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40 killed in terror attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of J&K

At least 40 CRPF personnel were killed and an equal number suffered injuries when terrorists attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security forces with a car bomb at Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
 
40 CRPF men killed in blast in J&K
At least 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed and an equal number suffered injuries when terrorists attacked a convoy of vehicles carrying security forces with a car bomb at Awantipora in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday.
 
According to initial reports, it appeared to be a suicide attack in which a Mahindra Scorpio sports utility vehicle (SUV) with about 350 kg of explosives rammed into the convoy of about 78 vehicles transporting about 2500 CRPF personnel from Jammu to Srinagar.
 
About 13 of the injured CRPF men were said to be in a critical condition and were rushed to the Army hospital in Srinagar, official sources said.
 
Officials said the exact number of those killed and injured as well as other details of the incident would take some time to ascertain. However, a senior official told a news agency that at least 40 CRPF men had died.
 
Reports reaching here said terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammed had claimed responsibility for the attack. 
 
Official sources said terrorists triggered the explosion around 3.30 pm when the convoy, which had left Jammu in the early hours of today, was passing through the Goripora area on the Jammu-Srinagar highway, about 30 km short of Srinagar.
 
Television pictures from the scene showed that one of the buses, which bore the brunt of the explosion, was completely destroyed in the massive explosion.
 
According to preliminary information, the explosives-laden car was driven by a local youth. But officials said they were trying to verify this and other details, including the manner in which the attack was carried out. Senior officials of the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the CRPF had reached the scene and were carrying out investigations into all these aspects.
 
"Attack on CRPF personnel in Pulwama is despicable. I strongly condemn this dastardly attack. The sacrifices of our brave security personnel shall not go in vain. The entire nation stands shoulder to shoulder with the families of the brave martyrs. May the injured recover quickly," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"Spoke to Home Minister Rajnath Singh Ji and other top officials regarding the situation in the wake of the attack in Pulwama," he added.
 
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Rajnath Singh said the "dastardly attack" was extremely painful and disturbing.
 
"I bow to each and every CRPF jawan who has sacrificed his life in service to the nation. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh spoke to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik, the Director General of CRPF and the Home Secretary about the attack. They have apprised him of the situation.
 
The Home Minister has cancelled a scheduled visit to Bihar tomorrow. The Ministry of Home Affairs is closely monitoring the situation, official sources said.
 
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval is understood to have briefed the Prime Minister about the incident.
 
Mr. Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba, who cut short an official visit to Bhutan, will fly to Srinagar tomorrow, the sources said.
 
A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) team with forensic experts is being sent to Srinagar to assist the Jammu and Kashmir Police in evaluation of the scene of the crime.
 
The Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) is likely to meet here tomorrow morning to discuss the situation.
 
"I’m deeply disturbed by the cowardly attack on a #CRPF convoy in J&K in which many of our brave CRPF men have been martyred and a large number wounded, some critically. My condolences to the families of our martyrs. I pray for the speedy recovery of the injured," Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Twitter.
 
Today's terror strike is said to be the one of the worst on security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir and much worse than the September 18, 2016 incident in which 18 soldiers were killed when a group of four heavily armed terrorists attacked an army administrative base at Uri in Baramulla district near the Line of Control.
 
Ten days later, the Indian Army responded with "surgical strikes" at launch pads across the LoC to prevent Pakistani terrorists positioned there from crossing over into the country and striking at targets in Jammu & Kashmir and other places. While details were not given out, the Army said it had inflicted "significant number of casualties" on the terrorists and those who were trying to support them.
 
For the CRPF, it was the biggest loss of men after the April 6, 2010 attack in which 75 personnel were killed in an ambush on their vehicle by left-wing extremists in the Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.
 
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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. 
 
NNN
 
 
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Musa eliminated: Clampdown in Kashmir

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Hours after Kashmir's most wanted militant commander Zakir Musa, who headed the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar Gazwatul Hind, was killed on Thursday, protests broke out in parts of Srinagar, Pulwama and Shopian forcing authorities on Friday to impose restrictions in parts of the valley.
 
