Srinagar, Jun 19: It has been the bloodiest week for the security forces post Pulwama fidayeen attack as more than 10 soldiers including four officers were killed and several others injured in different militancy related incidents across the restive South Kashmir region since June 12.
The rise in the forces casualties comes amid reports of Pakistan sharing intelligence inputs with New Delhi and Washington about the possible militant attacks in the South Kashmir region.
The spurt in militant attacks started on June 12 when militants carried out a major fidayeen attack in Anantnag town in which five Central Reserve Police Forces (CRPF) personnel including two assistant sub inspectors and Station House Officer (SHO) of J&K police Arshad Khan were killed while three jawans and a girl were injured. A foreign militant was killed in the retaliatory action.
Later security forces went against the militants with all guns blazing and launched two separate operations in Badura and Marhama villages of Anantnag district.
Though the forces managed to kill three militants including Hafiz Sajad Bhat, whose Ecco Van was used for February 14 Pulwama bombing, the forces suffered two fatalities including Major Ketan Sharma of 19 Rashtriya Riffles and Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaiswal. Three soldiers including an officer suffered injuries in one of the operations.
The deadliest attack however was carried out in Hargam Arihal village of Pulwama district on Monday evening. Militants detonated a powerful Improvised Explosive Device (IED) when an Ashok Leyland Stallion (ALS) of the army passed through the Hargam-Arihal village. Around nine soldiers and two civilians were injured in the explosion. Two of the injured –Naik Ajit Kumar and Havaldar Amarjeet Kumar — later succumbed to their wounds.
However the army played down the injury figure saying there were “few minor bruises and concussion/contusion”, without given the exact number.
“Two soldiers brought to the hospital with severe contusions/concussions have succumbed to their injuries while undergoing treatment in 92 base hospital. We deeply mourn the demise of our brave hearts”, said Colonel Rajesh Kalia, defence spokesman at Srinagar.
Figures compiled by different security agencies reveal that twenty nine militants and 44 security forces men were killed in Kashmir from January 1 to February 14. Post February 14 Pulwama attack, 81 militants and 22 security force men were killed till June 13 in the Kashmir valley.
The biggest single day fatalities for the forces was on February 18 when five soldiers including a Major were killed while five others including Brigadier, Deputy Inspector General of Police and Lieutenant Colonel were injured in the gun battle at Pinglena village of South Kashmir ‘s Pulwama district. Three top Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) commanders including the alleged Pakistani mastermind of Pulwama fidayeen attack –Kamran—were killed in the encounter.
Six days later on February 24, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP) Operations Aman Kumar Thakur and an army soldier were killed in an anti-militancy operation in Kulgam. Three Jaish-e-Mohammad militants including two Pakistanis were killed in the encounter.
5 arrested in Shopian, IED recovered: Police
Srinagar, Jun 19: Police Wednesday claimed arresting five Hizbul Mujahideen militants planning to target security forces using an improvised explosive device (IED).
A police spokesperson said that a special team in separate raids arrested the five persons and recovered material used for making the explosive devices including IEDs.
The arrested persons, all from Shopian, were identified as Aqib Nazir Rathar son of Nazir Ahmed Rathar resident of Awneera, Amir Majeed Wani son of Abdul Majeed Wani resident of Durpura, Sameer Ahmed Bhat son of Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat resident of Shirmal, Faisal Farooq Ahanger son of Farooq Ahmed Ahanger resident of Molu Chitragam, and Rayees Ahmed Ganai son of Mohammad Ayoub Ganai resident of Molu Dangarpura.
“During questioning it was revealed that a militant of Hizb, along with his five associates were planning to target police and security forces by planting an IED in the area. On their disclosure, a sophisticated IED was recovered from their possession and major attack which they had planned was foiled,” a police spokesperson said.
He said a case FIR NO 39/2019, in this regard, was registered at Police Station Zainapora and further investigation was in progress.
Rehab policy for KPs being formulated: Guv
Flags off electric buses in Sgr
Srinagar, Jul 19: Governor Satya Pal Malik Friday said that government is in the process of formulating a policy for rehabilitation of Kashmiri migrant Pandits in the valley.
“A policy is being formulated for rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits (KPs). You will get more details very soon,” Malik told reporters at the sidelines of a function to launch electric buses and release coffee table book on livestock breeding policy.
The return of the Kashmiri migrants to valley was a part of the 2008 Prime Minister financial package of Rs 1,618 crore.
Under this package Rs 7.5 lakh financial assistance was to be given to any family which will undertake renovation/reconstruction of their houses located in the valley. Besides other things, nearly 6,000 government jobs were to be provided to Kashmiri pandits in the valley.
Official figures reveal that around 41,117 migrant families from Kashmir are registered in Jammu and 21,000 others in Delhi and other states. Of the total migrant families living in Jammu, 37,128 are Hindus, 2,246 Muslims and 1,758 Sikhs.
Figures released by Kashmir Pandit Sangrash Simiti (KPSS), an apex body of non-migrant Pandits, reveal that there are 808 Kashmir Pandit families comprising 3464 people residing in the valley. Non-migrant Kashmiri Pandits are living in 292 locations and most of them are putting up in four districts of south Kashmir.
Minister of State for Home Affairs, G Kishan Reddy recently told the Parliament that Government is taking a number of steps for relief and rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits.
