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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

BJP activists court arrest
Jammu, June 7
Activists of the BJP, led by former party president M. Venkaiah Naidu, courted arrested here today on the first day of their “satyagrah” against the failure of the UPA government to control terrorism and massacre of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sex racket: BSF DIG surrenders, remanded
Srinagar, June 7
Faced with a non-bailable warrant and the rejection of his bail plea, BSF Deputy Inspector General K S Padhi, allegedly involved in the sex racket in Jammu and Kashmir, today surrendered to the CBI and was remanded in its custody for four days.

Hizbul militant killed
Srinagar, June 7
A top-ranking militant of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in Anantnag, while a divisional commander of Hizb-e-Islami surrendered before the security forces in Baramula district of Jammu and Kashmir since last night, official sources said today.

Scrap special status to J&K, says Vajpayee
Kulu, June 7
Expressing concern over increasing terrorist attacks on tourists and selective civilian targets in Doda district and other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today went a step ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asserted that there was “urgent need to scrap the special status given under Article 370 of Indian constitution to the Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian union.



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EARLIER STORIES


Join mainstream, Katiar urges separatists
Jammu, June 7
Mr Vinay Katiar, MP and general secretary of the BJP, yesterday urged the separatists to join the mainstream for the development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Five tourists killed in road accident
Srinagar, June 7
Five tourists, including a father-son duo, were killed and four others injured in a road accident at Sangam on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway today, official sources said.

SBI opens branch in Suru Valley
Chandigarh, June 7
The State Bank of India has established a branch in the military cantonment in Suru Valley in Kargil, which would benefit army personnel as well as civilians residing in the remote area. Local cooperatives, farming sector, small scale industries, schools and local labour can now freely avail banking facilities at their door step.

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BJP activists court arrest
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 7
Activists of the BJP, led by former party president M. Venkaiah Naidu, courted arrested here today on the first day of their “satyagrah” against the failure of the UPA government to control terrorism and massacre of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Vinay Katiar, BJP general secretary, Dr Nirmal Singh, state unit party chief, Mr Chaman Lal Gupta, former Union Minister, MPs and legislators from Rajasthan and Kerala were among those taken into custody for violating the prohibitory orders outside the secretariat.

Activists from Rajasthan, Kerala and the local rural unit courted arrest today. Partymen from Punjab, Chandigarh, Pondicherry and Andamans will court arrest tomorrow under the leadership of Mr Sahib Singh Verma. This will be followed by BJP activists from other states also.

Earlier, Mr Naidu told mediapersons that the “satyagrah” would continue for 15 days when the BJP activists from different states would court arrest here.

He said neither the UPA government nor the Congress-led coalition government in the state had any roadmap for eradicating terrorism. The UPA government was soft towards terrorists and tough towards the RSS.

He further said India should clearly tell Pakistan that the dialogue process and killing of innocent persons was not acceptable to us. Dialogue could wait until Pakistan stopped cross-border terrorism.

He said more troops and security personnel should be inducted in view of the stepped-up terrorism. People had lost confidence in the government and were feeling insecure, he added.

The demographic changes in the state should not be allowed and the government should come down with an iron hand on those sheltering terrorists, he added.

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Sex racket: BSF DIG surrenders, remanded

Srinagar, June 7
Faced with a non-bailable warrant and the rejection of his bail plea, BSF Deputy Inspector General K S Padhi, allegedly involved in the sex racket in Jammu and Kashmir, today surrendered to the CBI and was remanded in its custody for four days.

Padhi approached the CBI camp office here and surrendered.

He was placed under arrest and presented at 4 pm before Chief Judicial Magistrate M Y Akhoon, Chief Prosecuting Officer Bashir Ahmad said.

Akhoon, had issued non-bailable warrants on Monday for Padhi and former Additional Advocate-General Anil Sethi for their alleged involvement in the scandal.

The warrants for Padhi and Sethi had been issued after they did not present themselves to the CBI for identification parades before a teenaged victim of the racket who had named 11 persons for allegedly raping her.

Yesterday, Padhi had appeared before the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, which directed him to surrender to Akhoon or the CBI.

Efforts are also on to arrest Sethi, the sources said. — PTI

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Hizbul militant killed

Srinagar, June 7
A top-ranking militant of Hizbul Mujahideen was killed in Anantnag, while a divisional commander of Hizb-e-Islami surrendered before the security forces in Baramula district of Jammu and Kashmir since last night, official sources said today.

Self-styled district commander of Hizbul Mujahideen Mushtaq Ahmad Wani alias Khalid was killed in an encounter with the security forces at Tulkhan in the Bijbehara area of Anantnag district last night, the sources said.

