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Snow clearance operation completed on Sgr-Leh highway: BRO






Drass, Apr 15 : Braving adverse weather conditions and avalanche threats, the BRO’s Project Vijayak after making all efforts has cleared the snow from Drass side to Zojilla Pass on Srinagar-Leh highway which recorded heavy snow accumulation during winter.

Every foot of snow proved a challenging task for snow clearance teams of Project Vijayak as they approached towards Zojilla due to unprecedented snow accumulation.

Commander 762 BRTF of Project Vijayak Col Rajeev Lohani said that men and machinery worked without break to clear snow for making the strategic highway motorable.


Sonamarg -Leh road remains closed from December to mid-April due to heavy snow accumulation on the highway. This winter extremely heavy snowfall occurred during winter and heavy snow has accumulated at Zojilla Pass.

“The whole road from Zojilla Pass to Drass falls under heavy avalanche zone. Snow clearance team had a tough challenge on daily basis, but 55 RCC of 762 BRTF of Project Vijayak went ahead with the challenge. The team has reached zero point which is a heavy avalanche prone zone,” commander 762 BRTF said and the snow clearance may take some more days for widening activities before the Highway is officially thrown open for public.

Officials said that at-least 50 feet snow is accumulated on the hills along the road and once the track is cleared off snow and made motorable, the stretch will become a tourist attraction after Sonamarg for its snow sites and glacial hilltops.


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Low voter turnout may hit Mufti’s prospects in Anantnag




Srinagar: With the overall voter turnout in the first of the three-phase polling in Anantnag Lok Sabha constituency settling below 10 per cent till 1 p.m. on Tuesday, the fate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) President Mehbooba Mufti hangs precariously in the balance in what was till recently her party’s bastion.

The bad news for Mufti is that voters in her ancestral town Bijbehara and the neighbouring Anantnag showed very little interest to come out and join the poll process.

Mufti won this Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and resigned in 2016 to become the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir following the death of her father, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.


She later won the 2016 bypoll for the Anantnag Assembly seat to get elected to the 87-member state legislative Assembly. Anantnag Assembly seat fell vacant due to Mufti Senior’s death in 2016.

In contrast to the less than 3 per cent voter turnout in Bijbehara and Anantnag segments that have traditionally been PDP strongholds, the turnout has been good in Dooru, Kokernag and Shangus segments where her Congress rival, Ghulam Ahmad Mir has strong voter support.

The voter turnout has also been good in the Pahalgam segment, but it is believed that the PDP and the National Conference (NC) would cut almost equally here, again giving an edge to the Congress candidate.

Voting will be held in Kulgam district of the constituency on April 29 and in Shopian and Pulwama districts on May 6 and the voter turnout in these remaining districts may make or mar the electoral prospects of the PDP President.

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Polling begins on very dull note in Anantnag




Anantnag, Apr 23 Polling began on a very dull note in the first of three phase polling in six of the 16 Assembly segments of Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency (PC) in south Kashmir amidst unprecedented security arrangements following boycott and strike called by Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) on Tuesday.

Majority polling stations, particularly in the main town Anantnag, have yet to receive first voter while in the outskirts and villages people, including some women, could be seen moving towards polling stations.

However, the authorities express hope that polling will pick up as the day progress since it is cold outside.


Polling started at 0700 hrs at all the 714 polling stations in the constituency, spread over four districts of Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian, where 5,29,256 electorate, including 2,57,540 females are eligible to elect their representative from among the 18 candidates, including former chief minister and president of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mehbooba Mufti, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) chief G A Mir, and Justice (Retd) Hasnain Masoodi and BJP Mohammad Yousuf.

Polling conclude at 1600 hrs, two hours before the normal timing elsewhere in the state, where polling continued from 0700 hrs to 1800 hrs. This decision, officials said, was taken for security reasons.

The next two phases in the constituency would be held in Kulgam district on April 29 while on May 6, polling will be held in Shopian and Pulwama districts.

Returning Officer (RO) for Anantnag Parliamentary Constituency (PC), Khalid Jahangir, told UNI that all arrangements, including three-tier security, had been put in place for conducting the elections in secure and peaceful manner.

Assured Minimum Facilities (AMF) for polling stations with regard to power supply, furniture, water supply and other required facilities had been put in place, he said adding the ramp facilities have also been ensured at the polling stations. Webcasting will be made at 28 polling locations in Anantnag district, he said.

“The district has 5,29,256 electorate, including 2,57,540 females, 2102 service electors (including 11 female) and 11 transgender voters. For smooth polling the ECI has setup 714 polling stations in the district,” he said.

He said Kokernag Assembly segment has the highest number of 93,694 voters, including 44,948 females, while Doru has the lowest 78,653 electorate, including 37,889 females.

“Assembly segment Bijbehara has 93,289 voters, including 46,222 females, Shangus 88374 voters (43,010 females), Pahalgam 86,614 (42,498 females) and Anantnag 86,530 (42,973 females),” Mr Jahangir said.

He said the highest 46,222 female voters are in the Assembly segment of Bijbehara.

“Among the assembly segments of Anantnag district, Shangus has a total of 1,031 service electors which is highest in the district,” he added.

Mr Jahangir said besides state police, Central Paramilitary Force (CPMF) personnel in strength had been deployed at polling stations to provide a secure atmosphere to voters to cast their ballots. Besides security forces already engaged in anti militancy operations would be there to prevent any violent incident.

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Pakistan’s nuclear bombs are not kept for Eid either: Mehbooba hits back at Modi




Peoples Democratic Party chief and former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Monday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bragging about India’s nuclear capability. She accused Modi of “stooping low” and lowering the country’s political discourse.

On Sunday, Modi had said that his government had refused to be intimidated by Pakistan’s nuclear threats and that with the Balakot air strike, India had given Pakistan a “fitting reply”. “What do we have then? Have we kept our nuclear bomb for Diwali?” Modi had said at a rally in Barmer district of Rajasthan. Modi had said that his government had made the terrorists afraid from across the border and the results of it were visible as there were no blasts anywhere in the country in the last five years.

On Monday, Mufti said, “If India hasn’t kept nuclear bomb for Diwali, it’s obvious Pakistan’s not kept theirs for Eid either. Don’t know why PM Modi must stoop so low & reduce political discourse to this.”


Addressing reporters in Kulgam, Mufti once again criticised Modi for his remark. “What Pakistan [nuclear bombs] possesses would not be saved for Eid either. We are evenly placed in this matter,” she said.

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