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Jammu & Kashmir

Hundreds attend slain journalist Shujaat Bukhari's funeral

Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bukhari in his ancestral hometown of Kheeri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral of senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bukhari in his ancestral hometown of Kheeri in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, state Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar, senior Congress leader Saifuddin Soz, local journalists and other members from all sections of society attended the funeral.
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti was also present in Kheeri.
 
Three motorcycle-borne militants killed Bukhari and two of his security guards as he was getting into his car in Srinagar's Press Enclave area at around 7.15 p.m. on Wednesday to reach home in time for Iftar.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Senior Kashmiri journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
 
State police chief S.P.Vaid said that it was around 7.15 p.m., the Iftar time, that Bukhari came out of his office in Press Enclave and was getting  into his car when he was attacked by militants.
 
"Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards. Bukhari and one guard were killed and another security guard critically injured," he said.
 
The killing drew wide condemnation from politicians across India and media organisations.
 
Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti said: "Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family." 
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, in a tweet, recited the Muslim prayer on hearing about a Muslim's death, and said: "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time."
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh termed it an "act of cowardice".
 
"The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," he said on his Twitter handle.
 
The Congress said it was anguished, with party President Rahul Gandhi terming Bukhari "a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace".
 
"He was a brave heart who fought fearlessly for justice and peace in Jammu and Kashmir. My condolences to his family. He will be missed," Gandhi said in a tweet.
 
Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said: "Anguished beyond words. Security situation in J&K has hit its nadir. Demand the Centre to take swift action to nab the killers. They can silence us but not our thoughts." 
 
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday expressed shock.
 
"Saddened and shocked at the brutal killing of respected editor and senior journalist @bukharishujaat. With a few hours to go for Eid this is terrible," Banerjee tweeted.
 
Several journalist bodies condemned the killing and demanded swift action against the forces responsible for his killing. 
 
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Condemning what it called a "dastardly attack", the Editors Guild of India said that Bukhari was "a voice of moderation and a courageous, big-hearted editor who mentored a large cadre of young journalists from Kashmir". 
 
"The guild calls upon the government of Jammu and Kashmir to take urgent steps to bring to book the culprits and ensure safety and security for the media in the state," it said in a statement. 
 
It added that an attack on a journalist challenges the very foundations of a free press and vibrant democracy and more so in a state like Jammu and Kashmir that is going through militancy, and called upon the state and Central government to enhance security for all journalists in the state. 
 
"Recent weeks have also seen threats of violence against many journalists in different parts of the country," it added. 
 
The Press Club of India also "strongly condemned" the killing in the holy month of Ramadan and said that "forces inimical to restoring peace in Kashmir Valley had silenced a voice of reason, logic and peace".
 
"Press Club of India deeply mourns the loss of Shujaat Bukhari's life and extends its condolences to the bereaved family in this hour of crisis," it said in a statement.
 
It added that the "terror attack" showed that lives of journalists were not safe.
 
"Press Club of India has time and again underlined the threat to the lives of journalists working under difficult and challenging circumstances and demanded protection for them," it said.
 
The Indian Women's Press Corps, Press Association and Federation of Press Club of India also expressed "deep shock and outrage at the brazen murder" of Bukhari. 
 
They said that Bukhari was a respected journalist known for his wide range of analytical writings on Kashmir and that he continued to write actively despite the death threats issued to him. 
 
"His murder can only be viewed as yet another attempt to muzzle the media and the freedom of the press in the valley," a joint statement said. 
 
Bukhari started his career as a young reporter with Kashmir Times and moved to The Hindu in the 1990s. Later, he established his own English daily Rising Kashmir.
 
IANS
 
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Senior journalist Shujaat Bukhari shot dead in Srinagar

Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office in Srinagar, police said.

Shujaat Bukhari
Shujaat Bukhari
Senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of English daily "Rising Kashmir" Shujaat Bhukhari was on Thursday shot dead by militants outside his office here, police said.
 
State police chief S. P. Vaid said that it was around 7.15 p.m., the Iftar time, that Bukhari came out of his office in Press Enclave and was boarding his car when he was attacked by militants.
 
"Three motorcycle-borne militants came and fired at Bukhari and his guards. Bukhari and one guard were killed and another security guard critically injured," he said.
 
Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed shock at the killing.
 
