HOPEFUL:  After 64 deaths in the Kashmir unrest Home Minister P Chidambaram has said that government is hopeful of finding a “starting point” in the next few days to reach out to protestors in the Kashmir Valley and resume the dialogue process for a solution. Addressing the two-day conference of chiefs of police forces, Chidambaram said the central government has acknowledged that a political solution must be found to the problems of J&K.

ANNOUNCED: Jammu and Kashmir government has ordered a probe into the cane charge by the police on state Youth Congress’s peace rally on August 23, in which 22 party workers were injured in Jammu. Youth Congress leaders are demanding transfer of SSP Jammu Basant Rath and suspension of Deputy SP City S S Sambiyal.

DETAINED: A 21-year-old Kashmiri boy, who wanted a lavish lifestyle in Mumbai was arrested last week for allegedly stealing a Toyota Innova from a car rental agency in Borivli. Mudassar Wani, who was staying in Goregaon with another boy, had allegedly stolen the car in 2009 and brought it to his house in Kashmir. Police has arrested Wani and recovered the car.

DENIED: Residents of Shopian boycotted the funeral of a notorious government gunman and denied him a burial space in the local graveyard. Shah Faisal alias Jeela Shah, 35, who died of heart attack on Thursday was buried in the compound of his residence with only his family members participating in the last rites. He is alleged to have been involved in around 125 cases of killings, extortion and kidnapping.

REGISTERED:  Police have registered a case against an armed company of the Jammu and Kashmir Police that assaulted the Station House Officer Nigeen in Hazratbal and had reportedly aimed Light Machine Gun at protestors. The FIR mentions that the armed police assaulted the SHO and unnecessarily ransacked the houses and vehicles in Hazratbal on Saturday.

APPROVED: For revival of saffron production in Jammu and Kashmir, the central government has approved a plan of Rs. 371.18 crore under National Saffron Mission Programme for four years which includes Rs. 286.06 crore as GOI share and Rs.85.12 crore as farmers share. The programme commences from this year.

SENTENCED: A local court in Srinagar on Saturday closed a 14 year old case and sentenced a pro-government gunman to life imprisonment for opening fire on a civilian and injuring him critically in August 1996. Pro-government gunman Ghulam Mohiuddin Yatoo of Inderkoot Sumbal had shot and injured Bashir Ahmed Bhat when the latter was coming out of Masjid after prayers at Inderkote on August 14, 1996.

IMPRISONED: An Army Lieutenant Colonel has been dismissed from service and awarded three years’ rigorous imprisonment by a General Court Martial (GCM) which found him guilty of irregularities in procurement of milk powder. The GCM found Lt. Col. Kuldeep Singh of Military Farms guilty of irregularities in the procurement of skimmed milk powder worth over Rs. 10 crore in Northern Command in Jammu and Kashmir during ‘Operation Parakram’ and dismissed him from service on Wednesday.

DENIED: People of Trehgam Kupwara have alleged that CRPF and police are denying them the drinking water facility during curfews. The residents alleged that the men in uniform were using curfew and restrictions as a fear tactic and not allowing them to fetch drinking water from local springs and other essentials like medicines and milk. Mirpora, Malikpora, Shah Mohalla, Muqdumpora, Bunpora and Muqbulabad were the worst affected areas, they said.

CONCLUDED: The annual Amarnath pilgrimage, which started July 1 when the protestors were dominating the streets in the Kashmir Valley, concluded without any major untoward incident. Although some pilgrims’ vehicles were caught in stone-pelting at times, none of them suffered any injury. More than 456,000 pilgrims visited the Hindu cave shrine of Shiva in southern Kashmir. The only time pilgrimage was stopped was when torrential rains and landslides hit the route on six occasions.

FILING: Kashmir’s beleaguered chief minister Omar Abdullah is filing a defamation suit against principal opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) legislators who accused him of receiving Rs 500 crore kickbacks in allotting a power project and withdrawing the entire amount of secret funds available to him. PDP legislator Nizam-ud-Din Bhat who spoke for the party listed specific instances of corruption against the chief minister. Bhat said Omar Abdullah has received Rs 500 crore as kickbacks while allotting 690-MW Ratle Hydro Power Project to GVK Development Projects Private Limited.

CLOSED: The Srinagar International Airport, which is maintained by the Defence Ministry, will be closed for air traffic for 12 days beginning from September 01. Officials said the airport is being closed for air traffic as repairs to the runway had become inevitable and the works may not be properly executed if delayed any further. The use of alternative airport at Awantipora is yet to be finalised even as the private carriers are cancelling the bookings for the said period.

RECOVERED: In an adventure of sorts, a team of Goa police brought back home two local girls, aged 21 and 22, who allegedly eloped with two youth from Kashmir recently. The four were working at a shop in Goa and had fled to Kashmir after the two Kashmiri youths quit their jobs. Following the complaint by parents of girls the police traced the duo at Bemina and subsequently brought them back.

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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