Srinagar :There are no indications of an increase in militant recruitment during the unilateral ceasefire by the Centre in Kashmir, but Pakistan is still trying to push ultras from across the LoC into the valley, a top Army official said .General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the Srinagar-based Chinar Corps, Lieutenant General A K Bhatt also noted that people of Kashmir have responded well to the Centre’s announcement of non-initiation of combat operations (NICO) during Ramzan and some peace has been achieved in the valley.
Asked about any increase in militant recruitment since the unilateral ceasefire was announced by the Centre at the beginning of the holy month of Ramzan, the Corps commander told PTI There are no indications as such at the moment and we hope it will come down”.
Since the ceasefire, some peace has been achieved and the public has responded well to it. We will be happy if there is no civil casualty in these 30 days of Ramzan, he said.
The GoC said any decision regarding extension of ceasefire will have to be taken by the government but the Army was ready to implement any such decision.
That decision has to be taken by the government and we are ready to implement any such decision, he said.
Asked about infiltration attempts from across the LoC, Lt Gen Bhatt said there were attempts by Pakistan, but the troops were deployed to stop them.
As far as infiltration is concerned, Pakistan is still fully engaged in attempting infiltration, but our troops are deployed to stop such attempts, he said.
On spike in weapons snatching incidents in the valley, the Corps commander said it was the frustration of the militants.
This is their frustration. Police have foiled many such attempts recently and the police are responding to it very effectively, he said.
Earlier, Lt Gen Bhatt inaugurated the Army’s Kashmir Super 30 (Medical) free residential coaching for NEET aspirants.
It is a proud moment and a happy moment for us that we have selected 30 students from across the J-K for the Super 30 (Medical). I am sure these students will get good coaching and secure admission in best colleges across the country and earn a name for themselves, for their parents and for the country, he said.
Lt Gen Bhatt said the endeavour of the forces is to join the youth of the valley with the mainstream.
I am sure these students, who are our future, will make full use of the opportunity to move forward in life It has been our main aim, especially since the last one year, to engage youth. The aim behind all our activities is to join the youth with the mainstream, he said.
Amit Shah calls for urgent meeting of Jammu and Kashmir BJP ministers in Delhi today
BJP president Amit Shah has called for an urgent meeting of all Jammu and Kashmir BJP ministers and some top leaders in New Delhi on Tuesday. “All the BJP ministers have been called to New Delhi for a meeting,” a senior BJP leader of Jammu and Kashmir BJP told PTI.
Shah has called the meeting to discuss the political situation in the state — including the impact of suspension of operations during Ramzan and its resumption. The report further added that Shah might also discuss the future strategy with ally PDP and the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
BJP ministers in the Mehbooba Mufti government, including state unit president Ravindra Raina, party vice-president and incharge of Jammu and Kashmir Avinash Rai Khanna, and state unit office bearers, will participate in the meeting at the party headquarters, The Economic Times report said. Party General secretary (Organisation) Asho Kaul has also been called for the meeting.
However, other reports claimed that suspending operations along the border area has miffed the PDP leadership and the rift is showing once again as the Centre wants to resume anti-terror operations in the state after Ramzan. While PDP thinks BJP leaders should make headway with the separatists and initiate dialogue with them, the BJP-led central government says that the separatists lost an opportunity as they did not take a cue from civil society, sources have told NDTV.
The Centre decided to suspend anti-terror operations during the holy month “in view of providing respite to the people”, however, NDTV reported that data showed the terror activities had more than doubled in this period.
As terrorist activities continued even after the announcement of a month-long suspension of anti-terror operations in Jammu and Kashmir, the Centre on Sunday decided not to extend its unilateral initiative, declared on 16 May to coincide with the holy month, evoking dismay among people in the state.
“All political issues related to the state are on the agenda. The meeting will not only discuss the 2019 Lok Sabha preparation but also the recent suspension of operations and its impact, relations with allies and other issues,” a senior BJP leader was quoted as saying.
The home ministry announcement, a day after Eid festivities, said that operations against the militants will resume. “The Government of India decides not to extend the suspension of operations in Jammu and Kashmir announced in the beginning of Ramzan,” a ministry statement said.
Apart from all this, the BJP president will also meet to ensure that the forthcoming Amarnath Yatra, which begins on 28 June, passes off smoothly without any violence.
Journalist Shujaat Bukhari murdered in gruesome attack at Press Enclave; 2 PSOs also killed
Srinagar, Jun 14: Dr Syed Shujaat Bukhari, a prominent senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Daily Rising Kashmir, was killed on Thursday evening in a gruesome attack by unidentified gunmen outside his office at the Press Enclave here.
Forty minutes to the penultimate Iftar of 2018 Ramadan, sounds of, at least, ten gunshots reverberated in the media hub.
The journalists rushed out of their offices only to find Shujaat, his Personal Security Official (PSO), and his driver lying in a pool of blood in his bullet-ridden SUV just outside Shujaat’s office.
Eyewitnesses said at least two persons armed with AK47 rifles fired indiscriminately at the vehicle, critically wounding the three men.
Shujaat, who was sitting in the middle seat, received multiple bullets, and his PSO, in the front, had been shot in his face.
The driver, also a policeman, also was critically injured.
The attackers appeared to have emptied their magazines over the victims before escaping.
For the next about 10 minutes, the vehicle remained stranded, as no one could muster courage to go near the victims.
Shujaat’s was lying face down on the seat, blood all around him. A young journalist touched his body, but couldn’t detect the pulse.
The jaw of the dead PSO sitting next to the driver was literally dangling. He had exit wounds on his neck. He died at the spot.
The driver, however, was still breathing, whispering something. His eyes were about to shut.
A hoax cry about the attackers still being there sent everyone running away from the vehicle, until they rushed back a few seconds later.
Chaos and fear was visible on the scribes’ faces, while a few photojournalists clicked pictures of the scene.
No one, however, was willing to drive out the dying driver or the other two to the hospital.
They were eventually carried into the police vehicle that arrived at the scene.
Rushing in, the police fired a bullet in the air to disperse the crowd, and a cop subsequently drove the damaged SUV to the hospital where Shujaat was declared brought dead.
The driver too succumbed soon after.
Shujaat’s body was handed over to his family at Kreeri, Baramulla, for the last rites.
A police spokesperson later issued the following statement: “It is learnt that some militants this evening fired upon senior journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the daily Rising Kashmir Shujaat Bukhari at Press Enclave Lal Chowk. While Shujaat Bukhari was traveling in a car near Press enclave he was fired upon indiscriminately which resulted in the instant death of Bukhari and a PSO who was with him. The other injured PSO who was shifted to the hospital in critical condition has succumbed to his injury.”
The spokesperson said that “preliminary investigations indicate it was a militant attack”.
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