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On Chinar Day, Chaar-Chinari gets new lease of life

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Srinagar, March 14: On the Chinar Day, famed Chaar-Chinari, known for spotting majestic chinar trees on Friday got a new lease of life with the Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai planting saplings.
Ganai planted two Chinar trees to restore its glory in presence of tourists and representative from local travel and hospitality sector.
The famous island on the Dal Lake remained abuzz with the activities and tourists were seen dotting the island.
Speaking on the occasion, Ganai said Char-Chinari is famous for its Chinar trees which need to be restored to regain its lost glory.
Ganai said that he has directed tourism officials to do the facelift of such tourist attractions in Kashmir region. He said that people should have a homely feel and they should also enjoy the hospitality of Kashmiris. Ganai urged tourism stakeholders to popularize such places in their road shows and FAM tours. He said that government was taking every possible effort to promote Kashmir tourism on national and international level.
Pertinently Chinars are intricately interconnected to the lives of people and Kashmiri culture. The majestic Kashmiri Chinar (Plantus orientalis kashmiriana), locally called ‘Bouin’, is the symbol of Kashmir and signifies the heritage and grandeur of Kashmiri civilization.
On the occasion, Ganai appealed the travellers and potential tourists to visit J&K for holidays.
“The tourist season has started and everything is normal here. Tulip Garden will also be opened soon for this season with large varieties of flowers. We want to appeal the potential tourists from within and outside the country to visit the J&K State and enjoy the natural beauty and rich tradition of unmatched hospitality,” he said.
He said the tourism and other departments have put up for all the necessary arrangements for the hassle-free and memorable journey of the travellers.
On the occasion, the Advisor also interacted with the travel trade and tourists—especially a large group of 40 foreigners.
Secretary Tourism Rigzin Samphel, Director Tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmad Wani, Deputy Directors were also present on the occasion


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Kashmir

Thousands attend funerals of slain militants in Shopian

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Thousands of people on Saturday attended the funerals of two slain militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in south Kashmir’s Shopian district amid a gun salute and shutdown.
On Friday, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh resident of Harmain Shopian and Yasir Ahmad Shah resident of Arhama Shopian were killed in a gunfight with government forces at Gadapora, Ratnipora area of Shopian district.
Police said the slain militants were affiliated with JeM outfit and were wanted by law for their “complicity in several terror crimes including attacks on security establishments and civilian atrocities.”
Showkat was involved in “abduction and brutal killing of three police officials Nisar Ahmad Dhobi, Firdous Ahmad Kucchay and Kulwant Singh, all residents of Shopian last year in 2018,” a police spokesman said.
“As per police records, Showkat was also involved in attacks on Police Station Shopian in 2018 in which one police official Saqib Mohi-ud-Din got killed,” the spokesman said.
Showkat was wanted by law for his involvement in several rifle snatching incidents reported across South Kashmir. He was also involved in conspiring and executing many attacks in the area. Several crime cases were registered against him, the spokesman said.
The militant group was also responsible for the killing of woman police official Khusboo Jan recently in Shopian, the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, after conducting all legal formalities, the bodies of the slain were handed over to their respective families for last rites.
Thousands of people assembled in the respective villages of the slain duo to offer their funeral prayers. Eye-witnesses said that a large number of mourners including women staged massive pro-freedom, pro-Islam and anti-India protests.
Two separate militant groups comprising four to five members also appeared in the native villages of the slain militants and offered a gun-salute.

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Day after KM report: EPG visits SP College to ascertain reasons for mass Chinar felling

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Member of Environmental Policy Group (EPG) on Saturday paid a visit to SP College to ascertain the cause behind the chopping of decades old majestic Chinar trees and asked the college authorities for planting of new Chinar trees in the college premises.
They visited the college a day after The Kashmir Monitor reported that administration has allowed uprooting of 17 ‘dry’ Chinar trees at SP College Srinagar.
Environmental Policy Group, Convener, Faiz Bakshi said they carried out an in-depth inspection of the college where Chinars were chopped down and even went through all the official documents which suggested that the college legally started the process of uprooting.
“I told the college authorities that they must initiate plantation drive of Chinars simultaneously as they have enough space in the premises of college,” Bakshi said, adding that they must ensure that the Chinars have dry environmental conditions for the sustenance.
Bakhshi further said that the Chinar trees dry up if their roots are moist, so they need dry conditions to flourish.
Environmental Policy Group is a Kashmir based non-profit organization which works for the environmental issues.
As many as 17 Chinar trees have been partially or entirely chopped off at SP College here during the last 4 days.
The college authorities say all the chinars had “decayed” after 2014 floods and needed to be cut-off.
Professor Khurshid Khan, Principal, SP College said, “The branches of the trees started falling and it posed safety threat to the students and the people around,” he said, adding that to avoid any “unfortunate accident we approached the government for acquiring permission to uproot the Chinars”.

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Two killed as landslide hits vehicle

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Two persons were killed after a vehicle they were travelling in came under a landslide at Piykul Kara in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir.
Reports said late on Friday night a truck (JK02CA-5185) was hit by a landslide at Piykul Kara.
The incident occurred when the vehicle was on its way from Thathri to Gandoh, they said.
In the incident two persons namely Shahzad Hussain and Arif Hussain of Kishtwar died on the spot, they said.
The bodies were recovered and shifted to Primary Health Center (PHC) Thathri for other legal medico formalities, they said.

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