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Srinagar

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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Shah Faesal, 2009 IAS topper, quits in protest against "unabated killings" in Kashmir

Shah Faesal (Photo: Facebook)
Shah Faesal (Photo: Facebook)
Shah Faesal, the 2009 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) topper from Jammu and Kashmir today resigned from the service in protest against the "unabated killings" in Kashmir and the "lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government".
 
"To protest against the unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union Government; the marginalization and invisiblization of around 200 million Indian Muslims at the hands of Hindutva forces reducing them to second-class citizens; insidious attacks on the special identity of the J&K State and growing culture of intolerance and hate in the mainland India in the name of hypernationalism, I have decided to resign from Indian Administrative Service," Faesal said in a post on his Facebook page.
 
"Kashmiri lives matter," he said in a similar post on micro-blogging site Twitter.
 
"I wish to remind the regime of the day that subversion of public institutions like RBI, CBI and NIA has the potential to decimate the Constitutional edifice of this country and it needs to be stopped. I wish to reiterate that voices of reason in this country cannot be muzzled for long and the environment of siege will need to end if we wish to usher in true democracy.
 
"I am thankful to my family, friends and well-wishers for supporting me in this amazing journey in IAS. One of my important tasks hereafter will be train and guide aspiring civil servants to help them in achieving this dream.
 
"I will be addressing a press conference on Friday to share my future plans. I will look forward to your support and blessings in this new mission," he added.
 
Faesal, 35, a medical doctor who had opted for the civil services, had returned recently to India from a stint at the Harvard Kennedy School as a Fulbright fellow. In the Jammu and Kashmir government, he served as Director of School Education.
 
Last year, he had faced an inquiry ordered by the Government for remarks made by him about rampant rapes in South Asia.
 
"The bureaucracy’s loss is politics’ gain. Welcome to the fold," National Conference vice-president and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said on Twitter.'
 
This set off speculation that Faesal was likely to join the National Conference. 
 
Following this, the former Union Minister clarified his remark. "Actually I welcomed him to the fold of politicians. His future political plans are his to announce," he said.
 
NNN
 

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CRPF trooper shoots self after firing at colleagues

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A Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) trooper has shot himself dead after firing at two colleagues in a camp in the outskirts of Srinagar, police said.
 
The trooper, identified as Mukesh Babu, opened fire at his colleagues in Pantha Chowk camp following a heated argument on Saturday evening.
 
"After injuring his colleagues, the CRPF jawan locked himself in a bathroom where he shot himself dead with his service rifle," police said. 
 
The injured are hospitalised.
 
IANS
 

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Flight operations halted at Srinagar airport

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All flight operations to and from the Srinagar international airport were halted on Saturday due to heavy snowfall, officials said.
 
An airport official said due to poor visibility and snow accumulation on the runway, no flight would be operated to and from the the Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport on Saturday.
 
"Five flights which landed here on Friday were not allowed to take off due to bad weather," he added.
 
After night-long snowfall in Srinagar and other places in the Kashmir Valley, more snow fell on Saturday morning.
 
Road links, including the Srinagar-Jammu highway and the Mughal Road, which connect the Kashmir Valley with Jammu region, have also been closed due to the snowfall.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 

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Three militants, soldier killed in Kashmir gunfight

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Three militants and a soldier were killed on Thursday in a gunfight in Tral area in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
 
Police said bodies of the slain militants had been recovered from the site in Gulshanpora village.
 
"Believed to belong to Hizbul Mujahideen, the exact identity of the militants is being ascertained," a police officer said.
 
One of the three soldiers injured at the start of the gun battle succumbed to his critical injuries in hospital, the police said.
 
"A search operation is still going on in the area," the officer said.
 
Security forces started a cordon and search operation in Gulshanpora village after receiving information about the presence of militants.
 
"As the cordon around the militants was tightened, they fired at the surrounding security forces, triggering an encounter," the officer said.
 
IANS
 

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Two militants killed, three soldiers injured in Kashmir

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Two militants were killed and three soldiers injured on Thursday in a gunfight in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
 
Police sources said the two militants belonging to the Hizbul Mujahideen were killed in the ongoing fighting in Gulshanpora village of Tral tehsil.
 
"The operation is still on," an officer said.
 
Earlier, three soldiers were injured in the area when militants opened fire when the troops were laying a cordon.
 
"So far we have not recovered any militant's body," the officer said.
 
Security forces started a cordon and search operation in Gulshanpora village after receiving information about the presence of militants.
 
