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Lolab avalanche: Rescue starts as weather improves

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Feb 25: Rescue teams comprising of police, army, SDRF and locals on Sunday resumed the operation to retrieve the three persons who went missing under the snow mass following an avalanche at Lashkote- the top forest area of Dardpora, Lolab in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district.

The three persons are yet to be traced by the rescuers as the continuous snow and rains have hampered the operation last evening.

Official sources told GNS that the rescue teams today took along with both the survivors namely Zameer Ahmad and Mohd Akbar to the site to help them in retrieving the trio buried under the snow mass.

 

SSP Kupwara Shamsheer Hussain told news agency GNS that the rescue teams were dispatched today morning to the area which comprised of Police, local army unit, SDRF and locals to trace out the missing persons.

“The two persons who were part of the five members group were taken to the site to help the rescuers in retrieving the trio,” SSP said.

Meanwhile, the authorities also learnt to have approached the High Altitude Warfare School (HAWS) for help in case the missing persons could not be traced by today evening.

Pertinently, five persons had gone for hunting in Lashkote – the top forest area of Darpora which connects Lolab and Bandipora forest areas two days ago.

They later divided into two groups one comprising three members while two others formed another group.

One of the survivors Zameer Ahmad son of Mohd Sayed, a resident of Affan had said that they had gone to the area two days ago. Zameer had said that he and another person Mohd Akbar Mir son of Mohd Subhan Mir took one location namely HumKhan Behak while three others were on the other side known as Gusbal Behak.

As we were moving, an avalanche had struck, trapping three persons namely Altaf Ahmad Mir son of Bashir Ahmad Mir, Bashir Ahmad Ganie son of Ghulam Rasool Ganie and Ghulam Mohd Lone son of Ali Mohd Lone all residents of Warnow, Lolab.

“There was a huge noise which attracted our attention and we tried to locate three other members of the group by following the footprints but as we moved towards the area there was complete snow blanket and we tried our best to retrieve them but we too got trapped in the process,” Zameer had said, adding “We somehow managed to save ourselves and had later travelled several kilometers to acquaint people about it and the police.

 

 

 


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Kashmir

Rail service resumes

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar, Nov 12: Rail services in Kashmir resumed on Tuesday – over three months after being suspended due to security reasons in view of the Centre’s decision to abrogate Article 370, officials said.

Few mini-buses also plied on the Batwara-Batamaloo route through the city centre, while inter-district cabs and auto-rickshaws plied in the city and elsewhere in the valley.

Private transport was plying unhindered.

 

A railway official told PTI that a train chugged between Baramulla and Srinagar this morning.

He said the train made only two trips on the Baramulla-Srinagar stretch as authorities have directed Railways to ply trains between 10 am and 3 pm only due to security reasons.

The Railways conducted the trial run of the service on the stretch on Monday for the first time in over three months since the unannounced shutdown in the valley.

The official said the Srinagar-Banihal stretch of the railway line would resume in a few days after checking track safety and conducting trial runs.

The train service in the valley was suspended due to security reasons on the morning of 5 August – hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the erstwhile state into two Union territories.

The Centre’s decision led to an unannounced shutdown in the valley – which completed 100 days on Tuesday — even as authorities imposed severe restrictions which were later gradually eased out.

Markets have been following a new pattern of functioning, opening early morning till around the noon and then downing their shutters to join the protest against abrogation of the special status of the state, officials said.

They said miscreants are using fear mongering to put down any resistance to unannounced shutdown by threatening shopkeepers and businessmen.

The officials said two grenade attacks in the city’s busy Goni Khan market and Kaka Sarai areas were an indication that there were concerted efforts to keep the shutdown going.

Pre-paid mobile phones and all internet services continued to remain suspended since 5 August.

Most of the top level and second rung separatist politicians have been taken into preventive custody while mainstream leaders including two former chief ministers — Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti — have been either detained or placed under house arrest.

The government has detained former chief minister and sitting Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar Farooq Abdullah under the controversial Public Safety Act.

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Militant killed in Ganderbal gunfight

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Nov 12: A militant was killed and an Army soldier injured in an encounter between militants and security forces in Jammu and Kashmir’s Ganderbal district on Tuesday, police said.

Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in Kulan area of the central Kashmir district in the morning following inputs about the presence of militants.

During the search, the hiding militants fired upon the security forces, who retaliated, according to an officer.

 

A militant was killed during the gunfight. An army soldier was also injured and rushed to a medical facility for treatment, the officer said.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militant is yet to be ascertained. The operation is on and further details are awaited, the officer added.

The incident comes after the encounter where two militants were killed in an encounter with security forces in Bandipora district of north Kashmir on Monday morning, police said.

While one militant was killed on Sunday during a gunfight between security forces in Lawdara village, about 55 km from Srinagar, another was killed on Monday, police further said. The security forces started a search operation on getting information about the presence of some militants in the area which led to the encounter between the security forces and the militants.

The streak of encounters continues as the state of Kashmir remains under an unprecedented lockdown after the abrogation of article 370.

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Kashmir

Unscheduled power cuts affect research in KU

Bisma Bhat

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Srinagar, Nov 05: Unscheduled power cuts have severely hit the research work in the University of Kashmir.

 “I am doing research on plant ecology and most of my work depends on high definition equipments which work on electricity. I collected plant samples twice from Gulmarg and kept it in freezer for further examination. For four days there was no electricity and with the result my samples became unusable,” said a research scholar.

 Another research scholar in Kashmir University said due to frequent power cuts their research work is getting affected. “My equipment developed errors due to power cuts. With the result, it started displaying false readings”, he said.

 

An official in the Kashmir University said over Rs 25 crore have been sanctioned for 50 different projects in the department of biotechnology, clinical bio-chemistry, botany, zoology, nanotechnology, pharmacy, environmental science, physics, electronics and chemistry. 

“The high definition equipment, which works in -80, -20, -120 temperature, are imported from abroad. Regular power cuts are affecting these equipments,” the official said. 

Speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Chief Engineer PDD, Qazi Hashmat said Kashmir University being a premier institute should install a backup power system to meet exigencies.

“PDD has proposed to provide dedicated power supply from 33 KV line. Once the university credits the amount, we will start work on installation of the line,” Qazi said. 

Spokesperson of Kashmir University, Professor Shahid Rasool said the issue has not been brought into hid notice. “I will check with the department heads and resolve it as soon as possible,” he said.

Sources said Kashmir University had signed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the PDD to provide 24*7 power supply. Sources said two kanals of land was also earmarked for establishing receiving station for uninterrupted power supply.  Sources said Kashmir University is paying Rs 4.2 lakh as monthly electricity tariff to the PDD.

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