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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

Sonia picks Aslam for RS seat
Jammu, June 5
In another set back to the Ghulam Nabi Azad camp, the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, yesterday gave ticket to a veteran Gujjar leader, Choudhary Aslam, for a Rajya Sabha seat that had fallen vacant in the state.

Plan to monitor pollution in Amarnath
shrine area

Srinagar, June 5
The Amarnath Shrine Board is planning to monitor pollution level in the Lidder river flowing through Pahalgham and the shrine area, with an initial check on the commencement of this year’s yatra and maintaining a weekly record till the pilgrimage concludes.

Girl abducted, gangraped
Jammu, June 5
A girl from Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district was kidnapped and raped by some persons, including a Special Police Officer, for several days, a senior police official said today.

Militants kill soldier in J&K
Srinagar, June 5
A soldier was killed by militants while the security forces seized a cache of arms and ammunition, including RDX, in Jammu and Kashmir overnight, an official spokesman said.

Fire in SMGS Hospital
Jammu, June 5
Panic struck the pediatrics block of the SMGS hospital of the medical college when a fire broke out in a ward this afternoon.



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S.P. Varma to attend Davos meeting
Jammu, June 5
The Youth Hostels Association of India has selected Mr S.P. Varma, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir unit, to represent India at the 46th international conference of the Youth Hostels Federation at Davos in Switzerland.


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Sonia picks Aslam for RS seat
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 5
In another set back to the Ghulam Nabi Azad camp, the Congress president, Ms Sonia Gandhi, yesterday gave ticket to a veteran Gujjar leader, Choudhary Aslam, for a Rajya Sabha seat that had fallen vacant in the state.

The selection has come as a surprise in the political circles as his name did not figure in the list of probables.

Choudhary Aslam told this correspondent over the telephone from Srinagar that he too was taken by surprise when he was conveyed the decision of the party high command while he had gone to Kangan to meet a religious leader this afternoon.

He has been the PCC president and Speaker of the Assembly also.

Initial reports had suggested that the ticket might be given to Mr Makhan Lal Fotedar, but he was stated to be keen on becoming the Governor of some state.

Mr Azad had initially lobbied for his wife Shamima Dev and then for his cousin Mohammad Sharief Niaz. However, when both these names were rejected, he is learnt to have opted for Mr Krishen Amla, treasurer of the PCC.

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Plan to monitor pollution in Amarnath shrine area
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, June 5
The Amarnath Shrine Board is planning to monitor pollution level in the Lidder river flowing through Pahalgham and the shrine area, with an initial check on the commencement of this year’s yatra and maintaining a weekly record till the pilgrimage concludes.

This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer of the shrine board, and the Secretary to Governor, Dr Arun Kumar, here last evening.

Several measures were being taken to preserve the ecology of the area. He said a representative of the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) would be invited to jointly check the pollution

Elaborating on the measures taken to preserve the ecology of the area, he said in 2004, the SASB was not allowed to put up any prefabricated shelters, toilets etc. Traditional open deep trench latrines raised by the state government were in use, which had been a major source of pollution.

Dr Arun Kumar said the board would be putting up 1,600 prefabricated toilets with leach pits at all yatri camps and on yatra tracks with improved disposal of excreta through mixing bacteria, converting it into manure and preventing foul smell.

He said no toilets had ever been erected by the board in the vicinity of the Lidder river and thus, there was no possibility of pollution of the river on that count, he said.

Pits would be dug in camps in which waste from langars and other sources would be composted or buried, he said.

On traffic movement, he said minimum vehicular traffic was allowed between Pahalgham and Chandanwari. Pilgrims trek on the 16-km route or go in ferry vehicles on this stretch for the two-month period of the yatra, he said. There was much greater vehicular traffic to spots like Gulmarg and Sonamarg. He said pollution due to plying of vehicles on the Pahalgam-Chandanwari route was far less than that on roads to various tourist spots in the state.

He said the local people and leaders in both Baltal and Pahalgham areas welcomed two-month yatra as it would boost the economy of the area.

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Girl abducted, gangraped

Jammu, June 5
A girl from Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district was kidnapped and raped by some persons, including a Special Police Officer (SPO), for several days, a senior police official said today.

The matter came to light when the father of the girl lodged an FIR in this connection with Thanamandi police station, a few days ago, SSP Rajouri Farooq Khan said.

The girl was kidnapped by some persons, including an SPO, from Bhatian village on Thursday and taken to different places where she was allegedly gang raped for several days during captivity.

She later was released and reported the matter to her family, he said, adding that police has registered a case.

To a query on the involvement of Territorial Army personnel in the incident, the SSP said it could be ascertained only when the accused in the case are arrested and identified by the victim. — PTI

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Militants kill soldier in J&K

Srinagar, June 5
A soldier was killed by militants while the security forces seized a cache of arms and ammunition, including RDX, in Jammu and Kashmir overnight, an official spokesman said.

He said militants attacked a patrol party of the security forces at Chatti Banday, Bandipora, in Baramula district last night resulting in the death of a soldier. The security forces also retaliated, but the militants managed to escape.

Militants hurled a grenade towards a patrol party of the security forces near Eidgah, Tral, in Pulwama. However, it missed the intended target and exploded without causing any damage.

He said an encounter took place between militants and the security forces at Tantraypora Pattan in Baramula last night during a search operation. A house was damaged in the encounter. The militants managed to escape. Later, one AK rifle, one pistol and one mobile phone were seized from the site. — UNI

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Fire in SMGS Hospital
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 5
Panic struck the pediatrics block of the SMGS hospital of the medical college when a fire broke out in a ward this afternoon.

Women carrying their children and also new born rushed out of the ward as the fire spread. A woman was injured.

The doctors got the paediatrics and the ENT wards vacated as firemen fought the flames.

Officials said that short-circuit in the electric wiring had led to the fire.

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S.P. Varma to attend Davos meeting

Jammu, June 5
The Youth Hostels Association of India has selected Mr S.P. Varma, chairman of the Jammu and Kashmir unit, to represent India at the 46th international conference of the Youth Hostels Federation at Davos in Switzerland. As many as 80 member countries will participate in the five-day conference that would begin on July 12. — TNS

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