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Sunday, December 20, 1998
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Pak firing on villages in Poonch sector
JAMMU, Dec 19 — Two civilians, Mohammad Sadiq and Mohammad Shafi, were injured today in Pak firing on the Indian villages and pickets in five areas of Poonch sector.

Farooq urged to intervene
JAMMU, Dec 19 — The state Gurdwara Prabandhak Board has appealed to Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to intervene and iron out the rift between Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

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Cold wave grips North
SRINAGAR, Dec 19 — The Kashmir valley continues to be in the grip of a cold wave. All flights to Srinagar were suspended for the fourth consecutive day today due to smog engulfing the entire area.
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Pak firing on villages in Poonch sector
 Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Dec 19 — Two civilians, Mohammad Sadiq and Mohammad Shafi, were injured today in Pak firing on the Indian villages and pickets in five areas of Poonch sector.

Official sources said that Pakistani troops resorted to unprovoked mortar and small arms firing on the Korni, Shahpur, Nakarkoo and Digwar villages. Indian troops retaliated silencing Pak guns for the time being.

The sources said that Pak troops opened fire on the Indian soldiers on yesterday evening. The exchange of fire lasted till early hours of this morning.

Defence Ministry sources said that firing resorted to by the Pak troops was of routine nature and during the past several months Indian villages had to give a befitting reply to silence Pak guns.

Police reports said that a section of civilians fled to safer areas following Pak firing on the Indian villages. It is believed that the Pak troops had carried out shelling on the Indian border villages and pickets in Poonch sector to provide fire cover to the militants whom the agencies across the border were trying to push into the Jammu region.

During the past 45 days the troops had eliminated 63 Pak trained militants including foreign mercenaries which had forced the rebels to receive additional man and machine power from across the border. Since the Indian troops had plugged several infiltration routes in Poonch and Rajouri sectors the Pak soldiers were carrying out intermittent firing on the Indian border pickets and villages to carve out passage for the infiltrators.

SRINAGAR: Army has foiled another attempt by Pak troops to "capture a tactically important post in Siachen Glacier" on the night of Thursday.

A Defence spokesman said here that Pakistani troops taking advantage of the dark night tried to capture a post in the north part of glacier at 9 p.m. on Wednesday.

"Detecting the movement close to their post, alert Indian sentries raised an alarm and alerted their post. As the sentry shouted, he observed some troops running back towards the Actual Ground Position Line", the Defence spokesman stated. He added that it was followed by another attempt at about 11 p.m. when sentries at the neighbouring post detected movement of six Pakistani Army personnel opposite their post. The spokesman added that artillery and small arms fire was brought down to disperse the intruders.

This was the eighth attempt by Pakistan Army to capture a post in Siachen Glacier, the Defence spokesman said. He added that seven such attempts had been made during October and November this year.

(UNI): Body of Manzoor Ahmad Bhat, who was abducted by unidentified gunmen from his house early yesterday, was recovered from south Kashmir district of Anantnag this morning. Elsewhere in the valley security forces arrested two persons in the past 24 hours.

The official spokesman said Manzoor Ahmad was overpowered by people and handed over to the police when he tried to loot cash from the house of Ahmad in Anantnag, and one suspected militant was arrested from the Lal Chowk last evening.

(PTI): Militants killed a hostage and triggered an explosion near a school in Jammu and Kashmir since last evening.

Two suspected militants were arrested and a hide-out destroyed during the period, official spokesman said.

An explosion took place in a wastage stock room near model school Surankote in border district of Poonch in Jammu yesterday, but caused no injury.

Security forces smashed a militant hide-out at Kalakote-Thaka in border district of Rajouri and recovered one AK rifle, 295 rounds and five hand grenades, the spokesman said.
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Cold wave grips North

SRINAGAR, Dec 19 — The Kashmir valley continues to be in the grip of a cold wave. All flights to Srinagar were suspended for the fourth consecutive day today due to smog engulfing the entire area.

The "Chillai Kalan", the peak of winter in Kashmir, has come three days ahead. Usually it begins on December 22 and continues for 40 days. This year the temperature has already dipped to 9C below zero, much before the onset of "Chillai Kalan."

