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PDP-BJP government failed to address political, developmental aspirations: Omar Abdullah

Jammu: The PDP-BJP coalition government has failed to address political and developmental aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, National Conference (NC) working president Omar Abdullah said on Sunday.

“Tall, stentorian promises of ‘ache din’ have amounted to ‘Ache Din’ for a chosen few in terms of their personal welfare while common people have been left to fend for themselves by a brazenly insensitive and callous dispensation,” Abdullah said, addressing a NC workers’ convention in Doda district.

Omar Abdullah. AFPOmar Abdullah. AFP

Omar Abdullah. AFP

He said lack of direction and political will have compounded the perception of political uncertainty in the state whereas the government should have tried to provide a hope of inclusive development, reconciliation and peace.

The former chief minister said the PDP-BJP government rather than politically engaging with the separatist leadership with an aim to address the internal dimensions of the Kashmir issue, had chosen to tread a path of isolation, arrogance and confrontation contradicting the promises made in the ‘Agenda of the Alliance’.

“Mufti (Mohammad Sayeed) Sahab’s government ordered an unprecedented crackdown on normal life and undertook hundreds of preventive arrests for organising the Prime Minister’s rally in Srinagar, where sadly the Prime Minister snubbed the Chief Minister and categorically asked him to mind his own business as his suggestions about the Kashmir issue were not required, rendering PDP and Mufti Sahab absolutely irrelevant viz-a-viz the larger political process,” Abdullah alleged.

Referring to the political and diplomatic stalemate between India and Pakistan in sorting out various issues and starting a comprehensive dialogue process, he said the gap between New Delhi and Islamabad has widened to an extent where the two countries have to choose a neutral country like Sri Lanka to play cricket.

“If we cannot have the bare minimum amount of trust and faith to participate in sporting events in each other’s country, how can we address the larger and graver political issues of contention between the two countries? These political issues need to be resolved and cannot be expected to remain in the realm of a status-quo for perpetuity,” he said.

Abdullah said the human cost of the conflict between India and Pakistan were “way too grave and serious for us to become comfortable in a status-quo arrangement and approach”.

“This would not only create an atmosphere of disillusionment with the democratic institutions but would also harm the hard-earned dividends of peace in the state.”

Terming PDP and BJP as two sides of the same coin, the former chief minister said that his apprehensions about their “clandestine understanding” were proven right when they formed the coalition government after “enacting an elaborate drama about their alleged south pole versus north pole ideological divergence” during the assembly elections.

“There is no south pole or north pole. Both PDP and BJP come from the same stock of opportunistic politics… They have reneged on every single statement they made to garner votes and have surrendered all their respective political demands for petty trappings of political power,” he said.

He wondered how BJP impetuously joined hands with PDP notwithstanding the fact Prime Minister Narendra Modi had vowed to “free” Jammu and Kashmir from the rule of both National Conference and PDP.

“However. as soon as elections ended, they came together without any inhibition or reluctance and proved the allegations of their pre-election nexus to be accurate. The pre-election rhetoric of an elected Prime Minister has never been self-debunked, belied and abandoned in such a brazen manner,” he said.

He said disenchantment among the people has reached an unprecedented level. “The sense of anti-incumbency against this present government within the very first year is much greater than the engineered, fake perception of anti-incumbency against the previous NC-led government at the culmination of entire six-year tenure,” Abdullah said.

He said regional polarisation and efforts to divide the people on the basis of their religions could have short-term political advantages for the ruling parties, Jammu and Kashmir will always stick to its legacy of inclusiveness, secularism and tolerance.

He said that those giving sermons on secularism should learn its basics from the glorious, selfless history of National Conference. “We have rendered unparalleled sacrifices for the cause of secularism and inclusiveness,” he said.

The former chief minister said that development has been pushed to back burner while public grievances were mounting unheard with each passing day.

He said Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution (CAPD) outlets lacked sufficient supplies and utility services were craving for maintenance. “The promise of 24×7 power supply has turned out to be a counter nightmare with unprecedented and unscheduled power cuts haunting the people of the state at the very onset of the winter season,” he said.


