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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Each BSF battalion to have counsellor
Move to check incidence of suicide among personnel
Jammu, December 16
Following 41 incidents of suicide this year by personnel deployed in anti-insurgency operations, the BSF has decided to deploy one counsellor in each battalion.

PDP’s peace formula was well received in USA: Mufti
Srinagar, December 16
Former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said here today the PDP’s stand on pushing forward a peace mission for Jammu and Kashmir had been appreciated at the international level. He added that the peace process in the sub-continent was irreversible.
Activists of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League raise slogans against alleged human rights violations in the valley at Residency Road in Srinagar
Activists of the Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League raise slogans against alleged human rights violations in the valley at Residency Road in Srinagar on Saturday. — PTI

BJP seeks white paper on encroachments
Jammu, December 16
Newly elected president of the state unit of the BJP Ashok Khajuria yesterday urged Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to issue a white paper on the steps taken to remove encroachments by influential persons on more than 25 lakh kanals of government land in the state.




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2 militants killed during infiltration bid
Jammu, December 16
The security forces today foiled an infiltration bid by militants and gunned down two Pakistan intruders at the Line of Control (LoC) on Krishna Ghati in Poonch district, official sources said here.




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Each BSF battalion to have counsellor
Move to check incidence of suicide among personnel
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 16
Following 41 incidents of suicide this year by personnel deployed in anti-insurgency operations, the BSF has decided to deploy one counsellor in each battalion.

Stating this here today, the Director-General of the BSF, Mr A.K.Mitra, said that the figure was 33 last year and it risen to 41 till December 1 during the current year.

He said he had sent a proposal to the Home Ministry for appointing a counsellor in each battalion of the BSF. In the meantime, officers would be trained as counsellors. As many as 27 personnel had committed suicide soon after returning from leave. Most had talked to their family members before taking the extreme step.

He said one reason for the same appeared to be the breakdown of the joint family system in rural areas, resulting in absence of any support system back home.

He said that the Commanding Officers had been asked to interact with the personnel when they returned from leave. Also, instructions were given that each personnel be granted leave to which he was entitled.

Mr Mitra said he had also asked the officers to allow the personnel to live with their families outside the BSF complex in private accommodation. Accommodation lying vacant within the campus could also be allotted to their families.

He said the BSF had acquired sophisticated equipment to prevent infiltration from across the borders. About 600 night vision sets for surveillance had been issued at the border posts. More sets were being procured.

A complete withdrawal of the BSF from the Kashmir valley, where the CRPF was taking over internal security, could be possible only by 2008. As many as 15 battalions have so far been moved out of the valley and another 10 would be withdrawn by September next year, he said.

He said border fencing on a 38-km stretch on the Indo-Pakistan border in the Jammu region was being realigned to benefit villagers. A sum of Rs 16 crore would be spent for this purpose.

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PDP’s peace formula was well received in USA: Mufti
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 16
Former Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said here today the PDP’s stand on pushing forward a peace mission for Jammu and Kashmir had been appreciated at the international level. He added that the peace process in the sub-continent was irreversible.

He was addressing a joint meeting of party legislators, district and zonal presidents and senior party functionaries a day after his arrival here from month-long visit to the USA. The Mufti said there could be no denying the fact that during the past four years, political initiatives - local, domestic, bilateral and international-- had all been moving in a positive direction. He said there were a few remarkable features about this peace process, which had a bearing on its sustainability that were not evident in the earlier initiatives.

Sharing his experiences of the tour, he said the stand of the PDP for achieving a dignified and long-lasting peace in this trouble torn state had received good appreciation. He said during his interaction with the think-tanks in Washington he presented the PDP’s vision with the self-rule formula, which had been vindicated by the intellectual community and non-resident Kashmiris of both sides of the LoC.

While appreciating the activities of the party activists, Mufti Sayeed underscored the need for proper coordination between the party workers and the leaders to carry forward the peace mission.

The PDP president and MP, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, highlighted the broader contours of the self-rule formula saying it accommodated aspirations of all the regions of the state and was aimed at empowerment of people. She said the formula was a proper solution to address the internal and external dimensions for the resolution of the Kashmir problem. She laid thrust on the cordial and friendly relations between India and Pakistan.

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BJP seeks white paper on encroachments
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 16
Newly elected president of the state unit of the BJP Ashok Khajuria yesterday urged Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad to issue a white paper on the steps taken to remove encroachments by influential persons on more than 25 lakh kanals of government land in the state.

Mr Khajuria alleged that Mr Azad was trying to protect influential politicians and bureaucrats who had encroached upon land.

He said Mr Azad had announced that the encroachments would be removed but now, he had taken a u-turn by announcing a policy to regularise these encroachments at throwaway prices.

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2 militants killed during infiltration bid

Jammu, December 16
The security forces today foiled an infiltration bid by militants and gunned down two Pakistan intruders at the Line of Control (LoC) on Krishna Ghati in Poonch district, official sources said here.

Army spokesperson said security forces spotted the movement of a group of six to seven infiltrators trying to cross over the LoC at Krishna Ghati, around 240 km from Jammu early today.

“Troops of the 10 Rashtriya Rifles spotted the two militants sneaking into the Indian side in the forested mountain area. A gunfight started between security forces and militants and ultimately both militants were killed,” sources said.

Two AK 56, one GPF, one radio set, eight magazines, one map and 10 grenades were seized from the spot. — UNI

 

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