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Nearly 60 foreign militants among 243 militants operating in Kashmir

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Jammu, Jun 26: Nearly sixty are foreign among the 243 militants operating in Kashmir valley where “Operation All Out” is in full swing in the valley.
In less than six months, 75 young men including some highly educated have joined militancy in Kashmir valley, thereby raising concerns due to an unusual surge in such persons taking up guns.
Police and security forces are to intensify their “outreach programme” to persuade local militants through their families to lay down weapons and “join the mainstream”.
“As many as 243 militants are operating in Kashmir valley and of these, 59 militants are foreigners”, a senior Police officer told PTI quoting official statistics.
Besides, 15 militants are operating in Jammu region, it said, adding a total of 188 locals and 70 foreign terrorists are operating in the entire Jammu and Kashmir.
Operations against militants in J&K would be intensified in the days to come as extremist activities increased during Ramzan when counter-militancy operations were stopped, state police chief S P Vaid said last Tuesday.
“Operations will continue. Only thing was in between, during this (ceasefire) period, the operations were stopped. They were going on earlier also, but we will intensify these operations in the days to come. And it would be, I think, much easier to work,” he said here when asked if Governor’s rule would make any difference to the security apparatus of the state in counter-militancy operations.
Vaid said the militant activities increased during the period of Ramzan ceasefire.
“As many as 75 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in the valley in over 5 month period this year,” the senior security officer said.
The officer said a high number of 127 young men joined militancy in 2017, a record since 2010.
The officer claimed 88 Kashmiri youths joined militancy in 2016.
Since 2014, there has been a constant rise in the number of people joining militancy. As many as 66 youths joined militancy in Kashmir in 2015 and 53 in 2014, according to data compiled by security agencies.
In 2010, 54 youths joined militancy and in 2011, the number came down to 23. It further dipped to 21 in 2012 and 16 in 2013, it said.
There is a trend of highly educated men joining militancy in Kashmir now.
In January this year, Mannan Bashir Wani, who was pursuing PhD in earth science-Geology from Aligarh Muslim University marked his presence in the roll calls for the last time before heading home to Tekipora village in Lolab of Kupwara district in north Kashmir.
Three days after his departure on January 2, a young man with fair complexion and with a black beard holding AK-47 in his hands went viral on social networking websites in Kashmir.
The young man was 25-year-old Manan who had joined the ranks of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.
The youth joining militancy has gone up after the killing of 21-year-old Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani in an encounter with security forces on July 8, 2016.
Muhammad Rafi Bhat, a young assistant professor of Kashmir University, killed during encounter within two days of having joined militant ranks, has yet again brought focus on the new-age militancy in the restive region.
Rafi was among five militants, including wanted Hizbul Mujahideen commander Saddam Padder, killed by government forces in Shopian district on May 6.
Five civilians were also killed in clashes in the area.
Others includes the 26 year old Junaid Ashraf Sehrai, an MBA degree holder from Kashmir university, and son of Mohammed Ashraf Sehrai, who took over as chairman of Tehrek-e-Hurriyat from Syed Ali Shah Geelani. Teherik-e-Hurriyat is a pro-Pakistan amalgam of separatists groups.
In November 2017, Majid Khan, a footballer who had passed his 12th with distinction took up arms only to return back home after an appeal by his parents.
Others include Omar Ahsan, 22, who was a post-graduate student in Physics and Lashkar-e-Toiba militants Muzamil Amin and Hilal Ahmad Rather, both of whom were qualified in Islamic teachings.
In February 2015, Ashiq Hussain Dar, who was killed in an encounter in Heff Shermal, had MA (English) and BEd degrees to his credit besides a government job.
According to officials, every funeral of a local militant spawns at least two additions to the ranks of militant groups.
As per a report of Criminal Investigation department (CID), an Intelligence wing of J&K Police, 32 per cent of youths who joined militancy had passed Class X and 19 per cent were undergraduates or graduates.
While post-graduates constitute 7 per cent, the remaining 7 per cent who joined militancy were without any education.
Over 65 per cent showed religious inclination before joining militancy while 10 per cent were academically inclined.
While 3 per cent were drug addicts and the rest 22 per cent were vagabonds, the report submitted by CID to MHA, said.
Asserting social media had an impact on them, the CID report said 25 per cent of youths had access to social media in 2010 and 2011 respectively which rose to 30 per cent by 2014 and and 70 per cent in 2015.
The report says that opting for guns “is a youth phenomena” and youngsters “join militancy because of thrill seeker attitude”.


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Danish billionaire’s 3 kids among killed

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Copenhagen, Apr 22: Denmark’s richest man Anders Holch Povlsen and his wife lost three of their four children in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, a spokesman for Povlsen’s fashion firm said on Monday.
The spokesman declined to give any further details but Danish media said the family had been on holiday in Sri Lanka.
A string of bombings at churches and luxury hotels across Sri Lanka killed 290 people and wounded about 500 in Sunday’s attacks. A senior investigator said on Monday that seven suicide bombers had taken part in the attacks.
Povlsen is the owner of fashion firm Bestseller, which includes brands like Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, and is the majority stakeholder in online retailer Asos while also holding a big stake in Zalando.
He owns more than 1 percent of all the land in Scotland, according to Forbes.