“Under the Prime Minister’s Development Package announced on November 7, 2015, the Government of India has approved creation of 3,000 additional State Government jobs for the Kashmiri migrants at a cost of Rs 1,080 crore and construction of 6,000 transit accommodations in the Kashmir Valley at a cost of Rs. 920 crore,” Reddy said.
ELECTRIC BUSES: Speaking on the occasion, Governor observed that the start of electric bus service is a step forward towards providing eco-friendly public transportation with modern facilities to the commuters in the region.
He emphasized on using E-Buses to abate pollution levels and urged people to largely utilise public transport for their daily travel in a bid to contribute towards environment preservation.
On Jammu & Kashmir Livestock Breeding Policy, 2019, Governor noted that the Policy is the first of its kind in the State that aims to increase both the production and productivity of livestock, fish and poultry in Jammu and Kashmir besides generating higher returns for the people engaged in this sector.
Governor congratulated the Department of Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries for bringing out the Livestock Breeding Policy and observed that J&K’s climate is ideal for the growth of livestock and poultry and if managed scientifically, these sectors have potential to increase the farmer’s income manifold.
Arvind Ganpat Sawant, Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises said that the fleet of E-Buses will contribute in reducing the pollution levels.
He said that the Central Government is taking several initiatives to meet the challenges of environmental threats by focussing on improving the quality of mass transportation.
Sawant appreciated the State Government for introducing a Livestock Breeding Policy to improve quality of livestock and promote the welfare of the farming community.
Guv to hoteliers, houseboat owners: Install STPs or your licenses will be cancelled
Srinagar, Jul 19: Blaming hotel and houseboat owners for polluting Dal Lake, Governor Satya Pal Malik Friday asked them to install Sewerage Treatment Plants (STPs) otherwise their licences would be cancelled.
Expressing concern over deteriorating condition of Dal Lake, Malik said that untreated sewage coming from hotels and houseboats was directly flowing into the famed lake.
“See the condition of Dal Lake. We are going to cancel licences of those who fail to install STPs. We will restore its lost glory within 18 months. People living in the lake will also be rehabilitated,” the Governor said.
Malik was addressing people at the launch of electric buses and releasing of coffee table book on livestock breeding policy, at SKICC.
He also expressed concern over the condition of old Srinagar city.“Down Town Srinagar has not been on the priority list of town planners. They are oblivious to the condition of lanes and by-lanes. People live in poverty in down town,” the Governor said.
Apparently backtracking from government’s recent announcement that Srinagar and Jammu would get metro rails in four years, he said: “We have to start transport which is viable and benefit the city. Are metro rails possible? There has to be a proper transport planning first.”
Malik also stressed on plying of pollution free vehicles. “There is zero-percent pollution at Dachigam. There was a proposal for allowing trekking, picnic and marriage functions at Dachigam which I did not allow,” he said
He also called for promotion of live-stock sector in the Valley.
Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Arvind Ganpat Sawant said electric buses would considerably reduce the pollution levels. “The Centre will provide all possible help to the state. These electric buses will also provide employment to the youth who will run the charging points,” he said.
Advisors to Governor S Skandan, KK Sharma Principal Secretary Animal/Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries and Transport Department Dr Asgar Hassan Samoon also spoke on the occasion.
Second-hand smoke exposure highest in JK, says new study
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has earned the dubious distinction of having the highest second hand smoke exposure in the country.
Secondhand smoke (or passive smoking) is the tobacco smoke that is exhaled by smokers or is given off by burning tobacco and is inhaled by persons nearby.
Quoting ‘Global Adult Tobacco Survey’, Senior Technical Advisor, Tobacco Control Union, South-East Asia Office, Ashish Kumar Pandey said: “The second hand smoke exposure has been found highest in J&K.”
Quoting the findings of the study at a workshop titled “State level inception cum sensitization under National Tobacco Control Programme”, he said: “More than 70 percent of non-smokers are exposed to tobacco smoking at home. Almost 55 percent are exposed to second-hand smoking at their workplaces.”
Explaining about the harmful effects of second hand smoke, he said: “This kind of smoke is dangerous to anyone who breathes it in. It involves carcinogens and other toxic components. It can stay in the air for several hours after somebody smokes.”
“From hair to toe nail, none of the body part remains unaffected because of the tobacco use. Besides, exposure to secondhand smoke during pregnancy increases the risk of still birth, congenital malformations, low birth-weight and respiratory illnesses.”
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), smoking tobacco is globally the second leading cause of heart diseases after high blood pressure. Nearly 12 per cent of cardiovascular deaths worldwide occur due to tobacco abuse and second-hand smoking.
The global health body states that of the seven million lives that tobacco claims worldwide each year, almost 900,000 are passive-smokers
On this occasion, Principal Secretary, Health and Medical Education Atul Dulloo said: “Figures show that in the recent years, the state has witnessed 2-3 per cent decline in the tobacco use. This percentage is not satisfactory.”
“The implementation of Cigarette and other Tobacco Act, 2003 in letter and spirit still remains a challenge. Also the National Tobacco Control Programmes need to be extended to all the districts of J&K. Tobacco kills, should be ingrained in the mind of every person,” he said.
The workshop was also attended by Director Health Services Dr Kunzes Dolma, Commissioner Food Safety J&K Vinod Sharma, Dr Rehana Kausar officer-in-charge (NTCP) Department of Health Services, Srinagar and several stake holders from Health Services.