SPECIAL COVERAGE
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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

Geelani’s return — surrender by moderates
Jammu, August 4
Moderates in the right wing Jamait-e-Islami succumbed to the pressure by the hardliners when the former, led by the Amir, Mr Nazir Ahmed Kashani, agreed to support Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s conglomerate of separatist forces and restored his basic membership of the organisation.

Threat to pilgrims still there: IG
Srinagar, August 4
Threat to attack Amarnath pilgrims by militants was still there, Inspector General of Central Reserve Police Force S.S. Rawat said today. The pilgrimage was so far peaceful, mainly because of the peoples’ cooperation and adequate security arrangements made by different the security agencies, Mr Rawat told reporters here today.
The Central Reserve Police Force IG, Mr S.S. Rawat, addresses a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday.
The Central Reserve Police Force IG, Mr S.S. Rawat, addresses a press conference in Srinagar on Wednesday. — Tribune photo by Amin War

Militants behead man, son
Jammu, August 4
Terrorists beheaded a man and his son in Dhara Baghla village of Rajouri today. According to the police, terrorists forcibly entered a house in the village and beheaded Anwar Hussain and his minor son. In another incident, terrorists set ablaze two houses of Mohammad Ramsan and Aji in Kot Bahara village of Gool.


YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar




EARLIER STORIES

 

Kargil to go green with Army help
Srinagar, August 4
A silent green revolution is taking place in the villages of Kargil district in the frontier cold desert region of Ladakh, to overcome the hazards of a long, harsh winter when the area remains cut off from the rest of the world.

150 km of border fenced, minister told
Jammu, August 4
The Union Minister of State for Home, Mr S. Raghupathy, today visited the international border in Jammu district to inspect the progress of fencing that has been undertaken to check the infiltration from Pakistan.

SAD conference in Srinagar
Srinagar, August 4
The Shiromani Akali Dal is organising a conference in which some of its top leaders from Punjab are expected to participate here on Sunday. The conference will focus on various issues like unemployment of the youth and fair deal to Punjabi.

Disqualify six defected MLAs, says Bhim Singh
Jammu, August 4
The Panthers Party has urged the Speaker of the J&K Assembly, Mr Tara Chand, to disqualify six independent MLAs under the anti-defection law who recently joined the Congress.

11 die as jeep falls into gorge
Jammu, August 4
Eleven persons were killed and two others were injured when a jeep skidded off the road and fell into deep gorge in Kistwar town, about 216 km from here, the police said.


Foreign tourists enjoy a boat ride in Srinagar's Nigeen lake on Wednesday. After a long gap, hundreds of foreign tourists have started to throng the valley, indicating a revival of tourism industry in the state Foreign tourists enjoy a boat ride in Srinagar's Nigeen lake on Wednesday. After a long gap, hundreds of foreign tourists have started to throng the valley, indicating a revival of tourism industry in the state. — PTI

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Geelani’s return — surrender by moderates
M.L. Kak

Jammu, August 4
Moderates in the right wing Jamait-e-Islami succumbed to the pressure by the hardliners when the former, led by the Amir, Mr Nazir Ahmed Kashani, agreed to support Syed Ali Shah Geelani’s conglomerate of separatist forces and restored his basic membership of the organisation.

Inside reports said that when Mr Kashani and his supporters found majority of members of Majlis Shoura siding with Mr Geelani they made way for the hardliners so as to avert split in Jamait-e-Islami. Had there been a split the moderates would have been rendered “toothless” when even militant groups had cast their lot with Mr Geelani.

Under the new arrangement Jamait-e-Islami would be purely a religious body and the conglomerate headed by Syed Ali Shah Geelani would function as a political wing or face of the Jamaat.

This arrangement has allowed Mr Geelani to regain his political weight in Jamaat politics.

However, the new arrangement between Mr Geelani and Jamait-e-Islami had led to further fragmentation of Kashmiri separatist outfits and that too when the immediate fallout of the new development had been the breaking of Itihadi Force, which, till yesterday, was treated as the third front. The main players in Itihadi Force were not as much unhappy with Mr Geelani having regained his political weight as they were with rest of the Jamait-e-Islami leadership.

The Democratic Freedom Party chief, Mr Shabir Ahmed Shah, said today that Jamait-e-Islami had remained with the Itihadi Force for the past nine months and as such it should have been taken “us into confidence before announcing its plan of supporting Mr Geelani.” He said “I initiated the move to dissolve the Itihadi Force because I wanted the constituents to work for unity among the separatists separately.”

Meanwhile, the Kashmir Mirwaiz, Maulvi Umar Farooq, had been asked by the APHC leadership to continue his efforts for bringing abut reconciliation among separatists. According to Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, a former APHC Chairman, the Mirwaiz would continue his efforts of wooing other separatist groups into “our fold.”