The valley awaits rain and snow. The valley has had a dry spell for over three months. Even during July and August there was not much rains. Unlike previous years, there were no flood threats during these months in the valley. The last time the Kashmir valley had rain was in the middle of September. The continued dry spell has spread flu and influenza throughout the valley.

For the past four days no flights of the passenger aeroplanes landed here. According to the Meteorological Department, visibility at Srinagar Airport was mere 500 metres, for normal landing of flights need a visibility of 2.5 k.m.

The capital city as also the rest of the valley has gone without national and regional newspapers as these could not be transported to the valley due to the suspension of flights.

UNI adds from Chandigarh: The cold wave intensified its fury in the North-West region with dense fog shrouding the region in the morning for the fourth consecutive day today.

The thick blanket of fog delayed the movement of road, rail and air traffic in the region. Vehicular traffic moved at a slow pace in the entire region with visibility having been reduced to a few metres. Long distance trains also ran behind their schedule by one to two hours. Fog also considerably delayed air flights in the region in the morning.

Reports of fog came in from Amritsar, Jammu, Udhampur, Adampur, Halwara, Bhatinda, Sirsa, Ambala, Karnal, Panipat, Hindon and Palam and Chandigarh.

The entire Jammu region was also in the grip of severe cold wave. The weather office registered the minimum temperature at 3.5C six degrees below normal, at Jammu, sending shivers down the spine.

Cold wave became intense in Chandigarh and its surrounding areas of Punjab and Haryana. The city experienced the coldest night of the season last night with the mercury declining to 3.6C, three degrees below normal, from 4C it showed yesterday.

The freezing cold persisted unabated in the Kulu valley. The mercury hovered below the freezing point at the key tourist resort of Manali and Bhuntar, in the valley.

People reeled under 2.1C at Una and 2.4C at Solan district towns in Himachal Pradesh.

However, Shimla has not been affected by the cold wave as the mercury has stayed above normal there. The meteorological office registered the minimum temperature at 7.4C, three degrees above normal at Shimla today.

In Punjab, Jalandhar recorded the minimum temperature at 4.4C while the industrial city of Ludhiana had it at 6C, two degrees below normal.

In Haryana, Rohtak reeled under 5.3C followed by Hisar where the minimum temperature hovered at 5.5C, one degree below normal. Ambala recorded the minimum temperature of 6.3C, one degree below normal.

The weather office has predicted light to moderate rain at some places in Himachal Pradesh, rain or thunder showers at some places in Punjab and mainly dry weather in Haryana during the next 24 hours.

A report from Amritsar said that in view of dense fog the district administration has passed an order directing all schools not to start classes before 9 a.m. The order issued by the District Magistrate, Mr Narinder Jit Singh would be applicable both for government and private institutions as well.

The order would come into effect from Monday next and remain in force till January 31 next year.
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Badal-Tohra feud
Farooq urged to intervene
Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Dec 19 — The state Gurdwara Prabandhak Board (GPB) has appealed to Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah to intervene and iron out the rift between Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SGPC President, Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra.

In a resolution adopted at a meeting of the Gurdwara Prabandhak Board under the chairmanship of Mr Sudershan Singh Wazir, president of the board, here today, the board said the differences, would "harm the interests of Sikhs".

Mr S.S. Wazir said Dr Farooq Abdullah was the most suitable political figure to intervene and resolve the differences between Mr Tohra and Mr Badal.

Mr Wazir also appealed to the Akal Takht, Jathedar Bhai Ranjeet Singh, to remove the differences between Mr Tohra and Mr Badal.

The board president thanked Punjab Akali Dal leaders for providing adequate facilities to over 30,000 pilgrims from Jammu and Kashmir who participated in the Khalsa march from Jammu to Anandpur Sahib between December 15 and 18. He expressed grief over the demise of two pilgrims and injuries to several others in road accidents during the Khalsa march.

Mr Wazir thanked the SGPC leadership for having sanctioned an ex-gratia relief of Rs 1 lakh each to next of kin to the deceased and Rs 10,000 each to those injured.Top


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