"Shocked & deeply saddened by the sudden demise of Shujaat Bukhari. The scourge of terror has reared its ugly head on the eve of Eid. I strongly condemn this act of mindless violence & pray for his soul to rest in peace. My deepest condolences to his family," she said in a tweet.
 
Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah also expressed shock at the gruesome murder of this senior Kashmiri journalist. Reciting the Muslim prayer on hearing about a Muslim's death, he said: "Shocked beyond words. May Shujaat find place in Jannat & May his loved ones find strength at this difficult time."
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also expressed shock at the incident.
 
"The killing of @RisingKashmir editor, Shujaat Bukhari is an act of cowardice. It is an attempt to silence the saner voices of Kashmir. He was a courageous and fearless journalist. Extremely shocked & pained at his death. My thoughts and prayers are with his bereaved family," he said on his Twitter handle.
 
The murder also sent shock waves in the media fraternity.
 
IANS
 
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16 trapped in landslide in J&K as authorities issue flood alert in state

At least 16 persons were believed trapped after a landslide buried several houses in the Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir on Monday even as the authorities issued a flood alert after incessant rains in the state since Saturday.

 
Water level in Jhelum rises in Kashmir, rescue efforts underway
At least 16 persons were believed trapped after a landslide buried several houses in the Chadoora area of Budgam district of Jammu & Kashmir today even as the authorities issued a flood alert after incessant rains in the state since Saturday.
 
The police and the army, along with the people of the area, have launched a major effort to rescue those feared trapped under the tons of mud in Laiden village of Chadoora area, official sources said.
 
The continuous rains of the past few days have raised fears of a repeat of the devastating floods that hit the state in September last year -- the worst in six decades.
 
But officials said the rain gods had relented a bit today and they were hopeful of an improvement in the situation.
 
However, the Jhelum was flowing close to the danger level in many areas and the authorities have alerted those living on its banks to be vigilant and be prepared to move to safer areas if necessary.
 
Schools have been closed for the next two days as a precautionary measure, they said.
 
In New Delhi, the Ministry of Home Affairs said it was in touch with the state government and closely monitoring the situation of increasing water levels in the Jhelum. No breach of embankment has been reported, it said.
 
'However, as a precautionary measure, to assist the state government authorities, two teams of NDRF have been deputed and another four teams kept stand-by. 
 
"The state government has been asked to indicate the assistance required by them," an official press release added.
 
Officials said they had learnt from last year's disaster and are taking several precautionary steps to prevent a repeat of that kind of tragedy. Boats, sandbags and other facilities are being made available in all the vulnerable areas.
 
In particular, a close watch is being kept on the embankments of the river, which had suffered breaches at many places last year and which were not plugged fully yet.
 
"There is no reason for panic, but we have asked the people to be alert," the officials said.
 
Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed went around some parts of Srinagar to take stock of the situation.
 
Meanwhile, with the meteorological department forecasting more rains over the next few days, the civil administration has reached out to the Arm for rescue and relief efforts in Srinagar and Pulwama districts.
 
The Army is keeping a close watch on the situation and 20 columns with rescue boats and other equipment have been kept on alert.
 
An official spokesperson said the Army was assisting the civil administration in flood control measures in Baramulla since yesterday and a relief operation is under progress in South Kashmir to rescue people trapped in collapsed houses. 
 
Army engineers are also undertaking strengthening of identified weak spots on the bunds of Jhelum river near Sonwar in Srinagar. 
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the situation in the state with Mr Sayeed and assured him of full Central assistance to tackle any eventuality.
 
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A meeting of the National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) was held here today under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary, Ajit Seth to take stock of the situation and to review the arrangements made or required to be made to deal with it.
 
The meeting was attended by the Secretaries and other senior officers of the relevant departments of the Government of India. The Chief Secretary of Jammu & Kashmir and other officers of the State Government participated through video conferencing. 
 
The Chief Secretary gave an account of the ground situation indicating that the Jhelum is flowing above the danger mark at certain places and as a result, flood alert has been issued by the State Government.
 
He said the State Government was geared up to deal with the situation and all steps had been taken to safeguard life and property from the flood waters. They have adequate sand bags and river bank reinforcement material. As a precautionary measure adequate quantities of rice, potable water and medical supplies are being stocked at various locations. There is no shortage of various types of fuel as there is a minimum stock level of all varieties of fuel for 10 days. 
 
