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Militants target police party, injure two cops near Srinagar

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Two policemen hurt as militants open fire during Eid-e-Milad procession in Anantnag

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Security forces foil major terror strike in the valley, two ultras killed

The incident occurred near Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu highway on Wednesday evening when the security forces asked a speedy pickup van to stop. The militants on board lobbed a grenade and then fired on the security forces in a bid to flee from the spot.

Security forces foiled a major terror attack on Wednesday when they killed two militants who were trying to enter the summer capital city of Srinagar from south Kashmir to carry out their nefarious designs. Two CRPF men were also injured in the gun fight.The incident occurred near Pampore on Srinagar-Jammu highway on Wednesday evening when the security forces asked a speedy pickup van to stop. The militants on board lobbed a grenade and then fired on the security forces in a bid to flee from the spot.Alert CRPF men and jawans from special operation group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir police immediately swung into action and engaged the ultras in a fierce gun fight. Two militants were later killed while two CRPF jawans were injured in the incident.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>”It was a combined operation of CRPF and SOG. Our road opening party was withdrawing when militants on board a vehicle lobbed a grenade and fired upon the troopers. In the ensuing gun fight two militants were killed,” said Ashish Kumar Jha, CRPF spokesman at Srinagar.Two CRPF men of 23 battalion received gunshot wounds and have been shifted to hospital for treatment. The injured have identified as Iqbal Lone from Baramulla and Parvinder from Uttar Pradesh.”The slain ultras were trying to enter Srinagar. They might have been upto something. But the CRPF and SOG were able to foil their nefarious designs,” said Jha.The incident occurred just 24 hours after CRPF foiled a major fidayeen attack on their convoy near Sinthan Chowk on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway in Anantnag district. Six CRPF troopers were injured in the incident.

Jammu & Kashmir: Militants attack CRPF convoy in Anantnag, six jawans injured

The injured have been shifted to a hospital in Anantnag, the officer said, adding the area has been cordoned off and a manhunt has been launched to nab the attackers.

Image courtesy: ANI

At least six CRPF jawans were injured when unidentified militants today opened fired on their convoy on Srinagar-Jammu national highway in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district.Militants fired at a CRPF bus, which was part of a convoy on way to Jammu from Srinagar, near Green Tunnel at Samthan in Bijbehara, 50 kms from here, a police officer said.He said six CRPF jawans were injured in the attack.The injured have been shifted to a hospital in Anantnag, the officer said, adding the area has been cordoned off and a manhunt has been launched to nab the attackers.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>

Massive Afghanistan earthquake kills three people in Jammu & Kashmir, India

Srinagar: Two elderly women died of cardiac arrest in Kashmir Valley apparently due to panic triggered by earthquake on Monday, which also killed a youth in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ten people, including two army soldiers, were injured in the earthquake which rattled the state on Monday afternoon. Nearly three dozen buildings and public infrastructure were also damaged due to it in Kashmir Valley.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Sixty-five year old Zoona Begum of Mohalla Mir Sahab in old town Baramulla suffered a massive heart attack as she was rushing towards a safer place when the earthquake hit around 2:40 pm, police said.

Another elderly woman died in similar circumstances in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, a police official said.

Fatima, 80, of Ahangar Mohalla was pronounced dead by doctors as she was taken to district hospital Anantnag, the official said.

In Reasi district, a 16-year-old youth was killed while his father received serious injuries after they were hit by shooting stones triggered by earthquake.

“A 16-year-old boy identified as Mohammed Ashraf died on the spot when he was hit on head by shooting stones triggered by the earthquake in remote Bathodi village of Reasi district,” a police officer said in Jammu.

Meanwhile, two army personnel were injured when their bunker collapsed after tremors in Sopore town of Baramulla district, 55 kms from Srinagar.

The bunker collapsed inside Ganjoo house, where an army unit is camping, injuring to two soldiers, following which they were taken to the hospital, an official said.

He said six persons were reported injured in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, while another person jumped from the window of his house during the tremor and suffered fracture.

Quoting preliminary information, the official said over two dozen residential houses and six police buildings suffered damages in different parts of Kashmir Valley.

“We are still collecting the details and the figures of the damage to the public and private infrastructure might go up,” he said.

He said Jehangir chowk flyover suffered minor damage as a gap on a joint widened slightly.

A team of engineers visited the flyover and after inspection allowed the traffic to move on the road, the official said.

A vehicle was damaged at Rafiabad in Baramulla district when a tree got uprooted and fell on it. However, there was no immediate report of any casualty in the incident, the officials said.

A massive earthquake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale on Monday jolted north India, with panic-stricken people rushing out of houses and buildings that shook during the temblor lasting almost a minute.

In Reasi, the youth and his father had gone to graze cattle when the incident took place.

“Both of them had gone to graze their cattle in the forest when they were hit by the shooting stones which were triggered by the strong earthquake,” the police officer said.

In Ramban district, one person was injured when a shooting stone hit his vehicle during the earthquake.

“Mohammad Ramzan was injured when his vehicle was hit by a shooting stone in Kawna area of Ramban district during the earthquake,” a police officer said.

He said that five houses were also damaged in Khari town of Ramban district due to the earthquake.

PTI

Massive Afghanistan earthquake kills three people in J&K, India

Srinagar: Two elderly women died of cardiac arrest in Kashmir Valley apparently due to panic triggered by earthquake on Monday, which also killed a youth in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Ten people, including two army soldiers, were injured in the earthquake which rattled the state on Monday afternoon. Nearly three dozen buildings and public infrastructure were also damaged due to it in Kashmir Valley.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Sixty-five year old Zoona Begum of Mohalla Mir Sahab in old town Baramulla suffered a massive heart attack as she was rushing towards a safer place when the earthquake hit around 2:40 pm, police said.

