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Three Jaish militants killed in Jammu gunfight

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Srinagar, Sep 13: Three militants of Jaish-e-Mohammad outfit were killed and 12 security personnel, including three officers, injured Thursday in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Reasi district, a day after they fired on a police party here and escaped, officials said.
Police said the militants of Pakistani origin had crossed the International Border (IB) in Tarnah nallah and reached Kashmir from the Dayalachak area of Kathua district in a truck.
The encounter broke out after government forces, comprising CRPF, police and Army personnel, during a cordon and search operation, zeroed in on a location near a house in the district’s Kakriyal area, and surrounded the militants Thursday afternoon, they said.
Drones and choppers were used in the operation launched on Wednesday to track the militants, all of whom were aged between 18 and 22, they said.
Twelve personnel were injured in the operation, police said.
Six CRPF personnel, including the deputy commandant and the assistant commandant, five cops, including Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohan Lal, and an Armyman were injured, they said, adding that they were admitted to the Narayana hospital in Katra.
“On 12.09.2018 at about 0805 hours, during checking by flying squad of police at Domail on highway, police party signalled a truck bearing No. JK03-1476, which was on its way from Jammu to Srinagar to stop. In the meantime, three terrorists who were on board the said truck opened fire (sic),” a police statement issued Thursday said.
Earlier, SSP (Jammu) Vivek Gupta said the cordon and search operation to track down the militants was launched in the Jhajjar-Kotli forest belt in Jammu and Reasi districts after the militants fired on the security personnel on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway Wednesday.
The militants had fled into the forest belt of which Kakriyal is a part.
One person was injured in the firing. The truck was seized, and its driver and helper were arrested, police said, adding that one AK-56 rifle, loaded magazines, one Chinese pistol and other incriminating material were recovered from the site.
The operation was launched in the villages near Katra, they said, adding that the security components of the Vaishnodevi shrine were also alerted.
A lookout notice was issued through social and mass media, they said.
Three senior superintendents of police (SSPs) of Reasi, Udhampur, Jammu, additional SP of Katra and the SDPO of Nagrota rushed to the spot after receiving information about the presence of militants in Jhajjar-Kotli, police said.
The vast area was kept under tight cordon during the night and with day break, contact was established after the militants were tracked at Kakriyal, they said.
“The exchange of fire continued till 5 pm this evening. In this encounter, all the three militants were neutralised. SDPO Nagrota, two officers of CRPF and some police and security force men were injured,” a police spokesperson said.
“It seems to be a case of fresh infiltration of yesterday (Wednesday) morning from Pakistan most likely from Hiranagar belt of International Border. These militants had come from Pakistan,” he said.
Preliminary investigation suggests that the militants belonged to the JeM. Bodies of all three have been found, he said, adding that arms and ammunition were recovered from them.
Speaking to reporters, IGP (Jammu) S D Singh Jamwal said two people transported the militants from Dayalachak in a truck.
The duo had been engaged in carrying out such acts in the past, and police were investigating their contacts in Jammu, the IG said.
During the operation, security agencies were informed by a villager that the militants had taken food and clothes and left his house on Wednesday night, a senior police official said.
Speaking to reporters, the villager said, “They came to my house at 8 pm and demanded clothes to change from their (combat) dress. They demanded food. They ate biscuits and drank water and left around 9.10 pm.”
The militants also demanded a vehicle, but “we told them, we do not have one,” the villager said, adding that they were asked to switch-off their mobile phones.
The official said the family immediately informed police after the militants left.
The CRPF, the police and the army along with personnel from other security agencies are combing the area, he said.
The official said areas and check posts along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway are on alert. More checkpoints have been created and vehicles are being searched and passengers frisked, he said.
“The Jhajjar-Kotli forest belt and adjoining areas have been put under a massive cordon,” the official said.
Traffic movement on the highway, between Nagrota and Jhajjar-Kotli, was suspended.


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I-League 2018-19: Real test for Real Kashmir today

Over 15,000 spectators expected as RKFC takes on Mohun Bagan

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Nov 19: The stage is set for the historic and probably the most-awaited I-League match between Real Kashmir FC and Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan FC to be played at Astro Turf TRC Ground on Tuesday.

Popularly known as Mariners, Mohun Bagan is the oldest and most-celebrated football club of India, which will be playing its first official match here.

A day before the match, football fans, particularly those of Real Kashmir FC, thronged to the TRC ground for passes to the match.

At least, more than 6,000 passes were given to the ecstatic spectators, who are aiming to watch the game.

An official deputed at TRC ground said they were expecting “more than 15,000” spectators.

“People for long have been waiting for the event. Mohun Bagan is a popular football club and it is not less than a treat to watch them play in Srinagar,” he said.

More than three dozen Mohun Bagan fans have also travelled with the team for the game.

Defeated by Neroca FC alone this year, the Snow Leopards hope to turn the opportunity into a grand event.

“Since Mohun Bagan is a big club, pressure will definitely be on them. To play against a club like Mohun Bagan, the chances will be definitely less for us, but we have to put up a good show,” Real Kashmir FC Head Coach, David Robertson, said in a pre-match press conference.