After the body of the slain militant was handed over to his family for the final rights, all educational institutions across Jammu and Kashmir were shut down.
 
Mobile Internet services were snapped across the valley to maintain law and order. Even speed of fixed landline broadband connections was reduced to prevent uploading of inflammatory posts and pictures.
 
Heavy deployments have been made in capital city Srinagar, south Kashmir's Pulwama, Anantnag, Shopian and Kulgam districts among other areas.
 
Musa was killed late on Thursday by security forces in Pulwama district when security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Dadsara village of Tral area following information about militant presence.
 
"The trapped militants were persuaded to surrender. Instead they hurled grenades and started a gunfight, triggering an encounter," a source said.
 
One of the dead was identified as Zakir Musa, a close associate of Burhan Wani who was killed in 2017.
 
Musa, whose real name was Zakir Rashid Bhat, was a militant of Hizbul Mujahideen who succeeded Burhan and later headed the Al Qaeda affiliate. He had taken to militancy in 2013.
 
An engineering student in Chandigarh who abandoned his education and joined militancy, Musa was born in Noorpora village of Tral area. His father, Abdul Rashid Bhat, is a senior engineer working for the Jammu and Kashmir government.
 
The killing of Musa is seen as a big success for the security forces in their anti-militancy operations in Kashmir.
 
After Burhan Wani's death, Zakir Musa threatened to behead Kashmiri separatist leaders of the Hurriyat Conference for calling Kashmir a political dispute instead of a religious struggle to establish an Islamic state.
 
IANS
 

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J&K's most wanted militant, Zakir Musa, killed

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Zakir Musa, Jammu and Kashmir's most wanted militant, was shot dead on Thursday by security forces in Pulwama district, informed sources said.
 
Musa, who headed the Anzar Ghazwat-ul Hind, the Al Qaeda affiliate, was killed in Dadsara village in Tral area, the sources said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Two Hizbul militants killed in J&K gunfight

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Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed on Wednesday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district, police said.
 
"The two slain militants were affiliated with the Hizbul Mujahideen outfit. Their identities are being ascertained," police sources said.
 
The gunfight took place on Wednesday morning in Gopalpora village after the security forces started a search operation in the area following reports of the presence of militants.
 
The police sources said that searches were still going on at the site and the security operation in the area has not been called off yet.
 
As a precautionary measure, authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in Kulgam district.
 
IANS
 

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J&K: One militant killed in Kulgam gunfight

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One militant was killed in a gunfight with the security forces on Wednesday in Jammu and Kashmir's Kulgam district.
 
Police sources said security forces started a cordon and search operation in Gopalpora village of Kulgam district after receiving reports about the presence of militants there.
 
"As the cordon around the hiding militants was tightened, they fired at the security forces triggering an encounter in which one militant has been killed.
 
"The slain militant belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) outfit. His exact identity is being established.
 
"The operation is still going on," a police source said.
 
As a precautionary measure, the authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in Kulgam district.
 
IANS
 

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Curfew continues for third day in J&K's Bhaderwah

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Curfew continued without any relaxation for the third day in Jammu and Kashmir's Bhaderwah town in Doda district on Saturday. The curfew was imposed on Thursday after the body of a local, identified as Nayeem Shah, was recovered by the police.
 
"Curfew continued for the third day in Bhaderwah town. There is improvement in the situation and we are regularly reviewing it," officials said.
 
The police have constituted a five-member special investigation team (SIT) headed by a Superintendent of Police to investigate the murder of the civilian who was killed by a gunshot.
 
Army continues to assist the civilian administration in Bhaderwah to enforce curfew and maintain law and order.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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Kashmiri Hizbul man among 3 militants killed in Pulwama

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A Kashmiri militant was among three militants who were killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.
 
"Three terrorists have been killed in Panzgam operation. Weapons and war-like stores were recovered," Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said.
 
