SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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J A M M U   &   K A S H M I R    E D I T I O N

Two security men die in avalanche
Srinagar, January 24
A Border Security Force sub-inspector and an Army jawan were killed and five security personnel went missing after an avalanche struck near the LoC in Kupwara district this morning.
Five missing

Pathribal encounter
Focus back on AFSPA: Omar
Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister Jammu, January 24
A day after the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre on the alleged fake encounter in the Pathribal area of the Kashmir valley, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reiterated his demand for selective revocation of the Armed Forces Special Power Act from the state.
Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister

Security beefed up ahead of R-Day
Srinagar, January 24
Kashmiri artistes perform during a full-dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar on Tuesday While tight security arrangements are in place in view of the Republic Day celebrations across Kashmir, full-dress rehearsals were held at the main venue in Bakshi Stadium here and other district headquarters.
Kashmiri artistes perform during a full-dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade at Bakshi Stadium in Srinagar on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Mohd Amin War



YOUR TOWN
Jammu
Srinagar


EARLIER STORIES


Republic Day
A security man is silhouetted against the setting sun on the banks of the Tawi in Jammu Tight security amid reports of terror strikes
Jammu, January 24
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has been put on high alert for the Republic Day celebrations. The state police officials have been directed to work in “complete coordination” with different security agencies following the intelligence reports of possible terror strikes.


A security man is silhouetted against the setting sun on the banks of the Tawi in Jammu. — PTI

DGP reviews arrangements
Jammu, January 24
DGP Kuldeep Khoda today reviewed the security arrangements for the Republic Day celebrations across the state.

Depleting stock in Doda
NC leader demands free ration for 3 months
Jammu, January 24
The National Conference MLC, Khalid Najib Suharwardy, today expressed concern over depleting stocks of essential commodities in the snow-bound Doda district.

Conversion Row
BJP questions govt’s silence
Jammu, January 24
Questioning the silence of the National Conference-Congress coalition government on the raging controversy over Islamic Sharia Court in Kashmir issuing communal decrees and “fatwas”, the chief spokesperson for the BJP, Jitendra Singh, has accused the state government of a total sell-out to religious fundamentalists in the Valley in a blatant bid to keep the extremist and separatist elements in good humour so as to ensure its own survival.

Sikh protesters burn the effigy of US television host Jay Leno over his remarks, at Karan Bagh in Jammu on Tuesday Sikhs protest Jay Leno’s remarks
Jammu, January 24
Agitated over popular American TV host Jay Leno’s controversial remarks on Golden Temple, Sikhs of the area today staged a protest under the banner of the Nirbhao Nirvair Organisation (J&K) here today.

Sikh protesters burn the effigy of US television host Jay Leno over his remarks, at Karan Bagh in Jammu on Tuesday. Tribune photo: Inderjeet Singh

Minority Act
Groups remain deeply divided
Jammu, January 24
Even as the National Commission for Minorities has written to the state government to amend the NCM Act to make it applicable to the state, various groups here remain divided on the issue.

Higher Education
Cabinet nod to 220 new posts
Jammu, January 24
The Cabinet, which met here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, approved the creation of 220 posts (both teaching and non-teaching) for 11 model colleges under the Establishment of Model Colleges in Educationally Backward Districts Scheme.

3 held for PDP worker’s killing
Srinagar, January 24
The police has arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the Peoples’ Democratic Party worker’s killing, even as Chadoora in Budgam district of central Kashmir remained tense following violence over the incident.

No letup in cold wave
Srinagar, January 24
The Kashmir valley continued to reel under severe cold, witnessing sub-zero temperatures last night.

BSF men face harrowing time at railway station
Jammu, January 24
About 30 BSF jawans had a harrowing time at Jammu Railway Station after they were ‘forced’ to load and unload their luggage and heavy boxes from a bogey thrice in the past three days.

Suicide bid by student
Shifted to Delhi as condition worsens
Jammu, January 24
A student of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), who shot himself at his residence in Roop Nagar locality yesterday, was airlifted to New Delhi after his condition deteriorated at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here today.

Week-long cultural event kicks off
Jammu, January 24
In a bid to tap talent in the rural areas of the Jammu region, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages has started a week-long series of programmes in Rajouri and Poonch districts.

250 Army men donate blood
Katra, January 24
Officers and jawans of 54 Rashtriya Rifles battalion today donated blood to celebrate 63rd Republic Day. The camp was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Reasi, Sheetal Nanda.

