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No more namaz in open, demand Gurgaon outfits

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Gurgaon, May 01: Many outfits, coming together under Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, have demanded that the case against six men for disrupting namaz be withdrawn. They also called for a city-wide ban on offering namaz in the open, said a report in The Indian Express. The six men had disrupted namaz being offered on a vacant plot in Sector 53 of Gurgaon on April 20.
In their protest on Monday, the outfits also threatened to come out on the streets again on Friday, May 4, to make sure nobody offered namaz in the open. About 50 protesters gathered at Kamla Nehru Park before marching to Mini Secretariat where they submitted a memorandum to deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh addressed to Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.
Their letter alleged that the vacant land was being used for namaz so that it could eventually be illegally occupied. The environment was being spoilt by chanting of slogans of ‘Pakistan zindabad’ and “Hindustan murdabad’,” they alleged. “When some patriotic youth stopped them from doing this, police conducted a one-sided investigation. Does chanting ‘Vande Matram’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’ come in the ambit of offence that the youth were arrested?” they were quoted in media as having said in the letter. “Permission should only be given in those places where the strength of this population is more than 50 percent, otherwise there will continue to be a possibility of peace being obstructed,” the letter added.
Those who have been gathering at the spot for namaaz for the past ten years denied the allegations. “We don’t even talk to each other when reading the namaaz; chanting slogans is out of the question. These are false allegations,” said Wajid Khan, who heads the Nehru Yuva Sangathan Welfare Society Charitable Trust, and was the complainant in the case that led to six arrests.
Meanwhile, the protesting outfits were in an unrelenting mood. “We requested the district administration to declare a ban on reading namaz in the open. However, we intend to form teams and keep an eye on the city this Friday to ensure worshippers are not allowed to offer prayers in the open, on government land, illegally,” said Abhishek Gaur, district president of the Bajrang Dal, one of the protesting outfits.


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Upcoming snow spell: Avalanche warning issued for Kashmir, Ladakh districts

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Srinagar, Jan 19: Kashmir areas experienced fresh snowfall on Saturday, with the weather office forecasting more in store for the next three days.
“A western disturbance (WD) is presently active over the state under whose influence moderate to heavy snowfall is likely to occur in the valley till January 23 after which the intensity of the WD will start decreasing,” a Met Department official said here.
District administrations have set up helplines to help prevent any untoward incident due to the heavy snowfall.
Meanwhile Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan Saturday issued fresh avalanche warning for nine avalanche prone districts of Kashmir division.
The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh.
As per the hand out, the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has directed the Deputy Commissioners of all these districts to advise the people living in avalanche prone areas not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives.
The Div Com also directed the concerned DC’s to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, Police and Para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident.
While the nightlong cloud cover increased minimum temperatures throughout the valley on Saturday, the maximum temperatures are expected to drop further, the weather official said.
Srinagar recorded minus 2.0 degrees Celsius, Pahalgam minus 4.4 and Gulmarg minus 7.0 as the minimum temperatures.
Leh town had minus 9.2 degrees Celsius and Kargil minus 18.9 as the night’s lowest temperature.
Jammu city recorded 8.3 degrees Celsius, Katra 9.1, Batote 3.9, Bannihal 2.3 and Bhaderwah 1.3 as the minimum temperatures.

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UN clearly did its job: Guterres on Kashmir human rights report

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United Nations: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Friday hoped that India and Pakistan will engage in a “meaningful dialogue” to resolve their issues.
The UN chief also said he has been offering his “good offices in relation to the dialogue between the two countries that, until now, had no conditions of success.”
Guterres was speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York.
“I hope that the importance of both India and Pakistan is such in international affairs, I hope that the two countries will be able to engage in a meaningful dialogue,” he said.
The UN chief was responding to a question on his repeated urging of dialogue between the two South Asian neighbours.
In relation to the human rights situation, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has produced recently a very detailed report. So, the UN has clearly done its job in that regard, Guterres said to a question by a Pakistan journalist on the situation in Kashmir.

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Day after grenade attack, forces conduct search op in Lal Chowk

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Srinagar: A joint search operation was launched by the forces and police in the commercial Hub Lal Chowk area of Srinagar on Saturday.
The search came a day after the grenade attack took place in the locality, which left a vehicle and windowpanes of some shops damaged.
Witnesses said that a large contingent of police and paramilitary troopers were deployed near the Clock Tower here while the frisking was also intensified.
They said that drones too were used during the operation.
However, a top police official said that it was a routine exercise ahead of upcoming Republic Day.

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