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Mirwaiz tones down stand on self-rule
Jammu, December 1
Following Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s sharing the table with PDP chief, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, at recent Pugwash conference in Cairo, his conglomerate has started talking of examining the prospects of introducing “self-rule” in Kashmir on both sides of line of Control (LoC).

Lashkar militant killed in encounter
Srinagar, December 1
A foreign militant of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who masterminded the 2005 Delhi blast, was killed in an encounter by troops in north Kashmir today, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

Third SIT to probe Chopra killings
Jammu, December 1
Failing to crack the murder of five members of a businessman’s family two months ago, the police here today formed the third special investigation team to probe the killings.

BSF celebrates Raising Day
Srinagar, December 1
The Border Security Force (BSF) celebrated its 41st Raising Day at the frontier headquarters at Sanatnagar here today that was marked by a cultural programme.



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Mirwaiz tones down stand on self-rule
S.P. Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, December 1
Following Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq’s sharing the table with PDP chief, Ms Mehbooba Mufti, at recent Pugwash conference in Cairo, his conglomerate has started talking of examining the prospects of introducing “self-rule” in Kashmir on both sides of line of Control (LoC).

Umar Farooq and Ms Mufti were among participants in the conference from J&K who discussed lessons learnt from the peace process in Kashmir.

However, top Hurriyat leader, Prof Abdul Gani Bhat, yesterday appreciated Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf’s proposal of introducing self-rule on both sides of the LoC. But PDP leader, Sayeed, has been claiming the idea of self-rule floated by his party was not borrowed from Pakistan.

Political circles attach significance to the Hurriyat suddenly talking about the self-rule after the return of Mirwaiz from Cairo.

Political observers here see the Hurriyat scaling down its earlier stand by speaking in terms of consensus on the issue of self-rule. The Hurriyat had boycotted the round table conference on Kashmir convened by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh.

Besides several participants from various parts of India, a contingent of seven from this side of Jammu and Kashmir attended the Pugwash conference held from November 11 to November 15 at Cairo. However, Sardar Abdul Qayum Khan, a former Prime Minister of PoK, was the lone participant from the Kashmir under the occupation of Pakistan.

Those, who went from here were Mirwaiz Farooq, Ms.Mehbooba Mufti, president PDP, Mr Sajjad Lone, chairman, Peoples Conference, Mr Amitabh Mattoo, vice-chancellor, Jammu University, Prof Siddiq Wahid, vice-chancellor, Islamic University, Srinagar, Dr Nirmal Singh, BJP representative, Mohammad M.Parray, chief spokesman, PCC. Mr Mohammad Hamid Ansari, chairman of the working group on Kashmir, also participated in the conference.

Self-rule proposal was floated by President Musharraf around the time when the Pugwash organised a workshop on the prospects for self-rule in Islamabad in March last year. National Conference chief, Omar Abdullah who has been rejecting the self-rule proposal and asking for autonomy, was also a participant in the workshop. He also met President Musharraf separately.

Prior to that, the Pugwash initiated its first Kashmir – specific meeting in Kathmandu in November 2004. The delegates during the Islamabad workshop agreed the process of leading to self-governance should be brought about by consensus building mechanism.

The report of the workshop said the principle of self-governance was not based on a concept of constitutional change but on genuine and sustainable political, social and economic devolution .

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Lashkar militant killed in encounter

Srinagar, December 1
A foreign militant of the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), who masterminded the 2005 Delhi blast, was killed in an encounter by troops in north Kashmir today, a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

He said troops of 29 Rashtriya Rifles (RR), acting on a tip-off launched an operation at Kreeri in north Kashmir district of Baramula early this morning.

However, the militant identified as Ali Baba, of Sindh, Pakistan, trying to escape was trapped in a nullah.

When the militant was asked to surrender, he opened fire and also hurled hand grenades. Troops retaliated and in the clash, the militant was killed.

Security forces did not suffer damage, he said, adding the militant Ali Baba alias Abu Hubeza, a selfstyled Deputy commander of the LeT, was active in the area for two years. He said Baba was brain behind the Delhi blasts in October 2005.

A listed militant, he was wanted in a number of militancy-related incidents in north Kashmir, he said. — UNI

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Third SIT to probe Chopra killings

Jammu, December 1
Failing to crack the murder of five members of a businessman’s family two months ago, the police here today formed the third special investigation team to probe the killings.

“Fresh SIT has been constituted by Director-General of Police Gopal Sharma to re-investigate the Chopras murder case in Jammu as the SITs headed by district police chief Mukesh Singh had failed to achieve any breakthrough till now,” official sources told PTI.

Unidentified assailants barged into the house of top businessman Raju Chopra and killed him, his wife Madhu, daughter Saloni, driver Jagan and servant Ram Singh on September 17 in the Trikuta Nagar Colony in Jammu.

The new seven-member SIT will comprise Superintendent of Police Basant Rath, IPS probationer Bhim Sen Tooty, DSPS - Rupinder Kumar Chalotra, Abdul Rouf Lone, K.P. Singh, and Sub Divisional Police Officer, East, Mamata Sharma and Station House Officer Trikuta Nagar inspector Purshotam Mengi.

The first 21-member SIT was set up a day after the killings but its two members-the then SP south Sieikh Mehmood and SHO Trikuta Nagar inspector Mohammad Rafiq were attached and suspended. They had been subsequently detached and re-instated.

Earlier on October 27, the DGP had constituted 2nd special investigation team (SIT) headed by the Senior Superintendent of Police, Jammu, to re-investigate the case.

Since majority of the evidence had been destroyed by the killers, investigators will have to concentrate more on data to be retrieved from mobile, landline telephones and computers of the Chopra family and his associates, they said.

On September 21, the police constituted a 21-member team to investigate the killings under the command of Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Jammu, Mukesh Singh, but it did not find clues. — PTI

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BSF celebrates Raising Day
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, December 1
The Border Security Force (BSF) celebrated its 41st Raising Day at the frontier headquarters at Sanatnagar here today that was marked by a cultural programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr J.B. Negi, Inspector-General, Kashmir Frontier, felicitated the officers and ranks. Having borne the initial brunt of militancy in Kashmir, the BSF has killed 2,500 militants and seized over 12,000 assorted weapons of various calibres and more than nine lakh rounds of ammunition in various operations in the Kashmir valley, it was stated. However, the organisation has lost 701 officers and other ranks in the anti-militancy operations, the officials said.

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