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Disaster response: SEOC to be fully operational by May






Jammu, Jan 9: Chief Secretary, B V R Subrahmanyam Wednesday chaired a meeting to review the status of State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) being established at Humhama Srinagar.

The SEOC will be the main command and control centre responsible for disaster management in the state including emergency service integration and will be fitted with state of the art equipment to ensure its 24×7 functioning.

Chief Secretary directed Secretary DMRR&R to ensure that SEOC is made fully operational by May, 2019 and that a committee be constituted to monitor the implementation of the project. An amount of Rs 3 crore will be released for procurement of requisite equipment for the SEOC.


The meeting also deliberated upon extending the National Disaster Management Services (NDMS) to other district level centres as are available in Pulwama and Budgam districts.

Pertinent to mention that NDMS is a pilot project of NDMA providing reliable telecommunication infrastructure and technical support for Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) operations at MHA, NDMA, NDRF HQ, States & selected vulnerable Districts including Pulwama and Budgam in J&K.

Principal Secretary Planning Rohit Kansal, Secretary DMRR&R Farooq Shah, Director Finance, DMRR&R, Additional Secretary, DMRR&R, CEO, JTFRP, Deputy CEO, SDMA and other senior officers were present in the meeting.


Snow forecast: City admn reviews preparedness

Srinagar, Jan 9: In view of the inclement weather forecast for the latter part of this week, Deputy Commissioner Srinagar, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, Wednesday chaired a meeting of heads of different departments to review the preparedness in the district.

The meeting discussed zone-wise action plans prepared by the concerned departments to prevent interruption to services during snowfall. The DC, while hailing their efforts during the last snowfall in the district, asked the concerned departments to ensure even faster response to the inclement weather   forecast for the coming days.

It was informed that both MED and the SMC are geared up for the challenge with the former having 23 snowplows and the latter with over 4000 personnel and 22 JCBs and 2 skid-steers at their disposal for snow-clearance on the main roads and pedestrian lanes across the Srinagar city.

The meeting was also informed that all 80 dewatering stations and 115 mobile pumping stations in the Srinagar city are operational and that all concerned personnel have been sensitized. It was said the F&ES department has also kept some of its pool of fire tenders and portable fire pumps available for water-logging exigencies in case there is a need.

The DC directed for ensuring that snow clearance machines are positioned at all critical spots and that these are pressed into service as soon as snow starts to accumulate. He stressed on prioritising snow-clearance from roads leading to all important installations across the district. The R&B was asked to work in close coordination with the SMC.

Dr Shah instructed for ensuring quick draining-out of water-logged areas including all interior roads and lanes.

He directed all the concerned departments to be in a state of preparedness and responsive to any crisis thrown up anywhere in the district.

The meeting was informed that all the departments have established control rooms for the general public to report their concerns.

ADC Srinagar and senior officers from MED, R&B, SMC, PDD, I&FC, PHE, F&ES and UEED attended the meeting.









Teenage valley pacer becomes Mumbai Indians’ youngest IPL debutant




Srinagar, Mar 24: South Kashmir teenager Rasikh Salam Dar Sunday became the second cricketer from J&K to play in Indian Premier League (IPL) as he was included by Mumbai Indians in the playing eleven of their opening match on Sunday.

Rasikh who was picked up by Mumbai Indians during players’ auction was handed debut by Mumbai Indians in their first match of the IPL-2019.

Last year, Manzoor Dar was picked by Kings XI Punjab, but he never got the opportunity to figure in the playing eleven.


Salam is the youngest to debut for Mumbai Indians at 17 years and 353 days. The franchise’s director of cricket operations and former India pacer, Zaheer Khan handed the cap to the player.

Hailing from Ashmuji village in south Kashmir’s Kulgam district, Salam came on the domestic cricket scene through district-level tournaments and then was spotted by Irfan Pathan, who is now a player-mentor for the Jammu and Kashmir Ranji Trophy team.

During the training camp with J&K, Pathan made it a point to work with the youngster and that paid rich dividends. In the just-concluded domestic season, Salam featured in a couple of Ranji Trophy fixtures for his home state and picked up seven wickets. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 tournament, he scalped five wickets in four outings.

And on Sunday, he surprised all by making into the final XI of the star-studded Mumbai Indians side and also opened the bowling, giving away just six runs in the first over and troubling Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw a bit.

During the state team camp, Salam spent a lot of time with Pathan learning a thing or two about bowling and that seems to have helped. “I worked a bit on the technical part and hopefully he will be able to keep those things in mind,” Pathan had said before the IPL began.

Salam was spotted by the Mumbai Indians scout team during the U-19 Cooch Behar Trophy and later he attended a couple of trial camps at the franchise’s facilities in Navi Mumbai. The franchise then roped him for Rs 20 lakh at the auctions in Jaipur in December last year.

On Sunday, it was a dream come true for Salam, who is also the only cricketer from Jammu and Kashmir to feature in this year’s IPL!

