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Azad may contest from Bhaderwah
Jammu, February 19
Is Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad having second thoughts about contesting the Assembly election from the Kashmir valley because of reservations of his coalition partner-PDP?

Ammunition found at Waqf Board building
Srinagar, February 19
A huge quantity of ammunition and medicines were today unearthed from the building owned by the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board in the Anantnag area following which the Army and police arrested its President Kulgam Ghulam Mohammad Ganai, a defence spokesman said.

Accept PMs offer for talks: Bhim Singh
Jammu, February 19
Mr Bhim Singh, chairman of the Panthers Party, today urged all political parties and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the round table conference that has been convened by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at New Delhi on February 25.

Rare hip replacement surgery
Jammu, February 19
A team of army doctors has successfully performed total hip replacement (THR) of a 60-year-old father of a serving soldier in the military hospital here.

Fair inaugurated



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Azad may contest from Bhaderwah
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 19
Is Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad having second thoughts about contesting the Assembly election from the Kashmir valley because of reservations of his coalition partner-PDP?

There are indications that to play safe Mr Azad was toeing the idea of getting the Bhaderwah Assembly seat in his home district of Doda vacated and seek election from there. This is because of two reasons. Firstly, because the Bhaderwah constituency is considered a safe bet for the Congress and secondly there was a bright chance of winning as it would be for the first time that a son of the soil would be contesting as Chief Minister.

Mr Mohammad Sharief Niaz, a cousin of Mr Azad, yesterday called on the Chief Minister and offered to vacate the Bhaderwah seat that he is representing so that he could contest from there.

Mr Azad is not a member of either the Assembly or the Legislative Council and it is mandatory that he should become a member of one of these houses within six months of having become Chief Minister.

Now that time is running out, Mr Azad has to decide and become a member of either of the Houses by April next. He is expected to chose the constituency within a couple of days so that the election could be held sometime next month.

The three vacant constituencies of Pattan, Rafiabad and Sangrama in the Kashmir valley are expected to go to polls shortly, but Mr Azad might not take the risk of trying his luck there because the PDP was claiming these seats.

Mr Azad had initially started nursing the Rafiabad seat reportedly in the hope of contesting the election from there. However, he was having second thoughts now, as Mr Dillawar Mir, who vacated the seat when he resigned from the National Conference to join the PDP, was a hot contender for the seat.

Mr Azads supporters were reportedly afraid of a sabotage by the PDP activists in case he contested from Rafiabad. Moreover, the hardliners among the separatists might give a call for boycott of the election which might embarrass Mr Azad.

The PDP was not in a mood to spare the Pattan seat for Mr Azad as Mr Iftikhar Ansari, who vacated the seat while joining the PDP after resigning from the NC, was a close confidant of Mufti Sayeed. The Sangrama seat fell vacant due to assassination of Mr G.N. Lone, Minister of Education, who belonged to the PDP.

It is learnt that certain political friends of Mr.Azad were of the opinion that he should either contest the election from Bhaderwah or get himself nominated as a member of the upper house. In case he chose to contest from Rafiabad, he might have to compensate the PDP by getting Mr Mir elected as an MLC.

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Ammunition found at Waqf Board building

Srinagar, February 19
A huge quantity of ammunition and medicines were today unearthed from the building owned by the Jammu and Kashmir Waqf Board in the Anantnag area following which the Army and police arrested its President Kulgam Ghulam Mohammad Ganai, a defence spokesman said.

The recoveries, four handgrenades, an equal number of UBGL grenades, pistol magazines and a large quantity of medicines, were recovered from an underground hideout measuring 10 X 10 feet in the building at Mohandpura-Bijbiara in Kulgam, 70 km from here after the police raided the building on a tip-off, the spokesman said.

The troops of nine, Rashtria Rifles, Special Operations Group of local police and five battalion of CRPF, together raided the hideout and made the recoveries, he said.

Ganai, a resident of Mohandpura, was arrested on the spot and handed over to police, the spokesman said.

He said the involvement of Waqf in militancy related activities clearly reflected the desperation of the militants to use noble institutions like the Waqf Board to achieve their nefarious designs in complete disregard of the sentiments of people of Kashmir. PTI

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Accept PMs offer for talks: Bhim Singh
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 19
Mr Bhim Singh, chairman of the Panthers Party, today urged all political parties and separatists in Jammu and Kashmir to participate in the round table conference that has been convened by the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, at New Delhi on February 25.

Mr Bhim Singh, who was talking to mediapersons here, described the round table conference as a golden opportunity for the Kashmiri people to resolve their long-standing problems. He said that all political groups should take advantage of the initiative of the Prime Minister.

He said it was for the first time in the past 57 years that any Prime Minister has convened a round table conference of mainstream political parties and separatists to hammer out a solution to the vexed Kashmir problem.

He said that J&K has been a laboratory of all political parties, including the Congress, BJP and the Left, but no other Prime Minister has ever shown interest to resolve the Kashmir tangle. 

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Rare hip replacement surgery
Tribune News Service

Jammu, February 19
A team of army doctors has successfully performed total hip replacement (THR) of a 60-year-old father of a serving soldier in the military hospital here.

The team led by Colonel K.R. Salgotra carried out the THR on Dillawar Singh who had sustained fracture neck of femur about 8 years ago and was operated twice at Ahmedabad in a reputed institute.

However, he virtually became crippled and was brought here by his son who was posted in the Northern sector.

He was operated upon on January 30 at the 166 Military Hospital here and is now in a position to walk and undertake his daily work.

Col Salgotra, formerly Professor and head of orthopaedics unit at the armed forces medical college and military hospital (AFMC), Kirkee, who now heads the operating team in the military hospital here, has an experience of about 300 such operations.

Encouraged by the success of the surgery and tremendous response from the clientele, a joint replacement cell has been established in the military hospital here and the next surgery on an ex-serviceman is planned on February 22.

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Fair inaugurated

Jammu: Mrs Shameema Azad, wife of Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, on Friday inaugurated a two-day fair organised by the Police Wives Welfare Association. Mrs Azad said resources generated in the fair would be utilised for deserving families of police personnel. Mrs Vimla Sharma, chairperson of the association, briefed the guests about the activities of the organisation. Among others, the DGP, Mr Gopal Sharma, and the ADGPs, Mr P.S. Gill, Mr Kuldeep Khuda and Dr Ashok Bhan were present on the occasion. TNS

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