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Panel rejects extension of Amarnath Yatra period
Jammu, June 30
Despite the government announcement that the period of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage has been extended by 15 days, the Amarnath Yatra Action Committee, a conglomerate of 21 political, religious and social organisations, has decided to send the first batch of yatris, most of them sadhus, to Pahalgam tomorrow.

2 militants killed in encounter
Srinagar, June 30
At least six persons, including two militants and a jawan, were killed and five others were injured in separate incidents across Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday.

Engineer’s killing hits rail work
Nowgam (Srinagar), June 30
Jumman Ali, driver of a truck carrying iron rods for the railway line, has been waiting near the under-construction railway station here since Sunday morning for the unloading of the material.

Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee talks to mediapersons as Chief of Army Staff General N. C Vij looks on Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee talks to mediapersons as Chief of Army Staff General N. C Vij looks on, in Srinagar on Wednesday.
— PTI photo



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Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES
 

Javid Mir quits JKLF
Srinagar, June 30
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) vice-chairman Javid Ahmad Mir has resigned from the basic membership of the party. “Yes, I have resigned from the party and sent my resignation letter to the Maisuma headquarters of the JKLF today,” he said.

Bijli Vitran Nigam SDE suspended
Sonepat, June 30
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has placed a Subdivisional Engineer (SDE) under suspension following a report about the changing of a defective electricity meter during the night one they before a raid conducted by officials of the vigilance wing at Dewan Palace and Farm on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road near Ahmadpur village about 5 km from the city.

Hailstorms damage fruit crops
Srinagar, June 30
Hailstorms in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir have caused extensive damage to crops, especially almond and apple, official sources said today. Nearly 30 villages of the district, 35 km from here, were affected by the hailstorms which hit the district last evening, the sources said.
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Panel rejects extension of Amarnath Yatra period
Our Correspondent

Jammu, June 30
Despite the government announcement that the period of the annual Amarnath pilgrimage has been extended by 15 days, the Amarnath Yatra Action Committee, a conglomerate of 21 political, religious and social organisations, has decided to send the first batch of yatris, most of them sadhus, to Pahalgam tomorrow.

Action committee members met here today with its convener, Dr Rama Kant Dubey, president of the state unit of the VHP, in the chair and debated on the latest offer of the government, which agreed to extend the yatra period by 15 days against 30 days demanded by the committee.

Dr Dubey said, “We have rejected the government offer and we will send the first batch of pilgrims from Jammu to Pahalgam, the base camp, tomorrow so that they participate in the prayers to be held in the holy cave on July 2.”

“The separate registration counter, set up by committee in Jammu since yesterday, continued to enrol pilgrims on the second day today,” he added.

He said, “Whether the government provides security or not to the pilgrims, our supporters will leave Jammu for Pahalgam tomorrow.

The period of the one-month yatra had been extended by 10 days after pressure was mounted on Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed not only by the action committee but also by the Governor, Mr S.K. Sinha, who heads the Amarnath Shrine Board, and by the Congress, whose four ministers submitted their resignation in protest against the refusal of the government to extend the pilgrimage period.

In his meetings with the Governor and the PCC president and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, the Chief Minister explained that in view of the current security scenario, large contingents of security forces would provide security to the pilgrims.

Though a majority of the action committee members supported parallel registration and sending the first batch of pilgrims from July 1, several members wanted and end to the deadlock after the Chief Minister had extended the yatra period by 15 days.

However, further extension of five days has brought to an end the conflict between the Governor and the Chief Minister. In a statement, the Governor thanked the Mufti for accepting his proposal for permitting puja at the Amarnath shrine on July 2 (Vyas Purnima).

A government spokesman said today that the Governor, along with a limited number of devotees, would perform puja on July 2 inside the holy cave.

Meanwhile, members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) executive committee and other senior party functionaries sat on a dharna outside the office of Divisional Commissioner here today in protest against “a conspiracy by the coalition government for outraging sentiments of the Hindus” by not extending the Amarnath yatra by a month.

