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Ladakh-based Buddhist association demands district status for Zanskar

Press Trust of India

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A Ladakh-based Buddhist association on Tuesday demanded district status for Zanskar, the sub-division which falls in Kargil.

Ladakh Buddhist Association Zanskar (LBAZ) president Psewang Chostar said the people of Zanskar, which is 240 kms from the district headquarters, has been demanding the district status for the past over seven decades.

“We welcome the Centre’s move to split the state into two UTs of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The UT status for Ladakh was a long pending demand of the region and so is the demand of Zanskar for district status,” he told reporters here.

 

“We appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and J-K Governor Satya Pal Malik to ensure district status to the sub-division without further delay,” Chostar said.

Chostar said Zanskar with a population of 20,000 souls remains cut off from Kargil for seven months annually owing to heavy snowfall and suffers a lot due to its geographical position.

LBAZ general secretary Thhering Tandup said the district status to Zanskar will ensure its all round development and mitigate the sufferings of the people who are facing tremendous hardships due to its isolation.

“Without district status, the development of our area is not possible,” he said, adding that the road leading to Zanskar from Kargil is in shambles and needs immediate macadamisation.

“The staff strength in our hospital and educational institutions is negligible. Our problems increase manifold when we get cut off from Kargil and rest of the world during winter,” Tandup added.


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Coronavirus scare:Of leaked letter, rumors and fear

Ishfaq-ul-Hassan

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SRINAGAR:  A leaked letter of Medical Superintendent of Leh’s SNM Hospital sent the Ladakh Union Territory (UT) administration into a tizzy as fears of Coronavirus gripped the people across Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Sensing trouble, Ladakh UT administration went into a proactive mode to dispel the rumors and reassure people that it was a blooper and there is nothing to worry.

Tensions rose when a signed letter of Medical Superintendent of Leh’s SNM Hospital became viral on the social media on Thursday evening.   

 

“This is to bring to your notice that as reported by the Radiologist (CT scan) and consultant physician of this hospital, we have isolated two patients. One of them is in ICU isolation and other is in general isolation. Therefore you are requested to direct the district health officer to send the sample for further laboratory investigation. Sir, it is further submitted that the patient from Phyang,  who expired, had similar symptoms”, reads the letter of Medical Superintendent, SNM Hospital, Leh, to Chief Medical Officer Leh to Chief Medical Officer, Leh on February 18.

Chief Medical Officer, Leh Dr Motup Dorje was quick to dismiss the report saying that all the samples tested for Novel Coronavirrus have turned out to be negative.

“The patient does not have any history of travel to a country with Cov-19 cases or coming in contact with such a case. So it does not fulfill the criteria for Coronavirus suspect or a case as per WHO/MOHFW guidelines. Nevertheless we have sent the sample of this patient to NIV Pune for confirmation. So far three samples which have sent have come negative. There is no reason for panic at all”, said Dr Motup.

Later taking to The Kashmir Monitor, Dr Motup said the patient died of Pneumonia and he did not have history of leaving his district or coming in contact with any person from the Coronavirus hit countries.

“Regarding patient who died, he was suffering from Pneumonia. It was 15-20 days back. He did not have any history of traveling outside Ladakh or coming in contact with Corna case. He died of pneumonia. Basically the Medical Superintendent could not write properly and that is why there was confusion”, he said.

Dr Motup noted that they are screening every person who arrives at the Leh airport. “We have sent three samples for testing and all have come negative”, he said.

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Another B’luru girl held for ‘Free Kashmir’ placard

Press Trust of India

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Bengaluru, Feb 21: Another Bengaluru woman was detained for allegedly holding a placard saying ”Free Kashmir” at a demonstration in the city to protest against the arrest of college student Amulya who had purportedly raised pro-Pakistan slogans at an anti-CAA rally a day ago, a top police official said on Friday.

“Arudra is being questioned at the Silver Jubilee Park police station after she was whisked away from the spot and detained for holding the placard with ”Free Kashmir” written on it,” Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao said.

On a complaint by Sri Ram Sena activists, who were protesting against Amulya at the venue, the police booked a suo moto case against the Arudra under sections 153A and 153B of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) for disturbing peace and harmony.

 

Arudra is said to be a 20-year-old student of an engineering college at Malleshwaram in the city”s western suburb.

The placard also displayed ”Give Us Liberation” and ”Freedom from India”, a Sri Ram Sena activist alleged.

Earlier in the day, Amulya, 19, was arrested under section 124A of the IPC for sedition and jailed for 14 days for allegedly shouting “Pakistan Zindabad” at the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) rally at Freedom Park in the city centre on Thursday.

“We are trying to ascertain if there is any connection between Amuly and Arudra though she was alone at the spot holding the placard,” Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) R. Chandrashekar told IANS.

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People friendly anti-militancy ops have yielded results in JK: Lt Gen Dhillon

Press Trust of India

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The “remarkable” decrease in the number of local youths joining various militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir has been a result of Operation ‘Maa’ launched by the army, which also targeted the leaderships of outfits “in a people friendly manner”, a top army officer said here.

Lieutenant General Kanwal Jeet Singh Dhillon, who heads the strategic Kashmir-based XV corps, started Operation ‘Maa’ whereby a local militant trapped in an encounter is made to talk to his mother in a bid to convince him to return to his normal life.

“Nothing is lost until your mother can’t find it,” Lt Gen Dhillon said while explaining that the results of the operation were “worth noting”. “In all operations, we extend every opportunity to local militants to ‘return’. Half way through, the encounters are halted and the parents or society elders are involved to urge the trapped local militants to ‘return’. This is Operation ‘Maa’ and we have been successful many times,” Lt Gen Dhillon told PTI in a written reply.

 

However, details were not made available by the army as this could jeopardise the safety of former militants who are inching towards living normal lives in the national mainstream. He said effective operations, especially against the leaderships of terrorist outfits, are the result of the determined pursuit of joint counter terrorist operations “in a people friendly manner”.

According to a report compiled recently by security agencies, on an average only five youths joined militant groups every month since the special status of the erstwhile state was revoked over six months ago and it was bifurcated into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh — whereas the figure before August 5, 2019 was 14 per month. Lt Gen Dhillon also believes that successful operations by security forces, which led to “elimination” of 64 per cent new recruits during their first year of joining terror groups, has also acted as a deterrent.

“As a result, the recruitment of local boys in 2019 has been nearly half in comparison to 2018 and joining terrorist tanzeems (organisations) has become a non-lucrative option for the youth,” he said. The report also said large gatherings at funerals of militants killed by the forces has become a thing of the past. Now, only a handful of close relatives are seen during the burials of militants killed in encounters with security forces, it said.

Before August 5, 2019, funeral gatherings of killed militants used to be high and sometimes had more than 10,000 people, the report pointed out, adding that such gatherings had become fertile grounds for recruitment of youths into militancy. However, there has been a sharp decline in such tendencies and has impacted recruitment of local boys in various groups which has come down drastically, the report, which has been collated by various security agencies, said.

“There were instances (after August 5, 2019) when militants were buried and funeral was attended by just by a dozen of close relatives,” it said.

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