They said the encounter took place when Wani, an IED expert responsible for a large number of militancy-related incidents, ran into an ambush laid by the security forces at the village following information about the possible movement of militants.

Some arms and ammunition were seized from the slain militant, the sources said.

A resident of Redwani village of Kulgam, the deceased had been active for the past several years and had created a reign of terror by killing 20 civilians, wounding dozens and chopping off fingers and other organs of a number of his targets, the sources said.

In a positive development, the sources said, a self-styled divisional commander of Hizb-e-Islami surrendered before the police in the Sopore area of north Kashmir today.

The militant, Pervez Pathan, handed over one AK rifle, one magazine and 18 rounds to the authorities, the sources said. — PTI

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Scrap special status to J&K, says Vajpayee
Kuldeep Chauhan
Tribune News Service

Kulu, June 7
Expressing concern over increasing terrorist attacks on tourists and selective civilian targets in Doda district and other parts of Jammu and Kashmir, former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee today went a step ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and asserted that there was “urgent need to scrap the special status given under Article 370 of Indian constitution to the Jammu and Kashmir in the Indian union.

Mr Vajpayee made this remark at Bhuntar airport before he left for New Delhi after weeklong summer sojourn at his private residence at Prini near Manali today morning. He stated that considering the entire gamut of terrorist acts and killings by militants in Jammu and Kashmir “there was urgent need to the scrap Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir” to apply the rule that also applies to the rest of the country, before things go out of hand.

Mr Vajpayee had earlier pointed that militants were targeting tourists in the Kashmir valley and there was need of stringent measures against them to protect the life and property of citizens, including tourists in Jammu and Kashmir.

Pointing to the dangerous trend of drug mafias luring young children into the drug trap in the country in the context of Rahul Mahajan, son of late Pramod Mahajan, cocaine case Mr Vajpayee expressed concern stating the use of drugs among the country’s young people was increasing and it warranted an urgent attention. “Such children should be rehabilitated not isolated”.

The sojourn of Mr Vajpayee was a low-key affair. Even few delegations met him at his residence and did not make any demand from the senior leader.

Except Governor V.S. Kokje, who visited Mr Vajpayees’s residence two days back, even Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh did not pay a courtesy call due to what a spokesperson said, very busy schedule.

Even senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar did not meet him due to his busy schedule. Mr Vajpayee met them at the state executive committee meeting at Heritage Village resort yesterday. Mr Vajpayee termed the visit as very good and promised to return soon to Manali.

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Join mainstream, Katiar urges separatists
Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 7
Mr Vinay Katiar, MP and general secretary of the BJP, yesterday urged the separatists to join the mainstream for the development of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mr Katiar, who was talking to mediapersons here, said instead of creating confusion about the future of the state, the separatists should understand that J&K was legally and constitutionally an inseparable part of India.

He demanded the abrogation of Article 370 that was the biggest hurdle in the emotional integration of Kashmir with the rest of India.

He accused the UPA government of being soft towards terrorists. Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad had failed to check terrorist activities in his own home district of Doda where 19 Hindus were recently massacred, he said.

The BJP leader criticised the Prime Minister for not visiting Doda and Udhampur districts where Hindus were killed.

He said a cantonment should be established in Doda to provide a sense of security to minorities.

He said the UPA government provided encouragement to the terrorists by withdrawing POTA.

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Five tourists killed in road accident

Srinagar, June 7
Five tourists, including a father-son duo, were killed and four others injured in a road accident at Sangam on the Srinagar-Jammu national highway today, official sources said.

The tourists were on way to south Kashmir when the ill-fated Tata sumo vehicle they were travelling in collided with a bus coming from the opposite direction near Sangam bridge, about 40 km from here in Anantnag district this morning, they said.

Four tourists from Maharashtra— three women and a man identified as Hasmukh — died instantly in the accident, while five others were injured, the sources said adding Hasmukh's teenaged son Daresh Divani also succumbed to his injuries at Soura medical institute here. — PTI

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SBI opens branch in Suru Valley
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 7
The State Bank of India has established a branch in the military cantonment in Suru Valley in Kargil, which would benefit army personnel as well as civilians residing in the remote area. Local cooperatives, farming sector, small scale industries, schools and local labour can now freely avail banking facilities at their door step.

The branch was inaugurated by the General Officer Commanding, 8 Mountain Division, Maj-Gen V.S. Tonk. The bank’s assistant general manager, Mr Arun Aggarwal was also present. The function was attended by Army personnel, senior bank officials, local councilors and sarpanches from local villages.

The infrastructure for branch has been provided by the Army. Earlier, people residing in Suru Valley had to travel long distances to Kargil, where the nearest banking facilities were available. Harsh weather conditions, lack of transport facilities and roads being blocked during winters made their movements difficult.

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