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Amarnath Yatra 2019: High-tech devices to track, secure pilgrim movement

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jun 24: The authorities in J&K have decided to use hi-tech tracking devices to further strengthen the security grid during the upcoming Amarnath Yatra beginning next month.

For the pilgrims set to undertake the yatra from South Kashmir and Central Kashmir routes, the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) has decided to use hi-tech gadgets including modified tracking devices that remain connected with radars and control rooms.

The Board will keep track of all the pilgrims and the vehicles used by them while undertaking the annual Yatra, top security officers said on Monday.

 

“The pilgrim vehicles will be provided with the Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) chips and their movement will be monitored by the security agencies,” said a top police officer.

This is for the first time that the movement of pilgrims and their vehicles will be tracked through hi-tech gadgets including satellite radars and trackers.

The development comes in the wake of recent militant attacks: the first one at Anantnag on June 12 followed by a powerful IED on June 17.

More protection on highways, is also the part of new security plan, said the officials.

“Strengthening quick action teams, securing convoys, improving counter-IED measures and better deployment are some of the steps being taken by the security forces in light of recent attacks and the upcoming Amarnath Yatra,” Inspector General of CRPF, Ravideep Singh Sahi was quoted saying by a local news agency.

Sources said that as part of the multi-pronged security grid, more focus will remain on highways for the smooth flow of pilgrimage on both the routes.

“Some 90 points have been identified where security would be on high-alert mode and also close vigil will be maintained on the movement of Yatra vehicles’ movement. Cut-off timings will also be conveyed to the pilgrims for crossing various points and junctions to ensure their security and safety,” sources added.

Another officer said that the need for surveillance by UAVs and helicopters and the requirement of road opening parties (ROPs) between Ramban and Jawahar tunnel have also been discussed at a recent meeting on pilgrimage and security assessment. (With inputs from KNO)

Highway toll tax exempted during Yatra

Srinagar, Jun 24: In order to ensure free movement of Amarnath Yatra vehicles on the National Highway, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday issued directions to all concerned officers that the toll tax which is collected at Chachikoot Toll Plaza, shall be exempted for all kinds of vehicles during the Yatra period (from July 01 up to August 15, 2019).

Concerned Deputy Commissioners and other concerned agencies were asked to follow the direction in letter and spirit and ensure hassle-free movement of Amarnath Yatra vehicles on the National Highway.


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Police seeks adjournment of Kathua rape, murder trial, says ‘accused being major or minor still undecided’

Press Trust of India

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Jammu, Jul 15: Jammu and Kashmir police’s crime branch Monday moved a plea before a juvenile justice board hearing the case of an accused in the gangrape and murder of a young girl in Kathua, seeking deferment of the trial as the state high court is yet to decide whether he is a minor or not.
Appearing before the board, the special public prosecutor of the crime branch submitted that the high court is yet to pronounce its decision on an application moved against the decision of a Kathua court which accepted the accused’s claim that he is a minor, officials said.
The board, after framing charges against the accused who played a key role in kidnapping, rape and murder of the eight-year-old nomadic girl, had fixed Monday for examining prosecution witnesses and commencing of trial.
The board, after examining the plea of the crime branch, however, made it clear that there was no stay by the high court on holding the trial and gave prosecution two weeks to produce evidence and its witnesses in the case.
The crime branch had filed a petition in the high court against the accused’s claim of being a juvenile and said that the then chief judicial magistrate in Kathua had erred in accepting it.
The crime branch had also annexed a report of the medical board of Government Medical College, Jammu, which said the accused was “not less than 19 and not more than 21” years of age
However, the case has seen repeated adjournments last year.
The juvenile justice board had framed charges on July 8 following which it issued a notice to the crime branch, asking them to bring in their prosecution evidence and witnesses for the trial.
According to the notice, “the next date of hearing has been fixed on July 15”.
“The case has been fixed for prosecution evidence… Kindly arrange the presence of public prosecutor appointed in the case so as to examine the prosecution evidence/ witnesses,” it said.
The trial in this case was shifted to the Pathankot Sessions Court on the directions of the Supreme Court last year.
The Pathankot Sessions Court had on June 10 this year sentenced Sanji Ram, dismissed special police officer Deepak Khajuria and Parvesh Kumar to life imprisonment, while sacked policemen Anand Dutta, Tilak Raj and Surender Verma were handed five years in jail.
The verdict came 17 months after the girl was brutally gang-raped inside a ‘devisathan’ (local temple) and later killed. She was kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17.

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Four arrested for thrashing teachers, students in Budgam

Syed Nashir Ali Gillani

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Srinagar, Jul 15: Under pressure, Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested four people involved in the attack on school picnickers at Raiyar village in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Saturday evening.
Six people including two girls and a teacher were injured when a group of youth armed with rods and canes attacked school picnickers at Raiyar village. The incident occurred on Saturday evening when the students and teachers of Hanfiya Model Higher Secondary School (HMHSS), Kreeri in Baramulla district, were returning from Doodpathri after a daylong picnic.
Police swung into action immediately and registered a case of attempt to murder under section 307 Ranbir Penal Code (RPC) against the unknown attackers.
Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Budgam, Amod Nagpuri told The Kashmir Monitor that four persons have been arrested and further investigation was going on.
“Yes, four persons have been arrested from Raiyar, where the incident took place. They have been booked under section 307 RPC,” Nagpuri said.
Jehangir Ahmad, a teacher at HMHSS, said photographs of eight people were sent (by police) to school authorities for identification.
“After going through the photographs, we identified four persons,” he said.
Ahmad said the injured physical teacher continues to be under observation in Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS).
“Patient was referred from SDH Khan Sahib as a case of assault with head injury. NCCT head showing parietooccipital EDH with parietotemporal contusions,”read the SKIMS report issued on Sunday.
Police sources said that during investigation statements of the injured were also recorded and on that basis four attackers were later arrested

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470 militant attacks took place in 2017, 2018: Goel tells RS

Agencies

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New Delhi, Jul 15: As many as 470 militant attacks took place in the country in 2017 and 2018, the government informed Rajya Sabha on Monday.
In a written reply to a question by BJP MP Vijay Goel, Minister of State for Defence said in 2017, 131 militant attacks occurred in Jammu and Kashmir, eight in Manipur and one in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh each
In 2018, 318 militant attacks took place in Jammu and Kashmir, eight in Manipur and three in Nagaland.
The minister told the House that 235 militants were killed in various counter-insurgency and counter-infiltration operations in 2017. In 2018, the number of militants killed stood at 265.
The Army lost 85 soldiers in these two years – 42 in 2017 and 43 in 2018.

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