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Lok Sabha polls:Farooq calls for unity for defeating ‘divisive agenda’






Srinagar, Mar 15: President National Conference, Farooq Abdullah on Friday highlighted the need of forging unity across the state to trounce the divisive agenda of the BJP saying that the forthcoming general elections are significant as it will characterize the recourse of the state for next half a decade.
Farooq, while addressing delegations from Anantnag, Srinagar, Magma, Beerwah, Pulwama and Shopian at party headquarters here, said it is high time for the people of all the regions across the state to “put up a strong front against the divisive agenda of the RSS–BJP in the state”.
“I am sure that the people of state will give befitting reply to the RSS and its ilk. If the people don’t forge unity at this time, the posterity will never forgive us. It is for us to bequeath our coming generations a peaceful future. The forthcoming general elections afford the people an opportunity to secure themselves a peaceful future shorn of communal strife,” he said
The NC president said that the people of state should not “fall prey to the divisive agenda of communal forces”.
“These forces directly and indirectly will try to vitiate the atmosphere but we as a peace-loving society should not allow ourselves get swayed by their malicious propaganda,” he said.
Meanwhile a delegation of traders whose stalls had suffered from conflagration in fire incident in Hyderabad called upon the party president here at party headquarters and apprised him about the failure of the Telengana Government to recompense their losses.
Farooq made on the spot phone call to the chief minister and home minister of Telengana and urged them to provide compensation to the affected traders.
The NC president also dispatched a letter to the home minister of Telengana asking him to provide succor to the affected traders.



Not Lidder, disregard to safety rules killed rafters

Firdous Hassan



Srinagar, Jun 19:  Rafting in the gushing Lidder River in Pahalgam is proving to be a life-threatening sport for the adventure lovers as the safety rules are being thrown to winds with impunity.

On Tuesday, two persons including an employee of tourism department Rinku Raja and female participant Sanjna died when a boat carrying seven rafters capsized in Lidder.

Five others were also injured in the incident, which occurred nearly an hour after a rafting championship to commemorate slain tourist guide Rouf Ahmad Dar concluded. Dar had died last month while saving tourists, whom he had accompanied to raft in Lidder.


Director Tourism Department Nisar Ahmad Wani told The Kashmir Monitor that the rafters, which included his employee, left without permission from the authorities.

“They were supposedly to be well trained and experienced players. They perhaps wanted to gain more experience by training, which could have fetched them winner’s title in the championship. But the boat capsized and two of them died in hospital,” he said.

Asked whether any Standard Operation Procedures (SOP) or specific rules were in place for the rafters, he said, “All the SOPs are there for a particular period.”

“Even the boats used in the event had been taken out from the river.  Still a rescue team including men from SDRF and police were stationed there and they saved them,” Wani said.

Director tourism said the department has ordered an inquiry into the incident. “I am sure nobody had given the permission. But still an enquiry will see whether anyone is guilty,” he said.

CEO of Pahalgam Development Authority (PDA) Dr Nasir Ahmad Lone said the water level in the river rises sharply after noon due to the melting of the glacier.

“Water volume increases with more speed. But you can’t figure out when this condition will happen. Still there are no hard and fast rules for rafting,” he said.

One of the participant in the event said majority of the participants had left the venue when the incident happened.

“The event was over by then. But it needs to be inquired why this incident happened,” he said on condition of anonymity.

“The availability of rescue rafts and team needs to be equally probed,” he added.

Rafting is one of the most popular adventure sports in Pahalgam. Gushing Lidder river, fed by the majestic Kolahoi glacier, provides an ideal setting for the rafting.

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KEG turns down Fayaz Kaloo’s resignation




Srinagar, Jun 19: A meeting of Kashmir Editors Guild (KEG) was held on Wednesday to discuss the various issues confronting the institution of media in Kashmir.

The members who participated in the meeting reiterated their commitment to uphold the journalistic values while reporting the ground realities in Kashmir, a KEG spokesperson said.

The members, he added, resolved to create an atmosphere that will help in creating a free and independent institution of media in the state.


“The meeting also complimented the efforts of the members to help establish an institution of media that is professional to the core as media in Kashmir has been operating in a testing situation since the past three decades,” he said. 

The meeting discussed the issue of resignation submitted by the KEG president, Fayaz A Kaloo and unanimously turned it down requesting him to continue as President for the smooth functioning of KEG.

“It was resolved in the meeting that under Kaloo’s able leadership, KEG has emerged as an efficient votary of freedom of press and has been contributing its bit for strengthening the institution of media,” the spokesperson said.

The meeting was attended by Chief Editor Greater Kashmir, Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo, Editor, Kashmir Images- Bashir Manzar, Editor Kashmir Life-Masood Hussain, Editor Chattan-Tahir Mohiuddin, Editor Uqab-Manzoor Anjum, Printer, Publisher-GK Communications-Rashid Makhdoomi, Editor Aafaaq-Ghulam Geelani Qadri, Editor Tameel Irshad-Raja Mohiuddin, Editor Kashmir Reader-Haji Hayat Bhat, Editor Nida-i-Mashirq-Haroon Rashid and Editor Kashmir Vision-Shafat Kira.

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Rajnath pays tributes to slain Major




Srinagar, Jan 18: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Tuesday paid his tributes to Major Ketan Sharma in New Delhi. The Major had lost his life in an encounter with militants at Anantnag on Monday.

In a tweet, Singh said: “Major Sharma made the supreme sacrifice while fighting against the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir. Major Sharma fought valiantly like a true soldier. My heart goes out to his bereaved family.”

Army Chief General Bipin Rawat also paid his tributes to Major Sharma by laying wreath.


Meanwhile, Army, here in Kashmir, too Tuesday paid tributes to Major Sharma and three soldiers killed during a militant attack and an encounter in south Kashmir on Monday and Tuesday respectively.

In a solemn ceremony at BB Cantt, Lt Gen KJS Dhillon, Chinar Corps Commander and all ranks, paid homage to the slain soldiers. Representatives from other security agencies also joined in paying their tributes.

Two of the slain soldiers, Havildar Amarjeet Kumar and Naik Ajit Kumar Sahoo, had sustained injuries on Monday in an IED blast in Arihal village of Pulwama. They were provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital where they succumbed to their injuries.

Amarjeet, 35, had joined the Army in 2005 and hailed from village Dighawlia in Siwan District of Bihar. He is survived by his wife and two sons. Naik Sahoo, 27, hailed from village Badasuanalo in Dhenknal District of Odisha. He had joined the Army in 2015 and is survived by his parents.

On Tuesday, Rifleman Anil Kumar Jaswal sustained a bullet injury in a counter-militancy operation conducted in Marhama village of Anantnag in which two militants were eliminated.

He was provided immediate first aid and evacuated to 92 Base Hospital but he too succumbed to his injuries. Jaswala, 26, belonged to village Saroh of Una District of Himachal Pradesh. He had joined Army in 2013 and is survived by his wife and a son.

The mortal remains of the slain were flown for the last rites to their native places, where they would be laid to rest with full military honours, Army spokesperson said. 

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