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Virtual SIMs used in Pulwama attack: India to approach US for help




Srinagar, Mar 24: A request would be sent to the U.S. to seek details from a service provider of “virtual SIMs”, which were used by the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) suicide bomber behind the Pulwama attack and his Pakistan and Kashmir-based handlers, officials said.
Piecing together probe from the site of the militant strike, searches carried out by the Jammu and Kashmir police and Central security agencies at an encounter site in Tral as well as other locations, it was found that the bomber, Adil Dar, was in constant touch with the JeM across the border, they said.
As claimed by the police, the ‘main mastermind’ of the deadly attack, Mudassir Khan, was killed in the encounter in Tral.
Over forty CRPF personnel were killed on February 14 when Dar rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a paramilitary force bus at Pulwama in South Kashmir.
It was a fairly new modus operandi where militants across the border were using a “virtual SIM”, generated by a service provider in the United States. In this technology, the computer generates a telephone number and the user downloads an application of the service provider on their smartphone.
The number is linked to social networking sites like WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram or Twitter. The verification code generated by these networking sites is received on the smartphone and the user is ready.
In case of Pulwama, Dar was in constant touch with the Jaish handler as well as Mudassir Khan using the same technology, the officials said.
They said the numbers used were pre-fixed with “+1”, the Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Number (MSISDN) number used for the United States.
The request to the U.S. will include details of phone numbers that got in touch with the “virtual SIM” and who had activated it, they said, adding that Internet Protocol addresses would also be sought.
While the security agencies would attempt to find who had paid for the virtual SIM, they were also aware that the militant groups used forged identities, as was done during the Mumbai 26/11 strikes.
During investigation of the 26/11 attacks it was found that an amount of $229 was wired to Callphonex, via Western Union Money Transfer receipt number 8364307716-0, for activating the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) used during the strikes.
The money was received from ‘Madina Trading’ located in Brescia in Italy and sender was claimed to be Javed Iqbal, a resident of Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PoK).
However, after Italian police arrested two Pakistani nationals in 2009, it was alleged that the firm had made nearly 300 transfers in the name of Iqbal, who probably had never set his foot in Italy.
The Italian police, while concluding the probe, had said the Brescia-based company made several transfers using the identity of innocent, unsuspecting persons, whose identity cards or passports might have been stolen.

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Pak PM orders probe into alleged forced conversion, marriage of two Hindu girls

Press Trust of India



Islamabad, Mar 24: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered a probe into reports of abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province and to take immediate steps for their recovery, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Sunday.
The two girls, Raveena (13) and Reena (15), were allegedly kidnapped by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the Nikah (marriage) of the two girls. In a separate video, the minor girls can be seen saying that they accepted Islam of their own free will.
In a Twitter post in Urdu on Sunday, Information Minister Chaudhry said that the prime minister has asked the Sindh chief minister to look into reports that the girls in question have been taken to Rahim Yar Khan in Punjab.
Chaudhry said the prime minister has also ordered the Sindh and Punjab governments to devise a joint action plan in light of the incident, and to take concrete steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. “The minorities in Pakistan make up the white of our flag and all of our flag’s colours are precious to us. Protection of our flag is our duty,” he said.
On Saturday, Chaudhry said that the government had taken notice of reports of the forced conversion and underage marriages of the two girls.
The Hindu community in Pakistan has carried out massive demonstrations calling for strict action to be taken against those responsible, while reminding Prime Minister Khan of his promises to the minorities of the country.
Last year, Khan during his election campaign had said his party’s agenda was to uplift the various religious groups across Pakistan and said they would take effective measures to prevent forced marriages of Hindu girls.
Sanjesh Dhanja, President of Pakistan Hindu Sewa Welfare Trust, an NGO, earlier urged Prime Minister Khan to take note of the incident and prove to everyone that minorities were indeed safe and secure in Pakistan. “The truth is minorities suffer from different sorts of persecution and the problem of young Hindu girls being kidnapped at gunpoint and forced to convert to Islam or get married to much older men is widespread in Sindh,” he said.
Dhanja said the Hindu community had staged several sit-ins in Ghotki district after which police reluctantly registered FIR against the accused persons. The Hindu community leaders have claimed that the accused belonged to the Kohbar and Malik tribes in the area.
Following the incident, an FIR was filed by the girls’ brother, alleging that their father had an altercation with the accused sometime ago and on the eve of Holi they armed with pistols forcibly entered their home and took the sisters away.
A Pakistan Muslim League-Functional MPA Nand Kumar Goklani, who had initially moved a bill against forced conversions, urged the government to get the law passed immediately.
Hindus form the biggest minority community in Pakistan. According to official estimates, 75 lakh Hindus live in Pakistan. However, according to the community, over 90 lakh Hindus are living in the country. Majority of Pakistan’s Hindu population is settled in Sindh province where they share culture, traditions and language with their Muslim fellows.

War of words between Swaraj, Pak minister

Srinagar, Mar 24:
A war of words broke out between two senior ministers of Pakistan and India on Sunday over the reported abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of two teenage Hindu girls in Sindh province.
The spat started soon after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj sought details from the Indian envoy in Pakistan into the reported abduction of two Hindu teenaged girls.
Swaraj, while tagging a media report about the incident, tweeted that she has asked the Indian High Commissioner in Pakistan to send a report on the matter.
Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry responded to her tweet, saying it was his country’s “internal issue”.
Replying to Chaudhry’s tweet, Swaraj said, “Mr Minister, I only asked for a report from Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad about the kidnapping and forced conversion of two minor Hindu girls to Islam. This was enough to make you jittery. This only shows your guilty conscience.”
This prompted Chaudhry to respond again.
“Madam Minister I am happy that in the Indian administration we have people who care for minority rights in other countries. I sincerely hope that your conscience will allow you to stand up for minorities at home as well. Gujarat and Jammu must weigh heavily on your soul,” the Pakistani minister tweeted.
The two girls, Raveena (13) and Reena (15), were allegedly kidnapped by a group of “influential” men from their home in Ghotki district in Sindh on the eve of Holi. Soon after the kidnapping, a video went viral in which a cleric was purportedly shown soleminising the Nikah (marriage) of the two girls, triggering a nationwide outrage.
In a separate video, the minor girls can be seen saying that they accepted Islam of their own free will.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday ordered a probe into reports of abduction, forced conversion and underage marriages of the two Hindu girls and to take immediate steps for their recovery.
The Hindu community in Pakistan has carried out massive demonstrations calling for strict action to be taken against those responsible, while reminding Prime Minister Khan of his promises to the minorities of the country.

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