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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R

Poonch byelection: Going for Cong not easy
Jammu, November 26
The Congress faces an uphill task in the Poonch Assembly byelection scheduled to be held on December 12. The byelection was been necessitated following the death of legislator G.M.Jaan of the National Conference (NC). While the NC has fielded his son, Ajaz Jaan, the Congress has fielded Jahangir Mir, a nephew of Congress leader of the area, G.M.Mir Poonchi.

Indo-Pak truce completes 4 yrs
Srinagar, November 26
The ceasefire along India-Pakistan borders and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir today completed four years with truce holding firmly barring some minor aberrations. For the conflict-weary residents of all border districts of Jammu and Kashmir, the dawn of November 26, 2003, heralded not only the festivities of Eid-ul-Fitr, but also brought hope and cheer.

Week after power show, BSP expels founder-member
Jammu, November 26
Within a week of its rally here, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today expelled Satpal, senior leader, founder-member and former state president. Satpal was accused of being autocratic and "indisciplined and indulging in anti-party activities". The expulsion was announced by party general secretary Narinder Kashyap here today. Kashyap is also the party in charge for Jammu and Kashmir.



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES



PDP voiced people’s concerns: Mehbooba
Srinagar, November 26
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti today said her party had not only created an environment for upholding the right of security and dignity of the people, but also voiced their just concerns and aspirations with conviction.

Air traffic hit as valley freezes
Srinagar, November 26
All flights, including a Saudi Arabia-bound Indian plane carrying Haj pilgrims, were cancelled today due to poor visibility at the airport here while the Kashmir valley continued to reel under sub-zero temperatures.

Jawan killed in firing by Pak Rangers
Rajouri, November 26
Pakistani Rangers yesterday morning gunned down an Indian soldier on guard duty at the Langour post along the Line of Control (LOC) in Poonch sector.

Stolen ATM card case solved, one held
Srinagar, November 26
The police has solved the case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 64,000 and held one person who had stolen the money using his friend’s ATM card here.

 


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Poonch byelection: Going for Cong not easy
Vimal Sumbly
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 26
The Congress faces an uphill task in the Poonch Assembly byelection scheduled to be held on December 12. The byelection was been necessitated following the death of legislator G.M.Jaan of the National Conference (NC). While the NC has fielded his son, Ajaz Jaan, the Congress has fielded Jahangir Mir, a nephew of Congress leader of the area, G.M.Mir Poonchi.

A senior Congress leader and ticket aspirant, Yashpal Sharma has revolted and filed nomination papers as an independent candidate.

The NC's Jaan was elected consecutively from Poonch in 1996 and 2002. On both occasions he had defeated Yashpal Sharma. In 1996, Sharma was Janata Dal candidate and in 2002 he had contested on Congress ticket and lost by a narrow margin.

For the Congress the choice of Mir was quite understandable. Although Sharma commanded a lot of influence in the constituency and among all the communities, the Congress preferred not to take the risk where voters might get polarized along communal lines. Because the Muslims constitute the major proportion of votes in this Assembly segment.

There is a possibility, rather a probability of Sharma cutting the Congress votes, particularly among the Hindus, thus, jeopardising the chances of the party’s official 
candidate.

He is likely to get votes from other communities like the Muslims and Sikhs also.

However, factionalism in the NC is a consolation for the Congress. There are some other groups in the NC which are not happy with the choice of the candidate. This might cancel out the impact of Sharma's rebellion for the Congress.

The Poonch byelection is considered to be very important as the outcome of the result is most likely to set the tone for elections to the Assembly.

In all probability if the Congress wins, the elections scheduled to be held in November next year might be advanced. And in case it loses, the party will certainly need sometime to recover. 

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Indo-Pak truce completes 4 yrs

Srinagar, November 26
The ceasefire along India-Pakistan borders and the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir today completed four years with truce holding firmly barring some minor aberrations. For the conflict-weary residents of all border districts of Jammu and Kashmir, the dawn of November 26, 2003, heralded not only the festivities of Eid-ul-Fitr, but also brought hope and cheer.

Booming guns across the borders fell silent as India and Pakistan announced a ceasefire on this day four years ago.

No major incident, be it shelling or gunfight, has been reported from anywhere along the 1,126 -India-Pakistan border in Jammu and Kashmir — 778-km LoC, 198-km International Border and 150-km stretch of the Actual Ground Position Line in Siachen — during the past four years of ceasefire, the first between the two armies since the outbreak of militancy in the state in late 1980s.

Defence spokesman Lt Col A.K. Mathur said there had been no reports of any violations of truce from Kashmir and Ladakh regions.

“The borders have been calm during the period. There have been no violations of ceasefire. Both armies have respected and observed the truce agreement in letter and spirit,’’ he added.

