Three persons were killed in Tral town of South Kashmir on Thursday evening. The state forces are alleging the killed persons as militants but some locals are apprehending them to be civilians.
State police has identified the killed persons as Shiraz Ganai son of Mohammad Sultan Ganai resident of Panzren, Shabir Bargat alias Haider son of Mohammad Shafi Bargat resident of Hina Bagla, Kalakot Rajouri and Aasif Bhat resident of Chinigam, Kulgam.
The slain’s have been identified as the members of Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) who came under an ambush laid down by army and Special Operations Group of the police near main town Tral. But police says the militants were killed in an encounter with the forces.
Police said Sahiraz was involved in transportation of militants involved in the killing of ASI Farooq, killing of two SPOs outside Pulwama Court and of four police personnel in Shopian District. To carry out these attacks Shiraz transported militants in his car. He had joined active militancy Maaz group of LeT recently.
Shabir Bargat was said to be active since 2010. “He was an LeT commander,” the police said. “Initially he was associated with JeM Altaf Baba group then he joined HM and recently had joined LeT Maaz group. Shabir Bargat was involved in the killing of Nasir Mir of Pinjura, weapon snatching at Parguchi guard in Shopian and dacoity in Rajpora JK Bank Ruhama.”
Aasif Bhat resident of Chinigam was “involved” in grenade throwing at Sangam in 2013. He was an OGW of LeT commander Ayatollah @ Maaz and had joined militant outfit recently.
“One SLR, one carbine, one pistol and grenades and other ammunition were recovered from the spot,” said the police spokesman.
After being deserted of its old horse Mehboob Beg in south Kashmir’s Anantnag, National Conference on Thursday announced the mandate to Iftikhar Hussain Misgar for Anantnag assembly seat.
The decision was announced by NC General Secretary Ali Mohammad Sagar. “After due consultations with the party high command, party workers and leaders and under the directives of NC Working President Omar Abdullah, the party will field Iftikhar Hussain Misgar as the party’s candidate from Anantnag Constituency for the upcoming Assembly Elections,” Sagar said in a statement.
According to the NC General Secretary, Mehboob Beg has been suspended from the basic membership of the party for anti-party activities and that an official intimation of this decision has been sent to Beg.
Last week, former NC leader from Anantnag Mehboob Beg Beg turned down the party’s mandate from the constituency alleging that NC neglected south Kashmir. Shortly after quitting, Beg extended his support to patron of Peoples Democratic Party Mufti Muhammad Sayeed.
A resident of Anantnag town, Misgar joined National Conference in 2008. Misgar, who will be head-to-head against PDP Patron and sitting MLA Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, is a business graduate and a well known business man of the town.
Setting aside India’s assertion that the Kashmir issue should be handled ‘bilaterally’, Prime Minister of Pakistan has said that his country will hold dialogue with Kashmiri separatists and take them into confidence before resuming peace talks with India.
Nawaz Sharif who was speaking at a session of the Kashmir Council in Muzaffarabad said that his fundamental belief is that the Kashmir issue should be resolved through ‘dialogue’. The statement came long after India cancelled its foreign secretary’s talk when Pakistan’s foreign secretary held talks with Kashmiri pro freedom leaders before meeting India’s foreign secretary.
But now Sharif has made it clear that Islamabad will talk with Kashmiri separatist leaders before initiating any dialogue with India.
“Pakistan itself is the biggest victim of terrorism so blaming its agencies for being involved in extremism is an utter lie,” Sharif said.
According to reports Sharif has expressed satisfaction with the international community’s acknowledgment of India’s “biased attitude” towards its neighbour. He has also urged international community to play its role in bringing India to the dialogue table over the Kashmir issue.
Pertinently, India had cancelled secretary level talks with Pakistan after Narendra Modi took as the PM because Islamabad had called Kashmiri separatists to New Delhi for “consultations” ahead of the bilateral talks early this year.
Both the prime ministers, Sharif and Modi, are supposed to meet in the SAARC Summit in Nepal. Meanwhile Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam has said no bilateral meeting between Sharif and Modi was planned on the margins of the SAARC summit.
Losing their house and father in devastating floods that hit Srinagar city on September 7, the four sisters and their old ailing mother from Maisuma locality Tuesday staged a protest in Press Enclave Srinagar, alleging that District administration instead of providing them relief have been playing with their emotions.