Another elderly woman died in similar circumstances in Bijbehara area of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, a police official said.

Fatima, 80, of Ahangar Mohalla was pronounced dead by doctors as she was taken to district hospital Anantnag, the official said.

In Reasi district, a 16-year-old youth was killed while his father received serious injuries after they were hit by shooting stones triggered by earthquake.

“A 16-year-old boy identified as Mohammed Ashraf died on the spot when he was hit on head by shooting stones triggered by the earthquake in remote Bathodi village of Reasi district,” a police officer said in Jammu.

Meanwhile, two army personnel were injured when their bunker collapsed after tremors in Sopore town of Baramulla district, 55 kms from Srinagar.

The bunker collapsed inside Ganjoo house, where an army unit is camping, injuring to two soldiers, following which they were taken to the hospital, an official said.

He said six persons were reported injured in Pulwama district of south Kashmir, while another person jumped from the window of his house during the tremor and suffered fracture.

Quoting preliminary information, the official said over two dozen residential houses and six police buildings suffered damages in different parts of Kashmir Valley.

“We are still collecting the details and the figures of the damage to the public and private infrastructure might go up,” he said.

He said Jehangir chowk flyover suffered minor damage as a gap on a joint widened slightly.

A team of engineers visited the flyover and after inspection allowed the traffic to move on the road, the official said.

A vehicle was damaged at Rafiabad in Baramulla district when a tree got uprooted and fell on it. However, there was no immediate report of any casualty in the incident, the officials said.

A massive earthquake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale on Monday jolted north India, with panic-stricken people rushing out of houses and buildings that shook during the temblor lasting almost a minute.

In Reasi, the youth and his father had gone to graze cattle when the incident took place.

“Both of them had gone to graze their cattle in the forest when they were hit by the shooting stones which were triggered by the strong earthquake,” the police officer said.

In Ramban district, one person was injured when a shooting stone hit his vehicle during the earthquake.

“Mohammad Ramzan was injured when his vehicle was hit by a shooting stone in Kawna area of Ramban district during the earthquake,” a police officer said.

He said that five houses were also damaged in Khari town of Ramban district due to the earthquake.

PTI

To maintain law and order, restrictions imposed in Srinagar over Muharram procession

Srinagar: Restrictions were imposed in parts of Srinagar city while a curfew was imposed in Anantnag and Bijbehara towns in Jammu and Kashmir to contain a Shia Muharram procession, authorities said.

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard in an empty street as restrictions are put into place ahead of a planned Muharram procession in Srinagar on Thursday. AFP

An Indian paramilitary soldier stands guard in an empty street as restrictions are put into place ahead of a planned Muharram procession in Srinagar on Thursday. AFP

The restrictions were imposed in Abi Guzar and Lal Chowk areas here fearing escalation of tension following Wednesday’s clashes.

Naseer Ahmad Dar, 25, was critically injured during clashes between a stone pelting mob and the security forces in Bijbehara town.

“In order to maintain law and order in the city, we have decided not to allow the Muharram procession today (Thursday),” a police officer told IANS.

Since the separatist violence started here in early 1900s, authorities have been disallowing the 8th day Muharram procession in Srinagar city.

Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest here, while Yasin Malik was taken into preventive custody on Wednesday.

Malik had gone to find out the welfare of Dar, who is battling for life after being hit by a tear smoke shell on his forehead.

“He has been shifted to critical care unit of the hospital after surgery. His condition is continuously being monitored. He is still not out of danger,” an attending doctor told IANS on Thursday.

IANS

Protests, shutdown in Kashmir as trucker laid to rest

Srinagar-Jammu National highway remained closed while train services from Baramulla to Anatnag remained suspended as a precautionary measure
An ex-gratia of Rs5 lakh and government jobs for Zahid’s kin
Four more persons have been booked under stringent Public Safety Act for criminal assault on a Kashmir-bound truck

Security personnel patrol deserted street during a curfew imposed to maintain law and order in Udhampur, Srinagar, on Monday