‘PoK is a part of Pakistan, J&K will remain part of India’ says Farooq Abdullah

Jammu: Former Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah today said, “PoK is part of Pakistan” and will remain with it while India will continue to control its part of Jammu and Kashmir.

Abdullah claimed that former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee had proposed this to the then President Pervez Musharraf and said, “I know when Atal Bihari Vajpayee went to Lahore…he told me that he had proposed to Musharraf to take that part and let us keep ours, and let us correct those lines so it becomes easy for people to travel to and fro and trade can flourish, but they did not agree to it…Today they are agreeing to accept it, but we have to start the dialogue,”

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: PIBUnion Minister Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: PIB

Union Minister Farooq Abdullah. Image courtesy: PIB

When asked about wether Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) would join India, Abdullah said,”It will never happen. It (PoK) is part of Pakistan and will remain part of Pakistan. This (Jammu and Kashmir) is India’s part and will remain part of India, you have to understand this.”

He added that the only solution he sees it that India and Pakistan should start a dialogue. “For how many years we have been saying that it (PoK) is part of India. What we have done so far, have we ever taken it back,” he said.

On the issue of resumption of cricket ties between the two nations, he said that the situation in this country was such that India and Pakistan had to find a third country to host the series. He said that war between the two countries will not solve any problem. “We have already fought three wars. Nobody got anything, only people were killed on both the sides,” he said.

Reacting sharply to Abdullah’s remarks on PoK, BJP leader and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said the statement was against the Constitution and the country will never accept it. “In 1994, the Parliament unanimously passed a resolution that states if we have any outstanding issue with Pakistan, the issue is about the areas of Jammu and Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah expressed surprise over the treatment given by the TV news channels to his father Farooq Abdullah’s views on Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

He tweeted:


Blows over beef: Watch BJP MLAs assault Jammu and Kashmir MLA for hosting beef party

Srinagar: Several BJP MLAs on Thursday assaulted Independent MLA Sheikh Abdul Rashid in the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly, a day after he had hosted a beef party in Srinagar.

As BJP MLAs assaulted him, several NC and Congress MLAs rushed to save him.

The legislator from Langate had hosted the beef party in the lawns of MLA hostel in Srinagar on Wednesday, with the guests being served beef kebabs, ‘ristas’ (meat balls) and beef patties.

Screengrab from the video. IBNLiveScreengrab from the video. IBNLive

Screengrab from the video. IBNLive

Rashid had claimed that he did not want to offend anyone but wanted to send a message that “no courts or legislature can prevent the people from eating what they want”.

The step was “just to give them (legislators) a clear message that it hardly makes any difference whether you accept or reject the bill… religious matters cannot be kept subservient to courts and assembly,” the MLA had said.

“Nobody on earth, no assembly, no court and no institution can stop us from having what we want to have,” he added.

The beef row erupted after a division bench of High Court in Jammu directed the state to strictly implement the ban in the state as per the law.

The order had evoked strong resentment from various quarters with many separatist and religious organisations terming it as “interference in religious affairs” and sought revocation of the law, besides pressing for implementation of ban on liquor in the state.

The issue is now before the Supreme Court.

Condemning the assault incident, National Conference leader Omar Abdullah said what happened in the House was impossible to digest.

“What happened today is impossible to digest. An honourable member being assaulted in the House. It seems that they wanted to murder him (Rashid). If he had done anything that was objectionable that should have been put on record,” the former Chief Minister said.

On the beef ban issue, Omar said, “Our sentiments are also attached to this issue… We don’t force our religion on you. My religion prohibits consumption of alcohol and pork… Do I assault everyone who eats pork or alcohol,” he said, demanding that the Chief Minister make a statement on the issue.

Condemning the assault, the Chief Minister said sentiments should be kept under check.

“I condemn this incident. The House has good tradition….sentiments should be kept under control. I ask Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh to apologise for the misconduct of his party MLAs.”

Singh, however, stopped short of apologising.

“We do not approve of what happened in the Assembly today. But what happened in the MLAs hostel yesterday was also wrong,” he said, referring to the beef party.


