Srinagar, Dec 22: At least six militants affiliated with Zakir Moosa led group were killed on Saturday morning in a gunfight that raged between forces and militants in Arampora village of Tral in Awantipora area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
Police said that a joint cordon and search operation was launched in Arampora village of Tral by forces in the wee hours of Saturday morning following the credible inputs about the presence of militants.
“The militants holed up in the area fired upon the search party, which was retaliated, thus leading to an encounter,” police said, adding that six militants affiliated with Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind were killed in the gunfight.
Police also said that no collateral damage took place during the gunfight.
The slain militants as per police have been identified as Soliha Mohammad Akhoon, son of Ghulam Mohammad Akhoon of Arampora Tral, Faisal of Amlar, Nadeem Ahmad Sofi, son of Muzzafar Ahmad Sofi of Batagund Tral, Rasiq Mir, son of Ghulam Qadir Mir of Mir Mohalla Dadsara Tral, Rouf and Umar both residents of Dadsara Tral.
Soliha is believed the Deputy of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
“All the six militants were wanted by the law for their complicity in a series of crimes including attack on security establishments and civilian atrocities. This group was part of Zakir Mousa faction and was active in district Pulwama,” police said in a statement.
“As per Police records, Rasiq had a long history of crime records since last five years. Several cases were registered against him including case FIR number 170/2016 under section 13, 18, 18E, 20 ULAP Act. Soliha as per police records also had a long history of crimes since 2015 and was involved in several attacks on security establishments and many other civilian atrocities in the area,” police spokesman said.
“Similarly, Nadeem and Umar were also involved in several crimes. Also Rouf and Faisal were involved in planning and executing many attacks in the area,” he added.
Police added that the bodies of all the six militants after completion of medico legal formalities were handed over to their legal heirs.
“Arms and ammunition including rifles were recovered from the site of encounter. All these materials have been taken in the case records for further investigation and probe their complicity in other cases,” he said.
Police further appealed people not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. “People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials,” police said.
Meanwhile, soon after the news about the militant killings spread, people mostly youth to the streets and staged protest against the killings.
The protesting youth raised slogans in favour of freedom during the protest.
Thousands of people participated in the funeral prayers of slain militants.
Reports said that four militants – Raski Mir, Rouf Mir, Nadeem Sofi and Umer Ramzan – were laid to rest at a single graveyard in Dadsara village of Tral.
Two other slain militants – Soliha Mohammad Akhoon and Faisal Khanday – were respectively laid to rest at Arampora and Amlar area of the district.
Reports said that ten rounds of funeral prayers were held to accommodate thousands of mourners who had marched to Dadsara, Arampora and Amlar areas.
Meanwhile, the mobile internet services in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district was suspended following the encounter in Tral village.
The mobile internet service in other districts of South Kashmir was reduced to 2G
Moreover, the train services from Baramulla to Banihal as also suspended for today in view of ‘security measure’.
5 CRPF men injured in Bijbehara blast
Srinagar, Dec 22: Five paramilitary CRPF men were injured in a grenade explosion at Arwani area of Bijbehara in south Kashmir’s Anantnag district on Saturday evening.
Official sources said that some suspected militants lobbed a grenade towards the CRPF party in Arwani.
In the blast, five CRPF men of 90 bn, sustained splinter injuries and were taken to army’s nearby health hospital for treatment, they said.
A police spokesman in a statement said that today evening from a crowd in Arwani, Bijbehara, militants lobbed a grenade towards security forces.
“In the incident, five security force personnel sustained injuries. They were evacuated to hospital for medical treatment. After administering them with first aid, all the five security forces personnel were discharged from the hospital and are stated to be stable,” the spokesman said.
Police have registered a case and the investigation in the matter is underway, the spokesman added.
Kashmir receives fresh snowfall, aerial traffic affected
Srinagar, Jan 17: Kashmir on Wednesday received fresh snowfall affecting the aerial traffic and bringing life to halt.
The fresh snowfall in this morning across the Valley disrupted the normal life in Kashmir with surface traffic remaining suspended for a day while as the Srinagar-Jammu highway remained open despite the snowfall.
Authorities in Srinagar Airport said that the flights to and from Srinagar were suspended in view of the prevailing weather conditions as well as the poor visibility.
Officials said that flights will be operational once the weather conditions and visibility will improve.”Due to bad weather/ heavy snowfall, all flights have been cancelled”.
Meanwhile, the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway was open for one-way traffic as there was little or no snowfall in south Kashmir parts on Wednesday.
“Road Status: #Srinagar-Jammu highway open, Traffic plying from Srinagar to #Jammu; Srinagar-Kargil road Closed; Anantnag-Kishtwar road Closed; Mughal Road closed; Bandipora-Gurez road closed; Kupwara-Karnah, Kupwara-Keran, Kupwara-Machail roads closed. @JmuKmrPolice,” Police tweeted.
Director of Meteorological department (MeT), Sonum Lotus said that the light rains as well as snowfall were predicted by the department earlier. “The reports of moderate snowfall were received from some places in Kashmir today,” he said.
