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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Over 3 lakh pilgrims visit Amarnath shrine
Srinagar, August 22
Despite attacks on tourists and intermittent closure of the high mountainous track to the holy cave shrine due to bad weather, over three lakh pilgrims arrived in Kashmir during the two-month long Amarnath yatra that concluded early this month.

APHC for discussion on Musharraf’s idea of self-governance
Jammu, August 22
The All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leadership is in favour of initiating a discussion on Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf's idea of self-governance, demilitarisation and joint management. The leadership does not want India to reject the idea because it has emanated from the Pakistan establishment.

CBI told to expedite sex scandal probe
Srinagar, August 22
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today directed the CBI to expedite the probe against persons allegedly involved in the sex abuse scandal here in view of the Supreme Court orders last week. The investigating officer should expedite the lawful investigations as directed by the apex court on August 18, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain and Mr Justice B.A. Kirmani, said.

Lashkar militant killed
Srinagar, August 22
The security forces killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, while ultras set off an explosive device wounding a woman in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said today.



 

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Over 3 lakh pilgrims visit Amarnath shrine
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, August 22
Despite attacks on tourists and intermittent closure of the high mountainous track to the holy cave shrine due to bad weather, over three lakh pilgrims arrived in Kashmir during the two-month long Amarnath yatra that concluded early this month.

Governor Lieut-Gen S.K. Sinha (retd), who is also the Chairman of the Amarnath Shrine Board, disclosed this after giving away mementos to various organisations and units of the security forces at Raj Bhavan last evening. He hailed the contribution of these organisations and the security forces for the smooth conduct of the yatra in the upper reaches of Pahalgam in south Kashmir.

General Sinha said militant attacks had an adverse impact on tourism this year, yet around six lakh tourists visited the valley last year against 28,000 in 2004. However, the average daily fall in pilgrim arrivals was less than the tourist arrivals after mid July, he added.

The Governor referred to the support of the local population and various wings of the state government and expressed gratitude to Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad for his cooperation. "The cooperation of civilians was equally invaluable," he added. He expressed satisfaction over the successful completion of the pilgrimage and holding of felicitation functions consecutively for the fourth year.

Speaking on the occasion, Principal Secretary to Governor and Chief Executive Officer, Amarnath Shrine Board, Dr Arun Kumar said the revenue collections this year were about Rs 4.2 core against last year's Rs 4.3 crore, including royalty. The board had to spend Rs 7.2 crore on the conduct of this year's yatra, he said, adding that this was second deficit year.

On facilities being provided to the pilgrims, Dr Kumar said 206 prefab shelter huts and 1,755 toilets and baths had been raised and 68 gas greasers were installed for providing hot water. The CEO said 46 pilgrims, including six women, died during the course of this year's yatra.

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APHC for discussion on Musharraf’s
idea of self-governance

Our Correspondent

Jammu, August 22
The All Party Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leadership is in favour of initiating a discussion on Pakistan President Gen Pervez Musharraf's idea of self-governance, demilitarisation and joint management.

The leadership does not want India to reject the idea because it has emanated from the Pakistan establishment.

According to a senior APHC leader, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, detailed debate on self-governance, demilitarisation and joint management to be followed by sincere implementation would lead to the final settlement of the Kashmir issue.

Prof Bhat said today that since India had agreed to resume the dialogue with Pakistan, it would be better for Delhi to discuss the ideas floated by Gen Musharraf.

Prof Bhat said that self-governance under a new dispensation would be different from the government elected by people under the Indian Election Commission. He said if Gen Musharraf's ideas were implemented, the state of Jammu and Kashmir could remain within India but out of the Constitution of India. When asked whether demilitarisation meant withdrawing of troops not only from within the state but from the entire LoC, the APHC leader said “when India and Pakistan agree on joint management, there will be no need for guarding the LoC against any infiltration or armed attack. Any armed attack will be from a friend on a friend”.

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CBI told to expedite sex scandal probe

Srinagar, August 22
The Jammu and Kashmir High Court today directed the CBI to expedite the probe against persons allegedly involved in the sex abuse scandal here in view of the Supreme Court orders last week. The investigating officer should expedite the lawful investigations as directed by the apex court on August 18, a Division Bench comprising Mr Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain and Mr Justice B.A. Kirmani, said.

The Supreme Court had partially stayed the August 11 order of the High Court in which the Bench had directed the CBI to conduct custodial interrogation of persons against whom substantial evidence was on record.

The Bench, after perusing the fresh case diaries, observed: “We find no substantial progress has taken place in the investigation since the last hearing (August 11).”

It ordered that the communication received from the Sessions Judge (Srinagar) trying the first two charge sheets in the sex scandal case, be placed on file for consideration and fixed September 4 for the next hearing. The state government has, meanwhile, filed objections to the writ of Amit Chauhan seeking reopening of the Anara Gupta case and handing over its investigation to the CBI.

The court directed the state to provide a copy of the objections to the litigants and listed the petition with the main case on September 4. In the case of the show-cause notice issued to local Urdu daily Tameel-e-Irshad, the Bench granted two weeks’ time to the newspaper’s editor, publisher and printer to file their reply. 
— PTI

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Lashkar militant killed

Srinagar, August 22
The security forces killed a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) militant and seized a huge cache of arms and ammunition, while ultras set off an explosive device wounding a woman in Jammu and Kashmir during the past 24 hours, an official spokesman said today.

Militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) at Nasu, Bandipora in Baramula district today when a security forces’ patrol was passing through the area, he added.

Due to the blast, a woman identified as Haleema Begum, sustained injuries. She has been admitted to a hospital, the spokesman said.

The security forces shot dead LeT militant Anjeel Shah, alias Yaseen, during an encounter at Masri village in Bhaderwah town of Doda district last evening. Two hand grenades, a wireless set and some incriminating documents were seized from him, the spokesman said.

He said Yaseen was involved in the grenade blast at the house of Shabir Ahmad and Irfan at Masri in which a girl was killed and five others were wounded.

Yaseen was earlier associated with Hizbul Mujahideen and then surrendered in 2005 before joining the Lashkar, he added.

The spokesman said the security forces seized an AK rifle, three magazines, 42 rounds, one pistol, four hand grenades, 18 PIKA rounds, 17 rounds of .303-bore rifle, one anti-personnel mine and an IED with on antenna from a militant hideout in the Triyath forest area in Rajouri district of Jammu region last night. — UNI

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