Arms, ammunition recovered in Rajouri
Jammu, January 24
Security forces today recovered arms and ammunition from a forest area near Guleer Buthan, 3 km north of Budhal tehsil in Rajouri district.

Railway employees’ stir continues
Jammu, January 24
The employees of Northern Railways continued their hunger strike for the second consecutive day today in support of their long-pending demands. The protesters, under the banner of the Northern Railways Men’s Union Ferozepur Division, staged a sit-in at platform number 1 and raised slogans.

Man dies of cold
Jammu, January 24
The police today recovered the body of an unidentified middle-aged person from bus stand here. According to preliminary reports, he had died due to intense cold wave. His body was shifted to the GMCH Jammu for autopsy.








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Two security men die in avalanche
Our Correspondent

Srinagar, January 24
A Border Security Force sub-inspector and an Army jawan were killed and five security personnel went missing after an avalanche struck near the LoC in Kupwara district this morning.

BSF Sub-Inspector Narendra Kumar and an Army man were killed in the avalanche that hit Furkian Top around 7.20 am, a BSF spokesperson said adding that their bodies had been recovered.

Four Army personnel and a BSF constable were missing and search was on to trace them, he said.

An Army spokesman said a route clearing party comprising two BSF and five Army personnel were hit by an avalanche at the Pharkian Gali, near the Line of Control (LoC). The Army spokesman said three rescue teams along with dogs launched a rescue operation after the security personnel went missing. A specialised Avalanche Rescue Team from the High Altitude Warfare School Gulmarg was also pressed into service, he added.

The BSF spokesman said the team of security forces was on its way to the Kulang Post from the Tiger Army Post near the LoC when they were hit by the avalanche.

Meanwhile, the Army spokesman said the rescue teams had exercised extreme caution due to bad weather and possibility of more avalanches in the border area. The rescue operation had been suspended for the night, he added.

The Snow and Avalanche Study Establishment has declared higher reaches of the Kashmir valley, especially areas close to the Line of Control, avalanche-prone in view of heavy snowfall in the first fortnight of this month.

Five missing

Four Army personnel and a BSF constable have gone missing and a search is on to trace them.

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Pathribal encounter
Focus back on AFSPA: Omar
Dinesh Manhotra
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
A day after the Supreme Court issued notice to the Centre on the alleged fake encounter in the Pathribal area of the Kashmir valley, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah reiterated his demand for selective revocation of the Armed Forces Special Power Act from the state.

He said the direction of the apex court had brought back to focus the demand for the revocation of AFSPA.

Terming the incident “travesty” of justice system, Omar regretted that justice had not been delivered to the victims even 12 years.

“We are looking at this case very closely. I think it is one of the travesties of our justice system that 12 years down the line, we have not been able to deliver justice in a case where the CBI has quite clearly found that there were serious violations of human rights,” Omar said here this afternoon while reacting to the observation of the Supreme Court.

Seven persons were gunned down allegedly by Army personnel on March 25, 2000 at Pathribal in Anantnag district of south Kashmir. They were branded as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorists responsible for the killing of 36 Sikhs at Chattisingpura in the same district on the intervening night of March 19-20, 2000.

After the killing, it was alleged that some innocent persons were picked up by the forces and were later branded as LeT terrorists.

When asked whether the observation of the Supreme Court would be a turning point in the ongoing debate on the revocation of AFSPA, Omar remarked: “It has the possibility of becoming a turning point, given the line the court has taken and given the seriousness with which the court in responding to what is being said.”

“I believe this case gives us an opportunity to rebuild trust in institutions where it has been seriously damaged. The justice system, unfortunately, is the one where trust has eroded over the years,” he said.

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Security beefed up ahead of R-Day
Full-dress rehearsals held at Bakshi Stadium, district headquarters
Tribune Reporters

Srinagar, January 24
While tight security arrangements are in place in view of the Republic Day celebrations across Kashmir, full-dress rehearsals were held at the main venue in Bakshi Stadium here and other district headquarters in the Valley today.

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Asgar Hussain Samoon, inspected the march past and took salute at Bakshi stadium. Those present on the occasion included IGP, Kashmir, SM Sahai, IGP, JKP Armed, Rauf-ul-Hassan, Joint Director, Information and Public Relations, Kashmir Division, Itrat Hussain Rafique, and other senior officers.

The contingents of the BSF, ITBP, JKAP, JKP, CRPF, IRP, Auxiliary Police, Fire and Emergency Services, Pipe Band, NCC cadets participated in the march past.

