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Sunday, November 28, 1999
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Militants attack Army camp
SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — Six persons, including two policemen and 3 militants were killed and at least 15 others injured in separate incidents of violence in Kashmir today.

Rangers, BSF hold meeting
JAMMU, Nov 27 — For the first time since the Kargil conflict, Pakistani Rangers and the BSF have held the first commanders-level border contact meeting along the border in Jammu’s Samba sub-sector, official sources said today.

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No light in J&K power tunnel
SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — Jammu and Kashmir, despite its huge hydro-electric potential of over 15,000 MW, has so far tapped only 1.2 per cent of it for no fault of its own.
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"Shabir Shah freed, cases dropped"
SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — The President of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, Shabir Ahmad Shah, has been set free and all cases against him withdrawn, a party spokesman said here yesterday.

Move to set up Islamic varsity
SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is also the chairman of the Muslim Auqaf Trust (Mat), today said Mat was actively considering setting up an Islamic university in the state.

Project to keep Zoji La open
SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — "Project Beacon" is constructing and maintaining roads in the most inhospitable terrain and inclement weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir. It was given the task to keep Zoji La axis to Ladakh sector open as long as possible this winter.

 

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Militants attack Army camp
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — Six persons, including two policemen and 3 militants were killed and at least 15 others injured in separate incidents of violence in Kashmir today.

Unidentified militants shot dead Ghulam Mohammad Mir, a head constable on patrol duty near Naaz Crossing under Shergarhi police station. Mir was seriously injured in the firing from close range at 1.45 p.m. He succumbed to his injuries while being shifted to Hospital.

Within an hour on this incident unidentified militants shot dead another policeman, Ravinder Kumar, a special police officer in the nearby Hari Singh High Street. The whole area was cordoned off and identification parades of the passersby conducted.

At least five rifle grenades were fired on the premises of the JAK LI Regimental Centre at Haft Chinar at about 2 p.m. today. Three of these landed in the open areas of the JAK LI centre, while two others landed in the nearby locality. The police said that two women were injured when one of the grenades hit the house of Akram Sheikh. Reports said that a female child of a labourer residing in nearby jhuggis was also injured in the attack.

The incident, coupled with killing of two policemen in the nearby area, created panic. Traffic on airport road was stopped for some time with passersby and passengers in the city buses on the road subjected to heavy frisking and identification parades.

The JAK LI centre is in the high security zone near Bakshi Stadium, the venue of the main Republic Day celebrations in the valley. The militants have earlier too launched rifle grenade attacks on the JAK LI centre.

In another incident, militants hurled a grenade on a picket of the security forces at Baramulla today afternoon. The grenade missed its intended target and the exploded on the road, injuring 15 people. Those injured included nine civilians and three CRPF personnel.

UNI adds: Some residents of Alochiabagh, Danderkha and Firedousabad alleged that security forces beat people with lathis and rifle butts in these areas after the attack on the Army camp.

At least two persons were injured when militants detonated a powerful improvised explosive device just outside the heavily-guarded police control room here last evening.

An ITBP spokesman said security forces killed three militants during a search operation at village, Ponju near Verinag in south Kashmir last evening.

Three AK rifles, other weapons and ammunition were recovered during the operation.

The body of a counter insurgent, Abdul Rashid Mir, was recovered from Chewa-Safapora village in Baramulla district today. Mir was affiliated to Ikhwan, a counter insurgent group in the valley.Top


 

Rangers, BSF hold meeting

JAMMU, Nov 27 (PTI) — For the first time since the Kargil conflict, Pakistani Rangers and the BSF have held the first commanders-level border contact meeting along the border in Jammu’s Samba sub-sector, official sources said today.

The meeting, yesterday, which came close on the heels of the bi-annual three-day IG-level conference, discussed issues relating to straying of cattle from Pakistan to Indian side, the sources told PTI here.

The BSF authorities agreed to search cattle which strayed from Pakistan to India along the sub-sector between July to September and return them.

The meeting, held at the forward border outpost in the Samba sub-sector following a request by the Pakistani Ranger Commander on Thursday, was the first since the Kargil intrusion, the sources said, adding that they had last met on May 9.

Since May 9, border contact and flag meetings remained suspended due to heightened tensions and firing exchanges along the IB in the Jammu frontier, they said.

The spokesman said after the Lahore conference from November 18 firing from across the border has been confined to one or two posts in Chamba instead of routine firing along 23 to 29 posts in the sector. Top


 

No light in J&K power tunnel
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — Jammu and Kashmir, despite its huge hydro-electric potential of over 15,000 MW, has so far tapped only 1.2 per cent of it for no fault of its own. While the state has a power demand of nearly 900 MW daily, the total installed capacity of hydel stations is only 179 MW, which falls further with the decline in water level during the winter months.

