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Two militants killed in Pulwama encounter

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Pulwama, Nov 10: The killing of militants in Kashmir Valley is on rise as two more young militants were Saturday killed by government forces in Tikken area of South Kashmir’s Pulwama district.
On Friday, a militant was killed while property worth lakhs were damaged in an encounter in Tral. Saturday morning as well two militants were killed in a brief encounter after a joint team of army’s 55RR, 180/183 BN CRPF and SOG cordoned off Tikken area after getting specific information about their presence.
A police spokesman said that forces in the wee hours Saturday launched a cordon and search operation in Tikken area of District Pulwama based on credible inputs about the presence of militants in the area.
As the search operation was going on, militants fired on the search party. The fire was retaliated leading to an encounter.
In the ensuing encounter, two militants were killed and the bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. The slain militants were identified as Liyaqat Munir Wani of Below Pulwama and Wajid-ul-Islam of Bhabhar Pulwama. Both the militants according to police were involved in different militancy related cases.
“Arms and ammunition including AK and INSAS rifle and other incriminating materials were recovered from the site of encounter. Pertinently the INSAS rifle seized from the encounter site was the same rifle which militants had snatched earlier from Murran, Pulwama,” a police spokesperson said.
“Citizens are once again requested not to venture inside the encounter zone since such an area can prove dangerous due to stray explosive materials. People are requested to cooperate with police till the area is completely sanitized and cleared of all the explosives materials if any,” the spokesperson said.
After the gunfight, mobile internet service was suspended in Pulwama district amid complete shutdown.
An official said that telecom operators were asked to suspend mobile internet services “as a precautionary measure”.
Massive clashes erupted in main town Pulwama after killing of two militants.
Reports said that as soon as the news of the killing of two militants spread in the area people hit the streets in the main town.
The protesters pelted the forces with stones which responded by firing tear gas shells, they said.
Meanwhile, a complete shutdown was observed in Tral town against the killing of a non-local Jaish militant Anwar Abbasi. All the shops and business establishments remained shut while transport also remained off the roads. Jaish militant was killed in a gunfight on Friday.


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Power out, PDD clueless

We are also worried; will soon come out with uniform curtailment schedule: Chief PDD

Firdous Hassan

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Srinagar, Nov 13: More than a week after a massive snowfall disrupted essential services in Kashmir, electricity outages continue to be major issue in both urban and rural areas in the valley even as the Power Development Department (PDD) is yet to devise any uniform curtailment schedule.

The situation continues in contrast to Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam directing the PDD last month to ensure the valley does not face any electricity issues

Central, South and North Kashmir areas including several localities of the summer capital are reeling under darkness with PDD resorting to unannounced power cuts in both metered and non-metered areas.

“For over a week now, we have witnessed electricity outages for more than six hours every day particularly during evening and night hours. The help line numbers provided by PDD are not functioning,” said Zubair Ahmed, a resident of Mehjoor Nagar area of Srinagar.

Similar complaints were reported from Natipora, Padshahi Bagh, Nowgam, Chanapora, and Baghi Mehtab areas of the city.

In Downtown, areas including Karfalli Mohalla, Fateh Kadal, Habba Kadal, interiors of Khanyar, Saida Kadal, Baba Demb, Khayam too reported power outages between three to six hours every day.

A similar situation continues to prevail in the townships of all four districts of south Kashmir thus making it obvious that the situation in the rural peripheries of these districts is even worse.

Almost on a daily basis, reports of people holding protests against the power vows come from different areas of the valley.

A complete shutdown was observed on Tuesday in Tral area of Pulwama district against the power outages in the area.

Hundreds of people took to streets and shouted slogans against the PDD. The protesters also staged massive protests at main market Tral and complained against unscheduled and long power cuts that they have been facing for last two weeks.

Similar protests were held in Chadoora, Beerwah, Rafiabad, Kadipora, a couple of villages in Shopian and Kulgam on Tuesday against the power woes.

“There will be no major improvement in prevailing electricity crisis across Kashmir Valley. Like past years, this time as well, we are short of supply while the consumption is much higher,” sources in PDD said.