Artists of Cultural Wing of the Information Department and Academy of Art, Culture and Languages presented colourful cultural programmes on the occasion.

Similar full-dress rehearsals were held in Pulwama, Shopian, Baramulla, Budgam, Kupwara, Bandipora and Anantnag districts. The chief guests inspected march past and took salute.

The police has stepped up vigil here and elsewhere in the Valley to thwart any attempt of militants to create trouble on the occasion. Surprise checks of vehicles and pedestrians have been increased in and around the city and checkpoints created at the entry to the city and major towns. Strict vigil is being maintained around the venues of the Republic Day celebrations and vital installations.

With the seat of the government functioning from Jammu, winter capital of the State, the main function would be held in Jammu. A senior Cabinet minister will hoist the Tricolour at the Bakshi Stadium, the venue of main function in Kashmir valley.

Katra: The district headquarters is geared up for the Republic Day celebrations. Full-dress rehearsals were held here today where hundreds of schoolchildren took part. A team of the J&K Police, J&K Armed Police (JKAP), National Cadet Corps (NCC) and Forest Protection Force also held rehearsal. The preparations are in full swing at the Sports Stadium, Reasi, where Minister for Forest and Power, Shabir Ahmead Khan, will hoist the Tricolour.

Sources said at least 30 students would receive medals and appreciation letters from the minister on the Republic Day.

More than 750 schoolchildren will participate in different cultural events.

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Republic Day
Tight security amid reports of terror strikes
Arteev Sharma
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
The Jammu and Kashmir Police has been put on high alert for the Republic Day celebrations. The state police officials have been directed to work in “complete coordination” with different security agencies following the intelligence reports of possible terror strikes.

Sources said the strength of cops on checkpoints had been increased while security grid was being strengthened through additional deployment of security personnel, including J&K Police and paramilitary jawans, around the venues of celebrations.

“Search operations are being conducted at different places within the city and its outskirts to ensure incident-free Republic Day. Security agencies again conducted a search operation in Beli Charana and Nikki Tawi areas today following intelligence inputs regarding the movement of some suspects,” sources said, adding that this was for the second time in the past four days when a search operation was conducted in the city.

The Superintendent of Police (South) City, Rajeshwar Singh Jamwal, said, “These operations are conducted on routine basis to ensure a peaceful and incident-free Republic Day. A round-the-clock vigil is being maintained on all routes connecting city with its peripheries.”

Sources said additional checkpoints had also been established on all important roads and highway. “The joint teams of state police and CRPF are checking all incoming and outgoing vehicles, while the cops in civvies have been deployed to keep a close look on the movement of suspected persons,” the sources added.

Similarly, the police has also tightened security at all district headquarters, particularly around the venues of R-Day celebrations.

All district SSPs and SPs have been directed to closely monitor the deployment of security personnel.

“We have got some inputs from Border Security Force (BSF) vis-à-vis movement of some suspected persons. All police posts in the border areas have been put on high alert and the cops have been directed to remain on duty round the clock. We have also activated about 450 members of Village Defence Committees (VDCs) in view of the Republic Day celebrations,” SSP, Samba, Israr Khan said.

He disclosed that four Quick Reaction Teams (QRTs) had also been alerted and these teams would conduct surprise raids, as and when needed.

“Around 400 cops will be deputed in Rajouri town alone, while the SPs have been directed to personally look into the deployment pattern at tehsil levels,” SSP, Rajouri, Vijay Singh Sambyal said.

He disclosed that Rajouri district had been divided into five zones from security point of view and the police was ready to face any challenge.

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DGP reviews arrangements
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
DGP Kuldeep Khoda today reviewed the security arrangements for the Republic Day celebrations across the state.

Khoda, who chaired a high-level meeting of senior police, paramilitary, civil and intelligence officers at the Police Control Room here, took stock of the arrangements made in connection with the R-Day celebrations at Srinagar, Jammu and other parts of the state.

He was apprised of the deployment of manpower, traffic and other arrangements made to ensure smooth conduct of the celebrations across the state.

ADGP (Armed/law and order) K. Rajendra Kumar gave a detailed briefing about the deployment of manpower across the state.

The DGP stressed for close coordination among all security agencies to ensure peaceful celebrations of the functions. He said while making the arrangements it should be ensured that least inconvenience was caused to the common people.

He asked the officers present in the meeting to adopt public-friendly approach while implementing the arrangements and ensure that people do not face any difficulty during their participation in these celebrations.

