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Pak support hastens Maulvi Farooq’s unity move
Jammu, July 14
Encouraged by the support lent by the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, Mr Masood Khan, and occupied Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Sikendar Hayat Khan to the move to unite separatists in Kashmir, the Chairman of the Awami Action Committee and a senior APHC leader, Maulvi Umar Farooq, has established contact with the heads of the JKLF, the Democratic Freedom Party, the Peoples’ League and the Jamat-e-Islami.

Five killed in Kashmir valley
Srinagar, July 14
At least five persons were killed in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since yesterday, while the security forces handed over six boys to their parents in Pulwama after they had been apprehended in north Kashmir for exfiltration.

First batch of Amarnath pilgrims reach base camp
Srinagar, July 14
The divisional administration has made all arrangements to ensure comfortable yatra for the Amarnath bound pilgrims as the first batch from Jammu reached the base camp this evening.
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BSF jawans escort the first batch of Amarnath -bound pilgrims from Jammu BSF jawans escort the first batch of Amarnath -bound pilgrims from Jammu on Wednesday. — PTI photo







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Srinagar gets its first flyover
Srinagar, July 14
Srinagar joined the list of cities with flyovers when the 370-metres-long flyover from Budshah Bridge to Civil Secretariat was thrown open here yesterday. The project that had been recommended over 15-years ago had been abandoned twice, but the work was completed within a record time of one year and thereby regarded as a befitting tribute to the martyrs of July 13, 1931

LPG shortage in Kashmir
Srinagar, July 14
The lack of proper transportation of LPG cylinders of the Indian Oil Corporation from Jammu has drastically reduced its supplies to the Kashmir valley by about 50 per cent even as its demand has been on the increase ahead of the Amarnath yatra.


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Pak support hastens Maulvi Farooq’s unity move
M.L. Kak

Jammu, July 14
Encouraged by the support lent by the Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman, Mr Masood Khan, and occupied Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Sikendar Hayat Khan to the move to unite separatists in Kashmir, the Chairman of the Awami Action Committee and a senior APHC leader, Maulvi Umar Farooq, has established contact with the heads of the JKLF, the Democratic Freedom Party, the Peoples’ League and the Jamat-e-Islami.

The formal meeting between Maulvi Umar Farooq and those belonging to the Itihadi Force was slated for yesterday but was postponed the grenade attack on the Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Mangat Ram Sharma’s motorcade.

Maulvi Umar Farooq had initiated unity moves four months ago but had to give up when Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other hardliners opposed joining hands with the leaders of the APHC (Abbas).

In fact the Maulvi recently announced at a congregation that he was hopeful of bringing about the reconciliation among various separatist groups. The reason for his optimism was not the outcome of Maulvi Abbas Ansari’s stepping down as Chairman of the APHC but the open support for the establishment extended in Islamabad and Muzaffarabad for the unity moves.

Mr Masood Khan, during a weekly briefing, said Pakistan was in favour of seeing all groups in Kashmir united. And occupied Kashmir Prime Minister Sardar Sikendar Hayat Khan said he was confident that he would hear the good news about separatists having come under one umbrella soon.

Maulvi Abbas Ansari, former Chairman of the APHC, said today that Maulvi Umar Farooq had initiated the unity move and expressed his optimism over the success of his efforts.

Asked to comment on the way Syed Ali Shah Geelani had opposed the efforts being made for bringing about reconciliation among different separatist groups on the plea that the APHC (Abbas) leaders should join the Amalgam led by him (Geelani), Maulvi Ansari said: “We have nothing to do with Mr Geelani. We do not accept individuals in our conglomerate. If Geelani returns to Jamat-e-Islami and the Jamat send him as its representative in our executive committee we will welcome it.”

He confirmed that Maulvi Farooq was trying to cultivate leaders of the JKLF led by Mohammed Yasin Malik, the Democratic Freedom Party headed by Mr Shabir Ahmed Shah, the Peoples’ League led by Mr Aziz Sheikh and Jamat-e-Islami Amir led by Mr Nazir Ahmed Kashani.