"As the cordon around the militants was tightened, they fired at the surrounding security forces, triggering an encounter," the officer said.
 
IANS
 

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Indian, Chinese soldiers exchange greetings on New Year

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Indian and Chinese soldiers on Tuesday exchange pleasantries on the occasion of the New Year at Chushul-Moldo and DBO-TWD in Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir.
 
At the invitation of the People Liberation Army (PLA) of China, ceremonial Border Personnel Meetings (BPMs) were held to celebrate the New Year at Chinese BPM hut at the Chushul-Moldo and DBO-TWD meeting points in Eastern Ladakh, the Army said in a statement.
 
The Indian delegations were led by Major General Sanjiv Rai and Colonel S.S. Lamba and the Chinese delegations by Senior Colonel Liu Hou Jie and Colonel Song Zhang Li respectively.
 
The ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting commenced with saluting of the national flags by the delegation members. This was followed by a ceremonial address comprising exchange of greetings, wishes and vote of thanks. 
 
The address reflected the mutual desire of maintaining and improving relations at functional level at the border. Thereafter, a cultural programme showcasing Chinese culture and traditions was organised.
 
The ceremonial Border Personnel Meetings were held in the backdrop of successful conduct of Exercise Hand-in-Hand at Chengdu in China wherein troops of both the countries interacted, participated in joint exercises and shared on ground experiences. 
 
"Both sides also sought to build on the mutual feeling to maintain peace and tranquility along the border," it said.
 
India and China were locked in 72-day stand-off at Doklam in August 2017 in the wake of China building roads at the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction. The two countries have fought a war in 1962.
 
IANS
 

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Four policemen sacked after their weapons go missing

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Four policemen deployed as guards with a Congress legislator in Jammu and Kashmir from whose residence four weapons went missing a day earlier were dismissed from service on Monday.
 
A police spokesman said: "Four personal security guards (PSOs) deployed with (Congress legislator) Muhammad Muzaffar Parray have been dismissed from service for dereliction of duty and unauthorized absence."
 
The four weapons went missing on Sunday from the guard room of the legislator's official residence in Jawahar Nagar area of Srinagar.
 
In September, a special police officer (SPO) deputed with a PDP MLA had escaped with seven rifles and a pistol from the MLA's official residence in the same area.
 
IANS

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Attack by Pakistan's BAT foiled on LoC, two killed

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An attack by Pakistan's Border Action Team (BAT) has been foiled by the army on the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir's Kupwara district, officials said on Monday.
 
Army sources said that the BAT attack on a forward post in Naugam sector of the LoC was foiled on Sunday in which two attackers were killed.
 
"A major BAT strike took place in Naugam sector in the early hours of Sunday," informed sources said.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Four weapons missing from Congress leader's Srinagar residence

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Four weapons have gone missing on Sunday from the guard room of the residence of a Congress leader.
 
Police sources said four weapons have gone missing from the guard room of Congress leader and former legislator, Muzaffar Parray's official residence in Jawahar Nagar area in Srinagar.
 
Police said the security guards of the Congress leader are being questioned to ascertain the details.
 
IANS
 
 
 
 
 

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Four militants killed in gunfight in Pulwama district of J&K

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Four militants were killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, officials said.
 
Defence Ministry spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia said: "Four terrorists have been killed in Hajin Payeen village. Weapons and warlike stores have been recovered."
 
Some reports mentioned that the slain militants belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit, although their exact identities are being ascertained.
 
Security forces had surrounded Hajin Payeen village after receiving information about the presence of militants there.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants who were hiding opened fire. That triggered an encounter in which four militants have been killed," a police officer said.
 
The police said the encounter has ended, and advised people not to visit the site of the gunfight as there is an apprehension of some explosives being present there.
 
Meanwhile, clashes broke out near the gunfight site between protesters and the security forces immediately after the encounter ended.
 
IANS
 

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Severe cold wave grips Kashmir Valley, Ladakh

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A severe cold wave triggered by the bone chilling night temperature continued unabated in the Kashmir Valley and Ladakh region on Saturday, the Met Office said.
 
There was no relief from the intense cold in the valley and the Ladakh region as the temperature dropped several notches below the freezing point.
 
An official of the Met department said the minimum temperature was minus 7.2 degree Celsius in Srinagar.
 
In Pahalgam, the temperature was minus 8.3 degree Celsius while it was minus 7 degree Celsius in Gulmarg.
 