The major reasons for this that the state cannot dam the waters of the Chenab Indus and Jhelum under the Indus Water Treaty signed between India and Pakistan. Under the pact India is allowed to harness the waters of the three eastern rivers of the Indus watershed, the Sutlej, Beas and Ravi, all of which flow through HP and Punjab.

The three rivers, Chenab, Indus and Jhelum which run through J & K can be dammed only by Pakistan.

"We cannot store water for hydro-electric purposes due to the treaty", says Mr Syed Abdul Rashid, Minister of State for Power.

Because of the treaty, work on the Tulbul Navigation channel and Wular Barrage near Sopore was stopped in 1987, at the intervention of the Pakistan Government although the central government, maintained that the project was not aimed at storage of water but to regulate water level in a 20-km stretch from Sopore to Baramula to facilitate navigation in winter. The water level in the Jhelum, which passes through the sweet water Wular lake, falls sharply in winter. Despite this stand work on the Rs 30-crore project which had started in 1984, had to be stopped three years later and the incomplete structures now lie abandoned.

The state government has already taken up the matter of utilising the water resources of the state with the Centre and also sought compensation by way of more free power from the central grid as the Centre has free access to the three rivers of Punjab. At present the state gets only 12 per cent of its power from the Centre.

The delay in providing counter-guarantees by the Centre for some foreign consortia has also hit construction of permissible run-of-the-river hydel projects in Jammu and Kashmir. Two such projects are the Baghliar and Sawlakote power projects in Jammu region.

The MoUs for these have been signed with Sweden and Norway. But the state authorities say the BJP-led government at the Centre has not responded positively to the proposals although there had been assurances from the previous government of Mr H.D. Deve Gowda.

Under the circumstances despite the state reeling under the financial burden made deeper by militancy, it has started work on a few projects to increase the availability of electricity.

The Upper Sindh Hydel Project at Kangan, 40 km from here is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year. Work on the 105 MW project was restarted last year after a gap of eight years, during which the work had to be stopped due to militancy.

Syed Rashid said that the project would be commissioned in three phases, with the first phase of 35 MW to be ready by the end of December, 1999. The second phase of 35 MW will be commissioned by July next year and the last and final phase by November next year.

Following the delay in counter guarantees by the Centre, the state has taken over work on the 650-MW Baghliar hydel project. The project is scheduled to be completed and commissioned by 2004. The project was taken over by the Power Development Corporation (PDC) of the state from NHPC recently.

If the state is allowed to utilise all its water resources, it can be self-sufficient and an exporter of the hydel power according to the Minister of Power. But with neither recourse to this option nor support from the central grid it seems destined to wait in the dark. Top


 

"Shabir Shah freed, cases dropped"

SRINAGAR, Nov 27 (PTI) — The President of the Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP), Shabir Ahmad Shah, has been set free and all cases against him withdrawn, a party spokesman said here yesterday.

"All cases against Shah have been withdrawn and he was set free from Jammu Central Jail today," spokesman Hakim Abdul Rashid said.

Shah was arrested when he was on his way to Jammu during the recent parliamentary elections. Several cases, including one under the Indian Arms Act, were registered against him.Top


 

Move to set up Islamic varsity

SRINAGAR, Nov 27 (UNI) — The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is also the chairman of the Muslim Auqaf Trust (Mat), today said Mat was actively considering setting up an Islamic university in the state.

Addressing the general body meeting of Mat here, soon after his arrival from Jammu on a day’s visit, Dr Abdullah said a comprehensive plan was being formulated for the proposed university. "Experts have been approached and the plan is expected to be shortly formulated".

Dr Abdullah called for revamp of the present curriculum in the Mat- run institutions to make it compatible with the modern requirements.

"We cannot lag behind in education and technology, particularly when the stakes in this field are very high.

"The world has moved far ahead and we will be losing out to others if we do not prepare ourselves for the challenges of the next millennium, he said. Our educational institutions have to be equipped and upgraded to offer solutions to the problems of the coming millennium."

He said a polytechnic college, named after Baba Reshi would be set up at Tangmarg for which land has already been acquired. Further, a model school would be established at Makhdoom Sahib in Srinagar. The school would offer modern education as available at the leading educational institutions in the state.Top


 

Project to keep Zoji La open
Tribune News Service

SRINAGAR, Nov 27 — "Project Beacon" is constructing and maintaining roads in the most inhospitable terrain and inclement weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir. It was given the task to keep Zoji La axis to Ladakh sector open as long as possible this winter.

A spokesman said here today that the Beacon, a project of the Border Roads Organisation opened Zoji La on April 20, a month before the scheduled time. Zoji La is the lowest pass in the Himalayan range and has maximum precipitation of snow.

From Gund to Drass, between 60 km and 140 km on the Srinagar-Leh highway, the road is under 20 to 30 metres of snow and is closed from November to May every year, with sub-zero temperature touching minus 40C to minus 50C.

In spite of all odds, "Beacon" has attempted to keep Zoji La open as late as possible to serve the needs of the people and the operational requirement of the Army.Top


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