PTI
Shock, anger and outrage has gripped the Kashmir valley over the death of a trucker Zahid Ahmad Bhat even as the rains came to the rescue of beleaguered Mufti Mohammad Sayeed led PDP-BJP government in Jammu and Kashmir.Noted Kashmiri poet Dr Margoob Banhali who joined the chorus of protesters and returned his Sahtiya Akademi award against the killing of Zahid by a mob near Udhampur on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway on the intervening night of October 9 and 10.Zahid, who succumbed to burn injuries in Delhi’s Safdar Jang hospital on Sunday, was buried on Monday morning. Thousands of people participated in his funeral procession amid heavy rains at his native village of Batengo in Anantnag district of south Kashmir.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Chanting ‘pro-azadi’ slogans people marched through the village with Zahid’s casket till it reached his ancestral graveyard where his body was laid to rest according to Islamic traditions.Massive protests rocked Batengo after Zahid’s burial with people pelting stones on the security forces. Forces fired tear smoke shells and used baton charge to disperse the violent mob. The ding-dong battle continued for hours as protesters were in no mood to retreat despite inclement weather.Elsewhere, heavy rains and sudden drop in the temperature helped Mufti government to heave a sigh of relief as the protests remained mostly localised. Police sources said there were protests in different parts of the Kashmir but they did not spiral out of control given the inclement weather.”Situation remained by and large under control,” Waheed-ur-Rehman Para, political analyst to the chief minister Mufti Mohommad Sayeed, told dna.Kashmir and Chenab Valley observed a complete shutdown. Shops, business establishments and schools remained shut while traffic was off the roads. The call for strike was given by different separatist groups and trade organisations.Authorities had imposed curfew like restrictions in sensitive old city of Srinagar to prevent any law and order breakdown. Security forces had erected barricades and rolled out concertina wire on exit and entry points of Srinagar and Anantnag to prevent any protest march.Srinagar-Jammu National highway remained closed while train services from Baramulla to Anatnag remained suspended as a precautionary measure.Facing public anger, the state cabinet passed a resolution moved by chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed expressing deep shock and grief over the tragic death of Zahid.Expressing solidarity with the bereaved family, the Cabinet observed a two-minute silence in memory of the departed soul. “The Cabinet also approved ex-gratia of Rs5 lakh and Rs3 lakh and government jobs in favour of the next of kin of Zahid and Showkat Ahmad Dar, who is undergoing treatment in the Safdarjung Hospital, in New Delhi,” said an official spokesman.Four more persons have been booked under stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) for criminal assault on a Kashmir bound truck. Five persons were earlier booked under PSA in the case. With this, all the nine persons involved in planning and execution of the fatal attack have been booked under PSA.”All the nine accused have been booked for murder under Section 302 RPC as well. District magistrate Udhampur Shahid Iqbal Choudhary after examining the dossier, facts and material produced on record regarding the instant case and criminal history of the accused issued warrants for detention of the persons involved in the attack under PSA,” said the spokesman. Four more bookedFour more persons have been booked under stringent Public Safety Act (PSA) for criminal assault on a Kashmir bound truck. Five persons were earlier booked under PSA in the case. With this, all the nine persons involved in planning and execution of the fatal attack have been booked under PSA.”All the nine accused have been booked for murder under Section 302 RPC as well. District magistrate Udhampur Shahid Iqbal Choudhary after examining the dossier, facts and material produced on record regarding the instant case and criminal history of the accused issued warrants for detention of the persons involved in the attack under PSA,” said the spokesman.

Jammu and Kashmir: Protesters and police clash in Anantnag over trucker Zahid Bhat’s death

Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in eight police station areas in Kashmir and several separatist leaders put under house arrest in the view of the protest. Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and JKDFP leader Shabir Ahmad Shah were among several separatists placed under house arrest.

Anantnag: Kashmiri youths pelting stones on police and paramilitary forces protesting against death of a trucker who was injured when a mob set his vehicle afire in Udhampur, in Anantnag district of South Kashmir on Sunday.

PTI
Clashes erupted on Monday morning between protesters and security forces at Anantnag in Jammu and Kashmir during the funeral of Zahid Ahmed, who died of severe burn injuries sustained in Udhampur petrol bomb attack.Curfew-like restrictions were imposed in eight police station areas in Kashmir and several separatist leaders put under house arrest in the view of the protest. Hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and JKDFP leader Shabir Ahmad Shah were among several separatists placed under house arrest.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Both factions of separatist Hurriyat Conference and JKLF have called for a shutdown in the Valley. A Kashmiri pandit organisation, Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti, Kashmir High Court Bar Association, traders’ bodies and transport union have extended support to the shutdown call.Meanwhile, Zahid was laid to rest with residents of Batengoo, his native village in South Kashmir, taking his body in a procession amid tight security.Zahid Ahmed’s body was taken from his residence for funeral prayers and later buried in the ancestral graveyard in the village amidst sloganeering by the mourners, a police official said.A youth was seen carrying a Pakistani flag during the funeral procession which passed off peacefully as authorities had made stringent security arrangements.

J&K: Udhampur trucker set ablaze over ‘cow killing’ dies; third victim in three weeks

Deceased body flown to Kashmir on Sunday evening for last rites.

Anantnag: Family members of 24-years-old Zahid crying after the Kashmiri truck conductor who was injured in petrol bomb attack in Udhampur district dies in Delhis Safdarjung Hospital, at his residence in Batango in Anantnag District of South Kashmir on Sunday.

PTI
Strife-torn Kashmir is on the edge after a trucker, who was set ablaze by a mob over the rumours of cow killing in Udhampur, succumbed to injuries in Delhi’s Safdarjung Hospital on Sunday.Zahid Ahmad Bhat had received 70 per cent burns after a petrol bomb was hurled on the Kashmir-bound truck near Shiv Nagar on the Srinagar-Jammu highway on the intervening night of October 9 and 10. Bhat’s associate Showkat Ahmad Dar, who had received 40 per cent burns, is currently under treatment in the Safdarjung Hospital.The attack had come just days after carcasses of the cows were found in Udhampur district. The district administration and the cow owner later ruled out any foul play and concluded that the bovines had died a natural death.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Zahid’s death is the third reported murder in the last three weeks over beef-related rumours, after Dadri and Saharanpur incidents.Violent protests rocked several areas of south Kashmir after the death of Zahid reached his ancestral village Batingo in Anantnag district. Hundreds of youth took to streets and blocked the Srinagar-Jammu national highway.Protestors also hurled stones on the security forces prompting them to lob smoke shells and resort to lathi-charge.“Another needless death in the name of beef ban for which the BJP and its affiliates including allies are directly responsible. The honourable PM passed the buck on to Akhilesh Yadav…for Dadri. Who will he blame for Zahid death now?” tweeted Omar Abdullah, former J&K chief minister.“The so-called rulers are directly responsible for this murder. In their lust for power they have handed over J&K to fanatics,” said Mohommad Yasin Malik, chairman of Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF).