BJP vice-president, Dr Hari Om, led the dharna.

Addressing leaders and workers Dr Hari Om alleged that the PDP-led government was not only “anti-Jammu but also against the Hindus”.

Mr Lalit Moza, BJP Vice-president, Mr Ashok Khajuria, general secretary, Mr Jyoti Prakash Sharma, Mr Kashmira Singh and Mr Anil Parihar also criticised the government.

BJP workers and leaders also hit out at the UPA government’s recent statement that “New Delhi would not mind changing the political map of India if it could resolve the Kashmir problem.”

Dr Hari Om said the Congress-led government at the Centre was appeasing a section of people in the country. He suggested to the members of the Amarnath Yatra Action Committee to join hands to defeat designs of the ruling coalition in Kashmir.

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2 militants killed in encounter
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 30
At least six persons, including two militants and a jawan, were killed and five others were injured in separate incidents across Jammu and Kashmir since yesterday.

A major tragedy was averted with the timely detection of an IED from the Khanyar area here this morning. The IED was defused by the bomb disposal squad and no damage was caused.

Four civilians and security forces personnel were injured when suspected militants hurled a grenade at the busy Jehangir Chowk here last evening, the police said.

Two Pakistan militants of the Jaish-e-Mohammad were killed in an encounter with the security forces at Saim Simat in Rajouri district of Jammu region today. Two AK rifles, six magazines, 200 rounds, two wireless sets and eight hand grenades were seized from the site of encounter.

A jawan was killed and another was injured when their patrol party was attacked by suspected militants at the Dhoke Sawjian sector in Rajouri district yesterday.

Unidentified militants shot dead Mohammad Hanief Lone at Plan, Bandipore in Baramula district last evening. He succumbed to his injuries at SKIMS, Soura Hospital here.

Gulzar Ahmad Shah was kidnapped and subsequently killed by unidentified militants at Dhandi in Udhampur district on Monday.

The police found the body of Ghulam Mohammad Mir from Chaki Fathipora village in Srinagar district today.

The security forces seized two AK magazines, 104 AK rounds, 51 Pika rounds, 12 rounds of pistol, four hand grenades, one UBGL and a wireless set during searches in Rajouri district today.

Jammu: One soldier and one BSF jawan were killed and three others were wounded when a group of militants, who had infiltrated into the Poonch sector from across the LoC, opened fire on men of the Engineering Regiment who were engaged in raising barbed wire fence in Saujia today.

According to the police, a group of militants opened fire on the Armymen, who were without weapons and were working on the fencing project at CRP Dhok and Sandal point, killing one soldier LN S.P. Tharot on the spot. One soldier was wounded.

Men of the 129 BSF battalion were rushed to the spot and the militants again resorted to indiscriminate firing in which one constable, Manoj Kumar was killed and two jawans were injured.

Army reinforcement was rushed from the Poonch Brigade and the troops and the rebels continued to exchange fire.

The police said since the area had several caves militants had taken shelter in these. The troops have cordoned off the entire area.

In another encounter between the security forces and the militants two activists of the Jash-e-Mohammad, Osama and Rehman, were killed. Both of them hailed from Pakistan and large quantities of weapons and ammunition were seized from them.

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Engineer’s killing hits rail work
Tribune News Service

Nowgam (Srinagar), June 30
Jumman Ali, driver of a truck carrying iron rods for the railway line, has been waiting near the under-construction railway station here since Sunday morning for the unloading of the material. He awaits directions from the authorities concerned to unload the material and has been informed telephonically to wait, which has been giving him restless moments, with his eyes set on the dusty link roads leading to the spot for any official to come to his rescue.

This is because of the killing of Sudhir Kumar, an engineer of the Indian Railway Construction (IRCON), after being kidnapped in Pulwama district last week. Two days later, Sudhir and his brother Sanjay were found killed in a remote village of Pulwama district on Friday morning. Being the first such incident during its nearly two years of ground and construction work in the valley, the work was suspended by the engineering staff, demanding proper security to the staff engaged in the work on the 120-km-long rail link in the valley.

