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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

4 militants, Cong leader among 7 killed in Kashmir
Srinagar, July 23
A Congress leader and four militants were among seven persons killed while militants attacked a police station in the valley overnight, sources said.

Body rues govt failure to introduce Dogri
Jammu, July 23
The Dogri Sanstha, which promotes the local Dogri language of the Jammu region, is anguished over the failure of the government to introduce the Dogri subject in the newly opened colleges and schools here.

Need to root out causes of corruption: Beigh
Srinagar, July 23
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh has stressed the need of cleaning up of polity from the scourge of corruption so as to ensure a tangible change in society.

Central agencies go into Gujjars, Bakkerwals’ settling national highways, Railway tracks
Jammu, July 23
Several central government agencies are engaged in examining the reason and the result of the settlement of a large number of nomadic families, including Gujjars and Bakkuerwals, in areas adjacent to the national highway and beside the Railway tracks between Jammu and Pathankot.


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Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES

 

Another Amarnath pilgrim dies
Srinagar, July 23
A sadhu from Madhya Pradesh died while returning from the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 44.


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4 militants, Cong leader among 7 killed in Kashmir

Srinagar, July 23
A Congress leader and four militants were among seven persons killed while militants attacked a police station in the valley overnight, sources said.

Militants shot dead a Congress block president, Fateh Mohammad Dar, 60, at Larkipora in south Kashmir district of Anantnag this afternoon. Dar had gone to Larkipora to attend a Congress meeting. He was shot dead while he was going to offer midday prayers, sources said. One person was killed and two others were injured when an explosive device went off at Mawar Handwara in north Kashmir in the afternoon. One of the injured later died in the hospital.

Militants threw a grenade at the Handwara police station last evening. The grenade exploded in the compound causing injuries to one person.

Troops of 62 Rashtriya Rifles (RR) launched a search operation at a village in Shopian in south Kashmir district of Pulwama after receiving an information about the presence of militants there, sources said. While the troops were sealing the exit points, militants hiding there opened fire on them using automatic weapons.

The security personnel also retaliated and two militants were killed in the encounter. Two AK rifles and other arms and ammunition were seized from the slain militants.

Sources said two more militants were gunned down in a similar operation at Bandipora in north Kashmir last night.

The security forces unearthed a specially built hideout in the woods and seized warlike stores, including deadly mortar bombs and hundreds of grenades, in north Kashmir, sources said.

However, the weapon for firing mortars was yet to be traced. This was for the first time that mortar bombs were seized that had four-km range and could destroy everything within 180 feet area.

The security forces launched a massive search operation in the woods at Haprada in the Vilgam area of frontier district of Kupwara after receiving information that militants had stored arms and ammunition there. After searching the area for more than six hours, the security forces unearthed the hideout that was built specially for concealing arms and ammunition.

During the searches of the hideout, the security forces seized 40 Chinese-made 82 mm mortar bombs, 667 UBGL grenades and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition. However, no one could be arrested so far in this connection. — UNI

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250 kg RDX seized

Srinagar, July 23
In a major haul in the recent times, Jammu and Kashmir police today seized 250 kg RDX from a militant hideout in Anantnag district, foiling ultras plan to set off series of explosions in south Kashmir.

The explosive, kept in five 50-kg bags, was recovered from a house at village Sitkipora, about 50 km from here, defence sources said.

They said the seizure was made on a specific information and dealt a severe blow to the militants plan to set off explosions in Anantnag district.

The militants had stored the explosives in the house and believed to trigger series of explosions in south Kashmir particularly on Srinagar-Jammu National Highway, the lifeline to Kashmir valley. — PTI

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Gunbattle on

Jammu, July 23
Militants today fired at the Harni police station in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir resulting in a fierce gunbattle between the security forces and the ultras.

Firing a few rounds on the police station, the militants had tried to escape but a joint operation party of CRPF, the police and Army had tracked them a few hundred metres away from the police station after cordoning off the area.

The exchange of fire was going on when last reports came from the area. — PTI

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Body rues govt failure to introduce Dogri
Tribune News Service

Jammu, July 23
The Dogri Sanstha, which promotes the local Dogri language of the Jammu region, is anguished over the failure of the government to introduce the Dogri subject in the newly opened colleges and schools here.

The sanstha has decided to take up the matter with Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad who had promised to provide all facilities for promotion of Dogri that has been included in the Eighth Schedule.

The president of the sanstha, Dr Lalit Mangotra, said today that he had already written a detailed letter to Mr Azad about the step-motherly treatment that Dogri was being meted out by the state government. Dogri is the mother tongue of most of the areas in the Jammu division. He said that the colleges that were recently opened besides other places in Ramnagar, Samba and Billawar did not have Dogri as a subject. These places are considered as the catchment area of Dogri as these are situated in the Dogra heartland.

Dr Mangotra said that a large number of students wanted to take Dogri as subject, but teachers were not available in many of the schools too.

About 200 students of a government school in Akhnoor opted for Dogri as a subject, but were forced to take Sanskrit as no Dogri language teacher was deployed in the school for four months. Dogri was recently included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution after a long drawn struggle by intellectuals of the area and it was expected that the language would get a boost now.

Interestingly, while the Dogri language was being neglected by the state government at the lower level, the post-graduate department of Dogri in the Jammu University was engaged in research and promoting the literature.

