Srinagar, Sep 21: As many as 30 policemen have been killed till date in different militancy related incidents in the current year in Kashmir Valley. Seven cops were killed in August, followed by 5 in June, 4 each in the months of January and February, 3 in September, 2 each in March, May and July and one in April.
On January 6, a powerful IED blast resulted in the death of four policemen in Sopore town of North Kashmir’s Baramulla district who were identified as ASI Irshad Ahmad EXK number 825685 resident of Doda about 58 years old, Constable Ghulam Nabi Belt number 720/IRP 3rd resident of Rohama Rafiaabad, Constable Parvaiz Ahmad Belt number 915/IRP 3rd resident of Vilgam Handwara, Constable Mohammad Amin Belt number 470/IRP 3rd resident of Sogam Kupwara.
On February 5, two policemen Mushtaq Ahmed of Karnah and Babar Khan of Shangas Anantnag were killed when militants fired upon them inside SMHS Hospital helping LeT militant Naveed Jatt to free from police custody. Naveed along with six other prisoners were brought to hospital for medical check-up on that day.
Two cops were shot dead by suspected militants on February 25 at two different places. An Armed policeman Kultar Singh of Samba was killed at Charar-e-Sharif shrine while another cop Farooq Ahmed Itoo of Chadoora guarding Hurriyat leaders Fazal Haq Qureshi’s house at Soura was also shot dead. Militants managed to decamp with the rifles of both these slain cops.
Two policemen were killed during the intervening night of March 20 and 21 at Halmatpora Kupwara in a fierce encounter. The said encounter also resulted in the death of five non-local militants and three Indian soldiers.
On March 29, suspected militants shot dead SPO Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh at Katoo Wubzan village of Dachnipora belt of Bijbehara while his wife Fareeda Begum received injuries during a scuffle with assailants. Two days later on March 31, suspected militants shot dead another SPO Muhammad Ashraf Mir in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Only one cop became the prey in the month of April and this time he was an SOG man Latif Gojri who along with a soldier was killed in a massive gun battle in Laam Forest area of Tral town in Pulwama. Four militants were also killed in this gun fight.
Two policemen were killed in May. On May 11 militants killed a cop Shameem Ahmed of Yaripora Kulgam when they attacked a minority picket at Wadwun Budgam while on May 15 a policeman Abdul Rashid was killed in a militant attack at Padshahibagh Bijbehara.
On June 2 Policeman Aqib Wagay of Panzgam who was injured in a militant attack succumbed to his injuries. On June 13 two policemen Ghulam Hassan Wagay and Ghulam Rasool were killed while another cop was injured after militants attacked court complex Pulwama. Militants snatched their rifles as well.
A cop Tanvir Ahmed was killed on June 20 after militants attacked a police patrol at Galandar Pampore. An SOG man Ashiq Hussain was killed on June 22 in Khiram Srigufwara area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district during an encounter. This encounter also resulted in the killing of four militants and a civilian.
On July 5 suspected militants abducted policeman Javaid Hamid Dar near Vehil Shopian and later killed him while on July 16 Mudasir Ahmed, a security guard of National Conference leader Ghulam Mohiuddin Mir was killed after militants attacked their vehicle in Muran Pulwama. Militants also snatched two rifles while another security guard was also injured in the attack.
The month of August witnesses 7 killings of policemen. On August 22 militants killed 3 cops in three separate incidents in South Kashmir’s Pulwama and kulgam district on the eve of Eid-ul-Azah. They were Inspector Muhammad Ashraf Dar of Larav Pulwama, Yaqoob Shah of Loisani Pulwama and Fayaz Ahmed of Zazripora.
Four policemen were gunned down by militants in on August 29 in Arhama village of Shopian district. They were identified as Constable Ishfaq Ahmed Mir son of Abdul Aziz Mir of Watergam Dangiwacha, Constable Muhammad Iqbal Mir son of Abdul Rehman Mir a resident of Hardu Chanam Rohama, Constable Javaid Ahmed Bhat son of Nazir Ahmed Bhat of Panzinara Sumbal and SPO Adil Manzoor Bhat son of Manzoor Ahmed, a resident of Zawoora Shopian.