Omar Abdullah hits out at PM Modi, Mufti Sayeed over death of Kashmiri trucker

Two persons from Kashmir were critically injured when miscreants attacked their truck with petrol bomb in Udhampur on October 9. They were hospitalised in Jammu before being shifted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi, where one of them — Zahid — succumbed to injuries this morning.

Former J&K CM Omar Abdullah on Sunday blamed BJP and its allies for the death of a Kashmiri trucker, who was injured in a petrol bomb attack at Udhampur district earlier this month.Omar asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets, as to who would be blamed for the death of Zahid Ahmed.”The Hon PM passed the buck on to @yadavakhilesh and the UP Govt for #Dadri. Who will he blame for #Zahid’s death now???”Another needless death in the name of #BeefBan for which the BJP and its affiliates including allies are directly responsible,” he tweeted.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Two persons from Kashmir were critically injured when miscreants attacked their truck with petrol bomb in Udhampur on October 9. They were hospitalised in Jammu before being shifted to Safdarjung hospital in Delhi, where one of them — Zahid — succumbed to injuries this morning.”Zahid, the trucker petrol bombed in Udhampur in the name of beef protest, has died in Delhi earlier this morning. May Allah grant him Jannah (heaven),” Omar said.”I met him yesterday & though he was sitting up & communicating doctors were non-committal about his chances.Prayers with #Zahid’s family,” he added.The NC leader also hit out at the Mufti Sayeed government saying, “And to think that all the state Govt could do was to throw 10,000 rupees at #Zahid & wash it’s hands off the whole thing #BeefMurder.”Zahid, a resident of Anantnag in South Kashmir, was conductor of the truck that was en route to Kashmir when a mob attacked it with petrol bombs on October 9. The driver of the truck Showkat Ahmed is currently being treated at AIIMS in Delhi.The entire incident has been recorded on CCTV and two attackers were arrested immediately by the policemen deployed on patrolling duty.Later two more persons were arrested and a manhunt was launched for three others.The arrested include Harish Katoch Bal Bahadur, Sandoor Singh and Suneet Singh. All are residents of Udhampur in Jammu region.The truck was on its way to Srinagar from Jammu and was stationary near Shiv Nagar area as traffic on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway was stopped in view of the strike calledby various Hindu outfits following recovery of three carcasses in the district.

Islamic State, Pakistan flags raised in Kashmir amid protest against beef ban

Srinagar: Clashes broke out in Srinagar on Friday between police and people protesting against the Jammu and Kashmir High Court directive to ban beef in the state with some youth displaying Pakistani and ISIS flags.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

After Friday prayers, a group of masked youth set ablaze the tricolor and displayed several controversial flags including that of Islamic State, Al-Jehad terror outfits and banners resembling Pakistani flag near the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar.

They also carried posters of Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed and Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Muzaffar.

Some protesters also pelted stones at police personnel posted on law and order duty in the area. Police fired tear smoke shells to disperse them, a police official said.

The were no reports of any injuries.

The clashes were going on till reports last come in, the official said.

Meanwhile, several bovine animals were reportedly slaughtered in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district as a mark of protest against the High Court order.

PTI

Wedding under scanner: Army detains, searches marriage party in Kashmir

The conflict in Jammu and Kashmir between security forces and militants cast a shadow over an occasion of celebration recently, when a marriage party was detained and repeatedly searched by the army, the Indian Express reported on Thursday.

Representational image. Image courtesy: ReutersRepresentational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

Representational image. Image courtesy: Reuters

The report quotes an army officer as saying that the search was conducted after the security forces received an input saying that three terrorists were attempting to cross over to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). According to the report, the bride was made to step out of her doli (bridal carriage) three times for searches. There were said to be 110 people in the marriage party.

Later, the Commanding Officers of the two regiments which conducted the searches apologized for the incident.
Marriage ceremonies have been subjects of suspicion of security forces earlier as well.

An article in Greater Kashmir from October 2006 quoted people from a village in north Kashmir that they have been asked to get clearance from the army for marriages. According to the article, apart from the groom’s profile in a written statement, families were also asked questions on the number of guests, the amount of money to be spent and even the number of varieties of meat being cooked.

An Amnesty international report has detailed an incident from the year 1990, when Border Security Force (BSF) personnel allegedly opened fire at a wedding party in Badagam in Kashmir, killing the bridegroom’s brother and wounding nine others. Both the bride and the bridegroom were said to be among those injured. According to the report, the Superintendent of Police of the Anantnag district had also admitted that BSF personnel had gangraped two women from the marriage party. Indian officials were said to have earlier claimed that the bus had been accidentally caught in cross-fire.

Jammu and Kashmir: Laadli scheme aims to make daughters the new mascot of pride and prosperity

Under the ambitious Laadli scheme, the girl child born after April 2015 will be entitled to receive Rs 6.25 lakh when she turns 21 in the state.