"Bodies of three militants have been recovered," a police officer added.
 
The slain Kashmiri militant was identified as Showkat Ahmad Dar, a resident of the same village, where the operation was conducted. 
 
Informed sources said while the exact identities of the other two were yet to be ascertained, but all of them belonged were likely to be of the Hizbul Mujahiddin outfit.
 
Last night the security forces cordoned off and launched a search operation in Panzgam after receiving information about militant presence, the officer said.
 
The hiding militants when challenged had opened fire triggering the encounter.
 
Authorities have suspended mobile Internet services in the area. Train services between Srinagar and Bannihil town of Jammu region have also been suspended.
 
IANS
 

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Separatist-called shutdown over civilian killing in J&K

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A separatist-called protest shutdown on Friday over civilian deaths during an anti-terror operation found support in the valley as shops, public transport, businesses and educational institutions remained closed here in the city and other places in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Nine people comprising five militants, two civilians and two soldiers were killed in two gunfights in the valley on Thursday.
 
The Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik had called for the shutdown alleging loss of innocent Kashmiri lives at the hand of security agencies.
 
Authorities ordered the closure of schools and colleges to prevent any untoward incidents. The post-graduate entrance test scheduled for the day was also postponed by the University of Kashmir.
 
Heavy deployments of police and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been made at all vulnerable places in Srinagar and other districts.
 
IANS
 

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Top JeM commander among 5 killed in J&K gunfight

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Three Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militants, including a top commander who masterminded the 2017 attack on a CRPF camp, a soldier and a civilian were killed in a gunfight on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.
 
"The slain militants have been identified as two locals, Naseer Pandit and Umar Mir and a Pakistani Khalid Bhai. Khalid was a top JeM commander and he had masterminded the 2017 attack on the CRPF camp in Lethpora in which five troopers were killed," police sources said.
 
The civilian victim was identified as Rayees Ahmad Dar, son of the owner of a house where the militants were hiding. Dar's brother Muhammad Younis, suffered  a gunshot injury.
 
According to the sources, two soldiers were also injured. 
 
The gunfight started in Dalipora village early Thursday morning after security forces including Rashtriya Rifles (RR), Central Reserve Police Force (CR PF) and the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the state police, started a cordon and search operation following a tip-off about the militants.
 
Amid massive clashes near the gunfight site and adjoining areas, authorities have imposed curfew in Pulwama town and suspended mobile Internet services.
 
Mobile internet speed has also been brought down in Srinagar city to prevent uploading of inflammatory pictures and posts.
 
IANS
 

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Minor's rape: Protests across Kashmir Valley

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Protests erupted at scores of places in the Kashmir Valley on Monday as outrage spread over the rape of a minor in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district.
 
Markets were closed in Bandipora, Sopore, Badgam and Baramulla towns but a shutdown call given by the Itihadul Muslimeen, a religious organisation, had a partial effect in Srinagar city.
 
People in large numbers took to the streets across the state capital and other places demanding death penalty for the man accused of raping a three-year-old girl last week.
 
Students of Kashmir University, Central University and the Islamic University of Science and Technology boycotted classes and held protests.
 
Members of the High Court Bar Association stayed away from courts to express solidarity with the victim.
 
Former Chief Ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, separatist leaders, as well as a number of social, religious and political groups expressed shock over the incident.
 
Police on Monday detained the principal of a private school who issued a minor certificate for the rape accused, Tahir Ahmad Mir, who has already been arrested. Mir's father has given a statement that his son is 20 years old, said the police.
 
Director General of Police Dilbagh Singh said a Special Investigation Team (SIT) had been set up to fast-track the probe. 
 
IANS
 

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J&K: Clashes near gunfight site in Shopian

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Clashes broke out between stone pelting youths and the security forces on Sunday near the site of a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district where two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militants were killed earlier in the day, police said.
 
As the news about the militants' killing spread in Satipora village, the youths took to the steets hurling stones at the security forces who used tear smoke and pellets to disperse the protesters.
 