“Teams coming here find it difficult because of the altitude and unless you are here five-six days here before the game, it is going to be very difficult in the last 20 minutes of the game,” he said.

Coach Robertson said facing Mohun Bagan in Kashmir would be “more than an achievement” for his team.

“We have one point out of six in the last two games. But then we are underdogs, and saw just one defeat in the last one year,” he said.

He said the previous defeat against Neroca FC won’t have any impact over the performances of his players.

“Last time we got a lot of chances and made errors even, but it is a part of a game. But tomorrow we will have some changes as Danish is currently injured. Bazie Armand and Mason will play at different positions. We got options as we are bringing four strikers and also need more for upfront,” Coach Robertson said.

“The support by Kahsmiris, who come in numbers, actually gives us an edge. We don’t have the history like Kolkata clubs, but again, since we are in I-League and the people’s support adds pressure on the away team,” Coach Robertson said.

Head Coach of Mohun Bagan, Shankarlal Chakraborty, said facing Real Kashmir in their hometown was more worrying for them than playing on synthetic turf for the first time.

“We came prior to the scheduled match to practice more on synthetic turf, but Real Kashmir team as a team is more worrying for us. They lost the previous match, but they are good at creating chances for a goal,” he said.

“The way Kashmir played the last game was really good. They have a good combination of both Indian and foreign players. Their defenders, midfielders are very strong. We hope we put up up a good show against them and win three points,” Coach Chakraborty said.

Asked whether his players will cope with cold weather conditions Chakraborty said, “As far as the weather conditions are concerned, we did train in the afternoon yesterday. We were not uncomfortable. After warming up, the body responded well and the players had a good session.”

Both the teams have played three games each so far.

Mohun Bagan is one of the three unbeaten teams in the league and is fifth on the table.

Real Kashmir is seventh, with four points.

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Panchayat elections:Phase II today, 4014 candidates in fray

Mudassir Kuloo

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Srinagar, Nov 19: Polling for Phase-II of Panchayat Polls-2018 will be held Tuesday at 2179 polling stations across the state, including 828 in Kashmir and 1351 in Jammu Division.

In a statement, Chief Electoral Officer, Shaleen Kabra said that 4,014 candidates are in the fray for 281 Sarpanch and 1286 Panch seats in Phase-II.

He said 90 Sarpanchs and 1069 Panchs have already been elected unopposed in Phase-II.

Kabra said 601 polling stations have been categorized as hypersensitive including 490 in Kashmir Division and 196 in Jammu Division.

He said in the areas going to polls in the Phase-II, electorate of 3,29, 818 will be voting for Sarpanch constituencies, 207796 for Panch constituencies.

Polling will be held from 8 am to 2 pm while counting of the votes will be taken up immediately after the voting is over.

The polls will be held in the border areas of Kupwara district like Kalaroos, Machil, and Rajwar. Similarly, the polls will be held in two Panchayat constituencies of Bandipora-Ganstan, Nowgam.

In Baramulla, the elections will be held at Wagoora and Sangrama.

In central Kashmir’s Budgam and Ganderbal districts, polls will be held at Kangan, Rathsun, and Budgam panchayat constituencies.

At the same time, most of the areas where there is a larger presence of militancy will face elections in the last phases.

However, two Panchayat constituencies of south Kashmir’s Anantnag district, Bijbehara and Anantnag will witness polling.

However, there will be no elections in south Kashmir’s Pulwama, Shopian and Kulgam districts, and in summer capital Srinagar in the second phase.

Bhambatt, Karsha, Sankoo, Shaker, Chaktan,  Shargol, Lotchum of Kargil district and Khaltsi,  Skurbuchan,  Turtuk, and Panamik panchayat constituencies of Leh district too will face polls.

Polling will also take place in various constituencies of Jammu region.

In the phase I, Kashmir saw a 64 per cent voter turnout while nearly 75 per cent electorate exercised their right to franchise in Jammu region of panchayat elections on Saturday.

The first phase of the panchayat polls in the Valley was held in the traditionally high voter turnout belts along the Line of Control.

The polling in next eight phases will be held on November 24, 27, 29, December 1, December 4, December 8, and December 11.

The panchayat elections are being held in J&K after a gap of seven years. The last elections were conducted in 2011 and the panchayats had completed their five-year term in 2016.

The nine-phase panchayat polls are being held in the state to 316 blocks in 4,483 Panchayat Halqas comprising 35,029 Panch.

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Those behind circulating execution videos identified: IGP Pani

Global News Service

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Srinagar, Nov 19: Police on Monday claimed to have identified those behind circulation of the recent “execution videos” in south Kashmir.

Those who are propagating brutal killing videos have been identified and soon action will be taken against them,” Inspector General of Police SP Pani said.

The top police officer of Kashmir said that cyber domain used by militants for these “gruesome acts stand identified and they will be brought before the law.”

He further said: “These execution videos of innocent civilians in Kashmir is reflection of ‘terror’ crimes.”

Asked who was behind these killings, the IGP said that these are “terror crimes” and the accused shall be brought before law.

Unidentified gunmen last week killed two persons in south Kashmir’s Shopian and Pulwama and later circulated their videos.

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