Internet ban extended in J&K, CM Omar Abdullah takes jibe at ‘Digital India’

Srinagar: The ban on internet services in Jammu and Kashmir was on Sunday extended as a precautionary measure in view of apprehensions of misuse of the services by miscreants to create communal tension.

“The ban on internet services has been extended as a precautionary measure. The broadband services will now resume at 8 pm today while the mobile internet services at 10 am tomorrow,” Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) S J M Gillani told PTI.

File photo. Image courtesy: PTIFile photo. Image courtesy: PTI

File photo. Image courtesy: PTI

Similar instructions were issued to mobile operators in Jammu region.

This is the second extension of the ban which was first imposed on the morning of Eid-ul-Azha on Friday.

The state government had ordered termination of data services from 5 am on Friday till 10 pm on Saturday, which was extended till 2 pm today.

The directive by police to all service providers, on the eve of Eid, came amidst the controversy over beef ban. In the order, Gillani had directed the service providers to snap all data services.

Reacting to this development, former chief minister Omar Abdullah said, “the irony of listening to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi lecturing about connected digital India while we are totally disconnected.”

“The PDP-BJP regime is pushing people of the state to the wall,” he said.


BJP, Congress unite to criticise Geelani’s ‘not Indian by birth’ remark

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Afzal Guru was not hanged for political reasons: Sushilkumar Shinde on Omar’s allegations

Mumbai: Former Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Sunday rejected National Conference leader Omar Abdullah‘s claim that Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was hanged for “political reasons” by the UPA government.

Former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that Afzal Guru was not hanged for political reasons. PTI

Former Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde said that Afzal Guru was not hanged for political reasons. PTI

“Supreme Court had given the decision. The case had gone against him (Afzal) in the apex court. Mercy petition was also rejected. The decision (to hang Afzal) was taken after all these developments. It was not a political decision,” Shinde, told PTI.

Asked what must have prompted Abdullah, who was the Chief Minister of the troubled state when the hanging took place, to make such remarks now, Shinde said, “He may be wanting to indulge in politics there in Kashmir. But at that time, he never brought such an aspect (about politics being behind the hanging) to our notice.”

“After the SC ruling and rejection of the mercy petition, people were expecting that Afzal will be hanged,” the senior Congress leader said.

Abdullah has claimed that hanging of Afzal Guru had been carried out for “political reasons” by the UPA government which had informed him only hours before.

Omar said he was was out for a dinner with his sister at a Delhi restaurant, when he received a call from the then Shinde, who was then the Home Minister, informing him that he had signed the papers for Guru to be hanged early next morning and asking him to make law and order arrangements.

Pointing out that the cases of assassins of Rajiv Gandhi and Beant Singh had been handled differently, he said, “the fact is whether we like it or not he was hanged for political reasons. It’s a fact.”

“I had said I will not pass judgement on it until I see how Government handles other cases… I have seen other cases. Look how they handled assassins of Beant Singh and Rajiv Gandhi and look how they jumped this guy up the queue.

Guru, who was at serial number 28 in the list of condemned prisoners, was hanged on 9 February, 2013.


India cannot be run as a ‘one man show’: Omar Abdullah to PM Modi

New Delhi: It is impossible to micro-manage India or run it as a “one man show”, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah commented on Sunday as the Modi government completes one year in office.

Omar Abdullah. PTI

Omar Abdullah. PTI

Omar recalled Modi’s stewardship of Gujarat and said, “Running a state and running a country are two very different things. It’s tough enough to micro-manage a state, even a state like Gujarat. It’s impossible to micro-manage a country and a country the size of India you can’t do it.

“And therefore if every decision has to be sort of looked at a micro level right up to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), it’s not going to happen,” Omar told PTI.

When asked about the perception that PMO was micro-managing the affairs, Omar said, “Look I am not sitting in PMO. I am not in the Cabinet. I am just telling you that the perception one has talking to friends in government and in business picking up from what the media has to say, there is no doubt that decisions that needed to be taken are not being taken. And the general perception is that’s because the PMO…very heavy PMO is involved in all these decisions.”

On the performance of the Modi government, he said “…The Prime Minister and his ministers are victims of their own campaign. They raised expectations to a place where delivery was always going to be difficult and impossible.”

