After guns refused to calm down on Line of Control (LoC) in Jammu and Kashmir for some days with India and Pakistan accusing each other of violating ceasefire, Indian Independence Day witnessed calm and peaceful LoC in war torn state.
Reports quoting an Indian defence spokesperson said that there has been no ceasefire violation on August 15. The defence spokesperson added that guns have fallen silent after their “strong retaliation and befitting reply”. Supporting the claim of regular army, a BSF officer also said that there was no ceasefire violation.
The last ceasefire violation took place when, Indian army claims, Pakistani Rangers resorted to ‘unprovoked’ small arms and automatic weapons firing on Indian posts along LoC in Hamirpur Sector of Poonch district on Thursday.
Pertinently, there have been eight cases of ceasefire violations on LoC in the past six days and nine in July.
On August 11, two BSF men were among four persons injured when Pakistani troops allegedly violated the ceasefire by firing with small arms, automatic weapons and mortar shells on 10 Border out posts and civilian areas along the International Border in Arnia and RS Pura belts of Jammu district.
A day earlier, the reports added that Pakistani troops allegedly had violated ceasefire by targeting Indian forward posts with small arms and automatic weapons along the Line of Control in Mendhar sector of Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir, prompting Indian forces to retaliate.
Meanwhile, both the armies exchanged gifts and sweets on Independence Day of their respective countries. Reports reaching here said that early Thursday Indian forces posted on LoC shared sweets and exchanged greetings with their counter parts on the other side of the Line. And similarly, Pakistan Rangers were seen exchanging sweets with Indian forces on August 15. In Uri sector too, the troops exchanged the same.
After being bailed out from jail in cases relating to his involvement in reviving the militancy in Kishtwar and Doda districts in Jammu region, ‘encounter Specialist’ Shiv Krishan Sharma alias Sonu is being investigated for an alleged rape. Reports said that Chief Judicial Magistrate Kishtwar has directed SHO police station Kishtwar to investigate the rape charges against Sonu levelled by a complainant (name withheld) accusing the cop of committing rape on her, besides making a false promise of marriage with her (victim) after committing the crime.
As the details emerged, it came to fore that when Sonu was posted in Kishtwar before his arrest by Doda police as SOG-in-charge; he committed repeated rape on her. After committing the heinous act, the accused cop took her on gun point and threatened her of dire consequences in case she (Victim) reported the matter to police. The cops had also promised of marrying the victim.
The victim was so frightened that she could not open her mouth till Sonu was arrested and she mustered courage with the hope that she will get justice.
She also alleged that when she approached SSP Kishtwar for FIR, he replied that they needed cop for investigation but as Sonu was already in custody for other militancy related cases, they could not do anything. But when Sonu got out on a bail, the same SSP refused to entertain the complaint.
In order to state her claims, the victim provided receipts of her complaints forward by her to SSP, DIG concerned, IGP Jammu and even to DG Police. After hearing the complainant at length, CJM Kishtwar directed SHO Police Station Kishtwar to look into the complaint and submit the report to him on or before 18-08-2014.
Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah last Friday announced reservation of 5 per cent for Paharies speaking people and 2 per cent for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) at a press conference, he addressed after the conclusion of August 15 main function. These sops have come after the NC-Congress coalition faced drubbing in last Lok Sabha elections.
The Chief Minister also announced reduction of Electricity Duty by 12 per cent bringing it down from present 22 per cent to 10 per cent. He also ordered for implementation of new Amnesty Scheme for power sector.
Claiming that his government provided 40 per cent more power to the people, Omar said that the change in the fee structure is the jurisdiction of the State Electricity Regulatory Authority (SERA), as such, he could provide the relief to the people by way of reducing the electricity duty.
“In order to give relief to the Pahari speaking people as also accommodate the demand of OBCs, I announce 5 per cent reservation quota for Pahari speaking people and 2 per cent in favour of OBCs”, he said adding that OBCs are presently enjoying 2 per cent reservation and the increase of more 2 per cent will be raised to 4 per cent. He said he would continue to pursue the declaration of Schedule Tribe status for Pahari speaking people at the Central level.
As people of Saffron town Pampore were observing a shutdown remembering late Hurriyat veteran Sheikh Aziz, armed militants who struck and injured eight paramilitary troopers. Reports said that the BSF Company was on its way back from Chandanwari in Pahalgam from the just concluded Amarnath Yatra duty. They were heading towards Pantha Chowk on the outskirts of Srinagar city.
Hizb-Ul-Mujahideen, claimed that their men carried out the attack. Reports said that the militants taking aid of the darkness showered volley of bullets on both sides of the bus BSF men were travelling in at Kadlabal. The injured included an Assistant Company Commander. After the injured were taken to Army’s Srinagar based hospital, forces started intensive searches in the area. The incident took place just hours before Indian premier Narendra Modi was scheduled to inaugurate two power projects in arid Ladakh.
Barely 40 hours after this attack, suspected militants, again attacked on a police party in Pampore at Galander. Three lives were lost in the attack. Reports said that a mechanic from Awantipora area also died in the attack. The added that just as the armed gunmen attacked on duty cops including a Dy SP, forces were seen rushing towards the local hospital. In the hospital, the mechanics body was identified and later two injured cops who were being shifted to SKIMS in Srinagar succumbed to their injuries. The Dy SP escaped unhurt. The two cops were his personal body guards. Again, it was Hizb which claimed responsibility for the attack. It said that its “Highway Squad” carried the attack and such attacks would “continue”.
Not only this, a Srinagar bound vehicle was hijacked by car lifters, Police said, and its driver tied to a tree in Ramban putting the establishment in tizzy. However, the police said that it was just a case of theft and car was recovered from Shopian in South Kashmir though the thieves are yet to be identified.
As the two attacks took place just a few days before Indian Independence day, the police apparatus of conflict ridden state was on its toes in managing the high profile celebrations for August 15. In run up to the day, police had put up barricades and intensive checking was carried in main hub of Srinagar. Strict guidelines were passed on to lower rung cops to ensure hassle free August 15. Police and paramilitary CRPF intensified frisking operations across Srinagar. According to eye-witnesses, private vehicles could be seen in queues at Pantha Chowk, Sonwar, M A Road, Lal Chowk, Nishat, Shalimar, Batamaloo, Kara Nagar and other areas. On the Indian Independence Day itself, mobile network services were jammed and were resumed in the afternoon.