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Kathua child’s murder: Crime Branch takes over; forms 5-member SIT

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 23: Government on Tuesday said that it handed over the case of murdering 8-year-old Asifa Bano in Kathua district last week to Crime Branch.

“Minister Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri informed the house today that in connection with the murder of minor girl, the case has been handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)”

Veeri said that the agency will start fresh probe in to the incident.

 

Pertinently, Asifa Bano was abducted in Jan 10 and her body was found on Jan 17 near her native village Rassana in Hiranagar.

The legislators blamed the concerned police for hushing up the case and staged massive protests in the state assembly following which Government suspended the concerned SHO.

Soon after, the Crime Branch constituted a five-member team headed by Additional Superintendent of Police of Crime Branch to investigate the minor girl’s murder in Jammu’s Kathua district.

The development came after the government said that it has handed over the case of murder of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in Kathua district last week to the Crime Branch.

“The Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Peerzada Naveed Additional SP Crime Branch Kashmir is hereby constituted for carrying out further investigation of the case. The team should finalize the investigation expeditiously and submit progress reports to this office on regular basis,” said an order issued by Additional Director General of Police, State Crime Branch Headquarters, J&K, Jammu.

The team will comprise Nissar Hussain Dy SP Crime Branch Jammu, Shetambari Sharma Dy Sp Crime Branch Jammu, Urfan Wani SI Crime Branch Jammu and ASI Tariq Ahmed No 118/CR of P/S CBK.

Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir government said that it has handed over the case of murder of eight-year-old Asifa Bano in Kathua district last week to the Crime Branch.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri informed the house today that in connection with the murder of minor girl, the case has been handed over to Crime Branch.

 

Gujjar community threatens agitation

The relatives of eight-year-old Asifa who was allegedly raped and subsequently murdered in Kathua last week held a protest in south Kashmir’s Anantnag on Tuesday, and threatened of an agitation by the Gujjar community in case the authorities fail to book the culprits forthwith.

Carrying placards, the agitated relatives staged a protest outside the office of the Deputy Commissioner Anantnag to demand an independent probe into the incident.

“What had this minor done? She was with her family as part of our nomadic practice,” said the relatives of Asifa.

They added that perpetrators of this ‘heinous’ crime should be arrested forthwith.

Saying that if the government failed to provide them justice, whole Gujjar community would come on roads. “We are more than 26 lakh in population. If they fail to provide us justice, it would be a full-fledged revolt,” threatened the relatives.

Asifa, a nomad girl from Gujjar and Bakerwal community actually hails from Anantnag’s Brari Aangan village in Shangus.

She was abducted on January 10 in Kathua, where her family was camping as part of their nomadic practice. Her body was recovered on the outskirts of her native village on January 17 with marks of violence all over her body.

Her death triggered protests inside and outside the Assembly, with protesters and the opposition seeking action against the police for “not making efforts” to trace her after she was abducted.

In a damage-control move, the government suspended the local SHO for “lax” approach.

On Tuesday, Jammu and Kashmir government said that it has handed over her case to the Crime Branch.

Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri informed the house that the case has been handed over to Crime Branch.

The police, meanwhile, released social activist Advocate Talib Husain, arrested on Sunday evening at Kathua highway.

The activist has been at the forefront of protests seeking justice for 8-year-old Asifa.

Confirming Minister for Relief and Rehabilitation Javid Mustafa Mir said that Talib was released this morning.

Family of the Talib also confirmed that Talib was released by the police.

Talib was arrested when he was leading a protest amid candle light on Kathua highway on Sunday evening.

Subsequently police allegedly resorted to baton charge and fired tear smoke shells to disperse the protesters while arresting Talib.

IGP Jammu has said that there was stone pelting as a result of which four of its personnel where injured.

 

 

 


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Zakir Musa’s successor killed, Ansar Gazwatul Hind wiped out: DGP

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Oct 23: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh Wednesday claimed that they have wiped out militant outfit Ansar Gazwatul Hind (AGH) from Jammu and Kashmir after security forces killed its last three surviving militants including the successor of slain Zakir Musa, in an encounter at Rajpora in Pulwama district on Tuesday evening.

“Three militants were killed in Rajpora. They were later identified as Hamid Lone alias Hamid Lelhari of Lelhari village Kakpora, Naveed Ahmad Tak of Batpora and Junaid Rashid of Nowdal Tral. All the three were associated with Ansar Gazwatul Hind, which now has been wiped out from the valley,” Singh told reporters.

The DGP said the trio was “involved in many attacks on forces and killing of civilians in Pulwama district.”

 

“After killing of Zakir Musa, Lelhari took command of the AGH. He had joined the militant group in 2016 and since then he was involved in many militant activities.  Lelhari had motivated these two slain militants to join his group. He was a part of the group, which attacked forces in Kakapora. Lelhari along with another militant Yasir had killed two Gujjars recently in the area,” he said.

DGP noted that Junaid Rashid was the second militant of his family to have been killed by the forces. “We feel very sad for that. These work at the behest of Pakistan based agencies,” he said.