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We took bold steps to counter ‘terror’, Congress response timid: Modi

Press Trust of India

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Pimpalgaon (Maharashtra): Targeting the UPA regime on national security issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday said his government took bold steps to counter ‘terror’, compared to the timid approach adopted by the Congress-led regime.

Modi’s remarks at a poll rally here in Nashik district of Maharashtra came a day after a terror attack in Sri Lanka killed 290 people in a series of eight blasts that tore through churches and luxury hotels in the island country.

The prime minister said that due to the bold approach adopted by his government, ‘terrorism’ has been curbed in India and is confined only to some parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

 

Under attack from the Congress for not letting the Rafale contract go to the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Modi accused the opposition party of destroying the state-run enterprise.

The HAL has a unit in Nashik.

The prime minister said his government has increased defence production under the ‘Make in India’ programme.

Campaigning for BJP-Shiv Sena alliance candidates from Nashik, Dindori and Dhule Lok Sabha constituencies, Modi said the Lanka blasts took place on Easter when people were sharing the message of peace.

“What was the condition in India before 2014? Bomb explosions would take place in corners of the country every now and then in Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Kashi (Varanasi), Ayodhya, Jammu,” Modi said.

“What did the then Congress-NCP government do? Held condolence meeting, expressed grief. They went about crying in the world, saying Pakistan did this and that in our country,” he said.

“But what did your chowkidar do? Your chowkidar changed this timid approach of the Congress-NCP government,” Modi said.

In an apparent reference to the 2016 surgical strike and Balakot air strike carried out in February this year, Modi said the security forces barged into the “factory of terror and cleaned everything without any discrimination”.

Modi said every “terrorist” is aware that “Modi would trace him even if he is hiding in the netherworld.”

Without naming any leader from the opposition, Modi said “some” experience electric current the moment I talk about dynasty and national security.

He said the opposition was restless given the response the BJP got in the first two phases of the Lok Sabha polls across the country.

Addressing the rally in a region known for onion production, Modi said his government is trying to increase onion storage capacity and reduce tax on their transportation.

He claimed that the Congress tweaked crop prices to benefit middlemen.

“I have fought a battle against these middlemen,” he added.

“Our government working to end the rule of middlemen,” Modi said.

Speaking at a poll rally at Nandurbar later, Modi said accused the opposition parties of spreading rumours that reservations will modified if he returns to power.

Modi said he will ensure that the quota quantum is not disturbed.

“Till Modi is here, nobody can touch reservations, given to us by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he said.

Modi also assured people in the tribal dominated constituencies in north Maharashtra that his government will ensure they would not face eviction from their land.

“As long as Modi is there, reservation for adivasis will not be removed. No one can lay hand on your agricultural land you are cultivating now,” he said.

The adivasis are currently struggling to keep their land with themselves as some provisions of the Forest Rights Act are being challenged.

“In Maharashtra alone, 1.25 crore farmers’ families are benefiting from Pradhan Mantri Krishi Samman Yojana. If voted to power again, we will remove the upper land holding limit of five acre,” Modi said.

“My government is also going to introduce a pension scheme for farmers in coming years,” he said.

North Maharashtra produces sugarcane which can be used for ethanol production, Modi said.

It will create jobs for locals but the Congress-NCP leaders never allowed it to happen, he said.

“These leaders used to get kickbacks for importing fuel.

If fuel imports are reduced due to ethanol blending, they fear of losing their income,” Modi said.

Recalling that it was in Nandurbar that the Aadhar scheme was launched in 2010, Modi said his government ensured its wider impact.

“But and now the Congress has approached the Supreme Court against Aadhar card,” he said.

Funds meant for pregnant women and children were “looted” by Congress leaders in Madhya Pradesh and were seized from residences of some of their leaders, he said.

“They (Congress) are unrelenting in abusing me as I targeted their corruption,” Modi said.

The prime minister also attacked Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for his alleged remark that those who don’t get a square meal join the army and become jawans. Modi said that according to Kumaraswamy, people who guard our borders are not children of the rich and join the armed forces because they don’t have food to eat.

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JK Cong rings Delhi even for minor decisions: Omar

Global News Service

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Srinagar, Apr 21: National Conference vice president Omar Abdullah Sunday said Congress leaders from Jammu and Kashmir are not allowed to take decisions on their own.
“When we were in an alliance with Congress, I noticed it myself that even for minor decisions they have to seek permission from party leadership in New Delhi,” Omar told reporters on the sidelines of a party function in South Kashmir.
However, Omar said, NC candidates for Parliamentary Elections if elected will not have to take “dictation” from New Delhi.
“Not only New Delhi but even National Conference top leadership. Our Parliamentarians will just have to represent the voice of people of Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
Omar said people should come out to vote as boycotting elections will only help the BJP and RSS.
He said it was unfortunate that Election Commision of India was ignoring repeated violations of Model Code of Conduct by Prime Minister Narendara Modi and top BJP leadership.

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