In reply to a question he said, “these small events, referring to Jamaat’s support to Mr Geelani, will not alter the situation.” He said those who “uphold the APHC constitution are welcome to our conglomerate.” In case Maulvi Umar Farooq’s efforts were reciprocated by those that constituted the erstwhile Itihadi Force, including the JKLF, the People’s League, the Kashmir Bar Association and the DFP, the APHC may be in a position to win back their support. The possibility of these groups rejoining the APHC has brightened following veiled criticism by leaders of these outfits against Jamait-e-Islami and Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

Political observers in the state were of the opinion that even if some of the constituents agreed to join the APHC neither Syed Ali Shah Geelani nor Maulvi Abbas Ansari could claim to represent the largest separatist amalgam in Kashmir because the number of other parties, including the People’s Conference, led by Mr Sajjad Lone, would remain out of the two main groups.

And if Delhi agreed to resume talks with separatists its team would have to hold the dialogue with at least half a dozen separatist groups. In fact the Union Home Ministry wanted all the separatist groups to come under one umbrella so that talks could get under way and prove meaningful.

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Threat to pilgrims still there: IG

Srinagar, August 4
Threat to attack Amarnath pilgrims by militants was still there, Inspector General of Central Reserve
Police Force (CRPF) S.S. Rawat said today.

The pilgrimage was so far peaceful, mainly because of the peoples’ cooperation and adequate security arrangements made by different the security agencies, Mr Rawat told reporters here today.

He said, “We have been receiving information from different quarters besides intercepting messages about the militant planning to attack pilgrims.”

“However, we have taken all necessary steps to foil any such attack on the pilgrims,” he said adding 32 companies of the CRPF, including one mahila company had been deployed from Jammu to the cave shrine for the security of yatris.

He said besides escorting the yatris from Jammu to Pahalgam and Baltal camps, the CRPF personnel were guarding all camps, set up on the Pahalgam-cave route, at different halting places.

Mr Rawat said, “We have close coordination with other security agencies to take up the challenge of militant threat.”

Meanwhile, the security agencies in Kashmir are apprehending a flare up in militant attacks in view of Independence Day and a visit by a top dignitary from the Centre to create sensation, highly-placed sources said here today.

The sources said militants were always on a look out for days of national importance or high-profile visits to remain in public eye.

The desperation of being in the limelight was likely to drive ultras to carry out attacks on or around the Independence Day, they said.

The Jammu and Kashmir Assembly was to begin its autumn session on August 18, three days after the Independence Day, and the past trend suggested that militants might try to stage some attacks around these dates, the sources said.

On August 19, a top dignitary from Centre was likely to visit the state, they said without revealing the name.

The security agencies have been put on an alert already with paramilitary troops assisted by local police carrying out sanitisation and area dominance all over the valley, especially the summer capital, they added.

Director General of Police Gopal Sharma reviewed security arrangements for Independence Day celebrations at a high level meeting here.

Taking stock of the prevailing security scenario in the valley in general and Srinagar city in particular, officials at the meeting resolved that adequate precautionary measures would be taken to avert any unpleasant events and to thwart any subversive activities by anti-national elements.

IGP Kashmir K. Rajendra Kumar stressed upon the officers to remain vigilant and gear them self up to meet any eventuality so that the day could be celebrated with enthusiasm. — PTI, UNI
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Militants behead man, son
Tribune News Service and UNI

Jammu, August 4
Terrorists beheaded a man and his son in Dhara Baghla village of Rajouri today.

According to the police, terrorists forcibly entered a house in the village and beheaded Anwar Hussain and his minor son.

In another incident, terrorists set ablaze two houses of Mohammad Ramsan and Aji in Kot Bahara village of Gool.

A police commando, Sohan Lal, was injured in a crossfiring between the police and terrorists near Mendhar in the Poonch district.

SRINAGAR: An official spokesman said alert troops shot dead a militant immediately after he crossed over to the Indian side from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) in Machil sector last night. However, others managed to flee back to PoK. An AK rifle, four magazines and 10 rounds were recovered from the slain militant, he added.

The body of a Al Badr militant Javid Ahmad Bhat, alias Hyder Ali, who was injured in an encounter with the security forces recently, was recovered at Khalpora Handwara today.

The body of a person, Mohammad Aslam Sheikh, was recovered at Snoor Kalipora in the Central Kashmir district of Badgam last night.

A woman, Shamima Akhtar, was injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Poonch district last night.

He said militants abducted two people — Manzoor Ahmad Mir and Sajjad Ahmad Palla — from their Damhal Hanjipora residence in south Kashmir last night.

The spokesman said two militants — Mudassar Nazir, alias Abu Adil, and Ashiq Hussain Bhat, alias Abu Hanif — surrendered along with one AK rifle, one magazine, 20 rounds, one self-loading Rifle with 30 rounds and two handgrenades at Doda last night. — UNI
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Kargil to go green with Army help
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 4
A silent green revolution is taking place in the villages of Kargil district in the frontier cold desert region of Ladakh, to overcome the hazards of a long, harsh winter when the area remains cut off from the rest of the world.