Singh said the slain militants were working in coordination with Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) and Laskhar-e-Toiba (LeT). “Jaish is currently trying to coordinate with every militant group operating in the valley.  Both JeM and LeT decide the targets and work in coordination with other groups,” he said.

DGP used the occasion to appeal the youth to shun militancy saying “taking to weapons is like inviting death.”

“Weapon creates an environment of death. We wish such activities are stopped. Youth should shun militancy to restore peace in the valley,” Singh said.

The DGP claimed the situation in the valley has improved after August 5 and youth joining militancy has shown a downward trend during the period.

“People were of the notion that militancy will increase after August 5. But the momentum of youth joining militant ranks has come down drastically during the period. People have now set up their stall and kiosks on roads everywhere to do their routine business,” he said.

Singh said that only five to six youth have gone missing from their homes after August 5. “We can’t be sure that they have joined any militant group. There can be other reasons behind their decision to leave home,” he said.

Asked whether there was any possibility of Pulwama like attack, he said: “Forces are alert on ground to respond to these threats.”

“It is difficult to anticipate anything since there have been many threats by Pakistan including their Prime Minister.  Pulwama like incidents can happen anywhere. But if we face such situation, we are alert on ground to take care of these threats,” Singh said.

Asked about reports of detentions in south Kashmir, Singh said: “Propaganda is created by certain media houses without verifying the news”

“This is clearly a misinformation and propaganda.  We always verify about the possible OGW network or either associates of militants before picking any person. Later verification follows and then they are being freed after proper counselling,” he said.

 DGP said out of five people arrested, four are later released. “We are not fond of keeping people in custody unnecessarily. 17000 cases are being registered ever year by the police and it doesn’t mean we pick and torture them.  In case of juveniles, the age is being verified and then legal action follows. We follow Juvenile Justice Act,” he said

On the reports of withdrawing post-paid phone services again in the valley, Singh said they take every decision after considering the ground situation.

“Phones were blocked after assessing of situation. Same procedure was followed when the service was resumed,” he said.

The DGP said that proper security arrangements will be put in place for conducting exams in the valley. “Exams are in the interest of children and their parents.  Whenever need arises we are ready to help them by ensuring proper security. We appeal children not to spoil their career,” he said.

Singh said police has put in place security arrangement for Block Development Council election on Thursday.  “We have directed SPs to make every security arrangement in their respective zones,” he said.

DGP noted that they have reviewed the security “to ensure protection of the people particularly those associated with apple trade.”

“There were some unfortunate incidents when militants targeted two truckers, a labourer and apple trader. People took it serious and condemned the act. They (militants) can interfere to the extent of killing people who do their routine work, but we have now reviewed the security. We have now intensified our operation against militants,” he said.

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Sizable infiltration post Aug 5:DGP

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Oct 23: Director General of Police Dilbag Singh Wednesday admitted that sizable infiltration has taken place after August 5 when Centre abrogated Article 370 and divided state into two union territories.

“Some infiltration by militants has taken place. However many of their attempts to sneak in have been foiled. Now we see ceasefire violation in Rajouri, Poonch, Samba, Hiranagar, Karnah, Uri, Machil, Gurez and Keran every day. Ceasefire violation is aimed at pushing militants into Kashmir,” Singh said.

The DGP said the exact number of militants who have sneaked in can’t be known, but the infiltration has been a sizable one.

 

“We feel the number is sizable. But I don’t see the number that big to worry us. Process is on to bring their number down,” he said.

Singh said lesser number of militants was worrying Pakistan and that is why “they are trying to push in more infiltrators”.

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Dumping of construction waste: Kashmir stares at environmental disaster

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Oct 23: An environmental disaster is unfolding in Kashmir as more than 6650 metric tonnes of construction and demolition (C&D) waste is brazenly dumped along the river banks and vacant lands annually.

Official document accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that total C&D waste generated in Kashmir for 2018-2019 was 6650.28 metric tonnes. 

The construction and demolition waste management rules 2016 apply to every waste resulting from construction, re-modeling, repair and demolition of any civil structure of individual or organization or authority which generates construction and demolition waste such as building materials, debris and rubble.

 

However, in absence of any collection and disposal of C&D waste, the waste is being dumped on unused vacant lands, along river banks.  “The waste is disposed of by owners themselves on completion of construction work as per municipal authorities and only unclaimed waste is transported by local bodies. “There is no progress as far as identification of sites is concerned for processing of C&D waste,” the document reads.

The urban local bodies (ULBs) are responsible for the management of construction and demolition waste.

“As per the rules, the ULBs should chalk out stages, methodology and equipment, material involved in the overall activity and final clean up after completion of the C&D waste,”  said an official at the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB).

Environmentalist Dr Arshid said dumping the waste along the river banks can prove detrimental to fragile environment. “The waste carries increased amount of dust load which can deteriorate the water quality. It erodes over a period of time and can increase turbidity,” he said

Director State Pollution Control Board, Rafi Ahmed: “As per rules, the municipal corporations are bound to identify a separate landfill site for the proper disposing off of C&D waste. They are currently in process of identifying some sites for the waste.”

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