SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI



THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
image
J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

4 militants among seven killed
Srinagar, August 29

Seven persons, including four militants, were killed while security forces arrested two militants and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said today.

Operation Sadbhavana evokes good response
Udhampur, August 29
The “Operation Sadbhavana” launched by the Army to win the hearts and minds of the terrorism-affected people, particularly in the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, has evoked good response and the victims have started coming forward to provide valuable information to the security forces.

Kashmiri militants may be protecting poppy crop to generate funds
Chandigarh, August 29
A deadly connection between Kashmiri militants and the illegal growing of poppy and cannabis in the troubled state has surfaced during a recent raid, first-ever at a major scale, in Pulwama and Ananatnag districts.

Volunteers who fought for Goa’s freedom ignored: association
Jammu, August 29
The state unit of the Goa Freedom Fighters Association has blamed the successive Governments, including the PDP-Congress ruling alliance,in Jammu and Kashmir for giving a raw deal to those volunteers from Jammu who had taken an active part in liberating Goa from the “clutches” of the Portugese.

Editorial
Divided over daughters
Rejection of the Bill is welcome
T
he controversial Jammu and Kashmir Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Bill has met the fate it deserved. Its rejection by the Assembly is welcome in the larger interest of the state and the country.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar
Udhampur


EARLIER STORIES

  2 killed in house collapse
Jammu, August 29

Two persons, including a woman, were killed and two others injured when a house collapsed in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir early today, official sources said.
Top









 

4 militants among seven killed

Srinagar, August 29
Seven persons, including four militants, were killed while security forces arrested two militants and recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition in Jammu and Kashmir in the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said today.

He said a fierce encounter took place between militants and security forces during a serach operation at Lowa Katha, in Rajouri district today.

During the three-hour long shootout four militants were killed, he said and added a large cache of arms and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site.

The identity of the slain militants could not be established yet, he said.

Miltiants entered into the house of an ex-CRPF jawan, Mohmmad Shafi in Tarhuta area of Thanamandi tehsil of Rajouri district last night and killed his wife Shameema Akthar, while another woman Shahnaz Akhtar was shot dead by the militants at Sanghot Gursai last evening.

the police recovered the slaughtered body of Bashir Ahmad Khan at Sonabarari Kokernag early today.

The spokesman said security forces apprehanded a Lashker-e-Toiba militant Imtiyaz Ahmad from Bandipora bus stand in north Kashmir last evening along with a pistol, one magazine and six rounds, while another ultra of Hizbul Mujahideen was apprehanded at Balpora village of Budgam district in central Kashmir identified as Mohammad Sheikh. A pistol with magazine and six rounds and a hand grenade were recovered from his possession.

A spokesman of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said troops of 77 battalion along with the local police busted a militant hideout at Takipora forest in the frontier district of Kupwara and recovered one UBGL, nine UBGL grenades, three hand grenades, two remote control devices, one binocular. one pistol, one magazine and 100 AK rounds.

However, no one was apprehanded in this connection, he said. — UNI

Top

 

Kashmiri militants may be protecting poppy crop to generate funds
Sanjay Sharma
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 29
A deadly connection between Kashmiri militants and the illegal growing of poppy and cannabis in the troubled state has surfaced during a recent raid, first-ever at a major scale, in Pulwama and Ananatnag districts.

The scale of the crop destroyed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in its first-ever such an exercise in Jammu and Kashmir in June this year indicates that the militants were protecting these crops, informed sources told The Tribune.

The NCB team faced resistance from militants but it was foiled with the help of the Rashtriya Riffles.

The NCB destroyed hashish, cannabis and poppy crop in 420 acres of land. Around 200 tonnes of poppy husk and 6000 kg of narcotics substance were destroyed in the exercise that followed the Parliamentary elections.

The sources said militants made an attempt on the crop destruction team but when the Rashtriya Riffles repulsed them, they ran away leaving behind a scooter. The militants' attempt to foil the crop destruction indicates that the Kashmiri militants may, like in Afghanistan, let the crop grow to extract funds for militancy at a time when transfer of funds from the ISI post- 9/11 have become difficult.

The sources suspected that the spread of the crop in the region indicates its cultivation might have been going on since the valley was struck by militancy but no government agency made any attempt to check it.

Before the NCB carrying out the crop destruction, only Customs Department had once carried out a similar operation but none of the state agencies later dared to touch the illegal crop cultivators.

The NCB operation was carried out with the help of any state agency, including the police. In fact, when the help of the state agencies was sought, the NCB was asked to wait till the completion of the elections.

With the militants' hand suspected behind the crop growing, the crop destruction teams chalked out a strategy of random destruction in all directions to avoid mines being laid in the fields when their teams reach for the purpose.

In one of the villages in these two districts out of 110 persons, 103 were growing illegal crops and no case had been registered in Jammu and Kashmir.

The sources said the illegal crop was noticed not only in Pulwama and Ananatnag districts but also in Laddakh.

With the poppy, hashish and cannabis crop growing almost unhindered in Himachal in Kullu and the trade might have a link with Jammu and Kashmir, the NCB has planned an operation in Kulu region of Himachal Pradesh in September.

The sources said that Kinnauri people were being seen behind the spread of illegal crops in Ladhakh region.

When contacted, the NCB Zonal Director, Mr Rakesh Goel, said, "In the years to come, the illegal money generated through narcotics could create a law and order problem in Himachal."

Mr Goel said as per Section 46 and 47 patwaris, panch, sarpanches and even forest department officials are duty bound to inform the cultivation of the illegal crop in their region, but nothing much is coming forward.

The growers are now using the Forest Department land to escape being booked but still the department has not been providing information to either the police or the central agencies.