There are 99 villagers of Minji near Kargil, which have volunteered to be part of the pilot project on ‘green house’, started by the Army. Not only would these villagers be able to feed their families with green vegetables this winter but they would also be able to make some extra money by selling their produce in the market, a Defence spokesman said. Besides the green house could also be used to dry apricots which are available in abundance in Kargil during summers.

The green house revolution has tremendous potential to raise the living standards of the population of the area. The Army intended to convert its pilot project into a mass programme of 3000 green houses and was also willing ‘buy back’ the produce. Such an arrangement would not only provide additional income to the villagers but would also result in saving to the exchequer.

At present the Army procures thousands of tons of vegetables from Chandigarh for its consumption in winter, the vegetables further being transported by air to forward areas. Once the green house revolution started root the entire winter procurement of vegetables could be done through local cooperative marketing societies which at present remain closed during winter.

The idea of introducing the green houses had been an extension of the work done by the Defence Field Research Laboratory in Leh wherein vegetables were grown in green houses and marketed during winter.
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150 km of border fenced, minister told
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 4
The Union Minister of State for Home, Mr S. Raghupathy, today visited the international border in Jammu district to inspect the progress of fencing that has been undertaken to check the infiltration from Pakistan.

Mr Raghupathy, accompanied by the Joint Secretary (Home), border management, Mr H.S. Brahma, is on a four-days visit of J&K. He visited the international border in the Ranbirsinghpura sector.

The Inspector General of the BSF (Jammu frontier), Mr B.D. Sharma, said out of 191.66 km of the international border, the BSF had undertaken fencing and flood lighting on 185.58 kms and the work had been completed on 150 km.

The work is expected to be completed by March next, a year ahead of the schedule.

An amount of Rs 42 crore has so for been spent out of the sanctioned Rs 46 crore, Rs 22 crore has been spent out of Rs 29 crore earmarked for flood lighting.

BSF offices urged the minister to instal hi-tech surveillance equipment, including sensors, on the border. The need for the road network on the border was also stressed.

The minister sanctioned Rs 32,000 for jawans who were injured due to firing by Pakistan while constructing the fence.

The fencing project was initially entrusted to the CPWD in July, 1995, but the department was unable to carry out the work due to constant firing by Pakistan. The task was later entrusted to the BSF in July, 2002, and the target for completion was fixed for March, 2006.

As many as 6 BSF jawans were killed and 32 injured while raising the fence.
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SAD conference in Srinagar
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 4
The Shiromani Akali Dal is organising a conference in which some of its top leaders from Punjab are expected to participate here on Sunday.

The conference will focus on various issues like unemployment of the youth and fair deal to Punjabi.

Those expected to attend the conference at Guru Nanak Boarding House, Burzullah, include Mr Sukhbir Singh Badal, MP, Bibi Jagir Kaur, former president, SGPC, Amritsar, Mr Sucha Singh Langah, former minister, and Mr Trilochan Singh, Chairman of the Minority Commission of India. The Kashmir unit of the SAD has called upon Sikhs to participate in the conference.

Various issues to be taken up at the meet include a fair deal to Punjabi language in Kashmir, a spokesman for the Kashmir unit of the SAD told

The Tribune here. He said that grave injustice was being meted out to the language by not introducing it at the primary school level, despite sanction from the state government.
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Disqualify six defected MLAs, says Bhim Singh
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 4
The Panthers Party has urged the Speaker of the J&K Assembly, Mr Tara Chand, to disqualify six independent MLAs under the anti-defection law who recently joined the Congress.

The Chairman of the Panthers Party, Mr Bhim Singh, today submitted an application to the Speaker seeking disqualification of these members.

Interestingly, the Panthers Party is a partner in the PDP-Congress coalition government.

Mr Bhim Singh pointed out that the six members, Mr Jatinder Singh, Mr Babu Singh, Mr Manohar Lal, Mr Aijaz Ahmed, Mr Majid Wani, Moulvi Abdul Rashid and Thakur Puran Singh, who were elected as Independents, recently joined the Congress in violation of the Constitution of the state.

He accused these members of having “betrayed” the mandate of the people.

On the other hand, Mr Onkar Seth, leader of the Jammu State Morcha asked these MLAs to first resign and then join any party.
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11 die as jeep falls into gorge

Jammu, August 4
Eleven persons were killed and two others were injured when a jeep skidded off the road and fell into deep gorge in Kistwar town, about 216 km from here, the police said.

The driver of the vehicle lost control while negotiating a curve near Marwah Nullah and the vehicle fell into 400-feet deep gorge around 4 pm today, the police said, adding that 13 persons were travelling in the vehicle at that time.

Nine victims died on the spot and two succumbed to their injuries in a hospital at Kishtwar town. The condition of one of the injured was stated to be critical. Rescue teams rushed from Kishtwar town, which is 30 km from the accident site. — PTI

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