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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Assembly passes anti-defection Bill
Jammu, December 29
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today unanimously passed the Bill seeking to amend the stateís constitution to make the anti-defection law more stringent to prevent defections.

7 killed, 8 hurt in bus-Matador collision
Jammu, December 29
Seven persons were killed and eight injured when a matador collided with a passenger bus at Assar in Doda district today.

Foreign militant killed in encounter
Srinagar, December 29
The security forces killed a foreign militant, arrested four others and as many surrendered along with arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir overnight, an official spokesman said here today.

Leopard kills villager
Jammu, December 29
A man was killed by a leopard that strayed into a village in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir last night, the police said today.


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Assembly passes anti-defection Bill
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 29
The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today unanimously passed the Bill seeking to amend the stateís constitution to make the anti-defection law more stringent to prevent defections.

The amended law of defection would apply even in case of a split.

Cutting across party lines, all members of the House, including those of the opposition National Conference (NC), the BJP and the Jammu State Morcha (JSM), voted in favour of the Bill, which was piloted by Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beig.

All members present in the House stood up in its favour when Speaker Tara Chand put the Bill to vote.

Former Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed, who came to the House for the first time during the current special session, also supported the Bill.

The Congress and the PDP had issued a whip directing their respective MLAs to vote in favour of the Bill.

Besides preventing defection, the Bill also provides for restricting the size of the ministry to 20 per cent of the total strength of the two Houses of the legislature.

The House also passed with some amendments the Bill arming the vigilance organisation to seize and attach movable and non-movable properties of government functionaries involved in corruption.

In the debate that preceded the passing of the Bills certain members stressed that the state government should stick to the countrywide formula of restricting the size of the ministry to 15 per cent.

A couple of members took exception to granting ministerial status to chairpersons of boards and corporations, which they described as a step towards circumventing the provisions of the Bill.

While replying to the debate, Mr Beig said other states were also granting ministerial status to chairpersons of boards and corporations.

He accepted the suggestion of leader of the opposition Abdul Rahim Rather that the boards and corporations should not be burdened with chairpersons of ministerial status since such bodies were finding it hard to even pay salaries of their own employees.

On the Bill pertaining to prevention of corruption, several members urged the Chief Minister to first cleanse the vigilance organisation in which certain officers were themselves indulging in corruption.

Ali Mohammad Sagar (NC) pointed out that corruption would not be weeded out just by catching small fries, while the sharks were out free.

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7 killed, 8 hurt in bus-Matador collision
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 29
Seven persons were killed and eight injured when a matador collided with a passenger bus at Assar in Doda district today.

The DIG of Doda-Udhampur Range, Mr Satvir Gupta, said that six persons, including matador driver Abdul Qayum, died on the spot. Ghulam Qadir succumbed to his injuries while being shifted to Jammu medical college Hospital.

Eight critically injured persons have been shifted to the medical college here for treatment.

A large number of people protested at Batote on the Jammu-Srinagar highway against absence of doctors from the hospital. They said the injured would have got treatment at Batote had the doctors been there on duty.

The other killed were Hashim Din, Ghulam Hussain, Rajbali, Noor Din and Ghulam Nabi.

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Foreign militant killed in encounter

Srinagar, December 29
The security forces killed a foreign militant, arrested four others and as many surrendered along with arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir overnight, an official spokesman said here today.

He said the security forces gunned down a foreign militant in an encounter at Chandigram Lolab in Kupwara district last night. The encounter ensued after a search party was attacked by militants. Four UBGL, two hand grenades, two mines, one wireless set, 10 kg of explosive and 10 detonators were recovered from the slain militant.

The security forces and the police arrested four militants in two search operations at Kantpora and Handwara in Kupwara. ó UNI

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Leopard kills villager

Jammu, December 29
A man was killed by a leopard that strayed into a village in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir last night, the police said today.

Sita Ram of Laroka village in the Nowshera area was mauled by the leopard. He was rushed to a hospital at Rajouri where he was declared dead, they said.

The leopard, which had somehow strayed into the human habitat, ran away to the nearby forests when some villagers with sticks tried to rescue Sita Ram, they said. ó PTI

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