At minus 21.1 degree Celsius, Drass recorded the night's lowest temperature, and the town was coldest in Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday. 
 
Even the maximum temperature recorded in Drass on Friday did not rise above the freezing point as it settled at minus 5.5 degree.
 
Leh recorded minus 17.5 degree and Kargil minus 16.7 degree as the minimum temperature.
 
Jammu recorded 3.1 degrees Celsius, Katra 4 degrees Celsius, Batote 1 degree Celsius, Bannihal 3.7 degrees Celsius and Bhaderwah minus 1.5 degree Celsius as the minimum temperature on Saturday.
 
IANS
 

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Two militants killed in gunfight in Pulwama district of J&K

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Two militants were killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, officials said.
 
According to police, the security forces surrounded Hajin Payeen village after receiving information about the presence of militants there.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants who were hiding opened fire. That triggered an encounter in which two militants have been killed," an informed source said.
 
Reports from the area mentioned that the slain militants belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) outfit.
 
Searches are underway in the area.
 
IANS
 

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Coldest December night in Srinagar in 28 years

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Srinagar witnessed the coldest night of the season as the city shivered at minus 7.6 degree Celsius, the Met Office said on Thursday.
 
After December 7, 1990, when the minimum temperature had dropped to minus 8.8 degree Celsius, the city recorded the coldest night of the season at minus 7.6 degree, breaking the December 31, 2007 record of minus 7.2 degree, an official of the Met department said.
 
Water taps, lakes, ponds and other water bodies were frozen in and around Srinagar in the morning. Very few people ventured out of their homes due to the bone-chilling cold outside.
 
Pahalgam recorded minus 8.3 degree Celsius, and the minimum temperature in Gulmarg was minus 9 degree Celsius. Leh recorded minus 8.4 degree and it was minus 16.2 degree in Kargil.
 
Drass was the coldest town in Jammu and Kashmir at minus 20.6 degree Celsius. The maximum temperature in the town on Wednesday was minus 8 degree Celsius.
 
Jammu recorded 4.3 degrees, Katra 3.7 degrees, Batote minus 2.2 degree, Bannihal minus 3.5 degree and Bhaderwah minus 2.5 degree as the night's lowest temperature.
 
IANS
 

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Militant hideout busted in Pulwama district of J&K

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Security forces on Wednesday busted a militant hideout in a forest area close to Hizbul commander Riyaz Naikoo's village, during a cordon and search operation in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, police said.
 
The search operation was launched earlier in the day in the Badriwan forests of Awantipora area following specific information about militant presence.
 
"A militant hideout has been busted during this operation," a police officer said.
 
The hideout is close to Beighpora village, the ancestral village of Naikoo, who is at the top of security forces wanted list in south Kashmir.
 
IANS
 

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Six Kashmiri Zakir Musa men killed in J&K gunfight

 
6 terrorists killed in encounter in Pulwama
Six Kashmiri militants of the Al Qaeda-affiliate Zakir Musa group, Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, were gunned down by security forces in an encounter on Saturday in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district.
 
Soliha, the deputy of Zakir Musa, also known as Rehaan Khan died in the encounter in the Tral area after the group of hiding militants fired at Rashtriya Rifles (RR) soldiers, Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers and men from special operations group (SOG) of the state police, who had surrounded the Arampora village following specific inputs about the terrorists' presence.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired triggering the encounter," a police officer said.
 
Earlier, the police had identified two, one of whom they called a foreigner while the other Musa's deputy, who belongs to the Arampora village, where the gun battle took place.
 
"Weapons and war-like stores have been recovered. The operation is over," Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia earlier said here.
 
Police said after completion of legal formalities the bodies of the slain militants would be handed over to their families.
 
Mobile Internet service in the district and rail services between the valley and the Bannihal town of Jammu region was suspended.
 
IANS
 

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Six Zakir Musa men killed in J&K

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Six militants of the Al Qaeda-affiliate Zakir Musa's group Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, including its Kashmiri deputy, were killed on Saturday in a gunfight with the security forces in Tral area of Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, the Defence Ministry said.
 
"Six terrorists have been killed in the Tral area encounter. Weapons and war-like stores have been recovered. The operation is over," Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia said here.
 
The Kashmiri militant killed is from the Arampora village where the gun battle had taken place earlier in the day. Soliha, alias Rehaan Khan, is the deputy chief of Zakir Musa, and is believed to be among those killed.
 
Mobile Internet service in the district and rail services between the valley and the Bannihal town of Jammu region was suspended.
 