He added that the weather would remain mostly cloudy in Kashmir from Jan 18-19, saying that from Jan 19 evening onwards; there is possibility of light rains and snowfall at isolate places.
Lotus further added that the MeT has predicted highly dynamic weather till Jan 23 in Kashmir. “From Jan 20-23, there is possibility of moderate rains and snowfall across the Valley,” he said, adding that the surface as well as the road traffic would also get affected due to the snow spell.
Meanwhile, the state administration claimed to have adequate measures to ensure basic facilities and road clearance during and in the aftermath of fresh snowfall.
The top officials held a series of meetings so far to finalize arrangements in this regard.
The respective district administrations have also asked the officials to gear up for the fresh snow spell as predicted by the Meteorological department
Meanwhile, the day temperatures across the Kashmir Valley nosedived amid fresh snowfall.
A meteorological department official told that Srinagar recorded a maximum of 1.0 degree Celsius, more than six degrees below normal for this time of the year. The capital city saw 5.4 mm of snow (when converted into rain) from 0830 to 1730 hours.
The famous hill resort of Pahalgam recorded a maximum of minus 1.6 degree Celsius and saw snowfall of 8.5mm.
Qazginund, the gateway town of Kashmir, saw a maximum of 2.2 degrees Celsius while Kokernag, also in south Kashmir, recorded a maximum of 1.1 degrees Celsius. Both these places saw zero or traces of snowfall.
The MeT official said the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir saw a maximum of minus 2.4 degrees Celsius and it had a snowfall of 15.2 mm during the day.
Kupwara town in north Kashmir registered a maximum of 0.8 degrees Celsius, the official said.
JK showcases tourism potential at Asia’s largest travel show
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 16: Launching its aggressive marketing campaign, the Department of Tourism, participated in the 3-day South Asian Travel and Tourism Exhibition (SATTE) travel show which began here on Wednesday.
SATTE is one of the biggest travel shows in Asia providing platform for travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, destination management companies, tourism boards to sell their products and network to their potential clients from across the globe.
Besides, J&K Tourism Department, over hundred travel agents, hoteliers, other service providers and heads of the various travel and hotel associations from the Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh regions are participating in the travel show to showcase the State’s tourism potential.
Secretary Tourism, Rigzin Samphel, Director Tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmad Wani and Director Tourism Jammu Om Prakash Bhagat along with other senior officers from the Department participated in the travel show.
They had an interaction with the leading travel agents from within and outside the country and apprised them about the State’s tourism products.
“SATTE is one of the largest tourism shows in Asia where we can promote our tourism destinations. The department will provide all the information about the JK’s destinations, products, services to the visitors to attract them to the state,” the Secretary Tourism said.
Over 20000 visitors, including domestic and international sellers and buyers, State tourism officials, heads of international tourism boards, hoteliers, and aviation experts showcased their products and services to the global trade community.
The travel show also provides an opportunity for the state tourism department to conduct business sessions with the visitors during the travel show.
On the first day, the Tourism Department of at its pavilion screened short films on different destinations for the visitors who were mesmerized to see the stunning beauty. It also showcased State’s splendid art, craft and sumptuous traditional food.
A large number of visitors turned up at J&K pavilion to inquire about the State’s tourism products, new destinations and infrastructure development.
The Department informed them about the pilgrim, MICE, heritage, art and craft, food, known and lesser-known destinations of all the three regions of the state.
The Department also distributed comprehensive publicity material in the form of brochures and pamphlets, pen drives containing travel videos of different destinations to the visitors at its pavilion.
During the convention, Secretary Tourism, Director Tourism Kashmir, Director Tourism Jammu along with heads of local travel and hospitality sector will also hold separate meet with media to apprise them about the Kashmir being the safe tourist destination.
The Director Tourism Kashmir said the department has planned series of road shows and shall also participate in travel marts in the next two months.
“We will be visiting major cities in the country for road shows. We have also planned road shows in countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Bangladesh where from we have got a good response from the travellers,” he said.
All election formalities to be completed by Feb end: Sources
Srinagar, Jan 16 : All election formalities in Jammu and Kashmir are likely to be completed by February end after which the Election Commission of India will take a final call on the dates for the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously.
Top sources while disclosing this to Kashmir News Service (KNS) revealed that the Jammu and Kashmir government has fast paced the process of completing election formalities for both Lok Sabha and Assembly elections by February end and the final electoral roles are likely to be published anytime after January 20.
As already reported the Jammu and Kashmir Chief Electoral Officer Shailendra Kumar held video conference on finalization of electoral roles and other election related arrangements with all the district election officers (DEOs) of all the three regions of the state Tuesday this week.
Sources said the authorities in the election commission will work on the suitability of the location of polling booths across Jammu and Kashmir after January 20 and the process is likely to be completed by February 15.
The Election Commission of India, sources said, is likely to take a final call on the dates for the conduct of Lok Sabha and Assembly elections simultaneously earliest by February end and latest by March 15 and the polling in Jammu and Kashmir is likely to be held in the month of April only.
The polling, sources said, is likely to be held in eight phases adding that the polls in south Kashmir however may be held exclusively on the day when polls in no other part of the state will be held keeping in view the volatile situation in four districts of south Kashmir.