Monday, December 10, 2001, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

10 ultras shot in encounters

Srinagar, December 9
Ten militants were killed in separate encounters with security forces as ultras targeted a police post and clashed with securitymen in the Kashmir valley since last night, a police spokesman said today.

Four unidentified militants were killed in a clash with an Army search party at Charkote-Sogam in Kupwara district of north Kashmir last night, he said.

A spokesman of the pro-Pakistan Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen claimed the deceased militants included the “company commander” of the outfit, Sajad Ahmad Bhat, alias Adil Rehman of Lalpora village in Kupwara.

He said the three other militants killed in the encounter were activists of the Al-Badr, the Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami and the Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen outfits.

Army troops shot dead two more militants during combing operations at Churnar forest in the Zachaldara area of Kupwara yesterday, the police spokesman said.

Elsewhere, during a raid on a suspected militant hideout, BSF personnel confronted a group of armed militants at Karpora-Pakherpora village in Badgam district in the wee hours today and asked them to surrender, the spokesman said.

In reply, the militants opened fire and in the ensuing gunbattle, three militants, including a suspected foreigner were killed and two houses damaged.

Another militant associated with the Hizbul Mujahideen, Manzoor Ahmad Malik, alias Aslam, was killed in an encounter with the Army in the Pattan area of Baramula yesterday.

JAMMU: Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged mortar shelling and firing along the Line of Control in Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu sectors, where five Indian grass sheds and three Pakistani posts were damaged since Saturday night, according to defence sources here on Sunday.

The sources said Pakistani troops resorted to mortar shelling along the LoC in Poonch, Rajouri and Jammu sectors and heavy shelling in the Gontrian, Majdhar, Kerni and Shahpur areas of Poonch.

Meanwhile, BSF and Pakistani Rangers exchanged intermittent firing till Sunday morning at 40 different border outposts and civilian places in R.S. Pora, Samba, Hiranagar and Akhnoor sub-sectors along the international border in Jammu frontier, the sources said.

However, no one was killed or injured in the exchange of fire on this side of the border, the sources said.

In another incident, eight persons, including four women, crossed over into Pakistan-occupied Kashmir along the LoC from Poonch district on Saturday night. PTIBack


Party poll nominees by Dec 31: CM
Tribune News Service

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal discusses a point with SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal discusses a point with SGPC chief Kirpal Singh Badungar after his return to Chandigarh from Delhi on Sunday. — Tribune photo Pankaj Sharma

Chandigarh, December 9
The Punjab Chief Minister, Mr Parkash Singh Badal, returned to Chandigarh today afternoon after being discharged from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi, where he was admitted on November 18 following a hip fracture in Amritsar. He got down to business, administrative as well as political, right away.

At his first public engagement, he met mediapersons and answered a few questions related to “unity” talks with Mr Gurcharan Singh Tohra, rejection of Mr Jagdev Singh Talwandi and selection of Mr Kirpal Singh Badungar as the SGPC President, on his strategy for the next Assembly elections, announcement of candidates and his campaign schedule given his mobility problem.

Mr Badal used the occasion to express his sense of gratitude to all those who treated him and prayed for his speedy recovery or visited him at the hospital. He said it was overwhelming to see his colleagues, cutting across political lines, visiting him. Though he appeared weak physically, he was strong in spirit. He remarked: “I missed people who are my real moral support. My forced distance from them haunted me while in hospital”.

For his return, Mr Badal was provided a special plane by the government.

Mr Badal fielded the questions in his usual style — without revealing much. The SAD President said he would announce the candidates before the Congress does; it has set December 31 as the deadline. He is to begin interface with party workers and SGPC members, district-wise, beginning tomorrow at Ropar. He announced the schedule till December 16, when the Sangrur district office-bearers would come. All meetings would be at his residence.

He had covered almost all constituencies with “sangat darshan” and barely five or six constituencies were left out. He has put the party apparatus into election mode right away. A large number of partymen trooped in to meet him.

At a specially arranged interaction with the press, he was presented a bouquet on behalf of the media by the Chandigarh Press Club President, Mr Jagtar Singh Sidhu and Secretary-General Mr Sarabjit Singh Pandher. Information and Public Relations Secretary D.S. Guru welcomed the Chief Minister and said it was Mr Badal’s desire to first meet the Press.

Mr Badal said his relation with the mediapersons was beyond professional association. “It is an extended family”.

SGPC President Kirpal Singh Badungar, and the Rajya Sabha MP, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, were present at the function.Back

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