media platforms. Saeed’s endorsement of the Pampore militants strongly asserts that the attack on Indian armed forces was carried out by the LeT. Both Lashkar and its charitable organisational front Jamaat are banned by the UN Security Council as entities of al-Qaeda.On February 20, militants led siege to the EDI building and the fight with security agencies lasted for more than 48 hours.On the second day, as the encounter continued, local residents started pelting stones on military personnel cordoning the area and mosques in the vicinity blared songs hailing the mujahideen.Saeed said this scene was being seen after many years and shows the faith of Kashmiri population in the acts of mujaheeds. Recently LeT’s Kashmir chief Mehmood Shah, in a statement to local news agencies, said that the attack was carried out to avenge the death of two young civilians – Shaista Hameed and Danish Farooq Mir–in Pulwama earlier this month when security forces opened fire on a mob that was protesting against the killing of a local militant in Kakpora village. Saeed reiterated that the mujahideens took revenge for the killing of their sister Shaista.In the video, Saeed also talks about how the Pampore attack has shown that these jihadis are on the right path. “The United States and India conspired to support new militant groups in Pakistan, including the Islamic State (ISIS), so that people will join these groups. But the sacrifice of mujahideens in Kashmir struck down this conspiracy to divert militants from jihad in Kashmir.”LeT supports al Qaeda and opposes IS.

dna Must Reads: From latest in Railway Budget 2016 to Sanjay Dutt walking free from Yerwada jail

1. Railway Budget 2016: PM Modi hails Prabhu; says Budget will play key role in country’s rejuvenationRailway Minister Suresh Prabhu starts announcement his second railway budget. He says the budget is reflective of the aspirations of the entire railway family, the common man who have been talking to him on social media and meeting him, and of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Read more here.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>2. JNU Row: Arun Jaitley defends police action, says ‘great offence’ committed by ultra-LeftistsAfter Smriti Irani’s emotional and fiery defence of government action on JNU row and Rohith Vemula issue in Lok Sabha, Arun Jaitley has further raised the ante in Rajya Sabha. He launched a stirring attack on those sloganeering in JNU, asking whether free speech is equivalent to sedition. Read more here.3. Rohith Vemula suicide: Chief Medical Officer contradicts Smriti Irani’s claims in ParliamentRefuting the claims made by HRD Minister Smriti Irani on Wednesday, the on-duty Chief Medical Officer M Rajshree says that she was at the spot 20 minutes after the body was recovered, The NewsMinute reports. On Wednesday, February 24, Smriti Irani in the Parliament alleged that after Rohith Vemula’s body was recovered, no doctor was allowed near the body. She claimed that the body was used as a political tool. Read more here.4. Pampore attack: United Jihad Council head Syed Salahuddin’s son among those trapped in EDISyed Mueen, son of United Jihad Council supremo Syed Salahuddin, was among the nearly 100 employees and trainees trapped inside the government building attacked by Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in Pampore on Srinagar- Jammu national highway last week. Read more here.5. It is a day of freedom for me after 23 years today; I miss my father a lot, says Sanjay DuttBollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, convicted in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case, walked free from Pune’s Yerwada jail on Thursday after he was granted remission in his five-year sentence. Clad in blue shirt and jeans, a smiling Dutt was escorted out of the imposing jail gates this morning after completing formalities and got into a car that drove him straight to Lohegaon Airport in Pune to take a chartered flight to Mumbai. Read more here.