The National Highway 1-A between Jammu and Srinagar, which is blocked due to landslides, is likely to be cleared for vehicular traffic later today.
 
Mr Seth reviewed the preparatory arrangements made to handle the flood situation and issued necessary directions to all departments of the Government of India to provide all possible assistance to tide over the crisis. 
 
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Centre not consulted, informed: Modi tells Lok Sabha on Masarat Alam's release

Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Lok Sabha on Monday that the Centre was not consulted or informed by the Jammu & Kashmir government on its decision to release separatist Masarat Alam and made it clear that he shared the anger of the house on the issue.

 
Modi says Centre not consulted on Masarat Alam release
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today told the Lok Sabha that the Centre was not consulted or informed by the Jammu & Kashmir government on its decision to release separatist Masarat Alam and made it clear that he shared the anger of the house on the issue.
 
"There is outrage in the house and outside and I would like to add my voice to that," he said after the Congress and other Opposition parties raised the issue, demanding a statement from the Prime Minister clarifying the Government's position on Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mufti Mohammed Sayeed's decision.
 
Mr Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a partner of Mr Sayeed's People's Democratic Party (PDP) in the J&K government.
 
"This country, on the issue of separatism, terrorism, does not think in partisan terms and will not do even now," he said, noting that the house had expressed its outrage in one voice today.
 
"I wish to assure the house, the people of the country that whatever steps, decisions have been taken in Jammu & Kashmir, were not taken in consultation with Government of India  and they were done without informing the Government of India," he said.
 
He urged members not to politicise the issue, though he acknowledged that they had the right to criticise the BJP as a partner in the J&K government.
 
"But let us not speak in different voices on issues related to national security, let us not give that message to the world or to Jammu and Kashmir or to the rest of the country.
 
"That is why I would like to assure the house and the entire country that this government will not accept any such steps. We do not approve of any compromise with the unity and integrity of the country," he said.
 
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"Decisions can be taken only within the limits of the Constitution, now and in the future also," he said.
 
Mr Modi said it was wrong to suggest that he was staying silent on the issue because he had spoken about such issues only a few days ago in the house.
 
"We are those people, who for these principles, had sacrificed the life of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Therefore, kindly do not give us lessons in patriotism," he told the Opposition.
 
Mr Modi said the Centre had sought some clarifications from the state government on the decision and would provide more information to the house as and when they are received.
 
"This is not the anger of any one party, but of the entire country...not of those benches or these benches, it is of the entire house," he said.
 
"And in one voice, we want to convey to separatist forces, their supporters and those who misuse the law, our outrage. This house is committed to the unity and integrity of the country and the government will take all the steps needed in this regard," he added.
 
The Congress was not fully satisfied with Mr Modi's statement, suggesting that, if he felt so strongly about it, the BJP should withdraw its support to the PDP.
 
Earlier, Mr Rajnath Singh said the Home Ministry had sought a report from the J&K government on the release of Alam and some clarifications.
 
He said that, after receiving the clarifications, the Centre would take appropriate steps in the matter.
 
Alam, 44, had been arrested by the previous Omar Abdullah-led government in J&K in 2010 for his alleged role in fanning trouble during street protests, in which more than a hundred people had died. He was released on Saturday from the Baramullah jail, within days after Mr Sayeed assumed office.
 
The PDP has justified the release, saying it was part of its efforts for reconciliation and that the government could not engage with separatists and bring them into the mainstream when they were in prison.
 
Mr Sayeed had caused the BJP some embarrassment within hours of being sworn in on March 1 when, addressing mediapersons, he thanked "people from across the border", which was taken as a reference to Pakistan and militants -- for allowing the smooth conduct of the recent Assembly elections in the state.
 
The Congress and other parties had raised a similar ruckus on the issue in the Rajya Sabha, too.
 
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Articles 370, 35-A must go, says Bhagwat

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Amid the raging debate on the issue, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday said that Articles 370 and 35-A of the Constitution, which give special status to Jammu and Kashmir, must go.
 
"Our views on Articles 370 and 35-A are well known. These Articles must go," the Sarsanghchalak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said in response to a query on the concluding day of his outreach programme. 
 
Of late, there has been a raging controversy over Article 35A that empowers the Jammu and Kashmir legislature to define "permanent residents" of the state and provide special rights and privileges to those permanent residents. 
 
After huge opposition in Jammu and Kashmir, the new Governor had intervened in the matter when the state told the Supreme Court that a PIL on the matter be deferred for hearing later.
 
On the question of a demand for division of Jammu and Kashmir into three parts -- Jammu, Ladakh and Kashmir Valley, Bhagwat said it was for the government to decide.
 
"The idea behind the division of any state is administrative convenience and the country's integrity and security should remain intact. If on these parameters the government feels at any time that the state should be divided, then so be it. If not, the state may remain intact," he said.
 
"But it needs to be seen whether the state government there is working for the development of all the regions of the state without discrimination. The primary thing is that the state government must ensure there is no threat to the internal security of the country," he added.
 
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Bhagwat disclosed that some RSS volunteers have started running schools, etc., in the troubled state to work on the youth and prevent them from going astray. 
 
"Vande matram and Jana Gana Mana are sung in these schools. Independence Day and Republic Day are also celebrated. We are getting good support from the students and their guardians. This will grow gradually, because no such attempt had been made earlier. The effort will take time to bear fruit," Bhagwat said.
 
On the question of need for tougher laws to maintain the internal security of the country, Bhagwat said that both government and society should ensure through reaching out to every section of the society that people do not get attracted towards elements which create a threat to the internal security. 
 
He added that those openly opposing the implementation of law and order must be dealt with strictly.
 
"We cannot reach anywhere through the bullet but through talks. But the talks must go in a direction that Bharat must remain united and integrated," he said.
 
"We should ensure that those posing threat to country's security, those speaking the language of treason do not get the support from inside the country. We must isolate such people," Bhagwat said.
 
IANS
 

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Cabinet extends timeline for implementation of special package in J&K under DAY-NRLM-Umeed

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The Union Cabinet today approved the extension of the timeline for implementation of the Special Package under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) for Jammu & Kashmir for one more year during 2018-19.
 
The Cabinet also approved the allocation of funds to the State under DAY-NRLM on a need basis for the implementation of the Special Package without linking it with poverty ratio, an official press release said.
 
There is no additional financial implication as the approval is to extend the timeline to cover two-thirds of the vulnerable households in the State within in the originally approved financial outlay of Rs 755.32 crore.  An amount of Rs 143.604 crore will be required for the period of one year during 2018-19, it said.
 
The schemes would help in covering all the vulnerable rural households in the State (estimated at two thirds of the total number of households) within a definite time frame, the release said.
 
"It will ensure mobilization of households under the auto-inclusion category and households with at least one deprivation category listed in the Socio-Economic Caste Census – 2011.
 
It will also ensure coverage of all the blocks in Jammu & Kashmir under DAY-NRLM and ensures social inclusion, social development, promotion of livelihoods leading to poverty alleviation in the State.
 
"Due to unavoidable reasons and disturbed conditions in the State, the Special Package as approved in May 2013 could not be fully implemented. Now, the State Government has requested the Union Government to consider an extension of the earlier approved implementation schedule of the Special Package and continued funding of DAY-NRLM in Jammu and Kashmir on a demand-driven basis without linking allocation with poverty ratio during this extended period," the release added. 
 
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Indian, Pakistani troops trade fire on LoC

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Indian and Pakistani troops traded heavy fire on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district on Tuesday.
 
Defence sources said that the Pakistan Army resorted to unprovoked firing at Indian positions in Gulpur area at around 1 a.m.
 
"Firing exchanges continued till 3.30 a.m. No casualty or damage was reported on our side," the sources added.
 
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Rajnath inaugurates smart fencing project along international border in J&K

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated two pilot projects of smart fencing along the India-Pakistan international border in Jammu and Kashmir today.
 
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said the government has taken a number of initiatives to make the borders of the country more secure. The Centre has made maximum use of technology to ensure that the security system at the borders remained strong and effective, he said.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said smart fencing at the borders was a technological solution devised to address the security issues in the border states and the two projects in five kilometres stretches each has been installed along the India-Pakistan international border in Jammu on a pilot basis.
 
With this smart fencing, the number of casualties of jawans on borders would get minimised and the stress level among the personnel would also reduce to a large extent.
 
The Union Home Minister said with the digital smart fencing, the borders would become absolutely safe since it would be virtually impossible for the terrorists to breach it and infiltrate across the borders.
 
Later, addressing the media, Mr Rajnath Singh said making border security foolproof is a priority of the Government. A total of 2,026 km border was vulnerable and the digital fencing technology would be utilised along such long stretches, he added. 
 
"With the help of smart border fencing, our borders would become secure and the dependence on ground patrolling by troops will be considerably reduced," he said.
 
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The smart border fencing projects built under the Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System (CIBMS) programme is the first of its kind in the country. The two projects,  each covering a 5.5 km border stretch along the International Border,  have got hi-tech surveillance system that would create an invisible electronic barrier on land, water and even in the air and under the ground to help the BSF detect and foil infiltration bids in the most difficult terrain.
 
The CIBMS is designed to guard stretches where physical surveillance is not possible either due to inhospitable terrain or riverine borders.
 
The system uses a number of different devices for surveillance, communication and data storage.  Sensors including Thermal Imager, UGS, Fibre Optical Sensors, Radar and Sonar have been mounted on different platforms like Aerostat, tower, poles etc.
 
A comprehensive integration of such sensors and other technical systems of communication and data processing have been achieved in the CIBMS project. The signals reach the Unified Command and Control Centre where the BSF can monitor the border on a real-time basis. The CIBMS enables round-the-clock surveillance on the border and under different weather conditions be it in a dust storm, fog or rain.
 
During his visit to Jammu, the Home Minister also participated in Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and administered Swachhta pledge to BSF officers, jawans and officers.
 
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Separatist shutdown affects life in Kashmir Valley

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A protest shutdown called by the separatists affected life adversely across the Kashmir Valley on Monday.
 
Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) separatist conglomerate headed by Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umer Farooq and Muhammad Yasin Malik called for the shutdown against the killings of five militants and a civilian in Chowgam village of Kulgam district on Saturday.
 
Shops, public transport, other businesses and educational institutions remained closed in Srinagar and the district headquarters of the Valley.
 
Attendance in post offices and banks was also affected because of the non-availability of public transport in Srinagar and other places.
 
All university exams scheduled for Monday have been postponed and rail services between the Valley and Bannihal town of Jammu region have been suspended.
 
Heavy deployment of police and Centre Reserve Police Force (CRPF) has been made in Srinagar city and other sensitive places in the Valley.
 
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J&K civic polls to be held in 4 phases: Chief Electoral Officer

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The elections to urban local bodies will be held in Jammu and Kashmir in four phases beginning on October 8, said a senior State Election Commission officer.
 
Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) of the state Shaleen Kabra told a media conference in Srinagar on Saturday that the municipal polls will be conducted in four phases in the state on October 8, 10, 13 and 16.
 
"These polls will start on October 8. Notification for phase 1 will be issued on September 18. The notifications for phase 2, 3 and 4 will be issued on September 20, 22 and 24, respectively.
 
"17 lakh voters are registered for the polls," Kabra said.
 
With this announcement, all speculations about the deferment of these polls have been laid to rest.
 
Two major regional mainstream parties, the National Conference and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have announced that they will stay away from these polls.
 
On the other hand, the Congress Party has said the situation is not conducive for holding these polls around this time.
 
Separatists have asked people to boycott both municipal and Panchayat polls in the state.
 
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Massive blaze breaks out in Srinagar hotel

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A massive fire broke out at a hotel here on Saturday with fire tenders trying to contain it from spreading.
 
The blaze started at the top floor of the multi-storeyed Pamposh Hotel on Residency Road.
 
The building houses offices of some news channels and business establishments.
 
There were no immediate reports of casualties and the cause of the fire remains unknown.
 
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Five militants killed in gunfight with security forces in J&K

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Five militants were killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, police said.
 
Upon receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants, the security forces on Friday night cordoned off Chowgam village of Qazigund area and launched a search operation.
 
According to the police, there were no casualties on the security forces side.
 
Meanwhile, clashes broke out between civilian protesters and the security forces at the gunfight site, the police said.
 
Two protesters sustained firearm injuries.
 
Train services between Srinagar and the Bannihal town that passes through Qazigund area have been suspended.
 
Mobile internet services have also been suspended in Kulgam.
 
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Three militants killed in gunfight with security forces in J&K

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Three militants were killed in a gunfight with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district on Saturday, police said.
 
Upon receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants, the security forces on Friday night cordoned off Chowgam village of Qazigund area and launched a search operation.
 
"Immediately after the militants were trapped inside a house, they started firing at the security forces triggering the gunfight," police sources said.
 
"Firing exchanges have now ended, but searches are going on. The bodies of the three slain militants are yet to be recovered."
 
Reports from the area said the house in which the militants were hiding was razed to ground during the gunfight.
 
Meanwhile, train services between Srinagar and the Bannihal town that passes through Qazigund area have been suspended.
 
Mobile internet services have also been suspended in Kulgam.
 
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Eight killed in J&K road accident

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Eight people were killed and several others went missing in a road accident in Jammu and Kashmir's Kishtwar district on Friday.
 
Police said a mini-bus went out of the driver's control and rolled down into the Chenab River at Thakrie in the district.
 
"So far, eight bodies have been recovered. Rescue operation is on to trace the missing passengers.
 
"Reports indicate there were 25 passengers in the vehicle when it met with the accident", police said.
 
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Seven militants killed in three gunbattles in Kashmir

 
Search operations to nab terrorists near Jammu
 
 
Seven militants were killed and eight security personnel injured on Thursday in three separate gun battles in Jammu and Kashmir, with three dying close to the Line of Control (LoC), authorities said.
 
While three militants were killed in Kupwara district, two each were shot dead in Reasi and Sopore, military officials said.
 
Soldiers from the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles noticed suspicious movements along the LoC in Dat Gali area of Kupwara's Keran sector and challenged a small group trying to sneak into India, triggering a gun battle.
 
"Three terrorists were killed. Their bodies are lying close to the border fence and have not been recovered yet," a Defence Ministry source said. The area was still being searched.
 
Two militants were killed in Arampore area in Sopore town.
 
Police said the security forces, including Rashtriya Rifles, the Special Operations Group and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), cordoned off the area in the morning after being tipped off about the gunmen.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants opened fire," a police officer said.
 
Two others were killed in Reasi district after an Army operation that began early in the day, General Officer Commanding (GOC) Major General Arvind Bhatia said.
 
He said the militants had recently infiltrated into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan.
 
Eight security personnel, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police, were injured in the fighting in Kakriyal village near the Mata Vaishno Devi University.
 
The dead were among the three militants who had opened fire on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Udhampur district from a truck before escaping on Wednesday.
 
The Army, police and CRPF tracked down the militants using drones, helicopters and other surveillance gadgets in the forests of Jhajar and adjoining areas.
 
Those injured in Wednesday's militant attack had included a CRPF trooper.
 
Once the militants were discovered, the villagers were evacuated before the final assault on the militants was mounted.
 
A villager earlier told the security forces that on Wednesday night the three armed militants entered his home, changed their clothes, took away biscuits and water and left.
 
Traffic on the national highway between Nagrota and Jhajar Kotli was suspended on Thursday. Schools in the area were also closed.
 
The police on Wednesday detained the driver and helper of the truck. An AK-47 rifle and three magazines were recovered.
 
IANS

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J&K highway attack: Militant killed, officer among 3 injured

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One of the three militants who had fired at two persons on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Udhampur district before escaping was killed on Thursday, police said.
 
Three security men were also injured as a gunfight erupted in the Kakriyal area with the holed up militants who were tracked down to a house in Reasi district on Thursday, a police officer said.
 
Apart from one terrorist killed so far, a deputy superintendent of police and two Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers have been injured in the operation, the officer said.
 
The army, police and the CRPF tracked down the militants using drones, helicopters and other surveillance gadgets over the bushy forests of Jhajar and adjoining areas where they had vanished on Wednesday.
 
The three militants on board a truck had attacked a checkpost in Jhajar Kotli area of Udhampur injuring a CRPF trooper and a forest guard on Wednesday. They had then abandoned the vehicle and vanished into the bushes. A search operation was on ever since.
 
"They were finally tracked down to a house in Kakriyal area near Mata Vaishno Devi University on Thursday," the officer said. 
 
The villagers were promptly evacuated from the area as the final assault on the militants was mounted.
 
A villager earlier told the security forces that around 10 p.m. on Wednesday the three armed militants carrying haversacks entered his home, changed their clothes, took biscuits and water and left.
 
Traffic on the national highway between Nagrota-Jhajar Kotli was suspended on Thursday. Schools in the area were also closed for the day.
 
The police on Wednesday detained the driver and helper of the truck. One AK-47 rifle and three magazines were also recovered.
 
A police statement later said the three militants were carrying two AK-47 rifles, a pistol and haversacks.
 
IANS
 

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Two militants killed in gunfight with security forces in J&K

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Two militants were killed in a gunfight with the security forces on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town, defence sources said.
 