The situation has compelled the Jammu and Kashmir State Human Rights Commission issuing a notice to Chief Engineer PDD for resorting to unscheduled power cuts both in metered and non-metered areas and for irregular power supply.

The SHRC has sought a report from the Chief Engineer within a week’s time to explain why power cuts are effected even without a notice.

A complaint received by the commission said that as the winter season has begun and with the recent snowfall the PDD has started unscheduled and irregular power cuts in metered and non-metered areas in whole of Kashmir.

The complaint added that due to the unscheduled power cuts people, particularly students, were facing immense hardships in cold days and nights.

Chief Engineer PDD Kashmir, Hashmat Qazi told The Kashmir Monitor that the department was yet to come up with any uniformed curtail schedule

“Currently we do not have a uniformed schedule, however, we are working on devising it. We too are worried about the issues faced by people due to power outages,” he said.

 

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3 militants killed in Keran, Akhnoor sectors

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Srinagar, Nov 13: Three militants were killed in separate incidents in north Kashmir’s Kupwara and Jammu’s Akhnoor sector on Tuesday, officials claimed.

Army on Tuesday claimed that it killed a militant near the Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu district.

Defence Ministry spokesman Lt Col Devender Anand said a heavily-armed militant was killed in Akhnoor sector on the Indian side of the boundary.

“An ambush party killed a militant and recovered warlike stores including five pistols, 10 pistol magazines, 60 bullets of pistol, an AK assault rifle, two AK rifle magazines with 234 rounds of ammunition, 15 grenades and 12 fuses for IEDs,” the official said.

Two militants were killed after the army claimed foiling an infiltration bid in frontier district of Kupwara in north Kashmir on Tuesday.

An army spokesman in Srinagar said that an infiltration bid was foiled by the army in Keran area of Kupwara. “Two militants were killed in the operation. Operation is in progress,” he said.

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Drugs continue to find passage into Kashmir

Hirra Azmat

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Srinagar, Nov 13: Banned drugs continue to pour into the valley, with an increasing number of cases being registered by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Official figures reveal that in 2016, 873 persons were arrested in the state in 607 cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985.

The number increased by over 40 per cent in 2017, as 1,327 persons have been booked under the Act in 874 cases.

Over the last three months, the NCB has seized 161 kg heroin valued at Rs 800 crore from Jammu alone.

The seized consignments have been found originally from Afghanistan and reached Jammu and Kashmir via Pakistan.

Last September, the NCB had seized 60 kg heroin during multiple raids in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, arresting four people, and seizing Rs 22 lakh in cash from one of them in Punjab. While 22.14 kg heroin was seized from a car near Jammu, another 38.07 kg was found in Handwara.

The NCB on Friday seized more than 50 kg heroin on the outskirts of Jammu city from apple boxes in a fruit-laden truck which was headed to Delhi from Kashmir.

The seizure, the third biggest narcotics haul across India this year, was made at Ban Toll Plaza along the Jammu-Srinagar national highway near Nagrota on Monday, sources said.

A resident of Kupwara district has been arrested, the source in NCB said, adding that they were informed about an apple-laden truck leaving Kashmir with the contraband. The bureau located the truck near Udhampur and followed it, they said, adding that NCB officials intercepted the vehicle at the toll plaza near Nagrota.

Fifty packets of heroin stuffed in three cartons, estimated to be worth Rs 250 crore in the international market, were found during unloading of the wooden apple boxes, sources said. The truck was unloaded in Delhi, the source said.

A police official said that various narcotic drugs particularly heroin has given way to intravenous drug usage, use of sedatives and painkillers.

‘This increases the intensity of addiction and hastens the process of complete subjugation to the narcotic dependence,” the official said.

He said, the state police were adopting a two-pronged strategy to tackle the issue. “On the supply-side, we are carrying out intensive raids. Huge seizure of charas and tobbaco products have been made in the recent months,” he said.

Inspector General of Police Kashmir S P Pani refused to comment over the increasing drug abuse in the state.

“I am not the right person to make a comment in this regard. You better talk to NCB,” he added.

Former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti had earlier directed senior police officials to use the most draconian laws, including the Public Safety Act (PSA)–a law under which a person can be detained without trial for upto two years–against those involved in the cultivation and smuggling of drugs.

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