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Two Jaish militants killed in Shopian gunfight

Slain involved in killing of SPO Khushboo, gutting Panchayat buildings: Police

Monitor News Bureau

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Srinagar, Apr 13: Two militants were killed in a brief gunfight with government forces in Gehand area in South Kashmir’s Shopian district on Saturday.

Reports said that a joint of army’s 34RR and SOG launched a cordon and search operation in an orchard at Gehand.

An official said that the cordon and search operation was launched following credible input about the presence of some militants in the area.

 

He said that soon after the joint team of forces arrived in the area, the militant opened indiscriminate fire, which was retaliated leading to a brief shootout.

During the gunfight, two militants were killed. The slain were identified as Abid Wagay resident of Rawalpora Shopian and Shahjahan Mir resident of Amshepora Shopian.

According to the police records, both the killed militants were affiliated with outfit JeM.

A police spokesperson claimed that the slain militants were involved in the killing of Special Police Officer (SPO) Khushboo Jan earlier this year.

The spokesperson in a statement also added that both of them were also involved in various abductions or killings and gutting Panchayat Ghars.

“They were involved in the killing of the lady Khusboo Jan at Vehil Shopian earlier this year,” the spokesperson said.

On March 16, Khushboo was fired at from a close range near her house around 2:40 p.m. She breathed her last on the way to the nearby hospital.

“Both the militants were responsible for either killing or adduction of the following people across south Kashmir in last few months: civilians Firdous Ahmad of Batgund, Nissar Ahmad of Kapran, Huzaif Ashraf Kuttay resident of Manzgam, D.H Pora and Tanveer Ahmad of Bemnipora; policeman Balwant Singh of Batgund in 2018, and Saqib Mohi-ud-Din,” the spokesperson said.

He said that both of them were also involved in arson and setting ablaze of Panchayat Ghars at Kanjiullar and Ramnagar.

The spokesman claimed that Shahjahan was also involved in snatching of weapons and killing of four police personnel near petrol pump at Arhama Shopian last year in 2018.

“Several militant crime cases were registered against both of them for planning and executing militant attacks on security establishments and killing of civilians in the area,” the spokesman said.

The encounter triggered massive clashes between forces and the youth in which at least 20 protesters sustained injuries, many of them with pellets. They were shifted to nearby medical facility.

Meanwhile, thousands of people assembled at native village of slain militants participate in the funeral while as a group of militants also offered gun salute as well.


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UN chief could discuss Kashmir issue at UNGA: UN spokesman

Press Trust of India

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is likely to use the opportunity of discussions during the high-level UN General Assembly session that begins here next week to raise the Kashmir issue, the UN chief’s spokesperson has said.

Spokesman for the Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric during the daily press briefing here on Thursday said that the UN chief has underscored the need for dialogue as the only way to resolve the issue and, “as part of the solution for the current crisis in Kashmir, to make sure that human rights aspects are very much dealt with, as well.”

“…On Kashmir, the Secretary General… has said previously, he remains engaged. I think he will also use the opportunity of discussions during the General Assembly to raise it,” Dujarric said, responding to a question on the situation in Kashmir.

On Wednesday, Guterres emphasised that “dialogue” between India and Pakistan is an “absolute essential element” for reaching a solution on the Kashmir issue, and said his good offices are available should both sides ask for it and called for full respect of human rights.

“Well, our capacity is related to good offices, and good offices can only be implemented when the parties accept it. And, on the other hand, it relates to advocacy, and the advocacy was expressed and will be maintained,” Guterres said during his press conference ahead of the UN General Assembly session.

Guterres was asked by a Pakistani journalist about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and what will he do to bring a solution to the Kashmir issue.

“I go on with a clear opinion that human rights must be fully respected in the territory, and I go on with the clear opinion that dialogue between India and Pakistan is an absolutely essential element for the solution of the problem,” he said.

India has always maintained that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part and ruled out any third party mediation, including either from the UN or the US, saying it is a bilateral issue with Pakistan.

The UN Secretary General has also repeatedly asserted that his good offices are available only if both sides ask for it.

Tension between India and Pakistan escalated after New Delhi revoked Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5. Pakistan has downgraded diplomatic ties with New Delhi and expelled the Indian High Commissioner.

Pakistan has been trying to internationalise the Kashmir issue but India has asserted that the abrogation of Article 370 was its “internal matter”.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has vowed to raise the Kashmir issue at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) session in New York on September 27. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also scheduled to speak on the same day.

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Amid Kashmir tensions, India will participate at SAARC meeting in New York

Press Trust of India

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NEW DELHI: Amid heightened Indo-Pak tensions, India will participate at the SAARC foreign ministers meeting scheduled to be held on September 26 on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, officials said on Thursday.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan will be present in the US next week and will hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.

Officials said India will participate in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation foreign ministers meeting that is scheduled for September 26.

The meeting on the sidelines of the UNGA could bring Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi face to face for the first time after the abrogation of Article 370 provisions.

Asked about a possible meeting with his Pakistani counterpart as well as the future of the SAARC regional grouping, Jaishankar, at a press conference earlier this week, had said, “if and when I meet Pakistani Foreign Minister, we will see at that time what happens”.

The SAARC is about regional cooperation and that refers to trade, MFN, connectivity etc.

, he had said, adding that now every member knows which country is promoting SAARC and which one is impeding it.

Last year, then External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had attended the SAARC Foreign Ministers meeting, usually held on the sidelines of the UNGA.

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Plea alleges detention of children in Kashmir, SC seeks report

Agencies

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The Supreme Court on Friday sought a report from Jammu and Kashmir High Court on the alleged detention of children in Kashmir during curbs following the scrapping of Article 370 in the state on August 5.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing child right activists Inakshi Ganguly and Shanta Sinha who have alleged detention of children in Kashmir, had on September 16 told the apex court that people in the Valley are not able to approach the high court there.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said it would entertain the petition regarding alleged detention of children in Kashmir as the plea has raised “substantial issues” regarding minors. The top court directed the Juvenile Justice Committee of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court to file a report before it within a week on the issue.

The Supreme Court also said it had received a report from the Chief Justice of Jammu and Kashmir High Court and claims that people are unable to access the court there are not supported.

“We have received the report from the chief justice (of Jammu and Kashmir High Court) which does not support your statement,” the bench also comprising justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer told the counsel appearing for the petitioners.

The Supreme Court also sought response from the Jammu and Kashmir administration on a plea challenging detention of five persons in Kashmir following the abrogation of Article 370.

The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the Jammu and Kashmir administration, to file his response.

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