LeT, JeM get ‘candid support’ from Pakistan: Army Chief Dalbir Singh

Army Chief Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag on Thursday slammed Pakistan for giving “candid support” to terror groups like JeM and LeT as he called on the international community to join hands in combating the menace. Days after suspected LeT operatives struck in Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir, Suhag hit out at Pakistan, saying, “Terrorist groups like LeT and JeM get candid support from across our western borders.”<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The attack at Pampore left three army personnel dead, including two Captains of the Special Forces. Two CRPF personnel, too, were killed by three heavily armed “foreign” terrorists who were shot dead after a fierce 48-hour-long gun battle.At a seminar organised by army think tank CLAWS, Suhag also said that the spreading influence of Islamic State, in particular through social and other forms of media, has thrown up challenges of global and regional security. “What is worrying is that these groups can no longer be dismissed as regional manifestations of violence,” he said.Noting that such jihadist outfits take advantage of the international connected systems of finance, commerce and transit to stay flexible and reach any part of the globe, Suhag said it was “necessary for international community to fight this menace as one by sharing of intel and adoption of training techniques from each other”.He added that the 9/11, 26/11 and recent Paris attacks have changed the perception among world leaders regarding the threat from terrorism.The Army Chief said, “We need to address not only the methods but also the factors that contribute to the spread of terrorism. The main threat comes from fundamental ideology and twisted interpretations which are promoting radical thinking.”BJP leader and spokesperson MJ Akbar, who also spoke at the event, termed Pakistan a “sanctuary of jihad”.

J&K stir: Fresh firing between militants and security forces in Pampore

Srinagar: Fresh firing broke out today between militants and security forces as the operation against extremists holed up in a government building in Pampore town on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway entered the third day. “Militants inside the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building, which is up in flames, have engaged security forces in intermittent exchange of fire since 5.30 am,” said a police official.

Representational image PTIRepresentational image PTI

Representational image PTI

He also said that there were no fresh casualties so far in today’s operation as security forces have adopted a strategy of wearing down militants physically as well as in terms of ammunition reserves. Two CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and nine other jawans injured when militants opened fire a on a CRPF convoy on Saturday afternoon. After attacking the bus, the guerrillas had entered the JKEDI complex and taken shelter in the multi-storeyed building, triggering a stand-off.

 Nearly 100 civilians — staff and students of EDI — were evacuated to safety by the security forces from the building. As the security forces mounted an assault on the building yesterday, they met with stiff resistance from the ultras who are holding various vantage points inside the building. Those killed in the firing include Abdul Gani Mir of Gundipora Pulwama, JKEDI gardener, captain Pawan Kumar of 10 para regiment belonging to Jind (Haryana), captain Tushar Mahajan of nine para regiment belonging to Udhampur town of Jammu region, Lance naik Om Prakash of nine para regiment, head constable Bhola Prasad and driver constable R. K. Rana, both of the CRPF.

A CRPF spokesman who initially told reporters that a guerrilla had been killed in the gunfight later denied it saying there had been some confusion about it.

With inputs from agencies

‘Kuchh nahi chahiye, bas apni razai’: Pampore martyr Capt Pawan Kumar’s life was shaped by JNU and Jind

Captain Pawan Kumar, of 9 Para Special Forces of the Indian army, studied for his under-graduation at Jawaharlal Nehru University. A Jat from Jind district of Haryana, Kumar died in his early twenties while fighting militants in Sempora area of Pampore on the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday evening.

According to Army officers who worked with him, Kumar loved riding bikes, vintage cars, and clicking pictures in remote areas. It is ironic that the man whose life was shaped by two places — JNU and Jind are mired in controversy these days. Kumar tried to downplay their influence on him in his sarcastic best, recently in a Facebook status:

“Kisiko reservation chahiye to kisiki ko azadi bhai. Humein kutch nahin chahiye bhai. Bas apni razai.” (Some want reservation and some want independence. I do not want anything, except my blanket.)

Kumar was the only child of his parents. Rajbir Singh, his father, said in a chocked voice on Sunday that he is proud of his son’s achievement, “I had only one child. I gave him to the Army, to the nation. No father can be prouder.”

Captain Pawan Kumar.Captain Pawan Kumar.

Captain Pawan Kumar.

The Army officials said on Sunday that Kumar was head of a Para Special Force team that stormed the building in Pampore to flush out militants holed inside. The militants first attacked a Central Reserve Police Force convoy coming towards Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, at around 3.45 pm on Saturday.

