Srinagar, May 9: Police on Wednesday claimed to have been successful in arresting the militants involved in this gruesome murder that shook the conscience of all across the state.
According to police, “On 30th April at about 8:35 pm, few unknown armed personnel made their appearance at Iqbal Market old town Baramulla and brutally assassinated three civilians on the roadside who were later identified as Haseeb Nabi Khan, son of Gh. Nabi Khan, resident of Kakar Hamam Baramulla, Irfan Ahmad Sheikh alias Asif Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ali Mohd Sheikh resident of Syed Kareem Baramulla and Mohd Asgar Sheikh alias Afsar Khan, son of Mushtaq Ahmad Sheikh, resident of Kakar Hamam Baramulla.”
Onlookers who witnessed the crime revealed that three to four militants appeared at the scene and fired several rounds on a group of youngsters and later disappeared towards Drangbal-Hajibal forest area after committing the brutal murder.
Baramulla police swiftly acted on the initial tips provided by the locals and several teams were tasked to carry out the searches in the forest area of Drangbal-Hajibal for nabbing the culprits.
The entire area from Forests of Hajibal to Drangbal stone quarries including Kirmani Colony Drangbal were put under constant watch.
One of the teams deputed on a watch-out observed some suspicious movement inside the forest area and soon search parties were sent in to clear the air.
When the search party started closing in around the suspicious area, militants hiding inside fired upon the search party. However the search party in their measured response tactfully overpowered one militant who received minor injuries in this incident.
The injured militant was immediately given medical treatment and the hideout in which four militants had been hiding was busted and some arms and ammunition were also recovered.
Another militant Bilal Ahmad Najar alias Sameer, son of Gh. Ahmad Najar, resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla was nabbed after joint team of Police, Army and CRPF overpowered him near cremation ground earmarked for Sikh Community in the vicinity of Banglow Bagh.
After questioning the arrested militants, the involvement of outlawed militant organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba was established in this heinous crime involving murder of three innocent civilians on the evening of April 30th.
During investigation, it has surfaced that militants involved in the killings include Suhaib Farooq Akhoon alias Abu Huraira son of Farooq Ahmad Akhoon resident of Khanpora, Mohsin Mushtaq Bhat alias Shera son of Mushtaq Ahmad Bhat resident of Qazi Hamam Baramulla, Ajaz Ahmad Gojri alias Abu Umair son of Ab. Rehman resident of Jami Mohalla Baramulla (apprehended) and Bilal Ahmad Najar alias Abu Sameer son of Ghulam Ahmad Najar resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla (apprehended).
Moreover investigations in this case also reveal that one spotter Bilal Ahmad Najar son of Gh. Ahmad Najar resident of Banglow Bagh Baramulla has actually tracked and spotted the movement of these three deceased young boys. He had been assigned the task of identifying and spotting the victims.
Three militants Suhaib Akhoon, Mohsin Mushtaq and Ajaz Gojiri opened fire using AK series rifles while as Bilal Najar used a Chinese pistol to commit the murder of three civilians.
Since all the militants involved in this crime are locals of Baramulla, they were easily spotted by eyewitnesses, who immediately reported to Police.
Earlier a Pakistani who was suspected to be involved in these murders as per the initial eyewitness accounts turned out to be Aijaz Gojri who had changed his appearance to create the impression of being a Pakistani.
Of the 4 weapons used in the offence, 3 have been recovered and the empty cartridges seized from the scene of crime appear to have same markings as discovered on the live cartridges recovered from the apprehended militants and their hideout.
After committing the crime, all the 4 militants had fled from the spot in a sliver Alto Car bearing registration number JK01J-0010 provided to them by one Uzair Amin Bhat son of Mohd Amin Bhat resident of Chesti Colony Baramulla who has been also arrested along with the vehicle in the instant case.
Of the three civilians killed, names of two had surfaced in threatening video issued by LeT from old town Baramulla during the 2016 unrest.
Sustained questioning of these arrested militants helped Police to unearth a LeT module operating in Sopore-Baramulla belt.
With this, 4 active militants of the LeT militant organisation have been apprehended alongwith 06 other Over Ground Workers (OGWs).
Pertinently multiple raids by Police, Army and CRPF in Sopore and Baramulla areas were launched to bust the militant modules. One kingpin of the module namely Nadeem Ahmad Dar alias Abu Osama resident of Nowpora Kalan Sopore alongwith Suhaib Akhoon had been the main motivators and commanders of this group.
Nadeem alias Abu Osama had provided all assistance to these terrorists in committing this crime including supply of arms to the militants.
He had also transported them to Baramulla from Sopore in white Santro Car on April 25th. The said vehicle has also been seized. He is said to be in direct contact with a Pakistani militant of LeT Hanzulla Adnan based in Pakistan.
With such arrests, Police and Security forces were also able to solve the cases of 2 grenade attacks on Police Station Baramulla by apprehending one Naseer Ahmad Mochi resident of Amargrah Sopore, who was provided with grenades on two occasions by apprehended militant Ajaz Ahmad Gojri and he had subsequently lobed them on Police Station Baramulla on 2.12.2017 and 22.01.2018 in which two policemen had sustained injuries.
The recoveries made from the apprehended militants and OGWs include, two AK Rifles, two Pistil Chinese, four hand grenades, 50 rounds of AK ammunition, four AK Magazine and two Pistol Magzines.
