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3 killed, 16 injured in Bandipore blast
Srinagar, August 13
At least three pedestrians were killed and 16 others injured, two of them seriously, when suspected militants hurled a grenade in a market place in Bandipore town this afternoon.

I-Day: Special paramilitary units called
Jammu, August 13
The Jammu police has sought assistance of "special counter-insurgency units" of the paramilitary forces to meet any eventuality during the Independence Day celebrations at the Parade ground mini-stadium here on August 15.
Women cops of the J&K police rehearse for the Independence Day parade in Jammu on Monday. Women cops of the J&K police rehearse for the Independence Day parade in Jammu on Monday. ó Photo by Mohit

Army Depot Fire
Azad cautions people against rumours
Srinagar, August 13
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked people not to heed rumours spread by vested interests on the fall-out of the Khundru incident as these only added to problems of the affected people.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES



Army depot fire: 15 bodies found
Srinagar, August 13
With the recovery of 15 bodies from the site of fire at the Army ammunition depot, Khundru in south Kashmir today, death toll has gone up to 18, officials confirmed here this evening. The 15-km-long road from Anantnag to Shangus via Achchabal in the affected area has been cleared for the movement of traffic, following major fire at the ammunition depot, on Saturday morning.

Govt to create jobs, rebuild militancy-hit economy
Jammu, August 13
The Jammu and Kashmir government has formulated itís first-ever employment policy to generate job opportunities in the state to meet the challenge of mounting unemployment and boost economy hit by militancy for the past 18 years. The draft of policy has been prepared and will be tabled in the coming session of the legislature.

Talwara camp migrants put off stir till tomorrow
Udhampur, August 13
Migrants of Talwara camp, agitating for relief on a par with Kashmiri migrants, have decided to suspend their stir till August 15. This decision was taken keeping in view the threats of militants during the Independence Day celebrations in different parts of the state.

Holy mace taken to ancient temple
Srinagar, August 13
The holy mace of the Amarnath shrine led by Mahant Deependra Giri was taken to the ancient Sharika-Bhawani temple in the city today as part of age-old custom before it reaches the shrine on August 28 marking the end of annual pilgrimage.




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3 killed, 16 injured in Bandipore blast
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13
At least three pedestrians were killed and 16 others injured, two of them seriously, when suspected militants hurled a grenade in a market place in Bandipore town this afternoon.

Elsewhere, two militants were killed in separate incidents in Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday.

Suspected militants hurled a grenade in a market place at Nowpora in the main market of Bandipore district headquarter town at 1.45 pm today, the police said. At least 19 persons were injured, who were shifted to the local hospital, of whom 14 were shifted to hospitals here. Two of them, Yaver Rafiq (17), a local resident and Sham Lal from Rajasthan succumbed to their injuries on the way to Srinagar. Another seriously injured, Ghulam Mohammad Lone succumbed to his injuries in the SMHS hospital here. Nine others, including a woman, are undergoing treatment at the SMHS hospital, while two seriously injured were referred to the Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura here. Their condition is stated to be critical.

Five of the injured are undergoing treatment at the sub-district hospital, Bandipore, the police here said.

One militant of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Fayaz Ahmad Naik alias Hamza was killed in an encounter with security forces at Yari Khah in Kulgam district yesterday, the police here said. The house of Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone where the militant was hiding got damaged in the exchange of fire. Two AK rifles, four magazines, 57 rounds, four hand grenades and one damaged Airtel SIM card were recovered from the site of encounter.

One militant, identified as Nissar Iqbal from, Karachi, Pakistan was killed in an encounter with security forces in the Zainpora area of Shopian district yesterday.

Meanwhile, the incident of grenade explosion at Bandipore, claiming three lives and injuring 16 others, has been condemned by various leaders including MLA, Usman Majid and MLC, Nizamuddin Bhat. MLC, Nizamuddin Bhat (PDP) expressing concern over the incident has described it as a security lapse ahead of Independence Day celebrations.

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I-Day: Special paramilitary units called
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 13
The Jammu police has sought assistance of "special counter-insurgency units" of the paramilitary forces to meet any eventuality during the Independence Day celebrations at the Parade ground mini-stadium here on August 15.

The police today said it did not want to take chance in the wake of an encounter in which Jaish-e-Mohammad commander Saifulah Qari was killed in a joint operation by Jammu and Delhi cops on August 10 midnight. Qari was said to have masterminded the Ayodhya temple terrorist attack in 2005.

J and K health minister Mangat Ram Sharma, who has been a former deputy Chief Minister in the erstwhile Mufti regime, is scheduled to hoist the national flag at the Parade Ground on August 15.

"We are taking fool- proof security measures with the help of special groups for anti-insurgency of the paramilitary forces," Jammu SSP Ravinder Singh said at a press conference here.

The additional security forces have been deployed at all entry points of Jammu, while special checking was being carried out at the city Railway station, inter- state bus terminus and other crucial points.

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Army Depot Fire
Azad cautions people against rumours
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13
Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad has asked people not to heed rumours spread by vested interests on the fall-out of the Khundru incident as these only added to problems of the affected people.

He called upon people to cooperate with the administration to provide relief to the villagers affected by the incident. Azad asked people of the affected villages, who have been evacuated to safer places, not to rush back to their homes till the area was cleared of unexploded ammunition.