Maulvi Farooq is ready to offer the post of the APHC Chairman to Mr Malik or any person of his choice.

Wooing the Jamat-e-Islami back to the APHC fold has become a bit difficult because of the ongoing tussle between the moderates and the hardliners. The latter want Mr Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, a close associate of Syed Ali Shah Geelani to head the organisation so that the leadership of Jamat-e-Islami was in the hands of the hawks.

Maulvi Abbas Ansari admitted that the task of Maulvi Farooq to bring the estranged separatist groups back to the APHC fold was a bit difficult. “But these separatists must realise that without unity, talks with Delhi could either get delayed for a long time or prove meaningless,” he said.
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Five killed in Kashmir valley
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 14
At least five persons were killed in separate incidents in the Kashmir valley since yesterday, while the security forces handed over six boys to their parents in Pulwama after they had been apprehended in north Kashmir for exfiltration.

The police here said that the security forces handed over six boys to their parents at Shopian in Pulwama district today. They had been apprehended in the Bandipore area of Baramula district on Sunday last when they were reportedly on the way to Pakistan for getting arms training.

Unidentified militants shot dead 50-year-old Abdul Rahman Hajam, a member of the local Auqaf at Waidumdoora, Kakernag, in Anantnag district today.

A driver, Abdul Rashid Wani of Nehnipora, Rajwar (Handwara), was shot dead by some unidentified gunmen in the house of Mohammad Akbar Sheikh at Kakroosa in Kupwara district of north Kashmir last night. A nurse of the Health Department, Ms Shahzada, wife of Abdul Rahman Mir, was shot dead when unidentified militants entered their house at Munpapai in Budgam district late last evening.

A security forces jawan was seriously injured when he was fired at by some militants who were in a Tata Sumo at the Baba Reshi crossing, Tangmarg in Baramula district today. The militants took away the weapon of the jawan.

With the death of two militants, the toll in the IED explosion at a residential house in the Nishat area of Srinagar on Monday has gone up to three. One of them was identified as Mohammad Abbas Bhat, alias Junaid alias Jugga, a district commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba outfit, a resident of Batgund, Dooru in Anantnag district. Another militant has been identified as Sabzar Ahmad Rather of Huizbul Mujahideen. As already reported, Sajjad Ahmed Bhat, a resident of Dooru, Anantnag district, a baker living as tenant in the house at Nishat here, was killed on the spot on Monday.
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First batch of Amarnath pilgrims reach base camp

Srinagar, July 14
The divisional administration has made all arrangements to ensure comfortable yatra for the Amarnath bound pilgrims as the first batch from Jammu reached the base camp this evening.

“We have made all necessary arrangements for their stay at all halting stations, including the base camps at Nunwan, Pahalgam, Chandanwari, Sheshnaag, Panjtarni, holy cave and Baltal,’’ an official spokesman said.

He said a high-level meeting in this regard had been convened by Jammu and Kashmir Minister for Tourism and Housing and Urban Development Ghulam Hassan Mir at Pahalgam today.

Arrangements have been made for the smooth supply of drinking water, power supply and availability of essential commodities, including firewood at all halting stations, to meet the requirement of 1.50 lakh pilgrims expected to visit the cave shrine, the spokesman added.

Meanwhile, the Jammu and Kashmir Government will provide Bael Pattr, the sacred wild shrub, an important ingredient to perform religious rituals, to this years Amarnath pilgrims free of cost. For the first time, mobile service in Pahalgam will start from tomorrow.

JAMMU: Meanwhile, a fleet of 56 vehicles comprising 738 men, 236 women, 32 children and 375 sadhus was flagged off from the base camp of Mulana Azad Memorial Stadium at 5.15 a.m. by Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Mangat Ram Sharma, official sources said adding that the ceremony was also attended by Minister of state for Rural Development Garu Ram and other senior officials.