Work on the Rs 5,500-crore railway project was started a couple of years ago in the valley. The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had announced during his three-day visit to Jammu and Kashmir in May, 2002, that the first train would roll into the valley on August 15, 2007. The work had been taken up on the Udhampur-Katra track in the Jammu region and on the Qazigund-Srinagar-Baramula section. By March end last year, Rs 788.80 crore had been spent on both the axes in Jammu and Kashmir. Out of a total tunneling of 10.326 km, 6.444 km had been completed during the same period. The target date for the completion of the rail link between Qazigund and Baramula had been set for August 15, 2007.

“I am in touch with officers on telephone. I am told that some of them have left the office for the spot, but so far, nobody has reached here”, said Jumman Ali, with his eyes set on the link roads leading to the spot. He has been transporting the material from Delhi-Ghaziabad area to several places on the Udhampur-Baramula rail link, but it was “for the first time” that he faced such a situation.

Over 12 labourers from distant states are also passing through similar circumstances as they have not been getting orders to start work at different locations along the 120-km-long railway line from Qazigund in south Kashmir to Baramula in the north. “The work has been suspended after the “kaand”, these labourers say, and hope that the work may be started in a couple of days. The work was suspended following the kidnapping and subsequent killing of the IRCON engineer. The heavy machinery with sand and other construction material are piled up, as if waiting for the orders from the higher authorities to resume work. “There are over 150 labourers working here and are virtually rendered jobless if the work is not resumed”, said one of them. He expressed the hope that the work would be resumed.

For the poor labourers, it is only wait and watch for the resumption of construction work. The IRCON authorities having been in consultation with their bosses in Delhi and the state government and are busy working out the modalities for resumption of the work on the project, aimed at economic uplift of the state and jobs to the ever-increasing number of educated youth.

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Javid Mir quits JKLF

Srinagar, June 30
Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) vice-chairman Javid Ahmad Mir has resigned from the basic membership of the party.

“Yes, I have resigned from the party and sent my resignation letter to the Maisuma headquarters of the JKLF today,” he said.

However, a JKLF spokesman denied having received the letter from Mr Mir, who was the supreme commander of the JKLF before it announced a unilateral ceasefire in the mid-nineties.

Mr Mir said he had resigned on health grounds, but informed sources said he quit due to differences with party Chairman Yasin Malik over his interview to a national daily in which he had said the JKLF was ready to join talks with the Centre on the Kashmir issue provided these were result-oriented and meaningful.

Mr Malik had said that when India and Pakistan could talk to each other “there is no justification for us to stay away from the negotiations.” “I will never join the JKLF again,” Mr Mir said.

To a question whether he would form his own party or join any other separatist organisation, Mr Mir said he would work as an ordinary worker. “I have no plans to form a new party or join any other separatist organisation at the moment,” he said.
— UNI


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Bijli Vitran Nigam SDE suspended
Our Correspondent

Sonepat, June 30
The Uttar Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (UHBVN) has placed a Subdivisional Engineer (SDE) under suspension following a report about the changing of a defective electricity meter during the night one they before a raid conducted by officials of the vigilance wing at Dewan Palace and Farm on the Sonepat-Bahalgarh road near Ahmadpur village about 5 km from the city. A report said senior officer of the UHBVN took a serious note of the matter and took action against SDE concerned.

The hotel and farm is owned by Mr Dev Raj Dewan, an independent MLA, who had recently joined the Congress after withdrawing support to the ruling INLD. 

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Hailstorms damage fruit crops

Srinagar, June 30
Hailstorms in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir have caused extensive damage to crops, especially almond and apple, official sources said today. Nearly 30 villages of the district, 35 km from here, were affected by the hailstorms which hit the district last evening, the sources said.

Agriculture Minister Abdul Aziz Zargar today directed agriculture and horticulture officials to inspect the affected areas to assess the damage caused to the fruit crops so that estimates for relief could be worked out, the sources said. — PTI

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