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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

Army, police step up checking in Poonch, Rajouri
Jammu, July 19
The Army and the police have stepped up checking of civilians in the border villages of Poonch and Rajouri as part of an anti-infiltration plan. Official sources said the soldiers and the constables were regularly checking identification cards given to bona fide citizens of the twin border districts.

New terror tactics in J&K
Jammu, July 19
Changing their strategy of high-risk actions against the security forces the terrorists have resorted to grenade attacks on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been 80 per cent increase in grenade attacks, in which 35 civilians have been killed and 526 injured, in the past six months.

A priest prays in the holy Amarnath cave A priest prays in the holy Amarnath cave. Thousands of pilgrims have visited the Amarnath cave shrine during the annual pilgrimage to the holy cave, which began on July 15.  
— Tribune photo Amin War



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Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES

 

Second World War veterans to get higher pension
Srinagar, July 19
The Governor, Lieut-Gen S.K. Sinha (retd) here today stressed the need to look after the welfare of ex-servicemen whose role has been immense in defending territorial integrity of the country.

Omar for immediate ceasefire
Srinagar, July 19.
National Conference President and former Union Minister Omar Abdullah has urged the leaders of India and Pakistan to initiate immediate measures for ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir to end the bloodshed in the state.

Row over ‘ignoring’ Jammu in tourism supplement
Jammu, July 19
A government-sponsored advertisement describing Kashmir as the principal region of Jammu and Kashmir and the Jammu and Ladakh areas as two supplementary units has created a ripple with various organisations describing it as an “anti-Jammu mindset” of the Mufti-led PDP-Congress coalition government.

Lawyers observe fast in Kashmir
Srinagar, July 19
Nearly 60 members of the Kashmir Bar Association today observed a symbolic fast outside the Sadar Court to draw the attention of the world human rights organisations to the plight of detainees from Jammu and Kashmir in jails within and outside the state.
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Army, police step up checking in Poonch, Rajouri
Our Correspondent

Jammu, July 19
The Army and the police have stepped up checking of civilians in the border villages of Poonch and Rajouri as part of an anti-infiltration plan. Official sources said the soldiers and the constables were regularly checking identification cards given to bona fide citizens of the twin border districts.

According to the sources, door-to-door searches have been ordered in Poonch town following reports that a group of Fidayeens had sneaked into the town for carrying out strikes security convoys, camps and government installations.

A senior police officer said checking identity cards in the villages which fell close to the LoC had been ordered after the level of infiltration went up in Poonch and Rajouri in recent weeks. He said with the killing of five infiltrators on the Poonch border on Saturday, more than 35 infiltrators had been eliminated by the troops in the district during the past 10 days.

Sushma of Rajouri and Harjit of Poonch said militants had taken shelter in houses on the other side of the fence. Though the fence has proved a hurdle for the infiltrators, the reduction in the number of border outposts, manned by the troops, had increased the scope for ingress as the distance between one post and the other had widened.

The authorities said the number of border outposts had been reduced following a lull on the LoC with the enforcement of a ceasefire during the past over one year.

In certain areas in Rajouri, forest enclosures have been set ablaze to remove the dense foliage in which infiltrators used to have hideouts.

A senior police officer disclosed that additional measures were taken to check infiltration and posting of more forces in areas usually used by infiltrators were being deployed besides intensifying door-to-door searches in the border hamlets.
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Army camp attacked in north Kashmir

Baramulla, July 19
Armed militants targeted a security forces camp at Shokbaba Bandipora in north Kashmir late last night, damaging six houses nearby. Official sources said militants fired grenades and opened fire on the camp. However, most of the grenades missed the target and exploded near the houses adjoining the camp.

No one was injured in the incident, they said.

A massive hunt has been launched to nab the militants responsible for the attack. — UNI
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2 Hizbul militants killed in encounter

Srinagar, July 19
Two militants of Hizbul Mujahideen were shot dead by security forces in an encounter in the Kulgam area of Anantnag district in Jammu and Kashmir, defence sources said here today.