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Depleting stock in Doda
NC leader demands free ration for 3 months
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
The National Conference MLC, Khalid Najib Suharwardy, today expressed concern over depleting stocks of essential commodities in the snow-bound Doda district.

Addressing mediapersons in Doda today, he said the dwindling stock of LPG, kerosene and items of daily use such as fresh vegetables and medicine was creating panic among the populace, particularly in the far-flung rural areas.

The ongoing spell of inclement weather conditions in the hilly Doda district has created many problems for the inhabitants. The roads were blocked due to mudslides and heavy snowfall while link roads constructed under the PMGSY were in a shambles, he said.

With blocked roads it is very difficult to keep the supply line to the interior area alive, he added.

He also expressed concern over the casual attitude of the traffic police officials for not allowing Doda-bound passenger vehicles and load carriers to ply despite the fact that the Batote-Doda-Khistwar highway was open.

Suharwardy also took to task the GREF for creating a “death trap” in the name of by-pass road above the submerged Pul-Doda area.

The unmanageable gradients of the serpentine road stretch pose a threat to the vehicle operators, especially on rainy days.

He appealed to the Transport Minister Qamar Ali Akhoon to finalise the construction of by-pass Pul Doda as per the previous alignment, the foundation stone of which was laid by him in September last year.

Though the MLC appreciated prompt and proactive role of Doda district administration he felt much more needs to be done to mitigate the sufferings of the people in remote areas of the district.

He requested Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to sanction free ration for three months for the residents of Doda district as the prolonged spell of winter with rains and snow have restricted their mobility.

“The link road should also be made motorable soon so that supplies are dispatched to the far-flung rural areas without further delay,” he said.

The MLC also demanded upgradation of Khellani power station to 50 MWA and urged the PDD authorities to complete the construction of 132 KV transmission line on priority.

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Conversion Row
BJP questions govt’s silence
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
Questioning the silence of the National Conference-Congress coalition government on the raging controversy over Islamic Sharia Court in Kashmir issuing communal decrees and “fatwas”, the chief spokesperson for the BJP, Jitendra Singh, has accused the state government of a total sell-out to religious fundamentalists in the Valley in a blatant bid to keep the extremist and separatist elements in good humour so as to ensure its own survival.

Singh said the BJP was opposed to forced religious conversions in any form anywhere, but asked if the Kashmir-centric ruling polity would have maintained a similar silence had a certain Hindu group protested against Christian missionaries over the alleged forcible conversions of the Hindus in the Jammu region.

He expressed surprise that while the NC and Congress leaders were never tired of accusing the BJP of being divisive, it was actually the coalition government that was playing divisive politics based on religion.

Singh said it was the duty of the state government to check fanaticism that violated the spirit of secularism. “It is a dangerous trend that the NC-Congress coalition government had surrendered its authority in this matter and thus yielded space to Islamic ‘Sharia’ court, which has no constitutional or legal locus standi to pass self-styled judgements in a democratic setup,” he added. He warned against the vicious campaign of communal politics that had earlier led to the forced exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from the Valley. He questioned the criminal silence of the Congress, which was a coalition partner in the state government.

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Sikhs protest Jay Leno’s remarks
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
Agitated over popular American TV host Jay Leno’s controversial remarks on Golden Temple, Sikhs of the area today staged a protest under the banner of the Nirbhao Nirvair Organisation (J&K) here today.

The protesters raised slogans against Leno and burnt his effigy at Karan Bagh Chowk on the airport road.

Urging the Government of India to take up the matter with the US government, they demanded an unconditional apology from the TV host for his “derogatory” remarks, which, according to them, had hurt their religious sentiments.

The general secretary of the organisation, Ramneek Singh Sasan, said: “Jay Leno has deeply hurt the sentiments of the Sikh community by passing offensive remarks on our holiest shrine in his programme broadcast on NBC channel. He must immediately apologise to the Sikhs living across the world.”

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Minority Act
Groups remain deeply divided
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
Even as the National Commission for Minorities has written to the state government to amend the NCM Act to make it applicable to the state, various groups here remain divided on the issue.

While Sikh groups in the state say writing of letters to the state government is not enough, Kashmiri Pandit organisations dismiss the demand for the minority status altogether.

The National Commission for Minorities has written to the state government to amend the NCM Act to make it applicable to the state as well. The commission has been taking up the issue with the state administration for a long time but the law is yet to be made applicable here.

Jagmohan Singh Raina, chairman, All-Sikh coordination committee, reacting of the letter, said: “These letters do not mean anything. We have been demanding the status for the past four years and the NCM has also sent several letters but the government is hardly bothered about it.”