“Our house located near Akhara Gali in Maisuma collapsed that resulted in the death of my father Ghulam Qadir Bhat. We have been staying in Marriage Hall and from past two months, we have been begging before District Administration for relief but not a single official listens to them,” Nusrat Banoo told reporters.
She said that they lost everything in floods but did not get a penny from the administration yet. “The approach of District administration towards us is callous. We have been living from hand to mouth. Neither we get any relief nor any monetary benefit from the administration,” she said and demanded compensation from the administration.
“We are four sisters and the building where we have been putting up lacks sanitation facilities. It is irony that administration is distributing cheques among those who are influential and ignoring the downtrodden,” Nusrat said.
This summer, PM Narendra Modi visited Kashmir specially to inaugurate 240 MWs power project in Uri II build up at the whooping cost of Rs 2300 crores but ‘unfortunately’ before his another visit one of the units of same project has turned into ashes in a major fire!
On the early morning Thursday, fire engulfed the Uri II hydropower project built on the River Jehlum by HCC and owned by NHPC. However no one was injured in the incident.
The apparent cause of the fire was said to be malfunction of a transformer, as per the initial reports. But a senior engineer posted at the power project has said the fire was caused by a technical snag and the power house has been shut down.
The locals in the area complain that they have been suffering from this problem for so long. In 2013, 20 to 30 houses had been damaged due to a leakage there.
Meanwhile NHPC has always remained in news since they were declared to control the power projects in Kashmir ‘illegally’. The state lawmaker Taj Mohi ud Din, who has headed the power ministry in coalition government, has repeatedly said, “NHPC does not possess a license to operate from the state government under the State Water Resources Act- 2010.”
Since early 1970s, J&K government has handed over nine major projects totaling 3359 MWs to NHPC of which seven projects with cumulative installed capacity of 2009 MWs are into generation. From its four projects, NHPC generated 8684 million units (making 46.48 per cent of its cumulative generation from all projects across India) in 2011-12 and 8771 million units (46.35 per cent of cumulative energy portfolio) in 2012-13.
J&K gets 12 percent of power as royalty from all the seven NHPC projects generating over 2000-MW in the State. The Corporation has turned down the repeated demands by the State Government to increase the royalty to 25 percent.
As NHPC has allegedly reneged from its earlier promise of returning the projects and rejecting the idea of increasing the royalty, the J&K government then decided against offering NHPC a solo opportunity. Instead, it started levying water usage charges that, according to Omar Abdullah, fetched Rs 1313 crore to the public exchequer so far.
The chief minister of state, Omar Abdullah has said, “In last 60 years, we had implemented projects with installed capacity of 750 MWs but in last five years we have initiated projects having 1500 MW capacity and will top it up by another 1000 MW this year.”
Carrying forward its vigorous election campaigning in Jammu and Kashmir, PM Modi’s close aide and BJP president Amit Shah Thursday said that J&K elections are crucial and only BJP can bring about “complete integration” of Jammu and Kashmir with rest of India. The BJP president arrived in Jammu on Thursday ahead of first phase of assembly polls to be held on 25 November.
Without directly raking up its pet theme of abrogation of Article 370 that gives special status to the state Shah said, “these elections are crucial as far as the complete integration of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country is concerned. Only a BJP government can make it happen”.
BJP, for which abrogation of Article 370 has been one of the core issues, has raked-up the issue during the current elections several times. But BJP and the Sangh Parivar have always maintained that there can be “complete integration” of Jammu and Kashmir with India only when Article 370 of the Constitution is scrapped.
Addressing a rally at Ramban in support of party candidate Neelam Langeh, Shah sought the support of Chenab valley to realise the dream of “complete integration of the state with rest of the country.”
“We want complete integration of the state of Jammu and Kashmir with the rest of the country and the people of the state will have to help us in realising this dream,” he said.
Shah also took a dig at the ruling NC-Congress coalition for “lack of development in the state.” The BJP President demanded an enquiry into utilisation of funds in the state.
Shah also lashed out at the two leading political dynasties of Kashmir, Abdullahs and Muftis, who according to him have been ruining the state and looting the public money.