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NC MLAs’ constituencies being neglected
Jammu, August 5
The National Conference (NC) has said a feeling of alienation is growing among people as the Mufti-led coalition government is providing “step motherly” treatment to those areas that are not represented by MLAs of the ruling PDP and the Congress.

Kargil echoes with cyber dreams
Srinagar, August 5
It is like any other day in the life of 15-year-old Mohammad Abbas and his younger brother, Ilyas, residents of Trespone village, 30 km from Kargil town in the Ladakh region. Joined by school-mates, they do not go for road-side cricket on the roadside, but head toward the nearby Sadbhavana Internet Café.

Amarnath pilgrims touch 3-lakh mark
Srinagar, August 5
The number of Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir has touched an all-time high, with three lakh yatris paying obeisance at the holy cave shrine so far this year.

Two Amarnath yatris dead
Srinagar, August 5
A fresh batch of 3,065 pilgrims, comprising 2,076 males, 784 females, 57 children and 148 sadhus, arrived in the valley in 96 heavy and light vehicles today.

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Militants kill father-son duo in Rajouri. 
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EARLIER STORIES

  Army Chief on Kashmir visit
Srinagar, August 5
The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N.C. Vij, arrived here today on a two-day Kashmir visit to take stock of the situation in the valley and along the forward areas.

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NC MLAs’ constituencies being neglected
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 5
The National Conference (NC) has said a feeling of alienation is growing among people as the Mufti-led coalition government is providing “step motherly” treatment to those areas that are not represented by MLAs of the ruling PDP and the Congress.

The provincial president of the NC, Mr Ajay Sadhotra, talking to mediapersons here today, accused the coalition government of neglecting the areas that were represented by NC MLAs.

He alleged that the Mufti government was not implementing the schemes approved during the NC regime. The government was resorting to pick and choose policy on development works.

He alleged that while the areas represented by the Congress MLAs were being provided additional funds, but those which returned NC MLAs to the Assembly were being discriminated by diverting the funds from there. The two constituencies, Ramban and Kishtwar, in Doda district were being starved of funds as NC MLAs represented these.

Mr Sadhotra said the NC MLAs boycotted the yesterday’s meeting of the district development board of Doda as many activists of the PDP and Congress who were not members of the board had occupied the chairs. The Mufti government had made a mockery of the boards by allowing non-members to participate at the meetings.

He said ration was not available in many areas of the Doda district.

He pointed out that the district development board at its last meeting approved opening of two public health centres and five sub-centres in each segment of Doda, but not a single had been opened in Kishtwar and Ramban so far. Not a single primary school had been upgraded in the district although it had been decided to upgrade five schools in each segment.

Mr Sajjad Ahmed Kishloo, Dr Chaman Lal, Mr Bukhari (all MLAs) and Mr Brij Mohan Sharma and Mr Mohammad Iqbal Bhat (both MLCs) were present in the press conference.
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Kargil echoes with cyber dreams
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 5
It is like any other day in the life of 15-year-old Mohammad Abbas and his younger brother, Ilyas, residents of Trespone village, 30 km from Kargil town in the Ladakh region. Joined by school-mates, they do not go for road-side cricket on the roadside, but head toward the nearby Sadbhavana Internet Café.

There are several other satellite-based internet centres, which have come up in the villages of the Kargil district with the efforts of the Army and some determined civilians. There are at least 700 students in the age group of 6 to 15 years, undergoing primary computer education at these centres. Kargil Computer Centre (KCC) alone has trained 247 students, including 177 boys and 70 girls, so far.

These centres open a window to the outside world for the youth, particularly, during long harsh winters, when the area remains cut off from the rest of the world.

An integral part of the ongoing Operation Sadbhavana, a pilot venture of the Army, running for the past four years, these centres offer them a link with outside world that is, otherwise, beyond their reach. It envisages to alleviate their hardships by empowering and providing opportunities to these people to connect with the outside world, a Defence spokesman said.

Like those in Trespone village, there are many others getting the computer education, through the locals trained at these very centres, in remote villages like Chanchik and Padam, 233 km from Kargil, which remain cut off from the rest of the world for most of the year. These internet centres have been conveniently located in the Army goodwill schools and other locations so as to be easily accessible to the locals hailing from the remote areas.
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Amarnath pilgrims touch 3-lakh mark
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 5
The number of Amarnath pilgrims in Jammu and Kashmir has touched an all-time high, with three lakh yatris paying obeisance at the holy cave shrine so far this year.

Disclosing this while interacting with a group of students from various parts of the country, the Governor, Lt-Gen S.K. Sinha, who is also the Chairman of the Amarnath Shrine Board, said the number would go up in the next 25 days of the pilgrimage culminating on Raksha Bandhan on August 30. He said the government was endeavouring to give a boost to the tourism sector, which was the mainstay of the people in the valley.

He said concerted efforts and normalisation in the situation had resulted in the influx of over two lakh tourists in the past few months, which was much higher than the 28,000 tourists during 2002 and 1.07 lakh in 2003.

Referring to the important role of pilgrim tourism in the state economy, the Governor said the Vaishno Devi pilgrimage in Jammu had crossed the 54-lakh mark last year. He said the Amarnath pilgrimage in Kashmir was bound to give a big boost to the economy of the valley. In this regard, he made a mention of a good number of pilgrims from various parts of the country, who, after paying obeisance, seized the opportunity to spend their vacation in Kashmir.

The Governor, however, lamented the shrinking of the world famous Dal Lake and said the government had taken several measures to conserve this heritage. He said various steps were under way to clear the lake, which included deweeding and removing encroachments.

On steps being taken for improving infrastructure for tourists in the valley, the Governor noted with satisfaction the creation of tented accommodation in Gulmarg. He said the ancient palace at the famous meadow was being given a facelift for visitors.
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Two Amarnath yatris dead
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 5
A fresh batch of 3,065 pilgrims, comprising 2,076 males, 784 females, 57 children and 148 sadhus, arrived in the valley in 96 heavy and light vehicles today. According to an official spokesman, a total of 2.30 lakh Amarnath pilgrims have so far arrived in the valley, of whom 2.17 lakh had had darshan of the holy ice Lingam of Lord Shiva at the cave in upper reaches of Pahalgam in South Kashmir.

Two more pilgrims died today on the route to the holy cave, the spokesman said. They have been identified as Ratna Prabha Padanly (70), from Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, and Parveen Chandra of Ahmedabad.
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Army Chief on Kashmir visit
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 5
The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N.C. Vij, arrived here today on a two-day Kashmir visit to take stock of the situation in the valley and along the forward areas.

A defence spokesman said here that General Vij soon, after his arrival here, visited the Amarnath shrine and reviewed the security arrangements. Later, he met the Jammu and Kashmir Governor, Lt-Gen S.K. Sinha (retd), and Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed. He was received by the GOC-in-C, Northern Command, Lt-Gen Hari Prasad, and GOC, 15 Corps, Lt-Gen Nirbhay Sharma. The Army Chief is scheduled to visit forward areas on the LoC tomorrow and interact with the Commanders and troops there.
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