Colonel Mathur said the ceasefire between India and Pakistan was holding firmly so far. However, sources claimed that three instances of ceasefire violations by Pakistani Rangers along the international border had so far been reported on August 15, September 12 and October 22 last year. The violations were reported from border areas in Jammu and Rajasthan, they added. — UNI 

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Week after power show, BSP expels founder-member
Tribune News Service

Jammu, November 26
Within a week of its rally here, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) today expelled Satpal, senior leader, founder-member and former state president. Satpal was accused of being autocratic and "indisciplined and indulging in anti-party activities". The expulsion was announced by party general secretary Narinder Kashyap here today. Kashyap is also the party in charge for Jammu and Kashmir.

Kashyap was here to review the post-rally impact of the party in the state’s politics. He presided over a meeting of workers and leaders where Satpal’s expulsion from the BSP was announced.

Later, he told The Tribune that the BSP had found that Satpal was not allowing the party to grow. He was allegedly conducting the affairs of the party as if it was his personal property. The BSP general secretary alleged that Satpal discouraged people belonging to the

upper castes from joining the party, apparently to retain monopoly over its affairs.

However, Satpal denied all these allegations. He said he had learnt about it from the media that he had been removed. He said, "Ď will respond and reply to each and every allegation levelled against me". He was preoccupied as some of his family members were injured in an accident.

He regretted that the party leadership had let him down. "Ď have nourished the party with blood and sweat and if it has gained some strength, it is because of me", he claimed, while promising to expose all vested interests "very soon". 

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PDP voiced people’s concerns: Mehbooba

Srinagar, November 26
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti today said her party had not only created an environment for upholding the right of security and dignity of the people, but also voiced their just concerns and aspirations with conviction.

Addressing public meetings in the Banihal area, she said the impact of measures taken by the PDP-led coalition government to ensure safety of life and dignity of the people was being felt and acknowledged by the general public in far-off places as well.

Mehbooba said there was an urgency of consolidating on this public goodwill by taking even bolder measures that would have visible positive impact on the fast-changing situation in the state.

“The people of the far-off areas of the state have suffered immense miseries because of turmoil as these became alien to development during that period,” she added.

The PDP president said the people of these areas deserved more than equal share in development so that they could have the luxury of getting the basic amenities of life.

“The people in far-flung areas are still craving for basic amenities such as sufficient rations, safe drinking water, roads, educational and healthcare facilities. While these innocent people have been exploited by politicians, nothing tangible has been done to improve their living conditions,” she added.

Mehbooba said even today most of the families in these areas did not get adequate ration to feed themselves and their children. — UNI  

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Air traffic hit as valley freezes

Srinagar, November 26
All flights, including a Saudi Arabia-bound Indian plane carrying Haj pilgrims, were cancelled today due to poor visibility at the airport here while the Kashmir valley continued to reel under sub-zero temperatures.

A thick blanket of fog enveloped the airport till past noon, forcing cancellation of all out-bound and incoming flights, officials said.

A special Indian aircraft due to take Haj pilgrims to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia was postponed to tomorrow depending on weather conditions, they said adding that flights from Jammu, Delhi and Mumbai could not come to the airport.

It went up a couple of notches from last Saturday’s seasonal low of -4°C, but was still 3.2 below zero while the maximum in Srinagar yesterday was 13°C (one degree above normal), a Meteorological Department official said. — PTI 

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Jawan killed in firing by Pak Rangers
Tribune News Service

Rajouri, November 26
Pakistani Rangers yesterday morning gunned down an Indian soldier on guard duty at the Langour post along the Line of Control (LOC) in Poonch sector.

Defence sources said the soldier on guard duty died of multiple bullet shots after Pakistani Rangers allegedly opened indiscriminate fire on a forward post of Langour in Poonch sector. His identification could not be ascertained they added.

Confirming the killing, Defence spokesman Col S.D.Goswami said the soldier was killed in hostile fire on Langour post. Colonel Goswami said the Army was probing the incident. 

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Stolen ATM card case solved, one held
Tribune News Service

Srinagar, November 26
The police has solved the case of fraudulent withdrawal of Rs 64,000 and held one person who had stolen the money using his friend’s ATM card here.

The Rs 64,000 drawn from different ATMs was recovered from Gurmeet Singh, who has confessed to the crime. The destroyed card ATM was recovered from a garbage heap near Iqbal Park here, the police said. Gurmeet admitted that he had seen his friend drawing money from ATM and memorised his code. Later, he stole the ATM card when his friend was sleeping in a hotel.

Satish Kumar, sales development manager, HDFC, on November 22 submitted a complaint to the police station at Shergari that his Punjab National Bank ATM card had been stolen.The police rounded up Gurmeet of Haft Chinar,near a gurdwara. 

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