And today on September 21, three cops were abducted and killed by militants in South Kashmir’s Shopian district. They were identified as Firdous Kuchary and Kuldeep Singh of Batagund and Nisar Dhobi of Kaprin Shopian.
In the ongoing current year at least 355 people have been killed so far. Many among them became prey of cross border firing. Among the 355 slain people, 94 are men in uniform (48 army soldiers, 30 policemen, 8 BSF personnel and 8 Central Reserve Police Force personnel), 111 civilians and 150 militants.
New party in the offing: Faesal wants public money for ‘clean politics’
Srinagar, Jan 23: Former IAS officer Shah Faesal Wednesday launched a crowd-funding campaign for “clean politics and corruption-free administration” in Jammu and Kashmir hinting towards his plans to float his own political party.
The 2010-batch topper of the UPSC civil services exam said it was a “people’s movement for change”.
“Be a part of this journey for clean politics and corruption-free administration in J&K. Support Shah Faesal with your small donations,” he tweeted.
Faesal, who resigned from government service earlier this month, gave a bank account number for contributions and said payments could also be made through e-wallet.
Taking to a social networking site Facebook, Faesal wrote: “I had never imagined that my small act of defiance to highlight political deadlock in Jammu and Kashmir would evoke such a response across the world.”
He added that he had never thought that his “dream of clean politics and corruption-free administration” in J&K would take the shape of a “public movement”. “Respecting the public sentiment, I have decided to chart my independent political journey. And now in this new phase of public service, my mission is to support the true cause of humanity, stand up for the poor, marginalized and dispossessed and speak up for injustices, wherever in this world, irrespective of caste, colour, region, and religion,” he wrote.
Faesal said he imagined a politics where youth can “lead the change and take charge of their future”.“I wish to partner with a new generation of young leaders who can stand up for human rights, environment, free speech and rule of law. My idea is to seek help from the people of India, build alliances with the Indian civil society and intellectual class to humanize the narrative around Kashmir conflict so that lasting peace can be achieved in J&K State.”
He added that his “mission” was to “truthfully represent aspirations, culture, fears, and dreams” of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, across the world.“I wish to facilitate dialogue between people of various regions of the State – Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, Pir Panchal, and Chenab Valley so that an environment of amity and brotherhood can be built. I believe that development and dignity must go together, and we have to work together for giving a sense of security, better education, healthcare, livelihoods, electricity and other civic amenities to people of J&K State.”
“This is a people’s movement and it will be funded by the people. People are the only agencies who will help this succeed. Believe in me, be patient with me in this long and difficult journey and donate for this cause,” he wrote.
Earlier Faesal had resigned dubbing it as protest against “unabated killings in Kashmir, and lack of any sincere reach-out from the Union government; the marginalisation and invisiblisation 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 J&K and growing culture of intolerance and hate in mainland India in the name of hypernationalism”.
While he has made it clear that he would like to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Faesal has not joined any political party so far. Speculation is rife that he might float a new political outfit.
Priyanka Gandhi debuts in active politics: Mehbooba dubs her ‘X factor of 2019 polls’
New Delhi, Jan 23: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, the sister of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, has finally taken the plunge into politics, just months ahead of the national election due by May.
Often dubbed the “Brahmastra” or the mythical ultimate weapon of the Congress, Priyanka will debut as the party’s general secretary in charge of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh, which pitches her against the ruling BJP’s top two mascots, Prime Minister Narendra Modi–whose constituency Varanasi will be in her share–and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
“I have not sent Priyanka and Jyotiraditya for just two months. I have sent them to take the Congress’ ideology forward in Uttar Pradesh,” Rahul Gandhi told reporters.
