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513 ceasefire violations by Pakistan post-Balakot strike: Army

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Apr 13: As many as 513 ceasefire violations by Pakistan have taken place along the LoC in Jammu and Kashmir in the past one-and-a-half month and the Pakistan Army has suffered five to six times more casualties than the Indian Army in the retaliatory action, a senior officer said Saturday.

The Pakistan Army also used heavy weaponry like mortars and artillery guns in over 100 times during these violations and targeted civilian areas but was given a befitting response by the Indian Army, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of White Knight Corps Lt Gen Paramjit Singh told reporters in Rajouri.

“Almost 513 ceasefire violations happened in the past one-and-a-half month and over 100 times during these violations, the Pakistan Army used heavy weapons like mortars and artillery guns and targeted civilian areas. Only yesterday (Friday), four civilians, including two girls, were injured in Poonch,” the GOC said.

 

However, he said the Pakistan Army is being given a befitting response by the Indian Army.

Responding to a question about the casualties suffered by Pakistan in the retaliatory action, he said unlike the Indian Army, Pakistan does not announce the number of its casualties.

“However, as per our sources, the Pakistan Army suffered five to six times more casualties than the casualties on our side,” Lt Gen Singh said.

On the sniping incidents from across the border, Lt Gen Singh said such incidents had come to a naught over the past several months, especially after the Balakot strike.

“Some incidents of sniping took place earlier and accordingly we have taken some measures to strengthen our defence.

As per the data this year, only three incidents of sniping by the Pakistan Army were reported from January to February 26 in which one of the fatalities include a civilian porter,” he said.

“There was no sniping incident from February 27 till date, which means the steps taken by us have been successful,” the officer said.

He said the morale of the troops is very high and as long as they are deployed on the borders, the people of the country need not worry. “They have every kind of weaponry and explosives with them and their resolve is rock solid and always prepared for any challenge. As long as they are on the border, you are safe,” he said.

Responding to a question, the officer said, “Our message to Pakistan is given every day whenever some nefarious activity happens on the border”.

When asked for a comment on politics being played in the name of soldiers during the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, he said the Army does not want to get into the debate.


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Kashmir

Rail service resumes

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Nov 12: Rail services in Kashmir resumed on Tuesday – over three months after being suspended due to security reasons in view of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, officials said.

Few mini-buses also plied on the Batwara-Batamaloo route through the city centre, while inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws plied in the city and elsewhere in the valley.

Private transport was plying unhindered.

 

A railway official told PTI that a train chugged between Baramulla and Srinagar this morning.

He said the train made only two trips on the Baramulla-Srinagar stretch as authorities have directed Railways to ply trains between 10 am and 3 pm only due to security reasons.

The Railways conducted the trial run of the service on the stretch on Monday for the first time in over three months since the unannounced shutdown in the valley.

The official said the Srinagar-Banihal stretch of the railway line would resume in a few days after checking track safety and conducting trial runs.

The train service in the valley was suspended due to security reasons on the morning of 5 August – hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union territories.

The Centre’s decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley – which completed 100 days on Tuesday — even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which were later gradually eased out.

Markets have been following a new pattern of functioning, opening early morning till around the noon and then downing their shutters to join the protest against abrogation of the special status of the state, officials said.

They said miscreants are using fear mongering to put down any resistance to unannounced shutdown by threatening shopkeepers and businessmen.

The officials said two grenade attacks in the city’s busy Goni Khan market and Kaka Sarai areas were an indication that there were concerted efforts to keep the shutdown going.

Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act.

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Militant killed in Ganderbal gunfight

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Nov 12: A militant was killed and an Army soldier injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Kulan area of the central Kashmir district in the morning following inputs about the presence of militants.

During the search, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces, who retaliated, according to an officer.

 

A militant was killed during the gunfight. An army soldier was also injured and rushed to a medical facility for treatment, the officer said.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the officer added.

The incident comes after the encounter where two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Monday morning, police said.

While one militant was killed on Sunday during a gunfight between security forces in Lawdara village, about 55 km from Srinagar, another was killed on Monday, police further said. The security forces started a search operation on getting information about the presence of some militants in the area which led to the encounter between the security forces and the militants.

The streak of encounters continues as the state of Kashmir remains under an unprecedented lockdown after the abrogation of article 370.

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Kashmir

Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.

 “I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.

 Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.

 

An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry. 

“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said. 

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.

“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said. 

Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.

Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply.  Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.

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