Top

 

Operation Sadbhavana evokes good response
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Udhampur, August 29
The “Operation Sadbhavana” launched by the Army to win the hearts and minds of the terrorism-affected people, particularly in the remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir, has evoked good response and the victims have started coming forward to provide valuable information to the security forces.

Under the unique Operation, the Army has launched several development schemes in the far-flung areas where the civil officials feared to venture out earlier.

As a first step, the Army at its own expenses is rebuilding bridges, roads and school buildings destroyed by the Pakistan-sponsored terrorists. This has provided a great relief to the people who were facing lots of problems in the absence of any physical infrastructure.

The Operation that was being undertaken at a massive scale has provided a real healing touch for residents of the areas that were virtually ‘abandoned’ by the civil administration. It has now started showing positive results.

The Northern Command of the Army has taken special care to conduct these operations in a humane and people- friendly manner and minimise collateral damage.

Lt-Gen Hari Prasad, GOC-in-C of Northern Command, says that a sum of Rs 51.4 crore has so far been spent under the Operation.

While talking to The Tribune, he said that such an Operation was necessary to win the hearts and minds of the people as military operations can only improve the situation to a certain point. When the people were empowered only then they would srealise benefits of peace.

The aim of the Operation is empowerment of the people so that they themselves stand against terrorists who have not only destroyed the infrastructure, but also were involved in dishonouring the women.

Lt-Gen Hari Prasad said that through the Operation we wanted to send a message among the people that the Army cared for them and was not there to suppress them.

He says that we are focussing on two areas, firstly, restoration of the education infrastructure that has been badly damaged and secondly, empowerment of the womenfolk who run the families in these areas.

However, the Army was concentrating on the border areas that were the most neglected.

The GOC-in-C said that he wanted the people in J&K to follow the footsteps of Punjab where the civil population itself brought the state out of the clutches of militancy.

In a bid to create awareness among the young ones, about 16,000 boys and girls have so far been taken on a tour of other states where they not only saw the historical monuments, but also interacted with top dignitaries and students.

Lt-Gen Hari Prasad said that the Operation Sadbhavana had helped keeping terrorists on the other side of the Zojila Pass and not allowed them to reach Kargil and Leh. He described the Operation as a big success story.

Women and children have been the worst victims of the proxy war and the main thrust of this Operation has been to improve their lot and ameliorate their sufferings.

Under the Operation, the Army has built 50 schools, renovated 287 school buildings, established 42 primary health centres, 105 community development centres and 81 vocational training centres.

As many as 233 water supply schemes have been established to provide clean drinking water in various remote localities.

Lady gynaecologists of the Army have been sent to the rural areas of Kashmir to treat female patients.

A Rs 2 crore project has been launched at Navapachi in Kishtwar to provide basic amenities to 12 villages located in the remote area where it takes 6 days to reach on foot from the road end. Everything was being carried on helicopters and an eight-beddded hospital, water and electricity supply and other facilities were being provided there.

The Army has opened a public school at Udhampur to provide quality education and is establishing two such schools at Rajouri and Pahalgam.

As many as 100 children of J&K have been admitted in the hostel of the Army Public School at Beas in Punjab.

The Army plans to introduce post-harvest technology in the rural areas so that the fruit could be utilised for manufacturing products for the security forces.

With immense biodiversity available in the state, the technology for manufacturing incense sticks and charcoal out of waste biomass is proposed to be provided to residents of the rural areas.

With all such schemes in hand and the ongoing anti-terrorist operations, the Army is confident of creating a congenial climate for the people of the region.

Top

 

Volunteers who fought for Goa’s freedom ignored: association
Our Correspondent

Jammu, August 29
The state unit of the Goa Freedom Fighters Association has blamed the successive Governments, including the PDP-Congress ruling alliance,in Jammu and Kashmir for giving a raw deal to those volunteers from Jammu who had taken an active part in liberating Goa from the “clutches” of the Portugese.

The president of the state unit of the association, Mr Tilak Raj Sharma, told mediapersons here today that the Valley-centric leadership had, for the past 50 years, ignored those volunteers who had suffered torture and miseries while fighting for Goa’s liberation from foreign rule.

While accusing the state government of discriminating against these freedom fighters, Mr Sharma said, “Even though 21 volunteers, belonging to the erstwhile Prajya Parishad, belonged to Jammu, the Kashmiri-dominated ruling leadership ignored our demand for the grant of a freedom fighter status.”

He and Mr Atma Ram Sharma, general secretary of the Association, said 21 Prajya Parishad activists had left Jammu for participating in Goa’s liberation struggle. They said, “The fighters’ from Jammu had been honoured by the Vice-President of India at a function in Goa last year but they had been forgotten by the Jammu and Kashmir Government.”

The leaders said, “Eleven freedom fighters had died during the past three decades and only 10 were alive who deserved to be granted the status of freedom fighters. They added “we had approached the successive Central Governments and we were told that the freedom fighter status and pension could be granted only after the state government recommended our case. But hitherto the Kashmir Government had not done so when several other state governments had, long ago, recommended the case of those volunteers who had participated in Goa’s freedom movement.”

The leaders of the association wanted the Chief Minister, Mufti Sayeed, to reconsider “our demand” and recommend “our case” to the Centre.

They said the recent communication from the Kashmir Government to the Centre had not carried any recommendation and it was mere forwarding of “our case.” 

Top

 

2 killed in house collapse

Jammu, August 29
Two persons, including a woman, were killed and two others injured when a house collapsed in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir early today, official sources said.

Following heavy rains in the night, house of Mohmmad Sadiq collapsed in Katter Kallan village, Surankote tehsil, Poonch district, they said, adding that Mohammad Sadiq’s wife Rashma Begum and his 13-year-old son, Javed, died and two other children were injured critically.

The injured were admitted to the hospital. — PTI

Top

HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |