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Jammu & Kashmir

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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HCC awarded Rs. 368.6 crore contract by IRCON in J&K

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Infrastructure major Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) today said it had been awarded a Rs 368.6 crore contract by IRCON International Ltd for construction of a cable stayed bridge, including its approaches, across river Anji Khad in Jammu & Kashmir. 
 
The project is to be completed in 36 months, a press release from the company said here.
 
The bridge will connect tunnels T2 and T3 on Katra–Banihal Section of Udhampur–Srinagar–Baramulla Rail Link Project. The total length of the bridge is 473.25 m, including its approaches across the river. 
 
With a 290 metre long main span, this will be the longest cable stayed bridge for Indian Railways, the release said.
 
The release said this is the fifth order HCC has received from IRCON International Ltd. 
 
The first order was to construct the 11 km long Pir Panjal Railway Tunnel, the longest transportation tunnel in India, which has been commissioned. The second and third order are for construction of 10.2 km long T48 tunnel between Sumber and Sangaldan stations and 5.1 km long tunnel T49A, which are currently under construction. The fourth order being executed is the construction of two main tunnels (T13 & part of T14) with parallel safety tunnels, a 200 m bridge adjoining these two tunnels and a station yard at Basindadhar.
 
Mr. Arun Karambelkar, President & CEO, HCC Ltd, said, “It is a matter of great pride that HCC is associated with IRCON in the successful completion of many of its projects. HCC has to its credit over 365 bridges and 320 kms of complex tunnelling in some of the most challenging geologies in the world, and has been actively participating in creating responsible infrastructure in the country."
 
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Minor earthquake shakes Jammu & Kashmir region

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale, shook Jammu & Kashmir early this morning, a bulletin from the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 33.3°N and longitude 75.5°E, occured at 0420 hours at a focal depth of 10 km, the bulletin added.
 
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Former J&K, Assam Governor Lt. Gen. S. K. Sinha passes away

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Lt. Gen. S. K. Sinha (retired), who had served as Governor of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir, passed away here today. He was 90.
 
Lt. Gen. Sinha had also served as India's Ambassador to Nepal in the early 1990s.
 
Born in 1926, Lt Gen Sinha graduated with Honours from Patna University in 1942 at the age of 17. He joined the Army soon thereafter passing out as the Best Cadet from the Officers Training School, Belgaum. He saw combat during the Second World War in Burma and Indonesia and after Independence in Kashmir.
 
The General commanded battalion of 5 Gorkha Rifles in Ladakh, a brigade in Manipur, a Mountain Division in Assam, Infantry Division in Jammu,  a Corps and a field Army in the Western Theatre. He also had the distinction of serving as Adjutant General and Vice-Chief of Army Staff.
 
During his varied career, Lt Gen Sinha, in 1949 was appointed Secretary of the Indian delegation for delineation of the Cease Fire Line in Kashmir. In 1972 he led the Indian delegation to Italy for a conference on application of human rights to warfare. In recognition of his service he was awarded Param Vishist Sewa Medal in 1973.
 
Appreciative of his work as India's envoy, the then Prime Minister of Nepal had said, "General Sinha was as much India's Ambassador to Nepal as Nepal's Ambassador to India". 
 
A prolific writer, he authored five books including one on Jammu and Kashmir Operation of 1947-48 and his autobiography, "A Soldier Recalls".
 
Gen Dalbir Singh, the Chief of the Army Staff, and serving and retired army personnel will pay homage to the ‘soldier statesman’ at Brar Square, New Delhi tomorrow, an official press release added.
 
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All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference delegation calls on Modi

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A 30-member delegation of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi here yesterday to brief him about development issues concerning the state.
 
The All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference is an apex body of Panchayat leaders of the State of Jammu and Kashmir. The organization represents 4000 village Panchayats of Jammu and Kashmir, with 4000 Sarpanches and 29000 Panches. 
 
The delegation was led by the Chairman of the All Jammu and Kashmir Panchayat Conference Shafiq Mir. 
 
The delegation informed Mr Modi that the benefits of central assistance to the State have not reached the villages due to non-empowerment of the Panchayats, in line with the rest of the country. They also submitted a memorandum. 
 
They urged the Prime Minister to consider extension of the 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Constitution of India – which pertain to local bodies – to the State of Jammu & Kashmir.
 
They also demanded that elections to Panchayats and Urban Local Bodies in the State be held at the earliest. They said that elections held in 2011 had witnessed enthusiastic turnout of voters. 
 
Extension of these Constitutional Provisions to the State would empower the Panchayats to undertake basic development activities in the rural areas, they said. 
 
The members expressed that hope that such a step would accelerate the development process in the State, and enable the people to avail of benefits from various Central Government schemes. 
 
The delegation apprised the Prime Minister of the prevailing situation in the State. They strongly condemned the burning of schools by anti-national elements, an official press release said.
 
The body, which represents people at the grass root level in Jammu and Kashmir, reiterated its faith in the democratic institutions and processes in the country, it said.
 
Mr Mir said that a vast majority of the people of the State wanted a life of peace and dignity. Vested interests have exploited youngsters and were playing with their future. He urged the Prime Minister to take personal initiative to restore peace in Jammu and Kashmir. 
 
The Prime Minister assured the delegation that the Union Government will look into their demands. He stressed that growth and development of Jammu and Kashmir was high on his agenda. 
 
Development of the villages where a majority of people live, was vital to the overall economic development of the State. ‘Vikas’ and ‘Vishwas’ will remain the cornerstones of the Union Government’s development initiatives for the State of Jammu and Kashmir, he added.
 
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Centre releases Rs. 1093.34 crore for restoration of damaged infrastructure in J&K

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The Union Ministry of Finance yesterday released Special Assistance amounting to Rs. 1093.34 crore towards the first instalment for repair and permanent restoration of damaged public buildings such as schools, colleges, hospitals, bus stations and other critical public infrastructure in Jammu & Kashmir under the Prime Minister's Reconstruction Plan announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 7, 2015.
 
An official press release said a total sum of Rs. 2,000 crore has been provided for Permanent Restoration of Damaged Infrastructure under PM Reconstruction Plan for J&K. 
 
The Government of India has also given its approval on 27.10.2016 for one-time relaxation of Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture (MIDH) cost norms for restoration of damaged horticulture areas and development of horticulture in State. A total sum of Rs. 500 crore has been provided under this head as part of PM Reconstruction Plan for J&K. 
 
Earlier, as part of the Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for the State of J&K, Special Assistance of Rs. 1194.85 crore was released in 2015-16 towards assistance for completely damaged/severely damaged/partially damaged houses and Rs. 800 crore was released on 26.4.2016 for interest subvention on account of assistance for restoration of livelihood for traders/ self-employed / business establishment, and so on.
 
The Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan for the State of J&K was announced by the Prime Minister on 07.11.2015 for Rs. 80,068 crore for post flood relief & restoration and long term rehabilitation/ development of the State including support for flood relief, reconstruction, flood management, assistance for small trade & business, development projects under roads and highways, power, new and renewable energy, health, human resource development, skill development, sports, agriculture and food processing, tourism, urban development, security and welfare of displaced people, Pashmina Promotion Project, and so on.
 
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Modi celebrates Diwali with jawans, people, near India-China border in HP

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Prime Minister narendra Modi today visited Sumdo near the India-China border, in Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, to celebrate Diwali with soldiers of the Indian Army and paramilitary forces.
 
He interacted with jawans from the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and the Indian Army, and offered sweets to them. 
 
Addressing the jawans, Mr. Modi said he had been visiting armed forces personnel every year on Diwali since 2001. 
 
He mentioned the tremendous response from people across the country, to his appeal for sending messages to soldiers as part of the #Sandesh2Soldiers campaign. 
 
The Prime Minister said that giving One Rank One Pension to ex-servicemen was a promise that he had made, and he was happy that he had been able to fulfil it. 
 
The Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Dalbir Singh, was present on the occasion. 
 
While returning from Sumdo, the Prime Minister halted briefly at a nearby village - Chango. He exchanged Diwali greetings, interacted with the people there, and offered sweets to children. 
 
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Minor earthquake jolts border between Jammu & Kashmir, Pakistan

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An earthquake of slight intensity, measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale, shook the border region between the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan today, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 34.9°N and longitude 72.9°E, occurred at 1621 hours at a focal depth of 115 km, an IMD bulletin added.
 
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21 dead, 40 injured as bus falls into gorge in Reasi district of Jammu & Kashmir

 
21 dead, 40 injured as bus falls into gorge in J&K
At least 21 people died and 40 others suffered injuries when a private bus carrying them skidded off the road and plunged into a deep gorge in Reasi district of Jammu and Kashmir, official sources said.
 
Police sources in Reasi told NetIndian over the telephone that those killed in the mishap included nine women and 12 men.
 
The injured -- who included 19 women and 21 women -- have been admitted to nearby hospitals for treatment, they said, adding that some of the seriously injured were shifted to the Government Medical College and Hospital in Jammu.
 
The bus was on its way from Reasi to Bakkal when the mishap occurred near Gurnak around 3 pm, the sources said.
 
Jammu & Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra and Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed grief over the loss of lives in the accident.
 
Ms. Mehbooba instructed the district administration to extend all possible help to the families of the victims and ensure the best medical treatment for the injured.
 
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Cabinet okays establishment of an IIM in Jammu

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The Union Cabinet today approved the establishment and operationalisation of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) in Jammu in a transit/temporary campus at Old Government College of Engineering & Technology from the academic year 2016-17. 
 
The project will involve a cost of Rs. 61.90 crore in temporary campus for the initial four years from 2016 to 2020. 
 
The student strength intake for this year in the Post Graduate Diploma Programme (PGDP) in Management is 54 which will progressively go up to a cumulative student strength of 120 in the 4th year, an official press release said.
 
Meanwhile, steps would also be taken up for setting up campus at Jammu and an out-campus in Kashmir region. The Detailed Project Report for the permanent campuses is under preparation and thereafter the process for setting up of the campuses would start, it said.
 
The Cabinet also approved formation of an IIM Jammu Society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. IIM Jammu will be run and managed by the Society with a Board of Governors (BOGs) to be constituted by the Government of India, which will administer the institute and would be responsible for establishment and operationalisation of the institute. 
 
"This is a part of Prime Minister’s development package for Jammu & Kashmir. The Institute coupled with opening of IIT at Jammu, modernization of NIT Srinagar and opening of two new AIIMS institutions, one each in Kashmir region and Jammu region, would go a long way in meeting the requirement of high quality living and education in Jammu & Kashmir," the release said.
 
Indian Institutes of Management are the country’s premier institutions imparting best quality education in management on globally benchmarked processes of education and training in management education and allied area of knowledge. 
 
At present, there are 19 IIMs. Out of these, 13 IIMs are located at Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Kashipur, Kozhikode, Lucknow, Raipur, Ranchi, Rohtak, Shillong, Tiruchirappalli, and Udaipur.
 
Another six IIMs which have been started in 2015 are located at Amritsar, Sirmaur, Nagpur, Bodh Gaya, Sambalpur and Visakhapatnam.
 
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Army says recoveries of Naugam operation confirm Pakistan connection

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The Army today said recoveries made from the four terrorists killed on the Line of Control (LoC) while trying to infiltrate in Naugam sector three days confirmed Pakistan's complicity in abetting and equipping terrorism.
 
The grenades and UBGLgrenades recovered them had Pakistan Ordnance Factory markings on them.
 
"The hand grenades recovered are ARGES 84 which are manufactured by Pakistan Ordnance Factories. Pakistan origin markings are also seen on the medicines and eatable items recovered," an official press release said.
 
"A large number of highly inflammable material, like six plastic explosive slabs, six bottles of petroleum jelly, six bottles of inflammable liquid and six lighters were also recovered," it said.
 
The release said similar inflammable material was recovered at the site of the Poonch incident on September 11 and Uri incident on September 18.
 
"This shows the sinister design of Pakistan to aid terrorists in causing maximum destruction," it said.
 
According to it, the other items recovered from the terrorists include four AK 47 rifles, 16 AK 47 magazines, 349  rounds of ammunition, one radio set, one GPS,  one pair of binoculars, two wire cutters, one Samsung mobile telephone, four rain ponchos and haversacks, one first aid kit, and clothing and eatable items.
 
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Moderate earthquake jolts border region between J&K, Pakistan

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An earthquake of moderate intensity, measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale, shook the border region between Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan this afternoon, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said.
 
The quake, which had its epicentre at latitude 34.4°N and longitude 73.8°E, occurred at 1334 hours IST at a focal depth of 10 km, an IMD bulletin said.
 
The epicentre of the earthquake was around 66 km from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK).
 
The tremors were felt in the Kashmir Valley, parts of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province in the northwest of Pakistanand some areas in Pakistan's Punjab.
 
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MHA sanctions additional 10,000 SPOs for J&K

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The Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sanctioned the engagement of additional 10,000 Special Police Officers (SPOs) in the Police Department of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
The orders have been implemented with immediate effect and the additional numbers is over and above the existing strength of the SPOs, an official press release said.
 
The additional SPOs will be utilized especially for the security related requirements, it said.
 
The reimbursement of expenditure to the State Government by the Centre in respect of 10,000 SPOs will be as per existing approved Security Related Expenditure (SRE) Guidelines, the release added.
 
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Mukherjee, Ansari strongly condemn terrorist attack in Uri

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President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice-President Mohammed Hamid Ansari today strongly condemned the terror attack on an Army administrative base in Uri, Jammu & Kashmir, in which 17 soldiers lost their lives.
 
“Strongly condemn outrageous terrorist attack on Army base in Uri; tributes to brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice," Mr. Mukherjee said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"Heartfelt condolences to families of those bereaved in Uri terrorist attack; prayers for speedy recovery of injured. India will not be cowed down by such attacks, we will thwart the evil designs of terrorists and their backers," he said.
 
Mr. Ansari said he was deeply shocked at the attack and offered his condolences to the families of those killed.
 
"Such attacks are the result of the use of cross-border terrorism by one particular country in our region. We shall deal with such provocations in a befitting manner," he added.
 
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Rajnath Singh reviews security situation in Jammu & Kashmir

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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the security situation in Jammu and Kashmir with National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and other senior officials here today after the terror attack on an Army base in Uri, in which 17 soldiers and four terrorists were killed.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh expressed his distress at the incident in Uri and the loss of 17 brave soldiers' lives and hoped for the speedy recovery of the injured.
 
Extending his condolences to the families of the deceased soldiers, he said that those behind the attack would be brought to justice.
 
Pakistan is a terrorist state and it should be identified and isolated as such, he said, adding that there were definite and conclusive indications that the perpetrators were highly trained, heavily armed and specially equipped.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh expressed his deep disappointment with Pakistan’s continued and direct support to terrorism and terrorist groups.
 
The Minister, who was due to leave tomorrow on a trip to Russia and the United States, has postponed the trip.
 
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17 soldiers, 4 terrorists killed in attack on Army base in Uri

At least 17 soldiers were killed when a group of heavily armed terrorists attacked an army administrative base at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir in the early hours of Sunday, official sources said.

 
17 soldiers, 4 militants killed in Uri terror attack
At least 17 soldiers were killed when a group of heavily armed terrorists attacked an army administrative base at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir in the early hours of today, official sources said.
 
An official statement from the Army said that, in the counter action, four terrorists had been eliminated and combing operations were in progress.
 
The terrorists struck the rear administrative base of the unit, located at Uri, in Baramulla district, near the Line of Control, around 5.30 am today.
 
"The administrative base had large strength of troops turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties.
 
"We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation," the statement added.
 
In January this year, six terrorists had attacked the high security Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab, in which seven defence personnel had died. All six terrorists were neutralised in an operation that lasted nearly three days.
 
Briefing newspersons in New Delhi about the attack, Lt General Ranbir Singh, Director General of Military Operations (DGMO), said that the firefight between the terrorists and Army Personnel continued till approximately 0830 hours, during which four terrorists were killed.
 
"All four killed were foreign terrorists and had some items with them which had Pakistani markings. Initial reports indicate that the slain terrorists belong to Jaish-e-Mohammed tanzeem. Four AK-47 rifles and four Under Barrel Grenade Launchers along with a large number of other war like stores were recovered from them," he said.
 
Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh said the terrorists fired incendiary ammunition along with automatic fire of small arms that led to army tents and temporary shelters catching fire. 
 
The tents located in the complex were to house additional troops inducted due to routine turnover of units. 
 
"There have been a total of 17 Army fatal casualties. Of these, 13 - 14 casualties have been due to these tents/ shelters having caught fire," he said.
 
The DGMO said the operation for clearance of the area was still in progress and a very deliberate search was being carried out of the entire area around the military complex in Uri. As such, complete details of the operation are not yet available.
 
"However, the operation is being carried out by the Indian Army in a very professional manner and the Army personnel have displayed exceptionally high standards of courage and gallantry while neutralizing the terrorists," he said.
 
Lt. Gen. Ranbir Singh said that ,since the terrorists had some items with Pakistani markings, he had spoken to his Pakistani counterpart and conveyed India's serious concerns on the incident.
 
"I would also like to mention that all the intelligence agencies are working in close synergy with the security forces and regular intelligence inputs are received from concerned agencies and necessary action is being taken accordingly," he said.
 
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Chief of the Army Staff Gen Dalbir Singh visited Jammu & Kashmir today to take stock of the ongoing operations and review the overall security situation in the state.
 
They were briefed by the Northern Army and Chinar Corps Commanders Lt Gen DS Hooda and Lt Gen Satish Dua respectively at Srinagar on the Uri attack and the operation launched to neutralise the terrorists. 
 
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While three of the four heavily armed terrorists were eliminated within the initial fifteen minutes of establishing contact, the fourth was neutralized later, they were told.
 
The Defence Minister was briefed about the security grid along the Line of Control (LoC) and the hinterland also covering the deployment of the additional forces that have been recently inducted into the Valley. The need for heightened vigil both on the LoC and hinterland and to remain prepared for any eventuality was stressed upon. 
 
"There have been a number of infiltration attempts that the Army has foiled recently. It may be recalled that in the last one week itself, three such attempts were foiled in Kupwara sector when four terrorists were killed and another group of four terrorists was eliminated in Poonch," an official press release said.
 
On being briefed about the internal security situation in the hinterland, the Army Chief reiterated the importance of complete synergy amongst all security, intelligence and other government agencies to ensure calm and prevent the terrorists and other inimical forces from moving with impunity and intimidating the populace.
 
Earlier, the Army Chief also visited Uri to get a first hand account where he was briefed on the latest situation by the Commanders on ground. The Defence Minister and Army Chief later met the injured at the Army Base Hospital in BB Cantonment.
 
Saluting the martyrs, they expressed their deep grief and condolences over the loss and wished speedy recovery to the injured. The Defence Minister has directed that the mortal remains of all the martyrs would be transported directly to their respective hometowns for which arrangements are being made, the release added.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was due to leave tomorrow on a trip to Russia and the United States, postponed the trip and convened a meeting of top officials here to take stock of the situation.
 
"Spoke to Governor & CM of Jammu & Kashmir regarding the terror attack in Uri. They have apprised me of the security situation in the state," Mr. Rajnath Singh said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
He said he had given instructions to the Home Secretary and other senior officers in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to closely monitor the situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
 
"Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the USA," he said.
 
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Modi condemns Uri terror attack, says those responsible will not go unpunished

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today strongly attacked the terror attack at an Army administrative base this morning in Uri, Jammu & Kashmir and assured the nation that those behind the "despicable attack" would not go unpunished.
 
"We salute all those martyred in Uri. Their service to the nation will always be remembered. My thoughts are with the bereaved families," he said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
Mr. Modi said he had spoken to Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the situation. Mr. Parrikar would go to Jammu & Kashmir himself to take stock on the situation, he added.
 
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17 soldiers killed in terror attack on Army base in Uri, four terrorists neutralised

In one of the deadliest attacks on security personnel in Jammu & Kashmir in recent years, at least 17 soldiers were killed when a group of heavily armed terrorists attacked an Army administrative base at Uri in the early hours of Sunday, official sources said.

 
17 soldiers, 4 militants killed in Uri terror attack
In one of the deadliest attacks on security personnel in Jammu & Kashmir in recent years, at least 17 soldiers were killed when a group of heavily armed terrorists attacked an army administrative base at Uri in the early hours of today, official sources said.
 
An official statement from the Army said that, in the counter action, four terrorists had been eliminated and combing operations were in progress.
 
The terrorists struck the rear administrative base of the unit, located at Uri, in Baramulla district, near the Line of Control, around 5.30 am today.
 
"The administrative base had large strength of troops turning over after their tour of duty who were stationed in tents/temporary shelters which caught fire, and resulted in heavy casualties.
 
"We salute the sacrifice of 17 soldiers who were martyred in the operation," the statement added.
 
Television pictures showed a major fire at the scene of the attack and tall columns of black smoke rising into the sky.
 
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Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was due to leave tomorrow on a trip to Russia and the United States, has postponed the trip and convened a meeting of top officials here to take stock of the situation.
 
"Spoke to Governor & CM of Jammu & Kashmir regarding the terror attack in Uri. They have apprised me of the security situation in the state," Mr. Rajnath Singh said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
He said he had given instructions to the Home Secretary and other senior officers in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to closely monitor the situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
 
"Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the USA," he said.
 
In January this year, six terrorists had attacked the high security Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab, in which seven defence personnel had died. All six terrorists were neutralised in an operation that lasted nearly three days.
 
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Terrorists attack army administrative base at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir

 
Terrorists attack Army base in Uri
At least four terrorists attacked an army administrative base at Uri in Jammu & Kashmir early this morning and a fierce gun battle is on between them and security forces, official sources said.
 
No details were immediately available about casualties in the attack, they said.
 
The attack took place around 5.30 am today at the base, which is located in Baramulla district, near the Line of Control (LoC), they said.
 
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who was due to leave tomorrow on a trip to Russia and the United States, has postponed the trip and convened a meeting of top officials here to take stock of the situation.
 
"Spoke to Governor & CM of Jammu & Kashmir regarding the terror attack in Uri. They have apprised me of the security situation in the state," Mr. Rajnath Singh said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
He said he had given instructions to the Home Secretary and other senior officers in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to closely monitor the situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
 
"Keeping the situation of Jammu and Kashmir in mind and in the wake of terror attack in Uri, I have postponed my visits to Russia and the USA," he said.
 
In January this year, six terrorists had attacked the high security Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab, in which seven defence personnel had died. All six terrorists were neutralised in an operation that lasted nearly three days.
 
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Ministry of Tourism approves projects worth Rs. 500 crore for J&K

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The Central Sanctioning and Monitoring Committee (CSMC) chaired by Union Tourism Secretary Vinod Zutshi for the ‘Swadesh Darshan Scheme’ has approved projects to the tune of Rs. 500 crore as part of Development Package of Prime Minister Reconstruction Plan (PMRP) for integrated development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
The new projects include Integrated Development of Tourist facilities at Mantalai – Sudhmahadev – Patnitop Circuit for Rs. 99.99 crore, Baramulla-Kupwara-Leh circuit for Rs. 99.98 crore, Rajouri - Bafliyaz - Shopian - Pulwama Circuit for Rs. 99.99 crore and Anantnag-Kishtwar- Pahalgam – Daksum - Ranjit Sagar Dam Circuit for Rs. 99.75 crore, an official press release said.
 
In addition, Rs. 99.99 crore has been approved for integrated development of tourist facilities in lieu of damaged assets in the floods, it said.
 
The projects envisage tourist infrastructural development in Jammu and Kashmir. Highlights of the project involve developing a Convention Centre in Gulmarg and Patnitop, development of Ethnic Villages, Development of Water Sports Centre at Baghliyar Dam - Pool Doda. 
 
Other major intervention proposed in the circuits include last mile connectivity, tourist facilitation/interpretation centre, base camps for trekking, facilitation centre for pilgrims for Amarnath Yatra, Sound and Light Show at Shalimar Bagh, illumination of heritage structures, provision of eco friendly vehicles, and enhancement of tourist facilities at golf courses across the state, it added.
 
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Govt. nod for subsidized helicopter services in J&K, HP

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The Government has accorded its approval for operation of helicopter services in the states of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh on a pilot basis in 10 sectors with the stipulation that the most inaccessible destination points should be chosen. 
 
The scheme can be extended to other sectors at a later date depending upon the assessment of the justifiable needs of the local population, an official press release said.
 
The state governments of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh will re-identify and finalize the most critical sectors in their states, with number of flying hours in consultation with the Ministry of Home Affairs, it said.
 
While deciding the sectors for providing the air connectivity, the difference of time between the road travel and air travel may be taken as an important factor, it said.
 
In case of Jammu & Kashmir, the recommendation of the Joint Working Group for the following five sectors in Srinagar-Drass-Kargil-Zanskar-Leh has been accepted: Srinagar - Kargil - Srinagar; Srinagar - Drass - Srinagar; Kargil - Padum - Leh - Padum - Kargil; Leh - Lingshed - Leh; and Srinagar - Leh - Srinagar.
 
These five sectors may be re-aligned based on the fresh assessment made by Government of J&K in consultation with MHA, the release said.
 
The Government of  India will subsidize only the cost towards actual number of entitled passengers utilizing the helicopter services. No subsidy will be provided for the vacant seats.
 
Emergency services and common passenger services to the local residents of the State will be provided on priority and at subsidized rates. 
 
VIPs, Officers of the State Government on tour, Income tax payers or tourists will not be eligible for subsidized fares. Such persons will have to pay full fare subject to availability of seats.
 
The operator of the services will be selected by open tender process by the State Government. The operation of helicopter services in the state will continue till March, 2017 or expiry of contract, whichever is earlier.
 
Review and rationalization of annual ceiling of flying hours vis-a-vis actual utilization as well as internal review of the sectors/ scheme will be carried out in consultation with Financial Advisers of Ministry of Home Affairs and Civil Aviation after March, 2017, the release added.
 
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Govt. extends for two years facility of travel by any airline to visit J&K on LTC

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The Government has decided to extend by two years the facility for Central Government employees to travel by any airline to visit Jammu & Kashmir on leave travel concession (LTC).
 
An official press release said this had been done to boost tourism in the state. The extension is for a period of two years beyond September 25, 2016, an official press release added.
 
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All-party delegation calls for dialogue with all stakeholders in J&K

 
All-party delegation urge people to shun violence in Valley: Jitendra Singh
The all-party delegation that visited Jammu & Kashmir on September 4-5 for an assessment of the situation in the state today urged the Centre and the State Government to take steps for a dialogue with all stakeholders.
 
In a statement issued after a follow-up meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who led the delegation, the members expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation in the state, which has been witnessing violence and unrest since the death of Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. 
 
"The members of the delegation are of the opinion that there is no place for violence in a civilized society. There can be no compromises on issue of national sovereignty," the statement said.
 
The members appealed to the people of the state to shun the path of violence and resolve all issues through dialogue and discussion. 
 
They also asked the Central and State Governments to take steps to ensure that educational institutions, Government offices and commercial establishments start functioning normally at the earliest. 
 
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They requested the government to take effective steps to ensure security for all citizens and provide medical treatment to citizens and security personnel injured in the agitation.
 
The delegation had, during their visit to Srinagar and Jammu, met several groups of people from various sections of society and heard their views on ways of ending the crisis in the state.
 
They also met Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti and Governor N. N. Vohra.
 
Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitendra Singh, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ambika Soni, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D. Raja, 
NCP's Tariq Anwar, Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena and Anandrao Adsul, TDP's Thota Narasimham, Shiromani Akali Dal's Prem Singh Chandumajra, BJD's Dilip Tirkey, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, AIUDF's Badaruddin Ajmal, Muslim League's E Ahamed, Jitendra Reddy (TRS), N K Premchandran (RSP), P Venugopal (AIADMK), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Y B Subba (YSR Congress), Jaiprakash Yadav (RJD), Dharamveer Gandhi (AAP) and Dushyant Chautala (RLD) were part of the delegation.
 
Apart from political parties, groups of academicians, teachers and student associations, representatives of school management, prominent NGOs, representatives of Leh, Kargil, Pahari associations, Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Fruit & Saffron Growers associtions and civil society meet the delegation.
 
Earlier, Mr. Rajnath Singh had visited Srinagar twice in recent weeks for talks with top officials and political leaders as part of the Centre's efforts to end the crisis.
 
Later, Ms. Mufti had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here when he had assured her that the agenda of the ruling alliance in the state, between her PDP and the BJP would be implemented as part of the efforts to bring an end to the violence.
 
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All-party delegation visits J&K, meets about 200 people in Srinagar

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An all-party delegation, led by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, met about 200 people in about 30 delegations from various sections of society here today and heard their views on ways of ending the crisis in Jammu & Kashmir.
 
The delegation is on a two-day visit to the state for an assessment of the situation arising out of the violence and unrest since the death of Hizb ul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8. 
 
Before leaving for Srinagar today, Mr. Rajnath Singh had said that the delegation intended to talk to individuals and groups who want peace and normalcy in the Kashmir valley. 
 
An official press release said the delegation heard views expressed by various people on ways of reaching a common solution to the current scenario.
 
The delegation held a meeting with Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. During the meeting, the State Government made a detailed presentation on the situation.
 
"It was emphsasised that a clear roadmap needs to be drawn with a focus on the way forward. It was also stressed upon that the recommendations of Working Groups and Parliamentary delegations need to be considered," the release said.
 
While interacting with the delegation, Ms. Mufti said that Kashmir was a common issue of national interest and should not be viewed as a political issue. All the parties agreed to this fact and emphasised that steps need to be taken to restore normalcy and peace in Kashmir at the earliest.
 
Ms. Mufti also thanked all the parties for visitng the state to listen to the problems of people of Jammu and Kashmir. She also thanked the members for holding discussions on the issue in Parliament. 
 
She emphasised that the media needed to be sensitive while reporting on such issues like the current happenings in Kashmir. 
 
The delegation also met the representatives of various political parties. Various political parties expressed their concern over the injuries to civilians due to the use of pellet guns. 
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh said that the Government is already working on the alternatives to pellet guns such as PAVA shells. 
 
Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Ram Vilas Paswan and Jitendra Singh, Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Mallikarjun Kharge and Ambika Soni, CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, CPI leader D. Raja, 
NCP's Tariq Anwar, Saugata Roy of Trinamool Congress, Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena and Anandrao Adsul, TDP's Thota Narasimham, Shiromani Akali Dal's Prem Singh Chandumajra, BJD's Dilip Tirkey, AIMIM's Asaduddin Owaisi, AIUDF's Badaruddin Ajmal, Muslim League's E Ahamed, Jitendra Reddy (TRS), N K Premchandran (RSP), P Venugopal (AIADMK), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Y B Subba (YSR Congress), Jaiprakash Yadav (RJD), Dharamveer Gandhi (AAP) and Dushyant Chautala (RLD) are part of the delegation.
 
J&K National Conference led by former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, Indian National Congress J&K led by its president  Ghulam Ahmad Mir, People's Democratic Party led by Mr. Sartaj Madni, People's Conference led by Mr. Sajad Gani Lone, Communist Party of India (M) led by Mr. M. Y. Tarigami, Awami Itihaad Party led by Mr. Abdul Rashid, People's Democratic Front led by Mr. H. M. Yaseen, Democratic Party Nationalist led by Mr. Ghulam Hassan Mir and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by is state president Sat Sharma met the delgation.
 
These parties expressed their views and ground level experiences during the meeting, the release said.
 
Apart from political parties, groups of academicians, teachers and student associations, representatives of school management, prominent NGOs, representatives of Leh, Kargil, Pahari associations, Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Fruit & Saffron Growers associtions and civil society also meet the delegation.
 
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The Jammu and Kashmir Students Welfare Association informed the delegation that they are willing to work with Government of India to bring normalcy in the state. 
 
The delegation was due to meet Jammu & Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra later this evening.
 
The delgation will meet some more civil society groups here tomorrow morning before travelling to Jammu, the release added.
 
The delegation has about 30 members, including leaders of more than 20 political parties.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh had visited Srinagar twice in recent weeks for talks with top officials and political leaders as part of the Centre's efforts to end the crisis.
 
Last week, Ms. Mufti had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi here when he had assured her that the agenda of the ruling alliance in the state, between her PDP and the BJP would be implemented as part of the efforts to bring an end to the violence.
 
Ms. Mufti had told reporters after that meeting that she had told the Prime Minister that the agenda, on the basis of which her party had gone into the alliance with the BJP, which is in power at the Centre, had not been followed.
 
Mr. Modi had also met an Opposition delegation from Jammu & Kashmir when he had voiced deep concern and pain at the prevailing situation in the state and reiterated his commitment to its development of the State and its people.
 
He had also stressed the need for all political parties to work together to find a solution to the problems in the state.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh had announced during his visit to Srinagar last month that his Ministry would designate a nodal officer to address the grievances of the people of Kashmir directly.
 
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