Srinagar, Sep 27: Three militants and a soldier were Thursday killed in separate gunfights, while a civilian was killed during a cordon-and-search-operation (CASO) in Srinagar.
The day started with a Cordon and Search Operation in Qamarwari in the outskirts of Srinagar where one civilian was killed and hours later one militant and an army man were killed in an encounter at Gasigund Anantnag and two militants were killed in yet another gun fight at Panzan Budgam.
A civilian identified as Saleem Malik son of Mohammad Yaqoob Malik was killed in Noor Bagh area of Srinagar.
According to the police officials, forces on a specific tip off cordoned a cluster of houses where the hiding militants fired indiscriminately, resulting in death of Saleem Malik. Officials said that the investigation has been initiated in the case.
In the wee hours of this morning, encounter broke out in Gasigund village of Dooru in South Kashmir’s Anantnag district after a joint search operation was launched by the government forces.
Police officials said that the search operation in Gasigund village resulted in a gunfight. “In the ensuing encounter, a local militant identified as Asif Malik who was operating as commander of LeT was killed,” officials said.
Police officials added that force personnel identified as Happy Singh of 19 RR was also killed in the encounter.
They said that incriminating material including arms and ammunition was recovered from the gunfight site.
Meanwhile, clashes erupted between youth and forces during the encounter, which resulted in injuries to scores of people who were either treated locally or shifted to hospitals for treatment.
Meanwhile, in another similar encounter at Panzan area of Chadoora in Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, two militants affiliated with Hizb-ul-Mujahideen were killed.
The slain militants according to the police were hiding in the Masjid when they engaged forces in the gunfight.
The officials identified the two slain militants as Sheeraz Ahmad Bhat resident of Kralwari Chadoora and Irfan Ahmad Dar resident of Kakapora Pulwama.
Police said that Irfan Ahmad Dar was working as SPO and had deserted a couple of months ago.
They said that the gunfight broke out after the militants fired upon a search party from a nearby Masjid.
“The local Auqaf Committee was engaged to convince the militants to come out. Forces also appealed them to come out, but, the militants refused the offer and consequently the operation had to be carried out in a deliberate manner keeping intact the sanctity of the Masjid,” police officials said.
Police said that in this operation, one forces personnel also sustained bullet injuries and was evacuated to hospital for medical treatment.
Reports said that clashes also broke out in Panzan area during which forces used tear gas canisters to disperse the stone throwing youth.
Meanwhile, thousands of people attended the funeral prayers of a civilian and the slain militants. People raised pro-freedom slogans during the funeral procession of a civilian who was laid to rest at Eidgah.
At least nine youth sustained pellet injuries during the clashes between forces and militants in different areas of Kashmir.
Clashes erupted between youth and forces in Srinagar City, Panzan area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district and Dooru area of South Kashmir’s Anantnag district after the gunfights broke out in the areas, resulting in the killing of tree militants, an Army man and a civilian at separate locations.
During the clashes, nine youth sustained pellet injuries.
Eight out of nine have received pellet injuries in Srinagar while as one received the injuries in Panzan area of Budgam.
All the injured youth were shifted to Srinagar’s SMHS hospital for advanced treatment.
3 militants killed in Budgam encounter
Srinagar, Jan 21: Three militant of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed in an encounter at Hapatnar woods in Charar-e-Shareef area of central Kashmir’s Budgam district on Monday.
News agency Global News Service quoted a senior police officer saying that a joint team of Army’s 53 RR, SOG and CRPF launched a cordon-and-search operation in forest area of Hapatnar early Monday morning following “credible inputs” about the presence of some militants.
As the joint team of forces intensified the combing operation, the militants hiding in the area opened fire triggering off a gunfight which continued intermittently till late in the evening.
During the course of gunfight, three militants belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen outfit were killed, the officer said.
The operation was prolonged due to the tough terrain amid inclement weather conditions, he added.”So far one body has been recovered along with arms and ammunition. The other two bodies which are lying inside the hideout are yet to be retrieved,” the officer said.
“The identity of the slain is being ascertained,” the officer said.
The officer said that the government forces have also blasted the hideout of the militants in the mountainous area, covered under plenty of snow.
Meanwhile, sources identified one among the slain Shahid Baba of Drabgam, Pulwama. (With inputs from GNS)
Snow, rains persist: Land, air traffic disrupted
Srinagar, Jan 21: Although not as severe as predicted, fresh snowfall and rains were Monday lashed Kashmir bringing some respite to the people from the cold wave.