He said joint teams of the Army, the police and the civil administration had been formed to survey the villages for unexploded ammunition to be defused subsequently by experts.

He asked people not to touch any suspicious object, they might notice as it could endanger their lives. A woman was killed and three were injured yesterday when she touched an unexploded shell. Today also a child was seriously injured in a similar way .

Azad said adequate arrangements for food, shelter, drinking water and medicines had been made for the affected people. Langars have been set up at several places and teams of senior officers were camping in the area to supervise arrangements.

Meanwhile, the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has expressed concern over the presence of heavy stock of arms and ammunition in Kashmir that would only lead to any explosive situation. In a statement here the Mirwaiz said the fire at Khundru in south Kashmir resulted in damage to crops and orchards while displacing people from their villages. Unless the Kashmir issue was solved there would be no end to the arms race, he said.

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Army depot fire: 15 bodies found
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13
With the recovery of 15 bodies from the site of fire at the Army ammunition depot, Khundru in south Kashmir today, death toll has gone up to 18, officials confirmed here this evening. The 15-km-long road from Anantnag to Shangus via Achchabal in the affected area has been cleared for the movement of traffic, following major fire at the ammunition depot, on Saturday morning.

Defence spokesman Lt Col A. K. Mathur said the 15 bodies retrieved included 13 of the missing firemen, Major Tarun Kumar and an unidentified body. As already reported 25 missing persons, included 13 firemen, one Army officer, Major Tarun Kumar, nine other Army men and two civilian labourers.

According to deputy inspector general of police, Anantnag-Pulwama Range, Hemant Kumar Lohia, 15 bodies recovered today included 13 of firemen, an Army officer and an unidentified person. Two others including that of a fireman, and a butcher, who happened to be at the gate at the time of the incident had already been retrieved. Woman Jameela died while she had touched an unexploded shell in the area yesterday, reports said. The police, however, believes she had died due to the explosion caused by an LPG cylinder.

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Govt to create jobs, rebuild militancy-hit economy
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 13
The Jammu and Kashmir government has formulated itís first-ever employment policy to generate job opportunities in the state to meet the challenge of mounting unemployment and boost economy hit by militancy for the past 18 years. The draft of policy has been prepared and will be tabled in the coming session of the legislature.

The policy aims at shifting focus of the 11th Plan from output generation to employment creation. The policy envisages streamlining the market intervention scheme, introducing legislation on contract farming, strengthening the rural banks and formulating innovative self-employment schemes.

A high-power employment mission (HPEM) headed by the Chief Minister will be set up to monitor implementation of the policy. Other members of the HPEM include the finance minister, planning minister, industries minister, three legislators and a set of professionals, corporate, bankers and NGOs. While the HPEM will determine the policy and lay down general directions, there will be an executive body headed by the chief secretary to oversee execution and give monthly reports.

The thrust of the government was to initiate a multi-pronged strategy for employment generation to confront the mounting challenge of unemployment in the state. The policy framework on employment generation would be presented by the finance minister Tariq Hameed Karra in the upcoming session of the state legislature.

It lays emphasis on pursuing a strict policy on import substitution and localisation of the production and distribution systems. Karra in his 2007-08 budget speech had announced that the state government would constitute the HPEM.

The main objectives of HPEM shall be generation of adequate employment opportunities through a policy framework, initiate bold steps for infrastructure development, to act as a catalyst in opening of marketing opportunities for commodities and goods produced in the state, to mount special drive for creation of employment opportunities. 

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Talwara camp migrants put off stir till tomorrow
Tribune News Service

Udhampur, August 13
Migrants of Talwara camp, agitating for relief on a par with Kashmiri migrants, have decided to suspend their stir till August 15. This decision was taken keeping in view the threats of militants during the Independence Day celebrations in different parts of the state.

ďSecurity forces and the local police have been working overtime to frustrate designs of militants out to disturb Independence Day celebrations. We do not want to create any law and order problem for the authorities'', said Balwan Singh, president of the Migrant Action Committee, and added all agitational programmes had been suspended. He, however, announced indefinite dharna, which was started 15 days back, would continue.

Although the district administration has invoked Section 144, Cr PC, in Talwara, chief of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) Bhim Singh has announced to celebrate Independence Day in the camp of displaced people. He has asked camp dwellers to celebrate Independence Day with enthusiasm. 

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Holy mace taken to ancient temple
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 13
The holy mace of the Amarnath shrine led by Mahant Deependra Giri was taken to the ancient Sharika-Bhawani temple in the city today as part of age-old custom before it reaches the shrine on August 28 marking the end of annual pilgrimage.

A sizeable number of people joined the journey as sadhus offered prayers for peace in the valley and return of Kashmiri Pandits to their homeland, who have been living in exile since militancy erupted here. "The people of Jammu & Kashmir irrespective of caste, creed or religion have been assisting the pilgrims and sadhus who come here for this annual pilgrimage," the Mahant said terming the annual pilgrimage a symbol of Hindu-Muslim amity and boon for the economy of the state. He said puja in connection with the main pilgrimage of Amarnath would be held at Dashnami Akhara Srinagar on 'the auspicious day of Nag-Panchmi falling on August 18.

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