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Brief spell of heavy rains, gusty winds wreak havoc

Two injured, property damaged in valley parts






Srinagar, July 3:  Two persons were injured while as scores of yatra tents, many residential houses and cars were damaged after heavy hail and strong wind storm wreaked havoc in parts of Budgam and Srinagar districts on Tuesday late afternoon.

A senior police officer said that two persons were injured after the rooftop of Hanfia Complex at Kralkhud area of Srinagar city was blown away due to the high intensity of the wind storm.

The officer said that scores of tents used by the Amarnath yatris at Pantha Chowk in Srinagar outskirts were also damaged due to the windstorm. “All the yatris putting up in these tents were immediately shifted to SDA Complex Pantha Chowk,” he said.


The winds with high intensity coupled with heavy rains also damaged a tin-shed and an electricity transmission in Munawarabad area of Srinagar city.

Reports said that several cars were damaged in Hazratbal, Habbak, Zakura and its adjoining areas after branches of many trees broke off due to the high intensity of windstorm.

People inspecting vehicles damaged by windstorm and heavy rains, in Srinagar on Tuesday.                                   (Photo by Umar Ganie)

Some cars were also damaged inside the Kashmir University campus at Hazratbal after the branches of a Chinar tree broke off to the winds and fell on the parked vehicles.

Meanwhile, several rooftops of residential houses were blown away due to winds while as other buildings, shopping complexes and boundary walls of many structures also collapsed in sub-division Beerwah in Budgam district.

“The boundary wall of police station Beerwah was collapsed after branches of a tree broke off and fell on it. The building of a block development officer Beerwah also got partially damaged after branches of a Chinar tree broke off,” they said.

According to reports, the hailstorm damaged crops at various areas of the subdivision Beerwah. An eyewitness said the storm coupled with intense rain smashed windowpanes of several residential houses in the area.

Reports said that many parts of Srinagar and Budgam are without power supply after rooftops of buildings were smashed, trees uprooted, power lines and poles toppled.

Meanwhile, a 100-meter bridge built over six decades ago in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district collapsed following a cloudburst amid heavy rains Monday night.

The bridge built in the 1950s over Hyhama River connects Kupwara town with Regipora area of the district.

A local resident of the area said that at around 2:40 am, the bridge collapsed due to the cloudburst.

Deputy Commissioner Kupwara Khalid Jahangir told reporters that the bridge was declared unsafe for traffic in 2008. “The bridge was used only by pedestrians. Luckily, the bridge collapsed during the night when no one was using it,” he told reporters.




Pakistan militant held, vehicle siezed in Pattan

Global News Service



Srinagar, April 22: A Pakistani millitant and a driver were arrested by government forces at Chainabal area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Monday.

Official sources told GNS that a joint team of Army’s 29, SOG and CRPF stop a Mahindra car (DL 12 CA 4189). During searches the joint team apprehended two persons boarding the vehicle including the militant and the driver.

The vehicle has also been seized while as the Pakistani militant identified as Aqib alias Chota Dujana and driver namely Tafazul of Srinagar were taken to Police Station Pattan for further questioning.


A police officer also confirmed the incident to GNS but declined to commit further.

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Traders protest in Srinagar against suspension of cross-LoC trade

Firdous Hassan



Photo: Umar Ganie

Srinagar Apr 22: Traders affected by the suspension of cross-LoC trade by the Centre held a protest march in Srinagar on Monday.

Scores of traders engaged in cross-LoC trade on the Uri-Muzaffarabad route demanded revocation of the suspension order, and sought a fool-proof mechanism for smooth operations.

The traders claimed that suspension of the trade had cost them losses over crores of rupees as their goods were either in transit or lying in godowns.


President, LoC traders Association Tanveer Ahmad Wani claimed each trader had a huge liability in the form of loans from banks and pending stocks at home.

He demanded the resuming of the trade in order to avoid their losses ahead. “The wholesale dealers have started asking for payments as they realized that the trade has been closed indefinitely. We are in a very difficult situation as our entire tradable items, which mostly includes fruits have not arrived at trade facilitation center in Uri, which we could sell to earn livelihood,” he said.

Wani informed a delegation of the LoC traders met Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Baseer Ahmad Khan Monday adding they are planning to visit MHA office in New Delhi in coming week with their grievances.

“We have no choice other than to commit suicide. It is not only concerning traders but transporters and labourers who have been associated with this trade for the last 10 years,” he said.

Another trader Tanveer Ahmad Mir, who runs business in the name of Kako importers and exporters, said the LoC trade suspension has involved his rupees four crores alone.

 “The transaction, which is based on barter system has not happened yet. I am worried about the pending payment for the month to my dealers. Presently stock of stocks of embroidery suits and other items are lying in my store,” he said.

Mir said the government should have intimidated them ahead of announcing this decision to avoid their losses.

“The work regarding installation of full body scanner is going on. Other facilities have also been set up to ensure transparency. The government should continue the trade besides installing advanced mechanism ahead,” he said.

Mohammad Haneef, a 28 years old postgraduate who has been working as a labourer for the last eight years at Trade Facilitation Centre is equally worried with the suspension of the trade.

He said many like him joined as labourers after finding no employment opportunities in the government sector despite an academic qualifications.

“This was the only means to earn bread for our families, which too has been snatched now. There are no good avenues of employment in Uri and we fear our families will have to starve ahead,” he said.

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Time to review Article 370, 35A in J&K: Rajnath Singh

Press Trust of India



Jaipur Apr 22: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said India’s stand against militancy has been weakened on several occasions by the Congress party.

Addressing a press conference here, Singh said, “They (Congress) have given a new theory of Hindu militancy. There is no religion or caste of militancy. Their new theory weakened India’s stand against militancy.”

He said repealing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) was another such case which undermined India’s stand.


“In 2004, India had an agreement with Pakistan in which its former army chief had assured that the country will not provide shelter and allow militancy to flourish on its soil, but Congress tried weakening India’s stand, saying Pakistan was also a victim of militancy,” he said.

The home minister said the opposition was doing politics over issues which should not be politicised.

Instead of praising the defence forces after the airstrike in Balakot of Pakistan, the opposition parties questioned it with queries on number of militants killed, he said.

“When such types of questions are asked, it weakens India’s stand against militancy,” he said.

Speaking on the Congress’ election manifesto promising to scrap the sedition law, Singh said the law should be further strengthened but it should not be misused.

Talking about Articles 370 and 35A for Jammu and Kashmir, he said it was a temporary arrangement and it was time to review it.

“How much the entitlement benefitted Jammu and Kashmir? When a few people are raising questions there should be two prime ministers in the country then what is the significance of Article 370 and 35A,” Singh asked.

He exuded confidence that the first two phases of Lok Sabha elections reflected a wave in favour of the BJP, and there was no doubt the party will get a clear majority and possibly the NDA will achieve 3/4th majority.

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