‘170 ADB-funded projects costing 3305 cr completed’
Srinagar, Jul 20: Jammu & Kashmir Economic Reconstruction Agency (JKERA) has completed 170 externally funded infrastructure projects in the State with a cumulative investment of Rs 3305 crore.
This information was given at a high-level meeting chaired by Principal Secretary, Planning, Development & Monitoring Department, Rohit Kansal here this morning to review the progress of externally funded infrastructure projects.
CEO, JKERA, Vikas Kundal briefed the meeting in detail about the physical and financial progress of externally funded infrastructure projects being executed in the State.
The meeting was informed that JKERA began its activities on ground in 2006 starting with the execution of Phase-I of Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded projects under Jammu & Kashmir Multi-Sector Project for Infrastructure Rehabilitation (JKMPIR) to improve the delivery of basic services in the state and help sustain economic growth.
Under JKMPIR, 117 projects were taken up for execution with an investment of Rs 1611 crores. These projects included improvement/upgradation of around 600 KMs road length across the State, construction of 31 bridges, construction of 53 storage reservoirs, redevelopment of 38 tube wells in Jammu, revamping/ rehabilitation of 5 Water Treatment Plants in Srinagar, construction of 95 KMs of storm water drainage network in Jammu/Srinagar cities, construction of 36 Public Toilets at tourist destinations and hospitals in Srinagar/Jammu cities, providing 35 water tankers to Public Health Engineering Department, providing 26 Garbage Carriers, 15 Loaders, 10 Sewer Cleaning equipments, 175 Containers to Srinagar and Jammu Municipal Corporations for transportation of solid waste and development of infrastructure at Achan Landfill site in Srinagar.
In Phase-II, 53 major infrastructure projects funded by ADB under Jammu & Kashmir Urban Sector Development Investment Programme (JKUSDIP) were taken up at a cost of Rs 1694 crores to further strengthen the basic public infrastructure in the twin capital cities of Srinagar and Jammu.
Some of the key projects executed under JKUSDIP include construction of Jehangir Chowk-Rambagh-Barzalla Flyover and TRC Grade Separator in Srinagar and Bikram Chowk flyover in Jammu to decongest the traffic in the twin capital cities.
Under JKUSDIP, JKERA also constructed two mechanized parking facilities in the city centre’s of Srinagar and Jammu to provide maiden vertical parking facility in the busiest commercial hubs of the twin capital cities. Construction of sewerage project was also taken up under JKUSDIP in Jammu.
The component of solid waste management under ADB funded JKMPIR was continued under JKUSDIP. JKERA took up a comprehensive project for converting the Achan landfill site to Scientific Land fill site with the construction of state-of-the-art sanitary cells.
The meeting was informed that identification of projects for Phase-III of the ADB funding to the tune of $150 Million has been completed and process has been initiated for engagement of Project Design and Management Consultancy (PDMC) in JKERA.
While reviewing the progress of Rs 1500 crore, World Bank funded Jhelum Tawi Flood Recovery Project (JTFRP), the meeting was informed that Project Management Unit (PMU) has been able to provide necessary impetus to the project and has awarded works costing more than Rs 500 crores during the past 6 months.
Kashmir journos protest ‘baseless’ ToI report
Srinagar, Jul 20: Scores of Kashmiri journalists Saturday held a silent protest at the Kashmir Press Club premises against the “baseless and misleading” report published in Times of India the other day.
In a joint statement, various scribe associations said that journalists from both national and regional media vociferously condemned the “malicious” report which was based entirely on “fabrication and concoction” on part of Saleem Pandith, the reporter under whose byline the story was published.
“Journalists in unanimous voice said that Pandith has no right to defame credible institutions like the Kashmir Press Club, Kashmir Editors Guild and English daily Kashmir Reader,” the statement read.
The protesting journalists also deplored the act of labeling Kashmiri journalists by Pandith.
“He unfortunately is notorious for disseminating fake news to suit his personal agenda and to avenge his group’s loss in the recently-held elections of KPC,” they said in the statement.
“…Pandith has relied on unsubstantiated claims to malign and endanger the entire journalist fraternity of Kashmir,” they added.
Members from KPC, Kashmir Editors Guild, Kashmir Working Journalists Association, Kashmir Journalists Association, Kashmir Press and Photographers Association and several other organisations demanded strict action against the reporter.
The protestors also demanded that membership of Salim Pandith at KPC “should be cancelled without any delay.”
They, as per the statement, demanded that ToI “must immediately remove the baseless report and publish an unconditional apology for publishing Pandith’s fantasies.”
Fund startups, Adv to Financial institutions
Srinagar, Jul 20: The Advisor to Governor K Skandan Saturday urged financial institutions to give a thought for ‘positive policy’ to fund startups by associating them with innovation ecosystems to guide them in their early stages of business.
The Advisor stated this during a launch ceremony of ‘Smart JK Hackathon’—the first State-level Innovation Competition—at J&K Entrepreneurship Development Institute (EDI), Pampore.
The one-and-a-half-month long innovation competition is aimed to institutionalize a model for harnessing the creativity and technical expertise of students and innovators to an already defined problem statement.
Hackathon is a digital programming competition aimed at identifying new and disruptive technological innovations for solving the challenges faced by the public, businesses and the industry.
Speaking on the occasion, the Advisor said that innovation ecosystems can act as a bridge between financial institutions and startups where these ecosystems provide the accessibility to superior technology, mentors, talent, corporates, customers, and government agencies, investors, etc.
He said that not all startups need investors while some need nurturing mainly during their early months or years, adding by this there can be balance by providing incubators to young firms.