The plains of Kashmir witnessed moderate rainfall from early hours of Monday, while there were reports of snowfall in higher reaches of the valley, officials said here.
The MeT Office has forecast widespread rain and snow over the state with heavy falls at isolated places till Tuesday.
Meanwhile, traffic on the 300-km long Srinagar-Jammu highway was halted because of heavy snowfall on the stretch.
“Today no movement of vehicular traffic on Jammu Srinagar NHW from Jammu towards Srinagar and vice versa as road blocked due to snow accumulation at Nowgam-Jawahar Tunnel-Qazigund Sector and still snowing,” J&K Traffic Police tweeted Monday morning.
Bad weather conditions also disrupted operations at the Srinagar International Airport here, leading to the cancellation of four flights, officials said.
“Due to the inclement weather, four of the 27 flights to and fro Srinagar were cancelled on Monday,” an official of the Airport Authority of India.
Another 11 flights got delayed due to poor visibility and intermittent rainfall since Monday morning, he said.
The minimum temperature in Srinagar on Sunday settled at minus 0.3 degree Celsius, same as previous night, a MET official said.
He said Qazigund, the gateway town to the valley, in south Kashmir recorded a low of 0.6 degree Celsius, while the nearby Kokernag town registered a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius Sunday night.
The mercury in Kupwara town in north Kashmir settled at a low of minus 0.6 degree Celsius. Gulmarg ski-resort in north Kashmir recorded a low of minus 4 degrees Celsius Sunday night, while Pahalgam tourist resort, in south Kashmir, recorded a low of 0.2 degrees Celsius, the official said.
He said Leh, in the frontier Ladakh region, recorded a low of minus 5.6 degrees Celsius, while the mercury in Kargil registered a low of minus 14.0 degrees Celsius. Kargil was the coldest recorded place in Jammu and Kashmir, colder than even Drass town which recorded a low of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.
Kashmir is currently under the grip of ‘Chillai Kalan’, the 40-day harshest period of winter when the chances of snowfall are maximum and the temperature drops considerably.
‘Chillai Kalan’ ends on January 31, but the cold wave continues even after that in Kashmir. The 40-day period is followed by a 20-day long ‘Chillai Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day long ‘Chillai Bachha’ (baby cold).
Lack of funds halts vital JK tourism projects
Srinagar, Jan 21: The Governor-led administration is mulling to start new projects to boost tourism in Kashmir even as several old ones have been left midway due to want of funds.
In December last year, the administration ordered the constitution of an official panel for identification of new projects in tourism sector to be implemented under Prime Minister’s Development Package (PMDP).
Back in 2014, the Government of India, under Project/Infrastructure Development for Destination and Circuits (PIDDC), had sanctioned Rs 7593.88 lakh for development of basic tourism infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir through private investment, opening of new potential destinations and development of heritage, adventure, and pilgrim and eco-tourism.
However, the projects have been left incomplete as the Centre has, as per the latest official data, released only Rs 3504.80 lakh of the sanctioned amount against which the department shows 100 percent expenditure.
Now, due to the unavailability of funds, the PIDDC project is on standstill.
The project included development of Eidgah, face-lifting of Khankahi Moula, Development of Jamia Masjid Heritage Corridor, Renovation of Aali Masjid, Upgrading of Ziyarat Abdul Razaq Sahib at Hawal, Ziyarat Hazrat Balaad Rumi at Rajouri Kadal, Ziyarat Akhoon Sahib and TajBibi at Fateh Kadal, Ziyarat Hazrat Noor Shaha Sahib at Narwara, and Conservation of areas from Naagar Nagar to Watlab.
The tourist circuit from Naagar Nagar to Watlab, which was a key component of the project, still requires Rs 2312.90 lakh to be completed, official data shows.
Another main component of PIDDC project, construction of Trans Himalayan Culture Centre in Leh, too requires further Rs 1094.48 lakh for completion.
Similarly, development of Khiram Shrine in South Kashmir’s Bijbehara town also remains incomplete for want of funds.
Section Officer of Planning, Tourism Department, Sajad Ahmad, told The Kashmir Monitor that “65 per cent” of the work has been completed on Naagar Nagar to Watlab component of the project.
“We had to stop the work because the Centre did not release the funds,” he added.
Executive Engineer, JK Tourism, Abdul Qayoom Kirmani said they have asked the Government of India for the pending funds and also sent to them the proposal of the new projects.
“We have identified new Rs 100 crore new projects under PMDP-II, which comprises of nine circuits,” he said.