Seven protesters were reportedly injured, of which three sustained pellet wounds, the police added.
 
The slain militants were identified as Basharat Ahmad and Tariq Ahmed. The latter was a former special police officer (SPO).
 
IANS
 

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J&K: Clashes erupt in Srinagar, Sopore

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Clashes broke out between stone-pelting protesters and security forces on Friday in the old city areas of Srinagar and in Sopore town in Jammu and Kashmir.
 
Immediately after the Friday congregational prayers ended at the historic Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta in Srinagar, masked youths pelted stones at security forces who responded by firing tear smoke shells.
 
Clashes continued for over two hours during which six youths sustained injuries.
 
Street fighting also broke out in Model Town in Sopore town after news about the death of a local militant spread.
 
Youths engaged security forces in pitched clashes as the latter used tear smoke shells to disperse the mob.
 
A militant from Model Town, Ishfaq Ahmed Sofi alias Umar, was killed in a gunfight with the security forces in Amshipora village of Shopian district.
 
Police said the militant had been active since 2015 and was involved in a number of attacks on the security forces.
 
He was affiliated with the Harkatul Mujahideen (HuM) outfit, the police said.
 
IANS
 

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Militant killed in Jammu and Kashmir gunfight

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One militant was killed on Friday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district.
 
Police sources said the security forces began a cordon and search operation in Amshipora village of Shopian district following an information about the presence of militants there.
 
"The hiding militants fired at the security forces triggering an encounter in which one militant was killed," a police officer said.
 
"The slain militant has been identified as Ishfaq Sofi alias Abdullah Bhai, belonging to Sopore area in Baramulla district," he said, adding the exact affiliation of the slain militant is being ascertained although he had joined the militant ranks in 2015.
 
As a precautionary measure, authorities have closed all educational institutions in Sopore on Friday.
 
IANS
 

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Army HQ confirms court-martial verdict against Major Gogoi

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The court martial ruling against controversial army Major Leetul Gogoi, recommending a reduction in his seniority and his posting out of the Kashmir Valley, has been confirmed by the Army headquarters, defence sources said.
 
Gogoi, who had hogged media headlines in 2017 when he tied a local youth in the state's Badgam district to the bonnet of his jeep to escape and deter stone-pelting mobs, was court-martialled after being found "fraternising" with a local girl in May last year.
 
In its ruling on March 31, the military court, indicting the major and his driver Sameer Malla, recommended reduction in Gogoi's seniority and shifting him out. Although it did not recommend his demotion, but the reduction in his seniority would prevent him from getting promoted to a higher rank along with his batch mates.
 
The court had recommended a "severe reprimand" against Malla and other disciplinary action that his commanding officer deems appropriate.
 
With the army headquarters confirming the court-martial proceedings, the punishment against Gogoi and Malla has become operational, defence sources said.
 
Gogoi, whose use of the Kashmiri youth as a "human shield" had evoked strong criticism locally and also by the global rights watchdog Amnesty International, had again figured in controversy when he was caught trying to check into a Srinagar hotel with a local girl. 
 
Taken into custody by police along with Malla, who was assisting him, he and his driver were handed over to the army, while the girl was sent back to her parents.
 
The army initiated court-martial proceedings against Gogoi and Malla subsequently.
 
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Two soldiers injured in IED explosion near LoC

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Two soldiers were injured on Sunday in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, army sources said.
 
The incident was reported near the Khanthawali post in Kupwara.
 
"The blast occurred when one of the two soldiers stepped on the IED. Both the injured have been shifted to army's base hospital in Srinagar for treatment," a source said.
 
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Militants kill BJP leader in Anantnag district

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Militants on Saturday shot dead a Bharatiya Janata Party leader in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district.
 
Police sources said militants shot and critically injured a BJP leader in Verinag area of Anantnag district.
 
"The injured BJP vice-president of Anantnag district, Gul Muhammad Mir, was critically injured after militants fired at him in Nowgam village of Verinag area today.
 
"He was shifted to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. The area has been cordoned  off for searches," a security source said.
 