Thanks to Mufti Mohammad Sayeed-led PDP-BJP government, the girl child is no more a so-called burden in the state.Come October, Mufti government will deposit Rs 1,000 every month in the bank accounts of the girls born to the parents with annual income of Rs 75,000, till the age of 14 years.Under the ambitious Laadli scheme, the girl child born after April 2015 will be entitled to receive Rs 6.25 lakh when she turns 21 in the state.Six districts, three each from the Valley and Jammu, having skewed sex ratio will be covered under this scheme in the first phase. Budgam, Pulwama and Anantnag districts have been chosen from the Kashmir valley while as Kathua, Samba and Jammu have been selected from the Jammu division.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Jammu and Kashmir has one of the worst sex ratios in the country. According to 2011 census female sex ratio (females per 1000 males) has fallen to 889 from 900 in 2001. Similarly the child sex ratio has fallen to 862 in 2011 from 964 in 2001 in Jammu and Kashmir. The national average female sex ratio is 943 and child sex ratio is 919.”Six districts have been identified in the first stage where sex ratio is on decline. It has been decided that these districts should be covered under this scheme in the first phase. In the later stage we will cover other districts as well”, Aasiya Naqash, J&K minister of state for social welfare, told dna.Under this scheme, the girl will be entitled to withdraw small component of money for education or health purposes. “There are set guidelines in the scheme. A girl can withdraw a certain component of money if it is needed for education or for health reasons. The scheme is for 14 years but there will be a lock-in period till the girl reaches 21 when she will get Rs 6.25 lakh,” said Naqash.This is the first time in Jammu and Kashmir that such scheme has been launched to improve the sex ratio in the state. “There is no budgetary constraint for this scheme. It is a social security scheme for the girls in the state. It will take us six months to one year to find out the exact number of girls that will be covered under this scheme,” she said.

NIA wants permanent base in ‘terror hub’ Jammu & Kashmir

The agency, in the meantime, has opened four camp offices at Jammu, Udhampur, Anantnag and Srinagar (File Photo of an NIA team)

With Jammu and Kashmir being the hub of terror activities, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has set up camp offices at four places in the state and wants to establish a permanent base there for more effective monitoring of cases that take place in the region. The NIA, which was set up after the 2008 Mumbai attacks specifically for probing terror cases, has given a proposal to the Home Ministry for setting up a permanent office in Jammu from where it can monitor terror related cases in entire north India, official sources said.The agency feels that Jammu was the central point from where officials could be deputed to Kashmir and areas like Doda, Kishtawar, Udhampur in the state, the sources said. The proposed office will also be able to cover neighbouring Himachal Pradesh and Punjab, which witnessed a terror incident at Gurdaspur in the last week of July that left eight people including a Superintendent of Police dead, they said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The agency, in the meantime, has opened four camp offices at Jammu, Udhampur, Anantnag and Srinagar in connection with its probe of LeT terrorist Mohammed Naved Yakub, who was nabbed by public and handed over to police after the August five terror strike on a BSF convoy in Udhampur. NIA officials are now a part of a joint probe team which questions militants who have been apprehended across the country.Recently, a team of NIA officials questioned Sajjad Ahmed, a Lashker-e-Taiba militant who was nabbed by the army alive at the Line of Control in Rafiabad, 105 kilometres north of capital city of Srinagar, on August 29. These questionings help the NIA officials to be updated about the terror activities across the border in Pakistan, the sources said. NIA has over-riding powers to probe any case which involves a terrorist action or hijackingAccording to the section 6 (i)(5) “…if the Central Government is of the opinion that a Scheduled Offence has been committed which is required to be investigated under this Act, it may, suo motu, direct the Agency to investigate the said offence.”

Glamour, gadgets and social media: Hizbul Mujahideen hard sells militancy to J&K’s youth

South Kashmir is abuzz with a new recruitment policy.

Rumour has it that Burhan Wani, ‘regional commander’ of Hizbul Mujaheedin, will recruit fresh militants from August 21. His lieutenants have spread the word that Burhan will offer Rs 35,000 as salary to anybody who is willing to join his outfit. Only those who have cleared class X can apply.

Burhan has been active in Tral, known as Kandahar locally since it is the favourite hideout of terrorists, for nearly five years. Son of a government school principal, Burhan is among the most dreaded militants of south Kashmir. Some call him the face of terror in villages south of Srinagar. He carries a reward of Rs 10 lakh on his head.

For several years, Burhan and other Hizb commanders depended on terrorists trained in Pakistan to swell their ranks. Now he has found a new tool to attract local youth: social media. Burhan is active on Facebook; he has several websites and fan pages under names like Tiger Tral, HM Tral, Burhan Trali (the names keep changing) and uses Whatsapp effectively to spread his message.

Protesters in the funeral procession of a youth allegedly killed in BSF firing. AFP.Protesters in the funeral procession of a youth allegedly killed in BSF firing. AFP.

Protesters in the funeral procession of a youth allegedly killed in BSF firing. AFP.

or the past six months, Burhan has been releasing videos, photographs and messages through the net and mobile phones to snare youth. In the videos, young men in battle fatigues are seen prancing around with guns, playing with gay abandon in orchards and reading namaz. In some of the pictures he posts, the militants do not even bother to cover their face. They love to reveal their identity.

Burhan is the face of new-age terrorism in the Valley. He has become a symbol of the change in the psyche of youth of south Kashmir, who are becoming increasingly vulnerable to jihadi recruiters. “Kashmir youth no longer need to go to Pakistan for training and indoctrination. It is being imparted on their computers and mobiles these days,” says a senior official of the state.

The strategy is simple and deadly. Militants like Burhan now sell terrorism as a mix of risk-free employment and heroism. When he is seen in videos in the company of youth, with fancy weapons, wandering around nonchalantly, it convinces others that militancy is a glamorous profession that has social sanction and carries minimum risk.

Heroism is in-built. A few days ago, when Burhan’s brother was killed in an encounter with security agencies, hundreds of youth turned up for the funeral. They jostled to click the slain youth’s picture; some even tried to click selfies. Burhan’s father laments he dreamt of his sons as police officers and bureaucrats, but they turned into militants. But, many youth see him as a role-model and his father as an impediment to his exalted mission.