The other slain militant identified so far is a foreigner, police said.
 
Soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles (RR), troopers of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and special operations group (SOG) men surrounded Arampora village early on following specific inputs about militant presence, a police officer said.
 
"As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired triggering the encounter in which six militants were killed belonging to Zakir Musa outfit, Ansar Ghazwatul Hind.
 
"Exact identity of the other slain militants is being ascertained," the police officer added.
 
IANS
 

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Zakir Musa's aide killed in J&K gunfight

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A foreign militant belonging to the Zakir Musa outfit, Ansar Ghazwatul Hind, was killed on Saturday in a gunfight with security forces in Tral area of Pulwama district in Jammu and Kashmir, police said.
 
Following information about militant presence, the security forces surrounded Arampora village. "As the cordon was tightened, the militants fired triggering the encounter in which one militant has been killed so far," a police officer said.
 
Intermittent firing exchanges were still going on at the gun battle site.
 
IANS
 
 
 

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President's rule to be imposed in J&K from Thursday

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President's rule is set to be imposed in Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday as the Governor's rule expires in the state on Wednesday, after six months, said government sources.
 
The Centre is learnt to have recommended President's rule after a report by Governor Satya Pal Malik, officials said on Tuesday.
 
A Home Ministry official told IANS that the Union Cabinet has given its go-ahead for President's rule after December 19.
 
A communication from Governor's office was sent to the Central government and subsequently it was moved to the Union Cabinet for its nod.
 
The official said President Ram Nath Kovind will have to issue a proclamation declaring that the powers of the legislature of the state shall be exercisable by or under the authority of Parliament.
 
The state plunged into a political crisis in June this year after the Mehbooba Mufti-led coalition government was reduced to a minority following withdrawal of support by the 25-member BJP in the state.
 
Since the state has a separate Constitution, in such cases, six months of Governor's rule is compulsory under Article 92 of the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution, under which all the legislative powers are vested with the Governor.
 
The Governor has to dissolve the Legislative Assembly after six months. The state then directly comes under President's rule for another six months after which elections have to be held in the state.
 
In case the elections are not declared, President's rule can be extended by another six months.
 
No Presidential proclamation shall in any case remain in force for more than three years except for the intervention of Election Commission of India which has to certify that the continuance in force of the Proclamation is necessary on account of difficulties in holding general elections to the Legislative Assembly.
 
Malik on November 21 dissolved the 87-member state assembly after the PDP, supported by the Congress and their arch rivals National Conference, had staked their claim to form the government.
 
Simultaneously, the two-member People's Conference led by Sajjad Lone had also staked his claim to form a government with 25 members of the BJP and other 18 unknown members.
 
The Governor dissolved the assembly citing horse-trading and lack of stability to form a government as the reasons.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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Restrictions in Srinagar to prevent separatist march

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Authorities on Monday imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar to prevent a separatist-called protest march against the civilian killings which took place in Pulwama district on the weekend, police said.
 
The protest march has been called to the Army's Badami Bagh cantonment headquarters in the city.
 
Restrictions will remain in force in Ram Munshibagh, Rainawari, Khanyar, Nowhatta, M. R. Gunj and Safa Kadal areas, with partial restrictions in Maisuma and Kralkhud.
 
The Army issued a statement on Sunday asking people not to participate in the protest march.
 
Heavy deployments of police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were made in Srinagar's old city area other law and order sensitive places.
 
All shops, public transport and educational institutes remained closed on Monday.
 
Senior separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest, while Muhammad Yasin Malik has gone underground to avoid being arrested.
 
Rail services between the valley and the Jammu region remained cancelled for a third day on Monday.
 
On Saturday, seven civilians were killed and over 35 others injured in clashes with the security forces which broke out in Pulwama district's Sirnoo village immediately after a gunfight in the area.
 
Three militants and a soldier were killed in the gunfight.
 
IANS
 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at desk@netindian.in)

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Separatist shutdown paralyses life in Kashmir Valley

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A shutdown called by separatists on Sunday to protest the civilian killings a day before in Pulwama district, has paralysed life across the Kashmir Valley.
 
The shutdown has been called by the Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) separatist conglomerate.
 
On Saturday, seven civilians were killed and over 35 others injured in clashes with the security forces which broke out in Pulwama district's Sirnoo village immediately after a gunfight in the area.
 
Public transport remained off the streets across the valley on Sundat as authorities made heavy security deployment to maintain law and order.
 
