THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Protests continue in Bandipora
over killings
Srinagar, February 9
One person was injured in police firing as protest demonstrations against the killing of five youths, allegedly by security forces, continued for the second day today in Bandipora town of Baramulla district.

Ministerís nephew kidnapped
Srinagar, February 9
Jammu and Kashmir minister Qazi Mohammad Afzalís nephew was today kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, some of them in uniform, who had apparently come for his constable brother, from a village in Srinagar district this afternoon, sources said.

8 militants among 10 killed in J&K
Srinagar, February 9
Ten persons, including eight militants and an SPO, were killed while the security forces recovered explosives and UBGL in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours.

Bhim Singh opposes Cabinet expansion
Jammu, February 9
Taking exception to the move for Cabinet expansion in J&K, Mr Bhim Singh, Chairman of the Panthers Party, which is a coalition partner of the government, has asked the Chief Minister, Mufti Sayeed, to respect the central law of restricting the size of the ministry to 15 per cent of the strength of the elected legislators.


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EARLIER STORIES
 

10 nominated to Wakf Board
Srinagar, February 9
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has nominated 10 members to the state Wakf Board, constituted in place of the Muslim Auqaf Trust.

NCP for jobs to victims of terrorism
Jammu, February 9
Thakur Randhir Singh, president of the J and K unit of the National Congress Party (NCP), has said that the state government should provide employment to the youths and the victims of terrorism in place of rehabilitating those involved in terrorism.

DCs of five districts transferred in J&K
Jammu, February 9
In a reshuffle of officers prior to the Lok Sabha elections, the Jammu and Kashmir Government transferred Deputy Commissioners of five districts this evening.

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Protests continue in Bandipora over killings
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, February 9
One person was injured in police firing as protest demonstrations against the killing of five youths, allegedly by security forces, continued for the second day today in Bandipora town of Baramulla district.

The situation in the township remained tense as over 2000 demonstrators held protest against the killing of five youths of the Chithi Banday forest area near Aragam village, about 10 km from the town, whose bodies were handed over by the Army to the local police yesterday.

The injured person was shifted to hospital in a serious condition.

Senior separatist leaders, including chairman of the breakaway group of the APHC, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Shabir Ahmad Shah (DFP) and Javed Ahmad Mir of the JKLF, were prevented by the police from proceeding towards Bandipora at Safapore today.

The Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who today returned to his office here after a fortnight at Mena, said stern action would be taken against the guilty in the incident.

He issued strict instructions to the security forces and the police to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

However, a spokesman of the Army, in a rebuttal, described as totally baseless and factually incorrect the reports that the Army had used the porters as human shields.

He clarified that after an anti-terrorist operation at Datiwas in Bandipora, the Army pressed into service seven porters to ferry loads such as digging equipment to clear the rubble of a hideout that was destroyed during the operation. However, one terrorist hiding inside opened fire, killing three porters and wounding one. Thereafter, the militants indiscriminately fired, killing two more porters. Three Army jawans also lost their lives.

Meanwhile, the defence authorities today decided to hold an inquiry into the killing of five civilians in a fierce encounter between militants and security forces at Bandipora last week.

A Defence Ministry spokesman said the probe will inquire into the circumstances and cause of the incident.

He said it had also been decided that the Army and civil administration would jointly take care of the families of the victims who lost their lives during the ongoing operation in the Bandipore hills.

The spokesman said the Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla, and the Brigade Commander today visited Bandipora and met local leaders and the bereaved families to express their grief.

The District Commissioner disbursed ex-gratia relief and assured jobs to one member of the families of the deceased.

The operation, launched by the Army on February 5 in Bandipore hills, was still going on. So far, six militants, five civilians and three soldiers have been killed and one civilian has been injured, reports said.

The spokesman said it was decided to adopt the affected Chitti Bandi village by the Army.

The Inspector-General of Police, Kashmir Range, Mr K. Rajendra, accompanied by Deputy Commissioner, Baramulla district, also visited Chithay Banday today to take stock of the situation.

Former Union Minister and National Conference President Omar Abdullah has also expressed shock and grief over the killing of five labourers and demanded a high-level probe in to the killings. He alleged that the PDP-led coalition government had failed to protect the lives and property of the people since it came to power in Jammu and Kashmir.

The CPM State Secretary and MLA, Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami, an ally of the coalition government, who visited the affected village of Chithay Banday today, had condemned the incident. He expressed his sympathy with the bereaved families and demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident and action against those found guilty.

