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Rajnath to talk to Mehbooba on unilateral ceasefire appeal

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New Delhi, May 10:Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today that while he had not been directly apprised of Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s appeal for a unilateral ceasefire during Ramadhan, he will talk to her about it.
“I have not held direct talks with her on the issue but I have got this information…I will talk to her after going to New Delhi,” Singh told reporters at the sidelines of an event organised by the BSF on the outskirts of the state capital.
He was asked to comment on J&K chief minister’s appeal to the Centre to consider a unilateral ceasefire starting from Ramzan in mid-May till the completion of the Amarnath Yatra in August.
To a question on a tourist from Chennai being killed in stone pelting in Kashmir, Singh said it was “most unfortunate”. “The incident of a tourist dying due to stone pelting is most unfortunate…everyone is condemning it,” he said.
Asked about the BJP’s prospects against a united Opposition in the coming bypolls in Kairana (Lok Sabha) and Noorpur (Assembly), Singh said, “Despite all parties joining hands, the BJP will win both the seats.”
We will win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections as the Narendra Modi government has undertaken so many development works that people will not be able to ignore, he said.
“Development works cannot be totally ignored,” he said adding the BJP was set to form government in Karnataka.
Earlier, addressing a teachers’ conference here, Singh said the role of teachers was not only to build the character of students, but also nation building.
“Knowledge in life is not everything. Along with knowledge, values are also needed. There are many who became terrorists after getting technical degrees,” Singh, who is the local MP, said.
“Friedman has written that there are many similarities between Infosys and Al-Qaeda. In both the organisation, educated youngsters work. The role of one of these is destructive while the other is welfare-oriented. The only difference between the two is that of values,” Singh said referring to author Thomas Friedman.


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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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