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Top Hizbul militant killed

Srinagar, November 17
A top Hizbul Mujahideen militant was killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Shopian district today.

On information about presence of militants in the area, security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Shalidora village in Keller area of Shopian, 55 kms from here, last night, officials said.

Militants opened fire on security forces in the wee hours which was retaliated, triggering off a gun battle.

Muneer Ahmad Kalas, a top self-styled commander of Hibzul Mujahideen, was killed in the operation, the officials said, adding security forces were looking for another militant.

The operation was going on till reports last came in.  PTI





Debate on AFSPA withdrawal to "weaken" the country: BJP

Jammu, November 16
BJP today alleged the debate sparked by Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah over withdrawal of Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from parts of the state is aimed at "weakening" the country.

"The debate initiated by the CM for the past one month is aimed at weakening the country", BJP General Secretary Arun Jaitley said.

He said the armymen and the paramilitary force personnel are laying down their lives to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country and were brought when police "failed" to deal with the law and order situation".

"As per the law, the armymen cannot be prosecuted unless approval from the central government and no case can be registered against them. But the J & K CM has initiated the debate that there should be powers to take direct actions against them without the approval of the centre," the BJP leader said.

"How can they fight to safeguard the territorial integrity of the country and provide security to the people on one side and face prosecution on the other side?" he said.

"The Chief Minister is resorting to meaningless debate by camping in New Delhi for the past six days," Jaitley said, alleging the debate is aimed at "strengthening the hands of anti-Indian people and weakening security forces." PTI





8 get death, 27 given life term in honour killing case

Mathura (UP), November 16
Eight persons were today sentenced to death and 27 given life term by a court here in a two-decade-old case of honour killing in Barsana area of the district.

Additional district and session judge A K Upadhaya announced the quantum of punishment two days after it convicted them for murdering Roshni, her boyfriend Bijender and their friend Ramkisan in 1991.

Ramkisan had helped the couple, court sources said.

The convicts killed the trio and then set their bodies on fire after hanging them from trees.

Two cases had been booked against 56 villagers in this regard, but 16 of them died during the course of trial. PTI





Chavan hails office of CAG 

Mumbai, November 16
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today hailed the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for its role in unravelling corruption in the country but questioned its presumptive loss figures in 2G spectrum allocation scam.

"Ever since the institution was conceived in the British days..it has given a unified system of financial accounting and audits which is standardised throughout the country.

"CAG has become a household word because of what's happening in Delhi," he said addressing a function to mark the 150th anniversary of the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) here.

However, Chavan expressed surprise over the presumptive loss figures in the 2G spectrum allocation scam arrived at by the CAG.

"How can the possible loss extend from a figure of four digits to six or seven digits...Rs 2,800 crore to Rs four lakh crore?," he said.

Referring to some of the provisions of the Lokpal Bill proposed by Team Anna, Chavan said "will CBI be reporting to Lokpal and not to the government? Will the anti-corruption bureau report to the Lokayukta? And ultimately who will appoint Lokpal and what happens to it after it is appointed"? Admitting there was public anger against corruption, the Chief Minister said "we are enacting more and more laws to fight corruption. There are laws pending in Parliament which will be enacted in the upcoming winter session." Chavan said India recently joined the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Centre intends to pass a Foreign Corruption Act.

"(Under the Act) if any Indian citizen attempts to bribe a foreign national in a foreign country in order to get benefits, the Indian law too will go against him," he said. PTI






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