Mr Dharam Chandra Prashant, an octogenarian historian and journalist, demanded that the state government should take effective steps for promotion of the Dogri language. During his stint as a member of Rajya Sabha, Mr Prashant had pleaded the case for inclusion of Dogri in the Eighth Schedule. He said that Dogri was a compulsory subject in the educational institutions during the regime of Maharaja Ranbir Singh. It was also the official language of the state.

He recalled the exhaustive research of the Dogri literature done by late Mr B.P. Sharma and various other scholars and demanded that it should be included in the curriculum. Mr Sharma had dug out works of Dogri literature, including the Dogri grammar that has helped in getting the language included in the Eighth Schedule he added.

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Need to root out causes of corruption: Beigh
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, July 23
Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Muzaffar Hussain Beigh has stressed the need of cleaning up of polity from the scourge of corruption so as to ensure a tangible change in society.

He was addressing a conference of Departmental Vigilance Officers (DVOs) organised by the State Vigilance Organisation (SVO) here yesterday. Describing corruption as a systemic problem, he stressed on rooting out the causes that lead to the spread of corruption.

Terming internal vigilance as the nerve centre of the system, he asked the DVOs to perform their job with dedication and hoped they would be able to meet the challenge.

He said the government was thinking of further improving the Right to Information Act (RTI) and maintained it would be willing to help and encourage the SVO in all possible ways.

Chief Secretary C. Phonsung said internal vigil, self-assessment and introspection were the main ingredients that could check financial irregularities and plug loopholes in the management of departmental affairs.

He said DVOs’ main task was preventive rather than punitive and they had to keep an eye on aspects of purchases, sales and personnel to create transparency in every affair of departmental functioning. He asked them to utilise the power of calling records, scanning the complaints and initiating follow-up action on the references made to them by the state vigilance organisation with regard to certain cases.

He said the conference provided a forum for self-assessment about the intra-organisational vigilance mechanism of DVOs which, he said, came into being in 1994. He said preventive vigilance needed to be given more thrust as compared to punitive vigilance. He described departmental vigilance as one of the noblest tasks one could be assigned with.

Commissioner of Vigilance Ashok Bhan said the state government had amply demonstrated its will to fight corruption in public life by taking steps not only towards more transparency and accountability but also by legislating to empower SVO to attach property acquired by tainted public servants through corrupt practices.

He said Jammu and Kashmir was the first state in the country to have such a law and already immovable property of four government servants had been attached and more would follow.

He said creation of 12 posts of Additional District Development Commissioners to monitor development activities had made clear that the internal Vigilance was of paramount importance if the citizens had to fully reap the harvest of development activities. He said the government wanted to amend the “Right to Information Act” so that access to information became a reality and government functioning became more transparent.

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Central agencies go into Gujjars, Bakkerwals’ settling national highways, Railway tracks
M.L. Kak

Jammu, July 23
Several central government agencies are engaged in examining the reason and the result of the settlement of a large number of nomadic families, including Gujjars and Bakkuerwals, in areas adjacent to the national highway and beside the Railway tracks between Jammu and Pathankot.

Between the state’s winter capital and Kathua these nomads have built temporary shanties and tented accommodation close to 12 vital road bridges.

Official sources said here today that a central intelligence agency had sent its detectives to various border areas, including Akhnoor, Samba, Ramgarh, Vijaypur, and to the Railway tracks and road bridges for a survey of the new settlement of these nomads.

In its report to the Centre the agency has stated that the growing trend of nomads setting up shanties and tents close to the vital bridges and by the side of the Railway tracks and the national highway could later be used as hide-outs by militants planning to target trains and buses.

In addition to this the central agency, according to official sources, has called for an indepth study of a new development under which members of a particular community have started buying land and building houses in border belts in the Jammu region. The agency has said preliminary investigations had revealed that some agencies, including those across the border, were providing financial aid to these people for purchasing land and building houses.

Meanwhile, even after instructions had been received by the agencies concerned in Jammu and Kashmir for providing adequate security cover to vital installations there has been no visible change in the security grid around the vital road bridges between Jammu and Kathua. One to two security personnel are seen guarding these bridges.

Soon after series of militant attacks on the trains between Jammu and Samba between 1993 and 2004 a decision was taken to build shelter sheds on either side of the Railway track between Jammu and Kathua and flood lights would be installed on the entire 100-km-long rail track between Jammu and Kathua.

The government could, during these years, build some tin sheds, got the police and paramilitary forces deployed to guard the track and major belt of the track is yet to have flood lights. However, the security forces and the Railways authorities have strengthened the security grid on the Jammu Railway station with sophisticated gadgets having been installed for screening the movement of suspicious characters.

In addition to this the number of police personnel aboard each train has been increased to prevent militants and criminals from committing any crime on running trains. Before the departure of every train from Jammu Railway station, Quick Reaction Teams conduct search of Railway platforms with the help of sniffer dogs and electronic surveillance. Belongings of passengers are screened using X-ray scanner at the entrance followed by random check again at the Railway platform.

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Another Amarnath pilgrim dies

Srinagar, July 23
A sadhu from Madhya Pradesh died while returning from the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in South Kashmir, taking the death toll in the ongoing yatra to 44.

The sadhu identified as 61-year-old Muna Lal of Jatara village, died of cardiac arrest at Sheshnag halting station after paying obeisance at the holy cave shrine last evening, official sources said today.

With his death, the number of pilgrims, who died during the yatra, which commenced on June 11, has risen to 42. — PTI

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