He said people had lot of expectations especially because after a long time, a single party had come to power. “People expected a lot more in terms of delivery on some tricky issues that he has been promising and clearly that has not been

“Whether it is the economy, whether it is areas to do with defence and other governance related issues. Simple matters like putting a right person in right place for bodies like vigilance commission and information commission,” he said.

“It’s actually surprising how such a Chief Minister, who was known to be decisive, has allowed a situation where he has allowed a perception where his government is seen indecisive on crucial areas,” he said.

The posts of CVC and CIC have been lying vacant since September and August last year.

“And that’s why as I said this perception that crucial decisions are held up on statutory bodies whose leadership needs to be put in place, it’s a telling sign.

“That one year into the government you don’t have the Information Commissioners. Till recently we had one-man Election Commission. Other organisations also require to be taken care of,” the former Chief Minister said.

He made it clear that a country like India cannot be run “as a one man show. It simply can’t”.

Omar said a year was enough time for them to realise that it doesn’t work. This government and the Prime Minister in particular “is very sensitive” to what people say,particularly on social media, and it will be not long before Modi picks up that “it’s not working and needs to go back to the drawing board.”

On the internal front as far as Jammu and Kashmir is concerned, he expressed clear disappointment saying, “For me the biggest test of this Prime Minister was helping the people of Jammu and Kashmir affected by the floods of last year. And, in that this government has single-handedly failed the people of the state.”


Grant Geelani a passport on ‘humanitarian’ grounds, PDP tells Centre

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#ModiInsultsIndia trends on Twitter as Oppn slams PM Modi for insulting nation

J&K: 24 killed, 49 injured as bus falls into gorge in Udhampur

Udhampur: Twenty four people died and 49 others were injured, five of them critically, when an overcrowded bus rolled down into a 300 feet deep gorge in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday.

The passenger bus, which was on its way to Udhampur from Dudu-Latti belt, skidded off the road and rolled down into the gorge in Maroti belt in the district, officials said.

Rescue work is carried out after a bus rolled down into a deep gorge in Udhampur on Monday. PTI PhotoRescue work is carried out after a bus rolled down into a deep gorge in Udhampur on Monday. PTI Photo

Rescue work is carried out after a bus rolled down into a deep gorge in Udhampur on Monday. PTI Photo

As many as 24 people have died and 49 others are injured, 5 of them critically, in the mishap, Deputy Commissioner, Udhampur, Yasha Mudgal told PTI.

Six persons were airlifted to Government Medical College (GMC) hospital in Jammu for specialised treatment while three critically injured were admitted to Command hospital here. Others have been admitted to Sub-district and other hospitals in Udhampur district.

Those killed in the mishap include 10 men, 12 women besides 2 children, the police officer said, adding, driver of the bus identified as Sham Lal (55) was also killed.

The bus was overloaded with passengers as over 70 people were on board at the time of the mishap. The accident took place due to mechanical failure of the vehicle, Mudgal said.

A probe has been ordered and Assistant Traffic Inspector has been asked submit the report within 24 hours, she said.

Mudgal also said that an immediate relief of Rs 10,000 has been provided to families of the deceased and Rs 5,000 to the injured.

“It is just an attempt to provide immediate relief out of our Red Cross Fund as this is a major tragedy. This is not an ex-gratia,” she said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.

Jammu and Kashmir Governor N N Vohra and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed also expressed deep shock and grief.

In a condolence message, Sayeed conveyed sympathies to the bereaved families and prayed for eternal peace to the departed souls, an official spokesman said.

Sayeed directed Divisional Commissioner, Jammu to ensure that best possible medical treatment is extended to the injured, the spokesman said.

Former chief minister and opposition National Conference leader Omar Abdullah also expressed profound grief and sorrow over the loss of lives.


Holy Cow! A ‘brown’ cow issued exam admit card in Kashmir, authorities say they were pranked

Srinagar: A cow, brown indeed, has got an admit card issued by authorities on her name to write a professional entrance examination in Srinagar and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is keen on seeing her appear in the paper.

In a strange turn of events, the admit card for the entrance examination for Diploma in Polytechnic was issued by Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) in the name of Kachir Gaaw (Brown Cow) who is supposedly daughter of Gura Dand (Red Bull).