Burhan’s case required a detailed analysis because there are fears that militancy is on the rise in south Kashmir, especially in villages and towns of Pulwama and Anantnag districts. After years of calm, militants have started striking with alarming regularity, prompting fears of a return to the dark decade of the 90s.

But, are the security agencies equipped with the tools to deal with the new-age militants and his online propaganda tools? Burhan’s case suggests that militants are ahead of Indian agencies in this war. In the past six months, police have not been able to track down the source of even a single video or photograph released by militants. Undeterred, they continue to target vulnerable youth with their online propaganda.

Militants are evolving, their strategies are changing. A senior journalist with an Urdu channel doesn’t want to be quoted, but he gives a detailed account of home-grown terror in Kashmir. “The commanders now don’t waste time on sending youngsters to Pakistan. They first ask them to get a weapon. Then they assign them a target. Those who clear the first two stages are recruited. This serves an ulterior purpose: once a youngster carries out a strike, he can’t go back. Loyalty is guaranteed,” he says.

Just a few months ago, Kashmir was talking about a recruitment policy promised by the PDP-BJP government. For a while it appeared to be ready for a roll out before getting dumped, mainly because of lack of finances. Kashmir doesn’t offer too many opportunities for the youth. The private sector fled to Jammu after the unrest in 2008; new investments are rare; the only jobs available are in the media and telecom industry, where opportunities are scarce.
Militants have stepped into this vacuum, targeting unemployment, taking advantage of the vulnerability of the youth to misplaced ideals like martyrdom and immortality.

The Indian government needs to come up with a counter offer before militancy becomes a vocation of choice; and Burhan the preferred recruiter.

Kashmir celebrates Eid; 60,000 devotees offer prayers at Hazratbal

Even as the prayers passed off peacefully everywhere, police said that a few isolated incidents of stone-pelting on security forces occurred in the city and Anantnag town in south Kashmir.

Representational image

ANI
Barring stray incidents of stone- pelting, Eid prayers passed off peacefully across Kashmir amidst precautionary measures which saw top separatist leaders being placed under house arrest ahead of the occasion.Hazratbal shrine witnessed the biggest Eid congregation with Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed and his predecessor Omar Abdullah joining more than 60,000 devotees in offering Eid prayers, officials said. The rival leaders also exchanged Eid greetings in a gesture of warmth that delighted those present.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The second largest congregation, they said, had gathered at Eidgah where nearly 50,000 people offered Eid prayers, marking the culmination of the holy fasting month of Ramzan.More than 25,000 people offered prayers at Polo Ground in the city while smaller gatherings were recorded at all major shrines and mosques in the Valley, they said.Large congregations were seen at the Baramulla and Anantnag districts headquarters as well, they added.Even as the prayers passed off peacefully everywhere, police said that a few isolated incidents of stone-pelting on security forces occurred in the city and Anantnag town in south Kashmir.Nobody was hurt in these clashes and police and other agencies were able to restore law and order within a short span of time.Top separatist leaders, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Mohammad Yasin Malik, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Khan and Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai were placed under house arrest as a precautionary measure, the officials said.

Clashes in Kashmir after Eid prayers, Pakistan and ISIS flags raised

The police personnel had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones at the men in uniform, to vent their ire over Geelani’s house arrest.

Zee Media Bureau
Clashes broke out on Saturday between stone-pelting youths and security forces in several areas in Srinagar and Anantnag district soon after Eid prayers even as Pakistani and ISIS flags were hoisted in an interior locality of the city, police said. They were protesting over hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s detention.No one was hurt in these incidents. A group of youths started pelting stones at police and paramilitary forces in Eidgah area of the city soon after the Eid prayers concluded, a police officer said. He said the trouble-makers were chased away by the personnel of the law enforcing agencies.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Similar incidents of stone-pelting were also witnessed in Kothibagh area of the city but the police managed to restore order by chasing them away, the officer said. Pakistani flags were also hoisted in Old Barzullah locality of the city.A group of around 50 youth indulged in stone-pelting at Lal Chowk in Anantnag area of south Kashmir but were chased away by the police, he added. The officer said no one was hurt in these incidents and the Eid prayers passed off peacefully in rest of the Valley.The police personnel had to fire tear gas shells to disperse the protestors, who pelted stones at the men in uniform, to vent their ire over Geelani’s house arrest. Geelani and several other separatist leaders have been put under house arrest in the city.
According to reports, Geelani was not allowed to offer prayers in a mosque on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr as he remained under house arrest since his return from New Delhi on April 15. The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had on Friday filed a chargesheet against two separatist leaders associated with hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference, claiming their alleged involvement in funding the terror activities. On Friday, clashes broke out between a group of youths and security forces here during which some separatist elements had waved flags of Pakistan, Lashker-e-Toiba (LeT) and ISIS.As soon as Friday prayers got over at Jami Masjid in Nowhatta area of the city, a group of youths had waved the controversial flags and raised pro-separatist and pro- Pakistani slogans.

4 Amarnath yatris die; toll rises to 22

With the latest deaths along the twin routes, the toll in the ongoing yatra, which started on July 2, has risen to 22. The dead also included a CRPF jawan.

