It was tragedy scripted on a wedding. Twenty guests were killed when their bus returning from Mahore with the bride skipped off the road near Dudu, Udhampur. The groom, who was travelling with his bride in a car, lost two brothers and most of the 50 are still in hospital. Initial investigations led to the old discovery: the bus was overloaded (capacity 42, stuffed with 68) and the driver was negligent and finally medical facilities were inadequate. For police and CRPF, it took a lot of time to drag passengers out of the bus. 13 died on the spot, three on the way to hospital and the rest are recovering in hospital.


Father of Captain Saurabh Kalia who died in Pakistani custody during the 1999 Kargil war has moved the apex court. He is seeking a direction to the central government for moving International Court of Justice against Pakistan for torturing his son to death. Kalia and five other soldiers from 4 Jat Regiment were captured while patrolling and tortured to death during captivity. Kalia’s father says his son and his team were prisoners of war and killing them was breach of Geneva Convention. The other option, he says, is to get Islamabad to apologize.


As the import bill surges, the energy auditing is becoming the first priority for officials to roam around and check. Last week, they caught a rare thief – the Nigeen police station. They recovered a service line that has capacity to transmit 50 kilo watt power to the police station operating from a rented house. PDD was not acting suo moto. They were acting on a complaint that locals had filed. And now it is the mighty police’s turn to act. They have already stated the raid was carried out without information to the police station where a lot of weapons were around. They say the raid was conducted in absence of the cops. It all makes a high voltage case!


History has it that the ancient Hindu kings would rare baby girls on snake venom and later use the damsels to fight their enemies without using a sword. Last week, 10 students of state-run middle school in Baghechack reported to hospital, saying they are unwell. Reason: they claimed they drank from a water tank within school premises that had a snake in it. But the snake had died much earlier. Medical officials said the kids were saved as the water was poisonous.


Their last battle ended only in 1987 when they could manage changing the name of their village from Mohanpora to Mohamadpora. Now, they are gearing to fight another battle that was actually a bare hug. Villagers chased a bear and it climbed a tree. They used fire to scare him away. The bear made his escape good. But the cell pone footage did not. It became news and a national interest. Forest minister, Jayanthi Natarajan talked to Chief Minister Omar and sought action. He rushed police to the village. A case was registered and three men are on the run. Long live the bear.


It is rare but it does happen. A father is accused of killing his daughter for ex-gratia relief. Last week, police filed a charge-sheet against the man who was found responsible for killing his eight-year-old daughter in order to claim ex-gratia relief meant for militancy victims. Identified as Mohammad Shafi Malik, a resident of Tikker village, the charge-sheet was filed in the court of Sub-Judge, Kupwara. J&K government pays Rs 1 lakh for every death that militants resort to, if the slain is certified innocent.


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