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We knew we would be attacked: CRPF

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Jan 01: With killing of the third militant, an unidentified foreigner, the operation inside the Central Reserve Police Force camp at Lethpora, Pulwama, ended on Monday.
The government forces announced that over 30 hour-long gun battle was over, killing three militants and five CRPF personnel.
The militants carried out the attack at around 2:30 am on Sunday by storming inside the camp.
Two fidayeen of Jash-e-Mohammad were killed initially, and they were identified as Manzoor Ahmad Baba, son of Ali Mohammad Baba of Drubgam, Pulwama, and Fardeen Ahmad Khanday, son of Ghulam Mohammad Khanday, a serving police constable from Nazeen Pora, Tral.
The slain duo, police said, had joined militant ranks only three months ago. The forces said that identity of the third militant, who is a foreigner, was being ascertained.
In a post-operation press briefing, Special DGP CRPF, S N Shrivastava, said they had inputs that militants may carry out attacks in Kashmir, especially on the Lethpora camp.
“We anticipated such an attack. We have been upgrading security for a long time. We knew that Lethpora camp could be a probable attack,” Shrivastava said.
He said that during the night, when the militants carried out the attack, the Lethpora camp was on “high alert”.
“Large number of security personnel was patrolling. Even the in-charge of the battalion was on duty and patrolling. As they (militants) managed to enter, they were challenged. It was because of the alertness and professionalism shown by the unit that they caught limited to one or two buildings,” he said.
Asked why the CRPF failed to stop militants from entering the camp, he replied, “Lethapora campus is a large one. We turned it into a training facility this year. It is still under construction.”
Terming the operation “successful” for killing three militants, he said, “Our men fought bravely and showed high degree of professionalism. We had strengthened the security there, and that is why militants were confined to one to two buildings.”
He said that CRPF, army, and JK Police showed “high degree of coordination” during the operation.
“We had to suspend the operation due to darkness and it got extended so long. We killed two militants yesterday, and the third one today. Some amount of search operation is still going on to ensure that no militant is hiding inside the campus.”
“Three militants have been killed. Two local militants were killed on Sunday and the third one is a foreigner who was neutralized today. JK Police is ascertaining his identity.”
The fifth CRPF man had reportedly died due to heart attack.
When asked whether they would take some specific measures in view of Lethpora attack, he replied, “Security review is an ongoing process. We are doing it as per the situation and upgrading security accordingly.”
He said that security forces were ready to combat militancy in the valley. “We will take every measure whatever is required to eradicate militancy.”


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Militancy related incidents in Kashmir have seen a downturn: Army Chief

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Feb 20: Army Chief General MM Naravane on Thursday said that militancy- related incidents have seen a downturn and the Army is maintaining pressure on “terror groups”.

“There is an external dimension to the decrease in cross-border terrorism,”he said.

When asked on the health condition of hardline Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the army chief only said security forces are geared up to take care of any situation.

 

On the proposed creation of a theatre command exclusively for J&K, he said there will be detailed discussions before anything is finalised.

“Indian Army does not discriminate any soldier based on religion, caste, creed, or even gender. The outlook of the Indian Army has been throughout like this and that is why we started inducting women officers as early as in 1993,” Gen Naravane told reporters.

Indian Army has taken the initiative to induct women in rank and file, and the first batch of 100 women soldiers is undergoing training at Corps of Military Police Centre and School, he said.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a welcome one as it brings out a sense of clarity and purpose to gainfully employ officers for better efficiency of the organisation. I must assure that everybody in the Indian Army including women officers will be given equal opportunity to contribute to the nation as also progress in their careers,” he said hailing the verdict as enabling.

Letters are being sent to women officers asking whether they will prefer permanent commissioning, the Army chief said.

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Global investors’ summit: LG led delegation to meet India Inc leaders in Mumbai today

Press Trust of India

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Mumbai, Feb 20: Top officials from the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory administration will visit the country”s financial capital and meet industry leaders on Friday, more than six months after the virtual abrogation of Article 370.

Led by Lieutenant Governor Girish Chandra Murmu, the officials will be pitching about the business possibilities in the restive Kashmir Valley to leaders of India Inc, officials said on Thursday.

A global investors” summit is being planned at capital Srinagar in May, and the event in a city hotel is organised by industry lobby CII, which is also a national partner for the summit, they said.

 

The union government”s bold moves on the vexed Kashmir issue in August have been met with mixed response, with many going public with the prolonged shutdown of telecom connectivity in the valley and the continuing detentions of political leaders, while others have welcomed the move.

At the time of the announcement, the Centre had assured that carving out union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh out of the state of Jammu and Kashmir will fasten economic development of the region through focused attention.

There were also reports of mega projects like a massive solar project in the mountaineous Ladakh region being launched.

The summit in May will be a showcase of investment opportunities across sectors, officials said.

Other officials and bureaucrats, including Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, the secretary for industries and commerce; Anoo Malhotra, the director of industries and commerce; and Rohit Kansal, the principal secretary of planning development and monitoring, among others, are expected to be present on Friday.

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Second batch of Union ministers to visit JK in April

Press Trust of India

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New Delhi, Feb 20: The second batch of about 40 Union ministers is likely to visit Jammu and Kashmir in April to get first-hand information about various development schemes initiated thereby both the central government and the Union Territory administration, officials said on Thursday.

The Prime Minister”s Office (PMO) will decide the composition of the ministerial delegation that will undertake the follow up of the first visit of 37 Union ministers, who had toured Jammu and Kashmir last month.

“A second batch of about 40 Union ministers may undertake a visit to Jammu and Kashmir. Dates and composition of the team have not been fixed yet but it will be done soon after the Budget session of Parliament,” a government official said.

 

After the recess, the second part of the budget session will begin on March 2 and it will end on April 3.

The PMO will finalise the list of the ministers and each minister will be assigned a particular district and focus will be on the Kashmir Valley, the official said.

Some of the ministers of the first batch may also be part of the second batch, he said.

The ministers will assess the development initiatives undertaken by the central government as well as the UT administration on the ground and they will not talk about political issues, the official said.

By interacting with the locals, they will try to get first-hand information about the roads, healthcare facilities, power situation, functioning of academic institutions etc. in the UT, he added.

As many as 37 central ministers had visited Jammu and Kashmir last month following a directive of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who wanted an honest assessment of the various welfare schemes being implemented there.

Among those who had visited Jammu and Kashmir were Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, ministers of state for home G Kishan Reddy and Nityanand Rai.

The Union ministers have already submitted their feedback to the PMO on the implementation of various development schemes there.

There were two sets of feedback — one on the initiatives taken by the UT administration and the other on the Centre”s initiatives — another official said.

Most of the central ministers stayed overnight at their respective places of visit such as Baramulla, Ganderbal, Doda, besides others.

In August last year, the Centre abrogated Article 370 provisions of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcated it into UTs — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Since then, the Centre has been closely monitoring the on the ground implementation of various development programmes there.

Jammu and Kashmir is currently under the President”s rule.

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