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This south Kashmir village has no electricity for years

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Srinagar, Mar 23: Even as the government claims to have provided solar home lights to households in un-electrified villages in the state, the residents living in Sonabrari village in Kokernag area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district are still being forced to reel under darkness in absence of electricity from past several years.
In modern day world, the residents in this village in absence of the basic facility are being forced to survive like old age time.
The residents of this village, which is situated about thirty kms away from main Anantnag town said that the Power Development Department has ignored them, resulting in immense hardships to them.
“We are being forced to reel under darkness from past three years,” they said, adding that the authorities in the department don’t even bother to visit the village to fulfil their genuine demands.
Accusing the local legislator as well as the PDD department for ignoring their plights, the villagers demanded immediate fulfilment of their demands.
They said that the negligence of the authorities is forcing the business community here to lock down their businesses early.
Meanwhile, the residents including men, women and old staged protest against the PDD department for not paying heed to their demands.
“We approached to MLA Kokernag several times in the past but unfortunately he despite giving assurances didn’t fulfil our demands. Thus, forcing the residents to reel under darkness since long,” they said.
They later appealed the authorities to look into the matter and fulfil their demands at an earliest.
When contacted, Exen PDD division Anantnag, Khalil Ahmad said that the electricity to the village will be provided once the funds will be available.
Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Anantnag, Mohammad Younis Malik has directed the Sub District Magistrate and PDD division Anantnag to visit the village and submit the report regarding the issue.
“The electricity to the village will be provided soon. The officials have been directed to visit the village and to submit their report in this regard. Following their visit, necessary steps would be taken in this regard,” he said. (KNS)


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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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