ATM machine stolen in Anantnag

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Unknown persons decamped with an ATM machine of the State Bank of India from Anantnag town in Kashmir, police said today.

The unidentified men pulled out and took away the ATM machine along with the cash from Anantnag district town during the intervening night, a police official said.

He said the amount of cash present inside the machine was not known yet.

Police have registered a case and started investigations


Life returns to normal in Kashmir after three days, shutdown continues in Pulwama

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Normalcy returned in Kashmir valley today after three days of restrictions and strike in the aftermath of killing of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen commander Sabzar Bhat in an encounter with government forces.
There were no restrictions anywhere in Kashmir, officials said, adding life was going on normally across the valley.
Shops, offices, fuel stations and other business establishments opened here this morning, while public transport resumed after three days, the officials said.
They said similar reports of restoration of normalcy were received from other districts of the valley except Pulwama district where markets got closed after forces resorted to shelling stone-throwing protesters.
However, the officials said class work in all schools and colleges in the districts of Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and Budgam has been suspended for the day as a precautionary measure.
They said all higher secondary schools and colleges in Srinagar have also been closed for today.
The class work in few higher secondary schools and colleges in the districts of Ganderbal and Kupwara has also been suspended for the day, but university-level examinations were being conducted as per the schedule, the officials said.
The authorities restored the outgoing call facility on prepaid numbers last night, but mobile Internet services continued to remain suspended across the valley as a precautionary measure.
Curfew-like restrictions were imposed on Sunday in the districts of Anantnag, Pulwama, Kulgam and Shopian all in south Kashmir, as also in seven police station areas of Srinagar and in Sopore township in north Kashmir.
The restrictions were placed following the killing of Sabzar and his colleague in the encounter in Soimoh area of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district a day earlier.
The restrictions continued till yesterday.
Separatist groups had called for a two-day strike from Sunday and had asked people to march to Tral on Tuesday to pay tributes to the slain militants.

Mobile phone service continues to remain blocked in Tral- Awantipora areas

Mobile phone services continued to remain suspended in Tral- Awantipora areas of south Kashmir on the fifth consecutive day today, causing immense inconvenience to thousands of subscribers.
Authorities snapped mobile services across Kashmir on Saturday afternoon after Hizb commander Sabzar Bhat and his aide were killed by government forces in Tral area of Pulwama district.
An Airtel customer service executive told us that mobile phone services will remain barred in the area until further government orders.

Two militants among Sabzar Bhat killed in Tral Encounter


Hizbul Mujahideen commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat, who had succeeded Burhan Wani as the militant outfit’s chief, was among two militants killed during an hours-long encounter in Tral area of south Kashmir. 

Bhat was among the militants trapped by security forces in Tral area of Pulwama district.

Security forces had launched a cordon and search operation in Soimoh village of Tral, 36 km from Srinagar, following information about presence of top Hizbul Mujhaideen militants, including Bhat, in the area. 

Infiltration bid foiled in north Kashmir, four militants killed: Army


Army on Saturday claimed to have killed four militants on the Line of Control (LoC) in Baramulla district of north Kashmir who were trying to infiltrate from across the border.

A group of militants was challenged by troops on the Indian side of the LoC in Rampur sector

“The operation is ongoing in the area. The infiltration attempt has been foiled,” the sources said.

Rampur sector is adjacent to the Uri sector where the Army on Friday foiled an attack by Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT) and killed two militants

Clashes erupt after people from nearby villages march towards encounter site


A gunfight broke out between government forces and militants in Saimoh village of Tral in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday morning.

Reports and witnesses said that the militants opened fire on the patrolling party late Friday night, triggering a brief encounter that lasted for less than a minute after the former fled from the spot

An official said that a cordon was laid around the village which continued throughout the night.

Today morning, the gunfight began again, which was going on when last reports came.

Sources said that two to three militants, including top commander Sabzar Ahmad Bhat alias Soab Don, are believed to be trapped inside the cordon.

Locals alleged that forces also set ablaze a residential house of Abdul Rashid Mir during the night.

Meanwhile, clashes erupted in the nearby village of Rathsuna after locals tried to break the cordon to reach the encounter site.

Moon not sighted, Ramazan to begin from Sunday

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The moon, marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Ramazan, was not sighted on Friday and the first day of the holy month will now fall on Sunday (May 28).

The announcement was made by the Chairman of Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee Pakistan, Mufti Munibur Rehman, in a press conference held after the conclusion of an official meeting of the committee on Friday in the federal capital.

The Chairman Central Ruet-i-Hilal Committee said that no witnesses regarding the moon sighting were received from across the country. “The Holy month of Ramazan would now begin from May 28.

Fund distribution under MGNREGA: Rs 374 crore for Jammu, only Rs 178 crore for Kashmir


Keeping it ‘discrimination tradition’ alive, Jammu Kashmir Government has sanctioned more funds to Jammu Division as compared to Kashmir to implement different schemes under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) for current financial year 2017-18.