“J&K is the only state where the Act is not applicable and the government is not even serious on the issue. We have met the Prime Minister twice but nothing has been done,” he added.

Whereas, Kashmiri Pandit organisations dismiss any demand for a minority status in the state, saying it will only take the focus off the main issues.

Dr Agnishekhar, convener, Panun Kashmir, says: “Our main issue is homeland not minority status. The government will never make this law applicable in the state and even if it does, it will only divert the attention from the main issue.”

The state government had earlier contended that there was a complexity in declaring any group as minority arose from the existence of a peculiar, region-wise and community-wise composition in the state, where no community was in minority in all three regions of Jammu, Kashmir and Leh.

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Higher Education
Cabinet nod to 220 new posts

Jammu, January 24
The Cabinet, which met here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, approved the creation of 220 posts (both teaching and non-teaching) for 11 model colleges under the Establishment of Model Colleges in Educationally Backward Districts Scheme.

The Cabinet also approved two and half day pay and DA for various categories of employees of the hospitality and protocol department who perform duties on their day off and Sunday. It also approved the posting of Sheikh Mushtaq Ahmed, Commissioner, SMC, as Secretary, General Administration Department (GAD), upon MS Khan’s superannuation on January 31.

Baseer Ahmed Khan, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, will hold the additional charge of the post of the Commissioner, SMC, till further orders. Bashir Ahmed Ruinyal, Commissioner/Secretary, Technical Education, will hold the additional charge of the post of Commissioner/Secretary, Revenue Department, upon Kachoo Isfandiyar Khan’s superannuation on January 31. — TNS

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3 held for PDP worker’s killing
Our Correspondent

Srinagar, January 24
The police has arrested three persons for their alleged involvement in the Peoples’ Democratic Party worker’s killing, even as Chadoora in Budgam district of central Kashmir remained tense following violence over the incident.

Addressing mediapersons today, the SSP, Budgam, Uttam Chand, said three persons — Shabir Ahmad Lone, Hilal Ahmad Yatoo and his father, Ghulam Qadir Yatoo — were arrested for their alleged involvement in the PDP worker Nazir Ahmad Dar’s killing. The SSP said: “The accused have confessed to the crime. They had killed the victim as they wanted to take away the gold items from the locker of the deceased’s shop.”

After the news of the arrest spread, tension gripped Chadoora, as accused’s two houses were set ablaze by an irate mob. The police dispersed the mob that had gathered around the accused’s houses.

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No letup in cold wave
Our Correspondent

Srinagar, January 24
The Kashmir valley continued to reel under severe cold, witnessing sub-zero temperatures last night.

According to an official of the meteorological department, Srinagar recorded a minimum temperature of -4.3 °C, while the skiing resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir recorded -13.9 °C.

Qazigund, the gateway town to Kashmir, recorded a minimum temperature of -11.8 °C. The tourist resort of Pahalgam in south Kashmir remained the coldest place of the Valley at -14.4 °C. However, most places in the Valley recorded day temperatures above the freezing point.

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BSF men face harrowing time at railway station
Tribune News Service
BSF jawans unload their luggage from a compartment at the Jammu railway station on Tuesday
BSF jawans unload their luggage from a compartment at the Jammu railway station on Tuesday. Photo: Inderjeet Singh

Jammu, January 24
About 30 BSF jawans had a harrowing time at Jammu Railway Station after they were ‘forced’ to load and unload their luggage and heavy boxes from a bogey thrice in the past three days.

It all started on Sunday evening when the BSF jawans, posted with 31 Battalion in Miran Sahib on the outskirts of Jammu city, reached Jammu Railway Station along with their luggage and heavy boxes.

They loaded all their belongings in a bogey provided by the Railway authorities because the entire Battalion had to shift its base from Jammu to Malda in West Bengal.

“On Sunday evening, when we loaded luggage and heavy boxes, the Railway men asked us to unload the goods on the ground that they were not loaded in a proper manner and could cause some mishap,” said a BSF jawan.

We started unloading all heavy boxes immediately and loaded again on Monday morning. In the evening, the Railway officials informed us that the bogey had developed some technical snag and it was out of order, asking us to unload the luggage third time, he said.

Other BSF jawans, too, expressed their anguish over the “mismanagement” on the part of the Railway authorities and even had verbal spat with some Railway men.

“We are being harassed on one pretext or the other. It took around two hours for 20 BSF jawans to load and then unload the entire bogey. They must have informed us earlier that the bogey was out of order,” they said.

