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Colonel who received gallantry award on Republic Day killed in J&K encounter

Srinagar: A commanding officer, who had only on Monday won a military medal, was on Tuesday killed along with a policeman while battling a group of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, commanding officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), and the policeman were killed in the gun battle at Mindora village of Tral, 36 km from here, an Army spokesman said.

Representational image.

Two militants, both locals, were also killed in the operation which left a soldier seriously injured.

Colonel Rai was conferred the Yudh Seva medal on the eve of Republic Day for outstanding contribution in planning and conduct of operations including a gun battle with militants in south Kashmir last year, the spokesman said.

Hailing from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, Colonel Rai, who was from the 9 Gorkha Rifles but was on deputation to RR, is survived by two daughters and a son.

The encounter broke out on Tuesday when the police assisted by Rashtriya Rifles of the army launched an operation after getting a tip off that a local Hizbul militant along with another accomplice had come home.

The slain militants have been identified as Adil Khan, a local resident of Mindora, and Shiraz Dar. Both were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, police said.

Some arms and ammunition have recovered from the scene of the encounter, they said.

PTI

Jammu and Kashmir: Army colonel who won gallantry award on R-day killed in encounter

Srinagar: A commanding officer, who had only on Monday won a military medal, was on Tuesday killed along with a policeman while battling a group of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district.

Colonel Munindra Nath Rai, commanding officer of 42 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), and the policeman were killed in the gun battle at Mindora village of Tral, 36 km from here, an Army spokesman said.

Representational image.

Two militants, both locals, were also killed in the operation which left a soldier seriously injured.

Colonel Rai was conferred the Yudh Seva medal on the eve of Republic Day for outstanding contribution in planning and conduct of operations including a gun battle with militants in south Kashmir last year, the spokesman said.

Hailing from Ghazipur in Uttar Pradesh, Colonel Rai, who was from the 9 Gorkha Rifles but was on deputation to RR, is survived by two daughters and a son.

The encounter broke out on Tuesday when the police assisted by Rashtriya Rifles of the army launched an operation after getting a tip off that a local Hizbul militant along with another accomplice had come home.

The slain militants have been identified as Adil Khan, a local resident of Mindora, and Shiraz Dar. Both were affiliated with Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, police said.

Some arms and ammunition have recovered from the scene of the encounter, they said.

PTI

Punjab, Haryana join the nation in celebrating 66th Republic Day

Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh today joined the nation in celebrating the 66th Republic Day amid tight security arrangements.

Contingents of police, home guards and NCC among others participated in the Republic Day parades held at various district headquarters in the two states and their joint capital Chandigarh.

School students presented colourful programmes while tableaux were taken out depicting the overall development of the states during these parades, which were held under cloudy conditions at most places in the region.

An Indian paramilitary soldier closes a barricade set at Rajpath, the ceremonial boulevard for Republic Day parade, leading to the war memorial India Gate, background, in New Delhi. AP

Haryana Governor Kaptan Singh Solanki unfurled the national flag at Karnal. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar took salute at Mohali and Kaithal respectively.

Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal unfurled the tri-colour at Jalandhar.

In Chandigarh, Adviser to the Administrator, UT, Chandigarh, Vijay Kumar Dev unfurled the tri-colour and took the salute. The functions to mark the Republic Day were also organised at other district headquarters in Punjab and Haryana including Jalandhar, Patiala, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Amritsar, Ambala, Gurgaon, Karnal, Rohtak and Hisar.

There was no report of any untoward incident taking place in any part of the region, officials said.
Tight security arrangements were put in place in the two states and UT Chandigarh to ensure no untoward incident takes place during the Republic Day celebrations.

PTI

Indian agencies write to Twitter, want location of IS tweet threatening attack on Obama’s car

New Delhi: Indian agencies have written to Twitter seeking the location from where threatening tweets were issued by alleged Islamic State (IS) terrorists, calling for a car bomb attack on US President Barack Obama during his India visit.

Barack Obama’s official car ‘The Beast’. AFP

The security agencies looking into the attacks have found that IP addresses of the computers used to issue the tweets have been “masked” by the alleged terrorists, the sources said.

The sources said Twitter has been asked to provide the location of the computer as soon as possible to check the authenticity and gravity of the threat in the wake of US President’s visit starting from January 25.

The agencies believe that the tweet could be the handiwork of one of the three terrorists from Mumbai suburban Kalyan who had gone to Iraq to join the IS. Four boys from the area –Areeb Majeed, Saheem Tanki, Amaan Tandel and Fahad Shaikh–had left their home to join IS operations in Iraq.

One of them, Areeb Majeed, purportedly sustained injuries and retured after which he was taken into custody by the National Investigation Agency.

The sources said the tweet issued on Monday from one of the handles is believed to be of the banned group IS. It had said, “Heard that enemy of Allah, Obama is coming to India soon. And Indian Muslims are good in chemicals, so a chemical car bomb will be a good idea.”

During the probe, the agency found that since location of the IP address was “masked”, it was difficult to decipher where the alleged IS sympathiser was based in India or abroad.

Several images of one of the youths ‘Tanki’ were circulated on the internet showing his “suicide mission” in Syria’s al-haska which were released on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms on which IS runs its propaganda.

The security agencies in the meanwhile have taken all the measures to ensure unassailable security ring around Obama who will be the first even American President to grace the Republic Day celebration as the Chief Guest.

PTI

US President Barack Obama to get Mysore shawl on Republic Day visit

US President Barack Obama, who will be visiting India as a special guest for this year’s Republic Day celebrations, will be presented with a Mysore silk shawl.Rashtrapati Bhavan has ordered 50 Mysore silk shawls to honour visiting foreign dignitaries.According to reports, surveillance satellites will be deployed around the capital to ensure the US President’s security.