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Top Hizbul man Lateef Tiger likely among 2 killed in J&K

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Lateef Tiger, a top Hizbul commander and a close associate of the slain separatist poster boy Burhan Wani, was among the two militants killed on Friday by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Shopian district, sources said.
 
Clashes erupted in Anantnag, as news of Tiger's possible elimination spread. Lateef Tiger belonged to Awantipora town of Pulwama district.
 
A few of the other areas in South Kashmir were also reporting clashes as news of the encounter spread despite the  fact that authorities had suspended mobile Internet services in all the four south Kashmir districts.
 
Police said one army soldier was injured in the operation that was still underway as a third militant was still engaging the security forces.
 
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Two killed, 9 injured in road accident in J&K

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Two people were killed and nine injured on Saturday in a road accident in Jammu and Kashmir's Bandipora district.
 
Fifty five-year-old Naani Begum and 10-year-old Tabassum were killed and nine others injured after their vehicle went out of the driver's control on the Gurez-Bandipora road and plunged into a gorge, police said.
 
The injured were taken to the Bandipora district hospital. 
 
Due to heavy snowfall, the Bandipora-Gurez road remains closed for nearly four months each year during winter. The road was restored for traffic a fortnight back.
 
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Kashmir Valley NEET aspirants alloted four more centres

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To accommodate all the 9,250 aspirants from the Kashmir Valley for this year's National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) examination, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has allotted four additional centres in the region, officials said on Thursday.
 
NTA had already set up NEET examination centres in the Valley for 5,750 aspirants. The remaining 3,500 aspirants had been demanding additional centres so that none of them needed to travel to centres outside the Valley.
 
"Four additional centres allotted now will accommodate the remaining 3,500 aspirants so that none of this year's NEET aspirants from the Valley have to travel outside to take the test," an official said here.
 
The four additional centres are being set up here in the Kashmir University, Gandhi Memorial College, Green Valley School and Kashmir Harvard School.
 
NTA officials said the aspirants are being advised on Thursday through SMS about their centre allotments.
 
Following the demand for setting up of additional NEET centres in the Valley, two advisors of Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik -- Khurshid Ahmad Ganai and K.K. Sharma -- had taken up the matter with the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.
 
The test is scheduled to be held on May 5.
 
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Two militants killed in Anantnag gunfight

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Two militants were killed in a gunfight with the security forces on Thursday in Jammu and Kashmir's Anantnag district, police said.
 
Following specific information about the militant presence, the security forces late on Wednesday surrounded Baghander Mohalla of Bijbehara town.
 
At daybreak, the militants were challenged and they fired back triggering the encounter. "Exact identities and affiliations of the slain militants are yet to be established.
 
Searches are underway in the area and mobile Internet services have been suspended in the district as a precautionary measure.
 
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Entire JeM leadership wiped out in J&K: Corps Commander

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Security forces have eliminated the entire leadership of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Jammu and Kashmir and nobody is now ready to lead the terror outfit which was responsible for the Pulwama terror attack, a top Army Commander said here on Wednesday.
 
Lt Gen K. J. S. Dhillon, who heads the army's Srinagar-based 15 Corps, said that after the Pulwama terror strike in February, the security forces have killed 41 terrorists, out of whom 25 belonged to the JeM outfit.
 
"The entire leadership of the JeM has been decimated. Nobody is now ready to head the outfit in the Valley," he said at a press conference here along with state police chief Dilbag Singh.
 
The JeM carried out the ghastly terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14, killing 40 personnel. Within days, the security forces said all those involved in planning of the attack had been killed in various gunfights.
 
"In 2019, the security forces have killed 69 terrorists so far," Lt Gen Dhillon said.
 
The police chief said the security forces were in complete control of the ground situation, which he claimed "is fast improving".
 
Dilbag Singh said there was a marked fall in the numbers of local youths joining the militant ranks.
 
"There was a marked decrease in stone pelting incidents during 2018 as compared to the previous years."
 
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