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With no security movement scheduled, civilian traffic allowed on Jammu-Srinagar highway

Press Trust of India

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Jammu: With no movement of security convoy scheduled during the day, civilian traffic was allowed on the Jammu-Srinagar National Highway Wednesday, when it was supposed to be used exclusively by forces under an official order, authorities said.

On April 7, it was announced that the 270-km highway will be off-limits for civilian traffic twice a week — Wednesday and Sunday — from 4 am to 5 pm till May 31 to facilitate smooth movement of security convoys.

The order came following a deadly attack in Pulwama on February 14, which left 40 CRPF personnel dead.

 

The restrictions drew strong criticism from various quarters especially political parties, civil society and business community in the Valley.

“Normal traffic was allowed on the highway from Jammu to Srinagar this morning after the nodal agency, the CRPF, telephonically informed that there will be no movement of security convoy during the day,” a traffic department official told PTI.

However, he said a landslide hit the highway at Anokhi fall near Ramban around 7 am which was cleared within two hours by the road clearance agency to ensure smooth movement of traffic.

The landslide was triggered by rains which lashed wide parts of Jammu and Kashmir including the highway Tuesday, he said.

“The traffic is moving smoothly when last reports were received,” the official said, adding no vehicle was allowed from the opposite direction in view of the one-way restrictions which are in force due to the ongoing work on the four-laning project.

The traffic on the highway plies alternatively from the capital cities of Jammu and Srinagar to ensure smooth movement of the vehicles.


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Crime Branch questions former PDP minister Naeem Akhtar

Press Trust of India

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Crime Branch has questioned PDP leader Naeem Akhtar over alleged irregularities committed during his tenure as public works minister in allotment of contracts for the Jammu and Kashmir Projects Construction Corporation (JKPCC), officials said on Sunday.

The former minister has, however, denied any wrongdoing and said he has cooperated with police officials.

“I am sure that truth will prevail. I have done nothing wrong and all due processes were followed,” Akhtar told PTI in Srinagar.

 

The officials said Akhtar was questioned at his residence about giving out work at JKPCC to a specific set of contractors and making some appointments without following the due process.

The questioning revolved around JKPCC work, construction work at the Islamic University in south Kashmir and allotment of work for setting up the AIIMS in south Kashmir, they said.

It is alleged that the contracts were given to such people who had no experience in construction work and had floated companies barely a few days before the tendering process was initiated, the officials said.

The investigation was also into the air-conditioning work of the health department, they said.

“I have answered all the questions and clarified the matter. I am sure that the matter is sorted out. I have full faith in judiciary,” PDP leader Akhtar.

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Former Delhi Chief Minister and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit dies at 81

Agencies

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NEW DELHI: Former Delhi Chief Minister and veteran Congress leader Sheila Dikshit died at the age of 81 on Saturday. The veteran Congress leader was not keeping well from some time and died of a prolonged illness.

Former Delhi chief minister was on Friday admitted to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in a critical state.

Three-time Delhi chief minister from Congress, Dikshit had cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and had to be immediately put on the ventilator, said Congress sources.

 
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Centre appoints new Governors in 6 states, Anandiben Patel transferred to UP

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New Delhi: The Centre Saturday appointed six new Governors in the states of  Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, Nagaland and Tripura.

MP Governor and former Chief Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel has been transferred as appointed the new as Governor of UP. Bihar Governor Lalji Tandon was also transferred and appointed as the Governor of Madhya Pradesh.

Senior Supreme Court advocate Jagdeep Dhankhar was appointed as the new Governor of West Bengal, replacing Keshari Nath Tripathi. BJP member Ramesh Bais has been appointed as the Governor of Tripura, replacing Kaptan Singh Solanki.

 

BJP MLA Phagu Chauhan has been appointed as the Governor of Bihar while RN Ravi as Governor of Nagaland, replacing Padmanabha Acharya.

“The above appointments will take effect from the dates they assume charge of their respective offices,” said a communique from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

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