The militants, identified as Mohammad Amin Padder and Shabbir Ahmad Parray, were shot dead by the Army at Arigam village in south Kashmir late last night, sources said.

Two AK rifles, seven magazines, 185 rounds, one UBGL, 14 UBGL grenades, one hand grenade and a radio set were recovered from their possession, they added. — PTI
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New terror tactics in J&K
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 19
Changing their strategy of high-risk actions against the security forces the terrorists have resorted to grenade attacks on civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. There has been 80 per cent increase in grenade attacks, in which 35 civilians have been killed and 526 injured, in the past six months. A total number of 118 grenade attacks were reported during the period.

These attacks have left people dead, injured and maimed. There has been a steady increase in the number of grenade attacks this year with nine in January to 29 in April and 40 in May.

Counter terrorist operations by security forces with the active cooperation of general public has led to the change of modus operandi of terrorists. Grenade attacks are considered as a low cost and low risk option which convey that terrorists are still active in the region.

According to an Army spokesman, the use of grenade is a simple process, which does not require any expertise. Terrorists have begun training children to do the job.

He added that shortage of funds in various terrorist outfits had forced them to resort to grenade attacks to stay in news and maintain the sagging morale of their cadres.

Another reason for increase in grenade attacks appears to be the pressure mounted by the security forces on the ultras, where over 35 top commanders of various terrorist organisations have been killed in the past few months.
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Second World War veterans to get higher pension
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 19
The Governor, Lieut-Gen S.K. Sinha (retd) here today stressed the need to look after the welfare of ex-servicemen whose role has been immense in defending territorial integrity of the country.

This he said while chairing the 68th meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir Rajya Sainik Board held here this morning. Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who also attended the meeting along with some of his ministerial colleagues, assured an increase in the pension of the World War II veterans of the state. Those who attended the meeting included Minister for Revenue and Rehabilitation Hakim Mohammad Yaseen, Minister of State for Home Abdul Rehman Veeri, Chief Secretary, Sudhir S Billoria, Chief of Staff, Northern Command, Lieut-Gen K.K. Khanna, and Financial Commissioner, (Home) S.D. Singh.

“Be it external aggression or helping in maintaining internal peace, the role of the Army has been tremendous”, the Governor said. He stressed the need for strict adherence of 6 per cent horizontal reservation for ex-servicemen, relaxation in the eligibility criterion for medicos again selected on the basis of reservation in the post-graduate courses, besides, an increase in the pension of World War II veterans.

General Sinha also sought a fresh survey of ex-servicemen in the state whose number was more than the projected 75,000. This would help in tailoring welfare schemes for their families, he said, hoping that all the agencies would extend cooperation in this regard. He urged the sainik board to endeavour for mobilising resources than to look towards any agency for help.

With regard to collections through Flag Day, the Governor hoped that the target for this year would not only be achieved but exceeded as well. Last year, Rs 10 lakh had been collected. He suggested holding of rallies for raising funds.

The Chief Minister said that the government would consider a hike in the pension of World War II veterans from Rs 500 to Rs 750 per month and said the process of acquisition of land for sainik colonies would be expedited.

On the employment to ex-servicemen, the Chief Minister said that they would get their due as per prescribed norms. Relaxation in rules, however, would not be possible as the state was already confronted with vexed unemployment problem with highly qualified technocrats and educated youth running from pillar to post for even petty jobs.
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Omar for immediate ceasefire
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 19.
National Conference President and former Union Minister Omar Abdullah has urged the leaders of India and Pakistan to initiate immediate measures for ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir to end the bloodshed in the state.

Addressing various public meetings in Central Kashmir district of Budgam today, Mr Omar Abdullah also sought an unconditional involvement of the representatives of Kashmiris on either side in the peace talks. This, he said, would help in restoration of peace in the trouble-torn state where the people had suffered a lot over the past 14 years of militancy.