After killing two CRPF jawans, the militants sneaked into the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI) complex in Pampore town located on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway. Like every young officer, he led from the front and stormed the building in wee hours of Sunday but the operation failed.

Kumar was born on 15 January, 1993. He has served less then three years in the Army. When the militants stormed the EDI complex on Saturday, they directed employees towards the exit gate and closed its doors. In the ensuing firing, a poor gardener also lost his life.

Roop Kumar Singh, Kumar’s friend, told Firstpost from Jind on phone that his friend rarely talked, “but whenever he did, he would made others burst into laughter.”

“The courage shown by his father is exemplary. Despite losing a young and only son, he hardly cried and is proud of his sacrifice. It is frightening because one should let out the sorrow, but he has kept to himself. His courage is remarkable,” he said.

An army officer said in Srinagar that Captain Kumar had refused to go on sick leave to take part in the operation and led from the front. He had recently participated in the 15 February Pulwama encounter in which two militants were killed.

“Pawan Kumar was a young and a dynamic officer, He was a true commander”, Lt. Gen. SK Dua, General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said.

On Sunday afternoon when the black smoke billowed out from one of the whitewashed buildings of EDI, news trickled in that another Para Capitan, Tushar Mahajan, has been killed, after being hit by a volley of bullets during the mopping-up operation.

Tushar MahajanTushar Mahajan

Tushar Mahajan

Majahan, 24, a resident of Udhampur district of Jammu, was killed along with Lance Naik Om Prakash in the operation which has been a black day for the Indian army in Kashmir. Tushar is son of Prof Dev Raj, a retired Principal and Lecturer of Physics in Udhampur. Before getting selected for National Defence Academy training in 2010, he had completed his schooling from Little Flowers School, KV and APS Udhampur. Tushar was a bachelor and his only brother works abroad.

“He had joined the army against the wishes of his mother and father; they wanted him to be an engineer like his elder brother, but he followed his passion,” one of Tushar’s school friend in Udhampur told Firstpost.

Abdul Gani Mir, a resident of Pinglina village of Pulwama, who also died on the first day of the encounter, worked in JKEDI as a gardener. He fell to the bullets when the firing started on Saturday and the forces started evacuating the trapped employees.

The story of Mir is no less tragic. His brother-in-law, Mohammad Maqbool, a policemen, was killed by militants in 2013. The family of Maqbool was now dependent on Mir along with two daughters and minor son. With nobody to take care of Maqbool’s family, his widow and kids moved to Mir’s place. Mir had his own family to sustain – two grown up daughters already in college and a minor son.

“Who will take care of such a big family now. Did they not think of that before killing you,” Mariyam, the daughter of Mir, shouted as his coffin was being carried out for funeral prayers.

The encounter meanwhile continues even after three days between security forces and militants. Intermittent exchange of fire again started on Monday morning.

So far, six people, including two captains and soldier of Para, two paramilitary troops of the CRPF and a civilians have been killed in the gunfight.

