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United Force fails to unite APHC factions, dissolved
Srinagar, August 3
The five-member United Force, constituted to unite factions of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, was dissolved here today after it failed to bring together the groups led by Maulvi Abbas Ansari and Syed Ali Shah Geelani. “We have dissolved the United Force… now there is no United Force from today. Let the people decide on their own”, said Mian Abdul Qayoom.

Militants slit woman’s throat
Jammu, August 3
Unidentified terrorists killed a girl by slitting her throat in Lasana village of Surankot in Poonch district today. According to the police, the terrorists forcibly entered the house of Mohammad Azam and dragged his daughter about 50 metres away and slit her throat.

Policemen scuffle with activists of the Jammu Kashmir Mass Movement outside the Chief Minister’s residence in central Srinagar on Tuesday Policemen scuffle with activists of the Jammu Kashmir Mass Movement outside the Chief Minister’s residence in central Srinagar on Tuesday. The JKMM activists were arrested when they were protesting against human rights violation by the security forces.
—  Tribune photo by Amin War



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Qazigund-Baramula rail line work to be resumed

Srinagar, August 3
Work on the 120-km-long Qazigund-Baramula Railway line in Kashmir valley is being resumed in a fortnight, senior Railway officials said here today. The work was suspended following the killing of an engineer of the IRCON Railway, Sudhir Kumar and his brother in south Kashmir on June 23.

2.67 lakh pilgrims visit Amarnath
Srinagar, August 3
More than 2.13 lakh pilgrims have joined the pilgrimage to holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the upper reaches of Pahalgam in the south Kashmir since July 15 this year. Over 54,000 pilgrims had already paid obeisance at the cave shrine thereby taking the total number of pilgrims to over 2.67 lakh, surpassing all previous records.

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United Force fails to unite APHC factions, dissolved
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 3
The five-member United Force, constituted to unite factions of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, was dissolved here today after it failed to bring together the groups led by Maulvi Abbas Ansari and Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

“We have dissolved the United Force… now there is no United Force from today. Let the people decide on their own”, said Mian Abdul Qayoom, president of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association at a press conference here this afternoon. He added that the Hurriyat Conference, the only political platform seeking resolution of the Kashmir issue, was “in shambles” after its division in September last year. “Nobody has the capacity to represent the people of Kashmir”, Mian Qayoom said.

JKLF chairman Mohammad Yaseen Malik, who has been away from both factions of the Hurriyat Conference after its split, present on the occasion, expressed concern over the failed efforts of the United Force. Stressing unity among all like-minded parties, Mr Malik said that the entire system had “collapsed”. “Unity is a must, otherwise there is danger of civil war”, Malik said. Malik dared Geelani to “come forward and discuss in front of the people. Let him convince impartial people”. He held that there were strong reasons for the breaking of the Hurriyat Conference and alleged that corruption and self-interest had spoiled the “ongoing movement”. Malik claimed that Ali Shah Geelani was for “Nizam-e-Mustafa”, but lacked the quality of unity among his people. Malik said that his signature campaign launched last year was on and that was “the democratic decision of the people of Jammu and Kashmir”, who were principal party to the dispute.

The Ittehadi Force or United Force had been constituted by High Court Bar Association president, Mian Qayoom late last year, following the split when former APHC chairman, Syed Ali Shah Geelani broke away from the Abbas-led Hurriyat Conference. Other parties in the United Force included the Jamaat-e-Islami, which has already opted out of the UF, while separatist leaders, Mohammad Yaseen Malik, JKLF, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Sheikh Abdul Aziz, Peoples League, and Moulana Showkat Ahmad Shah of Jamiat-e-Ahli Hadees were other members of the forum.

United Force chief Mian Qayoom lamented that it failed due to delaying tactics and negative approach of the two sides. He added several meetings were called but leaders on both sides tried to be away and did not come together at the UF meetings. “Despite attempts there was no meeting with the Mirwaiz Maulvi Umer Farooq’s group for at least two months”, which came forward only after June 5 this year, Mian Qayoom said. He added that the response from Mirwaiz Umer Farooq was positive, “but it was negative from the other side.”

On the decision of the Jamaat-e-Islami to allow Ali Shah Geelani to float new party with assurance of its support, Mian Qayoom claimed that the Jamaat surrendered before Geelani and it was unfortunate.
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Militants slit woman’s throat
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 3
Unidentified terrorists killed a girl by slitting her throat in Lasana village of Surankot in Poonch district today. According to the police, the terrorists forcibly entered the house of Mohammad Azam and dragged his daughter about 50 metres away and slit her throat.

The terrorists reportedly suspected the family of being informer of the security forces.

In another incident, terrorists attacked the police post at Tuliban in the Mahore area last night. The ultras escaped when the police retaliated.

The police recovered one gun, two grenades, three AK magazines and 213 AK rounds from a terrorist hideout at Basan in Arnas.
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Qazigund-Baramula rail line work to be resumed
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 3
Work on the 120-km-long Qazigund-Baramula Railway line in Kashmir valley is being resumed in a fortnight, senior Railway officials said here today. The work was suspended following the killing of an engineer of the IRCON Railway, Sudhir Kumar and his brother in south Kashmir on June 23 .

Mr S.P. Jain, Member Engineering, Railway Board said here this evening that the issues of security of engineers and workers at the Railway line in Jammu and Kashmir, particularly in the valley, had been taken up at the level of Prime Minister and the Union Home Ministry. When the arrangements were finalised, the work on the line would be started, Mr Jain said.

Mr Jain said that the railway line between Qazigund in south Kashmir and Baramula in north Kashmir would be completed by June 2006. He added that the project connecting Kashmir valley with rest of country, would be completed by August 2007. He said that the Udhampur-Katra Rail link would be completed by December next year.

The Railways are spending Rs 1080 crore on the project in Jammu and Kashmir this year, of which Rs 310 crore had already been spent. Total amount to be spent on the Udhampur-Baramula line will be Rs 5500 crore. He said tenders had been issued for the work on the 50-km out of the 140-km rail line passing through difficult terrains in Jammu and Kashmir. This link is between Udhampur and Qazigund, which has also a tunnel of more than 12 km.

Others accompanying Mr Jain included Mr Rakesh Chopra, CAO of the Norther Railways, and IRCON officials, Mr Ankush Krishen, Director Works, and Mr A.A. Khanday, Adviser, J&K Project, apart from Mr D.P.S. Sandhu, Chief Public Relations Officer. 
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2.67 lakh pilgrims visit Amarnath
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 3
More than 2.13 lakh pilgrims have joined the pilgrimage to holy cave shrine of Amarnath in the upper reaches of Pahalgam in the south Kashmir since July 15 this year. Over 54,000 pilgrims had already paid obeisance at the cave shrine thereby taking the total number of pilgrims to over 2.67 lakh, surpassing all previous records.

An official spokesman said here that of the 2.13 lakh pilgrims till last evening, 1,98,814 pilgrims had darshan till yesterday. Of them 1,68,638 visited the shrine via the traditional route of Pahalgam-Chandanwari, while 59,806 followed the Baltal route.

Another batch of 3,299 yatris comprising 2,333 males, 617 females, 71 children and 278 sadhus arrived in the valley from Jammu today.

Meanwhile, a bus JK06-0695 on its way to Pahalgam met with an accident at Ganeshpora, Aishmuqam, in which yatri Lal Babu Singh (71) of Shiekhpori, Patna, died on the spot yesterday. At least 24 others sustained injuries, who were immediately admitted to the local hospital. Three more pilgrims died yesterday.
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