Well placed sources told news agency CNS that Rs 374 crore has gone into the kitty of Jammu Divisions while peanuts (Rs 178 crore) have been sanctioned for Kashmir Division. The ironical part is that as compared to whooping Rs 55 crore sanctioned to Jammu district, Srinagar has been awarded only Rs one crore.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act” (or, MGNREGA), is a labour law and social security measure that aims to guarantee the ‘right to work’. It aims to enhance livelihood security in rural areas by providing at least 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every household whose adult members volunteer to do unskilled manual work.

Sources said that Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Department in a bid to implement MGNREGA schemes in Jammu and Kashmir has sanctioned Rs 570 crore  out of which Jammu has got Rs 374 crore, Kashmir Rs 178 crore and Rs 18 crore has been sanctioned for the Ladakh region.

The fund distribution district wise data reveals that Srinagar has been allotted Rs one crore, Jammu Rs 55 crore, Anantnag Rs 45 crore, Budgam 12 crore, Bandipora 6 crore, Baramulla 18 crore, Ganderbal 13 crore, Kulgam and Kupwara Rs 33 crore each, Pulwama 10 crore, Shopian 7 crore, Samba Rs 6 crore, Reasi Rs 30 crore, Kathua Rs 18 crore, Kishtwar Rs 70 crore, Poonch Rs 37 crore, Rajouri Rs 56 crore, Ramban 12 crore,  Udhampur Rs 20 crore, Kargil Rs 6 crore and Leh has been allotted Rs 12 crore.

Kashmir based employees have castigated Rural Development Ministry for resorting to this discrimination. The said that major gap in fund distribution is aimed at to provide salaries to those people in Jammu who have illegally been adjusted in the department.

“The funds that are made available to Block Development Offices are being spent on the official tours of bureaucrats and ministers. The expenditure incurring on the tour and travels of these top officials is borne by employees working under MGNREGA,” they said.

Hurriyat leaders told me Modi inflicting harm on Valley’s business: Mani Shankar Aiyar

After coming under fire for having a dialogue with Hurriyat leaders, Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar on Friday asserted that it was conveyed to him that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that ‘terror and tourism cannot go together’ has ruined tourism industries in Jammu and Kashmir this year.

Speaking to ANI here, Aiyar said, “The tour operators of the Valley were present in the meeting with the Hurriyat leaders and they told me that Modi’s message that terror and tourism cannot go together has ruined tourism industries in this valley this year. He has inflicted untold harm by going around proclaiming that the valley has nothing to offer but terror.”

Talking about his meeting, the senior Congress leader further said that now he was more convinced that the situation in the Valley is extremely grave and that corrective actions need to be taken sooner than later, otherwise much bigger problems will surface.

In an effort to resume dialogue with the stakeholders in Kashmir, five-member delegation led by Aiyar yesterday called on moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and discussed ways to calm down the protestors.

The delegation discussed the prevailing situation in the Valley and the necessary steps to be initiated for bringing peace in Kashmir, which has been marred by violent protests since July 2016.

Considering the situation very critical where students and youth have joined the protests, Aiyar insisted that the Central Government should hold dialogue with all the stakeholders in Kashmir as it would bring enduring solutions by bringing peace in the Valley as well as reduce tensions between India and Pakistan.

Aiyar also showed his willingness to meet the pro-independence JKLF chief Yasin Malik, but he refused to meet the delegation.

The meetings with Hurriyat leaders assume significance after the group insisted that the Central Government should hold talks with Pakistan including separatists for resolution of the Kashmir issue.

However, Reacting on the Supreme Court orders, wherein it asked the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association (JKHCBA) to take to various stakeholders and consider their opinion in connection with the plea against the use of pellet guns in the state, the Centre on April 28th categorically said that it would not talk to people who were separatist leaders and those who talk of ‘Azaadi’ and freedom

Three drug peddlers held in Central Kashmir: Police

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Jammu and Kashmir police has arrested three drug peddlers and recovered over half a kilogram of contraband substance from their possession in Central Kashmir’s Srinagar and Budgam districts.

“A police party of police Station Lal Bazar apprehended two drug peddlers, identified as Nazir Ahmad Khan and Mehraj-u-Din Wani during naka checking at Zahidpora, Hawal. Police recovered 100 grams of Charas from their possession,” said a spokesman

A case FIR number 19/2017 under section 8/21 NDPS Act has been registered against them and further investigation has been taken up.

A patrolling party of police station Magam in District Budgam noticed suspicious movement of a man at bus stand Magam.

“The suspect was immediately apprehended and on his checking police recovered 550 grams of Charas. The accused was later identified as Ghulam Qadir Ganie son of Ghulam Rasool Ganie a resident of Batpora Magam.”

A case FIR number 61/2017 under section 8/20 NDPS Act stands registered against him and investigation has been taken up.