Proud of son’s sacrifice: Father of Captain Pawan Kumar killed in Pampore

Last month Captain Pawan Kumar turned 23 little realizing that it could be his last birthday. An intrepid commando, Captain Pawan embarked on a daredevil mission to storm the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneur Development Institute (JKEDI) building to nut-out the highly motivated holed-up militants in the din of night at Sempora-Pampore in south Kashmir.Living to his motto, Captain Pawan of 10 Para (Special Forces) fought a close quarter battle with the highly entrenched militants before receiving the volley of bullets. He was shifted to the hospital where he attained martyrdom.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>“Captain Pawan Kumar of 10 Para attained martyrdom while leading his men from the front in a tricky deliberate operation against terrorists hiding in a government building,” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar.
ALSO READ A Jat and a JNU degree holder, this 23-year-old soldier gave up his life in the Pampore encounterBorn on January 15, 1993 in Jind Haryana, Captain Pawan was the only child of his parents who graduated from National Defense Academy in 2013.Having just three years of service, he was a very brave intrepid officer who had maturity beyond his years. Just before this operation, he participated in two successful anti militancy operation in which three ultras were killed. He received some injuries last month but after three days he resumed his duties and refused to go on sick leave. “I had one child. I gave him to the army… to the nation. No father can be prouder,” said Sri Rajbir Singh, father of martyr Captain Pawan.Like Captain Pawan, Lance Naik Om Prakash took on the militants head on before laying down his life in the line of duty. A highly decorated soldier, the 32-year-old Lance Naik Om Prakash hailed from Shimla in Himachal Pradesh and was serving in the army for the last 13 years.“The martyr was awarded the Asadharan Suraksha Seva Praman Patra by the Prime Minister of India on August 15 2013,” said Colonel Joshi.Captain Tushar Mahajan of 9 Para died on Sunday afternoon when he was busy in clearing the building from militants. A brave commando hailing from Jammu and Kashmir, he suffered grievous injuries and was shifted to hospital where he attained martyrdom. “Regret to inform that that another army personnel succumbed to his injuries. Twenty-six-year-old Capt Tushar hailed from Udhmpur (Jammu),” said Colonel NN Joshi, defence spokesman at Srinagar. The officer was leading from the front when he came under heavy fire from the highly entrenched militants inside the EDI building.

Pampore encounter: 3 soldiers, one terrorist killed; security forces put on high alert

Security forces were put on high alert on Sunday across Jammu region following the encounter in Pampore in Kashmir where heavily armed militants have been holed up in the building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway.The counter insurgency grid in Jammu has been put on high alert and security has been tightened at all vital installations in the region.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”Tight security arrangements have been put in place, the counter insurgency and the counter infiltration grids have been tightened in the entire Jammu region,” Deputy Inspector General of Police (Jammu-Kathua Range) Ashkoor Wani said. He said Quick Reaction Teams (QRT) of the police have been kept on standby and personnel at all check posts in the region have been asked to remain alert.Security at vital installations in Jammu including the airport and railway stations has been increased.”Nothing can be left to chance and all preparations are in place to thwart any nefarious designs of the anti national elements,” the DIG said. He said all entry points to Jammu from the border areas have been sealed and vehicles entering the city are being checked throughly.Border Security Force (BSF), which guards the International Border (IB) in Jammu region, too is maintaining tight vigil.”Infiltrators always try to take advantage of such situations as they think that such situations divert our attention, but we are always on high alert along the IB providing foolproof security,” a senior BSF officer said.The army has also deployed additional troops along the Line of Control (LoC) to check infiltration.”Army commander of the Northern Command Lt Gen D S Hooda, a few days ago, had maintained that additional troops have been deployed along the LoC, I just want to reiterate that army never lets its guard down on the LoC,” an army officer said.2 Captains, 1 jawan, 1 terrorist killedThree army commandos, including two Captains, and a militant were killed on Sunday in the fierce gunfight with a group of terrorists holed up inside a government building on the outskirts of Srinagar, raising the toll to seven in the encounter that began yesterday afternoon.The multi-storied building of Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building in Pampore caught fire this afternoon as the encounter between army and the heavily-armed terrorists, suspected to be 3-4 in number, continued till late tonight on the second day.Through the day, the terrorists kept on firing and throwing grenades on the security forces who have surrounded the building and making attempts to storm it.Army lost Captain Pawan Kumar, Captain Tushar Mahajan and jawan Om Prakash, all of the elite Para commando units, in the gunbattle today. The army succeeded in eliminating one of the terrorists by this evening, an official said..(With Agencies)

Army captain marytred in encounter with militants in Jammu and Kashmir

Srinagar: An army official was killed on Sunday when security forces raided a multi-storeyed building near Pampore town in Kashmir to flush out hiding guerrillas.