"Two terrorists were killed in the encounter in Arampora area. Their bodies are being recovered and a search operation is on," the sources said.
 
According to the police, the security forces including personnel from Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the state police's Special Operations Group (SOG) and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), cordoned off the area earlier in the morning upon receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the security forces triggering the gunfight," the police said.
 
As a precautionary measure, authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in Sopore.
 
Educational institutions have also been closed for the day in Sopore.
 
IANS
 

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Gunfight erupts between security forces, militants in Sopore town of J&K

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A gunfight erupted between the security forces and militants on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Sopore town, police said.
 
Upon receiving a tip-off about the presence of militants, the security forces including personnel from Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the state police's Special Operations Group (SOG and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), cordoned off the town's Arampora area.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the security forces triggering the ongoing gunfight," the police said.
 
As a precautionary measure, authorities have suspended mobile internet services in Sopore.
 
Educational institutions were also asked to remain shut for the day.
 
IANS
 

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Two injured in J&K highway firing

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A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper and a forest guard were injured on Wednesday in firing by militants on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Udhampur district, police said.
 
Three militants travelling in a truck from Jammu to Srinagar opened fire at a checkpost near the Jhajar Kotli police station.
 
The police have seized the truck and detained the driver and helper for questioning. They have also recovered an AK-47 rifle and three magazines. 
 
Earlier reports quoted the police as saying that, during a routine checking at a 'nakaa' (checkpost) near the Jhajar Kotli police station, one gunman fired at the paramilitary trooper and fled into a lane nearby.
 
"The three militants abandoned the vehicle after the firing and fled towards the bushes nearby.
 
"A cordon and search operation has been launched to trace them," a police officer said. An alert has been sounded on the national highway after the incident.
 
The injured persons have been shifted to hospital.
 
IANS

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CRPF trooper injured in J&K firing

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A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper was injured on Wednesday in a firing by a lone gunman on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Udhampur district, police said.
 
"During a routine checking at a 'naka' (checkpost) near the Jhajar Kotli police station, one gunman fired at the paramilitary trooper and fled into a lane nearby. The area has been cordoned off," the police said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Minor earthquake shakes Jammu and Kashmir

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, shook Jammu and Kashmir early this morning, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 35.6°N and longitude 76.3°E, occurred at 0515 hours at a focal depth of 174 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
NNN
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Two militants killed in J&K gunfight

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Two militants were killed on Tuesday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, police said.
 
Upon receiving a tip-off about the holed-up militants, the security forces cordoned off the Galoora village.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired at the security forces triggering the ongoing gunfight," police sources said.
 
The slain militants were identified as Furqan, resident of Langate and Liyaqat from Sopore.
 
"Arms and ammunition were also recovered from the victims," the police added.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Guest on TV show collapses during live telecast

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In a shocking incident, a well-known educationist collapsed and died here on Monday during the live telecast of a popular regional Doordarshan TV show.
 
Rita Jatinder, 86, who was also a writer, was answering questions about her life and achievements on the channel's 'Good Morning J&K' show when she dramatically slumped on her chair, stunning the anchors and viewers.
 
Show host Zahid Mukhtar told IANS that Jatinder was at that point of time imitating the now ailing Bollywood star Dilip Kumar. 
 
"When she collapsed, we thought she was acting... It took us a few moments to realise something was seriously wrong. 
 
"We tried to revive her. Producers, our assistants, everyone tried to revive her. But she did not respond. She was rushed to a hospital where she was declared brought dead," Mukhtar said.
 
Jatinder was a former Secretary of the Academy of Art, Culture and Languages in the Jammu and Kashmir government.
 
The Jammu-based educationist was supposed to attend three shows in all in Srinagar, including one for Radio Kashmir. 
 
'Good Morning J&K' is a widely watched TV show that has run for over 15 years, attracting some of the best talent as its guests.
 
IANS
 

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Guest on popular TV show in J&K dies during live telecast

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A guest on a popular regional Doordarshan TV show died during live telecast on Monday.
 
Rita Jatinder, a known educationist and writer, was answering questions about her life and achievements on the channel's 'Good Morning J&K' show when she suddenly collapsed, shocking the two anchors and scores of viewers.
 
The 86-year-old woman was later declared dead. The producers of the widely watched TV show were unable to handle the unforeseen situation initially.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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