High tension continued for the second day in the South Kashmir districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian where the impact of the protest shutdown was maximum.
 
Governor Satya Pal Malik has ordered a probe, led by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan. into Saturday's killings.
 
On Monday, the separatists have called a protest march to the Badami Bagh headquarters of the Army's 15 Corps in Srinagar.
 
Senior separatist leaders, Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq have been placed under house arrest while Muhammad Yasin Malik has gone underground to avoid detention.
 
Mobile internet services have been suspended in south Kashmir areas while the speed was brought down in other places of the valley.
 
Rail services between the valley and the Jammu region remained cancelled for a second day on Sunday.
 
IANS
 

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Bloody Saturday: Soldier, 3 militants, 7 civilians killed in Valley

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It was a blood-soaked Saturday in Kashmir in which 11 persons, including seven civilians, an Army soldier and three militants, were killed and over three dozen civilian protesters sustained injuries in clashes with the security forces.
 
The 11 deaths took place in a gunfight and subsequent clashes in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama district, in one of the bloodiest days in the Valley's recent history.
 
The gunfight erupted in Sirnoo village as security personnel surrounded the area after receiving a tip-off that militants were holed up there.
 
Three militants and a soldier were killed in the gunfight, the police said.
 
One of the three slain militants, Zahoor Ahmad Thokar, had deserted the Army to join the militant ranks.
 
Immediately after the gunfight, scores of civilian protesters clashed with the security forces who used firearms and pellets to control the agitating mob.
 
Two youths identified as Amir Ahmad and Abid Hussain were declared brought dead in a district hospital where they were taken for treatment of gunshot injuries.
 
Five other civilian protesters -- Suhail Ahmad, Shahbaaz, Liyaqat Dar, Tauseef Ahmad and Murtaza Bashir -- succumbed to their wounds later, authorities said.
 
Reports coming from the area said that more than 35 protesters were injured in the clashes and three of them were critical after receiving gunshot wounds.
 
Spontaneous protests broke out immediately after the news about the civilian killings spread in the Valley.
 
Protesters clashed with the security forces in north Kashmir's Sopore town where the security forces used tear smoke to disperse the protesters.
 
No injury to any protester or security man was reported during these protests.
 
Protests also occurred in old city Nowhatta area of Srinagar where protesters shouted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans.
 
Students of the Kashmir University also carried out peaceful protest in the campus over the civilian killings in Pulwama district.
 
Markets, public transport and other businesses were shut in south Kashmir, Srinagar and Badgam district and some other places after the tension spilled over to these areas.
 
Authorities have imposed curfew in Pulwama town and deployed additional security personnel to maintain law and order in the wake of the civilian deaths.
 
Mobile internet services were suspended in south Kashmir districts and in Srinagar while its speed was brought down throughout the Valley.
 
Rail services between the Kashmir valley and Bannihal town in the Jammu region were also cancelled.
 
Reacting to the tragedy, former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said in a tweet: "Another blood-soaked weekend in Kashmir. Six protesters killed, one soldier killed in the line of duty. Together with the three militants from this morning's encounter that's 10 dead. Reports of many injured at the encounter site. What a horrible day!"
 
Omar slammed Governor Satya Pal Malik's administration for its alleged failure to ensure that civilian casualties are avoided during gunfights.
 
"The administration of Governor Malik has one task and one task only - to focus on the security of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and restore peace to a troubled Valley. Sadly, it appears that's the only thing the administration is not doing. Publicity campaigns and full page ads don't bring peace," he said.
 
Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti also expressed serious concern over the day's incident.
 
"How long are we going to shoulder the coffins of our youngsters? So many civilians killed today post encounter in Pulwama. No country can win a war by killing its own people. I strongly condemn these killings, and once again appeal for efforts to stop this bloodbath," she said in a statement.
 
Senior separatist leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq called the incident "a massacre of Kashmiris" and announced a three-day Valley-wide protest shutdown beginning on Saturday.
 
"#PulwamaMassacre, bullets and pellets rain! As government of India has decided to kill Kashmiris through its #ArmedForces who control us, the JRL (Joint Resistance Leadership) and people will march towards Badami Bagh Army cantonment on Monday, Dec 17, to ask to kill all of us at one time rather than killing us daily," he said in a tweet.
 
He also appealed to the world community to take cognizance of the serious situation in Kashmir.
 
Other political leaders condemning the civilian killings included Ghulam Hassan Mir of Democratic Party Nationalist (DPN) and Engineer Rashid, former MLA.
 
IANS
 

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