Among many noted personalities congratulating Priyanka was former J&K Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, who tweeted: “Welcome Priyanka Gandhi to the rough and tumble of politics. She brings with her the grace of Gandhi Nehru lineage and her immense personal charm. Wish her the best. Could she become the Xfactor of 2019 poll battle?”
47-year-old Priyanka, who reminds many of her grandmother and former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, for both her charisma and the stunning likeness, is seen as a natural in politics but she has confined herself to the constituencies of her brother Rahul and mother Sonia Gandhi–Amethi and Raebareli–till now.
In national and state elections since 2004, the mother-of-two has campaigned exhaustively in the family seats where the Gandhis enjoy almost royal status.
Reports say her appointment to a key position reflects the Congress’s realisation that in a politically vital state like Uttar Pradesh, which has 80 parliamentary seats and is considered the route to power at the centre, the party needs to up its game and cannot afford just one in-charge. It is a huge gamble for the Congress, a sign that the party is all for aggressively taking on PM Modi and the BJP in the coming election.
The Congress dropped the Priyanka bombshell in the third para of a press statement that also announced that Jyotiraditya Scindia will be in charge of western UP. The giant announcement came as Rahul Gandhi began a two-day visit to Amethi. Priyanka Gandhi is in New York and is expected to return on February 1.
Congress leaders say Priyanka Gandhi’s arrival in party politics will galvanise the ranks that have been demoralised by the Mayawati-Akhilesh Yadav move to form an alliance in UP for the national election without the Congress, which has been pitching for a grand opposition alliance to take on the BJP.
Rahul Gandhi commented that the BJP was “panicking”.
The ruling party has been repeatedly targeting Priyanka Gandhi’s husband Robert Vadra, a businessman being investigated for allegedly corrupt land deals in Haryana and Rajasthan. Robert Vadra congratulated his wife in a Facebook post: “Congratulations P… always by your side in every phase of your life.”
In national and state elections since 2004, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra has campaigned in the family seats where the Gandhis enjoy almost royal status.
Priyanka Gandhi was always active in decision-making and played a key role in the alliance with Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party in the 2017 Uttar Pradesh election. She also reportedly oversaw the party meeting in which her older brother was crowned Congress president.
The BJP shrugged off the Congress announcement. “Rahul Gandhi failed so they need Priyanka as a crutch. Can’t they find anyone beyond that family?” sneered BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra.
Srinagar-Jammu Highway still closed
Jammu, Jan 23: A massive snow-clearance operation was underway to restore the 270-km Jammu-Srinagar Highway which remained closed for vehicular traffic for the third consecutive day Wednesday, officials said.
The snow clearance operation on both sides of the Jawahar Tunnel–the gateway to Kashmir–was started and the snow-clearance operation is going on in full swing, said Deputy Superintendent of Police, Traffic Highway, Pardeep Singh Sen.
An avalanche had also struck the Jawahar Tunnel area on Tuesday, blocking both tubes on Qazigund side.
The Border Roads Organisation (BRO), which maintains the Jawahar tunnel stretch of the highway, pressed its men and machines to clear the road of the accumulated snow on Tuesday, Sen said.
“We are expecting the highway to be open for traffic by late afternoon. However, only the stranded vehicles will be allowed to move on the highway once we get the green signal,” he said.
Hundreds of vehicles, mostly trucks, are stranded at various places along the highway, the only all-weather road linking Kashmir with rest of the country, officials said.
They said the road from Banihal, which recorded over two and a half feet of snow, to Jawahar tunnel was also being cleared, while the Banihal-Ramban stretch is almost clear after agencies concerned removed minor landslides and stones which came down at different places due to incessant rains.
After three-day long wet spell across Kashmir, the weather showed improvement with local meteorological department forecasting dry weather till January 29.
The three-day-long wet spell ended across the Valley today. The MeT department had predicted improvement in the weather conditions from Tuesday evening.
The local Meteorological department said that there is no forecast of rain or snowfall across the Valley till January 29 here, saying that the weather would remain cloudy on Jan 25.