“A captain of 10 para regiment was martyred when security forces entered the building on Sunday morning in which militants are holed up,” a senior police official told IANS.

“Heavy firing exchanges are going on in the area and the Srinagar-Jammu highway has been closed for safety purposes.”

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

A paramilitary central reserve police force (CRPF) spokesman has denied the media reports that three CRPF troopers were killed in the gunfight so far.

“We have lost two troopers. The rumour about the death of the third trooper is wrong,” he said.

“The number of injured CRPF troopers has, however, risen to 13 after three more troopers got injured during the operation.”

With the death of the army official, the toll in the gunfight has risen to four.

This includes a civilian, Abdul Gani Mir, gardener of the Jammu and Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (JKEDI).

Mir succumbed to bullet injuries sustained during the gunfight on Saturday.

A group of heavily armed militants on Friday evening attacked a bus which was part of a CRPF convoy on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.

Two CRPF troopers had died and ten were injured in this attack.

After the attack, the group of guerrillas comprising three to five, believed to belong to Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) outfit, entered the JKEDI complex near the highway where around 120 trainees and staff were present, a senior police official said.

“All the staff members and trainees were safely evacuated before launching the operation against the holed up militants,” the official said.

IANS

dna Morning Must Reads: From updates on Jat quota stir to winners list at Zee Cine Awards 2016

1. Jat quota stir reaches Delhi as Army firing kills 5 moreAgitators block water line to Delhi * Petrol pumps, malls torched * Minister’s house too set on fire. Read more here2. Jammu and Kashmir: Army officer martyred as counter operation resume to kill terrorists in Pampore<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Security forces on Sunday morning resumed the counter operation in Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir to flush out at least three terrorists believed to be holed up in the area. Read more here3. Jeb Bush ends bid for president after Donald Trump wins in South CarolinaBush, who also fared poorly in earlier contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, said the race had been ‘hard fought’ but that voters of those three states had spoken. Read more here4. Zee Cine Awards 2016: Here is the complete winners’ list!From Deepika Padukone to Nawazuddin Siddiqui, here is a list of who won what at the Zee Cine Awards. Read more here5. 7 weight loss rules that actually workIn her book Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People, Kavita Devgan lists several commonsensical practices to stay healthy without staying hungry. Here’s a dekko

J&K: Army officer martyred as counter operation resume to kill terrorists in Pampore

Security forces on Sunday morning resumed the counter operation in Pampore in Jammu and Kashmir to flush out at least three terrorists believed to be holed up in the area.Captain Pawan Kumar sustained injuries in the firing by militants’ as security forces tried to make their way into the Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building, an army official said.He said the injured officer succumbed to injuries later on.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two CRPF jawans and a civilian were killed and nine other jawans injured when militants opened fire on a CRPF convoy on Saturday afternoon.Militants on Saturday attacked a CRPF convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway killing two jawans and a civilian and injuring 9 others before they sneaked into a nearby government building, triggering a stand off.A possible hostage situation was avoided when CRPF and local police managed to evacuate civilians who were holed up inside Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building located at Pampore, in the outskirts of the Srinagar city.One of those evacuated claimed that they were asked by militants to leave because they did not mean any harm to civilians.Personnel of the Army, whose elite 15 Corps headquarters is located barely 10 kms from the encounter site, were rushed to the encounter site to assist the local police and the CRPF. The number of militants, according to the eyewitness accounts, ranges from three to five.