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Ministerís nephew kidnapped

Srinagar, February 9
Jammu and Kashmir minister Qazi Mohammad Afzalís nephew was today kidnapped by unidentified gunmen, some of them in uniform, who had apparently come for his constable brother, from a village in Srinagar district this afternoon, sources said.

Qazi Mohammad Altaf, nephew of the Public Health Engineering Minister, was kidnapped from his shop at Lar village of Ganderbal at around 12.30 p.m. by some gunmen who came in a Tata Sumo.

The kidnappers asked for Altafís brother Firdous, a constable posted in Srinagar. Since Firdous was away on duty, they left with Altaf. ó PTI

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8 militants among 10 killed in J&K
Tribune News Service and UNI

Srinagar, February 9
Ten persons, including eight militants and an SPO, were killed while the security forces recovered explosives and UBGL in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours.

An official spokesman said the security forces killed two Jaish-e-Mohammad militants, Aftab, alias Bilal, and Jameel Commando at Ahlan Gadool in south Kashmir district of Anantnag last night.

Another militant, Adil, was gunned down by the security forces at Chandigam in the central Kashmir district of Badgam today. Three AK rifles, eight magazines, two grenades and a wireless set were seized.

He said three militants were killed in an encounter in the Banihal area last night. A large cache of arms and ammunition, including three AK rifles, and nine grenades were seized from them.

Two militants were killed by the security forces at Udhampur early today.

He said the militants killed Mohammad Amin at Saimoo Tral while Nazir Ahmad Khan was shot at in south Kashmir today.

The spokesman said the body of an SPO, Nissar Ahmad, was found from Bhatidar area of Poonch last night. He had been kidnapped by militants a day earlier.

The security forces recovered eight UBGL and some explosive material from Reshwari in Uri last night.

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Bhim Singh opposes Cabinet expansion
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 9
Taking exception to the move for Cabinet expansion in J&K, Mr Bhim Singh, Chairman of the Panthers Party, which is a coalition partner of the government, has asked the Chief Minister, Mufti Sayeed, to respect the central law of restricting the size of the ministry to 15 per cent of the strength of the elected legislators.

In a letter to the Congress President, Mrs Sonia Gandhi, and the Mufti, Mr Bhim Singh said there were already 29 ministers, which was 33 per cent of the strength of the Assembly, and there was no justification for expansion of the ministry.

He said the expansion would go against the common minimum programme of the coalition partners that provided for generating employment for unemployed youth. On the one hand the government had banned fresh recruitments because of a financial crisis but on the other hand the ministry was being expanded.

Mr Bhim Singh said the expansion would also not help curb corruption and make the government accountable.


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10 nominated to Wakf Board

Srinagar, February 9
The Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, has nominated 10 members to the state Wakf Board, constituted in place of the Muslim Auqaf Trust.

Mufti Sayeed, whose government wrested control of the Muslim Auqaf Trust from the National Conference, himself is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Specified Wakfs and Wakf Properties.

The nominated members, according to an official spokesman, are Mohammad Shafi Pandit (IAS), Mufti Azam Mufti Bashir-ud-Din, Sidiq Wahid of Leh, who taught Islamiyat at Harvard and is at present running a school in Ladakh, Dr Ashiq Hussain Naqashbandi, Professor of Surgery, Government Medical College, Dr Mohammad Amin Masoodi, former Director, Extension, Sher-i-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Dr Nusrat Andrabi, former Principal, Abdul Hameed Raina, former Executive Director the NHPC, G.A. Lone, former Law Secretary, Muzaffar Ahmad Khan, Philanthropist, and Prof Tayub Kamili, former Professor of Arabic, Islamia College, Srinagar. ó TNS

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NCP for jobs to victims of terrorism
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 9
Thakur Randhir Singh, president of the J and K unit of the National Congress Party (NCP), has said that the state government should provide employment to the youths and the victims of terrorism in place of rehabilitating those involved in terrorism.

Mr Randhir Singh was speaking yesterday at a function held to honour those who fought the terrorists at Ghatti recently. He said that the government should keep in mind that the nationalist forces would feel demoralised if money was doled to those who took to the gun.

He regretted that while those who killed innocent persons were being rehabilitated, but brave people particularly of the Ujh basin up to Billawar had been completely neglected by the present regime and the previous National Conference government.

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DCs of five districts transferred in J&K
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 9
In a reshuffle of officers prior to the Lok Sabha elections, the Jammu and Kashmir Government transferred Deputy Commissioners of five districts this evening.

The decision to transfer the Deputy Commissioners was taken at a meeting of the state Cabinet here today.

Among those transferred are the Deputy Commissioners of Kathua, Rajouri, Poonch, Doda and Kargil. The SSP of Kargil has also been shifted.

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