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Tuesday, January 26, 1999
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Fog, snow hamper troop mobility
JAMMU, Jan 25 — Anti-insurgency operations in the upper reaches of Rajouri and Udhampur have been hampered owing to heavy fog, snow and rain during the past five days.


Buddhist body to boycott function
JAMMU, Jan 25 — More than 15,000 personnel of the Army, paramilitary forces and the police have been deployed in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure incident-free Republic Day celebrations tomorrow.

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'Set up regional councils'
JAMMU, Jan 25 — The BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit has demanded the setting up of regional councils in Jammu and Kashmir for removing regional discrimination and tension.
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150 taken into custody
SRINAGAR, Jan 25 — At least 150 suspects were taken into preventive custody as the security forces were put on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the Republic Day functions in the Kashmir valley tomorrow.



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Fog, snow hamper troop mobility
Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Jan 25 — Anti-insurgency operations in the upper reaches of Rajouri and Udhampur have been hampered owing to heavy fog, snow and rain during the past five days. The inclement weather has reduced visibility affecting the mobility of the troops engaged in flushing out militants in the hilly areas where the soldiers have to walk over a thick blanket of snow. In areas situated at a height of above 5,000 ft two to three feet deep snow has restricted the movement of the troops.

Despite cold wave, the minimum temperature ranges from 3C to 4C. The security forces have been on the prowl but several operations carried out during the past five days have not yielded the desired results owing to poor visibility.

The troops have already identified areas where the militants have established their hideouts and they are waiting for the weather to improve so that specific operations could be carried out. Reports suggest that militants have taken advantage of the fog and have shifted their hideouts. Official sources said that a fresh survey would be carried out to find out whether the insurgents have abandoned the old hideouts or were still camping there.

The sources said that notwithstanding a fresh bid by the militants, especially foreign mercenaries, to create terror among the people by killing a few innocent civilians, the security forces continue to receive information regarding the plans and hideouts of the militants. During the past eight days six civilians were killed. This had no major impact on the psyche of the people because the killings were carried out in remote and scarcely populated hamlets.

Reports say that unfair weather has not prevented agencies across the border from carrying out infiltration and arms smuggling from Rajouri and Poonch areas. But the rate of infiltration and arms smuggling had been checked prior to border passes having been buried under deep snow. According to these reports, the deployment of additional troops on the Indo-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir since October last had considerably brought down the rate of infiltration. The deployment of additional troops had been ordered after the government received reports that large groups of militants, including foreign mercenaries and Pak servicemen, had been brought close to the Line of Actual Control across Bandipore, Gurez, Rajouri and Poonch sectors for being pushed into Jammu and Kashmir.

Official sources said that as far as Rajouri and Udhampur areas were concerned the activities of militants had been contained to a large extent. Top


 

Buddhist body to boycott function
Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Jan 25 — More than 15,000 personnel of the Army, paramilitary forces and the police have been deployed in different parts of Jammu and Kashmir to ensure incident-free Republic Day celebrations tomorrow. The two sports stadia, one in Srinagar and the other in Jammu, have remained out of bounds for the people during the past 10 days because of heavy security bandobast.

Security forces carried out search operations in houses situated close to the two stadia. For the past several days checks in buses, private vehicles and three-wheelers has been intensified after the government received reports that militants were trying to disrupt Republic Day functions.

Security forces have been directed to remain vigilant at all Republic Day functions. National Conference workers and supporters have been asked to ensure greater participation of people in these functions.

The departmental heads have been asked to see that all the employees remain present in the functions at the provincial and district level. In Leh a piquant situation has risen following the decision of the Ladakh Buddhist Association to hold separate Republic Day functions and dissociate itself from the government functions. The president of the association, Mr T. Samphel, said that majority of people will attend functions organised by the association and the one which is to be presided over by the Minister of Information, Mr Ajatshatru Singh, may be attended by police and Army personnel.Top


 

Set up regional councils: BJP
Tribune News Service

JAMMU, Jan 25 — The BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit has demanded the setting up of regional councils in Jammu and Kashmir for removing regional discrimination and tension.

The demand contained in a resolution adopted by the party's Working Committee at its meeting here yesterday. Party President D.K. Kotwal, and senior leader Prof. Chaman Lal Gupta, released the resolutions at a press conference here today. The resolution said that the state government had failed to resolve regional tensions on account of its lopsided policies which gave a raw deal to the people of the Jammu and Ladakh Regions.

The resolution referred to the Singhal committee report on the selection of candidates for MBBS and BDS courses and decried the committee for having given a clean chit to the competent authority. It said that the way the candidates belonging to the Jammu region were not included in the selection list had caused severe regional tension when more than 70 per cent students belonging to the Kashmir valley had been selected for the MBBS and BDS courses.

It described the Singhal committee report a stage managed show and wanted the government to set up regional councils to take care of all political and economic interests of the every region. It said that it was unfair for the people of one region to remain under the thumb of a Government which always had remained biased in favour of the Kashmir region.

Mr Kotwal said that the working committee had cleared the plan of launching regionwise agitation against the raw deal being meted out to the people of the Jammu region. He said a BJP delegation would visit Delhi and meet central leaders to prevail upon the state Government to establish regional councils.

The committee adopted a resolution on the economic issues and blamed the state government for the cash crisis. Explaining it Prof Chaman Lal Gupta said that the BJP was in favour of additional funds to flow from the Centre to the state but the state government should utilise them properly. He said during the past two years the state government adopted neither austerity measures nor avoided reckless spending. Major portion of the central funds had been "misused".

The BJP leader also ridiculed the state government's claim that the Centre had not reimbursed security-related expenses adding that the state government had incurred expenses of several hundred crores on schemes which had no direct or indirect bearing on security related matters.

The BJP leaders said that on one hand the state government was keen to have more powers under Article 370 but was reluctant to devolve these powers from the district to the panchayat levels. They described the government plan of holding the panchayat elections in the near future "eyewash". They said that while in other states panchayats had been given greater powers in Jammu and Kashmir the Panchayat Act was only old wine in new bottle and the decision to have 33 per cent women in each panchayat committee through nomination was ill conceived.

They were also critical of the way the government had decided that chairman of Zila Parishad be nominated by the government. These posts too should have either been filled through direct election or the parishad members should have been given the right to elect the chairman.Top

 

150 taken into custody

SRINAGAR, Jan 25 (UNI) — At least 150 suspects were taken into preventive custody as the security forces were put on high alert to prevent any untoward incident during the Republic Day functions in the Kashmir valley tomorrow.

The security forces were put on high alert following intelligence reports that militants may strike in the valley tomorrow.

An official spokesperson said the police task force seized one anti-tank missile, 15 remote control devices, 35 detonators, 16 rockets with booster, 81 grenades, 16mm mortar bombs, 22 kg plastic explosives, 25 kg of RDX, one pistol, one magazine, 729 rounds and one grenade gun during overnight operations in Baramula and Kupwara districts.Top


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