The NC President also expressed concern over the policies of the PDP-led coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir. He alleged that the coalition government had indulged in grave irregularities in the recent Lok Sabha elections, and added that the corruption was rampant. Mr Abdullah claimed that during the present regime, there had been 29 custodial killings while 90 persons were missing and fake cases were lodged against 75 others. 
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Row over ‘ignoring’ Jammu in tourism supplement
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 19
A government-sponsored advertisement describing Kashmir as the principal region of Jammu and Kashmir and the Jammu and Ladakh areas as two supplementary units has created a ripple with various organisations describing it as an “anti-Jammu mindset” of the Mufti-led PDP-Congress coalition government.

The “distortion” of facts has been made in an eight-page supplement on tourism that has been sponsored by the state government in an English daily.

Besides, the “fact file” published along with a set of pictures has described Srinagar as the capital and omitted Jammu as the winter capital of the state.

This has once again opened a Pandora’s box of allegations against Mufti, whom various political parties have described as “Kashmir centric”.

The BJP, the Jammu Mukti Morcha (JMM) and the Jammu State Morcha (JSM) have accused the Mufti government of treating Jammu and Ladakh as “colonies” of Kashmiri rulers and meting out step-motherly treatment to them.

These organisations have pointed out that it was because of the Kashmir-centric attitude of successive governments that the demand of statehood for Jammu has emerged.

Prof Hari Om, Vice-President of the BJP, alleged that the advertisement had exposed the “true colours” of the coalition government. He said the Jammu region was being discriminated against in the matter of allocation of funds although the area generates more revenue than the Kashmir valley.

Prof Virender Gupta, President of the JMM, in a statement today criticised the state government for describing Jammu and Ladakh as supplementary units of the state with Kashmir as the principal region.

He alleged that Jammu had been reduced to merely a colony of Kashmir by the government and was being exploited in all spheres. He said the state government was completely ignoring Jammu as a tourist destination although around 60 lakh pilgrims visited the Vaishnodevi shrine every year.

Mr Onkar Seth, leader of the JSM, in a statement said the “dirty approach” of the government towards Jammu and Ladakh had forced the people of these regions to demand for the reorganisation of the state and separation of Jammu from Kashmir.

Mr Seth said there had been no change in the behaviour and thinking of the Kashmiri leadership despite claims by the Congress and their allies that there would be no discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh regions.

He sought an explanation from the government, especially the Congress leaders, as to how Kashmir had been described as the principal region and Srinagar as the only capital of the state.

He pointed out that the geographical area of Jammu was more than double than that of Kashmir and the strength of voters was more in Jammu, which generated over 75 per cent revenue for the government.

He pointed out that Jammu state existed much before Kashmir became its part.

Mr Seth said the continued discrimination against Jammu and Ladakh by the state government had established that the two regions could not get a fair deal at the hands of the Kashmiri leadership, which was functioning contrary to its promises.
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Lawyers observe fast in Kashmir

Srinagar, July 19
Nearly 60 members of the Kashmir Bar Association today observed a symbolic fast outside the Sadar Court to draw the attention of the world human rights organisations to the plight of detainees from Jammu and Kashmir in jails within and outside the state.

“We are staging the symbolic fast to express solidarity with detainees lodged in different jails, especially at Kotbalwal in Jammu, and to bring to the notice of world bodies including the UN, the OIC, the European Union and other peace loving countries, human rights violations in the state,” a Kashmir Bar Association spokesman told reporters.

He said the detainees were not being produced in courts where they could know the reasons for their detention.

To punish a person before proving him guilty was a grave human rights violation, the spokesman said.

Giving details of a report submitted by a three-member team of the Bar that visited Kotbalwal jail in Jammu on July 13 to persuade the inmates of the jail to call off the fast, the spokesman said there were 400 detainees lodged in the jail. — PTI
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