Amarnath Yatra

File Photo
Four more pilgrims died due to cardiac arrest enroute to the 3,880 metre-high cave shrine of Amarnath in south Kashmir Himalayas, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 22, officials said today. 47-year-old Satpal Gogyal, a Delhi resident, suffered cardiac arrest at Panjtarni along the traditional 45-km Pahalgam-cave route in Anantnag district last evening, the officials said.They said 29-year-old Amandeep, a resident of Punjab, died near the holy cave due to cardiac arrest. 60-year-old Ram Autar from Manipur died due to cardiac arrest at Panjtarni camp while Banu Dass of Maharashtra died at Baltal due to same reason, the officials said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the latest deaths along the twin routes, the toll in the ongoing yatra, which started on July 2, has risen to 22. The dead also included a CRPF jawan.So far, over 2.40 lakh pilgrims have paid obeisance at the cave shrine which houses the naturally formed ice-shivlingam.Meanwhile, fresh batches of pilgrims were allowed to proceed to the holy cave shrine from both Baltal and Pahalgam routes this morning after suspension from the shorter route of Baltal due to the cloudburst that took place on Thursday night.

Kashmir: Police prevent Geelani from addressing rally, protests erupt in Anantnag

Srinagar: Police on Friday foiled seperatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s plan to address a public gathering in Anantnag district of south Kashmir by detaining him near his residence in Srinagar.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

“As Geelani tried to leave for south Kashmir, he was detained by a large posse of police who were stationed outside his residence at Hyderpora,” a Hurriyat spokesperson said.

Hardline Hurriyat Conference chairman Geelani had announced to offer Friday prayers in Anantnag and was scheduled to address a public gathering there after the prayers.

The spokesperson said that dozens of Hurriyat leaders were also detained along with Geelani.

The separatist leader continues to be under arrest since his arrival from New Delhi on 15 April this year barring on two occasions – first when he was allowed to go to Tral to address a rally on 1 May and then on 5 June when he visited Passport Office here for filing his passport application.

Earlier, on 14 June, authorities did not allow Geelani to conduct a seminar in which people from different walks of life were scheduled to express their views on the topic ‘How to Resist the Indian State Fascism’.

Those invited for the seminar included Akali Dal leader Simranjit Singh Mann, Dal Khalsa leader Kanwarpal Singh, noted human rights activist Gautam Navlakha and representatives of the Christian community.

Meanwhile, clashes broke out between a group of youth and security forces after Friday prayers in Anantnag.

Clashes were reported from Lal Chowk area of Anantnag where Geelani was scheduled to address the rally, officials said. They said a group of youth pelted stones on security personnel who retaliated using tear smoke shells.

One person has been injured, the officials said, adding that the clashes were going on when reports last came in.

Clashes were also reported from Nowhatta area of downtown Srinagar, the officials said. They said scores of youth took out a march from Jamia Masjid to Nowhatta Chowk after the culmination of Friday prayers.

The youth started pelting stones on the security forces stationed there, the officials said. Security forces used tear smoke shells to disperse the youth, they said adding there was no immediate report of any causality.

PTI

First batch of 5,100 pilgrims flagged off for Amarnath yatra

Jammu: The first batch comprising of 5,100 Amarnath yatris was on Sunday flagged off by the state minister for health Choudhary Lal Singh from the Lakhanpur base camp.

“The first batch comprising of 5,100 Amarnath pilgrims was today flagged off by the minister for health Choudhary Lal Singh from Lakhanpur base camp- the gateway of Jammu and Kashmir- for onward journey to the Himalayan cave shrine in South Kashmir District of Anantnag,” an official spokesman said.

Amarnath Yatra pilgrims. PTI

Amarnath Yatra pilgrims. PTI

The pilgrims left Lakhanpur at 10 am, while many of them registered themselves for the annual pilgrimage on spot for which the government has put up a special counter.

District Development Commissioner Kathua Ajay Singh Jamwal, besides other senior officers of civil and police were present at the flagging off ceremony.

Earlier, interacting with the pilgrims, Lal Singh said that government has made adequate arrangements for smooth conduct of the yatra from Lakhanpur to cave shrine.

“Entire state administration is fully geared up to provide every facility like, drinking water, medicare, electricity and security to the yatris at base camps,” he said.

Praying for a smooth and safe yatra, the Minister said the pilgrims have to brave tough and inclement weather conditions during the yatra.

He made an appeal to people to undertake the yatra only after proper medical checkup and registration.

He said this year, the Health and Medical Education Department has set up medical aid camps at a distance of every 10 km from Lakhanpur to cave shrine.

First batch of pilgrims, which left Lakhanpur amid chanting of religious slogans, hymns and prayers, included males, females and children on a fleet of 27 buses and 21 Light Motor Vehicles (LMVs).

Later, the Minister also inspected the registration counter, medical aid camps and control room established at toll plaza Lakhanpur. All the vehicles enroute the shrine of Amarnath would be registered in Jammu and issued with receipts and pilgrimage stickers.

Meanwhile, an official of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board said that till 29 June a total of 2,04,508 pilgrims had secured Advance Registration and 22,104 had purchased helicopter tickets from Baltal and Pahalgam to Panjtarni.

PTI

Flood fears ease in Kashmir as Jhelum water level recedes

Srinagar: Residents of Kashmir Valley heaved a sigh of relief with a dip in the water level of the Jhelum easing flood concerns even as the river continues to flow above the danger mark in the south and central parts.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Water level at Sangam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district had receded to 23.80-ft at 11.00 am as against the 27.50-ft yesterday. The danger mark at Sangam is 23-ft, an official of the Flood Control department said.

At Ram Munshi Bagh in the city, Jhelum was flowing at 21.20-ft against the peak of 21.65-ft in the wee hours today, an official said.

The water level in the Jhelum and its tributaries rose sharply following heavy rainfall on Wednesday, which had prompted authorities to issue a flood alert for south and central Kashmir.

Several areas in Anantnag district, including Nai Basti, Takia Behrampora, Shamsipora and Hassanpora, were inundated by the overflowing Jhelum and its tributaries.

