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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

Panthers to oppose no-trust motion against Dar
Srinagar, August 16
In a relief to the PDP-led coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Legislative Council session, the Panthers Party today decided to oppose the no-confidence motion against the Chairman of house, Abdul Rashid Dar, on the womens Bill issue.

Two Lashkar men killed
Jammu, August 16
A self-styled area commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was among two militants killed in a gunbattle in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, where two militants and four overground workers were arrested and a militant surrendered, official sources said here today.

Amarnath yatra resumed
Jammu, August 16
The Amarnath pilgrimage, which was suspended for two days due to threat of terrorist attacks, was resumed today with 1289 pilgrims proceeding from here to the shrine in south Kashmir.

Kashmir returns to normalcy after I-Day
Srinagar, August 16
After the general strike yesterday and a day of high tension following reports that militants would strike during the Independence day celebrations, normalcy returned to the Kashmir valley today.

Army Chief visits Command headquarters
Srinagar, August 16
The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N.C. Vij, today said that troops are ready to face any challenge in Jammu and Kashmir.

Three Jamaat leaders held
Srinagar, August 16
The police has taken into custody three leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami (Jel) at Machoo in the central Kashmir district of Badgam, official sources said.



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Panthers to oppose no-trust motion against Dar

Srinagar, August 16
In a relief to the PDP-led coalition Government in Jammu and Kashmir on the eve of Legislative Council session, the Panthers Party today decided to oppose the no-confidence motion against the Chairman of house, Abdul Rashid Dar, on the womens Bill issue.

The turnaround by the single member JKNPP, which had earlier threatened to support the motion, is crucial for the government which is in a minority in the Upper House.

The Opposition National Conference plans to move a no-confidence motion against Mr Dar, accusing him of sabotaging passage of the controversial permanent resident (disqualification) Bill denying property rights to the women marrying outsiders.

“The decision to oppose the motion was taken at a meeting of the working committee of the party. We would ensure its defeat in the interest of rule of law and equity”, JKNPP chief Bhim Singh told reporters.

In the 34-member Legislative Council with an effective strength of 30, the Opposition has 14 members, while PDP-led coalition partners has an equal number of members with the Congress (8), the PDP (5) and the Panthers party (1). The lone CPI member has been elected to the Upper House with the NC support.

Mr Dar had been earlier expelled from the National Conference.

Both houses of the state legislature are meeting here on August 18 for a two-week session.

Mr Bhim Singh appealed to the NC leaders including Mr Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah to withdraw the motion, which, according to him would hijack the real public issues especially “corruption and administrative collapse in the state”.

While handing over the draft of the motion to the Legislative Council early this month, the leader of the Opposition in the Upper House Abdul Qayoom said anti-people stance taken by Mr Dar over the Bill during the last session proved “major hindrance in the smooth passage of the Bill which had since lapsed on June 11”.

The controversial Bill passed by the state Assembly earlier this year finally lapsed on June 11 as the council failed to pass it within stipulated three months from the date it was tabled in the Upper House on March 11.

In a surprise move, the Chairman of the Upper House had adjourned the house sine die on March 11 without calling for a vote on the Bill, although both the ruling PDP and the opposition NC were in favour of its passage. — PTI
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Two Lashkar men killed

Jammu, August 16
A self-styled area commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) was among two militants killed in a gunbattle in Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir, where two militants and four overground workers were arrested and a militant surrendered, official sources said here today.

On a tip-off, the Army launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Kakora forest in Rajouri district last night, they said, adding that an encounter took place in the area.

In the gunbattle, two LeT militants were killed, they said. The slain militants were identified as Abu Shaku, ‘area commander’, and Abu Moga, both belonging to Pakistan. Two AK rifles, three magazines, seven grenades, two IEDs, one radio set and some documents were recovered from them.

During a search operation in the Mamjimi forest in the Dessa area of Doda district last night, troops arrested two Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militants.

Army sources said the militants were identified as Manzoor Ahmed and Latief, belonging to the Dessa area of Doda district, and some arms and ammunition were recovered from them.

In a separate search operation, troops intercepted a truck near Rajouri district last night and recovered a pistol, 26 rounds, one sword and some explosives last night. They later arrested four overground workers — Omkar Nath, Muneer, Kuldeep and Rajinder, the sources said. A case under the Arms Act was registered against the accused.

A militant, Abu Sultan, surrendered before troops in the Reasi area of Udhampur district along with one AK rifle, three magazines, one grenade and one wireless set and 90 rounds. — PTI
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Amarnath yatra resumed
Tribune News Service

Jammu, August 16
The Amarnath pilgrimage, which was suspended for two days due to threat of terrorist attacks, was resumed today with 1289 pilgrims proceeding from here to the shrine in south Kashmir.

These pilgrims left for Srinagar early this morning amidst heavy rain.

The pilgrimage remained suspended for two days in view of threat of terror attacks around the Independence Day. A batch of 856 of men, 308 women, 39 children and 86 sadhus left for the pilgrimage this morning.

Three hundred BSF personnel escorted them as they left in a convoy of 44 vehicles, including 26 buses and 18 cars and jeeps. More than 2.72 lakh pilgrims have visited the shrine so far in the past 45 days.

Srinagar: The holy mace of Lord Shiva was today taken to ancient temple of Shankaracharya in the city as a prelude to start of final phase of Amarnath pilgrimage.

Amid chants of “Har Har Mahadev” and “bom bom bhole”, Mahant Deependra Giri of Dashnami Akhara, the custodian of ‘chhari mubarak’ (the mace) led the procession of hundreds of sadhus and devotees from Dashnami Akhara on the occasion of ‘Shravan Somvati Amavasya’.

The mahant said pooja will be performed at Sharika Peeth temple at Hari Prabat in the city tomorrow. — PTI
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Kashmir returns to normalcy after I-Day

Srinagar, August 16
After the general strike yesterday and a day of high tension following reports that militants would strike during the Independence day celebrations, normalcy returned to the Kashmir valley today.

Shops and business establishments were open and traffic on all routes was plying normally with all educational institutions, and government offices and other commercial establishments functioning as usual.

Security forces, other than those normally deployed for patrolling in the city and the outskirts, have been withdrawn.

The Gandola cable car at Gulmarg had also resumed operation this morning after three days. The operation was stopped for security reasons on August 13.

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Forum chief Javid Ahmad Mir, who was taken into preventive custody yesterday for violating prohibitory orders in the city, was released last evening. — UNI
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Army Chief visits Command headquarters

Srinagar, August 16
The Chief of the Army Staff, Gen N.C. Vij, today said that troops are ready to face any challenge in Jammu and Kashmir.

General Vij, who arrived at the headquarters of the Northern Command at Udhampur today, was given a detailed brief about the operational situation in the state.

He expressed satisfaction at the operational preparedness of the forces deployed in the state and the successful counter militancy operations being conducted by the troops.

Earlier, he was received at the Bikram Helipad, Udhampur, by the Northern Command General Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lt Gen Hari Prasad.

General Vij held discussions with senior officers of the Command. — UNI
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Three Jamaat leaders held

Srinagar, August 16
The police has taken into custody three leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami (Jel) at Machoo in the central Kashmir district of Badgam, official sources said.

Sources said Jel Tehsil president Mohammad Yousuf Wani and two other local leaders were arrested by the police for alleged involvement in anti-national activities.

However, a spokesman for the Jel Zahid Ali condemned the arrest of Mr Wani and two other leaders by the police. — UNI
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