Briefing

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PULWAMA

J&K Bank, state’s main financial power house, has finally rehabilitated the family that was devastated after their young girl died within an hour after being molested at a bank branch. The bank has dismissed the services of the molester peon, already. “We paid the family Rs 25 lakh,” a bank executive said. “It was out staff contributed most of it as the bank contributed some amount from its CSR budget.” In July Aijaz Ahmad, a banking attendant, was accused of molesting a young girl who visited Ratnipora branch. Some time later, she died. Bank employees contributed to rehabilitate the family. “We will be monitoring the family and hold them,” the executive said.

RAJOURI

After being abandoned in wake of 2003 ceasefire between India and Pakistan, the government has formally resumed construction of the dungeons in areas closer to LoC. On pilot basis, almost 100 such bunkers are being constructed in Rajouri’s forward areas that witnessed massive shelling and human losses in the last few months. A sizable chunk of population is still living in temporary refugee shelters closer to the town. The bunkers were a normal thing in border areas and a generation was born and brought up in these dungeons. But the ceasefire announced by Vajpayee and reciprocated by Islamabad led to their disuse. The ceasefire is literally in tatters as the two sides are frequently shelling each other. This has sent the government back to the dungeon constructions.

SRINAGAR

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigating the off-shore funding to the separatists has finally arrested businessman Zahoor Watali, a day after marathon raids at 12 places in Srinagar, Handwara, Kupwara and Baramulla. Agency spokesman has said they recovered “highly incriminating material” pertaining to funds movement from foreign sources. He termed Watali a “conduit” whose son’s marriage was attended by the then PaK premier Sultan Mehmood Chaudhary. Earlier, in 1990 Watali was arrested along with Yasin Malik and Lone brothers, Sajad and Bilal. Watali’s business is spread between Srinagar, Jammu, Delhi, Mumbai, Chandigarh and Dubai. NIA has seven separatist activists in its custody, already.

LADAKH

Third country army could enter Kashmir at Pakistan’s request: Chinese expertAlbert Einstein once said: “I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones”. Its shadows were seen in the arid desert last week when the two major armies of the region, India and China, had a brief stone pelting on each other. Though the defence spokesman did not confirm, reports said various personnel were injured. Red Army had tried to get into two parts of Western Ladakh. As they faced resistance from Indian side, they retreated after a scuffle and resorted to stone pelting! The Sino-Indian relations are all the more tense for last many weeks with doomsayers predicating a quick war.

WASHINGTON

Two months after Salahuddin was declared a “global terrorist”, US has designated Hizb ul Mujahideen as a “foreign terrorist organisation”. The declaration is aimed at denying the outfit resources it needs to carry out terrorist attacks. Set up early in 1989, Hizb is the dominant militant outfit operating in most of the J&K and has a strong local character. Burhan Wani whose killing in July 2016 triggered mass unrest belonged to this outfit.

KARAN NAGAR

Patna resident Pramod Kumar, a CRPF commandant, unfurled the tricolour in his battalion headquarters on August 15, 2016, then looked at his watch and said: “It is an important day”. Minutes later, his subordinates were caught in a militant attack in Nowhatta. He rushed to join them and was killed. A former SPG man, Kumar was posted in Srinagar April 2014. This year, Aarna, his six-year-old daughter and Neha Tripathy, his widow, flew to Srinagar to unfurl the flag in 49 Bn Hq, he served. A day earlier, Kumar was given Kirti Chakra (posthumously), the third highest peacetime gallantry medal, for his action in which he was hit in his head. Two militants were killed in the encounter.

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