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Suicide bid by student
Shifted to Delhi as condition worsens
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
A student of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), who shot himself at his residence in Roop Nagar locality yesterday, was airlifted to New Delhi after his condition deteriorated at the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) here today.

The victim, Abhishek Jamwal (22), is the first-year student of BBA, while his father Vidhi Singh Jamwal is the owner of the Jamwal Group of Educational Institutions.

Sources close to the family said Abhishek shot himself with his father’s licenced revolver around 4 pm yesterday and was taken to the GMCH.

“Abhishek’s friends were present at his residence when he shot himself over a trivial issue with family members. He went to his father’s room, put the revolver to his temple and shot himself in the head. The bullet pierced his brain,” sources said.

They added that his condition remained critical and was put on a ventilator.

“His condition deteriorated this morning and was airlifted to New Delhi,” sources said.

The police has started its investigation after registering a case in this regard.

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Week-long cultural event kicks off
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
In a bid to tap talent in the rural areas of the Jammu region, the Jammu and Kashmir Academy of Art, Culture and Languages has started a week-long series of programmes in Rajouri and Poonch districts.

The secretary of the academy, Atal Dulloo, in an official release today, said the step had been taken to provide an opportunity to rural artistes to showcase their talent.

As part of the rural cultural fair, a music programme-cum-paper reading session was held at Rajouri.

Presided over by the Principal, Government Degree College, Thanamandi, Prof Bashir Ahmad Magray, the programme saw several key figures of the border town in attendance. Those who participated in the day-long cultural event included Farooq Muztar, Syed Azam Shah, Khurshid Bismil and Nissar Rahi.

Local music exponents, including Ishfaq Mir, Syed Imtiyaz and Muzamil Shah, mesmerised the audience with poignant tunes of the “pahari” folk music.

Commenting on the week-long series, chief editor, “pahari” section of the academy, Dr Farooq Mirza said they would visit other areas of the border region like Darhal, Thanamandi and Poonch to explore and propagate the hidden talent of these far-off areas.

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250 Army men donate blood
Our Correspondent
Army jawans donate blood during a camp at Reasi on Tuesday
Army jawans donate blood during a camp at Reasi on Tuesday. A Tribune photograph

Katra, January 24
Officers and jawans of 54 Rashtriya Rifles battalion today donated blood to celebrate 63rd Republic Day. The camp was inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner, Reasi, Sheetal Nanda.

The Red Cross authorities and blood bank officials from the Government Medical College, Jammu, were invited to the unit for the camp.

The Commanding Officer of the Rashtriya Rifles was the first one to donate blood.

About 250 units of blood were collected at the camp.

Commanding Officer, 54 RR, in his speech to the soldiers clarified the myths associated with the blood donation.

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Arms, ammunition recovered in Rajouri
Tribune News Service

Jammu, January 24
Security forces today recovered arms and ammunition from a forest area near Guleer Buthan, 3 km north of Budhal tehsil in Rajouri district.

Sources said a team of 60 Rashtriya Rifles and the Budhal police launched a search operation in the forest area near Guleer Buthan this morning and recovered an AK-56 rifle, three magazines, 95 rounds of AK ammunition, four Pakistan-made grenades, three radio sets, one portable radio set, three safety fuse, three detonator chords and two maps.

Similarly, the Special Operations Group of Rajouri and Thanamandi police conducted a search operation in the DKG forest area and recovered two Chinese pistols, two magazines, 14 rounds of PIKA ammunition, 245 rounds of AK-47, two AK-47 magazines, two hand grenades and three shells.

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Railway employees’ stir continues

Jammu, January 24
The employees of Northern Railways continued their hunger strike for the second consecutive day today in support of their long-pending demands. The protesters, under the banner of the Northern Railways Men’s Union Ferozepur Division, staged a sit-in at platform number 1 and raised slogans.

They are demanding renovation of residential quarters, recognition to family members of railway employees for treatment in private hospitals, and filling up of vacant posts. — TNS

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Man dies of cold

Jammu, January 24
The police today recovered the body of an unidentified middle-aged person from bus stand here. According to preliminary reports, he had died due to intense cold wave. His body was shifted to the GMCH Jammu for autopsy.

BSF jawan hurt

A BSF jawan was today injured in a road mishap in the Rajpura area. He was identified as Bacchitar Singh, a resident of RS Pura. He was shifted to the GMCH, where his condition was stated to be stable. — TNS

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