Some areas of Kulgam district, including Qoimoh, Mir Bazar, Asthal and Devsar, were affected by the flooding of the Vaishav stream.

Several bridges and roads have been washed away in south Kashmir with the Tral area in Pulwama district bearing the brunt of flash floods.

Minor breaches were been reported in embankments of water bodies at some places but these have been plugged by officials of the Flood Control department.

PTI

Kashmir: Flood fears ease as Jhelum water level recedes

At Ram Munshi Bagh in the city, Jhelum was flowing at 21.20-ft against the peak of 21.65-ft in the wee hours today, an official said.

Representational image. File photo.

Residents of Kashmir Valley heaved a sigh of relief with a dip in the water level of the Jhelum easing flood concerns even as the river continues to flow above the danger mark in the south and central parts.Water level at Sangam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district had receded to 23.80-ft at 11.00 am as against the 27.50-ft yesterday. The danger mark at Sangam is 23-ft, an official of the Flood Control department said.At Ram Munshi Bagh in the city, Jhelum was flowing at 21.20-ft against the peak of 21.65-ft in the wee hours today, an official said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The water level in the Jhelum and its tributaries rose sharply following heavy rainfall on Wednesday, which had prompted authorities to issue a flood alert for south and central Kashmir.Several areas in Anantnag district, including Nai Basti, Takia Behrampora, Shamsipora and Hassanpora, were inundated by the overflowing Jhelum and its tributaries.Some areas of Kulgam district, including Qoimoh, Mir Bazar, Asthal and Devsar, were affected by the flooding of the Vaishav stream.Several bridges and roads have been washed away in south Kashmir with the Tral area in Pulwama district bearing the brunt of flash floods.Minor breaches were been reported in embankments of water bodies at some places but these have been plugged by officials of the Flood Control department.

Jammu and Kashmir: Two CRPF personnel killed in militant attack in Anantnag

Srinagar: Two CRPF personnel, including an officer, were killed in a militant attack in Sangam area of Anantnag district on Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Monday, police said.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Militants attacked a CRPF picket at Hatmulla in Sangam area, around 40 km from Srinagar, on Monday afternoon, a police officer said.

“Two CRPF personnel were martyred in the militant attack,” he said.

The deceased have been identified as Assistant Sub-Inspector Omkar Singh and Constable Tilak Raj, he added.

Security forces have cordoned off the area and launched an operation to track down the militants, the officer said, adding, further details of the incident are awaited.

PTI

Jhelum crosses danger mark: Flash floods damage homes, snap road connectivity in Srinagar

Srinagar: Flash floods triggered by incessant rain have damaged scores of houses, school buildings and other structures besides snapping road connectivity in the Kashmir Valley, an official said on Sunday.

Speaking to PTI, officials also added that Jhelum river had crossed the danger level in Srinagar and Sangam area of South Kashmir.

“Over 80 structures, including residential homes, school buildings and other structures, have suffered damage due to flash floods since Saturday,” an administrative officer told IANS in Srinagar.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed following landslides at a number of places on Sunday.

The Srinagar-Gulmarg road was also closed after a bridge in Kunzar village was washed away by the swollen Ferozepur Nallah.

There was water-logging in many commercial and residential areas in Srinagar.

However, the water level in the Jhelum river was below the danger mark, both at Sangam in Anantnag district and at Ram Munshibagh in Srinagar.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed took stock of the flood threat and reviewed the preparedness of the administration that has already been put on high alert.

The University of Kashmir has postponed all examinations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

The local meteorological department has forecast moderate rain in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday and decrease in precipitation thereafter.

IANS

Flash floods in Kashmir damage homes, snap road connectivity

Srinagar: Flash floods triggered by incessant rain have damaged scores of houses, school buildings and other structures besides snapping road connectivity in the Kashmir Valley, an official said on Sunday.

“Over 80 structures, including residential homes, school buildings and other structures, have suffered damage due to flash floods since Saturday,” an administrative officer told IANS in Srinagar.

Representational image. PTIRepresentational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

The Srinagar-Jammu National Highway was closed following landslides at a number of places on Sunday.

The Srinagar-Gulmarg road was also closed after a bridge in Kunzar village was washed away by the swollen Ferozepur Nallah.

There was water-logging in many commercial and residential areas in Srinagar.

However, the water level in the Jhelum river was below the danger mark, both at Sangam in Anantnag district and at Ram Munshibagh in Srinagar.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed took stock of the flood threat and reviewed the preparedness of the administration that has already been put on high alert.

The University of Kashmir has postponed all examinations scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

The local meteorological department has forecast moderate rain in Jammu and Kashmir on Monday and decrease in precipitation thereafter.

IANS

Avalanche warning for most of Kashmir Valley districts

Authorities today issued a “medium danger” avalanche warning in most districts of Kashmir Valley following heavy snowfall since this morning.

Representational Images
File Photo

Authorities today issued a “medium danger” avalanche warning in most districts of Kashmir Valley following heavy snowfall since this morning. “As per communication of Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, medium danger of avalanche warning exists till March 17 in avalanche prone areas of seven districts of the Valley,” an official spokesman said.He said the warning covers Bandipora, Baramulla, Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama, Ganderbal and Kupwara districts. The Deputy Commissioners of these districts have asked people not to venture out in avalanche prone areas. “People of these areas are also advised to temporarily evacuate those locations which are under fall line of avalanches,” the spokesman said. Also Read: Kashmir receives season’s heaviest snowfall

Paradise on Earth: Here’s a snow-clad Kashmir looking like a fairytale

More:  Paradise on Earth: Here’s a snow-clad Kashmir looking like a fairytale

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