The convoy of vehicles was being escorted by security forces, mostly drawn from the CRPF. Another contingent of security vehicles would be accompanying the convoy for onward destinations to Pahalgam and Baltal, after the convoy crosses the Jawahar tunnel in the evening, official sources said.

The authorities have decided to allow 3,500 yatris per day to proceed to the shrine. Out of this, 2,700 would be allowed to reach the cave via the Pahalgam route and remaining will pass through the Baltal route. — Agencies
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Srinagar gets its first flyover
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 14
Srinagar joined the list of cities with flyovers when the 370-metres-long flyover from Budshah Bridge to Civil Secretariat was thrown open here yesterday. The project that had been recommended over 15-years ago had been abandoned twice, but the work was completed within a record time of one year and thereby regarded as a befitting tribute to the martyrs of July 13, 1931

It was first in 1988-89 that a survey was conducted to tackle the increase in the vehicular traffic for drawing short and long term improvement proposals of Srinagar city trunk routes. The proposals and recommendations suggested by the RITES included improvement to Maulana Azad Road, six-laning of Budshah Bridge and the construction of grade separator or the flyover. The flyover takes off at the eastern edge of the Budshah Bridge and heads to the Civil Secretariat crossing.

With the eruption of trouble in the valley in early 1990s, the proposal did not get a concrete shape. The construction of Budshah Bridge was taken up later by the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC) with smooth movement of traffic on the vital road even when the construction work was in progress. Other factors came in the way of construction of the bridge. These included shifting of telephone cables, PHE main water pipe and acquisition of houses and shops.

The construction of the flyover will ease traffic congestion at exhibition crossing commonly known as Jehangir Chowk.

Apart from linking the Civil Secretariat with Moulana Azad Road for the movement of vehicles of VIPs, it would also ensure the smooth movement of traffic to the airport. The new link will also ease traffic congestion from the eastern MA Road to General Bus Stand, catering to north-south axis of the valley.

The work on 370-metres-long flyover, constructed at a cost of Rs 1008 lakh, first began in May 1997. But the work was abandoned after about one month for varied reason. It was considered again by the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who laid the foundation stone on July 13 last year and resolved to get it completed within one year.

I will inaugurated the flyover on July 13, 2004”, Mufti Sayeed had said then to the utter bewilderment of the people present on the occasion. Given the work culture prevalent in the state where even a small bridge takes half a decade or more to complete, no one had imagined that the deadline would be met. As the work on flyover began it was apprehended that one year was an impossible time frame. But, the work could be accomplished much to the surprise of the authorities and the public in general. The flyover has a carriage width of 9.60 metres and comprises 12 piers, two abutments and 117 piles.

Encouraged by the performance of the JKPCC, the Chief Minister has fixed July 13, 2005 as the target date for the inauguration of the Rs 5.83 crore Kashmir Urban Haat, the foundation stone of which was laid yesterday. The urban haat will have an exhibition hall, an amphitheatre and several stalls to hold national and state level exhibitions.
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LPG shortage in Kashmir
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 14
The lack of proper transportation of LPG cylinders of the Indian Oil Corporation from Jammu has drastically reduced its supplies to the Kashmir valley by about 50 per cent even as its demand has been on the increase ahead of the Amarnath yatra.

The distributors have urged the authorities in Chandigarh to take immediate action so as to streamline the supply of the LPG to the valley, which requires about 50,000 cylinders per month.

According to a representative of the distributors, the crisis arose because the company had engaged outside transporters for supplying the LPG cylinders this month. He said the distributors were concerned over the safety and quality and added that kerosene-run trucks were also resulting environmental hazards.

Though the distributors had threatened to go on a three-day strike from tomorrow, according to sources in the Food and Supplies Department, they are yet to take any final decision in view of the increasing demands. 
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