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LeT commander killed, Colonel hurt
in gunbattle
Jammu, July 1
A top sector commander of Lashker-e-Toiba was killed and a senior Army officer was among two persons critically injured in a fierce gunbattle that broke out between trapped militants and security forces near the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir today, officials sources said here.

Amarnath yatra registration from July 5
Srinagar, July 1
The Jammu and Kashmir Government today said the registration of Amarnath pilgrims would start from July 5 and the administration had geared up its machinery for a smooth and secure 45-day-long pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas.

Sikhs praise Chautala for Tarlochan’s win
Jammu, July 1
Leaders of various Sikh organisations, praised the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, for helping Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Minorities Commission, to get elected to the Rajya Sabha.

Kishtwar to have airport
Jammu, July 1
The state government plans to construct an airport in Kishtwar to give a boost to tourist traffic. The government has decided to constitute a team of experts to carry out a survey of the area and submit its report on the airport project.

Varsity students continue protest
Srinagar, July 1
For the second consecutive day today students of the University of Kashmir held demonstrations on the university campus against the arrest of a management studies student, Majid Hussain Qadiri by the police.



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LeT commander killed, Colonel hurt in gunbattle

Jammu, July 1
A top sector commander of Lashker-e-Toiba was killed and a senior Army officer was among two persons critically injured in a fierce gunbattle that broke out between trapped militants and security forces near the LoC in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir today, officials sources said here.

A joint team of the BSF party and 16 Maratha Light Infantry trapped four to five militants in the cordon near the LoC at Sabzian in Poonch district this afternoon, they said.

The militants, who had taken shelter in upper mountain cliffs fired on the joint operation team trigerring a fierce gunbattle, which was still on, they said.

In the gunbattle, one top LeT sector commander code named Abu Hamza was killed and another militant was injured.

The Commanding Officer of 16 Maratha Light Infantry, Col K.N. Suyal, was critically injured, as one bullet pierced through his skull, they said adding that due to the heavy firing from the ultra, the injured Colonel could only be evacuated from the area after an hour.

He was flown to Military Hospital at Northern Command Headquarters in Udhampur, they said adding that his condition was critical. Another jawan was also injured in the gunbattle.

The cordon will continue throughout the night and operation would commence in the morning, they said.

The militants were involved in an attack on Military Engineering Service officials engaged in border fencing and BSF personnel on Wednesday which left two jawans dead and five injured.

SRINAGAR: Four persons, including two militants, were killed while security forces arrested two militants in the Kashmir valley overnight, an official spokesman said.

He said the security forces killed two militants in an encounter at Nowgam Banihal in Doda district of Jammu region on Thursday.

The body of Ghulam Nabi was recovered from a forest at Basti Koti while another unidentified body was recovered at Lurgam Tral on Thursday.

Security forces arrested two militants at Wadipora in the frontier district of Kupwara and seized one hand grenade from him. One grenade, five detonators and two batteries were recovered at Malpora on Thursday. — Agencies
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Amarnath yatra registration from July 5

Srinagar, July 1
The Jammu and Kashmir Government today said the registration of Amarnath pilgrims would start from July 5 and the administration had geared up its machinery for a smooth and secure 45-day-long pilgrimage to the holy cave shrine in south Kashmir Himalayas. The Government was taking the necessary steps to receive yatris from July 15, Chief Secretary S.S. Bloeria said, after chairing a high-level meeting to finalise arrangements for the annual pilgrimage at Pahalgam, the base camp for the yatra.

The extension of 15 days to the pre-scheduled yatra is to streamline the facilities for yatris and avoid overcrowding, Mr Bloeria said, adding that registration of yatris would start from July 5 across the country by Shri Amarnath Ji Shrine Board (SAJSB) through various bank branches.

He said 2,700 yatris would be allowed daily via traditional 45-km-long Pahalgam route, while 800 yatris would go through the Baltal route, the shortest way to the 3,800 metre high cave, from the date of the commencement of the yatra. — PTI
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Sikhs praise Chautala for Tarlochan’s win
Our Correspondent

Jammu, July 1
Leaders of various Sikh organisations, praised the Haryana Chief Minister, Mr Om Prakash Chautala, for helping Mr Tarlochan Singh, Chairman, National Minorities Commission, to get elected to the Rajya Sabha.

At a meeting here today, the leaders of several Sikh bodies suggested to Mr Tarlochan Singh to highlight problems of the community, especially of the Sikhs in Jammu and Kashmir, in Parliament so that measures were taken by the government in resolving these.

Me S.S. Wazir, a former president of the Gurdwara Prabandhak Board, who presided over the meeting, appealed to the Prime Minister, Mr Manmohan Singh, to induct Mr Tarlochan Singh into the Union Council of Ministers.

Mr Narbir Singh, president, Youth Akali Dal, Mr Mohinder Singh, chief organiser, Bhai Kanahaya Nishkam Sewa Society, Mr Amar Singh, president, Sikh Welfare Society, and Mr Paramjit Singh, president, AISSF, also appealed to the Central Government to resolve the grievances of the Sikhs of Jammu and Kashmir.
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Kishtwar to have airport
Our Correspondent

Jammu, July 1
The state government plans to construct an airport in Kishtwar to give a boost to tourist traffic.

The government has decided to constitute a team of experts to carry out a survey of the area and submit its report on the airport project.

This was disclosed by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed, during his interaction with people in Kishtwar today. The Chief Minister, accompanied by the PG President and Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Ghulam Nabi Azad, were on a two-day tour of Doda district.

The Chief Minister was informed that Kishtwar had several scenic spots to tourist interest and the construction of an airport could link the remote area with Jammu by air.

He was also told that the opening of the Kishtwar-Duksun road could connect the southern tip of the Kashmir valley with Doda district.

Mr Mufti Mohammed Sayeed said the roads under construction would be completed in a phased manner. He assured the people that the government would take up with the NHPC issue of giving jobs to the local youth on priority basis.
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Varsity students continue protest
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 1
For the second consecutive day today students of the University of Kashmir held demonstrations on the university campus against the arrest of a management studies student, Majid Hussain Qadiri by the police.

The protests began yesterday, a day after the police claimed that it had busted the entire network of Lashkar-e-Toiba and arrested more than 20 militants, including Majid Hussain Qadiri. The DGP, Mr Gopal Sharma, said on Tuesday that these militants were involved in six major suicide attacks here during the past two years and were also planning high profile strikes in Srinagar, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. .

The protesting students claiming that Majid was innocent, urged the university authorities and the state government to release him immediately. The teachers of the management studies said that Majid, who had passed the post-graduate course and registered for research, had been a regular student and there were least possibilities of his involvement. They also sought the intervention of the Union Home Minister in the matter.

The university authorities said that they had taken up the issue with the Chief minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and Mr Gopal Sharma.
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