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18 militants surrender
Say they were trained in PoK

Srinagar, November 25
A Kashmiri man kisses the face of a youth after a surrender ceremony organised by the Indian Army in Baramulla, 55 km north of Srinagar, on Saturday. Eighteen Pakistan-trained militants belonging to different organisations laid down arms before the Army at Baramula in North Kashmir today. With this, the total number of militants who have surrendered to 119 Infantry Division at Baramula since January this year, has gone up to 110, a defence spokesman here said.

A Kashmiri man kisses the face of a youth after a surrender ceremony organised by the Indian Army in Baramulla, 55 km north of Srinagar, on Saturday. ó Reuters photo

Hurriyat -sponsored strike halts life
Srinagar, November 25
Life was affected across the valley today in response to the call for strike by of the hardline Hurriyat Conference in protest against the government decision to lease out land to "non-State subjects" in Gulmarg for creating international-level tourist infrastructure.

One shot in gang war
Jammu, November 25
An alleged criminal, Sanjay alias Bakra, was shot dead by two scooter-borne persons in a gang war in the posh Trikuta Nagar locality here today.



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Leopard injures woman
Jammu, November 25
Jasbir Kaur was badly injured when a leopard attacked her in the Nowshera area of the Rajouri district yesterday. She has been admitted to a hospital.

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Shutdown observed in Kashmir to protest land lease to outsiders
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18 militants surrender
Say they were trained in PoK
Tribune News Service and agencies

Srinagar, November 25
Eighteen Pakistan-trained militants belonging to different organisations laid down arms before the Army at Baramula in North Kashmir today. With this, the total number of militants who have surrendered to 119 Infantry Division at Baramula since January this year, has gone up to 110, a defence spokesman here said.

An agency report said the surrendered militants belonged to three organisations, including the pro-Pakistan Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. They handed over 10 AK-47 assault rifles, 10 pistols, six mobile phones and ammunition and explosives to the security forces.

Talking to mediapersons, the trained militants from different parts of North Kashmir gave details of how they were lured across the Line of Control. They talked of training in handling of weapons and explosives imparted to them in various camps in occupied Kashmir (PoK).

Senior Army, police and para-military officers, officials of the district administration and prominent citizens were present on the occasion. The event was marked by re-union of these young men with their family members after a gap of years.

"These youths were forced to cross over to PoK three to four years ago", the defence spokesman said. He said the youths had realised the futility of their decision and, therefore, decided to surrender and join the mainstream.

"These militants have brought authentic documents about Pakistanís involvement in training our youths in warfare ", the spokesman said. They all had different reasons for crossing over. Some were influenced by friends, others forced by top militants and many lured by money and power that flows from the gun, the spokesman said.

The surrender confirmed that militantsí infrastructure in PoK was in tact, the spokesman added.

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Hurriyat -sponsored strike halts life
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, November 25
Life was affected across the valley today in response to the call for strike by of the hardline Hurriyat Conference in protest against the government decision to lease out land to "non-State subjects" in Gulmarg for creating international-level tourist infrastructure.

The National Conference had also announced support for the bandh ďagainst this government decision without having taken people into confidence". The government has put the process on hold.

The National Conference president and MP, Omar Abdullah held a sit-in at Tangmarg along with a large number of party workers and supporters. Senior party leaders, including Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Mr Abdul Rahim Rather, participated in the daylong dharna. They asked the coalition government to discuss the issue in the coming Assembly session.

All shops and business establishments here and in other major towns of the valley remained closed. Passenger transport remained off the road. All educational institutions and some banks remained closed while thin attendance was marked in government offices.

The hardline Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani has launched a vigorous campaign against the government decision to lease out land to "non-State subjects". Several other separatist organisations, including the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference led by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and the Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) of Shabir Ahmad Shah, are also opposed to the decision.

The state Cabinet had last month decided to work out a plan to auction 561 kanals in Gulmarg to private parties. The Tourism Minister, Mr Mohammad Dilawar Mir, had repeatedly clarified that the land would not be leased out to the non-State subjects. But he was caught on the wrong foot with the government approving the appointment of an officer for authenticating the government land in favour of any non-State subject. Under the law, no resident from outside Jammu and Kashmir can purchase land or immovable property in the state.

However, the NC government headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had in 1978 passed a Land Grants Act providing for leasing out land to a non-State subject for 99 years.

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One shot in gang war
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 25
An alleged criminal, Sanjay alias Bakra, was shot dead by two scooter-borne persons in a gang war in the posh Trikuta Nagar locality here today.

Sanjay was coming out of the clinic of Dr Rattan Khudiar at about 9 am when he was shot. He died on the spot, while the two assailants escaped. This is the second such incident in the colony in the past two months.

The incident has created a scare in the area that has witnessed the brutal murder of five persons, including three members of a family,a few days ago. The police and a special team of the crime branch has so far failed to nab the culprits. The parents of a Chandigarh doctor were also brutally murdered in the same colony some time ago.

A number of gangs of criminals have mushroomed in the past few years and they were flourishing as the police has failed to arrest them. Most of these gangs were indulging in fake land deals and illegal sale of government lands.

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Leopard injures woman
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 25
Jasbir Kaur was badly injured when a leopard attacked her in the Nowshera area of the Rajouri district yesterday. She has been admitted to a hospital.

Reports of wild bears having wounded three persons in Poonch district have also been received. A woman was attacked by a bear in the Fagla area, while two persons sustained injuries when they were mauled by another bear near Sanai village.

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