Militants kill 2 CRPF men, holed up in government institute

Scores of employees and trainees were rescued by the security forces in a swift and calibrated operation after heavily armed militants barged into a government institute here on Saturday soon after attacking a CRPF convoy that left two jawans dead and nine others injured.The incident occurred around 4 pm when a group of militants attacked the bus of 79-battalion, which was on way to Srinagar from Jammu, on the national highway near Sempora-Pampore. Eleven troopers were injured in the incident and immediately shifted to hospital. However, two of them succumbed to injuries.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A gardener of the J&K Entrepreneur Development Institute (JKEDI), where the militants then barged into, also sustained injuries. Three militants are suspected to be holed up in the building at the time of going to press.Situated on a hillock, the JKEDI complex houses three palatial buildings, including a hostel and a guest house. “Of the 11 injured, head constable Bhola Singh of 144-battalion and constable RK Rana of 79-battalion later succumbed to injuries,” said Bhavesh Chaudhary, in-charge spokesman of the CRPF in Srinagar.”We heard the gun shots and started lying on the ground. Then we tried to move from the exit point. There is a camp of CRPF and we shouted that we are civilians and rushed to the hostel building,” said Obaid Riyaz, senior faculty member of JKEDI, who was inside the building when the militants barged in.Panic gripped the area as scores of employees were inside the complex at that time. Security forces exercised restraint and launched a swift operation to rescue the civilians before engaging the militants in the gun battle.”More than 80 people were rescued, even as we ensured that terrorists don’t make good their escape. Terrorists have been localised in the JKEDI building and we have engaged them in a fire fight. Terrorists are throwing grenades on the party,” Nalin Prabhat, inspector general of CRPF, told dna.Even as gun fight rages, some protesters have hit the streets and are pelting stones on the security forces near Pampore.

Pampore encounter: Two jawans, one civilian killed as militants storm CRPF convoy

Militants attacked a CRPF convoy at Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway on Saturday killing two jawans and a civilian and injuring 9 others before they sneaked into a nearby government building, triggering a stand off.On Saturday night it was said that the area has been cordoned off. Operations have been put on hold for the night and will resume in early morning hours of Sunday.A possible hostage situation was avoided when CRPF and local police managed to evacuate civilians who were holed up inside Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI) building located at Pampore, in the outskirts of the Srinagar city.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”We have been successful in evacuating the civilians from the building,” Director General of Jammu and Kashmir Police K Rajendra told PTI.Employees being evacuated by security forces from the EDI building where militants took refuge. PTIOne of those evacuated claimed that they were asked by militants to leave because they did not mean any harm to civilians. Personnel of the Army, whose elite 15 Corps headquarters is located barely 10 kms from the encounter site, were rushed to the encounter site to assist the local police and the CRPF. The number of militants, according to the eyewitness accounts, ranges from three to five.A view of the EDI building where militants reportedly took refuge after launching an attack on a CRPF convoy. PTIBefore storming the EDI campus, militants fired upon a CRPF convoy on Srinagar-Jammu road just outside the campus, officials said, adding, two para-military personnel and a civilian lost their lives.The civilian was critically wounded and later succumbed to his injuries.Intermittent exchange of fire has been reported from the spot and the security personnel were ensuring a proper cordon and lighting arrangement at the encounter site to prevent the militants from escaping. Military personnel stand near EDI building taken over by suspected militants during clashes. AFP Photo

Jammu & Kashmir: Gunmen open fire on CRPF in Pampore; two jawans killed

Dozens of people were trapped inside a government building in Pampore area on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway as a militant took shelter in the premises of Entrepreneurship Development Institute after opening firing on security forces. However, later the employees were evacuated from the building. Two jawans have been killed, reports ANI. Militants opened firing on a CRPF bus in Pampore town of Pulwama district, near the EDI complex, which was retaliated by the security forces, a police official said.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Seven CRPF personnel were injured in the initial firing by the militants, the official said. He said at least one militant while fleeing from the spot entered into the EDI complex where over 100 students were undergoing training in entrepreneurship when the incident took place. The official said around 50 staffers were also present inside the complex.”Over 70 people have been evacuated from various sides of the complex so far and efforts are on the rescue the others as well,” he said. Additional forces have been rushed to the area to strengthen the cordon around the EDI complex, he added.Recent reports suggest that Army will soon be joining the operation at Pampore.(With Agencies)

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