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JK govt hires Spanish firm to suggest flood prevention measures

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Jun 22: Waking up to the growing flood threats, Jammu and Kashmir government has hired a Spanish Company to conduct a survey of the water bodies and suggest measures to prevent deluges in future.
Kashmir is prone to floods. Even moderate rainfall is enough to swell Jhelum and other rivers.
Post 2014 floods, the government had made tall claims to prevent disasters in the future. However, the announcements have remained on papers only.
Four years later, the government has now hired a foreign company to conduct the survey of the water bodies and suggest measures for flood prevention.
“Experts of a Spanish company are conducting the survey of Jhelum, Wular and other water bodies. They will suggest measures how to prevent floods in Kashmir. They will also suggest steps for conserving the water bodies and increasing their carrying capacity. Once they submit the report, the government will frame a detailed project report for flood prevention,” an official of the Irrigation and Flood Control Department, said.
The government has lined up Pollution Control Board, Irrigation and Flood Control Department, Lakes and Waterways Development Authority, and Forest Department to assist and provide data to the expert team.
“The team has to look into the capacity, usage and the discharge of the water bodies. It will take few months for experts to complete the survey,” the official said.
Wular Lake, which is the largest flood absorption basin, has lost the water carrying capacity due to host of factors.
Several surveys have revealed that the gross human interference, deforestation, encroachments, chocking of water ways and heavy siltation have reduced water carrying capacity of the Lake.
“The water retaining capacity of the rivers and lakes has reduced sharply over the years. Siltation in Wullar Lake has reduced its water retaining capacity by 20 percent. Hokersar, Shalbugh have also witnessed siltation, which has significantly reduced their water retaining capacity,” the official said.
Chief Engineer, Irrigation and Flood Control Department Kashmir, Ashok Kumar Sharma said the experts will suggest measures for prevention of floods after conducting the survey.
“Several projects will be undertaken for prevention of floods once the report is submitted,” Sharma said.
Last week the State Administrative Council (SAC) approved Rs 5411.54 crore `Comprehensive Plan for Flood Management Works on Jhelum-II’.
The project is proposed to be implemented in two parts. For part A, Rs 1684.60 Crore has been approved under PMDP while the source of funding for part B is yet to be identified.
The project has been formulated to achieve short term goal of mitigating the flood threat at Sangam. However, a source said the work on this project would be started once the expert team submitted its study report.


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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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