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Azad govt not for ST cut on petrol
Jammu, July 10
Although ruled by a Congress-led coalition, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has refused to implement the directions of the Centre to slash sales tax on petrol and diesel to neutralise the recent hike in the prices of these petroleum products.

Top Hizb militant killed
Srinagar, July 10
The police claimed to have made a major breakthrough against militancy with the killing of a top militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen. He was allegedly involved in the grenade attack on a National Conference rally at Kulgam in which five persons were killed and 44 others were injured on Saturday.

1 pilgrim killed in landslide
Jammu, July 10
One Vaishnodevi pilgrim was killed and seven others were injured due to landslides en route the cave shrine, official sources said today. A group of pilgrims was waiting for their turn for darshan at gate No. 1 of Vaishnodevi Bhavan when several sharpedged rocks rolled down the hill due to heavy rain last night.


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Azad govt not for ST cut on petrol
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 10
Although ruled by a Congress-led coalition, the Jammu and Kashmir Government has refused to implement the directions of the Centre to slash sales tax on petrol and diesel to neutralise the recent hike in the prices of these petroleum products.

While the neighbouring states in the North, including Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have slashed sales tax on petrol and diesel for the benefit of consumers, J&K has so far refused to accept the advice of the Centre. The Petroleum Ministry immediately after the hike in fuel prices had written to the state governments to slash the sales tax on the additional hike of Rs 4 per litre on petrol and Rs 2 on diesel.

All Congress-ruled states, except J&K, have adhered to the advice of the Centre and cut the additional sales tax. Highly placed sources said the state government had taken the plea that its revenue would be hit in case the sales tax was slashed. The state government had asked the Centre to reduce the excise duty on these products. Prime minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi had recently convened a meeting of Chief Ministers of the Congress-ruled states wherein they were advised to take steps to curb the price rise.

However, the Azad government has so far been reluctant to slash sales tax on fuel. The adamancy of the government has cast a shadow on prices of other essential commodities as trade in this hilly state is only through road transport. The transporters have started demanding a hike in load and passenger fares.

The transporters have increased the fares without waiting for the orders of the transport department. Sources say the state government is not in a mood to part with even a fraction of the revenue of about Rs.225 crore it earns from the sales tax on fuel. The government has also failed to bring the prices of fresh vegetables and pulses under control.The Consumer Affairs Minister, Hakeem Yaseen, claimed that a constant watch was being kept on prices. A report on the prices would be sent regularly to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

He said the Deputy Commissioners and price controllers had been ordered to curb the menace of black market.

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Top Hizb militant killed
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 10
The police claimed to have made a major breakthrough against militancy with the killing of a top militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen. He was allegedly involved in the grenade attack on a National Conference rally at Kulgam in which five persons were killed and 44 others were injured on Saturday.

Identified as Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, alias Aftab, alias Lalbadshah, the longest surviving Hizb-ul Mujahideen district unit commander for Kulgam was killed in an encounter with the police and security forces near Qazigund in Anantnag district last night.

Acting on a tip-off, a joint party of the police and the CRPF laid multiple ambushes near Kuchipora village, the police said.

The troops noticed suspicious movement of a person who was challenged to stop, but he fired at the ambush party. An encounter ensued, leading to the death of the militant.

One AK 47 rifle, two magazines, seven rounds and some incriminating documents were seized from the possession of slain militant.

The police yesterday said three militants of the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were responsible for the grenade attack on a National Conference rally at Kulgam.

The police had identified three militants, including Riyaz Ahmad Bhat, alias Aftab, Fayaz Ahmad, alias Hamza, and Muqeem Ahmad, alias Sonaullah, in the Kulgam grenade attack.

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1 pilgrim killed in landslide

Jammu, July 10
One Vaishnodevi pilgrim was killed and seven others were injured due to landslides en route the cave shrine, official sources said today.

A group of pilgrims was waiting for their turn for darshan at gate No. 1 of Vaishnodevi Bhavan when several sharpedged rocks rolled down the hill due to heavy rain last night.

Four persons, including a woman, were injured in the landslide, they said, adding that one of them, Rajinder Kumar, was shifted to the GMC Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Another landslide occurred at Andhkuwari en route the cave shrine early today and four persons, including a girl Anju of Amritsar, was injured. All of them were hospitalised. PTI

 

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