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The cow was alloted a seat at Government Degree College Bemina for writing the examination scheduled to be held on 10 May.

The incident came to light after opposition National Conference spokesman Junaid Azim Mattu uploaded a copy of the admit card on social networking site Twitter.

“The J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations issued this roll-number slip to a cow after due verification. I have both the Provisional Confirmation Page for applicant Ms ‘Kachir Gaw’ as well as details of payment she made to BOPEE,” Mattu wrote on his account.

Mattu claimed that the records about the admit card had been taken off the BOPEE site at the behest of the state government.

“However, after an informal heads-up was sent to the government, BOPEE was asked to take the record down from their website.

“(Education Minister) Mr. Naeem Akhtar @jkpdp has some explaining to do. New benchmark of progress in Education Sector under him – COWS getting roll no slips?” Matuu added.

Former Chief Minister and National Conference working president Omar Abdullah also commented on Mattu’s post saying “Brilliant. I wish Kachir Gaaw had turned up for the examination.”

Controller Examinations of BOPEE Farooq Ahmad Mir said there was not much the authorities could do to prevent people from playing such pranks.

“All the applications are now made online. There is an image recognition software which does not differentiate between a human face and an animal picture. Someone has played a prank,” Mir said.

Asked about his signature on the admit card issued to the cow, Mir said “I do not sign the admit cards in person. This is a system generated signature and comes by default,” he said.

Mir, however, said BOPEE will file a complaint against the prankster. “We will track down the IP address of the person who has played this prank,” he added.


Omar Abdullah appeals tourists not to cancel Kashmir visit over floods

Srinagar: Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday appealed to tourists not to cancel their booking for visiting Kashmir in view of flood threats.

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. PTIFormer Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. PTI

Former Jammu and Kashmir CM Omar Abdullah. PTI

“Those of you with bookings to visit Kashmir please PLEASE don’t rush to cancel. Instead I request you wait to see how things develop,” Omar wrote on twitter.

The working president of National Conference said the tourism industry had bad year since the September floods last year.

“The Tourist industry had a disastrous Autumn & a really bad winter because of the floods. Finally things were looking up in April.

“Now because of the recent rains & accompanying news stories hotels are reporting up to 40% cancellations which is a disaster for them. So my earnest appeal to you is please keep the faith, don’t rush to cancel. Wait to see how the next few days go & then decide,” he added.

Omar asked his followers to retweet his tweets as a favour to the tourism industry of the Valley.

“I’ve never asked for RTs before but as a favour to the tourist industry of Kashmir please RT my last 4 tweets as many times as possible,” he said.


J&K live: One militant shot dead in Samba terror attack, 3 injured

12.53 pm: One militant reportedly shot dead  

Sources in the Army have told news agency ANI that security forces have gunned down one of the two militants who were firing at the camp. Meanwhile, Hindustan Times reports that three people have been injured till now in the attack.

“Two army soldiers have also sustained minor injuries in this attack so far. Security forces are engaged with the militants in an encounter so that they are prevented from escaping,” HT quotes a police officer as saying.

Zee News quotes home minister Rajnath Singh as saying, “We are in touch with the concerned authorities in the state. We have got a call from the Deputy Chief Minister and we have also received information from the intelligence. The necessary actions that are required are being taken.”

12.04 pm: Manohar Parrikar says operation is still on

It is not clear if the gun battle at the Samba Army camp is over yet. Following conflicting reports about the attack, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said, “The operation is still on. I cannot comment on a security issue right now.”

10.12 am:  Lack of communication or deliberate strategy? Army, police, politicians sing different tunes on Samba attack

While the Army officers dismissed reports that the civilian is was injured in the attack, the inspector general of Samba said that there was ‘speculative firing’ on. “Let’s not cook up stories. There have been some suspicious movements, the matter is being looked into. There is no need to cook up stories, everything is under control and no terrorist entered the camp,” he said.

He added that there has been no firing recently, only a few gun shots have been heard.

This after the defence PRO said that there two people firing at the camp. He also confirmed that the operation is on.

“They have been cordoned outside the camp and the operation is on,” said Mehta.

9.48 am: No one is injured, says Army officer

Speaking to ANI, defence PRO Lt Col Manish Mehta said that no one was injured in the attack, though Times Now interviewed a doctor in the Samba District Hospital who said one person was critically injured.

“The civilian who was injured had fallen off his cycle. He didn’t sustain bullet or splinter injuries,” he said.

Mehta added that the militants had not entered the Samba Army camp, they weren’t trying to either. They were firing at the camp from outside.

“They have been cordoned outside the army area, they are likely to be two people,” said Mehta.

9.oo am: Pilgrim critically injured in terror strike

A man from Firozabad, who was on his way to Vaishno Devi on a cycle, was caught in a cross fire and was critically injured in the crossfire. “The first gun shots were heard at around 5.30-5.45 am. The pilgrim was injured in the firing,” Nirmal Singh, deputy CM of Jammu and Kashmir, told ANI.

He added that the state was put on high alert following the Kathua attack and that’s why the militants couldn’t make a bigger attack at Samba. “Security forces have been alerted and will prevent such attacks,” he said.

“Movement of militants is not confirmed, combing operation in underway,” Singh added.

The Jammu-Pathankot highway has been sealed and gun shots can be heard from the army camp, still.

A doctor at the hospital where the injured person was admitted said that he is badly injured and critical.

8.25 am: Another terror strike in Jammu and Kashmir

Less than 24 hours after a terror group stormed a police station in Kathua, militants have struck at an Army camp in Samba. It is being suspected that the same terror group is also behind the second attack.

Two militants attacked the Indian Army’s 81 armoured united in the Sambra sector early today morning. Live television reports suggested that sounds of small firearms and grenades were being heard from the site.

A severe gun battle is on between the security forces and the militants right now.

End of updates from 21/3/15

12.12 am: Our sympathies lie with families of those who lost their lives, says Rajnath

Home Minister Rajnath Singh, in a statement in Lok Sabha, confirmed that two militants have been gunned down by the security forces and praised the security personnel for their work.

“Our sympathies lie with the families of the policemen and the CRPF personnel who lost their lives in the attack,” Singh said. “A civilian who was shot down by militant has our sympathies,” he added.

“We admire and commend the work done by our security forces,” said the Home Minister.

11.47 am: Gunbattle ends, two terrorists killed

The counter-terror operation launched by security forces against the militants at the Rajbagh police station has ended, according to TV reports. Reports also said that another suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba militant had been killed in the encounter.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

A search operation is being conducted by the security forces in the area now.

11.27 am: Kathua terror attack reflects the lawlessness in Jammu and Kashmir, says NCP

NCP leader Majid Memon slammed the PDP-BJP alliance in Jammu and Kashmir for the terror attack on the police station in Kathua district.

“This is unfortunate in the sense that this only reflects that there is no rule of law, there is total chaos, lawlessness. Thanks to the uncomfortable PDP-BJP alliance which is in power in Jammu and Kashmir,” Memon told ANI.

“We have been seeing from past more than a month, since the assumption of power by this combination that the separatist and anti-nationalist elements are being encouraged. They probably think that they are no more orphan, they have got somebody in the government to support, depending upon soft support of PDP,” he added.

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut also said, “What do you expect under a CM who released Masarat Alam?”

11.03 am: Militants were wearing army uniform, says CRPF officer

CRPF constable Bharat Prabhu, who was injured in the terror attack, said that the militants, wearing Army uniforms, intercepted a jeep going from Jammu to Pathankot on the pretext of checking the vehicle.

The ultras then hijacked the jeep which had three passengers on board and fled towards the Rajbagh Police Station where they opened fire on a sentry and killed him.

The militants then hurled grenades at the police station and opened indiscriminate fire. – PTI

10.32 am: Three security personnel killed, Rajnath meets PM Modi on the issue

The death toll in the Kathua terror attack has now climbed up to 4, with three security personnel killed in the attack, reported NDTV. Another militant had been shot dead in the ongoing gunbattle.

Meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu, met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue, according to Times Now.

9.59 am: Pak should realise friendship and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand, says Congress

Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad criticised Pakistan for the terror attack and said the country should realise that friendship talks and terrorism cannot go hand-in-hand.

“It is sad that Pakistan indulges in habitual backstabbing,” said Azad. “Foreign Secretary-level talk just happened…Pakistan should realise that friendship and terrorism cannot go hand in hand.”

Azad also said that it is sad that the “peace process hasn’t even concluded and this has happened.”

BJP leader Jitendra Singh also told Times Now, “This is evidence of the fact that Pakistan is refusing to mend its ways.”

Home Minister Rajnath Singh is also expected to make a statement on the Kathua terror attack in the Parliament today, said reports.

9.35 am: Another security personnel killed, one militant shot dead

Another security personnel has been reportedly killed in the attack, according to TV reports. Zee News also reported that nine people have been seriously injured in the attack. These nine include seven CRPF officers, one policeman and one civilian.

One of the terrorists who attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua has been shot dead by security forces, according to reports.

Heavy firing was heard from the site in which security forces launched a counter-operation against the militants.

8.59 am: Rajnath speaks to J&K DGP, Home Ministry monitoring situation

The Ministry of Home Affairs is monitoring the situation in Kathua. The Home Secretary LC Goyal has also spoken to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP about the terror attack.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also spoken to the Jammu and Kashmir DGP and has instructed the Home Secretary to closely monitor the situation.

8.40 am: Terror attack carried out by 3 to 4 terrorists of LeT suicide squad, say reports

A gunbattle in underway at the Kathua police station. The Jammu-Pathankot national highway has also been closed due to the attack, according to ANI.

“We have issued an alert in various areas in Samba,” a security officer said.

The terror attack was carried out by 3 to 4 terrorists, who reportedly belong to the suicide squad of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and were heavily armed with assault rifles and Chinese grenades, according to Times Now.

8.26 am: My thoughts are with brave security personnel, tweets Omar Abullah

Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah was the first politician to react to the terror attack and said that his thoughts were with the brave policemen dealing with the attack.

Terrorists attack police station in Kathua, 1 officer dead, civilian injured

A policeman has been killed on early Friday morning after a group of militants attacked a police station in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, police said.

Three CRPF personnel and a civilian have been injured in the attack till now.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Times Now reports that the terrorists are believed to be holding several hostages inside the police station. A report on CNN IBN said that security forces have been rushed to the spot.

The militants attacked the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district in the early hours of Friday.

“Militants used automatic weapons and hurled grenades at the Rajbagh police station in Kathua district today morning. One policeman was killed in the attack and three were injured,” a senior police officer told IANS.

Exactly a year back, in March 2014, Kathua had witnessed a similar, audacious terror strike which left three people dead, including an army personnel.

Three militants had arrived in the Indian Army’s combat uniform. They, then stopped a car and opened fire.

2010 Valley stir: Court directs police to probe Omar Abdullah, ex-SSP

Srinagar: A local court on Tuesday directed the police to investigate a complaint against former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and ex-SSP Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari over the killing of 120 people during the summer agitation of 2010.

For J&K CM Omar Abdullah. PTIFor J&K CM Omar Abdullah. PTI

For J&K CM Omar Abdullah. PTI

“Complainant and his witness though have substantiated the allegations contained in the complaint but the allegations contained in the complaint are serious in nature and requires to be proved further in order to arrive at conclusions about truthfulness or otherwise of the same,” Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar VS Bhou said in his two page order.

Bhou passed the order on a complaint filed by hardline Hurriyat Conference leader Ghulam Nabi Sumjhi seeking investigation against Omar and the then SSP Srinagar Ashiq Bukhari over the 120 deaths in security forces action during the 2010 agitation.

The court directed the SSP Srinagar to investigate the allegations and submit a report on or before 6 April when the case would come up for hearing again.

“I, therefore, postpone the issue of process of compelling the attendance of the persons complained against and direct an inquiry in terms of Section 202 CrPC to be conducted for the purpose of ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the allegations,” the court said.

Bukhari, in an interview with a web portal, had reportedly hit out at Omar for “demonising” him during the campaign for assembly elections last year.